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SFF/HTPC
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MSI B85M ECO Board – Review

Those of us in a position to build PCs for businesses and everyday people should consider using a board like we will see today when the opportunity warrants it. The MSI B85M ECO is aimed at trimming power usage down to a minimum level without costing performance as a trade off.



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Thermaltake Core V1 mITX Case Review

  Introduction The versatility of the mITX platform continues its popularity with gamers and builders of all kinds. This is partly due to the availability of a functional chassis to create these stellar systems. No matter if you want a gaming rig or a low profile HTPC there is a case for the task at hand. Thermaltake has offered a few mITX cases in the past but with some new design directions, they are at it again with the Core V1. The Core and Urban series chassis are a large shift from the style and overall designs found in TT’s past series. With smooth, sleek , functional and simplistic designs, the Urban and Core series has captured many awards and praise. That simplistic but functional idea is carrying over to the mITX platform and may be what makes the Core v1 special. “Started from the Passion with the DIY (Do It Yourself) concepts and the desires to “Delivering the perfect user experience.” Thermaltake Technology was established in November, 1999 and has been market to the world with “Thermaltake” brand name ever since. To achieve greatness, Thermaltake has the courage to explore and experiment on new possibilities, especially with excellent technical expertise and integration skill which makes Thermaltake the authority in the market” Specs



BIOSTAR’s iDEQ-T1 Minicomputer Ready To Subvert the Desktop PC

BIOSTAR’s iDEQ-T1 Minicomputer Ready To Subvert the Desktop PC  October 20th, 2014, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR has announced the iDEQ-T1 series mini PC, a micro-mini computer specifically designed to subvert the conventional desktop PC by being smaller, lighter and more mobile but with similar features and capabilities. At just two thirds the surface area of an A4 sized piece of paper and with a weight of only 0.8Kg, the iDEQ-T1, in conjunction with the HTPC platform, is a great solution for a variety of environments needing a small, yet fully-featured, PC. Inside the iDEQ-T1 the hardware is based on the mini-ITX form factor which allows small and energy efficient solutions because of the affordable and internet centric board design in a compact 17x17cm size. It supports 2 SO-DIMM of DDR3L 1333MHz for up to 16G of RAM capacity and will provide full Intel powered HD Graphics. It also supports BIOSTAR’s BIO-Remote 2 Technology and Charger Booster Technology. The iDEQ-T1 has some nice BIOS features such as the “RESURE BIOS”. This allows the BIOS to be automatically loaded into a hard drive. Using the UEFI BIOS design it supports a variety of graphics manipulation operations and BIOSTAR’s research team added the “Super Rescue Function” where if the iDEQ-T1 is attacked by a virus you can recover the BIOS with Super Rescue. With Intel’s Bay Trail processor you get the Intel Gen7 display chip which can pump out up to 2560×1440 resolution displays with Direct...



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Azza Z mITX Case Review

Introduction ITX style cases never cease to amaze me. Just when you think there can’t possibly be a better/different way to house and organize your hardware, along comes another case to once again challenge your thinking on how these form factors can be laid out. This is especially important for those of you who, like myself, enjoy a bit of tasteful case modding from time to time to really make the rig stand out as being uniquely your own. It can also be just as important to those who simply require a specific shape/size to accommodate their usage scenario.   Azza, always one to bring us somewhat “outlandishly” designed cases, is now offering up their first mITX case: the Z. Somewhat conservatively designed in comparison to their other offerings and providing a unique layout that accommodates both water cooling radiators and a slim profile, can this case really offer an enthusiast what they need out of their next small form factor (SFF) build? I was bound and determined to find out, so I tried to cover pretty much all of the bases here. Now, let’s dig in!   www.azzatek.com AZZA’s Mission is simple: You satisfaction is our success! Jumpstarted with the Vision to build a premier corporate company that consistently exceeds the managed expectations of our customers, team members and partners, AZZA is driven by the Mission to provide the highest quality products of unmatched value, along with exemplary customer support. We do this via t...



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Enter to Win a SilverStone ML07 HTPC Case from PureOverclock

                Simple to win. Shipping to US addresses only. Have a family member in the US that will ship to you or you just want them to have this sweet HTPC case? Then go ahead and enter! Share to make it easier for us to continue the giveaways! Want to know more about the MILO ML07 HTPC Case? Click here for more info—–>> CLICK ME! Classic SilverStone styling Support graphics card up to 13 inches Mini-ITX motherboard & SFX PSU compatible Maximum performance in slim form factor with support for liquid cooling* Fits in nearly any environment with horizontal or vertical orientation  



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ECS: Design Your Own LIVA Competition

Design Your Own LIVA Competition   1 September 2014, Fremont, USA – ECS USA is proud to announce the kick off of its “Design Your Own LIVA” competition in North America. All the participants are able to vote for the entries for the opportunity to win grand prizes. Starting September 1, 2014, ECS will be searching for the most creative person of the year. The Grand Prize winner will win US$1,000. ECS will be promoting the competition via its media partners and local colleges and universities in Northern California including: College of San Mateo, Mills College, San Jose City College, De Anza College and Foothill College.     How to enter: 1. Participants: (1) Group or Individual (assign one representative if group type, Max. 3 people at on one team). (2) Entry number – Max 3 pieces. 2. Contest: Design your own LIVA case Round 1 (September 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 – design draft audition: Participants submit a soft copy of design draft via Facebook. The 10 participants with the most “likes” will advance to the next round to be evaluated by judges. Round 2 (October 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014) – Real entry audition: participants make the actual LIVA case based on their design draft (ECS will provide white cases to Top 10 participants nominated in Round 1. Participants must send their photos by October 31, 2014 to be considered by our judges to enter the final contest. Final contest – November 7, 2014: ECS’ judges will pick a 1st, 2nd a...



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Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate Review

  Introduction: With the release of a new generation of graphics cards there can be so much fan-fare and attention paid to the higher end offerings that lower end models get overlooked. System enthusiasts and hardcore gamers rarely even think of the models that can’t crank out maximum FPS or look awesome in a huge water cooled system. Some may be surprised to know there are GPUs for everyday people and entry level gaming. Shocking isn’t it? The vast majority of GPUs are of the integrated type, sold within the CPU/APU. Research has shown 50% of these IGP (Integrated Graphics Processors) go unused in favor of more robust discrete solutions. That is what we will be looking into today, a discrete solution that can offer more graphical prowess than any integrated solution. Its other defining characteristic is that it can do this in total silence. We are referring to the Sapphire R7 250 Ultimate silent GPU. Specs: Display Support 3 x Maximum Display Monitor(s) support Output 1 x HDMI (with 3D) 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 1 x Dual-Link DVI-I GPU 800 MHz Core Clock 28 nm Chip 512 x Stream Processors Video Memory 1024 MB Size 128 -bit GDDR5 4.5 MHz Effective Dimension 185(L)X120(W)X50(H) mm Size. 2 x slot Software Driver CD   Innovation, performance and value for money have always made SAPPHIRE the supplier of choice for enthusiast graphics. SAPPHIRE was the first company to introduce fanless silent cooling solutions based on heatpipe technology and continues to offer...



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Inside the ECS Press Event

LIVE & LIVA ECS (EliteGroup Computer Systems) recently held what they titled the “LIVE, LIVA, LEAD, L337″ press event in San Jose to unveil some new products and to discuss the future of ECS. PureOverclock was one of the lucky few to be invited to attend this event. One of the main products ECS seemed to be most proud of and focused a large amount of their attention to was the LIVA mini PC Kit. LIVA is one of the smallest fully functional PCs capable of running Windows 8.1 I have seen. There are a few models available based on color (Black or White) and Drive space size(32GB or 64GB). The plan is to install the OS and a few other apps on the internal non upgradeable drive and use an external drive for storage, either a USB flash drive or an external Hard drive. I/O options starting from the left are a micro USB for power, Realtek RTL8111G 10/100/1000LAN, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI and VGA. The tiny passively cooled pc is powered by the 64bit Intel Bay Trail-M N2807 1.58GHz Celeron processor with 2GB DDR3L memory. LIVA is fully capable of pushing dual displays as well. Within the kit is a M.2 WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 card that needs to be installed during assembly. Hey look it is everyone’s favorite song! Let’s sing along! Just kidding please don’t! ECS setup the LIVA to support Karaoke with dual microphones and HD video playback. I will be experimenting with my own LIVA over the coming days to see what I can really do with it. Window...



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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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SilverStone Raven RVZ 01 Small Form Factor Case Review

Since the original RAVEN RV01 debuted in 2008, the RAVEN team at SilverStone has demonstrated many times how it can truly define or defy computer enthusiasts’ expectations of what a performance PC is capable of in both form and function. For 2014, the Silverstone team had a new target, which was to exceed and reshape the small form factor landscape with yet another breakthrough case design. The result of this effort is a new line of case products from SilverStone called RAVEN Z. As the first model, this Raven RVZ01 is unlike any SilverStone small form factor cases before it. Utilizing a PCI-E riser and custom designed fans, this slim, 14-liter case is capable of housing some of the biggest consumer graphics cards on the market with superb air cooling performance and the ability to also support liquid cooling. Read on and let’s see if the Silverstone Raven RVZ01 is what we have all been waiting for.



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SilverStone ML06 HTPC Case Review

With more households "cutting the cord" to make the move to an all internet streaming solution, having access to a full fledged PC can be key to entertainment bliss. Some home smart theater equipment has YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu interfaces built right in. However, none of these boxes will have access to all of the named options, or a full fledged browser. They are also not capable of playing the latest PC games. This is why having a real PC connected to your television remains the best option. There are many choices when it comes to cases for your Home Theater PC. These will range from a full tower to the really small Intel NUC sized systems. Towards the smaller side of cases you will find the SilverStone MILO series of HTPC cases. The MILO series cases are designed to blend in with existing home theater equipment with simple styling and smaller profiles. Silverstone recently added the ML06 to the MILO lineup to add another layer of options for HTPC builders using Mini ITX boards. You were able to use the ML03 and ML04 cases but the ML06 is a whopping 50% smaller than the ML03! At a reported 7 liters, let's see if the ML06 stands up to the style and smart designs of the previous MILO HTPC cases.



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Diamond R7 250 Boost Review

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.



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Enermax Revolution XT 630W 80+ Gold Modular PSU Review

Lately the push for smaller and quieter systems leaves many enthusiasts and the D.I.Y. crowd needing smaller and smaller power supplies (PSU's). It's not entirely uncommon to see systems being built with powerful hardware like the 780Ti, but with PSUs no larger than 550-600 watts. It therefore makes more sense than ever to go for a PSU that is as efficient as possible to make sure you have as few problems as possible while still being able to do what we all love to do: tune our systems and squeeze the most performance out of them as possible. Enermax has seen fit to produce what they feel is a worthy solution to your small system building needs. The Revolution XT PSU lineup ranges from 430 to 730 watt capabilities; all carry the 80+ Gold certification for power efficiency, have flat cables and are semi-modular. Could this be the next PSU you select for your system builder needs? Let's delve deeper and find out as we review the Enermax Revolution XT 630W 80+ Gold Modular PSU.



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MSI GTX 760 Gaming MINI-ITX Review

We recently had the opportunity to have some hands on time with the feature packed MSI Z87i Gaming AC board. It had a small size but a large feature set and gaming potential. Today we wanted to look at the partner tech for the Z87i Gaming AC. That is the GTX 760 OC Gaming ITX GPU. We have seen the GTX 760 from various manufacturers with different cooling solutions but MSI claims to have made one which will fit perfectly inside a cramped HTPC or LAN PC case. This will leave the MSI GTX 760 Gaming Mini-ITX in a tight space to battle temps and fan noise, all while keeping FPS up. That is a tall order for any GPU, so lets not waste anymore time, and jump right into the review.



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MSI Z87i Gaming AC Mini ITX Review

PC gaming has been on a recent incline as more people learn to build their own systems. There is a feeling of pride and accomplishment you will never get being a console only gamer. You picked the parts and assembled them to make a working gaming rig. Since there are more gamers building their own systems, there is now more of a need for variety of size, shape, color, power and gaming capabilities. MSI has been at the forefront of this expansion of variety with industry leading boards, GPUs and peripherals covering every type from Quad GPU systems to tiny HTPC or LAN PCs. In this review we will be covering MSI's latest offering in the tiny system segment, The Z87I Gaming AC Mini ITX main board. MSI Z87I AC Stock Pic Mini ITX has seen an explosion in popularity over the last few years. When the form factor was first introduced, it was limited to BGA CPUs and passive cooling which slowed its adaptation outside of specialty usage. With the introduction of mini ITX 2.0 which included a PCI-e 16x, gamers saw a new form factor to expand their creativity. HTPC could double as a game system or a really small LAN PC, because they now packed the same GPU power as a full sized system. Some board manufacturers like MSI saw an opportunity to fill in a gap by offering features usually reserved for larger boards in the smaller form factor. We have a chance to look into the newest member of the Gaming series, the MSI Z87i Gaming AC mini ITX board. MSI looks to bring serious Gaming a...






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