Hardware Reviews. One MegaHertz at a Time
Nearly six years ago in November of 2011, Intel divided its lineup by releasing its first HEDT (High-End Desk-Top) in the form of the X79 platform and a trio of Sandy Bridge-E CPU’s with the flagship 6-core Extreme Edition Core i7-3960X. The platform eventually received an update to Ivy Bridge-E with three new CPUs. Three years later, the updated X99 platform was launched with another trio of Haswell-E CPU’s with the 8 core i7-5960X, later to be trumped with Broadwell-E’s 10-core i7-6950X. Fast-forward just under 3 years and Intel brings us X299. This time however, Intel changed the game and announced NINE different CPU’s over a stagger launch. Spanning 2 architectures at the same time, Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X, X299 hits the ground with a starting lineup from quad core to 18 cores, up to quad channel ddr4 memory and up to a hefty 44 PCIe lanes.
While we wait for the remaining Sky Lake-X CPU’s to arrive, we’ll take a look at one offering near the middle of the shotgun pattern launch with the 8 core, 16 thread Intel Core i7-7820X. Does it compare to the retiring 8 core champion of X99? We certainly aim to find out!
With just how connected the world is today, a microphone is more of a necessity these days and less of a luxury. Applications such as TeamSpeak and Discord have made online gaming much easier and much more accessible while apps like Skype have moved meetings from conference rooms to living rooms. However, a low-quality mic can make you sound distorted and muffled, making it harder for people to hear you clearly. This can cause you to lose a match online, or make a bad impression on a potential employer.
As any streamer or YouTuber will tell you, a high-quality mic is a must have on the desk of any potential content creator. There are several viable options beyond integrated camera mics. You can always set up an audio interface with an XLR microphone but that can get very expensive even though it offers the best quality. Most people go with a simple plug and play USB mic, though they are usually hit or miss. I was very excited when ASUS launched their ROG Magnus USB microphone. Since ASUS doesn’t affix the ROG logo to just any old product, I expected nothing but good things from this mic. So, let’s see how it did.
ASUS’s STRIX line of products has been a popular choice on other platforms for bringing strong gaming oriented features and aesthetics to an affordable mid-range price point. Asus now brings that along to the AMD Ryzen ecosystem in the form of the ASUS ROG STRIX X370-F Motherboard. Packing AMD’s X370 Enthusiast Class chipset, It supports Dual graphics cards, NVMe SSD’s, Native USB 3.1 Gen 2 and all of AMD’s fully unlocked AM4 Based Ryzen CPU’s in an attractive, neutral, gray and black color scheme. Should the STRIX X370-F anchor your next Ryzen gaming build? Lets check it out and find out!
Not too long ago we reviewed Asus’s new line of ROG Strix AMD based video cards the RX 580 and RX 570 and we came away rather impressed. Today we will be looking at their RX 560 Video card. The Radeon RX 560 is the newest entry to the RX 500 series and is designed for the more budget conscience gamer. The ROG Strix RX 560 utilizes 4GB of GDDR5 memory with 1024 stream processors and 16 compute units. It ships with 1326MHz core clock speed, and has 1750MHz memory clock speed which is connected to a 128-bit memory interface. These specifications are roughly half that of the larger RX 570.
Installing cooling fans on your PC chassis can be tricky particularly if go for high-RPM fans or installing on thin aluminum panels. In such scenarios, the fan could produce vibrations that would produce noise and to some extent could lead to damaging your hardware. Fortunately, Noctua got something to address such issues with their NA-SAV3 and NA-SAV4 anti-vibration mounts.
As the PC Enthusiast community grows, the water cooling community grows with it. You see it on the online forums and Facebook groups, as more and more people are trying their hands at custom water cooling. Not only can you customize your PC to fit your personal taste, but the performance increase is well worth the effort. Custom water cooling offers much lower temperatures, and increased performance.
There are few names in custom PC water cooling industry as well known and well respected as Swiftech. Since 1994, Swiftech has cemented themselves as one of the best names in the business. Swiftech recently offered us their KOMODO GTX 1080 Ti full cover blocks for review. This block is designed for the Founders Edition GTX 1080 Ti. Their KOMODO series was one of the first water blocks to offer full PCB coverage. This will help, since the Founders Edition tends to run hot. So, how well did the KOMODO GTX 1080 Ti block do? Let’s find out.
MSI’s M7 moniker has been anchoring its Enthusiast Gaming line-up of motherboards since the Intel Z170 days of a few years ago, through the more recent Z270 update, and now on to Intel’s top dog X299 Platform. The “M” suffix stands for ‘Master’ and gives everything you need to master the next level in gaming. From supporting the fastest processors, storage and memory, to gaming oriented Audio, WiFi and LAN solutions, MSI’s X299 Gaming M7 ACK provides the basis for the best gaming experience on the market. Should this be the first board you look at on your way to Intel’s X299 platform? We are about to find out.
SilverStone has been one of those brands that’s consistent with build quality and aesthetics through all the series they offer. Gamers and enthusiasts would really find SilverStone cases adequate for any build be it a high-performance gaming PC or truly spectacular modded PC setup. One of their cases that seem to have a good balance of aesthetics and features is the SilverStone Redline Series and today we would be looking at the RL06. Follow us today as we check out the SilverStone RL06 desktop chassis.
The X299 Aorus Gaming 3 is Gigabyte’s entry level X299 gaming motherboard. There is support 7th Generation Intel Core HEDT processors. The either DDR4 quad channel memory slots can handle up to 164GB and at speeds up to 4400Mhz and beyond. There’s dual Turbo M.2 with transfer speeds up to 32 Gb/s and eight SATA ports. A total of seven rear USB 3.1 Type- A ports are complimented with an additional USB 3.1 Type-C port and multiple mid-board USB headers