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Biostar Z87X 3D Motherboard Review

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Introduction – Biostar Z87X 3D Motherboard Biostar is one of those names you hear about but not as common as the “bigger” players in the component game but regardless of this they have a decent share in the more cost conscious market which is actually a very large segment to live in. Also on previous mainstream enthusiasts boards I have been rather impressed with the performance/price ratio the Biostar boards are able to pull in comparison to some of the higher priced competitors. Today we have Biostar’s top Z87 model which integrates their HiFi audio solution for a great audio experience should you use this for a multimedia or gaming board this one should be up for the task. The one thing that did surprise me is the lack of SLI support which means your talking single Nvidia card or crossfire depending upon your needs, but from what i have ... Read More »

MSI Z87M Gaming Micro ATX Motherboard Review

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Introduction – MSI Z87M Gaming MSI has already had a few entries of its gaming line for Z87 and now there is a third with the board we are looking at today the Z87M Gaming. This board is the mATX version for those looking for a smaller form factor gaming grade board. We have looked at the gaming series boards and they have proven quite capable while also offering a nice feature set at a great value.   The board comes in at a MSRP of $159.99, which is reasonably competitive but now lets take a look at the feature set and what this board has to offer which will making midsize gaming builders want to drop their dollars in this direction instead of any other option.   Features & Specifications Military Class Components When MSI puts military class components to the fire they are not joking as they come ... Read More »

Powercolor Radeon R9-290X

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Powercolor Radeon R9-290X OC Powercolor has been a long time AMD partner and like the Devil card we looked at recently they have made a name for themselves with many special edition including high end liquid cooled cards. Today I have their OC version of the 290X which has a small bump to the boost clock of the card which should net us some nice performance, but first things first. As you know the 290X launched a little while ago and unfortunately AMD had a very strict list of places they sent cards to, well this means that this is a bit behind what you may have already read on the card but since the card is already launched it also means I get to spend a bit more time with it rather than rushing to meet an NDA date. With that I would like to note that there will ... Read More »

Powercolor Radeon R9-270X Devil

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Powercolor Radeon R9-270X Devil Powercolor is one of the AMD partners that you see from time to time and they are really known for such designs as the Devil series cards which really shot them into the limelight for the AMD camp about a year or so back now. Well today we have in hand a newer “Devil” based model in the R9-270X Devil. The Devil edition is always known as the extreme performance variant and this is no exception with the telltale triple fan cooler, red/black cladding and full backplate carrying the design to the upper echelon in the looks department and the performance department is no slouch either. The R9-270X comes in at a retail price of $239.99 directly from Newegg at the time of this writing. this places it at the very top of the price stack for the 270X models which can range from around $199 ... Read More »

iPad Air Overview

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After a lot of speculation and waiting Apple finally revealed a set of new iPads to the world a few weeks ago. While we still are waiting for the new iPad Mini we have gotten our hands on the new iPad Air and are putting it through the test to see if it is a worthy successor for the previous models.  The new iPad Air comes with a much sleeker body as well as upgraded innards making it one of the best ~10 inch tablets available right now. The model we are testing today is the 16 GB WiFi-version that retails for $499.  I admit it. I was one of those who doubted that a tablet really was useful and would be successful. And I was wrong. There is a definitely use case for tablets both as entertainment products and in some cases even products for those who need to ... Read More »

HIS R9 280X IceQX2 Turbo

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HIS is one of the companies that have been partner with AMD for a long time and always released new interesting cards as new GPU’s are released. With the release of the new fall-GPU’s from AMD we get a full spread of products and today we are testing the HIS R9 280X IceQ2 Turbo card. As the name implies this is a card that not only comes with the latest version of HIS special IceQ-cooler but also is pre-overclocked from the box.  The R9 280X uses the Tahiti GPU and is basically a HD7970 GHz edition card with a new name. With 3 GB memory though it has more headroom for higher resolutions and that for a price around $300. Related posts: Sapphire Radeon R9-280X Toxic Sapphire Radeon R9-280X Toxic Sapphire Has been AMDs premier partner for a long time now... MSI Radeon R9-280X 3GB Graphics Card MSI Radeon R9-280X Gaming ... Read More »

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti – Nvidia takes GK110 to the Next Level

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Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti Nvidia launched the 700 series and really took the market by storm with the capability to offer exceptional power savings and super strong performance per watt, along with cool running cards which makes for a great gaming package. However nothing ever is safe for very long and with that AMD showed off their new R series of cards to compete. Unfortunately for AMD, almost all of the models in the R series were actually existing chips with a new name. The exception was the flagship product–the R9-290X. The R9-290X takes the TITAN head on, and the price point is a real killer for the gaming market, but this kind of value does not come without compromises. Unfortunately, these come in the form of 92-95C loaded temps and noise which can be akin to a vacuum cleaner inside your chassis. But even with these issues this ... Read More »

Gigabyte Stealth Force K7 Gaming Keyboard

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Gamers often prefer clicky feeling of the mechanical keyboard. But no matter how good a mechanical keyboard is, it is still rather expensive and the clicky noise can be somewhat bothersome for those who are used to the membrane type keyboard. Even the quietest mechanical that uses Black switches is noticeably louder. If you work primarily with laptops (as many do), and just occasionally play games on your PC, then you may find the noise on the mechanical keyboard too loud for you. If this is you, then you may want to check out the the Gigabyte Stealth Force K7 keyboard that we gt here today.  Externally, the Stealth Force K7 Force is going with the tough feeling that may appeal to some gamers. Like its name, the Force K7′s angular and flat design that mimics the Stealth aircraft and the black color also complements the plane. The Force K7 ... Read More »

Patriot Viper 32GB Low Profile Memory Kit Review

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Introduction Patriot being in the memory game for some time always has some tricks up its sleeve so to see them join the “Low profile” game is really cool. Now to clarify obviously these are not the low profile spec in terms of PCB or sub 18mm sticks, these are simply low profile heatspreaders compared to the standard version viper series. This low profile cooler design does shave 11mm off the total height giving over 25% smaller module which should mean good things for those running larger air coolers as we all know what happens when 2 pieces of matter attempt to occupy the same space. Just like the Black Mamba kit I looked at recently these sticks are MFR modules as well so i will be putting this on my Haswell based rig to see exactly how far it can go. Being that its a 4 stick high density ... Read More »

MSI GK-601

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MSI introduces an advance gaming series backlit mechanical keyboard – read on to discover more. Related posts: ROCCAT Kone XTD ROCCAT’s latest mouse, the Kone XTD follows in the footsteps of it’s previous iteration in the professional... Read More »

Quick Look at Antec USB charging hub (UA4-25) and PowerUp Slim 2200 (APS-2200)

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Introduction AMP branding is expanding into the mobile market with various peripherals such as speaker, headphone and power adapter for mobile devices. Among the power adapters, Antec has shipped us the 4-port USB Charging Station (model number UA4-25) and the external battery pack, the PowerUp Slim 2200 (model number APS-2200) that we will take a quick look here. Antec 4-Port USB Charging Station I am sure that many household are facing the same issue where there is a pile of cables and chargers somewhere near a wall socket designed to charge many electronics that we use daily. The power adapter mess for the mobile devices is much better than it used to be as currently pretty much all mobile devices are using micro-USB connector as the de factor connector for charging except Apple (and a few tablets) that still are doing things their own way with the Lightning connector. The ... Read More »

AMD Introduces heterogeneous Queuing (hQ)

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AMD today brings the latest implementation of the heterogeneous computing with the introduction of the heterogeneous queuing (hQ). As you may recall, AMD founded the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation with other chipmakers and industry giants such as ARM, Qualcomm, and Samsung to promote a great utilization of various computing processors such as CPU, GPU, DSP and others . The goal of the HSA is to bring ISA agnostic to the chip and brings all of the computing resources to equal footing. Related posts: AMD’s new heterogeneous Uniform Memory Access (hUMA) We still have to wait a couple of months until Kaveri—the successor to the Trinity... AMD Richland A10-6800K AND A10-6700 Review Not letting Intel grab all of the spotlight, AMD has officially released the desktop version... AMD “Kabini” and “Temash” APU’s AMD has officially released its entire mobile platform for the year 2013. Today the company... Read More »

Antec SP1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

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A well-known brand among the PC industry, Antec is branching out like many other manufacturers. Antec A.M.P. (which stands for Antec Mobile Products) is the branch of Antec that specializes in mobile products. Antec’s foray into mobile peripherals started with an array of audio, power, and cleaning product. Today, we are going to take a look their SP1 portable Bluetooth speaker. Antec SP1 The first glance on the packaging of the SP1 and you will be greeted by the elegant box that Antec is known for. The SP1 will definitely stands out at retail shelves when you walk along the retail aisles as you can clearly see the physical products displaying from the clear plastic casing. In fact, the packaging of the SP1 reminds me a lot of how Apple’s iPod used to be packaged. Speaking of the color, our SP1 is black with red accenting the front and the ... Read More »

MSI GTX 780 Lightning

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MSI GeForce GTX 780 Lightning MSI had shocked the market with the Gaming series but the ones for the extreme overclocker on the high end has always been the Lightning series. With that I knew it was only a matter of time till we got one of the new Nvidia 7 series lightning models and well with that we did in the GTX 780 Lightning and to say it is a nice card would really be a disservice to what I see in front of me. This is probably one of the more massive cards I have seen with a simply beastly look and two different sized fans in a triple fan setup. The Two outside fans are equal sized black fan models while the middle fan is a smaller model which is yellow in color. The MSI GTX 780 Lightning comes to market at $769.99 from Newegg at the ... Read More »

Arctic S113BT Bluetooth Wireless Speaker with NFC

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Remember old times, when you had to plug a cable in the 3.5” mm headphone jack of your mobile device to the speaker in order to amplify the volume so that everyone at the party could enjoy music? Many IOS devices also utilize the 30-pin or lightning connector to pass the audio to the speaker. Well, it’s time to cut the wire since Bluetooth wireless speakers are popping out everywhere this year that let you stream your music from your mobile devices without the need of a wire. While Bluetooth or wireless speakers are not new technologies, this year, there seemed to be an explosion of wireless speakers popping out everywhere.    Arctic’s latest S113BT is a budget portable wireless Bluetooth speaker with NFC chip that is retailed at $69.90. The speaker is shipped in a relatively small box that resembled a lot like what you get with your mobile phone. ... Read More »

OCZ Vertex 450 2x128GB RAID

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Looking at the model number of the OCZ Vertex 450 and you would be thinking that the product falls in the same family as the Vertex 4. However, the only thing that the Vertex 450 shares with the Vertex 4 is only the branding of Vertex. Other than that, the Vertex 450 actually is more closely related to the performance Vector series SSD that OCZ has launched late last year. The Vertex 450 uses the same Barefoot III (part number IDX500M10-BC) controller as the Vector but instead of using 25nm NAND MLC chip as the Vector, the Vertex 450 is paired with the die-shrunk 20nm MLC NAND. The shift to 20nm fabrication process is inevitable in order to save costs and to increase the NAND capacity so that manufacturers could pack more bits per die. This not only drives the price of the SSD down but also helps to increase the ... Read More »

Gigabyte Aivia Neon 1200Dpi Laser Presenter Mouse

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Introduction – Gigabyte Aivia Neon 1200Dpi Presenter Mouse Gigabyte has been best known for their motherboard solutions at varying levels. Here today we have one of their devices from their growing and maturing peripheral line which is a presentation mouse named the Aivia Neon. This mouse is not just a mouse but many presentation tools in one. Gigabyte has started to make its own name in the gaming mouse market but this is no gaming mouse it is actually very strongly pointed in a singular usage application. This application is so widely used to me it is fairly surprising I have not come into contact with more models like this before. Not to mention the feature set is very interesting as it offers some very interesting productivity or value added features which can really make professional business meetings more productive or even easier to navigate. The Gigabyte Aivia Neon comes ... Read More »

Sapphire Radeon R9-280X Toxic

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Sapphire Radeon R9-280X Toxic Sapphire Has been AMDs premier partner for a long time now so it was only natural that when the new AMD R Series cards launched that we would have one with Sapphires special touches in hand rather quickly. The model we have in hand is a R9-280X model which is a 7970 GHz model but its a Sapphire Toxic model which means it is their top clocked model. Being a 3GB model card we know that it is ready for high resolution and AA gaming and even crossfire up to 4 cards for maximum performance especially when pushing multiple high resolution displays. The Sapphire Radeon R9-280X Toxic model comes with a MSRP of $349 which places it about 50 dollars above some other models such as the MSI gaming series card we also received. However this Toxic series is highly clocked and is one heck of ... Read More »

MSI Radeon R9-280X 3GB Graphics Card

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MSI Radeon R9-280X Gaming MSI as always dresses to impress with its non reference designs and well with the Radeon R series of cards there is no mistaking a MSI card from the rest as they carry very distinctive cooler designs and honestly when first seeing this card I was at a loss to tell it apart from the Nvidia 770 version I had tested some time ago when looking at it from the fans side. However once you get past the fans and shroud designs that is where the similarities end. The Radeon R series cards for the most part are actually a relaunch of the previous gen cards for the most part with only the top end R9-290X actually being an entirely new Hawaii based GPU. This is not necessarily a bad thing though as with this refresh or relaunch so to speak AMD has dropped the price ... Read More »

Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce OC

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Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce OC When thinking graphics so many times names jump into out minds like EVGA, ASUS and whatnot but many times when you think about Gigabyte, graphics cards simply don’t jump to the forefront. Gigabyte is best known for their extensive motherboard offering while for some reason their graphics offerings have not always gotten all of the credit I think they deserve. The reason I say this as I have seen most of their models and while their products are sometimes less mentioned they do make some very good coolers and also some very nice custom PCB models. Here via the specs you can see that the Gigabyte model comes with a very high out of the box clock which gives it a definitive jump over the competition with over 1GHz boost clock where the ASUS we looked at recently only reached into the 941MHz in boost ... Read More »

ASUS Z87I-Deluxe Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Z87I-Deluxe ASUS while best known for the crazy features and designs on ROG boards they also do design some very impressive mainstream level boards much like the ITX offering we are looking at today. The Z87I-Deluxe is a highly featured ITX Z87 model that offers ASUS performance and features but at a much more modest price point than the higher end model Maximus VI Impact. The Mainstream line from ASUS tends to have very similar performance tuning but many times when it comes to the extreme tweaking options that is reserved for the ROG boards as that is their target market but anyone who has had experience with ASUS knows that ASUS offers similar overclocking capability from the top to bottom of the stack in relation to performance and general overclocking. And well to sum up what im trying to say I will just leave it as ... Read More »

ASUS Maximus VI Impact Mini ITX Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Maximus VI Impact The ASUS Z87 series is far from over as something we have today is something people have been asking for some time for ASUS to produce. Being as the PC world is going through a trend of smaller systems it started with lanBox style systems and mATX boards and now many are moving to even smaller mITX form factors. Today we have the Maximus VI Impact which is the first ROG mITX offering and I can honestly say just looking at the board and the features it offers if it all works as expected I could see this very much meeting or even exceeding the expectations of the groups of fans who have been asking for a ITX solution for high end gaming mini builds.   The Maximus VI Impact comes to market at $229.99 directly from Newegg at the time of writing which ... Read More »

ASUS Maximus VI Formula Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Maximus  VI Formula The Z87 lineup has moved along quickly and now we have had a few months to let things settle and the platform is still getting new boards trickling in like a few I got here just recently one of them being the one I have today. The new Maximus VI Formula which carries with it many cool toys and features among its bag of tricks which the formula always seems to carry. While the Extreme board in ROG line is always seen as the upper echelon of performance and features I think more real world features or should I say usable features always seem to be on the Formula things such as awesome audio solutions and the like which are more beneficial to the gamer while the Extreme has always had extreme overclocking centric feature sets which will still work as a gaming board ... Read More »

Dynatron R17 – LGA2011 3U+ Server or Workstation CPU Air Cooler

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  Closer Look When we first took on the Dynatron coolers honestly one of the most excited I was to work with was this one and that’s because I feel a bit more at home working on a tower cooler like this as the small flat coolers you get with servers just do not seem right after working as an enthusiast for so long. The small coolers have their place and they are usually in noisy large thin blade servers but big towers like this are more akin to what you see in a desktop rig and well this one happens to be spec’d as a 3U Server or desktop workstation so its a bit more up my alley when in terms of testing and familiarity. Dynatron is one of those companies that has been around for coming up on 20 years now as it started in 1991 and has ... Read More »

Dynatron K2 1156 Low Profile CPU Air Cooler for Mini ITX Platforms

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  Closer Look Previously we had taken a look at a unit from Dynatron for the LGA 2011 server side application utilizing the Slim ILM design and active cooling for a really thin 1U blade server application. Well today we have a similar unit in appearance but its application is quite different as this is more targeted at mini ITX systems which is basically a polar opposite from a large heavy load server. but upon checking out where this product was placed it is still found in their server category although the selected application is targeted at Mini ITX based systems so I can only assume it is made for the more compact home file servers or even media servers. Being that Dynatron has never really been in the consumer market very heavily and only recently really started offering anything resembling possible competition for the desktop market honestly so to ... Read More »

Patriot Viper III 2400MHz “Black Mamba” Memory Kit Review

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Introduction Patriot has been in the market for a long time but it is the lesser known little brother in the memory game. However this has not kept them from making some very cool memory models among other devices such as USB flash drives, mobile wireless storage and even a Android powered set top box and im sure many more things I cannot even think of right now. But without getting too crazy off topic what we are looking at today is their model from the Viper III series labeled “Black Mamba” which is very nice looking sticks with aggressive heatspreaders and a very aggressive speed/timing configuration. Being named Black Mamba I could only assume means to assert the aggressive and deadly power these sticks hold within.     Normally when you start getting above and beyond 2133 or so you start to really see the timings run away getting ... Read More »

Gskill F3-2666C11D-8GTXD 2666MHz Dual Channel 8GB Memory Review

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Introduction Gskill has been a popular memory provider for some time and their innovation along with work with high end overclockers helps push them to even more popularity as their memory can be seen at some tof the top benchmarks records in the world. Also the recent Computex show Gskill had a booth setup with overclocking pretty much the entire time with LN2 powered rigs all running Gskill memory just pushing for overclocking world records. The kit we have today is a TridentX model like we have seen before but this model is binned at 2666MHz at nice timings to make for a very capable kit for Z77 based platforms. However being that this kit will be tested on the new Haswell system we will see how it performs on this entirely new platform.     As we have seen before, when you start getting to the higher memory frequencies ... Read More »

Luxa2 H1 Premium Mobile Holder

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Introduction Some of our lives are busy and disorganized. We wake up in the morning and we rush to work to find ourselves overwhelmed with too many things, sometimes too much to handle. The clutter of paperwork doesn’t help either, making us feel like we’re working in a mess and feel disorganized. We get back from work and we find that even at home we spend half the time just looking for our belongings, whether it’s our keys and even just our smart phones. LUXA2 helps us get a bit organized and promote our workflow by giving us a convenient, unique yet sturdy mobile holder. Smartphones have become part of our lives as we highly rely on them in our every day lives. Some use it just for fun, for social media, music, movies, games, massaging and to call their friends and family. However, a majority of us also take ... Read More »

Cyberpower Zeus EVO Lightning 2000SE

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Introduction Many times you will find that building a PC while to us enthusiasts seems so easy and we can almost do it blind folded. But when many gamers want a PC the task is too daunting to even consider building their own system which is why they end up with many of the horrible off the shelf systems that inevitably us being the computer savvy or “Techy” guy end up getting dragged into fixing or improving since it won’t play the game they want. Then of course the chastising ensues of “Why would you ever buy this thing” but for most gamers they simply don’t know what is needed to run key games or even more where to find what they need or who to build it for them. Today we have a new system from Cyberpower and it is one of their higher tier systems aimed at the ... Read More »

ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II OC Mini

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ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II Mini Graphics Card After the 680 card launched there was the 670 and the line carried on, then we had heard word of a special “Mini” card and even a few sneak peeks here and there but I never honestly thought it would materialize. Now after the launch of the 700 series we finally saw it arrive in true for with the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU Mini. Now I must say I was a bit surprised to see this card arrive after the 7 series launch but after seeing what this card is I think it could be a force to be reckoned with for some time. The GK104 Kepler Architecture The GTX 670 is based on the same GK104 architecture you saw on the 680, and even 770/760 we just recently looked at as well. Although the new 7 series has a bit more ... Read More »

Gigabyte Z87X-OC

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 Introduction – Gigabyte Z87X-OC Well we are now many boards deep into the Z87 line and now we got a new fun toy from the team over at Gigabyte. This is one of the OC Series boards, and yes I did say one of them as there are two different OC model boards the Z87X-OC and the Z87X-OC Force. The Z87X-OC Force is a full 4 Way sli and Crossfire model designed for overclocking and using a bridge chip to allow more PCIe lane availability to allow 4 Way SLI function. The board we have today is the Z87X-OC which omits the bridge chip and Liquid cooled VRM area in favor of a much more affordable cost. The tradeoff however does mean you give up the ability to run more than two way SLI or Quad SLI with two dual GPU cards, but since AMD does not limit crossfire to ... Read More »

ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC

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ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC ASUS with its top end DirectCU II cards always has its special spin and tweaks to the GPUs they create. and today we have the newest on the uber high end with the GTX 780 based model which comes packed with a full custom design, cooler and components to allow for top level performance. The GK110 Kepler Architecture When it comes to the GPU the GK110 was originally employed on powerhouse server based processing systems designed for huge calculations and other ops where a GPU can provide huge performance.  We first saw the GK110 as a consumer level part in the GTX TITAN, which was even still not the full GK110 you would see on a Tesla K20. The GTX 780 sports GK110 that is just a little less than a TITAN as well; the TITAN will be the top end flagship single GPU card for ... Read More »

Dynatron R25 1U & Up Server CPU Cooler for LGA2011

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  Closer Look When looking at cooling solutions all too often we forget that besides the big names there are many solutions out there that never see the pages of many popular enthusiasts media or even get any coverage really at all. Especially when considering that besides the enthusiasts and gamer communities which we cater to there are many more uses for systems which go unnoticed every day yet life as we know it would halt shoudl these systems stop functioning so viable cooling solutions for them are primary concerns for everyday life. Many server side solutions are made for small blade servers such as we have today and to some surprise to some of you many of the popular cooling manufacturers such as Thermaltake and many others who have been making enthusiasts coolers for some time also service these important workstation and server solutions for even longer. Dynatron is ... Read More »

Ivy Bridge-E is here! Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Processor Review

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Intel’s New Ivy Bridge-E Has Landed! Normally when Intel launches a new CPU it is brought along with a new chipset even if its the same socket. If you remember the launch a short while ago moving from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge, it utilized the same 1155 socket but launched a new chipset Z77 along with the new CPU to support some new features even though it used the same socket. Today we are looking at the new Ivy Bridge-E CPU which is based on the LGA 2011 Socket type and with it we did not receive a board or any of that normal stuff we would get with an Intel launch. That is not a huge deal as we always found the Intel boards rather basic honestly but they did provide very good baseline and even OC based performance for which we could use to test all future ... Read More »

MSI GTX 760 HAWK

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MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK MSI with the introduction of the Gaming series set a whole new category for the MSI brand in the marketplace and a very necessary one at that. However there is still a gap to fill when it comes to extreme performance and that is where the GTX 760 HAWK that we are looking at today comes in. Must like the bigger brother “Lightning” model cards the hawk series is the mainstream performance equivalent for top end OC board offerings. Now with the GTX 760 is uses a GK104 GPU cut down to GTX 760 spec just like any other GTX760 you will find on that market but this is where the similarities end and the fun begins. Here as you can see the spec has a very respectable overclock to it right out of the box and you cant help but notice that the cooler ... Read More »

Seagate Wireless Plus External Storage

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Back in January 2012 we reviewed the Seagate GoFlex Satellite, a 500 GB external hard drive that allowed users to connect to it wirelessly and then stream music, images and video to connected mobile devices. This time we are testing the latest version of the drive, the Seagate Wireless Plus, which not only comes with double the storage but also has a faster internal hard drive and updated software. Related posts: Seagate 600 Pro SSD 400GB (ST400FP0021) One thing you can be certain of in the tech industry is that you can... Asus Cube Google TV Review Asus Cube is the device that features latest Google TV OS that want to be... ASUS AiCloud: A Fresh Face for Networking ASUS has had some recent success in the networking side of the industry and much... Pivos XIOS DS Media Player Review Pivos is one of those companies that you might not ... Read More »

MSI Z87 Mpower Motherboard

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Introduction – MSI Z87 Mpower MSI was quick to let a flurry of boards hit the market including the new “Gaming” line but for those enthusiasts who want something to help push the limits there’s no better solution form the MSI camp than the Mpower/Xpower series. We have already shows the wild Xpower board now were gonna show you the more tame Mpower model Xpower has always been the top end balls to the walls overclocker but for most maybe they dont need all of the features that the Xpower offers and this is where the Xpower fits in as it has some major overclocking muscle built in with a little less feature count to offer a more reasonable price point to match many enthusiasts users budgets.       The board comes in at a price of $234.99 on Newegg. This places it at 200 dollars below the Xpower so ... Read More »

MSI Z87-G45 Gaming Motherboard review

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Introduction – MSI Z87-G45 Gaming MSI stormed the market as of recent with the introduction of their gaming series and also offered a new level of segmentation to their lineup that previously simply was not there. By adding the Gaming series there now is a set boundary as to which product is targeted at which audience which is excellent to deliver a clear message to customers. So now with their standard boards being the mainstream line, then Gaming for gamer/midrange enthusiasts and Mpower/Xpower being the upper echelon of the performance segment carrying boards more targeted toward the overclocker and performance centric market. Today I am looking at the second and more value oriented  of the Z87 Gaming series boards the MSI Z87 G45 Gaming, and this very much like the GD65 I had looked at recently carries many of the same design philosophies here so lets take a look a ... Read More »

Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI (A85X Mini-ITX) Motherboard

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Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI (A85X Mini-ITX) Motherboard   With only 17cm x 17 cm of area to work with, available real estate limits what manufacturers can put on a mini-ITX motherboard. However, for the Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI, Gigabyte has done a very good job at offering what users need the most. The F2A85XN-WIFI does not come with a lot of the bells and whistles that we find on gaming boards or extreme overclocking boards. However, Gigabyte is able to pack in quite a lot of extra features, including DualBIOS, a WiFi card, Bluetooth, and plenty of USB and SATA ports on such a tiny board.   The F2A85XN-WIFI comes in the typical cardboard box. Inside we see the motherboard is placed on top of the box and underneath the board is where the accessories are located. There is not much includes with the board: we get the usual driver disk, a utility disk, ... Read More »

ASUS Maximus VI Hero Z87 Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Maximus  VI Hero The Z87 series keeps on trucking along and with this ASUS offers yet another ROG piece to the game with the newly released Maximus VI HERO. The Hero looks very much like a Formula from the Z77 line but without the WiFi or the Liquid cooled VRM and knowing now all of the different models available through the ROG line I am very interested in the innovations included in this board and where exactly it falls into the stack in terms of ROG Z87′s. Looking at the general overview you can see it has the select VRM features and Supreme FX Audio but lets dig a little deeper into what exactly is the Maximus VI HERO.   The Maximus VI HERO comes to market with a street price of $189.99 directly from Newegg at the time of writing. This price places the HERO in ... Read More »

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