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QNAP TS-451+

You may not have noticed, but not only have PCs been getting smaller but devices like notebooks, phones, and tablets have been taking over. It doesn’t mean that the PC is going away as some people would like you to think, but it does mean that fewer devices have the capability to hold bulk storage. Sure SSDs are getting bigger and computers have some room, but enthusiasts, geeks, and professionals used to load up their main PCs with hard drives and the PC market is moving away from that. You could go with an external drive but they don’t really have the capacity as well. Because of that, the home NAS market has been picking up and more and more people are realizing that a central storage location is helpful for the whole family. In our case, I moved to NAS storage years ago to cut back on electricity from having servers running in the house. We have had one for my attached office and another with video files but recently those have filled up and I’ve been looking at new options. While doing that I thought it would be a great time to take a look at what QNAP has going on so they sent over their TS-451+. My past NAS have been powered by slower CPUs and over time his has caused slowdowns when running RAID so I’m excited to see how the TS-451+ performs with its Intel quad core.  So let’s dive in.

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Rosewill Cullinan Gaming Case

Over the past 5 years or so I have seen the case market slowly move its focus from the flashy designs that most people associate with gaming to a cleaner theme. With that we have also seen a few companies, namely, In Win, introduce custom designs that have incorporated glass into their designs. In fact, I personally have three different builds that utilize glass. So when Rosewill contacted me about their new Cullinan case that utilizes glass and has a simple/elegant design I jumped right on board, completely ignoring the fact that it was launching right in the middle of our LAN, Alex’s and I’s vacation, and basically the craziest time for me. Because of that, I’m a little late to the party taking a look at the case, but I’m still excited to see what direction Rosewill is moving in their cases.

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Tesoro Gram Spectrum

With us being a few years into the whole RGB movement with mechanical keyboards, we are still seeing some companies finally moving their keyboards over to RGB and others have been refining their original designs. At this point, I have tested and covered just about everything and I think almost every day I’m turning down companies who want to send more and more of the same. I nearly did the same with the Gram Spectrum from Tesoro but the fact it was available in an all white design caught my eye. With everyone else only selling them in black, it is nice to see something a little different. On top of that, the Gram Spectrum also has Tesoro’s new switch called the Tesoro Agile with a short throw and short actuation point. So today I’m going to check out the Gram Spectrum and see what it is all about in all of its pale glory and find out how the new switches compare to the rest of the market.

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RX 480 Crossfire

A few weeks ago before going on vacation I took a look at the Sapphire RX 480 8GB Nitro and was impressed with its performance. Well as these things normally go, with that being the second RX 480 to come into the office, I did spend some time with both the Sapphire and our original reference RX 480 on the test bench to test out Crossfire performance. Sadly, I hadn’t had a chance to take a look at the numbers until today, though. So today let’s see how the RX 480’s perform in Crossfire for those wondering if picking up a second RX 480 in the future will be worth in.

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MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8GB

After having the chance to test the RX 460, RX 470, and RX 480 we now have a much better idea of how the current AMD lineup stands. There were a few special cases that I was curious about, though. Specifically the 4GB RX 480 and the 8GB RX 470. I was able to test the 4GB RX 480 by flashing our reference cards firmware but for the RX 470, MSI was nice enough to send a card for me to check out. I haven’t had a chance to see any of MSI’s current AMD lineup so the card also gave me a chance to see what they have going as well. So today I’m going to run the RX 470 Gaming X 8GB through all of our tests, dive into its features, and find out how it compares to the rest of the AMD lineup.

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Monster Fatal1ty FxM 200 Headset

Not everyone who plays games is into e-sports, but there is a large following for e-sports in general, especially a few of the most popular games. Payouts are in the millions of dollars and players are starting to become household names. None of today's players though have found the universal success that Fata1ty has. Fatal1ty paved the way for today's players, won twelve world championship titles, was profiled on MTV’s True Life TV show, and he created his own brand of products. Thorin did a great video covering it all earlier this year. Johnathan Wendel managed to transition huge success across multiple games into a brand. Over the years we have seen a wide variety of products including motherboards, ram, PSUs, and headsets. I actually think a lot of today's gamer crowd may even know him more as that brand than anything else. The reason for the history lesson today is because this past CES Fatal1ty and Monster announced a partnership to bring out new headsets and for a while now I’ve actually had the new Fatal1ty FxM 200 here in the office to test out. So today I’m going to take a closer look at it and see how it performed.

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Motorola Moto Z Force Droid

Not too long ago the idea of a premium phone was really just a big screen, a fast CPU, and maybe a decent camera. Over the past few years, the premium phone market has really grown and with that we have seen a wide variety of different features help set these phones apart. With the new Moto Z line of phones, they have a few different phone options including the Force model that I’m going to check out today. Features like high battery life, a shatterproof screen, and a fingerprint reader will be useful to everyone, but it’s the Moto Mods that I think everyone will remember the Moto Z Force for. The phone has a back panel that lets you swap out different back plates and a few premium features like an additional battery, a speaker, or even a projector. Verizon sent along the Moto-Mods speaker along with the phone for my testing so I do get to get a feel for the hot swappable features.

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Sapphire RX480 8GB Nitro+

Well for a while there it seemed like all I was covering were cards from all of AMDs launches. I took a break and took a look at a few GTX 1060’s and a few other things around that office. But I’m now back at it again. Today I get to take a look at our first aftermarket RX480 and it’s an exciting one, the RX480 8GB Nitro+ from Sapphire. This is one of the cards that people have been especially excited for. Given how well the Nitro RX470 performed in my previous review I don’t blame them for being excited. So today I’m going to check out the card and see what it has going, then run it through our benchmark suite and see how it performs. While I’m at it I’m also going to take a look at the recently introduced revision to the Trixx software that adds proper lighting controls for the card. Let’s go!

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Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB

Well, it wasn’t that long ago that Toshiba picked up OCZ and brought the OCZ brand into their lineup as their enthusiast oriented brand. So it may take a little while to adjust to the new Toshiba branding sitting next to the OCZ, but for those concerned with any OCZ issues in the past, having Toshiba backing the brand now should be reassuring. On top of the new branding, Toshiba has also introduced their first M.2 PCIe drive with the RD400. The RD stands for the previous Revo Drive branding from OCZ and this drive was originally shown off as a Revo Drive. The drive has a native PCIe controller and is an NVMe drive so we can expect performance to be significantly better than any of the SATA based drives. Today I’m going to check out the drive and then run it through our testing to see just how it performs.

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Silverstone SX700-LPT

So over the past few years and especially in the past few months I’ve had the chance to take a look at a variety of SFX form factor power supplies from a few different manufacturers. So far all of them have fit the standard SFX form factor, but recently Silverstone introduced a few power supplies that are SFX-L. The SFX-L form factor is the same size as other SFX power supplies in most dimensions, but they are slightly longer. This extra length squares off the SFX form factor and allows for a much larger fan to fit inside. The extra space and cooling also allowed Silverstone to up the power a little up to 700 watts. This is exciting because it finally allows for proper SLI and Crossfire setups in the SFX form factor. So today I’m going to take a look at the SX700-LPT and see what is different than Silverstone’s other SFX power supplies.

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