Review Roundup november 19 2010

Cryo Rapier Gaming System tested by hardwareheaven

Cryo describe the Rapier as an entry level system and at first glance it could be with a Core i3 processor and P55 motherboard as some of its main components. When we consider that this i3 CPU is actually running at 4.48GHz things get a little more interesting though, so let’s look at what Cryo can do for under £800.

Looking first to the components used and overall design and build quality we have a system which takes a number of high quality items, most of which have won gold and silver awards here on Hardware Heaven and combines them in a system with great wiring and a fast OS configuration with no bloat. On top of that Cryo apply a huge but stable overclock to the CPU and GPU, enhancing the performance considerably in tasks from every day use to gaming and media use.

ASUS UL80Jt tested by anandtech

Today, we’ve got the UL80Jt, an updated version running the new Core i3-330UM processor and NVIDIA’s Optimus-enabled G 310M graphics.

Here’s the thing with the UL80. After the release of the U30, I think that the UL80 chassis as a whole has basically lost its appeal. It’s a slightly larger and heavier system that duplicates everything that the U30 does, except with a 50% slower processor.

This isn’t to say that the UL80Jt is a bad notebook by any means. Minus the typically mediocre display and the keyboard flex, it’s actually pretty decent.

AMD Athlon II X2 255 tested by vortez

A voltage bump of just under 0.1v allowed me to push the FSB to 240MHz which returned a creditable overclock of just over 3.73GHz.

It’s an impressive little chip however I would say that its cost is so close to some of the Athlon II X3 range that it may end up a second choice to those. Of course, as you saw in my 440 review, there’s every chance you’d end up with a fully unlockable quad core which would certainly swing a decision in its favour!

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 32GB tested by techgage

Kingston’s DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 comes in a rather simple blister pack, and as is typical of most blister packs, it’s a true pain to open. I came close to cutting myself, but prevailed unscathed. Inside of the package is a dual-headed USB cable that you can use to plug the drive into two different 2.0 ports at the same time in case there isn’t enough power being delivered (this isn’t a problem I experienced).

The performance is unparalleled compared to USB 2.0 counterparts, not only with the raw throughput, but with IOPS as well. That will make a huge difference when copying over folders and boatloads of smaller files.

Netgear WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter tested by tweaktown

The back of the WNCE2001 has the RJ-45 port along with the power port, a reset switch and a Wireless Protected Setup button. This one can be very important if you are setting this up on a system that does not have an OS to allow you to configure it. Overall, the WNCE2001 is a pretty simple device, but it is one that can certainly have an impact.

Now, I know what you are thinking. You are looking at the performance numbers and the 10/100 Ethernet port. Those are all valid points IF you are connecting this to a PC. But this is for a TV, a Game Console, and/or a Blu-ray player (for BD Live).

So in the end, the performance is more than sufficient to handle even the needs of online console gaming.

Sapphire HD 6850 TOXIC tested by hexus

Talking specifics, the Sapphire HD 6850 TOXIC also cranks up the memory frequency to 4,400MHz – up from the default 4,000MHz. Based on the 9.5in-long Radeon HD 6870 PCB and also complete with two 6-pin PCIe connectors and upgraded heatsink-and-fan-unit, it’s designed to be pushed much higher.

Coming to the 820MHz/4,400MHz-clocked Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 TOXIC first, it is designed to be overclocked from the get-go. A Radeon HD 6870 PCB is complemented by two six-pin PCIe connectors, twin mini-DP v1.2 ports, and a chunky heatsink. Sapphire also includes its easy-to-use TRIXX overclocking utility, which we used to push the card to the highest frequencies in our HD 6850 face-off.

PNY GTX 580 XLR8 tested by pureoverclock

The PNY GTX 580 topped out with a final stable overclock of 845MHz Core and 1108MHz Memory, good for about a 10% increase. That’s nothing earth shattering, but respectable nonetheless.

This new design a huge improvement from what we saw in the GF100 launch, the PNY GTX 580 XLR8 brings outstanding gaming performance to those who want the very best.

In terms of performance, we saw the PNY GTX 560 XLR8 soundly thrash the competition in just about every facet, clearly making the 580 the fastest single-GPU card on the market.

SilverStone Sugo SG07 Mini-ITX PC Case tested by legitreviews

The first item would be the PSU cables. While SilverStone didn’t overdo it with the cables, a modular PSU for a case of this size is a no-brainer though they have stated that this would add too much bulk. This would definitely make the build easier and clean things up a bit.

The build quality is top notch as you would expect from SilverStone and the case is very clean and stylish.

To install HDDs and/or SSDs, you first need to remove the cage by removing a few screws.

The other clearance issue I had was for the slim optical drive. If you don’t already know, these drives require different SATA data and power connectors than the normal drives. I had an adapter but as you can see there was no way I could fit the adapter plug and the normal cables due to the proximity of the 180mm fan.

Antec High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply tested by pcper

The Antec HCG-900 power supply is rated for a combined, continuous output power of up to 900 watts at 35°C operating temperature (internal case air temperature). Certainly not as good as some of Antec’s high-end PSUs that are rated for full output at 50°C. But as you will see later, the HCG-900 didn’t have any problems delivering the full 900W when operating at our 40°C max test temperature.

Overall the HCG-900 900W PSU proved to be a good performer delivering excellent AC ripple suppression, quiet operation and good efficiency at an affordable price. I was a little surprised to find only one 8-pin EPS12V connector instead of two and only four PCI-E connectors instead of six on a 900W PSU.

Minor Weaknesses:
• Average DC voltage regulation
• An extra 8-pin EPS12V connector would provide dual CPU support

ASUS Xonar DG Sound Card tested by neoseeker

This little baby packs an integrated headset amplifier, while being small enough to fit in the low-profile form factor. It has four analog outputs as well as one optical output, not counting the front panel header made available on the expansion card directly.

The ASUS Xonar DG didn’t particularly impress in sound quality. Compared to the onboard Realtek ALC889, the only situation where there is a noticeable difference is when listening to music while the Dolby Headphones technology is enabled.

This audio card is primarily targeted to gamers and audiophiles, with its Dolby Headphones technology and built-in headphones amplifier. At $30, wouldn’t it better fit the “affordable” portion of the market?


~ by benchmarkstest on November 19, 2010.

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