System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC and more
Posted on: 02/27/2013 12:51 PM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC, Fractal Design Node 605 Case Review, Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 10, Which is The Best Configuration for 120 mm Liquid Cooling Fans?, and Unigine Oil Rush for Android Review
System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC @ Tom's Hardware
After one quarter after another of Pentium-based budget-oriented gaming builds, Paul Henningsen is ready to put together something a little more potent. We gave him an extra $100 and asked him to show us how to spend that money. He obliged, gladly.
Read more: System Builder Marathon, Q1 2013: $600 Gaming PC @ Tom's HardwareCygnett Metalicus Silver Aluminium Case for iPhone 4 & 4S Review @ Madshrimps
The Metalicus is one of the cases from Cygnett which sport a killer look, is quite affordable and comes in three different color variants. The case is, however, attenuating the GSM signal and occasionally we have also seen WiFi signal drops.
Read more: Cygnett Metalicus Silver Aluminium Case for iPhone 4 & 4S Review @ MadshrimpsRosewill Line-M Case Review: Wherefore Art Thou Micro-ATX? @ Anandtech
Vendors are always very quick to send us their biggest, best, and brightest. Rosewill's own top-selling Blackhawk Ultra has been with us for a little while, but while we rework our testbed for high end cases, we thought it might be worth looking at one of the workhorses in Rosewill's stable. Looking at enthusiast kit is fun, but it's interesting to see what's floating around in the budget sector, too, as many of us are often on the hook to build and maintain desktops for family and friends. With that in mind, we requested the micro-ATX Rosewill Line-M. While the Line M is worth checking out in its own right as a compact, $55 case with USB 3.0 connectivity, it also highlights a disparity in the current industry: Micro-ATX motherboards are still incredibly common, but case designs are stratifying within two extremes. Full ATX and larger cases are going stronger than ever, but the smaller case designs have largely been usurped by Mini-ITX. There's still a place in the world for a good Micro-ATX client, though, and we think the Line-M might just help deliver it.
Read more: Rosewill Line-M Case Review: Wherefore Art Thou Micro-ATX? @ AnandtechRig of the Month February 2013 @ Guru3D
It was a year ago to date that a Mathieu Heredia AKA Sassanou won the rig of the Month 2012, with an awesome build. This year he is back in the running with something completely new, dark, carbon. A Japanese Kenji show once again that Mathieu is a true case modder with a taste for seriously nice hardware, veni vidi vici and have a look at his new project, which he calls the Beasts ...
Read more: Rig of the Month February 2013 @ Guru3DG.Skill TridentX F3-2666C11Q-16GTXD 4x 4GB 2666 MHz C11 @ techPowerUp
Forged deep in the depths of Poseidon's armory, G.Skill's F3-2666C11Q-16GTXD kit is a weapon for the seasoned and new overclocker. The G.Skill F3-2666C11Q-16GTXD, clad in black and red, pushes the limits of performance at a decent cost, making it a valuable weapon to any enthusiast.
Read more: G.Skill TridentX F3-2666C11Q-16GTXD 4x 4GB 2666 MHz C11 @ techPowerUpFractal Design Node 605 Case Review @ KitGuru
Today we are going to look at the Node 605 from Fractal Design which is designed to be used primarily for home theatre PC builds. It is part of the same range as the Node 304 that we looked at recently which we found to be a very competent product. We did feel that it was slightly over-priced when compared to the competition, though, so we are hoping that the Node 605 will offer superior value for money.
Read more: Fractal Design Node 605 Case Review @ KitGuruBenchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 10 @ Phoronix
After spending the better part of the past week running continuous open-source Linux benchmarks on the Exynos5-powered Google Nexus 10, the first extensive benchmark results for the Nexus 10 tablet running the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview are now available. This performance comparison from Ubuntu on the dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 powered device is compared to numerous other ARMv7 and x86 devices. One of the interesting findings from this new round of ARM Linux testing is that the Google Nexus with its dual-core ARM SoC is competitive with AMD's first-generation Phenom Quad-Core processor for some demanding workloads.
The Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets have served as my latest platforms for Linux ARM benchmarking after previously having built PandaBoard clusters, benchmarking the Calxeda ARM servers, been involved with building a solar-powered ARM super-computer, and numerous other ARM Linux performance efforts in recent years. With Ubuntu Linux now coming to more consumer ARM devices, there's new possibilities opened up for benchmarking this low-power hardware thanks to a full Linux stack and tool-chain being available on the devices.
Since last Thursday's release of the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview for tablets and smart-phones, I've been busy torturing the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets with a plethora of computationally intensive workloads. I purchased the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets solely for this Linux benchmarking purpose. In Benchmarking The Google Nexus With Ubuntu I shared some of the shortcomings. The main hurdles I ran through were the Google tablets running uncomfortably warm, the WiFi adapters ultimately going down after hours of use, and the Nexus 10 losing its charge even when using the AC power adapter.
Read more: Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 10 @ PhoronixCrysis 3: Amazing Graphics, Boring Execution @ HotHardware.com
Let's get one thing clear up front. Crysis 3's graphics are absolutely stunning. Crytek's latest game doesn't raise the bar -- it annihilates it. At the highest settings, Crysis blows Battlefield 3 out of the water, makes mincemeat of Max Payne, and makes the original Crysis -- itself a graphics powerhouse -- look more like the first Call of Duty. Crysis 3 really is that stunning, provided that you've got the video card to handle it. Like the first game, this title is capable of bringing even a high-end card to its knees; the Radeon 7950 w/ Boost Mode that we used for testing struggled to maintain a 30 FPS frame rate.
The hell of a Cell installation on the left, New York's new look on the right
The good news is that Crysis 3 has no problem with 30 FPS, and cutting detail levels down improves frame rates rapidly. The same Radeon 7950 that struggled to maintain 30 FPS at Very High had no trouble pushing 50+ FPS at Medium. Like the original, this game will scale to match the GPU hardware you have on hand -- and it looks great in all of it. - See more at: http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Crysis-3--Amazing-Graphics-Boring-Execution/#sthash.7JqVh8XV.dpuf
Read more: Crysis 3: Amazing Graphics, Boring Execution @ HotHardware.comWhich is The Best Configuration for 120 mm Liquid Cooling Fans? @ Hardware Secrets
We tested 12 different configurations for installing fans on radiators of liquid cooling systems. Which one is the best? Let's see.
Read more: Which is The Best Configuration for 120 mm Liquid Cooling Fans? @ Hardware SecretsZOTAC NVIDIA GTX Titan Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
Today we take the GTX Titan through a selection of real world gaming tests which include Crysis 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3, Hitman: Absolution, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Battlefield 3, Skyrim: Dragonborn, DOTA 2, SWTOR, Mass Effect 3, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2. Mix that with the latest 3DMark, Heaven Benchmark, GPU computing, Media playback and all the usual power/thermal and overclocking tests... add frame latency, competing multi and single GPU setups and we have quite a lot to get through today.
Read more: ZOTAC NVIDIA GTX Titan Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven.comASUS G75VW-DH72 Gaming Notebook Review @ TechwareLabs
The ASUS G75VW-DH72, part of their Republic of Gamers line of notebooks, is a big, beastly machine promising to deliver big beastly performance. While a $1,999 MSRP isn't the most expensive I've seen in terms of gaming laptops, it's definitely in the upper reaches. The question is, does this machine deliver what it promises? Let's run it through its paces and find out.ASUS G75VW-DH72 Gaming Notebook Review @ TechwareLabsWD My Passport 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.org
The WD My Passport drives have been around for quite sometime now. They provide fast and easy backup and storage whether you are on the go or at your desk. Just about two years ago we took a look at the My Passport Essential SE 1TB drive. WD is back with a new My Passport drive that offers a new enclosure design, backup and encryption software, 5 color choices and capacities up to 2TB. The My Passport Essential SE has been a fixture in my mobile computing setup, but will it soon be replaced by the newer My Passport? Read on as we take a look...
Read more: WD My Passport 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.orgRazer Blade (R2) Gaming Laptop Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com
We reviewed the Razer Blade Gaming Laptop earlier this month in our full hardware breakdown, but here is a closer look in video form with Kaeyi Dream talking us through the Blade system.
Read more: Razer Blade (R2) Gaming Laptop Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.comOCZ Vector Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
The OCZ Vector 2.5" solid state drive (VTR1-25SAT3 series) is an ultra-slim 7mm high-performance SSD storage device produced in-house by OCZ Technology with a focus on reliability. Featuring OCZ's new Indilinx Barefoot 3 storage controller, the Vector SSD series is built to produce optimized performance for enthusiasts wanting to capitalize on near-instant response times. OCZ Vector SSDs are available in 128/256/512GB capacities, and deliver up to 550MB/s read speeds with up to 95,000 Random Read IOPS. In this article Benchmark Reviews puts these specifications to test, and compares the OCZ Vector solid state drive against the leading competition.
Back in July 2011, OCZ Technology announced their Indilinx "Everest" SATA controller platform, which featured a 275 MHz dual-core Marvell-based CPU with 128KB on-chip SRAM for programs and another 64KB for data. The first product to utilize the new Everest platform was the OCZ Octane SSD, which debuted early in 2012 with a 512MB DRAM cache buffer operating at 400 MHz and custom Indilinx-programmed firmware. The second generation Everest 2 platform again featured a Marvell-based dual-ARM controller, which optimized reduced-write amplifications without data compression to yield better I/O and help extend the product warranty to an industry leading five years. The Indilinx Barefoot 3 SATA controller is an all-original design, yet still delivers these combined features into the Vector SSD.
Read more: OCZ Vector Solid State Drive @ Benchmark ReviewsZotac ZBOX ID83 Plus Mini PC Review @ Hi Tech Legion
So I decided that I was going to try and sneak a small form factor HTPC into the entertainment center somewhere and see if she noticed. In comes the Zotac ZBOX ID83 Plus mini PC, it is small enough that I could hide it somewhere without her noticing it. Success I was able to hide the mini PC for several days without her noticing it. Thanks to the small size and how well I was able to hide it, she decided that I we could now have an HTPC in the living room. I know that once she gets used to having a mini pc for all her streaming needs in the living room she is going to want one in the bedroom too.
The Zotac ZBOX ID83 plus in a small form factor pc that is ideally suited for use as an HTPC. Zotac packs an Intel 3rd generation Core i3-3120M 2.5GHz dual core processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 into the ZBOX ID83 plus, along with a 500 GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. They manage to squeeze all of this power into a 7.4 by 7.4 by 1.73 inch package. The hard drive is a standard 2.5” notebook drive and up to 16GB of memory can be installed. The system has support for HDMI 1.4a as well as a DVI connection. Connectivity is handled by either a 10/100/1000 Ethernet connection or the integrated 802.11 B/G/N wireless. The front of the ID83 Plus has analog audio connection, a 6-in-1 memory card reader, USB 2.0 port, and LED indicators. The mini PC is compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 8 both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Accessories include a VESA monitor mount, stand, DVI adapter, and media center remote with IR receiver.
Read more: Zotac ZBOX ID83 Plus Mini PC Review @ Hi Tech LegionCooler Master Seidon 240M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Canucks
Sealed all in one units like Corsair’s Hydro series and NZXT’s Kraken can be considered a highly refined bridge solution between the temperatures offered by custom water cooling loops and the plug and play simplicity of air based solutions. Due to the integration of high performance cooling potential alongside low noise profiles and relatively inexpensive pricing, they’re also quite popular. Naturally, this has led to a large number of manufacturers jumping onto the bandwagon and Cooler Master is simply one of the latest with their new Seidon series.
While the likes of Corsair, Thermaltake and the now-merged CoolIT have hogged the majority of headlines, Cooler Master was actually one of the first to introduce closed loop liquid cooling to the world. All the way back in 2004 their Aquagate Mini R80 was considered groundbreaking and certainly well ahead of its time but it also came at a steep cost relative to the design’s actual capabilities. Since then Cooler Master has been fairly quiet on the water cooling side of things and rather have spent most of their efforts on air-based heatsinks like their ultra-popular V6 GT and Hyper 212 PLUS. That mentality is in the process of changing.
With their release of the Seidon series of All in One cooling devices Cooler Master has once again turned their engineering prowess back to this all important marketplace. Their high performance model is the Seidon 240M, a large scale unit which is supposed to compete against Corsair’s H100 and H100i while retailing for substantially less. That may be a tall order but its specifications do point towards excellent cooling potential.
Read more: Cooler Master Seidon 240M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware CanucksUnigine Oil Rush for Android Review @ Hi Tech Legion
Unigine has developed a version for Android devices based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip. The mobile version offers a campaign mode that provides an immersive storyline that the modern world can relate to. The storyline mode features four chapters of battles with a technology tree that builds as the story progresses. Oil Rush is fully compatible with touch screens and features intuitive touch controls. The gameplay uses group control to move units. The goal of this control style is to reduce the micromanagement of a typical RTS game. At the same time, it is necessary to think and react fast to keep up with the combat in Oil Rush.
Read more: Unigine Oil Rush for Android Review @ Hi Tech Legion