If you haven’t heard of Phanteks by now you may not want to call yourself a gamer, enthusiast or overclocker. Phanteks has put out one of the best coolers to surface as of late. The dual tower TC14PE is one cooler to be reckoning with. Regardless of the success of the TC14PE Phanteks can’t just hang their hat on one cooler. There are people who don’t need the extreme when it comes to an air cooler but something that perform better than stock and don’t cost an arm and a leg. That is where the PH-TC14CS comes in.
Designed for the latest enthusiast desktop setup, the GeIL EVO CORSA series is the marriage of performance RAM for the 2011 socket CPU lineup. Featuring quad channel memory in kits of either 8GB or 16GB, this 1866MHz+ stock memory is sure to support the power of the latest CPU offering from Intel. Every module produced at GeIL undergoes rigorous in-house stress-testing to ensure you receive a functional product, ready to drop into your latest motherboard purchase. This DBT Enhanced process ‘burns-in’ the memory modules at the factory to ensure your RAM is primed to perform.
The Verbatim 500GB USB 3.0 Store 'n' Go portable hard drive comes in a small and sleek package, yet manages to pack a significant punch for its size. With the market moving more and more into USB 3.0 it’s good to see drives that are already taking advantage of the technology. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds really managed to surprise me as this hard drive was hitting over 80MB/s on both read and write speeds in the benchmarks we ran...
Intel has tried to sell motherboards into the enthusiast market in the past, with little success. Even though their top-end motherboards are labeled Extreme Boards and have prominent skull logos (everyone knows skulls are good), the features and performance have been notably lacking, especially in comparison to the best of the third party motherboards. I've not been impressed by any of the previous Intel Extreme Boards I've reviewed, but the Intel DZ77GA-70K was a revelation. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the features of Intel's first motherboard that's actually competitive with the big boys.
The Value 430 from Nexus is an entry-level power supply that the manufacturer claims to be one of the quietest power supplies available today. The manufacturer also promises efficiency above 80%, even though this unit doesn't have the 80 Plus certification. Let's see if the Nexus Value 430 is a good buy.
The Noctua NH-L12 is a lower profile heatsink that stands 93mm tall and is a little over 130mm square. The heatsink comes with two fans; a 120mm NF-F12 PWM fan on top and a 92mm NF-B9 PWM fan tucked away beneath the fins. In a nod to being flexible, the top fan can be knocked off the NH-L12 to lower its height to 66mm for really compact computer cases if necessary. That's a far cry more compact than the typical 160mm tall tower heatsink!
The Silverstone Precision PS07 is a case targeted to microATX motherboards, also supporting the Micro-ITX and Micro-DTX formats. It is bigger than traditional small form factor (SFF) cases, such as the Sugo series models from the same manufacturer (see the Sugo SG05, Sugo SG06, and Sugo SG07 reviews). In fact, the Precision PS07 has similar size and features as the Temjin TJ08-E. Let's take a look at the new white version of the PS07.
Leetgion surprised pretty much everybody with their latest StarCraft II optimized Hellion gaming mouse but they also have another gaming mouse in the works optimized for the much awaited Diablo III game called El'Druin. So far only 3D Rendered pictures have been circulating the world but as always we got the first exclusive look at their product which features an even more impressive and at the same time radical design than the Hellion. Design aside the El'Druin features the same 5000DPI AVAGO 9500 Laser Sensor as the Hellion, Omron micro-switches and much more (specifications listed above). So take a look and do tell us what you think.
The Multi-View + Sound Adapter from HIS is a device suited for the USB 3.0 bus, meant to connect an additional monitor to our system, on the HDMI interface; the product does not need extra power and functions with the help of the DisplayLink technology. The manufacturer also mentions that we can connect up to 6 displays to a single system, each with its own adapter.
The Corsair Force GT series SSDs are designed for users who want the latest SandForce based performance with no compromises. The Corsair Force GT SSD line uses 25nm Synchronous NAND for superior incompressible data handling unlike the Asynchronous NAND used on Corsair Force 3 series products. The Corsair Force GT SSD line capacity ranges from 60GB all the way though 480GB and promises ~555MB/s sequential read speed. Utilizing the SATA 3 6Gb/s interface, Corsair Force GT SSDs are perfect for building high-end gaming PCs as well as high-performance computing.
One of the first Silverstone cases we ever reviewed was the Temjin TJ04 and felt it was one of the cleanest looking cases you could buy. In that review we also discovered that while it did look amazing the case was plagued with a few cooling issues that were easily solved with a few modifications. In this review we will be looking at the TJ04-E Evolution chassis. The case is based on the original TJ04 design but with a few significant upgrades.
Zalman CNPS10X Optima heatsink is a fairly standard tower cooler in most respects; it offers pretty good thermal performance, accomodates a front and rear fan and has an exposed copper heatpipe base. The CNPS10X Optima CPU cooler stands 153mm tall so it should fit into most mid tower chassis and weighs in at moderate 630 grams.
Of the entire series the Frio Advanced is the smallest of the lineup. It is targeted at individual looking for great cooling potential in a smaller form factor cooler. It is able to accomplish this with a combination of two 120mm cooling fans in a push-pull configuration and using a direct touch base. But is this enough to make you fork out your hard earned loot?
The topic of RAID has come up again here at TechwareLabs with the Adaptec ASR 6805E RAID card taken for a spin. We compare the Adaptec card against a single Western Digital hard drive connected to the motherboard, and Two/Four Western Digital drives in a stripe using both the 6805E and on-motherboard RAID.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 dual-GPU graphics card uses two GK104 Kepler cores and has a total of 3,072 NVIDIA CUDA cores! With a base clock speed 915 MHz and a "typical" Boost clock of up to 1019 MHz, we are pretty sure this card will be faster than anything we have every tested! Read on to see how it performs and overclocks in our review on this monster! When it comes to the performance results, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 easily becomes the fastest gaming graphics card that we have ever tested. It is also one of the better looking cards that we have ever used as well. You can tell that NVIDIA left no stone unturned and has tried to make this product the best video card the company has ever released...
Back on 22 March 2012, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card made headlines and became the best-performing single-GPU graphics card on the market. Only six weeks later NVIDIA engineers have successfully combined two 28nm GK104 GPUs together to create their new GeForce GTX 690. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests game performance with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690, a double-slot graphics card equipped with a pair of Kepler GPUs. Featuring NVIDIA's cutting-edge GPU Boost technology, the GeForce GTX 690 video card can dynamically adjust power and clock speeds based on real-time application demands. Using EVGA Precision-X, the GeForce GTX 690 has both GPUs overclocked beyond 1200 GHz to produce ultimate graphical performance in PC video games.
In an unusual move, NVIDIA took the opportunity earlier this week to announce a new 600 series video card before they would be shipping it. Based on a pair of Kepler GK104 GPUs, the GeForce GTX 690 would be NVIDIA’s new flagship dual-GPU video card. And by all metrics it would be a doozy. Packing a pair of high clocked, fully enabled GK104 GPUs, NVIDIA was targeting GTX 680 SLI performance in a single card, the kind of dual-GPU card we haven’t seen in quite some time. GTX 690 would be a no compromise card – quieter and less power hungry than GTX 680 SLI, as fast as GTX 680 in single-GPU performance, and as fast as GTX 680 SLI in multi-GPU performance. And at $999 it would be the most expensive GeForce card yet.
On Saturday April 28th, many hardware enthusiasts and gamers had reason to be excited excited as NVIDIA introduced its GeForce GTX 690 to the world. In our GTX 690 sneak peek we discussed NVIDIA's goals, pricing, and a few specifications along with pictures. NVIDIA went to great lengths to seal the deal on this being the most robust, and well engineered dual GPU video card ever. Kyle called the GTX 690 "Perfection Inside and Out," and he may just well be correct as the GTX 690 was built with design and engineering priorities rather than budget restraints.
Today is the first on-sale date and review release for the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB dual-GPU Kepler graphics card that we first announced in late April. This is the dream card any PC gamer out there combining a pair of GTX 680 GK104 GPUs on a single PCB and running them in a single slot SLI configuration and is easily the fastest single card we have ever tested. It also the most expensive reference card we have ever seen with a hefty $999 price tag.
The GPUs on the GeForce GTX 690 have a boost clock of 1019 MHz, and that's less than 3% away from the GeForce GTX 680 at 1058 MHz, so that sounds pretty terrific. All other specs are identical; the number of shader processor cores, memory speed, and memory bandwidth per GPU are the same on both cards. The first impressions of the board are really good, a nice sturdy design, the cooler is nearly a work of art -- we'll talk about it guided with some photo's though as there is much to talk about. Looking at the printed circuit board (PCB) we spot a vigorous 10-phase digital PWM design for the cores themselves while the memory will likely receive its own 2-phase grid allocated. Two 8-pin PCI-E connectors feed the card. NVIDIA is giving the GTX 690 a maximum power target of +35%, which given the card’s default power target of roughly 265W means it can be set to draw up to ~350W, and that means you'll be able to overclock nicely as well.
In more ways than one, this launch is an assertion of NVIDIA's technological leadership, because AMD still hasn't launched its enthusiast-segment dual-GPU graphics card, yet, and one can't expect it to be out before June. The GeForce GTX 690 is a dual-GPU graphics card with two 28 nm GK104 GPUs, the same chips found in the GeForce GTX 680. The two chips each are clocked slightly lower than GeForce GTX 680, and rely on a PCI-Express 3.0 bridge chip for bus interface, however, NVIDIA claims that GTX 690 should provide performance comparable to GeForce GTX 680 2-way SLI. The card also costs the same as two GTX 680s, at US $999. Which makes it the most expensive reference design graphics card ever released.
Little over two weeks ago we took a look into the all new world of the Z77 chipset and board that will support Intel’s all new Ivy Bridge processors. This lineup of boards included the Maximus V Gene and we were very impressed with what the board has to offer and more so its performance. For a long time we’ve been wanting to see how these boards fair with an Ivy Bridge chip installed instead of the older Sandy bridge processors. In the same respect we’ve had to be very careful about what we could and couldn’t say about the new architecture and what features its contained and how this could then be put into practice on the boards themselves.
Antec, one of the biggest case manufacturers on our humble blue planet, has recently upgraded their cheap entry level gamers case, the Antec Three Hundred. The new version is simply baptised as the Three Hundred Two. The predecessor was one of Antec's best selling chassis, but Antec had to bring their little 300 up to 2012 standards. No quickly removable HDD bays, no tool-less optical drive bays and cable management was close to non existent. Logic design flaws as the original Three Hundred enclosure already dates back from 2009. Let's open the box and see what the Antec engineers came up with.
Today we will be looking at the latest gaming keyboard in the CM Storm line, the Trigger. Cooler Master works with high profile professional gamers and enthusiasts through their eSports sponsorships to co-develop products like the Trigger at a military grade level. The result is some of the most attractive and functional products on the market today.
Lancool is a brand that belongs to Lian Li, and is used for cases from this company that are not made entirely of aluminum. Typically, Lancool cases have an aluminum front panel and steel body. Having two separate brands is a two-edged sword. While it helps users to easily identify the material the case is made of, oftentimes resellers list products under the wrong brand. (Case in point: This particular case is listed at Newegg.com as "Lian Li," not "Lancool.") In addition, the manufacturer is not clear on its marketing message to the end-user about the difference between the two brands.
Today, we get a chance to look at Silverstone’s latest power supply. The power supply is the Strider Gold Evolution which comes in various wattages which would include: 750W, 850W, 1000W and 1200W. The model we were sent was the 850W unit which is plenty large enough for most. But for those that do need than Silverstone has you covered. The entire series is modular which I know everyone will love and very quiet.
Even though main focus is lately on Ivy Bridge, let's not forget about Intel's High End range based on the X79 chipset. One of the main drawbacks of Socket 2011 is the total platform cost. Besides the quad core i7-3820, the hexacores versions cost a pretty penny. On top of that, most of the X79 mainstream boards are far from cheap. Prices of 250 euros and more are pretty common. Luckily for us Gigabyte and ASRock have got 'let's call them a more" budget friendly motherboard in their X79 lineup. Gigabyte's type numbering has always been kept pretty simple. Today's UD3 board is the entry board for their limited socket 2011 series. Limited, because Gigabyte only has got 3 boards left in the X79 range : the UD3, UD5 and a gamer orientated G1 Assasin 2 board. The X79-UD7 board has been EOL'ed. And till now there's still no sign of the X79-UD5 S(erver) version. But does a "cheap" board mean that the quality or performance is inferior ? Time to find out what this X79-UD3 has got in store for us.
ADATA recently released three new 2.5" form factor drives and a new mSATA model. Two of the three 2.5" drives are SATA 6Gbps, both with SandForce controllers and new 0 provision programming. The first is the new SX900 with synchronous flash, the new flagship for ADATA. The second in this SATA 6Gbps group is the SP900 that we are looking at today. ADATA currently lists three capacity sizes for the SP900; those are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. It is going to take me awhile to get used to typing that for sure as 60, 120 and 240 has been programmed in my subconscious for a long time now. Per the specifications sheet, the SP900 uses asynchronous flash. ADATA also does a very good job of listing AS SSD incompressible data performance on the specs sheet. The question is though, why does our drive have Intel 25nm synchronous flash on it? Let's cover some of the other details and work our way back to the flash question in a couple of pages.
It's been a while since we have had a CPU cooler from Cooler Master on the test bench. Well, today we have the Cooler Master TPC 812 tower cooler. With the TPC 812 Cooler Master is pairing up Vertical Vapor Chambers with traditional heatpipes to improve performance. Join us as we see just how well the Cooler Master TPC 812 performs on our Intel LGA2011 test bench.
While SSDs make for extremely attractive purchases from a performance point of view, they can be relatively pricy, especially when compared to the cost-per-gigabyte of traditional hard drives. The capacity of entry level SSDs in the lower price range are also mostly made up of 60-64GB, which are too small to use as an application and OS drive for many users. So while we're in this transitional phase, a new class of interim devices have cropped up in the market, solid state cache drives. These solutions pair up small solid state drives with caching software, and provides users with the performance benefit of an SSD while maintaining the capacity of a hard drive. Today, we're looking at Crucial's solid state cache drive, the Adrenaline. It combine
Kingston Technology is getting ready to release new HyperX dual-channel memory kits that have been engineered especially for the new Intel third-generation Core i7 and i5 processors (Ivy Bridge). These new kits range in speed from 1600MHz to 2800MHz and we got our hands on a 2800MHz kit a little early to give you a look at what to expect next month. Read on to see how our Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge CPU and Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H motherboard perform with some HyperX memory!
Small form factor PC's can often be a fun endeavour but they can also be an essential part of a network. Their leading applications include HTPCs and wordprocessors/internet browsers but the limitations only exist with software. Some Mini-ITX cases come with all the bells and whistles and start at a small fortune. But what if you're looking for a chassis without breaking the bank? Here to hold that position in the market is the Thermaltake Element Q Small Form Factor Chassis.
The Black Edition A8-3870K APU from AMD is aimed at the mainstream market and offers enough performance for occasional gaming at lower resolutions, other multimedia activities or office work, this without the need to buy a dedicated video card. Thanks to the unlocked multiplier, overclocking becomes much easier than before and the performance gains after this operation are quite surprising.
We have now seen round three of the AMD HD7000 series video card launch cycle and still NVIDIA have yet to fully show their hand, and until they do these new video cards are going to cost an arm and a leg. In this article we take a look at the more moderately priced (compared with the HD 7970) HIS Radeon HD7950 IceQ Turbo 3GB video card armed with AMD's Tahiti 28nm GPU Core. Sure enough it will run your favorite games with high settings at 1080p but with an msrp of $459.99 you might want to check your finances before you click that buy button. Benchmark Reviews aims to provide you with an unbiased review of the HIS Radeon HD7950 IceQ Turbo 3GB video card (model H795QT3G2M) and report back our findings, keeping you informed on the latest technologies available on the market today.
The very first target group of gaming mice was FPS gamers since due to its nature the mouse offered significantly better performance/speed and accuracy compared to both the keyboard and gamepads/joypads. Because of that and also because almost a decade ago FPS games were flooding the market it took many years before manufacturers started even considering the development of gaming mice for other game types such as RTS and MMO's. Fortunately today the market is filled with countless gaming mice designed with special features for every gamer type out there from FPS and RTS gamers up to MMO gamers. The Naga Hex by Razer which has been with us for the past week was designed not only to cover the needs of regular FPS gamers but also the needs of the more demanding MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) gamers who require the best of all worlds including speed/accuracy, control and extra buttons.
The Intel Core i5 3570K is part of Intel's Ivy Bridge processor line retailing for $212. The Core i5 3570K is based on 22nm manufacturing technology and uses new 3D-trigate transistors to deliver better performance at a lower TDP than Sandy Bridge based LGA1155 CPUs. Coinciding with the 3rd Generation Core i5 3570K's release are the new Intel Panther Point chipsets which deliver native USB 3.0 and PCI-E 3.0 support to mainstream Intel systems. Equipped with 4 cores/4 threads with 6MB of L3 cache and having a maximum turbo frequency of 3.8GHz, the Intel Core i5 3570K has plenty of processing power for most enthusiast needs.
The one storage drive line that has bucked the trend over the years and managed to create noticeable separation between itself and its contenders/pretenders, and that is Western Digital’s VelociRaptor line. Prior to SSD’s hitting mainstream, the VelociRaptor line, with its 10,000 RPM spindle speed, was “the” pinnacle of performance and was the defacto choice for anyone that put performance before price. Fast forward to present day, where widespread competition is making SSD drives more and more affordable the VelociRaptor line isn’t enjoying the same V.I.P treatment from enthusiasts it once used too.
We continue to analyze the Vengeance line of gaming-grade keyboards and mice from Corsair, after reviewing the FPS-oriented K60 keyboard and M60 mouse. Now we're about to see the peripherals designed for strategy and role playing games, featuring more configuration capabilities. First we'll take a look at the Vengeance K90, a mechanical keyboard with 18 macro keys and an illuminated aluminum chassis. Let's describe its physical characteristics.
There are now more drives adopting the new Toshiba 24nm Toggle Flash memory and one of these is from SanDisk. You may remember that we looked at the 240GB Solid State Drive from SanDisk a while back, but it was only aimed at the budget conscious consumer wanting to move to an SSD from a standard mechanical drive due to it’s SATA II speeds. Today however, we see SanDisk moving up in the market with their Extreme SSD that features Toshiba Toggle Flash memory, with 24nm technology and the famous LSI SandForce SF-2281 controller chip that is used in the majority of drives on the market today.
Top down cooling has its advantages, though tower cooling is usually the preferred method given its compact footprint. In this review Frostytech is testing out a heatsink from Titan that aims to satisfy both tower and top-top heatsink designs, in one. The Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition TTC-NC55TZRB heatsink is built around five 8mm diameter copper heatpipes which extend in two directions from a copper base block to independent fin stacks, essentially making one large CPU cooler from separate 'tower' and 'top-down' heatsinks.
Corsair has been kind enough to send us a sample of their newly configured Force 3 180GB Asynchronous NAND equipped drive. Nothing special about that right? Well not so fast. Digging a little deeper we find this drive is similar to the Corsair Force GT 180GB drive we just reviewed in that this drive is also equipped with a LSI SandForce 2282VB1-SCC Solid State Drive Processor. During the review of the GT we did in fact find the 400 pin 2282 Processor is indeed capable of producing slightly higher performance than the 256 pin 2281 Controller PROVIDED it is complemented by MORE than 16 NAND Modules.
The ASUS P8Z77-V PRO is a top mid-range socket 1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming "Ivy Bridge" processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current "Sandy Bridge" models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let's see what the ASUS P8Z77-V PRO will have to offer.
Having reviewed many keyboards it suprised me how excited I was to review the Corsair Vengeance K90. With its unique design, Cherry MX Red switches, and as Corsairs first foray into the keyboard market I found the K90 to be a interesting prospect in a world filled with rather ordinary keyboard designs. Join Benchmark Reviews as we look at the K90 and evaluate if its unique design merits the $129.99 asking price that is it being given.
Strangely enough although the latest LGA2011 Sandy Bridge CPUs are the hottest thing currently, at least in terms of processing power there still aren't that many new cooling solutions in the market that support them and since i decided on starting over with a brand new LGA2011 based CPU Cooler database (the old LGA1366 one was way too long) this has proven to be quite the problem. Thankfully aside the huge NH-D14 SE2011 CPU Cooler Noctua has also launched another LGA2011 compatible CPU Cooler the latest low-profile NH-L12 which although targeted towards HTPC users and not hardcore overclockers and enthusiasts still it carries quite a punch for its size as you will see later on.
The first Intel Ultrabook that we will be looking at here on the Legit Reviews is the ASUS Zenbook. This Ultrabook is available in two sizes, the ASUS UX21E (11.6" display with a 1366x768 resolution) and the ASUS UX31E (13.3" display with a 1600x900 resolution). The model that we are going to be reviewing today is the ASUS Zenbook UX31E-DH52 and it features a 13.3-inch display, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2557M processor, 4GB of DDR3 1333 MHz memory (RAM), and a 128GB solid-state drive.
Today, we will be taking a look at a CPU cooler from a company that we have never heard but the results of the testing that we performed may change that, especially if you are looking for a cooler from a company that looks to want to give the user high quality, well performing products. The company is called Reeven and the cooler is the Kelveros. The Kelveros has a standard tower configuration but the shapes of the fins are very “different”. Check the review to see what we are talking about.
As many of you are probably already aware, AMD released their mainstream enthusiast GPU offering, Pitcairn, a little over a month ago. Better known as the Radeon HD 7800 series, the two models making up this mainstream class are the 7850 and 7870. By nature, qualities of the mainstream enthusiast class consist of a good balance between high image quality and value pricing. With Pitcairn, this translates generally translates to maxed out (or close to it) image quality in games at HD 1080p resolution, with a launch price tag between $250-350. Now that we're past the initial wow of the paper launch and products actually widely available to buy, we're taking a look at the cheapest Pitcairn offering we could find. That happens to be PowerColor's Rade