Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

Black Friday 2017: The best deals on graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and more

1080ti

The sale event to end all sale events is here. That’s right, folks, Black Friday 2017 is upon us, and this year’s sales frenzy is set to be bigger than ever as we head into the Christmas shopping period. In all honesty, they should just rename it Black November, as you’ll find deals happening literally RIGHT NOW in the run-up to Black Friday proper.

To save you trawling through the web in search of a good bargain, we’ve created this handy guide containing everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017. If you’re on the hunt for a new graphics card, a bigger and better monitor, splash out on a fast SSD or upgrade your gaming headset, this is the place to be. We’ll be updating this hub page on a regular basis as new deals get announced, too, so make sure to keep it in your bookmarks if you fancy grabbing yourself a bit of a bargain before Christmas. We’ve also got tips on the best places to browse, and how to find out if those hot discounts are really as good as they seem.

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Black Friday 2017: Best SSD deals

Black Friday is a great time for upgrading your PC, whether it’s buying a new graphics card, or getting a more up-to-date monitor to make the most of it. It also happens to fall right in the middle of video game Christmas, where all this year’s biggest releases also have the biggest install sizes. As such, why not grab yourself a bargain and upgrade your storage as well while you’re at it?

Below, we’ve rounded up all the best SSD deals we can currently find. We’ll be updating this article regularly with more deals as they come in and in the run-up to the big day itself – November 24th, in case you’d forgotten – but you can also find more deals for other types of components over in our central Black Friday 2017 hub. Of course, if you see a deal that isn’t listed below, let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added to the list.

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Black Friday 2017: Best graphics card deals

You can’t seem to go three days in November without some big, new AAA game being released, so if your PC’s been struggling to play the likes of Assassin’s Creed Origins, Nioh, Wolfenstein II or Middle-earth: Shadow of War recently, you’re in luck. For at the end of this week – November 24th, to be precise – it’s Black Friday, the time of year when graphics card prices plummet and you can nab yourself a bit of a bargain.

As it turns out, though, most retailers have started their Black Friday deals early, so you can grab yourself a bargain literally this second if you don’t want to wait until the big day itself. We’ll be regularly updating this article throughout the week with all the best deals, so why not pop it in your bookmarks and give a check every now and again?

If cheap graphics cards isn’t what you’re looking for, we’ll be updating our main Black Friday hub page multiple times over the course of this week as well, so do check that out, too. You might also want to take a look at our dedicated Black Friday monitor hub as well while you’re at it, as there’s nothing like buying a brand-new display to show off a fresh graphics card.

If you spot a deal that isn’t listed below, please do let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added to the list. In the meantime, happy hunting!

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Turtle Beach Recon 150 review: A no-frills gaming headset for just £40

Turtle Beach Recon 150

As my quest for a comfy pair of headphones continues, today I’m looking at one of Turtle Beach’s entry-level headsets, the Recon 150. Available for just £40, the Recon 150 is about as straightforward as gaming headsets come. Unburdened by fancy surround sound features or active noise-cancelling technology, this is very much a plug in and play kind of headset that doesn’t require any additional setup, driver downloads or any of that other annoying faff that comes with buying further up the headphone food chain. Indeed, its regular old 3.5mm jack connection means it’s just as good a fit for PC gaming as it is for consoles, giving it a welcome bit of flexibility after Sennheiser’s rather fussy work around on its more upmarket GSP 350.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit more from your headphones, of course, but if you’re looking to keep costs down or are simply after something simple for the kids, the Recon 150 is a great place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

AOC G2460PF review: Superb 144Hz gaming for £170

AOC G2460PF

Take one look at the AOC G2460PF’s price of £170 and you’d probably think it was a pretty standard kind of display. After all, 24in Full HD monitor prices often start around the £100-200 mark, and you can find several screens around the same £170 mark that don’t have anything to shout about other than a mildly adjustable stand.

AOC’s G2460PF, however, is anything but ordinary. Despite its low price, this monitor has a 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync support, plus a height-adjustable and rotatable stand. It’s not overly garish, either, as the only concession it makes to being a so-called ‘gaming monitor’ is a thin red strip that runs along the lower bezel. Otherwise, you can happily put this on any kind of desk and not be embarrassed about it.

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Acer XF270HUA review: An oldie, but still a great 27in 144Hz monitor

Acer XF270HUA

Acer’s XF270HUA has been around for about a year, but this 27in monitor is still a great buy while stocks last. With a resolution of 2560×1440, a high 144Hz refresh rate for super smooth gaming and superb picture quality, this is one display you won’t mind dropping £500 on.

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Black Friday 2017: The best deals on graphics cards, monitors, SSDs and more

1080ti

The sale event to end all sale events is almost here. That’s right, folks, Black Friday 2017 is upon us, and this year’s sales frenzy is set to be bigger than ever as we head into the Christmas shopping period. In all honesty, they should just rename it Black November, as you’ll find deals happening throughout the next couple of weeks in the run-up to Black Friday proper.

To save you trawling through the web in search of a good bargain, though, we’ve created this handy guide containing everything you need to know about Black Friday 2017. If you’re on the hunt for a new graphics card, a bigger and better monitor, splash out on a fast SSD or upgrade your gaming headset, this is the place to be. We’ll be updating this hub page on a regular basis as new deals get announced, too, so make sure to keep it in your bookmarks if you fancy grabbing yourself a bit of a bargain before Christmas. We’ve also got tips on the best places to browse, and how to find out if those hot discounts are really as good as they seem.

Read the rest of this entry »

MSI GT75VR Titan Pro review: The ultimate gaming laptop if you’re willing to sell a kidney

MSI GT75VR

We’ve looked at our fair share of gaming laptops at RPS over the last year, but nothing has been quite so preposterous as MSI’s new GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro. This three grand mega laptop has the complete works: an Nvidia GTX 1080 chip paired with a quad-core 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK processor and 32GB of RAM, a 17.3in, 120Hz Full HD display (which I can only assume to be IPS because MSI neglected to specify), a mechanical Steelseries RGB keyboard, a super fast 512GB NVMe SSD and a 1TB HDD.

It’s a ridiculous piece of machinery, made even sillier by its enormous size. Measuring a colossal 428 x 314 x 58mm and weighing a back-breaking 4.56kg, this is going nowhere except the middle of a very large, sturdy desk. Even if you did manage to lug it somewhere, you wouldn’t be able to get much out of it away from a plug socket anyway, as I barely managed an hour of gaming on it with the screen set to half brightness. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Radeon Vega RX 64 review: finally some competition for the GTX 1080

Asus Vega RX 64

Just as the Radeon Vega RX 56 targets Nvidia’s GTX 1070, the Vega RX 64 is AMD’s precision strike on the mighty GTX 1080. About damn time, too – by focusing solely on the mid-range and entry-level RX 400 and RX 500 series, AMD has given Nvidia free reign of the premium market for about two years. Time for some competition, methinks.

The model I’m testing is Asus’ ROG Strix version, or to use its full title for the only time in this review, the Asus ROG Strix RX Vega 64 OC Edition. The poetically-named ARSRV64OCE builds on AMD’s tech – which includes 8GB of High Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2), which stacks its memory modules units on top of each other, supposedly speeding up how long it takes to talk to your CPU – with a nifty three-fan air cooler and, as the name suggests, overclocked cores. It’s only a little bump, mind, upping the base clock from 1247MHz to 1298MHz and the boost clock from 1549MHz to 1590MHz. As to whether all that makes the RX 64 as capable as the GTX 1080 at 1440p and, perhaps most importantly, 4K, the answer is: yes! Pretty much!

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The last Week In Tech

goodbye

Apparently, Intel will soon be selling CPUs with onboard AMD graphics. I have now, officially, seen everything. Yes, that includes a man eating his own head. I’m therefore leaving immediately for Nepal, where I intend to live as a goat. Which reminds me. It’s been nearly six years since my very first story and I’d like to think I’m unrivalled on RPS when it comes to the shameless recycling of other people’s gags. But, whatever. This is, ladies and germs, goodbye-ee. It’s also time to consider what’s become of the gaming PC over the last half-decade or so… Read the rest of this entry »

Asus ROG Swift PG248Q review: A 180Hz miracle monitor?

Asus PG248Q

Buying a monitor used to be a fairly simple affair. You’d pick one black rectangle from the dozens of other black rectangles, and if you really pushed the boat out you might get one with an adjustable stand, or, heaven forbid, a rotating screen.

These days, there’s a lot more going on. You can still opt for the faithful black rectangle, but if you’re the type of person who likes rainbow-coloured keyboards, mice and motherboards, you can now get a monitor to match. Take Asus’ ROG Swift PG248Q. This 24in display has a glowing red ring round the base of the stand, as if the resulting monitor has arrived from another dimension inside its slate-like base. Thankfully, it can be turned off via the surprisingly easy-to-use menu buttons on the rear of the screen, but at least the option’s there if you happen to like that sort of thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Sennheiser GSP 350 review: great surround sound for just over £100

Sennheiser GSP 350

Trying to find a comfortable pair of headphones has become a war of attrition for me over the last couple of years. Either I have the world’s most sensitive skull, or my head’s unbeknowingly shaped like a Minecraft block beneath my hair, as every over-ear headset I’ve used has only brought me pain and cranial-based misery.

They’re always innocent enough to start off with, but somewhere around the 30-45 minute mark, the dreaded head pinch begins, and those pesky headbands start sinking their tiny little teeth into the top of my head. After an hour, I’ve usually had enough, which obviously isn’t ideal if I want to spend a lazy Saturday playing games, or co-ordinate my weekly dose of Destiny 2 with my trusty fire squad.

Alas, Sennheiser’s GSP 350 barely made it to half an hour before I had to start shuffling them round my head to alleviate some of the pressure, but that’s not to say you should stop reading here. In fact, there’s plenty to like about this £115 headset, and I’m sure those with less sensitive noggins will get on with them just fine. Read the rest of this entry »

Intel and AMD team up for new 8th Gen Core processor

Intel introduces a new product in the 8th Gen Intel Core processor family that combines high-performance CPU with discrete graphics for a thin, sleek design. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Two weeks ago, AMD unveiled its Ryzen Mobile processors for laptops, promising superior graphics performance for ultra-slim devices. Now, it’s Intel’s turn, as it’s just announced a brand-new 8th Gen Core processor that aims to deliver that same premium gaming experience for devices measuring less than 16mm thick. The clincher? AMD’s the one providing the onboard graphics. Funny how these things work out, isn’t it?

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Ti review: Better than the GTX 1080?

Between finding out the GTX 1070 Ti was a thing and actually getting my hands on one, I spent a lot of time trying, and failing, to determine where this 4K-bothering card sat in Nvidia’s overall strategy. Its position in the Nvidia hierarchy is obvious – between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080 – but other than sharing 8GB of memory, it seems to be more of a toned-down 1080 than a souped-up 1070. After all, it has far more cores than the GTX 1070 – 2,432 of them compared to the 1070’s 1,920 – but just 128 fewer cores than the (ostensibly) beefier GTX 1080. Why, then, would you not just take the tiny step further to a GTX 1080?

It gets weirder, too: Nvidia seems to have a strange rule against its partners setting their GTX 1070 Tis up with factory overclocks, meaning that you can only buy at stock speeds (1607 MHz base, 1683 MHz boost). Workarounds have already been found for this (overclocking isn’t outlawed per se), but it seems an awful lot like Nvidia’s scared of the 1070 Ti sapping GTX 1080 sales. That, or they just wanted to give a central digit to AMD’s Radeon Vega RX 56 by outperforming it with a less ‘important’ card. I dunno, basically. But to help cure my ignorance, I’ve got Zotac’s take, the GeForce GTX 1070Ti AMP Extreme.

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Asus ROG Claymore review: A mechanical keyboard conversion

Asus ROG Claymore

Time to own up. Before now, I’ve never actually used a mechanical keyboard. For a time I used one of Roccat’s giant, spongy Isku gaming keyboards, mostly because that happened to be the one sitting on my desk when I started my first job, but in that same job, I soon began a long-lasting, if slightly unhealthy, relationship with one of Microsoft’s basic wireless keyboard sets. I know, I should probably hand in my RPS badge right now.

I had good reason, though. I promise. It was quiet, the keys weren’t too squishy, and it was pretty comfortable for the amount of time I spent typing everyday. Yes, it had a bit of trouble playing games – nervous, first person platforming manoeuvres definitely weren’t its forte – but when it’s your only option in the office, you make do. I’ve moved on since then, both in terms of job and keyboard, but if using the world’s worst bit of typing plastic has taught me anything, it’s that you learn to adjust to what’s in front of you. And right now, that’s the rainbow-coloured Asus ROG Claymore.

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Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 review: The New 1440p King?

Welcome to part two of my leisurely stroll through the new GPU landscape. Last time around, it was the mighty Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080, which suddenly looks a lot less mighty thanks to the arrival of the Titan X. Today, however, we’re looking Nvidia’s new mid-range contender, the GTX 1060. As before, I shall be spurning objectivity, benchmarks and frame-rate counters for a what-does-it-actually-feel-like approach.

I call it a mid-range card, but it seems Nvidia is currently engaged in an attempt to realign the entire graphics market. The Titan X is $1,200 and the GTX 1080 is $600 (well, $700 for those ghastly ‘Founder’s Edition’ cards), but the GTX 1060 we’re dealing with today costs just $260/£250 – that is, if you’re looking at the 6GB version, of course, as since we tested the GTX 1060, Nvidia has also released a less powerful 3GB model.

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 review: The 1440p Graphics Card Of Choice?

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 neatly occupies what is normally my favoured slot in the overall hierarchy of any given GPU family, namely one rung down from the top graphics chip that’s actually bought in much more significant volumes. Except, Nvidia’s Pascal family isn’t entirely normal. We’ve already touched base with the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1060, and the GTX 1070 inevitably slots in between.

Things get even more complicated when you take the recently announced GTX 1070Ti into account, which nestles between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. We’ve yet to test the 1070Ti, so it’s difficult to say exactly how it compares to the rest of Nvidia’s Pascal pack, but with prices currently hovering around the £420/$449 mark (and regular 1070 prices not that much lower), it could end up being a much better buy than its non-Ti counterpart, especially if you’re after a card that’s capable of super smooth 1,440p gaming. We’ll be updating this article with more thoughts on how the 1070 compares to the 1070Ti in the very near future, but for now, let’s focus on the 1070 proper. After all, when Nvidia claims it can outperform its £1,000 Titan X mega beast, that’s reason enough to sit up and take notice.

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Nvidia’s GTX 1070Ti is arriving next week for £420 / $449

Nvidia GTX 1070Ti

We all knew it was coming, but Nvidia have finally confirmed the GTX 1070Ti. Sitting roughly between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 in terms of specs and performance, the card will start shipping from November 2nd, with pre-orders open right now should you feel so inclined. It will set you back a fair chunk of change, costing upwards of £420 / $449 depending on which manufacturer design you go for, but with Nvidia’s next-gen Volta cards still seemingly a long way off and many regular GTX 1070 cards still priced in a similar kind of ball park, the GTX 1070Ti might be the card for you if you want something to rival AMD’s brand-new Vega cards. Read the rest of this entry »

The best gaming CPU for 2017 and beyond

Yes. I know. There has indeed been an awful lot of CPU coverage lately. What with AMD’s Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper chips, plus the sudden launch of Intel CPUs with up to 18 cores, not to mention Intel finally upping its mainstream ante from four to six cores, 2017 has surely been the year of the CPU. Which begs an obvious question. What is now the best gaming CPU? Judging that on the hoof as the launches come thick and fast isn’t always easy. But now the dust has settled. Now we know how all these new CPUs stack up. It’s time to pick a winner.

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AMD’s Ryzen Mobile chips are finally coming to laptops

AMD Ryzen Mobile

AMD have been making quite the comeback of late. First came their Ryzen desktop processors – which are pretty darn great compared to their respective Intel competition. Then, they went after Nvidia’s GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards with their trio of Radeon RX Vega chips. Now, it’s time for AMD laptops to get a look in, as Ryzen Mobile is finally here. Read the rest of this entry »