Cooler Master 430 Elite

01As PC enthusiasts, we tend to gravitate toward bigger and better, but not everyone needs a huge case with all sorts of fancy features and accessories. Sometimes small and simple is better. Let's say your mom finally decides to take you up on your offer to build her a new computer. Do you think she really cares if there's a fan controller or connections for water cooling? Mom just wants to turn it on and get her email. This is where the Cooler Master 430 Elite comes in.

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Das Professional S Keyboard

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No sleep and no quiet make Adam do something something.. As I sit here typing this review with our managing editor sitting here next to me I can already see that it won’t be long before Adam loses his mind, smashing high end hardware components all over the place. The reason his distress is due to the lovely Das Keyboard Professional S that I am reviewing today. We have visited their line of keyboards once before, today we are trying out the keyboard with letters on the keycaps. At least this time I can see the letters before Adam goes crazy.

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Cooler Master HAF X

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Coming hot off the heels of the amazing 690 II Advanced, Cooler Master introduced today their newest case the HAF X. We have spent some time with both their HAF 932 AMD Edition and HAF 922, both getting some of our highest ratings. When the HAF X came in I was excited to find out how Cooler Master improved on the popular HAF design. Let’s jump in and take a look.

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Fox-it eSlick

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When you are looking for a fast and easy to use PDF reader you may come across a company called Fox-It. They make a fast, if not the fastest PDF reader; you can say they do a better job with adobe PDF files than Adobe themselves. When I found out last year that Fox-It was bringing out an e-reader, I was excited to see if their PDF knowledge would improve on the already great e-reader.

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Diamond Multimedia HD5770

diamondM5770_1When putting together a gaming rig, unless you’re rolling in the dough you have to make compromises with every part of the build. If we didn’t everyone would be running around with systems like this, and ATI and NVidia wouldn’t be putting out budget cards like the 5770 from Diamond Multimedia that we are going to take a look at today. With a low price point and low power requirements this may be a perfect card for my portable LAN rig.

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NZXT Tempest EVO

037_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkThe word Tempest holds the meaning of a strong windstorm, a description that any user would want to define their tower. A few months ago we reviewed NZXT's basic model, living up to the name but falling short in a few minor aspects in the enthusiast category. To satisfy those users, the Tempest EVO was introduced, an enthusiast steel tower that retains it's predecessor's functionality and pairs it with an improved appearance. Today we see how the 'Airflow King reborn' performs.

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Sparkle Gold Series 1250W ATX Power Supply

sparkle1250_9Of the 2,195 power supplies currently listed on the 80 plus website, only 186 of them are certified 80+ gold. That means just over 11% of the power supplies tested meet or beat their highest standard. Although not listed on the 80+ website yet, Sparkle Computer Corp is gearing up to release a monster of a power supply. At 1250 watts it puts out nearly double the power of most of the other 80+ gold PSU’s. That high standard most likely is the reason for the “Gold Class” name; let’s dig in and learn a little more about it.

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Preview: Bigfoot Networks Killer 2100

2100Bigfoot Networks is no stranger to LanOC Reviews, having the chance to personally speak with them on a number of occasions. If you're not familiar with the company, very simply BFN is a company dedicated to help reduce your lag in online gaming with their line of network cards. The Killer technology has been on the market for a while now, and BFN has been developing and enhancing their products to better fight network latency. Bigfoot has given us the oppurtunity to get a first-look at their new product, the Killer 2100 Network Card.

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Thermaltake SpinQ VT

front_lanoc_watermarkAppearance has become a large part of any PC gaming enthusiast's rig, with more and more chassis coming with windowed sides standard in order to to show off  your hardware. This addition is yet another decision to factor into the buying process. Thermaltake has a large line of CPU coolers, many with a unique design and performance. My favorite has always been the SpinQ line and today I sit down with the new SpinQ VT to see how it performs, in both the eye of the user and the processor.

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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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Antec Notebook Cooler To Go

002_lanoc_front_lanoc_watermarkThe notebook cooling market has lately been flooded with makes and models, each attempting to tackle the heat issue that often comes with portable computers, especially in those used for gaming. Antec sent us out their Notebook Cooler To Go, which is designed as you may have guess to be portable. Having reviewed similar products in the past, that portability is often acquired through the sacrifice of performance. Given Antec's reputation for effciency, I was anxious to see how the Cooler To Go stacked up against not only it's similar-sized competition but also the bulkier models that are often required for higher cooling rates.

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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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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.

 

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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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