I've looked at a couple of video cards over the past few months, each being more powerful (and expensive) than the previous. It all started with MSI's R6850 which retailed for $177.99 at the time of our review. Next on the list was the ASUS GTX560 Ti which showed a marked improvement over the slower AMD offering, albeit at roughly $75 more expensive. Today we will bump things up to the higher-end of the spectrum as we analyze the ASUS GTX580 DirectCU II graphics card, a $500 premium GPU featuring a core clock of 782 MHz, 512 processor cores and an effective memory clock of 4008 MHz. This card is factory overclocked by 10 MHz (772 MHz reference) but ASUS also offers a higher factory overclocked version of this card at 816 MHz.
Our review today is going to examine the Memoright FTM Plus 6Gbps 240GB SSD; a 'SandForce Driven' SSD capable of read/write performance in excess of 500MB/s. Memoright focuses primarily on enterprise sales, however, they were one of the first to release a consumer SSD back in 2007. Submission of their MR25.1 128GB SLC SSD for review was our first introduction and we were floored at its MSRP, at that time, of $3500. Solid state drives have come down just a bit since then.
Battlefield 3 beta was released on Sept 29 and allows those who pre-ordered the game on EA's Origin service to try it out before its launch on Oct 25. Battlefield 3 beta will make for a good barometer whether the new Frostbite 2 engine does require a lot more GPU horsepower so users can determine if they need an upgrade or not. Other than GPU performance, users with an older quad-core CPU might also be concerned whether BF3 requires them to upgrade to a new platform, overclock their current CPU or if what they currently have is more than enough to handle the new physics engine.