Breaking down today's best hardware across five price points, from Budget Box to Extreme Machine, the TechSpot PC buying guide was recently updated with our latest recommendations. Now, for the first time, we are actually going to build each system and show you the kind of performance each price point delivers.
The Witcher 3 is the New Crysis We have tested nineteen DirectX 11 graphics cards to find out how the game performs in both AMD and Nvidia hardware. After extensive testing it's clear why The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt doesn't look nearly as good as the 2013's trailer: even in its current uber beautiful form, the game is simply too demanding for today's hardware.
While frequency is a decent indicator of how well a CPU will perform in some programs, when the ability to use multiple cores is factored in it can get tricky as not all programs are as efficient at using them. Using a mathematical equation called Amdahl's Law you can determine how efficient your program is at using multiple CPU cores (it's parallelization efficiency) and then use that to estimate the performance of different CPU models of similar architecture.
Project CARS (or Community Assisted Racing Simulator) is a racing sim game that's been on everyone's radar since its drool-inducing visuals started to make the rounds as far back as 2012. In short, the game looks amazing and is the most visually impressive racing simulator we have ever seen. Now let's benchmark it.
An avalanche of reports started to surface last September when users began to notice that their usually speedy Samsung SSD 840 and SSD 840 EVO drives were no longer performing as they used to. We've looked deep into the problem to understand what's been fixed and what hasn't. Samsung owes its customers an explanation.
Had Samsung's SM951 arrived before we reviewed the Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB I think our conclusion might have been a little less favorable for the Intel drive. The SSD 750 may tout NVMe support, but Samsung's SM951 is generally faster while being more affordable.
PC gamers are finally getting their chance to play the latest entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. Rockstar has made many improvements to the PC version, including increased resolution and graphical detail, denser traffic, greater draw distances, upgraded AI, new wildlife, and advanced weather and damage effects. So far GTA V looks to be truly optimized for PC and we are set to test the heck of it now.
With desktop CPU prices ranging from as little as $60 to over $600 there are options for everyone wanting to buy or build a new Intel system. The Core i3 is intended as entry-level, the Core i5 is geared for mainstream usage, and the mighty Core i7 is meant for high-end systems and enthusiasts. But what do you get by spending more? Here's your answer.
Android 5.0 Lollipop tested in the Moto X, Moto G, LG G3 and Galaxy S5. We explore how updates to the core architecture in Android 5.0 have improved performance and battery life on existing handsets. Here's how it went down...
These days you might expect buying a new processor to be fairly straightforward. The choice seems clear: Intel has proven to offer superior core performance with considerably greater efficiency. However, many enthusiasts argue that AMD offers better overclocking on its more affordable processors and therefore delivers a better bang for your buck. We put that notion to the test.
Battlefield Hardline is scheduled to arrive on March 17 but starting this week you can get your frag on for free during EA's open beta phase. While the Battlefield Hardline beta will be available to gamers on all platforms folks playing on PC can use this performance preview to determine what kind of fps your graphics card will deliver.
Dying Light takes place in an expansive urban environment where players navigate using free running 'parkour' mechanics while scavenge for supplies to craft weapons and defend against the city's growing infected population. It's the first game built with the Chrome Engine 6, which is a proprietary 3D game engine developed by Techland that was first used over 10 years ago in Speedway Grand Prix and sci-fi shooter Chrome.
Older CPUs would simply fail if they started to overheat, but modern CPUs adjust their frequency based on temperature (among other things) to prevent a dramatic failure. Because of this, it stands to reason that once you reach certain temps, you will no longer be getting the maximum performance from your CPU because it will be busy protecting itself. But what is that temperature? And do you really need a high-end liquid-cooled system to get peak performance?
Ubisoft's new action-driving MMO has 7,000 miles of roads, 15 cities and 15 million individual objects. The Crew has been designed for the latest generation consoles and PCs, though the former are capped at 30fps/1080p while our preferred platform ought to look and feel better with a 60fps cap and a higher res. Here's our full PC benchmark test.
PC gamers can expect a crisper, more detailed world in Dragon Age: Inquisition, though precisely how crisp and detailed will depend on your setup. As usual we've put some hardware to the test, including the latest AMD and Nvidia GPUs, in total 25 DirectX 11 GPU graphics card configurations from both companies covering all prices.
Graphics have always been a selling point of the Far Cry series as few games offer the same open world environments that can be experienced in Far Cry. The latest iteration is no exception. Being an Nvidia "The Way It's Meant to be Played" title, FC4 has loads of optimizations for GeForce cards, including HBAO+, PCSS, TXAA, Godrays, and HairWorks. If nothing else, this should make it all the more interesting to compare results.
Classified as a survival horror/stealth game instead of an action shooter, Alien: Isolation differs from last year's Alien: Colonial Marines in that there is just one Alien who can't be killed, requiring you to employ stealth tactics. The game has plenty of pants-wetting moments and sounds like a blast if you're comfortable with soiling yourself, but we're more interested in Alien: Isolation's performance when running at max quality and varying resolutions.
Already one of the most iconic and atmospheric first-person shooters around, Metro has received some post-release polish that should present a greater challenge for today's GPUs. Metro Redux features improved versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, including completely remastered visuals.
Released in early June, SanDisk's Extreme Pro is the successor to the venerable Extreme II, which was among the best SSDs of its generation in terms of performance and reliability. The drive is aimed at gamers, enthusiasts and professionals who demand the highest real-world performance, and will trade blows with Samsung's excellent SSD 850 Pro.
The biggest news for Mantle since being announced as a method of improving performance in games by allowing them to use your CPU and GPU more efficiently, has been support from DICE's Frostbite 3 engine (and by extension, Battlefield 4). Recently that support expanded to Eidos' Thief, while Crytek revealed at GDC 2014 that CryEngine will support it too. AMD says its latest update is of "tremendous benefit to a large cross-section of the gaming public" so we are keen to check it out.