Posts Tagged ‘hard choices’

FINISHED The Awesome RPS Gaming Rig Give Away

By Jeremy Laird on January 4th, 2013.

Come on down for some actually pretty good prizes

Update: OK, we’ve now had correct answers to both questions, so please cease your frenzied entries now. Thanks for getting involved, all. Now updated with answers. Well done to our two winners! And for the avoidance of doubt, our two winners know who they are!

This is it, folks. Your chance to live the dream and kick off 2013 in style. I’ve scratched backs, pulled strings and fiddled with knobs. The result is that we’re giving away a pair of gaming rig kits composed of RPS’s favourite clobber. So, that’s an Intel Core i5-3570K processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 graphics and some Z77 motherboard action. And it can all be yours. All you have to do is riddle me these questions three. Well, two and a tie breaker… Read the rest of this entry »

, .

163 Comments »

Hard Choices: The Week in Tech

By Jeremy Laird on December 8th, 2012.

The pitfalls of high performance PC graphics. Pitfalls. Geddit? Sigh

Graphics, graphics, graphics. It’s all you lot care about. Actually, it’s what I care about most when it comes to PC performance. So why fight it? Instead, I’ve got a couple of graphics-related titbits for you this week. Firstly, I’ve had a chat with Intel’s graphics guru, Richard Huddy. Odds are, you’ll be gaming on Intel graphics one day. What’s more, the mere fact that Intel has snapped up the likes of Mr Huddy, previously known for his dev-rel uberness at ATI, when there was an ATI, is symptomatic of Intel’s increasingly full-on attitude to graphics. The other part of this week’s awfully exciting package is NVIDIA’s new GeForce Experience. It’s an automated game settings optimisation tool. The idea is to take the headache out of graphics settings and give you the holy grail of PC performance and visuals with console levels of setup pain, which is to say zero pain.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

60 Comments »

Hard Choices Update: Mobile Gaming On The Cheap

By Jeremy Laird on November 14th, 2012.

The good ol' days of mobile gaming for cheap...

We’ve dabbled with mobile gaming machines in Hard Choices passim. Gaming lappies are great, but they’re also punitively pricey. What if laptops with tolerable gaming chops were on the verge of an epic price drop? That might just be the case courtesy of Intel’s upcoming Haswell processors and a funky little software layer from a little known third party. For clarity, the context here is relatively low-end gaming portables, not full-on desktop replacement sorts. But if you’re strapped for cash or just looking for something casual for away days, read on.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

46 Comments »

Hard Choices: AMD CPU update

By Jeremy Laird on November 8th, 2012.

Points and very possibly a prize...

Bulldozer and Zambezi begat Piledriver and Vishera. Say that three times before bed for a month and you might just remember AMD’s latest chips. So it goes with silly CPU code names. Completely lost you? AMD has just tweaked its FX-branded PC processors. Out goes the AMD FX 8100 series, in comes the AMD FX 8300 series. But am I bovered? And should you care? Read on to find out.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

86 Comments »

Hard Choices SSD Update: Samsung’s Double Whammy

By Jeremy Laird on November 1st, 2012.


Quick (and slightly belated, sorry team – Jim) heads up to the RPS massive regarding a couple of interesting new SSDs from Samsung. I speak of the 840 and 840 Pro Series drives, which respectively promise to insert a bat up the nightdress of SSD pricing and performance. One will be uber cheap. The other crazy fast. Eventually, anyway.

Ideally, of course, we’d have cheap and fast in one drive. And big. Hold that thought. First, let’s consider these new Sammy drives. The plain 840 Series’ party trick is the the introduction of Triple-Level Cell or TLC flash memory.
Read the rest of this entry »

, .

53 Comments »

Hard Choices: Gaming Laptops, Part Two

By Jeremy Laird on September 14th, 2012.


As promised, we’re back again with part two of our deep dive into gaming portables. {Part one} This time around we’re going to dig into the tricky choice between whitebooks and branded bricks, ponder the dark art of graphics upgrades, have a think about screens, and take a closer look at the budget options. And some other stuff. Like CPUs. So, lots to discuss. Let’s get cracking!
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

38 Comments »

Hard choices: Gaming laptops, Part One

By Jeremy Laird on September 10th, 2012.

It’s time to talk portable gaming. Not idiotic Angry-Birds-on-your-iPhone action, addictive as that may be, but proper performance laptops. Portable gaming PCs for real RPSers. Why? Some of you have asked for it. More importantly, it’s got to be the trickiest PC-related purchase and one where there’s little going back if you get it wrong. You’re stuck with an ill-specified, largely non-upgradeable brick.

In fact, the whole thing is so very befuddling, we’re going to split it into two parts. So, here’s part one of everything you need to know about buying a gaming laptop.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

137 Comments »

Hard choices: Considering CPU Overclocking

By Jeremy Laird on August 31st, 2012.

Some overclocking, yesterday.
When the artist previously known as Fingers McMeer – and my former PC Format paymaster from the good old days – first mooted some contributions to RPS on the matter of hardware, I was struck by a single, sobering thought. For the love of science, please don’t make me talk about overclocking. Here we are, then, talking about overclocking.

And you know what? It’s OK. Because what we’re going to tackle is real-world and worthwhile overclocking. Not the futile, fanboyish sort. In fact, when it comes to CPUs, it’s the sort of overclocking you really ought to be doing if you’re not already. Here’s why.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

77 Comments »

Hard Choices: The £200/$300 2560×1440 27″ Monitor

By Alec Meer on August 24th, 2012.

She's much fatter now than she is there

It’s true! Top-end monitors for the same price as any old stinky crap in PC World. Read on for details of what/where/how, but please keep in mind even as you tremble in raw excitement that there is A BIG RISK FACTOR.

In a change from your irregularly-scheduled Guy Who Knows A Ton About Hardware, I’m afraid it’s me. But I bring glad, intriguing tidings from the silicon mines. If you cast your minds, or at least your browsers, back a few months, you may recall our recommendation of 27″, 2560×1440 monitors as your point of eyeball-based connection to your beloved gaming PC. Specifically, a 27″, 2560×1440 Hazro monitor for approximately £400, and which used the same LG LM270WQ1 IPS panel as those in Apple’s top of the range 27″ Cinema Displays/iMacs, amongst other £800+ 27 inchers. That was already half the price of its similarly-specced contemporaries, albeit housed within a less gorgeous casing and with but one input. It still, quite understandably, remains prohibitively expensive for a great many people.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

114 Comments »

Hard Choices: Stereoscopic 3D

By Jeremy Laird on August 20th, 2012.

Our resident hardware dreamweaver/bubble-burster Jeremy returns with an examination into whether 3D glasses and 120Hz monitors are what PC gaming needs. For more Hard Choices – including the only answers you need on processors, graphics cards, hard drives, monitors and motherboards – please click here.

I’ve got a hunch about stereoscopic 3D. I reckon it’s on a 30-year cycle. According to the annals of history – otherwise known as Wikipedia – every 30 years or so sees a blip in the graph measuring interest in 3D before things revert to the long-term flatline.

So is the latest round of 3D flicks and games just a temporary craze? Or is 3D here to stay and just about to assimilate your PC?
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

112 Comments »

Hard Choices Update: SSD Price Crash

By Jeremy Laird on June 13th, 2012.

Quick heads-up for the hardware-hungry RPS massive: SSD prices have fallen off a cliff in recent weeks, so if you’ve been holding off until now it may be time to swoop on one.
Read the rest of this entry »

, .

127 Comments »

Hard choices: Graphics Card Update

By Jeremy Laird on June 1st, 2012.


Knocking out hardware guides for RPS has been heap good fun, thanks in no small part to the enthusiastic après-post banter. But it’s also created a bit of a monster. Problem is, things move fast in ye olde world of tech and especially in graphics. It’s been getting on for four months since our first perusal of the world’s finest pixel pumpers.

That’s long enough for AMD and NVIDIA to roll out a small army of new graphics chips. The good news is that the four 3D boards I recommended back in Feb still look pretty sharp, partly because the arrival of new chips has pushed prices down. But there are also some new GPUs I reckon you need to know about and some broader trends to think about. So here goes.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

130 Comments »

Hard choices: SSDs

By Jeremy Laird on April 30th, 2012.

Do blame Alec for this

With my last instalment deftly punting the dreary but essential matter of motherboards into touch, it’s time to get back to something sexy. That’s right, RPSers, solid state storage gives me trouser tentage. I love SSDs, and I’m here to tell you which three drives are the ones you should be pointing your wallet at.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

154 Comments »