Retailers and manufacturers are always happy to give consumers purchasing options: Spend an extra $30 and get buying insurance, another $50 and you get an extended warranty, spend untold thousands on a car to add Bluetooth, and in the case of video cards, an extra $20 and you get a “faster” card in the form of a pre-OC or “SuperClock.”
We’ve explained overclocking as it pertains to GPUs in the past, but never looked specifically at pre-overclocked or SuperClocked cards. The realistic intent of higher-clocked GPUs is to enable users who are either too busy/lazy to overclock, would prefer to have an expert do it for them, or who are legitimately unaware of or afraid of overclocking. Some of the high-end overclocking cards are binned-out with hotter chips (chips that can overclock higher), but not all SuperClocked and pre-overclocked cards are like this. Many of the available options are just overclocked versions of the stock card.
We've covered memory overclocking world records a few times over the last few years. From memory (ha!), our first coverage was of Christian Ney's 4000MHz LN2 OC using a kit of G.Skill Trident RAM. Back in June,
After generations of thermal issues stemming from Intel's poor TIM and IHS design, the company's "Devil's Canyon" chips have arrived in full force. We first looked at Devil's Canyon back at GDC and have since looked at Haswell Refresh, which was effectively a non-K SKU of what's being used in this build today.
The "Gen 4.5" CPU runs on existing Haswell architecture and remains on a 22nm process, but sees the redesign of its TIM (using a polymer thermal interface) and capacitor layout. This redesign ensures cleaner power delivery to the die and allows great overhead for overclocking. Intel's Devil's Canyon chips include the i5-4690K and i7-4790K (+0020 to the SKU), each of which ships with a slightly higher BCLK and turbo-clock frequency. The quad-core, hyperthreaded 4790K runs at a native 4.0/4.4GHz over its predecessor's 3.5/3.9GHz; the quad-core, non-hyperthreaded 4690K operates at 3.5/3.9GHz over the 4670K's 3.4/3.8GHz.
TDP is roughly the same, hovering right around 88W over the previous 84W.
This high-end gaming PC build will get you started with moderate overclocking on Intel's Devil's Canyon CPU. At just under $1300, the machine will play all current games at near-max (high / ultra hybrid) settings on a 1080p screen without issue.
With prices and components constantly changing, it’s hard for our previous PC builds to stay up-to-date. For instance at the time of this build, AMD GPU prices were through the roof due to the cryptocurrency mining craze. By now, prices have stabilized and new products have been released, meaning it is once again time for a high-end gaming PC build.
In this $1200 mid-to-high-end gaming & streaming PC, we will be building a computer that maxes-out games at resolutions up to 1440p, has versatility in its uses, and allows for easy upgrades. Oh -- and it’ll be quiet, too. We will also mention some other small improvements or different expansions depending on individual needs.
Last year's fly-by over
The NC Maker Faire is, understandably, much smaller than what's offered in the Bay area -- but it is growing. This year's NC Maker Faire saw expansion into a larger exhibition space at the NC Fairgrounds, with the event reportedly surpassing previous attendance in presales alone.
"Hicookie" isn't an easily-forgotten name. The RAM overclocker last made a major appearance using G.Skill's TridentX RAM, which he pushed to nearly 4GHz. Just a couple of days ago, Gigabyte and
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.
Among Antec’s offerings at CES 2014 is one large case that we believe many enthusiasts will covet. The company brought along a total of four new cases: two gaming-targeted enclosures, a mini-ITX offering (with Steam Machine possibilities), and a more discrete mid-tower. We just posted a sales round-up including the Nineteen Hundred priced at nearly $100 off of MSRP, so go check that out if you're in the market for a big case.
EVGA's "Classified K|NGP|N" line has become the company's solution for extreme overclockers, similar to MSI's "Gaming" and "Lightning" card differentiations. The new GTX 780 Ti (which we broke-down over here) stands as the best video card for gaming right now, outpacing nVidia's more developer-focused TITAN and AMD's R9 290X.
EVGA has scrapped the reference design for the 780 Ti and opted for their own ACX-enabled active cooling solution. The 780 Ti natively runs at a TDP of 250W, but because overclocking increases wattage sent through the device, EVGA had to design with high power consumption in mind. This means improving the on-card VRM, cooling, and ability to accept higher wattage.
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