Gaming en Roccat Announces Kave XTD 5.1 Analog Headset <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/roccat_kave_xtd_51_analog.jpg" alt="Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Analog" title="Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Analog" width="228" height="190" style="float: right;" />The analog successor to the original Kave</h3> <p>Do you fancy yourself a fan of digital headsets over analog ones, or vice versa? Your answer will could determine how interested you might be in <strong>Roccat's Kave XTD 5.1 Analog headset due out in mid-April</strong>. It's the "highly anticipated analog successor" to the original Kave, and in addition to making advances in sound quality and clarity, Roccat says the XTD 5.1 Analog is also 25 percent lighter.</p> <p>The headset sports a pair of 40mm driver units and a 30mm vibration unit in each ear cup, dual-mode remote, and an LED light-tipped mouthpiece so that it's easier to tell if you're on a live mic or whether it's been muted.</p> <p>According to Roccat, one thing that separates the Kave XTD 5.1 Analog from other analog gaming headsets is that it's the first to feature an interference isolator for zero noise. In other words, if you've worn headsets that picked up on electromagnetic interference, you won't have to worry about that with these</p> <p>As for offering up surround sound, Roccat claims its three high-end driver units are aligned precisely at a 12-degree angle to match the natural form of your year. An inline remote allows you to adjust the volume of the center, front, rear, and subwoofer channels.</p> <p>Does it live up to the hype? We won't know until we've had a chance to sample a set for ourselves. In the meantime, you can check out our review of the Kave XTD in a <a href="">recent roundup</a> as a point of reference.</p> <p>The Kave XTD 5.1 Analog will be available around the middle of April for $120 MSRP.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> audio Gaming Hardware headset Peripherals roccat xtd 5.1 analog News Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:23:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29702 at Asus Unveils Limited Edition Gold Edition GeForce GTX 980 Graphics Card <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_gold_gtx_980.jpg" alt="Asus Gold GTX 980" title="Asus Gold GTX 980" width="228" height="197" style="float: right;" />Celebrating 20 years of graphics card production</h3> <p>It was in 1995 that Asus introduced its first graphics card, and to celebrate 20 years of graphics card production, <strong>Asus is releasing a limited edition 20th Anniversary Golden Edition GTX 980</strong> that it claims is the fastest of its kind. How fast? Asus cranked the GPU to 1,431MHz, up from Nvidia's reference specification of 1,126MHz. It's even higher than Nvidia's 1,216MHz reference <em>boost</em> clockspeed.</p> <p>The 4GB of GDDR5 memory remains untouched at 7,010MHz on a 256-bit bus, though the clockspeed and gold colored cooling solution aren't the only standouts. The card boasts high quality components that should stand up better to overclocking, and the cooling apparatus boats 0dB fan technology that cools 15 percent better than reference and runs three times quieter, according to Asus. There's also a memory defroster, in case you plan on going nuts with liquid nitrogen.</p> <p>On top of the card is a 20th Anniversary designation. More than just eye candy, it changes color depending on load -- blue is a light load, orange is a medium load, red is a heavy load, and green means you're back in safe mode, or default clocks (you can restore clocks to default with a tap of the Clear VBIOS button).</p> <p>Asus didn't say when the card will be available or for how much, though in the meantime, you can take a trip down memory lane and see see what innovations came out of Asus over the years. For example, did you know that Asus was the first to plop a cooling fan on a graphics card? Or that it was the first to offer a video card with a premium black PCB? These and other fun facts have been assembled <a href="" target="_blank">onto a timeline</a>, a neat pit stop before making your way over to the <a href="" target="_blank">product page</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Build a PC Gaming geforce gtx 980 gold gpu graphics card Hardware News Thu, 02 Apr 2015 19:49:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 29682 at EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid Gets Wet and Wild with Maxwell <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/evga_geforce_gtx_980_hybrid.jpg" alt="EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid" title="EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid" width="228" height="219" style="float: right;" />When air cooling isn't enough</h3> <p>Have you ever tried liquid cooling a graphics card? It's not the most difficult thing in the world, though between the water cooling loop and delicately removing the card's stock cooling solution, it can be a little intimidating. And then there's <strong>EVGA's new GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid with an all-in-one water cooling already installed</strong>. All you need to do is plug the card into your mobo, feed it power, and mount the single 120mm fan radiator.</p> <p>There's no filling required, no custom tubing to mess with, and no maintenance. Your reward for giving the Maxwell-based GPU a bath is significantly lower temperatures compared to Nvidia's reference air cooler. According to EVGA's benchmark chart, a card running at 70C degrees using a reference cooler would be under 45C with the Hybrid.</p> <p>The card itself comes factory overclocked. Instead of a base clockspeed of 1,126MHz and boost clock of 1,216MHz, the Hybrid runs at 1,291MHz and 1,393MHz, respectively. The 4GB of GDDR5 memory stays at stock speeds -- 7,010MHz on a 256-bit bus, resulting in memory bandwidth of 224.3GB/s.</p> <p>Of course, cooler temps invite overclocking, and EVGA has a couple of software tools to help with that. One is EVGA Precision X, which allows you to adjust the GPU and memory frequencies, moitor temps, and more. You can also use EVGA's OC Scanner X to stress test and benchmark your overclocked card.</p> <p>The GeForce GTX 980 Hybrid is <a href="" target="_blank">available now</a> direct from EVGA for $650. If you already own the card, you can purchase the Hybrid water cooler by itself for $100, which is also <a href="" target="_blank">available now</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC evga Gaming GeForceGTX 980 Hybrid graphics card Hardware liquid cooling maxwell Video Card News Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:03:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29641 at Cougar Dangles Affordable 300M Mouse in Front of Gamers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cougar_300m.jpg" alt="Cougar 300M" title="Cougar 300M" width="228" height="140" style="float: right;" />Looks can be deceiving</h3> <p><strong>Cougar sent us word today that it's releasing the 300M</strong>, a comparatively inexpensive mouse that targets the "mainstream pro-level gamer." We suppose that means regular Joes and Janes that aren't in the pro circuit but have honed their craft nonetheless. Either way, while the 300M isn't anything special to look at (from the pics we've seen), it does have a decent spec sheet starting with a 4,000 DPI optical sensor.</p> <p>It also boasts seven programmable buttons, a 1,000Hz polling rate, 1ms response, and Omron switches for its main buttons -- they're rated for at least 5 million clicks, so if you're a rapid-fire gamer, go on with your bad self.</p> <p>There are LEDs on the 300M to let you know which DPI you're in, and using Cougar's UIX software, you can customize the lighting with around 16.8 million different color options. You can also use the software to configure three separate profiles for a maximum of 24 functions, and then save those settings to the 300M's onboard memory.</p> <p>Cougar says the 300M will be available in late April for $40. That's not bargain bin pricing, but far more affordable than the gaming rodents that command twice as much or more.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 300M cougar Gaming Hardware mouse Peripherals News Tue, 24 Mar 2015 18:41:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 29632 at Best Laptop Backpack <!--paging_filter--><h3>We hunt for the best laptop backpack</h3> <p>Let’s face it, laptops can be really expensive, especially the high-end gaming notebooks we recommend. They can also be heavy and a chore to carry around. And yet, to get your money’s worth out of these portable PCs, you’ll have to lug them around with you all the time.</p> <p>But finding the right bag—one that protects your computer while being comfortable to wear—is no easy feat. And it’s not too much to ask that it be somewhat visually appealing, if not downright attractive. You’ve spent your hard-earned money buying a kick-ass laptop and you deserve an equally kick-ass backpack to put it in. So, to help you with your baggage, we searched for the best laptop backpacks that we could find and rounded up seven worthy contenders.</p> <h4>Everki Beacon</h4> <p><strong>Large but in charge</strong></p> <p>Trying to find an AAA-quality backpack that can also fit a large 17-inch gaming notebook can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but Everki’s Beacon is up for the challenge. Its laptop compartment had no problem fitting our monstrous 17-inch Asus ROG G750.</p> <p>This backpack is quite roomy, measuring 20.8x16.9x6.3 inches, and it’s a little on the heavy side at 3.5 pounds, making it more of a travel pack than something you would carry around every day. But because of this bulk, the Beacon offers a lot of protection with its mesh padding, while providing plenty of compartment space, too.</p> <p>In addition to the laptop slot, there’s an even roomier main compartment, which has a zipper for folders, four 3x5-inch pockets, and even a soft-shell bag inside designed to house consoles. In short, there’s plenty of space for whatever you need. Outside of the main compartment is a 3x11-inch easy-access pouch, which is optimal for sunglasses. It also has two small hip compartments on either side of the bag; the left one has a little hole for ear buds, and you can loop the cord through the left strap to get a tangle-free listening experience.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small.jpg" alt="The dashes of orange give the black bag a nice “pop.”" title="Everki Beacon" width="620" height="812" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The dashes of orange give the black bag a nice “pop.”</strong></p> <p>The build quality is impressive, including plenty of rubber padding at the bottom of the bag in case you accidentally drop the pack. The Beacon also comes with a water-resistant tarp that you can use to wrap the bag in case of rain.</p> <p>While the Beacon isn’t light, its pillow-soft straps are extremely comfortable, and it features a stretchy chest strap that takes the pressure off your shoulders. In addition, it has two sturdy handles: one on top of the backpack and another on the back. Considering you can get all of this for $100, it’s one hell of a deal.</p> <p><strong>Everki Beacon</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:9ka" title="score:9ka" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$100, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Ful Dean</h4> <p><strong>The budget backpack</strong></p> <p>While expensive backpacks are often nice, we realize that not everyone can afford them, especially if you’ve spent all your dough on a sweet gaming laptop. However, this doesn’t mean you have to resort to tossing your super-nice notebook in your kid’s old cheapo Jansport, which offers little-to-no protection for your gear.</p> <p>If you don’t have a large notebook, don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, and if you’re on a budget, Ful’s $70 Dean backpack may be what you’re looking for. If you don’t have a large notebook, don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, and if you’re on a budget, Ful’s $70 Dean backpack may be what you’re looking for.</p> <p>While Ful says the Dean can fit some 17-inch notebooks, it’s really geared more toward 15-inch and smaller machines. The laptop compartment comfortably fit our fat 14-inch Alienware 14 notebook, but while there’s plenty of padding on the back, we would have liked a little more at the base of the pack, in case you set it down too abruptly. Its main compartment is quite basic, simply offering a 6x8-inch mesh zipper to stow pens and small notepads. On the face of the pack are three smaller, triangular-shaped pockets that zigzag across each other. These diagonal lines and zippers were meant to create an interesting aesthetic, but they look odd and aren’t terribly practical—how many items do you know have (or want) that are triangularly shaped? The pack also has hip compartments on both sides, with one designed for a water bottle. The only other pocket is the 2x4-inch zipper on the right shoulder strap that is ideal for something small, like car keys.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small2_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small2.jpg" alt="The Dean gets the job done, but is mostly no-frills. " title="Ful Dean" width="620" height="793" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Dean gets the job done, but is mostly no-frills. </strong></p> <p>Speaking of straps, there’s a chest harness attached, which is greatly appreciated, but the straps in general tended to be a little wider than we would have preferred, and tended to flare out at the sides. We did like the handle atop the pack, however, which feels quite sturdy.</p> <p>Overall, the pack isn’t bad, but for a few dollars more, we recommend going with the SwissGear bag in this roundup.</p> <p><strong>Ful Dean</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:7" title="score:7" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$70, <a href=" " target="_blank"> </a></strong></p> <h4>SwissGear SA1908 Scansmart</h4> <p><strong>The simple pack</strong></p> <p>Long known for its Swiss army knives, SwissGear has recently been making waves in the backpack scene. But unlike the tool that seems to have everything, the SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart backpack opts for simplicity. There are no fancy hip harnesses, nor are there a million pockets.</p> <p>One interesting quirk it does have, as its clunky name might suggest, is a “ScanSmart” pocket. This means its laptop compartment has a see-through mesh window, which is supposed to expedite TSA bag checks. From our experience, however, the TSA always wants laptops removed from their bags anyway, so your airport mileage may vary. If that feature doesn’t quite cut it, however, there is another zipper above the ScanSmart pocket that splits completely open like a flat clamshell. This clamshell compartment should be able to fit most 17-inch laptops; unfortunately, it was not able to swallow our beefy Asus ROG G750.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small3_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small3.jpg" alt="There are bottle pockets on either side of the pack." title="SwissGear SA1908 Scansmart" width="620" height="760" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>There are bottle pockets on either side of the pack.</strong></p> <p>The main compartment has a dangling pouch for your phone, and it also has a convenient small hole for your ear buds to slip through. This pouch fit our relatively large 5-inch Nexus 5, so it should be able to fit the majority of phones out there. Rounding out the compartments is a small, plain 7.5x10-inch zip. Another neat, if minor, feature is the little loop on the left strap that you can use to carry your sunglasses.</p> <p>In terms of padding, there’s not an exorbitant amount, but it should protect your laptop in most cases. There is a fair amount on the back, however, and it is quite comfortable to wear. There’s even some space between the back padding along the spine, which gives your back a little room to breathe.</p> <p><strong>SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$73, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4> <hr /></h4> <h4>Asus ROG Nomad</h4> <p><strong>Built for gamers</strong></p> <p>In conjunction with its massive 17-inch ROG gaming notebooks, Asus has designed the ROG Nomad backpack to be “built for gamers,” or so they claim. While that might sound like marketing hyperbole, the pack lives up to the claim.</p> <p>Everything about the Nomad has been meticulously designed for portable-PC enthusiasts. Its large 20x13.7x7.2-inch size will fit pretty much any 17-inch gaming notebook you throw at it, but what really gears it toward laptop enthusiasts is the dizzying array of specialized compartments. There’s the large main compartment that has designated spots for headphones, camera, keyboard, and power brick. The slightly smaller pocket above the main compartment contains a slit for 3x5-inch index cards, slots for pens to slip into, and there’s even a little HDD carrying case can be taken out. It really has all the trappings that a nerd would need from a backpack. Hell, there’s even a smartphone zipper built into the right shoulder strap, though it won’t fit any phone larger than 4 inches.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small4_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small4.jpg" alt="There’s no Asus branding on the pack itself. " title="Asus ROG Nomad" width="620" height="816" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>There’s no Asus branding on the pack itself. </strong></p> <p>The shoulder straps are also quite comfortable. And they’re aided by not only a chest strap, but a waist strap to distribute weight across your entire torso, adding stability to the comfort. In addition, it offers plenty of protection for your gear as well, with plenty of rubber padding at the base of the backpack in case you drop it. And the entire thing is made out of ballistic nylon, chosen for its water-resistant protection.</p> <p>Aesthetically, the pack definitely tries to entice gamers. There’s a “gladiator helmet” design on the pack, which is supposed to look cool, but it’s a little too garish for us. Another gripe we had is that one of the buttons fell off, although it’s merely an aesthetic blemish. Regardless, this is still one hell of a pack.</p> <p><strong>Asus ROG Nomad</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:9ka" title="score:9ka" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$170, <a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Timbuk2 Uptown</h4> <p><strong>The hipster bag</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it, most gaming laptop backpacks are nerdy-looking. But while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you want to lug your laptop in something more trendy, the Timbuk2’s Uptown Laptop bag’s contrasting grey meshes will make sure you fit in with the hipster crowd (skinny jeans not included).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small5_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small5.jpg" alt="The Uptown’s biggest drawback is that it lacks padding." title="Timbuk2 Uptown" width="620" height="801" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Uptown’s biggest drawback is that it lacks padding.</strong></p> <p>In terms of features, it has the bare essentials. While the pack looks fairly small compared to the others featured here, it actually measures 19.7x11.8x8.7 inches. And while its clamshell laptop compartment, which splits completely open for situations like TSA bag checks, doesn’t fit giant notebooks, its large main compartment fit our massive 17-inch Asus ROG gaming laptop—much to our surprise.</p> <p>Timbuk2’s simple design inluces a smaller secondary compartment with two 3x5-inch index card mesh zips and a relatively small 5x10-inch velcro pocket. Above the main compartment is a smaller 13x8-inch zipper, which has pockets for pens and other small items. Above that is a vertical quick-access slit where you can store small notepads. Other than the bottle holder on the left hip, there really isn’t too much else to this bag, aside from a bottle opener on the right strap, which you and your friends will appreciate when it’s called for.</p> <p>In terms of comfort, there isn’t an exorbitant amount of padding, but it still feels good, partially thanks to a chest strap, which we liked. We would have preferred more padding for the laptop compartment, however, as the Uptown is one of the least protective packs here. Another gripe that we had is that its top handle is not comfortable or easy to use; it’s just flat nylon webbing.</p> <p><strong>Timbuk2 Uptown Laptop TSA-Friendly Backpack</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$119, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Urban Xplorer</h4> <p><strong>The European</strong></p> <p>Even though Urban Xplorer’s HalfPack RT was actually designed in California, we still call it the “European backpack” around the office. There’s just something about the odd belt loops, bright burnt-orange (it also comes in black) day-pack-like body, and weird, detachable U-shaped shoulder straps that screams “This is what you carry to go yodeling in the Alps.” It’s clearly trying to cater to the “sophisticated businessman who also has an adventurous side,” but there’s just something awkward about it.</p> <p>While the pack certainly isn’t for everyone, it does have its nice qualities. There’s plenty of cotton/polyester padding everywhere, and bag is covered with a nylon ballistic fabric that is designed to be weatherproof and stain resistant. Another perk is that it has a sweet, sexy brown leather handle.</p> <p>Even though the pack features two belt-style bands to keep it closed, they’re more a novelty, as the flap of the pack can also be opened via two quick-release buckles. When you lift the flap, you’ll find two index card–sized velcro pockets, and a larger 9x12-inch zipper compartment designed to hold pens, glasses, and other stationery.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small6_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small6.jpg" alt="You can take off the shoulder straps to turn it into a messenger bag." title="Urban Xplorer" width="620" height="635" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>You can take off the shoulder straps to turn it into a messenger bag.</strong></p> <p>Arguably, the HalfPack RT’s biggest problem is that despite it being the heaviest pack in the roundup at whopping 4.5 pounds, it’s not very spacious—its main compartment was barely able to house our 14-inch alienware notebook. The pack’s actual laptop compartment could barely fit our svelte 13.3-inch Acer S7 Ultra-book. Also, accessing the main compartment is cumbersome, even with the quick-release buckles, because you have to lift its flap vertically to reach your arm into the bag. When you add in the fact that it’s $200, the Urban Xplorer is simply a tough sell.</p> <p><strong> Urban Xplorer HalfPack RT</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:6" title="score:6" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$200, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Ogio Renegade</h4> <p><strong>The macho bag</strong></p> <p>If we had to crown the manliest bag in this roundup, it would have to go to Ogio’s Renegade RSS 17. Hell, even the name “Renegade” implies that it’s pretty badass, and thankfully, it lives up to its moniker.</p> <p>The Renegade isn’t the biggest pack in the roundup but it’s still pretty large, measuring 19.5x14x8 inches. It’s quite rugged and offers plenty of protection with its rigid frame and copious amount of padding. There’s also a nice padded soft-touch neoprene grab handle at the top, and its 600D polyester material feels high quality across the board. It’s very comfy, to boot, and has a chest strap in case you need to lug around heavy gear.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this backpack won’t be able to carry the heaviest of laptops—even though it’s advertised to fit 17-inch notebooks, it couldn’t fit our thin 17-inch iBuypower Battalion, let alone our beefy 17-inch Asus ROG G750. Regardless, you’ll find that the bag has a ton of pockets to play around with, which include a hard-shell sunglass cubby, a spacious main compartment, a tablet compartment, and another smaller pocket with designated slots for mouse, wallet, and pens. In addition, there are two pairs of pockets on the side of the pack and a phone-sized zip behind the Ogio logo. There’s also a small zipper on the left shoulder strap, though measuring 1.5x4.5 inches, it’s much too small for even keys.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small7_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small7.jpg" alt="The Renegade is rugged and has tons of pockets." title="Ogio Renegade" width="620" height="727" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Renegade is rugged and has tons of pockets.</strong></p> <p>In terms of aesthetics, it’s predominantly black with some silver and red accents, giving it a tough appearance. At $135 street, Ogio is pricing the Renegade in the premium tier, but this bag well deserves inclusion in that class.</p> <p><strong>Ogio Renegade RSS 17</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:9" title="score:9" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$135, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>If you’ve combed through all the reviews here, you might have noticed that there is a positive correlation between the largeness of a pack and its score. It’s not that we think that bigger is necessarily better, but the larger packs here just happened to get a little more TLC from their manufacturers. This isn’t to say that the smaller bags in this roundup are worthless. Really, there’s something here for every kind of laptop user: from small to large, from cheap to luxurious, they all have their strengths.</p> <p>Still, if you asked us to design the ultimate laptop backpack for enthusiasts, we would definitely love to be able to combine different elements from all the packs reviewed here. The super pack would have the hip stylings of the Timbuk2 Uptown with all the specialized compartments of the Asus Rog Nomad. We would definitely want to toss in the durability of the Ogio Renegade, with, of course, the same amazing value that the Everki Beacon boasts. That would definitely be the quintessential laptop backpack. Until then, however, we’re still confident that you’ll find something in this roundup that packs the punch you’ve been looking for.</p> <div class="module orange-module article-module"> <div class="module orange-module article-module"><span class="module-name">Specifications</span><br /> <div class="module-content"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="spec-table orange"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td></td> <td>Everki Beacon</td> <td>Ful Dean</td> <td>SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart</td> <td>Asus ROG Nomad</td> <td>Timbuk2 Uptown</td> <td>Urban Xplorer HalfPack RT</td> <td>Ogio Renegade RSS 17</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Size H x W x D (inches)</td> <td class="item-dark">20.8 x 16.9 x 6.3</td> <td>18 x 11 x 5</td> <td>18 x 13 x 9</td> <td>20 x 13.7 x 7.2</td> <td>19.7 x 11.8 x 8.7</td> <td>17 x 13.4 x 7</td> <td>19.5 x 14 x 8</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Weight (pounds)</td> <td>3.5</td> <td>2.5</td> <td>2.6</td> <td>3.6</td> <td>2</td> <td>4.5</td> <td>4</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Fits 17-inch notebook</td> <td class="item-dark">Yes</td> <td>Some</td> <td>Some</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>No</td> <td>Some</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chest strap</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>No</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>No</td> <td>Yes</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Street price</td> <td>$100</td> <td>$70</td> <td>$73</td> <td>$170</td> <td>$119</td> <td>$200</td> <td>$135</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em><br /></em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> asus rog Bag Best Laptop Backpack everki beacon Gaming notebook pack portable timbuk2 Features Mon, 23 Mar 2015 20:36:42 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28755 at Nvidia Titan X Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>A new hero descends from the heights of Mount GeForce</h3> <p>In ancient Greek mythology, the Titans are the immediate descendants of the primordial gods. So it is with the Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan, descended from the company's top-shelf professional workstation GPUs. <a title="Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan review" href="" target="_blank">First debuting in March 2013</a>, the original Titan was nearly the most powerful video card that the company could offer. They sealed off a couple items that would be of little interest to gamers, which also prevented professionals from using these much less expensive gamer variants for workstation duties.</p> <p>In the two years since, the company has iterated on this design, adding more shader processors (or "CUDA cores," as Nvidia likes to call them), and even adding a second GPU core on the same card. Now the time has come for it to deliver the Maxwell generation of super-premium GPUs, this time dubbed the <strong>GTX Titan X</strong>. And it's a beast. Despite being stuck on the 28nm process node for several years now, the company continues to extract more and more performance from its silicon. Interestingly, the card goes up for sale today, but only at Nvidia's own online storefront. There is currently a limit of two per order. The company tells us that you'll be able to buy it from other stores and in pre-built systems "over the next few weeks." First-world problems, right?</p> <p><img src="/files/u99720/nvidia_titan_5159.png" alt="Titan X" title="Titan X" width="620" height="401" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>These days, you can use the number of shader cores as a rough estimate of performance. We say "rough" because the Maxwell cores in this Titan X are, according to Nvidia, 40 percent faster than the Kepler cores in the earlier Titans. So when you see that the Titan X has "only" 3072 of them, this is actually a huge boost. It's about 30 percent more than the GTX 980, which is already a barnstormer. For reference, the difference in shader count between <a title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 review" href="" target="_blank">the GTX 780</a> and the original Titan was about 16 percent. The Titan X also has an almost ridiculous 12GB of GDDR5 VRAM. We say "almost" because Nvidia has some ambitious goals for the resolution that it expects you to be able to play at with this card.</p> <p>At the Game Developers Conference two weeks ago, its reps pitched the Titan X to us as the first GPU that could handle 4K gaming solo, at high settings. They demoed Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which wasn't a solid 60fps, as they readily acknowledged. But we did see all the graphics settings cranked up, and gameplay was smooth at about 45fps <a title="G-Sync introduction video" href="" target="_blank">when paired with a G-Sync monitor</a>. As its name implies, G-sync synchronizes your monitor's refresh rate to the frame rate being delivered to your video card, which vastly reduces tearing. They also enabled motion blur, which can help mask frame rate drops.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/titanx3.jpg" width="620" height="349" /></p> <p>For our review, we used seven high-end cards that have come out in the same two-year time frame as the original Titan. Some of these are no longer sold in stores, but they still provide an important frame of reference, and their owners may want to know if upgrading is going to be worth it.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Note that the clock speeds in the charts on the next page are not all for the reference versions. These are for the particular models that we used for this review. The GTX 980 is the MSI Gaming 4G model; the GTX 970 is the Asus GTX970-DCMOC-4GD5; the GTX 780 is the Asus&nbsp;STRIX-GTX780-OC-6GD5 (and the reference model also has 3GB of VRAM instead of 6GB); and the Radeon R9 290X is the MSI Lightning edition. We used the prices for the reference versions, however.</p> <h3 style="text-align: right;"><a title="GeForce Titan X Review Page 2" href=",1" target="_self">Click here to turn to page 2 for the specs!</a></h3> <hr /> <p>Let's take a look at their specs:</p> <div class="spec-table orange" style="font-size: 12px; font-weight: normal;"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead></thead> <tbody> <tr> <td></td> <td>Titan X</td> <td>Titan&nbsp;</td> <td>GTX 980</td> <td>GTX 970</td> <td>GTX 780 Ti</td> <td>GTX 780</td> <td>R9 290X</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Generation</td> <td>&nbsp;GM200</td> <td>&nbsp;GK110</td> <td>&nbsp;GM204</td> <td>&nbsp;GM204&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;GK110&nbsp;</td> <td class="item-dark">&nbsp;GK104</td> <td>Hawaii</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Core Clock (MHz)</td> <td>&nbsp;1,000</td> <td>&nbsp;837</td> <td>&nbsp;1,216</td> <td>&nbsp;1,088</td> <td>&nbsp;876</td> <td>&nbsp;889</td> <td>"up to" 1GHz</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Boost Clock (MHz)</td> <td>&nbsp;1,075</td> <td>&nbsp;876</td> <td>&nbsp;1,317</td> <td>&nbsp;1,228</td> <td>&nbsp;928</td> <td class="item-dark">&nbsp;941</td> <td>N/A</td> </tr> <tr> <td>VRAM Clock (MHz)</td> <td>&nbsp;7,010</td> <td>&nbsp;6,000</td> <td>&nbsp;7,000</td> <td>&nbsp;7,000</td> <td>&nbsp;7,000</td> <td>&nbsp;6,000</td> <td>5,000</td> </tr> <tr> <td>VRAM Amount</td> <td>&nbsp;12GB</td> <td>&nbsp;6GB</td> <td>&nbsp;4GB</td> <td>&nbsp;4GB</td> <td>&nbsp;3GB</td> <td>&nbsp;6GB</td> <td>4GB</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bus</td> <td>&nbsp;384-bit</td> <td>&nbsp;384-bit</td> <td>&nbsp;256-bit</td> <td>&nbsp;256-bit</td> <td>&nbsp;384-bit</td> <td>&nbsp;384-bit</td> <td>512-bit</td> </tr> <tr> <td>ROPs</td> <td>&nbsp;96</td> <td>&nbsp;48</td> <td>&nbsp;64</td> <td>&nbsp;56</td> <td>&nbsp;48</td> <td>&nbsp;48</td> <td>64</td> </tr> <tr> <td>TMUs</td> <td>&nbsp;192</td> <td>&nbsp;224</td> <td>&nbsp;128</td> <td>&nbsp;104</td> <td>&nbsp;240</td> <td>&nbsp;192</td> <td>176</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Shaders</td> <td>&nbsp;3,072</td> <td>&nbsp;2,688</td> <td>&nbsp;2,048</td> <td>&nbsp;1,664</td> <td>&nbsp;2,880</td> <td>&nbsp;2,304</td> <td>2,816</td> </tr> <tr> <td>SMs</td> <td>&nbsp;24</td> <td>&nbsp;15</td> <td>&nbsp;16</td> <td>&nbsp;13</td> <td>&nbsp;15</td> <td>&nbsp;12</td> <td>N/A</td> </tr> <tr> <td>TDP (watts)</td> <td>&nbsp;250</td> <td>&nbsp;250</td> <td>&nbsp;165</td> <td>&nbsp;145</td> <td>&nbsp;250</td> <td>&nbsp;250</td> <td>290</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Launch Date</td> <td>March 2015</td> <td>March 2013</td> <td>Sept 2014</td> <td>Sept 2014</td> <td>Nov 2013</td> <td>May 2013</td> <td>Oct 2013</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Launch Price</td> <td>&nbsp;$999</td> <td>&nbsp;$999</td> <td>&nbsp;$549</td> <td>&nbsp;$329</td> <td>&nbsp;$649</td> <td>&nbsp;$699</td> <td>$549</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>You probably noticed that the Titan X has a whopping 96 ROPs. These render output units are responsible for the quality and performance of your anti-aliasing (AA), among other things. AA at 4K resolutions can kill your framerate, so when Nvidia pitches the Titan X as a 4K card, the number of ROPs here is one of the reasons why. They've also made a return to a high number of texture mapping units. TMUs take a 3D object and apply a texture to it, after calculating angles and perspectives. The higher your resolution, the more pixels you're dealing with, so this is another change that serves 4K performance well.</p> <p>"SM" stands for "streaming multi-processor." Stream processing allows a GPU to divide its workload to be processed on multiple chips at the same time. In Nvidia's architecture, each one of these SMs contains a set of CUDA cores and a small amount of dedicated cache memory (apart from the gigabytes of VRAM listed on the box). Having 50 percent more SMs than your next-fastest card should give you an impressive jump in performance. The result won't be linear, though, becuase the Titan X has lower clock speeds—those extra one billion transistors on the Titan X generate additional heat, so lowering clocks is the main way of dealing with that. Its siblings the GTX 980 and 970 have "only" 5.2 billion transistors each, so they can set their clocks much higher.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/titanx2.jpg" width="620" height="390" /></p> <p>Despite all the silicon crammed into the Titan X, it still uses Nvidia's reference dimensions; it's only about 10.5 inches long, and it's not taller or wider than the slot bracket. If not for its darker coloring, you could easily confuse it for any baseline Nvidia card released in the past couple years. Its fan is noticeably quieter than the Titans that have come before, but it won't disappear into the background like we've seen (heard) when Nvidia's partners install their own cooling systems. If you want reliable quietude, you'll have to wait for EVGA's Hydro Copper version, which attaches to a custom water-cooling loop, or try your hand at <a title="Accelero Hybrid GTX 680 Review" href="" target="_blank">something like Arctic Cooling's Accelero Hybrid.</a></p> <p>One card arguably missing from our lineup is the Titan Black. However, <a title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti review" href="" target="_blank">the GTX 780 Ti</a> is basically the same thing, but with a 3GB frame buffer instead of a 6GB frame buffer, and slightly lower clock speeds.</p> <p><a title="AMD Radeon R9 290X review" href="" target="_blank">The Radeon R9 290X</a> is the fastest GPU that AMD currently has available, so we thought it would make for a good comparison, despite being about a year and a half old; and the MSI Lightning edition is arguably the beefiest version of it.</p> <p>Before we show you the benchmarks, here's the system that we used to test these cards:</p> <div class="spec-table orange" style="text-align: center;"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead></thead> <tbody> <tr> <td><strong>Part</strong></td> <td><strong>Component</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">CPU</td> <td class="item-dark">Intel Core i7-3960X (at stock clock speeds; 3.3GHz base, 3.9GHz turbo)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>CPU Cooler</td> <td>Corsair Hydro Series H100</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Mobo</td> <td class="item-dark">Asus Rampage IV Extreme</td> </tr> <tr> <td>RAM</td> <td>4x 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws X, 2133MHz CL9</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Power Supply</td> <td>Corsair AX1200</td> </tr> <tr> <td>SSD</td> <td>1TB Crucial M550</td> </tr> <tr> <td>OS</td> <td>Windows 8.1 64-bit</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Case</td> <td>NZXT Phantom 530&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p>Our Sandy Bridge-E system is getting a little long in the tooth, but the Intel Core i7-3960X is still quite a beefy chip and fine for benchmarking video cards. We'll probably be moving to the Haswell-E platform soon.</p> <p>We test with every game set to its highest graphical preset and 4x multi-sampled anti-aliasing (MSAA). Sometimes individual settings can be increased even further, but we leave these alone for more normalized results. That's because these settings are usually optimized for a specific brand of cards, which can end up skewing results. For example, we leave PhysX disabled. We did make one exception, to show you how much of an impact certain niche settings can have: At 3840x2160, we tested Tomb Raider with TressFX on, and TressFX off. Since this hair-rendering tech is an open spec, both Nvidia and AMD can optimize for it.</p> <p>MSAA is not an available setting in Tomb Raider, so we use 2x super-sample antialiasing (SSAA) instead. This form of AA generates a higher resolution frame than what the monitor is set at, and squishes the frame down to fit.</p> <p>All Nvidia cards in this roundup were tested with the 347.84 drivers, which were given to us ahead of release and are scheduled to be available for everyone to download on March 17th. The Titan X is also scheduled to hit retail on this day. We tested the R9 290X with <a href="" target="_blank">AMD's Omega drivers released in December</a>.</p> <h3 style="text-align: right;"><a title="GeForce Titan X Review Page 3" href=",2" target="_self">Click here to see the benchmarks and analysis!</a></h3> <hr /> <p>We test with a mix of AMD-friendly and Nvidia-friendly titles (it seems like you're either one or the other, these days); Metro: Last Light, Hitman: Absolution, and Tomb Raider usually favor AMD; Batman: Arkham Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Unigine Heaven favor Nvidia. In all cases, we use their built-in bechmarks to minimize variance.</p> <h3>1920x1080 Bechmark Results, Average Frames Per Second</h3> <h4 style="font-size: 12px;"> <div class="spec-table orange" style="font-weight: normal;"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead></thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>&nbsp;</p> </td> <td> <p>Metro:</p> <p>Last Light</p> </td> <td> <p>Arkham</p> <p>Origins</p> </td> <td> <p>Hitman:</p> <p>Absolution</p> </td> <td> <p>Shadow of</p> <p>Mordor</p> </td> <td> <p>Tomb</p> <p>Raider</p> </td> <td> <p>Unigine</p> <p>Heaven</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Titan X</td> <td>&nbsp;93</td> <td>&nbsp;127</td> <td>&nbsp;84</td> <td class="item-dark">&nbsp;106</td> <td>&nbsp;205</td> <td>&nbsp;97</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Titan</td> <td>&nbsp;63</td> <td>&nbsp;80</td> <td>&nbsp;63</td> <td>&nbsp;67</td> <td>&nbsp;129</td> <td>&nbsp;57</td> </tr> <tr> <td>980</td> <td>&nbsp;86</td> <td>&nbsp;99</td> <td>&nbsp;70</td> <td>&nbsp;93</td> <td>&nbsp;164</td> <td>&nbsp;79</td> </tr> <tr> <td>970</td> <td>&nbsp;71</td> <td>&nbsp;81</td> <td>&nbsp;59</td> <td>&nbsp;72</td> <td>&nbsp;132</td> <td>&nbsp;61</td> </tr> <tr> <td>780 Ti</td> <td>&nbsp;72</td> <td>&nbsp;84</td> <td>&nbsp;70</td> <td>&nbsp;77</td> <td>&nbsp;142</td> <td>&nbsp;69</td> </tr> <tr> <td>780</td> <td>&nbsp;67</td> <td>&nbsp;77</td> <td>&nbsp;65</td> <td>&nbsp;71</td> <td>&nbsp;122</td> <td>&nbsp;62</td> </tr> <tr> <td>290X</td> <td>&nbsp;82</td> <td>&nbsp;111</td> <td>&nbsp;64</td> <td>&nbsp;84</td> <td>&nbsp;143</td> <td>&nbsp;65</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </h4> <p>You probably noticed that the GTX 780 trades blows with the original GTX Titan, despite the Titan having better specs. The 780 benefits from a higher clock speed and an enhanced cooler designed by Asus. Historically, Nvidia has not allowed its partners to use vendor-specific coolers on the Titan cards, so the other cards with slightly lower specs and better cooling could catch up with some overclocking. However, Nvidia says that the Titan X was highly overclockable despite using a reference cooler, so we'll be exploring that soon.</p> <p>The 780 Ti handily beats the original Titan despite also using reference clock speeds, because the Ti variant is basically a Titan Black, which is the sequel to the original Titan and came out about a year later. (And the Titan X is a physically black card, while the Titan Black is not. It can get a little confusing.)</p> <p>Meanwhile, the R9 290X beats all the Kepler generation cards, except in Hitman: Absolution, which is usually a bastion for AMD's GPUs. It looks like Nvidia has figured out some driver optimizations here.</p> <p>In general, the Titan X says to the other cards, "Get on my level." It's clearly operating on a different tier of performance.&nbsp;<a title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Review" href="" target="_blank">The GTX 980</a> also stays generally ahead of the 290X by a comfortable margin.</p> <h3>2560x1440 Bechmark Results, Average Frames Per Second</h3> <h4 style="font-size: 12px;"> <div class="spec-table orange" style="font-weight: normal;"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead></thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>&nbsp;</p> </td> <td> <p>Metro:</p> <p>Last Light</p> </td> <td> <p>Arkham</p> <p>Origins</p> </td> <td> <p>Hitman:</p> <p>Absolution</p> </td> <td> <p>Shadow of</p> <p>Mordor</p> </td> <td> <p>Tomb</p> <p>Raider</p> </td> <td> <p>Unigine</p> <p>Heaven</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Titan X</td> <td>&nbsp;64</td> <td>&nbsp;90</td> <td>&nbsp;60</td> <td class="item-dark">&nbsp;77</td> <td>&nbsp;129</td> <td>&nbsp;61</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Titan</td> <td>&nbsp;44</td> <td>&nbsp;58</td> <td>&nbsp;43</td> <td>&nbsp;49</td> <td>&nbsp;77</td> <td>&nbsp;38</td> </tr> <tr> <td>980</td> <td>&nbsp;59</td> <td>&nbsp;71</td> <td>&nbsp;46</td> <td>&nbsp;67</td> <td>&nbsp;105</td> <td>&nbsp;48</td> </tr> <tr> <td>970</td> <td>&nbsp;47</td> <td>&nbsp;59</td> <td>&nbsp;39</td> <td>&nbsp;51</td> <td>&nbsp;81</td> <td>&nbsp;36</td> </tr> <tr> <td>780 Ti</td> <td>&nbsp;51</td> <td>&nbsp;62</td> <td>&nbsp;48</td> <td>&nbsp;56</td> <td>&nbsp;86</td> <td>&nbsp;42</td> </tr> <tr> <td>780</td> <td>&nbsp;47</td> <td>&nbsp;59</td> <td>&nbsp;44</td> <td>&nbsp;52</td> <td>&nbsp;80</td> <td>&nbsp;40</td> </tr> <tr> <td>290X</td> <td>&nbsp;54</td> <td>&nbsp;83</td> <td>&nbsp;54</td> <td>&nbsp;63</td> <td>&nbsp;91</td> <td>&nbsp;40</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </h4> <p>As we ratchet up the resolution (while keeping all other graphical settings the same) we see the performance separation begin. While everyone comfortably sustained 60-plus fps at 1080p, older GPUs struggle to maintain that threshold at 2560x1440, as does the GTX 970. We're pushing 77 percent more pixels onto the screen, and the original Titan's relatively low number of ROPs, low clock speeds, and Kepler-generation CUDA cores combine to make an obstacle that the other cards don't have to deal with. The new Titan X is producing well over 50 percent more frames in some of these tests, despite generating less noise, about the same amount of heat, and costing about the same. Wringing these kind of gains from the same 28nm process node is pretty impressive. It comfortably beats AMD's best card in every test. Tomb Raider and <a title="Batman: Arkham Origins review" href="" target="_blank">Batman: Arkham Origins</a> distinguish themselves as two particularly well-optimized games.&nbsp;</p> <p>The R9 290X remains ahead of Nvidia's Kepler cards and pulls away in Hitman. AMD's 512-bit bus provides a wide pipe for memory bandwidth, and that advantage emerges once you move past 1080p. It's not until we encounter newer premium cards like the GTX 980 and Titan X that we find a competitive alternative from Nvidia. And when the Titan X arrives, it makes a statement, decisively maintaining 60-plus fps no matter what we threw at it. We'd want nothing less from a card that costs nearly three times as much as the 290X. The GTX 980 gets more mixed results here, but it still looks like a great card for playing at this resolution.</p> <h3>3840x2160 Bechmark Results, Average Frames Per Second</h3> <h4 style="font-size: 12px;"> <div class="spec-table orange" style="font-weight: normal;"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead></thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>&nbsp;</p> </td> <td> <p>Metro:</p> <p>Last Light</p> </td> <td> <p>Arkham</p> <p>Origins</p> </td> <td> <p>Hitman:</p> <p>Absolution</p> </td> <td> <p>Shadow of</p> <p>Mordor</p> </td> <td> <p>Tomb</p> <p>Raider*</p> </td> <td> <p>Unigine</p> <p>Heaven</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Titan X</td> <td>&nbsp;35</td> <td>&nbsp;53</td> <td>&nbsp;33</td> <td class="item-dark">&nbsp;44</td> <td>&nbsp;44/60</td> <td>&nbsp;26</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Titan</td> <td>&nbsp;24</td> <td>&nbsp;34</td> <td>&nbsp;22</td> <td>&nbsp;25</td> <td>&nbsp;26/37</td> <td>&nbsp;18</td> </tr> <tr> <td>980</td> <td>&nbsp;32</td> <td>&nbsp;41</td> <td>&nbsp;24</td> <td>&nbsp;37</td> <td>&nbsp;36/48</td> <td>&nbsp;20</td> </tr> <tr> <td>970</td> <td>&nbsp;24</td> <td>&nbsp;32</td> <td>&nbsp;19</td> <td>&nbsp;28</td> <td>&nbsp;27/37</td> <td>&nbsp;15</td> </tr> <tr> <td>780 Ti</td> <td>&nbsp;27</td> <td>&nbsp;38</td> <td>&nbsp;23</td> <td>&nbsp;32</td> <td>&nbsp;29/40</td> <td>&nbsp;19</td> </tr> <tr> <td>780</td> <td>&nbsp;26</td> <td>&nbsp;35</td> <td>&nbsp;23</td> <td>&nbsp;30</td> <td>&nbsp;27/38</td> <td>&nbsp;18</td> </tr> <tr> <td>290X</td> <td>&nbsp;28</td> <td>&nbsp;41</td> <td>&nbsp;29</td> <td>&nbsp;37</td> <td>&nbsp;31/43</td> <td>&nbsp;17</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </h4> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-weight: normal;">*<em>TressFX on/TressFX off</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal;">When you look at these results, it's important to keep in mind that our review process does not aim for playable framerates. We want to see how these cards perform when pushed to the limit. Despite this demanding environment, the Titan X remains a viable solo card to have at 4K, though it's still not ideal (putting aside for the moment <a title="4K Monitors: Everything You Need to Know" href="" target="_blank">the technical resolution difference between DCI 4K and Ultra HD 4K</a>). The good news is that 4xMSAA is arguably not needed at a resolution this high, unless you're gaming on a big 4K HDTV that's less than a couple of feet from your eyes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal;">Those with screens that are 32 inches or smaller will probably be fine with 2xMSAA, or some version of SMAA (</span><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;">Enhanced Subpixel Morphological Antialiasing), which is known to be quite efficient while producing minimal blurriness and shimmering. Nvidia's TXAA (Temporal Anti-Aliasing) can be a good option when you have one of the company's cards and are playing a game that supports the feature. And with the Maxwell generation of cards (the Titan X, GTX 980, and GTX 970), you also have MFAA, or&nbsp;Multi-Frame Sample Anti-Aliasing. The company claims that this gets you 4xMSAA visual quality at the performance cost of 2xMSAA.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;">The GTX 780 nearly catches up with the 780 Ti at this resolution, again demonstrating the importance of clock speeds, although the difference is pretty modest in this scenario. At 4K, this GTX 780's additional 3GB of VRAM also comes into play. The 6GB card spends less processing power on memory management. However, the 780 does not support 4-way SLI, if that's your thing. It's limited to 3-way SLI. The GTX 970 and 980 have the same difference with their SLI support. The GTX 960 is limited to only 2-way SLI. This is one of the methods that Nvidia uses to encouraging the purchase of their more expensive cards. All Titans support 4-way SLI.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;">The R9 290X maintains its lead over Kepler, though it shrinks inside the margin of error at times. It's weakest in Unigine Heaven, because this benchmark makes heavy use of tessellation (dynamically increasing surface complexity by subdividing triangles in real time), and that's something that Kepler and Maxwell do much better. In general, it's a very respectable performer, especially for the price, which has fallen to roughly that of a GTX 970. Since the 290X is meaningfully faster in every single benchmark that we used, and it bumps up against the GTX 980 when we get to 4K, it makes for a pretty good spoiler until the Titan X arrives and leapfrogs everyone in the contest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;"><img src="/files/u160416/titanx1.jpg" width="620" height="393" /></span></p> <h3><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;">Conclusion</span></h3> <p><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;">Overall, things are looking pretty rosy for the Titan X. Since it's packed with a huge amount of ROPs, SMs, shader processors, and VRAM, it's able to overcome the limitation of the aging 28nm process. The Maxwell-generation CUDA cores are also about 40 percent faster than the older Kepler version (by Nvidia's estimation, at least), and the company improved color compression for additional performance gains. It's not the Chosen One if you want to game with a single GPU at 4K, but you can get pretty close if you're willing to tweak a few graphical settings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: normal; font-size: 1em;">Also keep in mind that it was about one year ago when Nvidia debuted the GTX Titan Z, which has two Titan Black GPUs on a single card. So they may plan to drop a dual Titan X sometime soon, as well. And there's room in the lineup for a "980 Ti," since there's quite a spec gap (and price gap) right now between the GTX 980 and the GTX Titan X. If that's not enough, <a title="AMD Radeon R9 370 Core Edition Leaked" href="" target="_blank">rumors around AMD's next generation of video cards are reaching a boiling point</a>. There's always something new around the corner, isn't there? But if you're comfortable with this price tag, and you don't care about what AMD's got cooking, the Titan X is the fastest thing you'll find for gaming beyond 1080p.</span></p> Gaming gpu Hardware Nvidia Titan X sli Video Card Reviews Tue, 17 Mar 2015 19:00:13 +0000 Tom McNamara 29579 at Possible Look at Specifications and Performance for AMD's Radeon R9 390X <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_radeon_1.jpg" alt="AMD Radeon R9 290X" title="AMD Radeon R9 290X" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />A potentially beastly card in the making</h3> <p>Go ahead and apply the standard disclaimer about leaked specs not being verified or official, because that's certainly the case here. Disclaimer aside, we hope that <strong>unconfirmed specifications of the AMD's forthcoming Radeon R9 390X graphics card</strong> turn out to be accurate, because if they are, it's going to be a potent part that's up to 60 percent faster than AMD's Radeon R9 290X.</p> <p>The folks at <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Videocardz</em></a> asked their source if he could share additional information about AMD's new flagship graphics card, and to the site's surprised, he responded in kind with a few more goodies to digest. One of those goodies is that AMD scrapped plans to run with 4GB of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) Gen1 (1GB per stack) after Nvidia unveiled its Titan X graphics card. Now the plan is to release the Radeon R9 390X with 8GB, but Gen2 (2GB per stack), on a 4,096-bit bus (1,024-bit per stack). That should give the card around 1.25TB/s of memory bandwidth.</p> <p>The GPU is said to be a 28nm Fiji XT part with 4,096 unified cores and 256 Texture Mapping Units (TMUs). There's no mention of ROPs or core clockspeed, though the boost clockspeed is reportedly 1,050MHz. Other specs include a 1,250MHz memory clock, 8.6TFLOPS of compute performance, and either a 6+8 pin or dual 8-pin PCI-E configuration.</p> <p>There's also a performance slide that was leaked, and if it's accurate, performance will be up to around 1.65 times that of the Radeon R9 290X in 4K gaming.</p> <p>Reports from elsewhere on the web have the card debuting at around $700, which is also unconfirmed.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd Build a PC Fiji Gaming gpu graphics card Hardware Radeon R9 390X Video Card News Mon, 16 Mar 2015 15:41:48 +0000 Paul Lilly 29588 at Steam for Linux Goes Past 1,000-game Mark <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Steam for Linux" title="Steam for Linux" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />The client was released in February 2013</h3> <p>A couple of years after its official release, <strong>Valve’s Steam for Linux initiative is making steady progress</strong>. It recently notched up a significant milestone when the <a href=";term=test#sort_by=_ASC&amp;category1=998&amp;os=linux&amp;page=1" target="_blank">number of Linux-compatible games on Steam</a> breached the 1,000 mark.</p> <p>Granted, this number still pales in comparison to Windows’ tally of nearly 4,800 compatible games, but we believe both Valve and Linux users would have gladly taken it had someone whispered it to them at the time of Steam’s release on Linux. And for all its worth, the rate at which Linux-compatible games are appearing on Steam is a gallop compared to the crawl of Steam-powered Mac gaming, which has labored its way to just over 1,600 titles in the nearly five years that the Steam for OS X client has been available.</p> <p>The question now is: Can Valve prove the naysayers wrong once again and successfully orchestrate the invasion of Linux into the living room through SteamOS (a Linux distro built around Steam) and <a href="" target="_blank">Steam Machines</a> (pre-built SteamOS-powered gaming PCs)? The success of these two initiatives is Linux users’ best bet of ever seeing a critical mass of AAA titles for their OS of choice.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> games Gaming Software steam for linux steam machines steamos Valve News Mon, 16 Mar 2015 05:26:26 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29584 at Asus ROG Lifts Curtain Ultra Slim G501 Laptop with 4K Display, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_g501.jpg" alt="Asus ROG G501" title="Asus ROG G501" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Slim and sexy, but is it fast enough?</h3> <p>Typically when a graphics company announces a new GPU, as Nvidia did yesterday with its GeForce GTX 960M and 950M additions, hardware partners follow suit with systems build around the parts. And so it goes, as today <strong>Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) unveiled the G501, a thin and light 15.6-inch gaming laptop</strong> with a 4K Ultra High Definition resolution powered by the GTX 960M.</p> <p>As a mid-range GPU in Nvidia's GeForce GTX 900M Series, I'm not sure the GTX 960M packs enough punch to drive a comfortable gaming experience at 4K (3840x2160; 282 pixels per inch), though I'll reserve judgement until the benchmarks provide a definitive answer. If not, there's always the option of dialing down the resolution and/or display settings. Since there are other benefits to a 4K display, doing so while gaming wouldn't necessarily defeat the purpose, though it's certainly something to consider.</p> <p>Both the GTX 950M and 960M were designed specifically for slim systems like the G501. In this instance, the G501 measures just 0.81 inches thick and weighs 4.54 pounds. Part of that is due to the lightweight aluminum construction. It also sports red bezel accents for added visual appeal, along with a red-backlit keyboard with 1.6mm of key travel and marked WASD cursor keys.</p> <p>Cooling chores are handed by two fans and copper heat pipes. The CPU and GPU are independently cooled based on each one's demands, resulting in a cool and quiet laptop.</p> <p>Rounding out the feature-set is an Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 512GB PCI-E x4 solid state drive, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, SD card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Thunderbolt, headphone/mic combo port, 96Wh battery, and Windows 8.1 64-bit.</p> <p>The Asus ROG G501 will begin shipping in April for $1,999.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus G501 Gaming GeForce GTX 960M Hardware laptop notebook OEM Republic of Gamers rigs ROG News Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:40:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 29581 at Nvidia Unveils Titan X Graphics Card at GDC <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/titan_x.jpg" alt="Titan X" title="Titan X" width="231" height="177" style="float: right;" />A new top-end GPU</h3> <p>It was speculated that Nvidia might announce a new Titan graphics card during GDC, and that's what the company did—in a somewhat dramatic fashion. It happened at the tail end of an Unreal Engine panel. As Epic founder Tim Sweeny wrapped up his discussion on the state of Unreal, <strong>Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang surprised attendees by emerging on stage to unveil the company's Titan X</strong>.</p> <p>He called it the "world's most advanced GPU," though was short on details. What he <em>was</em> willing to divulge about the card is that it has 12GB of onboard memory and 8 billion transistors. For the sake of comparison, Titan Black has 7.1 billion transistors and 6GB of GDDR5 memory.</p> <p>"It’s the most advanced GPU the world has ever seen," Jen-Hsun said.</p> <p>He then presented the company's first production unit to Sweeny, though not before autographing the box in came in.</p> <p>Nvidia will release more details about the card during the upcoming GTC event that runs from March 17–20.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Build a PC Gaming GDC 2015 graphics card Hardware nvidia Titan X Video Card News Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:16:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 29540 at Maingear Unveils Drift Steam Machine, Starts Taking Pre-Orders <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/maingear_drift.jpg" alt="Maingear Drift" title="Maingear Drift" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />Drift PC console moves full Steam ahead</h3> <p>It's taken a lot longer than anticipated, but official Steam Machines are scheduled to release in November of this year, <a href="">Valve announced</a> at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC). That means you can expect plenty of Steam Machine announcements, some of which have already <a href="">started rolling in</a>. One in particular is <strong>Maingear's Drift, an ultra-compact Steam Machine and gaming PC that you can pre-order today</strong> and have in your hands next month.</p> <p>How is it possible to own a Steam Machine before November? Well, Steam OS won't arrive until November, but as we've seen, OEMs and boutique builders aren't waiting around—they're shipping systems now that run Windows and have the option of booting directly into Steam's Big Picture mode. So it goes with Maingear's Drift.</p> <p>It offers full-size desktop performance in a console uni-body constructed from aluminum. There are several color options and, for a fee ($199 to $299), Maingear will happily paint the chassis using Glasurit paint, the same that goes onto the likes of Porcshe and BMW.</p> <p>There are two main (and customizable) configurations to choose from. The first is the Drift with an Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition G3258 processor slipped into an MSI H81-I motherboard, 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card, 500GB Seagate Barracuda HDD (7,200rpm), 8X DVD burner, 450W Silverstone PSU, and Windows 8.1 64-bit. This configuration starts at $949.</p> <p>The second starting point is the Drift SS beginning at $1,949. For that, you get bumped up to an Intel Core i5 4590 CPU, Gigabyte GA-Z97N-WIFI motherboard, Maingear Epic 120 Supercooler, Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, and a 250GB Samsung 850 Evo SSD to go along with the 500GB HDD.</p> <p>If you're interested, you can head over to the <a href="" target="_blank">Drift's product page</a> and customize your build right now.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Drift Gaming GDC 2015 Hardware maingear OEM rigs steam machine News Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:53:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29538 at Graphics Porn (February 2015): Space Engine, Skyrim, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and More <!--paging_filter--><h3 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 21px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;"><img src="/files/u162579/16299201755_f5f489d8a4_k.jpg" alt="Need for Speed" title="Need for Speed" width="250" height="105" style="float: right;" />Showcasing the sexiest, most photogenic game screenshots this side of the Internet</span></h3> <p>We're celebrating February with a gallery full of amazing screenshots. As always we've got a few obligatory Minecraft and Skyrim screens, but we've also got shots from newer games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Ultraworld. Some supremely helpful folks over at <a href="" target="_blank">/r/GamerPorn</a> have again volunteered their work for this month's edition of <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Graphics Porn</strong></a>.</p> <p><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;"><em><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">Whether you've been following our&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" title="screenshots" href="" target="_blank">handy-dandy guide on how to capture beautiful-looking game screens</a>&nbsp;</span>or&nbsp;<span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">simply print-screening some beautiful wallpaper-worthy game moments, we want to be able to share your captured works of art with the world. If you think you can do better than the pictures submitted below, please email your screenshots to&nbsp;</span><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-color: transparent; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" href="" target="_blank"></a><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">&nbsp;so we can show them off. Make sure to include the name of the game, a title for the screenshot, and a description of what's happening on-screen.</span></em></span></p> Dragon Age: Inquisition features Gaming Graphics Porn screenshots Skyrim Space Engine Features Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:34:15 +0000 Ben Kim 29323 at MSI AG270 2PE All-in-One Gaming PC Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>A true AIO designed for gaming</h3> <p>It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a “gaming all-in-one” PC, so it’s refreshing to get MSI’s AG270 in our lab. The AIOs we usually get come with weaksauce mobile GPUs such as Nvidia’s 630M, or worst yet, no discrete graphics card at all. That isn’t the case with this AIO, which comes with the GeForce GTX 880M. For those unfamiliar with this top-of-the-line mobile GPU, it has a 954MHz graphics clock and 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM that’s clocked at 2,500MHz. As far as mobile GPUs go, there are none faster at the moment.</p> <p>But the first thing you’ll notice is this AIO’s 27-inch touchscreen monitor. With a chassis measuring 2.6x26.5x19.5 inches, it’s big. Aesthetically, it’s mostly black with streaks of red and some MSI dragon logos sprinkled about. It’s not too garish, but lets you know it isn’t a regular AIO. All propped up on a single sturdy leg, you can bend the AIO back 45 degrees. You can also secure the monitor on a VESA mount.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="" alt="MSI AG270 2PE All-in-One Gaming PC " title="MSI AG270 2PE All-in-One Gaming PC " width="620" height="350" /></p> <p>Speaking of the monitor, it’s a 1080p screen. While most other AIOs use the same resolution, we’re a bit disappointed, considering this monitor has a powerful GPU. We don’t need 4K here, but is 2560x1440 too much to ask? The monitor is actually a bit of a letdown in general. It uses a matte non-glare display, but it ends up having a slight white haze to it. We did experience an odd issue in Steam’s Big Picture mode, where the screen would flicker, but we suspect the problem lay with drivers or software rather than hardware. The monitor isn’t a deal breaker, however, and even features “less blue light,” which MSI claims relieves eye strain. In addition, the screen features very responsive digitizers, and finger painting with its 10-point touch screen was as responsive as we’ve ever seen on an AIO.</p> <h4>The Fast and the Furious</h4> <p>But what really separates the AG270 from other AIOs are its enthusiast components. The star of the show is the aforementioned 880M GPU, which ran multiple circles around our Asus ET2300 zero-point’s 630M counterpart. We’re talking on a scale of 400 to 500 percent or more. It’s not going to run games maxed out, but it should run most AAA games on high with playable frame rates. While the gains from the 2.4GHz Core i7-4860HQ CPU weren’t quite as dramatic, it still outperformed our ZP’s 3GHz Core i5-3330 by 20 to 25 percent, which is quite impressive for CPU gains.</p> <p>It’s also far from being a slouch in the storage department. Featuring two 128GB SSDs in a blazing-fast “Super RAID 2“ configuration, it showcased read and write speeds of 1,048MB/s and 633MB/s in CrystalDiskMark, respectively. Super RAID 2 supports up to three mSATA devices in RAID while supporting trim on the SSDs. The AIO also features 802.11AC to ensure you get the fastest online gaming experience possible over Wi-Fi. And there’s a 2TB HDD for mass storage and 16GB of RAM to round out the package.</p> <p>In terms of physical ports and features on the package itself, the G270 has Ethernet, VGA, HDMI-in/out, four USB ports on the back, plus 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks. On the right of the monitor is a Blu-ray burner, on the left two USB 3.0 ports, volume buttons, monitor adjustments buttons, and power button.</p> <p>While most modern AIOs ship with a wireless keyboard-and-mouse combo, the MSI AG270 comes with wired equivalents. Considering this is designed as a gaming AIO where a little input lag can mean the difference between virtual life and death, we don’t mind the cables too much. What we does bother us, however, is the fact that both accessories are subpar, especially the keyboard. It feels flimsy and the keys are janky enough to hamper your typing experience. We also didn’t like that the main Enter key is tiny. Still, you could always spend a little more money to purchase a real set of gaming peripherals.</p> <p>Of course, this adds to the cost, which is this AIO’s biggest issue. At $2,600, you’re paying a premium for the form factor. You could easily build a much more powerful PC for less dough, going the traditional DIY desktop route, and you’d have something more modular in the long run. If you have to get your gaming fix with a touchscreen AIO, however, you could certainly do worse than MSI’s AG270.</p> aio Gaming GeForce GTX 880M msi nvidia pc From the Magazine Tue, 17 Feb 2015 04:05:56 +0000 Jimmy Thang 29595 at Nvidia Press Invite Teases New Gaming Product Launch <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/tegra_k1_0.jpg" alt="Nvidia Tegra K1" title="Nvidia Tegra K1" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Mysterious product announcement is three weeks away</h3> <p>Quick, does anyone have Encyclopedia Brown on speed dial? Kudos, by the way, if you know who that is. And if you do, perhaps you're good at solving mysteries. That trait might come in handy when trying to figure out what Nvidia has in store for three weeks from now. <strong>Nvidia's been sending out press invites for a "special event" that will take place on March 3rd</strong>, and at that time it will reveal a product that promises to "redefine the future of gaming."</p> <p>Are you donning your detective cap? Then here goes.</p> <p>"I would like to invite you to attend a very special event on March 3rd. More than 5 years in the making, what I want to share with you will redefine the future of gaming. I look forward to seeing you there," Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang states on the invite.</p> <p>While we'd love it if Nvidia shocked the world with a new and affordable GPU that's capable of 8K gaming with all the settings maxed out, early speculation suggests this is a mobile play. Part of the reason for that is because Nvidia showed off its <a href="" target="_blank">Tegra X1 "super chip"</a> at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month, though not with any accompanying devices.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_invite.jpg" alt="Nvidia Invite" title="Nvidia Invite" width="609" height="601" /></p> <p>The odds-on favorite right now is that Nvidia will announce a next generation Shield Tablet built around Tegra X1. Other than that, however, it's a guessing game as to what other hardware and features will be included.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Gaming Hardware nvidia News Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:23:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 29413 at Razer Sharpens Blade Laptop with 3K Touchscreen, Faster Hardware <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_blade_2015.jpg" alt="Razer Blade 2015" title="Razer Blade 2015" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Refreshed Blade sees several upgrades</h3> <p>Razer's original Blade laptop is officially old news. That's because <strong>Razer today introduced a pair of refreshed Blade gaming notebooks</strong>, one with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) IPS display and the other with a touch-enabled QHD+ 3K IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panel. Both models feature updated internals, including a faster CPU and GPU, though no Broadwell inside.</p> <p>The higher end model boasts a 14-inch panel and is still being billed as the thinnest and lightest gaming laptop in its size class. What that translates into is a 4.47-pound laptop measuring 13.6 inches (W) by 0.70 inches (H) by 9.3 inches (D).</p> <p>Powering the display is a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor (2.6GHz to 3.66GHz), 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics with 3GB of onboard memory. Other hardware and features include 128GB/256GB/512GB SATA M.2 SSD storage options, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, 2MP webcam, backlit anti-ghosting keyboard, and Windows 8.1 64-bit.</p> <p>As before, the Blade comes housed in a precision-cut CNC aluminum chassis. Inside is a custom designed trckpad and the aforementioned backlit keyboard, which also sports programmable keys powered by Razer's Synapse software.</p> <p>Pricing for the higher end model <a href="" target="_blank">starts at $2,200</a>, and you can place your order now. Alternately, the non-touch Full HD 1080p version features similar specs, but with half the RAM (8GB) and only a 256GB SSD option. That one's <a href="" target="_blank">priced at $2,000</a> and is also available to order now, though ships in 3-4 weeks.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> blade Gaming Hardware laptop notebook razer News Tue, 03 Feb 2015 17:31:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 29360 at