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

Computex 2013 Show Coverage @ Ninjalane

Published: Monday, June 03, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Computex is a big show and sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. I'll attempt to keep you notified at some of the cool stuff I find along the way.  I'm going to try and keep to a daily posting schedule.

Day 0: The Pre-Show
Computex 2013: Day 0 - The Pre-Show Spotlight
Computex 2013: Day 0 - The Pre-Show Spotlight Gallery

Day 1: The First Full Day
Computex 2013: Day 1 - The Start of the Show
Computex 2013: Day 1 - The Start of the Show Gallery

Day 2: Visits with Roccat Corsair and EVGA
Computex 2013: Day 2 - Visits with Roccat Corsair and EVGA
Computex 2013: Day 2 - Visits with Roccat Corsair and EVGA Gallery

Day 3 - Visits with beQuiet and Several Random Encounters
Computex 2013: Day 3 - Visits with beQuiet and Several Random Encounters
Computex 2013: Day 3 - Visits with beQuiet and Several Random Encounters Gallery

Computex 2013: What Hardware Canucks Wants to See

Published: Sunday, June 02, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Here is a neat little article that speculates what you may see at Computex through the eyes of Hardware Canucks.  Some of the stuff has been confirmed thru the normal media channels while some of the other things are pure educated speculation.

In the early days companies would go to great lengths to launch products at Computex and did a really good job keeping everything quiet until the big unveil.  Due to the law of "I must one up you" we are finding that product launches are happening sooner or waiting until long after Computex fever draws down, like in September. O_o.

Heck, even Computex articles are going up "days" before the show starts, case in point happy smile

Before the official start of Computex, Hardware Canucks' reporters at the show have a discussion regarding what's expected and which companies are about to make a big splash.

Personally I am looking forward to checking out the Haswell motherboards, GTX 700 series graphics cards and whatever AMD has to offer.  Tablets are cool and all but really aside from what is inside they are all basically the same and only distinguished by the operating system.

Mozilla Readies Major Firefox Redesign - Wonders what to do

Published: Saturday, June 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Don't get me wrong but didn't Microsoft re-think the browser back in like '00?  If memory serves they also promptly get sued by the sensitive Europeans for bogarting Internet presence in the Windows OS??

Well I don't blame the Mozilla folks, the browser needs to be "re-invented" since it has started to be come more than "just" an application to view websites.  the EA Origin application pushes the limits by spawning a browser window which in turn spawns a game (read: Battlefield 3).  Basically this excatly what Steam does but instead of writing their own browser engine they are using the one you already have installed.

HTML5 has also blurred the lines on what a desktop application is over a web one by  borrowing media support from the host system.  So, if you have a high quality audio player the browser will use that to play music instead of relying on what Flash implementation has been provided.  As a web developer I am a little torn on how HTML5 works but do welcome the change.

“Maybe we shouldn’t even call it a browser anymore,” Mozilla’s VP of Firefox engineering Jonathan Nightingale told me a few days ago. “‘Browser’ is really an antiquated word. People don’t really browse all that much anymore.” Instead, he argues, we now mostly use our browsers to access sophisticated web apps, web-based productivity tools and social networks.

For browser developers, this means they have to start to rethink what their browsers should look like now that usage patterns have changed and that the majority of users have become pretty experienced Internet (and browser) users.

I'm not a fan of the new user interface, making Firefox look like Chrome is just proving that Chrome won the "new" browser wars.  I hope this isn't the start of a downward sprial for the browser but, I have faith and will support them whenever I can.  

The First Experience Of Intel Haswell On Linux @ Phoronix

Published: Saturday, June 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

In a Windows world many of us don't consider how our systems run under alternative OS's, given how messed up Windows 8 has been this quest may turn into a reality for most.

Haswell is here, Haswell is here, Haswell is here!!! After talking for months about the Linux kernel and driver development for Intel's Ivy Bridge successor, the heatsink can be lifted today on talking about Intel's Haswell processor. For the past few weeks I have been running and benchmarking an Intel Core i7 4770K "Haswell" processor on Linux to mixed success. While the Haswell improvements are terrific, the Linux experience now is awaiting improvements.

Still need to get my grubby mits on a Hazzy, twill have to wait until after Computex though.

MSI GTX 770 Lightning in the Wild

Published: Saturday, June 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

I was wandering thru the Guanhua Digital Plaza looking at all of the Asus Z87 motherboards for sale (slightly before the NDA lift) and noticed that several of the shops had GTX 770 Lightning edition cards on display.

It is really no surprise that this card would be on the market so soon after the launch given that it is identical to the GTX 680.  The only real change is a faster memory path and new memory chips.  Cost for this card is $550 USD making it $150 bux more than the base model, my only phjear is that MSI flashed the bios on the GTX 680 and resold it as the faster card.

On a related note there was a single R7970 Lightning for sale too making it one of the rarest cards in existence that you can still buy in Taiwan. happy smile

NL: Review Block: Haswell System Launches

Published: Saturday, June 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

The rumor is that all of these reviews have been launched early,

Motherboards
- GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Intel Z87 'Haswell' Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- 33 Haswell motherboard group test: 26x Z87, 4x H87 and 3x B85
- Z87 Motherboard Charts: 13 Models tested @ Ocaholic

Processor
- Intel Haswell i7-4770K & i5-4670K Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Intel Haswell i7-4770K IPC and Overclocking Review @ [H]
- Intel i7-4770 Haswell @ LanOC Reviews
- Intel Core i7-4770K HD Graphics 4600 GPU Performance @ techPowerUp
- Haswell Launch Coverage: Intel Core i7-4770K and GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 Motherboard Review @ HH

Be sure to check back for more Haswell information, it will be the star of the Computex show.

Silverstone Argon AR03 @ techPowerUp

Published: Saturday, June 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 is one of their most popular designs due to the price, performance and simplicity.  The design has been so good that 3 versions of that heatsink have been sold around the world.

Well by the looks of it CoolerMaster has some company in the mid-range tower cooling solution called the Silverstone Argon AR03.

Silverstone has expanded their portfolio of CPU coolers with the all new Argon series AR03 cooler. Featuring a blue and white fan and six heatpipes, this traditional tower cooler serves up exceptional cooling performance with solid acoustics.

This should be a good cooler.  The Hyper 212 only came with 4 heatpipes to reduce cost but also reduced cooling capacity,

NL: Review Block - GTX 770 Super Mega Launch Day

Published: Friday, May 31, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Lots of reviews out there.  Hardcore hardware peeps may get a little annoyed at this card given how similar it is to the GTX 680 but nobody should be complaining about the price.

400 bones and you too could own a GTX 770 and be happy to know its like the famous 680 but with a new catback exhaust system and NOS Fogger for a little added boost.

Be sure to check out our review of the nVidia GTX 770 and see how it stacks up to the R7970 Lightning (that nobody can buy anymore)

Web Reviews
- EVGA GTX 770 SC 2GB with ACX Cooler Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 @ Bjorn3D
- Gigabyte GTX 770 OC Windforce @ PureOverclock
- MSI GTX 770 Gaming @ PureOverclock
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 @ PureOverclock
- EVGA GTX 770 ACX @ LanOC Reviews
- Nvidia GTX 770 @ LanOC Reviews
- MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming and ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II Review @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review With Gigabyte & MSI @ HotHardware
- ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II OC Review @ Ocaholic
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 review incl. 3-way SLI and frametimes
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 OC 2GB Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion
- Move Aside, GTX 680: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review @ Techgage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Graphics Card Review (MSI, Palit and ZOTAC) @ HardwareHeaven
- ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Palit GTX 770 JetStream 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GTX 770 WindForce OC 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2 GB @ techPowerUp

This isn't the end of the GTX 770, fully expect there to be custom board designs and with any luck a rebuilt of the Lightning edition.

NL: Review Block: Video Round Up - EVGA ACX Cooling

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Rumor has it I have one of these cards on its way and until it shows up you'll have to check out what others have to say about the new cooler.

What EVGA Says:

The new double ball bearing ACX cooler from EVGA redefines traditional enthusiast coolers. Starting with a 40% increase in heatsink volume, the EVGA ACX is more efficient at dissipating heat, allowing for 15% lower GPU temperatures. A reinforcement baseplate maintains a straight PCB, and helps lower mosfet temperatures by 7% and memory temperatures by 15%.

EVGA also spent time to ensure that even the fan blades were of the highest quality; with a 700% increase in strength, and 25% lower weight when compared to competitors dual fan designs. This makes the fans 20% more efficient by requiring lower power levels. Of course, EVGA is also using double ball bearing fans which offer a 12 year lifespan, this is 4X longer when compared to competitors!

Do not settle for the low quality materials found in competitors cooling solutions on your high end product, EVGA offers the best!

Web Reviews
- Jacked-Up: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 SC with ACX Cooling
- EVGA GeForce GTX 780 SC ACX review
- EVGA GTX 780 Superclocked w/ ACX Cooler 3 GB @ techPowerUp

Sounds like a good thing, and it has two fans to boot!

Crucial Ballistix Tactical & Sport – Low Profile Performance Memory Review @ HCW

Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Crucial is the one local memory company I just love to hate but, hate to say I love.  In fact there was a time when Crucial memory was all I bought.

We take a look at the Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP and Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP, both with low profile heatsinks, and run at DDR3 1600 @ 1.35v. We found plenty of overclocking headroom in both!

1.35v! That is crazy low.  Then again these are DDR3 1600Mhz modules meaning the chips binned well for voltage but had some issues with speed.  Under normal conditions these might actually be 2133Mhz chips it just depends on what the company is looking for.