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September 28, 2016

Review: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 AMP! Graphics Card

ZOTAC AMPs it up!

When NVIDIA first announced the Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards back in May, it was very clear that they had a pair of winners on their hands. Fast forward four months to today, and it seems that the company is still commanding the high-end GPU market with no competition expected from rival AMD until early-2017. With that in mind, anyone in the market for a high-end graphics card really only has two options – the GeForce GTX 1080 or the GeForce GTX 1070.

Today, we’re taking a look at the latter or more specifically, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 AMP! ZOTAC is a company who’ve been producing GeForce graphics cards [...]

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September 25, 2016

Review: Samsung 850 EVO 4TB SSD

It’s Big. Really Big.

At Flash Memory Summit earlier this year, Samsung announced their new 48-layer 3D V-NAND and along with that they announced that they’ll be using the new NAND in their 850 EVO SSD, pushing capacities up to a staggering 4TB. Considering 1TB was the largest capacity just 4-5 years ago, a 4TB drive designed for the consumer is a really huge deal, no pun intended. As such, when we got the opportunity to test the monstrous 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, we jumped on it.

Samsung 850 EVO Specifications Manufacturer Samsung Model 850 EVO Capacity 120GB 250GB 500GB 1TB 2TB 4TB Controller Samsung MGX Samsung MHX NAND Samsung 32-layer TLC 3D [...]
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September 14, 2016

Review: Toshiba OCZ VX500 512GB SATA SSD

Updating the Mainstream

Ever since Toshiba’s acquisition of OCZ back in 2014, we’ve seen a gradual move away from not only the OCZ branding, but also many Toshiba inspired internal changes in its SSDs. OCZ, which changed its name to OCZ Storage Solutions last year, is now Toshiba OCZ and the SSDs themselves are now practically re-branded Toshiba products with slightly modified firmware, additional bundled software, and modified retail packaging for the consumer SSD market. Why Toshiba hasn’t dropped the entire OCZ brand as a whole I’m not quite sure, but it seems like they’re preparing to drop the [...]

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September 8, 2016

Review: Crucial MX300 750GB SSD, Now Packing Micron 3D TLC NAND

Crucial’s First 3D TLC SSD

For over two years, Samsung has been the only mass manufacturer of 3D NAND and being the first to market SSDs with the new technology, they’ve reaped some serious rewards. In a recent report by analyst firm TrendFocus, Samsung owns a staggering 40.8% share of total SSDs shipped and their 3D NAND accounts for nearly all of the 17% of all NAND shipped today.

As such, we know that people want 3D NAND and if you’re a NAND maker without a 3D NAND product, it’s about time to step up your game. Micron, being one of the world’s largest NAND producers is stepping up in a big way with their latest Crucial [...]

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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, [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 round [...]

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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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