Just coming off its world record run, we check out the ASRock Z77 OC Formula mobo built from the ground up by Taiwanese overclocker, Nick Shih. It felt like it was going to only be a matter of time till we saw Nick release his own board and that time has come and in the form of the ASRock Z77 OC Formula which we saw just break the overclock record which was actually only just recently set by GIGABYTE and its new Z77X-UP7.
It will all come down to that last feature, one that no one else or very few will offer. In this case that feature will be the FleX option only from Sapphire. Just what is FleX? It’s being able to integrate at least three monitors to one GPU. We know just about all AMD cards can do that. But the fact is they can’t do it with having to go and purchase an expensive displayport monitor or buying an active displayport adapter which isn’t cheap either. With the FleX series you can do it without either. And that does for the card we will be looking at today, the FleX HD 7770 GHz Edition.
Are you looking for a high performance quad-channel memory kit for your Intel X79 platform? The Kingston KHX2133C11D3K4/16GX memory kit has four 4GB DDR3 memory modules that run at 2133MHz with CL11 timings. Having 16GB of memory should mean that you have more than enough to run numerous applications at once and the speed needed to get things done. The best part of this kit is that you can find if for under $100 shipped! Read on to see how it performs and overclocks!
The new GeForce GTX 660 is the latest GPU from NVIDIA, and EVGA is providing six different video card models based on this new GPU. Let’s see how the SuperClocked model fared on our tests.
In use, I am very impressed with the Cooler Master CM Storm Trigger gaming keyboard. The feel of the unit as a whole is very solid, and I am sure this could be a reliable keyboard for years longer than most other units I have used. Everything about the keys is nice too... from the feel and responsiveness, to the layout, and especially the back-lighting.
As more and more features are subsumed onto the motherboard, and graphics cards grow ever more powerful, many enthusiasts are realizing that they can do without the size and space requirements of an ATX form factor system. Micro-ATX and mini-ITX systems are becoming more popular, with new motherboards and cases breaking out of the HTPC market that they've defined for so long and nudging into the enthusiast market. Benchmark Reviews looks at Cooler Master's Elite 120 Advanced case and builds a gaming system in it to see how it fares.
And this is just what has happened, Gigabyte has update the technology and name its obviously Ultra Durable 5. Currently, it is offered on four motherboards: Z77Z-UP4/5 TH which both has Thunderbolt support and the X79S-UP5 Wi-Fi and the X79-UP4 which are based on Intel’s high-end Sandy Bridge-E processor. We will be taking a look at the latter today as part of this review.
Corsair touts the Neutron 240GB drive as reaching max performance numbers of 555 MB/s reads and 370 MB/s writes which we found to be spot on for the ATTO benchmark and not far off on the other tests. Given that performance is not impacted by data compressibility, that's to be expected as well as solid performance numbers in the real world tests. We didn't spot anything amiss in any of the numbers and general usage of the drive in Windows yielded positive results with no hint of stuttering, lagging or BSOD's. TRIM and idle garbage collection seem to be working fine as well so no worries there. Overall, our first impressions are very positive...
Antec offers four power supply models within their High Current Pro (HCP) series: 750 W, 850 W, 1,000 W, and 1,200 W. The 1,000 W model has the 80 Plus Platinum certification, while the other models carry the 80 Plus Gold certification. Today we are going to take a look at the 750 W version, which features four +12 V rails. Let's see if it is a good buy.
What's neat about the Sandisk Extreme 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive is that it's built with the kind of flash memory found in Solid State Drives . Sandisk won't reveal the exact type of NAND flash memory mind you, but rate the drive at speeds of 190MB/s read and 170MB/s write. That's quick. SanDisk's Extreme posted results of 196MB/s read and 173MB/s write in CrystalDiskMark (100MB, Sequential), the Patriot Supersonic flash drive managed just 114.2MB/s read and 59.33MB/s write - a virtual snails pace by comparison!
This morning NVIDIA announced two new graphics cards that bring Kepler to every gamer: the GeForce GTX 660 and the GeForce GTX 650. The GeForce GTX 660 provides an ideal combination of performance, price, and power efficiency, hitting the gamer’s sweet spot and that is the card that we will be reviewing today. Read on to see how a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 cards by MSI and EVGA do in our tests!
When you're serious about getting your frag on, a solid gaming mouse is a make or break accessory. Today we take a look at the Genius DeathTaker gaming mouse. We put it through its paces in the lab and find out how it compares to other mice out there.
The i35G is a cute and small computer from Giada, that can be used for light Internet browsing, watching movies, or playing old games, this while keeping the power consumption to a low level. The chassis comes with active cooling, and the fan speed is being ramped up depending on the temperatures. A Media Center remote is also included inside the box for added value, along with a HDMI cable and a plastic transparent dock to place the computer into the optimal position.
Moving over to Sapphire, as you may have seen from a couple of my previous reviews on Sapphire cards, I have always had to give it to their cooling department as they produce what I regard to be some of the best parter coolers out in the field with very effective heat dissipation and some of the quietest fans going at the same time. Another title they have to their name is against the Vapor-X cooling systems that they have developed and have made a huge impact with, with a large number of their cards featuring a vapour chamber based cooler at its heart. The 7970 Vapor-X OC 6GB is another vapour chamber based card, but as we’ll see this little beauty has got a little bit more than just a simple overclock under the hood. Packing a whopping 6GB of GDDR5 memory, this 7970 certainly appears to have been given more grunt, but how it fairs in the real world is what we’re here to find out.
We have had the first two Water 2.0 AIO water-cooling unit in our labs for testing. Yes, only the Pro was published for now. And each has performed pretty well, easily out doing some of the better air coolers on the market. Now we have the granddaddy of them all on the lab’s test bench and that is the Water 2.0 Extreme. The Extreme is a dual rad version of the other two models. But just how much better of a cooler is it? And will it outperform the Corsair H100, which many consider the best AIO cooler on the market?
The Contour 200i Air Music Streaming System from Pure is able to produce good sound quality, features the known AirPlay technology and can dock most iOS gadgets, without the need of extra plastic adapters. The product does also accept auxiliary sound sources on the 3.5mm Line-in port on the back. Pure also offers a free app named Connect which gives free access to thousands of internet radio stations, on demand programmes, podcasts, audioboos and more.
Overall, the Crucial Ballistix Elite 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory Kit tested as-good or better than a competitive reference memory kit. Beyond the stock settings, the Ballistix Elite kit was capable of running default timings (8-8-8-24) all the way up to an overclocked frequency of 1866MHz at 1.65v. At $68 shipped, this kit is a pretty good value.
Kingston entered the computer market 25 years ago with a single new type of SIMM. Here we are 25 years later looking at a much more advanced DIMM. Though the DIMM isn't anything new to the market, the Kingston HyperX Blu 16Gb memory kit is the first 16Gb HyperX kit to be offered by Kingston that uses only two DIMMs. The Kingston HyperX KHX1600C10D3B1K2/16G 16Gb memory kit is rated for 1600MHz with CL10 timings. How will the first 2x8Gb memory kit from Kingston perform? Join us as we find out!
The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB DDR3 2133 Memory arrived Technic3D. Technic3D will see as good they are on Windows 7 64 Bit and the Intel DX79SI Extreme Series Mainboard. You can see 2.304 MHz (1,6V) with 11-11-11-30 (1T) and more in the following Review.
Corsair just launched a new series of drives dubbed Neutron. Having already reviewed the Neutron GTX 240GB we know the Neutron Series is a force to be reckoned with and could be poised to grab the performance crown. Today we will be taking a close look at Corsairs other Neutron drive. This drive is simply Neutron with no moniker. We have the Neutron 240GB SSD on the bench today.
With Fractal claiming that the Define R4 can support two separate radiators the case certainly has a lot to live up to considering the amount of media Fractal have distributed about the R4. A window option has also entered the arena being released slightly before going to press with this review.
Today we’re taking a look at the Bitfenix Raider a tidy looking mid tower chassis that has proven its self popular with gamers and system builders alike. The chassis sells for generally just under £80 so its obviously a little more than your average low budget chassis, we’ll call this one a mid-budget case, so naturally we’ll be expecting a few nice features above just a standard case here today.
The ASRock Z77 OC Formula was specifically designed for overclocking "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what this motherboard has to offer.
For our readers in the field of IT, data recovery whether from a dying disk, virus infection, or a dying system is a common occurrence. While slave drive kits work, they can look messy. Thermaltakes solution to this is its line of BlacX vertical docking stations. Benchmark Reviews will be looking at the updated Thermaltake BlacX 5G docking station, which will give users SATA 6Gb/s and SuperSpeed USB-3.0 support allowing for the fastest possible transfer speeds. This review will be evaluating whether the Thermaltake BlacX 5G dock is something every IT department should have or if there are better solutions on the market.
Are you looking to build a budget PC, but have a limited budget to work with? When we started to look into low cost Do-It-Yourself (DIY) systems we found that you could easily build an AMD Llano system for less than $300. We build a system for under $300 with an AMD A8-3870K APU, Gigabyte A55M-DS2 motherboard, OCZ Vertex Plus R2 60GB Solid-State Drive and more. Read on to see how it turned out and performed.
Ever since i can remember myself i never actually used headsets while playing games and watching movies, not because i don't like using them (i do when i listen to music sometimes) but mainly due to the fact that regular complete surround speaker systems (5.1/6.1/7.1) sound a lot better especially if you don't have to care about annoying someone in the process (don't ever place your computer system in the bedroom). However from time to time there have been some quite unique headsets that have won me over with their crystal clear audio clarity and quality of materials just like the AX Pro Dolby 5.1 Surround Headset by TRITTON i had the chance to test just over a year ago and just now the F.R.E.Q.5 Stereo Gaming Headset by Cyborg.
Now that circuitREMIX has a new writer on staff, we're starting to focus more on cases. Over the next few months, you can expect to see reviews of cases here from a variety of manufacturers. We are currently working on tweaking and updating our case testing and review format based on user input, so if you have any suggestions feel free to comment and let us know.
Starting off our series of case reviews is a mid-tower gaming case from RAIDMAX. While they're probably not one of the first brands you'd think of (at least in the North American market), RAIDMAX has been around since 1988. Branding themselves as a budget-gaming oriented company, we'll be looking at their Raptor case to see if it fits this mould. With a flashy and sleek design, the Raptor looks the part, but we'll see if it's worthy for your gaming rig build.
Quite often, people are looking for an alternative to SandForce based drives and/or OCZ drives (although we quite recommend the Vertex 4, which is not SandForce based, and we found it to be quite solid). Along with the Crucial m4, the next most common recommendation is the Samsung 830 – many people shy away from the low write speed of the m4.
The Antec High Current Gamer HCG-520MHCG is a modular power supply that is 80Plus Bronze certified and available for under $90 shipped. Antec says this PSU has heavy-duty connectors and cabling that supply high levels of power with efficiency. The High Current Gamer series also uses Japanese-brand capacitors, and a quiet 135 mm double ball bearing fan to complete the package. Read on to see how this power supply does when put to the test on our PSU tester.
Today we are taking a rather thorough look at one of the latest routers to hit the market by Linksys a subsidiary of Cisco, the E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N Router.
There's no stopping the current "mechanical keyboard wave" that is taking over the market for gaming-grade peripherals. Gigabyte has just added a mechanical model to their Aivia line, the Osmium, which features USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, audio connections and five macro keys. Let's first describe it, and then analyze the product.
The new N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router from TP-LINK is feature rich, provides decent speeds in wireless environment and comes at a very affordable price. The GUI which can be accessed via the browser is not as attractive as the competition and most of the modifications in a page require a router system reboot.
CM Storm, Cooler Master’s relatively new (2008) gaming branch, are known as one of the top gaming brands having brought us quality products from cases to mice. By working with gaming enthusiasts and constantly seeking feedback, they are continuously refining their products to meet the many high demands of gamers. With a focus on quality and performance, we expect to see CM Storm raising the bar, so today we have got the soon to be released Gaming mouse. This is the latest and updated version of the CM Storm Sentinel Advance Mouse.
During our recent trip to Computex in Tiapei we were able to talk to ADATA and get a look at their USB 3.0 Storage line. With USB 3.0 being a large increase in speed and performance over USB 2.0 it's a no brainer upgrade. Today we will be taking a look at a 750GB external HDD from the the Nobility NH13 line. Our gauge for looking at this product will be Performance and Build Quality.
The original Phantom is almost a legend in the gaming chassis community, boasting build quality, sharp and radical design, water-cooling compatibility and superb airflow with plenty of fan options. Have NZXT done the same all round good job with the Phantoms younger brother the 410?
I expect many of their cooling solutions knowledge will have been put to good use in the design of this chassis, but the Silencio isn’t all about cooling, although the clue to that is hidden in its name “Silencio” which is the Spanish word for silence. As Cooler Master them selves put it, “[the] Silencio 650 is an extremely silent mid-tower based on an elegant and classy design.” so today I will be taking a look if cooler master has delivered on their promise of silent performance as well as their own name in terms of cooling capability in this chassis.
It has remained relatively quiet at the Corsair RAM department; especially with the launch early this year of Intel's 3rd generation processors, most RAM manufacturers had an entire dedicated Ivy Bridge lineup ready. Their high end versions warranting exhilarating speeds of 2400mhz and beyond. Best off all, these kits are not limited for benching purposes only, but also perfectly suitable for daily usage. American RAM giant Corsair however seemed to be more focused on power supplies, AIO liquid cooling solutions and their rapidly expanding SSD and case market, a real disappointment for the enthusiast RAM fans, as everyone was dreaming of another stellar RAM kit alike their infamous GTX2 Hyper based Dominator kit. Enthusiasts have been sitting on their hunger for a new breed of high end Corsair DIMMS. However a new wave of gorgeous looking RAMs is coming our way in the shape of the Dominator Platinum series.
The Patriot Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 drive gave up the ghost today, spitting out "Disk Write Protected" and "Read Only" errors when attempts to write data or format the drive were made. By our estimate, this Patriot 64GB USB 3.0 drive lasted about 14 months. A tech support ticket has been filed.... and the resolution posted in PCSTATS' Updated review.
So you've been using your camera for a few years now yet every time you want to upload photos to your desktop you have to use an ugly adapter or plug the whole camera into a USB port. Today we will be looking at an elegant and functional solution to this problem: the card reader. NZXT in their own fashion have released the Aperture M Card Reader compatible with every flash-memory card under the sun and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Follow us as we take a closer look at the NZXT Aperture M Card Reader.
ADATA markets the SX900 line of SSDs as the "most powerful SSD on Earth" which is a bold statement and bound to catch the attention of potential customers. Being powered by the SF-2281 controller through a SATA III interface, we expect high performace but is it really the best and what about the TRIM issue that has recently cropped up? Read on to see what we have to say about both questions.
NAS units (or servers as i like to call them) are amongst the hottest network/storage related peripherals of our time (in terms of sales) which really makes sense since they combine extremely low electrical requirements with a very small size and in some occasions even a low price tag (at least entry level solutions do). Needless to say however that these little devices can't do every single thing an regular PC (or even HTPC) can do but the tasks that they were designed to do they do a lot better (due to lower resource demands) and that's what really counts in the long run. A couple of months ago on our test bench we had the latest TurboNAS TS-469 Pro by QNAP, an 4 bay NAS server with remarkable performance (largely thanks to the 2.13GHz Dual Core Atom processor) and countless features. Still since many people don't really need that many drive bays today we will be testing its smaller brother, the dual bay TurboNAS TS-269 Pro.
For peace of mind, DataTraveler Locker+ G2 hardware encrypts and password protects data saved on the device. Simply select a password during setup and be confident that all your data has a dual layer of protection. It features a stylish, durable metal casing and a built-in key loop so it easily attaches to a briefcase, backpack or purse. DataTraveler Locker+ G2 is backed by a five-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston® reliability.
The Z77 Extreme6 motherboard from ASRock is aimed at the middle range and features a clean PCB, and many features that we have seen at the more expensive variants; the mini-PCIe slot is very welcome (placed underneath the first PCI-Express x16 slot) for installation of an Wi-Fi card or extra SSD. ASRock did also include the well-known Frontal USB 3.0 bay, which is a 2-in-1 device since it can house an extra 2.5’’ HDD or SSD (necessary screws are also provided).
Power supplies have features and safety options that one needs to have a good, stable and reliable system. Many of these feature and safety precautions can be taking for granted when dealing with a good name brand unit. One of the units we would put into this category is the Kingwin Lazer Platinum 750, which we are reviewing here today.
The ASRock Z77E-ITX Intel Z77 motherboard is a tiny little motherboard. It is designed for small form factor PC's but has latest chipset from Intel, Graphics technology, and bells and whistles. Today we are going to put it through the ringer and see how it fares against some larger motherboards to see if there is a difference due to size! Can good things come in small packages? Read on to find out!
Corsair is the first manufacturer to bring to an SSD to the consumer market featuring a new Link-A-Media Devices (LAMD) SATA III 6 GB/s SSD controller. Corsair’s new line of drives featuring the LAMD Amber LM87800 FPU is called Neutron. The Neutron GTX series has supplanted Corsair’s Force GS as their flagship performance consumer drive. Corsair has paired the dual ARM cored Amber FPU with premium Toshiba 24nm toggle mode memory. The Amber Flash Processing Unit (FPU) features a technology called eBoost that claims to bring enterprise type endurance and reliability to the consumer level. The Amber FPU can be variably overprovisioned and Corsair has chosen to use 13% OP space on the Neutrons. The Amber FPU uses 8 NAND channels capable of supporting both ONFi flash as well as Toggle flash.
In the fall of 2011, Cooler Master's gaming and enthusiast product branch, CM Storm, released the CM Storm Trooper Computer Case. It was a massive full-tower case with a very unique front I/O style and a big handle on top. The CM Storm Trooper received a lot of high marks by reviewers and owners alike. This time around, Cooler Master is changing things up just a little. The CM Storm Trooper is getting a face-lift and a name change. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is taking a look at the CM Storm Stryker, a white, windowed version of the Trooper.
Although most smartphones nowadays feature low levels of radiation (also known as SAR) it's always good to use a Bluetooth wireless earset/headset especially since the law in many countries forbids usage of cellphones when driving without one. Now for all of you that aren't aware of SAR it stands for Specific Absorption Rate, a method which basically measures the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the human body when using a cellphone. Because this happens most manufacturers recommend holding the phone at a distance of 30mm away from your body when using it so it's very easy to understand that this isn't possible without the use of an earset/headset. I know it's been a while since i last had the chance to test a Bluetooth wireless earset/headset but during my short vacation i had plenty of time to test the latest one from Jabra called the EXTREME2.
Gigabyte G1 Killer Sniper 3 Gaming Motherboard The G1 Sniper 3 is one of handful of motherboards aimed at satisfying the needs of overclocking, gaming and hardware enthusiasts at the same time. While this group may be small by comparison the things they look for in a motherboard can be rather specific and sometimes downright crazy.