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MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium

Beyond the exciting new CPU and the nice wooden box that came with our Ryzen review kit, down in the bottom I found an awesome looking motherboard to test with. AMD and MSI had slipped us an X370 XPower Gaming Titanium along with the rest of the kit. While I’ve taken a look at a lot of MSIs boards, I haven’t had the chance to check out any of their Titanium boards and it is an area where I think MSI has really been showing some creativity, so I’m excited to take a closer look at the new board and find out if the Titanium has the features to back up its good looks.

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Gigabyte AB350 Gaming 3

Part of the excitement about the Ryzen launch is the possibility of getting high performance at a much lower price than the premium that Intel has had on it recently. With the new CPUs, some of the new X370 boards have pushed their pricing up with all of the added features. Well, this is where the B350 chipset comes in. AMD dropped the number of USB and SAT ports on the B350 and you can’t get SLI on a B350 board but they still allow overclocking and the prices for B350 boards are a lot cheaper. This will come into play more with the mid range Ryzen CPUs, but even paired with the Ryzen 7 1700, a B350 board can be a good value. So today I’m going to check out the AB350 Gaming 3 from Gigabyte as it seems to fit the bill perfectly with a good feature list at a good price.

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AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs

So by now even most of the gamers and geeks that I know that don’t even follow hardware launches have been talking about AMDs RYZEN launch. It’s an almost unprecedented launch and there are a few reasons for it. While Intel has been chugging away with their yearly CPU launches on their mainstream chips, the every two year release of new CPU sockets. AMD has been running on various revisions of their Bulldozer microarchitecture and the AM3+ platform for the past 6 years. For a lot of the younger enthusiasts, this actually goes back to before they could afford to build a custom PC. Add to all of that the recent dominance by Intel in the higher end market and you have a lot of people foaming at the mouth to pick up something from AMD that can compete. Well after months of hype, today is the day that we can finally sit down and check out the new CPUs and the new AM4 platform. AMD sent over all three of the newly launched CPUs, the flagship 1800X, the 1700X, and the 1700. Before you run out and pick one up, check out how it performed for us and make a point to check out a few other independent sources as well so make sure it is what you were hoping.

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GTX 1080 Founders Edition SLI Testing

Well while I have the Crush project build apart I painted the two GTX 1080’s and after that, I had a little extra time. To fill that time I went ahead and put the two cards on our testbench and ran them through our standard test suite to see how they perform. I put all of the results together and today I’m tossing the up for anyone who wants to see how the 1080’s compare in SLI to a single GTX 1080, two RX 480’s, or two GTX 1070’s. As always with our SLI/Crossfire articles, it is mostly just the results with very little content beyond that, so you can use the information to form your own opinions.

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LG V20

There are only a few phones that I get really excited about every year. The LG V20 is one of those phones, the ultra-premium feature list with things like a built-in headphone DAC are always interesting. This is also one of only a few phones on the premium phone market that has a removable battery and expandable memory. Those features and the aluminum body all help it stand out in a crowded market, but today I’m going to see what else the V20 has going for it and find out just where it stands for performance.

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Project Build: Crush – Part 5 – Painting a GTX 1080 FE

For some people, you get your computer together and never mess with it again. I, on the other hand, have a problem and as they say, the first thing is to admit you have a problem. I finished up the Crush build and even posted up performance numbers last week. My problem is I keep looking and thinking how much better the build could look with this one change. Once you do that, you are done, right? Nope! Now that you did that, this other thing really needs to be changed. It’s an endless battle. Well with Crush I just HAD to pull it all apart and keep messing with it. I’m actually in the middle of a few different changes, but the biggest was painting the two GTX 1080’s like I had originally planned. So today I’m going to run through how to paint the new GTX 1080/1070 Founders Edition cards for a nice matching look.

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ADATA SU800 256GB SSD

Last year ADATA introduced their SU800 as part of a complete line of 3D NAND based SSDs. It is their mid-ranged model with the SU900 being their highest end SATA based SSD but comes in at a price point that Is budget friendly as well. The SU800 is also the first 3D NAND SSD on the market from a company that doesn’t make their own NAND. So today I’m going to take a look inside the drive and see what it’s all about and also test its performance to see how it compares to other SATA based drives. Is this the SATA SSD for your next build? The price is right and they have the capacities, but let’s find out.

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Logitech G533 Wireless Headset

As someone who prefers good audio quality but also can’t stand being attached to my desk with a wire, I have been on the hunt for the perfect wireless headset for a long time now. I’ve run into a few that I liked and even used for a while but they all seem to have their flaws that become obvious over time. The Logitech G930 for example. I tested it back in 2013 and it performed really well, but I ran into issues trying to use it at LAN events and later it even gave me issues in my office when running other wireless devices. Well, I’m back at it again, this time with Logitech’s G533. In a lot of ways, it is similar to the old G930 and Logitech was happy to tell me about the improvements in wireless performance and even improvements in gaming audio performance, but let’s take a closer look and see what it has going on.

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Project Build: Crush – Part 4 - Performance Testing

Getting the Crush build all together took a lot of time and a lot of coordination working with the whole list of sponsors, especially after having to pull the motherboard and CPU for our test bench. But it is all finally together, at least for now, so today is the day I finally get to see how it performs. The build didn’t end up being as crazy as The Fridge, but it did end up being a lot more usable and more practical for my office space. Plus the orange theme is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, it's exciting to check that one off the to-do list. Of course, I’m already looking at more things I can do to the build and I am always open to suggestions, but for now let’s see how it performed and check out the office area around it now that I gained space back from the HUGE Fridge build.

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EpicGear DeFiant Mechanical Keyboard Set

Just about everyone has jumped into the mechanical keyboard market at this point but rarely do you see companies take their time in tweaking and tuning their products like I have seen with EpicGear. All the way back in 2015 I took a look at their Dezimator X, a pre-release keyboard that they were considering sending to the USB market. Well, my review wasn’t the most promising. They took that information along with a lot of feedback from the mechanical communities and Massdrop and designed a new keyboard. Well the EpicGear DeFiant was released and it has a whole list of customization options, well they have been working on a new set based around the DeFiant with a carrying case and some of the customization options, today I’m going to check it out and see how things have changed.

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