AMD’s 300 series has been overlooked by a lot of people. Their Fury series really took all of the spotlight, but not everyone has that much money to spend on a graphics card. If you are an AMD fan the 300 series still does have a lot to offer. Today we will be taking a look at a R9 380 graphics card, which is more or less a rebranded R9 285. The card is based on the 28nm process and features 1792 stream processors, 32 ROPs, 112 TMUs. On the review block today is the MSI R9 380 Gaming 4G graphics card. MSI has given this card their “Gaming” treatment, which we are big fans of. So you have the Twin Frozr V cooling solution, a factory overclock, fans that turn off when you are not gaming, and of course the MSI Gaming styling on the card itself. Let’s take a look and see what this card is all about!
I’ve said it before and I guess I’m saying it again; I have reviewed a lot of AiO coolers. As the resident AiO guy at ThinkComputers if there’s a new closed loop product on the market it finds it’s way to me. As you might imagine I have seen everything from coolers that are basically bone stock, slap the company logo onto it and call it good, to very unique, well thought out and inventively engineered designs. It’s the later that keeps me going, because every once in a while a sample will come along that you can tell some love and creativity was poured into the design. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Silverstone TD02-E. While Silverstone is far from being a one-off boutique brand, their products in general carry a certain feeling of quality and pride in the design. Follow along as we find out if the TD02-E has the genes of its counterparts or if it’s simply a generic design with a logo slapped on as an after thought.
Over the past couple of years Zotac has really distinguished themselves as a producer of high-end NVIDIA-based graphics cards. They offer some of the highest-clocked and best looking cards available. For those who did not jump on NVIDIA’s Titan X when it was first released now you have the choice of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, which offers similar performance, will half the VRAM. Since the card has been out for a little while now we have seen many custom designs and today we will be taking a look at one such card from Zotac. On the test bench today is their GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP! (ZT-90503-10P) graphics card. This card comes with a factory overclock of 1051 MHz base and 1140 MHz GPU Boost. On top of that this is one of the more sleek cards we have reviewed lately with its triple-fan carbon-fiber cooling solution and stylish backplate. Let’s see what this card is all about!
We previously tested the DeepCool Captain 240 liquid CPU Cooler and weren’t very impressed with the results. As it turns out neither was DeepCool when they saw our results so they decided to send us a second test unit after all. Fortunately this one arrived from Hong Kong with the thermal paste intact so we got to work immediately retesting.
Deepcool’s original Assassin CPU cooler came out in 2013 and one one of the largest and best performing coolers available. 2014 brought in the Lucifer, which we tested and it proved to be one of the best coolers available at the time. It is now 2015 and Deepcool has released the successor to the original Assassin, the Assassin II. This massive air cooler features a dual tower design, two cooling fans (140mm and 120mm), 8 nickel-plated copper heatpipes and its own 4-port fan hub. Can this cooler reign supreme like Deepcool’s previous two coolers? Read on as we find out…
LUXA2’s Smart Clip and Tab Clip perform similar functions but for different devices. Smart Clip holds 3.5” – 6” mobile phones, while Tab Clip holds tablets 6” – 10”. Each feature a powerful suction cup, full 360 degree swivel and rotation, and non-slip rubber grip for extra stability. Let’s see what the Smart Clip and Tab Clip are all about!
Sapphire is AMD’s larger board partner so as expected that have a pretty nice selection of AMD’s 300 series graphics cards. Sitting at the top of the 300 series is the Radeon R9 390X. This is of course a rebrand of AMD’s previous R9 290X, but with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. Also the rebrand has given AMD time to fine-tune the chip and add new features. This card is 100% DirectX 12 compliant and has AMD specific features like FreeSync, Super Virtual Resolution, and Eyefinity. Sapphire’s take on the card brings with it their Tri-X cooling solution that uses Intelligent Fan Control II technology that will turn the fans off when the GPU is not running hot and a massive 10mm heatpipe to keep things cool, 16K hours capacitors to lengthen the lifespan of the card, a dual BIOS, and the card is of course factory overclocked. Let’s jump in and see what this card can do!
The NZXT NOCTIS 450 is a mixture of engineering and modern art; sharing an internal frame that we have come a custom to find with the more familiar S340 and H440 in addition adding to that mix a completely different outer shell design theme. The NOCTIS 450 is like imagining a Phantom and a H440 metamorphosing together into a completely different mixture of look and style, but still keeping that similar inner engineering that we have come to enjoy with NZXT sharing of innovations of Custom Computer Case Modders around the Globe.
ASUS’s STRIX Series started with AMD’s R9 280 series and NVIDIA’s GTX 780. From there the series has branched out to gaming peripherals, many of which we have also reviewed. STRIX has become ASUS’s mainstream gaming line behind their higher-end republic of gamers line. So when it comes to graphics card STRIX has effectively replaced the DirectCU line. While the cards still make use of variations of the DirectCU cooler, the marketing has changed to STRIX, which we feel is better anyways. That brings us to the card we are reviewing today, the STRIX GeForce GTX 970. The card features a nice factory overclock of 1114 MHz core and 1253 MHz GPU Boost, ASUS’s DirectCU II cooling with 0dB fan technology, which means the card will only run once it reaches a certain temperature threshold, a 6-phase DIGI+VRM design with Super Alloy Power and much more! Let’s see what this card can do!
Mini-ITX motherboards have been extremely popular over the past couple of years. So much so that many case manufacturers have created special cases just for the form factor that have become some of their best sellers. Typically Mini-ITX motherboards have been reserved for mainstream systems, recently we saw many impressive Z97 Mini-ITX motherboards. But what about Intel’s HEDT (High-End Desktop) platform? Because of the size of the CPU package the thought of having an X99 motherboard in the Mini-ITX form factor was unheard of, until ASRock released the X99E-ITX/ac. They were able to fit the LGA2011v3 socket onto a Mini-ITX form factor and still have room for quite a lot of other features. The only real downfall of this motherboard is that you are limited to dual-channel memory and you have to use ASRock’s included proprietary CPU cooler, which we will get into a bit later in the review. But this board packs in ASRock’s OC socket, a SATA Express port, Ultra M.2 slot, Wireless 802.11ac + Bluetooth, USB 3.1, ASRock’s Super Alloy design and much more! Let’s see what this tiny, yet powerful motherboard is all about!
Aug 03, 2015 0