Recently I was looking for cases with a list price of $60-80 when I came across the Gigabyte Luxo M30. It had a list price of $66, but as a new case it was discounted to $53. The main picture showed a black left panel, but further pictures showed a large window on the right panel, and an inverted motherboard inside. The interior appeared to have tool-free 5.25” slots and four tool-free hard drive holders. This, I said to myself, I must see. And so, dear readers, we shall explore the Luxo M30 together.
Be Quiet! is, despite the eccentric name, perhaps the most popular European manufacturer of power supply units. Today, the company retails several series and tens of power supplies, most having been designed with low-noise operation in mind. Their latest series is the Power Zone, which consists of four units (650W to 1kW) and the company claims a great balance of features, performance and price. The most powerful variation of the Power Zone series found its way into our labs. We will see how well it can perform in this review.
From all the parts which make up a personal computer, the power supply is perhaps the most difficult to properly test and review. That is because, once installed inside a system, there is no way to control and regulate the actual load of the power supply, even if proper measuring and monitoring equipment is available. Therefore, no proper testing of a power supply can be performed at all without a fully adjustable, stable load. For basic testing, most technicians are using power resistors in order to simulate a simple and (almost) steady load. Larger companies and specialists often use Automated Testing Equipment (ATE) systems, usually from Chroma or Sunmoon, which essentially are electronic loads that can run automated test patterns.
As the release date for AMD’s new Kaveri APU inches closer, we are beginning to see a lot of AMD socket FM2+/A88X chipset motherboards hitting the market. The A88X chipset brings support for the new Kaveri APUs, and it looks like the majority of manufacturers will be ready with supporting motherboards. Today, we’ll be looking at a Kaveri-ready offering from Gigabyte… The G1. Sniper A88X to be exact. Gigabyte claims they’ve had a lot of customers asking for an AMD solution to be added to their popular G1-Killer Gaming series of motherboards. Gigabyte listened to their customers and took it a step further by adding their AMP-UP audio technology. So, let’s dive into this newest member of the G1-Killer family and see what it has to offer.
So, AMD has had their little song and dance about TrueAudio and the new generation of GPUs they have released. We have reviewed from the R9 290, almost all the way down the row to the R7 250. While these are (mostly) rebrands in their ‘new’ generation, a few news ones hit the scene like the R7 250 and R9 290/290x. In this review, as I am sure anyone that is breathing noticed, we will take a look at the offerings from HIS. We’ll cover the iCooler R7 250, followed by the R7 260X IceQ X2, and last but not least, the R9 270X IceQ X2 Turbo. This should give us a good idea of how the lineup sits from nearly head to toe. Let’s get to it!
Just when some may have thought the dust has settled on AMD’s ‘new’ GPUs, we are seeing the first signs of the gaps being filled in with the R9 270 being released today. This, and perhaps a 250X and 260 should fill in the performance differences nicely between the already released 250, 260X, and 270X that we will see on the front page shortly. AMD markets this card as ‘the highest performing 150W card’, so let us see how that actually works out with our new suite of benchmarks!
Cooler Master is a well known name among the computer enthusiast crowd, and we have reviewed many of their products over the years. Whether it’s a PC case, PSU, CPU cooling device, or a gaming peripheral, chances are you have owned a Cooler Master product in the past. Today, we’ll be focusing on a chassis offering – more specifically, a mini-ITX. Looking to improve on their previously released Elite 120 mini-ITX case, Cooler Master sent along their new Elite 130 mini-ITX case for us to look at. With support for full size video cards, full size ATX PSUs, and water cooling, the Elite 130 certainly appears to offer what many computer enthusiasts are looking for. So, let’s get going and find out if good things really do come in small packages!
There is no arguing that SSDs have taken PCs to a new performance level over the past few years. Even better, pricing has dropped significantly since the technology was introduced making it a viable option for new system builds or upgrading an existing one. VisionTek offers many SSD options in their Racer and GoDrive series, but what if you want even more performance than the average SSD offers? Enter the VisionTek Data Fusion 2-Way PCI-E SSD. With dual SandForce SF2281 controllers operating in a RAID0 configuration, this thing has to be fast, right? We’re about to find out!
The ASUS R9 series of graphics cards are starting to roll in to Overclockers, and today we have a chance to look at their R9 270X DirectCU II Top edition. All the familiar ASUS features we’ve come to expect from one of their enthusiast level video card are present and accounted for in this release. Armed with the DirectCU II cooler, DIGI+ Super Alloy Power, and the TOP factory overclock this offering should perform quite well. Right on the box it says “In Search of Incredible.” Let’s see if we found it