Overclockable Pentium Anniversary Edition Review: The Intel Pentium G3258

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Many industries, both inside and outside of technology, are versed in the terminology ‘cheap and cheerful’. When enthusiasts were overclocking their CPUs at the turn of the century, this was the case – taking a low cost part, such as the Celeron 300A, and adjusting one or two settings to make it run as fast as a Pentium III 450 MHz. This gave a +50% frequency boost at the lower price point, as long as one could manage the heat output. The Pentium Anniversary Edition is a small nod back to those days, and to celebrate the 20+ years of Pentium branding, Intel is now releasing a $75 overclockable dual core Haswell-derived CPU.

Western Digital My Book Duo DAS Review

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Earlier this week, we took a look at LaCie’s high end 2-bay RAID DAS, the 2big Thunderbolt 2. It integrated both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 2 as connectivity options. At $800 for a 8 TB version, the pricing carries a premium for the Thunderbolt connectivity. USB 3.0 is, in a way, the poor man’s Thunderbolt. With a focus on the average consumer, Western Digital launched the My Book Duo USB 3.0 DAS with hardware RAID capabilities a few weeks back. The 8 TB variant is priced at a more palatable $450. Read on to see how it performs in our evaluation.

Devil’s Canyon Review: Intel Core i7-4790K and i5-4690K

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In the latter part of the last decade, getting performance on the cheap meant buying a low end processor and learning how to overclock it. This is how I started in building computers, but a few generations ago Intel locked it all down except for a few high-end models in each generation. Since then, due to various changes in packaging, each of the last few generations has anecdotally felt to offer less overclocking headroom or fewer highly overclocking parts, much to the chagrin of enthusiasts. With Devil’s Canyon, Intel aimed to address some of these concerns.

Synology DS414j: An Ideal Backup NAS

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The consumer Network Attached Storage (NAS) market has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. As the amount of digital media generated by the average household increases, the standard 2-bay NAS is no longer sufficient. 4-bay solutions based on ARM platforms are the most attractive for home users, thanks to their low cost and power consumption profile. We have already evaluated solutions from Western Digital (WD EX4) and LenovoEMC (ix4-300d) in this space. Today, we are going to take a look at Synology’s offering in this market segment, the DS414j.

LaCie’s 2big Thunderbolt 2 and Rugged Thunderbolt DAS Review

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Consumers dealing with multimedia workflows need to transfer large amounts of data around. Be it collecting data in the field or editing media at a workstation, the necessity for fast and accessible direct attached storage (DAS) units can’t be stressed enough. LaCie and G-Technology are two vendors targeting this space. Back in April, we had covered the launch of some solutions in this space. Today, we are reviewing one of LaCie’s introductions, the 2big Thunderbolt 2. LaCie’s Rugged Thunderbolt bus-powered DAS forms a complementary offering for in-field use. Both units offer Thunderbolt as well as USB 3.0 connectivity. Read on to see how they perform in our evaluation.

Thecus N2310 Budget 2-bay NAS Review

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The consumer NAS market segment is growing at a very fast rate, with 2 and 4-bay solutions leading the trend. While some vendors choose to compete on feature set (which tends to push up the price), others choose to approach from the cost perspective. Thecus has solutions from both perspectives. While the N2560 (review) was an Evansport NAS which presented a host of media-centric features, the N2310 that we are going to look at today cuts down the features (both hardware and software) to target entry-level users at a low price point. Read on to find out how the N2310 fares in our NAS evaluation.

The LG G3 Review

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While the enthusiast segment is no stranger to LG smartphones, for the most part LG hasn’t received nearly the amount of attention that Samsung has. At first, it doesn’t make much sense. After all, LG is almost as big as Samsung. Both are chaebols, with enormous resources and power that few other companies have. Starting from the Optimus G, it seems that LG has shipped some of the best hardware in the industry, leveraging all the branches of the company from LG Innotek to LG Display to make a product that was easily equal to or better than the competition at the time.

One of the real issues that LG faced was a credibility gap. After the Optimus 2X and 4X HD, LG simply lacked credibility amongst the enthusiast audience. Without this audience and without the marketing push that other OEMs had, LG phones simply didn’t sell. Fortunately, things have gotten better since those days. The G2 brought significant attention to LG phones, and if anything, LG has been the sleeping giant in the industry. LG’s displays have been one of the best in the industry, and as an Android OEM they’ve consistently executed well on hardware. The immense popularity of the Nexus 4 and 5, even amongst mainstream consumers is surprising, especially because they were supposed to be developer devices.

This leads us to the LG G3, which is now available in Korea and ready to be sold internationally. LG now faces the difficult task of succeeding the G2, one of the best phones of 2013. To find out whether they’ve made a worthy successor, read on for the full review.

A Closer Look at Android RunTime (ART) in Android L

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With the latest I/O conference, Google has finally publicly made public its plans for its new runtime on Android. The Android RunTime, ART, is the successor and replacement for Dalvik, the virtual machine on which Android Java code is executed on. We’ve had traces and previews of it available with KitKat devices since last fall, but there wasn’t much information in terms of technical details and the direction Google was heading with it.

Contrary to other mobile platforms such as iOS, Windows or Tizen, which run software compiled natively to their specific hardware architecture, the majority of Android software is based around a generic code language which is transformed from “byte-code” into native instructions for the hardware on the device itself.

Over the years and from the earliest Android versions, Dalvik started as a simple VM with little complexity. With time, however, Google felt the need to address performance concerns and to be able to keep up with hardware advances of the industry. Google eventually added a JIT-compiler to Dalvik with Android’s 2.2 release, added multi-threading capabilities, and generally tried to improve piece by piece.

Lately over the last few years however, the ecosystem had been outpacing Dalvik development, so Google sought out to build something new to serve as a solid foundation for the future, where it could scale with the performance of today’s and the future’s 8-core devices, large storage capabilities, and large working memories.

Thus ART was born.

Samsung SSD 850 Pro (128GB, 256GB & 1TB) Review: Enter the 3D Era

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Over the last three years, Samsung has become one of the most dominant players in the SSD industry. Samsung’s strategy has been tight vertical integration ever since the beginning, which gives Samsung the ability to be in the forefront of new technologies. That is a massive advantage because ultimately all the parts need to be designed and optimized to work properly together. The first fruit of Samsung’s vertical integration was the SSD 840, which was the first mass produced SSD to utilize TLC NAND and gave Samsung a substantial cost advantage. Even today, the SSD 840 and its successor, the 840 EVO, are still the only TLC NAND based SSDs shipping in high volume. Now, two years later, Samsung is doing it again with the introduction of the SSD 850 Pro, the world’s first consumer SSD with 3D NAND.

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