Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season and more
Posted on: 11/11/2013 12:27 PM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season, How to Force Graphics Options in PC Games with NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel Graphics, HIS R9 280X IceQX2 Turbo, The SSD Database is Live!, and Asus Rampage IV Black Edition (X79) Motherboard Review
Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season @ Techspot
Although the remainder of 2013's PC gaming lineup isn't as strong as it could have been with Thief, Watch Dogs, Dark Souls II, Titanfall, GTA V and other major titles still many months away, you're bound to find something appetizing as several best-selling franchises are back on the menu this Christmas.
To help keep track of what's actually shipping over the year's final weeks, we've prepared a list of this season's hottest PC games ordered by their North American Windows release date. As always, you're welcome to pitch in with comments about PC releases we may have overlooked or otherwise excluded.
Read more: Hot PC Games for the 2013 Holiday Season @ TechspotHow to Force Graphics Options in PC Games with NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel Graphics @ Howtogeek
PC games usually have built-in graphics options you can change. But youre not limited to the options built into games the graphics control panels bundled with graphics drivers allow you to tweak options from outside PC games. For example, these tools allow you to force-enabling antialiasing to make old games look better, even if they dont normally support it. You can also reduce graphics quality to get more performance on slow hardware. If You Dont See These Options If you dont have the NVIDIA Control Panel, AMD Catalyst Control Center, or Intel Graphics and Media Control Panel installed, you may need to install the appropriate graphics driver package for your hardware from the hardware manufacturers website. The drivers provided via Windows Update dont include additional software like the NVIDIA Control Panel or AMD Catalyst Control Center.
Read more: How to Force Graphics Options in PC Games with NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel Graphics @ HowtogeekHIS R9 280X IceQX2 Turbo @ Bjorn3D
HIS is one of the companies that have been partner with AMD for a long time and always released new interesting cards as new GPU’s are released. With the release of the new fall-GPU’s from AMD we get a full spread of products and today we are testing the HIS R9 280X IceQ2 Turbo card. As the name implies this is a card that not only comes with the latest version of HIS special IceQ-cooler but also is pre-overclocked from the box.
The R9 280X uses the Tahiti GPU and is basically a HD7970 GHz edition card with a new name. With 3 GB memory though it has more headroom for higher resolutions and that for a price around $300.
Read more: HIS R9 280X IceQX2 Turbo @ Bjorn3DCanon PowerShot G16 vs Nikon Coolpix P7800 @ Techradar
Often billed as the ideal companion for a DSLR when its too big, heavy or inconvenient, the premium compact camera sector of the market is one that seems to continue to do well in an otherwise declining market.Premium compacts such as the Canon PowerShot G16 and Nikon Coolpix P7800 appeal to enthusiast photographers because they allow full manual control and shoot in raw format. Canon's G series has long been considered the gold standard of premium compacts. The latest model, the G16, features a 12.1 million-pixel sensor and inbuilt Wi-Fi. It goes square on head to head with the Nikon P7800, which also features a 12.1 million pixel sensor, but comes with an integrated electronic viewfinder.Here we compare the two to see which is the better investment.Canon G16 vs Nikon P7800: Handling The G16 is easy to use, with menus arranged very sensibly with a number of direct access dials and buttons. On top of the camera, you'll find two dials, one for switching modes and another for adjusting exposure compensation.
Read more: Canon PowerShot G16 vs Nikon Coolpix P7800 @ TechradarNuForce S3-BT High-Fidelity Bluetooth Speakers @ NikKTech
For the past 2 years or so we used and tested many portable Bluetooth wireless speakers some of which offered a very good size/performance ratio while others were not really as portable but offered amazing amounts of volume at reasonable prices. Still all these are not called portable without reason and so no matter how we see it in the end they can't go up against a good stereo desktop solution especially when it comes to volume levels. However it's not very easy to find a high quality stereo desktop system featuring both Bluetooth and wired connectivity that doesn't really cost an arm and a leg so with that in mind we set out to see what's available in the market. The answer came from our friends over at NuForce who've been manufacturing a very successful pair of speakers for quite some time now the S3-BT High-fidelity Bluetooth speakers for audiophiles so it didn't take long for us to grab a sample in order to find out the reason behind their popularity.
Read more: NuForce S3-BT High-Fidelity Bluetooth Speakers @ NikKTechNoontec Rio In-Ear Headphones Review @ eTeknix
Today we take a look at the Noontec Rio in-ear headphones and having previously reviewed the Noontec Zoro wireless headphones and giving them a big thumbs up I was excited to review the Rio earphones. On paper the Rio offers high quality sound in an attractive package and I’m keen to see what they can do.
In ear headphones are more popular than ever, in fact it is safe to say that personal audio is more popular than ever with the market saturated by mobile audio devices such as Tablets, portable gaming devices, mobiles, mp3 players and more. So it can really be important to have some person headphones that are not only great in terms of performance, but also comfortable and of course affordable.
So without further delay, lets get right to the good stuff and see what the Rio have to offer.
Read more: Noontec Rio In-Ear Headphones Review @ eTeknixXFX R9 280X Double Dissipation Black Edition OC 3GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
AMD’s new series of graphics cards, the RX 2XX series, is split up into the R9 Enthusiast class and the R7 mainstream class. Both segmentations feature impressive levels of value for money and top end performance at each price point but today we are looking at one of the higher end models. We have with us the Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 280X Vapor-X OC Graphics card in this review but we’ve also reviewed the AMD R7 260X and AMD R9 270X for today’s launch. While this is a Sapphire branded card we are using this as an opportunity to to also look at AMD’s Radeon R9 280X as AMD were not able to provide us with a reference design. The reference design of course is identical to Sapphire’s model other than the cooler is different and Sapphire have added a mild factory overclock taking the clock speed up from 1GHz to 1.07GHz, and the memory from 6GHz to 6.2GHz.
The Radeon R9 280X card we received from Sapphire and AMD is simply an OEM graphics card so it comes with nothing other than the card which is pictured above. Below you can see a GPU-Z screenshot of the new AMD graphics card which reveals those overclocks I mentioned earlier. A couple of other things to point out are that this card supports Direct X 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and AMD’s new “Mantle” technology.
Read more: XFX R9 280X Double Dissipation Black Edition OC 3GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknixThe SSD Database is Live! @ The SSD Review
Some of you may remember our announcement and implementation of the first SSD DataBase earlier this year, a database that saw just under 100K in visitors for the short time it was up. This database was the brain child (and a great deal of work) of Rick Mauer and we thank him for that work and envisioning what may now be the most complete SSD database on the internet, and maybe in the world. Introducing The SSD Database 2.0 by The SSD Review
Read more: The SSD Database is Live! @ The SSD ReviewGamerStorm Lucifer Review @ Vortez
GamerStorm is a relatively new brand which was developed by cooling stalwarts Deepcool. Deepcool are responsible for bringing to market some rather noteworthy and aggressive cooling products for almost two decades and today we are to look at a high-end solution which comes under the GamerStorm umbrella.
Lucifer is a burly tower-style CPU cooler which takes advantage of six nickel-plated copper heatpipes. GamerStorm have given Lucifer an array of aluminium fins and 140mm PWM cooling fan help to alleviate temperatures but the real question is, can this new offering handle the might of Intel Core i7-3930K with a substantial overclock? Let’s find out!
Read more: GamerStorm Lucifer Review @ VortezAsus Rampage IV Black Edition (X79) Motherboard Review @ KitGuru
How does a company make a multiple award-winning, enthusiast-grade motherboard even more extreme? By making it into a black edition version, of course. Asus has updated its critically-acclaimed Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard to Black Edition status. Have the upgraded components and IVB-E tweaks resulted in yet another rampaging master class?
Read more: Asus Rampage IV Black Edition (X79) Motherboard Review @ KitGuruThermaltake Toughpower DPS 850 W @ techPowerUp
Thermaltake decided to have their own digital power supply Series with the Toughpower DPS. Today, we will test the 850 W model which, according to Thermaltake, transforms into an intelligent platform via the DPSApp software.
Read more: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS 850 W @ techPowerUpEarly View: Canon PowerShot G16 vs Nikon Coolpix P7800 @ Techradar
Often billed as the ideal companion for a DSLR when its too big, heavy or inconvenient, the premium compact camera sector of the market is one that seems to continue to do well in an otherwise declining market.Premium compacts such as the Canon PowerShot G16 and Nikon Coolpix P7800 appeal to enthusiast photographers because they allow full manual control and shoot in raw format. Canon's G series has long been considered the gold standard of premium compacts. The latest model, the G16, features a 12.1 million-pixel sensor and inbuilt Wi-Fi. It goes square on head to head with the Nikon P7800, which also features a 12.1 million pixel sensor, but comes with an integrated electronic viewfinder.Here we compare the two to see which is the better investment.Canon G16 vs Nikon P7800: Handling The G16 is easy to use, with menus arranged very sensibly with a number of direct access dials and buttons. On top of the camera, you'll find two dials, one for switching modes and another for adjusting exposure compensation. A dial on the front of the camera is used to adjust aperture or shutter speed (depending on the shooting mode).
Read more: Early View: Canon PowerShot G16 vs Nikon Coolpix P7800 @ Techradar