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Posts Tagged ‘intel’
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Ashes of the Singularity Scaling: The AMD Crossroads

Last week, the new game, “Ashes of Singularity” had a pretty comprehensive scaling review performed with both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. The results were interesting to say the least. Multiple CPUs were used to test both the R9 390X as well as the GTX 980. While AMD enjoyed some impressive gains, NVIDIA had some fairly lackluster results that even prompted the company to release statements for damage control. It would be very easy to say that AMD is making a comeback and NVIDIA is gonna be in trouble, but that would be too easy. How can we come to the proper conclusions about these results? Let me start off by saying that this is great news for AMD. It’s long been claimed that Radeon GPUs would be much better if the drivers could just utilize them properly. It seems this is almost true, but rather than drivers, it’s APIs that needed to take advantage of that hardware. However, I’m seeing some massive problems here that if AMD doesn’t quickly solve them, we can say goodbye to competition for a long time to come. I want to show you three conclusions that I saw from these results, and why I think there could be more bad news here than good if AMD doesn’t make some dramatic changes in the near future. (Click for Larger View) Let’s begin with the first big implication these AotS results are showing us. AMD needs to refocus their software development. This seems like something that is already in progress, but when we see what Direc...



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Does Skylake Interest You? Here’s a Round-up of Z170 Motherboards

Introduction Do you remember back in the good ole days when a new processor would release, there would only be maybe 2-3 high end motherboards you’d have to choose from? Well those days are so far gone that now there is a figurative ocean of great motherboards to wade through in order to find the right one, and that’s a great thing. Even I’ve been a tad shocked at the shear number of new releases that have come out with Skylake and the Z170 chipset. Unfortunately, life isn’t going to permit me to bring you an exhaustive list of every Z170 motherboard that’s out or coming soon, but I will give you a pretty comprehensive list of the boards that you should be looking out for. The way I worked through this is I decided to pick out the top of the line boards that I feel are doing things right. The competition is looking great and while I can’t make a decision for anyone, I can help pool some of the info I’ve been gathering to try and help you make a good choice. What’s nice is even if these top tier boards are out of your budget range, there are plenty of other options abroad that will most likely suit you. Generally, if a high tier board is performing well and breaking records, you have a pretty good bet that others are going to come pretty close to the same performance. The one manufacturer I couldn’t bring myself to add to this list is EVGA. They just seem to pale in comparison to what the other companies are doing. So ...



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INTEL Skylake Releases with Mixed Emotions

The long wait for Skylake is finally over and reviews are beginning to pour in. Unfortunately, the hype train was going full throttle on this release and even INTEL gave what seems to be some slightly unrealistic expectations. It’s pretty hard to come to a solid conclusion on the i7-6700K. There are some really good features but there are also some very lackluster improvements to take into consideration. Overall, I think the release is pretty solid and I’ll try to highlight what I’m picking up from the reviews but ultimately, it’s up to the end user to make the best decision based on individual circumstances as to whether to upgrade or not. My first impression of Skylake was pretty bland. When comparing to last year’s Devil’s Canyon launch, there isn’t enough performance gains to merit a subtle nod, let alone an upgrade. When following some of the graphics performance to that of the recent Broadwell release, we see much of the same story. It’s the comparison to Sandybridge that makes Skylake more interesting. Now, I know what you’re thinking but hear me out. Sandybridge was the latest architecture from INTEL that really turned heads. The IPC improvements were huge and what really sold enthusiasts on the chip was the great overclocking headroom. With decent cooling, 4.7 or 4.8 GHz was a very realistic possibility. As newer iterations of the architecture came out, headroom also decreased. What people were finding out ...



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3D XPoint Memory isn’t the Storage we Deserve, but the Storage we Need

INTEL and MICRON held a press conference yesterday and revealed something that could potentially turn the storage world upside down. The average gaming system benefits immensely from a single good performance SSD, but in the case of Big Data, storage is still the major bottleneck of being able to process information at higher rates. However, if 3D XPoint Memory really does work at 1000X the speed of NAND Flash with 10X the capacity of DRAM, storage could be taking a huge turning point within the next year or two. This isn’t first time we’ve heard of some crazy fast technology being worked on with the potential to change the market. For instance, graphene keeps hitting the headlines but even just a working sample is still a long ways away and could potentially never materialize. What’s different about the INTEL/MICRON press conference is this technology is going to be ready to sample towards the end of this year. MICRON even showcased a chip wafer that was already fabricated. Based on what was said, the initial technology can hold 128 Gb per die across two memory layers. It’s hard to picture exactly how this will turn out just yet but if multiple dies can be added to one device, similar to the way multiple NAND chips are combined on an SSD, we might see 1 Tb + devices pretty quickly. 3D XPoint is in it’s early stages but future generations can increase the memory layers and lithographic pitch scaling for higher capacities. This is some pretty h...



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Gigabyte X99-SLI Motherboard Review

Introduction We are starting to see more and more Intel X99 series motherboards hit the market. The X99 series wasn’t designed to be a budget series platform, but that doesn’t mean it can’t fit into other marketing segments as well. There are many users who don’t feel right spending $500+ on a motherboard, but are okay with something in between this price and the low-end/budget models. Now that this platform has had its time to mature, manufacturers are releasing a range of X99 motherboards to meet the demands of all types of consumers. We have a wide variety, from high end enthusiast boards to the more basic motherboards. Today, we have a chance to take a look at a Gigabyte X99 motherboard that meets “mid range” description perfectly: the Gigabyte X99-SLI. This motherboard is designed with quite a few bells and whistles, but with a more moderate price. Let’s dive in and take a closer look…   About 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, Slate Devices, Desktop PCs, Network Communications, Servers and Mobile Phones. W...



Intel Skylake

INTEL Core i7-6700K Overclocked to 5.2 GHz on Air

Monday morning brings some pretty awesome news to the world of overclocking. The Chief Reporter at HKEPC recently posted on Facebook that Skylake was much funner to overclock than Broadwell after reaching 5.2 GHz with the flagship chip. The even more impressive news is that he did this on air. There’s a couple of considerations to take in with all of this but at the moment, this looks like some incredibly exciting news for overclocking enthusiasts who are considering the upgrade. This sounds pretty huge, but we need to consider a couple of factors before we take this as a guarantee of what’s to come. First of all, while the source seems like someone who’s very trusted in the hardware industry, it’s important to note that we don’t have any word on the specific cooling used or verification of stability. While an NH-D15 is considered air cooling, it isn’t the kind of accessible solution that everyone has. Also, we all know that while you may be able to boot into the OS, it doesn’t mean you can pass a stress test or even load a reasonably heavy application. The other bit of info missing is the core temp. While the temperature is said to be within specification, that doesn’t mean we want to see our core temps raising up above the 70’s all the time. However, these are just some considerations to keep in mind and since the source seems like a credible one, let’s get back to what makes this exciting. This is a 5.2 GHz...



Intel Skylake

What to Make of the Leaked Skylake Performance Scores

INTEL’s new CPU lineup is getting closer and closer by the day, but some performance numbers have released to give us a early glimpse of what to expect performance wise. The Core i7 6700K will be the successor to the i7 4790K and it looks like the gains are following the trend we’ve been seeing from INTEL as of late. The gains on the CPU side of the architecture are pretty nominal with some of the more impressive gains coming form the built in graphics architecture. For PC enthusiasts, this isn’t good news considering built-in graphics isn’t a selling point for high-end systems, but there are a couple of considerations to ponder in determining how good Skylake will end up. The first important thing to realize is the i7 6700K is targeting multi-threaded applications more so than previous generations. This may not be a huge thing to many of us outside of the server market, but if things like DirectX 12 make good use of multi-threading in games, then the 6700K could be a more tempting offer to upgrade to. The other important factor is overclocking. This will be the first standard consumer chip (by standard consumer, I’m basically saying CPUs that aren’t Xeons or included in the X79 and X99 chipsets) that doesn’t include a stock heatsink. It looks like INTEL is marketing this chip more specifically to overclocking enthusiasts and as such, knows that after market cooling is a must. Since the new architecture design isn’t offering...



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INTEL Skylake Coming on the 5th of August, Awesome New Gigabyte Boards

Skylake’s been in the news for some time now. We’ve gotten to see some of the new features coming with the Z170 chipset, heard about INTEL aiming the high-end CPUs towards overclocking enthusiasts, and find out that everything was going to be releasing sometime towards the end of this year. Now, we have an official date for the launch of Skylake as well as some shots of some extremely impressive boards being released by GIGABYTE. August 5th is the official release date for the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6500K. There’ll be some other SKUs that launch as well, but the K series chips are the ones with the unlocked multipliers making overclocking a breeze. These chips have an incredibly modest 95W TDP rating that hopefully translates into some huge amounts of overclocking headroom. Currently, 5 GHz is the magic number that is incredibly difficult to reach for everyday use. While silicon is ultimately the limiting factor, we can hope that with some new architecture, we might get to see some higher overclock ceilings with normal cooling setups. Time will tell, but if new motherboards have any sway in the matter, then GIGABYTE plans on destroying overclocking records if their initial features live up to their appearance. I have to say, while GIGABYTE makes some good quality products, I feel like they got a little behind in the Z97 segment of motherboards. A lot of their boards didn’t seem to rank up as high as other boards. The VRM design hardly pushed pas...



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No Stock Cooler with Skylake? No Problem!

INTEL is deciding that their K-Series of Skylake chips will be shipping without any kind of cooling solution. I’m sure there are going to be some complaints because regardless, somebody will open the box and be upset that the stock cooler isn’t there. Overall, this is a good move and gives further nods to the idea that Skylake is being designed for overclockers. Currently, the two primary SKUs with unlocked multipliers launching are the Core i7 6700K and the Core i5 6600K. Both are rated at 95W TDP with the 6700 having 4 more threads and 2MB more Cache than the 6600K. With the low power rating, it’s possible that these chips will have quite a bit of overhead for enthusiasts to take advantage of. Considering that stock coolers are barely sufficient at factory clocks to begin with, INTEL is making it very clear that these are truly enthusiast level parts and that we have no right to expect insufficient cooling solutions just to get by. Honestly, this sounds like a good move on INTEL’s part. The only question that remains is if this will reflect in pricing. My best guess is it probably won’t, but it would be nice to see the i7 and i5 flagships release at an even $300 and $200 respectively. I’m not holding my breath and most enthusiasts plan on spending extra for good cooling anyways. On the other hand, with the new PCIe 3.0 lanes coming to the Z170 chipset, there could be some pretty intriguing performance increases once Skylake releases. ...



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INTEL Skylake De-lidded, Bad Wolf

It’s time to give ourselves a message through space and time so that we can head over to INTEL and save overclocking (Doctor Who reference for those who have no idea what I’m talking about). Maybe the dilemma isn’t that serious, but if a fuzzy photo is to be believed, then the Skylake processors might be continuing some of the overclocking problems from the past. KitGuru revlealed a shot of a de-lidded Skylake CPU and it looks like INTEL is going to keep using thermal compound instead of soldering. The photo is pretty fuzzy so it’s impossible to verify this claim. The other problem is we’re still a couple months out from the release of Skylake so there could be a couple of possible explanations for this that could be resolved by the time of the official releases. In case you don’t remember, INTEL began using thermal paste with both the i7-3770K and i7-4770K. Of course, overclockers justifiably pointed out that the thermal paste would not be as effective at heat transfer as a soldered lid. The thermal paste was slightly improved with the i7-4790K, but Skylake has already been provisioned to be a good overclocking CPU. Enthusiast hoped that at least the high-end chips would be soldered to the lid again in order to have the best thermal transfer, which would help unlock the highest overclocks. Take this all with a grain of salt for right now but at the moment, this doesn’t look very promising. Overall, this isn’t going to be...



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Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mITX Chassis Review

Introduction Earlier this year we took a look at one of Phanteks Evolv mATX Chassis called the Enthoo Evolv. The Enthoo Evolv Chassis took home our Editors Choice award for its outstanding features and solid construction. Since that time, Phanteks has been hard at work developing new products and growing its already outstanding product line. Today we have a chance to take a look at a new addition to the line up. We have the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX Chassis. At first glance, the Phanteks Evolv ITX Chassis mimics its bigger brother with the obvious changes in size. But with the popularity of small form factor builds, miniITX cases have become a hot commodity, so its no surprise to us that Phanteks would want to move into this arena. Will the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX meet the expectation of builders and live up the reputation of its larger sibling? Today we are going to take a closer look at the chassis and find out. But before we do that, let’s talk about who Phanteks is:   About Phanteks “Phanteks was founded from a group of engineers with a total of 20 years of international experience in thermal solutions. They paired up with a Dutch design team and established Phanteks in 2007. Phanteks venture into the CPU cooling industry with two goals in mind, high-end quality and innovative products in thermal solutions. As a relatively young company, we strive to develop top quality and superior products. Our Phanteks Design Team is situated in the Netherlands and...



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HyperX 32GB DDR4 Fury Memory Review

Introduction With DDR4 Memory now starting to mature since its release with the X99 chipset, we are starting to see the market get flooded with more options and variety, many of which now providing great performance with high frequencies and lower cost. With more and more kits becoming available, the competition is getting more fierce everyday. Today we have the chance to take a look at the HyperX’s new budget friendly line up the Fury series DDR4 memory. At the launch of DDR4 memory, it primary features were offering lower voltage and higher native frequencies. DDR4 features a native speed of 2133MHz, which is really nothing to WOW over or about since we have seen these speeds with DDR3. However, the main updates are its newer JEDEC Culmination and Density, DDR4 memory components now provide better speeds and faster response while being more power efficient at the same time. The HyperX Fury memory we are going to be looking at today not only offers fast speeds of 2666MHz out of the box, but also offers the efficiency of lower voltage; with that in mind… we can see some great potential with additional performance once overclocked. We will be comparing results from Kingston’s (HyperX) previous line up from its DDR3 series all the way up to HyperX Predator DDR4 series we previous tested. But before we do that, let’s learn about who HyperX is.   Who HyperX is: “HyperX is the high-performance product division of Kingston Technology, the world’s la...



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Gigabyte X99-UD3P Motherboard Review

Introduction The X99 chipset has now had a little bit of time to mature. During its initial launch Gigabyte sent us the X99-UD4 motherboard for review. The X99-UD4 took home our Great Hardware Award for its simple aesthetics along with a solid performance to value. Now that we are six months into the release of the X99 chipset, we are seeing more motherboards become available at a much more affordable price. Today, we are going to be looking at one of these motherboards that offer a similar performance to the X99-UD4 in a more simplified package and price. We introduce to you the Gigabyte X99-UD3P. Aesthetically, the Gigabyte X99-UD3P is very similar to the UD4 motherboard with some obvious changes. As we continue here, we are going to take a closer look at the Giagbyte X99-UD3P to see exactly what those differences are. Before we do that, let’s move forward and talk about Gigabyte.   About 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, Slate Devices, Desktop PCs, Network Communications, Servers and Mobile Phones. We are dedicated to building up a full-range digital life,...



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Phanteks PH-TC12LS & PH-TC14S CPU Cooler Reviews

Introduction Phanteks has recently started to branch out with more products to add to their already popular name; they have set a standard in the cooling market with some of today’s top performing air coolers. The quality and superb performance reputation they have built, helps keep the air cooling market competitive and creates a leveled playing field with other top contenders like Noctua, be quiet!, NZXT and Cooler Master. In the past, we have seen some pretty unique air coolers from Phanteks. With features from beefy tower style coolers to color matching heatsinks, Phanteks has a style that fits everyone’s needs. Today…we are going to be looking at 2 new coolers that not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but have a price point that can fit anyone’s budget. We have for you today the Phanteks PH-TC12LS and Phanteks PH-TC14S.   About Phanteks “Phanteks was founded from a group of engineers with a total of 20 years of international experience in thermal solutions. They paired up with a Dutch design team and established Phanteks in 2007. Phanteks venture into the CPU cooling industry with two goals in mind, high-end quality and innovative products in thermal solutions. As a relatively young company, we strive to develop top quality and superior products. Our Phanteks Design Team is situated in the Netherlands and consists of creative researchers, designers and developers whose only desires are to bring the latest cutting edge technology to yo...



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ID-Cooling Dual Air Cooling Review SE-204K and SE-214-X

Cooling may not be the priority when building a home computer but it remains a very important part. Some crave liquid cooling for ultra low temps and others my just need a good low cost solution. Today, we have two new air coolers from ID-Cooling called the SE-204K and SE-214X that are aimed at the later






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