After careful consideration and much regret I have decided to transfer all hardware review activities to a new domain.  I purchased in 2012 and have been working hard to build a new and improved Ninjalane on that domain.  If you are reading this you have reached one of the archived articles, news, projects and reviews that were left behind during the site migration. 

Please update your bookmarks and be sure to visit the new and improved Ninjalane at

Ninjalane News

Buy a Gigabyte 100 Series Motherboard - Win Free Stuff

Published: Monday, October 05, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Hardware Asylum

Did you know that simply registering a 100 Series Gigabyte motherboard, like the GA-Z170X UD5 I recently reviewed, can qualify you to win heaps of Gigabyte hardware or a Hero's of the Storm Hero and Skin?

It's true!

Buy select GIGABYTE 100 series motherboard* and register your product to win!

Your submission will qualify as one entry to win a GIGABYTE Motherboard, Mouse, Headset, or Heroes of the Storm™ Hero and Skin! Register before October 4th, 2015 to win a free trip to BlizzCon® 2015.

Promotion Period: August 5th to December 31st, 2015
Winners will be chosen on: September 7th, October 5th, November 5th, December 7th, 2015 and January 5th, 2016.

Instant Win: Win a Heroes of the Storm™ Hero and Skin!
Log on "here" to register your product information (serial number and check number), email address and country of residence to win a Heroes of the Storm™ Hero and Skin!

- After submitting your info, the system will send a confirmation email to your inbox.
- Please click the link in the email to verify your account.
- The system will confirm your submitted data and will let you know if you have won the Heroes of the Storm™ Hero and Skin.
- If you win one of the Heroes of the Storm™ Hero and Skin, the system will send the code to you via email.

Monthly Lucky Draw
If you register and validate your email address between: August 5th through December 31st, 2015, your submission will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a GIGABYTE Motherboard, Mouse, or Headset.
- Drawing date: September 7th, October 5th, November 5th, December 7th, 2015 and January 5th, 2016.
- The list will be announced on
- Winners will be notified via e-mail.

Registrations submitted before October 4th, 2015 will be automatically entered to win a free trip to BlizzCon® 2015. (This Grand prize will be drawn on October 5th, 2015)

I believe this is also one of those promotions where you can enter early and often so why not upgrade everyone in your family big grin smile

HBT Turbine 700 Case Review @ Hardware Asylum

Published: Sunday, September 13, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

This looks to be from a new player in the chassis and cooling space with a fair amount of modding potential

A unique feature of the HBT+ Turbine 700 is that the interior is divided into two physical sections. The front holds the electronics including motherboard, video card and cooling while the back allows access to power supply, cable management and storage. Not only does this help in case cooling but also gives the aspiring modder a much larger canvas to work from.

MSI X99A Godlike Motherboard Review @ Hardware Asylum

Published: Monday, July 27, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

In this review I’ll be looking at the new MSI X99A Godlike Gaming motherboard.  This is a new X99 motherboard I saw during Computex and was very impressed with how far MSI went to create a great looking motherboard.  Much like the X99A Gaming 7 the Godlike is another perfect example of what a high-end gaming motherboard should look like with the added benefit of more cowbell

The MSI Gaming line has a very rich history starting with enthusiast hardware tailored to match what gamers wanted.  The brand would later become a premier name in eSports while simultaneously supporting some of the top gamers in the world.  Some of that brand power comes from the unique color scheme and instantly recognizable MSI gaming logo. 

Is Computex Worth It @ Hardware Asylum

Published: Monday, June 22, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Sometimes you have to ask yourself if going to a trade show is really worth the time and effort.  Hardware Asylum explores why they travel halfway around the world to attend Computex and wonders if the benefits justify the effort.

Computex has been a yearly trek for me since 2003 and I have seen the show transform from something initially sales focused and market driven to a fashion show where flash and pizzazz win out in the end.

It really seems hard to believe that attending a trade show, in Taiwan, is really all that beneficial but when dealing with Asian companies you sometimes need to conform to their business practices.  Funny thing is, most of the time it is the other way around.

Now it's even easier to watch questionable movie streams

Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

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.

MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Asylum

Published: Friday, May 15, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

A gaming motherboard that can overclock? Perish the thought!!

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.

There is something to be said about building the perfect gaming system, not a rig to show off to friends or win awards at the "who spent the most money contest" bu, rather a practical system that looks good and performs out of the box.

That is exactly what MSI has created with their X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard, just the awesome and none of the not. 

Why The National Consumer Electronics Superstore Model Is Obsolete @ Forbes

Published: Monday, April 06, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

I noticed this story flipping through my google news feed, (Something that Hardware Asylum has been barred from contributing to, thanks again Google) and found this story at Forbes.

The article takes a stab at why brick and mortar electronics stores are closing.  Case in point, Circit City and CompUSA both sold consumer electronics and they were forced to close.  Most would say that online shopping took away their consumers and they were forced to go out of business.  While I agree with that statement you can also add a lackluster selection of components and poorly trained staff.  Of course, with that being said, what about Best Buy, Frys and Microcenter? don't these places sell consumer electronics?

And while online shopping (translation, Amazon,) has no doubt voraciously siphoned market share from physical stores on everything from computers to TVs, e-commerce isn’t the only reason consumer electronics no longer appears to work as a single product category at a national big box chain.

Over the past 15 years, “There’s been a proliferation of competition, from mass retailers to highly specialized retailers, as more and more retailers are carrying electronics since it’s more important to consumers,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis, consumer technology, for market research firm The NPD Group, listing chains as diverse as Wal-Mart, Staples, Kohl’s, Big Lots and Costco, which have dramatically expanded their electronics assortments both in store and online.

According to the article the solution is diversity.  Diversity to the extent of removing EVERY computer part from their stores OR stocking only cheap mainstream hardware.  The idea here is that consumers who actually want good stuff know where to get it leaving the computer illiterate and shoppers with no budget to buy whatever is cheapest item on the shelf.

I was once asked the following questions
- "Why there are no Overclockers in Boise Idaho?"
- "Why doesn't anyone care about Overclocking in the US?

I think this article answers the question and sadly having the US consumer electronics market is being driven by the Apple/Samsung hardware market model "Buy it, Break it then Buy Another" doesn't help.

As hardware enthusiasts it is difficult to draw attention to the hobby in a market situation like this.  First of all without a common place to go (like a computer shop) it is difficult to know who in your area is interested in this stuff.  Furthermore since the target demographic is buying online there is no incentive for them to even bother going out or anyone pushing them to actually buy higher end hardware.  (I shudder to think there are kids out there who are proud of their Dell black boxes).

The one positive is the role of the professional hardware reviewer.  Given that you cannot go down to the local computer shop to inspect a product in person you are left reading looking for reviews.  Most of these are written by "idiots" complaining about something they didn't understand and a few are the results of doing extensive searches to find the answers.  Either way, review sites will play a key role in this ecosystem and with any luck there are a few out there getting it right.

I'll save my opinions on that topic for another rant. happy smile

Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion Overclocking Motherboard

Published: Sunday, April 05, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Hardware Asylum has a great review of the new Gigabyte X99 SOC Champion motherboard posted and even do some subzero overclocking using the Core i7 5960X.

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.

The new SOC Champion is basically an upgraded version of the X99 SOC Force that was never upgraded to handle faster, and more modern, DDR4 memory speeds beyond 2666Mhz.  So, instead of simply issuing a BIOS update they issued a motherboard refresh.  Seems Legit right? 

Springtime is Boring for the Hardware Enthusiast

Published: Thursday, April 02, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Springtime is one of the worse for PC hardware. Sure there might be a random awesome speed SSD released, "big whoop"   There might even be a video card out there so powerful it has been dubbed the GPU of Power, "meh, needs more VRM" and yes there is always LN2 but after you figure delivery and kneaded eraser invoices you have blown your wad and have nothing left for beer.

I guess it might be time for something new, something totally fresh and new.  Something I haven't done in awhile.


Seems I have one of those "S-Frame" cases and a closet full of hardware but nothing exotic enough in the cooling department to really make the case stand out.

NVIDIA GTX 960 Launch Day

Published: Thursday, January 22, 2015 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

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