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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’.
Launched late summer 2017, AMD’s Radeon Vega series cards were well received, to the point of being a little scarce on store shelves. It really didn’t help that the Crypto-boom of late 2017 had anything of Team Red’s flying off the shelves without a second glance, but it did give board partners time to work on aftermarket versions of the line quietly in the shadows. While all cards are still flying off the shelves faster than you can blink lately, the first aftermarket variants of AMD’s Vega line are starting to trickle out, and one of the first is right here carrying ASUS famous ROG STRIX Branding in the ROG STRIX Radeon Veag64 OC. Featuring an improved PCB layout, better power delivery, and ASUS’s triple fan Cooler, and packing 8GB of HBM2 memory, this just might be the best Vega yet.
Corsair has been known for an excellent line of enthusiast grade products for years and to many enthusiasts the goto company for high end gear. Sometime back Corsair released the Corsair Hydro Series H115i Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler, 280mm that runs at 2000 +/- 10% RPM and 104.65 CFM topping 40 dBA and was considered by many to be far to loud. Complaints were heard across the land even though the name implicitly says H115i EXTREME PERFORMANCE, well Corsair listens to it's user base and has their finger on the pulse of the community so they have released a variant of the H115i in the H115i PRO Low Noise 280mm RGB Liquid CPU Cooler that the fans top out at 1200 RPM with an advertised dBA level of 20 at full speed pushing 55.4 CFM. Will the decrease in CFM decrease the effeciency of the Corsair H115i PRO 280mm RGB or has Corsair stirred in some of that magic and adjusted other components to bolster the cooling performance.
Vega has traveled down a difficult path getting on retailers/eTailers shelves and shortages have been reported on all models. AMD finally relented and let partners design custom boards but supplies of parts and availability have been a problem. Well, Vega is here at Proclockers and PowerColor sent us a Red Devil RX Vega 56 on a custom PCB packed with goodies and a powerful cooling solution. Triple fan, triple slot monster in traditional Red Devil Red and Black and AMD said let there be Vega and there was and Vega is GOOD!
ASUS’s STRIX line of products is one of the most popular choices among gamers for bringing strong gaming oriented features and aesthetics to an affordable mid-range price point. ASUS now brings that along to the big end of the AMD Ryzen ecosystem, known officially as Threadripper, in the form of the ASUS ROG STRIX X399-E Gaming Motherboard.
Gaming headsets are all the rage but when we heard about the all wood construction of the Sound BlasterX Kratos S5 2.1 Gaming Speaker System we had to get hands on a set. Being fans of the original Sound Blaster products our enthusiasm extends to the Sound BlasterX series of products and the Kratos S5 coming in at a pocket friendly $129.00 (When on sale $99.99) we wondered what the return to wood speaker boxes had to offer.
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