Category Archive: PC Hardware Reviews

Computer Hardware Reviews

Genius Zabius HS-G850 Gaming Headset Review

The main attraction to the HS-G850 is the red LED outline strips. I have not seen many headsets with LED’s that will light up to the bass, so I will be very interested in putting this headset in a number of tests to test out the sound quality, microphone quality, comfort, and how well the LED’s can respond to the audio that is playing. Benchmark Reviews has this sample on hand, so let’s take a look at the features and specifications of the Genius Zabius HS-G850 Gaming Headset.

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BitFenix Shadow Computer Case Review

BitFenix made their reputation in 2010 with their first product, the massive Colossus full tower case. The BitFenix Shadow brings some of the Colossus features, like the signature soft-touch coating and external LED lighting, to a lower price point in a mid-tower ATX case. Sporting room for three 5.25″ devices and seven hard drives, the Shadow tries to balance price with features to distinguish it from its competition. Join us as Benchmark Reviews checks out the BitFenix Shadow BFC-SDO-150-KKXBR-RP mid-tower computer case to see if it’s a worthy contender for your next build.

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EVGA TORQ X10 Gaming Mouse Review

Gamers drive high-end computing: if you don’t think so, consider the renaissance of (expensive) mechanical keyboards in the last couple of years. Of course gaming mice have been common for a while, and EVGA has just thrown their hat into this very competitive ring with the EVGA Torq X10 mouse. Boasting a fully ambidextrous design, 9 programmable buttons, an 8200-DPI laser sensor, solid metal base, and a dramatic style, the Torq X10 mouse also comes in at a very competitive price, especially if you pre-order it. Benchmark Reviews connects this new mouse to our gaming machine to investigate how well it works in this article.

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Gamdias Demeter GMS5010 Gaming Mouse Review

The Gamdias Demeter is one of their more entry level products for gaming. The Demeter features an array of options for macro creation, timers, built-in memory, adjustable DPI and poll rates, 6 smart keys, 10 million click life-cycle switches, and LED color choices to display. The Demeter’s design is aimed at gamers who have needs that exceed your standard 3-button mouse designs. To use all of these features Gamdias has a program interface called Hera, that you can download from their website.

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Lian Li PC-Q07B Mini-ITX Case Review

Lian-Li’s historical reputation is filled with some of the most innovative designs and ideas such as their “reverse-ATX” models. To add to their history, their products are undeniably well built and host one of the highest levels of quality that is available today in the market, which we have really come to enjoy here at Benchmark Reviews. Even in their budget oriented cases, Lian-Li has managed to impress us in the past with their choice of designs and user friendly layouts. The Lian Li PC-Q07B ITX case is no exception, featuring a very appealing and extremely small minimalistic cube design, we found that this case is perfect for the current trend of mini-ITX systems that keeps growing due to the improved integration of motherboard chipsets.

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Sentey Lumenata Pro Gaming Mouse Review

What is the point in purchasing a gaming mouse vs a regular mouse? When you make the decision to invest in a quality gaming mouse, such as the Sentey Lumenata Pro, it goes without saying that you won’t only be using the mouse for gaming. With the features and responsiveness this mouse offers, it will easily become your “go to” mouse for all of your objectives.

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ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

ASUS tries to cover all the bases in the enthusiast market, and their TUF series motherboards are aimed at those who prize toughness and stability. Built with military-spec capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs, and features such as extra ESD (electrostatic discharge) resistance, the Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 motherboard also includes ASUS’ unique Thermal Armor system and a custom processor to monitor the board’s voltages and temperatures, which is part of the Thermal Radar 2 system. Of course it also includes features common to their other motherboards such as the Digi+ fully digital power system and their best-in-class UEFI BIOS to control it all. A five-year warranty tops it all off.

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Phanteks Enthoo Pro Tower Case Review

The Phanteks Enthoo Pro full-tower computer case boasts compatibility with EATX, ATX, and mATX motherboards, plenty of options for 3.5 and 2.5 inch drives, and a large tinted window combined with a PSU shroud for a clean, attractive build. Cooling wise, the Enthoo Pro features mounts for up to ten case fans ranging from 120mm to 200mm in size, four different locations for radiators, and and a mount for an internal reservoir.

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ASUS Z97-DELUXE NFC & WLC Motherboard Review

ASUS really pulls away from their competition with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board while showing off overclocking performance.

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Fractal Design Node 804 Micro ATX Case Review

Enter Fractal Design’s Node 804. While it isn’t an exact scaled-down replica of cases like the Carbide Air 540 or HAF XB, it still uses a cube/split chamber layout – this time in a micro-ATX size. With dimensions of 344 x 307 x 389 mm or 13.5 x 12.1 x 15.3 inches (WHD), the Node 804 is just a bit wider than a BitFenix Prodigy and almost exactly a third larger than the Node 304 (in the height and width dimensions – depth differs by only 15mm). The Node family is designed with a focus on Home Entertainment; with the vast array of fan, radiator and storage combinations that are possible the Node 804 could easily take on any number of roles. Benchmark Reviews has received the Node 804 for some testing, so let’s take a look at the newest member of Fractal Design’s Node family.

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ASUS Z97-DELUXE Motherboard Performance Review

With Intel being the sole supplier of chipsets for their processors, all motherboards with the same CPU and supporting chipset will provide pretty much the same performance at stock settings. Vendors strive to distinguish their products with additional features, which can be as disparate as a clever new BIOS or entirely new hardware capabilities grafted on via custom or third-party silicon. From a performance perspective, ASUS has historically added value with enhancements to standard interfaces, such as their accelerated USB 3.0, and hardware and software features that make overclocking easier, even for the novice. With the Z97-DELUXE they’ve even added entirely new high speed interfaces: M.2 and SATA Express. If you’re looking for a future-proof board for your next rig, this could be it.

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ASUS Z97-DELUXE Motherboard Hardware Review

Where ASUS really pulls away from their competition is with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board.

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Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 Memory Kit Review

Announced at CES 2014, Kingston has released their replacement of the Blu series of RAM modules. Named “Fury,” the new HyperX series of DDR3 RAM claim to make overclocking even easier by automatically detecting the appropriate speeds and timings for your motherboard, making these modules “Plug and Play” ready. Arriving in 4GB, 8GB single, 8GB dual or 16GB dual-channel kits, the Fury line will have frequencies of 1333 MHz (CL9), 1600MHz (CL9), or 1866 MHz(CL10). A new asymmetric heat-spreader design in red, blue, white or black colors covers a stylish black PCB, adding a distinct look to this newest memory kit from Kingston. Benchmark Reviews received one of the dual-channel 8GB kits for testing (model HX318C10FWK2/8), so let’s see how these modules compare.

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Thermaltake Urban SD1 MicroATX Case Review

Thermaltake has recently added another chassis to their Urban lineup. A modern update of the classic Lanbox Lite chassis (also by Thermaltake), the Urban SD1 is designed for builders that are building around the mATX/mITX form factors and still want room for large graphics cards, AIO liquid coolers and multiple drives. Utilizing modular internals in a chassis not much bigger than many ITX boxes, the Urban SD1 promises an easy building experience. Weighing in at 5.8 kg and with dimensions of 239 x 280 x 456mm (HWD), will this sophisticated relative of the Lanbox / Armor A30 deliver on its claims of high-performance in a micro-ATX form factor? Benchmark Reviews was given an opportunity to build a system in the Urban SD1 (model CA-1A9-00S1NN-00), so let’s see what changes have been incorporated in this new member of the Urban chassis family.

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Sentey Crimson Pro Gaming Keyboard Review

Although they’ve been around since 2001, Sentey Inc. isn’t on many enthusiast’s radars. Established in 2001 and based in Doral, Florida, Sentey manufactures a range of cases, keyboards, mice, power supplies, headphones, and other items that appeal to the enthusiast and gamer. Today we have the Sentey Crimson Pro mechanical gaming keyboard– part of their Professional Gamer Series– in house for some testing.

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SilverStone Ensemble EB01-E USB DAC Review

The Silverstone EB01–E DAC is the companion product in both form and function to the SilverStone EB-03 headphone amplifier. Together, these two components make up the current SilverStone Ensemble Series audiophile grade audio components.

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Thermaltake Core V71 Full-Tower Case Review

Thermaltake is no stranger to the computer chassis market. With Reddot design awards for their Chaser A71 and Level 10 enclosures, they aren’t afraid to try different approaches to chassis design. With their new Core V71 Full Tower chassis, Thermaltake is offering an E-ATX capable enclosure that is both versatile and adaptable. Focusing on performance with either air or liquid cooling, the Core V71 offers an unprecedented level of flexibility and customization.

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Thermaltake POSEIDON Mechanical Keyboard Review

Thermaltake has made some very high quality products in the past and continues to do so even today with their new Poseidon Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This mechanical gaming keyboard is available in Cherry MX Blue and Brown switches. Unlike many other expensive LED mechanical keyboards, the Poseidon comes in at a very aggressive price and offers a few similar features and specifications that are only included in the more expensive alternatives. In this review, we will be looking specifically at the Thermaltake Poseidon Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches.

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BitFenix Comrade Mid-Tower Case Review

The Comrade Mid-Tower case is the latest case out of BitFenix, a manufacturer known for building high quality cases such as the Colossus Full-Tower and Prodigy Mini-ATX and ITX cases. The Comrade is BitFenix’s attempt to enter the budget case market, with a reasonably priced case that has many features that are normally expected in more pricey designs, such as removable dust filters. The Comrade accommodates both Mini-ITX / ATX and standard ATX boards, and has numerous features designed to make constructing a system a breeze for first-time builders, including tool-less 3.5″, and 5.25″ drive bays. The Comrade is available in either black or white colors.

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Titanfall Performance Boost: NVIDIA R337 Drivers

Titanfall has been one of the most-anticipated games of 2014, and for a very good reason. Combining the best first-person shooter aspects of Call of Duty and Battlefield into a mech-themed FPS video game isn’t easy to pull off, but Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts do so with great success. Available for console and PC, gamers who want ultimate immersion and control will likely gravitate towards the desktop gaming platform. For good reason then, NVIDIA has focused a significant amount of its resources towards optimizing performance so that players can enable the best graphical quality settings possible.

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ASUS A88X-Pro AMD Motherboard Review

With the new Kaveri APUs out in full force, the Mantle API being used for high-profile games like Battlefield 4, and HSA finally coming into its own, FM2+ motherboards are all over the place. The A88X chipset paired with an FM2+ APU is a solid platform all by itself, but manufacturers have to spice things up in order to sell motherboards. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the ASUS A88X-Pro FM2+ Motherboard.

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Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Case Review

The Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini-ITX Computer Case is a compact, cube style case that can handle some full sized desktop components, while maintaining a relatively small footprint. With the ability to handle a ATX sized power supply, and desktop graphic cards up to 210mm (8.26 inches), the Elite 110 is aimed at more than just the niche market. Sporting the ability to hold 4 SSDs or 3 HDDs, storage options are not a problem.

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AVEXIR Blitz 1.1 DDR3 RAM Memory Review

I love it when a company innovates and brings a product to market that people really want. AVEXIR have done just that with their Blitz 1.1 series DDR3 PC memory range – with designs based on popular gaming motherboard brands. For this review AVEXIR have kindly sent Benchmark Reviews a wide range of samples for our testing pleasure. For performance testing, two of the seven memory modules were paired together to form the equivalent of an 8GB dual channel 1600MHz CL9 memory kit (model# AVD3U16000904G-2BZ1). This review will showcase the Blitz 1.1 series PC memory range available from AVEXIR as well as providing vital performance information.

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Crucial M550 Solid State Drive Review

Crucial’s C300 solid state drive introduced SSDs to the SATA-6Gb/s interface, followed by the Micron M500 SSD series which will continue in the mainstream value segment. With the Crucial M550 SSD, Micron introduces their brand’s first premium-level product series. Utilizing a new Marvell 88SS9189 controller on the Crucial M550 SSD, read speeds reach 550 MB/s while write speeds attain 500 MB/s. M550 promises 90,000 random IOPS reads, and up to 85,000 random IOPS writes. 20nm Micron 64GB and 128GB NAND flash components are used in M550, which improves overall performance and enables lower-capacity drives to perform nearly as well as the higher capacity counterparts.

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ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Gaming Keyboard Review

PC Gaming is not dead, it’s just that there isn’t as much innovation happening to steal the headlines. Tablets, Laptops and Consoles are taking the limelight. Sure they’re great for intermittent gaming but can’t really compete with the ultimate solution – The humble PC. ROCCAT is making its debut into the thriving mechanical keyboard market with three variants of its Ryos MK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. In this review, Benchmark Reviews will be testing the top of the line ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (model# ROC-12-851-BN – US Layout) with Cherry MX Brown switches and individual backlit keys.

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