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

Asus Xonar Phoebus Solo Review - 7.1 Gaming Soundcard Review @ HCW

Published: Monday, October 07, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

These days we find that onboard audio isn't only available but is also pretty good.  Of course as hardware enthusiasts we always strive for more and often ignore the onboard in flavor of something meatier.

In our Asus Xonar Phoebus Solo review, we determine what makes for a good PC gaming soundcard, and whether the Phoebus Solo lives up to those standards.

If your gaming rig was something comprised of a X79 and your video card was an Nvidia GTX 780 then adding a Xonar would be like adding gravy to your biscuits with a side of butter.

Ok, now I'm hungry.  happy smile

Silk Road boss paid $80k for snitch’s murder

Published: Thursday, October 03, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Not really tech news but interesting because as part of this take down the feds took control of a bunch of bitcoins worth $3.6Million.  I guess selling drugs online was rather profitable.

On February 4, Dread Pirate Roberts allegedly transferred $40,000 into a bank account controlled by the undercover agent. On March 1, Dread Pirate Roberts had the remainder deposited into the account after he received a staged photo that purported to depict the body of the employee who had died of asphyxiation and heart rupture after being tortured.

Kinda sad really, both for the Bitcoin market and the drug underground.  Just remember its always the "suitemate" or so I was told by an undisclosed female student during my college days.  As the story goes my suitemate always needed to have people around so he threw parties in his dorm room which usually involved drinking.  Shortly after he found a dealer and eventually got arrested for smoking pot on campus.

Shortly after getting out on bail he threw another small party and invited over a few ladies from the drom complex who proceeded to then try to pin his getting busted on me.  Needless to say tensions were high after that.  My saving grace? I wasn't even in my room during the party having been scheduled for my weekly workstudy session..

GTA Online launches - right into a roadblock

Published: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

I recently wrote about how GTA V was one of the fastest selling games in history which speaks to the success and power of console gaming however, the same cannot be said for their new "Online" mode.

Grand Theft Auto Online, an online multiplayer game that allows players to form gangs and complete new heists, is having some trouble getting the gamers online.

The title, which launched on game consoles Tuesday morning, is experiencing server issues that have locked out some gamers and made it difficult for those who have gotten in to play the game. Twitter is abuzz with complaints from gamers who say they can't get into the service.

This sort of thing isn't uncommon, in fact most "[your game title] Online" games have had similar issues in the past where the game was released but the servers couldn't handle the load.  Nobody really publishes if that really impacts game sales but I can imagine that only the hardcore actually come back to play leaving the people on the fence to move on to the next shiny thing.

Not likely to happen with GTA V but you never know.

Patriot Viper III 2400MHz "Black Mamba" @ Bjorn3D

Published: Monday, September 30, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I tried for years to review Patriot memory in the early days only to get snuffed by the "we don't need any 3rd party opinions of our products".  Then, when I did get a few review samples my "crew" f-ed me over and stole all the gear.

Sadly that hasn't changed my opinion of Patriot and had they spent more time promoting their products they wouldn't be suffering.

So why say all that?  Well, would you have stuck around long enough to read that Patriot memory is one of the best for super high-end overclocking?  Seems strange but it comes down to the chips they use.

Patriot has been in the market for a long time but it is the lesser known little brother in the memory game. However this has not kept them from making some very cool memory models among other devices such as USB flash drives, mobile wireless storage and even a Android powered set top box and im sure many more things I cannot even think of right now.

But without getting too crazy off topic what we are looking at today is their model from the Viper III series labeled “Black Mamba” which is very nice looking sticks with aggressive heatspreaders and a very aggressive speed/timing configuration. Being named Black Mamba I could only assume means to assert the aggressive and deadly power these sticks hold within.

Nothing like getting off topic the "hook" from the publisher, isn't that supposed to draw the reader in to learn more about what they have to say?

Cake and Ice Cream  (Kudos if you know why I included this)

Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Review @ Techgage

Published: Monday, September 30, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Ever wonder how the better half live?  Well with a processor like this you would know.

Intel’s latest processor series has arrived, and we’re looking to find out if it becomes the company’s greatest. Compared to Intel’s latest mainstream part, Haswell, IV-E avails a quad-channel memory controller, a far more robust PCIe configuration, and the only place to get six-core parts. Are there other perks to be found? Let’s find out.

I ended up buying the 3960X last round and thought I was h0t shi+ until I found out the 3930K overclocked better and was cheaper to aquire.  Decided against going with the top dog this round for that reason.  I've been seeing a few 6Ghz 3D stable 4930K's out there so I might end up buying another just for "fun"

AMD unveils Radeon R9 and R7 series video cards

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Maybe the biggest news of the week is the soft launch of the new AMD Radeon R9 and R7 graphics cards.  Funny thing is R9 and R7 has been used before to brand a completely different style of hardware, namely some high quality golf clubs from Taylormade. 

*raises hand* Owner of the R7 Limited TP, awesome club.

The new AMD graphics cards are rumored to be considerably faster than the previous generation and with only a handful of leaked benchmark numbers to go by gamers and hardware enthusiasts are scrambling to speculate how the new GPU stacks up against the current Nvidia 700 series.

While the company isn't revealing full specifications, it claims that the R9 290X flagship will have five teraflops of total computing power versus the four teraflops of the previous generation. The boards will ship sometime in the "near future," with prices ranging from $89 for an entry R7 250 to $299 for the mid-tier R9 280X. AMD isn't divulging the R9 290X's price, but pre-orders for the card will start on October 3rd.

With my limited knowledge of the new architecture (due to me "not" being invited to attend the press conferences in Hawaii this week) I can only speculate that this generation will once again catch up to the current nVidia lineup and then quickly be sidelined with the next nVidia release.

Expect some R9 coverage in the next few weeks, if the "buzz" is any indication the new GPU should get many-a-overclocker excited.

Microsoft's Surface Pro 2: so right, but so wrong

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

This story (re)posted at USA Today gave me a laugh and the intro was enough to discredit the entire article but there is some good info in there.

Microsoft's Surface tablets are so right.

And so wrong.

As an avowed member of the Apple army, I'm not supposed to say anything nice about the competition, but in some ways, I have to admit that Microsoft is way ahead of its time with its Surface line of tablets.

But will people care?

The problem with articles like this is that the only things they can compare the Surface to is the iPad and let's face it, any self respecting hardware person will know that the hardware between the two tablets is worlds apart.  Yet, apple army followers will continue to do make these comparsons because they are more concerned with placement of their coffee shops and battery life than running production applications and actually creating something grand.

Consortium offers to buy BlackBerry

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

I "had" been a longtime Blackberry user and almost jumped at the chance at picking up a Z10 but instead opted for the Samsung S4 given that it was more mature and the unknown nature of the Blackberry future.

It would seem that future has been announced in the form of a 4.7 Billion buyout by a Canadian Consortium.

It's unclear what the consortium's plans for BlackBerry would be. BlackBerry said that it plans to focus on the enterprise and specifically security and mobile device management. On Friday, BlackBerry said it will cut 4,500 jobs, report sales of $1.6 billion (nearly half what was expected) and take a massive writedown due to BlackBerry Z10 inventory.

The logical move for them would be to leverage the patents and become a premier enterprise supplier.  That is what they have done well in for many years and seems to be the perfect niche.

OMG So Much Tech

Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

I'm not sure where to start there has been so much released that it is hard to qualify it all into a series of news postings.

Twill see what I can do.

Lithium Battery 18650 Demand Increasing

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Not long ago I re-posted a story that talked about how the rare earth metal Lithium is actually in short supply and that supply will eventually lead to the doom of the mobile device market.

Of course with any new technology that is making money demand is up and while there is a demand there will be miners in the ground extracting the elements we need.

Currently, an electric car needs 7,800 cylindrical lithium batteries for power and first-tier electric car supplier Tesla is expected to ship 20,000 electric cars in 2013, which indicates that there will be demand for 156 million cylindrical lithium batteries from the electric car industry in 2013. Since Tesla's electric car shipments are expected to reach 42,000-50,000 units in 2014, demand is expected to grow even higher, the sources noted.

Google, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Dell and Microsoft have also recently started changing the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) modules for their data center solutions, switching from lead-acid battery-based modules to one using the 18650 lithium battery since lithium batteries are more eco-friendly and better in efficiency.

Oh to be on the ground floor of Lithium stocks.  The trick is knowing when to move on to the next major discovery.  Personally the future of electric cars is in battery technology and we need something better than Lithium right now.