A few years ago, we used to see the fatal1ty headsets all over the place at events. They were without a doubt the best low budget gaming headset on the market. They performed well and took a beating without falling apart. Even now, it is still one of the highest rated headsets on Newegg.  Here we are seven years later and Creative is introducing the SB Inferno, the spiritual successor to the Fatal1ty Gaming Headset. It’s amazing how much has changed in seven years, I can’t wait to see how the SB Inferno compares to today’s latest and greatest in gaming audio.

OCZ like most other manufactures can’t just focus on just top of the line or budget products. Its important to cover a wide range of products to make sure you have something to meet all of your customers price and performance expectations. A good example of this was the Vector 150. They obviously also have the Vertex 450 that I reviewed previously. OCZ took the design that the Vertex 450 and original Vector both shared, kept the Barefoot 3 controller, and swapped out the NAND from 25nm IMFT MLC NAND to Toshiba's 19nm MLC NAND. In other words the Vector 150 replaced the original Vector. OCZs Vector drives are their enthusiast focused drives while the Vertex drives are their top of the line mainstream drives. Let’s dig in and see what sets them apart.

Smaller, Cooler, more efficient, those are three things that I have been working on with both our LAN equipment and in my own office for a few years now. For years the enthusiast in me would get excited about adding a new server, more storage capacity, and new toys to play with. At some point you look back and realize that as much fun as the toys are, you could really get the same job done with one device when you were using two or three before. Not only are you wasting space, but you are also using substantially more electricity each month/year to power it all. On top of all of that when its summer time, you have all of this hardware putting out more and more heat, fighting against your air conditioning, or even worse its already hot and you are making it even hotter. Late last year I took at look at the hardware we use here in the LanOC office and decided to work on combining as much as I could. Today I’m going to tell you about that experience.

It is easy to get carried away with size and bulk in the air cooler market. Many tower coolers have moved on to incorporate 140mm fans into their designs and push the limits on available board real estate around the CPU socket. Still there is a market for value market air-cooling that doesn’t take up space and still gives you competitive performance for your dollar. Recently we took a look at the NH-U12S and today we are back with a smaller cooler offering by Evercool. This four heat pipe 120mm air cooler promises to offer you a cooler processor without the need to hand over your wallet. Join me as we take a look at the Venti and see if this budget cooler is worth your time and money.

Although PC maintenance is always important, especially with the higher end PCs that we run to play today’s games, it is especially important come summer time. Not only are we in the middle of the LAN season but also most importantly with temperatures getting warmer outside the possibility of you overheating your PC becomes more likely. Because of that, I wanted to post up a reminder to everyone to take a little time and do a little PC maintenance. To go with that I decided to put together a small write-up on a few things you should work on when doing your maintenance.

Although my wife would most likely argue against this, we as gamers don’t always spend all of our time at our PCs. The market for console gaming is huge and DXRacer recognized that and has jumped into the market with chair designed specifically for it. Their new TV Lounge Chair shares a few features with their office chairs but the overall design is drastically different and focused specifically on living room gaming. I took the opportunity to bust out the PlayStation again and put in a little game time in the living room.

Just as soon as I thought all of the video card introductions from the Nvidia 700 series cards were over Asus tossed out another one. This time it was something a little special, the Striker. The Striker is a GTX 760 but they went a little above and beyond from their standard cards. This is actually a little bit of an unusual launch, typically special cards are limited to the highest end GPUs (like this Mars and Poseidon models), but they did something special with that GPU that more people can afford. Now lets dig in and see how the Striker holds up against the competition. 

When I picked up a new laptop this year, I had a strict set of requirements for a new laptop bag. I wanted something that matched the portability of my new Yoga 2 Pro, something that was different from the standard run of the mill bags, and something that fit the laptop perfectly. Surprisingly trying to find a laptop bag that fit an ultrabook was a lot harder than I thought, most manufactures ignore the laptop thickness and just size by the screen size. I did run across a company called WaterField that makes a wide variety of bags, including bags to fit my laptop. Today I’m going to take a look at their VertiGo Travel Bag and a Sleevecase to keep my Yoga 2 Pro nice and safe.

With all of the Sapphire cards that launched this year the one model that I didn’t get a chance to check out was their Vapor-X cards. They share a lot of the styling of their other cards but Sapphire changed up the cooling design with a vapor chamber sitting between the heatsink and the GPU and PCB to spread out the heat for better cooling. I had to see how it compares to the standard Tri-X cooling as well as the competition, so I got in touch with Sapphire and put their Vapor-X 290 to the test.

When it comes to CPUs there are only a few options available when you are looking for the fastest performance. Up until now you could go with a Haswell CPU or if you wanted more cores The Ivy Bridge-E CPUs. AMDs has done well on the integrated GPU side of things but for pure CPU power Intel has been the only way to go. Recently Intel announced their latest refresh with their Devil’s Canyon CPUs. Today I finally have the chance to put the i7-4790k to the test and see what kind of improvement it is over the i7-4770k.  

 

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