Category Archive: PC Hardware Reviews

Computer Hardware Reviews

PAPAGO! P3 Dashcam Review

The PAPAGO! P3 Dashcam is the company’s top-of-the-line dashboard camera unit, with many extra features beyond just recording what it sees out the windshield. Its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) includes Stop and Go, LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) and FCWS (Front Collision Warning System), as well as a number of other capabilities.

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AMD A10-7850K Performance Optimized Catalyst 14.2 Driver

With the release of AMD’s Kaveri APU and the realization of their heterogeneous compute vision, the A10-7850K has the potential to make a lot of changes in the way we use the processing power available to us. The A10-7850K can harness the full power of both its CPU and GPU cores equally, something that can benefit us, the end users, greatly. The problem is, that vision doesn’t fully come to life until developers start writing for it.

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Roccat Kone Pure Mouse Review

Roccat has recently introduced their sixth mouse in the Kone line up: the Kone Pure. Benchmark Review’s has had the opportunity to take the new Roccat Kone Pure for a spin and see what is so different from the previous iterations. This gaming mouse sports an all new laser sensor for the ultimate in sensitivity, perfect for ultra high monitor resolutions.

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Ducky Shine 3 Mechanical Keyboard Review

The Ducky Shine Series, arguably one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market, has released the Ducky Shine 3 DK9008S3. Often referred to as the YOTS or “Year of the Snake”, the 2013 Shine 3 is the offshoot descendant of the 2012 Year of the Dragon Shine 2 DK9087 (a tenkeyless version in the shine series). This model, like it’s predecessor, comes with a wide array of switch options including Cherry MX Black, Blue, Brown, and Red, and a wide array of LED color options including: Blue, Red, Green, White, Magenta, and Orange. With so many options, there is really no reason not to find the perfect fit for you in the Ducky Shine 3 DK9008S3-CUSALAAG1.

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Corsair Raptor M45 Gaming Mouse Review

What’s the difference between a “regular” mouse and a “gaming” mouse? It’s a reasonable question, and one that Corsair hopes to answer with the Raptor M45 Gaming Mouse. Basically, the difference boils down to features and responsiveness. The Corsair Raptor M45 has both of these in spades.

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OCZ Vertex 460 SSD Review

OCZ Storage Solutions, formerly OCZ Technology and now a Toshiba Group Company, was quick to produce its first performance product under the new company banner: Vertex 460 solid state drive. The new OCZ Vertex 460 SSD features an Indilinx Barefoot 3 (BF3-M10) controller and Toshiba 19nm Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash components with secure AES-256 data encryption and Trim support. Vertex 460 is good for 540 MB/s read and 525 MB/s write speeds over a SATA 6-Gb/s connection, and replaces the Vertex 450 as the fastest solid state drive in the product series. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the 240GB OCZ Vertex 460 SSD, model VTX460-25SAT3-240G, against the leading competition.

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Corsair Raptor K40 Gaming Keyboard Review

Mechanical keyboards such as Corsair’s Vengeance K70 keyboards have garnered praise from industry pundits and users alike. But there’s no escaping the fact that keyboards with individual mechanical key switches are expensive: the aforementioned K70 retails for $130.00. But as it turns out, you can get much of the style and functionality of Corsair’s high-end keyboards for a lot less money. Today Benchmark Reviews takes a look at Corsair’s Raptor K40 Gaming Keyboard.

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BitFenix Colossus M MicroATX Computer Case Review

Finishing up a run of new cases based on the Prodigy, BitFenix has started shipping their Colossus M. Taking its name from one of BitFenix’s first full-tower enclosures, the Colossus M inherits the original’s distinctive lighting and combines it with the familiar internals of the micro-ATX Prodigy M. Offering a different approach from the smooth lines of the Phenom and the airflow of the Prodigy, the Colossus M wraps an angular, soft-touch shell around familiar internals while adding a few new tricks in the process. Have they saved the best for last? Benchmark Reviews has the micro-ATX Colossus M on hand (model BFC-CLM-300-KKLS1-RP), so let’s take a closer look at the unique traits that define this mini-Colossus.

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SilverStone Ensemble EB03 Headphone Amplifier Review

Silverstone has recently introduced two audio products to their extensive collection of computer peripherals. The Ensemble Series now includes the EB03 headphone amplifier, which is the subject of this review, and the companion EB01-E DAC.

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CM Storm Reaper Mouse Review

Cooler Master, a company world renown for their excellent case and cooling solutions, has recently augmented their Storm series lineup with some new additions. “What is this Storm series?” one may ask. It is Cooler Master’s answer for consumers looking for higher then average specifications, durability, and aesthetics. Today Benchmark Review’s has taken the opportunity to give the CM Storm Reaper a formidable shakedown to see what sets this apart from the rest.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Benchmark Performance

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card is designed for mainstream 1080p gaming with moderate settings. GeForce GTX 750 Ti utilizes first-generation NVIDIA Maxwell GM107 GPU architecture with 640 CUDA Cores. The memory subsystem of GeForce GTX 750 Ti consists of two 64-bit memory controllers (128-bit total bandwidth) and 2GB of 5.4Gbps GDDR5 memory. GeForce GTX 750 Ti’s base clock speed is 1020MHz, and features a typical Boost Clock speed reaching 1085MHz. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card using several highly-demanding DX11 video games, such as Metro: Last Light, Batman: Arkham City, and Battlefield 3.

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Corsair Obsidian 250D Mini-ITX Computer Case Review

Corsair introduced their new Obsidian line of cases with the full-tower 800D; they’ve since expanded into the super-tower market with the 900D, added the 750D to the full-tower lineup, addressed the mid-tower market with the 550D and 650D, and the micro-ATX market with the 350D. Their latest case, the Corsair Obsidian 250D, brings the design and versatility of the Obsidian line to the mini-ITX field.

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NZXT H440 Mid-Tower Computer Case Review

You might think, upon initial inspection, that the NZXT H440 Mid Tower computer case is just another well-crafted and attractive case from NZXT; and you’d be right, in the sense that it’s both attractive and well-crafted. But the H440 hides several innovations under its painted steel skin, one of which will be controversial.

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XFX Radeon R9 290 Double Dissipation Review

When the AMD Radeon R9 290X video card debuted, it first appeared to be a solid competitor to NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 780 series… until heat and noise were taken into consideration. The Curacao XT-based video card offered plenty of graphics power, but the cooling system was forced to work hard and loud. When the Radeon R9 290 series arrived, this game brands such as XFX the opportunity to further improve upon the AMD reference design by incorporating a much better cooling solution paired with long-life capacitors. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the XFX Radeon R9 290 Double D, model R9-290A-EDFD, which sells online for $499.99 (Amazon). This Black Edition Double Dissipation Radeon R9 290 features a 947 MHz UltraHD 4K resolution-ready graphics card with 2560 Stream processors and support for the upcoming DirectX 11.2 API.

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Func HS-260 Gaming Headset Review

On January 27th 2014 Func will start shipping their HS-260 gaming headset, completing a first run of peripherals that started with the MS-3 gaming mouse in February of last year (and the KB-460 mechanical keyboard this past November). Sporting tuned 50mm drivers, detachable audio cables and removable microphone which can switch sides at will, Func brings their focus on functionality to the gaming headset category with their new headset, model FUNC-HS-260-1ST. Benchmark Reviews has a sample on hand, and in this review I’ll do my best to explain my experience with the Func HS-260 gaming headset.

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Shogun Bros. Ballista MK-1 Gaming Mouse Review

A brand that needs more recognition in the PC gaming peripheral market is Shogun Bros. They make high quality products worthy of the highest praise, and the Ballista MK-1 Gaming Mouse is proof of that. The market in the ~$50 price bracket is very high, so it is hard to wade through all the different brands and mice. In this article Benchmark Reviews hopes to shed some light on why the Shogun Bros. Ballista MK-1 is quite possibly the best-in-class must have gaming mouse.

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Raidmax Cobra Mid-Tower Case Review

The Raidmax Cobra comes in a variety of different colors: Black, Red, Blue, White, and Titanium. We will be looking at the black one for this review. The Raidmax Cobra Black Steel Mid-Tower ATX Case will fit the bill of many consumers on a tight budget. Without spending a whole lot of money, the Raidmax Cobra offers many features that only some of the bigger and more expensive cases have. It provides tool-less drive bays, adequate space for cable management thanks to its wide body design, and four internal 2.5″ drive bays for laptop hard drives and even SSD’s, which is crazy for a case in this price range. The Raidmax Cobra also provides great airflow for high performance air cooling along with the option for a custom water cooling system. Thanks to two water cooling retention holes at the back of the case, a custom water cooling system can be installed into this case. With so many high-end features, this makes the Raidmax Cobra a very competitive case due to its aggressive pricing.

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AMD Kaveri APU Architecture Overview

Today marks the release of the latest in a long line of AMD Accelerated Processing Units. Benchmark Reviews has been there for each one of the previous APU releases, and we would be remiss if we didn’t provide you with the latest news regarding this release. It has been a long road since Llano, the very first generation of AMD APUs, was announced just three short years ago at CES 2011. That processor brought together AMD’s long held vision of putting a discrete level GPU on the same die as the CPU; a vision that started back with the Fusion project and AMD’s acquisition of ATI.

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Func KB-460 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The best way to test peripherals is to use them, so over the course of two weeks the Func KB-460 became my “daily driver.” I used it to type this (and other) reviews, as well as for any games or applications I used during that time (there were more than a few rounds of Battlefield 4 played on the KB-460, as well as some Mechwarrior: Online, ARMA III and X3: Albion Prelude to try a few different keyboard-heavy games). Along with my impressions, I’ll also include a few tests using some online keyboard testing suites to help illustrate the capabilities of this keyboard.

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XFX Radeon R9 280X Black Edition Video Card Review

AMD released their new lineup of GCN-based video cards back in October and the industry manufacturers have since been adding their own special tweaks and improvements to the initial designs. XFX has recently released their latest version of the Radeon R9 280X card in the form of the XFX Black Edition Double Dissipation Radeon R9 280X. The XFX R9 280X TDBD sports upgraded features like a factory overclock to 1080MHz, high quality DURATEC components, a dual-fan design, and the second generation of XFX proprietary Ghost Thermal technology.

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SilverStone ML05 HTPC Case Review

The deceptively small ML05 HTPC case from SilverStone sits in a class of its own. Part of the Milo series of entry-level HTPC cases (designed to incorporate features from the Grandia series in a slim form factor), the ML05 is one of the most inexpensive home theater enclosures on the market. Essentially half the size of the previously reviewed micro-ATX ML04, the smaller Milo ML05 still checks a lot of the home-theater specific boxes: short depth, available optical drive, room for additional storage, and enough airflow to keep things quiet. Benchmark Reviews has a chance to evaluate the SilverStone ML05 Mini-ITX HTPC case (model SST-ML05B) to see what building a different kind of computer in a different kind of case is like.

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SilverStone ML04 Milo HTPC mATX Case Review

Benchmark Reviews was recently given the chance to sample the Milo ML04 HTPC micro-ATX case from SilverStone. Possibly an under-appreciated corner of the PC case market, a good home theater case can provide a subtle home for some powerful components. With computers making a gradual shift from the office to the living room and form factors steadily decreasing in size, HTPC cases can offer a home for an older, re-purposed office machine or a sophisticated enclosure for a dedicated media box. Part of the entry-level Milo series designed to offer the full size features of the Grandia series in a smaller size, will SilverStone’s SST-ML04B fulfill the special requirements of an HTPC platform? Why not just use any old computer case and set it in the living room? Let’s take a look and find out if the ML04 is a better option.

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CM Storm MECH Mechanical Keyboard Review

If you haven’t heard, yet, mechanical keyboards are making a comeback in a big way. Nearly every peripheral manufacturer out there has line of them. But why are we going back to mechanical keyboards, which were popular in the early days of computing and then fell out of style? Should you consider investing a mechanical keyboard? They are typically more expensive than what we might consider a normal, or common keyboard. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at one of Cooler Master’s CHERRY MX Brown Switch mechanical keyboards, the CM Storm MECH.

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SilverStone Raven RV04 Case Review

Today Benchmark Reviews will be looking at the lastest Raven enclosure from SilverStone, the Raven SST-RV04B-W. Since the RV01, the Raven series served as the “experimental” arm of the SilverStone chassis lineup; testing out unique ideas like a 90-degree rotated motherboard orientation and exotic applications of materials in a line of enclosures that had the extreme looks (and performance) to match. The RV04 forgoes the vertical orientation of the motherboard in previous Ravens and instead rotates it yet another 90 degrees. Utilizing a cooling design inspired by the impressive micro-ATX TJ-08E, the ATX Raven RV04 uses two 180mm AP fans in a slightly more traditional format – well, as traditional as a Raven case can be…

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Thecus N2310 NAS Server Network Storage Review

The Thecus N2310 Network Attached Storage Server is a product that is breaking new ground for the NAS market. Power to the people, NASes for the masses, whatever you want to call it, the N2310 is about driving the cost of NAS ownership down. Thankfully, Thecus recognizes that no one wants a NAS that runs slow, or one that doesn’t have modern features like mobile access. So, the N2310 is all about providing the lowest-cost, technically-acceptable solution. That’s a fine line to tread, and many companies have tripped over themselves trying to do that. Benchmark Reviews has tested quite a few NAS products in the last few years, and we’re in a good position to evaluate how well the Thecus N2310 meets its mission statement.

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