Tech News

  • Funky Kit Review - Cougar Vantar MX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    Published: Friday, June 19, 2020 | By: Dennis

    I always get a chuckle when "these" reviews come in.  It is not that they are bad products but the company name is..  ya. ok moving on. happy smile

    The Cougar Vantar MX is a keyboard that offers great quality and performance for a respectable price tag. The Cougar UIX allows you to customize your keyboard as you wish and works flawlessly. 

    This is a great quote and from a design standpoint this keyboard looks very similar to the AZIO boards we reviewed a couple years ago.  Sure there are a few design changes and when it comes to keyboards you can't fiddle with the layhout too much or you get people freaking otu and mitypimf th2ngsa.

    Ask me how I know, thanks Microsoft.

  • Cooler Master MWE 650 White V2 650W Power Supply Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Friday, June 19, 2020 | By: Dennis

    Question: when is a white PSU not actually white?

    Answer: When it is the famed Cooler Master MWE 650 White V2 power supply.

    You know some time ago I reviewed a MWE PSU, the MWE Gold 750 and I found it to be a really good modular PSU, Gold rated and supported up to 6 PCI Express and two 12v CPU power connections.  The wattage was right for 98% of all builds and the price was right.

    The question is, why is the PSU in this review "White"?  Could it be the lowest 80 Plus rating?

    The Cooler Master MWE 650 White V2 650W is primarily a budget power supply for a budget build.

    I'm not sure the description is all that helpful so, you'll just have to check out the review yourself.  Or, check out my review of the MWE 750 Gold and pick one up for yourself.

  • Stand-Alone D5 With a Quantum Top from EK

    Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | By: Dennis

    EK® Water Blocks, the world-renowned premium liquid cooling manufacturer, is releasing the EK-Quantum Inertia D5 PWM D-RGB standalone pump units. These standalone pumps are an evolution of the very popular and successful EK-XTOP Revo D5 PWM pumps, now available with sophisticated D-RGB LED lighting and an updated design aligning with the EK Quantum Line.

    EK-Quantum Inertia D5 PWM D-RGB is a high-performance liquid cooling pump, built around the market-proven genuine D5 pump and the new Quantum Inertia top with an advanced vibration-reducing mounting clamp.

    The D5 pump is equipped with an electronically commutated spherical motor. In a pump with a spherical motor, the only moving part is a spherically shaped rotor which in this pump is held in place by a bearing ball made of ultra-hard and wear-resistant ceramic. The Revo D5 pump volute/body system features a fully rounded design thus offering greater usability, allowing installation at any angle within 360° of rotation. A special rubber shock absorber is used to de-couple the main pump body from the mounting clip for silent operation, free of vibration-induced noise. Additionally, horizontal and vertical positioning is supported for easier tube routing possibilities.

    Inertia standalone pumps come in two different models, with either a CNC-machined black POM acetal or CNC-machined cast-acrylic. Both the 50cm long power cable and 60cm long PWM signal cable are equipped with black sleeving.

  • AMD Ryzen B550 Launch Day

    Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 | By: Dennis

    AMD Ryzen fans rejoice!  The B550 is here, I repeat, the B550 is HERE.  Err, I don't have one cause: reasons but you get the gist.  So, the point of the story is that the AMD B550 Chipset based motherboards have been released and everyone is going nutz over them.

    With some luck all the fanbois and fangurrls will be juiced up to get a taste of the B550 goodness.  If I remember correctly these are the boards you cannot overclock (or at least are not supposed to be able to overclock) making them pointless wastes of time, effort and silicon.


    The B550 is also one of the highest selling most'est profit making motherboard any company can release so, somewhere along the lines we have failed. sad smile

    Web Reviews:
    Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master @ Guru3D
    MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Review @ Vortez
    Asus ROG Strix B550-I Gaming @ LanOC Reviews
    Gigabyte B550I AORUS Pro AX @ TechPowerUp
    Gigabyte B550 AORUS Pro @ TechPowerUp
    ASUS ROG STRIX B550-F Gaming (WiFi) @ TechPowerUp

    If you are in the market be sure to check them out.

  • The ViewSonic ELITE XG270QC Curved Gaming Monitor Now Available

    Published: Thursday, June 11, 2020 | By: Dennis

    Brea, CA (May 20, 2020) – ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solutions, announced that the ViewSonic ELITE XG270QC gaming monitor is now available. ViewSonic continues to expand its gaming line-up with products that deliver the ultimate experience for a variety of gaming environments. The XG270QC delivers a 165Hz refresh rate, 3ms (1ms MPRT) response time and AMD FreeSync™ Premium Pro technology to ensure a seamless gaming experience.

    As part of its ELITE gaming portfolio, the ViewSonic® XG270QC is a 27-inch, curved gaming monitor that is capable of achieving a 1ms (MPRT) response time. This gaming monitor is designed with a 1500R curvature to provide lifelike visuals and immersive gaming. It features VESA DisplayHDR 400 that delivers an entry point into HDR gaming, as well as PureXP™ technology to drastically reduce motion blur. With native QHD (2560x1440) resolution, along with a 550 cd/m2 luminance and DCI-P3 90% color coverage, the XG270QC offers bright, sharp and detailed image quality.

    ELITE XG270QC Gaming Monitor

    • 27-inch gaming monitor with native 2560x1440 (QHD) resolution
    • 1500R curvature for an immersive experience
    • Certified for VESA DisplayHDR 400 for entry point into HDR gaming
    • PureXP™ technology to reduce motion blur
    • 165Hz refresh rate* and 3ms (1ms MPRT) response time
    • AMD FreeSyncTM Premium Pro technology
    • Brightness of 550 cd/m2 and wide DCI-P3 90% color coverage**
    • Available now for an estimated street price of $460

    “With the addition of the XG270QC, ViewSonic ELITE has finally established itself as the premiere enthusiast gaming monitor provider for the modern gamer,” said Kendall Miller, global marketing manager for Gaming for ViewSonic ELITE monitors. “We’re delivering a display that is capable of providing the speed and clarity that gamers have been searching for, this time with a curved screen to ensure maximum immersion. When developing practical design innovations like our built-in mouse bungee or ELITE RGB, we always keep the mainstream gamer in mind. We take our generation of gamers seriously.”

    Blur Busters Approved ELITE XG270 Firmware Update

    ViewSonic ELITE, in conjunction with Blur Busters, has updated its PureXP™ mode for improved motion blur reduction control. PureXP™ is a strobe backlight mode that provides the purest experience in display motion clarity. PureXP™ now provides four levels of optimized motion blur reduction. These new modes allow gamers to control the level of brightness and motion blur reduction based on individual gamer preference. With a 240 Hz refresh rate and fast 1ms IPS panel, the additional tuning by Blur Busters provides gamers with the most fluid and clear gaming experience possible. The new Blur Busters Approved firmware is automatically downloaded via the ViewSonic Elite Display Controller software.

    ELITE Display Controller Software

    The ELITE Display Controller software makes it easy to adjust monitor settings and ELITE RGB lighting, all in one application. Gamers can customize and quickly change between display modes, choose from a wide selection of native RGB settings and sync their RGB lighting with ELITE RGB Alliance partnered software, like Razer Chroma and TT RGB Plus by Thermaltake. The ELITE Display Controller fully supports the XG270QG, XG270 and XG270QC, allowing users to customize their in-room ambience with an updated static color customization menu, supporting more than one thousand different color choices.


    The XG270QC launches in the EU, AU and ROW, June, 2020.

  • VIPER GAMING by PATRIOTâ„¢ adds 32GB modules into VIPER STEEL DDR4 UDIMM and SODIMM Performance Memory

    Published: Thursday, June 11, 2020 | By: Dennis

    FREMONT, CALIFORNIA — June 9th, 2020 — VIPER GAMING by PATRIOT, a trademarked brand of PATRIOT and a global leader in performance memory, solid-state drives, and flash storage solutions, is excited to announce the launch of their new 32GB memory modules into the VIPER STEEL SERIES DDR4 PERFORMANCE MEMORY. The new 32GB modules are available in both UDIMM and SODIMM. The frequencies from 3000MHz to 3600MHz are available for UDIMM and the frequencies from 2400MHz to 3000MHz for SODIMM. The new modules are built from rigorously tested memory chips and components on a ten-layer PCB for optimum performance in gaming desktops and laptops.

    The VIPER STEEL provides extra gaming performance and stability for the most demanding desktop and laptop environments across the latest Intel and AMD platforms. The VIPER STEEL modules bring Intel XMP 2.0 performance to the next level by offering hardcore gamers and enthusiasts the possibility to upgrade their gaming systems with more DRAM memory capacity and further extending their potential.

    "The VIPER STEEL has been awarded by many PC hardware sites in 2019. The feedback from PC gaming communities around the world has demanded that we expand the VIPER STEEL to create larger 64GB memory kits," said Roger Shinmoto, the Vice President of VIPER GAMING by PATRIOT™, "These new kits are not just for desktop gamers but apply to gaming laptop users and even mini-ITX builders as they benefit most from the 32GB modules. "

    Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, the VIPER STEEL SERIES DDR4 32GB modules have been rigorously hand-tested and strictly verified across a broad range of the latest Intel and AMD platforms. The VIPER STEEL UDIMM is available in frequencies of 3,000MHz, 3,200MHz, and 3,600MHz. The VIPER STEEL SODIMM is available in frequencies of 2400MHz, 2666MHz, and 3000MHz.  

  • Hardware Asylum and Lexar Fathers Day Giveaway

    Published: Monday, June 8, 2020 | By: Dennis

    Hello Everyone, I wanted to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Fathers Day!

    We are working with Lexar to give away Six (6) great prizes in a random draw that will take place on June 22nd. 

    Prizes include:

    3 x Lexar Professional Multi-Card 3-in-1 Reader
    3 x Lexar Compact Multi-Card 2-in-1 Reader

    Good luck!

    Hardware Asylum Father's Day Giveaway

  • ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Motherboard Review @

    Published: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | By: Dennis

    I did a review of the ASUS Maximus XII Hero Wi-Fi for the Comet Lake processor and Z490 launch and found it to be a super solid motherboard.  It didn't overclock as well as I would have liked but was a good entry into the Maximus line of ROG motherboards.

    ASUS’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) “Maximus” motherboards are always a top choice for overclocking and enthusiasts. They are pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to high-end motherboards and have every feature you could think of whether you are a gamer, overclocker, or just a normal PC enthusiast. Today we have the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) motherboard on the test bench. The “Hero” boards are great as they give you quite a lot of value, but aren’t as expensive as the “Extreme” boards. The ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) features a 14+2 power phase design, memory support up to 4800 MHz, 5g Ethernet, USB 3.2 gen 2, 802.11ax WiFi, SupremeFX audio, three M.2 slots, and of course that ASUS style and RGB lighting! Let’s see what this board is all about!

    It would seem that Thinkcomputers would agree.

  • Corsair Dominator Platinum White RGB DDR4-4000 MHz CL19 4x8 GB @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | By: Dennis

    Oh no, not another Corsair Memory launch!

    Today Corsair is launching a new stunning white and gold edition of their Dominator Platinum RGB memory, which has previously only been available in black. Specced at 4000 MHz, this high-end DDR4 memory kit should be a top performer on Intel. How will it fair with AMD? Lets find out!

    So the interesting thing about Dominator memory is that it is supposed to be good.  I am running a pair in the Hardware Asylum Podcast machine and have used them off and on since they were first released in ther Triple Channel days.

    While the familar cooling fins have stuck around I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the module design.  Its like they went all "We gotta be apple Mac up in this beyouch" but, then forgot how to do that.

    And, what is the deal with 4000Mhz memory?  its like we are making AMD Ryzen memory (Cause Ryzen is sooooo hot right now) but then forget that 3600Mhz is kinda the max if you want to run 1:1.  Maybe it is one of those +50W extra that TT adds to their PSUs to make seem better than everyone else.

    Anyhow, check out the review or something. happy smile

  • Welcome Back to the New Hardware Asylum

    Published: Sunday, May 31, 2020 | By: Dennis

    For the past seventeen years I have been hosting and on a dedicated server.  Before that my websites were on a shared hosting plan.  Shared hosting is an affordable solution for people just starting out but, as the name suggests, you are on a server with quite a few other sites sharing the bandwidth allocation and server resources.  If your site becomes busy it becomes slow and unstable.

    That thing happened to me back in 2003 with my first trip to Computex.  This was the year they delayed the show due to SARS and also made it so I was one of only a handful of tech media to attend.  As it would turn out [H]ard|OCP posted some of my coverage and for the next 5 days the website reset itself over and over as my shared hosting provider attempted to keep up with the traffic.

    Once I got back from Computex I searched around for an affordable dedicated server which allowed me to not only handle the increase in traffic but also run additional applications like the Ninjalane Message Forum, Email and FTP.  

    I even had a couple of game servers running which made the weekend L/WAN parties kinda fun.

    Sadly, the party had to end.  One of the issues with dedicated servers is that they are, in fact, dedicated.  The server host makes sure the server is online and replaces hardware but, is under no obligation to upgrade the server or operating system.  After nine years hosting with them on two different dedicated platforms they wouldn’t upgrade me anymore without a significant increase in cost.

    This prompted me to go a slightly different route and Co-Locate a server.  Turns out you can get lease return servers on eBay for cheap and all you need is some knowledge on how to operate them and you are set.

    Fortunately I have that skill set and looked for a local host near my home and the host I picked was SolutionPro.  This was a Micron seeded company left over from the Micron Internet Services (Yes the memory maker) and was eventually purchased by Involta.  From 2012 to just a few days ago my server was Co-Located in their DataCenter and things were good.

    As it would turn out Involta is in the process of a re-brand and started an internal audit that impacted me.  Basically I wasn't paying enough so they decided that my contract wasn’t going to be renewed.  There were also some misinterpretations of my contract, oversights, etc..  Needless to say they flipped a switch that forced my hand.

    The server had to move.

    This post is the first one you will see post Hardware Asylum dedicated server move.  I was able to get a backup server installed to handle the DNS redirect while I physically moved the server hardware to FiberPipe.  Turns out for a few bucks more I can get more bandwidth and similar level of hosting support by simply switching vendors, Imagine that?!?

    Eventually I might move Hardware Asylum into the cloud but, it is currently too expensive for the level of service I need and, when I finally decide to retire from doing product reviews I’ll only need to keep the archives around for a year before they become obsolete.

    Overall I’m glad things have worked out for the better as they could have gone MUCH worse.  I have seen hardware sites lose their domain names, some have shut down over new jobs and even more get pushed out for doing bad reviews, scamming and/or having disagreements with hardware makers.  As they say it’s all about the money man, the trick is to remain fluid and not to be afraid to put in a little work.