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BIG 17 pages


issue 180 | MARCH 2012

issue 180 | MARCH 2012


Oh noes red hot racer

How to

Secure your passwords Make a CCTV camera Backup online for free

WIN • ASRocks Fatal1ty Z68 mobo p 06

make all devices



FREE double-sided at the back

AMD 7970 Other countries: R39.43 (Excl. TAX)

the fastest gpu in the world!

MARCH 2012/180/ R44.95


HOT New hardware

¤ ASUS 560 ti ¤ ASROCK 990fx X79

SOftware reviews

¤ Backup and sync 4 packages tested

PLAY the game

¤K  ingdoms of Amalur ¤ Soul Calibur 5

Published by Panorama Publications (Pty) Ltd Private Bag X4, Kyalami, 1684, South Africa Telephone: 011 468 2090, Fax: 011 468 2091/2 email: web:


It should be March by the time you read this, late Feb for some, and looking ahead to the end of the gaming drought, I see only mirages of good games. I have serious doubts that Diablo III will be out on time and having seen the PC requirements for Mass Effect 3, I almost hope it isn’t, so that EA can un-port it and make it look decent. While they are at it, they can have a crack at Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning too, another title that is bursting with beautiful artistic direction and a novel take on the RPG, but hey diddle diddle it’s DX 9 and is maxxed out on a GTX 260/4850. Gatooi! To fight back against all the console grade graphics and so called HD, we have thrown in a super resolution screen mash up that makes the 42+ inch 1080p TVs look silly. Go PC! There’s also a review of the world’s fastest GPU and a breakdown of AMD’s new 7 series to sink your teeth into, as well as a host of motherboards and GPUs – all guaranteed to run Mass Effect 3 better than a seven-year-old console. Snobbery aside, if you feel like your PC is being underutilised, we have bolstered the hefty hardware reviews with a few handy how-to guides that will show you how to make your own CCTV system and protect your passwords. There’s more and much more to come. From next month we will be sharing and implementing changes based on your feedback from the surveys – for which I say thank you kindly for responding. Enjoy the mag, we are but an email away. Happy paging

Nicholas Boerma, Editor

Leader in Motherboard Innovation

ww olm ags .co.z a

Sub to scri be NO W!

Publisher Urs Honegger Editor-in-Chief Gerard Peter Editor Nicholas Boerma G3AR Managing Editor Dawid Venter Managing Editor Kate Kennedy Senior Sub Editor Vanessa Koekemoer Sub Editors Danica Potgieter, Brigitte Billings Staff Writer Brett Venter Hardware Writer Michael Reed Electronic Projects Brett Venter

Studio Manager Paul Kotze Art Director Cronjé du Toit Traffic & Production Manager Celeste Scholes Group Advertising Sales Manager Deborah Bishop-Williams, Sales Executive Leandra Pinho, Subscriptions

Email: To subscribe online: Office hours: 08h00 - 16h30 Monday - Friday Tel: 011 468 2090 Fax: 086 667 7100

International Contributors

Dave James, Simon Crisp, Phil Iwaniuk, Adam Oxford, Matt Hanson, Chris Lloyd, Jon Thompson, Tom Francis, Richard Cobbett, Tom Senior, Rob Taylor, Matthew Pellett, Michael Grapper, Andy Hartup, Mike Bedford

PCFormat’s Intel Test Benches are kindly provided by the following brands Specifications

Intel Core i7 Extreme 975 @ 3.3GHz Intel DX58SO motherboard 6GB GSkill Trident DDR3-2000 Triple Channel Gainward GTX580 (Sponsored by WD 320GB SATA-II Hard Drive Intel Core i7 870 Gigabyte P55-UD6 LG Flatron E3250V LED LCD Kingston SSDNow V+ Series 128GB SSD

Printing Ultra Litho ISSN 1027-0469

Oct-Dec 2011 16,271(Total)

PCFormat is printed on partially recycled paper

PCFormat is published monthly and is available by subscription nationally and at retail outlets throughout the country. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written permission of Panorama Publications Copyright © 2011 Panorama Publications (Pty) Ltd. The views expressed in PCFormat are not necessarily those of Panorama Publications (Pty) Ltd and the acceptance and publication of editorial and advertising matter in PCFormat does not imply any endorsement or warranty in respect of goods or services therein described, whether by PCFormat or the publishers. The Editor reserves the right to edit material submitted and in appropriate cases to translate into another language. PCFormat reserves the right to reject any advertising or editorial material, which may not suit the standard of the publication, without reason given.

All New 3-Way Digital Power

PCFormat’s AMD Test Bench is kindly provided by the following brands Specifications

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T @ 3.3GHz MSI 890FXA-GD70 4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1800 Dual Channel ATI Radeon HD 5970 Seagate 160GB SATA-II Hard Drive Lian Li PC-P80R LG Flatron E3250V LED LCD Kingston SSDNow V+ Series 128GB SSD

Contents #180/03.12


01 06 07 08 64 96

Ed’s Note Competition PCF LAN Calendar Your letters Ask Luis Topics of Discussion


36 AMD Radeon HD7970 38 Asus P9X79 Pro 40 ASRock X79 Extreme9 42 Asus GTX 560 Ti 448 Core 44 Asus EEE Pad Transformer Prime 46 Samsung Nexus 47 Apple iPhone 4S/BlackBerry Torch 9810 Group tests



We are monitoring you

Xpress All Business. All Pleasure.


The stylish Mecer Xpress touch-screen slate enables you to access web content and entertainment, and optimise personal productivity.


70 Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning FEATURES

Powered by Windows® 7, the Mecer Xpress features trusted operating and application software, as well as easy integration and compatibility with all applications and devices such as printers and cameras.

72 10 Things to do in Skyrim 74 The making of Bioshock


80 Resident Evil: Revelations 86 Soul Calibur IV


How to monitor other people

18 Monitors From TN to VA and beyond 48 Dropbox alternatives Four top software backup solutions Features

12 30 50 54 58 62


Screen test Future shock The Android army invades Make your own CCTV Protect you passwords 3D arms race

Things to do in Skyrim when everyone is dead

Order pre-installed Office 2010 for great SAVINGS!


I recognise that fellow with the hoodie…

Mecer recommends Windows® 7.

• 11.6” Capacity Multi-Touch TFT Panel (Support Full HD 1080p) • Intel® Atom™ N450 1.66GHz Processor • 2GB DDR2 Memory, 32GB Solid State HDD • 2 USB, 1 Mini HDMI, 1 SDHC, 1 SIM Card Slot • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium (upgradable to Windows® 7 Professional/ Ultimate)

• Built-in Webcam, Sound, Speakers, Bluetooth, WiFi (3G Optional) • Microsoft® Office 2010 Starter (upgradable to Home & Student, Home & Business, Professional) • Mecer Xpress User Interface, Microsoft® Security Essentials • 1 Year Warranty

Email or visit for more info today. Alternatively SMS the word XPRESS to 34007 (R2 per SMS) or call: Gauteng Tel: 011 237 1000

Western Cape Tel: 021 413 3000

KwaZulu-Natal Tel: 031 534 7000

Free State Tel: 051 405 0400

Eastern Cape Tel: 041 397 8700

Northern Cape Tel: 053 861 1571

Mpumalanga Tel: 013 752 6027

PCFormat March 2012 Teaser  

PCFormat March 2012 Teaser

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