Gigabyte RTX 3060 Eagle 12G

With the shortages, I sadly haven’t had the chance to check out any of the latest generation of cards from Gigabyte to see what is new their way. But I did recently happen to receive their RTX 3060 Eagle 12G. The Eagle is an interesting one to have come in because while that product line came out last year and covers the 2000 series and the 1600 series of cards I haven’t had the chance to check one out yet. They are a little more budget-focused which is the opposite of what I’ve been seeing this generation with some companies taking advantage of the unprecedented demand to bring out higher-cost cards. It still has features that you expect to see from Gigabyte like their Windforce cooling so I am excited to see how it performs. Let’s check it out!

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Project Data Hoarder – TrueNAS CORE Build Part 2

Late last fall I set out to finally make a few big upgrades to our network and storage which was long overdue. In fact, around that time and over the winter I have had one NAS die and I’ve had 4 different hard drives and one SSD die. So saying it was overdue is an understatement and frankly dealing with each of those drives has been a big reminder that no matter how safe you might think you are being with your data that you most likely should be doing more if you don’t want to lose it. Anyhow our TrueNAS CORE build saw a big delay while waiting on the final parts. There are shortages all over the place, not just on the CPU and GPU side of things but today I can finally get back to work on the build. Today I want to go over all of the storage components. These are the most important part of a NAS and depending on how many drives you have planned they are most likely also going to be the most expensive part as well. So let’s check out what I went with for data storage and the OS drive.

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TerraMaster F2-422 10GbE

Late last year I had an interesting external storage option come in that ran on Thunderbolt3 and also provided dock like functionality with a display connection, USB,  and ethernet ports. This was the TerraMaster TD2 Thunderbolt3 Plus and it was the first time I had the chance to check out TerraMaster. They also make a few different NAS models and they recently had a new series, their 422 series which added 10Gb network support which caught my eye. They sent over the F2-422 which is a two-drive model that looks a lot like the TD2 and today I am finally going to talk a little about the overall experience. Is the F2-422 a cheaper NAS option for someone looking for a 10Gb NAS and is the extra network bandwidth worth it? Today I will check that out.

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Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB

Up until Intel’s most recent launch, PCI Gen 4 has been limited to just the most recent AMD Ryzen chipsets which have been very popular. But now with both sides of the line having support Gen 4 devices will be more and more important. The Rocket Q4 that I previously took a look at was a Gen 4 drive, but it was just an updated controller on top of the normal Rocket setup. The Rocket 4 Plus is a PCIe Gen 4 drive like the previous Sabrent SSD I had in the office but this one is promising speeds closer to what you would expect for gen 4.0. Today I’m going to check it out to see what sets it apart and to find out how it performs compared with both Gen 4 and Gen 3 drives to see if it should be on your wishlist for your next build or upgrade.

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Intel Core i9-11900K and i5-11600K

Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs which are their latest 11th generation of their Core desktop lineup were officially announced earlier this month but they have been a bit of an open secret for a while now. There have even been CPUs available for sale way ahead of the launch so there has been a lot of information all over the place on Intel’s upcoming latest generation of desktop CPUs. Today is finally the day that the embargo lifts and we can take a closer look at the new lineup, namely the performance of two CPUs the Core i9 11900K and the i5-11600K that Intel sent over for us to test out. The competition in the CPU market has been strong and Intel has continued to push the limits so it will be interesting to see what they have in store for the 11th gen CPUs so let's dive in and see what the story is.

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MSI MPG A750GF Power Supply

Last fall MSI announced that they were entering into the power supply market. It isn’t a huge surprise. MSI has been slowly branching out their product lineup with lots of peripherals for years in addition to the normal motherboards and GPUs. They are also a big name in laptops and prebuilt systems as well. We have seen similar companies like Asus do the same thing over the last few years and Gigabyte as well. You can now pick a brand and nearly build a complete themed out PC with a lot of companies. I did that with Asus not long ago and here soon MSI could be a possibility as well now that they have PSUs, new cases (they did a few cheaper cases years ago), and water cooling all being added. The new power supplies have the same MPG branding that MSI uses on their motherboard naming and their first units are available in 650w, 750w, and 850w options. The MPG A750GF that I’m checking out today is of course the middle option. SO let’s see what they are all about.

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XFX MERC319 6700 XT

 The RX 6700 XT has been exciting, having already taken a look at one other card we know that it performs well in the 1440p range and is a monster for 1080p for anyone looking to run a high refresh rate monitor. The first card I took a look at was an overclocked one from MSI but XFX also sent over a card. I was impressed with their new styling when I took a look at the Merc 319 6800 XT and from what I’ve seen the Merc 319 6700 XT has a similar setup. The name alone tells us that this is their high-end model and it has the triple-fan cooler. So it will be interesting to see if the 6700 XT performs even better with the cooler and we get the chance to check out card-to-card performance as well which is a rare chance in the current market. So let’s jump in and see what it is all about and find out if it’s the 6700 XT to pick up.

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MSI RX 6700 XT Gaming X

Well, today's the day, AMD announced the RX 5700 XT on their video launch at the start of March. There have been performance leaks and lots of information but today is the day where everything is released. I don’t have a reference card coming in to test but I do have an overclocked card from MSI. Their RX 6700 XT Gaming X. Today I’m going to put it through our normal test suite to see how it performs and to get an idea of where it stands in today's very complicated market.

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Logitech Pro X Superlight

In late 2018 Logitech introduced their G Pro Wireless gaming mouse which for the first time showed that lightweight mice could be wireless. Weight was just starting to take off with enthusiasts and Logitech was quick to innovate on the wireless side. At the time I was already sporting the G703 with their PowerPlay mousepad that wirelessly charges so the move to a mouse that is similar in shape to what I prefer that would be lighter weight and wireless was a no-brainer. Even with all of the other mice that have come into the office, on my main PC, I always end up back using the G Pro Wireless. So when rumors of a new lighter weight model starter to take off I couldn’t wait. Well, I finally got my hands on the new Pro X Superlight and I can see what all has changed.

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Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 Sub-Zero

Let’s be honest, for the most part, innovation in the AIO cooler market these days consists more of adding more RGB lighting than anything on the performance side of things. But Cooler Master did recently pair up with Intel and change that up. They introduced the MasterLiquid ML360 Sub-Zero. They added a TEC cooler into the loop to push AIO cooling into the sub-ambient cooling range. If you haven’t heard of a TEC cooler, I wouldn’t blame you. TEC is a shortened version of Thermoelectric Unit and they can also be known as a Peltier cooler. In short, they use electricity to cool and while they are effective they aren’t particularly power efficient which is why fridges and air conditioners use refrigerant-based cooling options. But they have been used for cooling computers before, in fact, Cooler Master themselves have used them with their V10 design that I took a look at 11 years ago. So today I’m going to check out the ML360 Sub-Zero and see how they have incorporated the TEC cooler in with an AIO and step away from our normal cooler testing which is normally on a range of Ryzen CPUs to test this on the Intel 10900K as this is an Intel exclusive cooler.

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MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio

With my first look at the newly launched RTX 3060, I had the chance to take a look at the XC Black which has a stock 3060 clock and is designed to reach the target MSRP Nvidia announced. But what other kinds of options are out there? MSI sent over their RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio which has an overclock out of the box and a significantly larger three fan design. I’m excited to see what MSI has going on with their higher-end RTX 3060 and to see how the 3060 performs with an overclock. So let’s dive in and see what the Gaming X Trio is all about!

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EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black

The video card market has been a little like groundhog day for four or five months now with card demand being through the roof and availability being limited. Big jumps in cryptocurrencies have brought mining back in vogue as well which has exacerbated things as well. Well, today is the big day for the new Nvidia RTX 3060 which was announced back in January. Nvidia has already put miners on notice that they are taking firmware and software action to limit mining performance, at least with Etherium with the hope that their new cards can get into gamer's hands. This is extremely important because the RTX 3060 follows up the RTX 2060 and the GTX 1060 which were huge sellers. Today I’m going to check out the EVGA RTX 3060 XC Black and see how the new GPU performs in EVGAs more compact dual-fan SFF friendly design.

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Gelid Solutions Astra ARGB Extensions Cables

When it comes to crazy RGB accessories for your PC full RGB extension cables always top the list. They are bright and in your face and if you hate RGB then they are exactly what you think of when complaining about it and if you love RGB it might just be your next pickup. I took a look at the Strimer Plus set last year which was Lian Li’s second RGB extension set. Our friends at Gelid Solutions which we haven’t seen around for a while recently jumped into the market with their own addressable RGB cable extensions that they call the Astra. Rather than doing the same thing as Lian Li, the Astra cable extensions have a weaved design that makes for a very unique and interesting effect. So today I’m going to check them out and see if they are worth the pickup for those of you who love your lighting.

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ModMic 480i bundle

Over the years I’ve had the chance to check out the ModMic from Antlion Audio in nearly all of its different variations. My first introduction to them was on Massdrop (now Drop) and later seeing them at our LAN events. But after getting to check them out, I was impressed with their performance, sitting worlds ahead of all of the microphones available on gaming headsets. The biggest downside is you do have to pick out a nice pair of headphones to go with them which can quickly start to add up. Well, Antlion Audio has helped with that by putting together bundles that pair a ModMic of your choosing with a range of headphones. With options ranging from a $99 combo up to a $259 option when paired with the wireless ModMic. While I’ve previously taken a look at the ModMic USB, they sent over their ModMic 480i bundle to check out. So today I’m going to see how the $149 bundle compares with headsets like the Arctis Pro, Kraken Ultimate, Cloud Revolver, and the Pro X which are all in a similar range and from the normal gaming brands.

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Sabrent Rocket Q4 2TB with Heatsink

Sabrent has been killing it when it comes to pushing the SSD market forward with great prices and high capacity options that almost no one else has been willing to bring out. Along with all of that, they have also been filling out a variety of options like heatsinks for M.2 drives and external enclosures. When they sent over their Rocket Q4 in the 2TB capacity they included the heatsink model. So today along with checking out the performance of the Rocker Q4 1TB we can also get a look at the optional heatsink to see what it is all about.

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Corsair MP400 1TB

Corsair has been in the SSD game going all the way back to when it started and while the focus recently has been on PCIe Gen 4.0 drives for most companies. Corsair was early to that back when PCIe 4.0 was first available over a year ago at the X570 launch. With that in mind, they are still launching PCIe 3.0 drives as well to give new options for those who don’t have 4.0 or don’t want/need the extra speed or costs. So they introduced the MP400 this past October. It is available in 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB options and features 3D QLC NAND. Today I’m going to check out the 1TB model which is Corsair's cheapest 1TB SSD option to test its performance and see how it fits in today's market.

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Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27

Porsche Design is a subsidiary of Porsche SE or better known as the company that makes Porsche cars. Porsche Design has been around for 48 years, designing car accessories early on but in the last four years moving also into the electronics markets including working with AOC on a few of their highest-end monitor designs. They have partnered up once again with the PD27 which incorporates a car roll cage like design for the monitor stand with a high-end gaming monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate, Freesync Premium Pro, HDR, and a 1000R curvature for a premium gaming experience. Today I’m going to check out the Agon PD27’s design and performance and see if it lists up to the high pedigree of the Porsche name and its premium price.

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AOC 16T2 15.6 Portable USB-C Touchscreen Monitor

In the office, I use three monitors on my main PC as well as a fourth for whichever test bench I am using at that time. But when I leave the office it is almost a culture shock as I work from a single 13 inch Razer Blade Stealth. It isn’t that I don’t like the extra real estate a large laptop offers, I used to roll with a 20 inch monster of a gaming laptop at one point. But after that, I have gone small and portable, too large and I never bother to even take my laptop with me. I’ve considered adding in a portable monitor for a while but have never made the jump but recently AOC sent over their 16T2 which is a 15.6 portable touchscreen monitor that runs on USB Type-C and has a built-in battery backup as well. So I’m going to give the 16T2 a try and see if expanding my screen real estate is worth it. With COVID we haven’t had many chances to work on the road, but I imagine once things settle down my wife and I will be making up time and it might just come in handy. So let’s see what the 16TG2 is all about.

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Ray Tracing in Night City aka Cyberpunk 2077

There is a good chance that by now you have been playing Cyberpunk 2077 or you have it on your list of games that you plan on playing in the future. It is without a doubt the most hyped-up release of the year and everyone has been talking about it. It is an extremely demanding game and amazing detail. On top of that, it also has DXR or DirectX Ray Tracing capabilities as well as support for DLSS from Nvidia as well. Nvidia sent over a copy of the game and I’ve already seen a lot of outlets test out performance in the game. Rather than go that direction again, I just want to check out what ray tracing features it has and see if it's worth the investment to make sure your GPU supports them.  So let's dive in and take a closer look!

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Corsair CX750F RGB

I don’t think there are any companies who have embraced the RGB trends more than Corsair has, both with their product lineup which has some of the best RGB fans, RGB lighting for your office, RGB memory, and of course keyboards and mice as well as on the memes side of things as well. Corsair has been on point with RGB memes, embracing it and doing April fools jokes like RGB thermal paste. Even the first gif that pops up on Twitter when you type in RGB is their social media manager with RGB glasses and keyboard. But even with all of that their PSU lineup hasn’t had an RGB model available with the competition doing it years ago. But that changed recently with the Corsair CX-F lineup, and today I’m going to check out the CX750F RGB and see what the new lineup is all about so put on your RGB glasses and get ready!

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