Posts Tagged ‘Hardware’

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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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 »

Intel’s Core i5-8400: the new go-to gaming CPU

corei5-8400-1

Intel’s new 8th Gen Core chips are out and there is much rejoicing. For the first time in about five years, Intel has made an unambiguous step forward with its mainstream CPUs. In short, they’ve bunged in an extra pair of cores across the board. Where once you had two cores or four cores, now you have four cores or six cores. Of course more cores don’t automatically translate into a better gaming experience. But I still think the new Core i5-8400 will become the chip of choice for gamers. Here’s why.

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Intel’s new Coffee Lake CPUs: right chips, wrong price

intelcore

Or should that be nearly the right chips at slightly the wrong prices? Either way, as I was saying Intel has finally pulled its finger out and given us PC diehards something to be other than apathetic about. No, not ridiculoso $2,000 processors with 18 cores. But new mainstream processors codenamed Coffee Lake that have now taken the leap from solid rumour to retail reality. With more cores across the board, it’s Intel’s biggest upgrade for at least five years and undeniably a good thing for gamers.

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Incoming: some excellent new gaming CPUs from Intel

...this isn't one of them

I’m jumping the gun just a little but a few of you have sent emails on precisely this subject and there’s a significant quantity of fairly solid info out there, so let’s talk about the shape of all things CPU and gaming. AMD’s Ryzen chips have very obviously been the big news thus far this year. But completing the picture for the next six months or so is what will shortly amount to the most significant update to Intel’s CPU line up from a gamer’s perspective in about five years. For once, it’s going to be unambiguously good news… Read the rest of this entry »

Destiny 2 on PC runs smooth as perma-gloomy butter

dest1

I’ll defer to m’esteemed colleague Pip in terms of opinions about Destiny 2 [official site]’s PC beta (coming this evening – ed), currently open to pre-orderers and then for the whole wide world from 6pm UK time/10am PST today, for she has spent significantly more time than I in the Crucible. What I can do is give you a good sense of Bungie’s long-awaited return to PC-based shootybangs runs on a variety of system, how good (or otherwise) it looks, and the more nebulous but more important business of how it feels on our WASDy weapons of choice.
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AMD’s new RX Vega gaming graphics revealed at last

vegaair

It’s been an arsingly long time coming but AMD finally has some new graphics tech to flog and for all of us to game upon. The new Radeon RX Vega generation of gaming cards has been announced. Inevitably, we’ll have to wait just a little longer to find out exactly how fast they are but we know enough to begin answering some key questions and posing a few more. Is this the graphics revolution we’ve all been waiting for, for instance, or is it one derivation too many of AMD’s successful GCN architecture? Strap in and let’s go.

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Amazon Prime Day: The best PC game & hardware deals

You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry, you’d better not pout, I’m telling you why – Bezos is coming to town. It is Amazon Prime day, the online retailer’s annual old stock clear-out/attempt to steal Black Friday’s thunder, and that means a whole lotta deep discounts on PC hardware and games. Much of it is total sewage, but as RPS’s resident carer-about-things-with-flashing-lights-on, I’m fairly well-placed to cherry-pick a few highlights for you. I’m pretty picky – this is all stuff I’m very tempted to buy for myself (or would be if I didn’t already own something similar/fancier).

This piece will be updated throughout the day as more deals go live. At the time of first posting, we only have UK deals, but US ones will be added shortly too. Read the rest of this entry »