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<div><span style="font-size: small;">Diversification is the natural course for a growing company, especially if they reach the point where they cannot grow any further within their target markets, which often happens when markets become saturated. As you might expect, most of the larger graphics card manufacturers have been trying to diversify into other markets lately, as the profit margins continue to diminish and competition is becoming brutal. A few weeks ago, we had a look at XFX's effort to enter the chassis market with a gaming mid-tower case. Today, we are reviewing EVGA's effort to deliver a high performance power supply, the Supernova 850 G2. This isn't EVGA's first PSU, as they first started shipping PSUs over a year ago, but they're still a relative newcomer to the PSU scene.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">While naming a power supply after an exploding star may not be the most sensible choice, the Supernova 850 G2 is based on the very popular Superflower Leadex platform, so we are off to a good start here. It features an 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification and, as its name suggests, the rated maximum continuous power output of this particular model is 850 Watts. Pay attention to the details however, as this unit's maximum power rating is at an ambient temperature of 50 &deg;C. Other notable features of this particular model include an &quot;ECO thermal fan control&quot; and a ten-year warranty, all for $129.99 after rebate. Sounds too good to be true?&nbsp;</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="" target="_blank">Read more...</a></span></div>
Companies often try to diversify their product lineup into other market segments, and today's review is such an attempt. XFX began as a graphics card manufacturer, later branching into motherboards, power supplies, and now cases. Today we're reviewing the Type 01 Bravo today, first ever PC case from XFX.

XFX is a company traditionally focused on gamers and their marketing has always been gaming-related -- they started by making graphics cards, after all. Thus, it is no surprise that their first case is being marketed as a "gaming case". On paper, the Type 01 Bravo is a feature-packed, roomy mid-tower PC case and, with a retail price of $129.99 plus shipping, it appears to be reasonably priced. But there's more to making a good case than paper specs, so let's find out if the Type 01 Bravo is is actually worth buying.

<div><span style="font-size: small;">Most advanced users, especially those that are interested in gaming, have almost certainly heard of SteelSeries, a reputable manufacturer of gaming-related peripherals and hardware. The company originates from Denmark and today has offices in the US and Taiwan. They have a very large selection of products available and we cannot possibly cover them all in a single review, but today we will be having a look at their most advanced (and expensive) mouse, the Sensei Wireless.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">We received the Sensei Wireless inside a simple, well-designed, hard cardboard box, which should offer ample shipping protection to the lightweight mouse. Aside from the mouse itself, the only other items inside the box are the dock, the USB cable, a company sticker, and a basic manual. There is no CD with the required software, which instead must be downloaded from the company's website.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="" target="_blank">Read more...</a></span></div>
<div>Corsair has created a good reputation for their branded PSUs, and today they are among the most popular choices for gamers and enthusiasts. The first PSU from Corsair to find its way into our new testing lab is the RM1000, an 80 Plus Gold Certified unit with a rated output of 1000W at 40&deg;C ambient. Given the rated power output and retail price of $169.99 after rebate, the RM1000 is understandably targeted at advanced users and gamers, and very few PCs require so much power. The target audience can be quite demanding, however, and a simple 80 Plus Gold certification is not enough to entice such users, so let's see what else Corsair has up their sleeves.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The RM series PSUs are optimized for silence and there are currently six models, ranging from 450W to 1000W. That makes the RM1000 the most powerful model of the series but it also is significantly different from the less powerful models as well. In fact, it's almost entirely different. The 750W and the 850W models come from a different ODM, as they are based off of Chicony Electronics designs, while Channel Well Technologies (CWT) supplies the other four models. As such, the RM1000 and the RM450/RM550/RM650 are all based on a CWT design, yet the RM1000 we're looking at is based on a different platform than that of the lower wattage models.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Corsair has had many CWT derived designs in the past and most of them were very popular among advanced users. However, times have changed and there is stiff competition in the market right now, especially in this particular segment, as every single manufacturer apparently wants a high performance 1000W model as their halo product, and the market has been virtually flooded with such PSUs. Not surprisingly, it's no longer possible to compete at the top of the market by simply offering a &quot;high performance&quot; PSU. Let's have a thorough look at the RM1000 and see what it can offer to consumers and where it falls short.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Read more...</a></div>
Silverstone is well-known among technology enthusiasts, and while they offer a great selection of technology-related goods, cases and virtually everything enclosure-related are their specialty. The company offers a very impressive selection of such products, and for variety we decided to have a look at their low-profile HTPC products; even then, Silverstone had over a dozen from which to choose.

We requested they send us two of their most popular slim HTPC cases and Silverstone responded by sending us the Milo ML04 and the Milo ML05. The former is Silverstone's entry level HTPC offering, capable of holding up to Micro-ATX motherboards, while the latter is its smaller cousin, designed for Mini-ITX motherboards. As with most similar products, both of these cases are non-standard designs that have been developed specifically for use in living rooms, each with their unique features, strengths, weaknesses and limitations.

The best thing to happen to the computer monitor marketplace has been the introduction of inexpensive QuadHD displays from South Korea. At a time when a $700 monitor was considered cheap in the United States, these were available on Ebay for around $300 and utilized the same panel as more expensive offerings, though often with a lower grade panel. The introduction of these displays forced mainstream vendors in the USA to introduce more affordable models, and saw other vendors introduce more affordable products as well.

As good as this introduction has been for consumers, I always held back from recommending the displays to most people. One reason is that as an imported product that lacks a US distributor, there was very little warranty associated with them. If you received a model that had issues from a seller on Ebay, the service or replacement options you could expect were really up in the air.

Second, there was no real testing being done on them. A review sample of a foreign, imported product was impossible to get, and just buying them to test isn’t feasible. Now I finally have been offered one of these displays to test, the QNIX QX2710 LED DPmulti True10 (henceforth called the QNIX in this review). With an updated 10-bit panel and a DisplayPort input, it offers more spec-wise than the previous models. Instead of being limited to a DVI input, it also includes DSub, DisplayPort, and HDMI inputs. The panel is a 10-bit model which it accomplishes by being 8-bit with A-FRC to simulate the last two bits. Taking full advantage of a 10-bit panel is hard to do and is usually limited to just a few applications, but being true 8-bit is important.

<p><span style="font-size: small;">A few years ago, we witnessed the return of mechanical keyboards and ever since then companies have been fighting a marketing war about whose keyboard is better. The truth however is that mechanical keyboards, even in their least expensive implementations, remain fairly expensive and such an investment doesn't always makes sense to users. For you that appreciate a good keyboard but do not care about whether it has mechanical key switches or not, Corsair's Raptor K40 is an advanced gaming keyboard that uses rubber dome switches.</span></p> <div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">The Corsair Raptor K40 is marketed as a fully featured gaming keyboard, with functionality specifically targeting advanced users and gamers. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Corsair has the following list of features posted in their website:</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Rubber dome keys</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">RGB 16.8 million color backlighting with three levels of illumination</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Six dedicated macro keys</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">36KB of onboard memory</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Seven easy-access multimedia keys</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Windows Lock key for uninterrupted game play</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">While &quot;rubber dome keys&quot; hardly qualifies as a feature, but the rest of the bullet points are actually good for an advanced keyboard. Regarding the rubber domes, Corsair's Raptor line is the less expensive version of their mechanical Vengeance keyboards, and subjectively there are users that prefer rubber dome keys to mechanical keys &mdash; particularly for gaming purposes.</span></div> </div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Corsair supplies the Raptor K40 in a well-designed cardboard box, which also provides adequate protection during shipping. The main marketing theme is the backlighting of the keyboard, and rightfully so. There are plenty of keyboards with backlighting &mdash; with either mechanical key switches or rubber domes &mdash; but very few RGB backlit keyboards. It can be a very eyecatching feature, though after the initial &quot;wow&quot; factor, most users will likely settle for something functional rather than strobing lights. Let's have a closer look at the K40 and see how it fares.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="" target="_blank">Read more...</a></span></div>
<div><span style="font-size: small;">Corsair is a company that hardly requires an introduction; almost every PC user has heard of their name and a large number own at least one of their products. More advanced users know that Corsair is one of the oldest companies that's still around. The company was established in 1994 as a cache module manufacturer but their focus changed to DRAM modules a few years later. Corsair began a very aggressive diversification scheme over the past decade, which turned the DRAM manufacturer into a giant that markets several dozen technology-related products, their four series of cases being among the most popular of them.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Depite having over a dozen designs available, Corsair is continuously releasing new cases to enrich their product ranks. It's only been a few months since the release of the Obsidian 250D, a cubic Mini-ITX case, and today yet another product joins the ranks of the Obsidian series. In this review, we'll look at Corsair's newest mid-tower case, the Obsidian 450D, a case designed to bridge the gap between the Micro-ATX Obsidian 350D and the towering Obsidian 750D.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">The Obsidian 450D comes in a rather simple, brown cardboard box. The artwork is limited to a basic schematic of the case itself. Inside the box is the case protected by Styrofoam slabs and wrapped in a nylon bag, which should offer ample shipping protection for a typical ATX case.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;">Alongside with the Obsidian 450D, Corsair supplies only the bare essentials. We only found a handful of black screws and a few cable ties supplied with our sample, as well as a basic installation guide. Considering the class of the Obsidian series, the bundle leaves a lot to be desired -- nicer velcro wraps would be appreciated as an example.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><br type="_moz" /> </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: small;"><a href="" target="_blank">Read more...</a></span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div>

Several months ago, we had a quick look at the BlackWidow Ultimate from Razer, a company very well known for their focus on gaming-related products. A few weeks ago, Razer announced that they have developed their own all-new mechanical switches, upgrading most of their keyboards with them in the process. The upgrade involves the BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard, and we have the new "2014" version that we'll be reviewing today. Razer has made plenty of noise about their new switches, and while we'll have more to say on that in a moment, let's start as usual with a look at the packaging and included items.

We received the BlackWidow Ultimate in a nicely designed cardboard box, with a small opening allowing you to test the keys. We especially liked that idea and we wholeheartedly recommend, given that it is possible, that you should visit a retail store and test the switches yourself before purchasing a keyboard. No amount of text can fully describe the feel of a mechanical switch, especially if you have no previous experience with any mechanical keyboard.

The bundle is well presented but minimal; there is a nice envelope with a quick start guide, warranty information and product registration cards, as well as two large stickers, but that is about it. There is not even a disk with the keyboard's software; an internet connection is required to download it.

18 May 2014 - Dell UP3214Q Review

Last year I spent time with one of the first UltraHD monitors to be come out and came away convinced of the benefits. Even though the screen size was not much larger than my usual display, the extra clarity and detail was totally worth it. It sealed my decision to buy a MacBook Pro Retina when it was updated last fall as well. Now we’ve seen the field of UltraHD displays expand considerably and so we now look at another 32” UltraHD display, the Dell UP3214Q.


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