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Learn about the latest developments in PC hardware and enthusiast computing. We cover processors, graphics cards, chipsets, desktop and mobile systems, tablets, input devices and more.
Regular TechSpot readers will have no doubt spotted several mentions of Haswell on our front page this year. In the past few months we have covered everything from model names to performance and battery life claims. A key focus has been Haswell's graphics, with rumors suggesting its performance is set to be 2 to 3 times that of current HD 4000 integrated graphics.
So what is Haswell exactly? It is Intel’s 4th generation Core architecture which will see a major refresh of the entire Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 product lineup in 2013. Whereas last year’s Ivy Bridge was a "tick" release, Haswell is a tock and traditionally that's meant a more significant advance forward.
Having taken the covers off the GeForce GTX 780 a week ago, Nvidia is ready to release their next part in the GeForce 700 series. Earlier rumors indicated that the GeForce GTX 770's specifications would be much like a GTX 680 on steroids, and as it turns out that's exactly what it is.
The GTX 770 features the fastest GDDR5 memory we have ever seen at 7GHz. Memory at that clock rate is good for a peak bandwidth of 224GB/s, 16% more than the GTX 680. Therefore, technically if you could overclock a GTX 680 well enough you could create a GTX 770.
With the GTX Titan Nvidia showed just how much more complex and powerful their current generation 28nm GPU could be without putting the TDP rating through the roof. It also meant that Nvidia could move to the next generation mainstream GPUs without having to completely redesign their architecture for the GeForce 700 series and that is exactly what they have done.
The new GeForce GTX 780 is based on a similar, albeit slightly cut down version of the Titan GPU, managing to keep many of the features that make the $1,000 graphics card great, such as the 384-bit memory bus.
The battle between the OCZ Vector and the Samsung SSD 840 Pro has been closely contested ever since the Indilinx-based drive arrived late last year, though when push comes to shove OCZ could be on the losing end.
Meet the Vertex 450, OCZ's latest addition to the Vertex SSD series based on a slightly modified version of the Barefoot 3 controller that is designed to be more cost effective. So how does the new Vertex drive fare against the best SSDs in the market including OCZ's own?
The idea behind the Thin Mini-ITX form factor, besides the obvious which is to create seriously compact computers, is also to allow for DIY all-in-ones (think of little PCs you can attach to the back of your monitor). Having that said, we don't fully intend to go the all-in-one route in this article, but are aiming to build a powerful Thin Mini-ITX system that can be used in the office or at home as a media PC.
This is what our finished system should look like: extremely compact, powerful, and near silent operation, as in no-moving-parts silent. For less than $700 including a 256GB SSD, we believe you'll love what the final product will look like.
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