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•  Intel Core i7-4790KCPUPro, 2 months ago.
•  SanDisk Extreme Pro 240GBSSDrivePro, 3 months ago.
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What's Hot.

Intel Pentium G3258

The Intel G3258 is the first budget Pentium processor to feature an unlocked multiplier. This enables a comfortable overclock to 4.3 GHz using just the stock heat sink and fan. At 4.3 GHz, in terms of single and dual core performance, the G3258 challenges a fully overclocked i7-4790K, the fastest CPU I have seen to date! These results are stunning considering that the G3258 is retailing for around one fifth as much as an i7-4790K. The G3258's Achilles heel is its poor multi-core performance which is over 50% weaker than the group leaders. For the vast majority of users, assuming an overclock of 4.3 GHz, the G3258 is the best value processor on the market by miles. On the other hand, users that encode multi-media or run SLI/Crossfire setups should look elsewhere. [Jul '14 CPUPro]

64GB USB Flash Drive

Mushkin Ventura Ultra USB 3.0 60GB

The Mushkin Ventura Ultra USB 3.0 has a Sandforce controller coupled with MLC NAND. This combination produces mediocre results for an SSD but for a USB flash drive its small file 4K performance is staggering. Comparing the Ventura Ultra and Sandisk Extreme shows that for small file IO the Ventura is around 200% faster than the Extreme. The Extreme has faster peak write speeds but overall the Ultra leads by a whopping 72%. The Ultra is a great choice for hosting Operating Systems or for use as boot media (check mobo. compat.) where its small file performance and low access times will reduce load times by orders of magnitude. Thanks to its exceptionally reasonable pricing, the Ultra topples the Extreme as my top USB pick for both value for money AND overall performance. [May '14 USBFlashPro]

256GB Solid State Drive

Samsung 850 Pro 256GB

The 256GB Samsung 850 Pro is the fastest consumer SSD we have seen to date. Thanks to Samsung's new 3D V-NAND the 850 Pro has lower power consumption and better performance, albeit marginally, than both the 840 Evo and 840 Pro. Looking at the peak lab performance figures for the 840 and 850 Pros shows that the effective performance improvement is only 5% whereas the 850 Pro beats the 840 Evo by 8%. All of these drives effectively saturate SATA 3.0 making it almost impossible to distinguish between them in day-to-day use. At current prices the 256GB 850 Pro is prohibitively expensive, prices need to drop by nearly 40% before it approaches the 840 Evo from a value perspective. Samsung may release a value orientated 850 Evo soon, but for now most users are better off with the 840 Evo. [Jul '14 SSDrivePro]

Hard Drive

Seagate Desktop SSHD 2TB

The Seagate Desktop SSHD is a Solid State Hard Drive (SSHD). The 8GBs of MLC NAND flash built into this model help facilitate better performance than a purely mechanical drive. Peak sequential read/write speeds are above average at 190 MB/s. The 2TB SSHD has consistently demonstrated class leading 4k random write speeds in the region of 5.0 MB/s. 4K read speeds are in the region of 0.7-0.9 MB/s which is well above average, but not record breaking. Overall the performance increases attributable to the NAND flash are very noticeable in the area of small file 4K performance where the SSHD dominates the competition. In terms of sequential speeds, the Seagate also offers better average sequential performance than most mechanical 2TB hard drives. From a value for money perspective, the 2TB SSHD is well above average, it has a brilliant 4k performance profile, strong sequential speeds and only a slightly above average price. [Dec '13 HDrivePro]


Intel Core i7-4790K

The Intel Core i7-4790K, codenamed Devil's Canyon, is an upgraded 4770K, Intel's current flagship i7. The 4790K features an improved thermal interface which enables it to dissipate heat more efficiently than the 4770K. Comparing the 4770K and 4790K shows that stock performance has improved by 13% which is consistent with the base clock jump from 3.5 GHz to 4.0 GHz. OC performance remains unchanged. Comparing the 4790K and 4790 shows that at stock clocks the 4790K is around 16% faster which considering the small price difference makes the 4790K a far better choice. Previously Intel targeted the unlocked K versions at overclockers but with Devil's Canyon they have included VT-d on the K chip and this time it is squarely aimed at both power users and overclockers alike. Until the release of Broadwell in six months, the 4790K is the high end CPU of choice. [Jul '14 CPUPro]

256GB Solid State Drive

Crucial MX100 256GB

The Crucial MX100 is the first 16nm SSD to date. Aside from NAND, the MX100 shares the same hardware as its more expensive sibling, the M550. Comparing the MX100 and M550 shows that the two drives have similar read speeds but that the MX100 lags by nearly 50% at writing. The newer 16nm NAND reduces costs and accordingly the MX100 is the cheapest SSD (per GB) to date. In terms of performance the MX100 is a compromise which may or may not be worth making depending on individual circumstances. For typical desktop use including email, office documents and web browsing the MX100 is a great choice but power users should look elsewhere. Comparing the 250GB 840 EVO and 256GB MX100 shows that for a marginal premium, the Evo offers better write speeds. (Note: at 500GB they are more evenly matched) [Jun '14 SSDrivePro]

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The Best.
SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 16GBSamsung 840 Evo 250GBIntel Core i7-4770KWD Black 1TB (2013)AMD R9 280X
SanDisk Extreme USB 3.0 32GBSamsung 840 Pro 256GBAMD FX-6300Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 3TBNvidia GTX 770
Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3 USB 3.0 16GBSamsung 840 Evo 120GBIntel Core i5-4670KSeagate Desktop SSHD 1TBAMD R9 270X
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