OCZ Vector 180 480GB

Over the last few months I have had the chance to check out a whole list of different SSD’s from a wide range of manufactures. For the most part all of them are sporting the new Phison S10 controller. While those drives have been fast I couldn’t help but notice that the OCZ drives that I tested well over a year ago were right up there holding their own. That got me wondering what the new PCZ drive is capable so I asked to check out the new Vector 180. Today I’m going to dig into it and see what they have going on and then run it through our benchmark suite to see how it performs to find out how it compares to everyone else’s new flagship drives.

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Nvidia GTX 980 Ti

You might be wondering what I’m doing posting on a Sunday night but with Computex starting in Taiwan there are a ton of things getting announced or about to get announced. You see a lot of people think that CES is the big event each year for PC hardware but CES is really for consumer electronics where Computex has more of a focus on PC hardware. So with that Nvidia has stepped up and is introducing their GTX 980 Ti. While the launch is exciting, it is a little surprising to see them launch now, before AMD launches their 300 Series cards. Typically companies leave an ace in the hole so Nvidia must be really confident that AMD doesn’t have what it takes to outperform the GTX 980 Ti. While we won’t know that until AMD launches their cards, what we can do today is run the GTX 980 Ti through our benchmark suite and see just how it compares to what is available today.

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Thermaltake Poseidon Z Forged

One of the more up and coming company’s in the gaming keyboard market for me has been Thermaltake. They have introduced a wide variety of keyboards over the past few years including their Poseidon line. We have seen well priced keyboards from the Poseidon lineup that have also included backlighting and a clean look. For a lot of gamers this is the only way to get that clean styling and backlighting without completely breaking the bank. Today I have the chance to take a look at their newest Poseidon keyboard, the Poseidon Z Forged. The Z is how TT distinguished their non-Cherry keyswitch models but now they only make the Z. The Forged in the name however is completely new, this is because this specific model has a metal plate across the top, giving the keyboard a more solid construction and adding to the styling. So let’s dig in and see what it’s all about!

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GTX 980 SLI Testing

After taking a look at the Titan X last week it really got me thinking. Currently you can pick up two GTX 980s for the price of one Titan X. That leaves me wondering how well two GTX 980s would perform in SLI compared to the Titan X. Well it just so happens I had two GTX 980’s in use in the office so I put them to the test. Today I’m going to take a quick look at their performance and see if they are a better buy than a single Titan X.

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2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ AWD

It’s funny I spend so much time in the office playing with hardware and tech and gaming throughout the year that completely miss out on some of the cool tech that requires me to get outside a little. When we plan out trips I sometimes take that chance to bring things along with me that require a little more time out of the office. Well for the second year in a row my wife and I decided to make the trip down to Florida to visit family. Along the way we spent a few days at the Mid-Season Invitational League of Legends games, snuck off to Disney World, and spent a few days on the beach in Daytona. Well I decided this would be a great time to check out something completely different.  As an old school car guy and a tech nut I keep my ear to the ground when I can and I have seen GM pushing their OnStar with 4G LTE. I thought it would be interesting to see just what they have going on the tech side of things. I reached out to GM and they were surprisingly happy to drop of a 2015 Chevy Trax with all of the bells and whistles. We took the Trax down with us giving us a great chance to check out what they have going on.

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Nvidia Titan X

Sometimes you can’t explain it but you need the biggest and best. When it comes to video cards from Nvidia the GTX 980 is a beast, hell I have GTX 980’s in both my main PC and my LAN rig, but with 4 giga of ram I don’t think you can really consider it to be the end all be all video card. This is where Nvidia comes in with their Titan cards. In the past they have had the original Titan as well as the Titan Z with its dual GPUs and the Titan Black. Well the latest Titan is the Titan X. Nvidia launched it this past March and we were a little slow to get one in but today I finally have one to run through our benchmark suite. Let’s find out if it really is godlike like the name implies.

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Kingston HyperX FURY Pro Gaming Mouse Pad

I’m not sure if everyone else has been watching, but Kingston has been slowly expanding their product lines a little. They are obviously known for their memory and later their SSDs and flash drives. But they have also been dabbling in headsets with their HyperX brand. They started out by partnering with other manufactures but recently they have introduced their own headsets and they have been very popular from what I have seen. Well around that time they also quietly introduced a line of mouse pads. I guess they figure that a HyperX fan might be interested in keeping the HyperX trend going with a mouse pad. So today I’m going to take a quick look at the HyperX FURY Pro Gaming Mouse Pad and see what they have going on.

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Patriot Ignite M2 480 GB

So a lot of people might not know it but the new M.2 SSDs are actually very versatile. You can run them as a direct PCIe drive with a x2 or x4 connection or you can even run a standard SATA drive on M.2. It wasn’t long ago that I took a look at the Patriot Ignite SSD, well it just so happens Patriot send over another Ignite SSD. This time they sent over their brand new Ignite M2. The Ignite M2 is a SATA based M.2 drive. In other words with this being a SATA drive we still work under the limitations of the SATA interface but with that we keep costs down. Where this comes in handy is in builds where not having to run a 2.5 inch drive is best. So we know this is up my alley, not having to pack in a 2.5 inch drive would save a lot of trouble in some of our LANrigs! So let’s see what the Ignite M2 is all about and then run it through our standard benchmark suite.

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Asus ROG GR8

I sometimes feel a little like a broken record when talking about LANRigs. While we have been doing them for years here at LanOC, over the past few years the small form factor builds have really come into their own. The introduction of parts has helped a lot and frankly I think a lot of people are starting to see that you can get amazing performance out of a small PC if it is built right. This makes taking your PC to LANs much easier and even for those of you who don’t do that, they take up a lot less space in your office. Well when Asus recently introduced a new all in one PC called the ROG GR8 I was a little surprised. They were promising a PC that is a fraction of the size of a normal SFF gaming rig but you could get it with an i7 and a dedicated video card. I had to check it out. Over the past few months we have been lucky enough to pack it up and use it at multiple LANs, today I’m going to talk a little about the GR8 and our experience with it. While we are doing that I’m going to try to keep our only GR8 (Great) reference to right here in the introduction.

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HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe G2 x4 480GB

Last week I took a look at Kingston’s latest HyperX SATA SSD the Savage. Now today I have the chance to look at their flagship SSD the Predator. The Predator is an M.2 x4 drive that is available with and without a PCI Express card to M.2 adapter. For our testing today I will be using it with the adapter to see what everyone can expect for performance, but if your PC supports a x4 M.2 slot you can save yourself a lot of space and keep a PCIe slot open by running the drive through it. M.2 is the replacement for mSATA. Running the drive over M.2 gives a direct connection to the CPU and when run in a x4 configuration it gives us up to 20GB/s bandwidth. In other words for the first time in a long time we aren’t limited by the SATA connection. With that I’m extremely excited to see what the Predator is capable of!

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