Quite often, people are looking for an alternative to SandForce based drives and/or OCZ drives (although we quite recommend the Vertex 4, which is not SandForce based, and we found it to be quite solid). Along with the Crucial m4, the next most common recommendation is the Samsung 830 – many people shy away from the low write speed of the m4.
The Antec High Current Gamer HCG-520MHCG is a modular power supply that is 80Plus Bronze certified and available for under $90 shipped. Antec says this PSU has heavy-duty connectors and cabling that supply high levels of power with efficiency. The High Current Gamer series also uses Japanese-brand capacitors, and a quiet 135 mm double ball bearing fan to complete the package. Read on to see how this power supply does when put to the test on our PSU tester.
Today we are taking a rather thorough look at one of the latest routers to hit the market by Linksys a subsidiary of Cisco, the E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N Router.
There's no stopping the current "mechanical keyboard wave" that is taking over the market for gaming-grade peripherals. Gigabyte has just added a mechanical model to their Aivia line, the Osmium, which features USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, audio connections and five macro keys. Let's first describe it, and then analyze the product.
The new N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router from TP-LINK is feature rich, provides decent speeds in wireless environment and comes at a very affordable price. The GUI which can be accessed via the browser is not as attractive as the competition and most of the modifications in a page require a router system reboot.
CM Storm, Cooler Master’s relatively new (2008) gaming branch, are known as one of the top gaming brands having brought us quality products from cases to mice. By working with gaming enthusiasts and constantly seeking feedback, they are continuously refining their products to meet the many high demands of gamers. With a focus on quality and performance, we expect to see CM Storm raising the bar, so today we have got the soon to be released Gaming mouse. This is the latest and updated version of the CM Storm Sentinel Advance Mouse.
During our recent trip to Computex in Tiapei we were able to talk to ADATA and get a look at their USB 3.0 Storage line. With USB 3.0 being a large increase in speed and performance over USB 2.0 it's a no brainer upgrade. Today we will be taking a look at a 750GB external HDD from the the Nobility NH13 line. Our gauge for looking at this product will be Performance and Build Quality.
The original Phantom is almost a legend in the gaming chassis community, boasting build quality, sharp and radical design, water-cooling compatibility and superb airflow with plenty of fan options. Have NZXT done the same all round good job with the Phantoms younger brother the 410?
I expect many of their cooling solutions knowledge will have been put to good use in the design of this chassis, but the Silencio isn’t all about cooling, although the clue to that is hidden in its name “Silencio” which is the Spanish word for silence. As Cooler Master them selves put it, “[the] Silencio 650 is an extremely silent mid-tower based on an elegant and classy design.” so today I will be taking a look if cooler master has delivered on their promise of silent performance as well as their own name in terms of cooling capability in this chassis.
It has remained relatively quiet at the Corsair RAM department; especially with the launch early this year of Intel's 3rd generation processors, most RAM manufacturers had an entire dedicated Ivy Bridge lineup ready. Their high end versions warranting exhilarating speeds of 2400mhz and beyond. Best off all, these kits are not limited for benching purposes only, but also perfectly suitable for daily usage. American RAM giant Corsair however seemed to be more focused on power supplies, AIO liquid cooling solutions and their rapidly expanding SSD and case market, a real disappointment for the enthusiast RAM fans, as everyone was dreaming of another stellar RAM kit alike their infamous GTX2 Hyper based Dominator kit. Enthusiasts have been sitting on their hunger for a new breed of high end Corsair DIMMS. However a new wave of gorgeous looking RAMs is coming our way in the shape of the Dominator Platinum series.
The Patriot Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 drive gave up the ghost today, spitting out "Disk Write Protected" and "Read Only" errors when attempts to write data or format the drive were made. By our estimate, this Patriot 64GB USB 3.0 drive lasted about 14 months. A tech support ticket has been filed.... and the resolution posted in PCSTATS' Updated review.
So you've been using your camera for a few years now yet every time you want to upload photos to your desktop you have to use an ugly adapter or plug the whole camera into a USB port. Today we will be looking at an elegant and functional solution to this problem: the card reader. NZXT in their own fashion have released the Aperture M Card Reader compatible with every flash-memory card under the sun and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Follow us as we take a closer look at the NZXT Aperture M Card Reader.
ADATA markets the SX900 line of SSDs as the "most powerful SSD on Earth" which is a bold statement and bound to catch the attention of potential customers. Being powered by the SF-2281 controller through a SATA III interface, we expect high performace but is it really the best and what about the TRIM issue that has recently cropped up? Read on to see what we have to say about both questions.
NAS units (or servers as i like to call them) are amongst the hottest network/storage related peripherals of our time (in terms of sales) which really makes sense since they combine extremely low electrical requirements with a very small size and in some occasions even a low price tag (at least entry level solutions do). Needless to say however that these little devices can't do every single thing an regular PC (or even HTPC) can do but the tasks that they were designed to do they do a lot better (due to lower resource demands) and that's what really counts in the long run. A couple of months ago on our test bench we had the latest TurboNAS TS-469 Pro by QNAP, an 4 bay NAS server with remarkable performance (largely thanks to the 2.13GHz Dual Core Atom processor) and countless features. Still since many people don't really need that many drive bays today we will be testing its smaller brother, the dual bay TurboNAS TS-269 Pro.
For peace of mind, DataTraveler Locker+ G2 hardware encrypts and password protects data saved on the device. Simply select a password during setup and be confident that all your data has a dual layer of protection. It features a stylish, durable metal casing and a built-in key loop so it easily attaches to a briefcase, backpack or purse. DataTraveler Locker+ G2 is backed by a five-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston® reliability.
The Z77 Extreme6 motherboard from ASRock is aimed at the middle range and features a clean PCB, and many features that we have seen at the more expensive variants; the mini-PCIe slot is very welcome (placed underneath the first PCI-Express x16 slot) for installation of an Wi-Fi card or extra SSD. ASRock did also include the well-known Frontal USB 3.0 bay, which is a 2-in-1 device since it can house an extra 2.5’’ HDD or SSD (necessary screws are also provided).
Power supplies have features and safety options that one needs to have a good, stable and reliable system. Many of these feature and safety precautions can be taking for granted when dealing with a good name brand unit. One of the units we would put into this category is the Kingwin Lazer Platinum 750, which we are reviewing here today.
The ASRock Z77E-ITX Intel Z77 motherboard is a tiny little motherboard. It is designed for small form factor PC's but has latest chipset from Intel, Graphics technology, and bells and whistles. Today we are going to put it through the ringer and see how it fares against some larger motherboards to see if there is a difference due to size! Can good things come in small packages? Read on to find out!
Corsair is the first manufacturer to bring to an SSD to the consumer market featuring a new Link-A-Media Devices (LAMD) SATA III 6 GB/s SSD controller. Corsair’s new line of drives featuring the LAMD Amber LM87800 FPU is called Neutron. The Neutron GTX series has supplanted Corsair’s Force GS as their flagship performance consumer drive. Corsair has paired the dual ARM cored Amber FPU with premium Toshiba 24nm toggle mode memory. The Amber Flash Processing Unit (FPU) features a technology called eBoost that claims to bring enterprise type endurance and reliability to the consumer level. The Amber FPU can be variably overprovisioned and Corsair has chosen to use 13% OP space on the Neutrons. The Amber FPU uses 8 NAND channels capable of supporting both ONFi flash as well as Toggle flash.
In the fall of 2011, Cooler Master's gaming and enthusiast product branch, CM Storm, released the CM Storm Trooper Computer Case. It was a massive full-tower case with a very unique front I/O style and a big handle on top. The CM Storm Trooper received a lot of high marks by reviewers and owners alike. This time around, Cooler Master is changing things up just a little. The CM Storm Trooper is getting a face-lift and a name change. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is taking a look at the CM Storm Stryker, a white, windowed version of the Trooper.
Although most smartphones nowadays feature low levels of radiation (also known as SAR) it's always good to use a Bluetooth wireless earset/headset especially since the law in many countries forbids usage of cellphones when driving without one. Now for all of you that aren't aware of SAR it stands for Specific Absorption Rate, a method which basically measures the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body when using a cellphone. Because this happens most manufacturers recommend holding the phone at a distance of 30mm away from your body when using it so it's very easy to understand that this isn't possible without the use of an earset/headset. I know it's been a while since i last had the chance to test a Bluetooth wireless earset/headset but during my short vacation i had plenty of time to test the latest one from Jabra called the EXTREME2.
Gigabyte G1 Killer Sniper 3 Gaming Motherboard The G1 Sniper 3 is one of handful of motherboards aimed at satisfying the needs of overclocking, gaming and hardware enthusiasts at the same time. While this group may be small by comparison the things they look for in a motherboard can be rather specific and sometimes downright crazy.
Western Digital is not a name typically associated with networking and routers. They have entered the networking space big though with their My Net series of routers promising dual band 450+450 Wireless N, easy setup, QOS, and a host of other features including onboard storage and expandability via USB 3.0. We take a look at the My Net 900 and compare its performance against another 450 router to see if you are really getting significant performance increase as well as features you can use.
Today we’re taking a look at the FT-03 Mini PC chassis from Silverstone, the latest edition of their competent range of super compact PC cases, a welcome addition to the market given the recent rise in popularity for the smaller M-ITX and M-ATX form factors, but where others excel in being “small” yet roomy, such as the Bitfenix Prodigy, which for a M-ITX chassis is actually pretty big. Silverstone on the other hand are masters of the fine detail and when it comes to making a PC with a small footprint, they really are top of their game, take a look at the list below and you can see the capacity of each chassis to demonstrate just how small these cases can be.
The Sentey Extreme Division GS-6050 II Halcon is a basic all black mid-tower gaming chassis that comes with six 120 mm blue LED fans for under $60 shipped. This case supports 2.5" storage drives, has a front SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, and is ready for external or internal water cooling solutions. Read on to see more about the Sentey GS-6050 II case and see if this budget gaming case is right for your next system!
After reading our single drive review of the Corsair Force GS, Corsair decided to send us another drive so we could do a RAID 0 review. A single Corsair GS was very impressive, managing to break a few of our records and put up one of the best all-around performances we have ever seen. Here at RWL we like to do as many RAID 0 reviews as possible because they are so impressive and receive very little attention from most other review sites. Our philosophy when it comes to testing solid state drives is simple really; we want to showcase what a drive is capable of, in capable hands, using solid testing methodology.
The Corsair GS power supply series is comprised of 500 W, 600 W, 700 W, and 800 W models, with either the standard 80 Plus certification or with the 80 Plus Bronze certification, except for the 500 W model, which is available only with the standard 80 Plus certification. Today we are reviewing the 700 W model with the 80 Plus Bronze certification. Let's see if it is a good product.
We have looked at the BitFenix’s Recon fan controller earlier this week and really liked what it had to offer. Having the ability to your system from afar is a good idea if you tend to run it while away. But if you don’t need such a feature and want something a little less complex while the BitFenix Hydra Pro may be up your alley. Simple slider switches allows you to control fans on five different channels.
Well, after three months of waiting the new x60 series chip has been released dubbed the GTX 660 Ti. This new chip is based on the same Kepler architecture and is almost identical to the GTX 670 with one key difference, a revised memory controller. In this review we will be looking at a new video card from MSI called the N660Ti-Power Edition OC. This card is factory overclocked and designed to take advantage of the Twin Frozr IV cooling solution. As with higher end MSI video cards you get the option of triple voltage control when using MSI Afterburner.
Continuing our look at the new GTX 660 Ti we were able to get our hands on the ZOTAC GTX 660 Ti AMP! Edition, which not only comes with overclocked clock frequencies, but it also, comes with an exclusive dual slot thermal solution and each ZOTAC AMP! Edition goes through rigorous tweaking and tuning to extract additional performance from the GeForce graphics processors, yielding unprecedented performance in its class. Expect nothing but the best gaming experience with the ZOTAC GeForce AMP! Edition graphics cards.
The new GeForce GTX 660 Ti, which is being released today, is the latest GPU from NVIDIA, and EVGA is providing six different video card models based on this new GPU. Let’s see how the SuperClocked model fared on our tests. At USD 300, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is targeted to the user who is looking for a relatively affordable high-end video card. Its main competitor is the Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition.
The lowest cost NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 on Newegg is the MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC, which is $374 shipped after a $25 rebate. This GeForce GTX670 card is factory overclocked with a base clock of 965MHz and a boost clock of 1045MHz. Not a bad deal for a GeForce GTX 670, but the GeForce GTX660 Ti is a game changer. The NVIDIA SRP on the GeForce GTX 660 Ti is $300, so it is $74 less than the least costly GeForce GTX 670 video card. This makes the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti roughly 20% less and as you saw in the performance benchmarks it is a often beats the GeForce GTX 670 at a screen resolution of 1920x1080...
Many computer hardware enthusiast recall when NVIDIA unleashed their GeForce GTX 580 video card onto the gaming landscape back on November 2010, setting the bar so high the closest threat to the $500 price point was a combined pair of the competition's best graphics cards. Under two years later, NVIDIA returns with a 150W mid-range solution that beats their former flagship. Built upon the NVIDIA GK104 GPU, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti offers the same high-end features found on the top-end GTX 680, but with a much more affordable price tag. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the ASUS GeForce GTX 660Ti DirectCU II TOP, model TI-DC2T-2GD5.
Well, after three months of waiting the new x60 series chip has been released dubbed the GTX 660 Ti. This new chip is based on the same Kepler architecture and is almost identical to the GTX 670 with one key difference, a revised memory controller. In this review we will be looking at a new video card from Gigabyte called the GV-N66TOC-2GD. The card comes with a respectable factory overclock and custom Windforce cooling solution to improve overall noise and cooling performance.
The 2XXX Second Generation of the Intel Core Processor Family took off this past year with many early adopters pleasantly surprised by the abundance of speed, updated technologies, and better graphics integration. Here at TechwareLabs we had the pleasure of reviewing the i5-2500K and i7-2600K last year with future prospect of greater economical choices to come in Q1 2012. The Sandy Bridge-E i7-3800 Desktop series takes on many of the 2nd Gen i7-2XXX series features with a boost in base clock speed, cache, and thermal specification.
The long-awaited mid-range Kepler cards are finally here, with NVIDIA partners releasing their own unique takes on the GTX GeForce 660Ti GPU. MSI brings some of the features of their Lightning series down to this level, with enhanced power circuitry, triple voltage control, and even the auto dust-removing Twin Frozr cooler. NVIDIA says this GPU can compete in performance with the much more expensive AMD Radeon 7950, but does it? Benchmark Reviews puts the MSI GTX 660-Ti Power Edition video card through its test regimen to find out.
MSI has always been at the forefront when it comes to innovation and today we are able to test one of their motherboards with the latest connection standard on the market. We are of course talking Thunderbolt, which other than a handful of motherboards is currently only being used on Apple products. The reason behind this is Apple was one of the co-creators of Thunderbolt, so it makes sense they would be the first to use the technology.
Today, we get the opportunity to look at another power supply from Lepa. The G650 is a value way of being able to own a Gold certified power supply without breaking the bank. At 650 watts, the G650 is just one of three units in this mid-range class. The two other models are 750W and 850W. Because the G650 goes for about $109 doesn’t means the quality is cheap. Lets take a look at the G650 now.
The Raider is the latest power supply series from FSP, featuring the 80 Plus Bronze certification and available in 450 W, 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W versions. Let’s see how the 650 W version fared on our tests. The FSP Raider series uses the same platform as the Aurum Gold series, which is interesting, since the Aurum Gold series has the 80 Plus Gold certification.
Some days it seems like PC cases are a dime a dozen. That's why it's refreshing to see something that really stands out like the Armor Revo Snow Edition. The Armor Revo is a new refresh in the popular Armor series; the last Armor case we looked at was the SFF A30 back in May. Where the A30 was clearly targeted at the LAN gamer or HTPC crowd, the Armor Revo is a full size high-performance gaming chassis. With its bold white on black color scheme the Snow Edition is packed with features leading Thermaltake to proclaim "The Legend is Back". I can definitely agree the styling choices are bold but case designs are a truly personal choice.
Let me just cut to the chase and tell you that the Buffalo WZR-D1800H Air Station is by far the fastest router I have ever seen. Actually, all the credit goes to the brand new wireless standard, 802.11ac that is working over the 5Ghz bandwidth. It was pretty fun to experience these speeds for this review and it actually translated well when we connected it to our home network...
The DS112+ from Synology is a full feature-packed NAS like the more expensive versions but does offer only a single bay, meaning that is more suitable for businesses that do not need a huge amount of storage space. However, thanks to the connectivity options (1x eSATA and 2x USB 3.0), we can attach more external storage to it, if needed. The read-write performances of the NAS are good, but these are always influenced by the installed HDD.
OCZ Technology's Agility 4 hit the market at less than $1 per GB. Based on the Indilinx Infused, next generation Marvell SATA III controller and unknown 25nm flash, this SSD is one of the best value drives on the market today for mainstream users. While writing this article Newegg had the 256GB model that we're looking at today for $189.99. That is a very attractive price for a 256GB, SATA III SSD that is capable of over 400MB/s in some benchmarks.
In this review PCSTATS is testing out a 3.5" Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX hard drive. The WD RE4 WD1003FBYX is a 1.0TB hard drive which utilizes Perpendicular Magnetic Recording and operates on the 3Gb/s SATA II interface. It features StableTrac, IntelliSeek, NoTouch ramp loading head technology, a multi-axis shock sensor, RAFF technology and RAID specific Time Limited Error Recovery.
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 680 Super Overclock ( WindForce 5x) Graphic Card arrived Technic3D. Technic3D will check the GTX 680 Monster in the following Review with a Resolution from 2560x1600, 1920x1200, 1680x1050, the real Power Consumption, loudness, temperature, Overclocking and many more in new Games against other Graphic Cards.
In this review we will be looking at the be quiet Dark Power Pro 10. This is a 550W power supply unit that is designed to be virtually silent and highly configurable for a variety of applications. The PSU features a 80Plus Gold rating, modular cables and an overclocking feature that allows you to change the 12v+ rail configuration.
BitFenix has blessed the PC world with many great ideas in their short of existence. The first was the Colossus now that case was definitely different from anything on the market. And then there was one of the features of their cases like the Colossus that was a first and that was the rubberized coating to protect the case. One other idea was they made sleeved cabling very affordable with their Alchemy products. Now they are hitting the market with another product and that is the Recon fan controller. Now, what can be added to a fan controller to make it different from the rest? How about making it capable of connecting to the internet? By connecting to the internet you are allowed to monitor and control different aspects of your PC.
The MSI Barricade is an all black mid tower chassis that has a ton of features and costs under $60 shipped. This PC case features a side window, fan speed controls, a USB 3.0 port, a built-in SD card reader, tool-less drive bays and is setup for water cooling and large video cards. Read on to see if this case is the right one for your next build!
Kingston has launched a budget friendly version of their fantastic HyperX line of solid state drives. This budget friendly version of the HyperX is known as the HyperX 3K. Kingston has taken a different approach to making the HyperX 3K cost effective. Everyone else has lowered prices by decreasing performance. This is usually a result of cheaper and slower NAND as a way to lower costs. Intel chose to use a slower firmware and a shorter warranty period for reducing costs.
Recently we have seen a string of cards appearing on the market that push the boundaries of performance on a single core card and [on paper] this, as we would expect, really has got some high expectations to live up to, especially following the huge success of the GTX 580 SOC. As its name would suggest the Super Overclock is not just an overclocked card, Gigabyte have taken it from the overclock level and given it some more poke and so we have as expected a lot more power to play with when compared to a stock GTX 680.
The card we're looking at today carries with it the default clock speeds we'll see on reference clocked GTX 660 Ti based cards and that's what we'll be testing at today. The bottom line is we don't want to bite the hand that feeds us, and for that reason, we don't want to do anything that can give away who sent the card to us. While we're happy for NVIDIA to winge at us, we don't want them winging at the people who give us the ability to do this.
Thortech??? Like most of the Memory companies, GeIL is also making Power Supplies under the brand name Thortech. The Thunderbolt 1200 is a high end powerfull 80+ gold, semi modular PSU. Only 160mm in length. So it's sounds like a real contender for all the well known high end powerful PSU's. Let's bring on the [M] testbench set-up and compare what the thunder god has to offer.
Today, we will be taking a look at another white case this week. This time it is from Cooler Master and is called the Stryker. If you look past the white color, this case may look familiar to you. If it does the case that should come to mind is the Trooper. Reproducing your best-selling cases in white is a good idea as we have seen white becoming what black was to beige. A trend that quickly spread through the masses.
This week we’ve been taking a look at the very stylish Prodigy chassis from Bitfenix, which as some of you will know is causing somewhat of a storm in the mini-itx category at the moment, with stock of this item seemly in high demand where ever you look, could this be the chassis that sparks new life into the mini-itx motherboard ranges from all the major suppliers, given the already limited choices from the various manufacturers?
The Samsung 830 is the one of the only completely proprietary SSD’s on the market. Samsung manufactures their own in house controller and of course their own NAND. The 830 contains Samsung’s own 3 Core MCX Controller (S4LJ204X01) and Samsung’s own 20nm Toggle Mode NAND. So far we’ve only seen Samsung’ 3 Core MCX controller in the 830 and it appears it will remain that way. The 830 has been on the market for quite a while now, but with samples being scarce we have just now received our review drive.
Today we take a look at the Water2.0 Pro 120mm sealed loop water cooling from Thermaltake. The WATER2.0 Pro utilizes a much thicker radiator, 49mm compared to 25mm found on the Performer model, to increase the heat-dissipating surface area for better performance. Join us as we see how the Water2.0 Pro handles the heat on our Intel Core i7 3960X processor against other units like the Corsair H80.
Even though the original Corsair HX850 power supply received the 80 Plus Gold certification, Corsair decided to downgrade it to the 80 Plus Silver certification, as the manufacturer felt the 80 Plus Gold levels couldn't be sustained at high temperatures. (Wouldn't it be great if all manufacturers had this kind of concern?) Now Corsair is releasing a revamped version of its HX850, the HX850 Gold. Let's see if this new version is a good product.