It seems that every month a new Android based HTPC comes out. This comes as no surprise as with the integration of XBMC, these devices keep getting cheaper and more attractive to the low-end market. Instead, SilverStone is trying to target a much different market, a market which many of our readers can feel identified with. SilverStone is a renowned designer of premium cases, offering a wide arrange of designs ranging from bulky full towers to small form factor HTPC cases such as the SilverStone SG12 Micro-ATX enclosure in this review.
Tag Archive: Julian Duque
Aside from the inclusion of a variable speed pump, the NZXT Kraken X61 improves from it’s predecessor by including a massive 280 mm radiator with a desner fin array which accounts for 36% more surface area. NZXT has also given the Kraken X61 extended tubing to ensure compatibility with all installation environments. Included with the Kraken X61 are two FX140 V2 PWM fan which according to NZXT are more powerful, quite, and durable than the inclusions of it’s predecessor. Most importantly, the Kraken X61 has a 6 year warranty, which just goes to prove how confident NZXT is of the Kraken line.
Aside from the inclusion of a variable speed pump, the NZXT Kraken X41 improves from it’s predecessor, the Kraken X40, by adding a thicker radiator with a more dense fin array which accounts for 36% more surface area. NZXT has also given the Kraken X41 extended tubing to ensure compatibility with all installation environments. Included with the Kraken X41 is a FX140 V2 PWM fan which according to NZXT is more powerful, quite, and durable than it’s predecessor. Most importantly, the Kraken X41 has a 6 year warranty, which just goes to prove how confident NZXT is of the Kraken line.
The GeminII series from cooler master has a very unique design that allows not only the CPU to be cooled, but also the memory and power delivery components located near the socket of the motherboard. Another key point of the GeminII series is compatibility, the Cooler Master S524 Version 2 borrow from it’s predecessor by keeping ram compatibility with modules up to 47.06 mm in height, as well as with cases that allow for 105.4 mm of height, making the GeminII S524 Version 2 adequate for small cases like the Haf Stacker 915F.
Noctua is an Austrian company most commonly known to enthusiasts for making class leading silent cooling solutions which is not normally what we expect from a small cooler, as they are usually the opposite. The Noctua NH-L9x65 is a step forward in Noctua’s line of small profile coolers and thus it comes into this review with high remarks.
The Scythe Mugen Max is compatible with most modern desktop motherboards coming from both AMD and Intel with the exception of the AM1 platform, which you will most likely not need this cooler for. Included with the Mugen Max is a 140 mm Scythe GlideStream fan that has been adapted to have 120 mm hole spacing. Unfortunately it only comes with one and a second one of that same model can not be easily purchased inside the US, but we have managed to get one for our noise tests.
If you are the type of person that prefers to buy products from experienced companies then you won’t be hard-pressed by the manufacturer of the product in this review. Scythe has been around since 2002, that is thirteen years that sets them as one of the oldest and most experienced companies in the DIY PC market. This week, they have allowed Benchmark Reviews to take a look at some of their latest high performance coolers and today the spotlight falls on the Scythe Ashura, a compact 120 mm cooler which Scythe claims will pass our tests with flying colors.
It is always great to hear about small companies making the headlines in the computer market, but we have seemed to miss a note here. Although Benchmark Reviews has been around long enough to review cooling solutions from most manufacturers in the market, this is the first time we look at a product from Cryorig; a company that has gotten a lot of momentum since it’s first release back in 2013. Today, we take a look at the Cryorig R1 Ultimate, Cryorig’s first attempt of impressing us with a product they claim is an accumulation of years of design and research.
Summer is approaching us, and with temperatures expecting to get hot it means that Benchmark Reviews is evaluating what CPU cooler manufacturers are bringing forward in 2015. In this article, the spotlight will be on the newest SilverStone Cooler, the Tundra TD03-E, the successor of the TD03, and the smaller brother of the TD02-E. As expected from any SilverStone product, expectations are quite high, even if this is merely the first update to SilverStone’s Tundra series, which made it’s debut back in 2013.
SilverStone is at it again, but this time they are looking to mix things up by venturing into unprecedented areas. Lately, it seems that the competition has shaken the sub-$100 case market, and SilverStone is not willing to stand down. Mostly known for their premium cases and their innovative ideas, SilverStone has taken a different approach this time from their top notch designs and instead released the SilverStone Kublai KL05B-Q Mid-Tower case, which Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at today.
If you have ever bought a SilverStone case, you would probably agree that the price can be easily justified by the over-the-top build quality and the unique designs that can only be obtained by buying one of the many cases that SilverStone has available. It has been over a year since SilverStone last released a member of the Kublai series, and when they mentioned to Benchmark Reviews that they were updating this line with the Kublai KL05B-W, we immediately asked for a sample.
Back in 2005, it was almost unthinkable to build a small form factor system due to the existence of a major trade-off between performance and efficiency. Nowadays, the market for small form factor systems has catapulted itself, and has gotten as far as to make companies like Raidmax to adapt and introduce itself to this market. A month ago, Benchmark Reviews took a peak the Raidmax Hyperion, the first Micro-ATX case from a company mostly known for their aggressive looking Mid-Towers. Today, we take a look at the Raidmax Atomic Mini-ITX Case, an even smaller case, with a lot of potential.
It is clear what NVIDIA’s message is to the enthusiast community, they are willing to be competitive. To further confirm this claims, the release price of the GeForce GTX 960 is just $199 for the basic models, a bit more for the feature packed ones like the Asus Strix sample that we will be reviewing today. In comparison to it’s predecessor, the GeForce GTX 960 comes in at around 20% cheaper than it’s predecessor, the GeForce GTX 760.
Like many other popular Micro-ATX cases, Raidmax has opted for a dual chamber design. However, note that this is not as wide as others like the Fractal Design Node 804, but still manages to fit plenty of fans, 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives, and they even added a 5.25″ bay. The case is not exactly eye candy, however many HTPC users will find that the overall design is not flashy, but rather elegant and simple. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Raidmax Hyperion Micro-ATX computer case.
Here at Benchmark Reviews we admire those companies who not only give relentless effort to create the best product designs in terms of efficiency, quality, and functionality, but we also applaud those who try to set themselves apart in what is an already crowded market by bringing forth new ideas and daring to take risks. Surprisingly, this seems to be a trend for Phanteks; the relatively young company that is looking forward to create it’s own market of dual system cases with the release of the Enthoo Mini XL “Super Micro-ATX” Computer Case.
Earlier this year, NVIDIA introduced the Maxwell architecture and a lot of upcoming features that Benchmark Reviews briefly talked about on the review of the GTX 980 by Olin Coles. These features were demonstrated in detail, but were still pending to be released on actual games, that is until Assassin’s Creed Unity was released earlier this year. Thanks to NVIDIA GameWorks, game developers have the ability to use NVIDIA’s sample libraries and SDKs as well as implementing some of the features mentioned that allow for a more realistic game-play experience.
If you attended CES earlier this year you might have encountered Tesoro’s booth which featured many of their upcoming products. The recently established company was trying to bring attention as they have just opened their doors to the USA market, with the objective of bringing their unique gaming designs catered for gamers. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at one of their keyboards, the Tesoro Excalibur.
The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of products is no stranger to gaming peripherals, however recently, ASUS has turned to it’s newer product line, Strix, to release most of it’s gaming oriented products. This made the release of the ASUS ROG Gladius mouse confusing at first, but after realizing that this is ASUS’ premium mouse option it only made sense to put it in ASUS’ most prominent line of products. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the ASUS ROG Gladius Gaming Mouse.
With the release of the H440 earlier this year, NZXT made it clear what their new approach into the already crammed case market will be in it’s upcoming models. Following this trend, Benchmark Reviews will be testing the NZXT S340, a more “stripped” down version of the already great H440, which still features a similar simple design with a minimalistic design, putting functionality and efficiency above all things.
For some odd reason Cooler Master seems to be releasing products everyday, whether it’s a new case or a new peripheral, their product line has been increasing exponentially in the past few years. What is not odd is the fact that many of Cooler Master products Benchmark Reviews has come across end up highly appraised. Today we are looking at one of two pointing devices Cooler Master has released this month. The Cooler Master Mizar serves as a reminder to earlier gaming peripherals, with an ergonomic design and no sharp angles, rather looking like something to rival MIcrosoft’s own line of peripherals, it still brings the more cataloged features to suit modern gamers.
Computer form factors keep getting smaller and smaller, but the market for smaller systems keeps growing everyday mainly due to the availability of components that allow users to build extremely powerful systems in very constrained spaces. Corsair clearly understands this, with the release of the Corsair Obsidian 250D earlier in 2014 it became clear that there was a need for Mini-ITX designs to be implemented in the rest of their lines of products, leading to the release of the Graphite 380T, the case Benchmark Reviews will be taking a look at today.
A few months ago Phanteks released the Enthoo Pro, a case that Benchmark Reviews concluded as being a game changer in the case market. Prior to the Enthoo Pro, Phanteks had already released a case that was praised by many enthusiasts as the most water cooler friendly case released in 2013, the Enthoo Primo.. With the release of the Enthoo Pro, Phanteks had a price gap to fill in it’s Enthoo line-up, leading to the release of the Enthoo Luxe, the case which I will be reviewing today.
If you have ever been to a LAN party there is a pretty high chance you have seen one of the most popular cases from BitFenix, the Prodigy, a huge success among the gaming community due to its innovative design and style. Since then, BitFenix has started to shift it’s attention into different markets as we have seen with the Fury line of power supplies, but this time they have released a new set of cases, including the BitFenix Neos. Since it’s debut back in May, it was announced that the case would offer tremendous value and style, which was definitely showcased in early models of the case, immediately bringing attention from Benchmark Reviews. But in such a crowded market will the Neos manage not to drown in the sea of budget cases?
If you are in the look for a mouse pad or desk mat you have probably heard of XTracPads. Unlike other big companies like Razer and SteelSeries, XTracPads’ focus is directed only to making the best mouse pad gear and accessories. Lately, the twelve year old company has made some changes such as updating their name to XTracGear and updating many of their lines of products. Luckily, they have sent Benchmark Reviews some samples to test. This time we will be testing their biggest product, the Ripper XXL.
XTracGear (formerly XTracPads) is a company dedicated solemnly to manufacture the best mousing surfaces and accessories for gamers and professionals. Since 2002, they have brought along many successful products including their Ripper model, which has been a very strong contender among the big mouse pad market. This year XTracPads decided to refine many things including their name as well as many of their products. They have gladly sent Benchmark Reviews a sample of their new XTracGear Ripper mouse pad which we will evaluate to see if upholds to it’s predecessor.