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Like the original game, Far Cry 3 is set on a tropical island, this time found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In typical TechSpot fashion, we'll be testing Far Cry 3's open world environment using 29 DirectX 11 graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia across all price ranges.
This new game is built using an advanced version of the Dunia engine called Dunia 2, which is said to feature new water rendering technology, a realistic weather system, advanced AI technology, a new animation system, realistic facial expressions, motion capture technology and global illumination -- many of which are made possible by the game's adoption of DirectX 11 and can only be experienced on the PC version.
Earlier this year we reviewed OCZ's flagship Vertex 4 SSD which at the time we were lead to believe was based on a second-generation Everest controller developed in-house. Eventually it was revealed and later confirmed by OCZ that the Octane and Vertex 4 drives actually used Marvell controllers with firmware developed in-house by the Indillinx team. While we acknowledged that it was very sneaky on OCZ’s behalf, it also didn’t change things much for us. Regardless of who did or didn't make the controller, the Vertex 4 was still one of the best performers and best values in the high-end SSD segment.
So with the controversy of the Vertex 4 almost behind them, OCZ is finally ready to unveil its first truly in-house SSD controller. It's been three years since Indilinx released a brand new controller and they are doing so today with the Barefoot 3, which is to be featured in OCZ’s latest SSD series known as Vector.
After a busy year with numerous GPU releases by mid-September things had settled down for good. And then, AMD threw us a curve ball. Their Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers delivered major performance gains in many popular games such as Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Civilization V, Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II. Around the same time, Nvidia released a new beta driver of its own which claimed gains in several titles, and this driver has since been replaced by the GeForce 310.61 update, which made further performance enhancements.
With updated pricing and performance across the board, we figured it would be worth revisiting both company's offerings to see where you should spend your hard-earned cash this holiday season and into early next year.
The major issue with SSD adoption over the past few years has been price, the astronomically high price when you are counting in hundreds of gigabytes. In today's comparison review we are going to look at 8 popular SSDs that cost $100 or less and feature capacities of up to 128GB.
The contenders include the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, Samsung 840 120GB and Crucial m4 128GB. The most affordable high-capacity SSD featured in our roundup is the Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB, while the OCZ Vertex 4 64GB, Crucial m4 64GB and Samsung 830 64GB should all offer stellar performance for under $80.
Microsoft sits on the edge of a product launch that is plainly among the most important in the company’s history. It comes at a time when the company’s traditional hardware partners are facing ferocious market pressure from the commoditization of their products, and of course, the juggernaut known as the iPad.
As can be expected, the company’s many cheerleaders and haters are out in full force. Pundits can and will pontificate on Windows 8’s chances. However, what might be more useful is looking at Microsoft’s other make or break moments. The upcoming launch is far from the first time that Redmond has fought with its back against a wall. A backward glance at these moments, and careful evaluation of them, may provide a better, ahem, window into the company’s chances this Winter.
First, let's get something out of the way. Most of what's really new in Windows 8 relates to the Metro touch interface, which is Microsoft's biggest bet on this OS generation -- a bet that's risky but necessary given the company's lack of presence in the growing tablet market. This is also how the folks at Redmond have figured could give a needed boost to its smartphone business (“Windows everywhere”), which is well behind market leaders, iOS and Android.
This review is based on my experience with Windows 8 using a desktop, so I've been treating Windows 8 like most computer enthusiasts will: as a direct upgrade from Windows 7 on my custom-built machine, just like I did with Vista, XP, 2k, and other previous Windows releases.
While the Samsung 830 Series and many of its year-old peers may still be attractive, Samsung is ready to move on to bigger and better things. Their new flagship offering, the SSD 840 Pro, is said to refine the 830 Series' firmware with faster random and sustained performance as well as improved reliability.
Since most SSD competitors use the same rehashed components, Samsung has been in a unique position to shake things up over the last few years, and it's done a fine job. We had nearly no expectations for 2010's 470 Series, but we were pleasantly surprised when it dominated our performance charts. Last year's 830 Series gave a repeat performance, so we can only hope the same of the 840 Pro.
Not only are SSDs faster than HDDs, but they also consume less power and generate less heat. They're quieter, more reliable and more compact than their spinning counterparts. Talking about compact...
We recently took notice when Crucial announced its m4 mSATA SSD in a 256GB capacity at under $1/GB. The mSATA drive is tiny compared to Crucial's standard 2.5" m4, and despite the size difference, both 256GB models feature the same read and write speeds of 500MB/s and 260MB/s -- an exciting prospect, indeed. Assuming there are no catches, Crucial's new mSATA offering could become the go-to solution for ultraportable upgrades...
Nvidia shook up the enthusiast GPU market last month when it launched its most affordable Kepler offering yet. At $299, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti was $100 cheaper than the GTX 670, while being just 13% slower. Likewise, the GTX 660 Ti was faster and more power efficient than the competing Radeon HD 7870, despite matching it on price.
Ever eager to keep AMD on its toes, Nvidia continues its push into the mid-range market with a Kepler-based card that is expected to retail for about $230 -- right in-between AMD's Radeon HD 7850 and 7870. The GTX 660 is based on the new 28nm GK106 that nonetheless keeps all the key innovations introduced by the GTX 680.
In addition to its new iPhone 5, Apple has unveiled several new iPod products during today's press event. First up, the revamped iPod nano deviates from its predecessor's square-like 1.47 x 1.61-inch design and looks more like a minature iPhone. It's said to be the thinnest nano to date...
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