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

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.

MSI GTX 780 Lightning Review @ Hardware Canucks

Published: Monday, September 23, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Dare I say I'm obsessed?  Ever since reviewing the EVGA 780 Classified I have become extremely interested in what other companies plan to release using the GTX 780 GPU.  The obvious choice is the MSI Lightning due to its track record but is the silly yellow fan enough to destroy that legacy?

Some may be wondering why it took this long for MSI to launch the GTX 780 Lightning considering we’re now some four months after NVIDIA announced the reference card. Truth be told, we haven’t seen a single Lightning generation that was introduced close to a technology’s original unveiling. This is simply because MSI pays minute attention to their flagships by specifically binning cores and engineering the best possible cooling / PWM solution. Al of this takes a significant amount of time. We also can’t forget that the GTX 780 still has a good amount of shelf life left so it’s not like the Lightning is being rolled out during its twilight days. 

It would seem that overclocking is about the same out of the box and with behind the scenes, backdoor bios support those numbers are likely to improve under the guise of LN2 chip chilling.

Grand Theft Auto 5 sales surpass $1 billion

Published: Monday, September 23, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Color me not suprised.

It has been five years since the last Grand Theft Auto hit the shelves and may fans of the series have been hungrily waiting for the next installment.  Sales figures put worldwide sales at $800 million on launch day and $1 Billion after three.  

Talk about kicking COD in the balls.  happy smile

Take-Two Interactive announced today that based on internal estimates it believes Grand Theft Auto 5 sales have surpassed $1 billion during its first three days at retail. According to the company, the game is the fastest product to achieve that milestone.

If the estimates by the Rockstar Games' parent company are correct, it will have beaten the already ridiculous achievement by Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 last year, which hit the billion milestone in 15 days.

Sadly, and I said I wouldn't do this, I helped pad those figures but not until the following week. Say good-bye to my free time and, likely any fresh news posting.

MSI GTX 660 N660 Gaming 2GD5/OC Video Card Review @HiTech Legion

Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I must say the intro to this review is quite, informative.

Here is an unrelated quote approved by their email distribution.

The MSI N660 Gaming features an NVIDIA GTX 660 GPU with a factory over clock and an upgraded cooling solution The N660 Gaming seprates itself from it's N660 TF sibling by having a newer version of the Twin Frozr IV cooler and an application to utilize 3 overclocking presets. The upgraded cooler's fans are 12mm larger in diameter and te heatsink has a built in deflector plate to get more air moving directly over the heatpipes.

(OMG that is painful)

You might take 45 seconds and at least check out the intro, it has something to do with South Korea and some car Chevy wants to import but when they do the US public calls it nasty names.  I guess it has some sort of parallel to what MSI did by releasing a GTX 660 Gaming card when they already had a GTX 660 on the market.

Of course the existing card was *Not* the GTX 660 Gaming but something different and didn't follow their new marketing direction.  Dunno, maybe I don't see the issue.

Intel Z87 and Haswell 24/7 OC Guide @ techPowerUp

Published: Monday, September 16, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

The overclocking I do is focused on borderline stable performance and while this type of overclock gets the most performance it is only useful when doing competitive benchmarks.  When you look at 24/7 stability you must consider the impact of long term overvoltage exposure and cooling.  More often than not simply dialing back your OC is the solution

Overvoltage can damage the CPU and cause it to degrade while cooling can impact stability and also cause various components to prematurely fail.  The TechPowerUp article touches on these facts and preaches that you should buy the best. (duh)

Make sure to grab from popcorn and a fresh beverage, you'll be reading for awhile.

Recently purchased a new Haswell-based CPU only to run into an overclocking nightmare? Looking for some tips to get a bit more out of your chip? After pushing the limits for several weeks and ending up with more than a few dead chips, we've come up with a guide focused on 24/7 overclocking with Haswell!

My suggestions are a little simpler.
1) Buy the best as a good motherboard goes a long way.  Most any board featured on this site is a good candidate. 
2) Get good memory.  With Haswell 2133Mhz is a starting point, faster is better. 
3) Get a factory overclocked video card, DX11 games are dependent on a good GPU. 
4) Get a high powered PSU, the higher the rating the lower the heat output. 
5) Get good cooling in your chassis, large cases tend to cool better.
6) DIY Watercooling is best
6) When it comes to actually overclocking the system keep voltage changes to a minimum,  On the CPU you can often get 500+Mhz just from multiplier adjustments without voltage (limited to X and K type).  Set memory to XMP and enjoy yourself.