NVIDIA partners are beginning to roll out their new GTX 750 graphics cards and the new Maxwell architecture they offer. As we discovered during our launch day article, Maxwell GPUs bring a lot of new technologies along with the new architecture. Most notable is the high power efficiency they bring to the table, which allows them to be used in lower end systems that might not have been able to handle the power demands before. Today, we’ll be looking at one of Galaxy’s new Maxwell GPU offerings in the form of their GTX 750 GC 1 GB Dual Fan model. Galaxy has added several of their own unique enhancements from the reference design cards, such as an expanded PCB, proprietary dual-fan cooler, and a factory overclock. It all sounds good on paper… Let’s go find out!
One of the fastest growing segments in the PC building arena is anything having to do with small form factor. So much so in fact, SFF enthusiast level products have begun to explode on the scene. EVGA has seen the popularity of SFF builds and has offered up their Hadron mini-ITX cases with a host of accessories to compliment them. Back in November, we published a review on the Hadron Air; and our editor, MattNo5ss was impressed enough to give it our stamp of approval. Today, we’ll revisit the Hadron series of cases, but this time the newly released Hydro version will be under the microscope. EVGA also sent along the optional Hadron Hydro water cooling kit, so we’ll introduce you to that as well.
AMD has had its new R2xx series GPUs out for a couple of months now. Although model with aftermarket cooling have been out for it, here at OCF we have not had a chance to review any of them. That is about to change! In my hands is MSI’s offering, the MSI R9 290 Gaming 4G, which sports the Twin Frozr IV cooler. In past iterations, this cooler has been effective and quiet. Let’s see how it fares with trying to cool a R9 290, shall we?
Small form factor (SFF) gaming PCs have exploded in popularity recently. Valve has even released their own SteamOS that turns PCs into console-esque gaming machines, which has prompted a rise of the Steam Machine or Steam Box from many manufacturers in the pre-built PC business. MSI has a couple of products that are designed specifically to fit into the SFF gaming PC segment, the Z87I GAMING AC motherboard and the GTX 760 GAMING ITX graphics card. They look to be a great core for a DIY Steam Machine or even just an everyday SFF PC.
NVIDIA has another architecture release day for us! The Maxwell GPU core has arrived at Overclockers in the form of an EVGA GTX 750 Ti FTW. The Maxwell GPU core architecture promises great power efficiency, low power consumption, and performance that surpasses its predecessors. This particular card also comes with EVGA’s ACX cooler, which has tested very well in the past on other EVGA video cards. So, let’s find out if EVGA put this new technology to good use as we run the GTX 750 Ti FTW through our testing procedure.
There has been a lot of talk about AMD’s Dual Graphics as of late, especially since the release of the Kaveri APU lineup. Today, we’re going to explore the performance gains that can be had by leveraging the Kaveri A10-7850K’s built-in R7 graphics with a R7 250 discrete graphics card. AMD is constantly pushing affordable gaming to higher levels, and Dual Graphics with the latest Kaveri APUs is another example of this effort.
My never ending quest to build a better HTPC takes me to the Silverstone LC19 case. Offering the ability to install a micro ATX, mini ITX, or DTX board, this slim case certainly looks like it would be perfect for a media streaming frontend. For me, this means the system is quiet, good looking, and has good air flow to keep my components cool. We’ll see if this case can fit all that criteria.
As we discovered during our AMD Kaveri APU review, building a system around an AMD APU has several advantages over the competition. This holds especially true on the iGPU side of things where the on die R7 graphics provide a performance level that is a marked improvement from its predecessors. Getting the most from these APUs requires a motherboard that’s up to the task, and Gigabyte thinks they have an answer with their F2A88X-UP4 socket FM2+ motherboard.
EK Waterblocks (EKWB, or just EK) really needs no introduction in the water cooling world. They are a stalwart in the water business and produce lots of good products. While Swiftech may be more well known to those outside the niche, EK has built itself up to be just as viable a solution, from the reservoir, through the pump, block and radiator; including the fittings that bind them all together. Today, we will be looking at their full water cooling kit, the EK-KIT L360. It comes with, quite literally, everything you need to water cool your processor.
Since the Haswell release, which feels like many moons ago now, we have reviewed several Z87 based boards. Up for torture today is a larger, high-end board, the EVGA Z87 Classified. This board is made to do anything from sit there and look pretty, which it does well I may add, to the ability to handle the extreme cold of Liquid Nitrogen overclocking. Read on to see some of what EVGA has done to their flagship Z87 board!