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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 1


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


Which smartphone should I buy? Sony Xperia Z2, LG G3 or Galaxy S5?

Question asked by Akshay from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices Content | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Hi,

 

I'm wanting to purchase a new smartphone, but I'm stuck between deciding on the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and the new LG G3 smartphones. Right now, I'm using the Galaxy S4 from Samsung, and I have no issues spending more money if I get the best phone for me, which one should I buy?


Hi Akshay,

 

I have all three of those smartphones sitting next to me, and I love parts of each of them. If I had to choose between them all, I think I would push you toward the LG G3. The G3 is the latest out of all of them, has less UI bloat, and some truly great specs and features.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/9/192_08_which_smartphone_should_i_buy_sony_xperia_z2_lg_g3_or_galaxy_s5.jpg

 

For one, we have a 5.5-inch 2560x1440 screen, much higher than the Full HD 1920x1080 displays on the Xperia Z2 and Galaxy S5. LG's rear-facing camera is laser-focused, which doesn't do a huge job to make it stand out from the rest, but it does a damn good job at snapping photos and taking video. I think the G3 camera is one of the best out right now, especially when you're shooting 4K video and watching it on the 1440p display.

 

Since you've already got the Galaxy S4, it will be a little harder shifting to the LG or Sony smartphones if you're tied into the Samsung account on your phone. If you are using more Google services, and aren't tied deeply into Samsung apps, the move will be easy. In that case, I think you will really love the G3.

Does NVIDIA's SLI technology improve Blu-ray playback at all?

Question asked by Vipin from India | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: 1 week, 4 days ago

By using NVIDIA's SLI technology, will I notice any improvement in my video quality for Blu-ray rips? On fast scenes, it appears as though I'm missing something on the screen, with my monitors refresh rate of 60Hz. I'm using the NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 GPU.

 

If SLI technology helps improve the video playback, can you tell me what I have to do to get it performing better?


Hi Vipin,

 

I would say that the problem you're experiencing is due to your machine - maybe software, or your CPU not able to keep up. Your question is cryptic, so I'm going to presume that you're getting a fRAMe rate drop during intense/fast moving scenes.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/9/191_06_does_nvidia_s_sli_technology_improve_blu_ray_playback_at_all.png

 

This could be due to the Blu-ray rip you're using, have you tried a genuine Blu-ray?

 

Secondly, your monitor refreshes at 60Hz, or 60 times per second, while your Blu-ray movies (no matter if it's a rip, or a genuine image or Blu-ray disc) run at 24Hz, or 24FPS. So it would have nothing to do with your monitor, or its refresh rate.

 

If it doesn't happen on all movies, and just during the intense/fast moving scenes, I would try a different movie file to see if it happens. I'm presuming you're using .mkv files, so maybe try an .avi file to see if there's still a problem. You could also try downloading a codec pack, or if you have one, an alternative codec pack.

Which GPU should I upgrade to on my Core i7 2600K system?

Question asked by John from Singapore | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Apr 28, 2014 5:38 am

I have i7 2600K (stock clock), 8GB or Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz RAM, P67 motherboard (ASUS P8P67 Deluxe) and Seasonic S12II 620W Bronze (24A 3.3/5V, 48A 12V). I'm planning on upgrading my (now old) GTX 650 Ti Boost, which I'm using now to play Skyrim, Lost Planet 2, Company of Heroes 2 and ArmA 3 on BenQ 17" BL702A (1280x1024). Any NVIDIA 700 (or even 800, if you know any) card you can suggest or recommend for this aging rig of mine?


Hi John,

 

That's a good question - as you have an older generation CPU and a much older monitor. You could have a $1000 budget, but I would still recommend getting yourself a mid-range GPU - something still capable of driving games at 1920x1080, but will suffice for your 1280x1024 screen you have now.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/8/185_03_which_gpu_should_i_upgrade_to_on_my_core_i7_2600k_system.jpg

 

I would suggest looking at the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760, and more specifically, the EVGA GeForce GX 760 SuperClocked Edition, which has a great aftermarket cooler. This can be purchased on Amazon for $249.99 - but obviously the price might vary a little over in Singapore.

 

This isn't breaking the bank, and will play games at 1920x1080 without a problem. Alternatively, you could spend a little less, and grab yourself the GIGABYTE Radeon R9 270 GPU, which is on Amazon for $179.99.

 

The next upgrade I would suggest would be getting yourself an SSD if you don't already have one - and then, of course, the monitor!

How do I create a new Gmail account?

Question asked by Bob from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Software Content | Posted: Apr 22, 2014 5:21 am

How do I make a new Gmail aDDRess/account?


Hi Bob,

 

I think the problem here is that you aren't signing out of your current Gmail account, so there's no option to create a new account. There's two options here: sign out of your current account, and then visit Gmail.com, or if you're using Chrome, you can use Incognito mode to create a new account.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/8/184_05_how_do_i_create_a_new_gmail_account.jpg

 

Once you've done either of those options, visit Gmail.com and you'll be greeted with the screen above. Click on "Create an account" and you'll go through the steps to create yourself a new Gmail account! If you run into any troubles, send us through another Ask the Experts question and we'll walk you though.

Help me choose a new GPU for playing League of Legends and Aion

Question asked by Kent from Malaysia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Mar 20, 2014 12:27 am

Lately I have thinking to upgrade my current MSI GeForce GTX560 Ti to another card. But I don't know what to choose, either the SAPPHIRE TOXIC R9 270X 2GB, PALIT GeForce GTX 760 JETSTREAM or SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X R9 280X 3GB GDDR5 OC.

 

My rig setting are Intel Core i7-2600K Processor, 8GB G.SKILL Ripjaws, ASRock z68 Extreme4 motherboard and Enermax 700W PSU. What you guys can suggest for me? I play League of Legends and AI/ON a lot. Need your expert advice.


Hi Kent,

 

You have a CPU that probably needs to be upgraded, but that would require a new motherboard - so we'll tackle the GPU you want to upgrade.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/8/183_05_help_me_choose_a_new_gpu_for_playing_league_of_legends_and_aion.jpg

 

I would suggest grabbing the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 280X VAPOR-X, as it is definitely the best out of all of the GPUs you have given me to choose from. The R9 280X will last the longest, right through to when you replace your CPU and motherboard.

 

It will play all of the latest games at high detail without a problem, especially League of Legends and Aion!

Which smartphone? Galaxy S4 or Nexus 5?

Question asked by Heidi from New Zealand | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices Content | Posted: Mar 11, 2014 4:32 am

Trying to decide between Samsung GS4 9505 or Nexus 5

 

Camera and storage both big priorities for me, as well as battery talk time (I like being able to have a spare battery on hand to swap over if necessary, not so easy with the Nexus).

 

Also performance/speed is important, as well as large screen. My main phone uses are calling, email, web browsing, photos.

 

I understand that the GS4 has a 13mp camera, and the Nexus 5 only 8 but how do the sensors compare?


Hi Heidi,

 

You bring up some good points, where you require a great rear-facing camera and storage - which would have me siding on the side of Samsung's Galaxy S4... but then you also want performance and speed, which is something that the Nexus 5 does well.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/8/182_04_which_smartphone_galaxy_s4_or_nexus_5.jpg

 

I'll split this into two answers:

 

Going for the Galaxy S4: The Galaxy S4 is a great smartphone, and is something I recommend if you already own a Galaxy-branded smartphone as it won't seem like such a change. The rear-facing camera on the S4 is better than the Nexus 5, too.

 

Expandable storage is also another benefit of the Galaxy S4 versus the Nexus 5 - where you can slot in a massive 64GB microSD card and enjoy mass amounts of storage. The screen is pretty much identical to the Nexus 5, so you're not benefiting there.

 

I think Samsung's TouchWiz UI is quite bloatiful - slowing the phone down, and adding unnecessary apps to the smartphone. This slows it down considerably (especially with a bunch of widgets, etc all over your home screens).

 

On the side of the Nexus 5: Pure Android - it's beautiful. There's no special third-party UI (user interface) splashed on top. This is the way Google wants you to experience Android.

 

The Nexus 5's rear-facing camera is good, but not great. It's a gigantic leap over the Nexus 4's rear-facing snapper, but the Galaxy S4 wins here.

 

There's no expandable storage, so 32GB is all you get. But even on my Nexus 5 which I've owned since its release, I still have a few GB spare on my 16GB model and I snap photos and keep everything synced from my Google Glass on it, too.

 

What I think you should buy: The Nexus 5 is $449 AU or $477 NZD. This is a huge win for the Nexus 5, as the Galaxy S4 is at a minimum, $550+ for the 32GB model. Kogan sells the Galaxy S4 for $499 - which is ridiculously cheap, considering it is $600+ everywhere else.

 

Even then, I still recommend the Nexus 5. I think you will not be disappointed.

Do I need to upgrade for the full benefits of PCIe 3.0?

Question asked by Konstantin from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Motherboards Content | Posted: Feb 5, 2014 3:58 am

I have a PCI-E 2.0 mobo and a Saphire HD 6960 2GB video card that is running 3x27" screens. It can pull most games on medium in an Eyefinity, however, I would love to upgrade so that I can run it at High or Ultra settings.

 

I have been considering getting a new video card, however, I don't know whether I should go all out and buy a whole new PCI-E 3.0 setup, seeing that it is x2 the speed of a PCI-E 2.0 or just buy a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti for my PCI-E 2.0 mobo and deal with whatever performance I get out of it.


Hi Konstantin,

 

This is a great question, and one that I can answer quite easily: no, you don't need to upgrade, your motherboard will be fine.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/8/181_100_do_i_need_to_upgrade_for_the_full_benefits_of_pcie_3_0.jpg

 

Sure, there are benefits to upgrading to a fresh new motherboard, but the bandwidth required, and what you will get out of it isn't worth it. There are some very, very slight performance improvements that the third generation of PCIe offers, but it's not worth the $200+ on a new motherboard.

 

My recommendation: Buy that awesome NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti, and leave your motherboard upgrade for after Computex, which kicks off in June.

What new monitor should I get? 4K or 120Hz?

Question asked by Chris from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors Content | Posted: Jan 14, 2014 4:36 am

Hi

 

I have been thinking about buyingupgrading a new monitor for a while and a mate has always told me to go for the 120Hz monitors, which I have been considering, but with the new 4K monitors coming out at a relatively decent price, what would you guys recommend?

 

Cheers

 

Chris


Hi Chris,

 

I'm going to answer your question two ways, because either way is going to be a great upgrade for you. There are benefits of shifting over to 4K, but there are also benefits of 120Hz monitors, too.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/8/180_01_what_new_monitor_should_i_get_4k_or_120hz.jpg

 

Going 4K: I have a 4K TV sitting to my left, which goes mostly unused due to its mammoth size. At 39 inches, it's a little too big for a PC monitor, but there are some very nice looking 28-inch 4K-capable monitors coming out very shortly, for under $1000.

 

These monitors will do 3840x2160 @ 60Hz, which is perfect for gaming and general desktop use. The only issue is having the GPU horsepower to drive all of those on-screen pixels. Do you have enough GPU grunt to do so? Do you enjoy high resolution versus high fRAMe rate (120FPS minimum)? If the answer is 'yes', then you should grab one of the upcoming Dell 4K monitors.

 

The 120Hz route: On another desk here in my office, I have a 27-inch 120Hz-capable Full HD monitor. I love that it is capable of 120Hz, and if you're playing first-person shooters like Battlefield, Call of Duty or Counter-Strike, then a 120Hz monitor might be a better idea.

 

But the performance requirement comes into it again. Sure, you don't need to drive the massive amount of pixels that 4K requires, but you need to be doing 1920x1080 at 120FPS minimum in order to get the best out of a 120Hz monitor.

 

Sideline discussion: The 4K monitor will give you a better picture, colors, and sharpness. The 120Hz monitor will give you fluidity and smoothness. There's a tradeoff for each monitor, so you have to decide which is better in your camp - the higher resolution, or higher refresh rate. Both monitors are going to impress you.

What do you think of my recent GPU upgrade?

Question asked by Erick from Brazil | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 17, 2013 11:24 pm

Hi guys. My rig:

 

Intel Core i5 3450, 8GB RAM, 240GB SSD Racer from VisionTek, Hadron Air case (with its own 500W PSU). My GPU now is a AMD Radeon HD7850 2GB. I play mostly hack 'n' slashes (Torchlight 2, Diablo 3), and occasionally something up to Deus Ex: Human Revolution but not too often. I use to play those high graphics games at 1600xsomething resolution, to keep FPS high.

 

I got a ASUS GTX670 Mini DirectCU for 249 dollars. My reasons to choose it was: 1. size, it's the perfect match for the EVGA Hadron Air small size. 2. Still future proof for my gaming profile.

 

My question is... Was it a waste of money for my gaming profile? Besides the fact that I can crank up my playing resolution now... What you guys think?


Hi Erick,

 

Upgrading from your Radeon HD 7850 to the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 is quite the move, you should be seeing some improvements in performance, but I think your resolution and the games you're playing are holding you back.

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/7/178_05_what_do_you_think_of_my_recent_gpu_upgrade.jpg

 

This is most likely why you might be thinking its a waste of money - what I would recommend, for the games you're playing, is crank everything else up. Increase the anti-aliasing and anistrophic filtering, as well as all of the in-game details.

 

You have plenty of GPU horsepower that isn't being used, especially if you're playing at resolutions less than 1920x1080.

 

As for the GPU, the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DC Mini is a great card, a super-small card that packs a serious performance punch. I don't think you've wasted money at all! Once you move into higher resolutions, you'll still be able to play games without sacrificing too much in-game quality.

I need a new GPU, what do you recommend?

Question asked by Milos from Serbia and Montenegro | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 12, 2013 4:32 am

I want to replace my current GPU - MSI 6950 TFIII PE OC. My configuration is:

 

  • Core i7 4770k @ 4.5GHz
  • ASUS Maximus VI Hero
  • 8GB G.Skill RAM
  • 1x 60GB SSD
  • 1x 1TB HDD
  • DVD/CD burner
  • Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced
  • Seasonic SS-620GB

 

As I mentioned, I want to change my GPU, but don't know which one to buy. My biggest dilemma is should I buy NVIDIA or AMD? Budget is around 400 euros.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

Milos


Hi Milos,

 

You have a great system there! Once you've acquired your new GPU, you'll be enjoying games in a whole new light. But, it's a hard decision between NVIDIA and AMD, isn't it?

 

TweakTown image asktheexperts/1/7/177_03_i_need_a_new_gpu_what_do_you_recommend.jpg

 

I would say that the new AMD Radeon R9 290X is the best bet, but you have a 400 euro budget - which is around $550 US or so. The R9 290X is $599, which is a bit out of your budget. If you want to go on Team Green, and get the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780, it would cost you just $499.

 

For $499, the GeForce GTX 780 is an amazing GPU, and would play any game at 1080p at 60FPS with high/ultra graphics settings. I think I'm confident in recommending the GTX 780, you won't regret it!

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