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In 2007 BioWare released the first Mass Effect to critical and commercial success, an RPG space opera with high production values, and choice and consequences. This spawned two sequels Mass Effect 2 which saw a shift toward action and an improvement of shooter controls and Mass Effect 3 which fans panned for having an unsatisfactory ending. Despite the attempt by BioWare to alleviate tensions and address fan concerns, the future of the series was kept hush until the 2015 E3 when EA announced Mass Effect: Andromeda. What remains to be seen is will a new direction revive interest in the franchise or did Mass Effect end with Sheppard? Warning there may be plot spoilers in the story section.
I’d have to say the most subjective item in any enthusiast set up must be there chair. It really is the most personal item one can buy for their set up. Everyone’s tastes and opinions of chairs differ. Especially when it comes to “gaming chairs.” Some people love them, some people hate them. Nevertheless, you can’t deny that they are very popular these days. The first racing style gaming chair was put out by Ferrari. It was simply a chair from one of their vehicles with wheels attached and it cost and absurd amount of money. It wasn’t until 2006 when DXRacer made the racing style gaming chair popular when they made it affordable. At least more affordable than the Ferrari one.
Since then, there have been several companies popping up trying to either perfect, or make even more affordable, a quality, racing chair. However, most these companies made cheap knockoffs. So, when we were contacted to review the RapidX Ferrino, I was a bit skeptical. But once I received the chair, my skepticism began to fade. Now, after a couple months of everyday use I think I’ve used The RapidX Ferrino enough to give a fair, unbiased opinion of this chair. So, let’s see if the RapidX Ferrino is just more of the same, or have the people at RapidX designed to chair that will stand out from the rest?
The ROG Strix X99 Gaming is the flagship of Asus’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) Strix line of motherboards. ROG is synonymous with performance and the ROG Strix line offers everything many have come to expect in an Asus ROG motherboard, so there are a lot of expectations from enthusiasts everywhere.
The GIGABYTE AORUS X370 GAMING 5 is more considered a mid-range motherboard. However, after looking at the feature set, one may not think so. With features such as USB 3.1 type C, M.2 and U.2 support, dual LAN ports and RGB back lighting, the AORUS X370 GAMING 5 sure feels like a board more on the higher end. The question is, can this board perform like a higher end motherboard one would expect to spend $400 or more for? We put the X370 GAMING 5 through our suite of tests to try an answer that question. So, let’s see how the GIGABYTE AORUS X370 GAMING 5 held up.
A couple of days ago we reviewed the Ryzen 7 1700X, a member of AMD’s much anticipated replacement for the aging FX series processors. We came away quite impressed. It offered performance rivaled many more expensive processors from Team Blue. Today we get to look at least expensive processor in the Ryzen 7 lineup, the Ryzen 7 1700.
AMD fans are dancing in the streets. Why? AMD’s much anticipated Ryzen processor is finally here. Ryzen is the replacement for the long maligned FX series processors. Ryzen features an all new design that promised far great performance and far greater efficiency.
Haven’t heard of Aorus yet? It’s a subsidiary of Gigabyte Technology founder in 2014. Up until recently Aorus was focused on SLI gaming laptops, mechanical gaming keyboards, and other gaming peripherals. Now they have expanded into motherboards and graphics cards, where they will be mostly replacing Gigabyte’s previously G1 Gaming brand. Today we will be looking at one of their flagship model motherboards, the Z270X-Gaming 8.
Cooler Master has recently launched their FreeForm™ Modular System with their MasterCase line up of cases. My first experience with one of these cases was with the MasterCase Pro 3, the MATX beauty we recently reviewed. Constant innovation of their fully modular system has brought us some amazing cases such as the MasterCase Maker 5 and 5T. Well, Cooler Master has just released their next mid-tower chassis in the MasterCase line-up, The MasterCase Pro 6. With their including their FreeForm™ Modular System and many of the same features that made the MasterCase line-up so popular, the MasterCase Pro 6 is set to be yet another amazing case. However, it has some big shoes to fill. Let’s get to it and see if this is truly a Master Case.
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?
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