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.
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.
Today's high demanding games can cause serious heat issues with improperly cooled graphic cards, so what do we do when they start to overheat? Look into water cooling? Not if your graphics card uses a non-referenced PCB. I'm in that boat; I picked up a few video cards without realizing they were non-referenced. The question is, what other options do we have in order to better cool the GPU and memory? Arctic has came up with a solution with the Accelero Xtreme IV 280(X), which is an upgraded air cooling solution that cools the GPU and memory utilizing 5 heatpipes and a custom rear heatsink.
Introduction Over the last few years we have seen ASRock gain movement in the motherboard arena. They have developed and revamped some rock solid motherboards at a very affordable price. In the past, we have seen many flagship motherboards from ASRock that have been top performers when it comes to overclocking and stability. Not only has ASRock performed well in the past, they have great aesthetic appeal too. Today, we have a chance to look at their newest variation from their already popular Fatal1ty series. This is the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Series Motherboard. With Haswell’s refresh chipset in full swing, we have tested a number of great performing motherboards. But today, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z97 Killer Series has another advantage in this arena due to its aggressive pricing. So let’s move forward and put this motherboard to the test and see what it can do with our Intel 4770K Haswell Processor. Just in case you are unfamiliar with ASRock, let’s take a look at who they are first: ASRock Inc. is established in 2002, specialized in the field of motherboards. ASRock strives to build up its own brand. With the 3C design concept, “Creativity, Consideration, Cost-effectiveness”, the company explores the limit of motherboards manufacturing while paying attention on the eco issue at the same time, developing products with the consideration of eco-friendly concept. ASRock has been growing fast and become world third largest motherboard ...
ADATA Launches Industrial CFast 2.0 Memory Card The durable & reliable industrial solution Taipei, Taiwan – June 19, 2014 – ADATA® Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today launches the industrial CFast card -ISC3E, which combines the form-factor of a CF card with the high-speed SATA interface for both high reliability and secure operation, widening the application of industrial equipment. Extremely Durable ADATA’s ISC3E CFast is compatible with CFast 2.0 and SATA 3.1. The sequential read/write speed is up to 435/120 MB/s (MLC) and 165/170 MB/s (SLC). It is highly shock and vibration resistant, withstand extreme temperatures from -40 ºC to +85 ºC, and the MTBF is up to 2 million hours. With the features above, the ISC3E CFast is quite ideal for those industrial systems which require long-term operation. Additionally, the ISC3E operates at a low 3.3 volts, and supports DVESLP (Device Sleep) to save more power and prolongs the operation time. Ease of Use The ISC3E CFast includes SLC 4GB~64GB and MLC 4GB~128GB in capacity, which is suitable for networking, industrial computers, medical application, POS, Kiosks, gambling and lottery machines. Utilizing an industry-standard SATA interface and connector, the ISC3E CFast Card can be easily integrated into a host system without any special BIOS modifications or additional device drivers. Reliability Meets Security The ISC3E features a full range of...
Gigabyte as a motherboard manufacturer has been very successful over the last decade, and the last few years have only served to solidify that. In fact, Gigabyte has taken things a step further with their more recent motherboard releases. Their design team has revamped the styling and improved the lineup with feature-rich variations. Giagbyte's popular UDX series motherboards are frequently one of the first considered motherboards on the market since the Z77 release. With Gigabyte's Haswell refresh, the Z97 chipset, they aim to continue that tradition. Today we are going to be looking at the Z97X-SLI motherboard. By the name, it appears Gigabyte has geared this motherboard towards SLI as its defining feature. However, there is more than meets the eye. At a glance, this board looks a little more simplified when compared to the UDX series board. Will it pack the same punch? We are going to put the Z97X-SLI to the test to see how it stacks up to Gigabyte's reputation.
Introduction Aftermarket CPU Air Coolers flood the market with many options and styles today. With the vast number of options, we know that competition is fierce. Today, we are going to be looking at the Enermax ETS-N30 CPU cooler that was designed for the mid-range users who aren’t looking to spend a great deal of money. The Enermax ETS-N30 CPU Air Cooler sports a 92mm blue LED fan with a copper based heatsink that not only looks good, but also fits the bill for those in a budget crunch. Let’s take a look at the Enermax ETS-N30 CPU Cooler and what is has to offer. Before we do that, let’s talk little about who Enermax is: Enermax Technology Corporation is a world-renowned PC Power Supply Unit manufacturer. Since our establishment in 1990, we provide power supply products and peripherals like chassis, cooler, fan and keyboard with excellent quality and have won recognitions of consumers around the world. ENERMAX products are recommended by worldwide reviewers, and certain were granted by iF, Red Dot, Good Design and Taiwan Excellence Awards. Those are proven evidence of our top-notch quality and design competency recognized by the professionals. To develop an intensive sales network and better service customers around the world, Enermax has set up branch offices in Germany, France, U.S.A., Japan and China. We also have service offices and distributors in countries across Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. Our farsighted R & D capability is our key str...
All in one liquid cooling units are among the popular cooling solutions recently. With AIO units gaining popularity due to their cost to performance ratio, it doesn't come as a surprise. If we look back a mere 2 years ago, liquid AIO cooling units were few and far between, and only a hand of manufacturers offered this type cooling solution. However, today we find AIO units flooding the market, and selecting the right one can be a hard choice with so many readily available. Today are going to be looking at 2 units from Enermax that recently joined in on this market. We have the Enermax Liqtech 240 and Liqmax 120S AIO cooling units on the test bench. While choosing AIO units should be based on cooling performance, sometimes we find that aesthetics and software can be a deciding factor as well. Let's put both these units on our bench for testing today, but before we do that, let's talk about Enermax for just a moment.
One of the most common questions we ask when working on a new computer build is “what power supply (PSU) should I get?” Often times it can be a tricky decision, as many manufacturers make the same claims as one another. What can compound this decision-making process is the amount of space you have to work with in your rig. If you are building a smaller form-factor PC, the size of your PSU can limit the total wattage you can get in your PSU as well, which can confound you even more. SilverStone is here to tell you that size doesn’t mean everything. Enter their Strider Essential series power supply. For today’s review, we have their ST60F-ESG 600W unit on hand. It is rated with an 80 Plus Gold certification, is non-modular, and provides 600W of total power output. We’ll see if this PSU lives up to Silverstone’s legendary quality.
ROG is the popular abbreviation for Asus' Republic of Gamers line of PC enthusiast products. The ROG series motherboards started out as the flagship line of the ASUS series motherboards as far back as the X58 chipset. Since then, it has featured the signature red and black aesthetic theme, which has carried on over the last few years, and has continued due to its popularity and success. Since that time, Asus has made several variations of their ROG line for multiple price points. Today, we are going to be looking at the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero. This motherboard is the evolution of the previous Maximus Hero line, which was originally developed for the more budget conscious consumer during the Z87 chipset launch. With on-going success, ASUS continues to bring the Maximus Hero line, which is now feature packed and is available for any board within its price point. Let's put the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero to the test to see if it can meet the great performance that ASUS is known for.
The bad guys are really becoming a “pita”! Another high profile company was just hacked, so it’s time to change your passwords again. This time eBay was the victim of the “Black Hats.” They just issued a press statement detailing their security breach. The gist of it was this, No kidding?!? Why is it becoming so difficult for these companies to keep their databases secure? Here’s a link to the rest of their statement on the matter: eBay
In this ever-blossoming technology industry there are smaller companies that are often overshadowed by their behemoth competitors. There are many reasons why this occurs but one of the most common assumptions is that the smaller company is lower quality. The thinking has been that the smaller guy can’t make a product as well as the bigger guy. Diamond has been striving to prove that assumption to be false. They believe they can be a smaller company yet still offer quality and value. Diamond sent us an AMD based GPU: their R7 250 with Boost. Let's see how well their promise holds up.
Noctua introduces two new fan product lines and accessory kits Vienna, May 13th 2014 – Noctua today expanded its product portfolio with two new fan product lines and a wide range of accessory kits. Whereas the redux line addresses price-conscious users by reissuing some of Noctua’s most popular, award-winning models and presenting them in streamlined, more affordable packages, the industrialPPC (Protected Performance Cooling) line is conceived for industrial heavy duty applications that require enhanced cooling performance and advanced ingress protection. “Our new product lines allow us to address audiences we have not been able to reach in the past”, explains Mag. Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO), “Coming at about 3/4 of the price of our standard models, the redux line is ideal for all those looking for a more affordable entry into the world of premium quality quiet cooling. The industrialPPC fans fulfil our industry client’s requests for high speed models that are suitable for use in challenging environments. However, I think they will also appeal to PC enthusiasts striving for extreme performance. Last but not least, the introduction of the two new product lines allows us to respond to the recurring demands for Noctua fans in different colors.” Whereas the redux fans feature an attractive light/dark grey colour scheme that is reminiscent of the two shades of brown used Noctua’s standard line-up, the industrialPPC models come in an al...
With the new Intel Processors on the horizon, motherboard manufacturers have gone into full force with the new updated chipsets. Today we are going to be looking at the MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard. MSI really took the market strong since its release of the Z77 Gaming addition motherboards and has since grown its gamer series design into multiple platforms. With the Z87 chipset, MSI really made some great improvements not only in their design and aesthetics, but they also really stepped it up with an intuitive software system and improved GUI interface across the board. Today, we are going to put their newly developed MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard to the test. While the Gaming 5 is not the flagship motherboard, we are still very excited to see what updates this will bring to the future. Let's dive right in!
We see a lot more people changing over to water cooling these days to get the most performance out of their high end systems, but does it really take water to keep your processor cool? How do you gain maximum performance while minimizing the risk? Noctua, a well known company who has built their reputation in air-based cooling products, has released another member of their CPU cooling line: the Noctua NH-D15 air cooler. We got a chance to run this baby on our test bench, so read on to find out how well it performs!