Jumat, 21 September 2018

Kraken Tournament Edition: The new version of the flagship Razer helmet
Kraken Tournament Edition: the new version of the flagship Razer helmet

Razer Kraken Tournament Edition. USB sound card and THX Spatial audio, launched at 99€! The Razer has unveiled yet another iteration of its flagship helmet: the Kraken Tournament Edition. This edition Tournament benefits, among others, a USB sound card, the new THX Spatial Audio and more features than the analog versions.

The Kraken Tournament Edition is essentially based on the Kraken Pro V2, adopting the same characteristic design and materials. The helmet philosophy is based on an aluminum frame (hoop + hinges) and the hoop is covered by a double leatherette / woven fabric cover. The only change is in the atria: the area in contact with the user's head is now covered with a soft cloth instead of imitation leather, which would ensure better heat dissipation. The gel "refreshing" and the small channel adapted to the branches of glasses are still relevant on this model.

Kraken Tournament Edition: the new version of the flagship Razer helmet

The big news is the presence of a USB sound card that gives access to more features and control possibilities. Of particular note is the arrival of THX Spatial Audio, the brand's new virtual spatialization technology (owned since the end of 2016 by Razer) and certainly related to the THX Positional Audio Solution . In theory, this technology would give access to several modes: extended stereo, 5.1 and 7.1 surround, and even what Razer calls a "spatial sound"that is, future compatibility with object-oriented formats. What's more, this THX Spatial Audio technology would affect the quality of communications (voice clarity, sensitivity, noise reduction, etc.). It goes without saying that we will not fail to check this out during the full Kraken Pro Tournament Edition test.

Kraken Tournament Edition: the new version of the flagship Razer helmet

As often, the sound card also serves as a remote control. It has two buttons for listening volume control, a button to activate / deactivate the microphone, a potentiometer to manage the balance between the sound of the game and the cat, another to control the low frequencies, and a last button to enable / disable the THX Spatial Audio function. Here is the very complete technical information shared by Razer on its website. 

  • Frequency response: 12 Hz-28 kHz. 
  • Impedance: 32 Ω at 1 kHz. 
  • Sensitivity (@ 1 kHz): 109. 
  • Input power: 30 mW (max). 
  • Loudspeakers: 50 mm with neodymium magnets. 
  • Inside diameter of the headset: 56 mm / 2.2 inches. 

  • Frequency response: 100 Hz-10 kHz.
  • Impedance: 32 Ω at 1 kHz. 
  • Signal-to-noise ratio:> 60 dB. 
  • Sensitivity (@ 1 kHz): -45 dB ± 3 dB. 
  • Capture mode: unidirectional ECM microphone. 

The Razer Kraken Pro Tournament Edition is already available for 99.99 €. It is available in two colors: green and black.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti: The game in 4K at 60 fps finally become reality
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti: The game in 4K at 60 fps finally become reality

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Review. Raytracing in the line of sight! The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti award. Twenty-seven months. This is the exceptional lifespan of Nvidia's GeForce GTX 10 graphics card series. Excellent at launch and still offering excellent performance in games, they are now replaced by the GeForce RTX 20. Obviously announced as faster than the previous ones, these new models bring with them the ability to accelerate the hybrid rendering for ever more realistic games. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is the spearhead of this new line and is positioned as the ideal solution to play in 4K at more than 60 frames per second.

  • Chip: TU102
  • GPU frequency: 1350 MHz
  • Memory: 11 GB
  • GDDR6 memory
  • Memory frequency: 1750 MHz
  • Double height: Heatsink
  • 3x DisplayPort 1.4 outputs; 1x HDMI 2.0b; VirtualLink
  • Driver tested: 411.51

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 are the first Nvidia graphics cards to offer hardware acceleration of raytracing.
The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and GeForce RTX 2080 are the first Nvidia graphics cards to offer hardware acceleration of raytracing.

Like all GeForce RTX 20s, the RTX 2080 Ti uses a "Turing" GPU. We have discussed the subject extensively, broadly and crosswise, in a dedicated article. We will not go back in detail on the novelties brought by this architecture, but to summarize the key points. Turing brings a new method of distribution of computing units, units dedicated to the IA (Tensor Cores), units dedicated to the acceleration of rendering raytracing (RT Cores) as well as an optimization of the different levels of cache.

A GPU engraved in 12 nm, frequencies at half mast
Graphic representation of the TU102 chip of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (left). On the right, the detail of a SM block. Click to enlarge. © Nvidia
Graphic representation of the TU102 chip of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (left). On the right, the detail of a SM block. Click to enlarge. © Nvidia

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is based on the use of a TU102 chip consisting of 18.6 billion transistors, but not all calculation blocks are used. Thus, of the 72 SM blocks present, only 68 are active on this model. Each SM has 64 calculation units, 4 texturing units, 6 deep learning units (Tensor) and 1 dedicated raytracing (RT) block. In the end, this gives rise to a chip gathering no less than 4,352 calculation units, 272 units dedicated to textures, 544 Tensor Cores and 68 RT Cores. The whole is accompanied by 88 rendering units. So this is a nice evolution compared to the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti which included for example "only" 3,584 calculation units as shown in the table below.

GeForce RTX 2080 TiGeForce RTX 2080GeForce RTX 2070Titan XpGeForce GTX 1080 TiGeForce GTX 1080GeForce GTX 1070
Engraving12 nm16 nm
Units of calculation4,3522,9442,3043,8403,5842,5601,920
Tensor Units544368288-
RT units684636-
Texture units272184144240224160120
Render units8864968864
Freq. based1 350 MHz1 515 MHz1 410 MHz1 405 MHz1 480 MHz1 607 MHz1 506 MHz
Freq. Boost1 545 - 1 635 MHz1,710 - 1,800 MHz1,620 - 1,710 MHz1,582 MHz1 733 MHz1,582 MHz
Freq. memory1,750 MHz1426 MHz1 375 MHz1,250 MHz2000 MHz
Bus352 bits256 bits384 bits352 bits256 bits
Bandwidth616 GB / s448 GB / s548 GB / s484 GB / s320 GB / s256 GB / s
TDP250 - 260 W215 - 225 W175 - 185 W250 W180 W150W
Launch price$ 1,259$ 849$ 639$ 1,349€ 824$ 789$ 499

On the other hand, the operating frequency does not change much on paper. It must be said that the transition from a 16 nm etching process to a 12 nm FFN process (Nvidia specific TSMC FinFET) is not a big change. Indeed, contrary to what may suggest the change of nomenclature, the 12 nm is more to see as an optimization of the 16 nm process. Therefore, the expected gain on power consumption will not be as marked as when switching from 28 nm to 16 nm.

The base frequency is thus announced at 1350 MHz, against 1480 MHz on the 1080 Ti - a regression therefore on the minimum frequency held by the new chip. On the other hand, the average GPU Boost frequency is increasing since it goes from 1 582 MHz to 1 635 MHz on the Founders Edition models (the model tested here). Beware, the Founders Edition are no longer seen as reference models, but as models overclocked factory. Thus, some Nvidia partners will be able to offer non-overclocked variants, whose average GPU Boost frequency will be set at 1 545 MHz, or at a frequency slightly lower than that of the 1080 Ti.

GPU Boost 4.0: a slight evolution for more control
Nvidia has nevertheless revised its frequency adjustment system and passes the GPU Boost in its fourth iteration. With GPU Boost 4.0, it is still a question, as on GPU Boost 3.0, to adjust the operating frequency according to the applied load, a threshold of power consumption and the temperature of the chip. The change is in the temperature management, which has an intermediate temperature threshold before which the frequency passes to its nominal value. According to Nvidia, this would maintain a higher frequency than previously when the cooling system of the graphics card is efficient.

An overclocking simplification tool that evolves only slightly
Evga's Precision X1 will feature the Nvidia Scanner feature to simply overclock your graphics card.
Evga's Precision X1 will feature the Nvidia Scanner feature to simply overclock your graphics card.

Nvidia also decided to let users change the value of the temperature thresholds. No home utility for this, but a third-party utility such as Evga's Precision X1 or MSI's Afterburner, for example. This software can also integrate the Nvidia Scanner kit so as to offer a simplified manual overclocking.

Similar to the automatic overclocking system introduced on the GeForce GTX 10, the Nvidia Scanner still allows utilities to act on the voltage level to define which maximum frequency is the most stable. The new system would nevertheless be more accurate with a more realistic GPU load. The user, for his part, must first set the limit of consumption and temperature - as much put the sliders to their maximum - and play on the temperature thresholds we spoke a little higher. In short, it is automatic in large part, but still not entirely.

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 can operate in pairs, in SLI via an NVLink bridge. What allow to play on an 8K TV, ensures Nvidia.
The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2080 can operate in pairs, in SLI via an NVLink bridge. What allow to play on an 8K TV, ensures Nvidia.

GDDR6 makes its debut
Nvidia also took the opportunity to inaugurate the GDDR6. On its top-of-the-line 10-series models, the company used GDDR5X and retained classic GDDR5 on mid-range and entry-level models. The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 for their part are equal weapons at this level and therefore all enjoy this new type of memory that allows both to increase the flow and is energetically more interesting with a gain 20% on energy efficiency. 

On the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia does not change the quantity and so always offers 11 GB of memory and a bus to 352 bits. The changeover to a frequency of 1750 MHz however makes it possible to propose a bandwidth of 616 GB / s, well superior to the 484 GB / s observed on the GTX 1080 Ti and on theRadeon RX Vega 64  - AMD's card uses HBM2, which is much more expensive to produce and especially to integrate.

A neat food stage
Nvidia also assures that it has been paying close attention to the power supply of its card, which displays a thermal envelope of 260 watts (2 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors are present), 10 watts more than the model it replaces. It is thus a question of a stage composed of not less than 13 phases intended for the supply of the GPU and of 3 phases for the graphic memory. It is also about iMON DrMOS systems, able to activate only when it is necessary - fewer units are thus engaged in idle,for example - to optimize energy efficiency. This is typically the type of power stage used on high-end graphics cards from Nvidia's partners. This did not prevent our test model from sending a strident sound ( coilwhine ) at its reels in the menu of some games.

The cooling system is new and relies on the use of two fans that cool a radiator that hugs the full width of the board.
The cooling system is new and relies on the use of two fans that cool a radiator that hugs the full width of the board.

With its RTX 20, Nvidia is making a big change in the cooling system. Exit turbine type ventilation found on the models of the brand since GeForce 6 (2004) and place a system based on two axial fans. Once again, the manufacturer is on the side of its partners who, in their high-end versions, use this type of cooler - sometimes with three fans. From experience, we know that this type of system proves less noisy than turbines while offering more efficient cooling. The disadvantage is that some of the generated hot air is forced inside the housing rather than being completely expelled. Proper ventilation of the housing is therefore preferable. Note in passing that the finish of the map is rather admirable, with its gray metal shell with beveled corners. Only the central part, made of plastic, would have won to be more neat.

At the back of the cards, a metal plate helps heat dissipation. The finish of the GeForce RTX 20 is also excellent.
At the back of the cards, a metal plate helps heat dissipation. The finish of the GeForce RTX 20 is also excellent.

In order to offer a convincing system, Nvidia also chose not to use copper heat pipes, but rather a steam chamber plate, applied directly to the GPU and spreading across the entire width of the board. to be in full contact with the finned radiator. A metal plate then makes the connection between the steam chamber and the rest of the components (memory chips, power stages). At the back, the metal plate is not only decorative, unlike the one we usually meet; it serves here as heat sink. Two fans 8.5 cm in diameter cool all.
And it must be admitted that the result is convincing in games where ventilation is particularly discreet, at the edge of the audible one meter of a closed box. The Nvidia system is thus much quieter than any of the partner brand systems (Asus, Zotac, Gigabyte, MSI) taking place on the GeForce GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti, to say. On the cooling efficiency side, the system maintains the GPU at its temperature limit of 87 ° C. 

On the other hand, the ventilation remains at almost the same noise level at rest. Blame the fan on top of the feed stage that continues to spin rather quickly off load. A problem that Nvidia hopes to fix with a driver update.

The power supply goes through the use of two PCIe cables: 2x8 pins on RTX 2080 Ti and 8 + 6 pins on RTX 2080.
The power supply goes through the use of two PCIe cables: 2x8 pins on RTX 2080 Ti and 8 + 6 pins on RTX 2080.

As we have seen, switching to 12 nm is a big optimization of the GTX 10 16 nm process rather than a real new process. In games, Nvidia's new card is more energy-consuming - more computing units to power, in particular - than the model it replaces. There are peaks at 296 watts against 260 watts on the 1080 Ti. The average is around 290 watts, which is quite close to what is observed on a Radeon RX Vega 64. Note the 25 watts of power consumption at rest. A particularly high value (we expect between 5 and 10 watts usually) that would be due to a bug, according to Nvidia. The firm said to work on the subject to propose a patch via its driver.

The absolute power consumption analyzed alone does not mean much. It must be correlated with the level of performance achieved in order to appreciate it through a value called energy efficiency. And there, the ratio between the number of frames per second achieved in the games and the power consumption gives the RTX 2080 Ti as slightly better than the GTX 1080 Ti. Not surprisingly, it offers a much better result than AMD's RX Vega 64.

In the games, spent several minutes of non-stop testing, the card sees its real GPU frequency oscillate between 1395 and 1470 MHz for an average of 1 455 MHz or about 50 MHz less than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

On our panel of games, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is on average 34% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti when games are run in 4K. The newcomer is also 25% ahead of the Titan Xp, the fastest model Pascal architecture has emerged. In other words, AMD is pale with a Radeon RX Vega 64, which is 79% behind average.

Obviously, the gap is narrowing as the definition goes down. The RTX 2080 Ti thus maintains a lead over the GTX 1080 Ti of 24% in WQHD and 10% in Full HD - the processor, a Core i7-8700K , limiting performance more and more. Compared to the Titan Xp it is about 15% and 5% respectively.

The slice lights up in green. It is possible to play on brightness and effects via third-party applications like Evga Precision X1
The slice lights up in green. It is possible to play on brightness and effects via third-party applications like Evga Precision X1

With the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia promises a graphics card capable of delivering more than 60 frames per second in 4K. In practice, it is true that many games can be run at more than 70 fps while the rest is close to the 60. A more than convincing result that we can only salute all the more than the RTX 2080 Ti is, at the time of writing these lines, the only graphics card on the market capable of proposing this. The various improvements brought by the Turing architecture are bearing fruit since we reach an average difference of 25% at best compared to the best Pascal cards, the Titan Xp. However possible that this difference may seem insufficient in the eyes of some players who have waited more than two years between the two generations of cards.

Because the problem for Nvidia is that the firm uses here a particularly large chip and used in most of it. In clearer, Nvidia still has enough to offer a "supermodel" type Titan exploiting all the units of the chip, but the difference with the RTX 2080 Ti can not be huge. And not to be deceived, the arrival of a chip even more massive can be on the program as the GPU used here is already huge. In short, unless you switch to 10 nm, Turing seems to deploy almost all its strength through the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

Dual ventilation is both efficient and quiet. Good ventilation of the housing is however necessary.
Dual ventilation is both efficient and quiet. Good ventilation of the housing is however necessary.

Suddenly, the firm is focusing on other areas to sustain this range with the promise of a better rendering thanks to raytracing and, to a lesser extent, the DLSS (a less greedy system than conventional antialiasing). Nvidia goes even further by assuring us that it is the video game industry that is pushing hybrid rendering and not itself, which, for its part, simply wants to offer something to exploit it properly. We summarize the state of these two technologies in our box.

There remains the question of the tariff. Offered at € 1,259, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is a particularly expensive graphics card, offered in the tariff segment held by the Titan until then. A high price that Nvidia justifies by the premium aspect of the cooling system and, above all, the size and complexity of the chip used - which we will not contradict. As such, it offers better for cheaper than the Titan Xp. But we will not fail to notice that it is at least 70% more expensive than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti while offering only 34% additional performance. The raytracing and implementation of units dedicated to deep learning(for the DLSS in particular) are therefore paying a high price, so hope that the promises at this level are completed. The player equipped with a 4K screen will not really have any other alternative, unfortunately.

Hybrid rendering and DLSS: promises for the future
With Turing, Nvidia is not limited to offering a more powerful series than the previous one. The company also relies on two other assets supposed to embellish the games. Starting with the hybrid rendering combining classic rasterization and raytracing. The promise is simple: to offer games with more realistic effects thanks to a hardware acceleration of the part of the rendering realized in raytracing. For now, we have only been able to try a demo made available by Nvidia as well as a draft of the next version of 3DMark in addition to testing a few titles at Gamescom. The nature "beta" or "alpha" of these tests does not allow us to draw a definitive conclusion at this stage, but we will not fail to return to the subject through a dedicated article.

The other idea of ​​Nvidia is the DLSS, its new system to reduce aliasing in games. As discussed in our article on Turing architecture, this system is less resource-intensive than conventional antialiasing systems while offering the same rendering quality. Once again, we have not been able, at the time of this writing, to thoroughly test this new system on real games. The DLSS will take part in dozens of games over the coming weeks. We will also come back to this in a dedicated article.

Finally, Nvidia has also reviewed a part of its "engine" to manage the rendering type HDR. Failing in some cases on the GeForce GTX 10, it would be more effective here - understand that the activation of the HDR will have very little impact on performance. Nvidia thus picks up AMD at this level. Due to lack of time, we were unable to carry out comprehensive tests on the subject. Same story: we will come back soon.


  • Game in 4K at 60 fps finally now possible.
  • Energetic efficiency.
  • Silence of operation.
  • The promise of hybrid rendering.
  • VirtualLink output.
  • Quality of manufacture.


  • Ventilation does not shut off at rest.
  • Still little visibility on raytracing performance.

Nvidia delivers here a graphic card perfectly adapted to play in 4K at 60 frames per second or more. A first that is saluted especially as the firm brazenly distance the best of the rival cards, the Radeon RX Vega 64. The firm also aims for rendering better quality via raytracing and spared no efforts to achieve by achieving a particularly complex chip, expensive to produce, which is not without consequences on the price of the card. The hybrid rendering, although pushed by the industry according to Nvidia, remains a very good promise on which it will still be necessary to be both cautious and patient since the first games bringing this support are not expected before mid-October 2018 earlier.
Sony FE 24 mm f / 1.4 GM: An exceptional optics for the A7 / A9 range
Sony FE 24 mm f / 1.4 GM: An exceptional optics for the A7 / A9 range
Sony FE 24mm f / 1.4 GM
Presentation and first grip! Presenting today its 24 mm f / 1.4 GM, Sony brings to eight the number of objectives of its G Master professional range. Above all, the brand unveils an optics with two XA lenses and a new DDSSM autofocus motor. We were able to use this new lens for half a day. Here is our first opinion.

445 g and a maximum diameter of 75.4 mm: the first observation that we make taking into account the Sony FE 24 mm f / 1.4 GM is its very reasonable weight compared to the competition. The Sigma 24mm f / 1.4 DG HSM Art, which we tested in Canon mount, weighs 665g and measures 85 x 90.2mm, the Canon EF 24mm f / 1.4L II USM sports 650g for 83, 5 x 86.9 mm, and the Nikkor AF-S 24 mm f / 1.4G ED displays 620 g and 83 x 88.5 mm. This relief is significant on the ground, especially as the lens that has a FE mount is associated with devices themselves lighter, such as the A7R III that we used for our tests.

Sony FE 24 mm

High-end construction
The Sony FE 24 mm f / 1.4 GM is the eighth optical G Master range and the thirtieth E-mount lens of the brand to cover the 24x36. It joins the 24-70 mm f / 4 GM, 70-200 mm f / 2.8 OSS GM, 85 mm f / 1.4 GM, 100 mm f / 2.8 STF OSS GM, 100-400 mm f / 4.5-5.6 GM OSS, 16-35mm f / 2.8 GM, as well as the very recent 400mm f / 2.8 OSS GM in the category of outstanding lenses served by an innovative optical design.

Made from 13 elements divided into 10 groups, the FE 24 mm f / 1.4 GM integrates 3 elements ED glass for the treatment of chromatic aberrations and, especially, 2 lenses XA (eXtreme Aspherical) in charge of eradicating the Sagittal flare and offer consistent quality in the center and on the edges of the image. Integrated for the first time in 2016 in the 70-200 mm f / 2.8 OSS GM and 24-70 mm f / 4 GM, these lenses are here for the first time two in number.

Sony FE 24 mm

The lens also benefits from a surface treatment of Nano AR lenses that avoids the appearance of flare and ghost images due to internal parasitic reflections.

125 ISO, f / 8, 1/125 s.
125 ISO, f / 8, 1/125 s.

The front lens also benefits from a fluorine-based coating that makes cleaning easier and prevents fingerprints, dust and water stains. The lens is also protected against the insertion of dust and water marks.

Sony FE 24 mm

Optical quality
Sony says and offer a very high resolution compatible with the very high definition of sensors. We will have to measure the objective in the lab to judge, but our first observations show indeed a strong separating power from the very opening.

Sony_FE24mm_f14-8_detail.jpgISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/6 400 s. Zoom to 100% of a photo made with an A7R III.
ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/6 400 s. Zoom to 100% of a photo made with an A7R III.

Its large aperture f / 1.4, but also its circular diaphragm 11 slices can achieve beautiful bokehs, precisely detaching the planes of the image while providing a velvety blur. The minimum focusing distance of the lens is also one of its strengths since it goes down to 24 cm. We are far from the macro report with a magnification of 0.17x, but we can get close to its subject and integrate it into its environment.

500 ISO, f / 5.6, 1/125 s.
500 ISO, f / 5.6, 1/125 s.

100 ISO, f / 4, 1/500 s.
100 ISO, f / 4, 1/500 s.

ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/5000 s.
ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/5000 s.

ISO 1600, f / 5.6, 1/125 s.
ISO 1600, f / 5.6, 1/125 s.

A moderate pincushion distortion can be observed which can be easily corrected in post-treatment.

ISO 250, f / 1.4, 1/30 sec. © Pascale Brites.
ISO 250, f / 1.4, 1/30 sec. © Pascale Brites.

The vignetting is visible at full aperture, but is easily corrected with editing software and disappears quickly when closing the diaphragm.

Silent autofocus
Inside the lens, Sony has integrated a new Direct Drive SSM autofocus micro-motor, which has a mark that indicates it has thrust three times that of the previous generation. It is difficult to verify this value, but we must recognize that the objective has been extremely responsive and, above all, perfectly silent. The internal focus, it, ensures a constant congestion, whatever the distance of development.

ISO 2000, f / 8, 1/125 s. © Pascale Brites.
ISO 2000, f / 8, 1/125 s. © Pascale Brites.

ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/2000 s. © Pascale Brites.
ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/2000 s. © Pascale Brites.

In addition to its small footprint, the Sony FE 24 mm f / 1.4 GM is distinguished by its pleasant grip. Sony has equipped it with a diaphragm adjustment ring placed on the side of the frame, which we particularly liked to handle during our tests.


Above all, the brand has equipped the lens with a Click on / off selector that allows you to have a notch of the ring or to enjoy a continuous adjustment of the diaphragm. She thought of videographers who can thus operate in a completely silent way to modify the opening or the focus. The focus ring is wider and comfortable to handle. On the other hand, the goal does not have a distance scale.


On the other side of the barrel, we find a selector to quickly switch between manual focus and autofocus, as well as a shortcut key. This can be customized to maintain focus at a fixed distance or to call different functions selected from the camera.


Finally, note that the FE 24mm f / 1.4 GM is delivered with a sun visor with impeccable manufacturing and black lining in felt absorbing reflections.

100 ISO, f / 4, 1/2000 s. © Pascale Brites.
100 ISO, f / 4, 1/2000 s. © Pascale Brites.

100 ISO, f / 2, 1/8000 s. © Pascale Brites.
100 ISO, f / 2, 1/8000 s. © Pascale Brites.

ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/8000 s. © Pascale Brites.
ISO 100, f / 1.4, 1/8000 s. © Pascale Brites.

The Sony FE 24mm f / 1.4 GM will be available in mid-October for € 1,600. (All images by ©Pascale Brites for lesnumeriques.com)

Kamis, 20 September 2018

Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?
Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?
Fallen by his screen! The Gigabyte Saber 17 (2018). The Saber 17 returns to our columns with an updated processor, but also a new screen. For his gaming PC, Gigabyte keeps the same formula.

  1. Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H
  2. Graphics Chipset: GTX 1060
  3. RAM: 16 GB
  4. Screen: 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  5. Hard drive: 1.2 TB

Gigabyte's previous Saber 17 is not the best gaming PC in our labs. Nevertheless, he had his primary mission, that is to offer players a powerful and effective equipment at stake.

For this new version, Gigabyte did not upset its formula, but still made small changes. Thus, the PC hosts an Intel Core 8th generation, but also - and more surprisingly - a new slab in TN technology, instead of the IPS panel of the previous model. Changes that change the experience anyway, and not necessarily good.

The Gigabyte Saber 17 from 2018 does not reinvent the wheel and offers exactly the same chassis as the previous version. So we find a plastic construction. Plastic that bends under the fingers and deserved a better care. Visually speaking, the Gigabyte Saber 17 wants to be very sober with its black dress and angular lines. Only a few small details like ostentatious air grilles and a backlit keyboard testify to a PC made for the game.

Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?

The keyboard and trackpad do not change either compared to the previous model. The Saber benefits from a  good-quality RGB backlit chiclet keyboard with a long stroke and good resistance under the fingers. The trackpad is however not good quality and the user will quickly plug a mouse for the game to do without.

Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?

The Gigabyte Saber 17 offers an extremely complete and appreciable connectivity. It has two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a USB 2.0 port, two mini DisplayPort ports (1.2 and 1.3), an HDMI 1.4 port, a port Ethernet and an SD card reader, in addition to two 3.5mm mini-jack ports (a microphone input and a headphone output).

Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?

On the heating side, the results of this new Saber are logically similar to those of the previous one, since they use the same chassis. During our usual protocol ( Metro Last Light benchmarkfor one hour), the PC has reached the temperature of 52 degrees above the keyboard. An honorable score, counterbalanced nevertheless by a hazardous design. Indeed, the heater spreads at the palm when the fingers are placed on the keys ZQSD - frequently used for the game -, the user then having to deal with a plastic reaching 36 degrees under the hand. In addition, the hot breath, measured here at 54° C, is cleared on the right side, exactly where is the hand of a right-handed user holding his mouse. A rather embarrassing mistake. Side noise, the PC releases 46 decibels, which makes it audible, but not deafening.

In terms of consumption in contrast, the Saber 17 is exemplary, since it consumes 130 watts in play, 20 W on the desk and nothing standby.

The Gigabyte Saber 17 is equipped with a 17.3-inch TN display with a definition of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. A slab change from the previous model equipped with an IPS screen. If the display becomes more responsive, however, it loses in other areas, such as the management of color temperature and especially viewing angles, much less wide with a TN panel. The ratio screen / facade is relatively low, since it is 72.02%.

CONTRAST: 1390: 1
DELTA E: 8.7

Once under the lens of our probe, the screen of Saber 17 reveals results as amazing as disappointing. The contrast is relatively good, at 1390: 1, but the average Delta E reaches 8.7, well beyond the threshold of 3 under which the eye can no longer distinguish any color drift. A non-respect of the colors which is found in our chart and which concerns especially the dark hues. This is easily observed with the naked eye, the blacks appearing light gray. But the most disappointing result is that of the temperature, which amounts to 14,460 K, a result far too far from the standard of 6,500 K. The consequence is obvious, the screen wearing colors very cold, giving the impression of being constantly covered with a visible blue veil.

From left to right: gamma curve, temperature, Delta E.
From left to right: gamma curve, temperature, Delta E.

Nevertheless, the screen reveals its strengths in terms of responsiveness. We have indeed measured a remanence of 4 ms; a very low result that can be explained by the choice of the slab, TN technology often allows a better responsiveness. However, it is unfortunate that Gigabyte, by focusing on responsiveness for his new Saber, has not managed to calibrate his slab. This is all the more unfortunate with a simple probe and third-party software, we have corrected the colors in ten minutes, making the screen much more comfortable to use.

The Saber 17 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor supported by 16 GB of RAM. With such a processor, the user can be quiet about the power of his PC.

Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?

During our test test protocol (photo compression, video, audio), the Saber 17 has reached the index of 90 on our new scoreboard. It is thus placed in the middle of the current gaming PCs equipped with an 8th generation Intel processor and will be able to run software very greedy computing power.

The Saber 17 is equipped with a graphics card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, which allows you to enjoy the latest games of the moment without worry. A power that is confirmed during our tests (definition of 1920 x 1080 pixels, graphics set in ultra, vertical synchronization disabled), here are the results:

Metro Last Light  : 63 fps;
Rise of the Tomb Raider  : 49 fps;
The Witcher 3  : 70 fps;
Star Wars Battlefront 2  : 53 fps;
Assassin's Creed Origins  : 42 fps;
Civilization 6  : 63 fps;
Far Cry 5 : 56 i / s;
Wolfenstein 2 : 52 fps.

Gigabyte Saber 17: A poorly controlled gaming PC?

The Gigabyte is placed in the middle of the market, tied with the Dell Inspiron G5, for example.

Weighing 2.9 kg and having a 17.3-inch screen, the Saber 17 is more portable than portable computer, especially if we take into account its external power rather massive.

Regarding autonomy, the PC surprises nevertheless. During our usual protocol (Netflix under Chrome, backlighting off, earphones connected and brightness at 200 cd / m²), it turned off after 4 hours and 11 minutes. An honorable score for a computer dedicated to games, designed to never get too far from an electrical outlet.

The previous model Saber 17 did not shine in the sound part, especially because of its execrable speakers, but he made up with his headphone output. On this new model, the speakers sadly offer the same listening experience and the headphone output is no longer save the furniture. The sound reproduction of the speakers is particularly bad. The frequency response concentrates exclusively around 1 kHz: results in a very pronounced telephone effect, resonances and whistles very unpleasant, as if the sound came directly from a headphone plugged next to the computer.

Measurements of the headphone jack
The maximum power is also ridiculous. The voices are very often inaudible, even aggressive. To make matters worse, the placement and distance between these speakers and the screen do not provide a very natural listening experience (as if the sound came from the surface on which the computer is sitting and not from the computer in himself). In short, it is a disaster that deserves a single star in our notation, but that rises painfully to two thanks to a usable headphone jack, even if not powerful.

  • Powerful to work and play
  • Sober design
  • Nice keyboard

  • TN screen failed
  • Speakers very disappointing
  • Heat management to review

With his Saber 17, Gigabyte wants to offer a powerful gaming PC and succeeds, but unfortunately does not control all other aspects of his computer. The change of slab could have been interesting if the calibration was at the rendezvous, but serves the product. The chassis, identical, logically keeps the same defects as before, including an awkward management of heat dissipation. The coup de grace comes with the speakers, unusable as is. A copy to review for Gigabyte.