• Details from the LA Tour and MSI X99A Gaming 7 Review

    Details from the LA Tour and MSI X99A Gaming 7 Review

    In this episode Dennis details his recent LA Hardware Tour including a visit with CyberPowerPC and later gives a quick review of the MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard.

  • MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

    MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

    Overclocking the X99A Gaming 7 was extremely easy, no BIOS issues, memory was solid and no trouble setting voltages in fact, I would be hard pressed to not call this an OC board in Gamer clothing.

  • Crazy Stuff on the Internet Popcorn Time and Massdrop

    Crazy Stuff on the Internet Popcorn Time and Massdrop

    In this episode Darren walks us thru some of the crazy stuff he found on the Internet including a Torrent site called Popcorn Time and a deal site called Massdrop

  • In Win 707 Tower Case Review

    In Win 707 Tower Case Review

    Radical design elements are great when budget is not an issue but most builds focus on practical design decisions. The 707 Gaming Edition is more than a gaming case it’s a full sized tower designed with the enthusiast in mind. Does it hit the mark? Let’s take a closer look!

  • Noctua L9x65 Low Profile Heatsink Review

    Noctua L9x65 Low Profile Heatsink Review

    The Noctua NH-L9x65 is a low profile cooler designed to meet the needs for aftermarket cooling in SFF systems and entertainment PCs. At 65mm tall and only 95mm wide this cooler offers 100% compatibility on ITX motherboards and will fit in a half height chassis.

  • CyberPowerPC Factory Tour: What it takes to build a Gaming PC

    CyberPowerPC Factory Tour: What it takes to build a Gaming PC

    I have said this many times, CyberPowerPC is one of the premier boutique computer builders in the United States and one of the few that is fully operated in the US.

  • Gaming Talk: Dying Light

    Gaming Talk: Dying Light

    In this episode the duo talk about the new Zombie survival game, Dying Light, and discuss what makes the game so much fun to play, and keep playing.

  • MSI Product Preview Including the Cubi Mini PC Kit

    MSI Product Preview Including the Cubi Mini PC Kit

    Earlier this month I took a quick two day vacation so I could visit some of my partners in the computer industry. One of those stops was at the MSI US HQ where they introduced me to some of the new stuff they had planned for 2015.

  • Orange and Black Attack Stack, Custom Watercooling and The Beast

    Orange and Black Attack Stack, Custom Watercooling and The Beast

    In this episode we look at an exciting HAF Stacker build, Custom Watercooling and a new LN2 container called the Beast

  • Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion Overclocking Motherboard

    Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion Overclocking Motherboard

    The Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion is different type of X99 and is one designed for a single purpose, Overclocking and while the sparse I/O might indicate otherwise the high-end audio chip and 4-way SLI support makes this motherboard good for workstation duty too.

Top Review Categories

Tech News

  • CM Storm Mizar Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp

    Published: Sunday, May 24, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Now, here is a name we haven't heard in a long time.  CM or Cooler Master has a new gaming mouse and it looks like a cross between an old Logitech design and a Razor?

    CM Storm's newest gaming mouse is put to the test. Like previous high-end models from CM Storm, the Mizar features the 8200 DPI Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor. The Mizar's design looks to harken back to the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0, which is a good thing. We take it for a spin to see how it compares to recent high-end gaming mice.

    When it comes to mice I think there is a fine line between good design and innovative for the sake of innovation.  Of course one of these is bad and the other is often riddled with copies of copies because the perfect mouse has already been created but for the sake of progress the company feels they need to try something new.

    Check out the review and see what you think.

  • Now it's even easier to watch questionable movie streams

    Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | By: Dennis

    In the Hardware Asylum Podcast Extra earlier this month Darren and I talked about two crazy things we found on the Internet, Popcorn Time and Massdrop.  

    Crazy Stuff on the Internet Popcorn Time and Massdrop

    Popcorn Time is a fully enabled media streaming application/service that works much like Netflix and HBO GO but instead of using an approved pool of content it searches the Torrent network and will stream just about anything it finds.  While watching streams from the Torrent network is largely illegal in the US that isn't the case once you head overseas.  In fact in countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong and China pulling media from the Torrent network is the norm.

    CNN has a story up about Popcorn Time and says pretty much what you would expect a large news organization to say.

    Though not all torrents are illegal, Popcorn Time has had a reputation for disregarding copyrights. The first Popcorn Time website was shut down after the founders decided they were no longer interested in debating copyright infringement. The Popcorn Time app was removed from the Google (GOOGL, Tech30) Play store within 24 hours of its debut there in May 2014, though the app can still be loaded onto Android phones by bypassing the Play store.

    Be sure to check out the CNN story and give the Hardware Asylum Podcast a listen to get our views on the service.

  • Gigabyte GA-Z97N GAMING-5 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Slave

    Published: Monday, May 18, 2015 | By: Dennis

    X99 might be the prized motherboard to have but Z97 rules gaming performance.  Match that chipset with a proper set of onboard components and you can expand your gaming experence to 11 while still fitting in a Size 1.

    We are big fans of mITX motherboards, though only in recent years. They have come a long way from their beige roots and now will tickle the geekiness of many gamers around the world. For us it’s the fact that we don’t need another big chassis in the office or in our homes, we generally have a few mITX rigs around, as daily drivers and as test machines.

    Most motherboard vendors follow the same formula so the deciding factor usually comes down to price and form factor.

  • Kingston HyperX FURY Pro Gaming Mouse Pad @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Monday, May 18, 2015 | By: Dennis

    I have always loved big mouse pads like this and with my professional training in Architecture they often remind me of those huge digitizer pads I learned AutoCAD on.  Strangely enough digitizers are a thing of the past leaving mousepads to be the next "big" thing.

    So to speak.

    I’m not sure if everyone else has been watching, but Kingston has been slowly expanding their product lines a little. They are obviously known for their memory and later their SSDs and flash drives. But they have also been dabbling in headsets with their HyperX brand. They started out by partnering with other manufactures but recently they have introduced their own headsets and they have been very popular from what I have seen. Well around that time they also quietly introduced a line of mouse pads. I guess they figure that a HyperX fan might be interested in keeping the HyperX trend going with a mouse pad. So today I’m going to take a quick look at the HyperX FURY Pro Gaming Mouse Pad and see what they have going on.

    Mousing accessories are a difficult thing to review on a hardware site but, in a way, are one of the most important components of a modern PC that Microsoft is trying to take away from us.

  • Optoma Reintroduces NuForce Primo8

    Published: Monday, May 18, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Optoma Reintroduces NuForce Primo8 In-Ear Headphones with Breakthrough Quad Balanced Armature Speaker Design

    Primo8 in-ear headphones provide stellar bass, captivating mids and delicate highs to envelop the listener in musical textures almost real enough to touch

    Fremont, Calif. – May 6, 2015 - Optoma, a leading international projector and audio brand, announces the reintroduction of the NuForce Primo8 headphones, its flagship audiophile-quality in-ear headphones. The Primo8 unites the coherence and seamlessness of one-driver earphones with the detail and transient speed of balanced armature drivers delivering an extraordinarily natural, lifelike sound.  The Primo8 excels in its ability to reproduce vocals unlike any other in-ear headphone on the market, today.

    “Primo8 was so successful when it launched under the NuForce brand, it sold out of production in the first three months, said Jon Grodem, Senior Director of Product Management of Optoma.  “When we acquired NuForce, our top priority was to maintain the standards and legacy of great sound quality while improving production efficiencies so that premium products like Primo8 can withstand market demands.  The reintroduction of Primo8 is the perfect next step for us.”    

    In-Ear Audiophile-Quality Speaker System

    Optoma has outfitted each Primo8 earpiece with four proprietary balanced armature speakers to form a 3-way design. The four balanced-armature drivers located in each earphone deliver smooth, extended response, explosive dynamic realism and fatigue-free sound.  Two of the speakers operate as one for bass frequencies, with one speaker for midrange and one speaker for treble.

    With two speakers working in tandem to reproduce the lowest frequency ranges, the listener will experience the purest, most natural bass possible. The Primo8’s fast, rock-solid bass operates as the foundation for dynamic sound reproduction previously available only in the most costly over-ear dynamic and electrostatic designs. 

    Ideal Balance and Accuracy

    The graininess of other balanced armature earphone designs is often the result of crosstalk between drivers due to their crossover network’s inability to prevent excessive frequency overlap. To combat this, NuForce has created a patent-pending three-way phase-coherent crossover design that achieves linear phase performance. The result is a natural three-dimensional soundstage, lightning-fast transients and crystalline transparency. 

    The Primo8’s proprietary crossover design has the earphone’s four speakers singing together as one.  The results of this technology are clearly audible. Plucked strings take on an amazingly life-like presence, vocalists sound as if they are there "in-the-flesh," percussion explodes in a truly three-dimensional sound stage.  With the Primo8, the subtlest of details appear magical and the sound is never fatiguing. 

    Proprietary Cable Design

    To achieve the Primo8's unprecedented sound, nothing less than the best audio cable will do. To be sure, there is more to the apparently smooth and lightweight cable than meets the eye. Inside this unique NuForce star-pattern Litz cable are several advanced technologies designed to achieve the most accurate sound reproduction possible. 

    For strain relief, typically a weak point of earphones, the Primo8’s cable is built around a core of Kevlar Silk.  This core is then surrounded by a star pattern of seven silver wires. A layer of insulation envelops the silver wires, which in turn is surrounded by another star-pattern of nine bundles of fine gauge, seven-stranded, individually insulated OFC wires – a technique called Litz construction. The entire cable assembly is then jacketed in a pliable polymer to eliminate mechanical noise contamination. Taking cable design to its zenith, Primo8 employs independent left and right ground wiring to reduce inter-channel crosstalk and maximize channel separation.

    Ultimate Sound and Value

    Uniting advanced, proprietary design, with a chorus of uncompromising features has empowered the Primo8 Headphones to deliver true, industry-leading performance. We believe you will also find the Optoma innovation and dedication to changing the way we listen gives it the ultimate advantage… unparalleled value well above all others in its price-class - and beyond.

    Pricing and Availability

    The Primo8 is now available on Amazon.com for a suggested retail price of US $499.  For more information, visit http://www.optomausa.com/soundproduct/Primo8.

    About Optoma

    Optoma is a world leading designer and manufacturer of projection and audio products for business, education, professional audio/video and home entertainment.

    Optoma’s projection products combine superior image processing technologies with exceptional engineering and innovation to deliver stunning crystal clear images with ultimate reliability.

    Optoma projectors use DLP® technology, pioneered by Texas Instruments.  This uses millions of mirrors to produce high quality imagery which does not suffer color degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies.

    The Optoma NuForce sound range is designed for people that care about audio. They are built from premium quality components to deliver sleek design and exceptional sound.

    The Optoma Group has continental headquarters in the USA, Europe, and Asia.

  • IN WIN 707 Gaming Version Full-Tower Case Review @ [H]

    Published: Monday, May 18, 2015 | By: Dennis

    InWin makes some really iconic cases from the awesome S-Frame to the smaller D-Frame and elusive InWin 901 Mini.  However with the elaborate comes the money makers, the cases that stand out above everyone and say, "this ain't bad".

    HardOCP has their review of the InWin 707 posted and seems to like something about it.

    The IN WIN 707 Gaming Version Full Tower case comes with a long list of features that reads to make it one of the best enthusiast hardware chassis you can buy. Tool-less design, spots for multiple radiators, E-ATX motherboard support, excellent CPU heatsink clearance, and designed for 10 fans. Does it measure up?

    Be sure to check out Our Review of the InWin 707 for comparison.

  • Fractal Design Define R5 Dual Loop Water Cooling Build Log @ Techgage

    Published: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | By: Dennis

    I'm not sure I know what to think of this case or if it would be my first choice for a dual loop build but, it would seem they pulled it off.

    After we posted our look at Fractal Design’s Define R5 a couple of months ago, it didn’t take long before Matt was craving not just a chassis upgrade, but a water cooling one, as well. With the chassis in hand, join him as he takes you through the process of setting up a dual loop setup, and tells you what he thinks of working with the Define R5.

    As the title would indicate this article is build log style so prepare to consume a bunch of photos and creative banter about the assembly process.  In fact, just the thought of watercooling is giving me an itch to work on one myself.

  • Windows 10 to be the last Windows Ever?

    Published: Monday, May 11, 2015 | By: Dennis

    I saw this article posted over the weekend and must say, I'm a fan of the new direction but am a little confused as to how much this will cost.  Assuming they go the Office 360 route we will be paying yearly installments for our OS instead of one lump sum.

    Could be good, or could just force more people over to Linux.

    Microsoft has been discussing the idea of Windows as a service, but the company hasn't really explained exactly how that will play out with future versions of Windows. That might be because there won't really be any future major versions of Windows in the foreseeable future. Microsoft has altered the way it engineers and delivers Windows, and the initial result is Windows 10. Instead of big releases, there will be regular improvements and updates. Part of this is achieved by splitting up operating system components like the Start Menu and built-in apps to be separate parts that can be updated independently to the entire Windows core operating system. It's a big undertaking, but it's something Microsoft has been actively working on for Windows 10 to ensure it spans across multiple device types.

    Windows as a service is something I can understand and given their "Mobile First" direction this makes a lot of sense.  Thing is, my Samsung Galaxy phone gets free OS upgrades that happen on a semi regular basis.  While I like getting new features they (someone other than me) often decides that the UI is just too functional and does a blanket change.  That sort of forced update just to get a new feature is more than annoying and is likely something MS will dictate.  (remove the start menu anyone?).

  • Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5 Motherboard Review at Modders-Inc

    Published: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Micro ATX gaming X99 Motherboard?  Yes!!

    There is no doubt that the Haswell-E and X99 are high-performance computing platform parts. With 40 lanes of PCIe available on all but the lowest Haswell-E CPU, quad x8 SLI or Crossfire becomes a reality so does a large(ish) case in order to fit all the components. In contrast, there are quite a few consumers that want a smaller footprint

    This isn't the first M-ATX X99 motherboard to hit the market and I'm sure there will be more.  Of course what makes this particular motherboard special is the Gigabyte gaming package that add some gamer friendly features for enhanced audio and network performance.

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