Best X79 Motherboards, May 2013 and more
Posted on: 05/10/2013 12:10 PM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Best X79 Motherboards, Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB Flash Drive Review, ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini review, 8 Free to Play Games That Are Too Good to Be True, and Eagle Tech ET-ARHP300FS-BK Urban Zen Headphones

Best X79 Motherboards, May 2013 @ Anandtech
Our next set of motherboard recommendations sit at the feet of Sandy Bridge-E, the current de-facto platform for consumer throughput performance. If you have a non-GPU accelerated workload and a consumer budget, X79 offers a platform with quad channel memory as well as two 6-core processor SKUs with hyperthreading enabled. The only way to get more is to jump to Xeon processors, which can be 2-3x more expensive, or 2P/4P systems from both AMD and Intel, which offer a mix of benefits depending on how the software is programmed.

X79 and Sandy Bridge-E were released in November 2011, with a cavalcade of motherboards in the first 12 months of launch. Now in 2013, new motherboard production has been slow, with only a few models to look at before the next high-end installment for Ivy Bridge-E, which most media and users alike are expecting sometime later this year. We would assume that the socket will be the same, if Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge is any indication, though details on ‘X89’ are few and far between. Motherboard manufacturers should be in there right now designing with products ready for launch, hopefully beta testing the first or second batches of ES boards.

But on X79 today, there is still plenty of choice. Since launch I covered 13 different motherboards (which doesn't sound like much), including the high end models from ASUS, ASRock, MSI and ECS. Here are a few of our favorites that are worth considering.


Read more: Best X79 Motherboards, May 2013 @ Anandtech

64 GB Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 Flash Drive Review @ Tech ARP
As one of the top manufacturers of USB flash drives, it's no surprise that Kingston offers a wide variety of USB flash drives under their DataTraveler label. Not only do they have a ton of choices for the discerning consumer, they also have some exotic options like ultra-encrypted USB flash drives for the enterprise and government market, and performance-grade USB 3.0 drives for hardware enthusiasts.

Today, we are going to take a look at Kingston's latest USB 3.0 flash drive targeted at the performance market - the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 3 (DTU30G3).


Read more: 64 GB Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 Flash Drive Review @ Tech ARP

Blackberry Q10 Review @ HardwareHeaven
With the release of their Blackberry 10 OS we saw Blackberry move to a touch based smartphone, the Z10 and while it was a reasonably impressive handset it may not have appealed to the companys core audience who valued the physical keyboard. Enter the Q10 which brings the Blackberry range up to date in terms of specification and OS while integrating a physical keyboard with the touch and gesture based experience.


Read more: Blackberry Q10 Review @ HardwareHeaven

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB Flash Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 Generation 3 USB 3.0 Flash drive has been redesigned with a slim new case and improved transfer speeds. We take the Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB capacity drive for a test drive and see if this device is worthy of holding your important data on the go!

The Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 series has been around since 2010 and has a proven track record of being fast and reliable USB 3.0 Flash drives. The latest third generation drives have an updated appearance and are also thinner, faster and less costly than the previous generations. It is hard to find something complain about when the price of the DataTravler Ultimate 3.0 32GB drive goes from $100 in 2010 with 80MB/s read speeds to $38.06 shipped with 150MB/s read speeds. Nearly doubling performance and more than halving the price tag is pretty sweet...


Read more: Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB Flash Drive Review @ Legit Reviews

XSPC RayStorm 750 RS240 Watercooling Kit Review @ ThinkComputers.org
In the computer world, every once in awhile a company that is thought of as bargain basement starts to come out with great products. In this case we’re talking about XSPC. Usually considered at best to be entry level, not many would give XSPC a second look for pure performance. That is until they released their first Raystorm blocks. Now not only are they affordable, but they actually stack up against the big name water cooling manufacturers. And that leads us to today’s review, the XSPC RayStorm 750 RS240 Watercooling kit. This kit has everything you need to build your own custom watercooling loop. Let’s take a look…

Kit Contents:
- RayStorm CPU Waterblock
- X2O 750 Bayres/Pump (Black) V4
- RS240 Dual Radiator

Features:
- G1/4″ to 1/2″ Barb (Black Chrome) x6
- Plastic Hose Clip x6
- XSPC 1650rpm 120mm Fan x2
- 120mm Fan Grill (Black) x2
- Intel and AMD RayStorm Brackets
- Socket 1366 and 1155/1154 Backplates
- Socket AM2 and AM3 mounting kit
- 80mm to 120mm Radiator brackets
- 3mm Twin Blue LED with 4Pin Molex
- 5mm Blue LED with 4Pin Molex
- 2 Meters of Clear 7/16″ Hose
- 24pin ATX Bridge Tool
- K2 Thermal Paste


Read more: XSPC RayStorm 750 RS240 Watercooling Kit Review @ ThinkComputers.org

Sony VAIO Fit 14 Review @ TechReviewSource.com
The Sony VAIO Fit 14 is a mainstream laptop that comes as close as you can without being an official ultrabook, but it went over specification. It's nice to look at and somewhat powerful, but a couple of issues keeping it from scoring higher.


Read more: Sony VAIO Fit 14 Review @ TechReviewSource.com

Cooler Master Seidon 120XL CPU Water Cooling System Review @ TestFreaks
Up for review today I have another CPU cooler, but this one liquid based. Cooler Master has sent over the Seidon 120XL all-in-one liquid cooling system which is a closed loop setup that requires virtually no maintenance from the end user besides blowing the dust out of of the radiator every once in a while. The Seidon 120XL features the ability to use one of two of the included 120mm fans, how many you use will depend on your needs of course, but I found that using either one of two the Seidon is very quiet and performs extremely well at keeping the CPU cool either at stock or even at overclocked speeds. The Seidon 120XL is very well made and fairly easy to install as well. So read on to learn more and how everything works…


Read more: Cooler Master Seidon 120XL CPU Water Cooling System Review @ TestFreaks

Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3 Flash Drive Review @ SSD Review
With USB 3.0 taking off in recent years we have the emergence of devices coming pre-built and pre-configured for the new standard. USB 2.0 is still alive no doubt, but focus has shifted to its much faster successor which has almost become part of mainstream technology.

As readily available as USB 2.0 is, its downfalls are readily apparent. When 25MB/s read and write speeds are considered to be the blazing end of performance, there really is not any remaining overhead to progress speeds. Considering portable storage is in the same domain of smartphones ( i.e. essential everyday items for the average person) the need for faster speeds was clearly evident. Manufacturers have tried alternate methods of wi-fi capable drives and devices, including cloud storage syncing, but the bottleneck is still there if you do not have the proper compatible set-up or resources. There are just too many variables to consider for the average user.


Read more: Patriot Supersonic Magnum 256GB USB 3 Flash Drive Review @ SSD Review

ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini review @ Guru3D
Hey ya'll and welcome to another GeForce GTX 670 review. In this article we'll look at a really nice offering from ASUS as we review the ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini edition. It is a compact performance graphics card designed primarily for small form factor PCs with mini ITX motherboards. This tiny dual-slot card measures just 17cm and features the NVIDIA GTX 670 GPU. The GeForce GTX 670 is the little brother of the GTX 680 and comes, well how to put it, slightly castrated. NVIDIA disabled a couple of shader processors and designed a more cost effective and smaller PCB.

The card itself remains very beefy in terms of performance though, which you'll understand once we sift through the specifications. The GK104 GPU based graphics card has one SM/SMX cluster disabled. This gives the GK104 GPU 1344 CUDA cores to work with, with in total, 112 texture and 32 raster operating units. The graphics card also has slightly slower clock frequencies than big daddy GTX 680, with a reference baseclock speed of 915 MHz (928 MHz for this ASUS model). However the GTX 670 as well comes with a Boost clock which is set at 980 MHz -- not far off from the GTX 680 at all (I'm talking about the reference clocks here). The DirectCU Mini edition has a factory memory clock remains standard at 6008 MHz.


Read more: ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU Mini review @ Guru3D

EK Waterblock LT 360 Kit Review @ Madshrimps
During the last years, many cooling vendors included all in one liquid cooling solutions into their lineups. While being very popular, thanks to the good cooling performance, plus requiring zero maintenance and their ease of installation, the 120mm models had a major drawback. The noise generated was either at a disturbing level when the end user required maximum cooling. Or the cooling performance would get a significant performance hit, when the fan speeds were lowered. The larger 240mm models coped far better with modern processors. Thanks to the larger dissipation area the 240 versions allowed them to operate at a far more acceptable noise level. With the new breed 140 or 280mm AIOs the gap is closed again with the full blown do-it-yourself watercooled kits. Today we review a true watercooling kit, in it's purest form: the Slovenian EK waterblocks LT 360.


Read more: EK Waterblock LT 360 Kit Review @ Madshrimps

8 Free to Play Games That Are Too Good to Be True @ Techspot
The gaming world is making a dramatic shift towards free to play games. Of course, full price retail titles still make up for a majority of releases on the PC and most other platforms, but playing a quality game without cracking your wallet open is a completely viable option nowadays.

You could argue some free games deserve to be free, as their quality or length is not quite up there with AAA releases, but there are plenty of notable exceptions. In fact, some of them are so good that it’s easy to forget the cost to play is a whopping zero dollars.

Most free video games offer at least some form of in-game purchases, designed to extend the experience and serve as a steady revenue stream for its creators. But a free to play game made right will allow players to enjoy everything it has to offer, while keeping monetary transactions completely optional.


Read more: 8 Free to Play Games That Are Too Good to Be True @ Techspot

Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitors @ techPowerUp
The flagship custom in-ear solution by Ultimate Ears gets put to the test against the best customs around. The Personal Reference Monitors target audiophiles who want a go at tuning their own custom in-ears. Almost everything is customizable, from the sound signature to the bundle.


Read more: Ultimate Ears Personal Reference Monitors @ techPowerUp

Tripping on microdoses of Dyad @ The Tech Report
In his latest blog post, TR's Geoff Gasior becomes one with Dyad: a psychedelic, rhythm-infused indie game that puts you inside a music visualization.


Read more: Tripping on microdoses of Dyad @ The Tech Report

120GB OCZ Vertex 3.20 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
OCZ Technology launched their Vertex 3 solid state drive based on the second-generation SandForce SF-2281 processor back in early 2011, making it a familiar storage product among high-performance enthusiasts. Two years later they've revisited the popular design, and made several improvements. Now available with 20nm Synchronous Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash components, Vertex 3.20 is designed to offer better performance for less cost. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the 120GB OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD (model VTX3-25SAT3-120G.20), and compare it against the fastest SATA 6GB/s storage solutions.

What makes the Vertex 3.20 different than it's original namesake is the use of 20nm Synchronous Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash components, and refined controller firmware. The Vertex 3.20 SSD is based on the second-generation LSI-SandForce SF-2281 SATA 6Gb/s controller, which debuted back at the start of 2011, making it one of the most mature SATA controllers found in modern storage devices. Vertex 3.20 arrives in 120GB and 240GB capacities, both offering 550 MB/s reads and 520 MB/s writes.

The second-generation SF-2281 SSD processor maintains all of the original core technology SandForce originally introduced in the SF-1200 series, but now improves SSD performance with 20% faster IOPS and 40% faster sequential read/write throughput. LSI-SandForce has enhanced BCH ECC capability, and the new processor now supports ATA-7 Security Erase. Finally, the new SF-2200 series implements cost-effective 20nm-class NAND flash from all leading flash vendors with Asynch/ONFi1/ONFi2/Toggle interfaces. OCZ promises 20K/40K read/write IOPS from the 120GB the Vertex 3.20 SSD, and 35K/65K IOPS from the 240GB version.


Read more: 120GB OCZ Vertex 3.20 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews

Editorial: Plugging into the Puzzle @ Techgage
I am a puzzle lover, through and through. I love them in all shapes and sizes, from the complex mathematical puzzles that I face at my job to the “get the ring out of the contraption” toys that litter my desks and shelves at both office and home. Even in my video game selection, I am a puzzle devotee – I will nearly never play an FPS title unless it contains multiple viable routes through a clearly delineated challenge (think Deus Ex or Thief), instead choosing titles like Legend of Grimrock or even the inscrutable Dwarf Fortress.

Some of my favorite puzzles aren’t ever designed to be puzzles, though. One of my all-time favorites is reverse engineering – taking a compiled program, breaking down its internals and figuring out how they work. It’s a lot like having a jigsaw puzzle where all of the pieces are blank until you connect two together – sometimes right, sometimes wrong. You don’t really know what you’re looking at until you start connecting enough of those pieces together that you can begin to see patterns emerge. After all, it ends up all being assembly code at this point, which becomes largely indecipherable to even the best minds when dealing with a large program. The piece you’re looking at could be a trade-secret algorithm… or could be the code that draws a line underneath the menu hotkeys. Figuring out which is which can be a slow and (in my mind) fascinating process.


Read more: Editorial: Plugging into the Puzzle @ Techgage

Primochill 240mm CTR Reservoir @ PureOverclock
Personal computers have taken a big leap since the Pentium 4’s era. We no longer have beige enclosures, mismatched colored motherboards, bare-galvanized PSUs without sleeved cables…etc.

Today’s computer modders and builders not only want performance and reliability but also aesthetics. Strategically selected components and color schemes are important for the build. From the enclosures down to the wires, everything has to be cosmetic. Some even spend countless hours sleeving every single wire in the system. Computer components have been gradually becoming more efficient and cooler running. In fact,air coolers have improved in design so much they’re getting almost as efficient AIO water coolers, yet they cost much less. However, on the other hand, DIY water cooling is undergoing a renaissance. Colorful boutique designs are back in fashion.


Read more: Primochill 240mm CTR Reservoir @ PureOverclock

Cooler Master V-series 1000W Power Supply @ Hi Tech Legion
Although many details about Intel’s new Haswell processor remains undisclosed, the fact that it introduces new levels of power efficiency and thus power requirement is something many users are aware of. Older ATX12V v2.3 design guidelines only require a minimum load of 0.5A on the CPU power rail but the 4th generation Intel Core processor’s C6/C7 states deep power down mode require a much smaller minimum load of 0.05A. Thankfully, manufacturers such as Cooler Master are well aware of this requirement in advance so their latest line of V-series power supplies are fully compatible with the power requirements of this upcoming Intel platform.

The Cooler Master V-series 1000W power supply is the latest flagship model PSU from Cooler Master. The CM V-series also includes 700W and 850W models, all of which use a fully modular design like the 1000W model. Ditching the Silent Pro Hybrid’s Enhance OEM, the new V-series is based on a new Seasonic design and is 80-Plus Gold certified. Unlike other power supplies including previous Cooler Master models, the V-series power supplies use a new premium-grade 135mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan from Protechnic Electric Co. that runs quieter and longer lasting. The 1000W V-series PSU from Cooler Master supports up to Quad-SLI/Crossfire with its eight 6+2-pin PCI-E connector and has 83A on a single +12V rail. The Cooler Master V1000 power supply uses 100% Japanese capacitors for stability and high-reliability with protection for over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, over-power, over-temperature, and short-circuit protection. The CM V-series 1000W power supply also has MTBF rating of >100,000 Hours and carries a 5-year limited warranty.


Read more: Cooler Master V-series 1000W Power Supply @ Hi Tech Legion

StarDrive Review @ OCC
I cannot say this game is solid in its present form, but I would call it firm, if you will allow me to. Much of what it is lacking is the result of it not living up to its own ambition, and not because the game itself is mediocre. The developers are working to address many of these issues though, and sooner or later they will succeed and make this a truly solid game. At that time, it will be very easy to recommend StarDrive to anyone who enjoys a good 4X game.


Read more: StarDrive Review @ OCC

Eagle Tech ET-ARHP300FS-BK Urban Zen Headphones @ NikKTech
As far back as i can remember i always watched movies (who can forget the Beverly Hills Cop, Baywatch and many other blockbusters of the 80's) with gorgeous women running at the beach in their tight gym outfits or bathing suits while listening to their favorite music using the quite famous back then SONY Walkman cassette players. In real life however and more particularly where i live (can't really speak about other places) that trend took almost 3 full decades to get here and so it wasn't until 3-4 years ago that i started seeing people do the same this time however the then classic Walkman has naturally been replaced with smartphones and MP3/4 players. No matter however how many new headsets we see get introduced into the market each day we don't really see anything unique in terms of design and for people who actually want to feel well with themselves while wearing them out in the open design and appearance does play a significant role. So to cater to those needs today we will be taking a closer look at the ET-ARHP300FS-BK Urban Zen Headphones by Eagle Tech.


Read more: Eagle Tech ET-ARHP300FS-BK Urban Zen Headphones @ NikKTech




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