Cougar 700K

Recently I had the chance to check out the 700M from Cougar. I went in with a little hesitation but I was pleasantly surprised. The mouse was good but on top of that I was really blown away that a relatively new manufacture had this good of software. This told me that Cougar was investing a lot into their move into the peripheral market, good software is hard to find and very expensive to develop. So today I’m sitting here with the 700M’s partner in crime, the 700K mechanical keyboard. Is the 700K going to be as impressive as the 700M was? Well there is only one way to find out.

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In Win iEAR Headphone Hanger

I don’t know about everyone else but finding the best place to put my headset when I’m not using it can be a challenge. Over the past few years there have been a few options popping up. We have seen cases have headset hangers built into the side, desktop hangers from Thermaltake and Silverstone, and even some of the people who come out to our LANs use banana stands to hold their headset. Well In Win has also been on the hunt for a solution. I’ve seen their glass table top headset stand as a prize at a few of the LANs we make it out too. They recently introduced a new option as well, their iEar Headphone Hanger. This is a simple product that allows you to hand your headset on any flat surface like your PC, the wall, or even the side of your desk.

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Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G 750W

When I was putting together the last few parts for our In Win D-Frame Mini build I knew I wanted to stick with a black and red theme and get a power supply that matched the performance of the rest of the build. Going with a Thermaltake Power Supply really was the only option to get both. So they were kind enough to send over their Toughpower DPS G 750 Watt power supply. While it fit everything I needed, it also peaked my curiosity. I mean, this is a power supply that comes with software. So today, beyond taking a look at the power supply itself, I will also be taking a closer look at the included software to see what it is all about and find out If it is something you really need or if it is marketing fluff.

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Gigabyte R9 280

I think one of the most interesting things about video cards is that the performance you see from the cards is always changing. The cards are staying the same obviously, but after a launch we will see numerous driver updates, some of those include updates that improve and optimize in game performance both across the board and sometimes just with specific games. AMD recently introduced their Omega driver that included speed improvements and a LONG list of usability fixes. Well today I just happened to have an R9 280 from Gigabyte on hand. I’m going to see what sets their card apart from the competition and we will also have the chance to see how the new drivers perform as well. Along with that I am introducing a few new benchmarks into our 2015 benchmark suite, enjoy!

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AMD FX-8320E

This past September AMD introduced a refresh of their FX CPUs that included a few new more power efficient CPUs along with a major pricing restructure to update the lineup. While I had the chance to test out most of the lineup there were a few that weren’t included. Recently AMD sent over one of the CPUs that I missed the FX-8320E. With the FX-8320E being a budget focused gaming CPU AMD also sent along with it a motherboard that matched its low price point and gaming focus, the 970 Gaming from MSI. Paired together you can get them for just a few dollars more than an i5-4670K with no motherboard or any of the 2011 socket CPUs. With 8 cores and a turbo clock speed of 4 GHz it should still be performer, but of course there really is only one way to find out, let’s check it out.

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Noctua NH-D15

While water cooling has been especially popular over the last few years, there are still a lot of people who would prefer to not deal with the additional risks and installation complication. On top of that, when you are looking for really high end cooling it actually costs a lot more than you think to go water cooling. This is where companies like Noctua come in. You see cheap water cooling doesn’t always compete with air cooling, especially when it comes to noise. So Noctua continues to innovate in the air cooling market. Their top dog is called the NH-D15. Well they sent one out a while back and being the slackers that we are it ended up pushed back. Today I will finally have the chance to check out their biggest and best to see just how it compares to the completion both on the air and water cooling sides.

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A look back at 2014's top picks

So it’s 2015, we made it. 2014 was a little crazy at times but a few interesting things happened right? Well here at LanOC every year I like to take a quick look back at the past year and revisit all of the products that I slapped the Editors Choice badge on. It’s not something that I take lightly. I only put the badge on products that stand out and are something that I would like to put to use in my own office. You see, over the past year we have published exactly 100 reviews, there just isn’t any way for all of that to make it into my office. Of those 100 reviews this year, 12 of them ended up with this distinction. So let’s kick back for our new years and take another look at each of them, along with that I will update you guys a little on how things worked out after the reviews and if the product is still that spectacular months later.

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DXRacer K Series Office Chair

You might know the saying “for every butt there is a seat” well I get the feeling DXRacer recognizes this with their wide selection of seating options. I have taken a look at a few of their chairs in the past and after visiting their US office I can say for sure that they have a wide selection of seats. They have seven different chair series as well as a ton of colors in each series. When it was time to upgrade my wife’s office chair I decided to go with DXRacer’s latest line, the K Series.  The high weight capacity wasn’t needed for her but the large size is great for when she sits in her chair Indian style. On top of that, the high weight capacity means when we have people over for small LANs we won’t have to worry about big buys like me breaking the chair.

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Asus Crossblade Ranger

So last week I took a look at Asus’s AM3+ board, today I have the chance to take a look at a more recent AMD based ROG board called the Crossblade Ranger. Asus launched the Crossblade Ranger not to long ago and as you can tell from the lack of any numbers in the name this is their first Republic of Gamers FM2+ board. Why did they take so long to bring one out? Frankly the FM2+ platform was always designed to be more of a mainstream platform but that didn’t stop some people from using them for gaming. Asus noticed there was interest in a gaming focused board and here we are. Today I’m going to dive into the Crossblade Ranger and see what kind of features Asus packed in then after that I will get it on the testbench and make sure it performs like it should as well.

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Silverstone SFX Series 600W SST-SX600-G

Over the past few years we have really seen the Small Form Factor market grow, especially when it comes to small easy to transport gaming PCs, or what we call LAN Rigs. Early in 2013 I upgraded our Lunchbox 2 by upgrading the cooling and opening up room for airflow with a new SFX power supply from Silverstone. Later when I built Lunchbox 3 I used the same model of power supply. Why didn’t I change it up? Well not only did the first 450 watt SFX power supply perform reliably for me, but also frankly there just wasn’t any other competition. Silverstone had the highest wattage in the form factor not to mention the only SFX power supply with modular cabling. Well today we have the chance to check out the new top dog in SFX power supplies, Silverstone’s 600W SST-SX600-G.

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