Friday, February 18, 2011

OCZ RevoDrive x2 240GB, You Get What You Pay For

OCZ has emerged as one of the clear innovators in the SSD world. Its initial foray into PCI-Express based SSDs wasn't great, but the recent RevoDrive – a PCI-Express card that sports two raided SSDs – impressed with speeds above and beyond that found on Serial ATA connections. We did worry that the drive lacked TRIM support, and showed a drop in speed once filled, but speeds were still in excess of those seen in SATA based SSDs.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Current LAN Rig Kitlog, For Gaming On The Go

You don't have to follow this exactly or at all but it's a good starting point. The idea is to keep the build cheap, portable and powerful. Note that the linked sites are Australian (we're Aussies) and therefore are in $AUD, peripherals are not included in this list.

CPU: Intel Core i5 760, Intel's budget quad core is more than you'll need in a chip.

Motherboard: Gigabyte P55M-UD4, great overclockability at a nice price in a mATX form factor.

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 2000MHz, great value memory with amazing overclock potential.

GPU: Gigabyte ATI Radeon HD5850 Overclocked Edition, decent value, plenty of power, factory overclock with room to go higher.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB, plenty of space and performance without forking out for an SSD.

Power Supply: Corsair HX-650, cheap, modular, efficient more than enough power and a small footprint.

Case: NZXT Vulcan, cheap case with some handy features including support for full length video cards (5970) and water cooling, plenty of airflow, fan controllers and importantly for a LAN box, a handle but weighing only 5.8kg.

CPU Cooler: Stock Intel cooler, will easily do the job and even handle a mild overclock but the best thing, it's free.
Will come with the Intel Core i5 760

And the grand total comes in at $1320 AUD, plenty left over for all the snacks and energy drinks.

Computer TechSpot

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seasonic X-650, Awesome Efficiency, Quiet As A Mouse

Seasonic's own brand of PSUs and the power supplies that it makes for other brands (most notably XFX) have probably won more awards than any other. In short, Seasonic PSUs are usually a great buy, although they're often quite expensive, as in the case of th M12D-850 ($270). The Seasonic X-650 is no exception; despite being rated at 650W it retails at a fairly pricey $200.

The X-650 has just one 12V rail rated at 54A, which should be enough for an overclocked PC packed full of drives and a high end graphics card. The latter is possible thanks to the X-650 having four 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors. There are also eight SATA and eight Molex modular connectors, so the X-650 provides plenty of choice for drives.

Stability is more important, though, and the X-650 had no problems in this area. It passed all the tests thrown at it, with all its outputs remaining well within the limits of the ATX specification. What was most impressive, though, was its efficiency. This topped out at 89 per cent at 50 per cent load, and a remarkable 90 per cent at full load.

The unit was so cool running as a result of this awesome efficiency that its 120mm fan only needed to start spinning after a few minutes at 100 per cent load. This indicates that it has an awesome trick up its sleeve - in many systems, the X-650 will be silent as the fan doesn't even spin up under 50 per cent load (300W).

Over the course of a few years, the Seasonic X-650 could pay for itself, thanks to its high power efficiency. Compared with PSUs just a few years old, you'd be using up to 70W less for the same power this makes a big difference for people like us who have our computers on nearly 24/7.

Computer TechSpot

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Build Your Own PC Part 1

Building a system is not a small task, and it can also be an expensive one. But it doesn't have to be as hard, or as expensive, as it may first appear - as long as you have a clear idea what you want, and what your priorities are when building.

The key aspects for most people considering a new system will be the budget you have available, how long you intend the computer to last, what you're going to use it for, and whether you have any components you want to, or could, hang on to. 

We've also provided a primer for picking the key parts of a system, just in case you want to get to business immediately.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AMD Ditches the ATI Brand

Just as AMD’s upcoming Fusion APU’s eliminate the need for a dedicated ATI graphics card, the company has decided it no longer needs the ATI name either. From now on their flagship GPUs will be branded simply “AMD  Radeon”, although existing models will still carry the ATI logo. The change probably doesn't mean much for you, beyond some packaging and ATI-free badges on your computers. But for AMD as a company, it’s a sign of the times.