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Posts Tagged ‘intel’
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ASUS X99 Rampage V Extreme Motherboard Review

Introduction   When it comes to the gods of ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) motherboards, we can only think of one right of the top of our heads. The Rampage Series takes the lead in many categories in terms of performance and stability, and with the newest X99 chipset from Intel, ASUS made no exception with the ASUS Rampage V Extreme motherboard this time around. Over the last decade, ASUS’ Rampage Extreme Series motherboards have taken popularity by storm and give you the reputation of great overclocking stability, and all the while being among the top performing motherboards in the industry. Today, we have a chance to put its newest edition to the test and see if ASUS can remain at the top of the list. While performance is one arena we look at, the aesthetics from the Rampage Series have always remained appealing and its red and black theme follows suit with its traditional colors. While this theme is well known in the industry, in our opinion it’s a little played out but we can’t argue that it’s pretty darn sexy at the same time.   So without going into too much detail, let’s dive in and take a look at a full in depth view of the ASUS Rampage V Extreme paired with our Intel 5930K. But before we do that, let’s here a word from ASUS. Origin of the Name “Asus” ASUS comes from the last four letters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology that represents the inspiration of art and learning. ASUS embodies the strength, ...



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NZXT S340 Case Review

Introduction Weather you are an extreme PC builder or just the average budget-minded consumer, NZXT has develop quite a few well rounded PC Chassis. Just a few years ago the NZXT Switch 810 caught the attention of many water cooling builders. Today, we are going to be looking at another chassis with NZXT’s famous attention to detail; we have the NZXT S340 Chassis on our test bench today. The NZXT S340 chassis has been classified as a mid-range tower, but it offers several features and benefits of a full tower. The S340 includes a full steel frame along with its steel panel construction. Let’s move forward and give you the full review of the NZXT S340 Chassis, but before we do, let’s talk a little bit about NZXT for those who haven’t yet heard of them.     Our People React, adapt and be fearless – we’re a group of young people who aspire to be better tomorrow than we are today. We are driven by the yearning to explore, create, change, and push boundaries. Our culture revolves around having a passion to walk off the well-beaten path, and turn away from the status quo. Our Company Avant-garde and unconventional – NZXT as created because we aspire to make a positive difference for people. We believe that there are companies that ship product, and then there are companies that ship innovation. We routinely re-invest in ourselves, and hope that we can drive a positive influence in the industry. Our Products Think like a beginner &...



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Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 Motherboard Review

Introduction When it comes to Intel’s Extreme or “Enthusiast” series of motherboards and processors, like the X79 and its Ivy-Bridge-E combo, we seem to get a bit more time between updates. Intel initially launched its X79 Chipset with Sandy-Bridge-E, then 18 months later Ivy-Bridge-E hit store shelves without a major Chipset change. Unlike its mainstream Z series Chipset, which has seen updates almost every 12 months or so (give or take a few months), the X79 chipset is roughly 3 years old now. Today we have the new X99 Chipset which promises a large improvement over its predecessor X79. With the rise of DDR4 memory and demand for faster and larger bandwidth capabilities, it was only a matter of time. As we dig a little deeper today, we will talk a little more about this Chipset later. Along with the new Chipset comes a newly released processor refresh. The X99 Chipset has made some other improvements which now allow users to sport the new Intel Haswell-E Processor. This CPU starts with a 6core for the HT 5820K, 6core for the HT 5930K, and lastly an 8core for the HT 5960X with a Socket 2011-3. Of course with these changes, it has pre-empted the design of new motherboards, so we now have the chance to put the Gigabyte X99-UD4 motherboard to the test and see if the improvements are going to be worth the upgrade.   In recent years, Gigabyte has grown to be one of the most recommended brands. The reputation of great performance to value has put them on ...



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Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate 360mm LCS Review

Introduction In the last few years, the CLC (Closed Loop Cooler) market has taken a big jump in market share… but we have only seen a few unique designs due to a patent set by Asetek on its pump/block design. This has limited a number of manufacturers from producing similar designs without running into this patent issue. This leaves us with companies that are re-branding their coolers and all while, Asetek hasn’t developed anything new or really exciting recently. We have seen CLC coolers with the same designs ranging with 120mm, 240mm and even 280mm rads with thickness ranging from 25-50mm. While each maker has attempted to add there own flare to each of these designs, these units are all essentially the same or very similar. While the patent still has not changed, we are excited to see that Thermaltake took a leap forward in making a change in this arena and we have the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CLC cooler. The first and most notable performance change here is the larger radiator with support of 3x 120mm fans essentially making this the largest radiator of 360mm with a first triple 120mm CLC system. As we continue forward, we are going to give you the full details and we we are excited to see a change and can’t wait to see how it does. But, before we do that… Let’s talk a little about Thermaltake: Our Mission – Delivering the perfect user experience Every myth starts out as a dream, and at the beginning of every legend is a desire. T...



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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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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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ASRock FaTal1ty Z97 Killer Series Motherboard Review

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 ...



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Exciting Speculation, Awesome Teaser, Huge Disappointment

A couple weeks ago, I started speculating that something new was going to happen with the AM3+ socket. When I saw the tweet with a picture of an FX series box, my excitement went through the roof because I felt AMD actually was doing something new. When I found out they were relaunching the FX-9590, my excitement plummeted. While a relaunch isn’t a terrible idea, there are two main problems with this that makes it a failure for hardware enthusiasts in my eyes. The first problem with this relaunch is the choice of cooler. The massive 220w thermal rating is one of the largest in the CPU market, but AMD chose to use a 120mm AIO (presumably one of the Cooler Master Seidons) instead of a more suited 240mm AIO. Don’t get me wrong, the Cooler Master Seidons are decent units, but if AMD wanted to be serious about low temperatures and ANY overclocking possibility at all, the 240mm system would be a bare minimum and I would have preferred to see the Cooler Master Glacer thrown in at a slightly higher price. The other problem on choosing Cooler Master is that while their units have shown good cooling performance, they leave a bit to be desired in the noise department. If this release was designed to excite enthusiasts, most of them will see the noise and heat thresh holds as too much of a gamble to go for this unit. Maybe I’m just being paranoid about the 120mm AIO, but the second thing that bugged me the most was the teaser. I want to say something to EVERY company...



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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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AMD FX CPUs Plus a New 990FX Board Equals Exciting Speculation

AMD continuously makes the future look better. Their GPU architecture is taking a turn towards power efficiency, their APUs keep pulling out impressive performance for modern games, and HSA still looks like it has a ton of potential for the future of computing. The problem is when the future becomes today, the excitement can turn to disappointment. I’m at a point of no return with the expectations I have for AMD. So far, with the release of new FX series mobile APUs and an interesting new 990FX motherboard, I’m hoping for the possible release of a new AM3+ CPU. At this point, if AMD doesn’t deliver some high end by 2016, there is going to be disappointment. On the other hand, I think some good things are going to happen very soon. First, let’s look at the new release of an FX series APU. AMD hasn’t released these for full review yet, but quite few people got their hands on a few hour preview. Considering that these were being compared to mobile i7s, in most cases the results were impressive. These APUs aren’t blowing away any performance numbers, but let’s take in all considerations. First off, the FX-7600P is only a 35w chip, but the single thread performance is almost to the level of the the previous A10-5800k. That may not sound all that impressive, but the A10 is a massive 100w chip, and has a 4.2Ghz turbo compared to the measly 3.6Ghz turbo of the FX chip! Also, the graphics performance is the best yet with this APU being able...



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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.



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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.



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Intel does Something Amazing!

The reality is, being on top can get pretty boring. Nothing proves this more than Intel’s CPU market. Lately, all we’ve seen from them is minor improvements using existing architecture trying to give consumers a reason to spend money that hardly anybody has. Instead, people are pretty much buying the Intel latest if they were planning a major upgrade anyway or they have pretty deep pockets. Unfortunately, much of what I was hearing about the Haswell refresh, the Haswell-E, was much of the same, but then I saw one release that absolutely blew my mind. Many of you would be surprised to hear me say say that the eight core i7-5960X chip isn’t all that exciting but before you hack my IP and fry my computer, hear me out. While it’s true this is Intel’s first 8-core consumer chip, the specs are a little bit of a give and take. Eight cores and an L3 cache boost force the sacrifice of a pretty significant amount of frequency. This means we can expect some significant multi-threaded performance, but the single core performance probably won’t be blowing away the charts. At what looks to be around a $1000 price tag, this doesn’t seem to be a worthy investment for the average user/gamer in consumer computing. (Then again, when is it ever at $1000!) The next chip, the i7-5930K, is more of a minor factory boost from the i7-4930K. Since both CPUs have six cores, the trade off is getting a slightly higher frequency and L3 cache, but I wouldn’...



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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!



BIOSTAR has introduced Hi-Fi Z97WE, the Intel’s next generation Haswell based motherboard

  BIOSTAR Brings Out Hi-Fi Z97WE Mainboard, With Intel Smart Technologies May 9th, 2014, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR, maker of embedded/IPC solutions, graphics cards, and motherboards has introduced Intel’s next generation Haswell based motherboard, the Hi-Fi Z97WE. It comes with many BIOSTAR in-house features such as “Hi-Fi” audio technology. The Hi-Fi Z97WE is an ATX form factor board that features Intel socket 1150 support. It has 4 memory slots for up to 32GB of RAM. The on-board LAN controller also supports 10/100/1000/2000 with “Teaming” mode. The on-board HDMI supports 4K and 2K resolutions. It includes the usual high-end motherboard features like USB 3.0, HDMI and PCI-E slots, as well as the newest PCIe development, the “M.2” form factor. The M.2 standard is the newest and smallest form factor implementation of the SATA Express interface (which provides support for PCI Express 3.0 and Serial ATA 3.0), with the addition of an internal USB 3.0 interface. It supports multiple functions for add-in cards, including the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite navigation, near field communication (NFC), digital radio, Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig), wireless WAN (WWAN), and solid-state drives (SSDs). But being a BIOSTAR board, there is a premium set of features including the company’s unique “Hi-Fi” technology. All the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi series motherboards are equipped with isolate circuit design and high quality components to ensure the best possible audio qua...






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