Ultimate PC Buyers Guide June 2014 and more
Posted on: 06/20/2014 11:04 AM
Here a roundup of todays reviews and articles:Alleged bait-and-switch tactics spur Kingston, PNY SSD boycott Amazon Fire Phone Preview ASUS Padfone X review: A phone to replace your tablet? Not quite Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review Borderlands 5-Years Later Review Deepcool Gamer Storm Lucifer EVGA TORQ X10 Gaming Mouse Review Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Review Is Bluetooth Faster than Wi-Fi? MSI GP70-2PE Leopard Gaming Notebook Review MSI Nightblade review: the perfect barebone for gamers? Noctua NH-D15 Review Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan-Z Review NZXT Sentry 3 Fan Controller Review Review of Bracketron Xventure Chest Harness for GoPro Cameras The TR Podcast 156: Computex, WWDC, and E3 TteSports Poseidon Z Mechanical Kailh Blue Switch Keyboard Review Ultimate PC Buyers Guide June 2014 WD My Passport Pro 4TB Thunderbolt Portable RAID Drive Review
Alleged bait-and-switch tactics spur Kingston, PNY SSD boycott
Over the past week or so, we've seen an uproar over what some folks perceive as bait-and-switch tactics by SSD vendors Kingston and PNY, culminating with calls for a boycott. We got to the bottom of things to see whether consumers have truly been misled, and if so, what the appropriate response should be.Read full article @ The Tech ReportAmazon Fire Phone Preview
Too little, too late? Amazon on Wednesday announced the long-awaited and painfully late to market Fire Phone. Amazon's first smart phone combines a few innovative features like Dynamic Perspective head-tracking with deep (perhaps too deep) tie-ins to Amazon's digital ecosystems and retail store operations.Read full article @ WinSupersiteASUS Padfone X review: A phone to replace your tablet? Not quite
I doubt ASUS knew it was carving out a place in Android history when it revealed the first Padfone back in 2011. That's not just because it starred in an amazing product unveiling, either -- the resulting Padfone line might be the last surviving...Read full article @ EngadgetBiostar Hi-Fi Z97WE (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review
Biostar aren’t a brand of products we review that often as their main presence is within the Asian market, however, every now and then we do get a motherboard from them which they are targeting towards the Western market. Today is one of those rare days as we are looking at Biostar’s primary Z97 offering, the Biostar Hi-Fi Z97WE. This motherboard is Biostar’s attempt at making a well spec’d motherboard for a very affordable price, as they are well-known for doing. The motherboard comes with an impressive 10 phase VRM, dual Gigabit LAN (a massive rarity at this price point), a range of PCI express connectivity, M.2 and high quality audio. The specifications are certainly nothing to scoff at when you consider the MSRP of just $125 – this makes it only a fraction more expensive than cheaper H97 9 series motherboards. The styling of the motherboard may certainly be an “acquired taste”, however, the motherboard on the whole seems like an extremely feature packed and great value for money option. I have seen a lot of people discuss this motherboard as a “workstation” board, presumably because the “Z97WE” bares striking resemblance to the ASUS “Z97WS” which stands for workstation. However, from what I can tell this is not a workstation motherboard – this is an entry level Z97 motherboard aimed at a broad user which no particular preferences towards anything (aka it is not a gaming, overclocking or workstation motherboard but rather an “all-rounder”).Read full article @ eTeknixBiostar Hi-Fi Z97WE Motherboard Review
The old saying states that "You get what you pay for", personally I have found that the idea is not really true in all cases. There are plenty of cases where I have found the cheaper product to be just as good or even superior, especially with regards to food. We all know that the grocery stores certainly try to push this idea that their store brands are just as good as the brand name products and to save your money. Clearly doing your research is worth the time sometimes with regards to price to performance and can save you money.Read full article @ HiTech LegionBorderlands 5-Years Later Review
Electronics are one of those areas where I usually don't like to skimp and usually end up buying higher cost products for what generally equates to a better quality product. But like store brand products the more expensive product is not always superior. At other times there is simply the need to provide a balance of what is deemed necessary on a product and not just fill it superfluous features. That is exactly what Biostar's intention was with the Hi-Fi Z97WE motherboard, to provide a good set of features that perform well at a good price point.
Five years later, is it worth returning to Pandora? I believe it is. Borderlands was and still is a very fun game that rewards players well and offers an entertaining experience. Thanks to their styling, the graphics have held up very well and the performance is as great as you would want or expect. It does suffer from some texture streaming, but it is not too severe.Read full article @ OCCDeepcool Gamer Storm Lucifer
The Gamer Storm Lucifer from Deepcool is an affordable CPU cooler that packs a punch. Featuring six Ø6 mm heatpipes, a 140 mm fan, and its single monolithic tower design, this cooler is quiet and performs extremely well.Read full article @ techPowerUpEVGA TORQ X10 Gaming Mouse Review
EVGA is currently on the move to release its own branded peripherals and weâre taking a look at one of their new mice thatâs hoping to make a splash in a crowded pond. The TORQ X10 and TORQ X10 Carbon stray away from the video cards EVGA is most well-known for though their motherboards and power supplies are an indicator that they can do just fine outside of their usual space. Weâve got the TORQ X10 which also comes in the Carbon variant that utilizes a carbon fiber surface on parts of the mouse...Read full article @ Legit ReviewsIntel Fourth Generation Core i7 4790K Review
Before I started overclocking, I had high hopes that Devil's Canyon would do much better than Haswell in the clock speed department thanks to the improved thermals and power supply work. Sadly, I found that its Haswell roots run deep and ultimately limited my overall clock speed to 4.6GHz. I was able to run the ring ratio as high as 45 while keeping the clock speed at 4.6GHz. Running higher speeds was possible with some jaunts to 4.8GHz, but the voltage needed to reach the number was not worth the effective cost to get there over the long term. 4.7-4.8GHz is great for some quick and dirty benching, but not possible on this particular chip even running under water. At this time, I have to surmise that overclocking on the Core i7 4790K is going to be the same as we get when overclocking any Haswell chip. As the third Haswell-based chip I have tested, I have seen a 4.5GHz, 4.6GHz, and 4.7GHz chip, confirming my suspicions. I can't fully condemn overclocking on Devil's Canyon, but it will be the luck of the draw as much as it was with Haswell.Read full article @ OCCIs Bluetooth Faster than Wi-Fi?
If your devices have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability built in, then which one is actually faster? Todays SuperUser QA post has the answer to a curious readers questionRead full article @ HowtogeekMSI GP70-2PE Leopard Gaming Notebook Review
Running off the tail end of our look at MSI’s GS6 ‘Ghost Pro’ gaming series notebook, which features NVIDIA’s latest 800m series graphics, MSI have been keen to show us what else they have in their artillery for the everyday gamer. Where the GS60 is a strong and well-balanced system, packing some Ultrabook-like credentials such as its slim and lightweight design, the GP70 Leopard that we’re looking at today is aimed more at the budget gamer who wants a competent system that packs all the features and credentials needed to be classed as a gaming notebook, but without such a strong price tag that surpasses the £1000 barrier.Read full article @ eTeknixMSI Nightblade review: the perfect barebone for gamers?
The GP70 is by no means a new system in its design and layout, having been around for at least one generation now, the GP70 ‘Leopard’ is effectively a refreshed model, taking advantage of NVIDIA’s latest 800m series graphics to give this more budget conscious notebook a performance boost, bringing it up to date with the latest games and the growing needs of today’s gamers.
As we have seen from our first look at the 800m series graphics on the Ghost Pro, there is a notable gain in performance to be seen over the previous generation 700m series chips. To put the latest generation graphics into context, a current generation 870m GPU provides frame rates and performance similar to that of a 780m core whilst a 860m should give performance similar to that of a 770m and so on. What this means for the Leopard is that we should see a notable difference in performance between the new GP70 Leopard, with its 840m GPU and the older GP70 with its 740m offering.
They already make parts for gaming computers, produce gaming laptops, and they have already started to produce all in one computers in the MSI factories. A true gaming PC was not yet on the product list, untill the MSI Nightblade was introduced. A proper Game PC, sort of, as for now it is only available as a barebone system and will need to be finished either by yourself or with help of your computer shop. .Read full article @ Hardware.Info Noctua NH-D15 Review
The barebone PC is working on a come back, especially due to the popularity of mini PC's like the Intel NUC and the Gigabyte BRIX, and last but not least the barebones made by Shuttle we have seen more diversity and choice coming into the market. The Nightblade is a lot bigger and more extreme than the small Gigabyte or Intel machines, and competes directly with the high end models made by Shuttle.
With the NH-D15 Noctua shows its latest high-end CPU cooler. This monster comes boxed with one 140 x 140 x 25 millimeter fan as well as 140 x 150 x 25 millimeter fan. Putting the cooler on a scale reveals it weighs a massive 1320g. Overall this leaves us rather curious how this thing is going to perform.Read full article @ ocaholicNvidia GeForce GTX Titan-Z Review
We review the dual-GPU GeForce GTX Titan Z. The card is much talked about as Nvidia introduced the product at prices that are incredibly steep, and then, much like the Titan Black, Nvidia refused to send out samples to the media. To this day that fact has remained the same, however once cards get into retail they inevitably will end up with the media regardless of what Nvidia wants. We had to pull a string or two here and there, but we are proud to report that today we will review the GeForce GTX Titan Z. A card that created a lot of controversy, as such we'll go in-depth once again to see whether or not this 2850 EUR product even has a chance to compete with the 1300 EUR AMD Radeon R9 295x2. We test the product with the hottest games like Thief, Watch Dogs, Battlefield 4 and many more. We'll look at Ultra HD gaming, thermal imaging and heat response, we'll overclock it, we'll fire off FCAT at it. In short, you are in for a 30 page treat today.Read full article @ Guru3DNZXT Sentry 3 Fan Controller Review
So what exactly is the Titan Z? Well, just like the GeForce GTX Titan Black and the GeForce GTX 780 Ti, the GeForce GTX Titan Z is based on two GK110 GPUs with the distinction that it has been plastered onto one PCB and covered with a humongous 3-slot cooler. The Silicons in use are based on GK110-400 GPUs, same stuff as the aforementioned cards, yet with minor changes. The recipe for the GTX Titan Z is impressive though, as the product has the full 15 Streaming clusters, thus 2880 Shader Processing Units per GPU, enabled. That's 240 TMUs and 48 ROPs on a 384-bit memory interface of fast 6GB GDDR5 allocated per GPU. So you can double that up. But in a nutshell the card uses two 45 mm × 45 mm 2397-pin S-FCBGA GK110b GPUs with 2880 shader/stream/CUDA processors -- thus 5760 Shader processors. This will give the GeForce Titan Z a cool 8 TeraFLOPS of performance.
Motherboards offer us a limited number of fan headers, and generally these have a low wattage draw. So what are we enthusiasts to do with all the fans we tend to put in our rigs to keep them cool? Well, should we still have more fans left over to power after using up the motherboard's fan headers, we can do one of two things: to plug them into a molex connecter and run them at 100% speed, or turn to a fan controller. Which brings us to the subject of today's review, the NZXT Sentry 3 fan controller. The Sentry 3 joins NZXT's lineup of five other fan controllers. With a MSRP of $34.99, this is a budget minded controller. Is it worth the price? Follow along and find out.Read full article @ NeoseekerReview of Bracketron Xventure Chest Harness for GoPro Cameras
Extreme action video photography cameras such as the GoPro line have become big business. These cameras allow the user to capture all sorts of activities in stunning high definition resolution whether it is video or photo. The trick to getting these unique images captured is the proper use of a camera mount.Read full article @ TestFreaksThe TR Podcast 156: Computex, WWDC, and E3
Bracketron known for their mounting solutions have numerous mounts that work with the GoPro line along with other camera types. This line is dubbed – Xventure and today we will look at the chest harness version. It is designed to keep the camera centered on the user’s chest whether they are skiing, biking, mountain climbing or most any other adventure.
Join us for the low-down on Computex, WWDC, E3, and a ton more, all in one episode.Read full article @ The Tech ReportTteSports Poseidon Z Mechanical Kailh Blue Switch Keyboard Review
In the office today I have something very special, the TteSports Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard. While having a mechanical keyboard in for review often feels like a special occasion anyway, since they’re often regarded as premium quality device, there is something uniquely interesting about this keyboard, its switches. The Posidon Z features Kailh switches, and in a market dominated by switches produced by Cherry there has long been room for a strong competitor to enter the market, or at least a cheaper competitor. The question is, can the Kailh Blue switches keep up with the excellent performance of the Cherry MX Blue?Read full article @ eTeknixUltimate PC Buyers Guide June 2014
Featuring a different switch is one thing, many keyboards implement different methods of registering a keystroke, the important thing about the Kailh switches is that they’re effectively a copy of the Cherry style mechanical switch, but without the wallet hurting price tag often associated with high-end mechanical keyboards. The Poseidon Z will set you back a very affordable £53 / $89, which is around 40% cheaper than most Cherry switch options that are on the market with a similar specification.
As you can see from the specifications below the keyboard is pretty standard fare for a mechanical keyboard, it has a fixed 1000HZ polling rate, full LED backlighting, a 1.8 meter braided cable and 6-8 key anti-ghosting.
The Ultimate PC: Only the best and fastest components available, with the appropriate astronomical price tag. You won't be able to assemble a PC better than this. That said, we do stay within reason, so you won't find us recommending for example yottabytes of SSD storage.Read full article @ Hardware.InfoWD My Passport Pro 4TB Thunderbolt Portable RAID Drive Review
Please note: the PC Buyer’s Guide is compiled based on independent component tests performed by Hardware.Info. If no new, superior products are released that should replace one or more of the components, then the component(s) will remain the same as the previous month.
In this day and age of digital entertainment, the associated files that are edited to bring you amazing still life imagery or high-definition video require high performance peripherals. With a large amount of digital content producers being out on location and not in the comfort of their studios, their devices need to be portable without sacrificing performance. This is where I believe the WD Passport Pro can be of help, as a portable storage solution that can help take your digital editing to another level on the road.Read full article @ Futurelooks
Offered in capacities of either a 2TB or a 4TB, coupled with the speeds of a Thunderbolt interface, the WD My Passsport Pro seem to offer storage in all the right places.