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  • Closer Look 2

    MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

    A few months ago we had the honor of reviewing the new MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboards during the launch of the Z97 chipset. Today, we are here again to look at another MSI motherboard. We have MSI's flagship Gaming Motherboard the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC. At first glan...
  • his_250260_2

    HIS R7 260X and R7 250X Review

    Today we're focusing on two cards from HIS, a company we're very familiar with, having seen many of their products in the past couple of generations in AMD cards. HIS typically produces cards with custom coolers and aggressive factory overclocks, but these two are a ...
  • 41

    NZXT Kraken X31-X41-X61 AIO Water Cooler Roundup

    AIO (all in one) liquid cooling units continue to gain popularity due mostly to the cheaper cost to performance ratio, as well as their leak-proof and low maintenance design. If we look back a mere 2 years ago, liquid AIO cooling units were few and far between, and o...
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    Phanteks Enthoo LUXE Full Tower Case

    After all these years reviewing computer equipment, especially case reviews, it takes a lot to get me excited. There are not too many manufacturers that will spark my interest or kindle and light that fire inside of me. Today Phanteks has now moved to the top of my l...
Latest News & Reviews

MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

Closer Look 2

A few months ago we had the honor of reviewing the new MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboards during the launch of the Z97 chipset. Today, we are here again to look at another MSI motherboard. We have MSI's flagship Gaming Motherboard the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC. At first glance the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard looks rather close aesthetically to the Gaming 5 we reviewed. While the looks are similiar, the Gaming 9 has some additional features and aesthetic improvements that make it stand out on its own. The first obvious improvement on the Gaming 9 motherboard is the shield that covers the rear I/O port section and the isolated PCB for its sound card. During the Z97 chipset many manufacturers started to switch over to using higher quality Japanese capacitors and while the caps were much better in quality they looked rather ugly on many of the new boards. It was nice to see that MSI designed the Gaming 9 series motherboard with the shield to cover up that section making the motherboard look much sexier. Let's dive in and put the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard to the test and see how it performed against its little brother the Gaming 5. But before we do that, let's talk a little about who MSI is.


 

Another AMD Tease but Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

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AMD teases are starting to become a bit of a joke. The last exciting release from them (for CPU enthusiasts) was the FX-8350. The chip made some good improvements on the previous Zambezi architecture, but after that things went downhill. Of course the FX-9590 was nothing more than a factory overclocked 8350. AMD announced they were done with the FX lineup. They refused to adopt Steamroller to the FX series. They announced FX but then said it wouldn’t come out til 2016 and finally, they teased an FX chip that was just a 9590 with a new liquid cooler even though they knew that AMD fans are wanting a new FX chip. So when AMD releases a video that says “Core is Back,” you can probably understand why we need to be slightly skeptical. With absolutely no official info, all we know is that there is an A series logo and a possible promotion image that shows 12 cores. At this point, the A series logo seems to negate the possibility of an FX refresh. If that’s the case, then it seems pretty confusing to put this much hype into an APU. While APUs can fill a very appropriate computing niche, they usually don’t make up the kind of material that deserves major hype build up. Enthusiasts would want to see something big so that should leave two options here. Either this is going to be a type of high end APU aimed more at the enthusiasts market, or this is a marketing gimmick to try and pick up sales for something that may not deserve it. This brings us to the ...


ADATA Launches XPG V3 DDR3 Overclocking Memory

ADATA Launches XPG V3 DDR3 Overclocking Memory Ready to Fire With XPG! Taipei, Taiwan – July 24, 2014 – ADATA® Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today launches the latest XPG V3 series overclocking memory, running at a stellar 3100 megahertz. Its dual channel is designed to bring gamers and PC enthusiasts ultimate performance by Intel® Core™ fourth and fifth-generation processors and the latest Z97 platform.   The Thermal Conductive Technology for Great Heat Dissipation With speed up to 3100MHz and transfer bandwidth reaching 24.8GB/s, the XPG V3 series once again pushes gaming to the next level. It supports Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) version 1.3 and utilizes the Thermal Conductive Technology (TCT), which reduces the system temperature effectively. It enables every chip have contact with the heat sinks directly, ensuring IC and PCB operate in an environment of equal temperature for the best stability, even in full-speed operation.   No Crash with Great Stability  Thanks to the detachable fins extended upwards and 8-layer PCBs with 2oz copper, the XPG V3 series provides superior cooling performance and stable data transfer. The 2oz copper can greatly decrease electric resistance and consumes less power for higher efficiency. It also helps to improve the integrity of signal transfer by the lower EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference), enabling overclockers to get excellent benchmarks in the circu...


HIS R7 260X and R7 250X Review

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Today we're focusing on two cards from HIS, a company we're very familiar with, having seen many of their products in the past couple of generations in AMD cards. HIS typically produces cards with custom coolers and aggressive factory overclocks, but these two are a bit different. The R7 260X and R7 250X are budget-oriented cards for those with modest budgets and looking for some affordable gaming, and perhaps even something suitable for an HTPC setup.


 

NZXT Kraken X31-X41-X61 AIO Water Cooler Roundup

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AIO (all in one) liquid cooling units continue to gain popularity due mostly to the cheaper cost to performance ratio, as well as their leak-proof and low maintenance design. If we look back a mere 2 years ago, liquid AIO cooling units were few and far between, and only a few manufacturers offered this type of cooling solution. Today we find a lot of AIO units flooding the market, and as you may already know, selecting the right one can be a hard choice with so many different styles and types readily available. I am very excited today, because I will be putting three new units on my test bench from NZXT. The NZXT KRAKEN X31, X41 and, Kraken X61 AIO coolers. These three closed-loop liquid coolers are follow-up products to the Kraken X30 X40 and Kraken X60 that were reviewed last year. The NZXT X31 X41 and X61 have kept their same 120mm, 140mm, & 280mm respective CLC design; however, they now come with some new additions in the form of variable pump speed control, increased radiator thickness, and Cam software. Before I continue, let me tell you a bit about NZXT.


 

Productivity and entertainment big-time – AOC presents 34″ WQHD monitor

Productivity and entertainment big-time: AOC presents 34″ WQHD monitor Amsterdam, 22 July 2014 – AOC is setting new standards for “large”: with the u3477Pqu, the display specialist has set sail to new shores as it combines size with enhanced productivity. This 34″ (86.7 cm ) WQHD monitor is the right choice for cinema enthusiasts and demanding multi-task users alike. Stunning image clarity, detail and 1.07 billion colours make sure you get the full picture when displaying high-resolution images with 4.95 million pixels on the UltraWide panoramic 21:9 screen. The monitor boasts an impressive resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels on the more than a quarter of a square meter display area, and the aspect ratio allows viewers to watch movies without black bars on top and bottom. Thanks to a great interplay between hardware and software, users can easily watch a movie and play a computer game at the same time on the same screen. Alongside many different ports like USB 3.0 and DisplayPort, AOC offers an integrated HDMI port with MHL functionality which enables the user to directly mirror smartphones and tablet screens onto the big screen.    Productivity meets cinema feeling: the AOC u3477Pqu   Productivity redefined Multimedia editors, engineers as well as stock market analysts or any other professionals working with spreadsheets are likely to appreciate the benefits of the model’s productivity-enhancing features. Gone are the days with endless scrolling or sw...


Be Quiet! Gives their case a name.

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It finally has a name…. At this past Computex in Taipei, Be Quiet! surprised many of us by showing off a custom design case. Nice clean lines, angled top cover, smooth front surface, matte black paint job with a bright contrasting orange trim and out cropped feet, did wonders for creating a bit of buzz. The case with no name would be their introduction into the already crowded and competitive chassis market. This is a divergence from Be Quiet!’s bread and butter, performance fans and power supplies with whisper quiet operation. We should have been expecting Be Quiet to join in the fray as noise reduction among enthusiast reaches epic importance, what better way to start a silent system other then the body that will hold everything else. There has been some speculation on the naming of this mystery chassis based on Be Quiet!’s previous products such as the Shadow Rock, Dark Rock, Dark Power, Silent Wing and Shadow Wing, true to form, Be Quiet! drops the name right in the middle of their naming convention, “Silent Base 800″. Why Silent Base 800? I would guess that it is silent, past that I have no clue. Guess we will have to wait until October, the expected release date, to find out more. What we do know is that it will be available in Black/Black, Black/Silver and Black/Orange (Just in time for Halloween). Surprisingly there is no mention of a Black/Red affair to coordinate with the vast majority of boards sold today. I leave you to check out t...


ROCCAT Debuts Two Products at Gamescom 2014

ROCCAT Debuts Two Products at Gamescom 2014 Complete repertoire of next generation gaming peripherals showcased in Cologne, Germany from August 13th to 17th  ROCC-City booth features interactive exhibits, new games and tons of prizes Hamburg – July 21, 2014 – Gamescom, one of the most highly anticipated gaming trade fairs in the world, and the largest held in Europe, once again hosts ROCCAT Studios August 13 – 17. This year, ROCCAT goes all out, bringing an entire gaming city to Hall 8, Booth A10 in what we’re proudly calling, ROCC-City, where one of the most exciting announcements in ROCCAT’s history will be shared with the public. World’s First – New mouse and keyboard at Gamescom The biggest news coming out of ROCCAT during Gamescom is the reveal of two revolutionary products set to pave the way into the next phase of ROCCAT creations, with a philosophy like no other gaming peripheral company today; one, a completely new take on the gaming mouse, and a keyboard with full smartphone integration. “We call our upcoming products “Future Ready”, and that is exactly what they are,” explains René Korte. “Moving forward, we wanted to offer something that nobody has considered yet, and that’s peripherals that adapt to the future of gaming experiences, and the user’s gaming needs. These first two products have the full potential to remain a part of a gamer’s arsenal for many years, growing with their needs, adapting to personal tastes, and maintain...


New Editions of CM Storm Devastator & QuickFire Rapid-i

CM Storm Devastator and QuickFire Rapid-i New Editions Available  Chino, CA — July 16th —Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator and manufacturer of desktop components, mobile accessories, and gaming peripherals, announced today new variants of the Devastator Keyboard and Mouse Combo and QuickFire Rapid-i Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.   Red Shift The extremely popular Devastator Keyboard and Mouse Combo is now being supplemented with a Red LED edition. The Devastator precision mouse continues to carry its on-the-fly DPI control settings in its ergonomic shell. The keyboard is durable, comfortable, and features dedicated multimedia control keys for maximum control of your system.   Blue Shift Accompanying the CHERRY MX Brown model, the QuickFire Rapid-i is now available with CHERRY MX Blue switches. The new variant is still powered by a 32-bit ARM processor that enables ActivLite Technology, a series of responsive lighting effects. QuickFire Rapid-i includes N-Key rollover functions, a compact tenkeyless form factor, solid build quality popularized by its QuickFire Rapid predecessor, and the ability to set lighting profiles on a Per-Key basis.   Availability New editions are immediately available directly from Cooler Master through the CM Store. Additionally, inventory is currently shipping to your favorite retailers and should be available for purchase in the coming weeks. Price and regional availability may vary. Please consult your local Cooler Ma...


The New LUXA2 PL3 10,400mAh Leather Power Pack

Leather Power Returns in the Shape of LUXA2’s New PL3 10,400mAh Leather Power Pack  Taipei, Taiwan -July, 17, 2014- LUXA2, a market leader in power, audio and holder solutions, today announced a new addition to their highly successful leather power pack series, the new PL3 10,400mAh Leather Power Pack. Designed to charge your USB enabled compatible device, and at the same time, provide a sense of sophistication and elegance that will ultimately leave you turning heads – even when not in use. Quality, performance and reliability are at the heart of all LUXA2 portable battery packs and the PL3 is no exception. Its leather skin has been hand stitched with skilled craftsmanship and care, packs a huge 10,400mAh Samsung li-ion battery cell that translates to an added 100 to 300 percent increase in battery life for your device, and supports fast charging with dual USB ports for multiple charging of your devices simultaneously. Offering up to a mammoth 1000 charge cycles and the provision of LUXA2’s standard 2-year warranty, users can rest assured that quality, performance and reliability are at the heart of all LUXA2 portable battery packs. Stunningly powerful for all your power lifestyle needs, the PL3 is not going to disappoint. Key features include: High Quality 10400mAh Samsung Li-Ion Cell Fast Charging (5V2.1A, 5V1A) Dual USB Ports PU leather for genuine leather-like touch feel 2 year warranty 1000 cycle charges Truly compact for added convenience LED Battery ...





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