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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Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 8GB LE

2017 has been crazy and we are only a few months in really with multiple big launches from AMD. They launched their RX 400 series of cards last June and the excitement and hype has hardly slowed down in AMD groups. Now that Ryzen 7 and 5 are both out and with rumors of Vega starting to pick up AMD decided to slip in the 500 Series launch. This might be one of the worst kept secrets with cards being sold worldwide for the past week or two but today is the day we finally dive into it all officially. For the launch, AMD sent over the latest Sapphire Nitro+ RX580 in an 8GB Limited Edition version. So today I’m going to run through what the 500 Series is all about and then I’m going to test the Sapphire card and see how it compares. For even more fun I dug out the RX480 Nitro+ that dominated our RX480 charts to see how the new card compares to its year older brother.

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Asus Strix H270F Gaming

After the Intel 200 Series launch, I took a look at a range of boards on the Z270 chipset all in the mid range as far as pricing and features. The Asus Strix Z270E board ended up being great and I have been using it with all of the Ryzen testing as well for comparison testing. Well, a shipping mix-up when waiting for a Z270 ITX board for an upcoming project build meant I ended up with an Asus Strix H270F Gaming in its place. It might have been an accident, but it is a good chance to check out a similar board but from the H270 line. H270 drops overclocking and gives a lower number of PCI lanes from the CPU which means less for PCIe options, fewer M.2 storage options, and less for USB. But it still gives a lot of features at a lower price point, so today I'm going to check out the Strix H270F and see if it’s a good option for someone who might not be planning on overclocking their new build at all.

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Ryzen Stock Coolers

With Ryzen 5 now available, the possibility that people will be running stock coolers has gone up considerably. Because of that, I figured today we could take a quick look at the performance of the new Wraith Spire and Wraith Max coolers. I did the same thing last year when the Wraith Cooler was first introduced. So today won’t be a big article, I’m just going to run through what CPUs they work with, compare the differences, and then see how they perform.

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AMD Ryzen 5 CPUs

So last month AMD introduced Ryzen to the world with their Ryzen 7 processors. I took a look at all three and also did some more in depth gaming testing. Well, now it's finally time for AMD to introduce the Ryzen 5 CPUs for those who are looking for more of a budget friendly option. A few weeks ago they sent over a kit with the Ryzen 5 1600X and the 1500X and I’ve had a little time to spend with them. So today I’m going to run through the new series then take a look at how the new 4 and 6 core flagships from AMD perform. Then tomorrow I’m going to check out the coolers they bundle with them as well.

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Rosewill RK-9300

Back in 2012 Rosewill introduced their RK-9000 mechanical keyboards and while they didn’t look fancy or have a lot of the features that a lot of the other boards had, they were extremely popular. They were popular because they were inexpensive mostly, but people also really liked the simple styling. Rosewill went on to bring out a few other variations including models with backlighting but they recently caught my eye with a new RK-9300 model that was still simple but brought along with it a floating key design. I thought it might be a good time to break up all of the RGB gaming keyboards with Rosewill’s new board so today I’m going to take a look and see what it’s all about.

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