Top picks from TweakTown

Hello TechEye viewers, this is TweakTown’s Content Editor reporting back once again with another weekly update of the highlights over at TweakTown recently. It’s been a particularly solid week for us over at TT due to the noise AMD has made with the launch of its new FX (Bulldozer) series AM3+ processors. Just in time for the launch, we got hold of a FX-8150 Bulldozer CPU for a full going over in a wide array of benchmarks up against Intel’s mighty i7-2600K and also compared to the old Phenom II X6 1100T to help you see if its worth upgrading to.

After gathering our final thoughts on the FX-8150 and struggling to be impressed, we quickly followed that up with an editorial that we feel sums up the Bulldozer launch perfectly. Although sadly, it’s not all very positive which seems to be the general consensus from the launch web wide.

Nonetheless, we powered on from there and tried to give the FX-8150 another chance; this time putting more of the focus on the VGA side of things to see if it can still deliver in spades when it comes to solid, high peformance/resolution gaming from a value conscious perspective vs. going down the more assured, but often more expensive Intel road.

From there we took things a notch higher and in a separate article we once again pitted the FX-8150 with Intel’s i7-2600K using a hefty CrossfireX HD 6970 x 3 VGA setup to see if the extra PCIe lanes on offer from the 990FX chipset help give its performance a bit of a kick north.

While the week was mostly consumed by Bulldozer activity, we did manage to step away for a bit with a re-visit of Crucial’s m4 series SSD in chunky 512GB form; but this time using the latest 0009 firmware that promised increased sequential performance by up to 20%, lower latency and lower system boot up time by negotiating with host controllers faster.

In other storage related coverage, we also checked out a new 8-Bay Rack mount NAS Server from Thecus in the N8200XXX. The N8200XXX sits in the lower end of the midrange, but you would hardly know it after using one. The outside design was taken directly from the N8800PRO we reviewed last year, so even though the XXX model sits in a lower position on the scale, Thecus didn’t cut corners in the quality department.

Looking for a new rodent to pair up with your lappy when on the go? We checked out a couple this week which both managed to impress in their own unique ways. We first checked out GIGABYTE’s ECO600 which the company claims will provide pro-longed battery life of up to 12 months. For the $24.99 price point it comes in at we were highly impressed with its overall feel, quality and additional touches such as the buttons for DPI switching (800/1200/1600 DPI) and fancy blue LED indicators.

We then followed that up with a look at what Nexus has on offer these days in the way of compact, wireless mice for on the go use. Nexus says its SM-9000 series mouse has one primary unique attribute – it’s *dead* silent. We did our best to try and get that typical ‘click’ sound to occur from the mouse. We thought a bit of rage pressing in a hectic multiplayer game or during a quick-clicking game like Deus Ex. Again, nothing – Siiiilence. How have they created such magic? Is it trickery? Their patented silent switch technology has truly unleashed a beast!

That wraps up the major happenings from our neck of the woods over this past week. Until next, adios folks!