Author:
Subject: Systems
Manufacturer: AVADirect

A look outside and in

We handle a fair amount of system reviews here at PC Perspective and use them mainly as a way to feature unique and interesting designs and configurations.  We know how the hardware will perform for the most part; doing extensive CPU and GPU testing on nearly a daily basis.  Sometimes we'll get systems in that are extremely budget friendly, other times vendors pass us machines that have MSRPs similar to a Kia automobile.  Then there are times, like today, we get a unique design that is a great mix of both.

AVADirect has had a Mini Gaming PC design for a while now but recently has gone through a refresh that adds in support for the latest Ivy Bridge processors, NVIDIA Kepler GPUs all using a new case from BitFenix that combines it in a smaller, mini-ITX form factor.

The quick specifications look like this:

  • BitFenix Prodigy chassis
  • Intel Core i7-3770K CPU, Overclocked at 4.4 GHz
  • ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Z77 Motherboard
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB GPU
  • OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 SSD
  • Seagate 2TB SATA 6G HDD
  • 8GB Crucual DDR3-1866 Memory
  • Cooler Master 850 watt Silent Pro PSU

You'll also see a large, efficient Prolimatech cooler inside along with a Blu-ray burner and Windows 7 for a surprisingly reasonable $2100 price tag.

01.jpg

The BitFenix Prodigy chassis is a unique design that starts with sets of FiberFlex legs and handles surrounding the mini-ITX case.  The minor flexibility of the legs absorbs sound and impact on the table while the handles work great for picking up the system for LAN events and the like.  While at first I was worried about using them to support the weight of the rig, I had no problems and was assured by both BitFenix and by AVADirect it would withstand the torture.

Check out our video review before continuing on to the full article with benchmarks and pricing!

Continue reading our review of the AVADirect Mini Gaming PC!!

Can a 12-Core ARM Cluster hit critical mass?

Subject: Processors | June 26, 2012 - 05:08 PM |
Tagged: arm, cortex-a9, e-350, i7-3770k, z530, Ivy Bridge, atom, Zacate

Taking a half dozen PandaBoard ESes from Texas Instruments that have a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor onboard, Phoronix built a 12-core ARM machine to test out against AMD's E-350 APU as well as Intel's Atom Z530 and a Core i7 3770K.  Before you you make the assumption that the ARM's will be totally outclassed by any of these processors, Phoronix is testing performance per Watt and the ARM system uses a total of 31W when fully stressed and idles below 20W, which gives ARM a big lead on power consumption. 

Phoronix tested out these four systems and the results were rather surprising as it seems Intel's Ivy Bridge is a serious threat to ARM.  Not only did it provide more total processing power, its performance per Watt tended to beat ARM and more importantly to many, it is cheaper to build an i7-3770K system than it is to set up a 12-core ARM server.  The next generation of ARM chips have some serious competition.

Phoronix12ARM.jpg

"Last week I shared my plans to build a low-cost, 12-core, 30-watt ARMv7 cluster running Ubuntu Linux. The ARM cluster that is built around the PandaBoard ES development boards is now online and producing results... Quite surprising results actually for a low-power Cortex-A9 compute cluster. Results include performance-per-Watt comparisons to Intel Atom and Ivy Bridge processors along with AMD's Fusion APU."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: Phoronix

Dream big with this tiny Ivy Bridge and Kepler powered mini-ITX system

Subject: Systems | May 14, 2012 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: SFF, CoolIT Eco II 140, EVGA GTX 670 SuperClocked, i7-3770k

Legit Reviews didn't let a fear of overheating prevent them from building a very powerful Ivy Bridge based SFF PC that is a lot more than just an HTPC.  While a system with an EVGA GTX 670 SuperClocked card in it can handle HTPC duties it will only really shine when you game on it.  Thanks to a CoolIT Eco II 140 Liquid Cooler for the CPU and a conveniently placed intake fan to cool the GPU they fit the entire system inside a Cubitek Mini ICE ITX case.  It might have ended up costing just over $2500 but this is one compact gaming beast that can hit P8649 on 3DMark11!

LR_final-build.jpg

"Building a Small Form Factor Mini-ITX computer can be challenging, but it is worth the extra work as the end result can be amazing. We managed to stuff a ton of enthusiast grade hardware into a PC case that measures just 9.06" x 12.33" x 14.29" (WxHxD)! We still ran into a few minor issues here and there, but at the end of the day it all worked out and the system came out just how we wanted it to. Our dream mini-ITX system is ready for any task you want to throw at it!"

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

 

Getting hot and bothered by Ivy Bridge

Subject: Processors | May 2, 2012 - 04:14 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, i7-3770k

Anyone who has been keeping up with the reviews coming out which try overclocking Intel's new Ivy Bridge processor will be familiar with the large amount of power required to hit high frequencies.  While the voltages required to overclock Ivy Bridge and its predecessor Sandy Bridge are very similar, Ivy Bridge's stock voltage is lower so the change is greater for Ivy Bridge.  That larger increase could be one cause of the higher heat that Ivy Bridge generates.  Another theory is that the heatspreader could be a cause as Intel used thermal paste in the design as opposed to the fluxless solder present on SandyB, however other tests have shown that this does not seem to be the case.  The Tech Report has gathered together the current facts on this hot topic, so you can check out the numbers for yourself right here.

burning_ivy.jpg

"Folks across the web have reported some eye-poppingly high temperatures for their overclocked Ivy Bridge processors, leading to some tough questions about the causes. Does Ivy Bridge truly run hotter than its predecessor, Sandy Bridge, and if so, why? We checked into it, and the answers were surprising, to say the least. Have a look."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

An update to a great architecture

This article will focus on the new Ivy Bridge, 3rd Generation Core Processor from a desktop perspective.  If you are curious as the performance and features of the Ivy Bridge mobile processors, be sure to check out our Core i7-3720QM ASUS N56VM review here!!

One of the great things about the way Intel works as a company is that we get very few surprises on an annual basis in terms of the technology they release.  With the success of shows like the Intel Developer Forum permitting the release of architectural details months and often years ahead of the actual product, developers, OEMs and the press are able to learn about them over a longer period of time.  As you might imagine, that results in both a much better understanding of the new processor in question and also a much less hurried one.  If only GPU cycles would follow the same path...

slides01.jpg

Because of this long-tail release of a CPU, we already know quite a bit about Ivy Bridge, the new 22nm processor architecture from Intel to be rebranded as the 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor Family.  Ivy Bridge is the "tick" that brings a completely new process technology node as we have seen over the last several years but this CPU does more than take the CPU from 32nm to 22nm.  Both the x86 and the processor graphics portions of the die have some changes though the majority fall with the GPU.

Ivy Bridge Architecture

In previous tick-tock scenarios the "tick" results in a jump in process technology (45nm to 32nm, etc) with very little else being done.  This isn't just to keep things organized in slides above but it also keeps Intel's engineers focused on one job at a time - either a new microprocessor architecture OR a new process node; but not both.

arch01.jpg

For the x86 portion of Ivy Bridge this plan stays in tract.  The architecture is mostly unchanged from the currently available Sandy Bridge processors including the continuation of a 2-chip platform solution and integrated graphics, memory controller, display engine, PCI Express and LLC along with the IA cores.  

Continue reading our review of the new Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge Processor!!

See, Ivy Bridge really was about to be released!

Subject: Processors | April 23, 2012 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: Z77, Ivy Bridge, Intel, i7-3770k, i5-3570, 3770k, 3570, 22nm

Intel's latest die shrink and architecture refinement, aka their "Tick", has arrived in the form of Ivy Bridge.  This CPU is actually only one third CPU, a third devoted to Intel's HD4000 graphics core, and the final third comprised of a shared L3 cache, memory controller and other IO devices.  [H]ard|OCP did an almost direct comparison between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, with the 2600K having the same amount of cores as the 3770K and only lags behind by 100MHz in raw speed.  The overall performance increases and new features that this new architecture were targeted more at the mainstream user than the enthusiast in [H]'s opinion but if you are building a new machine and aren't going for overclocking records then they wholeheartedly recommend Ivy Bridge.

You can catch Ryan's full review right here though you cannot yet buy it.

H_test.png

"The new Ivy Bridge processor has already been well covered across the Internet due to leaks of Intel parts into review sites' hands. So at this point there is little to tell in all honesty. But today we work to tell you what you most likely already know; Ivy Bridge looks to be a very solid product but offers little in the way of an upgrade from Sandy Bridge."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP