Even the most diehard fan boy can admit AMD’s not in the hunt against Intel’s top-end processors—well the reasonable one’s anyway.
That doesn’t mean AMD still can’t give Intel a hard time. While AMD can’t compete with the Core i7-3970X or even the Core i7—4770K, the company’s rush to merge CPU and GPU to make the APU has put more pressure on Intel than Intel would probably want to admit.
Fails to execute as a simulation or strategic shooter
When we see a gangster game come out—especially one that blends our love of building a true, bootleggy, 1930s-style criminal empire with our zest for shooting thugs with poorly executed Italian accents—we get a little anxious. It’s true. Give us a game that looks like a cross between Theme Park and Mafia and we’ll be set for quite a long while, cackling with glee as we outrun the cops in old-timey cars while trying to deliver our bootlegged booze to our various speakeasies.
Note: This review was taken from the April issue of the magazine.
The Kraken X40 breaks the current trend of closed-loop water coolers rocking 12cm fans by upping its fan size to 14cm fan, which NZXT promises delivers more heat dissipation and better cooling without subjecting users to deafening fan noise. It’s a lofty promise, but having tested it, we can tell you that this Kraken's bite lives up to its bark.
PC users have been in a bit of a quandary about the new Thunderbolt interface from Intel. On the one hand, we’re all about maximum performance, so given its sizable speed advantage over USB 3.0, at least on paper, we’re eager to adopt it. On the other hand, there are three issues that have prevented us from jumping on the Thunderbolt bandwagon with both feet. The first is the fact that it debuted on the Apple platform. Granted, we’re a bit sensitive, but this just rubbed us the wrong way. Second, Thunderbolt doesn’t exist on LGA2011 due to a requirement for integrated graphics. And finally, we already have USB 3.0, so do we really need Thunderbolt? Sure, it’s twice as fast on paper (10Gb/s versus 5Gb/s), but will we see that benefit in the real world, and is it worth the cost? To help us answer all these nagging questions we snagged a very special hard drive, the Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt, which has both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports, allowing us to test both interfaces back-to-back and make an apples-to-apples comparison.
Nvidia delivers a juiced GK104 in the GeForce GTX 770
Today the embargo lifts on the second GeForce GTX 700 series GPU to be announced in a week's time; the Titan-cooled but GK104-powered GeForce GTX 770. Unlike the GTX 780 announced last week, this card does not use the monstrous GK110 GPU, but instead opts for a highly-clocked version of the GK104 chip found previously in the GTX 680, GTX 670, and GTX 660 Ti. It's the highest clocked-part of all of those cards though, and also has 7Gb/s memory instead of the 6Gb/s variety found in all the previous Kepler cards, giving it a signficant bump in memory bandwidth.
Today Nvidia pulls the wraps off its $650 GK110-based 700 series flagship card, the GeForce GTX 780. This board slides directly into the yawning chasm that exists between the $500 GK104-based GTX 680 and the $1,000 GK110-based GTX Titan, though despite its price it's actually much closer in specs and performance to the Titan than it is to the GTX 680.
The Eurocom Scorpius lives a dual life. On one hand, it’s a dull-looking workstation; on the other, this highly configurable laptop can also be outfitted with a 3D monitor and killer gaming specs. We opted for the latter.
Note: This review originally appeared in the March issue of the magazine.
Smart TVs are basically dumb PCs, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Vizio—one of the world’s most successful HDTV manufacturers—plans to grow by jumping into the all-in-one PC market. The Vizio CA24T-A4 is a surprisingly good rookie effort, but there is room for improvement.
Note: This review first appeared in the March issue of the magazine.
Logitech has built more computer speakers over the years than just about any manufacturer, and it’s learned a thing or two about building decent low-cost models. Take the 2.1-channel Z323 system: We could name any number of speaker systems that sound better, but few that are priced better.
Note: This review originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the magazine.