Sapphire Nitro+ RX 6750 XT

With today's launch of AMD’s 6X50 XT refresh AMD have introduced three new video card options into their lineup. I’ve already taken a look at the new RX 6650 XT with the MSI RX 6650 Gaming X which competed well against the RTX 3060. Now I’m excited to see what the RX 6750 XT is all about which falls into AMDs 1440p focused cards and is targeted in between the RTX 3070 and the RTX 3060 Ti along with some aggressive pricing as well. I’ve got the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 6750 XT which is exciting not just because their Nitro+ cards normally perform well, but because we also have the Nitro+ RX 6700 XT on hand to really get a good look at how the increased clock speed of the 6750 XT effects things. So let’s jump in and see how it does!

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MSI RX 6650 XT Gaming X

Today is the day for AMDs long rumored partial refresh of their GPU lineup. They have introduced the RX 6650 XT, RX 66750 XT, and the RX 6950 XT. This allows them to bump up their high end and bolster their competition in the mid-range. This also means loads of options in aftermarket cards. So to start off our coverage today I’m going to check out the RX 6650 XT Gaming X from MSI to check out how the new 6650 XT performs and to check out MSI’s Gaming X. Let’s put it through our test suite and see how it does!

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AMD Ryzen 5600 and 5700X

Last month AMD launched a refresh of some of their CPU range and while I didn’t have the full range we did take a look at the Ryzen 5 4500 which was an interesting update on the Zen 2 lineup. Well AMD did send a few more of their refresh CPUs over for me to take a look at. We have the Ryzen 5 5600 and the Ryzen 7 5700X. The 5600 fills in a gap behind the 5600X that I previously took a look at and the 5700X slots in between the 5600X and the 5800X. So today I’m going to check out how both perform and see if they are worth considering if you are building a budget to mid-range CPU this upcoming summer.

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Viper Venom RGB DDR5 2x16GB 6200MHz

With Intel’s 12th generation Core CPU launch alongside the new CPUs, CPU Socket, and Motherboards/Chipset it also brought DDR5 into the mainstream market. Initially, DDR5 was hard to come by, but things have gotten better and along with that we are seeing some of the companies who didn’t have memory available at the launch getting their kits introduced. A good example of that is Patriot with their Viper Gaming lineups first DDR5 kits. They have named the new kits Venom which goes well when you combine it with the Viper branding. They have standard and RGB kits available and the kit that they sent over for us to check out is the Viper Venom RGB in a 2x16GB configuration running at 6200 MHz.

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MSI Spatium M480 Play 2TB

I’ve talked about it a few times now, but a few of the bigger PC component companies have been expanding out as far as what they make for the past 10+ years. They started off with each company having a small focus, but we have now gotten to the point where you can build almost an entire system sticking to the same brand. MSI is one of those companies and MSI and Gigabyte, unlike Asus, have both gotten into the SSD market but up until now, I haven’t had the chance to check out what they had going on. MSI recently introduced their Spatium M480 which is a PC or PS5 design which means it does have the heatsink needed to fit in the PS5 and today I’m going to see what the M480 is all about. We know it is a PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive with some crazy performance numbers promised so I’m excited to see what makes it tick and how it performs, let’s go check it out. 

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Asus ProArt X570-Creator WiFi

The X570 chipset was launched back in 2019 and even today this is still the flagship chipset to go with the most recent refreshed CPU launches from AMD. Asus did release a few new X570 boards which brought a few of the newer features we have been seeing on other platforms and one of the boards included in that launch which was last August was the ProArt X570-Creator WiFi and it caught my eye because while it did have high-end features, its styling is a nice change from the standard “gamer” focus of most higher-end boards. The ProArt X570-Creator has support for the upcoming Ryzen 7 5800X3D with BIOS updates and I’m curious to see if it might be a nice option if you are planning a build with the upcoming CPU.

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MSI MEG CoreLiquid S280

My first introduction to MSI being in the water cooling market was the MAG CoreLiquid C280 which had its pump mounted in the middle of the radiator which at first seemed weird but does end up being a great solution for those bottom mounting their radiator and trying to avoid having the pump as the highest point. So I’m excited to see what MSI has going on with the MEG CoreLiquid S280 that they sent over. Today I’m going to check out what it’s all about then put it through our test suite to see how it performs so let’s dive in!

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AMD Ryzen 5 4500

Just a few weeks ago AMD officially announced their Ryzen 7 5800X3D as well as new processers in their mainstream lineup. Today is the day for the new mainstream lineup and while we don’t have any of the Zen 3 based models we do have the Ryzen 5 4500 which has a very budget-friendly MSRP of $129, who would have thought that 6 core 12 thread options would be available at that price. So today I’m going to check out the new CPU and see how it performs.

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EnGenius ECW220S

Keeping your network secure can be a challenge even for a full IT staff but what if you are a small business running a smaller network or maybe a prosumer running a similar network at your home. Keeping tabs on things is left to one person and often someone who isn’t necessarily an IT professional. I know I fall into this category, working from home and having far more devices on the network than the average network. Over the last few years I have been upgrading my network and slowly learning and locking things down more but EnGenius recently introduced two new access points that provide the same function as their past APs like the ECW230 that I previously took a look at. But the two new APs have added security features to help you find issues and secure your network. Today I’m going to check out the ECW220S which is similar to the ECW230 I previously reviewed only with a 2x2 antenna configuration, not a 4x4.

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SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 4TB

Portable storage needs cover a wide range of situations. For some content creators, and I’ve seen this a LOT with YouTubers, it might be normal to regularly pick up large external hard drives to fill up and to store away like they are old video tapes. Or maybe you travel or take your data with you to places like work. Well, there is a point in drive size where even just getting the data on or off of your drive is going to take far too long to get it done with a spinning disk. There are standard flash solutions and SATA-based SSD options. But if you are moving a lot of data around the only real solution is an NVMe based external. The Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2 that SanDisk sent over fits in that category. With an impressive 4TB capacity, it is up in the same range as a portable hard drive but you aren’t going to spend all day getting your data off of it. Today I’m going to check out how the drive compares to the last few SanDisk drives we have had in the office and then check out its performance as well.

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Thermaltake Tower 100 Snow Edition

The number of cool cases that come out each year far exceeds the number of cases that I have time to check out. Last year Thermaltake introduced the Tower 100 which was a new Mini ITX version of their long-standing Tower series. When the original Tower series came out I really wanted to check it out but didn’t have time, so when the ITX version came out I couldn’t pass up on it. Sadly I’ve had the Tower 100 sitting around for far too long withing having a chance to get into it but no longer. I have to see what Thermaltake did with the uniquely designed case, so let's dive in and check it out.  

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WD Black SN770 1TB

In part of our catching up with WD’s product lineup, I took a look at the WD Blue SN570. Well, last month they also introduced their newest WD Black SSD, the WD Black SN770. The SN770 slots in above the SN750 SE which came out last year and the older PCIe 3.0 SN750 and behind last year's SN850 Flagship SSD which is also from the WD Black line. It’s still weird thinking of a SN700 series drive not being the top drive but what is more interesting is the WD Black lineup expanding out with multiple gaming options in the M.2 SSD market now. Today I’m going to check out what makes the SN770 tick and check out the performance of the 1TB model that WD sent over. Let’s dive in.

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WD Blue SN570 1TB

It’s easy to get excited about some of the faster high-end SSDs, like Western Digitals Black line of drives. But for a lot of people those are overkill or out of budget and the Blue line better fits things. The WD Blue lineup started off with the SN500 as their creative and budget-focused drive and they eventually replaced that with the WD Blue SN550. Well, late last year they introduced the SN570 and I’m excited to finally see how the new drive performs and to see pricing wise how it fits in the market. So today I’m going to check out the new drive and see how it compares to the previous model. Let’s check it out!

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Hyte Y60

Our first introduction to the Hyte brand was with the Revolt 3 launch last year. Hyte is a sister brand to iBUYPOWER and with the Revolt 3 we learned that they aren’t looking to continue the status quo, they are looking at each new product with fresh eyes and bringing new ideas. For the Revolt 3, the focus was on a travel-friendly case with a hidden carrying handle and features to make packing everything into the smaller case much easier. This last CES they also showed off their upcoming case, the Y60 which goes the other direction and is a case focused on desktop use, and with the Y60 they are specifically aiming at the market who loves posting up pictures of their systems in places like Reddit at an angle to show off the inside and front of your case. The Y60 brings the two together with a cornerless design and I’m excited to see what other kinds of changes Hyte has incorporated so let's dig in.

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Checking out the latest mice from SteelSeries

With our LAN events and early on with our reviews we worked with SteelSeries back when they introduced their first full mouse with their Ikari and after that, I tried to keep up with their launches. But over the last few years, I haven’t had the chance to check out what they have been up to. The last SteelSeries mouse we had in the office was the Sensei Ten. So we are due to catch up on what they have been up to and today I’m going to do just that. I have had the SteelSeries Prime, Prime Wireless, and the new 2022 edition of the Aerox 3 Wireless to get a look at part of their current lineup. Let’s check them out!

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Patriot P400 1TB

While we have had the chance to check out a few different Patriot SSDs that have performed well over the years. Their recently introduced P400 is Patriot's first PCIe 4.0 SSD which opens up new performance possibilities. When PCIe 4.0 was introduced only a few companies had compatible drives at that time and it makes sense. At that time only one chipset from AMD supported the new platform, but now Intel and AMD have had options available on both sides for over a year and even longer on the AMD side of things. The odds of people having PCs that support them are much higher now. So today I’m going to dig into the P400 and see what it has going behind the curtain then we can run it through our test suite to see how it performs compared to a few older PCIe 3.0 drives and a whole stack of 4.0 drives on the new Intel Z690 chipset.

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Asus TUF Gaming RX 6500 XT OC Edition

The launch of the RX 6500 XT had a lot of public backlash due to some of the limitations of AMD's new GPU, specifically the 4GB VRAM and the PCIe lanes being limited to 4 lanes which combined hold the card back when it comes to higher resolutions and at times if you are running very high detail games at 1080p. That said, the card does still have a place in the market, you just need to be clear about what you plan on using the card for. It is also one of the only cards you can get new without crazy markups. So I was excited when Asus offered to send their TUF Gaming RX 6500 XT OC Edition over. Not to mention, even though I had a lot of experience with the TUF lineup years ago when it first came out on motherboards. I’ve never had the chance to check out any of the TUF cards. So today I’m going to check out Asus’s card to see how the overclocked card performs and I’m especially curious to see what sets the TUF lineup apart and how it performs in things like cooling, noise, and power usage that help set cards with the same GPUs apart. So let’s check it out.

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TerraMaster D5-300

So for someone like me with a lot of PCs in the house, storage on the network is the way to go. But it’s easy to forget that a lot of people may only have one PC and when that is the case you don’t need to overcomplicate things with networked storage. You can rely on internal or external storage options depending on how much space you need. When it comes to editing video you will see a lot of people with stacks of external hard drives but those don’t offer any redundancy or protection. Something with RAID as a possibility is always going to be the safer bet and TerraMaster has the network and external options covered. I’ve taken a look at a few of their options in the past and they sent over their D5-300 which is a 5 bay USB 3.1 option that just about any PC is going to support. Today I’m going to check out what the D5-300 is all about and see how it performs in a best-case scenario when packed with SSDs. Let’s check it out!

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MSI Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic

MSI has been expanding their reach for a while now and in a lot of ways, you can build a complete setup from the MSI lineup with the exception of your CPU and ram. They have been in the gaming peripherals market for a long time now including a range of headphones. But surprisingly they haven’t jumped into the dedicated microphone market, until now. MSI just recently introduced their new Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic that as the name implies is focused on the streaming market. I’ve had the chance to check out a wide variety of microphone options over the years and I’m excited to see what MSI’s take on it is. At first glance, their microphone looks a lot like some of the other options but MSI has avoided software altogether to keep things simpler for easier setup which I dig. So let’s check out what else it has going on and how it performs compared to some of the competition.

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Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black

When it comes to air cooling and fans Noctua has been extremely reliable over the years and has been an easy go-to when doing builds. Especially because noise is very important to me. Keeping noise down in the office helps with testing and more importantly helps with my sanity. So with builds it's not unusual for me to change fans over to Noctua. With them having nice blacked-out fans has helped with that as well. For my wife's last PC I went with a crazy custom water cooling loop which looked amazing. But I would have to take it all apart and clean everything multiple times a year and performance would drop as the “show” coolant would fall out and clock things up. That’s fine for my PC maybe, but when it's my wife’s PC it needs to just work. So this time around I went with an air cooler, Noctua’s NH-U12A chromax.black. It was the largest cooler I could fit in her system and I knew it would meet our needs for cooling and noise performance and it has. But before doing that I did bring the NH-U12A over on to our test bench to see how it performs in an even more demanding situation. Let’s go see what the NH-U12A is all about and how it performed.

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