Articles and Reviews

Fractal Design Define R3 USB 3.0 Case

Fractal Design is a Swedish computer hardware company that specializes in the areas of enclosures and power supplies.  When I think of other Swedish companies, Ikea and Volvo come to mind, and like their Swedish brethren Fractal Design designs and engineers its products with a Scandinavian design philosophy.  Following the major pillars of this style of design result in the creation of products that are functional, minimalistic and modern in style.

Solid State Drive Roundup

Everybody and anybody looking to build a new PC knows that getting an SSD is the way to go.  Compared to their mechanical hard drive brethren, SSDs are absolute beasts performance wise.  Users who make the switch to SSDs will immediately benefit from a long list of things including quick boot times, fast application loading and high file manipulation speeds.

Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler

Massive.  That's the word I would use to describe my first impression of the cooler that's the subject of this review.  I've reviewed many CPU coolers in the past, and this was the first one which stood out enough for my wife to ask me while I was testing, "What is that thing?"

This 'thing' is Noctua's NH-D14 CPU cooler.  And even Noctua uses the word massive to describe it for its product data sheet.  Like most other Noctua coolers of the past, the NH-D14 was designed for ultimate quiet cooling performance.  So I'll be testing to see if that description holds true in practice.

NewerTech NuTouch Gloves

Arriving a few weeks ago just in time for the cold winter weather in Canada's national capital, Ottawa, I received a package from NewerTech and Other World Computing.  I was excited to receive this package, and not because it contained high tech goodies, but because it had a pair of NuTouch gloves.   The reason I was looking forward to receiving these gloves is because I use my iPhone a lot when I'm outside, and my old pair of gloves didn't work with touchscreens.  This meant having to take off my gloves when operating touchscreen devices, and with outside temperatures frequently dropping into the -20 degree celcius (-4F) range, this resulted in frozen hands.

Corsair Air Series A50 CPU Cooler

In the minds of most tech enthusiasts, Corsair is a brand name synonymous with computer memory.  They are a major player in the high-performance memory market and have been for a long time.  Corsair has since diversified its product portfolio and are also now well known for flash memory, power supplies and solid state drives.  In the past couple of years, Corsair also ventured into the CPU cooler market.  Since the beginning of that, they've always offered watercooling solutions in this market, which should be no surprise since Corsair usually aims for the high performance areas of the markets it's in.  But more recently, air coolers are now on the menu.  Today that's what we're looking at, Corsair's mainstream air cooler, the A50.

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

It's been a while since we've looked at the original Kingston HyperX USB flash drive, about 3.5 years actually. For it's time, we found that the 4GB HyperX drive was very fast and at the top of its class.  Today, we're looking at a drive from the current HyperX line.  And we've come a long way as far as USB flash drives are concerned.

In the categories of capacity and performance, the new HyperX USB flash drive series is leaps and bounds ahead of the original HyperX line.  The old HyperX line topped with a 4GB capacity, and the new line is now provides up to a whopping 256GB of storage.  The old series embraced USB 2.0 and was rated at 20MB/s write and 30MB/s read, and the new HyperX line uses the latest and greatest USB 3.0 interface and is rated at 135MB/s write and 225MB/s read.  Is the new DataTraveler HyperX drive going to be able to live up to the bar set by the original HyperX drive?  We'll find out.

Silverstone Treasure TS04 2.5" USB 3.0 Drive Enclosure

Obtaining an external portable storage device can be as easy as visiting your local computer or electronics retailer and buying a portable hard drive.  For the average user, this off-the-shelf drive is fine for tasks like backing up data or moving files between different physical locations.  But you don't really know what the drive inside is.  For the internal drive market, there are a variety of drives that address a variety of needs, whether you want performance, power savings, or a low cost per GB.  Prebuilt external hard drives don't really let you pick, they're really only sold by capacity and interface.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable 750GB Hard Drive

The last drives reviewed here were 3.5" external drives.  Like with internal magnetic hard drives, 3.5" external drives have the upper hand to their 2.5" brothers.  But while they win on the performance front, they have some downsides too.  The 2.5" drives are obviously smaller and they use less power (and thus can be powered via USB).  You can use them on the go without an AC outlet, and you don't have to carry around a larger drive with an AC power brick.

Today, we'll be looking at a popular 2.5" drive from Seagate, the FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable USB 3.0 hard drive.  It's available in capacities ranging from 320GB to 1.5TB, and we'll be looking at the middle-sized 750GB drive.

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