Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion, Budget Overclocker?

Truecrypt 7.1 & Unigine Heaven 4.0

Truecrypt 7.1

TrueCrypt is a software system for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted drive. On-the-fly encryption means that data are automatically encrypted or decrypted right before they are loaded or saved, without any user intervention. No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted) without using the correct password or correct encryption key. Until decrypted, a TrueCrypt volume appears to be nothing more than a series of random numbers. The entire file system is encrypted (i.e., file names, folder names, contents of every file, and free space).





The Rampage V came out a little ahead ( .2 GB/s) and the Asus X99 Deluxe and Gigabyte X99 SOC tied.  Like we mentioned previously that makes the Gigabyte X99 SOC look pretty good, the Asus X99 is a bit more expensive and has a few more features, the Rampage board is a lot more expensive and has a lot more features. Here’s the thing about features, if you don’t need them they aren’t worth paying for. Being dedicated hardware junkies we can remember paying extra for the boards with Firewire support, look how well that turned out. Look at Sata Express it’s a wonderful idea on paper but where are the Sata Express drives to support the interface. Bountiful features are only worth the money if you use them.

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Heaven Benchmark with its current version 4.0 is a GPU-intensive benchmark that hammers graphics cards to the limits. This powerful tool can be effectively used to determine the stability of a GPU under extremely stressful conditions, as well as check the cooling system’s potential under maximum heat output. It provides completely unbiased results and generates true in-game rendering workloads across all platforms





Unigine Heaven liked all the boards and we got a fairly flat score curve with barely 8 points between the bottom and top boards. Heaven gave us no slack on FPS and all 4 boards ran 53 FPS without enough difference to call a definitive winner.

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The Steam Deck – Valve delivers an excellent PC handheld

Valve is an interesting company that seems to try to be a lot of things at the same time. Games company, software hub/store and hardware company. Valve is all of these. When it comes to hardware the company has had mixed success. I think many of us remember the Steam Machines. These compact computers running SteamOS, a Linux based OS, were supposed to make Windows PC’s obsolete for gaming. They didn’t succeed. Valve also released a specific controller, the Steam Controller, which also did not exactly set the world on fire. In hindsight though both these products have paved the way for the product I am testing today, the Steam Deck, Valves attempt to compete with the Nintendo Switch in the handheld market.

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