Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2013 and more
Posted on: 11/28/2013 11:23 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2013, AMD Radeon R9 290X Press Sample Versus Retail, Panasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60 Review, Battlefield 4 Review (PC), and ASRock Z87 Fatal1ty Killer motherboard review
Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2013 @ Toms Hardware
The graphics card market has seen the release of five new products since our last monthly update: The Radeon R9 290, Radeon R7 270, Radeon R7 250, Radeon R7 240, and GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Read about these new models in this month's article!
Read more: Best Graphics Cards For The Money: November 2013 @ Toms HardwareThermalright AXP-100 @ LanOC Reviews
Lately we’ve been taking a look at CPU coolers for larger ATX setups in more traditional cases but with the recent Lunchbox build it is clear that the little guys need some attention. To that end we will be taking a look at the AXP-100 cooler from Thermalright and designed for ITX systems. We’ll be running the cooler through the same battery of tests as the rest of our coolers to see its performance against the big boys. Unfair for sure but as we have seen, ITX builds aren’t just for media centers anymore.
Read more: Thermalright AXP-100 @ LanOC ReviewsioSwitch Raijin M.2 NGFF PCIe SSD Review @ TechnologyX
The advent of M.2 SSDs holds the promise of eliminating the SATA bottleneck and, while it may not seem that big of a deal for the typical consumer, improved performance to a media professional is pure gold. Faster transfer speeds translate into quicker job completion which realizes increased business and higher revenue. Although we have had M.2 SSDs in hand for some time now, the thrill of the chase is always there when watching to see who will get such and such a product to market, and into consumer hands first. When it comes to M.2 SSDs, short of those of us having the ioSwitch Raijin in hand, nobody would ever have guessed
Read more: ioSwitch Raijin M.2 NGFF PCIe SSD Review @ TechnologyXAttitude One Tunguska 7.1 Virtual Surround USB Gaming Headset @ NikKTech
Well it seems that we've enjoyed more PC game titles inside November than the entire 2013 and so as mentioned a few weeks ago we decided to take advantage of that in order to test some of the game peripherals we have here. Now normally it takes us around a week to test a game related peripheral but that applies only when there aren't really many games for us to play and so for example i usually mostly focus on Planetside 2 while the others play Metro Last Light and Fallout 3 along with all its expansions. This month however things are different since not only did i have time to finish Call Of Duty Ghosts, X-Com Enemy Within and Batman Origins but I'm still playing Battlefield 4 and X: Rebirth (until the Alpha of Star Citizen/Squadron 42 by Chris Roberts gets available this is the best alternative) so I've actually managed to use quite a few game peripherals. One of those is the latest Tunguska 7.1 Virtual Surround USB Gaming Headset by a rather new company called Attitude One.
Read more: Attitude One Tunguska 7.1 Virtual Surround USB Gaming Headset @ NikKTechAMD Radeon R9 290X Press Sample Versus Retail @ Legit Reviews
The AMD Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 have been getting a ton of attention lately due to a number of reports that the retail cards are performing differently than the press cards that the media sites received. We have been following these stories for the past few weeks and finally decided to look into the situation ourselves.
Read more: AMD Radeon R9 290X Press Sample Versus Retail @ Legit ReviewsSapphire Toxic Edition R9 280X Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
War, huh? Good God, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again. Fun song from yesteryear, and it was particularly funny watching Chris and Jackie mangle it. But is it true? No. It is not. War serves its purpose, however, like many powerful things, it is commonly abused and put towards dastardly ends. No matter a person’s political or moral standing, I believe we can all agree that sometimes war is absolutely needed, and that even when it is not needed to defend a country or liberate a Nation, war can still serve a purpose. Many new technologies come from war times. In general, conflict breeds innovation, and this brings me to my topic, the flame war between fans of AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
I, for one, am very happy that there is some competition out there. Without any real competition, why would either company spend so much on R&D all the time and why would we have better and better hardware every year? It really does not matter who you prefer or if you are a purist and really have no corporate favorite, we, as Gamers, can all agree that we are happy to be where we are instead of where we would be if the competition was stagnant. I have grown tired of watching people call each other fanboys and other names. What is wrong with being a fan of a great product and supporting a great company? That does not make a person a fanboy, it makes them a fan. I think much less of a person calling someone a fanboy than I do of someone who would defend their favorite product or company, even if they did make a mistake.
Read more: Sapphire Toxic Edition R9 280X Video Card Review @ HiTech LegionCM Storm Reaper Review @ ocaholic
CM Storm Reaper belongs to the new aluminum series and it is a gaming mouse, which Cooler Master decided to equip with the latest and greates Avago ADNS-9800 sensor. Like other products in the same series, the Reaper has an aluminum plate, which is customizable and therefore ideal for gamers and modders alike. So far we're really curious if the gaming mouse is any good or not. ﻿
Read more: CM Storm Reaper Review @ ocaholicPanasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Panasonic ZT60 family of plasma HDTVs offer the outstanding performance you would expect from a flagship line, but you can get the same performance from the VT60 series for a lot less money.
Read more: Panasonic Viera TC-P60ZT60 Review @ TechReviewSource.comUKGC Minos Extreme Mini Gaming PC Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
November and December are great months for replacing a PC. Not only have all the big hardware launches for the year taken place, the big winter game releases have all occurred too. One company looking to meet our needs for the latest and greatest system is UK Gaming Computers and today we have their Minos system on our test bench. Based on an overclocked i7 CPU and GTX 780 Ti GPU with compact chassis and motherboard it should be a powerful yet small system.
Read more: UKGC Minos Extreme Mini Gaming PC Review @ HardwareHeaven.comPanasonic Lumix GM1 @ TechRadar
Panasonic was first to launch a compact system camera all the way back in 2008, so it has a decently rich heritage on which to build its new releases. The Panasonic GM1 starts a new line for the company, bringing the total up to five now. There's G, GF, GX, GH and now GM. The GM1, being the smallest, lightest and cheapest available is primarily aimed at beginner photographers, especially those who might be stepping up from a compact camera.
Read more: Panasonic Lumix GM1 @ TechRadarRoku 3 Review @ TechRadar
The latest update of the Roku media player, hitherto known as the Roku 3, features a number of welcome refinements over the cheaper Roku 2 and entry-level 720p Roku LT.It offers wired and wireless connectivity and a much faster dual-core Broadcom chipset. In short, it's the best built Roku player seen to date, but it still has foibles.A cursory glance might suggest that nothing much has changed in Rokuville.This new player is still a glossy black puck, although with slightly less girth, at 90mm across. In situ, it looks like little a futuristic pebble sprouting cables.The distinctive Roku fabric tab is still in evidence and there's a tiny status LED which glows when the unit's on.While the Roku 3 has integrated dual-band Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n compatible), the wired Ethernet option is invariably the best choice when it comes to streaming.
Read more: Roku 3 Review @ TechRadarCorsair RM Series 750W PSU review: affordable perfection @ Hardware.Info
Corsair recently introduced its new RM series to succeed the TX line of power supplies. The focus is on silence, according to Corsair, but they should also perform well in other areas and carry an appealing price tag. We tested the 750W model to find out whether the new series lives up to those claims.
Read more: Corsair RM Series 750W PSU review: affordable perfection @ Hardware.InfoNZXT Source 530 Case Review @ OCC
With a good amount of positive things to say, I am going to try and focus on the most important topics. Overall, for a chassis to be successful, it needs to have a large video card and CPU cooler support. NZXT hits the mark and even goes a bit further by including a fan mount on the top hard drive cage to provide extra air to the video card, if installed. Being a sub $100 full tower can cause companies to cut corners or remove features, but NZXT once again goes above the norm and includes a decent fan hub in case you want to use the chassis to its fullest. Lastly, with a solid metal frame and an ability to install up to a 360mm radiator on top, this chassis has a lot going for it.
Read more: NZXT Source 530 Case Review @ OCCGigabyte AMD Radeon R9 270X WF OC (GV-R927XOC-2GD) Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
Gigabyte has made an adaptation of their award-winning Windforce 3X cooling system with the release of the R9 270X card, which features a 50MHz GPU clock increase from the factory for providing playable framerates up to Full HD resolutions while being fairly priced.
Read more: Gigabyte AMD Radeon R9 270X WF OC (GV-R927XOC-2GD) Video Card Review @ MadshrimpsBattlefield 4 Review (PC) @ Vortez
The Battlefield series exploded onto the scene with the release of Battlefield 1942 all the way back in 2002. It was a raging success and was highly acclaimed for its innovative game play elements. The combination of huge multiplayer maps, the large variety of drivable/flyable vehicles and infantry combat elements define what Battlefield is all about. Fast forward 11 years and we arrive at DICE’s latest creation in the series.
The twelfth instalment of the Battlefield series, Battlefield 4 still uses the winning multiplayer formula of its predecessors, and why shouldn't it? It’s what’s made the series so popular in the first place and is what makes it stand out from the others. However, a single player campaign has also been added that continues on from the events of Battlefield 3’s campaign. The main question to ask then is “Is it any good?” That will be answered later.
Read more: Battlefield 4 Review (PC) @ VortezASRock Z87 Fatal1ty Killer motherboard review @ Guru3D
We review, test and benchmark the ASRock Z87 Fatal1ty Killer series motherboard. Multiple multi-GPU configurations are possible up-to 3-way, you'll get many USB 3.0 ports and of course an improved and enhanced audio solution based off the Realtek ALC 1150 codec. But lets not forget an included KillerNIC E2205. Oh and of course the looks with two-tone black red colors. Be sure to check out this review. Now I have tested a lot of Z87 motherboards already, but to date ASRock has not been in the lineup due to petty things really. Years ago ASRock was launched as subsidiary from ASUS to introduce more mainstream product. Today in 2013 ASRock and ASUS pretty much do not have ties anymore and they have been left with that stain called 'entry level to mainstream' manufacturer. However if you have been following the ASRock product for the past two years you'd have noticed that in terms of product placement in the channel and overall build quality a lot has changed.
As such ASRock right now, product wise, can match the bigger names in the industry like MSI, Gigabyte and ASUS. The ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer mainboard is intended for Intel's latest 22nm Haswell processors that are seated into Socket LGA1150. The board has some very nice features and overclock potential, it has the latest Killer E2205 chip -- hence the Killer LAN network card, from Killer Gaming. It's a technology that detects when a game is running and if it is using the network and can prioritize data-packets so you won't have to close, say, a torrent program or an active download in order to play without lag. So basically Killer NIC is a dedicated IC that should ensure low PING times for online gaming by prioritizing your band-with whilst giving you the option to monitor your network traffic.
Read more: ASRock Z87 Fatal1ty Killer motherboard review @ Guru3DCivilization V 3-Years Later Review @ OCC
I have over 230 hours in Civilization V, as I stated earlier, and not a minute of that do I consider lost. The game keeps pulling me back in, and the reason is because of its well designed and balanced micromanagement potential. I like selecting the buildings to be built and finding the best spots to settle cities. I relish hunting for new islands and continents to explore, and every match I start offers something new. I know that is why I like the game and recommend it to others. If that is the kind of gameplay you enjoy as well, then I can certainly recommend it to you.
Read more: Civilization V 3-Years Later Review @ OCCPCSpecialist Vanquish 230X Review @ Hexus
As we arrive at the tail end of 2013, there could be no better time to treat yourself to a new system. If you have neither the time nor desire to build a system yourself then respected UK builder PC SPECIALIST have been creating some killer rigs this year.
We asked them what they could build for £999 inc VAT and delivery. In answer, their new Vanquish 230X system arrived with us last week and it features one of the latest Intel Haswell processors and an AMD R9 280X graphics card. But is it any good?
Read more: PCSpecialist Vanquish 230X Review @ HexusOCZ Technology Group files for bankruptcy @ Hexus
Toshiba offers to purchase assets but warranties could be lost.
Read more: OCZ Technology Group files for bankruptcy @ HexusScan 3XS Nanu Gamer Review @ Hexus
It used to be a badge of honour to have large PCs belching out performance without a care for energy consumption or noise. Heck, a proper PC, chock-full of big components, was only good if it required a Belorussian weightlifter's strength to heave it into place. My, how times have changed, as companies now extoll virtues that were largely considered undesirables a few years ago.
The drive to energy-efficient computing has been spearheaded by industry giants such as Intel, Nvidia and AMD. Today's PCs provide a performance-per-watt metric that, even accounting for time, is commensurately better than found on machines in the early noughties. As an example, a fully-built PC housing a Core i7-4770K processor and GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card chews through about 300W when ramping up to full gas, which is well within the compass of low-end PSUs.
Read more: Scan 3XS Nanu Gamer Review @ Hexus