Inno3D GTX 980Ti iChill Black Graphics Card Review


Closed-loop liquid coolers have become extremely popular in the CPU market due to the cleaner build, and greater space around the CPU socket compared to traditional air cooling hardware. This means you can install an all in one liquid cooler without having to make concessions in terms of memory compatibility or worry too much about your motherboard’s PCI-E arrangement. As you might expect, all in one liquid coolers have progressively moved into the GPU sector to offer improved overclocking headroom and a lower noise output. There are some interesting parallels between CPU and GPU all in one liquid cooling though which needs to be addressed.

Firstly, many air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15 can outperform Asetek units, while being much quieter. It’s a similar picture with graphics cards because proficient air cooling setups including the Gigabyte Windforce X3 and Sapphire Tri-X provide a superb noise to performance ratio. Liquid cooled graphics cards have a price premium and involve a more complicated installation process. It’s important to remember that Maxwell is a very mature and efficient architecture which allows vendors to enable a 0dB idle fan mode. Despite my own qualms about closed-loop liquid cooling, it’s fantastic to see products which cater to a different target market. There’s clearly a demand for pre-assembled liquid cooled graphics cards, and their appeal is bound to grow in the next few years.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Inno3D GTX 980Ti iChill Black which utilizes a very powerful hybrid cooling solution. The GPU incorporates a traditional fan which only switches on during heavy load, in addition to a 120mm fan/radiator combination. The Arctic Cooling radiator fan is constantly on but has a very low RPM curve to maintain silent running. This impeccable hardware allows for an impressive core clock of 1203MHz and default boost reaching 1304MHz. The memory has also been increased to 7280MHz. As you can see from the chart below, this isn’t the greatest configuration we’ve encountered from the factory, but it’s exceedingly fast and should be a top performer. It will be fascinating to contrast this graphics card with the marvellous Inno3D GTX 980Ti X3 Ultra DHS which opts for a hefty air cooling design.


Packing and Accessories

The Inno3D GTX 980 Ti iChill Black comes in a huge box to properly house the closed loop cooler’s tubing and protect against leaks during shipping. Honestly, the picture doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of the packaging’s size. I have to commend Inno3D because they have taken the precautionary steps to reduce the possibility of damage occurring and utilized strong foam inserts as cushioning materials. The box itself features an attractive render of the GPU, and outlines its specification.

On the rear portion, there’s a brief synopsis of NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture. I’m a bit surprised to see the back doesn’t contain any information about the liquid cooling solution and the acoustical benefits compared to NVIDIA’s reference cooler.

In terms of accessories, the graphics card is bundled with mounting screws, 6-pin PCI-E to molex adapter, case badge, DVI-D to VGA adapter and installation guide. There’s also a driver’s disk which you should disregard, a copy of 3DMark, and other documentation. This is a great selection of items and provides everything you need to get started! The mouse mat is surprisingly high-quality and relatively thick.

Inno3D GeForce GTX 980Ti X3 Ultra DHS Graphics Card Review


NVIDIA’s GTX 980Ti has proved to be a very popular choice among hardware enthusiasts requiring extreme performance at demanding resolutions. Whether you’re opting for a 21:9 3440×1440 60Hz panel, 4K display or high refresh rate 1440P monitor, there’s very few single card configurations on the market capable of dealing with advanced AA, complex tessellation and other visually taxing effects while driving a large number of pixels. Technically, the Titan X is NVIDIA’s flagship product and its 12GB frame buffer initially appears like an enticing proposition. However, the price to performance ratio is quite poor especially when you consider the 980Ti is based on the same GM200 silicone and only exhibits a few cost saving measures. Most notably, the video memory is reduced from 12GB to 6GB and the shader units have been slightly scaled back from 3072 to 2816.

Barring a few exceptions, the majority of Titan X models utilize a reference design which results in reduced overclocking headroom and higher temperatures. In contrast to this, custom cooled GTX 980Ti SKUs feature very impressive factory overclocks and enable users to access a higher power limit percentage when tackling manual core and memory boosts. As a result, it’s not uncommon for 980Ti GPUs to outperform the Titan X in certain scenarios despite costing £300-400 less. This means it is the perfect choice for the higher end demographic and also provides an improved price to performance ratio.

Today we’re looking at one of the fastest GTX 980 Ti models on the market incorporating a pre-overclocked core of 1216MHz and boost reaching 1317MHz. Additionally, the memory is set at 7280MHz compared to 7010MHz on the reference design. Given the impeccable 3-fan cooling solution, and impressive factory overclock, I expect the graphics card to perform superbly and pull away from the reference 980Ti by a noticeable margin.


Packing and Accessories

The Inno3D 980Ti X3 Ultra DHS is packaged in a hefty box which does an excellent job of protecting the GPU, and bundled accessories. On another note, the box adopts a really striking design which emphasizes the extreme level of performance on offer.

The opposite side includes a brief synopsis of the GPU’s capabilities and outlines the modern features incorporated into this particular model such as High Dynamic Range (HDR).

In terms of accessories, the product comes with interchangeable cover plates, an installation guide, 3DMark digital code, power supply guidelines, driver disk, and the usual array of adapters. Please note, the 3DMark code is not pictured to prevent the serial from being used.

Another highlight is the extremely high quality elongated mouse pad. I love extended mouse pads because they allow you to neatly position your keyboard and mouse while opting for a clean, sophisticated appearance. Despite being a free addition, the mouse pad is remarkably thick and should last a long time without becoming too frayed.

DirectX 12 3DMark Shown For The First Time!

3DMark is an essential tool in the technology industry and predominately used to differentiate between various graphics cards. More specifically, FireStrike, FireStrike Extreme and FireStrike Ultra determines the GPU’s performance at different resolutions and provides an accurate score which many leading hardware websites depend on. That’s not to say it’s just for professional use though, as some enthusiasts like to bench hardware and see the enhancements in driver revisions as well as small core clock adjustments. DirectX 11 is a functional API but doesn’t offer anywhere near the optimizations and low overheads in DirectX 12. As a result, DirectX 12 is often perceived as a revolutionary step which encourages multi-GPU configurations and utilizes each person’s setup in a more effective manner.

The latest big update to 3DMark revolves around these major changes and has been kept under wraps for some time. However, 3DMark’s product manager, Pasi Virtanen showcased the current working build of 3DMark using DirectX 12 during a presentation. According to Pasi Virtanen, the upcoming edition will feature two GPU tests, including the “Time Spy” benchmark and a CPU test. Apparently, this will provide some of the most complex benchmarking tools ever devised and incorporate leading DirectX 12 attributes in the testing procedure.

Currently, there’s no firm release date as the software suite is being worked on. Although, early reports suggest it will probably launch sometime in 2016. I cannot wait to see if DirectX 12 lives up to its potential and how developers manage to cope with the new API.

Intel Skylake i7-6700K Manages 6.5GHz on Liquid Nitrogen

The synthetic benchmarks of Intel’s highly anticipated 14nm Skylake microarchitecture have started to emerge and the results are fairly promising. More specifically, the i7-6700K is approximately 3% faster at stock in 3DMARK 11 with only a 200MHz clock deficit verses the i7-4970K. This translates to a 8% IPC improvement which is fairly expected given Intel’s performance increases in the past. When combined with a dedicated GPU, the performance increase doubles from 3% to 6% based on an IPC increase of 11%.

In terms of overclocking headroom, the i7-6700K is a beast and managed to reach 5.2GHz alongside a fairly modest air cooler at 1.35v. The full performance of this chip is starting to be unveiled after an overclocking enthusiast entitled, “PLG” achieved 6.5GHz with a voltage of 2.032v using liquid nitrogen. Additionally, PLG opted for the MSI Gaming Z170 motherboard and overclocked a single DDR4 memory module to a staggering 4287MHz.

Interestingly, Skylake dissipates heat in a much more efficient manner but it’s important to reiterate that liquid nitrogen has yielded huge clock boosts in the past. A number of professional overclockers have attained 6.50GHz and even 7.GHz speeds using Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge CPUs. This means we shouldn’t realistically expect a clock speed this high. Furthermore, it’s uncertain how this will alter the framerate in modern games. Usually, synthetic benchmarks are an interesting tool but rarely translate to dramatic changes in real world scenarios.

Thank you for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of VideoCardz.

Intel Skylake i7-6700K Benchmarks Leaked

Another batch of Skylake benchmarks have leaked out a little under a month before the expected launch. This time we have the Intel i7-6700K on an ECS Z170-Claymore paired with 16GB of 2133Mhz DRR4, 128GB SSD and a GTX970. For comparison an i7-4790K on an MSI Z97A Gaming 6 with 8GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 with the same GPU and SSD. Both systems used the stock Intel heatsink with the copper core.

PCMark 8, 3DMark, Cinebench R15, and Sandra 2015 were tested with the 6700K coming first in the images with the 4790K following. As you can see Skylake trades blows with Haswell in PCMark 8, only managing to pull ahead significantly in the Home test. In the two Firestrike tests, Haswell manages to pull ahead but Skylake manages wins in Cloud Gate and Sky Diver.

Cinebench R15 shows a win for Skylake with a notable improvement in multicore efficiency. OpenGL shows a big jump due to the improved iGPU on Skylake. For Sandra 2015, the red line is Haswell and blue for Skylake. The two trade blows in the arithmetic test, but Skylake pulls ahead in multimedia, cryptography and memory bandwidth. The final two are expected given additional instruction support for cryptography and DDR4 with Skylake.

As we pretty much expected, Skylake is a minor bump in terms of IPC gains, being able to pull ahead of Haswell despite being clocked lower. One can’t forget that the extra bandwidth offered by DDR4 might be giving a boost to Skylake so those with 2133Mhz DDR3  Haswell might see fewer gains. Drivers for the motherboard are still in beta, but not too much is likely to change in that field. These benchmarks serve to confirm the general trend shown by previous leaks and the hardware looks set for a much leaked August launch.

Thank you TechBang for providing us this information

AMD Fury X Quadfire Results

There’s been a lot of negative press about the new AMD cards recently, but there is a diamond in the rough to be found. Despite the poorer than expected, although still very impressive, performance of the Fury X, it didn’t stop AMD employee, Matt Buck in pursuing ultimate performance with not two, not three, but four of these beats in a CrossFireX configuration.

Now one alone is enough to handle 4K gaming with a few dips under 60FPS, two should sort you out to never see under 60FPS; four on the other hand, is enough to run a decent 12K Eyefinity set-up.

It’s all well and good buying and flaunting these graphics cards, but what we all want to see is how it fares in a benchmark. Thankfully, that has already been done in the form of 3DMark Firestrike Ultra (4K), along with single increments of each card. With the addition of each card, we see almost perfect scaling, losing only around 12% performance per card per addition

Looking at that result has got me thinking, even with one of the most power GPUs on the planet, surely only 4GB of VRAM proves a hindrance or is this the start of HBM where the increased bandwidth interprets more information and thus has lowered the VRAM requirement compared to GDDR5. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

UPDATE: Looking through some of Matt’s previous posts on forums, it seems he has posted a 4K QuadFire Fury benchmark using Thief. When compared to the 4K Quad SLI Titan X benchmark; the Fury combination pins the NVIDIA option by almost 5 FPS.

4K Thief Benchmark: Quadfire AMD FuryX

4K Thief Benchmark: Quad SLI NVIDIA Titan X

Great Deals on Benchmark Software in Steam Summer Sale

The Steam Summer Sale, or any steam sale for that matter, is mostly known for the games. That is pretty much a given, but it is not the only thing you can pick up for a bargain. There is also quite a bit of software on Steam, most of it for game developing and benchmarking.

Two of the most popular benchmark apps are on sale now and you can get a copy of 3DMark Advanced Edition for just $9.99 instead of the usual $24.99 or you can get a copy of PCMark 8 Advanced Edition for $9.99 instead of the usual $49.99. Those are 60% and 80% savings, so if you want these apps, then now is the time.

We use both apps for our reviews here at eTeknix, and we like them. 3DMark Advanced Edition is known for its Fire Strike benchmarks that can bring even the most advanced rig to its knees. It works with DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 as well as Mantle. It also has the Ice Storm Extreme test for tablets and much more.

Where 3DMark focuses its power on the graphical aspect, PCMark 8 Advanced Edition focuses on work performance. You can use it to run different benchmarks, measure battery life on your tablet or notebook, test the speed of your SSD or HDD with real world performance tests as well as in-depth hardware monitoring.

You can find both 3DMark Advanced Edition and PCMark 8 Advanced Edition in Steam for just $9.99 during this year’s Steam Summer Sale.

3DMark Advanced Edition

  • Includes all benchmarks and feature tests.
  • Run Fire Strike Ultra, the world’s first 4K Ultra HD benchmark.
  • Test multi-GPU systems with Fire Strike Extreme.
  • Compare DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle with the API Overhead feature test.
  • Test tablets with Ice Storm Extreme and Ice Storm Unlimited.
  • Explore your PC’s limits with custom settings.
  • Use benchmark looping for stability testing.
  • Get in-depth hardware monitoring graphs.
  • Automatically save your results offline.

PCMark 8 Advanced Edition

  • Includes all performance benchmarks.
  • Measure the battery life of your tablet or notebook.
  • Test your SSDs and HDDs with the Storage test.
  • Run individual workloads to fine-tune your system.
  • In-depth hardware monitoring graphs.
  • Automatically save your results offline.

Futuremark Begins Development of VR Benchmark ‘VRMark’

It’s no secret that VR gaming is taking off in a big way, with Oculus, Vive and many others all pushing their new hardware in one form or another. However, one major issue still holds a lot of gamers back when it comes to VR; hardware requirements. If you’re eager to find out just how VR-capable your rig is, you’ll want to benchmark it, which is where benchmarking specialists Futuremark come in.

VRMark has just been announced by Futuremark, which will use a combination of software and hardware to measure VR system performance, testing aspects such as latency and accuracy. While the benchmark is still in development, Futuremark are aiming to release the tool this year, so there’s no doubt we can expect a sneaky video of it in action in the not too distant future.

“There are already more than a dozen different head-mounted displays for VR at various stages of completion. Analysts forecast that VR will reach 10.8 million users by the end of 2016. But delivering a great VR experience relies on overcoming significant performance challenges,” said Jukka Mäkinen, Managing Director at Futuremark. “With VRMark, we’re aiming to help everyone, from industry engineers and press reviewers to the end user at home, discover the best performing VR technology.”

“UL believes that the blossoming VR industry will greatly benefit from a dedicated VR benchmark developed by a neutral 3rd party,” said Sajeev Jesudas, President, Consumer Business Unit at UL. “VRMark is the first component of a comprehensive VR offering from UL that will also include the development of new standards and certification programs to protect the health, safety and well-being of VR users.”

I’m really looking forward to testing this new benchmark out, and its great news for consumers, especially if it helps identify hardware that it suitable for VR gaming.

iBuyPower Noctis Intel Z97 Review


Once again, it is review time at eTeknix HQ and iBuyPower gives us the chance to test their Noctis Intel Z97. The case is a brand new iBuyPower version of the equally new NZXT Noctus 450. Inside we have an Intel i7 4790K, an EVGA Superclocked GTX 980, 16GB of DDR3 1600, and a 240GB SSD. Cooling the 4790K is a 120mm AIO CPU liquid cooler with two fans in a push-pull configuration. The 4790K has a Turbo frequency up to 4.4GHz, and with the EVGA Superclocked GTX 980 running up to 1505MHz core and 3505MHz memory makes this system well suited for some great gaming performance.

The system was put together using the iBuyPower Z97 system configurator, and parts were chosen to make a system that would make a very capable gaming system while not going overboard and trying to stay budget conscious. I was trying to stay under the $2,000 and what I ended up with was a system that comes out to an affordable $1,530, so lets give it a go and see how it does. I will also look for ways I could improve on the build while still staying within that $2,000 budget that I was aiming for.


  • Name: iBuyPower Noctis Intel Z97
  • Case: NZXT Noctis 450 iBuyPower Version – Blue
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-D3H (Socket 1150) DDR3 ATX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4790K Quad Core Haswell Processor
  • Processor Cooler: 120mm CPU Water Cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 240GB Kingston V300 SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): None
  • Graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake SMART SP-650 650W 80PLUS Bronze
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: Three Year Standard Warranty
  • Price: $1549 as configured Delivered

The shipping box is immense and will likely need two people to move it unless you are capable of carrying large precarious objects safely.

Inside is the box for the iBuyPower NZXT Noctis 450, well padded with heavy foam that will be great for keeping the systems intact.

Inside the Notcis case box, the original case packaging is used, with closed cell foam keeping it very secure and stable.

The unboxed system is striking with the matte black finish and the blue mesh accents.  The matte finish can pick up fingerprints and dust so keep some cleaner and a microfiber cloth handy if you are picky about that kind of thing. There is a piece of printed paper on the side of the case illustrating how to remove the Instapak foam that keeps the internals of the system secure while shipping.



AMD Reveals DirectX 12 Performance Stats in 3DMark Benchmark

Futuremark has released a new update for 3DMark that adds 3DMark API Overhead benchmark. It didn’t take long for AMD to get straight into showing its performance stats for the Radeon R9 290X graphics and the FX-8370 octa-core CPU scaling.

Futuremark has added draw calls on different APIs in its Overhead benchmark, having it support DirectX 11, DirectX 12 and Mantle on a single system. While AMD was keen on showing its performance on Mantle as well as the other APIs, it eventually followed Futuremark’s notes in not comparing GPUs from different vendors and stuck with only DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 performance statistics on the Radeon R9 290X and R7 260X.

DirectX 12 looks like it will also have a certain impact on multi-threaded CPU performance scaling, having the FX-8370 CPU managing to get DirecX 12 to scale with six cores compared to the limed two cores of the DirectX 11 API.

Though AMD’s statistics look very promising, these are still just benchmark results and real-world performance is usually something completely different. Even so, DirectX 12 and games powered by the latter API should be available by the end of the year.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

AMD R9 290X and Titan X Go Head to Head With DX12

DirectX 12 support has just been added to 3DMark and the results look too good to be true! Delivering performance up to 20x faster than DirectX 11 in certain tests. While Nvidia cards gain a lot from the new API, AMD cards have benefitted from the biggest improvement.

The R9 290X goes head to head with the new flagship Nvidia Titan X, even gaining a small lead in some cases. Looking further back, the 290X pulls a 33% lead on the GTx 980, making DirectX 12 a fantastic upgrade for any gamer with a high-end AMD or Nvidia card.

With DirectX 11, the Titan X and the 290X show some very exciting figures. The Titan X maxed out at an impressive 740 thousand draw calls per second, but a significantly more impressive 13 million, 419 thousand calls with DirectX 12; you don’t need to be Einstein to work out that that’s a huge improvement. The 290X managed 935 thousand and 13 million, 474 thousand in DX11 and DX12 respectively, beating out the Titan X in both respects and even beating out the Mantle API by 8%.

When it comes to the FPS results, we see the GTX 980 scoring 2.75FPS in DX11 and 15.67FPS in DX12, a massive improvement overall. However, that still falls short of the 290X, which clocked up 19.12FPS in DX12, although still short of the 20.88FPS it scored using Mantle.

DirectX 12 shows impressive scaling with extra CPU cores, although performance seems to taper off beyond six cores. Mantle has more significant gains here, being able to take advantage of eight cores. What is interesting is that enabling Hyper-Threading actually seems to hinder performance, DirectX 12 much prefers physical cores to boost performance.

Of course, the thing that’s most important to remember is that these are synthetic benchmarks. They give a nice ballpark idea of how the API can improve performance on these cards, but they’re little indication of real-world gaming and rendering performance. The API’s, drivers and in the case of Windows 10, the operating system that they’re operating on are all still in their infancy. We expect improved performance in the coming months and there’s even a chance that a new driver update could quickly put the Nvidia cards back on the top spot.

What’s great to see is that all the hype about DirectX 12 is finally starting to show some real world figures, and they’re very impressive.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

New Tool Coming To Benchmark DirectX 12, 11 and Mantle

We saw some impressive figures from Microsoft this week, making huge promises about the performance of DirectX 12. However, you’ll soon be able to test out the new API for yourself on your own hardware.

Futuremark will be adding a new update to their 3DMark suite called “API Overhead Feature Test” that will let you test DirectX 12 against the current DirectX 11, as well as the AMD Mantle API.

“Games make thousands of draw calls per frame, but each one creates performance-limiting overhead for the CPU. APIs with less overhead can handle more draw calls and produce richer visuals. The 3DMark API Overhead feature test is the world’s first independent test for comparing the performance of DirectX 12, Mantle, and DirectX 11. See how many draw calls your PC can handle with each API before the frame rate drops below 30 fps.”

No exact release date just yet, but we do know it will be “coming soon.”

K|NGP|N Smashes 3DMark Record with 4-Way GeForce GTX 980 SLI

Vince “K|NGP|N” Lucido has entered the record books once again, using four of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 980 GPUs, all set at 2GHz. He broke the 3DMark FireStrike world records with the 4-way SLI setup, using four of EVGA’s GeForce GTX 980 Classified ACX 2.0 4GB cards.

Each of the four EVGA cards were overclocked to 2GHz on the Core, while the memory was hovering at an insane 8.4GHz – all of this, was cooled using LN2 (liquid nitrogen), as well as the test bed used which consisted of an Intel Core i7-5960X processor at 5.6GHz, an EVGA X99 motherboard, and 16GB of DDR4 clocked at 3.3GHz.

K|NGP|N managed to not only take down the following benchmarks:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike (4-way) = 40,338
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme (4-way) = 28,059
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (4-way) = 16,243

But he also smashed the single-GPU benchmarks, with these results:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike (single card) = 19,811
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme (single card) = 9,617
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra (single card) = 5,007

K|NGP|N said “The EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Classified is an overclockers dream. The improved VRM and memory design really let Nvidia’s GTX 980 GPU stretch its wings. This card has achieved clock-speeds of 2200MHz core and 8500MHz memory single card and nearly 2100MHz core in 4-way SLI, it’s really amazing.”

Source: KitGuru.

3DMark Update Adds Ultra HD Benchmark

Ultra high-definition gaming is the next big thing and something that is starting to become available to the boarder gaming community. The last generation of GPUs made this a possibility with multi GPU setups. The new line of Nvidia GTX 980 cards are breaking records everywhere and moved us another step closer. This is coupled with the fact that 4k monitors are starting to become affordable for the average enthusiast; UHD gaming is closer than ever before.

So far there haven’t been any dedicated benchmark tests for this high-resolution, something that had to be changed. Futuremark has created the world’s first 4k Ultra HD benchmark with the Fire Strike Ultra test. Firestrike Ultra renders the test-content at 3840 x 2160 pixels before scaling the output to your PC’s display resolution. This means you don’t have to own a 4k monitor to test if your hardware configuration can pull such a high-resolution or if you need to upgrade. The test requires a GPU with at least 3GB dedicated memory and either the Advanced or Professional Edition of the software.

People were eager to test their hardware and the current score-leader had an Intel Core i7-5960X CPU with a quad-SLI of GTX 980s for his 12,016 score. The best AMD GPU score was achieved with an Intel Core i7-3970X and a quad-crossfire setup of R9 290X graphics cards, scoring 11,274 for a third place in the rankings.


  • Added Fire Strike Ultra, a new 4K Ultra HD benchmark test. You don’t need a 4K monitor to run Fire Strike Ultra, though you will need a GPU with at least 3 GB of dedicated memory.
  • New design for main benchmark selection screen.
  • Improved benchmark logging to assist customer support.
  • 3DMark is now more robust when there is a problem identifying or monitoring the hardware in the system.
    Professional Edition:
  • You can now set command line options within .3dmdef files.
  • Minor syntax changes to the .3dmdef definition files. You may need to update your existing scripts if using automation. See Command Line Guide for details.
  • Added command line logging options.
  • Command line progress logging now includes workload names and loop numbers.
  • Removed empty log lines from command line output.

If you own the steam version it will update automatic and the standalone version will prompt with a notification and wait for your action to update. Time to test that hardware and see what it can perform!

Thank you Futuremark for providing us with these information

Image courtesy of Futuremark

AMD Reveal Full R9 285 Specifications And Performance: A GTX 760 Killer?

AMD’s R9 285 was confirmed by AMD earlier today but now AMD have gone one step further and revealed detailed specifications as well as performance numbers. AMD’s R9 285 pretty much conforms to all the rumours we’ve heard so far: there’s 2GB of GDDR5, 1792 GCN cores, a 256 bit memory bus and a fairly modest TDP of 190W which is fed by a pair of 6 pins. The core clock will be up to 918MHz and the memory clock will be 5500MHz. Being a GCN based card there is also support for Mantle and DirectX 12.

How does the R9 285 perform? Well AMD claim up to 15% faster in Battlefield 4 at 1440p when comparing to the Nvidia GTX 760. They also revealed some 3DMark Fire Strike numbers where the R9 285 scored 25% higher than the GTX 760 in the Fire Strike test and 27% faster in the Fire Strike Extreme Test. Given that AMD’s R9 285 is expected to cost $249, the same as the MSRP of the GTX 760, things look set to get very interesting for graphics card buyers.

AMD’s R9 285 goes on sale on September 2nd.

Source: TechPowerUp

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

EVGA and Kingpin Take the GTX 780 Ti To A Staggering 2GHz

EVGA have announced that their professional overclockers Vince “K|NGP|N” Lucido working with Illya “Tin” Tsemenko have set a new benchmark and frequency record. The pair of pro-overclockers managed an impressive 2025MHz frequency on the GTX 780 Ti core clock as well as a 3DMark FireStrike Extreme score of 8793, for comparison a reference GTX 780 Ti on our GPU test system manages about 4900 points. The rest of the system consisted of a 5.6GHz six-core Core i7 4960X CPU on an EVGA X79 Dark Motherboard with an EVGA power supply, 16GB of quad channel G.Skill 2400MHz memory was also used.

The 3DMark entry page for the world record can be seen here. The page appears to reveal a GPU clock speed of 1530MHz not 2025MHz so we are not sure what is causing that discrepancy.


Source: EVGA PR

Images courtesy of EVGA

3DMark Update Coming With a New Test Scenario For Mid-Range Systems

Futuremark’s 3DMark benchmarking suite is one of the biggest benchmarking suites that is out on the market for the testing and comparative positioning of gaming systems and as the outer reaches of performance grow on a near day-to-day basis, the benchmark tests that we run have to mature as well. To keep up with the growing demand of the consumer markets, Futuremark are introducing a new test environment in to their ever popular 3DMark suite. Set to be positioned between the Cloud Gate and Fire Strike scenarios for typical home setups and high performance gaming systems, Sky Diver focuses on the mid-range market, where gaming notebooks and average gaming systems cross paths, both in terms of cost and specification.


Scheduled for release after Computex, where the new test environment will be on display on a number of manufacturer’s stands including Asus, Gigabyte and G.Skill, Sky Diver will be introduced into the 3DMark test suite by means of a software update, meaning there is no need to purchase and download new bits of software.

Jukka Makinen, Futuremark CEO said, “Some people think that 3DMark is only for high-end hardware and extreme overclocking. Yet millions of PC gamers rely on 3DMark to choose systems that best balance performance, efficiency and affordability. 3DMark Sky Diver complements our other tests by providing the ideal benchmark for gaming laptops and mainstream PCs.”

As and when the 3DMark update is made available, we will be introducing the additional test scenario into our review methodology, giving the most update benchmark results that we can. If you don’t already have the 3DMark test suite, head over to , where you can find more information along with links to Futuremark’s other benchmarking suites.

Source: Press Release

First Images Of The MSI GeForce 780 Ti Lightning Revealed

The first pictures of the MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti Lightning finally surface, having a shiny black color with yellow stripes and killer performance. Reports show MSI’s GeForce 780 Ti Lightning is not too different from the GTX 780 Lightning however.

It has an identical PCB with 20 phase VRM design and Military Class IV components, while drawing power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors and comes with V-check points on board for accurate measurements. The biggest difference between the two is the use of Samsung memory chips in GTX 780 Ti Lightning which are perfect for overclocking. It features GK110-425 GPU equipped with 2880 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs and 48 ROPs. The downside is once again the memory size which is 3 GB GDDR5 spread across a 384-bit memory interface. The GPU comes with high factory overclock speeds of 993/1058/1750 MHz for GPU boost.

We can also see a TwinFrozr IV cooler with two aluminium fin stacks and eight copper heatpipes passing through them. The GPU has a good overclocking headroom with the help of two large and one medium sized fan placed on top. Similar to all other Lightning editions, MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti Lightning also features the GPU reactor for extra stability with an illuminated MSI logo. The back plate of the GPU lights up with a lot of LEDs at the back, each for a different purpose.

MSI GTX 780 Ti Lightning scored 17,872 points in 3DMark 11 Performance, having the memory overclocked at 8 GHz, which is astonishing considering it is achieved on air. The LN2 ready GPU is set to break world records once its released worldwide and bring tough competition to EVGA’s GTX 780 Ti K|NGP|N edition. Regarding price and availability, no information is known at the moment. However, since the first pictures of the graphics card are out, it won’t be long until we get that information as well.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Chip Loco

EVGA Hardware Dominates The 3DMark Leaderboards With 9 World Records

EVGA has once again teamed up with extreme overclocker Vince “k|ngp|n” Lucido to set no less than nine 3DMark World Records using the latest EVGA hardware! Armed with the new EVGA X79 Dark motherboard, EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Classified and TITAN graphics cards, an EVGA SuperNOVA 1500 Classified Power Supply, and the latest Ivy Bridge-E processors from Intel, EVGA with k|ngp|n were able to once again raise the bar of enthusiast hardware.

Naturally this gives EVGA every right to celebrate and it’s a great way for them to flex the power of their hardware, of course there aren’t many of us out there that are going to get this kind of performance in our home gaming rigs, not unless you have an endless supply of LN2 and a lot of spare time, not to mention money.

I must admit though, these are some extremely impressive scores, but the world of GPU performance is ever changing, so who knows how long EVGA and k|ngp|n can hold onto these positions.

3DMark World Records*

  • 3DMark Fire Strike (4-Way SLI) = 33,730
  • 3DMark Fire Strike (Single Card) = 15,444
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme (4-Way SLI) = 22,731
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme (Single Card) = 7,732
  • 3DMark Cloud Gate (Overall) = 53,463
  • 3DMark 11 Extreme (Overall) = 23,861
  • 3DMark 11 Performance (Single Card) = 21,864
  • 3DMark Vantage (Overall) = 89,998
  • 3DMark Vantage (Single Card) = 72,578

*As of 2 October 2013

Software/Hardware Used:

  • Graphics Cards: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Classified and EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN
  • Motherboard: EVGA X79 Dark
  • Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified
  • GPU Overclocking Software: EVGA Precision X
  • CPU Overclocking Software: EVGA ELEET-X
  • Overclocking Hardware: EVGA EVBot

Thank you EVGA for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of EVGA.

Futuremark Respond To Windows 8 HWBot Blanket-Ban

While HWBot have banned Windows 8 based benchmarks, which includes things like 3DMark and PCMark submissions, Futuremark is stressing that customers and businesses do not need to worry. The exploit was based on issues with the RTC or Real-Time Clock in Windows 8 and Futuremark says everyone else has no need to panic. The issue only serves to create falsified scores if you are looking to exploit benchmarks, and being able to exploit those benchmarks also is a very challenging process and serves no benefit for PC Gamers or Hardware manufacturers. In essence the program still works perfectly fine and does exactly the same thing it would do on Windows 7, it can just be exploited to give higher results.

Futuremark states that people should carry on as normal without worry:

  • Gamers can use 3DMark to test the performance of their Windows 8 systems without concern. 

  • Windows 8 systems that have been overclocked by modifying the CPU multiplier through the BIOS – whether manually or preconfigured by a reseller – are unaffected. 

  • 3DMark scores included in hardware reviews in magazines and websites are unaffected.

  • You can continue to use our Hardware Channel to compare CPUs, graphics cards and motherboards in Windows 8 systems.

Futuremark has also stated that it intends to develop a fix for the exploit so that in future it can detect “exploit” based scores and preserve the integrity of its 3DMark Hall of Fame.

Image courtesy of Futuremark

Win A £2000 DinoPC T-Rex 7990 Gaming PC With DinoPC, XFX and eTeknix!

In the past few years we have had some truly amazing giveaways at eTeknix such as our £1000 PC Specialist Gaming System giveaway in March 2013 and our Big Get Active Xmas giveaway in December 2012. Today we are raising the bar once again as we unveil to you our latest giveaway. eTeknix, in association with DinoPC and XFX, are giving away a DinoPC T-Rex 7990 pre-built gaming PC worth an amazing £2000/$3000.

The mammoth DinoPC T-Rex 7990 gaming PC represents the best of the best in terms of gaming PCs. It boasts some of the highest quality and highest performance components on the market. As part of this amazing giveaway we have reviewed this epic system so you can take a much closer look at what’s on offer – be sure to check out that review right here. Of course, what you all probably want to know by now is – how can you enter this giveaway? Below we have explained all the steps for you:

  • Step 1 – Like eTeknix on Facebook
  • Step 2 – Like DinoPC on Facebook
  • Step 3 – Like XFX Europe on Facebook
  • Step 4 – Visit the forums and post a link to your Facebook profile to finalise your entry and tell us you’ve entered
  • Optional Step 5 – Post a screenshot of your system’s performance in 3DMark’s FireStrike test in a second post to gain an additional entry!


You can download 3DMark’s FireStrike test here. 

If you do not wish your Facebook profile link to be displayed publicly on our Forum then please private message me (you must be logged in to the eTeknix forum for that link to work) your Facebook profile link with the following subject “DinoPC T-Rex 7990 Giveaway – Facebook Entry X” and replace X with the number of your first post on the forum thread (that is the number of your first post on that thread not the optional second post with the optional FireStrike screenshot). This way we can respect your privacy by keeping your Facebook profile hidden, but still allow you to enter. If you do not submit your Facebook profile link with that same format then your entry will not be counted.

Rules and regulations:

  • The competition is open worldwide
  • The competition ends at midnight GMT on the 9th of September 2013 and winners will be notified on Friday 13th of September 2013
  • In the event of a dispute, eTeknix staff hold the final say and no discussions will be entered into
  • Multiple entries that are invalid will result in disqualification (more details on Forum post)
  • Delivery is not in the hands of eTeknix and can take some time to arrive
  • In the event that the prize is unavailable, eTeknix reserve the right to offer an alternative of equal or greater value
  • Winner(s) will be announced on our competition winners page
  • By entering this competition, you adhere to the above rules and regulations

(Please do not post Facebook links and Screenshots in the comments below, these entries will not count, enter over on the Forum!)

Futuremark Unveils PCMark 8 For Windows 8 and 7

PCMark 7 has been the industry standard benchmark for testing whole systems for a while now. For reviewers like us it is very much the first port of call when measuring the overall performance of Windows based systems. Unlike 3DMark, which is totally gaming orientated, PCMark 7 offered an array of tests that cover every part of the system, that is graphics, CPU, hard drive, memory, and so on. In essence it is very similar to the likes of Passmark yet it is much more popular for its versatility and more recognised accuracy of measuring hardware performance.

Now Futuremark have finally finished PCMark 8 which will be the new standard to replace PCMark 7. Unlike what the name would suggest, PCMark 8 does support Windows 7 in addition to Windows 8.

PCMark 8 is quite unique n that it includes all the usual tests of PCMark 7 but adds a few new things like a battery life test and creativity/productivity tests based on Microsoft and Adobe applications.

With the battery life testing you can “estimate battery use from each benchmark test or use Battery Life mode to loop a test until the battery is almost empty for more accurate results”. While the new Adobe and Microsoft tests include “additional benchmark tests based on popular productivity and creativity applications”

The new PCMark 8 was developed with Acer, AMD, Condusiv Technologies, Dell, HGST, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate and Western Digital. Futuremark have said we can expect to see a public release by the end of Q2 (June) 2013. It will be available in basic (free), business, press and professional editions.

You can find out more here.

Are there any enthusiasts out there that are excited to get their hands on a new copy of this benchmark? – I know I am.

EVGA and K|NGP|N Set Four New 3D Mark World Records

Since the release of Nvidia’s new GTX Titan graphics card we have seen “back-and-forth” battling between the big graphics card vendors to try and claim as many world records as possible. Just 3 days ago we brought you the news that ASUS had broken some 3DMark world records with their GTX Titan. In fact, EVGA’s latest record breaking achievement means they have actually broken one of those records set by ASUS last week. EVGA’s score of 22,054 in 3DMark FireStrike with SLI GTX Titans is higher than ASUS’ score of 21,818 which was posted 3 days ago.

  • #1 3DMark Fire Strike (SLI) = 22,054

In addition to that EVGA also bagged top spot for three other records which you can see below:

  • #1 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme (SLI) = 11,559
  • #1 3DMark Fire Strike (Single Card) = 14,600
  • #1 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme (Single Card) = 7,308

EVGA achieved these records using the upcoming EVGA X79 Dark motherboard, an Intel i7 3960X at 5.5GHz and 16GB of RAM at 2400MHz. Two EVGA Nvidia GTX Titans were used in SLI for the first two records, while the second two records used only a single card.

The full details can be seen at the 3D Mark Hall of Fame.

Source: PR

AMD introduce new Richland A-Series APUs for mobile devices

AMD’s push of their Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) continues with a new generation of mobile APUs under the “Richland” codename. These new APUs are targeted at high performance Ultra-thin systems, laptops, notebooks, tablets and small form factor desktop systems. These Richland mobile APUs feature some key benefits versus previous generation “Trinity” mobile APUs. Firstly, AMD is claiming 20 to 40% more performance (based on 3D Mark benchmarks and consistent memory and OS configurations). Secondly, this extra performance brings with it better battery life, 780 minutes versus 725 minutes, keeping everything but the APUs consistent. Thirdly, AMD are bringing key “software innovations” to the market with Richland.

Some of these “software innovations” include support for AMD Turbo CORE, AMD Eyefinity 10, AMD Radeon Dual Graphics, Direct X 11, AMD Face Login, AMD Gesture Control, AMD Screen Mirror and AMD Video Entertainment features. One of the big new innovations is AMD’s equivalent of Intel’s Rapid Start technology. AMD Start Now technology allows for rapid resuming from sleep and booting on Windows 8 based tablets.

There will be four models of AMD Richland Mobile APUs available on release as shown in the table below:

Power consumption is where AMD claims to have made some major design wins and you can see the Trinity versus Richland comparison below.

Finally, AMD is doing its tried and trusted graphics marketing against Intel equivalents. They offer much better graphical performance and in true AMD fashion at a lower cost.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much information in the way of CPU performance, so we can only assume it was much lower than Intel equivalents. However, based on graphics performance, power consumption and expected pricing alone, the AMD Richland APU series looks like an excellent addition to the market and we cannot wait to see it arrive.

Source: AMD PR

MSI bundle new 3DMark Advanced Edition with selected motherboards and graphic cards

Futuremark have released their new 3DMark benchmark where MSI is the exclusive sponsor of the Fire Strike Demo. To sweeten the deal with selected models of motherboards and graphic cards, they are bundling 3DMark Advanced Edition worth $24.99.

Its not clear which motherboards and graphic card model/series will be having this benchmark.

MSI has also started a started a competition in HWBOT, but as one would expect in such contests irrespective of the manufacturer that this is limited to MSI motherboard (specifically with Z77 chipsets) and graphic card.

Nvidia GeForce “Titan” (and/or GTX 780) 3DMark 11 benchmark leaked

Nvidia’s next gen “Titan” Geforce card is expected to be released by the end of February and there will be cards the models GTX 780, 770 and the versions of the card with “Ti” versions set for release.

Recently in a Chinese website PC Online  a 3DMark 11 screenshot of Nvidia’s next-generation flagship model GeForce Titan or maybe GeForce GTX 780 is posted, although it should be noted that the model number is covered up.

What’s not clear is if it’s the Titan or GTX 780. According to the site, it comes with 2688 stream processors with 384 bit 6GB GDDR5 memory. With the Extreme preset, the GTX Titan is said to come with the score of 7107, but according to what WCCFTech found out by digging in other Chinese tech forums; EXPreview and RedQuasar viz. known to leak out many information, GTX 780 and Titan are most likely not the same cards.

We’ll have to wait for the official word or at the very least wait for the reviews to surface once the NDA is lifted or unless our friends in China would like to leak more information with some clarity.

Futuremark to release the new version of 3DMark Benchmark on 4th Feb

Futuremark is all set to release the new version of 3DMark on February 4th, 2013 18:00 hours UTC. There will also be a release for Android, iOS and Windows RT powered mobile hardware however there is no confirmed launch dates for it, but Futuremark assures that the release will be expected in the coming weeks rather than months.

In the meantime, Futuremark sent 2 of the screenshots of their benchmarks:

The benchmark specifically shows Firestrike run, the graph shows Power, Frequency, temperature on the GPU and CPU along with the usual FPS. The score categories are divided into combined test, physics tests, graphics tests 1 and 2, physics score, graphics score and overall score. Judging by the screenshots, there are 3 presets, cloud gate aimed towards notebooks and home pcs, Fire Strike for high performance gaming PCs and Fire Strike’s Extreme preset.

The screenshots show that the benchmark and results come in a detailed manner with the system configuration detail, including details of the GPU, processor and motherboard/Bios/OS/Resolution and the drive being used. It’s still not clear how many more tests there are in this new version of 3DMark, but looks like Fire Strike and Fire Strike extreme scores should be the ones that many hardware enthusiasts will keep an eye on.