How to upgrade your notebook and more
Posted on: 02/05/2014 02:23 PM
Here a roundup of the latest reviews and articles, including How to upgrade your notebook, MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Review, First look: AMD Mantle CPU performance in Battlefield 4, Toshiba 50L7300U Review: A 50-Inch LED HDTV With Wi-Fi, and Western Digital Black Dual Drive 120GB SSD & 1TB HDD Review
How to upgrade your notebook: SSD, RAM and more @ Hardware.Info
Upgrading a desktop PC is a piece of cake. Usually all you need is a screwdriver, and sometimes not even that. There is a huge range of new and different components you can choose between, in all price segments. For a laptop it's not quite as simple. Due to a lack of standardisation it's not as straight-forward to add or replace components. Most notebooks are very limited when it comes to upgrading, but it can definitely be worth it.
Read more: How to upgrade your notebook: SSD, RAM and more @ Hardware.InfoCM Glacer 240L Expandable Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
About a year ago, Swiftech brought the world an AIO liquid cooler that you could pull apart and retain the factory warranty, which was called the H220. If you wanted to rip apart any other kit on the market, you would have to forfeit your warranty which made this kit awesome to the extreme enthusiast. Unfortunately mid 2013, Swiftech pulled it from the U.S. market due to alleged patent infringement, leaving us folks in the U.S. in the dust. To help cater to the enthusiast, and teaming up with Swiftech, Cooler Master more recently introduced its 240mm liquid cooler that you can expand to more components than just a CPU, calling is the Glacer 240L.
Read more: CM Glacer 240L Expandable Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ Legit ReviewsPhanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler Reader Review @ OcInside
This time the current Phanteks PH-TC14PE tower cooler is tested and the cooler made a very good impression.
If you are looking for a new CPU cooler, you will literally overwhelmed by the wide selection that is available on the market.
Was it in times of 386 processors still safe to use the boxed cooler, so a current CPU generates about 80-120 watts heat output, which can not be easily discharged.
Read more: Phanteks PH-TC14PE CPU Cooler Reader Review @ OcInsideCM Storm Reaper Mouse from the Aluminum Gaming Series Review @ Modders-Inc
Not having the comfort and reaction times you want can lead you or your team to loosing a match. Cooler Master presents the CM Storm Reaper Mouse to hopefully create that seamless feeling, while giving you a chance to personalize it.
Read more: CM Storm Reaper Mouse from the Aluminum Gaming Series Review @ Modders-IncMSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Review @ Guru3D
We review, test and benchmark the MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard. The Z87M Gaming is made on a Micro-ATX form factor at 24.4 x 24.4 CM, that means you can seat a processor as powerful as the Core i7 4770K onto a motherboard this size. MSI has been going strong with their Gaming series motherboards alright, and props where props are due, they are excellent platforms for a modern and fast PC. Especially when you will learn it still has a fully fetched PCIe x16 slots, KillerNIC Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and heck even four SATA 6 Gbps ports.
Heck let me quickly list some of the features:
Suports 4th Gen Intel Core/Pentium/Celeron processors for LGA 1150 socket
Supports DDR3-3000(OC) Memory
USB 3.0 + SATA 6Gb/s
Military Class 4: Top Quality & Stability
Military Class Essentials: Total Protection for Military Class Motherboards
OC Genie 4: Overclock in 1 Second
Click BIOS 4: Easily Fine-tune Your System
4K UHD Support: Ultra-high Definition Visual Experience
Digital Display Outputs: DisplayPort/HDMI Support
PCI Express Gen 3: World's 1st PCI Express Gen 3 Motherboard Brand
Command Center: Control & Customize Your PC Settings
Fast Boot: Quickly Boot Up & Enter OS in A Few Seconds
Read more: MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Review @ Guru3DCorsair H75 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
The Corsair H75 is an entry liquid cooling system for processors. It has a 120 mm radiator with two 120 mm fans in a push-pull configuration. Let's check it out.
Read more: Corsair H75 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware SecretsCougar CMX V.3 850W Power Supply Review @ HiTech Legion
Style means so much these days, whether it be the way we dress, or the cars we drive, or our gaming rigs sitting on our desk that no one ever sees anyway until we post pics on Face Book. Our style can say a lot about us, as a person, it can give hints about maturity and even taste in music or other interest. I know I was guilty, and I see many other custom builders do the same thing over and over again; our first build is a gaudy flashy blinking monstrosity of lights and windows. Then our second build is a polar opposite, a simple case with no frills, simply built for function. Finally, by our third build, we often have found balance between form and function, the windows allow us to peer into the beauty that is our rig, the lights are subtle but illuminate the internal workings but it is clear that we built for function and not flash. This may not always be the case, but I think you will agree it is common enough to joke about.
More and more, I see manufacturers divided, some making products clearly geared for first time builders, adding as much flash to their products as they can, while others make products more directed towards the builders who simply want a working PC with no pomp or flash. I think experienced builders know what speaks for itself, good solid products that are top of the line and get the job done with room to spare stand out all by themselves, yet it is still good to see that many of those types of products are designed with a sensible sense of style. One item that often lacks that sense of style is the PSU, I have seen so many case mods (and some new and up and coming cases) that have panels which simply hide the PSU because it is just a block of metal with a bunch of wires protruding from it and often just painted black. That does not need to be the case.
Read more: Cougar CMX V.3 850W Power Supply Review @ HiTech LegionGIGABYTE R9 290X WindForce OC Review @ Hardware Canucks
AMD’s R9 290X is without a doubt one of the most popular graphics cards currently on the market. Be it crypto currency miners or gamers who want access to technologies like Mantle and TrueAudio, these GPUs have become a hot commodity. Board partners are struggling to keep pace with demand while at the same time developing and launching their own custom designs. Gigabyte’s R9 290X WindForce OC is a prime example of this; it’s a ground-up redesign on Gigabyte’s part and it carries one heck of a price premium.
Let’s start with the obvious first. In order to cut down on the rampant heat of AMD’s reference design and maximize clock speeds, this particular R9 290X is decked out with Gigabyte’s excellent WindForce 3X heatsink design. We’ve had excellent results with this in the past and this one will surely be no different.
Read more: GIGABYTE R9 290X WindForce OC Review @ Hardware CanucksGigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti GHz Edition Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
Yesterday we took a look at a recent addition to the high end of the GPU market, a custom design overclocked AMD Radeon R9 290X. It went head to head with the similarly priced GeForce GTX in a selection of the latest games. Today we update that comparison with Gigabytes new GTX 780 Ti in its overclocked form. What does the extra price bump get us? Let's find out!
Read more: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti GHz Edition Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven.comMSI GK-601 Cherry Red mechanical keyboard @ KitGuru
It seems ironic really that despite all the modern technological developments surrounding the 21st century desktop gaming PC, it's the mechanical switch, a design that has been around far longer than most, that is hailed as the pinnacle of keyboard input mediums. Still, there is at least some debate on which is the best for what. Red and Black Cherry switches are the two most commonly compared when gaming is involved, but which to choose? MSI in the case of the new GK-601 keyboard has gone with Cherry Red, the lighter of the two types. Theoretically it should be quicker to type on and quicker to issue commands to your troops or grizzled space marine, but will it suffer from being too light to the touch?
Read more: MSI GK-601 Cherry Red mechanical keyboard @ KitGuruCRYORIG R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler @ NikKTech
Much like regular hard disk drives and solid state drives CPU Air Coolers may never get completely replaced by liquid coolers or at least not anytime soon so it's quite normal to see more and more models get introduced all the time. Now I've said it before and i will say it again, you don't have to be a nuclear scientist in order to make a CPU Air Cooler but you do need to have a grasp of the key ingredients of success along with passion for perfection (love for what you do is also important). Unfortunately the vast number of manufacturers out there only copy what they see and although that's always a good way to compete against the ones that do in the end their products are simply not on par. CRYORIG is a brand new CPU Air Manufacturer but the people working there share the traits i mentioned above and on top of that have already worked for the leading manufacturers in the field like Thermalright and Prolimatech so we couldn't wait to test their R1 Ultimate which arrived on our doorstep just a couple of weeks ago.
Read more: CRYORIG R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler @ NikKTechFirst look: AMD Mantle CPU performance in Battlefield 4 @ The Tech Report
Does AMD's Mantle graphics API deliver on its promise of smoother gaming with lower-spec CPUs? We take an early look at its performance in Battlefield 4.
Read more: First look: AMD Mantle CPU performance in Battlefield 4 @ The Tech ReportSony VAIO Tap 21 Multitouch Mobile Desktop Review @ HotHardware.Com
The Sony VAIO Tap 21 is a member of a small, but growing, breed of new PCs that straddles a line between traditional all-in-one desktops and tablets. The VAIO Tap 21's specifications read like many modern desktop systems, and include an Intel Core i7 processor, hybrid storage, a decent amount of memory and full-blown Windows 8. But the machine is also surprisingly svelte, it's got a full HD, multi-touch screen and it packs an integrated battery that gives users the ability to simply pick up the system and go. Of course, the VAIO Tap 21's physical dimensions prevent it from being truly portable, but being able to move the system virtually anywhere and operate on battery power opens up a world of interesting possibilities, at home or work...
Read more: Sony VAIO Tap 21 Multitouch Mobile Desktop Review @ HotHardware.ComSapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC 4 GB @ techPowerUp
Sapphire's custom design R9 290X Tri-X OC impresses with low noise levels, that still run the card at cool temperatures. The card is also overclocked out of the box, which makes it run faster than GTX Titan. In Europe, the price over reference is just 10%, which makes the choice a no-brainer.
Read more: Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X OC 4 GB @ techPowerUpROCCAT Kone Pure Phantom White Review @ ocaholic
The first model of Kone was launched in 2008, already at the time it was unique and quite interesting. Afterwards ROCCAT introduced the Kone XTD, the Kone Pure and, to celebrate 5 years of Kone, the Kone the Pure Color has been brought to market. Today we are going to review Kone Pure Phantom White.
Read more: ROCCAT Kone Pure Phantom White Review @ ocaholicToshiba 50L7300U Review: A 50-Inch LED HDTV With Wi-Fi @ Toms Hardware
You've seen us dramatically increase our display coverage over the last year, and now we're reviewing HDTVs too. Our first screen is Toshiba?s 50-inch L7300U Cloud TV with Wi-Fi. We run it through our lab and usability tests to see how it measures up.
Read more: Toshiba 50L7300U Review: A 50-Inch LED HDTV With Wi-Fi @ Toms HardwareRaidmax Cobra Mid-Tower Case Review @ Benchmark Reviews
The Raidmax Cobra comes in a variety of different colors: Black, Red, Blue, White, and Titanium. We will be looking at the black one for this review. The Raidmax Cobra Black Steel Mid-Tower ATX Case will fit the bill of many consumers on a tight budget. Without spending a whole lot of money, the Raidmax Cobra offers many features that only some of the bigger and more expensive cases have. It provides tool-less drive bays, adequate space for cable management thanks to its wide body design, and four internal 2.5? drive bays for laptop hard drives and even SSD's, which is crazy for a case in this price range. The Raidmax Cobra also provides great airflow for high performance air cooling along with the option for a custom water cooling system. Thanks to two water cooling retention holes at the back of the case, a custom water cooling system can be installed into this case. With so many high-end features, this makes the Raidmax Cobra a very competitive case due to its ag!
Read more: Raidmax Cobra Mid-Tower Case Review @ Benchmark Reviewsbe quiet! Dark Rock 3 Silent Wings CPU Cooler Review @ eTeknix
I’ve been looking forward to testing this product ever since we got back from CES 2014 where we got our first look at the latest range of be quiet! CPU coolers that will be hitting the market this year. The first one we’ll be taking a look at is their Dark Rock 3, which comes fitted with their Silent Wings fans and if the previous products we’ve seen from be quiet! are anything to go by, this one should be pretty special. As you may or may not know, the Dark Rock range is easily one of the best ranges of CPU coolers on the market and while most be quiet! products often comes with a premium price tag, their design and performance has often left them well ahead of the competition.
Famed for their passion of ultra high build quality, rock solid performance, incredible design and the most important thing about be quiet! dedication to keeping their products whisper quiet. While we love great performance from our cooling products (obviously), there is nothing worse that having a high-powered gaming rig that sounds like an incoming hurricane, and I’m sure more than a few of our readers understand where I am coming from. With whirring GPU fans kicking up a storm while gaming, PSU fans humming, air turbulence from chassis fans and more, its extremely easy for a PC to become annoyingly loud, especially when gaming and even more so on a hot day. It’s for these reasons that products such as those from be quiet! are all the more tempting.
As you can see from the specifications below the Dark Rock 3 supports all major Intel and AMD sockets, including the newer LGA1150. A single 135mm 1400rpm (@100% PWM) Silentwings fan is included, perfect for spanning the 137mm width of the cooler.
Read more: be quiet! Dark Rock 3 Silent Wings CPU Cooler Review @ eTeknixWestern Digital Black Dual Drive 120GB SSD & 1TB HDD Review @ eTeknix
Solid state storage as we know it today is certainly the way forward and this is proven by the fact that it is the storage medium of choice for any enthusiast or performance user. Whilst the speeds are fantastic, there is still a slight cause for concern to be seen when it comes to the amount of storage that these pioneering drives have to offer. Whilst flash storage is considerably cheaper than it was a few years ago, a typical 240GB SSD will set you back around £160-180 (~$260-295 US) and if you want to go any higher than this with a 480GB or even a 960GB drive then you really are starting to look at some serious money. On the flip side, the price of traditional mechanical storage is more affordable than ever and with 4TB drives available for as little as ~£133 (~$216 US) it really is a case of prioritising what is the greater need – is it going to be performance or capacity?
In a desktop system, this dilemma is typically not a problem, as the space is available to accommodate both solid state and mechanical drives and this is what we see many users opting for in the market today. When we move over to notebooks and ultra books however, the story couldn’t be any more different. Speaking for the vast majority of laptops that are out on the market today, storage is very limited and typically we find space for just one 2.5″ drive and no more. For a number of people, this is not really a real issue, as there is of course external hard drives and flash drives that can be used to extend your storage capacity, but when we look at it, this is not necessarily a practical option – especially for those of us who are on the go all the time. One option would be to remove the optical drive and install a 2.5″ drive adaptor in its place and this is good, but not every laptop has an optical drive, so this leads us back round to square one – do you choose performance or capacity?
One option that is available to you is to get a hybrid drive that offers up hard drive capacity but with the read performance of flash storage. The catch is that this isn’t really what we would call a proper solid state and hard drive combo as the flash portion of the drive is there purely to cache the commonly used data, making it quicker to access whilst the remainder of the data is still held on the spinning platters. What we really want is to have a drive that is effectively two in one and that is just what Western Digital have to offer with the Black² Dual Drive – to separate storage mediums, but in one single 2.5″ form factor – what we once thought to be a dream is now a strong reality.
Read more: Western Digital Black Dual Drive 120GB SSD & 1TB HDD Review @ eTeknixSony Xperia Z1 Compact video review @ V3
While Samsung and HTC have made fairly noble attempts with their respective Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One Mini smartphones, small form factor handsets have in general been pretty disappointing.
This is because, in general, most small-hand-friendly Android smartphones to date have been woefully under specced, and have featured low-resolution displays and low-end, dual-core processors. So Japanese tech giant Sony moved to plug the current gap in the market with its Xperia Z1 Compact handset.
Unveiled at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, the 4.5in Xperia Z1 Compact features a host of top-end internal components. Chief of these are the Compact's powerful 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and high-quality 20.7MP rear camera sensor. However, costing £440 SIM-free, the Xperia Z1 Compact's top performance comes with a premium price tag.
Read more: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact video review @ V3Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com
Kaeyi Dream takes a look at Tomb Raider Definitive Edition on the next-gen XBOX One.
Read more: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition Video Review with Kaeyi Dream @ HardwareHeaven.com