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Although nothing used to match the GeForce GTX 670's price-to-performance ratio, its $400 entry fee remained a steep one. Gamers who wanted to spend less were left with the $230 HD 7850, the $300 HD 7870 or a card from Nvidia's last-gen lineup. Naturally, it would only be a matter of time before Nvidia tried to fill this gap with tons of hearsay about a GeForce GTX 660 Ti in the pipeline for a mid to late summer launch.
Well, we're here and the rumors proved true: Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 660 Ti has its crosshairs set on the HD 7870. Assuming it's priced competitively, the GTX 660 Ti seems like it could put a real hurting on AMD's offering, as it features the same DNA as existing Kepler products and boasts the same number of CUDA cores and texture units as the GTX 670.
Back when Vista first arrived I remember comparing how it performed to XP and being extremely disappointed with the results. Vista was generally rough around the edges and that included drivers, so gaming and productivity applications were more often than not slower in the new OS. Microsoft's PR machine has been hard at work over the past few months, trying to explain the numerous improvements Windows 8 has received on the backend. The good news is that it shows.
For comparing Windows 7 and Windows 8 we will measure and test the performance of various aspects of the operating system including: boot up and shutdown times, file copying, encoding, browsing, gaming and some synthetic benchmarks.
More than last year, 2012's ultrabooks have been and will continue to be about tradeoffs: low-res screens vs. high-res, TN panels vs. IPS, snappy SSDs vs. capacious HDDs, dual-core CPUs vs. quad-core, 2GB vs. 8GB, power-sipping IGPs vs. muscle-bound GPUs, mainstream vs. premium pricing, and so on.
Acer's new TimelineU makes its own compromises. Our review unit touts a full-size backlit keyboard, 500GB of storage, a GeForce GT 640M LE GPU, an optical drive, an eight-hour battery life and an attractive $830 price tag. Naturally, the question is: what's the catch? Let's get to the bottom of that.
Massively multiplayer online gamers have different needs than those of first-person shooter or real-time strategy fans. They need social interaction. They need extremely comfortable chairs. But most of all they need buttons. So many buttons.
PC peripheral manufacturers have sensed this need and have responded with specialized MMO mice featuring so many buttons. Today we take a look at three of them — the Logitech G600, the Razer Naga 2012 and the Cyborg M.M.O. 7 from Mad Catz — to determine which is most worthy of your MMOney.
The Iconia Tab A700 is Acer's latest update to its Android tablet line-up. Featuring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a quad-core processor, the A700's claim to fame is its new 1920 x 1200 pixel, full HD display. Needless to say, it's a considerable step up from the 1280 x 800 pixel displays Acer used on the A500 and A510.
The Acer Iconia Tab A700 should look familiar to anyone who has seen or used a 10-inch Android tablet before. The tablet's dimensions and 16:10 aspect ratio display lend it much more to use in landscape orientation than in portrait -- something that is frequently said about 10-inch Android tablets.
IFTTT (If This Then That) lets you automate tasks between popular web services such as Dropbox, Twitter, Evernote, Facebook, Instapaper, and many others. IFTTT works by telling it what task you want carried out, what will trigger this task, and it will put it into action for you.
A common example would be to have your Instagram pictures automatically backed up on your Dropbox or Box account. Certainly useful, but there's also more specific things you can do with it. For example, say I want to keep up with how a certain country is doing in the London 2012 Olympics.
Apple’s coveted Retina display has finally found its way to a full-size notebook courtesy of the latest MacBook Pro. In addition, there’s an entirely reworked chassis that’s nearly as thin as the MacBook Air and weighs more than a pound less than the standard Pro. Customers can also configure a Retina system with up to 16GB of RAM and 768GB of flash storage, versus a maximum of 8GB of RAM and 512GB of solid state storage on a standard Pro.
But hey, who are we kidding, the only reason that most people are going to dish over the extra cash for Apple’s latest and greatest is the 2880 x 1800 resolution goodness of the Retina display. And I’ll go ahead and let you in a little secret: it’s a thing of beauty.
Celebrating Tahiti's "half birthday" last month, AMD relaunched its Radeon HD 7970 with a "GHz Edition" that increased the reference design's core clock speed from 925MHz to 1GHz with the intention of allowing the company to claim it offered the world's fastest GPU. But the festivities were short-lived for several reasons.
Now Gigabyte has taken matters into its own hands with what seems to be a far more interesting solution. Armed with five fans, nine heatpipes and a huge vapor chamber, one might consider the HD 7970 SOC to be overkill, and to that we say "hell yes!"
The new Motorola Atrix HD has some seriously stiff competition in AT&T's smartphone lineup with the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. The Atrix HD has most of the specs to match the top tier Android smartphones, but does it put them together well enough to be a real competitor?
The answer to that question is a bit of yes and a bit of no. The Atrix HD excels in certain areas, but doesn't quite hit the mark in others. Fortunately, its $99 price tag makes it a great value, and it is one to be considered for those who don't want to shell out upwards of $200 on a new smartphone.
When choosing the right laptop it all comes down to what you are willing to spend and what you plan to use it for. This guide will help you navigate through the countless options out there. As usual, we've narrowed down our favorite notebooks and grouped them into five different categories: ultraportables, business and workstations, desktop replacements, gaming, and budget-oriented machines.
|Ultraportables Thin and light laptops balance portability, performance and battery life.||Business Mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.|
|Desktop Replacements The most complete set of features, often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower.||Gaming If mobility is a priority, there are some solid choices for gaming on the go.|
|Budget-oriented A good blend of price and features, but slim form factors are not necessarily a priority.|
Although every product deserves healthy criticism, many opinions of Windows 8 seem to be based on misconceptions, especially when it comes to the viability of Metro as a Start menu replacement. For the record, I don't care if you skip the update -- hell, I might pass on it too -- nor do I care if it's the most failtastic operating system in Windows' 26-year history.
However, I believe your opinion should be formed by facts, not irrational rhetoric parroted online by so-called power users and companies that want to sell you third-party programs. The truth is, functionally speaking, Metro is basically identical to the Start menu.
Steve Jobs unveiled the first MacBook Air in early 2008 to mixed reviews, but a series of redesigns and hardware refreshes through the years have resulted in a product line that has had a huge impact on the industry. PC makers have struggled to match the Air’s extremely thin and simplistic design, prompting Intel to announce the ultrabook initiative at Computex in 2011.
New for the 2012 MacBook Air is the Intel Ivy Bridge processor sporting Intel HD 4000 graphics, higher capacity storage and memory options, as well as an improved 720p Facetime HD camera, and support for USB 3.0. The 13-inch system also received a $100 price cut, now starting at $1,199.
I've been running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a few months and although I'm okay with Metro replacing the Start Menu, I hate seeing the new interface by default every time I reboot. When Windows 7 starts, you hit a login screen (assuming it's enabled) and then you're brought straight to the desktop.
When Windows 8 starts, it displays a lock screen that you have to move out of the way before entering your credentials, and then you have to dismiss the Metro interface before accessing the desktop. Like I said, I'm cool with Metro, but I have no desire to see a full-screen Start Menu when I log into my PC.
A powerful graphics card is likely the most expensive component in your PC if you're a gamer, but with all current and past-gen GPUs available in the range of $100 to $500, it can be tough to pick the right solution for your needs.
In an effort to narrow things down, we're about to compare today's most relevant gaming cards that sell for $200 or more, testing them in a slew of games to see how it breaks down as we look for the best graphics cards for gaming at resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.
The Omni 27 Quad is HP's latest all-in-one that shares many aesthetic characteristics with the TouchSmart 520 we recently reviewed, despite being in a different class. Inside we find a third-generation Intel Core i5-3550S Ivy Bridge processor clocked at 3.0GHz, 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 2TB Hitachi hard drive spinning at 7,200 RPM, Radeon HD 6550A graphics and Beats Audio.
There's a 27-inch display tucked behind the edge-to-edge glass that admittedly looks much cleaner than what we saw on the 520. The difference here is that the Omni's 27-inch display isn't touch-sensitive, something a lot of people won't really miss in a pre-Windows 8 desktop system, or a desktop in general.
Google has released a number of Nexus branded "hero" smartphones in the past, but the new Google Nexus 7 is the first ever tablet to bear the Google Nexus name. Built by Asus, the Nexus 7 also has the distinction of being the first device to run the Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system.
While the Nexus 7 offers nothing to consumers that can't be found elsewhere - save for Jelly Bean - it offers a number of refinements to the Android tablet experience in terms of both software and hardware. And it does it all at a sub-$200 price point.
Although SandForce controllers have powered much of OCZ's solid-state lineup, the company is shifting to its own solutions after purchasing Indilinx early last year. The "Octane" flash drives were the first to use the Indilinx Everest controller last holiday season and now that its SF-2281-based drives are over a year old, OCZ has begun phasing Everest into the rest of its offerings, including the Vertex series.
The Vertex 4 series is aimed at performance buffs, with initial Indilinx Everest 2 based models offering capacities of 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Performance is the name of the game here and OCZ doesn't disappoint.
When Apple updated its notebook lineup earlier this month we were eager to find out how well the new MacBook Air stacked up next to a couple of Ultrabook alternatives. Turned out the so-called “Apple Tax” wasn’t as much of an issue as Apple detractors often claim.
Now we’re taking a look at another area of the PC market that’s experiencing healthy growth in recent times, comparing Apple’s 27-inch iMac to all-in-one alternatives from the likes of Dell, HP and newcomer Vizio. As we’ve said before, we don’t expect this comparison to be representative of the entire Apple Tax argument, but it will help paint a better picture as we contrast it with our previous findings.
Whether you just bought a new system with bloatware or you're just seeking greener pastures, you'll eventually have to uninstall security software. Shady business tactics aside, making security software tricky to remove increases the chances that clueless users don't mistakenly scrap their protection.
It can also wreak havoc if the same inexperienced user installs new security software without removing their previous solution. Fortunately, most companies provide tools and guides on properly uninstalling their products and we thought it'd be handy to provide a consolidated resource with links to removal tools and/or removal instructions.
Asus' Eee Pad Transformer launched with much fanfare last year as it bridged the gap between tablets and netbooks via its docking station. At the time, we thought the Eee Pad Transformer was a great bargain, but that value was slightly diminished later in 2011 when Asus unveiled its $620 Eee Pad Transformer Prime.
Although the Transformer Prime's price increase was technically justifiable, it pushed the upper budgets of some shoppers. Addressing that issue, Asus has released a more affordable yet still powerful version called the Transformer Pad TF300T.
Let's just get this out of the way: Yes, Quantum Conundrum is a first-person puzzler, just like Portal. Yes, it was designed by Kim Swift, the project lead on Portal. And yes, it shares some of Portal's core traits: there's a physics-altering arm device, a goofy omniscient narrator, and an alarming number of buttons that need to be pushed.
But Quantum Conundrum crawls out from its spiritual predecessor's mighty shadow and stands, triumphant, as a game that's unique, raw, and brilliant in many ways. Finally, Portal has a worthy rival.
Having successfully launched their first 28nm GPU last January, AMD went on to release an entire family of Radeon HD 7000 GPUs over the next few months. The last of the series were the Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 graphics cards, which were closely followed by the launch of Nvidia’s next generation flagship part, the GeForce GTX 680.
Fast forward to the present day and it'd appear that AMD is desperate to claim the bragging rights of offering the single fastest GPU money can buy. As the name suggests the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition features a core clock speed of 1GHz, along with overclocked GDDR5 memory running at 1500MHz. But is it worth it?
Last year Samsung solidified its position as the dominant Android smartphone manufacturer with the Galaxy S II. The massive success of this phone helped propel Samsung into becoming the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world.
Samsung isn't sitting idly by as others ramp up their smartphone offerings, and its efforts to stay at the top are wrapped up in the Galaxy S III, a 4.8-inch powerhouse of a smartphone. The S III features cutting edge hardware paired with useful software additions that make it an attractive option for the prospective smartphone buyer.
Out of nowhere, Microsoft had an announcement to make. Nothing concrete leaked ahead of the event except that it would be tablet-related. Everybody was skeptical, myself included.
The presentation began and it seemed like more of the same. Don't call it a tablet -- it's the new "Surface"… boring. It's thin, but not much more than existing tablets. It has a kickstand... umm ok. A magnetic cover -- yeah, we’ve seen that somewhere before. Oh, and it doubles as a super-thin keyboard. Wait, what?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve no doubt seen the Cooler Master Cosmos II either online or at your local hardware retailer or LAN party. Cooler Master showcased their 'Ultra Tower' at this year's CES and we've been anxious to get it on the test bench ever since to see if it lives up to the hype.
With support for up to 13 hard drives and a total weight of nearly 50 pounds without any hardware installed, this is probably the largest case I've ever worked with in over 10 years of reviewing computer hardware.
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