In the past gaming laptops have generally been heavy, loud, bulky, and have had short battery life. In the days of Fermi GPUs, if somebody had asked me if nVidia would bring along high performance at a low TDP in a laptop, I would have laughed.

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Yet here we stand today, alongside nVidia’s GTX 900M series release.

After reviewing the GTX 980 a few weeks ago, we had the chance to get hands-on with MSI's 4G GTX 970 and ZOTAC's GTX 970 Omega video cards. At the time, we had the specs for the GTX 980 “Extreme” video card, but didn't have one available.

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Now we've got two.

Intel's latest Extreme Series processor and accompanying X-class chipset were officially launched back during PAX Prime, where we videoed one of the first systems to use an X99 chipset and Haswell-E processor. Haswell-E and X99 are intended for deployment in high-end production and enthusiast rigs; they'll game far better than anything else available, but if there's ever a time that “overkill” is applicable, it's using HW-E / X99 to play games. These components are classed for the likes of 3D rendering, video encoding / editing, high-bitrate game streaming, and production environments.

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In this $2660 high-end PC build, we'll show you how to build a top-of-the-line streaming and YouTube content creation system that will last for years.

NVidia’s GPUs bring all the manufacturers to the yard. The release of GM204 first saw our review of the reference GTX 980 – presently the objective best video card we’ve ever tested – followed-up shortly by coverage of ZOTAC’s new Amp! Overclocking GPU lineup. While at the Game24 unveil event, we managed to catch up with MSI to discuss its SKUs for the GTX 970 and GTX 980 series.

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MSI brought their GTX 970 4G “Gaming” video card along, equipped with an updated Twin Frozr cooler using dual 100mm push fans and a somewhat standard heatpipe / heatsink design. Let’s get into the specs.

Following-up on our GTX 980 benchmark and review that went live yesterday, board manufacturers now have their own variations on the new Maxwell cards up for sale. Most of the manufacturers have altered the design in some way: a cooler overhaul, pre-overclocks, heavier-duty capacitors, and additional pins for power are a few of the common changes. Zotac has done all of these with their “Amp! Omega” GTX 970 GPU we got hands-on with.

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Zotac’s new GTX 980 and GTX 970 both ship in standard (unmodified GPU specs + aftermarket cooler), Omega, and Extreme editions. The Omega and Extreme GPUs host a suite of OC-tuned hardware features and a slightly boosted clockrate.

It’s been a months-long journey of GTX 800, then GTX 900 rumors, broken embargoes, questions, and anticipation. The GTX 750 Ti saw the debut of NVidia’s Maxwell architecture almost 7 months ago, making for one of the first times the company has ever unveiled a low-end product before its architecture flagship. Then things went silent. Time passed, and as mobile 800-series GPUs began shipping, we still hadn’t heard about what would eventually become the GTX 900 series.

Then a box showed up.

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“The World’s Most Advanced GPU” was written on the hefty black and green box, a few phone calls were made, and we knew it was time.

It looks like the first Maxwell GPUs (GM107-300 & GM107-400) are being fabricated with a 28nm process, as found in preceding Kepler chips. We recently reported that the 750 Ti is rumored for a February 18th release date, and noted that the 750 Ti would be nVidia's debut of the Maxwell GPU line.

gm107-gpu-nvidiaSource: VideoCardz.

Anyone who pays attention to the industry knows that nVidia tends to lead with their flagship GPU, releasing lower-SKU cards much later in the year. This time, though, it seems the 750 Ti is opening; we theorized that this is because the 750 Ti is more accessible to the greater whole of PC gamers, and thus has more potential to gain recognition. With this new information, though, I think the reasoning is different: I think nVidia is waiting for TSMC's fabrication capabilities to ramp into 20nm process before shipping higher-SKU devices.

In our third episode of TechRAID -- our video series dedicated to rounding-up and explaining the week's news stories -- we turn to coverage of video hardware, power supplies, and a new CPU. This week's news topics include 80 Plus Titanium, nVidia's rumored Maxwell 750 Ti February 18th release date, a new 16-core AMD CPU that could turn into an FX processor, and G-Sync vs. FreeSync technologies in the display market.

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