To an enthusiast, an air cooler is nothing more than that big hunk of copper and aluminum they keep including in the box. These days, it’s getting more and more rare for a CPU to even come with a cooler anyway. Liquid cooling is a great way to go, more cooling capacity while in near silence is a winning combination, and coolers have grown to 240mm, 280mm and even 360mm in size. Is a 120mm liquid cooler even relevant anymore? Riotoro seems to think so and has released the BiFrost 120 liquid CPU cooler. We’ll find out if a 120mm cooler can compete in the gaming oriented world, or if this size is better for your Home Theater PC.
Intel’s X99 “Wellsburg” platform has been with us for some time now, since Q3 2014 in fact. Unlike Intel’s Z series chipsets, Intel refreshed their X series chipset far less frequently. That doesn’t mean that the platform is any less exciting that the Z series though. Being Intel’s flagship consumer chipset mean that is often receives new features and technology first. The motherboard manufactures also help keep the platform fresh by regularly releasing updates to their lineup as well.
If there is one thing all PC enthusiast crave, it’s more performance. There are few GPU’s that perform as well as the GP104 GPU on the GTX 1080. However, the GPU’s actual performance is based on its cooling solution, of which there are many ways to go. If you’re like me, you tend to not water cool your cards. However, this makes choosing a card a bit more involved then “Get a reference card and throw a block on it.”
When choosing a graphics card, there a several things to consider. Aesthetics being one of the main things, as well as clock speeds, performance, and noise, to name a few. However, one of the main things to consider is the cooler. For better performance, you need proper cooling. For proper cooling, you need a proper cooling solution. Gigabyte understands this very well. The proof is in their 2 ½ slot, monster of a card, the Gigabyte Extreme Gaming 1080. But is this just another pretty 1080 is a sea of graphics cards that perform well, but no different than other 1080’s on the market, or does the Extreme Gaming 1080 from Gigabyte stand out from all the rest? Let’s see how this card stands up to the competition.
Kickstarter has become the catalyst for the return of many gaming trends whether it’s the side scrolling platformer with Shovel Knight, the space sim with Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen, or the CRPG with Path of Exile or Wasteland 2. Developed by inExile and published by Techland Publishing Torment: Tides of Numenera is the most recent Kickstarter success to hit the market. After over a year in Steam’s Early Access program its released as a finished product to consumers. The pitch was a spiritual successor and pseudo-sequel to Planescape: Torment, though with big shoes to fill will this game measure up?
A case can easily be the hardest part of a build to select. If you go too large, you need a mountain of gear to make it look good. If you go too small, you may not fit everything you want, or may be limited on upgrades later. Some cases can even cost more than major components of your build. You don’t want a cheap tinfoil case that may collapse under its own weight, but you’d rather not take your specs down a notch to afford a good case. What’s a builder to do? Riotoro might just have the answer for you. Cases designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, without all those pesky details like cheap materials or fine print. Riotoro’s CR280 case is made for space conscious builders with its ITX form factor, but manages to still handle full size graphics cards, power supplies and even water cooling in a sleek windowed box. The specs look impressive, but can a case from a manufacturer you may not be familiar with (yet) handle you? We are about to dive in and find out!