After careful consideration and much regret I have decided to transfer all hardware review activities to a new domain.  I purchased 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

Ninjalane News

XS Gigabyte Series 8 Preview - Sound Profiles

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

With Computex quickly approaching I have started seeing more and more "leaks" regarding some of the new features found on new 8-Series motherboards.  Many of you have already seen the new Gigabyte heatsink design along with the new color scheme from Asus but maybe one of the most drastic updates comes on the new Gigabyte G1 gamer line.

Removable OP Amp chips to change sound profiles.

This feature has been common on Auzentech sound cards for years and the question remains on if this was ever something anyone would take advantage of.  Well, it would seem GBT has bought into the marketing and is now offering that feature.

Or so indicated by "Picture Rumors" posted on XS.

Beginners Guides: Crash Recovery & The Blue Screen of Death @ PCSTATS

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Maybe one of the biggest problems plaguing the computer industry is the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).  Of course a BSOD is different on every platform, for instance WIndows users know it as the blue screen you "might" see right before your computer just reboots itself.  Apple fanatics know the screen as "hey my computer locked up, it must be time to buy a new one" and finally Linux users are looking at us funny saying "what the heck are you talking about?"

Regardless of what system you use it is good to know there are some who are less fortunate  and have to deal with something bad in their PC.  For those, maybe this guide from PCStats can help.

In this article will walk you through the BSOD in many of its most familiar incarnations. We will not be exploring and cataloguing what each BSOD means, but rather providing a set of tools for troubleshooting that you can use to get around any Blue Screen Of Death, or constant crash issue. Just another step in PCSTATS' never-ending quest to save your hard earned cash from going to the computer repair shop.

Funny thing about the BSOD I used to get them all the time and 99 times out of 80 the problem was related to a bad driver or bad hardware.  These days unless you are overclocking most BSODs are caused by solar flares or from your computer giving you lip.

My how times have changed.

MSI Radeon HD 7790 TurboDuo OC review @ Guru 3d

Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Seems like a pretty good card.  That is until you consider that there are faster ones on the market with dual fans and a much cooler heatsink.

We test and review the MSI Radeon HD 7790 OC edition, also known under SKU code R7790-1GD5-OC. We benchmark the product incl FCAT Frametimes. The new graphics card is intended to boost a little more performance into entry-level gaming. The MSI HD7790 OC clocks in at 1050 MHz on ther boost engine, packed with custom cooling and two heat pipe direct touch technology.

Funny how I didn't get one this time, humm happy smile

Windows Blue (8.1) Will be Free Upgrade

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Might we call this their way of saying, "oh sorry, here let me fix that for you".  No real word on what will be different but if the rumors are correct the version 8.1 should feature a start button and ability to boot directly to the desktop.

We can all stop calling Microsoft’s upcoming operating system Windows Blue now that Tami Reller, the CMO and CFO of Microsoft’s Windows Division, confirmed that its official name will be Windows 8.1. 

Confirming what fellow company exec Julie Larson-Green said earlier this month, Reller revealed during JP Morgan’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference that you’ll be able to download the public preview version of Windows 8.1 by the end of June  – June 26, to be exact – which happens to be right at the beginning of the 2013 Build Developer Conference. Reller is keeping mum when it comes to the system’s actual release date – only hinting that it will be launched some time during or before the holiday season.

Of course the best part is getting this as a free upgrade which kinda takes the sting out of paying $40US for the Upgrade and losing your ability to downgrade.

Cooler Master N200 Micro ATX Case Launch Day

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Rumor is this case has already been available in the Retail channels for a week but today marks the first reviewers can talk about the new design.

Be sure to check out the N200 review on Ninjalane and browse some of the other sites for different perspectives and photo styles.

Web Reviews
- Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Cooler Master N200 @ LanOC Reviews
- Cooler Master N200 Case Review @ Hardware Secrets

Also be sure to drop by the Ninjalane Forums and Cooler Master website for the latest in reddit free details related to the N200 including how to find the built in dual 120mm fan radiator mount exclusive to owners of the N200. wink smile

Microcool Banchetto K Now Available

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

In the world of computer hardware testing the unsung hero of those pretty comparison numbers is the "test bench"  Sadly, many of us incorrectly call the entire system a "bench" while the reality is, the hardware holding the motherboard and video card is the bench and without it there would be nothing except sparks and depression.

In the Ninjalane Labs we use broken down computer cases to hold our computer hardware and while this may change in the near future there are some reviewers who are using off the shelf test benches including the super cool Microcool Banchetto.

The new K edition bench is a radical change from the elegant clear designs of the orginial but I like the update.  Everything has its place and the new design makes it easy to swap parts without having to tear everything down.  There are even fan brackets to ensure there is proper airflow over the open air testing platform.

Be sure to check out the Microcool Youtube video and drop by their site for complete bench details.

ASRock Z77 Extreme11 Intel LGA1155 @ techPowerUp

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

You won't see much ASRock news around these parts but, when you do it has to be related to something special.  Is the Z77 Extreme11 special?  You might have to check out the review to know for sure.

Fourteen SSDs, quad VGAs, 32 GB of RAM, and 8 threads of high performance Intel horsepower--is that what you are looking for? Look no further as the ASRock Z77 Extreme11 offers all that. ASRock's flagship Intel Z77 Express product, the Z77 Extreme11, does it all and includes an LSI SAS controller for an additional eight SATA ports.

Nick Shih is one of the in-house ASRock overclockers and also one of the top ranked professionals in the industry.  You won't see him in competition all that often but will see his name on the HWBot leader boards quite often.

I will admit I do like the Gold on Black color scheme and only wish the name was more popular in the States.  I guess we can blame Asus for that. happy smile

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 3 Motherboard Review @ Techgage

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

We (read: I) reviewed this motherboard back in Aug 2012 and found the board to borderline awesome.  So much in fact that it got the coveted Furious 5 of 5 award and much fan fair in the industry.

The motherboard market is loaded with options targeted squarely at overclockers and the general enthusiast, but finding a board – much less an entire series – dedicated to gamers is difficult. GIGABYTE realized that back in 2011, and thus its G1 series was born. In this article, we’re taking a look at the company’s current Z77 offering, the G1.Sniper 3.

The real thing to consider with this motherboard is how much better it was over the Series 2 edition and does it offer "more" in terms of technology and performance.  Considering the chipset changes and overclocking performance I think the answer is clearly, yes!

MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Motherboard @ PureOverclock

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Until the release of Haswell the Z77 is the current technology leader when it comes to the latest and greatest hardware.

On the test bench today we have the MSI Z77A-GD65 Gaming Edition Motherboard for the Intel 1155 socket platform. We have seen the well matured version of the vanilla MSI Z77A-GD65 perform above the average standard and actually received our Editor’s Choice award during its initial release.  The new Gaming Edition has spruced up its aesthetic appeal but that’s not all. MSI has given this board a new set of software and hardware to meet the demands of today’s gamers. Let’s put it to the test and see if it lives up to its predecessor.

The thing that many people fail to realize is that the Z77 was rather similar to the Z68 and unless you considered overclocking performance there was very little reason to upgrade assuming you already had a 2600K.

Maybe MSI has a good reason to ditch the old and welcome the new?

GTX Titan Sale!! - Kinda

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

One of our readers saw this on Slickdeals and decided to send it in.  Turns out NCIX is offering up the standard GeForce GTX Titan video card (branded from EVGA) for a grand total of $950US.  Now, before you click away the card comes with free shipping (big bonus) and a copy of the new Metro "Last Night" game title. 

Bundle price is like a grand and change but with this deal you can get the card for way less.

Of course this brings up the question. do you need a GTX Titan to play the latest Metro? and if not are you willing to pay 950 bux to play Metro?

Hummmmmm... wink smile