Tech News

  • COUGAR ATTACK X3 @ techPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 | By: Dennis

    You ever notice that some products are just named wrong?  For instance this keyboard sounds a lot like a pr0n title.  Some of it is just the name of the company but, still.

    The COUGAR ATTACK X3 is here for gamers who want a keyboard that is feature rich, but priced low. Fully configurable key functions, macro support, and Cherry MX switches all enable COUGAR to compete in a very lucrative market.

    On a positive, it looks nice.

  • Official statement addressing OC mode on MSI GAMING X graphics cards

    Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 | By: Dennis

    MSI Review samples and MSI retail cards are identical in terms of hardware and performance. Both have the exact same performance profiles available through the MSI Gaming App. All information about these performance profiles is clearly communicated and can be found on the respective product pages. (example: https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GEFORCE-GTX-1070-GAMING-X-8G.html)



    Retail cards are set to ‘Gaming Mode’ by default, which offers the best Performance per Watt, while still giving close to ‘OC Mode’ in-game performance. In order to enjoy the best performance and all features of MSI GAMING products, we highly recommend to use the MSI Gaming App which is available for free on MSI.com and the driver CD. The MSI Gaming App allows you to apply one of three performance profiles with a single click, instantly giving you the desired performance.

    As several reviewers have stated, software like the MSI Gaming App is often not used in reviews. This is why review samples of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 GAMING X graphics cards are set to ‘OC Mode’ to ensure that reviews demonstrate the same performance available through the MSI Gaming App. The award winning TWIN FROZR VI cooling is designed to handle each performance profile flawlessly, giving you the lowest noise in the industry and consistent performance so gamers can focus on their gameplay.  

    For those who prefer not to use the MSI Gaming App but still want to enjoy the same ‘OC Mode’ performance by default, we have released an alternative vBIOS with ‘OC Mode’ enabled by default.

    Download the BIOS images
    MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G OC Mode vBIOS
    MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G OC Mode vBIOS

    Learn more about the MSI Gaming App here: https://gaming.msi.com/article/msi-gaming-app-article

  • ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel LGA-1151) @ techPowerUp

    Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 | By: Dennis

    ASRock has been a very popular overclocking platform for many years and I'm glad to see that the tradition continues with the Z170M OC Formula.  This is a Micro ATX motherboard and promises to deliver over the top overclocking and be the fastest board on the market.

    Or so it says right on the motherboard.

    ASRock is back in the overclocking game with a purpose-built Z170M OC Formula mATX motherboard ready to take your Skylake CPU and DDR4 memory to the absolute limit. Rated to support DDR4-4500+ and built with ASRock's Hyper OC Engine, this OC-centric Z170M OC Formula board has the highest rating for memory speeds on the market today.

    There could be some truth behind the claims as they have some of the top overclockers pushing their boards to limits behind reason.  Which gets me thinking, what happened to their gaming line?  wasn't that supposed to be the best of the best by association?

  • BIOSTAR Shows-off Ultra Gaming Machines

    Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 | By: Dennis

    BIOSTAR Teams Up with Apacer and Thermaltake to showcase high-end gaming machines

    June 20th, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR is proud to announce its ultra gaming machines in partnership with Apacer and Thermaltake. Built around a BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 motherboard, these systems are built for the latest games and feature high-performance components all brought together by BIOSTAR motherboards.



    Basing on the new Super 5 Design Concept, the RACING Z170GT7 flaunts the best of the entire BIOSTAR RACING series with its latest motherboard design features. This includes the all new RACING IO armor, carbon-fiber design treatment on the heatsink, checkered flag PCB print on a matte black surface treatment and Titanium-color RACING audio shielding.

    The BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 motherboard features BIOSTAR’s VIVID LED DJ which allows users to customize the lighting on the board’s heatsinks and PCB to reflect their personal style. Allowing multiple custom effects, gamers can configure their BIOSTAR RACING motherboard with custom lighting effects such as permanent (static), breathe, shine or shine & music (sound-reactive) to give their gaming machines a unique personality. For convenience, the BIOSTAR RACING Z170GT7 also features GT Touch functionality, onboard buttons that allowing switching between the built-in modes to the motherboard featuring their own lighting profile.



    Built for makers, the Thermaltake Core P5 is designed for people who want to stand-out. With a unique design, this chassis showcases each and every components of the system and keeps it all secured in its well-built frame. Its fully-modular design also allows builders to take advantage of infinite possibilities to configure the system and style it their own way without affecting performance of the actual system.

    APACER BLADE, PANTHER and COMMANDO
    Apacer joins in making the ultimate gaming machine with their line of high-performance memory modules.

    The Apacer BLADE is capable of reaching speeds of up to DDR4-3300 and features unique signature heatspreaders which aim to provide an aggressive look as well as aggressive performance for the most discerning gamers. The Apacer COMMANDO features a tactical heatspreader as well as support for high-frequencies while the new Apacer PANTHER features a new heatspreader design with illumination for a superior looking machine that embody the true beast within.

    For more information, visit the official website: http://www.biostar.com.tw
    For more information about Thermaltake visit their website: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com
    For more information about Apacer visit their website: http://ap.apacer.com

    APACER BLADE, PANTHER and COMMANDO

    Apacer joins in making the ultimate gaming machine with their line of high-performance memory modules.

    The Apacer BLADE is capable of reaching speeds of up to DDR4-3300 and features unique signature heatspreaders which aim to provide an aggressive look as well as aggressive performance for the most discerning gamers. The Apacer COMMANDO features a tactical heatspreader as well as support for high-frequencies while the new Apacer PANTHER features a new heatspreader design with illumination for a superior looking machine that embody the true beast within.

  • Thermaltake Core X5 Cube Chassis Review @ Legit Reviews

    Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Das Kube!

    I find it interesting that people like "cube" style cases, and not the cool ones like the Corsair (shudder) 540 or the older, and much better, ones from days gone by but cubes that take up too much space.  Of course my view into "too much space" is skewed considering that the Cooler Master HAF XB and Corsair 540 were basically the same case.  One was rotated, and was awesome, while the other was more like a bench platform without the bench.

    The Core X5 is basically a bigger HAF XB with "Core" mesh and the TT promise that it wasn't copied from anything. happy smile.  Seriously though, not a fan of these designs despite who makes them.

    At CES 2015, Thermaltake introduced us to their Core X line which included three models, X1, X2 and X9.  Each of them was designed for different size of motherboards but maintained the ability for the end user to customize the chassis to fit their specific need The Thermaltake Core X5 is one of their latest cube chassis, designed to support up to an E-ATX motherboard, and support a wide range of cooling options. Read on to learn more about it and see how our build went.

    I will admit I do like the modular approach that ThermalTake has taken with the entire Core line-up and I find it novel that you can combine cubes to make a massive tower of PC chassis.  However, from a practical standpoint I just cannot approve.

    That isn't to say I wouldn't review one but don't expect me to be first in queue to drop cash on one, that would just be silly.

  • My Entry into the Gigabyte Mod2Win 30th Anniversary Case Modding Contest

    Published: Monday, June 20, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Last week I posted a press release announcing the Gigabyte 30th anniversary modding contest and was very impressed with what Gigabyte had planned.  Of course the grand prize is the most appealing for whoever wins but I'm also impressed with the commitment Gigabyte has put forth to gather interest.

    Much like with the Overclocking competitions hosted at HWBot there are a few partner sites involved including Modders-Inc and PCPartPicker (I'm still trying to figure out why?) and they will be handling certain aspects of the competition and making sure everyone does what they should.

    To help get things started Gigabyte is offering a build package for those who submit modding concepts and I finished mine last week.

    The mod is using the Cooler Master Mastercase 5 (because I had one already) and will feature Automotive paint, Custom radiator mounting, Hardline watercooling and an Overclocking component.




    At the top of the case you will find an exposed copper plate that will act as a connection to super chill the coolant.  This can be something simple like a TEC and aircooler or something more dramatic like an LN2 container or Phase head.  The idea will be to supercool the fluid and allow more overclocking headroom and when the chill is gone it will revert back to the built in radiator.

    Given my background in overclocking, watercooling and casemodding I think this is a perfect meld of everything. 

    Be sure to check out my build thread over at Modders-Inc and watch the Hardware Asylum Facebook Fan page for more information.

  • Asylum Review Block: GeForce Pascal GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Goodness

    Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 | By: Dennis

    The hot news right now is the new 1000 series launch from NVIDIA, namely the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070.  The launch event happened last month and over the past few weeks we have started seeing more and more GPU related launches from the various board partners.

    And, a few reviews too.

    Web Reviews
    - ASUS GTX 1080 Strix Gaming 8 GB @ techPowerUp
    - ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 review @ Guru3D
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 On Linux: Testing With OpenGL, OpenCL, CUDA & Vulkan @ Phoronix
    - Gigabyte GTX 1080 G1 Gaming 8 GB @ techPowerUp
    - EVGA Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition Review @ HWSlave
    - ASUS STRIX GTX 1080 Review @ Vortez
    - GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition Overclocking Review @ [H]
    - Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1080 G1 GAMING review @ Guru3D
    - MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8 GB @ techPowerUp
    - MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X review @ Guru3D
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB @ techPowerUp

    Lots of content from some familar names and maybe even more in the /dev/null folder I missed.

  • Fractal Design Define Nano S mITX Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | By: Dennis

    It would seem that "everyone" loves Fractal Design cases -or- Fractal likes to send out samples.  Either way I'm not sure I share in the enthusiasm but will agree they look pretty good, even when they are small.

    The Fractal Design Define Nano S may be a shrunken Define S, but it proves Fractal Design knows cases, and knows them well.

    I've never been a fan of solid front cases but they work well to keep the noise down and with room for watercooling gear you might end up with a European approved silent PC.

  • GIGABYTE GA-990X Gaming SLI Review @ Vortez

    Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | By: Dennis

    It is interesting how reviewers get hung up on certain features that are hot in the news.  For instance Computex was full of RGB lighting effects and like LED fans back in the old days the fad is making the rounds on everything from fans to motherboards and video cards.

    But wouldn't you know it, when a motherboard doesn't have RGB lights it seems to be a cause for concern.

    Although missing out on the RGB goodness that has been unveiled by GIGABYTE recently, the latest line of G1 Gaming motherboards for the AM3+ platform introduces various new standards to the ageing chipset including an M2 slot with a 20Gb/s transfer rate, as well as 2x USB 3.1 ports.

    The Gigabyte 990FX and 970FX AMD motherboard refresh is not about fancy lights and overclocking but rather giving these boards a much needed upgrade and a good reason to buy AMD processors despite the drawbacks of the platform.

  • Asylum Review Block: Solid Chips of Storage

    Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 | By: Dennis

    750GB you say?  Big chip SSD?  El'fasto drive??  Jedi need not these things but computer enthusiasts do.

    Seems there was a SSD launch last night of large scale epic proportions.

    - Crucial MX300 Limited Edition 750Gb SSD Storage Review @ Hardware Slave
    - Limited Edition 750GB Crucial MX300 SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
    - Crucial's MX300 SSD reviewed @ TR
    - Samsung 750 EVO 500GB SSD review @ Guru3D
    - Crucial MX300 SSD Review (750GB) @ The SSD Review

    One of these days I'll have to pay the Micron factory a visit, it is only just like not far from me.