Cosmos S Mods Part 2 - Fan upgrade

img_3329-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallThis past December I walked everyone through a few small mods that I did to our Cosmos S to help it stand out. The window and lighting really made the case look amazing. I did have some issues with the fans with vibration and overall noise. Infact it got so bad that I had to unplug most of them. Because of that I was on the market for replacement fans. I have reviewed a few fans in the past so my decision was hard, adding to that was the problem of my favorite fans running $20+. When you’re looking at 5 or 6 fans that adds up quickly. In the end, I decided to go with Noctua fans considering the amazing performance of them in the past. After working out a deal with Noctua, the next thing I know I had a box full of fans on my doorstep. Will they be an improvement?

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Earpollution Custom Fallout

img_3125-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWhen I went to CES this year at Las Vegas, NV,  I went into it knowing I would be the person to check out the stuff Wes couldn't make it to. While I was there, ifrogz was nice enough to meet up with me to show off some of their new headphones. I meet up with spoke with their Media Relations Specialist Ashley she showed me around to some products. I was impressed with their products and loved the ability to customize your own headphones in the Earpollution line. I was even more impressed when Ashley handed me a gift card to customize my own set. After getting back home and settled in I took a look at their website and decided to order a set of Fallout's.

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Shuttle SP45H7

img_3227-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallIn the PC gaming world it seems like everything just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Recently we looked at the Coolermaster 840, at over 22 inches tall it's a very large case. What if you could pack your whole rig into something no taller than a DVD case. This is where Shuttle comes in; they have been designing barebone setups for 19 years that defy what most people say should fit into a small form factor case. In fact, they were the first company to produce a SFF system. Barebones of course means you get a case, power supply, and motherboard; leaving you to only get your HD, disc drive, CPU, Ram, and video card. Today we are going to look at their SP45H7 barebone, with a Intel P45 chipset and a SFF case I suspect this has the possibility to be a great lan party setup.

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Razer Moray

img_3204-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallRecently Razer has jumped into the Audio market in full force with a variety of headsets, speaker systems, and even a sound card (ok this has been out for a while but still). Obviously all of their products are geared towards the PC gaming community. One of their new products that stands out in the Moray, "Designed for gamers, the Razer Moray delivers immersive gaming audio or music on the go in a sleek, compact package." The Moray could be a more compact replacement for my Razer pro|tone m250's. If you're playing games while on the go or even looking to bring razer style along with you and your mp3 player make sure to check out how they performed for us.

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Antec Veris Multimedia Station Basic

picture-021-copyHigh-end PC gaming can be considered a niche market without too much of a stretch. Its expensive and doesn't always translate well in the price to performance ratio department.  Home theater PCs, on the other hand, are a niche within a niche, due largely to the pain and expense necessary to maintain a separate computer simply to watch television.  Furthermore, you can't use just any hardware in an htpc. If you want one that can decode high-def movies and television or even lightly game you can't just slap the oldest stuff you have lying around the house into a case - the tech has to be somewhat competent.  Antec has recently come out with the Veris product line to help blur these lines a bit.  Whether you're looking to turn your main rig into a pseudo-htpc, or trying to spice up an already assembled home theater solution, read on for our experience with the Veris Basic.

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Tuniq TR-1 Thermal Paste Remover

img_3170-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallGetting the best performance out of your heatsink depends on the perfect application of thermal paste. If there is old thermal paste left over or to much is used you can decrease the performance of even the best heatsinks. In the past I've just wiped thermal paste off with a towel, if it gets really tough I used rubbing alcohol. Tuniq realized that there is an issue where most people don't clean their CPU off properly. They developed TR-1 as a reaction to that problem. Considering how often I am swapping heatsinks I am excited to see how this will perform. Read on to find out!

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Coolermaster Hyper N520

img_3182-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallWith our trip to CES this year I had a rare opportunity to get a closer look at Coolermaster’s current and upcoming heatsinks. They showed off their “Top Dog” the v10 mostly, and because of that coverage and enthusiasm the new Hyper N520 was slightly overshadowed. Targeted at the budget crowd who is looking to get the best performance for their money I don’t expect it to break any records. But we have been surprised before, will the Hyper N520 out perform its competitors?

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AxeWraps Skins: The Blaze

100_1270 Let's be honest: when it comes to expressing yourself, cute stickers and colored plastic just don't seem to cut it. So when you decide to to deck out your guitar peripheral, you want to do it with some style. AxeWraps graciously sent us one of their Rock Band guitar skins, The Blaze, to put to the test.

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Razer Lycosa Mirror Edition

img_3150-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallAs much of a fan of Razer products that I have been I have yet to own one of their keyboards. When they brought out the Tarantula keyboard I seriously considered picking one up. But after testing one out I decided to go with the 2nd generation G15 that I still use. Because of this I was really excited when our friends at Razer asked if we wanted to take a look at their new keyboard (ok so I may have begged a little). Today I am going to tell you my experiences with this new keyboard, will it live up to the hype of all of the other Razer products?

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Spire Torq Laptop Backpack

img_0481-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallFor the past year I have been using a messenger style laptop bag to carry around my laptop. I've made a few trips but nothing major up until the beginning of this year. Our trip to CES this year required a lot of planning and packing. I was going to need a secure way to carry around my laptop at the show that I could also take onto the plane with me. I came in contact with a bag manufacture by the name of Spire; they have a great selection of high quality laptop bags including backpacks. Spire was nice enough to send out their new backpack called the Torq for me to be able to try out while I was at CES.

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Measure Twice Products Guitar Stand and Wall Mount

img_0217-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallI recently reviewed the Guitar stand from Dudethingcreations. As it turns out, they aren't alone in the market for Guitar Hero and Rock Band guitar stands. A company by the name of Measure Twice Products also produces a 4-guitar stand with a drastically different design. They also produce a Wall mountable hanger available in two different designs. Today we will be looking at both; I plan to figure out if their stand will stand up to our abuse.

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Coolermaster ATCS 840

img_3079-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallBefore Coolermaster released the original Stacker case back in 2004 (has it really been 5 years?) they had a line of cases called the ATCS (Advanced Thermal Cooling Solution). ATCS cases where all aluminum cases that at the time was a major change from the steel cases made by many of the other manufactures. With pc case styling going to the bigger is better look, the ATCS's went away in favor of cases like the Stacker. Recently they went back to their old designs and came up with the idea of bringing the ATCS back, but with updated features to compete with modern cases and a serious focus on making the case simple to use. They called the new case the ATCS 840; the 840 caught my attention as soon as I saw pictures giving me reason to contact Coolermaster about working with them on reviews. Because of that, I now have a chance to check it out, so let's get to it.

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Prince of Persia - PS3

When the Prince of Persia was born in 1989, it began as a simple side-scrolling platform game. At the time, the graphics were beautiful, and the gameplay put a refreshing twist on the genre that Mario had set not too long before. After a few sequels and several years, PoP saw new life from Ubisoft, where it evolved from a 2-D scroller to a 3-D adventure title. And again, the graphics looked great on the current generation of console, and the gameplay took the breath of many gamers, myself included. Of course, the Sands of Time was followed by two more sequels, ending in 2005. With a new wave of consoles at their disposals, Ubisoft has revived the old franchise, and again it has seen many changes.

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Dudethingcreations Guitar Stand

img_0223-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallBetween our unhealthy obsession for Guitar Hero and Rock Band games and the need for equipment for the LanOC events we have a few too many guitars lying around. Because of this we began to have a nest of guitars and wires. Considering the popularity of the games I'm sure we are not the only one with this problem.  Because of this there have been a variety of company and people who have many creative ideas on how to deal with this problem. A couple of guys in Texas had our same problem and designed a stand to hold 4 guitars and one microphone. After "selling like hotcakes" on Ebay they decided to step it up with a new website and some additional help, and that's how Dude thing Creations came about. Today I will be taking a closer look at their Gaming Guitar Stand. This will hopefully help clean up the mess in our living room.

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In Win Matrix

 

img_0818-lanoc-reviews-lanoc-reviews-smallNot every case needs to be some large gaming case. Sometimes you need something small and simple. In Win sent out their new Matrix case for me to check out with this in mind. As far as I know it's nothing like the movie, but we will find out for sure.

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Xilence Dual Heatpipe Ram Cooler

The other day I looked at the Xilence Xilent Blade Pro heatsink. Xilence produces a long list of cooling products. A good example of their wide selection is their Dual Heatpipe RAM Cooler. Designed to give great ram cooling for overclocking it's a perfect match for dedicated gamers and overclocking geeks.

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Logitech Cordless Vantage PS3 Headset

The Sony Playstation 3 as a console has so far offered up a questionable gaming experience for those who have purchased it.  Realistically, however, the system does have its own distinct titles - many of which deliver solid multiplayer content.  Resistance 1 and 2, LittleBigPlanet, and Warhawk all serve up delicious online fare just for starters and with the inception of Home for the PS3, it's safe to say that like the Xbox 360, online play is an integral part of the PS3 experience.  At this point, in order to maintain an edge in an online game, a headset is basically required in order to establish proper teamwork.  Since Sony hasn't seen fit to provide their supporters with an official Sony headset as of yet, it's up to the third parties to pick up the slack.  This is where Logitech comes in with their Cordless Vantage headset, an interesting device fit to take advantage of the PS3's Bluetooth capabilities.  They were kind enough to send us one, so that we might put it to the test.

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Noctua NH-C12P

A few weeks ago I took a look at the NH-U12P from Noctua. I was very impressed with the performance of the NH-U12P. In fact it was one of our best performing heatsinks to date. Noctua also makes a different design that is a little more low profile called the NH-C12P. Today we are going to see how the NH-C12P compares to the NH-U12P along with other heatsinks we have tested. In the past we have had trouble finding problems with Noctua; will the NH-C12P perform the same?

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Happy new year

I hope everyone has a great time. Please stay safe!

Xilence Xilent Blade Pro

A few weeks ago I took a closer look at a fan from a relatively unknown company by the name of Xilence. Not knowing what to expect I was presently surprised by the quite smooth performance of the fan. They also sent out one of their heatsinks called the Xilent Blade Pro for us to check out. Now that we are past the Christmas craziness, we are going to look and see how it performs compared to the other heatsinks that we have tested in the past. With a similar look to the Gelid Solutions heatsink we tested recently, I don't expect it to outperform the high end heatsinks, but I hope this will be a quite upgrade for a budget rig.

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