Subject: Graphics Cards | December 14, 2015 - 03:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, asus, STRIX R9 380X DirectCU II OC, overclock
Out of the box the ASUS STRIX R9 380X OC has a top GPU speed of 1030MHz and memory at 5.7GHz, enough to outperform a stock GTX 960 4GB at 1440p but not enough to provide satisfactory performance at that resolution. After spending some time with the card, [H]ard|OCP determined that the best overclock they could coax out of this particular GPU was 1175MHz and 6.5GHz, so they set about testing the performance at 1440p again. To make it fair they also overclocked their STRIX GTX 960 OC 4GB to 1527MHz and 8GHz. Read the full review for the detailed results, you will see that overclocking your 380X does really increase the value you get for your money.
"We take the new ASUS STRIX R9 380X DirectCU II OC based on AMD's new Radeon R9 380X GPU and overclock this video card to its highest potential. We'll compare performance in six games, including Fallout 4, to a highly overclocked ASUS GeForce GTX 960 4GB video card and find out who dominates 1440p gaming."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire R9 390 Nitro 8GB @ Kitguru
- XFX R9 380X DD XXX OC Review @ OCC
- AMD R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card CrossFire @ eTeknix
- HIS R9 380X IceQ X2 Turbo 4GB Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2015 - 05:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: STRIX Soar, sound card, audio, asus
Ever since the NFORCE2 chipset's onboard audio codec we have seen a huge increase in the quality of integrated sound on motherboards and we have hit a point where you no longer need a soundcard for general usage. This has sparked an interesting competition among soundcard makers, searching for a way to make their product relevant to users. We have seen the return of tubes, programmable and replaceable OPAmps, powered headphone ports and a variety of other features.
ASUS has released the STRIX Soar 7.1 PCIe card recently and Kitguru got a chance to review the board. It certainly looks as pretty as the cards which come with high end motherboards and is thin enough not to encroach on systems with multiple cards already installed but does it offer compelling reasons to purchase the card? Kitguru gave it their "Must Have" award so there must be something attractive about the card, check out the full review to hear more about it.
"Today we look at the most affordable of the STRIX sound cards, the Soar. Although it has much the same hardware and features as its bigger brothers, it is more affordable which could be the real kicker in convincing potential buyers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 @ techPowerUp
- SilverStone Hi-Fi Audio Headphone Stand @ Benchmark Reviews
- Astro A40 TR + Mix Amp Pro & Mod Kit Multi-Format Pro Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- G.Skill Ripjaws SR910 real 7.1 @ Kitguru
- Steelseries Siberia 200 Headset Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: Motherboards | December 3, 2015 - 01:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: skylake-s, ROG, Republic of Gamers, Maximus VIII Impact, lga1151, Intel Z170, asus
Before looking at this particular Maximus board, make sure you have checked out Morry's review of the Silver Award winning Maximus VIII Gene as it is well worth the read. If you find that a mATX board is simply too big for you then you could consider the ASUS Maximus VIII Impact, a mini-ITX board with a fair spread of features. You are limited to a single x16 PCIe slot but that leaves plenty of channels for 6 USB 3.0, two 3.1 ports of which one is a Type-C connector, four SATA 6GBps ports and U.2 as well. This board also features the SupremeFX audio found on the Gene, albeit in a slightly different form and adds dual channel WiFi support as well. [H]ard|OCP were very impressed with Impact, check out the many reasons why it picked up their top awards here.
"Let’s face it, most sequels are never as good as the original films. When it comes to motherboards the opposite usually rings true. ASUS’ Republic of Gamers brand has had several iterations of the mini-ITX Maximus Impact, today we have version VIII. Hopefully ASUS continues its track record of great sequels."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte's Z170X-Gaming G1 @ The Tech Report
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH @ eTeknix
- MSI B150M Mortar Review @ OCC
- GIGABYTE Z170-HD3 Review; DDR3 & Skylake @ Hardware Canucks
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 @ Modders-Inc
- FIRST LOOK Gigabyte H170N-WIFI Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Gigabyte GA-H110M-A: A Sub-$60 Intel Skylake Motherboard @ Phoronix
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of ASUS
The Maximus VIII Gene is one of the Intel Z170 chipset offerings in the ROG (Republic of Gamer) board line. The board features the standard black and red ROG aesthetics in an mATX form factor to accommodate space constrained system builds. ASUS chose to integrate black-chrome heat sinks into the board's build, giving it a sleek and modern appearance. The board's integrated Intel Z170 chipset integrates support for the latest Intel LGA1151 Skylake processor line as well as Dual Channel DDR4 memory. With an MSRP of $230, the Maximus VIII Gene offers a compelling price for a feature-packed product.
Courtesy of ASUS
Courtesy of ASUS
The Maximus VIII Gene features an 8+2 phase digital power system, providing more than enough power to the CPU and integrated GPU for whatever you choose to throw at it. ASUS integrated the following features into the Maximus VIII Gene board: two SATA 3 ports; two SATA-Express ports; one M.2 PCIe x4 capable port; an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; two PCI-Express x16 slots; one PCI-Express x4 slot; on-board power, reset, MemOK!, Safe Boot, ReTry, Clear CMOS, and USB BIOS Flashback buttons; ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-Channel audio subsystem; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI video ports; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 26, 2015 - 09:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, 980 Ti
As most of our readers are well aware, the graphics market is dominated by two GPU vendors, both of which sell chips and reference designs to add-in board partners. ASUS is one of the oldest add-in board partners. According to their anniversary website, ASUS even produced a card that was based on the S3 ViRGE/DX graphics chipset all the way back in 1996.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, although they don't exactly state when they start counting, ASUS has released a few high-end versions of Maxwell-based graphics cards. This one is the ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti. It comes with a base clock speed of 1266 MHz, which boosts up to 1367 MHz as needed. This is quite high, considering the reference card is clocked at 1000 MHz and boosts to 1189 MHz, although overclocking the 980 Ti is not too difficult to begin with. Ryan got up to 1465 MHz with a reference card. The Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti might go even higher with its enhanced cooling and power delivery, and it's designed for liquid nitrogen if you're that type of enthusiast.
Speaking of liquid nitrogen features, the card advertises a “Memory Defroster” feature that looks rather extreme. I can't say that I've ever seen a graphics card get covered in a visible layer of ice, but I've also never attached it to a reservoir of liquid with a temperature that's easier to write in Kelvin than Celcius.
Is this a legit problem? Or does this seem like “anti-dust shield” to everyone else too?
The ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti ships this month.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | November 22, 2015 - 01:30 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Skylake, PCIe SSD, notebook, N752, N552, laptop, ips, Intel Core i7, GTX 960M, asus, 4k
ASUS has added two new laptops to their N series line up premium, entertainment-focused laptops. The new models offer Intel’s 6th-gen (Skylake) Core i7 processors and high resolution IPS displays, as well as fast PCIe storage and discrete NVIDIA graphics.
The new models are the 15.6-inch N552 and 17.3-inch N752, and both sizes offer wide-gamut IPS display options up to 3840x2160 with 100% sRGB coverage. The displays are powered by graphics up to a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. Quad-core Intel Core i7 processors power both models, with a generous 16GB of RAM standard. Storage is provided via PCIe x4 storage with speeds of 1500 MB/s with capacities up to 512 MB, and external connectivity includes a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port.
While boasting powerful specs these N-series laptops are also geared toward entertainment, with ASUS drawing attention to the sound from their “SonicMaster” audio system, which boasts powerful B&O ICEpower class-D amplification for the laptop’s front-facing speakers. Other features include backlit keys which offer 1.8 mm travel, and aluminum covering the keyboard area and lid.
The new models haven’t shown up on the U.S. product pages just yet, so pricing and availability are not yet known.
Subject: Motherboards | November 20, 2015 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, TUF SABERTOOTH Z170, LGA 1151
It has been a while since we saw a new Sabertooth motherboard from the other side of ASUS, The Ultimate Force, up for review but [H]ard|OCP has remedied that with the new Z170 member of this line of products. It bears the same Thermal Armour design as previous models, adding a small fan that doesn't quite fit in with the overall design of the motherboard. As well you will notice an absence of a visible CMOS battery, it is indeed buried under the armour. [H]ard|OCP were less than impressed with the memory subsystem, the board is rated for DDR4 2400MHz DIMMs maximum and no higher. On the other hand the incredible stability of this board and the amount of features available on this relatively inexpensive Z170 board did garner a Gold Award. Read the full review to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this motherboard.
"In our opinion ASUS’ TUF series motherboards target the sweet spot in regard to features, price, and performance. TUF motherboards give you more features than most mid-range motherboards but lack certain features found on the high end. The Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 is the flagship part of the current TUF series."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
Podcast #376 - Intel Speed Shift, CPU Coolers from Noctua and DEEPCOOL, Broadwell-E Rumors, and more!
Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2015 - 02:42 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, noctua, Deepcool, Gamer Storm Gabriel, Intel, speed shift, amd, R9, fury x, trixx, Broadwell-E, kaby lake, nvidia, shield tablet k1, knights landing, asus, chromebit
PC Perspective Podcast #376 - 11/19/2015
Join us this week as we discuss Intel Speed Shift, CPU Coolers from Noctua and DEEPCOOL, Broadwell-E Rumors, 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, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:19:22
Week in Review:
0:32:10 This episode of PC Perspective Podcast is brought to you by Braintree. Even the best mobile app won’t work without the right payments API. That’s where the Braintree v.0 SDK comes in. One amazingly simple integration gives you every way to pay. Try out the sandbox and see for yourself at braintreepayments.com/pcper
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 19, 2015 - 01:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, strix, Radeon R9 380X, tonga
The full serving of Tonga in the AMD Radeon R9 380X has 32 compute units, 2048 stream processors, 32 ROPs and 128 texture units which compares favourably to the 23CUs, 1792 stream processors, 32 ROPs and 112 texture units of the existing R9 380. Memory bandwidth and amount is unchanged, 182GB/sec of memory bandwidth at the stock speed of 5.7GHz effective and the GPU clock remains around 970MHz as well. The MSRP is to be $230 for the base model.
With the specifications out of the way, the next question to answer is how it fares against the direct competition, the GTX 960 and 970. That is where this review from [H]ard|OCP comes in, with a look at the ASUS STRIX R9 380X DirectCU II OC, running 1030MHz default and 1050MHz at the push of a button. Their tests at 1440p were a little disappointing, the card did not perform well until advanced graphics settings were reduced but at 1080p they saw great performance with all the bells and whistles turned up. The pricing will be key to this product, if sellers can keep it at or below MSRP it is a better deal than the GTX 970 but if the prices creep closer then the 970 is the better value.
"AMD has let loose the new AMD Radeon R9 380X GPU, today we evaluate the ASUS STRIX R9 380X OC video card and find out how it compares to a 4GB GeForce GTX 960 and GeForce GTX 970 for a wide picture of where performance lies at 1440p or where it does not at 1440p considering your viewpoint."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon R9 380X @ The Tech Report
- ASUS Strix R9 380X DirectCU II OC @ Kitguru
- XFX Radeon R9 380X DD Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Radeon R9 380X Technology Report @ Tech ARP
- XFX AMD Radeon R9 380X @ Hardwareheaven
- ASUS Radeon R9 380X Strix 4GB @ techPowerUp
- Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme 6GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2015 - 12:47 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, hdmi stick, hdmi, chromebit, chrome os, asus, arm
Small form factor PCs are big this year, and Google is about to get into the game with its own HDMI dongle PC running Chrome OS. Google has partnered with Asus to release the Chromebit CS10 which is now avaialble for $85.
The small stick PC weighs 75 grams (2.6 ounces) and will come in black, orange, and eventually blue colors. The Chromebit is about the size of a flash drive with an HDMI port on one end, DC power input on one side, and a single USB 2.0 port on the other end. A removeable cap protects the HDMI output. It is small enough that you can toss it into a bag or tuck it behind a monitor or kiosk permanently. Asus includes an AC power adapter (18W, 1.5 amps) and a flexible HDMI connector (or a short extension cable depending on the region) along with velco stickers in the box.
The Chromebit CS10 is powered by a quad core Rockchip 3288-C SoC featuring four ARM Cortex A17 CPU cores and a Mali T624 GPU. The SoC is paired with 2GB of LPDDR3 memory and 16GB of eMMC storage. Connectivity includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 radios along with the USB 2.0 port. Users can hook up a bluetooth keyboard and mouse and use the USB port for extra storage, or hook up even more devices using a USB hub.
So far, reviews are positive and generally state that (for example) while the Rockchip ARM processor is no racehorse, it is good enough for basic web browsing, media streaming, and document editing.
Of course, the Chromebit runs the Chrome web browser, but it also can run any of the apps from the Chrome Web Store including Netflix, Office, and any number of free games. Asus is aiming the Chromebit at digital signage, kiosk, thin clients for schools, and for on-the-go travelers.
The Chromebit CS10 is available soon (it is listed as out of stock on Newegg and has not shown up on Amazon or other sites yet) for $85 in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan. Business customers can further purchase the ability to use the Chromebit in a locked down single-app kiosk mode for $24 per user, per year from CDW.
- Intel Compute Stick Review
- Kangaroo is a Pocket-Sized Battery-Powered Windows 10 PC
- Google Chromecast coverage