Daily Reviews for Feb 14

Intel 520 Series 240GB Solid State Drive Review @ Tweaktown

On release, the SF-2281 controlled client drives leaped to the top of performance charts, but for some, reliability and odd BSOD issues plagued these products. In our testing only two drives experienced issues. The first drive made it through standard testing, but ran into problems when deployed in a daily use system. The second drive failed to complete our standard benchmark procedures, having BSOD issues out of the box. Both drives were later fixed with a firmware update, but for a company like Intel, issues like these are unacceptable.  Intel has experienced their own issues with firmware in the past and they've learned quickly from their early mistakes. Intel was not going to release a new client SSD with known problems without addressing them thoroughly before a release. In the documentation provided to us Intel only included one line about firmware, but it said enough to make it clear that Intel was not just another copy and paste member of Team SandForce.

SilenX Effizio EFZ-120HA5 Performance CPU Cooler @ Pro-Clockers

We will be taking a closer look at the EFZ-120HA5 which is aimed at what SilenX is known for. Quiet operation. It also has two other characteristics that is a must have for many of us and that is great performance and an affordable price tag. The 120HA5 is of the tower design and weighs in at 648 grams. And according to SilenX, it only takes ten minutes to install. So, we are guessing it is a pretty simple process. We will see.

ASRock X79 Extreme9 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets

Let’s take a look at the most high-end socket 2011 motherboard from ASRock, featuring five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, eight SATA-600 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, and coming with a high-end, add-on sound card.  ASRock has released seven motherboard models for the new socket 2011 platform, heavily betting that this platform will become more mainstream after Intel releases cheaper LGA2011 processors during this year. This time we will take a look at the X79 Extreme9, which is the most high-end (and most expensive) socket 2011 motherboard offered by ASRock at this time, with five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, eight SATA-600 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, and a high-end, add-on sound card called "Game Blaster."

Thermal Compound Roundup - February 2012 @ Hardware Secrets

We added five new thermal compounds to our previous roundup, for a total of 65 different thermal compounds from major brands. We also tried another alternative thermal compound: diaper ointment.  Following up on our Thermal Compound Roundup – January 2012 review, we are adding five more thermal compounds to our roundup, for a total of 65 different models from Akasa, Antec, Arctic Cooling, Arctic Silver, Biostar, Connectland, Coollaboratory, Cooler Master, Coolink, Deepcool, Dow Corning, Enermax, Evercool, EVGA, Gelid, Glacialstars, Innovation Cooling, Masscool, Nanoxia, Nexus, Noctua, Phobya, Prolimatech, Scythe, Shin-Etsu, Spire, StarTech, Revoltec, Rosewill, Thermalright, Thermaltake, TIM Consultants, Titan, Tuniq, Xigmatek, Zalman, and ZEROtherm. In this review, we will determine if certain products are superior to others. We will also try another alternative thermal compound to see if it works.

Le Pan II Android Tablet TC979 Review @ TechwareLabs

When it comes to Android tablets it seems that just about everyone offers one. Features tend to blur together and you get lost in the confusion. So which one is a good model, and what do you buy? Stick to name brands only or venture out into the lesser known brands? On first impressions the Le Pan II gets high marks. Le Pan who you say? Pay attention to this brand as if they continue the trend this will be a company to watch.

ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card @ Pro-Clockers

If you've decided it is due time to finally time to do away with the onboard audio on your mobile computer, wanting something that makes your music collection worth listening to, then you can turn to ASUS for that as well. The Xonar U3 is a compact USB sound card, not much bigger than a flash drive. The goal is to provide a product for the person who is constantly on the go, loves to listen to their music, but isn't going to settle for the integrated solution any longer. So exactly how good can such a tiny device actually be, can it really deliver anything close to what a larger sibling Xonar can? We plan to answer that, so sit back and dive in!

NZXT Switch 810 Full-Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

What is it that you should look for in a computer case, exactly? The market is full of many different styles with plenty of different features and the prices range from next-to-nothing to arm-and-a-leg. When deciding on a computer case, those are the three areas you want to focus on; price, functionality, and style. Computer case manufacturers are constantly trying to find a balance between those three items by giving customers everything they want at a price they can afford and in a style that they'll like. NZXT is a company that tries hard to please gamers and enthusiasts and their products reflect that. At CES 2012, NZXT announced a completely new case design that offers a lot of functionality for its price. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is exploring the NZXT Switch 810 Full Tower Computer Chassis to help you find out where it fits for you within those three categories.

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