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Posts Tagged ‘gaming’
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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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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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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.



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Mionix NASH 20 Headset Review

Mionix has been on a roll lately with the expansion of their lineup of gaming peripherals, incorporating smart revisions and improvements into new revisions and subsequent designs that create top notch winners. Continuing their foray into the gaming peripheral market, Mionix has launched their latest set of headphones, the NASH 20. The NASH 20 headset looks decidedly sleek and lightweight. But what about performance? Indeed, this is where headsets make their reputations, so let's take a closer look and see just how well the Mionix NASH 20 performs.



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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!



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Nvidia GeForce Experience 2.0 and Performance Update

We recently had the opportunity to meet with Nvidia to hear some of the upcoming newly minted features of their popular GeForce Experience software, and Nvidia is promising even better features to reach a wider audience, and are now calling this their GFE 2.0, presumably the new and improved version. Notebooks are getting the love this time around, receiving the full treatment like the enthusiast desktop brethren, and mobile gaming is looking to get a boost as well with Nvidia's new Gamestream. As an added bonus, we've got some new drivers from Nvidia as well, version 337.50, which promises performance increases. Not ones to blindly believe the claims, we get a GTX 780 on the bench and see what these drivers can do.



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Func MS-3 Revision 2 Gaming Mouse Review

We heard rumblings of a newer version of the original Func MS-3 gaming mouse, with the latest set to promise gamers a more advanced laser engine, higher DPI, and better quality internals. So we had to get one to study more closely for ourselves. Func now has the MS-3 Revision 2, a refresh of a winning formula that captures the same outstanding ergonomics while bringing new guts to a smartly designed body. And as an added bonus, we'll also be examining the Func Surface 1030² L, an update of a double-sided gaming mouse pad that now comes with a few new and interesting features. Can the MS-3 Revision 2 and Surface 1030² L improve upon the predecessors without losing its original appeal? Let's find out.



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Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti Windforce Review

Today we're specifically looking at the Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti Windforce, a budget-oriented card that comes with a factory overclock out of the box and a cooler design that promises very low temperatures, while looking to trounce AMD's R7 260X not only in performance, but also power efficiency. Let's take a closer look and get it on the bench to see if real world tests can fulfill Nvidia's aspirations.



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Microsoft Responds to Mantle with DirectX 12

DirectX hasn’t seen an update for a very long time. PC gaming on the other hand, has seen some very interesting changes over the past years, but more significantly in recent times would be the Steam Machine and AMD’s Mantle technology. These two offer a direct competition to Microsoft so it’s no surprise that they’ve had to find a way to respond and quickly. Without going into too much of the speculation that’s already out, it seems that DirectX 12 may well be a direct response to Mantle technology. The Steam Machine obviously offers competition, but it also requires that games be designed to run for a Linux based OS and is less likely to fill the niche for work at home procedures. Mantle could be much scarier for Microsoft, because if game developers design to it, there could be very little need to upgrade to a new version of Windows while still enjoying peak performance from the latest AMD graphics cards. To modestly explain why this works, Mantle allows more graphics processing to go straight to the GPU rather than having to use the CPU as the middle man. Still run Windows 7? No big deal because you have the latest AMD drivers with Mantle software. DirectX 12 hasn’t revealed details yet, but if it tries to garner the same kind of performance that Mantle does, it will be easier for Microsoft to pin it to newer versions of Windows, forcing consumers to upgrade in order to keep peak performance out of their hardware. While this all ma...



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Razer Designs New Mechanical Keyboard Switches

Razer is all about gaming hype. They proudly boast that their products are “For Gamers, by Gamers.” The problem with hype though, is that it’s usually designed to make people spend more money than they need to. Take phones for example. A new phone every two years can get pricey but cellular companies are trying to diminish that wait so consumers can have a new phone every year! When I heard Razer designed a new keyboard, I smirked a little, and when I saw the video spots, I even laughed. All I can say now is, “I have to have one!’ While the exploding key in the video might have been a little over the top, the features of this keyboard are quite mouth-watering. The actuation point distance of the keys was trimmed, making it faster to press the key, but that’s only the first juicy bit. The really interesting feature is the reset distance. The standard mechanical distance to reset a key is 0.7mm, but the Razer switch is only 0.4mm. Key spam away because this keyboard is going to know the difference between fast clicking and actually holding down the key. The other nice feature is the lifespan, showing around three times the number of keystrokes standard mechanical switches can take before breaking down. To say that I want to own one of these keyboards is an understatement. It’s true that this amount of precision is probably overkill for the standard gamer while e-sport “athletes” will get the most out these features. ...



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Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Case Review

Small form factor PC builds are among one of the more popular topics on many PC forums. Building affordable small form-factor power-house PCs has taken a huge leap forward recently as many manufacturers are starting to saturate the market with more small form factor hardware. Mini-ITX motherboards and small, yet powerful graphics card availability is on the rise. With that increased demand becoming more apparent, we are also starting to see other SFF (small form factor) accessories appearing on store shelves. With that said, today we are going to take a look at a Cooler Master Elite 110 chassis. This one is designed to meet those looking to build either a budget friendly or a powerful gaming PC in a tiny foot print. Just how much versatility and style can Cooler Master pack into the Elite 110?? Read on to find out!



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Gigabyte GTX 780 GHz Edition Review

Today we're looking at a premium gaming card from Gigabyte in the form of the GTX 780 GHz Edition. As you can probably guess, its approach comes in the form of aggressive overclocking, by juicing up the core past 1GHz, one of the fastest on the market. Gigabyte doesn't normally just overclock their products, and indeed this model sports a stunning cooler that we've seen before: the Windforce. We've been impressed in the past with Gigabyte Windforce graphics cards, and we suspect this new one will be no different. It's constructed in metal rather than cheap plastic, comes with three fans, heatpipes, and a boatload of cooling potential in a stylish gaming package. Factor in a very aggressive overclock on this card, and we are eager to see just how fast this thing can go. Let's take a closer look.



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NZXT H-440 Silent Mid-Tower Case

I was recently was given the opportunity to look at another offering from NZXT. If you follow my reviews, you will know that I am a fan of NZXT, and their H series in particular has become one that has sparked my interest. Over the past several years, NZXT has become one of the premier manufacturers of cases and peripheral. They seem to always think outside the box, and their innovative designs and features tend to be ahead of the pack. They are adept at targeting both the gaming and enthusiast arenas. Today will be looking at a new Mid-Tower chassis from NZXT. This one is the H-440 which is part of the coveted NZXT H Silent series of cases. For those familiar with the continuing legacy of the NZXT H Series line of cases, the new NZXT H-440 purports to bring all of the same sound-proofing/quiet operation capabilities as its three predecessors. This time, however, it also focused on a new arena. The new NZXT H-440 is not just centered on quiet performance but also on water cooling performance as well. The NZXT H-440 comes in two color choices, black with red trim, and white with black trim. Both the top and front fascia of the NZXT H-440 is a completely solid design with no door and no ODD 5.25 bays whatsoever. The NZXT H-440 has a smooth and simplistic design, meant to offer a clean, industrial aesthetic. Read on as we venture inside to see if it offers all the essentials you would want, including water cooling needs, and the hassle-free computing experience we have com...






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