Olin Coles

Author's details

Name: Olin Coles
Date registered: 1 March 2007
URL: http://benchmarkreviews.com

Biography

Nevada, USA - Website Founder - Executive Editor - Senior Staff Writer - Content Moderator - Webmaster - Member Since March 2007

Latest posts

  1. Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240 Preview — 19 April 2016
  2. MasterAir Maker 8 Heatsink Spotlight — 26 February 2016
  3. Zalman ZM-K700M Mechanical Keyboard Review — 1 January 2016
  4. CMStorm QuickFire XTi Mechanical Keyboard Review — 28 October 2015
  5. Samsung SSD 950 PRO Solid State Drive Review — 22 October 2015

Most commented posts

  1. Win an Antec AMP SP1 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker from Benchmark Reviews! — 20 comments
  2. Samsung SSD 850 PRO Solid State Drive Review — 14 comments
  3. Using RAID-5 Means the Sky is Falling — 11 comments
  4. Genius DVR-FHD568 Vehicle Recorder Review — 7 comments
  5. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Video Card Review — 7 comments

Author's posts listings

Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240 Preview

Cooler Master has just announced their new MasterLiquid series of CPU coolers, built using a special “FlowOp” technology that analyzes how heat is absorbed and dissipated to construct a better cooling solution than the competition. The end result was a dual chamber design that did both improve the cooling performance, but also dramatically extended the product’s functional lifetime. In this preview article, Benchmark Reviews covers some of the finer points that separate the MasterLiquid cooler series from everything else on the market.

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MasterAir Maker 8 Heatsink Spotlight

Cooler Master has a name that demands a dominating presence in the aftermarket cooling industry, and every year, without fail, they produce new and innovative heatsink designs offering the best of function and fashion. New for 2016 is the MasterAir Maker 8, a dual-140mm cooled customizable headsink compatible with every known motherboard socket from the past nine years. In this article, Benchmark Reviews spotlights the Cooler Master MasterAir Maker 8 heatsink and its many unique features.

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Zalman ZM-K700M Mechanical Keyboard Review

I’m picky, and have been described as a perfectionist too many times to count. So it stands to reason that the keyboard, that peripheral attachment that works like a natural extensions of the body for the eSports gamer, becomes a personal choice for many. Keyboards are used for both everyday workload as well as entertainment, so picking the right one is important. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Zalman ZM-K700M Mechanical Gaming LED Keyboard, which features genuine Cherry MX Red switches with LED backlighting, and programmable macro capability.

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CMStorm QuickFire XTi Mechanical Keyboard Review

Without question, keyboard and mouse peripherals have become natural extensions of the body for the eSports gamer. Of the two, keyboards are used for both everyday workload as well as entertainment. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Cooler Master Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which features genuine Cherry MX Blue clicky switches, customizable multi-color LED backlighting, and programmable macro capability.

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Samsung SSD 950 PRO Solid State Drive Review

In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the Samsung SSD 950 PRO, an M.2 solid state drive among the first to utilize the ultra-fast NVMe protocol, on both Intel X99 and Z170 platforms. Featuring Samsung’s second generation 32-layer MLC V-NAND, SSD 950 PRO M.2 is available in 256 GB and 512 GB storage capacities. The SSD 950 PRO utilizes Samsung’s UDX controller to deliver sequential read speeds up to 2500 MB/s and writes up to 1500 MB/s, while random read performance reaches up to 300,000 IOPS and write speeds up to 110,000 IOPS. Performance is further optimized with Samsung Magician software, and durability enhanced by the drive’s Dynamic Thermal Guard and AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption. 950 PRO includes a 5-year limited warranty, and promises up to 400 terabytes written (TBW) for 512GB model.

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Beelink GTQ 4K Android Media Center Review

In this article for Benchmark Reviews, we test the Beelink GTQ Android TV BOX Media Center. Promoted as a 4K-ready media player with quad-core Amlogic S812 CPU and eight-core ARM Mali-450 GPU utilizing the new H.265 decoder ideal for 4K Ultra HD picture quality, the Beelink GTQ fills its compact metal shell with powerful hardware comparable to most laptop computers. While a 1000-Mb Gigabit Ethernet port is available, the Beelink GTQ also takes advantage of 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz wireless b/g/n networks.

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Pivos XIOS XS Media Center Spotlight

The Pivos XIOS XS is built on the Google Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) tablet platform, enabling this media player to natively support HTML5, Chrome, Flash, and even the installation of Google Play apps or APK packages. Capable of playing all modern audio and video CODECs, Pivos’ XIOS XS + TOFU Media Center flexes its 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor and Mali 400 MHz 3D graphics paired with 1GB of DDR3 memory to produce high-definition audio and video output. In this article Benchmark Reviews examines the Pivos XIOS XS Media Center for this product spotlight.

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Keeping Hot Laptops Cool and Running Fast

Back in the day, before everybody started checking email on their smartwatch or shopping online with their phone, mobile users did their work on laptop computers. These days tablets and smart devices get most the attention, but notebook computers are still beating them on performance and productivity. Unfortunately, all that power generates heat, which slows down the system to maintain stability. But what if it didn’t have to? That’s where notebook coolers come in, such as the Cooler Master NotePal Ergostand III used as our example in this article about keeping hot laptops cool and running fast.

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Vertagear SL2000 Gaming Chair Review

Much like the beds we sleep in, it’s very important to select the right chair to sit in for a good portion of our lives. I owned a comfortable office chair that followed me around after college, and played several roles at the dining table on occasion. More recently, there was the expensive Embody chair review that stirred controversy. Now we’ve got gaming chairs, bringing style together with luxury. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I report my test results with the Vertagear SL2000 S-Line Racing Series gaming chair.

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Optimized CPU Cooling with Top-Down Heatsinks

Occasionally Benchmark Reviews looks at a hardware component, and recognizes the value in discussing it beyond the standard product evaluation. Not all that long ago we tested the Cooler Master Geminii S524 Ver 2 CPU Cooler, and noted how well it performed compared to many other high-end heatsinks. We looked at the temperatures, measured the cooling performance, compared it to the original GeminII S524 Heatsink, and then gave our rating of the product. What we didn’t do is discuss the benefits of a horizontal heatsink, and how they might actually help you reach an even higher overclock on your computer system.

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Preparing System Image for Windows 10 Upgrade

Microsoft has generously offered Windows 10 as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, and so far the response has been very positive. In this article Benchmark Reviews details the steps needed to successfully complete a full backup of Windows 7 or Windows 8 to a System Image, prior to upgrading to Windows 10. This process preserves everything on the drive, and may be used to restore back to your previous installation without losing any data or applications. This guide may also be used to create a Windows 10 backup System Image, or for creating a hard disk image that can be restored onto an SSD.

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Reserve your FREE Windows 10 Upgrade Now

You might have noticed something different about your computer when you logged on this morning: a notification alerting you to ‘Get Windows 10’. This is Microsoft’s next step in upgrading users to the latest Operating System, and they’re giving it away for FREE. Just reserve your upgrade by verifying eligibility with an email address, and you’re done. Just sit back, relax, and wait until the download becomes available.

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High-Rely MPac-G2 RAID Backup Drive Performance

MPac-G2 is essentially made up of two 2.5″ drives (either hard disk or solid state) paired together into a steel cartridge that houses a RAID controller. This cartridge is then used to store backup data that can be accessed outside the backup appliance at extreme speeds for disaster recovery purposes, either by the integrated SATA 6Gb/s port or SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port.

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Kingston HyperX Savage SSD Review

HyperX, a division of Kingston, had been making headlines. It began with their Predator PCIe M.2 SSD, which fetched data at more than 1400 MB/s. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the HyperX Savage SSD, designed for performance enthusiasts and replaces the HyperX 3K solid state drive. HyperX Savage utilizes a quad-core eight-channel Phison PS3110-S10 storage controller capable of 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write speeds. The 240GB HyperX Savage SSD Upgrade Bundle Kit received for testing (SHSS3B7A/240G) will be tested against the fastest solid state drives available for the SATA interface.

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Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe M.2 SSD Review

Are you in a hurry? Solid state Drive Technology has been serving up data at the fastest rates available to consumers, quickly earning the distinction of ‘instant’ storage. SSDs built for the SATA interface already make most computers open applications in a snap, but the latest generation of PCI-Express 2.0 based SSDs bring that title closer to the truth. The new Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe M.2 SSD is one such example, and boasts 1400 MB/s read speeds with 1000 MB/s compressible data writes. Available in 240/480GB storage capacities, and available as a single M.2 drive or installed to a half-height half-length PCI-Express 2.0 adapter, in this article Benchmark Reviews tests the Kingston Predator against the fastest SSDs on the market.

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Kwikset SmartCode 916 Electronic Deadbolt Review

The recent rash of burglaries concerned me, as my new home shared the same basic deadbolt as everyone else. I check with neighbors, and a popular choice with contractors was the Kwikset SmartCode 916 Z‑Wave Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt, which auto-locks after thirty seconds and can wirelessly communicate with security and home automation systems via encrypted Z-Wave technology. Mine installed in minutes, and is the subject of this article for Benchmark Reviews.

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AKRacing Rush Gaming Chair Review

I have a long personal history with chairs, going all the way back to my early days as an infant sitting tall in a high-chair. I recall the steel folding chairs heated by the sun during my graduation commencement. There was even a memorable chair that followed me around after college, and played several roles at the dining table and behind the office desk. More recently, there was the expensive Embody Chair that stirred controversy. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I spend hours on my seat to test the new AKRacing Rush gaming chair.

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Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA Review

Samsung-SSD-850-EVO-mSATA-Top-Angle

Powered by their own 32-layer 3D V-NAND technology, the Samsung SSD 850 EVO replaces the 840 EVO solid state drive and delivers up to twice the density and write speed of traditional 20nm planar NAND flash components. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 250GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA drive against the fastest solid state drives available.

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Crucial BX100 SSD Review

Crucial has returned with the BX100 series solid state drive, featuring Micron’s most affordable 16nm NAND flash components. The Crucial BX100 SSD offers excellent performance to value-driven mainstream users, and delivers enthusiast speeds at a reasonable price. Benchmark Reviews tests the BX100 solid state drive against the fastest SSDs available.

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Using RAID-5 Means the Sky is Falling

In reality, most hard disks seldom see operating temperatures below the chill of a server room or beyond the warmth of rack space, and most disks will not commit an URE that crashes a RAID-5 rebuild. While it is agreed that better parity schemes exist, the exception is not the rule. My customer could have retained cold storage data to individual disks via removable drives, with no redundancy at all. In fact, most organizations already use a single removable disk or cloud container for their nightly backup routine. My customer choose a special backup appliance that fits three disks into a single cartridge, further protecting archived data and proving RAID-5 still has business applications.

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Getting Data Out of the Cloud Before Disaster

As the size of information stored in the cloud grows increasingly larger, IT managers must plan on getting data out of the cloud when it’s critically needed during disaster recovery. For some businesses, the cloud is a place to deposit a second copy of data already retained locally. For others the cloud is primary storage, where unique data is created and modified. Problems arise in both cases: when local data is lost due to fire, flood, or theft, when the data is too large for a timely transfer across limited Internet bandwidth, or when a cloud provider shuts down. This all begs the question: is redundant data in place?

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PAPAGO! GoSafe 272 Dashcam GS272-US Review

It is my opinion that in-vehicle cameras have become a necessity for modern drivers. The streets are a dangerous place for motorists, with heavy traffic congestion and driver distractions adding risk to everything from long trips to short commutes. Defensive driving will help prevent some accidents, but every moment after getting into the vehicle is wrought with random chance and uncertainty. It’s never been a question of if you’ll someday be involved in an traffic accident or the victim or violent road rage, it’s a question of when. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the PAPAGO! GoSafe 272 Dashcam.

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Samsung SSD 850 EVO Solid State Drive Review

Powered by their own 32-layer 3D V-NAND technology, the Samsung SSD 850 EVO replaces the 840 EVO solid state drive and delivers up to twice the density and write speed of traditional 20nm planar NAND flash components. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the 500GB Samsung SSD 850 EVO against the fastest solid state drives available.

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Genius DVR-FHD568 Vehicle Recorder Review

Not all that long ago Benchmark Reviews tested the Genius DVR-FHD590, which received high marks for it’s clear picture and wide viewing angle. The minds at Genius went right back to work implementing our suggested improvements into their latest dash camera; replacing the distracting LED lamp with six-layer glass lens and high dynamic range (HDR) image sensor technology. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the Genius DVR-FHD568 Vehicle Recorder. Featuring wide-angle 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second, the Genius DVR-FHD568 Slim Style Wide Angle Vehicle Recorder uses a large f/2.4 lens aperture paired to an 8-Megapixel 1/2.7″ CMOS image sensor to capture the sharpest details.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Video Card Review

Codenamed NVIDIA Maxwell, GM204 GPUs debut the company’s 10th-generation graphics processing architecture. Maxwell improves upon all previously released processor designs, and delivers greater performance while reducing energy consumption. Anticipated as the replacement for GTX 680, the new GeForce GTX 980 yields up to 200% performance increase (per watt) while requiring less power. Voxel Global Illumination and VR Direct technologies have been added to improve upon picture quality and virtual reality immersion. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the GeForce GTX 980 graphics card against today’s best gaming solutions.

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