Last month, AMD announced an all-new GPU dubbed the HD 7790 1GB based on new silicon named "Bonaire" that, at $150, was designed to slot in between its HD 7770 and the more-expensive HD 7850. Not surprisingly, Nvidia then announced a revamped “Boost” version of its GTX 650 Ti, with added support for dual-card SLI, higher clock speeds, and a 2GB frame buffer, countering AMD’s effort and shoring up what both companies refer to as the "GPU sweet spot." This month, AMD counterattacks Nvidia's counterattack with a 2GB version of the HD 7790 from Sapphire, leveling the playing field and raising the stakes by including a super-sweet game bundle. Can Nvidia's revamped 650 Ti Boost dominate the midrange GPU field, or is AMD's new silicon the better deal? And how do they measure up to the former champs in this price range? To help settle this feud once and for all, we benchmarked not just the new guys, but all of the cards in this tax bracket.
Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
Gmail vs.Outlook.com: the battle of the best email services
Your webmail inbox is the center of your online ecosystem, and not just for your primary email account, but for every other account you have that’s connected to it. Which one’s better? It’s time for the battle of the webmail giants, and it’ll be a doozy. In one corner, we have the Whale of Webmail, the defending champion inboxer: Gmail! In the other corner, the scrappy kid with a big name, the King of Clean, the Preview of Pain, Outlook.com!
Note: This feature was originally featured in the July 2013 issue of the magazine.
The doctor tackles Overheating CPUs, Caseless Computing, SSD Free Space, and more
The Cooler Does Nothing!
I have a PC I built in 2011 with an Asus P8P67 motherboard, EVGA GTX 570 GPU, 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-2600K CPU, and Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo cooler. When playing BF3, I consistently get temps around 90 degrees Celsius. I'm pretty sure this is dangerous territory, though I've never had any problems—no crashes or anything.
Note: This article was originally featured in our June 2013 issue of the magazine.
40 pictures that will make you wish you were there
AMD recently unveiled its new line of graphics cards that includes its new top tier R9 290X GPU, but this wasn’t some simple press release announcement, not be a longshot. To commemorate the announcement of its Hawaii GPUs, AMD invited over 100 tech journalists from all around the world to Hawaii for its GPU 14 Tech Day conference. For the journalists there, getting to attend the event was just as exciting as the announcements.
Pictures of Japanese booth babes, cosplayers, and more from the Tokyo Game Show!
The 2013 Tokyo Game Show took place in Makurai Messe in Chiba City just outside of Tokyo this past weekend. The gaming expo may feel like E3 for the first two business days with only media and businessmen inside. However, it gets more jam packed than Seattle's PAX gaming convention on days three and four, as any gamer can get in for about 10 bucks US. Complete with a cosplayer area, TGS is definitely a sight to behold!
What time is it? It's time to build a PC with our Blueprints! This month, we've built three rigs at three approximate price points: Budget, Baseline, and Performance. Budget gets you a capable but affordable rig, Baseline gets you a powerful that is suitable for gaming and content creation at 1080p, and Performance gets you even more.
These rigs are lab-tested and editor-approved. Feedback is, of course, welcome. Tell us what you think!
Nvidia's newest GPU was built to provide maximum horsepower to small gaming PCs, so we built a Mini-ITX system to see if the card would fit, and if it could keep cool and quiet under pressure
The Mission Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan video card has a serious cool factor. It's the fastest single-GPU card on the market, for one thing. And it beats the competition without sounding like a fighter jet or getting hot enough to trigger a meltdown. Finally, at 10.5 inches, it's shorter than the reigning single-card champ, the GTX 690, by half an inch, making the Titan suitable for deployment in small form factor (SFF) builds. In fact, when Nvidia launched this card, it specifically pointed out that it was designed for use in SSF rigs, so we just had to see how things would play out in a Mini-ITX environment. And why stop with the card? We figured we might as well throw in a nice CPU, motherboard, a fast SSD, and some extra cooling so we could dabble in overclocking. Even though we started off with the innocent goal of gauging the experience of building a Titan-based SFF rig, in the end we decided to see just how far we could push this tiny system, and came away surprised by how much performance can be had in a rig with such a small footprint.
Note: This feature was originally featured in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
Deputy Editor Gordon Ung gives you a tour around this year's benchmark-busting beast
Every year we set out to build the most kick-ass PC, where money is no object and performance rules the roost. This year's $16,000+ Dream Machine is no different. It's by far the most powerful PC we've ever built--shoot, it even cracked into 3DMark 11's esteemed Hall of Fame leaderboard!
The whole might be greater than the sum of its parts, but the parts are pretty damned impressive, as you will see in these behind-the-scenes videos of all the Dream Machine's components, with your host Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung!
Dream Machine 2013 pays homage to the PC's early days while being uncompromisingly cutting-edge at over $16,000
There’s an old saying that we stand on the shoulders of our predecessors, because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Sure, sometimes you may want to throw the CPU out with the liquid-cooling water, and shrink everything into a proprietary PC shaped like a garbage can, but that pays absolutely no respect to our past.
Rather than pretend to be with the cool kids in some chic, brushed-aluminum chassis, or lie our asses off that a 2-watt CPU/GPU is something to crow about, this year’s Dream Machine is an audacious tribute to all that has gone before it.