All posts by Branden

The BEST Radeon Video Card for Under $250



The Sapphire Nitro Radeon R9 Fury utilizes a 1050MHz Radeon R9 Fury GPU, which runs 4GB of 4096-Bit HBM (High Bandwidth Ram). The performance of this memory surpasses GDDR5 in bandwidth with more than 3x the performance per watt of GDDR5, requiring only 375 watts overall. Its revolutionary stacked configuration has 94% less PCB surface area than GDDR5.
This video card comes with 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort, and 1x Dual-Link DVI-D. It also uses the PCIe 3.0 x16 slot to connect your motherboard.
This video card boasts three fans, ensuring your video card stays cool during use. These fans utilize two-ball bearings designed to keep the fans quiet, make them last longer, and keep out dust. These fans also have a high-efficiency blade design.
The video card also supports Intelligent Fan Control, which takes things like environment temperature and GPU workload into consideration, to ensure the fans are working efficient as well as keeping them as quiet as possible.
This video card is VR ready and can support multiple monitors. With multiple monitors, gaming becomes more immersive and your work becomes more productive (up to an average of 42% according to one study). This video card also supports CrossFire which allows two or more discreet graphics cards to work together to give you the ultimate gaming experience.
The Radeon R9 Fury supports OpenGL® 4.5 and DirectX®12 while also having Shader Model 5.0, ensuring it will be compatible with the newest games.
The Sapphire Nitro Radeon R9 Fury currently costs $329.99 on Newegg, but including a sale and $20 rebate card, it comes to $249.99.

SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series

<![CDATA[Today I am reviewing a SSD (Solid State Drive) made by Samsung. Samsung is a multinational conglomerate founded and based in Seoul, South Korea. Started as a trading company in 1938, it is today widely known for its innovation in technology.
A 250 GB SSD was requested for a gaming motherboard. The motherboard provided was
A1PyTpQOZRL._SX425_the ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z, which has eight 6Gb/s SATA ports, six of which support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 solutions.

This SSD’s specs, attached below, are great.

  • 256 GB
  • Average Latency
  • Read: 540 MB/s
    Write: 520 MB/s
  • SSD III (6 Gb/s)
  • Buffer 3 GB
  • IOPS and IOPS conversion to Mbps
    25,000 MBps Read
    22,500 MBps
  • MLC
  • MTBF: 1,500,000 hours
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
    Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years
  • $309.99

Works Cited
“Corporate Profile – About Samsung – Samsung.” Samsung. Samsung, 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 01 Mar. 2017. <>.
“SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series 2.5″ 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-7PD256BW.” Computer Parts, Laptops, Electronics, HDTVs, Digital Cameras and More!Newegg Inc., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2017. <>.
Shaman, Josh. “Samsung 840 EVO SSD Review.” – Storage Reviews. Storage Reviews, 19 July 2013. Web. 01 Mar. 2017. <>.]]>

ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z Review

<![CDATA[ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z Review
This motherboard is a gaming motherboard created by ASUS. The packaging was professional, as you would expect for a high-end gaming motherboard. Not only was the motherboard protected by a sturdy box, that box was within another box! It appears they spent a lot of time thinking out the design. Here is a quick overview of its specs:
CPU Socket Type: AM3+
Memory Supported: DDR3Image result for ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z
Memory Speed: 2400 (O.C) / 1600
Form Factor: ATX

The only problem I have with this motherboard is the fact that, not overclocked, this motherboard can only run DDR3 1600 RAM. In comparison, the ASUS TUF Sabertooth 990FX can run a max of DDR3 1866 RAM without being overclocked. Overclocked, however, this motherboard can become a lot faster than this competitor, so I’ll let it slide. 

Though this motherboard has onboard audio, you won’t be able to find integrated video on this motherboard. Then again, what would you expect from a gaming motherboard? This motherboard has one PS/2 keyboard or mouse port for those who use older keyboards or mice. In addition, it boasts four USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0 ports, making it easy for you to find a plugin for all of your gadgets. To top it all off, this motherboard supports the ROG equipment from ASUS.

So how much does someone pay for this? On Newegg, at the time of writing this, it was running at $219.99 with free shipping.
Note:  This review is part of a classroom project.

Works Cited
ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z Special Unboxing – FX-8350 – TridentX – EK C5F-Z Overview. Perf. Florian Uhlemann. YouTube. N.p., 29 Jan. 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <>.
“ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula-Z AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Gaming Motherboard with 3-Way SLI/CrossFireX Support and UEFI BIOS.” Newegg. Newegg Inc., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2016. <…>.
“ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990FX + SB950 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS.” Newegg. Newegg Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <


AMD FX-9590 Review


Image result for AMD FX-9590AMD FX-9590 Review

My first impressions of the CPU is that its packaging is pretty low quality for what you’re buying. This processor is supposed to be one of AMD’s best processors, yet it comes in a flimsy cardboard box with little to no protection for the processor.

This CPU has an AM3+ socket and it has four cores with eight threads. As for caches, there are four 2MB L2 caches and 8MB L3 cache. It has a very fast speed of 5.0 Ghz in Turbo Speed (4.7GHz at regular clockspeed) with 220w TDP. With a passmark rating of 10270 (at the time of writing this), we can tell that this is a good CPU.

This CPU runs for $199.99 on sale at Newegg, where it would usually run for $239.99 without the sale. Overall, I believe the motherboard is a great value for the performance it puts out. The packaging put me off at the beginning, but the performance of this CPU definitely balanced it out in favor of the processor.

Works Cited:

AMD FX-9590 5 GHz CPU Unboxing! YouTube. Tech of Tomorrow, 25 July 2013. Web. 12 Jan. 2017. <>.

“AMD FX-9590 Eight-Core.” PassMark. PassMark Software, n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2017. <>.
“AMD FX-9590 Vishera 8-Core 4.7 GHz Socket AM3+ 220W FD9590FHHKWOF Desktop Processor – Black Edition.” Newegg. Newegg Inc., n.d. Web. 08 Jan. 2017. <>.
Note:  This review is part of a classroom project.]]>

Linux vs. Windows

<![CDATA[After using Linux Mint for the past week, I have realized that Linux, at least in this version, is a pretty great OS — especially when you consider that it is completely free. I feel that because Linux is free, that is an automatic plus when you consider that you need to spend hundreds of dollars to get the programs necessary to run Windows (Cornet).
The display on Linux is decent considering that it is a free program, but I feel it is too close how Windows 7 looked to really feel unique. For example, the home menu is in the bottom left corner with the pinned programs displayed by their icons. This is all on the bottom of the screen, just like Windows. On an upside, this makes it an easier transition for a Windows user, like myself, to start getting into Linux. As a downside, however, you can’t help but compare the sleek design of Windows 7 to Mint’s layout.
Despite Windows having a better designed layout, I really do like Linux. It is far easier to set up a new Linux machine than a Windows machine because Linux comes with everything it needs: A good browser — unlike Internet Explorer– office programs, and the ability to quickly download other necessary programs. Linux is better when you consider the fact that you almost don’t have to worry about viruses, because most are written for Windows (Cornet). It also doesn’t help that I couldn’t find an article on the Internet giving reasons why you should use Windows 10 over Linux.
I feel that had we not already paid for Windows for the computers in the building, Linux would have been the better choice. It would save money that could be used to buy other things that our technology department might need because, as stated earlier, Linux is free. Paired with the fact that viruses are very rare in Linux, we wouldn’t have to worry about someone accidentally infecting their laptops. I feel that the reason why I haven’t personally used Linux is because I wasn’t completely sure how to change operating systems until recently.
In conclusion, for functionality and cost effectiveness, I would recommend Linux. Windows, however, definitely has a better looking layout than Linux Mint. Perhaps other Linux versions have better layouts, but I have only used Mint. Would I recommend Linux to update an old computer? Yes. The display isn’t so far behind Windows that I would feel annoyed with using it, so it would be a great fit to maybe bring an old computer “back to life.” Overall, I feel I should start looking for an old computer to fix, because I really like Linux.
Works Cited
Cornet, Manu. "Why Linux Is Better." Why Linux Is Better. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.