In the world of CPUs, closed-loop liquid coolers (CLCs) seem to be standard-issue for enthusiasts these days. They give you higher overclocking headroom than even the most expensive and beefy air coolers, and they can operate more quietly. However, we haven’t seen many with radiators as large as 280mm—just the NZXT Kraken X60 and the Corsair H110 come to mind—so we were eager to run the Cooler Master Nepton 280L through its paces.
Note: This review was originally featured in the April 2014 issue of the magazine.
DRM issues, poor performance, and crashing servers
If you’re like us, you like the Internet, but there are unfortunately downsides to the service. It seems that over the years, developers have been releasing unfinished buggy games, hoping to just patch the situation later.
MSI is offering two flavors of its midrange Radeon R9 270 GPU, formerly known as the Radeon HD 7870 GHz edition. There is a standard model and one with an “X” after its name. The difference between the two is the X model has slightly higher core and boost clocks, but otherwise the two cards are the same and are both based on AMD’s Pitcairn GCN core, which is a 28nm part that debuted in 2013.
The doctor tackles Too Much GPU, WiFi Upgrades, Disabling SkyDrive, and more
Question: From Integrated to Top-Shelf
After almost 30 years developing software on stock PCs I finally performed my first build from the pages of Maximum PC. I scoured your pages from many issues and planned a build during a long weekend and it’s been purring along for 18 months.
I have a Core i5-3570K on an Asus P8Z77.V board, with 16GB RAM, two 128GB SSDs, a 3TB backup drive, and 850W PSU in an NZXT Phantom 410 chassis. Now I’m thinking of adding a graphics card. I don’t do a lot with graphics and so I’ve managed with on-board, but I might do more. The 780 Ti sounds very cool. Will it work well in this system? Will overall performance improve? Apart from a Hyper 212 CPU cooler, I’m only using the Phantom’s stock fans… will I need more cooling?
Nvidia defends themselves against AMD's cheating allegations
A few weeks back in the Maximum PC No BS Podcast #226, AMD's newly arrived Gaming Scientist Richard Huddy made some bold accusations about Nvidia's developer relations, such as accusing the company of handing out "black box" files designed to make Radeon cards look bad, and using sketchy contract clauses. Nvidia's Distinguished Engineer Tom Petersen and Senior Director of Engineering Rev Lebaradian came on to podcast 229 to tell Nvidia's side of the story (Spoilers: They deny the cheating allegations). Also,they bring in the newly launched Shield Tablet and talk about it for a bit. They also answer several reader questions.
Naming a PC isn’t an easy task. It’s hard enough when you’re talking about your personal PC (Betsy, Svetlana, or Jabba work well), but when you’re a company selling a new model, Marketing 101 says the name should imbue magic and convince consumers to pony up.
Lots of graphical horsepower at a reasonable price
It’s been a while since we reviewed a Toshiba gaming notebook, so we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the company’s new Qosmio X75. Unlike iBuypower’s super-slim and portable 17-inch Battalion M1771 gaming notebook we reviewed last issue, the Qosmio X75 puts power ahead of portability.
Ah, Cooler Master and Corsair. We know you well, especially since the cases we’re checking out here are derivatives of cases that have previously been featured in Maximum PC’s annual opus, the fabled Dream Machine.
It can get a bit confusing in the video card world, what with the similar names for all the cards and the subtle differences among models. Things just got more confusing this month with the release of the Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition, which was a special designation previously used for AMD cards. Since AMD has abandoned the GHz tag, however, Gigabyte figured it would adopt it and attach it to a superclocked version of the venerable GTX 780. Whereas the standard GTX 780 comes with a base clock of just 863MHz and a boost clock of 900MHz, the GHz edition comes with a base clock of—can you guess?—1,019MHz and a boost clock of 1,071MHz. That’s quite an overclock right out of the box, and to achieve it Gigabyte has deployed its highly effective WindForce triple-fan cooling solution. We’ve seen this cooler before on the company’s higher-spec’d GTX 780 Ti, so we know it allows for silent operation and impressive overclocking. The GTX 780 is in the middle of a price war with AMD’s new R9 GPUs, so it has to keep costs down in order to remain competitive. The R9 290 is generally faster than the GTX 780 in stock trim, so the GHz edition is a response to that card, but since it’s priced at $540 it’s primed to take on the R9 290X, as well.
It’s understandable that NZXT left a few bucks off the price of its Source 530 case, as this full-tower chassis is really more a midrange offering than something you’ll be taking out a second mortgage for. We’re big fans of that, especially since the case’s interior contains all of the usual NXZT-esque features that have graced many of company’s previous cases we’ve reviewed.