Although all of the R9 270X’s and R9 280X’s that we have covered have been extremely exciting, especially the Toxic cards, to date we hadn’t had a chance to take a look at the newest cards from AMD. Today we finally have that chance. Sapphire sent over their R9 290 Tri-X for us to put through our tests. The Toxic cards have dominated in our other reviews so I am extremely interested in how well the 290 Tri-X will perform with it sharing a very similar cooling design. With high expectations, let’s jump into it and let the numbers do the talking.

The last time we took a look at a full SSD I was extremely impressed. That drive was the new Vector drive from OCZ, at the time a departure from what they had been doing. Around the same time as our review, OCZ introduced their new Vertex 450 drive that shares a lot with the Vector that I was especially impressed with. The 450 is designed to give you the same Barefoot Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller in the same aluminum shell but with 20nm MLC NAND rather than the 25nm MLC NAND that the Vector has. Let’s find out if the Vertex 450 is as impressive as the Vector.

Cooler Master offers a wide variety of power supply solutions, and understanding the multitude of series and product families can be a bit daunting. The units essentially break down into four main categories, gaming being an intermediate solution between enthusiast and entry-level units. The GX, or “Game Xtreme”, line of power supplies have recently been re-introduced with a few improvements that blur the lines between enthusiast, gamer, and their self-entitled silent demographics while continuing to pay mind to budgets of a crowd torn between a software library and the hardware required to support it. Today we have the 650W version of the new GXII PSU family, and we’ll take a look at what new offerings it brings to the table.

Over the past few years, there is one video card company that had really caught my eye with a couple unique products. PowerColor introduced the Devil 12 and has followed up with various Devil cards that have been really sharp. It’s always exciting to see a video card manufacture really step up. When PowerColor offered to send over their new R9 270X I jumped at the chance, excited to see what their PCS+ cooling is all about.

The past year has been full of up and downs like every year. Here at LanOC we have been chugging away like always. In the past year we hosted two awesome LAN parties, revamped the entire website, and survived two big launches from Intel, a launch from AMD on the CPU side, and big launches from both AMD and Nvidia on the video card side. Last year when I did my recap we had published 116 reviews for the year. For 2013 we bumped it up to an impressive 158 reviews thanks to a helpful staff and great companies. To start the New Year, I wanted to revisit the products that I gave my personal seal of approval on with the Editor’s Choice award to see if they are still my personal picks.

When it comes to mice, SteelSeries over the past few years has basically stuck with a single design that they have used on multiple mice. We first saw it with the Xai and later the Sensei but they have also used it on various branded mice and a smaller version on the Kinzu as well. When SteelSeries announced that they were bringing out a new mouse design with the Rival I was very interested, but also a little worried about messing with a good thing. After a short wait, we finally have the Rival in hand and can put it through its paces and see how the new design performs.

Just in time for Christmas we have a mid-tower for you, this time from Cougar. The MX500 promises to be a case with a gaming centric design and the capability to handle just about any ATX/mATX setup you could want to throw at it with an array of possible drive setups. With the promise or flexibility and expandability the MX500 looks to target gamers and ever since we got our hands on their Vortex PWM fans we knew Cougar was capable of making quality products. Let’s see if they can continue to impress us.

This past year at CES Nvidia introduced a new mobile product called the Shield. At the time, even after having a little time to play with it on the show floor, you could say I wasn’t exactly excited about it. The idea of gaming on a tablet was starting to win me over but I just couldn’t imagine trying to carry around something so bulky. This past spring and summer I spent even more time gaming on my tablets, especially the Nexus 7. Emulators and an ever growing collection of games started to win me over. Add in Nvidia’s changes to their drivers and the possibility of being able to stream PC gaming to the Shield and by the time it launched I had been converted into a full on fan of the device. Now nearly a year after its introduction I can finally sit down and talk about my experience with the Shield. Did it live up to my expectations? Read on time find out.

­­­­­It’s really hard to believe that the SteelSeries Siberia v2’s that we know and love have been out for over four years now. In that time most of you have rebuilt your PC at least once, have played countless game, and even lived through the Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style. So after all of that, I’m not surprised that SteelSeries is finally introducing another Siberia model to sell alongside of the v2. I have been looking forward to seeing what SteelSeries could do with their latest Siberia headset, let’s dive in and see what they are all about and see if they live up to their Elite name.

The gaming headset market is flooded but conventional wisdom has always been that if you want quality sound and a comfortable fit you are going to have to pay a little bit more for it. Today, however, we review an introductory model from Cooler Master that promises all the performance and comfort you’d expect in a mid-range headset at a price tag of under $30. The Ceres 300 is a follow-up to the Ceres 400 and comes with a more streamlined look and feel. Everything you’d expect to see in a head twice the price seems present but we will put it to the test to see if the Ceres 300 is truly worthy of praise.

 

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