A Closer Look at AMD's Mantle API and more
Posted on: 10/01/2013 11:16 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including A Closer Look at AMD's Mantle API, OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ-FTY750W Power Supply Review, Cougar PowerX 550 W Power Supply Unit Review, Adaptec (by PMC) ASR-8885 12Gb/s PCIe RAID Adapter Review, and Read the F1 2013 (PC) Review
A Closer Look at AMD's Mantle API @ Hardware Canucks
Last week AMD held a powwow of tech journalists from around the world to unveil their upcoming graphics cards. Called the GPU14 Tech Day, it effectively laid out AMD’s graphics strategy for the remainder of this year and into 2014. While new products were shown and detailed, there was one element which no one was expecting: Mantle, an API which aims to upend the PC graphics industry.
In order to understand where Mantle is coming from, we need to go back in time and take the Playstation 3 as an example of how AMD wants to change the way games interact with a PC’s graphics subsystem. While the PS3’s Cell processor and its associated graphics core are extremely hard to program for, games like Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us boast visuals that are equal to if not better than some of today’s newest PC games which run on hardware that was unimaginable when Sony launched their console.
Read more: A Closer Look at AMD's Mantle API @ Hardware CanucksSilverstone Fortress FT04 Review: Improving the Formula? @ Techspot
Silverstone cases are often praised by enthusiasts and HTPC builders alike, and with good reason. Last time we checked one out it was the Fortress FT03, the direct predecessor of the case we are reviewing today. The FT03 was unlike anything we had seen before, receiving TechSpot's Outstanding award as it was able to accommodate full length graphics cards and offered superior cooling performance on a small footprint.
It was interesting that the FT03 was different than previous Fortress models, and despite the steep asking price, the chassis did well as Silverstone followed up with the FT03-Mini, a Mini-ITX version that was even smaller.
Read more: Silverstone Fortress FT04 Review: Improving the Formula? @ TechspotNoctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fan Review @ OCC
The Noctua NF-S12As performed very well. At idle, the highest two speed settings for the FLX kept the CPU running essentially as cool as its competition, with the temperatures going up as fan speeds went down. This trend continues for all of the Noctua fans; lower RPMs means higher temperatures. Except for the PWM fan, right? Wrong. The fan controller just kept the RPMs so low that the speed settings didn't affect the outcome. The Load results were more interesting and surprising. ALL of the Noctua NF-S12A fans kept my i5-2500K in check @ 4.5 GHz under full load. The highest temperature reading was achieved while using the 600 RPM settings for the ULN model and those were just above 70°C. The Noctuas have proven to me that they can compete with the best because of the well thought out design and not the sheer speed of the fans.
Read more: Noctua 120mm NF-S12A (ULN, FLX, PWM) Fan Review @ OCCOCZ Fatal1ty OCZ-FTY750W Power Supply Review @ HiTech Legion
The infrastructure that supplies electricity to the United States can be very fragile and when it is not working everything slows to a crawl. Recently in the New England a major power line was damaged and power is no longer being provided for train service. This is causing major problems for the people that rely on the commuter rail to get them to and from work. The big question comes down to who is responsible for the outage. You can bet the electrical company is at fault seeing how they failed to fix a backup line for over six months.
The electrical outage has a domino effect on the economy considering that people are not able to get into work. Those that have alternate transportation are saddled with sitting in hours of traffic on roads that are now bottlenecked even more. In the same sense a computers power grid is one of the most important things. Without good clean power the system will slow to a crawl and often times crash. This instability will not only be frustrating but could damage other expensive components.
Read more: OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ-FTY750W Power Supply Review @ HiTech LegionOzone Rage 7HX Headset (White) Review @ Funky Kit
First I want to thank Ozone Gaming Gear for sending me this awesome Rage 7Hx 7.1 Surround headset. Its a 7.1 surround headset with a volume control module, it has a detachable microphone what i find very nice, sometimes the mic is just sitting in your way if you are not talking to anyone.
And like the title said this is the White version of the Rage 7HX, there is also a Black one available.
Read more: Ozone Rage 7HX Headset (White) Review @ Funky KitTeratrend SST-TS431U 4-bay USB 3.0 Storage Tower Review @ KitGuru
SilverStone is a company that you will most certainly have heard of. They produce a large range of Cases, Power Supplies and Storage devices. On the other hand, the name Teratrend probably won't mean much to you. Teratrend is a new division of SilverStone dedicated to delivering professional storage solutions.
Read more: Teratrend SST-TS431U 4-bay USB 3.0 Storage Tower Review @ KitGuruCougar PowerX 550 W Power Supply Unit Review @ Tech ARP
COUGAR was established in 2007 by a group of PC hardware enthusiasts in Germany, who wanted more than the typical PC cases and PSUs that had the same boring looks for umpteen years and internal layouts with endlessly uncreative cosmetic variations and poor quality.
So COUGAR was formed to provide gamers more stylish product concepts with the strictest quality requirements. Today, COUGAR is a global brand manufacturer that focuses on high-quality PC cases and PSUs.
Today, we are going to take a look at the COUGAR PowerX 80 PLUS Bronze power supply. It comes in two models - with power outputs of 700 W and 550 W. We will be looking at the 550 W model specifically.
Read more: Cougar PowerX 550 W Power Supply Unit Review @ Tech ARPZeiss Cinemizer OLED 3D VR Video Glasses Review @ HotHardware.com
The Zeiss Cinemizer OLED glasses are great for watching movies on-the-go, but command a steep price and offer little utility beyond this function. And despite inevitable comparisons to the yet-to-be-released Oculus Rift, the Zeiss Cinemizer OLED glasses don't provide a true 'virtual reality' experience, and are thus a very different animal.
The good news is that you can buy them now. The bad news is that they are very expensive (around $800) and fairly limited in application. The Cinemizer OLED glasses are best used as a simple mobile media device for watching movies. The Cinemizer OLED can also be used as a gaming device, and (potentially) as a training aid or even an accessory for remote controlled vehicles equipped with cameras...
Read more: Zeiss Cinemizer OLED 3D VR Video Glasses Review @ HotHardware.comASUS GTX 760 DirectCU Mini OC Review @ Vortez
'The best things come in small packages'. An old saying which many use typically as an excuse for like of size rather than words of wisdom. Graphics cards in particular are generally more powerful the bigger they are. Triple slot cooling, oversized power circuit boards and lengths that typically overhang a standard ATX motherboard; these are the kind of high end cards we have become accustomed too. The size no longer shocks us because to generate all that power, the cards needed power plants the size of Chernobyl and enough cooling to keep the Sun chilled. ASUS however have spotted a niche in the market. Not everyone wants monolithic gaming towers. Certainly those who attend regular LAN parties want a system that is easy to transport yet powerful enough to compete. Anyone who has carried a full gaming tower from the car parks to the gaming halls will testify that it was a less than pleasurable experience. Strange then that with mini-ITX PC builds now common place among PC enthusiasts, there are few cards which are capable of gaming at today's popular resolutions. Size it seems generally dictates power.
Read more: ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU Mini OC Review @ VortezHP Envy Rove 20 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The HP Rove 20-K014us portable all-in-one desktop PC has both the innovations and problems that come with being a first-generation product in a nascent category.
Read more: HP Envy Rove 20 Review @ TechReviewSource.comAdaptec (by PMC) ASR-8885 12Gb/s PCIe RAID Adapter Review @ The SSD Review
The Series 8 gives us the best of both worlds; high port count (16) and high port bandwidth (12Gbps). There are actually 5 different adapters in the Series 8 family. The first is the ASR-81605ZQ which has 16 internal ports with integrated Zero Maintenance Cache Protection. Next we have the ASR-8885 and ASR-8885Q. Both have 8 internal and 8 external ports, with the 8885Q coming with the AFM-700 flash-based cache protection module. Adaptec also has the ASR-8805, which has only 8 internal ports. Finally, the ASR-8885E, which is identical to the ASR-8885, but only has 512MB of cache protection, versus 1024MB for all other flavors. It also only supports RAID levels 0, 1, 1E and 10, which might be a deal breaker for many. All other version support RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 6, 10, 50, 50 and 60. The ASR-8885 lists for $725, while the ASR-8805 is $640. The bargain of the group is the ASR-8885E, which lists for just $440.
Read more: Adaptec (by PMC) ASR-8885 12Gb/s PCIe RAID Adapter Review @ The SSD ReviewPatriot Viper 3 DDR3-2400 8GB Memory Kit Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Patriot has been making memory for quite some time and their Viper series has been around for a while. Now on its third revision the Viper 3 Series offers dual and quad channel kits in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB capacities with speeds ranging from 1600 MHz all the way up to 2400 MHz. All of these kits are tested to work with both AMD and Intel systems and are ready to handle what you can throw at them. Today we will be taking a look at the PV38G240C0K kit, which is a 8 GB (2x4GB) kit that has a speed of 2400 MHz with timings of 10-12-12-30 at 1.65v. With its sleek heatspreaders and high speeds will the Patriot Viper 3 kit make it into your next build? Read on as we take a look
Read more: Patriot Viper 3 DDR3-2400 8GB Memory Kit Review @ ThinkComputers.orgRead the F1 2013 (PC) Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
A couple of weeks ago we got our first real taste of Codemasters F1 2013 in its preview form and found it to be an interesting evolution of the franchise. Now with the review build in our hands we are able to give our opinions on the latest instalment. This time though, there are two editions of the game, not in the same way that other developers may publish with a deluxe fancy edition with random extras. No, this is all about content and how much the end user loves classic F1.
Read more: Read the F1 2013 (PC) Review @ HardwareHeaven.comCorsair Obsidian Series 350D @ LanOC Reviews
Five years ago if you were on the market for a case there were really only a few directions to go. More recently this has changed considerably; there are so many manufactures that weren’t even in the market five years ago. One of those manufactures is Corsair, moved into the market with a very impressive 800D and has been slowly filling out their product lineup from then on. The Obsidian Series 350D that I will be taking a look at today is the first mid tower from the Obsidian Series. With styling from the popular 800D we know it looks great, but the only way to find out where it stands otherwise is to look at it more in depth.
Read more: Corsair Obsidian Series 350D @ LanOC ReviewsTt eSPORTS Meka G-Unit Illuminated @ LanOC Reviews
Quite a market has developed for high end mechanical gaming keyboards. Gamers, both professional and otherwise, have begun to migrate towards the tactile feedback each individual keystroke or double tap provides. With this growing market, the usual names have thrown their hats into the ring with offerings that both impress and amaze. Today I take a look at Thermaltake’s top of the pyramid offering, the Meka G-Unit Illumination Edition and see if this monster of a keyboard can tangle with its competitors.
Read more: Tt eSPORTS Meka G-Unit Illuminated @ LanOC ReviewsFractal Design Arc Midi R2 PC Case Review @ OcInside.de
The Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 PC case does not only caught the eye by its special simplicity, but due to the large mesh surfaces on the top and the front, which have an extremely high airflow and thanks to the integrated dust filters they can be cleaned very easily as well.
Fractal Design delivers the Arc R2 mid-tower PC case with an acrylic window, USB 3.0 ports, three silent 140 mm R2 fans with 3-step fan control and the case can be converted to support a dual radiator inside of the chassis.
The Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 review will show if this case can convince in practice.
Read more: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 PC Case Review @ OcInside.deGamer Storm Lucifer CPU Cooler Review @ KitGuru
Today we are taking a look at the Gamer Storm Lucifer CPU cooler. With six 6 mm heat pipes, a mirror finish copper base and a fanless design the Lucifer promises to â€œdevour the heat. The big question is, can this cooler hold its own against cooling giants such as the Noctua DH-14 and Phanteks PH-TC14PE?
Read more: Gamer Storm Lucifer CPU Cooler Review @ KitGuru