Category Archive: PC Hardware Reviews

Computer Hardware Reviews

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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Corsair Graphite 780T Tower PC Case Review

On September 10th Corsair released what they consider the true successor of the 600T, the 780T. This new full tower uses the same curved design as the 600T and includes a large side panel window. However, being a full tower chassis the 780T can mount dual 360mm radiators on the front and top panels, up to nine 120mm case fans or a mixture of 120 and 140 with up to five 140mm fans. Fully filtered intakes keep the interior clean and the top panel features a three speed fan controller along with a fully lit I/O panel. In this article, Benchmark Reviews inspects the new Corsair Graphite 780T full-tower computer case.

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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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ASUS X99-DELUXE Motherboard Performance Review

Since Intel no longer manufacturers desktop motherboards, it works closely with its partners to ensure products are ready when new CPUs and chipsets are introduced. The X99 Express chipset, part of the LGA2011-V3 system that replaces the aging X79/LGA2011 system, is Intel’s newest foray into very high end desktop systems, and today Benchmark Reviews looks at the bundled software, features, utilities, and performance of the ASUS X99-DELUXE motherboard.

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Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

The mini-ITX form factor has taken off in a big way. Packing a lot of power in a small space, these 17 x 17 centimeter squares have enabled new concentrations of computing power. Generally, you have to pay quite a bit for the privilege of shrinking everything down, but Gigabyte has a model in their Ultra Durable line of motherboards that brings a “Z” chipset to the ~$130 price point. With high-efficiency MOSFETs and on-board WIFI/Bluetooth, USB 3.0 and two gigabit LAN controllers (Intel and Atheros), the Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI is a reasonably priced entry into the overclocking-capable Z87 chipset. Is it worth it? Follow along as Benchmark Reviews takes a closer look.

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Corsair Graphite 380T Mini ITX Case Review

Computer form factors keep getting smaller and smaller, but the market for smaller systems keeps growing everyday mainly due to the availability of components that allow users to build extremely powerful systems in very constrained spaces. Corsair clearly understands this, with the release of the Corsair Obsidian 250D earlier in 2014 it became clear that there was a need for Mini-ITX designs to be implemented in the rest of their lines of products, leading to the release of the Graphite 380T, the case Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at today.

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Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme CPU Performance Review

Benchmark Reviews has now completed performance testing of our Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E processor. As this is Intel’s first 8-core consumer processor, we have high expectations for this top-end iteration of the new Haswell-E architecture. Equipped with Intel’s 22nm, “3D” transistors, 20 megabytes of on-chip cache, and a new DDR4 memory controller, the 5960X is unlike anything Intel’s ever done before.

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AMD FX-8370E AM3+ Processor Performance Review

The newest installment of AMD FX CPUs is finally upon us. September 2014 marks the release of the a few new FX CPUs, including the FX-8370, the FX-8370E, and the FX-8320E. Although I, for one, have been anxious to see a new FX CPU lineup using Steamroller cores, the three CPUs released today follow the same pattern as the last two years worth of FX CPU in using Piledriver cores. With the AMD Kaveri APUs showing up at the beginning of 2014 with Steamroller cores, I thought perhaps the FX series wouldn’t be far behind. Looks like we will be waiting until next year at least. Today, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the FX-8370 and FX-8370E processors.

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Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Processor Preview

Intel has upped the ante for LGA2011 systems with the new LGA2011-V3 specification, comprising the new X99 chipset and Haswell-E CPUs. The top-end Core i7-5960X is Intel’s first consumer 8-core CPU and boasts an amazing 20 megabytes of on-chip cache and a new quad-channel DDR4 memory controller. As with the original “Sandy Bridge Extreme” Core i7-3960X CPU, the new Haswell-E systems will be very expensive. Benchmark Reviews does the work so you can see if they make sense for you.

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ASUS X99-DELUXE Motherboard Preview

Intel’s LGA2011 and its aging X79 chipset have soldiered along for that segment of the market that prized core count and memory bandwidth above all. But now there’s a new LGA2011 in town: LGA2011-V3, complete with the new X99 chipset, and Benchmark Reviews has ASUS’ latest X99-based motherboard to test. Replete with features like 5-way optimization, Crystal Sound audio, on-board 802.11ac wireless, m.2 SSD support, extensive overclocking options, and unique additions like a fan extension card and multiple ways to mount m.2 SSDs, the ASUS X99-DELUXE is aimed squarely at the enthusiast for whom only the very best will do.

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ROCCAT Kone XTD Gaming Mouse Review

One of the real movers and shakers right now in the world of gaming peripherals is ROCCAT. This organization continues to give us something to talk about on a consistent basis. Just look at the recent history; we have three very new products to check out including the Tyon gaming mouse, the Nyth MMO mouse, and the Skeltr gaming keyboard. In this review, Benchmark Reviews has the opportunity to look at the ROCCAT Kone XTD, which is a souped-up version of the Kone[+]. The ROCCAT Kone XTD is armed with a 8200 DPI Pro Aim R3 laser sensor, an obvious upgrade from the 6000 DPI Pro Aim laser sensor of the Kone[+]. There are some other treats as well onboard the Kone XTD, like the 32-bit Turbo Core V2 72MHz ARM MCU processor and what ROCCAT claims is “the most advanced Tracking & Distance Control Unit around.”

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ROCCAT Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Headset Review

The Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Surround Sound gaming headset is the latest headset offering from the innovative people at Roccat. The Kave XTD 5.1 promises to make huge advancements over its predecessor, the Roccat Kave 5.1 analog. The Kave XTD 5.1 Digital brings a USB interface, a speaker pass-through function, cellular Bluetooth connectivity, and a revamped in-line remote. In this article, Benchmark Reviews investigates.

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Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Full-Tower Case Review

A few months ago Phanteks released the Enthoo Pro, a case that Benchmark Reviews concluded as being a game changer in the case market. Prior to the Enthoo Pro, Phanteks had already released a case that was praised by many enthusiasts as the most water cooler friendly case released in 2013, the Enthoo Primo.. With the release of the Enthoo Pro, Phanteks had a price gap to fill in it’s Enthoo line-up, leading to the release of the Enthoo Luxe, the case which I will be reviewing today.

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ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Mechanical Keyboard Review

ROCCAT is certainly not a newcomer to providing peripherals to gamers; they’ve produced many models of gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, and even gaming laptops. It is the innovators, like the people at ROCCAT, that continue to keep PC gaming more than merely relevant, and Benchmark reviews is proud to bring you this review of ROCCAT’s first mechanical keyboard; the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Considering the quality of the entire line of peripherals that ROCCAT has to offer, there is no reason to think that the Ryos MK Pro will be anything but impressive.

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AMD A10-7800 APU Processor Review

Sporting a configurable TDP and all of the Kaveri features (GCN graphics cores, Steamroller CPU cores, HSA, etc.), the A10-7800 which Benchmark Reviews will be looking at today sits right in between the A10-7850K and A10-7700K. What type of performance was AMD able to extract from this 65W APU? Read on to find out.

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Roccat ISKU FX Gaming Keyboard Review

ROCCAT is a German company that produces gaming peripherals including gaming mice and keyboards, mouse pads, and sound systems. The ISKU FX is ROCCAT’s mid-range gaming keyboard, clocking in at $79.99. The ISKU FX features multicolor illumination, 8 configurable media and hotkeys, ROCCAT TALK, macro recording, dedicated profile switches, 36 macro keys, and an extra large wrist rest for comfort during long gaming sessions. The features and illumination options make the ISKU FX an attractive option, but can it compete with the many other gaming keyboards in the market? In this Benchmark Reviews article I will discuss the many features of the ROCCAT ISKU FX, the accompanying driver software, and how this keyboard compares to others options on the market.

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BitFenix Neos Computer Case Review

If you have ever been to a LAN party there is a pretty high chance you have seen one of the most popular cases from BitFenix, the Prodigy, a huge success among the gaming community due to its innovative design and style. Since then, BitFenix has started to shift it’s attention into different markets as we have seen with the Fury line of power supplies, but this time they have released a new set of cases, including the BitFenix Neos. Since it’s debut back in May, it was announced that the case would offer tremendous value and style, which was definitely showcased in early models of the case, immediately bringing attention from Benchmark Reviews. But in such a crowded market will the Neos manage not to drown in the sea of budget cases?

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XTracGear Ripper XXL Desk Mat Review

If you are in the look for a mouse pad or desk mat you have probably heard of XTracPads. Unlike other big companies like Razer and SteelSeries, XTracPads’ focus is directed only to making the best mouse pad gear and accessories. Lately, the twelve year old company has made some changes such as updating their name to XTracGear and updating many of their lines of products. Luckily, they have sent Benchmark Reviews some samples to test. This time we will be testing their biggest product, the Ripper XXL.

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XTracGear Ripper Mouse Pad Review

XTracGear (formerly XTracPads) is a company dedicated solemnly to manufacture the best mousing surfaces and accessories for gamers and professionals. Since 2002, they have brought along many successful products including their Ripper model, which has been a very strong contender among the big mouse pad market. This year XTracPads decided to refine many things including their name as well as many of their products. They have gladly sent Benchmark Reviews a sample of their new XTracGear Ripper mouse pad which we will evaluate to see if upholds to it’s predecessor.

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Cooler Master N600 Mid Tower Review

One can easily say that Cooler Master is a household name among PC enthusiasts. With an absolute plethora of cooling products and chassis to choose from, Cooler Master boasts one of the largest product lines in the industry. With products such as the immensely popular Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler and the HAF 932 chassis, one can generally expect good things to come from Cooler Master. Last year Cooler Master released the N-series cases, which includes the N200, N400, and N600 models. The N600 is the premier model in the series, designed to bring enthusiast features at a more affordable price point.

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GAMDIAS Hephaestus GHS2000 Headset Review

The GAMDIAS Hephaestus Multi-Sensorial Gaming Headset (GHS2000) is a feature packed headset promising big sound in a big package. The Hephaestus sports virtual 7.1 surround, built-in cooling, and a unique feature called the blast source identifier. The headset also sports leather ear pads and headband, allowing for a very comfortable gaming experience during long sessions.

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XTracGear Carbonic Mouse Pad Review

XTracGear (formerly XTracPads) is a company dedicated solemnly to manufacture the best mousing surfaces and accessories for gamers and professionals. This year XTracGear has decided to update some of their products, as well as introducing new ones. Please read along as Benchmark Reviews takes a look at one of their newest products, the XTracGear Carbonic Surface Mouse Pad, a low cost mouse pad which features a carbon fiber print that XTracGear claims to enhance mouse cursor accuracy.

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Silverstone Raven RV05 Case Review

Now, SilverStone has just released the latest chassis in the Raven series, the RV05. Drawing it’s design straight from the RV01, the Raven RV05 continues a trend started by the NZXT H440 with the removal of all 5.25″ drive bays. Without the bays, the RV05 is smaller than many mid-towers while still retaining compatibility for a full range of standard features such as ATX motherboards and power supplies, bays for dual 3.5″ drives and 2.5″ drives, and even water cooling support.

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Fractal Design Core 3500 Computer Case Review

Whether it’s in the automotive, clothing, or furniture industry, European companies have always brought innovative ideas that make big part of the most elegant and simple designs. One clear example is Fractal Design, a Scandinavian company that has showed Benchmark Reviews what stylish and efficient designs look like. This year Fractal Design is updating many of their product lines, including their Core series, to which we reacted in a very excited manner as we could never get tired of their simple minimalist approach. Today we are going to be taking a look at the Fractal Design Core 3500 Mid Tower Case.

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Superlux HD668B Headphones Review

Superlux is a Taiwanese manufacturer of audio components that targets the “affordable market”. Their headphones have slowly entered the market during the past years and they have made quiet a hype in various enthusiast forums and gaming communities. At first, we were quite skeptical about the relatively unknown company as it is the first time we ever heard from them, and at such a low price, the Superlux HD 668B Headphones are the most affordable set of headphones that Benchmark Reviews has ever taken a close look at.

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