SSD showdown: 36 256GB and 512GB SSDs tested and more
Posted on: 01/09/2014 12:05 PM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including SSD showdown: 36 256GB and 512GB SSDs tested, Thermaltake Urban S41 Windowed Mid-Tower, Nvidia responds to AMD's "free sync" demo, Synology DS214se review: entry-level Synology NAS, and AMD's Radeon R9 270 Is Far From Perfect On Linux
SSD showdown: 36 256GB and 512GB SSDs tested @ Hardware.Info
Unless you're sporting really old hardware, an SSD is the best sure-fire way to boost the performance of your desktop or laptop computer. There is so much choice now it's difficult to know whether there is a significant difference between various SSDs and which one is the best for you. Well, you've come to the right place. We tested 36 recent models.
Read more: SSD showdown: 36 256GB and 512GB SSDs tested @ Hardware.InfoThermaltake Urban S41 Windowed Mid-Tower @ NikKTech
While I'm typing these lines things are probably heating up at CES 2014 because of all the intriguing and innovative products unveiled there for the first time including several PC cases of all sizes by most (if not all) of the leading manufacturers. Certainly we all know how hard it is nowadays for some people to decide on the right PC Case for them because of all the countless available models in the market so the introduction of even more will probably make things even harder for them but in the end i think that it's always good to have more variety (not to mention that competition is always good for the consumer). Now some of you may recall that a few weeks back we promised to increase our focus on PC Case reviews something which we didn't really follow through due to extremely heavy workload. Well the Urban S41 mid-tower windowed chassis by Thermaltake is the first tower which we will be looking at in an effort to make up for that.
Read more: Thermaltake Urban S41 Windowed Mid-Tower @ NikKTechCES 2014 EVGA Visit @ Hardware Asylum
he EVGA CES showing is always a fun event comprised of currently available products like the Z87 Classified and X79 Dark along with a mix of new things that were prepared just for the show. By far, the most exciting development is the new EVGA TORQ X10 gaming mouse.
This is an ambidextrous mouse design that will come in a variety of different configurations. The high-end version will feature real carbon fiber finger grips, an adjustable weight system, adjustable palm rest, metal frame, and a braided cable that is coated in silver!.
Read more: CES 2014 EVGA Visit @ Hardware AsylumCyberpower Ultra Fusion Review @ Vortez
In the world of computing not everyone has the expertise to building their own custom PC. To many it can appear a daunting task to undertake and not least of all because there is a requirement to choose compatible hardware. Although many computer etailers allow for the purchase of individual components the bigger companies out there have put considerable time into designing and building their own systems for consumers to purchase. So if you don’t have the know-how, you can still get on the road to gaming stardom (or whatever else) without having to build the system yourself.
Today we are to look at our first computer system from Cyberpower. Ultra Fusion features AMD FX-9590, AMD R9 290X and a plethora of other exciting hardware – join us as we put this new system under the spotlight!
Read more: Cyberpower Ultra Fusion Review @ VortezNvidia responds to AMD's "free sync" demo @ The Tech Report
AMD demoed its "free sync" alternative to G-Sync on laptops. Desktop displays are different, Nvidia says, and they may not support the variable refresh rate tech behind AMD's solution at least not yet.
Read more: Nvidia responds to AMD's "free sync" demo @ The Tech ReportNZXT Phantom 530 Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
Today, we bring our analysis of the Phantom 530, a full-tower case from NZXT, targeted to users who want to build a high-end computer in an aggressive look case. Let's see what this product has to offer.
Read more: NZXT Phantom 530 Case Review @ Hardware SecretsDell XPS 15 (9530) Review @ TechReviewSource.com
With its brilliant screen and serious components, the luxury-minded Dell XPS 15 (9530) is Dell's showcase PC meant to go up against high-end laptop offerings. Unfortunately, its price and battery life keep it from taking the top spot.
Read more: Dell XPS 15 (9530) Review @ TechReviewSource.comCorsair Vengeance 1400 & 2100 Review @ Vortez
Corsair's entry into the audio sector was very well received and raised the bar for build quality and performance in regards to what people are looking for in gaming audio products. The latest revisions of the Vengeance stable will bring an abundance of gunmetal coloured brushed aluminium, 50mm drivers housed inside large, closed-back earcups, that will allow Corsair to make a lasting impression that lives up to their product reputation.
The Vengence 1400, direct successor to the 1300, is priced in the mid range, using 3.5mm analogue jacks, while the 2100 directly replaces the 2000, sports 2.4GHz wireless, Dolby 7.1 virtual surround and improved 50mm drivers.
Read more: Corsair Vengeance 1400 & 2100 Review @ VortezQNAP TS-470 NAS Server Review @ Benchmark Reviews
The QNAP TS-470 Turbo NAS is part of a new model line that brings a higher level of performance to the small tower-based format. The TS-x70U rack mount series which launched earlier this year served up the basic technology package that's been slimmed down here, in order to fit into the smaller form factor. The new TS-x70 towers are being promoted as business-class NAS servers, based on their high performance and networking package, but QNAP includes an HDMI port and IR receiver for good measure. Also included in the base package is a 2-port GbE NIC, installed in the PCIe expansion slot. Most business users will be able to increase the network throughput of this NAS with Port Trunking, thereby making effective use of all four GbE ports on the rear panel. Those who need more bandwidth can just replace the 2-port NIC with a 10GbE model.
Read more: QNAP TS-470 NAS Server Review @ Benchmark ReviewsThecus N2310 @ Hexus
Dual-bay NAS for home users on a budget. What will it take for mainstream audiences to adopt network-attached storage servers within the home? We've seen manufacturers attempt to lure consumers with various strategies in recent months - ranging from simple, single-drive solutions to fanless units aimed at the living room - but maybe the answer is more obvious: NAS servers need to be more affordable.
Proposing that price really is key, Thecus is hoping to strike the right notes with the newly released dual-bay N2310. Launched with an MSRP or £120 - almost half the price of the existing N2560 - the N2310 touts "best-in-class value" and is aimed squarely at individuals or small offices looking for simplicity and capable performance from a well-known brand.
It's an area of the market that's becoming increasingly competitive, and Thecus is up against stern competition from the likes of Buffalo's LinkStation 421DE (£85) and Shuttle's Omninas KD20 (£120), to name but a few.
Read more: Thecus N2310 @ HexusSynology DS214se review: entry-level Synology NAS @ Hardware.Info
Synology has lots of choice in their product line-up, but their impressive NAS devices tend to have one common quality: they're very expensive. You do get a lot back for your money. Synology has tons of features and even more apps you can download to make your NAS even more versatile and multi-functional, but the price range has excluded more budget-minded consumers until now. With the DS214se, Synology wants to change that. It's a 2-bay entry-level model that's available for an average of £131, quite a bit less than the previous low-end model, the DS213j.
Read more: Synology DS214se review: entry-level Synology NAS @ Hardware.InfoASUS GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum (air) Review @ ocaholic
With the new GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum, ASUS introduced a very interesting and unique product into market. A graphics card that can be chilled with air, water or both at the same time thanks to ASUS' brand new innovative hybrid DirectCU H2O cooler. Very promising on the paper we are going to have a first look at it.
Read more: ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Poseidon Platinum (air) Review @ ocaholicSynology DS214play @ techPowerUp
The latest trend in NAS devices is to reproduce multimedia content, which home users appreciate since it provides them with the ability to also use their NAS as a media player. Synology adheres to this trend with the DS214play we are testing today - this unit's media server features allow it to transcode 1080p Full HD video on the fly.
Read more: Synology DS214play @ techPowerUpFrostytech's Top 5 Heatsinks Chart Rebuilt + Updated @ FrostyTech
Frostytech's Top 5 Heatsinks Chart just got updated! Based on reader feedback, the new format ranks ONLY air cooled heatsinks. We added placeholders for the watercoolers to keep it informative and created a new Top 5 Liquid Cooler Chart (http://www.frostytech.com/top5_liquid_heatsinks.cfm) just for the AIO's. Enjoy!
Read more: Frostytech's Top 5 Heatsinks Chart Rebuilt + Updated @ FrostyTechZalman LQ310 Liquid Cooling System Review @ FrostyTech
Zalman's LQ310 is a compact self-contained liquid cooling system built on the successful Asetek watercooling framework. It uses a 120mm wide aluminum heat exchanger equipped with a single, 120mm, 2000RPM fan. The LQ310 ships fully assembled, plumbed and filled with a coolant. It installs onto Intel socket LGA115x/1366/2011 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2 processors.
Read more: Zalman LQ310 Liquid Cooling System Review @ FrostyTechGigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC and R9 290 OC Review @ Techspot
AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GTX 780 and Titan late last year, but that position has since weakened with unexpectedly high prices and limited options from board partners. Both issues reportedly stem from a shortage of the Hawaii GPU, and that's at least partly because of how popular the R9 290 series is for Litecoin mining.
Like many enthusiasts, we were mostly impressed by the R9 290 because its $400 MSRP was almost 30% cheaper than the R9 290X while only being 5% slower. In reality, if you can find a R9 290 it costs at least $500, while most are fetching closer to $550 -- 40% more than we were lead to believe they would cost. Unfortunately, the story is similar for AMD's Titan killer.
Read more: Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC and R9 290 OC Review @ TechspotGigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Z87 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
Gigabyte’s Sniper series has received its fair share of press over the years and in many ways it epitomizes the PC gaming crowd's needs With its instantly recognizable black and green colour scheme and gaming inspired embellishments (like ammo-shaped heatsinks) these boards have quickly gained the attention and admiration of gamers. The latest is the G1.Sniper 5, an enthusiast level LGA1150 Z87 board destined for the already-cluttered Haswell market.
While the military inspired design may be one of the more in-your-face aspects of the G1.Sniper lineup, there’s more to these motherboards than what first meets the eye. Every one of them boasts a wide variety of interesting features and aspects that have been cleverly designed for overclockers and everyday gamers alike.
Read more: Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 Z87 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks2014 CES Unveiled @ Benchmark Reviews
There is a lot of excited stuff happening at CES 2014. I have to be honest, though, while I think 4K Ultra HD is cool, it is also currently way outside of my budget. I've seen a lot about LG's new 4K TVs and curved screens. I think the technology is great, but I can't afford it this year. At CES Unveiled: 2014, I went it looking for cool new tech that was within my price range and something that I could see myself adopting soon. I found a lot of cool stuff.
Read more: 2014 CES Unveiled @ Benchmark ReviewsNoctua NH-U12S & NH-U14S CPU Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
Keeping your processor cool is essential when it comes to keeping your system running smoothly, after all everyone knows what happens when your system overheats: it shuts down or it fries the CPU. Coolers come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and types than I would care to count. You have traditional stock coolers usually provided by the processor manufacturer and at best will get the job done, then you have water cooling, phase change cooling, dry ice and LN2. The last three mentioned are used more for seriously extreme overclocking and benchmarking, and while phase change could be used on an everyday basis great care must be taken to prevent the build up of condensation.
If you not sure which route is best for you, then I would suggest going with a high performance air cooler. This is usually the safest and easiest way of cooling your CPU. In the past we have covered many such products from manufactuer Noctua, and today I will adding two more to that long list, the NH-U12S and the NH-U14S. Noctua's NH-U12S uses 120mm fans whereas the NH-U14S supports those measuring 140mm, and both are U-type tower coolers.
Read more: Noctua NH-U12S & NH-U14S CPU Cooler Review @ NeoseekerDoes Radeon R9 290X Behave Any Differently In A Closed Case? @ Toms Hardware
We're in the process of testing Radeon R9 290X cards from AMD's board partners, and were curious how they all fare in a closed chassis. Corsair's deluxe Obsidian 900D offers lots of airflow, so we dusted off a more mainstream $80 case to test with.
Read more: Does Radeon R9 290X Behave Any Differently In A Closed Case? @ Toms HardwareAMD's Radeon R9 270 Is Far From Perfect On Linux @ Phoronix
A Red Hat employee working on Fedora QA has shared his experience using an AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card under Fedora with both the open-source RadeonSI driver and the closed-source Catalyst driver. For both drivers, the AMD R9 270 is "far from perfect" on Linux.
Read more: AMD's Radeon R9 270 Is Far From Perfect On Linux @ PhoronixCorsair RM650 Watt Gold PSU Review @ Guru3D
We review the Corsair RM 650 GOLD power supply. Yes, the silent and even high-end RM 650 comes Gold certified, that means it's 90% efficient at 50% load. Efficiency matters. The PSU itself is even 100% modular, for most of you with a side panel window in their chassis a must really as you'll want modular cables. The PSU also improved on the audibility front. Have a peek at the article. Corsair has many PSU lines these days, it is a large chunk of their business. Amongst the product lines there is the Corsair Professional Series RM PSUs. The SKUs are re-injected into that always updating line-up.
Now it doesn't stop there though, the RM 650 might be an all silent model, but also comes with LINK options as well. The RM series are all about being quiet and efficient for a reasonable price. As such you'll notice that the PSU as tested today carries a Gold certification. Bronze, Silver but really Gold or Platinum is what you want, the upper stack in hardware is expensive though. Gold certified, that means it's 90% efficient at 50% load. Efficiency matters; years ago PSUs were as low as 70% efficient, meaning that 30% of the used power simply vanishes, whilst you are paying for it on that electricity bill. If your components eat away 500W then with that 70% efficient product you'd actually use 650W. The PSU itself is 100% modular as well, for most of you with a side panel window in their chassis a must really as you'll want modular cables. The PSU also improved on the audibility front as the fan doesn't even spin until it reaches a certain load or temperature, so if your PC is in idle and pretty much doing nothing, the rather silent fan will actually disable itself. That's right, the thermally-controlled fan spins up gradually above 40% load thus up-to 260 Watt power consumption this PSU makes no noise whatsoever, but even during normal use and when gaming it remains silent really.
Read more: Corsair RM650 Watt Gold PSU Review @ Guru3DiStarUSA BPU-124DE-SS SATA/SAS 6Gb/s Hot-Swap Cage @ NikKTech
So far at this year's CES we've witnessed the unveiling of a lot more products than we did last year and that alone is enough for all of us here to be happy not only because that means we'll have plenty of new things to play around inside 2014 (some may even take a year to become available however) but also because no matter how much innovative and advanced a product is next year we can always expect to see something even better. Of course we still have a long way before consumer oriented products can get closer to industrial/enterprise class ones both in terms of quality and performance but some manufacturers are always doing their best to narrow the gap. iStarUSA is one of those manufacturers and today we will be taking a look at their BPU-124DE-SS 1x5.25" to 4x2.5" SAS/SATA 6Gb/s Hot-Swap cage.
Read more: iStarUSA BPU-124DE-SS SATA/SAS 6Gb/s Hot-Swap Cage @ NikKTech