Michael Mann

Michael Mann

After releasing CAM, which we previewed here, NZXT is back in the hardware world with their Sentry 3 LCD fan controller. The previous model—the Sentry 2—was a great entry-level fan controller, but had some annoyances in the way of cable management. The Sentry 3 has built upon what made its predecessor great and has added features that were needed, taking away a few that were unnecessary. Many times we see companies churn out new products that are just re-packaged versions of something they was already released, but the Sentry 3 thankfully avoids this model.

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In this review, we'll look at NZXT's Sentry 3 specs, its performance and accuracy as a fan controller and temperature reader, and overall build quality.

Computer component manufacturer NZXT steps away from hardware for a moment to release their first bit of software: meet CAM. CAM is an elegantly designed PC monitoring program that finally does remote system observation right. After using other PC monitoring software like System Mechanic, which overloads their program with a lot of unneeded and non-functional features, CAM delivers with the bare basics for enthusiasts, focusing on everything you should need to monitor your gaming rig.

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I rarely have the chance to do an enthusiast build as I'm normally tasked with doing the cheaper PC builds, like the $475 Cheap Bastard's Gaming PC that we recently published. It's been a while since we've done an enthusiast build -- in fact, this is the first of its type this year. We decided it'd be a great time to see what we could do with a higher budget while retaining a small and versatile form factor. The goal was to build a small form factor PC that could do just about anything you typically required from a gaming or video editing rig; this could double as an HTPC for those who'd like a living room gaming machine.

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I was able to fit a core i5-4670k, MSI Z87i motherboard, and GTX 770 all inside the extremely versatile Corsair Obsidian 250D mini-ITX case that we saw at CES. This $1100 gaming HTPC build can handle just about anything you throw at it, including gaming at max settings and video editing / game streaming tasks.

Many of you may not be familiar with Cryorig. They're a relative newcomer to the PC Cooling game and have only just started putting out CPU coolers; last fall they released their R1 Ultimate cooler that reportedly did reasonably well for an initial release. Now, they're venturing into the small form factor arena with the upcoming C1 Cooler. Cryorig makes some bold statements when it comes to performance and seem to have done their homework.

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It's been a while since we've done a true Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build -- our last one was our $506 Titanfall gaming computer back in February. This time we've done it a bit differently than before. My goal here is to build an entry-level gaming rig at the lowest price possible while offering plenty of room for upgrades. This build would be great for the gamer who plays games that do not require a great deal from the GPU. I included an FM2+ motherboard because it provides all the newer features missing from the dying AM3+ platform, like an onboard USB 3.0 header, and a newer Bolton chipset that makes it a more viable option than an older AM3+ motherboard.

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In this $475 ultra-budget, cheap gaming PC build, we'll make component selections for building your own computer for lightweight gaming; a how-to video guide is included below, as is a list of upgrade options for those with a bit more cash to spend. If you've got some more money, we'd suggest checking out the $740 EverQuest PC (Intel) we posted recently.

So let's get to the build.

Welcome to another addition of our Weekly Hardware Sales round-up that I affectionately call Mik's Piks. I have been away on paternity leave, but am now back with some sweet deals. I found a Xion case, some HyperX RAM, Zalman CPU heatsink, an XFX HD 7870, and Crucial 240GB SSD.

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With the new year, it's time for a new low-budget gaming PC build. With our coverage of CES 2014 in the books, it's time to reflect on what we discovered there and move on to provide you with the best builds available for your budget.

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This sub-$500 Cheap Bastard's gaming PC build attempts to demonstrate how little you have to spend to get a quality gaming PC -- now featuring a Kaveri APU. My initial purpose was to do a Steam Machine-style build, but seeing how the new SteamOS is still in beta, and the Steam Controller is not readily available, I decided to temporarily cut those two pieces. This is a great starter build for anyone looking to enter the world of PC gaming and offers plenty room for future upgrades.

We decided to go with a Kaveri gaming PC build list for this one, implementing fast RAM and a very stylish case from Corsair. Here's the list:

Welcome to another edition of our weekly hardware sales round-up, affectionately called "Mik's Piks."  Now that we are in a new year, it's time to look at some new components for your PCs. Like the old saying goes, out with the old, in with the new. I found some pretty good deals on some video cards, a case, and a power supply.

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Christmas is right around the corner, so we've decided to do a budget build that you could ask Santa to build for you. This build is a step up from the recent $508 Cheap Bastard's Xmas Gaming build we did for those of you on an ultra-strict budget, and at $727, you get a lot more power for a bit more cash. This build is powered by an eight-core CPU and an AMD R9 270 GPU; it's a great combo for gamers who play games more demanding on the video card than what was offered with the above mentioned build. You should have no problem playing most (if not all) games out there at mid to highest settings.

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This $727 budget gaming PC build offers a DIY option for high-end gaming at a mid-range price. Let's get to the goodies you hope to find under your Xmas tree this year.

Welcome to another addition of our Weekly Hardware Sales round-up, affectionately called "Mik's Piks."  Now that we're past the Black Friday sales madness, and the Cyber Monday madness, and the Cyber Week madness... we are now onto the "Techdays of Christmas!" This time around I have found some very good deals on a couple cases, a couple video cards (yes, really), some RAM, and a Solid State Drive. These would be great additions to either a new build or upgrades to your current build.

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