I recently purchased an ASUS PB278Q monitor for my daily use, and it's gorgeous. It's 2560x1440 resolution provides plenty of desktop real estate, but it only arrives with a 60Hz refresh rate. I feel like I'm substituting resolution for refresh rate, which I am, but the resolution really is worth it.
I posted my unboxing video last week, and we had a reader tell me to "just overclock it," so, I did.
I did some Google searching, and found the tools required, which are a little different depending on your setup. It comes down to your GPU, whether you're running an AMD Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce GPU. I'm running a Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 FleX Edition GPU right now in our TweakTown Prodigy PC.
It hasn't been long since we tested our TweakTown Prodigy PC, where we took a look at the performance on our Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 FleX Edition GPU at 720p. Now it's time to crank things up a bit, and move onto 1080p.
Before we get into the numbers, I expected to see a big drop in frame rate moving from 720p to 1080p, but was pleasantly surprised to see the Sapphire HD 7770 FleX Edition hold up at 1080p. We want to obviously hit 60 FPS, which is why we test our system at max settings, and medium settings. This gives us the best of both worlds when it comes to results.
This PC was built for the purpose of 720p gaming, but we thought we'd see how we go at 1080p. We'll probably end up doing another couple of tests at 2560x1440, too. The specs of the TweakTown Prodigy PC are as follows:
Last week we did some testing with our awesome BitFenix Prodigy PC, where we slapped in a Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 FleX Edition GPU and did some testing at 720p. We have an article that should be available next week that will take a look at some 1080p results, but I thought I'd do some overclocking on the HD 7770 FleX Edition, first.
I didn't think I'd squeeze much more speed out of it, but boy oh boy did it overclock. We actually saw a huge overclock on our Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 FleX Edition, which had a stock GPU clock of 1000MHz and stock memory clock of 1125MHz.
Just how far did we push it, while staying stable with our suite of benchmarks? We cranked the GPU clock up to 1250MHz, which was an increase of 250MHz, or 25%. The memory clocked up from 1125MHz to 1375MHz, another impressive result.
It has been quite sometime since I built our Prodigy PC, but in that time I've had to move house, fly to Taipei for Computex, and completely pack and re-setup my office. But, we're here, and we're finally back in action.
What we have here today is a look at the GIGABYTE Z77N-Wi-Fi's on-board VGA performance. Sure, most people won't use this motherboard for gaming, but it can do the job at 1280x720. Let's take a look at our range of tests to see how gaming goes at 1280x720 and 1920x1080.
Now that we have our TweakTown Prodigy PC ready to go, we have looked at the performance with the on-board graphics in another Tweakipedia article, here. Now we're going to take a look at the performance of our system with the Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 Flex Edition GPU inside.
We should see a huge performance increase when compared to the on-die graphics with our Core i7 3770K. What we're going to do is split this into two pieces. The first of which we'll cover 720p in detail, and a second piece will follow early next week which will cover 1080p.
Our target here would be to hit around 60 FPS with the 720p resolution, and around 30 FPS at 1080p without AA enabled. All gamers (and games) are different, of course, but this is what we'll do for now and we'll see how things go during our testing.
I'm not a big fan of optical drives, and haven't had one in my system for quite sometime now (probably around the time Windows Vista was released). How do you install Windows if you don't have an optical drive? Well, Microsoft are kind enough to help us out with this with the Windows 7 (and 8) USB/DVD Download Tool.
This tool creates a bootable DVD or USB flash drive of a Windows disc, which you can boot from, and install Windows from. It's more efficient, and much, much faster, too. You will need a Windows 7 ISO file in order to proceed from here.
This tool is best for those who have previously received an ISO file of Windows, and if you haven't, this will be a hurdle for you.
AMD's Eyefinity technology is a technological marvel when it's setup - giving you so much more desktop real estate, and the utter eye-popping goodness it provides in games doesn't need to be reiterated.
We've written a guide to walk you through this setup, but you'd obviously need a few things to get to this stage, and run Eyefinity. Let's talk about that first. Eyefinity is a multi-display technology from AMD that works with many different video outputs, but has a reliance on one technology in particular - DisplayPort.
AMD's Eyefinity technology won't work without it, so if you're building a new machine and don't have the monitors yet - be careful with your purchases. We'd suggest getting all DisplayPort-capable monitors to make this less of a hassle, but then most AMD Radeon GPUs don't have enough DisplayPort outputs to handle this.
So it would be better to buy monitors that have both DisplayPort, and DVI or HDMI - and to be careful with your video card choice.
Because we'll be writing software and installation guides as Tweakipedia goes on, we might as well start right from the beginning and show you the tools we'll be using, and how you can use them too.
We'll be using VMware Workstation 9, where you can get the free trial here. The use of virtual machines can be great in the right hands, or for the right tools, and thanks to our core- and RAM-heavy systems these days, virtual machines are a perfect way to test out new software.
We'll be using virtual machines so we don't trash our installs of Windows, or require SSD after SSD to have a bunch of different operating systems installed. First up we'll walk you through how to install Windows 7 through VMware Workstation 9.
A little tweak to start the week - whaddya know, I'[img]a lyrical genius - where we can help you save some space on your Windows taskbar. This trick is one of the first things I do when I've done a fresh install of Windows, and gives you a little bit of extra room to play with on your desktop.
It's a quick tip, but something you might find useful once you've tried it out. The normal size of icons on your taskbar is pretty big, once you've changed them, something you will notice after a while.
We wrote a guide a couple of days ago on how to use Time Machine on your Apple Mac to back your system up, and now we have Other World Computing (OWC) helping us upgrade our Mac with their awesome and incredibly fast 480GB Aura Pro SSD.
We have a late-2010 Apple MacBook Air to try the OWC 480GB Aura Pro SSD out on, with OWC being the only aftermarket source for SSD upgrades to the MBA. The SSD in the late-2010 MBA is impressive, but OWC's Aura Pro is definitely a huge step up.
So before any upgrade can be done, we don't want any data loss, so follow our Time Machine backup guide to back your data up then we'll dive right into this MBA SSD upgrade guide.