Hands-on review: Windows 8.1 and more
Posted on: 06/27/2013 11:13 AM
Here today's reviews and articles, including Hands-on review: Windows 8.1, MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Twin Frozr Video Card Review, Corsair Vengeance K70 Review, What Cinnamon can learn from KDE, and MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Video Card Review
Hands-on review: Windows 8.1 @ Techradar
We've finally had some hands-on time with an official build of Windows 8.1 - and yes, many of the rumours and leaks are accurate. The Start button is back, you can boot to the desktop and use the same image as your desktop. SkyDrive is built in to sync files - on Windows 8.1 and Windows RT. But this isn't Microsoft backing away from what we still want to call Metro; key Microsoft apps like Mail and Xbox Music have been updated, there are new apps for food and fitness and there is a 'modern' version of Office on the way. Microsoft is still convinced that Windows can scale from an 8-inch tablet all the way up to the 27-inch twin screens on your desk at work, so there are changes to the Start screen, new ways of laying out multiple apps side by side on screen and almost all the configuration options from the control panel make it into PC Settings (expect for those boot to desktop settings, which stay on the desktop - right-click on the taskbar to get them). So how coherent does it all feel?
Read more: Hands-on review: Windows 8.1 @ TechradarMSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Twin Frozr Video Card Review @ Benchmark Reviews
The latest member of the GeForce GTX 700 series lineup to hit the market is the GTX 760. This GPU is built off the GK104 GPU like quite a few GPUs in the GTX 600 and 700 series. The GTX 760 is built to replace the GTX 660Ti and fill an important price position between about $250 and $300. At Benchmark Reviews, we have MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card on hand and have tested it with some of the most popular and graphically intensive titles currently available. The MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC takes the stock features of the GTX 760 and adds to them by overclocking the GPU, adding a proven cooling solution, and including a bunch of other extras that you won’t find on the other GTX 760s. So without further ado, let’s get into the details of the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card.
Read more: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Twin Frozr Video Card Review @ Benchmark ReviewsCorsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 2400C10 Memory Kit Review @ Madshrimps
CORSAIR just recently launched their brand new Vengeance Pro series kits. These are designed to set new levels in value and overclocking. With a new stylish and aggressive looking heat spreader design, available in four different flavors: Blue, Gold Red and Silver color. The current products range up from 8GB to a whopping 64GB kit. The rated speeds start of at 1600MHz up to 2933MHz for the flagship version; especially the high end versions are being optimized for Intel's 4th generation Haswell processors. At Computex 2013, CORSAIR already showed higher specced versions, though if these will ever hit the shelves remains a big question. The today's reviewed Vengeance Pro kit is one of the more enthusiast targeted kits, comprising out of two 8GB 2400MHz Cas 10 DIMMs, with a red accent finish.
Read more: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 2400C10 Memory Kit Review @ MadshrimpsSamsung ATIV Book 5 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Samsung ATIV Book 5 is the latest Windows 8 powered touch screen laptop. It's extremely portable and offers extra long battery life, a comfortable keyboard and good performance.
Read more: Samsung ATIV Book 5 Review @ TechReviewSource.comMSI GK-601 Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Legit Reviews
MSI has recently released their first mechanical keyboards which join other MSI products under their GAMING brand. Up for review is the GK-601, the flagship keyboard of the pair of new keyboards. It features Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, individually backlit keys, and programmable macros, among other things. Can MSI prove itself in new territory? Read on and find out what we think.
Read more: MSI GK-601 Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Legit ReviewsSanDisk Extreme II SSD Review (240GB) - SanDisk Finds That Sweet Spot and Hits a Home Run @ SSD Review
The SanDisk Extreme II SSD has shown some of the best test results we have seen to date and they have been consistent. In examining PCMark Vantage alone, surpassing that 70,000 point plateau is hard enough, but scoring between the Samsung Pro and OCZ Vector we truly never believed would occur!
Read more: SanDisk Extreme II SSD Review (240GB) - SanDisk Finds That Sweet Spot and Hits a Home Run @ SSD ReviewCorsair Vengeance K70 Review @ Vortez
Corsair are swiftly becoming a veteran manufacturer for gaming peripherals. Long gone are the days of focussing on performance RAM; with their recently updated Vengeance peripheral range they now cater for audio and input needs with a definitive line-up of keyboards, mice and headsets. Thanks to the new Raptor range also presenting more affordable options, Corsair have a wide variety of products for gamers with both constrained and liberated budgets.
This week we’re looking at the Vengeance K70 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which is a substancial evolution of the Vengeance K60 Richard reviewed early last year. The K70 comes a little over eighteen months after the K60 and K90, the first mechanical keyboards Corsair released, but by virtue of the price point doesn’t quite replace either directly. It’s also a part of a refresh which includes the Vengeance K65 and K95, keyboards that occupy lower and higher price points respectively whilst retaining the mechanical switch feature.
Read more: Corsair Vengeance K70 Review @ VortezRemember Me Review @ OCC
If you're looking for a linear, story-driven action-adventure game, Remember Me is a solid choice. Its structure is extremely rigid, not allowing for any exploration or player choice, but its setting and story are engaging and Nilin is an easy character to relate to, despite her badassitude. Nilin is the near-future version of Lara Croft - strong, intelligent, and nimble with some advanced technology to make life slightly easier. Because she's not sexualized - and has smaller, more natural breasts - she also happens to be a better role model for girls, though the combat-heavy nature of the game may cause girls to steer clear.
Read more: Remember Me Review @ OCCCooler Master Seidon 240M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
The Cooler Master Seidon 240M is a liquid cooling system for processors. It has a 240 mm radiator with two 120 mm fans side-by-side. Let's test it.
Read more: Cooler Master Seidon 240M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware SecretsRosewill Line-M @ techPowerUp
The Rosewill Line-M may not look like much, but it comes with a long list of features that make it not only interesting to office users but also budget-minded gamers. Will its inner values be enough to stand out from among the plethora of mATX chassis on the market? Only a closer look will tell!
Read more: Rosewill Line-M @ techPowerUpROCCAT ISKU FX Illuminated Gaming Keyboard Review @ ThinkComputers.org
Last year we took a look at ROCCAT's ISKU Illuminated gaming keyboard and we really did like it, especially for the fact that was not a mechanical keyboard, but was still very comfortable and had many features that gamers would enjoy. While the original ISKU did have blue backlit keys many gamers wanted customization over the color of the backlighting. This is where the ISKU FX comes in, it adds customizable backlighting to the ISKU keyboard enabling you to change the color to any color you would like and it also adds in some cool lighting effects. Read on as we take a look.
Read more: ROCCAT ISKU FX Illuminated Gaming Keyboard Review @ ThinkComputers.orgWhat Cinnamon can learn from KDE @ Netrunner Mag
Let's conclude the battle royale we started sometime last week. Cinnamon vs. KDE, the second half of the story. It's a Netrunner Magazine article, so hop yonder please. Cheers.
Read more: What Cinnamon can learn from KDE @ Netrunner MagKFA2 GeForce GTX 760 EX OC review @ Guru3D
In this review we take the KFA2 GeForce GTX 760 EX OC edition for a gigantuous benchmark test-drive. This model graphics card comes with a factory overclock and a new design cooler with dual 90mm fans. Overall the card is sitting at GeForce GTX 670 performance levels, 100% cool and 100% silent though ! We test the product with the hottest games like Grid 2, Metro: Last light, Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs, Far Cry 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Hitman Absolution and many more.
The GeForce GTX 760 is a re-spin product, meaning NVIDIA took an older GPU, rebadged it, tweaked some parameters and injects it back into the market at better price-point. You might like that, or not. But the fact remains that the GeForce GTX 760 is to be considered a mainstream to high-end product, yet comes at a competitive price with the very same chip used in the GeForce GTX 670 and GTX 680. And that a year ago, where the second and top high-end graphics cards. As such the card remains very interesting in terms of performance though. See the GK104 GPU itself being used will have two shader cluster disabled. This gives the GK104 GPU 1152 CUDA cores to work with, with in total, 96 texture and 32 raster operating units. The GPU being used is actually tagged as GK104-225 A2. The graphics card also has slightly slower clock frequencies than big daddy GTX 680. However the GTX 760 comes with a Boost clock which is set at 1033 MHz. The core clock frequency (for the reference products) is 980 MHz with the 256-bit DDR5 memory clocking in at 6008 MHz.
Read more: KFA2 GeForce GTX 760 EX OC review @ Guru3DGigabyte GTX 760 OC Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
My last piece of hardware lying in wait for a game I was going to play was a GTX 660 Ti. A very capable card, make no mistake, and one I have advocated to many. However, after a brief stay in the nVidia lineup, the GTX 660 Ti is being replaced by the GTX 760. The GTX 760 is built off the same GK104 platform and features 1152 stream processors, a 256-bit memory bus and a scorching 980/1033MHz core clock coupled with GPU Boost 2.0. The end result is a card promising superior performance to the 660 Ti, which is what one would expect in the natural progression. What one wouldn’t expect is that the GTX 760 reference card comes with a price tag of only $249.00 USD, and that partner cards with OC and superior cooling are coming out for only a few dollars more. With this, nVidia and its partners are striking a huge price/performance blow.
While the stock GeForce GTX 760 is one of the best price/performance platforms to come along to date, the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC takes it a step further on every level. The “OC” naturally stands for “overclock”, with the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC taking the base/boost clock up to a screaming 1085/1150MHz. Combined with GPU Boost 2.0, this leaves the Gigabyte GTX 760 OC regularly producing sustained speeds of over 1200MHz. While increased speed typically results in increased heat, the new Gigabyte Windforce 3X with Triangle Cool Technology keeps the GTX 760 OC running far cooler and quieter than a normally clocked reference card. Three slim fans combined with a large fin array, three 8mm direct touch heatpipes and a unique RAM heat spreader all keep heat at bay. 2GB of GDDR5 are clocked to an effective 6008MHz on a 256-bit interface. To optimize the GTX 760, Gigabyte includes the OC Guru II tool for tweaking voltages, clocks and fans along with complete monitoring capabilities and even BIOS flash tools. Four outputs include DVI-I, DVI-D, DP and HDMI with audio. In keeping with the push toward efficiency, the GTX 760 OC requires one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIe, but only a recommended 500W PSU.
Read more: Gigabyte GTX 760 OC Video Card Review @ HiTech LegionAntec HCG-850M 850W Power Supply Unit @ NikKTech
While i am writing these lines the temperature here vary from 30-35 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit) and so because things will most definitely get worse as we get deeper in the summer period we can't stress enough the importance of having a good power supply unit as part of your system. Now as some of you know during this year's Computex most PSU manufacturers (if not all) introduced all their latest models with features aimed mostly towards enthusiasts and gamers. Naturally Antec was also present to introduce the latest modular additions in their High Current Gamer PSU line and since we've already checked out the very good HCG-750M a couple of weeks ago today we decided to take a step further and test its larger brother the HCG-850W 850W PSU.
Read more: Antec HCG-850M 850W Power Supply Unit @ NikKTechMSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
Since the number of casual gamers has increased, those who are passionate about the hobby are leveling up and demanding to separate themselves from the mobile and console gaming crowd. Thankfully, the video card market has obliged and has continually pumped out the latest technology to push gaming graphics further with every release. For hardcore gamers, however, there is always room for more, so just simply having a new video card is no longer enough. It should also be overclockable, run silently and produce much lower temperatures than reference cards. MSI, as one of the world’s largest PC component manufacturers, is answering this demand with their recently streamlined MSI Gaming product line. MSI takes a standard video card and customizes it with military class hardware, superior cooling and bundles it with a suite of enthusiast-gaming oriented software to help gamers master their craft.
The MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card ships with a base clock of 1020 MHz and 1085 MHz boost clock. This gives the N760 TF 2GD5 OC video card a 40 MHz and 52 MHz advantage over the reference 980 MHz base clock and 1033 MHz boost clock. To keep temperatures well below the 95C thermal threshold of the GK104 core, the MSI N760 TF 2GD5 uses the Twin Frozr IV cooler design outfitted with a pair of high-airflow propeller 92mm PWM fans. As with other video cards from MSI’s gaming line, the N760 TF 2GD5 OC is outfitted with MIL-STD-810G certified components including long life Hi-C and Solid caps for increased efficiency and heat resistance, even under overclocked conditions. The MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC also comes bundled with several utility software tools, including the MSI Gaming App, Kombustor stress test, Afterburner utility and Predator capturing program.
Read more: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Video Card Review @ HiTech LegionPatriot Memory Tab 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
The new Patriot Tab USB 3.0 flash drive was designed with a tiny but durable aluminum chassis for excellent portability and features good transfer speeds. The product can be found in stores with 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage capacities and a 64GB version is in preparation too.
Read more: Patriot Memory Tab 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ MadshrimpsMSI GE40-2OC Dragon Eyes Laptop Review (i7-4702MQ/GTX760M) @ KitGuru
They say 'good things come in small packages' and if MSI have a say in it, then their new 14 inch GE40 with 'Dragon Eyes' will be winning your heart. This diminutive gamers laptop features the latest Nvidia GTX760M graphics, paired up with the quad core, hyperthreading enabled Intel Core i7 4702MQ. Is it worth the Â£999.95 asking price?
Read more: MSI GE40-2OC Dragon Eyes Laptop Review (i7-4702MQ/GTX760M) @ KitGuru