There’s much to like about Corsair’s 900D, given that this cast-aluminum-and-steel chassis weighs as much as a tank and casts an authoritative presence underneath one’s desk—if you can even fit the full-tower case under there.
Note: This review originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of the magazine.
For whatever reason, audiophile-quality headsets don’t exist unless you can spring for something like the $250 Sennheiser PC 360. Fortunately, you don’t have to use a dedicated headset anymore and can stick a capable microphone right onto your beloved headphones. The Zalman ZM-MIC1, the AntLion ModMic 2.0, and ModMic 3.0 are all priced under $50 and are aimed at headphone users.
When vendors previewed the first X79 motherboards in 2011, we were floored by the boatload of SATA ports. Rather than the wimpy six SATA ports (only two of which were SATA 6Gb/s) Intel chipsets usually gave us, the X79 was a he-man’s chipset with a heaping serving of 12 ports.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Is there room for a AAA title that uses touch controls?
Windows 8 is the latest in a long history of products launched with the full weight of the Microsoft corporate gorilla behind it, but like several of its predecessors it has failed to gain popularity the way the company would like to see. Complaints against Windows 8 and its “Metro” interface are many and though the Windows 8.1 update is on the horizon, Microsoft has done little to entice users into the modern UI or even Windows 8 in general.
Two cases enter, one case leaves: That’s the gist of our mini-roundup this month. We’re still amazed sometimes at the disparity in production quality between cases. Sometimes, it’s as if manufacturers really don’t even bother giving the case a quick run-through before sending it off to retailers. Other times, it feels as if manufacturers go over their cases with a fine-toothed comb, checking every detail and nuance to eliminate even the smallest of possible annoyances.
Note: This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.
There was a time when home automation was a toy only for the wealthy (for whom it worked because they could afford the incredibly expensive hardware) or the extremely geeky (for whom it sometimes worked because the hardware they could afford was reasonably priced but buggy— we’re talking about you, X10). Belkin hopes to change that with its WeMo line.
Note: This article was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Budget is as budget does, but Silverstone’s RL04 just feels incomplete—or ill-designed—across a number of key areas. We suppose this case is worth looking into if you’re tired of running all your parts and pieces on an open-air design—as in, propped up on cardboard boxes or Styrofoam. Otherwise, it’s worth your while to explore some of the other cases in the sub-$80 category; the RL04 just isn’t all that compelling.
Note: This review was taken from the May issue of the magazine.
Update: Leaked Intel Roadmap Reveals New Batch of Haswell Chips
Faster hardware shouldn’t be this somber. Yet we can’t help but furrow our brow in concern over Intel’s fourth-generation Core i7 CPU. Yes, in typical Intel fashion, it’s a tour de force of technical achievement and features that’s the envy of the free world. It’s also, by the way, quite fast.
How fast? *Spoiler alert* Let’s just say that the new Core i7-4770K easily unseats the previous midrange sweetheart, the Core i7-3770K, as the best all-around performer, and even gives the high-end hexa-core part a hard time.
Just before the release of the GeForce GTX Titan this month, AMD held a conference call with tech media to reiterate its position in the market today, its plans going forward, and to drive home one particular point: AMD has the fastest hardware available, period. At the time of the call, we thought, “Well, that’s debatable.” But AMD pressed on, and further clarified its position by stating that the Asus Ares II was the fastest GPU available, bar none. Since most of us on the call hadn’t seen that card, and most people never will since only 999 were produced, we didn’t dispute the claim, nor did we have the data to know if the claim was correct. Well, about a week later, the card arrived from Asus and now that we’ve run the benchmarks, it looks like AMD was telling the truth—the Ares II is without a doubt the fastest single-card GPU available. So step aside, Nvidia GeForce GTX 690, there’s a new sheriff in town, and it’s not only faster in benchmarks, it runs cooler and quieter, to boot.
Note: This review was originally featured in the April 2013 issue of the magazine.