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The Hardware Hound

The Hardware Hound Episode 2

After a crazy 2014, the Hound is back taking care of business and boy did he have some catching up to do. On this episode, he covers a nuclear reactor disguised as a CPU cooler, some important features on Windows 10, and most importantly, new GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD. So sit back, enjoy the show and get excited because great hardware news is always good news!



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ECS LIVA X Mini PC- Review

Introduction   Here we are at the beginning of a new year where we can start fresh on old habits, forgotten projects of days past, and new promises to self and others; it is all about moving forward. Last year ECS released a mini PC kit called LIVA. We were invited out to a press event in San Jose to discuss it and a few other products.  Article here.  The small black box PC was meant to be assembled before the end user installed their preferred OS. This wasn’t overly difficult for even a beginner but it may have intimidated some into looking for other solutions. LIVA had a decent amount of processing power, small footprint, built in Bluetooth/WiFi and was priced competitively. Overall it was a good first out for ECS. Now we have a new year and a fresh attempt to introduce Mini PCs to those with an imagination, limited space, HTPC or even digital signage. The LIVA X is an update to add features and correct some of the pitfalls found in the first iteration of the LIVA MINI PC. I have high hopes for the LIVA X so let’s see if it can replace my current full size HTPC solution.     ECS, the Elitegroup Computer Systems, was established in 1987, and almost 30 years of business. More than two decades, ECS has overcome a great deal of obstacles facing new businesses and has experienced the joy of significant growth and development. Her main focus has expanded to not only motherboards, but also desktop and notebook computers, graphics cards and other mo...



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GX Gaming SW-G2.1 2000 Gaming Speakers – Review

Audio has been a major component of gaming dating all the way back to Pong and Centipede. A good soundtrack and audio reproduction adds to the overall experience of any game just as a bad soundtrack or sub par reproduction can take away from that experience. Discrete sound cards, integrated audio chips, gaming headsets and complete speakers systems are some of the more common items discussed for delivery of gaming audio. Often you will find multiple solutions in a serious gamers tool box, A gaming headset for late night gaming sessions and a speaker solution for when free to play as loud as possible.



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Introducing the NZXT DOKO! A Unique Take on PC Streaming

      A PC streaming device that brings you the full functionality of your pc, anywhere in your home.     Los Angeles, CA – DOKO is a PC streaming device that connects to your network and allows you to easily use your PC in the comfort of your living room. Run office software, stream limitless media content and play PC exclusive titles – do anything and everything your PC can do, anywhere in your home. The current problem with modern PC streaming technologies and set-top boxes is that they all come with their own pre-defined limitations. TV boxes are restricted to their own set of media channels, file formats and limited applications. PC game streaming and screen mirroring devices are all restricted by their own platforms, proprietary technologies or latency issues. Utilizing a gigabit connection to your network, DOKO offers low latency (50-80ms) high definition (1080p, 30fps) streaming with unparalleled compatibility. And unlike current streaming devices and set-top boxes, DOKO offers four USB ports with USBoverIP technology. With this technology, plugging a USB device into DOKO is just like plugging that USB device into the PC that is being streamed, no matter how far away. This gives you the freedom to use the input devices you already own and are used to. Freeing you from the restrictions of current PC game streaming technologies, DOKO lets you play any game your PC can, all in the comfort of your living room. No proprietary software or har...



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Gigabyte Raptor Gaming Mouse

With the Raptor gaming mouse, Gigabyte is targeting a rather specific crowd in the gaming world: those who want a claw-style rodent. We don't see many of these, and the Raptor looks sleek and comes with a few interesting features. Not only is it a claw mouse, but it's also nearly ambidextrous. Interesting, to be sure. But will it alienate mainstream users, or zero in on those who want something special? Let's take a closer look at the Gigabyte Raptor gaming mouse and make the call.



Best of 2014

Best of 2014

Intro and Honorable Mentions With 2014 having come and gone, I’m sure all of us are greatly looking forward to amazing hardware coming in 2015. But one thing we get to see a lot of is the “Best of” everything that happened in 2014. So even though 2015 is looking very promising, we thought it would be great to look back through the year and do our very own “Best of 2014.” We decided on 5 news pieces, and 10 reviews that were considered to be the cream of the crop. Are you ready for the picks? Before we go into our official list, something always gets left out that just couldn’t be squeezed in with the leaders of the pack. Due to the overwhelming guilt we felt on a couple of really good articles that we just didn’t want to leave out, we decided to have some Honorable Mentions. Our first one comes from the news category, The Hardware Hound Presents: Windows 10, a Gamer’s Perspective. Honorable News http://www.pureoverclock.com/2014/10/the-hardware-hound-presents-windows-10-a-gamers-perspective/ Windows 10 made a big wave that increased the more that details about the upcoming OS were released. Windows 8 had become a pretty big disappointment and 10 was poised to fix many of those problems. Then Microsoft released the tech preview. The Hardware Hound took it upon himself to give Windows 10 a full blown try, and the results were surprisingly satisfying. Windows 10 made a good first impression and as such, Pure Overclock was ab...



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InWin D-Frame Mini mITX Case Review

Introduction Sometimes when you plan out your PC build, you want something that really stands out from the crowd. Price be damned, you want your rig to grab everyone’s attention in the extreme. To that end, there aren’t really a great deal of options out there that deviate much from the standard rectangular prism layout we’ve all come to expect. Things get even more limited when you start to discuss the prospect of an mITX system being the focus of the build; short of making something from scratch, your options get even more constricted. What’s a system builder to do?   If money is no object and you want opulence in the most functional way possible, InWin may have something that’s right up your alley. As of late they are most well known for their artful use of aluminum and tempered glass in cases like the S-Frame, the 901/904, and the D-Frame, and today I’m gonna take a look at the D-Frame’s little brother, the D-Frame Mini. Equipped with the same tubular aluminum and open-air design as its larger sibling, I’m going to see if this form factor does an mITX system any justice, and decide if the 300 dollar premium is really worth it in the end. I’d like to take a moment to share the InWin logo story straight from their website:  



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DeepCool Displays a new sense of style at CES

PENTOWER PENTOWER is constructed from trestles,panels and aluminum shell. The unprecedented pentagonal prism structure has made the case to be an artistic product on table. In order to make a neat and tidy lay out, we place the motherboard supporter at one corner, and graphic card at opposite. By using PCI-E extender, these two core components become nearly parallel rather than vertical. The remaining space is filled with 1×3.5 hard drive bay, 2×2.5 hard drive bay and one slot-load optical drive which can be changed to one 2.5 hard drive bay.     There is a cable management channel in the central of the case, components are connected as easy as in traditional cases, in fact the whole installation process could be more easier; after the shell is removed, all of the panels and trestles are exposed, users can install units directly without uninstall any other part of the case. The case adopts horizontal airflow channel, the heat ventilation performance is excellent, because of warm air rising.     Tristellar 3 independent cabins constitutes this unique and amazing case. Each cabin includes one of the most heat generating parts of a PC. Motherboard cabin supports ITX motherboard, 2×3.5 drive bays or 120mm liquid radiator/case fan (after remove the drive bays) and low profile CPU air cooler. Graphic cabin supports VGA card up to 320mm, which is connected to motherboard by PCI-E extension cable, behind the GPU, there are three tool-free 2.5 d...



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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL

Introduction: Phanteks has moved to the top of our list as one of the premium manufacturers. Phanteks has been on the forefront as leader in the manufacturing of thermal solutions like high performance fans and air coolers. Phanteks this past year took the industry by surprise, when the company ventured into computer case manufacturing, by introducing for the very first time their award winning Phanteks Enthoo Primo full tower chassis. A chassis that was specifically designed for the computer enthusiast, and water-cooling aficionado. Today what better way than to start our New Year but to have the pleasure of reviewing the Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL and what looks to be a scaled down and smaller version of the acclaimed Enthoo Primo. The Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL sports many of its distinct features and designs, which includes multiple radiator support, modular HD cages, separate PSU area, and all aluminum look. The Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL is available in a satin black windowed version. Try imagining Primo, as it is anything but Mini, in a scaled down version, at a lower price. Without giving too much away the Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL features support for dual operating systems, and for its small size at 260 mm x 550 mm x 480 mm (W x H x D) 10.2in x 21.7in x 18.9in is anything but mini. In addition, these dimensions looks to be more of a mid-size form factor then a mini. The Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL sports a very spacious clean interior, making it very easy to build both air an...



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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL and accessories kit launch

ENTHOO MINI XL Walnut, California, January 5th 2015 - Phanteks announce the release of the Enthoo Mini XL, a super micro ATX. The Mini XL has been redesigned with optimal cooling in mind. Resembling the Enthoo Primo, it offers extensive water-cooling possibilities.   The Enthoo Mini XL, a compact and powerful structure with a sandblasted aluminum faceplates with matte finish. The Mini XL introduces a new form factor, super micro ATX. Unlike the Enthoo Primo, the Mini XL comes with a new RGB LED light system with mulitcolor control (10 colors) and supports dual motherboard configuration with the Mini XL ITX upgrade kit (PH-ITXKT_01). With the Enthoo Mini XL, the main challenges was to make effective use of space through design. The Mini XL’s power supply location is now on the top back side of the case for optimal cooling. The Enthoo Mini XL comes with many features like dual removable hard drive cages, Drop-N- Lock SSD Brackets, quick eject dustfilters, LED control, mod friendly structure, and easy cable management. The Mini XL also offers extensive water and air cooling. Convenient pump bracket with preinstalled vibration dampeners, PWM control hub allows for up to 7 fans to be controlled by PWM, 2 reservoir mounting locations, radiator side bracket, and dual rear fan exhaust. For the one who desire even more, the Mini XL leaves options for additional upgrades. Extra upgrades like internal ambient lighting sytem (PH-LEDKT_M1/ PH-LEDKT_M2) that matches with the exterior...



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ThermalTake Core X2 Chassis Review

The new Core X series of cases looks to build on what was started in the Urban series of chassis, versatility, simplistic outward design and affordability. In this review we will see if Thermaltake continues its positive trend or stumbles as many others have during follow up launches.



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SilverStone Ultra-Quiet 140mm and 120mm PWM Fans Review

Introduction The quest for silence is an ultimate goal among the elite of computer enthusiasts. Some people take this quest to the extreme in having fanless computers, but even the slightest airflow can be inaudible while making a huge difference in temperatures. That’s exactly where SilverStone comes into the picture with their new series of Ultra-Quiet PWM fans. Rather than trying to break airflow records, these tools are designed to operate at a such a low level that you won’t be able to tell if they’re spinning unless you look at them. Before we take a closer look at the fans themselves, let’s take a quick glance at the company of SilverStone.



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NZXT Introduces S340 Color Editions

Introducing the S340 Color Edition Los Angeles, CA – This Fall saw the S340 lead the way for NZXT in the entry-level case category, bringing premium quality and innovative design to the sub $70 space. Today we’re pleased to announce the availability of the S340 in two new stylish colors: Matte Black paneling with either Gloss Blue or Gloss Red accents. Both colors will be widely available to all NZXT sales partners.   Forged from strong, cold-rolled steel, the S340 exudes an air of confidence that only the most durable of cases is capable of exhibiting. Axing the optical bays and relocating the HDDs to a lower position opens the case up like never before, making this one of the easiest cases to build in ever. A grommet-less cable management solution, alongside over twenty zip-tie locations and plenty of space behind the motherboard tray gives you unprecedented cable management options for a mid tower case. When it comes to keeping cool, the Source 340 is no slouch. With Kraken X61 compatibility in the front intake, X31 compatibility in the rear exhaust, and a total of up to three 140mm or for 120mm fans you have plenty of Cooling options. Thick front panel cutouts allow unrestricted airflow to reach our fully filtered intake. The Source 340 comes with the standard accouterments that you would expect from a premium case, such as USB 3.0, filtered intakes, a PSU shroud, and quality materials. Easily one of the most durable cases we’ve ever made, the Source 340 boa...



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Lian Li to Showcase Open Air Chassis at CES 2015

Lian Li to Showcase Open Air Chassis at CES 2015 Desk Chassis and Latest Lineup of Brushed Aluminum Cases Also on Display December 30, 2014, Keelung, Taiwan – Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd will be at the world’s largest consumer technology trade show – CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from January 6 to 9, 2015. Lian Li invites all interested parties to visit the their booth, Westgate (formerly LVH) #50012, 50014, and 50016, and catch a glimpse of the recently released O Series open-air chassis as well as the aluminum desk chassis. Open Air Chassis Previewed to the worldwide technology community in its prototype stage, the O Series chassis, PC-O5, PC-O5S, PC-O6S and PC-O7S, reflect the feedback of the DIY community, and feature oversized tempered glass windows, a PCI riser cards, and sleek and slim aluminum construction.   Take a Seat at Our Desk Chassis Visitors to the Lian Li booth will be able to take a seat at our Desk Chassis. Constructed of aluminum and combining the symbiotic relationship of desks and computer cases, these hybrid chassis allow DIY builders to build a full computer inside a desk and show off their hardware creations through tempered glass desktops.   The Latest Aluminum Chassis Lian Li will be also be displaying its current line of mini, micro, mid, and full tower brushed aluminum chassis with the high quality build and features that are to be expected from Lian Li. Lian Li’s Booth Number: Westgate (formerly LVH) #50012, 5...



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Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Chassis Review

Introduction In the last few years, the PC chassis world has grown dramatically. With the large number of case makers jumping into the market, finding the right chassis has proven to be a tough job for some. However, while your options are pretty limitless with so many makers, sometimes it’s just about what options and quality they come with. So with that in mind, today we are going to be looking at a new chassis by reputable maker Phanteks. Phanteks has been known to produce some of today’s top performing air coolers while using some of the most unique and high quality designs. Phanteks joined the chassis market when it first announce the Phanteks Enthoo Primo. Since that case, they have quickly built a solid reputation on quality and attractive designs. Today we are going to bring you another Phanteks case with its own unique twist. Before we dive into the nitty gritty of the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv, let’s talk a little about Phanteks. About Phanteks “Phanteks was founded from a group of engineers with a total of 20 years of international experience in thermal solutions. They paired up with a Dutch design team and established Phanteks in 2007. Phanteks venture into the CPU cooling industry with two goals in mind, high-end quality and innovative products in thermal solutions. As a relatively young company, we strive to develop top quality and superior products. Our Phanteks Design Team is situated in the Netherlands and consists of creative researchers, ...






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