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. 

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Ninjalane News

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factory over clock and an upgraded cooling solution The N660 Gaming seprates itself from it's N660 TF sibling by having a newer version of the Twin Frozr IV cooler and an application to utilize 3 overclocking presets.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.

Intel i7-4930K & i7-4820K Ivy Bridge-E Review @ Hardware Canucks

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I just bought a Core i7 4930K, I sure hope its a good one.

Intel's Ivy Bridge-E may be associated with extreme pricing, but the i7-4930K and i7-4820K brings things down a notch. With great performance and lower price points, they add some value to the IVB-E equation.

Based on the review they topped out at a little over 4.6Ghz which isn't really all that good considering my SB-E processors all do 4.7Ghz on air/water.  Of course under LN2 they all scale up to 5Ghz+ so with any luck my IVB-E will do the same.

Thermaltake NiC C4 CPU cooler @ PureOverclock

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Heatsinks are created to keep your processor cool and also designed to fit a pre-determined form factor.  This is one reason why OEM coolers are quite small and the aftermarket ones are just the opposite.  Well as heatsinks got larger and more universal they created a problem with memory clearance.

Most companies took the easy way out and built their coolers to allow standard height memory to fit under the fins and let's face it when was the last time you bought a standard height memory module? 

“We all probably know the name Thermaltake. They’ve been around for quite some time now and make cases, power supplies, GPU coolers, CPU coolers, and a ton of cool accessories. They’ve been taking the CPU cooler market by storm in recent years with their Frio line of coolers. They recently released their Water 2.0 series of AiO cooling systems as well. Their latest entry into the CPU cooler market is the NiC series which consists of four models – the F3, F4, C5 and the cooler we’ll be looking at today – the C4. NiC stands for non-interference cooling and the main goal was to provide performance and maximum RAM compatibility. Let’s take a closer look.”

I tested the NiC not to long ago and determined it works as advertised but does lack a little in the cooling department.

LanOC V13 Recap @ LanOC Reviews

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I have done a few small lan parties in my day and Darren has hosted some of the largest ones in Idaho and regardless of the size the effort to get everything together is quite big. 

Of course the real challenge is trying to enjoy yourself while getting asked questions and taking care of the guests.

It’s been a few days now and not only have I set all of the PCs around the house back up, I also took the time to do detail cleaning around my desk. Even after a few days I feel little tired, an impromptu nap that went until 3pm yesterday helped some but it’s going to be a little while before I’m back to normal. All of it means we had another successful LAN. Of course the work doesn’t stop on Sunday for me, but before I get too far into it I wanted to post up a little bit of a roundup. Read on to hear more about it.

Some good pics in there, be sure to check it out.

Mobile Devices Will Be Dead by 2015!

Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

The great thing about the internet is that just about anything can be a story.  Some are based on fact while others happen to genesis with speculation.  Some have speculated that unless a new battery technology is created you will no longer be able to power a laptop, cell phone, tablet or electric car because of the scarcity of Lithium.

Oh ya, and not to mention a whole race of crazy people off their meds.

What do a cell phone, a laptop and an electric car have in common?

All three use batteries made with lithium - the lightest metal in nature. About five grams is in an average laptop, about half a gram in a cell phone. Surprisingly, what keeps your devices charged and wireless can also affect your brain: It's an active ingredient in drugs used to treat manic depression. Batteries using lithium have twice the capacity of traditional nickel cadmium batteries, creating a "lithium boom" in several places around the world as these technologies become more ubiquitous. In China, cell phone sales were up 57 percent last year; in India, cell phone use is expected to double by 2014.

They claim the world is running out of oil and the one thing we created to combat an oil shortage is a plastic filled electric car.  

Maybe I'm missing something there but that just doesn't seem right.

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ Techgage

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Fracking Fractal from Fraggle Rock is a chassis.

Fractal’s original Arc Midi chassis impressed us enough to become the base of our CPU cooler testing rig, so when we heard that a sequel to it was released, we couldn’t wait to check it out. With its beefy feature-set, semi modular design, support for up to a 240mm radiator and a $70 price tag, this mid-tower might just be the one to beat.

Another super clean and usable chassis with WAY to many drive bays.  Pretty sure the law of chassis design states that any case mid-tower and smaller can only have 4 HDD slots and three external 5.25" drive bay.  

EVGA GTX 780 Classified Reviewed

Published: Friday, September 06, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to have a GTX 780 Classified review posted and likely won't be the last,  For instance both Guru3D and Hardware Canucks have their own reviews posted.

EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Classified review
Check out the EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Classified while we review it. The EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Classified comes factory overclocked for you, has the latest revision of the ACX cooler and can be connected towards an external POD called the EVBOT. All in all definitely stuff to check out we'd think.


EVGA GTX 780 Classified Review @ Hardware Canucks
EVGA’s GTX 780 lineup may hold an incredible eight different variations but their GTX 780 Classified is without a doubt the flagship.  Not only is it fast, but it can overclock to unheard-of levels.

Of course the real question is who will be the first to freeze their GTX 780 and live to tell about it.

SK Hynix Factory Fire - Not So Bad?

Published: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

The tech story of the day is the huge fire that broke out at the SK Hynix factory in China at 3:50pm locat time.  Orginially the speculation was that a factory fire of this maginitude would send memory prices thru the roof and cause world wide shortages similar to what happened with Hard Drives a couple years ago.

Well, it would seem that Hynix is downplaying the damage in hopes of saving themselves some investor money and claiming that the damage isn't that bad and they should be operational before too long.

From the breaking story

A massive fire on Wednesday at a factory in Wuxi, China owned by Korea’s SK Hynix could send flash memory and random-access memory (RAM) prices soaring. Hynix is the world’s second largest memory manufacturer.

Statements like that encite readers and often prompt quick action without reading the "rest"

At this stage, we don’t know how big the impact will be, but all [memory] suppliers have stopped quoting prices,” Kan says. “We will have a better update and more information in next couple of days.

Bloomberg is being optimistic and reading from the official reports

There was one minor injury from yesterday’s blaze and no major damage to production equipment, Icheon, South Korea-based SK Hynix said in an e-mailed statement. The company said it’s still investigating the cause of the fire.

“Currently, there is no material damage to the fab equipment in the clean room, thus we expect to resume operations in a short time period so that overall production and supply volume would not be materially affected,” SK Hynix said. The majority of the cost of the damage will be covered by insurance, it said. 

Meanwhile Micron is enjoying a good jump in stock price over the Hynix speculation which may end up working out in their favor.

The reason is a plant fire at one of its major competitors.

When the stock market closed for the day, Micron stock was up 5.28 percent to end the day at $14.57.

That's because Hynix, one of Micron's two competitors, had a fire at one of its production facilities in China.

That fire then caused a lot of concern that upwards of 15 percent of the world's chip production would stop, sending all eyes on Micron and Samsung, the other player in this market.

On a positive note, there are major memory makers still operational and these companies have plants all over the world.  The chance that we'll have a memory shortage is pretty slim.