Back-to-school 2013 system guide and more
Posted on: 08/26/2013 10:33 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Back-to-school 2013 system guide, Zotac ZBOX Nano ID65 Plus Out NUCs Intel, CM Storm Havoc Mouse Review, Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H (Intel LGA 1150), and Video Perspective: Corsair Carbide Air 540 Case Review
Back-to-school 2013 system guide @ The Tech Report
The back-to-school season is upon us, and we've updated our system guide for the occasion. In addition to refreshing our usual builds, we've added a dorm-worthy microATX config and revamped our mobile recommendations.
Read more: Back-to-school 2013 system guide @ The Tech ReportGamescom 2013: Interview with Min-Liang Tan (Razer CEO) @ HardwareHeaven.com
Kaeyi Dream interviews Min-Liang Tan Chief Gamer and CEO of Razer at Gamescom 2013.
Read more: Gamescom 2013: Interview with Min-Liang Tan (Razer CEO) @ HardwareHeaven.comASUS Maximus VI Formula Review @ Vortez
Since Intel Z87 and Haswell’s inauguration over two months ago now, ASUS advocates have been itching to get their hands on the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus VI Formula. Early pre-production depictions of the motherboard have been circulating around the web and the board even made an appearance at this year’s Computex show but it wasn’t until the tail-end of last month that Formula was finally unveiled.
So why is there so much hype surrounding the ASUS Maximus VI Formula? Well, this is the first time ASUS have implemented their CrossChill feature on a motherboard. With this feature water or air can be used to cool the MOSFETs – so regardless of whether you are an extreme overclocking or not the options are all there for whichever pathway you take. Furthermore, the Formula adopts a design which takes advantage of ROG Armor – a unique protective steel shield on the front and back side that helps with temperature control and longevity of components. Referencing these two particular features we are only scratching the surface, there are many more aspects of Formula to explore, so let’s begin our review!
Read more: ASUS Maximus VI Formula Review @ VortezZotac ZBOX Nano ID65 Plus Out NUCs Intel @ HotHardware.com
Zotac has been making ultra-small form factor systems for quite a while now. You can check out a number of our reviews of various ZBox systems and you'll notice that most of the systems have been built around low-power platforms like AMD's E-Series APUs or Intel's Atom processors. With its latest generations of mini-PC's, however, Zotac has been able to crank things up a few notches. With some recently released ZBoxes, Zotac has managed to squeeze in Intel Core-series processors, which put the diminutive systems into an entirely different performance category.
The latest Zotac ZBox to hit the lab is the ZBox Nano ID65 Plus. Despite its relatively tiny 5"-square form factor, this particular machine is powered by an Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i7 processor with integrated HD 4000 series graphics. The Plus designation in the model name also signifies that this system includes memory and a hard drive-in this case, 4GB of DDR3-1600 and a 500GB Samsung HD...
Read more: Zotac ZBOX Nano ID65 Plus Out NUCs Intel @ HotHardware.comRazer Naga 2014 @ LanOC Reviews
When Razer first introduced the Naga a lot of people made jokes and references to its phone like number pad on the side. Then soon after, not only did I see a lot of people sporting them, but a lot of the manufactures introduced their versions of the MMO mouse. Suddenly it was only partially crazy to have a full phone number pad under your thumb. Recently Razer introduced their new Naga 2014, the second major redesign of the Naga although I would consider the 2012 edition to be less of a “major” redesign. I’m really excited to see what they have learned from the last model and changed for this model. I have been using it for a little while now and I can finally tell everyone about my experience.
Read more: Razer Naga 2014 @ LanOC ReviewsHP SlateBook x2 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
HP makes a strong attempt at a proper convertible with the SlateBook x2, a screaming-fast, Tegra 4-powered Android tablet, but it's not without flaws.
Read more: HP SlateBook x2 Review @ TechReviewSource.comCorsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB DDR3 1866MHz Memory Kit Review @ Legit Reviews
So, was the Corsair Vengeance Pro 1866MHz DRAM kit pretty sweet? I must say it absolutely met my expectations, and this includes everything from appearance to performance. I was able to overclock these modules from 1866MHz with 9-10-9-27 2T timings to 2000MHz with 9-9-9-27 1T timings with the same 1.5 volts. I also managed to bump the modules up to 2200MHz with 9-12-11-32 2T timings, but had to bump the voltage to 1.58v...
Read more: Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 16GB DDR3 1866MHz Memory Kit Review @ Legit ReviewsCM Storm Havoc Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets
The long line of gaming-grade mice from CM Storm finally gets a medium-sized model, the Havoc. With a right-handed design and Omron micro switches (from Japan), the Havoc has eight programmable buttons, and it provides an exceptional sliding experience, thanks to some physical characteristics we will detail now. Afterwards, we will talk about its software and performance during gameplay and work-related tasks.
Read more: CM Storm Havoc Mouse Review @ Hardware SecretsDiamond DS3900 Dual VIdeo USB 3.0 Docking Station Review @ Benchmark Reviews
I have been using a docking station at work for many years, so this was not new to me. All my previous experience was with proprietary docking stations that had cost quite a lot to procure and we tied to a single product. Until now I had not been able to find a docking station for my personal computer that has a reasonable price, simple connectivity, and the promise to increase the effectiveness of my computer. And so that is why I was so excited to receive and be able to test the Diamond DS3900 docking station for Benchmark Reviews.
Read more: Diamond DS3900 Dual VIdeo USB 3.0 Docking Station Review @ Benchmark ReviewsGigabyte Z87X-UD3H (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H is a board I like to refer to as "The Sleeper". Built to meet the needs of most average consumers, it not only comes with everything you need for daily use but also has an overclocking focus, though it may not appear so.
Read more: Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUpCooler Master Teases HAF Stacker @ techPowerUp
After its Cosmos SE unveiling at Gamescom, Cooler Master woke us up to a huge teaser, HAF Stacker. This upcoming case from Cooler Master will see it merge its High Air-Flow (HAF) with the iconic Stacker series, in what will be a blend of the roominess associated with Stacker series, and the cooling prowess of HAF series. Cooler Master's teaser ended with a note saying that HAF Stacker will be unveiled at the other big game expo of the month, PAX Prime, and on the 30th.
Read more: Cooler Master Teases HAF Stacker @ techPowerUpAcer V7-482PG-9884 Review: Everything You Need @ Anandtech
There's a careful balancing act that needs to be maintained when putting together any system. Cooling requirements need to be kept in check by size constraints, performance ties into both of those as well, and let’s never forget the almighty dollar. Various other elements are also at play like build quality, aesthetics, and other extras. Generally speaking, it's impossible to build a single product that will get every area right for every person out there, and so we end up with the usual give and take. Acer's Aspire V7 laptop is an interesting mainstream offering that won’t be the fastest system out there, and it’s not the lightest laptop you’ll find either; in fact, the list of what it’s not is almost as long as the list of what it is. The sum however ends up being greater than the value of the parts, and overall it’s a good laptop. Read on to find out what we like, as well as what areas Acer intentionally chose to deemphasize in their pursuit of a well-rounded mainstream Ultrabook.
Read more: Acer V7-482PG-9884 Review: Everything You Need @ AnandtechASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Review @ Vortez
The NVIDIA GTX770 has had a luke warm reception by all accounts. Based on the older GTX680 rather than the ground breaking GTX TITAN/GTX 780, many look upon the GTX770 as a simple refresh. To be fair, that is not far from the truth but NVIDIA have not simply raised the clockspeeds and have done with it. Improved power delivery, memory overclocking and GPU Boost 2.0 make the GTX770 quite a formidable GPU. There are however few reference designs available with NVIDIA giving their board partners free reign to add their own modifications. Some chose simply to bolt on a custom cooling design to the reference PCB. Others added to the modifications by redesigned the PCB. The ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC is one such example.
Read more: ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Review @ VortezDesktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 26.9 @ Tech ARP
hese days, there are so many graphics card models that it has become quite impossible to keep up with the different configurations. Therefore, we decided to compile this guide to provide an easy reference for those who are interested in comparing the specifications of the various desktop GPUs in the market as well as those already obsolescent or obsolete.
Currently covering 548 desktop graphics cards, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare 24 different specifications for each and every card. We hope it will prove to be a useful reference. We will keep this guide updated regularly, so do check back for the latest updates.
To make it easy to compare the specifications, we split it up into three sections for your convenience. Just click on Split List to access them. However, if you prefer to compare all the graphics cards for each company in a single table, we also have a single list which can be accessed by clicking on Full List. Just click on the company and the type of list you prefer.
Read more: Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide Rev. 26.9 @ Tech ARPSplinter Cell: Blacklist Review (PC) @ KitGuru
Sam Fishers adventures in Splinter Cell: Conviction left fans of the franchise divided. Some welcomed the more action orientated approach whilst others cursed the heavens above. Now Sam Fisher is back to save the world and win the hearts of gamers once more.
Read more: Splinter Cell: Blacklist Review (PC) @ KitGuruThermaltake BAHAMUT External Sound Card Review @ OCC
You can't really buy a decent sound card at this price range nor can you buy even a decent amp to make your headset play louder for this price. The price is actually the winner in this case, unlike so many others (usually price is the con). The stupid car engine noise when plugged in is a definite waste of components, but not much you can do about that at this point. This piece of hardware is by no means some ingenious work of art nor scientific breakthrough, but it will get your headset to play just that little bit louder where you need it. It also provides quick volume control at arm's reach and with an intuitive volume knob at that. In the end, the BAHAMUT is no magical hardware piece to make your crap Logitech headset sound good, but it will play loud at the right price for your wallet.
Read more: Thermaltake BAHAMUT External Sound Card Review @ OCCCorsair Vengeance K95 Fully Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
The Vengeance K95 is the new flagship gaming keyboard from Corsair which was built on the already successful K90 platform but now with all-mechanical key layout (Cherry MX Red) for enhanced durability and key-by-key addressable backlighting. The keyboard does also come with a black anodized brushed aluminum chassis for a clean, professional look and it is really easy to clean.
Read more: Corsair Vengeance K95 Fully Mechanical Keyboard Review @ MadshrimpsVideo Perspective: Corsair Carbide Air 540 Case Review @ PC Perspective
The Corsair Carbide Air 540 is a very unique case. It fits a full size ATX motherboard and up to four dual-slot graphics cards but it's shorter than you might expect thanks to a design choice that splits the active components from the mostly passive ones. The result is a case that is more square than rectangular yet still combines the charm of Corsair designs with the performance enthusiasts want.
Read more: Video Perspective: Corsair Carbide Air 540 Case Review @ PC PerspectiveCooltek Coolcube Maxi Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX Case @ NikKTech
Roughly 5 years ago if someone had asked about my opinion regarding the future of PCs I'd never have imagined that 5 years later everything would start to miniaturize for the sake of progress. It's true that up until this day that i type these lines high-end, enthusiast and enterprise-grade systems are not limited in size in any way but from the somewhat recent announcement by Intel stating that they too will focus all their resources in shrinking everything i don't think that time will take long to come and whether or not that "evolution" will turn out to be a good thing only time can tell. However people who wish to have a small PC that can fit even under their TV set need not wait for that time since mini-ITX and micro-ATX mainboards are already half the size of normal ATX ones (and even smaller compared to XL-ATX/EATX) without really lacking much in terms of performance. The only real issue so far has been the limited number of micro-ATX/mini-ITX cases available that can actually take full advantage of what high-end mainboard models have to offer but Cooltek with their latest Coolcube MAXI aims to change that.
Read more: Cooltek Coolcube Maxi Micro-ATX/Mini-ITX Case @ NikKTechMSI GTX 760 HAWK @ Bjorn3D
MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK MSI with the introduction of the Gaming series set a whole new category for the MSI brand in the marketplace and a very necessary one at that. However there is still a gap to fill when it comes to extreme performance.
Read more: MSI GTX 760 HAWK @ Bjorn3D