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Gigabyte Z97X-SLI Motherboard Review

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.



Enermax ETS-N30 TAA CPU Cooler Review

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...



Enermax Liqtech 240 & Liqmax 120 CPU Cooler Review

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.



SilverStone Strider Essential ST60F-ESG 600w PSU Review

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.



ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero Motherboard Review

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.



Time to Change Some Passwords Again: eBay Hacked

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  



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.



Noctua introduces two new fan product lines and accessory kits

  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...



MSI Z97 Gaming 5 Motherboard Review

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!



Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Review

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!



X2 Eclipse IV CPU Cooler Review

The running trend today in top-of-the-line CPU cooling performance seems to be water cooling. If it’s not under water then most seem to think you’re doing it wrong and will never achieve properly high performance. However, there are those enthusiasts who would rather have peace of mind, knowing that they will never have to worry about one of the lines in a water cooling loop springing a leak or their pump failing on them, destroying their high performance rig. How do you gain maximum performance while minimizing the risk? Spire, a well known company for cooling products has released another member of their CPU air cooling line. It's called the X2 Spire Eclipse IV, and we are going to review it for you today.



Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB 1866MHz CL10 Memory (HX318C10FWK2/8) Review

Kingston Technologies have been in the memory business over two decades and are known for their reliable and fast memory. Today we are going to be looking at Kingston's new HyperX line called "Fury". This new Fury line from Kingston will position itself against its current mainstream HyperX Genesis and high-end HyperX Predator lines. The HyperX Fury pretty much lines up with its competitor from Corsair the Vengeance line. This will give consumers more options and widens that market share. The Fury line was not designed to be the best of the best, but is meant to meet that middle line between your beginning users and the higher-end clients. We have speeds ranging from 1333MHz to 1866Mhz which will be available in 8GB single sticks or 8GB to 16GB kits. Let's put the Kingston HyperX Furry DDR3 1866MHz kit we got for review to the test and see how well it performs.



Diamond XS71HDU USB Xtreme Sound 24bit 7.1 Channel Digital Audio Adapter Review

As we all know, digital audio has become the de facto standard on most of our audio devices. Unfortunately, there are still select motherboards out there which don’t offer a digital output, so we’re stuck using an analog connection and laptops that only offer an analog audio jack. Diamond Media has a solution. Their USB Xtreme Sound 24bit 7.1 Channel Digital Audio Adapter looks to make digital audio available for everyone. It’s a pocket size device that is capable of receiving an audio signal through 3.5mm stereo jacks or any USB 2.0 or optical input with multiple output ports. It can then convert the audio into a digital signal. We are going to put it through its paces and see if it lives up to its promises.



Thecus N2310 NAS Review

Introduction Most home based networks normally end up sharing files stored on computer systems, whether it’s a dedicated file storage system or a number of different systems sharing files. It takes a lot to maintain these systems, not to mention the power they use to just share movies, music, etc. While this may have been the most efficient way of consistently sharing files between each other in the past, Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices were extremely expensive when they first came out, and mainly advertised towards businesses for data storage. But what if you could have your own NAS device sharing all your memorable pictures, movies or even music? And, not only to your own local network but also accessible to authorized users across the globe? Introducing the Thecus N2310 NAS. Though not as powerful as the N2560 and N4560 released earlier this quarter, the N2310 still packs in a lot of the features of its pricier siblings. It’s also a more affordable way to utilize these features with safety in mind, knowing that your files will be safe and available where-ever you may be. Before we get started, let’s read more about Thecus. In today’s networked world, digital content is truly the most precious asset. At Thecus, we take pride in developing innovative storage solutions that keep data safe and secure. Founded in 2004, the Thecus team brings decades of R&D expertise, Thecus brand marketing channel development, and a strong customer fo...



Kingston 64GB DataTraveler Locker+G3 USB Drive Review

Portable storage devices like USB thumb drives have been around over the last decade or so. Despite this, we are starting to see a much higher use from such drives in the last few years, especially with capacity on them being larger and faster. However, sometimes storing data on such drives can increase the risk of having your data easily lost or stolen. Well, today we are going to be looking at a new Kingston 64GB DataTraveler Locker+ G3 USB 3.0 thumb drive that aims to help with that. What's so different about this drive? It includes some extra security which requires a password to access the drive! Kingston released a software based USB drive that will only give you access to the drive once the password you set up is input. The password encoded drive will help secure all the files stored, which will give you piece of mind that your data is safe for traveling or normal every day use. Today as we continue forward, we are going to test the Kingston 64GB DataTraveler Locker + G3 in multiple scenarios to evaluate the performance, security and reliability of the drive.






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