How to Build a PC with Windows 8 - PC Perspective Live!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | October 26, 2012 - 11:46 AM |
Tagged: windows 8, video, system build, live

Today at 3pm EDT we are going to be doing a live stream of a system build and Windows 8 installation on our PC Perspective Live! page.  Won't you come and join us?

UPDATE: Did you miss the event?  Well then, we have you covered with the replay of the two and a half hour stream right here!

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Sorry, no, I won't be doing it blindfolded this time...

If you are looking to learn how to build a PC, how the Windows 8 setup goes along with initial Windows 8 experiences, or just want to hang out during a lazy Friday, click on the link above or on the flashing radio tower to the left and join us!!

Join us tomorrow for a LIVE Unboxing and First Impressions of the ASUS Vivo Tab RT!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | October 22, 2012 - 03:22 PM |
Tagged: asus, vivo tab rt, tegra 3, nvidia, video, live

If you happen to be free tomorrow afternoon and would like to be one of the first to see the upcoming ASUS Vivo Tab RT based on the Windows RT operating system and the NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC, you should set your calendar for 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT and join me on the PC Perspective Live! page.

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While we won't have any insight on our long term experiences with the device at that time tomorrow, you can see our initial impressions and anything/everything that occurrs with our intial setup and usage!

If you have questions or thoughts on the device that you want addressed during the live stream, you can leave them here in our comments or hang around in our chat room during the event as well.  We want this to be interactive so your input is requested!

Again, that is 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT at the PC Perspective Live! page.

Hitman: Absolution PC Features Video - AMD ExtravaLANza

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards | October 20, 2012 - 09:33 AM |
Tagged: hitman, amd, extravalanza, hitman: absolution, video

We are at the first AMD ExtravaLANza today getting some hands on time with some cool new hardware as well as new games like Far Cry 3, Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution.  We attended a session with the Hitman developer IO Interactive where some interesting information about the DX11 features.  I recorded a video of the presentation for those interested in seeing it in its entirety.

The brand new Glacier2 engine has some impressive new features including:

  1. DX11 hardware tessellation on character models
  2. A global illumination engine using light propagation volumes
  3. AA options including FXAA and MSAA 2x-8x
  4. Eyefinity and HD3D

There is more, but you can hear it all in the video above.  IO Interactive wanted to assure PC gamers that they are developing the game to be a first class PC title with higher quality imaging, controls and texture detail; this doesn't look to be a standard console port.

Win an AMD Llano A8-3870K APU from PC Perspective!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: contest, video, giveaway, amd, llano, APU

In a self-serving attempt to increase awareness about the PC Perspective YouTube channel, we are running another contest where you can win one of four AMD Llano A8-3870K APUs simply by leaving a comment and being a subscriber.

That's right, there are two steps:

  1. Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel
  2. Leave a comment on the YouTube contest video

We'll pick our winners on October 24th!  Good luck!

Podcast #223 - AVADirect Mini ITX Gaming Machine, Patriot Gauntlet 320GB Wireless Drive, Windows 8 Pricing and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 18, 2012 - 11:38 AM |
Tagged: video, windows 8, podcast, patriot, nvidia, mini ITX, Intel, gpu, gauntlet, gauntle node, cpu, AVADirect, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #223 - 10/18/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the AVADirect Mini ITX Gaming Machine, Patriot Gauntlet 320GB Wireless Drive, Windows 8 Pricing and more!

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

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Scott Michaud

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 56:12

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:01:45 Why stereoscopic 3D is Awesome
    2. 0:09:15 Patriot Gauntlet 320 Wireless HDD
    3. 0:14:56 AVADirect Mini Gaming PC
  2. 0:24:30 This podcast is brought to you by MSI
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:25:30 AMD finances are bad, mkay?
      1. Slashing 30% of work force?
    2. 0:31:10 Windows 8 Retail pricing
      1. $69 with $30 Amazon Credit
    3. 0:35:55 ASUS announces PadFone 2
  4. 0:39:30 Alxtech.net/pcper Ad spot!! http://alxtech.net/pcper/
      1. Now at $0.50/slot for pcper viewers and listeners!!
    1. 0:42:00 Intel may have 10-core Ivy Bridge-E ready
    2. 0:43:45 Corsair raising money for charity with gaming marathon!
    3. 0:45:50 Win a FREE AMD APU on our YouTube channel!
  5. Closing:
    1. 0:48:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Gauntlet Node - just the enclosure
      2. Jeremy: Ridiculous and added infections too
      3. Josh: NOPE
      4. Allyn: NOPE
      5. Scott: 12 GB of RAM :D
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

 

 

 

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.

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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!!

Author:
Subject: Storage, Mobile
Manufacturer: Patriot

Wireless storage for PC, Mac, iOS and Android

Today we are taking a look at the new Patriot Gauntlet 320 external USB 3.0 and wireless hard drive, available starting at $149 at Newegg.com.

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The premise is quite simple: take a portable hard drive with USB 3.0 support and add in the ability to share the unit wirelessly with up to 8 different machines and power it by a lithium-ion battery.  Not only does the Gauntlet show up in your network as a mountable drive in Windows and Mac OS, the Gauntlet supports using free applications for iOS devices and Android devices to share and stream media.

Gauntlet_320-Left.png

There are some limitations that you might want to consider including the inability to access network-based devices when using the pass through Internet capability the Gauntlet provides.  Also, data transfer performance on the wireless connectivity that the Gauntlet provides seemed pretty low, even with the 802.11n support. 

Potential uses cases for the Gauntlet include any time you need a shared data source like working on group projects for school or the office, on-the-go storage for devices like Ultrabooks with smaller hard drives and users that have large media collections they want to use with smart phones and tablets.

Check out our full video review below!

Note that in the video, our early sample of the Gauntlet 320 has the "node" label on it; the Gauntlet Node is a separate device that is only a DIY enclosure WITHOUT an included hard drive.  Originally there was a sticker cover the "node" label but incorrectly removed it before filming.  Just a heads up!

Author:
Manufacturer: Various

PhysX Settings Comparison

Borderlands 2 is a hell of a game; we actually ran a 4+ hour live event on launch day to celebrate its release and played it after our podcast that week as well.  When big PC releases occur we usually like to take a look at performance of the game on a few graphics cards as well to see how NVIDIA and AMD cards stack up.  Interestingly, for this title, PhysX technology was brought up again and NVIDIA was widely pushing it as a great example of implementation of the GPU-accelerated physics engine.

What you may find unique in Borderlands 2 is that the game actually allows you to enabled PhysX features at Low, Medium and High settings, with either NVIDIA or AMD Radeon graphics cards installed in your system.  In past titles, like Batman: Arkham City and Mafia II, PhysX was only able to be enabled (or at least at higher settings) if you had an NVIDIA card.  Many gamers that used AMD cards saw this as a slight and we tended to agree.  But since we could enable it with a Radeon card installed, we were curious to see what the results would be.

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Of course, don't expect the PhysX effects to be able to utilize the Radeon GPU for acceleration...

Borderlands 2 PhysX Settings Comparison

The first thing we wanted to learn was just how much difference you would see by moving from Low (the lowest setting, there is no "off") to Medium and then to High.  The effects were identical on both AMD and NVIDIA cards and we made a short video here to demonstrate the changes in settings.

Continue reading our article that compares PhysX settings on AMD and NVIDIA GPUs!!

AMD Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition Revisited

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 25, 2012 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: radeon, amd, video, pitcairn, hd 7870 ghz edition, hd 7870

There have been quite a few new graphics card releases this year and with the now crowded GPU market, we have gotten many requests to revisit some of the earlier launches to see how they stack up in the latest GPU landscape.  One such card is AMD’s Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, which has seen some dramatic improvements since its initial release in March. 

AMD’s entire lineup of graphics cards based on the Southern Islands architecture were released between the months of January and March of this year, with only a few updates during the summer to combat new releases from NVIDIA.  Though they don’t get as much review time anymore, the Tahiti, Pitcairn and Cape Verde GPUs still have a lot to offer gamers and the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition is a perfect example of that.

Thanks to recent price cuts, the Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition and all other Pitcairn GPUs can be found for much less than when they were launched.  With a starting price of $350 in March, some base HD 7870s can be found online for $250 and sometimes less with rebates today making it a great deal for gamers on a budget. 

You can check out all of our graphics card reviews right here to see how the market currently stands but there are really very few bad choices anymore.

Live Recap: Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 and Z77N-WiFi Motherboard Preview

Subject: Motherboards | September 9, 2012 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: z77x-up7, z77n-wifi, video, live, h77n-wifi, gigabyte

A PC Perspective Live Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live.  If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!

On the way to the Intel Developer Forum, Gigabyte's Colin Brix stopped by the PC Perspective offices to talk with us about the new Z77X-UP7 flagship motherboard with some really impressive overclocking features as well as the latest iteration of Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 5 technology. 

While he was here, we also got to see a sneak preview of the mini-ITX motherboard, the Z77N-WiFi!

If you missed the live event you can watch the replay below!