Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Updated and more
Posted on: 02/01/2013 10:51 AM
Here a roundup of the latest reviews and articles, including Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 26.0, Why I still use a BlackBerry and want the Z10, 12 Mini-ITX chassis review: compact quality, iOS 6 vs Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BlackBerry 10, and An In-depth Look at Steam for Linux
Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 26.0 @ TechARP
These days, there are so many graphics card models that it has become quite impossible to keep up with the different configurations. Therefore, we decided to compile this guide to provide an easy reference for those who are interested in comparing the specifications of the various desktop GPUs in the market as well as those already obsolescent or obsolete.
Currently covering 539 desktop graphics cards, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare 24 different specifications for each and every card. We hope it will prove to be a useful reference. We will keep this guide updated regularly, so do check back for the latest updates.
To make it easy to compare the specifications, we split it up into three sections for your convenience. Just click on Split List to access them. However, if you prefer to compare all the graphics cards for each company in a single table, we also have a single list which can be accessed by clicking on Full List. Just click on the company and the type of list you prefer.
Read more: Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 26.0 @ TechARPCM Storm QuickFire TK Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Neoseeker
For years, Cooler Master has been a brand synonymous with enthusiast computer hardware. From cases such as the CM Storm Scout II, to peripherals such as the CM Storm Sonuz, Cooler Master has produced many high quality products for gamers and computer aficionados. Today, we will be looking at another product in the Cooler Master Storm series, the CM Storm QuickFire TK mechanical keyboard. Like the original CM Storm QuickFire Rapid, the QuickFire TK has been shortened length-wise. But rather than going tenkeyless and removing the entire number pad, Cooler Master has opted to merge it with the navigation/arrow keys. Aesthetically, the QuickFire TK comes fully backlit and features a steel back plate for long-lasting durability.
Similar to other Cooler Master mechanical keyboards, the CM Storm QuickFire TK offers several Cherry MX mechanical key switch options: red, brown, and blue. Today, we will be looking at the Cherry MX Blue version. I personally own a Cherry MX Blue keyboard (Razer Blackwidow), so I'm curious to see how this keyboard fares in comparison. However, I do advise you to do a little research on each key switch type before taking the plunge – they are each different enough to really alter your experience. Blues provide discrete tactile and audible feedback, while Reds are completely linear switches. Browns look to strike a balance between the two.
Each key switch version features a corresponding backlight and steel back plate color. Cherry Reds come with red LEDs and a red back plate, Cherry Blues get blue LEDs and a blue back plate, and finally Cherry Browns get white LEDs and a brown back plate.
Read more: CM Storm QuickFire TK Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NeoseekerBlog: Why I still use a BlackBerry and want the Z10 @ t-break
I’ve heard this one more than one occasion. At press conferences, nights out with friends, even from family members as they whip out their shiny iPhones to take photos of my phone (#relic). Granted that the BlackBerry is not longer the status symbol it used to be, but I’ve hung onto mine for a good number of years.
Don’t get me wrong, my smartphone evolution has been an interesting one. I hopped from the ancient 8-bit Nokia phones on to the Nokia 6500c before finally succumbing to an HTC Hero followed by an HTC Desire. The move to the Android system took a bit of time to master, but once I was in I loved it. In fact, I still do – I frequently review Android tablets and phones and it’s amazing to see just how far the platform has come.
But a few years ago, I did the unthinkable. I left the safety of the Android fold and dived headfirst into BlackBerry. At the time it was the BlackBerry 9800, which I still continue to use today. I’ve long been tempted to swing back to Android, but I held out knowing that BlackBerry was cooking up something with BlackBerry 10.
Read more: Blog: Why I still use a BlackBerry and want the Z10 @ t-breakGigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock Review @ HotHardware.com
There's just something about high-end, custom graphics cards that makes us a little giddy. Perhaps it's their menacing appearance--even the fastest, most powerful processors just look like their lower-end counterparts when sitting side-by-side. But a hulking custom graphics card, with an elaborate, oversized cooler and fierce heat pipes wrapping around a gargantuan heatsink just looks freakin' cool no matter how you slice it. Whip out a high-end graphics card and a CPU in front of a casual geek and we promise you they'll point to the graphics card and blurt out, "What the heck is that?" far more often than not.
That's exactly what happened the first few times we showed the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock to some visitors of the lab. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock is one of those rare graphics cards that is virtually indistinguishable from its reference model counterpart, and not only is it completely custom and much larger than a standard GeForce GTX 680, but it's also clocked higher and has a few additional features, too...
Read more: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super OverClock Review @ HotHardware.comNZXT Kraken X40 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
The Kraken X40 is a sealed liquid cooling system for CPUs, with a 140 mm radiator cooled by a 140 mm fan. Check it out!
Read more: NZXT Kraken X40 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware SecretsRosewill RHTS-8206 Review @ Vortez
Our Third outing with Rosewill lands us with a curious, affordable USB 5.1 surround sound headset. Surround sound gaming headsets have become abundant over the past few years and the divide between those who swear by stereo headphones and those who enjoy the 5.1 and 7.1 headsets has separated like South America and Africa and forum discussions often end up walking down the stereo vs surround path. Disputes aside, the call for surround sound headsets is there and Rosewill responded. Coming in with a minimalistic design, a total of 6 speakers and 2 subwoofers, a vibration function all powered by the CM6206-LX chipset which also gives support for a virtual 7.1 mode, one could say that there is a lot being offered for the price.
Read more: Rosewill RHTS-8206 Review @ VortezReveen Arcziel 12 CPU Cooler Review @ ThinkComputers.org
For whatever reason, whether it be the name Arcziel or the general round shape you see looking at this cooler installed, it absolutely makes me think of the Arc Reactor from Iron Man. You know, the fusion based device that keeps Tony alive and powers his techno suit of armor? And so it was with great anticipation of superhero like abilities that I opened and began testing this top down horizontal air cooler from Reveen the Arcziel 12!
Read more: Reveen Arcziel 12 CPU Cooler Review @ ThinkComputers.org12 Mini-ITX chassis review: compact quality @ Hardware.info
Mini-ITX has existed for years now as form factor, but a more recent phenomenon is the appearance of more versatile and capable motherboards in this size. Those make it possible to assemble your own compact computers, if you can find the right chassis of course. More and more Mini-ITX cases are being released for a variety of end users, so Hardware.Info picked out 12 very different ones to get a lay of the land.
It's starting to become quite difficult to think of a good reason for needing one of those large full ATX chassis. Only the most avid gamers using two double-slot graphics and overclockers with extensive watercooling setups can really take advantage of all that space, even using the huge E-ATX form factor. But all other users don't need all that space. A while ago we already tested quite a few micro-ATX chassis, and in this article we are going even smaller.
Mini-ITX motherboard measure only 17 cm x 17 cm and therefore don't require very large cases. As you were able to read in our Mini-ITX motherboard review (part 1 - integrated CPU, part 2 - Socket FM1, part 3 - Socket 1155) there is a lot of variety among motherboards with this form factor. It ranges from very basic models with Intel Atom or AMD E-450 to very advanced motherboards with the Intel Z77 chipset and room for a PCI-Express x16 expansion card, full-size memory modules and all the connectors and overclocking features you know from ATX boards.
Read more: 12 Mini-ITX chassis review: compact quality @ Hardware.infoCrucial Ballistix Tactical LP 16GB Review @ Techradar
Practically every month, it seems, at least one massive third-party CPU cooler is launched. That's nice, but the problem with most of these coolers is that their size means the cooling matrix/fan unit extends over at least the first memory DIMM slot. Now, in performance rigs - you know, where you have massive CPU coolers - that makes it very hard/impossible to fill those DIMM slots with even standard height memory modules, let alone the high performance sticks with whacking great heatsinks spreading out the top. Wouldn't it be great if we could have our massive CPU cooler cake and still eat high performance memory modules too? Well, Crucial, that master of memory modules, has come up with an answer - low profile, low voltage, high-performance kits. Well done, Crucial.
Read more: Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP 16GB Review @ TechradarDell XPS One 27" with Touch All-in-one (2710) Desktop Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
Recently Dell updated their all-in-one range to include the XPS One 27â€ (with optional touch screen). Providing a resolution of 2560x1440, i7 CPU and GeForce 600 series graphics on Windows 8 this could be the ideal home and office solution for those wanting to save space with a stylish chassis.
Read more: Dell XPS One 27" with Touch All-in-one (2710) Desktop Review @ HardwareHeaven.comiOS 6 vs Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BlackBerry 10 @ Techradar
After it's time in the mobile wilderness BlackBerry is back with a new operating system, but how does BlackBerry 10 stack up against Windows Phone 8 and the dominant forces of Android Jelly Bean and iOS 6?Our smartphones are becoming more and more powerful as we demand greater flexibility, better features and faster performance which means the software they are running has its work cut out.It's a highly competitive market and one the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung seem to be doing pretty well out of, but for others it's a hard slog as firms such as Nokia, LG and BlackBerry try to keep pace.With four operating systems sitting on a myriad devices it can be hard to work out which one is best for you, so we've compared all of them to make that choice a little easier.
Read more: iOS 6 vs Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BlackBerry 10 @ TechradarCorsair Hydro Series H90 @ techPowerUp
Corsair is once again expanding their lineup of CPU cooling solutions. This time with the Hydro Series H90, pairing good cooling and low noise levels up in one attractive package. At less than $100 it is also priced competitively to go head-to-head with high-end air coolers.
Read more: Corsair Hydro Series H90 @ techPowerUpAn In-depth Look at Steam for Linux @ Techgage
As a long-time Linux user, I admit that I’m still in relative awe that Steam for Linux is, in fact, a reality. The state of gaming on Linux has never been ideal, with most gamers having to mess around with solutions like Wine or virtual machines – neither being ideal vs. a native client. In recent years though, things have been on the upswing. Take the Humble Bundle, for example, which insists that games sold are available for Linux (alright, most times). And now, with Steam for Linux – what more proof do you need that this is a viable gaming platform?
The best part about Steam on Linux, is that despite it still being in beta, it’s clear that the developers at Valve have put a lot of time and effort into making sure that this variant doesn’t lack in visual design, stability or features. On the surface, Steam for Linux looks identical to the client on competing platforms.
At the moment, Valve recommends using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for the best experience, and in our quick testing across multiple distros, we’d agree. As mentioned last month, my experiences with Steam under Gentoo have been hit or miss, though all issues are related to the games, not the client itself. I’ve had better success with Linux Mint, though I’ve read success stories from those using Fedora and Arch as well. If you don’t run Ubuntu or any Ubuntu-based distro but want to give things a test on your own, we’d recommend heading to Google for a guide, because many exist for multiple distros.
Read more: An In-depth Look at Steam for Linux @ TechgageKingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Review @ OCC
The SSD Now series drives are offered in several ways to fit consumers tastes. The 120GB drive I tested today is offered as a bare drive, as a desktop upgrade kit, or as a notebook upgrade kit. The desktop upgrade kit I am looking at is priced at $114 putting the kit at less than $1 a gigabyte for a drive with reasonable capacity. If 120GB of capacity is not enough the SSD Now V300 drive is available in a 240GB version as well as a 60GB version. At only 7mm thick, this V300 drive is a perfect candidate for use in the latest crop of slim notebooks and Ultrabooks.
Read more: Kingston SSD Now 300V 120GB Review @ OCCBeQuiet! Pure Power L8 530W CM Review @ KitGuru
Today we are looking at the BeQuiet! Pure Power L8 530W CM, which has recently enjoyed some price reductions in the United Kingdom. We have reviewed many of the BeQuiet! L8 power supplies in the last year and we felt it was time to have another look at this popular range. The pricing of the L8 range is so competitive â€“ you can in fact pick this 530W unit up for around the Â£65 mark now.
Read more: BeQuiet! Pure Power L8 530W CM Review @ KitGuruIcy Dock FlexCage MB973SP-B and MB974SP-B SATA Review Update @ Hi Tech Legion
The economy of space inside a case might be limited for users who are looking to build a server. Most mid-tower cases have space for at least three or four 3.5 drives but when those are fully populated, there are solutions available that can take advantage of the often unused 5.25-inch external drive bays. Most of the products available in the market essentially just convert two available drive bays into three usable mounting storage for 3.5-inch drives or four bays into three drives, so users looking for a more flexible solution with plenty of extra features and convenient mounting will probably have to look harder.
Thankfully, Icy Dock has the MB973SP-B and the MB974SP-B SATA backplane cages. The FlexCage MB97 series backplane cages feature tray-less mounting for 3.5” drives and offer full SATA 6 Gbps speeds. An additional USB 2.0 and eSATA connector is located on the front panel of the FlexCage modules as well as fan control options for the rear 80mm fan. The FlexCage MB973SP-B and MB974SP-B have front indicator LEDs for drive functionality and utilize a multi-lock design to prevent accidental ejection from the hot-swap bays.
Read more: Icy Dock FlexCage MB973SP-B and MB974SP-B SATA Review Update @ Hi Tech LegionIntel SSD 525 Series Full Capacity Roundup - Intel Sweeps mSATA @ PC Perspective
t has been just under a year since Intel released their 520 Series SSD, which was their second 6 Gb/sec SATA unit. Sporting a SandForce controller, that release helped bridge a high speed storage gap in their product lineup. One year prior, Intel dabbled in the mSATA form factor, releasing a 310 Series model under that moniker. The 310 showed up here and there, but never really caught on as the physical interface was admittedly before its time. While in hindsight it was a very good way to go towards establishing a fixed standard, the industry had already begun fragmenting on these smaller interfaces. The MacBook Air had already launched with a longer 'GumStick' shaped SSD, and Ultrabook makers were following suit with units that were physically identical yet not pin-compatible with that used in the Apple product.
Read more: Intel SSD 525 Series Full Capacity Roundup - Intel Sweeps mSATA @ PC Perspective