Lenovo IdeaCentre Erazer X700 Gaming PC Review and more
Posted on: 10/31/2013 10:41 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Lenovo IdeaCentre Erazer X700 Gaming PC Review, Battlefield 4 Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance, Zetta Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder, Intel Performance With Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows 8.1 Is A Mixed Bag, and Corsair Carbide Series 330R Review
Lenovo IdeaCentre Erazer X700 Gaming PC Review @ HotHardware.com
If we asked you to name five gaming PC manufacturers, Lenovo probably wouldn't make the list. No other company in the world ships more PCs than Lenovo, but of those machines, relatively few are dedicated gaming boxes. Traditionally, Lenovo has focused its efforts on business class desktops and laptops, though the company is known to play in performance waters on occasion, most notably with its IdeaCentre K Series of high-end towers. These aren't hardcore gaming boxes like the boutique builders offer, however, so there's room in Lenovo's lineup to add a dedicated line of systems built exclusively for gamers, and that's what we have with the IdeaCentre Erazer X700.
This is a big system at 24.01 inches (L) by 10.62 inches (W) by 20.86 inches (H), and weighing north of 61 pounds. It's also decidedly more menacing in appearance than your standard desktop tower, leaving little doubt who the target audience is. Just in case further proof is needed, blue LEDs adorn the front and shine through the side panel's mesh window, flaunting the fact that this is a gaming box and not a number crunching machine for accountants, though it's certainly capable of doing your taxes just as a Dodge Challenger can be a grocery-getter.
Read more: Lenovo IdeaCentre Erazer X700 Gaming PC Review @ HotHardware.comMach Xtreme MX Express SSD Review @ Guru3D
In the past Guru3D.com has reviewed a handful of Mach Xtreme products already. Always price versus performance products that are attractive. In this review Mach Xtreme decided to go a little more Extreme and decided to think outside the box - and hey we love that ! They developed a PCI-Express based SSD that can reach performance up-to 800~850 Mb/sec. Incredible numbers really, but is that performance across the board, or just here and there in certain conditions we figured ?
Read more: Mach Xtreme MX Express SSD Review @ Guru3DHIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost Clock 2GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ Madshrimps
The new R9 270X implementation from HIS comes with a custom PCB, an award-winning cooling system which is very efficient while keeping the noise down and is also pre-overclocked. The card trades punches with the GTX 760 and succeeds to surpass it in some games which are heavily AMD optimized.
Read more: HIS R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost Clock 2GB GDDR5 Video Card Review @ MadshrimpsBattlefield 4 Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance @ Techspot
With roots that stretch back more than a decade and enough fans to justify new content every year, Battlefield is among the handful of franchises that needs no introduction around here. Even if you hate EA's approach modern military madness, you can typically expect Battlefield's graphics to raise the bar. This year's release is no different, of course, having been built with an updated version of the Frostbite engine.
Frostbite 3 enables more realistic environments with higher resolution textures and particle effects. Part of this includes a "networked" water system that ensures all players in a game see the same wave at the same time. Beyond the networking voodoo happening behind the scenes, Battlefield 4's waves are an incredible spectacle. Water battles in small vessels are exciting as your vision can be blocked by passing waves.
Read more: Battlefield 4 Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance @ TechspotLG G2 Android Smartphone @ MEGATech
The LG G2 hasn’t exactly been met with the same kind of unbridled enthusiasm as the Galaxy S4, HTC One or Moto X, but that doesn’t mean that it is any less worthy of your attention. Indeed, the LG G2 is quite possibly one of the most powerful Android smartphones on the market today. And much like how its Optimus G predecessor served as the basis for the Nexus 4, the G2 could serve as the fundamental platform for the hotly anticipated Google Nexus 5. Indeed, if history is any indication, the main differences are going to be largely cosmetic.
Read more: LG G2 Android Smartphone @ MEGATechZetta Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder @ NikKTech
I've always found camcorders to be one of the very few fascinating electronic devices around since they can hold all your precious memories unaltered forever or at least for as long as you'd like. Surveillance cameras may not be exactly the same as camcorders but they too have their purpose and who can deny the significance of letting you keep an eye on things even if you're far away? So it's not really surprising that when the first action cameras started to emerge a few years back i also developed an interest in them although i can't say i was really impressed by the first few attempts. Quite a few years have passed since then and now action cameras have not only gotten smaller in size but they also feature higher grade hardware components allowing them to record up to FullHD 1080p resolutions with bitrates that in some cases rival the ones of regular handheld camcorders. Not everyone however has use for 1080p and so Zetta has introduced an SD (Standard Definition) intelligent security camcorder the Z12 which we took for a ride to see what it can do.
Read more: Zetta Z12 Intelligent Security Camcorder @ NikKTechThermaltake eSports Level 10 M Headset Preview @ HiTech Legion
The Level 10 M Gaming Headset is the next entry in the Thermaltake's Level 10 project. The Level 10 M Headset targets eSports competitors with design quality and styling which continue in the tradition of the Level 10 GT case and mouse. Soft padding and lightweight aluminum construction make it durable without compromising the comfort. Sound is carried over a 3 meter cord with inline volume and microphone controls to a pair of 40mm neodymium drivers to deliver excellent quality. The microphone even has noise canceling built in to ensure crisp, clear communication with your teammates. Priced at $99.99, the Level 10 M Gaming Headset delivers a lot of quality for a reasonable price.
Read more: Thermaltake eSports Level 10 M Headset Preview @ HiTech LegionSilverStone Fortress FT04 Review @ Vortez
It was only a few months ago we were casting our eye over the critically acclaimed Raven Series RV04 and today we are back again with another fourth addition – this time to the Fortress family. SilverStone’s Fortress series has captivated hardware champions for many years and the next chapter is another hot topic within hardware circles too.
Fortress FT04 looks very familiar indeed. Adopting the same chassis as Raven 4, this striking full-tower has some key advantages over its associate. SilverStone have furnished FT04 with premium aluminium front and top panels to deliver a luxury visual appearance and feel. Make no mistake, this case oozes style and finesse. SilverStone appear to have included almost every conceivable feature inside this exciting new case so it’s about time we begin our analysis…
Read more: SilverStone Fortress FT04 Review @ VortezMSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Preview @ HiTech Legion
The MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard, is equipped with many features. The Z87M Gaming Motherboard comes equipped with a Killer NIC E2200 LAN and Audio Boost which includes Creative Sound Blaster Cinema and MSI’s OC Genie 4 for those of you who don’t have time to spend overclocking. Unlike some other manufacturers mATX motherboards the MSI Z87M Gaming is both SLI and Crossfire capable while including 2 HDMI and 1 Display Port outputs for easy multiple monitor connectivity when using onboard graphics.
Read more: MSI Z87M Gaming Motherboard Preview @ HiTech LegionROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ OCC
The smaller body was nice for my smaller hands (many of you might not like this as much) and just grew to my liking with each use. The tight scroll wheel is still one of my favorites and makes every other mouse feel sloppy in that aspect. The customizable coloring allows me to change the mood of the office or match up with my other hardware. It's really just an added feature; no real function other than "fun." Ultimately I wanted to find something really wrong with this mouse, as my general tone for ROCCAT is always "ugh, another one to review"; but, in this case it has earned its place. The ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical is a great mouse! If you feel it's a little high in cost, it's definitely worth the wait for a Newegg coupon or a good sale at your retailer; it really is worth it!
Read more: ROCCAT Kone Pure Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ OCCAssassin's Creed II 4-Years Later Review @ OCC
Is Assassin's Creed II a memory to relive or to forget? In my opinion, definitely the former. It is a very fun game with plenty to do, and you are rewarded for all of it. There are some places it could be better, but it also has a lot of places that need no improvements, though they would be welcome. The graphics stand up for their age, but do show some wrinkles here and there. The gameplay is a solid experience with many well designed and implemented mechanics, all of which add depth. The story is also superb; especially considering it is for a video game. I would honestly expect something with its intricacies to be limited to the written word, but it succeeds in this interactive medium of video games. Four-years-old or not, this game deserves attention for its quality.
Read more: Assassin's Creed II 4-Years Later Review @ OCCCM Storm Ceres 500 PC, Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 Gaming Headset Review @ eTeknix
Today we take a look at one of the most important CM Storm products in years, not only because it is the first time they’ve released a product that is for consoles, but also because it marks a big shift in the industry where all these huge peripheral companies are supporting pro gaming, eSports and LAN events, which are common stomping ground for console gamers. CM Storm have been equipping their teams with CM Storm branded hardware for years, but when it comes to console gaming, they haven’t got a thing to offer them, that is of course about to change.
The Ceres 500 is CM Storms first multi format gaming headset, giving support for Xbox, PlayStation and of course PC in one happy package. It’s almost been a year since I reviewed the PC-only Ceres 400 and I remember being impressed with their performance given that they were priced at just £40 here in the UK. If the Ceres 500 can take things to the next level from the Ceres 400 then we should be in for a great review.
Specifications are pretty decent here and large 40mm drivers should provide plenty of punch, connectivity is handled by a mixture of 3.5mm jacks/USB and there are a few extra features thrown in such as an in-line controller and removable microphone.
Read more: CM Storm Ceres 500 PC, Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 Gaming Headset Review @ eTeknixBe Quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow @ LanOC Reviews
Today we take a look at our second cooler from Be Quiet! and while I was left impressed by a few features and performance found in the Dark Rock Pro 2, the massive size of the cooler left a bit to be desired in the board real estate department. This time around we are looking at a few less heat pipes, one less fan and a drastically different design in the Shadow Rock TopFlow. Will this different design match its sibling in performance and hopefully offer us a bit more space to stuff our components? We shall see.
Read more: Be Quiet! Shadow Rock TopFlow @ LanOC ReviewsAMD's Radeon Gallium3D Starts Posing A Threat To Catalyst @ Phoronix
With recent milestones like the Radeon performance improvements in Linux 3.12 that come as a side-effect from a CPUfreq change, Radeon DPM, and the improvements found by the upcoming Mesa 10.0 release, and numerous other open-source driver improvements, the AMD's Radeon Gallium3D performance is very competitive to AMD's Catalyst driver. This close level of performance is for the R600 Gallium3D driver with GPUs like the Radeon HD 5000/6000 series graphics cards. Here's some benchmarks showing how the open-source AMD Radeon performance compares today to the closed-source Catalyst driver on Windows and Ubuntu Linux. In some of today's new data, the open-source driver was running 80%+ the speed of AMD's Catalyst driver.
Read more: AMD's Radeon Gallium3D Starts Posing A Threat To Catalyst @ PhoronixHIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2 GB @ techPowerUp
The HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² comes with a greatly improved dual fan heatsink, that is just so much better than the AMD reference design cooler. Unfortunately HIS did not choose to overclock their card out of the box, which would have been easy, given the numbers we've been seeing during manual overclocking.
Read more: HIS R7 260X iPower IceQ X² 2 GB @ techPowerUpCooler Master JetFlo 120mm Case and Radiator Fan Review @ HiTech Legion
Most people are familiar with the “CFM” measurement associated with fans, or become familiar as soon as they begin researching for a fan purchase. CFM measures the actual amount of air that a fan is capable of moving, and is done so in “cubic feet per minute”. A measurement of increasing importance is static pressure. This measures the force with which the air is moved. The reason for its importance centers around CPU coolers and radiators, where the fan is asked to move air through a fin array. Without ample static pressure, the cool air the fan is providing cannot penetrate the fins of the cooler or radiator, therefore rendering what amounts to insufficient and very inefficient cooling. This is especially true in the case of liquid cooling radiators, with more static pressure required as the thickness of the radiator is increased.
Read more: Cooler Master JetFlo 120mm Case and Radiator Fan Review @ HiTech LegionCooler Master 690 III Mid-Tower Case with Seidon 120V Cooler Review @ HiTech Legion
Product development is an extremely expensive process which involves much more than just cramming all of the desired features and functions into a box and slapping a price sticker on it. I'm sure you can name at least one brand which seems to do just that and completely neglects style and usability. In the automotive industry, the red tape required for bringing a new car chassis to the market is prohibitively long for some would-be start-up manufacturers. There are a lot more supercar companies than just the big names of Ferarri and Lamborghini. Each year a supercar will hit the market, but the development and production costs are just too great to be recouped by sales and the company will file for bankruptcy. Even the long established companies prefer just tweaking previous models, and in the last five years only a handful of completely new car chassis have hit the market worldwide.
Read more: Cooler Master 690 III Mid-Tower Case with Seidon 120V Cooler Review @ HiTech LegionSapphire Radeon R9 270X Vapor-X Video Card Review @ TechwareLabs.com
Thanks to Sapphire Technologies we have been able to get our hands on the all new R9 Series 270X graphics card with Vapor X cooling technology allowing for quieter and cooler system than previous. Sapphire Technologies is based out of Hong Kong founded in 2001 and produces graphics cards for PCs and workstations, motherboards, and more. Further this is the largest supplier of ATI based GPUs. And thanks to them we have the opportunity to review this amazing R9 270x GPU.
Read more: Sapphire Radeon R9 270X Vapor-X Video Card Review @ TechwareLabs.combe quiet! Pure Power L8 600W Power Supply Review @ ThinkComputers.org
be quiet! may not be a name we know all that well here in America when it comes to powersupplies, but in the European market they have really made a name for themselves and are planning to do the same here in the states. Not that long ago we took a look at the Dark Power Pro 10 from be quiet! and we were extremely impressed. While this was one of the top of the line units from be quiet! the unit we are taking a look at today is more mainstream. The whole idea behind the Pure Power L8 600W unit is to deliver an affordable unit that does not compromise on quality. This unit features an 80PLUS Bronze certification, a 120 mm silence optimized fan and of course the quality we expect from be quiet!.
Read more: be quiet! Pure Power L8 600W Power Supply Review @ ThinkComputers.orgICY DOCK MB992SK-B Dual 2.5in Enclosure Review @ HardwareHeaven.com
Almost all of us have spare drive bays on the front of our PCs and a fair number of us have either got spare parts kicking about or have run out of space inside our system for hard drives. Icy Dock are looking to problems like these with their drive racks/cages which are designed to add storage space to our otherwise empty front of case bays. One such model is the MB992SK-B which we have on our test bench today.
Read more: ICY DOCK MB992SK-B Dual 2.5in Enclosure Review @ HardwareHeaven.comIntel Performance With Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows 8.1 Is A Mixed Bag @ Phoronix
Earlier this week I published an extensive set of results from thirteen discrete AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards benchmarking various OpenGL games and comparing the Ubuntu Linux and Windows 8.1 performance when using the official AMD and NVIDIA drivers for each operating system. Those results were very interesting for both the AMD and NVIDIA GPUs, but now it's time to see how the Intel graphics are performing under Ubuntu and Windows 8.1 Pro x64. Making things even more interesting here is that Intel has only an open-source Linux driver and no closed-source solution.
The drivers tested in the AMD / NVIDIA Windows vs. Linux article a few days ago was using the official closed-source drivers from each vendor for Windows and Linux. Both AMD and NVIDIA maintain a common code-base that they derive their OS-specific drivers from, which means there's close to feature and performance parity between platforms. There are also the open-source Radeon and Nouveau drivers, but that's a completely separate driver.
Read more: Intel Performance With Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows 8.1 Is A Mixed Bag @ PhoronixMicrolab MD212 Bluetooth Portable Speaker Review @ Benchmark Reviews
Microlab has been producing audio products since 1998 and has earned a solid reputation for quality and dependability in the process. Recently, Benchmark Reviews had the opportunity to take a closer look at one of the recent additions to its lineup, the Microlab MD212 Portable Speaker, which targets those individuals that are in need of a portable and lightweight Bluetooth solution. The Microlab MD212 is definitely portable and lightweight, yet it has a number of other attractive features that make it a serious contender among the other diminutive Bluetooth devices on the market.
Read more: Microlab MD212 Bluetooth Portable Speaker Review @ Benchmark ReviewsPNY XLR8 Pro 240GB SSD @ Custom PC Review
It’s always fun digging around in the storage closet to find a product that’s been on the review backlog for a while that you’ve accidentally forgotten about after traveling to expos and events for weeks on end. Since it’s been quite some time since our last SandForce based SSD review here at Custom PC Review, today we’ll be taking a look at an interesting SSD from the guys over at PNY. Now we generally don’t hear much about PNY and for those of us who actually hear about PNY, it’s mostly their USB memory sticks, SD memory cards, and graphics cards. However, PNY does produce a number of SSD models through their partnership with SandForce.
As such, today we’ll be doing a review on the PNY XLR8 Pro 240GB SSD. PNY offers a complete line of SSDs oriented towards the entry level user to the enthusiast/enterprise user with the XLR8 Pro that we’re reviewing falling into that enthusiast user category. Like most enthusiast class SandForce drives on the market, the PNY XLR8 Pro 240GB SSD offers sequential read speeds of up to 550 MB/s and sequential writes of up to 520 MB/s.
Read more: PNY XLR8 Pro 240GB SSD @ Custom PC Reviewbequiet! Pure Power L8 500W Review @ Hardware Asylum
It's no secret around the Labs that I am constantly looking for a way to balance my high performance build between power and budget. What may come as more of a surprise is my desire to keep excess noise at a minimum. Let me introduce the be quiet! Pure Power L8 series. The Pure Power L8 power supplies are designed to meet your enthusiast needs and run nice and quiet.
The Pure Power L8 series offers 9 models from 300 Watts all the way up to 730W. Today I will be looking at the Pure Power L8 500W power supply. Although we all like to run nice four digit wattages, truth be told most builds will work perfectly with a 500W unit under the hood and it won't break the budget! Let's take a closer look.
Read more: bequiet! Pure Power L8 500W Review @ Hardware AsylumHands-on with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet: a limber Android tablet @ Hardware.Info
The Lenovo Yoga convertible laptop is getting a new sibling, the new Yoga Tablet. Unlike the laptop that's equipped with Windows, the tablet comes with Android 4.2. Its flexible design allows for many different viewing angles, and it will be available in 8-inch and 10-inch versions. Last night Hardware.Info had the opportunity to go hands-on with the 10-inch model.
The design of the Lenovo Yoga tablet is a bit different, and reminds us of the first Sony tablet, the S1, with the cylinder at the bottom that houses the battery and kickstand. At the right end the power button is located and the left the audio port. The only other connector it has is a MicroSD port, which can also be used for charging other devices.
Read more: Hands-on with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet: a limber Android tablet @ Hardware.InfoGigabyte Z87X-OC Force review: extreme overclocking board even more extreme? @ Hardware.Info
In our big round-up of 37 Haswell motherboards, the Gigabyte Z87X-OC was one of our favorite motherboards. It's designed for overclockers and has tons of useful features to that end. That board also comes in a deluxe version which we will take a closer look at today.
The Gigabyte Z87X-OC and Z87X-OC Force have more similarities than differences, so please have a look at our review of the former.
Read more: Gigabyte Z87X-OC Force review: extreme overclocking board even more extreme? @ Hardware.InfoCorsair Carbide Series 330R Review @ Hexus
Developing and manufacturing a PC chassis can be a costly process, so to make the most of the investment, existing frames are often given a makeover and repurposed as new solutions aimed at specific audiences.
We've already seen Corsair repackage the Carbide Series 200R as the colourful Graphite Series 230T, and there has been a similar development with last year's Carbide Series 300R. Originally launched as the firm's most affordable enclosure, the 300R became a popular choice - particularly among system integrators - and, given the chassis' success, it's no surprise to find that Corsair has built on the 300R's foundation with the reimagined Carbide Series 330R.
Read more: Corsair Carbide Series 330R Review @ Hexus