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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 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 >>>

Video card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5): review and testing

A few months ago many manufacturers have expanded their video cards range of the popular series NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 models with 4 GB of memory. And the company ASUS did the same. It has released a version ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5), which boasts of a number of other advantages.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

First of all they include significant factory overclocking, productive proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with support for passive mode «0dB FAN» and qualitative element base. Also it has a good set of interface panel connectors and support for efficient software.

The specs:

Model

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5) 

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Manufacturing process, nm

28

Q-ty of shader processors (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

«Gaming»

1228 / 1291

«OC»

1253 / 1317

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Nominal / effective video memory capacity, MHz

1753 / 7010

Memory bus, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

112,2

Internal 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

215 x 121 x 41 (227 x 122)

Drivers

Available drivers ASUS or  GPU

Website

ASUS

Package and content

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The card comes in a cardboard box with high-quality color printing. Its front side contains the logo of the manufacturer and the series ASUS STRIX. Below you can find an image of a proprietary cooling system DirectCU II, which is 30% more efficient in comparison with the reference model, according to signs. Also here is the mark of a factory overclocking and the capacity of video memory.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The reverse side of the package has a layout of the interface panel connectors and a more detailed description of ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5features:

  • cooling system supports passive mode «0dB FAN», which allows it to be absolutely silent at light load;
  • element base corresponds to the branded concept Super Alloy Power and includes solid capacitors with increased 2.5 times lifetime, with ferrite core chokes, and improved field-effect transistors;
  • proprietary software for overclocking and monitoring (GPU Tweak) and free software license for game broadcasts  XSplit Gamecaster for 1 year.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

On the side face you can find the minimum system requirements required for the complete the work for the graphics card. Thus, the minimal capacity of power supply is 400 W, and the load capacity of the rail +12V must be 38 A or higher. It is also desirable to have at least one 6-pin PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Inside the box a graphics accelerator is securely fixed using foam shapes and antistatic bag. This design will allow to protect the fragile electronics from damage during transportation.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Package of ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC consists of:

  • adapter DVI-I ↔ D-Sub;
  • software and drivers CD;
  • stickers on the computer;
  • quick start guide.

Adapter DVI-I ↔ D-Sub is a nice bonus. It allows to connect an analog monitor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Interface panel includes the following set of connectors:

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

The following resolutions are supported:

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

Design and circuitry

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5 is made on a compact circuit board. The total length of the graphics accelerator is only 227 mm, which will allow to place it even in small cases.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The power subsystem uses a 5-phase design: four phases are reserved for the GPU and one is for the memory chips. PWM controller is a chip uP1608TK from the company uPI Semiconductor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The proper operation of the graphics accelerator is provided by slot PCI Express 3.0 x16 and one additional 6-pin PCIe. The PCB has a special projection for connector snap.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

On the reverse side of the printed circuit board there is a metal plate which not only protects the PCB from damage, but also participates in the heat removal process. Also note that one of the four screws of the cooling system has a protective seal. This means that the dismantling of cooling system is not desirable and will void the warranty.

In the upper right corner you can see the connector for the bridge NVIDIA SLI. It allows you to connect the processing power of two GPUs for the co-processing of the graphics.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Video card ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5 is based on 28-nm GPU NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell). It consists of the 1024 unified shader processors, 64 texture units and 32 ROP units.

The graphics core has two modes. In the first case (mode «Gaming») its nominal frequency is 1228 MHz, and dynamic is 1291 MHz. When you activate the profile «OC» data values will be 1253 and 1317 MHz respectively.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Total memory is 4 GB and it is provided by using 8 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity 4 GB each. They work on the effective frequency 7010 MHz, and to exchange data with a graphics core use 128-bit bus with a capacity of 112.2 GB/s.

Cooling system

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

The card is equipped with a proprietary cooling system, which occupies two slots for expansion cards. The outer part is covered by a plastic cover, decorated with original printing.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Four nickel-plated heat pipes are used to remove heat from the GPU. Two of them have a diameter of 8 mm, and two 6 mm. They are characterized by direct contact with the surface of the GPU to improve heat dissipation.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Two axial blowing fans FirstDo FD7010H12S (12; 0.35 A) with 75mm diameter blade are applied. They are based on slider bearings.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

Now let's examine the effectiveness of branded cooler under load. In automatic mode of the cooling system the GPU temperature did not exceed 70°C at maximum load. Fans were very quiet (the first rotated at 1730 rpm, and the second at 1700 rpm) and were virtually indistinguishable on the background of the other components.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

After running at maximum speed (first rotated with a frequency of 3300 rpm, and the second - 3280 rpm), GPU temperature dropped to 59°C. Even in this mode, the noise was average and was comfortable enough for long term use.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5)

In idle mode the GPU temperature dropped to 42°C and the cooler was switched to passive mode. And this is a principle of the technology "0 dB FAN»: silent cooler under low loads.

Read the full review >>>

Video card ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK): review and testing

In the spring of 2014, NVIDIA has announced another addition to the graphics cards family NVIDIA GeForce of 700th series, which was the model NVIDIA GeForce GT 730. As you might guess from its labeling, it is an entry-level solution and has a relatively affordable cost and low productivity. The standard version of this card is made in a low-profile format. This clearly alludes to its end use to build ultra-low-cost multimedia systems (HTPC).

Another curious feature of the NVIDIA GeForce GT 730 is the fact that there are several of its modifications, which differ significantly from each other. Two of the three versions are based on the graphic chip NVIDIA GK208 (Kepler), produced by 28-nm manufacturing technology. They differ in the type of video memory: DDR3 with effective clock speed of 1800 MHz or GDDR5, which operates at 5000 MHz. However, both use 64-bit data bus. "Heart" of  the third version is a graphics core NVIDIA GF108 (Fermi). A video memory subsystem is built on its DDR3-chips, but with a 128-bit bus.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

As for specific features of ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK), it is made based on NVIDIA GK208 and is equipped with two gigabytes of graphics memory standard DDR3, as well as a passive cooling system. Let's take a look at its detailed specifications.

The specs: 

Model

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent

(ASUS GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

Graphics core

NVIDIA GK208 (Kepler)

Manufacturing process, nm

28

Q-ty of shader processors (CUDA-cores)

 

384

Supported API and technologies

 

Microsoft DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA FXAA, NVIDIA 3D Vision, NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync, NVIDIA CUDA

Basic graphics core frequency, MHz

902

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

900 (1800)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

DDR3

Bus memory width, bit

64

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

14,4

Bus type

PCI Express 2.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 2560 x 1600

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 x DVI-D

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

300

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

137 х 69 (150 x 70)

Drivers

ASUS or GPU

Website

ASUS

This version almost fully complies with all the NVIDIA recommendations for NVIDIA GeForce GT 730. It has an original cooling system and improved components. Operating frequencies of video card are also fully consistent with the reference to modifications with 64-bit video memory of standard DDR3.

Package and content 

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent is available in the traditional box of high quality cardboard, decorated with the graphic arts industry in the corporate style. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model, note the reference to the capacity and type of video memory, and the presence of ASUS GPU Tweak utility for monitoring and optimization of key parameters. The main advantages of this model are the passive cooling system and advanced electronic components, made according to the brand concept of Super Alloy Power. It includes solid capacitors with increased up to 50 000 hours of service life and chokes with ferrite core. Due to this you can notice a 15% increase in performance, a 35°C decrease in temperature of power cells and a 2.5 longer life of graphics adapter.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the more detailed description of the benefits listed on the front side. Also, there is a schematic diagram of the interface panel.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

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 of not less than 300 W and provide at least 20 A on +12V power line.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

In addition to standard instructions and a CD with software in the box we found two interchangeable plugs for the interface panel. One of them with holes for DVI-D and HDMI can be used instead of the standard, and the second can be installed in an adjacent slot on the interface of the PC. Such opportunities for video card configuration are possible due to the fact that the D-Sub video output is connected by a flexible loop. Therefore, it can be either completely disabled or moved to an adjacent expansion slot with one of the above-mentioned modules.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

The following set of video outputs is used to display an image on the graphics adapter:

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x D-Sub.

It supports the following resolution:

  • Digital up to 2560 x 1600;
  • Analog up to 2048 x 1536.

Design and circuitry 

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK) is made on low profile PCB. In case of disabled video output D-Sub the PCB height does not exceed 70 mm, which makes the model compatible even with the small case to build HTPC.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

The module of power supply stabilization is made by a two-phase system where one phase is used to power the graphics core, and the second for the video memory. It uses proprietary high quality electronic components Super Alloy Power, which includes solid capacitors and ferrite core chokes. This improves the stability and reliability of the graphics card, as well as extends its service life.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

The reverse side of the video card has several elements of the power subsystem, as well as the mounting screws of the cooling system, one of which is covered with a warranty sticker.

Model ASUS GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK is not equipped with connectors for additional cabling PCIe, as it maximum power consumption does not exceed of 49 W, and the standard PCI Express x16 slot can provide up to 75 W. Also, there is no connector to bridge NVIDIA SLI, due to lack of support for this technology.

 

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

The basis of the test video is graphic chip NVIDIA GK208 (Kepler), made of 28-nm manufacturing technology. It includes 384 unified shader pipelines (CUDA-cores according to the terminology of NVIDIA), 8 ROP units and 32 texture units.

Video memory of ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK) is realized due to using DDR3-chips of company Samsung with total capacity of 2 GB and the effective frequency of 1800 MHz. Communication between the graphics core and memory is realized through 64-bit bus, which is capable to pass 14.4 GB of information per second.

Cooling system 

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

 

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

The cooling system of this adapter is quite plain and compact, which is quite logic given the low level of power consumption and heat dissipation. For the removal of excess heat from the GPU there is all-metal radiator with fins, which increases the efficiency of heat dissipation.

 

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

As you can see, in continuous maximum load graphics core is heated to 93 degrees, which is hardly a good result, because the maximum temperature declared at 98 degrees.

ASUS GeForce GT 730 Silent (GT730-SL-2GD3-BRK)

tags: asus   geforce gt 730   ddr3   nvidia geforce   gk208   d-sub   dvi-d   cuda   kepler   htpc   gpu tweak   nvidia physx   samsung   
Read the full review >>>

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.

Read the full review >>>

 

The most interesting software innovations and events. Release 145

Every day a huge amount of different software is produced and updated. To help you to sort out these updates our portal continue to provide a series of articles devoted to the most interesting events in the world of software industry. For ease searching all programs and utilities are divided into topics.

Software events

Windows 10: update details and minimal requirements

Omar Khayyam has written a perfect line that fully describes the latest events around the Windows 10: "That's the way it is! Light a fire and drop it into the water." This, of course, talking about information regarding free upgrade of illegal copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. This was said in a telephone interview by Head of Microsoft operating systems Terry Myerson.

According to the third law of Chisholm, any suggestions are understand differently than it is said by the speaker. The statement Myerson was seen as an opportunity to legalize the vast army of pirates. However, the euphoria about it did not last long. The next day, the official speaker of Microsoft said that there was a wrong interpretation: the illegal versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 really can be upgraded to Windows 10 till 2016, but in this case, the user also gets inactivated version of the operating system. Licensed version of Windows 10 will receive only those who pre-purchased Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

Thaiphoon Burner

Also recently we learned the minimum system requirements for the desktop version of OS Windows 10. In particular, the 32-bit version will require 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of permanent memory. 64-bit versions requires at least 2 GB of RAM and 20 GB of permanent memory. Also, the imperative is graphics adapter with support for API DirectX 9. Diagonal of the display should not be less than 8 inches, and resolution below 800 x 600 pixels.

Setting of PC components

it is a very comfortable and functional text editor. one of its key

tags: windows   windows 10   iobit   opera   pdf   microsoft   amd   apu   nvidia   ddr4   firepro   radeon   ssd   adobe   intel xeon   micron   bay trail   intel core   amd radeon   kaveri   youtube   flash   nvidia geforce   
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Game Review: Assassin's Creed: Rogue

Title: Assassin's Creed: Rogue
Genre: Action
Developer: Ubisoft Sofia, Ubisoft Kiev
Editor: Ubisoft
Release date: March 10, 2015
Platform: PC / PS3 / Xbox 360
Website: http://assassinscreed.com

Last year was very saturated for fans of Assassin's Creed: instead of the traditional one annual game, Ubisoft has released two: one for the current generation of consoles and computers, and the second for the old console, bypassing the desktop platform. We have already written about Assassin's Creed: Unity released for the PC. Now it is time to review of Assassin's Creed: Rogue.

The most important point regarding the project is that it was developed by a completely different studio Ubisoft Sofia, which was engaged in the development of big games in the series Assassin's Creed. This fact has affected both the strengths and weaknesses of all Assassin's Creed: Rogue.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

First of all the narrative aspect is change: the story instead of another history of the Assassins Order f, we have the opportunity to learn more about their enemies (Templars) and play at their side.

This game has a very interesting main character - a character named Shay Patrick Cormac. We get to know him as an assassin, who after a while loses faith in the order and joins to main opponents.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

Events Assassin's Creed: Rogue takes place in a very interesting historical epoch. Location is the British colonies in North America before and during the Seven Years' War of the XVIII century. But the story does not match for the era: it is quite trivial story vendetta, including the search for powerful artifacts and the struggle for influence in the region.

The main trouble Assassin's Creed: Rogue in its absolute secondary in comparison with last Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. It looks and plays exactly the same way, borrowing most of the features, including the interface, gaming experience, narrative style and to some extent the scene.

If you remember, the main focus of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was placed on the management of his ship and pirates in the Caribbean. The same situation is in Assassin's Creed: Rogue, but the main character is a servant of the law in the face of the British Empire, and the location is the North Atlantic.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

And just as soon as the game starts to slip disputing all of the player's actions outside of the main story line. Range of options and actions that you can perform is very and very extensive, but unfortunately, the presence is not justified.

You can seriously engage in the improvement of your ship using building materials (iron and wood). You can get them only by robbery, attacking the passing vessel. But for a short time of the game you understand that it is not necessary for two reasons. First and the main, in almost all the decisive naval battles you is moved to more powerful ship, and to play the story your current ship is more than enough.

The second is the lack of motivation for the robbery. You are the national of the UK, so have no right to attack ships sailing under the Union Jack. Secondly, the hero is not the thief, but it is a business man, who has neither the time nor the proper justification for the small sea robbery.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

Of course you can improve own equipment. You can increase the supply of health, add additional strap for pistols, sew pockets for ammunition, killing animals and using their skin. And then the game mechanics has a common sense: unlike pirate Edward Kenuey, the hero of the fourth part of the series, Cormac is very charismatic and wealthy gentleman. Side jobs are also absolutely irrelevant: the condition of their performance is exactly the same with the same Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. And, again, Edward made his living by performing them. He provides all the power of the British war machine, and the hero has a very specific and important task.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

But there is another, very exciting experience: the capture of sea and land outposts. These strongholds are across the Atlantic and colonial settlement. They are occupied by assassins. Their presence here is not desirable for the Templars, and you instructed to get rid of them. Sea battles are smooth as well as in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: you need to remove the ships, destroy fortifications, landers and cracking down on the garrison.


Capture of land fortifications is much more interesting: for this you need to fulfill several conditions such as removing the flag and killing officers. But the main thing is the murder of the commander of the garrison. You need to do this secretly without attracting attention, otherwise the chances of success drop dramatically: it starts to run away, throwing smoke bombs, shoots a firearm; calls for help.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

However, although the implementation of these tasks finally has very logical justification, it is not necessarily to fulfill them for the campaign.

Also there are many questions to the story campaign. Heroes, especially the main, are not charismatic. The hero doesn’t have the charm of Edward. Besides he has a terrible voice: the voice does not fit him perfectly, and the actor is constantly out of tune. The events are often absurd, and the logic of the narrative. Many jobs are boring.

However, it should be said, the game has quite successful release date for the PC. For console, it was released in mid-November with Assassin's Creed: Unity and a bunch of other autumn hits, which looked completely out of place. Now players can really miss the Assassin's Creed. So Assassin's Creed: Rogue looks good.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

It should be noted the excellent optimization efforts realized Ukrainian studio Ubisoft Kiev: the game starts easily and at a comparatively old components. However, it is quite expected, because Assassin's Creed: Rogue was originally developed for the weaker hardware foundations of the previous generation of consoles. However, it looks very pale against the backdrop of Assassin's Creed: Unity. There are three graphics settings: "Normal", "High" and "Very high". In addition there are many switches for detailed settings. The difference between these levels is absolutely imperceptible visually, but "very high" has almost twice indicator FPS.

Assassins Creed: Rogue

"Normal" level of graphics

Assassins Creed: Rogue

"High" level of graphics

Assassins Creed: Rogue

"Very high" level of graphics

So we recommend the game to all fans of Assassin's Creed.

System requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8/8.1 (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2,4 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 or AMD Radeon HD 5670 (1024 MB VRAM) or Intel HD Graphics 4600
  • DirectX: 10
  • Sound card: DirectX-compatible with the latest drivers
  • Hard drive: 12 GB
  • Additional Peripherals: Xbox 360 controller, Tobii EyeX Controller, SteelSeries Sentry

Supported video cards at time of release: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 or next; NVIDIA GeForce 500 Series - GeForce 900; AMD Radeon HD 5670 or next; Series AMD Radeon HD 6000, 7000, R7, R9; Intel HD Graphics 4600, HD Graphics 5200.

tags: ubisoft   amd   nvidia geforce   intel   amd radeon   nvidia   xbox 360   windows   ps3   action   assassins creed   
Read the full review >>>

Graphics card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC: review and testing

ASUS company continues to rejoice its fans by extending the relatively young lineup of graphics cards ASUS STRIX via new solutions. Another addition of the family was the version of the graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, with key features described in the review Inno3D GeForce GTX 960 iChill Ultra.

As for the tested model ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5), it has not only the factory overclocking, but also high-quality circuitry, as well as proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with integrated technology 0dB FAN, which allows to use cooling system in the passive mode at low load. Let's move to a more detailed examination of all the special features.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The specs:

Model

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC  

(ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM206 (Maxwell)

Q-ty of shader processors

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

Basic /dynamic graphics core frequency, MHz

«Gaming»

1228 / 1291

«OC»

1253 / 1317

Memory frequency (effective), MHz

1800 (7200)

Memory capacity, GB

2

Memory type

GDDR5

Bus memory width, bit

128

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

115,2

Bus type

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Max resolution

Digital up to 4096 x 2160

Analog up to 2048 x 1536

Screening  interfaces

1 х DVI-I

1 х HDMI 2.0

3 х DisplayPort

HDCP support and HD-video decoding

Yes

Minimal PSU capacity, W

400

Additional PCIe sockets

1 x 6-pin

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

215 х 121

(225 х 122)

Drivers

ASUS or GPU

Website

ASUS

Tested modification of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 compares favorably not only due to proprietary cooling system, but the presence of factory overclocking of the GPU from the standard 1126 to 1228 MHz (mode «Gaming», which is selected by default). Given the technology NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 graphics core is clocked at 1291 MHz instead of recommended 1178 MHz. Also video memory subsystem, which operates at a frequency of 7200 MHz effective instead of the recommended 7010 MHz received acceleration.

Do note that the graphics card was tested by us in a more productive mode «OC», where the nominal and dynamic GPU frequency is 1253 MHz and 1317 MHz, respectively. It will be activated by the complete utility ASUS GPU Tweak by selecting a preset profile «O». 

Package and content

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Graphics card ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5 comes in fairly compact cardboard box and decorated with original and stylish line of the graphic printing with logo ASUS STRIX. In addition to the manufacturer and model of the device do note the reference about the capacity and type of video memory and the ownership of the solutions to the line «OC» (factory overclocked graphics cards). Also in the bottom right corner is specified the support for technologies NVIDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA GameStream and DirectX 12.

The main advantages of new item are: a proprietary cooling system DirectCU II with technology 0dB FAN, digital power system DIGI+ VRM and improved circuitry made in accordance with the concept of Super Alloy Power. It includes:

  • solid capacitors Super Alloy Capacitors with increased life up to 2.5;
  • ferrite core choke Super Alloy Chokes;
  • FETs Super Alloy MOS with an increase of 30% voltage threshold;
  • polymer tantalum capacitors SAP CAP, which possess high stability and efficiency even when working in a mode of extreme acceleration.

In daily use the above-described advantages make a 15% increase in performance by 35 degrees lower operating temperatures, and 2.5 increased service life of the graphic adapter.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The reverse side of the box is traditionally reserved for the slightly more detailed description of the benefits listed on the front side. Also here is a schematic representation of the interface board and mention of the capabilities of proprietary utility GPU Tweak with functions of Online Streaming and switching between the above-mentioned modes «Gaming» and «OC».

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

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 should have a capacity of at least 400 W and provide at least 38 A on the +12V line. Also tested model requires connection only one 6-pin cable PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The supplied set of the graphics card ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC contains the standard documentation, CD with software and adapter from DVI-I to D-Sub, which is quite sufficient set of accessories. You won’t have problems for connecting additional power supply, as almost all modern power supplies are equipped with at least one 6-pin cable PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

To output images the product has quite standard set of interfaces:

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

The following resolutions are supported:

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

Design and circuitry

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Model ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5 is performed on a compact black PCB with standard layout principle. Used circuitry corresponds to the proprietary concept Super Alloy Power and includes only high quality components: solid capacitors, advanced MOSFETs, Ferrite Core Choke, and tantalum-polymer capacitors. This increases the stability and reliability of the graphics card as a whole, as well as prolongs its life.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Power supplying of a new product is made via quite a standard five-phase scheme, where four phases are responsible for the power of the graphics core and one for the video memory subsystem.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

A digital PWM controller is a chip uP1608TK produced by company uPI Semiconductor.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

In accordance with NVIDIA recommendations the power of graphics card is provided by slot PCI Express x16 and one 6-pin PCIe, located on the side of the board. Due to its arrangement the cooler does not discomfort the disconnection of the cable PCIe.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

In order to the operation of technology NVIDIA SLI the ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5 uses one connector for the corresponding bridge that allows to combine two video accelerators for joint calculation of graphical effects. Don’t forget that you can see the testing results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 in mode 2-Way NVIDIA SLI in the review GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 960 WINDFORCE OC.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

 

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The reverse side of a novelty, originally covered with a base plate is notable by two of the four video memory chips, the above-mentioned tantalum polymer capacitors and some other electrical components.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The heart of the tested model is the graphics chip NVIDIA GM206-300-A1 (Maxwell), produced by 28-nm process. It includes 1024 unified shader pipes (CUDA cores in the terminology of NVIDIA), 32 blocks rasterization and 64 texture units. As we have said, the graphics card stands by a factory overclocking of graphics core with frequency in the mode «OC» in 1253 and 1317 MHz.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Total volume of Memory of model ASUS STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5 is 2 GB and it is collected with the help of the 4 chips Samsung K4G41325FC-HC28 with capacity of 512 MB each. According to the documentation, their effective frequency is 7000 MHz, but in our case it was increased up to 7200 MHz. The data exchange between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of passing of 115.2 GB per second.

Cooling system

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Graphics card with installed cooling system DirectCU II takes up two expansion slots and has a total length of 215 mm according to the official website of the company ASUS (225 mm as measured in our lab).

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The cooler consists of a fairly compact radiator, which uses 47 longitudinally spaced aluminum plates, two 75-mm axial fans with support for technology 0dB FAN, as well as the plastic casing that cover the entire structure above.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The fans are made by FirstDo and are labeled as «FD7010H12S». Rated voltage of their work is 12, and the current is 0.35 A, which gives the final output of 4.2 W. Judging by the letter «S» in the title, they are built sleeve bearing.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

The uniform distribution of heat over the whole area of the radiator is realized by four copper heat pipes of different diameters: two 8 mm and two 6 mm. Note that the fins and heatpipes are covered with a layer of nickel, which is designed to reduce the decrease in the efficiency of cooling system during the operation, caused by the oxidation of metals. Here is a scheme of direct contact of heat pipes to the surface of the GPU through a small layer of thermal paste for rapid removal of excess heat.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

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

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Since the primary cooling system is not in contact directly with any force elements of stabilization module power or memory chips, the first is used for cooling a separate element in the form of a low-profile heatsink with thermal interface on the back side. But memory chips do not have any additional cooling.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Under automatic speed control of fan blades in the maximum load, the graphics core was warmed to 62 degrees and cooler worked with the 57% of its maximum capacity. The noise level at the same time can be described as quiet.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

Under the maximum speed of the fan blades, the GPU temperature dropped to 54 degrees. In this case, the noise rose to an average level, but remained comfortable enough for continuous work with the PC.

ASUS GeForce GTX 960 STRIX DirectCU II OC (STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5)

In case of absence of load the frequency of the graphics core and memory were automatically lowered, allowing lower power consumption and heat generation of the graphics core. In this mode, the GPU temperature did not exceed 39 degrees, as fans generally stop spinning and cooling system operates in a completely passive mode. Here the the above-mentioned technology is 0dB FAN activated which provides silent operation of graphics card at low loads.

Read the full review >>>

MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro gaming laptop: review and testing

The acquisition of a gaming laptop is important and quite complicate task, as the purchase requires a special demand. And if the choice of "workhorse" for the daily needs is more or less clear, due to a variety of gaming models and values in their prices the head of buyer is spinning. And it's not so much due to high price which often accompanies the devices in this category, but in the number of advanced technologies used in modern gaming laptop. In addition, an important factor when choosing a gadget is its reliability, because in most cases the device to be used in a very active mode to perform time-consuming tasks and modern games.

MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro

In this review we aimed to find out what is a true gaming laptop, using a laptop MSI GE70 2PE Apache Pro. According to the manufacturer, this model is a classic representative of the family of gaming laptops, because it occupies a central position in the famous lineup of MSI Gaming. We will start our acquaintance with this very interesting device from the traditional consideration of the technical characteristics.

Read the full review >>>

 

Graphics card Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra: review and testing  

This material will be devoted to an unusual version of the graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980. Modification of the company Inno3D called «Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra» has a very original proprietary cooling system. A special attention is paid not only blowing of the GPU and memory chips, but also there is a separate unit for cooling elements of the power subsystem.

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

In addition, thanks to its original design and the presence of lighting the product will look spectacular even after installation on the computer case. There is a protective plate on the back of the PCB, which not only dissipates the excess heat, but also protects the contacts from dust and damage as a result of a short circuit.

The specs: 

Model

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra 

Graphics core

NVIDIA GM204-400-A1 (Maxwell)

Manufacturing process, mm

28

Q-ty of universal shader processors (CUDA-cores)

2048

Support of technologies and API

DirectX 12 (Shader Model 5.0), OpenGL 4.4, 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

Rated/dynamic graphics core frequency, MHz

1266 / 1367

Memory capacity, GB

4

Memory type

GDDR5

Rated/effective video memory frequency, MHz

1800 / 7200

Memory bus size, bit

256

Memory carrying capacity, GB/s

230,4

Internal interface

PCI Express 3.0 x16

Screening interfaces

1 х HDMI 2.0

3 x DisplayPort 1.2

1 х DVI-I

Minimal PSU capacity, W

500

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

300 x 115 (315 x 130)

Drivers

Drivers can be downloaded here:  Inno3D or GPU

Producer website

Inno3D

According to the information provided above, the novelty has a significant GPU overclocking: 140 MHz at rated speed and 151 MHz in the dynamic mode. In addition, effective frequency of video memory was increased by 200 MHz (from 7000 to 7200 MHz), which also resulted in an increase memory bandwidth from 224 to 230.4 GB/s.

Packaging and content

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Graphics card Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra is sold in a large cardboard box. Its front side contains support for technologies NVIDIA GameStream, NVIDIA GameWorks, NVIDIA G-SYNC and DirectX 12. Separately is indicated the presence of a complete full version benchmark 3DMark Advanced Edition and gaming pad, as well as the use of a unique cooling system HerculeZ X4 Air Boss. The inscription «Ultra» in the upper left corner reports about the presence of factory overclocking.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

On the reverse side of the package there is a brief description of the graphics card in different languages.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Inside the box the graphics accelerator is secured using foam shapes. Here there are two sections: the first is the graphics card, and the second is a set of accessories. This helps to protect against shock and damage during transportation.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Supplied set of Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra includes:

  • adapter for additional power connection;
  • adapter DVI to D-Sub;
  • gaming mouse pad;
  • key for the dismantling of the cooling system;
  • CD with software and drivers;
  • a code for a free download of full version benchmark 3DMark Advanced Edition;
  • table with recommendations for the power supply.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

It is quite interesting that the graphics card’s case has a special slot for storing the hex key. This ensures its safety and allows to use it at any time.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The interface panel has a reference set of connectors to output video:

  • 1 x DVI-I;
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0;
  • 3 x DisplayPort 1.2.

This configuration makes it possible to connect almost any modern monitor or TV and for old displays the kit contains an adapter DVI to D-Sub.

Design and circuitry

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The graphics card is made on a black board. The height of the printed circuit board is 112 mm. The graphics processor is equipped with a metal frame, which is designed to protect the chip against chipping and damage during removal and installation of the cooling system.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The power subsystem of Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra is performed by five-phase scheme: four are for the GPU and one is designed for the memory chip. Each of them uses two MOSFET M3058M and separate driver M3054M. Pay attention to the use of qualitative tantalum polymer capacitors (POSCAP).

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The power subsystem is based on the controller produced by a reputable manufacturer ON Semiconductor NCP81174. It is wired to a separate board and is able to support the work of up to four phases.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

To power supplying of the video card is provided by the opportunity of the slot PCI Express 3.0 x16 and two additional 6-pin PCIe. Close proximity of cooling system to the radiator difficults to connect and disconnect data connectors.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Near is a switch that controls the lights of the cooling system. It can be active, gently flicker or completely deactivated.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Support for technology NVIDIA SLI offers two corresponding connector. Using bridges you can form from two to four adapters for common graphics processing.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The reverse side of the PCB has a protective metal plate, which additionally serves for heat dissipation. The board includes a small number of components of the power subsystem.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The heart of Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra is GPU NVIDIA GM204-400-A1, made according to 28-nm process. This chip has 2048 cores CUDA, 128 texture units and 64 ROP units. GPU is clocked at 1266 MHz in the nominal mode and accelerates up to 1367 MHz with the activation of dynamic overclocking. 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Memory is collected by 8 chips SK Hynix H5GQ4H24MFR-R2C with capacity of 512 MB each. Data exchange with the GPU is realized through a 256-bit bus, the capacity of which is 230.4 GB/s.

Cooling system

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Model Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra is equipped with proprietary three-slot overall cooling system HerculeZ X4 Air Boss. On top its plastic case is covered by aluminum inlays, and the total height of the graphics accelerator with installed cooling system is 130 mm. It is long enough, which is limited to 315 mm, so you should check whether this card is fully compatible with your case.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The main blowing is performed by three fans Colorful CF-12915S (12 V, 0.35 A), which are mounted on a plastic frame. They have the original shape of the blades, thereby creating a good air flow. The heart of fans is a sleeve bearing.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The side has a separate small cooler Colorful CF-12510M (12 V, 0.15 A) on the basis of a ball bearing, which cools the radiator of the power subsystem. It rotates at a constant speed of about 2800 rpm, which is not dependent on the GPU temperature and can not be changed.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The main heat sink contacts with the graphics core through a small metal plate and a thin layer of thermal paste. The cooling system includes five copper heat pipes: two with a diameter of 8 mm and three are 6-mm. They are covered with a layer of nickel, which enables them to keep longer performance during operation.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

Heat pipes are soldered firmly to the edges of the radiator as well as to its base, which further improves the heat transfer.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

As mentioned earlier, the individual radiators are responsible for cooling elements of the power subsystem and memory chips. They contact through special thermo pads.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

The reverse side has a metal plate, which is also involved in the dissipation of heat, although not directly contacted with textolite.

 

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

In case of automatic rotation of the fan blades (1542 rpm), the GPU temperature at maximum load did not exceed 64°C. Fans rotated at 43% of maximum speed and worked quietly. The noise was enough for a comfortable level.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

After installing the fan to the maximum speed (2735 rpm), the core temperature is dropped to 54°C. Noise of the cooling system has risen above average and became too comfortable for long-term work in front of the computer.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

In idle mode, by reducing the frequency of the graphics processor, the temperature decreased to 33°C. In this mode the card hardly stood out from the other components of the system that is perfectly suited for working with documents or watching videos.

In general, the cooling system HerculeZ X4 Air Boss of model Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra coped with the responsibilities as everyday use, and at high load.

Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 980 4GB Ultra

 

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