Pure Overclock – Computer Hardware News, Reviews and More

 
 
 
 
 

Author Archive

AMD Owning Intel with Windows 10

Intel has long owned the market when it comes to CPU performance for sometime now. With multi-threaded support, AMD could hold in there, but once the benchmarks switched to single-threaded performance, INTEL wins by a huge margin. Many people believe that while AMD has the hardware, they just didn’t have the driver or software support to take advantage of it. But that’s all starting to change the closer we get to the release of Windows 10. Right now, the highest performance INTEL CPU in single-threaded testing is the i7 4790k. On CPU Benchmark, it averages about a 2500 score in single thread performance. The test that was done on the FX-8370 put it almost an entire 20% higher with a score of 2956! And that’s just the 8370. Unfortunately, the benchmarks haven’t surfaced for the FX-9590 yet. That leap is insane, and while I’m slightly confused at how Windows 10 managed to pull that off, it looks like things are gonna get extremely competitive. AMD even saw some multi-threaded performance boost but the increase wasn’t nearly as huge as the single-thread performance. While AMD fans will see this as a huge victory, hardware enthusiasts everywhere should be excited as well. This will definitely force INTEL to get on the ball with innovation as well as prodding them into some new pricing structures. Either way, consumers win. DirectX 12 may have been getting all the attention, but it looks like Microsoft is doing huge things for the industry a...



BE QUIET! Silent Base 800 Review

Introduction People often think the PSU is the most overlooked computer piece in a build, but the case is far easier to overlook than you might think. Sure, you need to have plenty of wattage to future proof upgrades, but nothing can cramp that custom loop dream quicker than a case that didn’t have quite enough room to fit the radiator above your motherboard. BE QUIET! decided it was time to try and break into the computer chassis market while staying true to their values of silent computing. While the Silent Base 800 already appears to have the proper design to help reduce noise, the real question is whether this case will be able to offer room for high end computer parts combined with advanced cooling. We’ll dive right in here in a sec, but before we do that, let’s take a closer look at the company behind the Silent Base 800.   About BE QUIET!: BE QUIET! Is a premium brand manufacturer of power supplies and cooling solutions for your desktop PC. The Number 1 for power supplies in Germany BE QUIET! Products are convincing which is proved by reaching and defending the market leadership in PSU business in Germany since 2006 *. This is validated and accompanied by numerous awards for both power supplies and cooling solutions. Repeated winner: Manufacturer of the year BE QUIET! is awarded for eight times in a row as “Manufacturer of the Year” in the power supply category by the readers of the well-known German hardware magazine PC Games Hardware...



First DirectX 12, Now Vulkan

About a week ago, I posted my thoughts on AMD putting an end to Mantle and what that could mean for DirectX 12. While I was pretty excited, some people were quick to remind me that while DirectX 12 is low-level, it’s still proprietary. Well the good news is that I only had half of the story. Not only was AMD pointing developers to DirectX 12, but they also started pointing them to the new API from Khronos Group, Vulkan. For those unfamiliar with the Khronos Group (as I was a few days ago), they are the people responsible for OpenGL. In short, this API was originally designed for graphics workstations and while it could be used for gaming purposes, the code was built up over the span of 20 years making it difficult to program to. OpenGL ES was cleaner, but was only designed towards mobile devices. This is where Vulkan comes in. Vulkan has taken the best and brightest features of Mantle and brought the “close to the metal” concept to a completely open and cross-platform API. To put it simply, what DirectX 12 is accomplishing for Windows, Vulkan should be able to accomplish for pretty much every major graphics player in the industry including the Big 3 (INTEL, AMD, NVIDIA). Those of you who wanted something non-proprietary; it looks like you got it and it isn’t fragmenting the industry, which was a concern back in the early days of Mantle. The other really interesting thing about Vulkan is what it could mean for the future of SLI and Crossfire. Rumors ...



DirectX 12 Looking Better with an End to Mantle

News just arrived that AMD is ending the Mantle API and directing developers to start working towards DirectX 12 instead. I’m sure the thought that comes to everyone’s mind is, “What on earth is going on!?!” When I first saw the end to Mantle, even I was slightly disappointed but as that segued into the appeal to start using DirectX 12, I felt the rush of excitement again. It may not seem like it, but I have a feeling this is really good news for what’s in store for the future of gaming. Let’s review what’s been happening in the API world a bit. A couple years back, Mantle starts claiming how it can boost performance on AAA titles and as results start flowing in, the potential for the gaming industry looked promising even if more work was needed. Fast forward to GDC 2014 and Microsoft announces DirectX 12 coming to the next version of Windows. What everyone was scratching their heads at was the inclusion of AMD, along with NVIDIA, INTEL and QUALCOMM, as one of the major supporters for the new Microsoft API. Why would AMD support something that was seemingly in direct competition with Mantle? Now, it looks like AMD saw potential to get in on the ground floor, which not only allowed them to make sure performance was going to reach their standards, but also allowed them to determine if they needed to spend resources keeping Mantle in the mix if their GPUs could benefit just as well from DirectX 12. So is this good news? At first, it ...



Noctua NF-A9 and NF-A8 Fans Review

Introduction Noctua brought us something that might seem a little unexpected to those of us who know their fan reputation. At first glance, 80mm and 92mm fans appear to be somewhat of a waste of effort when larger fans are not only quieter, but provide better airflow as well. That’s until we remember that there are still server chassis’ and home theater PCs that can use exceptional cooling as well but lack the larger form factor cases. We’ll dive into the fans soon but before we do that, let’s take a word from the designer of our products today.  



Free Windows 10…For a Year?

If you’re following any of the tech news happening today, then I’m sure you’ve heard something about Microsoft’s Windows 10 event. We’re seeing some cool things coming into focus as more user features are being displayed. The Continuum interface calms the conflict that involves touch screens versus keyboards and mice, Cortana is integrated into everything, and the Spartan browser is looking like it’s going to do some great things for web browsing, but the one bit of news that keeps popping up is the free version of Windows 10 for 7, 8 and 8.1 users. This seems like great news, but I keep sniffing a trap here. Seriously, am I the only one here who feels like the phrase, “for a year” is a very bad sign? In all honesty, I know I’m not the only one, but I do want to share my cautions with the computing community since nobody likes to be blind-sided. A few months back, rumors came out that Microsoft might be looking into a subscription model with the release of Windows 10. The thing was, there wasn’t a whole lot evidence to substantiate that rumor back then and consumers always hope that dissatisfaction with particular announcements cause companies to rethink their stance and sweep things under the rug. However, with the announcement that Windows 10 will only be free for a year makes it very hard to imagine that this will fit in with anything but a subscription fee. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is very ...



The Hardware Hound Episode 2

After a crazy 2014, the Hound is back taking care of business and boy did he have some catching up to do. On this episode, he covers a nuclear reactor disguised as a CPU cooler, some important features on Windows 10, and most importantly, new GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD. So sit back, enjoy the show and get excited because great hardware news is always good news!



Best of 2014

Intro and Honorable Mentions With 2014 having come and gone, I’m sure all of us are greatly looking forward to amazing hardware coming in 2015. But one thing we get to see a lot of is the “Best of” everything that happened in 2014. So even though 2015 is looking very promising, we thought it would be great to look back through the year and do our very own “Best of 2014.” We decided on 5 news pieces, and 10 reviews that were considered to be the cream of the crop. Are you ready for the picks? Before we go into our official list, something always gets left out that just couldn’t be squeezed in with the leaders of the pack. Due to the overwhelming guilt we felt on a couple of really good articles that we just didn’t want to leave out, we decided to have some Honorable Mentions. Our first one comes from the news category, The Hardware Hound Presents: Windows 10, a Gamer’s Perspective. Honorable News http://www.pureoverclock.com/2014/10/the-hardware-hound-presents-windows-10-a-gamers-perspective/ Windows 10 made a big wave that increased the more that details about the upcoming OS were released. Windows 8 had become a pretty big disappointment and 10 was poised to fix many of those problems. Then Microsoft released the tech preview. The Hardware Hound took it upon himself to give Windows 10 a full blown try, and the results were surprisingly satisfying. Windows 10 made a good first impression and as such, Pure Overclock was ab...



SilverStone Ultra-Quiet 140mm and 120mm PWM Fans Review

Introduction The quest for silence is an ultimate goal among the elite of computer enthusiasts. Some people take this quest to the extreme in having fanless computers, but even the slightest airflow can be inaudible while making a huge difference in temperatures. That’s exactly where SilverStone comes into the picture with their new series of Ultra-Quiet PWM fans. Rather than trying to break airflow records, these tools are designed to operate at a such a low level that you won’t be able to tell if they’re spinning unless you look at them. Before we take a closer look at the fans themselves, let’s take a quick glance at the company of SilverStone.



A Season’s Thought from Pureoverclock

The holidays have become a very controversial time in the past years. We deal with shrugging off Santa Claus because he isn’t real, we watch schisms being formed because of hotly contested religious themes and complain about how consumerism has ruined Christmas. Amidst the misery that becomes the holidays, many of us can sit around just waiting for it to be over. Maybe we would be better off without the holidays? I’ve heard a lot of negativity this time of year. Everyone seems too busy. Everyone seems to be annoyed about one thing or another being pushed down their throat. Everyone seems to be financially strapped. I look around and I have nothing but pity for those who have so many problems to go through during this time of year. I began thinking about everything I’ve ran across this season and I felt a well of depression. What happened to the days of old, when I was a child, when this time of year was happy and magical? As I thought on it more, I began to realize that the problem was not so much with the world around me, but with the heart inside of me. Since I have small spheres of influence and can only do so much as one person, I felt the least I could do is try and bring some encouragement to my friends at Pureoverclock. Why do we believe in Santa Claus? I don’t expect you to believe in a jolly fat man that lives in the North Pole, but I do believe in the ideal of bringing a better life to those unfortunate souls who can not bring one to th...



GPU Wars Heating Up with New Leaks

2014 has almost passed and the year 2015 is quickly coming upon us. I used to be more excited about Christmas while dreading the new year in light of the stark reminder that gift anticipation was over and school was about to begin. Now, I’m an adult, Christmas means only one day off, and the upcoming GPU news makes 2015 a much more exciting prospect than that sock-shaped present under the tree. In recent days some performance numbers have leaked for not only the new AMD flagships, but NVIDIA has some mentions of their upcoming monster graphics cards as well which give us some gaming and power performance comparisons. Spoilers and speculation ahead! The first, and probably most, enticing info that was leaked were charts that showed the performance of the new GPUs with not only their older counterparts, but also showed tests that compared both manufacturers together. The first tests involved a compilation of 20 games followed by a single comparison of Battlefield 4. The next tests picked out several singular titles at 4k resolution. Without going into too much detail, the end result looks to have the AMD flagship card (Bermuda XT / R9 390X) taking the lead with the NVIDIA flagship (GM200 Full-fat) not far behind. This is amazing news because the green side has managed to hold on to the single GPU performance lead for some time. Red has countered with some impressive pricing structures, but with this kind of tight competition, we are bound to see some GPU wars that wil...



Noctua Fan Round Up: Phase II Review

Introduction Noctua is a name synonymous with the idea of a nearly perfect fan. Some would say they are too pricey, but most people who have owned one usually deem the cost worth the quality of the product. In fact, the only quibble I’ve seen consistently stick with Noctua fans is the color scheme. While beige and brown provide a unique aesthetic that clearly defines the brand, it hardly fits in most color schemes that builders decide on for their rigs. Just when all hope was lost that we would ever see anything different, Noctua decided to give us two new colors in their arsenal of fans; a grey scheme for the Redux line and a black/brown scheme for their Industrial line. Before we dive into the fans, let’s learn a little bit about the company behind the magic.



AMD R9 390X Possible Specs Spotted!

Maxwell did an amazing job of bringing the graphics card industry to a whole new level. Honestly, the architecture involved is quite amazing and we haven’t even seen the “Big Daddy” Maxwell card yet. (The 980 is by no means the top dog coming from Nvidia.) This put AMD under a lot of pressure to deliver something that could compare. The good news is that not only does AMD have a response, but if the leaked specs combined with HBM is true, the R9 390X could be as big of a game changer as Maxwell was a month ago. First, let’s take a quick peek at some of the more prevalent specs. The 390X is slated to sport 4096 GCN Cores. When compared to the 2816 Cores of the 290X, that leap seems pretty massive. It looks like we’re still showing 4GB of memory with a 1Ghz boost clock speed, but the next interesting fact about the Fiji architecture is the Manufacturing Process. These will be the first chips to feature the TSMC 20nm node which should help with efficiency and performance. The tiny taste of Tonga last month showed that AMD was heading down the path of better efficiency with better performance. However, outside of major architectural advantages that while extremely possible have not been seen yet, the improvements here may not seem out of this world. That is until we take a closer look at the memory being used. Some of you may have heard of HBM before but others may be scratching your heads. HBM stands for High Bandwidth Memory and sounds very much...



IN WIN iEar Headset Hanger

Introduction They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep; unless your an octopus, then it starts with a single suction cup. That may not seem relevant but when you consider this is my first time to review here at PureOC, and the product is the IN WIN iEar headset hanger, then maybe the correlation makes a little sense. Let’s begin with a brief explanation about who IN WIN is.



The Hardware Hound Presents: Windows 10, A Gamer’s Perspective

The rumors have been floating around for some time but we finally have a preview version of Windows 9….I mean 10….Windows 10! Maybe skipping a number doesn’t make a ton of sense, but let’s face it: Windows 10 is way better than calling the iWatch the Apple Watch! The real mystery isn’t a number, but whether Windows 10 is going to be worth it and the greater mystery is whether you should risk installing the preview on your system, particularly if you don’t have one to spare. Thankfully, the Hardware Hound is crazy enough to try it out (on my main system none-the-less), and I’m ready to give you some highlights to help you decide whether you want to make the plunge or not. The good news is, it looks like Microsoft is heading in the right direction so far! Let’s begin with the painful part of any operating system and that’s the installation, which, really wasn’t that painful! Having been an habitual reformatter most of my life, I was used to popping the CD in the drive (after a several hour ISO download), clicking on the upgrade tab instead of the advanced tab, and being told that I needed to load Windows and run the CD from there. So I did that, and roughly 15 minutes later, Windows 8.1 was upgraded to 10 with all my settings in tow. I also ran a fresh install on a spare workstation I had with an i5 CPU and once again, the install was quick and painless as far as OSes go. Also, I typically hate doing upgrades and hi...






Find us on Google+