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

ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU MINI Review @ Hardware Canucks

Published: Friday, August 30, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

So, the MINI in the name has me curious, what the heck is this thing?

Other than a GTX 670 with a DirectCU cooler, I mean that is obvious.

ASUS has released the amazingly compact GTX 670 DirectCU MINI to cater to the small form factor market.  It isn't narrowly focused though since we found it to be a surprisingly capable graphics card.

Well, as none of us imagined the DirectCU MINI is a ultra compact GTX 670 that is basically a video card square making the card perfect for Mini ITX systems and for anyone intimidated by size.

Ivy Bridge E and SSD Overclocking? Say it aint so!

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Someone sent in this story posted over at DailyTech.  According to the Blog we should see IVBE processors sometime next month. (just a few days away!)  Ivy Bridge E is the next generation to the popular LGA 2011 processor with quad memory channels.  

The blog goes on to talk about overclocking your SSD using the same methods used to overclock system memory.  Basicaly add some voltage and tweak the frequency.  I'm not sure how I feel about SSD overclocking since this messes with the storage of your data.

When it comes to the SSD overclocking, the upcoming platform is expected to allow you to apply more voltage to your SSD controller to bump your read, write, and IOPS speed.  Performance will be capped at 4.8 Gbps (614 MB/s), though, due to the fundamental ceiling of the current SATA 3 standard implementation supported in Intel chipsets (The raw performance of SATA 3 is 6 Gbps).

Back in the day there was a few attempts to overclock rotational drives by tweaking the firmware and increasing the transfer speed.  The results were not all that impressive especially considering that you could get a bigger boost in speed by simply adding another drive in a RAID 0.  I suspect that overclocking your SSD may have a similar impact.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Goes RTM

Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Appears the Internet is ablaze about the release of Windows 8.1 (Blue) to manufactures.  Windows 8.1 addresses many of the issues people had with Windows 8 including a few UI tweaks that made headlines around the world. 

Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button and also features Internet Explorer 11, SkyDrive integration, an updated Windows Store experience, DPI scaling improvements (enabling better readability on high-DPI displays), 3D printing support, more customization options, tweaked mouse and keyboard navigation, and a boot-to-desktop option.

Of course none of that really matters since the UI is only useful on a "small" touch device but there are people raving about Windows 8 claiming its the best thing since Windows 3.1.  

Look for the new OS sometime around October 18th with ISO leaks on Bittorrent sometime sooner.

Sandia Cooler: Air Bearing Heatsink Prototype Update

Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I know a few people that won't stop talking about this heatsink, personally I'm not a huge fan of the design but I can see a few instances where it might actually be a good fit. 

What makes the prototype Sandia Cooler special is the design, its aluminum cooling fins serve double duty as the rotating fan and fan blades of the cooler . Unlike traditional CPU coolers, heat energy in the Sandia Cooler is conducted across a very thin air gap bearing from the stationary base of the cooler to the upper rotating aluminum fin/fan component.

Be sure to check out the article to know more about this amazing cooler which may or may not keep a 4.5Ghz Core i7 3930K cool enough to run.

Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition: Too Soon?

Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Web

Darren and I have talked about Borderlands 2 quite often on the podcast and its no secret that I really enjoy the game but releasing a GOTY edition before all of the DLC has been released just sounds stupid.

The GOTY Edition allegedly includes all of the game's released DLC to date which would include.

  • Creature Slaughter Dome
  • Psycho Pack
  • Captain Scarlet’s And Her Pirate’s Booty
  • Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt
  • Mister Torgue’s Campaign Of Carnage
  • Tiny Tina’s Assault On Dragon Keep
  • Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade
  • Mechromancer Pack
  • Creature Slaughter Dome

I realize that GOTY editions are basically the last version to go out the door before the game developer ties it off but it just seems like this particular one is getting rushed.

Server Migration Complete

Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Not long ago I posted about a random hardware issue that caused this server to suffer a little downtime.  While that problem was quick and easy to resolve there was another much larger project in the works. 

For years I have been running this site on Server 2003 and while that OS might be dated it ran strong and was extremely solid.  Well, progress finally kicked me in the balls and said "it’s time to upgrade".

The process of upgrading a server is not an easy one and there are a variety of ways you can tackle it.   I prefer the "fresh start" method which involves installing a fresh copy of your OS, applying the various patches and installing the software you need.  As you can imagine this can take awhile and is why most IT professionals do "upgrades" whenever they can.

In my case I have a mirror version of my live server at home so building the golden image at home is pretty easy.  It started with a copy of my configuration data and once everything was in good working order I simply transferred the image from one server to another.  This way I only have to concern myself with backing up the vital data and will have minimal downtime.

Long story short, I've finally upgraded and, had I configured my application pools correctly it would have been completely flawless.

Tesoro Aegis Mousepad @ Rbmods

Published: Friday, August 23, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

This sounds like something straight out of Borderlands.

For your gaming mouse you need a good mousepad or things might not go the way you want. Today we take a look at the Tesoro Aegis mousepad, this is the new mousepad from Tesoro and thus far I have to admit I like it a lot. Lets take a closer look at it and test it out in this review.

I saw this title and figured it was something from Maliwan but instead its just a mousepad.

Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp

Published: Friday, August 23, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

For me I think that Gigabyte motherboards are a diamond among motherboards.  Not only do they perform well but they are very consistent across the various product lines meaning that you can expect the same level of performance from a UD3H as you do from a UD7 or even the OC.

The difference is in features. 

Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H is a board I like to refer to as "The Sleeper". Built to meet the needs of most average consumers, it not only comes with everything you need for daily use but also has an overclocking focus, though it may not appear so.

UD3H may sound like a low end bomber but its actually a high midrange motherboard designed for the mainstream system builder and hardware enthusiast on a budget.  Heck I have one of these running a 24/7 development server right now which speaks to its versatility.

[insert your town] We Have a Problem

Published: Friday, August 23, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Ninjalane

Hello? is this thing on?

Oh good, we have connection.  Seems there was an unfortunate incident at the datacenter involving a power supply and server.  The server, let's call it, was no longer getting power from said "power supply" and simply shut down.

Yep, you read that correctly, it shut down!.  Many of you may be wondering, "How can this be news?" or "Why did you bother fixing it?"

While both of those are valid questions, consider this, had I not repaired the server you wouldn't get the opportunity to read my message, or see what the future holds.


HCW PC Build Guide - Summer 2013

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

I remember doing this back in the day, my gimmick was that you start with a build and then upgrade one part each month.  It worked really well until disaster struck and the gear I wanted was no longer available.

We help you put together your next gaming PC build, using budgets of $400, $600, $1200, and $2800. Planning a new PC the near future? Read this first!

Check out the article to see how well he did building up these systems.