52 128 GB & 256 GB SSDs tested and more
Posted on: 02/11/2013 11:53 AM

Here a roundup of the latest reviews and articles, including 52 128 GB & 256 GB SSDs tested and compared, ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Champion and X79 Professional Review, Unigine Valley & Unigine Heaven 4.0 Coming Next Week, Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SATA III HDD Review, and IBM, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung offer a glimpse of chipmaking's future

52 128 GB & 256 GB SSDs tested and compared @ Hardware.info
In June, 2012 we published a large group test of SSDs with capacities of 120/128 GB and 240/256 GB. Those are still the most popular sizes, judging from what people search for on Hardware.Info. The world of SSDs didn't stand still, and since then a number of interesting high-end SSDs have appeared with performance that wasn't possible a year ago. We've published a number of single-product SSD reviews in recent months, but prices have also dropped significantly over the past year.

It's the perfect reason for a comprehensive new Hardware.Info SSD round-up, to get a lay of the land. We found out which one is the fastest, and which one gives you the best value for your money. We tested 52 128 GB and 256 GB SSDs.


Read more: 52 128 GB & 256 GB SSDs tested and compared @ Hardware.info

Thermalright Macho Rev.A Review @ Techradar
Massive coolers are generally a few things: a nightmare to fit, turbine-loud and incredibly obstructive to everything in the surrounds of your CPU socket. Thermalright's huge Macho Rev.A cooler takes all those preconceptions and changes the rules. It's giant, but only needs a GCSE in metalwork to fit, not a full engineering degree, stays whisper-quiet, and won't have you digging around for low-profile RAM like the Tactical LP sticks. The important thing to take away with from this review is that the Macho Rev.A isn't designed to ship huge amounts of heat away from heavily overclocked CPUs. Despite its chunky fan, this is not a high-performance chip cooler in the traditional sense. That's not to denigrate the Macho Rev.A though - it's designed to keep your CPU cool, while producing very little noise.


Read more: Thermalright Macho Rev.A Review @ Techradar

ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Champion and X79 Professional Review: From a Gamer to Gamers @ Anandtech
We have a long wait until Ivy Bridge-E hits the shelves, and until that point the dichotomy between the features and price of both Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge will continue to weigh on the minds of performance. But does it weigh on the minds of gamers so much? Continuing debates rage on regarding how many cores are needed for game X, the low uptake of multi-GPU configurations, and the percentage of users with multi-monitor setups are most gamers equipped with single screen a single GPU? There will always be niche categories for the ber enthusiast, and the ASRock Fatal1ty X79 range is aiming in that direction. Todays review focuses on the Champion and Professional boards, both of which have had presence in the market for several months, but will continue to be ASRocks high-end gaming offering until Ivy Bridge-E is released.


Read more: ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Champion and X79 Professional Review: From a Gamer to Gamers @ Anandtech

Unigine Valley & Unigine Heaven 4.0 Coming Next Week @ Phoronix
Unigine Corp will be announcing next week the release of Unigine Valley 1.0 and the 4.0 update to their very popular cross-platform Unigine Heaven technology demo. Unigine Valley is an incredibly beautiful tech demo of the Unigine Engine coming to Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows operating systems. In this article is an exclusive preview of Unigine Valley as well as the significant Unigine Heaven 4.0 update.


Read more: Unigine Valley & Unigine Heaven 4.0 Coming Next Week @ Phoronix

Addonics New 1U Cipher RAID Rack and Cipher RAID Tower Offer AES 256-Bit Encryption @ Warp2Search
The Addonics 1U Cipher RAID Rack is designed to accommodate up to four 3.5" SATA hard drives in a 1U Rack mount chassis.

The Cipher RAID Tower accommodates up to five 3.5" SATA hard drives in a 4-bay lightweight sturdy aluminum chassis for easy transportation.

Read more: Addonics New 1U Cipher RAID Rack and Cipher RAID Tower Offer AES 256-Bit Encryption @ Warp2Search

Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
If we exclude the unfortunate floods that took place in Thailand roughly a year ago (and forced several factories to cease HDD manufacturing and shipping) HDD prices normally get serious cuts each day that goes by (as do SSD prices) and so currently even the highest capacity 4TB models retail at such prices that can be easily purchased by casual users and gamers around the world. That however mostly stands with entry level models that offer exactly what most users want and that's a good price to capacity ratio without however sacrificing performance. On the other hand however professionals and enterprise users want the best money can buy not only in terms of performance and capacity but also in terms of durability under extreme conditions and that's where enterprise class HDDs like the latest Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 (former Constellation ES.3) 4TB SATA III come in.


Read more: Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 V.3 4TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech

NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid Cooler review @ Guru3D
fter reviewing the X60, we could not leave the Kraken X40 untouched, NZXT recently unleashed the Kraken X40 and X60 liquid coolers. We are impressed with the X60, but does the X40 with its single fan and smaller radiator still do a sufficient enough job ? Sure it will ...

The NZXT Kraken X40 is a 140mm radiator based LCS unit that offers solid performance numbers as you are about to find out. Combined with a cooling infrastructure provided by Asetek this all-in-one and easy to install kit can even be connected towards your PC over the USB port, now you can monitor and regulate the LCS unit and apply presets to make the LCS unit either silent, or high performance.

Why go for LCS (Liquid Cooling System) ? Well, in the world of CPU coolers nothing ever stops developing. These days you can pick a hundred different heatpipe based coolers, many are shaped, formed and priced the same. The better heatpipe based coolers are good though. Next in line are LCS kits (liquid cooling), the entry level products are affordable, easy to install pre-fab liquid cooling kits. We've seen and tested many of them as Corsair, Asetek, Thermaltake, CoolIT and so on all have interesting kits.


Read more: NZXT Kraken X40 Liquid Cooler review @ Guru3D

Podcast - Console Hardware, HWBot Aquamark Wrapper and EVGA Interview @ Ninjalane
Console Hardware, HWBot Aquamark Wrapper and EVGA Interview Ninjalane Podcast - In this episode Dennis and Darren talk about Next Gen console hardware, The new HWBot benchmark wrapper for Aquamark3 and an exclusive interview with Jacob from EVGA.


Read more: Podcast - Console Hardware, HWBot Aquamark Wrapper and EVGA Interview @ Ninjalane

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review @ Techgage
Be it a good thing or a bad thing, no game developer is able to release a kart-racing game and not have it be compared to the ultimate classic: Mario Kart. That’s for good reason, of course, as the original title in the series did so many things right. It was colorful, featured characters we loved and tracks that were a blast to race around in. It was a perfect formula, and one that other developers have long mimicked – or at least tried to.

When Sega released Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing in 2010, some considered it to be a clone done right. It might not have strayed too far from the proven formula, but with tracks based off of popular Sega franchises, it had won the hearts of many before it even shipped. With the success of that game, developer Sumo Digital wasted no time getting back into the studio to conjure up a sequel; thus Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed was born.


Read more: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review @ Techgage

Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Mid-Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
I actually do have a tenant with a similar alternating complaint, but with a different kind of twist. It typically starts with a complaint of one of their conference rooms being too warm. Seems simple enough, just turn up the AC, right? Well, doing that brings the next call with the complaint that the vents are too loud with the air movement turned up that high. Some of you may think that is natural, when you turn your AC up it gets loud, but it was actually caused by an error in initial engineering of the room (not going to go into the fact that at least six of us pointed it out when we saw the first set of plans….). The reason for it is that the air ducts are too small, and there is too much air trying to be forced through them. This is what causes noise in air movement, and the same holds true in computer cases. Silence and good airflow can, in fact, go hand in hand, but it takes proper engineering from the start to make it happen.

The Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 takes mid-tower versatility to the next level, using an incredibly advanced array of cooling and layout options, all while keeping airflow and silence as its main focus. The keys to the Nanoxia Deep Silence 1’s success are a unique chimney system, 8 modular and moveable HDD bays and the use of their highly successful Deep Silence fans throughout. While the DS1 bills itself as “water cooling ready”, it is much closer to a “water cooling marvel”, with top space for one 240/280mm, front 240mm (or 120mm) and rear 120/140mm. The modular HDD cages can be moved back in the case to open up room for the front radiator to sit behind the stock 120mm intake locations, with plenty of room to spare for thick radiators and/or push pull configurations. The extended top of the Deep Silence 1 offers mounting options for 120/140/240/280mm radiators and fans with a variety of offsets to suit your particular components. Air cooling is not neglected, as the included two 120mm intake and 140mm exhaust provide excellent airflow, and the Deep Silence 1 is compatible with CPU coolers up to 185mm in height. On the top, we find two interesting features, a flip up panel for front I/O with USB 2.0 and 3.0 and audio, and the unique top chimney. The chimney is a large portion of the top which can be raised to provide increased airflow or sealed to promote silent computing, all with the simple slide of a lever. The side panels of the Deep Silence 1 are coated with noise absorbing material to tame even the loudest fan noise, and all intake fan points have easily removable and cleanable dust filters.


Read more: Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 Mid-Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion

Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Review @ OCC
Overall I was quite impressed with this little drive. The small form factor and the durable MIL-spec enclosure combined to form an external drive that will serve you for years. While not always incredibly speedy in the synthetic benchmarks, the real-world performance when copying files to the disk revealed that it can easily hang with the big dogs. You might not win any benchmark wars with this little guy but you will definitely have your files backed up in a very reasonable amount of time!


Read more: Transcend StoreJet 25M3 1 TB External USB 3.0 HDD Review @ OCC

NZXT Kraken X40 & X60 CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks
CPU cooling is typically broken into two categories: air and water. Many feel like air-based heatsinks have reached a pinnacle and will only become marginally better if their size is increased dramatically. However, the water cooling segment has undergone a renaissance and revitalization as of late and NZXT’s new Kraken X40 and X60 are hoping to take advantage of this.

What was once the domain of hard-core enthusiasts has become accessible for the average consumer with numerous options tailor-made for their needs and skill levels. This is the era of All In One devices which are easy to use plug and play solutions, and don’t require maintenance or a degree in plumbing to install. However, compared to custom water cooling setups, the AIO’s usually are perceived as sacrificing performance for their increased adaptability, regardless of the advent of certain dual bay designs.


Read more: NZXT Kraken X40 & X60 CPU Coolers Review @ Hardware Canucks

IBM, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung offer a glimpse of chipmaking's future @ The Tech Report
The opportunity doesn't come along every day to get a detailed peek into the future of computing from the people who are building it. Last week, I had just such a chance.


Read more: IBM, GlobalFoundries, and Samsung offer a glimpse of chipmaking's future @ The Tech Report

NZXT Phantom 820 Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
A great case can last an enthusiast many builds. This means that case designers need to create cases that can handle many different configurations, with many different requirements. A multi-GPU system has different requirements than a single GPU system, which in turn has different requirements than professional workstation. While NZXT attempts to cater to all of these parties, designing a case involves making compromises between the three areas of quality, features, and cost. Therefore, the question Benchmark Reviews will attempt to answer is what compromises did NZXT make in the creation of the NZXT Phantom 820.

NZXT is a case manufacturer that has always had some interesting design aspects in its systems that some people liked and others did not, but since they were well priced many things could be forgiven. The Phantom 820 is a completely different beast, set out from the beginning to become NZXT's flagship product and priced as such. It has a $250 price tag, which is $70 greater than any other NZXT case on the market. It is also is their largest case so far measuring in at 9.25" x 25.59" x 24.09" which puts it in the same size and price league as the Corsair 800D, Thermaltake Level 10M, and the SilverStone FT02. The objective of this review will be to examine how the Phantom 820 differentiates itself from each these highly respected competitors.


Read more: NZXT Phantom 820 Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews

Cyberpower Fangbook: Extreme Gaming Gone Mobile @ Bjorn3D
Cyberpower is a premier high end system builder, with that they have some great options from mild to wild when it comes to system designs and options. Today we have the Fangbook X7-200 which is a new extreme gaming laptop built to make the days of being chained to a desk obsolete.


Read more: Cyberpower Fangbook: Extreme Gaming Gone Mobile @ Bjorn3D

Dead Space 3 Tested, Benchmarked @ Techspot
The third installment in the Dead Space series was released this month, and considering the game made our list of 2013's most anticipated PC games we thought we would check it out to see how it looked and performed. Dead Space 3 is the direct sequel to the January 2011 release of Dead Space 2.

Like the first two games, Dead Space 3 79 is a survival horror third-person shooter. In addition to drop-in/drop-out co-op, Dead Space 3 introduces several new gameplay mechanics, such as the ability to roll for more responsive control and an organic, automatic cover system that doesn't require you to press a button to duck behind something.

Like its predecessor, Dead Space 3 has been developed in-house by Visceral Games using their own Visceral Engine. With this we anticipate to see just subtle improvements in terms of visual quality over Dead Space 2 which was a DirectX 9-only title.


Read more: Dead Space 3 Tested, Benchmarked @ Techspot

GX-Gaming Gila @ LanOC Reviews
Genius has sent us a mouse from their new Gx-Gaming lineup, one that they call the Gila. The Gila is a new high end gaming mouse aimed at the MMO/RTS gamer. One curious thing I have wondered since getting the product is what the name meant. Upon a bit of research I was able to discover that most of GX-Gaming’s peripherals have names that make them seem like creatures or monsters, so I can only assume that it is named for the Gila monster, a lizard native to the southwestern United States. Seeing as how it’s poisoned, let’s hope it doesn’t bite.


Read more: GX-Gaming Gila @ LanOC Reviews

Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case Review @ Tech Kings
With the quantity and variety of media available online growing with each new day, it's high time a manufacturer produced a case that allows the vast reserves of internet-based media entertainment to be tapped with an air of elegance. Fractal Design's Node 605 maintains their trademark asthetic simplicity while boasting a front panel constructed from 8 millimeters of anodized aluminium, heavy gauge steel case construction, noise dampening material on the top panel and two 120mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans. Able to fit right in with your current home theater, the Node 605 is a testament to Fractal Design's ability to create a case meant for those who value form and function.


Read more: Fractal Design Node 605 HTPC Case Review @ Tech Kings

Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler @ Tech Reaction
PH-TC12DX, a U-Type dual tower heat-sink with four 6mm heat-pipes allows for optimal airflow and cooling. PH-TC12DX’s 6mm heat-pipes are linearly aligned and developed to have the least amount of air and thermal resistance. Incorporating P.A.T.S and C.P.S.C Technologies, PH-TC12DX delivers better heat dissipation and heat transfers. PH-TC12DX includes dual PH-F120HP PWM Premium fans to allow for higher performance and/or silent operation.


Read more: Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler @ Tech Reaction

Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB review: best budget SSD currently around @ Hardware.info
Last November Kingston announced a new series of budget SSDs called SSDNow V300. Hardware.Info tested the 120GB model which is one of the most affordable SSDs currently on the market.

The V300 may have a budget price, but it's certainly doesn't contain budget hardware. The V300 SSDs employ the popular SandForce SF-2281 controller which has been used in lots of SSDs in the past two years. Since the controller has been around for a while now, LSI likely is making it available at a reduced price, especially if you're talking Kingston volume.

The SF-2281 is combined with state-of-the-art 19nm ToggleFlash chips from Toshiba. The smaller transistors of 19nm flash memory make it cheaper to manufacture than 25nm chips. Many manufacturers use Toshiba chips for their faster SSDs, so Kingston must have made a pretty good deal to be able to use them in their affordable models.


Read more: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB review: best budget SSD currently around @ Hardware.info

Cooler Master CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Gaming Mouse Revisited @ Madshrimps
The Sentinel Advance II Gaming Mouse from Cooler Master, CM Storm division sports a high performance ADNS-9800 Laser sensor which allows DPI settings from 200 up to 8200, comes with small weights for adjustment and the software contains a lot of functions for remapping the button functionality. The top also comes with an OLED display for showing the current DPI values and a small pictogram, which can be modified with a 32x32 monochrome pictogram of our choice.


Read more: Cooler Master CM Storm Sentinel Advance II Gaming Mouse Revisited @ Madshrimps




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