Preview: New Sparkle PSU

IMG_0404__frontlanoc_copyLanOC will be one of the few national review sites to be the first to check out Sparkle's new power supply unit line, the Gold Class Series, with ratings of 1000-1250W. These 80 Plus Gold Certified units will be equipped with several features tailored for the needs on PC gaming, including super silent fans, spontaneous power loss protection, and a temperature control design mode. LanOC Reviews will be one of the few to get their hands on the first wave of review samples from Sparkle. Stay in tuned for this review, coming soon!

 

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SteelSeries NP+

211_005_LanOC_front_watermarkAs gamers, competition is in our blood. Whether it's a quick match online, a neighborhood LAN party, or an official tournament, the desire to win is always present. No one is more familiar with this than SteelSeries, manufacturing professional-grade gaming equipment based on needs of gamers and less on fancy logos and slogans. In the PC realm, equipment is all the more important it takes a mix of preference and quality to allow for a player to gain an actual advantage. Today, I sit down with the new NP+ gaming surface to see how it helps gamers perform at their best.

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Lancool Dragonlord PC-K56

211_060_front_watermarkLancool is a child company of Lian Li, popular for their aluminum builds, out of Taiwan devoted to improving the experience of the LAN gamer, whether it be through convenience, style, or performance. Being a review site with such focus on LAN parties as we are, naturally we we're excited to check out what it was that set these mid-towers apart, and see if it held up to our own expectations. Lancool has sent us one of their latest models, the K56, for just that opportunity.

A thanks to http://www.hampton-technologies.com/ for shipping this case out to us

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Verizon MiFi 2200

mifi_02Before we packed up for CES this year I had the pleasure/luck of talking with Verizon about reviewing a few of their current and upcoming products. With CES now over I couldn't help but jump at the chance to try out the MiFi. With a whole group of us traveling around Vegas the MiFi would be perfect for helping us get the most current updates posted for everyone to read. Now that we are back to work catching up with all of our reviews, I finally have a chance to talk about my experience with it.

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Ultra X4 500 and 850 watt Power Supply’s

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When it comes to power supplies, you may or may not know the name Ultra. Ultra is known for selling affordable power supplies with a few extra design elements thrown in (power supply with a window and lighting anyone?). Having heard of them or not you are going to want to take note, they released a new series of power supplies that have been getting high marks from some of our friends. With us being backed up with work, we are just now getting to testing ours out. Here is what we found out.

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Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard

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For most PC gamers, the best part about playing on a PC over console is the added control and flexibility of using a mouse and keyboard. More specifically the mouse gives you the amazing control that just can't be found with a gamepad. The keyboard, although flexible, has always been used for typing first and gaming second. A few companies have brought out gameboards that replace the keyboard all together giving you access to all of the buttons needed without any of the extras. Logitech's G13 is their first attempt at a gamepad and with all of their experience with gaming accessories, I have high hopes.

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Dark Void - PC

DV_Nvidia_screen055_bmp_jpgcopyCapcom's much anticipated foot-and-air hybrid finally released on January 19th, developed by Airtight Games on the Unreal Engine 3. Airtight has created a mix of on the ground first-person action  with aerial thrid-person flight and combat, Dark Void was a title we were anxious to get our hands on I finally get to sit down to reflect on my experience with the latest title from Capcom.

 

 

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LanOC Preview: BioShock 2

bioshock2dteaThis past Friday our Managing Editor Tim was lucky enough to participate in a media conference call with the developers at 2K Marin, the development studio behind BioShock 2: the highly anticipated follow up to 2007's BioShock. Here's what LanOC Reviews found out about 2K's upcoming shooter.

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Thermaltake Toughpower XT 750w

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Thermaltake's Toughpower series of power supply's makes a big statement with its name. Oddly enough even though we have taken a look at a variety of their products we have never put the Toughpower line to the test to see how tough they really are. Today we have the chance to check out the Toughpower XT 750 watt power supply. Lets find out how it compares to other PSU's we have tested in the past.

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VIZO EZSurf

dec_058front_lanoc_Cooling is essential to any computer and has become even more vital for those users running higher-end laptop models, such as gamers. The nature of the notebook is a hot one, and putting extra hardware and stress in little spaces only adds to the problem. We've reviewed many laptop coolers in the past, each with their own tactic to tackle a common enemy (heat). The weapon of choice has always been fans, ranging in size, quantity, and speed. That is, until now. VIZO has introduced a new, fanless tactic to the arsenal of laptop cooling, and sent us a sample to try for ourselves.

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Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W

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It's hard to tell it from the reviews we have done in the past, but our friends over at Cooler Master make more than cases. In fact, they have a wide range of products including a variety of power supplies. For the past year, I have been using their UCP 1100w in my own rig and have been very happy with it. Today we are going to take a look at their new 850 watt Silent Pro M and see if it lives up to the Cooler Master name.

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Seagate Constellation 2TB Hard Drive

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The other day we took a look at Western Digital's 2TB offering, it's only fair that we see what Seagate has to offer as well. Seagate offers both the Barracuda XT and Constellation drives in 2TB capacities. Today we will  be taking a look at the Constellation. In the past we have reviewed a 2 1/2 inch Constellation drive, I'm curious what four times the capacity and a larger form factor has done to its performance.

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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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Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black Hard Drive

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Hard Drives continue to get larger and along with lager capacity the they also continue to get faster. What that means for us is that  Western Digital's recently released 2 TB Caviar Black Hard Drive is not only one of the largest drives on the market it's also one of the fastest. Today I will be taking a look at the 2TB Caviar Black and testing it to see how it stands up against SSD's, High RPM Enterprise class drives, and Western Digital's own Velociraptor. Considering the performance we have seen out of 1TB and 1.5TB drives in the past, it will be interesting to see how the numbers come out.

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Razer DeathAdder 3500 DPI Gaming Mouse

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In the past, I have compared some of the best mice in the industry to Razer's DeathAdder. No matter the competition, the DeathAdder always holds its own. Recently Razer decided to give the DeathAdder a slight renovation with a 3500DPI sensor update. Considering how much I've loved my DeathAdder let's hope they didn't mess with the winning formula!

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Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Edition

IMG_6922_LanOCsm"Limited edition" is not a term unheard of in the gaming industry. Normally it's a term branded about in the realm of game consoles not PCs. Recently Cooler Master has been spreading exclusives to PC gaming. Do you recall the CM 690 NVIDIA edition? It was a full tower featuring the company's color scheme and logo. The bar has only been raised since then and Cooler Master has gone above and beyond with the new AMD edition of the HAF 932, they've even sent us a sample to check out for ourselves.

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In-Win Maelstrom

IMG_6894_LanOCsmA case is the most essential piece of hardware for any computer, and holds a lot of potential to affect its owner's experience: convenience, cooling, efficiency, and appearance to name a few. In the gaming industry, these aspects are all the more important. The market is currently flooded with makes and models, each trying to satisfy every area or specialize enough in one to to become unique. In-Win's Maelstrom case is one of the former's leading contenders, and they've sent us a sample to find out why.

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XCM Hot Rock Wii Case

IMG_4824_lanoc_frontIn the US you can only buy the Wii in the white variety. If you wanted the colors that Nintendo teased us with at expos long passed, then keep dreaming. Enter XCM, a company which specializes in case replacements for consoles and handhelds. How do they stack up against the official thing? I will be reviewing the II Hot Rock case for the Nintendo Wii.

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Left 4 Dead 2

l4d2_pc_box_sm_One of the most surprising announcements at last year's E3 was that Valve's zombie-survival thriller Left 4 Dead was already getting a sequel. The game would only have been out for exactly one year from Left 4 Dead 2's date of arrival, November 17, 2009. The gaming industry was swept with a broad range of emotions, from excitement to enough resentment to incite a boycott. Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) has been out for a few weeks now, and we've sat down with it to see if it not only has deemed itself worthy of a full core game, but helped to heal the wounds that a rocky launch left behind.

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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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