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Video card MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G: review and testing 

Continuing our familiarity with the various modifications o recently announced AMD Radeon R7 370 the basic features are available in the review of ASUS STRIX R7 370, we will talk about the MSI’s product which is equipped with high-quality element base and proprietary cooler MSI Twin Frozr V. Another difference of MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G is ability to switch between three operating modes, allowing a single click to obtain the necessary performance or reduce noise. 

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

The specs:

Model

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G 

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R7 370 (Trinidad PRO)

Quantity of shader CPU

1024

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Frame Rate Target Control, Vulcan, OpenCL 2.0

Basic/dynamic frequency of graphics core, MHz

Mode «Silent»

925 / 975

Mode «Gaming»

980 / 1030

Mode «OC»

1000 / 1050

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

Mode «Silent»

1400 (5600)

Mode «Gaming»

1400 (5600)

Mode «OC»

1425 (5700)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

182,4

Memory type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

4096 x 2160

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-D

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

1 х DisplayPort

Support for HDCP and HD-video decoding

Yes

Max capacity of PSU, W

500

Dimensions from official website (according to our measurements), mm

258 x 132 x 37 (276 х 135)

Drivers

Available drivers MSI or  GPU

Producer website

MSI

Package and content

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

The printing of the packaging of MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G is realized in a design typical for series MSI GAMING: red and black colors, and a series of logo (a stylized dragon). In addition to video card name and the manufacturer here is the information about the presence of the logo «OC Edition», indicating about the factory overclocking of key parameters. 

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

All important information is located on the back of the box. Most of the space takes the description of the key advantages:

  • Gaming App – a proprietary software that provides quickly switching between three different operating modes: «Silent», «Gaming» and «OC». Each of them will be relevant, depending on the user's current task.
  • Torx Fan - a new fan design, which has replaced the Propeller Blade. It provides 19% higher airflow, a higher strength and lower noise level. The design sports two rows of blades with different designs, which helped to achieve such impressive results.
  • SuperSU Pipe - the use of two copper heat pipes with a balanced arrangement contributes to increased efficiency of heat dissipation.
  • Zero Frozr - fans of cooling system stop spinning when GPU temperature is below 60°C, eliminating the occurrence of even a minimum level of noise during idle or at low loads, and significantly extend the life of fans.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

A list of system requirements is located on the back of the packaging. Based on these recommendations, the power supply shall have a capacity of at least 500 W and supports 6-pin power cable PCIe.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

In the box with the card we found not only the usual instructions and a CD with software, but also an adapter to connect an analog monitor.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

To display an image there is the following set of video outputs:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

  • Digital up to 4096 x 2160;
  • Dial up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and cooling system 

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

The product is realized in the traditional style of the series MSI GAMING, with a predominance of black and red colors in the design.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

In addition to the PCI Express x16 slot, its power is supplied via an optional 6-pin connector. Note that the cooler doesn’t make any difficulties to disconnect the power cord.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

In order to implement the technologies AMD CrossFireX the MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G uses a single connector for the corresponding bridge that allows you to combine two video accelerators for the joint calculation of graphical effects.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

The reverse side of the printed circuit board features mounting screws of cooling systems, one of which is covered by a warranty sticker. 

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

The basis of MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G is graphics chip AMD Trinidad PRO, which is determined by the utility GPU-Z 0.8.5 as the «AMD Pitcairn». It is produced according to of 28-nm process and consists of 1024 stream processors, 32 ROP units and 64 texture units. The GPU operating frequency was increased to 1050 MHz with respect to the recommended 975 MHz.

As for the video memory subsystem, it is realized byGDDR5-chips Samsung's with total volume of 2 GB, which operate at effective frequency of 5700 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 256-bit bus, which is capable of carrying 182.4 GB of information per second.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

Branded cooling system is not only quite stylish, but also relatively compact. The video card including installed cooling system occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 258 mm according to the official website of MSI (276 mm as measured in our lab).

The cooler comprises a radiator, two copper heat pipes coated with a layer of nickel, as well as two axial fans with blades 95 mm in diameter, mounted on the plastic housing.

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

In case of automatic speed control of fan blades at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 66°C, and cooler is very quiet just 24% of its maximum capacity. 

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

Under the maximum fan speed GPU temperature dropped to 54°C. The noise rose to an average level, but remained quite comfortable for extended use. 

MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G

In case of load absence the frequencies of the GPU and memory were automatically reduced, allowing to reduce power consumption and heat dissipation of video card in general. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 52°C because the fans stopped to rotate, and the cooling system has moved in a completely passive mode. Here appears the aforementioned technology MSI Zero Frozr, which provides a silent mode of video caed at low loads.

Read the full review >>>

Video card SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5: review and testing

Following the graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 380 4G D5, which is representative of a more productive lineup with the support for comfortable gameplay at a resolution of 1440p, we present SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5 that is another graphic accelerator in this series. It features modest performance, but uses an efficient two-fan cooling system SAPPHIRE DUAL-X.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Novelty is characterized by a small factory overclocking and 4 GB of memory. Also, the advantages include the possibility of the cooling system in a passive mode under light load.

The specs:

Model

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5 (11240-04-20G)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R7 370 (Trinidad PRO)

Manufacturing process, nm

28

Quantity of shader processors

1024

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Frame Rate Target Control, Vulcan, OpenCL 2.0

Nominal frequency of graphics core, MHz

985

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Nominal/effective video memory capacity, MHz

1400 / 5600

Mmeory bus, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

179,2

Inner interface

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Screening interfaces

1 х HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 х DVI-I

1 х DVI-D

Minimal PSU capacity, W

500

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

211,12 x 111,15 x 36 (225 x 113)

Drivers

Available drivers  SAPPHIRE or GPU

Producer website

SAPPHIRE

Package and content

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The card comes in a compact vertical-oriented package. It is performed in a black color with gray inserts. The front side sports main features of this graphics accelerator:

  • factory overclocking;
  • 4 GB of memory standard GDDR5;
  • optimal operation of modern online games at 1080p;
  • two-fan cooling system SAPPHIRE DUAL-X;
  • intelligent control system of cooling system operation mode (Intelligent Fan Control II).

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The side face of the package contains a list of the minimum system requirements. According to the manufacturer, the power of the power supply must be at least of 500 W when installing a graphics accelerator, and 600 W when using the combination of two video cards in the mode AMD CrossFireX.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Package of SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5 consists of:

  • adapter DVI↔D-Sub;
  • Stickers on the computer;
  • ROM with software and drivers;
  • a set of instructions.

This set contains almost all the necessary components to install a video card on the motherboard and connect the monitor. In some cases, you may need a 6-pin PCIe-adapter to connect an optional power supply. Most users do not need it, because almost all modern power supplies are equipped with the data connector.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

On the interface panel contains the following interfaces:

  • 1 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x DVI-I.

Such a set of connectors can be found on a large number of modern graphics cards, because it combines the most popular digital and analog interfaces (using the included adapter).

Design and circuitry 

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5 is made on black PCB. Its length is 225 mm and height 112 mm (as measured in our lab). As you can see, the graphics processor is equipped with a protective metal frame which prevents it from damage when installing or removing the cooling system.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

 

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The power subsystem of the GPU is realized according to 4-phase scheme and includes qualitative components (solid capacitors and ferrite chokes). Chip NCP4206 produced by ON Semiconductor is used as a controller.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The video card powering is realized due to PCI Express x16 slots and one 6-pin PCIe. It is pretty easy to connect or disconnect it, because the cooling system does not interfere this process.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Next to the interface connector panel we found bridge AMD CrossFireX. It allows you to combine two similar video cards for co-processing of graphics.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The reverse side of the PCB features a number of elements of the power subsystem and the screws that secure the cooling system and interface panel.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The basis of SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5 is a graphics chip AMD Trinidad PRO, which is determined by the utility GPU-Z 0.8.5 as the AMD Pitcairn. It is made according to 28-nm process and includes 1024 stream processors, 32 units rasterization and 64 texture units. The nominal frequency of the graphics processor in increased from 975 to 985 MHz.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Memory of graphics accelerator (total of 4 GB) is realized with the help of 8 chips SK Hynix H5GC4H24AJR-T2C with capacity of 4 GB each. They operate on effectively frequency of 5600 MHz and exchange information with the graphics chip via a 256-bit bus with carrying capacity of 179.2 GB/s.

Cooling system 

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

This video card is equipped with a dual-slot cooling system SAPPHIRE DUAL-X. Its two axial fans with blades diameter of 86 mm are fixed on a plastic casing that covers the radiator.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Fans FirstDo FDC10H12S9-C with the characteristics of 12 V and 0.35 A are applied. Thanks to the support of Intelligent Fan Control II they can completely stop at light load.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The heatsink consists of a copper base and 74 aluminum fins. Two copper heat pipes with a diameter of 6 mm are applied to accelerate the exchange of heat between these components. Special thermal pads are installed along the perimeter. They transfer the heat from the memory chips on the base of the radiator.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

The heat pipes are in contact with the heat sink fins and the base without the use of solder, but in general their fixation is reliable.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

Now let's examine the efficiency of the cooling system SAPPHIRE DUAL-X. At maximum GPU load and the automatic control of fan speed the GPU was heated up to 74°C. Propellers were spinning at 45% (1790 rpm) of its maximum speed, and the noise did not stand out against other components.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

After setting the rotation speed of the fan blades to the maximum (3340 rpm), the GPU temperature dropped to 65°C, and the noise rose above average, but it was still quite acceptable under prolonged use.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R7 370 4G D5

After the transition to the idle mode, the temperature of the graphics core and memory was reduced. This allowed the cooling system to go into a passive mode, thanks to technology Intelligent Fan Control II. GPU temperature did not exceed 45°C, and the card was operated in a completely silent mode.

Read the full review >>>

Game review: Beyond Eyes

Title: Beyond Eyes
Genre: Indie, adventure
Developer: Tiger and Squid, Team17 Digital Ltd
Editor: Team17 Digital Ltd
Release date: August 11 2015
Platform: РС/Xbox One

We faced with the history of ordinary girl Rae. She was about ten years old. And her interests are consistent with age: she loves to walk in the nature, enjoying the warm spring days, playing hide and seek with friends, catch up, etc. To a certain extent Rae is the average girl, she is active, cheerful and kind.

Beyond Eyes

But once the accident had happen. During the celebration of an event fireworks were exploded. One of them was broken and exploded near the Rae’s eyes. The girl became blind. She could no longer continue her usual cheerful and carefree lifestyle.

Everyone had such feeling: such events occur that completely changes it "before" and "after." And the subject is serious enough and it is not expect to see in an indie game. However, this moment is developed in the game extremely well: the player instantly realizes that that cheerful and kind girl is absent. She is not interesting for friends because she cannot to chase the ball or look for hidden comrades.

Beyond Eyes

What should the girl do as she can not continue to engage in her favorite activities? Surrender and despair? But Rae is a different person: in one summer day she heard meowing and went toward the sound. So she met her new best friend a cat named Nanie. The animal came and entertained her constantly, even during cold winter days, until it was gone. And Rae decided to go looking for him.

Beyond Eyes is a good, small, but very interesting adventure-game. Indescribable and innovative graphic design makes it unlike to other game in the world. Developer is the studio Tiger and Squid decided in a unique way to show how blind people see the world.

Beyond Eyes

How it is implemented in the game: the player sees the girl and a small patch of landscape directly in front of her. Everything else around is white emptiness. As the girl moves forward landscape features bushes and trees, hedges and fences, roads, trails, buildings and fountains.

Rae has well-developed ear as she could hear even the most distant sounds, like the murmur of a river or fountain, birds singing, ringing the bells in the tower, and so on. 

Beyond Eyes

Also want to mention one more genius idea: Rae can not know for sure what kind of an object makes a sound. They are positive, kind and light for her: a beautiful fountain; bright clothes, which dries under the hot spring sun, and so on. Sometimes her idea corresponds to reality, sometimes it is impossible: the fountain can be a drain pipe, and clothes a scarecrow with crows. 

We really like the effect of emotion overlay and deep symbolism: Rae does not see the world around her, but for the first time she went out so far from home, and there are many things for the first time. Especially we liked the scene when she gets to the huge highway road: the road looks like black smoke, ominous music plays and so on. 

Beyond Eyes

The game itself is something reminiscent of a hit for the Playstation 3 Journey - a journey straight to the goal. Something going on around, Rae faces with curious events, meet animals, met with other children, she helps with their problems, and they help her to go in the right direction.

Frankly speaking: it is not always interesting to play Beyond Eyes. It features a lot of boring moments and silly conventions that increase the length of the game. Rae moves slowly (obviously), and developers advisedly put a huge, long hedge on her way. And you need to find bypasses. 

Beyond Eyes

The story is also quite leisurely and fabulous naive. We can not attribute it to a minus of the game as in the context it looks great.

On the other hand, Beyond Eyes can and should be forgiven for the excellent implementation of such complex idea to show the world of blind girl. The game calls an incredible emotion; you believe and feel the same everything happening on the screen.

Especially sound helps to dive into the atmosphere. Blind people are mainly guided by the sound, so Beyond Eyes features enormous work to create a competent sound. All is performed flawlessly: from the sounds of movement and ending with music.

Beyond Eyes

In general we strongly recommend Beyond Eyes for the inspection. It won’t to take much of your time and relatively low system hardware platform PC. So do not take the time to immerse yourself in this amazing, deep, vital and mental game. Positive emotions are guaranteed!

tags: team17   adventure   indie   amd radeon   windows   nvidia geforce   intel core   xbox one   playstation   amd   intel   
Read the full review >>>

Video cardSAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5: review and testing

Company SAPPHIRE Technology, widely known as one of the largest manufacturers of video cards and one of the main partners of AMD, of course could not stay away from the announcement of a new lineup of graphics cards AMD Radeon R9 300, and has present own versions.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

One of them is SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5, which in comparison with the reference AMD Radeon R9 390 used proprietary cooler Tri-X, provided factory overclocking up to 1010 MHz, and the qualitative element base and a number of other improvements, which will be discussed in this review. Let’s start from detailed performance characteristics of new item:

Model

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 (11244-00)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 390 (Grenada PRO)

Quantity of shader processors

2560

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD TrueAudio, AMD Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Frame Rate Target Control, Vulcan, AMD FreeSync, OpenCL 2.0, AMD LiquidVR

Graphics core frequency, MHz

1010

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1500 (6000)

Memory capacity, GB

8

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

512

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

384

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

4096 x 2160

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-D

1 х HDMI

3 х DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

750

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

308 x 127 x 42,3 (315 х 125)

Drivers

Available drivers   SAPPHIRE or  GPU

Producer website

SAPPHIRE Technology

As you can see, the actual overclocking of the graphics core is only 10MHz compared to reference 1000 MHz, so you should not expect for a significant increase in performance compared with the reference version. The key advantages of the new product are an original cooling system and updated electronic components.

Package and content

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

Graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 comes in a large cardboard box decorated with original and stylish printing. In addition to a small viewing opening on the front side you may note names of the manufacturer and model of the device, the volume and type of installed video memory, support for proprietary cooling system Tri-X, as well as the presence of factory overclocking.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5The reverse side contains a small schematic representation of the graphics card, as well as a list of its benefits:

  • Tri-X – a proprietary cooling system, with three axial fans form  air flow directed to the key components of a video card, which promotes more effective cooling.
  • Dual Ball Bearing Fans - fans with double ball bearings have a greater smoothness and an increased service life.
  • Cooper Heatpipes - five copper heat pipes of different diameters for better heat dissipation are the base of the heatsink.
  • Copper/Aluminum heatsink - the radiator is made of aluminum with a copper base.
  • Black Diamond Chokes - chokes feature 10% lower temperature during operation and 25% higher efficiency.
  • DVI-D, HDMI + 3 DP ports - a set of external interfaces includes a large number of various digital ports.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

A list of system requirements is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system should have a capacity at least of 750 W and two 8-pin PCIe.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

The delivery set of the graphics card SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 contains the standard documentation, CD with software and a nice bonus in the form of cable HDMI.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

To display the image on the test Powered by the next set of interfaces:

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

Design and circuitry

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

Model SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 is realized on the original black circuit board with a standard arrangement principle. Applied circuitry includes extremely high quality components: solid capacitors with extended service, advanced chip IR3553 and effective chokes Black Diamond Chokes. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics and also prolongs its life.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5Powering of the product is realized via reliable 8-phase scheme: 6 phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core and 2 are designed for video memory subsystem.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

Chip IR3567B is used as a digital PWM controller of power subsystem.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5In order to power the graphics card there is a PCI Express x16 slot and two 8-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. Note that the cooler doesn’t complicate the disconnection or connection of the cable PCIe.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

The reverse side of the PCB doesn’t contain significant elements. We should also note the complete absence of connectors for bridges AMD CrossFireX, as this technology is implemented at the software level. Also do not forget that starting from the version of the driver AMD Catalyst 15.7 WHQL, you will be able to combine a bunch of novelty with the AMD Radeon R9 290.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

The basis of SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 is a graphics chip AMD Grenada PRO, which is determined by the utility GPU-Z 0.8.5 as the AMD Hawaii. It is produced by the norms of 28-nm manufacturing process and consists of 2560 unified shader pipelines, 64 ROP units and 160 texture units. The GPU operating frequency was increased to 1010 MHz with respect to the recommended 1000 MHz.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5Memory of model SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 (total 8 GB) is realized with the help of 16 chips SK hynix H5GC4H24AJR-T2C with capacity of 4 GB each, which run on the recommended effective frequency 6000 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 512-bit bus, which is able to pass 384 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5The video card including installed cooling system Tri-X occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 308 mm according to the official website (315 mm measured in our lab).

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

A cooler consists of a massive two-section heatsink with 55 and 70 aluminum plates transversely arranged and three 86 mm axial fans mounted on the plastic case.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5The fans are produced by company FirstDO and are labeled as «FDC10H12D9-C». Rated voltage of operation is 12 V and the current strength is 0.35 A, which gives the final output of 4.2 W.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5The uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator is provided by five copper heat pipes of different diameter: one 10 mm and two 8 mm and two 6 mm. Note that the heat pipes are not covered by a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the drop in the efficiency of cooling system during the operation, due to the oxidation of metals.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5They are secured by solder and tight fit between the fins of the radiator.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

The main cooling system is directly in contact with the power elements of the power subsystem and video memory chips using thermal interface, which should positively affect the overclocking potential.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

In case of the automatic speed control of fan blades under the maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 74°C, and cooler, as indicated by the monitoring works at 50% of its maximum capacity. Noise was very quiet.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

Under the maximum speed of fan blades the GPU temperature dropped to 64°C. In this case the noise has exceeded the average level and became uncomfortable for continuous operation near the PC.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

In case of load absence the frequencies of the GPU and memory are automatically reduced. As a result they allow to reduce the power consumption and heat release. In this mode the GPU temperature did not exceed 44°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode.

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING) on AMD Radeon R7 370: review and testing 

Along with the flagship video cards AMD Radeon R9 Fury X and AMD Radeon R9 Fury, as well as high-level models of the series AMD Radeon R9 300, AMD has updated the budget segment of own product, which along with last year's series of AMD Radeon R7 200 received a new name - AMD Radeon R7 300. One of the innovations is the graphics card AMD Radeon R7 370, which will be offered for a suggested price of $ 149 for the modifications to the reference design.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

It received a renamed and graphics core slightly modified from last year's adapter AMD Radeon R7 265, which now has the name of AMD Trinidad PRO instead of AMD Curacao PRO. In turn, this has already been renamed GPU AMD Pitcairn PRO with old one AMD Radeon HD 7850.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

At the same time it doesn’t have any significant structural changes: the chip also includes 1024 stream processors, 64 texture units and 32 units of rasterization. As for the video memory subsystem, two versions of the video card were announced: 2 or 4 GB and effective frequency 5600 MHz.

 

AMD

Radeon R9 380

AMD Radeon R7 370

AMD Radeon R7 265

AMD Radeon HD 7850

Code name

AMD Antigua PRO

AMD Trinidad PRO 

AMD Curacao PRO

AMD Pitcairn PRO

Quantity of stream processors

1792

1024 

1024

1024

Texture units

112

64 

64

64

ROPs

32

32 

32

32

GPU frequency, MHz

970

975 

925

860

Video memory effective frequency, MHz

5500 / 5700

5600 

5600

4800

Video memory capacity, GB

2 / 4

2 / 4 

2

2

Video memory interface, bit

256

256 

256

256

Like in the case with the previously discussed graphics cards in a new lineup, another difference of AMD Radeon R7 370 from its predecessor in the face of AMD Radeon R7 265 is the increased frequency of the graphics core from 925 to 975 MHz.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Let’s move on to a more detailed study on the example of video card ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING).

Model

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R7 370 (Trinidad PRO)

Quantity of shader processors

1024

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Frame Rate Target Control, Vulcan, OpenCL 2.0

Graphics core frequency, MHz

1050

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1400 (5600)

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

179,2

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

4096 x 2160

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-D

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

1 х DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

500

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

214 x 125 x 42 (226 х 128)

Drivers

Available drivers  ASUS or  GPU

Producer website

ASUS

Like all video cards in series ASUS STRIX, the novelty has received quite a large list of changes compared to the reference specifications. So, in addition to the original PCB, proprietary cooling system and improved element base, there is a factory overclocking. The graphics core is clocked at 1050 MHz (increase of 7% compared to the recommended 975 MHz). Video memory operating at the reference effective frequency of 5600 MHz.

Package and content 

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Graphics card ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING) comes in a fairly large cardboard box and decorated with original and stylish line of the graphic printing with logo ASUS STRIX. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device here you can find information about the use of its proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with technology 0dB FAN, which provides 30% lower temperature compared to the reference cooler and in passive mode at low loads.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the slightly more detailed description of the advantages of new item. Also, there is a schematic diagram of the interface panel, and the mention of the features of proprietary utility GPU Tweak II with the functions of the online Online Streaming.

As for the benefits, they include:

  • DirectCU II - proprietary cooling system which compares favorably with the direct contact of heat pipes with a graphics core, 220% greater area of heat dissipation and 40% higher thermal conductivity that allows a 30% reduction in the temperature and decreases three times the noise level compared to reference cooler. 
  • ASUS Auto Extreme with Super Alloy Power II - model ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING is one of the world's first graphics card built in a fully automated line, which guarantees consistently high quality and ensures the rejection of aggressive chemicals in the production process. In addition, it is based on using high-quality electronic components (Super Alloy Power II), allowing further improves the reliability of the new item.
  • 0db FAN provides silent operation of video at low loads.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

A list of system requirements is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system must have a capacity at least of 500 W and provide at least 24 A on +12V line. Also tested model requires the connection of 6-pin cable PCIe.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Supplied set of the graphics card ASUS STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING includes the standard documentation, CD with software and a nice bonus in the form of bridge AMD CrossFireX.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

To display the image the next set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort. 

Design and circuitry 

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Model ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING) is realized on a compact black PCB. Used electronic components correspond to the branded concept Super Alloy Power II and include only high-quality components: solid and tantalum-polymer capacitors, advanced MOSFETs and ferrite core chokes. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics in general, and prolongs its lifetime.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Power of new product is made according to 4+1-phase scheme where four phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core, and one is designed for video memory subsystem.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Chip uP1608TK is applied as a digital PWM controller of power subsystem.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

In order to power the graphics card there is a PCI Express x16 slot and one 6-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. Note that the cooler doesn’t complicate the disconnection or connection of the cable PCIe.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

To implement the technology AMD CrossFireX on ASUS STRIX R7 370 a single connector for the corresponding bridge is used. It allows you to combine two video accelerators for the joint calculation of graphical effects.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the printed circuit board contains mounting screws of cooling system and some electrical components.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The base of ASUS STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING is a graphics chip AMD Trinidad PRO, which is determined by the utility GPU-Z 0.8.5 as the AMD Pitcairn. It is produced by the norms of 28-nm manufacturing process and consists of the 1024 unified shader pipelines, 32 ROP units and 64 texture units. The GPU operating frequency was increased to 1050 MHz with respect to the recommended 975 MHz.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Memory of model ASUS STRIX R7 370 (total 4 GB) is realized due to the use of 8 chips SK hynix H5GC4H24AJR-T2C with capacity 4 GB each, which run on the recommended effective frequency of 5600 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through 256-bit bus, which is capable of carrying 179.2 GB of information per second.

Cooling system 

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The video card including installed cooling system ASUS DirectCU II takes up two expansion slots and has a total length of 214 mm according to the official website (226 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The cooler consists of a compact radiator with 38 longitudinally spaced aluminum plates, and two 75 mm axial flow fans mounted on the plastic case.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The fans are produced by company EVERFLOW and are labeled as «T128010SH». Rated voltage of operation is 12 V, and the current is 0.25 A, which gives the final output of 3 W.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

The uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator is provided by two copper heat pipes with diameter of 8 mm. Fins and heat pipes are covered with a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the drop in the efficiency of cooling system during the operation, due to the oxidation of metals. ASUS DirectCU cooler use scheme of direct contact of heat pipes to the surface of the GPU through a small layer of thermal paste to accelerate removal of excess heat.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

To cool the power elements of the power subsystem there is a separate low-profile heatsink with thermal interface. But memory chips don’t have any additional cooling.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

In case of the automatic speed control of the fan blades and under maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 75°C, and cooler works while 43% of its maximum capacity. Noise subjectively was quiet and comfortable for everyday use.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

Under the maximum speed of fan blades rotation the GPU temperature dropped to 59°C. This noise exceeded the average level, but in a closed PC case it did not stand out too much compared to other components.

ASUS STRIX R7 370 (STRIX-R7370-DC2OC-4GD5-GAMING)

In case of load absence the operating frequencies of the graphics core and memory were automatically reduced, allowing them to reduce power consumption and heat. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 39°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode. Here the above-mentioned technology 0dB FAN is activated, providing silent operation of video at low loads.

Read the full review >>>

CPU cooler Noctua NH-C14S: review and testing

Many users will agree that when it comes to high-performance air CPU coolers, the first solution you think is Tower one. And this is a rule, because the vast majority of high-end coolers have a tower configuration. It should be noted the, at the end of 2011 the company Noctua has decided to break this stereotype and announced the cooler Noctua NH-C14. It is characterized by the horizontal arrangement of the radiator, and two 140 mm fans placed on both sides for the active removal of heat. 

Noctua NH-C14S

In 2015, Austrian engineers decided to release a similar solution, but with the prefix «S» in the title. Cooler Noctua NH-C14S is characterized by using only one fan, so its height is only 115 mm. At the same time the use of a massive radiator should have a positive effect on the efficiency of the device. And in today’s review we will lean this aspect.

Read the full review >>>

ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0 motherboard: review and testing

The hero of this review is the model ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0. First of all it interest fans of reliable average motherboards. It is designed to work in tandem with the processor of families AMD Phenom II, AMD Athlon, AMD FX combines a relatively inexpensive and modern equipment. With the price of $ 120 ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0 offers enhanced digital power system, the ability to use up to 32 GB of RAM standard DDR3-2133 MHz interface SATA 6 Gb/s for connecting disk drives, connector PCI Express 2.0 x16 to installing a video card, as well as interfaces USB 3.0 and eSATA. But this is not the full list of its features.

ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0

The specs: 

Producer  

ASUS

Model

M5A97 EVO R2.0 (rev 1.01)

Chips of north and south bridges

AMD 970 + AMD SB950

CPU socket

AMD Socket AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

(up to 140 W)

Memory frequency

2133* / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (in mode x4)

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

2 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB950 supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

8-channel spund

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of north bridge

Aluminum radiator of south bridge

Aluminum radiator on elements of processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

8 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

1 х IEEE 1394a

6 x audio jacks

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

1 х PS/2 Combo

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x COM

1 x TPM

1 x IEEE 1394a

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»

1 х button «DirectKey»

1 x switch «TPU»

1 x switch «EPU»

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, PnP, DMI 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

3 x SATA cables

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on  support page

tags: amd   asus   pci express   usb 3.0   amd fx   esata   realtek   usb 2.0   amd sb950   atx   asmedia   phenom   ddr3   athlon   amd 970   usb bios flashback   socket am3+   uefi bios   amd crossfirex   sempron   usb 3.0 boost   
Read the full review >>>

Video cardASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING) on AMD Radeon R9 380: review and testing 

Continuing familiarity with the lineup of graphics cards AMD Radeon Rx 300, after talk about the AMD Radeon R9 390, which is a kind of modification of the AMD Radeon R9 290, we will move to a more affordable solution, namely, the AMD Radeon R9 380.

GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 inno3D iChill Ultra  AMD Radeon R9 285 2GB GDDR5 HIS Mini IceQ X2 OC  GeForce GTX 960 2GB GDDR5 ASUS TURBO OC  Radeon R9 390 8GB GDDR5 ASUS STRIX OC

By analogy with the previous model, the novelty was renamed and slightly modified graphics core from last year's adapter AMD Radeon R9 285, which has received a new name AMD Antigua PRO instead of AMD Tonga PRO. At the same time there were any significant structural changes: the chip also includes a 1792 stream processors, 112 texture units and 32 units rasterization. As for the video memory subsystem, there are two versions of the video card: one with 2 GB of working on the effective frequency 5500 MHz, and the second with 4 GB and frequency of 5700 MHz.

 

AMD

Radeon R9 390

AMD

Radeon R9 290

AMD 

Radeon R9 380 

AMD

Radeon R9 285

Code name

Grenada PRO

Hawaii PRO

Antigua PRO 

Tonga PRO

Quantity of data-flow processors

2560

2560

1792 

1792

Texture units

160

160

112 

112

ROP

64

64

32 

32

Graphics processor frequency, MHz

1000

947

970 

918

Video memory effective frequency, MHz

6000

5000

5500 / 5700 

5500

Video memory capacity, GB

8

4

2 / 4 

2

Video memory interface, bit

512

512

256 

256

As you can see, another difference of AMD Radeon R9 380 from its predecessor AMD Radeon R9 285 is the increased frequency of the graphics core from 918 to 970 MHz. For the rest, any critical differences in performance between them are absence. Separately, we note that AMD declares the GPU energy optimization achieved by improving the manufacturing process. This allowed further increase the frequency of the cores.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Let’s turn to a more detailed examination of the product on the example of the video card ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING).

Model

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 380 (Antigua PRO)

Quantity of shader processors

1792

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD TrueAudio, AMD Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Frame Rate Target Control, Vulcan, AMD FreeSync, OpenCL 2.0, AMD LiquidVR

GPU frequency, MHz

«OC»

1010

«Gaming»

990

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1375 (5500)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

176,6

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

4096 x 2160

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-D

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI

1 х DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

500

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

271 x 139 x 42 (284 х 139)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or GPU

Producer website

ASUS

Like all video card in series ASUS STRIX, the novelty has received quite a large list of modifications compared to the reference specifications. So, in addition to the original PCB, proprietary cooling system and improved element base, there is a factory overclocking. In mode «OC» the graphics core (used for testing) operates at 1010 MHz (increase of 4% compared to the recommended 970 MHz). Video memory operates at speed of 5500 MHz recommended for version of 2GB.

Package and content 

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Graphics card ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING) is shipped in a quite large cardboard box decorated with original and stylish printing with logo of lineup ASUS STRIX. In addition to manufacturer and model of the device here you can find information about the use of proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with technology 0dB FAN which provides 20% lower temperature compared to the reference cooler and radial type in passive mode at low loads.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the slightly more detailed description of the advantages of new item. Also there is a schematic diagram of the interface panel, and the mention of the features of proprietary utility GPU Tweak II with features of Online Streaming, and switch between the modes «Gaming» and «OC».

As for the advantages, they include:

  • ASUS Auto Extreme with Super Alloy Power II - model ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING is one of the world's first graphics card built in a fully automated line, which guarantees consistently high quality and ensures the rejection of aggressive chemicals in the production process. In addition, it is based on using high-quality electronic components (Super Alloy Power II), allowing further improves the reliability of the new item.
  • 0db FAN provides silent operation of video at low loads.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system must have a capacity at least 500 W and provide at least 24 A on +12 V line. Also tested model requires the connection of one 8-pin cable PCIe.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The delivery set of the graphics card ASUS STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING contains standard documentation and software CD.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

To display the image the next set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort. 

Design and circuitry 

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Model ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING) is realized on the original circuit board painted in black color, with a standard arrangement principle. Used electronic components correspond to the concept Super Alloy Power II and includes only high-quality components: solid state capacitors, advanced MOSFETs and ferrite core chokes. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics in general, and also prolongs its life.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Power is realized according to reinforced 6+2-phase scheme where six phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core and 2 are designed for video memory subsystem.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

PWM controller of power subsystem is carried by chip ASP1300.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

In order to provide the power supply the test product includes PCI Express x16 slot and one 8-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. Note that the cooler slightly complicates the disconnection of the cable PCIe.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the printed circuit board, originally protected by a massive base plate, doesn’t contain significant elements. We should also note the complete absence of connectors for bridges AMD CrossFireX, as this technology is implemented at the software level.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The base of ASUS STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING is a graphics chip AMD Antigua PRO, which is determined by the utility GPU-Z 0.8.5 as the AMD Tonga. It is produced by the norms of 28-nm manufacturing process and consists of 1792 unified shader pipelines, 32 ROP units and 112 texture units. The GPU operating frequency was increased to 1010 MHz with respect to the recommended 970 MHz.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Memory of model ASUS STRIX R9 380 (total 2 GB), is realized by 8 chips Elpida W2032BBBG-6A-F with capacity of 2 GB each, which run on the recommended effective frequency 5500 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 256-bit bus, which is capable of flowing 176.6 GB of information per second.

Cooling system 

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The video card including installed cooling system ASUS DirectCU II takes two expansion slots and has a total length of 271 mm according to the official website (284 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The cooler consists of a massive heat sink, which uses 45 longitudinally spaced aluminum fins and two 95 mm axial fans mounted on plastic case.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

The fans are produced by company FirstDO and are labeled as «FD10015H12S». Rated voltage of operation is 12 V, and the current is 0.55 A, which gives the final output of 6.6 W.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Three copper heat pipes of different diameter are used for uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator. Two of them are 8 mm and one 10 mm. Fins and heat pipes are covered with a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the drop in the efficiency of cooling system during the operation, due to the oxidation of metals. The scheme of direct contact of heat pipes to the surface of the GPU through a small layer of thermal paste to accelerate removal of excess heat is applied.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

To improve the efficiency of heat transfer the pipes are securely soldered to the edges of the aluminum radiator and copper base.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

A separate low-profile heatsink with thermal interface is used to cool the power elements of the power subsystem. But memory chips are devoid of any additional cooling.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

In case of the automatic speed control fan blades at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 76°C, and cooler operates at 44% of its maximum capacity. Noise was quiet and comfortable for everyday use.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

Under the maximum speed fan blades GPU temperature dropped to 72°C. This noise exceeded the average level and became uncomfortable for continuous operation near the PC.

ASUS STRIX R9 380 (STRIX-R9380-DC2OC-2GD5-GAMING)

In case of load absence the frequencies of the GPU and memory are automatically lowered, allowing them to reduce power consumption and heat release. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 54°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode. The above-mentioned technology 0dB FAN is activated, providing silent operation of video at low loads.

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING) on AMD Radeon R9 390: review and testing

In summer 2015 AMD has announced flagship graphics cards AMD Radeon R9 Fury X and AMD Radeon R9 Fury, as well as performed rebranding ofwell familiar AMD Radeon R9 290X and AMD Radeon R9 290, which received a number of improvements, new names and significantly reduced price tags. So, the former AMD Radeon R9 290X will be available as an AMD Radeon R9 390X priced at $ 429 instead of $ 549, and AMD Radeon R9 290 renamed to AMD Radeon R9 390 and is available for $ 329 instead of $ 399.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Since this review we learn the video card ASUS STRIX R9 390 ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING), a modified version of AMD Radeon R9 390, then talk about the performance characteristics of high-end model will be postponed for another time, but for now we will focus on performance of less cheaper solution.

In comparison with the AMD Radeon R9 290 novelty was renamed AMD Grenada PRO, but in fact the familiar graphics core AMD Hawaii PRO, which includes the 2560 stream processors, 160 texture units and 64 blocks of rasterization. As for the video memory subsystem, its capacity was increased from 4 to 8 GB, and effective operating frequency increased from 5000 to 6000 MHz.

 

AMD

Radeon R9 290X

AMD

Radeon R9 290

AMD

Radeon R9 390

Code name

Hawaii XT

Hawaii PRO

Grenada PRO 

Quantity of data-flow processors

2816

2560

2560

Texture units

176

160

160

ROP

64

64

64

Graphic processor frequency, MHz

1000

947

1000

Video memory effective frequency, MHz

5000

5000

6000

Video memory capacity, GB

4

4

8

Video memory interface, bit

512

512

512

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

After looking at the above comparison, it becomes clear that the GPU AMD Grenada PRO is a direct successor of AMD Hawaii PRO and is based on the same microarchitecture (AMD GCN 1.1), but according to the AMD, the new core has been significantly modified. Thus, the architecture of the subsystem power management was modified And thanks to the optimization of the production process GPU operating frequency was increased (from 947 to 1000 MHz) with a slight increase in the level of TDP. However, under a similar load and higher performance, power consumption of the new chip must be lower than its predecessor. Significant improvements of video memory should have a positive impact on productivity in the mode of 4K Ultra HD, which we will examine in the relevant section.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

And now we offer go to a more detailed review of the video card ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING).

Model

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 390 (Grenada PRO)

Quantity of shader pipelines

2560

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, AMD Mantle, AMD Eyefinity, AMD App Acceleration, AMD HD3D, AMD CrossFireX, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD ZeroCore, AMD TrueAudio, AMD Virtual Super Resolution, AMD Frame Rate Target Control, Vulcan, AMD FreeSync, OpenCL 2.0, AMD LiquidVR

Graphic core frequency, MHz

«OC»

1070

«Gaming»

1050

«Silent»

1030

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1500 (6000)

Memory capacity, GB

8

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

512

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

384

Bus

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

4096 x 2160

Screening interfaces

1 х DVI-D

1 х HDMI

3 х DisplayPort

Support for HDCP and HD-video decoding

Yes

PSU minimal capacity, W

750

Dimensions from the official site (measured in our lab), mm

300 x 137 x 40 (314 х 150)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or  GPU

Producer website

ASUS

Since we have almost completely rebalanced modification of AMD Radeon R9 390, we cannot talk about any correspondence to reference model. We can only directly comparable operating frequencies. In this case, the graphics core of graphics card ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING in mode «OC» (where testing was carried out) can boast the presence of factory overclocking up to 1050 MHz (increase of 5% compared to recommended 1000 MHz). Video memory runs at recommended the 6000 MHz.

Package and content

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Graphics card ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING) comes in a fairly large cardboard box and is decorated with original and stylish line of the graphic printing with logo ASUS STRIX. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device, note the use of a proprietary cooling system DirectCU III including technology 0dB FAN, which provides 30% lower temperature compared to the reference cooler and radial type in passive mode at low loads.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the more detailed description of the advantages of new item. Also, there is a schematic diagram of the interface panel, and the mention of the features of proprietary utility GPU Tweak II with the functions of the Online Streaming and to switch between modes «Gaming», «OC» and «Silent».
As for the benefits, they include:

  • ASUS Auto Extreme with Super Alloy Power II - model ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING is one of the world's first graphics card built in a fully automated line, which guarantees consistently high quality and ensures the rejection of aggressive chemicals in the production process. In addition, it is based on using high-quality electronic components (Super Alloy Power II), allowing further improves the reliability of the new item.
  • Backplate - the base plate substantially increases the rigidity and decreases the risk of curvature of the printed circuit board with the time of the weight of the cooling system.
  • 10 mm Mega Heatpipes – radiator of cooling system includes five copper heat pipes, two of which have a diameter of 10 mm, which provides a more efficient heat transfer from GPU.
  • STRIX LED - video card is equipped with red LED-indication that will appeal to fans of modding and owners of buildings with a transparent side panel.
  • Triple Wing-blade 0db Fans - three fans with a special shape of the impeller provide a more powerful air flow, thereby increasing the efficiency of the cooler.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply in such a system must have a capacity at least of 750 W and provide at least 24 A on +12 V line. Also tested model requires the connection of two cables PCIe: one 8-pin and one 6-pin.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Delivery set of the graphics card ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING containsthe standard documentation, CD with software and adapter for power.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

To display the image the next set of interfaces is provided:

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

Design and features

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Model ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING) is performed on the original black circuit board with a standard arrangement principle. Used electronic components correspond to the branded concept Super Alloy Power II and include only high-quality components: solid and tantalum-polymer capacitors, advanced MOSFETs and ferrite core chokes. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics and prolongs its life.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Power is realized via enhanced 8+2-phase scheme where 8 phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core and 2 are designed for video memory subsystem.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Chip ASP1300As is applied as digital PWM controller of power subsystem.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The graphics power uses slot PCI Express x16 and two slots PCIe (8- and 6-pin), located on the side of the board. Due to the large dimensions of the cooler it is difficult to disconnect cables PCIe.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the printed circuit board originally protected by a massive base plate, doesn’t have significant elements. We should also note the complete absence of connectors for bridges AMD CrossFireX, as this technology is implemented at the software level. Also do not forget that you will be able to combine a bunch of novelty with the AMD Radeon R9 290 starting from the version of the driver AMD Catalyst 15.7 WHQL.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The base of ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING is a graphics chip AMD Grenada PRO, which is determined by the utility GPU-Z 0.8.4 as the AMD Hawaii. It is produced by the norms of 28-nm manufacturing process and consists of 2560 unified shader pipelines, 64 ROP units and 160 texture units. The GPU operating frequency was increased to 1050 MHz with respect to the recommended 1000 MHz.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Memory models ASUS STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING (total 8GB) is realized using 16 chips SK hynix H5GC4H24AJR-T2C with capacity of 4 GB each, which run on the recommended effective frequency 6000 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 512-bit bus, which is capable of flowing 384 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The video card including installed cooling system ASUS DirectCU III occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 300 mm according to the official website of the (314 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The cooler consists of a fairly massive radiator, which uses 47 longitudinally spaced aluminum plates, and three 88-mm axial fans with an improved form of blades mounted on a plastic casing.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

The fans are produced by company Everflow and are labeled as «T129215SU». Rated voltage of operation is 12, and the current 0.5 A, which gives the final output of 6 W.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

In order to provide uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator there are five copper heat pipes of different diameter, two 10 mm and two 8 mm and one 6 mm. Fins and heat pipes are covered with a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the drop in the efficiency of cooling system during the operation, due to the oxidation of metals. The cooler ASUS DirectCU uses the scheme of direct contact heat pipes to the surface of the GPU through a small layer of thermal paste to accelerate removal of excess heat.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

To improve the efficiency of heat exchange pipes are soldered to the ribs of aluminum and copper heat sink base.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Also note that the primary cooling system is directly in contact with the power supply subsystem components using thermal interface. But memory chips don’t have any additional cooling.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

In case of automatic speed control of the fan blades, at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 90°C, and cooler works while 55% of its maximum capacity. Noise while subjectively was below average and was comfortable for everyday use.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Under the maximum speed fan blades GPU temperature dropped to 80°C. In this case the noise exceeded the average level and became uncomfortable for continuous operation near the PC.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

In case of load absence the operating frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically reduced, allowing to reduce power consumption and heat. In this mode the GPU temperature did not exceed 56°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode. The above-mentioned technology 0dB FAN is activated. It provides silent operation of video at low loads.

ASUS STRIX R9 390 (STRIX-R9390-DC3OC-8GD5-GAMING)

Read the full review >>>

CPU cooling system CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE: review and testing

Officially the company CRYORIG was born in 2013, although its life journey began a little earlier in 2000. During this time it received the necessary experience, which was used to develop the range of CPU coolers. At the moment it consists of six solutions created for different purposes and with different design: from the low-profile cooler for compact systems Mini-ITX up to high-performance Twin-Tower solutions.

CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE

We want to introduce you to the "golden middle" of range CRYORIG - cooling system CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE, which has a number of distinctive features. In this review we will try to figure out how these differences affect the efficiency of the cooler, and its real capabilities when paired with the powerful overclocked processors.

CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE

Read the full review >>>

CPU cooling system Noctua NH-D15S: review and testing

Two-fan cooler Noctua NH-D15 released last year is another masterpiece of the Austrians. It deserves the title of one of the most high-performance air coolers on the market. However, because its large dimensions it has a disadvantage traditional for top solutions in face of overlapping slots for memory modules. Because of this, the use of a cooler in the original configuration, together with overclocking memory modules is not possible.

Noctua NH-D15S

So a year later the Noctua range of cooling systems was expanded by two-tower similar solutions, but with one inner fan. Its title has a letter «S», indicating compatibility with a high standard RAM. And due to the fact that the basis for this solution is a model Noctua NH-D15, the name of the new product fully reflects this fact. So meet the cooler Noctua NH-D15S, who came in our test lab.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS AM1I-A: review and testing

ASUS has continued to expand the lineup of motherboards for the platform AMD AM1, which is primarily designed to build the most affordable and energy-efficient PCs. One of the key ideas of this platform is a relatively small set of the final cost of the processor and motherboard from $ 65 to $ 95 (depending on the used APU model). Also note that processors intended for AMD AM1 are made in the design of SoC. They include not only computers, but also the graphics core and a number of controllers that eliminated the need for a separate set of system logic as well as the need to buy a discrete graphics card.

ASUS AM1I-A

More information about platform AMD AM1 is available the reviews of the processors AMD Athlon 5350 and motherboard MSI AM1I, and we will proceed to the ASUS AM1I-A that is a compact solution in size Mini-ITX, with an average cost of about $ 35 - 40.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

AM1I-A (rev 1.02)

CPU socket

Socket AM1

Supported processors

AMD Athlon / AMD Sempron

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

Disk subsystem

Controller SATA into APU supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek RTL8111GR (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Extenral I/O

1 х DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 x COM

3 x audio jack

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х TPM

1 х COM

1 х LPT

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

UEFI AMI BIOS

64 Мb Flash ROM, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI 2.0a

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

Mini-ITX

170 х 170 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: asus   amd   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   realtek   amd am1   athlon   mini-itx   ddr3   kabini   soc   uefi bios   usb 3.0 boost   sempron   windows 8   
Read the full review >>>

APU AMD A4-6320: review and testing

If you want to build the budget office or home computer one of the most important roles plays the correct selection of the processor. In many cases, one of the low-cost APU models from AMD will be suitable. The advantages of this solution are:

  • the ability to use inexpensive motherboard;
  • easier cooling system;
  • lower cost compared with a set of processor and discrete accelerator with the same performance.

AMD A4-6320

As you can see, the acquisition of APU has many benefits. If we talk about the hero of this review, AMD A4-6320, the advantages are extended by relatively low cost. As a result you will have a well-balanced computer for watching video and surfing the Web.

The specs:

Model

AMD A4-6320 

Marking

AD6320OKA23HL

APU socket

Socket FM2

Basic clock frequency, MHz

3800

Max clock frequency with AMD Turbo Core 3.0, MHz

4000

Multiplier (nominal / in turbo mode)

38 / 40

Basic system bus frequency, MHz

100

L1 cache memory, KB

2 х 16 (data memory)

64 (instruction memory)

L2 cache memory, KB

1024

L3 cache memory, KB

No

Microarchitecture

AMD Piledriver

Code name

AMD Richland

Quantity of cores/threads

2/2

Instruction support

MMX(+), SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4A, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, x86-64, AMD-V, AES, AVX, XOP, FMA3, FMA4

Max calculated power (TDP), W

65

Max operating temperature, °C

70

Manufacturing process, nm

32

Technology support

AMD 64-bit, AMD Virtualization, EVP (Enhanced Virus Protection), AMD PowerNow!, AMD Turbo Core 3.0

Build-in memory controller

Max memory capacity, GB

-

Memory type

DDR3

Max frequency, MHz

1600

Memory channels quantity

2

Built-in graphics core AMD Radeon R7 Graphics

Thread processors

128

Tetxture blocks

16

Rasterization blocks

4

GPU clock frequency, MHz

760

Instruction support

DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.3, DirectCompute 5.0, OpenCL 1.2, Shader Model 5.0

Producer website

AMD

Product page

AMD A4-6320

Package, content and design 

AMD A4-6320

AMD A4-6320 processor comes in white standard packaging typical for all APUs produced by AMD. They don’t have an unlocked CPU multiplier.

AMD A4-6320

The reverse side of the box features a delivery set in different languages.

AMD A4-6320

Delivery set of APU AMD A4-6320 includes:

  • cooling system;
  • quick guide for installing the processor and cooling system;
  • sticker for the computer case.

This set is typical for the majority of boxed processors and includes everything you may need to start the building the computer.

AMD A4-6320

Externally the APU also looks quite standard. Its heat-spreading lid has the manufacturer's logo, name and serial number of model. Also here you can find the list of countries of chip production (Germany) and final assembly (China).

AMD A4-6320

The reverse side of the device is equipped with a standard set of contacts that are compatible with the CPU socket Socket FM2. This means that AMD A4-6320 can be used in tandem with the new motherboards (Socket FM2+).

Cooling system

AMD A4-6320

The delivery set of today’s product under review contains compact cooling system which consists of the fan blades with a diameter of 70 mm and a small aluminum radiator. In general, it is quite typical for the APU with TDP level of 65 W.

AMD A4-6320

The active blowing is provided by fan Foxconn PVA070E12L (12 V; 0.20 A), which is attached to the radiator by means of conventional screws and it connects to the motherboard via a standard 4-pin connector. Speed adjustment of blades is supported by PWM method.

AMD A4-6320

AMD A4-6320

The radiator is in contact with the processor through a thin layer of thermal paste. The entire cooling system is attached by using standard metal staples and a plastic latch.

Analysis of technical features

AMD A4-6320

In case of disabled technology AMD Turbo Core 3.0, our APU AMD A4-6320 worked at a frequency of about 3800 MHz at multiplier of "x38", and a reference frequency of 100 MHz. The voltage on the core was at the level of 1,360 V.

AMD A4-6320

AMD A4-6320AMD A4-6320

After activation of technology AMD Turbo Core 3.0 the frequency of processor cores was increased. During the testing it eas in the range from 3800 to 4000 MHz. Core voltage varied from 1.312 to 1.4 V (most of the time it was on the level of 1,366 V).

AMD A4-6320

When using bench cooling system and during stress tests core temperature does not exceed 41°C, which is an excellent indicator.

AMD A4-6320

After moving to the idle mode the multiplier was decreased to "x18", and CPU clock speed has dropped to 1800 MHz. The power voltage was at the level of 0.904 V.

AMD A4-6320

Distribution of APU AMD A4-6320 cache memory is carried out as follows. L1 cache memory of: 16 KB per each of the 2 cores is allocated to the data with 4 channels of associativity, and for instruction has 64 KB with 2 channels of associativity. L2 cache memory: 1 MB with 16 channels of associativity. L3 cache memory is absent.

AMD A4-6320

Integrated memory controller supports DDR3 memory modules with a maximum frequency of 1600 MHz, which can operate in dual channel mode.

AMD A4-6320

tags: amd   amd a4   apu   turbo core   amd radeon   socket fm2   directx 11   richland   piledriver   
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Scythe Mugen 4 (SCMG-4000) CPU cooler: review and testing

The hero of this review is not new, but still relevant solution from the Japanese company Scythe. The range of the manufacturer includes not only the components that are directly related to the cooling of computer components, but also other interesting devices (such as speakers). But in most cases the company is popular due to the production of various CPU coolers.

Scythe Mugen 4 (SCMG-4000)

The base of the CPU cooler Scythe Mugen 4 (SCMG-4000) is a massive Tower-cooler with six copper heat pipes, and the heat is removed by 120 mm PWM-controlled fan. It would seem that we deal with solution with fairly common characteristics. But actually tested cooler has a number of distinctive features, indicating about laborious approach of Japanese engineers to create such devices.

Read the full review >>>

MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3: review and testing

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3 is not a novelty, because it is based on Northbridge AMD 760G presented in early 2009. It was originally intended to replace AMD 740G for the platform Socket AM2/AM2+, but later was adapted for the following connectors Socket AM3/AM3+. The main feature of AMD 760G is the presence integrated graphics core AMD Radeon HD 3000 clocked at 350 MHz compatible with DirectX 10. It supports a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 and is intended for the needs of the multimedia, as can not provide an acceptable performance in modern games.

As for GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3, it is an affordable and compact model to build entry-level systems. At the time of writing its cost was about $70. Let's take a look at the detailed characteristics.

GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-USB3

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-78LMT-USB3 (rev 6.0)

Chipset of North and South bridges

AMD 760G + AMD SB710

Processor socket

AMD Socket AM3/AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

Memory frequency

1600* / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB710 supports:

6 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x IDE support of two ATA 133/100/66/33

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of processor power subsystem elements

Aluminum Radiator of North bridge

Aluminum Radiator of South bridge

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 х DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

4 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 (for mouse or keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x IDE

1 x COM

1 x LPT connector

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 32 Mb AWARD BIOS

ACPI 1.0b, SM BIOS 2.4, PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х IDE cable

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: amd   gigabyte   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   pci express   ddr3   radeon hd 3000   phenom   amd 760g   ultra durable   amd fx   microatx   dvi-d   d-sub   athlon   socket am3+   
Read the full review >>>

CPU cooling system SilentiumPC Fera 2 HE1224 v2: review and testing

Not so long ago we have tested dual-towered CPU cooler SilentiumPC Grandis XE1236 V2, which allowed to explore the European producer. In general, its top solution left a positive impression, but, of course we would like to study in detail more affordable models in its range. Fortunately, we have such opportunity.

SilentiumPC Fera 2 HE1224 v2

In this review we will focus on the cooler SilentiumPC Fera 2 HE1224 v2. Unlike more dimensional counterpart, it is equipped with a 120-mm fan, and it is based on single-section tower heatsink with four heatpipes. Nevertheless, even such a structure should provide sufficient performance required for cooling the processors of our bench.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1: review and testing

In this review we will talk about the model GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1, which is an entry-level solution, and is performed in a compact format microATX. It has a good combination of a number of useful technologies, traditionally high quality of building, as well as quite decent and modern equipment.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Note that the GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 is based on the new chipset AMD A68H, which is intended to replace chipset AMD A58 for entry-level work with processors series AMD Kaveri or solutions of lineups AMD Trinity/ Richland.

Let's take a look at other specification. The specification:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-F2A68HM-S1 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

AMD A68H

Integrated processor

Socket FM2+

Supported CPUs

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 МГц

(*OC)

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD A68H chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Кодек Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

1 х 64 Мb UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

225 х 174 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

APU AMD A8-7650K: review and testing

AMD has a lineup of APU, which combines the different components in a single case: CPU and graphics core and memory controller. The advantages of this design include:

  • more plain cooling, which reduces noise and heat computer;
  • cost of APU will always be lower than the same processor and graphics card;
  • you can build the entire system in a compact package.

As you can see, these devices have a number of advantages over traditional processors and graphics cards. If you need to build more productive gaming computer, you can always buy another digital and video accelerator.

AMD A8-7650K

This material will be devoted to one of the new APU model AMD A8-7650K. It is equipped with four processor cores and a graphics subsystem AMD Radeon R7 Graphics. At first glance, this configuration looks very attractive, but the final verdict will be done only after all the tests and comparisons with competitors.

The specs:

Model

AMD A8-7650K 

Marking

AD765KXBI44JA

APU socket

Socket FM2+

Basic clock frequency, MHz

3300

Max clock frequency with AMD Turbo Core 3.0, MHz

3800

Multiplier (nominal / in turbo mode)

33 / 38

Basic system bus frequency, MHz

100

L1 cache memory, KB

4 х 16 (data memory)

2 x 96 (instruction memory)

L2 cache memory, KB

2 x 2048

L3 cache memory, KB

No

Microarchitecture

AMD Steamroller + AMD GCN

Code name

AMD Kaveri

Quantity of cores/threads

4/4

Instruction support

MMX(+), SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4A, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, x86-64, AMD-V, AES, AVX, XOP, FMA3, FMA4

Max calculated power (TDP), W

95

Max operating temperature, °C

-

Manufacturing process, nm

28

Technology support

AMD 64-bit, AMD Virtualization, EVP (Enhanced Virus Protection), AMD PowerNow!, AMD Turbo Core 3.0

Build-in memory controller

Memory type

DDR3

Max frequency, MHz

2133

Memory channels quantity

2

Built-in graphics core AMD Radeon R7 Graphics

Thread processors

384

Tetxture blocks

24

Rasterization blocks

8

GPU clock frequency, MHz

720

Instruction support

DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, DirectCompute 5.0, OpenCL 1.2, Shader Model 5.0

Producer website

AMD

Package and content

For testing we got OEM-version of the APU (marking AD765KXBI44JA). Basically it is designed for OEMs, so it comes without packaging, cooling systems and related documentation. In general, the contents of boxed processor (marking AD765KXBJABOX) should not differ greatly from the previously tested APU AMD A10-7700K with the TDP level of 95 W.

AMD A8-7650K

On the heat-spreading lid you can see the model name, marking, the manufacturer's logo and QR-Code. In the lower part there is a mark that the chip is produced in Germany, and the final assembly of the device is realized in Malaysia.

AMD A8-7650K

The reverse side of APU contains a set of contacts for the CPU socket Socket FM2+. They are made of copper and are fairly long and fragile, so the installation of the connector should be done very carefully.

Analysis of technical features

AMD A8-7650K

Model AMD A8-7650K has four cores that support the operation in four-thread mode. In case of inactive technology AMD Turbo Core 3.0, the nominal frequency of CPU was 3293 MHz with multiplier "x33". The reference rate was 100 MHz, and voltage at the level of 1,296 V.

AMD A8-7650K

AMD A8-7650K

AMD A8-7650K

After activation of technology AMD Turbo Core 3.0, the frequency of processor cores has increased, and during all tests of the program LinX 0.6.5 it is in the range 3300 - 3500 MHz (depending on load). Voltage varies from 1,312 to 1,328 V.

 

AMD A8-7650K

All tests were performed in a bench cooling system, and the maximum temperature of APU did not exceed 44°C.

AMD A8-7650K

In case of simultaneous launch of tests AIDA64 and MSI Kombustor (load of processor and graphics cores) CPU frequency dropped to 2800 MHz. After disabling MSI Kombustor processor cores began to work at the maximum - 3500 MHz.

AMD A8-7650K

The maximum clock speed was recorded at the time of launch applications and was 3792 MHz at a voltage of 1,376 V.

AMD A8-7650K

Cache memory of the hero of this review is divided as follows. 16 KB of L1 cache per core with 4 associative channels reserved for data caching. For instructions you will have 96 KB of L1 cache with 3 associativity channels for each dual module. Also it has 2048 KB of L2 cache with 16 associativity channels for each dual-core module. L3 cache memory is absent.

AMD A8-7650K

Integrated memory controller supports dual-channel mode and DDR3 modules with an effective rate of up to 2133 MHz.

AMD A8-7650K

tags: amd   apu   a8-7650k   turbo core   amd radeon   radeon r7   amd gcn   steamroller   kaveri   socket fm2+   
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CPU cooler Noctua NH-L9x65: review and testing

Those customers who build computers in small cases probably can share own experiences and talk about how the market of compact component is different from a familiar range of the components in traditional sizes. Of course, when using the integrated graphics core and boxed cooler in most cases you won’t have any difficulties. But when it comes to the use of more efficient components, or upgrading an existing system, the situation is more complicate. For example, the selection of the CPU cooler. In a limited height space it is often impossible to install even a Tower-solution of small size, so you have to look for the appropriate model. Most of them are low cost models that have a low performance. But the compact CPU cooling systems include more efficient models with low background noise and high efficiency.

Noctua NH-L9x65

An example of this is concept is the cooler Noctua NH-L9x65. Despite relatively small size, it can cool very powerful processors. The main feature of the new item is its low height (65 mm) and compact size (95 x 95 mm), which ensures compatibility with all neighboring slots or connectors. How such an implementation is successful and real capabilities of new item will be described in detail in this review.

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Game review Broken Age

Title: Broken Age
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Editor: Double Fine Productions
Release date: 28 April 2015

Act 1 and Act 2 do not exist anymore. For those who in January last year missed the release of the first half, Broken Age has presented fully fledged game, and the transition between scenes will be realized in the form of window with the appropriate Steam-achievement. They are 45 units, and to get them the developers led by the odious Tim Shaffer strongly recommend to pass the game again. Those who wish to save time welcome to our review.

Broken Age

In the second chapter, the authors kept its main promise: the difficulty of puzzles really increased significantly. Despite the fact that the action places remained the same (the spacecraft, a coastal town Shellmound and the kingdom of birds Meriloft), the number of task for the main characters only increased. Vella and Shay are reversed, and until one decides furious puzzle in the belly of the monster, the other carries no less ingenious manipulation of objects outside and met with strange inhabitants of a new world.

Broken Age

The puzzles are not always corresponding to common sense, which is especially felt in the epilogue of the game. In an effort to bring the only true logical chain, conceived by Mr. Schaffer, we have repeat routine activities because every wrong step makes return to the starting point. Due to such moments, as well as much more lengthy dialogues, the playing time compared to the first act has grown at least twice.

Broken Age

But in spite of tricky puzzles, Broken Age is children's fairy tale about good and evil, which wants to seem deeper. The intriguing plots riveted to the screen in the first part, have not gone away, but the sequence of events is slipping into trivial.

Broken Age

Also important is another point. As you know to count other people's money is ignoble. InXile entertainment for $ 3M released a brilliant old-school RPG Wasteland 2 with open world and 100+ hours of variable gameplay. For $ 1.5M Ragnar Tornquist, slowly but surely produces episodic Dreamfall Chapters with reference narrative and complex election system and the implications.

Double Fine had $ 3.M.  For this sum it three years created a linear adventure with a set of contradictory items. Unbalanced gameplay, modest set of locations and good the story line (with series of funny and touching moments) are side by side with an amazing visual style, great prescription, animated and voiced characters.

Broken Age

If you are not one of those 87,000 contributors expected next masterpiece, Broken Age will be stout adventure.

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