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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23” De-Branded HDMI Monitor

debranded23_1What If I told you that you could pick up a 23 inch monitor today for less than 160 bucks? A lot of people including one of our staff would jump right on that. Of course, no matter what the price it won’t make any difference if it’s sporting dead pixels. That’s why today I will be taking a closer look at one of these hot deals, I’m sure you have already ordered yours so you can read about my experience with it while you wait for it to come in the mail.

computer monitors

 

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Gelid Solutions Wing 12PL

018_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkThe simple case fan that we know and love has truly taken on a few extra roles over the years, including making our towers look kick-ass. Few methods can top the simplicity and functionality of LEDs, when they're done right. It should be silent of course and you can't forget adequate cooling either. Just as easy as any fan can make a build, it can also break a build. Gelid Solutions recently sent us their newest entry, the Wing 12PL, to see how well it performs in the demanding field of case cooling.

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Cooler Master 690 II Advanced

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Sometimes it’s hard to improve on an already popular design. You risk losing what made the original so popular, but if you don’t continue to innovate and change things you will be out of date in no time. This is where Cooler Master was stuck when redesigning the popular 690. Today we are taking a look at the 690 II, a complete redesign of an already amazing case. Let’s see is the case still has what made the original so great.

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Diamond USB Display Adapter Pro

024_lanocIt wasn't too long ago that multiple displays were considered to be a pure enthusiast sport. Nowadays, with both hardware and software becoming more multi-task friendly, even the average user can find themselves short of desktop area. If you have the luxury of built-in dual outputs on your video card, that's great. But what if you don't or what if you find yourself craving a third what do you do? And what about laptops, for that matter? Diamond Multimedia has developed an adapter to help in all those situations and more, and has sent us one to see for ourselves.

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VIZO Red Cold Cathodes

045_lanocWhen it comes to PC gaming, owning your competition in-game just isn't enough anymore. When you arrive to a LAN and first power on your rig, they should know that you mean business. Whether your looking to complete a theme, light your PC up like a Christmas tree, or just trying to spruce up an old build, nothing gets the job done like cold cathodes. VIZO has a long line of lighting options, including UV reactant cables and binding kits (which we've already had the pleasure of testing). Today, they've sent us a more simple option, a set of cold cathode lights, to see how they perform.

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LanOC @ Stompfest '10 Day 3

Its always sad to see a LAN come to and end, but as we awoke Saturday morning, there was still plenty of time to game before it was time to pack up and drive home. In relation to the previous days, we slept in a little, ignoring alarms and scoring a nine o'clock wake time. We quickly made our way to the building to find little change; it was still packed with gamers, the some of which were going strong after twenty-four hours of gaming. Not to be out done, we jumped on our PC's and got ready to game.

 

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LanOC @ Stompfest '10 Day 2

The next day began around ten after 7AM, a little late then we had planned. Our in-room alarm clock did a great job not disturbing neighboring rooms, and just as good a job of not bothering us, either. Luckily the Verizon tone I set just-in-case was more than willing to get us going. We hit a nearby McDonald's for a breakfast to go, and arrived at Stompfest shrotly after to finish setting up. Thanks to the kind staff at SF, we were able to drop our equipment off the night before, so all that was left was to hook them up in the harsh chill of an April morning.

 

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LanOC @ Stompfest '10 Day 1

Four of us from LanOC left Ohio City around 3:30PM, right on schedule to arrive early in Wanamaker, Indiana early enough to drop our rigs off at the Stompfest event building. After hearing horror stories from MML late last year (a close call involving a car break-in), we were a bit gun shy to leave our equipemnt in a car over-night. Initially armed with Mapquest printed connections, Wes (garfi3ld) soon upgraded us with his TomTom.

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Noctua NH-D14 Heatsink

nhd14_11When it comes to heatsinks little changes but just when you think that it's all been done someone comes along and says they can do better. Sometimes it's with a new design or shape, other times it's using TEC cooling, and then sometimes it's just plain ol' size. Noctua has recently introduced the NH-D14 and D14 apparently means "monster". This has to be the largest heatsink I have ever seen and now it's sitting on our workbench today begging to be tested, let's jump in.

Available at Acoustic PC

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Bioshock 2 - PC

BioShock2_2010-04-03_13-40-09-32_lanocfrontWhen the first Bioshock was released back in 2007, one may have considered it a sleeper hit. At least at first. It wasn't long before the title became immensely popular, even to the point of spawning perhaps one of the most substantial phrases in the current gaming era. Bioshock 2 has since enjoyed the limelight its predecessor had acquired, being one of the most anticipated games of 2010. Several weeks after it's release, and some fresh DLC, I take a look back on the title. Would you kindly join me?

 

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Western Digital Velociraptor 600GB

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With the SSD market growing it wasn’t a surprise when Western Digital joined the market recently with their SiliconEdge Blue SSD. Even with the prices dropping SSD’s are still out of range for most enthusiasts. The only way most people can pick them up is settling with a 30 and 60 GB SSD, of course this leads to a balancing act trying to keep from filling up your SSD. Today Western Digital is introducing their newest version of the Velociraptor, a 600GB (or 450GB), 10k RPM monster than should hold anything you need without any worries.

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Mionix Keid 20

015_resize_watermarkNamed after a triple system that lies light-years away from Earth, the Keid is Mionix's first contender in the gaming audio realm. Mionix strives to create professional yet ergonomic products, two criteria kept well in mind during the development of their maiden headset. Today we sit down to see if the Keid 20 shines brightly or fades away.

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Trine - PC

Trine_LeadHaving the opportunity to play a game that hasn't gotten a lot of press is a chance to make known the truth about something most people may not have tried. It's kind of like when a new flavor of energy drink comes out. I mean you don't want to waste your money on it (FYI, RockStar Cola sucks). Hit the jump as I take you through the world of Trine and let you know what makes it good, what makes it bad and most importantly why loin clothes are making a comeback.

 

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Silverstone Fortress 2 FT02

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We recently took a look at Silverstone's RV02, better known as the Raven 2. With the entire motherboard rotated 90 degrees for ideal cooling performance we were very impressed. Today I have the chance to take a look at the RV02's more professionally dressed older brother the FT02, better known as the Fortress 2. With things being very similar to the Raven 2 I am curious to see how the Fortress 2 compares to the similarly styled Cooler Master ACTS 840. Which is my current case at the moment. Considering that, this review should prove to be most interesting for me.

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Ozone Ground Levels

028_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkA week or so ago we took a look at the Smog, Ozone's entry into the competitive gaming mouse industry. As any gamer is aware, however, a good mouse needs to be complimented with a good surface. Not to fall short in this category, Ozone has released two lines of mousepads of their own, and today with sit down with the more portable Ground Level series, which comes in three sizes.

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SteelSeries 4HD

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With all of this talk about gaming mice recently it’s easy to forget that mice are only part of the package. A good mouse pad helps your mouse move smoothly and can help your mouse track more accurately. SteelSeries developed the 4HD along side of the Xai for best performance with the most current gaming mice. Considering the Xai's recent review I am excited to see what else Steel Series can do.

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Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand

025_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkThe NotePal laptop cooling line from Cooler Master has several options in it's arsenal, many (if not all) that we've had the pleasure of reviewing. However, when we saw their latest addition to the series at CES 2010, we we're anxious to get our hands on it. The ErgoStand boasts many of the features that have made past models so popular, and sports some great new additions of it's own. Fresh to the market, today I sit down with a sample to put to the test.

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SteelSeries Kinzu

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With a MSRP under $35 SteelSeries took a different approach to the Kinzu than with their other mice. At a price that is in direct competition to Microsoft’s X3 and Razer’s Salmosa the Kinzu could be a great  entry level gaming mouse. But after you take all of the costly features off, is it still a gaming mouse? Or has it been watered down to a step above your basic ball mouse? Let’s find out.

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SteelSeries Xai

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SteelSeries was fairly new to the mouse scene when they introduced the Ikari in August of 2007. The Ikari was and  still is an amazing mouse, when Steel Series told me that they have spent years perfecting their next mouse I definitely had to see what all the fuss was about. Today I will be taking a look at the Xai, SteelSeries' newest gaming mouse.

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