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June 29, 2016

Review: AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB – Polaris Finally Arrives!

… Polaris 10 out of 10.

It would be a fair assumption that AMD named its new GPU after one of the brightest stars in the night sky because to them, that’s exactly what this new GPU is. Huge strides have been made in its engineering, including a brand new architecture based on the new Samsung/GlobalFoundries 14nm FinFET process.

Over the past few years, AMD has been making aggressive pushes into the mainstream PC gaming market. With an all-new ad campaign entitled “The Uprising”, which encourages gamers to join the “Radeon Rebellion” – this Rebellion, of course refers to the fact that AMD has decided that instead of debuting [...]

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May 3, 2016

Review: XFX Radeon R9 390 8GB – Bringing Reference Style Back

… Blast from the past

In 2013, the largest iPhone you could buy was  just 4 inches, the average price for a gallon of gas was $3.50, and VR gaming was a thing of the future. Kind of hard to believe how much has changed in just three years, huh? Well, one thing that fans and critics of AMD alike will no doubt also remember from that year was the release of AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 290 series of GPUs, along with their now infamous reference cooler. AMD’s reference cooler for many at the time was just too loud and was also unable to cool down their beastly graphics cards for long gaming sessions. It is likely because of this that when AMD launched the [...]

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February 6, 2016

Review: PowerColor PCS+ Radeon R9 380X Myst 4GB – Sweet Spot for 1440p Gaming?

The sweet spot for 1440p gaming?

In November of last year, AMD finally released the long-awaited Radeon R9 380X, which is the first consumer graphics card the company has released to feature a full-fledged Antigua (Tonga) XT graphics core. Of course, many may be wondering what to expect from an AMD card which is priced smack in the middle between the Radeon R9 380 and the much beefier, Radeon R9 390.

Today, we’re going to find out as we take a look at the PowerColor PCS+ Radeon R9 380X Myst.

GPU R9 380 R9 380X R9 390 R9 390X Codename Antigua (Tonga) Pro Antigua (Tonga) XT Grenada (Hawaii) Pro Grenada (Hawaii) XT Architecture GCN 1.2 GCN [...]
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November 5, 2015

Review: EVGA GTX 950 FTW – Best Budget 1080p Gaming GPU?

Premium Build Quality for Under $200

Back in August, NVIDIA launched their GeForce GTX 950, which is the first of their 900 series cards to be priced in the budget market. Before its release, users shopping for an NVIDIA graphics card would either have to shell out at least $200 for the GTX 960, or make due with the aging GTX 750 and 750 Ti. Today, we’ll be taking a look at one of the more premium GTX 950 models available on the market, the EVGA GTX 950 FTW.

With the GTX 950, NVIDIA finally rounds out their GTX 900 series lineup, leaving only a gap in pricing between the GTX 970 and the GTX 960. This would likely be filled with either a possible GTX 960 Ti, or [...]

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July 14, 2015

Review: PowerColor Radeon R9 380 PCS+ 4GB

Antigua… or was it Tonga?

At E3 earlier this year, AMD made a huge splash in the graphics market with their new Fury and Fury X graphics cards. These new graphics cards would be the first on the market to boast the revolutionary new HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) technology which AMD is betting will be the future of graphics memory. Alongside the new Fury and Fury X, AMD also quietly launched the Radeon R9 300 series, but focused very little on the new graphics cards.

As it was later revealed, AMD’s upcoming Radeon R9 300 series lineup would pretty much be a re-badge of the Radeon R9 200 series lineup. As such I was honestly a bit [...]

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September 5, 2014

Review: PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo 2GB

Updating GCN for the Mid-Range Segment

Late last year, AMD introduced the Hawaii based Radeon R9 290/290X along with the Bonaire based Radeon R7 260/260X which utilized AMD’s updated GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture. AMD’s updated GCN architecture, which we’ll refer to GCN 1.1, supported new features such as improved compute performance, on die audio processing, and improvements to AMD’s PowerTune technology to offer a faster, more power efficient chip than its GCN 1.0 cousins.

Unfortunately, AMD’s GCN update didn’t cover the mid-range GCN 1.0 based GPUs such as the Radeon R9 270/R9 270X or the Radeon R9 [...]

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April 9, 2014

Review: ASUS Radeon R7 240, R7 250 Graphics Card

Sub-$100 Graphics

As an enthusiast hardware review site, we generally don’t review low end graphics hardware, but it’s understandable that not everyone needs to have the latest $500+ graphics cards and it’s always interesting to see just how far you could get with a sub-$100 budget.

Today we’ll be reviewing two entry level Radeon R7 series graphics cards from ASUS, the ASUS Radeon R7 240 and R7 250. In terms of specs, both the ASUS Radeon R7 240 and Radeon R7 250 are equipped with 28nm Oland GPUs with a choice between the Radeon R7 250 containing a fully unlocked Oland GPU (aka Oland XT) paired with faster GDDR5 memory, or the Radeon R7 240 with a [...]

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March 12, 2014

Review: PNY GeForce GTX 750, GTX 750 Ti, GTX 750 Ti OC

High Performance, Low Energy Consumption

Recently, we came away very impressed with the MSI GeForce GTX 750 Gaming GPU, which was our first opportunity to check out a graphics card based off of Nvidia’s new Maxwell based GeForce GTX 750 series GPU. The GTX 750 series GPUs are Nvidia’s first GPUs to use Nvidia’s brand new, highly efficient SMM architecture to replace the older SMX architecture used on Nvidia’s previous generation Kepler based GPUs.

At launch, we unfortunately only got the opportunity to check out the GTX 750, which was the entry level GTX 750 series GPU. Alongside the GTX 750, Nvidia also launched the GTX 750 Ti, which is very similar to [...]

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February 18, 2014

Review: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Gaming 1GB

Hello Maxwell

Four years ago Nvidia launched the 40nm based Fermi GPU, two years ago Nvidia launched the 28nm based Kepler GPU, and now, two years after Kepler’s launch, it’s now time for Nvidia to launch their latest and greatest GPU – Maxwell.

Back at GTC of last year, we first officially received confirmation of Nvidia’s Maxwell GPUs, with Maxwell’s main goal of continuing the trend Nvidia began setting with their Kepler GPUs – better performance yet not at the expense of increased power consumption. Prior to Kepler, Nvidia had traditionally not worried too much about power consumption as long as performance increased by leaps and [...]

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February 14, 2014

Review: MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G

R9 290 Meets Twin Frozr IV

Late last year along with the unveil of AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 290X graphics card, AMD also unveiled a lower cost offering, the Radeon R9 290, which promised only slightly lower performance at a significantly lower price.

Since then the Radeon R9 290 has been extremely popular, and due to high demand and a shortage in components, we haven’t really seen any custom designed Radeon R9 290’s on the market until late last January.

That said, today we’ll be reviewing a the MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G, which is MSI’s latest custom designed graphics card based off AMD’s Radeon R9 290 GPU. Given that the Radeon R9 [...]

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November 19, 2013

Review: PowerColor Devil R9 270X 2GB

Unleash the Devil

Last week we were blessed with the opportunity to check out MSI’s R9 270 Gaming, which is an excellent variant of AMD’s recently introduced Radeon R9 270 and this week we’ll be checking out a brand new graphics card from PowerColor, the Devil R9 270X. While the Radeon R9 270X and its variants have been released several weeks ago, PowerColor’s cards were  unfortunately missing from AMD’s initial launch, but for those of you who waited, you’ll have the option of getting what may possibly be the best R9 270X variant out there.

Today we’ll be reviewing the PowerColor Devil R9 270X. As you may expect, the [...]

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November 13, 2013

Review: MSI R9 270 Gaming 2GB

Best Under $200 Graphics Card?

If you haven’t heard already, over the past couple weeks AMD has been on a graphics card launch frenzy launching a number of new graphics cards including the Radeon R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290X and the R9 290. While impressive, with the exception of the R9 290X and the R9 290, most of the R9 200 lineup that’s been launched already is still based off AMD’s last generation GPU technology with the R9 280 series based off the Tahiti GPU found in the Radeon HD 7900 series and the R9 270 series based off the Pitcairn GPU found on the Radeon HD 7800 series. Given that AMD is expected to launch around eight GPUs for the R9 200 series before the [...]

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