Intel Core i9-11900K And i5-11600K Review: Rocket Lake-S Liftoff

After disclosing some architecture details a few months back, and revealing the initial line-up of Rocket Lake-S based 11th Gen processors a few weeks ago, Intel is officially launching its latest family of mainstream desktop CPUs today, along with some new chipsets to enable all of their features in motherboard platforms. As most of you probably know by now, 11th Gen Intel Core processors based on Rocket Lake-S are manufactured using Intel’s mature 14nm process, but they feature the company’s latest microarchitecture and technology, which was backported from 10nm. We’ve got the...

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Review: Impressive 1440p PC Gaming

Earlier this month, AMD took the wraps off the latest addition to its RDNA 2-based family of Radeons, the Radeon RX 6700 XT. During the livestreamed event, AMD disclosed that it was targeting high-framerate 1440p gaming with the Radeon RX 6700 XT, and that it would employ a new release strategy in an effort to get as many cards into gamers’ hands as possible at launch. Instead of releasing AMD-built reference cards first and following up sometime later with custom partner boards, AMD and its partners will be launching all flavors of Radeon RX 6700 XT today, across an array of on-line retailers...

AMD EPYC 7003 Series Unveiled: Big Iron Zen 3 Takes Flight

AMD just launched its next-generation EPYC server processors, codenamed Milan, based on the company’s leading Zen 3 microarchitecture. The new EPYC 7003 series is an important milestone for AMD. The company has made significant in-roads in servers and data centers in recent years, and the arrival of the EPYC 7003 series brings with it significantly improved IPC and per-core performance, better multi-core scaling, and more flexible memory configuration options (among other new features), in a package that’s socket compatible with previous-gen offerings – existing EPYC platforms...

Samsung SSD 980 Review: Affordable NVMe PC Storage

Although the company just recently fleshed out its flagship line of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe solid state drives with the 2TB SSD 980 Pro, Samsung is already back at it, with yet another family of drives that target a different market segment. While the Samsung SSD 980 Pro is intended for workstations types, performance enthusiasts and gamers that crave nothing but the best, the new Samsung SSD 980 drives – sans “Pro” – we’ll be showing you here today, target more mainstream computing applications. The branding of the new Samsung SSD 980s may be reminiscent of their higher-end...

AMD Reveals Radeon RX 6700 XT, A 1440p Gaming Powerhouse

The Episode 3 livestream of AMD’s “Where Gaming Begins” series just ended, during which the company revealed some feature updates coming to its Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs and officially announced the latest member of its RDNA2-based Radeon RX 6000 family, the forthcoming Radeon RX 6700 XT. But before we dive into the Radeon RX 6700 XT, AMD also announced updates coming to previous-gen Ryzen 3000 series processors and its Radeon Software suite, that should make more than a few gamers and performance enthusiasts happy... Smart Access Memory Comes To Ryzen 3000 Smart Access Memory...

Intel SSD 670p Review: Snappy, Budget-Friendly NVMe Storage

Intel is releasing a new family of solid state drives today, targeting mainstream users and everyday computing tasks. The new Intel SSD 670p series leverages the company’s latest 144-layer QLC 3D NAND flash memory technology, with an improved dynamic SLC caching algo and updated PCIe Gen 3 controller. Unlike some of the more recent ultra-high-end PCIe Gen 4 SSDs to be released recently, complete with insanely high sequential transfer speeds north of 7GB/s, the Intel SSD 670p eschews the blazing sequentials in favor of optimized performance for random transfers at low queue depths that are...

GeForce RTX 3060 Review: NVIDIA's Most Affordable Ampere Yet

NVIDIA is launching its latest Ampere-based GPU today, targeting the sweet-spot of the PC gaming market, the GeForce RTX 3060. The GeForce RTX 3060 was announced post-CES 2021, all the way back in mid-January, but cards are going on sale today. In addition to the relatively early initial reveal, NVIDIA is doing a few other things a bit differently with this launch. For one, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention last week’s announcements regarding specialized CMP HX mining GPUs and the GeForce RTX 3060’s intentionally gimped mining hash rash rate, when it comes to the Ethereum...

Samsung SSD 980 Pro 2TB Review: Flagship PCIe 4 NVMe Storage

In September of last year, the initial salvo of Samsung SSD 980 Pro drives was launched. At the time, Samsung SSD 980 Pro PCIe 4 NVMe drives in capacities of 250GB on up to 1TB were made available, but a 2TB drive had been announced and was on the roadmap as well. It took a bit of time for Samsung to make the 2TB drive a reality, but nevertheless it is here now, and we’ve got one on hand for some benchmarking and evaluation. Except for its obviously higher capacity, the 2TB Samsung SSD 980 Pro doesn’t differ from the smaller drives that were previously made available. Due to how the...

ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 And S50 Lite Review: PCIe 4 Speed Or Value

ADATA has been consistently expanding its line-up of XPG, or Xtreme Performance Gaming branded hardware, targeting PC enthusiasts and gamers. The XPG family now consists of everything from micoSDXC cards all the way on up to full gaming systems and notebooks. XPG's SSDs (Solid State Drives), however, are arguably the most extensive array of products in the company's portfolio. ADATA has a myriad of XPG SSDs available, at a wide variety of price points and performance levels. The two drives we’ll be showing you here today, the new ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 and XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite, are both...

Maximizing Ryzen 5000 Performance With AMD Curve Optimizer

Overclocking a CPU used to be a pretty simple process: change a bus speed or a multiplier, set an appropriate voltage, and voila: your Celeron 300A was running at 450 MHz, or your 600 MHz Duron was knocking on the 1 GHz barrier. These days with the advent of dynamic boost speeds and optimized frequency and voltage curves, processors intelligently push themselves up close to the limit straight out of the box. Setting a multiplier, even if it's higher than the base clock, might actually result in lower performance than stock speeds under certain conditions. The CPUs that likely have the most headroom,...

Creative SBS E2900 2.1 Speakers Review: Big Sound, Small Price

While Creative Labs has expanded its product offerings into other arenas, the company has never waivered from its core competency: PC and home audio. The Sound Blaster maker has almost always offered speaker systems to pump out the audio from our favorite PC and console games. Today, that tradition lives on with Creative marketing a wide variety of discrete speaker systems and sound bars, at a wide variety of price points. The SBS E2900 2.1 speaker set we'll look at today sits well above the entry-level Pebble speakers, but a bit below the Sound BlasterX Katana sound bar. Creative primarily aims...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop Performance: What To Expect

NVIDIA unveiled its Ampere-based RTX 30 series mobile GPUs at a special GeForce Event during this year's virtual CES 2021 festivities. A wide range of notebook design wins were also showed off at various events, spanning a variety of form factors. With the GeForce RTX 30 series, NVIDIA is targeting high-performance gaming notebooks in form factors as thin 16mm, even with the flagship GeForce RTX 3080. Thinner, higher-performance form factors aren’t the only features NVIDIA is touting. A number of upcoming notebooks will also be sporting 1440p, ultra-high refresh rate IPS displays. In...

AMD Ryzen 5000 Mobile Explored: The Future Of Zen 3 Laptops

During her CES2021 keynote address, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su, along with a handful of partners, revealed the AMD Ryzen 5000 series mobile processors. At that event, the overall line-up and a few details were disclosed, and over the course of CES many design wins were announced by multiple OEMs as well. Shortly thereafter though, AMD hosted a deep-dive press briefing and discussed a number of additional details regarding the Ryzen 5000 Mobile Series. And today, we’re able to disclose to you more details of AMD's robust new laptop platform, but before we do, a bit of a recap is probably in order......

Samsung SSD 870 EVO Review: The Fastest SATA SSDs Yet

Samsung is expanding their line-up of SATA-based solid state drives, with a new series of products designed to balance performance and capacity. A few months back, the company launched the SSD 870 QVO series of drives, based on QLC, or quad-level cell, V-NAND. These new Samsung drives launching today – the Samsung SSD 870 EVO series – are similar in many regards, but EVO SSDs feature Samsung’s latest TLC (triple level cell) V-NAND, with the commensurate firmware to match. These new TLC-based drives also offer slightly higher performance than their QLC-based predecessors, with...

AMD Unleashes Ryzen 5000 Mobile Processors For Big Laptop Performance Gains At CES 2021

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa kicked off the company’s highly-anticipated CES 2021 keynote with some discussion about the importance of high-performance computing and the gaming industry in general. She talked about the latest AMD-powered game consoles and the recent launch of the Radeon RX 6000 series, otherwise known as “Big Navi”. Dr. Su also used the big stage to chat with a number of key AMD partners, like Panos Panay, Microsoft Chief Product Officer; HP’s President and CEO Enrique Lores, François Chardavoine; the head of technology for Lucasfilm and ILM; Lewis Hamilton and...

Intel Takes Fight To AMD With Bevy Of New Mobile And Desktop CPUs Unveiled At CES 2021

At its virtual CES 2021 event today, Intel’s Executive Vice President Gregory Bryant, along with a host of additional executives, engineers, and partners, unveiled an array of new processors and technologies targeting virtually every market, from affordable Chromebooks, to enthusiast-class gaming laptops, and high-end desktops, to big-iron servers. Whereas some companies tend to focus on just a handful of specific products during CES, it seems Intel is making a stand in multiple market segments with no less than 50 processors being announced or teased, with hundreds of design wins in tow....

WD Blue SN550 SSD Review: Superb, Budget NVMe Storage

Spinning hard disks are completely out for just about all but the very cheapest of systems. Solid state drives like the WD Blue SN550 we'll be evaluating in this article are here to stay, and continue to make their way into lower-priced, ever more affordable notebooks and desktops. That's no doubt due to the fact that these drives' asking prices have consistently dropped year over year. In 2020, there hasn't been much good news on the affordable, widely-available PC hardware front, but SSD availability has been one bright spot. There's never been a better time to grab an SSD to speed up any PC...

MSI GeForce RTX 3080 SUPRIM X Review: Big, Bad And Bold

Despite the ongoing availability woes for current-generation GPUs, NVIDIA’s board partners continue to march forward with custom GeForce RTX 30-series designs, that are near complete departures from Founders Edition models. Case in point, the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 SUPRIM X we’ll be showing you here today. Although it is built around the same GPU as NVIDIA’s Founders Edition, MSI went in a completely different direction than NVIDIA's design. While the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition has a relatively small, notched PCB with a small form factor power connector...

Cyberpunk 2077 Review: Gameplay, Performance & Optimization

Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the most hotly-anticipated titles in recent memory. Expectations were so high for this title that it's quite possible that CD Projekt Red could never live up to them. After numerous delays, however, Cyberpunk 2077 launched on December 10 to a mix of high praise and mild disappointment from many reviewers. The game is so massive, however, that we elected to take our time to really soak it in before tackling this review.  For those who are new to the franchise, Cyberpunk 2077 is based on the Cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game franchise. The second and fourth...

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Zen 3 Brain Transplant Yields Huge Performance Gains

There was little question, when we took a deep dive look at AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X in our launch day review, we came away thoroughly impressed. Not only did AMD deliver on its promise of a significant performance lift in many areas, versus its previous gen Ryzen 3000 series, but we also realized better power consumption characteristics for even better performance-per-watt results than we expected. But let's take a step back. You might recall that a little over a year ago, we trucked on down to scenic Kenilworth New Jersey to meet with our buds at Maingear for a very special all-AMD...

Radeon RX 6900 XT Review: AMD's Most Powerful Gaming GPU Ever

A couple of weeks back, we were able to show you AMD’s Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT in action, across an array of games and applications, in two different systems, with and without Smart Access Memory enabled. In that piece, we came to the conclusion that AMD’s latest high-end gaming GPUs are worthy adversaries for their NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series counterparts – the GeForce RTX 3070 and 3080. Today, however, we get to move all the way up the stack and show you Big Navi’s, Big Daddy, the Radeon RX 6900 XT, which AMD claims can go head-to-head with NVIDIA’s...

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Review: Breakout Speed At $399

NVIDIA is bolstering its line-up of Ampere-based GPUs today with a new addition to the GeForce RTX 30 series, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. As its name suggests, the new GeForce RTX 3060 Ti supplants the previous-gen, Turing-based GeForce RTX 2060 / RTX 2060 Super and slots in just behind the recently-released GeForce RTX 3070, which we recently considered an Editor’s Choice winner at its introductory MSRP. For today’s launch, we got our hands on a pair of GeForce RTX 3060 Ti cards, NVIDIA’s own Founders Edition and MSI’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio. Although these two...

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