Posts Tagged ‘review’
Biostar has been in the motherboard business since the early 80's. While they were not always the preferred brand that enthusiasts turn to, they have definitely improved in this arena in the last few years. We saw a big improvement in their motherboard sector with the Z77 chipset launch. Now that Biostar has had this chance to improve today's newer chipset, we are going to be looking at a budget friendly chipset on the B85N-3D motherboard. This motherboard was developed on the mini-ITX platform, and, while this isn't Biostar's flagship motherboard, we are here today to put this Small Form Factor (SFF) motherboard to the test. The popularity of Small Form Factor motherboards has been on the rise, and Biostar's B85N-3D has been developed for customers looking for an HTPC or Media platform with a focus around 3D audio support. Will this motherboard be able to keep up with some of the high-end mainstream motherboards? Let's dive in and find out.
Sometimes being located in Southern California can have its benefits, and we’re not talking about the weather here. California being one of the larger states in the US houses most of today’s PC hardware and software companies. One of these companies is Newegg, and if you haven’t heard of Newegg; we have to say… you need to stop hiding under that rock. Newegg is one of the largest electronics e-tailers in the nation today. If you have ever thought about building a PC or looking for some of today’s latest gadgets, the one place you have probably searched is Newegg.com. Newegg houses some of the largest range of products available today in stock in their inventory and its where most of us PC enthusiasts turn to for some of the geek shopping. Today, at spur of the moment I was notified by a good friend of mine from NZXT (thanks Eric!) that Newegg was hosting a launch party at their new hybrid center. Newegg’s “will call” is located in City of Industry and has housed a space for many local consumers to be able to pick up their online orders; this allowed some of us locals to pick up the items and save some shipping costs if the item isn’t shipped for free. However, the space here was previously pretty empty and houses some chairs and seating in the waiting area and a counter to pick up your packages. But that wasn’t good enough for Newegg and now they have opened the “Hybrid Center,” which has some of today’s latest ...
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!
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.
Today marks the launch of Maxwell, Nvidia's latest product architecture, set to take the budget-oriented market with better power efficiency and strong gaming performance at the lower end of the spectrum. We're specifically looking at the MSI GTX 750 Ti Twin Frozr Gaming, a card that comes with an aggressive factory overclock out of the box, and looking to trounce AMD's R7 260X. This card looks very promising on paper. And MSI looks to have put quite a bit of tech into the budget-oriented card, so let's take a closer look and get it on the bench to see if real world tests can fulfill Nvidia's aspirations.
Usually when shopping for an ATX full tower, you look for the big names in the industry. The reasons for this are pretty apparent: reputation, reliability, service after the sale, build quality, feature set, and the list goes on; but what if we told you that you don't always have to go after the big name and spend excessive amount of cash to have your cake and eat it, too? Casecom is here to show you that their newest ATX full tower, the Halcones CL-86, brings a lot to the table and asks for very little in return. Measuring out at 23" tall, 22" deep and roughly 9" wide, it certainly seems to fit the size requirement. The question is, "does everything else add up to a rewarding and clean building experience?" Let's jump in and find out.
We have the new Raidmax Horus mid-tower case in for review today. Named after Egyption mythology, Horus first appeared as a soaring falcon and has been worshipped in Egypt as representative of the greatest cosmic powers. The Horus PC chassis is packed with all the features you would expect in its class. It has cable management, water-cooling support and tool-less installation options. Raidmax has been reinventing their case lineup with more features than users expect to see, even with some of their budget-friendly cases. The question is, "Will this sleek designed case, named after an Egyptian god, meet your requirements?" Read on to find out more.
With Tax Return Season upon us there are many who might be considering putting together their first new PC build or perhaps updating their current build. During the process of putting together the parts list, there is one item that is frequently neglected; that item is the tool-set you will need assemble your rig. Any old average set of tools (as long as they contain at least a philips screwdriver) will do you in a pinch, but it's best not to use dad's rusty-old screwdriver because it could get rust flakes and who knows what other kinds of dirt and grime all over your new PC hardware. Thankfully there are tool kits designed specifically with system building in mind, and VisionTek has a fairly comprehensive kit of their own, which we will review for you today. Their kit comes with 26 pieces of surprisingly versatile, yet simple tools. We'll be taking a quick look at what something like this offers you, the budding system builder, in your quest to construct the perfect metal monolith. First, here's a word about VisionTek:
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? Cryorig seems to feel they have a proper solution with the R1 Ultimate. Designed with the expressed intent of providing the strongest air cooled solution available, we are here to find out if it can provide the cooling performance the enthusiast craves without the mess and maintenance. First, here's a word about Cryorig:
In an ideal world, when you want to build your next PC, you want to get nothing but the best components for the money you can get your hands on. Unfortunately, life tends to sometimes get in the way, and some corners must be cut somewhere to make the build happen. This is why various price points exist for different ranges of products, though lately several manufacturers have taken to the notion that the ratio of paying less for getting less is too heavily skewed in favor of paying less for getting nowhere near enough for your money. Cougar figures it's their turn to toss another chip into the stack of afford-ably priced gamer cases with the introduction of the MX500 mid tower case. Said to be a sleek, modern designed gaming tower, does this offer gamers the features they crave without breaking the bank? Let's dig in and find out, but first here's a bit about Cougar:
The Enermax TwisterOdio 16" notebook pad is a great cooler with awesome sound.
Introduction Quiet computing is becoming all the rage these days. People are sick of hearing their systems sound like jet engines all the time. Manufacturers are realizing this and a lot of them are coming out with reduced noise or low noise “quiet” products. Antec is no exception. They have their own Quiet Computing section with cases intended for low noise, featuring the Performance One family and the Sonata family. The latest addition to the Performance One family is the P280. The P280 is available in four different flavors – black or white and with or without a window. Antec was kind enough to send us a P280 in black to review, so let’s get to it! Here’s a little about the P280 from Antec: “Sophisticated Performance Refined - Sophisticated and cutting-edge, the P280 emphasizes the ease of use, quiet technology and unparalleled performance characteristic of Antec’s Performance One series. This advanced enclosure comes equipped with features that will maximize your PC experience, from Quiet Computing™ panels & HDD drive bays, to grommet-lined cable routing holes with ample space behind the motherboard tray. The P280 accommodates motherboards up to XL-ATX and includes nine expansion slots to support up to four 13.0″ / 330 mm graphics cards. And with convenient tool-less optical drive bays, easy-access front & bottom PSU intake air filters, two front panel USB 3.0 ports and an affordable price, you get an el...
Introduction It seems like a great idea to have a small backup battery for your mobile devices these days. There are a ton of them on the market with various sizes and battery capacities. Some people also need extra storage – that 8GB iPhone fills up quick with songs, videos and pictures. What if you were to combine the two? Well our friends at RAVPower did just that. They combined a 3AH battery pack with a WiFi hub, SD card and USB storage. That’s a lot of features in a little package. How well does it work? Well they were kind enough to send us one to check out, so let’s take a look! About RavPower: “RAVPower means Reliable – Affordable – Value. As an industry leader in laptop portable power solutions we strive to offer every customer with the most reliable devices at affordable prices that value the customer need for service and support from a trusted brand, that is the RAVPower promise. We only supply superior quality products. All our products are brand new and manufactured by our high-tech factories. All products strictly follow the standards of CE, FCC and RoHS, and are carefully inspected by a responsible QA team before packaging. All products have 6 to 12 months of warranty depending on the category. We have a knowledgeable customer service team to provide helpful after-sales services. You won’t regret it!” - RAVPower. Let’s take a look at the features and specs of the RP-WD01 now.
If you’re a computer enthusiast, system builder or a heavy gamer, you’re more than likely running a high performance system with multiple video cards, an overclocked CPU, several HDD drives, and a beast of a power supply to power it all. The heat being generated has now become a big concern, so you’re contemplating taking the plunge, and putting your prized possession under water. Today I have the pleasure of reviewing several of XSPC’s products that are an integral part of the water cooling system. Read on as we dive in and take an up close look at two different styles of XSPC’s rotary fittings. The people at XSPC are gaming and overclocking enthusiasts who started XSPC over 10 years ago. They have a company vision of offering world-class cooling products that do not sacrifice reliability, quality, or quiet operation, while in the pursuit of ultimate cooling performance. As of today, XSPC’s product range has expanded to include everything you need to build the ultimate liquid cooling system. Our thanks go out to XSPC for providing us with our review samples.
You are probably familiar with the company Transcend. Transcend makes a WIDE variety of storage solutions including USB flash drives, solid state drives, external hard drives, external CD/DVD drives, SD cards, digital photo frames and more. You are also likey familiar with the concept of an external hard drive. It's simply a standard hard drive of the 2.5" or 3.5" flavor tossed into an external case that connects to your computer typically via USB. Most people have one and use them for transferring large amounts of data or doing PC backups. Transcend took the typical external hard drive idea and replaced the old mechanical drive with a 2.5" SSD. The result is the ESD200 USB 3.0 external SSD, available in 128GB and 256GB flavors. Transcend sent us a 128GB model to review, so let's check it out!