The TOP line of graphics cards is not a marketing trick to think you’re getting a product that can talk-the-talk but not walk-the-walk, in-fact that is far from the truth. Whilst a TOP marked card and a standard DirectCU II card look identical and in most cases the cards are identical to look at, right down to the PCB, the difference comes in the GPU selection with a more stringent set of tests and a higher level of certification and validation. Any card that doesn’t pass any stage of testing gets passed onto the non-TOP model lines.
Not many motherboard manufacturers are releasing new motherboards for AMD CPUs lately, since AMD hasn't come out with a new chipset since 2011. Breaking this trend, ASRock released the 990FX Extreme9, a high-end socket AM3+ motherboard. Let’s take a look at the features of ASRock’s latest high-end motherboard for the socket AM3+ platform, the 990FX Extreme9.
In this review we will be looking at an excellent example of what a well rounded motherboard should look like the Gigabyte Z77X UD4H. For those familiar with the Gigabyte line up you'll realize the UD4 is a mainstream motherboard designed for power users who want a little more from their system.
The Crucial Ballistic Sport VLP module stands just 18.75mm tall and the Crucial Ballistix Tatical LP is 25.50mm in height. A normal DDR3 memory module module with a heatspreader on it is around 32mm in height, so these are substantially lower. Super high-end performance memory like the Kingston HyperX T1 module stands 60.95mm tall, but the Corsair Dominator GTX module tops them all at 64.30mm tall!
For years, there’s been a constant battle in the flash drive market where companies have tried to build the smallest drive possible but boast the most amount of space. In this regard, it has to be said that Kingston is the current winner. Its DT HyperX Predator isn’t much larger than a regular performance thumb drive, but its storage starts out at 512GB.
Each case is designed to house a full ATX motherboard and most of the longer gaming video cards on the market. The external styling is the Redline chassis is one that resembles the ancient royal times of Europe. The RL02 and RL03 both look like the mask of a knight, while the latest, RL04 looks like that of a jouster.
Released 3 months after the reference HD7970, the MSI R7970 Lightning is touted as the cream of the crop, the headline act with a huge factory overclock of 1070MHz on the core and 1400MHz for the memory. Bearing in mind that the reference HD7970 had a 925/1375MHz on the core and memory respectively you can't be anything but impressed with MSI's overclock.
Now, there is a sibling to the two cases mentioned and that is the new Phantom 630. The Phantom is not your typical Phantom series case as it was re-designed from the ground up. NZXT task with the 630 was to offer the enthusiast all the comforts one would need in a great case. And looking at it there are features and tweaks that you wouldn’t even realize that are there.
It might not be an Ultrabook, but for what ASUS’ VivoBook X202E offers, that might not matter. Instead of focusing on performance, ASUS has concentrated on the feature-set, overall design and the aesthetics. Then it piled on a touchscreen for good measure. Sounds good for a $500 notebook, so it’s time to see if it impresses.
Looking for an affordable SSD but demand a high-performance controller? Kingston’s SSDNow V300 is shaping up to be just that. Powered by a SandForce SF-2281 controller and paired with Toshiba’s 19nm Toggle-based NAND, it’s an aggressive entrant for its price-point.
The V300 is the latest edition to the V family and over its predecessor, the V200, we find a new set of flash IC’s and a new level of performance to suit. Similar to the older drives we do get the same extensive range of bundle options including vanilla packaging with the drive only, but also desktop, notebook and combo kits that both include a USB enclosure. Other new features include a lowered 7mm profile, ideal for installation into the latest generation of ultrabooks and a customised SandForce controller specifically for Kingston.
The Z77 OC Formula is one of the high performance motherboards from ASRock, was built in cooperation with the well-known overclocker Nick Shih and features a 12 + 4 VRM design covered by a massive waterblock/heatsink, an 8-layer PCB, measuring points, plenty of thermal sensors and more. What we also like about this board is the fact that they have removed the legacy components like Floppy/IDE interfaces along with the PCI slots, in order to have a clean motherboard PCB design in the end.
The Adata DashDrive Elite HE720 promises a sleek and light weight method of moving hundreds of gigabytes of data from point A to point B. Imagine showing up at your friends' door with four seasons of their favorite TV show in your pocket. Although USB memory devices currently offer the lightest and smallest way to move data, the cost per gigabyte becomes quite high as capacity increases. In this article, Benchmark Reviews looks at the features and performance for the lightweight, portable and overall good-looking ADATA DashDrive Elite HE720 USB 3.0 External Hard Drive.
The NM70-I2 motherboard from ECS comes equipped with either the Intel Celeron 847 1.1GHz dual-core or the Intel Celeron 807 1.5GHz single core CPU, has Intel HD Graphics for video output, supports installation of two DDR3 memory modules and also comes with 4 SATA ports, one of them supporting the 6Gbps standard.
Based on AMD A85X Chipset, the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W motherboard supports the latest Socket FM2 'Trinity' APUs and is priced under $100. Biostar also optimized this particular board for high quality sound reproduction, so audiophiles are in luck! Read on to see how the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A85W motherboard does when we put it to the test with an AMD A10-5800K APU!
Gigabyte’s top level motherboards have always stood out from the rest of their motherboard offerings, not just on paper with the best specifications that they have to offer, but they also physically stand out with striking designs and colour schemes to suit. To accompany the new UP7, dubbed as “A New Legend Is Born”, we find Intel’s ever popular Z77 chipset, and this combination is set to make this one of Gigabyte’s most powerful consumer boards on the market. On top of the highly extensive overclocking features within the BIOS, the UP7 offers a large array of physical overclocking benefits including an industry leading 32+3+2 power phase design and high capacity ferrite chokes. But this is not all that we find, to steer the board in the right direction of the modern environment we find other included features such as WiFi and Bluetooth showing the board is right up to date and Gigabyte are giving the customer exactly what they want.
Today it is the turn of Fractal Design to show us their worth in the Mini-ITX arena with the Node 304. Node 304 has typical Fractal Designing styling; minimalist, sleek and elegant and its design is compact yet still accommodates three cooling fans.
Although during this year’s CES many manufacturers presented impressive and innovative products there's no doubt that the most impressive storage product unveiled was the DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive by Kingston. Now this was not only because Kingston managed to squeeze 512GB in a flash drive (was bound to happen sooner or later since 256GB units have been around for some time) but mainly due to the fact that the Predator is pretty much the first USB flash drive of its kind since it's basically an SSD in flash drive format. And like if 512GB were not enough Kingston announced that they will release a 1TB version in the following months. After all of the above no one can really wonder as to why we just had to check the latest DataTraveler HyperX Predator 512GB USB 3.0 flash drive out right?
The Samsung 840 is the first consumer drive of its kind. What makes the Samsung 840 different than any other drive that has been launched to date is the type of NAND utilized. The 840 series is equipped with Triple Level Cell (TLC) NAND. Samsung is the first to bring to market a drive featuring TLC NAND Flash Memory.
If this last route seems the best avenue for you and if you already own a SilverStone power supply that was manufacturer after 2009, they have some for you to look at. SilverStone has gone the route similar to Corsair and is offering sleeved cables. For a few weeks only black were available but red and white have recently showed up on their site. So, it is some to clean of the interior of one of our test rigs.
Edifier’s Esiena is a rare beast in a market filled with various docks at many price points, all hoping to appeal to some niche. Esiena’s party trick is a diverse set of input sources, including SD cards and USB. With a recent model revision, Edifier introduced Bluetooth into it’s repertoire, while dropping the CD player. Read on to find out how it fares.
In the spotlight today is OCZ’s new Vector Series SSD. Available in three sizes; 128GB, 256GB and 512GB – we will be taking a look at the 256GB model which boasts 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write transfer rates. Vector seeks to deliver a ground-breaking all-round performance at affordable pricing and with an impressive 5 years warranty.
Our friends are Spire has sent us over two of their newest additions to your fan assortment. They are the new Air Force models. Two fans that look very similar but offer several differences that will appeal to different users. Regardless of the features these fans do look good and we would not hesitate to use them in our own systems.
Vector is OCZ’s first SSD release since the ushering in of a new CEO and fresh perspective on its direction. It’s also the first SSD to come equipped with both in-house firmware and controller. In effect, OCZ has built its Vector SSD from the ground up with its rich internal resources – has it paid off?
There's a slogan printed on the Level 10 M's box: "born to be seen." That's true; the gaming-grade peripheral from Thermaltake's gaming division, Tt eSports, is really eye-catching. The design, created by German car manufacturer BMW, looks like a concept car from an auto show. The mouse has a see-through aluminum chassis to stimulate air flow with 11 configurable buttons and reaches 8,200 dpi of resolution. We'll first describe these impressive features, and then see how well the mouse performed in action.
More and more companies are jumping on the mITX bandwagon with the Z77 platform, but the majority of these miniature boards lack the type of features found in their larger counterparts. The latest mITX board on the market, the EVGA Z77 Stinger, however is an entirely different beast, as it is a pint sized motherboard with enthusiast grade features such as native PCIe 3.0, SATA 6G and USB 3.0.