October issues 2013

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Best Rugged USB Hard Drive

The Rugged Mini can take some abuse,  but also dishes some out to your wallet.

Hard drives you can actually smack down

When it comes to your data, there are times when a USB key doesn't have the capacity or speed you need, and you can't afford to have a delicate hard drive smashing on the floor. Enter ruggedized USB 3.0 hard drives, which address all of our needs by combining speed and reliability into a supremely portable package. We put three such drives to the test, and found out which one has the speed you crave and the durability you require.

Note: This article was taken from the October 2013 issue of the magazine.

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Thermaltake NiC C5 Review

Despite its front fan having a depth of 25mm, the C5 won’t get in the way of RAM slots.

Give a little, take a little

We don’t know how it started, but heat spreaders on today’s RAM sticks have gotten kinda out of control. So, gearheads these days have to get pretty creative (or potentially destructive) to fit most large aftermarket CPU coolers on the motherboard. Thermaltake had the bright idea to just make a more compact cooler, with not one but two 120mm fans on it. NiC stands for “Non-Interference Cooling,” and its C5 model sits at the top of the vendor’s lineup. With five heat pipes and 230 watts of heat dissipation, it’s ready for serious cooling, and it won’t get in the way of your RAM slots.

Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.

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Primordial Medusa X79 Review

This big rig features an odd storage subsystem configuration.

Primordial Medusa X79: Can this four-way Titan box dethrone Dream Machine?

With Dream Machine 2013 behind us (September 2013), we now move into the phase where vendors line up to try to kick it off the top of the heap.

Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.

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MSI GeForce GTX N770 Lightning Review

The Lightning is the highest-clocked GTX 770 available.

A bit too extreme, as it turns out

Last month, we reviewed two GeForce GTX 770 cards from Asus and Gigabyte that cost just $10 more than the reference design, but were well-cooled and only slightly overclocked. That’s too boring for MSI, which decided to take its flagship GeForce GTX N770 Lightning to an extreme not previously seen.

Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.

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Company of Heroes 2 Review

When in doubt, park your zerglings—er, troops—behind concrete and let them watch you mortar the surrounding area into oblivion.‘Reveille’ for the multiplayer; ‘Taps’ for the solo campaign

To be honest, we really wanted to dislike Company of Heroes 2. As is tradition whenever we have a new strategy game, we immediately fired up the game’s skirmish mode and cracked open a delicious can of soda to accompany (what we assumed would be) a short march to victory.

Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.

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Asus Z87-Deluxe Review

With the exception of Goldmember, PC users may miss the old blue heatsinks.

Finally, all SATA 6Gb/s on an Intel board!

Motherboard shopping used to be like buying a Model T—you could buy any color you wanted as long it was black. Today, we have a serious Nerd World problem in the dizzying array of motherboard choices, with Asus offering no less than 10 Z87 boards just in its “standard” line, at prices that range from ultra-budget to luxury.

Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.