What's Up Y'all!
Here you'll find all of my online content from my from youtube, to embeded twitch stream. Calendar for all of my online and public events so you know when, where and with who. I'm even going to start learning how to blog! The site is also offering the Ateam Gaming Community their own forum, some select members will be allowed to blog and share photo albums with the community as well as add their online content to the content calendar so all of us can know whats going on within our community!
"We don't care if you use Blue, Green, or Red stop gaming alone and join the Ateam Gaming Community instead!"
Make yourselves at home, make sure to follow the rules and I can't wait to see you in the forums, on social media, in chat on youtube or in chat during a live show or even in public. Just make sure you have your #AbombKAPOW ready!
Now That's What's Up!!! Paul ~ iamApropos
iamApropos Live Stream
iamApropos Youtube Channel
Sapphire Nitro R7 360 Radeon Graphics Card Review
By iamApropos in iamApropos 4Sapphire Nitro R7 360 Radeon Graphics Card is what I'll be covering in this article. Not too many years ago if you were looking for a budget oriented graphics card you had to be aware of which games you could and or couldn't play. I'll be approaching this review a little differently in the sense that I'll be covering which settings I used to be able to make games playable for me. Your mileage may vary but this will give someone a general idea of what they can look forward to when gaming with this graphics card. I ranged the game selection from MOBA league of Legends to triple A titles such as Witcher 3. I'll be including screen shots of settings I used as well as one of either the benchmark results or action screen shot during game play.
The system I used to test:
Monitor: BenQ XL2411 24'' 144hz
CPU: AMD FX 9590 Stock Speeds
MB: ASUS ROG Crosshair V formula Z
Memory: 16gb (2x8gb) 1600mhz
SSD: Samsung 840 240gb SSD
PSU: Fractal Design 1000W Newton
Using the latest AMD Catalyst drivers: 15.7.1
How I tested each game was by using Automated settings for graphics when available and ran about an hour of gaming in each game. When a game had a built in Benchmark I'd test the benchmark at medium or high and then do game play and found sometimes the benchmark would indicate game play would be good yet actual game play under those settings wasn't smooth and needed to be adjusted. My thinking behind this card is that its focused towards 1080p 60hz gaming so that is what I tried to keep in mind when trying to find optimal settings for smooth game play at 60 FPS or lower. Some of the games I tested I wasn't able to reach 60+ frame rate however with some settings changed I was able to maintain a consistent frame rates that made gaming enjoyable for me.
Sapphire Nitro R7 360 Radeon ITX Compact PCI Express 3.0 Dual Slot Single Fan Graphics Card.
Dimensions 8.31(L) x 4.38(H)
2GB DDR5 Vram
Core Clock 1060Mhz
768 Stream Processors
500 Watt or higher power supply is suggested
1 x 6-pin AUX Power connector
2 x 6-pin AUX Power connector is required for Crossfire
External Connectors -
1 x DVI Output
1 x HDMI Output
1 x Display Port Output
With too many games available to test here are a handful of popular free to play and triple A titles I tested.
Keep in mind your mileage may vary as your system may differ from mine. I'll go through the Free to Play games first.
League of Legends
A very popular online game, here is the screen shot of my settings:
The next screen shot is mid battle while playing an ARAM All Random All Mid:
During a battle like this in ARAM the Sapphire Nitro R7 360 was at 90%+ usage and the frame rate barely ever dropped under 170. Do understand League of legends is more CPU dependent so depending on which CPU you pair with this graphics card your performance may vary.
Fast action First Person Shooter Dirty Bomb! Here is the screen shot of the settings I found that allowed me to play the game smoothly:
The next shot even though it is of me a split second after I died it'll indicate that at the settings I used the game hovers just around 60 frames per second and game play was very smooth:
World of Warships:
I've recently been getting into this game so I figured I should let everyone know how well this Sapphire Nitro R7 360 handles it.
Here is the settings screen shot:
The next screen shot shows off one of the games Aircraft Carriers while under attack:
The settings I chose allowed for great game play and only very seldom did frame rate dip bellow 45 when massive close combat and explosions happened. It seems no matter what settings I chose, turned down or off, I couldn't find any way to prevent frame dips during close combat or heavy nearby explosions.
Guild Wars 2:
This game just recently went free to play and is preparing to launch an expansion so I figured I'd throw it in the list as well.
Here are the settings I found the game to be most playable at:
Lions Arch is one of the places in Guild Wars 2 that typically gives any computer a difficult time with Frame Rate.
In the next screen shot I ran around doing some events as well:
I was able to maintain smooth enough frame rate with good enough graphics settings to enjoy Guild Wars 2 leveling about doing events and taking in the beauty of the game.
At the settings I used the frame rate stayed around 55-60fps and very seldom fluctuated lower than that unless giant battles took place that make even higher end systems have problems.
Now that we've covered a handful of Free to Play games lets look at some of the AAA titles that you maybe wondering how this little Sapphire Nitro R7 360 graphics card will fair.
I'll start with one of my favorites and then go into more recently released games.
I really love the look of this game and enjoy playing the multiplayer so here are the settings I used that made it enjoyable to play multiplayer for me:
This next screen shot is just after jumping out of a helicopter and emptying my weapons clip into an enemy:
I tried playing Battlefield 4 with higher graphic video settings but it became choppy and made game play not as enjoyable. When using the settings I've shown I was able to get lost into game play and found myself needing to cut my testing time so I could get more games tested.
This is the most recent Battlefield release and I find it quite fun to play cops n robbers!
Here are the settings I use for this game:
Jumping into Battlefield Hardline with these settings allowed me the smooth game play I need to enjoy this game. Once again found myself respawning as I wanted just another couple minutes of play time before moving to the next game. The frame rate with these settings stayed upwards of 60FPS only dipping slightly during heavy battles and explosions.
Dragon Age Inquisition:
When this game launched it was one of my absolute favorites and I could spend countless hours playing it so I figured I needed to add this to the review.
I found using the automatic selection is what I needed to use in order to play the game smoothly:
As I continued testing different games such as this one the Sapphire Nitro R7 360 kept surprising me:
With the automatic settings selected the frame rate was smooth enough for me to get lost in Dragon Age Inquisition!
Some of you may really enjoy racing games and Dirt Rally being the latest release I had to add it.
Auto presets is what I needed to use in order to enjoy Dirt Rally because when I went in and tried to change individual settings the game play became un playable to me.
The benchmark as you can see shows a really high average frame rate but also very low minimum. When I used the same settings and went into actual game play I did not ever notice the minimum dips in frame rate. If they did happen it was so quick I didn't catch it.
Shadows of Mordor:
For those of you that love this genre and I being one of them I had to add this game to my list.
When I chose Auto Config for video settings the game bench marked well enough which made me think it should be playable in actual game play however it wasn't. All I needed to change in order to make it playable was disable Tesselation:
Once I disabled Tessellation the benchmark improved as well did the game play:
What happened when disabling tessellation was it kept the frame rate from drastically dropping during battle scenes. I could probably have turned off or lowered something else but I liked the way the game looked and played at these settings.
Last but not least this game has been known for how amazing it looks and how difficult it is to run. I tried it on Medium graphics settings first and it was absolutely unplayable for me.
However it was very playable and enjoyable when I switched it to low settings with hair works off:
Even on low settings I found the game absolutely beautiful and caught myself getting swept away into wanting to spend hours enjoying the game:
With low settings and hair works off the frame rate was the lowest of all the games I tested averaging around 30-35fps however as I mentioned before it was playable.
As I hinted at in the beginning of this article there use to be a time when you had to worry about which games a budget oriented card wasn't going to be able to play. Those times are gone. I spent many hours playing a wide range of games using this Sapphire R7 360 and even though I had to turn down settings to medium or lower in some instances, I was still able to find settings that would allow me to play the game and get sucked into game play rather than trying to look for graphic details. I could have tested countless other games and or hand picked only games that only showed performing with high frame rate. What I wanted to show was how surprised I was that not only did this graphics card handle any free to play game I wanted to play but it allowed me to step into nearly any AAA title game. The small form factor of this card will allow someone to build a budget oriented gaming system and enjoy gaming without any frills or gimmicks usually associated with "gaming" products. This card has opened my eyes and I hope it has yours too. If you're looking for a small form factor budget oriented 1080p graphics card to push your 60hz monitor than this may be the card you want to look at.
Thank you to Sapphire for providing this card for review and look forward to my next article reviewing the Sapphire Nitro R7 370 Radeon Graphics Card.
Let me know what you thought of this review by joining the discussion on our forums here:
Monoprice Hi-Fi Over the ear headphone review
By iamApropos in iamApropos 3What's Up Y'all!!?
This is my review of the Monoprice Hi Fi over the ear headphones.
Review contents -
Intropackagingbuild qualitycomfortsound before and after burn in40+ hours of music / gamingpros / cons ConclusionIntro -
Monoprice provided the Hi-Fi over the ear headphones free for review purposes. The headphones can be found on the Monoprice website here: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id=12230
When I received the headphones and after unboxing them I did a 2 hour comfort test in which I wear the headphones without listening to anything for 2 hours.
After this I proceeded to listen to music for 4hours, followed with overnight burn in with pink noise, then another 4 hours of listening to music. The following week after receiving the headphones I wore them listening to music, movies, or playing video games for approximately 10 hours a day. During this review I will cover the packaging, build quality, comfort, and sound before and after the burn in, discuss my experience with over 50 hours of audio, pros and cons and last but not least my conclusion. So let’s get started.
The outside of the box shows an actual size photo of the headphones. The art isn't too aggressive and highlights key features with emphasis on Hi-Fi. Opening the box you fix you find a plastic shell holding a hard case with the headphones inside of it. No paper work included. I was pleasantly surprised that the headphones were in their own hard case which has a good quality feel to it. Opening the zipper to reveal the headphones and cable.
The headphones are built really well and feel sturdy. The majority of this headphone is covered with soft touch rubberized plastic with chrome accents at the swivels. The ear pads are extremely nice and feel like they are constructed with memory foam. The ear pads can be easily removed to reveal the 40mm speakers. The build quality of the headphones has a slight plastic feel but they do not feel fragile or cheap.
First thing I did when I received these headphones is put them on and wear them for up to 2 hours without listening to anything. I do this so that I'm not distracted by what I'm listening to and can determine the comfort of the headphones. I was able to wear these headphones for 2 hours without any discomfort. The following 5 days these were so comfortable I wore them for at least 10 hours a day for my music, movies, playing video games and making phone calls. I do have smaller than average ears and found the ear pads barely fit right around them however I had my wife test the fit and she said parts of the ear pads sit on her ear. Nonetheless these are very comfortable and everyone I had try the headphones on agreed they were incredibly comfortable. The one downside I had with the ear pads aside from being a little on the small side is possibly a personal problem; I tend to overheat easily therefore the leather ear pads would stick to my skin. As long as I stayed cool I didn't have any issues with the ear pads.
Sound before & after burn in
I listened to a wide range of music which includes RAP, Classical, POP and country for 4 hours before letting the headphones play pink noise at nearly full volume overnight. The first 4 hours listening the headphones had a wide sound stage with very clear bright almost shrill highs. The midrange is not muddy but the bass seemed to not have punch at times. After doing the overnight burn in, I listened to the same arrangement of music again for 4 hours. I noticed a small change with the highs, they weren't as shrill and the midrange seemed a little warmer though the bass was full it didn't however have a deep kick with some genres. The clarity and range of these headphones is remarkable. When listening to certain music you can hear clear separation of instruments, arrangements and in some instances they allowed me to hear audio that some of my other headphones didn't pick up. Overnight burn in with pink noise helped mellow these headphones out on the highs.
40+ hours of music and gaming
The sound isolation is remarkable with these headphone. I was able to test the sound isolation during my wife’s first 2 days of college the college had a DJ playing music loudly in the Cafeteria, putting these headphones on blocked out the majority of the music being played by the DJ. I listened to my music without any intrusion of the other music being played around me.
I wanted to make sure I got a good amount of time wearing these headphones for all types of listening activity to provide the best review I could. The music I listened varied from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera to 50 cent, Eminem all the way to Pop and Country. The listening experience was more than enjoyable as I found myself not missing my more expensive headphones I have available. Gaming with these headphones I played Battlefield 4, Brawlhalla, Guild Wars 2 and a few others. The headphones provided a great open sound stage which allowed me to accurately pin point audio within games and hunt down my opponents. Making a phone call with the headphones using the build in mic on the cable my voice came through clearly. The cable has plus minus pause and play buttons. The pause play button do as intended and if you double tap that button it also forwards to the next track. This was very nice when I didn't want to reach for the device.
Pros and cons:
Nit picking if anything the ear pads barely fit around my smaller than average ears for everyone else I had try on the headphones they said the ear pads sat on the tops or bottom of the ear.
These headphones feel high quality, sound high quality and being focused towards hand held devices it went above and beyond. They are so comfortable I could use them for 10+ hours a day doing a wide variety of things from listening to music to being enjoyed while being used for gaming on my PC too. I'd love to see Monoprice offer aftermarket larger or alternative replacement ear pads such as Velor.
Let me know what you thought of this blog review and join in the discussion about headphones on the forums here: http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/30-headphones-headsets/
See you on the forums.
Now that's what's up!!!
Now That's What's Up Community Challenge!
By iamApropos in iamApropos 0What's Up Y'all!!?
On July 6th 2015 I announced a community challenge on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/iamapropos/the-now-thats-whats-up-community-challenge/943438099048346
In which Ateam Gaming Community members could enter a chance to win their very own iamApropos plushie Abomb.
All they had to do was record themselves saying "This is (insert twitch name) Now That's What's Up!!!" email the appropriate details and hope to be chosen.
The plushies are hand made by my family so they take a long time to produce. The rarity of these plushies are why I do not have them for sale plus I want people who can't afford to purchase them to have a chance at getting one. This in my opinion allows everyone equal oppurtunity to win their very own iamApropos plushie abomb. There are a few set backs because all expenditures are out of my own pocket and or helped funded by donations I have had to limit most physical giveaways to North America unless upon entering participates explicitly imply they will cover shipping costs.
Some who entered didn't provide the needed "This is (Insert Name)" though their recording is appreciated it can't be used. Others had profanity in their recording and because of that it can't be used either. Sadly I didn't for see needing to imply more rules than needed but I'll make sure to do so next time.
Back to the challenge at hand. I've already started picking the 4 finalist and will begin using their recordings immediately as well as letting everyone know on social media who the finalist are. The first finalist to be chosen is Nic aka @coconutMNKY on twitter with this entry:
I still need to choose 3 more finalist and then begin figuring out which one of the 4 will win the grande prize coveted rare hand made iamApropos Plushie Abomb!
Do not worry if you missed out on this challenge and you want to have a chance at getting your hands on your own plushie abomb. There are many different ways to obtain one.
One easy way to be considered to win a plushie abomb is by actively watching my live shows on http://www.twitch.tv/iamApropos being prepared to blow up chat with KAPOW Abomb KAPOW any time called to action to do so.
Finding me at a public live event such as PAX South and or any other live event I may be attending just make sure you are following me on twitter http://www.twitter.com/iamApropos for updates on where when and how you may be able to meet me in person and get your hands on a plushie abomb! Keep your eye on the calender here on the website for more updates too!
If you have any questions about this topic please join the discussion on the forums here: http://iamapropos.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7-now-thats-whats-up-community-challenge/
Now That's What's Up!!! - Paul ~ iamApropos
The story behind the Abomb
By iamApropos in iamApropos 0What's Up Y'all!!?
New people to my twitch chat or just to our community may have absolutely no idea what Abomb means to us. Lets start by looking at my online name iamApropos the root word in the name is apropos which is an French derived English word that means:
a. with reference to; concerning.
b. very appropriate to a particular situation.
Now I use to shake figerative pompoms while I supported people in their chat or on youtube comments but one day while I was streaming I saw chat just going crazy when I began to get a lot of new followers aka a follower train. This reminded me of when someone would get a lot of text messages or phone calls and people would say "My cell is blowing up" So I began to say blow chat up and it just evolved into blowing it up with Apropos Bombs ABOMBS! This become such a great way for chat to show their excitement for what is going on in the stream as well as welcoming new members to the community that it spilled over to other places on the internet. We'd see members from the AteamGC in someone elses chat and we'd KAPOW Abomb KAPOW each other to show excitement that we were there together.
My wife came up with the idea to take it a step further and came up with the idea of making me a Plushie iamApropos Abomb that I can use to shake around on screen during my stream welcoming new members who follow or to show excitement if something awesome happened.
So now you know KAPOW Abomb KAPOW is a way to blow up comments / chat or show excitement in a tweet with other AteamGC members.
You may ask yourself "Well how do I get my hands on a plushie abomb?"
Since they are hand made by my family they are very rare and very time consuming to make therefor I do not have them for sale. However for a chance to win one all you need to do is actively watch my live stream. That is if I'm live otherwise just be active with me on social media and hangout / utilize our gamevox voice server and you never know you may be surprised one day with a DM asking for your mailing address.
If you have any questions about Abomb's or our use of the Abomb icons which we have available by using http://www.frankerfacez.com please feel free to email me at iamApropos@gmail.com
For now prepare your Abomb's and next time you see each other online blow it up!
Now That's What's Up!!! - Paul ~ iamApropos