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Category: Technology

hswex99-5

Intel’s Haswell-E family launched last week and things have been heating up in discussion threads on the internet and in videos on Youtube. Haswell-E is one of the most anticipated launches for the high-end desktop crowd and a lot of people who need the extra horsepower on offer are eagerly watching for benchmarks that finally push them to checking out their parts they’ve gathered into their shopping carts. Not only is Intel changing the game as far as core counts are concerned, they’re also offering completely new board logic, new functionality that wasn’t possible before and compatibility with DDR4 memory, also a brand new addition to the market. Lets dive into Haswell-E and look at why you’d want it and what it’s going to cost you.

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gamdias zeus
A few months on from my original review of the GAMDIAS Zeus GMS1100 eSport, I was allowed to keep the moue as a long-term test unit. Having no other high-end peripherals on the cards to compare it with, I decided to use it as my daily driver to gauge performance over time. It’s generally noted that most peripheral reviews or, indeed, reviews of any computer products take place over the course of two to four weeks, without any long-term updates added in later to get an idea of how ownership of the device itself changed the reviewer’s initial impressions. Let’s jump in, shall we?

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System-builders-600-x-272

Dun da dadadadada, dan da dadadadada, dan da dadadadada dan. DAAAAN DAAAAN DAAAAN DAN DA DAAAAAAN, DAAAN DA DAAAAAAN. DAAN DAAN DAAAN DA DADAAAN DAN DADAAAN. DUUN DUUN DUUUN DA DADADA DUN DUN, DA DADADA, DUN DUN DUN DA DAAN, DUN DA DAAAAAN. Yeah, you know that this is the new hotness edition of the System Builders Guide. Jump in and see what I’ve got in store for you! If you’ve got a pile of money burning a hole in your pocket and want a new rig, this is a good place to be right now.

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ASUS Strix Radeon R9 295 2GB (1)

AMD’s live stream event may have been horribly cheesy, but there were some interesting announcements coming out of it. AMD had some fun things going on like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge with a voting rig for online viewers to choose who would get the bucket, as well as some giveaways to the live audience they had as well as some Twitter users who were lucky enough to win a Radeon R9 290. AMD’s biggest part of the presentation, though, was the Tonga family of graphics cores.

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Intel Devils Canyon header_edit

So Intel’s Haswell-E launch is just around the corner and there’s been some price indications for the first batches of DDR4 memory, but nothing on the processors. Well, that is until now. Some pre-launch prices for the Core i7-5820K and Core i7-5930K have popped up on the local market thanks to Wootware. Haswell-E also comes with the X99 platform which will be just as expensive as these puppies. Hit the jump to see the screenshots.

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System-builders-600-x-272

It’s the mid-range System Builders Guide for this week and we’re now seeing something rather strange, namely hiked-up GPU prices on the AMD Radeon camp. That presents a few problems with the smaller budgets and it’s a real headache when it comes to the high-end GPUs. Is something on the way? Is it Tonga? Is AMD preparing price drops? Who knows. All that I know is the price movements have forced another readjustment on my R11,000 build (which never stays in one piece) and on the higher budget which needs to stretch your wallet a bit. Hop in and see what your money could get you this week.

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DirectX 12 header

 While AMD carries on their work with Mantle, Microsoft’s engineers are toiling behind the scenes to complete work on DirectX 12, the company’s first attempt at a low-level API for the desktop market. DirectX 12 may be the biggest shift for Microsoft since DirectX 10 forced everyone to install Vista and they’re being very careful of how they handle this launch to ensure that more customers don’t shy away to other platforms.

In the past Intel has approached AMD about the Mantle specification in order to optimise their chips for it because it brings a big boost to battery life and performance in thermally constrained environments. Today, we get to look at some of the benefits that Intel is hoping to bring to the Windows platform with DirectX 12-compatible hardware.

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System-builders-600-x-272

Hello and welcome, gamers, to the bi-monthly System Builder’s guide, this time for the month of August. I’m publishing this half an hour out from Microsoft’s conference at Gamescom 2014, so it was a bit of a rush to get this done on time. Little has changed in the market since our last version of this guide back in June, although price drops and stock levels have changed the recommendations in some of the builds, most notably the death of the Radeon HD7950 as stock finally filters out from the retail channel. I’m actually thoroughly depressed at that – we won’t see the same kind of face-smashing GPU horsepower for under R3000 for a long time.

I also promise this month to not mope about the prices of AMD’s APUs which SHOULD be a hell of a lot cheaper than they are currently. Anyway, on with the builds!

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AMD Catalyst driver

It’s been a long time coming and AMD is pretty much ready to step away from the first generation graphics architecture that set them on their current course. Graphics Core Next debuted with the launch of the Radeon HD7970 on 9 January 2012.  It morphed into the HD7970 GHz edition before being cut down slightly and re-sold as the Radeon R9 280X. This is the first time that a GPU from AMD has lasted this long and it’s high time that a fresh set of hardware is launched. The next step on the way to GCN 2.0 is the R9 285 belonging to the Tonga GPU family and according to recent rumors and leaks, it’s going to be quite unlike the Tahiti-based R9 280/280X we’re normally used to.

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AMD-Radeon-R7-SSD

AMD seems to be working really hard to maintain a positive public image and one of the things it’s been doing recently is touting the advantages of an all-AMD system (yes, there are a few). But for the brand-obsessed, particularly if you like matching up hardware from the same vendor that’s supposed to gel well together, AMD has another piece of the PC puzzle under the Radeon brand – solid state drives made by OCZ.

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