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

Cooler Master Storm Havoc Gaming Mouse Review @ Techgage

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

The other day I was playing a little Borderlands 2 and thought to myself. Would a different mouse change my experience with this game?  After some deep thought and a few reverse kill streaks on a raid boss I came to the conclusion that the only difference it would make is if didn't work or didn't exist.

Of course what that has to do with this review, I have no idea. happy smile

In our review of CM’s Sentinel Advance II gaming mouse last year, we found it to be a feature-filled product that was also comfortable to use, but it fell short of earning our wholehearted recommendation. This time around, we've got the SA II’s direct replacement, Havoc. Will the new kid on the block surpass its predecessor?

Nice looking mouse though, form fitting and with a great name.

Inside the Box: A look at Borderlands 2 Mission Editor

Published: Monday, July 08, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Articles like this are really good on a number of levels.  First you get to see a glimpse into what it takes create a mission after it has been storyboarded.  This would include actual game programming and take into account art direction (at some point).  This is followed up with a look at actual game engine programming and how things are timed.  The one thing I have discovered about games after playing Borderlands 2 is that no matter how good the level design is there are always repeated elements based on "time".  For instance when you have completed the game every time you visit the "Bank" in Sanctuary you hear Lilith, Brick and Mordecai talking about what to do next. 

This happens every time and its because the game time hasn't advanced.  Every time you come back after exiting the game the interaction is reset.  This quote kinda sums it up.

If the level just loaded was Sanctuary, but Hunting the Firehawk isn't yet complete, then the Lilith that lives in Sanctuary is destroyed. This is because even though her Pawn is placed in the Sanctuary level, the story says she isn't supposed to be there yet. Likewise, if the level just loaded was Frostburn Canyon, but this mission is complete (i.e. the story says she's moved to Sanctuary), then the Lilith in Frostburn Canyon is destroyed. Don't worry, I'm told the process is humane and she doesn't feel a thing.

The article is a little long but worth a read if you are interested, or just love all Borderlands 2 related stuff.

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB GS @ NikKTech

Published: Monday, July 08, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Here is a blast from three months ago, the GTX 650 Ti Boost, this time from Gainward and is a Golden Sample no doubt!

With the recent release of the GeForce series 7 graphics cards NVIDIA has once again taken the crown for the single most powerful graphics processing unit and although many of us hope that AMD can bring something to match them soon for the sake of competition (and in turn lower prices) things are not that easy. Regardless however although all three cards announced in the series 7 are quite remarkable not everyone has the ability to get one and so with series 6 prices naturally taking a significant hit this just might be the best time for people to invest on one of the previous generation models. Today on our test bench we have the last addition in the GeForce series 6 line by Gainward the 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Edition.

I really miss the days when Gainward was a strong supporter of the Red PCB, they may not have been good for the environment but, damn did they stand out.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H Motherboard Review @ HiTech Legion

Published: Friday, July 05, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

There is a book of a quote to follow this one sentence about the review.

The Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H is outfitted with impressive high-end features at a mainstream price. The Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H utilizes Ultra Durable 5 Plus technology, including the use of 10K solid Japanese capacitors, 2x Copper PCB, gold plated CPU brushes, ESD protection on USB and Ethernet ports with one fuse per port design, as well as International Rectifier PWM controllers and PowIRstage ICs.  Unlike other mainstream Z87 mainboards, the Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H has a total of ten USB 3.0 ports for unprecedented connective flexibility and also implements On/Off Charge 2 technology for rapid mobile device charging. Users who want to tune their system performance further will find the quick onboard buttons handy, including voltage read-out points, digital debug display, OC PEG, clear CMOS button, dual BIOS switch, as well as onboard power and reset buttons.

I sometimes wonder why there is a UD4H version of this motherboard,  The included features are often very similar and performance can be called "the same".  Of course after much debate, drinking and a good nights sleep I have come to the following conclusion.

Because.

Yes, Much like Mr. Torgue's question about "Explosions?" I have determined that UD3H and UD4H exist because they must.  One is more beefy for overclocking while the other is more cost efficient.  

Nvidia sees limited shipments of Tegra 4

Published: Friday, July 05, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

There is a delicate balance between getting your work out there and knowing when you actually included enough stuff.  In my world beyond the hardware I am often challenged to know when a design is done, does it have enough of this, is there too much of that.  More often than not the design is excatly what is needed but there are times when things are rushed and just don't feel finished.

I think that is what happened with nVidia.

Although Nvidia has successfully landed Tegra 4 orders from brand vendors such as Toshiba, Asustek Computer and Hewlett-Packard (HP) for their high-end products, because shipment volumes are still limited, sources from the upstream supply chain believe Nvidia may need to wait until the release of its next-generation Tegra 4i processor with integrated 4G LTE support to turn the tables

Nvidia's Tegra 4 has advantages in terms of performance, but because of its high price, most brand vendors have turned to choose solutions from China-based makers or MediaTek, which offer strong performance/price ratios.

No built in 4G LTE in a mobile phone chip?  Seems like a huge deal breaker to me and something that should have been considered from the beginning.  Then again, Tegra has always been a better tablet processor than brain for your mobile phone.

Happy Fouth of July!

Published: Friday, July 05, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Well, its a day late but I hope everyone had a safe and sane fourth.  As always count your fingers and toes, if they are all there then it was a good holiday.

More tech news in the pipeline so, grab a beverage and relax its going to be a awesome long weekend.

NL: Review Block - Random Stuffs

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Readers of Ninjalane will know that the news here is rather spotty in what gets posted, sometimes its all Motherboards while other times the review blocks features Video Cards and Coolers.  Well, this time it's none of that.

Web Reviews
- Intel LGA 1150 and AMD Socket FM2 in interactive Fit for Fan guide
- Lian Li PC-Q27 Micro-ATX Case @ Hexus
- 256GB Sandisk Ultra SSD @ Cowcotland
- Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked @ TechARP
- Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3-1866 CL10 @ ocaholic
- 15-Way Open-Source Intel/AMD/NVIDIA GPU Comparison @ Phoronix
- Intel 4th Gen Core i7-4770K 'Haswell' CPU Performance Review

Is "Random" what you need to start your day?

Samsung DA-F60 Portable 20W Bluetooth Speaker Review @ ModSynergy

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

What does everyone think about Bluetooth speakers?  Coolest thing ever? or a huge waste of bandwidth??

Samsung, a worldwide powerhouse producing a wide array of products, contacted us to review their newest and first portable wireless speaker, the Bluetooth enabled DA-F60 with NFC (Near field communication) and 20 watts of power pumping through in what basically is the size of a 3.5" hard drive enclosure.  Read on to know more of the Samsung DA-F60 portable 20W Bluetooth speaker, its unique features, its cost, how well it sounds, and whether or not this might be worth checking out.

Bluetooth "anything" seems to be the hot mobile commodity these days, hopefully the trend will continue, of course without taking things too far.

NL: Review Block - Motherboard Round-Up and Coolers

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Quick review block to start the weekend. 

Motherboard Round-up
- Gigabyte Z87X-OC Review @ Ocaholic
- ASUS Z87 Deluxe Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI Z87A-GD65 Gaming Motherboard @ PureOverclock
- Gigabyte Z87X-OC Mainboard Review on Technic3D
- ASUS Maximus VI Hero Z87 Motherboard Review @ ThinkComputers

Coolers
- DeepCool Gamer Storm Assassin CPU Cooler Review @ Tekinferno
- Cooler Master Seidon 240M CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Deepcool Gamer Storm Assassin CPU Cooler Review @ Pro-Clockers

Corsair Carbide Air 540 ATX Cube Case Review @ Pro-Clockers

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

I personally got to see this case a number of times at Computex and have to say, its good and a creative but really a re-hash on an old case design from the 90's.  Not always a bad thing and in this case quite good.

This design we are talking about is something we have only really seen in very large and expensive cases. But in the case of the Carbide Air 540, it is much smaller and having many of the same features you would see in a typical enthusiast case. Besides the design, Corsair is marketing the Carbide Air 540 as the perfect case to get good airflow to all your components like the GPU, CPU, memory and motherboard.

Of course despite all my grumblings I would like to evetually do a review or this case or even purchase it for myself because I like the concept and think it has a bright future in the enthusiast space.