Posts in Category: pc hardware




Building a PC for the Battlefield 4 Beta

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I’ve been playing the Battlefield 4 beta, and it’s definitely taxing my system. We’ll see how things improve by launch time, but it might be time for an upgrade.

Benchmark results have already been popping up, and paint an interesting picture of performance. Battlefield 4 (BF4) appears to be well-threaded, with AMDs 8-core FX-8350 and FX-8150 doing very well, being competitive with Intel’s quad core i5’s and i7’s. It also seems to favor AMD graphics cards this time around. This makes sense, since the new consoles use 8-core AMD CPUs, as well as AMD GPUs.

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GTX 760: the New Value King

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The Nvidia GTX 760 was released yesterday. It has slightly-below 670/7970 performance, but the price is $250 – $260, making it a steal. It makes the 7870 XT/Myst ($250), 660Ti/7950 (~$280) obsolete at their current prices. The available-for-purchase models of the 760 are only about ~4%-5% behind the 670/7970, while costing $100-$130 less. Logically, that means that above the ~$200 price point, only the 760 and 770 are worthy purchases.

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The Intel Haswell CPU Update

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Haswell’s launch is a little disappointing, even though it does bring a small improvement to performance. When it comes to CPUs, we are a greedy lot, but Intel made us that way. When Intel launched Nehalem (the first gen i7), the performance improvement over its predecessor was roughly 20%-30%.

This was repeated with Sandy Bridge (second gen), which brought an improvement of roughly 25%. Ivy Bridge (third gen) did not maintain the pace, offering only a small ~5% improvement, but we forgave that, since it was just a die-shrink. Haswell was supposed to bring back the excellent OC-ability of SB, and also bring excellent improvements to performance as well as power consumption.

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What We Are Waiting For, Part 3: Chromebook Pixel

 

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It is real! When it was first revealed, it was quickly dismissed as a rumour, but Google proved us wrong. The Chrome Pixel is a laptop that runs Chrome OS, a glorified browser. While previous Chromebooks have been low-to-modest quality $200-$300 machines, the Pixel distinguishes itself as a very high-end affair, with a best-in-class screen.

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What We Are Waiting For, Part 1: GX700

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Often, people wonder if buying whatever it is that they want is a good idea now, or if there is something new just around the corner. Our philosophy is to buy whatever is good now, and not wait. The only exception is if there is a confirmed product with a confirmed release date and a confirmed price that is better than current options and fits your budget and needs… with so many constraints, that rarely happens.

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