So before starting with today's reviews, I just wanted to mention that some of the guys from Corsair are participating in an IAmA on Reddit. For those who aren't familiar with that that is, they're basically answering questions posed by the community about anything, including Corsair and its products. So if you have any questions, head on over!
The Gigabyte Z77X-UD4H is a mid-range socket LGA1155 motherboard targeted to the "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what this motherboard has to offer.
Still many of you know that we always do our best to deliver on your requests and so after digging around we found what just might be the perfect balance between performance and size, the SuperSonic Rage XT USB 3.0 Flash Drive by Patriot Memory.
So what must a user do if they only have locations that support only a single 140mm fans? Simple, run out and pick up a Kraken X40 for yourself. The X40 is the single slot model of the X60. NZXT promises very good thermal numbers from the X40 because of its powerful pump, larger radiator and 140mm fan. I personally can't wait to see how well it holds up again the bigger brother and other AIO coolers on the market.
The Intel SSD DC S3700 introduces a new Intel SSD controller for the first time in years. With a heavy emphasis on consistent performance, these drives bode well for the future of Intel SSD products. It may also refresh your opinion on some current SSDs that don't perform as consistently as others once they enter a steady state.
The Corsair Hydro series has been more or less entirely revamped in the past few months with new variants of all coolers that include either better tubing, better pumps, better fans or all of those improvements. The H55 is right at the lower end of the new Hydro series just above the H50 and H40 which are both very similar products. Put in simpler terms the H55 is an improved version of the Corsair H50 so will bring the benefits of all-in-one liquid coolers but without the size or price premium of the H80i and H100i. It also represents a maturation of the all-in-one liquid cooler concept that should give better performance with a smaller size compared to previous generation liquid coolers.
We're back from our holiday hiatus and looking forward to the new year. Hope you all had a good holiday with many filled tech presents (both given and received). Stay tuned for some new hardware reviews on circuitREMIX, and now to the news...
SilverStone released a series of power supplies with the 80 Plus Gold certification and a fully modular cabling system, with 550 W, 650 W, and 1,000 W versions, dubbed the Strider Gold. Let's see if the 650 W model, also known as SST-ST65F-G, deserves our recommendation.
Thermaltake and BMW Designworks made the Level 10 mouse a work of art. Looks aside, the aluminum base is very strong, even with the floating design, and the feel of the mouse is incredible. The overall design might cause problems for some people, but for others the mouse will be perfect. I personally find the design and comfort of the mouse suits me perfectly.
With three fans cooling a massive heatsink, we expect temperatures to be very good with this GTX670 which should hopefully allow us to push the factory overclock a little further without suffering from throttling in GPU boost. If today’s review sample is anything like the GIGABYTE GTX680 Windforce we reviewed earlier which incidentally was a Gold award winner, then it looks set to take the mid/high end crown.
SanDisk is best known for their memory products and with that, they've been doing a number of SSDs on both consumer and enterprise fronts. Their latest offering that came across our desk is the Ultra Plus line being powered by the Marvell 88SS9175 controller and SanDisk's own 19nm NAND. The 6Gbps interfaced drives are marketed towards the both the desktop and mobile computing crowds with promises of strong performance, high reliability and power efficiency. It comes standard in the 7mm, 2.5" form factor so it should be good to go for most Ultrabooks as well...
Swedish Company Fractal Design is renown for their sleek enclosures. In typical Scandinavian style their product range can best be described as: A minimalistic yet striking design, where less is more. Quality, functionality and pricing go hand in hand. Today we introduce one of their latest creations: The Fractal Design Define R4 enclosure. A mid tower case with main focus on silent operation, yet no compromises are made on configurability and functionality as the review will highlight. The Define R4 is the successor of the older R3 design. Now sporting two Silent 140mm iso 120mm version fans, improved cable management, two extra USB3.0 front panel ports and a more flexible design regarding big CPU coolers and ultra long power supplies and graphics cards. Let's unpack Fractal's latest creation.
A single 128GB 840 Pro proved to be the fastest MLC based SATA III drive we’ve ever reviewed in any capacity. The caveats being we still haven’t reviewed the 256GB 840 Pro or the Vector 128GB. The only thing better than one of these performance monsters, is of course 2 of them in RAID 0.
The new Viper 3 is a series aimed at enthusiast whose system is built around Intel's 6/7 series platform. The kits from this line-up are hand tested, uses great heat sinks for cooling and should (we are hoping) to have plenty of room left for some very decent overclocking.
Though we have nothing against reference cards, we strive on performance and you can't get much more than the HD 7770 DirectCU TOP graphics cards from Asus. For those unaware about these cards, we invite you to check out our single card review here. As we've already taken a look at the single card, there isn't much point us dwelling on the merits of the cooler and design, so instead we will jump straight into how these perform in CrossFire under our usual barrage of benchmark tests.
Mad Catz released their new STRIKE 7 keyboard two months back, representing the high end model of their new cyborg series keyboards. Like the Cyborg RAT-9/7/5/3 mice, the STRIKE 5 is now released. It's more affordable, and just as promising. Equipped with the same keyboard and customization setup, the STRIKE 5 is equipped with the same power with the only difference being the auxiliary panel. Instead of the VENOM touchscreen which came with 12 apps, the STRIKE 5 comes with a simplified OLED EYE display. For those looking for a cheaper alternative to the STRIKE 7, Benchmark Reviews will analyze the STRIKE 5 to see if it holds up.
I've never been fond of HTPC (mini-ITX) systems mainly because they offer very little in terms of performance so especially for someone in my line of work that's extremely important. Now as some of you know i do own a basic HTPC system (Intel ATOM/Nvidia ION) which i rarely use but the small enclosure it's housed in (Antec ISK3100-150) doesn't leave much space for anything else aside the mainboard, memory modules, an slim optical drive and a 2.5" hard disk drive. Of course there are quite a few larger HTPC cases in the market (such as the V353 by Lian-Li) that offer superior build quality and a more spacious interior for enthusiasts but the end result is not really that different mainly due to the design of the interior. Well Bitfenix seems to be aware of that issue and so just recently they launched their own HTPC (mini-ITX) solution, the quite impressive Prodigy.
Looking to take your PC gaming to the next level? Trying to find a way to crank up the sound without imposing on your neighbors or loved ones? Looking for the extra level of immersion into your current PC game of choice? Then you’re probably in the market for a quality headset for your PC. For many years I was resistant about using a headset and honestly only used one with for communicating with my friends while gaming. However, recent changes in my life (becoming a father) have forced my hand into looking for a headset that can offer me voice and a comparable (or better) surround sound experience to my 5.1 setup. Needless to say, when Corsair sent us their Vengeance 2000 Wireless 7.1 Gaming Headset to review, I eagerly jumped at the opportunity.
Seeing a gap in the market, XSPC, a respected name in the custom watercooling arena, have put together a variety of their own components to create packages that take the hassle out of configuring your own custom watercooling setup by selecting all the components for you, right down to the nuts and bolts of the setup so the only thing you will need to add is water.
Samsung's 9-Series NP900X4C-A02 notebook is the latest in a new line of Ultrabook's, a fancy name bestowed upon sleek and slim laptops that elicit envy at first glance. Design wise, Samsung have done well by their 9-Series Ultrabook; the system is wrapped in dark cobalt blue aluminum chassis that adopts many of the design elements of an Apple Macbook Air, yet posses the large screen size of a MacBook Pro (albeit with better hardware) and a sticker prices that won't cause heart failure.
This problem could be rectified simply by journeying over to Crucial.com and ordering up a new set of Ballistix Sport VLP memory kit. Not only will they eliminate the clearance problem between the two components but also omit having to pump tons of voltage in the DIMM to get a good heavy clock out of them.
Ahh, flagship gaming mice. Nothing says "enthusiast" more than a top-of-the-line, fully featured, optioned-out model. Although the Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming Mouse has been on the market for awhile, it still resides as Logitech's top answer to various other hybrid wireless gaming mice (Razer Mamba/Naga Epic, Microsoft Sidewinder X8 - if you can still find one, Gigabyte AIVIA, Cyborg R.A.T. 9...). I've always felt that a quality mouse and keyboard will change your computing experience for the better - so does the G700 deliver?
The Xigmatek Dark Knight - Night Hawk Edition Heatsink arrived Technic3D. See you in the following Review the Night Hawk with one 120mm Fan and three 8mm Heatpipes compared with many other Cooler on a Intel Core i5 2500k CPU.
With the popularity of smart phones and tablets, the need expanded storage to house numerous large media files has increased. A big problem is, many tablets and phones (Apple devices in particular) lack the functionality to add additional capacity via media cards, etc. and upgrading to larger capacities is very expensive as compared to adding external storage. This leaves many buyers in a quandary of spending less and hoping they don't need the space, or splurging for the larger capacity models with a premium price tag. Patriot has recognized this dilemma and decided the answer the knock of opportunity by designing a device to give consumers another option. The Patriot Gauntlet 320 wireless portable drive allows users of iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire to access content stored on the drive wirelessly through an app that can be downloaded for free.
It was back in June this year that I took a look at the Hauppauge HD PVR Gaming Edition, not only did I want to have a go with the product, but I also needed something that would fit my requirements for eTeknix weekly game reviews. I needed something that could capture footage, take screenshots, that wasn't too difficult to setup and use and of course be cost effective at the same time. I was rather happy with its performance and it earn't our eTeknix Gamers Choice Award. So here we are with the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition, Hauppauge's latest revision of their popular game capture device, along with a range of new features and functions that should keep gamers capturing their favourite gaming moments, walk-through guides and screenshots of them trolling other players to the point of insanity.
It really seems that no matter how many PC gaming peripherals we get to test in these pages there are always more around and with Christmas just around the corner we don't have that much left time to publish each and every single one of those reviews, at least not prior to entering 2013. The good thing however when testing gaming peripherals is that you can actually test more than just one at a time (for example a keyboard, a mouse, a mouse pad and a headset) and so with the recent release of several game titles such as Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3, Planetside 2 and Hitman absolution we had just the right material/tools with which to perform all our tests. So today we will be taking a rather thorough look on the BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard by Razer.
The Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory Kit performs similarly to the Crucial Ballistix Elite 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 kit we tested previously. Overclocking attempts netted up to 15% performance gains in some of our benchmarks. Overall we found the Tactical LP kit was capable of running stable at 1866MHz with slightly relaxed timings (9-9-9-24) at 1.5v.
The CM Storm Stryker is the next PC-Case in the Technic3D Editorship. The Stryker supports XL-ATX, ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards and have place for four 120mm, one 140mm and one 200mm Cooling-Fans. We will check this and many more in the following Review.
Our latest sample from them has a particular destination as well. It is heading straight towards those with very little spacing inside their towers. Those using some of the very small chassis from Lian Li and Silverstone may be in the market for a cooler like the one we are about to review. The NH-L9i is designed to cool the lower wattage processors that we are seeing pop up all over Intel's roadmap. The cooler is very and I mean very low-profile, just 37mm with fan. It is designed to tame the little heat that Intel's 77 watt TDP processors produce. Coupled with a NF-A9x14 cooling fan, the two can fit into the narrowest of spaces.
NVIDIA does such a great job filling holes in its product line-ups, that sometimes it manages to fill a void we didn’t even know existed. The GTX 650 Ti is a perfect example of this. This GK106-based card sits close to the GTX 660, and with GIGABYTE’s overclocked GV-N65TOC-1GI, we’ll see if we can close the gap even further.
The ASUS G75VW is a gaming laptop computer with a third-generation Core i7 processor, 17.3" 3D screen, two hard disk drives, a GeForce GTX 670M discrete video card, sound system with a subwoofer, and much more. Let's analyze this powerful machine.
The KingFast Ultra-Cache solution is composed from a 32GB SATA2 SSD and special software which will boost our storage system performances after the caching procedure has been completed. What is nice about this solution is that we do not have to perform a Windows system reinstallation to make it work.
SteelSeries’ original Sensei and Sensei [RAW] mice were no weak competition for the gaming industry. While the Sensei [RAW] satisfied the niche for a mid-range affordable option, the Sensei mouse offered more customizable features like on-board profile memory, millions of LED color choices, and a customizable LCD panel, and if you speed demons out there thought that the Sensei was fancy with its 1-5,700 CPI and 5,701- 11,400 DPI, wait until you meet Steel Series newest addition to the Sensei family: The Sensei MLG (Major League Gaming) Edition.
The Thecus N5550 5-bay server is powered by the mighty Intel Atom D2700 processor and has 2GB of DDR3 to make sure building an array and transferring data is done quickly. It also features link aggregation, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, HDMI video out and a ton of other features. Read on to find out more about this NAS and to see if it is right for your home or small business!
It’s time for another look at Vector. A few days ago RWL presented you with the world’s first RAID 0 review featuring OCZ’s newest flagship SSD. Our Vector array proved to be the fastest 2 drive SATA III array we’ve ever tested or have ever seen. Vector is back again today and this time it’s for a Single drive review.
Design wise, Samsung have done well by their 9-Series Ultrabook; the system is wrapped in dark cobalt blue aluminum chassis that adopts many of the design elements of an Apple Macbook Air, yet posses the large screen size of a MacBook Pro (albeit with better hardware) and a sticker prices that won't cause heart failure.
Until now NZXT have not produced a range of budget CPU coolers before. We've seen the NZXT Havik series which was designed as enthusiast-class air cooling, and we have the NZXT Kraken series on the way targeting the all-in-one liquid cooling market segment. From my knowledge the NZXT Respire series sprang more or less out of nowhere and I didn't see it coming until a box turned up at my door.
Earlier this year Western Digital (WD) announced the WD Red NAS hard drives that are a line of SATA III 6Gbps hard drives specifically designed for home and small office NAS (network attached storage) systems. We got our hands on the WD Red 3TB (WD30EFRX) and tried it out on a desktop as a storage drive and then in a NAS device in a RAID 5 array. Read on to see if the WD Red drive series is right for you!
Today, we want to bring you one such power supply. The unit is the new Rosewill Fortress 750. Rosewill is aiming the new Fortress at the gamer and enthusiast markets looking for super efficiency, mid-range power and silent. Rosewill offers four units in this series being: 450, 550, 650 and the 750 watt model we are looking at today.
Today we are having our first contact with the products of an European manufacturer, Be Quiet!, a company with a strong presence in Europe but not very well known in the USA and Canada; yet. The German company informed us that they are planning to invade the US markets in early 2013 and sent us the Dark Power Pro 10 650 Watt PSU to try out! Read on to see how it performs!
Though the Radeon HD 7770 was released some time ago, its still a big deal for AMD as they are moving up in the market on their Radeon based products. In fact, they are even running a campaign based around their range, dubbed "Never Settle" which involves the addition of free games when purchasing certain Radeon SKUs. Due to this campaign, we thought that it would be a good opportunity to take a look at a particular edition of the HD 7770 from Asus; the DirectCU TOP edition.
Seasonic is releasing the third generation of their power supplies with the 80 Plus Gold certification, dubbed the X-Series KM3, using a completely different internal design. So far, three versions were released, 650 W, 750 W, and 850 W, all with a single +12 V rail and a fully modular cabling system. Let's see how the 650 W model fared on our tests.
The Vengeance 2000 headset is designed for gamers and to ensure the audio frequency can dramatically hit both the bass and treble Corsair has utilized a 50mm driver that has a frequency range of 20Hz to 20KHz. The drivers also have a Sensitivity rating of 105dB (+/-3dB), meaning they will be able to play loud. What really sets the Vengeance 2000 apart though is its wireless capabilities, which eliminates cable clutter allowing you to sit back and enjoy the audio up to 40 feet from you PC.
It was no surprise when ASUS and the Republic of Gamers design team moved into other aspects of gaming life and a high end gaming headset is a natural place to start. Many gamers choose to use a headset and it is a market where many companies have managed to gain an established foot hold and with the Vulcan ANC, ASUS hope to stamp their mark amongst them. The simple yet elegant design bares only its roots by flying the ROG colours of black and red.
Recently, Corsair added four new models to its AX power supply series: AX760, AX860, AX760i, and AX860i. The "i" models use a digital signal processor (DSP) and are the most unique PC power supplies ever released. We've already reviewed the AX760i, which proved to be the best power supply we've ever reviewed. Now it is time for us to take a look at the version of this power supply that doesn't use a digital signal processor.
Today I will be taking a look at the Ceres 400 a cost effective pc gaming headset solution from Cm Storm. Priced at just under £40 from many online retailers it's not exactly the cheapest solution on the market, but it's certainly a lot cheaper than a lot of the premium solutions on the market. Because of it's price range, I'm not going to be looking for or expecting earth shattering performance today, although I do expect to see a good price vs performance ratio. For around £40 one would also expect a decent amount of build quality, as it's still no small amount of money and it's common sense that any consumer would like the product they've invested their hard earned money into to last.
The Adjust 108 is a slight step away from the chassis market whilst remaining all about cooling and quiet computing. Fractal Design have tended to bundle their Define chassis with integrated fan controllers, and the Adjust 108 is their first fan controller to be sold separately for installation in any tower PC with an empty 5.25" bay. As we've come to expect the unit features a sleek finish - in this case black anodised brushed aluminium - on a product which is designed for optimal functionality and compatibility rather than ancillary features.
Many of you are familiar with the H80 and H100. These two coolers were the ones that made us all want to hope onto the water-cooling bandwagon. These are the coolers that topped the big humongous air-coolers that were popping up at the time. The same coolers that barely leave us two slots to install memory. Well, they both have been updated like the H60 was. But what was updated enough to make us ditch our older H100 and run out and get the new ‘i’ model?
As many of you have noticed things are somewhat slow lately in everything related to PC cooling but considering most solutions we do get to see are very similar in design, size and performance this is not really surprising (nor bad really). On top of that add that we have entered the winter season and i doubt we will see anything really interesting at least for another couple of months or so (although CES is just around the corner so we may see something new announced there). Regardless of that however from time to time we do get to witness the release of unique (or dedicated as I like to call them) CPU Coolers aimed specifically at one of the various market segments (enthusiasts, overclockers, casual users, gamers, HTPC users) just like the latest NH-L9 L-Type low-profile cooler line by Noctua which is clearly aimed for HTPC use.
As more enthusiasts discover that they really don't need seven or eight slots in a standard ATX motherboard, the popularity of Micro ATX and Mini ITX rigs is exploding. Formerly constrained to HTPC or light home server duty, small form factor systems are now becoming the province of enthusiasts, aided by motherboards and cases designed to support the power and air flow required to house the higher-end components such systems require. The latest performance-oriented Micro ATX case is Silverstone's new SUGO SG09B, and since it's from Silverstone, you might expect that it has some unique design features. You'd be right.
You asked for it, we got it. Today Chris takes the world's first look at the OCZ Vector 128GB SSD based on the new Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller that is raging fast. Can the smallest capacity Vector outperform existing SSDs on the market costing less? We'll find out today and also see more tests that make up the 2013 bench tests.