Not quite the fastest single-card, but definitely the fastest Single GPU
On Tuesday we posted our preview of the GK110-based Geforce GTX Titan from Nvidia, and like all of yall we were eager to stuff the Titan into a test system to see what it could do in both single-card and dual-card configurations. Now that the dust has settled and our initial testing is complete, we have to say we think we misunderstood what Nvidia was said to us when we asked them how the Titan compares to the GTX 690. The Titan is one hellishly fast single GPU, but it's not the fastest single-card solution for gaming. That title still rests comfortably with the dual-GPU GTX 690.
A massive GPU that’ll be hard to find, and even harder to beat
Today Nvidia is pulling the wraps off the GK110-based GeForce GTX Titan, a single-GPU card that is expected to easily capture the title of Baddest Ass GPU in the world when benchmarks are released this Thursday, February 21st. The Titan is Nvidia’s “Big Kepler” GPU, and has double the transistors and almost double the CUDA cores of the mid-range GK104 chip found in its flagship GeForce GTX 680 GPU. Though it runs at a lower clock speed in stock trim, it should still offer a sizable performance improvement over the already capable GTX 680.
Today is February 14th, otherwise known as Valentines Day, but we're not here to share chocolate and roses. No, our true love is in computer hardware! We couldn't think of a better way to share the hardware we love than to give our Best of the Best section a big update.
It’s been more than a year since our last big case roundup, which focused on full-tower enclosures. In that time, case manufacturers haven’t been idle. The USB 3.0 spec finally got an internal header, new competitors joined the mid-tower market, and the price of a great case has steadily decreased. We gathered seven of the newest and most exciting mid-tower cases, all priced between $100 and $160, and put our two most seasoned case reviewers to the task of separating the run-of-the-mill from the cream-of-the-crop. We’ll leave no stone unturned and no metaphor unmangled. Yes, we’re on the case.
Note: This article was taken from the September issue of the magazine
Two 4TB drives with 7,200rpm spindles go platter-to-platter
Hardcore PC performance fanatics are rarely satisfied. For example, when we were first given 1TB hard drives, we were excited, but wanted 2TB. Then we got 2TB and wanted 3TB, and so on, until we had a 4TB drive in the Lab. When that drive finally arrived, rather than rejoicing, we continued griping because the drive in question was a Hitachi 5K4000, which spins at a lowly 5,400rpm. The capacity was appreciated, but we wanted a drive with 4TB of capacity and a 7,200rpm spindle speed (we actually want a 4TB SSD, but that’s beside the point). Now the griping shall cease (for the most part), as we finally have 4TB 7,200rpm drives from Hitachi and WD. These fine specimens are the fastest and largest drives of their kind, so if you’re a data hoarder with a need for speed, one of these drives belongs in your rig.
Western Digital’s first 4TB SATA hard drive is the one to get if you have a lot of data (and money).
We highlight the hardware that gets you the most performance per dollar spent
We all know that, generally speaking, buying the newest top-end part gets you the most performance. But in most cases, the premium you pay for that part covers a whole lot of other stuff as well that has no bearing on frame rates or video encoding times. We’re talking about the added cost of covering research and development, product marketing, lower production yields, etc. That high price also includes a vanity tax, if you will—the extra charge incurred by folks who simply want to have the latest hardware, hot off the fab, for bragging rights.
Note: This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of the magazine.
It (literally) pays to know all the crafty ways you can save money without sacrificing your power user cred
As much as we love ogling top-of-the-line PC hardware and fantasizing about price-be-damned rigs, we also love, love, love to stretch a dollar. Does that make us cheapskates? You betcha, if that’s what you want to call someone who doesn’t pay a premium when he or she doesn’t have to. Sign us up! In fact, where computing is concerned, knowing all the various angles to save a buck—a buck that can then be put toward new and better gear, mind you—is as much a part of being a power user as knowing how to flash a BIOS or overclock RAM. If you’re currently spending top dollar on your PC activities, it’s time you got schooled in the fine art of penny-pinching. From free software alternatives, to the best deals on all forms of digital entertainment, to hardware-buying tips, to our blueprint for a $600 PC, this year’s Cheapskate’s Guide can save you thousands of dollars and make you a more savvy consumer in the process.
Note: This article appeared in the October 2012 issue of the magazine.
LucidLogix Virtu Makes Hybrid Graphics on the desktop possible
Historically, integrated graphics, with their notoriously lackluster performance, have been of little interest to power users. But perceptions began to change with Intel’s Sandy Bridge, and later its Ivy Bridge, microarchitecture. While Sandy Bridge’s DX10-class, Intel HD 2000/3000 graphics engines aren’t cutting-edge by any means, they offer enough performance for many mainstream PC users, and consequently, helped Intel gain market share in the graphics race. Ivy Bridge further improves the situation with a more powerful graphics core outfitted with additional execution units and DX11 support. Whereas Intel’s HD 3000 offers 12 EUs, Ivy Bridge’s HD 4000 engine has 16.