Posts in Category: pc hardware

AMD Ryzen 7 vs. Intel

AMD Ryzen Logo

AMD have a new player in the game…

With the AMD Press Event details now available to the world, with videos and articles confirming the many (oh so many!) performance and price leaks to be correct, we take a look at the first big leap forward from AMD in five years with the shiny new Ryzen 7 series. On March 2, the Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700X, and 1700 will challenge Intel’s 6- and 8-core CPU lineup at very competitive price points. Now we wonder: Is Intel worried?

[Edit: Since writing this article, Intel has announced price drops of their CPUs in response to Ryzen. So, in short: Yes, they are worried! Now read on to understand why.]

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G-Sync vs. FreeSync: Which is Better?

fore1gn

Samsung’s CFG70 monitor with Quantum Dot technology

For a new PC builder or a person out of the hardware loop for a few years, choosing a new monitor may prove to be fairly difficult. These days, dynamic refresh rate technology, which syncs your monitor’s refresh rate to your graphics card’s output, plays a big role in choosing a monitor.

The two big contenders in dynamic refresh rate technology are AMD’s FreeSync and NVIDIA’s G-Sync. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, which we’ll try to address in detail in this article.

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Four Practical Alternative Uses for Empty 5.25” Drive Bays

Icy Dock Expresscage - 4 practical alternative uses for 5.25" drive bays

Icy Dock’s Expresscage Tool-less Hot-swappable 2.5″ Drive Enclosure

While there are a great number of options these days for good-looking PC cases that entirely lack 5.25” drive bays, the majority of cases still offer at least one of these spaces. And efficient builders won’t want that space being used for nothing.

Don’t get me wrong: Many builders still do want to use those spaces to house intended utilities, including disc drives, card readers, extra USB ports, and even floppy drives. But that doesn’t mean there won’t still be an unoccupied bay sitting around at the end of the day. (I personally have a Pioneer Blu-Ray/DVD/CD player in my tower, and for the time being, it sits above an unused 5.25” bay.)

So, here are a few ideas for what to do with those bays instead of leaving them as cavities in your build:

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Types of VRAM Explained: HBM vs. GDDR5 vs. GDDR5X

Video RAM: What’s the difference between the types available today?

SEC VRAM - Different Kinds of VRAM Explained—HBM vs. GDDR5 vs. GDDR5X

Some Samsung VRAM

All graphics cards need both a GPU and VRAM to function properly. While the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) does the actual processing of data to output images on your monitor, the data it is processing and providing is stored and accessed from the chips of VRAM (Video Random Access Memory) surrounding it.

Outputting high-resolution graphics at a quick rate requires both a beefy GPU and a large quantity of high-bandwidth VRAM working in tandem. For most of the past decade, VRAM design was fairly stagnant, and focused on using more power to achieve greater VRAM clock speeds.

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Building a PC to Beat the PS4 Pro

Build a PC to Beat the PS4 Pro

Build a PC or buy a console? The debate rages on…

With the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro over the holidays, the debate over the performance needed for 4K gaming on PC has been fierce. With games like Last of Us Remastered running in the PlayStation 4 Pro’s 4K 60 FPS mode, it is a testament to the level of optimization that can be achieved when working to a single specification. Yet what sort of performance can a PC builder get for the same $400?

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$500 1440p Gaming Build with the Pentium G4560

Intel Pentium G4560

The Pentium is back, baby.

The Kaby Lake Pentium G4560 is the new king of budget gaming CPUs. The G4560, and big brothers G4600 and G4620, offer gaming performance similar to CPUs costing hundreds more. I put together a maximum performance for value $500 build, pairing the G4560 with the powerful RX 480. This build will handle even demanding modern games at 1440p.

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AMD’s Vega GPU Architecture Preview: What Do We Know?

At CES 2017, everybody has been waiting for AMD to drop all the pricing and performance information on their next generation GPU architecture codenamed Vega, but AMD couldn’t do that simply due to the fact that Vega is still in active development. Engineering samples have been shown running both Star Wars: Battlefront and DOOM in 4K at max settings, but that is all.

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How to Choose the Right Power Supply

Mike Howell

By far the most overlooked component in new builds is the power supply unit, or PSU. Ironically, it’s one of the most important. Your power supply will be pumping the lifeblood of precious volts to each and every electronic part in your fancy new computer.

A catastrophic failure of a power supply can fry every other part in your PC, or in rare cases even start a life-threatening fire at 2:00 in the morning. Why risk a disaster like this to save the equivalent of four grande mochaccinos from that fancy coffee shop?

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