Posts Tagged “review”

Galax GTX 970 EX OC SLI Review

Recently upgraded from a GTX 770 to 2 GTX 970s. One concern I had was keeping the heat down to get the best performance, and most threads you read about SLI tell you to get a blower style cooler, although these give worse cooling results by themselves. I looked at my motherboard and case and figured I had enough room and airflow to take the risk, so after reading a ton of reviews I opted for 2 Galax GTX 970 EX OCs.Read more...

SLI scaling analysis with GTX 780

In this SLI scaling analysis, I have selected a number of different variables to test, which all come into play with SLI scaling in games. The cards used to test are Nvidia GeForce GTX 780's (yes they are not the most powerful cards, but still up to the task, and this is about scalability, not brute power). These are tested in single, dual and triple card configurations, in a variety of different games. Settings were chosen which work well with a dual card configuration, designed to maximise all available graphics settings whilst still being playable. This allows the cards to be pushed extremely hard, which also allows the different variables to show their effects on scaling, while producing a more accurate result. My definition of playable is not an arbitrary number of frames, but the subjective user experience of the game feeling smooth enough to be an enjoyable experience. The following variables have been chosen to assess their impact on fps, perceived smoothness i.e. with microstuttering etc and to discover any bottlenecks which may impact on 2-way and 3-way SLI, for instance: is a quad core hyperthreaded processor capable of keeping up with 3 demanding cards, I've read many reviews that have often made assumptions about where the bottleneck (if any) is occuring, the data presented here will hopefully shed some more light on these factors. |--- | **What we're testing** |:- | Frame rates; minimum, average and maximum, of course the minimum and average fps is more important to playability. | Each graphics cards maximum temperatures during play. | Each GPU's load. | Each GPU's core clock rate. | The amount of gpu memory used. | The CPU's load and frequency (frequency is shown as a % of the CPU clock rate, which is at 4.4Ghz)Read more...

E522BLE4 / E522BRE4 - Fisher & Paykel ActiveSmart Fridge - Bottom Freezer 519L

Old fridge/freezer died, so we figured we'd get a larger one and hopefully not need our stand-alone freezer anymore. After extensive research I signed up to Choice.com.au to read about their fridge reviews, which listed this fridge with an overall score of 81, which is only 2 behind the best fridge, another F&P RF522WDRX4.The RF522WDRX4 was $700 something more expensive, and didn't really seem to offer anything better, so we settled on the E522BLE4 from Appliances Online.Read more...

Playing with my new Motorola Atrix

So it was time to upgrade my phone again, my Samsung Omnia had been a great phone, manually updated to WM6.5, but like all my phones nearing their 2 year mark are on their last legs. So I began my extensive review process to figure out my next phone from the quite large variety we have to choose from now.

First choice would be the OS, Apple is just too restrictive and lacking, Microsofts new WM7 was the forerunner until I read more and found out they were being a bit restrictive too, not allowing native applications(goodbye firefox), and using a blend of IE8 and IE9 just wasn't what I wanted in a phone. So that left Android, which I don't think is as polished as Apple or Microsoft, but it's fairly open and I like that.

So while digging around looking at what Android phone I'd choose I came across the Motorola Atrix being reviewed at CeBIT and it blew me away. Now I just had to wait for it to come out.

After not too long waiting it was released in the USA and I imported it to Australia, used SwiftUnlocks to free it from AT&Ts grips and I must say I'm impressed with it. Have been using it for 3 days now and it's amazing, I am happily surprised at how good Android it, how many free quality apps are in the market, and how long this battery lasts. After a full day playing with it, GPS on logging as fast as possible for 7hrs, downloading tons of apps on Wifi and the battery ran out. Normal use, few text messages, few phone calls, logging my walk home, bit of foursquare and email and this thing will do one and a half days, even with the amazing matrix live wallpaper!

The phone feels solid, the screen is amazing, the soft keys at the bottom aren't as responsive as normal buttons but you get use to them.

Only issues I have is getting my Google Account to register that I have a mobile device using the same login and that my account includes a Google Checkout account, so for now I can't buy anything from the market place, and things just stay open with no simple way to close them, you end up every day or so running a task manager and killing heaps of stuff, though with the dual core and 1gb RAM it doesn't really slow anything down.

Canon Pixma MP495 Printer Review

Wireless setup was easy on Windows 7, connect the USB cable, run through the CD setup process, it picked up the wireless settings from my computer and automatically configured the printer, I pretty much just had to click Next.Installing on a Vista laptop was a bit of a problem, it found it over the network but reported an error installing the MP files. Inserted the CD and ran through the same installation, minus the USB cable, at the end of the installation it again reported the MP file copy error, though the printer was installed and worked fine.At a cost of $99 it's pretty good from the reviews I've read of other wireless printers, we even got 15% off and half price inks so we stocked up on black inks.I really like having it in a central location, no where near a PC.

GetGaming Australia - Wii Game Rentals

While downloading some demos from AusGamers I saw an ad for GetGaming Australia, they are a company similar to Netflix or Bigpond Movies where you rent games, they send them to you via mail and once you've finished you send them back by the included return envelope. You can keep them for as long or short a time as you like.

I've done the DVD renting this way a few times before, but never had enough DVDs in my queue and frequently didn't get anything as others hadn't returned them yet, but so far with the Wii games it's been different, I've found 35 games to add to my queue, which at 2-3 per week will last me quite a while, and by then I'm sure new games will be out to keep me going.

Compared to the $7 for an overnight Wii game rental at my local video store, $31/month for unlimited rentals, with 2 out at a time is great, so far I'm getting 2 a week, which works out to $3.50 per game, and I can keep them for 4-5 days, though if I get a dog of a game and send it back straight away I might do 3 games some weeks.

Great idea, they also have PS3, XBox360, PC, DS, PS2 and PSP games for rent all via the same rental plans. Not sure how the prices compare but you can also buy the games direct from them.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Reflex - Wii Game Review

I really don't like FPS on the Wii, though I haven't yet tried an on-the-rails on the Wii I think this is the only shooting kinds of game I'd like with it's limited controls.

I started playing thinking it might be different, and 15minutes later the game was back in it's envelope ready to send back. Graphics were good, gameplay was good, everything was easy to pickup and understand, but the Wiimote just isn't a viable mouse alternative for my liking.

Make sure you rent a FPS for the Wii before you buy one, you might be sorely disappointed.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 - Wii Game Review

My first rented game from GetGaming Australia was Super Mario Galaxy 2, I was quite eager to play it as all the reviews were quite positive.

It was an impressive game, did an excellent job of the platform to 3D conversion that hasn't been done successfully many times before. The controls initially are fairly easy to get a handle on, there is lots of new skills to learn and things to collect and each level is well designed and thought out to keep increasing the difficulty.

Played it for about 5hours before sending it back, like so many Wii games I just can't get a handle on the camera angle and at times you can't change it at all, which as levels got harder left me frustrated at falling off edges that I couldn't see coming because of the angle of the camera.

As a casual gamer, and not having forked out $99 for this game, this was enough frustration to cause me to stop playing, and until it's on the bargain bin I won't be buying it.

Rabbids Go Home - Wii Game Review

I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was with these Rabbids, and thought I was in some something awesome when it got the the starting bit with the Rabbid inside the Wiimote.

Once the game started I found it quite easy to figure out the controls and get around, it was cute and funny but got old very quickly. After 46 minutes I turned it off and was very thankful I'd only rented it. It's probably good for kids skill level, though not sure if you want kids controlling a g-string wearing rabbit who scares peoples clothes off.

After a few levels I found it didn't get more challening, no new abilities, or puzzles, just the same old same old.

Good for a bit of a laugh, not much else.

Wii: Kung Fu Panda Game Review

This seemed like a fun game when we rented it, and it was marked as 2 players. Once the disc loaded up I tried to start the game and could only manage to get 1 player, back to the menu I went through and found a 2 player option was only under the Challenges, which were small side games.
These were interesting to kill an hour or so, but we quickly bored of them, and understandable as they are only side games.

I enjoyed the main game, despite it being only 1 player, controls were easy to pick up and use, action was fairly constant and finding your direction was very easy to follow.

I'd pay no more than $50 for this game though.

Wii: New Super Mario Bros

Having played this game on my cousins Super Nintendo many moons ago, and reading a few reviews, I figured this would be a pretty safe game to buy for both of us to play. It's got quite a bit of single play value for casual gamers, and even my wife doesn't mind going back and doing previous levels trying to get the big coins from time to time.

The game is as expected from previous games, though the game freezes for a split second when someone dies, which is really off putting if your character is half way through the air, or trying not to fall off a small post, while not often some maps you will feel cheated by your death because of the freeze.
I also found myself changing from standard Wiimote to nunchuck for different levels. For most the nunchuck addition makes it a lot more comfortable, though when vines are involved I went back to the Wiimote as I found myself pushing down or up as I was swinging side to side with the nunchuck joystick and falling off the vines!
And for the levels where you have to carry something, neither control option makes it comfortable.

This has been the solid game we've played out of all we have, and well worth full price.

Finally gave in and joined the Wiiing population

I've been a long time PC gamer, apart from an Atari 2600 and a GameGear I've shyed away from consoles as for overall bang for your buck I don't think they can hold their own compared to PCs. Once I got married my gaming time was sharply reduced, so I tried to get my wife interested in gaming, but to no avail.

So as they came down in price, I thought it might be a good way to get her into gaming too. I had a look around at the different consoles and their offerings, Wii seemed to come out infront for casual gaming and had the ability to use custom written applications through HomeBrew so that's the one we chose.

As many people have said previously, once you buy the Wii it seems you have a never ending list of accessories you need to buy, and find somewhere to store them!

We've bought a few accessories from eBay, like classic controllers, Active exercise leg straps and tension strapsand these have been great and cheap so look there first, just as always read sellers feedback first and make sure the quality is on par with what you're after.

Regarding HomeBrew, make sure you try the games, there are some amazingly addictive games on the list to download.

Wii: Metroid Prime 3 Game Review

After hearing many wonderful reviews about this game, I started playing with anticipation. While the game was reasonable easy to pick up, I was quite often annoyed at the controls not going where I wanted them too, though I think this stems from my FPS experience on a PC. The Wiimote is great, but it's no match for a mouse in FPS IMO.

The opening scenes of the game you use the Wiimote to push buttons and control levers, which is clever use of the Wiimote, but the panning using the Wiimote just annoyed me time and time again. Once you actually get into the game it's more like a standard FPS with only small parts utilising the Wiimotes capabilities.

I was able to get around reasonably well, there were no hard to maneuver points where my character got stuck and no glitches that leave you feeling cheated. Though doors took a while to open at times and it was easy to get side tracked and have no idea where you were meant to be heading, both played on my nerves a few times leaving a sour undertone to my gaming experience.

All in all I'm glad I rented it and didn't buy it, though when the price comes down I'll probably grab it and try it a second time.

Wii: RedSteel2 Game Review

 I wanted this game since buying the Wii but at $99 and only 1 player there were other games higher on the list. While browsing through Dick Smiths sale the other night I found a copy marked down to $30, and it included the MotionPlus! Purchased it was!

I've played it for a few hours and think it's greatly constructed and planned out well. The difficulty in controls that I found initially with Metroid Prime 3 have been overcome in this game by taking some control off you. And the auto targeting system really helped my get the hang of using the Wiimote rather than a mouse for FPS.

The action is pretty constant, with increasing hardness and there are plenty of things to smash, shot or crack along the way to keep the action flowing. There is a perfect blend of movement to button pushing controls and the safe cracking really adds some fun without going overboard.

The training system to teach you how to do all the moves is well constructed, fun to do and pretty good at helping you remember the combination. The map system it very easy to follow to your quest destinations, and onscreen prompts to aid you are well signed and easy to understand most time. There are a few glitches like an on-screen prompt appearing when the object is through walls, or one point I fell off buildings and plunged deep into blackness, but didn't die. All in all, I'd have to play it some more to tell you if it would be worth $99, $30 it was a steal, and so far I think it would be worth the $99.

Customer Service from DealsDirect

I ordered a few things from dealsdirect.com.au
Upon delivery one of the items was broken, I took a photo, followed the website prompts and within a few hours a customer service representative had replied with an apology and sent a new unit to me.

Fantastic customer service.
Posted on  Jan 8, 2010  by  sacah .  Tagged: 

ASUS WL-600g Review

I have been using my WL-600g for a few weeks now and like it, it's quite a feature packed modem once you upgrade it from v1 firmware to v3.
Few downsides from my old Billion 7300G:
1. WL-600g wireless signal isn't as strong.
2. With my ISP, and aparently other ISPs hardware, every 30 hours it will disconnect any report 'Authentication Failed', which will require a restart.

It kind of sucks, I replaced my 7300G because it was randomly restarting, now I have a new model that requires random restarting...

I might try OpenWrt on it and see if that fixes the problem.
Posted on  Sep 26, 2009  by  sacah .  Tagged: 

ALDI $99 Media Player - Macron MP-9870

Not a bad unit, after the motherboard in my PC connected to my TV died. Given the PC was quite old, I'd have to replace MB and CPU, so I figured I'd try the Macron.

Has 2 USB, 1 memory card(SD,MMC,MS) inputs, standard RCA Video & LR audio plus VGA outputs. Plug a HDD in and it will load up its contents.

I like the interface, fairly basic scroll through, see titles and folders. Get a preview of video while scrolling through files. Supports Supports MPEG4, MPEG2, MPEG1, AVI, DivX, XviD, WMV, RM, RMVB, VOB, DAT, MP3, JPEG, BMP and GIF. Played a 1.4gb DivX file no problem.
Posted on  Aug 23, 2009  by  sacah .  Tagged: