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Inte Core i7 CPU/Processor and X58 Chipset Review Edition

@ Tech Report
The Core i7-965 Extreme is, by far, the fastest processor we've ever tested, and it seems clear the Core i7 architecture brings with it a general performance increase over the 45nm Core 2 processors it succeeds. We've seen that increase in everyday desktop applications, including the WorldBench suite and several of the latest games. In part, the Core i7's performance gains come from higher clock frequencies due to the "Turbo mode" mechanism. When the Core i7-965 Extreme is operating at 3.33 or 3.46 GHz, it's going to be somewhat faster than a Core 2 at 3.2GHz. That's why I've been I've been hesitant to talk about clock-for-clock performance gains for Core i7, as you may have noticed. Yet in some cases, the Core i7 undeniably delivers clock-for-clock performance increases over Core 2, along with dramatic gains in absolute performance. We saw the biggest improvements in some specific sorts of workloads, including 3D rendering, scientific computing/HPC applications, and nearly any application that could spawn up to eight threads. More than once, a single Core i7-965 Extreme outran our dual-socket "Skulltrail" system by a considerable margin. This new system architecture pushes the performance frontiers forward in places where progress had previously been rather halting.

@ Driver Heaven
Another new feature on i7 processors is an inclusion of an integrated memory controller which supports 2 DIMMs per channel. An on CPU memory controller is nothing particularly new as even in the desktop market AMD have been using this for a while but the Intel version improves on the AMD method in a couple of major ways. Firstly the i7 version is a 24 GB maximum, triple channel design which has huge benefits with memory bandwidth. Secondly it allows for extremely uneven population of memory, for example Channel A could contain 3 GB, channel B 1.5 GB and Channel C 2 GB, though the best performance occurs when all channels are populated identically. Finally, due to the design of the overall architecture the preset memory limits are a lot more flexible. On AMD CPU's each is set with a limit such as 800MHz DDR2 on original Phenoms. With i7 the memory speed is controlled differently and this is best explained if we look at the overall design of the i7 architecture.

@ Benchmark Reviews
As you can readily see the design of the Intel Extreme Motherboard DX58SO is radically different from anything you've been used to up until this point. The primary differences are component placement. The memory sockets are moved to the top of the motherboard in a area that heretofore has been allocated for the CPU socket. The north and southbridges that we have grown used to are now essentially a thing of the past as memory management is now an on die process. The QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) assumes most of the balance of of these two components tasks.

@ Anandtech
Nehalem, as I've mentioned countless times before, is a "tock" processor in Intel's tick-tock cadence. That means it's a new microarchitecture but based on an existing manufacturing process, in this case 45nm. A quad-core Nehalem is made up of 731M transistors, down from 820M in Yorkfield, the current quad-core Core 2s based on the Penryn microarchitecture. The die size has gone up however, from 214 mm^2 to 263 mm^2. That's fewer transistors but less densely packed ones, part of this is due to a reduction in cache size and part of it is due to a fundamental rearchitecting of the microprocessor. Nehalem is Intel's first "native" quad-core design, meaning that all four cores are a part of one large, monolithic die. Each core has its own L1 and L2 caches, and all four sit behind a large 8MB L3 cache. The L1 cache remains unchanged from Penryn (the current 45nm Core 2 architecture), although it is slower at 4 cycles vs. 3. The L2 cache gets a little faster but also gets a lot smaller at 256KB per core, whereas the lowest end Penryns split 3MB of L2 among two cores. The L3 cache is a new addition and serves as a common pool that all four cores can access, which will really help in cache intensive multithreaded applications (such as those you'd encounter in a server). Nehalem also gets a three-channel, on-die DDR3 memory controller, if you haven't heard by now.

@ Legit Reviews
Together the Intel X58 Express chipset and the ICH10 Southbridge make up what is certain to be a very solid platform to use on high performance systems. The Intel ICH10/ICH10R Southbridge was launched with the Intel P45 Express chipset and has already proven itself a winner with some of the best Solid State Drive performance numbers of any chipset on the market. The X58 Express supports up to 36 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity, and since many boards using these chipsets will have both NVIDIA SLI and ATI CrossFire enabled it will mean that Triple-SLI and Quad CrossFireX will be easy to implement. This is due to the fact that NVIDIA is allowing motherboard makers to use a special sBIOS if they pay a licensing fee for SLI Technology. So, finally multi-GPU technology from both graphics card companies can be used on the same board. If that isn't enough Intel has done away with the Front Side Bus and now has the Quick Path Interconnet to handle the flow of data between the processor and the chipset. The memory now has over 25.5 GB/s of throughput since it now has a direct connection to the processor.

@ Bit-tech
Gaming performance is something key to our hearts though and we have to say the results are less than we'd hoped, but for two out of three games at least the Core i7 processors are faster - in the Source engine quite impressively so. However, given the huge advance in bandwidth - both from QPI compared to Front Side Bus and triple channel DDR3 compared to dual channel DDR2/3 previously - these architectural enhancements don't seem to benefit games as much as we would have liked. When the Core architecture was first announced with Conroe and we saw simply massive advances in gaming performance compared to AMD and the previous Netburst architecture, clearly with the same execution engine (and to some degree, a smaller L2 cache/slower larger cache) Core i7 doesn't offer the same advantage. Hyper Threading certainly doesn't make a positive impact either and the changing the QPI bandwidth doesn't hugely affect performance in Crysis and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, but it did in Far Cry 2. We'd argue a certain degree of caution in checking what the differences are in the games you play before buying, however while they're not likely to be slow by any means, the drops in Far Cry 2 were significant to say the least. Once we get the heads up as to why - we'll be sure to let you know.

@ t-Break
Codenamed Bloomfield, this well-anticipated successor in the ‘Core’ series has been officially labeled as the Core i7. Its is the first CPU to be based on Intel’s new Nehalem micro-architecture and it comes with a host of unique features. One of the most talked about feature of the Nehalem is the integrated memory controller which is something AMD’s has been doing for a while as well. However, the Core i7 supports the latest generation of DDR3 RAM in Triple channel. We say “Hello” once again to Hyper-Threading, making the quad-cores of Nehalem appear as eight logical cores with two threads per core. With the demise of the memory controller residing on the Northbridge, the Front Side Bus (FSB) is also replaced by Intel's Quick Path Interconnect (QPI)- a point to point interconnect between the CPU and the I/O hub which is, once again, somewhat similar to HyperTransport used in AMD CPUs. Adding to this is “Turbo Boost” that changes the way we’re used to overclocking with previous Intel CPUs. The first Core i7 processors launching today are the 920 @ 2.66GHz, 940 @ 2.93GHz and the 965EE @ 3.20GHz, all of which are quad core processors based on a 45nm fabrication process. They’re a bit bigger is size than previous Core 2 CPUs and the new socket packaging is LGA1366.

@ Tweaktown
Comparing all three CPUs from the back side, the Core i7 while larger, looks somewhat similar to Core 2. This is because Intel has done away with pins on the processor since the Pentium D series of CPU. I can personally vouch for killing one or two 478-pin test bed processors because of having to remove and insert them into boards for reviews. If you accidentally pull too hard on the heatsink when removing it from the board, you could easily bend or break a pin. Core i7 uses a Land Grid Array of 1366 pins, that’s 591 new pins. Intel needed to add extra pins for the QPI connector as well as extra pins for the memory module traces as the modules now connect directly to the CPU. This is a far cry from AMD who still use pinned processors in the desktop market which are prone to bending and breaking. It’s harder to ruin the pins on the board compared to the CPU. Ever since using LGA775 CPUs in test beds, we haven’t bent a single pin on any board we have had.

@ Legion Hardware
The base clock overclocking is a little trickier as it also boosts the memory frequency as well, much like FSB overclocking with a Core 2 processor. However unlike DDR3 memory that is paired with a Core 2 processor, a maximum memory voltage of just 1.6v can be used when operating with a Core i7. Increasing the memory voltage beyond 1.6v places the Core i7 processor at a high risk of being burnt out, and this is likely why Intel has gone with a triple-channel DDR3 interface, as it allows them to get away with using slower 1066MHz memory. Using a 160MHz base clock means that the memory is no longer running at 1066MHz but rather 1280MHz. It is unlikely that most current DDR3-1066 memory modules will do this at just 1.6v or less. Therefore, as we see it your options are either to try and reduce the memory timings in order to get the memory working at higher frequencies, or alternatively reduce the memory multiplier. Either option was made relatively easy to carry out in the Intel DX58SO motherboard BIOS.

@ Hot Hardware
We also did some overclocking to see how much headroom these early Core i7 processors have left untapped under their hoods. Because the Core i7 Extreme 965 has its overspeed protection removed--i.e. its multipliers are unlocked--we overclocked the processor by raising its multiplier to 25 and also experimented with an increased QPI speed. With the core voltage raised to 1.4v and the memory voltage tapped at 1.65v, we were able to take our particular processor up to a stable 4.15GHz with air-cooling. As you may have heard in the weeks leading up to today's announcement, the Core i7 processor, and in particular its integrated memory controller, are sensitive to increased voltages. Memory voltages higher than 1.65v are not recommended and could damage the CPU. In light of this, memory manufacturers have begun shipping triple-channel DDR3 memory kits capable of relatively high frequencies with voltages no higher than 1.65v.

Daily News for Oct 30

Palit Radeon HD 4870 Sonic Dual Edition 512MB Review @ Legit Reviews
The Palit Radeon HD 4870 Sonic Dual Edition is equipped with 512MB of GDDR5 memory and comes packed with innovative features like a dual bios and dual cooling fans. Palit custom designed this graphics card from the ground up, so no even the PCB is reference designed. Read on to see what Palit changed and how it performs with all the changes! Anyone can slap on an aftermarket heatsink and call it a day but Palit's implementation of two BIOS chips on this video card was a welcome improvement. I am notorious for killing video cards and I've had my fair share of video cards that I've bricked from bad BIOS flashes so having two BIOS chips on the card doesn't immediately render it useless after a bad flash. Palit features two BIOS profiles, one with stock clocks and one slightly overclocked. The stock clocks are 750MHz on the core and 950MHz on the memory. Palit bumps this up to 775MHz on the core and 1000MHz on the memory for a modest and safe overclock.

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Bistro
Just few months ago Intel launched their latest mainstream chipset P45 Express; Codename "Eaglelake". The major different for P45 and P35 is P45 can support PCI Express 2.0. Today we are going to test out this P45 board from Gigabyte; GA-EP45-DS3. Gigabyte has total around 20 boards for this Intel P45 chipset and GA-EP45-DS3 is the most basic version of their P45 chipset line.

Antec Skeleton Open Air Case @ Pro-Clockers
Well, today we are taking a long look at a new case from Antec. Antec's slogan for their new offering is "Think outside the box". And that is just what they were thinking when they came up with the Skeleton. An open air structure that will house a full system and have some sides at all just four 'legs'. The Skeleton can be looked at from two different angles. The first is a house to hold all your beloved components or as a test bench to torture your beloved components. Which ever way you decide to lean I can say one thing and that is the Skeleton is one very interesting case. Read along to come to your own conclusion.

Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 Review @ Club Overclocker
When ATi launched the RV770 last summer, few could predict the amount of chaos that was brought onto the market. Even today, the barrage of products and the assault on NVIDIA continues, with the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550. But today, we look at things from a different perspective. The 4850, 4870 and the X2 series handle the gaming side of things very well, but the price point of the HD 4550 aims toward a very different market. While we still look at the gaming capabilities of this card, the testing will be primarily geared for HTPC and HD playback applications.

OCZ Technology Dominatrix Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ Bigbruin
This review will be taking a look at a provocatively named new mouse from OCZ Technology that includes features like on-the-fly resolution management, adjustable mouse weights, and an ergonomic design. Just this short list of items makes the Dominatrix laser gaming mouse sound promising; just don't expect this dominatrix to bend you over a table and give you a spanking!

BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 OCX Graphics Card @ Tweaktown
Not too long ago BFG Tech thought that it was time to kick it up a notch and expand upon the popular OC line it already had. Expanding that line, two new OC variants were created; the OC2 which helped knock up clock speeds a bit more than the standard OC models and the OCX which was designed to offer a significant boost over stock clocks. We didn’t want to look at the card that was just a bit overclocked, nor the card that was overclocked a little bit more. We wanted to look at the big daddy of the GTX 260 line from BFG, the OCX variant. So with that said, let’s check out the package then from there we will have a look at the card itself and a closer look at the clockspeeds on tap before we get stuck into the benchmarking side of things.

Dell Studio 1735 Laptop @ InsideHW
Last month we tested model 1535 from new Studio series of notebooks from Dell and this time we got another model from same series but with slightly bigger dimensions. For all of you that missed that review we will say that Studio series is intended for home users. Dell Studio 1735 belongs to DTR category (DeskTop Replacement) of notebooks and because of that, most of its characteristics are predetermined. When we took Dell Studio 1735 out of the box we experienced a déjà vu which was expected because the only differences in design from 1535 model are bigger dimensions and presence of numerical keypad.

Patriot Warp V2 128GB 2.5” Solid State Drive (SSD) @ Tweaktown
Just yesterday on my monthly journey to Fry’s, I noticed several retail boxed Patriot Warp Drives in a locked cabinet. The 128 GB model like the one we are looking at today was on sale for 369.00 U.S.D., around 20 Dollars more than the Newegg price. For many the high cost will be a big turn off and the Warp will not enjoy the same commercial success that a VelociRaptor will, but a 128GB SSD just a few months back would have set you back 1100 Dollars or more. The Patriot Warp that we are looking at today is actually the second revision to the Warp Series. Very few of the first versions were released and unfortunately I didn’t have a Rev 1 sample on hand to test against the Rev 2. It should be noted that the packaging we received our Warp in did not specify if it was a V1 or V2, but we were assured it was the new V2. We will of course compare the drive to the other 2.5-inch drives we have tested since moving over to the new hard disk workstation.

Daily News for Oct 28

MSI N9800GT GeForce 9800 GT 512MB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
The MSI N9800GT 512M OC is a factory overclocked GeForce 9800 GT graphics card that has an improved cooling solution. This sub $120 graphics card has a core clock frequency of 660MHz and the 512MB GDDR3 frame buffer runs at 1900MHz. This is a nice bump up from the factory clocked cards that are 600MHz core and 1800MHz memory. Read on to see how it does and if it can overclock further! In the time I’ve had to spend with this card, I haven’t really found much to dislike about it. The card has performed well in [email protected] and in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Of course, I didn’t try to push the card to ridiculous resolutions, as gamers that own 24” or 30” monitors probably aren’t looking at sub-$120 video card to run them. Even with Crysis Warhead, where I thought the card could stumble and fall, as many higher priced cards did with the original Crysis, the 9800GT from MSI was able to play the game fairly smoothly at 1280x1024.

Cooler Master Hyper Z600R CPU Cooler @ Tweaktown
Today we are looking at the Cooler Master Hyper Z600R, the first product in Cooler Masters revised arsenal that is ready to battle flagship processors from Intel and AMD. The Hyper Z600R is a large cooler with premium packaging and the ability to add a second 120mm fan. From the looks of the design the cooler screams high efficiency with low acoustic interference. Overclockers will like the coolers ability to add a second fan and average users will like the quiet nature of this beast. Next in our list of cooler reviews will be the long awaited article for Cooler Masters flagship V8 air cooler. Be sure to check back in to see the results when both coolers go head to head, but for now enjoy the Hyper Z600R.

Lian Li PC - A77 Aluminum Computer Case @ TechwareLabs
Have you managed to cram as much hardware as possible into your rig? Need a crane to lift your case? Why not shed a few unwanted pounds from your machine by transferring it into a new aluminum home? Join RTM as he looks at the Lian Li A77 Aluminum Case.

Western Digital's Caviar Green hard drive @ Tech Report
To be fair, the Caviar GP's performance was surprisingly good for a drive whose platters spun at close to 5,400RPM. In some tests, it was even faster than terabyte drives spinning at a full 7,200RPM. The GP also lived up to its energy-efficient billing, sucking half the power of some of its terabyte rivals, all while barely making a whisper. Since its release, a reshuffling of Western Digital's hard drive branding scheme has transformed the Caviar GP into the Caviar Green. Now it's time for the drive itself to change. The original Caviar GP reached the terabyte mark with four 250GB platters, but the latest model we'll be looking at today has been upgraded to 333GB platters, of which it needs only three. The higher areal density of the Caviar Green's new platters promise improved performance, and since the drive is spinning only three of them, power consumption should drop as well. On all fronts, then, this latest Caviar Green looks better than the original.

Vantec Aeroflow FX 120 VAF-1225 Heatsink Review @ Frostytech
The Vantec Aeroflow FX 120 heatsink features a special base plate with three exposed 8mm diameter copper heatpipes, just like Xigmatek's very high performing "Heatpipe Direct Touch" technology. The heatpipes transfer heat directly to a large aluminum fin cooling tower above, and aside from a fairly quiet white 120mm fan the Aeroflow FX 120 is a simple and effective heatsink.

Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
Over the past few years, gaming on the PC has transformed from a niche hobby to a market in and of itself. More and more gaming-grade devices come out each year. Some accessories are just hype or a means to squeeze a few extra dollars out of unsuspecting customers whereas others genuinely make the gaming experience that much better. At the same time gaming hardware has also come to be synonymous with expensive hardware as gaming hardware frequently pushes the current norms and standards to their limits of usability, functionality and style (or taste in the worst case scenario). The Microsoft Sidewinder X6 tries to be the keyboard for the gamer's gamer. It features the ability to program 90 macros using 6 proprietary buttons, the number pad, and 3 banks. It has backlighting for playing the dark, cruise control, on the fly macro programming, large knobs for volume and backlight control and audio shortcut buttons. It features keys designed for quick presses and fast action.

Sapphire Radeon 4870 Toxic Edition @ TechwareLabs
Today, we bring to you the newest version of Sapphires HD4870, the Toxic Edition. This card should be the best single 4870 on the market, but can it compete on the same level as nVidias GTX280 and for half the price? Join Jack as we test to see how Toxic this card really is.

Daily News for Oct 27

Asus P6T Deluxe & Intel Nehalem CPU @ InsideHW
It’s been awhile since rumors about new Intel’s platform had started or more precisely about new processors with code name Nehalem and X58 controller logic. We managed to provide one Nehalem processor, for a very short time period, and we paired it with Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard based on X58 chipset. New motherboard, new chipset and new CPU architecture! Short time that we had for testing didn’t allow us to test all details of new CPU (just few benchmark results) but we had enough time to do a proper motherboard test.

Thermaltake M9 Case Review @ PCSTATS
Thermaltake's M9 caseis a straight forward case with all the nods towards keeping itself modern and useful. It stands 17" tall and 7.5" wide and is constructed out of plain old SECC steel, glossy black plastic, and mesh grating along its front bays. There's room inside for six 5.25" optical drives and three 3.5" bays in its default configuration, although that can be changed to open up as many as nine 5.25" bays by removing the hard drive cage.

Sapphire HD 4550 Video Card @ Pro-Clockers
And if you are one of these people that don't need the biggest baddest video adapter on the market just something that will get you by and play your videos at a clean crisp rate then the Sapphire HD 4550 may be up your alley. The HD 4550 is no bottom of the line GPU but a card that boasts 512MB of DDR3 memory at 900MHz and a 600MHz core. At $60 you will not have to settle with just what will get you by as the card supports Crossfire and HDMI with 7.1 audio support. But with all this being said how will the HD 4550 stack up on the ladder of other cards offered by Sapphire and ATI.

ATi Radeon HD 4830 512MB vs. nVIDIA GeForce 9800GT 512MB @ InsideHW
The fact is that nVIDIA these days lives on its reputation, considering that except for GTX280 and GTX260 (their place is reserved for the top of offer), nVIDIA doesn’t have anything new to show. Besides, trend of renaming the products becomes a bit irritating habit, cause real new product from “sub 250€” class isn’t introduced for a long time. G92 chip is still promoted even though it was “de facto” incredible product one year ago and that is for IT industry too long. Perhaps it wouldn’t feel that long if competition isn’t hyperactive, but as this became ATi’s new business policy, it’s quite evidently that nVIDIA isn’t held in high esteem.

Cooler Master Hyper Z600-R Heatpipe CPU Cooler Review @ Tweaknews
Cooler Master has a real winner in their new Hyper Z600R CPU cooler. Whether used actively, with the included 120mm blue LED fan, or passively you'll get top-notch performance and beautiful aesthetics. The X-shaped Hyper with its decorative top cover makes quite an impression and its large size and six heatpipes seem to provide the one-two punch that beats down high CPU temperatures.

NVIDIA nForce 730i / GeForce 9300 Chipset Review @ Tweaktown
Now Intel has the CPU of choice and with that comes support left, right and centre. While Intel has a huge array of chipsets for its own processor, support also comes from another source, that being from the biggest 3D chipset maker, NVIDIA. While Intel has the best enthusiast chipsets out for the platform, Intel’s integrated graphics platforms simply can’t compete with the likes of NVIDIA’s IGP based setups. This is simply because NVIDIA has all of its 3D chip technology to call on for integration into its chipsets, keeping it ahead of chipzilla.

Brando SATA HDD Multimedia Dock @ Hardware Bistro
Last two weeks ago, we just completed a unique product review; Unitek SATA HDD Multi-Function Dock. Today here we received another interesting HDD docking from Brando as well called SATA HDD Multimedia Dock. This docking is not only can be used for 2.5" and 3.5" SATA HDD for data transferring but also act as a media player where the files can be played on TV without connecting to PC.

ATI Radeon 4830 Reviews!

HIS Radeon 4830 @ Guru3D
See, right now every move that NVIDIA makes is being counter-acted by ATI. And today they are launching a new mid-range class product. It's called the Radeon HD 4830 and again is a product that will bring a couple of surprises in the performance versus price ratio, to fight against the 'new' GeForce 9800 GT. A sub-$150 HD 4000 series video card that will take on NVIDIA, in the shape of the Radeon HD 4830. We expect its price to settle at 119-129 USD. This card will have 640 stream processors, a 256-bit memory interface and GDDR3 memory, and slot in-between the Radeon HD 4850 and HD 4670. What is the HD 4830 targeted against? Well, considering the NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT and 9800 GT retail for around $130, it seems likely AMD would continue the pressure by also aiming for these products.

HIS Radeon 4830 @ Elite Bastards
As with RV670, the Radeon HD 4800 series employs a 256-bit memory controller, but replaces its predecessors ring bus design with a distributed controller, which supports GDDR3, GDDR4 and GDDR5 memory types. RV770 also features AMD's second generation UVD video decoding engine, which now supports dual stream decoding (i.e. handling two High Definition video streams so that playback of both is GPU accelerated) and dynamic contrast enhancement. Full HDMI output is still supported, with the addition of full eight-channel audio output with support for all of the major formats used by DVD and Blu-Ray movies. The Radeon HD 4830 features that cut-down RV770 core we mentioned with a couple of SIMD cores disabled, as well as clock speeds lower than the higher priced Radeon HD 4850, which sees it utilising a GPU core clock of 575MHz, with the 512MB of GDDR3 memory on-board clocked at 900MHz (1800MHz effective).

Reference Board @ Legit Reviews
When you compare the specifications on the three single GPU Radeon HD 4800 series cards you can see how they stack up across the board. Notice that the max board power remains the same on the Radeon HD 4830, so power consumption and temperatures should be close to what is seen on the Radeon HD 4850 graphics card. The clock rate on the Radeon HD 4830 is 575MHz with the memory clock being 900MHz. The Radeon HD 4830, 4850 and 4870 all have 956 Million transistors and are built on the 55nm process.

Reference Board @ HEXUS
Talking figures when compared to Radeon HD 4850, the '30 drops two of the HD 4850's 10 SIMD cores - each comprising of 80 stream processors - bringing the total down to 640. Consequently, as two 'cores' have been removed and the texturing subsystem is linked in with each, data sampling and filtering go down a commensurate amount, too. In short, Radeon HD 4830 has 25 per cent less shading and texturing ability, based on a clock-for-clock comparison. The actual drop is higher because the core/shader speed has been reduced, as well. Fewer stream processors and a chopping of one ROP portion, down from 16 to 12, are matched up to the above-noted lower frequencies, with the core and shaders operating at 575MHz and GDDR3 memory at 1,800MHz. If you're interested, this leads to the Radeon HD 4850 having a 35 per cent higher peak GFLOPs throughput rate, 35 per cent higher fillrate, and 11 per cent higher memory bandwidth. What we can determine from these numbers is that HD 4830's 3D performance will be around 80 per cent of its bigger brother's, and pricing is such that the RRP is also around 80 per cent - it all makes rather tidy sense.

PowerColor Radeon 4830 @ TechPowerUP
PowerColor has successfully improved on the AMD reference design by adding a native HDMI output which comes in handy when you want to connect your big TV set. The other big change doesn't seem too wise to me though. PowerColor's big fan looks mighty at first sight, but the default fan settings make it a less than pleasant experience. For a card in this performance class the fan is way too noisy. On the other hand the temperatures are lower than on the AMD reference design. But personally I prefer a few degrees higher GPU temperature in return for a quiet card.

Radeon 4830 vs Geforce 9800GT @ NeoSeeker
At the heart of each HD 4800 video card is a RV770 GPU. The HD 4830 features the RV770LE. Basically the RV770LE is a laser-neutered version of the same GPU found in the HD 4850 and HD 4870. One cool thing about the HD 4830 is that there really won't be one standard design -- each board partner will be releasing there own variation. There won't be a wave of reference board design HD 4830's, and then a second wave of overclocked, customized versions -- as is often the case for 'marquee' models, like the HD 4870. There is a good chance each PCB will have a slightly different layout. Expect HD 4830's coming from the following folks at: VisionTek, HIS, Palit, Asus, PowerColor, GeCube, Diamond MM, Sapphire, Micro-star International (MSI), Gigabyte, and Club3D.

Daily News for Oct 24

Western Digital 300GB VelociRaptor Hard Drive @ TechARP
Western Digital may be marketing their new VelociRaptor family of high-speed hard drives as enterprise-class hard drives but they are also very popular with hardware enthusiasts who just cannot resist their 10,000 RPM spindle speed. Everything just seems a little faster when you use a hard drive that spins at such a high speed. To cater to this exclusive group of enthusiasts, Western Digital first introduced the Raptor and Raptor X hard drives with capacities of 36 GB to 150 GB. These Raptors have now evolved into the next-generation Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drives, that not only boast twice the storage capacity but also managed to do it in a much smaller 2.5" drive form factor! Let's find out just how much faster this drive is compared to the 10K RPM WD Raptor X and 7200 RPM hard drives!

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 260 AMP²! Edition @ Benchmark Reviews
Well the smoke has cleared, the dust settled and most of the rumors and hype have been laid to rest with regard to the first phase of NVIDIA's launch. For the last month or so the revised editions of the GTX 200 series are beginning to appear. Today at Benchmark Reviews it is our pleasure to review the Zotac GeForce GTX 260 AMP2! Edition. This graphics solution reputedly takes the GTX 260 to the next level of performance primarily due to NVIDIA's second generation architecture coupled the addition of 24 streaming processors, upping the total to 216. We fully intend to focus all our technology and energy to either prove or disprove that allegation.

Patriot Memory PC3-12800 Extreme Performance 4GB Kit Review @ Club Overclocker
Finally DDR3 is starting to come down in price. Even better, the latencies are starting to come down and the performance is going up. All is right with the world. Patriot Memory has just sent us over a 4GB kit of 1600MHz memory with latencies of 7-7-7-20. I'm pretty excited to see how the performance of the kit is going to be so let's just jump in and see what happens.

MSI Geforce 9600 GT 1Gb Hybrid Freezer VGA Review @ MadShrimps
The MSI N9600GT Hybrid Freezer is equipped with 1Gb DDR3 memory and features an unique cooling solution which works passively when in 2D mode, and only makes noise when running 3D applications or games. MSI overclocked the GPU and Shader for increased performance, let´s find out how it compares to a vanilla Geforce 9600 GT.

22 inch Wide TFT Roundup (Asus, Benq, Samsung, LG) @ InsideHW
For every period on time there is optimal monitor (screen) size. Nowadays, smaller monitor isn’t cheap enough and isn’t worth of savings while the bigger one still doesn’t justify the difference in price. The thing is that lately, mid range monitors and even from low range, become very quality pieces of hardware. And if you pick by random any of them, there are small odds that you’ll chose “piece of junk”. As result of these changes on local and global market it is actually very favorable state for nowadays buyers. Now you can have bigger monitor on the table with more than acceptable price especially if you buy it on sales. So, according to all that, wide monitor with 22-inch diagonal is the best buy at the moment. Keeping that fact in mind, we gathered eleven models that can be classified as cheaper and we did comparison test.

Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower Case Review @ PCSTATS
At nearly two feet tall and weighing in at just under 30 pounds, the Cooler Master HAF 932 High Air Flow Chassis is an imposing full tower ATX case, marketed towards gamers and overclockers with an array of fans, cooling options, and lots of space for large components. Every possible surface that could be covered with a fan has a grating on it, and you'll find three 230mm fans installed in the front, top and side panel as defaults, along with a spare 140mm in the back to boot.

Coolermaster V8 CPU Cooler @ Pro-Clockers
I am a fanboy of American automobiles especially the old school ones like the Mustangs, Chevells, Novas and many others. And one of the reasons I am so into these cars is because of the big blocks ( V8 for the unknowing) that these cars all had. Pure muscle is where it is all at. And the Coolermaster V8 takes its name from just these types of cars. The V8 is 865g of copper and aluminum so you can say this one is a big block. Today we will see if the Coolermaster V8 can perform like the cars did back in the 60s and 70s.

Daily News for Oct 23

EVGA 790i SLI FTW Digital PWM Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
If you are a DDR3 aficionado or need a fantastic SLI platform then the EVGA 790i SLI FTW Digital PWM would be a great choice. Just keep in mind the upcoming Core i7 launch. Intel Core 2 processors will still be very competitive, but those of you making a large purchase versus simply a motherboard upgrade may wish to hold off. The EVGA 790i SLI FTW Digital PWM is a fantastic board that may simply be overshadowed by the death of LGA775.

G.Skill FS-25S2-64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk Drive @ Tweaktown
G.Skill is known for their high performance enthusiast memory, but like many "memory" companies, when RAM became unprofitable they looked to broaden their product lines. One area that many of these companies made a straight line for was expanding their flash memory products. This eventually led to solid state drives and ultimately caused the price of these drives to start to fall rapidly. Today we are looking at the G.Skill 64GB SLC drive. The drive is a rebadged Samsung drive like the four we reviewed in various levels of RAID back in June for The difference between then and now is that the G.Skill 64GB drive cost just a little more than the 32GB model did when that article was written.

Gigabyte GA EP45 DQ6 Motherboard @ TechwareLabs
Behind every amazing computer, there is an amazing motherboard. Today, RTM takes Gigabytes GA-EP45-DQ6 for a spin. Competing with such boards as the ASUS Striker II, we have high hopes for this energy efficient little devil. Now we are left wondering: Can this board out perform the competition?

ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hydra SLI Video Card Kit @ Legit Reviews
The ECS GeForce 9800 GTX+ Hyrda SLI kit is a very innovative product that brings together SLI and water cooling very nicely. The bundle comes complete with everything you need to get started and that is very important for a kit of this size. Coming with the full version of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 video game is a nice touch as it is a $20-$30 game and not too many graphics cards come with games any longer. Installation was so simple the directions didn't even need to be used, so this kit will get you into water cooled graphics cards setup with SLI in minutes.

AMD Radeon HD 4830: Affordable Performance And Heavy Competition @ Anandtech
Based on the information we know about the GPU, the 4830 is clearly just an RV770 with one SIMD disabled. While AMD does have safeguards built into their GPUs to help improve yield, nothing is perfect. There will be ICs that come off the line that simply can't function properly at the desired speed or with all the hardware enabled to make it onto a higher end card. Chip makers will save these parts and bin them for possible use in lower end products later. We also sometimes see higher end binned chips released as special editions overclocked models, so it does work both ways. The price of the 4830 means that it will see higher volume sales than either the 4850 or the 4870. That's just how it works: more people buy cheaper parts. The interesting twist here is that the RV770 is being used in 3 different parts ranging from $130 to $300 with very little time lapse between the initial release and the current situation.

AMD's Radeon HD 4830 Graphics Processor @ Tech Report
Yep, this new card is indeed called the Radeon HD 4830. The name tells you almost everything you need to know about this product, which would appear to be the last piece of AMD's 4000-series Radeon lineup to fall into place. Those of you who read our recent review of affordable graphics cards may recall that AMD didn't have much to offer between the (sensational for its price) Radeon HD 4670 at 80 bucks and the all-world Radeon HD 4850 at about $180. Well, that's where the 4830 comes in. This new model is, like the 4850 and 4870, based on RV770 silicon, but in its tamest form yet. Yes, folks, the great product segmentation game continues with yet another chip having perfectly good—or possibly totally flawed—bits and pieces deactivated to maintain a neat separation between models. On the 4830, two of the RV770's 10 SIMD units have been disabled, reducing shader power (and likely performance) somewhat. Since those SIMD units are tied to texture management units, the GPU's TMU count has dropped proportionately. The end result: the Radeon HD 4830 has a total of 128 shader execution units—or 640 stream processors, in AMD parlance—and can filter up to 32 textures per clock.

Daily News for July 18

Intel Montevina - Centrino 2 Portable Platform @ InsideHW
Almost five years ago, Intel promoted its first uniform solution attended for notebooks, under the brand – Centrino. This brand was launched with intention to consolidate a position of Intel on notebook’s market as number one. Many people are making a mistake if they think that Centrino is some Intel processor attended for notebooks and is based on “rocket science” technology. Centrino consolidates processor, chipset, integrated GPU (graphic processor), network subsystem that supports 100Mbit/1Gbit LAN connection and also an optional WiFi adapter.

Tagan Black Pearl WCR Full Tower Chassis @ Tweaktown
Enter the Tagan Black Pearl WCR. The "WCR" moniker is an acronym for "Water Cooling Ready", so it is designed for enthusiasts who need the flexibility to run unconventional cooling solutions. But can the PSU Dudes pull off a quality enclosure? Go ahead and take a load off as we delve into this very issue. After all, when it comes to spending our hard-earned dollars, it is important to see if we are getting what we really need.

Foxconn X58 Renaissance Motherboard @ TechARP
With all the talk going around about Intel's upcoming Bloomfield desktop processor, many enthusiasts are anxious to know more about the next-generation Intel processors which are slated to be launched in Q4 of 2008. It appears that motherboard companies like Foxconn have already started preparing for the launch. We were able to obtain some details of the upcoming Foxconn X58 Renaissance motherboard.

Silverstone Decathlon DA850 @ Pro-Clockers
Today I'm reviewing the Silverstone. I respect Silverstone. Their products are attractive and perform well, but I'm not going to take it easy on the DA850. For this PSU to garner a good review from me, it will have to stay stable while providing power to all my hardware.

MSI P45 Platinum and Asus Maximus II Formula @ Madshrimps
Of course, we'll be focusing on what both the MSI P45 Platinum and Asus Maximus II Formula can bring us in terms of performance, overclocking and the performance gained from overclocking. We'll be giving you basic pointers for better results and will spend a little time on the energy-saving technology of both MSI and Asus. But first, we'll start with the pictures to find out what we'll be dealing with.

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS Hard Drive @ Futurelooks
Fast forward to April 2008, when the fourth generation Raptor is announced. Titled the VelociRaptor, this new drive increases its maximum capacity to 300GB using two 150GB platters, reduces its form factor from 3.5″ to 2.5″, and includes a 3.5″ mounting bracket that doubles as a massive heatsink. Western Digital bills it as an “enterprise-class” drive, and claims it’s 35% faster than any previous generation of Raptor. We’ll have to see about that, but first let’s take a quick look at the specs.

Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers
From the very beginning many of us could have figured the P45 chipset was going to be the chipset of chance as it is price considerably cheaper than the older X38 and the X48. And from the early reviews the P45 overclockers pretty well. We have seen able forum post and web reviews with front side buses reaching the 600MHz range on Core2Duo processors. But for the non-overclockers out there another advantage over the older P35 is the two 8x PCIe slots when attempting to using ATI video cards in Crossfire mode. Today, we will take the EP45-DQ6 through a ring of benchmarks and see what type of FSB numbers we can achieve.

Force3D ATI HD 4870 @ InsideHW
Radeon HD4800 series of graphics cards is real refreshment in these days. Every new generation of GPU brought a big shift in performances and ATi this time showed us that top model graphics chip (RV770) doesn’t have to be expensive. Based on experience from previous HD3850 and HD3870 models, we expected that new model HD4870 will dominate in middle-high class, with lower price and higher performances than other competitors. But, we were wrong… Tests showed something quite unexpected. Still, before benchmark results let’s see what new GPU offers.

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