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  • Raijintek Thetis and Asterion Plus Chassis Review

    Introduction How does a company stand out in the PC component market today? The simple fact is there is a ton of products to choose from and it’s getting harder to come up with a unique design that can blow the minds of consumers. Cases are finding an increasin...
  • Too Many Chipsets? The Differences Between Motherboards

    Have you ever tried to figure out the minuscule differences in motherboard chipsets and had a really hard time finding the information you wanted? I believed that when I started this endeavor, I’d be pulling a few articles up, grabbing the info I wanted, and pu...
  • A Noctua Fan Overview – 40mm to 200mm Varieties!

    Noctua fans are known for their proven performance and reliability, as well as excellent acoustics and unique color scheme. Are they worth your buck? Find out what we think!
  • E-Win Champion Series Gaming Chair Review

    Introduction I’m a firm believer now that everyone who uses a computer heavily needs to own a good gaming chair for their station. It’s not because gaming chairs are cool, even if they kind of are, but mainly because they all seem to be built with heavy e...
Latest News & Reviews

This is the BEST Wireless Adapter you can Get for $26! Oh, it’s a Router Too

Am I the only one around here that’s thought, “I wonder if they make a wireless adapter that goes to ethernet, instead of USB or PCI?” I’ve attempted to search out wireless ethernet adapter before, but the wild goose chase that ensued was not very encouraging. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you how I finally found the solution I use for my wireless needs in my home today. What I can tell you though, is if I ever have to choose between gaming over wireless or trying to run a long ethernet cable through tight spaces, I’ll always go with a wireless router to use as my adapter. We’ve all probably experienced the crappy USB wireless adapter that keeps dropping our connection. That option only seems to work in the best of circumstances, which leads to many builders upgrading to a PCIe adapter. Those tend to work more consistently, but if the room is far from the router, the placement of antennas toward the back, bottom of the case isn’t ideal. Range extenders can be extremely finicky to set up and if a gamer has tried all three options without success, that’s when the ethernet cable gets run through the attic or the crawl space. (Or down the hall!) You might try the mesh network, but my experience with that was it added a lot of latency to the connection. The simple fact is that routers are typically made to run off of quite a bit more power than any adapter, which usually means your adapter is the weak link in your wireless c...


The Drop-in Rad Bracket on NZXT H700i isn’t Quite what I Want

I want to apologize for being a bit harsh, but NZXT’s been getting me excited about something that ends up not being what I was originally expecting for a while. This has mostly been a moot issue since releases, like their new motherboard, are still pretty awesome. On the other hand, the new cases of late have left me just wishing that we could get a new full tower design of the Phantom series, combined with some tempered glass. News just came out about the H700i and while it does have some epic features, the drop-in radiator bracket could use some improvement. I don’t want to completely harsh on the case because it has some good things going for it. The big one is the cable routing trays for management. The way those are designed and laid out is about as perfect as I could imagine, which is not a surprise coming from NZXT. As always, we have a very nicely laid design that also looks professional, yet still gives the builder a clear tempered glass side panel that shows off the build nicely. After that though, it starts getting cliche. NZXT still hasn’t put a tool-less hinge and latch system on the side panels, the case mostly looks like an H440, and it’s yet another mid-tower release. While cases like the S340 and H440 are nearly perfect case, amazing to build in, who doesn’t like to see huge steps in the direction of innovative design? That said, the drop-in radiator bracket ended up being a huge disappointment for me. When I first saw the cl...


Adata Shows Off “Liquid Cooled” RAM at CES, Project Jellyfish

We’re getting into the realm of very intricate ideas in cooling components and that’s saying a lot. Your widely accepted air coolers almost always use heatpipes, which are actually engineered with a substance that phase changes inside, helping move the heat through to the fins. As good as that gets, crazy people found out that using water in a loop with a radiator was even more effective, deciding the risk of frying a system was worth the benefit. Now, Adata is taking things to a new level that, while already existing in other capacities, is bound to be a first for RAM cooling. First, let’s talk about the concept of these modules being liquid cooled. While generally speaking, this is correct, it’s technically somewhat inaccurate. Liquid cooling generally correlates to transferring heat out of the component by means of, say water, as the vehicle to carry it away. It ends up being a simple transfer of heat from the source to the air. The liquid that’s in these modules is called Fluorinert, which is using a process of cooling called “phase change.” This particular chemical, developed by 3M, can boil at temperatures as low as 34c depending on the variant. As liquid boils, it actually consumes a large portion of the heat being generated, as opposed to transferring it to a less heat saturated area. Thus you have the concept Adata is introducing, but while this looks pretty new for RAM, it’s been implemented in the server environmen...


Oh Boy! Enermax Showed me More Shinies

Enermax sent an email summing up everything they want us to pay attention to after CES. I already covered a lot of what’s here in our last post, but now we have better release windows and prices. For instance, the Saberay will be available this month and the price looks pretty nice at $160. A couple of more items that perked my interest was the inclusion of SleeMax cables to more lines of PSUs, which I think is an awesome thing, and confirmation that the LiqTech II does have the 450 L/h pump I mentioned earlier. Sure, this might be a lot of posting on Enermax, but I’m a big fan of their PSUs and coolers so post I shall! Right now, I think the Saberay is the perfect, all around case for various reasons. For starters, the easy access Tempered Glass panels are perfect for builders who get inside their cases a lot. Normally, I’d prefer full tower, but the Saberay looks to be so roomy that I don’t think it will make a difference that it’s technically a mid-tower. There’s tons of water cooling support, rather than needless amounts of HDD bays. Seriously! How many builders are putting 8 drive RAIDs in their personal gaming builds? Finally, I don’t believe there’s a more elegant looking case with amazing RGB lighting than the Saberay. I really love this case! There’s a couple of fans releasing as well. The T.B. silence has an interesting feature in that it will spin as low as 300 RPMs. It would be nice to see it in action, but ...


Intel Working on Discrete GPUs Sounds Good, but Might be Bad

At the end of last year, news came out that Raja Koduri was leaving AMD and moving over to Intel. I guess I can’t gauge what the general response was from the enthusiast community, but I personally felt like that was a bit of a slap in the face for those hoping for a Radeon turn around. Vega sounded interesting, but the end results were no where near what expectations were building it up to be. Now, it looks like a leak is showing that Intel is developing two discrete GPU solutions and while more competition is typically a good thing, the move could be a net negative to the industry instead. The most obvious ramification of this news is that we could end up with a more competitive environment to combat Nvidia. While the Green Giant has certainly fared well in the graphics division, they also have a price tag to match. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but it’s always nice when tough competition gives builders more value for their money. On the other hand, there’s a couple of things here that really bother me. First, this adds a third driver to the arena that developers will have to take seriously. Sure, Intel iGPUs pose a similar issue, but the low level performance of the hardware indicates it might not be as huge of a concern to AAA. This may be a concern that’s completely non-legitimate, but the concern of Intel hiring Raja may be of more concern. As much as I hate to say it, Vega is a failed launch in terms of gaming and Raja pro...


Phanteks Announces Revolt X and Revolt Pro, Dual System or Dual PSU

The hardware industry revolves around upgrading systems through replacement. Out with old and in with the new works for some, but many of us have budgets that limit what we can replace. Modular upgrades is the ticket and Phanteks has a great option coming that will do just that in the PSU world. The Revolt Pro allows you to add a PSU to an existing one, but first let’s look at the Revolt X. I’ll admit, I can’t think of a ton of situations where having one PSU to individually power two systems would be useful. It could save money to have one strong unit, but simultaneously hooking up two systems to one PSU is more suited to reviewers. The Revolt Pro definitely peaks my interest, but I think it needs a bit of a tweak. It’s great to be able to combine two units to work for one system. Not only can it save a reasonable amount of wear with load balancing, but it leaves a buyer open to easily upgrade their power down the road when it’s needed. Right now it has an 850w and 1000w option, but the wattage seems a bit high, even for many enthusiasts. A 500w and 650w would be great options for first builds, giving the buyer a chance to upgrade to a wattage that’s not quite as over the top. Everything being said, the 850W Revolt pro is marked at $130. If you told me I could have a 1700W PSU for $260, I’d definitely be interested. Seriously! You can go to Newegg and check the 1500W+ PSUs to see that this ends up being a fantastic deal. On top of...


Gigabyte Gives us our First Taste of X470 with the Aorus Gaming 7, Great Audio Please?

I hate living vicariously through others, but I couldn’t get to CES this year so I have no choice. PC Perspective managed to answer my one major question though, so I’ll point you in their direction for the meatier details of the new motherboard after this. I’ve been waiting for Aorus to give us a Gaming 7 AMD board for a while now and I’m not completely surprised that it’s coming to the next chipset in the Ryzen family. The Aorus X470 Gaming 7 has plenty of cool features and a great VRM heatsink, but I really hope they do a very important thing with the built in audio. Right off the bat, we can see that we’ll have built in WiFi connectivity and the M.2 heatsinks look great. Cooling relies on surface area and these covers actually have fins to help dissipate NVMe heat production. Speaking of surface area, it feels like it’s been a real long time since I’ve seen actual fins on the VRM heatsinks. Even the smallest amount of airflow will make a much larger impact in keeping the power delivery cooler for overclocking, which happens to have 10+2 phases. The only thing I wouldn’t mind seeing changed is a black powder coated finish on the heatsinks, which I believe would look a little nicer, but that’s just a matter of personal preference. What I REALLY hope for on this board though, is that they are going to use a very specific audio chipset. PC Perspective said there wasn’t details on the audio yet, so I’m ...


Crucial Announces MX500 SSDs….. Again?

This one confused me for quite a bit because I saw the tweet and immediately thought of the numerous MX drives I’m currently using. Turns out they are all MX300 variants, which cleared up all of my confusion. Crucial is looking to upgrade the MX lineup by using Micron’s 2nd generation 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. On paper, the speed improvements seem small, but it certainly puts the drives in closer range to some of the stalwarts of the SATA SSD realm. The charts will give you a great side-by-side comparison of the performance specs. Just click on the thumbnails to make them larger. The other difference that isn’t readily available there though, is the updates in the controller. The MX300 series used a Marvell one, but the new MX500 series will use the Silicon Motion SM2258. I had read that the MX300 suffered in performance because of the Marvell controller and even though my personal experience is great with them, it does give opportunity for the MX500 to give a significant improvement. Check out the link below to see more info at Crucial’s site, especially since the MX500 will likely be a great option for a storage upgrade. http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct1000mx500ssd1


I’m So in Love with the Enermax Saberay and LiqFusion

Enermax is a crazy amazing company in my opinion. It’s always hard to review certain products because sometimes, price is a hard factor to ignore. If I could take 5 years to review a product, I could quantify quality much better, but in a short time period, it puts us reviewers in tight spots. Then again, there are products that just blow me away beyond imagination. So while I take a second to shed my tears for not being at the Enermax booth this year (#newborn), let’s dive into some amazing looking products with the Saberay, the LIQFusion, and a mining version of the MaxTytan. Oh Saberay, I’ve dreamed of you every day since the moment I first saw you in 2017! It may have taken a year, but it looks like it will be well worth the wait. For starters, Enermax puts a TON of space in a mid-tower design. I almost feel like it should be a full tower. The space available makes this design excellent for liquid cooling, custom or closed loop. The features I loved most about this case was the one latch, easy to remove panels. Enermax still has those, but you can see the big change that happened from 2017. Enermax added their 4 ring RGB fans to the mix. The lighting is absolutely gorgeous on these fans and it’s even better in this case. The best news is seeing an available date for 2018. The release can’t make it here fast enough! Next, we need to talk about CLCs and reconsider who makes the best looking unit. Before we do that though, let’s talk ab...


Samsung Announces HBM2 Aquabolt, Getting Closer to Really Mainstream

How did I miss that Samsung is producing HBM? Maybe I didn’t miss it, but I just forgot by the time I saw this announcement. Samsung has improved the performance of HBM2 by a pretty large margin and they’re continuing to ramp up production in order to provide supply to manufacturers abroad. We get it! HBM2 is really fast and since you can get the technical details from the link below, I want to explain what I hope to see in the near future with better/cheaper HBM2. The biggest gaping hole in the market that I see is the lack of HBM in RAM sticks. I’m sure this will mean new motherboards, chipsets, the whole nine yards, yet I can only imagine what this development could mean. Not only would we have aggressively impressive memory performance, but I would be willing to bet that RAM slots would get trimmed down to the size of a SODIMM slot on a regular ATX sized motherboard. While mainstream and gaming boards wouldn’t require an excess of 4 slots, imagine a platform like Threadripper being able to squeeze 16 slots into one board! Even then, we may see a day when CPUs have HBM2 built into the die and RAM slots could be completely obsolete, though I feel like having a small slot is better for upgrade or replacement purposes. We’ve already seen the power and size efficiency of HBM on graphics cards, but wouldn’t it be great if every card came equipped with the technology, rather than only high end GPUs? Samsung is definitely helping make HBM2 a...





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