Category Archive: PC Hardware Reviews

Computer Hardware Reviews

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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ROCCAT Siru Gaming Mousepad Review

Optical and laser mice will work fine on just about any smooth surface they encounter. So what is the point of a mousepad? To answer that question we would need a science lesson so we will sum it up with one word: Friction. Everyone has their own preference and ROCCAT has many different gaming surfaces to cater to those needs. Today, Benchmark Reviews will be testing the ROCCAT Siru Pitch Black Desk Fitting Gaming Mousepad model# ROC-13-070. The Siru mousepad is unlike any mousepad I have seen before, it is a high speed wafer thin surface and is truly non-slip thanks to an innovative backing surface. Read on to find out more.

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BitFenix Flo Gaming Headset Review

BitFenix, a company best known for their chassis development, has decided to venture into the peripherals market. The BitFenix Flo gaming headset, model BFH-FLO-KWSK1-RP, is their first attempt at the audio accessory market. The BitFenix Flo is a headset that is aimed at both PC gamers, and users on the go. With a removable microphone and interchangeable cables, the Flo can be used for that heavy gaming session at the PC or easily converted to be taken on the road.

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AZZA CSAZ-XT1 Full-Tower Gaming Case Review

The AZZA XT1 Full-Tower Gaming case has it all. With great features offered in only some of the highest-end products, the AZZA XT1 makes a great case for consumers on a larger budget and even some enthusiast who want to go with a full-fledged customized water cooling system. It also features a lot of expand abilities for multiple hard drives and solid state drive configurations. The AZZA XT1 will accommodate XL-ATX motherboards thanks to its full-tower design. With this accommodation, it has a total of eight expansion slots at the back of the case allowing flexible and unlimited expand abilities.

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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 gave 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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