PC Buyers Guide Summer Edition 2014 and more
Posted on: 06/25/2014 12:25 PM

Here a roundup of todays reviews and articles:

ASRock AM1H-ITX Socket AM1 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review
ASRock Z97 Extreme4 Motherboard
Crucial MX100 256GB & 512GB SSD Review
Fractal Node 804 Review
Google Glass eyes-on review (2014)
GRID Autosport Video Review and 4K Gallery
In Win S-Frame Open Air Limited Edition Chassis Review
Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5
Luxa2 GroovyT Magic Boom Box Review
NVIDIA VDPAU Performance Metrics On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux
PC Buyers Guide Summer Edition 2014
ROCCAT Siru Gaming Mouse Pad Review
Samsung 845DC EVO 240GB, 960GB SATA SSD Review
Sony Xperia Z2 Smartphone with SmartBand SWR10
Speck CandyShell AMPED Case for iPhone 5 Review
Watch Dogs Video Game Review

ASRock AM1H-ITX Socket AM1 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review
Not for overclockers, but instead a great choice to save power with high standards, this is how you could shortly describe the latest OCinside.de review of the current AMD Socket AM1 Mini-ITX motherboard.
The ASRock AM1H-ITX motherboard has one PCI Express slot, two DDR3-1600 slots, four SATA3 ports, Gigabit LAN, 7.1 sound with optical S/PDIF output, and graphics output via D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI, or DisplayPort 1.2 and offers even 4K resolution.
The power connection is optimally solved, because the ASRock AM1H-ITX can be either connected over a traditional ATX power supply to the internal 24-pin ATX power connector or with an external 19V power supply to the I/O panel 19 volt power connector.
We have tested this ASRock AM1H-ITX Socket AM1 motherboard with an AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini APU and compare the benchmark results and the power consumption with many other systems.


Read full article @ OcInside.de

ASRock Z97 Extreme4 Motherboard
The ASRock Z97 Extreme4 is a top mid-range socket LGA1150 motherboard based on the new Intel Z97 chipset, supporting the fourth and the forthcoming fifth generation Core i processors. It brings a high-end audio codec, eight SATA-600 ports (allowing one SATA Express connection), and eight USB 3.0 ports. Let's take a good look at it.


Read full article @ Hardware Secrets

Crucial MX100 256GB & 512GB SSD Review
Crucial has deemed it time to replace the popular yet aging M500 drive and have chosen to do so with the MX100 series of drives. These new drives feature the Marvell 88SS9189 controller, a minor upgrade from the 88SS9187 that was found in the M500 drive. The MX100′s 88SS9189 is paired with 16nm NAND which is a change from the 20nm NAND found on the M500. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but the real story with these drives is the pricing. Read on to find out what they cost and how they perform!


Read full article @ Legit Reviews

Fractal Node 804 Review
Bei Fractal Design handelt es sich um den mittlerweile bekannten und gestanden Hersteller von Gehäusen, der sich vor allem mit durchdachten und preislich attraktiven Gehäuse einen guten Namen erarbeiten könnte. Mit dem Node 804 hat man ein Gehäuse im Cube-Gehäuse im Angebot, das mit verhältnismässig kompakten Abmessungen aufwartet sowie einem sehr flexiblen Belüftungskonzept. Darüber hinaus gibt es auch noch ein attraktives Design und insgesamt kann man gespannt sein wie sich dieses Gehäuse durch unser Review kämpft.


Read full article @ ocaholic

Google Glass eyes-on review (2014)
Google finally launched its Glass Explorer programme in the UK on Monday, making its fabled wearable technology available to enthusiasts and developers in the region – albeit for a hefty £1,000.

Designed to help Google fix problems and develop the Glass technology before its wider global release, the Explorer Programme has been running in the US since 2012 and, according to Google, has massively improved the platform.

In fact, Google says the Explorer Programme has been such a success that the version of Glass V3 tried a year ago is archaic compared with the current version being sold in the UK. So when we were offered the chance of a fresh eyes-on look at Glass, we couldn't resist the chance to check on Google's progress.


Read full article @ V3

GRID Autosport Video Review and 4K Gallery
Watch our GRID Autosport video review by Stuart Davidson on the PC platform recorded in full 4K resolution and including a 4K screenshot gallery.


Read full article @ Hardware Heaven

In Win S-Frame Open Air Limited Edition Chassis Review
It was only a few weeks ago that I was in Taipei to attend one of the technology industries largest trade shows Computex. While eTeknix were attending the show we were lucky enough to be invited to the In Win factory, where we got to see the many stages of product development and manufacturing, as well as being part of a small group who were the first to see their new D-Frame Mini and S-Frame chassis. While attending the tour we were also awarded the awesome gift of a one of a kind S-Frame of our own, of which only fifteen will ever be produced. The retail edition of the chassis comes in a stunning black and red colour scheme and only 500 of these will be made, each one branded with a special serial number, as too are the 15 models sent to the technology industries review media, such as our selves. The model we were given comes in a blue-tinted colour scheme and I’m sorry to inform you that this colour isn’t available to the public, but the core design and feature set of our model is identical to the retail release, so it shouldn’t have any effect on our review.

In Win have come from being just any other manufacturer, to somewhat legendary status in the last few years. Their passion for creating some truly unique and awe-inspiring products has given them a reputation for creating chassis that are borderline works of art. With products such as the H-Frame, D-Frame, Tao and the 904 being prime examples of how In Win are literally thinking outside of the box these days and it looks like the S-Frame is one of their boldest designs yet.


Read full article @ eTeknix

Linux Gaming Benchmarks With Plasma-Next, KDE Frameworks 5
Up for your viewing pleasure today were some quick benchmarks done of the next-generation KDE desktop stack compared to the KDE 4.13.0 and Unity 7.2.1 desktops of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.


Read full article @ Phoronix

Luxa2 GroovyT Magic Boom Box Review
The audio quality of your phone is pretty awful. I don’t even need to add a “probably”, “likely”, or “may be”, and this is a huge reason that small portable speakers are becoming more popular. Luxa2 has been developing on-the-go audio for some time, and their new GroovyT Magic Boom Box is one of the most unique solutions yet for enhancing the audio of your smart phone. Built specifically for this need, the GroovyT features “Place and Play”, allowing for connection free playback by simply placing your phone on top of the device. By using induction technology, the GroovyT can actually boost the sound coming from the speaker with no wires or Bluetooth connection. The GroovyT also features an aux input and can be used with any device with a headphone out, including mp3 players, laptops and tablets. A rechargeable li-polymer battery allows the GroovyT to provide you with 5.5 hours of listening on a single charge, with a USB charging cable included. The audio section of the GroovyT features two 1.5” drivers to add far greater depth and volume to your sound on the go.


Read full article @ HiTech Legion

NVIDIA VDPAU Performance Metrics On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux
It's been a while since last running any video acceleration benchmarks at Phoronix so this week we're running a fresh set of VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) benchmarks with NVIDIA's official driver plus for AMD Radeon hardware using the Radeon VDPAU state tracker support.


Read full article @ Phoronix

PC Buyers Guide Summer Edition 2014
Welcome to Guru3D's PC Buyer's Guide. Please note that we'll only cover the "innards" of the PC itself. External peripheral devices like; monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, chassis, etc are not included. We do this for brevity's sake, as there is a huge range of them and personal choice can influence the purchasing of those items. Thus, by sticking to the "guts", you are free to chose whatever "body" you like. However, if you are in need of assistance, feel free to ask in our supportive forums.

Since this site is called "Guru3D", we will target a system primarily intended for gaming while not spending heaps of money. So here are the main criteria that we take into account when deciding what parts to recommend:

Price & Performance: First and foremost, what gives the most bang for your bucks, in terms of gaming of course.
Reliability: Second on the list but just as important. This includes things such as compatibility (ever had RAM that worked on one motherboard but not in another?), trustworthiness of a brand overall (do they have a history of making reliable parts?) in addition to the reliability of the part in question.
Overclockability: Overclocking can help squeeze out that extra performance for free out of a system and can make a big impact on price versus performance (why should you buy a $1000 CPU if you can overclock a $300 CPU to match it?) so this factor may swing our decision.
Heat & Power: Heat is the enemy of any computer and it can affect the stability (and reliability) of it. Performance per watt has improved over time. Thus, having an efficient system for your needs would be better for your wallet and the environment in the long run.


Read full article @ Guru3D

ROCCAT Siru Gaming Mouse Pad Review
Roccat is based in Germany and started in 2007 and has since become a major player in the eSports world. With their release of multiple gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, accessories, and even notebooks (only available in Germany) they have proven their standing as a major player. Today we bring you their 0.45mm “Knife Edge Thin” Siru Mousepad, specially developed to provide optimal glide and control in the toughest of situations.


Read full article @ ThinkComputers.org

Samsung 845DC EVO 240GB, 960GB SATA SSD Review
A little less than two years ago, Samsung surprised the storage industry by unveiling the world’s first 3-bit MLC, or TLC (Triple Level Cell), NAND based SSD, the Samsung 840. At the time, TLC NAND had already been in use for storage applications such as flash drives and embedded systems, but nobody really thought TLC was viable for SSDs due to TLC’s inherently higher latency and its lower endurance compared to older MLC and SLC technologies.

Despite this, Samsung is now standing behind two generations of TLC based SSDs, proving a number of our initial preconceptions of TLC incorrect – the biggest of which is drive endurance. Unlike cMLC (consumer MLC) which is generally rated at ~3,000 P/E (Program/Erase) cycles, TLC is rated at an estimated ~1,000 – 1,500 P/E cycles (the actual number hasn’t really been revealed by Samsung). While it’s easy to base assumptions of an SSD’s endurance on the NAND’s P/E cycles, this is actually a very bad measure of a SSD’s total endurance. Endurance also depends on a SSD controller’s write algorithms, write amplification, garbage collection routines, and over-provisioning which is why Samsung is capable of claiming that their TLC based 840 SSDs can do 10GB/day and has “…no workload restrictions…” on their 3 year warranty as well.


Read full article @ Custom PC Review

Sony Xperia Z2 Smartphone with SmartBand SWR10
Sony isn’t exactly looking to reinvent the wheel with the new Xperia Z2 Android smartphone. Instead, the Xperia Z2 really is the natural evolution of the Android smartphone line that Sony has been building up these last couple of years. You get a tremendously slim slab of a phablet that’s dressed up in classy glass both on the front and the back. If you’ve been a fan of previous entries in the Xperia Z series, then there’s a good chance you’ll find a lot to like here.


Read full article @ MEGATech Reviews

Speck CandyShell AMPED Case for iPhone 5 Review
For today’s review we will be looking at one of the latest iPhone 5/5S cases from Speck. The CandyShell series is one of their best selling lines and features several variants deriving from a general form factor and design. The Speck CandyShell AMPED has the appearance of a regular Candyshell case with a slight increase in bulk.

This new model is devised for sound amplification by using the body of the case as a sound chamber. By using the case as a sound amplifier it doubles the volume of the iPhone without causing any extra battery usage. In addition the Speck CandyShell AMPED still meets or exceeds military standards for falls and drops.


Read full article @ TestFreaks

Watch Dogs Video Game Review
What happens when you combine the Grand Theft Auto series with a near future world where big brother is indeed always watching you? You get the new game from Ubisoft, Watch Dogs. Watch Dogs has been highly anticipated by many gamers since it was revealed at E3 2012, but due to production delays it didn’t hit retail until May 27th of this year. Watch Dogs takes advantage of many of the latest advances in graphics from NVIDIA, including HBAO+, to create a stunning, ambient world full of light and shadow.. In this benchmarkreviews.com article, I will discuss the main features of Watch Dogs as well as the graphics before delivering my overall rating of the game.


Read full article @ Benchmark Reviews




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