EVGA GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX 3.0

New product cycles on video cards are always exciting, not just because of the performance improvements, I also love checking out what each manufacturer has done to change up their card designs. Some of them change almost nothing and others almost seem to start completely new each time. EVGA used the new launch to introduce their new ACX 3.0 coolers. The new coolers have a completely different look, not just for EVGA but really they aren’t like anything I’ve seen before. They also made improvements in their ACX cooler design. Well, we didn’t get a chance to check the cards out during the GTX 1080 launch but they did send a GTX 1070 a little later into that launch. Sadly, I have had to sit on it a little due to the GTX 1060 launch. With that launch behind us, I can finally run the GTX 1070 SC Gaming ACX 3.0 through our test suite and take a closer look at that cooler design. Having already taken a look at a few other GTX 1070’s I’m really excited to see how the new EVGA card compares.

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Logitech MX Master

I honestly can’t think of the last time I took a look at a mouse that wasn’t directly marketed towards gaming. That mostly has to do with the companies we work with, but with Logitech, I’ve been trying to get an MX Master in my hands all the way back from its launch. This is because even just checking out the feature list I was impressed with what they were doing with the MX Master. Well recently they finally sent one out and I’ve been spending time using it on my main PC. So today I’m going to run through its features and find out if the MX Master lives up to the hype that I had built up in my head.

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Nvidia GTX 1060 Founders Edition

The best part about getting into the video card season is that we don’t just get a few new cards from each manufacturer. We actually get new cards over and over again as they slowly fill in their product lineups. From Nvidia, we have already seen the GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070 but both sit up in the higher price and performance range. So it was exciting when AMD launched their new RX480 that focused directly on the mainstream market. Well, it wasn’t any surprise when right after AMD launched the RX480, Nvidia introduced their GTX 1060. The specifications have been posted and I even posted up a few pictures on our Facebook and Twitter accounts for everyone. But today's the day! We can finally dive in and see what the GTX 1060 is all about and also find out how it compares to the recently introduced RX 480.

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Vortex Pok3r RGB

For a while there I was covering a new RGB keyboard every two weeks but I haven’t covered any in over a month now. This is partially due to all of the video card launches, but also I’ve been turning away a lot of companies as well. Frankly, everyone in their mom is making their new RGB mechanical keyboards and there just isn’t much separating them. I would prefer to keep things fresh and check out a variety. So to change things up today I’m taking a look at the new Vortex Pok3r RGB. Those of you who see me and my wife out at LANs has most likely seen both of us gaming using Vortex Poker keyboards (she has a Poker 2 and I have a Pok3r), so I’m excited to finally be able to talk a little about one of my favorite keyboards. On top of this one having RGB backlighting, it also sports Cherry’s new Nature White keyswitches, so this is my first experience with them as well.

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GTX 1070 SLI Testing

Well, I finally got my hands on two GTX 1070’s and you guys know what that means. As soon as I finished up writing about the second card, I jumped right into SLI testing. With the card availability being tough getting two matching cards might be tough, so before you do that I thought it would be good to see just how much you can benefit from running two cards. On top of that, I wanted to find out if you are better off getting a single GTX 1080 over the GTX 1070 pair. So I ran the cards through our normal benchmark suite. Unlike a card review, though, I jump right into the testing and for the most part I let the numbers speak for themselves. So hang on.

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Cooler Master Masterbox 5

Well with all of the video cards being launched recently it was starting to feel like that’s all I do. I recently noticed that I hadn’t spent any time checking out cases in a long time. So I have a whole stack coming in and today I start off with a new case from Cooler Master. Today I’m checking out the Masterbox 5 and a quick look at the feature list shows that Cooler Master has doubled down on the full customization of their Mastercase line of cases and brought similar features into their more budget friendly cases. At just under $70, the Masterbox 5 is at the price people are looking for, so today I’m going to dive in and find out if it’s an easy case to work in, find out if the customization is all its hyped up to be, and see if it’s a quality case that will hold up to years of abuse.

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Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 Gaming

It’s crazy that even a month later, GTX 1080’s and GTX 1070’s are still hard to come by. On my last call with Nvidia, they kept talking about how production has been ramped up at a much faster rate than in the past. Hopefully, this will translate to more availability. While you wait though I did want to take a look at the Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 Gaming and see how it compares to the 1070 from MSI. I’m especially curious how the triple fan cooler will perform compared to the huge dual fans of the MSI. So today I’m going to take a look at the GTX 1070 G1 Gaming’s features then run it through our benchmark suite and see where it lands. Enjoy!

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Fitbit Blaze

The other day I took a look at the Bose SoundLink Mini II that Verizon had sent over as an example of ways to get more functionality out of your mobile phone. Well, today I’m taking a look at the second product. This time around it’s the new Fitbit Blaze. I’ve taken a look at fitness bands in the past, but not from Fitbit. Fitbit is by far the most popular fitness band manufacture, so I’m excited to see what they do to set themselves apart from everyone else. Not the mention the Blaze looks to be a bit of a departure on their part as well. So let’s dive in and see what it is all about.

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Bose SoundLink Mini II

It’s crazy just how much smartphones have changed things over the last 9 years. We went from carrying around a phone to carrying around a PC replacement for some as well as things like a camera. Even with everything that smartphones are capable of, we can still expand their reach with a few accessories. This is why our friend over at Verizon sell a whole variety of things in their store beyond phones and phone chargers. To give us an example they sent over a box with two new products they carry. Today I’m taking a look at the first of those two products, the Bose SoundLink Mini II. This is a small portable battery powered speaker from Bose. I’ve been testing it for a few weeks around the office and today I’m going to dive into its features and how it performed.

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AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB

Nvidia fans have had their fun with their recently introduced cards but in the middle of all of that, we have also been hearing more and more about Polaris, AMDs latest GPU architecture. Most of it was rumors, but at the beginning of this month AMD did host a Webcast at Computex and finally gave us some more information about it. The big news was that the new RX 480 was coming on June 29th, it will have impressively smooth VR, and its price would be $199. Well, I’ve had the RX 480 in the office for the last few days and today's the day that we can finally sit down and talk about how it performs. At its price point, we know that AMD isn’t looking to shake up the top of the charts, but it's clear they want to bring good performance to the mainstream gaming market. The high-end cards might be exciting, but this is the price range people are buying the most, I’m excited to find out if the RX 480 is worth all of the hype.

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MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G

While the GTX 1080 gets most of the attention with the new Nvidia launch, they did also introduce the GTX 1070 as well. While I wouldn’t say the GTX 1070 is a budget card, it is a high-end card that doesn’t hit the bank nearly as hard as the GTX 1080. You still get 8 gigs of ran and the same GP104 Pascal GPU but with a slightly lower clock speed and less CUDA cores. Today not only do we get a chance to see what the GTX 1070 is all about, but I also check out MSIs new card designs as well. With More cards coming from both AMD and Nvidia I’m sure we will be seeing a lot of this new design. If it’s anything like the last few MSI coolers it should perform well, but today I’m going to run it through our recently expanded benchmark suite to find out for sure.

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Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition

It’s been a crazy month hasn’t it? We have new cards from Nvidia, new CPUs from Intel, and AMD has already announced a new card as well. What a perfect time to start looking at building a new PC or upgrading your current one. Just in time for upcoming games like Quake even! The GTX 1080 might have hit the market a few weeks ago, but they are still hard to get. Today I’m going to finally sit down and dive into what the 1080 is all about. Then I’m going to run it through all of our tests (and maybe a few new tests as well) and find out if it’s worth throwing down $699 to get Nvidia’s latest and greatest.

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Antlion Audio ModMic

It might be news to people who don’t consider themselves to be audiophiles, but for the most part gaming headsets aren’t exactly known for having top level audio performance. They are expensive, but they generally are focused on styling, and adding features that can be used in marketing when promoting. I’m not saying they are bad, but there are better options when you drop the microphone and start looking at headphones. You can also sometimes save some money going this route. This is why when you walk around a LAN you are going to see a few people sporting big headphones. The problem of course is for online gaming you are going to need a microphone. There are a few different options with the most popular being microphones sitting on your desk. They can be cheap old school microphones or production quality microphones that costs as much or more than your headphones. Well if you are looking for something that is closer to a traditional gaming headset you need a microphone on your headphones and Portland, Oregon based Antlion Audio stepped up to fill this void with their ModMic. Today I’m checking out the 4th iteration of the ModMic to see how they perform in combination with our V-Moda headphones.

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Razer Blackwidow X Chroma

Its hard to believe but the Razer Blackwidow design has been around for a really long time compared to other peripherals. Every year they have reintroduced it with small changes, new backlighting colors, their new switches, and later on RGB with the Chroma line. They have also had a few different variations with tournament editions and ultimate editions. Well for the first time in a long time, this year, Razer introduced a heavily changed called the Blackwidow X. They have it in a Chroma model as well as an Ultimate model but the main goal with the X was to change things up and little and offer a slightly cheaper offering. Oddly enough the lower priced option actually drops some of the plastic and has an open aluminum frame. So today I’m going to check out that and see what else the Blackwidow X Chroma has to offer.

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SteelSeries Siberia 200 and Apex M500

It’s funny, I've actually been writing long enough to watch companies that were just getting started back when I started LanOC grow and become big in their market. SteelSeries is a great example of this, when we first started working with them they just had a few mouse pads. Well we have watched them jump completely into the peripheral market and into the audio market. Its been so long in fact that we have seen great products that they introduced relatively early on like the Siberia v2 and the 6Gv2 go to make way for newer versions. Well I was really happy to see a few of the new products, specifically the Siberia 200 and the Apex M500 seem to be an indication of SteelSeries going back to their roots. So today im going to take a look at both and see how they compare to both the past and present models.

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1UP Keyboards Pok3r Sleeve

Returning readers are sure to know that I have a bit of a thing for keyboards, especially smaller 60% keyboards. In the past we have covered them multiple times including a few custom made products made specifically for the keyboard enthusiast market like custom leather wrist rests and an all oak Poker case. What I’ve learned is that when there is a gap in the market from the bigger companies people from all over step up and start selling products that they originally designed for themselves. A great example of this is 1UP Keyboards. A year ago I reached out to them about us covering their sleeves because I had been following them and because keyboard sleeves are a perfect way to protect your expensive keyboards when taking them to and from LANs or work. Well they declined at the time but recently reached back out to us about it. Given we are in the middle of the LAN season I couldn’t turn down a chance to protect my Pok3r like my wife’s Poker 2 is protected.

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HyperX Cloud Revolver

It’s amazing sometimes how quickly things can change. Back in 2014 when Kingston introduced their first gaming headset, the original Cloud, it was a little surprising. It didn’t take very long though before we started seeing them a lot at LAN events and people were talking very highly of them. The same for their Cloud II’s as well. Well the some of you might not know but the Cloud was licensed from Qpad with Kingston tweaking a few things on the sound engineering side of things. Well recently they introduced a new headset called the Cloud Revolver and this time around everything is designed in house. Today I’m going to check it out and see if it stands up to the very high standard that the original Cloud designs set.   

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SeeMeCNC Eris

So yesterday I did a relatively short rundown on what is 3d printing and I also spoke about my visit with SeeMeCNC. Well today I’m actually going to dive into the SeeMeCNC Eris 3d printer that I picked up when I was visiting them. The Eris is their brand new portable delta printer. Not only is easy to carry, but they set out to make the Eris their first truly out of the box and printing experience. Generally, with most 3d printers you have a lot of build and setup time, but with the Eris shipping completely built and with their new Auto Leveling system they are hoping it will be a great printer for new 3d printing users. Well it just so happens, I’m that 3d printing noob, so I’m going to run you guys/girls through my experience from start to finish to help you decide if the Eris is the printer for you.

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SeeMeCNC visit and 3d printing rundown

It’s a combination of the kid in me and the maker in me but getting a 3D Printer has been on my short list of things I want to get for years now. I’ve spent a lot of time with things like my plotter designing and making my own stickers as needed. Frankly though 3d printer always felt a little unobtainable both because of the cost and because it seemed like you might need an engineering degree to build and maintain one. Well a few months ago my interest was renewed and I decided that I was going to get one and from then on I spent day and night learning as much as I can, reading anything and everything. I had a few printers in mind but couldn’t decide. One of the companies I was keeping a close eye on was SeeMeCNC, they had been involved with printers for custom PC builds with DarthBeavis, on the Vanilla Ice Project, and even involved with PDXLAN. The problem was for my first printer at least; I wasn’t really looking for a build it yourself kit. I feel capable of doing that, but I just really wanted to dive into it quickly rather than a long build time prior. The other problem was even in the kit form their printers were a bit higher than I was budgeting. Well when looking at them I found out that they are actually within a drive away and I reached out about visiting. It just so happened that they were also introducing their long awaited Eris, a smaller, cheaper, and more portable model that comes factory build. I went and visited their factory and picked up the first Eris and have been getting a feel for it all. Today I’m going to give a quick run through on what 3d printing is all about, go over my visit with SeeMeCNC, then tomorrow I will dive into the Eris and my overall experience with it.

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Gamdias Hermes RGB

Some of you might have seen Gamdias as a sponsor at our last event or maybe at a few of the other events as well. While I’ve seen their name around I haven’t had the chance to personally check out and of their products. So when they offered to slip in their Hermes RGB keyboard in with our LanOC V18 box I took them up on the offer. We have had a LOT of RGB keyboards in the office at this point so that itself isn’t unique but I was excited to see what Gamdias has going on. So for the last 3 weeks I have been testing and using the Hermes RGB for all of my writing and gaming to find out how it performs in both situations. Read on as I take a closer look at its features and then dive into its performance.

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