Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Dell

Overview

The sub-$1000 notebook market is one that we rarely cover here at PC Perspective. It's not due to a lack of interest from us, but rather from notebook manufacturers.

Generally, companies are only interested in sending out their latest flagship products, which leaves us without much of an opinion on the notebooks that most people actually walk into a brick and mortar retailer to purchase.

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Today, we're looking at one of these more mainstream notebooks which can be found with a quad-core 8th generation Intel processor for under $900—the Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1.

Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 
MSRP $879 (Configuration as reviewed) $1049 $1149 $1299
Screen 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touch display
CPU Core i5-8250U Core i7-8550U
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM 8GB 16GB
Storage 256GB SATA 512GB SATA
Network Intel 7265 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2, Dual Band 2.4 & 5 GHz, 2x2
Display Output

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
1 x HDMI 2.0

Connectivity

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0
3.5mm headphone
SD Card Reader

Audio (2) tuned speakers; audio processing by Waves MaxxAudio® Pro 
Weight 3.2 lbs ( 1.45 kg)
Dimensions 12.91-in x 8.5-in x 0.61-in
(309.6mm x 215.7mm x 15.51mm)
Battery 38 WHr
Operating System Windows 10 Home

It's worth noting that while writing this review, these notebooks have been consistently available for under MSRP. The base configuration we are reviewing of the Dell Inspiron 13 7373 is remarkably well equipped and at the time of writing was available for $749. Considering that the $999 entry level model of the 2018 XPS 13 still comes with a paltry 4GB of system memory and 128GB SSD, this is a great value. For most consumers, including myself, I look at the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD option as the sweet spot price comparison point between notebooks.

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Continue reading our review of the Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1!

Author:
Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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SilverStone’s Strider Titanium Series is designed for PC enthusiasts who are looking for a very high efficiency power supply, meeting the top-tier 80 Plus Titanium certification. Starting at 600W and going up to 1500W, the Strider Titanium Series includes six different models. The three lower output models (600W, 700W, and 800W) feature a compact chassis measuring only 150mm deep, while the three high output models (1100W, 1300W and 1500W) forgo the small enclosure and step up to a larger chassis, which measures 180mm deep. Another minor difference is the three lower output models use a 120mm fan while the three higher output models use a 140mm cooling fan.

All of the SilverStone Strider Titanium power supplies incorporate semi-fanless operation (up to 20% load) and come with fully modular cables. Each power supply is built using all Japanese made capacitors and is rated for 24/7 continuous operation at up to 50°C ambient temperature. In this review, we will be taking a detailed look at the Strider Titanium Series ST1300-TI power supply.

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SilverStone Strider Titanium Series ST1300-TI Key Features:
 
•    1300W DC power output up to 50°C
•    Top level efficiency with 80 Plus Titanium certification
•    24/7 Continuous power output
•    100% Modular cables
•    Dual EPS 8-pin and eight PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors
•    Intelligent semi-fanless operation
•    Quiet 140mm cooling fan with ball bearings
•    FF141 dust filter included
•    Strict ±3% voltage regulation and low AC ripple
•    Dedicated single +12V rail (108A/1296W)
•    Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
•    DC Output protections: UVP, OVP, OPP, SCP, OCP, and OTP
•    Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 180mm (L)
•    5-Year warranty
•    MSRP : $299.99 USD

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Here is what SilverStone has to say about the high efficiency Strider Titanium Series PSUs: “The 80 PLUS Titanium certification represents the pinnacle of power supply efficiency with requirement of at least 90% conversion efficiency even at the very low 10% loading condition.

For SilverStone, achieving the highest efficiency is just one aspect to what makes for a technically advanced power supply. The available power also needs to be condensed into a physical package as small as possible so that users can freely utilize it in any case or system with minimal interference. For the Strider Titanium series power supplies, all models are among the smallest in size for their wattage levels.

As befitting of being in the Strider series, abundant enthusiasts features are included such as all Japanese capacitors, ±3% regulation, powerful single +12V rail, 24/7 continuous power output at 50°, and dual EPS 8pin with multiple PCI-E 8 / 6pin connectors support. For those looking to build the most efficient systems possible with multiple GPUs for gaming, folding, mining, scientific calculations, or machine learning, the 1100W / 1300W / 1500W Strider Titanium series power supplies are definitely the top choices.

Please continue reading our review of the SilverStone 1300W Titanium PSU !!!

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel

The end of the world as we know it?

A surprise to most in the industry that such a thing would really occur, AMD and Intel announced in November a partnership that would bring Radeon graphics to Intel processors in 2018. The details were minimal at the time, and only told us specifics of the business relationship: this was a product purchase and not a license, no IP was changing hands, this was considered a semi-custom design for the AMD group, Intel was handling all the integration and packaging. Though we knew that the product would use HBM2 memory, the same utilized on the RX Vega products released last year, it was possible that the “custom” part was a Polaris architecture that had been retrofitted. Also, details of the processor side of this technology was left a mystery.

Today we have our answers and our first hands-on with systems utilizing what was previously known as Kaby Lake-G and what is now officially titled the “8th Generation Intel Core Processors with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics.” I’m serious.

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For what I still call Kaby Lake-G, as it easier to type and understand, it introduces a new product line that we have not seen addressed in a very long time – high performance processors with high performance integrated graphics. Even though the combined part is not a single piece of silicon but instead a multi-chip package, it serves the same purpose in the eyes of the consumer and the OEM. The marriage of Intel’s highest performance mobile processor cores, the 8th Generation H-series, and one of, if not THE fastest mobile graphics core in a reasonable thermal envelope, the Vega M, is incredibly intriguing for all kinds of reasons. Even the currently announced AMD APUs and those in the public roadmaps don’t offer a combined performance package as impressive as this. Ryzen Mobile is interesting in its own right, but Kaby Lake-G is on a different level.

From a business standpoint, KBL-G is a design meant to attack NVIDIA. The green giant has become one of the most important computing companies on the planet in the last couple of years, leaning into its graphics processor dominance and turning it into cash and mindshare in the world of machine learning and AI. More than any other company, Intel is worried about the growth and capability of NVIDIA. Though not as sexy as “machine learning”, NVIDIA has dominated the mobile graphics markets as well, offering discrete GPU solutions to pair with Intel processor notebooks. In turn, NVIDIA eats up much of the margin and profitability that these mainstream gaming and content creation machines can generate. Productization of things like Max-Q give the market reason to believe that NVIDIA is the true innovator in the space, regardless of the legitimate answer to that question. Intel see that as no bueno – it wants to remain the leader in the market completely.

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Continue reading our overview of the new Intel 8th Gen Processors with Vega M graphics!

Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer: Various

Quirks, Savings, and Conclusions

Welcome back to the third and final chapter in our recent cord cutting saga, in which the crew here at the PC Perspective office take a fresh look at dumping traditional cable and satellite sources for online and over-the-air content. We previously planned our cord cutting adventure with a look at the devices, software, and services that will replace our cable and satellite subscriptions, and then put that plan to action by deploying an NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Plex, and an HDTV tuner with antenna.

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Now, several weeks into this experiment, we wanted to take a step back to evaluate how the process went in practice, including a look at some of the challenges we failed to initially anticipate, projections of the increased Internet bandwidth usage that accompanies cord cutting (especially important for the many of you with home broadband usage caps), and finally a calculation of the initial and ongoing costs associated with cord cutting in order to determine if this whole process actually saves us any money.

Read on for our debriefing of PC Perspective ’s 2017 cord cutting guide!

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of MSI

The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard features a black PCB with carbon fibre overlay accenting it's chipset heat sinks and rear panel cover. MSI also placed RGB LED-enabled components across the board's surface and under the board for an interesting ground effects type look. The board is designed around the Intel Z370 chipset with in-built support for the latest Intel LGA1151 Coffee Lake processor line and Dual Channel DDR4 memory running at a 2667MHz speed. The Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon can be found in retail with an MRSP of $209.99.

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Courtesy of MSI

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Courtesy of MSI

MSI integrated the following features into the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard: six SATA III 6Gbps ports; two M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable ports with Intel Optane support built-in; an RJ-45 Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; an Intel 8265 802.11ac WI-FI adapter; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; a Realtek ALC1220 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.

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Courtesy of MSI

To power the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard, MSI integrated a 10 phase (8+2) digital power delivery system dubbed Military Class V. The Military Class V components include Titanium chokes, 10 year-rated Dark capacitors, and Dark chokes.

Continue reading our review of the MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard!

Author:
Manufacturer: ASUS

Specifications and Design

With all of the activity in both the GPU and CPU markets this year, it's hard to remember some of the launches in the first half of the year—including NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti. Maintaining the rank of fastest gaming GPU for the majority of the year, little has challenged NVIDIA's GP102-based offering, making it the defacto choice for high-end gamers.

Even though we've been giving a lot of attention to NVIDIA's new flagship TITAN V graphics card, the $3000 puts it out of the range of almost every gamer who doesn't have a day job involving deep learning.

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Today, we're taking a look back to the (slightly) more reasonable GP102 and the one of the most premiere offerings to feature it, the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1080 Ti.

Hardware Specifications

While the actual specifications of the GP102 GPU onboard the ASUS Strix GTX 1080 Ti hasn't changed at all, let's take a moment to refresh ourselves on where it sits in regards to the rest of the market.

  RX Vega 64 Liquid RX Vega 56 GTX 1080 Ti GTX 1080 GTX 1070 Ti GTX 1070
GPU Cores 4096 3584 3584 2560 2432 1920
Base Clock 1406 MHz 1156 MHz 1480 MHz 1607 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz
Boost Clock 1677 MHz 1471 MHz 1582 MHz 1733 MHz 1683 MHz 1683 MHz
Texture Units 256 256 224 160 152 120
ROP Units 64 64 88 64 64 64
Memory 8GB 8GB 11GB 8GB 8GB 8GB
Memory Clock 1890 MHz 1600 MHz 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 8000 MHz 8000 MHz
Memory Interface 2048-bit HBM2 2048-bit HBM2 352-bit G5X 256-bit G5X 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 484 GB/s 410 GB/s 484 GB/s 320 GB/s 256 GB/s 256 GB/s
TDP 345 watts 210 watts 250 watts 180 watts 180 watts 150 watts
Peak Compute 13.7 TFLOPS 10.5 TFLOPS 11.3 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS 7.8 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS
MSRP (current) $699 $399 $699 $499 $449 $399

If you'd like some additional details on the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti, or it's GP102 GPU, take a look at our review of the reference Founder's edition.

The GTX 1000 series of products from NVIDIA has marked a consolidation in ASUS's GPU offerings. Instead of having both Strix and Matrix products available, the Strix has supplanted everything to be the most premium option from ASUS for any given GPU, and the Strix GTX 1080 Ti doesn't disappoint.

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While it might not be the largest graphics card we've ever seen, the ASUS Strix GTX 1080 Ti is more massive in all dimensions compared to both the NVIDIA Founder's Edition card, as well as the EVGA ICX option we took a look at earlier this year. Compared to the Founder's Edition, the Strix GTX 1080 Ti is 1.23-in longer, 0.9-in taller, and takes up an extra PCIe slot in width.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS ROG Strix GTX 1080 Ti!!

Author:
Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

Introduction                  

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Sea Sonic Electronics Co., Ltd has been designing and building PC power supplies since 1981 and they are one of the most highly respected manufacturers in the world. Not only do they market power supplies under their own name but they are the OEM for numerous big name brands. One of their latest power supply offerings is the new PRIME Ultra Titanium Series, which currently includes four models: 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W. Seasonic has tweaked their current PRIME Titanium lineup to create the new Ultra Series.

The PRIME Ultra Series power supplies incorporate top-notch components and have been designed to deliver the highest level of electrical performance. They feature Titanium level efficiency (80 Plus Organizations highest rating), fully modular cables, and they come backed by a 12-year warranty! We will be taking a detailed look at the new PRIME Ultra 850W Titanium power supply in this review, which Seasonic had shipped to us directly from amazon.com.

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The PRIME Ultra Series builds upon the PRIME Titanium platform by delivering extremely tight voltage regulation on the three primary rails (+3.3V, +5V and +12V) and providing superior AC ripple and noise suppression with an extended hold-up time. They feature an new super-quiet, low-speed 135mm cooling fan with a Fluid Dynamic Bearing and come with Seasonic’s premium Hybrid Fan Control that offers fanless operation at low to mid power. The PRIME Ultra Series power supplies also include SATA 3.3 adapters with support for the “power disable” (PWDIS) feature of some newer, high-capacity HDD, a PSU tester, and flexible cables without the little built-in filter capacitors found on previous models.

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Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium Series PSU Key Features:

•    1000W, 850W, 750W or 650W continuous DC output
•    Ultra-high efficiency, 80 PLUS Titanium certified
•    Micro-Tolerance Load Regulation (MTLR)
•    Top-quality 135mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan
•    Premium Hybrid Fan Control (allows fanless operation at low power)
•    Superior AC ripple and noise suppression (under 20 mV)
•    Extended Hold-up time (above 30 ms)
•    Fully modular cabling design (without line capacitors)
•    Multi-GPU technologies supported
•    Gold-plated high-current terminals
•    SATA 3.3 adapters (PWDIS)
•    Included PSU tester supports quick and easy testing before installation
•    Protections: OPP,OVP,UVP,SCP,OCP and OTP
•    12-Year Manufacturer’s warranty

Please continue reading our review of the PRIME Ultra 850W Titanium PSU!!!

How deep is your learning?

Recently, we've had some hands-on time with NVIDIA's new TITAN V graphics card. Equipped with the GV100 GPU, the TITAN V has shown us some impressive results in both gaming and GPGPU compute workloads.

However, one of the most interesting areas that NVIDIA has been touting for GV100 has been deep learning. With a 1.33x increase in single-precision FP32 compute over the Titan Xp, and the addition of specialized Tensor Cores for deep learning, the TITAN V is well positioned for deep learning workflows.

In mathematics, a tensor is a multi-dimensional array of numerical values with respect to a given basis. While we won't go deep into the math behind it, Tensors are a crucial data structure for deep learning applications.

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NVIDIA's Tensor Cores aim to accelerate Tensor-based math by utilizing half-precision FP16 math in order to process both dimensions of a Tensor at the same time. The GV100 GPU contains 640 of these Tensor Cores to accelerate FP16 neural network training.

It's worth noting that these are not the first Tensor operation-specific hardware, with others such as Google developing hardware for these specific functions.

Test Setup

  PC Perspective Deep Learning Testbed
Processor AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
Motherboard GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7
Memory 64GB Corsair Vengeance RGB DDR4-3000 
Storage Samsung SSD 960 Pro 2TB
Power Supply Corsair AX1500i 1500 watt
OS Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
Drivers AMD: AMD GPU Pro 17.50
NVIDIA: 387.34

For our NVIDIA testing, we used the NVIDIA GPU Cloud 17.12 Docker containers for both TensorFlow and Caffe2 inside of our Ubuntu 16.04.3 host operating system.

AMD testing was done using the hiptensorflow port from the AMD ROCm GitHub repositories.

For all tests, we are using the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge 2012 (ILSVRC2012) data set.

Continue reading our look at deep learning performance with the NVIDIA Titan V!!

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Crucial

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

Crucial and their parent company Micron have certainly launched their share of SSDs over the years. Product launches have effectively toggled back and forth between both names, with Crucial handling the upgrade market while Micron proper handles the OEM side of things. Both sides have one thing in common - solid performing SSDs at a budget-friendly price point. Having the best performing SSD on the market is great, but does nobody any good if the majority of purchasers can't afford it.

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We had Micron out to discuss the MX500 before we completed our testing. Here is the full discussion video:

Specifications:

  • Micron® 3D TLC NAND Flash
    • RoHS-compliant package
    • SATA 6 Gb/s interface
    • TCG/Opal 2.0-compliant self-encrypting drive (SED)
    • Compatible with Microsoft eDrive®
    • Hardware-based AES-256 encryption engine
  • Performance (ALL CAPACITIES):
    • Sequential 128KB READ: Up to 560 MB/s
    • Sequential 128KB WRITE: Up to 510 MB/s
    • Random 4KB READ: Up to 95,000 IOPS
    • Random 4KB WRITE: Up to 90,000 IOPS
  • Power consumption:
    • 250GB: <3.5W
    • 500GB: <4.5W
    • 1000GB/2000GB: <5.0W
  • Endurance – total bytes written (TBW):
    • 250GB: 100TB
    • 500GB: 180TB
    • 1TB: 360TB
    • 2TB: 700TB

A few points from these impressive specs:

  • Performance specs are common across *all* capacities. Yes, even the smallest model is rated to perform as well as the largest.
  • Endurance is very high, especially for TLC NAND. Samsung's 850 EVO 500GB and 1TB models are rated at 150TB. Heck, the 850 PRO 1TB is only rated at 300TBW. Sure that's the same rating carried up from the 512GB model of the same, but it's not Micron's fault that Samsung opted to capacity-bracket their endurance ratings.

Packaging:

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No frills here. Quick start guide contains a link to crucial.com/support/ssd to get you started.

Read on for our full review of the Crucial MX500 1TB SSD!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: AUKEY

Confronting the growing lack of laptop I/O

The trend with laptops in the past couple of years has been to drop many of the inputs that were once standard. Ethernet was an early casualty of the Ultrabook design, and now even standard USB ports are missing from the thinnest designs. USB Type-C does offer an all-in-one solution, but laptops with no other connectivity require dongles and adapters to be practical. AUKEY’s USB C Hub is one option to add I/O back to your machine in a single package, and they sent one over so we could check it out.

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In case you haven’t heard of them, AUKEY is a common sight when browsing Amazon, offering a wide range of adapters and accessories. This CB-C55 has now been superceded by the "improved" version which offers media card slots on the side as well, but we are looking at the standard version today.

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Continue reading our review of the AUKEY CB-C55 Multiport USB-C Hub!

Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Looking Towards the Professionals

This is a multi-part story for the NVIDIA Titan V:

Earlier this week we dove into the new NVIDIA Titan V graphics card and looked at its performacne from a gaming perspective. Our conclusions were more or less what we expected - the card was on average ~20% faster than the Titan Xp and about ~80% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080. But with that $3000 price tag, the Titan V isn't going to win any enthusiasts over.

What the Titan V is meant for in reality is the compute space. Developers, coders, engineers, and professionals that use GPU hardware for research, for profit, or for both. In that case, $2999 for the Titan V is simply an investment that needs to show value in select workloads. And though $3000 is still a lot of money, keep in mind that the NVIDIA Quadro GP100, the most recent part with full-performance double precision compute from the Pascal chip, is still selling for well over $6000 today. 

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The Volta GV100 GPU offers 1:2 double precision performance, equating to 2560 FP64 cores. That is a HUGE leap over the GP102 GPU used on the Titan Xp that uses a 1:32 ratio, giving us just 120 FP64 cores equivalent.

  Titan V Titan Xp GTX 1080 Ti GTX 1080 GTX 1070 Ti GTX 1070 RX Vega 64 Liquid Vega Frontier Edition
GPU Cores 5120 3840 3584 2560 2432 1920 4096 4096
FP64 Cores 2560 120 112 80 76 60 256 256
Base Clock 1200 MHz 1480 MHz 1480 MHz 1607 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz 1406 MHz 1382 MHz
Boost Clock 1455 MHz 1582 MHz 1582 MHz 1733 MHz 1683 MHz 1683 MHz 1677 MHz 1600 MHz
Texture Units 320 240 224 160 152 120 256 256
ROP Units 96 96 88 64 64 64 64 64
Memory 12GB 12GB 11GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 16GB
Memory Clock 1700 MHz MHz 11400 MHz 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 8000 MHz 8000 MHz 1890 MHz 1890 MHz
Memory Interface 3072-bit
HBM2
384-bit G5X 352-bit G5X 256-bit G5X 256-bit 256-bit 2048-bit HBM2 2048-bit HBM2
Memory Bandwidth 653 GB/s 547 GB/s 484 GB/s 320 GB/s 256 GB/s 256 GB/s 484 GB/s 484 GB/s
TDP 250 watts 250 watts 250 watts 180 watts 180 watts 150 watts 345 watts 300 watts
Peak Compute 12.2 (base) TFLOPS
14.9 (boost) TFLOPS
12.1 TFLOPS 11.3 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS 7.8 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 13.7 TFLOPS 13.1 TFLOPS
Peak DP Compute 6.1 (base) TFLOPS
7.45 (boost) TFLOPS
0.37 TFLOPS 0.35 TFLOPS 0.25 TFLOPS 0.24 TFLOPS 0.17 TFLOPS 0.85 TFLOPS 0.81 TFLOPS
MSRP (current) $2999 $1299 $699 $499 $449 $399 $699 $999

The current AMD Radeon RX Vega 64, and the Vega Frontier Edition, all ship with a 1:16 FP64 ratio, giving us the equivalent of 256 DP cores per card.

Test Setup and Benchmarks

Our testing setup remains the same from our gaming tests, but obviously the software stack is quite different. 

  PC Perspective GPU Testbed
Processor Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E
Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme X99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB DDR4-3200
Storage OCZ Agility 4 256GB (OS)
Adata SP610 500GB (games)
Power Supply Corsair AX1500i 1500 watt
OS Windows 10 x64
Drivers AMD: 17.10.2
NVIDIA: 388.59

Applications in use include:

  • Luxmark 
  • Cinebench R15
  • VRay
  • Sisoft Sandra GPU Compute
  • SPECviewperf 12.1
  • FAHBench

Let's not drag this along - I know you are hungry for results! (Thanks to Ken for running most of these tests for us!!)

Continue reading part 2 of our Titan V review on compute performance!!

Author:
Manufacturer: NVIDIA

A preview of potential Volta gaming hardware

This is a multi-part story for the NVIDIA Titan V:

As a surprise to most of us in the media community, NVIDIA launched a new graphics card to the world, the TITAN V. No longer sporting the GeForce brand, NVIDIA has returned the Titan line of cards to where it began – clearly targeted at the world of developers and general purpose compute. And if that branding switch isn’t enough to drive that home, I’m guessing the $2999 price tag will be.

Today’s article is going to look at the TITAN V from the angle that is likely most interesting to the majority of our readers, that also happens to be the angle that NVIDIA is least interested in us discussing. Though targeted at machine learning and the like, there is little doubt in my mind that some crazy people will want to take on the $3000 price to see what kind of gaming power this card can provide. After all, this marks the first time that a Volta-based GPU from NVIDIA has shipped in a place a consumer can get their hands on it, and the first time it has shipped with display outputs. (That’s kind of important to build a PC around it…)

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From a scientific standpoint, we wanted to look at the Titan V for the same reasons we tested the AMD Vega Frontier Edition cards upon their launch: using it to estimate how future consumer-class cards will perform in gaming. And, just as we had to do then, we purchased this Titan V from NVIDIA.com with our own money. (If anyone wants to buy this from me to recoup the costs, please let me know! Ha!)

  Titan V Titan Xp GTX 1080 Ti GTX 1080 GTX 1070 Ti GTX 1070 RX Vega 64 Liquid Vega Frontier Edition
GPU Cores 5120 3840 3584 2560 2432 1920 4096 4096
Base Clock 1200 MHz 1480 MHz 1480 MHz 1607 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz 1406 MHz 1382 MHz
Boost Clock 1455 MHz 1582 MHz 1582 MHz 1733 MHz 1683 MHz 1683 MHz 1677 MHz 1600 MHz
Texture Units 320 240 224 160 152 120 256 256
ROP Units 96 96 88 64 64 64 64 64
Memory 12GB 12GB 11GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 16GB
Memory Clock 1700 MHz MHz 11400 MHz 11000 MHz 10000 MHz 8000 MHz 8000 MHz 1890 MHz 1890 MHz
Memory Interface 3072-bit
HBM2
384-bit G5X 352-bit G5X 256-bit G5X 256-bit 256-bit 2048-bit HBM2 2048-bit HBM2
Memory Bandwidth 653 GB/s 547 GB/s 484 GB/s 320 GB/s 256 GB/s 256 GB/s 484 GB/s 484 GB/s
TDP 250 watts 250 watts 250 watts 180 watts 180 watts 150 watts 345 watts 300 watts
Peak Compute 12.2 (base) TFLOPS
14.9 (boost) TFLOPS
12.1 TFLOPS 11.3 TFLOPS 8.2 TFLOPS 7.8 TFLOPS 5.7 TFLOPS 13.7 TFLOPS 13.1 TFLOPS
MSRP (current) $2999 $1299 $699 $499   $399 $699 $999

The Titan V is based on the GV100 GPU though with some tweaks that lower performance and capability slightly when compared to the Tesla-branded equivalent hardware. Though our add-in card iteration has the full 5120 CUDA cores enabled, the HBM2 memory bus is reduced from 4096-bit to 3072-bit and it has one of the four stacks on the package disabled. This also drops the memory capacity from 16GB to 12GB, and memory bandwidth to 652.8 GB/s.

Continue reading our gaming review of the NVIDIA Titan V!!

Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

The flower, not the hormone

It was way back in December of 2014 that AMD and the Radeon group first started down the path of major driver updates on an annual cadence. The Catalyst Omega release marked the beginning of a recommitment to the needs of gamers (and now professionals) with more frequent, and more dramatic, software updates and improvements. Cognizant of the previous reputation the company had with drivers and software, often a distant second to the success that NVIDIA had created with it GeForce drivers, Radeon users were promised continuous increases.

And make no mistake, the team at AMD had an uphill battle. But with releases like Omega, Crimson, ReLive, and now Adrenalin, it’s clear that the leadership has received the message and put emphasis on the portion of its product that can have the most significant impact on experience.

AMD joins us at the PCPer offices to talk through all the new features and capabilities!

Named after the adrenalin rose, rather than the drug that flows through your body when being chased by feral cats, this latest major software release for Radeon users includes a host of new features and upgraded ones that should bring a fresh coat of paint to any existing GPU. Two big features will steal the show, the new Radeon Overlay and a mobile app called AMD Link. But expansions to ReLive, Wattman, Enhanced Sync, and Chill are equally compelling.

Let’s start with what I think will get the most attention and deservedly so, the Radeon Overlay. As the name would suggest, the overlay can be turned out through a hotkey in-game, and allows the gamer to access graphics card monitoring tools and many driver settings without leaving the game, having to alt-tab, or having to close the game to apply. By hitting Alt-R, a screen will show up on the right-hand side of the display, with the game continuing to run in the background. The user will be able to interact with the menu via mouse or keyboard, and then hit the same hotkey or Esc to return.

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Continue reading our look at the new AMD Radeon Softare Adrenalin Edition driver!!

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

Overview

While most hardware enthusiasts and gamers today are used to the idea of high-end mechanical keyboards, they might not be aware of the world of custom keycaps.

Just like the difference in key switches, hardcore mechanical keyboard enthusiasts often have many different types of keycaps made with different materials and manufacturing processes. Beyond just customizing the look of your keyboard, different keycaps can cause some noticeable differences in the typing experience.

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With the launch of their new PBT Double-shot keycap set, Corsair is aiming to bring this level of obsession more to the mainstream. I know that there are a lot of terms in that previous line, so let's take a closer look at what makes these keycaps different than the standard affair.

Continue reading about the new Corsair Gaming PBT Double-shot keycaps!

Manufacturer: SilverStone

The PM01 Gets an Upgrade

SilverStone’s Primera PM01-RGB is an updated version of the PM01 we reviewed last year, and in addition to new RGB lighting effects indicated by the name, the PM01-RGB also features a tempered glass side panel rather than the plastic window of the first version. We will take a look at the matte black version - (glossy black and white are also available) and see how it performs.

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SilverStone fans will likely have noticed that the Primera PM01 had some of the Raven DNA, with a sloping top panel and slightly aggressive style, though somewhat softer than cases like that first RV01 enclosure. The Primera PM01-RGB is a standard ATX mid-tower, and due to a large partition hiding the lower section of the case it is a little smaller internally that it appears from the outside.

While things were a little tight with a liquid cooler installed on the upper mounts with our PM01 last year, the case still held a standard build without issue and offered very good cooling thanks to the large mesh front panel and included intake fans. And it’s this front intake area that provides much of the difference this time around, as it now features RGB lighting for the fans along with an integrated light strip for the side panel, both of which are managed with an onboard LED control (or ASUS Aura Sync with compatible motherboards).

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Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Primera PM01-RGB ATX case!

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Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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Cooler Master recently updated the MasterWatt Series, which now includes four new MasterWatt power supplies ranging in output capacity from 450W up to 750W. All four power supplies feature semi-fanless operation, modular cables, 80 Plus Bronze level efficiency, and come backed with a 5-year warranty. Note: the two MasterWatt Maker 1200W PSUs are 80 Plus Titanium certified and come with a 7-year warranty while the two MasterWatt Lite PSUs are 80 Plus white, have fixed cables and come with a 3-year warranty. We will be taking a detailed look at the MasterWatt 550W PSU in this review.

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Cooler Master MasterWatt 550W PSU Key Features:

•    550W Continuous DC output at up to 40°C
•    Semi-fanless operation (under 15% load)
•    Modular cables
•    80 PLUS Bronze certified
•    DC-to-DC converters for +3.3V and +5V outputs
•    Single +12V output
•    Quiet 120mm Silencio cooling fan
•    Active Power Factor correction with Universal AC input (100 to 240 VAC)
•    Safety protections: OPP, OVP, UVP, OCP, OTP and SCP
•    MSRP: $59.99 USD
•    5-Year warranty

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Here is what Cooler Master has to say about their new MasterWatt PSUs:

The MasterWatt is a 80 Plus Bronze power supply with an innovative semi-fanless mode. Under 15% load, the MasterWatt fan remains idle, offering zero dBA. When demand for power increases, a gradual fan curve provides measured cooling with little to no noise at any output level. Dual forward / DC-to-DC topology are employed to keep the voltage stable in all conditions. For increased performance, MaterWatt is equipped with 16 AWG power cables, which reduce resistance thereby increasing efficiency.

Please continue reading our review of the CM MasterWatt 550W PSU!!!

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Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Elgato

Overview

Historically, video capture cards have been a piece of hardware needed primarily by video professionals, either in broadcast tv, video archival, or in our case for editorial content surrounding technology.

However, with the advent of services like Twitch, YouTube Gaming, and Mixer, there's a much bigger audience of consumers looking for solutions that enable them to cheaply and quickly capture gameplay video from PCs and game consoles. Over the past few years, Elgato has seen this niche appear and fully embraced it. 

Starting in 2002 with the Mac-only EyeTV line of TV tuning and capture products (which has since been sold to another company), Elgato is now one of the most popular options for streamers looking for capture solutions, and for good reasons. Elgato capture products are generally known for being easy to use and are quite inexpensive compared to other broadcast-grade solutions on the market. They even launched a collapsible green screen aimed at amateur streamers earlier this year!

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We were extremely interested to see Elgato announce the Game Capture 4K60 Pro capture card earlier this month. With promises to enable capture the full 4K 60Hz signal from HDMI 2.0, we had to pick one up and check it out.

Click here to read more of our take on the Elgato Game Capture 4K60

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Various

PC Components

It's that time of year again - buying PC hardware for you or your loved ones to celebrate the holidays! We have compiled a list of components, accessories, and individual picks from our staff to help you find the perfect gift for your tech fiend. And of course, if you feel the desire, its always good to get a little something for yourself. 

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Also, if you want to search for some stuff on Amazon.com for the holidays, tech or otherwise, feel free to click on this link right here to do so!! :D

Processors

AMD Ryzen Threaderipper 1950X - Amazon.com - $799

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This is still one of the most impressive performing processors on the market and it is currently selling for $200 less than the launch price! Check out our full review if you need some justification, but AMD has done a great job pitting itself against the high-end of Intel's processor market.

Intel Core i7-7700K - Amazon.com - $287

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I would have liked to recommend the Core i7-8700K with its additional core count and clock speed, but the truth is, you just can't find it for a reasonable price. It's out of stock at Amazon and Newegg is selling it for over $400. On the other hand, this 7700K has come down in price by $40-70 depending on sales and still offers a great experience for gamers and enthusiasts. In fact, it is again listed as the "#1 selling" processor on Amazon - kind of a surprise!

AMD Ryzen 7 1700 - Amazon.com - $269

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Priced similarly to the 7700K, the Ryzen 7 1700 will be slower in single threaded taskes but has 8-cores (versus 4-cores for the 7700K) and thus will outperform in multi-threaded workloads. 

Continue reading our holiday gift guide!!

Manufacturer: Corsair

The Smaller Crystal Series Case

Corsair’s Crystal Series of mid-tower enclosures offer plenty of tempered glass to show off your build and are available with both single-color and full RGB case fans pre-installed. We previously reviewed the RGB version of the larger Crystal 570X, and today we are looking at the RGB version of the more compact Crystal 460X.

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The Crystal cases differ in more than size, as the big 570X is a four-panel design that includes tempered glass on the left side, right side, case front, and top. This smaller Crystal 460X is a two-panel design with tempered glass on the left (component) side and case front, with a standard steel back panel and vented top. There is a cost difference between the two as well, with the $139.99 MSRP of the RGB 460X set $40 below the 570X at $179.99.

The design of the Crystal 460X is reminiscent of the Carbide Clear 400C (see our review here), another compact mid-tower crom Corsair with essentially the same internal layout. The appeal of these tempered glass cases is obviously to show off your build and lighting, and in that department the Crystal 460X stands out against other smaller mid-towers - in the era of tempered glass case side panels - with the matching full glass front panel.

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Continue reading our review of the Corsiar Crystal Series 460X RGB case!

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming 5 board features a matte black PCB with with a white armor overlay protecting the rear panel and audio components. In line with their AORUS Intel boards, GIGABYTE spread RGB LEDs throughout the board's surface, configurable via the UEFI or the windows app. The board supports the AMD Ryzen processor line and Dual Channel DDR4 memory via the AMD X370 chipset. The AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard can be found at most retailers with an MRSP of $194.99

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The following features have been integrated into the board: four SATA III 6Gbps ports; two SATA-Express ports; an M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable port; a U.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable port; dual RJ-45 ports featuring an Intel I211-AT Gigabit NIC and a Rivet Networks Killer E2500 NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; dual Realtek audio CODECs; an integrated HDMI video port; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the board, GIGABYTE integrated integrated a 10-phase (6+4) digital power delivery system into the AX370-Gaming 5 board's design. The digital power system was designed with IR digital power controllers and PowIRstage ICs, Server Level Chokes, and Durable Black capacitors. The power components used are the same as those used to great effect on their AORUS Intel boards.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE integrated a variety of fan headers and temperature sensors into the board They integrated temperature sensors into the CPU socket, VRMs, and chipset. Additionally, there are monitored fan headers spread throughout the board's surface, all supporting high current devices (fans or water pumps), rated for up to 24W (2A at 12V).

Continue reading our preview of the GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming 5 motherboard!