Full disclosure, I typically loath doing game reviews. Testing hardware typically can be done along side of me working on something else, for example, I can test the comfort of a headset while benchmarking a video card, while also writing when tests are running. Games on the other hand require days and sometimes weeks of gameplay for testing. I know some of you might think I’m crazy, because playing games and getting to call it work sounds amazing. But when we have to publish multiple articles a week, it’s just impossible. That being said, a new game called Banished launched just a few days ago and has so far had been extremely popular on steam (it is as I write this the top selling game over a half priced Call of Duty: Ghosts and a whole bunch of games that are 75% off from Ubisoft) and Reddit. I have been playing it non-stop and many of you hit me up on Facebook and on steam asking for my thoughts on the game. Why not put it all together for everyone to see!

It’s hard to believe that Nvidia’s Kepler architecture has been around for nearly two years now. In those two years Nvidia has continued to innovate with Kepler exclusive features like Shadowplay and PC streaming to your Nvidia Shield. Well now it is finally time to take a look at what Nvidia has been working on with its latest architecture, Maxwell. Interestingly enough Nvidia isn’t launching their new architecture with a flagship card, they chose to fill in a gap in their current 700 series of cards down at budget price points. Today they are introducing the GTX 750 Ti and the GTX 750 and I will be putting a GTX 750 Ti through its paces as well.

When it comes to video cards, there is only so much that a manufacturer can do to set themselves apart from the competition. Cooling, overclocking, and styling are three of the biggest things that can set cards apart. Without exception MSI has done extremely well at this in the past with their Twin Frozr cooling and their Gaming series of cards. Today I have the chance to take a look at their latest model, the R9 290 Gaming. Today I am going to see how well the Twin Frozr cooling performs on the warm R9 290 GPU and also find out if they are still able to stand up to the competition.

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford the latest and greatest. The mid-range video cards paired up with a cheap CPU is what most people start with in PC gaming. At our last LAN Sapphire was setup and gaming on a perfect example of a great budget build. When they asked if we would be interested in taking a look at their new R7 260X I couldn’t wait to see what kind of gaming experience you can get without breaking the bank. Let’s dig in and see what the card is all about and find out if it should be in your next budget build!

Quality sound and a comfortable fit aren’t exclusive to just PC gaming but for the most part finding the same experience in a console headset can be difficult and expensive. For most, owning a set of quality headsets for both your console and your PC simply isn’t cost effective. Today we take a look at the Ceres 500 from Cooler Master that looks to buck the trend and proved a quality experience to both platforms with the ability to switch between them on the fly. Is this performance too good to be true? We will find out.

To date I have had the chance to take a look at a few different R9 270Xs. All of the cards have been extremely similar for the most part with most of the differences coming from small overclocks and their different cooling designs. Today I have a completely unique card that stands out from the others. You see the other cards all have 4 gigs of memory where the MSI R9 270X Gaming 4G has 4 gigs of memory. Today I’m going to see how the difference in memory affects the performance in our benchmark suite.

Out of last year’s AMD cards there was one card that stood above the rest with an all metal custom cooler. That was the double dissipation HD 7970 from XFX. This year there is a lot more competition and XFX has changed their design once again. I’m excited to find out how XFX stands up against the competition this year. With a black and chrome it certainly has the styling needed, but how is the performance? Let’s find out!

For what seemed like months we have seen commercials for the LG G2 on television. Recently Verizon Wireless sent one over for us to check out and I have been putting it through daily use. For the most part the G2 is a lot like other phones but it does have a very unique placement of its volume and power buttons. Where most phones have the buttons on the sides or top, the G2’s buttons are on the back of the phone. So today I’m going to talk a little about my experience with the G2 and Verizon Wireless’s network.

If you’re like me you like to back up files, install every game in your Steam library just because and record your favorite TV shows to your hard drive to enjoy them on your own time. This unfortunately takes up a lot of space and more often than not means you need more and more hard drives to sate your unhealthy obsession with storage but what happens when you run out of space to put your drives or even worse, your media PC is in a small mATX case? Icy Dock looks to come to the data hogs rescue with their ToughArmor 6x2.5" SATA HDD Hot Swap Mobile Rack which promises to give us a place to put 6 2.5” drives in a single 5.25” external bay. We’ll find out if this increase in storage is worth your time.

When it comes to small form factor builds our main focus has been on builds that can fit high powered video cards for LAN use. But the truth to the matter is there are a lot more people who are looking to build small PCs for routers, HTPCs, and just to save room on your desk. As someone who has HTPCs all around the house I completely get it. After juggling a few parts around I realized I had a half height Mini-ITX motherboard sitting around and I decided to make use of it. I came across the Silverstone Petit PT13 case and the AR04 cooler from Silverstone as well. Together they should make for a small but powerful PC, let’s see how performs.

 

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