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NVIDIA beats AMD in our early benchmarks of The Division

By: Anthony Garreffa | Gaming Content | Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3:37 am



Ubisoft has had its biggest launch ever with The Division, with it selling more copies in its first 24 hours than any other Ubisoft game, ever. Well, thankfully The Division has a built-in benchmark that I've spent the last 4-5 hours inside of, testing it out on my two fastest GPUs - AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan X.



I'm testing out The Division on our VGA testbed for now, but I will be doing some deeper comparisons in the coming weeks between the Intel Core i7-6700K, Core i7-5960X and AMD's FX-8350 processor. We'll do some more testing very soon (hopefully over the weekend) at 11,520 x 2160 (triple 4K) which should stress out all of our video cards, and bring them to their knees.

Continue reading 'NVIDIA beats AMD in our early benchmarks of The Division' (full post)

One month with the Thecus N5810 PRO NAS - it's NAStastic!

By: Anthony Garreffa | Storage Content | Posted: Feb 7, 2016 2:05 am

It was sometime in 2009 that I plunged into the NAS world when I purchased my QNAP TS-639 PRO. At the time, it was a beast. I remember spending around $5000 buying the NAS and 4 x 1TB (in RAID5) and 2 x 1.5TB drives at the time. The QNAP TS-639 PRO was a 6-bay, 1GbE NAS that took 6 x SATA 3Gbps drives, and had various functions and features you could use for years to come.




It was expensive, but it was oh-so-worth it. Before that, I was using a small Netbook for my NAS-like storage, with external USB drives and their respective cables flying out of it like an octopus on drugs. It was messy, but it worked. After securing the QNAP TS-639 PRO and taking weeks to get it set up how I wanted, it was worth the investment.


The trusty QNAP TS-639 PRO worked without a hitch, turned on 24/7 and used extensively right up into 2015, then one of my 1.5TB drives died. After that, the NAS started slowing down, and towards the end of 2015, I was getting around 100-500KB/sec on network transfers, when it should've been more like the 80-100MB/sec that I was used to.

Continue reading 'One month with the Thecus N5810 PRO NAS - it's NAStastic!' (full post)

We take a quick look at Futuremark's new VR benchmark - VRMark

By: Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Dec 23, 2015 8:26 am

Futuremark has been around for what feels like forever, with the Finnish company being one of the first on the market with a mainstream benchmark that stressed your PC. Everyone remembers 3DMark and the iconic Matrix-like tests from 3DMark 2001... well, they have come a fair way since then!




Fast forward to today, and we have Futuremark on the precipice of releasing a DX12-based 3DMark in the New Year, as well as VRMark. Futuremark recently released the VRMark Preview with a new UI into 3DMark as part of a holiday beta. The 2016 version of 3DMark will include a benchmark for VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

Continue reading 'We take a quick look at Futuremark's new VR benchmark - VRMark' (full post)

Our VGA benchmarking PC has been updated with Windows 10

By: Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Dec 9, 2015 12:19 am

This is something we've been needing to do for a while, but we've finally moved out video card benchmarking machine over to Windows 10. I used Windows 7 throughout the release of Windows 8 and even Windows 8.1, as it seemed that most people weren't moving over to it, and I knew Windows 10 would be the OS to shift to.




So here we are, with our VGA benchmarking rig upgraded to Windows 10. I'm running the 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home, with the same hardware we were using before - except for a major upgrade on the storage side of things.


Our storage editor Jon sent me a 2TB SSD from Samsung because the game installs are getting out of control. I've got a handful of games that are over 50GB, and my 480GB SSD is feeling this pain. An upgrade to 2TB is absolutely awesome, something that I've needed for a while now.

Continue reading 'Our VGA benchmarking PC has been updated with Windows 10' (full post)

Get your PC ready for the Star Wars Battlefront beta

By: Anthony Garreffa | Gaming Content | Posted: Oct 8, 2015 11:53 pm

EA and DICE have finally unleashed the open beta of Star Wars Battlefront, with the new first-person shooter floating out to gamers around the world. There's a few things you should know about it, like updating your PC to get it into better order for the game, as well as updating your GPU drivers for additional performance.




First off, we're going to presume that you have the Star Wars Battlefront beta installed on your PC. If not, open up Origin and download it now. The Star Wars Battlefront beta is just over 10GB in size.


After it's downloaded, make sure your PC has all of the latest Windows updates. If you're up to date, the next step is video drivers. Both AMD and NVIDIA have new Star Wars Battlefront beta ready drivers, with NVIDIA out in front with the latest drivers. We have links for them below.


NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready 358.50 WHQL drivers

Continue reading 'Get your PC ready for the Star Wars Battlefront beta' (full post)

3440x1440 benchmarked on AMD Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 295X2 and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Aug 13, 2015 3:38 am

We've been spending the last week or so benchmarking a crap load of NVIDIA video cards on our 34-inch LG 34UC97 monitor, testing out its native 3440x1440 resolution. UltraWide gaming is really taking off these days, but without performance numbers across a bunch of hardware, it's hard to know where you'll find yourself when you come to picking a video card.




Gaming at 2560x1440 isn't so hard these days, with most $250-$400 cards handling most games on the market without a problem at 60FPS, while 4K requires more grunt. 3440x1440 falls in between both of these resolutions and gives - in my opinion - a better alternative to 4K gaming.




Now that we've tested the GeForce GTX Titan X, GTX 980 Ti, GTX 980 and GTX 780 - and then again with the same cards in SLI, it's time to test out some AMD hardware at 3440x1440. We've got a few high-end cards at our disposal, including the Radeon R9 Fury X, Radeon R9 295X2 and the Radeon R9 390X.

Continue reading '3440x1440 benchmarked on AMD Radeon R9 Fury X, R9 295X2 and more' (full post)

3440x1440 benchmarked on NVIDIA GeForce cards in SLI

By: Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Aug 11, 2015 5:40 am

We kicked off our new 3440x1440 benchmarks a few days ago, testing out how the GeForce GTX 780, GTX 980, GTX 980 Ti and Titan X all performed on a 34-inch UltraWide monitor from LG. We're back again, this time toting two each of the GTX 780, GTX 980, GTX 980 and Titan X for some delicious SLI results.




In our first article, we found that running our suite of benchmarks at 3440x1440 was actually quite good on performance. Most games ran at 60FPS or above, with some of them dipping below 60FPS - this is easy to fix with a few tweaks to in-game settings. But what type of performance do you think we'll see at 3440x1440 when we're running two cards in SLI, especially the GTX 980 Ti and Titan X?


Gaming at 3440x1440 is just utterly beautiful, with the 21:9 aspect ratio really adding to the experience in some games. I'm mostly a Battlefield 4 player and the additional horizontal pixels are glorious, especially when you mix it with a 95-degree FOV with the in-game settings.

Continue reading '3440x1440 benchmarked on NVIDIA GeForce cards in SLI' (full post)

3440x1440 benchmarked on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan X, and more

By: Anthony Garreffa | Video Cards Content | Posted: Aug 9, 2015 5:16 am

For the course of 2015 so far I've been running an LG 34UC97 monitor as my workstation display, taking in its glorious 34-inch size and 3440x1440 resolution. Since my review of the LG 34UC97 back in December 2014, the UltraWide monitor market has really blown up.




We're seeing a new 21:9 display released each month, and we're getting closer to the one that will rule them all: a 34-inch monitor with a native resolution of 3440x1440, but with NVIDIA's G-Sync technology. We should see that released next month, and you can bet your old display we'll have one of those to review very soon.


Until then, I've noticed that no sites are really covering UltraWide resolutions in their benchmarks. Well, we are starting today. We will be running all of our future cards in four resolutions: 1920x1080, 2560x1440, 3440x1440 and 3840x2160. But before then, we're going to do a couple of articles to bring you up to speed on various video cards running 3440x1440, and how they perform in our benchmark suites.

Continue reading '3440x1440 benchmarked on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan X, and more' (full post)

Forcing the Windows 10 update to actually, well, update

By: Anthony Garreffa | Software Content | Posted: Jul 31, 2015 2:59 am

Windows 10 is finally here, but it's not smooth sailing for everyone. Some of us, including myself, still can't update their machines, awaiting the OK from Microsoft. But there are ways around that, and that's where this article will help you.




Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 in waves, which means that you can get it, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be on your machine just yet. There are a few ways around this, where you can download the files yourself and burn them to a DVD or throw them onto a USB stick, or you can manually force the Windows Update software to pull the Windows 10 update from Microsoft, and update your machine manually.


This is the path I had to go down with my ASUS ROG G751 gaming notebook, and after following these steps, it worked. I had tried the other procedure - downloading the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft - but for me, it didn't work.

Continue reading 'Forcing the Windows 10 update to actually, well, update' (full post)

Building our new silent PC with the be quiet! Silent Base 800 chassis

By: Anthony Garreffa | Computer Systems Content | Posted: Jul 29, 2015 7:23 am



We teased that we were building two new PCs a little while ago now, and we've posted the final image of our new PC on our Facebook page, which had a huge amount of engagement with our fans - you, our readers. Well, here's the full PC, part by part, and some tips on building within the be quiet! Silent Base 800 chassis.




The goal of this system was to have something that would fit all of our goodies inside of it, run either the Acer XB270HU 27-inch 1440p 144Hz G-Sync display or the LG 34-inch 3440x1440 ultrawide monitor. I wanted it to be as close to silence as possible, all while using some of the fastest components we could.

Continue reading 'Building our new silent PC with the be quiet! Silent Base 800 chassis' (full post)