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. Vertagear SL2000 Gaming Chair Review — 2 September 2015
  2. Optimized CPU Cooling with Top-Down Heatsinks — 19 August 2015
  3. Preparing System Image for Windows 10 Upgrade — 11 August 2015
  4. Reserve your FREE Windows 10 Upgrade Now — 1 June 2015
  5. High-Rely MPac-G2 RAID Backup Drive Performance — 30 April 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. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Video Card Review — 7 comments
  5. Genius DVR-FHD568 Vehicle Recorder Review — 6 comments

Author's posts listings

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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XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition OC Review

In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the XFX Radeon R9 285 Black Edition Double Dissipation graphics card, model R9-285A-CDBC, which sells online for $249.99 (Amazon | Newegg). This XFX Double Dissipation Edition Radeon R9 285 is an UltraHD 4K resolution-ready graphics card with 2560 Stream processors operating at 975 MHz with support for the upcoming DirectX 12 API. Equipped with twin 90mm cooling fans paired with long-life capacitors, the XFX Radeon R9 285 represents a solid value for mainstream gamers looking for top-end performance.

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Striker Capsule Task Light Review

The Striker Capsule Task Light is a simple yet useful multipurpose device that offers four versatile methods of placement to cover all your personal lighting needs for any particular job. Comprised of four bright LumenTech LEDs that collectively produce 60 lumens of illumination, the Capsule Task Light has a dial adjustment bezel that outputs low to high depending on the situation. In this article, Benchmark Reviews shines the product spotlight (horrible pun) on the Striker Capsule Task Light.

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BitFenix Fury 550G Alchemy-Sleeved Power Supply Preview

Earlier this year the BitFenix Fury PSU Series was introduced, and quickly gained interest among desktop system builders looking to benefit from the power supply’s individually-sleeved modular cables and 80 PLUS GOLD energy efficiency certification. Builders wanting to manage cables now have the option to choose the connections they need, then cleanly route the sleeved wires through smaller spaces. In this product spotlight, Benchmark Reviews covers the new BitFenix Fury PSU series.

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Samsung SSD 850 PRO Solid State Drive Review

Solid State Drive technology has been revolutionary in that it delivers a very noticeable performance boost that surpasses upgrades to other components. As a result, companies who offer SSDs typically spend small fortunes marketing them to the consumer public. Samsung goes a different route, and relies on proven performance to sale units. This was especially true for the Samsung SSD 840 PRO, which generated its own interest by producing impressive transfer speeds. Powered by their own 32-layer 3D V-NAND technology, the Samsung SSD 850 PRO replaces the 840 PRO 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 256GB Samsung SSD 850 PRO against the fastest solid state drives available.

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Crucial MX100 Solid State Drive Review

Micron Technology, the company behind the Crucial brand, has delivered many firsts to the computer industry. Primary among them are advancements in the solid state storage sector. Crucial delivered excellent price value when they launched the M225 SSD series back in 2009, then followed up with the fastest available SSD when they launched the SATA 6 Gb/s Crucial C300 back in 2010. Just last year they broke the price barrier for 1TB SSDs, then returned in early 2014 to combine all the best attributes of their M550 series. Now featuring Micron’s most affordable 16nm NAND flash components, the Crucial MX100 delivers high-end performance to value-driven mainstream users. Benchmark Reviews tests this solid state drive against the fastest SSDs available.

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ASUS Z97-DELUXE NFC & WLC Motherboard Review

ASUS really pulls away from their competition with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board while showing off overclocking performance.

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ASUS Z97-DELUXE Motherboard Hardware Review

Where ASUS really pulls away from their competition is with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board.

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What’s New: Intel Z97 Motherboards

Back in 2007 Intel established a Tick-Tock model that predicted that following a micro-architectural process technology die shrink (tick) that a new micro-architecture would be introduced (tock). They’ve kept to this processor model for seven years, but no such model exists for their board chipset architecture. Instead, every tick update and new tock architecture receives a fresh LGA (land grid array) CPU socket: Nehalem brought LGA 1366 and later LGA 1156, Sandy Bridge introduced LGA 1155 followed by LGA 2011, and Haswell delivered LGA 1150. But what’s new in 2014 with Intel Z97 Express?

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