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ASUS ARES VIDEO CARD

Sunday, September 26, 2010

B5

SAMSUNG NX10 MIRRORLESS INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA

B J N

monster is an Asus Rampage III Extreme board with an Intel Core i7 920 processor running at 2.67GHz with 12GB of DDR3 memory attached, and a Western Digital Black 640 GB hard drive. I tested IN the world of enthusiast and high-performance gaming, bigger the Ares with two benchmarking programs (Unigine and 3DMark and faster is always best. It’s a crowd that demands the absolute Vantage) and two games—DICE’s multiplayer slug fest“Battlefield best in everything in their rigs, and is always pushing the limits Bad Company 2”and the traditionally Nvidia dominated“Batman: of what the individual components can do. This is the crowd for Arkham Asylum.” which Asus made the Ares video card for. While I had a monitor capable of running resolutions of 1920 x The Ares is possibly one of the fastest, if not the fastest, video 1200 at the time, the Unigine benchmarking software only wanted card currently out in the market. Asus has managed to combine to run the test in 1360 x 768 resolution. Everything was set to high, two Radeon 5870 GPUs and fused them together in a single PCB, and anisotropy was set to 4x with tessellation on normal. The Ares throwing in 4GB of DDR3 memory and enough copper and metal to produced a score of 1934, with an average FPS of 76.8, currently one make a small statue. The result is a video card that’s truly deserving of the highest scores I’ve ever recorded of the god of war’s name. using that particular benchmark. You’ll also want to check if your WHAT’S HOT It was pretty much the same story power supply and case is up to snuff with 3DMark, and this time around I Possibly the fastest graphics card ever made before heading out and getting an Ares. was able to run the test with 1920 x Comes in a very nice case with a lot of extras Unsurprisingly, the Ares requires a lot of 1200 resolution, again with everything and goodies power, and needs a PSU that’s capable of cranked up to maximum. I only ran the 750 watts minimum because it has three GPU test since we’re only testing the GPU power connectorsótwo 8-pin and one WHAT’S NOT here. The test results were again pretty 6-pin. It’s also longer than most other Requires a lot of power impressive—the Ares managed to net a video cards out there, and definitely Extremely expensive, very limited edition score of 16124, again one of the highest longer than the Asus 5850 I had knocking scores I’ve ever seen with any card. around. The overall length of the Ares It only stands to reason that the is about 11 inches, and you’d want to Ares is great card to play with, and you’re make sure that your case is capable of right. “Battlefield Bad Company 2” ran accommodating this monster before extremely well, on the highest settings you even think about buying one. with nary a hiccup or slowdown. Same The Ares comes in a posh metal thing with “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” briefcase that houses the card, a pair of Of course, if you haven’t guessed by dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCI Express power now, all that raw performance comes at adapters, a DVI to HDMI adapter, a a price, and it’s a pretty big one. The Asus CrossFire bridge connector, a case BOTTOM LINE Ares has a hefty price tag (about P 53,910), badge, driver discs and manuals. The and it’s only available on special order card even comes with a nice Republic The Asus Ares isn’t a practical card, but it’s not through Asus Philippines.That’s assuming of Gamers-branded mouse that has aimed at practical people. If you absolutely you can even get one, as it’s currently a enough nifty little features to warrant a want THE best card currently out in the market, limited-release product with only 1,000 test of its own. this one is your best bet. pieces produced. The test bed for this particular

9.5

B J N I’M not a big fan of point-and-shoots. Call me conditioned to the freedom of interchangeable lenses and customizable controls, although lugging around a full-sized DSLR with three lenses isn’t an experience thatís particularly pleasant either. The new mirrorless interchangeable lens camera from Samsung, the NX10, aims to give users the best of both worlds—i.e., the footprint of a point-and-shoot with the versatility of an interchangeable lens system of traditional DSLRs. The Samsung NX10 looks deceptively enough like a DSLR. It has a viewfinder, manual controls on the right side within easy grasp, and the lens comes off like normal ones on a DSLR. But when you put it side by side with a DSLR is when the difference becomes apparent as the NX10 is considerably smaller. The NX10’s smaller footprint is achieved by eliminating the mirror box and the optical viewfinder, relying instead on a live-view type system that is projected on the NX10’s viewfinder and AMOLED LCD screen which, in turn, reduces the lens mount to sensor length to just 25.5mm. What’s nice about the NX10 is that it’s completely built by Samsung from the ground up. There’s no legacy technology to limit it, and they are able to flex their manufacturing prowess and the result is a camera that’s fantastically made both inside and out. The NX10 is particularly well built with excellent materials and exhibits zero creaks. The 3-inch AMOLED display is of particular note, and is easily readable even in extreme viewing angles and under direct sunlight. If you prefer to shoot your subjects the old fashioned way, the NX10 also has an electronic viewfinder that has 100-percent frame coverage. While the NX10 is smaller than most DSLRs, that doesn’t mean it’s less capable. At the heart of the system is a 15.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that’s about the same size as that of a conventional DSLR’s, giving the NX10 an effective pixel count of 14.6 million. Picture quality is good, with the NX10 performing well even in higher ISO ranges. It is also able to shoot images in RAW format and capable recording video at 720p. The NX10 currently has three available lensesó30mm, 18-55mm and 50-200mm. I did have several issues with the NX10, chief of which is when recording videos. There’s a noticeable lag when you press the shoot button to start recording. This is because the NX10 fades in the screen, which takes up at least a second before you can start recording. It does the same thing when you end recording; it slowly fades out, instead of cutting out immediately. It’s a bit of a bother to adjust to this particular shortcoming, especially if you’re in a situation where you canít predict a certain action. Of course, the NX10 is designed to shoot pictures first and foremost, and that’s what it does really well.

PARADE SHURE PG 27

OZAKI iFINGER

iFinger L

NEO ÉLAN L43003D

MICROPHONES

STYLUS

3D GAMING LAPTOP

DESIGNED with a flat frequency response for natural reproduction, the PG27 side-address microphone features a large diaphragm and a high SPL threshold that handles a wide variety of acoustic, amplified and vocal sound sourcesówith professional clarity and guaranteed quality in every application. The mic comes bundled with a stand adapter and zippered pouch. Recommended uses for live vocals, acoustic guitars and studio instruments.

THE iFinger stylus is a must-have for those who have a touchscreen device. Featuring a very soft tip, the iFinger offers a more delicate touch than your finger. Now your screen is better protected from scratches. iFinger stylus M measures only 4 cm in length and it comes with a strap which you can attach to your device. The iFinger L is longer at 12.5cm in length. It has double featuresóthe other end of it is a ballpoint pen so you get a pen and a stylus all in one. Both models come in black and white colors.

HARD-CORE gamers, this oneís for you. The NEO Élan L4300-3D takes advantage of Nvidiaís 3D Vision technology, which is a combination of an advanced graphics processor unit (Nvidia GeForce GTX 285M), specialized 3D glasses, software and a certified display in order to deliver an immersive stereoscopic 3D experience. Feature set is impressiveóIntel Core i7-740QM, dual channel 4GB DDR3 that can be expanded up to 8GB, 15.6-inch HD 3D display panel (16:9 aspect ratio at 1366 x 768 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate required for 3D), Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, 1.3megapixel web cam, Blu-ray combo drive, USB 3.0, and the list goes on.

P7,900 P9,680 (with USB cable) iFinger M

SPECIFICATIONS SENSOR AND MEGAPIXEL COUNT APS-C type CMOS (23.4 x 15.6mm), 15.1 million total pixels, 14.6 million effective pixels AVAILABLE OPTICS Samsung 30mm F2; Samsung 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OIS; Samsung 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED OIS PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS Weight (body only) Approx. 353 g

WHAT’S HOT Smaller and more compact than a traditional DSLR Great picture quality Has the same layout with DSLRs Excellent AMOLED screen

WHAT’S NOT Recording video is a bit slow

8.5

BOTTOM LINE Want the size of a point-and-shoot with the versatility of a DSLR? Look no further than the Samsung NX10.


Gadgets Sunday 09-26-10