AZIO Retro Classic

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, a lot of the different designs tend to blend together because they all follow the same trends and styling. Don’t get me wrong, typically the keyboards that stray from the clean styles and RGB lighting that just about every keyboard has looks horrible. AZIO did a good job a while back with their MK Retro, I took a look at it last November. I had a few concerns but overall I loved the design but I felt like a design like this needed a little better construction to fit the classic look. Well AZIO is back at it again and they sent over a new keyboard that they are calling the Retro Classic. The model they sent over is an early production model and I will be checking out the retail sample once they get to that point, but today I’m going to look in on production and see how the new keyboard looks. I know it has backlighting and higher end materials but let's see what else.

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Autonomous DIY SmartDesk Kit Business Edition

My office space has been evolving for a few years now, going back to when I first upgraded my desk to a solid wood desktop and cleaned everything up with new audio hardware, monitors, and a monitor stand. Recently I also upgraded my photo area and added a proper workbench as well. Both of those are set to a standing height to get me on my feet more during the day. With testing and writing though I still spend far too much time sitting each day and over the past few years of me doing all of this full time it has played a big role in my health. To start working on that, a while back, I reached out to Autonomous about upgrading my desk to a SmartDesk 2 Business Edition. I’ve been living with it for a while now and I want to sit down, or in this case, stand and talk a little about how the whole process has worked so far.

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Gigabyte X299 Aorus Gaming 3

After taking a look at the new Intel Core X CPUs and one X299 board I took a quick break to check out Gigabytes new Mini-ITX board for AM4 and now I’m back at it checking out the second X299 board to come into the office. This time the board is from Gigabyte and it is a little more down to earth compared to the Asus X299 Deluxe’s nearly $500 price point. Today I’m going to check out the Gigabyte X299 Gaming 3 from the Aorus brand. It isn’t Gigabytes lowest priced board, but at just under $280 for the MSRP it is down close to the range that people who aren’t shopping for $1000 or more CPUs would be looking. So today I’m going to see what it’s all about, test it, then run down where it stands in the market.

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Razer Hammerhead BT

When it comes to audio, Razer has actually been in the business for a long time now. Going all the way back to their Barracuda HP-1 headset back in 2006. Then in 2009 they got into the mobile market with the Razer Moray so they aren’t new to the market, they have actually continued to bring out new earbuds a few times now but the new Razer Hammerhead BT’s are their first wireless earbuds. In the past, Razer has stayed within their gaming market but these push out into the mobile market more. They peaked my interest and with summer being a great time to test a set of mobile headphones I got the Hammerhead BT’s in and have been toying around with them. Today let’s check them out and see what they are all about.

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Building and 3d printing a Nixie FunKlock

A few years ago when I first replaced my desk I wanted to add a clock to the office to keep track of time better. I didn’t want something normal and went with a retro looking flip clock. The flip design was something I always liked but the model that I picked up didn’t fit well under my monitors and later the noise from the motor, not the actual flip started to drive me crazy. After that, I kept looking for something to replace it with but never found what I was looking for. Then about 6 months ago I came across Nixie tube clocks and fell in love. The prices though were just too much. I decided to build my own using a kit I found online and printing the outside components. The hardware came in during the Intel launch and this past weekend I set aside the time to start working it.

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Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFi

It’s hard to believe that the Ryzen 7 launch was three months ago but with the Ryzen 5 launch and the recently Intel launch, things have just been crazy. During that time though I have been constantly on the lookout for ITX boards. AMD spoke about their X300 and A300 chipsets at the Ryzen 7 launch but things have been suspiciously quiet about them for the last few months but a few motherboard manufacturers have been working on their own ITX AM4 boards using the X370 or B350 chipsets. Gigabyte has finished up their variation and it came in late last week. I immediately started in on testing to see just how feasible Ryzen is in ITX. So let's take a closer look at the Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFi and then see how it performs!

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SteelSeries Arctis 7

Late last year I took a look at the Arctis 5 from SteelSeries and I was extremely impressed with their new audio series. It won our Top Honors Award and the Editors Choice and I liked them so much that my wife has been using them for the past 6 months. The only reason I didn’t snatch them up myself was that I wanted something wireless so I kept bugging SteelSeries and when some of the Arctis 7’s came in I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. With a similar design, I have high hopes for their audio performance and I’m really hoping this is going to be the wireless headset that I finally stick with. SO today let’s check them out and see how they perform.

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Asus Prime X299 Deluxe

So yesterday I took a look at the controversial Core-X CPUs from Intel. One of the best parts about a new enthusiast chipset and CPUs though are all the amazing motherboards that come along with them. During Computex, all of the boards were shown off but availability right before the launch was tight so the only board to come in time was the Asus Prime X299 Deluxe. Being a Prime board it isn’t super flashy but Asus didn’t skimp on the features at all. On top of being packed full of anything you can ask for the board even has unexpected features like a Wireless AD adapter in addition to the standard a/b/g/n/ac adapter and it even has a what they call LiveDash, a small display that is customizable and goes well beyond the standard LED post indicator. So today I’m going to try to get through all of the features of the Prime X299 Deluxe and see what else Asus is hiding.

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Intel Core X Series i9-7900X and i7-7740X

To say that the X299 and Core X launch has been bumpy would be an understatement. During Computex, details were announced and the boards were shown off and Youtubers like Linus took to the streets literally and figuratively to voice their opinions. I myself have kept quiet, avoiding a lot of the drama, but mostly because I don’t like to voice an opinion on something from specification sheets and rumors. So I held out waiting to get everything into the office and take a closer look. Well, Intel sent over the new i9-7900X and the i7-7740X and today I’m going to talk a little more about everything and then dive into the performance. When that is all said and done, then we can finally start to look at the overall picture.

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Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1060 Xtreme Edition 9 Gbps

When Nvidia announced the extremely powerful GTX 1080 Ti they slipped in a few other launches as well, mostly unnoticed. The GTX 1080 with the Ti’s 11 Gbps memory was one of them and I have covered those recently. Then there is the GTX 1060 with upgraded memory running at 9 Gbps. This didn’t get much attention, but with AMD introducing the RX 500 series of cards I’m curious if the upgrade to the GTX 1060 was enough to keep up. Gigabyte sent one over and today I’m going to check it out, focusing on how it compares to the normal GTX 1060, the RX 480, and the RX 580.

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Cooler Master Masterkeys S PBT

When it comes to keyboards, just about everyone makes them but only a few companies have been able to really get things rolling. Cooler Master is one of those companies, they bridge the gap between the high-end expensive enthusiast brands and gaming products with simple keyboards at decent prices from a brand most people know. Over the years more often than not I personally have been using them on my own computer and that is with a huge stack of other keyboards available to use. So any time Cooler Master introduces a new model they have earned my attention. They reached out a few months ago about an upcoming keyboard, well really a new variation on their current lineup, the Masterkeys PBT. They sent out the S model, or what most call their TKL version. Today I’m going to check it out.

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Thermaltake Core P1

When it comes to cases, even just from a few years ago things have changed drastically. RGB and Tempered Glass are extremely popular but it feels a little like everyone is moving forward only to keep making everything similar. For a while now though Thermaltake has been making something completely unique in their Core P series of cases. The Core P5 and the Core P3 are both extremely popular, especially in the water cooling crowds because of their open but unique design. So when the Core P1 was announced at CES I immediately reached out to check one out. The P3 and P5 are far too large and heavy for me but the P1, but an ITX case might be a little better. So for a while now I have been toying around with the Core P1 and today I’m going to talk about it.

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Asus Strix Z270I Gaming

So I had the chance to check out our first ITX Z270 board with the Gigabyte Z270N Gaming 5 just last week. As soon as I was done testing, I swapped it out and jumped right into the second board that came in, the Asus Strix Z270I Gaming. This board was sent specifically for an upcoming project build, just like the Asus Strix GTX 1080 11Gbps that I also took a look at last week. While I wait for a few of the last components for the build I wanted to take a closer look at the board and make sure it was going to be what we are looking for.

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Noctua A-Series Fans and Accessories

It isn’t very often that Noctua brings out new products. They tend to spend a long time developing everything and they won’t bring things out until they are basically perfect. Hell, it’s hard to believe that their IndustrialPPC and Redux fans came out 3 years ago. So the new introductions were focused on expanding their A-series of fans with 200mm, 120mm, and 40mm models. Along with those they also introduced a few new accessories including a small fan controller. With the fans, you may notice that this is actually their first 200mm fans and the 120 and 40mm models expand on both of those already existing areas in their product lineup with new thin 120mm fans and higher pressure 40mm fans. I was sold just with the introduction of the new 120mm 15mm thick slim fans, but I reached out to check out the whole range. So today I’m going to check out the new fans to see what Noctua has going on.

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Patriot Viper V370 and V361 Headsets

When it comes to headsets, I’m typically in the $70 range when suggesting or looking for anything. We rarely get anything cheaper in both because a lot of the big names don’t even try to compete at low price points and because what you do find is normally not very exciting. Well a while back Patriot reached out to me about checking out two of their new headsets and I signed up. They sent over the Viper V370 and the Viper V361. I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than more budget friendly headsets. Well, they came in, I got busy and I’m just now getting around to talking about them so let’s see what is different about them, test them out, then talk a little about where they fit in the market.

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Asus Strix GTX 1080 11Gbps

While getting components in for an upcoming build, Asus sent over their new GTX 1080 that is running the new 11Gbps memory from the 1080 Ti. I couldn’t just have the card come into the office without taking a closer look. I was really digging what Asus had going on with the Strix RX 570 that I took a look at, so today I’m going to see what they have to offer in the Strix GTX 1080 11Gbps and then run it through all of our normal testing to see how it performs as well as how it compares to the similar MSI card that already covered.

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Visiting the Verizon 5G House at the Indy500

So last week Adam and I took a break from the office and made the trip over to Indianapolis as Verizon invited us to check out their 5G Home of the Future that they had set up just outside of Indianapolis Speedway during the week of the Indy500. The original plan was a short visit to check out the home but we ended up also getting invited over to the track to also take a quick look at their 5G setup over there as well along with a peek inside of their mobile 5G truck. The main headlines were the low latency and the extremely high speeds but they had a few demos setup that I’m going to quickly run through today.

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Gigabyte Z270N Gaming 5

Surprisingly, even though we covered a whole list of Z270 motherboards after Intel’s launch, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that we ended up with any ITX boards. The first ITX Z270 board to come into the office is the Z270N Gaming 5 from Gigabyte. This is their higher end ITX offering. It has a touch of orange in its styling and I’m excited to see what Gigabyte has to offer the LAN rig and higher end SFF build market so today I’m going to check out its features then take a quick look at the performance.

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RX580 Crossfire Testing

With two RX 570 reviews out of the way, before packing them back up I grabbed both cards and set them up in Crossfire. I was really curious to see if an upgrade to Crossfire would be worth it to anyone who couldn’t afford a more expensive card when they built their computer. In the past, this has been very dependent on the games you play and I imagine it will be the same again but there is only one way to find out. Like our previous Crossfire and SLI coverage, the commenting will be at a minimum and this is just a quick article to show off the numbers so keep that in mind and use the information however you would like.

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Asus Strix RX 570

Well the Strix RX 570 isn’t the first RX 570 that has come into the office but it is the first Asus video card that we have had in a while. Today I want to check out what Asus is doing to set themselves apart from everyone else, compare the performance of this card to the XFX 570 as well as the rest of the competition, and see how it compares in value. I’ve been impressed with the Asus Strix styling on motherboards recently and it looks like some of that has carried over to the GPU market so it should rate high but the only way to find out is to get to it so let's do that.

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