After careful consideration and much regret I have decided to transfer all hardware review activities to a new domain.  I purchased Hardwareasylum.com 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 Hardwareasylum.com

Ninjalane News

Pink is the new Black by Enermax

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

In the early days of computer chassis design everything was beige because beige was a neutral color that went with almost everything, it is also where the phrase "the beige box" came from.  Modding changed the landscape somewhat and introduced a rainbow of colors applied to a variety of cases from mild customs to inexpensive pre-mods.  They all had something to offer and usually in a color that suited your tastes.

Of those colors you don't normally see Pink, and when you do its usually in conjunction with a cartoon or part of a custom mod done by an end user.  That is, until now.

Enermax has released the new Ostrog Pink chassis which is pretty much your standard mid tower chassis featuring a soft Pink exterior and glossy white center.  USB and power controls are located at the top, it comes with a removable HDD cage for longer graphics cards and features a varity of filters and screwless ODD kits (the 5.25 drive bays).

Pink may not be the color of the hardcore gamer and color matched components may be difficult to source but any fan of pink, ladies included, may find this case the perfect alternative to modding a chassis themselves.

SilverStone Tundra TD02 & TD03 Review @ Hardware Canucks

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

When is a cooler, *not* a cooler? Well, I'm not sure such a thing exists.  In fact the new Tundra chillers from Silverstone are quite good though feature some interesting design decisions.

With the Tundra TD02 and TD03, SilverStone has officially entered the water cooling market with two extremely competitive all in ones.  They compete well against the likes of Corsair's H100 series and NZXT's Krakens.

There is only so much  you can do with an AIO watercooler before you run into bottlenecks either in pump power, radiator size, fan speed and even the diameter of the hoses can impact performance.

Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 @ Modders-Inc

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

The nice thing about being part of the "trusted" hardware media is that you get to see the genesis of products from their first concepts to the pre-launch displays.  The Cooler Master HAF Stacker is one such case that I first saw at CES.

To be honest I wasn't really a fan of the design but it has potential, especially in the modding community.

I think we have all thought at one time or another that if we could just build a case that we wanted it would bee so cool. Or not having to cram in all your hardware, water cooling setup, hard drives and all the wires and cables that go with it. Cooler Master must have been thinking the same thing and came up with a totally new idea for the computer case market. The Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 is like nothing you have every seen before.

Now for the real question, why didn't we get one for review??

(Getting Out from) Under the Surface @ Techgage

Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Our friends over at Techgage have an interesting article about the new Surface.  By now most of you know that the Surface 2 has been announced and that from a hardware standpoint it is much better than the original.  The problem is the device is still being released by MS and is hurting the hardware OEMs that use the Microsoft operating system.

Microsoft has been making a lot of weird moves lately, but the strangest of all has been its release (and now re-release) of the Surface tablet. With Steve Ballmer now out of lives, we take a look at his strange vision of Microsoft’s future – and how it has affected the company.

Techgage has their own take on the MS direction and Surface.  An interesting read to say the least.

NL: Review Block - AMD Radeon R9 Launch Week

Published: Friday, October 11, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I guess flying a bunch of hardware reviewers to Hawaii for a press launch is a good way to ensure ample media coverage.

Web Reviews
- Sapphire Toxic R9 270X @ LanOC Reviews
- MSI Radeon R9-270X Gaming review
- AMD Radeon R9 270X & Sapphire TOXIC R9 270X Video Card Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- MSI Radeon R9 270X Hawk Edition Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte R9 270X Windforce @ LanOC Reviews
- AMD Radeon R9 280X / R9 270X from ASUS and MSI review: R9 in practice
- GIGABYTE Radeon R9 280X WindForce 3X OC Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- MSI R9 270X HAWK @ PureOverclock
- Will it Crossfire? R9 280X & HD 7970 Scaling Tested @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Radeon R9 280X Graphics Card Review @ Techgage
- MSI R9 280X GAMING 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD Radeon R9 270X 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD Radeon R7 260X, R9 270X, and R9 280X Tested @ HotHardware
- AMD's Radeon R9 280X and 270X graphics cards
- AMD Radeon R9 270X & R7 260X Review @ Hardware Canucks

Be sure to check out our review of the MSI R9 270X Gaming card.  A Hawk or Lightning edition would have been more fun to review but, what can you do. happy smile 

Still Playing Borderlands 2? Get the GOTY Edition

Published: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Borderlands 2 has been out for over a year now and since then they have released two vault hunter upgrades and the first DLC that wasn't included in the Season Pass.  I will admit that I do enjoy playing the game and find myself farming for gear but I think it's a little early to be releasing a GOTY edition considering that they have already planned even more DLC and the one already out isn't even included.

The Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition gives players the ability to take each of the six playable Vault Hunters to new levels, enjoy hundreds of hours of shoot-and-loot mayhem, and play each of the four highly popular add-on campaigns, all in one action-packed bundle. The Game of the Year Edition includes:
  • Borderlands 2 main game;
  • Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty;
  • Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage;
  • Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt;
  • Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep;
  • Creature Slaughter Dome;
  • Premiere Club Content:
  • Gaige, the Mechromancer Character Class;
  • Gearbox Gun Pack;
  • Golden Key;
  • Vault Hunter's Relic;
  • Krieg, the Psycho Character Class;
  • Collector’s Edition Heads and Skins;
  • Contraband Sky Rocket Grenade;
  • Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 1. 

I have purchased or acquired most of what comes with the GTOY that except for the Creature Slaughter Dome (which I understand is a waste of money) and some of the collector heads and skins.  To be honest I'm just about burned out on the game, I just reached Level 72 with one of my characters and have completed the entire came more times than I care to mention.  I have the option to overlevel but I really don't see the point.

Hate to say it but, it might be time to put it to pasture.

OCZ Vertex 450 256GB SSD @ Custom PC Review

Published: Monday, October 07, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Personally I still don't have an SSD in my main system but I know a few who do and most of them use Vertex.

This of course leads us OCZ’s latest offering, the OCZ Vertex 450, which we’ll be reviewing today. The OCZ Vertex 450 is the newest SSD in OCZ’s lineup and for the most part is an update of sorts to the already successful Vertex 4. On the controller side, OCZ has moved away from their short lived time with the Marvell hardware based Indilinx Everest 2 controller in favor of the completely in house designed Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller...

These drives have gotten rather popular in recent months and I wouldn't expect a slowdown anytime soon.

Asus Xonar Phoebus Solo Review - 7.1 Gaming Soundcard Review @ HCW

Published: Monday, October 07, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

These days we find that onboard audio isn't only available but is also pretty good.  Of course as hardware enthusiasts we always strive for more and often ignore the onboard in flavor of something meatier.

In our Asus Xonar Phoebus Solo review, we determine what makes for a good PC gaming soundcard, and whether the Phoebus Solo lives up to those standards.

If your gaming rig was something comprised of a X79 and your video card was an Nvidia GTX 780 then adding a Xonar would be like adding gravy to your biscuits with a side of butter.

Ok, now I'm hungry.  happy smile

Silk Road boss paid $80k for snitch’s murder

Published: Thursday, October 03, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Not really tech news but interesting because as part of this take down the feds took control of a bunch of bitcoins worth $3.6Million.  I guess selling drugs online was rather profitable.

On February 4, Dread Pirate Roberts allegedly transferred $40,000 into a bank account controlled by the undercover agent. On March 1, Dread Pirate Roberts had the remainder deposited into the account after he received a staged photo that purported to depict the body of the employee who had died of asphyxiation and heart rupture after being tortured.

Kinda sad really, both for the Bitcoin market and the drug underground.  Just remember its always the "suitemate" or so I was told by an undisclosed female student during my college days.  As the story goes my suitemate always needed to have people around so he threw parties in his dorm room which usually involved drinking.  Shortly after he found a dealer and eventually got arrested for smoking pot on campus.

Shortly after getting out on bail he threw another small party and invited over a few ladies from the drom complex who proceeded to then try to pin his getting busted on me.  Needless to say tensions were high after that.  My saving grace? I wasn't even in my room during the party having been scheduled for my weekly workstudy session..

GTA Online launches - right into a roadblock

Published: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

I recently wrote about how GTA V was one of the fastest selling games in history which speaks to the success and power of console gaming however, the same cannot be said for their new "Online" mode.

Grand Theft Auto Online, an online multiplayer game that allows players to form gangs and complete new heists, is having some trouble getting the gamers online.

The title, which launched on game consoles Tuesday morning, is experiencing server issues that have locked out some gamers and made it difficult for those who have gotten in to play the game. Twitter is abuzz with complaints from gamers who say they can't get into the service.

This sort of thing isn't uncommon, in fact most "[your game title] Online" games have had similar issues in the past where the game was released but the servers couldn't handle the load.  Nobody really publishes if that really impacts game sales but I can imagine that only the hardcore actually come back to play leaving the people on the fence to move on to the next shiny thing.

Not likely to happen with GTA V but you never know.