AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Analysis and more
Posted on: 08/02/2013 09:48 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Analysis, Installing Nginx With PHP5 (And PHP-FPM) And MySQL Support On Fedora 19, Brix Mini PC Review: Gigabyte's Take On Small Form Factor Computing, Rise of the Triad for PC, and Synology DiskStation DS1513+ Review
AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Analysis - Frame Pacing Fix? @ HardwareHeaven
For some time now review sites, including ours, have been looking at how well graphics cards deliver frames to our displays when gaming. Average and minimum framerates remain an important aspect of results but a card must deliver frames without delay to give us a truly smooth gaming experience. So over the last few months this aspect of performance has been receiving attention from both NVIDIA and AMD. Today AMD deliver what they hope is a beta driver which addresses frame pacing as they call it in certain scenarios.
Read more: AMD Catalyst 13.8 Beta Analysis - Frame Pacing Fix? @ HardwareHeavenInstalling Nginx With PHP5 (And PHP-FPM) And MySQL Support On Fedora 19 @ Howtoforge
Nginx (pronounced "engine x") is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server. Nginx is known for its stability, rich feature set, simple configuration, and low resource consumption. This tutorial shows how you can install Nginx on a Fedora 19 server with PHP5 support (through PHP-FPM) and MySQL support.
Read more: Installing Nginx With PHP5 (And PHP-FPM) And MySQL Support On Fedora 19 @ HowtoforgeSeagate 600 SSD 240GB (ST240HM000) @ NikKTech
Although hard disk drives (or mechanical drives as some call them) have been around for many decades and names such as Seagate, Western Digital, HGST (Former Hitachi GST) and Toshiba have been tied to them only recently did they all of them decide to turn their focus to the manufacturing of solid state drives. Now this is somewhat strange since when the first consumer oriented SSDs started to appear roughly 5 years ago they were manufactured by companies that had nothing to do with storage media prior and although many of us in the industry hoped for the above companies to make a move and take the market by surprise none of them did. Seagate was the first to release an HDD/SSD hybrid with their Momentus XT 2.5" drives along with a couple of enterprise oriented SSD models but that was just about it and so my guess is that they all stayed out of the game not only to see how SSDs would fair in the market (just to be on the safe side of things) but also for prices to drop at acceptable levels. Well Seagate is back again with their first consumer oriented solid state drive model the 600 SSD and today with us we have the 240GB variant.
Read more: Seagate 600 SSD 240GB (ST240HM000) @ NikKTechASRock Z87 Extreme6/ac (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
I take my first look at ASRock's Z87 products with the Z87 Extreme6/ac. Packed full of connectivity options, it definitely has Extreme connectivity, but is it perhaps also an Extreme disappointment?
Read more: ASRock Z87 Extreme6/ac (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUpMSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 Review @ OCC
Compared to the reference card, the MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 raised the bar a bit with small margins over the reference card across the entire suite of games at both 1920x1080 and 5760x1080. Overclocking brings performance gains across the board. This particular sample did not overclock as high as I would have wanted on the core with a GPU Boost 2.0 maximum boost clock of 1189MHz. Above 1189MHz it would not pass all of my stability tests, but could pass some as high as 1215MHz; even though it operated below the power and thermal thresholds. The GDDR5 memory, on the other hand, soared all the way up to 1722MHz, well above the reference card in the comparison field.
Read more: MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 Review @ OCCBrix Mini PC Review: Gigabyte's Take On Small Form Factor Computing @ Techspot
Taking advantage of Ivy Bridge's efficient operation, Intel accompanied its third-generation Core processors with a new small form factor platform dubbed Next Unit of Computing (NUC), the initial wave of which were powered by Core i3 and i5 Ivy Bridge parts mounted to an ultra-compact 4x4" motherboard -- considerably smaller than even the Mini ITX standard.
Although we welcome SFF machines from industry heavyweights like Intel, the company's NUC products have been grossly overpriced, initially starting around $400 for a complete build based on the Core i3. Even today, a barebones version of the i3 NUC system still costs almost $300, and that's without memory, storage, Wi-Fi and an operating system, which could easily add a couple hundred bucks.
Read more: Brix Mini PC Review: Gigabyte's Take On Small Form Factor Computing @ TechspotGELID Black Edition Dual Tower CPU Heatsink Review @ HiTech Legion
Having a highly successful product can often become a stigma that is difficult to break. One of the most used examples is that of the Acura Legend. The Legend was an incredible success during its market years in the 1980s and early 1990s and spawned an entirely new luxury car segment that would be imitated by Toyota and Nissan with their Lexus and Infiniti lines. To this day, the two door Legend remains a very desirable and collectable vehicle, especially with a manual transmission. However, in the early 1990s, the Legend was seemingly inexplicably pulled from the Acura line up. Acura’s reason was that the brand name had become secondary to the model and was a disadvantage for their other market segments.
We have seen this elsewhere, of course, with brand names swallowing company identity and pigeon holing people’s perception. You probably wouldn’t be apt to buy Lever 2000 tea, or Lipton soap, but the same company is behind both brands. Corsair made a successful transition from memory products to including AiO CPU coolers and cases, but not without some air coolers flopping along the way. Gelid Solutions burst onto the scene a few years ago offering a very nice fan assortment, but it was their top performing GC-Extreme TIM that became synonymous with the Gelid name. Slowly, but surely, Gelid has begun to expand.
Read more: GELID Black Edition Dual Tower CPU Heatsink Review @ HiTech LegionFrame-pacing driver aims to revive the Radeon HD 7990 @ The Tech Report
Can a driver fix what ails the Radeon HD 7990? Will the new Catalysts magically transform this baby into the fastest graphics card on the planet? We go inside the second to find out.
Read more: Frame-pacing driver aims to revive the Radeon HD 7990 @ The Tech ReportGIGABYTE Fly and H11 Review @ Vortez
One may not immediately think of GIGABYTE when considering personal audio peripherals, however, since the quiet release of the FLY and H11, it is clear to see that they are cautiously dipping their toes in that realm. Though listed as 'PC Peripherals' these are definitely more catered towards the use on portable gadgets. The H11 is a sleek, all aluminium set of earphones powered by 9mm drivers and for those who do not find earphones all that pleasing, the FLY is an ultra lightweight on-ear solution with 40mm drivers crammed in.
Read more: GIGABYTE Fly and H11 Review @ VortezRise of the Triad for PC @ MEGATech
Rise of the Triad is a remake of a 90s first-person shooter that isn’t well-known to those outside the PC gaming community, having been overshadowed by bigger names of the era such as Doom and Quake. There is no doubt a lot of nostalgia will be experienced by a certain crowd, but I’m not one of them. I owned five or six consoles before I got my first PC and even then, it could hardly be called a “gaming” PC.
Read more: Rise of the Triad for PC @ MEGATechAlienvibes EP02WT Noise Cancelling Headphones Review @ Bigbruin.com
We reviewed a prototype version of the Alienvibes EP02 noise cancelling headphones back in October of 2012 (see the original review here). We are happy to report that we will be revisiting the same headphones in their retail form. Lets see if Ineo Technology adjusted their design of these headphones at all based on our previous feedback. The sample provided for this review is their model EP02WT, where the WT indicates that they are white in color. Other options include black, green, blue, pink, purple, and red.
The retail version of the AlienVibes EP02 Headphones includes the same 40mm driver we observed in the previously reviewed prototype sample. Primary features of this unit include active noise cancelling, a compact folding design, and a microphone which is built into one of the two 3.5mm cables. To give the user maximum usability, two adapters are included - an airplane stereo plug and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter.
Read more: Alienvibes EP02WT Noise Cancelling Headphones Review @ Bigbruin.comGoogle Nexus 7 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
Balance. That's the key. Last year's Nexus 7 set the bar for small tablets with just the right balance of features, size, and price. This year, Google and Asus do it again. The new Nexus 7 balances size, performance, and price to hit the perfectly sweet spot for a small tablet.
Read more: Google Nexus 7 Review @ TechReviewSource.comAMD Framepacing Catalyst 13.8 driver review @ Guru3D
In today's article, we analyze the new AMD Framepacing Catalyst 13.8 beta driver in combination with FCAT. In our recent FCAT benchmarking article from April we already exposed that AMD Crossfire solutions suffers from a phenomenon called micro-stuttering. A problem that is often hard to see, but has been known for years and something both AMD and NVIDIA have had. NVIDIA solved the issue starting with Kepler based graphics cards. With a new technique called FCAT (Frame Capture Analysis Tool) was introduced, a whole lot of micro-stuttering was exposed for AMD, putting them on severe pressure to release a fix for this.
AMD finished up their frame pacing algorithm and today is the day that we look at AMDs new Catalyst 13.8 Beta driver with support for frame pacing driver. As such we examine the latest games to see if AMD has made progress. First a couple of things, the Beta driver outed will be released in phases. This first 13.8 beta only supports framepacing in DX10 and 11 games and is compatible with Windows Vista, 7 and 8 in the first phase. The later Beta's will add 8.1, DX9 etc. Secondly, in this beta driver frame pacing is supported up-to a resolution of 2560x1600. So everything below it is cool, above it not so much.
Read more: AMD Framepacing Catalyst 13.8 driver review @ Guru3DASUS PQ321 Ultra HD 4K 31.5-inch Monitor Review @ HotHardware
We have a confession to make (well, several actually, but all the rest date back to our college days, and some secrets are best left untold). Reviewing monitors isn't as fun as it once was. It's not that we've grown jaded over the years, but plain and simple, the monitor market has become stale, lacking the kind of 'gee-whiz' innovations that tend to excite us. Panel makers seemed to stopped pushing the envelope once they developed 30-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) screens, and for the longest time, that's where the high-end has sector been stuck, as if caught in quicksand with no rope in sight, or so we thought.
Out of all the monitor manufacturers out there, it was ASUS that showed up to the panel party with rope in hand, marching through the muck and mire tugging the first consumer 4K display ahead of the competition. And for adding bragging rights, the ASUS PQ321 True 4K Ultra HD measures a just a little bit bigger than current flagship models with a 31.5-inch LED backlit panel, giving monitor enthusiasts yet another reason to upgrade.
Read more: ASUS PQ321 Ultra HD 4K 31.5-inch Monitor Review @ HotHardwareThe Truth About Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) Fans @ Hardware Secrets
The fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) was first used in hard disk drives. It is a modification to the standard sleeve bearing to improve the lubrication of the bearing, and thus increase the life span of the fan while retaining one of the most positive aspects of sleeve bearing fans, which is the low noise level. However, what can be classified as fluid dynamic bearing is somewhat controversial, and designs vary greatly.
Read more: The Truth About Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) Fans @ Hardware SecretsCM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Legit Reviews
Today we take a look at the newest CM Storm Quickfire mechanical keyboard from Cooler Master. The QuickFire XT is the full 104 key sibling to the tenkeyless Quickfire Rapid. The Quickfire XT features four choices of mechanical Cherry MX switches, a detachable braided USB cable, and Fn multimedia keys. Read and see our overview of this new keyboard and what we liked about it!
Read more: CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Legit ReviewsCorsair Carbide Air 540 Cube Case Review @ Benchmark Reviews
Starting with the Obsidian series, Corsair has systematically released a chassis to tackle almost every segment. With most of the segments covered, Corsair has rethought the ATX case and has released something a little different. Launching at the top of the Carbide series (designed to be focused on performance and high-end features, while still being accessible to every builder), the Carbide Air 540 cube-style computer case brings a unique option to the series. Benchmark Reviews tests to see if it's worth the $139.99 price of admission.
Read more: Corsair Carbide Air 540 Cube Case Review @ Benchmark ReviewsAntec a.m.p. SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ KitGuru
Today we are going to take a look at the Antec Mobile Products SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker which is designed for those who travel frequently and aren't satisfied with the poor sound quality offered by their laptop or smartphone. It's available in three colour combinations: black and red, white and pink and green. We have the green version to test today.
Read more: Antec a.m.p. SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ KitGuruSynology DiskStation DS1513+ Review @ V3
Synology's updated five-bay NAS appliance offers four Ethernet ports and numerous enhancements
Read more: Synology DiskStation DS1513+ Review @ V3