MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G

So earlier this week I took a look at both the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. Both of our samples were from Nvidia and MSI but around the same time I also ended up with a second MSI GTX 1050 Ti, the Gaming X model. It didn’t seem right to just slip the numbers into the other coverage so today I’m going to take a look at the card. It is longer than the other MSI cards and it has a full sized dual fan cooler. They also slipped a 6-pin power connection on it as well so today I’m going to run it through all of our normal tests and see how well it performs.

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MSI GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti

So we may be past most of the exciting launches that sit at the top of the price range but both Nvidia and AMD have been slowly releasing all of their price point cards. Most recently AMD launched the RX 460. At that spot in the market, Nvidia hadn’t responded until today. Today they are announcing the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. Well really most of you saw all of the PR launch last week, but today is the official end of the NDAs. That means I can finally dive into the cards and see what Nvidia has going on. While I’m doing that I’m going to add a new game into our benchmark suite and retest the RX 460 to see how they compare. Then we can find out what cards will be the best performers for those of you who don’t have PCI power connections or for those looking to keep the budget way down on their latest build. To keep things really easy, Nvidia sent over MSI cards for both the 1050 and the 1050 Ti so they should be perfect for comparing the two.

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QNAP TS-451+

You may not have noticed, but not only have PCs been getting smaller but devices like notebooks, phones, and tablets have been taking over. It doesn’t mean that the PC is going away as some people would like you to think, but it does mean that fewer devices have the capability to hold bulk storage. Sure SSDs are getting bigger and computers have some room, but enthusiasts, geeks, and professionals used to load up their main PCs with hard drives and the PC market is moving away from that. You could go with an external drive but they don’t really have the capacity as well. Because of that, the home NAS market has been picking up and more and more people are realizing that a central storage location is helpful for the whole family. In our case, I moved to NAS storage years ago to cut back on electricity from having servers running in the house. We have had one for my attached office and another with video files but recently those have filled up and I’ve been looking at new options. While doing that I thought it would be a great time to take a look at what QNAP has going on so they sent over their TS-451+. My past NAS have been powered by slower CPUs and over time his has caused slowdowns when running RAID so I’m excited to see how the TS-451+ performs with its Intel quad core.  So let’s dive in.

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Rosewill Cullinan Gaming Case

Over the past 5 years or so I have seen the case market slowly move its focus from the flashy designs that most people associate with gaming to a cleaner theme. With that we have also seen a few companies, namely, In Win, introduce custom designs that have incorporated glass into their designs. In fact, I personally have three different builds that utilize glass. So when Rosewill contacted me about their new Cullinan case that utilizes glass and has a simple/elegant design I jumped right on board, completely ignoring the fact that it was launching right in the middle of our LAN, Alex’s and I’s vacation, and basically the craziest time for me. Because of that, I’m a little late to the party taking a look at the case, but I’m still excited to see what direction Rosewill is moving in their cases.

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Tesoro Gram Spectrum

With us being a few years into the whole RGB movement with mechanical keyboards, we are still seeing some companies finally moving their keyboards over to RGB and others have been refining their original designs. At this point, I have tested and covered just about everything and I think almost every day I’m turning down companies who want to send more and more of the same. I nearly did the same with the Gram Spectrum from Tesoro but the fact it was available in an all white design caught my eye. With everyone else only selling them in black, it is nice to see something a little different. On top of that, the Gram Spectrum also has Tesoro’s new switch called the Tesoro Agile with a short throw and short actuation point. So today I’m going to check out the Gram Spectrum and see what it is all about in all of its pale glory and find out how the new switches compare to the rest of the market.

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RX 480 Crossfire

A few weeks ago before going on vacation I took a look at the Sapphire RX 480 8GB Nitro and was impressed with its performance. Well as these things normally go, with that being the second RX 480 to come into the office, I did spend some time with both the Sapphire and our original reference RX 480 on the test bench to test out Crossfire performance. Sadly, I hadn’t had a chance to take a look at the numbers until today, though. So today let’s see how the RX 480’s perform in Crossfire for those wondering if picking up a second RX 480 in the future will be worth in.

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MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8GB

After having the chance to test the RX 460, RX 470, and RX 480 we now have a much better idea of how the current AMD lineup stands. There were a few special cases that I was curious about, though. Specifically the 4GB RX 480 and the 8GB RX 470. I was able to test the 4GB RX 480 by flashing our reference cards firmware but for the RX 470, MSI was nice enough to send a card for me to check out. I haven’t had a chance to see any of MSI’s current AMD lineup so the card also gave me a chance to see what they have going as well. So today I’m going to run the RX 470 Gaming X 8GB through all of our tests, dive into its features, and find out how it compares to the rest of the AMD lineup.

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Monster Fatal1ty FxM 200 Headset

Not everyone who plays games is into e-sports, but there is a large following for e-sports in general, especially a few of the most popular games. Payouts are in the millions of dollars and players are starting to become household names. None of today's players though have found the universal success that Fata1ty has. Fatal1ty paved the way for today's players, won twelve world championship titles, was profiled on MTV’s True Life TV show, and he created his own brand of products. Thorin did a great video covering it all earlier this year. Johnathan Wendel managed to transition huge success across multiple games into a brand. Over the years we have seen a wide variety of products including motherboards, ram, PSUs, and headsets. I actually think a lot of today's gamer crowd may even know him more as that brand than anything else. The reason for the history lesson today is because this past CES Fatal1ty and Monster announced a partnership to bring out new headsets and for a while now I’ve actually had the new Fatal1ty FxM 200 here in the office to test out. So today I’m going to take a closer look at it and see how it performed.

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Motorola Moto Z Force Droid

Not too long ago the idea of a premium phone was really just a big screen, a fast CPU, and maybe a decent camera. Over the past few years, the premium phone market has really grown and with that we have seen a wide variety of different features help set these phones apart. With the new Moto Z line of phones, they have a few different phone options including the Force model that I’m going to check out today. Features like high battery life, a shatterproof screen, and a fingerprint reader will be useful to everyone, but it’s the Moto Mods that I think everyone will remember the Moto Z Force for. The phone has a back panel that lets you swap out different back plates and a few premium features like an additional battery, a speaker, or even a projector. Verizon sent along the Moto-Mods speaker along with the phone for my testing so I do get to get a feel for the hot swappable features.

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Sapphire RX480 8GB Nitro+

Well for a while there it seemed like all I was covering were cards from all of AMDs launches. I took a break and took a look at a few GTX 1060’s and a few other things around that office. But I’m now back at it again. Today I get to take a look at our first aftermarket RX480 and it’s an exciting one, the RX480 8GB Nitro+ from Sapphire. This is one of the cards that people have been especially excited for. Given how well the Nitro RX470 performed in my previous review I don’t blame them for being excited. So today I’m going to check out the card and see what it has going, then run it through our benchmark suite and see how it performs. While I’m at it I’m also going to take a look at the recently introduced revision to the Trixx software that adds proper lighting controls for the card. Let’s go!

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Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB

Well, it wasn’t that long ago that Toshiba picked up OCZ and brought the OCZ brand into their lineup as their enthusiast oriented brand. So it may take a little while to adjust to the new Toshiba branding sitting next to the OCZ, but for those concerned with any OCZ issues in the past, having Toshiba backing the brand now should be reassuring. On top of the new branding, Toshiba has also introduced their first M.2 PCIe drive with the RD400. The RD stands for the previous Revo Drive branding from OCZ and this drive was originally shown off as a Revo Drive. The drive has a native PCIe controller and is an NVMe drive so we can expect performance to be significantly better than any of the SATA based drives. Today I’m going to check out the drive and then run it through our testing to see just how it performs.

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Silverstone SX700-LPT

So over the past few years and especially in the past few months I’ve had the chance to take a look at a variety of SFX form factor power supplies from a few different manufacturers. So far all of them have fit the standard SFX form factor, but recently Silverstone introduced a few power supplies that are SFX-L. The SFX-L form factor is the same size as other SFX power supplies in most dimensions, but they are slightly longer. This extra length squares off the SFX form factor and allows for a much larger fan to fit inside. The extra space and cooling also allowed Silverstone to up the power a little up to 700 watts. This is exciting because it finally allows for proper SLI and Crossfire setups in the SFX form factor. So today I’m going to take a look at the SX700-LPT and see what is different than Silverstone’s other SFX power supplies.

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EVGA GTX 1060 SC

Well, last week I took a look at the Zotac GTX 1060 AMP! Edition, it was close to an ITX form factor card and it was our first aftermarket GTX 1060. It just so happens that EVGA had also sent over a GTX 1060, their GTX 1060 Superclocked. This card is a little shorter than the Zotac and it falls into the ITX form factor. I’m excited to see what EVGA has going on and to find out if this is going to be the new go-to card for ITX builds. So today I’m going to take a look at its features then run the card through our test suite and see how it compares to the other GTX 1060’s as well as the RX 480’s that are competing with it on the red side of the tracks.

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Project build: Lunchbox 4 - Part 2

So yesterday I went through and spoke about each of the components I went with for Lunchbox 4 and why I went with them. Today's the day we dive into customizing the build to make it stand out a little including adding that all important carrying handle. Then after that, I benchmark the build and figure out how the new build compares to our last Lunchbox build. Does it fit our goal of always going smaller and faster? Do I have any regrets with the new build? Well I talk about that in the last section, so don’t forget to check that out as well.

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Project build: Lunchbox 4 - Part 1

Talk about a long time coming, not only has it been almost three years from our last Lunchbox build, but I’ve been planning and working on this build for a good portion of the year. If you follow our coverage, you will see breadcrumbs of comments all the way back to January of me mentioning potentially using components in Lunchbox 4. The problem is how exactly do you follow up our last build, it fit the bill perfectly, was easy to take to events, and had more than enough power for everything we tossed at it. I mean I could do the same thing again but with a few upgraded components but we have always tried to go smaller and faster with every Lunchbox build and frankly going much smaller has a few major limitations. So today I’m going to sit down and run through our new build. A lot of the components have been covered in their own reviews but today I’m going to go over why I picked each part. Then tomorrow I will dive into a few of the customizations I did to the build, benchmark everything, and then talk about how the build turned out.

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Zotac GTX 1060 AMP! Edition

Last week I spent the entire week covering AMD cards, so to mix things up today I want to revisit the GTX 1060. This time, however, I’m taking a look at the Zotac GTX 1060 AMP! Edition. I had a chance to check out how well the Founders Edition card and now today I can see how the 1060 performs with a little bit of an overclock and an aftermarket cooler. With all of that, this card also retails for less than the Founders Edition card. The GTX 1060 AMP! Edition isn’t the smallest GTX 1060 out on the market, but it is noticeably smaller than the Founders Edition, if it performs well I might just see if it fits in our most recent Lunchbox build as well.

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Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 240

Everyone and their mom has at least one all in one water cooling kit in their product lineup these days. But Cooler Master was in it long before that. They have been selling AIO kits from nearly the beginning and while everyone basically repackages the same kits, Cooler Master has sold a wide variety of kits. This also ended up having the somewhat famously battling in court with one of the AIO OEMs due to a few patients. Well, that hasn’t stopped them at all. So recently they sent the MasterLiquid 240 over for me to check out. On top of being yet another product in their lineup with the Master branding, the AIO kit looks to be a little unique from everything else on the market, so today I’m going to check it out and find out how well it performs while we are at it. Enjoy.

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Thermaltake Toughpower SFX 450W

Returning readers have most likely seen a wide selection of SFX power supplies coming through the LanOC office over the years. I have to admit, I have a little bit of an obsession with these tiny power supplies. It’s because I love building small form factor LAN rigs and you can’t go small without having the power to push it, so when I first saw Silverstone introducing them a few years ago I jumped on them and used them in Lunchbox 2. I later built our entire Lunchbox 3 all around one as well. Recently a few other manufacturers have been jumping into the SFX market. This is exciting for two reasons. For one it means more options. But the most exciting thing is that most of the companies who have been bringing them out also manufacture cases, meaning there may be more SFX based case options coming in the future. Well, Thermaltake introduced a 450 watt and a 600 watt recently and today I’m going to check out the 450 watt and see what it is all about and find out how it compares to the Silverstone and Corsair SFX options.

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Gigabyte RX 460 Windforce OC 2GB

Some of you may have missed it but Monday the RX 460 officially launched. There wasn’t as much of a fuss about it because the RX 470 was taking most of the attention, but the RX 460 is also Polaris based. It is the first card on the Polaris 11 architecture where the RX 470 and RX 480 are on the Polaris 10. AMD is marketing the RX 460 as their e-sports card where the RX 470 was an HD card and the RX 480 was VR. This might be a little confusing, but the general idea is the RX 460 can’t handle everything at 1080p, but it is designed to work well with the popular e-sports titles like Dota 2 and League of Legends. So today I'm going to take a look at the Gigabyte RX 460 that AMD and Gigabyte sent over and then put it through our normal benchmark suite and see how it performs. That will round off a full week of AMD coverage here on LanOC as well!

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RX 470 Crossfire Testing

Returning readers will know that seeing two similar cards pop up means just one thing… Crossfire benchmarking! After I finished up my review of the Sapphire RX 470, I stayed up all night benchmarking the two cards together. I wanted to take a look and find out if picking up two RX 470’s would be better than a single GTX 1070, something that falls into the same price range. In addition, I was curious if we would just see an improvement in the 1080p resolution that these cards were designed for or if maybe they would be more viable for 1440p as well when paired up. As always with our SLI and Crossfire testing. I skip all of the normal review stuff and frankly don’t write to much, leaving you guys with a whole pile of graphs and performance numbers to sort through. So enjoy!

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