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Streacom FC8 EVO Fanless Chassis Review

Introduction With the growing industry of digital media and streaming devices, the world of compact designed media players and HTPCs have grown quite a bit over the last few years. While some can suffice with a simple media device like the Roku, Western Digital Media Box and even the Chrome TV, these devices can sometimes only satisfy the basic general consumers’ needs. What about those in need of a little more power and flexibility? This is where the growing SFF (small form factor) HTPC market comes into play. Some will say you can build an HTPC with some basic PC components and drop them into a computer case and call it a day, but who wants a junky or bulky PC tower sitting in their entertainment center looking out of place. For users like us, we like our media center to be the center of attention… so you probably want something a little more aesthetically pleasing. Today, we have chance to look at a uniquely designed SFF PC chassis that can operate in complete silence. We have on our test table today the Streacom FC8 Evo Fanless Chassis. Also, when we refer to it being silent, we really mean it, because the Streacom FC8 Evo case features a completely fanless design. Perhaps its sleek aesthetics will prove to be a talking point of your entertainment center. Let’s review it and find out…   Before we move forward with the exciting features, let’s first talk about who Streacom is: History Streacom was founded in 2010 by a small but experi...



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HIS Multi View Display Adapters Review

HIS have provided three different hardware adapters for those users who lack the ability to add additional displays to their system setup: the Multi View II, the Multi View X2, and the Multi View+Sound. Each of these offer different features, but all work on the same premise: a USB or DVI adapter expands your ability to add more displays to your setup in a simple manner. Let's take a look.



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Samsung 850 PRO 256GB Review

Samsung is bringing a few new features to the mainstream market here with the 850 PRO SSD, but what's utterly special that we hope pushes those boundaries further ahead, is something called RAPID Mode. Sounds like marketing jingo, we agree, but you'd be wrong to dismiss this one. RAPID Mode is unlike anything you've seen before, promising astonishing performance increases. Buckle up and let's take a closer look at the Samsung PRO 256GB and see just what this SSD can do.



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Cooler Master V550 PSU Review

Introduction With power consumption getting smaller and smaller, even in our high performance computers, sometimes we just don’t need or want that massive 1500 Watt power supply. We want something that is relatively tiny in comparison to the standard power supply, yet will also offer clean power and only the fewest cables we will absolutely need. This automatically points us towards semi-modular units. Cooler Master thinks that their newest V-Semi-Modular Series lineup might just be the thing you are looking for.   Boasting all Japanese capacitors, a slightly smaller form factor, 450-750 Watt capacities, and an 80+ Gold rating, could this be the power supply to go into your next small form factor machine? Before we go on to find out, let’s get to know Cooler Master a little bit better. www.coolermaster.com Cooler Master was founded with the mission of providing the industry’s best thermal solutions. Since its establishment two decades ago, the company has remained faithful to this mission, emerging as a world leader in products and services for companies dealing with devices where heat issues must be resolved. In pursuing this mission, Cooler Master is absolutely committed to delivering solutions that precisely meet customer requirements for features, performance, and quality. Moreover, we strive to be a reliable long-term partner for our customers that they can truly depend on. It aims to be the first and foremost name that comes to mind for compani...



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HY810 and HY880 Compound Review

Introduction Today, we have the rare opportunity to review a product that hasn’t been revealed in any way, or form of media exposure. Because of our great business relationship with Tuniq, we have been asked to test a couple prospective compounds they are considering. With our extensive testing methods and known heat output of the FX-9370 220w TDP processor, we have been asked to test the HY810 and HY880 compounds strictly against the Tuniq TX-4 to determine if it’s worth an investment for the company. This is a rare opportunity for PureOC! Before we get started, let’s find out more about Tuniq… Tuniq was formed as a division of Sunbeamtech and took on a whole new direction in product designs. We at Tuniq aim to provide authentic performance through a minimalist approach by stripping down the unnecessary components in product designs. Our research and development team consists of members who have over a decade of experience as well as young designers who are able to think outside of the box. It is this unique merge of experience and fresh ideas that enables us to bring to our customers such exquisite, elegant, top-quality products. We feel that product design should be Zen-like: simple, functional, harmonious and without fails. Each product from Tuniq aims to combine the virtues of high performance, elegant design, and extraordinary value. When handling a Tuniq product, you will appreciate its impeccable finish and will be pleasantly amazed by its q...



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Biostar HiFi Z97WE Motherboard Review

Introduction The Z97 chipset motherboards have now gone into full swing, and with the Haswell refresh we saw a lot of new flavor in motherboard choices this time around. Today, we are going to be looking at the Biostar HiFi Z97WE Motherboard. At first glance, we have to be honest here… we didn’t really like the color combination Biostar used with the HiFi Z97WE Motherboard. The gold heatsinks with its yellow and black accents really don’t go well together aesthetically speaking. However, putting the aesthetics aside we are going to put the Biostar HiFi Z97WE to the test in terms of performance and see how well it stacks up with other Z97 Motherboards we have already tested. So before we dive in for a closer look, let’s talk about who Biostar is: In 1980,the IT industry was growing at a phenomenal rate. With wide experience in buying and selling electronic parts as well as researching on future demands for mainboards and add-on cards , the founder of BIOSTAR GROUP,established BIOSTAR MICROTECH INTERNATIONAL CORP in 1986. In the early years, BIOSTAR concentrated on the manufacture of mainboards built for XT form factor. To maintain steady business growth, BIOSTAR managed to keep a large portion of its capital and manpower invested on the design and development of new products, which at the same time has enabled it to stay competitive in the rapid evolution of the computer industry. BIOSTAR has enriched its competence in the design and manufacture of p...



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Thermaltake Urban T81 Case Review

   Introduction   Thermaltake shook up the market a few years ago with the release of the Level 10 chassis. It took everything we knew about what a computer case was supposed to look like, and tossed it out a window. It won Thermaltake (sometimes referred to as TT) many accolades and awards for design and innovation. The down side to this was the Level 10 set a high level of expectation that Thermaltake could not live up too with follow up cases. It is hard to please everyone and even harder to please the most hard core enthusiast as they set the tone for what makes for a great case. When faced with such a monumental task as this, it is good to take a step back and reset. The Urban series of chassis is exactly that, a reset of Thermaltake’s design team. The days of boisterous designs are being replaced with sleeker lines and more modern curves. This is an effort to attract gamers, water cooling and overclocking enthusiasts with this new Urban series of chassis. The flagship model, the Urban T81, will be put to the test in this review. We will attempt a build that should please all three segments.    About ThermalTake The brand personality of Unique, Aggressive, Vivid, and Stylish makes Thermaltake an expert in creating Exciting things and Fascinating environment for gamers and enthusiasts, also Keep them Constantly High physically and mentally. Moreover, Thermaltake Technology get close to consumers and observe lead users’ behavior and requirem...



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MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard Review

A few months ago we had the honor of reviewing the new MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboards during the launch of the Z97 chipset. Today, we are here again to look at another MSI motherboard. We have MSI's flagship Gaming Motherboard the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC. At first glance the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC motherboard looks rather close aesthetically to the Gaming 5 we reviewed. While the looks are similiar, the Gaming 9 has some additional features and aesthetic improvements that make it stand out on its own. The first obvious improvement on the Gaming 9 motherboard is the shield that covers the rear I/O port section and the isolated PCB for its sound card. During the Z97 chipset many manufacturers started to switch over to using higher quality Japanese capacitors and while the caps were much better in quality they looked rather ugly on many of the new boards. It was nice to see that MSI designed the Gaming 9 series motherboard with the shield to cover up that section making the motherboard look much sexier. Let's dive in and put the MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Motherboard to the test and see how it performed against its little brother the Gaming 5. But before we do that, let's talk a little about who MSI is.



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HIS R7 260X and R7 250X Review

Today we're focusing on two cards from HIS, a company we're very familiar with, having seen many of their products in the past couple of generations in AMD cards. HIS typically produces cards with custom coolers and aggressive factory overclocks, but these two are a bit different. The R7 260X and R7 250X are budget-oriented cards for those with modest budgets and looking for some affordable gaming, and perhaps even something suitable for an HTPC setup.



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NZXT Kraken X31-X41-X61 AIO Water Cooler Roundup

AIO (all in one) liquid cooling units continue to gain popularity due mostly to the cheaper cost to performance ratio, as well as their leak-proof and low maintenance design. If we look back a mere 2 years ago, liquid AIO cooling units were few and far between, and only a few manufacturers offered this type of cooling solution. Today we find a lot of AIO units flooding the market, and as you may already know, selecting the right one can be a hard choice with so many different styles and types readily available. I am very excited today, because I will be putting three new units on my test bench from NZXT. The NZXT KRAKEN X31, X41 and, Kraken X61 AIO coolers. These three closed-loop liquid coolers are follow-up products to the Kraken X30 X40 and Kraken X60 that were reviewed last year. The NZXT X31 X41 and X61 have kept their same 120mm, 140mm, & 280mm respective CLC design; however, they now come with some new additions in the form of variable pump speed control, increased radiator thickness, and Cam software. Before I continue, let me tell you a bit about NZXT.



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Be Quiet! Gives their case a name.

It finally has a name…. At this past Computex in Taipei, Be Quiet! surprised many of us by showing off a custom design case. Nice clean lines, angled top cover, smooth front surface, matte black paint job with a bright contrasting orange trim and out cropped feet, did wonders for creating a bit of buzz. The case with no name would be their introduction into the already crowded and competitive chassis market. This is a divergence from Be Quiet!’s bread and butter, performance fans and power supplies with whisper quiet operation. We should have been expecting Be Quiet to join in the fray as noise reduction among enthusiast reaches epic importance, what better way to start a silent system other then the body that will hold everything else. There has been some speculation on the naming of this mystery chassis based on Be Quiet!’s previous products such as the Shadow Rock, Dark Rock, Dark Power, Silent Wing and Shadow Wing, true to form, Be Quiet! drops the name right in the middle of their naming convention, “Silent Base 800″. Why Silent Base 800? I would guess that it is silent, past that I have no clue. Guess we will have to wait until October, the expected release date, to find out more. What we do know is that it will be available in Black/Black, Black/Silver and Black/Orange (Just in time for Halloween). Surprisingly there is no mention of a Black/Red affair to coordinate with the vast majority of boards sold today. I leave you to check out t...



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Phanteks Enthoo LUXE Full Tower Case

After all these years reviewing computer equipment, especially case reviews, it takes a lot to get me excited. There are not too many manufacturers that will spark my interest or kindle and light that fire inside of me. Today Phanteks has now moved to the top of my list as one of those manufacturers. Phanteks as some of you may already know has been on the forefront as leader in the manufacturing of thermal solutions, with their high performance fans and air coolers. Phanteks this year took the industry by surprise when the company ventured into computer case manufacturing, introducing for the very first time their award winning Phanteks Enthoo Primo full tower chassis, a chassis specifically targeting the computer enthusiast and water cooling aficionado. Today will be looking at yet another offering from Phanteks: the Phanteks Enthoo LUXE Full Tower. The Enthoo LUXE is very similar looking to the coveted Phanteks Enthoo Primo, sporting many of the distinct features and designs of its predecessor which includes multiple radiator support, modular HD cages, power supply shroud, and all aluminum look. The Phanteks Enthoo LUXE is available in both a black and a white windowed version. The Enthoo Series is all about versatility, a spacious and clean interior and, of course, Enthoo is famous for making it very easy to build water cooling systems. Read on to see why this case has got me very excited. We are taking an up close and personal look into this new arrival from Phante...



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ThermalTake Level 10 M Hybrid Mouse Review

There are a lot of different features we look at when purchasing peripherals, especially when it comes to our mouse for gaming. Who wants a heavy, uncomfortable mouse that may jump around while we're trying to make the next kill? Introducing the next ThermalTake mouse capable of operating in wired or wireless mode. It has a sleek design and is capable of being reshaped to your personal comfort level. ThermalTake claims that gamers are guaranteed to find that special spot to rest comfortably spending long hours gaming. Let's take it for a spin and see if this holds true.



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BitFenix Fury 650G Power Supply Review

Innovation is the name of the game; if you want to keep your product line relevant and interesting then you need to mix things up a bit and give people a reason to be genuinely excited about choosing a part from your repertoire. In the world of power supplies, this innovation is coming slowly but surely as manufacturers determine how to better serve their PC enthusiast community with products that make their jobs a little bit easier and their builds a little more awesome. BitFenix opted to take the road less traveled with this, their first-ever power supply. They took a solid, stable 80 Plus Gold certified platform using all Japanese top shelf capacitors, then sleeved every single cable for you right out of the box. The name is somehow ironic to us, as they call it the BitFenix Fury, yet this power supply is poised to be anything BUT infuriating. Having well sleeved cables with a myriad of connector options and varying wattage ratings for your individual computing needs, could this be part of your next build? No spoilers yet on what we think of it, so let's read on.



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HIS R9 280 IceQ X2 Review

Today we're looking at the HIS R9 280 IceQ X2, a mid-range performance graphics card that retails for around $260. We've been impressed with cards from HIS in the past, particularly those with the vaunted IceQ cooler, which has proven to be very impressive with low temperatures and noise levels. Can this card continue the trend? Lt's take a closer look at the HIS R9 280 IceQ X2 to find out.






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