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Philips 288P6: monitor review

Standard 4K Ultra HD continues to gradually conquer only gaming audience. According to practice, a large screen space can be claimed by different spheres of human activity: from the usual entertainment and finishing work in the professional applications. This is especially true for engineering, graphic and other specialized packages with a lot of different tabs and windows with tools. In short, the producers of monitors have all grounds to saturate the market with solutions supporting resolutions 4K Ultra HD.

Philips 288P6

This time or testing we have a 28-inch Philips 288P6 with a retail price of about $ 560.

The specs: 

Model

tags: philips   tn   4k ultra hd   d-sub   hdmi   usb 3.0   srgb   mhl   usb 2.0   adobe rgb   wled   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO: review and testing 

It is not a secret that ASUS has updated its flagship lineup of motherboards for gamers ASUS ROG in connection with the announcement of a new family of processors Intel Skylake (Platform Socket LGA1151) and the flagship chipset Intel Z170. And the first model of the updated line, which will be described is ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO. The solution is aimed for demanding users and experienced gamers who want to get a model with balanced performance, high quality, well equipping and moderate cost.   

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The specs: 

Producer and model

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3800* / 3733* / 3600* / 3500* / 3466* / 3400* / 3333* / 3300* / 3200* / 3000* / 2800* / 2666* / 2400* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8)

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express (each compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX 2015

8-channel sound

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

1 x water cooling tank connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum heatsink on the chipset

Aluminium radiators on the elements of power system connected with a heat pipe

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

4 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

1 х button «USB BIOS Flashback»

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0

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

1 х ROG_EXT

1 x EXT_FAN

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х connector to connect temperature sensor

1 x «CMOS reset»

1 х «Power» button

1 х «Reboot» button

1 х «MemOK!» button

1 х socket Thunderbolt

1 x 4-pin socket for connection of tank of water cooling system

1 х switch to mode «LN2»

1 х socket to connect temperature sensors

BIOS

128 MbFlash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 3.0, DMI 3.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

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

Package and content 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The motherboard comes in a cardboard box with a flip-up lid with the design of corporate style of lineup ASUS ROG. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device the front side features a series of logos at the bottom, showing the support for Windows 10, NVIDIA SLI and technology AMD CrossFireX, as well as the display image with a resolution of 4K Ultra HD.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

On the reverse side of the flip-up cover with a viewing window you can find a description of ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO advantages:

  • SupremeFX 2015 - preinstalled audio codec offers support for high quality eight channel sound thanks to the DAC ESS ES9023P and audio capacitors Nichicon. In order to avoid the negative impact of electromagnetic interference shielding technology is used. Also note the presence of an amplifier TI R4580I, able to improve the audio playback on headphones with an impedance of 600 Ohms. Proprietary software comes bundled with Sonic Studio II, allowing to activate a virtual reproduction of sound in 7.1 format, as well as offering a wide range of audio settings.
  • Intel Ethernet - preset network controller has an increased capacity and consumes less CPU resources than competing solutions.
  • LANGuard - LAN-port uses a special guard to help prevent damage to the system due to static electricity or shock during an electrical storm.
  • ROG GameFirst III - technology designed to optimize Internet traffic in order to increase the priority of online games, which should reduce the delays and, accordingly, make the gameplay more comfortable. You can also select a priority “media-streaming”, VoIP or file sharing.
  • ROG KeyBot II - a unique technology that allows you to record macros and create function keys, even for conventional keyboards.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The reverse side of the package in addition to a brief technical specification of new item and diagramming interface panel contains a mention of the support for SupremeFX 2015, Intel Ethernet, as well as digital power subsystem Extreme Engine DIGI+.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Package of ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO includes:

  • six SATA cables;
  • set ASUS Q-Connectors, which greatly simplifies the process of connecting of the case's front panel;
  • sticker with the logo of ASUS ROG;
  • bridge NVIDIA SLI;
  • tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool;
  • door hanger.

Design and features 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO features quite original and stylish decor, which is important for a gaming solution. The familiar black color is added by the splashes of red color on the chipset and the protective casing on the interface panel.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

As for the layout of on-board elements, all is performed at the highest level: all key connectors and ports are concentrated on the edges of the printed circuit board, SATA ports are parallel to PCB and-DIMM slots are equipped with latches on one side. As a result, the design and layout of the ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO deserve only the highest grade.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The reverse side of the motherboard meets us not only by the usual base plate of the socket and fastening screws of the radiator, but also two support plates placed under the components of the power subsystem processor. Additionally, they serve as low-profile radiators.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The bottom of the printed circuit board ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO has the following connectors: connecting bock of audio connectors on front panel, block «TB_HEADER» (for the implementation of the interface Thunderbolt), the button “Clear CMOS”, “Enable” and “Reset”, the port TPM, and the connecting block of the front panel. Additionally, we note two pads to activate the ports USB 2.0, one of which is connected with the connector ROG_EXT, and one USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 ports is eight: four internal and four on the interface panel. As for USB 3.0, there are only six: four internal and two external. All of them operate through a set of system logic.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by connector M.2 x4 Socket 3 (supports SSD-drives M.2 2242, 2260 M.2, M.2 M.2 2280 and 22110), four ports SATA 6Gb/s and two SATA Express where each is compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s. There is support for arrays RAID 0 SATA, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. In this case, there is one restriction: if connector M.2x4 Socket 3 operates in mode «SATA», the two SATA 6 Gb/s (on the scheme «SATA6G_12 ") will be disabled.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Mainboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO is equipped with four DIMM-slots for modules RAM standard DDR4, which for convenience are equipped with latched on one side only. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. Its implementation is realized by installation either in the first and third or second and fourth slots (or takes all available ports). Modules operating at frequencies up to 3800 MHz in overclocking mode are supported. The maximum amount of memory can be up to 64 GB, which is enough for almost any tasks.

Additionally note the module for connecting remote panel with ports USB 3.0, button «MemOK!», which allows you to automatically pick up the necessary parameters of the RAM to the successful launch of the system and diagnostic LED-indicator.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The cooling system of this motherboard has three major aluminum radiators, one carries out the removal of heat from the chipset Intel Z170, while the other two connected by a heat pipe cover the elements of the power subsystem processor.

In the process of testing we’ve recorded the following temperature:

  • heat sink for cooling chipset – 31.1°C (during acceleration - 33°C);
  • upper radiator of cooling elements of the processor power subsystem – 37.1°C (during acceleration – 38.8°C);
  • lower heat sink of cooling elements of the processor power subsystem - 36°C (during acceleration – 37.5°C).

These results clearly indicate the higher efficiency of the cooling system, indicating the proper selection of materials and design.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

CPU power is carried out by a reinforced 10-phase scheme for cores and additional nodes. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1405I with built power control subsystem Extreme Engine DIGI+. All components have a high degree of reliability: durable Japanese solid capacitors, effective MOSFETs and chokes NexFET MicroFine, providing stable operation even at high amperage. The main 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are used to provide supply voltage. 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The possibility of expanding the functionality of the motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO is presented by six slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  2. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 mode or x8);
  3. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  4. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8 mode);
  5. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  6. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4 mode).

Due to the support for technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX this configuration offers the user to organize the graphics subsystem of the two or three cards. The location of the slots will allow to easily connect two video cards with three-slot cooling system. And you have access to one connector PCI Express 3.0 x1.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

If you decided to take advantage of the graphics core integrated into the CPU, you have two video outputs: HDMI and DisplayPort operating by the chip ASMedia ASM1442K.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Multi I/O opportunities are based on chip NUVOTON NCT6793D, which controls the operation of the system fan, port PS/2, and provide monitoring. 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Correct operation of the two USB 3.1 ports on the interface panel is provided by the chip ASMedia ASM1142.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Two additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports are realized due to the controller ASMedia ASM1061.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

To support network connections there is a gigabit LAN-controller Intel WGI219V. Proprietary technology ROG GameFirst III provides the distribution of network resources and prioritization of traffic.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Sound subsystem of motherboard based on the 8-channel HDA-codec design SupremeFX 2015, which supports the audio formats 2/4/5.1/7.1 and has a number of proprietary features.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Interface Panel of model ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO includes the following ports:

  • 1 x PS / 2 Combo;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C);
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-A);
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x Optical S / PDIF out;
  • 1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»;
  • 5 x audio ports.

This configuration can be safely described as excellent, because here are not only everything you need, but even more: two digital video output, a large number of ports USB (including two high-speed USB 3.1), as well as easy connection of multi-channel speakers and support the periphery PS/2. Additionally note the function of the firmware update BIOS from a USB flash drive using the corresponding button.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO features wide opportunities for the organization of the cooling system inside the case. There are seven 4-pin fan connectors, two of which are for cooling the CPU, one is designed to connect the water block, while the other four are for system fans.

Read the full review >>>

Mirrorless cameraCanon EOS M3: review and testing

It is not a secret that the largest market lion of classic SLR cameras is divided among Canon and Nikon. And after the appearance of mirrorless cameras, both producers took a waiting position. Such a move was quite justified: should we change something if everything is okay? While other manufacturers have managed to saturate the market with their own solutions and to attract the attention of the world community.  The company Nikon with lineup Nikon 1 also joined to such manufactures.  And only in the late summer of 2012 Canon introduced the first mirrorless system camera - Canon EOS M (where «M» means Mirrorless). But in contrast to its rival, Canon did not invent a new format sensor, but has equipped its creation with proven APS-C matrix. Despite this, the new product could not compete in this segment. The second was Canon EOS M2, which could not significantly affect the state of affairs, including due to the presence in the Japanese market only. In order to fix the situation recently the company has introduced Canon EOS M3, which had time to visit our test lab, and we want to share our impressions of familiarity with it. 

Canon EOS M3

In comparison with its predecessor, the novelty has significantly updated design and construction, the sensor with resolution increased to 24.2 megapixel, updated autofocus Hybrid CMOS AF III, proprietary processor DIGIC 6 and a number of other equally interesting features. All this and more will be describe in detail in this review. Let’s start from the specifications Canon EOS M3:

Producer and model

tags: canon   wi-fi   cmos   full hd   hdmi   sdhc   sdxc   
Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX OC: review and testing

In early spring 2015, NVIDIA has pleased all their fans by announcing new flagship graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X, released on the basis of GPU NVIDIA GM200-400. Now it takes the leading position in terms of performance and cost, which is usual for such solution $ 999.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The new flagship graphics processor NVIDIA GM200-400 is based on 28-nm manufacturing technology and consists of 8 billion of transistors. It includes 24 SMM-blocks, each of which consists of 128 CUDA-cores and 8 texture units. As a result, the flagship product boasts of 3072 CUDA-cores and 192 texture units. Number of ROP-blocks has reached 96. The base GPU operating frequency is 1000 MHz and dynamic 1075 MHz. As for performance, it was on average 30% higher than the previous leader among single-chip solutions (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

It is logical that NVIDIA has decided not to stop on successes and use the flagship processor in a version. This is a new video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, which was presented in the first days of summer 2015.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Unlike the flagship graphics processor NVIDIA GM200-310 in NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti has lost 2 SMM-blocks, ie 256 CUDA-cores with 16 texture units. At the same time the memory bus, the number of ROP-blocks and operating frequencies remain unchanged. If we recall the situation of the first "Titan", the followed NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti has come out with the full version of the chip NVIDIA GK110, therefore, it proved to be more productive. In this case everything is different: NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X acts as a top-end solution, while the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti is its cheaper version.

Let's look to the comparative table of characteristics of current high end video cards from NVIDIA:

 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti

GPU

GM200-400

GM200-310 

GM204-400

GK110-425

Quantity of CUDA-cores

3072

2816 

2048

2880

Quantity of texture units

192

176 

128

240

Quantity of ROP-blocks

96

96 

64

48

Basic frequency, MHz

1000

1000 

1126

875

Dynamic frequency, MHz

1075

1075 

1216

928

Memory bus, bit

384

384 

256

384

Effective memory frequency, MHz

7010

7010 

7010

7010

Memory capacity, GB

12

6 

4

3

As you can see, another difference of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti from NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X is reduced twice the amount of video memory.
ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

As stated by NVIDIA, the new product provides a significant performance boost compared to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti. The biggest gap is achieved at a resolution of 4K Ultra HD, which is rapidly gaining popularity among gamers. Also impressive is as a comparison of the performance per watt. At the same time TDP of new item is on identical level (250 W).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Another important advantage of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti is to support API DirectX 12 with the most comprehensive to date set of instructions (Feature Level 12_1).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

All GPUs of series NVIDIA GM2xx further support the technology Volume Tiled Resources that provides three-dimensional stencils (tiles) of the objects, which allows to load needed texture without expending the resources to load the texture as a whole.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Another technology from the set of Feature Level 12_1 is Conservative Raster, which provides precise location intersecting polygon boundaries, which helps to avoid artifacts with transparent textures and shadow.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Also here is a well-known technology NVIDIA G-SYNC, which provides full synchronization with the output frame rate of the monitor, neutralizing the effect breaking frames. The technology is proper for applications running in window mode. Don’t forget that NVIDIA G-SYNC requires not only video card but monitor equipped with the appropriate hardware module. The range of such displays is constantly growing, and even includes a model with a resolution of 4K Ultra HD.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

And now let's get to the review and testing versions of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti powered by ASUS. We are talking about the model ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING).

Model

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti 

(ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM200-310 (Maxwell)

Quantity of CUDA-cores

2816

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12 (Shader Model 5.0), OpenGL 4.5, NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic frequency of graphics core, MHz

«OC»

1216 / 1317

«Gaming»

1190 / 1291

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1800 (7200)

Memory capacity, GB

6

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

384

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

345,6

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x HDMI 2.0

3 x DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal capacity of PSU, W

600

Additional PCIe power sockets

2 x 8-pin

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

305 х 152,2 x 39,8 (317 x 152)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or GPU

Producer website

ASUS

Since we have almost completely rebalanced modification NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, there is no sense to talk about any compliance to reference model. We can directly comparable only operating frequencies. In this case, the graphics core of video card in mode «OC» boasts of a notable level of factory overclocking - up to 1216 MHz (increase of 21.6% relative to recommended 1000 MHz), and taking into account the work of technology NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, the average value is 1317 MHz (1075 MHz for the reference sample). Video memory can be overclocked from 7010 to 7200 MHz.

Package and content

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Graphics card ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti is available in its large cardboard box decorated with original and stylish line of the graphic arts industry with logo ASUS STRIX. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device, note the reference to the support of technologies NVIDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream and DirectX 12.

The major advantages of a novelty is a proprietary cooling system DirectCU III with technology 0dB FAN, which provides 30% lower temperature compared to the reference cooler of radial type.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-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 with functions of Online Streaming and switching between modes mentioned above «Gaming» and «OC».
As for the benefits, they include:

  • ASUS Auto Extreme with Super Alloy Power II - model ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING is one of the world's first graphics card built on 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 improve the reliability of the new item.
  • GPU-Fortifier and Backplate - thanks to the support plate and the frame around the GPU we have greatly increased rigidity and reduced risk of curvature of the printed circuit board with the times of the weight of the cooling system.
  • 10mm Mega Heatpipes - radiator of cooling system includes five copper heat pipes, two of which have a diameter of 10 mm and provides a more efficient heat transfer from GPU.
  • STRIX LED - the cooler is equipped with red LED-display.
  • Triple Wing-blade 0db Fans - three axial fan with a special shape of the impeller provide a more powerful air flow, helping to improve the efficiency of the cooler. In addition, at low loads turntables completely stopped to ensure a comfortable background noise.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply must have a capacity at least 600 W and provide 42 A on +12 V line. Also tested model requires connecting two 8-pin PCIe.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Also we found the standard documentation, CD with software and adapter for power.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

To display the image the product uses a standard set of interfaces:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort.

The following resolutions are supported:

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

Design and circuitry

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Model ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING is made on the original black circuit board, with a standard layout 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 GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Power of product is made according enhanced 12+2-phase scheme, where 12 power phases are responsible for the GPU and 2 are designed for video memory subsystem. Recall that the power of the reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti is realized by 6+2-phase scheme.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Digital PWM controller is presented by chip ASP1500U.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

To power test graphics there is PCI Express x16 slot, and two 8-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. Due to the large dimensions the cooler complicates the disconnection of cables PCIe. The standard version uses only one powered 8-pin and one 6-pin connector.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In order to provide technology NVIDIA SLI ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti uses two connectors for connecting the respective bridges, which allow you to combine up to three graphics cards for the joint calculation of graphical effect.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The reverse side of the product is initially covered with the base plate, notable for the above-mentioned polymer tantalum capacitors, next to other electrical components, as well as the support of frame for the GPU.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The tested model is based on GPU NVIDIA GM200-310 (Maxwell), produced by 28-nm manufacturing technology. It includes 2816 CUDA cores, 96 ROP units and 176 texture units. As we have said, the video card has factory overclocked of graphics core frequency of the mode is «OC» in value of 1216 and 1317 MHz.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Memory of model ASUS STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING (6GB) is realized due to 12 chips SK hynix H5GQ4H24MFR-R2C with capacity 4 GB each. According to the documentation, their effective frequency is 7000 MHz, but in our case it was increased to 7200 MHz. Communication between the graphics processor and memory is realized via 384-bit bus, which is capable of flowing 345.6 GB of information per second.

Cooling system

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The video card including installed cooling system DirectCU III occupies two expansion slots and has a total length of 305 mm according to the official website of ASUS (317 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

The cooler consists of a fairly massive radiator, which uses 49 longitudinally spaced aluminum fins, and three 88-mm axial fans with an improved form of blades mounted on a plastic casing.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

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

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-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 coolers DirectCU use 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.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

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

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Note that the primary cooling system is directly in contact with the power supply subsystem components using thermal interface. But memory chips are unfortunately devoid of any additional cooling.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In case of the automatic speed control of the fan blades, at maximum load, the graphics core is heated to 79°C, and cooler, as indicated by the monitoring work while 55% of its maximum capacity. The noise level at the same time was low and quite comfortable.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Under the maximum speed fan blades GPU temperature dropped to 71°C. This noise rose above average, and ceased to be comfortable for extended use near PC.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

In case of load absence the operating frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically reduced, allowing them to reduce power consumption and heat. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 49°C because the fans stopped to rotate and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode. The above-mentioned technology 0dB FAN provides silent operation of video at low loads.

ASUS STRIX GTX 980 Ti (STRIX-GTX980TI-DC3OC-6GD5-GAMING)

Read the full review >>>

Nikon 1 V3 Mirrorless camera: review and testing

After the announcement of a new class of mirrorless cameras, a considerable number of manufacturers of photographic equipment quickly filled the market with own solutions. Instead, Nikon had a three-year break, and only then presented cameraы Nikon 1 J1 and V1. Mirrorless camera got a new matrix CX format and its own bayonet called Nikon 1, which allowed to take an intermediate between reflex (not only with the full-frame, but APS-C-matrices) and compact. Furthermore, it excluded the possibility of competition of adjacent lines. Solutions with index «V» are aimed to the most demanding users. They have a high functionality, the electronic viewfinder and a rich set of controls. Models with an index «J» have received simplified construction and are designed for everyday use. Currently lineup of mirrorless cameras took several generations and was supplemented by younger models with index «S», and in recent years with secure the camera Nikon 1 AW1.

Nikon 1 V3

For testing we have a flagship mirrorless camera Nikon 1 V3. Compared to its predecessor, it has received significantly updated design and construction, the sensor with 18.4 megapixel resolution, fast hybrid AF, corporate processor EXPEED 4A and a number of other interesting features. According to a good tradition, we offer to start the review of the camera from technical specifications:

Producer and model

tags: wi-fi   cmos   full hd   hdmi   sdxc   sdhc   nikon   
Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5): review and testing

In this review we will learn not just another version of video cards based on GPU NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell), but a new product equipped with the original cooling system. It is part of a series introduced by ASUS due to celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release to the market of graphics cards.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Model ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5) is equipped with a cooler of radial type with the original white and red housing. The advantage of this design is that the hot air is removed outside the housing and substantially does not increase the temperature inside the system unit.

The specs:

Model

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5) 

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Manufacturing process

28

 Quantity of CUDA-cores

1024

Supported API and technologies

 

DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0, NVIDIA TXAA, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA MFAA, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA Surround, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA SLI, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream

Nominal/dynamic GPU frequency, MHz

1190 / 1253

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Nominal/effective video memory frequency, MHz

1753 / 7010

Memory bus, bit

 

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

112,2

Inner interface

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Screening  interfaces

1 х HDMI 2.0

3 x DisplayPort

1 х DVI-I

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Dimensions taken from official website (according measurements in own test lab) , mm

264 x 121 x 37 (276 x 122)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or  GPU

Website

ASUS

Package and content

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The front side of the graphics card ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 package is decorated in a unique style, combining white and red colors. There is a large image of the graphics accelerator and its key advantages. Mark «OC Edition» says about factory overclocked GPU from nominal 1127/1178 MHz to 1190/1253 MHz.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

On the back of the box you can find description of the main features of the graphics card, supplemented with visual icons. In particular, radial fan of graphics accelerator captures air from both sides, providing a 10% greater efficacy than the reference model. Also it 4 times longer than the reference cooling system and 7% more efficient using bunch NVIDIA SLI.

The qualitative element base Super Alloy Power consists of silent chokes and solid-state capacitors with a long service life (50 000 hours). Also the delivery set includes proprietary software for overclocking and monitoring (ASUS GPU Tweak) and utility XSplit Gamecaster, allows you to record and broadcast the game session.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The side face of the package contains a list of the minimum system requirements that are recommended for the correct operation of the video card. Thus, the capacity of power supply unit must be at least 400 W (up to 38 A at +12V line), and the amount of RAM is 4 GB.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Supplied set of graphics accelerator ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 includes a quick start guide and a CD with software and drivers. Perhaps some users may need DVI↔D-Sub adapter to connect an analog monitor. It is not included into deliver set.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

To connect monitors or TVs the interface panel provides quite an extensive set of connectors:

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x DVI-I.

Such a set of connectors allows you to connect several modern digital monitors or TVs. Thanks to connectors HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort you can watch 4K content of improved quality.

Design and circuitry

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Graphics card ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 has an original design, which resembles a reference, but is independent development of company ASUS. White shroud of graphics accelerator with red accents will look quite unusual, especially in the case with a transparent side cover. The circuit board is deliberately quite compact to improve air blowing.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The power subsystem of ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 is made of five-phase scheme: four phases are designed for the GPU, and one is for the video memory subsystem. As mentioned earlier, there are qualitative components Super Alloy Power, designed to operate at a high load (during acceleration or prolonged gaming sessions).

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

In addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, to ensure the normal operation of the video card you must connect an additional 6-pin PCIe. It connection and disconnection is free, since the connector is located in the corner of the PCB.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The reverse side of the printed circuit board contains several elements of the power subsystem, and two of the four video memory chips. In the upper right corner we found a connector for bridge NVIDIA SLI. It allows you to combine the processing power of GPU for the two co-processing graphics.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The base of ASUS TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5 is graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell). It consists of 1024 CUDA-cores, 64 texture units and 32 ROP units. The nominal operating frequency is 1190 MHz GPU and dynamic is 1253 MHz.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The total capacity of video memory is 2 GB. It is realized using 4 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 of GDDR5 standard with capacity of 4 GB each. The memory runs at an effective frequency of 7010 MHz, and to exchange data with a graphics core there is 128-bit bus with a capacity of 112.2 GB/s.

Cooling system

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

The cooling system takes up two slots for expansion cards. It is characterized by a large length (276 mm). The outer plastic cover not only creates an elegant look of the adapter, but also directs the air flow along the surface of the PCB. Air blowing is provided by 75 mm radial fan, built on the basis of a reliable dual ball bearing.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Removal and heat dissipation is realized using an aluminum radiator with a longitudinal placement of ribs that contact with the GPU using a copper base.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

Another small aluminum radiator is installed on the elements of the power subsystem.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

During stress tests in automatic mode of the cooling system, the GPU temperature was at 80°C. The propeller was rotated at a speed of 1637 rpm, and the level of noise can be characterized as average.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

After fixing the fan speed at maximum, the GPU temperature dropped to 63°C. The noise exceeded the average level and has already become uncomfortable for long life. This mode is suitable only for overclocking and running stress tests.

ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 960 (TURBO-GTX960-OC-2GD5)

In idle mode the frequencies of the graphics core and memory are automatically dropped and the core temperature did not exceed 35°C. The cooler is very quiet.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H: review and testing

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H is a budget microATX model, designed to work with processors from Intel. It is logical that in the course of its development it was decided to use the youngest chipset (Intel H81) as the basis, making it possible to significantly reduce the final cost.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

We would like to note that the chipset Intel H81 nominally does not support CPU overclocking and has less features. The key is its advantage, besides the price, is the support of interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, which is important for the modern user who wants to save money, but not going to refuse high-speed data transfer methods.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-D3H (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

Processor socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х16)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4)

2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (white)

2 x SATA 3 gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

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 on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

2 х PS/2

1 x COM

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x LPT

1 х CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 x 32 Мb

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, 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

244 х 225 mm

Producer website

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

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS H81M-PLUS: review and testing

It is not always required to buy motherboard based on the flagship chipset for efficient CPU. For example, if the processor has a locked multiplier, a set of expansion cards will consist of a single graphics card, and four SATA ports would be enough to connect the disk subsystem. In this case, you can save on the motherboard taking more affordable solution, and the balance can be invested in other components (such as the purchase of SSD-drive).

Motherboard ASUS H81M-PLUS is one of these relatively affordable entry-level solutions. It can be used not only in the traditional office, educational or home media PC, but also to organize middle range of gaming computer. It offers a wide list of advantages: digital power system, traditionally high quality of element base, support for modern interfaces, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

ASUS H81M-PLUS

Do note that the basis of the model is the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which is largely accompanied by reduced the final cost. Let's take a look at the detailed specifications of the device.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

H81M-PLUS (rev 1.06)

Chipset

Intel H81

Integrated processor

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

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

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

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF Out

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

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

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

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 183 mm

Producer website

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

tags: asus   intel   usb 3.0   intel h81   hdmi   dvi-d   d-sub   ddr3   intel core   microatx   pci express   celeron   socket lga1150   uefi bios   pentium   usb 3.0 boost   windows   
Read the full review >>>

Canon PowerShot SX530 HS compact digital camera: review and testing

Canon PowerShot is one of the most famous and most popular lineups of compact digital cameras since 1996. It includes devices of different series to meet the needs not only of beginners or experienced users, but also for the professionals of digital photography. For testing we have a model came Canon PowerShot SX530 HS, which refers to the super zoom category and was presented at the beginning of this year during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Canon PowerShot SX530 HS

 Novelty has classic look with high quality materials, non-removable lens with 50x optical zoom, image sensor BSI CMOS with a resolution of 16 megapixel, high functionality and a number of other interesting features, which will be described in this material. Let’s start from specification:

Producer

tags: canon   wi-fi   cmos   nfc   hdmi   sdhc   sdxc   canon powershot   bsi   digic 4+   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS B85M-GAMER: review and testing

The lineup of motherboards ASUS Gamer includes more affordable solutions for gamers than a series ASUS ROG. We have met with almost all models in the series, namely: ASUS Z97-PRO GAMER, ASUS H97-PRO GAMER, ASUS B85-PRO GAMER and ASUS H81-GAMER. Therefore today we have ASUS B85M-GAMER - one of the most affordable motherboards of this lineup (after ASUS H81-GAMER).

ASUS B85M-GAMER

It offers very decent equipment, including a high quality audio subsystem based on the codec SupremeFX and high network controller from Intel. Of course, due to the use is not very functional, but more accessible chipset Intel B85, the product lost interfaces SATA Express and M.2, which have the older models, but to build a cheap gaming system it is not critical. And now we offer go to the review in more detail and explore all its features.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

B85M-GAMER (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel B85

Integrated processor

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on sybsystem power elements

Extenral I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jack

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

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

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

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х COM

1 x CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

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

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 4.0a, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

233 х 206 mm

Producer website

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

tags: asus   intel   usb 3.0   intel b85   ddr3   pci express 3.0   hdmi   intel core   socket lga1150   microatx   pentium   celeron   uefi bios   windows 8   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-J1800M-D2P: review and testing

Continuing familiarity with the lineup of GIGABYTE motherboards with integrated processor Intel Celeron J1800, we will talk about a compact model GIGABYTE GA-J1800M-D2P designed in a format microATX. In theory, it can be an excellent basis for the building of compact multimedia system oriented to reproduce high-quality multimedia content on your home TV or monitor.

GIGABYTE GA-J1800M-D2P

As for the "heart" of this model, the detailed characteristics of the installed processor can be found in the material devoted to the motherboard ASUS J1800I-C. And we will look at the characteristics of the hero of this review.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-J1800M-D2P (rev 1.1)

Chipset

Socket BGA1170

Integrated processor

Intel Celeron J1800 (2 х 2,41 − 2,58 ГГц)

Supported CPUs

Intel HD Graphics: core frequency 688 МГц (max up to 792 MHz); capacity of video memory is taken from RAM

Memory frequency

1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3/DDR3L DIMM- slots with memory support up to 8 GB in dual channel mode

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (3-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 х HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 х LPT

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

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

2 х COM

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 AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

190 х 180 mm

Producer website

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

tags: gigabyte   intel   celeron   usb 2.0   pci express   ddr3   hdmi   usb 3.0   d-sub   microatx   intel hd graphics   ultra durable   uefi bios   soc   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H: review and testing 

The product which will be discussed in this review is one of the most affordable solutions of GIGABYTE in format microATX. At an average cost of about $ 55 - 60 GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H has a good circuitry, a compact format, support for modern interface USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H

It is bases on the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which nominally does not provide overclocking of the processor and has less features, but compares favorably with the support of the above-mentioned interface, which is important in the segment of affordable models.

Let's learn the detailed specifications of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-H:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-H (rev 2.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 16 GB

Expansion slots 

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset 

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

2 х PS/2 (for mouse and keyboard connection)

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

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

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x TPM socket

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

1 x 32 Мb

PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

226 х 170 mm

 Producer website

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

tags: gigabyte   intel   usb 3.0   hdmi   intel h81   d-sub   microatx   ddr3   ultra durable   uefi bios   socket lga1150   pci express   intel core   pentium   celeron   
Read the full review >>>

Monitor Acer XG270HU: review and testing

In addition to direct competition in the market of graphics card, the companies AMD and NVIDIA are also in constant competition in the field of technology. Until recently, this "war" mainly related to methods for improving the quality of the graphics and games optimization. But now the opposition reached a new level, and has involved the manufacturers of other components. We are talking about the dynamic vertical synchronization technology of the monitor. And quite interesting is that two irreconcilable competitors went separate ways. The company NVIDIA developed its own module and technology of data exchange between it and the graphics card, while AMD used open standard Adaptive Sync. We have already tested the features of NVIDIA G-SYNC. Now it’s time to consider the response from AMD - technology AMD FreeSync. And we decided to learn it on the example of monitor Acer XG270HU with its support.

Acer XG270HU

We would like to recall that we have learnt the theoretical aspects of the technology AMD FreeSync in the material «AMD FreeSync is a reasonable response of NVIDIA G-SYNC». Therefore, in this case we would like to focus on the features of its implementation. And, of course we will learn the capabilities of the monitor Acer XG270HU.

The specs:

Model

tags: acer   amd freesync   tn   srgb   hdmi   dvi-d   nvidia g-sync   adobe rgb   mhl   wqhd   
Read the full review >>>

Mirrorless camera Sony A5100 (ILCE-5100L): review and testing 

The arsenal of Sony includes a large number of cameras: from standard compact to full-frame mirror one. Such a variety of forms and solutions allows you to choose any technique to the needs and size of the purse. A special place in the hierarchy is occupied by mirrorless digital camera with interchangeable lenses that are actively developing and already gained recognition not only by fans, but also professionals of digital photography. We have to acquaint you with the solution on the example of top-end camera with sensor (Sony α6000), which left a lot of positive emotions. Today we have its younger item, a model Sony α5100 (ILCE-5100L) that is positioned as a more affordable solution. It should be noted that this model was awarded the prestigious award TIPA Awards 2015 as the best compact mirrorless digital entry level camera.

Sony α5100 (ILCE-5100L)

New product has inherited a corporate sensor Exmor CMOS with type of APS-C with a resolution of 24.3 megapixel, fast hybrid AF, high functionality and a number of other interesting features. The main differences lie in the simplified case design. All this will be explained in more details. To begin with we suggest to familiarize with the technical specifications of Sony α5100:

Producer

tags: sony   exmor   cmos   nfc   wi-fi   full hd   hdmi   sdhc   sdxc   
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Digital video recorder Gazer F121: review and testing 

The first impression is very important for many of us. If the product is at first sight is not pleased, it is very difficult to re-attract the attention. Viewed mid-range DVR Gazer F121 drew our attention due to a very compact size. And we have some question: "Is its functionality enough for such dimensions? Will it provide quality fixation of situation on the roadway?" And these aspect will be described in today's review.

Gazer F121

The specs:

Model

tags: gazer   microsd   microsdhc   hdmi   lcd   mini-usb   
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Smartphone Sony Xperia Z3: review and testing

urrently Sony is upgrading its mobile business, and shifts the focus to the decisions of the upper and middle price range. In this fiscal year Sony Mobile Communications plans to sell 38 million smartphones. Despite rumors about the rejection of the strategy of issuing new flagship models every six months, the Vice-President of Global Communications and Public Relations Tim Harrison in a recent interview said that the company decided to produce flagship models more frequently than once a 12 months. On the one hand, this solution allows to quickly take into account errors and to impose compete with other manufacturers. But is it possible in this case to rely on the fundamental improvements over the previous model? It can also lead to competition within the lineup. We will try to find out the example of Sony Xperia Z3 is it true in the current market conditions.

Sony Xperia Z3

 

In terms of technical characteristics, this model is a little different from its predecessor Sony Xperia Z2. There is the same 5.2-inch Full HD IPS-display, processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 and the main camera of 20.7 megapixels. So what's the difference? It lies in a number of design improvements, branded shell Xperia Home and several technical nuances. All this will be explained in more detail below. Let's start from the technical specifications Sony Xperia Z3:

Producer

Sony

Model

Xperia Z3 (D6603)

Type, form-factor

Smartphone, monoblock

Communication standard

2G (GSM)

850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (HSPA+)

850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE)

700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600 MHz

Broadband data transfer

GPRS (32-48 Kb/s), EDGE (236 Kb/s), HSDPA (up to 42,2 Мb/s), HSUPA (up to 5,76 Мb/s), LTE Cat.4 (up to 50 Мb/s UL, up to 150 Мb/s DL)

SIM-card

Nano-SIM

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AC): quad-core Krait 400, up to 2,5 GHz, L2 cache − 2 МB, manufacturing process 28-nm HPm

GPU

Qualcomm Adreno 330: up to 578 MHz, support for OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenVG 1.1, OpenCL 1.1 and DirectX 9.0c 

Display

IPS, 5,2" TRILUMINOS, 1920 x 1080 p (423 ppi), multi-touch up to 10 presses, protective Asahi DragonTrail X, technologies X-Reality and Live Colour

RAM

3 GB, dual-channel LPDDR3

ROM

16 GB

Card-readers

microSD (up to 128 GB)

Interfaces

1 x micro-USB

1 x audio mini-jack 3,5 mm

Multimedia

Sound processing

ClearAudio+

Speaker

Stereo

Microphone

Stereo

 

FM-radio

+

Camera

Main

Exmor RS (1/2,3"): 20,7 МP, BSI, aperture f/2.0, AF, LED flash, Image stabilization system

SteadyShot, «HDR»-shoot, video recording in format 4K Ultra HD (30 FPS)

Front

2,2 МP, aperture f/2.8, fixed focus, video recording in format 1080p

Connectivity

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2,4 / 5 GHz)

(Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot)

Bluetooth

4.0

GPS/GLONASS

+/+

NFC

+

ИК

DLNA/Miracast

+/+

MHL

+ (MHL 3.0)

Sensors

Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, light sensor, LED, a geomagnetic sensor (compass), barometer

Battery

Lithium-ion cell, non-removable: 3100 mАh

Charger

Input : 100~240 V AC 50/60 Hz

Output: 5 V DC1,5 А

Other

Dust and moisture protection according to IP65 and IP68

Dimensions

146 × 72 × 7,3 mm

Weight

152 g

Color

Black / White / Olive / Copper /Purple

OS

Android 4.4.4 KitKat + Xperia Home v7

Warranty

12 months

Producer website

Sony Mobile Communications AB

tags: sony   wi-fi   ips   qualcomm   full hd   mhl   gps   snapdragon   4k ultra hd   nfc   micro-usb   android   exmor   bluetooth 4.0   3g   lpddr3   hdmi   bsi   cortex-a7   802.11 ac   asahi dragontrail   
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HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD) graphics card: review and testing

Let’s continue the familiarity with the graphics cards HIS. Graphics accelerators of the manufacturer are proved to be reliable device with quiet and efficient cooling systems. This material is devoted to a model built on the graphics core AMD Bonaire and equipped with 2 GB of video memory standard GDDR5. According to the specs, its main advantages are the support for resolution 4K Ultra HD and an appropriate design HIS iPower, which provides good overclocking potential.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The video accelerator HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD) has quite a long name, so for convenience we shall denote it more succinctly: HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 or или HIS H260XQM2GD.

The specs:

Model

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

Graphics core

AMD Bonaire

Manufacturing process, mm

28

Quality of shader processors  

896

Support for technologies and API

DirectX 12, DirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, AMD Eyefinity, AMD CrossFireX, AMD HD3D, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD Eyespeed, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Mantle, AMD TrueAudio

Nominal frequency of graphics cote, MHz

1000

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Nominal/effective video memory capacity, MHz

1500 / 6000

Memory bus, bit

128

Internal interface

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Screening interfaces

1 х HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 х DVI-I

1 х DVI-D

Nominal PSU capacity, W

500

Dimensions (according to our test lab), mm

220 x 112

Drivers

HIS or  GPU

Producer website

HIS

Package and content

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The graphics card HIS H260XQM2GD is shipped in cardboard package with familiar design from other graphics accelerator of HIS. Its face side includes some of the main advantages of the new product:

  • power subsystem with design HIS iPower, which provides a good overclocking potential;
  • proprietary software for overclocking and monitoring (HIS iTurbo);
  • support for resolution 4K Ultra HD.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The reverse side of the box contains more detailed information about the merits of device:

  • quiet and efficient cooling system HIS IceQ X2;
  • PWM controller that supports the Dynamic Phase Control and saves energy by turning off unused power phases;
  • high-quality solid capacitors and inductors provide stable operation of the graphics accelerator during overclocking.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The side of the package has a list of system requirements for optimal performance of graphics accelerator. Note the indicator of the minimum of the power supply, which should not be less than 500 W. If you will install two similar video card in mode AMD CrossFireX, this requirement is increased up to 600 W. It is also desirable that the power supply has been equipped with one or two six-pin connectors PCIe.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

Supplied set of video card HIS H260XQM2GD consists of:

  • Adapter DVI-I ↔ D-Sub;
  • disk with software and drivers;
  • sticker on the computer case;
  • Quick Start Guide;
  • leaflets with a list of addresses of HIS in different social networks.

In general, this set is fairly typical and allows immediately start working with graphics accelerator. As for the adapter for additional power, it is difficult to imagine a modern power supply with recommended above capacity, which won’t have at least one 6-pin PCIe.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The interface of the tested model has the following connectors:

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

Such set of connectors together with the supplied adapter DVI-I ↔ D-Sub will allow to connect almost any modern monitor or TV without any difficulty. The following resolutions are supported:

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

Design and circuitry

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The graphics card HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 is made on a dark blue PCB. It should be noted that the graphics chip is not equipped with a protective frame, so you should be very careful to dismantle or install the cooling system.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

Power of GPU is performed on a 7-phase scheme. Its main advantage is the use of the highest quality components: solid capacitors and ferrite chokes. Controller ON Semiconductor NCP81022 supports management of involved phases (Dynamic Phase Control).

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

To complete the work HIS H260XQM2GD, in addition to opportunities of slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, you must connect an additional 6-pin PCIe. Its connection is slightly complicated by cooling system located near.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The reverse side of the PCB has several labels with technical information and the screws that secure the cooling system. In the upper right corner you can find placed above described controller power of subsystem and connector for bridge AMD CrossFireX (allows you to combine two cards for the joint processing of graphics).

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The heart of HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2GB GDDR5 graphics chip is AMD Bonaire, made on 28-nm technology. It consists of 896 unified shader pipelines, 56 texture units and 16 ROP units. The nominal clock frequency of the graphics processor is 1000 MHz.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

Novelty has 2 GB of video memory collected using four chips ELPIDA W4032BABG-60-F of standard GDDR5 with 512MB each. They operate efficiently at a frequency of 6000 MHz, and in order to exchange data with a graphics core there is 128-bit bus with a bandwidth of 96 GB/s.

Cooling system  

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The graphics card is equipped with a dual-slot cooling system based on two axial fans. Overall dimensions of the graphics accelerator with fixed cooling system are 220 x 112 mm. The outer part of the cooler is covered by the plastic cover with decorative ornaments.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

Blowing is realized by two fans Apistek GA81B2U (12; 0.38 A) of 76 mm diameter and shape of the curved blades. They are mounted directly on the plastic cover.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

The heatsink contacts with the GPU via a copper plate and a thin layer of thermal paste. Also there are three copper heat pipes with a diameter of 6 mm each. They are not coated with a layer of nickel, so are susceptible to oxidation during use.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

Heat pipes are firmly soldered to the edges to the radiator as well as to the copper base. This provides faster heat dissipation and improved cooling performance.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

In automatic mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 59°C at maximum load. Fans at the same time rotated at 1599 rpm, and the noise does not exceed the average level.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

At maximum speed (3777 rpm) noise rose to an average level and has ceased to be comfortable for extended use. The temperature of the GPU has decreased to 48°C. This mode is suitable only for overclocking and running of load tests.

HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-D+DLDVI-I/DP/HDMI (H260XQM2GD)

In idle mode the GPU temperature dropped to 31°C. In this mode, the cooler worked quietly (1182 rpm) and was almost indistinguishable against the background of other components.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS B85M-G: review and testing

Not all users require flagship ATX solution, because some are planning to build a compact office or home entertainment system, and do not want to spend too much. If you look at the specs of the hero of our review, the motherboard ASUS B85M-G, at first glance it is very attractive candidate for purchase for the implementation of the voiced above plans. New product offers not only a compact form factor microATX, but also a relatively affordable price of about $75 - 80. At the same time it has the support of ports COM and LPT, used in an office environment, as well as modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s. Let's move on to the review and find out whether it is good as it might seem at first glance. 

ASUS B85M-G

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

B85M-G (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel B85

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

 

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

External I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

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 connection)

Internal I/O

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

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

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s с

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 х S/PDIF Out

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

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

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

233 х 193 mm

 Producer website

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

tags: asus   usb 3.0   intel b85   dvi-d   d-sub   microatx   ddr3   intel core   socket lga1150   celeron   pci express 3.0   uefi bios   pentium   icontrol   hdmi   
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Graphics card HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I+DLDVI-D/DP/HDMI (H285QMC2GD): review and testing

The hero of this review, the graphics card HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I+DLDVI-D/DP/HDMI (abbreviated HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC or HIS H285QMC2GD), made on the basis of graphics accelerator AMD Radeon R9 285, replaced by AMD Radeon R9 280. The range of HIS contains several modifications of the above model. The test version compares favorably among them by little reduced dimensions, which is reflected in its name as a prefix «Mini». Other advantages include factory overclocking, corporate cooler IceQ X² and quality components, which in theory makes the model profitable acquisition. But let's not jump to conclusions and to begin a look at the detailed specification of the test solution.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The specs:

Model

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E DLDVI-I+DLDVI-D/DP/HDMI

(HIS H285QMC2GD)

Graphics core

AMD Radeon R9 285 (Tonga Pro)

Quantity of shader processors

1792

Supported API and technologies

DirectX 12, DirectCompute 11, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.2, AMD Eyefinity, AMD CrossFireX, AMD HD3D, AMD PowerPlay, AMD PowerTune, AMD Eyespeed, AMD ZeroCore, AMD Mantle, AMD TrueAudio, AMD PowerTune, AMD FreeSync

Core clock frequency, MHz

938

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1375 (5500)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Memory bus, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

176

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening interfaces

1 x DVI-I

1 x DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

Support HDCP and decoding of HD-video

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

500

Additional PCIe sockets

2 x 6-pin

Dimension from official website (according to measurements of our test lab), mm

210 х 110 (227 х 112)

Drivers

HIS or GPU

Producer website

HIS

Tested modification of AMD Radeon R9 285 compares favorably with the presence of factory overclocking the GPU from standard 918 to 938 MHz. But the video memory subsystem fully complies with the requirements of the reference: 2 GB GDDR5 with 256-bit bus and the effective frequency 5500 MHz.

Package and content 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The novelty comes in a small, vertically oriented box, decorated in corporate style with light blue tones. In addition to the references to the capacity and type of video memory, the front side contains notification about the use of cooler IceQ X² and the presence of the supplied software to control the operation of the graphics card (HIS iTurbo). Here is the support for factory overclocking of the GPU. Do note the attention to the use of internal PCI Express 3.0 interface and support for video output in an ultra-high resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD).

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The reverse side of the box contains mention about the use of high-quality solid capacitors with design PCB HIS H285QMC2GD. Used PWM controller supports active phase switching, helping to reduce power consumption in idle moments or weak load on the graphics card.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

A list of system requirements for the computer is located on one side of the box. Based on the recommendations, the power supply unit should have a capacity of at least 500 W. As for the additional power, the new connection requires two 6-pin PCIe.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Supplied set of tested model includes only the disk with drivers and utilities and user manual. That is the optional accessories such as a DVI-D-Sub or adapter power for the graphics card, the user has to buy separately. This is done in order to reduce the final cost of the product.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Interface panel is equipped with the following ports:

  • 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;
  • Analog up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The production of HIS H285QMC2GD was provided by original circuit board of black color. All elements are located quite standard: the power subsystem of GPU is on the left side of it, while the components of the power system of graphics card are on the right side. Circuitry includes extremely reliable solid-state capacitors, which should have a positive impact on the service life.

As you can see, the usual connectors for bridges AMD CrossFireX in this case are not available, since the novelty supports this technology by communication cards through slots PCI Express x16. 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Power of model HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC is performed at quite familiar 7-phase scheme, where five phases are reserved for the needs of graphic core, and two for the memory chip.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The GPU power subsystem is implemented on the digital PWM controller ON NCP81022, located on the front side of the PCB. 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

In addition to slot PCI Express 3.0 x16, power is provided by two additional connectors PCIe, placed on the side of the graphics card. In accordance with the recommendations of AMD, both are 6-pin. Do note that the connection and disconnection of cables PCIe in this case doesn’t provide any problems.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The reverse side of the video accelerator has the additional chip and the mounting screws of the cooling system. Since one of the advantages of new products is its compact dimensions, the cooling system does not protrude beyond the printed circuit board.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The heart of HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC is the graphics chip AMD Radeon R9 285 (AMD Tonga Pro). It is produced by the norms of 28-nm process and consists of 1792 unified shader pipelines, 32 ROP units and 112 texture units. As we already mentioned, the graphics core frequency was slightly increased on the recommendations of AMD and is 938 MHz.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The total capacity of memory is 2 GB, collected by using an 8-chip of company ELPIDA with capacity 256MB each. According to the marking (W2032BBBG-6A-F) and documentation of their nominal frequency is equal to 6 GHz, although in our case it was lowered to 5500 MHz. This allows us to hope for a good overclocking potential of use chips. Data exchange between the graphics core and memory is realized through a bus 256-bit, which is able to pass 176 GB of information per second.

Cooling system 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

According the name of the graphic adapter HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X² OC, for cooling it uses proprietary cooler IceQ X². The total length of the graphics card of dual-slot cooling system is only 21 cm.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The cooler consists of a massive one-section of the radiator, which uses in the construction of 36 aluminum nickel-plated plates, two axial fans with impeller of diameter of 76 mm and a plastic casing that covers the entire structure above. 

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

The propellers are presented by model Apistek GA81B2U with rated voltage of 12 V and a current of 0.38 A, which results in a power of 4.56 W.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

For a more uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator there are three copper heat pipes made with a diameter of 6 mm. Unfortunately, they are not covered by a layer of nickel, which is used to prevent oxidation process of copper in operation and the subsequent fall of the heat exchange efficiency. The copper base of the cooling system is in contact with GPU through a small layer of thermal paste.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

To improve the efficiency of the cooler the contact of heat pipes with fins and big copper base is improved by using solder.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

To cool the FETs power subsystem uses a separate small radiator with thermal interface on the back side.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Under automatic fan speed control in case of maximum load, graphics core was warmed up to 68 degrees and cooler worked with the 46% of its maximum capacity. Subjectively, the noise was below average.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

After forced increase of the fan speed to the maximum level, the GPU temperature dropped to 59 degrees. The noise rose to an average level, but at the same time remained quite comfortable. By tradition, we note that a similar mode of cooling system will be claimed only in the case of manual overclocking.

HIS R9 285 Mini IceQ X2 OC (H285QMC2GD)

Read the full review >>>

Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless camera: review and testing

A few years ago the Olympus completely refused the use of the classic mirror digital cameras. Such a step did some other manufacturers (including Panasonic, Samsung and Fujifilm). Having chosen the format Micro Four Thirds (MFT), the Japanese managed to compete to affordable mirror solutions. This is evidenced by the success of the model Olympus OM-D E-M5, which received several positive reviews from reviewers and from professional photographers. The next evolutionary step was the appearance of top-end camera Olympus OM-D E-M1, which absorbed the leading experience and corporate developments. It is designed to meet the needs of the most demanding user.

Olympus OM-D E-M1

This model has a classic appearance, the Live MOS sensor with 16.3 megapixel, fast hybrid autofocus, 5-axis optical image stabilization system, new brand processor TruePic VII and several other interesting features that will be described latter. Let’s start from the characteristics of Olympus OM-D E-M1:

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tags: olympus   wi-fi   bluetooth   full hd   sdhc   sdxc   hdmi   mft   
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