The GPU Midrange Gets a Kick
I like budget video cards. They hold a soft spot in my heart. I think the primary reason for this is that I too was once a poor college student and could not afford the really expensive cards. Ok, so this was maybe a few more years ago than I like to admit. Back when the Matrox Millennium was very expensive, I ended up getting the STB Lightspeed 128 instead. Instead of the 12 MB Voodoo 2 I went for the 8 MB version. I was never terribly fond of paying top dollar for a little extra performance. I am still not fond of it either.
The sub-$200 range is a bit of a sweet spot that is very tightly packed with products. These products typically perform in the range of a high end card from 3 years ago, yet still encompass the latest features of the top end products from their respective companies. These products can be overclocked by end users to attain performance approaching cards in the $200 to $250 range. Mind, there are some specific limitations to the amount of performance one can actually achieve with these cards. Still, what a user actually gets is very fair when considering the price.
Today I cover several flavors of cards from three different manufacturers that are based on the AMD HD 7790 and the NVIDIA GTX 650 Ti BOOST chips. These range in price from $129 to $179. The features on these cards are amazingly varied, and there are no “sticker edition” parts to be seen here. Each card is unique in its design and the cooling strategies are also quite distinct. Users should not expect to drive monitors above 1920x1200, much less triple monitors in Surround and Eyefinity.
Now let us quickly go over the respective chips that these cards are based on.
Subject: General Tech | July 2, 2013 - 06:08 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: igzo, asus pq321, asus, 4k
ASUS announced a new 4K montior last month called the PQ321. The montior will be available July 16th, and is currently up for pre-order at various online retailers. In a bit of good news, it seems that ASUS has managed to cut the MSRP by $300 to $3,499.99 since the original announcement. As a result, it is still fairly pricey, but this monitor and 4K in general is getting cheaper, and that's a good thing!
As a refresher, the ASUS PQ321 is a 31.5" monitor with a tilt, swivel, and height-adjustable stand. The 4K monitor features an LED-backlit IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panel with a resolution of 3,840 x 2160. The screen has 10-bit RGB color, 176-degree viewing angles, 350 cd/m^2 brightness, and 8ms gray to gray (GTG) response times. ASUS has included 2W stereo speakers as well. The monitor is 35mm thick and weighs 13kg (just under 29 pounds). A 3.5mm audio jack, single DisplayPort input, and two HDMI inputs round out the connectivity options.
Using DisplayPort and its multi stream technology, users can get 60Hz at the panel's native resolution. This requires a dedicated card from AMD or NVIDIA or Intel integrated processor graphics from its 4th Generation Core "Haswell" generation or newer.
The ASUS PQ321 will be available on July 16th for $3,499.99.
ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Dominates Computex Overclocking Event, Used to Break Eight World Records
Subject: Motherboards | June 26, 2013 - 02:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: overclocking, computex 2013, ASUS ROG, ASUS Maximus VI Extreme, asus
During Computex 2013 in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel and Corsair sponsored the Computex OC Main Event where overclockers set out to push some of the latest hardware to the max. The ASUS Maximus VI Extreme motherboard was one of the pieces of hardware used at this event, and it was the board used in 10 out of 11 winning overclocking runs. Further, it was used in runs that ended up breaking a total of 8 world overclocking records.
Overclockers were able to achieve top spots for a number of benchmarking scores as well as CPU and GPU clockspeeds. The benchmarking records include new high scores for 3DMark01, 3DMark05, 3DMark06, SuperPi 32M, PiFast, and AquaMark3. The overclockers were also able to push an Intel "Haswell" Core-i7 4770K processor to an impressive 7092.68 MHz with HyperThreading disabled and two physical cores active. Considering how stubborn the new Haswell chips are when it comes to overclocking, hitting a bit over 7GHz is quite the feat. CPUs were not the only pieces of hardware that were pushed to the limits, however. Overclockers were also able to overclock four DDR3 DIMMs to 3957 MHz with 13-16-16-45 timings.
Left: CPU Overclock. Right: RAM Overclock. Click on image(s) for a larger version.
The breakdown of the new top benchmarking scores for the various software used at the OC Main Event (from systems using the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme board, Haswell CPU, and GTX TITAN) is listed below.
|SuperPi 32M||4m, 35s, 406ms|
|Haswell Clockspeed||7092.68 MHz (two cores)|
|DDR3 Clockspeed||3957 MHz (13-16-16-45)|
Naturally, ASUS is extremely pleased with the performance of its new motherboard, which proved stable enough to support some impressive CPU, GPU, and RAM overclocking under LN2 and extreme clockspeeds. I'm looking forward to see what Morry is able to achieve using the board in a more real world 24/7 overclock scenario in our upcoming OC review using this ASUS board!
Check out our full review of the ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme (overclocking performance details coming soon, as per the new review format).
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of ASUS
The Z87-Pro was among the first offerings from ASUS designed around the Intel Z87 chipset and offering support for the forth generation Intel Core CPU line, code named Haswell. The board sports the yellow/gold and black coloration common to ASUS' mainstream board line with more than enough features to satisfy most gamers and enthusiasts. At a retail MSRP of $209.00, the Z87-Pro becomes a hard proposition to turn down with its mix of features and performance.
Courtesy of ASUS
Under the hood, the Z87-Pro offer a massive 12+2 phase digital power system to keep the CPU juiced up and ready to go no matter what you decide to throw at is. ASUS integrated the following features into the Z87-Pro's design: eight SATA 6Gb/s ports; an Intel I217-V GigE NIC; Atheros 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 adapter; three PCI-Express x16 slots for dual or tri-card support; four PCI-Express x1 slots; onboard power, CMOS MemOK!, BIOS Flashback, and DirectKey buttons; 3-way TPU and EPU switches; 2-digit LED diagnostic display; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.
Courtesy of ASUS
Courtesy of ASUS
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 25, 2013 - 03:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: GTX 760 DirectCU, asus, gtx 760
Although it does not yet seem to be available for purchase the ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC should be ready for purchase in the very near future. Our testing has show the effectiveness of the custom cooling solution and in combination with the other tweaks ASUS has added to this card it should be high on your list of preferred GTX 760s.
Fremont, CA (June 25, 2013) - ASUS is excited to announce the new gamers’ sweet spot, the GTX 760 DirectCU II OC, based on the latest 28nm NVIDIA GPU technology. This graphics card offers 1152 CUDA cores, along with a 256-bit memory interface and 2GB of 6GHz blazing fast GDDR5 video memory. ASUS pushes the performance of the GTX 760 even further and surpasses the reference design with our exclusive and award-winning DirectCU heatsink and fan assembly. In addition the ASUS GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC offers superior power delivery, enhanced reliability, and stability. The non-reference PCB design provides lower operating temperatures and uses an advanced high quality power design which includes Super Alloy Power components and Direct Power architecture. ASUS’s GTX 760 DirectCU II OC graphics cards offers up to 20% cooler operation, up to 2x quieter operation, improved reliability and long-lasting stability ensuring an amazing gaming experience.
ASUS GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC: The Gamer’s Sweet Spot Just Got Better
Powering the latest DirectX 11 PC gaming, the GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC offers customers excellent value, offering impressive performance in 1080P and QHD ( 2560 ) resolutions. Gamers can experience huge performance upgrades when coming from previous generation GPUs and through the use of GeForce Experience software, they can have the best performance and image quality settings in the click of a button. ASUS DirectCU II graphics cards offer even faster performance compared to reference designs by using a highly optimized heatsink and fan assembly allowing the card to consistently achieve higher boost clocks. Supporting SLI technology, gamers can also take advantage of outstanding scaling performance by joining together multiple cards.
The exclusive DirectCU II cooler has 4 direct GPU-contact copper heatpipes allowing for quick and efficient heat conduction and dissipation into a large finned heatsink assembly. When combined with our dual fans which are carefully tuned for near silent operation, the GTX 760 DirectCU II offers up to 20% cooler operation. Its dual 80mm fans have been carefully tested and tuned to ensure minimum noise even while under full gaming load, allowing for operation up to 2X quieter than reference designs. The fans are also Dust Proof: designed to reduce dust, debris and dander accumulation. This exclusive feature allows the fans a much higher level of reliability and improved performance compared to non-Dust Proof based fans.
The card also employs ASUS’ award-winning exclusive Direct Power architecture, which widens power delivery to offer greater graphics card stability and improved performance while reducing power latency and impedance. The PCB also operates at lower temperatures thanks to the power being routed through more channels than on traditional graphics card designs.
Rounding out the non-reference design, the card features ASUS’ award winning Super Alloy Power components which include 5K solid state capacitors, alloy based chokes, and MOSFETs that use durable materials to easily withstand high temperatures and heavy loads. They extend average graphics card longevity by 2.5 times compared to reference components. In addition, Super Alloy components offer various improved metrics of performance such as higher voltage thresholds or superior efficiency, and lower operating temperatures. When combined, the DirectCU II heatsink and fan assembly, the Direct Power architecture and the SAP VRM components ensure superior stock performance along with outstanding overclocking capability.
The Perfect Tweaking and Tuning Partner to the GTX 760 – GPU Tweak!
ASUS-exclusive GPU Tweak utility brings customers a unified and intuitive control center for tweaking, tuning and information. Users can set up performance profiles for favorite games, adjust GPU and memory speeds, regulate fan operation, and define power consumption and heat thresholds. Last but not least, users can easily modify voltage and performance parameters to easily overclock their graphics cards for faster and smoother gameplay.
Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2013 - 04:48 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: seiki, se50UY04, SE39UY04, asus, 4k, 39
It's apparent that the 4K war is really starting to heat up. Just a few months ago we looked a the $1300 50" SEIKI SE50UY04 TV, and were impressed for the low price. Then, at Computex this year, ASUS announced both 31.5" and 39" 4K monitors. While the $4000 price tag of the ASUS 31.5" display was the most inexpensive 4K monitor we had seen, a new competitor was announced today.
Although SEIKI is still in the TV business, the 39" 4K display (SE39UY04) they are announcing today is quite an interesting option. At $699, this display ends up being cheaper than most of the current 2560x1600 30" monitors currently on the market. Unlike the ASUS monitors however, this TV will be once again limited to a 30Hz refresh rate, which is disappointing. Regardless, we are extremely excited about this new TV option from SEIKI.
Preorders are set to start on June 27th at Sears online, but should expand to other retailers soon after.
SEIKI also announced a 65" 4K display, which they hope to ship by Fall 2013.
We are always excited for low cost, high resolution displays, so stay tuned to PC Perspective for more coverage on this display and others!
Subject: Motherboards | June 17, 2013 - 06:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, z87, Z87-A
You have a lot of choice in motherboard if you are thinking of moving up to Haswell as there are a huge amount of models available. At their core the different implementations of the Z87 are very similar, it is the materials used for construction and the add-ons which make a board stand out. ASUS added 5k long life capacitors, rust proofing on the I/O panel, the new Realtek ALC1150 onboard audio and an ASMedia USB controller to increase the number of available ports, to name just a few features. Head over to [H]ard|OCP for the performance review of the $150 ASUS Z87-A motherboard.
"We start today with reviewing new Z87 chipset motherboards, which we will surely see a lot of, with ASUS' new Z87-A motherboard. Before we even got the box open we had to stop for a second and enjoy the simplicity of the name. But don't let the name fool you. There is plenty going on here to keep your enthusiast attention."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H @ The Tech Report
- MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H @ eTeknix
- Asus Z87-A @ Kitguru
- MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Review @ OCC
- Overclocking Haswell on ASUS' 8-Series Motherboards @ AnandTech
- Asus Z87 Gryphon and Armor Kit @ LanOC Reviews
- ASUS Z87-DELUXE Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASUS GRYPHON Z87 (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
- ASRock Z87 Extreme 6 @ Kitguru
- Exclusive Asus Z87 Pro @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z87-A Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASUS Z87-DELUXE Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion
- Asus' Z87-PRO @ The Tech Report
- ASUS Maximus VI HERO Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI Z87 MPower @ LanOC Reviews
- MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX @ Kitguru
- ASUS Republic Of Gamers Maximus VI Hero Intel Z87 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP5-TH @ [H]ard|OCP
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PCI-E Compliance Mode @ TechARP
- Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 01:42 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, haswell, gtx 770, amd, Richland, nvidia, computex, asus, Transformer, 4k
PC Perspective Podcast #254 - 06/06/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!
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, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:41:16
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:56:20 AMD wants you to BE INVINCIBLE
Jeremy: Something I have to test for work
Allyn: Humble Indie Bundle 8
1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
JJ pays PC Perspective a visit!
In case you hadn't heard, on June the 4th, (world famous) JJ Guerrero from ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to help host a live stream focused on Z87 platforms and the Intel Haswell processor. Since Intel decided to launch on a Saturday morning, you might have missed the boat: the Core i7-4770K was reviewed right here on PC Perspective and the results are pretty good.
Motherboards, we got motherboards here!!
Along with Haswell though is the release of the new Z87 chipset and with THAT, about 100 different ASUS motherboards. I exaggerate, but only a little. In our live stream that aired for about 4.5 hours, JJ and I discussed about 20 different motherboard ranging from Mini-ITX options to the budget-minded Z87-A and even the ROG Maximus VI Extreme!
Below you will find an on-demand version of the stream, broken up into five segments.
ASUS Z87 Motherboard Segmentation
This first segment details the mindset ASUS had when creating the four different motherboard product lines: Mainstream, Workstation, TUF and ROG. Why do they need all of these options and what features and quality points are common across the entire families?
ASUS Mainstream Z87 Motherboard Lineup
ASUS' new mainstream line of motherboards with the z87 chipset range from the Z87-A to the Z87-Deluxe/Dual. JJ talks about the features that are added as you move up the product stack so that you can find the option that fits your platform needs and budget.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards, Processors | June 4, 2013 - 10:40 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: z87, video, overclocking, live, i7-4770k, haswell, ASUS ROG, asus
While we run around with our hair on fire trying to get ready for the Intel Haswell and Z87 product launch this weekend, I wanted to let everyone know about a live stream event we will be holding on Tuesday, June 4th. JJ from ASUS, a crowd favorite for sure, will be joining us LIVE in studio to talk all about the new lineup of ASUS Z87 motherboards. We'll also discuss performance and overclocking capabilities of the new processor and platform.
ASUS Z87 and Haswell Live Stream
10am PT / 1pm ET - June 4th
Be sure you stop by and join in the show! Questions will be answered, prizes will be given out and fun will be had! Who knows, maybe we can break some stuff live as well?? On hand to give away to those of you joining the live stream, we'll have these prizes:
- 2 x ASUS Z87 Motherboards
- 1 x ASUS Graphics card
Methods for winning will be decided closer to the event, but if you are watching live, you'll be included. And we'll ship anywhere in the world!
ASUS and I also want the event to be interactive, so we want your questions. We'll of course being paying attention to the chat room on our live page but you'll have better luck if you submit your questions about the ASUS Z87 products and Haswell processors before hand, in the comments section below. You don't have to register to ask and we'll have the ability to read them beforehand!
I'll update this post with more information after the reviews and stories start to hit, so keep an eye here for more details!!