Unboxing the MSi Duke 1080TiThe MSI Duke ships in a beautiful carbon fiber skinned box with the essential letterings on the front side. The backside is more feature heavy and goes into details with all the offering you're getting for a $750 graphics card.One very nice and small touch that MSI added are the tabs to pull out the entire inside. Usually you'd have to do a little bit of wiggling to get everything out without ripping the box apart. Thanks to these little thumb tabs, you can pull the entire inside box easily.Upon pulling everything out, we're greeted with MSI's subtle logo printed on the matted cardboard box. The top is a thin cardboard box containing the essential manual, some marketing materails, a 6 to 8 pin power adepter (if you're using an older power supply, this is a nice little bonus), and the vestigial installation CD. If you're building a gaming machine and throwing down $750+ on a graphics card, something tells me you're not installing a CD drive. Not sure why manufacturers still include these in the higher end graphics card. For lower end cards it makes more sense. The graphics card itself is encased snuggly inside the foam cushion wrapped in anti-static bag. Opening the wrap reveals a the magnificent looking MSI 1080 TI Duke. It's construction is mostly hard plastic with carbon fiber print tastefully decorated on the face. Make sure you remove the plastic stickers on the fan plates before installing into your machine. The backplate is solid metal and features MSI's logo and some more carbon fiber streaks for aesthetics.
CoolingThe graphics card features MSI's proprietary Tri-Frozr fans. MSI claims the TORX fans have a combined of 2 different blade designs infused into one fan to give superior cooling capabilities. The unique about this card is that the fans actually stop spinning when temperatures are below 60C and only starts when temperatures are above 60C. Keeping the graphics card cool is a cornerstone of design and one many third party manufacturers focus on optimizing.In addition to the fans, MSI also put a massive 8MM heatpipes that also helps dissipate heat during intense operation. The heatpipes also connect to a reinforced metal plate that acts as an additional heatsink and also prevent flexing due to the size of the graphics card.The MSI Duke is also noticeable larger than the MSI X gaming therefore flexing may be an issue. Take a look at the picture below and you'll noticed there's 2 layers of reinforced plating sandwiching the circuitboard to provide both optimal heat dissipation and also anti-flexing. The anti-flexing held true as we did try to bend the graphics card and to no avail.
The PortsThe MSI 1080 TI Duke comes with your standard DVI port for those with older monitors. It has 2 HDMI 2.0 that can support 4K at 60Hz. You also get 2 1.4 Display ports that can support 4K at 120Hz or 8K at 60Hz (currently we don't have any 8K displays yet, but in the future when we do, you'll have a graphics card that can take advantage of it). This is the perfect configuration if you're planning to setup your machine for VR.For power, this graphics card (like all 1080 TI really) requires two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors that's rated at 250 Watts. If your power supply doesn't support 8-pin PCI, MSI graciously included an adapter for your 6-pin.
RGB LightingMSI promised that this is an RGB model meaning there will be configurable lights. The back plate looks nice and clean featuring MSI logo in all white and carbon fiber streaks, however it doesn't light up. We don't mind this, as when installed, the backplate is hardly visible anyway. On the side, the MSI DUKE logo does light up and can be configured. The Geforce GTX doesn't light up, probably not a bad thing for us because our poor wiring covers it anyway. Overall, the lighting aspect of the MSI 1080 TI Duke is disappointing as only the DUKE logo lights up.
BenchmarkNow it's time to put the card to test. We decided to test single-player games instead of going online to really test the graphics card capabilities. Online games have the added layer of internet connection that could mislead our results.For testing, we installed the MSI 1080 TI Duke into our rig. Below are the specs for our rig. Owner's Magazine's Custom RigCase - Dark Base 900 Pro (Premium case, bit expensive but definitely worth every penny. Check out our first look HERE)Power Supply - Dark Power Pro 11 850W CPU - Intel 7700K Kaby LakeCPU Cooler - Dark Rock 3 Motherboard - MSI Z270 Carbon Gaming ProRAM - 32GB DDR4 G.Skill Ripjaws 32Graphics Card - MSI 1080 TI DukeMonitor of ChoiceWe chose Pixio's new 347c Prime monitor to review most of the higher end graphics card. Pixio's 347c Prime is a $600 34" monitor with aspect ratio of 21:9 giving us ultra-wide 1440p viewing with up to 5MM pixels. This is considerably more challenging output than traditional 1080P monitors, however not quite as demanding as 4K monitors. We enjoy the sweet spot in the middle and also enjoy the extra wide dimension of the Pixio 347c Prime. Review for the Pixio 347c Prime is coming soon.
KeyboardFor this review, we decided to use Das Keyboard 4 Professional keyboard. It's a professional grade german-made keyboard that's used by many pros in E-Sport. Review for Das Keyboard 4 Professional coming soon. Disclaimer: Owner's Magazine wasn't paid by either MSI, Be Quiet! or Pixio to promote products. All of the parts in our PC were chosen due to their respected quality and value determined by our engineers. We used quite a bit of Be Quiet!'s products due to their products generally being whispers even during heavy operation. And we chose Pixio's monitor due to it's value and desirable pixel density for testing high end graphics card. Witcher 3Max FPS: 100Low FPS: 92Avg Temperature: 66CBattlefield 1Max FPS: 100Low FPS: 77Avg Temperature: 71CDoomMax FPS: 100Low FPS: 74Avg Temperature: 68CDishonored 2Surprisingly dropped below 60FPS during intense fight scenes.Max FPS: 100Low FPS: 55Avg Temperature: 64C Call of Duty Infinity WarfareMax FPS: 80Low FPS: 52Average Temperature: 79CTital Fall 2Max FPS: 100Low FPS: 66Avg Temperature: 72C
MSI 1080 Ti Duke VerdictAfter testing the MSI 1080 TI Duke for several hours the card never got over 77C, and fan speed was silent for the most part. The unit handle most games on the list without a hitch. However that's not surprisingly since 1080 TI typically are made to handle higher end games. Cooling was not an issue with the triple Frozr fans silently doing their job. Frame-rate was capped at 100 for our testing, and most games remained at 100 FPS even during intense fight sequences. The only game that gave us any issue was Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare. The graphics card could only output 80FPS maxed and even dipped below 60FPS during a few sequences. All of this was on a 34" 1440P ultra-side Pixio 347c Prime monitor, not a 4K monitor.When you're shopping for 1080 TI, whether you're looking at Asus, PNY, EVGA, or MSI they're all relatively great performing cards. What separates them are the options, features, and bonuses that they come with. At the time of writing, the MSI 1080 TI DUKE is priced at $750 shipped on Amazon and that's quite a steal given everything you get with it. It's a solid performing card that comes with all essential ports for VR, has phenomenal cooling, rigid construction with additional heat plates (why the cooling was so good), slim profile (much thinner than the Asus Strix 1080 ti) making it easy to have SLI configuration, and it runs at no louder than a quiet whisper. The only drawback is the lackluster RGB lighting which they may as well not have done at all. Other than that, we put the MSI 1080 TI Duke right up there with all the other big boys.
New Tech in Old Places
At HomeLike the vacuum cleaner and microwave, kitchen appliances were slow to evolve after their domestic debuts in the fifties. Only now with the advent of appliances being “smart” are we seeing new innovations in the kitchen. Everything at home from the fridge, security system, to the tv now come in “smart” options allowing devices to connect with each other and be accessed remotely.
In the ClassroomEducation is an area that has infinite benefits to reap since the dawn of the internet. Less than three decades ago it was rarity for a school to have a computer. Today, it is a rarity for a school not to have one. Learning is no longer limited to books and chalkboards. Creative new channels for learning are now being found through virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing, and game-based learning.Virtual and augmented reality adds a dimension of interactivity that is previously unprecedented. Instead of simply looking at a page of a history book, students will soon be able to virtually visit different places and times. Similarly, 3D printing offers the ability to add tactile experience when studying complexities such as molecules. A 3D printer also gives students the opportunity to learn about custom manufacturing and design.Game-Based Learning is a brilliant new technique in teaching that combats student’s ever shortening attention spans. This method concentrates on interactivity and “gameplay” in learning. By incentivising students to “win” better grades, school will be less like pulling teeth and more like playing while learning.Cloud computing is an important next step in optimizing how students do their work. Although a futurist classroom is on the cusp of reality, kids today can still use excuses like “my dog ate my homework”. With cloud computing, students can efficiently turn in work, check into classes, and have discussions without their dog’s hungry involvement.
Building Efficiency into our InfrastructureMany changes are not only happening inside but outside as well. Our infrastructure is due for a technological makeover. Many cities have begun to offer hubs for free wifi. Many parks now offer charging stations and wifi. In New York passengers can now take advantage of free internet service in select subway stops, increasing productivity for workers during their commute time. Building materials themselves are going through their own evolutions. Solar Roadway is a company manufacturing solar powered hexagonal road panels. This year, the first road of this kind will be installed into a section of route 66.Innovators such as Elon Musk are introducing concepts such as a completely solar roof. Creating an option for solar panels as a permanent fixture as opposed to temporary modular panels is the first step of many to building efficiency and sustainability into our environments. Many more advances in every field are beginning to grow in coevolution with our age old environments. Increasing efficiency and connectivity is making the world a smaller and more convenient place. Like archeologists admiring the engineering of Roman aqueducts, we will one day look back at this time and marvel at the progress and creativity our ingenuity has brought to fruition. The world we live in today is literally, ‘the state of the art’.
Tech Trends Changing The Way We Do Business
Cleaner Materials, Packaging and StandardsWith just a few stubborn exceptions, most folks in America and throughout the world agree: Life on Earth can’t continue if we keep squandering our resources. Developments in more energy-efficient production equipment save us cash money on our utility bills all the time and bring us ever-closer to true energy independence. The materials being pursued are lighter, stronger and cheaper base materials to make products more durable and inexpensive to manufacture. What about some of the other exciting opportunities in new packaging and packing materials? Besides looking potentially awesome, these outside-the-box ideas help us remove lots of the more harmful chemicals and plastics from our supply chains. This action will keep them out of the hands of our clients and customers — and out of the environment for good. Tech trends that include better technologies, plus social pressures, let us design less wasteful and more appealing products and packaging all the time to ultimately help raise our shared definition of excellence.
Crowdsourced Design and TroubleshootingMaybe it was inevitable, but modern technology has given businesses something they just didn’t have in decades past: the opportunity to get their customers to do some of the work. We’ve all had to become citizen journalists, the needs and wants of our globalized world mean we’ve also had to become hobbyist creators in our own small ways. Plus, it’s just really fun to take part in the creation process! Kickstarter was the first company to take "democratized creation" — to borrow/turn/re-coin a phrase — mainstream, but that kind of crowdsourcing is just the tip of the iceberg. Current tech trends has made product creation a more social process from nearly top to bottom, letting brands from all types and sizes a chance to engage with their intended audience. This allows brands to gather valuable feedback about the development phase of product design. Engaging directly with the most creative minds in your audience also lets you iron out any kinks as they crop up and effectively "rev" a brand-new product for a more confident official rollout.
Direct-to-Consumer DeliveryNobody likes the middleman. There are growing tech trends of brands working to engage directly with you through smartphone apps and push notifications. It’s also why we’re seeing more subscription-based and home delivery services pop up all the time. It took a tech giant like Amazon to throw down the gauntlet in the home grocery delivery space, and more are continuing to lead the way as consumers demand more convenience from the products they want most. For example, Marketview Liquor will not only help you find the best wine for the season, they’ll also deliver your wine right to your door. The whole point is that customers know how to do research. If you’ve made yourself visible and your presence suggests a superior product without the hassle of brick-and-mortar shopping with the middlemen, and if you provide truly measurable incentives like cheap or free shipping for repeat customers and discounts for recurring deliveries, they’ll probably choose your expert wine curation or your hand-selected ski bindings over those offered online by a more faceless corporate brand every time. For the faceless corporations, all of this works for you, too. A major point here is that each of the tech trends on this list are, in their own way, leveling the playing field. The little guy, more each day, has the means to compete with "known quantities" and familiar retailers.
Hobbyist Home ProductionWe’ve talked a little bit about how crowdsourced design like Scooterboard can help lead to more thoughtfully designed products in the run-up to a major product hitting the market. Thanks to 3D printing and other technologies, the very act of producing some of those projects is also vastly more open and accessible. Today, you can pick up a 3D printer with limited capabilities for around the $300 mark. Consider the nearly countless advantages of allowing consumers to print their own "OEM" replacement products — or even modifications to existing products. Then there’s this: What if you don’t need to ship them a product at all? This is one step beyond even direct-to-consumer delivery: It’s a state where consumers could purchase blueprints for general product types, add their own features and embellishments to then build it right in their home using 3D-printed components in a variety of plastics and metals. This is the future. It’s not quite here yet, but it’s coming. If you sell a physical product yourself, how might you take advantage of this situation?
Apps and SubscriptionsInformation powers our lives. But information isn’t a physical product. Apps have changed everything about how we consume products and do business. Back when there was a physical counterpart — a CD, DVD or even a thumb drive — to the software we used, you paid once and had access to a "finished" product for a year or so. Some of us even remember waiting in line for Mac OS X Tiger on DVD! Now that "app culture" is here, it means consumers expect a constant drip-feed of new products and user experiences. That means subscriptions. Those colorful little squares on your smartphone are now windows. You can open and look through some of those windows for free, but the view you enjoy takes a lot of hard work to maintain. It’s a rich garden full of features with diligent developers trying to keep features bloat and bugs at bay while refreshing the UI often enough to keep you interested.App-based subscriptions have had a shaky rollout, with even seasoned fans giving their favorite developers "the business" for pivoting to a subscription model instead of sticking to the pay-once-and-receive-updates-for-life model we’ve all been enjoying until recently. Smartphones are nearly indispensable in our personal and business lives. Now, those of us who use them will need to be more selective about the companies we do business with, and become patrons of the ones who truly excel in their field. For business, it’s a huge challenge as well as an opportunity. Apps like Ulysses and Weather Atlas are now available via subscription, ensuring their talented coders a chance to eat and their users in getting new products as soon as they’re ready. Even websites like Medium and The Atlantic are trying out new membership platforms to monetize information and business in a world where technology has delivered users from advertisements. Publishers still need a revenue stream however.Your primary product may not be an app at all. App culture is a tech trend that gives you an opportunity to turn your presence on somebody’s Home Screen into a money-making, brand-expanding opportunity. Make yourself indispensable.
Technology, Business and DestinyTo say technology will let us achieve our dreams would be a flowery statement. We’re all still trying to make sense of most of it, but it’s clear that there are exciting tech trends in front of us all — most particularly for excelling in business. For the many reasons touched on above and lots more, it’ll pay off in the end to stay informed about new technologies as they emerge. If you’re not, somebody else definitely will be.
5 Presentation Options Other Than PowerPoint
CanvaCanva is a beautiful online interactive presentation website. Many backgrounds and slide designs are free. If you want to buy premium themes and slides, you can buy them at $1. The tool is priced at $12.95 per month for business use. Canva allows users to print blog graphics, flyers, posters, Facebook covers and many more.When you register to the website, it has an interactive tutorial that allows you to learn how to use the website quickly. It has over 10 million users and is available for PC and Apple users. Out of many presentation options, this is a good tool for everybody who wants an easy-to-use presentation tool that is flexible and affordable.
PreziIf you're tired of "old slides", throw them away and replace them with Prezi. This is one of the best alternatives to PowerPoint because unlike slides, Prezi's zoom presentation options allow users to the relationship between the big picture and fine details. This feature takes viewers on an compelling informative journey that they will not only enjoy but also remember. With Prezi, there are no "dull" slides, only non-linear presentations that are more exciting.Prezi is an easy way to show context but be careful because it can also cause dizziness. Paid version of the tool features additional storage space and the ability to use the tool locally.
Google SlidesGoogle has their hands in many pies, including the presentation pie. Google Slides is as cloud-based tool that can be used by a lot of people. Just like other Google products, it can be authored by different users. This tool is able to create, comment and real-time edit slides. Users can also create slides without an internet connection making it a good alternative to people who are not connected all the time. Visit Google Drive and create slides, it's that easy.The new version of Slides has embedded video, animation and a wide array of free templates that can help you create presentations, pitches and portfolios. Access your presentation from your phone, tablet or PC. All changes are saved automatically so there is no need to click save. Google might be basic but it is very flexible.
KeynoteMicrosoft PowerPoint is to Apple Keynote. Their presentation options are rich with great tools for creating presentations using its many templates. Keynote is a good PowerPoint alternative because it puts design as the forefront of your presentation. This tool has built-in graphics tools so that you can edit and tweak to your heart's content. Compared to PowerPoint, Keynote's user interface is also more user-friendly. Create stunning and memorable presentation with real-time collaboration. Keynote can also handle embedded media and graphics and can be downloaded at the Apple app store.
EmazeAs a cloud-based presentation tool, Emaze is responsive with pretty elements. Create attractive and dynamic presentations with free pre-made templates. All you need to do is to populate the template with graphics and content to amaze your audience. The free package is great but to access the premium package, $9.90 per month for unlimited space and sharing, offline viewing and privacy controls. As you can see, PowerPoint is not the only presentation tool you can use. Some of these alternatives are cloud-based, free to use and allow users to "save as" to other formats. The most important thing to remember is that these tools are just tools. The most important thing to remember for presentations is the content. Cool slides and flashy graphics miss the point if they cannot educate and inform the audience. So make your slides cool but most importantly, provide content.
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