Tech News

  • SilverStone Redline RL05 @ techPowerUp

    Published: Thursday, December 15, 2016 | By: Dennis

    When it comes to "cheap cases" we are often conditioned to accept that we might be adding some blood to our builds or won't be able to use that 140mm AIO watercooler we got for Christmas last year.

    However it doesn't have to be that way, in fact there are plenty of inexpensive cases on the market with features you wouldn't expect and even come standard without any razor sharp edges.

    The Silverstone Redline RL05 aims to offer a modern I/O and interior design at a budget price. With two 140 mm fans right out of the box, it'll be interesting to see whether it can hold its own when redlining in the crowded sub-70 dollar price segment.

    Be sure to check out my review of the Silverstone Redline RL05, the case is pretty good and a good starting point for any modding project.

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 PCI-Express Scaling @ techPowerUp

    Published: Thursday, December 15, 2016 | By: Dennis

    TechPowerUp has been doing this test for many years and while it is an interesting experiment with a lot of benchmarks across even more pages you may be wondering "why"?

    Well, the tests go along with my Hardware Asylum Multi GPU Index testing that is included with each motherboard.  For the best performance you want to make sure your video card has what it needs to work well.

    In looking at the TPU charts you'll see some rather confusing numbers and they all make a really pretty curve and based on your system you can get an rough idea as to what your performance factor may be.

    In this article, we investigate how performance of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 is affected when running on constrained PCI-Express bus widths such as x8 or x4. We also test all PCIe speed settings, 1.1, 2.0, and 3.0. One additional test checks how much performance is lost when using the chipset's PCIe x4 slot.

    Many of us get hung up on the numbers, we are enthusiasts, that is what we do.  However, for the average user a 5 or even 10 FPS difference in XYZ game at QRT resolution using LMO settings is hardly a reason to say a certain video card is bad.  Or, that running 8x vs 16x is the end of the world.

    #justsayin

  • Asylum: Review Block - Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t

    Published: Monday, December 12, 2016 | By: Dennis

    One of the coolest cases I have ever seen was released last week and is the epitome of what a factory modded case should be.  No more of this:
    "we removed the external drive bays, yay mods" or
    "oh look we have a side window, you can see your stuff, yay mods" of even
    "We used exotic materials in our case, you can't do this, yay mods"

    Instead we have a Cooler Master MasterCase 5 with tempered glass side panels, locks on both panels, a single carry handle, soft rubber grip, three 140mm fans included and hooked to a fan bus and LED controller. magnetic LED strip included and a factory metallic red applied to the motherboard tray and accented across the exterrior.

    Stunning!

    Web Reviews:
    Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Case Review @ Hardware Asylum

    - Cooler Master MasterBox 5T Review @ Vortez (I guess in the UK they were sending out MasterBox editions, fear not the MasterCase Maker is better)
    - Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Case Review @ Legit Reviews
    - Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Review at Modders-Inc
    - Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t Case Review @ ThinkComputers

    This should be the last major Cooler Master release until CES so stay tuned for more CM Extras!

  • SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Monday, December 12, 2016 | By: Dennis

    With a name like SeeMeCNC you would assume they make CNC machines but, that doesn't seem to be the case.  In fact this is a 3D printer.

    Would have been nice to see that in the title but, SEO or something right?  Make'em click and all that jazz.  Some of you may have seen this machine before, they seem to be in every mall kiosk and shown in the background of many popular YouTube shows.

    Most of you know the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Well when it comes to trinkets and other cool stuff, 3d printers are the same. You Can buy small items or you can print your own cool stuff. Early this year I did just that. I covered SeeMeCNC’s new at the time Eris and even well past my coverage I had one and then later two printers running all of the time in the office. I was having a blast but I really needed to go BIGGER. Well, a few months ago they sent over their new v3 model of their Rostock MAX, the big guy. With vacation and everything it took me a little while to get going, but I have been running the printer for a long time now and it’s about time I sit down and tell everyone about my experience with SeeMeCNC’s new printer. You might want to get comfortable, this might be a long one.

    Its almost like they are taking the easy way out when it comes to advertising, e.g. let others do it for you.  wink smile  Despite how complex the device looks it appears to be controlled by a single PCB and a rather large PSU (likely to heat the plastic)  Designs are likely programmed in using a regular PC. 

  • GeIL EVO X GEX416GB3200C16DC 2x8GB DDR4 RAM Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, December 12, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Pretty short description for such a cool chunk or RAM.

    The GeIL EVO X GEX416GB3200C16DC 2x8GB is lit. Literally.

    For those of you who don't know the GeIL EVO X is a dual channel DDR4 kit with an RGB LED module attached.  You can manually change the colors using a slide switch across the top OR you can plug them into a RGB motherboard header and control them using the motherboard software. 

    Ideally you could also use a manual controller if you happen to use one of them fancy "mega button" remotes.

    Be sure to check out our capsule review of these modules along with some of the lighting effects.

  • NZXT S340 Elite Case Review @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Monday, December 12, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Tempered glass is everywhere, in your shower, in your car and now on your PC.  Given how popular tempered glass side panels have been it is no surprise that case makers are scrambling to figure out how to retrofit their popular designs to handle the heavy glass.

    They can even give them new names like "Elite" happy smile

    One of the best parts of PC building is the seemingly limitless number of choices available when it comes to hardware.  But sometimes this can be a bad thing and you are simply overwhelmed with options and choosing what part is best for you can be tough.  Take cases for instance, there is literally a sea of computer chassis’ on the market and picking which one suits your needs and desires can be a daunting task.  Luckily we here at ThinkComputers have your back and today we are taking a look at NZXT’s latest mid tower chassis, the S340 Elite.  This mid tower comes equipped with a full Tempered Glass side panel and several features that should make it very friendly to VR.  Follow along as we find out if the S340 Elite stands out of the crowd or if it should be thrown back with the other fish.

    Oh, and i guess VR is a thing now too.  The technology has been around for years and is just now getting a resurgence and enough attention to get people excited.  I guess that is two things now. tempered glass and... VR in the same package.

    Who knew?

  • An Interesting Discussion on Reddit about Overclocking

    Published: Sunday, December 11, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I'm a firm believer that reddit (https://www.reddit.com/) is a rather pointless web platform filled with millennial idiocy and pr0n but, every once in awhile there are interesting things to be found.  For instance, in the /r/overclocking subreddit you would image there to be discussions about overclocking but, instead you normally find folks asking for technical help with questions formed as clickbait to find out if water in their PSU is bad. *roll*

    One thread caught my eye and I’m going to repost my interaction here, just for fun.

    Title: Good, cheap X79 Motherboard?
    I'm looking for a good and cheap X79 motherboard to pair along with my Xeon E5-2670, but I can only find Intel X79 motherboards under $200 and I don't have much of a budget for the motherboard so I'm scrambling to find a good and cheap X79 motherboard for overclocking the E5-2670 and as an overall good motherboard. Do you guys have any recommended X79 motherboards?

    Also, I'm beginning to dabble into overclocking and GPU overclocking seems easy enough with MSI Afterburner, you just max out the settings and look at the stress, right? (I'm a newb at overclocking. Will be using a EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC as my GPU.)

    I'm completely lost on overclocking CPUs, though, so if anyone could help me with overclocking an E5-2670, that be amazing.

    Will use a Cryorig H7 and Kingston HyperX 16GB 1600mhz DDR3 RAM.

    Thanks everyone!

    Ok so the question mark is suspect but I figured hey, let’s reply and see what happens. 

    What really bothers me about reddit is that some readers really are asking for help while others appear to be unable to make a decision on their own.  This poster appears to frequent Overclock.net given their knowledge of the LGA 2011 Xeon so it makes me wonder why they even bothered asking.

    Here was my reply.

    GTX 1060 isn't all that good for overclocking, Sure you can crank a few extra Mhz but the performance gain isn't all that much. Then again I'm speaking from LN2 exp and for me "on air" overclocking is kinda pointless.

    As for the X79 mobo it depends on what you want to do. Not many of them support Xeon CPUs so you'll be limited by making sure the UEFI supports your CPU "and" has overclocking adjustments. For the most part all of the big mfgs support what you will need so it comes down to features you want and if you plan to go subzero at some point.

    No solid recommends but, I'm a fan of the X79 Dark, X79 ROG "whatever" and the MSI X79 Xpower. All do great on LN2/SS, if you want air the Asus P9X79 is good along with most anything from Gigabyte or MSI. (seeing a trend here? thought you might)

    Whatever you decide make sure the VRM is cool else you'll run into stability problems and invest in a decent cooler. Not saying the Cryorig H7 is a bad cooler but, I find it difficult to take any heatsink you can buy at Walmart serious. #justsayin Think AIO or a single 6-pipe tower with dual fans (push+pull).

    It would seem my GTX 1060 comment ruffled some feathers and spawned three independent replies and by far this is the best one.

    [–]flipmatthew 1 point 1 day ago*
    You saying air overclocking is pointless is stupid, sounds elitist, and goes againstthe point of overclocking: Get the most performance for you dollar. I have a full water loop, I get that it's better, but don't shit on it. Air does really well now too.

    [–]redmax_4930K@5.1Ghz 1.45v 1 point 1 day ago
    I'm not trying to sound like I am against overclocking, I do it all the time and even have special equipment to get the most from my overclocking. The point is the actual performance gains from overclocking are getting smaller (duh). Sure, you can say I have a GTX 10XX card running at 2Ghz but if you're already pushing 100FPS in a game that extra 10 isn't going to do you any good.

    Likewise getting the most from your dollar is an illusion when you can't buy a waterblock for a GTX 1060 or cannot buy a VRM block for an X79. Same is true when board makers overbuild a PCB but are unable to offer the tools required to unlock the card.

    Casual (air/water) overclocking is bought these days and how far you push it is based entirely on how much you spend.

    [–]flipmatthew 2 points 22 hours ago
    Great points!! Always nice to hear a different perspective (also, it's sad but true that a lot of it is bought today

    There were some others, mostly arguing that the GTX 1060 overclocks soooooo well and how could I ever say it didn't.  The way the NVidia marketing is written (which is evil good btw) it makes it seem like the Pascal cards are amazing overclockers.  And they are if you look at base clock vs overclocked boost clock.  Thing people don't realize is that the cards run on boost 100% of the time and often boost past what is advertised when conditions are good.

    So ya, the card is overclocking itself and most manual tweaks just cause the card to become unstable.  #thanksnvidia

  • Flashback Friday - Dual Pentium 450Mhz

    Published: Friday, December 09, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Believe it or not, there was a time when processors only had a single core and to get better performance you had to double up.  For this Flashback Friday I give you a Tyan Tiger S1832D Dual Pentium motherboard.  This particular motherboard was designed for Pentium II based processors however I was running dual P3 450Mhz procs and matched it up with some PC-100 memory.

    It is actually rather painful to think back on those days knowing that we can buy 8 and 10 core processors but when this system was built it was considered an elite enthusiast PC that I used mostly for 3DStudio MAX rendering, animation and AutoCAD.  Of course I played games on this machine and it ran flawless.

    Of course after a year or so I upgraded to a dual Pentium 3 800 EB based system and this particular motherboard became part of a development server.  

    Some interesting things about this board is the single AGP slot (important at the time) and a jumper based CPU selection.  Those jumpers would set the FSB and multiplier and was an easy way to overclock the system at the hardware level.  Tyan was/is a US based system board designer and was well known for their server board designs and multiprocessor motherboards for workstations. 

  • SethBling Builds a Working Atari 2600 in Minecraft

    Published: Friday, December 09, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I have been known to play a little Minecraft from time to time and even built a few Redstone circuits.  Nothing complex just a few hidden doors, lights and stuff like that.  Redstone itself is pretty easy to understand, you flip a switch, the redstone lights and something happens.  Flip the switch again and it goes back to the ready state.

    A computer works in much the same way, On = 1 and Off = 0.  Extrapolate that outwards and you can build a computer program, processor, memory etc all within the confines of Minecraft.

    SethBling has published a video showing off his Atari 2600 emulator and three games.  Donkey Kong, Space Invaders and Pac Man.  Back in the day these ran from a cartridge and at about 1Mhz on the 2600.  For the Minecraft version it takes about four hours to render a single frame.

    This makes the Atari game unplayable but does prove a point that given enough time you can do just about anything in Minecraft.

  • 20 of the Worst PC Setups – November 2016 @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Wednesday, December 07, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Back when I was in college I had this "hand me down" coffee table that was wooden with a glass inlaid top.  It was maybe 2 feet off the ground at about the same height as the seat part of a couch.

    Well I used that coffee table as my computer desk for 6 months and used my couch as a place to sit down.  I didn't have a proper desk or chair at the time and while my drafting table would have worked great I needed it for drawing.  Needless to say, it wasn't very ergonomic.

    Point is, we all have had a bad PC setup, some are forced on us, like mine, and others are just people being stupid.  Lets see which is which  happy smile

    I’m sure at some point you’ve had a bad PC setup. Maybe moving into a new place, waiting for a new desk to arrive or you just ran out of room. I can remember my horrible PC setups from when I was living at the dorms in college. If you have ever ventured over to the Shitty Battlestations sub-reddit you will find a lot of horrible PC setups. We will are going to pick 20 each month and feature them as 20 of the Worst PC setups for that month. Here are some of the bad ones from November!

    I've been thinking about putting something like this together,  If you have any ideas on how to collect the bad setups let me know.