Tech News

  • Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 2.1 Speaker System Review @ Madshrimps

    Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I have to admit that I've been watching a lot of Mighty Car Mods lately and one of their catchphrases is "Mad", which I guess is Austrialian for "Cool".  Similar to how Fosters is Austrialian for Beer. 

    At least according to the Americans.

    So, what does this have to do with Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 2.1 Desktop speakers?  Nothing really cept for the "Mad"Shrimps that published the review. happy smile

    Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 is an entry-level 2.1 speaker system from Creative, which is marketed mostly at gamers, but can be also used on a wide range of devices thanks to the analog audio interface. It comes with two 2.75’’ satellites and one 5.25’’ down-firing subwoofer for a RMS total power of 46W. This should be more than enough for small apartments or for users that do not want to spend a fortune on a more advanced system, while providing easy switching with headphones, thanks to the included headphone jack located on the right satellite.

    We should have our own review of a kickass desktop speaker system with its own LED lightihng effects for extra Asian sales potental.  (Check the latest Hardware Asylum Podcast for more information on that reference).

  • WD Black 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Review @ Legit Reviews

    Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Does Western Digital still make hard drives?  I used to swear by them and have a nice handful of Velociraptor drives that I use in my weekend LAN gaming builds.  According to Legit Reviews WD has a line of NVMe based M.2 drives and I'm going to assume they are pretty fast.

    Last month we told you that WD was announcing the WD Black PCIe Solid State Drive (SSD) series that just happens to be the very first WD-branded client PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe-based SSDs. WD recognizes that enthusiasts and the high-end computing market have moved over to PCIe SSDs to get many times more performance than traditional SATA storage drives. The WD Black PCIe SSDs have sequential read/write speeds of up to 2050MB/s read and up to 800MB/s write with the backing of a nice 5-year limited warranty

    2 Grand reads with a 5 year?  Seems good right.

    I know the blue PCB will attract us old school Gigabyte fans. happy smile  now the question.  Do I get one or hold out for the HyperX version?!? 

  • Team Group Officially Announces the T-FORCE DARK Series Memory Module with Asus ROG Certification

    Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    February 16, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan - Team Group, the world’s leading memory brand, today officially announces the launch of the popular ASUS ROG certified memory product, the T-FORCE DARK memory. ROG (Republic Of Gamers) is a gaming brand established in 2006. It represents the ultimate performance and top quality that gamers around the world keep pursuing. Team Group’s T-FORCE DARK memory is rigorously tested and certified by ASUS officials to obtain the ROG certification. Together with ASUS motherboards, the consumers can have all the top gaming hardware at once to fully enjoy an extreme gaming and entertainment experience.

    T-FORCE DARK is both unique and eye catching thanks to its unique feature of being the first and only to utilize a four-piece heat-spreader in the industry. In addition to advancing from previous two-piece heat spreaders, it also adds a combination of two more arched fins to increase radiating area and provide up to 8% better dissipation performance than traditional heat spreaders. Besides ROG certification and performance improvements, its killer look of a dark knight’s armor is combined with ROG’s unique elements such as the ROG abstract patterns together with the mighty ROG log. Consumers can freely choose from the eye catching colors of black and red, or the calming colors of black and grey to build up the perfect gaming memory.

  • A Bridge too far: migrating from Sandy to Kaby Lake

    Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | By: Dennis

    You ever wonder why the PC market is dying?  Well, I'll give you a hint there are three major factors.

    Game Consoles
    Mobile Hardware
    Performance

    The hardware locked game console didn't allow games to progress fast enough to take advantage of the latest PC hardware developments.  At the time game developers were pushed (using incentives from Microsoft and Sony) to develop games for the console first and then port them to the PC.  It made them rich and created lackluster titles that didn't need a modern computer to run. 

    Mobile Hardware, the jewelry of the Millennial, has largely replaced a reason to own a basic PC in the home.  They can do all the basic stuff like surf the web and check email, which is good.  The cost of a new PC vs a tablet also plays into this since we have been conditioned concern ourselves with cost over the quality of our electronics. 

    Performance is the final peice of the puzzle which is largely related to the previous two statements.  Modern PCs are FAST, in fact too fast considering that you can run all modern applications on 8 year old hardware.  Because of this people hold on to old gear longer than they should.

    All of that is further perpetuated by hardware sites, like Hardware Asylum, who are tasked to answer the defacto question "Should I upgrade?"  As hardware enthusiasts my/our answer is always going to be "yes" but, only because you asked. 

    It would seem that someone over at Tech Report is helping to kill the PC market by telling people that the old 2000 series Sandy Bridge is enough.  They aren't wrong but, that doesn't make it right either.

    After nearly six years and countless posts about how my i7-2600K was still good enough, I decided that I'd had enough of good enough when we published our Core i7-7700K review. It was time to upgrade my PC, and I recently completed my new build. I can hear the palms contacting faces already. "Fish, you idiot, Ryzen is almost here! You should have waited." That could be, but I won't be buffaloed into second-guessing my decision. As it happens, I'm quite pleased with the results and I'm pretty confident that Ryzen couldn't do any better.

    You have to wonder if articles like this really help the hardware effort or are simply making things worse for everyone.

  • Sniper Elite 4: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I remember playing a sniper game back "in the day".  It had some really simple graphics and you didn't have to be too stealthy provided you stayed out of their field of view.  As with all games once you figure out how it works there are ways to exploit the mechanics to your advantage.  In the case of the sniper game I played it turns out that if you could see your enemy you could shoot them and it didn't matter how far away you were OR how accurate.  For instance I was shooting at pixels of enemies clear across the map and doing one shot kills.

    Lets hope that Sniper Elite 4 is a little better AND that the in-game performance is high enough to scratch that 2% upper crust, omg I need 200fps cause some guy on reddit said my shoes were gay, ultra watercooled AMD (cause: hot) oh wait (nvidia: cause physx, that nobody uses anymore) performance.

    We test Rebellion's new shooter on 10 modern graphics cards, with the latest game optimized drivers from AMD and NVIDIA. A surprise is that AMD gains up to 27% performance from switching to DX12 with Async Compute, while the performance uplift for NVIDIA users is only up to 5%.

    If you couldn't gather from my previous paragraph, people seem to get OCD weird over game performance that cannot be replicated.

  • GAMDIAS Zeus P1 Optical Mouse Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Funny thing about "computer stuff" in general is that everyone is trying to get the most for the least amount of money.  I get it, and believe me when I say I cringe sometimes when I see a Logitech mouse selling for $100 bux.  Which is great if it really costs $100 dollars however, when you can get the same mouse online for $50 you have to wonder why?

    The GAMDIAS Zeus P1 is a mouse worth buying for only $40 at press time considering its performance. Its RGB lighting effects are the icing on the cake.

    I't have to put this mouse in the "whoa, way cheap" category given the $40 dollar price tag.  Add in RGB just cause and you have a mouse that should be $20 dollars but they added $10 dollars of lights so they could sell it to people who feature hut and can't spend too much cash.

    *roll*  I'm sure it is a great mouse though. big grin smile

  • EpicGear DeFiant Mechanical Keyboard Set @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I was able to review this keyboard before CES this year and have to say it is pretty darn cool.  The light filters are a little werid considering that everyone is going to RGB LEDs these days but, in a way it is more realistic considering that many gamers kinda set the colors and forget them.

    Just about everyone has jumped into the mechanical keyboard market at this point but rarely do you see companies take their time in tweaking and tuning their products like I have seen with EpicGear. All the way back in 2015 I took a look at their Dezimator X, a pre-release keyboard that they were considering sending to the USB market. Well, my review wasn’t the most promising. They took that information along with a lot of feedback from the mechanical communities and Massdrop and designed a new keyboard. Well the EpicGear DeFiant was released and it has a whole list of customization options, well they have been working on a new set based around the DeFiant with a carrying case and some of the customization options, today I’m going to check it out and see how things have changed.

    Be sure to check out the review and/or give my review of the EpicGear Defiant a quick look. 

  • EK releases RGB monoblock for GIGABYTE® Z270X motherboards

    Published: Friday, February 10, 2017 | By: Dennis

    EK Water Blocks, the world renowned premium liquid cooling manufacturer, is proud to release the monoblock liquid cooling solution for GIGABYTE® Z270X motherboards. EK-FB GA Z270X RGB Monoblock is compatible with GIGABYTE® RGB Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

    EK-FB GA Z270X RGB Monoblock
    EK-FB GA Z270X RGB Monoblock is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for Intel® LGA-1151 socket Kaby Lake® and Sky Lake® CPU’s. This monoblock is compatible with the following GIGABYTE® motherboards:

    Designed and engineered in cooperation with GIGABYTE®, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools Intel LGA-1151 socket type CPU and the power regulation (MOSFET) module as water flows directly over all critical areas. It is a very high flow water block that can be easily used with the system using weaker water pumps.

  • Ballistix Elite 3200 MHz Quad Channel DDR4

    Published: Thursday, February 09, 2017 | By: Dennis

    More hometown memory reviews!  This time the Crucial Ballistix Elite 3200Mhz.

    3200Mhz might not sound like much however quad channel processors tend to favor slower memory speeds when compared to the lighter Kaby Lake enabled systems.

    We take a 16GB Ballistix Elite kit from Ballistix and will test and review it. The brand is now separated from Crucial. The 3200 MHz 16GB memory is cool, fast and runs XMP 2.0 memory profiles on Intel platforms as well. Join us as we review some of the fastest clocked bars of memory your money can get you.

    These looks pretty good, short and compact yet with some style to the heatspreader.  I might have to get a set to play around with.

  • PowerColor Radeon RX 470 Red Devil (4GB) @ Custom PC Review

    Published: Thursday, February 09, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Red Devil!  An interesting name for a video card and one that can give you a little clout when talking about your system with friends. 

    Still, not as cool as the Devil 13 and all of its elusive awesomeness which is something we can talk about at a later day.

    When AMD released the Radeon RX 470 in August of last year, high demand coupled with low supply meant that it almost didn’t make much sense thanks to its inflated pricing at the time. However, in the months since, pricing has dropped quite a bit and with recent driver updates, the performance of the...

    I wonder if anyone who actually reviewed the old PowerColor Devil 13 still has them?  It was something that Darren and I talked about on the Hardware Asylum Podcast where I cited that the cards were limited edition and I felt the whole batch went to hardware sites.