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

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.
Source: http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/evga_geforce_gtx_780_classified_review,1.html

 

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.
Source: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/63051-evga-gtx-780-classified-review.html

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.
Source: http://www.techcentral.co.za/hynix-fire-could-send-memory-prices-soaring/43418/

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. 
Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-04/sk-hynix-shuts-china-computer-memory-chip-factory-after-fire.html

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.
Source: http://www.ktvb.com/news/Micron-stock-jumps-after-fire-at-competitors-plant-222404311.html

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.

Intel Core i7 4960X Ivy Bridge Launch Day

Published: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

A little over a year ago one of the most interesting processors you could buy was released that featured a staggering 2011 electrical contacts and a heat spreader so large it needed a small hole in the corner to collect thermal paste.  Well, it would seem the second edition of this famed monster of X86 silicon has been released, the IVBE.

Web Reviews
- Intel Core i7 4960X Ivy Bridge Extreme Processor Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Intel i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E @ LanOC Reviews
- Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Processor
- Intel Core i7  4820K and 4960X processor review
- Intel i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Intel Core i7 4960X, 4930K and 4820K tested @ Hardware.Info
- Intel's Core i7-4960X processor reviewed @ TR
- Intel Core i7-4960X Extreme Edition Ivy Bridge-E CPU Review @ HotHardware

Unlike some of the smaller processors that preceded it the Ivy Bridge Extreme is designed for high-end workstations that need excessive memory bandwidth and lots of processing power.  Of course the best part is that they drop into existing X79 based motherboards with a simple BIOS update.  I can't wait to get my hands on a hex core and quad core version of this processor for some cold LN2 action.

Product Review (GIGABYTE Z87X-OC) | ChipLoco

Published: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

The press release doesn't say much about this review but based on the title it has to be epic,

I mean it has to be right?.

For Haswell, we’ve two GIGABYTE OC series motherboards; the Z87X-OC and Z87X-OC Force. The former one is a $200 motherboard with everything an overclocker can wish for and then we’ve the $400 Z87X-OC Force which is for people with deep pockets or for those who want the best of the best.

humm. worry smile

NL: Review Block - Memory and Coolers

Published: Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - By: Dennis
News Source: Email

Just a quick list of memory and cooler reviews including some Crucial stuff?  OMG. shock smile

Memory
- Avexir Core Series 3100 MHz 2x 4 GB DDR3 @ techPowerUp
- G.Skill RipjawsX F3-2133C9Q-16GXL 2133 MHz 4x 4 GB DDR3 @ techPowerUp
- Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 2x8GB DDR3-1600 RAM @ TechwareLabs

Coolers - Its not a coola!
- Gelid GX-7 Rev. 2 CPU Cooler Review
- NZXT Kraken X60 Cooler Review on Technic3D
- Product Review (Noctua NH-U12S) | ChipLoco
- DeepCool Gammaxx S40 Heatsink Review @ Frostytech

Wow, quite the list.

MSI GTX 780 Lightning Strikes - Only onTwo Review Sites?

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

There are a small handful of companies that offer up custom video card designs and of those only three are accessible in the US, EVGA, ASUS, and MSI.  Normally I would group Gigabyte in this mix but based on current card designs I have to draw a line between what is "custom" and is custom.  (see what I did there?)

As of this news post the much anticipated competition for the EVGA GTX 780 Classified has been released and makes it debut on two review sites.  There may be more but I didn't get the memo. You would think that with a super awesome video card like the GTX 780 Lightning they would at least drop a few into the hands of reviewers that actually overclock.

I guess they are reserving excess inventory for MOA 2013.

Web Reviews
- MSI GeForce GTX 780 LIGHTNING review @ ???
- MSI GTX 780 N780 Lightning Video Card Review @ HiTech Legion

I'm sure we will see more related to the GTX 780 Lightning in the coming months.

Acronis True Image 2014 Review @ Techgage

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

I have always had a little respect for Acronis and their awesome imaging software but I cannot lie when I say their server based versions are not good.  Maybe I'm "doing it wrong" or need to call the support line but, DAMN.

Techgage is looking at the new 2014 edition of Acronis True Image which is the retail edition anyone can use on Windows 7 and Windows 8.  Most people who LOVE Acronis are talking about this edition happy smile

The latest version of Acronis' popular backup and recovery suite, True Image, has just been released, and once again, we're taking a look at what's new. We saw good integration of Acronis' cloud service with last year's True Image, but this year's version takes things to an all-new level. Let's check that out, along with all else that's new.

Its too bad they don't offer this version for servers, I would have been "onboard".

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.