Posts Tagged ‘Featured’
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August 25, 2016

How to Find Your Motherboard’s Manufacturer, Model, and BIOS Version

Get to Know Your PC

As a PC owner, one of the most important things to know is the manufacturer, model and BIOS version of the motherboard you have in your system. This is one of the first questions I ask people when they ask me if they can upgrade their system or when they ask me for help because something isn’t working correctly. The motherboard is the one piece of hardware in your system that interconnects everything else so any hardware upgrades will need to be compatible with the motherboard. Depending on the motherboard manufacturer and how active they are on updates, the motherboard’s internal software, or BIOS/UEFI, also needs to be upgrade to support newer [...]

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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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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 13, 2016

Opinion: Why HDMI Needs to Adopt Adaptive-Sync Technologies

Without question, one of the biggest advancements in PC gaming in recent years is the introduction of variable refresh rate (Adaptive-Sync) technologies such as AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync. These technologies are enabled by an underlying VESA standard which is currently only widely supported by newer versions of DisplayPort. Both FreeSync and G-Sync allow graphics cards to communicate directly with a display and dynamically adjust the refresh rate based on the amount of frames the GPU can render per second. The result is a much smoother, and tear-free gaming experience.

How Does This Make My Games Better?

That’s a good question. One way it could greatly [...]

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May 18, 2016

Review: Noctua NH-D15S and NH-C14S CPU Coolers

Premium Asymmetrical Coolers

Noctua prides itself on creating products of the utmost quality. Love or hate their signature brown and beige color scheme, it has easily become synonymous with quality, innovation and most of all: silence.  Naturally, when you have such high success, it becomes easier to remain complacent and just coast off your already great designs. But, that isn’t what Noctua has done. Instead, they’re constantly iterating and improving upon its existing designs in order to push even higher performance, compatibility, and the overall user experience.

Today we’re taking a look at a pair of coolers which perfectly display that mentality. The [...]

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May 15, 2016

AMD’s Marketing Strategy For its Polaris GPUs Is Brilliant and Here’s Why

AMD’s Bold New Strategy

Last week, NVIDIA unveiled their next-generation flagship GPU the GTX 1080, along with the slightly less powerful GTX 1070. With both of these new GPUs the company has made some pretty outrageous — and if at all true, very impressive — claims in terms of performance.

With all the hype surrounding the launch of NVIDIA’s flagship, many people are questioning  AMD’s decision to focus on the mainstream desktop and notebook markets with the launch of their upcoming GCN (Graphics CoreNext) 4.0 GPUs, codenamed Polaris 10 and 11.

After all, historically GPU manufacturers are known to release the flagship or [...]

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February 20, 2015

CPCR Server Upgrade 2015: Lenovo ThinkServer RD540

Lenovo’s 1U Server Powerhouse

In the past couple days, I wrote several articles about the new server hardware and colocation infrastructure powering CPCR. If you’ve already read those articles, you’ll probably already know that I picked up several Lenovo ThinkServer RD540’s for the task. Since there’s so much more to the ThinkServer RD540 than I wanted to talk about in a general overview of our hosting infrastructure, I decided to do a separate article on just the ThinkServer RD540 itself.

The Lenovo ThinkServer RD540 was launched back in late 2013 alongside the ThinkServer RD640. The main difference between the two is that the ThinkServer [...]

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February 19, 2015

CPCR Server Upgrade 2015: Psychz Networks Colocation

Los Angeles Colocation

With the server hardware figured out, the final thing to do was to figure out where to keep the server. Since I don’t have the infrastructure at home or at work to host a server, I needed a colocation. For those unfamiliar, colocations are basically datacenters that rent out server rack space. Since colocation datacenters were built from the ground up to house servers, colocations generally offer uptime guarantees northwards of 99.9%.

Since I’m based in Los Angeles, California, my ideal colocation would of course be somewhere in Los Angeles. After doing a good amount of research comparing prices, infrastructures, colocation access, [...]

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February 19, 2015

CPCR Server Upgrade 2015: New Hardware Overview

Self-Hosted Bliss

When I originally founded Custom PC Review back in 2012, it was nothing more than a small personal blog running off some run of the mill shared hosting. Since then the site has grown quite a bit, and along with the type of infrastructure hosting the site as well.

The first type of hosting infrastructure for CPCR was shared hosting. While shared hosting was a good, cheap option to get started, the site faced constant crashes as soon as any surge of traffic rolled in. Several months after starting the site I was facing more downtime than uptime, so I decided it was time to upgrade to a VPS. Unlike shared hosting where tons of sites are all hosted on the [...]

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November 30, 2013

Review: Transcend StoreJet 25A3 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive for $81

I’ll be honest here. We have a love affair with solid state drives here at Custom PC Review, and as SSDs have become higher capacity and more price competitive with traditional hard drives, we’ve started to see increasing demand for external SSDs, especially from those who’ve been exposed to the benefits of SSD technology in their main desktops or notebooks.

However, let’s not forget about external, portable spinning hard-drives. Having survived the days of the dreadfully slow USB 2.0 standard with its crippling performance, USB 3.0 hard-drives are finally able to take full advantage of the spinning hard [...]

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November 21, 2013

Understanding LSI SandForce SF3700 Series Controller

3rd Generation SandForce, 1st Generation LSI SandForce

When we look at the SSD industry today, there are few companies more well known than LSI SandForce. LSI SandForce drives power over 35% of the SSDs currently sold on the market today so when these guys introduce a new SSD controller more than two years after the introduction of their last generation product, it’s definitely time to take notice.

Ever since January of this year at CES, we’ve been hearing rumors of the mythical new LSI SandForce SSD controller (aka “Project Griffin”), but it wasn’t until June at Computex when we first confirmed of its existence via one of LSI [...]

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November 5, 2013

Selecting the Best Hard Drive for a Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Warning! Wrong hard disk drives (HDDs) may lead to data loss!

Years ago, not many people owned their own NAS storage solutions. Gigabit Ethernet at the time was a luxury not many people enjoyed, NAS units were horrendously slow, software was generally crappy and decent NAS units were usually very, very expensive. Over the past couple years however, the market has changed quite substantially. NAS units have come down in price, performance is up, and software has become quite good. This in turn has driven tons of growth in the NAS industry with many, many people now opting to keep their precious videos, photos, music, documents, and other important data on their NAS [...]

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