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August 10, 2016

Review: Razer Mechanical Keyboard Case (Apple iPad Pro)

Razer’s Ultra Low-Profile Mechanical Switch Makes Its Debut

Ever since I laid my hands on a mechanical keyboard several years ago, I was hooked. Today, almost every keyboard I own is mechanical with the exception of the keyboard on my laptop and a Bluetooth keyboard I use from time to time with my HTPC or tablet. Wouldn’t it be great if everything could be mechanical? I sure think so and Razer seems to think so as well.

Several weeks ago, Razer introduced their new Ultra Low-Profile Mechanical Switches which attempts to solve one of the biggest hurdles to mechanical switches being implemented in portable applications – size. Up until this point, mechanical [...]

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July 27, 2016

Review: Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 2,800MHz 16GB Kit (2x8GB)

Solid Memory at a Reasonable Price

Several years ago, we reviewed the Patriot Viper 3 which was a great memory kit with aggressive styling, good performance, and a reasonable cost. Since then, we’ve seen the launch of DDR4 alongside several new platforms which support the new memory including Intel’s Skylake and Broadwell-E platforms.

The switch to DDR4 brings on several new features, the most notable benefit is that DDR4 dies are expected to be significantly higher density than DDR3, allowing manufacturer to achieve higher capacities per DIMM. DDR4 also operates at higher frequencies yet requires lower operating voltages paving way for higher performance memory as [...]

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July 26, 2016

Review: Tesoro Excalibur V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The New Best in the Entry Level Segment

As awesome and essential as mechanical keyboards are, it’s often difficult to justify tossing a benjamin or two on a keyboard when a cheap $10 one works just fine. However for PC enthusiasts, gamers and typists, a good mechanical keyboard is not just a commodity, but a necessity.

So what’s out there for those who aren’t looking to drop some serious money on a keyboard? Well, there honestly weren’t a whole lot of options for a long time until recently when Cherry’s mechanical switch patents expire making way for cheaper cloned designs.

Manufacturer Tesoro Model Excalibur V2 Layout ANSI 106 [...]
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July 23, 2016

Review: APC Power Saving Back-UPS Pro 1500VA (BR1500G)

Keeping the Lights On

Generally when most people purchase a new PC, one of the most important things they overlook is a quality UPS, or uninterruptible power supply. We’re definitely guilty of it since sometimes we don’t even run a UPS and we for sure don’t always recommend people pick up a UPS despite how crucial it is when it comes to protecting the computer equipment we’ve recommended them spend thousands of dollars on.

While PC components have gotten faster, cheaper, and more reliable than they’ve ever been, it still remains that these components are made up of semiconductor circuits. Semiconductor circuits that are sensitive to fluctuations [...]

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July 19, 2016

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Review Round-Up – Pascal Goes Mainstream

NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 has launched today, and while finding a car on store shelves may be a bit difficult, there are plenty of reviews available to help you make an informed purchasing decision once they are in stock. The GTX 1060 is NVIDIA’s answer to AMD’s RX 480, which was released at the end of last month in an aggressive push for the mainstream market. At a starting price of $249 ($299 for NVIDIA’s Founder Edition), the GTX 1060 is still a bit more expensive than the RX 480, almost $50 more than the 4GB model and a much smaller gap of just $10 for the 8GB model. Still, both cards being in the $200-$300 market, there will definitely be a lot [...]

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July 15, 2016

Review: Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 Hub, SR2 Reader, CFR1 Reader, DD256 Portable SSD

System for the Content Creation Professional

If you’re like us, you’re probably always on the lookout for a good workflow system to get images from either your camera or videocamera into the computer. With all the different devices out there demanding different types of memory cards, you’re bound to end up having several different memory cards with several different memory card readers hooked up to several different USB ports. Unfortunately, this is a hassle especially when on the road as most laptops can only spare at one to two USB ports at most.

To solve this problem, Lexar introduced the Lexar Professional Workflow lineup of products which will make life [...]

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July 8, 2016

Review: Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Thermaltake’s Legendary Keyboard Gets an Upgrade

One of the most cost-efficient ways to improve the looks of a keyboard is to slap on some pretty lights. This is an easy way to boost the “wow” factor without complicated modifications and additional investment from the manufacturer.

That’s exactly what Thermaltake did with its hugely popular Poseidon Z keyboard. The Poseidon Z is well-known around the web for being one the most affordable and value-oriented keyboards on the market. Not only does its price give gamers an incentive to upgrade from membrane, it does so without compromising on build quality.

Today we’ll be taking a look at [...]

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July 7, 2016

Review: VisionTek 128GB, 256GB USB 3.0 Pocket SSD

SSD Performance in a Flash Drive Formfactor

Aside from the insanely great performance, shock resistance, and low power consumption, one benefit of SSDs is the ability for them to be extremely compact. As a SSD only requires silicon rather than spinning disks, SSD form factor is really only dictated by how a company chooses to arrange the chips onboard.

As such, we’re starting to see quite a few external SSDs take advantage of this form factor flexibility. One such product is the VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket SSD which crams a full SSD into a form factor just slightly bigger than your average flash drive.

VisionTek USB 3.0 Pocket [...]
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July 5, 2016

Review: Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

Toshiba OCZ Delivers a Winner

Before NVMe and PCIe SSDs became as well known as they are today, SSD manufacturers had to find creative ways to bypass the limitations of the SATA bus for customers looking for more performance than was possible on SATA. Among the companies spearheading the PCIe SSD market was OCZ with their RevoDrive PCIe line of SSDs. While they were able to provide performance far exceeding what’s possible via the SATA interface, the first RevoDrive SSDs which were Frankensteined creations built with multiple SandForce controllers and custom OCZ virtualization chips that made everything extremely expensive and very cumbersome.

Since then, we’ve [...]

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June 29, 2016

Review: AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB – Polaris Finally Arrives!

… Polaris 10 out of 10.

It would be a fair assumption that AMD named its new GPU after one of the brightest stars in the night sky because to them, that’s exactly what this new GPU is. Huge strides have been made in its engineering, including a brand new architecture based on the new Samsung/GlobalFoundries 14nm FinFET process.

Over the past few years, AMD has been making aggressive pushes into the mainstream PC gaming market. With an all-new ad campaign entitled “The Uprising”, which encourages gamers to join the “Radeon Rebellion” – this Rebellion, of course refers to the fact that AMD has decided that instead of debuting an all-new [...]

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June 27, 2016

Review: Samsung 950 Pro 256GB NVMe SSD

Samsung’s First PCIe/NVMe Drive for the Consumer

Last year I had the opportunity to be one of the first to witness the launch of the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD at Samsung’s Global SSD Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to its launch, we had already tested both the AHCI and NVMe version of the OEM-oriented Samsung SM951 SSD, which was a precursor to the final retail Samsung 950 Pro.

At its launch, the Samsung 950 Pro took the top spot for the fastest consumer SSD Samsung has to offer. It’s primarily targeted towards professionals, content creators, and enthusiasts who require the highest performance possible.

Samsung SM951 [...]
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June 20, 2016

Review: Samsung Portable SSD T3 1TB

Now with 48-layer 3D V-NAND, Up to 2TB Capacity

When I reviewed Samsung’s Portable SSD T1 last year, I was very impressed with what it had to offer. Of all the external SSDs on the market, the PSSD T1 proved to be the best combination of speed, capacity, and physical size. Because it utilized Samsung’s 32-layer 3D V-NAND, it was able to offer 1TB storage capacity in a form factor about the size of a business card. Furthermore, it had native encryption technology built in and since it wasn’t a RAID-based solution, it didn’t cost a boatload of money either.

Fast forward one year and what we have here for review today is the Samsung Portable SSD T3. [...]

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