Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: February 2014 and more
Posted on: 02/11/2014 11:37 AM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: February 2014, Z87 Motherboard Charts: 22 Models tested - Update MSI Z87 XPower, Intel 7260HMW 802.11AC Versus Intel 7260HMW BN 802.11n, AMD Mantle: Battlefield 4 performance ruminations, and Corsair Hydro H75 LCS kit Review

Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: February 2014 @ Toms Hardware
We don't have much gaming-oriented news to report; the CPU market is fairly stable. Sure, AMD launched its Kaveri-based APUs and some high core count Opterons, while Intel introduced LGA 1150-based Celerons. But those aren't the CPUs you're looking for.

We begin this month's update with news from AMD.

Most recently, the company announced 12- and 16-core Opteron processors, which actually host six and eight Piledriver modules, respectively. The 12-core Opteron 6338P (2.3 GHz) and 16-core Opteron 6370P (2.0 GHz) are 99 W CPUs. Of course, these have little bearing on the gaming space. More than anything, I find it interesting that AMD continues working on more complex versions of the processors we're so familiar with on the desktop, and that enterprise customers are using them specifically to drive servers running many virtual machines.


Read more: Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: February 2014 @ Toms Hardware

Cooler Master Storm Ceres 500 Gaming Headset Review @ APH Networks
When 2014 rolled around, the first question I asked myself was whether or not I would make a New Year’s Resolution. Resolutions are quite common around the beginning of a year, as leaving the past and looking forward to the future gives people a sense of hope for better things to come. These resolutions can be self-focused or selfless. Goals like losing weight, getting organized, or spending more time with family are quite common. In a study conducted by the University of Scranton, approximately forty-five percent of Americans make New Year Resolutions for themselves. Of those forty-five percent, only eight percent of them actually see the resolution go through. There are different stances of why people fail at keeping their resolutions, but one prevalent idea is that people often set unspecific or unattainable goals. Rather than saying that they “commit to exercising for half an hour at least every other day”, they put vague sentences out like “losing weight”. In essence, they list out the big things they want to see, but they forget about the little details that come with it. You can almost say it is the little things that make the big difference. And this brings me to the dilemma of the Cooler Master Ceres 500. The last Cooler Master headset we reviewed, the CM Storm Ceres 400, was generally an acceptable product. While it did not blow our minds or our ears off, it was not very heavy on the wallet, and the performance was as expected with the price. On the other hand, there were small details that made the Ceres 400 almost undesirable. Now that Cooler Master has shipped us their Ceres 500, we can pose one question: Is this better than the last model, or does it too forget the small things that matter? Hopefully, we will answer this and other questions in today’s review.


Read more: Cooler Master Storm Ceres 500 Gaming Headset Review @ APH Networks

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: Better, Faster, More Fun @ HotHardware.com
In about six weeks, Blizzard will launch Reaper of Souls, the first expansion pack for Diablo 3. I've spent the last few weeks playing in the beta for RoS, and while I normally hold an article this extensive for a launch, there's enough locked-in differences to be worth discussing at this stage.

This new expansion comes with the usual slew of goodies -- a new Act for the game, new quests, a new enchanting ability, and a new skill for each existing class, as well as a new Crusader class to experiment with. All of this falls into the "expected" category. What's more important about Reaper of Souls is that it makes core changes to the way Diablo III feels and plays, changes that, in aggregate, have made the game a great deal more fun...


Read more: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: Better, Faster, More Fun @ HotHardware.com

Z87 Motherboard Charts: 22 Models tested - Update MSI Z87 XPower @ ocaholic
In our comparison tables, meanwhile you find benchmark values regarding 22 recent Z87 motherboards. Furthermore we do not comment the benchmark values. The idea and also the goal is to present to you a market overview which helps you choose the right motherboard.


Read more: Z87 Motherboard Charts: 22 Models tested - Update MSI Z87 XPower @ ocaholic

Gamdias ZEUS Review @ ocaholic
Gamdias is a relatively new company that faces on the world of gaming peripherals. At the moment the company has various mouse in the portfolio as well as keyboards and headsets. Today we have the chance to review the flagship model called ZEUS. The mouse uses a Avago ADNS-9800 up to 8200DPI, TTL switches and many interesting features.


Read more: Gamdias ZEUS Review @ ocaholic

Antec HCP-1300 1300W Power Supply Unit @ NikKTech
Much like everything else in this world power supply units come in many types, outputs and sizes but the quality of components is perhaps the one thing they all have in common so regardless everything else owning a high quality PSU should always be on top of your list. However what many people fail to realize is that the 80 Plus certification is not just a marketing gimmick since at least in most cases (we haven't had the chance to test every single PSU in the market) it goes hand to hand with the quality of components used so a bronze certified model will obviously be less durable than a platinum certified one (performance is another story but generally the same applies there too). Antec has been manufacturing power supply units for as long as i can remember but although they have quite a few 80 Plus Platinum certified units in their product line aside the very good HCP-1000 they haven't focused in high output models. This has changed with the latest HCP-1300 (High Current Pro) 1300W 80 Plus Platinum PSU which strangely we are amongst the very first to have on our test bench.


Read more: Antec HCP-1300 1300W Power Supply Unit @ NikKTech

MSI R9 270X Gaming 4G @ LanOC Reviews
To date I have had the chance to take a look at a few different R9 270Xs. All of the cards have been extremely similar for the most part with most of the differences coming from small overclocks and their different cooling designs. Today I have a completely unique card that stands out from the others. You see the other cards all have 4 gigs of memory where the MSI R9 270X Gaming 4G has 4 gigs of memory. Today I’m going to see how the difference in memory affects the performance in our benchmark suite.


Read more: MSI R9 270X Gaming 4G @ LanOC Reviews

Intel 7260HMW 802.11AC Versus Intel 7260HMW BN 802.11n @ Legit Reviews
Do you want a new wireless card in your laptop or desktop PC? Last year Intel released their first 802.11ac wireless card and you can purchase one for under $30, which makes it a rather inexpensive upgrade for your system. The vast majority of laptops and desktops that already support wireless network cards and the existing antennas can be reused. This means that you can easily upgrade your 802.11n or older wireless card with a newer 802.11ac card if you wanted to do so. Intel came out with five new wireless cards in 2013. Today we’ll be trying out the cost effective Intel Wireless-N 7260 card versus the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 card. This pits the cheapest part versus the most expensive, but we just wanted to see how the real world performance differs at different distances in the home.


Read more: Intel 7260HMW 802.11AC Versus Intel 7260HMW BN 802.11n @ Legit Reviews

Matsunichi 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.org
With Ultrabooks and solid state drives becoming more and more popular we are seeing new notebooks come with smaller capacity hard drives. While this may not be an issue to some, others who need the larger storage capacity end up getting a portable hard drive to take with them. Today we are taking a look at one such drive, the Matsunichi 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive. This drive has a very attractive design to it and is USB 3.0 compatible so transfer speeds should be pretty fast. Let's take a look


Read more: Matsunichi 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.org

MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti GAMING 3G Video Card Review @ HardOCP
Today on our test bench we have the MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti GAMING 3G which is factory overclocked from MSI sporting its Twin Frozr IV cooling solution. We will compare it to the ASUS R9 290X DirectCU II OC at both stock and overclocked speeds to determine which of these cards will provide the best performance out there.

Microstar International (MSI) is a Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer founded in 1986. Primarily a designer and manufacturer of PC motherboards, MSI has expanded its business into barebones PCs, servers and workstations, communications devices, consumer electronics, Notebooks, Netbooks, graphics cards, and other various electronic products. Its company motto, "Quality Products Create Faithful Customer," believes its underlying corporate strategy of designing and manufacturing quality devices for various markets and letting its high-quality reputation earn it the trust and respect of electronics consumers worldwide.


Read more: MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti GAMING 3G Video Card Review @ HardOCP

AMD Mantle: Battlefield 4 performance ruminations @ Hexus
Is the Mantle API all it's made out to be? AMD has made a big deal about Mantle - a co-developed graphics application programming interface (API) that redresses some of what the company believes to be lacking in DirectX 11. You see, while DirectX is great as a vendor-agnostic API, AMD is at pains to point out that, right now, significant CPU overhead is incurred by having the driver translate commands from the API to ones the GPU can understand and action.

And it's clearly not just about the driver. Modern games ask the GPU to render complex scenes that require the CPU to fulfill lots of draw calls (or commands) per frame. The purpose of these calls is to tell the GPU to draw an object, or to do some new work. The parallel power of cutting-edge GPUs is such that thousands of draw calls are required to keep them busy and efficient, putting the onus on the CPU to mete them out.


Read more: AMD Mantle: Battlefield 4 performance ruminations @ Hexus

Thermaltake Commander F5 Multi Fan Controller Review @ OCC
Even keeping the low cost in mind I just felt like the Commander F5 missed the mark, if only just slightly. It will provide you with the ability to throttle back your obnoxious fans (assuming they aren't over eight watts) for a measly $20. If you blew your budget buying fast fans and you cannot stand the noise, the Thermaltake Commander F5 might deserve a home at the front of your case. Just don't point it at your bed since the lights will blind you even in your sleep!


Read more: Thermaltake Commander F5 Multi Fan Controller Review @ OCC

Vantec IDE/SATA and NexStar eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapters Review @ HiTech Legion
Technology is so integral to our everyday lives that when a computer goes down life almost comes to a screeching halt. There's nothing more disruptive than being unable to access your data, especially when tax season comes around and you were hoping to get everything turned in early. Taking a functional hard drive out of a PC is a fairly simple process and most households today have more than one computer. But, with the ever increasing prevalence of laptops, popping that hard drive into another system might not be so simple. It quickly becomes a seemingly hopeless situation that can only be resolved by forking over a couple hundred dollars to a stranger at a repair shop. What if you had a device that you could simply plug any hard drive into and be done?


Read more: Vantec IDE/SATA and NexStar eSATA to USB 3.0 Adapters Review @ HiTech Legion

ASUS Z87I-Pro Motherboard Review with ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU Mini @ HardwareHeaven.com
There was a time, not so long ago, when going for a mini-ITX board meant compromises on features and performance. Recently though with boards like the Maximus VI Impact we have seen some very impressive engineering to bring an enthusiast level product to the mini-ITX market. Sitting at a more affordable price point in the ASUS product stack than the Impact is their Z87I-Pro and today we take a look at it as well as a product that ASUS feel compliments it nicely, the GTX 760 mini with DirectCU cooler.


Read more: ASUS Z87I-Pro Motherboard Review with ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU Mini @ HardwareHeaven.com

ASUS RAMPAGE IV BLACK EDITION (Intel SKT 2011) @ techPowerUp
ASUS ROG is back at it again, tossing another bone our way - the RAMPAGE IV BLACK EDITION. Harkening back to the much older RAMPAGE III BLACK EDITION, this new board seeks to do the same with its ultimately-optimized ROG design and feature focus, but for Intel's X79 Express platform.


Read more: ASUS RAMPAGE IV BLACK EDITION (Intel SKT 2011) @ techPowerUp

Radeon R7 250X Review: Reprising Radeon HD 7770 At $100 @ Toms Hardware
AMD's name might be new, but we're already intimately familiar with its Radeon R7 250X (formerly known as the Radeon HD 7770). Can AMD take an old piece of hardware and turn it into something you want to spend money on in 2014? Let's have a quick look...

Except for the Radeon R9 290-series cards, sporting AMD's Hawaii GPU, all of the other Radeon R7 and R9 boards we've seen are re-branded versions of the Radeon HD 7000 family. The Radeon R9 280X falls between the Radeon HD 7970 and 7970 GHz Edition. The Radeon R7 270 and 270X are based on the Pitcairn GPU. The Radeon R7 260X hosts the same graphics processor as the Radeon HD 7790.

Clearly, the company feels that the first-generation GCN graphics cards still have a lot to offer, especially with a handful of clock rate tweaks. We wouldn't necessarily disagree; the Radeon line-up offers a viable spectrum of performance, from the entry-level Radeon R7 240 to the flagship Radeon R9 290X.


Read more: Radeon R7 250X Review: Reprising Radeon HD 7770 At $100 @ Toms Hardware

Aerocool GT Advance Case Review @ KitGuru
Today we are going to take a look at another case from Aerocool, the GT Advance, which is designed for those users who are on the tightest of budgets. At a price of only £25, this is one of the cheapest branded models you will find, making it ideal for those who are willing to compromise on a case to spend their resources on the performance of the system.


Read more: Aerocool GT Advance Case Review @ KitGuru

Corsair Hydro H75 LCS kit Review @ Guru3D
In this review we test the Corsair H75 liquid cooler. The H75 features a 120 mm radiator that is a good 25mm but also was applied with two really silent low RPM fans, so you add this kit in a push-pull configuration. The end results is a LCS kit that cools pretty nicely, but remains absolutely silent.

Compared to the last generation of Hydro products Corsair changed the fan, tubing, pump and cooling blocks sizes. The H175 is a single 120mm fan based liquid cooling solution that offers cooling performance at the level of the more mainstream heat-pipe coolers in terms of cooling performance, as really it offers excellent performance for the money whilst remaining very silent. The Corsair Hydro H75 series again is easy on the eyes and has a relatively simple to manage installation, the product is compatible with AMD Socket AM2, AM3, FM1 and FM2 any modern AMD CPU really. All current Intel socket formats are covered too, so whether you have a LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366 or LGA2011 motherboard this product will fit / can be used. Two SP120L PWM 120 mm high static pressure fans as being used that can PWM towards 2,000 RPM yet produce only 31.4 dBA of noise. These Corsair kits Hydro coolers all come with a tool-free installation are pre-filled and maintenance-free. The warranty even lasts 5 years. Corsair mounted two 120 mm SP120L fans that can spin at a programmable speed ranging from 800 RPM to 2000 RPM. They can push up to 73 CFM, make up to 37.3 dBA of noise, and have a static pressure of 3.9 mm of water.

So let's have a peek at the Corsair H75 and then head onwards into the review where we'll put it to the test with a Core i7 3770K processor, which we'll overclock at two voltage levels as well to see how well this cooling solution can absorb and exhaust heat. We feel that the product is just a great product in combo with the severe hotness that are Sandy/Ivy Bridge and Haswell based processors.


Read more: Corsair Hydro H75 LCS kit Review @ Guru3D

PowerColor PCS+ R9 270X 2GB reviewed @ Fudzilla
PowerColor was kind enough to offer consumers a wide range of R9 270X with four different coolers, and today we’ll be looking at one of them, the PCS+ R9 270X. This is perhaps the most interesting card in the company’s 270X lineup. The PCS+ cooler promises excellent performance, the GPU is factory overclocked at the price/performance ratio is still good. For those who want an even more premium product, PowerColor also has the Devil R9 270X. The full name of the card is PowerColor PCS+ R9 270X 2GB GDDR5, or Part Number: AXR9 270X 2GBD5-PPDHE.

In terms of specifications, the R9 270X is identical to the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition. The only exception is the updated display controller hardware. New R9-series cards have better support for multiple displays than old HD 7000-series products. If you are planning to use a three-monitor setup, you no longer have to use DisplayPort for the third display. You can use two DVIs and an HDMI connector.

The R9 270X (and the old HD 7870) are based on 28nm Pitcairn silicon, now known under a new name as Curacao. It features 1280 stream processors, 80 texture memory units (TMUs), 32 raster operations units (ROPs), and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface backed by 2GB of GDDR5 memory.


Read more: PowerColor PCS+ R9 270X 2GB reviewed @ Fudzilla




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