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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 »

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 »

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 »

Intel Core i7 4790K – Haswell gets a refresh

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

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

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

Steam Machine comes with Intel CPU and NVIDIA GPU

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STEAM has announced the SteamOS that is aimed to bring PC games to your living room. The company is also gearing to unveil its prototype Steam Machines and controllers. While the device will not be available for purchasing until next year, some lucky 300 Steam users may get their chance of testing the prototype. Steam has listed the specification of the prototype. The system will come with Intel processor i7-4770, or i5-4570, or i3. For the GPU, it will include NVIDIA Titan, GTX 780, GTX 760, or GTX 660 and the card will have 3GB of GDDR5. The system will have 16GB of DDR3 and 1TB of storage in the form of SSHD with 8GB for caching, which we presume is from Seagate. The power supply is 80+ Gold 450W. The system will have custom chassis but given to the off the shelf hardware, it is very easy to replace ... Read More »

GI​GABYTE Updates BRIX Ultra Compact PC “Haswell”

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GIGABYTE’s BRIX is a compact desktop based on the Intel NUC that packed a tiny PC in 29.9mm x 107.6 mm x 114.4 mm. With the release of the Haswell, GIGABYTE has updated their BRIX series to include the latest and the greatest CPU from Intel. The BRIX features glass surface mounted on anthracite aluminum frame GIGABYTE upgraded the BRIX with four 4th generation Intel Core processor: Core i7-4500U, Core i5-4200U, Core i3-4100U, and Celeron 2955U. All of the models are dual-core 15W TDP with the Core model features Intel HD 4000 graphics and hyperthreading support. The Celeron lacks the hyperthreading support and comes with HD Graphics.   Despite its tiny footprint, the BRIX is packed with all of the essentials. Regardless of the models, they all come with dual display via HDMI and mini DisplayPort, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0/3.0 combo mini PCIe module, Realtek Gigabit Lan, two SO-DIMM ... 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 »

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….. Related posts: Kingston 64GB microSDXC SDCX10/64GB Promised to deliver at least 10 MB/s, the 64GB Kingston microSDXC card packs plenty of... Read More »

Sapphire Edge HD4

Sapphire has long been known for its AMD graphics offerings but a little known part of their business has to do with their small form factor Edge based systems. Today we look at the Intel Celeron powered Edge HD4. Let’s see what it has to offer! No related posts. Read More »

Intel Core i7-3960x vs. i7-3970x: A Clash of Titans

With the Intel Core i7-3970X taking the crown for the fastest six-core processor for the desktop market, how can this 150W TDP monster compare to its younger brother, the i7-3960X? Can the $10 difference in price justify its performance and stability? In this review the Core i7-3960X and the Core i7-3970X go head-to-head in some real-world application benchmarks. No related posts. Read More »

Patriot “Intel Extreme Masters” Limited Edition 32GB 1600MHz Review

Today’s market of RAM is pretty saturated, as we all know. This means that RAM manufacturers have to get creative to make their kits stand out. Not only that, but with prices being so low it’s hard to offer top shelf stuff for lower prices. Patriot happens to do this with their Viper 3 kits, one of which we have right here. This is also their “Intel Extreme Masters” kit which one can assume goes through rigorous QA for the best compatibility and stability. No related posts. Read More »

Silicon Power S70 7mm SSD for Ultrabook

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The Silicon Power Slim S70 (SP240GBSS3S70S25) paired the LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller with the 25nm Intel synchronous NAND in a slim package of 7mm. Available in capacity ranges from 60GB all the way to 480GB, it is one of the high-end SSDs designed for Ultrabooks. No related posts. Read More »

AMD FX-8350, Piledriver Vishera Review

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Today, AMD has completed the transition of their entire line of CPUs/APUs to the Piledriver design with the release of the Vishera, the mainstream/performance FX series CPU. How much performance can we expect from Vishera over Bulldozer? Let’s find out.  No related posts. Read More »

Patriot “Intel Extreme Masters” Edition 2133MHz 8GB Review

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  Nowadays, memory tends to be more of a battle over who can bin the tightest, as all IC’s shipping for the most part are pretty much the same. In the memory market it all comes down to how you can differentiate yourself from the same old stuff that we may see every day. Patriot has the new Viper 3 series which is what this kit is part of, and carrying the “Intel Extreme Masters” means it went through extensive testing to prove utmost compatibility with new DDR3 motherboards and XMP easy tuning. No related posts. Read More »

AMD “Virgo” Platform: 2nd Generation APU

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If you read our AMD Trinity Preview, you’ve already seen the integrated GPU performance in the new A-Series APU from AMD. Today, we take a look at the CPU side of the APU. In addition, we are able to see just how the new chip will perform at various applications and workloads, including media transcoding, data encryption, and  OpenCL.    No related posts. Read More »

ASUS P8Z77 WS

  ASUS has hit the Z77 playing field with amazing force and their P8Z77 WS looks to be an utterly amazing and very capable offering.  4 Way SLI server grade stability and features add up to one hell of an amazing looking board on paper. Can it perform as well as its specs claim? No related posts. Read More »

Biostar TPower TZ77XE4

Biostar has recently been pushing its way into the enthusiasts offerings, and with the new TPower TZ77XE4, they have introduced a board designed for overclocking. Knowing the TPower line’s capabilities and excellent value we should be in for one hell of a show. No related posts. Read More »

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 3 Motherboard

GIGABYTE now has a second entry into the G1.Killer series for the Z77 lineup. Needless to say, when we look at a gaming board, we expect the appearance to scare the competition away, and the power to back it up. Does the G1.Sniper 3 deliver? Let’s take a look. No related posts. Read More »

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium

    ASUS has pushed many new models onto the playing field with Z77, and with the P8Z77-V Premium, we now see the first solution Intel-certified for Thunderbolt, along with many other technical and feature advances that push ASUS even further in the forefront for the Z77 offerings. No related posts. Read More »

Cubitek Mini-ICE CB-ICI-B104

 Designed with two pieces of aluminum for a sleek look, the Cubitek Mini ICE is a case for mini ITX boards. Unlike other mini ITX cases, it is aimed for gamers and enthusiasts who plan to watercool and use high-end GPUs. No related posts. Read More »

MSI Z77A-GD65: A Preview

MSI has debuted their upcoming Z77A-GD65 board, supporting Socket 1155 processors. The board features PCIE 3.0, USB 3.0, and plenty of other features for overclocking. Check out the pictures for more info. No related posts. Read More »

Intel SSD 520 240GB

This drive has been advertised as the fastest SSD to date. Does it really pack the punch Intel claims it does? Keep reading to find out! No related posts. Read More »

Thermaltake Frio OCK

The Thermaltake Frio OCK might not be a quiet cooler at full fan speeds, but it is currently the most powerful air cooler available for the overclocking enthusiasts! No related posts. Read More »

GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD Motherboard

GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD makes setting up Intel Smart Response an easy task with the bundled Intel SSD 311 mSATA SSD. We put it through our test to see how it performs. No related posts. Read More »

How-To Build a Quiet Ultimate Gaming PC

Building a Quiet Gaming PC can be confusing for beginners that have never messed with their computers before. This How-To Guide will explain how to choose quiet components and build your next Quiet Ultimate Gaming PC. No related posts. Read More »

Intel Core i3 2100

Priced at $124, the Intel Core i3 2100 is the cheapest Sandy Bridge processor. For its price and performance, it may just be the best budget processor on the market. No related posts. Read More »

GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4

The GIGAYBTE P67A-UD4 motherboard is designed with mid- to high-end users in mind, providing enough performance and features that an average user would want in a motherboard. No related posts. Read More »

Zalman CNPS9900 MAX

We put the Zalman CNPS9900 Max against the Noctua NH-D14 and the Prolimatech’s Megahalem. See how this heatsink performs? No related posts. Read More »

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