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    Avexir DDR4 Blitz Series Review

    Introduction It’s a perfect time to customize your PC and personalize it to color coordinate your system. Memory manufacturers are now adding memory with LED lighting and hopefully moving towards RGB in the possible future. Avexir is a company getting popular ...
  • LIAN LI PC-K5 (6)

    LIAN LI PC-K5X PC Case Review

    Introduction Finding a decent mid-tower case for around $50 is a pretty monumental task. I’ve done lots of budget builds for other people and every time, I’m given a budget of the aforementioned price or less. As a building enthusiast, I’ve found i...
  • SteelSeries Rival 500 (12)

    STEELSERIES Rival 500 Gaming Mouse Review

    Introduction Please don’t hate me, but I’m going to mention the fact of how many gaming mice there are right now. With that out of the way, there are so many gaming mice around right now, it’s getting real hard to do something that is truly innovat...
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    Happy Hardware Hound Halloween, with Star Wars

    It’s that time of year again! Scary movies, trick’r’treating, costumes, candy corn, and a review done by a guy dressed as a Star Wars Character? You probably already saw the review for the NZXT S340 Elite VR ready case, but I bet you’ve never ...
Latest News & Reviews

The Hardware Hound and the Ultimate PC Case

The Hardware Hound
Have you ever felt that chassis airflow needs to be improved? Or maybe you’ve bought a really great looking PSU, only to have it mostly hidden in the bottom of your case? How do you keep a Crossfire or SLI configuration cool if you don’t plan to put it under liquid? These are all questions The Hardware Hound has officially decided to tackle. Welcome to the build log of the Ultimate PC Case. The project involves building a case that not only has a strategically optimized airflow design, but also keeps the system looking amazing in the process. Check out the video below so you can get an intro to the project and stay posted to PureOC to keep up with the updates on the project. PureOC gives a huge thanks to NZXT for helping sponsor the project. Check out their site at the link below and we’ll catch ya’ next time! https://www.nzxt.com/


It’s about Freakin’ Time! INTEL has an Unlocked i3

Intel Kaby Lake
It’s not asking too much! Budget builders like to overclock their CPUs, even if they can’t spend $200+ on them. So INTEL releasing an unlocked version of their i3 lineup of CPUs is huge news, in spite of some of the other news that doesn’t seem so good lately. While an unlocked i3 is a great idea for the budget enthusiast, I’m wondering what this means for the i5. The i3-7350K has quite a few features going for it. Not only do we have an unlocked multiplier (Finally!), but we have 4 threads in 2 cores, a 4.2 GHz boost clock and 4 MB of L3 cache. This would make it an amazing budget chip and if it wasn’t for AMD working on ZEN, I might have to kiss the FX series goodbye entirely. If the chip prices at $180, that would be steep but it could range as far down as $150 which is much more reasonable. The big issue with this release is what it does to the i5. Both chips offer 4 threads, although the i5 at least has 4 individual cores. Still, I’d be surprised that the performance on an i5 would really justify the extra cost at this point. Where does INTEL go from here? I think INTEL could’ve have destroyed the CPU market if they had done one more change with their Kaby Lake lineup. Rather than release a chip that has 4 cores, what if the i5-7600K kept the multi-threading, but only had 3 cores? With 6 threads, you’d have the perfect middle ground processor that splits the difference between the i3 and i7. Each tier could have it’...


Avexir DDR4 Blitz Series Review

IMG_0189

Introduction It’s a perfect time to customize your PC and personalize it to color coordinate your system. Memory manufacturers are now adding memory with LED lighting and hopefully moving towards RGB in the possible future. Avexir is a company getting popular in the US for having an answer to the lighting and RGB craze, and even has its own unique share of this market. Avexir offers innovation technology like its plasma tube ram, and blitz series lighting. Avexir’s motto is “What we believe is how we behave”. Today I will be looking at Avexir’s Blitz series of DDR4 RAM so we can see what these modules have to offer and what makes them so desired for system builders. The RAM kit that was specifically sent to me was the Blitz White. There are dual channel and quad channel kits available on their site. The kit I’m working with is QUAD channel and the model is AVD4UZ130001604G-4BZ1SW. This kit is 4GB x 4 giving a total of 16GB of ram. The specifications are as follows: CL(IDD) 16 cycles Row Cycle Time (tRCmin) 46.5ns (min.) Refresh toActive/Refresh Command Time (tRFCmin) 260ns RowActive Time (tRASmin) 33ns (min.) Power TBD W* ULRating 94 V – 0 Operating Temperature 0℃ to 85℃ Storage Temperature -55℃ to +100℃ Advanced Specifications: Power Supply: VDD=1.2V (1.14V to 1.26V) VDDQ = 1.2V (1.14V to 1.26V) VPP – 2.5V (2.375V to 2.75V) VDDSPD=2.25V to 2.75V Data transfer rates: PC4-24000 Programmable CASLatency: 17,16,14,13,1...


 

Is INTEL Stalling Out?

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A while back, I posted an article talking about what looked to be impressive performance gains coming from Kaby Lake. Performance leaks had been good to me up till that point, but now you can see my shame here. Today, a Chinese review of the i5-7600K has released ahead of NDA and the results aren’t looking good. Even though Kaby Lake has some minor improvements, the IPC performance is running the same as Skylake. Granted, this review is ahead of NDA which also means any tweaks INTEL planned before released aren’t being considered yet, but it’s really feeling like INTEL is stalling out when it comes to pushing the limits of performance. Honestly, releasing a new chip series that essentially has no performance improvement is probably worse than holding back performance for the sake of sales. Technically, Kaby Lake has almost a 10% performance increase, but that number is so minuscule that the average user will never notice it. If this was coming to the professional market, it would make a bit more sense since 10% increases can actually translate to added dollars. As it is, IPC improvements are the things that really make a computer feel faster, as proven by comparing the current FX series to anything INTEL has had in the past couple of years. The FX chip can get it done, but the INTEL one makes it feel a lot smoother while doing it, while pulling better actual performance numbers. IPC for the 7600K is showing the same performance as Skylake and even if som...


Filling the Loop: SENNHEISER Headsets, TAI-HAO Keycaps, AQUA COMPUTER cuplex kryos NEXT

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As a hardware news and review writer, I find that it can be pretty difficult to keep up with everything happening in the industry. It could be that, or it could be the full time job with a family that crunches the schedule a bit. But that’s the life of a freelancer and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Still, there’s some good news worthy releases I’ve received that I’ve been dying to get out to you, but haven’t had the time until now. Let’s fill the loop on some interesting products from SENNHEISER, TAI-HAO and AQUA COMPUTER. I hate to admit it but I was deleting PRs from SENNHEISER because I didn’t realize they were different from the other spam emails I get. Let’s just say spam filters aren’t perfect and I check all of my promotional emails a bit closer now. Still, consistency is not an issue for them and I began noticing what I thought were some pretty impressive products. SENNHEISER deals in gaming headsets, but also has a host of other audio products to check out. For this update, I particularly want to point out the GSP 350 gaming headset with Dolby 7.1 Surround. While I can’t verify the audio quality, the design looks excellent and some user reviews I looked at indicate that the company generally has pretty good sound. Even then, there were a couple of features that looked interesting. One design detail I really like is the fact that the mic will automatically mute when you raise the boom, negating t...


NZXT Unleashes the Beast, the H440 Hyper Beast

H442HB_System-Main
I’m not a CS:GO player, but I know an awesome paint job when I see one. NZXT is releasing a limited number of custom painted H440 cases and if you love this artwork, you a better hurry. There’s only supposed to be 1,337 units made, but at $200 per case, I’m sure only the biggest fans will be clamoring to reserve the design. I have to say though, it looks like a great design and I hope we see more of this with other game titles as time goes by. Check below for the image gallery and the rest of the press release. Los Angeles, CA - Los Angeles, CA – November 1, 2016 – NZXT today announces the H440 Hyper Beast Limited Edition, a very exclusive version of its classic H440. Developed in collaboration with Brock Hofer, graphic artist behind Hyper Beast, this case is focused at CS:GO fans. It features the fierce creature found on the CS:GO M4A1-S Hyper Beast weapon skin.This rare H440 is produced in a one-time production of 1,337 units, each with a uniquely numbered limited edition metal badge.“Being gamers at heart, we know how passionate gamers can be about their favorite titles. And even more so with the rise of in-game items customization featuring intensively sought-after rare skins. That’s why we decided to work with Brock Hofer to help CS:GO fans turn their favorite virtual skin into their own very rare build. With H440 Hyper Beast one can say that the beast is truly unleashed” says Johnny Hou, NZXT’s founder and CEO. H440 Hyper Beast main fea...


FNATIC Reveals the Clutch G1 Gaming Mouse and Duel Gaming Headset

HERO SHOT
Update: I found a tweet to a Youtube link that gives some more info on the Duel headset. Check it out below! What started as one mouse review turned into a bunch shortly after. I’ve had the privilege to try out numerous designs, features and styles during my escapades as a hardware reviewer. While some designs are excellent and deserve special levels of praise, the FNATIC Flick is the simple gaming mouse I keep coming back to. Most of this is due to the fact that I’m too set in my ways to really work out a new button configuration, but the rest is due to it being the best feeling mouse I’ve used to date. In light of that, it’s no surprise to tell you that I’m really excited for the new mouse and headset FNATIC is releasing. The Clutch G1 doesn’t look like it’s going to change much from it’s predecessor, the Flick. Both use a modest Pixart 3310 sensor that doesn’t have the crazy DPI settings the 3360 does, but it was always fast enough for me. It looks like it’s going to be bit larger and have an extra DPI button so that it will cater to FPS players a bit more. That said, each person has a unique taste when it comes to how a mouse feels so larger might be better in general as well. FNATIC is also unleashing the Duel TMA-2 headphones on us. Details are minimal at the time being, but the modular design sounds interesting and I’m hoping for the same level of quality I found with the Flick. Needless to say, the...


LIAN LI PC-K5X PC Case Review

LIAN LI PC-K5 (6)

Introduction Finding a decent mid-tower case for around $50 is a pretty monumental task. I’ve done lots of budget builds for other people and every time, I’m given a budget of the aforementioned price or less. As a building enthusiast, I’ve found it difficult to find something that will have decent airflow, spacious quarters and fans that don’t have those ugly molex connectors. Needless, to say LIAN LI is a welcomed entry in this sector of the market. LIAN LI is known for the exceptional build quality of their cases. The PC-K5X will have to cut some corners, but having 3 pin connectors on the included fans is already a good sign. While this case isn’t the typical aluminum material we’ve grown accustomed to, there’s still many areas a case like this can shine when you look at some other budget options. We’ll need to take a full review approach to see how they do, but before we do that, let’s look at a statement from a company that seems a bit new to budget options. Lian Li Industrial Co., LTD was founded in 1983. We are one of the largest and most reputable manufacturer of aluminium PC case in Taiwan. With over twenty years of experience in the computer products field, our dedicated team of engineers, production specialists and administrative staff provide the finest quality accessories available on the market. In 1993, Lian-Li Introduced the new lines of computer hardware, including bracket ( for case & interface...


 

October News Round Up: SWIFTECH Apogee XL2, GAMER STORM Genome II, GTX 1050 Ti and More!

PureOC Monthly News
Welcome back to our second roundup of hardware news that happened this month. The CPU and GPU side of things may have slowed down a tad, but there’s a lot that happened with cooling and cases. Let’s dive in and get excited about what’s coming down the road! CPUs Let’s start out with an update on Kaby Lake. Geekbench came out with some impressive results and the story made it look like INTEL has merely been holding back for a while. Recently however, an i5-7500K sample was benchmarked and only showed about a 10% improvement over Skylake. This is actually pretty disappointing, especially considering that the 4970K is still a top tier single thread performer. On the plus side, it looks like all 100 series motherboards will be able to support Kaby Lake with a BIOS update, but I doubt many will see the need to upgrade from Skylake in such a short time table. At the time being, ASUS is the only brand this is confirmed for, but that’s a good indication that other manufactures will follow suit. We’re still a ways out from release so we can almost expect performance to fluctuate a bit more until closer to release. http://wccftech.com/intel-core-i5-7600k-kaby-lake-cpu-benchmarks/ http://wccftech.com/kaby-lake-support-asus-100-series-motherboards-confirmed/ GPUs The big news this month was the release of the GTX 1050 Ti and the 1050. Each GPU offers a great budget option for 1080p gaming while being extremely energy efficient. Rather than reinvent ...


You Haven’t heard of Pixio, but a 1440p FreeSync Monitor Should get Your Attention

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Let’s start with the assumption that you haven’t heard of Pixio, because if you have, then you completely destroy my title. If you’re like me, then Pixio might be a new brand that you need to hear about. I’ve been on this kick for a while, but there is no way I can over emphasize how important a good monitor is to the gaming experience. Nothing makes a $600 GPU look like integrated graphics more than a terrible refresh rate and a crappy panel type. However, spending an additional $600 on a monitor can be rough for a builder, which is why Pixio is offering something I’m surprised I haven’t seen until now. FreeSync is the AMD technology that makes adaptive synchronization extremely affordable for gamers. There’s some catches, like needing an AMD GPU for the time being and having some performance trades with the likes of GSync. My experience with the technologies isn’t extensive, but from what I’ve seen the disparity between the two is beyond my ability to tell the difference. How I managed to stumble across Pixio was during my search for HDR monitors. HDR is the best experience I had at CES in January and that’s including getting to try out a few VR sets. HDR is a pixel technology that more accurately reproduces the color spectrum, making a 1440p screen look as good as, or even better than, a 4k one. While I haven’t found HDR yet, I did find what I would consider to be the ultimate monitor that balances the ne...





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