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ASUS ROG Maximus VII Formula Motherboard Review

Introduction A few months back we took a look at the ASUS Maximus VII Hero Motherboard (HERE) . The Maximus VII Hero, which is part of ASUS’ mid range Republic of Gamer’s line, took home the Editors Choice award for its great performance and outstanding aesthetics. However, that was only the tip of the iceberg for the ROG line up. Today… we have the chance to take a look at ASUS’ flagship motherboard the ASUS Maximus VII Formula. We are really excited to start putting this motherboard to the test. Its aesthetics alone really stand out, especially its Armor Shield. If you are an water cooling enthusiast, the hybrid CrossChill Cooling VRM block is also a great feature. Can the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Formula live up to its little brother the Hero and earn another Editor’s Choice Award? Let’s dive in and take a look.   But before we do, 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, creative spirit and purity symbolized by this regal and agile mythical creature, soaring to new heights of quality and innovation with each product it introduces to the market.



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A New Build Log from our Review Staff is Starting! Silence Will Fall!

Greetings Pure Overclock fans! Just wanted to stop by and let you all know that we have a new build log up being written by Mike in the forums! It’s being sponsored by none other than: www.swiftech.com As a leading provider of enthusiast-grade water cooling components, their newest product line seemed the best possible fit for what we have in mind for the build (as well as some old favorites). The theme of the build is “Silence Falls,” a silence-optimized HTPC with more than just movie streaming intentions in mind, but with a bit of a twist that most of our readers wouldn’t really expect from a build of this nature. Be sure to stop by the forums to check out the build log as it progresses, and while you’re all at it be sure to check out some of the other awesome build logs we’ve got on-hand, including Project reDEFINEd by forum member humanityBG and Squircle, a scratch build by forum member glent. Both of them are turning out beautifully so far, so we have plenty of eye candy for you guys to ogle over. Here’s some links to the build logs mentioned: Silence Falls: A Thought Experiment Project “reDEFINEd” – Fractal Design DEFINE R2 XL Squircle [Scratch Build] Hope you all enjoy these builds, and stay tuned in for more projects to come!



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Streacom FC8 EVO Fanless Chassis Review

Introduction With the growing industry of digital media and streaming devices, the world of compact designed media players and HTPCs have grown quite a bit over the last few years. While some can suffice with a simple media device like the Roku, Western Digital Media Box and even the Chrome TV, these devices can sometimes only satisfy the basic general consumers’ needs. What about those in need of a little more power and flexibility? This is where the growing SFF (small form factor) HTPC market comes into play. Some will say you can build an HTPC with some basic PC components and drop them into a computer case and call it a day, but who wants a junky or bulky PC tower sitting in their entertainment center looking out of place. For users like us, we like our media center to be the center of attention… so you probably want something a little more aesthetically pleasing. Today, we have chance to look at a uniquely designed SFF PC chassis that can operate in complete silence. We have on our test table today the Streacom FC8 Evo Fanless Chassis. Also, when we refer to it being silent, we really mean it, because the Streacom FC8 Evo case features a completely fanless design. Perhaps its sleek aesthetics will prove to be a talking point of your entertainment center. Let’s review it and find out…   Before we move forward with the exciting features, let’s first talk about who Streacom is: History Streacom was founded in 2010 by a small but experi...



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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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Biostar HiFi Z97WE Motherboard Review

Introduction The Z97 chipset motherboards have now gone into full swing, and with the Haswell refresh we saw a lot of new flavor in motherboard choices this time around. Today, we are going to be looking at the Biostar HiFi Z97WE Motherboard. At first glance, we have to be honest here… we didn’t really like the color combination Biostar used with the HiFi Z97WE Motherboard. The gold heatsinks with its yellow and black accents really don’t go well together aesthetically speaking. However, putting the aesthetics aside we are going to put the Biostar HiFi Z97WE to the test in terms of performance and see how well it stacks up with other Z97 Motherboards we have already tested. So before we dive in for a closer look, let’s talk about who Biostar is: In 1980,the IT industry was growing at a phenomenal rate. With wide experience in buying and selling electronic parts as well as researching on future demands for mainboards and add-on cards , the founder of BIOSTAR GROUP,established BIOSTAR MICROTECH INTERNATIONAL CORP in 1986. In the early years, BIOSTAR concentrated on the manufacture of mainboards built for XT form factor. To maintain steady business growth, BIOSTAR managed to keep a large portion of its capital and manpower invested on the design and development of new products, which at the same time has enabled it to stay competitive in the rapid evolution of the computer industry. BIOSTAR has enriched its competence in the design and manufacture of p...



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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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BitFenix Fury 650G Power Supply Review

Innovation is the name of the game; if you want to keep your product line relevant and interesting then you need to mix things up a bit and give people a reason to be genuinely excited about choosing a part from your repertoire. In the world of power supplies, this innovation is coming slowly but surely as manufacturers determine how to better serve their PC enthusiast community with products that make their jobs a little bit easier and their builds a little more awesome. BitFenix opted to take the road less traveled with this, their first-ever power supply. They took a solid, stable 80 Plus Gold certified platform using all Japanese top shelf capacitors, then sleeved every single cable for you right out of the box. The name is somehow ironic to us, as they call it the BitFenix Fury, yet this power supply is poised to be anything BUT infuriating. Having well sleeved cables with a myriad of connector options and varying wattage ratings for your individual computing needs, could this be part of your next build? No spoilers yet on what we think of it, so let's read on.



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NZXT Sentry 3 Fan Speed Controller Review

As any system builder can tell you, the proper way to tune your system involves balance. Part of that balance which often goes overlooked by many novice builders is configuring your system fans; without proper airflow, your system might not be performing to its peak potential or might just be making a bit more noise than it needs to. Let us not forget that often times we find ourselves wondering how we are going to supply power to our fans without having to use motherboard headers and having all those unseemly cables running all over the place like so many cob webs. NZXT's Sentry line of fan speed controllers has been a staple for many system builders for several years, ranging in style from simple, mesh-style rheostat dials (varying resistor to control fan speed), to dual bay touch screen units. Here to serve another segment, as well as to update their lineup, is the Sentry 3. Offering 15 watts/three fans per channel, an increased size single bay touch screen, temperature probe, five total channels and an alarm monitor, can these features really create a more balanced build for you, or does this amount to nothing more than a bit of case bling? Before we find out, here's a bit about NZXT:



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Thermaltake Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction   Mechanical keyboards are practically everywhere now. If a manufacturer makes enthusiast-grade peripherals, chances are there’s a mechanical keyboard somewhere in their product stack. The tactile feedback and resilience of mechanical keys has always been a draw for gamers and enthusiasts the world over, and as time progresses these keyboards get more and more bells and whistles added to them: RGB back lighting, integrated ARM processors for advanced macros and saving specific data, braided cables, and the list goes on. The one thing that has remained the same until late last year was the switches: every single switch out there was a Cherry.   Flash forward to today and we have a patent that Cherry had which has expired, allowing other manufacturers to start producing their own brand of mechanical switches. Thermaltake was among the first companies to pick up some of these new switches from Kailh (pronounced like the plant: KALE) and use them on their newest variant of the Poseidon Z keyboard. By using these switches, they have shaved off quite a bit of the premium normally seen for mechanical keyboards, but has it shaved off quality as well? Let’s learn a bit about Thermaltake eSports and find out. www.ttesports.com “Challenge is the Game” highlights the philosophy to bring out healthy addictions in gaming and the ambition of reaching the pinnacle of success. Tt eSPORTS, a gaming obsessed division from Thermaltake, is uniting gamers ...



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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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NZXT Phantom 240 ATX Mid Tower Review

Things have been getting a thorough rustling in the case market in recent history. Every form factor from ITX on up to XL-ATX, has been getting some new life breathed into their respective segments with cases replete with features and styling that no one thought possible. NZXT, not being one to rest on their laurels for very long, have introduced a little something new to the ATX mid tower segment. It's something they like to call the Phantom 240. Boasting some pretty impressive specs for an ATX mid tower, yet not requiring you to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy it, this case stands to provide system builders on a budget with a truly impressive space for your hardware to be admired in. On top of this, it still offers the niceties that modern system builders come to expect. We've said it before, and it bears repeating: just because you're "ballin' on a budget," that doesn't have to mean that your system looks mediocre in the process. The question is... can this case provide its intended audience with enough features that make them feel like they aren't really missing too much? History tells us "yes," but like any good review site, we will turn our fair yet analytic eye toward the details for you to make sure that this product doesn't trim too much fat away for the sake of cost and form factor.



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SenTey GS 4840 HARMONIQ PRO 5.1 Gaming Headset Review

To sum things up the SenTey 4840 HARMONIQ Pro headset in my opinion though designed for the gaming audience also provides you with a great balance between movies, and music performance as well.



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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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ASUS A88X-Pro Motherboard Review

When AMD announced the launch of the new FM2+ based socket for the up coming "Kaveri" APU Processor, manufacturers were in full force with the launch of new motherboards. Over the next few weeks we caught a glimpse of the up coming releases, and its design and aesthetics caught our attention. In the past, we have seen some nice products for the APU socket line, but the motherboards were never as fancy as some of the enthusiast boards we have come to see with the higher end chipsets and processors, like the AMD FX Series, the 990FX chipset line. With AMD's FX Series road map unclear, and AMD's APU series processors rising success, it was only a matter of time before we start to see more enthusiast style motherboards hit the market. Today, we have the pleasure of taking a look at an ASUS motherboard that sports the fancy aesthetics and brings to the table the full enthusiast experience that the APU market has missed out on before. Today we have the ASUS A88X-Pro Motherboard which runs the flagship A88X chipset. This is one of the 3 chipsets launched for the FM2+ based Kaveri APU. So, the question that most of us have today is does all this fancy aesthetic meet the demands of an enthusiast's desire? Well today we are going to put the ASUS A88X Motherboard to the test and find out.



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Enermax T.B. Vegas 120mm and T.B. Apollish 180/200mm Fan Review

When you look at most of the LED case fans out there, they're largely uninspired. Sure the lighting is solid on many of them, and some of them even offer up good cooling performance to match their look, but the lighting effect is ultimately the same: just a blob of light that looks like it could come from any manufacturer. While that may work for some system builders, Enermax has a solution for those of you looking for something a bit different than the rest. Enter the T.B. Vegas and T.B. Apollish fan lineup: coming in 120mm and 200mm sizes respectively, these fans feature not only some of the most unique case lighting you will ever see, but offer a degree of performance that you will be hard pressed to find in any other standalone LED fan. Let's see if these factors add up to be greater than the sum of their parts, shall we?






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