SteamBox – Building Your Own HTPC Gaming System and more
Posted on: 02/22/2015 10:47 AM

Here a roundup of today's reviews and articles:

ASRock X99 WS-E/10G Review
ASUSTOR AS7004T Network Attached Storage
Budget All-round PC - February 2015
Chillblast Fusion Raptor Gaming PC Review
Gainward Phantom GLH GeForce GTX 960 2GB Graphics Card Review
Lexar JumpDrive M20 2-in-1Flash Drive Review
Sandberg Outdoor Powerbank 10400 mAh Review
SteamBox – Building Your Own HTPC Gaming System
The Crew review: tested with 21 GPUs (incl. frame times)
Turtle Beach Elite 800 PlayStation & Mobile Wireless Headset Review
Turtle Beach Recon 320 PC & Mobile Gaming Headset Review
What Evolve could learn from Monster Hunter

ASRock X99 WS-E/10G Review
How often are you left doing other things while you wait for that file transfer to complete? Have problems with buffering that 4k movie while the rest of the household are also streaming from your server? If like us you are the impatient type and want everything to work first time without compromising on quality or speed then perhaps you need more bandwidth. The X99 platform has most bases covered, multi-core processing, DDR4, multi GPU's and some boards can even team up a couple of LAN ports to enhance their network speed. This motherboard has all that and more.

The key attraction to this motherboard are the Two 10G BASE-T LAN ports by Intel® X540. A further two gigabit LAN ports by Intel® I210AT with all four LAN ports supporting teaming means this board represents perhaps the fastest LAN solution on the consumer market. We say consumer lightly though, perhaps 'pro-consumer/pro-enthusiast' would be a better description because this board may well have a massive amount of features including the 4 LAN ports, 4way SLI and a 12 phase power design the huge specification has a big price to match.


Read full article @ Vortez

ASUSTOR AS7004T Network Attached Storage
I have always been a big believer in the converging technology trend since the turn of the millennium. Basically, for every niche product that comes in a similar form factor as another niche product with a different purpose, both of them will eventually "converge" into one device that does both things. Back in 2004, I purchased a Dell Axim X30 personal digital assistant. This was prior to the invention of the first iPod that could play videos, long before smartphones were proficient in surfing regular websites, and when portable gaming was mostly made possible by the Gameboy Advance SP. Yet my one device -- the Dell Axim X30 -- was able to watch encoded episodes of The Simpsons, go on regular websites on a decently sized touchscreen, and even download a free flight simulator game in 3D. Sure, I was a little ahead of my time (The 3.5mm output had terrible SNR, its resistive touchscreen needed a stylus, and most games were not nearly as interesting as what Nintendo had to offer), technology convergence is indeed a real trend, hence the popularity of the modern do-it-all smartphone. The NAS is no different. When we reviewed our first system back in 2007, the Thermaltake Muse NAS RAID, it did only one thing: It stored files. Fast forward many years, the QNAP TS-470 is a performance four-bay unit that does almost everything short of making you toast for breakfast. However, QNAP is not the only company making boxes that does everything from storing data to playing videos on your TV. Today, we will take a look at the ASUSTOR AS7004T, the latest four-bay model from the company's performance line. With a speedy Intel Core i3 processor under the hood, HDMI and S/PDIF outputs at the back, and the excellent ADM 2.3 OS inside, is this one NAS to rule them all? Read on to find out!


Read full article @ APH Networks

Budget All-round PC - February 2015
The all-round PC is a PC with comprehensive features for around £650 - £750 that can do a little bit of everything. It should have enough speed and capacity to meet your needs for some time. Currently it can run all applications, and you're able to upgrade it with small future investments when you need more power or storage capacity.

Surfing, gaming, business applications, photo and video editing should all be possible on the all-round PC without giving you the feeling that it's lacking in performance.


Read full article @ Hardware.Info

Chillblast Fusion Raptor Gaming PC Review
Micro ATX gaming is continuing to gain popularity, so today we look at the Chillblast Fusion Raptor – a gaming system that is housed inside the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX chassis. Powering the gaming system are a 4.4GHz Core i7 4790K CPU, MSI’s GTX 960 Gaming graphics card, and a 120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD.


Read full article @ Kitguru

Gainward Phantom GLH GeForce GTX 960 2GB Graphics Card Review
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 has been out for just over a week and has given us amazing performance capabilities given its such a small power requirement and it has impressed us here at eTeknix with the ability to run passively; could this mid-range graphics card set the pace for future sub $200 cards? Even though it’s not very powerful, the GTX 960 series has proven that high resolutions are almost possible at this price point.

Today we have the Gainward Phantom GLH (Goes Like Hell) Edition GeForce GTX 960 2GB; a bit of a mouthful if I must say so myself. Gainward aren’t renowned for breaking overclocking world records, but they know a thing or two about producing high quality, super quiet cooling solutions with a quirky difference. Gainward has worked their magic by cherry picking specific cards that can handle and maintain their intense factory overclocks. NVIDIA has aimed this card at the core gaming market, hoping for those who admitted to using older technology during Steams survey will want to upgrade to the new Maxwell architecture thanks to its low price.


Read full article @ eTeknix

Lexar JumpDrive M20 2-in-1Flash Drive Review
There are thousands of USB sticks and flash storage on the market and as we all know, they’re not all built the same. Lexar, by Micron, know a lot about flash-based storage and have come out with their JumpDrive M20 Flashdrive. The M20 is a drive that combines many things seen prior, but not in the same product.

The JumpDrive M20 supports USB On-the-Go (OTG) and can be plugged directly into a compatible smart device for easy file transfers. Since all smart devices use a USB 2.0 micro port in this area, there wasn’t any need to make the drive complicated by adding USB 3 micro connector or having to include adapters of sorts. A flash-drive needs to stay simple, but we would still like to have the best possible speeds when we connect this drive to our PC, because it supports that too with its USB 3.0 connector. Plug it directly into your PC or other USB 3 capable device and you can get read speeds up to 120MB/s and write speeds up to 55MB/s. For example, you could transfer a 3GB HD video clip in less than one minute.


Read full article @ eTeknix

Sandberg Outdoor Powerbank 10400 mAh Review
As most of you know portable batteries (also known as power banks) are not new in the market and as a matter of fact I’ve been testing and using such devices for roughly 5 years now so whenever someone tells me that this is the first time to ever hear about them I’m quite surprised honestly. For example 3 days ago my smartphone was quickly running out of juice while i was drinking a cup of coffee at my favorite place by the beach (WiFi does that) so i decided to get back to my car and bring a portable battery with me to charge it. Well i don't know if it was the design of the portable battery i used or the fact that it was larger than my smartphone (much thicker actually) but people where staring at me for quite a while (even the waitress came over and asked what that was). Now the reason i mentioned the design of this particular portable battery model is because it's a rather unique looking device and more specifically it's the latest Outdoor Powerbank 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.

The Outdoor Powerbank 10400mAh model by Sandberg stands out from the majority of similar products in the market currently because of 3 very simple reasons such as its color combination, enclosure durability and size. You see unlike the vast majority of similar devices in the market Sandberg decided on housing the battery cells inside an rather rugged IP54 certified enclosure which offers very good protection against dust and water (you can't however submerge the device) and also features a small built-in LED flash light. Now i don't really know what type of cells (brand) Sandberg used in this particular model but with a total capacity of 10400mAh it should be able to recharge most smartphones up to 5-6 times and most tablets at least once. So it’s time for us to take a closer look.


Read full article @ NikKTech

SteamBox – Building Your Own HTPC Gaming System
There has been a lot of talk in the last year about SteamBox, but at the end of 2014, very little, if anything was shown that really brought this into the hands of consumers. There’s a few systems from system integrators such as iBuyPower and CyberPower that are designed “like” a SteamBox, but Valve have yet to put their official units to market.

Now let’s not get carried away, because chances are that you’re reading this article from a PC, or that you at least own a PC. If you own a PC, congratulations! You own a SteamBox. All SteamBox is, is some clever marketing for a gaming PC, the main difference being the operating system. Valve have been working on their own version of Linux that essentially boots to Steam instead of a normal desktop, much in the same way an Xbox One boots to a dashboard rather than Windows; this is something you can achieve yourself.


Read full article @ eTeknix

The Crew review: tested with 21 GPUs (incl. frame times)
The Crew is a recent game that is perhaps best described as being an MMO racing game. Which type of graphics card do you need to achieve maximum performance in this game? We tested it using 21 modern GPUs from AMD and Nvidia.

Translator's note: the original Dutch article was written before the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 was released. Charts that include test results for the GTX 960 can be found here (frame rates) and here (frame times).


Read full article @ Hardware.Info

Turtle Beach Elite 800 PlayStation & Mobile Wireless Headset Review
If you asked someone to name a great headset for PlayStation, there is a good chance that they’ll mention Turtle Beach. Their headsets have proven time and time again to be some of the best in the business and they’ve proven a big hit with gamers around the world. This is partly due to the vast range of headsets that Turtle Beach produce, offering something for virtually every major gaming platform, as well as every budget.

Today I’ll be taking a look at their Elite 800, one of their latest flagship headsets for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and mobile devices. It comes with a range of premium grade features such as DTS Headphone X, wireless technology, Bluetooth, noise-cancelling, surround sound and a whole lot more; such as a premium price tag. The price of the Elite 800 isn’t for the faint of heart, or the light of wallet and it’ll set you back around £249.99.

For your hard-earned money, you’ll get the headset (obviously), the transmitter box and a nice collection of cables; all of which come nicely bundled into their own respective boxes.


Read full article @ eTeknix

Turtle Beach Recon 320 PC & Mobile Gaming Headset Review
Turtle Beach are one of the hottest and biggest gaming brands around, time and time again they’ve delivered great quality headsets for a range of budgets and a wide range of formats. Their new Ear Force Recon 320 is a mid-budget headset, so it’s not completely over the top with features, but it does still promise high-end performance and build quality; not that I would expect anything else from a well-known brand such as this.

The Recon 320 may not be the most expensive headset that Turtle Beach produce, but it still packs plenty of features. It supports the latest Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound virtual processing, a pair of powerful 50mm drivers, customisable backplates, an in-line controller, detachable microphone boom and more, so I’m really looking forward to putting it through its paces to see what it can do!

The headset comes equipped with a USB connection for PC, but also a detachable 3.5mm cable that makes it perfect for mobile use, or for use with just about any device in the world with a headphone socket. Just keep in mind that the Dolby Surround features only work via the USB connection and that the headset will run in stereo mode via the 3.5mm cable.


Read full article @ eTeknix

What Evolve could learn from Monster Hunter
Although big boss monsters have been a part of gaming for decades, it’s not very often that you play a game where the vast majority of it is fighting them. Usually you have to wade through the enemy soldier clones or the hired mercenaries and their various gadgets and hardware before you face off against the big bad. Not so with Evolve though, which looks to have successfully captured the essence of a boss battle, without the pattern attacks and quick time events.


Read full article @ KitGuru




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