Little over two weeks ago we took a look into the all new world of the Z77 chipset and board that will support Intel’s all new Ivy Bridge processors. This lineup of boards included the Maximus V Gene and we were very impressed with what the board has to offer and more so its performance. For a long time we’ve been wanting to see how these boards fair with an Ivy Bridge chip installed instead of the older Sandy bridge processors. In the same respect we’ve had to be very careful about what we could and couldn’t say about the new architecture and what features its contained and how this could then be put into practice on the boards themselves.
Antec, one of the biggest case manufacturers on our humble blue planet, has recently upgraded their cheap entry level gamers case, the Antec Three Hundred. The new version is simply baptised as the Three Hundred Two. The predecessor was one of Antec's best selling chassis, but Antec had to bring their little 300 up to 2012 standards. No quickly removable HDD bays, no tool-less optical drive bays and cable management was close to non existent. Logic design flaws as the original Three Hundred enclosure already dates back from 2009. Let's open the box and see what the Antec engineers came up with.
Today we will be looking at the latest gaming keyboard in the CM Storm line, the Trigger. Cooler Master works with high profile professional gamers and enthusiasts through their eSports sponsorships to co-develop products like the Trigger at a military grade level. The result is some of the most attractive and functional products on the market today.
Lancool is a brand that belongs to Lian Li, and is used for cases from this company that are not made entirely of aluminum. Typically, Lancool cases have an aluminum front panel and steel body. Having two separate brands is a two-edged sword. While it helps users to easily identify the material the case is made of, oftentimes resellers list products under the wrong brand. (Case in point: This particular case is listed at Newegg.com as "Lian Li," not "Lancool.") In addition, the manufacturer is not clear on its marketing message to the end-user about the difference between the two brands.
Today, we get a chance to look at Silverstone’s latest power supply. The power supply is the Strider Gold Evolution which comes in various wattages which would include: 750W, 850W, 1000W and 1200W. The model we were sent was the 850W unit which is plenty large enough for most. But for those that do need than Silverstone has you covered. The entire series is modular which I know everyone will love and very quiet.
Even though main focus is lately on Ivy Bridge, let's not forget about Intel's High End range based on the X79 chipset. One of the main drawbacks of Socket 2011 is the total platform cost. Besides the quad core i7-3820, the hexacores versions cost a pretty penny. On top of that, most of the X79 mainstream boards are far from cheap. Prices of 250 euros and more are pretty common. Luckily for us Gigabyte and ASRock have got 'let's call them a more" budget friendly motherboard in their X79 lineup. Gigabyte's type numbering has always been kept pretty simple. Today's UD3 board is the entry board for their limited socket 2011 series. Limited, because Gigabyte only has got 3 boards left in the X79 range : the UD3, UD5 and a gamer orientated G1 Assasin 2 board. The X79-UD7 board has been EOL'ed. And till now there's still no sign of the X79-UD5 S(erver) version. But does a "cheap" board mean that the quality or performance is inferior ? Time to find out what this X79-UD3 has got in store for us.
ADATA recently released three new 2.5" form factor drives and a new mSATA model. Two of the three 2.5" drives are SATA 6Gbps, both with SandForce controllers and new 0 provision programming. The first is the new SX900 with synchronous flash, the new flagship for ADATA. The second in this SATA 6Gbps group is the SP900 that we are looking at today. ADATA currently lists three capacity sizes for the SP900; those are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. It is going to take me awhile to get used to typing that for sure as 60, 120 and 240 has been programmed in my subconscious for a long time now. Per the specifications sheet, the SP900 uses asynchronous flash. ADATA also does a very good job of listing AS SSD incompressible data performance on the specs sheet. The question is though, why does our drive have Intel 25nm synchronous flash on it? Let's cover some of the other details and work our way back to the flash question in a couple of pages.
It's been a while since we have had a CPU cooler from Cooler Master on the test bench. Well, today we have the Cooler Master TPC 812 tower cooler. With the TPC 812 Cooler Master is pairing up Vertical Vapor Chambers with traditional heatpipes to improve performance. Join us as we see just how well the Cooler Master TPC 812 performs on our Intel LGA2011 test bench.
Kingston Technology is getting ready to release new HyperX dual-channel memory kits that have been engineered especially for the new Intel third-generation Core i7 and i5 processors (Ivy Bridge). These new kits range in speed from 1600MHz to 2800MHz and we got our hands on a 2800MHz kit a little early to give you a look at what to expect next month. Read on to see how our Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU and Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H motherboard perform with some HyperX memory!
Small form factor PC's can often be a fun endeavour but they can also be an essential part of a network. Their leading applications include HTPCs and wordprocessors/internet browsers but the limitations only exist with software. Some Mini-ITX cases come with all the bells and whistles and start at a small fortune. But what if you're looking for a chassis without breaking the bank? Here to hold that position in the market is the Thermaltake Element Q Small Form Factor Chassis.
The Black Edition A8-3870K APU from AMD is aimed at the mainstream market and offers enough performance for occasional gaming at lower resolutions, other multimedia activities or office work, this without the need to buy a dedicated video card. Thanks to the unlocked multiplier, overclocking becomes much easier than before and the performance gains after this operation are quite surprising.
We have now seen round three of the AMD HD7000 series video card launch cycle and still NVIDIA have yet to fully show their hand, and until they do these new video cards are going to cost an arm and a leg. In this article we take a look at the more moderately priced (compared with the HD 7970) HIS Radeon HD7950 IceQ Turbo 3GB video card armed with AMD's Tahiti 28nm GPU Core. Sure enough it will run your favorite games with high settings at 1080p but with an msrp of $459.99 you might want to check your finances before you click that buy button. Benchmark Reviews aims to provide you with an unbiased review of the HIS Radeon HD7950 IceQ Turbo 3GB video card (model H795QT3G2M) and report back our findings, keeping you informed on the latest technologies available on the market today.
The very first target group of gaming mice was FPS gamers since due to its nature the mouse offered significantly better performance/speed and accuracy compared to both the keyboard and gamepads/joypads. Because of that and also because almost a decade ago FPS games were flooding the market it took many years before manufacturers started even considering the development of gaming mice for other game types such as RTS and MMO's. Fortunately today the market is filled with countless gaming mice designed with special features for every gamer type out there from FPS and RTS gamers up to MMO gamers. The Naga Hex by Razer which has been with us for the past week was designed not only to cover the needs of regular FPS gamers but also the needs of the more demanding MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) gamers who require the best of all worlds including speed/accuracy, control and extra buttons.
The Intel Core i5 3570K is part of Intel's Ivy Bridge processor line retailing for $212. The Core i5 3570K is based on 22nm manufacturing technology and uses new 3D-trigate transistors to deliver better performance at a lower TDP than Sandy Bridge based LGA1155 CPUs. Coinciding with the 3rd Generation Core i5 3570K's release are the new Intel Panther Point chipsets which deliver native USB 3.0 and PCI-E 3.0 support to mainstream Intel systems. Equipped with 4 cores/4 threads with 6MB of L3 cache and having a maximum turbo frequency of 3.8GHz, the Intel Core i5 3570K has plenty of processing power for most enthusiast needs.
The one storage drive line that has bucked the trend over the years and managed to create noticeable separation between itself and its contenders/pretenders, and that is Western Digital’s VelociRaptor line. Prior to SSD’s hitting mainstream, the VelociRaptor line, with its 10,000 RPM spindle speed, was “the” pinnacle of performance and was the defacto choice for anyone that put performance before price. Fast forward to present day, where widespread competition is making SSD drives more and more affordable the VelociRaptor line isn’t enjoying the same V.I.P treatment from enthusiasts it once used too.
We continue to analyze the Vengeance line of gaming-grade keyboards and mice from Corsair, after reviewing the FPS-oriented K60 keyboard and M60 mouse. Now we're about to see the peripherals designed for strategy and role playing games, featuring more configuration capabilities. First we'll take a look at the Vengeance K90, a mechanical keyboard with 18 macro keys and an illuminated aluminum chassis. Let's describe its physical characteristics.
There are now more drives adopting the new Toshiba 24nm Toggle Flash memory and one of these is from SanDisk. You may remember that we looked at the 240GB Solid State Drive from SanDisk a while back, but it was only aimed at the budget conscious consumer wanting to move to an SSD from a standard mechanical drive due to it’s SATA II speeds. Today however, we see SanDisk moving up in the market with their Extreme SSD that features Toshiba Toggle Flash memory, with 24nm technology and the famous LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller chip that is used in the majority of drives on the market today.
Top down cooling has its advantages, though tower cooling is usually the preferred method given its compact footprint. In this review Frostytech is testing out a heatsink from Titan that aims to satisfy both tower and top-top heatsink designs, in one. The Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition TTC-NC55TZRB heatsink is built around five 8mm diameter copper heatpipes which extend in two directions from a copper base block to independent fin stacks, essentially making one large CPU cooler from separate 'tower' and 'top-down' heatsinks.
Corsair has been kind enough to send us a sample of their newly configured Force 3 180GB Asynchronous NAND equipped drive. Nothing special about that right? Well not so fast. Digging a little deeper we find this drive is similar to the Corsair Force GT 180GB drive we just reviewed in that this drive is also equipped with a LSI SandForce 2282VB1-SCC Solid State Drive Processor. During the review of the GT we did in fact find the 400 pin 2282 Processor is indeed capable of producing slightly higher performance than the 256 pin 2281 Controller PROVIDED it is complemented by MORE than 16 NAND Modules.
The ASUS P8Z77-V PRO is a top mid-range socket 1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current "Sandy Bridge" models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO will have to offer.
Having reviewed many keyboards it suprised me how excited I was to review the Corsair Vengeance K90. With its unique design, Cherry MX Red switches, and as Corsairs first foray into the keyboard market I found the K90 to be a interesting prospect in a world filled with rather ordinary keyboard designs. Join Benchmark Reviews as we look at the K90 and evaluate if its unique design merits the $129.99 asking price that is it being given.
Strangely enough although the latest LGA2011 Sandy Bridge CPUs are the hottest thing currently, at least in terms of processing power there still aren't that many new cooling solutions in the market that support them and since i decided on starting over with a brand new LGA2011 based CPU Cooler database (the old LGA1366 one was way too long) this has proven to be quite the problem. Thankfully aside the huge NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler Noctua has also launched another LGA2011 compatible CPU Cooler the latest low-profile NH-L12 which although targeted towards HTPC users and not hardcore overclockers and enthusiasts still it carries quite a punch for its size as you will see later on.
The first Intel Ultrabook that we will be looking at here on the Legit Reviews is the ASUS Zenbook. This Ultrabook is available in two sizes, the ASUS UX21E (11.6" display with a 1366x768 resolution) and the ASUS UX31E (13.3" display with a 1600x900 resolution). The model that we are going to be reviewing today is the ASUS Zenbook UX31E-DH52 and it features a 13.3-inch display, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2557M processor, 4GB of DDR3 1333 MHz memory (RAM), and a 128GB solid-state drive.
Today, we will be taking a look at a CPU cooler from a company that we have never heard but the results of the testing that we performed may change that, especially if you are looking for a cooler from a company that looks to want to give the user high quality, well performing products. The company is called Reeven and the cooler is the Kelveros. The Kelveros has a standard tower configuration but the shapes of the fins are very “different”. Check the review to see what we are talking about.
Users can expect a 25% increase (according to WD) in performance and we saw sequential read/write scores that exceeded the rated specifications of 200MB/s. This is supported by a large 64MB cache to help buffer data. Overall, for a spinning platter drive, performance was very good and it's a bit amazing that they've been able to get so much capacity in a drive with the platters rotating at 10,000 RPM. With such speeds, you'd expect the drive to be noisy but even on our open test bed, the noise was...
The new mouse from the Naga family is Hex and Razer has built it for MOBA and Action RPGs; it comes with 6 extra buttons on the thumb side and 3 different rubber thumb rests are also provided, to suit our needs. The customization of the mouse functions can be realized by using the powerful Razer Synapse 2.0 software, which can be downloaded freely from the manufacturers’ website.
The Rampage IV Extreme is the top-of-the-line X79 motherboard from ASUS' Republic of Gamers brand. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme X79 motherboard is fully compatible with the Intel's LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-E processors, capable of running Quad-SLI natively, as well as providing support for Quad-channel DDR3 speeds up to 2400 MHz and 64GB across eight DIMM slots. Designed for hardcore gamers and extreme overclockers, the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard exclusively introduces three new features that make extreme performance tuning a lot easier.
In my bedroom alone i have a grand total of 7 remote controls for quite a large range of devices so you can certainly understand how frustrating having to find the right one every time can be. Universal remote controls have existed for many years now but never could a single remote cover 100% of your needs so if you were really lucky and you didn't have many devices of the same type to control you would just need to keep the AC remote around. The very first universal remote i used was the rather impressive (even by today’s standards) Philips SBC RU880 i bought back in 2004 and which is still working just like the first day. However much like everything in this world the time has come for something improved to take its place and i just couldn't think of anything better for the job than the Harmony 1100 Advanced Universal Remote by Logitech.
The ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE is a high-end socket 1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current "Sandy Bridge" models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what the ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE will have to offer.
Since we reviewed the Havik 140, they have released the Havik 120 which is only capable of supporting 120mm fans, two of them. And you might have guess it the cooler is smaller than the older brother. But NZXT does believe the Havik 120 will provide the end user which would be overclockers, gamers and enthusiasts with outstanding performance.
The Vengeance K60 FPS Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of Corsair's latest introductions. This keyboard is a rare cherry MX red keyboard (similar to cherry MX blacks), offering very light resistance to key presses, and no tactile "click" during presses, perfect for quick successive key presses like double taps. Benchmark Reviews will review this keyboard for its FPS gaming capabilities as well as general usage.
The NZXT Switch 810 Full-tower case is a mainstream-level case. The Switch 810 from NZXT features a high-airflow design that can house up to ten 140mm/120mm fans, and can also hold a triple radiator, which should be more than enough to cool the current line-up of high-performance enthusiast class components. The four external 5.25" drive bays, as well as the six HDD bays inside the NZXT Switch 810, use tool-less locks for convenient installation. The NZXT Switch 810 can house long video cards, up to 375mm without the internal adjustable fan, and 350mm with the adjustable fan installed. Unruly power cables inside the Switch 810 can be tamed with a smart cable management routing system. For $169.99, the NZXT Switch 810 provides a full featured chassis that has substantial value and convenience that consumers should be looking for.
As the weeks have gone on we're going to start to see new variants of the GTX 680 and today we're looking at one from MSI which is part of the much loved TwinFrozr series. Because it's part of the TwinFrozr series and we've already looked at a pre-overclocked GTX 680, we figured today we'd take the time to manually overclock the MSI GTX 680 TwinFrozr and see what kind of performance we can get out of it via MSI Afterburner. Of course there's a few things we need to do before we get to the performance side of things and the first is check out the bundle that MSI has going on. Once we've done that we'll take a closer look at the card itself along with its default specifications and what we managed to overclock it to. From there we'll get into the performance side of things.
Today we are looking at the Venom Voodoo from Akasa. The Akasa Venom Voodoo features two 120mm viper fans and six high capacity heatpipes that directly touch the processor! With a street price of around $55 shipped, this is an affordable cooler, but how does it perform? Join us as we put the Venom Voodoo on our Intel LGA2011 test bench to see how it handles the heat.
We continue to explore the new Vengeance line from Corsair. After our review of their FPS keyboard, the K60, it's time to check out its companion mouse, the M60. The model reaches 5,700 dpi of resolution, and its main features include an aluminum metal frame and a red sniper button for precision shooting. Let's describe the product and then proceed to the analysis.
The Vengeance M60 FPS laser mouse is Corsair's latest addition to its line of products. The M60 has 8 configurable buttons aimed at maximizing the FPS gaming performance. The dedicated "sniper" button is one of its most interesting features with the promise to help accurate aiming. Benchmark Reviews will be testing out the Vengeance M60 and see if it's a worthy buy.
Asrock wants to remain in the mouths of buyers after the successful release of the X79 Extreme9. And in order to do you they would have to put out another great board. And we do believe they have done so with the upcoming Z77 Extreme6. Looking at it for the first time all I could think about was the X79. A awesome looking motherboard with features galore. But with all the new motherboards being released is this a keeper?
Quite a long time ago i announced that i would also perform product reviews based on requests made by you, the readers and although many things have happened during the past months (mainly the launch of this new project) i haven't forgotten about that and so a while ago i started looking into my emails for review requests. Well it seems that many of you are actually not bored (who knows, some may) by my extremely thorough PC Case reviews (at least pictures-wise) and have asked for a review of the latest midi tower manufactured by Bitfenix to hit the market called the RAIDER. Of course as some of you know if possible i always try to cover your requests and so the Bitfenix RAIDER Midi Tower is modeling for us today.
Over the last couple of weeks we've seen some pretty amazing SSDs. You know when you are doing one thing, but really want to work on something else? That is what I've been going through these last couple of weeks. The reason why is because Corsair has taken another approach in order to achieve modest performance improvements. We've seen the SandForce SF-2282 controller used on a retail consumer drive one other time, but it's implementation was identical to the SF-2281 configuration. The SF-2282 is identical to the 2281 in every way except one, the number of byte lanes, moving from 8 to 16. We've speculated for some time that the SF-2282 was used on most if not all 480GB models, but we've yet to see one to confirm. Ironically we'll have our first 480GB drive in the lab tomorrow.
The Corsair kit comes with an XMP profile which will set the multiplier to 1600 MHz. The official specs use the vague descriptor “with headroom to allow overclocking” which I guess means that they think it will work at higher speeds, but aren’t promising anything. The main timings to 9-9-9-24 at 1.5v, which is pretty standard for a 1600 MHz kit as we saw in our Best Memory for Sandy Bridge review.. It comes with Corsair’s famous lifetime warranty on parts and labour, which means you will never, ever have to worry about going out and buying a new kit should this one fail. In the rest of our Corsair Vengeance quad channel review, we’ll take a closer look at the packaging and installation, and move on to performance and overclocking.
Cooler Master is going back to the original concept of outperforming the next cooler. They are doing this by using two proven technologies together to achieve this goal. The two techs are heat pipes and vapor chambers. Each has two different processes to getting the job done. But does this combinations spell out a winner?
We really liked the looks of the K90 keyboard and the floating keys made clean out dust, dirt, and the random Doritos crumb a breeze. The backlighting is great with three levels of brightness and the ability to turn it off. Eighteen 'G' keys to record on the fly or software driven macros with three memories for a total of 54 is what we would call overkill but nice if you are a macro fan. The Cherry MX Red keys on the K90 are top of the line with light activation and subtle audio click. Putting a 20KRO PCB in the K90 takes advantage of the maximum simultaneous key press USB can handle and should guarantee no key presses are missed in the heat of battle...
The M90 is a good first product geared toward MMO and RTS gaming. They also have a sister product the M60 geared toward FPS games. The M90 has an aluminum metal frame\base that gives it solid feel without a lot of weight. The brushed aluminum also is a nice contrast to the rugged black plastic. The mouse has a nice ergonomic shape that makes using the mouse for long periods of time comfortable.
It's time for a new Intel chipset: the Z77 Express chipset replaces last year's Z68 chipset and its predecessor P67 chipset. Aside from the support for what MSI calls "third generation Intel Core processors", the Z77 brings some enhanced features like native SuperSpeed USB 3.0. MSI's not satisfied with letting the Z77 stand on its own, though, and adds its own unique features to their MSI Z77A-GD65 board. Benchmark Reviews tests this new motherboard and compares its performance and features against a top-end Z68 motherboard. Is an upgrade for your rig warranted?
Asus introduced the concept of a TUF (The Ultimate Force) motherboard to address a market that demanded higher quality components that have passed rigorous stress tests covering extreme heat, cold and thermal shock to ensure the utmost in reliability. In this review we will be looking at the Asus Sabertooth P8P67 motherboard featuring Military class TUF components on board, Thermal Radar, Thermal Armor and one of the longest warranty periods for any motherboard on the market of 5 years.
When i first started using a personal computer i remember that i chose a configuration with an 300MB hard disk drive which was not only the highest capacity drive available at the time but it also cost as much as half of the entire system. Almost 22 years later technology has advanced to a level where a person can actually purchase one of the latest entry level 4TB hard disk drives (4000000MB) for less than USD350/300Euros, currently that is since prices tend to fall. Hitachi GST has already released 3 different 4TB HDD models in the market, two in their Deskstar consumer oriented line and one in their Ultrastar enterprise line. Today with us we have the high end consumer model, the Deskstar 7K4000 (HDS724040ALE640) and as usual it will go through rigorous testing to see just how well it performs compared to other hard disk drives in the market.
I find OCZ's current situation similar to the early 1990's 49ers. OCZ had a very good run with SandForce, winning best consumer SSD awards with both the Vertex 2 and a year later with Vertex 3. Just like Joe, the SandForce SF-2000 series is starting to look a little older and the young competition from other makers is starting to catch up. SandForce might offer the fastest controller to date, but that might not be the case starting next season. Before Steve Young was traded to the 49ers he played in Tampa Bay. There he had two horrible seasons, but everyone could see the talent including 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. Indilinx, in their later years as a separate company was not competitive with controllers from Intel and Samsung. In a sense OCZ traded to pick up Indilinx, mainly their RAM and peripherals product lines (they were actually just dropped). In their yearly product cycle OCZ was ready to release something new, something fresh, but their star quarterback SandForce was injured. OCZ had already released an impressive top to bottom lineup of products based on the SandForce technology so there weren't any gaps to fill with SandForce based products.
With the release of Intels X79 chipset and new 2011 socket it was only a matter of time before we saw Motherboards aimed at the gamer. X79 brings Quad Channel memory architecture and PCI 3.0 supporting the RAM and Video Cards respectively. Finally we get to take a look at the infamous ASRock Fatal1ty Professional Motherboard with the new X79 Chipset. The new X79 chipset brings PCI3.0 and Quad Channel Ram onto the Intel market. PCI3.0 is aimed squarely at gamers because of its throughput for the latest high end GPUs and this board has 4x of them. Fatal1ty has always been aimed at the power-user and gamer and they have (seemingly) not disappointed at first glance. All of this leaves us excited to get our hands on the board. ASRock has given us this boiled down spec sheet which leave us drooling...
Regardless of how many PC Cases i review there seem to always be more and more arriving at my doorstep each day that goes by. Now last week i brought you two midi tower reviews, one regarding the latest Prominent R by NEXUS and one about the Overseer RX-I by Thermaltake. Both proved to be quite impressive but for some people their size (although midi) may just be a bit too much. For that reason today we will be taking a look at one of the latest midi towers introduced in the market by In-Win, the MANA 136 which is just a step beneath normal midi towers in terms of size.
Earlier this month MSI launched the companies AMD Radeon HD 7970 based Lightning series video card, the R7970 Lightning. The MSI R7970 Lighting is clocked at 1070 MHz on the core and 1400 MHz on the memory (5600 MHz effective). This is an impressive 15.7% clock increase on the core and a mediocre 1.8% on the memory. Read on to see how this $599 video card performs against the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 and take a look at how far we overclocked it! Overclocking the MSI R7970 Lighting was a blast and the fact that we could take it from 1070 MHz on the core all the way up to 1275 MHz was impressive. AMD released the Radeon HD 7970 with a 925 MHz core clock, so this is a 350 MHz overclock on the core! This card was really fun to overclock on air, so we can only imagine what those with LN2 pots will be able to hit...
It seems like only yesterday when OCZ debuted the original Vertex drive complete with then little known Indilinx engineered controller. Those drives flew off the shelves and helped put OCZ on the SSD map. For the fourth generation Vertex, Indilinx is back, this time proprietary to only OCZ and ready to take on all comers. Just how does it stack up with the likes of Intel and Samsung? Have a look to see what we found! So far, OCZ's decision to acquire Indilinx seems to be paying off as their proprietary controller now ranks, in our eyes at least, as one of the best you can buy while others are still leveraging third party controllers. Having control of the components has its advantages, positively impacting both cost and quality control - both of which are supremely important in this competitive marketplace. The Indilinx Everest 2 controlled drives are really going to give the other large players, namely SandForce, Marvell, Samsung and Intel serious competition and the incentive to step up their game...
Foldable model features 5.1 surround sound and comes with an independent unit for volume control. See how the headset fared in our test. Roccat is releasing the Kave, a large foldable headset with 5.1 surround sound and a separate unit for volume control. The connectors include four minijacks (3.5 mm for the sound channels) and a USB (for the control unit and headset lighting). Let's describe the Kave and then proceed to its evaluation.
One thing the QuickFire was missing was the 10-key pad that many of us are so use to having. It also has the Cherry MX Red switches which I loved even with it click noise when pressing the keys in and the lower resistance when pressing keys. The new QuickFire Pro is a totally different keyboard as it employs brown switch which we will get into later and a plus a 10-key pad. My excitement is already building so lets get into this.
The Intel Z77 chipset will be released by the end of this month, but we had the privilege of getting the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H for a "first look" article. It will be a top mainstream socket 1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current "Sandy Bridge" models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H will have to offer.
A little over a week ago, we reviewed the 990FX based Asus Crosshair V Formula. While highly impressed with the solid performance and extra features, $220 is a lot to ask for an AMD motherboard these days. Since AMD isn’t offering much in terms of high end CPU performance, it makes little sense to spend that much. Gigabyte usually excels when they stick to a philosophy of only including the things that really matter, with few bells and whistles. We were extremely pleased with their Z68XP-UD4, so it will be interesting if they can replicate that performance with this 990FX board.
For many enthusiasts want a quiet system, with room to spare, and a beautiful exterior the Antec P280 is exactly what they are looking for. The Antec P280 is a "Super Mid Tower" designed as an addition to venerable Performance One series. This refresh comes with a redesigned interior, exterior, and an updated port selection. These updates came without Antec disrupting the Performance One series goal of "Quiet Computing", using materials with different acoustic qualities to help minimize the amount of sound leakage. Benchmark Reviews will evaluate if the noise characteristics and build quality of the Antec P280 are worthy of the Performance One moniker that it has been given.
Many of you know that up until 5-6 months ago my favorite testing platform was the LGA1366 by Intel which was also the only platform with triple channel DDR3 support, something that played a huge part in my choice. Besides that's also why 3 out of my 4 test rigs featured Intel Core i7-920 (Bloomfield) CPUs each paired with 12GB of RAM (3x4GB). However all things come to an end eventually, especially when it comes to all things related with technology and so the launch of the latest Intel LGA2011 platform signified the upgrade of my primary test system. It did take a while until i finally managed to get the 2nd revision of the Core i7-3930k (Sandy Bridge-E) CPU to build the system but since that happened I’ve been putting all the latest Quad channel memory kits to hit the market through various tests to see just how good the new platform really is. So the very first Quad Channel DDR3 kit review to upload is about the latest and fastest Quad Kit manufactured by Kingston currently, the HyperX Genesis 16GB Kit running at 2133MHz with a CAS Latency of 11 (khx2133c11d3k4/16gx).
Foxconn has brought us to the table the latest generation of Intel Atom CPUs, by using the small Nano PC chassis which features about the same layout inside as the barebones we have tested from them in the past. The system power consumption is very low, temperatures are good in load and the noise generated is decent. Only thing that needs to be fixed to make this product fully functional is the VGA driver which in its current state offers low performance in both 2D and 3D environments, and Intel does not offer any support for x64 OSes.
Yesterday i uploaded a review surrounding the latest PC Case manufactured by NEXUS, one of the latest players in the market, called the Prominent R which may not have the most radical design in the market but it does carry a large number of features making it a very good overall solution in the midi tower segment of the market. However since the design of the case may not appeal to everyone out there today i decided to take things a bit further (more like at the opposite side) and bring you a review about one of the latest midi tower offerings by Thermaltake called the Overseer RX-I (VN700M1W2N) which also happens to have a large number of features but this time over the design part of the unit has nothing simple about it (you can tell for yourself just by looking at the intro image).