While we managed to look at overclocking the model not that all long ago, it was in the form of the MSI HD 7850 Power Edition which is never the best representation of how a typical reference based video card will overclock due to the clear focus from MSI on overclocking. Because of that today we'll be looking at the HIS video card from an overclocking point of view.
After reviewing several quad-channel 16 GB DDR3 kits, we are switching things up and reviewing a 16 GB dual channel kit from Crucial – the Ballistix Tactical Dual Channel Kit. If you are on a dual channel platform, there really is no reason to choose two modules over four – the performance will be the same regardless. What a dual channel kit like this does is keep the possibility of upgrades open, and perhaps keep temperatures down.
One of the things i always wanted to try (and it seems many of you wanted that as well judging by the many emails i received when i first mentioned this) was to test the same exact hard disk drive with both SATA II and SATA III connectivity to see if there were any real gains at all between both models. Of course as you all know it's not very easy to come across two versions (SATA II/III) of the same exact HDD so it was pure luck when i stumbled on the SATA II version of the latest Ultrastar 7K4000 4TB enterprise class HDD from Hitachi GST (HGST now) roughly one month ago. Back then however i didn't have the SATA III version in my hands so this comparison was left unfinished until i did and that time has come.
In the market for a new LGA1155 motherboard, but don't want to spend the cash on a top-end enthusiast level product? Or maybe you just don't need all the extra frippery, but instead are just looking for a solid workhorse board. While ASUS is certainly happy to cater to users with some extra cash in their pockets, they also have a nice selection of midrange motherboards that don't trim as many features as you might think. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at ASUS' mainstream Z77 offering, the P8Z77-V.
It's extremely easy to carry around gigabytes of data on storage devices in our pockets or bags and it's equally as easy to have that storage device lost or stolen. All the more reason to protect that data by using a device that secures your data without the hassle of soulutions that get in the way. Kingston's DataTraveler Locker+ G2 USB 2.0 flash drive is well suited to protect your data at a reasonable price - but will it come at the expense of performance?
So, what is so cool about the Genesis 9000? It is the first case that we have ever seen where you can install the motherboard in two different configurations. You can have the standard installation where the CPU is placed near the top of the case like 90% of the cases out there. Or you can insert it 180° and have the CPU near the bottom of the case. How about that from a change?
As you can see the GD07 sports a fair few features, with plenty of cooling options, both optional and pre-installed, support for large graphics cards, a range of motherboard sizes and it’s constructed consists of mostly aluminium and steel, meaning build quality should be top notch here. Silverstone have clearly set high standards for them selves, something that shines through in many of their product and is something I hope to see in this latest chassis, some come and take a look at the next few pages where I will be taking a closer look at exactly what the GD07 chassis has to offer, before fitting it out with our test system.
While writers will often elect for a natural or ergonomic keyboard gamers are a little different. This group tends to concern themselves less with the shape and more with what the device can do and how it will help them win games. In this review I'll be looking at the latest mechanical keyboard from Gigabyte called the Osmium.
The Phantom 410 leads the charge by offering color combinations from Black, Red, Gun Metal, Pink and White. Several of these colors are only offered in limited edition runs allowing for even more variety in color and accent trims. Today we will be looking at a white Phantom 410 with blue accent coloring.
If you thought you couldn't afford a decent SSD, you may just be wrong. Kingston's V200 series drives are aimed at the cost conscious consumer yet carry some nice performance numbers of 300MB/s reads and 190MB/s writes. With pricing well below $1 per usable GB, there's little reason to sit and wait on a spinning platter drive. Check out the specifics like the nicely appointed bundle in the article.
The latest mouse we are reviewing is Diablo III themed and powered with a 5700CPI Avago laser sensor. The chassis is lightweight, ambidextrous and features a total of 8 buttons (one of them being the CPI toggle button). The Diablo III mouse does not have multi-colored LED lighting or LCD display underneath and is priced more competitively than the Xai or Sensei, which have a similar shape.
When it comes to solid state drives, capacity equals performance for the most part. With LSI SandForce Driven SATA drives performance climbs as capacity goes up, typically until the 240GB drive size where, performance is maximized. Marvell based drives are a little different though. Drives based on Marvell Silicon, like the OCZ Technologies Agility 4 we are reviewing today follow a different performance path.
The new Aperture M is definitely a simple tool like all the other readers out there but NZXT had enough imagination to make it flow with today’s popular styled cases. The Aperture M has the same mesh material that we see on a large majority of the cases on the shelf at your local electronic store. By doing this the builder can keep the mesh style flowing.
When we tested the CM Storm QuickFire Pro keyboard, we pointed out that it was a simple model, with neither extra USB ports nor programmable functions, and it had only a few illuminated keys. Now the company is releasing the Trigger, which is basically a more advanced version of the QuickFire Pro, with everything that was missing previously. Let's describe the product and then evaluate the new features.
Getting into your game means hearing all that the developers intended. Much of your gaming experience is lost by plugging yourself into a cheap headset of going with lesser quality where audio is concerned. If you want to get the most out of your music and games you will want to read our review of the Corsair Vengeance 1500 7.1 USB headset. We test the Corsair 1500 to see if it is worth your money and what it brings to your experience.
Until recently digital multimedia could only be enjoyed on the computer, and with some extra effort it could be shared onto a portable electronic device. But high-definition movies and music are really best enjoyed on a home theater system, with larger screen and powerful speakers. Now that HDTVs and wireless networking are commonplace an era of attached digital media players has begun, and the WD TV Live helps make the transition easy. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the WD TV Live high-definition digital media player, model WDBHG70000NBK-HESN, and we evaluate how well it entertains us.
The new GreenMe power supply series from In Win has 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W versions, all with the 80 Plus Bronze certification. In a very different move, In Win committed to donate USD 1.00 to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) for every GreenMe unit sold. We've already reviewed the 750 W version; let's now see if the 650 W model is a good buy.
The original Shinobi caused quite a stir when it hit the shelves, offering affordability, quality and clutter free looks. Available online for around £120 puts the Shinobi XL in direct competition with NZXTs Switch 810 and the mighty Fractal Design Define XL so competition in the price bracket is certainly tough, can the Shinobi XL compete?
The focus of today's review is the miniITX, 17cm square, Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 AMD Fusion motherboard. This platform is based on a dual-core netbook processor from AMD called the AMD Fusion E-350 'Zacate' APU. The processor includes an entry level Radeon HD6310 integrated graphics core with 80 shader processors that is clocked at 492MHz.
Are you looking for a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Flash drive that is light on your wallet, but still great at moving around large files quickly? The Super Talent Express 3.0 ST1 and ST2 lines were created to do just that! We take a look at both of these USB 3.0 Flash Drives that cost under $20 to see how they perform. With sequential read speeds that are rated up to 90MB/s these drives should do well!
Nope, it’s the Gigas the smallest case that Xigmatek currently makes. Am I disappointed? Heck No. if you take a look at the Gigas at their website you will see that it is one of the best looking small form factor cases out there. And the feature list is as long as any of the cases boasting the same compact size. So, how could be disappointed with taking the Gigas as the first case sample from Xigmatek.
Review Thrustmaster send us their latest gaming peripheral, a duo of wireless thumbstick controllers which work on PS3 and PC. The last product on our review bench from Thurstmaster left us seriously impressed; can they repeat the performance with this entry level gaming solution?
NVIDIA's new Kepler-based video cards have set new standards in performance for the desktop graphics market. Now that reference-design cards are widely available, manufacturers have the breathing space to start distinguishing their products. Benchmark Reviews has been given the opportunity to examine MSI's N680GTX Lightning video card, and as we'll see MSI has gone far beyond simply slapping a new cooler on a reference design board. As with other products in MSI's Lightning line, the N680GTX boasts a completely new board design that should allow substantial overclocking.
The G.Skill brand has become one of the more popular brands in the enthusiast community. This Taiwanese RAM company has won the hearts of many overclockers, especially due their binning methods and affordable price tag. Therefore G.Skill manages time after time to launch RAM kits in multiple speed/timing versions, in different quantities and best of all they usually sport some extra overclocking headroom. With each new CPU platform that pops up, G.Skill introduces simultaneously a new series of RAM. When Intel launched Ivy Bridge, the TridentX RAM series popped up on the G.Skill website. The RAM vendors had to redo their binning methods, mainly due to the high ram speed support of the new Ivy Bridge CPU's. Enthusiast RAM isn't solely based anymore on just tight timings, high RAM speeds is one of the new requirements. The TridentX kit reviewed today is one of the higher specced kits, supporting a whopping 2666Mhz at CAS 11-13-13-35 2T timings out of the box.
The IN WIN 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified GreenMe series is a high performance power supply series that is said deliver quality and efficiency at an affordable price. The In Win GreenMe 650W has four +12V rails that are each rated at 25 Amps and a single 120mm double ball-bearing fan to keep everything cool. Read on to see how this sub $70 power supply does on our test bench!
Thermaltake's Frio Advanced heatsink stands 161mm tall and weighs upwards of 954 grams, it is rated to heat loads of 230 Watts by the manufacturer. The heatsink ships with two 130mm PWM fans arranged in a push-pull configuration that rotate at 2000-800RPM. Behind each fan shroud is a 110mm tall aluminum fin tower connected by five U-shaped, 6mm diameter copper heatpipes which are exposed at the base. Thermaltake's Frio Advanced heatsink is compatible with Intel socket LGA2011/1366/1155/1156/775 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1 CPUs.
The new case is the Elite 120 Advanced which is a total different animal than the Elite 100. The Elite 100 is more like a vertical HTPC enclosure while the 120 Advanced is a more squared true SFF case. Yes, they are aimed at two different users. The gamer will without a doubt opt for the Elite 120 Advanced as it can hold a full-sized GPU, even two and a standard configuration power supply. We are going to take the Elite 120 Advanced for a spin and see how we like it and see if we will recommend it to the masses.
The German brand be quiet! released last month a new high-end power supply series, the Dark Power Pro 10, with models ranging from 550 W to 1,200 W. The 850 W model has the coveted 80 Plus Platinum certification, while all other models have the 80 Plus Gold certification. Let's test the 850 W version and see if it is a good pick.
Most people i know connect all of their computers with their modem/router wirelessly mainly because they don't like having many cables around and quite honestly who can blame them. I on the other hand use Wi-Fi on very rare occasions and only when I’m neither at my office or at home. The reasons behind is that i don't like people using my wireless connection without authorization (there are plenty of hacks out there that enable one to use your Wi-Fi even if you have password protected it) and also because i want to enjoy the highest possible transfer speeds. So i have chosen the best possible solution by routing Ethernet CAT5 cables throughout the walls of both my home and office something which may however not be easy for most people. For those who can't do something like that and don't really trust or like the speed of their wireless connection current Powerline adapters could be the solution and today we are testing the latest ICY BOX IB-PL550D 500Mbit/s Powerline adapter kit.
Normally when we get a video card like the Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition TOXIC 6GB we'd just go down the path of overclocking it instead of looking at its default clock speeds. Because of the massive out of the box clock speeds it offered combined with the fact that it was our first 6GB card, we really wanted to test it as is to see just what kind of performance this card offered us over other ones including a pre-overclocked GTX 680. GHz Edition HD 7970s, though, are coming through quite slowly both to us and the retail market. Because of that we're not too sure when the next one will come and we're not sure if it will carry not only 6GB of GDDR5, but a cooler as strong as the one we've got here on the TOXIC version from Sapphire.
EVGA is celebrating their 13th anniversary today! To celebrate we decided to throw their EVGA Z77 FTW Intel Z77 Motherboard up on the chopping block. Not only are we going to throw it through our regular testing, but we are stepping up our CPU cooling and going sub ambient to overclock. How will it compare to the other Intel Z77 motherboards we have tested? Read on to find out!
Today we are taking a look at the very popular Three Hundred Two Mid-Tower Chassis from Antec, which is quite litterally the new model of the original Three Hundred chassis, as with any newer model you would expect new features, upgrades and general improvements, all of which have been applied here.
After running all the benchmarks we are left to wonder why AMD didn't launch the Radeon HD 7970 video card like this in the first place! The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition performed really great and as you saw in the gaming benchmarks it was ahead of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card in more benchmarks than not. It wasn't a clean victory by any means and it just goes to show that AMD and NVIDIA are still pretty darn close to one another. We love the new AMD PowerTune w/ Boost and how both AMD and NVIDIA are now using dynamic clocks to achieve the best gaming performance possible...
The 16GB EVO CORSA 2400MHz is another high-end quad-channel kit from GeIL, which features quite tall heatspreaders with a special design and passed Die-Hard Burn-in tests for increased reliability. These modules are not cheap, the kit being available online for about 185 Euros.
The Arctic Freezer i30 is a CPU cooler with a tower heatsink, one 120 mm fan and four 8 mm heatpipes targeted to Intel CPUs. Today we are testing the Freezer i30 CPU cooler from Arctic, which is targeted to Intel CPUs. It has a tower heatsink, one 120 mm fan, and four direct-touch 8 mm heatpipes.
Largely thanks to the global crisis of the economy crime rate is on the rise around the globe and so it comes as little surprise that most people i know are either building complete security systems worth thousands of euros or just settle for a basic surveillance system. Of course there are always those who can afford to have a private security cruiser from a serious security firm check on their house several times a day but that's simply not possible for most people. Personally I’ve always chosen to build my own alarm/security systems using both motion/alarm sensors and IP Cameras, something which is possible for everyone without having to spend many of your monthly paychecks to do so. Today we are going to see such a device and more specifically the OD-2025HD 2 Megapixel Outdoor 30fps 25 meter IR IP Camera by Airlive.
The Lian Li PC-V700-B is the chassis we will be looking at soon enough. The PC-V700 kept the clip in its side panels like we saw in the 355-B as well as using the small holes on the front to the allow intake of air. There are a few extras to be found in this solution, though. Things like the four included fans, a trio of 120mm fans and a single 140mm to keep this chassis cool internally. We also get the heavy duty latching system for the expansion cards and room inside to mount most of the AIO water systems out there.
The card comes with a factory overclock straight out of the box to give the user even more power than a reference GTX 670, which is already a powerful card for a reasonable price. Having an overclock means the reference clocks have been pushed further, past their stock limits, meaning that the extra cooling provided by the Windforce 3X cooler should really come in handy, and we’re extremely keen to see how this card compares in our lineup of AMD and Nvidia based cards.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is easily the most hyped Android device of the year, and possibly of all-time. With a new Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, a huge Super AMOLED 4.8-inch screen (720x1280 pixels), 4G LTE, NFC and an impressive 8MP camera it is no wonder that this smartphone has received so much attention. Read on to find out more about it in our review!
Are you the causal gamer? You know the one that may get online once in a while to frag and blow up the enemy. Because of your gaming status you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for a gaming headset. But you don’t want junk. You feel that you really don’t need all the fancy features that come with the more expensive ones? Well, Cooler Master has an answer you and it comes in the form of the Sonuz. They are only $69.99. But what do you get for such a low price? Let us find out.
The 7H Fnatic Edition Gaming Headset from SteelSeries comes with a catchy color scheme, a retractable microphone and can be disassembled in 4 separate parts for travel. The on-wire remote allows us to mute the microphone when needed or to adjust the headset volume; the included cable is dual braided for durability and includes an extender.
Sometimes you make a wish and Corsair makes it come true. Awhile back we reviewed the 180GB Corsair Force GT. The thing that made the 180GB Force GT unique was its controller; the SandForce 2282 and its array of NAND sitting at 24 modules. The 180GB Force GT performed very well and showed a noticeable performance increase due to the increased parallelism of the 2282 processor with 24 NAND flash chips. This amount of parallelism isn’t available from a 2281 processor because, a 2281 processor can access a maximum of 16 NAND flash chips. The 2282 processor has the ability to assess 32 NAND flash chips. After seeing first-hand what a 2282 equipped with more than 16 NAND flash chips could do, we wanted to see what 2282 equipped drive would be capable of with a full array of 32 NAND flash chips.
The SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Edition features SAPPHIRE’s Dual-X technology, which means it uses five heatpipe GPU cooler with dual fan to providing quiet and very cool operation during all usage scenarios. The SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Edition ships with a raised core clock speed of 950MHz, and 1425MHz for the memory. Its Dual BIOS switch allows users to select an even higher overclock of 1GHz core and 1450MHz memory by just flipping a switch. Read on to see how this card performs!
Biwin's NuvoDrive NX is the first SSD announced with the new Novachips Bugatti controller. Today Chris takes a full run with an engineering sample to see if this 10-Channel controller lives up to its racy name.
Although as we speak there are many 80 Plus Platinum certified power supply units in the market (and we’ve been expecting the 80 Plus Titanium certification to get announced for quite some time now) it is the 80 Plus Gold certified units that most people choose mainly because they offer the best price/performance ratio right now (at least for demanding users). Be quiet! Has always been amongst the top PSU manufacturers but it wasn’t until recently that they started expanding to other countries outside of Germany and what best way to do that than to release a brand new PSU line with both 80 Plus Gold and Platinum units. Today we will be taking a look at the Dark Power Pro P10 750W variant which should be more than enough to power systems with dual GPU configurations.
MyDigitalSSD has just updated firmware for their new budget friendly line of SSD’s, the Bullet Proof 3 series. The drive we are going to take a look at today is the BP3 256GB mSATA drive, MyDigitalSSD's new Bullet Proof 3 series SATA 6Gbps mSATA takes aim directly at the low cost, mainstream performance category. The BP3 is the successor to the Bullet Proof 2, an mSATA 3Gbps series of drives.
Roccat has provided us with some wonderful PC peripherals and today we're going to be looking at the Roccat Isku. The Roccat Isku is an illuminated gaming keyboard, which features as many as 36 programmable macro keys, on the fly profile switching and backlit keys. Backlit with ROCCAT Extreme Ice Blue Lighting in 6 adjustable brightness levels, the Isku makes it easy to always hit the right key -- even in low lighting. The Isku’s optimized illumination also means it’s perfect for avoiding eye strain during those long gaming sessions.
If you're like me, over the years you've collected a huge digital library full of music, pictures, and movies onto your computer. Occasionally, I might watch a video from off my laptop or listen to a song while working at the desktop, but high-definition movies and music are really best enjoyed on a home theater system with larger screen and powerful speakers. The ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player makes this transition easy, accepting every modern media format over local storage and network connections. Watching broadcast television and DVD/BD movies have been replaced with streaming Internet content and downloaded multimedia files, especially for college aged viewers who own a smartphone or tablet device. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the ASUS O!Play LIVE HD Media Player, and we evaluate how well it performs our tasks.
The Seasonic X-Series brings the 80 Plus Gold certification and a full modular cabling system. It was the first power supply series where the DC-DC converter was installed on the same printed circuit board as the modular cabling system. We've already reviewed the 560 W, 650 W, and 850 W models, and they all got great results. Let's see if the X-Series 750 W is also a winner.
The AZZA Genesis 9000 full tower chassis that is not your typical everyday standard chassis. The Genesis 9000 chassis gives computer users the ability of being able to use two power supplies, fit two water cooler radiators inside and much more. The AZZA Genesis 9000 is available in White or Black and costs under $170. Is this the full tower PC case that you have been waiting for?
Ever find yourself needing more storage on your mobile devices? Do you regret getting the smaller capacity iPad or Android smartphone/tablet just to save a little money? Do you travel and want to take your media library with you on the go? If you find yourself answering yes to any of these questions, then Seagate may just have a solution in the latest addition to their GoFlex family.
We live in dangerous times, i am sure that no one can really deny that so it goes without saying that we need to take extra steps to ensure the safety of both our loved ones and everything we own. This is partially as to why I’ve been testing various security devices during the past 5 years including IP cameras and motion sensors (the 2nd is more of a hobby to me). However setting up a security grid made out of several IP cameras around your house and/or your office is a lot more complicated than many seem to think and so today we are going to see how an 8-port 10/100Mbps PoE Switch like the TPE-PS44 by TRENDnet can aid you with that.
Savu is a mid-sized mouse that may not be very suitable for people with big hands, built from quality materials and offers no-sweat rough plastic side grips for maximum precision in games. It features an adjustable 4000DPI Pro-Optic (R3) gaming sensor, with adjustable polling rate up to 1000Hz, Teflon feet for minimum friction and a 1.8m braided USB cable. A total of 4 buttons can be remapped (left and right mouse buttons, the scroll wheel button and one lateral), the fifth having Easy-Shift [+] functionality, meant to double the mappings for the programmable buttons.
In this review I'll be looking at the latest gaming headset from Cooler Master called the Storm Sonuz. The Sonuz is a lightweight multipurpose gaming headset that features a comfortable over ear speaker design, large 53mm stereo drivers, removable microphone and in-line remote for volume and microphone control.