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V-Moda Crossfade Wireless

Hi, my name is Wes and I’m addicted to wireless headsets.. I hate to admit it, because I have just about any wired headset I could want in the warehouse, but on my main PC I prefer to use a wireless headset. Over the years I can’t even count the different ways that I have gotten tangled up in a headphone wire or damaged the wire with my chair so years ago I started using wireless headsets. I started with the Corsair Vengeance 1500’s then I went to the Logitech G930’s, and for the past three years I’ve had the SteelSeries H Wireless. I’ve run into multiple issues with reception issues, especially at LAN parties, battery issues, and at one point the Corsairs even just came apart in my hands. The H Wireless held up better and gave me fewer issues because of its swappable battery setup but the audio performance and comfort were never really as good as anything wired. But it's 2016, going on 2017 and I’m feeling saucy. I decided to check out the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless. I’ve got the wired version that I take with me to LAN events and love them, so I thought they might finally be the solution to the audio and comfort issues while being wireless so I’ve been giving them a try.

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Realforce RGB

Over the past few years the market for mechanical keyboards with RGB backlighting has gone crazy. The problem though is all of those RGB keyboards have had Cherry switches, knock off cherry switches, or a few custom switches designed by companies like Logitech and SteelSeries. One of my favorite mechanical switch types is Topre, but with the exception of a few knockoffs you haven’t been able to get Topre keyboards with any backlighting, let alone full RGB backlighting. So when Realforce introduced their upcoming keyboard, the Realforce RGB I had to check it out. Of all of the keyboards I have my Realforce 87u is one of my favorites to type on, but the lack of backlighting or even easy to read legends in the light forced me to keep it put up. So it will be exciting to see how Realforce’s new keyboard performs to see how it compares.

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Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G RGB 850 W Titanium

It’s starting to become a meme at this point, but in the PC market almost everything now is available with RGB lighting. This is partially due to companies finally locking down the control they wanted for crazy lighting effects and also because it finally lets everyone bring out just one product that will work with any theme. No other company has taken this as far as Thermaltake as they have RGB lighting with their water cooling and RGB power supplies. As someone who prefers to make sure everything in my build matches I’m all for RGB and with that I wanted to take a look at Thermaltake’s Toughpower DPS G RGB to use in a build, specifically their 850-watt model with the crazy 80 Plus rating of Titanium!

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SteelSeries Arctis 5

In the eight and a half years that I have been doing reviews here at LanOC, I’ve had the opportunity to work with SteelSeries on every one of their headset launches. But in that time none of the new headsets have been a completely new design. They have revamped the H and Siberia lines multiple times and even had a few variations that were close to an all new design like the Siberia Elite. But recently they actually introduced a completely new headset product line called the Arctis. Like their H series they have a couple of variations but for the launch they sent over the Arctis 5 and I’ve been testing it out and I finally have a little time to sit down and talk about it. So let's dive into the new features then see how they perform.

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Corsair HX850i

When it comes to building a new PC most of your focus is going to be on things like your video card, your CPU, SSDs, and maybe your case. That is because those are the components that affect the performance of your PC and with your case, it is the most visible component. So I completely understand why your power supply isn’t at the top of your list. You do have to remember though that a poor quality power supply can take out all of those other expensive components in an instant. I recently started looking at components for a new build for my main rig to replace the monster Fridge build. For the power supply, I wanted to go with a lower wattage because I had only planned on having two video cards, but I wanted to stick with Corsair and I needed fully modular to change out the cables later. So the Corsair HX850i came to mind. With its Platinum 80 Plus certification and a few cool features. The build it is going in is coming along, so today I’m going to take a look at the HX850i and see what it is all about.

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iPhone 7

So over the past few years I have reviewed 23 different mobile devices and on top of that I have tested and used at least another 23. In that time I have used every variation of Android available, Windows phones, multiple Blackberrys, and even a few Palm devices before they went away. What has been missing though has been a proper test of an iOS device. I’ve toyed with iPads and iPhone and even owned a few different iPods but its never been enough to really get a feel for it. Part of that is because I’ve never bought an iPhone for myself but it also comes down to review sampling for iPhone never being available through the channels we have worked through. Well with the launch of the iPhone 7 that changed, Verizon had a phone for me to check out and I have been using the iPhone7 for about a month and a half. In that time I have put aside any bias and learned how iOS works and tested the new iPhone 7 to see what it is all about. I’m certainly not the first person to cover the phone, but come with me to check out a first time iPhone users experience.

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Azio MK Retro

There are so many different reasons why people upgrade to mechanical keyboards. For some people, it is about durability. But for a lot of people, there is a bit of nostalgia involved. Some of us grew up with clicky buckling spring keyboards and just want a little of that back. With that in mind, Azio has introduced a new keyboard that is all about going old school, even beyond those buckling spring keyboards, back to typewriters. They aren’t the first company to do it, Datamancer a company we have worked with in the past had a few typewriter style keyboards and even sold keycaps. But Azio has actually taken the next step and gone into mass production and dropped the costs considerably. So today I’m going to take a look at their MK Retro and see if it is actually a usable keyboard, or if it is just going to be a novelty.

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Gigabyte RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB

After checking out an aftermarket RX 480, the reference RX 480, and both together in Crossfire you might think we were done. But Gigabyte was a little late to the party with their sampling and their RX 480 G1 Gaming with 8GB of vRAM came in while I was on vacation. Add in the RX 460 and GTX 1050 launches and I’m just now getting around to take a look at the card. So today I’m going to take a look at the card and see what it is all about. Then I’m going to run it through our test suite including the recently added Deus Ex tests and see how it compares to the rest of the RX 480 options. This also gives me a good chance to revisit the RX 480 and see if its location in the market has changed at all with the price changes. So get into everything and see what Gigabyte has going on.

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MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G

So earlier this week I took a look at both the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. Both of our samples were from Nvidia and MSI but around the same time I also ended up with a second MSI GTX 1050 Ti, the Gaming X model. It didn’t seem right to just slip the numbers into the other coverage so today I’m going to take a look at the card. It is longer than the other MSI cards and it has a full sized dual fan cooler. They also slipped a 6-pin power connection on it as well so today I’m going to run it through all of our normal tests and see how well it performs.

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MSI GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti

So we may be past most of the exciting launches that sit at the top of the price range but both Nvidia and AMD have been slowly releasing all of their price point cards. Most recently AMD launched the RX 460. At that spot in the market, Nvidia hadn’t responded until today. Today they are announcing the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. Well really most of you saw all of the PR launch last week, but today is the official end of the NDAs. That means I can finally dive into the cards and see what Nvidia has going on. While I’m doing that I’m going to add a new game into our benchmark suite and retest the RX 460 to see how they compare. Then we can find out what cards will be the best performers for those of you who don’t have PCI power connections or for those looking to keep the budget way down on their latest build. To keep things really easy, Nvidia sent over MSI cards for both the 1050 and the 1050 Ti so they should be perfect for comparing the two.

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