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Reviews

Expandability, replaceable G1/4 fittings, and a transparent reservoir are terms not usually associated with all-in-one CPU water cooling kits. Swiftech aims to change the way you think when considering an all-in-one cooler and provides all those options and more with their newly released H220-X CPU liquid cooling kit. The Swiftech H220-X has a lot of innovative and unique features your standard re-branded Asetek units just can’t match, and we’ll explore these feature in detail today. The Swiftech H220-X aims to provide extreme thermal performance at an almost inaudible noise level, so let’s find out how they did!

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HIS was kind enough to send along their new flagship R9 290X for us to check out, which boasts a factory overclock, a beefed up power delivery section, and a host of other features we’ll dive into. Now that Cryptocoin mining has lessened its impact on AMD based graphics card pricing, cards in this class should be a bit more appealing to those in the market for one. The HIS R9 290X iPower IceQ X2 falls within the HIS “Turbo” family of graphics cards that promise a balance of great gaming performance and cooling. So, let’s take this latest offering from HIS, run it through our review process, and see if it’s a worthy contender in the crowded R9 290X market!

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Once known only for being a supplier of quality power supplies, Enermax has expanded their product line over the past several years. They now provide cases, cooling products, and a host of peripherals to computer enthusiasts. Today, we’ll be looking at their latest all-in-one CPU water cooler, the Liqtech 240 HP. This all-in-one CPU cooler is armed with Enermax’s unique water block and a 240 mm radiator, but how well does it perform? Let’s take it for a spin and find out.

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It’s been a long while since we have had a chance to review a video card from HIS, but beginning today we will start to see reviews hit the front page as we finally hooked back up with them. HIS is ready to share their complete lineup with us, so be prepared to be inundated! That out of the way, this review will be about their R7 260X iCooler. HIS always straps great and quiet cooling solutions on AMD cards, so let’s check out their newest revision that rests on the R7 260X!

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We’re here today with a Lian Li case that isn’t your typical fare, at least for the systems I typically build. Why, you may ask? Because the Lian Li PC-Q28 is tiny. Sit back, relax and have a read through to find out why you’d want such a tiny case – and find out why we like it so much.

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Whether you’re building a HTPC or a system intended to run everyday applications, you don’t always need a high-end graphics card to get the job done. HIS thinks they have the perfect solution for such system builds in their R7 250X iCooler graphics card. The R7 250X series of graphics cards were released to fill the void between the R7 250 and R7 260, which results in a re-badged HD 7770 GHz edition using the same Cape Verde XT GPU core. While today’s review sample appears to be a reference design card based on its specifications, it does come with the proprietary HIS iCooler. Hopefully this will equate to cool and quiet operation with a little overclocking thrown in the mix too! Let’s go find out!

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Z97 chipset based motherboards have begun to saturate the market as of late, and we’re here to bring you another offering from MSI. We’ve already had a look at MSI’s upper-end Z97 MPower Max AC and Z97 XPower AC, so this time around we’ll explore one of their new Gaming series motherboards in the form of the Z97M. This mATX offering aims to pack a powerful punch and a plethora of features, all in a small form factor size. There is little doubt the popularity of small form factor systems has exploded over the past few years, and MSI is doing their part to give those customers a Z97 offering with little to be compromised because of its size. So, how did MSI do this time around? Let’s dive in and find out!

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Boy oh boy oh boy. What a ride this card has been. AMD really went through a lot of effort to bring this unique card to market, being their first dual GPU solution that is not cut down in some way. Here the two R9 290x cores have full Stream Processors, ROPs, APUs, and even raised the clock speed a bit to offset the added latency from using the PLX chip for inter GPU communications. There is no doubt there are two full R9 290Xs on this card! The overall feel of the card is sturdy due to its mostly metal construction throughout.

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With the release of Intel’s Z97 chipset, we have seen motherboards of nearly all flavors get reviewed here. From budget conscious boards all the way up to the ‘I am made for extreme overclocking as a primary function’ type boards. Today, we get to look at MSI’s flagship motherboard, the Z97 XPower AC. This board is a step above the previously reviewed MPower MAX AC in both physical size (it’s E-ATX) and by way of additional features and accessories. Being their flagship motherboard, overclocking should not be a problem even under extreme conditions such as LN2. According to MSI, this board broke some world records while using LN2 cooling… Exciting! Let’s get down to business…

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Even though NVIDIA and AMD haven’t released new GPU platforms as of late, that’s not stopping ASUS from finding innovative ways to enhance the user experience on existing GPUs. To that end, ASUS recently announced a new line of cards that carry the STRIX branding. Initially, there will be AMD R9 280 and NVIDIA GTX 780 versions released. Today, we’ll be looking the the NVIDIA offering in the form of a GTX 780 OC Edition. The ASUS STRIX GTX 780 OC Edition comes complete with a factory overclock, an astounding 6 GB of memory, and a revised DirectCU II cooling methodology. Ok, I’m intrigued. Let’s run this card through the paces and see what ASUS has in store for us this time around!

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