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Func HS-260 Review

The HS-260’s audio cable and microphone are both replaceable, and can be plugged in on either side.Func’s foray into gaming headsets starts on solid footing

Func’s not a new brand, per se—the company has been making gaming peripherals since the turn of the millennium. However, until just over a year ago, it was only known for mousepads, so its recent foray into mice and keyboards represents quite a step up, at least in terms of ambition. Now, with the HS-260, Func is ready to complete the trifecta and take on gaming headsets as well.

Note: This review was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.

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V3 Components Voltair Reivew

The two fan cables are sleeved and grafted together for a cleaner installation.

Don’t call it a comeback

If you’re an enthusiast who’s ready to drop more than $100 on a CPU cooler, it’s probably been a long time since you last considered air for this job. Most folks at this level have moved on to closed-loop liquid coolers (CLCs) or even custom loops. Even the best air-driven jobs on the market won’t match the heat dissipation of a good CLC. So unless you’re on a budget, why bother?

Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.

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Silverstone Raven RVZ01 Review

An SFX power supply mounts vertically inside the RVZ01.

This DIY micro-tower takes flight

It’s official: micro-towers are now definitely a “thing.” Unfortunately for DIYers, being able to truly build from scratch hasn’t been an option—until now.

Meet Silverstone’s Raven RVZ01, a micro-tower that somewhat resembles a game console but has enough room inside for a high-powered PC. We actually used this enclosure in a recent Build It, and now we’d like to give it a proper review. The short version is that you can pack some powerhouse computing in here, but there are a few caveats.

Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.

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Lian Li PC-V360 Review

Brushed-aluminum elegance—for a price

Lian Li comes to the microATX market with a case that looks like a shorter, dieting version of its peers. It’s narrower and more vertically challenged than most microATX cases we’ve checked out, but you’d never guess that by the ample room inside the PC-V360 that the company gives you to play around with.

Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.

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MSI Radeon R9 280 Gaming 3G Review

A lot of boom for your buckaroo

AMD has announced an “all new” GPU named the R9 280. This entry will plug the gap between the $230 R7 270X and the $300 R9 280X (these are MSRP prices, btw). It’s priced at $279 and goes head-to-head with Nvidia’s GTX 770, which is priced at $329. Both cards are designed for maximum 1080p, are squarely in the zone of what we would call “good value” as they are somewhat affordable, let you run all games with maximum settings, and handle 1080p with very acceptable frame rates.

Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.

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MSI NightBlade Review

Nowhere is that more true than in the world of small form factor machines. While ATX towers are very forgiving to build into (you can’t pick the wrong PSU or GPU), that can’t be said of ITX PCs.

Bare-bones with a ’tude

Sometimes it’s nice to pick and choose every little component you want in your build, and sometimes it’s just nice to have someone else do the thinking for you.

Nowhere is that more true than in the world of small form factor machines. While ATX towers are very forgiving to build into (you can’t pick the wrong PSU or GPU), that can’t be said of ITX PCs.

Note: This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of the magazine.