MSI X370 SLI PLUS Motherboard Review

Today we have the MSI X370 SLI Plus on the test bench. This sample is one of the lowest priced motherboards equipped with the AMD X370 chipset in the retail market. Just at a glance you can see that it’s a bit stripped down from its bigger brothers but still appears to have everything you might need to get your Ryzen CPU up and going, even overclocked, and at a reasonable price. The AM4 platform is still relatively new and with that comes a few growing pains. This leaves some of the memory options a bit limited and just finding the right memory for your motherboard can be a challenge since there’s still some compatibility issues on all boards at the moment. There’s another AGESA update scheduled for May, hopefully this will open things up a bit for us enthusiasts. Read More

MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G GPU Review

We saw a couple of weeks ago NVIDIA released the GTX 1080 Ti which we had a chance to review. From that review we concluded it was a beast of a card, even in its Founders Edition form. Truth be told, its the closest thing to a single GPU solution at 4K resolution with high settings we have, and at a more reasonable price than the Titan XP or Xp or… whatever the new one is called. As with nearly every GPU released, the AIB’s get in the game giving us their take. MSI sent us the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G to review. They have updated their Twin Frozr cooling solution as well as better goodies on the PCB to deliver a quieter and better performing version of the FE 1080 Ti. Read on below to see how it shapes up! Read More

AMD RYZEN Overclocking Guide

My intention here is to aid you in leveraging just a bit more out of the AMD Ryzen CPU. One great thing that AMD carried forward is that all Ryzen CPUs have unlocked multipliers, this alone makes life easier when it comes to overclocking. Read More

ASUS ROG Strix Z270I Gaming Motherboard Review

It was only a matter of time before we got our hands on the small, mini-ITX versions of the Z270 chipset. Our first look at these micro power houses is from ASUS, their ROG Strix Z270I Gaming. The board, even in its tiny mITX size, looks to bring you all the features and performance of the larger boards but in a package that can fit into a small form factor. Let’s take a look and see what the board has to offer! Read More

AMD Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X CPU Review

Coming in swiftly behind big brother we have Ryzen 5. This is AMD’s offering for the more budget-minded PC user. Today we’ll be looking at the hex-core 1600X and the quad-core 1500X. These CPUs both have the XFR technology we’ve seen from the Ryzen 7 1800X and 1700X allowing for boost speeds over their typical max. Without further adieu, on to the main show. Read More

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Review

Today we’ll have a look at the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero which, at this time, is ASUS’ top of the line performance board for the AM4 socket. From the early days of socket AM2/AM2+ with the introduction first ASUS Crosshair, in AMD land, the name has always been synonymous with performance. Over the years, I have had four different Crosshair motherboards and can say I have never been disappointed. Today I have my fifth Crosshair sitting in front of me and just by the look and feel of it, I can tell the quality is there.

The AMD Ryzen CPU and AM4 platform are still new and as such you should expect a few growing pains. That being said, I’m certain given a bit more time most, if not all, of the bugs will be worked out and setting up this platform will be as easy as any other. At present there are some limitations with memory timings, this is driven by AMD not the motherboard manufacturers. This will be addressed in future AGESA updates delivered with your motherboard’s BIOS. Read More

MSI GTX 1070 Aero ITX 8G OC Video Card Review

Up next on the test bench is another 1070 from MSI. This time, however, it is a small form factor GTX 1070 instead of the full sized card. We have in our hands the MSI GTX 1070 Aero ITX 8G OC. The card promises to have everything the full sized card has hardware wise, but in an ITX form factor. Let’s see what magic MSI used to keep this card cool and humming along even with a smaller, single fan cooler keeping temperatures where we need it. Read More

AMD RYZEN 7 1700x and 1700 CPU Review

Today I have the Ryzen7 1700X and the Ryzen 7 1700 on the test bench. The Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1700 are identical to their big brother the Ryzen 7 1800X in every way aside from base clocks and boost speeds. The Ryzen 7 1700 is the only one of the three that doesn’t have the XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) technology. So let’s dive in and see what these CPUs can do. Read More

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Graphics Card Review

Its new, its a flagship, its the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The only question about how fast this GPU will be is whether it will knock the Titan X Pascal off its throne. This is the base/reference design for all the GPU partners to base designs from (or design up from), so expect numbers to climb from what you see here today as new cards release! Read More

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU Review

It feels like it has been years since we’ve had an AMD CPU on hand for a review, because it has! The last part we saw was an APU back in 2014. Since those years ago, AMD has come out with a completely new architecture, moved to a 14nm process, gotten rid of those “modules” we’ve grown accustomed to, and are boasting a self-proclaimed 52% IPC gain over their previous CPU. Desktop processors now range from four cores without SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) all the way up to eight cores with SMT. All of the processors have a vastly reduced TDP with the highest SKU coming in at 95W (just four watts higher than the i7-7700K). This is a huge improvement of the 220W the top Vishera CPU pulled down and the 125W of the FX-8580.

Today, specifically, we’ll be talking about the Ryzen 7 series, the flagship 1800X CPU in the lineup. IPC improvements are huge over Excavator, thread count is up (depending how you view modules the core count is up also), and I know all of us enthusiasts are excited to see the new challenger who has been looming. That said, enough from me, let’s get to the chip. Read More