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VisionTek CryoVenom R9 290 Review

It has been several months since AMD shook up the GPU market a bit with its R9 series of GPUs. Now that the dust has settled there has been time for AMD partners to design better cooling solutions for the Hawaii based GPUs at the top end of the R9 lineup. When the 290 and 290x first released there was a firestorm of complaints surrounding the massive amounts of heat generated and the lack of significant cooling solutions. Basically the reference design cooler was a major flop that actually caused performance loses. The 290 and 290x GPUs were known to throttle down to lower core speeds to stay within the thermal envelope. In some cases, this resulted in a 290 outperforming a 290x in benches or other counter intuitive results... OUCH! AMD partners proved to be up to the challenge though, releasing GPUs with their custom cooling solutions that offered better heat dissipation without adding to the noise penalty suffered by the reference cooler. This is all fine and dandy, but where does any of this leave the hardcore water cooling enthusiast? It leaves many researching to see which GPU from each manufacturer is and is not compatible with certain water blocks and adding additional cost to an already costly product. One of those OEMs, VisionTek, wanted to lend a hand in this process by taking away all guess work, and even the installation. They are now offering a GPU which comes ready to be incorporated into a custom waco system out of the box. I am happy to introduce the Cry...



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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!



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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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Samsung Jumps into Memory Card Market

Today, tech giant Samsung announced it’s jumping into the retail memory market, looking to make a big splash with new Samsung-branded memory cards. Expecting to capitalize on its market position as an industry leader, Samsung is launching an entirely new lineup of SD and micro-SD cards geared to mainstream, enthusiasts, and professionals with the Standard, EVO, and PRO models, a naming convention which appears to follow the company’s popular SSD lineup. With capacities ranging from 16GB to 64GB, and speeds up to a blistering 90mB/s, the products have been branded for easy recognition to consumers, easily identifying the difference between recommended phone, tablet, and camera uses, depending on your needs for various media uses.   Standard The Standard model offers solid mobile performance and is a must-have for mobile phones, tablets, point-and-shoot cameras and mid-range camcorders. It’s the smart choice for storing more music, photos, videos and apps. EVO The EVO model boasts ultra-high-speed performance and is the preferred memory card for your smartphones, tablets, full HD (FHD) camcorders and digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Its ultra-fast performance brings you improved data transfer of more photos and videos on your mobile devices and high-resolution photo and video capturing on your cameras and camcorders. PRO The PRO model delivers extremely high performance speeds and reliability for premium smartphones, tablets, FHD camcorders a...



New Solid State Drive from ADATA Technology

New Solid State Drive from ADATA Technology SATA 6Gb/sec Premier Pro SP920 series SSD utilizes Marvell controller Taipei, Taiwan – April 2, 2014 – ADATA™ Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today announced the launch of the Premier Pro series SP920 solid state drive (SSD). Designed to meet the high-performance requirements of multimedia file transfers, the SP920 comes in a 2.5” form factor, and is equipped with the latest generation Marvell controller implementing the SATA III 6Gb/sec specification. SSDs continue to become mainstream storage selections for a cross-section of user types, largely due to the higher demands placed on primary system disks by operating systems, games, and high definition media. The SP920 is designed for high performance across a wide range of demanding applications, but it is especially fast in the transmission of multimedia files (uncompressed data). 4KB random read / write speeds are as high as 98,000/88,000 IOPS, with sequential read and write speeds of up to 560/500 MB/sec. In addition to these impressive numbers, the SP920 maintains consistently high read and write speeds even when the disk is 90% full. This is in contrast to some solid state drives that suffer performance degradation as the drive nears capacity. The range of capacities that the SP920 comes in is likely to excite enthusiasts and power users. The initial launch of 128GB and 256GB capacities will...



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be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU Cooler

Lately, one brand is making a real name for itself when it comes to superior air cooling performance, and that brand is be quiet!. The company be quiet! has entered the air cooling arena with high performance air coolers. Their Dark Rock series is a great example. The Dark Rock™ CPU coolers are now becoming category leaders, and the newly upgraded Dark Rock Pro 3 is being touted as even more powerful then its predecessors. The double-tower Dark Rock Pro 3 CPU cooler comes with two preinstalled quiet SilentWings fans that bring both high performance and quiet operation to your PC where it really counts. They are designed for both overclocked systems and demanding multi-graphics platforms. Read on to see if the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 with 250W TDP will offer the low temperatures and peak performance we are looking for in an air cooler.



TRENDnet® Launches Outdoor Three-Megapixel Network Cameras

TRENDnet® Launches Outdoor Three-Megapixel Network Cameras TRENDnet Ships Two High Performance Outdoor 3MP Power over Ethernet Network Cameras TORRANCE, Calif. – March 31, 2014 – TRENDnet, a best-in-class wired and wireless networking hardware brand, today announces the availability of the Outdoor 3MP Full HD PoE Dome Day/Night Network Camera (model TV-IP311PI) and Outdoor 3MP Full HD PoE Day/Night Network Camera (model TV-IP310PI). “These compact high performance outdoor network cameras are well suited for any number of general surveillance applications,” stated Sonny Su, technology director for TRENDnet. TV-IP311PI Outdoor 3MP Full HD PoE Dome Day/Night Network Camera Adjustable fixed position dome camera 3 Megapixel resolution Compact IP66 weather rated housing Night vision up to 25 meters (82 ft.) Save installation costs with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) installation Program motion detection recording and email alerts Vandal resistant housing Digital Wide Dynamic Range image balancing ONVIF and IPv6 support Free enterprise class management software Sample TV-IP311PI video: http://youtu.be/FxLBaEYUTbg Free pro-grade camera management software: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c35bo7niBzI TV-IP311PI page: http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail.asp?prod=210_TV-IP311PI TV-IP311PI images: http://www.trendnet.com/press/media/download_images.asp?ModelNumber=TV-IP311PI TV-IP311PI warranty: 3 year limited TV-IP311PI availability: Currently available f...



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NVIDIA Unveils First Mobile Supercomputer

Supercomputers for everyone! That may be a huge overstatement, but NVIDIA is definitely making the possibility closer to a reality with the release of their Jetson TK1. The tiny board sports the same architecture found in the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratories even though it runs at a much slower pace than it’s gargantuan brother. NVIDIA said that the board was designed for advanced robotics (autonomous cars) but also mentioned the idea of the board showing up in quirky projects. At first glance, this seems like a huge thing for the DIY (do it yourself) community, but there is a lot of competition for NVIDIA to find a place for this board. DIY enthusiasts love boards like the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi for their projects. The boards are inexpensive, compact in size and fairly easy to program since they use Linux and simple program languages like Python. While a $192 might sound like a great deal for a supercomputer, that price is a little steep when compared to the $40 cost of a Raspberry Pi. The size of the NVIDIA board is also about double the size of other boards, making it harder to fit in smaller projects. Not to mention, the Jetson TK1 uses the NVIDIA VisionWorks toolkit which could be more complicated than the programming languages used elsewhere. This doesn’t mean the board is incapable, or doesn’t have the ability to do impressive things, but it does mean that unless consumers are very experienced programmers, it’s l...



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ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer Board Review

Far too often we pay attention to the biggest and best boards on the market and overlook the ones that actually make up a large portion of the sales. Entry to mid range components are used by the majority system builders to do a specific function and to keep costs down. Today we will be looking at a board from ASRock that falls right into the Mid-Range market but does so without skimping on features. The Fatal1ty B85 Killer is directed right at system builders that are also hardcore gamers. The Fatal1ty series of products are made to address the desires of all gamers: quality audio, network lag and FPS. The B85 Killer is one of four new boards from ASRock to carry the Fatal1ty name.



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Dual GPU Cards Fighting for Dominance Once More

Back in January, NVIDIA leaked specs for their GTX 790, a new dual GPU card. Now, AMD is doing the same. The last time AMD and NVIDIA went rounds in this market, it was a one sided fight with NVIDIA getting the first release, and AMD getting in the ring so late that everyone had already gone home. This time around, AMD has announced a new dual GPU chip, only shortly after NVIDIA, called the R9 295 X2. As expected, the specs on both of these cards look pretty monstrous. Some frequencies have been tuned back a tad to compensate for the two chips, but what’s really interesting is the architecture choices. In spite of everyone’s excitement about Maxwell, NVIDIA chose to keep to the GK110 GPUs in the 790. While it’s obvious that Maxwell still needs some time in development, it also seems like the perfect choice with the heat and power efficiency performance seen in a dual GPU card. While it might be worth the wait, AMD has Hawaii architecture coming to their dual GPU card now. And if bitcoin miners loved the performance of the R9 290X, there is no doubt the R9 295 X2 will be an instant success. As it is, Hawaii architecture has already made great strides in the gaming market and if it wasn’t for mining inflating the prices, AMD would be the top pick for many gamers. If everyone comes to see the fight, it’s good to know both competitors showed up this time around. Another exciting thing about these releases is the future of dual GPU card...



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Rapoo 7100P Wireless Mouse review

Computer mice are such odd peripherals. So many variations to suit different personal preferences, resulting in a difficult time trying to guess which one is best for you. Having seen a decent number of mice in my days, suffice it to say I’ve seen both good and bad, and plenty in-between. Particular models become popular amongst users, making a name for themselves, and often taking on the established industry. One of the up-and-coming companies which seems to have a good understanding of what makes a good mouse, is Rapoo. Today we have a chance to review the Rapoo 7100P Wireless Mouse with adjustable DPI. Despite the difference in DPI, the other major difference is that this new product utilizes optical sensors rather than laser internals. This has several pros and cons, which we’ll discuss in more detail, but the overarching point to realize here is you get nearly the same mouse for less money. We’re certainly fans of getting good value, so let’s take a closer look at the Rapoo 7100P and find out if it's really is a bargain.



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Diamond DS3900 Ultra Dock review

Are you tired of continuously reconnecting cables to your laptop, but don't want to buy the specific docking station for your laptop? Or, perhaps you have multiple systems that you use daily. Personally, I run multiple systems from home and constantly switch between systems that require more then a remote desktop connection. Diamond Media has a solution for these scenarios. Introducing the DS3900 Docking station! Cconnected via a USB, the DS3900 allows you to keep your primary peripherals connected to the dock and switch over with a single cable swap. Before we get started, here's a little about Diamond.



Newegg Hybrid Center Launch Party with AORUS

Sometimes being located in Southern California can have its benefits, and we’re not talking about the weather here. California being one of the larger states in the US houses most of today’s PC hardware and software companies. One of these companies is Newegg, and if you haven’t heard of Newegg; we have to say… you need to stop hiding under that rock. Newegg is one of the largest electronics e-tailers in the nation today. If you have ever thought about building a PC or looking for some of today’s latest gadgets, the one place you have probably searched is Newegg.com. Newegg houses some of the largest range of products available today in stock in their inventory and its where most of us PC enthusiasts turn to for some of the geek shopping. Today, at spur of the moment I was notified by a good friend of mine from NZXT (thanks Eric!) that Newegg was hosting a launch party at their new hybrid center. Newegg’s “will call” is located in City of Industry and has housed a space for many local consumers to be able to pick up their online orders; this allowed some of us locals to pick up the items and save some shipping costs if the item isn’t shipped for free. However, the space here was previously pretty empty and houses some chairs and seating in the waiting area and a counter to pick up your packages. But that wasn’t good enough for Newegg and now they have opened the “Hybrid Center,” which has some of today’s latest ...



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The XSPC RX360 V3 Radiator Review

The 2013 was an excitement and busy year for XSPC, the company introduced over a dozen new products from the new Photon reservoir, G1 Sniper M5 motherboard water-block, eye-catching compression fittings and the pump tops - just to name a few. Once again XSPC unleashed the third revision of the RX radiator series. The RX radiator series are the most popular radiator among the water-cooling enthusiasts for its value and performance. Consequently, its design technology is dated and today’s modern radiators from the competitors are surpassing the RX radiators. That’s brought us today’s review, we’ll analyze the new and improve version of the RX360 V3 radiator.



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Smaller Technology Killing the Overclock…or is it?

Let’s face it. Smaller technology sometimes scares us overclockers! I see my behemoth tower that’s as tall as my desk from the floor, and I wonder if the day will come if that tower is much smaller. The truth is, that is a very real possibility, especially with much of this mobile and small form factor technology today. The plug to overclocking is being pulled so that the consumers are stuck with exactly what they got. But have no fear, Overclockers! G.Skill has come to our rescue by showing us that smaller tech doesn’t mean smaller tweaks. Today, G.Skill just announced that its Ripjaws SO-DIMM 2133 MHz DDR3 memory was overclocked to an astounding 2600 MHz! Even if those DIMMs where full size DDR3, that would be an impressive overclock, but this is laptop memory! If that wasn’t enough, this overclock was achieved in ASRock’s barebones system, the “M8.” We’re not talking about a wind tunnel here. We’re talking about a tiny flat box that’s barely thicker than a tablet! While I might be exaggerating the size a bit, the point is well made that even if form factors permanently get smaller, overclocking isn’t going anywhere. I don’t see my giant tower going anywhere either in all reality, but as long as manufacturers are willing to give us the option, we’ll be more than willing to find the best ways to get the most out of any hardware we get our hands on. If you still don’t believe me, just do a search for a liquid cooled raspberry pi! Written by Josh...






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