Rosewill RGB80

With RGB mechanical keyboards being the latest bandwagon that most manufactures are jumping on I have been keeping an eye out for RGB keyboards that are a little different. One that stood out to me was the RGB80 from Rosewill. Rosewill’s history in the mechanical keyboard market is actually better than you might think. They have had good boards are great prices. The RGB80 is of course an RGB keyboard but unlike the others it is only available in a TKL (TenKeyLess) version. The LAN attendee in me is reminded each time I see or use a TKL keyboard that they help same room at and when packing for LANs. Will the RGB80 be the next big LAN keyboard? Let’s find out.

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Fractal Design Node 804

With the small form factor market growing we are finally starting to see a nice variety of case designs available for people who are looking to build Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX PCs. Fractal has been producing a variety of cases for that market basically from their inception. When they introduced their Node 804 I was extremely excited about it. Not only did they keep things fairly small, but they also went with a split design that I am a huge fan of working with on cases. What I mean by a split design is that the power supply and some of the components fit behind the motherboard tray leaving the motherboard side of the case clean. Add to that Fractals typical clean styling and we have the makings of a great case. Well today we have the chance to dig in and check the Node 804 out and find out if it is as great as it looks.

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Asus Maximus VII Impact

When it comes to Mini-ITX motherboards people are going to have a wide range of feature requirements. For some, as long as it supports their CPU and it has a x16 PCIe slot they are good to go. Others want to have a lot of the features they would find in their full sized builds including wireless AC, different storage connection options, and even upgraded audio. Personally I have been on both sides. When I’m building a budget Mini-ITX build I can skip out on the features but when I’m building a crazy LAN rig like the build we put in the In Win D-Frame Mini only the best will do. Asus continues to impress me with their drive to pack anything and everything into their Impact boards. Well today I’m going to take a look at the latest one, the Maximus VII Impact. This is officially the second Impact board, based on the Z97 chipset. Is this the perfect LAN rig motherboard? Let’s find out.

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Biostar A68N-5000

If you are anything like me then you most likely aren’t just limited to having a PC or two in your office, you most likely are using an HTPC or something similar at one or more televisions in your house. You could just pick up one of the many options available on the market right now, or you could put together something yourself. I’ve done this a few times in the past but over the past few years the prices for capable components have come down and let’s be honest, the performance requirements aren’t really going anywhere until 4k becomes a little cheaper. So today I’m going to take a look at a nice budget motherboard with a built in quad core AMD Fusion APU from Biostar. I don’t expect the A68N-5000 to be a hardcore gaming board, I’m really just curious how well it will handle simple tasks that an HTPC or small home server would require.

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MSI X99S MPower

When shopping for a new motherboard I’ve found that a lot of people tend to lean toward what you have had good experiences with in the past. For me I have a short list of companies that I tend to prefer in my personal rigs and MSI is on that list. When I covered the X99 launch I didn’t have the chance to check out their X99 offerings but today I finally do. They sent over the X99S MPower. It isn’t their highest end board but it is damn close. Now I can sit down and see how it compares to the competition. My previous experiences with MSI MPower boards have been good, but the X99 boards I have tested to date have been extremely good, will it be able to keep up? Let’s find out.

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Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Chroma

Earlier this year I had the chance to take a look at the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2014 with its new key switches. Razer hasn’t exactly been sitting on their hands between then and now though. A few weeks ago I had the new Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Chroma come in. This is part of a whole series of products with full RGB lighting. In the past I have knocked Razer for going with green a color that only a few people are building their PCs in. With the Chroma line this shouldn’t be an issue. Will this be enough to win people over? Let’s find out.

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Customizing your new mechanical keyboard

By now, a lot of you most likely have figured out that I have a bit of a thing for various keyboards and mice. I’ve even been known to make sure the backlighting on my keyboard matches with my mouse and with my PC build as well. Oddly enough, through all of my keyboards the only time I have ever really customized a keyboard was when I had the chance to review a custom keyboard from Max Keyboard. The fact that I haven’t dug deeper into this is curious because generally I have a hard time leaving things alone, especially my cars and my computers. It’s not that I hadn’t seen the photos of everyone’s keyboards on r/mechanicalkeyboards and GeekHack, I just never did it myself due to not knowing enough and frankly not having the time. Well after reviewing the new Novatouch from Cooler Master, I decided to take advantage of the Cherry MX stems and dive a little deeper into keyboard customization and finally show everyone what it is all about. I reached out to a whole list of companies who make a variety of products to help you take your new mechanical keyboard and turn it into something completely unique, today I’m going to talk a little about what I found!

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In Win D-Frame Mini

One of the best things about case modding is being able to create something unique and show it off online and at LANs. The modding community has been growing even more popular over the past 5 years thanks to events like PDXLAN. Sadly some people just don’t have the time or sometimes the skills to be able to be involved in things like that. I have run into that as well, I get the itch to rebuild but I just don’t have the time to put together what is in my head. In Win has really stepped up over the past few years with a whole series of cases that fill in that gap. They are unique and well built in a variety of designs. We use their H-Frame Mini for our event router and for the past half a year I have used a 901 for my PC at events. Well In Win recently introduced the D-Frame Mini, just in time for me to start on a new event PC. Some of you have seen it, today I will take a closer look at the pro’s and con’s of the D-Frame Mini.

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Noctua IndustrialPPC and Redux fans

For years now I have been a huge fan of Noctua products, especially their fans. I will admit though, it took me a while to get used to the odd brown colors that they use. After a while I came to the conclusion that it was worth having fans that didn’t necessarily go with my builds because their performance is amazing. Recently Noctua finally introduced two new fan product lines that feature two new color schemes that most likely will fit a little better with most builds while still being unique enough to still stand out as Noctua fans. Today I will be checking out their IndustrialPPC and Redux fan lines. IndustrialPPC is black with a dark brown and Redux are light grey with a dark grey. We know how well Noctua fans perform so today I will mostly just be showing off the new color schemes. Enjoy!

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Tesoro Lobera Supreme

For the past few years the only thing that membrane keyboards still had over mechanical keyboards has been the ability to run full RGB backlighting. Well this is no longer a problem, nearly everyone has their own RGB mechanical keyboards in the works or coming out now. A great example of this is the new Tesoro Lobera Supreme. Tesoro has had a few variations on their Lobera but up until now they all just had a single backlight color. Today I’m going to see if going full RGB is worth it. Additionally this will be the first time I have had the chance to check out a Tesoro keyboard, we can see how they compare to the competition.

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