Hardware

This episode of Ask GN addresses reader and viewer questions relating to boost technologies for GPUs (DPM states and GPU Boost), "game mode" for monitors, and a couple questions related to CPU benchmarking. We talk loose plans for Zen tests and scalability of the 2500/2600K Sandy Bridge CPUs in the modern era. Even Nehalem got a few mentions.

Monitor "game modes" presented a topic with which we're not intimately familiar, but some research did grant us enough information to hopefully answer the question in a helpful fashion. The rest, like the boosting functionality on GPUs, is stuff that we've discussed on-and-off in review articles for several months -- it's just now laid-out in a quick Ask GN video.

Corsair recently announced two new additions to their peripherals lineup: the HARPOON RGB mouse and the K55 RGB keyboard, priced to appeal to gamers on a budget. This follows competitor Logitech's recent release of the Prodigy series, also targeted at entry-level gamers.

Corsair's Harpoon is purchasable right now, while the K55 will be available starting November 22.

High-end monitors are really starting to get pumped-out now, it seems. This generation of ~$250+ GPUs supports resolutions of 1440p with relative ease, and UltraWide displays are proliferating on the market to popularize the 21:9 aspect ratio.

Ask GN 33: Hyperthreading & Games, Dx12 Performance

By Published November 08, 2016 at 11:22 am

Episode 33 of Ask GN answers a few more questions than we normally take, resulting in a 20-minute run-time for the episode. We talk about hyperthreading and its impact in some specific games, DirectX 12 performance, scaling of Dx11 and Dx12 performance on AMD and nVidia GPUs, Furmark, and a few more topics. One of those other topics was on recording software's impact on framerate, like Shadowplay, OBS, FRAPS, or GVR.

You can find the embedded Q&A video below. We've been running these for a bit more than a year now, making Ask GN our longest-running series by a longshot. As for content this week, because we often take Ask GN articles as an opportunity to discuss what's coming, keep an eye out for more EVGA VRM updates, BF1's performance with various RAM speeds, and a couple smaller items.

This week's hardware news recap covers two sets of rumors on GPU hardware, the Fractal Define C enclosure, and driver updates from both AMD and nVidia (which we've already written about on the site).

The GPU news is probably the most interesting. AMD looks to be positioning an "RX 470D," also called "RX 465" and "RX 470 SE," to compete more directly with the GTX 1050 Ti. Our GTX 1050 & 1050 Ti review noted that the 1050 gives the RX 460 a tough fight, but that the RX 470 handily outpaces the 1050 Ti in all tested scenarios. The only problem, as always, is the price gap -- it's a $30 jump from entry-level GTX 1050 Ti cards to the entry-level RX 470 cards. That's where the 470D is supposed to land, and should fight the 1050 Ti directly.

Video below for the news discussion, or find the script below that:

NVidia's most recent round of drivers exhibited a few issues for Windows 10 mail application users -- something we didn't see, since we don't use those apps on our test platform -- and for high-refresh display users. These bugs cropped-up around the time of the Battlefield 1 release drivers, but have largely been resolved in the last couple of hotfixes.

AMD's new driver package will push "very shortly," and may already be live, and will add day-one support for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, and post-launch improvements for Titanfall 2.

AMD users hoping to run COD: MW or COD: IW this weekend will want to update to 16.11.1 for optimum performance. Titanfall 2's updates are primarily built around new CrossFire profiles, which will improve performance for multi-GPU systems. The TF2 update also contains various bug fixes.

NZXT H440 Re-Re-Refresh: H440 Hyper Beast

By Published November 02, 2016 at 3:59 pm

NZXT's H440 came out a few years ago to critical acclaim, including kind words from our own site, and has stuck around since. The case has been rehashed a few times since launch, including an H440v2 iteration (which Newegg calls "H440 Steel") that marginally increased the gap between mesh side panels and the chassis, improving airflow. The case has also been sold with Razer's branding and green underglow LEDs and with an eSports finish.

And it's being re-re-refreshed again today, with a new "Hyper Beast" skin, as sourced from CSGO's M4A1-S. The H440 Hyper Beast edition is going for maximum cheese by limiting its production run to 1337 units, each numbered with a badge. Unit #1337, of course, would be the one to want.

We received a shipment of EVGA GTX 1080 FTW cards today and immediately deployed them in our test bench. The cards have undergone about 8 hours of burn-in on the 1080 FTW without thermal pads so far, though we've also got the 1080 FTW with thermal pads for additional testing. In the process of testing this hardware, GamersNexus received a call from EVGA with pertinent updates to the company's VRM temperature solution: The company will now be addressing its VRM heat issues with a BIOS update in addition to the optional thermal pads replacement. We have briefly tested each solution. Our finalized testing will be online within a few days, once we've had more time to burn-in the cards, but we've got initial thermographic imaging and decibel level tests for now.

EVGA's BIOS update will, as we understand it, only modify the fan speed curve so that it is more aggressive. There should not be additional changes to the BIOS beyond this, it seems. Presently, the GTX 1080 FTW tends to max its fans at around ~1600RPM when under load (maxes at around ~1700RPM). This results in a completely acceptable GPU diode reading of roughly 72C (or ~50C delta T over ambient), but doesn't allow for VRM cooling given the lack of thermal interface between the PCB back-side and the backplate. The new fan speed will curve to hit 2200RPM, or a jump to ~80% in Afterburner/Precision from the original ~60% (max ~65%). We've performed initial dB testing to look at the change in noise output versus the fan RPM. Our thermal images also look at the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW with its backplate removed (a stock model) at the original fan RPM and our manually imposed 2200RPM fan speed.

This episode of Ask GN sets forth to discuss GPU/CPU choke-points and bottlenecks, why those happen, and how they can be prevented. We also address viewer/reader questions on Samsung vs. Micron memory used in GTX 10 series cards -- particularly the 1070 cards -- and OEM/supply driven manufacturing.

Some additional information is provided regarding overclock validation, notebook OEMs, the Nintendo Switch, and some asides. One such side note addresses a question as to whether or not reviewing products "gets boring."

Excellent topics overall for this video!

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