In the enthusiast hardware world you will find that just about every component you can buy has been customized to a certain degree. These customizations could be minor like a new heatsink design or something major to enhance power delivery and overclocking. These changes define what an enthusiast product is and can often influence how is used.
Corsair has been catering for the hardware enthusiasts and gamers for many years now and have gained a lot of praise for their high quality and high performance hardware. In this review Benchmark Reviews examines and tests out the Corsair Vengeance C70 mid-tower gaming PC case. Many of us believe that consoles killed PC gaming and Intel killed overclocking, but now we have another problem - Case manufactures killing case modding. The Corsair Vengeance C70 computer case has an ammo box theme and comes in military green to boot (also available in white and black). The C70 has some new features unique to this model and comes with two 120mm intake fans and one 120mm exhaust fan and removable mesh intake filters. There is also support for many different watercooling configurations including dual radiators for the deep pocketed enthusiast out there.
We compare the Phanteks PH-TC14PE to its apparent target - the Noctua NH-D14. Both coolers share similar dimensions, design, and price. Which one is better? We have a pretty conclusive answer.
As some of you already know, at the heart of the Vertex 4 is an “Indilinx Infused” SSD flash processor called the Everest II. This dual core ARM processor is based on Marvell silicon and “Infused” with OCZ’s own Indilinx proprietary firmware. This is an entirely new concept than was the case with OCZ’s previous flagship Vertex 3. The Vertex 3 was an LSI SandForce based SSD which was powered by firmware written by SandForce. Because the Vertex 4’s Everest II SSD flash processor is powered by OCZ’s own Indilinx firmware, OCZ themselves can choose to improve upon the firmware as often as they see fit, which is something the end user can really benefit from.
The NETGEAR N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router is said to deliver the ultimate performance and range, with a fast, reliable and secure wireless connection to the Internet. The Netgear N900 wireless provides up to 450 + 450 Mbps speed and with simultaneous dual band technology it avoids interference ensuring top WiFi speeds. Read on to see how this wireless router performs when we try it out!
Many SSD manufacturers offer some form of upgrade kits for laptops. And Corsair is no different. Providing the user with not only the drive but cabling and software not only to transfer your data but you whole Windows installation over to the new drive. This makes the entire installation process much shorter not having to go through the Windows install.
Today we have the second HSF offering from Phanteks. The Phanteks PH-TC14CS is a down draft CPU cooler, rather than a standard tower cooler. With Dual Phanteks PH-F140 Premium 140mm fans and five 8mm heatpipes it looks like this cooler should perform pretty well. Join us as we put Phanteks PH-TC14CS CPU cooler to the test on our Intel LGA2011 test bench and see how it can handle the heat.
Genius introduced a strong lineup of gaming peripherals this year and today we will take a look at the GX-Gaming Imperator Pro MMORPG/RTS Gaming Keyboard. This is based on the Imperator baseline model except with extra features that you may want in a premium keyboard. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the Genius Imperator Pro Gaming Keyboard to see how well it stands against competition.
The HyperX 3K series is the enthusiast and gamers choice when it comes to Kingston. The drive is offered in four sizes ranging from 90GB to 480GB. Driven by the SATA III protocol and controlled by the ever popular SandForce SF-2281 read and write times are pretty impressive. But it's the way Kingston's technology improves the longevity of the drive and the price got us loving the drive.
MSI introduced their latest Twin Frozr IV thermal design to the world when they released the R7970 Lightning, but since they have started integrating it onto other graphics card in their lineup. The graphics card we are examining today has such as design, but instead of using a variation of the high-end Tahiti graphic processor it uses the more mainstream Pitcairn Pro GPU. Which is less expensive, but still able to push pixels at rates similar to the previous generation HD 6950.
The 8-core FX-8120 CPU from AMD gets near the 2500K performances in heavy multithreaded apps and thanks to its unlocked features, we can overclock it near 50% (depending on the quality of the batch). Thanks to the latest price reductions and promotions, it gets into the area of mainstream CPUs, making it attractive for people that do not want to spend excessively on their new upgrade.
Many of the OCZ models are revisions and improvements of a previous which is the whole reason for the Roman numeral being displayed in the model name. And in the case of the review sample here today we have the Vertex 4. The drive that started it all was a model with had blistering speed (for that time period, 2009) of 280 MB/s and 3K 4K IOPS. Things have really changed as the Vertex 4 brags about speeds of 535 MB/s and 120K 4K IOPS. Advancements and progression is great isn’t it?
Appearance is the strongest suit of the SilverStone Grandia GD07. Nothing fits into a fashionable home theater setup as well as a nicely finished dark aluminum front plate, free of everything that shows up on the face of a typical PC. The GD07 also offers functionality at the extreme end of the HTPC market. Generous drive capacity, ability to handle multiple full-length video cards, and compatibility with eATX motherboards puts it way over the top. Flexible options for system airflow, with both down draft and horizontal CPU coolers as viable choices, expand the range of suitable components. This is not a PC case that Benchmark Reviews would recommend for a folding farm, but for extreme HTPC use it performs far above most alternatives. For those that want to have all their main storage integrated into their HTPC and/or want to do some serious gaming on the big screen in the family room, this is one of the very few cases that can do that in style.
Today the GTX 680 Lightning landed with us, offering a custom cooling solution and a factory overclock aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts alike with a custom PCB, Twin Frozr IV cooler and some extra added bonus features. The lightning series are considered the best of the best, and aren’t for the faint hearted, especially with a £530 price tag, but if you want the most powerful single core card in the world, you have to pay the price and that’s who this card is aimed at.
The benchmark results on the Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD came out very much as we expected. Performance nearly mirrors that of the Kingston HyperX 5K drive and places itself amongst the best drives we have tested. The read/write specifications of 555MB/s and 510MB/s respectively are good to start with but we saw the writes exceed that specification in the ATTO benchmark by an additional 24MB/s. Real world scores were very good as well and since we've spent several months using the 5K drive in one of our 24/7 systems without incident, we expect to see the same consistent performance from the 3K drive...
The Antec ISK110 VESA is a tiny case for Mini-ITX motherboards, targeted to users who want a small computer that won't take up any space on their desktop. In fact, the ISK110 VESA can be attached to the back of your video monitor, so it won't take up any space on your workspace and it will also be hidden from view.
A unique heat pipe layout is utilized that orients the heat pipes to direct the flow of heat more efficiently to the aluminum fins where the heat is exhausted. Much like the GeminII S524, GeminII M4 features an airflow design that is 90 degree rotated to avoid heat radiating from the motherboard. In turn, this orientation simultaneously provides a steady airflow to motherboard chipsets surrounding the CPU socket.
Every good gamer should look past their desktop and laptop to their interface, namely the mouse and headset. As important as it is for you to be able to effectively and precisely move when in a game it is equally important for you to be able to hear when your enemies fire or run at you. A good headset is critical to your gaming experience. We took the Ozone Onda ST out for a spin and show you why it earns our TechwareLabs Gold Award. See why we liked this product so much.
Panther Point, the Z77 chipset, launched simultaneously with the brand new Intel Ivy Bridge CPU's. Supporting PCI-3.0, native USB3.0, high BCLK and RAM frequencies, but only if bundled with one of Intel's 3d generation CPU's. As usual, vendors launched a wide variety of boards, from low end basic OEM boards to high end gamer/overclocking versions. Choosing the right board is mainly always a matter of features, gimmicks, color schemes and surely the price tag. Today we review two of Gigabyte's offerings: the mainstream targeted GA Z77-D3H and the high end model, the GA Z77X-UD5H.
The EVGA Z77 FTW joins an elite group of motherboards aimed at satisfying the needs of overclocking, gaming and hardware enthusiasts. While this group is small by comparison the things they look for in a motherboard can be rather specific but really make the product better and well suited for the average user looking to build a solid system.
Z77 coupled with the 3rd generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors are the hottest combination in the retail market at the moment, as they offer fantastic performance for an amazing price point, especially when compared to competitor products on the market. One of the hottest combinations includes the i7 3770k and Asus ROG boards that you’re used to seeing us benchmarking here at eTeknix, and that’s down to us knowing how well they perform from a tried a tested method on both the Intel and Asus front. When it comes to Asus, we’re big fans of their products, and you will generally see us looking at motherboards from their Republic Of Gamers lineup, but today sees a slight shakeup, as we take a detailed view of the P8Z77-V LX mainstream board that packs a punch in terms of features and value, giving the best of both worlds, but how does it stack up?
Silence, clean air, loaded with features, handles six hard drives with ease. Does this sounds like the description of the top of the line case from a boutique builder, well you would be wrong. Legit Reviews takes a look at the latest mid-tower case from Corsair, the Obsidian Series 550D. The Corsair Obsidian Series 550D was engineered for enthusiasts, but the designers didn't forget about noise reduction and sound isolation. Now that Corsair has figured out the formula to churn out enthusiast grade cases it is no surprise they tried their hand at building a silent case. The Corsair Obsidian 550D borrows a lot of the features from the rest of their case line up and even adds a few new ones such as silencing panel on all but the rear fan ports to allow you to run cool or silent...
The Noctua NH-L12 is an excellent choice for an HTPC or desktop system where space is at a premium. With the 120mm fan installed on top of the cooler it stands just 93mm tall, and if you can manage to run with just the lower 92mm fan installed you can get the height down to 66mm. This will fit a large number of cases, including some of the slimmer units available.
The card itself is completely covered from top to bottom, end to end by the large Twin Frozr III cooler with a dual fan design that incorporates propeller blades. The cooler is made completely from metal and the fans are slightly raised by around 2mm to give the best possible cooling across the card. The fans are PWM controlled for maximum performance and are said to give up to 20% extra airflow compared to standard fans.
When i got my first cellular phone back in 1996 (a Motorola) most people i knew at the time despised even the idea of people being able to reach them when not at home so buying such a "gadget" was simply out of the question. Fast forward 16 years later and the same people now own not one but at least two cellular phones with two or more different numbers. Of course compared to back then the new smartphones are now immeasurably more powerful and can also act like mini computers capable of doing pretty much anything one would want while on the road or at home from taking pictures, recording/watching HD (high definition) video clips and listening to music to browsing the internet, using social sites, storing notes and checking to see your exact position via GPS (Global Positioning Satellites). Huawei may not be name many people recognize in the word of smartphones but they are amongst the top manufacturers of pretty much everything related to communications and today with us we have their U8860 Honor smartphone.
Cooler Master has released a new mouse which is actually an upgrade to the Sentinel Advance called the Sentinel II. The new model takes the form of the older brethren but does have a more advanced laser sensor. The new Avago maxes 8200 DPI for greater quickness and accuracy.
CPU cooling has come a long way since the days of the block of aluminum with a fan on top. Moving forward we saw the introduction of tower style coolers with anywhere from 4 to 8 heat pipes of either the 6mm or 8mm variety. Even though these types of coolers took up more real estate in your chassis they were also much more efficient in cooling your CPU. Bringing us to the point where the CPU cooler became the show piece of any build with coolers such as the NH-D14 from Noctua and the Cooler Master V10.
The Epic Gear Meduza Gaming Mouse features HDST (hybrid dual-sensor technology), an ergonomic shape and 6 fully programmable buttons. The mouse can be set to operate in three different modes (optical, HOST, laser), each with its own DPI settings. It can also store 5 different profiles thanks to the 128KB onboard memory and the LED light effects can be completely turned off via the software interface.
Based on the second-generation Everest 2 platform and featuring Ndurance 2.0 technology, the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive arrives one year after they acquired the well-known flash controller manufacturer Indilinx. Boasting the industry's best SATA-based I/O performance, the Vertex 4 series (VTX4-25SAT3) is designed to deliver optimized performance for enthusiasts wanting to capitalize on near-instant response times. OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs are available in up to 512GB capacities, and deliver up to 550MB/s read speeds with up to 95,000 Random Read IOPS. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests these specifications, and compares the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive to the leading competition.
OCZ has launched a new product in their famous Vertex line of drives……The Vertex 4. The Vertex series of drives is probably the most numerous and popular line of Solid State Drives ever offered. OCZ has done more to popularize the Solid State Drive than any other manufacturer to date. OCZ started out with an Indilinx SSD Processor in the Vertex 1 and has come full circle by using an Indilinx SSD Processor with the Vertex 4 - well kind of.
Today we are going to be looking at one of the many Zalman’s chassis’: the Z11 Plus chassis. This particular chassis incorporates a unique feature that I have yet seen on other manufacturer’s chassis. And that being, an HDD cooling system incorporated into the chassis directly. Instead of just placing a fan on or near the HDD’s, like other manufacturer’s do, Zalman specifically designed a powered venting system on this chassis that will help keep our HDD’s cool during their usage, and not have that heated air circulate inside of the chassis.
Seagate has just launched a new external hard drive which may seem like a continuation of their FreeAgent or GoFlex series of drives. The new drives come in a variety of colors and capacities, features the universal connector they have made popular over the last couple of years, and includes pre-installed software to make backup simple and more useful than ever.
Solid state drives offer much better performance than traditional mechanical hard drives, so they are ideal for those who want the best possible performance from their system. Today we are going to look at two 60 GB SSDs, the Kingston SSDNow V+200 and the Zalman F-Series. Which one should you buy?
Raidmax has been around for a while now and like many other case manufacturers know just what the gamers want in a case. They have had a few hits in their existence but they are hoping for the same with the Seiran. Raidmax has released several models of cases in the past few months and we are hoping to review more them. But the Seiran is one of the models with the least amount of extreme looks to draw attention to it. The Seiran comes in three of today’s popular colors which are red, black and white.
While most of the industry is attending Computex just half around the world away the surprisingly high temperatures where i live (31+ degrees Celsius) keep reminding me of just how good winter really is (snow addict). Because of that and also because lately we've been receiving quite a large number of CPU Coolers (some of which are also showcased in Computex right now) i decided to spend the better part of this week testing all of them one after the other (time is quite important). The first of those CPU Coolers to get mounted on our test bench is no other than the latest Dark Knight SD-1283 Night Hawk Edition by XIGMATEK.
MSI has sent us the new Ravager mid tower case. If the black with blue claw marks on the sides doesn't get your attention, the price will at just $99 MSRP at the time of this review. The blue color scheme continues inside with most of the motherboard mounting plate, HDD trays and quick-release clips for the 5.25” drive bays. The Ravager comes with many features that can be expanded upon and upgraded easily so the consumer can not only purchase the case at a great price but is able to customize case with what he/she wants.
One thing that all the different models from all the different manufactures have one common is that in order to run AMD’s EyeFinity three setup feature you need to either include at least one monitor that has a display port or using some type of adapter to turn a port into a display port. Yes, that is the case except for the model we are about to touch on today. The Sapphire FleX HD 7950 can run this configuration with all the monitors being DVI. How about that for saving a few dollars? And at the moment this is the fastest Radeon card that can do that.
Thermaltake recently released their all-in-one series of closed loop water cooling kits. The Performer features a single 120mm radiator, but features two 120mm fans for maximum cooling performance. Read on to see how it handles the heat compared to our air coolers we have tested so far on our Intel Core i5 2500k gaming computer test bench!
The Noctua NH-U12P SE2 CPU cooler has a tower heatsink, four heatpipes, and two 120 mm fans. We tested the first version of the NH-U12P almost three years ago. The main differences between the NH-U12P and the NH-U12P SE2 (Special Edition 2) are that the SE2 has the SecuFirm2 mounting mechanism and comes with two fans.
Having used and reviewed quite a few mechanical keyboards in the last year I have now tried out almost every type of Cherry MX switch out there except the Cherry MX Brown and Clear switches. Thankfully, in this during this review of the Rosewill RK-9000BR I was able to knock yet another switch off my list. The Cherry MX Brown switches used on the Rosewill RK-9000BR provide would be customers with the best of both Cherry MX Black, and Blue switches without the negatives of each. Benchmark Reviews will be evaluating the Rosewill RK-9000BR to see how these switches hold up to daily use and what they are like to use for an extended amount of time when compared to their red, black, and blue counterparts.
If you are a gamer, lack space for your next gaming build and infatuated with the colors black and red then I think we have your very next motherboard on hand. It is the new Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M from Asrock. A gaming motherboard marketed by a gamer for gamers. The board has the making to being a big hit with the masses as it offers a great many features for less than of the ASUS Gene series. When a mainboard like this comes along it may be a hit with the gamers but it has to overclock well to be a hit with the enthusiast crowd. Does it do that? We will in fact find out for you.
The market may be filled with all sorts of PC cases ment to cover pretty much the taste of every user out there but for good or bad we haven't really seen many new PC Cases lately (somewhat weird considering that Computex is just around the corner) and the few that have been released have yet to attract (for reasons unknown to me) the media spotlights most do. So it really goes without saying that we decided to gather as many of these newly released PC cases we could in order to bring them to your attention. In-Win may not be the most familiar brand name around but thanks to their high quality and quite innovative products they have managed to win a large market share in a very small period of time which is not a small feat. Today with us we have one of their latest midi towers, the BUC 101.
The Phanteks PH-TC14PE (red) itself is a pretty standard dual tower, five-8mm-heatpipe-packing heatsink that retails for about $90 bucks. It stands 168mm tall and has a wide 144x161mm footprint that may have clearance issues on some motherboards where RAM slots and VRM heatsinks are too tall, too near the CPU socket. The cooler weighs upwards of 1250 grams and ships with two 140mm PWM fans arranged in a push-pull configuration. Phanteks' PH-TC14PE (red) heatsink is compatible with Intel socket 775/1155/1156/1366 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1 processors.
As hardware enthusiasts we are always looking for better and more efficient ways to keep our systems cool. In the early days this usually included things like elaborate case mods to increase chassis cooling and exotic hardware cooling methods such as powerful CPU fans and even, the often mis-understood, watercooling loops.
Now, we get to the point of this review we are conducting today. Below the GTX 670, NVidia has not bought anything new to the market. While AMD has the 78xx sitting in that upper mainstream realm. As of right now the older GTX 560 and GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores covers that area for NVidia until they release the GTX 660. Yes, the GTX 560 Ti 448 Cores is a little aged but it definitely still holds its hold when it comes to gaming. There is no game on the market that you can say this card will not give you a delightful gaming experience.
Unlike casual users and gamers most enthusiasts, overclockers and hardcore gamers who are well aware about the benefits of owning a high quality and performance power supply unit put much effort into finding the right one to cover their needs. Now although I’ve seen and tested pretty much every 80Plus Gold Certified PSU out there the same does not apply for Platinum ones and since quite a few have asked today we will be taking a closer look at one of the top rated power supply units in the market today which is no other than the latest ToughPower XT 1275W Platinum PSU by Thermaltake.
In 2009, Cooler Master kick started their division of gaming-grade peripherals, CM Storm, with the first Sentinel Advance mouse. Now, the already established company released the evolution of that particular model, the Sentinel Advance II, which is basically the same mouse, only with a laser sensor that reaches 8,200 dpi of sensitivity (against the 5,600 dpi value of the original one) and double the internal memory. Let's describe its physical characteristics and then test the product.
The Phanteks PH-TC14PE (white) itself is a pretty standard dual tower, five-8mm-heatpipe-packing heatsink that retails for about $90 bucks. It stands 168mm tall and has a wide 144x161mm footprint that may have clearance issues on some motherboards where RAM slots and VRM heatsinks are too tall. The cooler weighs upwards of 1250 grams and ships with two 140mm PWM fans arranged in a push-pull configuration. The fans spin at 1200-900RPM and are anywhere from moderately audible to pretty quiet. On the plus side, the dual-fan set up does make this heatsink a good lower noise thermal solution, as you'll shortly see.
The AMD A4-3400 Llano Dual-Core arrived Technic3D. We will check the CPU from AMD against the Intel Core i7, i5, AMD Bulldozer, Phenom II and many more on Windows 7 and Linux. More see you in the following Review.
Microlab have been around a long time but are still a relative unknown under that name, although there is a good chance you have heard Microlab products at work, not to long ago in what many would consider Creative Audios height of sound reproduction quality the speakers you would find in those systems were more often than not made by Microlab.
The Vengeance 2000 is another gaming headset from Corsair, this time wireless, with a catchy look and succeeds to deliver good quality sound in the games we play frequently, but not only. The product functionality can be customized by using the supplied driver + application, is able to operate for about 10 hours till the next recharge and can be used even during the charging period. Thanks to the materials used, the headset remains light, which is an important factor when engaging in lengthy gaming sessions.
Let’s take a look at the latest socket 2011 motherboard from ASRock, featuring five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six SATA-600 ports, 12 USB 3.0 ports, a professional-grade sound controller, and more. The newly released X79 Fatal1ty Champion is the most high-end motherboard from ASRock for the LGA2011 platform. It comes with five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, six SATA-600 ports, 12 USB 3.0 ports, an on-board, professional-grade sound controller (Creative Sound Core3D), two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and more.
Antec is a well known name in the computer industry. Widely recognized for its case and power supply product lines, their markets also stretches into many other product categories. We've worked with many Antec cases and power supplies over the years here at circuitREMIX, and haven't encountered a product that we couldn't recommend to our readers.
Today we're taking a look at one of their new cases, the One. The One is different compared to the other Antec cases we've worked on, as it's one of their value oriented offerings. Most of the other cases we've reviewed were from the Performance One series, which are generally very feature rich, but come in at higher price points. The One on the other hand is Antec's lowest priced case in the Gamer series.