hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

 photo

Two Razer Blade laptop prototypes stolen


Nov 14
// Alex Bout
In case you don't know, the Razer Blade is Razer's (overpriced) solution to breathing new life into PC gaming. Two of these monsters were stolen from the company's Bay area R&D labs over the weekend and Razer clearly does...

Behind the scenes of Battlefield 3's graphics

Oct 25 // Alex Bout
Battlefield 3 uses the Frostbite 2 graphics engine (Battlefield 2: Bad Company used Frostbite 1.5), which offers pretty noticeable advances in graphics quality. Please note that Battlefield 3 does require that DirectX 11 is installed on your computer, and won’t run without it. While it will run on DX10, there will be a significant difference in graphics rendering speed, as I will go on to talk about later. My suggestion: run it on DX11. If you can’t, go buy a card that can. The Frostbite 2 engine is essentially broken up into five parts: objects, lighting, effects, terrain, and post-processing. To kick it off, Johan starts off with the object parts, which includes well ... everything. Each level has over 10,000 objects in it, which requires efficient and scalable handling as well as the ability to render the simulations in parallel with each other to take advantage of multi-core PCs. Mesh and texture streaming is something new to the Battlefield stage, which allows for more variation, better quality, reduced memory requirements, and shorter loading times. Johan then goes on to talk about the improved lighting engine in Battlefield 3, and how it has drastically improved from previous games. Out of the five engine components I mentioned earlier, I feel that the increased lighting quality plays the largest quality boost in the gameplay. Whether it’s the indoor lighting from spotlights, fires, or lens flares or outdoor with the sun; both environments are extremely well done and will hopefully not only make Battlefield 3 shine (no pun intended), but also pave the road to future games as well. DICE took the less-beaten path when it comes to how shading is handled. Instead of using forward rendering like the majority of games in circulation now, DICE decided to use deferred shading (Killzone uses deferred shading as well). While the entire process is completely different, it pretty much allows more flexibility with how the designers can handle the light sources (making them destructible, having hundreds of them, or just one giant one). While it does use quite a bit of memory, like 160MB of memory (keep in mind most GPUs these days have 1000MB of memory), the the team has alleviated this by using the fun tools in DX11. Until Johan broke down the light sources, it didn’t occur to me how much detail comes from the light sources, and I found this particularly interesting, as even indirect light made a huge difference in graphics quality. While effects are a major in all games, they play a particularly strong role in all the Battlefield games because of the explosions and such. Most of the effects consist of thousands of both big and small particles that fit and interact with the environment, which consists of playing around with the lighting angles. In previous games, you wouldn’t see shadows for smoke rising from a burning tank. With the increased effect patterns however, you can actively see shadows from both the smoke and flying debris. The days are gone when you would see a uniformly colored cloud of dust, despite its surroundings. Now, you’ll see surroundings casting shadows or lighting up the effect particles mentioned earlier. Moving onto terrains, the team faced a lot of challenges integrating huge terrains while at the same time having the same high quality the rest of the game has up close. Once again, those of you trying to run this on DX10 will be in for a disappointment. While DX10 may render the terrain on say 1,000 triangles, DX11 will render the surrounding terrain on 1,000,000 triangles allowing for an awesome increase in quality (especially noticeable in mountain areas). What exactly is post-processing? It’s more or less the final effects that show up on your field of vision. For instance, it’s the blurry screen you get when you’re dying, the other blur that happens when you’re moving, or the screen glare you get when some annoying prick decides to shine that flashlight in your eyes (yeah, I hold grudges like that), and also plays a part in not being able to see things very well if there’s a big difference in light levels (for instance, looking out from the metro into the bright light. You can’t see very well, just like you wouldn’t be able to in real life). One big thing Johan details on is the increase in ambient occlusion technologies. For low and medium settings on PC and for all console versions, they went with SSAO, which is a super cheap AO effect. It has no extra memory cost, and is very fast. For high and ultra settings however, they went with HBAO. While they had this technology in BF2, they have vastly improved it. You can see pretty clearly that it darkens parts, while keeps others bright as they should be, and adds even more detail to the picture. To close up the fourth part of the video, Johan breaks down a construction of a scene from the ground up, quite literally. Starting from the terrain and slowly adding everything in, you can actively see how Battlefield 3 goes from looking kind of dull to a beautiful game. At the final section of the video series, Johan takes a quick overview of what kind of system you’ll need to play Battlefield 3 on its various settings (taken directly from the video): LOW = lowest possible Similar visuals to consoles, lots of stuff disabled Still contains the essential visuals to not be unfair to multiplayer Minimum: Geforce 8800 GT 512 MB RAM MEDIUM = good performance Most important visual features enabled HIGH = what the game is designed for All major features on except for MSAA (if you have DX11 card) Recommended: Geforce 560 TI or better ULTRA = highest possible Intended primarily for multi-GPU machines for 60+ FPS As you can see, ultra is not for the faint of heart, system-wise. Unless you have a pretty kick-ass machine, don't think you're going to be able to pull off ultra without a hitch. For all you AMD fans out there, I suggest the Radeon HD 4770 for the minimum spec requirement and the Radeon HD 6950 for the high spec recommendation. Battlefield 3 comes with a few nifty tools for those of us who benchmark and track our performance with various games, with an in-game console (accessible through pressing TAB), a built-in FPS meter (Render.DrawFPS 1 in the console), and a performance overlay that shows CPU/GPU graph over time (Render.PerfOverlayVisible 1 in the console). Personally, I really enjoy this feature, as it will make my life quite easier. Wrapping it up, Johan briefly covers the 3D Vision capabilities of Battlefield 3. I don't know how many of you game in 3D, but it's pretty sweet, albeit a little tiring on the eyes. Sadly, while Battlefield 3 does not have 3D Vision support upon release, we expect EA to add 3D support in the upcoming patch. Also, check out NVIDIA'S latest GeForce 285.62 drivers here. These drivers are compatible with and support 3D Vision for Battlefield 3.
 photo

To help usher in Battlefield 3, NVIDIA has released some behind-the-scenes footage from GeForce LAN 6 detailing how DICE made the game the gorgeous masterpiece it is. The video series features rendering architect Johan A...

 photo

Lots of NVIDIA toys to play with at BlizzCon


Oct 20
// Alex Bout
NVIDIA has shared a little of what's in store for BlizzCon this year. Just about everywhere you look at the convention, you'll find GeForce GTX-equipped PCs powering all the Blizzard games you love such as World of Warcraft&n...

Review: OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Crucial M4 solid-state drive

Oct 19 // Alex Bout
EDIT: I've updated the Crucial M4's firmware from 0002 to 0009. I sincerely apologize for this mix up. Because I received my test system from NVIDIA, I made the (careless) assumption that the latest firmware was installed. It was a mistake I do not intend on making again, and I thank you all for your understanding. Overview: solid-state drives vs. hard disk drives If you aren't familiar with the difference between solid state drives and hard disk drives, here's a quick catch up. Hard disk drives consist of several magnetic "platters" that spin around and record data by changing the magnetic signature on each platter. Because of this method, the speed at which the drive can store and retrieve information is dependent on the velocity those platters spin (normal "gaming"-grade hard drives rotate at 7200RPM or faster), so retrieval is still relatively slow. Solid-state drives work more similarly to the RAM in your computer than a HDD. The biggest difference is that unlike HDDs, SSDs do not contain any moving parts (so no rotating platters), meaning they are completely silent. In addition to that, they have lower access times and latency as well as being much more resistant to physical shock. However, this comes at a price: SSD memory is much more expensive per GB than the HDD alternative. A little more bad news: in general, hard drive speed has no bearing on online play, and users will see little to no improvement in gameplay other than perhaps faster load times (if the change is even noticeable). OCZ Vertex 3 Specifications OCZ's third round of SSDs consists of three drives: the Vertex 3, Agility 3, and the Solid 3. Out of these, the Vertex 3 reigns supreme in performance, and as a result, has a higher price. [Click the image for a larger version] The OCZ Vertex 3 ($209.99) comes in several different capacities (60GB, 90GB, 120GB, 240GB, and 480GB). It also boasts multiple awards, including "recommended buy" in 2011 from Tom's Hardware and StorageReview.com's Editor's Choice award. While the Vertex 3 is sold in multiple sizes, we will be taking a closer look at the 120GB drive in particular today. Crucial M4 128GB Specifications In the other corner, we have the Crucial M4 128GB ($197.99) drive, which boasts a maximum read and write speed of 415 MB/s and 175 MB/s: Sadly, I couldn't find a fancy picture that has all the in-depth specs like I could with the Vertex 3. Although the M4 isn't as fast as the Vertex 3, it has a much higher IOPS count for 4kb files. Just like the Vertex 3, the M4 was also awarded by Tom's Hardware as a 2011 recommended buy, as well as claimed to be the best 2.5" SSD on the market by SSD Review. Benchmarks For this review, I used four different benchmarking tools: AS SSD, ATTO, CrystalMark, and HD Tune Pro. Each of these benchmarks were run ten times each for consistency, and the results were averaged together. All tests and games used for this review were done on the following system, which was provided by NVIDIA: Power supply: Silverstone Strider Gold 1200W PSU Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z Motherboard Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K @4.6GHz (overclocked) Memory: 2x Crucial 4GB D3 PC3-10600 1333MHz RAM Video card: 2x EVGA Geforce GTX580 1536MB in SLI Configuration Hard drives:128GB Crucial M4 SSD120GB OCZ Vertex 3120GB Solid 32TB Western Digital Caviar Black 7200RPM Operating system: Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium Case: Falcon Northwest Mach V So after the retest, it's pretty clear which won here. Even though the read speeds are similar (M4 is 10MB/s faster still), the write speeds are an entire 85MB/s higher than the Vertex 3. With the write speed just as fast as the Solid 3's read speed, it sadly outstrips both the Solid 3 and the WD Black by a landslide. 4k files are really where the solid-state drives begin to shine, and where the Crucial M4 goes supernova. To clarify what the second graph represents, 64Thrd are 64 simultaneous requests for 4k of data, and 4k QD32 means 4k 32 queue depth meaning there are 32 requests one-by-one for 4k of data. Both of these stats contribute toward load times, and perhaps take one of the largest roles in deciding how well a hard drive stores and retrieves information. This area is, again, where the solid-state drives really stand out. Because HDDs work on a system of rotating platters, this is where that disadvantage truly begins to kick in. As the read/write function is dependent on the speed of the moving parts, the IOPS (Input Output Per Second) and the access time have to wait for the next revolution. It's almost like the firmware strapped a rocket to the M4. Although the score was higher than the Vertex 3's before (575), it's an entire 200 points higher, which is no small feat! Real-life tests For my "real-life" tests, I used five different trials: the start-up time for Adobe Photoshop CS5, Starcraft II, Windows 7, and the load times for Portal 2 and Arma 2. For CS5, Starcraft II, Portal 2, and Arma 2, each trial was started from the execution of the program until it was done loading. Windows 7, on the other hand, was timed based off when the splash screen appeared until the log-in screen finished loading. Similar to the benchmarks above, each test was run ten times each and the result shown in the graphs is the average of them all. In contrary to my previous review, the Solid 3 didn't lose out to the WD Black in this test. However, it didn't win either, coming in a tie. Moving on to the Vertex 3 and Crucial M4 though, the M4 is starting to shake things up and sneaked ahead of the Vertex 3 by a mere .08 seconds. Based off our earlier results, I was honestly expecting the M4 to completely destroy the Vertex 3 in this and the rest of the real life tests. Don't get me wrong, it was still a five second improvement from before, but it still drags behind the Vertex 3 by a little over two seconds. Based off a recommendation comment I received in my review for the OCZ Solid 3, I decided to give Arma 2 a shot, since it's supposed to be hard-drive intensive. For this test in particular, I decided to gauge the launch time of the Benchmark 1 scenario. Turns out, it was pretty close, except for the WD Black which trailed behind, as anticipated. Even after the retest, the Crucial M4 didn't budge from this mark, which left me pretty shocked. Now that's what I'm talking about! Even if it's just .26 seconds faster than the Vertex 3, the Crucial ended up launching Starcraft II the fastest. Stability While I had some stability issues with with the OCZ Solid 3, I've had no problems or horror stories with the Vertex 3. That said, when directly compared with the track record of the M4, I decided to look into the stability of the two a little closer. To do this, I decided to examine the speed consistency that each drive had through HD Tune Pro: OCZ Vertex 3 Crucial M4 As you can see from looking at the graphs, the Crucial M4 makes a much lower rating on the Richter scale than the Vertex 3, showing much more stability and increased drive consistency overall. After checking my Vertex 3 for any errors or partial hardware failure, it was determined that its health was fine, and there were no detectable problems with the drive. Between the speed and the reliability the Crucial M4 offers, it's pretty clear which is the best choice between the two. Bottom line While the Vertex 3 does offer great speed, it simply just doesn't stand up to the Crucial M4 in the benchmarks. However, when taking the real life tests into account, the Vertex 3 does in fact have some merit, as it beat the M4 in several of the tests. However overall, my recommendation has to go with the Crucial M4. It offers greater speed, reliability, and eight more gigabytes to top it off for the OS! Even though the WD Black didn't hold a candle to the SSDs in the benchmarks, it should be noted that it wasn't that far behind launching applications and load times. So if you are in the market for a storage drive (and you should at least have one if you are in the market for a SSD), the Western Digital Caviar Black is an excellent choice. Another option I didn't discuss before is the OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS ($248.99) drive. While I haven't personally reviewed this drive, it increases Random Write IOPS for 4KB from 60,000 IOPS to 75,000 IOPS for a $40 price increase. If you have some extra money to drop on it, it would be an excellent (and relatively cheap) performance increase from the regular Vertex 3. Link round-up OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SATA III MAX IOPS Solid State Drive ($248.99)OCZ Vertex 3 120Gb SATA III Solid State Drive ($209.99)Crucial Mr 128GB SATA III Solid State Drive ($197.99)OCZ Solid 3 120GB SATA III Solid State Drive ($167.49)Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB SATA III 7200RPM 64MB Cache ($149.99)
 photo

Even among solid state drives, there is a wide range of performance despite the large improvement over traditional hard disk drives. A couple weeks ago, I reviewed the OCZ Solid 3 ($167.49) and it turned out to not be th...

Review: OCZ Solid 3 solid-state drive

Sep 28 // Alex Bout
Overview: solid-state drives vs. hard disk drives In case you aren't familiar with the difference between solid-state drives and hard disk drives, here's a brief overview. A normal HDD is made of several magnetic disks that spin around and record data by changing the surface of those disks, and capacity increases as disks, or platters, are added to the drive. Because of the method by which the HDD stores information, retrieval of said information is dependent on the speed at which those disks are spinning (normal "gaming"-grade hard drives spin at 7200RPM or higher), so retrieval isn't instantaneous. Solid-state drives are completely different in that they behave somewhat more like the RAM in your computer. These drives have no moving parts (no rotating platters), which means they are completely silent. In addition, they have lower access times and latency and are more resistant to physical shock, but this comes at a price: they're typically much more expensive per gigabyte than a hard drive. Nowadays, SSDs use NAND-based flash memory, which uses transistors that closely resemble a NAND gate used in many circuits. This unique architecture allows SSDs to have seemingly instantaneous access times and has allowed gamers to relieve the common hard drive bottleneck. OCZ Solid 3 Specifications OCZ's third generation of SSDs consists of three premier drives in descending order of performance (and price): the Vertex 3, the Agility 3, and the Solid 3, which we will be covering today. The Solid 3 comes in two sizes, 60GB ($99.99) and 120 GB ($171.44). With a blazing-fast max read/write speed of 500MB/s and 450MB/s respectively, the drive seems to dust any other HDD out there. However, you will rarely (if ever) reach the max speeds, so it is generally better to gauge performance off the regular speeds, which are quite lower than the max speeds. Although the sequential read speed is about 40MB/s higher than my Western Digital Caviar Black 7200RPM HDD, the Solid 3 actually lost in terms of sequential write speed, which surprised me a little. OCZ Solid 3 and WD Caviar Black Benchmarks Here are the benchmark scores I got for both the OCZ Solid 3 and the Western Digital Caviar Black 7200RPM 1TB Hard Drive ($79.99). Both hard drives have 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate installed on them along with multiple programs, with the OCZ Solid 3 on a SATA 6GB/s interface and the WD Black on a SATA 3GB/s interface. OCZ Solid 3 WD Caviar Black I AS SSD Benchmark. Here's where I was really shocked that the Western Digital actually beat out OCZ in sequential write speed. Upon buying the SSD, I was under the impression it would be substantially faster than any HDD. I guess I was slightly wrong. However, the race was only close in sequential read speeds. In all others, the Solid 3 simply annihilated the Western Digital HDD, ending with a final score over seven times greater than the Caviar Black.  Next up is the ATTO Disk Benchmark. Although the graphs look similar at a glance, you have to remember to look at the numbers. They were at least in the same ballpark until it got to around 4KB transfer size, and then the SSD strapped a rocket to itself and took it to another level. In HD Tune Pro, we see similar cases yet again. While the SSD wasn't as constant as I would have liked, it was still significantly faster than the HDD, which actually slowed down over the course of the test. While access time was more or less constant with the SSD, access time increased for the HDD.  Real-life tests For some real-life performance tests, I decided to evaluate start-up times for Windows, Photoshop CS5, and StarCraft II, and load times for Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Portal 2. All these times are averages of ten trials each and results vary somewhat due to human error. It should also be noted that each record was taken starting from when the splash screen appeared on the screen until the application was done loading. Of course, lower numbers are better in all of these boot and load times, so don't get confused. Average OCZ Solid 3 Photoshop CS5 startup time: 1.37 secAverage WD Caviar Black Photoshop CS5 startup time: 1.06 sec Upon seeing the Photoshop CS5 results, I was stymied. Seriously, I ran both tests twice just to make sure I wasn't screwing something up. As it defies every other test, I do not have a clear-cut explanation as to why this happened. However, there are two possibilities that come to mind. First, SSDs are known to have poor, random read/write times, though a lot of this has been fixed in newer versions such as the Solid 3. Second, my SSD is over 50% capacity, which may be slowing down performance slightly. Again though, I was under the impression this rule does not apply to SSDs. Both possibilities should be noted, but are not concrete answers as to why this happened. Average OCZ Solid 3 Windows 7 boot time: 17.66 secAverage WD Caviar Black Windows 7 boot time: 35.94 sec On the other hand, the Windows 7 results do follow the trend that the Solid 3 outperforms the WD Caviar Black. By over halving the Windows boot time, it is actually a true example of how the SSD dominates over the HDD. For the next test, I decided to try StarCraft II, and while the difference was minimal in my opinion, it was a decent gap. Average OCZ Solid 3 StarCraft II start-up time: 7.09 secAverage WD Caviar Black StarCraft II start-up time: 7.63 sec  While it was only about a half-second difference in launch times, the OCZ Solid 3 did come out ahead. However, as I will discuss later, hard-drive access time plays little to no part in the speed of online games, other than the time it takes to launch the game or load new maps. Next up are load times for Portal 2 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Average OCZ Solid 3 Portal 2 load time: 7.87 secAverage WD Caviar Black Portal 2 load time: 8.89 sec Average OCZ Solid 3 Deus Ex: Human Revolution load time: 24.49 secAverage WD Caviar Black Deus Ex: Human Revolution load time: 25.82 sec The OCZ Solid 3 beat the WD Caviar Black by at least a full second in both cases. While this may not seem a lot, the small amount of time adds up pretty quickly (especially if you suck at DXHR and die a lot like me). The HDD's times were really sporadic as well, with times deviating by about a half second from the average in both games, while the SSD was much more consistent, hovering within .01 seconds of the average. However, I have to note that the time difference wasn't very noticeable in general. So while the SSD was faster in the end, it didn't drastically change my game experience. Stability I dealt with a lot of frustrating stability issues when working with the OCZ Solid 3. The drive would blue-screen my computer five to seven times a week, and initially had some trouble installing Windows 7. After speaking with customer service, they advised me to install new firmware. Unfortunately, you could not install the firmware if you were using the SSD as your primary drive; this turned out to be not as much of an issue for me, as I could switch over to the WD Caviar Black. After running their "toolbox" software on the HDD, the computer would BSOD whenever it started downloading the patch. So yet again, I went off to customer service, and they directed me to a post on their forums where I could make a bootable disk to install the software. It worked, and my BSODs became somewhat of a thing of the past. This entire process took me about two weeks to get through because of their slow responses, and I wondered why they didn't just include the solution that worked for me on the actual website, since it was pretty simple. Bottom line The OCZ Solid 3 SSD offers a huge increase in performance in most aspects of computer performance over most, if not all, HDDs currently out there. For gaming, however, it should be mentioned that a hard drive (or solid-state drive) has no bearing on online play. The only thing it may improve is load times between maps, which will be negligible on games that use an Internet connection. While you will see an improvement in single-player games, I don't believe the increase in performance necessarily justifies the price tag for most gamers. Even if you are looking into getting a solid-state drive for that extra boost anyway, I do not recommend the Solid 3 for multiple reasons: stability, performance, and competition. While the stability issues I encountered may have just been bad luck, they did leave me with a bad impression. In terms of performance, the Solid 3 vastly outperformed my HDD in a lot of ways. That said, the HDD and SSD's scores for sequential read weren't so different that I believe it's worth the price difference. For $30 more, you can get the OCZ Vertex 3 ($199.99), which offers even better performance and stability than what I experienced with the Solid 3. My review for the OCZ Vertex 3 will be up relatively soon, so stay tuned! EDIT: Sorry!!! I definitely meant to include my system specs, but they just slipped my mind. I apologize. And without further ado... Processor: Intel i7-860 @3.36GHzMotherboard: ASUS P7P55D-LXVideo Card: EVGA Geforce GTX 460Hard Drives: OCZ Solid 3 120GB, Western Digital Caviar Black 7200RPM 1TB 
 photo

A lot of people have been asking whether solid-state drives (SSD) are up to par, if they're worth your money when compared to a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). Some critics will even go as far as saying that an SSD is the ...

 photo

Official Battlefield 3 PC requirements released


Sep 20
// Alex Bout
The official PC requirements for Battlefield 3 were finally posted today! Minimum System RequirementsOS: Windows Vista (Service Pack 2) 32-BitProcessor: 2 GHz Dual Core (Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ or Althon X2 2.7 GHz)Memory: 2 GBHar...

While AMD goes for brains, NVIDIA goes for brawn

Sep 10 // Alex Bout
Brains over brawn? Think again. NVIDIA's overwhelming power wins over AMD's ingenuity. One of the biggest differences between AMD and NVIDIA cards is they way they organize their stream processors. To begin with the basics, a stream processor is just one of hundreds of processing units that work in parallel, and are a major part of modern graphics processors. These stream processors work to continuously render millions of pixels and polygons that create the graphics which appear on your screen. The big difference between the way NVIDIA and AMD create their GPU architecture is how they implement the stream processors. As you might have seen while looking through GPU specs, NVIDIA cards have significantly fewer amounts of stream processors (SP), where each is identical to the ones near it. Going into more detail, there are eight identical SP and one special unit that more or less oversees the other eight. For example, if you take a look at the NVIDIA GTX 460, it actually only uses about 88% of the stream processors (every one in nine SP are used as overseers). However, despite this blatant lack of efficiency, it is easier for software developers to create programs for this type of architecture due to its simplicity. Because of this simplicity though, it gives NVIDIA cards the ability to use sheer brute force to power through difficult graphic situations. AMD takes a slightly more clever way of doing things in that not every SP is the same as the ones around it. AMD organizes the stream processors into blocks of six; four identical processors, one that carries different FP/INT arithmetic functions, and an overseer. While it isn't as simple as this, you can more or less look at five AMD stream processors as one NVIDIA stream processor. With this more complicated structure comes a potential for increased power over its NVIDIA counterpart due to the extra flexibility this architecture allows. However, it is easier for developers to create applications for NVIDIA cards due to the simplistic setup, which more or less puts AMD's ingenuity to waste unless a developer decides to write the application to take full advantage of all the SPs AMD has. The downside to this is that most developers decide not to bother with taking advantage of the extra power AMD (potentially) has, which gives NVIDIA cards a leg up on optimization of their cards. AMD's die are significantly smaller than Nvidia's, which allows for cheaper cards. When we compare the Radeon HD 6850 to the GTX 460 in terms of die size, you'll see a 111mm difference between surface areas (the Radeon HD 6850 having a 255mm^2 surface area and the GTX 460 boasting a 366mm^2 die size), which simply means that NVIDIA isn't able to make as many cards as AMD can for the same amount of money. With Silicon prices hovering around one to two dollars a pound, that (pretty sizable) difference in die sizes adds up pretty quickly. The second reason AMD is able to charge less than NVIDIA is because AMD is a part of AMD. This helps because AMD not only receives profits from AMD products, but it also gets the same deals and technological advances AMD gets. It's just a matter of having some variety in the mix. There is, of course, the more obvious reason NVIDIA cards are more expensive than AMD's cards: brand name. It's the basic idea that NVIDIA prices their cards so high because they can get away with it. Although AMD sells at a lower price to be competitive with rival NVIDIA cards, AMD likely still turns a pretty hefty profit off their cards; just think how much NVIDIA is making off it all. Bottom Line While NVIDIA graphics cards may have a little more power to them, AMD graphics cards will (most likely) always be a half step behind them for a fraction of the price. Also keep in mind that because AMD are serious competition for NVIDIA, they have been a major factor in driving NVIDIA prices down. So overall, NVIDIA will carry the title in performance for a higher price tag over AMD. Going into slightly more detail, both brands have their pros and cons, and the one that is best for you is generally going to vary depending on what you intend to use the computer for and what your budget looks like. Typically, if you are going for a performance or gaming rig with a budget of around $700 or more, I would suggest getting an NVIDIA card. Anything below that and I would look into the cheaper alternative, AMD. However, all cases vary from card to card so take the time to look at both brands in that price range and decide if you'd like a slightly lower price or slightly higher performance. EDIT: Swapped ATI for AMD. I apologize, it was a careless mistake on my part.
 photo

If you have looked into building your own computer, you'll know that shopping for a video card can be a daunting experience to say the least. With tons of specs to look at, things tend to get a little confusing when comparing...

Review: The Titan aluminum mouse pad

Aug 30 // Alex Bout
The Titan aluminum mouse pad is made by a relatively new and unknown company called GEARED Gaming Surfaces. Although they have been gaming for over 15 years, they've only released two products into the industry. However, if you consider that they spent over one year developing this 10"x12"x1/8" sheet of metal, it may be a little more understandable why they only have those two products. A lot of people don't seem to know what use a mouse pad is anymore. While it used to be something that helped the little ball on the bottom of the mouse move, people don't use ball mice anymore. (And if you do, you should stop reading now and go get a new mouse. I mean come on! Have some standards.) Nowadays, mouse pads are mainly used for a moderate boost in mouse accuracy. If you don't have a good mouse pad, the mouse will occasionally skip across the screen (one of the most annoying things EVER, in my opinion). They are also helpful in slowing the wear and tear of your mouse (and desk). As you continuously move your mouse across your desk, it will begin to leave scratches on both your mouse and the desk itself, eventually wearing both down. A mouse pad helps helps protect by placing a (usually) softer material in between the two so it wears away at the pad rather than the important things. The Titan aluminum mouse pad specs Ultra smooth (anodized aluminum) surface Poly diamond grip on the back 10"x12" surface area 12 Teflon Mouse feet included 1/8" thickness Comes in 4 colors: Flat black, Natural Aluminum, Galactic Blue, Crimson Red Price: $32.95 Lots of friction! The first thing I noticed when I switched from my SteelSeries QcK Mouse Pad was that there was a substantial increase in the amount of friction between the mouse and the pad. At first, I could not stand this difference at all -- it seemed like five pounds were added to the weight of my mouse -- but first impressions are not everything. As some of my Outer Heaven homies know, I decided to take the mouse pad out for a test drive by playing some Starcraft II. As I played, I gradually got used to the friction. In fact, I actually began to enjoy it there; it was kind of like having a second recognition that you moved your mouse. In addition to that, if you have your mouse set to a high DPI, the added friction gives you a new level of control, since one little twitch of your wrist can send the mouse flying across the entire screen. However, I should mention that the mouse pad did come with some of their Teflon Mouse Feet, and it did decrease the friction by a somewhat minimal amount. What's that scratching sound? Now, I can't attest for other aluminum mouse pads (as I've never used another), but when I started using this mouse pad (without the Teflon feet), it seemed extremely loud compared to my cloth mouse pad. Understandable, being that this is made of metal, but it definitely took some time to get used to hearing my mouse move across a metal slab. When I stuck on the new Teflon feet, though, the sound was reduced by a little bit, so that it was within a range that I got used to during my Starcraft II session. Ahhh, it feels so nice. First of all, get your mind of the gutter. One of the perks of having an aluminum mouse pad is that it's nice and cool, even when you use the mouse pad continuously for a long time. I can't tell you how nice it feels to have the cool pad under my wrist (though I can't say it does anything to help my carpal tunnel). It feels so nice in fact, that I sometimes put both my hands on the pad just to cool them down. I think it's a pretty cool feature they probably didn't intend on including. Yes, the pun was intended. Using a sheet of metal for a mouse pad has its advantages... So as (probably) most of you know, the rubber and cloth mouse pads tend to have a few problems with appearance over time. With the fraying edges, miscellaneous junk getting stuck to them, and random discolorations appearing over time, you just have to either clean the mouse pad regularly or simply replace it whenever it gets too disgusting for your tastes. This is not a problem for the Titan. No matter how much you use it, the edges won't fray, and any dust that may settle on it can easily be wiped off with your hand or a cloth. If any of you read my review on the Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Keyboard, you'll know that I hated the fact that it was a fingerprint magnet. I'm staring disgustedly at it right now, as I type this. Short of dipping my hands in some sort of oil, I was unable to leave any fingerprints on the Titan. However, I was determined to see what it took to dirty this mouse pad, so I ate some potato chips and rubbed my greasy hands all over it. As expected, it did leave marks, but they were only visible in direct light, and were pretty easy to remove with a bit of Windex. There's more wear and tear than usual. So remember when I said that not using a mouse pad wears down your desk and mouse? Well, you likely won't have to really worry about it wearing down the mouse pad because the aluminum is harder than the material your mouse is made of, but that also means that the mouse will still be worn down. But fear not! The Teflon mouse feet included alleviate that by wearing down the Teflon feet instead of your mouse. Handy, right? This way, neither your desk, mouse pad, or mouse are damaged. The Teflon mouse feet will wear away with time, but as the mouse pad includes 12, you shouldn't run out anytime soon (and replacement feet are only $3.50).  It sticks to the desk like glue! With other mouse pads (namely the cloth ones), you can often push on them and they move relatively easily or they kind of bunch up and wrinkle if you have a thin one. With the Titan, it really sticks to the desk; I've never seen anything like it. With any downward force whatsoever, the mouse pad won't move. Even when I placed my stapler on the mouse pad and pushed horizontally, the traction was increased dramatically. Also, if the bottom gets dirty, it's pretty easily washed off with a wet cloth. Bottom Line I think the GEARED Titan aluminum mouse pad is a decent buy, but I think it might be a little pricey considering it's just a mouse pad. Although if you consider that this mouse pad will last you a while, never fray, show discolorations, and add a clean, sharp look to your battle station, I recommend it. So to all you people who are using book covers, notebooks, pads of paper, worn down rubber/cloth mouse pads, or no mouse pad at all: look into this one, I think it's worth the buy.
 photo

I don't know how many of you use aluminum mouse pads, but this is the first one I've ever tried out. Unlike your typical rubber mouse pad, these are rigid. It freaked me a little out at first, but it's pretty cool. You won't get those annoying frayed ends on the edges of the mouse pad, it stays clean, and my mouse has excellent accuracy with it.

Review: Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Aug 25 // Alex Bout
In case you don't know how a mechanical keyboard is different from a typical keyboard, I'll give you the key differences in a nutshell. There are three main types of keyboards: membrane, scissor switch, and mechanical. Membrane keyboards are the most commonly used, with each key positioned over a rubber dome, one for each key. However, every single one of these domes aren't always uniform thickness, which changes the endurance and springiness of each key. Because of that, the feel of each key will not be uniform across the entire board. These are the cheapest keyboards, and you can expect them to last for about ten million keystrokes. The second type of key, which is commonly used in laptop keyboards, is the scissor switch key. These are a little pricier than membrane keyboards, but are a slightly more springy to facilitate faster typing. In addition to having that extra pop, these keyboards also have faster response times, are quieter, and have double the life expectancy of a membrane keyboard, rated at about twenty million keystrokes. As good as scissor switch keyboards may sound, mechanical keyboards really hit it out of the ballpark. Each of the keys on these boards have their own mechanical switch that quickly snap back into position after being actuated, which allows for even faster typing than a scissor switch keyboard. In addition to this, the mechanical switches make a very distinct clicking when pressed, and have a very solid feel to them because of their weight. However, because each key is its own individual part, it really jacks up the price. On the other hand, the price is more or less negligible when you consider the massive 50 million keystroke life expectancy; over double a scissor switch, and five times greater than a membrane keyboard. Do the math and you'll see you save a ton of money by investing in one of these instead of buying multiple of the other types. Today, we're going to focus on one mechanical keyboard in particular: the Razer BlackWidow Mechanical gaming keyboard. While this review is about the regular edition of the keyboard, the Ultimate edition is more or less the same, just with a back light for the keys, and a USB and audio jack on the keyboard (also note that the Ultimate edition takes up two USB jacks instead of the one that the regular edition requires). I have pictures from the unboxing that I will post in the gallery, but I think it's kind of silly and a waste of time to talk about it, so I'll just skip straight to what I think about the keyboard itself. Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Gaming Keyboard specs Keyboard type: Gaming Connection type: USB 2.0 Colors: Black Operating Systems supported: Windows XP, Vista, 7 (Though there is a mac version) Full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force Response time: 1ms Programmable keys with on the fly macro recording Ten separate macro profiles with on the fly switching Five dedicated macro keys Multimedia controls (requires use of the function key) Braided cord What I noticed immediately is the really bright gloss they used to coat the keyboard. It looks nice, but it's a real finger print magnet. Honestly, I would have much preferred it if they left the gloss out. I'm getting tired of wiping my keyboard off to keep it looking nice. The first thing I had to try out, of course, were the keys. Because it's a mechanical keyboard, the keys actually register mid way through the actuation, which can be both a good and a bad thing. Good because it allows for faster typing, but bad if you are switching between several keys (WASD movement) because that means you have to go a little farther up than you would with a scissor switch key, or both keys will end up being pressed. It was also very loud! Compared to the scissor switch keyboard I had been using before, it was almost imposingly loud, and almost unbearable. However, after a few days of use, I came to get used to the noise, and it's nice to hear that you pressed the key instead of maybe not being so sure. As a side note, the font they used for the keys is laser engraved, giving it a nice permanent feeling to it. You won't have any issues with the letters wearing off after a while. However, they used a non-conventional font, which is a little more difficult to read at a glance compared to most keyboards. Honestly, I would have preferred if they had just used the regular font, even though the font they used looks sleek and cool. Another thing I noticed early on was that it was heavy! Much heavier than any keyboard I had owned before, weighing around five pounds. When you pick it up, you can feel that the keyboard is durable and made of some quality stuff. A combination of the weight and rubber track on the bottom makes sure it won't slide around on your desk. The macro program that the keyboard utilizes is pretty easy to use once you get used to where things are, and the on-the-fly macros are extremely handy. It should be noted that the keyboard itself does not have any on-board memory, so any macros you make will not be carried with the keyboard. It's a little annoying, but I don't move around much, so this isn't a huge deal to me. Another thing that kind of bugs me a little is the altered key placement, the first being the placement of the F keys. There's a seemingly huge gap between the esc key and the f1 key, which really throws me off, because I use all of the F keys pretty frequently, and I often miss both the esc and f1 keys with this keyboard. I think this is more of a "me getting used to this keyboard" situation instead of it being a flaw, though the schizophrenic side me of me says that while there's nothing wrong with breaking the mold, there are some things you just have to conform to. As well as the esc and f1 key issue, I often find myself pressing the m5 key instead of ctrl, because I glance down to look for the corner key, and hit the wrong key by accident. Again, I believe this is something I just need to get used to rather than a flaw. There is an issue that I've heard of many people having with this keyboard, but I have yet to experience it myself. Several customers have reported that the space bar will sometimes somehow shift and end up touching the alt key, which makes the space bar (and the alt key I assume) extremely hard to press. I don't really know if this is a common manufacturing defect, or if these people are just throwing their keyboards against a wall; all I know is that for the majority of keyboards sold, this is not a problem. If it is a problem, however, the keyboard does come with a one-year warranty that should clear that right up. In addition to this, I think the shift key is a little more difficult to press than the rest of the keys. It's pretty subtle for me, but it makes capitalizing a bit of a pain sometimes. I believe this has to do with the angle I press the shift key, and it is only slightly noticeable, just thought it should at least be mentioned. All in all, this is a great keyboard. The design is sleek and smooth, the key presses are sharp and accurate, the macros are fairly fast and simple to use, and it's priced relatively cheaply at $79.99. Also keep in mind that if you would like the back lighting and USB/Audio jack plug ins, you can pay $30 more for the Ultimate edition, but I don't think it's worth the money. Turn on the lights and plug your stuff into the front of your tower; save your hard earned money for something more worthwhile. Despite the drawbacks I talked about in this article, I still think the pros outweigh the cons, and the keyboard is worth every penny. I really enjoy the keys, macros, and the ungodly 50 million keystroke life. If you're looking into getting a keyboard that will last you a long time, I highly recommend you add the Razer BlackWidow Mechanical Gaming Keyboard to your gaming arsenal.
 photo

Everyone thinks of taking their game to the next level, and many times, the brain goes straight to replacing the video card or some other internal computer part. However, one of the easiest improvements you might be able to m...

 photo

Amazing new Guild Wars 2 trailer for gamescom!


Aug 18
// Alex Bout
To all you Guild Wars 2 fans, if you haven't seen this trailer for gamescom yet, crank up your speakers and start buffering this video! For those who aren't into MMOs or haven't heard of Guild Wars 2, please check it ou...

Top five computer monitors for under $200

Aug 16 // Alex Bout
Before we begin, one thing that is commonly misunderstood by a lot of people is the difference between an LCD screen and a LED screen. In a nutshell, the big difference is how they're lit (thank you, Captain Obvious). LCD has one white light in the back that shines through different filters, creating the colors you see on the screen. LED. on the other hand, has different colored lights with no filters. This allows the LED screen to actually dim parts of the screen and create a pure black instead of that really dark gray we're all used to (LCD screens can't do that). In addition to the increased color accuracy, LED screens also offer increased viewing angles and thinner screens, and they use 40% less power than LCD screens. However, the downside is that they cost about 50% more than a similar LCD screen. Click here to read more about this. In addition to the LED/LCD misconception, there is also a specification that a lot of manufacturers use to really mislead their customers: contrast ratio. There's no set standard of measure for contrast ratio, which makes it exceedingly difficult to tell how good a ratio is. My best suggestion is to look at the monitors side by side in person if you can. If not, just look at reviews of each product and decide for yourself. Anyway, if you take a look in the table below, you'll see both DC and ASCR along with DiC. First off, DC stands for Dynamic Contrast -- it's somewhat of a standard that companies use, but that's not always the case. ASCR stands for ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio, and is pretty much something ASUS made up to more or less hide the real dynamic contrast their screens have. However, they've gotten decent reviews, so I would peg them to be about average. It's something really hard to tell, and it's a little sketchy that they don't release these numbers -- it suggests they have something to hide. One thing I found pretty odd on the LG monitor was that their DC didn't mean dynamic contrast like the rest did, but digital contrast instead which means that we have yet another bogus term to worry about, which is why I labeled it DiC instead of DC. Finally, the number in parenthesis is the static contrast ratio, which seems to be more or less standard from what I've seen at 1000:1. What worries me is that this statistic couldn't be found on some of the monitors, which is what makes me the most suspicious that they might be hiding something. I guess the bottom line is, ignore this statistic, and judge what you can from the rest of the specs given. For all of you who don't really know the different video inputs, I figured it would be nice to have some quick information on it. VGA and D-Sub are both analog signals, which are becoming rarer and rarer in a digital age, and are generally thrown onto a monitor just for those people who still cling to the Stone Age. DVI and HDMI are the real powerhouses that are taking the stage at the moment. They both have the same video quality, but the difference is that HDMI has sound included. So if your monitor has speakers built in, you don't have to worry about plugging in a separate auxiliary audio cable to plug in. These inputs are digital and can carry much more information to the monitor, in addition to not making it convert the digital signal that your computer sends out into an analog signal like a VGA or D-sub cable must do. Now, let's move on to the rankings! 1. Asus VK246H ($196) I picked the VK246H as my first choice for a couple of different reasons. Not only does it sport a nice, large 24" screen, but it's also pretty inexpensive at only $196, considering what it comes with. In addition to the phenomenal pricing, it is 1080p, sports two built-in 2W speakers, and a built-in webcam. Don't like the idea that it has a webcam attached? Buy the camera-less variant for about the same price. Oh, did I also mention that it has a 2ms response time? This will reduce any ghosting you might experience, which is a big deal for gamers. However, because these values aren't absolute, you should probably expect to see a slightly higher response time. There are some things that could be better about this monitor, however. For one, it's an LCD screen, so you'll lose some of the contrast that comes with LED. That also means that you're only really going to get mediocre color accuracy with this monitor. Fortunately, the average eye probably won't be able to tell the difference. 2. Asus VH238H LED ($175) I picked this one after the VK246H mainly because of the reduction in size and brightness, though I don't think the difference would be very noticeable. This monitor is LED instead of LCD, so it was a pretty close call in my eyes. For all of you who don't want a built-in webcam, I'd go with this option; I could see someone going either way, especially considering the overwhelmingly better color contrast. I'll admit that I had a hard time deciding and only picked the other monitor because of the size and webcam. 3. Viewsonic VA2431wm ($170) The Viewsonic VA2431wm is actually better than the ASUS VH238H that I mentioned above in some respects such as size and brightness, except that it loses a little in terms of response time and that it lacks the HDMI port. In addition to this, it is only a LCD screen, where as the ASUS is an LED. However for five dollars less, it might be worth your money to take the hit for those nice perks.   4. Asus VH222H-P ($139) With a smaller screen and a 5ms response time, the VH222H-P is my third choice only because of its relatively attractive price. The response time pretty much rules it out for any serious gamers. However, for all of the more casual gaming, home, and office users, this monitor will do fine. Honestly, I don't know a lot of people who can really tell a huge difference in 3ms. 5. LG E2350V-SN ($194) EDIT: I apologize so much! I don't know how I goofed up on the previous link here, and the image above. I would replace the image above, but I don't have the source code from the table that I have above with me (it's an image right now), because I'm on vacation right now. Either way, the specs are as follows...23" LED backlight screen, 1920x1080 resolution, 250 cd/m2 brightness, DC 5,000,000:1 contrast, response time of 5ms, D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI video inputs, and no built-in speakers. While it is a good monitor, the price really put me off because I feel you could get better deal on another monitor. However, it does have a good screen size, resolution, contrast, and decent brightness as long as looking quite sharp. Again, I apologize for the goof-up with the table and such. Bottom Line All of the top three choices are excellent monitors and I highly recommend all three. You will have to decide for yourself which is the best for you personally. I'd probably buy the Asus VH222H-P for a home or office computer because of the slower response time and the low price. I would only recommend LG W2486L if you really want a nice LED screen. Still, it was ranked above the Acer S201HL because of the Acer's low resolution and small screen size. P.S. Special thanks to those that contributed to my research in my community blog. What other kinds of PC hardware coverage would you like to see on Destructoid? Let us know!
 photo

As good of a gaming computer as you might have, whether you spent $400 or $2000, its visual output will more or less look like crap unless you have a good monitor to show off what it can do. Today, I'm going to rank the top f...

 photo

It's Sylvari week on Guild Wars 2!


Aug 08
// Alex Bout
You may or may not have heard about Guild Wars 2 depending on how much you're into MMOs, but you're going to at least want to check it out, whether you like them or not. Even though Guild Wars 2 isn't released yet, ArenaNet c...

How to build a $480 gaming PC to take on Battlefield 3

Jul 30 // Alex Bout
Our handy-dandy game retailer, GameStop, has made some speculations about the level of hardware you're going to need to really own this game. While they aren't the official specs, I'd say they're pretty spot-on. Minimum PC requirements for Battlefield 3: Hard Drive Space: 15 GB for disc version or 10 GB for digital version Operating System: Windows Vista or Windows 7 Processor: Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz RAM: 2 GB Video Card: DirectX 10 or 11 compatible Nvidia or AMD ATI card Recommended PC requirements for Battlefield 3: Hard Drive Space: 15 GB for disc version or 10 GB for digital version Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU RAM: 4 GB Video Card: DirectX 11 Nvidia or AMD ATI card, GeForce GTX 460, Radeon HD 6850 Because nobody's got unlimited money (excluding you retail buyers), I'm going to put together a computer rig that will be able to run Battlefield 3 well on moderate settings. So without further ado, take a look! Click here to view this computer build Intel Core i5-2500K 3.33Ghz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99) -- or Intel i3-530 ($109.99) The Intel Core i5-2500K, nicely priced at $219.99, is a good choice for this game because of its clock speed and its quad-core capabilities. However, I don't think it's completely necessary to have a quad-core processor, because most games are graphics card dependent instead of processor dependent. I stand behind this so much, in fact, that I think an Intel Core i3 would do the deed of running Battlefield 3 on moderate settings if you're looking for a decent price cut (about $110 cheaper than the i5). The processor manages the different things your computer does at once (this is a tag-team with your RAM). So since you're only going to be running one main program or game at a time, you have no need for an overly powerful CPU. Cooler Master DP6-9EDSA-0L-GP CPU Cooler ($9.99) -- or use the stock fan for free ($0.00) Moving down the list, the CPU cooler is just one that I picked out because anything's better than the crappy one that comes with the processor. However, if you want to save another ten dollars, you can probably just knock it off completely. The stock fan does a decent job, but it just keeps things a little too toasty for my tastes. ASRock H61M-VS Intel H61 Micro ATX Motherboard ($59.99) The motherboard has the Intel H61 chipset, which is a pretty powerful chip for the money. You can load a maximum of 16 gigabytes of RAM into this board (which we'll talk about in a second) and four SATA 3GB/s slots, which allow you to connect your hard drives and CD drives and such. Best part about this board: it's only $65. It's got all you need for the PC you're building. Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($29.99) -- or only 2GB of RAM ($17.99) I picked Corsair memory because it's real quality for only 30 bucks. I suggest getting four gigabytes of RAM just so you can comfortably run other programs in the background while you play (e.g., Ventrilo, Teamspeak, Skype, Steam), but if you really need the price drop, you can probably skate by with only two gigabytes of RAM for just $18. If you'd like to keep the four gigabytes but still want the price cut, PNY might be a better choice. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard drive ($59.99) -- or 320GB ($39.99) You can't go wrong with this hard drive, especially for $60. With excellent quality and even better customer service, they're the best choice, in my book. However, you may not require the full terabyte of storage, so you can just cut it down to 320GB, but you'll only be putting maximum of $20 back into your pocket. Asus Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($94.98) -- or Radeon HD 6570 ($74.98) Honestly, if you're going to skimp on anything in this computer build, I wouldn't recommend cutting from the video card department. Go with the Radeon HD 6670 ($94.98) or higher. Because Battlefield 3 is such a graphics-intensive game, your video card is effectively the most important part of the computer for gamers because it renders all of the pretty things you see on the screen. If you must cut back, however, I suggest swinging with the Radeon HD 6570 to get the job done for $20 less. Antec 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($54.09) -- 500W or more recommended The rest of the stuff is pretty much up to you. I just chose the parts because they were nice, cheap options that you're going to need. I wouldn't go below a 500W power supply, because I was lowballing it in the first place. To be safe, I suggest getting a 600W or 650W power supply instead. Arctic Silver ($6.41) -- or use the gray paste on the stock fan As with all computers, you'll also need a thermal compound such as Arctic Silver ($6), which is used to transfer heat from your processor to its heat sink. Unless you're planning on using the miscellaneous gray goop that's already on the stock fan, I highly recommend Arctic Silver for your thermal compound. As I stated in the beginning, you should be able to run Battlefield 3 on moderate settings, and maybe a little higher if you overclock the processor. If you're looking to upgrade this computer, start with the video card; it will provide the most immediate boost to gameplay performance. (This also applies to overclocking: GPU overclocking will often improve performance by 15-30% when done correctly). Save $560: Original computer comes to $698, economy computer comes to $539.48 So let's do the math: On top of saving $400 from buying from a computer retailer, you can save about $160 more if you want to take a hit in performance, which comes to a grand total of $560 in savings. You might as well slap a 50% discount sticker on retail computers and throw in some free computer training as well. Adding it all together without the price cuts brings us to a slim total of $698, while the cost-reduction build comes to a mind-blowing total of only $539.48. If you've never built a computer before or need some reminders on how to do it and which parts to pick, check out this tutorial or any of the many other guides online. Battlefield 3 is scheduled to hit stores on October 25, 2011. Will your computer be ready? edited: 8/1/11 1:45AM EST
 photo

Battlefield 3 is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated games of the year. With tons of buildings to blow up, explosions that put the Fourth of July to shame, intense competition, and graphics that make your eyes bleed, how ...







Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
What is the meaning of life, and do you have any more pizza rolls?
You may remix all content on this site under Creative Commons with Attribution
- Living the dream, Since 2006 -