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Sick of hearing about RGB, here’s an article about RGB

After spending the past few weeks sorting through all of the CES coverage, launches, and all of the comments and backlash on social media and websites like Reddit I wanted to sit down and talk a little about something that has been bothering me. Over the past year, but especially at CES, just about every product introduced now has RGB lighting. When seeing my friends in the tech press talk about it, you can almost see/read the frustration with it all and there are comments all over with people hating on RGB. I want to go on record and say that RGB is great for the industry and its one of those products that everyone is going to hate on but they will most likely be upset next year if someone brings out a product without it.

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XFX Hard Swap LED Fans

So last week I took a look at XFX’s RX 480 and it, like the XFX RX 470, has what they call Hard Swap fans. The stock fans are just basic 90mm fans like you would find on most aftermarket cards, but without any tools they can be swapped with other fans. Along with the card, XFX also sent all three of their LED fan kits for me to check out. So today isn’t going to be a long day or anything, but I’m going to check out the new fans, see how easy they are to swap out, and take a look at all three LED colors on the XFX RX 480.

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XFX RX 460 4GB Slim

I bet a lot of you don’t even know it, but it really wasn’t all that long ago that single slot cards were all that was available. Now, though, even the low-end cards take up two slots with their coolers. That said, there are still reasons to need a single slot video card. Some cases will only support them, though that has gotten a lot better. Your configuration might not have any two slots together, or maybe you need to upgrade a small OEM build that was never built for having a dedicated card at all. No matter the reason, getting a single slot card can sometimes be hard, especially if you actually want good performance. Because of that XFX recently introduced their RX 460 Slim that is packed neatly into a single slot configuration and doesn’t need a power connection at all. So today I’m going to check out the card and then run it through our testing to see how it performs.

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XFX RX 480 8GB Hard Swap XXX

With product reviewing, we tend to cover a product and then move on, not really revisiting it unless a competing product comes out or the next generation comes out. Most of the time this is fine, things don’t change that much. But in the world of video cards, drivers play a big role and over time performance can improve or get worse. XFX sent over their RX 480 8GB Hard Swap XXX Edition video card mostly to use it with their swappable LED fans that I will be covering soon. But while I had the card I thought it would be a good excuse to revisit the RX 480 and see how it’s doing. Typically AMD drivers don’t have the performance early on, but age well and give improvements later on and I’ve been hearing that it may have overtaken the GTX 1060 in some games. So today let's check out the card and see how it stands now.

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Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

Well it’s that time again, we have to say goodbye to another year and hello to a new beginning. 2016 wasn’t exactly the year I had hoped it would be and I think a lot of people would echo that same sentiment. But around here I have still continued to bring out new content including touching on new areas all together like 3D printing. Over the entire year I published 80 reviews and that is down from 92 last year. I don’t know if that means I have been slacking, but I do know that our content has gotten longer and I am constantly spending more and more time testing, so I think that might be part of the reason for the decline. Every year I like to take a look back at all of the Editor’s Choice awards I give out and revisit them to see if they ended up being used in my personal setup. Last year I gave our 10, but looking back a year later I’m only still using 2. This year I gave out a whopping 19. This may be partially due to working on two different project builds this year, but I still bet more than a few wouldn’t make the cut looking back. So let's take a look.

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Razer Deathadder Elite

It’s hard to believe it, but Razer launched the original Deathadder just over 10 years ago. At that time if you built a new PC you might be sporting a newly launched Intel Core 2 Duo or an AMD Athlon 64 FX CPU with your new GTX 7900 GTX or Radeon X1900. It’s crazy how much things have changed while at the same time the Deathadder in its different variations is still one of the go-to mice on the market. The newest Deathadder is the Deathadder Elite. It has the same shape that everyone loves but has a new 5g optical sensor and for the first time, Razers own mechanical mouse switches. Razer sent over the Elite for me to check out and slipped in the Firefly RGB mousepad. I’ve been testing them out and today I’m going to see what they are all about and how they perform.

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Arozzi Arena Gaming Desk

It’s funny how we spend sometimes thousands of dollars on our PCs and peripherals but at the end of the day don’t give much thought to our actual desk setups. I bet a lot of you are using the same desk that you used years ago, I know I did. But a few years ago I started thinking about options for new desks and frankly there really aren’t that many out there. Sure you can pick up the cheap desks at your local discount store, but is there anything out there that’s better. Are there any options focused on gamers? Well if you search around you will find a few options that are “gamer” focused, but none were very good. So when I saw the Arozzi Arena Gaming Desk online it caught my eye. They didn’t just add colors and call it a gaming product, it actually has a cloth mouse surface over the entire top of the desk. With all of the people buying large desk pads and putting them under their keyboard and mouse, the Arena seemed like an extension of that so I reached out to Arozzi to take a closer look.

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Caselabs Bullet BH7

Over the past four years, I have been running my main rig in the Magnum TH10 monster of a case. In that time I have abused the case almost every day and it has held up to that abuse without a ding, dent, or chip in the finish. So when I saw that Caselabs had introduced a new case and it was available in a bright orange I couldn’t get in touch with Caselabs fast enough. The new Bullet line of cases are much smaller and incorporate a lot of new features from what Caselabs have learned in the last few years including a dual chamber design. Given that I’ve never actually built an orange themed build and I’ve always wanted to, I set out to build a monster PC in the Bullet BH7. You can expect a project build in the future, but for now, I did want to sit down and dive into the Caselabs Bullet BH7 and tell everyone what it's all about and if they should pick one up for their next build.

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Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

If you have ever shopped for webcams you will have most likely realized that even though everyone and their mom sells a webcam, there is only one on the market that everyone recommends. The Logitech c920 has been at the top of the market for almost 5 years now and before that the c910 was also the go to camera. It’s crazy to think that basically the same camera could still be considered so good after so many years. Surely the tech has improved, right? Well with the popularity of streaming really getting traction Logitech decided to follow up the C920 with a new model called the C922 that is focused directly at streamers. Given the past models I have high expectations, but more than anything else I’m curious what is different with the C922 at all. So today I’m going to check it out and see what it’s all about.

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Simplify3D

For over 7 months of printing on the SeeMeCNC Eris’ and the Rostock MAX v3, I have been using the suggested software MatterControl. Setup was easy because they work directly with SeeMeCNC and it had the profiles for both printers. Beyond that, it was easy to use, but over time I started to notice more and more limitations and I was really curious what else was out there. Well, one of the more popular programs for handling most 3d printers is called Simplify3D. They happened to be based out of Ohio like we are, so I reached out and they send over a copy and I have been testing it alongside my testing of the Rostock MAX v3. So today I’m going to dive in and check out what their software is all about.

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