CPU, GRAPHICS CARD, MOTHERBOARD, RAM, CASE Reviews And Comparisons.
Many a times, I need to find a good comparison or review for CPUs, GPUs, MOBOs etc such as the ones Toms Hardware Guide has. Only many times, I can't find a suitable one, which means I have to scour through countless VDr posts to find a link that a member has posted. With the compares and reviews constantly updated by websites as new technology comes out, it would be great if members could share their links to all kinds of comparisons that they find in one sticky. What'dya say?
Last edited by usil; December 8th, 2005 at 07:11 PM.
Modern Games and Modern GPUs: The Grand Clash: X-bit labs has decided to help you choosing a graphics card in the range from below $99 and up to $649 for the latest and most demanding games that are available today http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/vid...ames-2005.html
Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 9.6
Currently covering over 240 desktop graphics cards, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare 15 different specifications for each and every card.
Half a year ago, THG began testing graphics cards for the PCI Express interface. Since then the graphics card market has seen a great number of changes. Our newest edition of the VGA charts reflects these changes and aims to help you decide which card is right for you.
One thing about computers recently is that the reintroduction of SLI by NVIDIA has revitalized the market. Millions of consumers have purchased motherboards with SLI capability. The idea of using two video cards together in a single system is great. Plus the fact that the motherboards in question are among the most fully featured in their price class, with the best performance even in single card mode made the purchase of an SLI motherboard by the enthusiast a no-brainer.
Cases are important to the computer user for many reasons. The case size determines expandability, the motherboard that can be used in the case, aesthetics, and many other factors determine what makes a good case. To my way of thinking a good case is the beginning of a good computer system.
Video cards have evolved exponentially over the last few years. It's hard to imagine that it was merely 5 years ago that 3DFX, the founder of the modern 3D graphics card, was bought up by NVIDIA. It's harder to imagine in my way of thinking that the best video card of 2000, the Geforce 2 GTS would be considered less noteworthy than the lowest integrated video card chipset available today. What would be considered the lowest performing card available today would have been the highest end card back in 2000.
Apsire obviously had both gamers and case modders in mind when it designed its easy-to-carry X-Qpack case. The front side of the case, for example, includes a built-in flip-out handle, to make the box that much easier to schlep to your next LAN party.
At the weigh-in before his title fight, the words "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" would become engrained into the minds of millions. After beating Sonny Liston, Cassius Clay became Mohammad Ali, "The Greatest." Okay, this is only about graphics cards and not the lives of men in the ring, but the heavyweight battle for gaming hardware has never been more contentious.
If MSI has anything to say about it, 2006 will be very different from last year. 2005 was not exactly a good year for MSI, in that its rivals were able to grab the headlines for the most part thanks to their technological innovations. To make sure that history doesn't repeat itself, MSI is starting the new year with fresh vigor, sending us their latest Socket 939 mainboard for review. We can say this much up front: the superlatives in the product name are entirely deserved!
Although NVIDIA has a nine-month head start over ATI in the dual graphics chipset space and has the lead in both graphics performance and platform technology, the firm still continues to aggressively secure its place in the market. One good example is NVIDIA's acquisition of Taiwanese chipset maker ULi in December, which has added years to the company's already rich chipset-IP war chest. Moreover, NVIDIA can probably launch a two-card SLI system with four GPUs at any time the market warrants it.
The performance of an optical mouse is difficult to analyze because numerous parameters come into play, and the results are always a compromise. Improving one performance factor doesn't necessarily lead to a better overall result. It's a little like what happens with cars. Wider tires with thinner treads will improve handling, but comfort and road grip under difficult conditions suffer. For an optical mouse, end performance is the result of a long, complex process that includes analysis of the surface, calculation of coordinates and transmission to the computer.
XFX, pronounced X Effects, is one of the key players in the VGA world today selling millions of dollars of product worldwide and the major seller in the South-American VGA market, which is currently growing exponentially. In America NVIDIA has two strong partners in XFX and EVGA, and they also work with BFG as well, there are others for sure, but they are not in the top selling group of companies associated with NVIDIA's name
NVIDIA announced their NV4x architecture in April of 2004. It is a little hard to believe that its been almost 2 years since the NV4x architecture was announced. NV4x formed the basis for NVIDIA based cards including the 6800 Ultra, the 6800GT, the 6800, the 6600GT, the 6600, the 6200 and the 6200 with Turbo Cache. Also part of this family is the integrated graphics of the GeForce 6150 and the mobile versions of the cards. Today I'm reviewing the 6800GS from EVGA, in single and SLI mode.
The demands that are put on current memory are great. With image/video editing packages and games requiring more and more memory, 1GB of memory is hardly enough anymore. Games like F.E.A.R. and Battlefield 2 require a minimum of 2GBs to play at high resolution. Upcoming games being released in 2006 will further benefit from having a 2GB kit installed. Also, most new memory has tight timing and can be pushed to very fast speeds. Let's see what this memory can do.
Corsair Memory, a leader and innovator in the PC memory market, has teamed up with ASUS Technologies, a leader in the PC motherboard market, to develop an exciting new memory product for the performance enthusiast. The Corsair TWINX2048-3500LLPRO package is a matched pair totaling 2GB of low latency memory modules with activity LEDs. This memory was optimized for the ASUS A8N32-SLI motherboard, which uses NVIDIA's latest nForce4 SLI x16 chipset. Have no fear though, Corsair tests their memory on a variety of the latest motherboards to ensure maximum compatibility and peak performance for all.
Doublesight Displays LLC is a company that was founded in 2003, and is located in Seoul South Korea, affiliated with Erae Electronics. Erae Electronics is the third largest display manufacturer in the world after LG and Samsung. DoubleSight is unique in the industry manufacturing and marketing dual-display LCD. Today, I'm reviewing the DoubleSight DS-1900 monitor, a dual-linked 19" LCD monitor that offers many features that make it appealing to a broad audience. With its unique design and cool looks I think many people will like it just for its ascetics, and then they will be blown away when they actually see it in action.
ATI decided to use a small PCB on their X1600XT. One of the trends that I find disturbing on today's video cards is the sheer size of the cards. A X1800XT video card or a X1900XTX video card requires dual-slot cooling and weighs a good pound and a half. The X1600XT card is scarcely longer than the normal PCI Express x16 slot and is a one slot solution.
Mushkin advertises these modules as extreme performance memory. This memory is specifically engineered to handle high voltage, in order to produce tight memory timings, which have been rated at DDR 500 at 2-2-2.
Mushkin's product information page states that the Redline XP4000 memory modules are designed to run at higher voltages up to 3.5 volts - with the published caveat that sufficient cooling is required. Quoting directly from Mushkin
I-star housings are extremely attractive, as I have been eyeing their cases on their website for some time. The I-Star Nitro appeals to me straight away, as it looks like it has killer modding potential, in addition to its already great looks. We'll certainly put it through the paces to see if it rises to our expectations.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kingwin SK-523 Case Review
Kingwin can always be counted on for fresh ideas that won't break the bank of the end user. This 'best bang for the buck' type of thinking is what has made Kingwin as successful as they are today. Their newest chassis looks to position itself between their currently available high end KT-424 (which by the way, remains one of the best cases anywhere for any price) and their gamer designed budget Mutant-X Case. This was done by employing many high end features on a lightweight SECC steel chassis with an aluminum front bezel to provide its aesthetic appeal.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NZXT Lexa Classic Series ATX Case Review
Lexa. Many of you may have seen cases by NZXT before, and I know what you are thinking.... another anime or robot inspired case, right? Wrong! This case actually looks classy enough to be used on an executive's desk at some unnamed law firm (names omitted to protect the ignor.... I mean innocent). I must say I was excited to get started on the review when I received the package so let's get down to business.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- XG Dragon ATX Case Review
Cases are a very personal thing; there is no shortage of styles and flares to choose from when looking for that “Show” case. Over the years I have reviewed many cases, most of which have either been a basic case that’s built for performance or one with a little bit of an edge to it.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thermaltake Bach HTPC Case Review
The HTPC segment of the computer hardware industry has gone wild lately with products and offerings in an attempt to keep up with the demand from HTPC builders and aficionados. No longer satisfied with a simple SFF case, users demand much more from a home theater personal computers; excellent ventilation, room for expansion, VFD display panels, remotes and snappy looks to name but a few. To this end, Thermaltake has expanded its home theater case line up with the Mozart and Bach series. Today, we have an opportunity to look at the Bach HTPC Case complete with its optional MediaLab package that brings remote control functionality to the Bach.
Graphics cards are all about 3D, right? Read most graphics card reviews, anywhere on the 'net or in print, and you'll see they focus almost entirely on 3D performance and features. We understand this because that's why we would buy these expensive devices in the first place. Windows 2D performance is essentially a solved problem (at least until Windows Vista), so what else is there for the graphics card to do?
One word: video. Video on the PC is tremendously popular. Peer-to-peer networks share large video files while web-based video (including the ever-popular movie trailers) expand rapidly thanks in large part to broadband connections. Now with the PC's emerging role as a media device for the living room, video becomes even more important.
Aspire DarkSide ATX-AS600W-BL 600W Power Supply Review
Now I am not the big Star Wars geek like you might think, but I must say the notion that the Pink Floyd gods were smiling down on me passed through my mind and brought a smile to my face. Considering I will eventually get around to doing a Dark Side of the Moon mod, this power supply - if it is up to the task - will end up in that particular case. But I digress, let's get on with business and the reason you are here.
Sapphire Pure Innovation PI-A9RX480 Motherboard Review
We've been just as fortunate in the NVIDIA vs ATI graphics card contest. It was NVIDIA who first enjoyed market share and kind of sat on their heels while ATI innovated and eventually produced a card that could trounce the best that NVIDIA had to offer. Of course, NVIDIA got off their collective ass and came out with another that could beat ATI, and so on and so on... All the while we get better technology at lower prices. NVIDIA decided to branch out into the motherboard market and because of that, we enthusiasts get to play with our nForce4 motherboards which have proven to be exceptional. The nForce4 board has made NVIDIA a lot of money so far, but in the warped time of computing, it is actually starting to get a little long in the tooth. ATI believes they see a chink in NVIDIA's armor and developed their own chipset to compete with the NVIDIA NF4; they developed the Radeon Express 200P chipset and hope to leave 4 Red finger marks on the cheek of NVIDIA.
Maxtor's recent press release sounded exciting: Could 1 Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) in an external hard drive actually be true? Well, yes and no. The total capacity of the OneTouch III is indeed 1 TB, but it is achieved by assembling two 500 GB hard drives into one enclosure that is double the size of conventional external hard drive products.
The graphics world has been on fire for the past year. Over the span of three months we have seen new top cards play tug-o-war for the flag on their side. This is a fantastic thing for the consumer as it drives prices down. However, what about those who still own an AGP motherboard? These enthusiasts have been forced to hope and pray that AIB (Add-In-Board) vendors will take these PCIe parts and cross the technological crevasse to AGP.
Foxconn throws in the usual assortment of goodies consumers should normally expect such as manuals, driver and application CDs, and storage related cables. There is a rear IO shield as well as a cable attachment for S-video out. Otherwise, things are fairly unremarkable here, but given the relatively low retail cost of the board, this shouldn't be much of a surprise.
As we've already mentioned, the Foxconn WinFast 6150K8MA-8EKRS is a MicroATX board. In terms of chassis options, you can use this board in almost all sizes of cases supporting ATX and MicroATX. Overall, the layout is very good, though there is one troublesome area which we will get to in a moment. There's really good space around the CPU socket, and the capacitors did not cause any problems for our Koolance water cooling kit, and for larger coolers such as the Zalman CPNS9500.
How much RAM should be enough for comfortable work of an up-to-date platform? Most today’s systems are equipped with 512MB or 1GB of RAM. This amount of memory has been quite sufficient recently for work in most contemporary applications. However, the memory makers and retailers started pushing forward the idea that today’s systems need as much as 2GB of SDRAM. Is it really so? Some people believe it makes sense, some don’t, but it is us who will be digging out the truth. Since there appear more and more 2GB memory kits in the market, we decided to carry out our own investigation that would show us whether contemporary computer systems will really require over 1GB of system memory.
With the X1900 family (R580) released last week, it marked a fairly major refresh in ATI's product line in terms of VPU features. It also happened fairly quickly as the X1800 series (R520) was released just last October. As many of you may have already seen last week through various online reviews, the R580's performance has improved drastically over the R520's numbers, particularly in shader performance.
While we expected some kind of All-In-Wonder to follow suit, we did not expect a new high-end part to show up a mere week after the desktop product, let alone a mere 60 days or so after their previous flagship All-In-Wonder. Never rest on your laurels they always say, and today we're ready to present to you ATI's latest addition to the All-In-Wonder family.
Tom's Hardware Guide CPU Charts 2005/2006
It's finally here - a true performance comparison between AMD and Intel processors. This will allow ambitious users as well as OEM partners and especially dealers to compare their systems with our reference values.
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High quality power supplies should be a consideration for all your builds, since they can prevent many problems that stock PSUs may cause. Today’s review is of a nice Raidmax Volcano 630W PSU, which promises modular connectors and light effects.
As processors get faster, they almost invariably get hotter. That's one of the problems with overclocking. This makes aftermarket air and water cooling very nice. Today, Mike MacKenzie reviews the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64, ready to cool your 64-bit and dual-core AMD processors.
The manufacturers of the drop out units went back to the drawing board to make improvements, and sent us new models for consideration. You can read here about how the final version of the CoolerMaster Real Power 550 and the new Hiper Type R fared in our tests, along with information about some new models from other vendors as well.
CoolerMaster Real Power RS-550-ACLY
Enermax Liberty ELT500AWT
Hiper Type R 580W
Silverstone Zeus ST56ZF
Silverstone Strider ST56F
Almost three years ago, Western Digital's WD360 Raptor drive first saw the light of day, and was greeted with cautious optimism. It was meant to be a cost effective alternative for expensive SCSI enterprise-class hard drives, but would it succeed? WD's gamble paid off, but the majority of Raptor drives made their way into high-performance desktop PCs rather than into server systems. The new top model offers 150 GB, a good amount of extra performance and officially targets high-end enthusiasts. It is pretty obvious that the Raptor-X is a great drive, but is it great enough to become a "must-have"?
The new AMD technology refresh, now called AM2, will bring DDR2 memory to the Athlon64 on-processor memory controller. Many in the industry have speculated about the impact of this low latency memory controller on DDR2 performance, which to this point has suffered under the impact of the higher latency Intel Netburst architecture. We are looking forward to the opportunity to take a closer look at DDR2 performance on AM2 - which is everyone's big question.
There will be more than just new memory with AM2, however. We now have details on the new Socket 940 for AM2. It has been widely reported that the new Socket 940 will not be compatible with the existing Socket 940 used for Opteron and early Athlon 64.
Not everyone has the same needs and budget. Sure, those brand-new, high-end graphics cards make all your games run fast with all the settings cranked way up, but the vast majority of PC enthusiasts don't have $600 to drop once or twice a year. Similarly, those $100 cards offer tempting savings, but will they get the job done? Can you really play that game that's giving your current video card so much trouble?