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Helping with tech questions - TweakTown's Ask the Experts - Page 12


TweakTown's Ask the Experts


Can any current-generation laptop have its DVDRW drive removed for a Blu-ray drive in its place?

Question asked by Jean-Paul from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Laptops Content | Posted: Nov 14, 2012 3:33 am

Can any current-generation laptop handle switching out the internal optical drive for a blu-ray drive? Is it chipset-dependent, or something else?

 

Thank you!


Hi Jean-Paul,

 

This should be fine, but it does come down to the system you have. Current-generation notebooks are fine, because the GPUs inside the notebook should handle the encoding required for Blu-ray. If not, you can get very slim, USB-powered Blu-ray drives.

 

can_any_current_generation_laptop_have_its_dvdrw_drive_removed_for_a_blu_ray_drive_in_its_place_06

 

Current-generation notebooks should be fine, and I would be very surprised if any recent notebook couldn't handle an internal drive. If you'd like to shoot me an e-mail with your notebook model, I can look into it more for you.

What's the best GPU for gaming at 1600x900?

Question asked by Dude from Australia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 13, 2012 8:49 am

I have a question, What is the best GPU for my 1600x900 resolution monitor?

I will use it mostly for gaming and video editing in the future. And i want decent amount of FPS while playing BF3 on single player about 45-50fps is ok on me! :)


Hey... dude!

 

Well, it would really depend on what GPU you've got, considering the game you want to play is Battlefield 3 as the game is really CPU dependent, but we'll help out as much as possible.

 

what_s_the_best_gpu_for_gaming_at_1600x900_01

 

For 1600x900, you could go for a mid-ranged card, and depending on which team you like to game on, you could go for an AMD Radeon HD 7850, or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660. I'll use Scorpion Technology as a site for price references since you're based in Australia.

 

You could get the ASUS GeForce GTX 660 DirectCU II card for $275, or the ASUS Radeon HD 7850 DirectCU II for $235. Both GPUs come with 2GB of RAM, and both GPUs are ASUS' kick arse DirectCU II versions - overclocked and sport better heatsink fan combos to boot.

 

These cards would comfortably run BF3 at 1600x900 @ 50-60fps in single-player without a problem!

My Radeon HD 7850 can't run the latest Need for Speed: Most Wanted at 1080p on high graphics

Question asked by Daris from Indonesia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Gaming Content | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 2:56 am

I just bought NFS Most Wanted (from criterion, the new one) and I was amazed that my 7850 won't cut the game at high settings. I would get frame drops that could get my frames to go below 30 per second. So I'm forced to get the settings to medium and then it's playable but still, I got drops that put my fps to the mid 30s. Yes the game has got excellent graphics, but I thought my Graphics would run every game at 1920x1080 High settings?

 

My Question is, is this normal? I would probably wait until they release the 12.11 Catalyst driver for download, but I don't think it'll fix this significantly when there is a problem in my system.

 

My system:

  • FX-8120
  • M5A99X Evo
  • Corsair 4GBx2
  • HD 7850

 

Thank you.


Hi Daris,

 

I would say that your video card is beginning to meet its match when it comes to performance. NFS: Most Wanted is pretty graphics heavy, and it might be a little too much to run 1920x1080 at high graphics on your GPU.

 

my_radeon_hd_7850_can_t_run_the_latest_need_for_speed_most_wanted_at_1080p_on_high_graphics_10

 

You would have two options here, upgrade - to something like the HD 7950 or 7970, or drop the graphics settings. Within this option, you could split into two again - drop the resolution to say 1280x720 and keep the graphics up on high, or keep the resolution at 1920x1080 and drop the graphics settings to a mix of medium/high.

 

I would say it's normal, and as new drivers come out (as you've stated) there should be performance improvements, but they're usually limited to around 5-10% boosts.

Should I SLI my current GeForce GTX 660 or upgrade to a faster GPU and SLI that in the future?

Question asked by Reece from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 9, 2012 3:43 am

Would it be better to SLI my GTX 660 or sell it and buy a 7970 or GTX 670 and possibly Xfire/SLI that in the future?


Hi Reece,

 

The GeForce GTX 660 you currently own is great, and in SLI would be a great setup. But, a single GPU is always better than two slower mid-range cards, as you have the ability to slot in another one.

 

should_i_sli_my_current_geforce_gtx_660_or_upgrade_to_a_faster_gpu_and_sli_that_in_the_future_01

 

I would suggest getting yourself a single GeForce GTX 670, and then as you need the extra performance, grab another and throw it in for some GTX 670 SLI action. The GTX 670 is a great GPU and in SLI, you'll get some seriously slick performance out of it.

 

With GTX 670s in SLI, you should be able to run every single game out now at max settings at over 60fps at 1080p.

I've just upgraded my rig and want to get a new GPU, what card should I get?

Question asked by Scott from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 8, 2012 3:46 am

So I just upgraded from a E8400 and 4 gigs of DDR2 ram to a i5-3570k and 16 gigs of DDR3-1600 ram and a new ASUS VS Series VS247H-P. I'm keeping the SSD and 550W power supply that I have in my case, but I'm thinking that I will need to upgrade my video card to maximize my rig's gaming potential. I'm a medical student on a poor-man's budget, so would it be worth upgrading from a EVGA GeForce GTX 460 Fermi? If so, what should I get?


Hi Scott,

 

Not knowing your exact budget will make it hard, but let's stick to around $200, shall we? For $200 you could get yourself a pretty decent graphics card, something that would be faster than your current EVGA GeForce GTX 460 card.

 

i_ve_just_upgraded_my_rig_and_want_to_get_a_new_gpu_what_card_should_i_get_06

 

NewEgg offers EVGA's SuperClocked 2GB GeForce GTX 660 card for $229.99, alternatively, you can get a HIS Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition for $229.99.

 

Both cards would use less power, be quieter, and run much cooler than your Fermi architecture-based GPU. I hope this has helped your decision!

For 2560x1440 gaming, is a GeForce GTX 670 fast enough?

Question asked by Shah from Indonesia | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Nov 7, 2012 5:53 am

Is a GeForce GTX 670 enough for a good gaming experience at 2560x1440 or do I need to step up to a Radeon HD 7970 or higher?


Hi Shah,

 

At 2560x1440 (and higher) the amount of memory on the card becomes a valuable asset in most games, so starting from the 2GB GeForce GTX 670 is a good start. If you were to crank up the anti-aliasing to 8-16x, you might find that 2GB of RAM a bit restrictive.

 

for_2560x1440_gaming_is_a_geforce_gtx_670_fast_enough_07

 

But, personally, I find at high resolutions like 2560x1440, the effects of anti-aliasing are not as strong as the game is being rendered at an already high resolution. So, a single GeForce GTX 670 should be absolutely fine for today's games. Tomorrow's games, that's a different question.

 

I would still recommend sticking to the single GTX 670, but maybe take a look at an overclocked card from ASUS or MSI - as their offerings are really kick ass. You could upgrade to the Radeon HD 7970 - but the performance increase isn't going to be that big, and NVIDIA (personally speaking) generally have better driver and game support.

 

On NewEgg's website, the ASUS 4GB GeForce GTX670 is only $40 more than the 2GB - so that could be another option for you.

 

But then I do have a soft spot for MSI's Twin Frozr range of cards, with the MSI 2GB GeForce GTX 670 Twin Frozr IV card just $389.99 - $30 less than the 2GB ASUS and $70 less than the 4GB ASUS card.

I'm having problems using the Facebook video calling feature on my Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

Question asked by May Ann from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices Content | Posted: Nov 4, 2012 6:41 am

Just bought my tablet a week ago ,actually a Samsung Galaxy Note.. and I'm really getting a hard time on how to use the Facebook video calling.. is it really gonna work in here..? Help..


Hi May Ann,

 

On the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Note, I would suggest downloading the proper Skype app to do your video-calling. I use multiple Android devices, and Skype is the best app to use as it's pretty much universal - it's on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

 

i_m_having_problems_using_the_facebook_video_calling_feature_on_my_samsung_galaxy_note_smartphone_05

 

Facebook partnered up with Skype for their video calling feature anyway, but Skype as a standalone app is much better, and easier.

 

And for you, someone who is having problems getting Facebook video calls to work, Skype is your perfect alternative. I personally use Skype on my Android device, to call my sister-in-law's iPhone, or my friends' Android-based phones.

 

Let me know how you go!

Which tablet should I buy? The fourth-gen iPad, or the Galaxy Note 10.1?

Question asked by Sanjay from Nigeria | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices Content | Posted: Nov 1, 2012 4:17 am

I want to buy either apple iPad 4 or Galaxy Note 10.1. I do not know which one is better, please guide.


Hi Sanjay,

 

This really is a hard question, as purchasing a tablet is a very personal decision. I'll answer this in two ways - first, hardware wise, the iPad is the better tablet. It sports a higher resolution "Retina" display at 2048x1536, compared to the 1280x800 display on the Note 10.1. Sure, the Note 10.1 has a quad-core processor, but there is tonnes of "bloatware" installed onto the tablet, slowing it down - unless you remove it.

 

which_tablet_should_i_buy_the_fourth_gen_ipad_or_the_galaxy_note_10_1_09

 

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is more flexible in the way that it has expandable storage, the S Pen, and Android as its operating system. But in my review of it, it just felt very cheap and not up to standard. I think the iPad is the winner here, for sure.

 

The second part of this answer comes down to which OS you run on your smartphone - iOS (iPhone) or Android. If you're running Android, it might make more sense to grab the Note 10.1 - if you're an avid fan. Personally, I'm a huge fan of Android, and I still recommend getting the iPad. The iPad really is one of the best tablets on the market, but then we have one final part of this tablet puzzle - Google's Nexus 10.

 

I would wait for that, and then make your decision. If you need to buy it now, get the fourth-gen iPad, if you can wait a couple of weeks - grab the Nexus 10. The Nexus 10 sports a 2560x1600-pixel display, beating out the Retina display on the iPad. It also includes Android 4.2 which, in my opinion, is better than iOS 6 on the iPad.

What GPUs should I buy for a 5760x1080 @ 120Hz setup for Sim racing?

Question asked by James from United Kingdom (Great Britain) | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 6:43 am

I'd like to be able to run 3 monitors at 5760x1080 and 120Hz for sim racing, but I can't work out what combination of gfx cards I will need to power this. As well as whether I will need any further adapters and If so what. Can you suggest a setup? I have no major brand preference and it would be on an I7 3820 and Asus P9X79 machine, although that can be changed if required.


Hi James,

 

It would just so happen that I run the same monitor setup, and let me tell you this - 120Hz is hard on any GPU. I would suggest looking at a minimum of 2-3 GPUs, but you don't necessarily need to go right up to the best GPUs on the market.

 

what_gpus_should_i_buy_for_a_5760x1080_120hz_setup_for_sim_racing_03

 

I would suggest grabbing a handful of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670s, as they offer the best price/performance ratio right now, as well as great multi-monitor support and much better 120Hz support than AMD. Your motherboard supports quad-SLI, so you could even splurge and get four GTX 670s for some amazing frame rates.

 

The issue is, you'll want to achieve 120 frames per second minimum on those screens, to enjoy the fluidity of the 120Hz monitors. This will require some grunt, so it all comes down to how much you want to spend. I would look at getting 2 at first, minimum, if not three. See how the performance goes, and then buy the GPUs as you see fit.

 

You could just go all out and buy a 4-way GTX 670 setup, which is probably the best option. You'd be looking at around $369.99 per GeForce GTX 670 (MSI brand), which isn't too bad if you're looking to for at least three of them.

I currently use an AMD Radeon GPU, am I denying myself a better experience by not switching to NVIDIA?

Question asked by Owen from United States | Answered by Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Oct 31, 2012 2:59 am

I've been on the ATI/AMD side of the Graphics card battle for eight years. I now have the time to play games, >240 of every variety, for about three to four hours a day. Am I denying myself a better experience by not trying/switching to Nvidia?


Hi Owen,

 

This is actually a very good question, thanks for asking it. I could come at this in multiple ways, but I don't think there is much argument that there is something "missing" from not switching over to NVIDIA from AMD. NVIDIA doesn't really offer much different, unless you're talking about doing something more exotic, such as a multi-monitor setup.

 

i_current_use_an_amd_radeon_gpu_am_i_denying_myself_a_better_experience_by_not_switching_to_nvidia_01

 

NVIDIA do have PhysX, but PhysX supported games are few and far between. Even when they do have support built in, it's not like the entire game world changes that much to the point of "I must own an NVIDIA GPU, right now!"

 

I personally think NVIDIA's multi-monitor tech is better, I've had a much simpler time setting that up and running it than I ever did with my Radeon GPU setups, but this changes setup to setup. It would really depend on the setup you've got, and which GPU. You would probably benefit upgrading to an NVIDIA card, as they offer some great price/performance ratios right now.

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