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.