PC Build Guide - Summer 2013 and more
Posted on: 08/15/2013 12:58 PM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including PC Build Guide - Summer 2013, Asus GTX760 Direct CU II OC Review, Antec High Current Pro Platinum 850W, Samsung's SSD 840 EVO 250GB & 1TB Drives Tested, and SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC Card SDSDQX Review
PC Build Guide - Summer 2013 @ HCW
We’re in the middle of summer now, and there’s not a lot of news to talk about when it comes to PC hardware and gaming. All the big hardware has been released, and the gaming industry seems to be taking a break that will surely end when GTA V is released. However, now might be a great time to consider building a new PC, or at least start planning it out.
If you plan a PC build today, it is likely going to be the same list for a month or so for most budgets – and even if you don’t build it now, the prices will almost all go down when the back-to-school sales kick in.
The problem with picking out components for a PC build, is that not everyone has a reference to base judgement on. It’s sometimes easy to head to the forums and see what the most popular brands are, but for a true objective opinion, a list like this may be more helpful, at least to get you started in the right direction.
Read more: PC Build Guide - Summer 2013 @ HCWAsus GTX760 Direct CU II OC Review @ KitGuru
If you are shopping this month for a high performance video card and want to keep the cost to a reasonable Â£200 inc vat, then todays review product will be particularly interesting. The Asus GTX760 Direct CU II OC is currently on offer at OverclockersUK (http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX-308-AS) and comprises a custom two fan cooler to reduce noise emissions and to improve cooling performance.
Read more: Asus GTX760 Direct CU II OC Review @ KitGuruIntel 530 SSD Review @ Guru3D
Intel has released the series 530 SSD, and we review it. This is the arrival of the new 20nm MLC based 530 series for consumers, with more 530 models to follow later this quarter. Starting today the new SSD debuts in storage capacities of 80 up-to 480 GB. It will be based on the M.2 interface, mSATA and regular 2.5" SSD formats using the (LSI) SandForce SF-2281 controller. The biggest change is to be found in the transition of using newer NAND flash memory which now is 20nm based on MLC, coming from 25nm.
Now, we've been testing NAND Flash based storage ever since the very beginning. And I've stated it a couple of times already, it really is surprising to see where we have gotten. The SSD market is fierce and crowded though. While stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers, the technology keeps advancing in a fast pace as it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. 450 to 550 MB/sec on SATA3 is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that the past year NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well. Prices now roughly settle just under 1 USD per GB. That was two to threefold two years ago. As such SSD technology and NAND storage has gone mainstream. The market is huge, fierce and competitive, but it brought us where we are today ... nice volume SSDs at acceptable prices with very fast performance. Not one test system in my lab has an HDD, everything runs on SSD while I receive and retrieve my bigger chunks of data from a NAS server here in the office. The benefits are performance, speed, low power consumption and no noise. You can say that I evangelize SSDs, yes Sir .. I am a fan, an SSD addict if you will.
Read more: Intel 530 SSD Review @ Guru3DSilverstone Tundra TD02 & TD03 AiO Liquid Cooler Review @ HiTech Legion
I passed the pipe to Tony and, after a couple of puffs, a look of revelation took over his face, his eyes fixed and sure. Without turning to face me, he said “the AiO coolers….we can do it better”. I didn’t doubt him. The last time I jokingly said “Yeah…and I suppose you can make an enthusiast air cooler that doesn’t block the RAM slots”, I got hit with the Heligon HE01 a week later. I knew better than to question him. He still stared at the side of the tent and said “I know you know the cold. I read your 2011 Cooler Roundup where you spoke of your childhood. We will name this cooler in your honor, it will be called the Link Wray.” After a quick discussion of royalty issues, it turned to “Musk Ox”, which I told Tony really loses something in translation. Four passes of the peace pipe, seventeen aquatic themed names shot down and a whole lot of sweat later, the “Silverstone Tundra” was born.
Silverstone’s recent commitment to high end cooling is clearly on display in their new Tundra TD02 and TD03 AiO liquid coolers. We have appreciated (and many times marveled at) Silverstone’s engineering and build quality in the past, and they have carried this over to make the 240mm Tundra TD02 and 120mm TD03 truly unique in the world of AiO coolers. At first glance, it is very noticeable that the radiator is thicker than what has come before, measuring at 45mm, but even the Tundra’s fins have been changed to use a planar fin that offers up to 40% more heat dissipation than traditional fins. Elsewhere in the Tundra’s makeup, we find a unique lack of plastic components we are accustomed to, and find them replaced with metals. The pump housing and block of the Tundra TD02 and TD 03 uses a patented screwless design, and is comprised entirely of metal. This lessens chances of leaks, as well as improving overall strength and durability. The mounting kit for the block again replaces plastic and thin metal clips with forged aluminum, and a design that makes for incredibly easy installation on all current Intel and AMD sockets. Both the TD02 and TD03 are equipped with dual 120mm fans capable of 90.5 cfm at 2500 rpm, but produce only 18 dBA at full speed for a quiet experience. Unique radiator trim is finished in white with silver surround around the radiator, and is perfect for painting for those looking to mod. The Tundras are completed with 330mm white corrugated FEP tubing.
Read more: Silverstone Tundra TD02 & TD03 AiO Liquid Cooler Review @ HiTech LegionLian Li PC-9N Review @ OCC
The CPU and GPU idle temps for the PC-9N were as expected. Under a load is where things surprised me. I might have to rethink my view point on multiple fans. I really expected this case with just one front intake and rear exhaust to run hot. More fans are better, right? Well, not so fast. Both the CPU and GPU were kept at the low end, in fact, for the CPU it was the lowest of the cases I have tested. No top fans. No side fans. And the front 140mm fan is pulling air through what seems to me to be a rather small front vent panel. Clearly the case has adequate air flow. And with fewer fans, it is on the quiet end.
Read more: Lian Li PC-9N Review @ OCCAntec High Current Pro Platinum 850W @ PureOverclock
Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator and manufacturer of desktop components and more, today announced a new addition to the extraordinarily cool Strike Force (SF) Series of laptop coolers and gaming hubs, the SF17. Award-Winning Roots With the release of the award winning SF-19 USB 3.0, gamers and media reviews were soon left awestruck by its raw cooling power and gamer aesthetics. SF-17 carries on this tradition with its complementary ability to create the perfect atmosphere for gaming through its styling, LED lighting strip, and highly effective cooling fans. This makes it ideal for prepping gamers for battle. SF-17 boasts a proven effective and highly customizable cooling design to ensure laptops are cooled as a gamer specifies. Specialized Design for Gamers In order to protect a gamer’s gear while it’s under heavy stress from gameplay, the SF-17 employs its incredible ability to dissipate excess heat through its perforated surface. SF-17 also has a strengthened mesh that can withstand all laptop sizes up to 19”. It features a single, large, and adjustable turbine fan (180mm) that is specially engineered to provide unprecedented airflow that keeps laptop components running at optimal temperatures. Comfortable Gaming Station Proper viewing and typing angles can mean the difference between being fully comfortable during a long fire fight and bowing out due to pains. SF-17 includes multiple height adjustable angle...
Read more: Antec High Current Pro Platinum 850W @ PureOverclockNeptor NP056K Mobile Battery Pack @ LanOC Reviews
We just can’t seem to charge our gadget batteries enough these days. Whether on the go or simply during our day to day routines we are always on the lookout for ways to keep our phones and tablets from dying on us. Recently, I reviewed a portable, high capacity battery that offered the ability to charge our devices on the go and today I am back again with another. This time I take a look at the Neptor NP056K portable battery pack from Eagle Tech to see if this emerging market for pocket USB chargers is a competitive one or merely the latest fad.
Read more: Neptor NP056K Mobile Battery Pack @ LanOC ReviewsCorsair's Obsidian Series 350D case reviewed @ The Tech Report
The latest enclosure from Corsair is a microATX specimen with all of the same trappings and conveniences as Corsair's full-sized ATX cases. Is it as good as it sounds?
Read more: Corsair's Obsidian Series 350D case reviewed @ The Tech ReportNZXT H630 @ techPowerUp
NZXT is moving the H series to the next level with the H630, using high quality materials and a spacious interior. Will its radical new looks, compared to NZXT's previous silent cases, be able to convince users to jump on the silent bandwagon?
Read more: NZXT H630 @ techPowerUpSamsung's SSD 840 EVO 250GB & 1TB Drives Tested @ Hot Hardware
Samsung has been aggressively bolstering its solid state drive line-up for the last couple of years. While some of Samsung's earliest drives may not have particularly stood-out versus the competition at the time, the company's 830 series and more recently the 840 series of solid state drives-especially the 840 Pro--have been excellent, both in terms of value and overall performance in their target markets.
Today we're going to give you a taste of a couple of Samsung's latest consumer-class solid state drives in the just-announced the 840 EVO series of products. As the name suggests, the SSD 840 EVO series of drives are an evolution of the Samsung 840 series. These drives use the latest TLC NAND flash to come out of Samsung's fab, along with an updated controller, and also feature some interesting software that can significantly impact performance as well.
...strap yourself in as we take a look at one of the more interesting solid state drives to come across our test bench in quite a while...
Read more: Samsung's SSD 840 EVO 250GB & 1TB Drives Tested @ Hot HardwareSteam Cards: How Do They Work? @ Techgage
When Valve introduced its trading cards mechanic on Steam this past May, I wasn’t sure what to expect, or sure if anyone would care. After the recent summer sale wrapped-up, though, I realized that you should never underestimate Valve. For better or for worse, trading cards are intriguing, so we’re taking a look at how it all works.
Read more: Steam Cards: How Do They Work? @ TechgageCM Storm QuickFire Stealth Keyboard Review @ Hardware Secrets
Recently, we reviewed the QuickFire XT keyboard from Cooler Master's CM Storm line-up, and now it is time for us to review the QuickFire Stealh, a compact mechanical keyboard with a unique visual signature: the keys are labeled on the front side, not the top. So, from an upside view, the markings are almost invisible. We will talk about this design now and then proceed to evaluate its performance.
Read more: CM Storm QuickFire Stealth Keyboard Review @ Hardware SecretsThermaltake Chaser A31 Mid Tower @ Modders-Inc
Thermaltake has a serious attitude about supporting the Gamer or E-Sports with it’s TteSports gaming devices and peripherals. To blend in the Thermaltake “COOL all YOUR LIFE” cases with the TteSports line of gaming products Thermaltake has taken up arms in the your gaming world with the Thermaltake Chaser A31 line of mid tower cases.
Read more: Thermaltake Chaser A31 Mid Tower @ Modders-IncSanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC Card SDSDQX Review @ Benchmark Reviews
Over the past several years Ive amassed a collection of SD (Secure Digital) cards beyond count, likely the result of various devices that depended on this media for recording files to flash storage. As the technology improved, more and more devices began using the microSD format. Eventually the microSD card surpassed the competition to become the standard with its faster speeds, higher capacity, and compact lightweight profile. In this article Benchmark Reviews will test transfer speeds and performance of the extended capacity 64GB SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC card, model SDSDQX-064G-U46A.
Read more: SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC Card SDSDQX Review @ Benchmark Reviews