The Strix brand, ASUS’ new performance-to-premium gaming brand, was launched in May of 2014. Modeled around the mythological Roman owl. In it’s line up is the Strix Claw (a 5000 DPI optical mouse), the Strix DSP (7.1 ch. USB headset), the Strix glide control/speed mouse pads, and the Strix Tactic Pro gaming mechanical keyboard. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Strix Tactic Pro keyboard to see if meets expectations and lives up to the ASUS name.
Category Archive: Reviews
Mini PC’s are a crucial part for a media center PC and even small compact gaming PC’s. With the Raijintek Metis Classic computer case, system builders can now build even smaller and more compact media center or gaming PC’s. This lightweight aluminum case supports mini-ITX motherboards and even a full size ATX power supply. The Metis comes in a variety of colors to choose from. These colors include red, black, silver, blue, green and gold. Benchmark Reviews has been given this gold sample for this review. With the right hardware components, the Metis can be turned into the perfect computer for the living room and even a high-performance gaming machine in a small form factor.
After Cougar’s fully featured 700K mechanical keyboard & 700M aluminum gaming mouse were released in 2014, a streamlined mechanical 600K & ergonomic 600M followed close behind. It’s not surprising then, in early 2015, that Benchmark Reviews has the opportunity to take a closer look at Cougar’s newest gaming keyboard; the 500K.
EVGA continues their expansion into the peripherals market with the introduction of their TORQ peripherals line; today, we have the new EVGA Torq X5 Gaming Mouse to review. Benchmark Reviews has previously looked at the EVGA TORQ X10 Gaming Mouse and we liked it enough to give it our highest rating. The new X5 Gaming Mouse sacrifices a few features for a lower price point, but how does it perform? Let’s find out.
This case, the Sentey Optimus Plus, features a large side panel window instead of fan mounts. Additional features include a fan controller, filtered intakes, a dedicated cooling fan for hard drives, and a SD card reader. These features come at an additional premium though when compared to other cases in the same price range. In this Benchmark Reviews article, I will discuss the Optimus Plus in depth and whether or not this is a good mid budget case for your next build.
It is clear what NVIDIA’s message is to the enthusiast community, they are willing to be competitive. To further confirm this claims, the release price of the GeForce GTX 960 is just $199 for the basic models, a bit more for the feature packed ones like the Asus Strix sample that we will be reviewing today. In comparison to it’s predecessor, the GeForce GTX 960 comes in at around 20% cheaper than it’s predecessor, the GeForce GTX 760.
Like many other popular Micro-ATX cases, Raidmax has opted for a dual chamber design. However, note that this is not as wide as others like the Fractal Design Node 804, but still manages to fit plenty of fans, 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives, and they even added a 5.25″ bay. The case is not exactly eye candy, however many HTPC users will find that the overall design is not flashy, but rather elegant and simple. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Raidmax Hyperion Micro-ATX computer case.
Here at Benchmark Reviews we have seen a lot of Cougar products come through as of late. Today we are proud to review something a little different, the Cougar 600K mechanical keyboard featuring Cherry MX Blue switches. There are quite a few things that make this keyboard unique and set it apart from it’s previous flagship keyboard, the Cougar 700K. The feature set alone from the 600K create a special synergy for typing purists that not only puts it in a class of its own, but definitely needs further examination.
The Core series by Thermaltake launched with the E-ATX full tower Core V71 last year. Since then, Thermaltake has expanded into the mid-tower (V31, V41, V51) and mini-ITX (V1) form factors. The Core V21 that Benchmark Reviews will take a look at today rounds out Thermaltake’s lineup with their first micro-ATX Core offering. At first glance, the Core V21 shares many design similarities with the other Core chassis. As is true with many things in life, looks can be deceiving as the V21 is the first Core chassis to officially offer a multitude of motherboard orientations. While it arrives in stock format with a horizontal motherboard layout, it can be transformed in a matter of seconds to a traditional or inverted layout. We’ll see how this works as we build a system inside the Core V21 over the next few pages.
The Kingston HyperX Cloud II Pro Gaming Headset is much like it’s predecessor in both features and aesthetics. The HyperX Cloud II features 7.1 channel virtual surround, which is accomplished with an advanced USB audio control box with built-in DSP sound card. The Cloud II still retains the ability to function with other devices that utilize a 3.5mm plug, including cell phones, tablets, and gaming console controllers. In this article, Benchmark Reviews will investigate how well Kingston delivers this revamp to it’s acclaimed HyperX Cloud headset.
Want to build a gaming system on a budget? Then you have to know where to spend your money to get the best bang for the buck. It’s always tempting to go for the flashy, high end motherboards with tons of extra features, but you may find that those extra features don’t buy you much in the way of extra performance. Micro Star International has sent Benchmark Reviews their MSI 970 Gaming motherboard, claiming they’ve gone beyond the specifications of the AMD 970 chipset. What kind of basis does this make for a gaming rig? Let’s find out.
Here at Benchmark Reviews we admire those companies who not only give relentless effort to create the best product designs in terms of efficiency, quality, and functionality, but we also applaud those who try to set themselves apart in what is an already crowded market by bringing forth new ideas and daring to take risks. Surprisingly, this seems to be a trend for Phanteks; the relatively young company that is looking forward to create it’s own market of dual system cases with the release of the Enthoo Mini XL “Super Micro-ATX” Computer Case.
AMD released a slew of new FX-series CPUs in September, 2014, including the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and the subject of our review, the FX-8320E. This is the low end of AMD’s eight-core FX series of enthusiast CPUs, and the “E” suffix marks it as a low-power variant; nonetheless, AMD touts it as a viable CPU for a gaming system. Benchmark Reviews will run this CPU through our gauntlet of tests to see how true this is.
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.
Cougar has become quite proficient in it’s ability to continually surprise with innovation in peripherals. With the most recent iteration of their gaming mouse series, the Cougar 600M, the uncompromising engineering and design approach is stretched to the very limits by offering it at a more budget-friendly price. Just taking one look at this new species of desk-rodent raises an eyebrow — a hyper-colored orange mouse? Cougar boldly proclaims, “Yes” and demands you to look! Today at Benchmark Reviews, curiosity certainly has captured the cat, now let’s see if the 600M can roar!
The Silencio series cases from Cooler Master are built for silent operation with sound dampening materials to help eliminate noise while maintaining excellent cooling performance with quiet fans. These cases feature elegant looks along with minimalist aesthetics to complement the silent design. Since the release of the Silencio 652, users wanted something quieter while keeping the same body design. Now, Cooler Master has released the Silencio 652S. Instead of a single 180mm front intake fan, they replaced it with three of their new Silencio FP-120mm fans that run at 1200+200RPM at just 11db; two of which are at the front and one at the rear. Everything else stayed the same, such as the front and top I/O ports, the removable cover for the side vent, and the overall body itself. Let’s jump into the features and specifications of the Cooler Master Silencio 652S.
The Razer Deathstalker Expert has many of the basics needed for a gaming keyboard, such as macro recording, anti-ghosting, 1000mhz polling rate, and a key to disable the windows key while gaming. In this article for Benchmark Reviews , I will give an overview of this keyboard and Razer’s Synapse 2.0 software before delivering my final verdict on the package.
With nine macro enabled buttons (with Razer Synapse 2.0), ergonomic design, and a fast 8200dpi sensor, does the ambidextrous Taipan have a place in Razer’s lineup? In this Benchmark Reviews article, I will give an overview of this mouse, Razer’s Goliathus Control pad and Synapse 2.0 software before delivering my final verdict on the package.
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.
The newest installment of AMD FX CPUs is finally upon us. September 2014 marked the release of the a few new FX CPUs, including the FX-8370, the FX-8370E, and the FX-8320E. One of the side-effects of AMD’s release is a price drop in their existing CPUs, including the flagship FX-9590 CPU. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the CPU that sits atop the FX line, the AMD FX-9590 AM3+ Processor.
Cougar has raised the standards for computer peripherals with one of the most current offerings, the Cougar 700K mechanical keyboard. This is a top-tier Cherry MX Mechanical keyboard with not only full backlighting capability, but a slew of options specifically aimed toward gamers. In this article Benchmark Reviews investigates and unveils the features included with the Cougar 700K mechanical gaming keyboard.
The AORUS Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse is a 16 button fully-programmable gaming mouse. Featuring an advanced 8200dpi laser and the utlra-durable Omron switches. Combine these features with AORUS’s robust “Macro Engine”, and you’ve got yourself one sweet little mouse. We at Benchmark Reivews have been given the opportunity to review a few of their products, in this review we’re going to be talking about the AORUS Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse. Let’s dive in!
As if we did not already have enough to appreciate in terms of the number of quality gaming peripherals that ROCCAT has been making available to us recently, we can be thankful that this organization has also been placing focus on providing us with accessories to complement the aforementioned gaming peripherals. One of the more intriguing of these accessories, the ROCCAT Apuri Active USB Hub with Mouse Bungee, is in the Benchmark Reviews spotlight today. ROCCAT calls the Apuri the, “first component of the ROCCAT Smart Desktop Management System (SDMS) offer[ing] you the perfect combination of style of functionality right there on your desktop.” That certainly sounds like a compelling piece of gaming equipment. I invite you to read on in order to get our thoughts on this device.
Fractal Design is probably best know for it’s Define series chassis lineup, cases designed for high performance while keeping a low noise level and budget price tag. The current version, the Define R4, was much praised for its customization options, cooling performance, and noise control. However, at the beginning of last year NZXT released their H440 chassis, a case that was called the “Define R4 Killer,” because of it’s enhanced cooling options, quiet operation, and stunning looks. But now Fractal Design have given their answer to the H440, and it’s a big one – the Define R5.