Lexar Professional NM800 Pro 2TB

Lexar has continued to expand their SSD lineup including the addition of their Lexar NM800 Pro which is available with and without a compact heatsink. The NM800 Pro sports an NNOGRIT 1G5236CAA controller which gives it PCIe Gen 4 capabilities and Lexar has it listed with read speeds up to 7450 MB/s and 6500 MB/s for its write speeds, at least on the 2TB model. This lines up well with other Gen 4 SSDs. Lexar is a long-respected brand and they gave their Pro-branded SSD a five-year warranty so I’m excited to put their new drive to the test and see how it performs. Today I will take a closer look to see what secrets it has to offer then we can run it through our test suite to see how it performs to find out if this is the drive to consider next time you are shopping for a new SSD.

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Fantom Drives Venom8 2TB

It feels like most of the time there are the same names over and over again but every once in a while someone new does jump into the mix. The brand Fantom Drives isn’t new to the industry, they and their parent company Micronet Technology have been around since 1988 but even after all of that time today is the first time that we have had a Fantom Drives product come into the office. Today I’m going to check out the Fantom Drives Venom8, a PCIe Gen 4 NVMe M.2 SSD. I’m going to take a closer look at the drive to see what it is all about then put it through our test suite, so let’s dive in and see how it performs!

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Kingston FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition 2x16 3600MHz

I’m late to the party on this one but late this last fall Kingston expanded their DDR4 lineup of their gaming sub-brand FURY with a special edition to their FURY Beast DDR4 which features a bright white heat spreader and RGB lighting, both of which are now staples in what my niece calls the “streamer” style PC build. While DDR5 is growing in popularity with Intel and AMD's latest CPUs both supporting it. There are still people who are opting to go with DDR4 with Intel builds and older AMD chipsets which are still a much better value. So today I’m going to check out what the FURY Beast DDR4 RGB Special Edition is all about with their 3600 MHz 32GB kit.

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Ryzen 7000 Series Non-X CPUs

At CES this year AMD announced a few things in their CPU lineup including their upcoming 7000 series 3D CPUs and they also introduced three new non-X CPUs for their previously launched 7000 series of CPUs. The CPUs are the Ryzen 9 7900, the Ryzen 7 7700, and the Ryzen 5 7600. All three share a lot including core and thread counts to their similarly named X brothers but all three have lowered TDP wattages down to 65 watts which is to offer options for people not looking for something as extreme as the initially launched CPUs and for small form factor builds which are a lot more limited in cooling. If you have been around here in the past I love small form factor builds, especially builds focused on LAN use and this was an exciting announcement on that front. I’m a little late to the party on testing them but just received all three CPUs and today we are going to check them out and see how they compare so let’s dive in!

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Antlion Audio Kimura Duo

With some companies, it feels like they are just constantly pumping out new products but then you have other companies who focus on a smaller niche and take their time with upcoming products. Antlion Audio without a doubt falls into that second category. Antlion Audio reached out about a product they were testing back at the start of the pandemic and they had already been working on it for a long time to have prototypes but they sent one over just to get some feedback on. While spring of 2020 feels like its only been a year, a REALLY long year its been a lot longer than that and in that time they have been battling to get things perfect in their eyes and today is finally the day that they are introducing their new product which they call Kimura. Kimura is a new microphone setup combined with an in-ear monitor. They aren’t the first to do it, but as they did with the ModMic they are hoping to show what can really be done. So today I’m going to check out the Kimura Duo which comes with two in-ear monitors and we are going to see what they are all about and then put them to the test so let’s dive in!

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eufy Security Video Smart Lock

The popularity of video doorbells has taken off over the last few years but long before that people have been upgrading their locks. Starting with older programable locks with codes which have now moved on to full smart locks that can be controlled by codes, your smartphone, and even by fingerprints. What if you combined those two together? That is what eufy Security did with their latest security product, the Video Smart Lock. They took their previous smart lock which had a touch screen and a fingerprint sensor and integrated one of their 2k resolution cameras into it and a doorbell button. Together they eliminate the need for two different products at your front door. I’ve been putting it to the test so today we will take a closer look at it and then go over how it has been working. Let’s get into it!

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EnGenius ECW336 Wifi 6E Access Point

If you haven’t been paying close attention to WiFi standards over the last few years the change in naming might be confusing. Especially having WiFi AC switching to WiFi 5. The part where things get even more confusing though is when we have WiFi 6 and then later WiFi 6E. Officially both fall under the 802.11ax standard but the E designation adds the 6 GHz band alongside 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz which have been used in the past. I’ve taken a look at multiple WiFi 6 products but with 6E I have had devices that support it but no access point to check it out yet. Well, EnGenius has finally brought out their ECW336 WiFi 6E access point and today I’m going to check out what sets it apart from their WiFi 6 models so let’s dive in and check it out. 

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MSI RTX 4070 Ti Suprim X

In addition to the Asus card that Nvidia sent over for the RTX 4070 Ti launch, MSI also sent over their flagship RTX 4070 Ti Suprim X. Their Suprim lineup always goes way over the top on cooling performance and the X means that this is also an overclocked card. So today I’m going to check out the MSI RTX 4070 Ti Suprim X to see if MSI is still keeping the Suprim styling as a clean opulent model which focuses on better build quality and performance. Without a Founders Edition for the new RTX 4070 Ti that leaves a big opening for anyone like me who may not want the crazy “gamer” styling that most cards have and the styling and build quality that the Founders Editon cards have. Will this be the best option when shopping for an RTX 4070 Ti? I’m going to check out what sets it apart and then put it through our test suite to find out!

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ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC

Well here we are in the new year and with it being CES time there are lots of new tech announcements and Nvidia has pulled the cover off of their latest 4000 Series GPU the RTX 4070 Ti and this is a case of what is old is new again as those of you who have been paying attention may recognize this as the unlaunched RTX 4080 12GB. After fixing that mistake and renaming the card we finally have the chance to check out Nvidia’s planned step below the RTX 4080. This is great timing as well, this is the first card launched after AMD’s 7900 XT and 7900 XTX and the 4070 Ti looks positioned to compete with the 7900 XT. The new cards don’t have a Founders Edition sadly but Nvidia along with Asus has sent over the Asus TUF Gaming RTX 4070 Ti OC that I’m going to check out so let’s learn a little more about the RTX 4070 Ti and then check out what Asus’s card is all about.

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Logitech G502 X Plus

The Logitech launched the G502 back in 2014 which at the time was a complete departure from the “Logitech” styling and quickly became their edgy styling for years. While most of the Logitech mice have moved back to a smoother style, the G502 was so iconic that its design has stuck around with Logitech updating it every few years to the latest hardware and adding a Lightspeed model back in 2019 as well. So when they announced an updated G502 lineup it wasn’t a complete surprise, but with it being a full lineup, not just one or two mice that was a surprise. The new lineup has the G502 X product name and includes a basic G502 X which is the wired version, the G502 X Lightspeed which is wireless, and the G502 X Plus which is wireless as well but has Lightsync RGB lighting as well. All three are now available in black or white as well which is a big change. The G502 X Plus is the model that Logitech sent over for us to check out and is what I have been testing for a few weeks now so let’s dive into the new design.

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XFX MERC 310 7900 XT Black Edition

Yesterday I had the chance to check out both of AMD's reference cards for the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and XT launch. Well, today cards are available for sale and alongside of that, I have the opportunity to check out an aftermarket card from XFX, specifically the XFX MERC 310 7900 XT. This gives us a great chance to check out how XFX’s card compares with the stock-clocked reference design both in performance but also in cooling and noise. Being an aftermarket card, the MERC 310 7900 XT is larger than AMDs design, and XFX has used that as a chance to up the clock speeds as well with the game clock increased from 2000 MHz up to 2220 MHz and the boost clock which on the reference card can go up to 2400 MHz can go up to 2560 MHz on XFX’s card which is a big overclock. So let’s dive in and see what XFX has to offer!

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AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT

In addition to the Radeon RX 7900 XTX that I already covered today, AMD is also launching its brother the Radeon RX 79000 XT and we have had that card in the office as well. This is also an RDNA 3 architecture card and it shares the same Navi 31 GPU as the 7900 XTX but with a few changes. So today I’m going to check out what those changes are and then we can see what the AMDs reference card looks like and how it differs from the 7900 XTX then see how it performs in our test suite as well. So let’s dive in!

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AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX

With Nvidia having launched the RTX 4090 and more recently the RTX 4080 and their pricing being out of range of a lot of users, people have been clambering for AMD's next generation of cards. AMD's latest generation was announced early in November but until today their performance has been under embargo. Today I’m going to check out what AMDs two new RDNA 3 based GPUs have going on and put both to the test as well starting with the RX 7900 XTX in this review. So let’s dive in and see what they are about and what this card is capable of and find out once and for all if AMD's new cards will be the saving grace for anyone not willing to take out a loan for a new video card.

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Project Icyu– Blue Iris Build Part 4

This fall I set out to upgrade our now-aged security camera server which over the years we have tripled the number of cameras that we were running and at the same time started upgrading their resolution as well. The gradual expansion and upgrading has pushed our once powerful system to its limits and beyond and has needed an upgrade for a few years now. Over the last few articles I have gone over the specific limitations we found with our old system and our new system that we call Icyu is all together except for one very important aspect, storage. I have been trying to decide what I’m going to go with and my decision paralysis has delayed the already previously delayed build even longer. So today I’m going to talk about what I’m going with, at least for now so I can get the system up and running and finally let our old system have some rest.

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eufy Security Floodlight Cam 2 Pro

It used to be rare for people to have cameras around their homes but with doorbell cameras becoming more and more common, once people buy in with a doorbell camera you do sometimes see them adding more. Another location where you see cameras being added is with floodlights because they are higher up and get a lot better coverage than your doorbell cameras but you are limited to where the camera is pointed. Eufy Security has a few standard options, but their Floodlight Cam 2 Pro caught my eye because not only does it have three lights for better light coverage, it also has a 2K pan/tilt camera built-in meaning you don’t have to be stuck with one view. We were upgrading the lighting in and on our garage which is a good time to check out the Floodlight Cam 2 Pro to see how it performs.

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MSI RTX 4080 Gaming X Trio

In addition to the Nvidia RTX 4080 Founders Edition that I have already taken a look at for the launch, we did also receive an aftermarket card as well. MSI sent over their RTX 4080 Gaming X Trio which will be the first aftermarket 4000 series card we have had in the office. Because of that, I am excited to see how it performs differently compared to the Founders Edition, especially with an overclock and a completely different outlook on how to keep the card cool. Beyond that, I’m also curious to see what MSI is doing for styling this generation so let’s dig in and check it out.

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Nvidia RTX 4080 Founders Edition

Nvidia shook things up with the performance of their first Ada-based card, the RTX 4090, but for a lot of people, that level of performance isn’t needed or is out of their price range. Things start to get interesting as we start to see the rest of the product stand fill out over time. Nvidia announced two RTX 4080 models alongside the RTX 4090 but later “unlaunched” the 12GB model leaving just the RTX 4080 16GB as the one 4080 model and today is the day. The embargo’s lifted and we can finally check out how the RTX 4080 performs ahead of it launching in retailers tomorrow morning. So today I’m going to check out the RTX 4080 Founders Edition and see how it compares with the RTX 4090 as well as last generation's cards. Let’s dive in!

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eufy Security Garage-Control Cam Plus

When we moved into our house and moved our camera system over getting a camera inside of our detached garage was one of the key locations. We had previously had an attached garage where I felt like I would at least be able to hear if someone was in there. But being detached just about anything could be going on in there without us knowing it and with our cars, lawn equipment, and a lot of tools inside being able to keep an eye inside was important. It also turned out to be a great indication of when my wife and I were home. I later added an app-based garage door controller as well but both were tied into two different systems meaning more than one app. Eufy Security recently introduced a new camera that combines both of these. They aren’t the first to have a similar product, but if you are already in the eufy ecosystem having it all together is a big benefit. They have two models of the eufy Security Garage Control Cam, one for a single door setup and a second that can handle two garage doors. Today I’m going to check out the Garage Control Cam Plus and see how eufy’s attempt at garage control and surveillance works out.

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Lian Li Uni Fan SL-Infinity 120 RGB Fans

If you would have asked me years ago who was innovating in the fan market Lian Li wouldn’t have been on my list at all. They surprised everyone with their Uni Fan design which cleans up wiring through a daisy chainable design back in 2020 and since then they have brought out a few other variations which have been extremely popular. Their most recent design is the Uni Fan SL-Infinity and today I’m finally going to get the chance to check out the new design which integrates an infinity mirror design. It’s a look I’ve never seen used on a fan so I’m excited to see what it looks like.

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Intel i9-13900K and i5-13600K

It’s been a crazy month with launches from everyone all packed together. We just finished checking out AMD's new CPUs and Intel announced their new 13th-generation CPUs. Sadly right in the middle of all of that fell my pre-planned vacation. So while everyone else has taken a look at the new CPUs I’m late to the party and had both the Intel i9-13900K and the i5-13600K waiting for me when I got home. I jumped into testing and today I can finally step back and take a look at all of the numbers to see how Intel’s CPUs compare with the last few generations of CPUs from AMD and Intel. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!

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