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Posts Tagged ‘crossfire’
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Windows 10 is doing a Darn Good Job and Here’s Why

I almost hesitate to even bring this article to life because it’s the kind of thing that internet trolls, with their vitriol of insults, love to flock to. However, I feel like MICROSOFT deserves some praise for what it’s done with Windows 10. At the current rate, 10 might be the best OS to ever happen to the ultra-enthusiasts market since ever! I’m not trying to say Windows 10 is perfect, but from a builder’s perspective who likes fancy hardware configurations, I have a good reason to say MICROSOFT is doing a darn good job. I always have and always will love Crossfire/SLI setups. When I found out I had the chance to merely add a second GPU to my first build, I was ecstatic to try it and quickly fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve always opted to buy two lower end GPUs over one high end one. I work through the bugs I face and can’t get over how nice two strong GPUs look next to each other in my build. This is just the tip of the iceberg for a patch release that had the most minor bug fix description imaginable. In the patch before this last one, the release notes had a tiny phrase that mentioned video display fixes. What is minor in text was huge for me because now, my system no longer hangs when using Crossfire, FreeSync, AND dual displays. My secondary display is a standard 60 Hz panel paired with my adaptive sync one! I even further complicate the matter by having dual SSDs, one for the OS and the other for games and back ups. I k...


PHANTEKS’ Power Combo has more Ramifications than you’re Realizing!

“Dual sockets, CrossfireX, SLI, Raid 0… Why not PSUs?” That seems to be the the train of thought PHANTEKS was thinking when they announced the new Power Combo releasing this month. At first, it seems really exciting to be able to combine two power sources to work together as one. On further thought, the practicality behind the Power Combo begins to feel a bit contrived. The actual circumstances where a user can put two power supplies to work on one system are pretty limited, however, I believe the Power combo can open a whole new approach to how future systems are built. In order to see the full potential of the Power Combo, we have to look at several industry changes that are taking place right now. The first and most obvious change is DirectX 12. I’ve long been a proponent of dual GPUs in my systems. Practicality has nothing to do with it. If I have $500 to spend on an upgrade, I’ll always have two $250 cards in CrossfireX or SLI because I love the look of two cards in my system. This comes with some heavy pre-planning though, because I need the rest of my system to be able to handle the extra load. Previous APIs didn’t allow for hardly any variation when it came to matching two graphics cards, so it was best to buy both GPUs as close as possible to each other. DirectX 12 on the other hand, is beginning to shine light on the possibility of upgrading to a stronger GPU, while keeping your old one around for a bit of extra power, since th...


Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 Motherboard Review

Introduction When it comes to Intel’s Extreme or “Enthusiast” series of motherboards and processors, like the X79 and its Ivy-Bridge-E combo, we seem to get a bit more time between updates. Intel initially launched its X79 Chipset with Sandy-Bridge-E, then 18 months later Ivy-Bridge-E hit store shelves without a major Chipset change. Unlike its mainstream Z series Chipset, which has seen updates almost every 12 months or so (give or take a few months), the X79 chipset is roughly 3 years old now. Today we have the new X99 Chipset which promises a large improvement over its predecessor X79. With the rise of DDR4 memory and demand for faster and larger bandwidth capabilities, it was only a matter of time. As we dig a little deeper today, we will talk a little more about this Chipset later. Along with the new Chipset comes a newly released processor refresh. The X99 Chipset has made some other improvements which now allow users to sport the new Intel Haswell-E Processor. This CPU starts with a 6core for the HT 5820K, 6core for the HT 5930K, and lastly an 8core for the HT 5960X with a Socket 2011-3. Of course with these changes, it has pre-empted the design of new motherboards, so we now have the chance to put the Gigabyte X99-UD4 motherboard to the test and see if the improvements are going to be worth the upgrade.   In recent years, Gigabyte has grown to be one of the most recommended brands. The reputation of great performance to value has put them on ...

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MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

A few months ago we had the honor of reviewing the new MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboards during the launch of the Z97 chipset. Today, we are here again to look at another MSI motherboard. We have MSI's flagship Gaming Motherboard the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC. At first glance the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard looks rather close aesthetically to the Gaming 5 we reviewed. While the looks are similiar, the Gaming 9 has some additional features and aesthetic improvements that make it stand out on its own. The first obvious improvement on the Gaming 9 motherboard is the shield that covers the rear I/O port section and the isolated PCB for its sound card. During the Z97 chipset many manufacturers started to switch over to using higher quality Japanese capacitors and while the caps were much better in quality they looked rather ugly on many of the new boards. It was nice to see that MSI designed the Gaming 9 series motherboard with the shield to cover up that section making the motherboard look much sexier. Let's dive in and put the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard to the test and see how it performed against its little brother the Gaming 5. But before we do that, let's talk a little about who MSI is.

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BitFenix Fury 650G Power Supply Review

Innovation is the name of the game; if you want to keep your product line relevant and interesting then you need to mix things up a bit and give people a reason to be genuinely excited about choosing a part from your repertoire. In the world of power supplies, this innovation is coming slowly but surely as manufacturers determine how to better serve their PC enthusiast community with products that make their jobs a little bit easier and their builds a little more awesome. BitFenix opted to take the road less traveled with this, their first-ever power supply. They took a solid, stable 80 Plus Gold certified platform using all Japanese top shelf capacitors, then sleeved every single cable for you right out of the box. The name is somehow ironic to us, as they call it the BitFenix Fury, yet this power supply is poised to be anything BUT infuriating. Having well sleeved cables with a myriad of connector options and varying wattage ratings for your individual computing needs, could this be part of your next build? No spoilers yet on what we think of it, so let's read on.


ASRock FaTal1ty Z97 Killer Series Motherboard Review

Introduction Over the last few years we have seen ASRock gain movement in the motherboard arena. They have developed and revamped some rock solid motherboards at a very affordable price. In the past, we have seen many flagship motherboards from ASRock that have been top performers when it comes to overclocking and stability. Not only has ASRock performed well in the past, they have great aesthetic appeal too. Today, we have a chance to look at their newest variation from their already popular Fatal1ty series. This is the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Series Motherboard. With Haswell’s refresh chipset in full swing, we have tested a number of great performing motherboards. But today, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Series has another advantage in this arena due to its aggressive pricing. So let’s move forward and put this motherboard to the test and see what it can do with our Intel 4770K Haswell Processor.       Just in case you are unfamiliar with ASRock, let’s take a look at who they are first: ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept. ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard ...

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ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero Motherboard Review

ROG is the popular abbreviation for Asus' Republic of Gamers line of PC enthusiast products. The ROG series motherboards started out as the flagship line of the ASUS series motherboards as far back as the X58 chipset. Since then, it has featured the signature red and black aesthetic theme, which has carried on over the last few years, and has continued due to its popularity and success. Since that time, Asus has made several variations of their ROG line for multiple price points. Today, we are going to be looking at the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero. This motherboard is the evolution of the previous Maximus Hero line, which was originally developed for the more budget conscious consumer during the Z87 chipset launch. With on-going success, ASUS continues to bring the Maximus Hero line, which is now feature packed and is available for any board within its price point. Let's put the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero to the test to see if it can meet the great performance that ASUS is known for.


Diamond R7 250 Boost Review

In this ever-blossoming technology industry there are smaller companies that are often overshadowed by their behemoth competitors. There are many reasons why this occurs but one of the most common assumptions is that the smaller company is lower quality. The thinking has been that the smaller guy can’t make a product as well as the bigger guy. Diamond has been striving to prove that assumption to be false. They believe they can be a smaller company yet still offer quality and value. Diamond sent us an AMD based GPU: their R7 250 with Boost. Let's see how well their promise holds up.

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ASUS Z87 WS Motherboard Review

Introduction In the world of custom PC Building, consumers and builders frequently ask what the best motherboards are for Gaming PC Builds. While these are always valid questions, some folks are looking to build a high end rendering or workstation PC. The Z87 series chipset has plenty of options from the budget friendly models to enthusiast gaming motherboards; however, workstation motherboards are not as readily available. That changes today. We are going to be looking at a motherboard from ASUS, one of the few manufacturers who created a Z87 chipset based WS (workstation) motherboard to meet this niche market. We have the ASUS Z87 WS on our test bench, and we are going to put this baby to through the ringer. As an interesting aside, one of the few features of this motherboard which immediately caught our attention is the available support of Quad SLI and Crossfire with 4 PCIe slots available. Not many Z87 motherboards offer this out of the box. There are also tons of other features that we typically don’t see with your “typical” Z87 chipset motherboard. Does this bode well for this unique new board? Read on to find out! Let’s get the review started by talking about the 8 Series chipset, but first here’s a quick word about Asus:   Origin of the Name “Asus” ASUS comes from the last four letters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology that represents the inspiration of art and learning. ASUS embodies the strength, cre...

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MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Review

Introduction The popular demand of small form factor builds for the high end gaming/performance PCs has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years. However, their haven’t been many manufacturers providing high-end mATX boards to meet the demands of those seeking the performance systems. Today we are going to be looking at a manufacturer that has taken that step forward. On our test bench we have the brand new MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard. At first glance, the aesthetics of this motherboard are impressive. It reminds us of the Z87A-GD65 Gaming ATX form factor motherboard that MSI already offers today. The question is, “has MSI managed to pack all those features in a nice little mATX package?” We can’t wait to put this board to the test and find out, so let’s dive in and check out the MSI Z87M Gaming Edition motherboard. Before we jump in, here’s a statement from MSI: “Founded in August 1986, MSI has continued to uphold a business philosophy that stresses “Award-winning product quality and outstanding customer service.” MSI specializes in the design and manufacture of motherboards, graphics card, add-on cards, servers/workstations, iPC, barebones, communication devices, CE products, Notebooks, car infotainment products, and All-in-One PC. “Quality Products Create Faithful Customers” is a motto that guides all that we do at MSI. For this reason, MSI goes all out to be the best of the best in research and development.” Now, l...

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Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H Motherboard Review

Introduction Intel’s 4th Generation Haswell release sparked a great deal of movement with motherboard manufacturers over the last few months. We have seen many new motherboards hit the consumer market with revamped aesthetics and updated on-board features. The web space today is flooded with media coverage of high-end motherboards, but we know that not everyone is always looking for the highest-end products. Sometimes, meeting that happy middle-ground of performance and price is what’s important. Today we are going to bring to the table a new Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H that fits that description. With the aesthetics of a top shelf motherboard but the price of a mid-range board, we will see if Gigabyte really hit the mark here to bring both of these combinations together on the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H. The impressive red and black aesthetics make the board stand out in its price category, so now let’s get the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H tested to see how well it performs. Before we do that, here’s a quick note from Gigabyte.   GIGABYTE was founded in 1986, establishing our uncontested position in continuous technological innovation. By focusing on key technologies and achieving strict quality standards, GIGABYTE has been regarded as an innovative and trusted motherboard leader in the globe. To keep pace in a rapidly changing world, we have offered a comprehensive product line covering Motherboards, Graphics Cards, PC Components, PC Peripherals, Laptops, Slat...


MSI Z87 MPower Motherboard Review

The introduction of Intel's new "Haswell" line of processors also brought its new 8 series chipset. The introduction of Haswell and its socket and chipset change came as no surprise. We have seen this from Intel with its "Tick Tock" development strategy, including their change to its power delivery management. It makes sense and was crucial for Intel to make these changes. Today, we have a chance to look at one of MSI's flagship motherboards for the new Z87 architecture: the MSI Z87 MPower. MSI's previous products in the Z87 chipset MPower line were typically top performers, and include excellent overclocking and features. Today, as we move forward, we are going to see just how the MSI Z87 MPower measures up to that previous reputation while using the new Haswell 4770k. Before we move forward, let's talk a little about MSI.

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AMD A10-6700 & MSI FM2-A85XMA-E35 Motherboard Review

The new AMD Richland processors were released just over a week ago. AMD first launched its A-series processors just over 2 years ago as the Fusion technology with the "Llano" series. During its first launch and introduction to this APU series chip, no one was really sure how well this platform was going to perform. Over the course of a few years, we have seen AMD improve on its one of a kind platform with its first revision "Trinity" and we now have the next release "Richland." During its first revision, Trinity, we saw a change in socket from FM1 to FM2 along with a revision to its chipset. However, with Richland, we are glad to see that AMD decided to stick to its FM2 based socket. Today, we have the AMD A10-6700 processor at hand to put to the test.


HIS 7850 iPower IceQ Turbo 4GB and CrossFire

Adding a second card to boost gaming performance certainly has its positives, but a few potential downsides can exist. Does it make sense to add a second HIS card or upgrade to a 7970 instead? Let's find out as we look at the HIS iPower IceQ Turbo in single card and CrossFire configurations.


HIS 7790 iCooler Turbo and CrossFire

The HIS 7790 iCooler Turbo comes with a custom cooler cooler and a factory overclock that reaches over 1GHz. It also qualifies for an AMD promotional offer that tosses in a free copy of Bioshock Infinite worth $60 into the package. That sounds like an excellent deal, even if the performance isn't terribly groundshaking as a more budget-oriented card. But as an added bonus, we're also looking at a pair of these in a CrossFire configuration.

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