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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XFX RX 570 4GB RS

After getting a good look at the RX 580 at launch and checking out a second card as well as Crossfire performance I took a little break from video cards but today I’m back to revisit the new 500 series cards. I’m going to check out the RX 570, specifically the XFX RX 570 4GB RS to see how it compares to the RX 580, RX 480, and the RX 470 along with Nvidia’s offerings in that same price range. Not everyone needs the world's fastest video card, in fact, most people are picking up mid range cards so I’m curious to see if the new RX 570 has the performance to be a good buy for those not looking to spend the extra money on an RX 580.

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Corsair Glaive RGB

Just last week Corsair introduced their latest gaming mouse, the Glaive RGB. We were originally going to cover it at launch but our sample was a little late coming in and I still needed time to test it out. Well, today that waits is over. The Glaive packs in all of the normal features of a modern mouse including RGB, rubber grips, and a DPI higher than anyone would ever have any use for. What caught my eye though were the swappable thumb grips. So today I’m going to take a closer look at the shape and features of the Glaive RGB then check out how well it has performed for me so far.

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A look at Mionix’s new Castor options

All the way back in 2015 I had the chance to take a look at the Castor mouse from Mionix and I loved it. It had a great shape, used a quality sensor and switches and was a big step forward in the market. Over the last few years the Castor has continued to be a great mouse for Mionix and recently they announced a few new variations on the Castor that keep the same features I loved with the original. The new models are just recolors but in the world of matching everything to fit your personality or style, it is cool to see a company not just using RGB for colors. I reached out to Mionix and today I’m going to take a quick look at the new color options, especially the “Castor Frosting” model that they sent over to check out.

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EVGA CLC 280 Water Cooling

When it comes to water cooling EVGA isn’t exactly new to the scene. While they haven’t been making CPU AIO’s they have been using them with their Hybrid coolers for GPUs and their Hydro water cooled GPUs as well. They have also had heatsinks in the past as well. So it wasn’t a big stretch when they introduced their CLC line of coolers at CES this year. They showed off a big variety of coolers but at launch, they only had a 120mm design and a 280mm design and today I have the CLC 280 with a 280mm radiator in to check out. I’ve been testing it out on our video card testbench and today I’m going to talk a little about the cooler as well as how it performed so check it out.

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Sound BlasterX Katana

For living rooms, it used to be a big push for multi-speaker configurations with a big receiver. For some people, this is still the goal, especially for surround sound. But recently there has been a trend where people have been moving to soundbars. They take up a lot less space while still being an audio improvement over your TVs speakers and they better fit with today’s ultra-thin TVs. There are some downsides though and performance can be a little limited. Well, Sound Blaster came out with the Sound BlasterX Katana and they don’t even like to put it in the same category as a traditional sound bar. They call it an Under Monitor Audio System aka a UMAS. This is because beyond having speakers under your monitor it has a built-in 224 bit DAC, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Decoder, and 5 drivers all with their own amps. With my wife getting a new desk, we started to look at her options and the Katana from Sound Blaster looked to be a good fit to keep the desktop footprint low by using unused space under her monitors. So today I’m going to check the Katana’s out and see just how they perform.

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Primochill Praxis Wetbench

Typically when it comes to open air cases you have crazy one-off builds that are really only useful for tradeshows and then you have testbenches. The testbenches are normally plain looking and lack much more than the ability to add a fan or the bare minimum components needed for a testbench. A few years ago Primochill introduced their Wetbench line and they have revised it to the current iteration with huge changes in the design. I’ve been following it for a while but its allure finally got me after seeing it all over the internet on tech YouTube channels and websites so I reached out and surprisingly they were happy to send over a nice orange and white Wetbench for us to check out. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter or my personal Instagram you have most likely seen the Wetbench in action recently. Well, it's about time to sat down and spoke a little about the overall experience.

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Project Build: Carmine - Part 2

So a few weeks ago I got started on our Ryzen based project build. At the time the plan was to put together a reasonable Ryzen build with a nice red theme. We picked out the case, the motherboard, and a power supply. Well, today I’m going to run through the rest of the go fast bits so to speak. That means we need some sort of storage to get our OS on, memory, a video card, and to pick out which CPU we want to go with as well. So today we run through those parts and at the end I will include a small preview of what else is coming for this build. I’ll give you a hint, while the original plan was to put together something reasonable things have gone a little crazy on the water cooling front.  

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RX580 Crossfire Testing

So last week AMD launched the 500 series of cards and I had the chance to check out two different RX580 variations. So like always, if I get a pair of cards in and they support Crossfire or SLI I have to see what they are capable of. So as soon as I had my reviews posted I got the XFX and Sapphire cards on the testbench and started seeing what they can do. Like previous multi-card testing articles, this is mostly just me posting up results with less commentary than normal. So get ready to flip through a whole bunch of results.

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MSI GTX 1080 11Gbps Gaming X+ 8G

So this week has been mostly filled with information on the AMD 500 series launch but today Nvidia taking the NDA off of their updated GTX 1080’s that were introduced at the same time as the GTX 1080 Ti. The new GTX 1080’s now have 11Gbps memory, just like the 1080 Ti. MSI sent over the GTX 1080 Gaming X+ for me to check out so today I’m going to run it through our recently refreshed test suite and see how it compares to the GTX 1080 Ti and the original GTX 1080 as well. Being an aftermarket card it should run cooler and quieter than the two Founders Editions that I tested, but how does it all translate to in game performance. I test at 1080p, 1440p, and 4k to see just how they all compare.

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XFX RX580 8GB GTS

With the official RX 500 series launch, we learned that the new 500 series cards are hopped up versions of the 400 series of cards. With that in mind, all of the aftermarket cards have to up their game to keep things cool. So today I’m going to check out a second card and see how much they ended squeezing out of the card and what they had to do to keep things cool and quiet. That card is the RX580 8GB GTS from XFX. XFX kept their old cooler design on some of their cards, but for their flagship the GTS they went a completely new design. I’m excited to see how that looks and how it performs. Let’s dive into it.

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