Review Roundup november 2 2010


benchmarkreviews reviewed the Visiontek Radeon HD 6870 1GB

VisionTek’s Radeon HD 6870 video card offers improved PC gaming performance while also including innovative new technologies at an affordable price point.

While there are still two digital DVI ports available on the VisionTek Radeon HD 6870, only one of them is dual-link to support AMD HD3D while the other is reduced to single-link. AMD’s HD3D technology currently supports only one 3D display, with plans for multi-monitor 3D available in the future.

As a result of using AMD’s reference design, the VisionTek Radeon HD 6870 lack intake vents at the end of the video card behind the blower fan.

There are six PLX display channel bridges on the Radeon HD 6870 video card, which opens up the functionality. Two are dedicated to the only dual-link DVI port available on this video card, while the other DVI port remains single-link and consumes another. HDMI 1.4a uses one channel, and two mini-DisplayPort outputs each use a channel. The real innovation comes with DP 1.2, which can use a Multi-Stream Transport Hub to drive multiple displays at different resolutions, refresh rates, and color depth in Eyefinity.

Value is a fast moving target, and please believe me when I say that it changes by the minute in this industry. Delivering better performance and additional features at a lower cost to consumers has been the cornerstone of AMD’s business philosophy for more than a decade, and they’ve repeatedly demonstrated this resolve in each of their many battles with Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs.


bcchardware reviewed the Thermaltake BlacX 5G Hard Drive Docking Station

Testing of a hard drive dock is pretty easy, install a hard drive and run some tests to see just how good it performs. The performance differences between hard drive dock brands is going to be pretty similar, but we are more interested in seeing just how well a USB 3.0 hard drive dock can perform when compared to USB 2.0.

Once again we see that USB 3.0 offers significant improvements over USB 2.0 and for anybody that uses a hard drive dock like the BlacX 5G and isn’t using USB 3.0 will probably want to consider moving to USB 3.0 as there is a huge increase in performance and you’ll probably be able to save a significant amount of time waiting for file transfers.


anandtech reviewed the ASUS WiCast

Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) technology has been something of a mixed bag. There’s a lot to mull over: you have to consider latency, the 720p limitation, being stuck with Intel HD graphics, buying the wireless box for your television, and maybe the biggest question of all, whether or not it’s really practical.

The transmitter and receiver boxes are fairly similar; the transmitter’s just the smaller one, but both have an AC adaptor, HDMI, and mini-USB ports. On the receiver the mini-USB port is covered, but it can be used to power the receiver if for some odd reason that’s more convenient than just plugging it in

Since the WiCast is also device agnostic, you can use it with a PlayStation 3, Xbox360, or any other HDMI-equipped hardware. Again, the most likely use seems to be laptops, simply because anything else is already hard-wired for AC power.

the WiCast is in my opinion a superior solution to Intel’s WiDi. If this is something you have a need or a use for, then it’s an easy sell. But for everyone else, this technology is a tough sell from any vendor.


pureoverclock reviewed the ASUS Radeon EAH6850 DirectCU

This card has a non-reference heatsink and touts some excellent overclocking headroom with voltage tweaking capabilities. The overclocking is so good, in fact, we actually topped out both Smart Doctor and Afterburner without any signs of stress from the card.

the HD 6870 has two DVI, one HDMI and two mini-DisplayPort outputs, allowing a wide choice of monitor configurations to be used. The HD 6850, however, is slightly different as it has two DVI, one HDMI and a single DisplayPort output. With the release of the DisplayPort v1.2 drivers, it will be possible to daisy chain several DisplayPort v1.2 monitors from each DisplayPort output.

Interestingly, we topped out the overclocking utility before the card ran out of gas. Both Smart Doctor and MSI Afterburner capped off the core at 1000MHz, and we managed to hit that fully stable. The memory fared very well at 1164MHz. These are massive overclocks, with 29% on the core and 16% on the memory. Excellent.

The major point to glean here is that the Radeon 6850 technically isn’t a successor to the 5850; we saw the performance is actually slightly lower in fact. The rationale for the model nomenclature should become more apparent as AMD releases more models, but the 5850 was more of a premium gaming card, whereas the 6850 is actually more of a lower-end gaming card in this new generation of AMD cards.


thinkcomputers reviewed the Sparkle Computer Gold Class 850W Power Supply

So what does PSU efficiency mean? The job of a power supply is to convert 117 volt AC power (240 VAC in Europe) from the wall socket to 12 volt/5 volt/3.3 volt DC power used by your computer’s components. A necessary byproduct of this conversion is heat, hence the heatsinks and fan(s) contained within the PSU case to keep heat away from the PSU’s components. The greater a PSU’s efficiency, the more AC power that is actually converted to DC power, and the less heat generated by the conversion, and vice versa.

The power supply is finished in a fairly shiny gunmetal/black powdercoat…it is darker than what most companies call “gunmetal”, but not quite black. The label, that covers most of the side of the PSU, has the same theme as the PSUs box and sports Sparkle’s S-blade logo.

The Gold Class 850 does not have an extensive array of cooling fins on the rails, but with such high efficiency, they aren’t needed. The fins should be more than enough, and are anodized purple. All capacitors are solid and 105C rated.

The power supply looks a little different with its purple connectors. All cables are nicely finished with black mesh and heavy heat shrink. All connectors are gold plated. Cables are long enough for cable management on a mid tower…they are also long enough for use in a full tower but not the extra long cables found on some power supplies, which aid in cable management on a full tower but really hinder it on a mid tower.


pcper reviewed the BitFenix Colossus E-ATX Case

BitFenix is a a new player in the PC enclosure market and their first prototype is a bold and innovative design that should stand out against other high-end cases. The Colossus has its front, left, and right side panels adorned with flowing blue (or red depending on your preference) LED lights that turn this case into something out of the new TRON Legacy movie. The case’s deep dimensions allow for two 230mm fans and support for E-ATX motherboards. We get to preview this beast before it is available to U.S. consumers.

The Colossus comes in two different colors (black and white) and incorporates a unique blend of SECC and ABC materials. Each panel seems to add more depth to the overall look of the case and I love how the front panel is beveled and includes a large BitFenix logo that glows at the top of the case.

The top storage compartment is lockable and includes a power button, reset button, fan controller, and LED controller. It also includes two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, audio/mic jacks, and an eSATA port. The real estate inside the compartment can also hold your wallet or iPhone and lock it away while you are gaming at a LAN party or other public event. This is a nice security feature that is very functional as well.

After reviewing the exterior, interior, and installing a mid-range gaming system into the Colossus, I’d have to say that BitFenix has a real winner on their hands with this massive E-ATX case. The case’s depth and original features moves away from traditional production case methods and should give them a decisive advantage if they can continue this type of work in the next additions to their product line.


bonafidereviews reviewed the NZXT Sentry LXE Touch Screen Fan Controller

During installation the first thing I noticed is that the cables are very long, long enough for I’m sure any case setup. Long cables though mean a lot of work keeping things clean and tidy in your case.

The NZXT Sentry LXE touch screen fan controller is very well made, and it’s pretty easy to use really.

It’s external and rather large so you’ll need to find a place for it of course.


pro-clockers reviewed the Prolimatech Super Mega

Since the time they released the ever popular Megahalems, the media and review sites have been giving them great reviews. Rightfully so, as the Megahalems and Shadow Megahalems have performed well beyond that of those from other manufacturers. Recently we reviewed another cooler from Prolimatech, this time titled Armageddon. The Armageddon was another high performance cooler but was aimed at individuals whose system lacks space to the left and right of the CPU location but had plenty above.

Features:

* Copper and Aluminum Hybrid for best heat collection and dissipation ratio.
* Copper fins are strategically positioned for better heat dissipation.
* Minimal air resistance between fins allowing best balance between noise and performance for fans in the range of 800-1200RPM. For all out performance, fan RPM at 1600 or above is recommended.
* The Black screws are included to provide extra pressure for better contact with CPU and heatsink.
* Top fin made of scratch-resistant stainless steel to preserve shine.
* Vertically adjustable 120/140 mm universal fan clips redesigned for better installation compatibility.

The Super Mega uses a total of six heat pipes to transport heat from the base of the cooler to the top. Each of the heat pipes are made of copper and covered in a nickle plating to help prevent corrosion, but also to maintain the color scheme. Each of the pipes measures 0.6mm in diameter.

Compared to the original Megahalems we did not see much of an improvement, as the new model edged the older brother by only a single degree.

If you are in the market for a new cooler to replace one that is not living up to the job at hand, then the Prolimatech Super Mega is a nice route to take if you want great performance from an air cooler. Prolimatech continues to offer a very strong competitor to market.


tweaktown reviewed the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME Plus VGA Cooler

This time around we are going to look at a 250W cooler from Arctic Cooling that is designed for the 5xxx series and Fermi cards. Today we are going to take a look at the Accelero XTREME Plus with the additional VR003 installation kit. With an interchangeable mounting plate and specific kits, the Plus offers some of the widest compatibility on the market for a cooler that you will soon see can more than handle its business.

Most obviously are the three 92mm fans attached to the black shroud cooling this long array of fins. The pipes travel out of the base in both directions passing through eighteen fins on the left side and sixty-six fins to the right.

with the scanner running, the plate on the voltage regulators was allowing a temperature of 98°C. Now that isn’t a critical temperature, but with the rest of the cooler working so well, it’s a shame the aluminum cooler here isn’t sufficient to really push these GPUs to their maximum levels.

For everyday use the AC Accelero XTREME Plus is a great cooler to use, even if the plate didn’t hold up well under extreme testing. The fact of the matter is, unless you are in some sort of a benchmark competition and stability screenshots are a must, you are likely not going to abuse the voltage regulators as I did for my testing


hitechlegion reviewed the Cooler Master V6 CPU Cooler

The Cooler Master V6 is a massive heatsink system designed to look like a big block engine and dissipate large amounts of heat. The Cooler Master V6 is also part of Cooler Master’s V-series, with the V8, V10 and the V6GT designed with high-performance and overclocked CPUs in mind.

Cooler Master’s V6 and V6GT look very similar but there are some differences that might not be obvious at first glance. The main heatsink body is essentially the same, except the V6GT’s copper base is nickel plated, while the V6’s copper base is exposed. The Cooler Master V6 also lacks the colored LED found on top of the V6 GT. Despite this, the V6GT is actually shorter by half a millimeter compared to the V6. Lastly, the V6 only comes with a single red bladed fan, while the V6GT comes with two black fans.

Test Setup:

  • Computer Case : Cooler Master HAF X
  • CPU : AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
  • HDD : Seagate 7200.12 500GB
  • Mainboard : Biostar TA890GXBHD
  • OS : Windows 7 Home Premium x64
  • PSU : Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800w
  • RAM : 4GB Patriot Viper Extreme DDR3 1600MHz

The Cooler Master V6 has an attractive and aggressive styling that is also conveniently functional. Cooler Master provides all the tools and directions necessary to mount the CM V6 on a motherboard; however the task itself isn’t a walk in the park.

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~ by benchmarkstest on November 2, 2010.

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