Even though it seems like the mechanical keyboard market has been blowing up. It might surprise some of you when you think about the fact that the mechanical keyboard switch market hasn’t changed a bit. The closest thing to change was a few companies putting to use a few rarer keyswitches from Cherry, the manufacture of nearly all of today’s mechanical keyswitches. If you don’t have a lot of knowledge about mechanical keyboards, Razer’s introduction of their latest Blackwidow keyboard may not of caught your attention. But they did something no one else on the market is doing. They introduced a keyboard with their own mechanical keyswitch design. At first glance the switch looks a lot like a standard Cherry switch, but today I’m going to take a closer look to see what it’s all about and how it compares to what everyone else is running.

As we get farther away from the initial launch of AMD’s lineup they have continued to fill in the blanks with a few other cards. One of those is the R9 280 that sits in between the R9 280X and the R9 270X. Sapphire sent over one of their overclocked models for me to check out. I have been extremely impressed with Sapphires product line this generation but this will be the first of their Dual-X cards to come in the office so I will reserve my judgment until we see how well it performs in our test suite. 

External enclosures have always been useful in turning veteran hard drives from old machines back into useful storage mediums but lately they have been making a comeback with more and more focus being placed on mobility and flexibility. Today we take a look at a new form of external enclosure with performance on its mind. The Blizzard series external enclosure from Icy Dock promises to give use the mobility we desire with not swap and plug-n-play functionality with the ability to keep our drives icy cool during operation.

A week ago at the time of this writing, we were within hours of LanOC v14.0 coming to end, though things certainly showed no signs of winding down. We were right in the middle of two tournaments with plenty of spectators watching over shoulders, attendees and staff alike roaming the floor to take a final look at the case show-off entries, and our network gear receiving no reprieve from the remainder of over 130 gamers in their title of choice. Before we revisit the final wrap-up of the event, let’s start back at the beginning of LanOC v14.0, which truly started the day before.

Most of you are familiar with most of Logitech’s product line at this point from having owned one or knowing someone who uses Logitech products. For the most part their product line has stayed the same, with just a few exceptions and with small refreshes like what they did this past year. One area where they expanded their product line this past year though was their audio line. Before they just had the G35 and the G930, but they have now added the G430 and the G230. You may have seen them with their funny commercials during LCS this year. Today I am going to find out how the G430 compares to the G930 and gaming headsets from their competition.

When I think of XFX their video cards are the first thing to come to mind. But they have actually been in the power supply market for a long time now. They have done a good job of standing out in a very crowded market by coming up with unique PSU casing designs when most of the market has just done the same thing over and over. Today is actually the first time I have had an XFX power supply in the office to check out. We don’t technically review them (read more to see why), but today I’m going to take a quick peak at the new XFX XTR 650 watt to see what sets it apart from the competition.

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!

 

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