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The Haswell-E/X99 platform has become a popular choice among enthusiast users when considering their next system build. Unfortunately, the price associated with building a system based around this new platform can be a deal breaker for a lot of people. In an effort to ease that pain a bit, ASUS offers up their more affordable X99-A motherboard. Don’t let the affordability of the X99-A fool you though… it’s still packed with a lot of enthusiast-level features the more discerning user looks for. So, let’s take a close look at the X99-A motherboard and see what ASUS brings to the table this time around.

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Today we get a chance to review another Maxwell based GPU. Thankfully, we have moved on from the teaser Maxwell in the GTX 750 Ti and on to the big boys in the GTX 970 and 980 (but likely not the biggest!). NVIDIA has made some significant changes to this architecture including, but not limited to, much lower power consumption and more efficient use of the available shaders, and also memory throughput (via compression). In my hands is a GALAX (formerly Galaxy) GTX 980 SOC, or Super Overclocked to be precise. This card takes NVIDIA’s reference design to another level with a more robust power delivery area and better cooler to name a couple of things. It’s time to take her out for a test drive and see if we can melt the rubber down to the rims!

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One of the last hats into our review ring for the Haswell-E launch and X99 chipset is the ASRock Fatal1ty X99X Killer. This board is loaded with features that should entice a well rounded group of PC enthusiasts as it has a lot of features geared towards gamers (‘Fatal1ty) and having solid hardware ready to take your overclock wherever your cooling will take it. Strap in for the ride as we will look at the features this board offers and put it through the usual benchmarks to see how things shake out in the end!

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Today, we’re going to look at the ASUS Strix GTX 980 graphics card, which currently wears the “flagship” badge of their Maxwell based GPU offerings. The popularity of NVIDIA’s GTX 900 series graphics cards has been quite astounding, and it seems most enthusiasts can’t wait to get their hands on one. With the lower power consumption, great performance, and the affordable price they offer, it’s not difficult to see why these new graphics cards are so popular.

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Scythe has really been pumping out the new products. At the time of this writing, they were up to eighteen products for the year. Today we are looking at the Kama Panel 3.1. This is a clever 5.25-inch front panel that allows you to move your controls from the top of a case to the front. And it expands your computer’s versatility while it does so.

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The name “Kaze Master” means “Wind Master.” The Scythe Kaze Master Flat II is a 5.25” bay device that you put in the front of your case. The Kaze Master Flat II allows you to monitor four temps in Centigrade or Fahrenheit and individually control the speeds of four fans. The Kaze Master Flat II shows you the speed of each fan in RPM. Is it the right controller for you?

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We finally got our hands on a GTX 980 thanks to the fine folks at EVGA. They were kind enough to send along their Superclocked version featuring the new ACX 2.0 cooler. Based on the NVIDIA Maxwell GM204 GPU, the GTX 980 promises less power consumption than the previous flagship Kepler based GPUs and performance that meets or exceeds them. This is also our first chance to look at EVGA’s new ACX 2.0 cooler that is said to run cooler, quieter, and use less power than previous versions. Let’s get started and find out what the latest NVIDIA GPU technology and EVGA have in store for us.

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ASUS has a long history of providing their enthusiast-grade Rampage series motherboards that dates as far back as the socket 775 days. With the release of the X99/Haswell-E platform, ASUS is at it again with their new flagship ROG Rampage V Extreme motherboard. While overclocking is one of the main attractions, the Rampage V Extreme offers many of the popular enthusiast features found on their Maximus and Channel series motherboards as well. So, let’s get going and see what ASUS has in store for us!

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For today’s visitor to the chopping block, we take a look at something a bit different from our normal review pieces. This BIOSTAR unit is a CPU/GPU/Motherboard all in one, also known as a “system-on-chip” setup. It comes fitted with an AMD A4-5000 Quad-Core APU and Radeon HD 8330 graphics in a mITX form factor, which makes for a very versatile board. The passive cooling system ensures silent operation, making it perfect for a HTPC or something similar. Who’s ready to take a look at the A68N-5000?

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Oh DDR3… it was real, it was fun, but is hasn’t been really fun. DDR3 has came, saw, kicked some rear, and is now starting to see its way out. While Intel’s mainstream platform and all of AMD still use it, the release of DDR4 spells the eventual end to our close friend. Its time to learn something new folks. DDR4 brings lower voltage requirements, higher densities, and higher speeds.

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