Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of ASUS

It's been a couple months since we've had a chance to evaluate a Z77-based motherboard, so we are taking this opportunity to throw ASUS's P8Z77-V Deluxe on our test bench to put it through our comprehensive real-world and synthetic benchmarks. This $279 board has been available for several months and supports the LGA 1155 platform that includes Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.

 

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Courtesy of ASUS

There are many features to drool over about the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, but my favorite ones include the board's unique power management features, Wi-Fi functionality with remote access, and customized UEFI BIOS.  This board also includes other enhancements that focus on support for faster USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 integration as well as extra SATA 6GB/s ports that provide double the bandwidth of current bus systems.

 

Continue reading more about our review of the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe!

Murderbox Modding Limited Run of $1200 MKII PC Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 21, 2012 - 08:37 AM |
Tagged: murderbox mkii, murderbox, modding, custom case, atx

The Canadian moddding duo behind Hardwood Studios Inc has unveiled its latest custom PC case called the Murderbox MKII. The Muderbox MKII represents a completly overhauled design that has its roots in the Silverstone TJ07 and is nearly ready for release after two years of development. The custom PC chassis gets you an all-alluminum chassis that offers better cable management, a water cooling friendly design, custom drive bays, and a custom black anodized textured surface. What will this cost you? A cool $1200 for the base model, and the price goes up from there if you add extras. The Murderbox MKII is a limited edition custom case with only 499 cases produced in total.

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The Murderbox MKII features a unibody aluminum chassis that has acylic side panel windows that are mounted to be flush with case metal on the outside. The front includes a red backlit logo, power and reset buttons, and a single externally accessible 5.25" drive bay. The top of the case features an etched fan grill, or a set of two fans should you upgrade to the fan accessory for $150.

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The dual fan accessory.

The back of the case is part of the removable motherboard tray and features plenty of vents and PCI slot covers. There is also space for a bottom mounted power supply. Internally, the Murderbox MKII features a spot to hold a watercooling resorvoir on the motherboard tray (that slides into the case on nylon-coated rails), space for a 480mm watercooling radiator in the bottom, and drive bays that are pre-wired. You put the storage drives onto sleds and slot them into the bays where they connect to already-mounted/wired SATA power and data connectors. The custom case can hold three 3.5" hard drives, three 2.5" SSDs, and a single 5.25" drive. On the top of the case is a slot loading DVD drive as well.

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Overall it is a really slick PC case that appears to have received quite a bit of TLC to get the perfect enthusiast case. However, with a limited run of 499 cases and a price tag that is more than most entire computer builds [My first DIY PC build actually cost just under 1200 in 2007, for example.. and I think the case was under $100 heh], the Murderbox MKII is going to be more of a spectacle than a stomach-able purchase (just imagine trying to get the 'significant other approval factor' passed on this thing!).

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On the other hand, this is a piece of finely crafted hardware that is sure to turn heads and is nice to gaze upon, so if you want to check out more pictures you can find the gallery on the Murderbox website!

See what parts we recommend for your next build on the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard.

Source: Murderbox
Author:
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS continues to optimize their hardware for the overclocking and PC gaming crowds, but they are also catering to a niche audience looking for ultra stable and durable PC components. ASUS's Sabertooth X79 motherboard is their one of their latest products to bear the TUF series label and sport customized hardware and thermal components as well as a desert camo color scheme to complete the military look. This $329 motherboard comes with a five-year warranty, digital power management system, rugged chokes, solid capacitors, and MOSFETs that have been certified through third party, military-grade testing.

 

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Sabertooth X79 also comes with a host of other features to improve SSD caching and give users quad GPU support for CrossfireX and SLI graphics card configurations. This board also includes a unique UEFI BIOS and natively supports 2TB hard drives with 64-bit operating systems. The USB BIOS "Flashback" feature also helps new users update their motherboard BIOS without entering the BIOS. ASUS states that users can use any USB storage device with the latest BIOS, push the BIOS button located on the back I/O panel for three seconds, and the board will automatically update the BIOS using standby power. Very cool!

 

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Courtesy of ASUS

The back I/O panel on the Sabertooth X79 is no slouch either as it gives users a healthy amount of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and eSATA 6GB/s ports for greater performance and expandability options. They also added a small fan over the back I/O panel as part of their "TUF Thermal Armor" feature that will help cool and exhaust heat from ther motherboard out the back of the chassis. Let's move on to the rest of the Saberbooth X79's features where we will get our first out-of-the-box look at this motherboard.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA2011 Motherboard!!

NZXT Releases Switch 810 Special Edition Cases

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 16, 2012 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: switch 810, special edition, nzxt, cases, atx

Popular case manufacturer NZXT has announced a special edition of it’s Switch 810 computer case. After listening to customer feedback, the company has decided to make the case available in two new colors. Gunmetal and Matte Black are the two new darker themes of the Switch 810.

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In a recent press release, NZXT stated that the two new available colors are its way of showing their fans that they do listen to and value feedback.

Specifically, “Without our community’s valuable feedback and criticisms, our products would not be as unique as they are today. We always aim to maintain customer satisfaction through providing high quality products at great prices, which is why we decided to release the Special Edition to feature two of the most demanded color palettes from our loyal fans: Matte Black and Gunmetal.”

The Switch 810 is a full tower ATX case constructed of steel and plastic materials. It features support for up to 10 fans, six internal hard drives, up to an E-ATX motherboard, and plenty of room for custom liquid cooling solutions. The case also provides cable management cut-outs and tool-less drive bays.

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The new Special Edition Switch 810 is available for purchase now from NZXT in either Gunmetal or Matte Black colors for $179.99 USD. When we reviewed the original version of the Switch 810, we gave it the PC Perspective Gold Award for its included enthusiast features and good execution. You can find our full review (including video) here.

Source: NZXT

Grab a white BMW for $115 ... Thermaltake's Level 10 GTS Snow Edition

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 3, 2012 - 03:18 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, Level 10 GTS Snow Edition, atx

The 233 x 462 x 510mm Thermaltake GTS Snow Edition takes the familiar enclosure and reverses its colour to a very striking white.  With up to six fans, including a 200mm, as well as 3 grommets for external watercooling you have a choice on your cooling solution.  External drive bays make hotswapping a breeze and the USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports are easily accessible as well, not counting the external connectors on your motherboard.  Neoseeker found many things to like about this enclosure as well as a few areas they'd like to see improved but overall were quite impressed with this $115 BMW inspired case.

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"Thermaltake lets its snow once again in its Level 10 lineup of cases with the Snow Edition of its Level 10 GTS, sporting its striking white and black color scheme. Perhaps its most defining feature is the distinct hot swap drive bay system for hard drives. See how it all works in our review of the Level 10 GTS Snow Edition case, geared toward enthusiasts who don't want to spend top dollar for a Level 10 series product but still rock all the style."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: Neoseeker
Author:
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

We are still making our way through an avalanche of X79 motherboards on our test bench that leverages the power of Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, but we didn't want to wait any longer on powering up Gigabyte's GA-X79-UD5 extended ATX motherboard. Gigabyte has really stepped up their game by offering optimized LGA 2011 for no-nonsense PC builders, hardware enthusiasts, serious overclockers, and even FPS/RPG PC gamers. Our review of the X79-UD5 is going to evaluate every aspect of the board's ability to handle automatic and manual overclocking, DX10/DX11 gaming, and other synthetic and real-world benchmarks.

 

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Courtesy of Gigabyte

The Gigabyte X79-UD5 motherboard takes full advantage of the new features available with the LGA 2011 platform and X79 Express chipset like the abiliy to use up to 64GBs of quad-channel memory via eight DIMMs and support for dual and triple AMD CrossfireX or NVIDIA SLI graphics card configurations for multi-monitor, high-definition gaming. These features should make ultra enthusiasts grin from ear to ear because they will probably be the ones who tandem this board with an Intel Core i7-3960X processor and dual NVIDIA GTX 680s graphics cards that were just released earlier this week. The $299 price tag on this board also places it right in the middle of the pack of LGA 2011 motherboards available on Newegg and other vendors.

Continue reading our review of the Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 motherboard!

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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Courtesy of MSI

My first Sandy Bridge-E motherboard review of 2012 showcases the talents of Intel's latest i7-3820 3.6GHz quad-core processor and MSI's X79A-GD65 (8D) ATX motherboard. The enhancements included in the LGA 2011 platform combined with MSI's unique optimizations to the board's overclocking, gaming, and power management capabilities should make for an exciting testing experience.

 

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Courtesy of MSI

MSI currently has six motherboards that support the LGA 2011 socket and the X79A-GD65 (8D) is considered one of their higher-end offerings at $289.99. This board targets users who want to take advantage of three PCI-E x16 slots for AMD CrossfireX or NVIDIA SLI configurations. It also gives users the ability to use up to two SATA 6GB/s and four SATA 3GB/s devices courtesy of the X79 chipset. MSI also used a second ASMedia controller to add two more SATA 6GB/s ports to the board. All of these SATA3 ports support Intel's Rapid Storage Technology, but the SATA3 devices managed by the X79 chipset can only handle RAID 0 and 1 versus the ASMedia chip that handles RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.

Continue reading our review of the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) Motherboard!!

Author:
Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction, Features, Technical Specifications

Introduction

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PC enclosures continue to evolve as new hardware comes to market like Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E and Ivy Bridge processors, affordable solid state drives, and custom liquid cooling solutions. It is more critical than ever that users pay strict attention to not only what a PC case looks like, but what hardware it supports. Since it was founded in  2004, NZXT has been developing unique PC cases to satisfy the appetites of PC gamers and hardware enthusiasts alike. Their latest creation dubbed the Switch 810 is a full-tower "hybird" case that is optimized to support liquid cooling or air-cooled solutions.

 

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The Switch 810 brings together many crowd favorites like right-mounted hard drives with removable HD cages and support for 140 to 240mm radiators to give users a plethora of options for cooling their PC components. If you don't want to go the liquid cooling route, the Switch 810 has room for 10 fans on the front, back, top, and bottom panels. PC builders can use 120mm or 140mm fans, and NZXT starts them off by including four 140mm fans with the Switch 810 to provide excellent airflow for any PC setup.

Continue reading our review of the NZXT Switch 810 Full Tower PC Case!

NZXT Launching New Switch 810 Full Tower Computer Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 17, 2012 - 04:34 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, full tower, computer, chassis, case, atx

NZXT, a computer case manufacturer that has been around since 2004, is today launching a new full tower computer case with the Switch 810 chassis. The new full tower case includes several features aimed at enthusiasts along with a 2 year warranty and choice of two colors (white or black). NZXT founder Johnny Hou seems confident in the case by stating that the new chassis "offers enthusiasts an array of advanced features intuitively implemented into one of the most unique designs we've ever created."

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The full tower case supports EATX motherboards with up to nine expansion slots and 375 millimeters of space for large, modern graphics cards when the front fan is removed. The motherboard tray further supports plenty of cable routing holes and a CPU back plate cut out. Further, the interior of the can can hold four 5.25" drives, six 3.5" drives, and up to 10 120mm or 140mm fans. The front, bottom, and drive bay area of the case houses two fans each. Meanwhile, the top of the case houses three cases and the rear holds one fan. Constructed of steel and plastic, the case weighs in at 9.1 Kg or about 20 lbs.

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As you can see from the outside of the case, the Switch 810 chassis supports four 5.25" drives, audio and microphone connectors, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, and a card reader. Also, a filter for the bottom intake can be removed from the front of the case. Some of the touted features of the new case include the ability to easily install water cooling and the new "hybrid fins" that allow users to close the fins to reduce dust and quiet the computer or open the fins along the top to maximize airflow. Tool-less drive bays, an acrylic side window, and a white LED that can be switched on or off are also features of the Switch 810 case.

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The NZXT switch is available now for $169.99 USD. More information and photos of the case can be found here. What do you think of the new case, are you impressed with the "hybrid design?"

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The proposed airflow diagram for the new NZXT case.

Source: NZXT

MSI Launches Military Inspired Interceptor Computer Case Series

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 7, 2012 - 07:08 PM |
Tagged: msi, cases, atx, interceptor, raptor, CES

It seems to be "Diversification Season" here in the tech world, as Vizio adds computers to their portfolio and now MSI, a company most well known for motherboards and graphics cards, is launching a series of computer cases. The new MSI cases have a military inspired theme and have been dubbed the Interceptor Series. Currently, there are two mid tower ATX form factor cases in the lineup including the Raptor and Nighthawk.

Both the Nighthawk and Raptor cases are constructed of black steel , have included ball-bearing fans, and plenty of ventilation, tool-less drive bays and expansion slots, and a three year manufacturer's warranty. Also, both cases have seven expansion slots and can accommodate graphics cards up to 12.2" in length.

The Raptor is the least flashy of the two, though it still manages to look nice. The side panel has a large mesh ventilation area over the CPU and VRM area. Meanwhile, the front of the case features a blue LED fan behind a mesh grill with MSI logo, and supports three 5.25" drive bays. Further, the case comes with a 12-in-1 card reader accessible on the front panel as well as two USB ports, 1 USB 3.0 port and two audio ports (mic and headphone). Last up, the case is ready for water cooling radiators and has a bottom mounted PSU rack.

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The Raptor

If the Raptor is the little brother, the Nighthawk is the big guns and the case is definitely more flashy in its military theme inspiration. The side panel has a larger mesh grill that breaks out of the case and has what may resemble bullet holes throughout. The front panel is more stylized as well with a large mesh grill minus logos to facilitate the most airflow with a blue LED fan behind it. The front panel support three USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port, and two audio jacks for microphone and headphones. This case also has the 12-in-1 card reader and the front of the case can hold up to four 5.25" drives. The case is a bit taller than the raptor and has larger feet so it sits higher off of the ground. MSI claims the case is ready to roll with liquid cooling solutions as well.

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The Nighthawk

MSI says that the cases will be available for purchase by the end of December in North America. The Nighthawk has an MSRP of $79.99 while the Raptor has an MSRP of $59.99. Not a bad start, MSI. The cases may yet be something that Ryan and the crew will be able to see first-hand at CES.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: MSI