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Archive for May, 2017

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

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

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...



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 innovative in the market right now. That’s where the Rival 500 comes into play. They’ve redesigned the thumb area on this mouse to do something that is quite unique for the industry and while some of their designs are already unique, STEELSERIES could really be on to something for MMO/RPG gamers. We’ll take a closer look at the mouse shortly, but here’s a quick refresher course on the core values of STEELSERIES. WE ARE GAMING SteelSeries has fueled the gaming industry by creating innovative new products, designed specifically for eSports and passionate gamers everywhere. RELENTLESS INNOVATION Here at SteelSeries, we are obsessed with “firsts”. Dating back to 2001, our company was formed to meet the surface needs of hardcore gamers by introducing the first glass mousepad, the Icemat. Since that original innovation, we created the first mechanical gaming keyboard, the first suspended headband for gaming headsets, the first World of Warcraft mouse and endless other innovations. SteelSeries is dedicated to building products that push professional gaming further than anyone dreamed. Those innovations make gaming more competitive and more fun for gamers everywhere. INSPIRING DESIGN Our fans, cust...



HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset Review

Introduction The Gaming Headset. Ubiquitous and necessary to any gamers arsenal of tools. In cooperative multiplayer games, a good headset can make the difference between the glorious sound of “Head Shot!” yelled out at full volume (much to the dismay of your local Starbuck’s Barrista) and the “mumble mumble” sound of abject failure as your team gets annihilated because nobody could understand you in the TeamSpeak/Ventrilo/Discord channel. Into this very crowded market, HyperX has tossed their brand new gaming headset, the CLOUD Stinger. Before we leap into the review, let’s have a bit of back-story on just who these HyperX people are: Well. There’s a pedigree for you. Kingston Technology’s high performance product division. I guess we should expect a lot from them then! Let’s move right along and see.



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 seen it like this. If you ever wondered how Kylo Ren would handle building a PC, then check out the video below. You can probably already guess, but the Hardware Hound reviews what makes the S340 Elite great. Happy Halloween!!!  



The NZXT Kraken is Getting an Update

Some products go through numerous revisions in an ever-evolving attempt to gain relevance. Others are so good at the start that revisions are few and far between. The Kraken falls into the latter group, having had a great reputation since the very first releases. In fact, the Kraken lineup has only seen one revision since it’s first release years ago. With that in mind, it’s pretty exciting to see that NZXT is about to release the X42, X52 and X62 coolers with some simple improvements that will keep the Kraken name going strong. The revisions on the series are nothing major, but look like they’ll keep the Kraken performing well in cooling and silence. The pump seems to be a bit stronger with what looks like an improved lighting effect, while the added Aer P fans seem to follow in a similar fashion. There’s some other improvements, but what I like about this is the concept of bringing better cooling performance without sacrificing the noise the unit will have. The reviews will confirm this, but I’m not seeing much to indicate that this won’t be the case here. On top of that, NZXT is including a phenomenal 6-year warranty. That’s pretty ambitious for a CLC. Availability on the units will be about a month out, but I’m already excited to see how the new Kraken units will do. Once again, NZXT’s lineup already has a good reputation that didn’t require a whole lot to be changed, but I doubt anybody will complain about an...



Enermax Platimax D.F. 500W PSU Review

Introduction Enermax has been making PSUs since 1990. Their mission statement for the past 25 years has been “Power, Innovation, and Design”. Power stems from Enermax being the first manufacturer to break the barrier of 1kW, Innovation for the continuous development of new technologies like “Twister Bearing Technology“, and the many awards won for design. I will be looking at a new PSU product with high-quality parts called the Platimax D.F. series, the 500W model (EPF500AWT). This PSU has some neat new features like Dust free Rotation, so let’s see how this PSU stands out among the crowded market of PSUs and what parts make this a quality PSU.



ENERMAX Introduces the STEELWING Aluminum Chassis

ENERMAX Introduces the STEELWING Aluminum Chassis October 18, 2016, Taoyuan, Taiwan – Bringing craftsmanship to the next level, ENERMAX officially releases STEELWING, a fully aluminum micro-ATX case with a panoramic tempered glass side panel. Its wing-shaped front panel with one pre-installed ENERMAX patented circular-type LED fan makes STEELWING not just a gorgeous computer case but also a modern decoration. Combined with the spacious interior, STEELWING offers a great flexibility for users to build their systems including hard-tubing installation. Exquisite aluminum craftsmanship Composed of a premium quality aluminum body and up to 3.5mm thick aluminum panel, the structure of STEELWING is built to last. The beautiful luster of aluminum makes STEELWING stand out from its peers effortlessly. Moreover, you can enjoy the view of your internal rigs anytime through the large panoramic 3mm thick tempered glass panel. The case surface is further anodized and sandblasted to keep it from corrosion and prevent fingerprints or scratches. Excellent heat dispersion and cooling performance The aluminum material of STEELWING provides up to 3 times faster heat dissipation compared to steel made PC cases. The semi-open design of wing-shape front panel with 7 stacked aluminum plates can optimize the airflow. With the front and top meshes and 1* pre-installed 12cm fan in the front, STEELWING serves as an excellent cooling enclosure for your precious hardware.   Spacious interior wit...



QNAP Launches Enterprise-class TES-x85U NAS Series Featuring Intel Xeon D Processor and Dual OS Options

QNAP Launches Enterprise-class TES-x85U NAS Series Featuring Intel Xeon D Processor and Dual OS Options Taipei, Taiwan, October 13, 2016 – QNAP® Systems, Inc. today released the powerful enterprise-class TES-x85U NAS series, including the 18-bay TES-1885U and the 30-bay TES-3085U. Both models are powered by a high-performance yet energy-saving Intel® Xeon® D processor, and provides the choice of dual OS inside a single rackmount NAS. Users can choose to install the business storage QES operating system or the app-centric QTS operating system based on their needs. The TES-x85U series with QES is the perfect backup storage for the dual-controller Enterprise ZFS NAS (ES1640dc). The 12Gb/s SAS-enabled TES-1885U and TES-3085U adopt an advanced 14nm Intel® Xeon® D 64-bit SoC processor with an integrated PCH (6-core and 8-core respectively). Both models have two built-in 10GbE SFP+ ports to natively support 10GbE network environments, and can further boost system performance with PCIe Gen.3 expansion for additional 10GbE/40GbE adapters and PCIe NVMe SSD. The high-density TES-3085U is especially useful for providing an ultra-fast all-flash storage solution that offers up to 24 drive bays and 6 dedicated SDDs bays for caching. The TES-x85U provides the flexibility of two operating systems, either the FreeBSD-based QES for enterprise-level storage with maximized business continuity, or Linux-based QTS for enjoying application storage with greater functionality. “Wit...



BIOSTAR Unleashes New RACING Series Products in Thailand

BIOSTAR Unleashes New RACING Series Products in Thailand BIOSTAR Debuts Racing B150GTN motherboard and BIOSTAR SSD G300 to Thai Media and Power Users   October 11th, 2016, Bangkok, Thailand – BIOSTAR is excited to announce its formal launch of the SSD G300 series and the RACING B150GTN mini-ITX motherboard for the Thailand market. Held last September 27 at Bangkok, BIOSTAR unveiled its latest addition to its ever-growing list of solutions for gamers, power users and enthusiasts. The new products will be available in the Thai market via STREK. In attendance were Thailand’s media and power users who were treated to try the latest and greatest line-up of BIOSTAR’s RACING series as well as its mainstream series of motherboards and other products.   On display were numerous builds and systems in cooperation with various partners including Thermaltake, Apacer SSD & Memory, Cooler Master and AMD Radeon graphics which together with BIOSTAR showcased their excellent line-up of enthusiast products as well. BIOSTAR’s own Justin Wang addressed the attendees and states that “BIOSTAR intends to expand its line-up further and this is just us getting started. For now while we grow, we’re also showing our regional partners and customers that BIOSTAR is still committed in showing them that the company still invests in building a healthy relationship with them by holding this regional events and giving the opportunity to personally showcase our excellent products and give f...



COLORFUL SPONSORED OVERWATCH APAC PREMIER INTERNATIONAL MATCHES START

COLORFUL SPONSORED OVERWATCH APAC PREMIER INTERNATIONAL MATCHES START Official hardware partner powering the next best thing in eSports October 13th, 2016, SHENZHEN, CHINA – Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, proudly announces its participation in the Overwatch Asia Pacific Tournament (Overwatch APAC Premier) is authorized by Blizzard Entertainment and organized by Banana Gaming & Media. The international matches started this 6th October and will last to 16th October. There are 12 teams from Asia (China, South Korea and Japan), Europe and America. They are ROGUE from Europe, NRG from America, AF BLUE and LUNATIC-HAI from South Korea, USG and DETONATOR from Japan with SNAKE, VICI GAMING, IG. FIRE, SKADISGIFT, NGA and ALLSTRIKE from China. The 12 teams are divided into 3 groups. After strong competition, the final eight has been chosen. They are NRG, VG and SNAKE in Group A, LUNATIC-HAI and ROGUE in Group B and AF BLUE, NGA and ALLSTRIKE in Group C. Overwatch APAC Premier will come to the final stage from October 13th to 16th. The final eight will fight for the championship. And the prize for the champion will be \500,000. Which team will become the final champion, let’s wait and see! View the livestream here: https://www.twitch.tv/bananaculture  See match replays and videos here : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLecqhXXASMTAghRIfoYb9iXPqOml4gu43  For more information, please visit Colorful...



Don’t Forget to Get Aer! NZXT Aer that is

We covered the announcement of the new RGB LED fans from NZXT last month, but now we can tell you they are available. While I don’t normally go this much out of my way to frequently mention something, I need an excuse to show off that glorious ring around the fan blades again. Check out the link below if you’re interested in ordering one for yourself. https://www.nzxt.com/product-overview/aer-rgb-features Features Designed to integrate seamlessly with HUE+, the Aer RGB fan provides optimal airflow and advanced lighting customizations. Group and daisy chain up to five fans per channel from the HUE+ for extensive lighting modes that work in perfect harmony. Select and modify over 10 lighting effects with ease using CAM’s software interface. The Aer RGB fans feature fluid dynamic bearings and winglet tips that deliver enhanced performance and minimize noise levels. HUE+ and CAM-compatible for seamless software controls and customizations Daisy chain and group fans together for additional lighting effects PWM fan with optimized cooling and whisper-low 22 dBA Fluid dynamic bearing engineered to last over six years Uniform light dispersion with unique light guide design HUE+ is required and sold separately. Specifications Dimensions Aer RGB120: 120 x 120 x 26mm Aer RGB140: 140 x 140 x 26mm Material Plastic, rubber, PCB Weight Aer RGB120: 183g Aer RGB140: 213g Fan Rated Voltage 12V DC Fan Speed 500-1,500 RPM Fan Airflow Aer RGB120: 20 – 61.4 CFM Aer RGB140: 23.9 ...



NZXT S340 Elite VR Ready Case and Internal USB Hub Review

Introduction Alright, everyone! Let’s give a cheer for VR! When I say “V,” you say “R!” Ready? V!!!! ……. Admittedly, cheers work much better in person than in writing, but this doesn’t diminish the hype that went into the Virtual Reality launches earlier this year. The only problem is that sales didn’t reflect the hype that went into how great everything was supposed to be. Many factors may have attributed and while most are speculation, high prices for VR headsets seems to be the biggest obstacle to major adoption for the fledgling technology. There’s also the fact that people like me will never buy into VR because the motion sickness was real when I got to try my hand at it. That being said, it’s still pretty likely that VR will be a big deal soon enough. What Oculus and HTC managed to pull off is a great step towards an eventual widespread adoption. Even if it’s a bit slower to take off than expected, hardware manufacturers will probably put themselves in a good position if they have VR components ready for when consumers start really jumping on the bandwagon. In that light, NZXT has released a new VR ready case. The S340 Elite is more of an update from the notable S340 than a new release, but that didn’t stop them from making a great case for those who don’t have VR as well. In fact, adapting a previous design is a very smart way to prepare for changes at a minimal risk. We’ll...



LAMPTRON CM430 Fan Controller Review

Introduction Fan controllers aren’t quite as essential as they used to be. Even just a few years back, you almost needed to have one if you had more than 3 or 4 fans in your case. Today, we see numerous cases coming with their own controllers, or adding a nice compact hub in the cable management space. That can make it tough on fan controllers today, but a nice display can really add a lot to the look of the front of your case. We have a nice looking one from LAMPTRON today that comes in 3 different colors. We’ll get into the details soon, but first, here’s a quick word about a company you might not have heard much about. Don’t let that fool you though because they seem to know their way around the fan controller market. Lamptron develops and markets the next generation of high performance computer peripherals using the latest technology that enables a new level of interaction between the end-user and their personal computer. Products developed are through a combination of proprietary technology, innovation and ergonomic industrial design. There are three principal business sectors: PC Gaming products PC Silence products PC Modding products Products are designed and developed by our experienced Research and Development Department.Our engineering and R&D staffs specialize in user analysis, material control and industry design. Lamptron not only has expertise in product easy-to-use and product design, but we also plays a vital role in the enhan...



Logitech Pro and Prodigy Series Peripheral Review

Introduction Where do all the cool mice live? In their mousepads of course! Gaming mice has become a crowded market. So what makes a gaming mouse? Even mice with higher DPI are slapped with the title of “Gaming” mouse. Features like RGB lighting, switch types and sensors are important when choosing a high-quality mouse. For keyboards, it’s a similar story. The market offers different mechanical switches and different lighting options. If you’re interested in keyboard switch types look here. Logitech is a company that primarily focuses on gaming with its “G” series products. The “G” series can be broken down further into their PRO and their Prodigy line. Today I will be looking at a few of Logitech’s mice and keyboards from the “G” series line and see what makes them different from other gaming peripherals.







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