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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 »

Sapphire R7 240 Dual HDMI Graphics Card

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Sapphire Radeon R7-240 Dual HDMI Sapphire being the premier partner for AMD its only natural that they offer every one of AMDs offerings and maybe even some special tweaks to the lower end or more mainstream models available. The card we are reviewing today happens to be one of those cards which is the R7-240 which is destined to be something like a stock replacement for an off the shelf PC. Sapphire did something pretty interesting here by equipping the card with dual HDMI connectors vs the standard connection array. Key Features Dual HDMI and Dual Audio Sapphire supports top end 7.1 audio via the HDMI outputs on the R7-240 card, but what is very cool is that during my testing due to running dual HDMI displays with speakers I could actually play two different audio sources or videos from the single card and each with its own audio stream. ... Read More »

Pivos Mana 5200mAh Battery Pack

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Introduction Pivos has been known mostly for their media players so when a new set of battery packs showed 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 should 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 5200 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 by ... Read More »

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 750 Ti OC

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While the focus for many hard-core gamers is the more expensive video cards like GTX 770, GTX 780 and AMD’s various R9-cards the truth is that just as many are just looking for a good budget card that allows them to play most game at a reasonable setting. The card we are testing today, the Zotac GeForce GTX 750 Ti OC is just such a card. Using a chip from the new Maxwell family it offers a lot of performance per watt, even more when you consider that Zotac has overclocked the card right out of the box. SPECIFICATIONS GeForce GTX 650 Ti Zotac GTX 750 Ti Zotac GTX 750 Ti OC GPU GK106 Kepler GeForce GTX 750 Ti (GM107, Maxwell) GeForce GTX 750 Ti (GM107, Maxwell) Core clock 925 MHz 1033 MHz (base) 1111 MHz (boost) 1046 MHz (base) 1124 MHz (boost) Cores 768 640 640 Memory Clock 5400 ... Read More »

Cyberpower Zeus Mini – Pushing the limits with huge power in a very small package!

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Introduction PC Gaming is here and here to stay but with the ease of use or easy plugging in and playability of consoles it really makes for a much easier to enter market for consumers. Sometimes we as enthusiasts lose sight of the fact that most users do not know how to build a PC and are not going to learn as they simply are not as into the hardware side as we are. This is not a bad thing they simply enjoy other hobbies and while the PC DIY market is strong there simply are a lot more users out there who do nto know how to build it and will pay to have a system built. Unfortunately a lot of times off the shelf systems from big box stores end up tin the playing field due to easy accessibility and cost, but not just that also lack of ... Read More »

Antec SPZero: A Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

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Mobile accessories, especially Bluetooth accessories are all the rage these days ever since mobile revolution exploded. Bluetooth speakers come in various shapes and sizes and carries price tag ranges from $50 to $200. Antec has launched the SP1 speaker we had reviewed a few months ago targeting at those who need a portable speaker. The company has recently launched the little brother of the speaker, the SPZero, that it has sent us a unit to review. The SPZero features very similar design as the SP1 except that it is smaller, about ½ of the size of the SP1. The SPZero has a dimension of 86mm(L) x 57mm(W) x 94mm(H) and weighs 218 g. While the SP1 is small and light enough to be portable, the SPZero is even more portable, making it even easier to tag alone with your purse or gym bag.  The SPZero is shipped with USB charging ... Read More »

MSI Radeon R9 290X Gaming

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MSI Radeon R9-290X Gaming We have seen many MSI custom PCB or fully custom PCB or even just custom cooled cards and they always impress with some very nice temps along with looking pretty awesome as well. The gaming series carries the Red/Black theme with a custom Twin Frozr model cooler and offers usually a nice overclock with some really good gaming performance to offer some amazing framerates for the end-user. The card we have today needs no introduction as the R9-290X from AMD made a big splash when it entered the market although not all of the noise was good as users quickly found that the reference cards were plagued with massive heat from a simply inadequate cooler design. Well that being the case we do know that the Twin Frozr cooler design does very well at removing heat so the 290X is naturally a perfect candidate for testing ... Read More »

Bitfenix Flo Gaming headset

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It is starting to be a common sight that companies are starting to branch out from their regular type of products. Corsair for example started as a vendor mainly for memory but today have both cases and other gaming gear. Bitfenix used to be a mainly case-company and this does some amazing nice cases (including the Phenom M we recently reviewed). They too however have branched out and today we are reviewing the newest product from them: the Bitfenix Flo headset. This is a stereo headset that works both for the PC as well as for mobile products. SPECIFICATIONS Materials Steel, Plastic, SofTouch™ Surface Treatment, SoftFeel™ Earcups Colors Midnight Black, Arctic White, Fire Red, Cobalt Blue Acoustic Design Dynamic, Closed-back Driver 16µ, Neodymium magnet, Φ40mm Sensitivity 96db /1mW Frequency Response 20hz-20khz Rated Impedance 68 Ω Earpads SoftFeel™ Headband Pressure Approximately 5N Cables 1m Straight Cable With Remote, 1m Straight Mobile ... Read More »

Corsair Vengeance Gaming Gear From Digital Storm!

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  Corsair Gaming Gear From Digital Storm Corsair is a well-known brand at this point in the PC DIY sector and as a natural progression in an attempt to meet the total solution package for end users they have started to make a move into many extra markets beyond just DRAM where they first started. As a result they have moved into things such as core components (Case, Power and Cooler) along with now progressing into gaming peripherals. Today we have a chance to look at a full gaming gear set from the team at Digital storm which is now a partner with Corsair, so the gear you see here today are all available as accessories to the high-end systems offerings from the team at Digital Storm.   Corsair Vengeance M65 Gaming Mouse First up is the Corsair Vengeance M65 Gaming Mouse which is not their top model so to ... Read More »

ASUS X79 Deluxe Motherboard Review “Ground Up Redesign For Ivy-E”

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Introduction – ASUS X79 Deluxe We recently looked at the X79 refresh from the ROG line newly optimized for top tier performance with the new Ivy-E chips and well not everyone needs that level of extreme feature set and compatibility so ASUS stepped it down a notch in some of the more extreme LN2 and overclock areas to offer a more sensible board for enthusiasts users and arrives at our test bench today with the new X79 Deluxe. One thing to note is that while this is not an ROG board and may not have all of the LN2 bells and whistles straight on paper as you will see coming up this board is still very much packed to the gills with some pretty awesome features. One thing you will notice right off the bat is that ASUS basically now EOL the P9X79 Deluxe board in favor of ushering in ... Read More »

Bitfenix Phenon Mini-ITX case

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One of the more dominant trends over the last year or so when it comes to computer cases is that more and more companies bring out small computer cases meant for mini-ITX motherboards that still can handle more powerful components. No longer do we have to settle with on-board graphics and a slow CPU. No, these computer cases are meant to work well even for the serious gamer. The case we are reviewing today is a perfect example of that: the Bitfenix Phenom Mini-ITX case. This case is available in both mini-ITX and micro-ATX format although they actually share the same dimensions on the outside. On the inside the Phenom mini-ITX-case shares a lot of similarities with another of Bitfenix small cases, the Prodigy. One proof that this case should be able to house some serious hardware is that for example Webhallen.com used it for their Steam-machine on CES 2014. ... Read More »

Sapphire R9-290X Tri-X “Sapphire Takes a Shot at Cooling the Monster”

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Sapphire Radeon R9-290X Tri-X When AMD launched the new Hawaii based GPU in the R9-290X it was to huge fan fare but it was not long until many enthusiasts and media alike called foul on the simple fact that the card would ramp up to 94C and sit there while throttling quite alot to maintain the astronomical 94C temp target. Well Enthusiasts have certain requirements when it comes to top end GPUs and one is performance and the other has to due with thermals and fan noise, and well AMD had included a dual BIOS which also allowed higher fan speed in an aptly called “Uber Mode” and with the higher allowed fan speed the card could stay at full clocks longer before the eventual throttling would occur allowing slightly longer sustained performance. The problem with this approach is that the card was now super loud. This made me come ... Read More »

Antec pulse Bluetooth Wireless Headphone

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Introduction The expansion of the mobile devices brings a slew of accessories. Many well-known PC component makers have subsidiary brand specialized at accessories such as headphones, speakers, Bluetooth peripherals that target at mobile devices.  Antec is one of the companies that is well-known among PC enthusiasts for their cases, power supply and cooler. Their a.m.p (antic mobile products) is a brand that is specialized at mobile products. Among the amp products, Antec currently carries speaker, headphone, and power banks.  The latest product that Antec has launched is the a.m.p. pulse, a midrange headphone priced at $149.99 that is designed for audiophiles who demand higher quality sound that than your run of the mill headset that is included with your smart phone or those you find at some electronic store. Often we find cheap headsets retailed at $30~$60 range and more expensive headphone often asks for the $200 or higher. With ... Read More »

Func HS-260 Gaming headset

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We recently reviewed the Func KB-460, an inexpensive but still great gamer keyboard from the company Func. Today we are looking at yet another gamer-related peripheral from the company, the Func HS-260 Gaming Headset. The HS-260 is a stereo-headset that comes with several types of ear-cushions, flexible cord-solution as well as a low price. Is this yet another winner from Func or will the HS-260 let us down? Read on to find out. FEATURES The Func HS-260 is a fairly standard gaming headset. Driver 50mm, tuned and paired Accoustic construction Closed Frequency response 20-20 000 Hz Impedance 32 Ohm Cable lenght 3 M Connection 2×3.5 mm This is not a virtual surround sound headset with extra software that connects to USB, no this is a regular stereo headset that comes with regular 3.5mm plugs and thus can be used both on a PC and any other device that uses a ... Read More »

Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti GHZ Edition Review, Super Overclock is now sleeker and cooler!

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Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti GHz Edition Gigabyte has made some definite noise in the graphics side over the past few years, and with the Super Overclock series being the top horse in the Gigabyte stable we always saw soem great performance from them, well it looks like Gigabyte has changed the Super Overclock to GHz edition in the 780 Ti model card and all I can say is WOW! The name GHz edition honestly does not make alot of sense due to the cards clockspeed being far above this, and lets not forget that also AMD had recently had GHz edition cards in its AMD lineup just further muddies the water a bit. Overall the uber top clock and top binned models for the 780 Ti version from Gigabyte are gonna be GHz edition models although with the level of clock afforded to them I think this is gonna be ... Read More »

MSI Goes Mini! Z87I Gaming and GTX 760 Mini ITX Gaming Review!

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Introduction – MSI Z87I Gaming and GTX 760 Gaming Mini MSI’s gaming line has now seen a few entries for board and GPU models and this set I have to say is extremely interesting as these models are made for the very popular mini PC builds which are becoming very popular. Mini ITX systems are growing greatly in popularity as smaller systems become much more powerful and solutions like this are very interesting as it specially builds specific targeted models based around a small sized build. starting with a Z87 board with gaming feature sets and also a GTX 760 card which is a great price/performance model built to a size to fit within a super compact Mini ITX chassis.   The board comes in at a MSRP of $200.00 whereas the GTX 760 ITX model comes in at $269.99 both of which are rather reasonable when you consider some ... Read More »

Zotax Zbox Nano AQ01 Plus

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While Zotac maybe is most knows for their graphics cards they also are specialized on small motherboards and small desktop systems. Today we are reviewing one of those tiny small desktop PC’s: the Zotax Zbox Nano AQ01 Plus. This is a very small PC that even comes with a VESA-mount so it can be attached to a TV ore monitor and be out of sight. It has a Quad-core AMD “Kabini” APU, the A4-5000 while a Radeon HD 8330 provides us with the graphics muscles. This is not a gaming machine, even though the GPU should benefit from the Mantle API, but promises to work well as either a media PC, a kitchen PC or even a bedroom PC. Does it have what it takes to compete with tables and other tiny PC’s? Continue to read to find out. THE FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS As we mentioned in the introduction this ... Read More »

The Black is Back! ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Echoes of AC/DC ring in my head as I came up with this title, and it took everything in me not to have about a thousand different “Back in black” references but I think we can survive a few. ASUS seems to reserve its “Black Edition” moniker for very special models as im sure some of you saw back when we got a chance to check out the Rampage III Black edition board based on the X58 chipset. That thing was a flat out beast and from looking at the specs on paper the Rampage IV Black edition is no different. Well we can say that in a manner of speaking as it looks to be a flat out beast but it is in terms entirely different as the technology on this board is seemingly light years ahead of the previous generation Black ... Read More »

Lian Li Q27 Mini-ITX case

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Small computer cases for mini-ITX motherboards have been extremely popular the last few years. Once these types of systems could only house components with little power but these days you can build pretty competent and powerful systems regardless of the size of the case. The Lian li Q27 is such a case offering support both regular ATX power supplies as well as video cards up to 195 mm and cpu coolers up to 70 mm height.  It is a simple but stylish case that comes with USB3.0 support. FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS The Lian Li Q27 is a sleek and nice looking little case. SPECIFICATIONS: Model PC-Q27 Case Type Mini Tower Chassis Dimensions (W) 200mm x (H) 300mm x (D) 240mm Color Black Silver Front bezel Material Aluminum Side Panel Aluminum Body Material Aluminum Net Weight 2.1 kg 5.25″ drive bay (External) 1 or 3.5-inch HDD x1 3.5″ drive bay (External) ... Read More »

MSI GTX 780 Ti Gaming! Even more cooling power to push the Ti Limits!

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MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti Gaming MSI has always entered the graphics game with some excellent twin Frozr based models and even a lightning here and there to really spice it up! If I had to sum up MSI’s specialty it would be making graphics models with a better cooling solution and also boosting the VRM a tick to ensure it can withstand loading if they find a weakness in the stock design. However in the case of the 780 Ti we know that the reference model was obscenely capable with massive overclocking potential with its stock components, well apparently MSI noticed that as well and with that they passed us one of their GTX 780 Ti Gaming model cards which is based on the reference PCB. The Card is not completely stock though as it employs a Twin Frozr IV cooler to ensure that the new GPU boost algorithm ... Read More »

Gigabyte Aivia Osmium Cherry Brown Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (GK-OSMIUM BRN)

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Gamers love their mechanical keyboards and have their own preferred switch. The distinctive clicky feel from a mechanical keyboard offers gamers superior feedback where very little actuation force is needed to register the key is ideal for the repeated action and the multiple press in games. In many FPS shooter games, that milliseconds of response time can be a matter of life and death. So gamers swear by their mechanical keyboard.     When Gigabyte first launched the Aivia Osmium keyboard, it came with the Cherry Red MX switch that we had reviewed a while back. While the linear feedback from the Red switch offers smooth feedback that is ideal for gaming, it may not be the best if you use the PC for more than just repeated tapping action in games. If you also use PC for typing, the Cherry Red MX maybe too sensitive. Or if you are ... Read More »

Func KB-460 keyboard

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The market for mechanical gaming keyboard has exploded the last few years. More and more companies have started to offer these types of keyboard and today we look at the first mechanical keyboard from the company Func, the KB-460. This is a cheap keyboard using the Cherry MX Red micro switches which also comes with back lighting and macro support.  A little background about Func The company Func was found back in 1999 in California. One of its earlier sucessfull products was the sUrface 1030 mouse mat. After 2005 the company did not release any new products but 2012 it was revived again, now with Swedish owners. The company has come out with a bunch of new products including a mouse, a headset, new mouse mats and now a mechanical keyboard. Why mechanical keyboards? When we talk about mechanical keyboard what we really are talking about is the micro switches ... Read More »

Zotac GeForce GTX 780 Ti AMP!

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The GeForce 780 Ti is today the fastest single-GPU card available. This doesn’t stop companies like Zotac to tweak it to get even more performance out of it. Today we are testing the Zotac GeForce GeForce 780 Ti AMP! Edition, a card that comes pre-overclocked out of the box. Features and Specifications The Zotac GeForce GeForce 780 Ti AMP! Edition is overclocked quite a bit.          GTX TITAN    GTX 780 Ti    Zotac GTX 780 Ti AMP GTX 780 Stream Processors 2688 2880 2880 2304 Texture Units 224 240 240 192 ROP’s 48 48 48 48 Base Core Clock 837MHz 875MHz 1006MHz 863MHz Boost Clock 876MHz 928MHz 1072MHz 900MHz Memory Clock 6008MHz 7000MHz 7200MHz 6008MHz Memory Interface 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit 384-bit Memory Qty 6GB 3GB 3GB 3GB TDP 250W 250W 250W 250W Manufacturing process 28nm 28nm 28nm 28nm Price $999 $699   $649 The Zotac GeForce GeForce 780 ... Read More »

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