• EVGA GTX 960 Super Superclocked Video Card Review

    EVGA GTX 960 Super Superclocked Video Card Review

    If you look at all of the GTX 960 products you have two basic choices. You can either go with a reference designed card as released by NVidia or select one of the hot-clocked editions like the EVGA GTX 960 Super Superclocked

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 CyberpowerPC

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 CyberpowerPC

    One of the last vendors I met with during CES 2015 was CyberPowerPC. Cyberpower was in the news quite often during the show because of this, the Trinity gaming computer.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 InWin

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 InWin

    The new S-Box is a new case that takes the S-Frame bended metal concept and converts it into a usable square chassis.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Silverstone

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Silverstone

    One of the highlights of the visit was checking out the new Raven RVZ02 Prototype. This case is designed to be smaller than the Raven RVZ01 with better cooling and more efficient layout.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Thermaltake Visit

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Thermaltake Visit

    I quickly popped in to see what Thermaltake was doing and unlike in previous years there were basically two things on display. Big ass cases and watercooling stuff.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Zotac Visit

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Zotac Visit

    There were several video cards on display at the Zotac suite from a tiny mini ITX style GTX 970 to the AMP! Super Omega Extreme editions with fancy lights and large capacitors.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Diamond Mulitmedia Visit

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Diamond Mulitmedia Visit

    Last year during CES we looked at a few products from Diamond Multimedia including the famed GC1000 HD Game Console Capture Device which has been upgraded for 2015.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 HyperX Visit

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 HyperX Visit

    For those of you who may not know Kingston has spun off the HyperX brand to handle all of the consumer brands and eSports competitions. As a result we will no longer see some of the mainstream products but rather all of the juicy coolness.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 EVGA Visit

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 EVGA Visit

    CES is a good time for EVGA. For instance last year they announced the GTX 780 Ti Classified Kingpin edition video card and the year before was dominated by the X79 Dark.

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Asustor Visit

    Consumer Electronics Show 2015 Asustor Visit

    A NAS (Network Attached Storage) system can help you safeguard your data and do much much more. Asustor was showing off their new line of 7 Series NAS devices along with some of the new features of ADM 2.3.

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Tech News

  • NVIDIA Responds to GTX 970 3.5GB Memory Issue

    Published: Sunday, January 25, 2015 | By: Dennis

    As I'm working a GTX 970 review I am reminded of some things that have been uncovered in the Maxwell generation.  In this case there is a performance issue under extremely high memory usage.  When addressing more than 3.5GB of memory the GTX 970 will run slower than a GTX 980 under the same conditions.

    Having read the explanation over at PCPer I'm in full agreement with Josh.

    A few days ago when we were presented with evidence of the 970 not fully utilizing all 4 GB of memory, I theorized that it had to do with the reduction of SMM units. It makes sense from an efficiency standpoint to perhaps "hard code" memory addresses for each SMM. The thought behind that would be that 4 GB of memory is a huge amount of a video card, and the potential performance gains of a more flexible system would be pretty minimal.

    I believe that the memory controller is working as intended and not a bug. When designing a large GPU, there will invariably be compromises made. From all indications NVIDIA decided to save time, die size, and power by simplifying the memory controller and crossbar setup. These things have a direct impact on time to market and power efficiency.  NVIDIA probably figured that a couple percentage of performance lost was outweighed by the added complexity, power consumption, and engineering resources that it would have taken to gain those few percentage points back. ~ Josh Walrath PCPer

    It makes sense that cutting down the GPU would have an impact on how the framebuffer is being used and might explain "why" chips are cut down the way they are.  It might also explain why most Nvidia graphics cards only came with 3GB/6GB of memory framebuffer. 

    Either way the performance problems are only under extreme conditions and while the GTX 970 might be a good price match most gamers the conditions that cause the performance issues are likely best suited for GTX 980 cards anyway.

  • SilverStone Raven RV05 @ techPowerUp

    Published: Friday, January 23, 2015 | By: Dennis

    The Silverstone Raven 5 is a case that you either love or hate.  At first I was rather upset that Silverstone would release a Raven case without an external 5.25" drive bay however, after doing the review the Raven 5 I realized that the intent of the case was more to push the boundaries than to rehash a traditional design.

    The SilverStone RV05 is the latest Raven mid-tower chassis with a 90°-turned internal layout. Sporting the same elaborate looks as all other cases in the family, it aims to please the mainstream with its compact size and interesting price tag. Will the RV05 capture our heart or instill fear?

    Raven 5 does go back to the traditional 90 degree motherboard orientation and is designed to be a premier aircooling case.  However, what makes the Raven 5 interesting isn't the position of the motherboard but rather the size of the case and what Silverstone did to get there.

    On a side note: I feel that tower style cases still need external drive bays for optical drives, fan controllers, water reservoirs and even additional storage.  The numbers may claim that nobody uses optical drives anymore but in the casemodding world things are a little different.

  • Corsair Hydro Series H100i All-In-One CPU Liquid Cooler @ [H]

    Published: Friday, January 23, 2015 | By: Dennis

    This is a bit of a blast from the past kind of review.

    We continue today reviewing the older Corsair Hydro Series AIO coolers on our modern testing platform. Two years ago the Corsair H100i proved itself to be a solid value when it comes to sealed liquid All-In-One CPU coolers, but how does it perform a couple of years later? We take a look at what the H100i gets you with today's hardware.

    Having tested several coolers over the years I can say that unless your AIO cooler is down on liquid or has gummed up fans the performance will be the same "now" as it was "then".  The trick is getting the mounting hardware for the new platforms and some of the Corsair AIO coolers had the worst in the industry.

  • Neat Video of Thermal Conductivity in Action @ Frostytech

    Published: Friday, January 23, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Most everyone knows how heat transfers and that certain materials work has heat conductors while others work as insulators.  Here is an interesting video showing you thermal conductivitiy in action.  With a twist. happy smile

    Frostytech has a neat video  showing the fundamental difference in heat conductivity between solid copper and a heatpipe. Picked this up at Computex a while back. Note how quickly the top of the heatpipe increases to 56.1C in the 60seconds after submersion into the cup of hot water!

    The video is show you the effects of a heatpipe in warm water compaired to a solid copper rod. 

    You'll need the faceballz to watch this one.

  • NVIDIA GTX 960 Launch Day

    Published: Thursday, January 22, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Maxwell, the new GPU core from NVIDIA has been making headlines over the past several months from amazing gaming accolades to record overclocks above 2Ghz.  And, why not, the GPU is fast, power efficent and does 4k with ease. 

    NVIDIA claims that the 60-series cards (GTX 660, GTX 760) embody the "sweet spot" when it comes to gaming GPUs.  The new GTX 960 should serve as the new performance leader in mainstream gaming once again giving gamers a reason to upgrade..

    Web Reviews
    - SLI review: ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix @ Guru3D
    - nVidia Geforce GTX 960 @ HardwareSpot
    - Zotac GTX 960 AMP!-edition @ Bjorn3d
    - ASUS STRIX GTX 960 Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
    - MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING Video Card Review @ HardOCP
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Review With EVGA And ASUS @ HotHardware
    - EVGA GTX 960 SSC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960: A Great $200 GPU For Linux Gamers @ Phoronix
    - GIGABYTE GTX 960 G1 Gaming Review @ Vortez
    - Asus GTX 960 Strix @ LanOC Reviews
    - Nvidia's GeForce GTX 960 graphics card reviewed @ TechReport
    - NVIDIA GTX 960 Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
    - ASUS Strix Edition GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card Review @ Techgage

    Be sure to check out our own review of the EVGA GTX 960

  • Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 Memory Review

    Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | By: Dennis

    I'm not sure if the marketing department at Crucial watches this site like they used to but, if they are.  "Hi guys, I'm still local happy smile, the team and I need to come visit you one of these days"

    TechnologyX has a quick review posted of the new 2400Mhz DDR4 Ballistix Sport memory modules and they look decent!

    In the world of computer components, RAM is rarely ever a hot-topic, unlike processors and graphics cards that see new products come to market every couple of months, with new product generations every year. RAM is essentially always RAM; not much changes very often. Having said that, the last few months have been historic, as computer memory is more exciting than ever. Why? Next-generation DDR4 memory standard has reached mass-market availability and consumers want to know what, if anything has changed.

    Well, today we’re going to try to answer some of your questions as we get the pleasure of reviewing Crucial’s Ballistix Sport DDR4-2400 32GB quad-channel memory kit.

    I personally haven't used a Crucial memory module in years however, I still have some of the first gen DDR modules with the awesome activity lights across the top and they still bring a smile to my face.  Oh, the memories.

  • New Podcast and Capture System Build

    Published: Monday, January 19, 2015 | By: Dennis

    It has been a couple weeks since CES 2015 concluded and things are just now getting back to normal.  I do regret not visiting more people during the show but as I have mentioned before the CES show is more about relationship building than the tech.  At least in how it pertains to Hardware Asylum. 

    The first order of business post CES was the building of a specialized PC for the Hardware Asylum Podcast.  This box will replace my aging Asus Slate as the primary recording machine and will open up a variety of new directions we can take.  The new machine is a simple box consisting of "extra" parts I had laying around the Hardware Asylum Labs and while it may be a little overkill for recording audio that won't be its only purpose.

    The System
    Core i7 4770k
    MSI Z97i Gaming
    Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB
    Samsung 120GB SSD
    Toshiba 1TB HDD
    Avermedia Game Broadcaster HD
    InWin BP655 MiniITX Chassis

    Some of you may remember this build from my MSI MOA qualifier where I attempted to broadcast my overclocking runs on Twitch.TV.  Sadly the internet here in the lab isn't all that great so instead I messed around with OBS and recorded some things.

    Well, the system has been repurposed and with any luck will help bring some variety to the Podcast and my rare overclocking runs. happy smile

  • Gigabyte Raptor Gaming Mouse @ PureOverclock

    Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Raptor gaming mouse you say?  Why yes, this is a mouse named for a very cool bird, that eats rodents.  happy smile

    Gigabyte is targeting a rather specific crowd in the gaming peripheral world: those who want a claw-style mouse. We don’t see many of these, and the Gigabyte Raptor gaming mouse looks sleek and comes with a few interesting features. Not only is it a claw mouse, but it’s also nearly ambidextrous. Interesting, to be sure.  But will it alienate mainstream users, or zero in on those who want something special? Let’s take a closer look at the Gigabyte Raptor and make the call.

    I do like the colors but can never seem to get past the crazy squared off edges. 

  • G.SKILL Breaks Fastest DDR4 Memory Frequency Overclock at 4255MHz!

    Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan – 13 January 2015 – G.SKILL International Co. Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and solid-state storage, is extremely excited to announce a new memory record for fastest DDR4 memory frequency, set at 4255MHz CL18-18-18!

    This amazing achievement was attained on the Asus Rampage V Extreme motherboard (X99 chipset) and with the Intel i7-5960X processor, all under sub-zero liquid nitrogen cooling. Below is a screenshot of the record validation by CPU-Z. (Source: http://valid.canardpc.com/zqe93e)

    About G.SKILL
    Established in 1989 by PC hardware enthusiasts, G.SKILL specializes in high performance memory and SSD products, designed for PC gamers and enthusiasts around the world. Combining technical innovation and rock solid quality through our in-house testing lab and talented R&D team, G.SKILL continues to create record-breaking memory for each generation of hardware and hold the no. 1 brand title in overclocking memory.

  • Asus Rampage V Extreme Motherboard Review @ Hardware Slave

    Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 | By: Dennis

    I have always been a fan of Asus motherboards, they are red and usually pretty badass.  The Rampage V was on display quite often at CES and likely the availability and ease of use played a big factor in that.

    Hardware Slave has a review posted and you might give it a look.

    With the advent of the X99 Chipset from Intel, a bunch of new motherboards are needed to support this. Intel also released a revised Intel i7 CPUs to support this. Not only that but with the chipset and CPU releases, a new CPU socket was released at this same time; the LGA 2011-v3. While most manufacturers have the elite line of high kit, there is probably no better known range than the Rampage series.

    The LGA 2011-v3 socket and X99 chipset release means you need to buy a new CPU, your old X79 CPUs will not fit, and not only that, you will need some DDR4. You may be reading this for a lot of reasons, one may be about parting with your cash for a top of the line CPU, memory and motherboard. The Asus Rampage V Extreme is the top of the range at this time, and should be a consideration on anyone’s wish list for that full ATX SLI or Crossfire mother of all rigs.

    Eventually I might start reviewing Asus stuff again but, sadly some of that is out of my hands.  So, unless I open the pocketbook it might remain that way for awhile.

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