• Silverstone Raven RVZ01 Mini-ITX Case Review

    Silverstone Raven RVZ01 Mini-ITX Case Review

    This may be difficult for a high-end hardware enthusiast to admit but Mini-ITX motherboards serve a purpose in the enthusiast world and their potential has been largely unrealized due to lack luster case designs.

  • EVGA Backplate Install for the GTX 780 Ti Classified

    EVGA Backplate Install for the GTX 780 Ti Classified

    The purpose of this article was to explore what an EVGA backplate really was and find out if any of the benefits were real.

  • In Win 901 Mini-ITX  Case Review

    In Win 901 Mini-ITX Case Review

    It’s hard not to notice the trend towards smaller PC builds. Nowhere was this trend more pronounced than at CES this year. Everyone had a new chassis in the increasingly popular mini-ITX form factor.

  • Frankenstein Builds CyberPowerPC Zeus Mini and LanETS Overclocking

    Frankenstein Builds CyberPowerPC Zeus Mini and LanETS Overclocking

    In this episode Dennis and Darren talk about Frankenstein computer builds the CyberPowerPC Zeus Mini and touch on an overclocking livestream from Montreal Canada.

  • Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 Secure Flash Drive Review

    Kingston DataTraveler Locker+ G3 Secure Flash Drive Review

    You know, the files stored on the flash drive you carry to work or leave in your car. Those files are often unencrypted and easily accessed leaving "you" as the only security hurdle.

  • Silverstone CP11 Ultra Thin SATA Cable Review

    Silverstone CP11 Ultra Thin SATA Cable Review

    The Silverstone CP11 is an ultra thin SATA cable that addresses the issue of when SATA cables take up too much room. A good example of this is when vertically mounted SATA ports prevent you from installing a secondary video card or when your custom mod is showing too much cable.

  • Gameplay Betas and Collectable Games

    Gameplay Betas and Collectable Games

    Dennis and Darren got to participate in the Titanfall beta and played a little Elder Scrolls Online Beta with some mixed results.

  • Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti Video Card Review

    Gigabyte GTX 750 Ti Video Card Review

    As a result we figure anyone interested in this product is likely doing a custom build with a boutique builder like CyberPowerPC and is asking themselves "WTH is this card and why should I choose it?"

  • Silverstone EC04-E PCI Express USB 3.0 Expansion Card

    Silverstone EC04-E PCI Express USB 3.0 Expansion Card

    One of the biggest strengths of a modern PC is the ability to upgrade and expand the system to support a wide variety of things from multiple graphics cards to high-end sound The Silverstone EC04-E gives you the ability to provide USB 3.0 support to any system with an available PCI Express slot.

  • OC Sandbagging and PS4 First Impressions

    OC Sandbagging and PS4 First Impressions

    In this episode the duo discuss sandbag scores in overclocking competitions and Darren talks up his new PS4 and why it is winning the console wars.

Top Review Categories

Tech News

  • KingFast Encrypted USB Key Review @ ModSynergy.com

    Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | By: Warren

    I can't tell you how many times I misplaced, left behind, or forgot my USB drive at the labs on campus, or at a buddies house, and I know I'm not alone.  I'm sure everyone has a horror story about losing their own drive at one point or another.  Those experiences taught me two valuable lessons in life.  Never keep anything on it I wasn't willing to lose, and always keep a backup of those files somewhere if I did. 

    The KingFast Encrypted USB Key aims to secure and protect any information you save onto it with its hardware based AES256 data encryption, self destroy function, among other features in its arsenal. Read on to see how you can best protect your data with an Encrypted drive such as the one from KingFast.

    With the storage amounts for these drives climbing into multiple gigs of space.  Having a way to secure the data on these highly mobile, and very compact (read: small, tiny, easily misplaced) drives is a great step in the right direction.

  • Running Slackware Linux on Hyper-V: Pro Tip

    Published: Monday, April 21, 2014 | By: Dennis

    Over the past few weeks I've been working on a Linux project.  My project isn’t complex just a new application server that will be running within a Hyper-V VM.  Slackware is my distro of choice and I was happy to see that the latest versions supported Hyper-V.  

    As part of my testing I installed Slackware 14.0 on my server and installed and ran like a champ.  Of course when Heartbleed got fixed I figured it was time to upgrade my project to Slackware-current (14.1) and that is when things got interesting.

    I spent the better part of 8 hours trying to figure out why Slackware 14.1 would install on my Hyper-V machine but would not run after the initial install (eg first reboot) .  The log showed a kernel panic and basically froze.  As it would turn out the Hyper-V modules were not loading in the correct order and when the Kernel tried mounting /dev/sda2 (my root partition) it couldn't find it.

    Turns out the fix is pretty simple and I'm here to pass along some information.

    Some background on my setup:
    Windows Server 2008 R2 running Hyper-V
    Slackware 14.1
    VM using two cores and 24GB virtual drive
    I'm using XFS as my filesystem and have swap space at /dev/sda1

    The error I was getting was somewhat cryptic"kernel panic - not syncing : VFS: unable to mount root FS on unknown-block"

    Basically the error is saying that the system cannot mount the root filesystem as indicated in Lilo.  You could have a similar situation had this been a RAID or a new disk using a different filesystem.  To resolve this issue I needed to create and load an Init Ramdisk  (initrd.gz) that contained the driver modules needed to load the root FS.

    Here is the process to follow:

    • Boot the system using the install disk and login as root.
    • Mount the target partition "mount -t xfs /dev/sda2 /mnt"
    • Set /mnt to root "chroot /mnt"
    • Change directory to "/boot"
    • Make the initrd,  There is a helper script to get you started but for Hyper-V it doesn't apply since you need to load the Hyper-V system bus and storage service (hv_vmbus hv_storvsc) to load the drive, use the following command "mkinitrd -c -f xfs -r /dev/sda2 -m hv_vmbus:hv_storvsc:mbcache:xfs -u -o /boot/initrd.gz"
    • Add this to lilo.conf by adding "initrd = /boot/initrd.gz" right after the boot image line
    • Run "lilo" to set the configuration
    • Reboot

    They say you can recompile the Kernel to include Hyper-V support however, considering that both vmlinuz-generic and vmlinuz-huge kernels include support as modules you shouldn't need to.  The difference is that "huge" loads all of the drivers and is why I could install the OS on my VM.  When the system rebooted it switched over to "generic" and just didn't load the modules in time.

    Overall I'm just happy that I got it working and am still confused as to why Slackware 14.0 worked out of the box and why Slackware 14.1 failed.

  • Cyberpower Inc. Becomes the Exclusive Distributor of V3 Components in North America

    Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 | By: Warren

    Cyberpower has announced that it will now offer an alternative to it's traditional water cooling builds.  So for an enthusiast build, if coolant, pumps and radiators aren't your thing, and you're looking for a no-mess, compact alternative, Cyberpower may have a solution for you with a thermoelectric cooling option - the V3 Voltair.

    “We are very happy to have Cyberpower Inc. as the exclusive distributor of our products in North America. Cyberpower Inc. offers the logistics capacity and market reach to help make our products available to a much wider audience than we would be able to on our own,” said Chuck Morris, Product Manager at V3 Components.

    “Cyberpower Inc. has successful partnerships among both etailers and the retail channel that it will use to offer V3 Components products to customers.

    In addition to distributing products from V3 Components, Cyberpower Inc. will also be making the V3 Voltair CPU cooler available in their custom-built PCs, said Eric Cheung, CEO of Cyberpower Inc. “This is the beginning of a strong partnership in which we can utilize the innovation of the V3 Components team and collaborate on future product innovations.”

    As the ever-increasing curve of technology adds more power behind the chips being released, and as the ability to overclock becomes easier and more accessible for starting enthusists, it will be interesting to see how TEC technology continues to evolve to meet the increased demands asked of it.

  • be quiet! Dark Rock 3 Review @ techPowerUp

    Published: Saturday, April 19, 2014 | By: Warren

    Is it possible to have your cake, and eat it too?  Can you have both a high performance heatsink that also runs whisper silent?  The folks over at be quiet! sure thinks it's possible with the latest generation of Dark Rock tower coolers, the Dark Rock 3. 

    be quiet!'s Dark Rock 3 is a great single-tower cooler as it offers up stylish looks with the performance to back it up. Take into consideration its exceptional build quality and warranty and you have a cooler that might just be best in class.

    While they do appear to have added a second set of clips for a dual fan option to address our primary critique of the Dark Rock 2, though the same mounting brackets do appear to be used in this iteration as well.

  • GIGABYTE R9 290X OC and ASUS GTX 780 Ti DCUII Review @ [H]

    Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 | By: Dennis

    The R9 290X might be a hard chip to find but it does a pretty good job and pushing pixels and flipping frames.  [H]ard|OCP is looking at two graphic options first being a high-end factory mod from Asus followed by a custom cooled "tame racing driver" from Gigabyte.

    Today we look at the GIGABYTE R9 290X 4GB OC and ASUS GeForce GTX 780 Ti DirectCU II OC video cards. Each of these video cards features a custom cooling system, and a factory overclock. We will push the overclock farther and put these two video cards head-to-head for a high-end performance comparison.

    The points they look at in the review seem a little strange but it does a good job at giving you a side by side between the two chips.

  • DXRacer M-Series Game Chair @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 | By: Dennis

    Ever want to feel like you are in a high-end sports car while playing your favorite video game?  Well, that is what it will appear like if you sit in one of the DXRacer chairs.

    I’ve spoken about it in a few previous reviews but it’s really important to remember that there are a few things beyond your PC itself that will really improve your gaming experience. A few of the obvious examples are your keyboard and mouse but there are others that you might not even consider. A perfect example of something that most people skimp on is their chair. The ironic thing is that your chair is used more than any other product at your desk. As someone who spends both their work and recreational time in front of a PC, a high quality chair is even more important. I have been using the same “racing” style office chair for nearly 10 years now, after being repaired multiple times the chair has seen better days. When I came across the chairs from a company called DXRacer they fit the bill perfectly. Let’s see if their M-Series Gaming Chair can keep me gaming for the next 10 years.

    I have seen quite a few online gamers using similar chairs and while I prefer the elegance and style of a Herman Miller Aeron it just doesn't scream "I am a professional gamer" over Twitch.tv.

  • Thermaltake Urban T81 Full Tower @ NikKTech

    Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 | By: Dennis

    I am going to start calling this case the "Turban".

    In a market filled with all kinds of PC Cases by a huge number of manufacturers we all know how hard it is for someone to pick the right one for the job especially if price is of a concern. The reason i mentioned price should be quite obvious so if you're aiming to get one of the most expensive towers in the market then you currently only have a handful of choices to pick from by just a few of the leading manufacturers. On the other hand if you're on a budget things get tougher since most manufacturers out there aim for the masses and not enthusiasts, serious gamers and professionals so the number of available choices skyrockets. Primarily Thermaltake also seeks to win over the masses but from time to time they too release high quality and feature rich PC Cases aimed at serious consumers and the brand new Urban T81 Full Tower which has been with us for roughly a week now certainly wants to get in their ranks.

    Watch out for the super ultra paragraph spacing and look for the drive bay door, it should be epic.

  • Cooler Master CM Storm Xornet Gaming Mouse Review @ Tweaknews

    Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | By: Dennis

    Gaming mice on the cheap?  What is the world coming to. 

    CM Storm has proven once again that a quality gaming mouse doesn't have to carry a hefty price tag. For under $30 the Xornet provides the right amount of buttons, features, and quality parts to appeal to FPS gamers on a budget. If you prefer a claw-grip style of mouse and don't mind it being lightweight, the Xornet is an excellent choice.

    The mouse looks like the old Cooler Master Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse that we reviewed.  Of course the color is different and likely has better software but same non-the-less.

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