Gaming PC - November 2015 and more
Posted on: 11/03/2015 09:53 AM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles:

AMD Retiring Catalyst Control Center, Introducing Radeon Software Crimson Edition
AMD’s New Radeon Software: Crimson
Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Review
ASRock H170 Combo Intel LGA 1151 Motherboard Review
Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ 27-inch 4K G-Sync display review
ASUS Transformer Book T100HA
Audiofly AF56m In-Ear Headphones Review
Be Quiet! Shadow Rock LP CPU Cooler Review: When Less is More
BitFenix Pandora Window Chassis Review - Slimmest Case To Date!
Building the Skylake Damagebox
CMStorm QuickFire XTi Mechanical Keyboard Review
Gaming PC - November 2015
PC Specialist Lafite II Review
Sandberg Powerbank 20000 For Laptop Review
SilverStone Tundra TD03-LITE Closed Loop Water Cooler Review
SteelSeries Siberia 200 Review
SuperMicro C7Z170-SQ Motherboard Review
Supermicro C7Z170-SQ Review
The 6 things you should do first with the Microsoft Band 2
Thermaltake Suppressor F51 Review

AMD Retiring Catalyst Control Center, Introducing Radeon Software Crimson Edition
AMD has gone through significant changes as a company over the last few months. Recently, we’ve seen them enter into a joint venture with Nantong Fujitsu for final assembly and test operations and form the new Radeon Technologies Group, led by longtime graphics guru Raja Koduri.

Today, AMD is announcing another big change, and this one affects a piece of software that many of you reading this have running on your systems right now—assuming there’s a Radeon in that rig of yours. AMD is ditching Catalyst Control Center in favor of newly architected solutions dubbed Radeon Settings, which is a critical part of what AMD is calling the Radeon Software Crimson Edition. Radeon Software Crimson Edition is completely rearchitected...


Read full article @ HotHardware

AMD’s New Radeon Software: Crimson
Regardless of how well designed a given graphics architecture is, it essentially lives and dies by the quality of its drivers and associated software stack. Time and again we have seen promising graphics cards hobbled by bewildering performance bugs, unintuitive software interfaces or a complete lack of key updates. No small amount of that critique has been leveled at AMD in the past but with their new Radeon Software initiative, the newly formed Radeon Technologies Group is aiming to change the equation.


Read full article @ Hardware Canucks

Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Review
To be perfectly honest, this past year has been remarkably boring in the mobile segment. For whatever reason, phones have either stood still or regressed when it comes to overall quality. There are a few stand-outs that have been worth talking about like the Galaxy S6 lineup and the Galaxy Note5 lineup, but for the most part every phone I’ve reviewed this year has been disappointing in some way. I carry an iPhone 6 to make sure I stay current on changes in iOS, but my primary phone continues to be an HTC One M7. I was hoping to get a new Android phone this year, but so far nothing has really piqued my interest.

Part of the problem this year is that performance and battery life havent been the most impressive in a lot of cases. By this point, its really not a surprise that Snapdragon 810 doesnt deliver as much performance as it needs to for the amount of power that it draws. However, even independent of SoC it seems a lot of OEMs havent really pushed the bar in design or attention to detail. Some phones have cameras with almost unacceptable post-processing quality, others continue to have poorly calibrated displays, and the ones that have none of those have problems with software experience or something else. In general, no Android phone Ive seen this year really delivers everything that Id want in a single package. There are phones that are clearly better than others, but nothing that rises to the level that Id want before putting down a few hundred dollars.

In light of this lack of competition in the market, its arguable that Apple is facing less competition than before. The iPhone 6s would continue to sell quite strongly even if this years refresh was relatively minor as they would still end up quite strong competitively as they would be able to capitalize on momentum from previous years. If you were unfamiliar with the iPhone 6s and Apples iPhone launch cycle, at first you might be convinced that Apple has done exactly that. However, in general the iPhone release cycle is such that industrial design is constant for two years at a time, so every other year sees a design refresh. When the design isnt refreshed, the phone often carries significant internal changes. In the past, the iPhone 3GS brought a better SoC, a faster modem, and a better camera. The iPhone 4S brought a new SoC, camera, and Siri. The iPhone 5s brought a new SoC, camera, and TouchID. In general, we can see a pretty clear pattern of evolution but it seems that with the 5s the refresh launches have generally brought new features as it has become insufficient to simply ship a faster SoC and possibly a modem and camera refresh to justify a new smartphone. To find out whether the iPhone 6s is justified, read on for the full review.


Read full article @ Anandtech

ASRock H170 Combo Intel LGA 1151 Motherboard Review
Today we test a very special Intel LGA1151 motherboard at OCinside.de. Skylake supports DDR4 memory modules. Anyway, there are certainly some users who like to install, at least for some time, their DDR3 modules. For this reason ASRock offers this new H170 Combo motherboard. The ASRock H170 Combo motherboard can be equipped optionally either with up to four DDR3 modules or two DDR4 modules. We have tested both and done some benchmarks with two DDR4 and with two DDR3 memory modules. In addition, we will show a direct comparison of H170 vs Z170 to see if you should buy the H170 or Z170.


Read full article @ OCInside

Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ 27-inch 4K G-Sync display review
The ROG Swift PG27AQ is a 4K gaming monitor from Asus that supports Nvidia G-Sync up to 60Hz. It’s a 27-inch IPS display with a 4ms response time and a 10-bit colour panel. Add on a flexible stand with pivot, tilt and rotate support, with a redesigned software interface, and it could be a contender for the best gaming display on the market.


Read full article @ KitGuru

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA
The tablet marketplace has become extremely buoyant in the last 3-4 years – so much so that it can almost be guaranteed that the average household will own at least one of these products. Although popularity has risen for this type of device there are still some setbacks which niggle certain individuals and may even put off traditional users from a purchase and that issue is the lack of keyboard functionality.

Seeking to merge the tablet and notebook together, ASUS has engineered the trusty Transformer Book T100HA. This 2-in-1 device is essentially a 10-inch Windows 10 tablet that comes with a detachable keyboard. Being able to combine both these components allows the user to get the best of both worlds while on-the-go. Furthermore, ASUS has added in a burly quad-core Intel Z8500 processor and the capability to take advantage of up to 12 hours of usage. Is this enough to make the new Transformer Book a good deal? Let’s find out!


Read full article @ Vortez

Audiofly AF56m In-Ear Headphones Review
Not that long ago we took at a look at Audiofly’s AF78 In-Ear headphones and after our evaluation they were the best in-ear headphones we had ever used! Moving down the product stack today we have the AF56m’s, which sits in the mid-range of Audiofly’s offerings. Audiofly says this about the AF56m’s, “Packing our largest in-ear driver, the AF56 delivers uncompromising sound, pumping out astonishing clarity over the whole spectrum with a rich and detailed bottom end… all with a nostalgic smirk”. If these are anything like the AF78’s we have another great set of headphones from Audiofly. These are the “m” version of the headphones meaning they have an in-line microphone that will allow you to take calls. Let’s take a look and see if we have another winner from Audiofly!


Read full article @ ThinkComputers.org

Be Quiet! Shadow Rock LP CPU Cooler Review: When Less is More
Be Quiet! has been one of Europe's best kept secrets for almost a decade now despite winning PC Games Hardware's "Manufacturer of the Year" award repeatedly. A company known for reliable and silent operating power supplies, Be Quiet! also boasts a respectable product portfolio when it comes to PC cooling solutions and even have recently begun venturing into offering silent-oriented … Read more.


Read full article @ Modders-Inc

BitFenix Pandora Window Chassis Review - Slimmest Case To Date!
With our BitFenix Giveaway underway, let us take this opportunity to show you another one of their products, the BitFenix Pandora Window. Our first look from BitFenix provides an extremely exciting glimpse of this brushed aluminium chassis.


Read full article @ TechnologyX

Building the Skylake Damagebox
We built a brand-new gaming PC based on the latest components--and we're giving it away! See what components we chose and how the build turned out. Then find out how you can enter to win the system.


Read full article @ The Tech Report

CMStorm QuickFire XTi Mechanical Keyboard Review
Without question, keyboard and mouse peripherals have become natural extensions of the body for the eSports gamer. Of the two, keyboards are used for both everyday workload as well as entertainment. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the Cooler Master Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which features genuine Cherry MX Blue clicky switches, customizable multi-color LED backlighting, and programmable macro capability.


Read full article @ Benchmark Reviews

Gaming PC - November 2015
This computer system is specifically geared towards gaming. That means a PC with a high-end graphics card and a processor that is fast enough to support the GPU.

The rest of the configuration needs to be balanced as well. Since many gamers also enjoy overclocking their PC to improve performance, it is also important to choose a motherboard and memory that is suitable for this. Keep in mind that you will pay extra for that overclocking potential.


Read full article @ Hardware.Info

PC Specialist Lafite II Review
Ultrabook performance at a notebook price. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon reviewed last month was a bit tasty, we're sure you'll agree, but it did come with one itsy-bitsy caveat in the form of a near-£2,000 price tag.

That's a serious chunk of change, yet such figures appear to have become commonplace in the world of high-end laptops, and it makes us wonder: how close to the premium experience can you get with a budget of, say, £600? To find out, we're taking a look at PC Specialist's Lafité II.

Priced appropriately at £599, the 13.3in Lafité II is a clever piece of kit insofar as it offers various Ultrabook niceties without the exorbitant fees. Dimensions of 325mm x 219mm x 18mm make it suitably svelte - it's 0.3mm thicker than the ThinkPad, if you're counting - and a 1.4kg weight makes it a true ultra-portable.




Read full article @ Hexus

Sandberg Powerbank 20000 For Laptop Review
Although mountain hiking has been in the family of Xtreme sports (one of the first ones actually) for many decades now it seems that more and more people are attracted to it as time goes by and it so happens that i know a couple of people who plan on visiting the top of mountain Olympus really soon (they wanted Everest but it's many times more expensive to get there from where they live). Taking such a decision of course requires quite a bit of planning and so aside the usual hiking equipment they also need to pack several other gadgets with them and this is where we come in since they came to me asking for a good powerbank with which they could charge their netbook (and hope 3G works up there) and smartphones. Well we had two choices for them, either a mid-capacity model with a solar panel which could be charged via the sun or one with a very high capacity which could last for quite a bit before running out. Solar panel models are good but in the winter and especially in a place like that they might not work well so a very high capacity model is a much safer bet. Even just 3 years ago portable battery packs with 10-15000mAh were not easy to find (not quality ones anyways) but today many make them and so this time over we have the latest Powerbank 20000 for laptop by Sandberg.

Sandberg stands for quality and user-friendliness. If it is important for you that accessories are high quality and easy to figure out how to use, then choose Sandberg. Our ideology "IT is for everybody" is part of everything we do. Since its inception in 1985, private consumers, institutions and companies have benefited from this simple philosophy. Distributors and dealers appreciate the availability, range, simple procedures and the exceptionally low failure rate. Every year over half a million Sandberg products find their way to users in more than 30 countries. Choosing Sandberg means choosing a safe and conscientious product that meets all applicable regulatory requirements. A product manufactured by subcontractors who are committed to following Sandberg's Code of Conduct to ensure decent working conditions and reduce the environmental impact of the production and waste disposal

This new Powerbank 20000 for laptop features a 20000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack under its large aluminum body which should be more than enough to charge most notebooks out there at least three times via its configurable (12/16/19/20V) 3.5A DC output and 12 different tips (even high-end gaming notebooks feature rechargeable batteries with capacities of around 6-7000mAh). Unfortunately since it only has but a single USB 5V/2.5A output the Sandberg 20000mAh powerbank is not ideal for continuous use with small portable devices like smartphones and gadgets in general but that shouldn't pose a real problem if just used once in a while.


Read full article @ NikKTech

SilverStone Tundra TD03-LITE Closed Loop Water Cooler Review
There are many words that can make a person feel uncomfortable. Many of those would be so-called bad words, or it can simply be words that remind you of certain bad experiences you have had in the past. Personally, when I hear the word "lite", I get a little uneasy. This is especially applicable when the word is slotted into the back of a product's name, and is something I expect to use in the long run. In my younger days, when I pursued a career as a professional hockey player (Which, unfortunately, never came to fruition), I bought a hockey stick named the "Vapor XXX Lite" made by Nike Bauer. It was a remodel of the Nike Bauer XXX, which was the go-to hockey stick for many NHL players at the time. The XXX Lite caused such a storm when it came out, it was almost like one of those phones a certain fruit company makes that releases toward the end of each year. If I recall correctly, the XXX Lite weighed about two-thirds of the previous model, and it featured many upgrades, such as a unique carbon fiber design and unibody construction. After it hit the market, it was received with mixed reviews from players in the NHL and other professional leagues. The problem with this stick was they had cut so much weight off by using different materials and technology, it was no longer as durable as the previous model. Hence, when I received the SilverStone Tundra TD03-LITE to review, I was a little uneasy about the changes they made compared to the Tundra TD03-E I reviewed a few months ago. With so many questions in my mind, I took one in, and looked to answer them in the pages to come.


Read full article @ APH Networks

SteelSeries Siberia 200 Review
After the release of the Siberia V3 headset, making the V2 obsolete, many gamers were unhappy that they could no longer get their hands on the V2. Despite the Siberia V3 being a good headset, the changes were quite drastic. Many gamers started to miss the booming 50mm drivers and the heavy duty build quality, features that worked against the design of the ultra lightweight, super comfortable V3. This caused a huge surge in demand from the community for a return of the V2, considering its proven track record, it would make sense to refresh the Siberia V2, which is arguably the most popular gaming headset ever.

Rather than just updating the internals, they have released the Siberia 200 in 7 colours. Other than black and white it is also available in 'Forged Red', 'Gaia Green', 'Proton Yellow', 'Sakura Purple' and 'Alchemy Gold' each endorsed by an Ambassador and a background story which can be seen in this link.


Read full article @ Vortez

SuperMicro C7Z170-SQ Motherboard Review
In this review we test the SuperMicro C7Z170-SQ motherboard. Many of you have probably never even heard of SuperMicro. See, this brand is predominantly active in the server market. And even in the Guru3D server-stack there are two SuperMicro servers. However, they have a new gaming line of consumer grade mainboards, and that we have to check out. Armed with that new Core i7 6700K processor this product comes with okay aesthetics. But how will it compete with the big names like MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte? Interested? Great!

A motherboard that promises to deliver a high amount of features and provide that Skylake processor the full infrastructure needed for a kick-ass gaming PC. Dressed to kill and with added benefits like USB 3.1, multiple M.2 slots and the fastest DDR4 support the product will shock and awe. These motherboards can (well, must) be paired with new Skylake-S series processors. We'll quickly dive into the two most important ones. Skylake Core i5 6600K and Core i7 6700K processors for the desktop platform have been released. We've tested both, yet have separate reviews on each of these processors. A new chip, a new package meaning both of them are Socket 1151. The new series Skylake processors are energy efficient, quite powerful and they need to be paired with a new motherboard series. For you guys that means the Z170 and H170 range. In this review we test the Core i7 6700K. An unlocked Skylake processor that has four cores and a slim 92W TDP, that is lower compared to Haswell with its 95W TDP thanks to the new and smaller 14nm fabrication process. The quad core CPU has 8 MB L3 cache, and an integrated memory controller that supports both DDR4 and DDR3 memory. The Z170 and H170 series motherboards will all be offered with DDR4 though. For the gaming community two processors are the most important; the Core i7 6700K has four CPU cores with Hyper-Threading, 4.0GHz frequency, 4.20GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency. Then there is the Core i5 6600K with four cores, 3.50GHz frequency and a 3.90GHz maximum Turbo Boost frequency, both are based on the new LGA1151 socket package. Skylake is the code-name used by Intel for the 14nm processor micro-architecture under development and is the successor to the Broadwell architecture.


Read full article @ Guru3D

Supermicro C7Z170-SQ Review
Supermicro is well-known in the server market. Meanwhile the manufacturer also has a focus on the gaming sector and approach is to bring server-grade quality to the table. Therefore the C7Z170-SQ could be an interesting product and we're certainly curious what it can do in our review.


Read full article @ ocaholic

The 6 things you should do first with the Microsoft Band 2
So we've just shown you how to pair the Microsoft Band 2 with Windows 10 Mobile. You can use it right away after pairing, but we recommend doing a few things first for a better experience. You should do these six things with the Microsoft Band 2 immediately.


Read full article @ Windows Central

Thermaltake Suppressor F51 Review
The Suppressor F51 is just a great case and I couldn't find anything that I did not like. Pricing currently comes in at $119 at Newegg for the side window version and about $20 less for the non-window version. You can certainly find less expensive cases, but try and find one that has all the sound deadening, all the fan and water cooling support, and all the style and quality, and you'll come up short. So yet again, Thermaltake delivers a knock-out punch.


Read full article @ OCC




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