FCAT benchmarking and more
Posted on: 04/04/2013 11:45 AM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including FCAT benchmarking, Seagate 500GB SSHD Thin Hybrid Drive Review, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI, Idolian Mini Studio 8” Android Tablet Review, and Auria EQ276W 27" IPS Monitor Review: QHD For $400

FCAT benchmarking an article introduction @ Guru3D
The past couple of months, we have seen some interesting dynamics in measuring the framerate of your games versus graphics cards. Basically the framerate of your game is, simply put, the number of frames per second your computer and graphics card are able to render. It is the most common way of looking at graphics card and game performance really.

There's a problem that started floating at the surface for a while now, FPS does not say much as to what you see and experience on screen thus on your monitor, in certain conditions you can get a little stuttering every now and then. E.g. FPS will not say a thing about graphics anomalies. Up-to a while ago nobody really cared that, and some of you perhaps think that is the best way to approach this. Do you really care of you see a small stutter every now and then for a fraction of a second maybe split-second? The answer to that is two fold. Some of you, the more enthusiast end users, do while other's don't. And as such lately we have seen websites posting frame-capture and frame time results.


Read more: FCAT benchmarking an article introduction @ Guru3D

How to Install Windows 7 Guide @ OCC
The next step is very important but can be delayed. Windows will want its product key entered, which is included with any legitimate install media of Windows, in one form or another. You are able to skip entering the key at this time though, as I did simply because that key is already in use for my desktop, which is also why it has been told to not attempt activation. There is a 30-day grace period to enter the key through System Properties before Windows ceases to function.


Read more: How to Install Windows 7 Guide @ OCC

be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 CPU Cooler Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Let's talk about air coolers! Ok specifically let's take a look at a pretty massive air cooler from our German friends over at be quiet!, the Dark Rock Pro 2. This is a large twin heat sink air cooler aimed at the more performance oriented consumer. With claims of massive cooling power, why don't we see if this dark cooler deserves a place in your rig, or if it should be outcast to the dark side of the moon.


Read more: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 CPU Cooler Review @ ThinkComputers.org

Seagate 500GB SSHD Thin Hybrid Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
Hard drives with solid state cache storage, also known as hybrid drives, have been around for awhile. They are popular with laptop users but until now, those that have equipment designed to work only with 7mm high drives have been out of luck. Seagate's latest SSHD has been redesigned to a smaller, 7mm form factor as well as improved performance. See how it compares to the previous generation Momentus XT drive.


Read more: Seagate 500GB SSHD Thin Hybrid Drive Review @ Legit Reviews

Tesoro SHRIKE HL2 Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
As most of you know Game of Thrones Season 3 aired 2 days ago and so after watching the first episode i still can't figure out why game developers have still to make an RTS based on the series. Sure it would take some time for someone to actually make a good RTS based on the series but since the storyline is already done and the landscape is also ready (based on the intro map) so why not? A 3rd person RPG based on the series was released last year and we did end up playing it but that's an experience I'd rather forget all together if possible (yes it was that bad). Luckily as things are now we have quite a few single and MMO FPS (First Person Shooter) games and since we are currently spending quite a few hours per day on some of them we decided to test the SHRIKE HL2 gaming mouse designed and manufactured by a brand new player on the block called Tesoro.


Read more: Tesoro SHRIKE HL2 Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI @ techPowerUp
With GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost just released last week, at amazing pricing, we were curious how two of these cards in SLI handle our test suite of 17 games. Scaling worked very well and performance easily matched GTX 680 and HD 7970 GHz Edition, with much better price/performance.


Read more: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI @ techPowerUp

Canon PowerShot A2600 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Canon PowerShot A2600 is one of the less expensive cameras in the company's point-and-shoot lineup. The 16-megapixel shooter has a 5x zoom lens, the same design that is found in the A1400. There are a few differences the A2600 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, is a bit slimmer, and doesn't have an optical viewfinder but from an image quality perspective they are essentially the same.


Read more: Canon PowerShot A2600 Review @ TechReviewSource.com

Idolian Mini Studio 8” Android Tablet Review @ TestFreaks
If you haven’t noticed tablets are becoming hot, well actually they’ve been popular for a while now but Google recently released one that I think has brought a renewed interest in them. Microsoft also released a couple Windows based tablets but we’re not here to talk about those, Android is where it’s at right now and you’ve got plenty of choices that’s for sure. I’m a parent with three kids and that kind of means I don’t have much money for toys like tablets so I’m always on the lookout for deals. I don’t want cheap as in badly made and unusable, but I want cheap as in not expensive but I want that tablet to be useable and decent. In December 2011 I reviewed the Idolian TouchTab 10 Android tablet and I’m happy to say I still have it here and use it. Idolain is a small company but they make good tablet for a low price, and that’s a good thing.

Today for review I have the Idolian Mini Studio which is an 8” Android tablet which runs Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean. The tablet is small and very lightweight, it’s only 4mm thick and it weighs in at 420 grams. Idolian actually touts the Mini Studio as being a competitor for the iPad Mini and it has my vote, but I like Android and I’ve never really cared for Apple products. The Mini Studio comes with front and rear cameras, it has 16gb of storage built-in and you can expand it with a microSD card if that’s not enough. The tablet has wi-fi, Bluetooth and an HDMI output and it’s power by a dual CPU that runs at 1.6Ghz and there’s 1gb of DDR3 ram. In my time with it I’ve come find out it’s powerful little tablet that can handle pretty much anything I’ve thrown at it including 1080p videos that play flawlessly. The battery life is excellent, with just slight use like checking email and getting app updates I got over two and half days on a single charge. So read on to learn more about a great little choice for an Android tablet…


Read more: Idolian Mini Studio 8” Android Tablet Review @ TestFreaks

Bioshock Infinite (PS3) Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com
Today Kaeyi Dream takes a look at Bioshock Infinite for Playstation 3. Check it out!


Read more: Bioshock Infinite (PS3) Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com

Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
The red Cherry MX switch CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid gaming keyboard from Cooler Master does not feature a numeric pad, extra macro keys, LEDs or a software application but it comes in a compact form, is built from high quality materials and can be carried with ease at LAN parties thanks to the removable USB cable.


Read more: Cooler Master CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps

Compro TN50W Review @ Vortez
Back in February Compro announced their new TN50W – a home network IP camera with cloud functionality. In our first outing with Compro today, we will be taking a look at the all-new TN50W to see if it’s a worthy candidate for the home network. TN50W can be used for home security, looking after the elderly, pet/baby monitoring and other things too. Thanks to its PIR sensor, motion detection is a feature which comes as standard and there is a handy micro SDHC slot for recording pictures/videos. So let's waste no further time and begin looking at the new TN50W.


Read more: Compro TN50W Review @ Vortez

History of the GPU, Part 2: 3Dfx Voodoo, the game-changer @ Techspot
Launched on November 1996, 3Dfx's Voodoo graphics consisted of a 3D-only card that required a VGA cable pass-through from a separate 2D card to the Voodoo, which then connected to the display.

The cards were sold by a large number of companies. Orchid Technologies was first to market with the $299 Orchid Righteous 3D, a board noted for having mechanical relays that “clicked” when the chipset was in use. Later revisions utilized solid-state relays in line with the rest of the vendors. The card was followed by Diamond Multimedia’s Monster 3D, Colormaster’s Voodoo Mania, the Canopus Pure3D, Quantum3D, Miro Hiscore, Skywell (Magic3D), and the 2theMAX Fantasy FX Power 3D.

Voodoo Graphics revolutionized personal computer graphics nearly overnight and rendered many other designs obsolete, including a vast swathe of 2D-only graphics producers. The 3D landscape in 1996 favoured S3 with around 50% of the market. That was to change soon, however. It was estimated that 3Dfx accounted for 80-85% of the 3D accelerator market during the heyday of Voodoo’s reign.


Read more: History of the GPU, Part 2: 3Dfx Voodoo, the game-changer @ Techspot

BioShock Infinite Review @ Vortez
BioShock was a markee title in the relatively early days of the XBOX 360, spawning commentary on the growing narrative maturity of the First Person Shooter genre, as well as one outright sequel in BioShock 2. For a new generation of gamers it provided an interactive experience where the storytelling and gameplay where equally strong parts of a cohesive whole, whilst also taking on the twin undertakings of a compelling plot which also fed back into your in-game actions. Whilst not strictly novel, the execution set it above the vast majority of contemporary titles. BioShock Infinite therefore has big boots to fill.

The Setting: Columbia - America’s Greatest City.

For the first time eschewing the post-War under-sea world of Rapture, Infinite takes place in an alternate 1912, where the historical ideal of American Exceptionalism has driven advanced technological innovation out of which the floating city of Columbia was born. The light and day contrasts between Columbia and Rapture set both a visual and temporal distinction from the original franchise titles, generating the impression that it serves as a spiritual rather than logical successor.


Read more: BioShock Infinite Review @ Vortez

Func MS-3 Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets
Gamers with big hands are often forgotten by the companies that make gaming-grade peripherals. Thinking about these players, Func, a California-based company that had been dormant for a while, is releasing the MS-3, a big mouse with a large palm-grip design that features twelve programmable functions and 5,670 dpi of resolution. We tested it along with the new Surface 1030 XL mousepad, also from Func. We will first introduce the products and then we will see how they fared.


Read more: Func MS-3 Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets

OCZ Vertex 3.20 20nm 240GB SSD @ HardOCP
If you haven't done so already, make sure you give our evaluation of the OCZ Vertex 3.20 20nm 240GB SSD the once over today. This might be just the drive you were looking for to put a little pep in your PC's step.

OCZ releases the Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD as part of the continued restructuring of its product lines. With 20nm NAND and a LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller the Vertex 3.20 SSD is geared for budget conscious buyers, and today we test it with the other top value-oriented SSDs.


Read more: OCZ Vertex 3.20 20nm 240GB SSD @ HardOCP

Cooler Master Seidon 120 XL Watercooler Review @ Ninjalane
Its like the standard Seidon but with a bigger radiator.

Read more: Cooler Master Seidon 120 XL Watercooler Review @ Ninjalane

BioShock Infinite Review – Leaving the World Awestruck @ Techgage
Where to begin with this game; I’m at a loss for words. When the original BioShock graced our screens all those years ago, reviewers and critics fell in love immediately. It would seem that history is repeating itself, as we have before us another masterpiece.

Forgive the number of clichés and usual floral and eloquent idioms that are likely to be included in this review, but I am dumbstruck with this game. From the very beginning, you know that this is something special. Maybe it’s the strong religious overtones, the exploration of the human psyche, the uncomfortable reality portrayed as you descend into a world littered with altered history, prejudice and persecution. The entire BioShock series is based around ‘What if?’ scenarios, and Infinite certainly takes the old noggin for a spin and a dance.


Read more: BioShock Infinite Review – Leaving the World Awestruck @ Techgage

In Win Commander III 700W Power Supply Review @ Hi Tech Legion
Even most high-end component these days are surprisingly efficient and do not require much power compared to the performance behemoths of three years prior. When the GeForce GTX 480 came out for example, reviewers were urged to get 1000+W power supplies so they could run SLI benchmarks on their overclocked Intel Extreme systems. To match component efficiency, it only makes sense to pair them with equally highly-efficient power supplies that will not buckle under stressful settings. Even if you take an Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor and pair it with two GTX 680s today, you will get significantly better performance while using less power than that old GTX 480 SLI setup. Current gaming systems just simply do not require high kilo-wattage anymore so priority should be focused toward better efficiency within reasonable capacities.

The Commander III Desert Fox power supply continues In Win’s tradition of providing high quality power supplies to PC enthusiasts. The In Win Commander III Desert Fox power supply is a hybrid modular unit that has quad +12V rails with 25A max output and carries an 80 Plus Gold efficiency rating at 50C. The Desert Fox Commander power supply is available in 600W, 700W and 800W versions and is equipped with high-quality components featuring over-voltage, short-circuit, over-current and over-power protection. All the cables on the 700W In Win Commander III Desert Fox are sleeved and four 6+2 pin PCI-E cables included supports NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX.


Read more: In Win Commander III 700W Power Supply Review @ Hi Tech Legion

ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II Review @ Custom PC Review
It’s great to be a PC gamer these days. Gaming PC costs have fallen significantly over the past couple years largely in part due to the amount of performance AMD and Nvidia have been able to cram on their mid range graphics cards, and gaming bundles such as AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded bundles are making it easier than ever to obtain great graphics and some great games at prices unheard of many years ago.

Today we’ll be reviewing ASUS’s custom implementation of the Radeon HD 7870, the ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II (HD7870-DC2-2GD5-V2). The Radeon HD 7870 is a mid to high end graphics card, which features a 1GHz clock speed, 1280 stream processors, 80 TUs, 32 ROPs, and 2GB of GDDR5 running off a 256-bit memory bus.



Read more: ASUS Radeon HD 7870 DirectCU II Review @ Custom PC Review

PowerColor PCS 7870 Myst Edition @ PureOverclock
As AMD’s 7000 series lineup has developed, we’ve seen the flagship 7900 and budget 7700 cards, and also the middle ground of the 7800 models. It’s here in the mainstream performance segment where we find something interesting developing with AMD’s lineup. The Radeon 7870 has seen two iterations of sorts, with the original Pitcairn-based GPU products, then the GHz Edition cards that have clock speeds of at least 1GHz. Now we’re seeing a new derivative, with the new Tahiti-based 7870 GPU.

It’s essentially a handcuffed version of the 7950, so the performance should be good against the competiton, but without the price tag of the premium 7950. It’s a bit of an interesting choice by AMD, rather than naming this card the 7930, but pehaps that somehow sounds too low-class for a 7900 model? Regardless of the name, the new 7870 sits well in the marketplace around the $250 price for gamers who want a good blend of performance and value.


Read more: PowerColor PCS 7870 Myst Edition @ PureOverclock

Gadget Show Live 2013 Gallery, Birmingham NEC, UK @ HardwareHeaven.com
The Gadget Show Live runs April 3rd - 7th 2013 at the Birmingham NEC, England. We headed down to see what all the fuss was about, check out our gallery of the event below.


Read more: Gadget Show Live 2013 Gallery, Birmingham NEC, UK @ HardwareHeaven.com

Auria EQ276W 27" IPS Monitor Review: QHD For $400 @ Tom's Hardware
Although QHD screens are nothing new, they remain atop the desktop monitor price ladder. Auria broke the $400 barrier with its new EQ276W 27" IPS panel. Today, we run it through our display benchmarks to see how it compares to far pricier competition.


Read more: Auria EQ276W 27" IPS Monitor Review: QHD For $400 @ Tom's Hardware

Diamond Multimedia VideoStream (WPCTVPRO) @ Bjorn3D
The Diamond VideoStream WPCTVPRO is a new device to help you setup a dual-monitor without a long wire connected to your PC. Using DisplayLink technology, the device communicates to your secondary monitor (TV for example) wirelessly through Ultra Wide Band (UWB). How does it perform? Does it live up to its promise? Lets find out. 


Read more: Diamond Multimedia VideoStream (WPCTVPRO) @ Bjorn3D




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