Top 5 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions and more
Posted on: 05/05/2013 09:10 AM
Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Top 5 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions, Mobile CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 9.6 @ Tech ARP, Intel Brands Haswell GT3 "Iris", Desktop Variants Planned, Genius SP-960BT Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review, and Patriot Supersonic Magnum (256GB) Review
Top 5 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions @ ThinkComputers.org
Productivity hasn’t been regarded as one of the positive aspects of the web browser. Instead it has been viewed as a sieve of never ending distractions. I don’t agree with this viewpoint, however. Although there are several websites on the internet that distract the mind, it is also true that the web is full of productivity enhancing tools. Many of these are available only on the internet. To-do lists and task managers are considered the best among these tools. Checking things off a list as the jobs are performed is a great productivity enhancer. Google Chrome, the net browser is full of things like extensions and task management apps that are great at getting things done. Let us take a look at some of the best extensions out there.
Read more: Top 5 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions @ ThinkComputers.orgiStarUSA BPN-DE340SS Storage Bay Adapter Review @ NikKTech
A few years back when we didn't have 3/4TB drives and we were all struggling to make due with 320/500GB ones there was one thing pretty much every single person i know in the IT industry wanted and that was one or more hot-swap 5.25" storage adapters for 3.5" drives. That way everyone could insert a 3.5" drive, take a backup (or share files with friends), remove it and insert another one in just a few seconds (back then docking stations didn't really exist). Now things have changed and so to most people even a single 4TB drive is way too much, however we are not most people and the same can be said about professionals and enthusiasts around the globe. Unfortunately feature-rich and high quality 5.25" hot-swap storage adapters that can hold over three 3.5" drives are extremely hard to come by in the market today and if you are to sacrifice most if not all of your 5.25" drive bays you want to make the most out of it. iStarUSA designs and manufactures industrial grade products for the most demanding of users and lucky for us they also make some of the best 5.25" drive cages for both SATA II/III and SAS I/II drives like the BPN-DE340SS.
Read more: iStarUSA BPN-DE340SS Storage Bay Adapter Review @ NikKTechCorsair CX600M Review @ Vortez
Fundamental to any computer system is the power supply. Without it, hardware simply has no juice but making a brash decision on such a device can be to the enthusiast’s folly. Investing in a quality power supply is a sensible choice when splashing out on a new system and today we will be taking a look at a unit from hardware giants Corsair.
Not everyone has the option to spend hundreds of pounds on a power supply for their system but thankfully Corsair have the entry level CX series to cater for budget conscious system builders and enthusiasts. The unit we will be looking at today is the CX600M, although this product is only 80 Plus Bronze certified it still retains a strong single +12v rail, a quiet 120mm cooling fan and modular characteristics that will satisfy even avid hardware connoisseurs.
Read more: Corsair CX600M Review @ VortezMobile CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 9.6 @ Tech ARP
There are so many mobile CPU models that it has become quite impossible to keep up with the different models or even remember their specifications!
Therefore, we decided to compile this guide to provide an easy reference for those who are interested in comparing the specifications of the various mobile CPUs in the market, as well as those already obsolescent or obsolete.
Currently covering 819 mobile CPUs, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare 19 different specifications for each and every CPU. We hope it will prove to be a useful reference. We will keep this guide updated regularly so do check back for the latest updates!
Read more: Mobile CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 9.6 @ Tech ARPIntel Brands Haswell GT3 "Iris", Desktop Variants Planned @ techPowerUp
With its 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors, Intel is putting in a serious effort to improve integrated graphics (IGP) performance to catch up with AMD's Radeon HD 8600 series on its latest APUs. There are three classes of Intel IGPs for Haswell, the GT1, which features 10 execution units (EUs), and will feature on entry-thru-mainstream Pentium, Core i3, and Core i5 chips; GT2, which features 20 EUs, featuring on mainstream-thru-performance Core i5 and Core i7 chips; and GT3, a large 40-EU IGP, which uses an L4 eDRAM cache. Chips with GT3 graphics are multi-chip modules (MCMs) of the CPU die and this eDRAM due, as detailed earlier. It was earlier believed that Haswell chips with GT3 graphics cores will be confined to notebook and Ultrabook-specific CPU models, but it turns out that it will make an appearance on the desktop platform as well.
Read more: Intel Brands Haswell GT3 "Iris", Desktop Variants Planned @ techPowerUpNoctua NH-L12 CPU Cooler Review @ Chiploco
Noctua is known to be the manufacturer of the world’s finest air coolers. Its name is very often associated with three things: silence, quality and performance. Many people are aware of the ever so famous Noctua NH-D14 cooler which in itself is a legend. There are several instances, especially in technology, when taking up less space is important. Similarly, finding a good low profile cooler can be challenging, especially since the more compact designs don’t always have the reputation of high performance.
Today, we will be looking at a low profile CPU cooler that is designed to be able to keep up with some of the popular larger coolers. The cooler I am referring to is Noctua NH-L12. It is specifically designed for small form factor systems like HTPC or small and portable LAN gaming systems. With a height of just 93mm with the provided fan and 66mm without it, the NH-L12 is one of the slimmest CPU coolers currently available in the market right now.
Read more: Noctua NH-L12 CPU Cooler Review @ ChiplocoEnermax Revolution87+ 850W PSU @ Hexus
There's a good reason why a number of computing companies are investing in power-supply units (PSUs). They rarely go out of date, there's no finicky BIOSes to update, and there's really not much to go wrong.
Having new names in the industry is good for the consumer but undesirable for companies who specialise in PSUs. Enermax has a long-held reputation in producing high-quality supplies, usually with a slight price premium over newer entries, so let's examine if it's still worth paying for a well-credentialed PSU.
Enermax currently splits its PSU line-up into four categories: 'Royal' class, 'Gold' class, 'Athlete' class and 'Entry-level' class. At the top of the tree is the beefy Platimax, followed by MaxRevo and Revolution87+ supplies that grab hold of the same foundations but sacrifice a few features and some efficiency for a lower street price.
Read more: Enermax Revolution87+ 850W PSU @ HexusScythe Ashura / Katana 4 CPU cooler review @ Hardware.info
The Ashura is the most eye-catching out of the two coolers. It's a deluxe cooler with relatively modest dimensions and an average price of about € 50, so Scythe is positioning it above popular coolers like the Mugen 3. There are also more expensive CPU coolers, however. The 895 gram cooler is compatible with all current CPU sockets. The tower cooler has six heatpipes, and on top of the heatsink there's a black aluminium plate that definitely adds to its looks. Be Quiet started this trend, and it's nice to see other brands follow suit. The cooler has a 14cm fan from Scythe's 'Hayabusa' series. This PWM fan is relatively slow, between 500 and 1300rpm. You can also place an optional second fan.
Read more: Scythe Ashura / Katana 4 CPU cooler review @ Hardware.infoGigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H Socket 1155 Motherboard Review @ Proclockers
It has been a couple of months since the last Gigabyte motherboard we had our hands on. What better reunion than to bring you their newest Z77 board to market, the Gigabyte GA-Z77-UD4H motherboard for Intel’s LGA 1155 socket. The new mainboard is a model between the budget boards like Z77X-UD3H and the higher-end UD5H. Can you guess the model number? Yeah, not too hard, it’s Z77X-UD4H.
We reviewed the UD3H some time ago and found that it was one of the best budget motherboard out there as it overclocked pretty dang well for its price. We can imagine what is in store for us with the new UD4H and the 11-phase digital VRM. Now, we will find out just how well this board overclock and other features it offers over the tried and tested UD3H.
Read more: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4H Socket 1155 Motherboard Review @ ProclockersGenius SP-960BT Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ModSynergy.com
The cell phone industry is a hot commodity, more so than ever with the booming popularity of Smartphone's in everyone's hand it seems. The continued rise is expected to grow even further within the next couple of years and shows no signs of slowing down. Even the Chinese are helping the cause by bringing low cost Android Smartphone's that have surprisingly respectable and growing performance to the masses.
I travelled to China about three years ago to visit some of my grandma's family who lived in the far rural areas (with beautiful lush rice patties and mountains) and was amazed that these people who are considered poor, and live simple farming lifestyles have cell phones. I couldn't believe my eyes that literally everyone had at least one if not multiple candy-bar style phones, though no one had a landline as the infrastructure to get those in these rural areas are very hard to achieve. When I ventured to the more populated areas I quickly found out that there was a abundance of prepaid SIM cards one can use.
Most if not all cell phones on the market today come with Bluetooth technology, even the cheap ones have it. It's a wireless technology and feature we all love because it allows the convenience of hands-free calls for example, which has been an ongoing problem with distracted driving. Bluetooth is also used for transmission and streaming of music wirelessly to a Bluetooth speaker, and everyone with a cell phone has come across the infamous issue with their phone speaker not giving them any depth and enjoyment.
Read more: Genius SP-960BT Portable Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ModSynergy.comEnermax Platimax 600w 80+ Platinum PSU @ Funky Kit
We've looked at the top unit (here in the US, anyway) of Enermax's Platimax series, now let's check out one of the lowest wattage units, the Platimax 600w! The features list is similar, but the PSU itself is smaller and of course much lower wattage.
In theory it should be significantly more efficient than the bigger unit at single GPU type wattages as well as significantly less expensive. Personally I'm hoping it'll be that, as well as be very very quiet and generally awesome. We'll see how it turns out.
Read more: Enermax Platimax 600w 80+ Platinum PSU @ Funky KitASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Motherboard Review @ PC Gamers
We decided to build the new gaming test bench with just a little overkill and after our experience with the P8-Z68-V Pro /Gen 3 motherboard in the Fractal R3 home server build, we decided to go one better and check out the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard. So, to make it clear guys, we purchased this board for our own gaming test bench with high expectations. For the purposes of gaming, we could have opted for something mid to entry level and still achieved similar performance/experience for less expense but at the end of the day, we are enthusiasts here at PCGamers.net.au. Ultimately, it came down to a combination of curiosity, indulgence and the fact that there were so many features to test out for a review.
Asus 'Deluxe' series boards have been around for a while and this wasn't the first time I'd worked with one (my last 'Deluxe' was a P35 based version about 5 years ago). According to www.dictionary.com , the word "Deluxe" when used as an adjective means "of special elegance, sumptuousness, or fineness; high or highest in quality, luxury". Let's see if the product lives up to its name.
In the spirit of 'Deluxe-ness' we decided to feed the board with an Intel i7-3770K CPU and 16GB of corsair low profile RAM in the matching blue finish. There are no excuses for poor performance in this build.
Read more: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Motherboard Review @ PC GamersPatriot Supersonic Magnum (256GB) Review @ Hexus
Remember when getting large amounts of data from A to B required multiple disks and lots of patience? Those days are long gone, thanks in no small part to the proliferation of USB pen drives. Greater capacity and faster speeds - aided by the steady roll out of USB 3.0 - make today's drives better than ever, and with nippy 16GB drives available for little more than a tenner, it's fair to say that every computer user should have one.
Cheap-and-cheerful will do for most, but if you've got the funds and you fancy something more adventurous, take a look at Patriot's Supersonic Magnum.
Read more: Patriot Supersonic Magnum (256GB) Review @ Hexus