SilverStone is at it again, but this time they are looking to mix things up by venturing into unprecedented areas. Lately, it seems that the competition has shaken the sub-$100 case market, and SilverStone is not willing to stand down. Mostly known for their premium cases and their innovative ideas, SilverStone has taken a different approach this time from their top notch designs and instead released the SilverStone Kublai KL05B-Q Mid-Tower case, which Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at today.
Category Archive: PC Hardware Reviews
As more enthusiasts realize that they don’t need the expansion capabilities of standard ATX motherboards, mATX and mini-ITX systems are exploding in popularity, and we’re seeing some real innovation in small systems case design. Today we have Phanteks’ latest, the Enthoo Evolv ITX case. This case has excellent air flow, a very versatile design, and is perfect for those who want to water-cool their systems: it can accommodate a 240mm radiator and even comes with a bracket for a separate water pump if you want to roll your own. Long graphics cards are no problem, either, and integrated cable management features make a clean build easy. Of course the real proof is building a system in this case, and that’s exactly what Benchmark Reviews will do.
If you have ever bought a SilverStone case, you would probably agree that the price can be easily justified by the over-the-top build quality and the unique designs that can only be obtained by buying one of the many cases that SilverStone has available. It has been over a year since SilverStone last released a member of the Kublai series, and when they mentioned to Benchmark Reviews that they were updating this line with the Kublai KL05B-W, we immediately asked for a sample.
SilverStone brings us the Precision Series PS11B-Q ATX case for the budget minded or entry level enthusiast. The Precision Series includes two variants, the PS11B-Q and the PS11B-W. This review will focus on the SilverStone PS11B-Q, which is the silent version of the Precision series.
The Ozone Neon Precision Laser Mouse is their mid-level gaming mouse offering, and boasts 128KB on-board memory, on-the-fly switchable resolutions, multiple profiles, 8 programmable buttons, and a 6400-dpi laser sensor. Its ambidextrous design separates it from most other gaming mice, and today Benchmark Reviews will take a detailed look at this new entry in the gaming mouse field.
Back in 2005, it was almost unthinkable to build a small form factor system due to the existence of a major trade-off between performance and efficiency. Nowadays, the market for small form factor systems has catapulted itself, and has gotten as far as to make companies like Raidmax to adapt and introduce itself to this market. A month ago, Benchmark Reviews took a peak the Raidmax Hyperion, the first Micro-ATX case from a company mostly known for their aggressive looking Mid-Towers. Today, we take a look at the Raidmax Atomic Mini-ITX Case, an even smaller case, with a lot of potential.
The SilverStone PS11B-W is a versatile entry level enthusiast case, featuring bottom-mount PSU, USB 3.0, variable size fan mounts and locations, a variety of hard drive mount options, and space enough for the most gigantic of graphics cards on the market. In this article for Benchmark Reviews, I’ll be putting the SilverStone PS11B-W to the test. Can the SST-PS11B-W deliver on all it’s promises? Let’s find out.
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.
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.