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When it comes to choosing the perfect low budget gaming mouse there are a myriad of choices available to the casual and dedicated gamer. The gaming market is currently flooded with mice in every conceivable price range with an equally variable feature set. However, as anyone who has tried to select a low-budget peripheral has found, it is often extremely difficult to find an economical mouse that isn’t entirely terrible to use. Whether it’s a flimsy cord, poor response/lag, or just an overall cheap feel, it seems like there is always an issue with these low-end devices. Of course, we all know that you get what you pay for, but sometimes you can be lucky enough to get a quality piece of hardware at a wallet-friendly price. This is the case with today’s product, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Gaming Mouse. Read on to see why this mouse stands out from and outright blows away any competition in its price range.
If your first reaction to the picture above was “Sweet, a new Lightning card!” we won’t fault you, even though there IS one of those out there too. FROZR fans on a GPU are nothing new to MSI, but slapping three of them on a card has mostly been the realm of their Lightning series cards, not the Gaming X class. MSI brings Nvidia’s Pascal based 1080Ti its Premium air cooling solution, all-metal back plate, VR friendly output configuration, Mystic Lighting, and perhaps the most important thing of all to anyone tired of red and black, a more neutral color scheme.
On November 2nd Nvidia released yet another SKU this time the GTX 1070 Ti and Asus sent us their ASUS Strix GeForce GTX 1070 Ti STRIX Advanced 8G GAMING 8GB (STRIX-GTX1070TI-A8G-GAMING) which is a 3 fan variant of the 1070 Ti. Now when Asus releases a Strix card you can believe they mean business and this beauty is filled with premium features. Starting with the Asus Strix Strix GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Gaming 8GB cores totaling 2432 a mere 128 shaders less than the mighty GTX 1080 performance will be similar to the GTX 1080 but perhaps a couple of FPS less, so by specifications the true differences between a GTX 1080 and a GTX 1070 Ti is the GTX 1070 gets GDDR5 and 2432 shaders while the GTX 1080 gets 2530 shaders and GDDR5X. Since most games and applications don’t saturate the current memory bandwidth performance differences should be minimal.
When EVGA releases an FTW2 gaming video card it’s time to set up and take notice, well it’s time to sit up and take notice and EVGA has released the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB FTW2 GAMING. The 2432 shaders on the EVGA GTX 1070 Ti are just 128 shaders short of a GTX 1080 so performance is going to be close to identical. Now of course by now most enthusiasts know that the GTX 1070 Ti series has GDDR5 at 8GHz effective and the GTX 1080 has GDDR5X at 10GHz effective. Most applications and games don’t saturate even the 8GHz speed so in testing we’ve found that GDDR5X is good for benches but gaming not much gain over GDDR5. The EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB FTW2 GAMING is the flagship GTX 1070 Ti packed with drool worthy features like Dual BIOS, RGB LEDs, 10 + 2 phase power, two 8-pin PCIe connectors and a maximum wattage draw of 235 massive watts to feed their top end GTX 1070 Ti. Base core clock is 1607MHz and boost is 1683MHz which is plenty but you better believe this beauty will far exceed those clocks with a little TLC from EVGA Precision XOC and if you’re new to OCing then EVGA OC Scanner will search and destroy the optimal OC for you.
If you’ve been following along with all of the new Intel platforms this year like Z370 and X299, you’ve probably heard buzzwords about support for Intel Optane Memory Technology, but what does that mean exactly? It means a lot of big words layered over some existing technologies and married with a little bit of new Intel magic. In English? Well, it means you can skip the big, expensive new NVMe drive, and use a slower but much larger hard drive or solid state drive you already have, and let Intel Optane make it much faster and more responsive.
Sometime back Crucial came out with a new BX300 lineup of drives and while TLC (Triple Level Cell) has been raging through the market Crucial holds the line with the BX300 lineup and moved back to MLC (Multi-Level Cell) a more durable more expensive type of flash. Not only did they return to MLC for the BX300 they chose 3D Flash! Most techies know TLC flash stores 3 Bits of information per cell making it less expensive but each cell is used more so it has a shorter lifespan than MLC which stores 2 Bits of Information per cell and is a little more expensive than TLC. Now SLC is Single Level Cell and stores 1 Bit of information per cell and is mostly reserved for Enterprise class drives hence so expensive you have to sell the family cow to afford it.
There are video cards and then there are those rare creatures that when you open the box and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you know that geeky goodness looking you in the face is The Video Card. Well, Zotac sent in one of those critters with the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB AMP! EXTREME Edition. This 2 ½ slot 3 fan monster sports 2432 Cuda Cores (Shaders), 8GB GDDR5 across a 256-bit bus with a base clock of 1607MHz and a boost clock of 1683MHz but that specification doesn’t mean much in this case. Zotac put their mojo on the GTX 1070 Ti AMP! EXTREME Edition and the core is factory tested at +150 which would make it (at a minimum) 1757MHz and the boost clock would be 1833MHz. Believe us when we say that’s conservative we won’t spill the beans yet but let’s just say the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB AMP! EXTREME Edition beat that factory tested OC a tiny bit. (If tiny is an elephants name anyway).
The Toshiba OCZ TR200 480GB TLC is a BiCS flash DRAMless SSD and it’s the first DRAMless SSD to cross the test bench here at the lab. While the box says Toshiba OCZ TR200 Toshiba says OCZ no longer exists as a standalone brand and moving forward their SSD’s will be sold under the Toshiba name but that OCZ will be a subcategory of Toshiba products. Toshiba goes on to say that their SSD’s will still maintain the OCZ essence and target enthusiasts and gamers. Let’s face it we saw OCZ floundering and if it weren’t for the acquisition by Toshiba the brand would be extinct. We still have a set of OCZ Reapers around the Lab you would have to pry from our cold dead hands but Toshiba is doing a good job of carrying the flag forward and in a lot of ways improving on what we came to expect from OCZ.
Computer chassis have changed from little yellow cubes sitting on our desktops to sculptures that house our prized expensive components and we expect them to be as attractive as our components inside. Cooler Master has long produced value priced chassis that give more bang for your bucks that you would expect. The MasterBox MB600L is in the $50 dollar price range and considering the price it has a ton of features. If you are looking for an elegant build without breaking the bank take a serious look at the Cooler Master MasterBox MB600L.
Gaming memory, like almost every other ‘gaming’ component and peripheral, has gotten bigger and flashier the last few years. From crazy, complicated heat spreaders to lighting reminiscent of a carnival ride, many ram kits are built to make a statement. If you are building a Small Form Factor (SFF) build and don’t have room for big heat spreaders, or just want something a little more low-key, you have typically been limited to slow, budget-minded memory. GeIL is here to solve that problem with their new EVO Spear DDR4 ram kits. Sleek and low profile, but still with high-performance memory at heart.
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