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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.
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.
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.
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?
Instead of breaking new ground in performance, Ivy Bridge improves efficiency, marking the arrival of Intel's 22nm design process which uses new 3D transistors. This allows the flagship quad-core 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K to consume less power than the more modest Sandy Bridge i5-2500K.
Granted, the 19-watt power savings we recorded in our tests probably won't excite desktop users, but it does present a tangible benefit for battery-bound mobile machines. Ivy Bridge's improved fuel efficiency should grant laptops a little more mileage away from wall chargers.
If you've been a gamer for at least a decade, then you will recognize Max Payne as the PC third-person shooter of the early 2000s. Notable for its film noir style and use of the bullet time effect (The Matrix), Max Payne's character went on to surpass anyone's expectations with several console ports, a sequel, and a feature film adaptation in 2008.
It's been hinted that Max Payne 3 will make the most of current high-end PCs, with DirectX 11 tessellation compatibility and advanced graphics options. With that in mind we test it with 25 graphics card configurations and a range of CPUs.
After 11 years in the making and more setbacks than we care to count, Blizzard has finally unleashed a third installment to its cult classic dungeon crawler.
Blizzard has somewhat of a reputation for making highly scalable titles that run on virtually any gaming rigs, so that's largely what we expect from the developer's latest offering... watch us beat the hell out of Diablo III with today's finest hardware.
Considered a successor to Tribes 2, Tribes: Ascend embraces its heritage by incorporating the same fast-paced combat, tons of maps, weapons, vehicles and unique traversal mechanics.
The game is built on a modified Unreal Engine 3 and only supports DirectX 9 graphics, but the recommended specs are relatively high, calling for a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 with a quad-core processor. Considering those requirements, we're hoping the game gives our test hardware a nice workout.
As you've undoubtedly heard, the third installment of BioWare's Mass Effect trilogy hit shelves last Tuesday. Being one of the year's most anticipated launches, it's no surprise to see it with an aggregate review score of over 90.
We've benchmarked Mass Effect 3 across three different resolutions with two dozen GPU configurations -- including AMD's new Radeon HD 7000 series. We'll also see how the performance scales when overclocking an eight-core FX-8150, along with benching a handful of other Intel and AMD processors.
Although its popularity is undoubtedly aided by the cult-like status of the Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim isn't just a clone of its predecessors (we're looking at you MW3). Bethesda has made many gameplay refinements, especially to the graphics and animations -- our area of interest.
While it may not bring your PC to its knees, Skyrim promises to be the best-looking Elder Scrolls title to date with its newly developed game engine, called the "Creation Engine." As usual we have put a wide range of hardware to the test, 17 graphics cards and CPU performance comparisons await inside.
As you've undoubtedly heard, Modern Warfare 3 launched this week and, well, what can we say? The game has reportedly sold a record 9.3 million copies in a single day.
In terms of graphical fidelity though, Infinity Ward's latest effort is about as visually appealing as its 2009 predecessor. No, I don't stutter. Unfortunately, the company has focused on optimizing the game for consoles while ignoring PC development for the last five years. If you're itching to see how your DirectX 10 or 11 GPU handles a DX9 engine, then maybe MW3 has something to offer you.
Earlier this month we checked out the beta version of Battlefield 3 to see how it played on a range of DirectX 11 graphics cards. The results were concerning as even the latest and greatest graphics cards struggled, especially those who planned to enjoy the game in all of its visual glory.
The good news is that only one month later reviewers are finding the final game to be quite enjoyable and considerably more polished than the beta. Today we'll take a peak at what's required to play Battlefield 3 as we test a number of GPU and CPU configurations.
The Phenom II has had to deal with the Intel Core i7 on multiple platforms, as well as the Core i5 and Core i3 processors, for almost 3 years now. After all this time, is the pain finally coming to an end for AMD?
Today AMD is launching its new FX processor lineup comprised of the flagship FX-8150 along with the FX-8120, FX-6100 and FX-4170 processors. Keep reading as we explore the inner details of AMD's new FX series and we benchmark all four new processors being launched today.
We love that Battlefield 3 is using the PC as the lead platform rather than a console. When played on the PC the game will handle 40 more players and will take advantage DirectX 11 and 64-bit processors.
DICE recommends a quad-core CPU be used along with 4GB of system memory. As for the graphics card a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 is suggested, meaning that gamers will want to spend around $200 on a modern graphics card to appreciate Battlefield 3. Today we'll take a peak at what's required to play Battlefield 3 as we check out how the beta performs.
Newcomer 'Flying Wild Hog' has been secretly working on an early Christmas present for PC gamers, the game is called Hard Reset. Some of you may have already heard of it, as a 1GB playable demo was released last week out of nowhere.
Hard Reset is incredibly fun to play, moreover the game looks impressive, featuring quality graphics, despite it's a DX9 only title. Let’s move on to see how we tested the game.
After many years of waiting the third installment of the Deus Ex series has finally arrived, and most important of all, the game appears to be every bit as good as its predecessors.
In other good news, Deus Ex: Human Revolution could very well be a game capable of fully utilizing the power and features of today’s high-end graphics cards. Such games have become increasingly rare and with the exception of just a select few, most of the games we have run performance tests on this year have been shameful console ports that would struggle to max out a tablet PC.
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