TechSpot

Review Index Page 2

  • The Fast and Affordable SSD: Crucial MX100 256GB & 512GB Review

    By Steven Walton on June 06, 2014

    Crucial has become a trusted name when it comes to high-performance solid-state drives, but the company's entry-level efforts have been less than laudable to date. They're taking another crack at producing a cost effective SSD with the MX100, and things look more promising this time, thanks to an upgrade to the same Marvell chip used by the high-end M550 series.
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  • Building Your Own NAS: Silverstone DS380 Chassis Tested, Reviewed

    By Steven Walton on June 05, 2014

    Silverstone's latest chassis is unlike anything we have seen. Although it's still a computer case, it isn't designed for gaming or even workstations. The DS380 is aimed directly at users who are building their own NAS, housing up to eight hot-swappable drives and either a DTX or Mini-ITX board.
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  • Xbox One Review Update: Six Months Later

    By Kirk Hamilton on June 04, 2014

    Last November, Microsoft released the Xbox One. Six months later, the console has gotten a bunch more games and a hefty software upgrade. Microsoft has also decided to sell the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor. Halfway through its first year on planet earth, it's time to revisit our evaluation of the Xbox One.
  • Sony Xperia Z2 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on June 02, 2014

    The Xperia Z2 is the culmination of a series of refinements to Sony's formula, it doesn't stray significantly from the Z1 that came before it, but every upgrade since the original Xperia Z has been of note. We're looking at a top of the line phone with all the latest and greatest specifications, making it a very compelling battle between this and the flagship offerings from Samsung and HTC.
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  • PlayStation 4 Review Update: Six Months Later

    By Stephen Totilo on May 30, 2014

    A half-year past launch, the PlayStation 4 still feels like an overachiever. The system runs better and is improving faster than its predecessor. Everything is relative, though. The PS4 is still a year-one console and has familiar year-one issues. It's not yet a must-have but early impressions were correct.
  • Plextor M6 SSD Series: SATA, mSATA and M.2 Drives Tested

    By Steven Walton on May 29, 2014

    Plextor's new M6 range puts custom firmware, Toshiba NAND flash memory and a Marvell controller in three different packages: a regular 2.5" SATA drive (M6S), an mSATA drive (M6M) and a PCI Express/M.2 version (M6e).
  • Watch Dogs Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on May 27, 2014

    Watch Dogs has been built on the new 'Disrupt' engine, which was mostly constructed from scratch but includes parts of AnvilNext and Dunia, two Ubisoft engines used in the Assassin's Creed series as well as Far Cry 2 and 3. There was a lot of controversy surrounding Watch Dog's graphics approaching its launch but ultimately Ubisoft delivered: the game looks amazing on the PC.
  • Logitech G502 Proteus Core Tunable 12,000 DPI Gaming Mouse Review

    By Steven Walton on May 23, 2014

    The Logitech G502 Proteus Core is the first mouse to tout a staggering 12,000 DPI. This is complemented by a host of other features that make for the ultimate gaming companion. It's super flexible, working flawlessly on a variety of surfaces, it has five chevron-shaped 3.6g weights, eleven programmable buttons, in-game DPI shifting and dual mouse wheel modes.
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  • Wolfenstein: The New Order Review

    By Mike Fahey on May 22, 2014

    Wolfestein's B.J. Blazkowicz was a killing machine whose sole purpose was preventing Nazi Germany from winning World War II at any cost. At the beginning of Wolfenstein: The New Order, he fails. What does a man driven by singular purpose do when that purpose is stripped away?
  • Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review

    By Tim Schiesser on May 20, 2014

    The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a successor to last year's Xperia Tablet Z, and like what we're seeing in Sony's smartphone range, the device is an incremental update to what came before. The most significant update is the specification bump to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 801 SoC along with a sizable weight reduction.
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  • Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review

    By Shawn Knight on May 15, 2014

    Metadot is arguably responsible for pioneering the commercial mechanical keyboard market much like OCZ did with solid state drives. We've seen a number of revisions and competitors hit the scene since the original Das Keyboard launched in 2005 but their latest offering promises to be an order of magnitude better than previous generations.
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  • Mario Kart 8 Review

    By Mike Fahey on May 14, 2014

    Mario Kart was never my game. When it was originally released in 1992, I was already in love with another Nintendo racing game featuring high-tech Mode 7 graphics - F-Zero. Though I dabbled with every Mario Kart release over the last couple of decades they all felt pretty much the same. But this time, within seconds of starting my first race, I could tell this was more than just plain old Mario Kart with fancy HD graphics.
  • Haswell Refresh: Intel's Latest Platform Explored

    By Steven Walton on May 13, 2014

    Nearly six years have passed since the Core i7 series debuted. Since then, Intel has been refining it over many iterations through its tick-tock philosophy, which follows every architectural update with a die shrink. Today's release isn't a tick or a tock, it's simply a refresh. But while we don't expect much more than slight speed bumps, the company has also released new 9-series chipsets.
  • Samsung Galaxy S5: The TechSpot Review

    By Tim Schiesser on May 12, 2014

    Since the release of the original Galaxy S in 2010, Samsung has been routinely refining their flagship formula through hardware upgrades, software polish and no shortage of gimmicks. We typically see larger displays, more cores, bigger megapixel counts, larger batteries and interesting new additions with every release, and 2014's Galaxy S5 does little to break away from this formula.
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  • Corsair Obsidian Series 450D & Carbide Series Air 540 Case Review

    By Steven Walton on May 06, 2014

    Corsair's Carbide Air 540 employs an interesting dual-chamber design and is available in black, white and silver versions. The Obsidian 450D features a more traditional tower case design that looks a lot like a smaller version of the 650D, which is in turn a smaller version of the legendary 800D. Despite these differences in design both are closely priced at $110 and $120.
  • Mionix Naos 7000 Review

    By Luke Plunkett on May 01, 2014

    What happens when Mionix get around to making a mouse that feels as good as it works? You get the Naos 7000, which is a great mouse. On the outside, it looks exactly the same as the company's last few flagship mice. Even feels mostly the same. A few tweaks have been but for the most part it's a case of ain't broke, don't fix.
  • Budget CPU Roundup: AMD Kabini vs. Intel Bay Trail-D

    By Steven Walton on April 28, 2014

    AMD set its sights on desktops in emerging markets last month, announcing its AM1 platform and the first Kabini-based socket APUs. The platform is more flexible than other budget SoCs, which typically come soldered to motherboards. But in terms of performance how does it compare to the competition?
  • OCZ RevoDrive 350 PCIe SSD 480GB Review

    By Steven Walton on April 24, 2014

    Back when OCZ released the RevoDrive 3 X2 in 2011, it was the fastest SSD for desktop users we'd seen. Using PCI Express, it eliminated the SATA bottleneck that most SSDs still face today. Three years later, the RevoDrive 350 is being touted as the new ultimate storage solution for intensive workstation applications, with x8 PCIe 2.0 support and read/write speeds of 1.8/1.7GBps.
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  • Silverstone Raven Z RVZ01 Mini-ITX Case Review

    By Steven Walton on April 17, 2014

    Unveiled at CES 2014, the latest member to Silverstone's Raven family quickly gained recognition for being the ultimate Steam Machine enclosure. Called the Raven Z RVZ01, this gaming chassis is among the best compact designs we've seen for cramming a fully-fledged enthusiast PC into an impressively small space.
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  • Acer TA272 HUL Android All-in-One Review

    By Shawn Knight on April 16, 2014

    Veering off the beaten path, Acer decided to see what would happen if they took the traditional AIO formula, threw out the Windows operating system and PC hardware, replacing it instead with high-end smartphone guts powered by Android. The TA272 HUL also doubles as a standalone monitor.
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  • HTC One M8 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on April 09, 2014

    The all new HTC One, or HTC One M8, is the evolution of last year's model featuring a larger 5-inch display, a new Duo Camera array that allows after-the-fact refocusing, a faster Snapdragon 801 chipset inside replacing the Snapdragon 600, there's a refined Sense 6.0 interface atop Android 4.4, and much more.
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  • AMD Radeon R9 295X2 Review

    By Steven Walton on April 08, 2014

    Considering the Radeon R9 290X's record for being pretty hot at its 300w TDP, I had my doubts about AMD placing two Hawaii XT GPUs on a single 500w TDP card. However, with a closed-loop water-cooling system AMD has solved the thermal and acoustic problems that most dual-GPU cards face.
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  • In Win tou Case Review

    By Steven Walton on March 27, 2014

    The In Win tou is an $800 enclosure inspired by glass architecture and named after the Chinese word for "transparent". Its tempered glass panels are finished with a special coating that turns the outside into a mirror when your PC is off. However, when illuminated from the inside, the tou's mirror coating becomes transparent.
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  • AMD Mantle Performance: Thief & Battlefield 4

    By Steven Walton on March 25, 2014

    AMD' Mantle API promises to improve performance in games by allowing them to speak directly to the Graphics Core Next architecture in your GPU or APU and help remove load from your CPU. Now that high profile games Thief and Battlefield 4 support the technology we're ready to take it for a test drive.
  • Acer Iconia W4 Tablet Review

    By Shawn Knight on March 20, 2014

    We've seen a flurry of 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets hit the market over the past several months. Next up is the Acer Iconia W4, the follow-up to the company's first Windows 8.1 tablet, featuring an 8.0-inch 1,280 x 800 display and the same quad-core Intel Bay Trail Atom Z3740 that we've seen from the competition.
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  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review

    By Tim Schiesser on March 19, 2014

    In the world smartphones there are typically two choices: large-screened handsets with top-end specs, and smaller devices with mid-range internals. Sony is bucking the trend with a no-compromise, ultra-portable handset for those that don't want to carry around something with a 5-inch display.
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  • Titanfall Review

    By Tina Amini on March 17, 2014

    I have a lot of favorite moments in Titanfall. It's hard not to when you can string jumps together to navigate dilapidated buildings, side-run against suspended walls and hang against ledges and platforms all in one sequence. Titanfall starts you off as a pilot capable of these movements. You're outfitted with a jetpack of sorts that lets you jump and double-jump across each map.
  • Lenovo Miix 2 8 Review

    By Tim Schiesser on March 07, 2014

    Lenovo has made a decent, low-cost 8-inch tablet that runs a full copy of Windows 8.1. The use of aluminum as part of the Miix 2 8's slim design is great to see, and its overall size feels quite comfortable in the hand. Unfortunately there's one major aspect Lenovo got wrong: the touch-screen display.
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  • Free-to-Play Games Benchmarked: 4 Popular Titles Put to the Test

    By Steven Walton on March 05, 2014

    Typically we focus our gaming performance articles on blockbuster titles but that's not to say we're not paying attention to the evolving free-to-play market. Here's our brief benchmark test for World of Tanks, Dota 2, League of Legends and PlanetSide 2.
  • Thief Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    By Steven Walton on February 28, 2014

    Despite being built with the aging Unreal Engine 3, Thief touts some cutting edge rendering techniques that have put the game on our radar. Thief's benchmark appears to do a good job of demonstrating a worst-case performance scenario, so if your system can average 60fps in the benchmark you should enjoy perfectly smooth gameplay from start to finish.