The AMD Fusion platform proved to be a powerful one considering its size, beating the Intel Atom dual-core and NVIDIA ION 2 combo in the majority of our tests but at a higher power draw. AMD's Fusion also plays host to six SATA III ports, a PCI-E 2.0 x4 bus, DirectX11 and OpenCL support. There is now a broad selection of boards available from many manufacturers. In the past, Neoseeker has tested the ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe, the ECS HDC-I and the GIGABYTE E350N-USB3, all of which were mini-ITX boards.
OCZ has launched the Agility 3 and Solid 3 series, targeted at the mainstream and value market respectively. Both drives use the same SandForce SF-2281 6Gbps controller as the flagship Vertex 3, but OCZ has managed to lower prices by using cheaper flash memory. This can lead to significantly lower prices as the biggest share of a SSD's cost comes from the flash memory, even though performance is in large part determined by the controller. OCZ has sent us their Agility 3 240GB. While we would prefer to test the far more affordable 120GB part, this drive should suffice as a barometer for the difference between the two series.
The one thing different is SLI support from NVIDIA on the 990FX series, but truth to be told you really do want to see the perf difference in-between say Sandy bridge based Core i7 2600 processors and then a Phenom II on this 990FX motherboard. So we'll be waiting on AMD's upcoming new high-end processors for that developed under codename Bulldozer (the upcoming FX series processors).
As such we were a little surprised to see a Hydra chip being implemented on a graphics card. HIS decided to add that way too expensive Hydra chip onto their high-end graphics cards. And sure, the idea is sound, the implementation is cool, but what HIS has not foreseen is that Hydra is cursed.
We've been reviewing products from HIS for a long time now, it is one of the more reputable and known names in the industry that keeps on going with its formula: reference, IceQ and Turbo edition graphics cards. A little while ago they decided to release a somewhat custom edition of the Radeon HD 6970, to date the fastest GPU offering from AMD/ATI.
Today we are going to look at Sapphire’s first attempt at a Lynx motherboard, the Pure Platinum A75. As it’s name suggests, this sports the top-end A75 FCH (Fusion Controller Hub) and, as a result, it boasts an impressive specification which includes an array of SATA 6G ports and USB3.0 support. Unlike the Asus motherboard we looked at, the Sapphire A75 makes use of the full-size ATX form factor, rather than Micro ATX.
The HP Proliant MicroServer caused a ripple of excitement among some SPCR forum members when it first came to light late last year. Ostensibly a part of HP's extensive server line, the MicroServer is aptly named, being truly small, and nothing like the big noisy racks the term server brings to mind. It is much closer in size and price to 4-HDD Network Attached Storage (NAS) boxes or Windows Home Server servers (like the now discontinued HP MediaSmart Servers) but with the promise of considerably higher performance hardware than the Intel Atom or ARM chips most often used in such boxes.
I have a confession to make. I have been privately looking at purchasing a NAS (Network Attached Storage) for myself for about a year but have hesitated because they seemed a bit pricey considering most do not include the hard drives. I also wanted to put it under my desk next to my dead silent water cooled rig and the thought of the drive noise plus the cooling fan(s) had me worried that it would break my serene office quite. So like a bad boyfriend I have never committed and my storage needs have severely suffered because of it.
ASRock was able to hit a score of P6136 in 3DMark Vantage with the ASRock A75 Pro4. They are claiming a boost of 67.65% over other AMD A75 motherboards. On our previous socket FM1 motherboards we have seen scores hovering between P4150 and P4200, this is a far cry from the P3660 they are claiming for the other motherboards. ASRock does have a little disclaimer stating that the P6136 is achieved with an overclocked system, though they don't tell us what the overclock was. We will see what we can hit both stock and overclocked under air cooling in the coming pages.
But what does $99 really give you from a mid tower Corsair case? Believe it or not, a surprisingly long list of features. While its overall looks may be considered too drab for some, the Carbide 400R includes mounting locations for dual fan water cooling radiators, enough interior space to install any graphics card and plenty of fan locations to keep things running cool.