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Durabook S15 review
4:31 pm | February 8, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Durabook S15: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: Intel Core i5 (12th Gen)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe; Optional NVIDIA Quadro T1000
RAM: 32GB - Up to 64GB (4800 MHz DDR5)
Storage: 500GB (256GB-2TB NVMe PCIe SSD; Optional 2nd/3rd storage)
Rear Ports: Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 (Type A/C), HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, Serial, Nano-SIM, DC-In
Front Ports: Audio in/out, microSD card
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth V5.3; Optional GPS, 4G/5G
Audio: Integrated microphone, High Definition Audio, Speakers
Camera: Optional 2.0/5.0 MP; IR for Windows Hello
Size: 375mm x 273mm x 29.5mm; Weight: 2.6kg
OS installed: Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Accessories: Various, including SSDs, Docking Stations, Adapters

The Durabook S15 strikes a fine balance between rugged durability and a sleek, slimline design. Its build quality is reassuring and reinforces its capability to withstand challenging conditions; it's also a reflection of its rugged aesthetics. 

WIth plenty of experience testing the best rugged laptops, one aspect that really stands out is how this model is impressively adaptable, offering customisation options, including CPU and GPU variations at the time of purchase. Our test of the base model, equipped with an Intel i5 CPU and Intel Iris XE GPU, demonstrated sufficient flexibility with ample RAM, 32GB, and storage expansion options. Despite not being waterproof, its IP5X rating highlights its resilience in tough environments.

In use, the S15 effortlessly handles office tasks and internet browsing, with Windows operating smoothly across various applications. However, its base GPU does show limitations when pushed with graphically intensive tasks, a gap filled by the optional NVIDIA Quadro T1000 variant for those needing extra power. Durability tests, including repeated drop tests, underscore its robustness, easily surviving falls from typical working heights.

In essence, the Durabook S15 very much feels like that link between the refined style of the best business laptops we've tried and the durability of full-on rugged models. While it may struggle with high-end gaming or demanding CAD applications, its core strength lies in its tough build and operational flexibility. Durabook offers enhanced versions if you are looking for additional power, which makes the S15 a versatile choice for professionals who require a durable yet capable laptop.

Durabook S15: Price & availability

Durabook S15

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Durabook S15 Semi-Rugged Laptop is available online from both the official Durabook site and elsewhere. Expect prices of around $2000 / £1800 plus. 

  • Score: 4/5

Durabook S15: Design & build

Durabook S15

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Durabook S15's design is instantly recognisable as rugged, with the style highlighting the durable nature of the machine and how it is tailored to demanding field environments. Its exterior is notably tough, featuring a large, easy-to-use lever lock on the lid that ensures the laptop remains closed even when dropped, and it's designed in such a way that it's unlikely to be accidentally released. 

The laptop's build quality is reflected in design elements such as the toughened corners and overall sturdy construction. It is designed to withstand a significantly higher degree of physical stress compared to standard laptops, including resistance to knocks, scratches, and bashes, of which it sustained quite a few through the test. 

This durability is not just superficial; the attention to detail extends to the protection of vital components. All ports on the S15 are safeguarded by strong plastic doors, ensuring they remain free from dust and damage. This includes the expansion slot, which is versatile enough to accommodate traditional optical drives or a range of other drive types, such as NVMe SSDs. The laptop even supports RAID array configurations, demonstrating Durabook's commitment to providing flexible and practical solutions for field use.

One user-friendly feature is the inclusion of a convenient carry handle, making the laptop extremely easy to transport. This may seem like a minor addition, but for professionals working in field conditions, such convenience is invaluable. Overall, the Durabook S15's design and build quality clearly reflect a deep understanding of the challenging environments it is intended for, offering a highly functional and robust computer for on-site professionals.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Durabook S15: Features

Durabook S15

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Durabook S15 is a decent blend of rugged durability and computing power, designed to meet the needs of professionals in demanding field environments. One of the standout features of the S15 is its incredibly thin and light profile, which is unusual for a rugged laptop. Despite weighing just 2.6kg and being only 29.5mm thin, it does not compromise on strength. It can endure a 4-foot drop and is both IP5X and MIL-STD-810H certified, ensuring reliability in challenging field conditions.

When using laptops outside, being able to see the screen clearly is essential, and here, the S15 features a 15.6-inch Full HD DynaVue sunlight-readable display, offering up to 1,000 nits brightness, making it perfect for outdoor use. Inside powering the graphics is Intel Iris Xe graphics, offering the average graphics processing speed that's required for standard Windows operation. For professionals needing more graphics power, such as in rendering or CAD applications, there's an option to upgrade to the NVIDIA Quadro T1000 at the time of purchase.

Mobility is a key aspect of the S15's design, with options for 4G LTE or 5G cellular connections, along with Bluetooth V5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E. For remote workers, the optional built-in GPS is a great addition, providing accurate location tracking. The laptop also features a long-life battery, capable of operating up to 12 hours of standard use, and the option of a bridge battery for swapping in the field, which is crucial for many industries.

Beyond just being a laptop, the S15 can transform into a mobile workstation. It can be equipped with up to three storage drives, supporting RAID 0 and RAID 1 configurations. The flexibility extends to its media bay, which can be converted into an ExpressCard 54 slot, broadening its use.

The connectivity and security features of the S15 include an array of ports, including Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Type-A/-C, HDMI, and VGA, ensuring easy connection in any work setting. Security is paramount, with multi-factor authentication options like Windows Hello webcam, RFID/NFC, smartcard, and fingerprint readers safeguarding sensitive data.

The ergonomic design of the S15 includes a 98-key membrane keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad and optional LED backlight. Finally, the S15 offers expandability, and it can be configured with a dedicated graphics card for specialised tasks like graphics rendering and CAD programs and configured with additional connectivity options like a 2nd RJ-45 and a 2nd RS-232 port, making it an adaptable tool in an evolving mobile work environment. These are all added at the time of purchase and are not additions to the laptop you can make later. 

  • Features: 4/5

Durabook S15: Performance

Durabook S15

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 3647.40MB/s
Crystal Disk Write: 2200.13MB/s
GeekBench CPU Single: 3970
GeekBench CPU Multi: 1871
GeekBench Compute: 8727
PC Mark: 4314
CineBench CPU Multi: 4147
CineBench CPU Single: 1374
Fire Strike Overall: 2581
Fire Strike Graphics: 3053
Fire Strike Physics: 9825
Fire Strike Combined: 791
Time Spy Overall: 929
Time Spy Graphics: 830
Time Spy CPU: 2895
Wild Life: 5757
Windows Experience: 8.1

The Durabook S15 delivers a robust performance across various benchmarks, indicative of its capabilities in handling a range of tasks from basic to moderately demanding applications.

In terms of storage performance, the Crystal Disk scores are quite impressive. The read speed of 3647.40MB/s and write speed of 2200.13MB/s suggest that the S15 is more than capable of handling large files and data-intensive operations swiftly, making it suitable for applications that require quick data access and processing.

The Geekbench scores offer a glimpse into the CPU's capability. A single-core score of 3970 and a multi-core score of 1871 demonstrate that while the S15 is competent in handling everyday tasks efficiently, it might face some limitations in heavily multi-threaded applications. The computed score of 8727 further underscores its adequacy for general computing tasks.

In the CineBench tests, which are more focused on the CPU's rendering capabilities, the S15 scores 4147 in multi-core and 1374 in single-core tests. These scores reflect its ability to manage moderately demanding rendering tasks, although it may not be the top choice for highly complex rendering work.

The graphics performance, as indicated by the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks, shows a decent capability with overall scores of 2581 and 929, respectively. The laptop seems to handle standard graphical tasks well, but it might not be optimal for high-end gaming or advanced 3D rendering. The Wild Life score of 5757 further reinforces this perspective.

Lastly, the Windows Experience score of 8.1 is a good indicator of the laptop's overall capability to provide a smooth user experience for most typical applications and tasks.

The Durabook S15 appears to be a solid performer for everyday professional tasks, including data management and basic graphical applications. It offers quick storage speeds and decent CPU and GPU performance, making it a reliable choice for professionals who require a rugged laptop with balanced performance features. However, for highly demanding graphical or rendering tasks, it might be worth considering models with higher-spec CPUs and GPUs.

As well as the standard computing performance test, this is a tough laptop, and as such, the durability of the S15 also needed to be tested. In the product description, Durabook highlights that the laptop is IP5X rated and drop-proof to 4 feet. 

In the first test, the laptop was used in a CNC, laser and 3D print workshop, left between the Bambu Labs A1 and the SnapMaker Artisan with CNC tooling. It was left open to the debris created by the two machines. While most laptops will withstand this amount of dust, it can render keys and ports blocked. Here, due to the design of the keyboard, the dust was not an issue, and a quick shake and vacuum quickly returned the machine to an almost new condition. Likewise, the plastic port covers did their job of keeping dust out.

The next test was to see how the laptop would cope with being used in light rain. It's worth noting that this is not a waterproof laptop, so time in the rain was kept to five minutes. Here again, the laptop functioned without issue and continued to work after the product shot without issue. 

The final test was the drop test here, measuring four feet off the floor. The laptop was dropped, then dropped again, rotated, dropped, etc. and aside from a nasty crack as it hit the stone and then the wooden floor on countless occasions, it seemed to be absolutely fine.

  • Performance: 3.5/5

Should you buy the Durabook S15?

Deciding whether to purchase the Durabook S15 hinges on your specific needs. Its rugged design, MIL-STD-810H and IP5X certifications make it an ideal if you're a field professional working in uncontrolled environments, workshops, warehouses and factories. 

The inclusion of a 15.6” Full HD DynaVue display and options for Intel Iris Xe or NVIDIA Quadro T1000 graphics make it versatile for a range of professional tasks. Moreover, its lightweight and slim profile defies the typical rugged laptop stereotype, enhancing portability.

However, the S15 might not be the best fit for those requiring a machine for advanced gaming or intensive multimedia tasks like high-end video editing or 3D rendering nor should it be as that's not it's key market. While it performs well in standard and moderately demanding applications, its capabilities in handling extremely graphics-intensive tasks are limited. Additionally, the investment cost, which starts relatively high, should be considered, especially if your requirements are more aligned with general computing rather than rugged field use.

Durabook S15

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

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T-Bao MN78 Cyberpunk mini PC review
3:09 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS
Graphics: AMD Radeon 780M 12cu
RAM: 16GB DDR5
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Rear Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 2 x LAN, 1 x DP
Front Ports: 2 x USB 3.2, 3.5mm audio, 1 x USB 4
Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: 3.5mm headphone jack
Camera: N/A
Size: 13.15 x 13.15 x 5.5 cm
OS installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: Charge Adapter, User Manual

The T-Bao MN78 is a mini PC with a difference and one that will instantly appeal to gamers and, for that matter, anyone who wants a machine with a little aesthetic appeal. There's no doubt that the MN78 Cyberpunk name and futuristic design outline instantly that this is a machine designed for gamers, especially when plugged in and the rainbow lights illuminate. The T-Bao MN78 mini PC is a more affordable gamer option than the impressive Acemagic Tank 03, we reviewed. But then again, it doesn't quite have the pure processing grunt offered by some of the other best mini PCs we've tested.  

At the heart of the MN78 lies an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor; this new generation of processors certainly ups the game when it comes to outright performance and, through the test, impressed. This processor is further boosted by the integrated AMD Radeon 780M GPU. While these processor combos were designed for laptops, they're perfectly suited to these mini PCs and offer superb performance. Whether it's running graphically intensive games or multitasking between creative applications, the MN78 proved a great solution. However, it's worth noting that in order to get the best gaming performance, a bit of tweaking in the graphics settings might be required for some games, such as Cyberpunk 2077; while this machine is good, it doesn't quite meet the power of a full-sized laptop.

Connectivity options on the MN78 are generous, featuring USB 3.2 and 2.0 ports, HDMI, DP, and Type-C ports, along with dual LAN ports. This range allows for easy connection to various peripherals and displays, making it a versatile unit for different setups.

While the machine is designed for gamers, it packs decent power, so it is perfectly suited to creative applications; the small size and distinctive design with a solid build means that it's easy to transport without worry. If you are looking for a decent all-rounder that looks a little different, then this is a great machine, although I would be tempted to opt for the 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD version to enable some headroom. 

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC: Price & availability

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

You can easily pick up the T-Bao MN78 Cyberpunk on popular online platforms like Banggood and Geekbuying, catering to a wide range of consumers. As of the latest information, it's priced at approximately $600-790 / £500-600. But we recommend checking the sites for flash sales and discounts to get it cheaper. 

You can get a variety of different configurations, such as the version with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD, provides options if you need more power and storage, although this will come at a higher cost. 

  • Score: 4/5

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC: Design & build

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

This mini PC instantly stands out, blending functionality with futuristic, Cyberpunk aesthetics. Its compact form factor, measuring just 13.15 x 13.15 x 5.5 cm, makes it an ideal choice if you're limited in space. The machine's design sees a sleek, white exterior that reflects the Cypherpunk name engraved into the top, with plenty of venting to help aid with the cooling. If the futuristic white is not your thing, then the machine is also available in black.

The Cyberpunk-inspired design that truly sets the MN78 apart. The mini PC features customisable RGB lighting, which adds a vibrant touch to its overall look and really helps to define this as a gamer; a nice touch here is a button on the front that enables you to personalise the lighting in accordance with your mood or preference, which can be off if the bright light is too distracting. This feature is, of course, aimed at gamers, but it has a certain appeal beyond that genre as well.

In terms of build quality, the MN78 is impressive. OK, it's plastic, but it feels robust and well-constructed, indicating a focus on durability alongside style. If you want to take this machine with you, then the size and high build quality mean that it is very suitable for this purpose. Every aspect, from the ports to the cooling vents, has been well-designed, with good spacing for cable insertion and flexibility over the accessories you use. 

One of the key design features is its large cooling fan. This component can be seen through the cutouts in the top plate of the machine; these aren't just there for looks and serve a practical purpose in enabling heat management to keep the machine cool when working under load; the size of the fan also helps to contribute to the MN78's quiet operation.

  • Design: 4.5/5

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC: Features

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

Central to the MN78's performance is the AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor, designed for laptop platforms and perfectly suited to the compact PC form-factor, making it ideal for both demanding gaming sessions and intensive creative work. This processor features an integrated AMD Radeon 780M 12cu GPU. It's never going to be a true alternative to the best gaming laptops, but it offers enough processing weight to handle most modern games with ease, with some settings adjustments and creative applications. 

While internal processing is a key feature, unlike many other mini PCs we've tried, the striking design makes this model stand out. The futuristic design looks great, with the customisable RGB lighting adding ambience, but as well as being aesthetic, it also plays a functional role. 

The cutouts in the design enable plenty of venting, and all ports on the back are well-spaced, making plugging in and removing accessories nice and easy. The LEDs on the large cooling fan that covers the majority of the top section of the computer are visible through the cutouts on the top plate, which are all part of the design to enhance heat management. This ensures that the mini PC remains cool under load; playing Cyberpunk 2077 with some of the settings reduced to enhance the gameplay, the cooling system proved it's worth keeping the performance of the machine consistent and the fan noise low. 

Build quality is another area where the MN78 shines. Despite its plastic construction, it feels robust and well-made, indicating a focus on durability. The Build, coupled with the compact size of the MN78, makes it an ideal companion if you need a portable yet powerful computing solution for gaming, creative tasks or both. 

  • Features: 4/5

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC: Performance

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)
Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 5072.98
Crystal Disk Write:
2598.10
GeekBench CPU Single:
2486
GeekBench CPU Multi:
11474
GeekBench Compute:
32878
PC Mark:
7243
CineBench CPU Multi:
14608
CineBench CPU Single:
1720
Fire Strike Overall:
6587
Fire Strike Graphics:
7033
Fire Strike Physics:
22487
Fire Strike Combined:
2598
Time Spy Overall:
3004
Time Spy Graphics:
2680
Time Spy CPU:
9567
Wild Life:
13154
Windows Experience:
8.2

The T-Bao MN78 showcases impressive performance across a variety of applications and games and, through the test results and real-world usage, we found it to pack more power than most.

Starting with benchmark tests, the Crystal Disk Read and Write scores of 5072.98 and 2598.10, respectively, show swift data transfer rates, making it an excellent choice for tasks requiring quick access to large files such as video editing. The GeekBench scores, both in single (2486) and multi-core (11474) tests, highlight the processor's efficiency in handling both singular intensive tasks and multitasking scenarios. The high GeekBench Compute score of 32878 further underscores its graphical power, helping with gaming and video rendering.

In CineBench tests, the MN78 achieves a multi-core score of 14608 and a single-core score of 1720, which indicates that it will be able to handle CPU-intensive tasks effectively. The PC Mark score of 7243 aligns with this, suggesting a well-rounded performance in everyday computing tasks.

Gaming performance is the main focus of this machine. In the Fire Strike and Time Spy tests, the MN78 scores 6587 and 3004 overall, with particularly strong results for graphics and physics, again reinforcing its suitability for gaming. The Wild Life score of 13154 and a Windows Experience Index of 8.2 shows that it's good for gaming as well as general use.

Real-world application tests paint a similar picture. In Photoshop, the MN78 performs excellently, though the benefit of a RAM upgrade to 32GB and a larger SSD for files from the latest cameras, such as the Sony A7IV and Canon EOS R5 C. And there's scope for swapping out the best video editing laptops for the even small, more portable mini PC in some use-cases. Its performance in Premiere Pro is excellent for HD video editing and good for 4K, showing it can handle professional-grade video editing tasks, albeit more comfortably with expanded memory and storage.

Gaming tests reveal its abilities further. It was never going to match the power of the best gaming PCs, of course - while playing Cyberpunk, we had to make adjustments in settings for optimal performance. But the gameplay was more than satisfactory, and running the in-game bench helped me fine-tune the settings. In Dirt Rally and Portal 2, the MN78 delivers excellent performance, showcasing its ability to handle fast-paced games and deliver smooth graphics. Hogwarts Legacy also runs excellently after some settings adjustments.

Overall, the T-Bao MN78 Mini PC is as a versatile performer, capable of handling a range of tasks from professional creative applications to intensive gaming, with the lowering of some graphic and resolution settings. While it benefits from additional RAM and storage for more demanding tasks, its base configuration offers a solid foundation for a variety of uses.

  • Performance: 4.5/5

Should you buy the T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC?

The T-Bao MN78 is a great blend of style, power, and versatility, offering great value for money. Its performance in gaming and creative tasks is impressive, especially considering its compact form. The customisable RGB lighting and sleek design add to its appeal, making it not just a powerful machine but also a stylish addition to your desktop. While it excels in many areas, the need for potential upgrades in RAM and storage for high-end tasks is worth considering. Overall, for those seeking a compact yet powerful PC, the MN78 is a solid choice in the mini PC market.

T-Bao Cyberpunk Mini PC

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

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GMKTec NucBox K4 review
8:45 pm | February 7, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , | Comments: Off

GMKTec NucBox K4: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
Graphics: AMD Radeon 780M
RAM: Up to 32GB DDR5
Storage: 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
Rear Ports: 1x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, 2x HDMI ports, 1x USB 2.0 Type-A, and 1x USB 3.2 Type-A
Front Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1 x USB 4.0, 1 x 3.5mm Audio
Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: Features a 3.5mm combo headphone/mic jack. 
Camera: N/A
Size: 123 x 113 x 432 mm)
OS Installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: Power adapter, VESA mount with screws, HDMI cable, and a user manual

The GMKTec NucBox K4 is a decent blend of power and design, neatly packed into a compact and understated form factor. Aimed at users who want a machine for gaming and creative work, this small machine packs impressive performance thanks to its AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU and Radeon 780M GPU. This new generation of combined AMD CPU and GPU offer impressive performance. Despite the small size, the machine was more than capable of handling demanding tasks such as 4K video editing and many of the latest games.

The design of the NucBox K4 is a refreshing departure from the typical gamer-centric aesthetics that we've seen from the likes of the Acemagic Tank 03 mini PC, favouring a more professional and sleek look that would be better suited to a creative workspace. This design choice broadens its appeal, attracting not just gamers but also professionals in creative and other fields. 

However, the NucBox K4 is not without its challenges. The initial setup requires a bit more technical knowhow than usual, particularly with the need to install AMD software to unlock the full potential of the hardware. This might be a minor hurdle for tech-savvy users but could be a bit daunting for those less familiar with such processes.

Having tested plenty of the best mini PCs, performance here impresses with strong benchmark results across various tests, demonstrating its capability to handle different types of workloads well. 

One area where the NucBox K4 could see improvement is in its storage capacity. The 1TB SSD, while ample for many, might be limiting for creative tasks if using, for example, the best video editing software, as the app and video files can require more space. Users dealing with large files or extensive video content may need to consider additional storage solutions.

The GMKTec NucBox K4 is an excellent choice for those looking for a compact yet powerful mini PC. Its balance of power, portability, and professional aesthetics make it a versatile device suitable for a wide range of applications. While the initial setup and storage capacity might be points of consideration, they don't significantly detract from the overall value and performance that this mini PC offers.

GMKTec NucBox K4: Price & availability

GMKTec NucBox K4

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

The GMKTec NucBox K4 is available for purchase from various retailers. You can it on both Amazon US and Amazon UK, for example. Additionally, the mini PC is available directly from GMKTec through their official website

  • Score: 4/5

GMKTec NucBox K4: Design & build

GMKTec NucBox K4

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

The GMKTec NucBox K4 features a design that's both minimalist and functional, which it has in common with many other mini PCs we've tried. It features a sleek, compact chassis, measuring just 123 x 112 x 43 mm and weighing in at a mere 422g, again reflecting the form factor of many mini PCs and making the format ideal if you're looking to save desktop space. This small footprint makes it an ideal choice if you're limited on space or would like a clutter-free workspace. It's also ideal if you're looking for a powerful machine to use in a Van or part of the Van life movement.

Despite its small size and lightweight, the NucBox K4 is well made and has a decent build quality. The chassis feels robust and well-constructed, capable of withstanding the rigours of everyday use, so it is ideal if you do need to take the machine with you on occasion. The design is understated, featuring a simple yet elegant exterior that forgoes the flashy lights and aggressive styling often found in gaming-oriented PCs. 

Notable design features include a decent array of ports on the front and back of the machine. It includes multiple USB ports, HDMI connections, and an Ethernet port, so it pretty much deals with all your connectivity needs. The inclusion of a VESA mount option is a great touch and, again, an increasingly common feature for this style of machine. The VESA mount essentially enables you to attach the PC behind compatible monitors or TVs, further saving desk space.

  • Design: 4/5

GMKTec NucBox K4: Features

GMKTec NucBox K4

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

At the core of the GMKTec NucBox K4 Mini PC is an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor featuring 8 cores that bring desktop-grade performance into a mini PC. This processor, combined with the integrated AMD Radeon 780M graphics, makes the NucBox K4 a machine perfectly suited to moderate gaming and professional creative work. It might not be the gaming laptop-killer, but it's certainly an ideal alternative to the best laptops for photo editing.

Complementing the processor is 32GB of DDR5 RAM, 32GB being the max for this machine and the amount that was supplied in our review sample. This amount of RAM ensures smooth multitasking and quick data processing for all office and creative work and enables you to indulge in many of the latest games without lag. The storage solution, a 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, enables incredibly quick data access, helping to boost all areas of performance for the machine.

When it comes to connectivity, there's a good range of ports, including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, and Ethernet.

One issue that can occur with this amount of processing in such a small box is heat. Thankfully, the K4 features a decent cooling system. This system ensures stable performance even under heavy load and manages to keep the noise of the fans reasonable. 

When it comes to the operating system, the K4 comes with Windows 11 Pro Pre-installed; however, the AMD driver software will also need to be downloaded and installed before unlocking this machine's full potential. 

  • Features: 4/5

GMKTec NucBox K4: Performance

GMKTec NucBox K4

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)
Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 6985.97
Crystal Disk Write:
 5451.54
GeekBench CPU Single: 12584
GeekBench CPU Multi:
 2640
GeekBench Compute: 33486
PC Mark:
 7532
CineBench CPU Multi: 15385
CineBench CPU Single:
 1822
Fire Strike Overall: 7412
Fire Strike Graphics:
 7701
Fire Strike Physics: 25932
Fire Strike Combined: 2715
Time Spy Overall:
 3033
Time Spy Graphics: 2698
Time Spy CPU:
 10234
Wild Life: 13661
Windows Experience: 8.0

The GMKTec NucBox K4's performance is impressive and made possible by the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor coupled with the Radeon 780M GPU, making it suited to various tasks and applications.

In gaming, the NucBox K4 handles most modern games at respectable frame rates. While it might not match the performance of a full-sized gaming rig with a dedicated GPU for a mini PC, its gaming capabilities are decent and more than enough to play the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 and Hogwarts Legacy. Setting the display to 1080p enables a decent gaming experience.

For creative professionals, the NucBox K4 handles demanding applications such as Premiere Pro and Da Vinci Resolve, Photoshop and Lightroom, and even Blender, one of the best 3D modeling software tools around. When it comes to video editing, particularly at 4K resolution, the performance of the small machine is surprisingly good, although the 1TB storage is a little limiting, and an external drive through the USB 4.0 is a good upgrade option if you want to a super-compact alternative to the best video editing laptops

The benchmark results highlight the machine's capabilities. High scores in Crystal Disk Read (6985.97) and Write (5451.54), GeekBench (CPU Single: 12584, Multi: 2640, Compute: 33486), and CineBench (CPU Multi: 15385, CPU Single: 1822) reflect its strong performance in processing speed, multitasking, and graphical tasks.

In everyday use, the NucBox K4 offers an experience for office work as well as simply browsing the internet. 

Through testing the machine, the cooling system did its job and maintained a stable performance without significant thermal throttling; the sound levels also seemed to be kept in check as the cooling system worked hard to keep things cool.

In summary, the GMKTec NucBox K4 stands as a versatile performer, balancing the demands of gaming, creative work, and everyday computing within a compact and efficient package. Its ability to deliver such performance in various tasks and applications makes it a compelling choice for a wide array of users, from gamers and creatives to general users seeking a powerful yet space-efficient desktop solution.

  • Performance: 4.5/5

Should you buy the GMKTec NucBox K4?

The GMKTec NucBox K4 is impressive for its size, catering to both gaming enthusiasts and creative professionals. The Mini PC's ability to handle demanding applications such as 4K video editing and gaming at respectable frame rates makes it a great all-around choice and one of the most powerful Mini PCs out there.

Design-wise, the NucBox K4's minimalist and functional aesthetic sets it apart from the more flamboyant gaming-focused PCs, making it an attractive option for professional environments. Despite its small size and plastic exterior, the build quality is solid, assuring longevity if you want to carry the machine around. The variety of ports and the inclusion of a VESA mount further enhance its appeal by offering flexibility when it comes to connection options from home to the office or other locations. 

However, the NucBox K4 does require a bit more technical know-howknowhow during the initial setup, primarily due to the necessity of installing additional AMD software. This might be a minor issue for some users, but it shouldn't put you off; the process is a simple download, install and restart, and you're done. Additionally, the 1TB SSD, while sufficient for many tasks, may fall short for users with extensive storage needs, particularly in creative fields such as video editing.

In terms of value for money, the NucBox K4 stands as a slightly pricey option, but its performance and features justify the cost. It is especially appealing for those who require a powerful yet compact and aesthetically pleasing desktop solution without the flashing lights.

GMKTec NucBox K4

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

OnePlus 12R review: Long-lasting, eye-popping
5:00 pm | February 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets OnePlus Phones Phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

OnePlus 12R: Two-minute review

OnePlus is kicking off 2024 with a pair of new phones, its latest flagship OnePlus 12 and the intriguing OnePlus 12R; which marks the first time an R-series device has launched internationally and not just in India.

While we've seen T-series entries on the global stage before, the R more closely delivers on the promises of the company's full-fat flagship phones and this year's 12R is no exception; running on familiar hardware for those who knew last year's OnePlus 11, while also serving up some company and industry firsts all its own.

OnePlus 12R review back straight perspective

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

At a glance, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the 12R for both the OnePlus 11 and the OnePlus 12, as all three phones sport a familiar aesthetic, with rounded edges and the distinct 'Starlight Dial' circular camera surround that we were first introduced to on 2023's OnePlus flagship.

The iconic physical alert slider may have swapped sides (OnePlus says this improves antenna performance), and the phone may lack wireless charging and full IP68 dust and water resistance, but it's otherwise a beautifully crafted and premium-feeling phone with plenty of power and battery longevity to boot.

If it weren't for the lesser secondary cameras, the 12R amounts to a revamped OnePlus 11, with the same flagship-class Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 found in 2023's finest, up to 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and the biggest battery ever seen in a OnePlus phone, which translates to the best longevity we've ever gotten from a OnePlus phone – battery life that matches the likes of the mighty Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

OnePlus has also included its latest OxygenOS 14 user experience out of the box, which comes with a heap of branded technologies; most importantly the 'Trinity Engine': an umbrella term for a number of features that ensure the 12R's performance doesn't degrade over time, focusing on CPU, RAM, and ROM management.

A killer 1.5K LTPO 4.0 AMOLED display fronts the phone, with a more advanced adaptive refresh rate, touch response rate and peak brightness (4,500nits) than even the OnePlus 11.

OnePlus 12R review front angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

If there's one area where the 12R does fall short of its otherwise flagship standing, it's with camera versatility. The main 50MP Sony sensor delivers a similar experience to that of last year's flagship – running on the same sensor and with a fast shutter not to mention a year's worth of refinement from OnePlus. However the 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro cameras don't keep step with regards to quality and consistency.

For the price, there's little that matches the 12R directly, however, alternatives like the OnePlus 11, Samsung Galaxy S23 FE and iPhone 14 come close; provided you're willing to trade away the phone's excellent display tech and battery prowess. One of the best OnePlus phones yet? Quite possibly, even without being a fully-fledged flagship in its own right.

OnePlus 12R review: Price and availability

  • Priced from $499.99 / £649
  • Announced January 23, on sale February 13
  • $300 / £200 lower starting price than equivalent storage OnePlus 12

The OnePlus 12R serves as the global variant of the OnePlus Ace 3, which launched in China at the very start of 2024. The 12R made its debut as part of the OnePlus 12's global launch event in India on January 23, with a staggered on-sale date that sees the phone released first in India (on February 6), before arriving in markets including the US, UK and Europe on February 13.

US customers get the choice of two storage configurations, starting at $499.99 with 128GB of space, while UK and European customers only have access to the single higher-capacity 256GB model, which sells for $599.99 in the US and £649 / €699 in those two other markets, respectively.

Pricing means it undercuts other newcomers, like the Samsung Galaxy S24, Google Pixel 8 and baseline iPhone 15 by quite a margin, and in truth, there's little worth considering around the 12R's launch price, save for more expensive but older phones that have had time to drop in price, including the company's own OnePlus 11.

The company's 2024 flagship – the OnePlus 12 – comfortably sits around $300 / £200 more expensive for the same amount of storage, but for the extra cash you're getting a sharper screen, better cameras, longer-term software support, and Qualcomm's latest and greatest flagship silicon in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Note though that there's no current Australian availability for the OnePlus 12R or the standard OnePlus 12.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

OnePlus 12R review: Specs

OnePlus 12R review: Design

OnePlus 12R review back angled floating

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Elegant, premium curved glass and metal aesthetics
  • Physical alert slider on left side
  • IP64-certified against dust and water

The OnePlus 12R presents itself as a premium handset, with a level of fit and finish on par with any of the latest top-tier phones out there, not least because it shares in the 'Starlight Dial' design language of this year's and last year's OnePlus flagships.

The Iron Gray model (pictured) has a matte glass back that's superb at repelling fingerprints (and other marks) but has an almost Teflon-like low friction coefficient, meaning it's a little slippery in the hand. The Cool Blue alternative, meanwhile, is the more head-turning option, that's better at catching the light (and fingerprints), if you're in the market for a little more flare. It's worth noting that colorway availability varies by region and storage variant too.

If you're not a fan of the straight-sided iPhones or Galaxy phones (or the rumored design of the forthcoming Pixel 9 series) leading the market, the 12R is the perfect remedy. The front and back glass curve elegantly into the thin metal frame, which makes it a touch trickier to hold by comparison but nicer in the hand and on the eye.

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OnePlus 12R review alert slider

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OnePlus 12R review alert slider UI

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OnePlus 12R review top

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OnePlus 12R review handheld front

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OnePlus 12R review back straight

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OnePlus 12R review camera

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A trait that's slipped in since OnePlus more closely buddied up to sister company Oppo is the adoption of a flat top and bottom to some of its phones' frames, and that's the case with the 12R. A USB-C port, SIM tray and speaker grille reside along the bottom, while microphones and – perhaps most intriguingly of all – an IR blaster can be found on the phone's top edge. This is a novel addition that's seldom seen on phones nowadays, but gives the 12R universal remote functionality which you won't readily find on the competition; great for controlling your TV, aircon, projector, and even some smart lights, all from the one device.

OnePlus' iconic alert slider (oddly absent from previous performance flagships like the OnePlus 10T) is reassuringly present on the 12R, although perhaps not as 'correct' as long-time OnePlus users might expect, as across both entries in the series, this knurled three-stage switch is now found on the opposing side to where it usually sits (the right side). OnePlus claims this helps with antenna performance – especially when gaming in landscape – and in practice, the learning curve of adjusting to a swapped alert slider and volume rocker is negligible.

While the 12R is notably thinner (and a touch lighter) than the standard OnePlus 12, that's partly down to the lack of wireless charging, while that finely-crafted bodywork also falls short of the industry-standard dust and water resistance, with only IP64 certification (most flagships boast IP68 protection against water ingress).

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

OnePlus 12R review: Display

OnePlus 12R review front angled straight on

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.78-inch 1.5K 19.8:9 120Hz LTPO 4.0 ProXDR AMOLED display
  • Outstanding peak brightness up to 4,500nits
  • Aqua Touch for accurate use in the wet

Look past the marketing spiel (which there's a lot of) and the 12R's display is spec'd as one of the market's best right now. Beyond the fundamentals as a 6.78-inch 1.5K AMOLED panel protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the ProXDR screen on the 12R boasts the same peak brightness as the OnePlus 12, at a whopping 4,500nits (with an HBM or high brightness mode peak of 1,600nits).

For comparison, the iPhone 15 series tops out at 2,000nits, while the S24 series reaches 2,600nits. Although that peak isn't an increment you'll likely hit in day to day use, the additional headroom over screens of the most prominent players in the industry means everything from outdoor legibility to HDR content consumption (it's also Dolby Vision, HDR Vivid and HDR10+ compliant for good measure) is comparatively better. Speaking of HDR content, being able to view HDR imagery shot on device, natively in both the OnePlus Photos app and the Google Photos app – similarly to the likes of the latest Pixel 8 Pro – is a nice flex.

The LTPO 4.0 tech at work also means improved power efficiency (relative to LTPO 3.0, as on the OnePlus 11), as this new panel is able to switch between more frequency increments through its 1Hz to 120Hz range, depending on the situation (lower frequencies equal less power drain, higher frequencies offer more fluid visuals).

As for gamers, an impressive 1,000Hz touch response rate (branded 'HyperTouch') is on-hand to ensure accurate touch input at any pace (that's faster than any of the best gaming phones currently out there), while 'HyperRender' is responsible for backlight calibration when gaming; accounting for the environment you're playing in and optimizing contrast and brightness dynamically.

There's also the presence of Aqua Touch: an algorithm that helps the 12R discern between water droplets and true touch inputs on a wet display; making use in rain or similarly wet conditions far more reliable than you'd experience with a conventional touchscreen and in practice, it's a huge win for convenience, especially if, like me, you're a Londoner all too familiar with the Great British weather's habits.

Throw in 2160Hz PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming for reduced eye strain in low light (backed by independent certification from TÜV Rheinland), and an overall A+ rating from DisplayMate, and OnePlus has receipts to back up its claims surrounding the 12R's screen tech.

Sure, these aren't all headline features worth buying the phone for explicitly but they're 'nice to haves' that elevate the 12R's viewing experience beyond both expectation and more prominent competitors.

  • Display score: 5 / 5

OnePlus 12R review: Software

OnePlus 12R review apps drawer

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • OxygenOS 14 atop Android 14 out of the box
  • Customizable user experience without feeling overwhelming
  • 3 years of OS + 4 years of security updates

If you're a long-time OnePlus user, you'll know OxygenOS has lost a little of its individuality since OnePlus and Oppo more closely collaborated on their respective mobile user experiences (we lost the 1+ calculator easter egg with OxygenOS 13), however, OxygenOS 14 (running atop the latest Android 14) still delivers on the core values of OnePlus' software from previous generations; packed with sparks of software design so good that you'd wish other brands would crib from it.

While delivering a relatively clean aesthetic and user experience, OxygenOS has supported user generated wallpapers long before Samsung and Asus called upon AI smarts to offer similar results with their latest-generation phones, Zen Space is a one-stop destination for mindfulness that supports Android's native Digital Wellbeing toolset, gestures and floating windows add a heap of flexibility to the base OS's multitasking experience, and being able to quick-launch apps from the fingerprint sensor is a nice trick too.

OnePlus 12R review The Shelf

The Shelf on OxygenOS 14 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Shelf is an interesting inclusion that OnePlus has struggled to find a consistent home for within OxygenOS and I'm not convinced its current location – accessed by swiping down on the home screen, replacing quick access to notifications and quick settings – should be its final destination. Nevertheless, as a dedicated home for widgets – akin to Today View on iPadOS – it's a nice way to keep glanceable information all in one place.

OxygenOS manages to walk the line between simplicity and functionality where other brands' user experiences tend to err on the side of 'more features equals better', even if that's at the expense of intuitive navigation and interaction.

The 12R's standing below that of the company's true current flagship does mean that its software support isn't quite as extensive – at three years of OS upgrades and four years of security updates – but that does at least keep it in step with the similarly-spec'd OnePlus 11, meaning both phones won't fall out of favor until Android 18 (and presumably OxygenOS 18).

  • Software score: 4 / 5

OnePlus 12R review: Cameras

OnePlus 12R review camera closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Robust 50MP Sony IMX890 lead sensor, as on OnePlus 11
  • Same RAW HDR algorithm, as on the OnePlus 12
  • Ineffectual macro camera

While at a glance the OnePlus 12R's rear camera setup may resemble the OnePlus 11's and 12's, it's likely the biggest departure from both phones and one of the biggest cost-saving aspects of the 12R's spec sheet. You still get the same 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX890 sensor that leads the OnePlus 11's camera setup, complete with a year's worth of software refinement, plus improved speed from mode switching to shutter lag, but beyond its main snapper, the 12R's photographic capabilities are more pedestrian.

The 8MP Sony IMX355 ultra-wide serves up consistent colors with the main camera in good lighting, but detail is noticeably lacking when comparing similar shots taken between the two, while the 2MP macro camera lacks the pixels, dynamic range and color depth to be anything other than novel.

OnePlus 12R camera samples

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main Citroen

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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OnePlus 12R camera sample main portrait mode Brie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Portrait mode

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OnePlus 12R camera sample ultra wide high street

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Ultra wide camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main high street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

1x zoom

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OnePlus 12R camera sample 2x zoom high street

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2x zoom

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OnePlus 12R camera sample 5x zoom high street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

5x zoom

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OnePlus 12R camera sample 20x zoom high street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

20x zoom

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main jumper sleeve

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Main camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample macro jumper sleeve

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Macro camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main glass

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Main camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample macro glass

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Macro camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main garden

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Ultra wide camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample ultra wide garden

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Macro camera

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main low light moon

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Low light

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main Night mode garden

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Night mode

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OnePlus 12R camera sample main manual max ISO and shutter garden

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Low light w/ maximum ISO and shutter speed

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OnePlus 12R camera sample selfie

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Front

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OnePlus 12R camera sample selfie Portrait mode

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Front camera w/ Portrait mode

If you're serious about shooting on the 12R, all your photos should really come from the OIS-supported (optical image stabilization) main 50MP sensor. It offers enough versatility in its own right to satiate the average mobile photographer, and while there's no Hasselblad tuning to speak of – as on the brand's other premium phones – image quality is generally great; with a particular talent for HDR shooting, exemplified by the 'ProXDR' toggle in the phone's native gallery app that shows this trait off most clearly.

Along with excellent colors, detail, and dynamic range when snapping standard 12.6MP jpeg stills, you have the choice of capturing full-sensor 50MP images, as well as HDR shots in RAW, with the 12R benefitting from the same RAW HDR algorithm as found on the OnePlus 12.

One growing trend from the current era of smartphone photography that isn't as prevalent on the OnePlus 12R is AI-supported shooting, especially when it comes to editing tools. Features like generative fill are being popularized by the likes of the latest Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones, and is one such AI feature you won't find here.

  • Camera score: 3.5 / 5

OnePlus 12R review: Performance

OnePlus 12R review gaming

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC
  • Trinity Engine for CPU, RAM and ROM optimization
  • Dual vapor chamber cooling design

If you thought the branding for the various technologies in the display section of this review was a bit much, OnePlus kicks things into overdrive when it comes to talking about the phone's performance. Practically every performance-centric hardware and software optimization comes with a catchy name attached, with the 'Trinity Engine' being the umbrella brand under which they all sit.

Building on memory optimization features the company first introduced with the OnePlus 11, the Trinity Engine consists of three key parts: CPU-Vita, RAM-Vita and ROM-Vita, which collectively work to keep the 12R feeling fast and fluid long into your time with it. This is primarily achieved by throttling for heat management and battery longevity, prioritizing memory allocation for more frequently used apps, and on-the-fly defragmentation of storage to keep files accessible; all in the pursuit of peace of mind for users looking for a worthwhile long-term smartphone purchase.

Running on the same chipset as the OnePlus 11 – paired with the latest UFS 4.0 storage (on the 256GB model, at least) and LPDDR5X RAM for greater speed and power efficiency – you'd expect comparable flagship performance, and in artificial benchmarking tests, you'd be right. In fact, the OnePlus 12R feels as fast and as fluid to use as any current flagship, including more cutting-edge Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered phones. The performance shortfall likely won't be felt for at least a year or two, which is to say this phone is comfortable with whatever you throw at it, right now.

Gaming on Genshin Impact with default (medium) graphical settings and a bump up to a 60fps frame rate cap proved zero issue for the 12R for extended periods and seldom were frames dropped. The caveat to that is that despite a new 'Cryo-Velocity' dual vapor chamber cooling system – offering a reported three-times-larger vapor chamber area compared to the OnePlus 11 – heat build-up was more noticeable during intensive tasks than expected; never to a concerning degree, but still.

There are some great user-accessible performance tools worth digging into too. Live Lock is perfect for pinning apps that you want the system to leave resources available for – ideal for downloading system updates for Genshin while doing other things. Gaming Tools let you customize graphical settings, manage notifications and performance allowances, and even toggle improved HDR visuals.

There's also the fact that OnePlus (and Oppo and Realme) phones don't run in a high performance state out of the box. While the 12R feels perfectly tightly wound for responsive everyday use, dive into the phone's power menu and you'll find a toggle for 'high performance mode.' It's a little bonus that you'll likely never need, but additional grunt on tap is never to be sniffed at.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

OnePlus 12R review: Battery

OnePlus 12R review USB

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Largest capacity battery in a OnePlus phone ever
  • Up to 100W SuperVOOC wired charging
  • Rated for only 20% capacity degradation after 1,600 cycles

Along with the screen, the battery is arguably one of the OnePlus 12R's greatest strengths. Around the same physical size as the OnePlus 11's battery, the company has managed to up the capacity to a whopping 5,500mAh – making this the largest power cell in a OnePlus phone ever.

Even without the latest-generation Qualcomm chipset, that larger capacity helps deliver the best battery life we've tested in a OnePlus phone, clocking in at around eight hours of screen-on time per charge, equivalent to two days of light to average use on a single charge. It's not quite iPhone 15 series longevity, but matches some of the best Android phones on the market, beating out mainstream rivals like the Pixel 8 series, handily.

Not only that, in most markets save for the US (where it peaks at 80W), the OnePlus 12R comes with rapid 100W fast charging, which OnePlus claims means you can hit 100% charge after only 26 minutes, In testing, the review sample used here reached 92% in the same time, fully charging at the 30-minute mark exactly; making this one of the faster-charging phones out there right now.

Being built for long-term use seems to be a key theme of the OnePlus 12R, with the company promising a four-year or 1,600-cycle on the battery, after which they claim longevity will equate to around 80% of the out-of-box performance. For comparison, Apple officially states that its iPhones reach this same 80% capacity threshold after just 500 cycles.

The only real fly in the ointment here is the reduced peak 80W charging speed in the US (a trait found on other OnePlus phones too) and the absence of any form of wireless charging.

  • Battery score: 4.5 / 5

Should you buy the OnePlus 12R?

Buy it if...

You like media and gaming
The combination of display, performance, and battery life make this a superb phone for high-fidelity gaming or enjoying HDR content for hours on end.

You like curved-edge smartphones
The latest iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones and, as it currently looks like, the next batch of Pixels have all adopted straight sided designs with flat screens. The OnePlus 12R shirks this design trend and places elegant curves first.

You want an Android phone with great battery performance
One of the longest-lasting Android phones on the market also packs in a battery that's built to charge quickly and last years upon years of recharge cycles with minimal degradation. Great for travelers, gamers, and power users.

Don't buy it if...

You want a killer camera
That main 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor is a real joy to use and highlights the strides OnePlus has made in its camera tuning over the years, but as the 12R packs three cameras on the back, you have to consider the whole packages and those other sensors don't pull their weight.

You need the best water resistance or wireless charging
Most flagships come packing IP68-certified dust and water ingress protection, the 12R falls short of the mark when it comes to withstanding the wet stuff by comparison, and that slim body may look good but leaves no room for wireless charging.

OnePlus 12R review: Also consider

Even though it's a great device, there are issues with the OnePlus 12R, so you might want to consider one of the following alternatives.

OnePlus 11
Similar specs and the same software update expiration date, but the previous year's OnePlus 11 boasts a superior camera with Hasselblad tuning to boot.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
The last of Samsung's Galaxy S23 series is smaller than the 12R and doesn't pack the same degree of grunt, but it offers affordable access to a premium Samsung experience and is one of the few phones that comes to market around the same asking price as the 12R.

How I tested the OnePlus 12R

OnePlus 12R review camera closeup alt

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Review test period: three weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats, OnePlus 100W SuperVOOC charger

Having received both the OnePlus 12 and 12R a week ahead of the OnePlus 12 series' launch, I got straight to using the 12R (check out our OnePlus 12 review if you're curious about the company's new flagship), adding my own Google account and OnePlus account before using the device as my main phone for the duration of the review period.

Usage included streaming video, snapping stills and video with the phone's various cameras, and toying with the ProXDR display's abilities with both compatible content and gaming.

Publicly available, industry standard benchmarking apps were used to meter the CPU, GPU, and AI performance of the OnePlus 12R, and while we don't always publish the results, we keep them on file for comment and comparison with other devices we've tested. Battery life was tested by recording screen-on time each day across a single charge from 100% to 0%, based on normal everyday use, while the in-box charger was used to recharge the phone, with the charge checked at intervals to assess the rate of replenishment.

The cameras were used in a myriad of conditions to test their versatility, with comparisons between sensors and the cameras of other phones as part of the testing process.

Having extensively reviewed numerous smartphones, including a myriad of OnePlus phones during my 12 years of journalistic experience, I felt confident in putting the OnePlus 12R through its paces and evaluating its abilities in a fair and informed manner, based on the market, its target audience, pricing, and the competition.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2024

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super review: the true RTX 4080, overshadowed by the looming RTX 4080 Super
5:00 pm | January 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: , , , , | Comments: Off

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super: two minute review

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super is a difficult card to rate, despite it being without a doubt one of the best graphics card releases of this generation.

For a US MSRP of $799.99, you're essentially getting a pared-down Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080, including 16GB GDDR6X VRAM, a wider 256-bit memory bus so you can actually play the best PC games at 4K (with tweaks), with noticeably less power draw. On the flipside, you're also getting a card that is only marginally better than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, despite its seriously upgraded specs.

As far as the design goes, unfortunately, there is no Founders Edition for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super, so you don't get the sleek-as-hell all-black metallic finish of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super. Instead, you'll have about a half-dozen or so board partners like Asus, MSI, and others making these GPUs. Which card you get will determine a lot from overclock settings to cooling and RGB lighting effects.

The Asus Tuf Gaming model I reviewed is identical to the Asus Tuf Gaming RTX 4070 Ti I reviewed, and it's a massive chonky card for what it's worth. Given the power requirements and the need to dissipate a lot of heat, you can fully expect that whatever RTX 4070 Ti Super card you pick up, it's going to be a triple-slot monster.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super sitting on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

In terms of performance, there's no getting around the fact that this is essentially the Nvidia RTX 4080 we should have gotten a year ago (it's built off the RTX 4080's AD103 GPU, rather than the RTX 4070 Ti's AD104), and for that, it is one of the best 4K graphics card models to hit the market this year. It's gaming performance is superb pretty much across the board, with the only area it struggles to be playable is where every other graphics card struggles other than the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, and that's native ray tracing at 4K.

Even there, however, this card manages to average about 32fps (though its average minimum/1% fps dips below the 24fps that registers as fluid motion, so yeah, it can sometimes be a bit of a slideshow). 

Unfortunately, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT is also right there further complicating the picture for this card. Outside of creative workloads that rely on CUDA (like Blender or V-Ray), the RX 7900 XT goes toe-to-toe with the RTX 4070 Ti Super in terms of gaming performance, though the RTX 4070 Ti Super will generally handle ray tracing better.

Surprisingly though, AMD's FSR seems to be at the point where it is battling Nvidia DLSS to a draw by and large, with the only real difference being whether you have ray tracing turned up to its highest setting or not. Given the recent price cut for the RX 7900 XT down to $749.99 in the US, anyone looking at the RTX 4070 Ti Super will have to ask themselves some hard questions.

This is especially true given the big looming release set to drop at the end of January, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super. Though 25% more expensive at MSRP than the RTX 4070 Ti Super, given the high cost of entry for this card, it suffers from a similar problem as the original RTX 4080 had; it's too close in price to a clearly better card, and so ultimately, you'll almost certainly be better off buying the RTX 4080 Super in a week's time. Which is a shame, because the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super is a fantastic card that really should have hit the scene a whole lot sooner than it is.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super sitting on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super: Price & availability

  • How much is it? MSRP listed at $799.99 (about £640, AU$1,120)
  • When is it out? It was released on January 24, 2024
  • Where can you get it? You can buy it in the US, UK, and Australia

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super goes on sale January 24, 2024 for a listed MSRP of $799.99 in the US, which is about £640 in the UK and AU$1,120 in Australia.

This is the same MSRP as the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti is replaces, which is definitely a positive given the generally terrible pricing of Nvidia best graphics cards this generation.

As stated above though, AMD isn't sitting on its laurels, and it's dropped the price of its competing RX 7900 XT graphics card to counter this release. And, given, their relative levels of performance, it's a smart move as it makes the RX 7900 XT a better value as a result, at least enough to be competitive in the absence of any RX 7050 XT-series releases thus far.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super sitting on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super: Specs & features

  • 16GB VRAM
  • Wider memory bus
  • Slightly faster clock speed

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super sitting on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super: Performance

  • Marginally better than RTX 4070 Ti
  • Loses to RX 7900 XT in gaming performance
  • Extra VRAM makes 4K gaming much smoother

Where it counts, the RTX 4070 Ti Super is a fantastic graphics card for work and play, though it's definitely more of a refresh of the RTX 4070 Ti, which is unfortunate since it really should have shown better performance given its specs.

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

In terms of synthetic performance, the RTX 4070 Ti Super averages about 4.5% better performance than the RTX 4070 Ti, and about 13% slower performance than the RTX 4080, which more or less matching the RX 7900 XT. On this latter point, much like other AMD vs Nvidia comparisons, in pure rasterization, AMD comes out on top with Nvidia winning out in ray tracing workloads.

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Creative benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Creative benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Creative benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Creative benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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For creative performance, the RTX 4070 Ti Super greatly outperforms the RX 7900 XT, but falls well short of where the RTX 4080 lands. If you're looking for the best creative graphics card, then, the RTX 4080 Super is definitely going to be one to look out for considering it's only going to retail for $200 more and should be much more powerful.

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1080p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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In gaming performance, no card really comes close to the RTX 4080, but the RTX 4070 Ti Super more or less ties the RTX 4070 Ti and the RX 7900 XT.

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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1440p gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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In 1440p gaming performance, the additional 4GB VRAM in the RX 7900 XT starts to become a factor to the RTX 4070 Ti's detriment, but overall, the RTX 4070 Ti Super comes up about 3.5% behind the RX 7900 XT, and roughly tied with the RTX 4070 Ti.

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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4K gaming benchmarks for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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At 4K, the additional 4GB VRAM in the RTX 4070 Ti Super vs the RTX 4070 Ti starts to really have an impact, giving the RTX 4070 Ti Super about 6.5% better performance on average but a nealy 10% higher fps floor at 4K than the RTX 4070 Ti. 

The RTX 4070 Ti Super also runs about even with the RX 7900 XT as well.

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Final benchmark results for the RTX 4070 Ti Super

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Wrapping things up, a couple of other points I definitely want to hit on, namely that the biggest thing holding this card back in a lot of ways is its TGP. With the same TGP as the RTX 4070 Ti, you get the sense that this card leaves something on the table in terms of performance given its specs. On the plus side though, it does manage to squeeze some extra performance from the same amount of power, which is a good thing. If you want to try and overclock this card to tap into its full potential, have at it.

It's not going to run particularly hot (unless you overclock the hell out of it) and it's gaming performance is exceptional, even into 4K, where you can expect to average about 70 fps at 4K when not using ray tracing, or you can turn ray tracing on and flip DLSS to balanced or performance for the same amount of frames or better.

It's ultimate value proposition isn't as good as the RX 7900 XT's, but it's better than the RTX 4070 Ti's, and since AIBs are likely to be switching themselves over to the Super rather than keep putting out non-Super RTX 4070 Ti's, this card is effectively giving you something extra for no additional cost.

The ultimate value tell though will be how the Nvidia RTX 4080 Super performs, and it's unfortunately the case that the success of this card depends very much on how well Nvidia's last major graphics card of this generation is received.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super sitting on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Should you buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super

Buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super if…

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider

How I tested the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super

Test system specs

This is the system we used to test the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super:

CPU: Intel Core i9-14900K
CPU Cooler: MSI MAG Coreliquid E360 AIO Cooler
RAM: 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-6000
Motherboard: MSI MPG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi
SSD: Samsung 990 Pro 4TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Thermaltake PF3 1050W ATX 3.0
Case: Praxis Wetbench

I spent about a week working with the Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti Super, running our standard battery of tests on it and similar cards in its price category.

I ran it through a number of real world use cases where it will be used, primarily  gaming and content creation. 

I've been reviewing computer hardware, including graphics cards, for years now, and I am intimately familiar with the kind of performance you should expect from a graphics card at this price point. I bring that knowledge to bear on my graphics card reviews and make sure that every graphics card I compare to the card under review is retested using the most up-to-date drivers to get the best relevant data for comparison, even (as in this case) it means I only test the most relevant competing cards to provide the reader with the most important comparative data when they are considering making their next graphics card purchase.

First reviewed in January 2024

I spent about a week working with the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super, including using it as my main work PC graphics card for content creation work. I ran our standard battery of tests on it and its two main competitor cards due to time constraints (you can see my RTX 4070 review for its relative performance versus many more cards, and than consider a roughly 12%-15% better performance over that for the RTX 4070 Super). 

I've been reviewing computer hardware, including graphics cards, for years now, and I am intimately familiar with the kind of performance you should expect from a graphics card at this price point. I bring that knowledge to bear on my graphics card reviews and make sure that every graphics card I compare to the card under review is retested using the most up-to-date drivers to get the best relevant data for comparison, even (as in this case) it means I only test the most relevant competing cards to provide the reader with the most important comparative data when they are considering making their next graphics card purchase.

Geekom Mini IT12 review
11:53 am | January 17, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Geekom Mini IT12: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-12650H (12 Cores, 16 Threads, 18MB Cache, up to 4.70 GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics for 12th Gen Intel Processors
RAM: Dual-channel DDR4-3200 SODIMM, 32GB, expandable up to 64GB
Storage: 1 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD 1TB onboard, expandable up to 2TB, 1 x M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot, expandable up to 1TB, 1 x 2.5" SATA HDD (7mm) slot, expandable up to 2TB
Rear Ports: 3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 2 x USB4 ports, 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 x 2.5GbE LAN port, 1 x DC jack
Front Ports: 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x SD card reader (side), 1 x 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x Power button
Connectivity: Ethernet: Intel 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps RJ45, Wireless LAN: Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211, Bluetooth Wireless Technology: Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: Not specified
Camera: N/A
Size: 117 x 112 x 45.6 mm
OS Installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: 1 x Mini 1 x VESA Mount, 1 x Power Adapter, 1 x HDMI Cable, 1 x User Guide

Considering the size and price, the Geekom Mini IT12 is a high-performing, compact mini PC designed for a range of applications, from office tasks to moderate gaming, with a real focus on creatives using processor-intensive applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Da Vinci Resolve. There are several variants of the machine, but in this test, we're looking at the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12650H.

The processor ensures that this mini PC packs power. At the same time, the RAM allocation is impressive, with 32GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 SODIMM, which is expandable up to 64GB, catering well to heavy workloads. Storage is also versatile and generous, featuring a mix of M.2 and SATA SSD slots and a 2.5" HDD slot, expandable up to 2TB. 

We've tested many of the best mini PCs, and in our experience, the Mini IT12 also offers a decent volume of connectivity and expansion options. It has a range of ports, including USB 3.2, USB4, HDMI 2.0, and a 2.5GbE LAN port, making it adaptable for various peripherals and network setups. Intel's Wi-Fi 6E AX211 and Bluetooth 5.2 ensure a fast wireless connection. 

While it lacks a dedicated GPU, the integrated Intel UHD Graphics are sufficient for everyday tasks and moderate gaming and handle image and video editing up to 4K well. 

Measuring a compact 117 x 112 x 45.6 mm, it's ideal for space-constrained environments or if you need a machine that is easily portable while still offering robust performance. The system runs on Windows 11 Pro, which provides the reliability and speed that many professional users will need. 

The Geekom Mini IT12 is a well-rounded mini PC offering a blend of performance, connectivity, and versatility, suitable for a wide range of users, from professionals to casual gamers and creatives. What makes this small machine stand out is its versatility for creatives, with plenty of connection options for external control desks and hard drives. There's the fact that it has a built-in SD card reader and the ability to expand internal storage capacities. 

Considering the size and price, this is an incredibly powerful machine that will suit creatives looking for a compact computing solution that offers portability. 

Geekom Mini IT12: Price & availability

Geekom Mini IT12

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

The Geekom Mini IT12 12th Gen Intel Cor i7 model is currently priced at $639 MSRP. However, there's a promotion available where a $30 discount can be applied using the coupon code IT12GEEK30 during checkout, effectively bringing the price down to $609. Availability is widespread, including through the official Geekom website and Amazon.

  • Score: 4/5

Geekom Mini IT12: Design & build

Geekom Mini IT12

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

The Geekom Mini IT12 Mini PC is housed in a green, metallic-looking casing made of high-quality plastic, offering a feel that is solid and reliable, though not quite premium. The design is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, with an unobtrusive, simple appearance. Its compact form factor (117 x 112 x 45.6 mm) and the addition of a VESA mount enhance its portability and make it suitable for a variety of settings, from studio work to mobile offices.

The build quality is robust, with accurately moulded and fitted cases. The ports and power buttons are easily accessible, all adding to the machine's user-friendly design. The device's internal components, including RAM slots, M.2 slot, and a 2.5" HDD drive slot, are easily accessible after removing the base, which is secured with cross-head screws. 

Cooling and ventilation have been well-integrated into the design. Vents and fans are compactly arranged, ensuring efficient heat dissipation while keeping noise levels low. Side grills offer additional airflow, aiding in maintaining an optimal operating temperature.

Port placement is pretty standard, with two USB Type-A ports on the front and a variety of connections on the back, including two HDMI ports and a USB Type-C port, supporting up to four displays. The inclusion of an SD card slot on the side is a superb additional touch, especially for creative professionals.

The Mini IT12 is designed with the needs of creatives in mind. It features a powerful 12th Gen processor, 32GB of RAM (expandable to 64GB), and extensive storage options, including an ultra-fast M.2 slot and a 2.5" HDD slot, allowing for the expansion of up to 5TB of internal storage. These features make it well-suited for demanding applications like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Geekom Mini IT12: Features

Geekom Mini IT12

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

The Geekom Mini IT12 Mini PC offers a strong set of features that will appeal to content creators and anyone looking for a compact machine that offers more power than a simple office machine. At its core is the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12650H processor, which, with its multitasking  ability, makes it an ideal choice for demanding tasks like video editing and graphic design. Complementing this on the graphics side is the Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which, although not a dedicated card, is powerful and capable of handling multiple 4K and 8K video streams.

Another feature that really boosts the creative appeal of the Mini IT12 is its comprehensive selection of ports. It includes two USB4 ports, allowing for high-speed data transfer and the capability to run multiple high-resolution displays. Connectivity is further enhanced by the latest Intel Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E, ensuring a stable and speedy wireless connection even in crowded network environments.

Storage and memory are important features for anyone working on creative projects, and with dual-channel DDR4-3200 SODIMM expandable up to 64GB and a range of SSD options, including an M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD, there are plenty of options for internal upgrades and expansion. Ensuring that everything stays cool, the machine has an integral cooling system that features a built-in fan that maintains a balance between optimal performance and low noise levels.

The Mini IT12 also has the ability to support multiple displays, including two 8K displays, making it ideal if you like to split your tool pallets from your workspace or have a separate monitor for admin, web browsing, and email. 

Energy efficiency is another key feature, with the machine drawing up to 45W of power, far less than a traditional workstation. Pre-installed comes Windows 11 Pro, meaning that you can get up and running in around 10 minutes from the time you unpack and connect the machine.

  • Features: 3.5/5

Geekom Mini IT12: Performance

Geekom Mini IT12

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)
Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 5096 MB/s
Crystal Disk Write: 4474 MB/s
GeekBench CPU Single: 2323
GeekBench CPU Multi: 9386
GeekBench Compute: 11065
PC Mark: 5253
CineBench CPU Multi: 1677
CineBench CPU Single: 1660
Fire Strike Overall: 3730
Fire Strike Graphics: 4093
Fire Strike Physics: 18843
Fire Strike Combined: 1301
Time Spy Overall: 1331
Time Spy Graphics: 1167
Time Spy CPU: 6670
Wild Life: 9511
Windows Experience: 8.1

The Geekom Mini IT12 Mini PC has a decent all-round performance across a variety of applications, making it a versatile machine for both professional and home use. When it comes to handling creative applications such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and DaVinci Resolve, the Mini IT12 shines. Its high GeekBench Compute and CineBench scores reflect its capability to manage intensive processing tasks, while the impressive Crystal Disk Read and Write speeds ensure fast data handling, crucial for video editing and image processing.

The ability to handle creative software is made possible by the 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, backed by strong multi-core performance. The Intel Iris Xe Graphics, though not top-tier for 3D rendering or ultra-high-resolution cuts in the top video editing software, is more than sufficient for running any of the best graphic design software and video editing tasks. This makes the Mini IT12 a great choice for creative professionals who require a balance of performance and price.

When it comes to general office work, the Mini IT12 meets all demands. Its PC Mark score indicates that typical office applications such as the Microsoft Office Suite will run smoothly, and you can quickly switch from one application to another without issue. Tasks in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are handled with ease, and there are no worries about this machine's abilities with any office tasks.

Gaming on the Mini IT12, while not its primary focus, is possible. The test scores from Fire Strike and Time Spy suggest that while it can run graphically demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Red Dead Redemption, it may need to compromise on settings for optimal playability. The machine is more suited to less graphics-intensive games or older titles, as indicated by the Wild Life score. Thus, while the Mini IT12 can cater to casual gaming needs, it might not satisfy hardcore gamers seeking to play the latest games at high settings.

The Geekom Mini IT12 stands out as a well-rounded mini PC. Its ability to handle a range of tasks, from creative software to everyday office applications, along with its capability to provide a decent gaming experience, makes it a great choice for users seeking a compact yet powerful computing solution.

  • Performance: 3/5

Should you buy the Geekom Mini IT12?

If you're a creative professional or a user with intensive multitasking needs, the Geekom Mini IT12 is an excellent choice. Its powerful processor, coupled with upgradable and expandable memory and storage options, makes it ideal for applications like Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and any of the best Adobe Premiere Pro alternatives. However, if you're a hardcore gamer looking for a machine to handle the latest high-end games at maximum settings, you might want to explore options with dedicated graphics cards. For general office work, multimedia, and casual gaming, the Mini IT12 offers great value, making it a smart purchase for everyday users seeking a compact yet capable PC.

Value: Solid performance at a reasonable price. 4/5
Design: Compact, efficient, unobtrusive design. 4/5
Features: Versatile, with comprehensive connectivity and expansion options. 4/5
Performance: Strong in multitasking, moderate in gaming. 4/5
Total: Well-rounded, efficient for professionals and casual users. 4/5

Geekom Mini IT12

(Image credit: Ali Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Geekom Mini Air12 review
6:48 pm | January 16, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Geekom Mini Air12: 30-second review

Specs

CPU: Intel Alder Lake N100
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 12th
RAM: 16GB DDR5
Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Rear Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-C with DP 1.4 Alt Mode, RJ45, HDMI 2.0, Mini DP 1.4
Front Ports: USB 3.2 Gen 2, Type-C Data Only, SD Card Reader, 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: HDA CODEC
Camera: N/A
Size: 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm
OS Installed: Windows 11 Pro 21H2
Accessories: VESA Mount

The Geekom Mini Air12 Mini PC is an excellent choice as a light task PC in a compact form. Equipped with the 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake N100 Processor, it creates a balance between energy efficiency and computing power. Our review sample featured a maximum of 16GB DDR5 RAM and a 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x 4 SSD, upgradable to 2TB if you need it.

Despite the small size and integrated graphics, this small machine still packs the power to support up to three displays, including 8K, making it suitable for a range of tasks and, of course, entertainment. This feature is particularly valuable for professionals in creative fields who require multiple monitors, although video editing applications will struggle with the processing.

Measuring just 116 x 111 x 35mm and weighing in at 498g, the Mini Air12 doesn't compromise on build quality. The high-quality plastic casing feels durable, and the port layout adds to its usability with USB Type A and C available on the front. The cooling system is crammed into a small space but proves to do the job and remains relatively quiet through most processing jobs.

When it comes to design, the Mini Air12 is sleek and understated, with a grey casing and black top plate that should fit unobtrusively into any setup. Its compactness makes it highly portable, ideal if you need a PC that can travel with you. Additionally, internal components for upgrades or maintenance are simple enough, with four screws on the base enabling quick access to the inner workings enabling easy upgrades when needed.

We've tested many of the best mini PCs, and after giving this one a thorough going over, we felt the Mini Air12 is well-suited for a range of applications, from office tasks and education to home entertainment. The inclusion of an SD card slot is a great addition for photography enthusiasts who use Lightroom or Photoshop (or, to be fair, any of the best Lightroom alternatives and best Photoshop alternatives that we've reviewed).

Geekom Mini Air12: Price & availability

Geekom Mini Air12

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Geekom Mini Air12 is competitively priced at $249, down from its original price of $489. This price point makes it an appealing option for if you're looking for a balance between performance and affordability in a mini PC. 

Regarding availability, it is readily accessible on the Geekom website. However, availability can vary, and it's advisable to check the website or authorised retailers for the most current status. 

  • Score: 4/5

Geekom Mini Air12: Design & build

Geekom Mini Air12

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Geekom Mini Air12 boasts a design that prioritises functionality and simplicity. It is compact, measuring just 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm, which makes it an ideal fit for tight spaces such as behind a monitor, on a bookshelf or on a desk. This machine is essentially designed for office use, education, and home entertainment. However, that's not to say that the Air12 feels and looks cheap; the casing is made of high-quality plastic, which feels and is durable. Aesthetically, it's understated yet stylish, with the grey casing complemented by a black top plate.

The port layout is a key strength, offering a decent range on both the front and back, including a handy SD card slot on the side, which is particularly beneficial for photographers. Despite its small size, the weight of the Mini Air12 adds to its feeling of quality.

In terms of cooling, the Mini Air12 is equipped with a compact cooling system that manages heat well. The fan noise remains acceptably low, ensuring a quiet working environment. 

When it comes to upgradability Internally, the design enables easy access to key components like RAM and M.2 slots through the base, which is held in place by four cross-head screws.

  • Design: 4.5/5

Geekom Mini Air12: Features

Geekom Mini Air12

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

The Geekom Mini Air12 is designed to cater to a range of needs, from office work to home entertainment. At its core, the Mini Air12 houses the 12th Gen Intel Alder Lake N100 Processor, a choice that provides a balance of power and efficiency for everyday tasks. The processor is combined with 16GB of DDR5-4800 SODIMM memory and an M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x 4 SSD, which is upgradable to 2TB.

In a machine of this level, the speed of this drive helps boost overall performance with quick boot times and application performance due to the drive data transfer speeds. The connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, both helping to ensure a stable wireless connection.

The Mini Air12 supports up to three displays, including 8K, great if you need multiple screens for productivity or immersive entertainment experiences. While this feature is particularly advantageous for professionals hooked up to the best monitors for graphic design or the best monitors for video editing, we did feel the processing power provided by this machine won't quite meet professionals' needs.

Finally, the compact size of the Mini Air12, measuring just 117 x 112 x 34.2 mm and weighing 498g, makes it highly portable. If you need a machine that you can easily transport between home and office or to different locations, then this could be a great option. 

  • Features: 3.5/5

Geekom Mini Air12: Performance

Geekom Mini Air12

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
Benchmarks

Crystal Disk Read: 3439 MB/s
Crystal Disk Write:  3030 MB/s
GeekBench CPU Single: 963
GeekBench CPU Multi: 2034
GeekBench Compute: 3271
PC Mark: 2908
CineBench CPU Multi: 796
CineBench CPU Single: 825
Fire Strike Overall: 1172
Fire Strike Graphics: 1222
Fire Strike Physics: 6488
Fire Strike Combined: 463
Time Spy Overall: 370
Time Spy Graphics: 322
Time Spy CPU: 2433
Wild Life: 2761
Windows Experience: 7.6

The Geekom Mini Air12's performance in video editing and gaming hinges on its hardware capabilities. For running any of the best video editing software, particularly with HD and 4K content, the Mini Air12's CPU and storage speeds (as reflected in the Crystal Disk and CineBench scores) offer decent performance for light editing tasks. However, intensive editing involving multiple layers or effects is a challenge due to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics and the processor's limited multi-core performance. 

In gaming, while the Mini Air12 can handle older or less demanding titles, its capacity to run graphically intensive games like Red Dead Redemption, Assassin's Creed, and Cyberpunk 2077 is limited. The Fire Strike and Time Spy Graphics scores indicate that it lacks the graphical prowess necessary for smooth gameplay in these modern AAA titles, which often require dedicated graphics cards and higher-end CPUs. 

While the Geekom Mini Air12 is a competent machine for general use and multimedia, its hardware constraints become apparent in high-resolution video editing and modern gaming scenarios. However, this mini PC is most definitely suited if you have modest gaming and video editing needs rather than anyone seeking a device for high-end gaming or the best video editing computer for a professional. Where the Mini Air12 really excels is for everyday tasks such as Microsoft Office, web browsing and multimedia for which it is ideally suited. 

  • Performance: 3/5

Should you buy the Geekom Mini Air12?

The Geekom Mini Air12 is an excellent compact and efficient mini PC, ideal if you are looking for a space-saving computer for general use, office tasks, and multimedia. Its solid performance, courtesy of the 12th Gen Intel processor and fast SSD, meets the needs of everyday computing and basic creative tasks. 

However, its limitations in handling intensive video editing and modern gaming should be noted if you're thinking of using this machine for gaming. The machine also offers excellent connectivity, a quiet cooling system, and portability. While not a fit for high-end gaming or professional video editing, it excels in delivering reliable performance for its intended use cases.

Value: Affordable, efficient for basic tasks; limited for high-end use. (4/5)
Design: Sleek, ultra-compact, and portable; ideal for space-saving setups. (4/5)
Features: Good connectivity and storage lacks in graphics and gaming. (3.5/5)
Performance: Capable for everyday tasks, struggles with intensive gaming/editing. (3/5)
Total: Great for daily use, not for graphic-intensive tasks. (3.5/5)

Geekom Mini Air12

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super review: the best midrange graphics card on the market, with some caveats
5:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Computing Components Gadgets | Tags: , , , , | Comments: Off

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super: Two minute review

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super is a graphics card with a lot of expectations built up around it after it's announcement at CES 2024, and if you've yet to upgrade your graphics card in a minute and you've been waiting for a sign, this release is what you've been waiting for, whether you end up buying it or going with a competing card from AMD or Intel.

Looking across the lineup of Nvidia graphics cards in 2023, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 definitely reviewed as one of Team Green's best thanks to fantastic performance and a more accessible price compared to the rest of the GPU market at the time. At $599.99 in the US (about £480/AU$840), the RTX 4070 Super is going to retail (at MSRP) for the same launch price as the card it refreshes, while the RTX 4070 will see a healthy price cut when the RTX 4070 Super goes on sale on January 17, 2024.

In terms of what you're getting for that same amount of money, you're going to get substantially more SMs for more processing power as well as a slightly faster base clock speed. But, sadly, we're still stuck with just 12GB GDDR6X VRAM which does hamper this card's 4K potential. If you're looking for the best 4K graphics card, you may have to wait to see what the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super or Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 Super have to offer later in January.

If what you're looking for is the best 1440p graphics card on the market, well, in terms of sheer performance, look no further. Between upgraded specs and DLSS 3 with Frame Generation, Nvidia Reflex, and a host of other tech packed into this card, you'll be playing the best PC games at high settings with the best 1440p monitors for many years to come.

Still, it's not an unqualified win for Nvidia here. For one, the price of the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super is still $100 (about £80/AU$140) more than the AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT that it's directly competing with. And while the RTX 4070 Super does outperform the best AMD graphics card for the midrange on a number of levels, gaming sadly isn't one of them, unless you lean heavily on ray tracing.

Even in places where you factor in DLSS, without frame generation, Nvidia lags behind the RX 7800 XT overall when it comes to gaming. And once AMD releases its own frame generation tech for FSR in the coming weeks, the advantage Nvidia gets from DLSS 3 with Frame Generation will likewise tighten up. On this point, gamers are going to have some harder questions to ask themselves than anyone else, and the price of the RX 7800 XT alone might be more than enough to tip the scales for them.

Still, it's hard to argue that Nvidia hasn't delivered an absolutely phenomenal card with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super, and for midrange users out there who want fantastic gaming as well as content creation features and raw performance, this is almost certainly going to be at the top of the list when making your choice about a new upgrade.

An Nvidia RTX 4070 Super on a purple deskmat on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super: Price & availability

  • How much is it? US MSRP $599.99 (about £480, AU$840)
  • When is it out? January 17, 2024
  • Where can you get it? You can buy it in the US, UK, and Australia

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super goes on sale on January 17, 2024, for $599.99 in the US (about £480/AU$840), which is the same price as the launch MSRP of the RTX 4070 when it launched in April of 2023.

And while we love to see prices stay more accessible for gamers and creators, Nvidia is still charging a premium for its card vis-à-vis AMD's competing RX 7800 XT, which has competitive performance for about $100 less.

Still, despite not being the best cheap graphics card on the market, for what you're getting, the price on the RTX 4070 Super is a very good value overall. While not quite AMD levels of performance for price, this is about as good a value as you're going to get from an Nvidia GPU on the market today (at least until we see what the RTX 4070 Ti Super and RTX 4080 Super are working with later this month).

Value score: 4/5

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super: Design

  • Gorgeous all-black finish
  • Same size as base RTX 4070
  • Still requires 16-pin power

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super Founders Edition is easily one of the sexiest graphics cards I've laid hands on in a long while. The all-black shroud, fans, and trim give it a very sleek look that might not have any of the flash of RGB bedazzled third-party cards, but as far as Nvidia's lineup goes, this is easily the most attractive.

In every other way, barring the Super branding, this card is identical to the original RTX 4070, so it comes with all its positives and negatives as well. Its smaller than its larger siblings, so its much more manageable in a wider variety of cases, but it is still heavy enough that some kind of GPU support is going to be needed if you don't have a vertical card adapter for your case.

The cooling solution is also fairly good and has plenty of power for cooling. Its 16-pin connector means that if you don't have an ATX 3.0 power supply, you'll need to use a two-8-pin-to-one-16-pin adapter, which might make cable management a bit of a hassle.

Design score: 4.5/5

An Nvidia RTX 4070 Super on a purple deskmat on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super: Features & specs

  • 21% higher SM count
  • Slightly faster base clock
  • STILL just 12GB VRAM

When it comes to the RTX 4070 Super, there is a lot to appreciate here. For the same price as the RTX 4070, you're getting a far more SMs (56 to the RTX 4070's 46, a 21% increase), so that also means that you're getting a hefty upgrade in terms of CUDA cores (7,168 to 5,888), ray tracing cores (56 to 46), and tensor cores (224 to 184) over the original RTX 4070. 

You're also getting a slightly higher base clock rate of 1,980MHz , which is about 3% faster than the base RTX 4070. For that, the RTX 4070 Super also has a 220W TGP, which unfortunately means that you're not going to get any RTX 4070 Super cards with an 8-pin connector like you can with the RTX 4070.

Beyond that, there isn't too much different spec-wise with the RTX 4070 Super than you have with the RTX 4070, and this unfortunately includes the 12GB GDDR6X VRAM configuration. Mind you, this is plenty for 1440p gaming, but if you've got one of the best 4K monitors, you'll have to accept some settings compromises if you want to game seriously at 4K.

This is a dual-slot card that is identical in size to the RTX 4070 Founders Edition, as well as utilizing the same cooling solution, so it will run a slight bit hotter thanks to the increased power flowing into the card, but it's not a whole lot so that it'd be noticeable.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super slotted into a test bench

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super: Performance

  • Outstanding overall performance
  • 12GB VRAM hampers 4K potential
  • Falls behind RX 7800 XT somewhat in gaming performance

In terms of performance, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super is about as solid a graphics card as you'll find in the midrange, offering fantastic gaming performance, while outshining the competition in non-gaming tasks like content creation and compute-heavy workloads.

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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During synthetic workload tests, the RTX 4070 Super loses out somewhat to the RX 7800 XT on some tests while winning out on others, so when you don't factor in ray tracing, it's a bit of a wash. Once ray tracing is included, however, you so end up with about 23% stronger ray tracing performance for the RTX 4070 Super, which is expected given the maturity of Nvidia's tech versus AMD's.

It's also worth noting that the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super's compute performance is about 18% better than the RX 7800 XT, and overall, the RTX 4070 Super outperforms the RTX 4070 by about 17%, on average. 

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Moving on to creative benchmarks, as expected, the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super outperforms the AMD RX 7800 XT when it comes to 3D rendering tasks thanks to the strength of Nvidia's CUDA processing, which most renderers use. 

In terms of rasterization performance, the two cards are about even, while the RTX 4070 Super pulls slightly ahead of the RX 7800 XT in terms of video encoding, but only by about 1%. Over its predecessor, the RTX 4070 Super renders 3D scenes and rasterizes noticeably faster, but it's pretty much even on the video encoding side.

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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When it comes to gaming performance, however, the RX 7800 XT pulls ahead of the RTX 4070 Super in a big way, especially at lower resolutions.

In 1080p gaming, the RTX 4070 Super consistently lags behind the RX 7800 XT when ray tracing isn't factored in, and when it is, this advantage is generally diminished (on average) when bringing balanced upscaling to bear, though the RTX 4070 Super and the RTX 4070 tend to do much better than the RX 7800 XT when pure ray tracing is involved.

Against its predecessor, the RTX 4070 Super offers about a 14% average FPS increase over the RTX 4070 at 1080p, an advantage that I expect will grow wider once better drivers are released to support the RTX 4070 Super post-release.

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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The story is similar with 1440p gaming where the RX 7800 XT does generally outperform the RTX 4070 Super when ray tracing isn't involved, and lags behind when it is. 

Upscaling helps here as well, but broadly speaking, the RTX 4070 Super is going to outperform the RX 7800 XT when ray tracing, and overall provides about a 9% better fps than the RTX 4070, on average. I suspect this latter figure will be higher once post-release drivers are installed, since the RTX 4070 outperforms the RTX 4070 Super in Metro: Exodus when it shouldn't, and so i believe this game is a bit of a driver outlier.

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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Benchmark results for the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super

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At 4K, the RX 7800 XT manages to hold up better in absolute terms thans to its larger 16GB frame buffer vs the RTX 4070 Super's 12GB, but the GDDR6X memory and more mature ray tracing cores make ray tracing at 4K a better overall experience with the RTX 4070 Super than with either of the two other cards tested against here.

Ultimately, then, it comes down to whether you're really all that enthusiastic about ray tracing performance. If so, the RTX 4070 Super is the card you're going to want, but at $100 cheaper, the RX 7800 XT offers a much more compelling option for pure rasterized graphics than the RTX 4070 Super. This, ultimately, keeps the RTX 4070 Super from running away with the title of best midrange graphics card, but it's a much tougher fight for the RX 7800 XT than it was when it first launched against the RTX 4070.

Performance score: 4.5/5

An Nvidia RTX 4070 Super on a purple deskmat on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Should you buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super?

Buy the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super if…

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider

How I tested the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Super

Test system specs

This is the system we used to test the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
CPU Cooler: MSI MAG Coreliquid E360 AIO Cooler
RAM: 64GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-6000
Motherboard: Gigabyte X670E AORUS Extreme
SSD: Samsung 990 Pro 4TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Thermaltake PF3 1050W ATX 3.0
Case: Praxis Wetbench

I spent about a week working with the Nvidia RTX 4070 Super, including using it as my main work PC graphics card for content creation work. I ran our standard battery of tests on it and its two main competitor cards due to time constraints (you can see my RTX 4070 review for its relative performance versus many more cards, and than consider a roughly 12%-15% better performance over that for the RTX 4070 Super). 

I've been reviewing computer hardware, including graphics cards, for years now, and I am intimately familiar with the kind of performance you should expect from a graphics card at this price point. I bring that knowledge to bear on my graphics card reviews and make sure that every graphics card I compare to the card under review is retested using the most up-to-date drivers to get the best relevant data for comparison, even (as in this case) it means I only test the most relevant competing cards to provide the reader with the most important comparative data when they are considering making their next graphics card purchase.

First reviewed in January 2024


We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

AMD announces new Ryzen 5000 and 8000G series CPU and RX 7600 XT GPU
7:01 pm | January 9, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

AMD today announced multiple CPU models spanning two generations of sockets, as well as a new graphics card during CES 2024. First is the new Ryzen 8000G series of APU. These are Zen4-based CPU models with integrated graphics. This may seem confusing now since AMD CPUs these days also include integrated graphics but the APU models feature much more powerful graphics that should enable gaming without a dedicated graphics card. Ryzen 7 8700G Ryzen 5 8600G Ryzen 5 8500G Ryzen 3 8300G Core/Thread 8/16 6/12 6/12 4/8 ...

QNAP TVS-h674T NAS review
2:24 am | January 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Pro | Tags: | Comments: Off

The QNAP TVS-h674T looks and feels like a high-quality device. It’s got quick release drive bays where it needs them but adding additional hardware simply involves unscrewing the case. It’s simple to set-up thanks to an intuitive app and a well-honed installation process and it’s simple to access locally and across the internet. The killer feature is the Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, which facilitates fast data transfer onto the NAS’s own drives or through the NAS on its way to one, or multiple, devices on a network at once. This potentially removes the necessity of buying multiple, expensive hard drives for work with massive video files, but you’ll need a bleeding edge network to realise this potential.

Unboxing and first impressions

As seems to be the law in NAS land, the QNAP TVS-h674T arrives boxed within a box for maximum protection. However, once extricated, you’re simply left with a NAS box, power cable and a box of screws for potential upgrades. A status display on the front looks smart but isn’t overly useful. Included literature tells you to download the QNAP app, follow the prompts and within 10 minutes you reach a point where drives are ready to be inserted and formatted.

Design and build quality

QNAP TVS-H674T NAS

(Image credit: Future / Nick Ross)
SPECS

CPU: 2.5-4Ghz hexa-core Intel Core i5-12400 (12-thread)
Memory: 32GB DDR4 RAM (expandable to 64GB)
Compatible Drive Types: 6 x 3.5 or 2.5-inch SATA HDD/SSD and 2 x m.2 2280 slots
Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB-C 3.2, 2 x USB-A 3.2, 2 x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x HDMI 1.4b
Dimensions: 180 x 264 x 280mm
Weight: 6.4kg

Low-to-mid-range NAS boxes have a tendency to feel like expensive, cheap metal hollow boxes, but there’s more of a feeling of robust quality with an unladen QNAP TVS-h674T. The LCD panel adds to this, although its colourful, backlit status-readouts rarely added much useful information and we were glad it turned off automatically. Each 3.5-inch drive bay is simple to extract and load toollessly, as NAS users would expect, and the rubber grommets help negate vibrations. It’s simple to unscrew the lid to access the two SODIMM, two M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 hard drive slots and two PCIe add-on card slots. It runs quietly, even when under load. Just note that only certified hard drives can be used... but at least that list includes third-party drives, unlike some Synology alternatives.

In use

QNAP TVS-H674T NAS

(Image credit: Future / Nick Ross)

QNAP’s TVS-h674T fulfils the NAS-based promise of Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. It’s aimed at creators and small studios who want multiple users to be able to upload, edit and share 4K video across a network without relying on the traditional bane of multiple expensive, shared, single-connection, tethered hard drives.

There are six toolless, lockable and hotswappable 3.5-inch drive bays (included screws are needed for 2.5-inch SSDs). There are also two M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 slots for fast NVMe drives that can be used for super-fast storage or SSD caching. For the latter, they can be optimised for virtualization and database applications (Random I/O) or file serving and media streaming (All I/O). 

QNAP states that using six 22TB drives provides a maximum 110TB of formatted storage capacity, but this can be pushed to 352TB when using QNAP’s optional JBOD enclosures.

QNAP TVS-H674T NAS

(Image credit: Future / Nick Ross)

Just beware that you need to check QNAP’s website for drive compatibility, as few third-party drives are supported. Still, the fact that any are supported at all is a win considering that newer Synology NASes only support Synology-branded drives nowadays.

Two SODIMM slots are populated with two (non-ECC) 16GB memory modules (upgradable to 32GB). Note that QNAP recommends its own branded RAM but doesn’t require it. At the back are two 2.5Gb Ethernet ports, an HDMI 1.4b port, plus two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (Type-A and a Type-C). There’s another Type-C port at the front.

There are also two PCIe 4.0 slots. One (4 x4), comes populated with a two-port Thunderbolt 4 card. The other (4 x16) can be used to add additional, faster network ports (that facilitate up-to 25GbE speeds) or additional M.2 slots. It can also be used to add a small low-powered discreet graphics card for things like AI-based applications. You may need the latter, as the 12th-Gen Intel Core i5-12400 hexacore processor (with Hyperthreading) has a modest integrated UHD 730 GPU. It can transcode RAW footage on the fly, but will struggle with more-powerful demands.

QNAP TVS-H674T NAS

(Image credit: Future / Nick Ross)

Set-up is simple, in that you plug it into your network, go to the supplied web address and follow the instructions. The QuTS hero 5.1.4 browser-based operating system is intuitive and makes setting-up storage and cache a breeze. It also comes with a well-stocked app store for just about any NAS application.

When used with SSD cache, we found that the theoretical 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 connection speed wasn’t quite achieved. It’s hard to test over (even) our fast network environment (which also deals with theoretical speeds) but, while we couldn’t match the promised performance, we did see write speeds fluctuating around 600MB/s and read speeds hitting 1,700MB/s. If you work with video and are sick of hanging around, this will likely represent a significant improvement, but at this level the true benefits will heavily depend upon the file types you use and your network environment.

Final verdict

The QNAP TVS-h674T represents a significant investment that might, on the surface, appear like an extravagance in the six-bay NAS market. However, while it’s not cheap compared to slower rivals and siblings, the collective man-hours saved by the reduced transfer times of gargantuan UHD video files plus the potential for eschewing the procurement and management of multiple expensive tethered hard drives and also the ability for multiple team members to work on network-shared files (potentially remotely) mean it can quickly pay for itself in the right environment.

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