There are a few ways to acquire AMD's new FX chips
A lot of DIY enthusiasts were surprised to hear AMD would be offering the first off-the-shelf 5GHz CPU recently, so naturally their thoughts turned to whether or not it would be possible to procure one of these rare CPUs in the near future.
We had the same though, so we did some investigating. Originally, we had heard the only way to get your grubby hands on the FX-9590 and FX-9370 would be to buy a pre-built system from vendors such as iBuypower, Stealth Machines, Maingear, and Falcon Northwest. However, several sites reported that the chips appeared briefly on Tiger Direct a few days ago, but by the time the story broke both chips were already out of stock. This also seemed to defy the reports that it would not be available as a retail part.
There was a time when home automation was a toy only for the wealthy (for whom it worked because they could afford the incredibly expensive hardware) or the extremely geeky (for whom it sometimes worked because the hardware they could afford was reasonably priced but buggy— we’re talking about you, X10). Belkin hopes to change that with its WeMo line.
Note: This article was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Budget is as budget does, but Silverstone’s RL04 just feels incomplete—or ill-designed—across a number of key areas. We suppose this case is worth looking into if you’re tired of running all your parts and pieces on an open-air design—as in, propped up on cardboard boxes or Styrofoam. Otherwise, it’s worth your while to explore some of the other cases in the sub-$80 category; the RL04 just isn’t all that compelling.
Note: This review was taken from the May issue of the magazine.
Update: Leaked Intel Roadmap Reveals New Batch of Haswell Chips
Faster hardware shouldn’t be this somber. Yet we can’t help but furrow our brow in concern over Intel’s fourth-generation Core i7 CPU. Yes, in typical Intel fashion, it’s a tour de force of technical achievement and features that’s the envy of the free world. It’s also, by the way, quite fast.
How fast? *Spoiler alert* Let’s just say that the new Core i7-4770K easily unseats the previous midrange sweetheart, the Core i7-3770K, as the best all-around performer, and even gives the high-end hexa-core part a hard time.
Just before the release of the GeForce GTX Titan this month, AMD held a conference call with tech media to reiterate its position in the market today, its plans going forward, and to drive home one particular point: AMD has the fastest hardware available, period. At the time of the call, we thought, “Well, that’s debatable.” But AMD pressed on, and further clarified its position by stating that the Asus Ares II was the fastest GPU available, bar none. Since most of us on the call hadn’t seen that card, and most people never will since only 999 were produced, we didn’t dispute the claim, nor did we have the data to know if the claim was correct. Well, about a week later, the card arrived from Asus and now that we’ve run the benchmarks, it looks like AMD was telling the truth—the Ares II is without a doubt the fastest single-card GPU available. So step aside, Nvidia GeForce GTX 690, there’s a new sheriff in town, and it’s not only faster in benchmarks, it runs cooler and quieter, to boot.
Note: This review was originally featured in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.
Video card vendors have an overclocking frenzy with Nvidia’s newest GPU
Nvidia dropped its new GTX 760 this week and gave gamers a cheaper 700-Series card in the process. MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, and EVGA have all recently announced overclocked $260 versions of the card as a result.
With both Intel’s Haswell and Nvidia’s new 700M-series components shrinking and sipping less power, the super-portable, 14-inch, gaming laptop revolution is about to begin. Leading the charge is Razer with its ultra-sleek new Razer Blade gaming notebook, which is a smaller take on the 17-inch version (since rebranded as Razer Blade Pro) we reviewed in our Holiday issue.
Several months ago, the supreme high-end SSDs from Corsair and Samsung faced off in the Octagon known as the top of our desk area that holds drives being tested. In that blood-curdling battle (in which neither drive moved nor made a sound), the Samsung 840 Pro was victorious, vanquishing its opponent by a slim margin in a contest where zero trash talk was delivered by either storage device. This month, Round Two commences as the companies’ value-conscious SSDs clash like cars in a demolition derby by sitting quietly on a test bench while we perform benchmarks upon them. Neither of these drives is as fast as their top-tier brethren, but they are priced accordingly, and both are a damned-good value.
Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of the magazine.
Sony markets its Vaio Tap 20 as a mobile desktop, but you could say that about any portable computer. We think “laptablet” is closer to the mark. With its 20-inch display, the Tap 20 is both a big laptop and a gargantuan tablet. And it wouldn’t make any sense at all without Windows 8.
Note: This review was taken from the April issue of the magazine.