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Tag Archives: OC

Intel Core i7 4790K – Haswell gets a refresh

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Say Hello To Devils Canyon and the 4790K Devils Canyon is here, and well honestly has been here for a while but upon starting the writing for this article I struggled alot with how to start it as like we have seen many times recently with Intel, this is another refresh which too many raises the question of “Why bother” when we can just wait for the next-gen part for major changes. Well of any refresh in quite some time that I have seen this one promises to bring some real changes and even more so real proof that Intel does listen to its customer base and implements things to make that user base happy.. One way we had proof of this “listening to customers” can be seen some time ago when they announced the enthusiasts protection plan where you can pay a nominal fee and you are protected even ... Read More »

MSI Goes Mini! Z87I Gaming and GTX 760 Mini ITX Gaming Review!

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Introduction – MSI Z87I Gaming and GTX 760 Gaming Mini MSI’s gaming line has now seen a few entries for board and GPU models and this set I have to say is extremely interesting as these models are made for the very popular mini PC builds which are becoming very popular. Mini ITX systems are growing greatly in popularity as smaller systems become much more powerful and solutions like this are very interesting as it specially builds specific targeted models based around a small sized build. starting with a Z87 board with gaming feature sets and also a GTX 760 card which is a great price/performance model built to a size to fit within a super compact Mini ITX chassis.   The board comes in at a MSRP of $200.00 whereas the GTX 760 ITX model comes in at $269.99 both of which are rather reasonable when you consider some ... Read More »

The Black is Back! ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Echoes of AC/DC ring in my head as I came up with this title, and it took everything in me not to have about a thousand different “Back in black” references but I think we can survive a few. ASUS seems to reserve its “Black Edition” moniker for very special models as im sure some of you saw back when we got a chance to check out the Rampage III Black edition board based on the X58 chipset. That thing was a flat out beast and from looking at the specs on paper the Rampage IV Black edition is no different. Well we can say that in a manner of speaking as it looks to be a flat out beast but it is in terms entirely different as the technology on this board is seemingly light years ahead of the previous generation Black ... Read More »

Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce OC

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Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce OC When thinking graphics so many times names jump into out minds like EVGA, ASUS and whatnot but many times when you think about Gigabyte, graphics cards simply don’t jump to the forefront. Gigabyte is best known for their extensive motherboard offering while for some reason their graphics offerings have not always gotten all of the credit I think they deserve. The reason I say this as I have seen most of their models and while their products are sometimes less mentioned they do make some very good coolers and also some very nice custom PCB models. Here via the specs you can see that the Gigabyte model comes with a very high out of the box clock which gives it a definitive jump over the competition with over 1GHz boost clock where the ASUS we looked at recently only reached into the 941MHz in boost ... Read More »

Patriot Viper III 2400MHz “Black Mamba” Memory Kit Review

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Introduction Patriot has been in the market for a long time but it is the lesser known little brother in the memory game. However this has not kept them from making some very cool memory models among other devices such as USB flash drives, mobile wireless storage and even a Android powered set top box and im sure many more things I cannot even think of right now. But without getting too crazy off topic what we are looking at today is their model from the Viper III series labeled “Black Mamba” which is very nice looking sticks with aggressive heatspreaders and a very aggressive speed/timing configuration. Being named Black Mamba I could only assume means to assert the aggressive and deadly power these sticks hold within.     Normally when you start getting above and beyond 2133 or so you start to really see the timings run away getting ... Read More »

Gigabyte Z87X-OC

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 Introduction – Gigabyte Z87X-OC Well we are now many boards deep into the Z87 line and now we got a new fun toy from the team over at Gigabyte. This is one of the OC Series boards, and yes I did say one of them as there are two different OC model boards the Z87X-OC and the Z87X-OC Force. The Z87X-OC Force is a full 4 Way sli and Crossfire model designed for overclocking and using a bridge chip to allow more PCIe lane availability to allow 4 Way SLI function. The board we have today is the Z87X-OC which omits the bridge chip and Liquid cooled VRM area in favor of a much more affordable cost. The tradeoff however does mean you give up the ability to run more than two way SLI or Quad SLI with two dual GPU cards, but since AMD does not limit crossfire to ... Read More »

ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC

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ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC ASUS with its top end DirectCU II cards always has its special spin and tweaks to the GPUs they create. and today we have the newest on the uber high end with the GTX 780 based model which comes packed with a full custom design, cooler and components to allow for top level performance. The GK110 Kepler Architecture When it comes to the GPU the GK110 was originally employed on powerhouse server based processing systems designed for huge calculations and other ops where a GPU can provide huge performance.  We first saw the GK110 as a consumer level part in the GTX TITAN, which was even still not the full GK110 you would see on a Tesla K20. The GTX 780 sports GK110 that is just a little less than a TITAN as well; the TITAN will be the top end flagship single GPU card for ... Read More »

Ivy Bridge-E is here! Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Processor Review

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Intel’s New Ivy Bridge-E Has Landed! Normally when Intel launches a new CPU it is brought along with a new chipset even if its the same socket. If you remember the launch a short while ago moving from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge, it utilized the same 1155 socket but launched a new chipset Z77 along with the new CPU to support some new features even though it used the same socket. Today we are looking at the new Ivy Bridge-E CPU which is based on the LGA 2011 Socket type and with it we did not receive a board or any of that normal stuff we would get with an Intel launch. That is not a huge deal as we always found the Intel boards rather basic honestly but they did provide very good baseline and even OC based performance for which we could use to test all future ... Read More »

MSI GTX 760 HAWK

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MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK MSI with the introduction of the Gaming series set a whole new category for the MSI brand in the marketplace and a very necessary one at that. However there is still a gap to fill when it comes to extreme performance and that is where the GTX 760 HAWK that we are looking at today comes in. Must like the bigger brother “Lightning” model cards the hawk series is the mainstream performance equivalent for top end OC board offerings. Now with the GTX 760 is uses a GK104 GPU cut down to GTX 760 spec just like any other GTX760 you will find on that market but this is where the similarities end and the fun begins. Here as you can see the spec has a very respectable overclock to it right out of the box and you cant help but notice that the cooler ... Read More »

MSI Z87 Mpower Motherboard

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Introduction – MSI Z87 Mpower MSI was quick to let a flurry of boards hit the market including the new “Gaming” line but for those enthusiasts who want something to help push the limits there’s no better solution form the MSI camp than the Mpower/Xpower series. We have already shows the wild Xpower board now were gonna show you the more tame Mpower model Xpower has always been the top end balls to the walls overclocker but for most maybe they dont need all of the features that the Xpower offers and this is where the Xpower fits in as it has some major overclocking muscle built in with a little less feature count to offer a more reasonable price point to match many enthusiasts users budgets.       The board comes in at a price of $234.99 on Newegg. This places it at 200 dollars below the Xpower so ... Read More »

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Motherboard review

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Introduction – MSI Z87-G45 Gaming MSI stormed the market as of recent with the introduction of their gaming series and also offered a new level of segmentation to their lineup that previously simply was not there. By adding the Gaming series there now is a set boundary as to which product is targeted at which audience which is excellent to deliver a clear message to customers. So now with their standard boards being the mainstream line, then Gaming for gamer/midrange enthusiasts and Mpower/Xpower being the upper echelon of the performance segment carrying boards more targeted toward the overclocker and performance centric market. Today I am looking at the second and more value oriented  of the Z87 Gaming series boards the MSI Z87 G45 Gaming, and this very much like the GD65 I had looked at recently carries many of the same design philosophies here so lets take a look a ... Read More »

ASUS Maximus VI Hero Z87 Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Maximus  VI Hero The Z87 series keeps on trucking along and with this ASUS offers yet another ROG piece to the game with the newly released Maximus VI HERO. The Hero looks very much like a Formula from the Z77 line but without the WiFi or the Liquid cooled VRM and knowing now all of the different models available through the ROG line I am very interested in the innovations included in this board and where exactly it falls into the stack in terms of ROG Z87′s. Looking at the general overview you can see it has the select VRM features and Supreme FX Audio but lets dig a little deeper into what exactly is the Maximus VI HERO.   The Maximus VI HERO comes to market with a street price of $189.99 directly from Newegg at the time of writing. This price places the HERO in ... Read More »

ASUS Z87-PRO Motheboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Z87-PRO ASUS along with its ROG boards also released the more mainstream channel series of boards one of which we actually looked at already in the Z87-A. The color seems to be the big topic in the community and for good reason since ECS did a similar gold coloring on the heatsinks and components for Z77 and it did not go over well but ASUS decided to throw their hat into the ring with the god coloring in an apparent effort to symbolize the “Gold Standard” and while I’ve never been a big fan of gold I do think in the right system it could look nice or in a build where a window and appearance are not as important as the function. For me its all about performance but I think that also has to do with my inherent inability to make a pretty system so ... Read More »

ASUS Z87-A Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Z87-A When new chipset launches happen all of the attention is given to the big boys of the group or the high end behemoth that is the top clocking boards. All the while, there is a whole bunch of other boards that may not have all of the bells and whistles or the LN2 overclocking trickery, but are just as capable when being put to the test in a high end gaming rig. Many enthusiasts can be some what snobbish when it comes to hardware, us included. We want the biggest, the baddest, and the best. The only problem is that the best comes with a hefty price tag, so we like to look at what mainstream performers can offer. Some of these boards hold huge promise for even a nice overclocked rig. Today we are looking at the ASUS Z87-A board which is one of the ... Read More »

ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II Graphics Card Review

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ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC Graphics Card After the GTX 760 card launched we were quite surprised as to the power on tap, and were more excited to see what exactly can be done when put in the capable hands of some of the board partners. ASUS stepped up with a custom version of the GTX 760 with a  very capable looking cooler and even a neat implementation of a single 8 pin to replace the normal dual 6 pin of the GTX 760 model. Let’s dig in and see what this midrange custom offers over the reference model.   The GK104 Kepler Architecture The GTX 760 is based on the same GK104 you saw on the 680, and even 770 we just recently looked at, but with some spec differences as it has been trimmed back a bit to better match the performance segment it falls into. Specifications ... Read More »

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Motherboard

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 Introduction – Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H   Gigabyte has been making boards forever and honestly, it has been up and down along the cycle. It seems like every board manufacturer has its good and bad times, and Gigabyte seems to have been going through a bit of a rough patch. With that said, we must say that the Z87 Gigabyte has come out swinging and actually impressed us greatly. It has great aesthetics by offering various colors and designs even in their standard channel or mainstream offerings. Some of our previous suggestions seem to have been received, as they have improved upon their UEFI BIOS, as well as a few other things. The board comes in at a price of $189.99 on Newegg, which is quite competitive to other boards on the market, but also since its head to head with many other offerings means it really has to be something special ... Read More »

MSI Z87 Xpower Motherboard

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MSI just jumped into the extreme Haswell game with the recent release of the Z87 Xpower, today we have one in hand, so let’s see what this beast has to offer. Related posts: MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING Motherboard Review With Intel’s new chipset introduction it was only a matter of time till we had... ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review   With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we... Intel Core i7 4770K: Haswell and the Z87 Chipset Intel’s newest offering to the upper mainstream platform is here with the new Haswell. The... Read More »

MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING Motherboard Review

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With Intel’s new chipset introduction it was only a matter of time till we had the new boards from MSI. Now that we have it, let’s see what you get with the new Z87-GD65 Gaming! Related posts: ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review   With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we... MSI GTX 770 Gaming   MSI has hit the GTX 770 scene and it has come out swinging with... Read More »

ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review

  With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we started seeing the ROG boards rolling out and first up we have the Maximus VI Extreme which is the top of the line when it comes to ASUS innovation. Now let’s see exactly what it has to offer. No related posts. Read More »

Sapphire HD7790 2GB: Beefing up the Midrange Monster

Sapphire was the first to get us a 7790 to check out and again the first with the 2GB variation of the card. Some neat little features make this card a nice standout from the crowd, so let’s see what the card has to offer . Related posts: Sapphire HD 7790 1GB Graphics Card – Filling the Gap in Mainstream Performance  Sapphire is pretty much the lead partner when it comes to AMD graphics cards. With... Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost – The Missing Link in the Mainstream Lineup? Nvidia today launches the new GTX 650 Ti Boost which fills the gap in the... Read More »

ASUS Maximus V Extreme

ASUS has some amazing Z77 offerings especially in the ROG lineup. We have already looked at the Maximus V Gene and the Maximus V Formula, both of which were amazing overclockers with loads of features. Today we have the Extreme variant which is the very top model for the ASUS ROG lineup. It carries many features such as the OCKey and VGA Hotwire. Keep reading to see exactly what this board offers! No related posts. Read More »

GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 Motherboard

  GIGABYTE builds motherboards for pretty much every type of user, from the extreme high end board to the more basic and straightforward mainstream boards. We were able to pick up the Z77X-UP7 from GIGABYTE. Let’s take a look at how this top-end board performs. No related posts. Read More »

MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower

  MSI has been around the motherboard market for a very long time, and like many of the players nowadays, is really pushing the overclocking ability on both its motherboard and graphics card lineups. The Big Bang series of MPower boards are built around the idea of being highly overclockable and enthusiast-targeted. Today we look at what the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower board and what it has to offer. No related posts. Read More »

Sapphire HD 7950 Vapor-X

Sapphire has made quite a name for itself as one of the premier and largest AMD board partners and all with some stylish and simply impressive cards in the process. Today we look at the HD 7950 Vapor-X model and see what kind of magic has been infused in the DNA to make this card a must have for all the enthusiasts gamers out there. No related posts. Read More »

ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum

ASUS has a very rare addition to its MATRIX series offerings. MATRIX cards are always of a special build quality, including hand picked components and usually some very unique features not seen on any other card. Today we have the ASUS MATRIX HD 7970 Platinum. Let’s see what it has to offer, and can it take the top honors for performance and features. No related posts. Read More »

ASUS Maximus V Formula

ASUS hit the market hard with the little board that packed a big punch. Now they’ve released the bigger brother of that board: the Maximus V Formula, and the Maximus V Extreme is following shortly. Let’s check out the Maximus V Formula and see what it has to offer. No related posts. Read More »

MSI HD7850 Power Edition Video Card

  Just after thinking we might have seen the most well-rounded AMD graphics card from our vendors, we came to check out the MSI R7850 Power Edition 2GB factory overclocked graphics card. This card has completely blown us away with its quiet operation, low temperatures, and great performance for its class. Read on to find out how MSI achieved all of this! No related posts. Read More »

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 660 Ti AMP Edition

  ZOTAC always has a unique way of approaching the market, whether it be via unique color profiles or just the simply outlandish cooler designs on the AMP series of cards. Today we take a look at their newly released GTX 660 Ti offering from the AMP Edition lineup and see how it stacks up to what the big boys has to offer. No related posts. Read More »

MSI GTX 660 Ti Power Edition

MSI pushes ahead with its newest addition built upon the recently released 660 Ti chipset and its Twin Frozr IV cooler design to make one awesome card that could possibly top them all. Let’s take a look and see if it has what it takes. No related posts. Read More »

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 660 Ti Windforce OC

GIGABYTE has made a name for themselves with very overclockable motherboards and their extremely highly clockable “Super overclock” graphics card offerings. Coming from this same brand, we have their overclock offering for the GTX 660 Ti. No related posts. Read More »

SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X HD 7770 GHz EDITION OC Video Card

The SAPPHIRE Vapor-X HD 7770 GHz Edition OC Video Card is SAPPHIRES latest offering in the AMD Radeon HD 7770 line-up of graphics cards. The Vaper-X HD 7770 GHz Edition OC uses a vapor design air cooler with two fans to provide a quiet and cool gaming environment over the standard AMD reference design. No related posts. Read More »

XFX Radeon HD 7750 Black Edition Video Card

The XFX Radeon HD 7750 Black Edition is a solid mainstream video card for average gamers running smaller resolution monitors. If you are on a small budget and need a video card to get you by which also has great cooling and overclocking potential, look no further than the XFX Radeon HD 7750 video card. No related posts. Read More »

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