External enclosures have always been useful in turning veteran hard drives from old machines back into useful storage mediums but lately they have been making a comeback with more and more focus being placed on mobility and flexibility. Today we take a look at a new form of external enclosure with performance on its mind. The Blizzard series external enclosure from Icy Dock promises to give use the mobility we desire with not swap and plug-n-play functionality with the ability to keep our drives icy cool during operation.

A week ago at the time of this writing, we were within hours of LanOC v14.0 coming to end, though things certainly showed no signs of winding down. We were right in the middle of two tournaments with plenty of spectators watching over shoulders, attendees and staff alike roaming the floor to take a final look at the case show-off entries, and our network gear receiving no reprieve from the remainder of over 130 gamers in their title of choice. Before we revisit the final wrap-up of the event, let’s start back at the beginning of LanOC v14.0, which truly started the day before.

Most of you are familiar with most of Logitech’s product line at this point from having owned one or knowing someone who uses Logitech products. For the most part their product line has stayed the same, with just a few exceptions and with small refreshes like what they did this past year. One area where they expanded their product line this past year though was their audio line. Before they just had the G35 and the G930, but they have now added the G430 and the G230. You may have seen them with their funny commercials during LCS this year. Today I am going to find out how the G430 compares to the G930 and gaming headsets from their competition.

When I think of XFX their video cards are the first thing to come to mind. But they have actually been in the power supply market for a long time now. They have done a good job of standing out in a very crowded market by coming up with unique PSU casing designs when most of the market has just done the same thing over and over. Today is actually the first time I have had an XFX power supply in the office to check out. We don’t technically review them (read more to see why), but today I’m going to take a quick peak at the new XFX XTR 650 watt to see what sets it apart from the competition.

Full disclosure, I typically loath doing game reviews. Testing hardware typically can be done along side of me working on something else, for example, I can test the comfort of a headset while benchmarking a video card, while also writing when tests are running. Games on the other hand require days and sometimes weeks of gameplay for testing. I know some of you might think I’m crazy, because playing games and getting to call it work sounds amazing. But when we have to publish multiple articles a week, it’s just impossible. That being said, a new game called Banished launched just a few days ago and has so far had been extremely popular on steam (it is as I write this the top selling game over a half priced Call of Duty: Ghosts and a whole bunch of games that are 75% off from Ubisoft) and Reddit. I have been playing it non-stop and many of you hit me up on Facebook and on steam asking for my thoughts on the game. Why not put it all together for everyone to see!

It’s hard to believe that Nvidia’s Kepler architecture has been around for nearly two years now. In those two years Nvidia has continued to innovate with Kepler exclusive features like Shadowplay and PC streaming to your Nvidia Shield. Well now it is finally time to take a look at what Nvidia has been working on with its latest architecture, Maxwell. Interestingly enough Nvidia isn’t launching their new architecture with a flagship card, they chose to fill in a gap in their current 700 series of cards down at budget price points. Today they are introducing the GTX 750 Ti and the GTX 750 and I will be putting a GTX 750 Ti through its paces as well.

When it comes to video cards, there is only so much that a manufacturer can do to set themselves apart from the competition. Cooling, overclocking, and styling are three of the biggest things that can set cards apart. Without exception MSI has done extremely well at this in the past with their Twin Frozr cooling and their Gaming series of cards. Today I have the chance to take a look at their latest model, the R9 290 Gaming. Today I am going to see how well the Twin Frozr cooling performs on the warm R9 290 GPU and also find out if they are still able to stand up to the competition.

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford the latest and greatest. The mid-range video cards paired up with a cheap CPU is what most people start with in PC gaming. At our last LAN Sapphire was setup and gaming on a perfect example of a great budget build. When they asked if we would be interested in taking a look at their new R7 260X I couldn’t wait to see what kind of gaming experience you can get without breaking the bank. Let’s dig in and see what the card is all about and find out if it should be in your next budget build!

Quality sound and a comfortable fit aren’t exclusive to just PC gaming but for the most part finding the same experience in a console headset can be difficult and expensive. For most, owning a set of quality headsets for both your console and your PC simply isn’t cost effective. Today we take a look at the Ceres 500 from Cooler Master that looks to buck the trend and proved a quality experience to both platforms with the ability to switch between them on the fly. Is this performance too good to be true? We will find out.

To date I have had the chance to take a look at a few different R9 270Xs. All of the cards have been extremely similar for the most part with most of the differences coming from small overclocks and their different cooling designs. Today I have a completely unique card that stands out from the others. You see the other cards all have 4 gigs of memory where the MSI R9 270X Gaming 4G has 4 gigs of memory. Today I’m going to see how the difference in memory affects the performance in our benchmark suite.

 

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