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Manufacturer: Sapphire

The new Radeon R9 300-series

The new AMD Radeon R9 and R7 300-series of graphics cards are coming into the world with a rocky start. We have seen rumors and speculation about what GPUs are going to be included, what changes would be made and what prices these would be shipping at for what seems like months, and in truth it has been months. AMD's Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X based on the new Hawaii GPU launched nearly 2 years ago, while the rest of the 200-series lineup was mostly a transition of existing products in the HD 7000-family. The lone exception was the Radeon R9 285, a card based on a mysterious new GPU called Tonga that showed up late to the game to fill a gap in the performance and pricing window for AMD.

AMD's R9 300-series, and the R7 300-series in particular, follows a very similar path. The R9 390 and R9 390X are still based on the Hawaii architecture. Tahiti is finally retired and put to pasture, though Tonga lives on as the Radeon R9 380. Below that you have the Radeon R7 370 and 360, the former based on the aging GCN 1.0 Curacao GPU and the latter based on Bonaire. On the surface its easy to refer to these cards with the dreaded "R-word"...rebrands. And though that seems to be the case there are some interesting performance changes, at least at the high end of this stack, that warrant discussion.

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And of course, AMD partners like Sapphire are using this opportunity of familiarity with the GPU and its properties to release newer product stacks. In this case Sapphire is launching the new Nitro brand for a series of cards that it is aimed at what it considers the most common type of gamer: one that is cost conscious and craves performance over everything else.

The result is a stack of GPUs with prices ranging from about $110 up to ~$400 that target the "gamer" group of GPU buyers without the added price tag that some other lines include. Obviously it seems a little crazy to be talking about a line of graphics cards that is built for gamers (aren't they all??) but the emphasis is to build a fast card that is cool and quiet without the additional cost of overly glamorous coolers, LEDs or dip switches.

Today I am taking a look at the new Sapphire Nitro R9 390 8GB card, but before we dive head first into that card and its performance, let's first go over the changes to the R9-level of AMD's product stack.

Continue reading our review of the Sapphire Nitro R9 390 8GB Graphics Card!!

Podcast #325 - Samsung 850 Pro Roundup, MSI's GTX 760 ITX, 8GB R9 290X and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 6, 2014 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: video, Samsung, R9 290X, podcast, nvidia, mx cherry brown, msi titan, msi, hawaii, gtx 760 itx, assassin's creed, amd, 8gb, 850 PRO

PC Perspective Podcast #325 - 11/06/2014

Join us this week as we discuss our Samsung 850 Pro Roundup, MSI's GTX 760 ITX, 8GB R9 290X and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

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8 GB Variants of the R9 290X Coming This Month

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | November 5, 2014 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: radeon, R9 290X, R9, amd, 8gb

With the current range of AMD’s R9 290X cards sitting at 4 GB of memory, listings for an 8 GB version have appeared on an online retailer. As far back as March, Sapphire was rumored to be building an 8 GB variety. Those rumours were supposedly quashed last month by AMD and Sapphire. However, AMD has since confirmed the existence of the new additions to the series. Pre-orders have appeared online and are said to be shipping out this month.

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Image Credit: Overclockers UK

With 8 GB of GDDR5 memory and price tags between $480 and $520, these new additions, expectedly, do not come cheap. Compared to the 4 GB versions of the R9 290X line, which run about $160 less according to the online retailer, is it worth upgrading at this stage? For the people using a single 1080p monitor, the answer is likely no. For those with multi-screen setups, or those with deep enough pockets to own a 4K display, however, the benefits may begin to justify the premium. At 4K though, just a single 8 GB R9 290X may not provide the best experience; a Crossfire setup would benefit more from the 8 GB bump, being less reliant on GPU speed.

AMD’s 8 GB R9 290X’s are currently available for preorder: a reference version for £299.99 + VAT (~$480) and a Vapor-X version for £324.99 + VAT (~$520). They are slated to ship later this month.

Squeeze a little more out of your Ultrabook with 1.35V RAM?

Subject: Memory | January 24, 2013 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: patriot, PC3-12800, 8gb, LoVo, sodimm, 1.35V, ultrabook

Over at Tweaktown is a review of an upgrade for Ultrabooks, Patriot's 1.35V, 8GB DDR3-1600MHz at $45 for a single SODIMM.  The idea is that not only do you get a decent sized pool of RAM but because it sips 10% less power than a standard SODIMM you might just get a bit more battery life.  They tested out the memory on a Lenovo ThinkPad W530 with a 6-cell battery, not the longest lasting of setups and saw about a 10% increase in battery life as you might have expected.  That did only translate to an extra 17 minutes but as the laptop in question was only good for 4.5 hours of life, you can expect better return from an Ultrabook with a longer battery life.

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"The big push in 2013 for mobile performance will be fought in battery life. Like every other market, if you want to get the best available you have to go to the aftermarket for premium components. The Patriot Memory for Ultrabooks will increase your notebook or ultrabook battery life, but just like everything premium, you have to pay a bit more."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

Source: Tweaktown

Intel Extreme Masters DIMMs, beyond XMP?

Subject: Memory | October 16, 2012 - 08:16 PM |
Tagged: patriot, Intel Extreme Masters Edition, ddr3-2133, 8gb, dual channel

It looks like there is a new memory rating on the market from Patriot, Intel Extreme Masters which purports to be hand tested for perfect XMP compatibility as well as sporting a new heatsink design.  Timings of 11-11-11-27 for DDR3-2133 are rather impressive as is 9-9-9-24 at DDR3-1600 and Bjorn 3D managed to overclock it to 2300MHz.  They did question the default 3T setting of the DIMMs as they ran fine at 2T though trying for 1T at those speeds is not only pushing it but questionably useful for anything but an heavily overclocked i7 CPU.

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"Nowadays, memory tends to be more of a battle over who can bin the tightest, as all IC’s shipping for the most part are pretty much the same. In the memory market it all comes down to how you can differentiate yourself from the same old stuff that we may see every day. Patriot has the new Viper 3 series which is what this kit is part of, and carrying the “Intel Extreme Masters” means it went through extensive testing to prove utmost compatibility with new DDR3 motherboards and XMP easy tuning."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

Source: Bjorn3D

G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 carries a large price tag

Subject: Memory | May 25, 2012 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: 8gb, G.Skill Trident X, DDR3-2400

At $100 G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 carries a higher price than slightly slower kits which made Neoseeker curious as to why it comes at such a premium.  The kit is certainly attractive looking with its tall red heatspreaders but looks are not everything when it comes to RAM, though the ability to remove the heatspreaders could be quite valuable to those with large heatsinks.  Timings of 10-12-12-31 @2T are not awe inspiring but are comparable to other 2400MHz kits and it seems that the DIMMs cannot provide much more as the overclocking Neoseeker managed was not much of an improvement.  Read on to see if the high speed of the DIMMs can overcome the relatively loose timings in the full review.

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"G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 memory kit has blazing fast speeds and a modular heatsink design, all in a $99 USD package. The Trident X series was designed from the ground up to be XMP Ready for Intel's 3rd Generation Core processors and Z77 platform (Ivy Bridge), which is where the higher clock speeds come in. It's also practically double the price of other DDR3-2400 dual channel kits, so hit our review to see what level of performance Trident X has to offer for its price premium."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

 

Source: Neoseeker

Corsair Releases New Low Profile, Low Voltage DDR3 Arctic White Memory Kit

Subject: Memory | August 3, 2011 - 03:10 PM |
Tagged: vengeance lp, memory, ddr3, corsair, 8gb

Today Corsair unveiled a new low voltage DDR3, low profile memory kit. Specifically, the new kit is named the Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance LP and is a 8GB, 1600MHz affair that consists of two “rigorously-screened 4GB DDR3 DRAM modules” that the manufacturer guarantees will operate at 1600MHz at CAS latencies of 9-9-9-24.

The LP in the products name implies the predisposition for use in small form factor and low profile systems where every inch counts, especially in systems where the power supply mounts directly above the motherboard. The new Vengeance kit’s heat spreader has a reduced height of 1.03” (or 26.25mm) and is ideal for these kinds of small form factor systems.

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Corsair have further used the new special edition memory in an ultra quiet PC build on the company’s blog. According to Giovanni Sena, the Director of Memory Products at Corsair, “our latest offering, the Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance LP, gives builders, system integrators, and gaming enthusiasts the ability to assemble low-voltage systems with an appealing, stylish new look.”

The new Arctic White Vengeance LP memory kit is available now from retailers and will run you approximately $90 USD at time of writing.

Source: bit-tech

Corsair Announces Limited Edition 1.5V 8GB Dominator GT Kit

Subject: Memory | July 19, 2011 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: Dominator GT DDR3, DHX+, AirFlow 2 GTL, 8gb, 1.5V

FREMONT, California - July 19th, 2011 - Corsair, a worldwide designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC gaming hardware market, today announced availability in limited quantities of a new 1.5V 8GB Dominator GT DDR3 memory kit with an aggressive timing specification.

The new 8GB dual-channel DDR3 kit is guaranteed to operate at 2133MHz at a memory voltage of 1.5V, and with a groundbreaking timing specification of CL9-11-9. With latency settings this low, the Dominator GT modules have the most aggressive timing specification of any 2x4GB 2133MHz 1.5V memory kit available today.

The new hand-assembled Dominator GT memory kit is the product of a multi-stage component screening process in which individual memory ICs are screened before assembly onto the PCBs, which then undergo additional rigorous testing to ensure reliable performance. Qualification is performed on Intel P67 and P55 motherboards, using the same rigorous test cycle applied to the rest of Corsair's memory product lines. As with all Corsair memory products, Dominator GT is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

"The unprecedented timing specification on the 1.5V Dominator GT kit makes it ideal for overclocking," said Giovanni Sena, Director of Memory Products at Corsair. "Dominator GT memory is designed for enthusiasts who are obsessed with pushing their PC's performance to the limit, and this latest kit is a worthy addition to the family."

The 1.5V 8GB Dominator GT (CMT8GX3M2A2133C9) DDR3 memory kit comes complete with Corsair's patented DHX+ heatsinks and an AirFlow 2 GTL Cooling Fan for exceptional thermal performance. It may be purchased directly from Corsair.com for $499 USD. Limited quantities are available. For more information on this and other Corsair Dominator memory products, please visit the Corsair web site.

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About DHX+ Technology
Corsair's patented DHX+ technology uses specially designed, high-quality heatsinks and a custom-designed PCB that allows both the front and rear of the memory ICs, and the printed circuit board itself, to be cooled. DHX+ technology also allows for the cooling fins to be removed, allowing for a range of modular cooling accessories including extended heatsink fins and the AirFlow Pro™ dynamic temperature and activity display.

Source: Corsair