SanDisk Extreme PRO Portable SSD V2 4TB

Portable storage needs cover a wide range of situations. For some content creators, and I’ve seen this a LOT with YouTubers, it might be normal to regularly pick up large external hard drives to fill up and to store away like they are old video tapes. Or maybe you travel or take your data with you to places like work. Well, there is a point in drive size where even just getting the data on or off of your drive is going to take far too long to get it done with a spinning disk. There are standard flash solutions and SATA-based SSD options. But if you are moving a lot of data around the only real solution is an NVMe based external. The Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2 that SanDisk sent over fits in that category. With an impressive 4TB capacity, it is up in the same range as a portable hard drive but you aren’t going to spend all day getting your data off of it. Today I’m going to check out how the drive compares to the last few SanDisk drives we have had in the office and then check out its performance as well.

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Thermaltake Tower 100 Snow Edition

The number of cool cases that come out each year far exceeds the number of cases that I have time to check out. Last year Thermaltake introduced the Tower 100 which was a new Mini ITX version of their long-standing Tower series. When the original Tower series came out I really wanted to check it out but didn’t have time, so when the ITX version came out I couldn’t pass up on it. Sadly I’ve had the Tower 100 sitting around for far too long withing having a chance to get into it but no longer. I have to see what Thermaltake did with the uniquely designed case, so let's dive in and check it out.  

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WD Black SN770 1TB

In part of our catching up with WD’s product lineup, I took a look at the WD Blue SN570. Well, last month they also introduced their newest WD Black SSD, the WD Black SN770. The SN770 slots in above the SN750 SE which came out last year and the older PCIe 3.0 SN750 and behind last year's SN850 Flagship SSD which is also from the WD Black line. It’s still weird thinking of a SN700 series drive not being the top drive but what is more interesting is the WD Black lineup expanding out with multiple gaming options in the M.2 SSD market now. Today I’m going to check out what makes the SN770 tick and check out the performance of the 1TB model that WD sent over. Let’s dive in.

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WD Blue SN570 1TB

It’s easy to get excited about some of the faster high-end SSDs, like Western Digitals Black line of drives. But for a lot of people those are overkill or out of budget and the Blue line better fits things. The WD Blue lineup started off with the SN500 as their creative and budget-focused drive and they eventually replaced that with the WD Blue SN550. Well, late last year they introduced the SN570 and I’m excited to finally see how the new drive performs and to see pricing wise how it fits in the market. So today I’m going to check out the new drive and see how it compares to the previous model. Let’s check it out!

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Hyte Y60

Our first introduction to the Hyte brand was with the Revolt 3 launch last year. Hyte is a sister brand to iBUYPOWER and with the Revolt 3 we learned that they aren’t looking to continue the status quo, they are looking at each new product with fresh eyes and bringing new ideas. For the Revolt 3, the focus was on a travel-friendly case with a hidden carrying handle and features to make packing everything into the smaller case much easier. This last CES they also showed off their upcoming case, the Y60 which goes the other direction and is a case focused on desktop use, and with the Y60 they are specifically aiming at the market who loves posting up pictures of their systems in places like Reddit at an angle to show off the inside and front of your case. The Y60 brings the two together with a cornerless design and I’m excited to see what other kinds of changes Hyte has incorporated so let's dig in.

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Checking out the latest mice from SteelSeries

With our LAN events and early on with our reviews we worked with SteelSeries back when they introduced their first full mouse with their Ikari and after that, I tried to keep up with their launches. But over the last few years, I haven’t had the chance to check out what they have been up to. The last SteelSeries mouse we had in the office was the Sensei Ten. So we are due to catch up on what they have been up to and today I’m going to do just that. I have had the SteelSeries Prime, Prime Wireless, and the new 2022 edition of the Aerox 3 Wireless to get a look at part of their current lineup. Let’s check them out!

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Patriot P400 1TB

While we have had the chance to check out a few different Patriot SSDs that have performed well over the years. Their recently introduced P400 is Patriot's first PCIe 4.0 SSD which opens up new performance possibilities. When PCIe 4.0 was introduced only a few companies had compatible drives at that time and it makes sense. At that time only one chipset from AMD supported the new platform, but now Intel and AMD have had options available on both sides for over a year and even longer on the AMD side of things. The odds of people having PCs that support them are much higher now. So today I’m going to dig into the P400 and see what it has going behind the curtain then we can run it through our test suite to see how it performs compared to a few older PCIe 3.0 drives and a whole stack of 4.0 drives on the new Intel Z690 chipset.

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Asus TUF Gaming RX 6500 XT OC Edition

The launch of the RX 6500 XT had a lot of public backlash due to some of the limitations of AMD's new GPU, specifically the 4GB VRAM and the PCIe lanes being limited to 4 lanes which combined hold the card back when it comes to higher resolutions and at times if you are running very high detail games at 1080p. That said, the card does still have a place in the market, you just need to be clear about what you plan on using the card for. It is also one of the only cards you can get new without crazy markups. So I was excited when Asus offered to send their TUF Gaming RX 6500 XT OC Edition over. Not to mention, even though I had a lot of experience with the TUF lineup years ago when it first came out on motherboards. I’ve never had the chance to check out any of the TUF cards. So today I’m going to check out Asus’s card to see how the overclocked card performs and I’m especially curious to see what sets the TUF lineup apart and how it performs in things like cooling, noise, and power usage that help set cards with the same GPUs apart. So let’s check it out.

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TerraMaster D5-300

So for someone like me with a lot of PCs in the house, storage on the network is the way to go. But it’s easy to forget that a lot of people may only have one PC and when that is the case you don’t need to overcomplicate things with networked storage. You can rely on internal or external storage options depending on how much space you need. When it comes to editing video you will see a lot of people with stacks of external hard drives but those don’t offer any redundancy or protection. Something with RAID as a possibility is always going to be the safer bet and TerraMaster has the network and external options covered. I’ve taken a look at a few of their options in the past and they sent over their D5-300 which is a 5 bay USB 3.1 option that just about any PC is going to support. Today I’m going to check out what the D5-300 is all about and see how it performs in a best-case scenario when packed with SSDs. Let’s check it out!

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MSI Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic

MSI has been expanding their reach for a while now and in a lot of ways, you can build a complete setup from the MSI lineup with the exception of your CPU and ram. They have been in the gaming peripherals market for a long time now including a range of headphones. But surprisingly they haven’t jumped into the dedicated microphone market, until now. MSI just recently introduced their new Immerse GV60 Streaming Mic that as the name implies is focused on the streaming market. I’ve had the chance to check out a wide variety of microphone options over the years and I’m excited to see what MSI’s take on it is. At first glance, their microphone looks a lot like some of the other options but MSI has avoided software altogether to keep things simpler for easier setup which I dig. So let’s check out what else it has going on and how it performs compared to some of the competition.

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Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black

When it comes to air cooling and fans Noctua has been extremely reliable over the years and has been an easy go-to when doing builds. Especially because noise is very important to me. Keeping noise down in the office helps with testing and more importantly helps with my sanity. So with builds it's not unusual for me to change fans over to Noctua. With them having nice blacked-out fans has helped with that as well. For my wife's last PC I went with a crazy custom water cooling loop which looked amazing. But I would have to take it all apart and clean everything multiple times a year and performance would drop as the “show” coolant would fall out and clock things up. That’s fine for my PC maybe, but when it's my wife’s PC it needs to just work. So this time around I went with an air cooler, Noctua’s NH-U12A chromax.black. It was the largest cooler I could fit in her system and I knew it would meet our needs for cooling and noise performance and it has. But before doing that I did bring the NH-U12A over on to our test bench to see how it performs in an even more demanding situation. Let’s go see what the NH-U12A is all about and how it performed.

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MSI RTX 3050 Gaming X 8G

With the RTX 3050 launch I had a stocked clocked card come in and I had originally planned to also cover an overclocked card as well but shipping issues put a stop to that. Things have finally come in including this card from MSI and today I can take a look at MSI’s new RTX 3050 Gaming X 8G. They have this model cranked up to 1845 MHz over the stock 1777 MHz. The card also has a significantly larger cooler attached so I am curious to see how the overclock helps performance and if the larger cooler is worth going over a compact stocked clocked card.

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Sapphire Pulse RX 6500 XT

Shipping delays and issues hit us hard over the last few weeks. The biggest one was our RX 6500 XT launch sample which ended up hung up and delayed in shipping. So I am way late to the party when it comes to checking out how the RX 6500 XT performs. Today I finally get the chance and I’m checking out the Pulse from Sapphire. I know there was drama around this launch (frankly what GPU launched for the last few years hasn’t lol) but I am excited to see how AMD's latest GPU performs and how Sapphire card does at keeping things cool and quiet. So let’s jump in and check it out!

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EVGA RTX 3050 XC Black

At CES this year both AMD and Nvidia announced new GPUs that would be coming soon. Both were focused on a little lower on their product stack which makes sense because that is the biggest market share. Steam hardware survey still has the GTX 1060 with the highest usage with the 1650, 1050 Ti, 2060, and then 1050 rounding out the top five. Most of those cards also haven’t moved up into the RTX range, so the new RTX 3050 may be the first introduction to ray tracing and tensor cores for a lot of people as well. Today I’m going to check out what the RTX 3050 is all about then put it to the test on our freshly updated test bench and test suite to see how it compares. There aren’t Founders Editions of the RTX 3050, so today I am checking out the RTX 3050 XC from EVGA.

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MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi

With the new 12th Gen Intel CPUs and the Z690 chipset that Intel launched with them being released. It also means that we get to check out the latest motherboard designs. This time around Intel only focused on the high performance focused CPUs so most of the options that came out were gaming, overclocking, or high-end workstation focused. The first board that came in was from MSI which was one of their gaming focused boards, the MPG Z690 Carbon WiFi. Today I’m going to check out what features they have included with this board and check out how the Z690 Carbon WiFi performs with the new i9-12900K as well. I’m also going to take a look at the MAG Coreliquid C280 AIO cooler that MSI sent over as well for LGA1700 testing. Let’s dive in!

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Kingston FURY Renegade PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD

The big news earlier this year was the sale of HyperX which has been Kingston’s long time gaming lineup to HP. With that brand gone, they did need to make a new gaming brand for their memory and SSD product lines and they went with one of the model names of their past memory kits for something short and sweet, the new brand is called FURY. With that, they have slowly been introducing new products under the brand including their latest gaming-focused M.2 SSD that they are calling the Fury Renegade. The Renegade is a PCIe 4.0 based M.2 SSD based on the Phision E18 controller and today I’m going to check out what the new drive is all about testing it out on our recently updated Z690 test bench and test suite.

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Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL240 Flux

With Intel’s new CPUs moving to the LGA1700 socket and the new larger socket requiring a wider mounting bracket after Intel sticking with the same sized mounting hole for a very long time it has had me looking at changing up the cooling in a few of my systems and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Not only that, there are a LOT of options on the market. Everyone and their mom is now getting into the AIO market. Cooler Master has been around going back near the beginning for AIO coolers and they are one of only a few who often make their own designs rather than going with a standard OEM design so I’m interested in seeing what their new MasterLiquid PL240 Flus is all about. I’m also curious to see how it will perform on our new 12900K based test bench so let’s dive in and see how it does.

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Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A

Sapphire is known for being one of the main AMD and aftermarket card manufacturer but if we look back they have dabbled in a few other areas as well. Off the top of my head, just on things, we have covered they have done motherboards in the past and small form factor PCs. But they have also dabbled in thunderbolt enclosures and both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 dongles as well. Well, today they are introducing their newest product, their first all-in-one watercoolers, the Saphire Nitro+ S240-A and S360-A. While this is their first product in this market, it isn’t too big of a surprise given that in China they have shown off an air cooler and AIO watercoolers have been used on Sapphire video cards in the past. Not to mention most companies have been expanding their lineups and getting into the AIO market. Given that cooling is one of the main focuses for aftermarket video cards and Sapphire cards have done that well for years I’m curious to see what they have done with their first AIO to stand out in the crowded market. So let’s dive in and check it out!

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Intel Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K Adler Lake

Well Intel recently announced their latest generation of CPUs and they are looking right at the cutting edge with multiple jumps including PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 being included with the new 12th generation of CPUs. So much so on the cutting edge that our coverage is a little late after trying to get in DDR5 memory to test with. So forgive the tardiness, but today we are here to finally take a look at Intel’s new CPUs, DDR5, Z690, and their new socket as well. The 12th generation of CPUs which were formally known as Adler Lake take an all new direction, following what we have been seeing on the mobile market with low and high speed cores and I’m excited to put them to the test.

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Lexar Play MicroSDXC 512GB

One of the features that Nintendo integrated into the Switch that I like was the Micro SD card slot for storage. Past game consoles have proven that integrated storage will almost always not be enough. Especially from the Xbox 360 on were full games and demos have been downloadable. With those consoles, you were limited to what came with your system or if you were lucky a proprietary upgrade option. A portable console like the switch have even fewer options. So going with MicroSD means they kept the cost down and as faster and larger options come out it could potentially support them. The switch does come with 32GB of onboard storage but with launch titles like Breath of the Wild taking up 14 GB each and newer games reaching up over 33GB now. Thankfully the switch does have cartridges as well, but if you don’t want to carry those around with you or If the games that you want to play are only available digitally you will need a MicroSD card. I was looking at options and Lexar’s Play series seemed to fit the bill well without making you pay more for licensed pictures on the card itself so I decided to check one out. So today let's see how the Lexar Play MicroSDXC 512GB performs!

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