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Intel SSD 750 Series PCIe SSD

You may not know it, but over the past few years we as gamers and enthusiasts have been smack dab in the middle of a bit of a revolution. Sure games don’t seem to push hardware as much as they used too and the focus has been on higher resolutions. But on the storage front performance has been improving with leaps and bounds. Here at LanOC our first hard drive review came about around the same time that the first consumer SSDs were hitting the market. When tested that hard drive saw an average read speed of about 75MB/s. Our first SSD review a few months later put down an impressive 214.6 MB/s. After that we saw speeds increase to 300 and then recently to around 550 MB/s. PCIe drives have performed better than that but none of them promise to put down numbers like todays review. Today I’m going to check out Intel’s first consumer focused PCIe drive that happens to also use NVMe.

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Patriot Ignite 480GB

Even after our LAN this weekend I’m not burnt out on all of the storage talk, so it is only fitting that I continue our streak of SSD reviews. Today I have a drive from Patriot in the office. Specifically their new Ignite in a 480GB capacity. The Ignite is one of three recently introduced drives from Patriot with this being their flagship drive. The Ignite features the same Phison's quad-core, eight-channel PS3110-S10 controller that we also saw on the Mushkin Striker last week so we know just how well it can perform. This is fitting because both Patriot and Mushkin focus on bringing the best possible performance at the best possible price. So today I’m going to run the Ignite though our benchmark suite and see how it compares to everything I have tested recently and then see how good of a deal the drive is as well. Could this be the SSD for your next build? Let’s find out.

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Mushkin Chronos 480GB

Last week I took a look at Mushkins new flagship SSD. Well it just so happens I also had another Mushkin SSD floating around the office to review. This one isn’t anything like the Striker. The Chronos is a little older but with that it is also a little better value when you are shopping. Our sample is the big guy with a 480GB capacity but it is priced to compete. So today I’m going to see what is inside of the Chronos and most importantly I am going to figure out if the aging Sandforce controller is still fast enough to justify a purchase for someone who is on a budget.

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Mushkin Striker 480GB

This year at CES Mushkin introduced their upcoming lane of SSDs called the Striker. Up until now, most of their SSDs have been in the Chronos product line. A change in name along with performance improvements are welcomed. The Striker series of SSDs run a quad core 8 channel Phison controller with Micron's 16nm 128Gbit MLC NAND. In the case of our sample, it has an impressive 480GBs of storage. They suggest that the drive will have read speeds up to 565MB/sec and write speeds up to 550MB/sec so today I am going to put it through our benchmark suite and find out if that is really the case. Before then though I am also going to dig inside and see what is inside as well. Enjoy!

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Grifiti Fat Wrist Pads

One of the downsides of the increased popularity of mechanical keyboards is that for the most part they are a lot thicker than rubber dome keyboards. That can sometimes lead to more wrist pain. Some manufactures include a wrist rest with their mechanical keyboards but that isn’t an option for everyone. When I switched to a Code keyboard and moved to a new desk I noticed right away that the new desk would dig into my arm, so this put me on the market for a wrist rest that fit my needs. I had seen a few people using Grifiti Fat Wrist Pads previously and knew that the thick padded design would be perfect for my needs. Well when I ordered one from Amazon I actually ran into a small problem and that led to me speaking to Grifiti’s owner and along with replacing mine he sent a whole box of different pads for me to check out. Now that I have been using the Grifiti Fat Wrist Pads for a while now I can finally talk a little about how they perform, enjoy!

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SteelSeries Apex M800

It’s funny how with everyone introducing their own RGB mechanical keyboards that SteelSeries is actually the last of the big companies to bring theirs out. This is interesting to me because they were one of the first to bring out a full RGB rubber dome keyboard with their first Apex keyboard. That said I do know what took so long. Corsair locked down RGB Cherry switches for the first year leaving everyone to figure out their own design. Razer was able to get to the market quickly with their Kiehl manufactured cherry knockoff switches. Logitech brought out their G910 recently with their new “Romer-G switches” made in partnership with Omron. So SteelSeries took their time designing their own switch as well. Their new QS1 switch is designed with a short throw and center mounted lighting as well and can be found in the new Apex M800 that I’m going to take a look at today.

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Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Omega

Of all of the 900 series cards we have covered recently. Oddly enough, we haven’t really gotten any 970’s in. The same can be said for of coverage of Zotac cards, we haven’t heard much from them for a while now. Lucky for us they sent over a GTX 970 so not only do we get the chance to see how well the 970 performs, but I also can see what Zotac has been doing with their cards. This should be especially interesting because the GTX 970 they sent over to review is their AMP! Omega model with its HUGE cooler and a few overclocking specific features that I am excited to check out.

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Gigabyte GTX 960

We all have our own style preferences and this is no different when it comes to video cards. So when Gigabyte wanted to send out their GTX 960 I wasn’t about to turn it down enough though we have already covered a few other GTX 960’s. I wanted to see how Gigabytes offering compares to the competition, both with its performance and also with its styling. If we didn’t have variety we would all be running the exact same PC configuration and that wouldn’t be any fun. So today I’m going to put the Gigabyte GTX 960 through our standard benchmark suite as well as take a closer look at what makes it tick to find out if this is the best GTX 960 to pick up for your new budget build.

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LanOC at Gamers for Giving 2015

This weekend we’ll be braving the cold weather headed North to Ypsilanti, Michigan to game in the Grand Ballroom of Eastern Michigan University. The LanOC crew will be a few of the 300+ gamers taking part in the BYOC LAN that is Gamers for Giving 2015, as well as several cash-prize tournaments totaling over $20,000 in prizes. Augmenting the free and competitive play will be other staple activities such as a case mod contest, and an impressive list of industry icons including eSport founders and guest streamers will also be joining the cause. The team behind Gamers for Giving 2015 have done an excellent job teasing us with pictures and posts on their social media over the past few weeks leading up to the event, we’re very much looking forward to it!

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Corsair Force LX 256GB

A few years ago only a few people were running an SSD in their computer. These days though most enthusiasts and gamers are sporting one. Why? Because they speed up your computer in areas that even the fastest CPU or video card can’t do. The thing is if you got in on it all early, you are most likely running a small OS only drive. Well if you haven’t noticed prices have been dropping, for what you spent on that 60GB drive you can get the Corsair Force Series LX 256GB. Not only will that hold your OS but now you can installed a few more programs on it as well. In fact you should be able to run everything you need off of your SSD with the exception being if you are like me and install every steam game you own. You should keep some of that on a second hard drive. Today I’m going to take a look and see how the budget focused LX drive performs and find out if it is currently the best deal to be found.

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