• 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.

  • CyberPowerPC Zeus Mini System Review

    CyberPowerPC Zeus Mini System Review

    The interesting thing is with the Zeus Mini you can now have an ultra powerful gaming PC that is no larger than an old school VCR.

Top Review Categories

Tech News

  • 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.

  • Gigabyte G1.Sniper A88X Review @ Bjorn3D

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

    Gonna let the Bjorn quote tell it all.

    Gigabyte’s G1.Sniper has a long history of targeting toward gamers. The board is designed with features that gamers seek the most: better audio quality, better network performance, and better cooling for overclocking, Dating back to the first G1.Sniper, Gigabyte has released various models of the G1.Sniper series: 3, 5, and M5. What they all have in common is that they are all for Intel processors. The G1.Sniper A88X marks the first motherboard from Gigabyte that carries the G1.Sniper moniker for AMD APU. With Kaveri, AMD not only brings performance enhancement but also PCI Express 3.0 support along with other technologies such as TrueAudio, HSA, and hQ. As such, Gigabyte is betting that there are gamers who are looking to build a gaming PC without spending a lot of cash would be interested in pairing the AMD APU with their latest G1. Sniper A88X motherboard.

    For the record we looked at this motherboard and found it to be really good.  Sadly the only downfall of the board isn't the board but the lackluster APU which is why having good onboard components is key for the modern gaming PC.

  • Noctua presents NH-D15 elite-class dual tower CPU cooler

    Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 | By: Dennis

    Noctua today introduced its new flagship-model NH-D15. Built on the basis of the legendary NH-D14 and carrying on its quest for ultimate quiet cooling performance, the NH-D15 is an elite-class dual tower cooler for the highest demands.

    "Having convinced tens of thousands of quiet cooling enthusiasts around the globe, our NH-D14 has become a reference for top-tier dual tower heatsinks", explains Mag. Roland Mossig, Noctua CEO. "In the end, it took us more than three years of continuous development, countless thermal simulations and over hundred samples to come up with a substantial improvement in efficiency. Staying true to our policy of not releasing anything we're not 100% satisfied with, we had to accept some delays in order to squeeze out the last few percent of performance, but now we're proud to finally release the NH-D15 as a worthy successor to the venerable D14."

    Noctua's NH-D14 has received more than 350 awards and recommendations from leading international hardware websites and magazines, making it one of the most successful premium heatsinks ever built. With its expanded layout and dual NF-A15 fans, the NH-D15 further improves the D14's much acclaimed quiet cooling performance.

    Compared to the NH-D14, the NH-D15's fin-stack has been widened from 140 to 150mm and its heatpipes are now spaced further apart, which allows for a more uniform heat distribution over a larger surface area and thus contributes to the NH-D15's superior efficiency. Thanks to its recessed lower fins, the NH-D15 provides 64mm clearance for tall memory heatsinks in single fan mode, making it compatible with most high end RAM modules on the market.

    The NF-A15 premium fans supplied with the NH-D15 support PWM for convenient automatic speed control through the mainboard. In addition, the maximum fan speed can be reduced from 1500 to 1200rpm using the supplied Low-Noise Adaptor for even quieter operation.

    Topped off with the trusted, pro-grade SecuFirm2™ multi-socket mounting system, Noctua's proven NT-H1 thermal compound and full 6 years manufacturer's warranty, the NH-D15 forms a complete premium quality solution that represents a deluxe choice for overclockers and silent-enthusiasts alike.

    Pricing and availability
    The NH-D15 will be available by mid-April at suggested retail prices of EUR 89.90 / USD 99.90.

    About Noctua
    Designed in Austria, Noctua's premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 3000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua's fans and heatsinks are chosen by more than a hundred thousand satisfied customers around the globe.

  • GameSpy is Shutting Down?!?

    Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 | By: Dennis

    In the early days of multiplayer gaming you had one option if you wanted to play with friends and that was to pack up your PC and physically join them at a single location.  This is what started the LAN Party movement.  Given that most people still had dial up Internet the LAN situation wasn't all that bad.

    Some games like Duke Nukem 3D and Warcraft had a online service called Kali to setup matchmaking but, it was a paid service and didn't work all that well.  Around the same time a new company spawned and would forever change the landscape of Online Multiplayer gaming and that company was GameSpy.

    Sadly, it would seem that services like Steam and Origin have stifled the GameSpy service model and they are being forced to close down all their services.

    Why is this closure happening, then? It's a business thing, and like most business things it's not easy to explain or understand unless you spend all day crunching numbers and paying bills. Which I don't. So here's the simple version that even I can comprehend: Ziff Davis wants to run an efficient, focused company, and managing several different sites that all cover videogames isn't exactly the model of efficiency. Even though GameSpy had its own unique voice that was separate and distinct from those of our sister sites, and there has always been value in that, it's hard to argue with that logic. Even if it does totally suck.

    Read into it what you want but, by the sounds of it the margins are too low and costs needed to be cut.  The question is, what does this do for games that use GameSpy for their online matchmaking?? 

    Maybe a service like Steam will integrate the protocol or another company will buy the IP but until that happens it will be LAN party of nothing if you want your multiplayer Borderlands 1 fix.

  • Announcing Borderlands The Pre-Sequel - We are going to the moon!

    Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 | By: Dennis

    With only two days left before the start of PAX East we have an official announcement.  The Borderlands Pre-Sequel is actually a thing and will be released later in 2014.  It would seem the rumormill is true for once. wink smile

    Set between Borderlands and Borderlands 2, you'll play as four new characters classes fighting alongside Handsome Jack, witnessing his transformation into the ruthless tyrant you loved to hate in Borderlands 2, and assisting with the rise of the Hyperion Corporation. The signature shoot 'n' loot gameplay of the Borderlands series expands with the addition of low-gravity and oxygen-powered jetpack combat, the icy 'Cryo' elemental damage type, the deadly laser weapon class, and new vehicles to help you explore the lunar landscape.

    Yes! we are going to the moon!

    Based on the information in the 2K blog the Pre-Sequel started around the time the first DLC was released.  The game engine is exactly the same so all 2K had to do was swap out the assets and create their own story.

    Per the Borderlands recipe there will be four playable characters including Athena, Wilhelm, Nisha and Claptrap.  The gameplay will be a little different with low gravity impacting how you move and oxygen coming into play helping with player movement.

  • Rumormill Claims Borderlands sequel called "The Pre-Sequel!"

    Published: Monday, April 07, 2014 | By: Dennis

    I often think back to the days of Duke Nukem 3D and how shortly after finishing the expansion pack I started to see news talking about the next installment, Duke Nukem 4.  Duke was a big name title and news of development was pretty easy to find.  As we know they started out using the Quake 2 engine and later after the first Unreal dropped they switched to the Unreal Engine.

    Of course, shortly after that Duke Nukem Forever went into vaporware status until Gearbox Software decided to buy the IP and finish the game. 

    So what really happened between Duke Nukem 3D and now?  Well, there is the Wikipedia story backed by news accounts and there is what I think.  happy smile

    Duke Nukem 3D was a popular title and they needed a way to keep 3DRealms in the news given that Quake had just released.  So, someone leaked a story saying that Duke Nukem 4 was in development and even spent some time doing up a few tech demos.   I figure the initial announcement was a rumor gone bad and since the story got traction they had "peer pressure" to deliver and when the noise died down so did development, that is until they realized that a vaporware status could work to their advantage.

    Well, long story short (too late) there is another rumor out today claiming that Randy wasn't "wrong" when he said Gearbox isn't working on Borderlands 3 because they are working on "Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!"  (<-- with the bang).  The story is set on the Moonbase and will introduce four new characters.

    Set on the moon of Elpis and Hyperions ominous H shaped moon base, the game sees Handsome Jack in the days when he was just a humble programmer called John, hunting a powerful alien artefact (what else!!). Players will be able to select one of Jack/Johns four lieutenants to play as in Athena The Gladiator, Wilhelm The Enforcer, Nisha The Lawbringer and Fragtrap, a militarised claptrap..

    The astute amongst you may recognise some of the names from their appearances in previous instalments, Wilhelm is the half human, half Hyperion Loader boss from Borderlands 2 and Athena made an appearance in the General Knoxx DLC for the first game as a Lance Assassin gone mercenary. Nisha bears a striking resemblance to the seconds games Sheriff of Lynchwood, who was also Jacks girlfriend.

    Athena will be a melee focused character able to absorb incoming fire with here kinetic shield while dispatching enemies with her plasma sword. While Wilhelm(sadly before he became a badass loader) will be able to make use of a shoulder mounter cannon and drones which you can call down to aid you in combat.

    I'm not sure I would believe a story like this especially considering the bad spelling and very detailed rumor description but, it is Borderlands news and any news is good news.

    Even if it is fake.

  • Introducing the Cooler Master QuickFire Rapid-i

    Published: Wednesday, April 02, 2014 | By: Dennis

    Fully Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with ActivLite Technology

    Chino, CA – 4/2/2014 – Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator and manufacturer of desktop components, mobile accessories, and gaming peripherals, today announced the much requested QuickFire Rapid-i, a fully featured and backlit mechanical keyboard. QuickFire Rapid-i builds upon its predecessor’s legacy with full keyboard illumination and unique lighting effects through its new ActivLite technology.

    Information on the new QuickFire Rapid-I, including features and notification of availability can be found at a unique, brand new micro-site here.

    Stylistic Illumination

    Powered by a 32-bit ARM processor, Rapid-i’s ActivLite Technology incorporates 5 lighting modes with 5 brightness levels. Using ActivLite, users find themselves adding a richer aesthetic to their space. One such mode enables the backlighting to brightly illuminate upon each key press and fade softly as your fingers move on to the next key. The effect is a deeply satisfying visual trail to bring a unique effect to your typing experience. ActivLite also allows users to individually program keys for unique game and application uses, while the onboard memory makes it possible to save profiles that store up to four different presets.

    Featuring a smooth and clean aesthetic, QuickFire Rapid-i includes laser-marked keycaps and a non-glossy matte finish over tactile and quiet mechanical switches. A response time of 1ms, in USB mode, offers gamers a necessary consistency to respond quickly in the latest games. Multimedia shortcuts are available to ensure that media can be controlled with ease. With N Key Rollover (NKRO), users deploying the QuickFire Rapid-i in either USB or PS/2 mode can activate many keys on the keyboard simultaneously.

    Ergonomic Size with Hassle-free Travel

    Travel with ease by simply removing the included braided USB cable and storing it. At all times, the QuickFire Rapid-i makes itself a more journey-ready partner with its super-slim body. It allows the keyboard to be more ergonomically-friendly while being easier to transport than most full-sized mechanical keyboards.

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