All-round Deluxe PC and more
Posted on: 02/23/2014 12:06 PM
Here the latest reviews and articles:All-round Deluxe PC - February 2014 AMD Kabini HD 8210: RadeonSI Gallium3D Can Outperform Catalyst Antec KUHLER H2O 950 Liquid CPU Cooling System ASUSTOR AS-204TE NAS Review Banished Corsair Hydro Series H105 Review Enermax Aeolus Vegas CP007 Notebook Cooler Review Fractal Design Arc XL Full Tower Chassis Review Gigabyte mITX Z87N-WIFI Motherboard Review Intel Core i7-4960X SLI Gaming Scaling Microlab H30 BT & H50 BT Review Mionix Naos 7000 Gaming Mouse Review MSI Twin Frozr Gaming GeForce GTX 780 Ti OC Edition Video Card Review Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Black + 2/3/4-way SLI in Ultra HD / 4K Review Nvidia GTX 750 Ti 2GB Maxwell Graphics Card Review OCZ Storage Solutions Interview with Alex Mei, CMO Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Video Review SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review Sandisk X210 240GB Business Class Solid State Drive Review SteelSeries Siberia Elite Gaming Headset Review System Mechanic Review
All-round Deluxe PC - February 2014
The all-round Deluxe PC will last you a few years without requiring any upgrades. It is a bit more expensive, but is very complete as well. Using the internet, gaming, business applications, photo and video editing - all of these are possible on a good all-round PC, and you should never feel that you are lacking in performance for any of those activities.Read full article @ Hardware.InfoAMD Kabini HD 8210: RadeonSI Gallium3D Can Outperform Catalyst
This means a good processor and graphics card from the upper mid-range segment. Fast, yet affordable. You also need enough RAM and storage space, not to mention an attractive chassis and reliable power supply that can last several years. Of course you need a quality monitor, mouse and keyboard, as these are used very frequently.
This PC will cost more than the standard all-round PC, but it is also more powerful and has higher-end components. If this exceeds your budget somewhat, then you can have a look at out standard All-round PC instead.
With the AMD E1-2100 "Kabini" APU on the ECS KBN-I motherboard sporting Radeon HD 8210 integrated graphics, I decided to benchmark this APU from an Ubuntu 14.04 development release in a few driver configurations with both the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver and the proprietary Catalyst stack.Read full article @ PhoronixAntec KUHLER H2O 950 Liquid CPU Cooling System
The test configurations for this AMD E1-2100 "Kabini" dual-core 1.0GHz system with Radeon HD 8210 512MB graphics included:
- Mesa 10.0 + Linux 3.13. This is the current Ubuntu 14.04 stack but will be moving to Mesa 10.1 for the final release.
- The same stack but with upgrading to Mesa 10.2.0-devel and xf86-video-ati 7.3.99 from the xorg-edgers PPA.
- The upgraded user-space with Mesa 10.2.0-devel and then moving to the Linux 3.14 Git kernel.
- Lastly were Linux 3.13 benchmarks while using the packaged AMD Catalyst driver (fglrx 13.35.5).
Watercooling kits for CPUs and GPUs have been around a long time and although in the past they were considered to be something unique aimed solely towards hardcore overclockers and enthusiasts today they've become quite common even amongst regular gamers and users. Still not everyone is willing to undergo the entire procedure needed to build a custom watercooling kit (from choosing the right parts and then installing them or to even install the parts if we are talking about a ready kit) since something like that obviously requires both time and effort not to mention plenty of space in your tower. AIO (All In One) liquid CPU cooling kits combine very good performance levels and easy installation at a relatively low cost so in a way they were created for that exact reason and since their first appearance roughly 5 years ago we've seen all the major players in the market launch their own solutions. Antec was amongst the very first to enter this market with the very good Kuhler H2O 620/920 Liquid CPU Coolers and today we will be taking a look at the successor to the 920 model the Kuhler H2O 950 Liquid CPU Cooling System.Read full article @ NikKTechASUSTOR AS-204TE NAS Review
Today on our test bench we will be taking a look at the AS-204TE model from Asustor. This four bay model is squarely aimed at the home user and in addition to the hardware side we shall also be taking a look at the latest version of ADM (its operating system) which is currently in beta.Read full article @ HardwareHeaven.comBanished
Full disclosure, I typically loath doing game reviews. Testing hardware typically can be done along side of me working on something else, for example, I can test the comfort of a headset while benchmarking a video card, while also writing when tests are running. Games on the other hand require days and sometimes weeks of gameplay for testing. I know some of you might think I’m crazy, because playing games and getting to call it work sounds amazing. But when we have to publish multiple articles a week, it’s just impossible. That being said, a new game called Banished launched just a few days ago and has so far had been extremely popular on steam (it is as I write this the top selling game over a half priced Call of Duty: Ghosts and a whole bunch of games that are 75% off from Ubisoft) and Reddit. I have been playing it non-stop and many of you hit me up on Facebook and on steam asking for my thoughts on the game. Why not put it all together for everyone to see!Read full article @ LanOC ReviewsCorsair Hydro Series H105 Review
ALCs (All-contained Liquid Coolers) are now regarded as a mainstay in the cooling market, bridging the gap between air cooling and custom water-cooling. Corsair have taken on this lucrative segment and confidently asserted themselves are a reliable source for countless enthusiasts.Read full article @ VortezEnermax Aeolus Vegas CP007 Notebook Cooler Review
New for 2014, Corsair have revised their renowned Hydro Series with the H105 by developing the first 38mm thick 240mm radiator and introducing a much improved mounting mechanism. Knowing that enthusiasts love to coordinate their computer systems, Corsair has also included interchangeable accent rings for the top of the pump and as can be expected dual SP120L PWM 120mm fans also make an appearance.
Many of you have been to Las Vegas or at least heard many stories that come out of Sin City, even though one of their more famous slogans is "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" (unless you are OJ Simpson,) but you don't usually hear about the day to day stuff that normal residents of the city have to deal with. One of the more pressing matters in a city surrounded by harsh, unforgiving desert is the weather. Now in case you weren't aware, Las Vegas is hot. It is located adjacent to the current world record holder for hottest low temperature, hottest average temperature over 24 hours, and hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded on earth. I have a couple of friends who maintain permanent residency in Vegas and they are much better people than I to be able to deal with the excruciating heat that is in season nine months out of the year.Read full article @ HiTech LegionFractal Design Arc XL Full Tower Chassis Review
Fractal Design are one of the coolest component manufacturers around and over the years they’ve gone on to win countless awards for their chassis, power supplies and fans. I’ve seen a fair few Fractal Design products in the eTeknix office and I’ve never been anything less than stunned at their flawless design and rock solid build quality. This is especially true of the Arc chassis series and the one I’ll be taking a look at today is supposed to be the biggest and best one yet.Read full article @ eTeknixGigabyte mITX Z87N-WIFI Motherboard Review
The Arc XL offers solutions for the extreme end of the PC market and with its large size and high specifications comes an equally high price tag of just over £100 here in the UK and around $130 in the US. This is obviously not targeted at your average consumer, but at this price we’ll be expecting high build quality and plenty of features to justify the investment.
As you can see from the specification below, there isn’t much the Arc XL can’t handle, with support for all major motherboard form factors including Mini-ITX all the way up to XL-ATX, plenty of room for 5.25″ drives or similar devices, loads of room for hard drives with 8 storage bays that can hold either 3.5″ or 2.5″ drives, as well as two stealth mounts for 2.5″ drives behinds the motherboard.
That small doesn't always imply slow or less strong has been shown by the ASUS Maximus VI Impact board. Setting several records with an Intel's Haswell CPU in the socket, the little mITX board has proven it has nothing to fear from its normal sized brethren, however the biggest drawback is the insane price tag, which makes it far less interesting for those that want to build a HTPC or mini gaming PC on a budget. The market has evolved in favor of the mATX and mITX platforms; demands for small yet powerful mini PCs is drastically increasing. Gigabyte's Z87N-WIFI is a perfect example that including Intel's flagship Z87 chipset does not necessarily imply an exuberantly elevated price, however is a high end chipset a requirement for most users out there? Time to unravel some of the myths and start to explore the wonderful world of the Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi mITX.Read full article @ MadshrimpsIntel Core i7-4960X SLI Gaming Scaling
In our SLI gaming performance scaling articles we're going to investigate SLI scaling factors with different CPUs and different clock speeds (since a lot of guys asked for this). In eight recent games and two theoretical benchmarks we want to find out what difference SLI makes, when we run benchmarks with the CPU at stock clocks as well as overclocked to 4.5 GHz. Let's kick off with an Intel 4960X CPU and two ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II graphics cards and find out what the differences are going to be like. Read full article @ ocaholicMicrolab H30 BT & H50 BT Review
Here at Vortez, we have consistently been impressed by Microlab products and the value they offer, so much so that each of our outings to date have all received our Amazing Value Award. FC 50, SOLO7C, FC360. Today, we get to look at the H30 BT and H50 BT bookshelf speakers that offer up, as the name suggests, Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) that uses A2DP stereo streaming, judging by the competitive pricing they do not appear to be breaking form.Read full article @ VortezMionix Naos 7000 Gaming Mouse Review
The two variants stand at a fair price difference apart, with the more discrete H30 BT being of a size that is versatile enough to find itself in practically any situation, while the H50 BT moves into a more serious size that may require positional planning. Let's move on and put them to the test.
Recently I took a look at the Mionix Avior 7000 gaming mouse, it won our Editors Choice Award with flying colours and I still stand by my word that it’s one of the best gaming mice on the market today. With that in mind, I’ll be looking at another Mionix product from the same range, their new Naos 7000 gaming mouse, which features a lot of the same technology as the Avoir, so in theory it should at least be as good at the Avoir in terms of performance, anything less would be a big disappointment.Read full article @ eTeknixMSI Twin Frozr Gaming GeForce GTX 780 Ti OC Edition Video Card Review
Mionix are pretty specialist in terms of the peripherals they produce, they’ve got a laser like focus on the gaming market and while the Avoir we reviewed recently was a great all round, day-to-day product, it really impressed when used for gaming. With the ever-increasing popularity of PC gaming, especially thanks to the advances in eSports and LAN gaming events, gamers are wanting high performance peripherals that will help them play better, or at the very least enjoy their experience more, and generally gamers or even just any consumer, wants the best product they can get for their budget.
With a price tag of around £70 it’s certainly not cheap, but a little google-fu will find you one just a little under £60. It’s actually a little more on average than the £55 Avoir 7000, so it’ll be interesting to see if there is anything in place to justify the slightly higher price tag. Of course it is also likely that the prices are reflected by availability and demand.
Today, at OCinside.de there is a test of the MSI Twin Frozr Gaming GTX 780 Ti OC Edition graphics card.Read full article @ OcInside.deNvidia GeForce GTX Titan Black + 2/3/4-way SLI in Ultra HD / 4K Review
High-performance graphics cards are and will remain expensive.
But gamers do almost everything to play their favorite game in FullHD with full details and 120 FPS.
Last week, we were the only ones in the world to publish a review of Nvidia's new GeForce GTX Titan Black Edition.Thanks to the support from the Belgian online shop Tones.be, we were able to not only benchmark a single Titan Black, but also provide them for 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way SLI setups.Read full article @ Hardware.InfoNvidia GTX 750 Ti 2GB Maxwell Graphics Card Review
The comments showed us the valid criticism that we merely tested in Full HD and 3x Full HD (5760x1080) resolutions, while cards such as these are begging for a 4K display. Unfortunately we temporarily did not have a 4K display at hand earlier this week, but our lab has now received a brand new Samsung LU28D590DS (of which we'll soon publish a review). This also means that we'll be able to test the Titan Black setups on a 4K display, that is, 3840x2160 pixels (4x Full HD).
Maxwell is finally here after months of speculation and rumours…. but for most of our readers it probably isn’t the “beast” you’ve been expecting. Nvidia is not starting the launch of its new architecture at the high end, as we’ve come to expect, but instead Nvidia’s Maxwell arrives today in two forms, both of which are mid-range, the GTX 750 and the GTX 750 Ti, the latter of which we are testing. Maxwell is continuing Nvidia’s longer term and ongoing objective of improving power efficiency in their GPUs. In fact Nvidia have come a long way in this regard because this is the first time we’ve ever seen a mid-range Nvidia card with no supplementary power needed – both Maxwell cards being launched today require no additional power connectors other than the PCI Express bus.Read full article @ eTeknixOCZ Storage Solutions Interview with Alex Mei, CMO
However, before we take a look at the technical details surrounding Maxwell and the GM107 GPU that forms the basis of the GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750, let’s first go over the specifics of the new GTX 750 Ti. The first question is where does the GTX 750 Ti fit in to Nvidia’s current range of products? The answer to that is actually quite simple. The GTX 750 Ti quite logically replaces the GTX 650 Ti, and GTX 650 Ti Boost. It gets a bit strange with the GTX 750 though because the GTX 750 will be placed above the GTX 650, which doesn’t get discontinued. That means Nvidia’s current mid range consists of three new cards and two old ones as the diagram below demonstrates.
To say OCZ has had a tumultuous year would be putting it mildly, to say the least. The company took a brutal beating and was knocked down, but not out. Now, thanks to an acquisition by Toshiba, the newly formed and revitalized OCZ Storage Solutions, is poised and ready to make another run at enthusiasts and the enterprise.Read full article @ HotHardware.comSamsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
In an effort to clear up some of the rumors and hear what Toshiba's OCZ Storage Solutions has in store, we reached out to OCZ's CMO, Alex Mei. Here's what he had to say
With their Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Samsung have made a high-end tablet, that features the latest and greates in almost any aspect. In case of the SoC there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon quadcore with Krait 400 CPU, that clocks at 2.3 GHz and in case of the GPU we finde an Adreno 330 chip. Other than that there is 2560 x 1600 pixel display with 299 ppi pixel density and the back of the tablet has actually been covered with leather, which give this product a classy touch. So far we're rather curious if all these number together leave a lasting impression or if it's just yet another expensive piece of hardware. Read full article @ ocaholicSamsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 Video Review
We break down the strengths and weaknesses of the Korean firm's first business tablet Read full article @ V3SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review
Last week SanDisk Corporation announced the SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.0 flash drive and we just had to get one into our labs for some testing. Why? SanDisk says this jump drive is capable of sequential write speeds of up to 240MB/s and sequential read speeds of up to 260MB/s! Those speeds place this drive among the fastest available right now. Read on to see how it performs!Read full article @ Legit ReviewsSandisk X210 240GB Business Class Solid State Drive Review
For many people, looking for a new SSD generally results in a SandForce powered drive being purchased due to the fact that the large majority of drives on the market have one of these very successful LSI made controllers at their heart. As with all things though, there is always going to be a set of pros and cons. On of the downsides for SandForce is its overall ability to handle incompressible data over compressible data. Typically we see this as a drop in the read and write speeds, but with the Extreme II using on of Marvell’s top end controllers and the same style of caching that we saw on the Ultra Plus drive not too long ago, the speeds right across the board are top end.Read full article @ eTeknixSteelSeries Siberia Elite Gaming Headset Review
When its ground down to raw performance on the whole, the Sandisk Extreme II is one of the fastest drives on the market right now. This is a huge selling point for Sandisk and with the SSD market becoming more and more fierce and the number of competitors growing, being able to claim rights to the top such as this are hard come by. Given how far SSD performance has come on over the last few years, I can only but begin to wonder what the next step will be for a single drive. Granted there is always the option of RAID0 and with drives becoming more and more reliable in the long run whilst coming down in cost, it does make sense to some to do just that.
The latest Siberia Elite high-end headset from SteelSeries has picked up some of the elements of the V2 series and improved quite a bit. Distinctive elements could be considered the large and comfortable ear cup padding, the funky lighting but also the dedicated sound card which works hand-in-hand with the Engine 3 software.Read full article @ MadshrimpsSystem Mechanic Review
The Windows operating system, in all of its versions, has a lot of hidden options that are invisible to the user. Some of them are just cosmetic, but there are some options that really matter regarding to system performance. System Mechanic is a program that allows you to edit and hack some of those options, as well as analyze your system to find and solve a lot of problems, speeding up your computer. Let's learn how to use this powerful software.Read full article @ Hardware Secrets