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windwithme

Member Since 14 Jan 2010
Offline Last Active Nov 21 2017 09:06 AM
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#2162392 Outstanding Design and Performance - Deep Look into New MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider

Posted by windwithme on 21 November 2017 - 09:06 AM

After activating Cooler Boost 5, the idle is now at 37 degree C and full load at 70 degree C.
MGE63VR31.JPG

With 2-degrees difference at idle and 8-degrees difference at full load, are pretty impressive results.
The Cooler Boost 5 cooling module of the GE63VR does a pretty good job with GPU cooling,
and keeps the GTX 1070 under 80 degrees even at full load, without activating Cooler Boost 5.

The i7-7700HQ CPU comes in default at 2.8~3.8GHz, with power mode set at Balance.
When running full load with LinX 0.6.5 – 85~96
MGE63VR32.JPG

Activate Cooler Boost 5, and run full load with LinX 0.6.5 – 75~83
MGE63VR33.JPG

LinX 0.6.5 is one of the most demanding burn-in software, as others usually generate lower temperatures.
From what I can recall, launching burn-in test with AIDA64 has a lower temperature by over 10 degrees than with LinX 0.6.5.
The fan noise is quite loud when activating the cooling button, which is only suggested if you wear headphones or have speaker volume at over 60.
This prevents you from being affected by the full speed fan noise. Otherwise the GE63VR stays relatively silent under standard circumstances.

Both the 7RE and 7RF version of the GE63VR use the same gaming display.
With FHD resolution, 94% NTSC, 3ms response time, and 120Hz refresh rate, these are one of those rare high-end TN displays.
They are also ideal for games with fast-paced actions, like the modern FPS games.
We tried adjusting both notebook displays to a similar brightness, to better compare the image details.
On the left is the high-end TN display from the GE63VR; on the right is an IPS display from the ASUS ROG GL502VS, which has a similar spec and price with the GE63VR.
The comparison is made with the built-in Windows 10 wallpaper, but you can use your own if interested.
MGE63VR34.JPG

Many used to have the impression of TN displays having smaller visible angle than IPS.
Yet the comparison clearly shows that the high-end TN display nowadays already have similar, if not better, viewing angles than high-end IPS displays.
With a wide color coverage of 94% NTSC, it’s a definite win against the competing ASUS IPS display, whether you’re viewing from the front or the sides.
I’ve seen many beauty IPS displays, but with more and more manufacturers, the quality and spec also varies greatly.
MGE63VR35.JPG

Opening up the bottom cover of the MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider reveals the interior hardware design.
Two DDR4-2400 slots and woofer on the right; two more DDR4 slots preloaded with 16BX2 under the keyboard.
Two NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD slots; 2.5” SATA3 HDD to the left.
The top section is the new MSI Cooler Boost 5 cooling design.
The cooling design has been the focus of MSI gaming notebooks over the recent years.
With the latest Cooler Boost 5, there are dual fans, 7 heat pipes, and 3 cooling sections.
The massive cooling design with ventilation across multiple sections on the chassis prove how the GE63VR takes cooling very seriously.
MGE63VR36.JPG

There are total of 4 speakers, certified by the renowned Danish company Dynaudio.
Two 3W giant woofers and two 2W stereo speakers.
The thermal pad on the M.2 SSD is also a thoughtful design for the high-speed high-temperature NVMe M.2 SSDs.
MGE63VR37.JPG

I was planning to demonstrate with videos, but the recorded files size ended up a bit too big. I’ve replaced them with photos for now.
SteelSeries per-key RGB backlight keyboard and USB port lighting. They look better in person than in photos.
MGE63VR38.JPG

I couldn’t help but think that I was positive to compare with Dell and Alienware.
ROG may have been the leading brand for motherboards, but just doesn’t seem to be putting enough effort in gaming notebooks.
There’s still much to be improved to catch up with other gaming notebook brands.

Battery life. Windows 10 power mode set to balance.
Built-in battery capacity of 4730mAh 51Wh. Seems to be slightly small.
With GTX 1070 playing DVD video, it’s left with 66% after 1hr; 30% after 2hr; 10% after 2hr 30min.
The maximum battery life of the GE63VR is around 2hr 40min, a somewhat acceptable number considering the high-end spec.

Conclusion for MSI GE63VR 7RF Raider
Pros and Advantage:
1. GE63VR has more speedy ID design, also more sturdy than the previous GE62.
2. Features up to a standard NVIDIA GTX 1070 graphics, drastically enhanced its 3D performance.
3. The GIANT speakers and woofers offer the best sound I’ve ever heard so far.
4. 120Hz/3ms display with 94%NTSC color coverage is exactly what’s needed for gaming. It even comes with True Color 2.0 color calibration.
5. The built-in Dragon Center is feature-rich and also nicely integrated other exclusive software.
6. The new Cooler Boost 5 boosts the cooling capability of the GE series.
7. Exceptional keyboard feedback with software that offers RGB lighting, macro, multiple profiles.
8. ESS SABRE HiFi Audio DAC for headphone output. Supports “Hi-Res Audio ready”.
9. Super RAID 4 with two high speed NVMe M.2 SSDs in RAID 0.
10. Killer solution for both wired and wireless network to form Killer DoubleShot Pro, plus the Killer Shield design.

Cons for Improvement:
1. The metal brush pattern on the A-side top cover leaves fingerprints easily.
2. Only 720p resolution for the webcam. The image quality could also be improved.
3. The high-end TN display has wide visible angle for top and both sides, but lacks when viewed from the bottom.
4. Slightly low battery life due to the GTX 1070. It’d be better if it lasts over 3.5hr.

MGE63VR39.JPG

Performance Ratio ?????????? 93/100
Material Ratio ?????????? 88/10
Specification Ratio ?????????? 93/100
Aesthetics Ratio ?????????? 86/100
Price-Value Ratio ?????????? 88/100

Comparing to the last gen GE62, the GE63VR has removed the built-in ODD, but still weighs the same.
This is due to many of the enhancement under the hood, especially the cooling design and the full GTX 1060/1070 graphics.
The huge sound chambers grant the GE63VR far superior audio experience in volume, detail, and bass.
The quality and sturdiness upon picking up the notebook proves this to be a quite an evolutions over GE62.
With the MSRP just under 2000 USD, the MSI GE63VR 7RF actually costs slightly less than its rivals with similar spec.
The GE73VR with GTX 1060 6GB also has quite the aggressive pricing, with MSRP around 1600 USD.

MGE63VR40.JPG

The GE63VR is the mid-high model among MSI lineup, and will probably also comes in various versions to choose from, just like the GE62.
So far, only the version with i7-7700HQ and GTX 1060 6GB is available in Taiwan.
It’s available with GTX 1060 6BB and 1070 8GB for GPU options.
If they come in 4C4T Core i5 with GTX 1060, they should be able to further lower the price tag, and become even more affordable for those who love the GE series.
Aside from 3D performance, I think a lot still needs to be worked on, like audio, display, keyboard, cooling, chassis.
The GE63VR may not have scored 100/100 in all aforementioned category, but are at least 80~90+ in most.
The GE63VR is a well-balanced notebook with gaming-grade performance.
Of course, there’re still some things that I’d like to see addressed.
But the new version already has a major upgrade. I look forward to seeing more verions available for the consumers.

This article also shared on my personal Facebook -Windwithme WWM
If this article helps you to know more about this product, please feel free to click like to encourage me.


#2089968 CORSAIR High End Dominator Platinum - DDR3 2800C11 Review

Posted by windwithme on 29 May 2013 - 04:00 PM

C280001.jpg

DDR3 has been in the market for long time. It changes year by year.
Ex: price change or capacity improves. Like last year, 4~8GB became the mainstream capacity.
Most users use 4GX2 or 8GX2 as their PC spec.
Besides capacity, high clock DDR3 is the other key factor of performance improving.

CORSAIR focus on high performance DDR3 for years.
High clock DDR3 products are Dominator series mainly. After that, it's with GT or GTX code.
Last year, CORSAIR launched DDR3 most high end series, Dominator Platinum.
This review is the current highest clock modules, Dominator Platinum.
The model is CMD16GX3M4A2800C11. This is DDR3 2800 CL11, the top specs.

The high end Dominator Platinum bundles with exclusive AIRFLOW.
The package is much bigger than the regular DD3 modules.
C280002.jpg

The back side lists the PCB and other technologies.
C280003.jpg

DDR3 2800 4GB X 4, CL11 14-14-35, 1.65V
Dominator Platinum DDR3 2800 has CL11 and CL12 versions.
C280004.jpg

Product manual and AIRFLOW cooler.
AIRFLOW texture and fan design are much better than former one.
C280005.jpg

Dominator Platinum front and back.
CORSAIR own DHX (Dual-path Heat eXchange) Cooling technology which flaunts it's better cooling capability.
C280006.jpg

The top is white metal heat sink. I guess this is name, Platinum, from.
After powering on, you can see the white light. It really enhances the product texture.
They also have upgrade kit, Light Bar Upgrade Kit.
I have seen some pics in internet. It has rich light effects.
C280007.jpg

I choose Intel Ivy Bridge Z77 as test platform. Z77 is the current highest DD3 platform.
I use GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H. The spec and price are mid-range in Z77 market.
It's Ultra Durable 4. CPU PWM is 8 phases design. It has 4 built-in GPU outputs.
C280008.jpg

It has 3 PCI-E X16, 3 PCI-E X1 and 1 PCI. The design, components and expandability are quite balance.
As LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge structure, DRAM can reach DDR3 2133 as none overclock CPU.
The other LGA 2011 Sandy Bridge can reach DDR3 2400.
LGA 1155 Ivy Bridge is the current highest DDR3 clock platform. It can reach DDR3 2666~2800.
It's must for DDR3 2800 platform. Intel keeps improving Memory controller built in PU.
C280009.jpg

Test Platform
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K
MB: GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H
DRAM: CORSAIR Dominator Platinum CMD16GX3M4A2800C11
VGA: Intel HD Graphics 4000
HDD: Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD
POWER: XIGMATEK Tauro 400W Bronze
Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro Series H100
OS: Windows8 64bit
C280010.jpg


#2082862 Design for Extreme Performance SSD - CORSAIR Neutron GTX

Posted by windwithme on 02 April 2013 - 06:08 PM

CNGTX01.jpg
These years, Solid-State Drive becomes key weapon to enhance PC performance.
For 3D performance, VGA is the key. For multi-tasking and graphic design, high end CPU is the must.
Besides these, for on/off PC, saving files or executing programs all need SSD.
Intel and AMD launched several native SATA3 chipset in 2 years.
Now, every SSD providers are designing for the best performance in SATA3 6Gb/s.

So far, CORSAIR has 6 series SSD product lines.
They use different controllers and NAND Flash to rich SSD performance and diversity.
As mainstream SSD, Corsair has specific models for SandForce and Marvell controllers, CORSAIR Performance and Force Series.
In 2012, they launched a new SSD line, called Neutron Series, which is the one in this article.

Neutron Series has general and GTX product lines.
Let?s start from the packing. You can see the model name is Neutron GTX. The performance is higher.
CNGTX02.jpg

Contents
Left side is black 2.5? to 3.5? adapter, SSD installation screws and product manual.
Right side is Neutron GTX 240GB.
CNGTX03.jpg

The shell is metal with gray coating. The touch texture is more like matte with grain.
CORSAIR provides 5-year warranty. The capacity has 120/240/480GB.
Size is 2.5?. Capacity is 240GB. As per official specs, ATTO Disk Benchmark max read/write is 550/470 MB/s.
Random 4K read can reach 90 IOPS and Random 4K write is 85 IOPS.
CNGTX04.jpg

Backside is same material and color as front. Lower right is SATA3 and power connectors.
There are 2 silver laser stickers on shell. As warranty and internal hardware security, you better leave it as origin.
CNGTX05.jpg

Neutron Series both lines, the thickness is 7mm.
For PC users, It's no impact. For slim NB, it provides better upgradability.
Many slim NB change 2.5? SATA to 7mm HDD. This is perfect fit to it.
CNGTX06.jpg

Neutron GTX 240GB Inside
Front and back sides are without screws. It's fixed by latch.
I would like to warn you that sticker moved will void the warranty. Please don?t try if it's not necessary.
The PCB has 8 TOSHIBA TH58TEG7DDJTA20, Toggle NAND Flash memory
Left has one Samsung K4T1G084QF, DDR2 800, and 128MB.
CNGTX07.jpg

You need to take our 3 screws to see the other side PCB.
There is one more Samsung K4T1G084QF to make 256MB DRAM Cache.
There are also 8 TOSHIBA TH58TEG7DDJTA20 NAND Flash which is same specs as Plextor M5 Pro.
19nm TOSHIBA NAND Flash single capacity is 16GB, so total is 256GB.
Using similar design as SanForce structure, 16GB is moved for buffer, so the model is 240GB.
CNGTX08.jpg

Controller is the key selling point for CORSAIR Neutron Series, Link_A_Media LM87800 Controller.
Between shell and chipset, they also put thermal paste.
What?s the performance difference between SandForce and Marvell? You will see in following test.
CNGTX09.jpg

System is Intel Z77 chipset, GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5 TH.
It's mid-high end in Z77 market. It provides 2 latest Thunderbolt Ports.
Ultra durable 5 uses IR3550 PowIRstage to make MOSFet temperature lower.
CNGTX10.jpg


#2073515 CORSAIR Force GS 240GB Single Drive and Raid0 SSD Performance Guide

Posted by windwithme on 24 January 2013 - 03:27 PM

CGS01.jpg

Solid-State Drive does improve C performance in past 4 years.
No matter DeskTop PC or Notebook both shorten the system processing time.
It?s why SSD still so popular after launching many years. However, the high price also impact the popularity.

Every year, SSD price is almost 50% off. The price segment is based on 100 or 200USD.
As history price record, 2 years ago, 200USD only could have 60GB, last year was 120GB and this year is 240GB.
This year, you can find many 120GB SSD below 100USD. This price point is acceptable.

3 years ago, CORSAIR, from USA, started their SSD product line which was pioneer in this field.
Controller also moved from SAMSUNG to SandForce or Marvell.
Different controller focus on different performance and price segment.

This GS SSD is Force Series. It had Force 3 and GT, 2 versions.
Force Series uses SandForce controller with different NAND Flash ICs.
Let?s look at packing first. Gold is a representative color of GS.
CGS02.jpg

Contents
Left side is product warranty card, middle is Force GS 240GB and right side is back 2.5? to 3.5? rack and screws.
CGS03.jpg

Product size is 2.5?. The capacity is 240GB.?Official max speed is 555/525 MB/s at ATTO Disk Benchmark.
Random 4K max write is 90k IOPS. It?s very high specs of 4K performance in current SSD market.
CGS04.jpg

Metal shell with red coating and tactile impression is grain texture.
CORSAIR offers 3 years warranty. The family has 128/180/240/360/480GB.
Capacity provides rich choices. Users can choose the suitable one by budget or demand.
CGS05.jpg

Back is black metal with matte hair line. It improves the product texture.
Lower left is SATA3 and power connectors. Next is silver laser sticker.
As warranty and internal hardware safety, we better to keep it in original state.
CGS06.jpg

Force Series GS uses popular SandForce SF-2281 controller.
NAND Flash uses 16 SanDisk Mark 24nm ICs, 16GB each.
If you are interested in Force GS internal build, you can search in Google.

The test platform is Intel Z77 chipset, GIGABYTE G1.SNIPER M3.
It?s mid-end gaming series using Micro ATX. It emphasizes audio and LAN chips.
It equips Creative latest CA0132, quad-core audio processor. It supports THX, CRYSTAL VOICE, and etc.
CGS07.jpg

It has 3 PCI-E X16, 1 PCI-E X1. The expandability is very good as Micro ATX form factor.
Also Intel chipset IO performance is better. The SATA3 should have better performance in SSD.
CGS08.jpg

System Configuration
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
MB: GIGABYTE G1.SNIPER M3
DRAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT 1866 8GBX2
VGA: Intel HD Graphics 4000
HD: SanDisk Extreme 240GB / WD 1TB 7200rpm
POWER: Thermaltake TR2 600W
Cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283
OS: Windows8 Ultimate 64bit
CGS09.jpg

Single SanDisk Extreme 240GB install at white SATA3 port
None OS system drive without any data. Test at Intel Z77 platform.
HD Tune Pro 5.00
Black Size is the special part of this software. Left side default is 64K and right side is 1MB.
64K - Read - Average 408.7 MB/s Access Time 0.116ms
1MB - Read - Average 521.3 MB/s Access Time 0.117ms
CGSS01.png

HD Tune Pro 5.00 set Black Size as 1MB almost reaching the best performance.


#2064193 Ivy Bridge New Entry CPU ? Intel Core i3-3220 Performance Guide

Posted by windwithme on 29 November 2012 - 12:35 AM

Intel Core I Gen 3 is named Ivy Bridge which is launched in April.
In the beginning, there were only mid to high end models, Core i5 and Core i7.
For lower price Ivy Bridge Core i3 was launched in Sep.
Now you can save some budget for Ivy Bridge CPU to buy Core i3 instead of Core i3.

Posted Image

There are three models for new Core i3, Core i3-3220, i3-3225 and i3-3240 from low to high.
Each is 100MHz difference. i3-3225 built-in Intel max performance HD4000 GPU.
i3-3220 and i3-3240 are HD2500. This is the simplest way to distinguish.

This guide is using Intel Core i3-3220, the cheapest one of three models.
The clock is 3.3GHz. It?s physical 2 Cores and none Hyper-Threading. It can run 4 threads, called 2C4T.
It?s 22nm manufacturing and TDP is 55W. L3 Cache is 3MB. It?s most entry Ivy Bridge CPU.
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The bottom of original cooler is none cooper for own 2 Cores CPU.
If you add some better quality thermal paste, it?s helpful for temperature control.
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CPU back, it?s Revision E1.
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There are 4 chipsets in the market. The cheapest is H61 since Sandy Bridge.
H61 doesn?t support SATA3 and USB 3.0. It?s quite a pity.
The higher level is B75. Intel set it at Small Business Advantage.
The picture is GIGABYTE B75M-D3V.
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B75support native SATA3 and USB 3.0. The price is higher than H61.
If B75M-D3V got 4 DIMMs, the expandability would be better.
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LGA 1155 most high-end chipset is Z77. The price is even higher.
Since this year the MB competition is very tough. Z77 entry model MB is much cheaper the former structures.
The picture is FOXCONN Z77A-S.
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Z77 owns highest specs, expandability and adjustable CPU ratio for OC in LGA 1155.
K sku CPU can adjust higher ratio and none K sku CPU can rise 200~600MHz clock.
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The mid-end uses H77 chipset - GIGABYTE H77-DS3H
H77 can OC the built-in GPU, but not CPU. The other features are the same with Z77.
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GIGABYTE recently builds in mSATA slot from mid-end ATX MB.
Windwithme just got mSATA SSD and will share Intel Smart Response Technology.
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#2057326 Intel Xeon E5-2680 and GIGABYTE X79S-UP5 Server Level Performance

Posted by windwithme on 25 October 2012 - 05:17 PM

CrystalMark 2004R3 => 351690
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CINEBENCH R11.5
CPU => 11.96 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 1.41 pts
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FRYRENDER
Running Time => 3m 6s
x264 FHD Benchmark => 31.2
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PCMark Vantage => 16941
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Windows Experience Index
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 43.47/20867
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In E5-2680 8C16T structure, it has very good performance for multi-threading software, such like CINEBENCH R11.5 / FRYRENDER / x264 FHD Benchmark.
As overall system performance, some software seems no performance improved due to none multi-threading support, such like CrystalMark 2004R3 / PCMark Vantage.
Windows Experience Index cannot support 8C16T, so I just ignore it.
Xeon is great for multimedia or file converting, but not some regular software.
Besides you have specified software requirement, for general users, 4C6T or 6C12T CPU utilization rate will be higher.

LGA 2011 is the only quad channel DDR# platform in DeskTop market.
DDR3 is CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT series, CMT32GX3M4X1866C9.
The packing clearly shows supporting Intel X.M.P. Certified QUAD CHANNEL.
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The clock is 1866 and latency is CL9 10-9-27 with 1.50V.
DOMINATOR-GT uses exclusive DHX thermal technology. The heatsink and PCB designs are bigger than some high end DDR3.
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DDR3 capacity is 4 X 8GB
As X79S-UP5 8DIMM design, it can support up to 64GB, 8G X 8, 64GB.
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UEFI DualBIOS default is DDR3 1333.4 CL9 9-9-24 1T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 15203 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 33842 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 12531 MB/s
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Enable X.M.P. => DDR3 1866.8 CL9 10-9-27 2T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 17100 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 44352 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory - Copy - 13127 MB/s
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The performance difference between DDR3 1333 1T to enable X.M.P. DDR3 1866 2T is as below.
ADIA64 increases 12.5%, Sandra increases 31% and MaXXMEM increases about 5%.
ADIA64 and MaXXMEM performance is not much for quad channel platform.
But you can see Sandra Memory bandwidth is almost double the LGA 1155 platform.
The quad channel support really impacts the DDR3 performance.


#2057320 Intel Xeon E5-2680 and GIGABYTE X79S-UP5 Server Level Performance

Posted by windwithme on 25 October 2012 - 04:19 PM

This year, Intel has 2 CPU sockets in DeskTop market.
As previous generation, Extreme was LGA 1366 and mainstream was LGA 1156.
The new generation Extreme is LGA 2011 and mainstream is LGA 1155.
X79 life cycle should be around 3 years which is same as X58.

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LGA 2011 in consumer market only has X79 chipset.
Some MB makers launch new X79 series and even use Server level chipset to enhance spec.
GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WiFi is the first model to use Intel C606 chipset.
I, windwithme, will share you the LGA 2011 Server CPU, 8C16T, performance.

Let’s look at the CPU backside first.
Left is most high-end CPU in consumer market, Intel Core i7-3960X.
Right is Intel Xeon E5-2680. Serve level CPU price and usage are different with our common views.
E5-2680 clock is 2.7GHz. It supports Turbo Boost 2.0 to 3.5GHz.
It’s physical 8 Cores and Hyper-Threading to reach 16 threads, called 8C16T.
It’s 32nm manufacturing, TDP 130W, and 20MB L3 Cache. It’s very high end CPU in E2600 series.
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MB is GIGABYTE latest X79S-UP5-WiFi. It’s mid-end price in X79 MB segment.
X79S-UP5 is same as former X79-UD5 and G1.Assassin2 bundling BT4.0/Wi-Fi PCI-E card.
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X79S-UP5 can be treat as enhance edition from former X79-UD5. The color tone is similar, but some specs are enhanced.
It’s E-ATX spec. Size is 30.5cm x 26.4cm. You can just use standard ATX case.
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Lower-Left Corner
3 X PCI-E X16 support 3-Way AMD CrossFireX/nVIDIA SLI
The bandwidth is operating at X16 + X16 or X8 + X8 + X8.
1 X PCI-E X16 bandwidth is X4
1 X PCI-E X1
1 X PCI
Dual LAN chip design with Intel GbE LAN and Realtek GbE.
Audio chip is Realtek ALC898 supporting 7.1 channel and High Definition Audio
Design in Taipei
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Lower-Right Corner
2 X White SATA, provided by C606 and support SATA3
4 X Black SATA, provided by C606 and support SATA2
It supports hybrid RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10. The max performance is depending on installed SATA devices.
8 X Gray SAS SATA provided by C606 and support SAS or SATA2. It also supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10.
2 X 64 Mbit flash with Dual BIO. It build-in RST_SW blue button.
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Upper-Right Corner
X79S-UP5 CPU PWM is 8-phase digital and the cover is plating for better look.
Red button is Power for bare system.
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Upper-Left Corner
There are 8 X DIMM DDR3, supporting 1066/1333/1600/1866/2133. DDR3 max capacity is 64GB.
It supports ECC memory, quad channel DDR3 and Extreme Memory Profile.
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IO
1 X PS2 KB/MS
1 X O.C. button
1 X BIOS Switch button
1 X Clear CMOS button
5 X USB 2.0(Red/Black)
1 X eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo(Red)
1 X eSATA3 (Blue)
4 X USB 3.0(Blue)
2 X RJ-45 LAN
1 X S/PDIF Optical output
5 X Audio jacks
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GIGABYTE displayed IR3550 PowlRstage in ComputeX 2012 as new PWM design for own high-end MB.
It delivers 60A per phase and lower temperature by single package design.
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#2024914 Intel Latest Ivy Bridge Platform - GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H WiFi OC Guide

Posted by windwithme on 12 May 2012 - 08:30 AM

mSATA SSD slot supports small capacity SSD.
It can work with Intel Smart Response to enhance system performance. However, RAID 5 will be disabled.
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Heat-sink cutting and color are good texture.
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System Configuration
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K
MB: GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H WiFi
DRAM: CORSAIR DOMINATOR-GT CMT16GX3M4X2133C9
VGA: Intel HD Graphics 4000
HD: Intel 520 Series 120GB
POWER: CORSAIR AX650W
Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro Series H60
OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
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First of all, I test in CPU default mode.
Default Setting
CPU 100 X 35 => 3500MHz (Enable Turbo Boost and C1E)
DDR3 2134.2 CL9 11-10-27 2T (Enable XMP mode)

Hyper PI 32M X8 => 14m 10.826s
CPUMARK 99 => 615
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Nuclearus Multi Core => 28541
Fritz Chess Benchmark => 30.77/14770
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CrystalMark 2004R3 => 318966
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CINEBENCH R11.5
CPU => 7.86 pts
CPU(Single Core) => 1.67 pts
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FRYRENDER
Running Time => 4m 42s
x264 FHD Benchmark => 23.1
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PCMark Vantage => 23265
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If we compare3nd Core i7-3770K and previous 2nd Core i7-2700K, 3770K single thread performance is 3~6% higher and 4C8T is 10~14% higher.
The main difference is 22nm and 32nm. The frequency are both 3.5GHz and 3.9GHz by Turbo Boost.
As my personal using experience, these 3 generations Core i CPU, each generation has 10~15% performance improved.

DRAM Bandwidth Test
DDR3 2134.2 CL9 11-10-27 2T
ADIA64 Memory Read - 21358 MB/s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 27475 MB/s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 23497 MB/s
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All new platforms DDR3 performance can divide into bandwidth and max frequency.
For bandwidth, Ivy Bridge DDR3 is similar to Sandy Bridge.
However, the max frequency is improved a lot which I will show you the detail later.


#2023057 CORSAIR Obsidian Series 550D Quiet Case Sharing

Posted by windwithme on 03 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

As Case position, it’s not only spec and performance as other hardware.
Case appearance and design are more important. Quality and texture are must.
Also Case can use for many years, picking up a good case is worth.
This conclusion comes out after I discuss with some friends.
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CORSAIR 550D is 3rd models of Obsidian series. The design is different with first 2 models.
550D size is smaller than 650D as well. The acoustic and dust-proof are also improved.
550D uses latest and humane design to avoid any interference for installation.
Even though the price is lowest in Obsidian series, 550D is still mid to high end product.
Comparing to my ex 120USD cases, this is much better.
For users who has no budget concern and need good looking, design and quality, CORSAIR 550D is good to pick. :)

This review is also in my blog WIND3C. Any comments are welcome.


#2017787 Intel LGA 2011 latest CPU - Core i7-3820 OC Guide Sharing

Posted by windwithme on 13 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

For Intel X79 SATA3 transfer rate, I use Intel latest 520 SERIES 120GB.
First, you can see the 520 packing is same as 320, which uses Intel new generation Logo.
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SSD shell is Intel often use design. The benefit is you can take off the black frame to be 7mm slim SSD.
The controller is SanForce SF-2281 and flash is Intel MLC 25nm NAND FLASH.
Official spec write is 550 and sequential read is 500 MB/s. Random 4KB write is 80000 IOPS.
5-year warranty is Intel 520 SERIES biggest strength. Users have more confidence to use this product.
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ATTO DISK Benchmark over 256k can reach 547.8 Mb/s read and 506.4 MB/s write.
AS SSD Benchmark - 550
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ATTO DISK Benchmark is fastest and reach this SSD official specs.
AS SSD Benchmark Seq Write is lower and CrystalDiskMark also has same issue.

CrystalDiskMark
Seq Read - 484.0 MB/s Write - 159.3 MB/s
<All 0xFF, 1Fill> Read - 503.2 MB/s Write - 489.1 MB/s
<All 0x00, 0Fill> Read - 505.5 MB/s Write - 492.3 MB/s
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CrystalDiskMark default is random test. The upper right shows the write speed is lower than spec.
As SandForce controller structure, some algorithm may cause this issue.
Left side pic, CrystalDiskMark changes to sequential mode, the write speed is close to official specs.
HD Tune Pro 5.00 in File Benchmark, all benchmark reach 500 MB/s or higher.

Power Consumption
Enter to OS Desktop and enable C1E power saving technology - 90W
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Enter to OS Desktop and disable C1E power saving technology - 137W
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Running LinX to make CPU full speed - 275W
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Comparing to i7-3930K, i7-3820 power consumption is similar under enable C1E and enter to OS desktop condition. If disabling C1E, the number is lower.
Running LinX to make CPU full speed, 4C8T i7-3820 is 70W lower than i7-3930K.
However, i7-3820 power consumption is higher than i7-2700K. It may causes by CPU structure design.

Temperature(Room Temp is 21ËšC)
Enter to OS Desktop - 19~26
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Running LinX to make CPU full speed - 54~63
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Cooler is CORSAIR Hydro Series H100 liquid cooling system and install 12cm higher rpm fan.
As OC to 4.75G, i7-3820 temperature performance is very good.

3D Test
msi N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II
3DMark Vantage CPU SCORE => 79023
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#2015964 AMD A6-3500 with GIGABYTE A55M-S2H, Entry APU OC Review

Posted by windwithme on 07 April 2012 - 06:08 AM

AMD launched new APU structure, FM1 platform in July 2011.
6 months passed, there are only A75 and A55 chipsets support FM1 platform.
However, FM1 CPU is getting more and more. Mainly it’s for mid to low market. The C/P is quite well.

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FM1 has X4/6 series as 4 Cores or K series for OC market.
The main strength for FM1 platform is 3D performance of APU structure.
How to pick higher built-in 3D graphic and CPU performance is key subject for selecting APU.

Even though it’s an entry level product, the balance between built-in 3D graphic and CPU performance is important.
Finally, I decide to buy AMD A6-3500, triple cores, and AMD HD6530D.
I didn’t buy most entry A4-3300, because it’s only dual cores and HD6410Dis lower spec.
As using A6-3500, more CPU cores can compensate the performance and the 3D performance is higher.
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Inside Box
Product manual, sticker, cooler, and AMD A6-3500.
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FM1 CPU pins are complete different with AM3+.
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A55 chipset has no USB3.0 and SATA3 comparing to A75.
For normal users or word process machine, A55 is enough. If you have more budget, you also can consider A75.
This review I use GIGABYTE A55M-S2H, the form factor is Micro ATX.
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All solid caps for entry MB is regular components now. Also, it has GIGABYTE exclusive Super4 technology.
Recently, it launched 4 years warrant which is conversed operation as 3C products is reducing their warranty.
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Lower-Left Corner
2 X PCI-E X16, first is X16 and second is X4. It supports AMD Dual Graphics.
1 X PCI-E X1
1 X PCI
Realtek ALC889 Audio chip supports 7.1 channels and High Definition Audio.
Realtek RTL8111E LAN chip and black connector is TPM module slot.
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Lower-Right Corner
6 X Blue SATA, provided by A55. It’s SATA2 and supports RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10 and JBOD.
There are two front USB 2.0 in left and right is DualBIOS.
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Upper-Right Corner
2 X DIMM DDR3 support 1066/1333/1600/1866/2400(OC). DDR3 max capacity is 32GB.
Next is 24-PIN power connector.
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Upper-Left Corner
AMD CPU Socket FM1. It’s compatible with AM2/AM3 cooler.
CPU uses 4+1 phases PWM. Upper left is 4Pin power in.
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#2014521 A High-end X79 Equipped with SAS and 4Way SLI - ECS X79R-AX

Posted by windwithme on 02 April 2012 - 08:43 AM

DDR3 2128.4 Cl9 11-10-27 2T the XMP mode
ADIA64 Memory Read - 21312 MB / s
Sandra Memory Bandwidth - 50 004 MB / s
MaXXMEM Memory-Copy - 17276 MB / s
MaXXMEM Reached multi-memory score - 32.39 GByte / sec
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Performance comparison of bandwidth with dual-channel LGA 1155 and four-channel LGA 2011
I found that Sandra Memory Bandwidth achieved two times the level of dual-channel bandwidth when compared with CrystalMark
MaXXMEM reached multi-memory score is also about 50% higher compared with dual-channel
Other software at DDR3 bandwidth and dual channel were similar or lower: in the future we may need software that can support four-channel technology

Test of Three Clocks with Different Parameters to Compare Bandwidth Differences
If Sandra Memory Bandwidth is used as a benchmark, DDR3 efficiency will increase 14% from 1600 to 1866
If DDR3 is boosted from 1866 1T to 2133 2T, performance increases by 9.2%: the above was done with DDR3 bandwidth under various clock changes

Power Consumption Test
The OS Desktop did not use any software and C1E power-saving technology was turned on - 80W
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OS Desktop did not use any software and the C1E power saving technology was turned off - 174W
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With LinX running, we allowed the CPU to reach full speed - 322W
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There was little difference in power consumption performance compared with several other X79s I’ve tried before
What’s worth mentioning is that the X79R-AX’s overclocking performance was a bit lower with the C1E standby status enabled
If you use overclocking for a long time, I would recommend that you enable the C1E function for better performance in terms of temperature and power consumption

Temperature performance (room temperature about 21 degrees)
System Standby - 24 to 31
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Running LinX with CPU at full speed - 61 to 71
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For cooling, we used the Intel RTS 2011LC modular cooling system
This allowed the 3960X OC 4.6GHz desktop to achieve a quite low temperature in a standby environment
In addition, at full speed, the maximum temperature reached only about 71 degrees, so overclocking settings and temperature conditions were more suitable for long-term use

3D test
msi N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II
3DMark Vantage CPU SCORE => 89 479
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FINAL FANTASY XIV
1920 X 1080 = 4705
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StreetFighter IV Benchmark
1920 X-1080 special effects set to maximum => 158.79 FPS
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For the 3D performance of a single GTX560 Ti, the LGA 1155 or LGA 2011 currently still achieve the highest standards of a desktop
For the same VGA combined with a different level CPU, the 3D performance will be different: the performance of the Sandy Bridge-E architecture is quite good
In addition, the X79R-AX can support technology up to the same four VGA CrossFireX or SLI boards
For users who need a higher level of 3D performance, based on their needs, they can install the number of VGA boards necessary to obtain higher performance

Also with room temperature at about 21 degrees and the 3960X OC overclocking at 4.6GHz, we used temperature measurement tools to check the temperature of the MOSFET
In standby with C1E enabled, the temperature was about 36.1 degrees, and with C1E disabled, it went up to about 53.9 degrees, and the highest CPU burn-in temperature is approximately 79.2 degrees
Compared with several X79s that I’ve used, the temperature performance of the X79R-AX in standby was relatively higher
At full speed, the temperature was a little lower than the other two X79s, and the average performance of these two models was above average
If you encounter a MOSFET temperature above 80 degrees, I would recommend overclocking to strengthen the heat dissipation in the area of the MOSFET
In this article, windwithme has shared temperature measurements in each X79 as reference

ECS X79R-AX
Strengths
1. The overseas price is about US$310, equivalent to about NT$9175, a better value than a mid-range X79
2. Equipped with the SAS specification’s SATA design, up to 12 internal SATA devices may be installed
3. A rarely seen transmission design for wireless LAN and Bluetooth dongle communications
4. Qooltech IV cooling modules use a serial configuration of MOSFET chipsets for better heat dissipation
5. The high-end X79 has a 4-Way AMD CrossFireX/nVIDIA SLI configuration
6. Use of 14 MOS drivers for power supply, PCI-E, Gen3, CPU/DDR3 installed 15μ gold contacts

Weaknesses
1. DDR3 is only available in 4DIMM packaging
2. When overclocking the CPU, the UEFI interface needs to be enhanced for stability
3. Market visibility and after sales service channels have room for improvement

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Performance ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 85/100
Materials ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 90/100
Specifications ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 91/100
Appearance ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 79/100
Cost ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ 83/100

The visibility of ECS in the Taiwan market is not so good, but ECS brand motherboards are continuing to improve
The X79R-A is better in terms of components and specifications than some other similarly priced X79s, and it even approaches some high-end X79 specifications
In recent years in its high-end product lines, ECS has made visible progress and innovation, which is worthy of recognition
With an 8DIMM design, the X79R-A can reach specifications of a very comprehensive standard

Performance after overclocking was also good with DDR3 bandwidth from 1600 to 2133 above average
The price of the X79R-AX was similar to or slightly higher than other motherboard makers’ entry-level X79s
However, the overall specifications of the components were close to high-end standards in the X79 market, with a good cost to performance ratio among high-end X79 platforms
ECS will be fairly competitive with a future 8DIMM version and in addition to improved hardware, better market channels :)

This article is also post in my blog WIND3C, Any comments are welcome.


#1987582 Intel Corei7-3960X with GIGABYTE G1.Assassin2 Platform Guide

Posted by windwithme on 05 January 2012 - 09:38 AM

Full Speed is 1.440V
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After burning test and measure the MOSFET highest temperature is 85 degree C.
For next few X79 models review, I will also provide this temperature for reference.
CPU voltage fluctuation is bigger than old BIOS.

GIGABYTE G1.Assassin2
Good
1. G1-Killer series packing and components are better than own high end product.
2. Spec-in UEFI BIOS and provide 2 BIOS interfaces
3. Built-in Creative CA20K2 audio chip, Japanese high end audio caps and 128MB Memory cache.
4. Killer E2100 Networking NPU with 1GB DDR2 cache for better networking traffic management.
5. Unique BT4.0 and Wi-Fi PCI-e card. For mobility century, this is really useful features.
6. Front panel has USB 3.0 and quick OC features. It also has audio headset amplifier.

Weakness
1. Chipset heatsink design is not good looking
2. 8 DIMM DDR3 design will be better
3. Before booting screen, if you click USB KB in advance, it may cause undetectable issue.
4. CPU voltage fluctuation is bigger between standby and full speed.

Performance ★★★★★★★★★☆
Components ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Specification ★★★★★★★★★☆
Appearance ★★★★★★★★☆☆
C/P Value ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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All MB makers launch X79 series to replace X58.
The price is around 265~430 USD.
For users don’t have high end audio or LAN card and you are considering to buy these two high end cards, G1 cost should be similar.

LGA 2011 is Intel most high end product. The price is top of pyramid.
You can pick up the platform by budget. Sandy Bridge structure has very wide.
Lowest H61 can combine with Celeron G530. Entry OC has Z68 with i5-2500K.
Mid-end OC has Z68 with i7-2600K/2700K and future you can have X79 plus i7-3820.
If you need heavy multi-tasking and shorter working time, X79 with i7-3930K/3960X is the best performance combo.

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The test result above shows Sandy Bridge-E structure is still the king of Desktop performance.
There are i7-3930K and 3960X, 6C12T, CPU support multi-tasking performance.
LGA 2011 CPU pricing structure is same as LGA 1366.
Till 2012, i7-3820 4C8T launched, the enthusiasts will have one more choice.
This year, there is only i7-2600K/2700K with Z68. Soon after, X79 with i7-3820 will become another option.
Windwithme will keep sharing more brands X79 performance and OC guide.
Wish all Happy New Year 2012 and you can find your best C/P PC combo in 2012.Thanks. :)

This article is also post in my blog. WIND3C Any comments are all welcome.


#1965054 Pre-test of Latest Intel Top-Level 4-Cores CPU i7-2700K

Posted by windwithme on 21 October 2011 - 09:26 PM

Intel released the new generation framework of Sandy Bridge at early January, 2011; meanwhile, LGA 1155 is provided for support.
Compared with the specifications of several platforms in the past, the LGA 1155 is provided with a lot of modifications in CPU overclocking (OC) at this time.
Firstly, when a CPU with the external frequency of 100 MHz is overclocking, the other surrounding clock rates will be increased accordingly, thus the upper limit will fall around 110 MHz.
Although the new 32nm process is introduced into the new generation 4 cores CPUs, overclocking can be only achieved by using frequency multiplication.
The model names of i5-2500K and i7-2600K that are two kinds of CPUs without lock frequency multiplication have been released for a long time, which are considered as the representatives of the overclocking line.
However, the overclocking can be only done by working with the chipset of overclocking frequency multiplication, i.e., P67 or Z68.

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The overclocking environment for LGA 1155 is simply declared above, hoping the users can aware of the hardware for the equipment clearly.
The middle-level CPU featured by overclocking is Core i5-2500K, while the advanced-level is Core i7-2600K.
The main difference between them is that the 2600K is provided with Hyper-Threading (HT) technology and an 8MB L3 cache, while the 2500K is only provided 6 MB L3 cache without HT.
This time I pursue Core i7-2700K which will appear on the market very soon and replace the advanced 2600 K.

The total clock rate of 2700K is 3.5 GHz, which supports the new generation Turbo Boost 2.0 and can reach the maximum performance of 3.9 GHz.
The real 4 Cores are incorporated into the Hyper-Threading technology, so that eight threading can be executed, 4C/8T for short.
With the 32 nm process, the power consumption of 95W and the 8-MB L3 Cache, the 2700K, surpassing the 2600K 100MHz, becomes the most advanced CPU of LGA 1155.
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The rear side of the 2700K is still D2 Revision, so that there is little difference in appearance between the 2700K and the 2600K at this part.
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The MB is the latest Z68 high-level chipset of LGA 1155, i.e., the latest version TZ68K+ released by BIOSTAR.
The appearance and the specification are the same as that of the TZ68A+ shared before and the primary difference is supply voltage of CPU.
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Although the TZ68K+ is the new edition of BIOSTAR Z68, the price is still about US$99, thus it can challenge the low-price market of ATX Z68.
By using the well-marked red-black matching, it has the most specifications as that of the Z68 series with the built-in Power/Reset button and a simple debugging LED.
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With respect to IO, there are three types among which the two blue USBs 3.0 can provide high-speed transmission.
If provided two more USBs 2.0, it would be more perfect with respect to the scalability.
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The previous TZ68A+ is designed with four-phase power supply only, while the new edition TZ68K+ is provided with eight-phase power supply, which is the primary difference.
However, as mentioned before, one-phase power supply can provide about 30-40 W, so , the four-phase power supply is already quite enough for overclocking of power consumption of Intel CPU.
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The heat sinks above the Z68 chipset look good because of being cut by a special manner.
Two native SATA3 units of Z68 are positioned at the right side, which are used at a general environment or in a Raid0 state.
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Test platform
CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K
MB: BIOSTAR TSERIES TZ68K+
DRAM: CORSAIR CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9R
VGA: Intel HD Graphics 3000
HD: Intel 510 Series 120GB
POWER: Thermaltake TR2 450W
Cooler: CORSAIR Hydro Series H80
OS: Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
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Firstly, a performance test is performed by using the preset value of CPU.
Preset the performance
CPU 100 X 35 => 3500 MHz (booting Turbo Boost, and then C1E)
DDR3 1599.8 CL7 8-7-22 1T

Hyper PI 32M X8 => 15m 21.977s
CPUMARK 99 => 597
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#1847226 Overclocking Efficiency of the ECS’ Newest Black Series P55H-AK with

Posted by windwithme on 08 September 2010 - 09:30 AM

ECS Black Series P55H-AK
Advantages
1. High-level P55 motherboard products are rare in the market, and the external appearance and packaging are both well-done
2. Internal NVIDIA NF200 chip, 3D expanded to 3-way NVIDIA SLI / ATi CrossfireX
3. Uses newest USB 3.0 and SATA3 chips, improving the highest bandwidth for motherboard transmission interfaces
4. Added PLX PEX 8608 chip, increasing PCI-E overall bandwidth
5. DDR3 bandwidth performs better, excellent CPU external clock overclock range

Disadvantages
1. CPU voltage values are at default during standby mode
2. DDR3 2000+ stability has room for improvement
3. USB 3.0 performance sometimes drops

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Efficiency ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Materials ★★★★★★★★★☆
Specs ★★★★★★★★★☆
Appearance ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Price ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

The ideal CPU to match the LGA 1156’s P55 chipset would be the i5 750/760 or i7 860/870/875K.
After Intel lowers the price of CPUs, this platform’s C/P numbers will exceed that of the highest level X58.
In addition, every motherboard manufacturer is releasing quite a few P55 motherboard products, giving consumers many options.
Prices range from around NT$3500 (around US$110) to around NT$10,500 (US$330).
I suggest that before buying the LGA 1156 you look at your budget, and then buy a P55 motherboard product that suits your needs.

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In terms of design and components, the P55H-AK meets the standards of major three-channel motherboard products,
which is something that is definitely worth noting.
Motherboards being sold for around NT$9500 (US$298) now are high-level P55 motherboards.
If the prices can be pushed down a little, I believe it will increase C/P values, and could become more acceptable to more consumers.

Since ECS has not entered the field of high-level overclocking products for very long, there are a few details that could be done better.
For example, increase BIOS options, or strengthen BIOS stability during extreme overclocking; this would increase the level of performance.
ECS is a major global motherboard manufacturer; if they can establish themselves in high-level overclocking products;
this would greatly improve their brand image.
When purchasing a motherboard, many consumers look for an option outside the major three manufacturers, and ECS is certainly worth consideration.
I hope that for future high-level products, like the modified X58 or the yet-to-be-released P67 chipset, ECS will be able to produce even better products. 

This article is also posted in my blog: WIND'S 3C
Welcome 3C fans to drop by.