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Archive for April, 2021

Bitfenix Collosus Mini ITX Review

Lately it seems I have been covering the smaller side of things in reviews. If you read any of them, you will know that I am not a big fan of the diminutive size of Micro and Mini anything when it comes to computing. The bigger the better has been my motto. Huge cases that could fit every feature you might ever want, plus the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, have been my focus for the last few years. Despite this, not too long ago I had the chance to experiment with some of the newer small offerings from Bitfenix and MSI in the form of the Prodigy M and the Z87I Micro ATX Gaming board. I freely admit that I had a change of heart. To my surprise the performance differences between full size and snack size has been erased during this recent resurgence of the minuscule. Bitfenix is now giving me the chance to go even smaller with a Mini-ITX based Colossus M in an effort to fully rehabilitate my aversion to pint size PCs! If it is anything like the Prodigy M, they might just succeed. Let's dig in and find out!



Why We Need a $3000 GPU

I can’t help but say that I’m really excited about the new Godzilla movie coming out next month. As a kid, I grew up on the old Godzilla films, had a decent number of action figures, and shared in the disappointment that was the 1998 remake. What I’m seeing now looks like a great homage to the old 1954 monster. This long lead-in would no doubt beg the question of what any of this has to with NVIDIA’s Titan Z. While $3000 sounds like a lot to average PC users, this card is a huge release for the movie industry. Pixar may be a name you have already heard of, but just in case you haven’t, they really are the “undisputed king” of animation. The reason why they’ve turned out so many good movies is their attention to detail. Ever since the movie Brave, Pixar has been using their own animation system called Presto. This system allows their animators to animate in real time. The included demo video above is worth a watch, and showcases some interesting details. While working on Sully from Monsters University, the animators from Pixar had to render 900,000 hairs in real time. Each hair has 4 points! That’s a total of 3.6 million points the system is running and all of these hairs run entirely on the GPU, not to mention all of the other objects going on in the scene. What was the secret weapon behind all this power? Why none other than NVIDIA’s Quadro K6000. The K6000 is an impressive card. It has 12 GB of on-board memory a...



In Win 901 Aluminum Mini-ITX Case Review

In Win has been known to release some pretty unique PC chassis; their design team have some pretty creative ideas when it comes to its aesthetics and overall style. Of course, that's not always true. Sometimes we've seen some pretty questionable designs and wonder what they were thinking? This can be true of any manufacturer. Regardless, the are other times when we just get that WOW factor. Today, we are going to look at an In Win chassis that gave us that WOW factor at first glance. The In Win 901 mini-ITX chassis has a very sleek and elegant design. Its aluminum construction combined with tempered glass just screams sophistication. Lets break down the In Win 901 Aluminum mini-ITX Chassis and see if this classy design meets the build quality and functionality to match its initial WOW factor.



MSI’s new Next Generation naming scheme – GAMING 3, GAMING 5, and GAMING 7

MSI’s new Next Generation naming scheme – GAMING 3, GAMING 5, and GAMING 7       MSI are revealing upcoming line of “GAMING” mainboards, designed primarily for enthusiast gamers seeking to get the very most from their hardware to software. They are coming in three distinct flavors: GAMING 3, GAMING 5 and GAMING 7.     MSI USB Audio Power Our next generation GAMING motherboards all feature USB Audio Power, similar to the latest ITX GAMING models. USB Audio Power ensures stable 5V power delivery no matter what. Delivering perfect audio quality for USB headsets and USB DAC devices.       GAMING I/O Panel For our next generation of GAMING motherboards we spend a lot of attention to small details. They will come with a complete black I/O panel without the shiny silver edge you are used to.   Xsplit Gamecaster Show off your GAMING skills to the world with XSplit Gamecaster and MSI. Get a 6 month premium license for free with our upcoming next generation GAMING mainboards.       Audio Boost 2  Our new Audio Boost 2 solution is powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 and comes with many new features.  The in-game sound has never been as good as before.    



ASUSTOR Announces Compatibility for ASUS Xonar Series USB DAC Devices

  ASUSTOR Announces Compatibility for ASUS Xonar Series USB DAC Devices ASUSTOR integrates four USB DAC devices from ASUS including the Xonar Essence III, Xonar Essence One, Xonar Essence STU and Xonar U3, providing users with a rich and full hi-fi listening experience. Taipei, Taiwan, April 15th 2014 – ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, announced today that it has added support for USB digital-to-analog audio converters (DAC) giving ASUSTOR users the ability to use a USB DAC to increase the quality of audio output from their NAS devices. A USB DAC can be conveniently used in concert with ASUSTOR’s SoundsGood music player App to provide users with a heightened listening experience featuring fuller and deeper sound. Featured in this integration of USB DAC devices are four models from ASUS. These models include the Xonar Essence III, Xonar Essence One, Xonar Essence STU and Xonar U3. “Today’s NAS applications have evolved from the traditional storage and backup functions as demand for multimedia functionality has taken off,” said Steve Huang, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “ASUSTOR has made great efforts to support the increasing multimedia demands of NAS users by providing compatibility for a wide range of peripherals. With this integration of USB DAC devices, ASUSTOR users will be able to savor a fully enhanced hi-fi listening experience when playing music from their NAS.” The exclusive SoundsGood Web music pl...



SilverStone PS10 Case Review

Are you in the market for a budget priced chassis that looks like you spent more? Introducing the PS10 case from SilverStone, a mid tower case that offers a wide variety of hardware configurations and cooling support. SilverStone frequently leans toward a more budget build of case, yet their cases don't lack for interesting character which appeals to many builders. Can the new PS10 live up to both of these expectations? Read on to find out!



AOC launches IPS monitors with ONKYO speakers, MHL and Miracast connectivity

  AOC launches IPS monitors with ONKYO speakers, MHL and Miracast connectivity   Amsterdam, 14 April 2014 – AOC announces a new set of 23.8″ (60.5 cm) IPS monitors with powerful ONKYO speakers for a spectacular entertainment experience. Both the i2473Pwm and the i2473Pwy boast a stylish Razor Concept design. Built in the stand of these Full HD monitors, two 7 watt speakers from ONKYO are perfect for a superior sound quality when playing games and watching movies. In addition to exceptional image quality, the models also feature the latest connectivity options with MHL and the wireless Miracast™. Home entertainment centre: The 73 Series models offer a solid sound performance thanks to 7 watt ONKYO speakers Exceptional images and world class brand sound AOC equips the new 73 Series members with high-grade 23.8″ (60.5 cm) IPS panels. Delivering Full HD resolution, 250 cd/m² luminosity and a pixel response time of 5 ms (GTG), the LED-backlit displays stun with extremely vivid colours and super-wide viewing angles of 178° both vertically and horizontally. To match the exceptional image quality with high-class sound, the monitors are equipped with a set of powerful 7 watt ONKYO high-quality loudspeakers. An external audio set-up is no longer needed. MHL and Miracast Both monitors feature D-Sub as well as HDMI connectors. The i2473Pwm furthermore supports MHL connectivity. This Mobile High-Definition Link allows to directly connect compatible Android...



Apacer launches SATA 3.0 slim SSDs

Apacer launches SATA3.0 slim SSDs to meet the need for industrial mobility devices   With the trend in terminal products toward mobility, the built-in storage devices have turned to compact design in specification and size, and stronger durability are required for the products. Aiming at industrial computers driven by the trend, Apacer launches two ultra slim SSDs:JEDEC MO-297-compliant SFD 18S6 and MO-300-compliant mSATA A1.The small size equipped with SATA 3.0 high-speed transmission interface, along with the products’ features of low power consumption, durability and high performance, will become the necessary storage solution for the rise of the new mobility devices.It can be speciallyapplied to medical tablet PCs, bedside healthcare, mobile on–board unit and data communication system devices. Adopting SATA 3.0 high-speed transmission interface and equipped with 1x nm Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND Flash chips, Apacer SFD 18S6 and mSATA A1 SSDs boast the maximum sequential read/write speed of 470/470 MB/sec and IOPs up to 70K, with excellent booting performance and highly-reliable SLC solution.They are surely capable of supporting the operation in stringent environment, like industry-level wide-temp (-40°C~85°C) operation.To balance performance with cost, the cost-effective MLC solutionis another option for application, with a maximum sequential read/write speed of 475/430 MB/sec and IOPs up to 65K, both of which are available in capacity up to 256GB, along with large ...



Kingston 64GB SDXC Class 3 Memory Card & USB 3.0 MobileLite G3 Review

During our visit with Kingston at CES 2014 this year, we had a chance to sit down with them to talk about the new and up-coming flash memory cards that are designed for HD Media use. With the advancing and growing media recording industry, faster and more reliable flash memory cards are on high demand, especially those looking for high capacity to store everything on one card. With the standards of 1080p recording, Ultra HD 2160p and 3D/2K&4K resolutions on the horizon, the number of pixels on recording devices can no longer suffice with the slower and lower capacity memory cards. It has been a couple of months since the initial talk and today we finally got our hands on the Kingston 64GB SDXC Class 3 UHS-I U3 flash memory card. Kingston developed this particular card in three available sizes, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The last one will be the memory card we take a look at today. Kingston was also nice enough to send us the Kingston Mobile Lite G3 SD and Micro-SD card USB 3.0 reader as an extra bonus to be able to test the memory card today. With the speed advancements in the SDXC memory card, we wanted to make sure there are no bottlenecks.



HyperX Releases ‘FURY’ Memory Line for Entry-Level Overclocking and Gaming Enthusiasts

HyperX Releases ‘FURY’ Memory Line for Entry-Level Overclocking and Gaming Enthusiasts   HyperX FURY Memory Offers Automatic Overclocking New Aggressive, Asymmetrical Heatspreader Design FURY Entry-Level Family to Include SSD   PAX East, Boston, MA and Fountain Valley, CA − April 9, 2014 − HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the launch of HyperX FURY memory for entry-level gamers and enthusiasts. HyperX FURY replaces the HyperX blu memory line. The new, next-generation high-performance memory offers automatic overclocking with an asymmetric, aggressive heatspreader design for the ultimate cost-efficient enthusiast computer experience. HyperX FURY memory is fully Plug and Play (PnP) so it automatically overclocks within the system speed allowance without any manual BIOS tuning. The new heatspreader design comes in four colors (blue, black, red, and white) and features black PCB to enable gamers, modders and system builders to have color matched systems. HyperX FURY is available in 1333MHz, 1600MHz and 1866MHz frequencies. HyperX FURY system memory will soon be joined by HyperX FURY SSD, designed also for entry-level gamers and enthusiasts who want to get into the game quicker. HyperX FURY SSD allows PCs and applications to load faster and improve overall system responsiveness.  “We are excited to offer our newest addition to the HyperX DRAM family for entry-level enthusiasts w...



Noctua Revolutionizes Air Cooling with the NH-D15

Let’s face it. Even extreme liquid cooling enthusiasts occasionally appreciate good air coolers for their simplicity and noise levels. Sometimes, a person just doesn’t have time or cash to maintain liquid loops on every system they own. While the competition can be steep in the air cooling market, Noctua looks like they may have pulled a secret weapon to dominate the field for a while. I’m pleased to introduce the NH-D15 elite-class dual tower CPU cooler. There are two reasons to be excited about this release. The first reason, as expected, is the increase in performance. I was particularly impressed by Noctua’s policy that they don’t release anything that they aren’t 100% satisfied with. They widened the fin-stack and spaced the heatpipes to improve efficiency. Reviews will be the final judge, but it looks like there will be a new king in the air cooling market. Some people still like to complain about the colors of Noctua fans, but that’s usually before owning one. The performance and low noise levels of the NF-A15 can make any person forget they ever hated beige and brown after seeing it in action. Performance is always a good reason to look forward to new hardware, but functionality is what changes landscapes forever. Noctua has certainly changed the landscape with a simple, yet brilliant design feature. They recessed the lower fins on both towers so that RAM clearance issues will be a thing of the past (for the most part). Th...



Transcend Jetflash 380G Review

With technology growing, the size of storage has grown too. We constantly need more space for moving larger files from one system to another, but we don’t always have network accessibility. Whether it is movies, music or a system backup, we don't always have cables on hand when it comes to transferring files between computer and your mobile device. Transcend realized not everybody carries cables around, and introduced the Jetflash 380. The Jetflash 380 is available in 16 or 32GB sizes in either silver or gold. We have the opportunity to test the 380G 16GB version. Continue reading to find out how well these drives do in our testing.



ECS KBN-I/5200 AMD A6-5200 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

AMD's APU series market has really picked up pace over the last few years. The most recent updates to their current road map, included the new FM2+ socket A88X based chipset and the Kaveri Processor. This has really generated a great deal of interest with many of today's budget conscious consumers. However, with no updates to AMD's enthusiast FX series chip road map, AMD's APU series is really the only new technology we are seeing at the moment from its consumer line. With that said, we are excited to see that AMD is starting to put more budget friendly APU technology out in the market and we are going to shed some light on what to expect. Today we are looking at a very new low-budget APU inspired motherboard. It includes the Kabini SoC processor (which runs the Jaguar APU Cores) on a Radeon HD8000 series graphics base, and it does it all in a tight nit space. At the beginning of the year, ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) announced this Kabini SoC processing unit which houses an AMD A6-5200 CPU. It also includes a Radeon 8400 GPU all in a small mini-ITX form factor APU combo. Today we got our nitty gritty hands on this tiny power house to put it to the test. We are excited to see what this Quad Core A6-5200 APU can do. Before we jump into the details of the ECS KBN-I/5200 motherboard, lets take a look at ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems).



AMD to Increase Global Foundries Chip Production

After Global Foundries was formed from the Advanced Micro Devices manufacturing arm, they have flourished into one of the top semiconductor foundries on the global markets. Part of their success can be contributed to their contracts with AMD to produce a portion of their processors. Recently, Global Foundries has been looking to even further increase their size by the potential acquisition of IBM’s semiconductor fabrication facilities. AMD and Global Foundries reached an agreement increasing the amount of production done by the company. With this agreement, AMD projects that they will pay Global Foundries around $1.2 billion by the end of 2014. Their production prices will be fixed for the duration of their agreement. AMD has made this decision reflecting their projections for this year, increasing production quantities of PC semiconductors and some GPU and APU products. Between the increase of production for AMD and the prospective purchase for Global Foundries, both companies seem to be in very good shape for the future. AMD is in a very good position to increase their own sales and finally stand up against the massive Intel market. In all, Global Foundries just continues to grow in success as AMD and other companies increase their demand for semiconductor products. As Originally Written by DanielB Sources: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2014/04/04/glofo-ibm/1 http://www.amd.com/en-us/press-releases/Pages/amd-amends-wafer-2014apr1.aspx



Nvidia GeForce Experience 2.0 and Performance Update

We recently had the opportunity to meet with Nvidia to hear some of the upcoming newly minted features of their popular GeForce Experience software, and Nvidia is promising even better features to reach a wider audience, and are now calling this their GFE 2.0, presumably the new and improved version. Notebooks are getting the love this time around, receiving the full treatment like the enthusiast desktop brethren, and mobile gaming is looking to get a boost as well with Nvidia's new Gamestream. As an added bonus, we've got some new drivers from Nvidia as well, version 337.50, which promises performance increases. Not ones to blindly believe the claims, we get a GTX 780 on the bench and see what these drivers can do.






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