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Reviews

Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Big Top! Step right up and prepare to be amazed! A grand light show awaits your senses! Tonight we shall be experiencing Enermax 180 mm fans with Blue LEDs, with Red LEDs, and with four LEDs of splashing, flashing color! And to up the ante, there is a switch on each fan to select any of three speeds! And to top it off, these fans are affixed to their frames with “Vortex” swirl airfoils that straighten the flow coming from the fan. Step right up and come inside!

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Water cooling enthusiasts know all too well how expensive high quality, aesthetically pleasing, and low noise components are. So, what if you could have a graphics card with all of that in one affordable package wrapped around a high-end AMD R9 290? Sound intriguing? VisionTek thinks so and has made available their latest enthusiast level graphics card… The CryoVenom R9 290. Partnering with EKWB, VisionTek has set out to offer all the convenience of a pre-assembled, water cooled graphics card at a price much lower than the individual components themselves.

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Corsair has been releasing one case after the other, extending their range of products and flooding the market with their designs. The company already has four different case series and dozens of products populating them. A few weeks after our review of the Graphite 230T, we had a look at the newly released and most advanced member of the Graphite series, the 760T. Today we will be having a look at the newest member of the Obsidian series as well, the 450D.

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Kingston sent along one of their newly released HyperX Fury memory kits for us to have a look at. This particular kit is the white version of the DDR3-1866 MHz 2X4 GB kit they will be offering in a variety of heatspreader colors. The HyperX Fury line will replace the entry level HyperX Blu memory products and is geared towards the beginner enthusiast and gamer. The Fury line of memory will position itself between the HyperX Genesis and high-end HyperX Predator. Kingston aims to give an attractive and affordable option to those users who find themselves wanting a little more than an entry level product, but don’t require a top-of-the-line memory offering. Sounds like a great idea to me, so let’s have a look!

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The Deep Silence 6 brings us an advanced Air Chimney, complete with fans. It is available in White, Anthracite, and Deep Black. As you can see, when Nanoxia says Deep Black, they mean deep, dark black. To stop noise, they made the walls of 1 mm thick steel and padded it with their Nanoxia dual layer of bitumen and acoustic foam. This damps vibrations and noise, but adds weight to the walls. So the Deep Silence 6 is a big, heavy case. Today we will examine the DS6, investigate its air cooling powers, and explore its accommodations for radiators.

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Back in January, we teased you with a first glimpse of the Graphite 760T during our press coverage of CES 2014. During our CES meeting with Corsair, they said to expect a release date around the end of Q1 2014 or the beginning of Q2 2014. Holding true to their word, Corsair lifts the embargo today and tells us the case should be available at North American retailers in late April 2014! This much anticipated full tower offering from Corsair has many unique features and is certain to grab the attention of the PC enthusiast crowd. So, let’s dive in and see what Corsair has in store for us!

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Today we will be reviewing the mighty R9 290x Lightning from MSI. Some of us may recall the outcome of the GTX 780 Lightning review wasn’t exactly what the enthusiast crowd wanted it to be with the imposed power limits that were in place. Now, to be fair, this was not MSI’s fault. That distinction is squarely on NVIDIA’s shoulders for their ‘green’ program. That aside, this is an AMD card and we will have no such limits! That has to be a good thing, right? We will dig down into the nitty gritty of this R9 290x and see what MSI has done to make it warrant the Lightning moniker, and how well it performs.

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The popular DirectCUII air cooler gets an added water cooling channel and a new name too… DirectCU H2O. This GTX 780 based offering from ASUS gives the user a choice between air or water to keep the card cool. Not only do we have a unique cooling solution attached to the Poseidon Platinum GTX 780, but ASUS took it a step further and provided a factory applied GPU overclock to the card as well. Let’s take this newest member of the ROG graphics card family for a spin and see what’s in store!

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As the days go by in the SSD world, we have seen a lot of changes in the past couple of years, but one of the biggest changes has been the steady declining price of these drives. OCZ has filled out their SSD line-up to include high-end enthusiast SSDs such as their Vertex 150, workstation level drives, Revodrive 3, and down to the performance level of their new OCZ Vertex 460. This drive is meant to compete with the likes of the more budget oriented performance drives on the market. So we’ll put the OCZ Vertex 460 and its new proprietary in-house Barefoot 3 M10 controller through our test suite, and see how things look on the performance front. Let’s get to it!

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We have definitely reviewed our fair share of socket FM2+ motherboards over the past few months, especially since AMD’s recent release of the Kaveri APU family. Today, MSI checks in with their latest socket FM2+ A88X chipset motherboard – The A88X-G45 Gaming. MSI has the gaming crowd in its cross hairs with the release of this motherboard, and first impressions show a fully loaded offering with many unique enhancements. As you’ll see during the review, the board looks absolutely stunning and has many of the high level features gamers and PC enthusiasts look for. Looks and features only tell part of the story though, so let’s get the MSI A88X-G45 Gaming motherboard on our workbench and find out how it performs.

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