AMD has been teasing a new FX processor with a bundled liquid cooler, instilling hope that AMD would be releasing an updated -- or even completely new -- FX-series enthusiast CPU. To the disappointment of the enthusiast community, myself included, the release was just an FX-9590 with a bundled Asetek AIO CLC.
This weekend's sales roundup features an LED controller for $28, case fans at $16, an AMD CPU for $170, and a 1 TB SSD for just $400. If these deals don't whet your appetite for improving your system, first - get a better appetite, then keep posted to our Twitter and Facebook accounts for more sales and deals throughout the week. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel for build tips, interviews, and reviews.
FreeSync was first announced as a variable refresh rate technology at CES 2014, legitimately taking nVidia by surprise on the show floor. Immediately after the technology was unveiled, we happened to be scheduled for a meeting with nVidia's Tom Peterson and Vijay Sharma to discuss G-Sync. I'd slipped in a question about the technology, announced an hour beforehand, and Peterson told us: "I don't know. We just heard about that today. I haven't read about it yet - ask me after the show."
Our gaming PC build guides typically don't get published alongside as extensive benchmarking endeavors as this AMD build has undergone. In this budget AMD gaming PC build & tutorial, we assemble a ~$700 PC with the ability to play most modern games on maximum settings at 1080 resolutions. We've spec'd out this system for entry-level overclocking, so if you're interested in pumping more power out of the system while keeping costs down, this is a fantastic entry point to system tweaking.
As always, we'll start with a specification table and then jump to the video content. I've augmented this post with an additional video over what we normally provide, including a brief guide on how to overclock the Athlon 760K CPU and benchmark thermals. Below that is provided the regular "how to build a gaming PC" tutorial video, for those who are new to system building.
To most users, RAM is simply RAM; we put it in the computer and go about our business, for the most part. Rendering loves as much as it can get, gaming needs a couple gigabytes, mainstream use needs about 2-4GBs, and so forth. RAM is fairly abundant in gaming PC builds -- most of our guides suggest 8GB kits -- but that still leaves a lot of RAM left over for other purposes. As for what users can do with extra RAM, we’ve got a few options that can put it to work -- the one we’re talking about today is in the form of a “RAMDisk.”
In this software guide, we’ll answer what a RAMDisk is, talk about the advantages of a RAMDisk, how to install/create a RAMDisk, and alternatives to popular options - like AMD’s RAMDisk. The next article in this installment will compare / contrast multiple RAMDisks with one another, including AMD’s, which has recently been bundled with video cards.
AMD stated yesterday in a press statement that the Radeon R9 280 would see price cuts to $250 from a previous $300+. The cryptocurrency craze caused a severe spike in retail prices of AMD cards (far exceeding MSRP) for a number of months, but with pressure from AMD and the frenzy dying down, we've seen a return to original MSRP. With prices firmly stabilized, AMD has issued price cuts across the board for several members of its family -- including the R9 280.
|Video Card||New Price|
|NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti||$720|
|AMD R9 290X||$510|
|NVIDIA GTX 780||$510|
|AMD R9 290||$380|
|NVIDIA GTX 770||$300|
|AMD R9 280X||$290|
|NVIDIA GTX 760||$255|
|AMD R9 280||$250|
|AMD R9 270X||$200|
|AMD R9 270||$170|
Rumors were spun on social pages and overclocking forums today that nVidia's Titan Z had been "canceled" or "indefinitely postponed," depending on who you asked. We first covered the Titan Z at its live unveil during GTC, in case you missed that, where we filmed the introduction of the company's new full double-precision, 2xGK-110 GPU. AMD announced its new W9100 FirePro card shortly thereafter, soon followed by its 295X2, which is targeted more at gamers and lacks full double-precision support.
I'd like to take this opportunity to educate the community on two key items: First, the Titan Z has not been canceled or postponed beyond its initially-targeted 2Q14 release date, and second, the Titan Z and 295X2 are not meant for identical markets. Each device has its place and they are not head-to-head competition.
Let's start with that first item.
AMD's Kaveri APU has been out for a while now. As the FM2+ platform has stabilized post-APU launches, we're seeing increased adoption of APU-based budget rigs among our PC build guide readers. Kaveri and Richland are both interesting chips from an architectural standpoint; Kaveri has increased the die allocation of the GPU component to nearly 50%, resulting in one of the most powerful consumer-ready integrated GPUs ever available, yet still retains performance right around (or under) Richland in CPU power.
As with any growing platform, AMD's chipset selection has expanded on FM2+ as technology has iterated; the company currently pushes A88X, A78, and A55 chipsets on most FM2+ motherboards found online; A85X and A75 are still around, but limited to FM1/FM2 boards. A88X was just getting big around CES, where we demoed some of the first A88X boards at MSI's suite. Still, AMD doesn't have its block diagrams easily accessible and doesn't make it easy to learn the differences between each chipset, so that's why this article is here.
In this AMD FM2+ / Kaveri APU chipset comparison, we'll look at the differences between A88X, A85X (FM2, Richland), A78, A75 (FM2, Richland), and A55, then discuss what's best for your gaming needs. AMD A75 and A55 have been around since FM1, A88X came out with Kaveri, and the rest are in between. If you're interested in a similar post about Intel's 8-series Haswell chipsets, check this out.
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