Week of July 10, 2011

Friday, July 15 2011

Zotac GTX 550Ti AMP! @ LanOC Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 10:04 PM (EDT)

With a black and orange design on their non-reference video cards, it’s no surprise that we jumped on the chance to take a look at one of Zotac's AMP! Cards. The card they sent was their Nvidia GTX 550 Ti AMP!, an overclocked version of the card wetook a look at this past March. With the core clock set at a steamy 1000 MHz I’m excited to see how well their aftermarket heatsink will perform. While we are at it we are going to bring out our reference card and run through our SLI testing also. Not only do you get overclocked numbers, but we can see how well this budget card performs when you double up.


Arctic Sound P281 DJ Headphones Review @ ViperlairArctic Sound P281 DJ Headphones Review @ Viperlair

Posted by Nathan @ 10:04 PM (EDT)

The Arctic Cooling Arctic Sound P281 DJ Headphones are quite comfortable to wear. They are not particularly heavy, and the padding on the headband supports the top nicely on your head. The soft leather cushioning inside the cups presses gently against your head, and if you're not a huge hulking beast you should find your ears will fit inside the cups. If you do happen to have big ears, you'll be thankful of the soft leather cushioning. Glasses wearers will also be happy as I managed to listen to music and watch a few films for hours without any discomfort.

Sapphire Edge HD2 Mini PC @ Pro-Clockers

Posted by Nathan @ 10:03 PM (EDT)

But building an ITX system can be a slight pain as you are normally working within a tight space. But it gets no tighter as Sapphire has graced the world with the smallest PC in the world. This is Sapphire’s second attempt as such a system. The first was a huge success but lack a few necessities one would one in a PC system today.

Corsair Vengeance 12GB 2000MHz Memory @ TechREACTION

Posted by Nathan @ 10:03 PM (EDT)

Corsair hit a home run in the latter half of 2010 with the release of their Vengeance 12GB 1600mhz kit. Buyers on Newegg raved about the stability of the kit, and the ability to run the Cas9-rated sticks at Cas 8. While this is something that would not impress most RAM overclockers, it did seem to put a smile on a lot of mid- to high-level PC users. Corsair seems to want to follow up their success with the recently released 12GB 2000Mhz version of the Vengeance ram with a slight difference. This kit claims to only need 1.5v to run at their rated 2000Mhz speed. Many other 2000Mhz kits recommend 1.65v to perform this feat. Being able to run high performance RAM at lower voltage settings without giving up performance would pique the interests of almost any PC user. Today, we are going to see how well the new Vengeance kit stacks up against other 2000Mhz kits currently on the market, and if the modules can deliver competitive 2000MHz performance while only requiring less juice than the competition.

CLICK HERE FOR Corsair Vengeance 12GB 2000MHz Memory DEALS & PRICING

Corsair Obsidian 650D @ techPowerUp

Posted by Nathan @ 10:03 PM (EDT)

Corsair presents the love child of the Obsidian 800D and the Graphite 600T series. The result is certainly stunning, as the Obsidian 650D offers the best of both worlds, with excellent interior design and great exterior looks & functionality.


Corsair SP2200 PC-Soundsystem Review @ Technic3D

Posted by Nathan @ 10:02 PM (EDT)

The Corsair SP2200 Soundsystem arrived Technic3D. The SP2200 is designed for gamers and media enthusiasts who want a compact 2.1 speaker system that doesn’ttake a lot of space. 46 Watts of total power, with 30 Watts dedicated to the 6" subwoofer, ensure room-shaking bass and clean, crisp audio reproduction at any volume level. Excellent stereo imaging with agenerous “sweet spot” ensure a competitive advantage in games and realistic music and movie audio? We will check this and many more in the following Review.

CLICK HERE FOR Corsair SP2200 PC-Soundsystem DEALS & PRICING

SteelSeries 5H v2 Limited Edition (Medal Of Honor) Headset Review @ eTeknix.com

Posted by Nathan @ 10:02 PM (EDT)

Headsets are one of the peripherals that gamers love. For this reason lots of limited edition products are designed specifically to cater for the game in question. In this case we are looking at the Medal of Honor edition of the standard 5H v2 headset. As far as it looks, they have just given the headset a paint job, but sometimes looks can be deceptive.



Roccat Kulo – Virtual 7.1 USB Gaming Headset @ Rbmods

Posted by Nathan @ 10:02 PM (EDT)

Today we really have the right piece of hardware to test; and of course to hear! It looks really tempting at first sight so let's play with it to hear what Roccat has prepared under the hood of the Kulo Virtual 7.1 USB Gaming Headset for you, our dear readers . This is the second version of the Kulo stereo Gaming Headset, featuring a 7.1 USB sound card. How cool is this Kulo really?

Thermalright Macho HR-02 CPU Cooler Review @ Real World Labs

Posted by Nathan @ 10:01 PM (EDT)

The very recently launched Macho HR-02 CPU Air Cooler is actually an TY-140 140mm PWM silent fan bundled with the already excellent, yet somewhat bulky standalone HR-02 passive CPU Cooler by Thermalright which also passed from our test bench almost a year ago.

HIS HD6970 2GB IceQ MIX (Lucid) Review @ Vortez

Posted by Nathan @ 10:01 PM (EDT)

So what makes this card different then? To put things bluntly, the main attraction of this particular variant of the IceQ family is that this HIS video graphics adapter can be paired with another graphics card. What’s so special about that I hear you ask? Well, up until now, we enthusiasts have had to utilise SLI or Crossfire to pair our GPU’s and even then we were restricted to using cards from the same base manufacturer, NVIDIA or AMD. The difference with the HIS HD6970 2GB Mix is that you can you crossfire the card with another AMD GPU from the same family as per normal Crossfire specifications but (and here's where it gets interesting), you can also Mix it up with an equivalent card from NVIDIA!

Patriot WildFire 120GB SSD Review @ Neoseeker

Posted by Nathan @ 10:01 PM (EDT)

The Patriot WildFire is a 120GB SSD using the latest Sandforce SF-2281 controller, and 32nm MLC NAND memory. Together these components promise enterprise-level performance in a package priced for hardware enthusiasts. Hit our review to see if the WildFire can live up to its name, or if it ends up burning out prematurely.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage Review @ Legit Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 10:01 PM (EDT)

The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is more than just a shell on a 2.5" 500GB notebook hard drive supporting USB 3.0 connectivity with an external power brick. This drive has its own battery supply and integrated 802.11n wireless access point all in the same form factor as other external drives in the GoFlex line. I was amazed by how easily and quickly I was able to use this product right out of the box. It was a simple operation to move content on to the GoFlex and stream it back off to any wireless device..

HIS HD6970 IceQ Mix Review @ Kitguru

Posted by Nathan @ 10:00 PM (EDT)

Many months after the initial launch there are a wide variety of HD6970′s available on the market, some with custom coolers and others with enhanced PCB designs. Today we are looking at the new HD6970 board from HIS, which features both.

Patriot Javelin S4 4-Bay Media Server Review @Hi Tech Legion

Posted by Nathan @ 10:00 PM (EDT)

The Patriot Javelin S4 is an entry level NAS aimed for home and small office use. The Patriot Javelin S4 can fit up to 4 SATA2 drives and 12TB of total storage (3TB x 4). The Javelin S4 supports RAID 0,1, 5 and 10 configurations as well as a hot-spare drive. Since it is designed to be a home media server, the Patriot Javelin S4 supports both MAC and Windows and is uPNP and DLNA compatible. Other features inside the Patriot Javelin S4 4-bay media server include remote mobile phone app playback support for both iOS and Android devices, built-in Bittorent download manager, iTunes server capability, Logitech Squeezebox capability, data backup and Apple TimeMachine support, multi-user management and various internet sharing capabilities.

NZXT Havik 140 Review @ OCC

Posted by Nathan @ 9:59 PM (EDT)

For the cooler itself, I can say a few things. The heatpipe layout is ideal, and the construction is solid. I wish that the base was finished to a finer surface, as it could use a good polishing to reach that mirror finish. The rubber fan straps could be a little clumsy if the install was done in the case, as they have to stretch around the corners. With metal clips, you can easily "hook" the hard to reach areas first, and then place them around the opposite corner. This isn't the case with the rubber straps, but it's cool to see something different. I wouldn't have made it my first choice if I was handling the design, but it works!

Cooler Master Spawn Mouse @ Bjorn3D

Posted by Nathan @ 9:59 PM (EDT)

When one thinks about Cooler Master, the first thing that comes into mind is cases, power supplies, and cooling accessories. Recently, however, Cooler Master has been venturing into the peripheral market for gaming enthusiasts. Many other companies have begun to add peripherals to their product lineup as well. In order to stay competitive with other companies, Cooler Master has developed the Spawn gaming mouse as part of the CM Storm series of Cooler Master's gaming peripherals. This mouse was developed as an affordable solution for gamers who want a competitive edge over their opponents. Retailing at $50, this product is designed as a mid range gaming mouse developed for "claw-grip" style mouse users.


Mushkin Ridgeback Redline Enhanced DDR3 @ Benchmark Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 9:59 PM (EDT)

Started in 1994 Mushkin Enhanced has been well received for years by enthusiasts for their RAM's overclocking ability and sharp aesthetics. Mushkin has many different lines ranging from their Essentials for budget conscious consumers all the way to their Redline series which utilizes the cream of the crop integrated circuits to get the fastest speed possible with tight timings. The Redline series has been well received by overclockers and so pushing on that success Mushkin has released the Redline Enhanced 1600Mhz 7-8-7-24 kit utilizing their proprietary Ridgeback heat spreader. Benchmark Reviews will be running this kit through its paces to see if it stacks up the competition or if falls short when it really matters.

ASUS F1A75-V Pro Layout and Design @ ocaholic

Posted by Nathan @ 9:59 PM (EDT)

The F1A75-V Pro will be ASUS' flagship model regarding AMD's FM1 APUs' Llano. Therefore it's able to score with a long featurelist. But first of all we will check if it is able to convince from a layout and design perspective.

Bitcoin Mining GPU Performance Comparison - AMD vs. NVIDIA @ HardOCP

Posted by Nathan @ 9:58 PM (EDT)

Bitcoin mining is a new form of virtual money. The economics of it are fascinating, but the real interest for us is that you can use your GPU to accelerate the mining process, and you'll be shocked at the difference between NVIDIA and AMD GPU performance. If you want to setup a Bitcoin box, this article will get you moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, July 12 2011

Thermaltake Frio OCK Overclocking Cooler Review @ Tweaknews

Posted by Nathan @ 5:09 PM (EDT)

With top performance and a great look, Thermaltake's Frio OCK CPU cooler has really got it going on. Mounting is easy and straightforward with excellent support from the included manuals, and the fan control works flawlessly. The controller will come in handy for most enthusiast because, while this cooler managed to post up some of the best performance numbers in the comparison, it made a tremendous amount of noise doing it.



Cooler Master Notepal X-Slim @ LanOC Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 5:07 PM (EDT)

Laptop cooling products are something we have seen more and more of on the market. You can usually find something designed for your purpose just by looking around. You might be going for cooling, comfort, or some combination of the two. The Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim aims for the cooling side of things with an emphasis on being compact and portable.

NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller @ Pro-Clockers

Posted by Nathan @ 5:07 PM (EDT)

NZXT, a company that is known more for their PC cases, have released their fourth fan controller. Th Sentry Mesh controller is definitely more on the simpler side of things, using hassle-free sliders to control the fan speeds of which are connected. Nothing more, nothing less; simple function, simple results.

Dell Vostro 3350 Review @ TechReviewSource.com

Posted by Nathan @ 5:06 PM (EDT)

The Dell Vostro 3350 is a 13.3-inch ultraportable laptop that's geared towards small business users. It has fantastic battery life and mobile broadband capabilities, but it only has average performance in the end.

CM Storm Enforcer @ Rbmods

Posted by Nathan @ 5:04 PM (EDT)

Today we will take a look at the newest gamer oriented case from CM Storm called Enforcer. It is a midisized case with a window and some nice features.


Crucial Ballistix Sport PC3-12800 CL10 12GB Kit Review @ Real World Labs

Posted by Nathan @ 5:04 PM (EDT)

The latest Ballistix Sport DDR3 1600MHz 12GB CL10 triple channel memory kit may not be suitable for hardcore overclockers and enthusiasts but it's a very good choice for people who are out to get an 12GB triple channel kit with price as the determining factor.

Thermaltake Level 10 GT Review @ Vortez

Posted by Nathan @ 5:03 PM (EDT)

Being unique, heavy, featuring a complex design and working with big name BMW meant that the cost of the Level 10 soared way beyond what many would spend on a chassis. Now, Thermaltake are back with a simplified version of the original Level 10 – the Level 10 GT. In essence this is the smaller brother of the original design and comes with a smaller price tag too. We first saw the Level 10 GT at CeBIT 2011 and since then we have been keen to review this new product. So let’s begin our analysis of the Level 10 GT from Thermaltake.



GIGABYTE Z68X-UD7-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 5:02 PM (EDT)

If we were to look at strictly the performance of the GIGABYTE Z68X-UD7-B3, I would have no complaints. Unfortunately, I can't look past what I feel are short comings of the Z68X-UD7-B3. It seems to me, that GIGABYTE took the P67A-UD7-B3 motherboard, slapped the Intel Z68 chipset on it and called it good. The problem with doing that is that it pretty much leaves out the features that separate Intel Z68 chipset from the P67 chipset. You would expect that the boards would be priced close to the same, but that is not the situation that we have here today. We found that the GIGABYTE Z68X-UD7-B3 is currently retailing for $349.99 plus shipping and the GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 is retailing for $294.99 after rebate. That means that there is a $55 price difference between two identical motherboards. What do you get for $55? Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT) for SSD caching...


Corsair Obsidian 650D Case Review @ Kitguru

Posted by Nathan @ 5:02 PM (EDT)

Today we are going to look at the Corsair Obsidian 650D Mid-Tower case which is the smallest model in the Obsidian range. It shares the same styling cues as the larger 700D and 800D cases but comes in at a much more affordable price point. It doesn’t look like Corsair have compromised much on the feature set to achieve this lower price, though, so we are excited to look at the case in more detail.

CLICK HERE FOR Corsair Obsidian 650D Case DEALS & SHOPPING

ASUS F1A75-V PRO Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion

Posted by Nathan @ 5:01 PM (EDT)

The ASUS F1A75-V Pro motherboard is part of AMD’s FM1 APU based desktop line-up. The ASUS F1A75-V Pro is equipped with the Hudson D3 FCH, designed to support PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (at 4x speed) graphics as well as 6 SATA III and 4 USB 3.0 ports. Since the F1A75-V Pro is an ASUS motherboard, it uses a DIGI+ VRM power design for precise power delivery, high performance and rock solid stability. For extra connectivity, the ASUS F1A75-V pro also has two more USB 3.0 ports and an additional SATA III port via Asmedia USB3 and SATA controllers.

OCZ Vertex 3 @ Bjorn3D

Posted by Nathan @ 5:01 PM (EDT)

Around the same time that SandForce emerged as the leading force in the SSD controller market, OCZ Technology, a company that is known for its memory, shifted its focus to concentrate on SSD storage. A quick glance through OCZ's website shows that the company carries no less than 10 lines of SSDs with different form factors and different interfaces. OCZ has SSDs for the SATA 3 Gbps, SATA 6 Gbps, PCI-Express, SAS, and USB interfaces, and in 3.5-inch, 2.5-inch, and 1.8-inch form factors. OCZ demonstrated its commitment to get ahead in SSDs when it purchased Indilinx for 32 million USD in 2011. The shift in focus paid off well for OCZ, as it has become one of the biggest players in the SSD industry.


Thermalright Macho HR-02 CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 5:00 PM (EDT)

If you're overclocking your CPU, you're going to need a better cooler than the one that shipped with your CPU. There are many aftermarket alternatives, but enthusiasts know that Thermalright's products should always be on their short list. The problem is the high-performance coolers can cost quite a lot, with prices of more than $75 for top-end air coolers and well over $100 for good all-in-one water coolers. Thermalright tries to address this problem with the Macho HR02 cooler, which they pitch as their "mainstream enthusiast" product. At an MSRP of $39.95, it comes in well under most high performance coolers, but will its performance match theirs? Benchmark Reviews puts this product to the test.

Monday, July 11 2011

XFX Warpad Gaming Mousepad Review @ Tweaknews

Posted by Nathan @ 3:31 PM (EDT)

The WarPad from XFX is everything a gaming mouse pad should be. It has a large surface area, thick padding, and the clamp-on design ensures that it will stay exactly where you put it. There are no flashy colors or designs - the WarPad is strictly business and it does its job well.


PowerColor Radeon AX6850 SCS3 @ Benchmark Reviews

Posted by Nathan @ 3:28 PM (EDT)

PowerColor's a familiar name to the AMD Radeon community. If they don't offer the widest variety of variations on AMD's reference designs, I don't know who does! They have no fewer than eight different versions of AMD's Radeon HD6850 card, ranging from factory-overclocked "PCS+" variants to a single-slot-cooler version to the one Benchmark Reviews is looking at today: the passively-cooled PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 1GB GDDR5. This card uses a massive fan-less heat sink to offer the performance of an HD6850 without any noise at all, and is certainly one of the highest-performing graphics cards I've ever seen with a passive cooler. Will this really work? How far will it overclock?

ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card Review @ OCC

Posted by Nathan @ 3:27 PM (EDT)

AKG's K701 boasts one of the widest sound stages available out of any set of cans, and with the use of Dolby's tech that wide sound stage becomes so much more. These same technologies that helped Corsair's HS1 USB headset make movies much more enjoyable by making me feel more involved apply here as well, but the largest difference, mostly thanks to the K701s, is that games are incredible to play. Not only can I immerse myself visually in a game world, I can also immerse myself sonically in it. It's great fun and a huge joy that I haven't experienced in some years since I moved away from Creative's offerings with EAX. Had I been able to test the Xonar U3 in person before purchasing, using my K701s, I would have been very compelled to purchase it based solely on its gaming performance.

NZXT H2 Classic Series Silent Midtower Case Review @ Bigbruin.com

Posted by Nathan @ 3:27 PM (EDT)

NZXT supplied three quiet 120mm fans with the H2 and there are two more spots to add more fans. All fans and optional fan areas have filtering to keep most of the dust and debris out of the interior of the case. And with an integrated fan speed controller and lots of sound dampening material throughout the case, the system can stay cool and quiet!

Sapphire HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition DX11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion

Posted by Nathan @ 3:26 PM (EDT)

The Sapphire HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition Video Card uses a stock clocked HD 6950 with 2GB GDDR5, but certainly comes in with quite a bit more than a reference board. Naturally, the Sapphire HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition is named for its inclusion of a free copy of Codemaster's newest driving game Dirt3, as well as Sapphire's own TRIXX utility, but the offerings do not stop on the software side. Pulling the HD 6950 D3 Edition from the box, you are greeted with a card that looks as far from reference as you can get. A molded black housing covers the board of the Sapphire HD 6950 D3, with two fans mounted for additional, and quieter, cooling. A look in the side shows hefty heat pipes to add to the already enhanced cooling capacity.

Gigabyte A75M-UD2H FM1 Llano Motherboard Review @ eTeknix.com

Posted by Nathan @ 3:26 PM (EDT)

As we already know, Bulldozer is what everyone is waiting for, but on the way saw a couple of stop gaps for AMD Fusion, the first being Brazos which gave us a low-powered APU that combined the best of both CPU and GPU and still to this date, we believe is perfect for HTPC or server usage. In fact, we believe that so much that we have the Asus E35M1-M Pro powering our server, whilst the Gigabyte E350N-USB3 sits comfortably in our HTPC so we certainly found a use for them.

Apacer TurboII AS602 120GB SSD Review @ Real World Labs

Posted by Nathan @ 3:25 PM (EDT)

With most SSD manufacturers focusing on transfer speeds by choosing the incredibly fast SandForce SF-22xx SATA III controller for their latest solid state drives Apacer has decided on taking the price/performance path by sticking with their award winning previous generation SF-1222 controller.

Synology USB Station 2 Review @ XSReviews.co.uk

Posted by Nathan @ 3:25 PM (EDT)

We’ve tested a few Synology products here at XSR over the past couple of years, but they’ve always been big Diskstations with plenty of storage capacity, or the physical space to add a large ammount of your own. Today I’m looking at something a little different. It still has Station in the name, but it won’t be building any “Good robot Us’es“, this one is a USB variant. No storage space of its own, but able to use your network and attached drives as its own personal data bank.

PowerColor HD 6870 X2 2 GB @ techPowerUp

Posted by Nathan @ 3:24 PM (EDT)

PowerColor's exclusive HD 6870 X2 unifies two HD 6870 graphics processors on a single card. This approach offers performance that can compete with other high-end cards like GTX 580. In our testing we saw nice results that make this card a worthy alternative in today's high-end graphics card market.

GIGABYTE A75-UD4H: CrossFire for Llano @ Bjorn3D

Posted by Nathan @ 3:23 PM (EDT)

When we looked at Llano, we determined that its CPU performance is similar to Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 840 processor, so why would a discrete GPU user choose Llano instead of an Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4? Should the user choose a more expensive CPU for gaming? Firstly, Llano is more power efficient and runs much cooler than the 45nm processors. We'll be testing the second question today.