Articles and Reviews

RunCore Pro V Max 240GB Solid State Drive

RunCore isn't a brand that's well known in North America, but they happen to be the largest SSD manufacturer in China.  Not only that, but its consumer oriented products only make up a fraction of its SSD product portfolio.  The rest of the products offered by RunCore are oriented towards enterprise, industrial and military applications.  It's in this focus that many of RunCore's drives are ruggedized, including its consumer oriented drives.  Today we'll be looking at a drive from RunCore's brand new flag ship series, Pro V Max, which is replacing the Pro V series as RunCore's fastest consumer level drives. 

The main point of evolution between the original Pro V and the Max is referred to as a Golden Firmware.  Comparing the specifications of the two drives, the two differing details surround the read speeds of the drives.  The Max increases the maximum read speed by 10MB/s to 560MB/s, and 4K IOPS read from 40000 to 50000.  We'll see if this Golden Firmware is as good as its name implies.

Thermaltake Level 10 GT Snow Edition Full Tower Chassis

Back in 2009, Thermaltake released the Level 10 case.  Designed in collaboration with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the Level 10 case had a unique compartmental design and featured styling that was far from the typical computer case.  Winning many industry design awards, the Level 10 case acted as a flagship for Thermaltake.  But with a price tag of $799.99US, the cost of buying Thermaltake's pinacle of design and style is out of reach for most people.  In 2011, Thermaltake released the Level 10 GT case.  It was designed with some of the core ideas present in the original Level 10 case, but available and reachable for the masses.  Today we'll be looking at the Level 10 GT Snow Edition.

Corsair Hydro Series H100 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler

I first ventured into liquid cooling for my computers way back, about a decade ago, for my Intel Pentium 4 "Williamette" and AMD "Duron" based test systems.  This was when I was in high school and in my early years of reviewing computer hardware.  Back then, the big players in the watercooling market were Danger Den and Swiftech.  There were no pumps specific for computer watercooling, so most adopters of liquid cooling used fountain and pond pumps.  For radiators, the main choices were the Black Ice series from HWLabs or car heatercores (I preferred Chevelle cores).

ARCTIC's Freezer 13 PRO and Freezer i30 CPU Coolers

Arctic Cooling is a company most of you probably heard of before, and it's focus was on computer cooling products.  Most well known for its video card cooling products, it was also very popular with it's Freezer 7 and 64 CPU coolers.  Rebranded as ARCTIC in 2010, the company now covers a wider market with a variety of different computer and electronic products.  Today we're looking at two products which extend from the original roots in cooling hardware ARCTIC came from, the Freezer 13 PRO and Freezer i30 CPU coolers.  In the past, the brand has been known for producing high performing coolers with value oriented pricing, so we'll see what their current generation of products bring to the table.

SilenX Effizio EFZ-120HA5 CPU Cooler

SilenX was born in 1995 as a hobby between a group of college students.  Originally they wanted to make the computer systems they used silent, but there was a lack of variety of cooling products in the market with a focus on low noise.  Since its humble beginnings, SilenX has been released and offered a wide variety of low noise computer cooling products.  Today we'll be looking at one of their newest products, the Effizio EFZ-120HA5 CPU cooler.  With support out of the box for all of the modern CPU sockets (including LGA2011) and a low price tag, this cooler is meant for the mass market.  We'll see if the Effizio EFZ-120HA5 is able to live up to the SilenX name with low noise output, but without compromising cooling performance.

MacBook Pro Solid State Drive Upgrade Guide and Performance Testing

In our past Solid State Drive Roundup, we found that the performance offered by SSDs is nothing short of phenominal.  Apple, a company that prides itself in its focus of customer experience knows this, and as a result offers the availability of SSDs across it's Mac computing product line.  However when looking at its MacBook Pro line, the cost of configuring an Apple built-to-order SSD powered notebook is steep.  Apple offers 128GB, 256GB and 512GB SSD storage upgrades at the prices of $200, $600 and $1200 respectively (as per the Apple Store in Canada).

But the cost of getting an SSD in your MacBook Pro (or any other Mac) doesn't have to be so high.  This article is split up into two sections: the first showing you how easy it is to upgrade your hard drive based Mac to an SSD, and the second helping you pick which SSD to buy.  The drives that will be compared are Crucial's m4, Kingston's HyperX, OCZ's Vertex 3 and OWC's Mercury Electra 6G.  They will also be compared to Apple's 5400rpm and 7200rpm hard drives.

Now onto the guide...

Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler

Taking a look at computer retailers online, and even our past CPU cooler review history, it's easy to see that the most popular style of heatsink right now follows the tower design.  It's no surprise as towers with their heatpipes and large radiators perform well.  But performance aside, they have major downsides including high height and low base clearance which interferes with RAM with tall heatspreaders.  Both the benefits and downfalls of the tower style of heatsink were evident in our last CPU cooler review of Noctua's NH-D14.

OWC DIY Solid State Drive Upgrade Kit: Mercury Electra 6G, Data Doubler & Value Line SuperSlim

In our past Solid State Drive Roundup, we found that the performance offered by SSDs is nothing short of phenominal.  Apple, a company that prides itself in its focus of customer experience knows this, and as a result offers the availability of SSDs across it's Mac computing product line.  However when looking at its MacBook Pro line, the cost of configuring an Apple built-to-order SSD powered notebook is steep.  Apple offers 128GB, 256GB and 512GB SSD storage upgrades at the prices of $200, $600 and $1200 respectively (as per the Apple Store in Canada).  Luckily there are vendors like Other World Computing who specialize in providing products and upgrade solutions catering towards Apple users.

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