What started out as the first quad core processor under $ 100, has evolved into a powerful and very affordable all round performer. AMD's newest addition to the Athlon II Series, the quad core Athlon II X4 645 is stepping over the 3 GHz mark, clocking at impressive 3.10 GHz.
Although frequency wars between AMD and Intel are long gone, this could be the day for the history books at AMD, as they let loose their fastest clocked retail processor. Based on the well known Deneb quad core, Phenom II X4 970 BE is clocked at 3.50 GHz and its goal is to refresh the upper end of AMD's offerings, replacing older X4 965 BE model but keeping the same price point and adding more pressure to Intel's Core i5 Series.
High end in-ear manufacturer JH AUDIO recently launched a new top-of-the-line in-ear dubbed the JH|16Pro. Featuring a grand total of eight drivers per in-ear these set the benchmark when it comes to cramming a lot of balanced armatures into one set of in-ears, retailing at $1,200. This brings forth the old question of whether more really is better, read on to find out.
Today NVIDIA released their new GeForce GTS 450. We take two of these cards for a spin and check whether SLI is an option worth pursuing. In addition to testing at the reference design clocks we also test at 875/1000 which represents two factory overclocked cards in SLI.
Palit's GeForce GTS 450 Sonic Platinum comes with 1 GB of fast GDDR5 memory and offers the highest clock rates of the GTS 450 cards we tested today. Running at 932 MHz core and 1000 MHz memory it is able to deliver performance higher than the AMD Radeon HD 5770.
The MSI N450GTS Cyclone OC uses MSI's popular Cyclone cooler. The card is factory overclocked which provides a nice performance boost over the NVIDIA reference design. During testing we were impressed by how quiet MSI's cooler can work while also keeping temperatures low.
The ASUS ENGTS450 TOP DirectCU is a factory overclocked version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450. It comes with a custom cooling solution called DirectCU which uses heatpipes that make direct contact with the GPU core. In our testing we saw excellent overclocking up to 973 MHz.
AXLE's GeForce GTS 450 OC is a rock-solid implementation of the NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450. It uses both a custom PCB and cooling solution to deliver the maximum for your hard earned cash. The cooler is running quiet and offers low temperatures which make an excellent foundation for additional overclocking.
ZOTAC has a long history of releasing overclocked cards that provide extra performance at low cost. Coming at clocks of 873 MHz core and 1000 MHz memory, the card manages to offer 10% extra performance over the NVIDIA reference design, without being noisy or running hot.
The cards for Point of View's GTX 460 TGT Beast are pre-selected based on their overclocking potential. This allows them to run the high clock speed of 855 MHz core and 1005 MHz memory. We take a closer look at this card that is just as fast as the much more expensive GeForce GTX 470.
As the names suggests, the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU comes with an ASUS DirectCu thermal solution. It also features increased clock speeds of 775 MHz core and 1000 MHz memory which result in about 10% real life improvement. What makes this card really attractive is the low price of $229 which is the same as you would pay for the plain NVIDIA reference design.
PowerColor's HD 5750 Low Profile is the first HD 5700 Series low-profile card on the market. This seems to be a godsend for compact media PC systems that can also handle the latest games at decent resolution and settings. We take this card for a spin to see if it can hold its promise.
Mushkin's Callisto 60 GB comes at a very affordable $145 which makes it the cheapest 60 GB Sandforce-driven SSD on the market today. With a capacity of 60 GB it is a great choice for a Windows 7 boot drive. TRIM is also supported, so you get the maximum out of your SSD even after it's aged a bit.
MSI's GTX 460 HAWK is the flagship GeForce GTX 460 from MSI. It comes with a quiet Twin Frozr II cooler, 1 GB of memory and 781 MHz core clock out of the box. MSI has also expanded on the voltmodding capability of the card which supports software control for three voltages.
BitFenix may be a new brand but their first product has landed. The Colossus case is so large that you simply cannot miss it. It is packed to the rim with new and unique features, which make you wonder what we did without them before. We take an in-depth look at the retail version of this massive EATX case that goes for a very affordable 159 Euros.
AXLE's GeForce GTX 460 ACE is the first GTX 460 to come with a triple slot cooling solution, by Arctic Cooling in this case. The card also comes pre-overclocked out of the box which results in a healthy performance boost over the reference design.
Mach Xtreme is a new player, but their complete line-up of memory, SSDs and their USB 3.0 flash drive made some real waves. We are taking a look at the Armor 1600 MHz CL8 dual channel kit, which comes equipped with Xigmatek heat spreaders. Will its shell withstand our barrage of benchmarks or are we able to chip its armor?
Arctic Cooling's recent push to enter the peripheral market is now paying off for those looking for an affordable slim line keyboard. With the launch of the K381 keyboard you could get a quite feature packed keyboard that does not take up much deskspace for only $24.95.
ZOTAC's new GTX 460 Amp! Edition is the highest clocked GTX 460 version available right now. Its clock speeds of 810 MHz core and 1000 MHz memory ensure it delivers substantially improved performance over the GTX 460 reference design. ZOTAC is also using a custom cooling solution and includes a full version of Prince of Persia with their card.
Running at 800 MHz GPU and 1000 MHz memory, Palit's GTX 460 Sonic Platinum is one of the highest clocked GTX 460 cards out there. It also comes with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory which can provide a performance boost over the 768 MB variants too. Being priced at reasonable $249 this card looks like a good alternative to a reference design purchase.
Head-Direct's first ever balanced set of in-ears gets put to the test. Dubbed the RE-ZEROs they are essentially a limited run of a highly modified RE0 design. Dressed in a new color with a TRRS mini-jack and a slightly altered bundle these new in-ears should work well for the audio enthusiast.
G.SKILL's Phoenix Pro 240 GB offers a huge amount of extremely fast solid-state storage that goes well beyond 'boot drive'. It also features the latest Sandforce SF-1222 controller in a tweaked version that allows up to 50,000 IOPS which is a solid step up from the 20k of the normal consumer version.
Inadequate cooling is never to be taken lightly in a world that is getting hotter and hotter. Fortunately for all us desk bound gadget lovers Arctic Cooling have realized this and given us the Breeze Mobile.
Razer is mostly known for their expensive gaming mice, however, this new mouse changes all. Dubbed the Abyssus Razer is offering a gaming grade mouse at only $49 MSRP. We test the mouse and see if it stands a chance against some fierce competition.
Patriot's 100 GB Inferno SSD drive uses the Sandforce SF-1222 controller which is the company's latest and has found its way into many SSDs from major manufacturers on the market. Patriot is offering a unique five year warranty with their drive that uses a massive 28 GB overprovisioning to keep performance high at all times.