by Stuart Davidson | 08/05/2013
The ZOTAC ZBOX ID89 Plus contains the usual selection of 2.5in hard drive, wireless-n wi-fi and the like but manages to include support for dual channel memory and arrives kitted out with a Core i5 CPU. All in a chassis not much bigger than most external drive enclosures.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/05/2013
Today we take a look at ADATAs SX300 mSATA SSD, the 256GB model and will find out how it compares to a desktop SSD as well as a competing mSATA model.
by Stuart Davidson | 30/04/2013
Today we take a look at what the Seagate Barracuda 4TB drive has to offer in a selection of tests while also finding out how easy (or hard) it is to set up a large capacity drive like this in Windows 8.
by Stuart Davidson | 30/04/2013
Today sees the release of a new GTX Titan from ZOTAC, the AMP! Edition. This is the highest clocked air cooled Titan we have seen so far and we will be putting it up against the 7990 as well as the GTX 690 in a selection of the latest games which include Bioshock: Infinite, Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider. Of course as always we will look at GPU Computing, Media Playback, power, thermal, and acoustics as well as overclocking.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/04/2013
Today we have one of Toshiba's latest solid state drives for review, the THNSNH256GCST, which is ideal for desktops and portable systems thanks to its compact 7mm casing.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/04/2013
Looking to diversify their business even more ZOTAC recently released the RAIDBOX, a compact USB 3.0 enclosure which allows us to install two mSATA hard drives then RAID them for enhanced performance/data protection. Today we have a sample on our test bench, along with two high spec 256GB mSATA drives from ADATA.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/04/2013
Today we take the 7990 through a selection of real world gaming tests which include Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Battlefield 3, Tomb Raider, DOTA 2, SWTOR, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2. Mix that with the latest 3DMark, Heaven Benchmark, GPU computing, Media playback and all the usual power/thermal and overclocking tests... add frame latency and we have quite a lot to get through today.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/04/2013
Today we see Crucial attempt to drive the SSD market forward with the introduction of a SSD which has a capacity up to 960GB (so the best part of 1TB) while maintaining a price point which competes with 512GB models from the likes of Samsung and OCZ. Can the new M500 compete in performance as well as cost? In a selection of synthetic and real world tests we find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/04/2013
Today Futuremark are releasing, for free, a version of 3DMark which runs on Android (3.0 and above). This is their next step in allowing us to compare the latest mobile devices to each other with iOS support to follow soon. We have had some time with the new Android edition of 3DMark and today we have a selection of benchmark results from various devices as well as some information on the software itself.
by Kaeyi Dream | 28/03/2013
Earlier this week NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, at launch we reviewed the Palit GTX 650 Ti Boost Overclock Edition with our usual full coverage of the latest games including the FPS numbers, minimum framerate charts, and the new addition to our reviews latency charts. Now Kaeyi Dream gets hands on with this same card in her latest video review.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/03/2013
NVIDIA is looking to fill a bit of a gap in the middle of their product stack with a new model, the GeForce GTX 650Ti Boost and on our test bench we have an overclocked model. Well be putting it through a selection of the latest games, including Crysis 3, Tomb Raider and StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
by Stuart Davidson | 22/03/2013
Designed to replace the 7850 1GB in the AMD 7000 series, so between 7770 and 7850 2GB, this new product is AMDs attempt to offer a mainstream GPU with exceptional price to performance ratio.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/03/2013
There are a large number of consumers out there looking for the best price performance ratio and OCZ feel that one of the best ways to satisfy those needs is to take the an older (but not necessarily outdated) range and tweak the model to minimise costs. Enter the Vertex 3.20...
by Stuart Davidson | 18/03/2013
Today we are going to look at GPU reviews specifically (and may venture back into other categories in the future as motherboard reviews for example are also a mess in the review industry), taking a look at what WE feel makes for a quality review and why.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/03/2013
Today we have the 256GB version of the Ultra Plus connected to our test system and will find out how it compares to numerous alternative models.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/02/2013
Today we take the GTX Titan through a selection of real world gaming tests which include Crysis 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3, Hitman: Absolution, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Battlefield 3, Skyrim: Dragonborn, DOTA 2, SWTOR, Mass Effect 3, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2. Mix that with the latest 3DMark, Heaven Benchmark, GPU computing, Media playback and all the usual power/thermal and overclocking tests...
by Kaeyi Dream | 26/02/2013
We reviewed the Razer Blade Gaming Laptop earlier this month in our full hardware breakdown, but here is a closer look in video form with Kaeyi Dream talking us through the Blade system.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/02/2013
The Razer Blade (or New Razer Blade as we are now on a second revision) is a high end Ultrabook aimed at gamers. With a mobile i7 CPU, GeForce GTX 600 series graphics and a unique touch screen track pad it offers something that little bit different to the norm. Today we put it through a selection of real world tests including Crysis 3 and StarCraft 2 Heart of the Swarm.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/02/2013
Now Plextor have built a mSATA SSD around the latest Marvell controller and hope to offer desktop like SATA 6GB/s in the compact form factor. Today we find out how it compares to an existing mSATA SSD as well as some desktop models.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/01/2013
Recently Dell updated their all-in-one range to include the XPS One 27 inch (with optional touch screen). Providing a resolution of 2560x1440, i7 CPU and GeForce 600 series graphics on Windows 8 this could be the ideal home and office solution for those wanting to save space with a stylish chassis.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/01/2013
We will be taking EVGAs latest GTX 670, the FTW Signature 2 Edition and putting it head to head with the ASUS 7970 DirectCU2 to find out how each performs in games such as Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed and Hitman Absolution. Of course this will all be real world gaming and the usual GPU computing, media and power/thermal testing will be thrown in too.
by Stephanie Goody | 09/01/2013
Today we take our second look at Tahiti LE with the Sapphire 7870 XT (With Boost) and in this article will be maxing out its core and memory speed then checking how it performs in games like Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3 and Hitman Absolution against a max OC 660 Ti.
by Stephanie Goody | 08/01/2013
Today we have the latest SSD from PNY attached to our test system, the XLR8 Pro, putting it up against the best that Samsung and OCZ (amongst others) have to offer.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/01/2013
Plextor's SSD range is the subject of our review today and we are going to look at the M5 Pro, one of the first drives around to use Marvell's newest controller. How does it stack up against the likes of OCZ's Vector and the Samsung 840 Pro? Let's find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 20/12/2012
PowerColor are taking the Tahiti GPU, usually used in 7900 series cards, and pricing/configuring it at 7870 level. Call it Tahiti LE, 7950 Light... or 7870 Myst with PCS+ cooling. Today we take a look at how it performs in games like Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 3 and Hitman Absolution.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/12/2012
MSI's latest foray into the gaming/enthusiast laptop marketplace is the GT70 Dragon Edition. With components including the latest Ivy Bridge i7 CPU, SSDs in RAID, GTX 675MX Graphics and 16GB of memory in a 17" chassis... and some great extra specifications, today we find out whether the system can play the likes of Far Cry 3 and Hitman: Absolution.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/11/2012
Earlier this year we saw OCZ release the Vertex 4 and Agility 4 SSDs, a mix of Marvel and Indilinx inside they offered some impressive performance along with OCZs decent software suite and excellent support. Today sees the first product to market which combines the Indilinx and PLX teams knowhow. The Vector series of SSDs is, other than NAND flash, a 100% in house design and we will be putting it up against the best drives currently available from Samsung, Intel and OCZ themselves.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/11/2012
With a 17inch form factor, the latest i7 CPU, SSD and dual GPUs the P722 looks to pack as much performance in a desktop replacement system as possible. Today we will be putting one through its paces in a selection of synthetic and real world tests, including the Crysis 3 Alpha to find out if it is an attractive purchase.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/11/2012
In the last few months the SSD market has started to evolve again. Now we have drives which feature a wide range of controllers from various manufacturers that all look to offer the best balance of price/performance or features. Today we are taking a selection of the best and putting them up against each other in a Windows 8 environment.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/11/2012
One of the aspects of Windows 8 Pro that really stands out when using it is that the operating system feels very much like it is designed for new, touch based hardware. For that reason one of the devices that should offer a great experience is Surface, Microsofts own tablet which runs a streamlined version of Windows 8, Windows RT. Today we take a look at the Surface to see if the new Windows experience finds an ideal home on the new hardware and if the tablet itself can compete in the high end of the mobile market.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/10/2012
One company very much out to appeal to an enthusiast audience, whether they are on a mainstream or high end budget is Inno3D. With their iChill range of cards we get custom PCBs and proper enthusiast cooling; 3 fans on a 660 Ti and factory installed liquid cooling on a GTX 680... sounds great to us. Today we take a look at both models in a selection of real world gaming tests including Battlefield 3, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/10/2012
The GTX 650 Ti is available in two models, 1GB or 2GB, and today we have a selection of overclocked 2GB models on our test bench. We will be testing the 2GB Overclocked GTX 650 Tis against the comparable Radeon in a selection of games including Borderlands 2, Dishonored and Battlefield 3.
by Stuart Davidson | 21/09/2012
One company out to match and maybe even exceed Alienware in offering a compact alternative to Ultrabooks is Eurocom. Their Monster system manages to pack in an i7 CPU and impressive GeForce 600 series GPU into an 11" form factor and today we have one on our test bench.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/09/2012
It has only been a few weeks since the launch of the GTX 660 Ti but again NVIDIA are ready with a new card, two in fact, the GTX 650 and GTX 660. Today we will be focusing on the GTX 660 and looking at a couple of overclocked models using resolutions from 1920x1080 to 5760x1080. As always the latest games such as Max Payne 3 and Sleeping Dogs are covered and a little SLI is thrown in too.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/09/2012
In the mainstream arena one of the key products of the moment is the Radeon HD 7770, a card designed to offer an excellent price to performance ratio. For those who are on a limited budget keeping costs to a minimum can mean money spent elsewhere and with their FleX Edition Sapphire look to facilitate multi-screen gaming at minimal cost. Today we have their new Radeon 7770 FleX Edition (GHz Edition) on our test bench, but is 5760x1080 gaming achievable with it?
by Stuart Davidson | 30/08/2012
Recently AMDs partners were given the ability to design and release their own 7990 products (or 7970 X2 if you like). This would see two 7900 series GPUs on one PCB and every design would be different, PCB layouts, power spec, outputs, coolers... the works. One of the first to market with a 7990 is PowerColor with their Devil 13 card. This is as Extreme as Radeons currently get and today we put it head to head with the GTX 690 to find out which is best in the latest games.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/08/2012
One of the latest systems to be released in the Ultrabook category is Lenovo's U410 which has a hefty advertising campaign behind it and GeForce GPU inside. Today we have one on our test bench and will see how it compares to the last generation system to see what the Lenovo offers in real world use.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/08/2012
First up today is the Z77 FTW, a high end board for socket 1155 CPUs. With plenty of enthusiast features. We will also be taking a look at EVGA's factory overclocked GTX 670, two in fact, in the latest games including Max Payne 3 and Counter Strike Global Operations.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/08/2012
NVIDIA are ready to launch their latest 600 series GPU, the GTX 660 Ti and we have three factory overclocked models on our test bench today. First up is the EVGA SuperClocked, then the Palit JetStream and finally the Zotac AMP! We will put each up against overclocked versions of the GTX 670, 7950, 7870 and 560 Ti (448) in a selection of real world gaming tests including Max Payne 3 and Battlefield 3 to see where the GTX 660 Ti fits in.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/08/2012
With a 1.6GHz Tegra 3 processor inside, aluminium body and 1920x1200 resolution display the Transformer Pad Infinity is ASUS highest specification tablet to date; but is it their best?
by Stuart Davidson | 02/08/2012
One of the first manufacturers to get a 7970 GHz Edition to market is Sapphire and they haven't held back on their Toxic version. With 6GB of memory, custom cooler, redesigned PCB, improved build quality and a heavy overclock this is about as extreme as a 7970 gets.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/07/2012
Recently Xigmatek launched a new revision of their Dark Knight cooler, the Night Hawk Edition. Releasing a Dark Knight product at the moment has obvious advantages and today we find out if it lives up to the high quality we have come to expect from Xigmatek products.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/07/2012
On our test bench today is the latest product from the ASUS RoG brand, their Maximus V Formula motherboard. We will be comparing it to another Z77 board in a selection of real world and synthetic tests to find out how ASUS look to improve on the base design and how far they have pushed the enthusiast feature set... watercooled heatsinks anyone?
by Stuart Davidson | 26/06/2012
Since their first SSD Intel have taken a few approaches to building the devices. Initially they went with their own controllers within the drives and it is fair to say that those drives were some of the best in early generations. Since then we have seen them dabble with updated controllers under their own brand, try out Marvell and more recently release a Sandforce based drive in the form of the 520 series.
by Stuart Davidson | 22/06/2012
With a refined manufacturing process and a tweaked firmware/bios AMD are today launching a revised 7970 known as the GHz Edition, or XT2. We will be comparing that card to an overclocked, custom design GTX 680 and will dispense with the niceties, clocking our i7-3960X CPU at 5.0GHz and firing the resolution up as high as 5760x1080.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/06/2012
Sometimes in the technology industry there can be a real gap between what a product offers and what consumers need... or that until a consumer experiences something it seems like an unnecessary expense, or not worthwhile. Something which it would seem very much falls into one or both of those categories is multi-display gaming, either AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA Surround.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/06/2012
The Medion Erazer, in its latest incarnation, packs in Intel's Ivy Bridge platform along with NVIDIAs latest GTX 670M GPU and plenty of memory. We will be putting it through a selection of tests which include real world gaming, media and productivity tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 30/05/2012
Now featuring Ivy Bridge CPUs and NVIDIA 600 series GPUs the M14x is back and today we will be putting it through a selection of real world tests which include media encoding and playback as well as gaming. We'll be putting this i7 based laptop up against the original model in a selection of those tests to find out how much extra performance we can get and whether the system can game satisfactorily a its native resolution.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/05/2012
Following the success of the Prime ASUS have designed a new tablet which sits somewhere between the original Transformer and its follow up. Taking specifications from the newer model and a functionality from both that model is the Transformer Pad 300 and today we have it on our test bench.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/05/2012
It seems each manufacturer is going to take its own unique approach to building a card around the GTX 670 GPU with some going for compact models and others heading for larger PCBs with significant cooling solutions and overclocks. Inno3D fall into the second category and it is their custom GTX 670 which we have on our test bench today.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/05/2012
Today we see the first Vapor-X 7000 series card in the shape of a Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 Vapor-X OC Edition. This enhanced version of the 7770 runs at significantly higher clock speeds than the reference model on both core and memory and combines this with a dual fan, vapour chamber cooler and we will be putting it head to head against the GTX 560 in a selection of real world gaming and multimedia tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/05/2012
The GTX 670 takes the features of the GTX 680 and tweaks the configuration to hit a lower price point while still being competitive. We have two custom, factory overclocked GTX 670 cards on our test bench and will be putting them up against overlocked versions of the GTX 680, GTX 570, 7970 and 7950 to find out how each enhanced model performs when paired with an i7 CPU at 5.0GHz.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/05/2012
Today we will be putting the MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr through a selection of real world media, computing and gaming tests with titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim to see how it compares to an overclocked Radeon 7970.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/05/2012
CPUs like the i7-3960X sit at the top of Intel's product stack and if we are looking to build a top of the range system based around that CPU we need a quality board to maximise our features and performance. ASRock aim to deliver this with their X79 Extreme9 and today it is on our test bench as we put it through a selection of real world and synthetic tests. Can it offer as much as the newer Z77 boards, or maybe even more? Let's find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/05/2012
Today we get to look at the GTX 690, NVIDIAs dual GPU Kepler part, and will be putting it up against some of the best custom GTX 680 and Radeon 7970 cards along with CF and SLI configurations in the latest games such as Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim. GPU computing and HD playback will of course make an appearance and to top it off a card like this needs to run on a beefy CPU, so it's time to take the i7-3960X to 5.0GHz...
by Stuart Davidson | 02/05/2012
Today we update the battle between the 680 and 7970 by taking two of the most impressive models, both custom factory overclocked, and put them head to head in real world gameplay which includes Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim as well as media playback and GPU computing... enter the PowerColor HD 7970 PCS+ (Vortex 2) and Gainward GTX 680 Phantom.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/04/2012
Based on a well-known OEM design Sharkoon have added their own tweaks to the WMP series before setting it at a very attractive price. Today we review their 600w modular model.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/04/2012
Today Intel launch their CPU range and we are combining the i7-3770K with Gigabytes rather impressive looking G1.Sniper 3 and G1.Sniper M3 to find out if these components can make the ultimate Ivy Bridge System. Testing will of course include synthetic and real world, with the likes of 3DMark 11 and Battlefield 3 making an appearance with the GeForce GTX 680.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/04/2012
Based on a familiar chassis the GT683DXR offers high end mobile speakers, a full HD screen and powerful CPU/GPU combination. Did we mention the dual hard drives in Raid 0 or 8GB of DDR3-1333, upgradable to 32GB? No. Well read on to find out what MSI can offer for the mobile enthusiast.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/04/2012
Corsair are now offering their take on the solid state cache drive technology with the release of the Accelerator. With capacities of 30-60GB they aim to offer a solution for those even on a minimal budget. Today we put it head to head with the competition, Crucials Adrenaline, to see who comes out on top.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/04/2012
One manufacturer pushing DDR3 to ever higher specifications is GeIL and their latest range, called Black Dragon, features some rather attractive styling and LEDs as well as speeds well in excess of 2000MHz. We have the quad channel kit in our test system today and will find out what it offers in a selection of real world and synthetic tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/04/2012
The idea behind the Crucial Adrenaline and Nvelo's Dataplex software is that we drop in the SSD and use it as a high speed cache which allows our system to perform faster while using an existing mechanical drive for storage. Today we take a look at this solution to find out if it is the ideal solution for those who might not have the budget for a high end/capacity SSD.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/04/2012
At Cebit ZOTAC were giving select press a glimpse of a product which would soon hit the market, a new ultra compact ZBOX sytem which would be their smallest yet, but the claim was that performance would not be impacted. Today that ridiculously small system launches and we find out if the ZBOX Nano XS Plus (AD11) lives up to ZOTAC's claims.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/04/2012
Today we have the official Z77 launch and can talk about the boards based upon it without restrictions. So we have gathered a bundle from ASRock, ASUS, ECS, Intel and MSI to compare and find out which offers the best features and performance on Intels new chipset.
by Stuart Davidson | 04/04/2012
Today we have two of the new Vertex 4 drives on our test bench and will be comparing it in real world and synthetic test against drives based on the latest Sandforce, Marvell and Samsung controllers.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/03/2012
The Palit GTX 680 JetStream is a factory overclocked 3 slot, triple fan cooled card which aims to show the competition how a GTX 680 should be done. We will be putting it through a selection of real world gaming tests including Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim as well as overclocking it to the limit...
by Stuart Davidson | 27/03/2012
Today's case falls into the entry level gamer category and is the Thermaltake V3 BlacX Edition. Tt have tried to pack as many features as they can into this case including USB 3.0 and SSD support while keeping costs at a minimum so let's see how they have done.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/03/2012
Based on a custom design the XFX Radeon R7850 Black Edition Double Dissipation is factory overclocked and has a familiar look to the more expensive 7900 series XFX cards. Today we will take a look at it in a selection of the latest games to find out what it offers over a standard design. Additionally we will be taking a look at the various anti-aliasing modes available on the XFX card and how they affect performance and image quality.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/03/2012
We have already taken a look at single GPU performance and now it is time to update that article with a look at SLI, featuring ZOTAC's version of the GTX 680 in titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 with single screen and surround gaming as well as Stereoscopic 3D testing.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/03/2012
Take one ASUS GTX 680 2GB, overclock it to its limit... add one MSI R7970 Lightning, the highest spec AMD card around and overclock it to breaking point. Thrown in comparisons at 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 mixing with the latest games such as Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and SW: The Old Republic. Check cards are piping hot before completion and you have todays review.
by Stuart Davidson | 22/03/2012
Today we take a detailed look at gaming performance of the GTX 680 in titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 with single screen and surround gaming as well as Stereoscopic 3D testing. Added to that is GPU computing and media playback performance along with thermal, power, noise and overclocking results. Want to see how the GTX 680 does against the 7970 at its maximum overclock, or the GTX 580 OC 3GB we have that sorted too...
by Stuart Davidson | 21/03/2012
Sitting at the top of OCZ's recently announced Champ1on Series of Fatal1ty PSUs is the 80Plus Gold Certified 1000w model with modular cables and very distinct styling. We have that very version on our test bench today and will find out if gamers should be putting it at the top of their shopping list for new system builds... after all we all need a new system with AMD and NVIDIA throwing out new GPUs almost weekly.
by Stuart Davidson | 20/03/2012
Today we will put two of the top models, Sapphires OC Edition and XFX's DD Black Edition head to head in order to find out what they offer mainstream gamers looking for top performance in the latest games... including Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/03/2012
Today we have the most extreme 7970 we have received yet, the MSI Radeon 7970 Lightning. On paper MSI have taken this GPU to a whole new level with extra PCB's, voltage read points, power phases and top of the line components so we are going to do the same. Rather than bench the card at its impressive factory overclock we are taking it to the limit, its maximum stable overclock to see how it compares to the reference design as well as an overclocked, 3GB GTX 580.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/03/2012
Today we have a Sapphire 7970 OverClock Edition card on our test bench and will be putting it through a selection of real world gaming tests, including Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 to find what Sapphire can do with their own design.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/03/2012
We have one of the first retail 7800 cards available to us in the form of Sapphires 7850 OverClock Edition. Today we will be putting it head to head with the GTX 560 Ti Overclock in order to find out which comes out on top. Tests include Battlefield 3, Skyrim and The Old Republic along with the usual media, GPU computing and power/temperature results.
by Niall Coleman | 07/03/2012
When we first heard about the best name ever for a tablet PC, or possibly any component, we had visions of a robotic looking blue and red case... sadly, well kind of, this proved not to be and instead Asus released a sleek looking update to the original Transformer that we reviewed last year. The Prime is one of the world's first Android tablets with a quad-core processor and is running Android 4.0 and today we have one on our test bench for review.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/03/2012
Today AMD launch the 7800 series and allow us to look at their reference cards with partner availability to come later (around March 19th). With the same features as the 7900 series yet a significantly lower price today we find how well they compete with the 7950 and 6870 while looking in detail at the comparison with NVIDIAs GTX 560 Ti and GTX 570.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/02/2012
G.Skill have recently released their latest enthusiast modules in the form of RipjawsZ and today we have the 2133MHz, 16GB kit on our test bench. Let's take a look at them...
by Stuart Davidson | 23/02/2012
On our test bench today we have the high end Alienware X51 configuration. It boasts an i7 CPU and GTX GPU in its specifications and we will be putting it through a selection of synthetic and real world tests, including Mass Effect 3, before taking a look at what the performance could be should the user upgrade to an SSD and Radeon 7900 card.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/02/2012
Today on our test bench we have the latest performance desktop from Alienware. The Aurora R4 features many of the impressive design aspects from the previous version such as motorised top vents and liquid cooling mixed with an updated X79 chipset and the latest i7 socket 2011 CPUs. We will be taking a detailed look at the system as well as performance in synthetic and real world testing.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/02/2012
In this article we will look at Sapphire's 7770 Overclocked model which features a custom design and shall put it up against its direct competition from NVIDIA in the form of a GTX 560. As always we will be focusing on real world testing, including the latest games such as Battlefield 3 and some classics like World of Warcraft before moving on to media, power and thermal performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/02/2012
At the top of XFX's 7770 range is the "Jet Black" version of their usual Black Edition Overclocked model with this revision featuring heavily overclocked core and memory, well in excess of the AMD reference design. Today we have one on our test bench and will be putting it up against the GTX 560, also overclocked, in a selection of real world tests including Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/02/2012
Today we have the HIS Radeon HD 7750 on our test bench and will be putting it up against the GeForce GTX 550Ti in a selection of the latest games as well as media and GPU computing tasks. Is it the ideal solution for 1680x1080 gamers... or maybe even 1920x1080 users? Time to find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 10/02/2012
Recently NVIDIA made the biggest change to their 3D Vision ecosystem, probably since launch, with the release of 3D Vision 2. A combination of the latest range of 3D displays with updated hardware and advances made in the driver enhance the experience.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/02/2012
Intel are today releasing the new 520 series based on SandForce technology. Today we have one of those new drives on our test bench and will be comparing it in real world and synthetic tests against drives based on the latest Sandforce, Indilinx, Marvell and Samsung controllers.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/01/2012
Regardless of the reason for its "late" arrival the 7950 launches today and one of our launch day cards is Sapphires 7950 Overclock. With a custom PCB and cooler this factory overclocked card has two different BIOS profiles and is without doubt one of the more interesting models available. We will be putting it up against overclocked versions of the GTX 580 3GB, 7970 and 6970 to find out how each performs on Intel i7/X79 @ 5.0GHz.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/01/2012
XFX are back with the 7950 Black Edition, another 7900 series product which features a custom design and factory overclock. We will be putting it up against the GTX 580, 7970 and 6970 in a selection of real world tests, including Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic to find out whether it impresses.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/01/2012
To complete the set of 7950 articles for today we have a HIS system set up and configured on an i7/X79 build and will be looking at CrossFire performance of AMD's new card in a selection of games which include Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic at resolutions up to 5760x1080 (Eyefinity).
by Stuart Davidson | 24/01/2012
We are starting to see a number of ultra small systems updated with the latest AMD E-450 dual core APU which features CPU and GPU in one compact design. A front runner in this market is the latest ZBOX from ZOTAC, the AD04 Plus and we have one of the first samples on our review bench today.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/01/2012
A number of years ago FSP started producing retail power supplies for desktop PCs and during 2011 released their 80 Plus Gold Certified range of PSUs. There are two ranges available in the Aurum range, standard and semi-modular and today we have the 650w version of the modular PSU on our test bench.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/01/2012
When we originally published our 7970 content on January 9th 2012 it wasn't possible to run Quad CrossFire with the 7970 and MSI's new X79 Big Bang XPower 2 motherboard. The configuration simply wasn't enabled. That changed overnight with a new BIOS from MSI and new driver from AMD (dated 5th January) which allowed us to test 4x7970 in CrossFire.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/01/2012
First up on our test bench is the HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB. We will be putting it up against the best of the last generation in a selection of real world tests which include Battlefield 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Skyrimâ¦ all at 5760x1080. In addition to this we will also look at GPU computing and media performance as well as power and thermal performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/01/2012
Today we are finally able to talk about partner cards and so have paired up PowerColor's hardware in our test system and have retested the latest games such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic with single and dual GPU's on the latest drivers and game patches. What does the PowerColor 7970 and CrossFire offer us? Let's find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 09/01/2012
With the only 'launch day' 7970 that features an enhanced cooler and factory overclock in hand we decided to put it up against overclocked GTX 580 3GB and Radeon 6970 cards to see what the performance looked like...
by Stuart Davidson | 09/01/2012
What better to do with Sapphires 7970 than round up single and dual results then add in some tri-7970 action in games like Star Wars: The Old Republic. That not enough? Then we also take a look at their new X79 board and even throw in an attempt at Quad-7970... would it work? Let's find out!
by Stuart Davidson | 22/12/2011
Today we take a detailed look at the Radeon HD 7970 in the latest games, including Star Wars: The Old Republic and Batman: Arkham City. Added to that is GPU computing performance as well as 1080p playback tests and power, thermal and noise testing.
by Stuart Davidson | 22/12/2011
This review focuses on DUAL GPU performance comparing 2x Radeon 7970 with GTX 580 in SLI... and a little GTX 590 and Radeon 6990 performance thrown in for good measure. So let's see how the 7970 does running CrossFire in games such as Arkham City and Battlefield 3.
by Stuart Davidson | 20/12/2011
Not everyone can afford 1000w+ units, especially Platinum certified products which always come with a premium so to cater for the mainstream Enermax has just released their Revolution87+ 850w model and we have one on our test bench today. Can it impress us as much as their new enthusiast models?
by Stuart Davidson | 15/12/2011
When it comes to PSUs Thortech may not be a brand which comes to mind immediately. In fact to many people they may not come across as a company competing in the high end of the PSU arena but with the release of their 1000w Thunderbolt Plus Thortech are aiming to do exactly that.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/12/2011
One of the manufacturers taking advantage of the new Intel architecture is Patriot with their latest Division 4 Viper Xtreme kit. This quad channel product has high quality heatsinks and tight timings aims to appeal to those looking to kit out their new high end system with 16GB of memory.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/12/2011
The EUROCOM Panther 3.0 desktop replacement is available with components such as the X58 chipset, Core i7-990X hex core CPU, dual HD6900 series or GTX 580 graphics, triple channel memory... And that's before we even consider three fast SSD's in RAID0.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/12/2011
One of the latest systems to be released by Cyberpower is the LAN Party Evo Commander, a compact system aimed at gamers and those who want decent productivity performance. We have one on our test bench today so let's take a look at what Cyberpower can offer.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/12/2011
Today we are looking at two memory kits from GeIL which are designed for the Sandy Bridge platform. The Evo kit offers speeds above 2100MHz for the high end user and the Enhance modules are more mainstream, though guaranteed to overclock.
by Stuart Davidson | 01/12/2011
Today's review product comes from the high end of the performance spectrum and is a kit designed for Intels X79 platform, though it will also work on dual channel boards. With an advertised speed of 2400MHz we put the latest Kingston HyperX modules through a selection of real world and synthetic tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/11/2011
Today we are looking at the latest SSD range from Corsair, the Performance Pro. Using a Marvell controller rather than Sandforce the Performance Pro offers a different approach to the majority of drives on the market. We'll find out how it compares with models based on the latest Indilinx, Samsung and Sandforce products in this review.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/11/2011
Enter the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core, a limited edition of the GTX 560 Ti with additional CUDA processors in the GPU. Give these cores to manufacturers and let them create custom models and on paper there are some very interesting products to consider. Today we have four of the cards in our system with models from ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI and ZOTAC all looking to persuade consumers to part with their hard earned money.
by Stuart Davidson | 28/11/2011
Today we have the latest Seasonic release on our test bench and being their first Platinum unit with a rating of 1000w it has a high standard to achieve.
by Niall Coleman | 25/11/2011
Batman: Arkham City, developed by Rocksteady Studios, is the tense sequel to the 2009 release Batman: Arkham Asylum. Set inside a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, which functions as a new maximum security prison for all of Gotham's criminals.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/11/2011
One manufacturer who is pushing the 6970 to new limits is PowerColor. Famous for their PCS++ range they are no strangers to enhancing Radeons but this new card, the Devil 13 edition, goes further than ever before. Today we will be putting the Devil 13 up against an overclocked GTX 570 in Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Human Revolution and F1 2011 to find out how they compare.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/11/2011
PC Power & Cooling are today launching the Silencer MK3 series in wattages ranging from 400-600w. We have the 600w model on our test bench so let's find out if the latest Silencer model finds that nice balance of price, quality and performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/11/2011
Today's review product is the latest to come from the ECS Black Series range and is their take on AMD's 990FX chipset. This AM3 board is ideal for use with the new FX (Bulldozer) range of 8-core CPUs and features some excellent functionality such as support for SATA3, USB 3.0, Crossfire and SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/10/2011
Updated: Battlefield 3 performance added.
Today we have a custom GTX 560 Ti on our test bench and this model from Palit aims to offer enhanced gaming and thermal/noise performance along with adding a little extra style to the system.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/10/2011
The XPS 14z takes its style from the 15z we reviewed back in July and packs as much of it into the smaller chassis as is possible, giving us some extra performance over the Inspiron 14" model.
by Stuart Davidson | 21/10/2011
Now Corsair are entering the low end of the case market with their Carbide series and the first model is the 400R. Today we find out if they can fit their great build quality and features from the higher priced models into a low cost chassis.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/10/2011
The Inspiron 14z as it is known features a second gen Core i5 CPU and some good on paper specifications. Today we have one on our test bench to find out what this model has to offer for those who don't need a 15"+ system.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/10/2011
Today we have one of the first samples of the OCZ ZT 750w PSU on our test bench to find out if it can hit that balance of performance and cost which appeals to the mainstream consumer.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/10/2011
The Slider, like the Transformer, is an attempt by ASUS to offer an attractive tablet which offers something different to the competition. With a built-in, slide out keyboard, the Slider is clearly aimed at those who love their hardware keyboards on mobile phones bringing the technology to the tablet arena. We have one of the early samples on our test bench today to find out if it lives up to the quality of the Transformer.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/10/2011
Today we get to see for the first time how the top model in AMDs new FX range of CPUs, previously known as Bulldozer, performs against the existing Intel equivalent as we put the two CPUs head to head. Not only that though we will test their entire platform, testing gaming, USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s and PCIe performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/10/2011
For those looking at a flexible Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX case one of the chassis SilverStone offer is the Temjin TJ08-E. This compact tower is designed to offer maximum flexibility with some cutting edge features and today we have one on our test bench to review.
by Stuart Davidson | 04/10/2011
The G74Sx is a 17.3" enthusiast machine featuring Core i7 CPU and GTX 500 Series graphics along with a long list of other impressive features. Today we have a sample on our test bench to find out whether ASUS can compete in this area of the market.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/09/2011
Today we take a look at the Sony Tablet S, an Android Honeycomb (3.2) capable tablet which has impressive specifications and a design that sets it apart from the competition. Let's find out how Sony aim to change what we feel a tablet should be like with our in depth review.
by Stuart Davidson | 21/09/2011
Today we have the 80 Plus Gold Certified High Current Pro 850w model attached to our PSU testing equipment to find out if it offers an attractive balance of price, performance and power for those who don't need to go over 1000w.
by Niall Coleman | 09/09/2011
The HANNSpad has many of the same features and specifications as the ASUS Transformer but at a bargain £150 price. Let's find out if it is a worthwhile purchase and whether it is a tablet which is open to user customisation (Honeycomb on a £150 device anyone???).
by Stuart Davidson | 22/08/2011
While the netbook form factor may be on the decline the hardware inside has other uses, for example it is easy to build a feature packed compact system for general computing and media use. That is something Acer has tried to achieve, in a stylish and somewhat unique way with the Revo mini PC. Today we have an Acer Revo on our test bench to find out what it can offer to set itself apart from other compact systems.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/08/2011
Today we have the XPS 8300 based on H67 and 2nd Generation Core CPUs (SandyBridge). With prices starting at £429/$699 the XPS 8300 is advertised as offering great multi-tasking performance and decent gaming/media features. Let's find out if Dell has achieved that.
by Niall Coleman | 08/08/2011
A manufacturer who is keen to get a decent slice of the high end Android market is ASUS and their Transformer tablet which is reminiscent of a faux-leather couture handbag is a slim, lightweight Android tablet that doubles as a capable laptop thanks to a matching keyboard dock. Today we will be taking a detailed look at the Transformer to find out if ASUS can back up the high quality styling with some substance.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/08/2011
Today we are taking a look at Enermax's latest high end PSU. The MAXREVO 1350w is designed for enthusiasts and those who want a PSU that will last them through a number of high end upgrades.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/07/2011
Today we have the Fatality Z68 Professional Gen 3 which is a board which works with today's PCIe 2.0 based hardware but also includes all the components required to support future 1155 CPUs and PCIe 3.0. For anyone looking to buy a board that will last through their next few upgrades this could well be the product to go for so let's put it through our usual test suite...
by Stuart Davidson | 27/07/2011
Today we have the HX1050 attached to our custom test station and will find out whether it continues the trend of high quality PSUs from Corsair.
by Stuart Davidson | 22/07/2011
The GTX 580M is available in Alienware's M18x and M17x systems with the M17x also offering the option of a 3D enabled display. We took a look at the M17x R3 back in February and today we revisit it, equipped this time with the GTX 580M to find out in a selection of real world gameplay just how fast NVIDIA's GPU is...
by Stuart Davidson | 22/07/2011
Our Fallout: New Vegas review has now been updated to include content from Lonesome Road, the latest DLC pack.
by Stuart Davidson | 20/07/2011
Today we have the follow-up to Sapphire's original mini-PC on our test bench, the Edge-HD2, which is an enhanced model which comes bundled with Windows 7.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/07/2011
Today we will be putting the M14x through a selection of real world tests which include media encoding and playback as well as gaming. We'll be putting this i7 based laptop up against an i5 model in a selection of those tests to find out how much extra performance we can get and whether the system can game satisfactorily a its native resolution.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/07/2011
HIS are bucking the trend for custom 6950s today with a new version of the 6970, the IceQ Mix. While it has a name which could make people think of a cold drink it is actually a rather interesting take on the 6970 featuring a large, low noise custom cooler and the first real attempt we have seen at implementing Lucids HydraLogix 200 controller on a graphics card.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/07/2011
Today we will be putting the 6950 PCS+ Vortex 2 and its unique cooler through a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks to see how it stacks up against some of the best competitor cards on the market.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/07/2011
Dell are back with the XPS 15z, a slimmer, higher specification model which combines an aluminium chassis with 2nd Generation Core CPU and GeForce GPU in a portable form factor which Dell states is the thinnest 15" PC available, anywhere. Today we have the XPS 15z on our test bench and will be putting it through a selection of real world and synthetic tests to find out if the great features and performance of the XPS 15 has been continued in this new model.
by Stuart Davidson | 04/07/2011
Taking the foundations of their DirectCU II GTX 580 ASUS have further enhanced the design, aiming it at enthusiasts with the addition of voltage read points, on-board buttons for fan and power adjustments and making it part of the Republic of Gamers brand. So today we have the Matrix GTX 580 Platinum on our test bench and will be finding out in a selection of real world gaming tests, including Crysis 2 with DX11 and high res textures and GPU computing, whether this is now the ultimate GTX 580... or maybe even the best single GPU product ever released...
by Stuart Davidson | 04/07/2011
The latest to market with a board which is a little different to the norm is ASUS with their Maximus IV Gene-Z and today we will be putting this SLI and Crossfire compatible M-ATX enthusiast board through its paces in a selection of real world and synthetic tests to find out if it can match an ATX alternative from one of ASUS key competitors.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/06/2011
The AMD Radeon 6950 is a card which has been available for nearly 7 months but that doesn't seem to be stopping manufacturers from tweaking the design to suit their needs and one of the latest to do so (again) is Sapphire. In the form of a custom PCB, custom cooler model with a bundle designed to please even the most demanding consumers we have the Sapphire Radeon 6950 DiRT 3 Edition.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/06/2011
Today we have the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 on our test bench and will be comparing it to the ASUS Crosshair V Formula as we find out which board offers the best performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/06/2011
Today we will be taking a look at three different approaches to socket 1155 products as we review a board based on H67 (mini-ITX) and to larger models which use the P67 and Z68. Each will be put through a selection of synthetic and real world tests to establish how they perform in a variety of scenarios which will assist anyone thinking about buying a socket 1155 product in the near future.
by Stuart Davidson | 30/05/2011
Today we will be taking a look at two AMD 990FX boards and comparing them to a similarly spec'd Z68 system to find out what the new boards offer in today's marketplace. As always we will be focusing on motherboard specific tests such as USB3, PCIe and SATA 6Gb/s tests with a few more general benchmarks thrown in for good measure.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/05/2011
Today on our test bench we have the GTX 560 iChill from their Freezer X Series. What does that mean? It means a triple slot cooler, custom PCB and factory overclock and we will look at how the card performs in some of the latest games, such as DiRT 3, The Witcher 2 and Portal 2. The tests don't stop there though as we will, as always, take a look at media playback, 3D Vision performance and GPU computing.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/05/2011
For anyone looking to upgrade their system for 1080p gaming NVIDIA claim this GPU will deliver for less than $199(£150)... let's find out if it does as we take a look at the Palit Sonic Platinum edition of the new GTX 560 in a selection of real world gaming tests mixed with some 3D playback, GPU computing and media tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/05/2011
Today on our test bench we have the LG Optimus 2X (G2x for our American readers) which is the world's first dual core phone, containing NVIDIA Tegra 2 technology for advanced graphics with high end performance and features. Is it a leap forward in mobile communications or does it signal a switch to phones becoming "just a small tablet"...
by Stuart Davidson | 11/05/2011
Today we have the launch of Intel's new socket 1155 chipset, the Z68 which brings with it a plethora of new motherboards. On our test bench we have two separate approaches; the first is Gigabyte's enthusiast Z68X-UD7-B3 and the second, the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro which is aimed at mainstream consumers. Let's find out how they compete against the P67 and 890FX...
by Stuart Davidson | 29/04/2011
Today we have the PowerColor 6870 PCS++ which includes an enhanced PCB and cooler and overclocked specifications. What card should it go up against? Well that would be the latest Inno3D GTX 560 Ti with triple slot cooler and its own overclock. We will be putting both cards through a selection of real world gaming, media and GPU computing tasks to find out which consumers each suits.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/04/2011
Antec know that high end PSUs are not within the reach of everyone's budget though and so there are lower specification models in the family which have a more understated design with lower power rating and price. Today we have one of those models, the High Current Gamer 620w, attached to our test centre and will establish whether Antec have been able to maintain their high standards at the lower price point.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/04/2011
Today Alienware is launching a number of new machines including a new revision of the M11x the R3. We have one of the first samples on our test bench and will be putting it through a selection of real world gaming, media and productivity tests to find out if the latest model retains the high level of build quality and performance we saw in the last revision.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/04/2011
UPDATE: SLI Testing has now been added to our coverage.
The M18x as the name suggests is an 18" model and we have been putting one of the first samples through its paces over the last few days. Join us as we find out through a selection of real world tests what Alienware can do when they have an 18" chassis to play with.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/04/2011
With new 4 cards launched from £80 to £250 we have a bunch of products which are ideal for a roundup to see what we, the consumers, get at each price point. Which of the latest games can each play and are any of them suitable for gaming at 5760x1080. We will answer those questions today as well as looking at media playback and GPU computing performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/04/2011
Despite the reference designs impressive cooling solution there were consumers who demanded enhanced versions of the GTX 580 with enhanced cooler. One of the latest to deliver this is Inno3D with their custom GTX 580 HAWK Edition. As well as featuring an enhanced cooler and some tweaks on the style of the card it also has 3GB of memory rather than the standard 1.5GB. Lets see how it performs in a selection of real world tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/04/2011
With the release of NVIDIAs GTX 550 Ti at $150 a few weeks ago the market changed slightly and AMD had a new product to consider, today we see their response in the form of the 6790, our first 6700 series product and on our test bench is Sapphires version. We will be putting it up against the 550 Ti (as well as a few other products) in a selection of the latest games, media playback and GPU computing tests to establish how good the new Radeon is.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/03/2011
It would be fair to say that the AX and TX2 ranges are premium products with great performance but a price which might be a little too high for some budgets. Enter the new GS range of PSUs from Corsair which are designed to provide over 80% efficiency and solid voltages for a more mainstream price. Let's see if the 800w model can meet the high expectations we have of Corsair products.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/03/2011
With the recent release of the Radeon 6990 AMD overtook the GTX 580 in framerate performance, giving them the chance to claim they had the fastest graphics card available. On launch day we all knew that this might not last for long though as it was clear that NVIDIA was readying their long awaited dual GPU upgrade. Today that product is released and it is called the GTX 590.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/03/2011
Earlier today we took a look at the new GeForce GTX 590 for the first time, comparing it to the GTX 580 and Radeon 6990 in a selection of real world scenarios. At that time there was no driver available which allowed us to look at quad SLI however that has now changed and we have spent the majority of the day testing Zotac's model on driver version 267.84. So let's take a look at how the GTX 590 in SLI compares to the Radeon 6990 in CrossFire with games such as Crysis 2, Dragon Age 2 and Shogun 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/03/2011
Today NVIDIA released their updated driver, 267.84 and we have taken that, 5 recently released games (including Crysis 2, BulletStorm and Shogun 2) and tested at 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 with the 6990 and GTX 590 overclocked to their limit. Read on to find out which is faster when both are pushed as far as they will go on a heavily overclocked Intel Core i7-990X.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/03/2011
Over the last year or so one of the more popular models in the mainstream area has been the GeForce GTS 450, a card which many consumers saw as offering a good balance of features and performance for the price. As the NVIDIA product catalogue changed, seeing the release of the GTX 560, 570 and 580 this meant there was a reasonable gap between the GTS 450 and the 460/560 Ti and today we see the release of a product designed to improve on the GTS model while filling the space below the higher specification cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/03/2011
The ZX Series 850W is the first model in OCZ's new range of Gold Certified PSUs, a fully modular unit it is designed for high efficiency and low noise operation. Let's see if OCZ can achieve these goals.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/03/2011
The Radeon 6990 has just launched and today we will be putting it up against the GTX 580 and 570 (with SLI) as well as the 5970 to find out how the new card from AMD compares. As well as the standard 1920x1080 tests we will also cover 5760x1080 on all products, 3D Blu-Ray, GPU computing, power, noise, temps and overclocking.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/03/2011
We have one of the first retail branded 6990s in our test system and have combined it with the reference 6990 model to look at performance when gaming on one and three screens. This includes Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2 and of course the customary run through 3DMark 2011.
by Stuart Davidson | 01/03/2011
Over the last month or so we have taken a look at a number of GTX 560 Ti models from various manufacturers and in the majority of cases we have been impressed. The stock GTX 560 Ti is a good card with great performance for the price and offers a nice entry into stereoscopic 3D and PhysX. That said the reference design does have some stiff competition from the Radeon 6870 and more recently the 6950 1GB.
by Stuart Davidson | 01/03/2011
2009 was the last time we looked at a new model, the Silencer 910w, which was another award winner and since then things have been a little quiet on the PCP&C front. That is something we rectify today as back in December they announced a new model in the range, the Silencer 760w and we have one connected to our test station.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/02/2011
On our test bench are two models from Corsairs new TX V2 range of enthusiast PSUs. The TX V2 range goes through the same certification as the modular AX and HX range of PSUs that Corsair use for their high end products but feature fixed cables rather than modular versions which gives the V2 a better price to performance ratio. Lets find out if Corsair can keep up their fantastic record for high quality power supplies.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/02/2011
Today we will be looking at one of the first custom versions of the 6950 1GB, the XFX XXX and in the process we will take a detailed look at 1920x1080 performance as well as 5760x1080 (Eyefinity) and CrossFire. To spice things up a little we are adding in a detailed look at building an Eyefinity system for high end gaming, high end wheel and stick controllers... video of the system running... the works.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/02/2011
On our test bench is a product from Sapphire which contains a NVIDIA GPU... yes, NVIDIA. The Edge-HD is a small ATOM/ION system which Sapphire say could be the smallest PC in the world. We will be putting it though a number of real world tests which include Blu-Ray playback, GPU media encoding and power use to find out whether it meets the needs of the average consumer.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/02/2011
Gainward have covered all bases and brought the - Phantom branding to the mainstream cards. This means that we get an enhanced cooler, redesigned card and in theory, better performance than the reference model... all of the benefits of the high end card at a much more affordable price. Today we have the GTX 560 Ti Phantom 2 on our test bench and will be putting it up against a selection of cards in a similar price bracket to see how it compares in real world gaming, media and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/02/2011
We will be running this enhanced version of the 6970 through a selection of real world tests to find out how it compares to the GTX 570 and will include maximum overclock results in each case... all on an i7 CPU running at 4.4GHz.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/02/2011
One of the more recent enhanced 6870 models to hit the market is Sapphires Vapor-X model. It features a custom PCB and enhanced cooler to make it stand out from the crowd and that, combined with Sapphires TriXX utility for overclocking and voltage increases means we have a very interesting product on our test bench today.
by Stuart Davidson | 04/02/2011
Today on our test bench we have Gainward's 3GB GTX 580 Phantom3 and the massive Asus GTX 580 DirectCU 2. Tests will include real world gaming, 3DMark 11, media playback, and GPU computing. Then, for the first time on Hardware Heaven, all gaming tests will include stereoscopic 3D results.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/02/2011
Today we will be putting the M17x R3 with its Sandy Bridge components, 120Hz screen and 3D Vision kit through a selection of real world tests to find out how it compares to a desktop P67 system, the original 2009 model M17x and the R2 from 2010.
by Stuart Davidson | 28/01/2011
Today we have the HIS Radeon 6970 Turbo on our test bench and have paired it with an overclocked Core i7-980X to see how well it performs against the standard 6970 and GTX 570 in a selection of real world gaming tests, media playback, stereoscopic 3D and GPU computing.
by Stuart Davidson | 28/01/2011
One of the more impressive looking enhanced 6950s is the PowerColor PCS++ model and today we have one of those on our test bench. With an enhanced cooler and significantly increased specifications over the standard 6950 we will be putting it up against the GTX 570 and Radeon 6970 to see if it can compete with those, more expensive models.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/01/2011
Over the past day we have taken a look in detail at NVIDIAs new GTX 560 TI. Aspects which have been covered include single card performance, SLI, stereoscopic 3D, Blu-Ray playback, GPU computing and PhysX amongst other things. As always though we like to end our launch coverage with a look in more detail at overclocked performance...
by Stuart Davidson | 25/01/2011
In the first of our GTX 560 Ti launch articles we have the Palit GTX 560 Ti Sonic on our test bench and will be running it through a selection of real world tests to establish how well it performs against the current line-up from AMD and NVIDIA. Tests will include Black Ops, Crysis, F1 2010 and of course our usual selection of GPU computing and multimedia tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/01/2011
To cover SLI testing on the GTX 560 Ti we are using the ASUS Direct CU2 TOP Edition, a custom designed version of the product which is factory overclocked. We will be testing the card against the 6870 in CrossFire to see, in real world scenarios, which multi-GPU configuration offers the best experience. As always Surround gaming videos will be included, as will 5760x1080 screenshots.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/12/2010
On our test bench today we have one of the first cards to tweak the GTX 570 design. Gainwards GTX 570 GLH Edition features their own cooler and a factory overclock to enhance the performance over reference cards. We will put it through a selection of real world tests which include Black Ops, stereoscopic 3D gaming, Blu-Ray 3D and GPU computing to see how it compares to the reference model.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/12/2010
UPDATED: Overclocking Analysis
The Radeon EAH6870 DirectCU is a factory overclocked model which claims to run cooler than the reference model and certainly looks different. We will be running it through a selection of real world tests to find out how it performs in gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks. These include Blu-Ray 3D, Stereoscopic 3D gaming and the latest releases such as Black Ops and H.A.W.X. 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/12/2010
On our test bench is a GTX 570 from Gigabyte and the Radeon 6970/6950 from Sapphire. We will be overclocking each of these and putting them head to head against each other and an overclocked Radeon 5870 to find out how the new cards compare in this scenario. As always real world gameplay will be used, including Black Ops and HAWX 2 and just for fun we will throw in 3DMark 2011 Professional.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/12/2010
Today the Radeon 6970 and 6950 hit the market and we have XFX branded models on our test bench. We will be putting the 6900 series through a selection of real world gaming, CPU computing and stereoscopic 3D tests against the GTX 580 and 570 to see where these new products fit in the market. Added to that are 2-way and 3-way CrossFire testing and a look at the power, noise and thermal performance of the cards to ensure a thorough evaluation of the latest and greatest from AMD.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/12/2010
Today AMD are launching the latest version of their X6 CPU in the form of the Phenom 2 X6 1100T Black Edition. This new CPU is the fastest 6-core AMD chip to be released and comes in at a price which is almost identical to Intels quad core i7-950. For that reason we will be putting the two head to head in order to find out which performs best in a selection of tests from Gaming to media playback and encoding.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/12/2010
Not everyone can afford the highest specification, fastest graphics card though and for that reason, less than a month on, NVIDIA are launching the GTX 570. On our test bench we have a model from Inno3D which is factory overclocked and we will be putting it through its paces in a selection of real world tests which include Black Ops, Stereoscopic 3D gaming, GPU Computing, Blu-Ray 3D playback and we will even throw in a quick look at 3DMark 2011 Professional.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/12/2010
Today's review product is Dells new 15" XPS, the L501X which retails for just £549 in the UK at the moment and also has a $100 discount in the USA. We will be putting the system through a selection of real world tests which include Blu-Ray 3D playback, media encoding and gaming to find out whether this new system makes the ideal winter purchase.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/12/2010
In the next few days stock of the revised XFX Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition will be landing at a store near you and today we have one of the very first samples on our test bench. With a brand new dual fan cooler and factory overclock can it compete with a top of the range GTX 460? We will find out as it is put through a selection of real world tests which include Black Ops, F1 2010, Blu-Ray 3D and GPU computing.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/11/2010
Running on our test bench today we have one of Antec's latest PSU's a 900w model from their new High Current Gamer range. This is a product designed to offer high current, efficiency and excellent cooling so let's see what Antec's latest SLI and CrossFire certified range can do.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/11/2010
Sapphire rarely does anything half-heartedly though and the focus of today's review is their take on an enhanced 6850. This is more than just a new cooler and factory overclock though as they have completely changed the product to enhance its performance and overclocking potential.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/11/2010
Today's comparison is the GTX 580, overclocked to the fastest speed we have seen advertised by a manufacturer on standard air cooling against the 6870 in Crossfire with the same highest overclock rule. In addition to that we will also add the 5970, in full. Each of the cards will be tested in a selection of the latest games including Call of Duty: Black Ops, F1 2010 (DX11 Patch) and Fallout: New Vegas with the latest patch.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/11/2010
Today we have not one, not two but three GTX 580's on our test bench and we will be running them through a huge amount of real world testing to show everyone reading the complete picture of GTX 580. It's all here in comparisons which include the GTX 480, Radeon 5870, 5870 Crossfire, 5970 and 6870.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/11/2010
On our test bench today we have two cards from the £150-165 price range which sit on either side of the NVIDIA and AMD divide. Those products are the Inno3D GTXÂ 460 OC and PowerColor's Radeon HD 6850 and we will be putting each through a selection of real world tests to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/11/2010
Today we have one of the top end GTX 470's on our test bench, the Gigabyte GTX 470 Super Overclock. It features custom PCB, cooler and the fastest core we have seen on a GTX 470 to date. We will be putting it through a selection of tests including Medal of Honor, Fallout New Vegas (3D Vision), F1 2010 (DX11 Patch) and 3D Blu-Ray playback to find out how much Gigabyte have improved on the reference design.
by Stuart Davidson | 22/10/2010
Today we have a number of brand new AMD 6800 Series cards on our test bench and will be putting them through a selection of real world tests including standard gaming, Eyefinity gaming, Stereo 3D gaming using the latest Zalman 3D monitor, 3D Blu-Ray playback and GPU computing to see where they find themselves in the marketplace.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/10/2010
Today ASRock are back with their latest mini-PC, the Vision 3D. Based on Intel's H55 chipset and NVIDIA's Fermi based GT425M graphics this model gives consumers a simple way to add a Blu-Ray 3D based HTPC to their home cinema. Today we put that system through a selection of real world tests including Blu-Ray 3D playback, media encoding and gaming to establish if this system offers more than just 3D capability.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/10/2010
Today we have Zotac's GeForce GT 430 Zone Edition on our test bench and have run it through a selection of real world tests to establish where it sits in the current market. Tests include gaming, 3D Vision, PhysX, CUDA (GPU Computing) and 3D Blu-Ray playback so by the end of this article we will know exactly what NVIDIA's new budget GPU is capable of.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/10/2010
Today we have one of the ZBOX systems on our test bench and have run it through a selection of real world tests including HD playback, GPU computing and media encoding to find out whether it can meet the needs of consumers looking for an all purpose mini-system.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/10/2010
We have two of PowerColor's Radeon 5870 PCS+ cards on our test bench. We will be running them through 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 tests in a number of the latest games, including Medal of Honor, Civilisation 5 and F1 2010 to see what the user experience is like (Eyefinity videos included). In addition to this we also look at GPU computing and HD playback to get a full overview of the PowerColor model.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/10/2010
Today we have the first products in a new range of PSUs from XFX on our test bench. These models, aimed at the value conscious consumer who doesn't like to compromise, should be in-stock across the web tomorrow but are they worth buying?
by Stuart Davidson | 16/09/2010
Today we take a look at how to set up a 3D Vision Surround system and then run it through a selection of real world gaming tests to find out the performance level we can achieve on the latest driver.
We will include a full selection of 5760x1080 screenshots, 5760x1080 gameplay videos and all of this running on three Asus VG236H screens with Zotac's GTX 480 AMP! Edition in SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/09/2010
Today we will be putting three GTS 450s through their paces in a selection of real world gaming tests which include PhysX and 3D Vision. In addition to that we also take a look at the GPU Computing potential and fire up a Blu-Ray 3D title to check out the acceleration performance offered by the GTS 450.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/09/2010
The Silent Pro Gold 800W is a model in Cooler Masters new high end PSU range and features some unique design elements and 80 Plus Gold Certification. Let's find out if Cooler Master have what it takes to compete in this area.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/09/2010
Today on our test bench we have the GTX 460 Beast Edition which on paper exceeds any GTX 460 we have tested to date. We will be running it through a set of real world gameplay tests which include DirectX 9, 10 and 11 titles, PhysX, 3D Vision, 3D Blu-Ray and GPU Computing to establish just how good it is.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/08/2010
Today we get the chance to put sample 0021 of the Black Edition Limited run through its paces. Tests will cover 5760x1080 Eyefinity gaming, GPU computing, HD playback and the usual selection of single screen gameplay... is this the most extreme 5970 ever? Can it play the latest games including Mafia 2 and StarCraft 2 at 5760x1080? Let's find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 21/08/2010
There is one CPU from Intel which has remained at its price point without a refresh for some time now. That CPU is the Core i5-750 originally released in September 2009 it was long due a refresh and just a few weeks ago Intel made that move, releasing the Core i5-760. Today we have that very CPU on our test bench to find out how it compares with the older model and the direct competition from AMD at $200, the 1055T.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/08/2010
The 5850 PCS+ is a factory overclocked model with enhanced cooler and we will be putting it thorough a selection of real world tests, including StarCraft 2, to establish how it compares to the best 5830 on the market. In addition to this we will also take a look at how both cards perform in the recently released Mafia 2 and Lost Planet 2 benchmarks before concluding with some 3D Blu-Ray playback and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/08/2010
Today Zotac are releasing their "AMP! Edition" of the GTX 460 and hope that its redesigned cooler and enhanced specifications will appeal to enthusiasts on a budget. Today we take a look at that card and find out in a selection of real world tests how it compares to the standard GTX 460 as well as a couple of Radeons in the same price range.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/08/2010
Today we have the XFX Radeon 5830 XXX Edition on our test bench and it will be put through its paces in a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks. As always these will feature DirectX 11 titles such as Alien Vs. Predator but we have also updated our test suite to include a first look at Mafia 2, Lost Planet 2 as well as StarCraft 2 and 3D Blu-Ray.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/08/2010
Today we have another 5770 on our test bench and while it uses an enhanced cooler that is not the cards main feature, Sapphires 5770 FleX Edition offers a refined Eyefinity experience. Read on to find out what they have changed and how it offers a significant improvement over other Radeon cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/08/2010
On our test bench today is Alienwares new M11x, an 11.6 inch laptop featuring Core i5 CPU and Nvidia Optimus technology. We will be putting it through a selection of real world tests including StarCraft 2, media transcoding and HD playback to establish how good it really is.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/08/2010
Today from PowerColor and Gigabyte come two Radeon 5750s which offer passive heatsinks and a few more twists. Will these make an ideal HTPC card; can they even game successfully without active cooling? Today we find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 04/08/2010
Today on our test bench we have the latest model in Corsair's PSU range, the Professional Series Gold AX1200. This is Corsair's new flagship product and considering how well their previous PSU's have performed it has a lot of expectation placed on it.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/07/2010
Today we get the chance to look at the OMNI A.L.C. for the first time and what better card to start with than the GeForce GTX 480, one which would very much benefit from aftermarket cooling. Can the Omni give us CoolIT's usual level of quality and provide performance that GTX 480 users have been looking for, let's find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 12/07/2010
Today sees the launch of the GeForce GTX 460 despite a name which is close to the existing GTX 465 the GTX 460 is based on a new class of Fermi/GF100 GPU. Today we find out how it compares to the existing GTX 400 range, the GTX 200 series and its direct competition, the Radeon 5830.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/07/2010
We will be combining the ARES with a Core i7-980X overclocked to 4.25GHz and running it through a selection of real world tests including gaming and Blu-Ray 3D playback to find out how well it compares to the standard 5970 and 2x480 in SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/07/2010
Today Cyberlink are adding the next big feature to PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D in an update called Mark 2, free to existing v10 Ultra users, which adds support for the Blu-Ray 3D platform; the official standard for 3D optical media in the home.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/07/2010
In June 2009 Alienware/Dell launched the M17x, their first co-developed machine. On launch day we provided a world-exclusive preview of the new machine and today it is time to take a more in-depth look at the features and performance of the latest version of the M17x which contains Intel Core i7 technology.
by Stuart Davidson | 21/06/2010
Today it is the turn of the 15" Inspiron to receive a refresh, moving to the Intel Core i3 / Core i5 platform and adding DirectX 11 support. Here at HardwareHeaven we have one of the first samples on our test bench and will run it through a selection of real word gaming, media and productivity tests to establish how well it performs.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/06/2010
On the ATI based side we have Sapphire's 5970 Toxic 4GB and the Asus Matrix 5870 Platinum. From NVIDIA partners we have Zotac GTX 480's, Gigabyte and Palit GTX 470's and Gainward GTX 465s which allow us to compare single GPU and SLI based setups. We will be covering real world gameplay, PhysX, 3D Vision, GPU computing, High Definition / 3D media playback and power/noise readings in this review to establish which products are worth purchasing.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/05/2010
To tie in with Computex 2010 Nvidia is today launching the GTX 465 which brings the same GF100 architecture and features which were present in the GTX 480 and 470 to a new price point, sub $300/£255. We will be running the new card through a number of real world tests including DX 9/10/11 gaming, 3D Vision, PhysX, CUDA and 3D movie Playback to establish how it fits into the current marketplace; including comparisons with cards such as the GTX 285, 470 and Radeon 5000 series.
by Grace | 13/05/2010
NVIDIA's long awaited high end products have finally been released, satisfying the ever-craving performance enthusiasts. However the release of the high end cards does not mean that NVIDIA lost interest in the mainstream market where the majority of gamers and users wants to combine performance with value. Today we are going to test the performance of three NVIDIA GT 240 GFX cards, which even though they are all based on the same GT 215 core, are very different from each other.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/04/2010
Today we find out how Sapphire's Radeon 5870 2GB TOXIC compares to the GTX 480 in a selection real world gaming, media and GPU computing tasks. In addition to this we will also cover noise levels, power use and overclocking to find out which enthusiast product is worth purchasing.
by Grace | 02/04/2010
Thermaltake are best known for their chassis and coolers but also have a strong presence in the PSU market. Today we are going to have a look at one of their most powerful products, the Thermaltake Toughpower Cable Management 1000W unit. Thermaltake list some impressive performance figures for the unit, offer a very long warranty and price it aggressively.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/03/2010
So today one of the most discussed graphics card launches of all time takes place; join us as we take a look at the real world performance of the GTX 480 covering DirectX 9, 10, 10.1 and 11 gaming, GPU Computing (CUDA), High Definition playback, PhysX, 3DVision, gaming with 32x anti-aliasing and even 3D-DVD playback. If thats not enough then how about internal and external temperature readings, power use then some overclocking?
by Grace | 18/03/2010
Today we have another notebook cooler from Akasa for review, the Orion. Akasa markets the Orion as a stylish solution, but it is much simpler and cheaper than the Everest and not nearly as flexible.
by Henry Butt | 16/03/2010
Today we are going to look at Novatech's latest gaming laptop, the X1 CA, which boasts a massive specification alongside a number of other exciting features. It is very similar in design to the X1 Pro that we reviewed a while back but has been updated with an Intel Core i7 Mobile CPU and DDR3 RAM.
by Henry Butt | 12/03/2010
Today we are going to look at the ultra-small Cape 7 ION PC which uses a single-core ATOM processor alongside its NVIDIA GPU and packs it all into the most compact system we have tested to date.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/02/2010
Today we get to see the final (for now) piece of the puzzle in the Radeon 5000 range, the 5830. We will be running the card through a selection of real world gaming tests as well as GPU computing tasks and HD playback to find out how it compares to the 5770, 5850 and GTX 275.
by Grace | 22/02/2010
Today we will take a look at a product from Chill Innovation, a Danish company. The ChillDesk MiniXL CD-110XL is a notebook cooler and is the companys first effort to diversify into the cooling products market.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/02/2010
On our test bench today we have a version of the Radeon HD 5850 which has received the Toxic treatment. We will demonstrate how it compares to the reference design 5850 and the GeForce GTX 285 in a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/02/2010
Today we will be taking a look at Sapphires 5570 to see where the new GPU fits into the market in a selection of real world gaming tests, GPU computing tasks and high definition playback. In addition to this we will also take a look back at two other products in the value area, the XFX 5670 and HIS 5450...
by Stuart Davidson | 04/02/2010
Today we will be running Sapphires version of the card through a selection of real world gaming scenarios as well as GPU computing tasks and media playback tests. Read on to find out how the card compares to the main competitor in the same price range.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/02/2010
Today we continue our trend of Alienware exclusives by reviewing one of the first M11x samples. With the M11x Alienware take advantage of the new GeForce GT 335M GPU with the intention of building the worlds first 11" gaming system.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/01/2010
Today we have two different models of the 5770 on our review bench. Each offers enhanced performance and aftermarket cooling and we will be running them through a selection of real world benchmarks in both gaming and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/01/2010
Today ATI/AMD are launching the first sub $100 (512MB) and $120 (1GB) DirectX 11 capable products in the shape of the Radeon 5670.
We will be running the latest addition to the Radeon range through a selection of real world gaming and media tests to find out how it fits into a very competitive marketplace which includes the GT 240, GTS 250 and Radeon 5750.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/01/2010
Today we are taking a look at Dells latest offering in the mini desktop market. The Zino HD has some impressive specifications on paper with promise of great media features and high performance in other tasks.
by Grace | 29/12/2009
Today we are going to thoroughly test and review Akasa's latest GFX cooler which was released a couple of weeks ago, the Freedom Force. The Freedom Force is a bulky, high performance cooler designed to complement the most power hungry GFX cards.
by Henry Butt | 15/12/2009
Today we are going to look at the Asus K50IN notebook that is kitted out for menial tasks and multimedia playback. So it provides more power than their netbook range, but significantly less than youll get with one of their gaming-orientated notebooks.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/12/2009
Today we take a look at the latest in Alienware/Dells desktop range, the Aurora ALX and run it though a selection of real world tests including gaming at 2560x1600, Photoshop, media encoding and overclocking to find out if their impressive run of form continues.
by Zardon | 05/12/2009
Our sister site Gamingheaven reviewed Dirt 2 a short while ago and today we have a look at the performance of the PC version in DX11 mode when paired up with the stunning new range of ATI Series 5 graphics cards. I have been playing the PC version of Dirt 2 for the last week or so and it really is a stunning racing game, with state of the art graphics combined with the same fantastic gameplay we experienced on the console version.
by Zardon | 04/12/2009
We have reviewed many high end gaming systems in the past from both Alienware and parent company Dell, but today we take a look at something slightly different - the new Inspiron 13z. The Inspiron 13z has been designed by Dell to enter into the market just above the 'netbook' sector - for those wanting more versatility, higher quality screens and faster processing speed.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/11/2009
Today we have the latest model in the Sapphire Vapor-X family on our test bench, the 5750. We will be taking a look at how it compares to the reference model in areas such as thermal performance, overclocking, GPU computing and real world gameplay. Can the Vapor-X 5750 live up to the reputation of the previous models?
by Henry Butt | 23/11/2009
Today we are going to look at two of the latest offerings from Active Media Products, the WWF BLU Penguin and the Executive I-Pen USB drives. These both combine novelty with function, instantly noticeable by their innovative enclosures.
by Henry Butt | 20/11/2009
Today we are going to look at the Novatech X16 HD Pro notebook which is designed with multimedia and light gaming in mind. It makes use of the somewhat basic nVidia G105M GPU which is based on the 9300M G, but with a few new features.
by Zardon | 20/11/2009
Today we will be taking a look at the new HIS and Sapphire 5970's and as they sent us two of the cards apiece we felt it would be a good time to to cover Crossfire X configurations - for those of you rich enough to be able to afford two of these monster graphics cards. We also overclock our watercooled Core i7 processor to 4.1 ghz and the memory to 1800mhz to mirror a real life environment for a potential customer of two of these high end boards - we want CPU limiting at a minimum.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/11/2009
Today we will be taking a look at the Powercolor Radeon HD 5970 2GB and putting it through its paces in a selection of real world gaming tests, including the recently released Modern Warfare 2. In addition to this we will cover GPU computing and high definition playback as well as having a play with the surprise inclusion of an official voltage tweaking tool. This little application may well make this product a favourite with enthusiasts who want to get the most from their purchase.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/11/2009
The first XPC was released in 2001 and since then Shuttle have continually been upgrading the range to utilise as many desktop features as possible into a compact chassis. One of the latest models to be released is their Core-i7/X58 based system the SX58H7 and today we have one on our test bench to find out if Intels latest architecture is a viable option in a small form factor.
by Stuart Davidson | 04/11/2009
Today we look at the new AMD processors - the revised Phenom II 965 Black Edition and the Athlon II X3 435. We also look at the DFI DK-790FXB-M3H5 and the stunning new Sapphire Vapor X 5870 and watercooled Powercolor 5870 LCS.
by Zardon | 29/10/2009
Do you like small PC's but don't want to compromise? Then look no further because we have one of the finest systems in our labs today. How does a watercooled Core i7 with a 1.6ghz overclock inside a custom made carbon fibre Lian Li chassis sound?
Now we have you salivating .. make sure you check this out ...
by Stuart Davidson | 26/10/2009
Today we have Gigabytes GTX 275 Super Overclock in our labs which takes nVidias GTX275 to a whole new level. To make things even more interesting we have paired this impressive card with Nvidias 3D Vision kit, today we see if the latest development in display technology is ready for the mainstream market.
by Stuart Davidson | 13/10/2009
These two products are priced to target (and undercut) the GTS 250 and GTX 260. Can ATI take control of the mainstream graphics market? Read on to find out as we put all of these cards through their paces in a selection of the latest games as well as high definition media playback and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/10/2009
Despite Nvidia having a strong product catalogue rumours have been rife in the last week or so about the future of their mid and high range products. It is business as usual in the budget range today however as we see the launch of a new card in the sub $79 price range. This isnt just a cut down version of a different card though; for once we have a budget model which brings something a little different to Nvidias product range.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/10/2009
A couple of weeks ago on launch day we looked at the Radeon 5870 and found it to be a very impressive card. Today we have a follow-up article where we will look at the 5870 offerings from a selection of ATIs partners as well as the 5850 to see which cards are worth your hard earned cash. In addition to this full CrossFire results for both cards will be provided as well as GPU computing and media playback performance figures.
by Grace | 01/10/2009
The V320 is a GFX card cooler designed to fit on almost every video card currently available. As well as being a choice for high end boards - mid range graphics cards tend to have some relatively poor cooler designs with small and noisy fan configurations.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/09/2009
Today we have two cards from either end of the price spectrum on our test bench to find out what each has to offer. For those who feel their onboard sound is has issues, or anyone with high quality headphones/speakers this article should assist in finding the ideal purchase.
by Zardon | 24/09/2009
OCZ have just released their latest Agility EX drive which differs from anything we have reviewed in the past because it is the first SLC based SSD drive aimed at a price point to target the mass enthusiast market. While Single Level cell (SLC) and Multi Level Cell (MLC) are similar in design, MLC flash costs considerably less to produce and allow for higher storage density. The benefits with SLC flash drives are that they provide faster write performance and greater reliability ...
by Stuart Davidson | 23/09/2009
In order to take full advantage of Microsofts latest DirectX we require hardware which supports features such as Shader Model 5 and today we bring you the launch of the worlds first publically available DX 11 hardware, the Radeon 5870.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/09/2009
Today we look at the new M15x from Alienware - they are one of the first companies to introduce Intels Core-i7 architecture in the mobile marketplace. Back that up with an impressive graphics processor from Nvidia and the new Intel PM55 chipset and we have a very interesting and theoretically capable product.
by Grace | 17/09/2009
Today we are going to have a look at a rather interesting product, the Everest notebook cooling station. As its name suggests, the Everest is a stand for notebooks designed to serve as a cooler.
by Grace | 15/09/2009
Unlike most units around its power range, Thermaltake didnt design the Evo Blue with maximum electrical performance in mind. This product is designed to catch the eye of modders and thus they intended it to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. That said, no enthusiast would buy a power supply unable to offer good electrical performance, no matter how good it looks â so today we find out if it manages to do both.
by Zardon | 28/08/2009
Today we look at a higher price bracket for those who demand a little extra than our recent 4890 roundup and there is no better card to focus on than the massively successful, and extremely powerful 285 GTX from Nvidia. We have been noticing the prices of these cards dropping recently and rather than focus on a plethora of 1gb versions we thought it would be interesting to focus on possibly the cheapest 2gb 285 GTX available from lesser known manufacturer Sparkle.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/08/2009
Asus have just rewritten the Nvidia rulebook with the release of their 1 grand video card - the Asus MARS. Its basically two 285's on one board with 4GB of high performance ram. Asus sent us TWO of these limited edition boards and we put them in a watercooled system to see just how many frames they can deliver with all the modern gaming titles.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/08/2009
Alienware was formed in 1996 and in the first 10-years of their existence the company created a name for themselves in the enthusiast market. It did not matter if a consumer was looking for a high performance desktop, notebook or HTPC system because Alienware had something capable to offer. When combined with futuristic and distinctive styling they have always appealed to discerning users.
by Zardon | 19/08/2009
It is quite incredible how many models QNAP release and how often they are updated but this is due to the relatively cheap prices of large mechanical hard drives and end user demand for ever growing storage space. QNAP were established in Taiwan in 2004 and are well known for their build quality and sophisicated software packages. The QNAP TS-639 Pro is based on the same platform as the TS 509 Pro which we reviewed a while ago and as such now supports iSCSI integration as standard.
by Zardon | 14/08/2009
The drive we are looking at today is the long awaited Intel replacement which is built on the 34 nanometer manufacturing process - this has the long term benefit of helping to reduce the costs to manufacture therefore meaning less cost to the consumer - well thats the theory anyway.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/08/2009
A few months down the line and two further companies have brought to market drives based on Samsung and Indilinx controllers. Today we take a look at those products to see what Corsair and Crucial offer us. Also included in this review is an updated SSD from OCZ which takes their excellent Indilinx based Vertex range and enhances the performance to create the Vertex Turbo.
by Zardon | 02/08/2009
Many enthusiast users snigger at the mention of Dell, however at Driverheaven we know there are a percentage of users who either don't have the skillset to build their own computer or who just don't have the time. It is also worth mentioning that with this particular system Dell offer a 3-4 year in home service in the case of any major issues occuring.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/07/2009
Today we have one product from each of the mainstream and high-end GeForce families on our test bench to see what performance each offers for its price point. Read on to find out what can be achieved through a simple upgrade as we test each in a selection of the latest games and GPU computing applications.
by Nathan Marks | 30/07/2009
Today we are going to be looking at the Novatech X1 Pro, a desktop replacement packed with the most powerful laptop components on the market such as a quad core processor and GTX280M graphics cards in SLI.
by Nathan Marks | 29/07/2009
Today were going to be testing the Novatech X80GTX Pro, a 17 inch desktop replacement containing a dual core processor and one of the most powerful single mobile GPU solutions on the market, the GTX260M from Nvidia.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/07/2009
Today we have two different approaches to the Ion platform on our test bench. The first is from ASRock and is a full prebuilt system and the second, from Zotac, is a motherboard/CPU combination which allows the end user to build a machine to their specifications.
by Nathan Marks | 25/06/2009
A while back we looked at the MSI GT725, a stylish 17 inch notebook containing the powerful Radeon HD4850 and a 2.53GHz dual core processor. Today were going to be taking a look at the GX723, a similar laptop but slightly less âhigh octane with a 2.4GHz processor and Nvidia 130M GT.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/06/2009
Today we have a selection of hot and sexy SSD drives featuring models with various new controllers from Indilinx and Samsung as well as Intels award winning X25-M. Just to make things a little more interesting there is even a model which features a customised version of the old JMicron 602 controller.
by Nathan Marks | 19/06/2009
Today we are looking at two cards, the XFX HD 4890 Black Edition and Zotacs GTX285 Infinity. Both are each respective manufacturers fastest single core offerings and bring several improved features to the table.
by Nathan Marks | 17/06/2009
Recently we tested the Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X which offers a slight improvement over the reference model with a modest overclock and a custom cooling solution. Today however we will be taking a look at the real powerhouse that Sapphire have on offer, the HD 4890 Atomic.
by Nathan Marks | 12/06/2009
Today were going to be testing the Sapphire HD 4890 Vapor-X. This specific model of the 4890 slots in just above the basic card and below the Toxic edition which is clocked at slightly higher speeds.
by Grace | 05/06/2009
The reputation of PC Power & Cooling as a PSU manufacturer is legendary, ever since the company has been founded they have consistently delivered products with the highest electrical performance.
by Nathan Marks | 04/06/2009
Today well be taking a look at the Breed Evo, a high performance gaming rig which is wrapped up in the stylish SilverStone TJ07 chassis. The system comes equipped with a highly clocked i7 920 processor and a GTX295, both watercooled with some of the finest high end enthusiast equipment on the market.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/06/2009
Today, for the first time, Alienware are allowing an exclusive preview of a new product (only at Driverheaven) prior to it being available for consumers. Is this the laptop of your dreams? - read our preview to read all the juicy details.
by Nathan Marks | 29/05/2009
Purchasing a new computer is never an easy task with countless manufacturers offering systems of various configurations. It takes a little something special to stand out among such a crowded theatre and today were going to take a look at a system from Kobalt Computers.
by Nathan Marks | 21/05/2009
Today were going to be looking at the Asus ENGTX260 Matrix graphics card. The card is complete with a custom cooler and a comprehensive software application which allows for overvolting and overclocking of the card. The card is available for about Â£160 and these features could easily give it a strong advantage over competing products.
by Zardon | 20/05/2009
Recently we reviewed the dual CPU Nehalem EP platform and when we heard that Coolit had a system planned we gave them a call. Today we have a review of the 'WS 240' which is based on the Domino A.L.C. - abeit with some important changes. Is this another killer product from Coolit?
by Nathan Marks | 13/05/2009
Today well be taking a look at the Asus F70 laptop, a basic Multimedia machine that slots in at the £750 mark making it a viable option for those who don't want to spend more on a Sony or Apple.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/05/2009
There has been a steady stream of processor releases from AMD in recent times. Whether it is revisions of triple and quad core models or the addition of DDR3 parts to the product line there has always been something new to look at regularly. Two weeks ago we took a look at the latest high end Phenom 2, the 955 and now AMD have another release for us to cover. The Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition.
by Nathan Marks | 29/04/2009
Today were going to look at the Novatech X55MV Pro, a dual core laptop which promises to provide strong performance at an unbeatable price point.
by Nathan Marks | 27/04/2009
High end graphics cards such as Nvidias GTX295 and ATIs 4870x2 are the stuff of dreams for most of us. With the current economic climate and tightening budgets it is important we focus on some of the more affordable solutions and today we are doing just that by looking at two cards available from the current Nvidia lineup, Gigabytes 1GB 9600 GT and a 9400 GT from PNY.
by Grace | 24/04/2009
Today at DriverHeaven we have one of Enermax's latest mainstream products, the Liberty Eco 500W unit. The Liberty Eco is a modular PSU, designed to offer good overall performance and superior reliability at a competitive price.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/04/2009
Today AMD release the latest AM3 processor, the 955 Black Edition, the first to have a real chance of competing with the 940 in that all important enthusiast market. Combined with a high specification 790FX based motherboard and ATI GPU it creates what could be AMDs most powerful system ever. Today we take a look at the latest performance figures from the AM3 (Dragon) platform using the 955, MSIs new 790FX-GD70 and XFXs 4870 X2. Is it finally time for AMD users to make the switch to DDR3?
by Stuart Davidson | 17/04/2009
Today we take a look at several of the cards based on the GT200 core as well as a GTS 250 to see which offer the best value for gaming and GPU computing tasks. For anyone considering the purchase of a GeForce product in the next few months this article is essential reading.
by Zardon | 05/04/2009
Today we look at Intel's new highest specification W5580 processors running on the new S5520SC motherboard. Just how smoking fast is this platform and are we about to break a bunch of records in our testing today?
by Stuart Davidson | 02/04/2009
Today we will be putting a selection of 4890s up against the GTX 275 in the latest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600. We will also run each of the cards through a selection of GPU computing tasks as well as completing our test suite with some CrossFire tests and overclocking/thermal performance.
by Nathan Marks | 31/03/2009
Asus are a household name among computer enthusiasts as they manufacturer some of the best equipment available on the market, the most notable products being their large range of motherboards and the famous Eee PC. Their range of portable machines is ever growing and today we are going to look at one of their laptops from the Asus Republic of Gamers line, the G71V, which as you can tell by the brand title puts heavy emphasis on catering for gamers.
by Nathan Marks | 24/03/2009
Today were going to look at the Acer Aspire 8930G, an 18.4 inch desktop replacement which goes to market under the £1000 mark.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/03/2009
Today we have three SSD's on our test bench from Intel, Patriot and Super Talent. Each has a different capacity and cost but all will be placed through a selection of synthetic and real world tests to establish which drive is ideal for consumers first leap into the SSD market.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/03/2009
Over the last week or two there has been heated debate online regarding the latest graphics card from Nvidia. This kind of discussion is usually reserved for the latest high end product but in this case it is a mainstream model, the GTS 250.
by Asmoday | 23/02/2009
In September DriverHeaven had the pleasure to have a look at Antecs gaming enclosure flagship; the Antec Twelve Hundred. A few months have passed since then and during this time Antec decided it was about time that the Twelve Hundred got a younger sibling, which they decided to call the Nine Hundred Two.
by Nathan Marks | 17/02/2009
Today we are going to look at a £75 offering from Sapphire, the HD 4670. We looked at a similar model a few months ago from Sapphire and at the time we were impressed by the value it offered to the mainstream customer. Sapphire has completely revisited the card, adding GDDR4 memory and a brand new cooler to this mid-range card.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/02/2009
As our i7 launch article demonstrated there were some massive increases to be had from the new triple channel memory architecture in both theoretical and real world tests. Since the release of i7 and X58 motherboards a large number of triple channel kits have hit the market and today we have three of the more impressive versions on our test bench. Each will be put through a selection of real world tests to find out which of them is worthy of your hard earned cash.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/02/2009
Not content with being known for great Nvidia based products XFX recently announced a range of Radeon graphics cards and Intel motherboards, all of which are designed to take on the best products in their marketplace. Today we have the first of their cards on our test bench, the Radeon HD 4870 1 GB XXX which is a factory overclocked model.
by Stuart Davidson | 10/02/2009
In the second of todays XFX articles we take a look at the Radeon HD 4650. Those reading who have already seen our 4870 XXX article will know that XFX have already made a good impression with that product in their new ATI range. We will find out if this winning streak continues as we run the card through a selection of tests including gaming, Overclocking and Blu-Ray playback.
by Stuart Davidson | 28/01/2009
During CES 2009 Nvidia launched the latest cards in their GeForce range, the GTX 285 and 295. The 285 is essentially a refresh of the existing GTX 280 with a reduction in the core size and reduced power requirements. The GTX 295 is their latest dual GPU design, the first card since the 9800 GX2 to support Quad SLI. Rather than rush out a half assed review to meet Nvidias tight timescales for this launch, we opted to delay our article and ensure it was as informative as we could make it.
by Grace | 27/01/2009
Throughout 2008 Corsair released a great range of power supplies which quickly earned them a strong reputation as a quality provider in the market. Today we will take a look at Corsair's tenth power supply product, the TX850 850W PSU. The TX850 is a newer, upgraded version of the very popular TX750 which we reviewed a few months ago.
by Grace | 15/01/2009
Today we will have a look at their latest PowerBird 1100W PSU, a high performance modular unit. The PowerBird 1100W is designed to compete in the most demanding category of the computer industry market and appeal to the most hardcore of enthusiasts. The big question remains however, is it able to compete with other high end offerings such as the Corsair HX1000W?
by Nathan Marks | 30/12/2008
Zotac was established as a Nvidia partner in 2006 and have been producing quality VGA and motherboard solutions since then. Today we're going to look at the Zotac Nitro, an overclocking tool unlike anything we've seen before. This USB device allows you to overclock your video card on the fly, setup profiles and monitor fan speed and temperature. Overclocking is very much an enthusiast hobby, but Zotac hope the Nitro will encourage more users to try and get the most out of their graphics cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/12/2008
It comes as no surprise to us that there are also versions of the 4870X2 hitting the market with extreme cooling solutions in addition to enhanced speeds. Today we will run two of the most interesting through a selection of real world tests, including gaming at 2560x1600 and Blu-Ray playback to find out how good the 4870 X2 can get.
by Zardon | 13/12/2008
The XL30 is undenably aimed at the less price conscious professional editing and design markets such as graphics bureaus, printers and publishers. It is in these markets that colour accuracy is paramount to the end product and this is where the sophisicated LED backlight plays a part. Samsung claim industry leading colour accuracy/range and looking at the statistics we would already assume this to be true.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/12/2008
Today we have three boards (Intel, Gigabyte & Asus)on our review bench and we will be running them through a selection of tests, mainly in real world scenarios, to establish which deserves to be the basis for your new Core i7 system. Whether you are an overclocker, video editor, Photoshop professional or gamer... this is the article to read.
by Grace | 01/12/2008
G.Skill are a renowned memory manufacturer and they have released many high performance products during the past months. That said, they haven't forgotten about the mainstream market and they just released several new DDR2 kits for the mainstream market as well. Today we will have a look at a Pi Black series PC2-6400 4GB kit, which can operate at 800MHz while needing only 1.8-1.9V.
by Nathan Marks | 28/11/2008
Today were going to take a look at the ATC S 840, a full tower case that Coolermaster hopes will break into the high end market when it is released next month. With many components growing in size and the demand for water cooling support increasing, they have constructed a huge full tower case designed to accommodate the modern demands of enthusiasts.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/11/2008
In the Radeon HD 4870 family there have been numerous overclocked models released in the last few months but few go to the extreme shown by todays review product, the PowerColor Liquid Cooling Solution HD4870.
by Grace | 26/11/2008
Today we will have a look at a rather strange cooler from NorthQ, the FlexQ Combo cooler. What makes the FlexQ Combo unique is that it can be installed not only on most processors as a low profile cooler, but on several GFX cards as well. But given its small size, can it perform well enough to be a competitive product? We will find out in this review.
by Nathan Marks | 26/11/2008
Last month we looked at a 4550 sample from ATI, it proved to be a great budget card and earned our top award. Now weve got our hands on another 4550 from Sapphire, along with their 4650 model.
by Nathan Marks | 25/11/2008
AMDs partners have been busy producing overclocked cards with custom cooling solutions to help improve core cooling and noise levels. Today were going to look at two of those offerings, the HIS 4850 IceQ 4 and the Club3d 4850 Overclocked Edition.
by Stuart Davidson | 21/11/2008
Unless someone wants to spend considerable money there are really only two options for gaming enthusiasts, two cards which provide performance high enough to play the latest games at high detail without requiring a bank loan, the GeForce GTX 260 and Radeon HD 4870 1Gb. The question is, which is the fastest now that many driver revisions have passed since release?
by Nathan Marks | 19/11/2008
The Skeleton utilises a completely open air design, radically different from a traditional case. Antec has created something more akin to a test bench, attempting to bring the concept to a more mainstream audience. Hopefully the innovative Skeleton can live up to Antecs reputation and prove to be a viable option for enthusiasts and overclockers.
by Nathan Marks | 03/11/2008
Today we are looking at a hot new graphics card from Sapphire. This is an impressive design comprising two fans on a very attractive blue PCB. How does it perform against the single core 4850 as well as GTX 260 and GTX 280 hardware from Nvidia? Read on to find out ...
by Stuart Davidson | 01/11/2008
Join us for our review as we cover why the Core i7 is such a great improvement over Core 2 as we put it though numerous tests against the best of the socket 775 CPUs, the X9770. In addition to this we will also look at the best motherboard you are likely to see in some time and if that is not enough, how about some overclocking of the new platform thrown in for fun, can we hit 4ghz on air? Time to find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 31/10/2008
Just over a week ago ATI launched the Radeon HD 4830 which is the latest card in the 4800 series range and hits the market at around £99/$130. Unfortunately, due to a BIOS issue on the first batch of review sample cards (reference models and some retail branded) the full number of unified shaders was not available and performance was therefore negatively impacted (some reviews you have already read on other publications are actually wrong).
by Zardon | 30/10/2008
XFX are bundling Far Cry 2 with a wide range of their hardware so when we approached them for this article they sent us over a great cross section of hardware for our analysis. We also compare against leading hardware from ATI to see which will give you the best gaming experience for your money.
by Nathan Marks | 28/10/2008
With overclocking becoming more popular than ever before among PC users the need for cases with optimal airflow is a must, and full towers are the obvious choice when building a high end system. Today were going to take a look at the SilverStone TJ10B-WNV, a full tower case based on the TJ09. Hopefully after our disappointing encounter with the NZXT Khaos chassis recently SilverStone can raise the bar.
by Grace | 28/10/2008
Today we will have a look at the TX750, a high output PSU designed to offer great electrical performance at the best possible price to performance ratio. Corsair released the TX750 several months ago but it still is considered to be one of the best choices anywhere close to its retail price. We will stress it to its limits in this review.
by Grace | 09/10/2008
Today we're testing another AXP PSU, the 1000W model of the Supernova series. The 800W and 1000W models are much alike and share the same base design, but AXP tuned the newer 1000W version further and improved several of its key performance points.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/10/2008
On our test bench today is Gainwards Golden Sample version of the latest high end video card to be released by ATI, the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. Rumours and news about this particular model have been around since before the 512MB version made it to launch but it has taken some time for the 1GB model to reach the marketplace and it enters into a slightly more crowded segment than it would have three months ago.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/10/2008
Today's review subject, the Radeon HD 4550, which sits nicely between the 3450 and 4650 in ATIs product catalogue and competes directly against the GeForce 9400 GT. In this review we will be comparing those two cards in a selection of the latest games as well as seeing how each fairs in some high definition playback tests.
by Grace | 26/09/2008
Today we will have a look at one of their latest and better PSUs, the Supernova 800W unit. The Supernova units are made to deliver good performance as well as a unique design at a competitive price.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/09/2008
The new GeForce GTX 260 increases the number of shader processors and should provide a very competitive alternative to the Radeon 4870. Today we will be finding out how well it compares in a selection of the latest games, including Crysis Warhead as well as demonstrating how well it handles Blu-Ray acceleration and PhysX processing.
by Stuart Davidson | 22/09/2008
Today we will be throwing a few of the latest and greatest gaming titles at the 9500 GT XXX as well as some PhysX processing and media playback to ascertain whether this product really is the card of dreams for a budget minded consumer.
by Stuart Davidson | 19/09/2008
This card retails for £60/$80 and so should be well within the price range of most consumers, but is it worth buying if you are a gamer? It is our job today to find out, and we will also test them in Crossfire to see the possible gains if you upgraded at a later date.
by Grace | 18/09/2008
Today we will have a look at one of their best units, the Real Power Pro 1250W PSU. The Real Power Pro is primarily designed to offer the best possible electrical performance over low noise or good aesthetics ... it is aimed at the most demanding users of all; hardcore overclockers.
by Stuart Davidson | 09/09/2008
Palit are one of a growing number of companies who now sell Nvidia and ATI products which means that in the same price range they can often have several competing products. In the case of the sub $200 market two such products are their 9800GT and 4850 Sonic graphics cards.
by Zardon | 06/09/2008
Today we are taking a look at the new Asus 4870 X2 which is set to push the performance boundaries even further, these preoverclocked cards are lovingly referred to by Asus as the "TOP" versions. This card has enhanced clocks with the cores increased from 750 to 790mhz and the GDDR5 modules increased from 3600 to 3660mhz (900 to 915).
by Stuart Davidson | 05/09/2008
Today we have the GTX 280 OCX on our test bench and will be comparing it to a reference model in a selection of the latest games as well as running it through some high definition playback tests, we will even throw in a few compares to the GTX 260 for those having trouble deciding which card best suits them.
by Zardon | 01/09/2008
We recently spent some time with the Alienware m15x and the end result was the fastest 15 inch laptop we have ever tested. Today we look at the bigger brother, the Area 51 m17x which is marketed as a high powered gaming desktop replacement. So what goodies have we inside? How does a 2.8ghz Extreme Edition processor and two 8800 GTX M in Sli sound?
by Stuart Davidson | 21/08/2008
Recently while researching laptop prices we found Novatechs own branded laptops which feature some impressive components but retail at a level we can only wish Alienware would use! Of course buying a laptop from a relative unknown is always a risk, so today we will be taking an in-depth look at the X80r Pro, covering all the bases and letting you know if they are worth your money.
by Stuart Davidson | 21/08/2008
Today we will be comparing eight motherboards for Intel processors and showing how each performs as well as looking at the features they have to offer. Tests include gaming, media playback, image manipulation and more, so by the end of the article we should be a bit better placed to know which chipset or board is ideal for consumers using Intel processors.
by Zardon | 17/08/2008
Even though comparisons will be made, our intention is not to directly compare ATI against Nvidia in this article, but more to see how both leading ultimate solutions will run on a system which should in theory be less CPU bound than most. To further downplay the side effects of the two Quad processors affecting the results, we have watercooled both CPU's and overclocked them to 4.4ghz (400x11). This will let both graphics solutions stretch their legs at the highest resolutions.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/08/2008
Today we have the opportunity to test the card in its shipping form with a driver which is much closer to the version consumers will receive. We will be running the card through a selection of the latest and greatest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600 as well as testing Blu-Ray acceleration and CrossFireX performance. The big question that needs answered ..... are ATI back at the top of their game?
by Grace | 08/08/2008
Today we will have a look at the gaming performance of seven different budget graphics card products from various manufacturers. The products on test today are all priced between £20 and £70, yet the performance differences between them are vast, making some usable only for HTPC use and 2D gaming while others can be used to power a relatively decent gaming machine.
by Zardon | 04/08/2008
Modern GPU chips have ever growing cooling needs, especially under overclocked conditions. Reference coolers aren't always able to keep up with the heat dissipation demands of these chips and the user may be able to get a lot more out of their card with the purchase of a more sophisticated cooling solution. Today we're going to look at the Akasa Vortexx Neo, which claims to combine high thermal performance with low noise levels.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/08/2008
XFX offered us the opportunity to review a number of their value segment motherboards with onboard graphics, they told us that their products were capable of taking on the best AMD and Intel had to offer. This is quite a claim so after tracking down some impressive AM2/Socket 775 boards we put XFX to their word.
by Grace | 01/08/2008
Hiper have three different series of PSUs, the Type-S series consisting of low output and simple units, Type-R MKII series consisting of modular high performance units and the Type-M series consisting of non-modular high performance units. Setting the Type-S series aside, the main difference between the Type-M and Type-R MKII units are the modular cable connectors. Today we will take a look at one of the most powerful Type-M series units, the 4M780.
by Zardon | 25/07/2008
Alienware have always produced some of the sleekist sexiest laptops known to geekdom and with their latest M15x this tradition is set to continue. There is no doubt in my mind by looking at the sensual curves of the Alienware that they have crafted something rather special.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/07/2008
Today in the first of a two part article we will be looking at some of the Nvidia cards that are on offer in the £70-£150 ($120-$190) range to demonstrate how much performance each provides. In the near future we will be following up with a look at cards in the £30-£70 range.
by Grace | 18/07/2008
DDR3 RAM sales are slowly but steadily increasing, mainly of the aggressive price drops in the past few months but also because of the inability of DDR2 RAM to evolve much further. Despite that, DDR2 RAM modules are still very popular as they are still the most cost effective solution.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/07/2008
So what of a product to compete with the GTX 280? Well that is why we are here today, in the last day or so ATI supplied us with an early sample of the R700 giving us the opportunity to see how it compares to cards which are already on the market. We should however state that ATI have placed some limitations on what we can and cannot say about the R700 at this time and therefore a full outline of the card and performance analysis will be published at a later date.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/07/2008
Today's review product, the Radeon HD 4870, goes some way to rectifying AMD's hole in the market as it is priced to challenge the GTX 260. We will be running the products through a variety of tests including gaming at 2560x1600, CrossFire and high definition playback to find out which company is most deserving of your hard earned cash.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/07/2008
Today we have factory overclocked cards from each of these manufacturers and we will be putting them head to head in a variety of tests including gaming at 2560x1600, high definition playback and âPhysX calculations. In addition to this we will also take a look at how each of the cards compares to various other products which are available on the market, including the Geforce GTX 260, and Radeon 4870.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/06/2008
Today we will be running the two new products through a selection of the latest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600 as well as delving into some Blu-Ray playback testing and overclocking in order to establish how well they perform.
by Stuart Davidson | 20/06/2008
When most manufacturers design an enhanced specification graphics card they tend to increase the core and memory speed, others might do this and add a fancy cooler. Visiontek have on the other hand gone above and beyond this by doing both as well as completely redesigning the PCB to improve the size of the product and the features available to their customers. Today we are looking at the Visiontek Radeon HD 3870 X2 Overclocked Edition.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/06/2008
We have two of the hot new Nvidia products in our test labs today ... The first is Zotac's 280 GTX AMP! Edition, a factory overclocked sample of the high end model and the other is a reference design 260 GTX. We will be testing with a selection of the latest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600 as well as delving into some Blu-Ray playback and card overclocking in order to establish how much of an improvement they are, if any, over the last generation of Nvidia hardware.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/06/2008
The Geforce 9800 GTX has been around for some time now and the maturing of the product brings with it a selection of cards which look to improve on the reference specification or design. We have one such card on our test bench today, XFXs 9800 GTX Black Edition from a handpicked range of cards which feature enhanced core and memory speeds for exceptional performance and stability.
by Grace | 04/06/2008
CoolerMaster became famous due to their excellent high end cooling solutions and computer chassis, however lately their reputation as power supply designers is also coming to the fore. Our experience with their Real Power M series would certainly prove this to be justified.
by Vikingod | 21/05/2008
While we are still a few years from being plugged into a chair and given the ability to be taught virtually the ways of 17th century Shaolin monks, there are products out there which are attempting to bring the VR experience to the everyday gamer. Enter the Vuzix iWear VR920
by Grace | 20/05/2008
Cooler Master are a company that is very well known for cooling solutions however in the last couple of years they have developed a very competitive line of PSU products. The Real Power M700 is perhaps the most important unit in Cooler Masters current range as it is aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers who usually require a unit within the 600-800W output range.
by Grace | 02/05/2008
GMC are a Korean manufacturer of PC cases and they are continuously trying to design innovative and functional products for enthusiasts who would like to have something a little different. Today we will take a look at one of their latest creations, the R-3 Corona.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/04/2008
The recent launch of the GX laptop range gives us a high specification laptop with some excellent features (HDMI) and the ability to overclock at the touch of a button. Lets find out if it is as good as the marketing makes out.
by Stuart Davidson | 16/04/2008
Every time a new graphics card is released we hear great claims about how the new video enhancements will improve our viewing experience or that the hardware is as perfect as it can get in the High Definition HQV Benchmark. Unfortunately, for many reasons most end users have to pretty much accept these claims as it is not really possible for the average consumer to set up two identical systems, side by side and see what the differences are. Well we have and the results are fascinating !
by Stuart Davidson | 11/04/2008
Today we take a look at a plethora of mid range graphics cards available to you, the consumer. The cards in the lineup today are: Zotac 9600 GT Amp! Edition, Gainward Bliss 9600 GT, Asus EN9600GT, XFX 9600 GT XXX, Palit 9600GT Sonic, Gainward 8800 GTS Golden Sample (Goes Like Hell), Zotac 8800 GT 1GB, Asus 3850 OC Gear. Which one is worth your money?
by Grace | 08/04/2008
The mid range graphics card sector tends to have some relatively poor cooler design as well as small, noisy fan configurations so with this in mind today we will take a look at a very large VGA cooler by Titan, the Twin Turbo CSC88TZ. Despite its massive size and twin fan design, the Twin Turbo is designed for installation only on low to mid range VGA cards.
by Vikingod | 07/04/2008
NZXT is a company focused on the needs and desires of PC enthusiasts and gamers alike. Today, we are taking a look at their newest mid-tower case: the NZXT Tempest. While aesthetics, quality and price are important considerations for those purchasing a computer case; with this addition to their lineup, NZXT have set their focus on one core feature: cooling. The question posed is: Have NZXT created a quality case that can aptly be dubbed the 'Airflow King'?
by Grace | 02/04/2008
One of the most challenging aspects of assembling a system is to hide the cables, making it look as clean and tidy as possible. Every enthusiast likes to have a good looking system and for modders this is considered a necessity. Ultra have always tried to satisfy modders, after all they are the company who first released modular PSUs. The m998 chassis we are looking at today is named after an old army vehicle and it is loaded with features, some of which are very useful.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/04/2008
There are enthusiast users who want to get as much performance as possible out of their components and for that they require some serious cooling. These are exactly the users that CoolIT are targeting with their pre-plumbed and factory sealed Freezone Elite which makes use of maintenance refrigerated liquid. For the beginner enthusiast or more price conscious user the Pure CPU cooler shares many of the same components as the Elite and we will be taking a look at both products today.
by Stuart Davidson | 31/03/2008
No, its not an April's fools joke, today we have yet another launch from Nvidia, the new 9800 GTX which is set to replace the 8800 GTX of old. Not content with just reviewing the new GTX however we have several new GX2's as well as a kick ass new Asus 3870 X2 in our test labs today.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/03/2008
Within last weeks nForce 790i SLI and 9800 GX2 article we would have liked to include benchmarks of the GX2 in an SLI Quad configuration but due to a rather bizarre decision by Nvidia they asked all partners to withhold Quad performance until today.
Anyway, today we can tell you how Quad SLI performs but we want to do more than that so we will be taking our first look at 3-Way SLI using three 8800 Ultras ...
by Stuart Davidson | 17/03/2008
Today is the launch of two high end Nvidia products. The 790i motherboard which supports DDR3 right up to 2000mhz and the 9800 GX2 the latest in the G9x range of GPU's.
Are they worth your hard earned cash? read our 29 page indepth analysis to find out.
by Grace | 13/03/2008
Many of the first generation mATX cases were very restrictive and therefore not very popular, however cubic mATX cases have, like much in the world of technology, evolved considerably since then. Today we will take a look at one of the most interesting cubic mATX cases available, the Ultra MicroFly SX6. The MicroFly has an Ultra XVS 600W modular PSU installed from the factory and is able to house full length video cards and optical drives ...
by Stuart Davidson | 07/03/2008
In our final Cebit roundup for 2008 we will be taking a look at the Asus, Corsair, and Razer stands as well as some other products we missed on previous days. Let's get started.
by Stuart Davidson | 06/03/2008
Yesterday we brought you coverage from various companies at Cebit and today we have been trawling the show looking in more detail at a few of the larger manufacturers. Here are some of the highlights.
by Stuart Davidson | 05/03/2008
Driver Heaven has been out and about at Cebit 08, here are some of the highlights from our wanderings on Day 1. Drop by our forums to let us know what you think looks great or even what you think looks completely pointless!
by Stuart Davidson | 05/03/2008
The latest 17 model to be released by Alienware is the Area-51 m9750. This particular model features the latest Core2 parts with excellent hard drive options and continues an initiative that Alienware first introduced in 2006, mobile SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/02/2008
Arctic Cooling are without doubt the masters of cooling. They never fail to impress us with their products which always deliver fantastic performance but still manage to maintain a very low noise level. It is for this reason that every desktop and media system I own uses Arctic Cooling CPU coolers. Despite this, up until I began testing for this review the coolers I had on my graphics cards were either reference, Zalman or Thermalright, with the reasons being I needed flat out thermal performance or small, compact and noiseless solutions. For all of my uses Arctic Cooling did not have a GPU cooler which matched my exact needs. That is not to say their products are a disappointment, far from it, but they have tended to be slightly too big compared to the competition, the Accelero S1 compared to Zalman VNF-100 for example. In the case of high end Nvidia coolers there really was no option from Arctic Cooling, until now.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/02/2008
With the recent release of the Radeon 3850 and GeForce 8800 GS there is a new battle taking place for consumers with a budget of £100-£140 and today we have two such cards on our test bench, the XFX 8800 GS XXX 384Mb and the Sapphire 3850 256Mb. Which deserves your money?
by Zardon | 11/02/2008
Skulltrail. Even the name sounds mean. If you haven't heard the codename before now then we have a treat in store for you today. Skulltrail is a high end desktop PC platform based on Xeon class workstation processors. How does Dual Cpu, 8 Cores, four graphics card slots, dual 1600mhz front side buses with a total of 25.6 GB/s of bandwidth grab you?
by WhO_KnOwS | 07/02/2008
If you take a look at the upcoming Force Unleashed trailers you will see that things are moving forward at blazing speeds and as a result only the fastest CPUs can be sure of handling the increased load.
The graphics industry faced a similar situation back in the days of 3dfx, when something had to be done to offload some of the work from the CPU and allow games to develop. Back then 3D acceleration was introduced and right now AGEIA is trying to do the same for the world of physics.
With Nvidia having just purchased Ageia we decided to take a look at their PhysX.
by WhO_KnOwS | 06/02/2008
Right now things are looking up for AMD. The HD3870 X2 is a great card, performing on a par with similarly priced cards from nVidia. This makes it an excellent choice for enthusiasts who require the ultimate performance at all times. Equally so, it also puts the card out of reach for gamers who don't want to spend a fortune on their gaming machines.
AMD's answer is the HD3850. The card has all the features it's two faster brothers (the HD3870 and the HD3870 X2) offers and only falls behind in performance due to slightly lower GPU speeds and slower memory. But while no features were cut in the process of making the HD3850, its price experienced a significant reduction. The question on everybody's lips is did the performance drop suffer to a similar degree?
by Stuart Davidson | 28/01/2008
It has been a boring state of affairs in the graphics card industry with Nvidia ruling the roost for a long time. Today we take a look at ATI's new HD 3870 X2 card, do they finally have an answer to Nvidia's high end dominance? We think you might be surprised ....
by Stuart Davidson | 23/01/2008
With a new graphics card launch the initial batch of cards is followed by a flurry of enhanced models and the 8800 GT and GTS are no different. In today's review we will be taking a look at some of the more impressive enhanced models that are available, the first two products are supplied by XFX and Zotac and are factory overclocked GTS models.
XFX are highly experienced in this area and while Zotac are relatively new to this sector this has not stopped them impressing us with previous overclocked models. In fact their 8800 GT AMP! Edition is still the fastest GT branded card we have tested. The third product in this review is Gainward's 8800 GT Golden Sample. Gainward have enhanced clock speeds on this particular card and have chosen to attach an impressive looking cooler and one gigabyte of memory. The heat is on ...
by Grace | 14/01/2008
Usually the primary criteria when shopping for cases are the exterior design, thermal and acoustic performance and the number of features. A good case usually is a balanced combination of those criteria; a case without fans would be very silent but the thermal performance would be awful, while a case with extremely fast fans would offer extremely good thermal performance but the noise would make it intolerable for many people. With those criteria in mind NZXT designed the Hush, a case which can offer proper cooling and good looks but at the same time be entirely silent and comes at an affordable price. Perhaps one of the most balanced quality cases ever designed? We will soon find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/12/2007
Today we are taking a look at Nvidias refresh of the 8800 GTS which is designed to bring the performance and specifications up to where they should be for the suggested price range.
by Stuart Davidson | 29/10/2007
Today we have not one, but four new 8800GT's in our test labs from some of the leading manufacturer's. We will be giving the card a thorough analysis in all the leading DX9 and DX10 games, including Crysis.
The big question on everyones lips? Is the 8800GT the new class leader as the best "bang for buck"?
Read our review and find out.
by WhO_KnOwS | 21/10/2007
It has been a good year for nVidia and its partners. The 8800 series has seen little competition, and even when it has, the 8800GTX and Ultra have emerged as the clear winners every time.
Being almost a year old the 8800GTX could well start reaching its limits in the newest games at high resolutions, making it a less than stellar purchase. Aiming to find out we fired up all the latest and greatest titles at the Zotac 8800GTX AMP! Edition, giving you a chance to see just how well the card can cope with them.
To top it off, we threw a few standard games in the mix as well, hoping to find how much the faster clocks of the AMP! Edition actually help.
by WhO_KnOwS | 21/09/2007
This generation of graphics cards seems to be all about nVidia, at least for the time being. On most forums users will call you a fool for even considering an AMD graphics card, claiming that nVidia can wipe the floor with AMD any day of the week.
Facts speak differently however. Yes, nVidia’s solutions are a bit faster in certain games, but AMD has a fair share of games that run faster on their hardware as well. And most importantly, when somebody buys a graphics card, they tend to use it for more than just gaming. HD video playback is getting more popular by the day, so having a card that is capable of accelerating playback on computers that aren’t exactly high-end is an important feature. And what do you know, AMD is faring a great deal better here than their competition.
So you see, things aren’t as black and white as some would have you believe and because of that, we decided to turn the spotlight to AMD’s camp, and showcase the performance of their budget and middle end graphics cards.
by WhO_KnOwS | 27/08/2007
We have previously pitted the 8400 cards again the HD2400 and the 8600 against the HD2600. While these reviews delivered plenty of information to people who already settled on a price range and were only looking for which card to get from that segment, they didn’t offer much to users who were unsure which price range was right for them.
To help such users we decided to look at how the different middle and low-end boards from nVidia compared to each other. To top it off, all of the cards on test today are passively cooled, making them all prime candidates for multimedia PCs.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/08/2007
AMD's 690G chipset has proven to be very successful with a wide array of microATX boards currently available covering various price points and feature sets. At the time of our original review we found the 690G products to be impressive performers when compared to the Nvidia based GeForce 6050 and nForce 430 chipsets. However since then Nvidia have released an updated motherboard solution which features updated onboard graphics and Southbridge.
Today we are taking a look at a high specification 690G motherboard from EQS and comparing it to Abits new AN-M2HD which utilizes the Nvidia 7050PV/NF630a feature set.
by Stuart Davidson | 15/07/2007
There is no doubting that XFX make truly impressive graphics cards, here at Driver Heaven we have found their 8xxx series cards to be the best in each of the market segments, they have in fact won more "Heavenly Hardware Gold Awards" than any other graphics card manufacturer. As well as making stellar hardware XFX always supply their products with great presentation and incorporate the highest engineering standards. So when they sent us a review sample of their latest high end Nvidia 6 series motherboard we were extremely interested to ascertain if this tradition of great performance and specifications was to continue.
Today’s review product is XFX’s 680i LT SLI motherboard, a product which takes the performance of the full 680i chipset and combines it with a more affordable set of features. The main differences being that the LT board lacks an extra GB lan port and a 3rd PCIe 8x slot.
by Stuart Davidson | 03/07/2007
It’s nearly a year since the Intel 965 chipset first made it to retail and whilst it is still a great performer these motherboards are up against some strong competition in the form of Nvidia’s 680i chipset. As well as being a little lacking compared to the aforementioned Nvidia part the upcoming move to 45nm and 1333FSB processors has resulted in a new high end chipset being produced by Intel.
As well as featuring enhanced CPU support, the new chipset is able to compete with other products in regards to memory support, finally officially breaking through the DDR2-800 limit which has been in place on many Intel based boards for some time now. Today we have four boards to review from four manufacturers which take slightly different approaches to this chipset.
The boards being tested are the Gigabyte P35-DQ6, Abit IP35 Pro Off Limits, Asus P5K Deluxe and MSI P35 Platinum, let’s see how the P35 handles.
by WhO_KnOwS | 26/06/2007
What about gamers that aren’t interested in when nVidia will release the next series and don’t care who is winning the graphics card war? As far as they are concerned higher shader clocks mean nothing and their graphics card is perfect for them for as long as they can enjoy their games at reasonable resolutions.
This is where Fatal1ty steps in, with his series of products aimed at gamers. They usually aren’t the fastest or most feature packed items on the market, but they still stick out because of their exceptional quality and eye-catching design. The fact that the most famous professional gamer stands behind them doesn’t hurt either. Couple that with XFX, one of the best graphics cards manufacturers out there and you have (in theory) a very capable partnership.
by WhO_KnOwS | 06/06/2007
With more and more people getting into high end computer gaming some things needed to change. With Microsoft making the software part of the experience more user friendly, nVidia decided to cover the hardware part. Thus the SLI-Ready initiative was started. The goal? Provide the users with a pain free experience where all components are working without a hitch at optimal settings. The OCZ memory modules we will be reviewing adhere to the strict standards and as such allow users with SLI-Ready motherboards to fully exploit the power of their memory.
by Stuart Davidson | 20/05/2007
Nvidia have held the GFX performance crown for quite some time with the extremely impressive 8800 GTX, so when they announced the “Ultra” a few weeks ago the general consensus was they had yet again pushed the envelope further, albeit with a huge price premium.
Everything considered, there will always be a market for these high end cards and with this in mind XFX sent us their new “XXX” Ultra for review, with further improvements on the core, memory and shader clocks. As AMD’s graphics card division are yet unable to supply an answer to the older GTX, the Ultra is certain to push the two companies high end products even further apart.
With such a high price tag on the Ultra our graphics card guru Stuart “Veridian3” Davidson will not only measure the cards real world gaming performance on XP and Vista, but will ascertain if the card is ultimately worth the money.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/05/2007
With AMD's acquisition of ATI for vast amounts of money, it would be fair to say there have been high hopes for the long awaited and by now almost mythical R600. If hype and rumour could sell product, then the cards we have in front of us today would guarantee AMD several hundred million in the first week of launch. However, in the internet age we are all all way too savvy to part with money before reading reviews and opinions, this is a luxury in 2007 we should never take for granted. Educated decisions mean we end up buying the product we need, not what companies say we should buy.
It has been a quiet six months for ATI, not only have Nvidia been ruling the roost with their excellent 8800 series, but with AMD getting trounced by Intel in the processor sector, every sane enthusiast is praying that their graphics division can finally deliver a competiing product which gives us all good value for money as well as a stellar gaming experience.
So, the question is, can the R600 take on the huge success story that is the Nvidia 8800? Today our UK Editor and graphics card specialist Stuart "Veridian3" Davidson is going to answer all your questions with real world gaming performance on multiple operating systems against 8800 counterparts, as well as delving into Image Quality concerns and Video Acceleration. We are sure by the end of this review you will know if it is money worth spending...
by Stuart Davidson | 17/04/2007
The product(s) that Nvidia and its partners are launching today is designed to bring DirectX 10 features to the mainstream market, in addition to this – this range introduce some quite astounding new video features which are not present on even the top end 8800 series. Top all this with an updated driver which features over 400 bug fixes since the 98 series driver and we have an interesting review ahead of us. So, furnished with overclocked edition GTS cards from MSI and BFG (with more coming this week from other makers) let’s see if the 8600 can deliver the goods.
by Stuart Davidson | 12/04/2007
A few months back we took a look at the first real generation of Core2 boards which were based on the Intel 975x chipset. At the time it was arguably the best chipset available for the Core2, however in recent times both AMD and Nvidia have taken a stab at stealing the performance crown with their 680i and 690 chipsets respectively. Our first look at the 680i was hugely disappointing with the early reference designs being plagued with problems, ranging from PS2 keyboard compatibility issues to quad core bugs. That said, some manufacturers took a little more time to bring their products to market and so with this in mind we revisit the chipset in the form of Abit's IN9 32X-MAX. The recently released Fatality F-I90HD is the second product on test today, based on the brand new AMD 690 chipset it is a more budget conscious board with great potential to compete with the more expensive models. Finally we have Intel's D975XBX2, an updated version of the original XBX which is the best Intel board we have used to date.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/03/2007
The 8800GTS 320Mb is a popular product amongst Nvidias partners and as a result there is a hugely varied range of cards currently available which differ greatly in specification, all trying to attract customers in what is a very lucrative segment of the graphics card market. Two manufacturers known for making variants of Nvidia cards which exceed reference specifications are BFG and XFX. Today we have a card from each manufacturer, both of these feature enhanced clock speeds, lets see if these are good value to the end user.
by Kombatant | 07/02/2007
The battle for supremacy in the graphics card arena is as fierce as ever these days, and both companies (nVIDIA and ATI - yes, we'll continue to call it that) are keen to point out their advantages and try to grab as much market share as possible. nVIDIA has stolen the thunder recently with the introduction of the all-powerful 8800 line of cards, but it's the midrange market segment where the battle is usually won or lost for the two companies. The reason is quite simple: although the super high-end cards earn bragging rights, it's the £100 cards and lower that are the best sellers, and in this category both companies want to be able to claim victory. When was the last time a friend approached you because you know more about computers, and asked: "Hey, I would like to buy a new graphics card to play all the latest games with great speeds, and I am prepared to pay good money; up to £100!" I bet that has happened more than once!
by Stuart Davidson | 23/01/2007
We’re sure that many of you who are reading will have seen the performance of 8800’s in SLI already and so we are going to add a little bit of a twist to our review. As well as benchmarks at stock settings combined with an Intel QX6700 we are also going to take a look at how the product performs when paired with the Core2 Quad Core at 4 GHz and if that wasn’t enough, we’re going to show how the 8800 in SLI performs when overclocked and combined with the 4 GHz quad core. We also have over half a gigabyte of high definition content so you can see it all for yourself.
As we found when originally testing the GTX in single card configurations, at 1920x1200 with AA and AF the GTX can be the bottleneck to a QX6700 system so adding a second card will make for some interesting results.
by Grace | 16/01/2007
Since the release of the AM2 socket, NVIDIA has been enjoying the largest share of the motherboard chipset market. The nForce 5 series chipsets dominate not only at the high end but also at the value motherboard production lines. Today we will take a look at a motherboard made by the company which created the reference nForce 590i motherboards, Foxconn. Foxconn entered the retail market only recently, but they are old in the industrial and OEM business. They must have felt confident about their work on the reference nForce 590i motherboard, because they released it nearly unchanged to the retail market. If most reference motherboards of other companies ever made it to the retail market, it would be nothing more than trouble, but we feel confident about NVIDIA’s and Foxconn’s combined effort. The name of the motherboard is C51XEM2AA, which is certainly not the easiest model number to memorise.
by Grace | 19/12/2006
As most people know, SLI and Crossfire are technologies developed by NVIDIA and ATi respectively to allow the installation of multi-graphic cards in a single system. We have seen a number of SLI/Crossfire ready VGA cards, motherboards and power supply units. It was only recently though that the SLI/Crossfire certification appeared on RAM modules. Even a few months ago, we could not imagine the day which SLI and Crossfire would cross swords on a RAM review could come. The OCZ PC2-6400 Crossfire certified edition 2GB dual channel kit is tested with the Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400 SLI-Ready 2GB kit.
by Stuart Davidson | 08/11/2006
As well as designing a GPU which is capable of excelling in DirectX 10 situations Nvidia had to accommodate existing technology and ensure that not only did their card have the ability to play catch-up with ATI in areas such as the ability to do HDR and AA the ideal scenario would be a product which also outperformed existing competitor solutions in titles from the past few years.
Could all this be done successfully? and would there be any downsides to the approach?
by WhO_KnOwS | 30/10/2006
When a certain game proves to be too much for a graphics card to handle, the cheapest solution is to try and overclock the board. This process is getting easier as the years pass with ATI supporting it “out of the box” on most of their cards and nVidia only requiring a small registry tweak to access their overclocking features (via coolbits). It comes as no surprise that card manufacturers like to use the same tactic to gain an edge over the competition by building the increased clock speeds into their bioses. The Palit 7900GS Sonic we are reviewing is one such product. While an overclocked card in itself doesn't have any real advantage over a reference one (after all you can overclock it yourself) a good cooler included in the package might just be enough to tip the scales in favour of the faster board.
by WhO_KnOwS | 20/10/2006
SLI and Crossfire powered gaming systems are something most of us can only dream about. The same thing is true for cards like the dual-GPU GeForce 7950GX2. The majority of us have to look at single-card solutions, and even then the pricier models can be rather expensive. For that reason both ATI and nVidia offer several cards that can still be considered high-end, but with their price being set at a far more reasonable level. Today we look at offerings from both ATI and nVidia, namely the Radeon X1900GT HDCP by Connect3D and the GeForce 7900GS by Foxconn. To spice things up we will compare the results from both cards with a representative of the last generation of nVidias 7x00 series – the 7800GT. The card is getting rather difficult to buy, since it is no longer being manufactured, but its price is similar to that of both the other cards. Cards in this price range are likely to be partnered with a midrange TFT screen running at around 1280x1024, so we will be running tests at this resolution with as much eye candy enabled as possible.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/09/2006
Since the release of Nvidia's 7800 and ATI's X1800 series the graphics card market has seen a deluge of product refreshes to the current generation which bring to market enhanced specifications and claims of improved performance. The product Nvidia are launching today is the 7950GT, as of 9AM PST it will be possible to buy the cards online and in some conventional stores, so lets take a look at Nvidia' reference design, and more importantly a retail branded version in the form of Palit's 7950GT 512mb.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/08/2006
ATI's latest refresh is upon us, and we have an indepth analysis ready for your enjoyment, we know what hardcore gamers want at Driver Heaven!
We have tested ATI's latest with a good cross section of games ranging from current first person shooters such as PREY to Microsoft's upcoming Flight Simulator X and we also pit the board against current ATI and Nvidia hardware to see if its worth an upgrade. We also have information on mixed crossfire configurations, CPU scaling (with a vapochill cooled extreme edition conroe running at 4ghz), as well as game tests running at resolutions up to 2560x1600 on a 30 inch Dell screen. We look at how the card handles against competing boards with optimisations off/HQ enabled. We also overclock the card to see what headroom you can expect.
by Stuart Davidson | 17/08/2006
ATI's X1k series of graphics cards are certainly a powerful solution for gaming, however whether purchasing a X1900XT or the older X1800 - the coolers are some of the loudest we have heard in our labs. We made it very clear to ATI that their noisy cooling solution needed addressed in the future because this was never an issue for the 78x or 79x Nvidia boards.
by Stuart Davidson | 11/07/2006
he past few generations of graphics products have seen both ATI and Nvidia locked in a battle to get sales from the discerning buyer. This has obviously benefited the consumer and the state of the market today is exceptionally healthy from low end to high end. A popular card falling into the mid to high end sector is Nvidia's 7900 GT and today we are taking a look at the MSI version . ATI's competiting product is the X1900GT and we have two retail X1900 GT's in for testing today, first up is Connect3D's and we'll also take a look at Powercolors
by Stuart Davidson | 19/06/2006
Sometimes products are released which are variations on a theme, these products can usually be looked at in a few days and then our opinions passed on to you. On other occasions products are released which are unique and interesting enough to warrant much more in-depth testing and analysis. The Geforce 7950 GX2 is one such product. A graphics card unlike any other available to gaming enthusiasts, the GX2 combines two 7950 cores on two separate PCBs with 1Gb of video memory in an attempt to make the fastest graphics card available on a single PCIe slot.
In this review Driver Heaven will be taking a look at how well the product performs in all of the usual gaming titles. In addition to this there will be in-depth testing at widescreen and ultra high resolutions, including advanced AA and AF settings and if that isnt enough to answer any performance questions we will then take a look at the cards video playback performance of high definition content when compared to competitor parts. Finally we will throw in a little overclocking to ensure that the benefits and downsides of the card are fully explored.
by Stuart Davidson | 18/06/2006
The world of performance laptops has always been an interesting one; we first looked at a “gamer” laptop in February 2004 and saw that speed didn’t necessarily mean portability. The 3.0Ghz P4 and Radeon 9600 Pro in that system required a rather large, and heavy, chassis and so really limited your travel options. Since then the majority of manufacturers have been forced to follow suit and generally if you want a top performing system you really do need to buy big. However this is slowly changing with the release of Intel’s Core CPU’s and some tough competition in the mobility graphics segment with ATI and Nvidia trying to outdo each other in terms of speed, temperature and power requirements. The result is that system builders can fit top performing kit into their laptops whilst for the most part maintaining portability.
We have one such system in for review today, it’s Rock’s Xtreme CTX which comes with the excellent Core Duo 2.16Ghz CPU and the high spec ATI Mobility X1800 XT graphics chip.
by Zardon | 16/05/2006
How high end can a prebuilt get? How about partnering up a few nVidia 7900GTX 512 MB cards in SLI with a FX60 and several hard drives including a half a terrabyte file drive with a Raptor X for boot up? Then wrap it all up in foam soundproofing.....
Im going to benchmark this machine in all the modern titles at 1920x1200 with eye candy maxed to the hilt, to see if it performs as well at it sounds.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/05/2006
Undoubtedly many sales are generated by having the fastest card on the planet, that’s one of the reasons ATI and Nvidia put so much money into R&D. Where they make the most money isn’t in this market segment however, it’s mainstream and budget cards that generate the big sales figures for both companies and having a killer product in each area at a great price can make or break your whole product range. The current mainstream attempts at killer products come in the shape of the X1800GTO and the 7600GT. We’re taking a look at both today to ascertain which gives you the best value and performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 07/11/2005
There have been a lot of rumours recently about a new 512mb Nvidia part being launched at the beginning of November…what there haven’t been though are numerous rumours of a new mainstream product from the guys in California. So with that in mind you would be forgiven for visiting the site today to be presented with a review of one such part. That’s right, Nvidia have chosen today to launch their newest mainstream part in the form of the Geforce 6800GS 256mb. So what’s the main competitor for this new part? Well its no less than ATIs new X1600XT 256 which we haven’t reviewed yet…so what better reason to take a first look at that now…
by Stuart Davidson | 05/10/2005
Product launches are like buses, you wait ages for an ATI product launch and then two come along almost at the same time. Whilst those of the Nvidia persuasion have happily been playing with their SLI and 7800 series those people holding on for the new ATI products have had quite a wait. ATI went some way to resolving that over the last month when they sent out crossfire reviewer kits to journalists … and in a move I can only assume is meant to ensure we’re kept on our toes here today we have the successor to the X850XT – the ATI Radeon X1800XT.
by Stuart Davidson | 26/09/2005
Considering how fast paced the PC industry moves you would have thought that a delay of over a year since SLI was introduced would have given Nvidia such a massive market segment share that it would be unbeatable. Unfortunately though, despite SLI being available it was far from the perfect solution at the time of launch with issues such as lack of game compatibility and having to use matched cards being factors that made the purchase undesirable for many hardware enthusiasts. It has to be said however that Nvidia have improved SLI game support in recent months and their hardware will take some beating, we aim to not only test crossfire but to show you some comparisons against Nvidia in both single and dual configurations.
by Stuart Davidson | 02/09/2005
Alienware are well known for building some high end systems for the enthusiast user and for those people who want a high performing system without the hassles of building their own.
Today we are looking at the extremely high end Aurora which features a dual Nvidia 7800 GTX solution as well as a Dual core AMD processor powering the system.
We ran it through the newest games including the new F.E.A.R demo and the SLI capable Battlefield 2 to see just how good those 7800's are.
by Stuart Davidson | 25/06/2005
The mainstream market segment is where ATI and Nvidia (and their partners) make most of their sales, due to this we have a wealth of products in this price range. Two of the newest, and therefore most desirable, are the Radeon X700 and Geforce 6600. Both are aimed at the user who wants the latest features and to use them at reasonable resolutions like 1280x960 but doesnt have the finances to spend more on their graphics card than the familys monthly food budget. Today we have one of each product in for review, lets see how each card performs and find out which gets the best performance/price ratio.
by Stuart Davidson | 14/06/2005
The intel sector has taken huge leaps forward in terms of catering for the power user with manufacturers such as Abit providing some excellent enthusiast features and our first board for testing today is one such board, the Abit Fatal1ty AA8XE which uses the Intel 925 chipset. If youre not going down the Intel chipset route there are several choices, ATI, SIS, Via and now Nvidia have stepped into the arena with their Nforce 4 chipset which provides us with the basis for our second motherboard the Asus P5Nd2- SLI Deluxe
by Stuart Davidson | 16/05/2005
Not everyone is in the financial position to purchase a top of the range graphics card and chances are if youve clicked the link to read this article you are one of those people. Both ATI and Nvidia have begun to take a different approach to the cards aimed at this sector, whilst all previous low end cards came with similar volumes of memory to the mainstream and high end cards there are now cards which come with enough video memory for basic tasks and when needed share some of your system memory.
by Stuart Davidson | 23/04/2005
For a while now the 6800 Ultra and X800 XTPE have been batting it out for the performance crown at the top of the AGP card market, until now neither ATI or Nvidia have released a product to move their AGP lines forward and due to this users of PCI Express have found their performance is slightly higher than those using AGP parts. With the development of Rialto, ATIs PCI express to AGP conversion technology ATI began moving lower spec PCI Express products to AGP a few months ago. Today we have a look at their first move to convert a high end product
the highest infact, the X850 XTPE.
by Zardon | 23/03/2005
The last time we looked at an Alienware system was February of last year and my colleague Stuart came away with a warm fuzzy feeling as that particular system performed exceptionally well considering the limitations of the mobile sector. Today we have the opportunity to test one of the new Alienware area 51m gaming systems. As some of you might know when you order a machine from Alienware you custom build it on their website. So with a budget of £3000 we decided to go "balls out" and put as much top end hardware into the rig as possible. Ive been reviewing and testing so much ATI hardware lately I went the Nvidia route for the graphics, its a 256 GDDR3 megabyte, 12 pipe design running at 330 core and 1000mhz. The CPU is the hot running Intel based Prescott, id first looked at a Prescott based laptop in a Dell Inspirion machine mid 2004, as you would expect these need serious cooling, ill be dwelling on that later in the article.
by Zardon | 23/03/2005
The last time we looked at an Alienware system was February of last year and my colleague Stuart came away with a warm fuzzy feeling as that particular system performed exceptionally well considering the limitations of the mobile sector. Today we have the opportunity to test one of the new Alienware area 51m gaming systems. As some of you might know when you order a machine from Alienware you custom build it on their website. So with a budget of £3000 we decided to go "balls out" and put as much top end hardware into the rig as possible. Ive been reviewing and testing so much ATI hardware lately I went the Nvidia route for the graphics, its a 256 GDDR3 megabyte, 12 pipe design running at 330 core and 1000mhz on the ram. The CPU is the hot running Intel based Prescott, id first looked at a Prescott based laptop in a Dell Inspirion machine mid 2004, as you would expect these need serious cooling, ill be dwelling on that later in the article.
by Zardon | 20/09/2004
The graphics sector is undoubtedly one of the most hotly contested areas of computer hardware with the two giants Nvidia and ATI seemingly alone in the battle for market domination. Its been another good year so far from ATI with the X800XT PE being arguably the fastest card available to the consumer, with Nvidia's 6800 Ultra right on its heels. So here we have the new X700XT from ATI, an eight pixel pipe card aimed at the lucrative mid range sector. This card is being marketed by ATI as a more powerful "replacement" for the 9800XT, their successful high end board of last year.
by Zardon | 06/07/2004
In this "low-end" sector of the gaming market you would be hoping to put out some decent framerates at 1024x768, anything above this and you start falling into the zone dominated by the mid range boards such as the NV FX5700 and ATIs 9600 (X600/PCIe) series. Bear in mind the boards on test today cost between 60 and 90 euros, strictly for those on a budget, so compromises have to be made.
by Stuart Davidson | 27/05/2004
The graphics market is as fast moving as any other PC technology area and weve now had the chance to get a detailed look at Nvidia and ATIs upcoming cards, the ATI Radeon X800 Pro and the Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra.
by Stuart Davidson | 20/12/2003
Back in October when we had our first look at the 9800 XT its competition was the 5900 Ultra. 2 months down the line Nvidia have released their refresh to the 5900 Ultra design, the higher clocked differently cooled 5950 Ultra. Read on to find out how it fares in our benchmarks and also to find out how Sapphires take on the 9800 XT scores.
by Stuart Davidson | 24/10/2003
Our series of fall refresh parts continues today as we have a review of the Nvidia Geforce FX 5700 Ultra 128mb formerly known as the NV36. The 5700U is being released to be the top card in Nvidias mainstream range and comes with support for DX9/OGL 1.5. We will be putting the 5700U up against its direct competitor the ATI Radeon 9600XT in a range of custom benchmarks and preset benchmarks available to the public. Can Nvidia reclaim the mainstream performance crown?