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When it comes to PC building many people start with a CPU and motherboard. But there is a fine group of people that start with the humble case. Yes, the humble PC case has grown over the years from solid panels to digital screens and more. But the most popular is the Tempered glass panel case. Which Phanteks just happen to make and they sent their special edition Red and Black Eclipse P300 Tempered Glass and you have to check out how this cost-efficient, beautiful case.
The storage world is a continuous march towards bigger, better, and eventually, cheaper. You always have those on the bleeding edge willing to pay the early adopter tax on the latest and greatest, but much of the market is a generation or two behind just to avoid a second mortgage. SSD’s have been around awhile now, most directly replacing mechanical disks on the SATA III 6 Gbps bus that turns ten years old later this summer. More recently, Solid-State Drives have moved to PCIe through the universally confusing M.2 port but the cost per gigabyte has left most still using the 2nd drive for more space with the operating system and a few things on the SSD only. PCIe NVMe drive prices have been trickling down, but we are just now starting to see a level of cost parity from PCIe to SATA SSD’s and today we’ll be looking at a new offering from Corsair that aims to take on that market segment.
NZXT has added another case to their newly designed H series line-up: the H500/H500i. This new case is intended to fill the gap between the H700i/H400i and the successor for the S340/S340 Elite cases. The H series has been designed with builders in mind and its goal was to create a canvas to express their individual creativity. This case comes with full steel construction, mounts for water cooling and a stylish unique tempered glass front panel. For this review, we will be focusing on the H500i. Along with all the above features it also boasts a NXZT Smart Device for RBG lighting and fan controls, 2 x RGB LED strips with individually-addressable LEDs and two 120mm Aer F Case fans, all for a price of $99.
In the PC gaming world, you really only have two ways to get information from the PC to you; your eyes and your ears. Everyone wants a good gaming monitor and a powerful GPU, but the unsung hero of feedback is audio. Those audio cues tell you if an enemy is approaching if you’ve triggered an alarm, or even sets the mood for that area of a game. If you play anything multiplayer with your friends or squad, you’ll also need a microphone. With as important as audio is to your complete experience, so many people overlook it and ASUS wants to change that. With some of the best components on the market and unique features such as squad synchronized RGB lighting, ASUS has given the lowly headset the ROG flair.
Peripherals are subjective, you like what you like and leave the rest for someone else right? ASUS is trying to win you over with compelling entries in the highly addictive ROG family. The ROG Gladius II Origin Mouse has taken the modular Gladius mouse and given it an RGB facelift to compliment the socketed Omron Switches and detachable cords. The ROG Scabbard masquerades as a mousepad, but it’s actually a premium gaming surface designed to protect your entire desk as well as provide the accurate base for your mouse to glide on. Is it enough to win you over or did they have you at first sight?
One trend in the PC world the last few years following the push for more efficient components is to make things smaller. We’ve seen an impressive lineup of ITX and MicroATX boards from nearly all of the vendors out there extending from entry level up through the High-End Desk-Top series. The problem with high powered systems is the need to cool them, no matter what size the board. Typically, if you want to go with a smaller system, you have to compromise on cooling and typically aesthetics as well or stay with a larger case which sort of defeats the point of moving to a smaller board, to begin with. Corsair has the solution with the new Crystal Series 280X cases. Designed to give a small ITX or MicroATX build full-sized cooling support in a small package while looking amazing.
In a world of flashy, wallet breaking ‘gaming’ components, it’s easy to forget the other 90% of the market. For your office, the kid's computer, or even your home theater system you just want something reliable and affordable, and BIOSTAR has a pair of boards targeted directly at that corner of the market. Between the B360MHD PRO and the H310MHD PRO, BIOSTAR has the entry-level 8th generation Intel market squarely in its sights and today we’ll be taking a closer look at the H310MHD PRO.
When Intel’s 3D XPoint technology hit the market as Intel Optane Technology, it could do wonderful things to your computer, but only in the right configuration. To take advantage, you had to couple an Optane module to a SATA based drive. Not long after, larger drives big enough to hold your entire system became available, but only for the deeper-pocketed enthusiasts. Many users couple a smaller PCIe storage drive with the OS to a large mechanical Hard Drive for storage and Intel has now opened up Optane Acceleration to kick your data drive into high gear as well. Those smaller 32 and 64GB Optane modules can now be put to good use, and we’ll be looking at how this typical SSD+HDD configuration can benefit from Intel Optane Acceleration Technology.
Recently we checked out Patriot’s Viper LED DDR4, the then highest performing memory. Today Patriot unveils Viper RGB, its top of the line that brings a lot of bite and a little bit of color to your PC. Coming with white or black heat spreaders in speeds of up to a blistering 4133MHz, the new Viper RGB is sure to strike fear into your digital enemies.
Flagship GPU’s are always the envy of most gamers every generation. While a small percentage of the more deep-pocketed builds can snag them, most gamers end up a few notches down the scale in ‘mainstream’ category of cards. Unless you are chasing blistering frame rates at extreme resolutions on tomorrows games with maximum eye candy, you’ll probably appreciate that capabilities of a much more affordable GPU. Today, we’ll be checking it out and seeing what you can expect.
Peripherals are something every gamer drools over but rarely changes. Once you are used to something you use daily, it's hard to break away from that familiarity and muscle memory you’ve earned. Keyboards have been around longer than computers, and not much has really changed, so what does it take to motivate someone to take a leap of faith on new input devices? A few years ago, you might have been able to say ‘mechanical switches’ or ‘backlighting’ but it seems even the budget devices have that too. Unless yours has died and you just plain need a new one, it’s most likely going to be a combination of things you are looking for. Does ASUS have the right combination to win you over?
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