One of the most critical weapons in any gamer’s arsenal is a good gaming headset. A good headset gives you the ability to isolate outside noise while providing detailed, sharp, and clear sound from all sides. A gaming headset also lets you easily and understandably communicate with the other members of your team. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is looking at the Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 Analog Headset and compares it directly with other top Gaming Headsets to see what sets it apart and how well it performs.
Tag Archive: Hank Tolman
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.
The AMD 990FX Chipset has been around for a while now, but it has recently come back into the spotlight with the release of a few new CPUs from AMD’s FX series. With that release we were pleased to receive a 990FX motherboard that we hadn’t previously looked at. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard; a 990FX motherboard focused on gaming performance. Motherboards manufacturers are all about differentiating themselves by including features that make them stand out. The ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard is definitely a motherboard that stands apart.
The newest installment of AMD FX CPUs is finally upon us. September 2014 marks the release of the a few new FX CPUs, including the FX-8370, the FX-8370E, and the FX-8320E. Although I, for one, have been anxious to see a new FX CPU lineup using Steamroller cores, the three CPUs released today follow the same pattern as the last two years worth of FX CPU in using Piledriver cores. With the AMD Kaveri APUs showing up at the beginning of 2014 with Steamroller cores, I thought perhaps the FX series wouldn’t be far behind. Looks like we will be waiting until next year at least. Today, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the FX-8370 and FX-8370E processors.
If you haven’t heard, desktop computing is losing serious ground to other, increasingly affordable computing solutions, including notebooks, chromebooks, and tablets. Desktops are still around. You probably have one at home and you probably use one at work. With mobile gaming on the rise and so many productivity features being streamlined for mobile platforms, the need for a powerful desktop computer because your other devices can’t handle the load is declining. According to AMD, entry level computing options make up the majority of the market. In this review, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini desktop processor paired with the Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H mATX motherboard and 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz AMD Radeon Series RAM.
FM2+ Motherboards sporting the A88X chipset started appearing in October 2013, but the improved functionality over the latest FM2 motherboards only became truly apparent with the release of the Kaveri line of APUs in January 2014. Add to that the recent release of AMD drivers supporting the Mantle API, and the FM2+ motherboards start to make sense. Benchmark Reviews has the AMD A10-7850K APU and a couple of FM2+ motherboards on hand. This article is dedicated to reviewing the ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ Motherboard to discover what sets it apart from the rest of the FM2+ crowd.
For going on two years now, Samsung has been a major player in the SSD market. Before that, Samsung SSDs just didn’t compete. That has all changed with the Samsung 800 series of SSDs and even more recently with the release of Samsung’s RAPID technology for use with Samsung 840 SSDs. Samsung now competes at the top of the market and their SSDs are forces to be reckoned with. In this article, Benchmark Reviews looks at the Samsung 840 Pro SSD’s performance, with and without RAPID mode enabled.
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.
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.
NETGEAR rushed out the gate full force as CES 2014 started with a flurry of new products designed to improve network bandwidth and signal strength for the home or small office. Their two newest WiFi range extenders even won prestigious innovations awards. Benchmark Reviews met up with NETGEAR at their invitation-only suite during CES 2014 to get a look at the newest products and technologies being released.
Benchmark Reviews met up with FUNC at their suite at the Hard Rock Hotel during CES 2014 to talk about what they’ve been up to. FUNC is a newcomer to the gaming peripherals market and have been working on a complete line of gaming peripherals including a mouse and pad, a keyboard, and a headset. FUNC’s design ideology is centered on functionality perfected; including everything you need in a gaming peripheral and nothing you don’t.
The Taiwanese hardware manufacturer InWin hit CES 2014 with a slew of new items to announce, and the official availability of one announced a couple of months prior to the show. The story of InWin’s CES 2014 announcement really centered on a single theme: Tempered Glass. Benchmark Reviews stopped by InWin’s booth at CES 2014 to talk about their new cases and to take a look at some other products you might not normally expect from InWin.
Along with seemingly everyone else at CES 2014, I caught Cooler Master straying from their PC case and peripheral’s roots and into other areas of interest. Benchmark Reviews visited Cooler Master’s suite at the Palm’s Resort and Casino during CES 2014 and we found some interesting new products that you might not expect to see from the company that brought us the HAF series of cases.
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.
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.
There is a lot of excited stuff happening at CES 2014. I have to be honest, though, while I think 4K Ultra HD is cool, it is also currently way outside of my budget. I’ve seen a lot about LG’s new 4K TVs and curved screens. I think the technology is great, but I can’t afford it this year. At CES Unveiled: 2014, I went it looking for cool new tech that was within my price range and something that I could see myself adopting soon. I found a lot of cool stuff.
Gigabyte unveiled a new brand specifically for gamers, called Aorus (pronounced Orus). I was told the “A” is silent. Aorus parts should be available starting the end of February and will launch with the thinnest and lightest GTX SLI gaming laptop available, called the X7. The X7 is customizable and comes loaded with a Core i7 CPU, lots of RAM, up to 2 mSATA SSDs plus an HDD up to 2.5TB. It has a full 1080p 300 nit display powered by two GTX 765M video cards. All that power has to run hot, so Aorus has built a custom cooling solution with 5 heat pipes and side and back vents in addition to the bottom vents to whisk that heat away. You get 5 separate profiles with 5 macro keys each on the X7. The whole package weighs in at just under 6.5lbs and is a mere .9 inches thick.
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.
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.
I’ve never been a big fan of headsets. Instead, I’ve always tried to use a speaker system whenever possible. After my fourth kid was born a few months ago, however, my home office was converted into a nursery. That meant that my trusty 5.1 surround speaker system that had traveled to Iraq and back with me, was now a set of paperweights. Since then, I’ve become somewhat of an audiophile, seeking the most comfortable headset that produces the highest quality sound for the best price. Recently, Benchmark Reviews received the CM Storm Pulse-R Aluminum Gaming Headset SGH-4330-KATA1 for testing. In this article, I will outline my experience with the CM Storm Pulse-R and show you where it fits in the gaming headset niche.
Some of the most difficult to answer questions in the enthusiast and high-end gaming PC world have to do with RAM, and more specifically with RAM clock speeds, latency, and timings. What differences do all of these make when it comes to better performance and higher frame rates in games? Typically, the answer is that they do very little when it comes to games. AMD has sought to change that answer with the release of their Richland series APUs, which are designed to take even more advantage of RAM speeds and support up to 2133MHz clock speeds. Intel’s Haswell now supports speeds of up to 1600MHz. Now that more is being done to increase the performance gain from higher RAM speeds, let’s take a look at the results. Here at Benchmark Reviews, we have a couple of new high-speed RAM kits to review. In this article, we will be taking a look at the Kingston HyperX 8GBx2 DDR3-2133 KHX21C11T3K2/16X kit.
The latest member of the GeForce GTX 700 series lineup to hit the market is the GTX 760. This GPU is built off the GK104 GPU like quite a few GPUs in the GTX 600 and 700 series. The GTX 760 is built to replace the GTX 660Ti and fill an important price position between about $250 and $300. At Benchmark Reviews, we have MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card on hand and have tested it with some of the most popular and graphically intensive titles currently available. The MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC takes the stock features of the GTX 760 and adds to them by overclocking the GPU, adding a proven cooling solution, and including a bunch of other extras that you won’t find on the other GTX 760s. So without further ado, let’s get into the details of the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card.
AMD has a pattern when it comes to processor releases. They release a new processor, run it through its paces for a while, then they release more of the same die with higher clock speeds. Generally, though, the new processors release at something closer to the release price of the first series of processors. That is the one part of the equation missing from this summer’s AMD APU releases. The AMD A10-6700 is the second processor coming out in June 2013 with an MSRP of $142. In this article, Benchmark Reviews is taking a detailed look at the A10-6700, especially its differences from the unlocked A10-6800K.
So far, it seems that the early summer of 2013 is destined to be full of Intel Haswell coverage. Rather than consigning themselves to the shadows, AMD is quietly releasing two new members of their APU family. The next generation of APUs is being represented at the top by the A10-6800K and the A10-6700 Accelerated Processing Units, codenamed Richland. It has been about eight months since AMD released the last generation, Trinity APUs. When that happened, AMD took back the performance lead from Ivy Bridge in the sub-$150 CPU price range. This has been AMD’s bread and butter for a while now, especially with their ability to pair discrete level graphics with their CPUs that totally decimate the onboard capabilities of their opponent. Haswell may change things, but for now, we’ll see where AMD is setting the bar for entry-level performance. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a hard look at the third generation of AMD APUs with the top end AMD A10-6800K Richland Processor.