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Streaming Games On Facebook Live - NVIDIA ShadowPlay or OBS Studio?

Streaming games on Facebook Live is a faster way to reach your audience, but which one is better?

ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U) Review - The 15-Incher On Budget

Check out on this review article to learn more about ther ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U)!

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and Ryzen 5 1400 Performance Review - It's finally here!

Why pay more for Intel i5 when the Ryzen 5 can give you more?

October 28, 2013

Unboxing & Review: Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse

By: Teoh Khai Siang

Introduction


Hot off the shelf is the brand new Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse. At its heart is a 2500 DPI sensor, featuring the exclusive Delta Zero sensor optimizations for high-accuracy cursor control, plus battery-extending power optimization routines. It comes advertised as having enough juice to last you up to 250 hours of gaming, while in Performance mode. The SRP for the Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse is RM269.

October 27, 2013

Homebrew Tips & Tricks: Typing Faster

By: Clement Thien


A quick search on the web will tell you that you'd need to sit in a good posture, memorize the keyboard layout, go for classes, play "typing games" and learn to touch-type. Keyword here is simply "Practice". The benefit? more time to do other things (including coffee breaks).

But what about people who just don't spend as much time in front of the PC? Nowadays most of us will only need to type two or three lines to reply emails, update the Facebook status, Tweet etc.... But when it comes to a need to typing a letter or an essay or the annual budget report, I'd like to get it over with A.S.A.P but I don't see myself training to type that much to achieve this. So here are some of my methods that I use to complete my assignments without spending too much time on the keyboard.

October 20, 2013

Asus GTX 760 DirectCU II OC Review

By: Teoh Khai Siang

Introduction


Before I begin, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Low Chern Lin (aka Lucidlts) who has invited me aboard Tech-Critter. Such a great pleasure to be able to share my passion together with my other brothers-in-arms. :) Today we will take a look on Asus GTX 760 DirectCU II OC. It is a trademark non-reference model from Asus, bearing the renowned Direct CU II heatsink, in which flattened heatpipes are in direct contact with the GPU, enhancing heat dissipation. The Asus GTX 760 DirectCU II OC is a factory overclocked rendition of the GTX 760. It comes clocked at 1006 MHz (1072 MHz boost clock), with memory speed running at a default 1502MHz (6008MHz effective GDDR5).

For this review, I will compare it with the Zotac GTX 760 AMP! Edition which we first had a look here not too long ago. Let’s see how the Asus card bearing a small factory overclock (OC) can fare against one of the highest overclocked GTX 760 in the market.

October 09, 2013

Unboxing & Review: BitFenix Recon 5 Channel Touch Screen Fan Controller

By: Clement Thien


Introduction
BitFenix© is a familiar brand nowadays among PC enthusiast, builders and gamers alike. After the successful d├ębut of the Colossus chassis, they have continued expanding their range of chassis such as the Shinobi and the very popular Prodigy that strikes a balance of style and practicality. BitFenix also offer a range of accessories that performs great while not straying from the style that blends well with their trademarked design.
This time, BitFenix© sent me the Recon fan controller for review. This is a 5 channel touch screen fan controller that has unique functionalities and features that sets it apart from other similar products in the market. 

Why a fan controller you might ask? my reason is simple, I would like that my components are cooled efficiently with the least amount of noise emitted from the fans I deployed in my PC chassis. it doesn't matter if your PC is air-cooled or water-cooled, you'd still need fans. Having a non air-conditioned room in a tropical weathered country like Malaysia sure doesn't help so here is where the BitFenix Recon comes to play.

Available in black or white for about RM150 in the local market, it's decently priced for what the Recon offers so lets see what can be expected from this little package.

First Look & Review - Armaggeddon Alien IV G9X Optical Gaming Mouse

By: Clement Thien

First of all, let me start by thanking Low Chern Lin who invited me to join in on Tech-Critter.



I present to you the Armaggeddon Alien IV G9X, (no, I'm not referring to a movie from the Aliens series) courtesy of the good people from LeapFrog Distribution Sdn Bhd. At the time of writing this article, this mouse has yet to be released to the shelves in local stores, please check the availability at the official site Armaggeddon.net. MSRP for the Alien IV G9X is RM179.


October 07, 2013

Unboxing & Review: BitFenix Shinobi XL White

By: Clement Thien

BitFenix Shinobi XL White – Window Version

BitFenix is one of the newer brands in Malaysia as opposed to the likes of Cooler Master and Silverstone but already it has churned up quite a storm, among PC enthusiast starting with their well-known Colossus that brought a new ‘facelift’ to the chassis market. Since then, BitFenix now offers a wide range of accessories such as their Alchemy™ sleeved cable extensions, Spectre™ chassis fans, Alchemy™ LED strip chassis lighting, fan controllers, 5.25” bay adaptors and many more that compliments each other for users like you & I to customize our personal builds.

Today, I have a detailed unboxing and review of the White Shinobi XL - Window version, courtesy of BitFenix that I picked up from the good people in A.P.E.S. This is the “big-brother” of the original Shinobi that showed us how a high quality chassis can also be affordable. The Shinobi XL is the second full-tower chassis from BitFenix (the first being the Colossus) that has supports for dual 360mm radiators   which will keep our enthusiastic water-cooling brothers and sisters happy looking at HWMonitor. You could also stick to air cooling in this chassis should you prefer and as a bonus, there is no cause to worry about the clearance from the side panel like most mid-tower chassis, believe me, it’s kinda hard to find a cooler that’s’ 181mm in height.

Just a friendly reminder to those who are driving a compact car to not bring passengers in the back seat as the chassis is indeed huge and require a little more than half of my passenger seats of the Proton Wira I'm driving in.

Unboxing



Unlike my previous CM690II Advanced, the Shinobi XL came in a brown box instead of a glossy-pictured surface. The BitFenix logo dominates the front side and from the sticker, already you can see that I have the windowed version here.

October 05, 2013

The Filco Majestouch Ninja in Action

By: Low Chern Lin

The Chronicles of Mechanical Keyboards 


Mechanical keyboards, manufactured by Cherry Corporation along with their Cherry MX mechanical switches has been around as high end keyboards for a long time and it comes with different variety of mechanical switches ranged from Red, Black, Clear, Blue, Brown, Green, etc. Lacking of aesthetic elements such as LED backlit, Media control keys, Macro keys, badass appearance, not much people are willing to spend more than $100 for a keyboard as they will rather spend that money on a membrane gaming keyboard which provides all aesthetic elements they want. The only group of people who are willing to spend more for a mechanical keyboards are the enthusiasts / typists / collectors. 

Tables are turned when mechanical keyboards making its debut during esports / gaming scene and along with gaming peripherals manufacturers like Razer, Steelseries, Zowie Gear, etc  which came up with  their gaming mechanical keyboards franchise. These gaming mechanical keyboards which often comes with aesthetic appearance is much more appealing and acceptable by more people now, especially gamers who wants a keyboard with all the bling they can get, without missing out the quality of the peripheral itself which affects their gaming experience and performance. While the gaming scene brought up mechanical keyboards with a brand new look, there are still other manufacturers like Filco, Leopold, Ducky, Cherry, etc  at faraway distance galaxy from milkyway  is sticking to the old school & simple design, well some has now included LED backlit due to the competition.

Today, we will be reviewing a mechanical keyboard which is on the other side, prized by most enthusiasts - a Filco Majestouch Ninja Mechanical Keyboard. Filco made mechanical keyboards is well known for their excellent built quality, longevity and typing experience. Million thanks to our local enthusiast from Mechanical Keyboard Hideout for borrowing us their Ninja for this review. Let's move on shall we?


First Impression 



First, let us take a look at its packaging. Simple yet stylish and makes the product looks appealing at the same time. Have you seen the Ninja?

October 02, 2013

GTX TITAN, GTX 770 & GTX 760 Roundup, Latest 7 series offerings from Nvidia

By: Low Chern Lin


This was long overdue, even some of the cards tested were under the older drivers, 320.18. But nevertheless, better late than never, eh lads?

Here we have Nvidia's strongest single GPU contender, the mighty GTX TITAN. It is based on the bigger GK110 chip, boasting 2688 CUDA cores, 224 texture units and 48 ROPs. For this review, we have Asus' version of the GTX TITAN, which is literally the official Nvidia reference design. It clocks in at 837 MHz, with GPU Boost 2.0 boosting the speeds up to 876 MHz. Memory speed clocks in at 1502MHz (6008MHz effective GDDR5). All this comes enclosed in a very stylish and elegant industrial design cooler. Thumbs up to Nvidia for such a classy design.

On the other side, we have the GTX 770. Upon initial impressions, this card is nothing new as it's also based on the same GK104 chip found in the previous generation flagship, the GTX 680. However, it does come clocked higher at 1046 MHz (with boost up to 1085 MHz). Memory speed is now at an all time high of 7012 MHz. With a slightly higher clock and memory speed, I'm sure we will see some performance gain over the GTX 680. For this review, we have Palit's Jetstream version of the GTX 770, which comes factory overclocked at 1150 MHz (with boost up to 1202 MHz). Memory speed is left untouched, running at stock.

Lastly, we have Nvidia's latest release, the GTX 760. This is also another card based on the GK104 chip, but with lesser 1152 CUDA cores. We have here Zotac’s GTX 760 AMP! Edition, which is a factory overclocked version of the GTX 760. It clocks in at 1111 MHz (1176 MHz boost clock), with memory speed also slightly overclocked to 1552MHz (6208MHz effective GDDR5). Without further ado, let's move on to some snippets of the respective cards shall we? And then we can get to work on the testing.

:: TITAN-nic ::



:: Three fans you say? ::


:: Size matters not ::




P.S: Bear with me as there are no DSLR-quality images here

Test Setup


Hardware
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K @ 3.4 GHz
  • Mainboard: Intel DZ68DB
  • HSF: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
  • RAM: Team Elite DDR3 1333MHz RAM (2 X 4GB)
  • GPU: Asus GTX TITAN 6GB GDDR5 / Palit GTX 770 Jetstream 2GB GDDR5 / Zotac GTX 760 AMP! Edition 
  • SSD: Intel 330 Series 120GB
  • HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB 
  • PSU: Corsair GS600 600W 
  • Casing: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition 
  • OS: Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit 
  • Monitor: Dell U2312HM 23” Monitor 
  • Driver: Nvidia 320.18 (GTX Titan & GTX 770), 320.49 (GTX 760) 
  • Softwares: MSI Afterburner, GPU-Z, FRAPS 
Game Settings
  • Metro Last Light: DX11, 1920 x 1080, Very High, 2 x SSAA, 16 x AF, Physx On
  • Crysis 3: DX11, 1920 x 1080, Very High, 4 x SMAA, 16 x AF
  • Tomb Raider: DX11, 1920 x 1080, Ultimate, 4 x SSAA, 16 x AF
  • Hitman Absolution: DX11, 1920 x 1080, 4 x MSAA, FXAA, Ultra Quality
  • Batman Arkham City: DX11, 1920 x 1080, 8 x MSAA, Extreme, Tessellation High, Physx Off
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0: DX11, 1920 x 1080, 8 x AA, Ultra Quality, Tessellation Extreme
Testing is carried out in a non air-conditioned room.

GPU-Z screenshots


Testing 

All tests are carried out at the card’s default speed and no overclocking is done.




Conclusion



Overall, we can see that the GTX TITAN is on average 28% faster than the GTX 770 and 57% faster than the GTX 760. I would say the GTX 770, which is basically a 680 on steroids, did a pretty good job here. Gaming with both cards is basically lag free. The TITAN is likely held in reins here under an 1080p resolution monitor. On a 1440p monitor, I believe this is where the TITAN's true potential lies, due to the larger memory bandwidth. On the cooling solution, having tested the previous two flagships; GTX 580 and 680, I would say that the cooler on the TITAN is simply fantastic. Besides doing an awesome job thermally and acoustically, it simply looks stunning. The only card that I can think of which looks as good is only GTX 690. Kudos to Nvidia for an excellent job done in this aspect. 

Palit's GTX 770 Jetstream managed to hold out on its own here. The triple fan cooler had a slightly better performance compared to Nvidia's reference design, but that's just about it. Both coolers are equally silent, a testament to two very distinct and effective cooling solution. Visually, I do not think the Jetstream is as classy as TITAN's cooler though. But then again, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, so I shall just leave it at that.

Last but not least, the GTX 760 is an interesting little card. Zotac’s AMP! Edition ships out with a very high factory overclock. At 1111 MHz, it is simply the highest factory overclocked GTX 760 available in the market today. This will only serve to benefit customers who prefer to enjoy the extra performance boost right out of the box, without any additional manual tweaking. The small cooler with twin orange fans did a reasonably good job in keeping the temperature within the limits, though I would have wished to see a better result, but the cooler was still very quiet on the whole. Perhaps due to the temperature being on the high side of 81 °C (Nvidia's temperature target is 80 °C), I somewhat see the boost clock speed of the card throttled at 1176 MHz, just barely meeting its guaranteed boost clock speed (see GPU-Z screenshot above). It will not go any higher than that. Palit's GTX 770 Jetstream on the other hand managed to hit a higher boost clock speed of 1241 MHz, despite its published rate of 1202 MHz.

At 1080p, the GTX 760 has proven itself to be a rather capable card. Though we see the FPS hovers around 30+ range, but do note that anti-aliasing is set to 4x / 8x for most of the games tested, hence reducing the overall performance significantly. To boost up the performance, simply use FXAA whenever possible, or turn it off all together. You can also use GeForce Experience to optimize your games. I personally found this software to be quite user friendly and relatively easy to use. The below chart will show you how GeForce Experience managed to improve on the FPS, improving gameplay significantly. It basically reduces the anti-aliasing setting, from 2 x SSAA to SSAA off in Metro Last Light, and from 4 x SMAA to 1 x SMAA in Crysis 3. Performance is increased by 41% and 52% in Metro Last Light and Crysis 3 respectively. Not bad at all.


That does it, hope all of you had a good time reading up on my review.

>> Asus GTX TITAN <<

Pros:
  • Fastest single GPU card
  • Excellent reference cooler, elegant and very silent
Cons:
  • Very expensive
  • A much cheaper, factory overclocked GTX 780 can easily match or surpass the TITAN
>> Palit GTX 770 Jetstream <<

Pros:
  • Handles today's games in 1080p resolution well
  • Overclocked out of the box
  • Excellent and effective cooling solution, slightly better performance than Nvidia's elegant reference design
Cons:
  • Doesn't look as good as Nvidia's reference design
  • Memory speed is not pre-overclocked
  • Takes up nearly 2.5 slots
>> Zotac GTX 760 AMP! Edition <<

Pros:
  • Highest overclocked GTX 760 in the market
  • Small size suitable for HTPC setup
  • Additional 3 years of extended warranty, on top of 2 years local warranty
Cons:
  • May need to reduce anti-aliasing (AA) settings on some games
  • Cooling performance not as good as I would have expected
Reviewed by: rav3n82


ROG01