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Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 16GB 2800MHz, The Viper Strikes (PV416G280C6QK)

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Founded in 1985, Patriot designs, manufactures and markets high performance, enthusiast memory modules, flash memory, and mobile accessory products with the objective of offering a perfect blend of quality and value for consumers. Happy 30th Patriot! Patriots long tradition of enthusiast ram modules is continued in their Viper 4 Series, DDR4 16GB 2800MHz kit. The Viper 4 2800MHz kit is timed at 16-18-18-36 and should be plug and play with Intels’ XMP profile technology.   Patriot Viper 4 Series, DDR4 16GB 2800MHz, The Viper Strikes Patriot memory has been around almost as long as commercially available desktops and we’ve been using their ram as a staple for more years than we’d care to admit. As the company has grown so has their reputation for high-end enthusiast Ram. We’ll be looking at the Patriot Viper DDR4 16GB 2800MHz which will fit nicely into out Ram memory charts as we have a ... Read More »

Sentey Revolution Pro SP

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While the name Sentey may not ring a bell to many folks, they have been providing PC enthusiasts with components since 2001. One area that Sentey has a decent spread of products is mice. Sentey currently lists 7 mice on their website, all with varying features and complexities. Everything from a pretty standard 2-button mouse all the way up to the Revolution Pro SP which we will be taking a look at today. With so many peripheral devices on the market to choose from, what makes the Revolution Pro SP stand out from the rest of the field? STANDOUT FEATURES The Revolution Pro SP is Sentey’s top-of-the-line gaming mouse, designed for gamers of all levels. This mouse is packed with features designed not only for performance, but comfort as well. Knowing that gamers in today’s world are not playing a single game, Sentey provides multiple profiles to allow a customized ... Read More »

Kingston HyperX Savage (16GB)

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The HyperX brand has a long history for Kingston. Introduced in 2002, the HyperX branded memory modules delivers excellent performance with high overclocking potential. It quickly caught on among the enthusiasts as the premium memory module of the choice when comes to performance, reliability, and overclocking. Over the years, Kingston has not only kept the HyperX brand for their performance memory modules but also expanded the brand to other products such as the performance SSDs, USB drives, gaming headsets, and other computer related peripheral. Currently, Kingston HyperX memory modules features four lines of products: Fury, Savage, Predator, and Impact. The Fury and Savage are aimed for mainstream market while the Predator is aimed for the extreme overclockers. Unlike the Predator that comes with a large heat spreader and clockspeed up to 2800MHz, both the Fury and Savage features standard size heat spreader. As you may expect, the Fury and the ... Read More »

Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 32GB 2400MHz, Harness The Fury!

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Kingston’s hit a home run with their HyperX Fury DDR4 32GB 2400MHz kit! Running in 4 colors, Black, Red, Blue and White you can color coordinate the screaming speed and dependability Kingston offers. In the past we’ve tested and proven more RAM is better and people will argue 32GB is a little over kill, DDR4 is relatively new on the market and bound to be the 2011v3 for some time to come, invest in to small a kit and get buyers remorse, or buy a 32GB kit and enjoy platform long security knowing your covered for anything that comes. Then there’s the Geek bragging rights bask in the admiration of Geeks everywhere. Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 32GB 2400MHz, Harness The Fury We received a traditional Black kit of Kingston HyperX Fury DDR4 32GB 2400MHz and the first thing that jumped out at us was the low profile heatsinks. Don’t get me ... Read More »

MSI GTX 960 Gaming GPU, The Sweet Spot

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MSi’s GTX 960 Gaming 2G with Twin Frozr V and Torx fan is on the bench warmed up and ready to go. we suggest you fasten your seat belts, wear head protection and if the mood strikes an impact label on your shirt to measure GeForces. The MSI GTX 960 comes in a snazzy Red and Black and the fan hubs are imprinted with the MSI Dragon and the traditional “MSI”. Looking more like some sports car from Speed Racer than a Video card it packs all of Maxwell’s technology in a newly named chip the GM206.   Up until recently Nvidia only let two GPU’s out of the Maxwell nest, generally NVIDIA releases the Top Dog GPU and maybe shortly later a variant of the GTX X80 class.  In this case the all-powerful GTX 980 splashed on the market at between $550 to about $700 depending on how steroidal a ... Read More »

Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2

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MobileLite G2 MobilLite G2 Bundle The Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 is a small media reader that broadcasts a WiFi signal that just about any WiFi enabled device can receive. You can plug-in various storage media and have your files easily accessible to most WiFi capable devices. The MobileLite G2 will also piggyback your internet WiFi so you are both connected to the Media Reader portion and the Internet. Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 Once in a while you see a product that makes you do an instant face palm move, it’s so simple and elegant in its design and solves so many of the problems that you’ve worked around and taken for granted that it’s hard to wrap your mind around. The Kingston MobileLite Wireless G2 is one of those products.  I think everyone that has embraced technology or grudgingly accepts it as an evil necessity all have storage issues. You have music ... Read More »

Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ 3G

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Data security is an ever increasing concern yet many people consider a thumb drive “secure enough”, at least until it’s lost.  Kingston’s DataTraveler Locker+ G3 offers Password protection, 256-bit AES encryption and requires a re-format on the drive after 10 failed password attempts. Need that crucial data safe but easily accessible Kingston’s DataTraveler Locker+ 3G will provide safe storage and piece of mind.     Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 Face it. Identity theft is a real concern these days, 14% of people over the age of 16 have experienced identity theft. According to CBS 10.7 million cases of identity theft were reported in 2014. (as of July 1st 2014) (*1). Data security concerns are at an all time high.  Ever lost a Flash drive?  The need for secure data storage and protection is stronger than it has ever been.  Kingston’s DataTraveler Locker+ G3 effectively and securely addresses data and identity loss ... Read More »

HyperX Cloud 2 Headset

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The HyperX Cloud II headset has landed and landed chock full of a quality you can’t expect in a sub $100 Pro-gaming headset. From the powder coated brushed aluminum to the memory foam ear cups you’ll be hard pressed to find one thing on the Cloud II not geared toward quality.  With 53mm neodymium rare earth magnets capable of 15Hz on the low side to 25000Hz on the high side these cans scream quality.   Kingston HyperX Cloud 2 Headset … The long awaited Kingston HyperX  Cloud II Pro-Gaming optimized Headset is here and frankly I am more excited about it than a new X99 motherboard.  Kingston previously released a highly acclaimed HyperX Cloud Headset in the sub $100 dollar price range that blew a lot of audio enthusiasts away.  The HyperX Cloud 2 shares many of the same specification as the Cloud one but boasts some improvements.  The HyperX Cloud ... Read More »

CyberpowerPC SYBER GAMING VAPOR A

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Introduction PC Gaming may be strong and growing but so are consoles and that is due to the simplicity of plug and play. A console you plug it in, maybe wait for a few updates and you are off to the races. PCs require installing of games, updates navigating windows and countless other steps including configuring graphics before you can start to enjoy your games. This is one of the big difference between console and PC adoption aside from cost of course which make users shy toward the easier to use consoles and this is largely due to UI or user interface. PC you deal with windows whereas consoles you just enter the game from a dashboard. Now things like SteamOS have gone a long way in trying to bridge that gap but it is very far from ideal at the moment so companies like Cyberpower in an attempt to create ... Read More »

Zotac GTX960 AMP!-edition, Maxwell goes mainstream

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With the Maxwell-based GTX970 and GTX980 Nvidia undoubtedly have hit a homerun. These two card have rocked the GPU-world and basically made both the older GTX-GPU’s but also AMD’s offerings almost obsolete in one swoop. The only problem though has been the price. Don’t get us wrong, The GTX970 offers a tremendous value for the money but it still is above the budget of many users. In fact, according to Nvidia the number one type of card in Steam’s monthly hardware survey has been the more mid-level cards like GTX460, GTX560, GTX 660 and GTX760. Unfortunately Steam Hardware Survey is bugged as we write this so we cannot check these numbers but it does make sense since a card for around $200-$250 will sell better than cards from $350 and up. In fact the Steam hardware survey also tells us that a majority of gamers still game on a GTX660 or older so ... Read More »

Pivos Xios XS all-in-one Entertainment Center

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Introduction – Pivos XIOS XS Media Player Pivos Technology Group is someone we heard from awhile back with the Xios DS media player. Overall it was a pretty nice setup but as time went on it aged and like most android based devices the upgrades to the newer OS and features began to slow it down a bit so Pivos took this as the opportune time to act and upgrade and with that comes the new model we have today, the Xios XS. The Xios XS come with upgraded memory and processor onboard but the real jump it gets is from the custom android 4.2.2 OS named “TOFU” This OS starts basically like you would with a bootable XBMC like you can make with the Linux versions where it starts right into the media player front end, however once you start to dig in you will find that while it closely resembles XBMC ... Read More »

ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum – Pushing Maxwell to the Limit

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ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum I love looking at new cards and most are minor upgrades to the reference model while others are a bit better with custom PCBs and some minor trickery to help performance. Some are simply balls to the walls complete ground up builds made specifically for pushing the limits, and today that’s what we have. ASUS always aims to impress with its top model ROG based overclocking cards and the last few Matrix cards we have seen have been very impressive, so needless to say when I had the GTX 980 variant show up I was elated and very anxious to get to running it. One thing up front is that while this card comes with an air cooler this card and cards like it are designed to really push the limit of a specific platform or GPU model so the real target would be ... Read More »

Kingston HyperX Predator Predator DDR4 3000MHz – Putting Pedal to the Metal on X99

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Introduction Kingston has probably one of the longest standing and most diverse histories in memory with its KVR line being a staple in many business and OEM systems along with its performance “HyperX” Line branching off in many areas for OC and gaming. Today we are looking at the newest in the Predator series the DDR4 variant coming in at a clock speed of PC4-24000 or DDR4-3000MHz. We know that this is still only scratching the surface of what DDR4 will eventually do but it still is 867MHz above JEDEC give or take depending on clock modulation. Now do keep in mind that DDR4 is still a pretty new thing for the consumer market and with X99 the DDR4 push was actually pretty rocks as some vendors struggled to even have DIMMS available at launch. When I first spoke to Kingston they were still finalizing their DIMMS and even after ... Read More »

ASUS X99-E WS Motherboard – Workstation Durability and Compatibility

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Introduction – ASUS X99-E WS ASUS has many models of X99 shipping and one particular model that always interests me is the WS series of boards as they are tested to be enterprise class and then some with max capacity and normally extended connectivity along with component MTBF ratings that most desktop boards cannot even dream about. Today we have one of those very models based on LGA 2011-V3 based on the X99 chipset but it is considered a Server/Workstation product. This board boasts some really awesome slot lane allocations thanks to dual bridge chips and excellent overall component choice so lets dig in and see what we are getting. The X99-E WS has a MSRP of $503.00 directly from Newegg at the time of writing, and quite honestly this is pretty high for a X99 based board if you consider it just a desktop board. But this board is kind ... Read More »

StarTech Thunderbolt Dual SSD Enclosure S252SMTB3

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Even though it is popular to use a network attached storage sometimes it is nice to have storage closer to the computer, for example for Timemachine backup on a Mac or just as a way to add more storage space on a laptop with a small SSD. The Startech enclosure we are reviewing today, the StarTech Thunderbolt Dual SSD Enclosure S252SMTB3,  comes with a Thunderbolt interface that not only lets you daisy-chain it with several other peripherals but also offers a lot of bandwidth making it a perfect option for increasing the storage space on a Mac Book Air or other computer with little initial storage. After testing it turns out that it performs just as well as expected with just a few minor complaints. Read on to find out more. Specifications and Features Hardware Interface Thunderbolt Bus Type Thunderbolt Number of Drives 2 Drive Size 2.5in Compatible Drive Types ... Read More »

Noctua NH-D15

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Introduction The NH-D15 was built in the image of its now famous predecessor the NH-D14. Noctua set out to improve on their previous model by making what they refer to as the “ultimate quiet cooling performance” fan. Let’s see how it stacks up against its younger sibling. The two changes instantly recognizable are the expanded heat pipe layout and the two premium grade NF-A15 140mm fans with PWM support. The PWM support offers automatic speed control that further improves the NH-D14’s efficiency. This fan is considered a deluxe item fit for users who are looking for a fan that runs very quietly while still being useable for overclocking.      Features & Specifications Specifications  Socket compatibility Intel: LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA2011AMD: AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2 Height, Width and Depth (without fan)160 mm X 150 mm X 135 mm(with fan)165 mm X 150 mm X 161 mm Weight (without fan)2.2 ... Read More »

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 »

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