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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... 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 »

ASUS Z87-PRO Motheboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Z87-PRO ASUS along with its ROG boards also released the more mainstream channel series of boards one of which we actually looked at already in the Z87-A. The color seems to be the big topic in the community and for good reason since ECS did a similar gold coloring on the heatsinks and components for Z77 and it did not go over well but ASUS decided to throw their hat into the ring with the god coloring in an apparent effort to symbolize the “Gold Standard” and while I’ve never been a big fan of gold I do think in the right system it could look nice or in a build where a window and appearance are not as important as the function. For me its all about performance but I think that also has to do with my inherent inability to make a pretty system so ... Read More »

ASUS Z87-A Motherboard Review

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Introduction – ASUS Z87-A When new chipset launches happen all of the attention is given to the big boys of the group or the high end behemoth that is the top clocking boards. All the while, there is a whole bunch of other boards that may not have all of the bells and whistles or the LN2 overclocking trickery, but are just as capable when being put to the test in a high end gaming rig. Many enthusiasts can be some what snobbish when it comes to hardware, us included. We want the biggest, the baddest, and the best. The only problem is that the best comes with a hefty price tag, so we like to look at what mainstream performers can offer. Some of these boards hold huge promise for even a nice overclocked rig. Today we are looking at the ASUS Z87-A board which is one of the ... Read More »

Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Motherboard Review

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 Introduction – Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H   Just a short time ago we looked at the Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H and now we grabbed up its little brother, the UD3H. This board offers similar feature sets as the UD4H but a little more on the value side which means it will omit small bells and whistles to keep it on the lighter side of the pricing equation. The board comes in at a price of $159.99 on Newegg, placing it among some of the least expensive boards on the market and with that any feature is a huge advantage since many of the boards at this price point are down to the very basic to ensure the best competitiveness at the value price point. Features & Specifications Ultra Durable 5 Plus Gigabyte has been marketing the Ultra Durable line for awhile and many things have changed as more solid components and technologies have made ... Read More »

ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II Graphics Card Review

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ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU II OC Graphics Card After the GTX 760 card launched we were quite surprised as to the power on tap, and were more excited to see what exactly can be done when put in the capable hands of some of the board partners. ASUS stepped up with a custom version of the GTX 760 with a  very capable looking cooler and even a neat implementation of a single 8 pin to replace the normal dual 6 pin of the GTX 760 model. Let’s dig in and see what this midrange custom offers over the reference model.   The GK104 Kepler Architecture The GTX 760 is based on the same GK104 you saw on the 680, and even 770 we just recently looked at, but with some spec differences as it has been trimmed back a bit to better match the performance segment it falls into. Specifications ... Read More »

Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H Motherboard

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 Introduction – Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H   Gigabyte has been making boards forever and honestly, it has been up and down along the cycle. It seems like every board manufacturer has its good and bad times, and Gigabyte seems to have been going through a bit of a rough patch. With that said, we must say that the Z87 Gigabyte has come out swinging and actually impressed us greatly. It has great aesthetics by offering various colors and designs even in their standard channel or mainstream offerings. Some of our previous suggestions seem to have been received, as they have improved upon their UEFI BIOS, as well as a few other things. The board comes in at a price of $189.99 on Newegg, which is quite competitive to other boards on the market, but also since its head to head with many other offerings means it really has to be something special ... Read More »

MSI Z87 Xpower Motherboard

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MSI just jumped into the extreme Haswell game with the recent release of the Z87 Xpower, today we have one in hand, so let’s see what this beast has to offer. Related posts: MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING Motherboard Review With Intel’s new chipset introduction it was only a matter of time till we had... ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review   With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we... Intel Core i7 4770K: Haswell and the Z87 Chipset Intel’s newest offering to the upper mainstream platform is here with the new Haswell. The... Read More »

Noctua Heatsink Roundup

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The juggernaut of elite air-cooling solutions, Noctua unleashes two new heatsinks.  Let’s examine the pair and see how they perform.  Related posts: Antec TrueQuiet Antec brings something more then just performance case fans.  Read on to discover the secrets!  Like this:Like Loading...... Read More »

Seagate 600 Pro SSD 400GB (ST400FP0021)

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One thing you can be certain of in the tech industry is that you can never be content at the status quo even if you are the leader in the industry. The tech industry moves at such a rapid pace where in a very short period of time, an industry leader can quickly be replaced by an up and coming challenger. Or, a dying company that is at the brink of extinction can make a comeback. The best example that illustrate this would be Apple, which enjoyed tremendous success before 1990s, then fell to the brink of bankruptcy, only to rise to even greater heights. Computer storage has largely stayed unchanged since 1950. The same spinning platter has reduced in size and expand the storage capacity but the underlying technology has remained relatively the same. It was not until 2007 that the emerging market of the SSD revolutionized primary storage. ... Read More »

MSI Z87-GD65 GAMING Motherboard Review

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With Intel’s new chipset introduction it was only a matter of time till we had the new boards from MSI. Now that we have it, let’s see what you get with the new Z87-GD65 Gaming! Related posts: ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review   With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we... MSI GTX 770 Gaming   MSI has hit the GTX 770 scene and it has come out swinging with... Read More »

Asus Cube Google TV Review

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Asus Cube is the device that features latest Google TV OS that want to be part of your living room entertainment setup. With a good design, an unique remote, and $139 price tag, can it push Google TV further where others may have failed? Let’s find out.  Related posts: ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review   With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we... Read More »

Antec TrueQuiet

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Antec brings something more then just performance case fans.  Read on to discover the secrets!  No related posts. Read More »

ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 Motherboard Review

  With the intro of Z87 we knew it would not be long until we started seeing the ROG boards rolling out and first up we have the Maximus VI Extreme which is the top of the line when it comes to ASUS innovation. Now let’s see exactly what it has to offer. No related posts. Read More »

Zotac GeForce GTX760 AMP! Edition

NVIDIA continues to push out GPU’s in the 7xx-series and today it is time for the GTX760 , a mid-level card that will replace the GTX660 Ti. Zotac sent us their pre-overclocked Zotac GeForce 760 AMP! Edition-card, which turned out to be a good performer. Related posts: Zotac GeForce GTX 770 Hot on the heels of the GeForce GTX 780 Nvidia has released a “new” GPU,... Read More »

Nvidia GeForce GTX 760: Mainstream Performance for the Masses

  Nvidia’s 700 series continues to power on with the next card, the GTX 760. This card is lined up to be the next price/performance killer, so let’s see if it can pull off a good show! Related posts: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770: The Next Model in the 700 Series   Hot on the heels of the zenith of the GeForce 700 series, Nvidia is... Read More »

Kingston HyperX Beast 2133 64GB

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We are featuring the exceptionally large 64GB HyperX Beast kit today. If that doesn’t spark your interest, this kit runs at a blazing 2133MHz for extreme enthusiast systems. Continue reading for more….. No related posts. Read More »

MSI GTX 770 Gaming

  MSI has hit the GTX 770 scene and it has come out swinging with its GTX 770 gaming model card, which is looking to be not only an awesome performer but even an awesome value for enthusiasts gamers. No related posts. Read More »

AMD Richland A10-6800K AND A10-6700 Review

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Not letting Intel grab all of the spotlight, AMD has officially released the desktop version of the upgraded Trinity APU codenamed Richland. While Richland does not bring any architectural change over the Trinity, AMD is able to deliver a decent amount of performance improvements by tuning the existing chip. We have got the top of the line A10-6800K and a 65W A10-6700 in our lab that we will put through our tests.  No related posts. Read More »

Gigabyte HD 7790 2GB (GV-R779OC-2GD)

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The Gigabyte HD 7790 (GV-R779OC-2GD) comes with Gigabyte’s own custom designed WINDFORCE x2 cooler, factory overclocked to 1075 MHz, and 2 GB of GDDR5. Does it worth your hard-earn money with the retailed price of $169.99, let’s find out.  No related posts. Read More »

Intel Core i7 4770K: Haswell and the Z87 Chipset

Intel’s newest offering to the upper mainstream platform is here with the new Haswell. The new i7 4770K and Intel DZ87KLT-75K will show us Intel’s vision for moving the industry forward with better technology and performance. No related posts. Read More »

Zotac GeForce GTX 770

Hot on the heels of the GeForce GTX 780 Nvidia has released a “new” GPU, the GeForce GTX 770. While sharing the name of the GTX 780 it is more of a refresh of the GTX 680 with higher clocks and a lower price. Zotac of course have several GeForce GTX 770-cards ready and in this review we take a look at the Zotac GeForce GTX 770.  Related posts: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770: The Next Model in the 700 Series   Hot on the heels of the zenith of the GeForce 700 series, Nvidia is... Read More »

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