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Biostar TPower X79

titleI entered the world of computer gaming with a well-justified custom laptop my freshman year of college. The urge to build my own PC inevitably began to grow as I traveled to LAN parties and saw the creation of others. My first board was a hand-me-down Biostar with a lot of life yet to give. Five years later, it’s fitting that my first build with Sandy Bridge-E is from that company‘s first socket 2011 board, the TPower X79. The TPower X79 is one of Biostars first attempts to branch out beyond the budget boards they are known for. I am excited to see what direction they will do and how it will perform. 

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Intel DZ77GA-70K & Panther Point Chipset Preview

titleIntel has officially announced their newest chipset for socket 1155, the Z77. With H61, H67, P67, and Z68 chipsets still on the market, it may seem bewildering that Intel would introduce yet another beast to the field. In addition, Z77 is one of six new chipsets introduced in Intel's new 7 series chipset, Panther Point. What does the Panther have to offer that its predecessors did not? Though Intel may have just announced Z77, we've had our hands on sample boards for the past several weeks, putting them to the LanOC test, and we can finally share what we've found. We'll start with Intel's own Z77 board, the DZ77GA-70K as well as coverage of the Panther Point chipsets.

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Kingston Wi-Drive

headerI remember, early last year, thinking to myself; "Self, it would be totally awesome if they made an external hard drive that was battery operated and could connect to a WiFi network. No more USB cables!" Well, that time has arrived with several new products that have recently hit the market. Today, I would like to take a look at the Kingston Wi-Drive 16GB unit and see how it works, and more importantly, is it worth the money.

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Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM

titleWhen Sandy Bridge E launched we went from everyone running the fairly cool Sandy Bridge processors to people actually having to worry a little more about what they select. This was made even more important because Intel didn’t include a stock cooler this time around, opting to sell their own water cooling kit for those looking to cool their 3960X’s. Soon after Cooler Master approached me about putting their Hyper 612 PWM, a heatsink that runs half the price of the Intel water cooling, up against the Intel Water Cooling. You want me to put your cooler up against something twice its price? SURE!  Let’s dig in and take a look at the Hyper 612 PWM and its performance.

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Thrustmaster T500RS

Image 1_2Today we are going to look at the Thrustmaster T500RS. This is one of the highest quality racing wheel/pedal setups on the market. Thrustmaster is known for building some of the most complex peripherals in the industry. From the wheels, joysticks to the insane flight controls for the A-10C Warthog game there is something for every gamer. With its build construction, paddle shifter, button layout and pedal arrangement all being tested out using some of the most demanding driving games, see if it’s up to par with what you expect. 

 

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Nvidia GTX 680 Kepler

titleYou have all seen and heard the rumors for months now about Nvidia’s upcoming GPU code named Kepler. When we got the call that Nvidia was inviting editors out to San Francisco to show us what they have been working on we jumped at the chance to finally put the rumors to rest and see what they really had up their sleeve. Today we can finally tell you all the gory details and dig into the performance of Nvidia’s latest flagship video card. Will it be the fastest single GPU card in the world? We finally find out!

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XFX R7850 Black Edition OC

titleYesterday we took a look at the XFX R7870 Black Edition OC and really liked it. It seemed to fall into a nice sweet spot between price and performance. Today we are going to take a look at what looks to be the same card but bring the R7850 not the R7870, there are a few key differences. There are major differences in both power usage and compute performance between the two cards. I am really curious how this will translate to the performance and ultimately the price/performance that make the R7870 an idea card to pick up.  Will the R7850 be an even better deal or a card to pass on?

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XFX R7870 Black Edition OC

titleAMD’s 7970 launch was very exciting but when it came to the lower priced HD 7700 series cards the reception was lackluster, mostly because of pricing issues. We still haven’t found the card that falls right into the sweet spot for performance vs. value while still being able to play anything you throw at it. These cards are rare, like the 8800 GTS G92 edition or the HD 6950 with the ability to reflash to unlock more performance. With the HD 7900 series cards being pricy and HD 7700’s series cards not having the power behind them. I am really hopping the HD 7800 series cards step up to the plate. Today we finally have the chance to take a look at an HD 7800 series card, the XFX R7870 Black Edition Overclocked. With XFX’s amazing cooler and overclock I’m hoping this will be the one.

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Choiix Wave Stand

stand frontTablets are all the rage these days. If you don’t have one, someone you know certainly does. At my house we didn’t until I recently purchased an iPad 2 for my wife. Now a lot of the cases we see fold back and will help prop the screen up slightly, but really that just works for a landscape view. A dedicated stand would be a bit more flexible here. Cooler Master has a product meant to address that issue. Enter the Cooler Master Wave Stand.

 

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Gigabyte Assassin 2

titleIt seems almost like it was yesterday when I took a close look at Gigabytes Assassin, flagship motherboard on the X58 chipset. Here we are less than a year later with a new chipset and socket available. That means it’s time once again to take a look at Gigabyte’s flagship gaming motherboard, the Assassin 2 X79. With a lower price point, smaller form factor, and all of the features of the original we loved the Assassin 2 should be a great board. Of course we won’t know that for sure until we dig in a little farther, so let’s jump in!

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