Category Archive: PC Hardware Reviews

Computer Hardware Reviews

Raijintek Metis Classic Computer Case Review

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.

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Cougar 500K Gaming Keyboard Review

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.

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EVGA TORQ X5 USB Gaming Mouse Review

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.

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Sentey Optimus Plus Mid-Tower Case Review

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.

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ASUS GeForce GTX 960 Strix Video Card Review

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.

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Raidmax Hyperion Micro-ATX Case Review

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.

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Cougar 600K Mechanical Keyboard Review

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.

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Thermaltake Core V21 Micro-ATX Case Review

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.

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Kingston HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset Review

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.

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MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ Motherboard Review

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.

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Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Case Review

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.

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AMD FX-8320E AM3+ Processor Performance Review

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.

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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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Cougar 600M Gaming Mouse Review

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!

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Cooler Master Silencio 652S Case Review

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.

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Razer Deathstalker Expert Keyboard Review

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.

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Razer Taipan Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse Review

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.

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Roccat Tyon Gaming Mouse Review

First announced at Computex in June, Roccat’s newest gaming mouse has finally hit the market. Packing an 8200 DPI laser sensor, Roccat’s EasyShift[+] function, configurable LED lighting in two zones and 12 programmable buttons (16 programmable “actions” if scroll up/down, etc. is included) the Tyon appears to check all of the same boxes as many high-end gaming peripherals. Look a little closer though, and you’ll see that the Tyon adds a few boxes other mice can’t check: a “dorsal fin” switch and an analog paddle. Powered by Roccat’s Talk FX software suite, will these innovations change your game? Benchmark Reviews has received the black version of the Tyon (model ROC-11-850, also available in white) and we’re ready to run it through the gauntlet.

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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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AMD FX-9590 AM3+ Processor Performance Review

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.

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Cougar 700K Mechanical Keyboard Review

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.

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AORUS Thunder M7 MMO Gaming Mouse Review

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!

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ROCCAT Apuri Active USB Hub Review

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.

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Fractal Design Define R5 Mid-Tower Case Review

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.

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BitFenix Pandora Micro-ATX Slim Case Review

It looks like BitFenix are at it again. Fresh off the manufacturing line, Benchmark Reviews has received something a bit different from the company known for cases like the Colossus, Shinobi and Prodigy. As their first case with aluminum panels the slim micro-ATX Pandora brings a sense of style that is a significant departure from some of their recent enclosures. Available in black or silver, with or without a window, and in Core or ICON versions (which contain a 2.4″ LCD display in the front panel) fans of the micro-ATX form factor will have quite a few possibilities to choose from. For those that are looking for something a little more elegant without sacrificing a large footprint, the Pandora may be just the thing. Are there any compromises made to keep this case slim? Let’s dig in and take a look.

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