OCZ Vector 180 480GB

Over the last few months I have had the chance to check out a whole list of different SSD’s from a wide range of manufactures. For the most part all of them are sporting the new Phison S10 controller. While those drives have been fast I couldn’t help but notice that the OCZ drives that I tested well over a year ago were right up there holding their own. That got me wondering what the new PCZ drive is capable so I asked to check out the new Vector 180. Today I’m going to dig into it and see what they have going on and then run it through our benchmark suite to see how it performs to find out how it compares to everyone else’s new flagship drives.

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Nvidia GTX 980 Ti

You might be wondering what I’m doing posting on a Sunday night but with Computex starting in Taiwan there are a ton of things getting announced or about to get announced. You see a lot of people think that CES is the big event each year for PC hardware but CES is really for consumer electronics where Computex has more of a focus on PC hardware. So with that Nvidia has stepped up and is introducing their GTX 980 Ti. While the launch is exciting, it is a little surprising to see them launch now, before AMD launches their 300 Series cards. Typically companies leave an ace in the hole so Nvidia must be really confident that AMD doesn’t have what it takes to outperform the GTX 980 Ti. While we won’t know that until AMD launches their cards, what we can do today is run the GTX 980 Ti through our benchmark suite and see just how it compares to what is available today.

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Thermaltake Poseidon Z Forged

One of the more up and coming company’s in the gaming keyboard market for me has been Thermaltake. They have introduced a wide variety of keyboards over the past few years including their Poseidon line. We have seen well priced keyboards from the Poseidon lineup that have also included backlighting and a clean look. For a lot of gamers this is the only way to get that clean styling and backlighting without completely breaking the bank. Today I have the chance to take a look at their newest Poseidon keyboard, the Poseidon Z Forged. The Z is how TT distinguished their non-Cherry keyswitch models but now they only make the Z. The Forged in the name however is completely new, this is because this specific model has a metal plate across the top, giving the keyboard a more solid construction and adding to the styling. So let’s dig in and see what it’s all about!

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GTX 980 SLI Testing

After taking a look at the Titan X last week it really got me thinking. Currently you can pick up two GTX 980s for the price of one Titan X. That leaves me wondering how well two GTX 980s would perform in SLI compared to the Titan X. Well it just so happens I had two GTX 980’s in use in the office so I put them to the test. Today I’m going to take a quick look at their performance and see if they are a better buy than a single Titan X.

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2015 Chevrolet Trax LTZ AWD

It’s funny I spend so much time in the office playing with hardware and tech and gaming throughout the year that completely miss out on some of the cool tech that requires me to get outside a little. When we plan out trips I sometimes take that chance to bring things along with me that require a little more time out of the office. Well for the second year in a row my wife and I decided to make the trip down to Florida to visit family. Along the way we spent a few days at the Mid-Season Invitational League of Legends games, snuck off to Disney World, and spent a few days on the beach in Daytona. Well I decided this would be a great time to check out something completely different.  As an old school car guy and a tech nut I keep my ear to the ground when I can and I have seen GM pushing their OnStar with 4G LTE. I thought it would be interesting to see just what they have going on the tech side of things. I reached out to GM and they were surprisingly happy to drop of a 2015 Chevy Trax with all of the bells and whistles. We took the Trax down with us giving us a great chance to check out what they have going on.

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Nvidia Titan X

Sometimes you can’t explain it but you need the biggest and best. When it comes to video cards from Nvidia the GTX 980 is a beast, hell I have GTX 980’s in both my main PC and my LAN rig, but with 4 giga of ram I don’t think you can really consider it to be the end all be all video card. This is where Nvidia comes in with their Titan cards. In the past they have had the original Titan as well as the Titan Z with its dual GPUs and the Titan Black. Well the latest Titan is the Titan X. Nvidia launched it this past March and we were a little slow to get one in but today I finally have one to run through our benchmark suite. Let’s find out if it really is godlike like the name implies.

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Kingston HyperX FURY Pro Gaming Mouse Pad

I’m not sure if everyone else has been watching, but Kingston has been slowly expanding their product lines a little. They are obviously known for their memory and later their SSDs and flash drives. But they have also been dabbling in headsets with their HyperX brand. They started out by partnering with other manufactures but recently they have introduced their own headsets and they have been very popular from what I have seen. Well around that time they also quietly introduced a line of mouse pads. I guess they figure that a HyperX fan might be interested in keeping the HyperX trend going with a mouse pad. So today I’m going to take a quick look at the HyperX FURY Pro Gaming Mouse Pad and see what they have going on.

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Patriot Ignite M2 480 GB

So a lot of people might not know it but the new M.2 SSDs are actually very versatile. You can run them as a direct PCIe drive with a x2 or x4 connection or you can even run a standard SATA drive on M.2. It wasn’t long ago that I took a look at the Patriot Ignite SSD, well it just so happens Patriot send over another Ignite SSD. This time they sent over their brand new Ignite M2. The Ignite M2 is a SATA based M.2 drive. In other words with this being a SATA drive we still work under the limitations of the SATA interface but with that we keep costs down. Where this comes in handy is in builds where not having to run a 2.5 inch drive is best. So we know this is up my alley, not having to pack in a 2.5 inch drive would save a lot of trouble in some of our LANrigs! So let’s see what the Ignite M2 is all about and then run it through our standard benchmark suite.

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Asus ROG GR8

I sometimes feel a little like a broken record when talking about LANRigs. While we have been doing them for years here at LanOC, over the past few years the small form factor builds have really come into their own. The introduction of parts has helped a lot and frankly I think a lot of people are starting to see that you can get amazing performance out of a small PC if it is built right. This makes taking your PC to LANs much easier and even for those of you who don’t do that, they take up a lot less space in your office. Well when Asus recently introduced a new all in one PC called the ROG GR8 I was a little surprised. They were promising a PC that is a fraction of the size of a normal SFF gaming rig but you could get it with an i7 and a dedicated video card. I had to check it out. Over the past few months we have been lucky enough to pack it up and use it at multiple LANs, today I’m going to talk a little about the GR8 and our experience with it. While we are doing that I’m going to try to keep our only GR8 (Great) reference to right here in the introduction.

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HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe G2 x4 480GB

Last week I took a look at Kingston’s latest HyperX SATA SSD the Savage. Now today I have the chance to look at their flagship SSD the Predator. The Predator is an M.2 x4 drive that is available with and without a PCI Express card to M.2 adapter. For our testing today I will be using it with the adapter to see what everyone can expect for performance, but if your PC supports a x4 M.2 slot you can save yourself a lot of space and keep a PCIe slot open by running the drive through it. M.2 is the replacement for mSATA. Running the drive over M.2 gives a direct connection to the CPU and when run in a x4 configuration it gives us up to 20GB/s bandwidth. In other words for the first time in a long time we aren’t limited by the SATA connection. With that I’m extremely excited to see what the Predator is capable of!

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Cougar 200K Gaming Keyboard

A few months ago I took a look at one of Cougars new mechanical gaming keyboards as well as one of their mice. The 700K was a surpassingly good keyboard, I was caught off guard by a fairly new company that had clearly put a lot of time into developing the 700K. Well today here I am again about to check out another Cougar keyboard, this time though this is a little more of a budget focused keyboard. This is the 200K. Cougar swapped out the Cherry key switches for scissor key switches and cut back on the features. Today I’m going to check it out and see if it still has the pedigree of the 700K and find out if this is worth a look when looking for a cheap gaming keyboard.

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Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD

When it comes to SSD shopping you have to consider your budget, speed requirements, and also your brand preference. For me personally, I have been using Kingston drives in basically all of my builds as well as all of our test benches for a few years now. This is partly because Kingston has always been great about supporting us but it is also because when I visit their offices and their US manufacturing I watched them jump through hoops testing and retesting their Memory. I realized that they take their quality very serious and for me more than anything else I can’t afford to have my SSD die. So while there have been other drives that are faster, I stuck with them. Why am I telling you this today? Well that is because today I will be taking a look at a MUCH needed new SSD in their product line called the Savage. The Savage line from HyperX isn’t new, they have a nice set of RAM under the name already but today they officially introduce the new SSD. So kick back for a few while I dig into the HyperX Savage SSD and see what it is all about.

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Topre Type Heaven

When it comes to picking out a mechanical keyboard there are nearly as many options as there are people. When it comes to what keyswitch you prefer most of you think of just the color options that Cherry switches have but more and more other keyswitch types have been coming into the picture. With that you need to look at the switch type before even getting into colors. A good example of this are Topre’s. We covered a variation on them with the Novatouch but today I’m going to be taking a look at a Topre keyboard directly from Topre, the Type Heaven. This is one of those weird situations where this specific keyboard is considered an entry level Topre keyboard when compared to other Topre keyboards, but that puts it up with higher end Cherry keyboards. So today I want to check out what it is all about and see if this is an option that you should be looking at when shopping for a new mechanical keyboard.

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Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion

So what is now years ago Adam and I were at a press event for Gigabyte at CES. At that event I spent some time playing against a pro gamer and we also had the chance to see them introduce their new games series of motherboards. At the end of that speech they slipped in a quick sneak peak of a new line of overclocking motherboards with an orange theme that they called OC Orange. Now I think everyone knows just how much I love orange and OC orange to me is LanOC orange, a color that we have used on the website from nearly the start. At that time Adam wrote that he imagined that I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I got my hands on one of the boards. Well it has been a long few years, but today is finally the day. Gigabyte sent over their new X99-SOC Champion flagship overclocking board and today I’m going to dig into it and see what it is all about. Oddly enough now that I can sleep, I want nothing more than to stay up and see what sets the board apart from the competition.

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Asus Strix 7.1 Gaming Headset

When it comes to headsets, just about every company you can imagine makes their own. You can find them in all different shapes and with countless features. That said I can’t honestly say that anything out on the market is the end all be all gaming headset. That is because everything about them is subjective. That said when a company like Asus puts out what they market as a high end gaming headset, I take notice. In just about everything they do they do an amazing job, especially on the audio front. So when the Asus Strix 7.1 gaming headset came in I couldn’t wait to test it out.

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Cherry MX-Board 3.0

One of the best things about keyboards is there is a keyboard for nearly any situation and any personality. You have the choice to go mechanical or rubber domes and then after that you can pick from wireless and wired and even the keyboards focus. Being LanOC we do cover a lot of keyboards that have a big gaming focus but aren’t limited to just gaming keyboards. Today I’m going to take a look at a keyboard from Cherry, yes the Cherry that makes the Cherry MX keyswitches that everyone loves. Today I’m taking a look at the Cherry MX-Board 3.0, a non-backlit keyboard with a standard office focus. I’m excited to see what Cherry has to offer and to find out if the MX-Board 3.0 is the way to go when looking for a quality non-backlit mechanical keyboard.

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Netis AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Adapter

While a lot of us still run wired networks at home, you really can’t avoid running a wireless network in your home or office. There are just to many devices that only use wireless like mobile phones, tablets, portable game consoles, and a lot of today’s thin laptops as well. Hell in our house in addition to the regular devices you will also see a printer, at least one IP security camera, and even our whole house humidifier. This is all of course in a house that is completely wired as well, imagine how many devices you might see on a house that runs completely on wireless. With that the move to wireless AC becomes more and more important. The additional bandwidth it allows on wireless is huge, especially when a lot of households are actually getting faster internet than their wireless can provide to their devices. So today I’m going to take a look at a wireless AC adapter from Netis that allows you to hook up that PC all the way on the top floor to your new AC router or if you want you can even use it to run your own wireless network.

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Intel SSD 750 Series PCIe SSD

You may not know it, but over the past few years we as gamers and enthusiasts have been smack dab in the middle of a bit of a revolution. Sure games don’t seem to push hardware as much as they used too and the focus has been on higher resolutions. But on the storage front performance has been improving with leaps and bounds. Here at LanOC our first hard drive review came about around the same time that the first consumer SSDs were hitting the market. When tested that hard drive saw an average read speed of about 75MB/s. Our first SSD review a few months later put down an impressive 214.6 MB/s. After that we saw speeds increase to 300 and then recently to around 550 MB/s. PCIe drives have performed better than that but none of them promise to put down numbers like todays review. Today I’m going to check out Intel’s first consumer focused PCIe drive that happens to also use NVMe.

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Patriot Ignite 480GB

Even after our LAN this weekend I’m not burnt out on all of the storage talk, so it is only fitting that I continue our streak of SSD reviews. Today I have a drive from Patriot in the office. Specifically their new Ignite in a 480GB capacity. The Ignite is one of three recently introduced drives from Patriot with this being their flagship drive. The Ignite features the same Phison's quad-core, eight-channel PS3110-S10 controller that we also saw on the Mushkin Striker last week so we know just how well it can perform. This is fitting because both Patriot and Mushkin focus on bringing the best possible performance at the best possible price. So today I’m going to run the Ignite though our benchmark suite and see how it compares to everything I have tested recently and then see how good of a deal the drive is as well. Could this be the SSD for your next build? Let’s find out.

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Mushkin Chronos 480GB

Last week I took a look at Mushkins new flagship SSD. Well it just so happens I also had another Mushkin SSD floating around the office to review. This one isn’t anything like the Striker. The Chronos is a little older but with that it is also a little better value when you are shopping. Our sample is the big guy with a 480GB capacity but it is priced to compete. So today I’m going to see what is inside of the Chronos and most importantly I am going to figure out if the aging Sandforce controller is still fast enough to justify a purchase for someone who is on a budget.

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