SilverStone Raven RV05 Case Review

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Today we are having a look at the Raven RV05, an atypical Midi-ATX case from SilverStone with a rotated motherboard tray and a unique visual appearance. It is the fifth and by far the smallest version of the Raven series cases, with SilverStone boasting that it is "a glimpse into the future of enthusiast PC cases". While we can’t foretell the future, we can see what the present holds for the Raven RV05. Read on for the full review.

HGST Deskstar NAS 6 TB Review

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The increasing affordability of SSDs has put a strain on the traditional market for hard drive vendors. However, hard drives continue to remain the storage medium of choice for applications where capacity and cost factors outweigh performance requirements. Thanks to the rapid growth in the SMB / SOHO / consumer NAS market, new opportunities have opened up for the HDD vendors. All the major players have lineups catering to this market segment. Western Digital was the first to introduce a 6 TB drive in this space, and Seagate joined in recently with a souped-up Enterprise NAS HDD recently. Today, we will take a look at the highest capacity version in HGST’s Deskstar NAS family.

ASUS X99-A Motherboard Review

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X99 and Haswell-E, due to the price, the performance and the feature set, ends up being very expensive compared to the mainstream. It is an odd state of affairs in the self-build arena when a reviewer states that the budget end of a spectrum is sub-$300. In this space we find the ASUS X99-A at $275 MSRP. This motherboard is the topic of our review today.

HP Stream 11 Review: A New Take On Low Cost Computing

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The low cost Windows laptop world has been a rather frustrating experience over the last several years. Manufacturers created big, bulky designs packed with low resolution TN displays and some of the slowest components they could dig up. We are still at a point where the average consumer thinks more is better, so low cost laptops would always have low performance mechanical hard drives. If you wanted a traditional clamshell laptop running Windows, it was just accepted that it would be large, heavy, have poor battery life, and generally come with an unattractive design. HP has the task of changing our perception of what a low cost Windows laptop can be, but is the Stream 11 enough or does it simply bring back memories of past netbooks? Read on for the full review.

Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD 6 TB Review

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Hard drives continue to remain the storage medium of choice for applications where capacity and cost factors outweigh performance requirements. Vendors have also realized that enterprise hard drives are an overkill for some applications, but the recently launched NAS-targeted drives do not deliver the necessary performance for those. In order to cater to that market, Western Digital introduced the WD Red Pro lineup a few months back. Last week, Seagate launched their competitor, the Enterprise NAS HDD. Read on for our review of the 6 TB variant.

Samsung SSD 850 EVO (120GB, 250GB, 500GB & 1TB) Review

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Samsung hasn’t stopped impressing me in the SSD space. The early Samsung SSDs weren’t very good, but ever since the introduction of the SSD 830 Samsung has been doing a brilliant job and has been setting the bar for performance, cost and reliability. The SSD 840 specifically showed what properly executed vertical integration can really do as Samsung was the first manufacturer to utilize TLC NAND in a client SSD. Two years later Samsung wowed us by introducing world’s first SSD with 3D NAND, the SSD 850 Pro, and today Samsung is presenting the TLC flavored V-NAND SSD, more commonly known as the SSD 850 EVO. Read on to find out whether the 850 EVO is as much of a beast as its big brother is!

Western Digital My Passport Wireless Review

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Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have taken off in a big way. However, internal storage has remained at a premium. Over the last few years, many companies have tried to address this opportunity by marketing wireless storage peripherals coupled with mobile apps. Western Digital has entered into the market relatively late with the My Passport Wireless product line. Read on for our review of the 2 TB variant to see how Western Digital has managed to differentiate its offering.

 

GIGABYTE Server MD60-SC0 Motherboard Review: Haswell-EP with QSFP

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Ever since GIGABYTE’s Server team and I first started discussing reviews, it was interesting to see what a purely B2B (business to business) unit could do. Since then, GIGABYTE Server has expanded, catering to both the B2B and B2C (customer) markets and selling direct to end users. With the release of Haswell-EP we reported on their large launch at the time and they sent us the MD60-SC0 for review.

The Android 5.0 Lollipop Review

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Google has been very busy with their expansion of Android as a platform this year. At Google IO we saw the announcement of endeavors like Android TV and Android Auto. But the stars of the show were a preview of the next version of Android, code named Android L, and Google’s new Material Design principles for interface design across all of their products. In the years since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich released, we’ve seen the launch of Jellybean and KitKat, but both of these versions were very iterative improvements upon 4.0 and had equally iterative version numbers with Jellybean being major versions 4.1 through 4.3 and KitKat being 4.4. Lollipop is given the major version number of 5.0, and it’s quite fitting as it’s arguably the biggest advancement to Android in a long time. To find out why, read on for the full review.

SanDisk Extreme PRO USB 3.0 Flash Drive Capsule Review

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The last few years have seen rapid advancements in flash technology and the rise of USB 3.0 as an ubiquitous high-speed interface on computers. These have led to the appearance of small and affordable direct attached storage units with very high performance for day-to-day data transfer applications. We have already looked at some SSDs with a USB 3.0 – SATA bridge over the last couple of months. Today, we will be looking at what SanDisk brings to the market with the Extreme and Extreme PRO lineups.

Zotac ZBOX CA320 nano PLUS Review: A Fanless AMD mini-PC

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Over the last couple of years, mini-PCs in the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Zotac is no stranger to this segment. In fact, their nano xs units came to the market before the Intel NUC, even though the NUC is credited with kickstarting the UCFF trend. Almost all the mini-PCs that we have evaluated before have been based on Intel CPUs. However, Zotac’s recently launched ‘ZBOX C Passive Cooling Series’ of mini-PCs includes an AMD Temash-based SKU, which we promptly requested for review. Read on to identify what AMD brings to the table for the passively cooled mini-PC market.

HGST Deskstar NAS 4 TB Review

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The increasing affordability of SSDs has put a strain on the traditional market for hard drive vendors. However, new opportunities have opened up, thanks to the rapid growth in the SMB / SOHO / consumer NAS market. Every hard drive vendor now has a lineup to target this market. Today, we will be looking at HGST’s offering in the desktop NAS space, the HGST Deskstar NAS

Benchmarked – Assassin’s Creed: Unity

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The fifth game in the Assassin’s Creed series (depending on how you want to count), Assassin’s Creed: Unity is perhaps one of the most demanding games to ever hit the PC. It has also had a rather bumpy start, though some of that may be due to people expecting their system to handle the game without turning down a few of the graphics options. Can your GPU handle Unity, or does it need a few judicious upgrades first – or maybe just a couple more patches to the game – that’s what we’re here to find out.

The OnePlus One Review

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The OnePlus One has been one of the most hyped smartphones of 2014. There’s really not much else to be said, as OnePlus’ marketing has been quite noticeable amongst Android enthusiasts. The OnePlus One seems to come from nowhere, although there is a noticeable resemblance to the Oppo Find 7A which is produced in the same factory. The OnePlus One is said to be a flagship killer, as its high-end specs come with a mid-range price. The 16GB version starts at 299 USD and the 64GB version starts at 349 USD. With a 5.5" 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 SoC, and plenty of other bits and pieces to go around, the specs are certainly enough to make it into a flagship phone. Of course, the real question is whether it really is. After all, while specs provide the foundation, what makes a phone bad, good, or great has to do with the entire phone, not just the spec sheet. To find out how it does in our testing, read on for the full review.

Synology DS1815+ 8-bay Intel Rangeley SMB NAS Review

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Synology started the roll-out of their SMB-targeted NAS units based on Intel’s latest Atom platform (Rangeley) in September 2014. We have already looked at the 4-bay DS415+ in detail. Today, the 5-bay and 8-bay versions are being officially launched. Read on for our review to find out how Intel’s Rangeley platform and Synology’s DSM perform in a 8-bay configuration.

Corsair Neutron XT (240GB, 480GB & 960GB) SSD Review: Phison S10 Debuts

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The ugly truth is that the SSD market has been tough for almost all the typical PC component vendors lately. With Samsung, SanDisk and Micron/Crucial being serious about the client market, it is not easy for the rest to find a way to provide any substantial advantage over the big brands. The fab owners will always enjoy a cost advantage, which is why we have seen a few companies backing off from the market and many more for whom SSDs have become just another series in the pool of products. This is what could be said to have happened at Corsair. While the company has never been super aggressive on the SSD side, the past year or so has been very quiet, but that changes with the Neutron XT. Read on to find out more about Corsair’s latest SSD and the launch vehicle of Phison’s brand new S10 controller.

MSI GT72 Dominator Pro Review: GTX 980M Reigns Supreme

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When it comes to high-end gaming notebooks, there are only a few real competitors: Alienware, ASUS, Clevo (under various brand names), and MSI are the main options, with a few others like Razer and Gigabyte offering second tier performance (e.g. not the 880M or 980M, but instead dropping one step to the 870M and 970M). The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M officially launched in the first half of October, and while we’ve provided a performance preview with the MSI GT72 as well as a detailed look at BatteryBoost, it’s now time to bring it all together with a full review. There’s little doubt that the GTX 980M is currently the fastest mobile GPU, but how does the MSI GT72 handle other tasks, and is this finally an MSI notebook we can recommend without any reservations? Read on for our in-depth review.

ASUS TUF Z97 Mark S Motherboard Review: The Arctic Camo Special Edition

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There are many ways to do something different in the motherboard space, especially with respect to functionality and design. In terms of the design element, we have seen many motherboards recently go for a black and red theme, but in the past we had yellow, pink, and all sorts of interesting combinations. Upon popular request, ASUS is releasing the ASUS Z97 Mark S, an arctic camouflage special edition version of the TUF Z97 Sabertooth Mark 1. We were lucky to get motherboard number #0001 for review.

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