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Abko Ncore – Strange Name, Awesome Aura Case

Is it just me or do cases seem to get a bit boring? I love RGB as much as the next guy (maybe a bit more), but after a while I want to see some designs that do more for building than just adding more lights. I recently stumbled across Abko Ncore, and not only do they have a ton of RGB lights, but they have some really interesting design ideas on their Aura case. How many cases do you know of that have the ability to fit twelve 120mm fans around the perimeter? The funny thing about the Aura is that it’s advertised as a mid tower case! The rear panel has room for two 120mm fans and considering how the air flow design of the case works, that’s a good option. Seeing four 120mm fans on the front is a bit excessive, but darned if it doesn’t look cool. Where I really get excited about this case though, is in the option to have three fans on the bottom PSU shroud. Direct airflow to a component is one of the best way to help it stay cool, especially when you don’t have liquid cooling. Graphics cards tend to get isolated in the corner and turbulence can allow warm air to continuously circulate around the card. With fans forcing air across the card(s) to the top back corner of the case, I can imagine it would be a huge help to gaming temperatures. The Abko Ncore Auro looks like a dream case to build in and there are plenty of features to like. The RGB LED control and radiator support are just a couple worth mentioning. I heard a rumor that the company is looki...

Check Out These Swiftech Maelstrom D5 Reservoirs, if You Love Awesome!

Dang! Swiftech knows how to make some custom cooling parts and their latest release of reservoir/pump combos is fantastic. RGB is gradually taking everything over and the Maelstrom D5 is no exception, but the design is so elegant that even builders who aren’t fond of LEDs will likely be interested. Even though aesthetics are extremely important, performance and options are looking fantastic as well. The Maelstrom D5 comes with the option to use three return ports. This is a pretty great option, especially if someone is using multiple GPU blocks, radiators, and even a liquid cooled PSU from FSP for good measure. Power doesn’t seem to be an issue since the pump can handle a flow rate of 1,250 Lph. What really stands out though is how many options Swiftech is offering so that a builder can find the perfect res to suit the size case it’s going in. The smallest res is 50mm tall, while the tallest is 300mm. Rather than offer a single size in between, the Maelstrom D5 has options for 100mm and 200mm. All four designs have an 80mm base to add to the res dimensions. The news is pretty straightforward, but it’s certainly worth knowing about. Swiftech has always been one of the leaders in custom cooling and it’s great to see more designs like this coming to the market. As usual, you can check out the links below for more information and we’ll catch ya’ later! Maelstrom Reservoirs http://www.swiftech.com/maelstrom-d5.aspx

The Arctic Freezer 33 eSports ONE CPU Cooler is More Than Meets the Eye

I’m not saying Arctic’s new cooler is a Transformer, but I’ll admit that I sort of glossed over it when I saw news about it online. Let’s face it. Every company has some new reason that their latest product is great, but practical testing leads to gains that are virtually non-existent. Upon digging into what the features of the Freezer 33 eSports ONE cooler actually meant, I discovered that Arctic is onto some impressive design ideas here. Let’s talk about the fan first since the improvement is certainly impressive, but not as likely to make a huge change in practical cooling performance. Arctic developed a new motor that absorbs 95% of the vibration caused by being powered. Ideally, this will cut down on noise by a decent margin, particularly if the fan is well balanced. The larger benefit is in lifespan though, since the 4x longer service time allows Arctic to offer a 10 year warranty. The improvement that took a little digging into to see how it would work out was the new thermal coating. Optimized heat-dissipation is one of those marketing terms you start to let go in one ear and out the other, but this one has a pretty practical result. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo rates at 180w TDP for cooling, yet the Freezer 33 has a 200w TDP capacity. Only testing can prove anything, but the thermal coating looks like it’s having a solid practical benefit. Arctic is listing the eSports ONE at $30 on their site which is very impressive. Cooler...

Gamdias Hermes P2 Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction There’s something new in hardware news everyday. Big name companies with new minor upgrades saying how “revolutionary” their change is sounds pretty normal anymore. I’m looking at you, speed switches. Recently I discovered something that hasn’t seemed to reach the more popular news venues: keyboard optical switches. Have you heard of those? Gamdias has them. Have you heard of them? Maybe not, but I couldn’t resist looking at a product that comes from a newer company that also uses a newer technology. We’ll find out soon how optical switches measure up, but first a look at the core philosophy behind Gamdias. GAMDIAS emphasizes on the fundamentals, complemented with creativity and service. GAMDIAS Technology was founded in 2012, with team of over 100 led by R.K. HAN, successfully creating the gaming brand known as GAMDIAS. Not only do we aim to set the bar for quality and practically, but also to go above and beyond in our designs. Further supplementing our motto: Gaming Art in Motion, we will continue to invest heavily on designs, transcending GAMDIAS products to an artistic pantheon. By the way, every name has a story and Gamdias has a particularly interesting one. GAM stands for Gaming Art in Motion. Dias is the Latin word for God. Gamdias is claiming to be the God of Gaming. That’s a pretty huge claim!


G.SKILL Releases World’s Fastest DDR4-4700MHz Trident Z RGB Memory Kit

Press releases that start with “World’s Fastest” are certainly cliche in the hardware world, but I can’t resist a good announcement about a new bar being set. It’s probably more cliche to mention that G.Skill set yet another RAM speed metric, but we give credit where credit is due. The latest Trident Z kit not only reaches a blistering 4700 MHz speed, but manages to keep the awesome RGB lighting without a hitch. It looks like the days of RGB lighting effecting RAM frequency are officially behind us, not that they weren’t already. Check out the link below for more information on G.Skills website! https://www.gskill.com/en/press/view/g-skill-releases-world%E2%80%99s-fastest-ddr4-4700mhz-trident-z-rgb-memory-kit

Nvidia GeForce Partner Program has a Good Point, but Crosses a Serious Line

If you saw the news, you might think Nvidia dropped an atomic bomb on the graphics card industry. Anti-consumer practices are serious business and the GeForce Partner Program (GPP) is beginning to show some huge indications that it’s a pretty shady move from a company that has no need to pull these kind of tactics. Some sites might even claim they are falling on the proverbial sword to announce this, yet revealing the nefarious plans of big business is worth it for the greater good. In reality though, Nvidia is making a move that actually makes a lot of sense for branding, but the reward/consequence part of it is where GPP goes too far. For starters, any company that uses the word “Transparency” a gajillion times to describe a new program needs to really reconsider their word choice. Nvidia used this term many times in their official statement about GPP and that was an instant red flag. What the heck does transparency even mean in the graphics card world!?! The word that points us in the direction Nvidia is really trying to get to is “Consistent.” It’s easy to start hating on a company as soon as we hear they are involved in shady practices, but sometimes it’s important to look for an important issue the company is facing. Branding is perhaps the MOST integral part of a company’s existence in the computer industry and as competition ramps up, branding can be the make or break point of succeeding. Nvidia and AMD have their own...

MSI Releasing Optix MPG27C and MPG27CQ with Crazy MPRT

What’s an MPRT you might ask? Response time ratings on monitors can be a bit tricky. Some companies boast an impressive 1ms speed, but are less keen on advertising that it’s based on GTG (grey to grey) specifications. Low response times measured from black to white are an improvement, but Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT) is supposed to be a better measurement of a monitor’s performance. MSI recently announced the Optix MPG27C and MPG27CQ gaming monitors, and the specifications are already really good before even seeing the MPRT response time. So far, the only difference between the two models seems to be that one has a 1440p resolution while the other has a 1080p res. Both monitors support 144 Hz refresh rate, but it’s the Freesync range that’s impressive. They both can go as low as 48 Hz with their adaptive sync range. The 1800R curvature is a great feature in my opinion and while I’ve only gotten to spend a little time with a curved monitor, I certainly fell in love with it. I also believe that 27 inches is the perfect size for gaming at a computer desk, since larger screens start making it difficult to track gaming movements on the edges of the screen. One interesting feature that MSI adds is blue light reduction. This concept for reducing eye strain is spot on and while programs like F.Lux work for this, hardware level blue light reduction won’t have the game compatibility issues that software can have. What impresses me the...

AMD Ryzen 2000 Series Performance Leak Looks Great, with one Huge Catch

The first refresh of Ryzen is nearly upon us and as per new releases go, we’re getting into the heavy duty leaks season. Zen+ is really a minor refresh of the original Zen architecture. We will see a slightly better manufacturing process of 12nm, and the bumps in stock clock speeds seem to be landing in the 200-300 MHz range. The first preliminary benchmark leaks show impressive leads in comparison to the previous gen chips, but I’m beginning to see a potential catch in the numbers that I think should be pointed out. If we do a direct comparison of the upcoming 2700X to the 1700X, some of the results are looking really good. Cinbench R15 scores start to indicate as much as 20% performance improvements! That’s a pretty incredible number considering it’s only been a year and Zen+ is a refresh. Firestrike scores cool down to closer to 10% leads, but Sissoftware Sandra’s Dhrystone benchmark shows a massive jump of around 40%!!! All of that sounds really great at first, but then we need to address what the real comparison is shaping up to be. Up to this point, there hasn’t been a rumor of a 2800X being released, which is rather curious. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if AMD toned down their 8 core lineup to two separate SKUs instead of three. All at once, the 2700X becomes the new flagship 8 core chip and the direct comparison to the previous generation would more appropriately be the 1800X. That 20% performance jump quickly cools to ar...

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