Posts in Category: pc hardware

GTX 950 Launched at $160, Added to Very Good Tier

GTX 950

This week, NVIDIA launched the smallest member of its Maxwell GPU family, the GTX 950. Launch prices range from $160 to $170, depending on manufacturer, landing the 950 firmly in the ‘mid-tier’ GPU category.

After examining early reviews, we have added the new card to the Very Good tier on the U.S. parts list. Looking at its competition, it beats the AMD’s $150 R7 370 and matches the performance of AMD’s slightly pricier R7 270X.

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Intel Releases Skylake CPUs

intel core i7

Intel’s latest CPU family, Skylake, has just launched with two new CPUs (the i5-6600K and i7-6700K), a new socket (1151), and a new chipset family for motherboard (Z170). These CPUs are on the 14nm manufacturing process, which is not strictly new (their previous generation, Broadwell, was on 14nm dies), but new when it comes to mass-market availability.

How well do these new CPUs perform? After analyzing reviews (linked below), it looks as though, unfortunately, Intel has decided to forgo CPU improvements and focus on the integrated GPU.

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The Best Sources for PC Hardware News and Reviews

James

CPUSocket

Sir Francis Bacon once famously said that knowledge is power. Then he died from pneumonia while studying the effects of freezing meat. The important thing to remember, however, is that he died on a quest for knowledge.

When it comes to building a PC, knowledge not only brings power (in terms of hardware performance), it brings savings in both cost and time.

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AMD Launches the R9 Fury (non-X) for $550

R9FuryCard

AMD has released its second graphics card to utilize it’s new high-bandwidth memory, the R9 Fury. This follows the release of the R9 Fury X just a few weeks ago.

After reading through reviews and benchmarks (linked below), we can confirm several expectations. The non-X Fury is definitely the “little brother” card to the $650 Fury X, being both slower and cheaper.

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AMD Launches the R9 Fury X

amd fury x

Finally, AMD has released a truly new graphics card. But how does it fare against the competition?

Last week began the launch of AMD’s newest line of graphics cards, the Radeon 300 series. For the most part, those cards were a refresh of the 200 series that came before it, but with some added clock speeds and faster video RAM. While most of those cards are fine and make our list of recommended components, there was nothing particularly thrilling about them.

Today, however, AMD has released the R9 Fury X, a GPU made with technology we have not yet seen. It’s launching at $650 and taking aim at NVIDIA’s new $650 GTX 980 Ti. The first round of benchmark reviews are in (linked below), and we have taken a very close look at them.

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AMD Refreshes 200 Series of Graphics Cards as 300 Series

amd_hamburger

Finally, AMD has released its new 300 series of graphics cards, with 5 cards available as of June 18th: The Radeon R7 360, R7 370, R9 380, R9 390 and R9 390X.

If you take the time to view benchmarks and read through reviews (linked below), you will find that AMD did not really release any new cards in the 300 series, but has only refreshed the 200 series. They have taken the same GPUs from the 200 series, slightly raised the clock speeds (by ~5%), and added slightly faster RAM. The result is very similar performance to the 200 series.

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Does FPS Matter? Decide for Yourself.

James

image

Some of the silliest myths in gaming are related to framerate, or frames per second (FPS). Some people will tell you that the human eye can only detect a certain number of frames per second, or that an FPS of 24-30 will produce a more “cinematic” gaming experience, as the standard framerate for movies has been set at 24 FPS for nearly 100 years, and television often displays at 30 FPS.

On the other end of the spectrum, some gamers will claim that you need a certain FPS to truly enjoy your gaming experience. They’ll say that running below a certain FPS is like a “slideshow” because of how few images are being rendered each second.

In reality, the only framerate that really matters is the one that is acceptable to you. Generally speaking, however, a higher framerate is better for gaming. And as PC gamers, we have the power to adjust our game settings or build our computers to achieve a desired framerate.

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Why You Should Buy an SSD, and How to Find a Good One

Jack Winn

image

Not long ago, there weren’t many options for storing data on your computer. Standard mechanical hard drive disks (HDDs) have long been the de facto choice, but a different type of storage drive is becoming much more popular: the solid state drive (SSD). Solid state drives bring a wealth of improvements over standard HDDs, so let’s take a moment to understand why many PC builders are now choosing SSDs for their primary data storage solution.

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