A ton of technology in here
In the world of graphics cards there a lot of also-rans, cards that were released but didn't really leave a mark on the industry. Reference cards are a dime a dozen (not really, though $0.10 HD 7970s sounds like a great thing to me) and when the only thing vendors can compete on is price it is very hard to make a compelling argument for one card over another. The ASUS Matrix Platinum HD 7970 that we are looking at today in no way suffers from these problems - it is a custom design with unique features that really give it the ability to stand out from the clogged quarters of the GPU shelf.
As you should expect by now with the ASUS ROG brand, the Matrix HD 7970 not only has a slightly overclocked clock speed on the GPU and memory but also some unique features like VGA Hotwire, TweakIt buttons and more!
ASUS ROG Matrix Design
Before we dive into performance and our experiences in overclocknig the HD 7970 with the ASUS Matrix Platinum we wanted to go over some of the design highlights that make this graphics card unique. Available in both Matrix and Matrix Platinum (hand picked chips) revisions, this triple-slot design will include a custom built PCB with 20-phase power and quite a bit more.
This "exploded" view of the Matrix HD 7970 shows a high-level view of these features with details to follow below. Some of the features are really aimed at the extreme overclockers that like to get their hands into some LN2 but there is still a lot to offer users that just want to try their hand at getting additional performance through air overclocking.
ASUS' custom DirectCU II cooler is at work on the ASUS Matrix HD 7970 using all copper heatpipes to help lower temps by 20% compared to the reference HD 7970 while also running quieter thanks to the larger 100mm fans. These fans can be independently controlled and include the ASUS dust proof fan technology we have seen previously.
ASUS RT-N56U Wireless Router Review
On deck for review today is the ASUS RT-N56U “Black Diamond” Dual-band Gigabit Wireless-N Router. ASUS has a broad stable of networking equipment including wireless adapters, wireless routers, wired networking gear and even some power line networking gear. Released in late 2010, the RT-N56U is one of the lower cost offerings in ASUS’ Dual Band N series and can be found online for around $99.
ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Router Overview
The media review information supplied to us by ASUS claims the ASUS RT-N56U “Black Diamond” offers “Extreme performance in style.” The router’s “Aesthetic design” has a “Sexy and stylish approach with streamlined, meticulously designed and well-rounded appearance, just like diamonds sparkling and twinkling in the dark.” Now I don’t know about you, but if it’s dark, I’m not sure how you see diamond’s twinkling? But I digress; the RT-N56U is a great looking router, with the black cross hatched lattice surface we liked from previous ASUS routers.
Subject: Displays | November 20, 2012 - 04:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, PLS, lcd, 2560x1440, PB278Q, 27
Before they even turned the ASUS PB278Q on, Hardware Canucks had formed several opinions about the monitor; on the positive side the stand was very versatile and more stable than other 27" displays but on the negative side was the complete lack of an anti-glare coating. The OSD was quite comprehensive, especially if you contrast it with some of the high definition displays from Korea we have seen recently. The overall performance of monitor was not quite up to the Samsung SyncMaster 27A850 which is another PLS display on the market, however you can get the ASUS display for at least $100 less which may make it the preferred choice of those needing something better than a TN display but can't afford the top model.
"PLS panel technology hasn't been around for all that long but it has already made a lasting mark upon the display market. ASUS' new PB278Q puts this technology to good use in a 27" 2560 x 1440 WQHD monitor that is targeted towards gamers and professionals alike."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Asus PB278Q Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS PB278Q Review: An IPS Competitor Emerges @ AnandTech
- Philips Brilliance P-Line 241P4QPYKES 24″ LED Monitor @ Kitguru
- Dell UltraSharp U2713HM Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: Mobile | November 13, 2012 - 06:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, vivo tab rt, tegra 3, winRT
Hopefully the rounded corners on the VivoTab will not catch the attention of Cupertino but until it does this convertible tablet/notebook will be popular. The tablet portion has a 10.1" 1366 x 768 SuperIPS+ display, aka 155 PPI, powered by a Tegra 3 T30 @ 1.3GHz. It has an 8MP camera at the rear and a 2MP camera which faces you for video conferencing and while it does have the ability to provide a USB connection it does so with an adapter and the docking port, so USB is unavailable when you are docked. Overall The Tech Report mostly liked the device, it might load some WinRT apps slowly but once they are running they perform admirably; lack of support for x86 programs was disappointing and in some ways they preferred the previous Android versions. See why that is so in the full article.
"Asus' Transformer approach to convertible tablets has finally come to Windows. We take a closer look at the new VivoTab RT."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Microsoft Surface Tablet (64GB / Windows RT) Review @ HardwareHeaven
- HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A Ultrabook Windows 7 and 8 Testing Review @ TechwareLabs
- Asus S56CA-DH51 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Maingear Vybe 15 Gaming Laptop @ Tweaktown
- Schenker XMG P722 Gaming Laptop @ HardwareHeaven
- Dell Inspiron 14z: Ultrabook with DVD and SSD @ Hardware.info
- Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon @ Hardware.info
- 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro @ AnandTech
- Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro Retina @ Hardware.info
- ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime @ Tweaktown
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (16GB, Sprint) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Samsung Galaxy Xcover review: robust smartphone
- Samsung Galaxy Note II 16GB Smartphone Review @ Legit Reviews
- Google Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 Performance Preview @ AnandTech
- Apple iPad Mini Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Apple iPad Mini (Wi-Fi) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Acer Iconia W700 Windows 8 Tablet @ XSReviews
- Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Nook Simple Touch Glowlight @ The Inquirer
- Apple Ipad Mini @ The Inquirer
Subject: Motherboards | November 9, 2012 - 03:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, a85, F2A85-V Pro, trinity
The ASUS F2A85V Pro is a high end AMD board with a quite reasonable price for the features present on the board. The two PCIe-16x slots can handle Crossfire with both cards running at 8x and the spacing between the slots means that even a three slot GPU will fit with no problems. There are 7 SATA 6 Gbps ports which support a variety of RAID settings, as well as four USB 3.0 ports and a single eSATA port but it is the graphics outputs which really shine, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA and DVI outputs are all available for your Trinity processor. Take a look at those features, the new Network iControl software to manage your connections and the UEFI BIOS at Bjorn3D.
"ASUS has released their the F2A85V-Pro for the socket FM2. The board retails at around $140, but is packed with features."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT @ Hardware.info
- Three AMD A85X Socket FM2 motherboards @ Hardware.info
- Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Review @ OCC
- apphire Pure Platinum A85XT (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix.
- BIOS Option Of The Week - FPU OPCODE Compatible Mode @ TechaRP
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 @ Kitguru
- ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 Review @ OCC
- EVGA Z75 SLI Motherboard Review @ HCW
- GIGABTYE Z77X-UP7 Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS Maximus V Extreme @ Bjorn3D
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula Review @ OCC
- MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- MSI Z77 MPOWER @ Tweaktown
- ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Asus P8Z77-V Premium Review: Flagship Mainboard from Asus @ X-bit Labs
- Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X @ Hardware.info
- Gigabyte H77N-WiFi Review – First Look at Ivy Bridge with mITX @ AnandTech
- GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 @ [H]ard|OCP
- GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 @ Tweaktown
Introduction and Specs
Courtesy of ECS
As part of their Black Extreme line of motherboards, the ECS Z77H2-AX pairs the promise of performance and a mile-long feature list with looks that could kill. We decided to put this board through the paces, throwing our normal suite of benchmark and functionality tests to see how well it lived up to its reputation. The ECS Z77H2-AX seems to be well priced at its $309.99 base price with all the higher-end features and bling built into the board.
Courtesy of ECS
From the initial unboxing of the board, I was dumbstruck. ECS literally gold-plated every heat-producing surface on this board, giving it a very unique look and feel. The board itself has no shortage of features with SATA 2, SATA 3, mSATA, and eSATA ports, support for 3 different networking types, and enough USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for anyone.
Intro and Tech Specs
Courtesy of ASUS
Today we will be evaluating the ASUS P8Z77 WS motherboard on the test bench, evaluating its performance and functionality in various ways to ensure that the board works up to the standards we’ve come to expect from ASUS. At $339 a base price, this Intel Z77 chipset based board is part of the ASUS Workstation series, designed to meet the needs of the harsh corporate and server environments requiring optimal component functioning over a 24/7 timeframe.
Courtesy of ASUS
The P8Z77 WS is a feature-rich solution with dual Intel-based GigE NICs, an ASUS customized UEFI BIOS, and multi-GPU PCI 3.0 support offered innately through the Intel Z77 chipset as well as the integrated LicidLogix Virtu MVP chipset.
Courtesy of ASUS
Podcast #225 - Intel's New Low Priced 240GB SSD, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook, AMD ARM processors, and more!
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2012 - 03:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: z77a-gd80, yoga 13, thunderbolt, podcast, pcper, msi, Lenovo, intel ssd, intel 335, Intel, Ideapad, asus, arm, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #225 - 11/01/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Intel's New Low Priced 240GB SSD, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook, AMD ARM processors, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts:Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Chris Barbere
Program length: 1:10:09
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:29:22 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:30:35 Corsair Announces new products
- 0:36:10 ASUS Launches Line of VivoBook Laptops Running Windows 8
- 0:42:05 How to Build a PC with Windows 8 - PC Perspective Live!
- 0:43:50 Microsoft Giving Away Free Media Center Keys For Windows 8
- 0:46:30 ASRock Launches Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard With Two Thunderbolt Ports
- 0:47:30 AMD Announces It Will Build 64-bit ARM Processors for Server Markets
- 0:53:15 Intel Wants To See 48-Core Processors In Future Smartphones
- 0:56:30 NZXT Unleashes the Kraken -- World's first all-in-one 140mm & 280mm liquid-cooler
1:00:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Symphony on Steam - Free Keys to Give Away!!
- Jeremy: Grab media centre, even if you don't plan on getting Win 8 yet
- Allyn: Start8 - for you Windows 8 users
- Chris: MechWarrior Online
- 1:00:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Mobile | October 31, 2012 - 06:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: winRT, vivotab rt, asus
When The Tech Report last talked about the VivoTab RT they were focusing on the new OS and its features and usability but they didn't touch on the device its self. That has been remedied with this review which highlights the usability of the device along with some specifics like split screen mode and battery life. They held off on running benchmarks which in a way makes sense as the limited usefulness of WinRT machines will mean that some cellphone benchmarks would provide information but not many of the usual PC benchmarks will ... we already know it won't play Crysis. Check out their overview before you pick one of these up if you are not positive you want one.
"After spending the weekend with Asus' Tegra-powered VivoTab RT, we've posted our initial impressions of the convertible tablet."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Dell XPS 12 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Samsung Chromebook (XE303) Review: Testing ARM's Cortex A15 @ AnandTech
- Microsoft Surface popped open, poked, prodded @ The Register
- Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, Retina) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Asus Vivo Tab RT Review @ TechReviewSource
- Ipad Mini vs Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire HD @ The Inquirer
- Toshiba Satellite U925t Review @ TechReviewSource
- Cyberpower X6-9120 Gaming Notebook @ Bjorn3D
- Microsoft Surface @ AnandTech
- Android 4.0 update improves Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 performance @ Hardware.info
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet @ Tweaktown
- Toshiba Satellite P845-S4200 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Samsung Series 9 @ Hardware.info
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review (T-Mobile) - The Phablet Returns @ AnandTech
- 2x Dell XPS 15 review: Core i7 or Core i5 @ Hardware.info
- MSI GX60 Gaming Laptop @ Kitguru
- Vaja Leather Suit for Macbook Pro 15'' Unibody Review @ Madshrimps
- Matrox DualHead2Go External Multi-Display Adaptor Review @ OCC
- Sony Xperia T Android Smartphone Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Apple Ipad Mini first impressions @ The Inquirer
- Windows Phone 8 @ Hardawre.info
- EE 4G @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2012 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, google, nexus 7, andriod, jelly bean
While many PC and component manufacturers are having a rough time in 2012, ASUS is not one. Thanks to their wholehearted adoption of Android devices like the Nexus 7 they have seen their income from mobile devices jump from 7% of their revenue to 16%. That total revenue also had significant growth, their profits are 43% higher than this quarter a year ago. That growth rate is very impressive in the current economy and seems to refute many analyst's predictions that we are moving into a post PC market. ASUS also has to thank their Transformer series as the paired tablet and keyboard device is proving quite popular and will be one of the main competitors to Microsoft's new Surface devices. ASUS told The Register they plan to become the second largest seller of tablets and the largest retailer of touch devices.
"Asus to you and me - has pulled a surprise jump in profit out of the bag as its tablets make up for slow PC sales.
The Taiwanese firm reported its largest quarterly profit in more than four years, spurred by its partnership with Google on the Nexus 7 and the enduring popularity of its own-brand snap-on keyboard fondletops."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft sued over Live Tile interface on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 @ The Inquirer
- Inside the Titan Supercomputer: 299K AMD x86 Cores and 18.6K NVIDIA GPUs @ AnandTech
- ARM busts out server-to-superphone superchips @ The Register
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - October 2012
- Team Development at Cost Zero @ Techgage
- TechwareLabs Reviews the Epson WorkForce WF-7520 all-in-one wide format inkjet Printer
- AIDA64 v2.70 is released
- TRENDnet TV-IP672WI Megapixel Wireless Day/Night PTZ IP Camera Review @ NikKTech
- Setting Up Maxis FTTH On The Technicolor TG784n v3 Gateway @ TechARP
- Amped Wireless R20000G High Power Dual Band Router Review @ Legit Reviews
- AMD's Radeon ExtravaLANza Event Coverage @ Hardware Canucks
- Disney buys Lucasfilm, new Star Wars trilogy planned @ The Register
- NETGEAR N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Modem Router (DGND4000) Review @ HardwareHeaven
- The TR Podcast 122: Windows 8, VivoTab RT, and FX-8350