Daily Reviews Summary 09/20/11
Posted on: 09/20/2011 10:04 AM

Here today's reviews and articles roundup with 29 new articles, including Buying Guide: Best mouse: 10 top mice compared, Workstation & Server CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 4.8, and System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $2000 Performance PC

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 2 Review
Bjorn3D posted a review on the GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 2 motherboard

Today we have the newest offering in the GIGABYTE G1.Killer series of motherboards: the G1.Sniper 2. The G1.Sniper 2 is the first LGA1155 motherboard of the G1.Killer line, and carries a Z68 chipset, in addition to many of the features that made the original G1.Killer series popular. The board also has PCI-E Generation 3 support, though this cannot really be utilized until the new Ivy Bridge 22nm CPU's become available, as present Sandy Bridge processors do not support PCI-E 3. All of that considered, there are many things to like when looking at the specs of the board, including the inclusion of a Creative 20K2 powered audio system and Killer E2100 NPU to ensure that the gaming experience is the very best possible. The board has many features (such as Lucidlogix Virtu support) to provide excellent performance and save power.

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Buying Guide: Best mouse: 10 top mice compared
Techradar takes a look at the 10 top computer mices

Best mouse: mice 1-5 In the fifty-odd years since its invention we've seen the humble mouse improve considerably, with the addition of weight systems, laser sensors and masses of buttons and flashing lights. The best mice combine all these elements in sleek, ergonomic shells. Choosing which is the best mouse for you comes down to a number of factors, and all the mice in our round-up come with unique selling points, from rechargeable wireless functionality to Wii-like gesture controls. Read on to find out what mouse will suit your click-happy digits.

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Samsung SyncMaster T27A950D Review
TechReviewSource.com checked out the Samsung SyncMaster T27A950D display

The Samsung SyncMaster T27A950D is a 27-inch 3D HDTV that also doubles as a computer monitor. It has a sleek, unique design that will please everyone and quality is actually really good. It also has built-in speakers and a remote control for added functionality and control.

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Orb Xbox 360 Magnetic Induction Controller Charger Review
DragonSteelMods posted a review on the Orb Xbox 360 Magnetic Induction Controller Charger

Today for review our friends at Gaming Zap have sent me the Orb Xbox 360 Magnetic Induction Controller Charger. It uses induction technology to charge the included battery packs, meaning there’s really nothing to plug in. You just put the battery pack in your controller and then set it on the included charging pad and it charges. That’s it, not much to it at all, couldn’t be simpler really. Let’s get into it..

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OCZ ZS750W Power Supply Review
TweakTown posted OCZ ZS750W Power Supply Review

The last time we took a look at a power supply from OCZ, it was their top of the line ZX850 power supply. It featured just about everything you could ask for in a power supply, including superb performance, 100% modular cabling, 80Plus Gold efficiency and more. While the top of the line units are great for those who aren't on a budget, they certainly aren't for everyone. Today we are going to take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum, the ZS750.

OCZ launched the new ZS series of power supplies back in late July and is available in 550W, 650W and 750W varieties. The Senior VP of Power Management at OCZ stated that, "The new ZS line of power supplies provides customers with the ideal blend of quality, performance, and efficiency for power hungry desktops." - We will take an in depth look at the ZS750 and see just how well OCZ has blended the three and if it is worthy of your money.

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QNAP TS-659 Pro II Review
Anandtech posted a review on the QNAP TS-659 Pro II

The SMB (Small to Medium Businesses) and Corporate NAS market is a highly competitive one. Over the last one year, we have been expanding our coverage of this market. Having reviewed a high end 5-bay unit from LaCie and a couple of 2-bay units from Synology and LG, it is now time to take a look at a unit from QNAP.

We have been playing around with the QNAP TS-659 Pro II unit over the last month or so. Based on the Intel Atom D525 platform, it has 6 bays and dual GbE ports, making it a candidate for the high end SMB market. Read on to find out more about the TS-659 Pro II and how it fares in our benchmarks.

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EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD Classified Video Card Review
Legit Reviews posted a review on the EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD Classified Video Card

Legit Reviews is going covert and has been granted access to something Classified from EVGA. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 video card has been touted as almost a GeForce GTX 580 at a much nicer price and EVGA throws an decent factory overclock on top of that. If you have the clearance to read this classified information see how much farther LR can push this card without extreme cooling.

We enjoyed the performance of EVGA's top end version of the GeForce GTX 570 and found pushing this overclock further was as simple as dragging a slider in EVGA Precision software and clicking apply. Achieving our significant overclock did require a bit more work to figure out the thermals but now that you have read this you know our trick if you can handle the noise. Better yet get this card under water and you can run at least 31% above reference clocks silently...

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Mouse Without Borders
Computing on Demand has posted a new article, 'Mouse Without Borders'

Clever utilities are what really get my mouse twitching. In the age of the connected home, more of these devices are disconnected from one another. I have a keyboard and mouse for eight PC's in my home, 3 of which are HTPCs. The HTCPs in my home all are capable of using a Logitech Harmony Remote control and all are currently using a Rocketfish Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse Combo, but it still is a bit cumbersome. Instead of having tons of remote controls on my coffee table, I have a Harmony Remote, a laptop, and my Rocketfish Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse. Well, recently, Microsoft's Garage Program featured an application created to help alleviate the need for multiple mice and keyboards for multiple computers.  The application is called Mouse Without Borders.

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SSD Shootout: A group test of seven of the best SSDs
ITShootOut have posted an SSD Shootout: A group test of seven of the best SSDs.

Today we are comparing seven competitiors covering a range of models. Some are the latest available, others are slightly older so you have an idea of how drives from today compare to those from last year. We'll also be updating our group test as new models become available!

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Workstation & Server CPU Comparison Guide Rev. 4.8
TechARP updated their Workstation & Server CPU Comparison Guide

If you have no idea what's different between an AMD Opteron processor and an Intel Xeon processor, then this is the guide for you.

Currently covering 540 workstation and server CPUs, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare up to 20 different specifications for each and every CPU.

Here's what we updated in this new release :

- Added the Intel Xeon E3-1290 quad-core processor.
- Updated the specifications of the Intel Xeon E7-8837 8-core processor.
- Updated the specifications of the Intel Xeon E3-1280 quad-core processor.
- Updated the specifications of the Intel Pentium III Xeon series of processors.
- Updated the specifications of the Intel Pentium II Xeon series of processors.

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GIGABYTE HD6770 Silent Cell CFX Video Card Review
HardOCP posted a review on the GIGABYTE HD6770 Silent Cell CFX Video Card

The GIGABYTE HD6770 Silent Cell card features many of GIGABYTE's trademark features. These include their Ultra Durable VGA components. On board you will find Japanese Solid Capacitors, Tier 1 Samsung/Hynix memory, and Ferrite Core chokes. GIGABYTE claims these will increase overclocking ability by 10%-30%. The Ultra Durable VGA components also reduce power switching loss by 10%-30%, and reduce GPU core temperatures by 5%-10%. GIGABYTE Also built the card from the ground up on their custom 2oz Copper PCB. Double the copper than runs through a normal graphics PCB, which helps spread heat evenly across the card. You can read more about GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable VGA components here.

The most interesting, and unique part of this particular HD 6770, is the Silent Cell cooling system from GIGABYTE. When we first took this card out of the box we were surprised with how light the card was with such a huge heat sink. The reason being, the heat sink is made Ultra-thin layered Aluminum fins with an extremely large surface area. This particular card has four high performance heat pipes that spread to four areas on the heat sink. Directly contacting the GPU is a copper base, that also has four thermal heat pads that sit on top of the memory. The full idea behind the Silent Cell cooling system involves case fans which help move heat out of the case. You can read more about Silent Cell cooling here.

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ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT Review
Techradar posted a review on the ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT motherboard

We've been raving about Sandy Bridge ITX boards such as the ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT since they first appeared and quite frankly we make no apologies for it. If you want to build a small, compact PC with plenty of grunt then now's the right time. The boards even come with a x16 PCI-e slot so you can keep gaming. We tested ours with a trusty HD 6850 ? it's quite a sight to see a graphics card looking bigger than the motherboard. You may be of the opinion that a motherboard that measures 17cm square is just too small to be of much use, but one look at the following feature list might put an end to that.

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Xigmatek Thor's Hammer CPU Cooler Review
Hardware Secrets posted Xigmatek Thor's Hammer CPU Cooler Review

The Thor's Hammer is a CPU cooler from Xigmatek with a tower heatsink, seven heatpipes, and supports one or two 120 mm fans. Let's test it.

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Fractal Design Array R2 Mini-ITX Chassis Review
MissingRemote posted a review on the Fractal Design Array R2 Mini-ITX Chassis

In the last few weeks we have taken a look at a wide range of chassis based on feedback we’ve received from our readers in regards to what form factor is most used for their home theater PC (HTPC) as the results were mixed. But one form factor which has not been covered simply due to a lack of viable options has been the “cube” case, which I have admired for years but never saw one compact enough for my home theater space--most of the cube cases were either very large or made of the clear acrylic and flashy lights not at all suitable for a living room. Only recently coming from overseas and available in the US, the Fractal Design Array R2 chassis provides a blend of refinement with a ton of storage space options, in an all aluminum black enclosure--not exactly a cube by measurement, but of
similar structure.

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Plextor PX-LB950SA 12X Internal Blu-Ray Disc Writer Review
RWLabs published a review on the Plextor PX-LB950SA 12X Internal Blu-Ray Disc Writer

With some of the fastest BD read/write speeds available in the market today and with blazing fast CD and DVD read/write speeds the latest PX-LB950SA 12X Internal Blu-Ray Disc Writer by Plextor is their way of saying that they are on the right track and here to stay.

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LG Optimus 2X Review
Tech-Reviews.co.uk posted a review on the LG Optimus 2X

With all of the Smartphones available in the world today, finding the one for you can be a hard task. The LG Optimus 2X houses an 8MP camera capable of 1080p HD recording and a 1GHz dual-core processor whilst running Android 2.2; some pretty awesome features, I'm sure you'll agree. Hopefully, we'll see some excellent results from this high-end Android device.

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NZXT Tempest 410 Elite Review
Vortez posted a review on the NZXT Tempest 410 Elite

The Tempest 410 Elite we are going to be reviewing today promises to be an entertaining mid-tower with USB 3.0 support, resilient air cooling and a unique look that settles between the minimalist and gamer style. Will the Tempest 410 follow in the successful footsteps of the Tempest and Tempest EVO? Let's find out!

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BitFenix Shinobi Case Review
HardwareHeaven.com posted a review on the BitFenix Shinobi Case

Today we have a case from BitFenix on our test bench, the Shinobi. From a range which offers various models to suit different tastes this low cost model has a number of impressive features on paper. Let's find out if BitFenix can find that middle ground between low cost and functionality/performance.

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Ozone Strike Mechanical Keyboard Review
XSReviews has a new review, the Ozone Strike Mechanical Keyboard

Mechanical keyboards, they've been a staple of the high end gamers for quite some time, but for a while it was down to companies like microsoft to make them. However, in recent years gaming peripheral makers like Razer, Steelseries, Zowie and more, have begun manufacturing their own mechanical boards.

Today I'm looking at another Black Cherry switch sporting keyboard, thie time from Ozone. Known as the Strike, it comes packing media keys, a removed windows key, some switchable key colours and a nice, thick, braided cable to send through the ever important key strokes to your PC.

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HP Touchpad Performance Hacking
Benchmark Reviews posted an article on how to improve the performance of your HP Touchpad

In our previous guide: Root Hacking the HP Touchpad Tablet PC, Benchmark Reviews showed you how to enable Developer Mode on the HP Touchpad, and, with the new capabilities this mode enables, to download and install the Preware applications manager. In this installment, we'll show you how to dramatically improve the performance of your Touchpad by disabling excessive logging functions and overclocking its dual-core processor.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Gaming and Performance Review on AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series Video Cards
Hi Tech Legion takes a look at the performance of Deus Ex: Human Revolution on AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series Video Cards

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the 3rd installment to the critically acclaimed title which launched in June 2000. Set in the year 2027, Deus Ex Human Revolution follows the story of Adam Jensen, a security specialist looking to uncover the truth behind the ambush that changed his life forever. Knowledge of previous installments is not necessary for appreciation of Deus Ex: Human Revolution since it is essentially a prequel and provides the background framework to the world we have witnessed in the first Deus Ex title and its sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War. With DirectX 11 technology and a modified CrystalDynamics Crystal Engine, the cyberpunk world in Deus Ex Human Revolution comes to life and delivers engrossing immersion that compliments the intriguing narrative.

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SilenX Effizio 80mm and 140mm Fan Review
OCC has published a review on the SilenX Effizio 80mm and 140mm Fans

Bottom line, the 80mm really changed the temperatures in the home theater PC case. This will save on the thermal wear and tear over the years and perhaps get me a little more out of my machine. Maybe I will even push that OC up a bit again. The 140mm doesn't make a huge change in a large airflow situation. Large fans by nature tend to be less noisy while still moving a lot of air. I will say I do like the vibrant color but beyond that I don't see myself buying one over any other 140mm case fan. However, from what I've seen with the 80mm fan in small spaces, I'd love to see what one of these 140mm fans could do with a CPU cooler.

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OCZ ZS Series 750 W Review
techPowerUp posted a review on the OCZ ZS Series 750 W PSU

OCZ, having the value-oriented user in mind, recently released a new PSU series. According to OCZ the ZS series PSUs offer affordable power solutions to value-oriented gaming systems.

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System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $2000 Performance PC
Tom's Hardware Guide posted a build guide for a $2000 Performance PC

Superb multi-card scaling is part of the reason why Tom’s Hardware editors have used AMD graphics hardware in every System Builder Marathon machine this year, a fact that may have escaped die-hard AMD fans who've missed seeing the company's CPUs compete up at the top of the spectrum.

And yet, just because we've doted on AMD's graphics-oriented value doesn't mean the company enjoys performance superiority. The fact remains that Nvidia has the most powerful GPU around in its GeForce GTX 580. The only reason we've shied away from its high-performance flagship up until now was that the cost of other necessary system components gobbled up our budget first. That is, until today.

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Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD Review, RAID0 Performance Tested
TechSpot posted a review on the Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD

On the heels of its performance-orientated Wildfire series, Patriot has developed a more cost effective solution for mainstream system builders. Based on SandForce's SF-2281 controller, the Pyro series appears to take aim at the Agility 3. OCZ's budget offering uses the same SandForce controller and similar NAND flash memory.

Despite costing more, the Pyro claims to offer slightly more speed, citing blazingly fast 550MB/s sequential reads and up to 515MB/s sequential writes using SATA 6.0Gb/s. At first glance, it seems the Pyro might be fairly priced against the Agility 3, but we have a sneaking suspicion this isn't the case and Patriot will have to lower its prices.

We're also curious to test the Pyro's RAID0 performance. At $410, pair of Pyro 120GB drives cost considerably less than a single Patriot Wildfire 240GB drive ($515), which could reveal some compelling results. We could speculate on drive performance all day, but let's press onward and see where Patriot's budget contender stands in the market.

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ASRock 890FX Deluxe5 AMD Motherboard Review
ThinkComputers.org posted a review on the ASRock 890FX Deluxe5 AMD Motherboard

Today we’ll be getting a look at another AMD motherboard with the 890FX chipset, the ASRock 890FX Delxue5, which features 3-Way CrossFireX support, USB 3.0, SATA6, onboard power/reset buttons, Dr. Debug, and many others. This motherboard has some of the old, some of the new, and some of the yet to come integrated into it. Read on further to find out what all they are.

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Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition OC Video Card Review
TweakTown posted Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition OC Video Card Review

We're at that calm before the storm where video card releases become few and far between. We're at the point where companies release slightly rehashed versions of cards we already know and love. We're at the point where companies are sending out press releases about technology they've already had on the market for ages. That's where the video card market is at and it's clear with the last few video cards we've looked at, including the one we're looking at today in the Sapphire HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition OC. The good news is, though, that the calm before the storm means two things.

First, it means these really good mid-range models like the HD 6870 we're looking at today get a bit of a refresh when it comes to cooling, overclock and pricing. For people looking at a well-priced card that offers some good features, this is a good thing.

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Gears of War 3 Review
Neowin posted a review on Gears of War 3

Get ready for the third installment of Epic Games' legendary third-person shooter series Gears of War, as Neowin heads into the battlefield to deliver you a review of Gears of War 3 Read more...

When I look back across all the Xbox 360 exclusive games, the Gears of War series is the one that I, without a doubt, enjoyed the most. The third-person mechanics, engaging storyline, fun co-op and multi-player, and epic action sequences made for a great series of games, and with the recent release of Gears of War 3 I was really hoping that the series would end on a high note.

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ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional Review
Techradar posted a quick review on the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional motherboard

You can understand when Fatal1ty endorses a 1337 gaming mouse, but when a motherboard is emblazoned with the fatal one's name and face, it sends a slightly more confusing message. Is it a no-compromise AMD 990FX-based board capable of outperforming any other with raw performance and features? Or is it a stripped down racing car of a board, equipped with only the features you need? A quick glance over the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional's spec sheet reveals it's definitely the former.The board's well endowed with gold capacitors and special mouse ports, but it's the software that impresses us most. F-Stream is a slick all-in-one program that enables you to fiddle with overclocking, energy levels and fan settings from the desktop. The UEFI Bios is similarly comprehensive, although rendered slightly unnerving by featuring Mr Wendel's face in blood red as a background.

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