Daily Reviews for Apr 16

Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews

Users can expect a 25% increase (according to WD) in performance and we saw sequential read/write scores that exceeded the rated specifications of 200MB/s. This is supported by a large 64MB cache to help buffer data. Overall, for a spinning platter drive, performance was very good and it's a bit amazing that they've been able to get so much capacity in a drive with the platters rotating at 10,000 RPM. With such speeds, you'd expect the drive to be noisy but even on our open test bed, the noise was...

RAZER Naga Hex Expert MOBA/Action RPG Gaming Mouse Review @ Madshrimps

The new mouse from the Naga family is Hex and Razer has built it for MOBA and Action RPGs; it comes with 6 extra buttons on the thumb side and 3 different rubber thumb rests are also provided, to suit our needs. The customization of the mouse functions can be realized by using the powerful Razer Synapse 2.0 software, which can be downloaded freely from the manufacturers’ website.

ASUS Rampage IV Extreme X79 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion

The Rampage IV Extreme is the top-of-the-line X79 motherboard from ASUS' Republic of Gamers brand. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard is fully compatible with the Intel's LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-E processors, capable of running Quad-SLI natively, as well as providing support for Quad-channel DDR3 speeds up to 2400 MHz and 64GB across eight DIMM slots. Designed for hardcore gamers and extreme overclockers, the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard exclusively introduces three new features that make extreme performance tuning a lot easier.

Logitech Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal Remote Review @ NikKTech

In my bedroom alone i have a grand total of 7 remote controls for quite a large range of devices so you can certainly understand how frustrating having to find the right one every time can be. Universal remote controls have existed for many years now but never could a single remote cover 100% of your needs so if you were really lucky and you didn't have many devices of the same type to control you would just need to keep the AC remote around. The very first universal remote i used was the rather impressive (even by today’s standards) Philips SBC RU880 i bought back in 2004 and which is still working just like the first day. However much like everything in this world the time has come for something improved to take its place and i just couldn't think of anything better for the job than the Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal Remote by Logitech.

ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets

The ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE is a high-end socket 1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current "Sandy Bridge" models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what the ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE will have to offer.

NZXT Havik 120 CPU Cooler @ Pro-Clockers

Since we reviewed the Havik 140, they have released the Havik 120 which is only capable of supporting 120mm fans, two of them. And you might have guess it the cooler is smaller than the older brother. But NZXT does believe the Havik 120 will provide the end user which would be overclockers, gamers and enthusiasts with outstanding performance.

Corsair Vengeance K60 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews

The Vengeance K60 FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of Corsair's latest introductions. This keyboard is a rare cherry MX red keyboard (similar to cherry MX blacks), offering very light resistance to key presses, and no tactile "click" during presses, perfect for quick successive key presses like double taps. Benchmark Reviews will review this keyboard for its FPS gaming capabilities as well as general usage.

NZXT Switch 810 Hybrid Full-Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion

The NZXT Switch 810 Full-tower case is a mainstream-level case. The Switch 810 from NZXT features a high-airflow design that can house up to ten 140mm/120mm fans, and can also hold a triple radiator, which should be more than enough to cool the current line-up of high-performance enthusiast class components. The four external 5.25" drive bays, as well as the six HDD bays inside the NZXT Switch 810, use tool-less locks for convenient installation. The NZXT Switch 810 can house long video cards, up to 375mm without the internal adjustable fan, and 350mm with the adjustable fan installed. Unruly power cables inside the Switch 810 can be tamed with a smart cable management routing system. For $169.99, the NZXT Switch 810 provides a full featured chassis that has substantial value and convenience that consumers should be looking for.

Daily Reviews for Apr 12

MSI GeForce GTX 680 TwinFrozr 2GB Overclocked Video Card Review @ Tweaktown

As the weeks have gone on we're going to start to see new variants of the GTX 680 and today we're looking at one from MSI which is part of the much loved TwinFrozr series. Because it's part of the TwinFrozr series and we've already looked at a pre-overclocked GTX 680, we figured today we'd take the time to manually overclock the MSI GTX 680 TwinFrozr and see what kind of performance we can get out of it via MSI Afterburner.  Of course there's a few things we need to do before we get to the performance side of things and the first is check out the bundle that MSI has going on. Once we've done that we'll take a closer look at the card itself along with its default specifications and what we managed to overclock it to. From there we'll get into the performance side of things.

Akasa Venom Voodoo Heatpipe Direct Touch Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews

Today we are looking at the Venom Voodoo from Akasa. The Akasa Venom Voodoo features two 120mm viper fans and six high capacity heatpipes that directly touch the processor! With a street price of around $55 shipped, this is an affordable cooler, but how does it perform? Join us as we put the Venom Voodoo on our Intel LGA2011 test bench to see how it handles the heat.

Corsair Vengeance M60 Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets

We continue to explore the new Vengeance line from Corsair. After our review of their FPS keyboard, the K60, it's time to check out its companion mouse, the M60. The model reaches 5,700 dpi of resolution, and its main features include an aluminum metal frame and a red sniper button for precision shooting. Let's describe the product and then proceed to the analysis.

Corsair Vengeance M60 Laser Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews

The Vengeance M60 FPS laser mouse is Corsair's latest addition to its line of products. The M60 has 8 configurable buttons aimed at maximizing the FPS gaming performance. The dedicated "sniper" button is one of its most interesting features with the promise to help accurate aiming. Benchmark Reviews will be testing out the Vengeance M60 and see if it's a worthy buy.

Asrock Z77 Extreme6 Socket 1155 Motherboard Cooler @ Pro-Clockers

Asrock wants to remain in the mouths of buyers after the successful release of the X79 Extreme9. And in order to do you they would have to put out another great board. And we do believe they have done so with the upcoming Z77 Extreme6. Looking at it for the first time all I could think about was the X79. A awesome looking motherboard with features galore. But with all the new motherboards being released is this a keeper?

Bitfenix RAIDER Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech

Quite a long time ago i announced that i would also perform product reviews based on requests made by you, the readers and although many things have happened during the past months (mainly the launch of this new project) i haven't forgotten about that and so a while ago i started looking into my emails for review requests. Well it seems that many of you are actually not bored (who knows, some may) by my extremely thorough PC Case reviews (at least pictures-wise) and have asked for a review of the latest midi tower manufactured by Bitfenix to hit the market called the RAIDER. Of course as some of you know if possible i always try to cover your requests and so the Bitfenix RAIDER Midi Tower is modeling for us today.

Daily News for Apr 9

Corsair Force Series GT 180GB Solid State Drive Review @ Tweaktown

Over the last couple of weeks we've seen some pretty amazing SSDs. You know when you are doing one thing, but really want to work on something else? That is what I've been going through these last couple of weeks. The reason why is because Corsair has taken another approach in order to achieve modest performance improvements.  We've seen the SandForce SF-2282 controller used on a retail consumer drive one other time, but it's implementation was identical to the SF-2281 configuration. The SF-2282 is identical to the 2281 in every way except one, the number of byte lanes, moving from 8 to 16. We've speculated for some time that the SF-2282 was used on most if not all 480GB models, but we've yet to see one to confirm. Ironically we'll have our first 480GB drive in the lab tomorrow.

Corsair Vengeance 16GB Quad Channel 1600 MHz Memory Review @ HCW

The Corsair kit comes with an XMP profile which will set the multiplier to 1600 MHz. The official specs use the vague descriptor “with headroom to allow overclocking” which I guess means that they think it will work at higher speeds, but aren’t promising anything. The main timings to 9-9-9-24 at 1.5v, which is pretty standard for a 1600 MHz kit as we saw in our Best Memory for Sandy Bridge review.. It comes with Corsair’s famous lifetime warranty on parts and labour, which means you will never, ever have to worry about going out and buying a new kit should this one fail. In the rest of our Corsair Vengeance quad channel review, we’ll take a closer look at the packaging and installation, and move on to performance and overclocking.

Cooler Master TPC 812 Vertical Vapor Chamber CPU Cooler @ Pro-Clockers

Cooler Master is going back to the original concept of outperforming the next cooler. They are doing this by using two proven technologies together to achieve this goal. The two techs are heat pipes and vapor chambers. Each has two different processes to getting the job done. But does this combinations spell out a winner?

Corsair Vengeance K90 & M90 MMO/RTS Keyboard and Mouse Review @ Legit Reviews

We really liked the looks of the K90 keyboard and the floating keys made clean out dust, dirt, and the random Doritos crumb a breeze. The backlighting is great with three levels of brightness and the ability to turn it off. Eighteen 'G' keys to record on the fly or software driven macros with three memories for a total of 54 is what we would call overkill but nice if you are a macro fan. The Cherry MX Red keys on the K90 are top of the line with light activation and subtle audio click. Putting a 20KRO PCB in the K90 takes advantage of the maximum simultaneous key press USB can handle and should guarantee no key presses are missed in the heat of battle...

Corsair Vengeance M90 Gaming Mouse Review @ TechwareLabs

The M90 is a good first product geared toward MMO and RTS gaming. They also have a sister product the M60 geared toward FPS games. The M90 has an aluminum metal frame\base that gives it solid feel without a lot of weight. The brushed aluminum also is a nice contrast to the rugged black plastic. The mouse has a nice ergonomic shape that makes using the mouse for long periods of time comfortable.

MSI Z77A-GD65 LGA1155 Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews

It's time for a new Intel chipset: the Z77 Express chipset replaces last year's Z68 chipset and its predecessor P67 chipset. Aside from the support for what MSI calls "third generation Intel Core processors", the Z77 brings some enhanced features like native SuperSpeed USB 3.0. MSI's not satisfied with letting the Z77 stand on its own, though, and adds its own unique features to their MSI Z77A-GD65 board. Benchmark Reviews tests this new motherboard and compares its performance and features against a top-end Z68 motherboard. Is an upgrade for your rig warranted?

Asus Sabertooth P67 Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane

Asus introduced the concept of a TUF (The Ultimate Force) motherboard to address a market that demanded higher quality components that have passed rigorous stress tests covering extreme heat, cold and thermal shock to ensure the utmost in reliability.  In this review we will be looking at the Asus Sabertooth P8P67 motherboard featuring Military class TUF components on board, Thermal Radar, Thermal Armor and one of the longest warranty periods for any motherboard on the market of 5 years.

Hitachi GST Deskstar 7K4000 4TB HDD Review @ NikKTech

When i first started using a personal computer i remember that i chose a configuration with an 300MB hard disk drive which was not only the highest capacity drive available at the time but it also cost as much as half of the entire system. Almost 22 years later technology has advanced to a level where a person can actually purchase one of the latest entry level 4TB hard disk drives (4000000MB) for less than USD350/300Euros, currently that is since prices tend to fall. Hitachi GST has already released 3 different 4TB HDD models in the market, two in their Deskstar consumer oriented line and one in their Ultrastar enterprise line. Today with us we have the high end consumer model, the Deskstar 7K4000 (HDS724040ALE640) and as usual it will go through rigorous testing to see just how well it performs compared to other hard disk drives in the market.

Gaming Video Cards for a Steal: The GeForce GTX 560 & Radeon HD 6870 at $150

In the current video card market, all eyes are on the Radeon HD 7000 series and the GeForce GTX 600 series.  They are the latest and greatest series of GPUs from AMD and nVidia respectively.  And they both have great offerings with the high end Radeon HD 7970 and the GeForce GTX 680.  Right now, AMD has offerings from the Radeon HD 7000 series that extend from low to high price points, and the same thing will happen with nVidia in the near future.  Now that new generations of GPUs have been released, it's out with the old.

Daily Reviews for Apr 4

OCZ Technology Vertex 4 (Indilinx Everest 2) 256GB and 512GB SSD Review @ Tweaktown

I find OCZ's current situation similar to the early 1990's 49ers. OCZ had a very good run with SandForce, winning best consumer SSD awards with both the Vertex 2 and a year later with Vertex 3. Just like Joe, the SandForce SF-2000 series is starting to look a little older and the young competition from other makers is starting to catch up. SandForce might offer the fastest controller to date, but that might not be the case starting next season.  Before Steve Young was traded to the 49ers he played in Tampa Bay. There he had two horrible seasons, but everyone could see the talent including 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. Indilinx, in their later years as a separate company was not competitive with controllers from Intel and Samsung. In a sense OCZ traded to pick up Indilinx, mainly their RAM and peripherals product lines (they were actually just dropped). In their yearly product cycle OCZ was ready to release something new, something fresh, but their star quarterback SandForce was injured. OCZ had already released an impressive top to bottom lineup of products based on the SandForce technology so there weren't any gaps to fill with SandForce based products.

ASRock Fatal1ty x79 Professional Intel 2011 Motherboard @ TechwareLabs

With the release of Intels X79 chipset and new 2011 socket it was only a matter of time before we saw Motherboards aimed at the gamer.  X79 brings Quad Channel memory architecture and PCI 3.0 supporting the RAM and Video Cards respectively.  Finally we get to take a look at the infamous ASRock Fatal1ty Professional Motherboard with the new X79 Chipset.  The new X79 chipset brings PCI3.0 and Quad Channel Ram onto the Intel market.  PCI3.0 is aimed squarely at gamers because of its throughput for the latest high end GPUs and this board has 4x of them.  Fatal1ty has always been aimed at the power-user and gamer and they have (seemingly) not disappointed at first glance. All of this leaves us excited to get our hands on the board.  ASRock has given us this boiled down spec sheet which leave us drooling...

In Win MANA 136 Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech

Regardless of how many PC Cases i review there seem to always be more and more arriving at my doorstep each day that goes by. Now last week i brought you two midi tower reviews, one regarding the latest Prominent R by NEXUS and one about the Overseer RX-I by Thermaltake. Both proved to be quite impressive but for some people their size (although midi) may just be a bit too much. For that reason today we will be taking a look at one of the latest midi towers introduced in the market by In-Win, the MANA 136 which is just a step beneath normal midi towers in terms of size.

MSI R7970 Lightning Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews

Earlier this month MSI launched the companies AMD Radeon HD 7970 based Lightning series video card, the R7970 Lightning. The MSI R7970 Lighting is clocked at 1070 MHz on the core and 1400 MHz on the memory (5600 MHz effective). This is an impressive 15.7% clock increase on the core and a mediocre 1.8% on the memory. Read on to see how this $599 video card performs against the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and take a look at how far we overclocked it!  Overclocking the MSI R7970 Lighting was a blast and the fact that we could take it from 1070 MHz on the core all the way up to 1275 MHz was impressive. AMD released the Radeon HD 7970 with a 925 MHz core clock, so this is a 350 MHz overclock on the core! This card was really fun to overclock on air, so we can only imagine what those with LN2 pots will be able to hit...

OCZ Vertex 4 Indilinx 256GB & 512GB SSD Reviews @ Legit Reviews

It seems like only yesterday when OCZ debuted the original Vertex drive complete with then little known Indilinx engineered controller. Those drives flew off the shelves and helped put OCZ on the SSD map. For the fourth generation Vertex, Indilinx is back, this time proprietary to only OCZ and ready to take on all comers. Just how does it stack up with the likes of Intel and Samsung? Have a look to see what we found!  So far, OCZ's decision to acquire Indilinx seems to be paying off as their proprietary controller now ranks, in our eyes at least, as one of the best you can buy while others are still leveraging third party controllers. Having control of the components has its advantages, positively impacting both cost and quality control - both of which are supremely important in this competitive marketplace. The Indilinx Everest 2 controlled drives are really going to give the other large players, namely SandForce, Marvell, Samsung and Intel serious competition and the incentive to step up their game...

Roccat Kave Headset Review @ Hardware Secrets

Foldable model features 5.1 surround sound and comes with an independent unit for volume control. See how the headset fared in our test.  Roccat is releasing the Kave, a large foldable headset with 5.1 surround sound and a separate unit for volume control. The connectors include four minijacks (3.5 mm for the sound channels) and a USB (for the control unit and headset lighting). Let's describe the Kave and then proceed to its evaluation.

OCZ Synapse Cache 64GB Solid State Drive

In our past SSD articles, we've focused a great deal on SSDs targeting the high end enthusiast market.  It's no doubt that they're speed demons, but as we all know, in the computer hardware market you pay premiums for things like higher capacity and top end performance.

Today we're going to the opposite end of the spectrum as far as SSDs go.  Most of our readers are familiar with the OCZ Technology, a company with beginnings in the DRAM market, but a name now synonymous with power supplies and solid state drives.  In the world of solid state drives, OCZ covers the whole spectrum including products targetting the enterprise market and performance enthusiasts.  The product we'll be examining is one of their entry level mainstream products, the Synapse Cache solid state drive.

What makes this product interesting is it's paired with a piece of software from NVELO called Dataplex.  When combining OCZ's Synapse Cache drive with Dataplex, the idea is that users will get to experience the performance benefits of a pure SSD while enjoying the storage capacity of an existing hard drive.  Dataplex monitors a user's behaviour and caches frequently used data on the Synapse SSD so that it's available for quick access.

Daily Reviews for Apr 3

Cooler Master QuickFire Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Pro-Clockers

One thing the QuickFire was missing was the 10-key pad that many of us are so use to having. It also has the Cherry MX Red switches which I loved even with it click noise when pressing the keys in and the lower resistance when pressing keys. The new QuickFire Pro is a totally different keyboard as it employs brown switch which we will get into later and a plus a 10-key pad. My excitement is already building so lets get into this.

Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets

The Intel Z77 chipset will be released by the end of this month, but we had the privilege of getting the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H for a "first look" article. It will be a top mainstream socket 1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current "Sandy Bridge" models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H will have to offer.

Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Review @ HCW

A little over a week ago, we reviewed the 990FX based Asus Crosshair V Formula. While highly impressed with the solid performance and extra features, $220 is a lot to ask for an AMD motherboard these days. Since AMD isn’t offering much in terms of high end CPU performance, it makes little sense to spend that much.  Gigabyte usually excels when they stick to a philosophy of only including the things that really matter, with few bells and whistles. We were extremely pleased with their Z68XP-UD4, so it will be interesting if they can replicate that performance with this 990FX board.

Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

For many enthusiasts want a quiet system, with room to spare, and a beautiful exterior the Antec P280 is exactly what they are looking for. The Antec P280 is a "Super Mid Tower" designed as an addition to venerable Performance One series. This refresh comes with a redesigned interior, exterior, and an updated port selection. These updates came without Antec disrupting the Performance One series goal of "Quiet Computing", using materials with different acoustic qualities to help minimize the amount of sound leakage. Benchmark Reviews will evaluate if the noise characteristics and build quality of the Antec P280 are worthy of the Performance One moniker that it has been given.

Kingston HyperX Genesis 16GB 2133MHz Quad Channel Kit Review @ NikKTech

Many of you know that up until 5-6 months ago my favorite testing platform was the LGA1366 by Intel which was also the only platform with triple channel DDR3 support, something that played a huge part in my choice. Besides that's also why 3 out of my 4 test rigs featured Intel Core i7-920 (Bloomfield) CPUs each paired with 12GB of RAM (3x4GB). However all things come to an end eventually, especially when it comes to all things related with technology and so the launch of the latest Intel LGA2011 platform signified the upgrade of my primary test system. It did take a while until i finally managed to get the 2nd revision of the Core i7-3930k (Sandy Bridge-E) CPU to build the system but since that happened I’ve been putting all the latest Quad channel memory kits to hit the market through various tests to see just how good the new platform really is. So the very first Quad Channel DDR3 kit review to upload is about the latest and fastest Quad Kit manufactured by Kingston currently, the HyperX Genesis 16GB Kit running at 2133MHz with a CAS Latency of 11 (khx2133c11d3k4/16gx).

Foxconn Nano PC nT-i1500 Barebone Review @ Madshrimps

Foxconn has brought us to the table the latest generation of Intel Atom CPUs, by using the small Nano PC chassis which features about the same layout inside as the barebones we have tested from them in the past. The system power consumption is very low, temperatures are good in load and the noise generated is decent. Only thing that needs to be fixed to make this product fully functional is the VGA driver which in its current state offers low performance in both 2D and 3D environments, and Intel does not offer any support for x64 OSes.

Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech

Yesterday i uploaded a review surrounding the latest PC Case manufactured by NEXUS, one of the latest players in the market, called the Prominent R which may not have the most radical design in the market but it does carry a large number of features making it a very good overall solution in the midi tower segment of the market. However since the design of the case may not appeal to everyone out there today i decided to take things a bit further (more like at the opposite side) and bring you a review about one of the latest midi tower offerings by Thermaltake called the Overseer RX-I (VN700M1W2N) which also happens to have a large number of features but this time over the design part of the unit has nothing simple about it (you can tell for yourself just by looking at the intro image).

OCZ Synapse Cache 64GB Solid State Drive Giveaway!

We've teamed up with OCZ to give away an OCZ Synapse Cache 64GB Solid State Drive!

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