AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti: frametimes review and more
Posted on: 03/03/2013 12:19 PM
Here today's reviews roundup with 14 new articles, including AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti: frametimes review, Synology DS213air Review, Apple Mac mini (2012) review, Lian Li PC-7HX, and Edifier Predator 2.1 Speakers
AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti: frametimes review @ Hardware.info
Last week we introduced you to the concept of of frametime tests, a more accurate way of measuring graphics card performance in video games. We already tested the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 in this new way, which brought us to a different conclusion than the one based purely on frames per second performance. Today we are looking at the AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost versus the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti.
These two graphics cards are in the same price segment, around £250 or Ä 280, and are significantly more affordable than the two cards from our last review. Click here to read our original review of the Radeon HD 7950 Boost. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti is the most affordable Nvidia card based on the GK104 GPU, the same chip used in the GTX 680 and 670. Click here for the original review of the GTX 660 Ti.
Read more: AMD Radeon HD 7950 Boost vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti: frametimes review @ Hardware.infoSynology DS213air Review @ Vortez
Synology is no stranger to our storage section and we quite openly admit that we have a soft spot for many of their storage solutions, and we arenít alone. Over the last few years momentum has been growing for this Taiwanese brand; not only is their hardware stylish, good quality and reliable but their notorious Operating System dubbed DSM has paved the way for much of their success too.
Under the spotlight today is something quite special. Back in October of last year Synology released the DS213air; a 2-bay NAS incorporating WiFi technology. A first for the company and one that will be certain to entice the storage cohorts.
Due to DS213air having WiFi built-in, it can be connected wirelessly to a network without cumbersome cabling, or be configured as a hotspot to extend the range of an existing WiFi network. Users can even deploy the DS213air as a wireless router to create a wireless environment at no extra cost.
Read more: Synology DS213air Review @ VortezAZZA Silentium 920B Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ TweakTown
Back in early 2009 I was introduced to AZZA as I took a look at their Fantom 900 chassis. Back then cases still had exposed steel innards, but they were still offering aggressive styling, LED fans, shiny bits of plastic - you know, everything that was all the rage four years ago. Then we got to see the Solano 1000 that was basically AZZA's take on the Antec 900. Here the styling was more subtle, but air flow and LEDs were big then, and they were accommodating to those desires.
Then there was a pair of cases that sort of broke the typical mold of full-tower designs. The Genesis had a reverse ATX layout, was white, and appealed to a lot of people trying to be a bit different than the average user. The Fusion, again was slightly aggressive in its styling, but was one of the few to make a color themed chassis that didn't take the accent color over the top, and choosing red as this accent allowed a ton of ASUS users a chassis that would easily match their motherboard.
One thing that seemed to be a trend with AZZA was that they were seemingly building for the gaming and overclocking crowd, but what about those that want to have a PC that is less seen and heard then the previous solutions? Today AZZA is looking into exactly that. They are taking what could be an average mid-tower in its basic respects, and adapting things to make this latest chassis to hit our labs, not only subdued in appearance, but great strides have been made to either redirect the airflow and fan noise or just straight up absorbing it with materials placed inside of the chassis. Not that this concept has been unheard of, Fractal Design, Corsair, Antec and many others have been banking on this for quite some time now, but this is the first I have seen this from AZZA.
Read more: AZZA Silentium 920B Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ TweakTownApple Mac mini (2012) review @ Hardware.info
Even when you look really close, the new Mac mini looks like a clone of the previous version. It's also more of an update than a complete overhaul, and that means it's still a very nice mini PC.
It's a compact mini PC, that you can use as server (combined with MacOS X Server if you want), HTPC or just as computer. It has a very high-end finish compared to other mini PCs, with a solid aluminium chassis and a good array of connectors in the back. It looks nice that way, but isn't always the most practical solution. If you want to plug in a USB stick you have to do so in the back
Read more: Apple Mac mini (2012) review @ Hardware.infoLian Li PC-7HX @ LanOC
A number of Lian Li chassis have made their way through the offices of LanOC. Each time they manage to surprise and impress us with something new or innovative. Today we get to take a look at their new PC-7HX mid tower chassis and see how it compares, not only to their own cases, but also to those of competitors. We expect it to have the same Lian Li quality that we have come to expect, but will this be your next case? Lets find out.
Read more: Lian Li PC-7HX @ LanOCAntec High Current Pro 1000W Power Supply @ Funky Kit
Today we have Antec's latest in the excellent High Current Pro line, the High Current Pro 1000 Platinum. As the name suggests it's a 1000 W unit with 80+ Platinum efficiency. That's pretty big and mighty efficient, if it can really do what it says Antec has another winner on their hands. Antec being Antec, I expect it will.
Let's let Antec talk about themselves a bit, the following is from their About Us page.
Read more: Antec High Current Pro 1000W Power Supply @ Funky KitEdifier Predator 2.1 Speakers @ BCC Hardware
The package looks pretty slick and flashy. Although I've only included one image of the box, the box features images of the Predator speakers on all sides. Once I opened the box I was quite impressed with the packaging, both because of the type and how well it cradled these nice speakers. I'm not a tree-hugger by all means, but it is nice to see companies take foam packaging to heart and help reduce waste by using recyclable materials.
Although not pictured clearly above, the box includes the speakers themselves as well as a small manual, a cleaning cloth and a warranty slip. Of course, all the required cables are also in the box so you are ready to roll.
The two satellite speakers themselves look very nice. The main body is black and they rest on a silver base with the Edifier logo printed on the front side. The front these speakers look fairly average but when you start feeling the materials used for the main body, you get the feeling that they are quite durable - not to mention that the finish is quite appealing. The speaker body itself sits at an angle and this adds to the overall style of the product. When you turn it around and look at the back, you'll notice some nice curves and a snazzy little peek where the back curves down.
Read more: Edifier Predator 2.1 Speakers @ BCC HardwareOCZ Agility 4 256gb @ LanOC
It wasnít that long ago when we took a look at the OCZ Vertex 4, the first drive sporting the Indilinx Everest 2 controller. The Vertex 4 topped just about everything we put it through. When OCZ asked if we were interested in checking out the Asynchronous Agility 4, we jumped at the chance. With the difference between the drives just being the NAND used, itís always interesting to see what real world performance difference you should expect when going with a budget drive. Not everyone can afford to get top of the line, especially when balancing capacity as well. Letís see what you will be giving up and find out if itís worth the difference in price.
Read more: OCZ Agility 4 256gb @ LanOCIomega Storcenter ix4-300d review: affordable network storage @ Hardware.uk
A couple of months ago we saw the premiere of the Radeon HD7870 graphics card. It became quite popular among gamers because of its good performance and affordable price.
Today we are going to present the newer, upgraded version of the Radeon HD7870 built by Sapphire. Our review sample has two main improvements. First, AMD gave it a higher base core clock which is passing the magical barrier of 1GHz, simply called GHz Edition.
Second improvement from Sapphire, an additional overclock boosting core clock by another 50MHz. In total Sapphire HD7870 GHz Edition OC graphics card runs at 1050MHz.
Read more: Iomega Storcenter ix4-300d review: affordable network storage @ Hardware.ukKingston SSDNow V300 128GB Solid State Drive Review @ Pro Clockers
We have seem over the past year or so that the SSDNow series is aimed that the budget consumer. The one that wants the core essentials of a solid state drive without having to pay out the nose for it, this series from Kingston has been just that. Good to better performance at a price point that many believe wont broke the bank.
The V200+ was the latest of the series that we have had on the bench. Performance best not the best but it offers better than mechanical drive numbers (way better), great security as well as Kingston's repetition of quality. This drives has been a mainstay in our test benches for some time and still going strong.
The newest of the series will be the V300 which is now offered in 60GB, 120GB and the largest 240GB sizes. The heart of the drive is a LSI SandForce controller and new 19mm NAND modules all optimized for Kingston. But is it enough to top one of our favorites? We will soon see.
Read more: Kingston SSDNow V300 128GB Solid State Drive Review @ Pro ClockersLaCie 5big Thunderbolt: super-fast 20TB storage @ Hardware.Info
20 TB of storage, super fast and super easy to connect with a single cable. That's the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt in a nutshell. It's got everything to become one of the most impressive external hard drives ever created.
The chassis of the 5big Thunderbolt looks familiar. That doesn't mean we don't like it, we're still big fans of the Neil Poulton design. The large, round blue eye in the front and the aluminium finish makes it a work of art almost. The rear is more functional, with five metal hard disk trays, two Thunderbolt connectors and the power connector.
Read more: LaCie 5big Thunderbolt: super-fast 20TB storage @ Hardware.InfoADATA DashDrive HV610 1TB USB 3.0 HDD @ BCC Hardware
It's been a couple of months since we looked at an external HDD and the last one we looked at was the Silicon Power Diamond D03 1TB unit. It was a marked improvement over the Silicon Power Diamond D10 750GB drive that we'd looked at previously. We have a direct competitor to Silicon Power today - the ADATA DashDrive HV610 1TB. This is one of the USB 3.0 "entry-level" drives from ADATA and it promises high-end performance at an entry-level price. This drive can be found online for ~$90 and at that price, it's not the cheapest 1TB 2.5" drive on the market, but it is still a decent price.
Read more: ADATA DashDrive HV610 1TB USB 3.0 HDD @ BCC HardwareNetgear Universal Dual Band WiFi Extender @ Hexus
Home networking should be simple, right? Plug in your ISP's free wireless router and you ought to be good to go. But it isn't always that straightforward, and though we're frequently promised superfast speeds and best-ever wireless signals, a few niggling issues can still crop up from time to time.
One of the most obvious is wireless dead spots. Sure, your router may offer good range with all the bells and whistles - dual bands, automatic channel hopping, etc - but it could all count for nothing if your BT master socket is in the furthest corner of the house.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways in which to extend your home network. We've already looked at a range of Powerline networking products that use your existing mains electric cabling to transmit data from one room to another, but if you prefer to take the wireless route, there is another widely-available option dubbed, unsurprisingly, the Wireless Range Extender.
Read more: Netgear Universal Dual Band WiFi Extender @ HexusKingSpec MultiCore 1TB @ Techradar
SSD manufacturers have rapidly run into a tricky problem - namely the SATA 6Gbps interface. The rapid advances in NAND and controller tech must have surprised the most optimistic of SSD designers, and while old Lucifer himself will be limbering up for the final reckoning before the performance of spinning disks threaten the 6Gbps interface, some mainstream SSDs are close to flooding the interface right now. High-performance drives are bumping their heads on the SATA ceiling, so what's a manufacturer to do? Well, there are a couple of options, both of which are based around the PCIe bus of the moth
Read more: KingSpec MultiCore 1TB @ Techradar