Hardware Reviews. One MegaHertz at a Time
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In a world where a budget CPU packs the same number of cores as yesterday’s flagship, and users demand more speed than ever, your system memory has more and more of an impact on your experience. While any old stick of ram will let you surf the web and chat with your friends, you need something a little more capable if you want to lead your squad to victory. While most know RGB lights won’t help you much in-game, many users want a subtle system that’s more bite than bark. If you want to win in-game, and not at the cheesy ‘who has the biggest party going on in their case’, Crucial’s Ballistix Elite might just be the memory for you.
Today we will be checking out another excellent gaming peripheral from Thermaltake’s Tt eSPORTS line. You might remember a couple weeks ago we took a look at their MEKA PRO mechanical gaming keyboard, today we are checking out one of its companion devices, the VENTUS X Optical gaming mouse. In addition to sporting a 12,000 DPI optical sensor and a comfortable ergonomic design, the VENTUS X mouse also excels in an area we found the MEKA PRO to be lacking. The VENTUS X comes equipped with industry standard 16.8 Million color customizable RGB backlighting, and if it is half as spectacular as it looks from the packaging we will be in for a real treat. Big shoutout to Tt eSPORTS for sending the VENTUS X mouse our way! Let’s dig in!
You probably know by this point that Intel’s latest Core i9 CPU’s pack a punch. You might even know that the higher core count chips in the series can consume some serious wattage. When you have ten to eighteen cores sucking down 400 to 600 watts or more, all of this power has to flow through your motherboard’s VRM or Voltage regulator module which can create quite a bit of heat. ASRock originally released the Taichi series boards closer to the budget level of the spectrum, but the steampunk inspired aesthetics have captured the hearts of higher-end builders. To keep builders from having to choose between an inspiring design and a high-performance board, ASRock has released the X299 Taichi XE.
The PC world is no stranger to ground-breaking, revolutionary memory announcements. They come along every so often promising order of magnitude increases in speed, capacity, and so on. The few that actually materialize into a physical product are often lackluster and fade from existence in days to months or are quickly eclipsed by incremental updates to existing technology. When 3D XPoint was announced a few years ago as this crazy new storage and memory hybrid, most of the industry shrugged it off as another cry of ‘wolf!’ since NAND based NVMe drives were just starting to take off.
As gamers, we often think that the only thing in the room that matters is our gaming rig. To this day I still see gamers who have dropped well over 2000 on their components and case but are still operating it with a keyboard and mouse that cost 20 bucks at Walmart. While the current eSports trend seems to be taking care of the lack of care in purchasing peripherals there are still other areas where gamers frequently neglect their needs. One of the biggest of these is the gaming chair arena. While not all of us can afford to go drop 5 bills on a top of the line gaming chair, it is important to remember that every second you are using your rig you will be sitting in the chair of your choice. Your wallet might thank you for only spending 75 or 100 bucks on a seat right now but what will your back and rest of your body have to say 5 or 10 years (and thousands of hours of gameplay) down the road? This fact alone should have you seriously thinking about the quality of your throne, but if that isn’t enough then there is a slew of studies that show a more relaxed posture and sturdy base lead directly to better performance in gaming and better results when working behind a desk.
All of that said I know that all of us cannot afford to drop $5-600 on a fully equipped, luxury gaming throne, I mean heck some of these new chairs even come equipped with RGB accents. I am certainly as guilty as the rest of us of buying one of those cheapo 100-dollar gaming chairs off amazon, and while these are good imitations of the real thing they quickly wear out and show their cheap workmanship.
Today we will be looking at and trying out an excellent middle-of-the-road gaming chair option. Coming in at its Amazon price of $339.99 USD (down from its MSRP of $400) the RapidX Carbon is an excellent option for a mid to high-end gaming chair.
Big shout-out to RapidX for sending this awesome sample our way!
Corsair entered the liquid cooling world with the HydroCool kit clear back in 2002, but their first ‘AiO’ or All-in-One liquid cooler was the Hydro H50 in 2009. Since then, the Hydro series coolers have gained in popularity with the DIY computer community as a simple way to just ‘bolt-on’ quiet, high-performance cooling without the hassles and headaches of piecing together a custom loop. With the explosion of high-powered and high core count CPU’s last year, Corsair decided it was high time for some updates. Featuring their first 360mm radiator, Magnetic Levitation high-performance fans, and a new Zero RPM mode, the Hydro H150i PRO is ready to cool tomorrow systems today.
Following in the footsteps of eight previous Maximus Formula predecessors dating back a decade to 2008, the Maximus X Formula brings the iconic ROG heritage to Intel’s 8th generation platform. Featuring everything gamers have come to love about Formula from the EKWB powered VRM cooling, ROG Armor, steel backplate, and RGB lighting and mixed it in with the new LiveDash OLED display and the latest in connectivity for the ultimate gaming experience.
With all of the high powered, extreme frame crunching, Super Ultra Multi-tasking hardware that comes through here, we sometimes forget that’s only a relatively small part of the market. More often, you just need to browse the web, edit a document, print a recipe, or play your favorite video or TV episode without the jet engine roar of cooling fans, light dimming power consumption, and bank account crippling cost associated with the above. ECS has managed to stuff the power to play 4K videos on a full-featured PC into something smaller than the mouse we are using to control it but without the typical limitations of most tiny media devices.
If you are familiar with the name Supermicro, you probably spend some time around data centers and servers in general. However, with more than 2 decades of providing 24x7x365 reliability in the enterprise IT world, Supermicro started providing that same server-grade DNA in its SUPERO consumer gaming brand a few years ago to Intel’s 4th and 5th generation Core platforms. Fast forward a few years and SUPERO launches its very first mini-ITX form factor board for the latest Intel 8th Generation Core series processors.
When you think of your dream computer setup, your mind probably jumps to bleeding edge GPU’s and CPU’s, an awesome case, the biggest SSD, and so on. Of those, Corsair probably has one or more of the things you probably already have or want of theirs, Keyboards, Headsets, Power Supplies, Mice, Ram, Flash Drives, SSD’s and the list goes on. What you probably don’t think about is what you sit on. Perhaps you are using a spare dining room chair, or that one office supply store special that you don’t really feel safe leaning back in, but those really stink. Corsair is here to save the day with their new T2 ROAD WARRIOR high back chair made for comfort ‘for the long haul’.
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