These days even a lot of the low power cards still require dual PCI slots. So if you have a setup that requires a single slot video card solution it can be a little hard to find something that performs well and will also fit in your case. I don’t think people realize it, but XFX does a great job of creating a wide selection of cards to cover special uses like this. In the past we have seen models from them for people who need half height cards and even silent models. So it wasn’t a big shock when they sent over their R7 250 Core Edition single slot card. Really, the only question is how does it compare to the dual slot cards. If it’s anything like their past cards it should perform well, but the only way to find out for sure it to run it through our benchmark suite and see how it performs.

Even now that the GTX 750 Ti isn’t the only Maxwell cards on the market, I still find them an interesting GPU. Some of you may remember from our launch coverage of the GTX 750 Ti that it packed a punch without ever needing an extra power connection. Well that was the reference design; many of the other models on the market sadly required a 6-pin power connection for their overclocked models. Well Asus sent over their Strix OC Edition of the GTX 750 Ti and low and behold, it has the same low power requirements as the reference design. Today I’m going to put it through our test suite and see what a little overclock does for the Maxwell powered GTX 750 Ti.

Nvidia may have officially launched Maxwell with the GTX 750 Ti launch back in February, but I think we can all agree that things don’t get really serious until they refresh their flagship card with the new architecture. Well the wait is over, Nvidia is taking the cover off of their new cards as you read this at their Game24 event. The new card is the GTX 980, this may come as a surprise seeing that the last generation of cards was the 700 series. Nvidia needed to sync their mobile and desktop GPUs, skipping 800 and jumping to the 900 series was the way to go about doing this. Before we dig into the changes moving to the GTX 980, everyone should check out our original Maxwell article HERE to see how well it performed.

I absolutely love building Mini-ITX gaming rigs. Every time I build a new Lunchbox (what I call our LAN rigs), I try to make them smaller and faster. Either of those along can be a challenge, but trying to constantly pack a faster rig into a small can be a huge challenge. Thankfully recently motherboard manufactures, video card manufactures, and heatsink manufactures have taken notice and have started to make things easier. With the launch of the R9 285 Sapphire jumped into that same market with their first Mini-ITX focused video card. With their focus on attending LANs this wasn’t a huge shock. What was surprising was the fact they went with the new R9 285 when MSI has the R9 270 and GTX 760. I have no doubt that the ITX Compact R9 285 will outperform the other Mini-TX cards, heck we proved that live at our LAN last weekend. Power usage and heat are also important in small form factor builds, I can’t wait to see how well it will perform.  

Just as soon as I thought all of the video card introductions from the Nvidia 700 series cards were over Asus tossed out another one. This time it was something a little special, the Striker. The Striker is a GTX 760 but they went a little above and beyond from their standard cards. This is actually a little bit of an unusual launch, typically special cards are limited to the highest end GPUs (like this Mars and Poseidon models), but they did something special with that GPU that more people can afford. Now lets dig in and see how the Striker holds up against the competition. 

With all of the Sapphire cards that launched this year the one model that I didn’t get a chance to check out was their Vapor-X cards. They share a lot of the styling of their other cards but Sapphire changed up the cooling design with a vapor chamber sitting between the heatsink and the GPU and PCB to spread out the heat for better cooling. I had to see how it compares to the standard Tri-X cooling as well as the competition, so I got in touch with Sapphire and put their Vapor-X 290 to the test.

As we get farther away from the initial launch of AMD’s lineup they have continued to fill in the blanks with a few other cards. One of those is the R9 280 that sits in between the R9 280X and the R9 270X. Sapphire sent over one of their overclocked models for me to check out. I have been extremely impressed with Sapphires product line this generation but this will be the first of their Dual-X cards to come in the office so I will reserve my judgment until we see how well it performs in our test suite. 

It’s hard to believe that Nvidia’s Kepler architecture has been around for nearly two years now. In those two years Nvidia has continued to innovate with Kepler exclusive features like Shadowplay and PC streaming to your Nvidia Shield. Well now it is finally time to take a look at what Nvidia has been working on with its latest architecture, Maxwell. Interestingly enough Nvidia isn’t launching their new architecture with a flagship card, they chose to fill in a gap in their current 700 series of cards down at budget price points. Today they are introducing the GTX 750 Ti and the GTX 750 and I will be putting a GTX 750 Ti through its paces as well.

When it comes to video cards, there is only so much that a manufacturer can do to set themselves apart from the competition. Cooling, overclocking, and styling are three of the biggest things that can set cards apart. Without exception MSI has done extremely well at this in the past with their Twin Frozr cooling and their Gaming series of cards. Today I have the chance to take a look at their latest model, the R9 290 Gaming. Today I am going to see how well the Twin Frozr cooling performs on the warm R9 290 GPU and also find out if they are still able to stand up to the competition.

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford the latest and greatest. The mid-range video cards paired up with a cheap CPU is what most people start with in PC gaming. At our last LAN Sapphire was setup and gaming on a perfect example of a great budget build. When they asked if we would be interested in taking a look at their new R7 260X I couldn’t wait to see what kind of gaming experience you can get without breaking the bank. Let’s dig in and see what the card is all about and find out if it should be in your next budget build!

To date I have had the chance to take a look at a few different R9 270Xs. All of the cards have been extremely similar for the most part with most of the differences coming from small overclocks and their different cooling designs. Today I have a completely unique card that stands out from the others. You see the other cards all have 4 gigs of memory where the MSI R9 270X Gaming 4G has 4 gigs of memory. Today I’m going to see how the difference in memory affects the performance in our benchmark suite.

Out of last year’s AMD cards there was one card that stood above the rest with an all metal custom cooler. That was the double dissipation HD 7970 from XFX. This year there is a lot more competition and XFX has changed their design once again. I’m excited to find out how XFX stands up against the competition this year. With a black and chrome it certainly has the styling needed, but how is the performance? Let’s find out!

Although all of the R9 270X’s and R9 280X’s that we have covered have been extremely exciting, especially the Toxic cards, to date we hadn’t had a chance to take a look at the newest cards from AMD. Today we finally have that chance. Sapphire sent over their R9 290 Tri-X for us to put through our tests. The Toxic cards have dominated in our other reviews so I am extremely interested in how well the 290 Tri-X will perform with it sharing a very similar cooling design. With high expectations, let’s jump into it and let the numbers do the talking.

Over the past few years, there is one video card company that had really caught my eye with a couple unique products. PowerColor introduced the Devil 12 and has followed up with various Devil cards that have been really sharp. It’s always exciting to see a video card manufacture really step up. When PowerColor offered to send over their new R9 270X I jumped at the chance, excited to see what their PCS+ cooling is all about.

When I had the chance to check out the R9 270X Toxic from Sapphire at its launch I was completely blown away at both its performance and styling. Sapphire had obviously put a lot of time and effort reinventing their image, designs, and really stepped it up the performance. When given the chance to check out the R9 280X Toxic, I didn’t even have to think about it. I couldn’t wait to see if Sapphire could do the same with the R9 280X that impressed me so much with the R9 270X. Today is the day, lets dig in and see what it’s all about.

One of the best parts about a new video card launch is having the chance to be able to check out the differences between the same models from multiple companies. It seems like every company anymore has their own cooling design and their own names for each of the cards features. One of the companies who has performed well in all of our previous launches has been the Twin Frozr designs from MSI. Today I’m going to take a look at their R9 270X Gaming that features a Twin Frozr cooling design along with a few gaming features that help it stand out.

When Nvidia launched the GTX 780 it was an extremely impressive card, and frankly it still is. Even so AMD did come out swinging with the new R9 290X and to counter that Nvidia lowered the pricing of the GTX 780 and GTX 770. Now to go along with that they are filling in the price gap they created with the lower prices with a new product, the GTX 780 Ti. Today I have the chance to check out the GTX 780 Ti and see what it is all about. I expected the GTX 780 Ti to just be a higher clocked GTX 780, but I was pleasantly surprised, read on to find out what’s different.

Earlier this week I had the chance to take a look at Asus’s Matrix R9 280X Platinum, today I’m going to come back down to earth a little and check out their R9 270X DirectCU II Top. With a price that fits better into budget builds I’m curious how many of the features I saw on the Matrix will carry over into this card. I have high hopes for the card, but after seeing a few R9 270X’s from other manufactures I can say without a doubt that Asus has their work cut out for them. Let’s dig into it and see what it’s all about.

When I spoke about the AMD launch of its new R9 cards, I mentioned that most of the cards are rebadged versions of the 7000 Series cards. That doesn’t mean manufactures couldn’t go out of their way to improve on the designs themselves. Asus attempted this with their flagship R9 280X called the Matrix R9 280X Platinum. The Matrix itself brings a lot of amazing features, but the platinum edition is handpicked and equipped with a higher overclock to go with it all. Today I’m going to take a close look at the card to see what sets it apart from the rest of the R9 280X’s on the market.

When it comes to AMD video card manufactures there really only a few different names that come to mind. At the top of that list for most people will be Sapphire. Those of you who made it out to LanOC v13 will also remember that Sapphire joined us for our event as well. When they offered to let us take a look at their new R9 series cards, I jumped at the chance. Boy was I surprised to see that they had made some significant changed to their product line, especially the Toxic model that we are going to take a look at today.

 

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