Plextor PX-B120U

titleWith internal Blu-Ray players starting to become normal and prices becoming very reasonable it’s no surprise that Plextor would look at other options to continue to grow their product line. They have had an external Blu-Ray drive for some time, but it would be hard to call it portable. With the introduction of the PX-B120U they could finally call their external Blu-Ray drive portable. Just like the PX-610U it doesn’t require external power making it much easier to take with you on the go. Let’s take a look and see if the PX-B120U is as portable as it looks.

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Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100

100_3627_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkIf you've been an avid reader of LanOC Reviews, the name Killer 2100 should be somewhat familiar. And if you follow hardware news and press releases, then you're probably as excited about this review as we are. Maybe it's because we've been the victims of automatic updates killing in-game performance too many times, or perhaps it's the idea of being able to control and prioritize applications that appeals so much to us as LAN party hosts. Whatever the reason, we've been covering BigFoot Networks and their Killer cards for quite some time now, anxiously awaiting our chance to try one out for ourselves. With the launch of the new Killer 2100 card, we finally received one to put to the LanOC test.

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Cyber Power PC - Back to School P55 Configurator

mainIt's easy for us those of us that are PC enthusiasts to forget that not everyone has the inclination or know-how to build their own custom gaming computer. Most people just people just want to plug it in and play games, one of the reasons consoles do so well. But the current consoles are starting to show their age, which makes the PC more and more attractive. If you walk into the local brick and mortar, there's all kinds of computers, but none are all that good for gaming. This is where a good custom builder like CyberPower comes to the rescue. They sent along one of their "Back to School" builds to take a look at. Let see what they've got to offer

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Shuttle SG41J1 Plus

titleWe have taken a look at Shuttles small form factor barebones systems before, today we have the chance to take a look at their new J series chassis that is made specifically for budget builds. With the motherboard, PSU, and Case packaged together it’s no doubt that they have a low priced solution, but who would be interested? Outside of the obvious uses, I can’t help but wonder how good of a foundation that this will make for a budget LAN rig. I am going to use this as a base to build a rig that Adam will be testing more next week for our upcoming gaming on the go week. Let's jump in

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Plextor PXB940SA

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With hard drive capacities continuing to grow and the popularity of Blu-Ray movies also growing the demand for Blu-Ray players and burners will continue to rise therefore driving the price down. Today I have the chance to take a look at the first Blu-Ray burner to come into LanOC Reviews, the PX940SA from Plextor. With a 12x Blu-Ray burn speed it should be quick, but will it be fast?

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Lite-On iHOS104 Blu-Ray Drive

020_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkWhen the PlayStation 3 first launched it was not only marketed as a game console but also a Blu-Ray Disc player which at the time may have justified its higher price when compared to its competitor consoles. But what once seemed like a a great value  when compared to other Blu-Ray players which couldn't play video games may not seem so great now. Lite-On introduced an affordable Blu-Ray option to the PC, a gaming platform as old as the industry itself. For less than the price of a new retail PS3 title, you can now add Blu-Ray capabilities to your PC with the iHOS104. Today Lite-On has sent us one to test.

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AVerMedia HD DVR

dec_020_lanoc_smCluster is an issue that any entertainment enthusiast can sympathisize with, especially gamers. The requirement for all the equipment involved in the modern gaming PC plus three cores console systems on the market, each with their own cords and controllers, trying to switch between mediums can truly be a pain. The frustration is that much more for gamers in the press world, attempting to capture screenshots and videos between all these mediums. If only there were some way to combine them all in one place, so TVs wouldn't need switched, cords wouldn't need swapped, and capturing a gaming experience wasn't such a chore. AVerMedia has answered the call with their Video Capture Card, and has sent us a sample to help spread the word.

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Plextor PX-B320SA 8X Blu-ray Disc Drive

PlextorPXB320SA_02A while back I took a look at a BluRay drive from Plextor, a well known manufacture in the disc drive market. Today I have the chance to take a look at another BluRay drive from them. This time we will be looking at the B320SA with a speed of 8X in comparison to the 6x speed of the B310SA I reviewed before. 2x doesn't seem like that drastic of a change but will it make a noticeable difference? Read more to find out.

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Patriot DDR3 Viper Series Tri-Channel Kit

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Memory these days comes in just about every speed, shape, color and price. Recently we have taken a look at memory with LED's, and even memory with a platinum finish. Today I'm taking a look at a triple channel kit from Patriot from their Viper Series, designed specifically for i7 rigs. We are going to find out how well they performed compared to the kits we have tested in the past. Will the Viper Series come out on top?

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OCZ Platinum 1600Mhz Ram Triple Channel

oczplatinum_01In the ram market there isn't any one manufacture who is top dog, but there are a few that stand out. One of the few manufactures that targets enthusiasts and benchmarkers is OCZ. They entered the memory market in August of 2000 hoping to make the best high performance memory; over nine years later they have grown to be one of the most successful enthusiast ram manufactures on the market. Recently they have been known for their SSD's but their memory is what started it all. Today I have the chance to take a look at one of their 1600Mhz Triple channel kits for the i7 platform. Read on to see how it performed.

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Plextor PX-610U

IMG_4780 [lr] [lrsm]With netbooks becoming very popular over the past year it's no surprise that the lack of a disc drive on them has come up a time or two. Our friends over at Plextor have been known for their amazing disc drives for some time, foreseeing the need for portable drives early this year they released the PX-610U. The PX-610U is available in both a PC and mac version with appropriate software and coloring to match each. The main feature of the PX-610U is its lack of an external power supply or multiple USB ports. Using a slim laptop drive Plextor hopes to of brought a solution for thoughts who are looking for easy to use and portable disc drives. Today I have the opportunity to check it out myself.

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SilverStone MFP51 Multi-Media LCD Display

IMG_4352[lr]Desktop computers have an inherent flaw in that, short of custom modding jobs, most PCs end up looking fairly similar.  Most cases are black and nondescript, with only a portion of people opting for case windows to show off their hardware. And if you have a store bought rig, forget creativity - there are thousands of people with the same exact computer.  So the question is, what makes a specific build unique?  What it boils down too are all the little features and touches that the end consumer may opt for over one another.  Accessories play a large part of this picture. One person might decide they need a fan controller, whereas another might have a use for an all in one memory card reader.  In the end these people are able to claim difference from one another in form and function.  VFDs are one of the more interesting computer accessories, providing visual information via a small screen.  This is not unlike having a small monitor attached to your computer at all times. Its worthy to note that the term VFD actually is an acronym for the technology used in older devices, and has become a catch-all term for them in general.  Most newer VFDs actually utilize LCD technology for a crisper viewing experience. Many case manufacturers include mediocre old VFDs with their htpc cases but quality new ones usually have to be purchased separately.  SilverStone makes such a VFD, the MFP51 LCD Media Display, which they kindly sent to us to try out...

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Crucial Ballistix Tracer Blue 3x2Gb DDR3

img_3276-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWith it being tax time and computer upgrade season we have been seeing a lot of our members upgrading to new i7 setups. I was even lucky enough to win a setup while in Vegas thanks to our friends at Coolermaster. With DDR3 ram becoming more prevalent, especially when run in Tri Channel with the new i7 setups its no surprise that every ram manufacture is bringing out their new kits. While at CES we did get to take a look at Crucial's new Ballistix Tracer color series. Well knows for their led lighting that flashes to the speed of ram access, I was really happy to see they are producing a line using only one color to help match today's high end rigs. Today I will be taking a look at a Blue set of TriChannel 3 x 2 GB RAM from Crucial with a color matched LED, heatspreader, and PCB running at 1600Mhz.

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Plextor PX-B310SA Blu Ray drive

img_3303-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIn the Disc drive industry it's really hard to stand out. Most people just pick the cheapest drive with the specs that they are looking for. This may work for some people but anyone who has lived with the cheap drives should know that they can sometimes be noisy and unreliable. One company that has made a reputation of quality in the disc drive market over many years is Plextor. I've seen people throw down two and sometimes three times the price of a cheap drive just to be able to have a Plextor drive. The reason for this is all about quality and noise, for those same reasons I was excited to hear that I was going to be able to check out their new PX-B310SA BD Combo Super Multi Drive. My excitement doubled when I realized I would be able to watch The Dark Knight and other Blu Ray movies in 1080p on our 52-inch television.  So today I'm going to find out if the PX-B310SA is a quality drive that's quite enough to include in your HTPC without sounding like a weed eater running.

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Antec Veris Multimedia Station Basic

picture-021-copyHigh-end PC gaming can be considered a niche market without too much of a stretch. Its expensive and doesn't always translate well in the price to performance ratio department.  Home theater PCs, on the other hand, are a niche within a niche, due largely to the pain and expense necessary to maintain a separate computer simply to watch television.  Furthermore, you can't use just any hardware in an htpc. If you want one that can decode high-def movies and television or even lightly game you can't just slap the oldest stuff you have lying around the house into a case - the tech has to be somewhat competent.  Antec has recently come out with the Veris product line to help blur these lines a bit.  Whether you're looking to turn your main rig into a pseudo-htpc, or trying to spice up an already assembled home theater solution, read on for our experience with the Veris Basic.

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A-Data G-Series DDR2 Memory

A-Data, relatively new company, has been around for 7 years. Starting with twenty employees, A-Data has grown into Asia’s biggest Ram provider. They have recently been popping up in the US market. Their commitment to the US market is proven by their opening of the Miami, FL branch of A-Data on July 17th 2008. With Microsoft getting the bugs worked out of Vista and ram prices dropping unbelievably low you couldn’t ask for a better time to invest in more ram for your computer. Ram is one of those things that you can’t have too much, but you can have too little. We have the chance to take a closer look at A-Data’s G (Gaming) branded DDR2 memory. Specifically their DDR2-800G 2GBx2 with a Latency of 5-5-5-12. Check out how it performed

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Asus G1S

picture-003.jpg The Asus G1S series came out around late 06 early 07. Back then it was billed as a " Budget gaming notebook". So how does that claim hold up 1 year later? It seems the term "gaming laptop" has been reserved for only the most über overpowered machines , because this laptop still kicks ass in my opinion. Later on I will give my impressions on how it handles games and the pros and cons of the notebook.

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