Podcast #296 - NVIDIA's 337.50 Driver Improvements, Corsair H105, Intel Haswell Refresh details and more!
Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2014 - 02:58 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, nvidia, 337.50, corsair, H105, amd, Intel, haswell, devil's canyon
PC Perspective Podcast #296 - 04/17/2014
Join us this week as we discuss NVIDIA's 337.50 Driver Improvements, Corsair H105, Intel Haswell Refresh details and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
Introduction, Specifications, and Contents
Corsair has added another double-width liquid cooler to their growing lineup of all-in-one solutions with the H105, joining the existing H100i and larger H110 in this category.
Image courtesy of Corsair
Initially, the H105 might leave you scratching your head. It's listed on Corsair’s site with the same $119.99 MSRP as the H100i, and both are 240mm designs featuring the same high performance fans. The similarities end there, however, as the design of the H105 is more akin to Corsair's new 120mm H75 (which we recently reviewed) than to the existing 240mm H100/H100i. With the H75 already a solid price/performance pick in Corsair’s lineup - and the various other options still available - it's reasonable to wonder exactly where H105 fits in.
While this new cooler is using the same pair of excellent SP120L PWM fans as the earlier H100i (and H80i), it's the radiator they will be connected to that should separate the H105 from prior efforts. Corsair has implemented a much thicker 240mm rad with the H105 at 35mm (vs. only 27mm on earlier products), and this added thickness should have an noticeable impact on cooling performance, and possibly fan noise as well.
Subject: General Tech | April 11, 2014 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, contest
Corsair is sponsoring PC DOMINATION, SPRING 2014, a system building and tuning competition for PC enthusiasts. PC Domination isn't a single contest, but more than ten separate challenges for system builders and tuners. It doesn't matter if you have a high-end or mid-range system. There's a contest for everyone to participate in! Participants will be competing to win a variety of Corsair’s top products including cases, coolers, gaming keyboards, memory, and more. The first 500 complete entries will get a FREE Corsair PC Domination T-shirt.
You can participate in the CPU tuning contest by submitting your HWBot and Cinebench benchmark scores. If you don't have the latest and greatest system, don't let that stop you from participating since there will be an award for whoever can do the most with the least. And, to keep things fun for everyone, we are not allowing sponsored professional overclockers to participate.
There are three contests:
- Intel CPU (Air Cooling or All-In-One Cooling)
- AMD CPU (Air Cooling or All-In-One Cooling)
- Custom Loop Liquid Cooling (Intel and AMD)
To participate in the GPU tuning competition, submit your 3DMark scores! Just like our CPU Tuning competition, go ahead and enter if you don't have the latest and greatest GPU as there will also be an award for whoever who can do the most with the least. It's what you can do with what you have that matters. Sponsored professional overclockers are not able to participate, sorry!
There are three contests:
- NVIDIA GPU (Air Cooling Only)
- AMD GPU (Air Cooling Only)
- Custom Loop Liquid Cooling (NVIDIA and AMD)
System Build Competition
To enter this competition, just submit photos of a system you've built. This is your chance to show off every aspect of your machine, whether it's the color scheme, amazing cable management, or just your overall awesomeness in system building!
There are three contests:
- Standard System Building (Retail Parts – No Modifications or Customizing)
- Custom Cooling System (Custom Water Loops – No Chassis Customization)
- Open System Building (Full Customization and Modification)
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 8, 2014 - 02:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Vengeance K70, corsair
Update (4/8/2014 @ 8:48 PM EDT): Some commenters pointed out that the K70 already exists and has been on sale for quite some time. That is true, however Corsair has refreshed the line, apparently adding Cherry MX Blue and Brown along with the "original MX Red". It is a new product that will be released mid-April.
No, this is not the Cherry MX RGB keyboard; we still do not know when that will come out. The K70 is a mechanical keyboard made out of blackened (anodized) aluminum with red backlights in each keycap. It comes in either Cherry MX Blue, Red, or Brown. Unlike some of their previous models, every key is mechanical. It is advertised as "100% anti-ghosted with full n-key rollover". Being a USB keyboard, it is unclear whether it actually allows every key to be pressed simultaneously or whether it is limited by the interface.
That said, previous Corsair keyboards registered as 3 USB devices and split inputs between the three to overcome 6KRO limits, thus allowing for 18-key rollover. This should be sufficient for all quadridextrous typists. For the mental image of someone typing with their eight fingers, two thumbs, and all but two of their ten toes, you are welcome.
Also, and I have said this before, but it kills me when a keyboard based on an NKRO key matrix (even if it is limited by USB) needs to describe itself as "Anti-ghosting". Anti-ghosting is a hack which prevents unintended keypresses by locking-out the keyboard when it gets confused. Many keyboards, to save money, group keys together in their grid of circuits. Basically, each key is assigned to two circuits and the keyboard can thus see which switches are pressed by their pairings. The keyboard does not know how many switches are open on each circuit, just that at least one is. Ghosting occurs when three or more keypresses cause the same signals as four or more keys. The keyboard then has two options: register all possible keypresses or jam and ignore everything (anti-ghosting). An NKRO-based matrix uses diodes to further isolate keys so that each can be individually addressed.
Thus an NKRO keyboard never needs to jam. It is immune to the conditions. Unfortunately, if they did not advertise anti-ghosting, the uninformed will think it is an inferior keyboard... rather than so superior that it is immune to the problem in the first place.
Back on the Vengeance K70, it will be available this month for $129.99 USD (MSRP).
Introduction and Features
The highly anticipated 450D mid-tower case is Corsair’s latest addition to their top of the line Obsidian Series and is the first new Obsidian case to be released in 2014. The Obsidian 450D mid-tower enclosure is positioned between Corsair’s 750D full-tower and 350D Micro-ATX enclosures and shares many of the same styling and design concepts of the 350D, 750D and 900D. The 450D is being introduced with an MSRP of $119.99 USD, which makes it considerably less expensive than Corsair’s classic Obsidian 650D mid-tower enclosure ($199.99 USD). It appears the new 450D may eventually become the successor to the 650D but we hope the 650D mid-tower case doesn’t go away any time soon as the two enclosures are still different enough to appeal to different users.
(Courtesy of Corsair)
And in addition to PC enclosures, Corsair continues to offer one of the largest selections of memory products, SSDs, power supplies, coolers, gaming peripherals, and PC accessories currently on the market today!
Here is what Corsair has to say about the Obsidian 450D PC case:
“The 450D Performance Mid-Tower PC case matches the iconic, brushed aluminum design of the Obsidian series with an increased focus on high-airflow, ensuring your system not only looks great, but runs cool.
Behind the 450D’s aluminum mesh intake grill are dual AF140L intake fans to direct airflow straight to a PC’s hottest component, the graphics card. The rear AF120L 120mm fan keeps the airflow moving smoothly and five other optional fan locations give you serious cooling flexibility. The 450D’s fan mounts also accommodate a wide range of water-cooling radiators, with room for up to a 360mm radiator in the roof, a 280mm radiator in the front, and a 240mm radiator in the floor.
The 450D also boasts all of the features that make the Obsidian Series a favorite among enthusiasts around the world. Easily accessible dust filters on the roof, front, and bottom ensure your system will stay looking its best, while modular tool-free 3.5”/2.5” hard disk mounts offer a wide range of storage options, or can be removed entirely to prioritize airflow.”
(Courtesy of Corsair)
Obsidian Series 450D Mid-Tower PC Case Key Points:
• Mid-tower PC case with clean, elegant styling
• Tool-free 2.5”, 3.5” and 5.25” drive installation
• Two AF140L intake fans and one AF120L exhaust fan
• Excellent airflow and low noise levels
• Support for water-cooling in a broad variety of configurations
• Support for 240mm, 280mm, and/or 360mm radiators
• Two dedicated 2.5” SSD drive sleds located behind motherboard
• Included modular (removable) drive cage supports three 2.5”/3.5” drives
• Optional drive cage adds support for three more 2.5”/3.5” drives
• Removable magnetic top filter provides a cleaner look
• Competitive price point
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 25, 2014 - 01:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Obsidian Series 450D
Fremont, California — March 25, 2014 — Corsair, a designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC hardware market, today announced the immediate availability of the Obsidian Series 450D performance mid-tower PC case. The 450D matches the iconic, brushed aluminum design of the Obsidian series with an increased focus on high-airflow, ensuring your system not only looks great, but runs cool.
Behind the 450D’s aluminum mesh intake grill are dual 140mm AF140L intake fans to direct airflow straight to a PC’s hottest component, the graphics card. The rear AF120L 120mm fan keeps the airflow moving smoothly and five other optional fan locations give you serious cooling flexibility. The 450D’s fan mounts also accommodate a wide range of water-cooling radiators, with room for up to a 360mm radiator in the roof, a 280mm radiator in the front, and a 240mm radiator in the floor.
The 450D also boasts all of the features that make the Obsidian Series a favorite among enthusiasts around the world. Easily accessible dust filters on the roof, front, and bottom ensure your system will stay looking its best, while modular tool-free 3.5”/2.5” hard disk mounts offer a wide range of storage options, or can be removed entirely to prioritize airflow.
“From day one, our Obsidian Series has made our case lineup a force to be reckoned with.” said George Makris, Product Manager at Corsair. “With Obsidian 450D we’ve now added a mid-tower case that has outstanding air cooling capabilities, but can house lots of water cooling parts, too.”
Obsidian Series 450D Specifications
- Three tool-free 3.5”/2.5” combo bays in a modular hard drive cage, with two tool-free 2.5” drive bays behind the motherboard
- Two tool-free 5.25” bays for expansion
- Two front mounted USB 3.0 ports for easy peripheral or external storage connection
- 7 expansion slots
- Three included high-airflow fans for excellent airflow at low noise levels
- 2 front 140mm
- 1 rear 120mm
- Perforated front brushed aluminum fascia for improved airflow
- Room for up to 8 fans
- Radiator compatibility:
- Top – 360mm/280mm
- Front – 280mm/240mm
- Bottom – 240mm
- Rear – 120mm
Builder Friendly Features
- Thumbscrew side panel removal and expansion slots
- Tool-free drive bays
- Center-post standoff to hold motherboard in place during installation
- Easily accessible and removable front, rear, and top dust filters
- Cable routing with rubber grommets for superior airflow and neater builds
Dimensions and Weight
- Length x Width x Height
- 19.5” x 8.3” x 19.6” inches
- 494 x 210 x 497mm
- Weight 7 kg 15.4 lbs
Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The Obsidian Series 450D has a suggested retail price of $119.99 in the US and is available in April from Corsair's worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers. It is backed with a limited 2-year warranty and Corsair’s excellent customer service and technical support.
Here are a couple of reviews of the brand new case:
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 19, 2014 - 05:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SPEC gaming case, corsair
Fremont, California —March 18, 2014 — Corsair, a designer and supplier of high-performance components to the PC hardware market, today announced the Carbide SeriesTM SPEC range of gaming PC cases in three models: the SPEC-01, SPEC-02, and SPEC-03. Characterized by aggressive styling, modern features, superior air cooling, and expandability, the SPEC range offers everything gamers need from a case and nothing they don’t.
All three SPEC cases have been designed with PC gamers in mind, stripping out the unnecessary and leaving a lean and mean looking chassis that delivers great cooling and makes PC building quick and easy. The cases boast modern features such as USB 3.0 ports, native SSD mounts, and extensive cable-routing options, as well as a huge side panel window to show off the hardware inside. The black-painted interior is optimized to direct unobstructed airflow to the PC’s hottest components, with a front-mounted LED fan providing ample cooling. Tool-free drive bays and removable dust filters add to SPEC’s wide array of high-end features.
There’s plenty of room to expand inside too, with support for even the longest graphics cards, front fan mounts for dual 140mm and 120mm fans, and seven expansion slots. Whatever version of SPEC gamers choose, they will have a case with the flexibility to handle years of upgrades.
“Entry level cases are usually antiquated, old designs. Some still have room for floppy drives,” said George Makris, Product Manager at Corsair. “With the addition of the Carbide Series SPEC to our line, gamers can now get a case with modern features and great styling combined with superior cooling and expandability at a fantastic price.”
Carbide Series SPEC Specifications
Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The SPEC-01 case has a suggested retail price of $49.99 USD and the SPEC-02 and SPEC-03 cases have suggested retail prices of $59.99 USD. The cases will be available in April from Corsair’s worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers. All are backed with a limited 2-year warranty and Corsair customer service and technical support.
Subject: General Tech, Storage | March 18, 2014 - 06:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, ocz, Intel, corsair
Back in January I wrote a short editorial that asked the question: "Is now the time to buy an SSD?" At that time we were looking at a combination of price drops with a lack of upcoming hardware releases. Since that published we have seen the release of the Intel 730 Series SSDs and even the new Crucial M550. While those are interesting drives to be sure (review pending on the M550), they aren't changing our opinions on the currently available, and incredibly cheap, solid state options.
While looking for some new hardware for the office, I found that the 1TB Samsung 840 EVO is now at an all time low $469! That is one of the faster SSDs on the market, and one of Allyn's favorites, for $0.469/GB!! I have included an updated table below with some of the most popular SSDs and their prices.
|Samsung 840 EVO||120 GB||$0.69/GB||$83 - Amazon|
|250 GB||$0.55/GB||$139 - Amazon|
|500 GB||$0.51/GB||$259 - Amazon|
|750 GB||$0.51/GB||$388 - Amazon|
|1000 GB||$0.46/GB||$469 - Amazon|
|Samsung 840 Pro||128 GB||$0.92/GB||$119 - Amazon|
|256 GB||$0.77/GB||$199 - Amazon|
|512 GB||$0.74/GB||$413 - Amazon|
|Intel 530 Series||120 GB||$0.91/GB||$89 - Amazon|
|180 GB||$0.80/GB||$144 - Amazon|
|240 GB||$0.62/GB||$149 - Amazon|
|480 GB||$0.87/GB||$419 - Amazon|
|Crucial M500 Series||120 GB||$0.57/GB||$69 - Amazon|
|240 GB||$0.49/GB||$119 - Amazon|
|480 GB||$0.47/GB||$229 - Amazon|
|960 GB||$0.45/GB||$439 - Amazon|
The biggest price drops were seen in the higher capacity drives including, the Samsung 840 EVO 1TB and 750GB models, the Intel 530 Series 480GB drive and even the Crucial M500 960GB and 480GB drives. Numerically the best value is with the 960GB Crucial M500 drive at $0.45/GB but it is followed very closely by that 1TB Samsung 840 EVO.
As of now, the Intel 730 Series of SSDs is available for sale on Amazon.com but their price per GB comparisons don't really match that of the EVO or M500. They are great drives, just read Allyn's review to see the proof of that, but they are targeted at the very performance conscious. The Crucial M550 is brand new, and looks interesting; expect us to dive more into that line very soon.
For me personally, grabbing a 750GB SSD is incredibly enticing and I think I'll find a handful in my cart to update our older 180GB SSD test beds.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Corsair
Corsair expanded from a known presence in the memory space to well-respected entity in the component market, offering everything from cases to all-in-one water coolers. Their newest cooler, the Hydro Series™ H75 Liquid CPU Cooler, features a 120mm x 25mm radiator with dual fans and a copper-based water block. The H75 unit includes mounting support for all current Intel and AMD processor offerings. To gage the performance of the cooler, we set it against several other high-performance liquid and air-based coolers. With a retail MSRP of $84.99, the Hydro Series™ H75 cooler is priced to be competitive.
Courtesy of Corsair
The Hydro Series™ H75 cooler was designed to be a "one size fits all" type cooler, having no space issues fitting in most cases including some of the larger mITX style cases. Corsair used Asetek as an OEM to assist in manufacturing the H75 and appears to be based on the Asetek 550LC all-in-one cooler. As we've seen previously with Corsair OEM products, Corsair had a hand in tweaking the cooler design to meet their performance and aesthetic expectations. The radiator in an all aluminum, thin-finned unit designed to effectively dissipate heat from the liquid medium using the two include Corsair-branded fans.
Courtesy of Corsair
The water block is composed of a two part acrylic top piece, housing the unit's electronics and pump, held to a copper cold plate secured with an inner and outer ring of screws. The inner ring of screws are counter-sunk to prevent mating-related obstruction and was polished to a mirror-like luster.
Courtesy of Corsair
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 11, 2014 - 02:16 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: corsair, cherry, Cherry MX, mechanical keyboard
A lot of diverse topics arose from the Corsair blogs, lately. This time, they compiled fan questions and enlisted mechanical switch and keyboard manufacturer, Cherry Corporation, to provide answers. Coming in at over two-thousand words, it is quite lengthy.
Many of the questions seemed to come from long-term fans of their mechanical keyboards. One person asked whether a specific ergonomic keyboard (G80-5000) would make a return, while another inquired about Cherry-branded Hall Effect switches (presumably for analog controls). In all, if you are interested in mechanical keyboards, it is worth a read. They kept a little secret sauce, secret, but otherwise seemed pretty open in their responses.
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