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Samsung 850 EVO 120GB

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Introduction The Samsung 840 EVO is one of the best consumer SSDs on the market. The drive delivers good performance for its price. Earlier this year, Samsung launched the 850 Pro that uses the 3D V-NAND that boosts the performance, capacity and reduces power consumption for the SSDs over the 2D planar NAND. We were hoping that Samsung would deliver a consumer drive that also uses same 3D V-NAND as what it has done in the past. Well, our prayers have been answered as Samsung has unveiled the 850 EVO as the successor to the 840 EVO. In case you have not noticed, the price of the SSDs is steadily declining. We have seen every manufacturer segmented their portfolio where it has a high-end performance grade drive and a more affordable model. Because the technology has matured, the affordable models are where it gets most interests. The Crucial MX 100 ... Read More »

Nvidia G-SYNC: A New gaming experience seen on the ASUS SWIFT PG278Q Display

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Nvidia G-SYNC Technology Nvidia has been very proud of many of their advances over the last few years, offering special ways to improve the gaming experience using GeForce products. That being said we have seen many instances where gaming immersion has been enhanced or at least changed the way you play from things such as 3D Vision or new AA technologies to make the game just a more enjoyable and cleaner feeling experience. However there is one thing that has always been an issue which is screen tearing, and this can be fixed with VSYNC or at least we thought but then we found that this can cause other issues just as jumpiness or lagging, so basically as a gamer you had to make a choice between whether you wanted uncapped frames and tearing, or VSYNC enabled with no tearing but jitters and lags neither of which was an ideal solution but ... Read More »

Zotac ZBox Pico PI320 – a PC in your pocket

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Zotac is a company with lots of experience when it comes to small PC’s. We have reviewed some of them before and always come away impressed.The little PC we are testing today, and it really is little, is their smallest yet as it quite literally fits in your pocket. Even though it is small it still comes with WIndows 8 and is by all accounts a proper PC. It might not fit all users but it turns out to be a nifty little PC with several interesting use-cases. The Specifications CPU Intel Atom Z3735F (quad-core, 1.33 GHz) Burst frequency up to 1.83 GHz GPU Intel HD-graphics Memory  2 GB 1333 MHz DDR3  Network  10/100Mbps, 802.11n + Bluetooth 4.0  Audio  Stereo (analog), 8-ch via HDMI  Storage  32GB eMMC (integrated) Memory card reader 3-in-1 (micro SD/SDHC/SDXC)  Ports  1x HDMI, 3 x USB2.0  OS  WIndows 8 with Bing (English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)  Extras  1 ... Read More »

ASUS RAMPAGE V Extreme – The Extreme Enthusiasts X99 Board From ASUS Is Here!

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Introduction – ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME X99 has been around a bit now and the next board to hit our bench is what we have here today and it is no joke as it is the Rampage V Extreme or what many hold as the benchmark for every other board in regards to top performance. This kind of legacy has been earned over years of having boards at the top rung of performance and at the bleeding edge of new features. Now lets hop in and see if the new Rampage V Extreme holds true to its lineage. The Rampage V Extreme has a MSRP of $473.99 available on Newegg at the time of writing and this places it at the very top as far as pricing with only two boards above it being the ASRock Extreme 11 and the ASUS WS model board so the extreme better bring some serious capability to ... Read More »

OCZ ARC 100 240GB

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Introduction As expected, with OCZ now owned by Toshiba, OCZ would be using the in-house brew Toshiba NAND for their SSDs as oppose to Intel/Micron. OCZ has transitioned their mainstream Vertex SSDs to the Toshiba NAND already. And the latest budget line of SSD, the ARC 100, continues the trend of using all in-house made components of pairing the Indilinx controller with the Toshiba NAND. The ARC 100 is OCZ budget line of SSD that is aimed for those who is looking to upgrade their system from old, slow mechanical drive or those are already got an aging SSD that needs an upgrade. Much like what Crucial has done with the MX100 where it paired the same controller as the performance drive (in this case the M500) with a newer NAND in order to cut down the production cost for the budget drive, the ARC 100 takes OCZ’s own Indilinx Barefoot III controller and ... Read More »

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Edition

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One of the consequences of having run this site for almost 20 years is that you have seen a lot of GPU-launches and thus are a pretty jaded when it comes to new GPU’s. They usually are a bit faster, come with a few more features that few use and to be honest mostly are a waste of money for most as even cards from 2 generation back can run most games great. The launch of the Maxwell GPU’s, the GTX 970 and GTX 980, though has been different. It has been a long time since a new generation so utterly has made its previous generation cards as well as most of the competitors cards obsolete. And while the GTX 980 of course is the performance leader it is the GTX 970 that has caught a lot of people’s eyes as it offers excellent performance for its low price. Today we are ... Read More »

MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G – MSI’s Flagship Maxwell Model Makes Its Debut!

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MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G Very much on the heels of the Maxwell and GTX 980 launch was the partner cards and the first GTX 980 model we received much like the 970 we recently looked at is the MSI Gaming 4G edition. First of all the cooler for these cards simply look beastly but also if this card proves to be any shade as impressive as the 970 we saw before then gamers are in for a real treat. The MSI Gaming card comes to market at $579.99 at Newegg at the time of this writing. This places the MSI card right in the thick of things with only a couple “Stock” models below it and all of the other custom models either dead on priced or priced from 20- 120 dollars higher for some of the top overclocking models. Key Features Military Class 4 Components When MSI puts ... Read More »

Logitech K480 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard

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As our mobile devices gets more powerful, especially when we are talking about tablets, the need for a proper input device is increasing. There are options available for most devices, especially if you include the bluetooth keyboards but for the most part it is a pain in the butt if you have more than one device and want to use the keyboard for them all. The solution for this is to allow you to connect more than one device to the keyboard and just switch between them. This is what the Logitech K480 allows. It is a keyboard that allows you to connect up to 3 devices and with the flick of a switch switch between them. It supports IOS, Android, ChromeOS, Windows and Mac. FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS Height 20 mm (0.79 inches) Width 299 mm (11.77 inches) Depth 195 mm (7.68 inches) Weight 820 g (1.81 pounds) Colors Available ... Read More »

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666MHZ 16GB Quad Channel Memory Kit

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Introduction Corsair has been a long known player in the memory game and even after branching out into many other products they still deliver some great memory products very consistently Now that we have come upon DDR4 Corsair was the first to get us some hands on time with DIMMS in the kit you see in front of you today. This kit  is one of Corsairs newest Vengeance LPX models which is actually the companies mainstream line with Dominator platinums to service the high-end enthusiasts crowd. DDR4 has JEDEC or default speeds of 2133 so to see that Corsair is planning to release 2666MHz (Which is the kit we have today) as their minimum per their FAQ statement says a lot about their ambition to really push the performance on the new platform.     This Vengeance LPX 2666MHz 16GB kit comes to market via newegg at $339.99 presently or at ... Read More »

Gamdias APOLLO Extension Optical Gaming Mouse

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Gamdias is a company name that most probably not many have heard of. That was the way it was for us when we were approaced to review a keyboard and a gaming mouse. The company was founded in 2012 but it turns out they already have a big range of gaming mice (13), keyboards (2) and other gaming related peripherals. In this review we are testing the Apollo Exention Optical gaming mouse. Regardless of the little weird name it turns out that it is a really nice gaming mouse with some neat tricks up its sleave. SPECIFICATIONS Weight System N/A Cable Length 2M Keys 5 Keys Resolution up to 3200 DPI Polling Rate 125 / 250 / 500 /1000 Hz Onboard Memory 64K Dimension(LxWxH) 118.6 x 69.8 x 40.3 mm(w/ back shell) Tracking Method Advanced Gaming Optical Sensor Switch Lifecycle 10 Million Graphical UI Yes (GAMDIAS HERA) The specifications show ... Read More »

MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G – New Maxwell Price/Performance Beast?

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MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4G MSI was right on the ball with the new Maxwell offerings well with the 970 actually. MSI has always been pretty quick to get their own cards out but this time around they were the first to get me a custom model card for a new GPU launch which is very cool as it shows they are being very proactive on getting their cards into hands for not only testing but purchase even faster which of course means more available for all the gamers out there. The MSI Gaming card comes to market at $349.99 at Newegg at the time fo this writing which is right inline with the other custom cooled 970 competition. So now lets take a look at what the MSI Gaming card offers to get you on board! Key Features Military Class 4 Components When MSI puts military class components to the fire ... Read More »

Crucial MX100 256GB SSD: Affordable without sacrificing performance

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Introduction If you are still using a mechanical drive in your system, it is time that you start shopping for an SSD over this holiday season. The price of SSD has dropped significantly over the last year. Where it used to be $1 to $2 per gigabyte, now the price per gigabyte for the SSD has gotten to 50 cents per gigabyte. Not only that the price of the SSDs have become rather affordable, the performance of the drive have matured where even the budget drives deliver good performance across different workloads. Last year, Crucial kickstarted the trend of offering affordable SSD with the M500 series. Then earlier this year, the company released the M550 with improved controller that improves areas where the M500 is falling behind the competitors. As a result, the M550 is able to deliver a competitive drive in terms of performance at very affordable pricing. The ... Read More »

EVGA X99 Classified – EVGA’s Top Dog in The Enthusiasts Arena

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Introduction – EVGA X99 Classified EVGA is one of those brands we have all seen come up and become a very strong force in the graphics card market and even motherboards. Their history is a bit of a roller coaster ride starting with NF series Nvidia chipset boards which no doubt had their fair share of issues finally eclipsing with the 790i which thankfully is when EVGA was able to offer intel chipset boards. With that they also picked up Peter Tan AKA Shamino and his engineering and overclocking knowledge made for some real magic with the X58 Classified among a few other boards, but a short while later Peter left and wound up at ASUS and EVGA boards showed this as feature sets and even performance suffered, but EVGA trudged through the tough times and looking at what we have here today they are all the better for it. ... Read More »

MSI X99S Xpower AC – Taking Haswell E performance to the next level!

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Introduction – MSI X99S XPOWER AC MSI has made motherboards and Graphics offerings for some time now and has recently extended its reach into the Notebook and all kinds of other accessory devices. Today we get the awesome opportunity to follow up the powerful and feature packed X99S Gaming 9 with the X99S XPOWER board which is on the other end of the extreme spectrum built for overclockers while the Gaming 9 was more targeted directly at the extreme side of the gaming market. MSI has made a pretty strong showing in the extreme overclocking and performance segment with its XPOWER series of boards and coinciding lightning and other model cards.   The board comes in at a street price of $398.99 directly from Newegg at the time of this writing, this places the X99S XPOWER in a decent place as it is almost 100 dollars cheaper than the top end OC board from ASUS ... Read More »

Maxwell is here! GTX 980 is now revealed!

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Nvidia always has a bit of flair when it comes to new launches and this newest launch is no different as they organized a special gaming/modding event based around the celebration of gaming as a whole over the massive expanse of years. GAME24 and MOD24 is the name of the celebration and this is also the main stage for the new product announcement of the new Maxwell Architecture GPU and of course the GTX 980 we are going to look at today. To top this off Nvidia is actually launching two cards: the flagship GTX 980 and the GTX 970 as well so lets dive in and see what Maxwell is all about! The GK204 Maxwell Architecture   Nvidia makes a pretty bold statement here that the new Maxwell GPU is the most advanced GPU ever made and well I cannot really dispute that as for awhile now they ... Read More »

Return of the Athlon: AMD Brings Kabini to the desktop

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Introduction The Athlon brand holds a very special place in the tech industry, as it was the first processor to reach 1 GHz. Back in its days, the Athlon CPUs give the Intel Pentium processors some serious competitions. AMD has kept the Athlon brand for almost a decade where it has gone through a numerous of architectural changes, double and quadruple the core counts and gained 64-bit support. Eventually, the brand was replaced when AMD launched Phenom platform in 2010. The old is suddenly new again. Like the Volkswagen brought back the Beetle, the Athlon brand has risen back from retirement with the recent launch of the desktop Kabini. AMD hopes that the success it has enjoyed with the original Athlon can be repeated once again with its latest low power CPU. Kabini Desktop: Athlon and Sempron The Kabini appeared last year when AMD launched it for the mobile platform. It is aimed ... Read More »

ASUS Maximus VII Formula – Top End ROG Gaming For Z97

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Introduction – ASUS Maximus  VII Formula Seems like just yesterday we were looking at the Maximus VI Formula from ASUS based on the Z87 and today we have the Z97 variant. The Maximus VII Formula and it actually looks alot like the previous Z87 variant which to me is not a bad thing as they made a very good and capable board, but they did make some changes with the 7 so lets take a look at what the new 7 Formula has to offer.   The Maximus VII Formula comes to market with a street price of $369.99 directly from Newegg at the time of writing. This price point puts it definitely in the upper bracket in regards to gaming board pricing but still not outside the realm of possibility. The thing about these higher price points is they require some special features to make them worth the cash and ... Read More »

MSI X99S Gaming 9 – MSI brings gaming to a new level!

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Introduction – MSI X99 Gaming 9 AC Hot on the heels of the ASUS board our second X99 to arrive is what we see today and its MSIs flagship gaming model the X99S Gaming 9 which is the top of the gaming board spectrum. We have seen gaming boards from MSI a few times now so we kinda know what to expect and with the gaming 9 it looks to have even more tricks up its sleeve as it has the usual suspects such as the Killer gaming network, WiFi AC support, Gaming Peripheral ports and the such, but a new item here in the Streamning engine really peaks my interest.   The board comes in at a MSRP of $429, this places the gaming 9 in a pretty high rung as far as price point goes so lets see what its packing that makes it worth your buck for a ... Read More »

ASUS X99 Deluxe – A new look and features for ASUS X99!

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Introduction – ASUS X99 Deluxe When X99 started to become a reality we noticed that every manufacturer was running very late on boards and before you know it ASUS delivered with a board. This does not exactly surprise me since ASUS has a huge engineering and R&D team so getting boards out pretty quick may be a bit less of a chore than some competitors but on a new chipset/CPU launch like this sometimes the first one out of the gate can deal with the most issues. Now since ASUS was the first to deliver a board we did the launch article with it and X99 has some issues primarily based around software compatibility but overall it shows some serious brute force muscle, so now lets take a look less at the CPU/Platform and more at the features of the ASUS X99 Deluxe board. The X99-Deluxe has a MSRP of $399.99 ... Read More »

Core i7 5960X Haswell-E is here for the extreme enthusiasts

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The long-awaited update to the enthusiasts platform is here, meet the Core i7 5960X To say X79 is getting long in the tooth would be putting it extremely mildly. X79 has been around a very long time and all the while the 8 and 9 series mainstream chipsets have come along carrying many features including an array of super speed USB 3.0 native chipset ports and more SATA 6G ports coming directly from the PCH while the enthusiast platform via X79 has been without any of these advances for the past 4 years. The mainstream chipsets such as the H and Z series get many respins and upgrades because as I see it they simply sell a ton more than the high-end chipset so needless to say being an extreme user myself I am very happy to see the newest X series chipset and Haswell-E CPU come along via the new ... Read More »

MSI Z97 XPOWER AC – Extreme Overclocking for the new Haswell

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Introduction – MSI Z97 Xpower Oh Overclocking, it seems to be whats makes the world go round some days and something that many motherboard manufacturers have really started to embrace as easier ways were found to do it. It used to be back in the old days (not that long ago but it makes it feel more special to reference as so) that overclocking required a ton of work, modding and hacking away at things to make it happen. Now days overclocking is simple, they even have buttons to do overclocks for you. And with recent chipset and CPU revisions it has become a game of binning chips to find a good one rather than tuning all night  and days on end with a QX9650 because you know theres more in it, or getting a specific board because it tends to clock better. At least for now those days are gone ... Read More »

MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC – MSI’s top tier gaming offering for the Haswell refresh

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Introduction – MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC MSI looks to be hitting Z97 pretty hard with not just a gaming board but a full line along with OC series boards and even standard boards so now this begs the question. If offering so many SKU’s will it pay off in better customer satisfaction byhaving plenty of options of models to meet their needs or will it be a case of too many options and actually confuse the consumers? That is one of the risks board manufacturers take when they start to expand to multiple lines each with growing numbers of options and SKU’s. Now to the board we have today which is the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC which is the top end of the MSI gaming series models. The AC moniker denotes the addition of 802.11 AC WiFi to the mix ensuring absolute connectivity solutions.   The board comes in at ... Read More »

Gigabyte Z97MX-Gaming 5 – mATX Gaming Muscle from Gigabyte

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 Introduction – Gigabyte Z97MX-Gaming 5 Gigabyte is a well-known name in the component industry and for good reason as they have made motherboards and graphics cards for a very long time. Among them some great boards such as the X58 OC board, some great P45 boards and I’m sure many more I’m not thinking of. For Z97 they have a multitude of offerings from their entry-level, their gaming series and finally their OC based variants which have extreme OC features based around being able to push the limits. Today we have in hand the Z97MX-Gaming 5 which is a mATX model board from the Gaming line and with this includes some very cool gaming based features to help make for a better overall gaming PC build and experience. The board comes in at a price of $117.99 on Newegg, this is at the time of writing and after some rebate deals we have seen ... Read More »

Asus RP-AC52 Wireless Range Extender

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With the latest network standard. 802.11 AC, wireless networks finally are getting fast enough to be a real alternative to wired ethernet in the house. In smaller houses a single router is enough but as soon as have a larger house or a older house with thick walls it sometimes is hard to get a good coverage. The ASUS RP-AC52 Range Extender helps you extend the wireless network. Promising speeds up to 750 Mbps (300 Mbps on the 802.11n-band and 433 Mbps on the 5 GHz 802.11ac-band) it sounds like a great product. Does it deliver? Read on to find out. WIFI – the standards Wifi has come a long way since the old 802.11b standard which had a theoretical max throughput of just 11 Mbps. Since then there has been a lot of improvements, each increasing the throughput higher and higher. Max performance Band 802.11b 11 Mbps 2.4 GHz 802.11g 54 Mbps ... Read More »

Intel Core i7 4790K – Haswell gets a refresh

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Say Hello To Devils Canyon and the 4790K Devils Canyon is here, and well honestly has been here for a while but upon starting the writing for this article I struggled alot with how to start it as like we have seen many times recently with Intel, this is another refresh which too many raises the question of “Why bother” when we can just wait for the next-gen part for major changes. Well of any refresh in quite some time that I have seen this one promises to bring some real changes and even more so real proof that Intel does listen to its customer base and implements things to make that user base happy.. One way we had proof of this “listening to customers” can be seen some time ago when they announced the enthusiasts protection plan where you can pay a nominal fee and you are protected even ... Read More »

Corsair Vengeance K65 Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Over the last few years we have seen a lot of excellent gaming keyboards being released from a number of companies. Corsair entered the market a while ago and today have a great range of gaming keyboards with a varied number of mechanical switches. Some time ago we tested the Vengeance K70 keyboard and found it to be a very good gaming keyboard. Today we are testing the “little brother”, the Corsair Vengeance K65 keyboard. While it keeps a lot of the same design features as the K70 it is a keyboard that is much more compact and intended to the LAN-gamer who does not want to lug a full size keyboard around or the home user who just values space and want a compact keyboard. Why mechanical keyboards? When we talk about mechanical keyboard what we really are talking about is the micro switches that are used under the ... Read More »

AMD A10-7850K (Kaveri)

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Introduction For years, AMD is pushing the idea of treating CPU and GPU equally when comes to computing power through the concept called “heterogenous computing”. After all, why would you waste all of the power and space in a PC if certain workload can be better suited for the GPU as oppose to CPU. Even better would be to have both CPU and GPU working concurrently in parallel to finish a task faster. AMD started talking about such concept with the Fusion platform in 2006 which leads to the company’s acquisition of ATI. While the concept of heterogenous computing sounded good, getting there is not an easy task. To achieve such goal, it requires a fundamental redesigning of the processor. A lot of work and engineering is needed not just in the hardware but also software. AMD started moving toward true heterogenous computing slowly with the Brazo platform that put ... Read More »

Philips Brilliance 239C4QHWAB Miracast-enabled monitor

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Introduction With the rise of mobile devices the need to be able to hook them up to a screen has increased. While both Apple TV and to some extend Google Chromecast offers ways to mirror the screen on supported devices or at least stream some content they both requier extra hardware. There is however another solution: Miracast. Most Android devices and now also Windows 8.1 support Miracast meaning that you should be able to mirror the screen from many devices. To do that you still need a Miracast-enabled screen and this is where the monitor we are reviewing today comes in. The Philips Brilliance 239C4QHWAB is a 23 inch IPS-monitor with full Miracast support. SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES Model 239C4QHWAB Panel IPS LCD Backlingt type W-LED Panel Size 23 “ Aspect Ratio 16:9 Max resolution 1920×1080@60 Hz Optimum resolution 1920×1080@60 Hz Response time Smartresponse 5 ms (grey to grey) Brightness 250 cd/m2 Contrast ration ... Read More »

ZBOX Sphere OI520 Plus

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There was a time when a computer in most cases consisted of a big beige box that you certainly did not want to show off or which took up a lot of space on your desk. Those days are gone and today we have a lot more variety both how computer looks and how big they are. Zotac is a company that for quite some time have been pumping out smaller mini-PC’s under their ZBox brand and today we are taking a look at their new round ZBox Sphere OI520. FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS As expected from the look of the Sphere OI520 this is not a gaming computer, instead it is a small mini-PC with surprisingly good components that should be powerful enough for a lot of users. The Sphere OI520 is not a complete computer which you can turn on and start using. There are two versions of the ... Read More »

OCZ Vertex 460 (240GB)

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The acquisition of OCZ by Toshiba at the beginning of this year has put the company in a very interesting position. OCZ now joins the likes of Intel and Samsung where it not only makes its own controller but also NAND chip. This means OCZ SSDs can now all build with in house components. While OCZ continues to use third party controllers (SandForce to be specific) on their enterprise SSDs, they have switched the NAND on these drives from Intel/Micron to Toshiba. For the consumer market, the in house Indilinx controller is the sole controller and like the enterprise drives, the NANDs on these drives are also gone through the transition to the Toshiba NANDs. We first saw it with the Vector 150 that is the successor to the last year’s Vector. The Vertex 460 that we have here today is essentially the successor to the Vertex 450 with the 19nm ... Read More »

Reeven Justice RC-1204 CPU cooler

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Reeven is a new company that has a wide range of coolers and accessories for coolers. Today we are testing one of their products, the Justice RC-1204. This is a fairly large cooler with a 120 mm fan that can be fitted to basically any type of CPU-socket. Can it compete with coolers from more known companies like Thermaright and Noctua? Read on to find out. FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS Model Number: RC-1204 Socket: INTEL: LGA 775 / 115X / 1366 / 2011 AMD: AM2 (+) / AM3 (+) / FM1 / FM2 (+) Overall Dimension: 131x99x162mm Fan Dimension: 120x120x25mm Heatpipe: Ø6mmX6 Fan Speed: 500 ~ 1500 RPM PWM Air Flow: 27.6 ~ 82.1 CFM Static Pressure: 0.008 ~ 0.067 inch H2O Noise Level: 4.3 ~ 29.8 dBA Weight: 930g (with Fan) This is a fairly large cooler. It can fit on any type of CPU-socket regardless if it is on a AMD- or ... Read More »

Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI: Mini-ITX Board for Kaveri (FM2+)

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Gigabyte’s F2A85XN-WIFI was one of the best mini-ITX board for the FM2 socket. With the release of the Kaveri (FM2+) APU, Gigabyte has updated their mini-ITX board with the latest A88X chipset. With the F2A88XN-WIFI, Gigabyte essentially retained the same overall design and the layout as the older board except it has swapped out the FM2 socket for the FM2+ so it will support AMD Kaveri and it has added support for 802.11ac. So if you are aiming to build a mini-ITX system with the latest AMD APU, you would probably want to check out this review for more information as to what the board has to offer. Board Layout    Visually, it would be hard to tell F2A88XN-WIFI apart from its younger sibling F2A85XN-WIFI as both boards sports exactly same layout to a T. If it were not for the different color CPU socket (black for the A88X and white ... Read More »

AMD Roadmap through 2016+ includes K12, a new x86 and ARM cores

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AMD hosted a “Core Innovation Update” conference today where we get a hint of what is coming for the company in the next couple of years. AMD’s future roadmap will still be focusing what it has done well in the past with x86, ie desktop, laptop, and servers. However, the company also will put a greater emphasize on the ARM architecture as it attacks in growth market through its “ambidextrous strategy”. The desktop market is shrinking which means the revenue from the X86 is also not as good as it used to be. According to AMD’s internal estimates, the revenue share for the x86 will continue to decline (although at slower rate) in the next few years. At the same time, the revenue from ARM is growing and is expecting to grow. While Intel has renew a push for the x86 on the desktop, AMD’s road map for the future ... Read More »

Bitfenix Ronin case

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We recently tested two smaller cases from Bitfenix, the mini-ITX-case Phenom and the m-ATX/mini-ITX Prodigy M-case, and found them very good. Today though we are looking at a more normal case, the Bitfenix Ronin which is a regular midi-tower with space for up to ATX-motherboards. The expectations we have for a good mid-tower are pretty high in 2014. We want a case that can handle the most high-end components regardless of length or height, we want good cooling, lots of room to hide the cables as well as space for lots of drives. both SSD’s and regular 3.5″-drives. Can the Bitfenix Ronin live up to those expectations? Read on to find out. FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS While the Phenom and the Prodigy M were small “chubby” cases the Ronin is a more “normal” looking case. It does not come with lots of weird stylish features, instead opting for a more subdued cool ... Read More »

Bitfenix Prodigy M micro-ATX case

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When we tested the Bitfenix Prodigy back in October 2012 we were very impressed. It turned out to be a great case for a mini-ITX motherboard. With the Prodigy M Bitfenix has taken the same shell and changed the internals so we now get to fit a M-ATX-motherboard in the same case. Does Bitfenix have another winner on their hands? Read on to find out. FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS Materials Steel, Plastic Colors (Int/Ext) Black/Black, White/White Dimensions (WxHxD) 250 x 404 x 359mm Motherboard Sizes Micro ATX, Mini-ITX 5.25” Drive Bays x 1 (removable) 3.5” Drive Bays x 4 (2 + 2) 2.5” Drive Bays x 5 (3 + 2) Cooling Top 120mm x 2 (optional) Cooling Bottom 120mm x 2 (1 included) or 200mm x 1(optional) or 230mm x 1 (optional) Cooling Rear 120mm x 1 (included) or 140mm x 1 (optional) PCI Slots x 5 I/O USB 3.0 x ... Read More »

Gigabyte G1.Sniper A88X Review

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Gigabyte’s G1.Sniper has a long history of targeting toward gamers. The board is designed with features that gamers seek the most: better audio quality, better network performance, and better cooling for overclocking, Dating back to the first G1.Sniper, Gigabyte has released various models of the G1.Sniper series: 3, 5, and M5. What they all have in common is that they are all for Intel processors. The G1.Sniper A88X marks the first motherboard from Gigabyte that carries the G1.Sniper moniker for AMD APU. With Kaveri, AMD not only brings performance enhancement but also PCI Express 3.0 support along with other technologies such as TrueAudio, HSA, and hQ. As such, Gigabyte is betting that there are gamers who are looking to build a gaming PC without spending a lot of cash would be interested in pairing the AMD APU with their latest G1. Sniper A88X motherboard. Board Layout Shipped in the typical ... Read More »

Hardware for Mobile Gaming

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Over the years mobile gaming has evolved, from the large dubiously heavy handheld devices that could be used more as a hammer than a communication device. Then fast forward a few years to the era of the near-invincible Nokia and other strange phone sub-species, like the side-kick, palm pilot and even the old Motorola flip out. Now we have the mainstream phones of the Androids and IOS, two tech giants that have become the best thing to happen to gaming since wireless controllers. A new generation of smartphones that can provide new games on a graphical par with the consoles of yesteryear. It’s truly phenomenal how the game development cycle in mobiles has exploded in the last ten years. No longer do we play just play Snake or Tetris, instead now games like Dead Trigger, Angry Birds and even the occasional bingo game. These recent advancements have had such an impact that according ... Read More »

Sapphire R9 280X VaporX Graphics Card

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Sapphire Radeon R9-280X VaporX Sapphire as we all know is AMDs premier partner so we always see cool stuff coming from them, but honestly we had already seen a VaporX 280X so we have all simply been waiting for what would come next such as the much rumored 295X or another 290X iteration. To my surprise I got hands on with a newer VaporX 280X model card which is actually a whole new configuration and looks very much like the Toxic model we looked at some time ago now sporting the Tri-X cooler. However this card carries blue hints instead of the orange from the Toxic model which actually looks really good in my opinion. Add to this the fact that the Tri-X cooler now also employs Sapphires signature Vapor Chamber design which is what the VaporX naming is all about. The Vapor Chamber from previous testing always helps pull ... Read More »

Pivos MANA 2200 mAh Battery Pack

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Introduction Pivos has been known mostly for their media players so to see a new set of battery packs show up I was a bit surprised. The Company simply did not seem to be in that category but with so many tech  companies extending their reach into so many other facets to ensure they can offer so many more solutions this move by Pivos shoudl not really be a major surprise. One thing is that its obvious that Pivos took note of the rise in mobile gadgets and with that and the inclusion of now “Wearable” tech, the ability to charge on the go is quickly becoming majorly important. Pivos MANA 2200 mAh Battery Pack As we become more mobile as a society solutions like these have simply started to crop up everywhere even with the recently passed CES show we saw battery packs literally being handed out by companies ... Read More »

Gumstick Smartphone Stand

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Phones today do a lot more than just make phone calls. You can play games, listen to music, read books and watch videos on them. Some of these activities are best done without having to hold the phone all the time. If you are watching a movie or listening to music you might not want to have to hold it and instead want to prop it up somehow. There are a lot of stands available for the bigger tablets but not as much for phones. At least not many that are small and as portable as the phone itself. This is where the Gumstick Smartphone Stand comes in. It is a product that was started on Kickstarter and funded there and now is being shipped to backers and also sold on at least their website.  FEATURES Normally we have a lot of technical mumbo jumbo here talking about clockspeeds of ... Read More »

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