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ASUS Z87 WS Motherboard Review

Introduction In the world of custom PC Building, consumers and builders frequently ask what the best motherboards are for Gaming PC Builds. While these are always valid questions, some folks are looking to build a high end rendering or workstation PC. The Z87 series chipset has plenty of options from the budget friendly models to enthusiast gaming motherboards; however, workstation motherboards are not as readily available. That changes today. We are going to be looking at a motherboard from ASUS, one of the few manufacturers who created a Z87 chipset based WS (workstation) motherboard to meet this niche market. We have the ASUS Z87 WS on our test bench, and we are going to put this baby to through the ringer. As an interesting aside, one of the few features of this motherboard which immediately caught our attention is the available support of Quad SLI and Crossfire with 4 PCIe slots available. Not many Z87 motherboards offer this out of the box. There are also tons of other features that we typically don’t see with your “typical” Z87 chipset motherboard. Does this bode well for this unique new board? Read on to find out! Let’s get the review started by talking about the 8 Series chipset, but first here’s a quick word about Asus:   Origin of the Name “Asus” ASUS comes from the last four letters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology that represents the inspiration of art and learning. ASUS embodies the strength, cre...



Cooler Master CM Storm Ceres 500 Headset Review

Gaming headsets are one of the most popular peripherals today for most gamers. Whether you are a PC or console gamer you probably at one point had some kind of headset that you used and abused. Today we find that many manufacturers are developing a vast array of headsets for both gaming consoles like the PS3/PS4 and Xbox, and for PC users as well. However, It's not often you find a headset that can be used for both. While some do exist, your options are much more limited. So this brings us to today. We are going to be looking at a gaming headset that might bring the best of both worlds. We have in our hands today the Cooler Master CM Storm Ceres 500 Headset. The sleek look of the white and black aesthetics really makes a statement. The first overall impression of the Ceres 500 is very strong. Of course, at a glance feel and touch isn't enough for most of us. With the number of hours we spend in front of the TV or PC, we need to know it performs well, is comfortable, and has great durability for long heavy use. Let's dive in and see if the Cooler Master CM Storm Ceres 500 Headset ticks off all the boxes.



 
 
 
 
 

DeepCool Gabriel CPU Cooler Review

Small form factor PC builds have been very popular over the last few years and when it comes to cooling your processor with an mITX motherboard, we find very few low profile coolers on the market that perform well in small confined spaces. However, today we are going to be looking at a new lower profile CPU cooler that looks to fit the bill for not only great cooling, but also great aesthetic appeal. We have the DeepCool Gabriel CPU Cooler on the bench today and we have installed this massive low profile cooler into a very confined chassis to put the cooling feature to the test. DeepCool isn't as mainstream as some of the other manufacturers in the States, but our past experiences with DeepCool show they have released some very impressive coolers for both budget builders for high-end PC enthusiasts. Before we dive in and take a full look at the DeepCool Gabriel CPU Cooler let's talk about DeepCool.



CES Las Vegas 2014 MSI overview with PureOC

MSI CES 2014 – Overview This year we had the opportunity to meet with MSI at CES 2014 Las Vegas. We were excited to take a glimpse at what we can expect from MSI this year, but before we go over that, let’s cover something else first. Over the last few years, MSI has taken a leap in marketshare. We have seen this with their Gaming Series, their MPower line of motherboards, and with their Gaming and Lighting Series graphics cards. Their recent release with the NVIDIA and AMD line up really sparked a lot of interested with fans, and we hope to see MSI continue this trend in 2014. Thanks to MSI for spending time with us at CES! Now, let’s have a look at what we saw from MSI at CES 2014. We will first star off with MSI’s Intel line up. The Z87 Gaming and MPower series motherboards have been well received by consumers during the launch of Haswell. One item in particular which that sparked our interest was MSI’s new mITX format Gaming Series Z87 chipset motherboard. With the popular and growing demand of small form factor builds recently, we weren’t surprised that MSI started growing their Gaming series line up. Here is a glimpse at what we saw. We were quite impressed with the features this board offers. It also has great aesthetic appeal, which it shares with its bigger brothers the Z87M Gaming and Z87A Gaming Edition motherboards. The fact that it was shrunken down in size and now offers an on-board Wifi Adapter was a pleasant surprise. We ...



ASUS P9X79-E WS Motherboard Review

Introduction The X79 based chipset motherboards have been out for quite some time now and with the recent launch of Intel Ivy-Bridge E chips, Intel didn’t do much at this time to improve the chipset. Some will say it’s not needed and some will advise against this and say go for the new release of the Z87 based chipset. While the Z87 base chipset did have great improvements for the newly release Haswell chips, we still see a strong stand from the X79 chipset. Today, we are going to take a look at a board from ASUS that has given the X79 chipset a revision which will push the limits and take full use on Ivy-B E. This is the new ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard. What does WS stand for? Well this is designed to be a workstation motherboard for those serious video encoders or server and workload crunching. Of course, it makes for a great enthusiast’s motherboard too.   While this P9X79-E WS (workstation) motherboard is not as mainstream as some of the newer Z87 chipset based boards, ASUS has put together some unique touches to offer better performance and features. Let’s dive in a talk more about what this X79 chipset based board can do.  



 
 
 
 
 

Phobya NB-eLoop Bionic Fan Review

When it comes to looking for fans for your PC, we know that the options are almost limitless. With the number of manufacturers and brands out in the open market, it can boggle your mind when it comes to finding the right one for your needs. However, today we are going to look at some uniquely designed fans from Phobya. The Phobya's NB-eLoop Bionic fans are uniquely designed in Germany and provide the highest standard of technology. The special Bionic fan blade rotor along with the NB-EKA 2 Drive and the NB NanoSLI 2 Magentic floating bearing are aimed to please enthusiasts looking for a superior product. These are not your normal $3 fas you can pick up at a local electronics store. These are specialized to provide the highest of performance satisfaction. Today, we get to put these on the test bench and show you how they perform in both noise levels (dB) and airflow (cfm). Let's dive in and take a look.



 
 
 
 
 

NZXT Kraken G10 AIO Graphics Card Adapter

When it comes to graphic card cooling, aftermarket air coolers were the best option in the past. Also, unless you were going full water cooling, your options were pretty limited. Recently we have started to see a mass of AIO (all in one) water cooling products come to market giving users many more options for CPU cooling; however, up until now there have not been too many similar options for graphics card cooling. We have seen a few PC enthusiasts creating custom brackets to attach these all in one CPU coolers onto graphics cards, and we have even seen some users even using zip ties, but very few manufactured solutions exist. Sadly, in the long run, we find that many of those custom "homebrew" options were not too pretty and/or had diminished longevity. Today things might be shifting. There is a leading manufacturer that has been listening to its customers and actually produced a bracket using this exact idea. It's also designed to offer up greater reliability and aesthetic appeal for the PC enthusiasts. We would like to introduce you to the NZXT Kraken G10 AIO Cooling Bracket which we will review today. NZXT was also kind nice enough to provide us with an NZXT X40 aAIO cooler for testing as well. Read on to find out how this new product stands in the spotlight.



 
 
 
 
 

Titan Dragonfly 4 CPU Cooler Review

Introduction When it comes to processor cooling we have see many designs and platforms that are available at most finger tips. With the vast number of options available in the market, sometimes choosing the right one can be a task, though most of you will probably jump on the net and start doing a quick search on performance and aesthetics. We have seen many CPU coolers in recent years starting to get larger and larger to accommodate those who are looking for the ultimate in cooling. Especially for those who are going to be overclocking, most seem to think bigger is better. Then there are those who are looking for coolers that are smaller in size so they can squeeze it into a small form factor. Well today we are going to be looking at a cooler that has outstanding cooling in mind, packed into a slim profile. How well will this perform? Well… we are going to find out exactly that with the Titan Dragonfly 4 CPU Cooler. So without going into too much detail here let’s jump forward and take a closer look at what the Titan Dragonfly 4 CPU Cooler has to offer. Before we do that, let’s take a glimpse at who Titan is: TITAN TECHNOLOGY LIMITED was founded in Taiwan by a group of progressive engineers. With over 20 years of experience in manufacturing high-quality cooling devices, Titan has gained worldwide reputation for its achievements and expertise in the CPU cooling field. Titan’s headquarter is located in Taiwan with a branch office in Germany. The manu...



 
 
 
 
 

ColdTears Electronics GOverlay LCD Display Review

Introduction Has there been a time during a gaming session that you were wondering how your system is performing temperature-wise? How about how much of a load your system currently has on it? We as gamers are always looking at additional data to see how our newly built gaming system is performing. While we have seen many software-based widgets that can be used to view that information on your desktop, how about those times when you are in-game and don’t want to tab out of the session? Well today we are going to be looking at a little device from ColdTears Electronics called LCDSysInfo for GOverlay. What does this device do? Today we are going to put the GOverlay LCD to the test and show you what this convenient little desk top display can do. This has the ability to customize the data source you want to view, all at-a-glance on this 2.8″ LCD screen. Today we are going to put the software and hardware to the test today to see just how well this device can hold to its promise of total customization.   Now without going into too much detail, let’s jump forward and get started.



MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Review

Introduction The popular demand of small form factor builds for the high end gaming/performance PCs has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years. However, their haven’t been many manufacturers providing high-end mATX boards to meet the demands of those seeking the performance systems. Today we are going to be looking at a manufacturer that has taken that step forward. On our test bench we have the brand new MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard. At first glance, the aesthetics of this motherboard are impressive. It reminds us of the Z87A-GD65 Gaming ATX form factor motherboard that MSI already offers today. The question is, “has MSI managed to pack all those features in a nice little mATX package?” We can’t wait to put this board to the test and find out, so let’s dive in and check out the MSI Z87M Gaming Edition motherboard. Before we jump in, here’s a statement from MSI: “Founded in August 1986, MSI has continued to uphold a business philosophy that stresses “Award-winning product quality and outstanding customer service.” MSI specializes in the design and manufacture of motherboards, graphics card, add-on cards, servers/workstations, iPC, barebones, communication devices, CE products, Notebooks, car infotainment products, and All-in-One PC. “Quality Products Create Faithful Customers” is a motto that guides all that we do at MSI. For this reason, MSI goes all out to be the best of the best in research and development.” Now, l...



 
 
 
 
 

Kingston 8GB HyperX Predator Memory Kit – KHX26C11T2K2/8X

Introduction Over the last decade or so we have seen a speedy advancement in memory. Not too long ago we were talking about the DDR1 era with speeds of 400MHz as the bragging rights. Then we take a few steps forward and DDR2 came along, followed by DDR3 not too long after, as things continued to evolve. DDR3 has been one of the longest running memory platforms, going on 5 years now. Until the next big advancement in memory bandwidth comes along, we will simply continue to see incremental tweaks in the evolution of DDR3. That’s what we have today. With each growing chipset we are seeing new advancements with Intel’s IMC (internal memory controller). Today we are taking a look at a new memory set which will bring a new level of speed with Haswell. We have on our test bench today a set of Kingston HyperX Predator DDR3 2666MHz memory. This set, is specifically made to work with our Haswell IMC, and could push new limits for all us speed demons. Let’s put it to the test and find out!   Before we move forward, let’s read a bit about Kingston: “Founded in 1987 with a single product offering, Kingston Technology now offers more than 2,000 memory products that support nearly every device that uses memory, from computers, servers and printers to MP3 players, digital cameras and cell phones. In 2007, the company’s sales exceeded $4.5 billion. With global headquarters in Fountain Valley, California, Kingston employs more than 4,500 people worldwide. Re...



 
 
 
 
 

Silverstone Dual Monitor Mount – ARM22SC

Introduction When we think of the name Silverstone, the first thing that comes to mind is their line of PC Chassis in which they specialize. They also develop other accessories, like CPU Coolers, Power Supplies and many more. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that Silverstone has expanded their product line to meet the growing demand of multi-display solutions. With today’s growing market of gamers and professionals using multiple displays as part of their work-stations, there must be a better solution for mounting, rather than simply having two large displays just sitting on your desk. Today we are going to be looking at a new product from Silverstone that will do just that. We have the Silverstone Dual Monitor Mount, model ARM22SC. This is a clamp style dual display solution that is designed to suit the gamer or professional, by freeing up desktop space. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at the Silverstone ARM22SC Dual Monitor mount.   Founded in 2003, SilverStone is an established leader in its field, with an elite team of engineers; we started our quest of providing products that create inspirations. We have since expanded the lines of products as well as types of products we produce, giving our customers a wide selection of choices. With distribution centers in different areas of the globe, SilverStone products can be seen all over the world, not just for computer users but also for home entertainment use. Providing leisure with integr...



 
 
 
 
 

Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H Motherboard Review

Introduction Intel’s 4th Generation Haswell release sparked a great deal of movement with motherboard manufacturers over the last few months. We have seen many new motherboards hit the consumer market with revamped aesthetics and updated on-board features. The web space today is flooded with media coverage of high-end motherboards, but we know that not everyone is always looking for the highest-end products. Sometimes, meeting that happy middle-ground of performance and price is what’s important. Today we are going to bring to the table a new Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H that fits that description. With the aesthetics of a top shelf motherboard but the price of a mid-range board, we will see if Gigabyte really hit the mark here to bring both of these combinations together on the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H. The impressive red and black aesthetics make the board stand out in its price category, so now let’s get the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD4H tested to see how well it performs. Before we do that, here’s a quick note from Gigabyte.   GIGABYTE was founded in 1986, establishing our uncontested position in continuous technological innovation. By focusing on key technologies and achieving strict quality standards, GIGABYTE has been regarded as an innovative and trusted motherboard leader in the globe. To keep pace in a rapidly changing world, we have offered a comprehensive product line covering Motherboards, Graphics Cards, PC Components, PC Peripherals, Laptops, Slat...



 
 
 
 
 

Noctua Fan Round Up

Since the beginning of the PC evolution, fans have been a critical component used for cooling. Through the many years, we have seen technology evolve, and as the design of fans advance we have many options today to choose from. Your traditional plain fan blade and housing may have worked great in the past; however many of today's consumers are now looking for quieter noise levels as well as better airflow. With those factors in mind, fan blade and housing design becomes all important. Today we are going to be looking at a product from Noctua. Noctua has built a solid reputation by supplying some of today's best performing CPU air coolers. We have several of Noctua's newest editions in their fan sector in for testing. It will be our pleasure to take a closer look at these new models and see what they have to offer.



 
 
 
 
 

XSPC Photon 270 Glass Tube Reservoir Review

When getting a new CPU for you system build, the first thought used to be "which heatsink and fan am I going to use?" but today that thought process has changed and years ago, adding water cooling to your PC was a risky task. However, the traditional paradigm has been shifting in PC cooling over the last few years. Today's modern cooling technology has taken several leaps forward in advancement. Because of this we are seeing more and more PC builders using water cooling as your every day cooling solution. Water cooling has proven to be a reliable and easy solution to help keep your hottest processors and graphics cards cooler. Today we are going to be looking at water cooling manufacturer XSPC. XSPC has been in the cooling business for over ten years and has built a positive reputation for itself. They continue to lead the market in custom liquid cooling solutions, delivering a complete range of cooling components worldwide. On our test bench, we have XSPC's new glass tube reservoir called the Photon 270. As we move forward, we are going to fully explore the XSPC Photon 270 Tube Reservoir and share our experience and impressions. Can the Photon 270 Tube Reservoir from XSPC live up to their previous reputation? Read on to find out.






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