Seagate ES.2 1Tb Hard drives

img_3819lr-lrsmWhen shopping for a hard drive, most people don't consider anything more than the amount of space you're going to get for the lowest price. I will admit I've been guilty of this in the past. Of course as with anything else, there is a lot more to consider if you are looking to get a fast and reliable hard drive for your high end rig. Seagate is well known in the business and personal hard drive market. We happened to come upon two of Seagate's ES-2 1 terabyte hard drives. Being a business class hard drive I was curious to see what differentiates the ES-2 compared to the Barracuda line.

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Thrustmaster Dual Trigger Gun NW

img_3635lrNintendo may have struck an untapped gold-mine with their latest console, but it seems to come at a high price for those of us who were once devoted and loyal fans.  The casual crowd is the company's target this go around, much to the dismay of the rest of us.  So for a lot of people, the Wii sits as a very expensive white paperweight in their home.  I, for one, often go months at a time without powering on the console.  Occasional flukes serve to breathe some life into the system, with first-party Nintendo titles being the most obvious.  However, what I've found to be a hidden gem on the Wii is the light-gun game remakes, as well as the new ones developed specifically for the Wii.  These games take the one advantage Wii controls have, ie pointing the controller at the screen, and utilize it in a very natural way.  Of course, when you play a light-gun style game, you are missing a critical component of the equation: the light-gun.  Simply pointing a Wiimote at a screen and imagining that you're shooting bullets out of it is kind of lame, so quite a few companies have developed light-gun shells for your Wiimote.     Thrustmaster, being one of them, sent us their Dual Trigger Gun NW to test on its own and against perhaps the most popular shell, the Nyko Perfect Shot.  Here's how it measured up...

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Microsoft Sidewinder X8 Wireless Mouse

img_3659lr-lrsmLast week I looked at both Microsoft's Sidewinder X5 mouse and Sidewinder X6 keyboard. Both surprised me with their near perfect windows integration along with quality construction. To cap off our coverage of the current sidewinder lineup Microsoft provided us with their most recent mouse the X8. The Sidewinder X8 is Microsoft's first attempt at a wireless gaming mouse available just in time to battle it out with the Razer Mamba that is also wireless. With their new blue optical technology first seen in the new explorer mouse called BlueTrack along with learning from feedback from the X5 they hope to turn a lot of heads and finally garner attention from gamers the way Logitech, Steel Series, and Razer have been able too.

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Cooler Master Sileo 500

img_3690lr-lrsmNot every PC build needs to be a full size case with 15 fans. Sometimes you are just looking for a simple case that will keep your rig cool enough and most importantly keep the noise to a minimum. At CES this past January we had a chance to take a look at Cooler Master's upcoming silent rig the Sileo 500. The Sileo 500 is finally released and we have the chance to take a closer look at the case. The timing was perfect with the upcoming rebuild of my wifes computer, and considering the focus on keeping everything quite I hope it will balance out some of the noise my computer makes ;).

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Microsoft Sidewinder X6 Keyboard

img_3683lr-lrsmEarlier this week I looked at Microsoft's Sidewinder X5 Gaming Mouse, as it turns out they make more than just mice with the Sidewinder name. The Sidewinder X6 is the first gaming keyboard created from the ground up by Microsoft, there previous keyboard the Reclusa was a collaboration with our friends at Razer similar to what they did with the Habu mouse. Of course I'm always excided to take a look at new keyboards, I don't think I've ever found the perfect keyboard for me. With Microsoft's experience and quality, who knows this could be the one for me.

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Microsoft Sidewinder X5 Mouse

img_3645lr-lrsmFor years before I got into gaming I used my trusty ol mouse and keyboard, both being Microsoft products. The Intellimouse itself held up to multiple beatings without a hiccup. I know a lot of people who have stood by their Microsoft peripherals for everyday computing. It's no shock that with the gaming market growing that Microsoft followed suit with their Sidewinder Series. With their original sidewinder mouse it was always a love or hate reaction. Personally, I was never a fan, but keeping an open mind today I will be taking a closer look at their Sidewinder X5 mouse. Who knows they may win me over!

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XCM Xbox 360 Controller Case

img_3621lr-lrsmIt doesn't matter what your interest or hobbies are there will always be a group of people who aren't happy with having the same thing as everyone else. Because of that people "mod" or modify just about anything you can think of. There are large industries just about creating parts specifically in the automobile industry and more recently the computer industry. You will find those same people in the console gaming community, people like Ben Heck have made a name for themselves doing just that. Because of that popularity there are company's now that make parts to help you along if this is your thing. XCM is one if not the biggest company that does this. Today I will be looking at a replacement case with led lighting for your Xbox 360 controller. This is very interesting for me both because I love to mod everything and because I hate how I can't ever tell the difference between my Xbox 360 controllers. I'm hoping that this case will satisfy both of those issues.

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ThrustMaster T-Nchuk Wireless Adapter

100_1464-lanocsmEveryone hates cords. They're messy, tangle easy, and are simply an unwanted restriction. With the next generation gaming consoles putting some much emphasis on wireless controllers and accessories, companies have begun to eliminate wires that do still exist. One of the more obvious is the cord that connects the Nintendo Wii's remote the the nunchuck controller, and ThrustMaster generously sent us their solution to test.

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XCM Xbox 360 Hard Drive Shell

100_1354-lanocsmThere are quite a few reasons why a person would need a new 360 hard drive shell, which is essentially an enclosure in the console gaming world. One may be simply that the factory shell has broke, another may be that you simply don't like the color of your current shell. But the third, and perhaps the instance where XCM holds value, is for system mods; no where on this shell do you see the company's name, advertisements, numbers, or writing of any kind. It is simply a blank shell, ready to serve whatever your purpose may be.

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Antec Nine Hundred Two

img_3561lr-lrsmFor the past two years, Antec's Nine Hundred has dominated the field at lan parties and in the hearts of gamers. The high airflow and slick looks made the case very popular. Two years later there are numerous competitors who have brought out products to tap into that same market. Recently, Antec brought out the Twelve Hundred with a similar design to the Nine Hundred but with some much-needed changes. They have decided to add some of those changes to the Nine Hundred along with a few new ideas. The new product is called the Nine Hundred Two, today we are going to take a closer look.

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Tritton AXPro 5.1 Headset

img_3315lr-lrsmSome time ago we reviewed Tritton's quality headset, the AX51 5.1 Headset.  At that point I was thoroughly impressed with the set, so much so in fact, I took them to our last local party LanOC V.3.   I decided that even with the power brick as an anchor, the superior quality warranted the hassle.  It seems that Tritton was dissatisfied with their previous attempt at chaining me to my desk with just one adapter because they just released a new top of the line model: the Tritton AXPro.  As you may have guessed, this device's number of earthly tethers are greater than the last, possessing a staggering two power adapters for one single headset.  Tritton sent us one of these beastly headsets to see if they live up to their status as well as their power consumption.  This means that, once again, as we review this headset,  I can no longer move from my workstation.  My name is Thomas Gilligan, and if you are reading this, I am being held against my will by the Tritton AXPro.

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Kensington's Slim Blade Presenter Mouse

img_3427lr-lrsmLast July i had the chance to take a look at Kensington's Si670m bluetooth mouse. I have been using that same mouse up until now, our friends over at Kensington sent me their Slim Blade Presenter Mouse to take a look at. A drastically different design than the Si670m that I enjoyed. How will it compare? Will this become my new laptop mouse?

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Cooler Master V10 Hybrid Cooler

img_3254lr-lrsmThe big news from Cooler Master at CES this year was the upcoming release of the long awaited V10 heatsink. Last year they showed off the V10 design at CES similar to what eventually released but without the TEC cooling that was included in the final product. Speaking of the TEC cooling, the idea of a hybrid cooling solution isn't new, but has been far from perfected. Cooler Master believes they have the top dog in cooling performance with the V10. Today we will be comparing the V10 to Cooler Master's V8 to see how much of an improvement the step up in price and size gets you.

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Noctua NH-U9B 92mm Heatsink

img_3490lr-lrsmToday we are looking at the Noctua NH-U9B. This of course is far from the first product from Noctua that we have tested; in fact, we have looked at just about everything from their current product lineup. The NH-U9B is similar to the NH-U12p but smaller. Replacing the 120mm fan with a 92mm the NH-U9B is the perfect size for smaller more compact setups. If it's anything like my past experiences I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

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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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Choiix Mini Air-Through Notebook Cooling Pad

img_3443-lanoc-reviews-lrsmAt CES this past January and more recently at CeBit right now we have seen a growing trend. Companies like Cooler Master have been introducing designer brands with a focus on style. Cooler Master introduced Choiix (it's said "choice") this past June, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at their whole line this past January at CES. Today we have a chance to get a closer look at their Mini Air-Through Notebook Cooling Pad. Without the models here to distract me, I can really check it out.

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Steelseries Ikari Laser Mouse

img_3263-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallSteelseries is well known for being a quality gaming peripheral company. Their headsets and mouse pads are seen all over any just about any lanpartys or tournament that you go to. Up until last year their mouse line was basically a Microsoft mouse with a paint job. Designing a mouse takes time, and designing a mouse of the caliber of their other products takes a lot of time, fifteen months in fact. A year later we finally have a chance to take a look at the Ikari Laser to see if the time they invested was worth it.

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XCM Sniper 3.0 Plus

img_3101-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallThe PC vs. Console argument has been an ongoing battle. With new consoles focusing on online play the issue mainly comes down to controls in FPR and RTS games. Diehard PC gamers have a hard time playing those games with a controller, and console gamers don't see the need for a keyboard and mouse. Until recently, if you wanted to play console games you had to use a normal controller. XCM recently released their Sniper 3.0 Plus, an adapter to be able to use a mouse and keyboard on your favorite console games. Well considering or focus on gaming and gaming gear I had to get my hands on the Sniper 3.0 Plus. As a PC FPS gamer, I could not wait to jump in and see how well I could do on console games with my preferred input device.

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Steelseries Siberia Neckband Headset

img_3283-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIn the past, we have worked with Steelseries with our lan parties and reviews. Considering their focus on creating performance enhancing gaming gear, it's not a surprise really that we have a close relationship with them. Today I will be looking at their Siberia Neckband headset. With a neckband design being much different than any other headset I have tested I am excited but unsure how it will perform. Although considering past experiences with Steel Series I'm sure it will be a quality product.

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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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