Latest ProClockers Hardware Reviews
The Asus TUF series of motherboards has been with us for some time now. The first in the series was the Sabertooth X58 that arrived in 2010. Its military look and tough image quickly caught the imagination of many system builders and enthusiast alike. The series really took off when Asus released the Sabertooth P67, which features their Thermal Armor. Modders jumped on this new motherboard, often modifying and/or painting the Thermal Armor to match their builds. Fast forward to 2017 and we have the latest iteration of TUF design, the TUF Z270.
Prime is the new name for Asus’ mainstream motherboards. Previously their mainstream motherboards didn’t have a conventional name, but with the release of Z270, that has changed. Prime motherboards have a much more conventional look compared to their ROG – Republic of Gamers, Tuf, and Pro Gamer lines. That’s not to say they don’t back a punch though.
The PC Case has morphed over the years from a simple beige colored steel box designed to do nothing more than hold components, to a bold statement in and of itself that sets each build apart from the rest. As showmanship and modding have become more prevalent, PC component manufacturers have put considerable effort into making things like Motherboards and GPU’s look as well as they perform. Due to this, it’s getting harder and harder to find a case WITHOUT a window in the side, but why would you want one? What if you want to go more the other direction? Instead of leaning down to peak through a tiny window to see your parts, what If you want almost everything to be visible from all angles? We aren’t quite to the point where every component is wireless and just floats in a bubble near your desk, but Thermaltake has gotten as close as anyone with the Core P3 chassis. Visibly open from 5 of the 6 sides, it provides just enough structure to hold your system while keeping nearly everything visible. You can even mount it on a wall instead of just sitting on your desk (although you can do that too). As many enthusiasts like to be unique, The Core P3 can be configured dozens of different ways, and coupled with limitless hardware combinations out there, you can build the ultimate and still unique system you’ve always wanted.
ProClockers would like to Thank Thermaltake for sending us the Core P3 chassis to check out!
The term “Republic of Gamers” commands so much respect in the enthusiast community, that you can almost guarantee, you’re going to get a great product. Since 2006, its stood for innovation and quality that gamers and enthusiasts have grown to expect from the ROG brand. ROG Strix is the newest branding under the ROG name. Ever since the founder’s edition 1070 first launched, I’ve been itching to get my hands on the Strix 1070. Now I finally have it. With how well all Pascal cards have been performing, and the ROG logo on the front, back and sides of the card, it’s almost a slam dunk that the Strix 1070 is going to be an excellent card. However, occasionally, you’ll get that one card that just disappoints you. Whether it can’t overclock well enough, doesn’t run as cool as you’d like, or may even have coil whine. But that’s what we are here to find out, right? So, let’s see if the Strix 1070 lives up to the Republic of Gamers name. Although, I think I already know the answer to that.
Upon release, we reviewed the flagship of the Kaby Lake lineup, the Core i7-7700K. We came away rather impressed. Not only did it outperform the previous generation Core i7-6700K, it also proved to be a more capable overclocker. This time we have the Core i3-7350K. The Core i3 has half the hyperthreaded cores of a Core i7 and half the L3 cache at 4 MB. However Turbo Boost is disabled. Like its bigger brother, it features an unlocked multiplier though, for easy overclocking. This is something we haven’t seen since the 1st generation Core processors.
Cases today are adapting to new technologies every time. One technology in particular that’s becoming a mainstream today is the Type-C port coming from both USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 interfaces. Both offer fast data transfer rates making it ideal for those that move around large media content from device to device. Gladly, SilverStone always adopts the latest technologies and incorporate it to their latest cases, one of which is going to be tested today. Follow us as we take a look at the SilverStone Redline Series RL05 chassis that sports a USB 3.0 Type-C port in front and two 140mm LED fans in front for superior cooling.
On August 30, 2016 Intel announced its next generation processor, Kaby Lake. They also announced that Kaby Lake would continue to use their 14 nanometer process that had been used with the two previous generations, Skylake and Broadwell. It had been highly anticipated the 10 nanometer Cannonlake would be the successor to Skylake, so it raised a few eyebrows and even more questions, as this broke with Intel long standing “tick-toc” manufacturing and design model. Instead Kaby Lake would represent a further optimization on Skylake’s architecture. Indeed, Intel has replaced the “tick-tock” with a "process-architecture-optimization" model.
With transistors getting smaller and smaller and more and more difficult to produce in sufficient yields, Intel’s long running two step “Tick Tock” cadence is now being replaced with a 3 phase model of Process, Architecture, and Optimization. Intel’s Broadwell, while never fully released as a complete line of Desktop CPU’s, saw the Process shrink from 22nM to 14Nm with the Intel Core 5000 series CPU’s. The Architecture upgrade was done with Intel 6th Generation 6000 series CPU’s, and now we come to the 7th Generation CPU’s that target optimization. To take advantage of these optimizations, Intel has release the 200 series chipsets, and the top end enthusiast level version is the Intel Z270 Chipset found in the ASRock Z270 Extreme4 we have for review today.
Certainly when it comes to motherboards, the high end enthusiast products get all the attention, while the more budget friendly options fly under the radar. That’s a shame too. The more budget friendly products are really the bread and butter of the industry. MSI’s Pro Series motherboards are aimed directly at those enthusiasts that have less than an unlimited budget.
With the upcoming launch of Intels new 7th generation of Core Processors, there’s no surprise that we are starting to see new motherboards with Intel’s new Z270 chipset as well. With new features, such as support for Intel’s new Optane SSDs, more downstream PCIe lanes, 14 to the previous 10 that the Z170 chipset has and even front USB 3.1 support, The Z270 chipset is an upgrade over the Z170 chipset.
As we continue to evolve, the need for mobile and wireless technology becomes more and more important. We want to unplug ourselves both in our homes and on the road. We demand to be free from cables, connectors or plugs, and experience life with friends and family freely and unencumbered. Bluetooth devices, have met that challenge, and have integrated technology into our lives in almost all environments. Some newly released devices break the shackles of traditional headphones for the more efficient and mobile Bluetooth models. With many headphones on the market, it is always a great opportunity to explore various models and manufacturers. The FENDA or F&D Paragon HW620 is a device we will be examining today.
As technology advances, and people become more digital savvy, the trend of carrying various mobile devices is at an all-time high. Cell phones, tablets, Bluetooth Speakers are just some of the devices we rely on to keep us informed, connected, and enhance our daily digital lives. One thing all mobile devices have in common is the need to re-charge their power sources. Apple users have an easy solution available, the OLALA C2-i 6000mAh Power Bank. The OLALA C2-i 60000mAh will help keep most of your iOS devices like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad charged.
More and more we are seeing games eschew the standard publishing model and turn to crowd funding. Whether Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Fig; fans are funding projects that the larger developers feel are too niche or risky to produce. One such game recently released after a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Dwarves developed by KING Art Games and published by Nordic THQ. Based on a fantasy novel of the same name it released fifteen months after the launching of the campaign. Warning the following will contain plot spoilers.
A motherboard is one of the most critical components in any PC to get right. Nearly everything in a modern PC is connected directly to the motherboard, CPU, RAM, GPU, Drives, USB Ports, Audio cables, and so on, so it’s pretty important you get something reliable and with enough features and connections for everything you need. The Flip side of that coin is the staggering selection of boards out there, with literally hundreds of choices, some costing more than a mortgage payment on a house, how does a gamer decide what to get? MSI has broken their new lineups into 3 new categories to help you narrow it down.