Tech News

  • Lian Li PC-K6S Case Review @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Despite being the leading maker of aluminum computer cases Lian Li has been building SECC steel cases for quite awhile.  Their latest attempt is with their Ebonsteel line and is a case we looked at not to long ago.

    Lian Li is known by many as a high-end case manufacture with many of their cases costing well over $250. This is mainly because these cases are made of all aluminum, which of course is more expensive and lighter than steel. What you might not know is that Lian Li has an Ebonsteel line of cases which feature steel construction and come in at affordable prices. Today we will be taking a look at the PC-K6S, which is the silent version of the PC-K6. Being that this case is made for silence you have sound dampening material on both side panels, the top and front of the case. The PC-K6S is also designed to give you an extremely clean build as you have large metal shrouds covering the power supply and have drive cages. Talking about storage this case can fit up to 7 hard drives! Let’s see what the PC-K6S is all about!

    Funny thing is, I like the look of aluminum cases however, as it was explained to me the global market for aluminum is making it difficult to get material and still remain cost effective.  Hopefully this will change in the near future.

  • Throwback Time: Soltek SL-86SPE-L Violet Eyes

    Published: Thursday, January 19, 2017 | By: Dennis

    This year at CES 2017 I saw something I haven't seen in a long time.  A motherboard that wasn't completely black.  The board in question was the new Gigabyte Z270X Designare and instead of using the sudo standard matte black PCB it was built on a silver'ish board which got me thinking.

    I used to have a metallic silver motherboard which as made by Soltek back in the Pentium 4 days.  Sadly that motherboard was lost in the void of broken hardware but, I was able to find another Socket 478 Springdale bit of awesome, the Soltek SL-86SPE-L "Violet Eyes" motherboard.

    This motherboard is pretty special in that it came with SATA ports (direct from the South Bridge) along with an onboard RAID controller for us still running PATA drives.  At the top you'll find two memory banks for dual channel DDR memory along with a rather small VRM with capacitors that have since started to leak.

    The one thing I really liked about Soltek motherboards is that they were different.  It would seem that every board they released featured a different PCB color and really helped them sell in the open computer markets of ASIA. Sadly, this was one of the last motherboards from Soltek, and any other board maker, to feature a PCB color other than black. As it would turn out the process to create these motherboards was extremely toxic and couldn't pass the new environmental laws.

    From this board forward the Soltek motherboards all featured a glossy black PCB and purple expansion sockets that were first introducted on the Violet Eyes. 

    If anyone is curious and can stand the old school check out my review of the Soltek SL-86SPE-L which is still hosted at Ninjalane, it is only 13 years old big grin smile.

  • Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis GTR 360 Radiator @ techPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | By: Dennis

    The Hardware Labs Black Ice is the gold standard when it comes to PC watercooling radiators and while I do like what Thermaltake is doing there are some that just cannot get over the fact they are made from aluminum.  (mostly EK fans and /r/watercooling readers it would seem)

    Personally I'm all for trying new things and this new 360 rad from Hardware Labs looks amazing.

    Hardware Labs has been a mainstay in the PC DIY watercooling industry for over 15 years now, with an emphasis on radiators for different needs. Today, we take a look at the new Nemesis GTR 360 for those who want the best possible thermal dissipation performance from their radiators.

    Now I just need to figure out where to get them. happy smile

  • Samsung 960 PRO 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Review @ CDRLabs

    Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | By: Dennis

    NVMe will be a hot topic this summer with all of the major memory makers releasing drives and attempting to crack the price for performance maxtrix.

    As as PC enthusiast I'm all for performance and will likely always buy the fastest drive I can afford and then wonder how much faster I can make it.  The 960 PRO NVMe drive is blazing the trail first laid down by the 950 EVO that we reviewed not to long ago.

    The Samsung 960 PRO is one of, if not the, best consumer NVMe SSDs on the market today. Designed for professionals and enthusiasts, this M.2 form factor SSD is powered by Samsung's new 5-core Polaris controller and is available with up to 2TB of the company's 48-layer V-NAND flash. Combine this with a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 interface with NVMe and you have an SSD capable of delivering some truly ludicrous performance. The 960 PRO screamed through our sequential transfer rate tests,  reading at speeds as high as 3,570 MB/s and writing at more than 2,100 MB/s. The drive also took the top spot in our random write tests, producing more than 265,000 IOPS at low queue depths.

    Gotta get me some of that action, cause: reasons.

  • Sick of hearing about RGB, here’s an article about RGB @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | By: Dennis

    This is a topic that Darren and I talked about on the Hardware Asylum Podcast.  At the time I felt the whole RGB thing was just a fad kinda like LED fans were back in the day.  It would seem that since then things have EXPLODED in terms of RGB LED support and it can be seen just about everywhere.

    LanOC is having a fireside chat about RGB and claims "it is good for the company"

    After spending the past few weeks sorting through all of the CES coverage, launches, and all of the comments and backlash on social media and websites like Reddit I wanted to sit down and talk a little about something that has been bothering me. Over the past year, but especially at CES, just about every product introduced now has RGB lighting. When seeing my friends in the tech press talk about it, you can almost see/read the frustration with it all and there are comments all over with people hating on RGB. I want to go on record and say that RGB is great for the industry and its one of those products that everyone is going to hate on but they will most likely be upset next year if someone brings out a product without it.

    Personally I'm all for RGB lights as I think they help deliver some personalization that is much needed in the PC industry.  The problem is that EVERYONE is on the RGB train and it gets a little overwhelming when really it should be an exciting discovery.

  • Asylum: Review Block - Intel Z270 Motherboard Wrap-Up

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    As many of you know the new Intel Z270 and Kaby Lake processor went live on January 3rd and I was lucky enough to have a Gigabyte Z270X Gaming 5 review ready for the launch.  Given that I was in Vegas during that time I missed out on posting many of the "Web Reviews" so here we go.

    Web Reviews - Z270
    - ASRock Z270 Gaming K6 Fatal1ty review
    - Gigabyte GA-Z270X Gaming 5 review
    - GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 Review @ Vortez
    - ASUS TUF Z270 Mark I Motherboard Review
    - ASRock Z270 Extreme4 (with Kaby Lake) @ techPowerUp
    - MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING Titanium (*new)- ASRock Z270 Extreme 4
    - ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula motherboard- MSI Z270 GAMING Pro Carbon
    - Gigabyte GA-Z270X Gaming 7
    - GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-Gaming 5 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
    - ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 Review @ Hardware Canucks

    That should be all of them.  Sadly most of these are from a single website, either they had lots of time on their hands or are trying to show off.  Either way, kinda crazy.

  • MSI Allowing CPU Overclockers To Hit 5.2GHz On Select Intel Z270 Motherboards @ Legit Reviews

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    It would seem that "more often than not" I'm given the run around at the MSI booth.  eg, sign up for a meeting/tour and my guide is nowhere to be seen so I get to do a self guided tour.  This year was even worse given the number of YT channels recording and basically pushing people out of the way so they can get the shot they want.  #effindivas

    I did see the Z270 XPower on the wall but missed seeing it in action.  My bad I guess.

    At CES 2017, MSI was presenting their hardware line-up that included the latest Intel 270 motherboards.  They had an interesting demo running the MSI Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard with an Intel Core i7-7700K processor at 5.2GHz.  Legit Reviews talked about it with MSI and CES 2017 and they stated that any Intel Core i7-7700K should be able to hit 5.2GHz on liquid cooling with a single click of their Gaming Overclock button within the UEFI.  That’s an impressive statement

    5.2Ghz should be doable on Kaby Lake provided you can keep the CPU cool.  I was trying to hit 5.5Ghz on my phase and while the system would run it wasn't stable enough to complete my benchmark suite.  Maybe that was a product of the motherboard, we shall see.

  • Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Edition Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I got to see this case first hand at CES this year and I have to say, it looks good!  In keeping with tradition they are not using any external drive bays and have taken the liberty to cover everything with a shield that looks like something out of Iron Man 2

    The Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Edition is worth considering if you need a clean and well-built mid-tower with a tempered glass side panel and an RGB LED strip.

    As far as cases go, the Eclipse P400S is average for me.  The internals are nice and the LED lighting is subitle with some glowing at the bottom of the front panel.  It supports LED strips like with the Enthoo EVOLV Tempered Glass Edition and comes with a tempered glass side panel.  Beyond that. its just a case however there are a number of companies using this case in their OEM builds including CyberPowerPC and Digital Storm, though I suspect they would deny it. 

  • AMD Radeon Vega GPU Architecture @ techPowerUp

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Seems I was living under a rock when this news came out.  Oh wait. I was in the middle of sin city NOT invited to the AMD presentation when this news hit the headlines. 

    It would seem we have a new AMD GPU architecture, I wonder if it will be any good??

    AMD has shared technical details of their highly-expected, upcoming Radeon Vega GPU architecture, that succeeds Polaris. We dive down into the individual graphics units and detail what has changed and what improvements these changes promise.

    Of couse TechPowerUp has the scoop along with a handful of folks in forums making up fake news to help drive home that AMD is finally making a new GPU.  I hope the chips will allow a good amount of overclocking control because this BS voltage locked cr@p from NVidia is getting old.

  • Crucial MX300 Limited Edition 750GB 2.5 SSD Review @ ModSynergy

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I have always liked limited edition hardware, there is just something about having a one of a kind that just gives me a warm fuzzy with all the gold stars.

    Crucial has such a product, the MX300 @ 750GB.  I never did ask why it is limited edition though I suspect it might have been a prototype drive to test out the new 3D NAND they are using to populate the drive.

    Crucial, a brand name from top five semiconductor company Micron Technology Inc, becomes the second company (in partnership with Intel) to develop and offer 3D NAND technology inside a Solid State Drive.  Read our thoughts on the Crucial MX300 750GB SSD.

    I did a review of the Crucial MX300 750GB SSD Review so be sure to check it out!