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AMD FX 8320E Processor Review

Introduction The AMD FX Series processors are a few years old now and we haven’t seen any really big changes with AMD’s road map for these aging chips. Going back down memory lane a bit, during AMD’s original launch of the Bulldozer FX 8150, many of us had high expectations for AMD’s Piledriver architecture. Unfortunately, the 8 core 32nm processor didn’t match up to the marketing hype, and many folks saw it as a huge failure. Despite that, the engineering behind the architecture was actually a good idea, but the “ecosystem,” as some have put it, just wasn’t ready for AMD’s leap into this territory. Many of today’s applications and software just weren’t designed to adapt to the architecture’s full potential. AMD quickly re-positioned themselves and focused on competing with Intel’s mid-range line up based on price to performance. Shortly after the FX 8150, AMD pushed out their “slightly” revised processor, the FX 8320/8350, which was intended for its flagship AMD line up based on the Vishera platform. The FX 8350 was a little better received and took a strong market hold with solid price to performance, and held its ground for some time. Unfortunately, the platform was not what we would call “new,” and with Intel’s Tick Tock pushing ever forward, AMD again was left behind again. In reality, AMD hasn’t really released a new processor in a little over 2 years...



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GIGABYTE Hosts X99 CHAMPION CHALLENGE on HWBOT.org

GIGABYTE Hosts X99 CHAMPION CHALLENGE on HWBOT.org Tweak your GIGABYTE X99 Systems for Big Cash Prizes     City of Industry, California, April 20th, 2015 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced another great competition for the overclocking community with the GIGABYTE X99 CHAMPION CHALLENGE, to be hosted this May on HWBOT.org. This new challenge gives the community a chance to test their skills on the GIGABYTE X99 platform by tweaking both the CPU and graphics side of things. By participating, overclockers have the chance to win $2,800 USD in cash prizes and some exciting hardware, including the leader of them all, the X99-SOC Champion!   Attention overclocker nation. You have until May 1st 2015 to get your platform ready and jump in to become the X99 Champion! To make your way up to the grand prize of $1,500 USD, you’ll have to collect the most points by submitting your best scores in 6 different stages designed to test both your CPU and Graphics card overclocking skills. Do you feel up to the challenge? Good luck to all!!   How to win Points will be given to the top ranking scores in each stage. The top 3 participants with the most points at the end of the challenge will win cash prizes. You also have the chance to win some great hardware via 3 lucky draws. Lucky Draw #1 will be rewarding participants that submitted scores with temperatures set above 25 Celsius, Lucky Draw #2 will...



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Phanteks PH-TC12LS & PH-TC14S CPU Cooler Reviews

Introduction Phanteks has recently started to branch out with more products to add to their already popular name; they have set a standard in the cooling market with some of today’s top performing air coolers. The quality and superb performance reputation they have built, helps keep the air cooling market competitive and creates a leveled playing field with other top contenders like Noctua, be quiet!, NZXT and Cooler Master. In the past, we have seen some pretty unique air coolers from Phanteks. With features from beefy tower style coolers to color matching heatsinks, Phanteks has a style that fits everyone’s needs. Today…we are going to be looking at 2 new coolers that not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but have a price point that can fit anyone’s budget. We have for you today the Phanteks PH-TC12LS and Phanteks PH-TC14S.   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, designers and developers whose only desires are to bring the latest cutting edge technology to yo...



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Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2400MHz Review

The Ballistix performance series memory has proven popular for their stock performance, overclock-ability, quality and the ever changing style employed by Crucial. Recently we had the pleasure of reviewing the DDR4 Ballistix Elite 2666MHz kit, these featured beautifully crafted all black industrial heat spreaders with lines so rigid they invoked the presence of the Military Elite. This time around we will be looking at the latest addition to the Ballistix family, the Ballistix Sport LT. These should land right between the Sport model and the higher end Elite kits, hopefully netting us the best of both worlds, tighter timings and high clocks



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HyperX Fury Pro Gaming Mouse Pad (420mmx500mm)

Introduction HyperX, a division of Kingston technologies, has started to step up its game in the accessories department. The popular memory and storage manufacturer has expanded it wings and is now bringing additional accessories to the table, adding to its gaming product line. With the popular PC gaming scene, it’s not a surprise that HyperX is looking to join into this market share. Today, we are going to be looking at the new HyperX Fury Pro Gaming Mouse pad. Mouse Pads are a pretty universal accessory for most gamers today. Finding the right fit and feel is important but most of all, finding the right thickness and surface is vital. So… we are going to take a quick look at the HyperX Fury Pro Gaming Mouse Pad and see what it brings to the table.   Before we move forward, let’s read a bit about HyperX:     “HyperX is the high-performance product division of Kingston Technology, the world’s largest independent memory manufacturer. Started in 2002, HyperX began with one line of high-performance memory and has grown over the years to encompass multiple product lines of memory modules, solid-state drives, USB Flash drives, headsets and mouse pads. Featuring best-in-class components that have delivered superior performance, quality and aesthetic design for more than a decade, HyperX products are the choice of top-rated gamers, tech enthusiasts and overclockers worldwide. From setting memory world records to achieving the most stringent produc...



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Biostar Hi-FI Z97Z7 MotherBoard Review

iostar has released multiple "Hi-Fi" models over the last few years that were designed to fill the mainstream and multimedia space. With a heavy focus on audio reproduction and connectivity these board have done well in this arena. However none have taken on an appearance that speaks to being a higher end product like the Hi-Fi Z97Z7 has. This new look has genuinely piqued my interest. I do however remain optimistically cautious for fear it may turn out to be a budget board in mid-range product's clothing.



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XSPC X20 420 Single Bayres/Pump Combo Review

With advances in pump, radiator, reservoir and fitting designs things have gotten to the point where almost anyone can create and install a custom cooling solution specific to their system. The cooling potential for one of these open loop (customizable) setups is unrivaled by anything else sold on the market



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Samsung 850 EVO mSATA & M.2 SSD Review

Many moons ago there was an article based on solid state memory and how it would change everything we do, if they could get it to work correctly. Many were amazed at the thought of drives having no moving parts, a major reduction in size and energy consumption. There were many factors that prevented these early SSDs from being a viable replacement to platter drives, MTBF, speed, capacity and of course cost being the most prominent.



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DXRacer Formula Gaming Chair Review (OH/FE57/NG)

Introduction Today we are going to be touching on a subject that we don’t hear too often when it comes to building that special gaming/workstation PC. It’s often an accessory that gets lost in a conversation about hardware and accessories, but believe it or not, many of us don’t think about how critical this piece of equipment or accessory can be. What is this you say? We call it “that office chair.” Now… when we talk about office chairs, the first thought that comes to mind is: Oh it’s that thing you sit in for hours at a time. But do we really think about how important it can be? If you really think about it, this should be a critical piece of equipment we should think about. For many of us that spend hours at a time in front of the computer, comfort and support can be very important as it helps you do the work you need to do without making you feeling achy or tired. While most standard office chairs can do the job, often times they are not the most comfortable. If you are looking for a comfortable office chair, you could spend a few hundred dollars to get one of the better brands, but it’s still just another boring office chair. How about we take an office chair, spruce it up it a bit and provide that extra support? Now that’s something that sounds interesting. Today… we are going to be looking at an office chair with a unique design and flare. We’d like to introduce to you the DXRacer Formula Gaming ...



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Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming Review

The Gigabyte GTX 960 G1 Gaming is the graphics card we're looking at today, and it's latest in the company's popular model series, coming with updated features for the namesake cooler. We've been impressed in the past with Windforce graphics cards, and we suspect this new one will be no different. It's constructed in metal rather than plastic, and comes with an aggressive factory overclock and a few great features such as ShadowPlay, Adaptive Temperature Control, and GPU Boost clocks. Suffice it to say, we're rather excited to get this card on the bench.



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be quiet! – Pure Rock CPU Cooler Review

Introduction Over the last few years, be quiet! has developed quite a reputation for quality and performance. Now be quiet! offers quite a line up products from CPU Coolers, fans and even power supplies. Like their name implies, they have been praised because of how quiet there products are while still maintaining a superb performance standard. Today, we are going to be looking at a new CPU Cooler from them: the be quiet! Pure Rock. The Pure Rock is designed with the budget conscious consumer in mind, but with their well-known build quality behind it. We can’t wait to see what it brings to the table. The be quiet! Pure Rock CPU Cooler offers a single tower design with 4 copper heatpipe, offering a simple yet aesthetically pleasing fit and feel. There isn’t a whole lot of flashiness or bling to the Pure Rock Cooler, but its simplistic design can fit well with many builders not looking to add too much flare. Today, we will put the be quite! Pure Rock to the test and see how well it stacks up to its competition. Before we do that… let’s talk about who be quiet! is: About bequiet: bequiet! Is a premium brand manufacturer of power supplies and cooling solutions for your desktop PC. The Number 1 for power supplies in Germany bequiet! Products are convincing which is proved by reaching and defending the market leadership in PSU business in Germany since 2006 *. This is validated and accompanied by numerous awards for both power supplies and cooling solu...



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Cougar 200K Scissor Gaming Keyboard

Today we're looking at the Cougar 200K Illuminated gaming keyboard, an affordable board that sports rather smart styling and a couple of interesting features, such as lighting effects and anti-ghosting technology. We often see such features on expensive keyboards, but Cougar looks to be targeting gamers who are on a tight budget yet still want something capable. Let's get to it and take a closer look at the Cougar 200K Scissor keyboard.



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HyperX Savage DDR3 Memory Review (HX318C9SRK2/16)

Introduction Over the last few years, the HyperX…a division of Kingston Technologies has increased its product line and today we add a new addition to the memory category. HyperX introduced to us the Fury series last year which offered great speeds for its entry level gaming memory and received great feedback for the awesome bang for your buck performance to value. With the success of the Fury line up, today we are going to introduce to you the new Savage series that will replace its existing Genesis series. HyperX Savage has been designed to fit the middle playing ground of bang for your buck and top performing memory. The Savage memory line offers speed of up to 2400MHz speeds and various size configurations from 4GB to 32GB kits. The kit we have at hand today is the Savage HX318C9SRK2/16. This is 2x8GB sticks of 1866MHz of aesthetically pleasing memory. While the Savage series was not designed to be your best of the best performers, it is designed to fit that good middle ground. The Savage sits nicely between HyperX’s Fury and its Predator line up. Before we dive in and give you the full details of the HyperX Savage memory at hand, we have to say that the asymmetrical red heat spreader made from high-quality aluminum are aesthetically pleasing to look at. Its design is making us drool already, so let’s move forward and break down the HyperX Savage memory and see what this memory kit can do. Before we move forward, let’s read a bit about HyperX: ...



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NZXT DOKO Review

Introduction During CES 2015 this year, NZXT show-cased the DOKO PC Anywhere device. Now this is a product we are not used to seeing from NZXT. They are primarily known for their PC chassis, cooling and accessories line up. But from what we saw during the CES show, we were quite impressed with what this new product offers. One thing that came up in our conversation was why is this portable PC named DOKO? As NZXT explained to us… the word DOKO comes from the Japanese dictionary and means “Where.” So DOKO or “Where” is a device that let’s you take your PC Anywhere in your home or office. In our minds, the first thought was, it’s like the software PC Anywhere…. The NZXT DOKO pretty much does just that, but in a more simplified and easy form factor. Today, we are going to break down the DOKO device and walk with you step by step on how easy it is to use. We will also cover what its capabilities are, including its its limitations and compatibility. Before we do here’s a word from NZXT. Our People React, adapt and be fearless – we’re a group of young people who aspire to be better tomorrow than we are today. We are driven by the yearning to explore, create, change, and push boundaries. Our culture revolves around having a passion to walk off the well-beaten path, and turn away from the status quo. Our Company Avant-garde and unconventional – NZXT as created because we aspire to make a positive difference for people. ...



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Cougar 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard – Review

Introduction     A few months ago we were invited to review a new gaming mouse from the folks at Cougar: the 700M. The 700m was adjustable, customizable and a pleasure to use. One of the 700m’s advertised features was the ability to interact with other Cougar devices using something called Fusion. This got our attention pretty quickly because what gamer does not want all of his/her peripherals on the same page? It was also somewhat shocking to see Cougar jump headlong into this already saturated market space; however, they have done well by offering competitive products that cover each market segment. The 600M & 600k are a step down from the 700 series products, but they still offer top of the line features; the 500M & 500k offer mid range pricing, and more recently, the 200K and 200M cover the entry level. At the end of the 700M review we mentioned we would be covering the 700k Mechanical keyboard so we could experiment with Fusion. The 700K is the flagship of Cougar’s recently released gaming oriented peripherals. In this review will be focusing on the 700k mechanical keyboard to find out if it is as good as advertised. Brand philosophy Passion X Innovation With utmost passion COUGAR is keen to provide most innovative solutions that 100% meet customer needs. Thinking differently and adopting new trends while constantly focusing on functionality and user-oriented product improvements, that is our foremost corporate culture. COUGAR is always s...






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