Review Index Page 9

  • Tiny NAS Battle: Synology DS414slim vs. QNAP TS-453mini

    NAS servers provide a quick, easy and secure means of backing up important data. Compared to a dedicated server, a desktop NAS is considerably more compact, especially two-bay and four-bay models like the QNAP TS-453mini and Synology DS414slim on hand today. The two aren't really direct competitors, so this isn't a straight up Synology vs. QNAP battle, but rather a look at each company's approach to developing compact NAS solutions.

    By Steven Walton on

  • LG G4 Review

    Every year, LG manages to impress me in one way or another with their new flagship Android smartphone. Whereas past models brought a near bezel-free design, great battery life, a crisp 1440p display and a laser-assisted autofocus system, this year LG has mostly focused on improving various aspects of its hardware, like the camera and display. It's an incremental update for sure but the results might prove impressive once again.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    85
  • Intel Core i7-5775C Broadwell Processor Review

    Broadwell is the 14nm die shrink of Haswell, bringing a smaller die and lower power consumption. As is often the case with Intel's 'Tick' updates, a few minor tweaks have also been applied, while remaining on the existing LGA1150 platform. Today we have the flagship model on hand, the Core i7-5775C, and its BGA version, the Core i7-5775R. Both are nearly identical save for the price and a slightly higher Turbo frequency on the BGA model.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • The Best Wireless Gaming Headset

    The magnitude of gaming headsets out there is bewildering. If you're in the market for a wireless headset though, the dizzying array of options dwindles to fewer than a dozen choices. I decided to chronicle my hunt for the perfect wireless gaming headset. I hope you find the resulting comparison useful.

    By Rick Burgess on

  • Asrock Beebox N3000 Mini PC Review

    The Beebox measures 0.6L and boasts a mere 4 watt TDP. This incredibly low power rating has allowed Asrock to create a tiny HTPC that is completely fanless draws less than 10 watts under typical usage. The company is heavily promoting the fact that its latest mini PC can support triple-monitors using three video outputs simultaneously, including 4K video thanks to its unique dual-channel memory, a feature other Braswell mini PCs don't support.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • Microsoft Surface 3 Review

    The full metal body of the Surface 3 makes it one of the best designed, most attractive Windows tablets on the market. Throw in great features like the three-position kickstand, the hidden microSD card slot, the full-sized USB port, the 3:2 display, and Microsoft has nailed the design of this tablet.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    75
  • Massive Chalice Review

    If you want to understand Massive Chalice, you need to understand XCOM. Double Fine's Massive Chalice has been hugely influenced by Julian Gallop's seminal 1994 strategy game. Like XCOM, Massive Chalice focuses on both up-close tactical gameplay and big-picture strategy. It handles the former exceptionally well, far better than it handles the latter.

    By Luke Plunkett on

  • AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Review

    On the heels of delivering its latest round of rebadges with the Radeon 300 series, AMD has launched what may be its most hyped product of 2015. The R9 Fury X employs the GCN 1.2 architecture as the R9 380 but doubles the SPU count, and touts a massive memory bandwidth of 512GB/s thanks to an exciting new memory technology known as HBM.

    By Steven Walton on

    85
  • Synology DiskStation DS1515 Review

    The DiskStation DS1515 is aimed at home users as well as small businesses. Out of the box this NAS can handle five 3.5" hard drives, giving it a maximum capacity of 40TB using the latest 8TB drives, while the addition of two DX513 expansion units boosts capacity to a whopping 120TB.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • Batman: Arkham Knight Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    Batman: Arkham Knight, the fourth entry in Warner Brother's Batman: Arkham series, is based on the same Unreal Engine 3 as its predecessor and an Nvidia-sponsored title. Favoring one camp of GPUs is hardly the least contentious way to launch a new game, however it seems this release would have rattled cages regardless. Countless Nvidia and AMD users have expressed anger about Arkham Knight's performance and stuttering issues. Here's what we found in our tests.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Batman: Arkham Knight Review

    Batman: Arkham Knight is the fourth major title in the Warner Bros. series of video games that began with 2009's Arkham Asylum. Tonally, Arkham Knight is very much an Arkham game, but the decision to revolve so much of the game around the new Batmobile is an alienating move that robs Arkham Knight at the outset of the fantasy of becoming the Dark Knight. Once we're past that silliness, however, it unfurls a plot that is by far the strongest of the series.

    By Chris Suellentrop on

  • Best $70 CPU for Gaming: Athlon X4 860K vs. Pentium G3258

    At around $500 our recommended Budget Box is ideal for everyday computing with some lightweight gaming. If you're adding a dedicated GPU, however, it makes sense to swap our APU pick for a cheaper CPU, with the saving going towards graphics. We paired two $70 CPUs with the GTX 960 and R9 285 in 20 of the most popular AAA titles, to find out which one is best for gamers on a budget.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Heroes of the Storm Review

    Blizzard defines Heroes of the Storm as a "hero brawler." But really, it's a MOBA-an idiosyncratic and sparsely populated genre that mixes together bits and pieces of real-time strategy and fighting games in fiercely competitive matches. The game pits two teams of fantastical creatures against each other to see who can destroy the other's base first.

    By Yannick LeJacq on

  • HIS IceQ X OC Radeon R9 390X, R9 390 & R9 380 Review

    It's been three and a half years since AMD made great strides with its first GCN-based GPU. While there have been some notable releases in between, they're essentially rebadges with little to no performance edge over the original. We've been wondering what AMD's next move would be and it looks like the answer is yet another round of rebadged Radeons ahead of the real next-gen release. On hand today is the HIS IceQ X2 OC R9 390X, R9 390 & R9 380.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Intel 'Braswell' Celeron N3050 & Pentium N3700 Review

    Intel's new Braswell SoCs promise to be faster across the board while also consuming less power than Bay Trail. The new chips are manufactured using Intel's 14nm process and include the mobile Celeron N3000, N3050, N3150, and Pentium N3700. The last three are meant for desktop systems and today we have the N3050 and N3700 in hand for testing.

    By Steven Walton on

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  • Hatred Review

    Hatred is a twin-stick shooter that displays its dreary world from an overhead perspective. The player is cast as a nameless antagonist who's decided to go on a mass killing spree. Literally the only things he can do are move and kill. It's unveiling created ripples of outrage months ago and now that the game's here it's one of the top-selling on Steam. If only the people at Destructive Creations were as good at making video games as they are at marketing them.

    By Chris Suellentrop on

  • Origin EON15-X 4K Gaming Laptop Review

    Mobile or otherwise, gamers know there is no substitute for a massive slab of expensive and power-hungry hardware. As a result, Origin PC has implemented a straightforward tactic to grant laptops hairier chests: cram in an honest to goodness desktop CPU. Yep, Origin's EON15-X packs a full-fledged Devil's Canyon Intel Core i7 along a GeForce GTX 980M GPU into a relatively modest 15-inch laptop.

    By Rick Burgess on

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  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti Review

    The new GeForce GTX 980 Ti is still targeting 4K gaming and with 6GB of memory onboard it's still overkill but without excess. We expect the GTX 980 Ti to be a processing powerhorse that rivals the more expensive Titan X but for $350 off the sticker price.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • Neurio Home Intelligence Review

    Connected appliances often carry a price premium, but as with many emerging technologies and trends it may not be immediatly clear if it'll be woth the extra investment. Neurio promises to add intelligence to ordinary appliances and make your home more efficient, all without having to install sensors on each device.

    By Shawn Knight on

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    After extensive testing it's clear why The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt doesn't look nearly as good as the 2013's trailer: even in its current uber beautiful form, the game is simply too demanding for today's hardware. In our performance review, we benchmark The Witcher 3 using 19 DX11 graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia.

    By Steven Walton on

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world role-playing game that casts you as a legendary and sexy monster hunter named Geralt of Rivia. You spend most of the game guiding Geralt as he explores a collection of massive open outdoor areas, taking on quests, slaying monsters, talking with people, making difficult moral choices, and gradually leveling up his gear and abilities. Basically, doing the whole RPG thing.

    By Kirk Hamilton on

  • Microsoft Lumia 640 Review

    Since Microsoft acquired Nokia's smartphone division, the company has focused its efforts on mid-range and entry-level handsets, with the Lumia 640 we are reviewing today being their latest. It's got a decent hardware package for the price and runs Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box, with a promised upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile later this year.

    By Tim Schiesser on

    60
  • Ultimate Consumer SSD Showdown

    SSD technology grew stale after saturating the SATA 6Gb/s bus, bringing mostly minor improvements and making up for it with price cuts. But with new PCIe and M.2 drives presenting an alternative for users seeking maximum performance it's time for a roundup. We'll cover a total of fourteen consumer-grade SSDs that use either the SATA, PCI Express or M.2 interface. As always, we'll be looking at price vs. performance to see where each product stands.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Project CARS Benchmarked: Graphics & CPU Performance

    Project CARS is a racing simulation game that's been on everyone's radar since its drool-inducing visuals started to make the rounds as far back as 2012. In short, the game is the most visually impressive racing simulator we have ever seen. Now it's benchmark time.

    By Steven Walton on

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge Review

    The launch of the Galaxy S6 is one of the most important for Samsung in a long time, and this time around there's not just one flagship, but two: the company has released a curved-display Edge variant. Both come with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a top-end 1440p resolution, a brand new Exynos 7 Octa 7420 SoC, and a 16-megapixel optically stabilized camera. Unlike with the past three generations of Galaxy flagships, there's no Qualcomm model in sight.

    By Tim Schiesser on

  • Razer Blade Pro Review

    If it's an all-in-one gaming and productivity machine you're after, Razer would encourage you to check out the larger Blade Pro. The 2015 revision features a generous 17.3-inch display which affords the real estate necessary for the highlight of the notebook, Razer's Switchblade UI.

    By Shawn Knight on

    80
  • Silverstone Mammoth MM01 Case Review

    The Silverstone "Mammoth" is built for folks who want a robust case that can protect systems or servers in harsh conditions. It's completely dust and spill-proof with a HEPA air filter, front and back panels designed to deflect liquid and a sealed top panel, all while boasting the capacity of a bar fridge at an impressive 87.7L.

    By Steven Walton on

    85
  • Asrock X99E-ITX/ac Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

    Asrock doesn't mind taking chances with design and proof of this is the X99E-ITX/ac, the world's first and only Mini-ITX X99 motherboard and the first ever of its kind to support an Intel Extreme-series chipset. Though we were skeptical at first, it delivers the performance of a full-sized EATX X99 board in a 170mm x 170mm package that still manages to carry enthusiast trappings from Wi-Fi & Bluetooth to SATA Express & M.2 connectivity.

    By Steven Walton on

    90
  • Mortal Kombat X Review

    This is a next-generation Mortal Kombat in more ways than one. It features new characters, some of whom are the sons and daughters of classic Kombatants like Johnny Cage and Jax Briggs. More gore, but also more emotional plot points. You get the sense that Netherrealm is trying to infuse fresh blood into their franchise while simultaneously courting acclaim from the world of hyper-competent pro-competition players. Mostly, the ambition pays off.

    By Evan Narcisse on

  • The Ridiculously Powerful MicroATX PC

    Every enthusiast dreams of building a budgetless rig with nothing but the best hardware. Thus, we're throwing caution to the wind by cramming the priciest and most powerful gaming hardware into a 32L chassis. The end result should be a ridiculously powerful mATX system ready for any and all tasks. With the hardware cost coming in at around $2,750 without a keyboard/mouse or monitor, this is an affair with no expenses spared.

    By Steven Walton on