Category Archive: Reviews

Product Review Tests

Fractal Design Arc Mini R2 Review

The second revision of the Arc Mini micro ATX chassis brings a few revisions while keeping the essential styling that differentiates Fractal Design from other PC case manufacturers. The original Arc Mini PC case was well received by PC enthusiasts and system builders alike, and now Benchmark Reviews has the Arc Mini R2 for testing and we will detail what sets it apart from the crowd.

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BitFenix Phenom mITX Case Review

When the BitFenix Prodigy was released last year, it expanded on the idea of how much performance could fit in a small case. There were some users (me included) that felt the original Prodigy was just a little too big for an ITX box – responding to customer feedback, BitFenix wanted to provide a more streamlined option for those users that wanted all that the Prodigy had to offer in a more compact package. With essentially the same internal layout as the original Prodigy, the new BitFenix Phenom (model BFC-PHE-300-WWXKK-RP) caters to those that want something a little more minimalistic with airflow taking a backseat to looks and finesse. Benchmark Reviews is ready to look inside and see how much of the Prodigy legacy stays intact with the BitFenix Phenom ITX case.

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Corsair Raptor M40 Gaming Mouse Review

Corsair acquired Raptor Gaming last year in a deal that made quite a few in the European market quite happy. Raptor Gaming was known for their quality gaming peripherals, and the deal meant that Corsair would be adding their expertise to the mix as well. With the release of the new Corsair Raptor line of gaming products, today we will be examining the Corsair Raptor M40 gaming mouse. It is a mid-range mouse (~$45) that appears to pack quite a punch for the price point, and definitely has the build quality expected from Corsair. In this article Benchmark Reviews will take a look at the Raptor M40 and let you know if it is a true gaming beast worthy of its name!

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X2 XPAD Pro XXXL MP03 Mouse Pad Review

If you’re a PC gamer, then chances are very good you’ve spent money on a high-performance keyboard a mouse. These are peripherals that work with your hands to act like an extension of your body. Unfortunately, your body can fatigue from using them, and mouse accuracy suffers when your hands and arms get tired. This is why the top gamers use a quality mousing surface, which reduces sliding resistance and allows for smooth gliding over the mat. Personal comfort plays a big role in this decision, which is why many products are made soft as opposed to solid surfaces. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the XPAD MP02 and desk-sized XPAD Pro XXXL MP03 professional Mouse Pads by X2 Products.

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Cooler Master Nepton 280L Liquid CPU Cooler Review

The 280mm closed-loop all-in-one liquid cooling selection is about to grow by one: The Cooler Master (RL-N28L-20PK-R1) Nepton 280L. Sporting new dual 140mm JetFlo fans with POM bearings and a new pump design with LED, the 280L is Cooler Master’s answer to the Kraken X60 and H110. Will an all-new pump, high-flow fans and a 280mm radiator be enough to take on the competition? Benchmark Reviews will find out if the Nepton 280L can handle an overclocked FX platform and see how it stacks up against the competition.

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ADATA DashDrive HV620 External Hard Drive Review

ADATA has been in the business of developing memory and storage solutions for a dozen years and, in the process, has earned a reputation for producing high-quality devices. Its latest addition to the DashDrive lineup is the ADATA HV620 External Hard Drive. The HV620 is currently available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. In this review, Benchmark Reviews will take a closer look at the 2TB version of the ADATA DashDrive HV620 External Hard Drive and share the results of our testing. We will also take a closer look at its features, which include a scratch-proof surface, its glossy finish, and the raised lip around the perimeter of the device, which is meant to provide an added level of protection to the top of the HV620.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-reader Review

First introduced in 2007, the Amazon Kindle e-ink book reader has become the standard by which all e-ink book readers are measured. Since that time, many users have taken to reading books on portable devices such as tablets and smartphones. The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite aims to convince readers that the e-ink reader still deserves to be your “go to” device for reading.

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BitFenix Prodigy M mATX Case Review

After seeing numerous modders do just that (and the customer feedback that was clamoring for such a case), BitFenix has responded with the Prodigy M. Using the frame of the original Prodigy, they reworked the internals to accommodate a micro ATX motherboard and all of the enthusiast configurations that go along with it. Even with its proven performance in ITX trim, can the Prodigy chassis keep up with mATX components? BitFenix sent their Midnight Black Prodigy M, model number BFC-PRM-300-KKXSK-RP to Benchmark Reviews so we could have a look.

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Rosewill RPLC-200PKIT Powerline Adapter Kit Review

WiFi is everyone these days; coffee shops, super markets, retail stores. If you are like most people, you also have WiFi at home. I think you would hard pressed to find an ISP that doesn’t provide a wireless router with their services. WiFi is great. Right up until you need it to do something very important and it just doesn’t quite cut it. Well, there is a solution. A device that will turn the power lines already run in your house into veritable network cables, ensuring that you always have a connection when and where you need it. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is testing the Rosewill RPLC-200PKIT Powerline Adapter Kit.

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2560×1600: GeForce GTX 780 Ti vs Radeon R9 290X

2560x1600_Battlefield-3_DX11_Benchmark

It’s no secret that PC gamers who seek realistic graphics prefer their desktop platform over the 1080p-limited console counterparts. Discrete graphics cards, the hardware added onto motherboards built for high performance, support enthusiast video resolutions as large as 2560×1600. More pixels means more power needed to produce them, so I decided to test some of the most recent graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD on our massive 30″ monitor. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests frame rate performance for the AMD Radeon R9 290X and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti at their maximum supported resolution.

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Lenovo Yoga Android Tablet Review

The Android-based tablet market is exploding, with new entries almost every day. We’re even seeing what once were dedicated e-readers, like the Nook and Kindle, re-marketed as general purpose tablets. Lenovo’s been in this market for a while, and thus it’s no surprise to see them introduce another entry, the Lenovo Yoga tablet computers.

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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Video Card Review

NVIDIA tends to dominate the field when it comes to graphics processing power, leaving AMD scrambling to remain competitive by reducing prices on their products to add value for an aging technology. Recently the AMD Radeon R9 290X was revealed as the brand’s flagship graphics card, virtually occupying future shelf space for around $580 and expected to compete against NVIDIA’s less-expensive GeForce GTX 780 that has been available since May (2013). Not one to allow competition into their high-end territory, NVIDIA pushes back with the introduction of GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Capable of producing the fastest and most efficient graphics power ever available, GeForce GTX 780 Ti offers 25% more processing cores than GTX 780 while leaving room to deliver record-level 336 GB/sec GDDR5 memory bandwidth so to leave no doubt who controls the top-end of discreet graphics.

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OCZ Vector 150 SSD Review

Just as technology enjoys an ongoing evolution, OCZ Technology improves upon their design with each new solid state drive series. High-performance hardware enthusiasts were recently offered the Vertex 450 to replace the aging Vertex 4, and now mainstream enthusiasts have the Vector 150 to replace the end-of-life Vector SSD. Featuring an Indilinx Barefoot 3 BF3-M00 controller that supports 19nm Multi-Level Cell (MLC) NAND flash components by Toshiba with secure AES-256 data encryption and Trim support, Vector 150 is good for 550 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write speeds over a SATA 6-Gb/s connection. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the 240GB OCZ Vector 150 SSD, model VTR150-25SAT3-240G, against the leading competition.

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Phanteks Enthoo Primo Case Review

When it comes to high-end full-tower cases, a few models immediately come to mind: Corsair’s 900D, Thermaltake’s Level 10 GT, Cooler Master’s HAF-X, and a couple others. There isn’t nearly as much variety for E-ATX compatible cases as there is for cases that support ATX and Micro-ATX motherboards. Perhaps this why Phanteks was keen to release their first case into this category. Enter the Enthoo Primo, A premium full-tower aluminum body case with numerous new features and great compatibility for water-cooling hardware. Phanteks is among the best manufacturers of computer case fans and CPU heatsinks, so one would expect that their genius in cooling innovation would carry over to the Enthoo Primo. It is quite clear that Phankteks aims to make a statement with this new case; It will be competing head on with the already established high-end full-tower cases. Benchmark reviews will take a closer look at the Enthoo Primo (model PH-ES813P) to see whether or not Phantek’s first chassis deserves a place among the very best.

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NVIDIA G-SYNC Technology: An In-Depth Look

A very special new piece of hardware technology has recently been released at a conference in Montreal on October 22, 2013. The new technology is called G-SYNC, by NVIDIA. G-SYNC seems to be the answer for a major complaint from PC gaming community regarding image quality in fast-moving video games. Tears, stutters, and lag are told to be totally eliminated with this new technology. NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang put on a compelling performance at the conference in Montreal this past Friday. He announced some exciting new technologies, GameStream, GeForce GTX 780 Ti, ShadowPlay, and of course, G-SYNC. In this article I will give you my explanation, thoughts and opinions on this new tech called G-SYNC.

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SilverStone Kublai KL04 Case Review

The Kublai series of cases fits right in between the Precision and Temijin lines of enclosures by SilverStone. Losing some of the Temjin’s aluminum construction but retaining most of the innovative features of the more expensive line of towers, the KL04 is the fourth iteration of a chassis that began in 2007 and was notable for its storage capacity in a mid tower form factor. Looking to continue the tradition, the SilverStone Kublai KL04 uses a slightly different cooling arrangement and understated design to offer space for nine 3.5″ drives, along with four external 5.25″ bays and room for six 2.5″ drives. That’s a lot of storage in a mid tower – can it keep everything cool? Benchmark Reviews is ready to find out!

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Gigabyte Force M7 Thor Gaming Mouse Review

When you first think about Gigabyte’s line of quality products, more than likely a gaming mouse doesn’t come to mind. However, they have a created a budget mouse targeted at the hardcore gaming crowd that is worthy of praise. The Gigabyte Force M7 Thor Laser Gaming Mouse comes in at an impressive price point (~$30) and packs quite a few high end features. The real question is how does it fare against the stiff competition in the gaming peripheral realm? In this article Benchmark Reviews goes in depth to find out what makes the Force M7 Thor a great budget gaming buying decision!

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GAMDIAS ZEUS GMS1100 Gaming Mouse Review

The relatively unknown gaming peripheral company GAMDIAS has set some lofty goals, planning on being a serious contender in the near future among the established companies out there. One of its initial entries into the marketplace, the GAMDIAS ZEUS GMS1100 E-Sport Edition Laser Gaming Mouse, has a unique look to it and has plenty of features. Benchmark Reviews recently had an opportunity to take a closer look at this new gaming mouse and, on paper, it looks like it is ready for prime time, but can it compete with gaming mice from the likes of Razer and Logitech?

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HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X2 Video Card Review

In this next installment of AMD’s GPU 14 R9 line-up, Benchmark Reviews will be testing the HIS Radeon R9 270X IceQ X² Turbo Boost 2GB video card. As the name suggests, this particular model features the high end IceQ X2 cooler from the HIS labs and much faster Core and Memory speeds. I have seen the evolution of this cooler first hand and I know it to be fully capable. Two 89mm dual axial fans and five 6mm heatpipes ensure that your temperatures will stay well within safe limits.

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Cooler Master HAF Stacker 935 Case Review

Cooler Master’s HAF Stacker 935 modular case system is an innovative new entry in the computer case market. Enthusiasts can configure the multiple, stackable “modules” of this system to build the ideal enclosure for their system (or systems). Whether it’s providing storage for water cooling or extra drives, or just housing multiple systems in a compact space, the HAF Stacker system is versatile enough to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. Cooler Master calls these new cases a mod tower expandable system and says they’re a better case ecosystem.

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Sapphire Radeon R9 270X Vapor-X Video Card Review

The latest AMD Curacao XT-based video cards are poised to supply the market with plenty of graphics power and added value for mainstream gamers – especially as Battlefield 4 readies for launch with realistic DirectX 11 special effects. Sapphire, the leading name in AMD Radeon desktop products, have released their own Radeon R9 270X complete with an exclusive second-generation Vapor-X lightweight vapor-chamber cooling system. Sapphire further improves upon the AMD reference design by incorporating dual UEFI and BIOS firmware support, long-life 5000-hour capacitors, and Black Diamond electronic chokes. In this article Benchmark Reviews tests the Sapphire Radeon R9 270X Vapor-X, which sells online for $219 and features a 1100 MHz factory-overclocked UltraHD 4K resolution-ready graphics card with 1280 Stream processors and support for the upcoming DirectX 11.2 API.

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JDI GoldX USB Optical Wireless Mouse Review

Tyler here, this Is my fIrst editorial for Benchmark RevIews so some slack would be much appreciated. In this article I wIll be reviewing the JDI GoldX USB Mouse manufactured by JDI TechnologIes, a Jo-Dan International, Inc company. For the purpose of describing where I wIll be reviewing this device, the review will take place In a home offIce setting. You might ask yourself why am I reviewing such a bland, low cost, consumer mouse. The answer to that questions and more will be found further In thIs review, along wIth some great photos, real lIfe tests, and a couple of benchmarks too. After this short introduction with features and specifications of the JDI GoldX I will go into an overview, test series, and end with my final thoughts and conclusions.

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HIS Radeon R9 280X IceQ X2 Video Card Review

Since AMD announced their GPU 14 R9 series video cards, AIB partners have been tweaking and tuning their own aftermarket designs. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the HIS Radeon R9 280X iPower IceQ X2 Turbo Boost 3GB video card. As the name suggests, this particular model features the high end IceQ X2 cooler from the HIS labs and slightly faster Core and Memory speeds. I have seen the evolution of this cooler first hand and I know it to be fully capable. Two 89mm dual axial fans and five heatpipes (2 x 8mm and 3 x 6mm) ensure that your temperatures will stay well within safe limits, even during overclocking.

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SilverStone Tundra TD02 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Rounding out the Tundra series, the TD02 is SilverStone’s answer to the top performing closed-loop liquid coolers. Sporting the same patented fin design of the TD03 with claims of 40% higher cooling efficiency, new 120mm fans on a 240mm long, 45mm thick radiator and a custom water block, the SilverStone Tundra SST-TD02 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler that Benchmark Reviews has received for testing has huge potential. In fact, after the surprising performance of the 120mm push/pull TD03, SilverStone Technology, Co., Ltd. sent out the larger TD02 to go toe-to-toe with the reigning champ of the coolers I’ve tested so far: the Swiftech H220. Can the TD02 take the top spot? Only one way to find out…

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MSI Radeon R9 270X GAMING Video Card Review

When AMD unveiled their latest series of graphics cards, MSI was ready to improve upon their design by adding military-grade components cooled by Twin Frozr dual 10cm propeller fans. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the MSI Radeon R9 270X GAMING 2GB video card. For $199 gamers get a 1120 MHz factory-overclocked UltraHD 4K resolution-ready graphics card with 1280 Stream processors capable of fast frame rates, and support for the upcoming DirectX 11.2 API.

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