HIS-Radeon-R7-250X-iCooler-1-GB_Official_4
Hardware

Introduction

Here we are back again to review another one of AMD’s latest Radeon R7 graphics card from their AIC partner HIS (Hightech Information Systems). Almost two and half years have been passed since AMD introduced their GCN core architecture and it shouldn’t be a surprise if I told you that the architecture is still being featured on AMD’s latest Volcanic Islands Radeon R7 and Radeon R9 series graphics cards.

The Volcanic Islands family is branded as the Radeon R200 series and takes performance and value to the next level. Technically speaking, the Radeon R200 series cards which include the Radeon R9 280X, Radeon R9 270X, Radeon R9 270, Radeon R7 265, Radeon R7 260X, Radeon R7 260, Radeon R7 255, Radeon R7 250X, Radeon R7 250 and Radeon R7 240 are GCN rebrands aside from the latest Hawaii based Radeon R9 290X and Radeon R9 290, with the addition of new features but rather than giving away the same cards at the same price ranges, AMD added a few new features which we will detail in this article and slashed the prices so much that the Tahiti chip that once was $549 can now be bought for $299 US.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

[Editorial] Remember that piece we did on Nvidia’s Research Paper? the one that claimed that the GM200 flagship core would be launching in this year? Well turns out there was something to it after all. I was doing my habitual cursory inspection of the shipping data at Zauba.com and I spotted the entry we have been waiting for. The Customer Sample of the GM200 core. The Customer Sample means that most of the internal testing of the GM200 is now complete and they are now refining the end product.

gtx titan ii gm200 gpu

Nvidia GM200 ‘Maxwell Flagship’ Core Internal Testing Finished – GTX Titan II Coming Soon

Now I am not sure whether I have told you guys this before but Nvidia is hosting a very big reveal event on 10 – 12 September next month and this is where the second generation Maxwell will make its debut. Nvidia will be hosting a reveal event and we will probably see the GTX 900 Mobility series unveiled too. However, we just might even see the next iteration of the Titan series at the reveal too, considering the fact that shipping data shows the GPU is now completely ready. Do keep in mind that I do not know what the card will be called, but Titan II seems like a good name as any. Here is the shipping entry from Zauba.com  that confirms that the GM200 aka the Titan II GPU are now exiting the internal testing state:

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Hardware

Update: The third possibility I mentioned below seems to be growing more probably by the minute. As pointed out, Chris Low over at Chinese VR.Zone seems to be stating the same: that the Maxwell Mobility series will be based on the 20nm Process. Though such a thing could theoretically happen, it still seems slightly odd to me that Nvidia would go out of their way to design 20nm just for mobility.

[Mini-Editorial?] [Tag Error?] Something very weird is happening. Either one our most authentic source, Fudzilla.com, has gone nuts, or Nvidia managed to troll us all. The track record of Fudzilla is simply flawless, so I am not sure what to tag this as. This is most certainly not a rumor. This is either quiet a big mistake on their part or we are in for a brilliantly pleasant surprise. Maxwell-GTX-880-

20nm Geforce GTX 800 Series and Mobility GPUs Launching in Sept – Yeah we know that, Wait What ?!?

We have strict policy about informal headings but I think this ones pretty accurate. I don’t know what to think and this information is making the leak scene pretty surreal. We know for a fact (and even released an article on it) that TSMC has begun 20nm Volume Production; but the last report we got a month ago from TSMC was that the process was not ready for high performance ASIC production, which includes GPUs. That is very strong evidence in favor of the GPUs not being 28nm. Besides, every single publication on the planet has been convinced from various leaks that Maxwell’s 2nd Generation is on the 28nm Process. That is, every pub except Fudzilla. And it is a mark of how much I value their authenticity that I am posting this semi-ed, semi-op, semi-rumor hybrid thing right now.

I hope any lack of decorum, will be forgiven for the entirety of this piece and I will get into what they claim right now. You would recall that a few weeks ago we broke the news that Maxwell Mobility (probably named 900 Series) will be landing in October. You might also remember that we purposefully gave no confirmation on lithography. The actual reason for that is ofcourse that I was just trying to keep my opinion out of the article; but just like every other well informed guy, I had no qualms that the 900 Series would be 28nm. But if Fudzilla is correct than Nvidia’s Mobility GPUs are based on the 20nm Node. This raises a third possibility. That of the GTX Mobility 900 Series being based on the 20nm process while the 800 series is not, the probability of which ill admit is super-low. That would however, conveniently explain the 900 series branding and diminish the misunderstanding to an understandable err. Needless to say, you might want to keep a close eye on Gamescom news for any hint Nvidia might drop on the Maxwell GTX 800 and 900 Series.

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Hardware

The specifications of NVIDIA’s upcoming Maxwell based GeForce GTX 870 have been leaked Coolaler and we already covered the basic details of the card in another article which can be seen here. The NVIDIA Maxwell based GeForce GTX 870 graphics card is one of the three SKUs arriving to consumers in the upcoming months (September and October).GeForce GTX 870 / GeForce GTX 880 MakeUp

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870 “Maxwell” Specifications Analysis

Last time, I did the analysis of the leaked GeForce GTX 880 PCB which was in engineering state and found out some intriguing details such as the 256-Bit memory bus, the GM204 chip being larger than GK104 while being based on the current 28nm process node. We didn’t get to see any specifications of the card itself aside from a few details we were able to gather from the pictures. Today, we have a different sort of leak in the form of a screenshot which shows the GPU-z program running parallel to a 3DMark 11 score of an unknown graphics card.

The leaker from the main source has mentioned that the graphics card in question is NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 870 which is the skimmed down variant of the GeForce GTX 880 graphics which will be available to consumers in the upcoming months. The GeForce GTX 870 boasts the second generation Maxwell architecture and will feature the GM204 core architecture which will become the foundation of the flagship GeForce GTX 880 too. The GeForce GTX 860 is also expected to launch in Q4 2014 but it isn’t expected whether the card will feature GM204 core or the GM206 core but let’s forget that for a moment and focus on the details we have in hands.

MSI OC Certified Mainboard
Hardware

It is no doubt that MSI has come a long way in the development of high-end motherboards for the desktop PC market. Their recent creations such as the XPOWER and MPOWER series are considered as some of the best products based on the Z87 and Z97 chipset which competitors couldn’t rival in terms of design and features. Today, we will be looking at MSI’s latest and upcoming creation which has got to be their most high-end and uber leet design they have ever made, meet the MSI X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard.MSI X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard

MSI’s Flagship X99S XPOWER AC Motherboard Unveiled

The MSI X99S XPOWER AC is featured in MSI’s flagship XPOWER Overclocking product brand which is aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts who demand nothing less than the best. The picture says it all with the motherboard enveloped in a layer of ice which shows off that it is focused towards LN2 overclockers. The motherboard has a beefy design and comes in the E-ATX form factor, something which the past XPOWER series motherboards have followed and its great to see MSI keeping the traditional alive and updated. The MSI X99S XPOWER AC features the traditional yellow and black color scheme of the XPOWER motherboards.

The board packs the LGA 2011-3 socket that is powered by dual 8-Pin connectors. Considering the X79 Big Band XPOWER II came with a 22 Phase PWM given the space restriction on these boards, the X99S XPOWER AC can feature a 24 or 12 Phase DIGITALL Power VRM, providing unparalleled amount of overclocking performance and stability to the motherboard featuring an 8-Layer PCB design, Military Class IV components with solid state capacitors, Hi-C Caps, Super Ferrite Choke while the DARK Cap on the other hand features a core design made of aluminum with a lower ESR and a life space of 10 years. MSI’s boards also use the Super Ferrite Chokes which run 35 degrees cooler, have 30% higher current capacity with 20% improvement in power efficiency and offering stability. The CPU socket is surrounded by four DDR4 DIMM slots (four on each side) which will be able to support overclocked memory beyond 3000 MHz. The first generation of DDR4 memory will feature traditional speeds of 2400 – 3000 MHz at 1.2V but as the memory design matures, we will be looking at faster DIMMs with speeds beyond 4 GHz frequency.

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Hardware

Introduction

Back in June 2013, Intel launched their Haswell generation of processors (4th Generation Intel Core) which was an architecture scaling from 95W desktop parts to 4.5W Mobility parts. The Haswell architecture was decent in terms of power efficiency and was the first to bring 22nm to the consumer market but over at the desktop side, things weren’t all that great. The Core i7-4770K processor, the flagship of the desktop lineup had enhanced just about everything over the 3770K, it featured a faster graphics chip, better overclocking support and was priced similar to its predecessor however the core performance of the Haswell chips wasn’t a dramatic improvement over Ivy Bridge and to make things more bitter, the processor was unable to reach high overclocks due to the low quality TIM (Thermal Interface Material) used for packaging the processor.

The Core i7-4770K remained Intel’s flagship processor till Q1 2014 and we were all hoping that Intel would sooner or later launch their 5th Generation Broadwell processors based on the updated 14nm microarchitecture but during late late 2013, Intel reported that they will be delaying Broadwell due to 14nm node production vows and this resulted in the time-frame shift from mid-2014 to early 2015. Broadwell does comes out during the Holiday season this year but the upcoming SKU is aimed for mobility market rather the destkop one which launches in Q2 2015.

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Gadgets

With the IFA and Apple’s September 9 launch event both merely a month away, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether to upgrade their smartphones. Smartphones are all up for a major upgrade with even Sony only being a few paces away from an Xperia Z3 and Z3 compact launch. Whether you’re an Android user or an Apple fanboy-girl, next month’s events will sadly leave your device a little bit behind the specs race. Well, before you go on making the decision to upgrade, it would be pertinent to take a look at what the existing flagship devices from all the major manufacturers have to offer. So here’s our showdown on the flagship handsets of today, complete with a detailed comparison of their performance benchmarks as well.

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General

WCCFtech is currently expanding its writer base and is specially interested in hiring people with an interest in computer hardware, mobile technology, gaming, general technology and trends.

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Please note, that a slight preference will be given to native English speakers, with earlier experience of writing for other relevant journals or blogs. If you have experience at writing well researched, long-form articles, it’s all the better.

Computer Hardware

For the field of computer hardware, given the fact that our audience is extremely technology savvy, we need writers with an extensive knowledge of hardware and the ability to judge hardware for its pros and cons, without depending on fanboy rhetoric. It is extremely important for you to understand that you will not be covering general news items, but will be commenting on real hardware technology trends, making comparisons and drawing your own conclusions. You will need to know what you are talking about.

nvidia-geforce-gtx-logo
Hardware

Note: Before we begin,  anything mentioned in this Editorial may or may not be fact and is educated speculation. As such, this was done just for a bit of fun and It would be best to treat this editorial on face value alone.

[Editorial] You may recall the revelation by Gigabyte’s manager that the Maxwell Geforce 800 Series is landing quite soon, but you probably missed his passing comment on the fact that there are going to be new custom coolers on the PCB. That would ofcourse mean a factory overclocked GPU but maybe, the new cooler isn’t going to be present just in the Gaming G1 series? Looking past at the hints there’s actually a reasonable chance that Nvidia might introduce a new reference cooler design: Dual Axial Turbofans.Maxwell New Reference Cooler Featured

Maxwell Blur Analysis – Possible Geforce 800 Series New Reference Design – Dual Axial Turbofan?

On May 15th of 2014 Nvidia filed a patent with the ID number US20140133082 A1. This particular patent protected a very special design, namely an Axial Turbofan. Any experienced gamer would immediately notice that this design is quite different from the blower fans Nvidia usually uses in its reference cards. Talk of this patent died after the usual hue and cry. A few days later leaked pictures of the Maxwell Geforce GTX 880 PCB surfaced where two parts in particular were blurred out. However, there was something Hassan and I noted: there appeared to be something very familiar in the blurred out portions on the right side of the PCB. The blurred out section appeared to depict two black circular objects aligned at the right edge of the PCB. Could this be the new reference cooler for the Geforce GTX 800 Series Gigabyte’s Marketing Director was talking about? Since I want to make sure you guys follow me, its time to whip out my trusty old Photoshop.

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Software

Apple’s next mobile operating system, the iOS 8 is all set to be with us within the next few months. With every iOS update, Cupertino adds a slew of new features aimed towards enhancing overall user experience as well as fix some problems encountered with the previous version of the operating system. iOS 8 is expected to feature several changes as well as open up its platform more, which is something not quite common in Apple history. So for those of you like us who can’t wait for the next iOS, we’ve got something worthwhile to look at to pass your time. Lets take a look at what new accessibility features Apple’s got in store for us for iOS 8.

WCCFTech Z97 Motherboard Round-Up OC Top
Hardware

Intel launched their Z97 platform earlier this year which brought new motherboards in the performance platform, aiming support for Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon and the upcoming Broadwell CPUs. Intel’s Z97 platform is filled with a variety of boards and each board is targeted towards key segments.WCCFTech Z97 Motherboard Round-Up OC Top

Round-Up of The Best and Top-Tier Overclocking Z97 Motherboards

With such a large list of products that are currently offered in the Z97 chipset based product portfolio, it gets quite frustrating for consumers to find a board that suits their demands. To make it easier for consumers, the board manufacturing companies have separated their products into three categories; Gaming, Overclocking and Mainstream.  Although this helps a bit but even then, the products themselves offer similar specifications, naming schemes and priced equally.  For instance, the MSI Z97 Gaming 3 and Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3 are both gaming branded motherboards priced at $137.99 US and with “Gaming 3″ in the title, it would more or less confuse the buyer into deciding which product should be bought. While reviews do give a better insight at the products comparing the little details, features and components of products, we couldn’t find a good article which compares these boards against their similar priced counterparts from other manufacturers.

To address this issue and to help ease the process for buyers to get the right product, today we will be doing a round-up of the Z97 “Overclocking” motherboards. We will obviously not be comparing performance based on benchmarks but design schemes, feature set and the components used on these Z97 motherboards which will tell us why they are better than the other similar priced option or why does a $399 US overclocking board is a better option for enthusiasts then a $249 US overclocking board. The products we will be comparing are strictly the flagship overclocking boards from each separate manufacturer so you might see us talk about a XPOWER board and not the MPOWER board so please excuse me but that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever do a similar comparison on the other segment based boards, so stay tuned for that. Regardless, let’s start off these round – up with the beastly, Z97 XPOWER AC from MSI:

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Hardware

[Editorial] Before I begin a few words of caution. It goes without saying that the results of this benchmarking showdown will not be pleasant to some. Also, all the benchmarks were conducted virtually, which means that some slight variation may exist between real life results. The Equation System and the VGA Calculator used are the intellectual property of one Daeguen Lee (DG Lee) and all rights are reserved by him. The calculator can be accessed freely on his website iyd.kr (aka udteam.tistory.com).main title13

PS4′s GPU (Pitcairn) Benchmarked Against the Xbox One (Bonaire) with and without eSRAM

Wow, I don’t think there has ever been an instance of a universal benchmark, and for good reason too. Since an actual universal benchmark would instantly put the power hierarchy in harsh relief it has not been done. However what we are going to attempt today is the closest you will ever get to a universal real life benchmark and the results should be very accurate. Alright lets start. Since both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One utilize AMD GPUs, that means that we are only going to use the AMD Equation System. A basic introduction of both the GPUs is in order. The PS4 GPU is codenamed Pitcairn and is basically a cut down variant of the Radeon 7870. It has a fairly high SP count and is clocked reasonably high too. The GPU has access to 8GB of Shared GDDR5 memory clocked a 1375 Mhz (5500 Mhz effective) and boasts throughput of upto  176 GB/s. Pitcairn has a 256 Bit bus which is quite reasonable for a GPU of this tier. The good thing about PS4′s GPU is that we have everything we need to calculate performance with almost zero real life variation.

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Hardware

We are back with the second installment of WCCF’s Weekly Shorts. The rules are simple, of the many articles we post, we shortlist not more than 7 entries and summarize them in not more than 5 lines. The previous episode of the WCCF’s Weekly Shorts can be found here.weekly shorts main image

Weekly Shorts – Peeping EA, AMD Carrizo, PS4′s 60FPS Optimization, Benefits of Sand, Anti-Theft Protection Debunked and the GM200 Core

1. EA is Spying on You by File Snooping with the Origin Client – Official Investigation Begins

Origin is one of the biggest gaming clients out there and it turns out that it does more than just let you play EA Games. In this report we take a look at what some dedicated gamers have uncovered. Basically the Origin Client is also an accomplished file snooper and is actively spying o your usage habits. Origin Reps have stated that they have begun an official investigation. Read More about Origin’s File Snooping.

BIOSTAR-Hi-Fi-Z97WE-Render-_1
Hardware

Introduction

Founded in 1986, Biostar is one of the prominent hardware manufacturers of the tech industry focusing in the Asian market. What started as a motherboard manufacturing corporation has now expanded into new markets such as add-on-cards and multimedia solutions along with graphics cards (popular in mainland China).

Coming to multimedia, the motherboard we are going to test today has a large focus on the audio system that it features on-board. The Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE comes with an isolated PCB on the motherboard that houses the on-board audio system which other manufacturers have started to offer starting with Haswell generation platform however it should be noted that Biostar was the first to implement this technology back in 2012 prior to Haswell as a part of their Puro Hi-Fi design scheme. So credits for this design scheme have to be given to Biostar in setting a new industry standard.

In addition to the feature, the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE is also special due to its pricing. The board comes at a very reasonable and budget friendly $124.99 US which is lower than what a motherboard with similar feature set may cost. Whether or not these features are as impressive as the higher quality parts remains to be seen in this review.

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Gadgets

Introduction

Razer is one of the world’s leading gaming gear and peripheral maker with a focus on three fundamental aspects - technology, ergonomics, and validation. The company Razer has aimed to deliver on the promise of their motto, “For the gamers, by the gamers” with products that are geared for the gaming audience.

But that has changed with the launch of the latest Adaro audio series which are aimed to please the general music loving crowd which includes audiophiles, DJs and casual users. The Razer Adaro Audio series lets Razer enter a new market audience which isn’t restricted to gamers but open to everyone who loves music popping up inside the ears.

Today, we will be testing out the latest Razer Adaro Wireless Bluetooth headphones which aim to deliver a light-weight and comfortable on-the-go experience to users at a price of $149.99 US. Let’s see whether the new line of audio products from Razer live up to the expectations.



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