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Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming-7

With the launch of Intel’s latest chipset and the i7-6700 CPU it’s no surprise that they brought along with them a long list of new motherboards from every manufacture. At the launch I took a look at one of MSIs boards. After the launch though we jumped into GPU mode and covered the latest budget cards. Past that I slipped in a vacation and then of course our 17th LAN event. With all of that past us I can finally revisit Z170 and take a look at the Gigabyte GA-Z170X Gaming 7. I’m excited to see what Gigabyte has packed into the board as far as features go and to find out how it compares to the MSI. So today I’m going to dig through the Gaming 7s features then put it to the test, let’s get to it!

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Bit Fenix Alchemy 2.0 Magnetic LED Strips

When case modding was getting started everyone who wanted to light up their PC turned to cold cathodes for lighting. Things progressed and we later saw LEDs starting in plastic pucks and then later on strips becoming popular. While I don’t use lighting in every build, I have used them in a few. A few years ago we even took a look at lighting options from Bit Fenix. At the time they were still a relatively new company and they were starting to expand their product lines. Well a few years later Bit Fenix reached out, excited to show off the latest version of their LED lighting, the Alchemy 2.0. This time around they dropped the adhesive and went with magnets to keep the lighting in place. Considering how much we liked their first kits, I couldn’t turn down taking a look at the new design. So today I’m going to take a quick look and find out what they are all about. 

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GTX 950 SLI Testing

So yeah I know, it’s starting to look a little like all we cover around here are GTX 950’s and R7 370’s. Don’t worry today is the last time. Today I’m going to follow up the R7 370 Crossfire article and see how good our two GTX 950’s perform when paired up in SLI. As with all of our Crossfire and SLI articles, this is not a review as I have already tested and reviewed both cards individually. Today is just a quick look at their performance and to find out if the 950’s in SLI are a better value than any of the more expensive cards individually. Have a great weekend everyone!

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AMD R7 370 Crossfire Testing

So over the last two weeks I have taken a look at two different R7 370’s and two GTX 950’s so this week I’m going to pair them up and see just how good they perform in dual card configurations. Today I will start off the testing by testing and looking at how the two R7 370’s perform when in Crossfire. As with all of our Crossfire and SLI articles, this is not a review as I have already tested and reviewed both cards individually. So all I’m doing today is taking a quick look at what you can expect from two 370’s in Crossfire. Enjoy!

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MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G

Last week Nvidia launched their GTX 950, a budget focused Maxwell card. At the launch I took a look at the Asus Strix 950. Well right after the Strix came in we had the MSI GTX 950 Gaming 2G come in as well. So today I’m going to see what sets the MSI apart and find out how it performs compared to the Asus as well as the two different R7 370’s that I have recently tested. This is a great chance to see how the Twin Frozr cooler on the MSI compares to the DirectCU II cooler on the Strix and to see what is the better option if you are on the market for a GTX 950.

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Asus R7 370 Strix 4GB

So last week was basically all about budget gaming with our first R7 370 review as well as the launch of the GTX 950. Well this week isn’t going to be any different. Today I’m going to take a look at another R7 370, this time the Asus Strix 4GB model. This gives us a chance to compare the Sapphire that I previously took a look and find out how the cards compare. It also is a good chance to see where the R7 370 sits now that the GTX 950 is out. To sit back and I’m going to see what the Asus R7 370 Strix 4GB has going on and then how it performs.

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Asus GTX 950 Strix

So yesterday I had the chance to check out the R7 370, AMD’s current budget video card. Well today Nvidia is officially announcing and releasing the GTX 950. The GTX 950 falls in between the GTX 960 and the GTX 750 Ti. This fills in a gap in the Nvidia lineup and should compete directly with the R7 370. Like I mentioned yesterday, this isn’t a price point that enthusiasts who are building high end PCs would be looking at but it does fall right into the sweet spot for budget gaming builds around the $600 price point. So with that in mind today we are going to see what the GTX 950 is all about, find out how it fits in between the 960 and 750 Ti in both performance and specifications, then find out if it is the right option for people looking at building their new $600 gaming PCs.

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Sapphire Nitro R7 370

While it is fun to get excited about the $1000 CPUs and video cards, PCI Express SSD’s, and all of the other cutting edge tech that we see coming through the office from time to time. The reality of life is that when you are building your new gaming PC you will move likely set a realistic budget and you have to work around that. A lot of people ask for feedback on their builds for helping putting together a parts list and a lot of those people are looking at a budget of around $600 for their new PCs. So at that price point typically an ideal video card is the main purchase as everything else is as cheap as you can get but the card budget comes in around $175 to $200. So today I wanted to take a look at what AMD and more specifically Sapphire has to offer at that price point. That is their new Nitro series R7 370.

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Cooler Master Quickfire XTi

In spring 2014 Cooler Master introduced their Quickfire Rapid-I backlit TKL keyboard. As soon as it launched my old Quickfire Rapid was put aside for the new model in my LAN bag and I’ve been recommending them along with the Code keyboard that I use on my main PC to anyone who would listen. The reason I also pushed the Code is because the Rapid-I was only available in the TKL form factor. After all of the waiting Cooler Master has finally introduced their full sized model, the Quickfire XTi. I’ve been spending a little time with the XTI and I can finally sit down and talk a little about its features and let you guys know if it was worth the wait. Going into testing I was especially curious if I would like it enough to get me to swap it with the Code on my main PC.

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AMD A10-7870K

It feels like just yesterday I was checking out the original Kaveri APU from AMD but surprisingly they actually launched it in mid-2014. Between this and now we have seen their FX line get refreshed and a whole mess of CPUs from Intel as well so it is no big surprise that we are now seeing a Kaveri refresh. Specifically we are going to take a look at the new A10-7870K APU. The 7870 might confuse some people because AMD did use that on their GPUs just a few years ago but they aren’t related. So in order to find out what the 7870K is all about let’s check out where AMD improved the APU then run it through all of our benchmarks to see how it performs!

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