It’s that time again, gamers. Summer is coming and lots of fun new games are coming out. With the release of fresh new eye-candy like Bioshock Infinite and the gaming feast that is E3 just around the corner, many of us are looking to upgrade out gaming PCs. Of course except for the introduction of the 1000$ Nvidia Titan, the GPU market has been fairly stagnant the last several months.
Not any more, as AMD as decided to shake things up with a new entry into the Radeon HD7700 series: the Radeon 7790. This card has been built on the new GCN (Graphics Core Next) 1.1 architecture. In laymen’s terms it’s the newest technology available from Team Red.
The new 7790 cards are built to provide budget conscious gamers a great upgrade to their system that will handle the newest games at full 1080p resolution.
Starting this week, almost every manufacturer is preparing versions of this card, but our current favorite is the Sapphire HD 7790 OC with Dual-X. We have always been a fan of Sapphire’s cards for their impressive factory overclocks and powerful cooling systems. This new card looks to be no different. It is about 7-percent faster than the standard card, and features a large dual-fan cooling system that should keep your card cool, and your case quiet.
As a bonus for anyone looking to upgrade now, all HD 7790 card will be sold with a voucher good for one free copy of Bioshock Infinite.
Look for all new cards to carry a price of about $150-$175 USD, with our chosen Sapphire card sitting square in the middle at $159.99. For more information about the Sapphire card, and the new HD 7790 chips, check out the full press release below.
SAPPHIRE Technology has just introduced the first in a new family of products in its highly successful HD 7000 series of graphics cards. The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC is based on the latest chipset featuring the highly acclaimed graphics GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture from AMD and sets a new standard for performance in mainstream graphics.
The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC Edition is the first product in a new family featuring the latest GPU architecture from AMD with 896 Stream processor units. It has 1GB of the latest DDR5 memory and is factory overclocked, with core clocks of 1075MHz and memory clocks of 1600MHz (6.4GB/s effective), to deliver new levels of performance in its price segment. Performance is optimised with the latest version of AMD’s PowerTune technology. Quiet and cool operation is assured with SAPPHIRE’s Dual-X cooler design, which combines a multiple heatpipe array with two aerofoil section fans and dust repelling bearings resulting in a highly efficient and reliable cooler.
The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC Edition can be installed in any PC with a free x16 PCI-Express slot, and communication with the host PC is optimised with the use of the latest high speed PCI-Express Gen3.0 interface. Built in hardware support for AMD CrossFire enables multiple cards to be used to further enhance performance in a suitably specified mainboard.
The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC supports the latest industry standards and is ready for Windows 8 with its architecture designed for DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2. This latest version of AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture also supports an unparalleled array of display and audio technologies, with new fast HDMI features (such as support for 4K resolution and full frame rate 1080p stereoscopic support), DisplayPort 1.2 certification (with support for Multi-Stream Transmission), and DDM Audio (which adds supports for up to 6 simultaneous independent audio streams). Video capabilities include native support for 3D Blu-ray (MVC Codec), DivX decode and hardware encoding of H.264 video via VCE.
Working or gaming with multiple monitors is becoming increasingly popular, and the SAPPHIRE HD 7700 series supports this with AMD Eyefinity, now in its second generation. The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC Edition has two DVI ports (DVI-I and DVI-D), HDMI and a single DisplayPort output, supporting up to four monitors.
The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 OC Edition model supports the FleX feature, pioneered by SAPPHIRE, that allows three digital displays to be connected to the DVI and HDMI outputs and used in AMD Eyefinity mode without the need for an external active adapter. All four outputs can be used in AMD Eyefinity mode, but the fourth display must be a DisplayPort monitor or connected with an active adapter.
SAPPHIRE will also introduce the HD 7790 1GB standard edition, sharing all the same features as the OC model, but with the slightly lower clocks of 1000MHz for the core and memory clocks of 1500MHz (6GB/s effective). The HD 7790 1GB has a SAPPHIRE original cooler with dual heatpipes and a single fan, and the same output configuration as the OC model.
APP Acceleration is the name given to the enhanced performance of a wide range of applications using the stream processing capabilities and specific hardware features of the GCN graphics architecture. The HD 7000 series has been optimised for this type of task. Typical applications include Video encoding and decoding, compression and multiplexing for media distribution, gaming or video conferencing. APP acceleration can also enhance everyday tasks such as Internet browsing, Office applications and file compression with supported software suites.
The SAPPHIRE HD 7790 series is ready to ship and will be available through SAPPHIRE’s established etail and retail partners.
Full specifications are available on our website at www.sapphiretech.com
Here’s How To Stay Secure While Using Free Wi-Fi In Public
Raise your hand if you’ve connected to a free Wi-Fi network while you’re out.
Yes, we’ve all done it. But what most people don’t realize is that when you connect to that free Wi-Fi, you are hopping onto an open network, which leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers who can intercept your potentially sensitive information with a few clicks of their keyboard.
That’s right. When you fire up your laptop at Starbucks and log into Gmail, there’s nothing to stop a nefarious person who’s nearby from using some simple software to get your password. But that’s not even the worst of it. If you purchase something on the Internet while on public Wi-Fi, someone could steal your credit card info!
In fact, this happened to my girlfriend just last week, despite my constant warnings to her about just this thing. Lucky for her, her credit card company noticed some suspicious activity on her account and contacted her to verify these transactions. Turns out, she had ordered some shoes from Nordstrom’s website while sipping on an Iced Caffe Mocha at Starbucks a few weeks ago, and someone snagged her CC#.
So how do you keep yourself safe when using public Wi-Fi?
If you absolutely must connect to Wi-Fi, consider these security tips to keep prying eyes out of your devices:
- Don’t use public Wi-Fi to shop online, log in to your financial institution, or access other sensitive sites.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to create a network-within-a-network, which keeps all of your data encrypted. There’s a comprehensive explanation on how VPNs work here.
- Only visit websites with HTTPS encryption when you’re in public places.
- Turn off the automatic Wi-Fi connectivity feature on your phone so it won’t seek out hotspots.
- Buy an unlimited data plan for your device and stop using public Wi-Fi altogether.
Hopefully these tips will help you guys stay safe out there when you’re surfing on a free Wi-Fi network. If you have any other questions, please leave me a comment below.
Razer’s Project Linda Turns Your Phone Into A Laptop
Last January, Razer wowed the crowds at CES with an impressive triple-screen gaming laptop, and this year they are back with another innovative concept, the Razer Project Linda, a 13.3-inch laptop design powered by the company’s Android-based Razer Phone.
Razer’s Project Linda laptop seamlessly docks the Razer Phone inside its chassis where a touchpad would normally reside and connects with the press of a button. The phone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 8GB of RAM deliver responsive performance, instantly transforming it into an Android laptop. The Razer Phone 5.7-inch display can be used as a touchpad, or as a second screen for access to apps, tools, and more.
“Android power users and laptop enthusiasts share a need for performance in a mobile form factor, which we provide with our award-winning Razer Phone and Razer laptops,” says Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “Project Linda combines the best of both worlds, bringing a larger screen and physical keyboard to the Android environment, enhancing the experience for gaming and productivity.”
This is a great idea in concept, and it may actually hint at the future of the computer as we know it. Use your smartphone for the basics, like surfing the web, social media, games and apps. And when you need to be more productive, simply place the Razer Phone into the “dock” so you can write long e-mails and do other productive things where you’d benefit from a larger screen and keyboard.
We’ve seen a few products try this before (like The Superbook, which raised nearly $3 million on Kickstarter), but if there’s anyone who seems poised to pull this off, it’s Razer. It should be interesting to see if Razer will move forward with Project Linda, or if it’s just another CES concept that never sees the light of day.
For more information on Razer’s Project Linda concept, visit razerzone.com/projectlinda.
Photo credit: Razer
The Azulle Byte3 Mini PC Proves That Good Things Come In Small Packages
Back in the day, I had this bulky, awkward computer in my living room that I used to stream movies and other content onto my big-screen TV. And while it worked great, it really ruined the aesthetics of the room.
Thankfully, computers have come a long way since then, getting smaller and more powerful over the years. A perfect case in point is the sleek and lean Azulle Byte3 Fanless Mini PC, which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to tackle anything you throw its way.
Despite its small stature, the Byte3 packs quite a punch, with a 64-bit Quad-Core Intel Apollo Lake processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and 32GB of eMMC storage (with a Micro SD card slot that accept up to 256GB). Hook it up to a TV or monitor, and you’ve got a lightning-fast computer that looks right at home in your living room or on your desk, and thanks to its fanless design, it’s whisper quiet to boot.
Sure, with the Byte3 you can browse the web, check e-mails, do online banking, and shop online. But with 4K at 60 FPS, you can also stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other video services without breaking a sweat. Or use Microsoft Office to complete any business, school, or leisure-time task. Heck, you can even connect a webcam to your mini PC and make video calls on the big screen.
As you can see, the Byte3 has a wide variety of ports that enable you to connect a wide range of peripherals. I kept things simple, hooking up the mini PC to my 50″ TV via HDMI, and connecting my Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse over Bluetooth. Once that was done, I was off and running.
Overall, I was really impressed with the Byte3. It’s a fantastic little computer that will do almost anything you need it to do, despite it’s tiny footprint. Without a doubt, the Azulle Byte3 is the feather-weight champion of fast, functional, user-friendly and affordable technology. At it’s quite a bargain at just $199.99.
What do you think of the Azulle Byte3 Fanless Mini PC?