Articles and Reviews

Antec One Gaming Series Mid-Tower Case

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.

DIAMOND Radeon HD 7870 2GB Double Black Diamond Video Card

Launched a little over two months ago in March, AMD's Pitcairn graphics processor took over the $250-350 sweet spot in the video card market with the Radeon HD 7850 & 7870 series of GPUs.  Even now, they still don't have any current generation competition from yet from nVidia, who is still relying on the GTX 500 series to fill its product line under the $400 price point.

Shortly after the launch of the Radeon HD 7870, the only video cards available were clones of the reference design.  Now that we're past the initial launch period, new models of the 7870 are now available which deviate from the standard.  Today we're looking at one of those 7870s from Diamond.

Crucial Adrenaline 50GB Solid State Cache

While SSDs make for extremely attractive purchases from a performance point of view, they can be relatively pricy, especially when compared to the cost-per-gigabyte of traditional hard drives.  The capacity of entry level SSDs in the lower price range are also mostly made up of 60-64GB, which are too small to use as an application and OS drive for many users.  So while we're in this transitional phase, a new class of interim devices have cropped up in the market, solid state cache drives.  These solutions pair up small solid state drives with caching software, and provides users with the performance benefit of an SSD while maintaining the capacity of a hard drive.  Today, we're looking at Crucial's solid state cache drive, the Adrenaline.  It combine

PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card

As many of you are probably already aware, AMD released their mainstream enthusiast GPU offering, Pitcairn, a little over a month ago.  Better known as the Radeon HD 7800 series, the two models making up this mainstream class are the 7850 and 7870.  By nature, qualities of the mainstream enthusiast class consist of a good balance between high image quality and value pricing.  With Pitcairn, this translates generally translates to maxed out (or close to it) image quality in games at HD 1080p resolution, with a launch price tag between $250-350.  Now that we're past the initial wow of the paper launch and products actually widely available to buy, we're taking a look at the cheapest Pitcairn offering we could find.  That happens to be PowerColor's Rade

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.

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.

OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB Solid State Drive

In our last SSD roundup, we took a look at a variety of drives with different controllers and NAND configurations.  We found that those two factors make up a big part in dictating how a drive will perform.  The drive that we're reviewing today, OCZ's 240GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS SSD, has a controller and NAND configuration that we haven't examined before, so it will be interesting to see how it compares.  Positioned up-market compared to the Vertex 3 that was awarded our Editor's Choice award in our SSD Roundup, we'll see what the Max IOPS variant brings to the table.

Corsair Force Series GT 180GB Solid State Drive

In continuing our series of SSD reviews, we're looking at a drive from Corsair, the 180GB Force Series GT.  As our last reviews were of drives in the 240-256GB range, we asked Corsair for some of their drives in the same range.  But alas, their marketing team didn't have any in stock, but they did have a 180GB drive available for us to test.  Knowing that performance of 120GB SSDs generally fall behind that of their 240GB brethren due to NAND configuration, I was skeptical towards the level of performance that this 180GB drive could push out.  But as this drive was from Corsair's fastest line of SSDs, Force GT, I decided to give it a chance ...and I ended up being surprised.

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