Crucial M500 480GB SSD Review and more
Posted on: 06/06/2013 11:30 AM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles, including Crucial M500 480GB SSD Review, Gainward GTX 770 Phantom Review, AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Richland APU Reviews, Dell Inspiron 15z (I15z-4801SLV) Review, and Computex 2013: Day 2 - Visits with Roccat Corsair and EVGA

Crucial M500 480GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
At CES 2013 Crucial announced the release of their new M500 series SSDs. This new model was meant to replace the aging M4 series and push the SSD industry towards a more budget friendly direction. This is what the M500 promised to deliver and on paper it appears to live up to these highly laudable goals.

For the most part, a Solid State Drive lives and dies by the controller it uses and while this is still the case with the M500, it is actually not the most impressive feature it boasts. Using the latest Marvell 9187 controller is certainly noteworthy, but the M500 is not the only drive on the market to make use of this flexible, high performance controller. What makes the M500 truly unique is the NAND it uses. Unlike any other drive available today the Crucial has used massive 20nm 128 Gigabit MLC ONFi 3 ICs and does so across its entire model line-up.

Read more: Crucial M500 480GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks

Gainward GTX 770 Phantom Review @ Vortez
Gainward Co. Ltd was founded in Taipei in 1984 so they are no strangers to the technology nor are they unfamiliar with NVIDIA products as they have been board partners since 2001. 7 years ago they merged with another popular GPU manufacturer - Palit Microsystem Inc. so they are rightly considered one of the premier GPU producers and with almost 30 years of success in the business, they look set to continue providing exciting products like the one we have for review today for many years to come.

Read more: Gainward GTX 770 Phantom Review @ Vortez

AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Richland APU Reviews @ Legit Reviews
Last week, Intel released 4th Generation Core "Haswell" processors and this week we have AMD releasing the company's 3rd generation of APUs, known as "Richland." AMD "Richland" APUs are said to bring 20-40 percent performance increases over the previous generation of AMD A-Series "Trinity" APUs, so AMD fans have been waiting months for this day to come. Read on to see how the AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 perform!

Read more: AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Richland APU Reviews @ Legit Reviews

AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Review: Richland Finally Lands @ PC Perspective
Richland. We have been hearing this name for a solid nine months. Originally Richland was going to be a low end Trinity model that was budget oriented (or at least that was the context we heard it in). Turns out Richland is something quite different, though the product group does extend all the way from the budget products up to mainstream prices. We have seen both AMD and Intel make speed bin updates throughout the years with their products, but that seems like it is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, AMD is refreshing their Trinity product in a pretty significant matter. It is not simply a matter of binning these chips up a notch.

Trinity was released last Fall and it was a solid product in terms of overall performance and capabilities. It was well worth the price that AMD charged, especially when compared to Intel processors that would often be significantly slower in terms of graphics. The “Piledriver” architecture powers both Trinity and Richland, and it is an improved version of the original “Bulldozer” architecture. Piledriver included some small IPC gains, but the biggest advantage given was in terms of power. It is a much more power efficient architecture that can be clocked higher than the original Bulldozer parts. Trinity turned out to be a power sipping part for both mobile and desktop. In ways, it helped to really keep AMD afloat.

Read more: AMD A10-6800K and A10-6700 Review: Richland Finally Lands @ PC Perspective

Lian Li PC-Q12 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage
My life these days simply doesn’t afford me the time to sit down and share my opinions as I was once able to. Thanks, life. However, when Lian Li offered up one of its mini-ITX chassis, the PC-Q12, I jumped at the opportunity. Known as much for its unorthodox designs as it is for its top-notch quality, the Taiwan-based Lian Li has made a name for itself as one of the top-level manufacturers in the DIY PC industry. Offering some of the best aluminum cases in the world, the company has been favorites of system builders and modders alike for many years.

Having recently moved into a new home, I have been on a huge design kick. Among the projects I am currently working on is having a network connected PC attached to every television in the house. So far, this has been easy – with only two televisions, it’s not been a difficult project. Aesthetically, however, I’ve done a rather miserable job. I have one machine built with the small but still-too-large-for-the-living-room Fractal Design Array R2. It’s been sitting in my living room, connected to the television and running Boxee and XBMC. Attached to my other television is a Dell Optiplex that just radiates sexiness. Needless to say, neither can exactly be called centerpieces by a tech savvy guy. Enter Lian Li.

Read more: Lian Li PC-Q12 mini-ITX Chassis Review @ Techgage

MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Review (w/ 4770k / HD7990 / 2,933mhz DDR3) @ KitGuru
It would have been difficult to miss Intel's launch of Haswell last weekend. On launch day we looked at the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-OC and the ASUS Z87 Sabertooth motherboards and today we analyse the latest high end board from MSI “ The Z87 MPower MAX. This is priced a little higher than the other boards we have looked at so far around £219.95 inc vat.

Read more: MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX Review (w/ 4770k / HD7990 / 2,933mhz DDR3) @ KitGuru

MSI Z87 MPower @ LanOC Reviews
This weekend the first motherboard we took a look at was the MSI Z87-G45 Gaming, MSI’s lower priced gaming model. Along with the gaming product line they also have a line they are calling MPower that is focused more on the overclocking community and general enthusiasts. There are two models the Z87 M Power and the Z87 MPower Max, today I am going to dive in and take a look at the Z87 M Power. I’m excited to see what sets it apart from MSI’s gaming boards.

Read more: MSI Z87 MPower @ LanOC Reviews

ASUS Maximus VI HERO Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
The Maximus VI HERO is a top mid-range motherboard from ASUS based on the new Intel Z87 chipset, targeted to socket LGA1150 processors based on the new “Haswell” microarchitecture. Let’s check it out.

The ASUS Maximus VI HERO is a top mid-range socket LGA1150 motherboard targeted to the "Haswell" processors (fourth-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Part of the ASUS Republic of Gamers brand, the Maximus VI HERO is targeted for users who want to build a gaming system. Let's see what this motherboard has to offer.

Read more: ASUS Maximus VI HERO Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets

Dell Inspiron 15z (I15z-4801SLV) Review @
Tipping the scales at the thick and heavy end of the ultrabook specifications, the Dell Inspiron 15z gives you extra features to justify its bulk. It's a good pick for the traditional laptop user who wants a new, fast laptop.

Read more: Dell Inspiron 15z (I15z-4801SLV) Review @

Sony Vaio Duo hands-on review @ V3
A convertible laptop-come-tablet designed to offer ultrabook level performance     

Read more: Sony Vaio Duo hands-on review @ V3

HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook Review @ Techradar
Try to sell most of us a laptop that can't run normal programs, never mind traditional operating systems such as Windows 8 or OS X, and instead only runs a web browser - forcing you to do everything online - and we'd hesitate. ut that's precisely what a Chromebook like the HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook is; a laptop that boots into the lightweight operating system Chrome OS, where all you can do is launch Google's Chrome web browser.

Read more: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook Review @ Techradar

AMD Elite A-Series A10-6800K APU (Socket FM2) @ techPowerUp
AMD Richland APUs have been talked about in enthusiast circles for weeks. Rumors have made their rounds and everyone is left wondering. I take a look at AMD's A10-6800K, put it through the paces, and see what's what in the world of Elite A-Series APUs.

Read more: AMD Elite A-Series A10-6800K APU (Socket FM2) @ techPowerUp

AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 APU Review @ Neoseeker
AMD first introduced their APU lineup in 2011, starting with the 1st generation Llano in 2011 followed by the 2nd generation APU codenamed Trinity in 2012. AMD’s concept for a chip that combined both the CPU and GPU on a single die began in 2006, after acquiring ATI, a key move in turning that idea into reality. With the APU, AMD would be capable of delivering an exceptional product with an excellent price to performance ratio.

For this review I will be looking at two of AMD’s latest A-10 APU’s, namely the A-10 6700 and the A-10 6800K. AMD's 6700 APU is a locked processor, so when it comes to overclocking you will need to rely on the APU frequency to increase the processor speed. Now the A-10 6800 is a different beast altogether as it is an unlocked processor, making it much easier to overclock and is sure to be a hit with AMD enthusiasts everywhere.

Read more: AMD A10-6800K & A10-6700 APU Review @ Neoseeker

Asus' Z87-PRO motherboard reviewed @ The Tech Report
Haswell is upon us, but you'll need a new motherboard to run Intel's latest CPUs. We take an in-depth look at the Z87-PRO to see what Asus has in store for Intel's overclocking-friendly enthusiast platform.

Read more: Asus' Z87-PRO motherboard reviewed @ The Tech Report

Jabra SPEAK 510 Bluetooth And USB Speakerphone @ NikKTech
How many times have you used Skype (or any video chat program for that matter) to communicate with your friends, distant relatives or immediate family only to find out that you can't really rely on the built-in camera microphone to have a clear conversation with them? Things are even worse when we are talking about laptops since both the built-in microphone and speakers are average at best. The same of course happens quite often with VoIP calls and although most consumers are quite happy with what basic hardware offers at seemingly no extra cost the same does not apply for everyone out there especially people who also use the above for work purposes. Well to cover that segment of the market Jabra recently launched the SPEAK 510 Bluetooth and USB speakerphone so naturally we couldn't just sit back and not get our hands on it.

Read more: Jabra SPEAK 510 Bluetooth And USB Speakerphone @ NikKTech

MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Review @ Vortez
MSI first introduced their gaming series of motherboards back on the Intel Z77 chipset not so long ago and caused quite a stir. A new look and new focus arrived from MSI that specifically targets the gamer and their demanding needs. With the launch of Intel Haswell and the new chipset Z87 MSI are back once again to assert their new gaming series.

It goes without saying, the Z77-GD65 was a firm favourite here at Vortez. We have used it as the basis for one of our test rigs and have used it in our own personal workstations and so today we are filled with anticipation as to what Z87-GD65 Gaming will bring to the table. Z87-GD65 Gaming continues with the new gaming series styling and brings a whole host of interesting features to LGA1150, such as Military Class 4, Killer E2200 audio, OC Genie 4 and much more. Join us as we examine the GD65 in plenty of detail...

Read more: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Review @ Vortez

Plextor M5M 256GB mSATA SSD Review @ Guru3D
In this article we test, benchmark and review the Plextor M5M 256GB mSATA SSD. The mini-me version of the SSD was developed alongside a Marvel controller tied to 256GB of NAND flash memory, and as small as it is, it is amongst the fastest drives we have ever tested. We sure have lots to talk about alright. mSATA SSDs are a technology that has been getting more and more focus from the manufacturers. You can insert these in selected laptop solutions but also some motherboards have an mSATA interface. It's an interesting technology as the product you'll see today is only 5cm in length, yet it still holds 256GB of data and is as fast as an SSD can be!

Plextor has been demonstrating the M5M mSATA SSD already at CEBIT. Looking at the architecture, the M5M is similar to Plextor's M5 Pro. Both SSDs use Marvell's 88SS9187 controller and come with 19nm Toshiba NAND, combined stirred, not shaken by Plextor's own firmware. So really the sole difference is four NAND packages instead of 8/16, due to mSATA's form factor limitations. Plextor has developed this product alongside a new Marvell controller tied to 256GB of NAND flash memory it is amongst the fastest drives we have ever tested. While stability and safety of your data have become a number one priority for the manufacturers, the technology keeps advancing in a fast pace as it does, the performance numbers a good SSD offers these days are simply breathtaking. 450 to 500 MB/sec on SATA3 is the norm for a single controller based SSD. Next to that the past year NAND flash memory (the storage memory used inside an SSD) has become much cheaper as well. Prices now roughly settle just under 1 USD per GB. That was two to threefold two years ago. As such SSD technology and NAND storage has gone mainstream. The market is huge, fierce and competitive, but it brought us where we are today... nice volume SSDs at acceptable prices with very fast performance. Not one test system in my lab has a HDD, everything runs on SSD while I receive my big chunks of data from a NAS server here in the office. The benefits are performance, speed, low power consumption and no noise. You can say that I evangelize SSDs, yes Sir... I am a fan.

Read more: Plextor M5M 256GB mSATA SSD Review @ Guru3D

Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case Review @ KitGuru
Today we are going to look at the Cooler Master N200 case which is a mainstream model designed with water cooling in mind. It occupies a compact mid-tower form factor and can accommodate a micro-ATX motherboard as well as an array of high-end components. Being a budget model, the N200 seems like an ideal option for those who have a restricted budget and wan't to concentrate their efforts on gaining the most performance, rather than a top-notch case.

Read more: Cooler Master N200 Mini-Tower Case Review @ KitGuru

OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD Review @ HiTech Legion
For their consumer desktop line OCZ has outfitted their offerings with Indilinx controllers, a property they acquired in 2011. These controllers proved to be very good, especially their Barefoot 3 powered Vector which was quite superior even compared to their Everest 2 Vertex 4 line. The competition in the consumer storage market is heating up once again and requires aggressive action. With OCZ focused on the expansion of enterprise-based solutions, streamlining their product line means reducing their consumer based offerings while creating SSDs that are cost-effective to produce.

The OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD replaces the Agility 4 in OCZ’s mainstream consumer-class SSD line. The OCZ Vertex 3.20 derives its name from the use 20nm MLC flash compared to the previous 25nm of the original. Still utilizing a SandForce 2281 controller, the OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD comes in 120GB and 240 GB capacities with sequential read and write speeds of 550 MB/s and 520 MB/s respectively. Compared to the previous Vertex 3 SSD which had an idle power consumption of 1.65W and active power consumption of 3W, the Vertex 3.20 uses a mere 0.55W on idle and 2.1W while in use. For users concerned about reliability, the OCZ Vertex 3.20 his endurance rated for 20GB/day of host writes for 5 years under typical client workloads and has a MTBF of 2 million hours. As with the Vertex 3 SSD, the Vertex 3.20 supports TRIM (OS dependent) and features SandForce DuraWrite architecture technology which extends flash rated endurance. The OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD is covered by a 3-year warranty including toll-free tech support and firmware updates.

Read more: OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD Review @ HiTech Legion

LSI SandForce Codename Griffin NGFF Ultrabook Version ADATA SSD Piks & Specs @ SSD Review
Imagine 1.8GB/s read and write performance with up to 200, 000 IOPS being possible in a NGFF/mSATA form factor. This not only verifies that LSI SandForces new controller, Codename Griffin, is about to make an amazing transformation in the SSD industry, but also, these blistering speeds will be seen soon enough in ultrabooks.

The fact is that ADATA has made so many introductions this year that our previous, and this picture below, are being overlooked by all

Read more: LSI SandForce Codename Griffin NGFF Ultrabook Version ADATA SSD Piks & Specs @ SSD Review

Computex 2013: Day 2 - Visits with Roccat Corsair and EVGA @ Ninjalane
The second day of any trade show is typically the busiest, all of the major press releases have gone out so it is time to finally see the new products up close and personal. In the case of some vendors this also means they can open up that part of their booth. Case in point, Asus. Asus blocked off the ROG section of their booth until after the morning press conference just so that nobody could leak any information before its time. I'm not sure what they gain from that but it does add a little mystery to the launch, if only for a few hours.

Read more: Computex 2013: Day 2 - Visits with Roccat Corsair and EVGA @ Ninjalane

ROCCAT Isku FX Multicolor Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
So while the Isku FX really is a good keyboard without any obvious faults in terms of gaming, there's not quite enough here for me to want to drop 100 bones on it. That's the price territory of the much sturdier and much more mechanical Corsair K90, CM Storm Trigger, and the Rosewill RK-9000. For quite a bit cheaper, you can get any number of non-mechanical keyboards from Logitech, Razer, SteelSeries, and others.

Read more: ROCCAT Isku FX Multicolor Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC

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