Razer Deathadder Elite

It’s hard to believe it, but Razer launched the original Deathadder just over 10 years ago. At that time if you built a new PC you might be sporting a newly launched Intel Core 2 Duo or an AMD Athlon 64 FX CPU with your new GTX 7900 GTX or Radeon X1900. It’s crazy how much things have changed while at the same time the Deathadder in its different variations is still one of the go-to mice on the market. The newest Deathadder is the Deathadder Elite. It has the same shape that everyone loves but has a new 5g optical sensor and for the first time, Razers own mechanical mouse switches. Razer sent over the Elite for me to check out and slipped in the Firefly RGB mousepad. I’ve been testing them out and today I’m going to see what they are all about and how they perform.

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Arozzi Arena Gaming Desk

It’s funny how we spend sometimes thousands of dollars on our PCs and peripherals but at the end of the day don’t give much thought to our actual desk setups. I bet a lot of you are using the same desk that you used years ago, I know I did. But a few years ago I started thinking about options for new desks and frankly there really aren’t that many out there. Sure you can pick up the cheap desks at your local discount store, but is there anything out there that’s better. Are there any options focused on gamers? Well if you search around you will find a few options that are “gamer” focused, but none were very good. So when I saw the Arozzi Arena Gaming Desk online it caught my eye. They didn’t just add colors and call it a gaming product, it actually has a cloth mouse surface over the entire top of the desk. With all of the people buying large desk pads and putting them under their keyboard and mouse, the Arena seemed like an extension of that so I reached out to Arozzi to take a closer look.

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Caselabs Bullet BH7

Over the past four years, I have been running my main rig in the Magnum TH10 monster of a case. In that time I have abused the case almost every day and it has held up to that abuse without a ding, dent, or chip in the finish. So when I saw that Caselabs had introduced a new case and it was available in a bright orange I couldn’t get in touch with Caselabs fast enough. The new Bullet line of cases are much smaller and incorporate a lot of new features from what Caselabs have learned in the last few years including a dual chamber design. Given that I’ve never actually built an orange themed build and I’ve always wanted to, I set out to build a monster PC in the Bullet BH7. You can expect a project build in the future, but for now, I did want to sit down and dive into the Caselabs Bullet BH7 and tell everyone what it's all about and if they should pick one up for their next build.

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Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam

If you have ever shopped for webcams you will have most likely realized that even though everyone and their mom sells a webcam, there is only one on the market that everyone recommends. The Logitech c920 has been at the top of the market for almost 5 years now and before that the c910 was also the go to camera. It’s crazy to think that basically the same camera could still be considered so good after so many years. Surely the tech has improved, right? Well with the popularity of streaming really getting traction Logitech decided to follow up the C920 with a new model called the C922 that is focused directly at streamers. Given the past models I have high expectations, but more than anything else I’m curious what is different with the C922 at all. So today I’m going to check it out and see what it’s all about.

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Simplify3D

For over 7 months of printing on the SeeMeCNC Eris’ and the Rostock MAX v3, I have been using the suggested software MatterControl. Setup was easy because they work directly with SeeMeCNC and it had the profiles for both printers. Beyond that, it was easy to use, but over time I started to notice more and more limitations and I was really curious what else was out there. Well, one of the more popular programs for handling most 3d printers is called Simplify3D. They happened to be based out of Ohio like we are, so I reached out and they send over a copy and I have been testing it alongside my testing of the Rostock MAX v3. So today I’m going to dive in and check out what their software is all about.

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SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3

Most of you know the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Well when it comes to trinkets and other cool stuff, 3d printers are the same. You Can buy small items or you can print your own cool stuff. Early this year I did just that. I covered SeeMeCNC’s new at the time Eris and even well past my coverage I had one and then later two printers running all of the time in the office. I was having a blast but I really needed to go BIGGER. Well, a few months ago they sent over their new v3 model of their Rostock MAX, the big guy. With vacation and everything it took me a little while to get going, but I have been running the printer for a long time now and it’s about time I sit down and tell everyone about my experience with SeeMeCNC’s new printer. You might want to get comfortable, this might be a long one. 

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V-Moda Crossfade Wireless

Hi, my name is Wes and I’m addicted to wireless headsets.. I hate to admit it, because I have just about any wired headset I could want in the warehouse, but on my main PC I prefer to use a wireless headset. Over the years I can’t even count the different ways that I have gotten tangled up in a headphone wire or damaged the wire with my chair so years ago I started using wireless headsets. I started with the Corsair Vengeance 1500’s then I went to the Logitech G930’s, and for the past three years I’ve had the SteelSeries H Wireless. I’ve run into multiple issues with reception issues, especially at LAN parties, battery issues, and at one point the Corsairs even just came apart in my hands. The H Wireless held up better and gave me fewer issues because of its swappable battery setup but the audio performance and comfort were never really as good as anything wired. But it's 2016, going on 2017 and I’m feeling saucy. I decided to check out the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless. I’ve got the wired version that I take with me to LAN events and love them, so I thought they might finally be the solution to the audio and comfort issues while being wireless so I’ve been giving them a try.

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Realforce RGB

Over the past few years the market for mechanical keyboards with RGB backlighting has gone crazy. The problem though is all of those RGB keyboards have had Cherry switches, knock off cherry switches, or a few custom switches designed by companies like Logitech and SteelSeries. One of my favorite mechanical switch types is Topre, but with the exception of a few knockoffs you haven’t been able to get Topre keyboards with any backlighting, let alone full RGB backlighting. So when Realforce introduced their upcoming keyboard, the Realforce RGB I had to check it out. Of all of the keyboards I have my Realforce 87u is one of my favorites to type on, but the lack of backlighting or even easy to read legends in the light forced me to keep it put up. So it will be exciting to see how Realforce’s new keyboard performs to see how it compares.

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Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G RGB 850 W Titanium

It’s starting to become a meme at this point, but in the PC market almost everything now is available with RGB lighting. This is partially due to companies finally locking down the control they wanted for crazy lighting effects and also because it finally lets everyone bring out just one product that will work with any theme. No other company has taken this as far as Thermaltake as they have RGB lighting with their water cooling and RGB power supplies. As someone who prefers to make sure everything in my build matches I’m all for RGB and with that I wanted to take a look at Thermaltake’s Toughpower DPS G RGB to use in a build, specifically their 850-watt model with the crazy 80 Plus rating of Titanium!

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SteelSeries Arctis 5

In the eight and a half years that I have been doing reviews here at LanOC, I’ve had the opportunity to work with SteelSeries on every one of their headset launches. But in that time none of the new headsets have been a completely new design. They have revamped the H and Siberia lines multiple times and even had a few variations that were close to an all new design like the Siberia Elite. But recently they actually introduced a completely new headset product line called the Arctis. Like their H series they have a couple of variations but for the launch they sent over the Arctis 5 and I’ve been testing it out and I finally have a little time to sit down and talk about it. So let's dive into the new features then see how they perform.

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Corsair HX850i

When it comes to building a new PC most of your focus is going to be on things like your video card, your CPU, SSDs, and maybe your case. That is because those are the components that affect the performance of your PC and with your case, it is the most visible component. So I completely understand why your power supply isn’t at the top of your list. You do have to remember though that a poor quality power supply can take out all of those other expensive components in an instant. I recently started looking at components for a new build for my main rig to replace the monster Fridge build. For the power supply, I wanted to go with a lower wattage because I had only planned on having two video cards, but I wanted to stick with Corsair and I needed fully modular to change out the cables later. So the Corsair HX850i came to mind. With its Platinum 80 Plus certification and a few cool features. The build it is going in is coming along, so today I’m going to take a look at the HX850i and see what it is all about.

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iPhone 7

So over the past few years I have reviewed 23 different mobile devices and on top of that I have tested and used at least another 23. In that time I have used every variation of Android available, Windows phones, multiple Blackberrys, and even a few Palm devices before they went away. What has been missing though has been a proper test of an iOS device. I’ve toyed with iPads and iPhone and even owned a few different iPods but its never been enough to really get a feel for it. Part of that is because I’ve never bought an iPhone for myself but it also comes down to review sampling for iPhone never being available through the channels we have worked through. Well with the launch of the iPhone 7 that changed, Verizon had a phone for me to check out and I have been using the iPhone7 for about a month and a half. In that time I have put aside any bias and learned how iOS works and tested the new iPhone 7 to see what it is all about. I’m certainly not the first person to cover the phone, but come with me to check out a first time iPhone users experience.

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Azio MK Retro

There are so many different reasons why people upgrade to mechanical keyboards. For some people, it is about durability. But for a lot of people, there is a bit of nostalgia involved. Some of us grew up with clicky buckling spring keyboards and just want a little of that back. With that in mind, Azio has introduced a new keyboard that is all about going old school, even beyond those buckling spring keyboards, back to typewriters. They aren’t the first company to do it, Datamancer a company we have worked with in the past had a few typewriter style keyboards and even sold keycaps. But Azio has actually taken the next step and gone into mass production and dropped the costs considerably. So today I’m going to take a look at their MK Retro and see if it is actually a usable keyboard, or if it is just going to be a novelty.

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Gigabyte RX 480 G1 Gaming 8GB

After checking out an aftermarket RX 480, the reference RX 480, and both together in Crossfire you might think we were done. But Gigabyte was a little late to the party with their sampling and their RX 480 G1 Gaming with 8GB of vRAM came in while I was on vacation. Add in the RX 460 and GTX 1050 launches and I’m just now getting around to take a look at the card. So today I’m going to take a look at the card and see what it is all about. Then I’m going to run it through our test suite including the recently added Deus Ex tests and see how it compares to the rest of the RX 480 options. This also gives me a good chance to revisit the RX 480 and see if its location in the market has changed at all with the price changes. So get into everything and see what Gigabyte has going on.

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MSI GTX 1050 Ti Gaming X 4G

So earlier this week I took a look at both the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. Both of our samples were from Nvidia and MSI but around the same time I also ended up with a second MSI GTX 1050 Ti, the Gaming X model. It didn’t seem right to just slip the numbers into the other coverage so today I’m going to take a look at the card. It is longer than the other MSI cards and it has a full sized dual fan cooler. They also slipped a 6-pin power connection on it as well so today I’m going to run it through all of our normal tests and see how well it performs.

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MSI GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti

So we may be past most of the exciting launches that sit at the top of the price range but both Nvidia and AMD have been slowly releasing all of their price point cards. Most recently AMD launched the RX 460. At that spot in the market, Nvidia hadn’t responded until today. Today they are announcing the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. Well really most of you saw all of the PR launch last week, but today is the official end of the NDAs. That means I can finally dive into the cards and see what Nvidia has going on. While I’m doing that I’m going to add a new game into our benchmark suite and retest the RX 460 to see how they compare. Then we can find out what cards will be the best performers for those of you who don’t have PCI power connections or for those looking to keep the budget way down on their latest build. To keep things really easy, Nvidia sent over MSI cards for both the 1050 and the 1050 Ti so they should be perfect for comparing the two.

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QNAP TS-451+

You may not have noticed, but not only have PCs been getting smaller but devices like notebooks, phones, and tablets have been taking over. It doesn’t mean that the PC is going away as some people would like you to think, but it does mean that fewer devices have the capability to hold bulk storage. Sure SSDs are getting bigger and computers have some room, but enthusiasts, geeks, and professionals used to load up their main PCs with hard drives and the PC market is moving away from that. You could go with an external drive but they don’t really have the capacity as well. Because of that, the home NAS market has been picking up and more and more people are realizing that a central storage location is helpful for the whole family. In our case, I moved to NAS storage years ago to cut back on electricity from having servers running in the house. We have had one for my attached office and another with video files but recently those have filled up and I’ve been looking at new options. While doing that I thought it would be a great time to take a look at what QNAP has going on so they sent over their TS-451+. My past NAS have been powered by slower CPUs and over time his has caused slowdowns when running RAID so I’m excited to see how the TS-451+ performs with its Intel quad core.  So let’s dive in.

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Rosewill Cullinan Gaming Case

Over the past 5 years or so I have seen the case market slowly move its focus from the flashy designs that most people associate with gaming to a cleaner theme. With that we have also seen a few companies, namely, In Win, introduce custom designs that have incorporated glass into their designs. In fact, I personally have three different builds that utilize glass. So when Rosewill contacted me about their new Cullinan case that utilizes glass and has a simple/elegant design I jumped right on board, completely ignoring the fact that it was launching right in the middle of our LAN, Alex’s and I’s vacation, and basically the craziest time for me. Because of that, I’m a little late to the party taking a look at the case, but I’m still excited to see what direction Rosewill is moving in their cases.

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Tesoro Gram Spectrum

With us being a few years into the whole RGB movement with mechanical keyboards, we are still seeing some companies finally moving their keyboards over to RGB and others have been refining their original designs. At this point, I have tested and covered just about everything and I think almost every day I’m turning down companies who want to send more and more of the same. I nearly did the same with the Gram Spectrum from Tesoro but the fact it was available in an all white design caught my eye. With everyone else only selling them in black, it is nice to see something a little different. On top of that, the Gram Spectrum also has Tesoro’s new switch called the Tesoro Agile with a short throw and short actuation point. So today I’m going to check out the Gram Spectrum and see what it is all about in all of its pale glory and find out how the new switches compare to the rest of the market.

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RX 480 Crossfire

A few weeks ago before going on vacation I took a look at the Sapphire RX 480 8GB Nitro and was impressed with its performance. Well as these things normally go, with that being the second RX 480 to come into the office, I did spend some time with both the Sapphire and our original reference RX 480 on the test bench to test out Crossfire performance. Sadly, I hadn’t had a chance to take a look at the numbers until today, though. So today let’s see how the RX 480’s perform in Crossfire for those wondering if picking up a second RX 480 in the future will be worth in.

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