Hardware

“Gaming glasses” have been in the industry for a number of years now. Anyone who's been to a convention or tournament has likely seen the yellow-tinted lenses in the wild, generally sourced from Gunnar Optiks, one of the only makers of gaming glasses in the market. The glasses are meant to reduce eye strain during extended computer use by acting as a simple filter – as a yellow lens would do, “gaming” or not – and reduce some of the more intense blue light. For users who do experience eye fatigue or strain, renowned (former) Penny Arcade journalist Ben Kuchera included, “gaming glasses” have reportedly worked in calming the eyes enough for longer use.

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The problem is that Gunnar Optiks wants to make about $100 off of you.

For yellow lenses.

Online backup solution BackBlaze has been publishing its data on hard drive reliability since January now, with its last update shedding some light on HDD endurance. The company uses thousands of hard drives for online backups of consumer and corporate clients and has elected to publish its performance data. DOAs are fairly common across the industry, but those are more survivable – a failed hard drive means lost data.

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NVidia’s GPUs bring all the manufacturers to the yard. The release of GM204 first saw our review of the reference GTX 980 – presently the objective best video card we’ve ever tested – followed-up shortly by coverage of ZOTAC’s new Amp! Overclocking GPU lineup. While at the Game24 unveil event, we managed to catch up with MSI to discuss its SKUs for the GTX 970 and GTX 980 series.

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MSI brought their GTX 970 4G “Gaming” video card along, equipped with an updated Twin Frozr cooler using dual 100mm push fans and a somewhat standard heatpipe / heatsink design. Let’s get into the specs.

Following-up on our GTX 980 benchmark and review that went live yesterday, board manufacturers now have their own variations on the new Maxwell cards up for sale. Most of the manufacturers have altered the design in some way: a cooler overhaul, pre-overclocks, heavier-duty capacitors, and additional pins for power are a few of the common changes. Zotac has done all of these with their “Amp! Omega” GTX 970 GPU we got hands-on with.

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Zotac’s new GTX 980 and GTX 970 both ship in standard (unmodified GPU specs + aftermarket cooler), Omega, and Extreme editions. The Omega and Extreme GPUs host a suite of OC-tuned hardware features and a slightly boosted clockrate.

Tucked away in a suite just outside the bustling convention center streets of PAX Prime, we met with Logitech to discuss the introduction of their new “Romer-G” mechanical keyboard switch. Logitech's G910 “Orion Spark” RGB mechanical keyboard spec includes the Romer-G switch, a decisive split from the industry's Cherry MX and Kailh obsession. The G910 is Logitech's first keyboard to feature the updated switches and aims to compete with other RGB boards on the market.

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The new switches make several noteworthy steps away from what we're used to in Kailh and Cherry MX, with each tweak primarily around typing precision, switch endurance, and feel.

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX Case Announced, Specs

By Published September 16, 2014 at 3:00 am

Phanteks is a popular fan and cooler manufacturer that recently expanded into the case market, and they have done so successfully with the Enthoo Pro and Enthusiast Primo. Most recently, Phanteks unveiled their newest “Enthoo Evolv” case to the media. Phanteks’ Evolv is sticking to the precedent its older brothers established with minimalist design, high-quality features, and primarily aluminum and steel construction.

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Before anything else though, let’s jump into the Enthoo Evolv gaming case specs:

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), responsible for developing and maintaining many of our video interface standards, today announced an overhaul on its DisplayPort 1.2a interface. The newest version of the interface will enable 32.4Gbps link bandwidth – a substantial increase over the existing 17.28Gbps bandwidth – and boasts readiness for the impending 5K displays.

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Suspect Oculus Rift Target Date & Price Revealed

By Published September 12, 2014 at 10:41 am

The Oculus Rift is one of the most anticipated PC peripherals in recent years. Oculus VR received $2 million in crowd funding for the virtual reality device during an initial pass of its Kickstarter campaign, overshadowed only by a multi-billion dollar acquisition by Facebook earlier this year. The virtual reality headset already has development kits in the hands of early supporters and game developers – the likes of Star Citizen included – though gamers have yet to hear potential release dates for the final product.

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Hardware naming conventions tend to be about as sensible as salad names at a health bar. We've previously dissected the ASUS naming convention, Intel's chipset names, and AMD's chipset names. With the advent of DDR4 on Broadwell-E (X99 / LGA2011-3), it's time for manufacturers to shuffle the memory lineup around.

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We had the opportunity to speak with Kingston (HyperX) and Corsair while at PAX Prime 2014. Other memory manufacturers were unavailable, so we'll visit them in future posts. This content looks specifically at what the product names mean between Kingston's HyperX lineup and Corsair's DDR4 lineup.

VisionTek AMD R9 285 Video Card Available

By Published September 07, 2014 at 9:52 am

NVidia’s 900 series is rumored for an October launch, but AMD is ramping into more GPUs in the interim. AMD has another graphics card up its sleeves that they’ve been keeping tight-lipped about. The NDA on AMD’s R9 285 expired last week while we were returning home from PAX. VisionTek was quick to send us their press release to us detailing their custom-cooled R9 285. The R9 285 is an interesting card that is focused on improving performance and power efficiency compared to AMD’s R9 280 and nVidia’s GTX 760.

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VisionTek prices their R9 285 at $250, which is exactly what AMD’s MSRP is for the card.

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