Years ago most every PC you came across was beige in color and a tower or desktop in size/shape. As things have progressed we saw that slowly move from beige to black and we now see a lot of manufactures offering white as well. It has happened so much other component manufactures have taken notice and we now see everything from RAM to power supplies that also come in white to match. When it comes to size, things have changed as well. We now have a range of options from large builds down to small table top PCs. Today I’m going to take a look at the Fractal Node 304 white. We have covered the Node 304 in the past but I’m excited to see what it looks like in white.

Earlier this year we went hands-on with the R4 from Fractal, a mid tower solution to the Define product line. We were quite pleased with the humble case, the simple Fractal facade silently housing a myriad of features. Our one complaint was the weight of the chassis, to which Fractal responded by sending us the R4’s big brother full tower, the XL R2. I'll be installing a full ATX building and, against better judgement, showing it off at our upcoming LAN party.Take a look with us, we could use an extra hand lifting.

Five years ago if you were on the market for a case there were really only a few directions to go. More recently this has changed considerably; there are so many manufactures that weren’t even in the market five years ago. One of those manufactures is Corsair, moved into the market with a very impressive 800D and has been slowly filling out their product lineup from then on. The Obsidian Series 350D that I will be taking a look at today is the first mid tower from the Obsidian Series. With styling from the popular 800D we know it looks great, but the only way to find out where it stands otherwise is to look at it more in depth.

Quite a market has developed for high end mechanical gaming keyboards. Gamers, both professional and otherwise, have begun to migrate towards the tactile feedback each individual keystroke or double tap provides. With this growing market, the usual names have thrown their hats into the ring with offerings that both impress and amaze. Today I take a look at Thermaltake’s top of the pyramid offering, the Meka G-Unit Illumination Edition and see if this monster of a keyboard can tangle with its competitors.

We have been on a Mid Tower kick here lately with case reviews and a few have left us impressed while others leave us scratching our head with odd design choices. One of those cases was the Urban S21 from Thermaltake, a company generally known for good, solid case design. Today Thermaltake is back with another mid tower offering in a slightly higher price range, the A31 Chaser. While the color of the Thunder Edition was enough to catch everyone’s attention at CES, I will be putting the Chaser through a more thorough examination today.

It’s been a few days now and not only have I set all of the PCs around the house back up, I also took the time to do detail cleaning around my desk. Even after a few days I feel little tired, an impromptu nap that went until 3pm yesterday helped some but it’s going to be a little while before I’m back to normal. All of it means we had another successful LAN. Of course the work doesn’t stop on Sunday for me, but before I get too far into it I wanted to post up a little bit of a roundup. Read on to hear more about it.

It’s amazing how far technology has gone when you look at the mobile phone market. It really wasn’t that long ago when the RAZR flip phone was the hip thing to have. Now most people have large screens, fast internet, and more processing power than you would ever have imagined. With that in mind, it does seem a little crazy that we still have to plug our phones in all of the time to charge them. When I picked up my Nexus 4, the wireless charging feature was one of the most interesting to me. Today I will finally be able to show off what it’s all about with the new TYLT VÜ wireless charging pad.

Remember when everyone wanted Intel’s enthusiast CPUs? Pepperidge Farm remembers. With Ivy Bridge and then Haswell pushing the mainstream CPU lineup ahead quickly it seems like it has been ages sense the launch of X79 and with it Sandy Bridge-E. That’s not to say they still aren’t powerful, but with multiple competing launches from Intel alone the platform hasn’t exactly gotten a lot of attention. Well today we get to play a little catch up with the introduction of the Ivy Bridge-E CPUs. Specifically I’m going to take a look at the i7-4960X, their new flagship CPU. Let’s take a peek at what is new.

When it comes to building PCs, the enthusiast builds that we here at LanOC focus a lot on are only a small part of the market. A lot of builds don’t require 6+ cores and multiple GPUs. In fact a lot of people don’t need or want dedicated GPUs at all. AMD and Intel both recognize this with their focus on upgrading the integrated graphics of their mainstream CPUs and APUs. When AMD sent over their new Richland-based APUs, the A10-6800K and A10-6700, I was excited to see how they compare to previous APUs we have taken a look at and to see if the APU would be capable of any gaming without adding a dedicated GPU.

If you are on the market for a new keyboard there is a good chance given the market trends that you might be considering a mechanical keyboard. Back with membrane keyboards all you really needed to consider was the keyboards features, software, and to some branding. Now, even once you have decided to go with a mechanical keyboard you have to consider what kind of switch type you want and of course most people don’t really know what the colors mean. This is one of the questions I’m asked all of the time, because of that I figured I would talk a little about it here. I hope it helps you on your decision.

 

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