Thermalright is a name that has been synonymous with enthusiast-level air cooling for quite a while now. Their venerable Ultra 120 Extreme (aka the TRUE) has won accolades and was once the favorite high end air cooler among overclockers worldwide. In recent times, the TRUE has fallen behind a little bit. While still one of the top air coolers, it’s not quite standing alone on the podium as it once was.
Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship 2009 was the first time I overclocked on the X58 platform, and I haven’t done so since then. P55 got in the way, and although I’ve been having a blast with it over the past several months, something has been missing. I realized just what that was when Gigabyte sent me their X85A-UD7 for testing.
With the release of Intel’s Core i3/i5 with on-chip integrated graphics, tons of low-cost H55 motherboards have been popping up. MSI’s mid-range H55 board, priced around $110, is the H55M-ED5. If you’ve been keeping up with H55 performance numbers, you know that people are getting huge overclocks on mATX boards. Although MSI sent me this board for HTPC testing (as Intel’s GMA HD IGP was intended), I also decided to test the limits of the ED55 and see just how much performance I could squeeze out of it.
I’ve reviewed several motherboards with USB 3.0 support over the past few months, but haven’t had a chance to do any USB 3.0 testing. Kingwin has been kind enough to send me their new Dock Master USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station for testing. USB 2.0 has been the standard in external storage for quite some time, and I’m surprised a dramatic improvement didn’t come out sooner. With the introduction of motherboards featuring USB 3.0 support, Kingwin didn’t waste any time getting the Dock Master on the market.