A look at the Raspberry Pi and more
Posted on: 01/28/2014 11:25 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including A look at the Raspberry Pi, Radeon HD 6970 vs. R9 280X - Should I upgrade?, Shuttle XPC Barebone SZ87R6 Review, 24-Way AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux Graphics Card Comparison, and Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) D54250WYKH - "H" is for 2.5" HDD Mount Review
A look at the Raspberry Pi @ KitGuru
The buzz around Raspberry Pi started two years ago when we were offered the prospect of a tiny Linux computer (http://www.raspberrypi.org/about) that would cost around Â£30. That's a trivial amount of money for an interesting new gadget so I slapped in my order with RS Components (http://raspberrypi.rsdelivers.com/default.aspx?cl=1) , and sat back to wait. Some time later I received my Raspberry Pi model B and was amazed when I opened the box.
Read more: A look at the Raspberry Pi @ KitGuruAttitude One Sturmovik Gaming Keyboard @ NikKTech
Whether you're a casual user, gamer, enthusiast or even a professional the keyboard and mouse are without doubt the two most crucial peripherals and that's why some of the very first PC peripheral manufacturers like Microsoft focused in further developing them long before switching to anything else. Since then manufacturers have not only altered the appearance of the keyboard quite a bit but they've also used new key technologies and have implemented several new and innovative features to increase productivity and help in other areas as well like gaming. However no matter what we've seen so far in the end the entire concept still remains the same (for good or bad). Now as you all know our reviews mostly focus on mechanical gaming keyboards since these are the "hot" peripheral for both gamers and professionals alike but since some of you have asked for mainstream keyboard reviews today we will be taking a look at the Sturmovik Gaming Keyboard by Attitude One.
Read more: Attitude One Sturmovik Gaming Keyboard @ NikKTechSilverStone ML04 Milo HTPC mATX Case Review @ Benchmark Reviews
Benchmark Reviews was recently given the chance to sample the Milo ML04 HTPC micro-ATX case from SilverStone. Possibly an under-appreciated corner of the PC case market, a good home theater case can provide a subtle home for some powerful components. With computers making a gradual shift from the office to the living room and form factors steadily decreasing in size, HTPC cases can offer a home for an older, re-purposed office machine or a sophisticated enclosure for a dedicated media box. Part of the entry-level Milo series designed to offer the full size features of the Grandia series in a smaller size, will SilverStone's SST-ML04B fulfill the special requirements of an HTPC platform? Why not just use any old computer case and set it in the living room? Let's take a look and find out if the ML04 is a better option.
Read more: SilverStone ML04 Milo HTPC mATX Case Review @ Benchmark ReviewsLumen Smart Bulb TL800 Review @ TestFreaks
Light bulbs do not usually come to mind when thinking about tech devices. Today’s review item plans to change everyone’s opinion of the plain old light bulb. While LED light bulbs are certainly not new the ability do control them remotely is a new capability. The Tabu Lumen Smart Bulb TL800 is a light that offers multiple unique features besides simple illumination.
This connected light bulb uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology to communicate with Android or iOS-based devices. A free downloadable app offers features such as party mode, alarm clock, proximity detection and mood lighting.
Read more: Lumen Smart Bulb TL800 Review @ TestFreaksRadeon HD 6970 vs. R9 280X - Should I upgrade? @ ocaholic
A gamer simply can't get enough graphics power in their rig, which makes the upgrade question omnipresent. To show you whether it makes sense to upgrade from one generation to another we created this series of articles, where we will compare graphics cards from different generations. Today we're having a close look at the differences between the Radeon HD 6970 and the R9 280X.
Read more: Radeon HD 6970 vs. R9 280X - Should I upgrade? @ ocaholicShuttle XPC Barebone SZ87R6 Review @ Madshrimps
Shuttle has refreshed its latest XPC Barebone with a new configuration featuring the Z87 chipset, for allowing installation of the Intel Haswell processors and also features plenty of connectivity options. Thanks to the 500W power supply, we should not have a lot of issues when choosing a high performance video card, two 3.5’’ drives and a CPU with a rated TDP up to 95W.
Read more: Shuttle XPC Barebone SZ87R6 Review @ MadshrimpsWestern Digital Black2 Dual Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.org
When it comes down to it many people have to choose between hard drive speed or hard drive capacity, especially when it comes to laptops or small form factor systems. While solid state drives offer great speeds, they are quite expensive per GB. On the other hand typical mechanical hard drives offer a better value per GB, but are not as fast. Western Digital saw this problem and has come up with a solution in their WD Black2 Dual Drive. This drive features a 120 GB solid state drive along with a 1 TB mechanical hard drive. Now you may think that this is a hybrid drive where the SSD portion acts as cache, but this is actually two separate drives in one. This way you have the 120 GB portion for your OS and important programs and the 1 TB can be used for media and other files. More importantly this drive only takes up a single hard drive spot! Let's check it out!
Read more: Western Digital Black2 Dual Drive Review @ ThinkComputers.orgWestern Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable Hard Drive Review @ Bigbruin.com
Western Digital is one of the premier manufacturers of hard drives and they have built up quite a catalog of complimentary products to make use of their drives. In this review we are going to take a look at the My Passport Ultra 1TB portable hard drive, which is a compact device featuring USB 3.0 connectivity and a handful of additional features available thanks to pre-installed software.
The promotional image above shows the blue unit we will be covering in this review. For those looking to color coordinate their drive, you can also get the My Passport Ultra with a red, black, or titanium finish. You can also select different capacity options, with models available featuring 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage space.
Read more: Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable Hard Drive Review @ Bigbruin.comAerocool DS Fans Review (120mm & 140mm) @ FunkyKit
Meet the Aerocool Dead Silence fan series ....
These fans didn't have their names stolen, I tested them on an old PSU and the only thing that was bothering me was the fan of the PSU and my own PC fans, I really need to change them soon and I am really considering a pair of these, they are quiet, have led's and move enough air.
There are 8 different varieties of the DS fans, 120mm versions in Black, Blue, Red and white and a 140mm versions in Black, Blue, Red and white
Read more: Aerocool DS Fans Review (120mm & 140mm) @ FunkyKitFunc HS-260 Gaming Headset Review @ HiTech Legion
”American Hustle” ain’t got nothing on me. They don’t even get right, neither did “Saturday Night Fever”, even though that was closer. Man, there was nothing like the feeling of a Saturday night back in ’78. Spend the afternoon getting a touch up on your perm and a trim on the ‘stache, do a little shopping for your night at Studio 54 and get ready to get funky. Forget that Bee Gees noise, man, we were ready for some Earth, Wind & Fire, hiding behind some big brown lensed aviators with the gold rims. And the leader of the crew, Funkman, was always there…..
Funkman knew the game. We are talking from every angle. He could outdance Travolta while he was layin’ a beatin’ on a thug harder than John Shaft. He had lapels so wide and platforms so high that people mistook him for a 747, and so many gold chains that Mr. T used to write to him for fashion advice. He knew how to look good, and those suits were tailored for a perfect fit so he was always comfortable, no matter which way the dance floor took him. “Ergonomics are next to funkiness”, he used to say. And Funkman knew his tunes He was the first one to say “I don’t care what the charts say, Michael McDonald ain’t no Tom Johnston”. Sometimes after 54 the crew would go back to his hacienda and he would have the tunes pumping through his quadraphonic Nakamichi system. Man, that sound was just like being in front of the band. He had every angle covered. He would look you in the eye and say “son, I put the funk in functionality”. I had forgotten all about that saying until a gaming peripheral manufacturer Func did just that.
Read more: Func HS-260 Gaming Headset Review @ HiTech LegionZowie FK mouse review @ DV Hardware
Zowie is no stranger in the eSports market, the company is well known for its line of gaming peripherals, which includes keyboards, headsets, mousepads and mice. In this review I'm taking a look at a product from the latter category, the Zowie FK is an ambidextrous gaming mouse designed for claw grip usage.
According to Zowie, the FK mouse is largely similar to the Zowie AM, the biggest difference is the gripping style. The AM has a /\ gripping style whereas the FK has a V-like gripping style.
The product ships in a cardboard box and the mouse is prominently displayed via a clear panel. The FK has a unique color scheme, the mouse body is black but features a couple of very flashy, yellow highlights.
Read more: Zowie FK mouse review @ DV HardwareASUS A88X-PRO AMD FM2+ Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
ASUS recently released their latest motherboard for the new AMD Kaveri FM2+ APU, the A88X-PRO. Based on the A88X platform, the A88X-PRO is ASUSâ€™s high end enthusiast motherboard that supports both the FM2 Trinity and Richland processors, as well as the new Kaveri. The FM2+ motherboard adds support for eight SATA 6Gbps ports with RAID 5, PCI-Express 3.0, which requires the Kaveri processor. Read on to see how this $125 motherboard performs!
Read more: ASUS A88X-PRO AMD FM2+ Motherboard Review @ Legit ReviewsSony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 is a bridge-style camera that gets just about everything right, and its steep asking price reflects its impeccable quality.
Read more: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Review @ TechReviewSource.comASRock A88X Extreme6+ Review @ Vortez
ASRock gear up ready for the latest APUs with the A88X Extreme6+ motherboard, supporting both FM2 and the new FM2+ APUs there is a lot to get excited for. Even though it only offers 2x USB 3.0 more outside the base chipset capability, it does sport various exclusive features such as Home Cloud and Purity Sound. Through these interesting implements, ASRock will be vying for attention from those seeking a competent, inclusive, yet affordable solution. Similar in appearance to the Intel Z87 Extreme4, the A88x Extreme6+ represents the high end of the scale for the FM2+ platform from ASRock, sitting just below the Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer. Lets move on to take a look.
Read more: ASRock A88X Extreme6+ Review @ Vortez24-Way AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux Graphics Card Comparison @ Phoronix
The testing principles for this article were nearly the same as this weekend's open-source GPU driver article but instead focusing upon the two major Linux proprietary graphics drivers: NVIDIA and AMD's Catalyst. Nearly the same hardware was also used except for no Intel HD Graphics since they have no proprietary graphics driver (only open-source!) and being able to test a more diverse range of NVIDIA GPUs compared to the very buggy Nouveau driver situation. We were also able to use more demanding Linux OpenGL games and benchmarks due to these drivers being more performant and boasting greater OpenGL support. The range of graphics cards used included:
- HIS AMD Radeon HD 6450 1024MB (625/667MHz)
- ATI Radeon HD 5700 1024MB (850/1200MHz)
- ATI Radeon HD 5800 1024MB (800/1000MHz)
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6570 512MB (650/1000MHz)
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6800 1024MB (900/1050MHz)
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6900 2048MB (800/1250MHz)
- ASUS AMD Radeon HD 7800 1024MB (860/1200MHz)
- XFX AMD Radeon HD 7900 3072MB (900/1375MHz)
- Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 8800 2048MB
- ECS NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT 1024MB (550/400MHz)
- MSI NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB (660/950MHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX/9800 GTX+ 512MB (675/1100MHz)
- XFX NVIDIA GeForce GT 220 1024MB (625/400MHz)
- ECS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 768MB (675/1800MHz)
- eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 1024MB (810/500MHz)
- eVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024MB (951/2178MHz)
- Zotac NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 1024MB (810/533MHz)
- MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 1024MB (1084/2500MHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB (705/3004MHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2048MB (540/3004MHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2048MB (540/3505MHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3072MB (549/3500MHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6144MB (575/3004MHz)
Read more: 24-Way AMD Radeon vs. NVIDIA GeForce Linux Graphics Card Comparison @ PhoronixHTC One Max 6-Inch Android Smartphone Review @ HotHardware
We all want more from our smartphones. Whether it's more screen real estate, more battery life, a better camera, or more storage for pictures, videos, and games, it seems there's always something we could use more of from our phones. Manufacturers are constantly striving to deliver the best device, touting the areas in which they've provided "more."
HTC designed its One Max with demanding users in mind. This smartphone boasts "more screen size, more camera, more everything" according to the company. With its 5.9-inch screen and 3300mAh battery, the One Max is in line to compete with other phablet devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3...
Another unique feature of the HTC One is the integrated fingerprint reader which unlocks the phone. It's located on the back of the device just below the camera.
Read more: HTC One Max 6-Inch Android Smartphone Review @ HotHardwareDynatron G666 2U Xeon Server Heatsink Review @ FrostyTech
The Dynatron G666 is a 2U server heatsink buit to handle Intel LGA1366 Xeon processors with a TDP of 130 Watts. In this review Frostytech will be testing the 65mm tall Dynatron G666 with a 200 Watt heat load. The heatsink is built with a 60mm fan embedded at the front, directing airflow through a short stack of aluminum cooling fins which are connected to a copper base plate by three 6mm diameter heatpipes. The space before and after the heatpipes is filled with two narrow strips of skived copper fins for added cooling surface area.
Read more: Dynatron G666 2U Xeon Server Heatsink Review @ FrostyTechPC Specialist Vanquish Mini 130 @ Hexus
Keeping within budget has to be one of the biggest challenges when buying a new PC. With so many attractive technologies vying for your attention, it's oh so easy to concede to the lure of a faster CPU, better graphics or more storage. But is a lot of what's on offer overkill for most users?
There are two sides to the argument, but with the hardware that's on offer today, consumers should, we feel, be able to put together a capable gaming rig for around £500. Taking away the guesswork, UK system integrator PC Specialist reckons it has just the system to fit the bill in the form of the new Vanquish Mini 130.
Read more: PC Specialist Vanquish Mini 130 @ HexusEVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition Video Card Review @ Hardware Asylum
It used to be that when buying a video card you only needed to concern yourself with price and performance. The brand of card or GPU mfg were always a deciding factor but in the mainstream world you buy what you can afford or what you need and use it for as long as you can. These things are different for the hardware enthusiast and we have to consider the variables. "Does this product provide good cooling?" "Will it draw too much power for my PSU?" "Will it overclock?" "Will xyz waterblock fit?" "Does the color match the rest of my build?" and our favorite, "Is this product is the best? I always buy the best because only the best will do."
In this review we will be taking an in-depth look at the latest video card from EVGA the GTX 780 Ti Classified K|NGP|N Edition. On the surface this card may look like nothing more than a special edition of the GTX 780 Ti Classified with a higher clockspeed and special edition cooler. Looking under the hood we can see that this card is much more and, in a way, much less.
Read more: EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition Video Card Review @ Hardware AsylumFUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Reviewed @ Futurelooks
When I get to play a game, it’s a better experience when the audio supports the content. For example, RPGs tend to have really good sound effects and epic music composition that seems to carry you on your quest or journey. Even some FPS utilize very realistic weapons and action audio samples. If the headset I’m wearing isn’t up to par, it completely robs the game of its awesomeness.
Func, a manufacturer of some very appealing gaming accessories, announced their new HS-260 Gaming headset a few weeks ago. And, today, we’ve got the test results from not only my experience, but the experience of local gamers’ that I’ve had the privilege of corroborating with on this review. Have a look and see if the HS 260 is something your ears will love.
Read more: FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Reviewed @ FuturelooksGamerStorm Lucifer CPU Cooler Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
Today we have an enthusiast cooler from GamerStorm attached to our test system. With specifications which are very much enthusiast, on paper, the price is very much budget. So lets find out if the Lucifer can perform as well as GamerStorm claim.
Read more: GamerStorm Lucifer CPU Cooler Review @ HardwareHeaven.comKG talks Alien: Isolation with Creative Assembly @ KitGuru
We were able to grab hold of community manager for Alien: Isolation, Nee N, who talked us through a few aspects of the game that until now we didn't know much about.
Read more: KG talks Alien: Isolation with Creative Assembly @ KitGuruThecus N2560 Network Attached Storage Review @ APH Networks
When the Calgary Flames took to the ice last weekend, no one knew it would be a night to remember. Bob Hartley, the coach of the Calgary Flames, decided to throw out the fourth line as the starting line; stating that they had a “scoring touch” recently. Since the Flames were the visiting team, they were to submit the starting lineup prior to the home team, who were the Vancouver Canucks. John Tortorella, the coach of the Canucks, was well aware of the situation he was in. If he were to play his first line, which was made up of smaller but more skilled players, he would be putting his best players at risk of injury, which would affect the team’s performance on a long run basis. So he did what he had to do, and threw out the Canucks’ enforcer line to clash with the Flames. Two seconds into the game, right after the puck had dropped, a full line brawl ensued, and over one hundred and fifty penalty minutes were handed out in total to both teams. While I will not comment on who is right or wrong, it leads me to one point: When a competitor pulls out a threat, the only response is to produce something just as threatening to combat the competition. It only makes sense to battle opposition with things that can directly match, and hopefully defeat, the rival. When ASUSTOR sent us the AS-202TE, we here at APH Networks found a two-bay NAS device that was quite commendable in terms of its software and performance. With Thecus offering a similar product in the N2560 with the same two-bay setup, can the Thecus N2560 hold its own against the competition? Read on to find out!
Read more: Thecus N2560 Network Attached Storage Review @ APH NetworksBeginners Guide: Hi-Resolution Panoramic Images with MSFT ICE @ PC Stats
If you've ever tried to manually knit a series of overlapping images together in Paint or Photoshop, you know that image distortion makes this a truly difficult and time consuming task. Microsoft Research has developed a free program called Image Composite Editor 184.108.40.206 - which is a really powerful, but simple to use and nearly completely automated panoramic image stitching program that works with photos or video!
Read more: Beginners Guide: Hi-Resolution Panoramic Images with MSFT ICE @ PC StatsIntel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) D54250WYKH - "H" is for 2.5" HDD Mount Review @ MissingRemote
When Intel brought out their Haswell Next Unit of Computing (NUC), inclusion of features like SATA made it clear that they had bigger things in store for the little system. They were honest that some of this promise will require 3rd party case OEMs to fully realize, but Intel quickly announced that they would be creating their own chassis with 2.5” drive support a bit later. Providing this feature is interesting to two groups of users: those who have, or want to leverage a 2.5” SSD instead of mSATA or anyone who wants local, rotating, storage in the NUC. As it happens, now is the time, and when I sat down with Intel at CES to talk NUC they had one of the new 116.6mm x 112mm x 51.5mm enclosures for me to take back and run through the paces.
Read more: Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) D54250WYKH - "H" is for 2.5" HDD Mount Review @ MissingRemoteFunc HS-260 Gaming Headset @ LanOC Reviews
We recently took a look at a gaming mechanical keyboard from an unlikely source, Func. In that review we also made allusions to Func bringing their design focus of innovative functionality without gimmicks to a whole range of gaming peripherals. Today we are here with the final piece of hardware in this new Func collection, the HS-260 Gaming Headset. Will Func continue to impress us with their new line of "Functionality. Perfected." peripherals or will audio prove to be their downfall. Let’s find out as we take an in depth look at the HS-260 Gaming headset.
Read more: Func HS-260 Gaming Headset @ LanOC ReviewsASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP @ PureOverclock
When AMD launched the 7000 series of graphics cards, an evolutionary approach was made, moving the bar by improving not only gaming horsepower, but also power efficiency and temperatures. AMD ruled the roost for a time, until Nvidia came along with their 700 series cards, pushing things and gaining the upper hand. Like two titans battling for supremacy, these two companies trade blows with each successive generation launch. And as the R7 and R9 product lineup matures, we’re seeing more custom cards from AMD board partners which are eager to dust it up with Nvidia’s models.
AMD is again looking to capitalize on their latest architecture, which is in fact an evolution of the previous 7000 series generation tech, but the company has made it clear that framerates aren’t their primary goal. They want to make affordable products that offer strong gaming performance, which is arguably one of the most important criteria for gamers out there who may be hard-pressed to choose where to spend their hard-earned money.
Read more: ASUS R9 280X DirectCU II TOP @ PureOverclockFunc HS-260 Gaming Headset @ techPowerUp
Func's first ever gaming headset gets put to the test. The HS-260s is Func's attempt at creating a good mid-end closed-back gaming headset. Func ships the headset with two different types of ear pads which allows you to tailor their performance somewhat.
Read more: Func HS-260 Gaming Headset @ techPowerUpFUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Review @ OCC
When I first pulled the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset out of the box, I had my doubts about how the unit will perform. The plastic build, the sheer size, and the feel of the volume dial gave a "cheap toy" impression. After using the unit for a few weeks, I stand corrected. The FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset sounds great without any need for drivers or software install. The sound coming out of these cans is very clear and they handled quite well the subtle noises in game and media files. Bass-heads beware though; the FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset is not for you. I pushed the volume hoping to get more bass, but ended up with slightly distorted sound and a "fuzzy" experience.
Read more: FUNC HS-260 Gaming Headset Review @ OCCUbuntu 14.04 vs. Debian 7.3 vs. Debian Jessie Preview @ Phoronix
For those curious about performance differences between the current Debian 7.3 "Wheezy" stable release and the upcoming but currently unstable Debian 8.0 "Jessie", here are some performance benchmarks comparing Debian's stable and testing releases on the same hardware. Making things more interesting, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in its current development form was also tossed into the mix.
Read more: Ubuntu 14.04 vs. Debian 7.3 vs. Debian Jessie Preview @ PhoronixMSI Radeon R9-290X Gaming OC review @ Guru3D
We review the MSI Radeon R9-290X Gaming OC. The cards equipped with that Hawaii GPU now is proper cooled thanks to the TwinFrozr cooler and steadily running and purring at just over 70 Degrees C, that's under full gaming load. The 2816 Stream processor based Hawaii chip will get paired with 4 GB GDDR5 memory running along a 512-bit memory interface. The card itself is fully customized including component selection, custom PCB, custom cooling, well .. custom everything ! Powered through 8-Pin + 6-Pin power configuration it obviously runs at factory overclocked specifications as well. The card will clock towards 1040 MHz bit is clocked at reference clocks on the GDDR5 memory.
So what does a Hawaii GPU bring into the garphics cards ? Oh what about 6 Billion transistors on a 438 mm2 Die, 512-bit Memory bus with 4 GB - 5.0 Gbps GDDR5 memory, Ultra HD ready, 5.6 TFLOPS of compute performance. Not bad for keywords, eh? AMD is partnering with EA's Battlefield 4, meaning that for as long as the coupons are available, you will receive Battlefield 4 with the card for certain selected SKUs. That would be a deluxe edition with extra DLC and weapons. AMD also is focusing strongly at gaming in Ultra High Definition (UHD), so this will be a focus in our review as well. Will we be able to play the hottest games at that whopping 8.2 Mpixels at a 3840x2160 resolution @ 60 Hz.
Read more: MSI Radeon R9-290X Gaming OC review @ Guru3DOrigin PC Chronos: Two GeForce GTX 780 Tis In A Mini Gaming Cube @ Toms Hardware
Even as mini-ITX cases appear to be getting bigger, microATX is getting smaller. The Rodney Dangerfield of form factors, microATX is often ridiculed by enthusiasts who just can't get enough room for high-end hardware and skipped over entirely by the crowd shopping for ever-shrinking form factors. The brief window of opportunity that microATX gaming cubes had to impress with their diminutive dimensions is all but forgotten, lost to the din made over slim little boxes housing GeForce GTX Titan cards.
But as anyone who built a PC using a cube-shaped enclosure will tell you, that probably shouldn’t have happened. The microATX form factor gives us four slots of expansion, enough room for at least four DIMMs, and space around the processor interface for an enthusiast-class voltage regulator. That’s because the ATX-sized upper portion of the motherboard remains, even after a microATX's platform's three bottom slots are trimmed off.
Read more: Origin PC Chronos: Two GeForce GTX 780 Tis In A Mini Gaming Cube @ Toms HardwarePlextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB Solid State Drive Review @ eTeknix
Over the last couple of years I’ve had a look at numerous SSDs from many of the leading manufacturers in the world of SSDs and storage in general, however there has been one vendor that I have not worked with up to this point. This is of course Plextor and as things go, This company is said to be right up there in the rankings with the likes of Kingston, OCZ, Corsair, Sandisk and many more; but flash-based storage is not where this company has its roots buried. Since the formation of the company way back in 1985, Plextor have been making their name well-known in the world of optical storage with their name being made synonymous with high quality optical drives and media that performed way above that of OEM grade drives and media.Back when optical based storage was much more popular than it is today, Plextor’s drives typically demanded a far greater price tag over white box products, however the end-user was prepared to pay the premium due to the fact that Plextor’s products were far less susceptible to errors when burning media, which would otherwise leave you with a pile of coffee mug ‘coasters’ as they were known. As the market has moved on and the popularity of optical media fallen, Plextor branched out to the solid state market with their first SSD, the M1, coming to market in 2009.Since then we have seen the M series of SSDs grow and mature through the M2, 3 and 4 series and on to the current generation M5 drives with all the leading technologies and performance figures that the end-user looks for and demands in today’s performance driven market.
The M5 Pro Xtreme is the pinnacle of Plextor’s SSD design today and over its little brother, the M5 Pro, the Xtreme on paper doesn’t seem to be different, but there have been one or two subtle changes made to give slightly better performance figures over the M5 Pro when handling smaller file sizes (~4K). Considering both use the same third-gen dual core Marvell controller and 19nm Toshiba toggle flash MLC NAND, the performance differences are purely down to the use of sixteen NAND packages on the Xtreme over eight on the Pro and lower level drives.
Inside the box we find a typical set of SSD accessories with two sets of screws and a 2.5″ to 3.5″ drive bay adaptor, installation and warranty leaflets and a copy of NTI’s SSD Solution for drive cloning and migration to Plextor SSDs.
Read more: Read more: Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme 256GB Solid State Drive Review @ eTeknixKingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (DTLPG3) @ Custom PC Review
Whether it be pictures of your Friday night escapade, scans of your tax records, or your company’s secret next generation product design, the flash drive has become one of the most common methods of taking your data on the go.
Unfortunately, one thing we seem to overlook is data security. While flash drives have become quite convenient for taking lots of sensitive data on the go, it’s also extremely easy to lose, which is bad news for those who sometimes tend to be forgetful.
Read more: Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (DTLPG3) @ Custom PC ReviewAerocool DS Dead Silence Fan (120mm and 140mm) Review @ KitGuru
Today we take a look at something special, the world's first dual material fan from Aerocool. The new DS Dead Silence Fluid Dynamic bearing fans are particularly interesting due to dual layered blades, comprised of plastic and rubber. Aerocool claim this helps to absorb the noise of moving air. The fan frame has been designed with four noise absorption chambers and anti vibration rubber on each of the mounting holes. Aerocool rate the life span at over 100,000 hours. Are these the ultimate low noise enthusiast fans?
Read more: Aerocool DS Dead Silence Fan (120mm and 140mm) Review @ KitGuruGigabyte launches BRIX Gaming barebone box @ Hexus
"The BRIX Gaming offers a real desktop PC experience in a compact form factor that end users now expect from a GIGABYTE BRIX device," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. "We’re very excited about the continuing evolution of the desktop PC, challenging the notion that smaller PC design means abandoning performance."
When you buy the BRIX Gaming PC it is a barebones kit so you need to add in your own choice of memory, fixed storage device and OS to get started. The memory you require is a SO-DIMM, there are two such DDR3L slots available which can accept 1333 /1600 MHz rated RAM according to Gigabyte's official specs.
Read more: Gigabyte launches BRIX Gaming barebone box @ HexusCorsair Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX Chassis Review @ eTeknix
The Corsair Obsidian series is by far one of the coolest chassis ranges on the market today, they’ve amazed us here at eTeknix and countless others around the world with their extremely competent feature sets, design, build quality and versatility. The series caters to extreme gaming rigs of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the absolutely bonkers 900D super tower, their 800D and 750D full towers, 650D and 500D mid-towers, the 350D Micro ATX and now their latest entry which we will be taking a look at today, the Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX chassis.
The whole range features a similar style, with a chunky, sleek and somewhat understated design that doesn’t leap out at you, but hides extensive small details that make them premium both inside and out, especially the lush aluminium front panels, flawless black paint work and extensive features that have become the trademarks of the series, making the Obsidian one of the most versatile and powerful ranges Corsair have ever created.
Read more: Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX Chassis Review @ eTeknix