SilverStone Wireless Upgrade Roundup Review

Introduction


It is one thing to buy a wireless network card and set it up, but a lot of the time you can improve the performance of these cards with a few aftermarket items. Today I’m taking a little look at some of the upgrade offering that SilverStone offers, the WAB1B Magnetic WiFi antenna base, the WAD17 7 dBi high-gain antenna, and the 9 dBi WA219 high-gain antenna.

An antenna base can help you with two things: Move the antennas to a more open space where it’s less crowded than behind your PC with all the add-in cards and cables running there. The second bonus is that you can move the antennas to a place where they will get a better reception than they would behind your chassis that’s possibly located under your desk. SilverStone’s WAB1B antenna base is also magnetic which allows you to place it on the side of things, such as your PC chassis if it is made of metal. This increases the placement options even further. To finalize the whole thing, SilverStone added gold-plated connectors at both ends to ensure the best possible signal transfer.

The included antennas might not be total to your liking when you buy a network card, for one reason or another. The most common reason to get aftermarket antennas is the higher performance that they offer over the mainstream and included antennas. Antennas with higher gain also come with an increased size as you can see on the photo below. The smallest antenna is the default antenna included with SilverStone’s ECWA1 PCIe card and the other two are the WAD17 and WA219 respectively.

The WAD17 is a dual-band antenna for use with both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz band while the WA219 only is a single-band antenna for use with the 2.4GHz band. Both have their usage scenarios, so which you pick comes down to what you need. The long WA219 has a performance of 9dBi while the WAD217 has a performance of 7dBi, both quite a bit better than default 5dBi antennas, or worse.

Inno3D GeForce GTX Titan Z HerculeZ Edition Coming Soon

Nvidia’s green-light program has been preventing manufacturers from altering the designs of the latest Nvidia hardware, they did the same thing on all their recent high-end cards, including the GeForce GTX 690, GTX Titan and the Titan Black Edition graphics cards. Now it looks like the same set of rules is set to be in place on the upcoming Titan Z graphics card. Fortunately there are some simple loop-holes in this system, it just means you’re going to have to get your screwdriver kit and mod the card yourself.

Inno3D’s HerculeZ cooler set to tame the beast that is the Titan Z and while we have no figures on performance, we suspect that Inno3D wouldn’t be going through all of this trouble to decrease the cooling performance of the graphics card. We suspect that Inno3D will ship the new cooler alongside the GPU, much in the same way that EVGA bundled their ACX cooler with the Titan Black, and Gigabyte bundled their Windforce Cooler with the Titan. This bundled deal does mean that you have to do some work and install the new cooler yourself, something not everyone is going to be comfortable with, especially given how these cards could cost around $3000.

The new cooler features an array of aluminium fins, with two contact surfaces that cater to the two GK110 cores of the card. There are 10 thick heat pipes in total, five for each GPU core and there is room for three PWM controlled fans (100mm/92mm/100mm).

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of WCCFTech.

NZXT Release Their Kraken G10 GPU Water Cooler Bracket

 

 

With rapid developments in the world of all-in-one liquid cooling, CPU cooling has become simple, cost-effective and most importantly, powerful. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for aftermarket GPU cooling. At least not until now.

The Kraken G10 is designed to finally bring high performance, cost-effective cooling to the GPU by incorporating existing all-in-one liquid cooling technology to a majority of modern video cards, regardless of chipset or manufacturer. Effectively you can take something like the Kraken X60 AIO water cooler and use it on your graphics card, how cool is that!

Made entirely of steel, the Kraken G10 bracket allows users to mount NZXT Kraken coolers as well as non-NZXT brand liquid coolers to their GPU with ease. (See compatibility list for compatible coolers) Included with the bracket is a 92mm fan used to cool the VRM and other video card components.

 

 

 

Combined with the high performance abilities of the Kraken cooler, the Kraken G10 offers over 40% cooling increases over stock coolers*, a level of performance that is traditionally only achievable with a costly custom liquid cooled setup. Combined with Nvidia’s GPU Boost 2.0 or AMD’s PowerTune, Kraken G10 equipped video cards can perform cooler and faster than ever.

The Kraken G10 also includes zip-tie points to hide tubing behind its slick exterior, ensuring your video card looks just as amazing as it performs. Available now for just €29.99, the Kraken G10 comes in black, white or red.

It will be interesting to see what level of performance these really offer and we hope to have them in for review soon. My main concern is how you’ll cool the VRM on the GPU, with the cooling block only covering the chip. Something that is easily addressed with a custom loop or after market radiator / fan cooler.

*Internal testing performed using a Kraken X40 cooler and Nvidia GTX-780 reference cooler (cooling performance will vary depending on cooler and video card).

Thank you NZXT for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NZXT.