Inateck FE2007 USB 3.0 Drive Enclosure with 3-Port Hub Review

Introduction


I’ve taken a look at quite a few of Inateck’s products so far, and I have yet to be disappointed. They are taking known concepts but improve on them with a twist of some sort. They have done exactly that again with their new FE2007 Tool Free UASP USB 3.0 HDD Enclosure with built-in and powered 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub.

Thanks to the power of the USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP), the FE2007 is able to utilize the entire USB 3.0 bandwidth and provide excellent transfer speeds.

You connect the enclosure directly to your system via the micro USB port on the one side of the enclosure and that is all you need to do. The enclosure is both tool-less and driverless. Another bonus feature is the ability to power down the inserted drive when you don’t need it. Save on your power bill and save lifetime on your drive.

There is one problem that you often run into and that is the problem with too few USB ports. This is especially the case on notebooks and compact systems that generally have fewer ports, but not exclusively. Inateck added a three-port USB 3.0 hub to the enclosure and increases the functionality of this tiny device a lot.

There is a second USB cable included that isn’t for data transfer, but rather to provide extra power to the connected devices. This allows you to use more power hungry devices at the same time and charge mobile products faster.

 

The top cover slides off without the use of much force, at the same time it still stays where it should be when closed. The enclosure has the same width internally as your 2.5-inch drive, so all you need to do is slide it in until it’s plugged into the SATA connector and close it again.

Inateck’s FE2007 can take 2.5-inch drives with a height of up to 9.5mm, making sure that you’re also able to mount the thicker drives.

Inateck also included a foam pad with the package that helps to keep a thinner 7mm drive in place inside the enclosure. This is especially useful when you take the enclosure with you on the go.

I’d also like to point out that I really like how Inateck is packaging their products. For the most part the package is just a brown box with a sticker. While this might be boring, no one actually looks at the box after you got it and it’s much better for the environment as well as saving production costs and machine maintenance that ultimately would end in a more expensive products. Well done.

Antec VSP5000 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Antec has a long history of creating durable, competitive and affordable products. Of course, they also make high-end products, but it’s their budget ranges that have long dominated the market and that’s a trend Antec seem eager to continue with the release of their VSP5000. The new chassis has a big focus on silence, and it comes with sound dampening materials in the side panel, side intake vents, a sound blocking top panel, triple channel fan controllers and more! If you like a system that barely makes a whisper, this certainly “sounds” like the chassis for the job.

The Antec VSP5000 isn’t immediately striking as the most beautiful box in the world, but it’s certainly far from ugly. The left side panel has a raised section, which serves little to no purpose, but it does match the right side panel; a little symmetry never hurt anyone.

As I was saying, both the left and right side panels are of the same design. Of course, on the right side, this panel is more practical as its shape allows extra cable routing space behind the motherboard.

The front panel is neat and tidy, although admittedly nothing fancy. There’s an LED light strip at the top, although why this is included is beyond me, as those who want a silent build, likely aren’t too keen on a front panel light either; I personally never connect the power or HDD LED on my own chassis for this reason. On the top half, you will find 3 x 5.25″ drive bay covers, one of which has a 3.5″ pop-out.

From the top, there’s a slide lock for the top fan panel cover, two rubber routing grommets, a pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan and seven expansion slots. Unfortunately, the expansion slot covers are a snap-off design, but that’s not exactly uncommon in sub-£40 chassis.

The top panel features two pre-installed fans, which are slightly recessed behind the top panel cover. This cover also features a sound-proofing layer, albeit with cut-outs for the fans, to help reduce unwanted noise from the chassis.

The front panel is very well equipped, with three separate fan controllers, that feature both low and high settings, but most interesting of all, a stop function; you’re not going to get your fans any more silent than that! Also of interest, the USB and HD audio jacks have rubber caps, which helps keep debris out.

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 2GB ITX Graphics Card Review

Introduction and A Closer Look


The GeForce GTX 960 has been with us for a few months now, it has established itself as the ‘go-to’ graphics card for under $200. With the amount of power graphical power it produces at this price point, it has really been taken on by the mid-range enthusiast market and as such, NVIDIA allowed manufacturers to release an ITX version, much like the NVIDIA GTX 970 before it. This new form factor is set to take the Small Form Factor (SFF) a light. Well under the typical MSRP of the rest of the GTX 960 range, the ITX models. The push for the GTX 960 was to move stagnant gamers from their aging technology. The data was collected from a Steam survey; results showing the typical powered graphics card around a GTX 660 or lower.

Today we have Gigabyte’s offering into the ITX GTX 960 market, the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 960 2GB ‘ITX Edition’ OC; that’s a bit of a mouthful, so for the rest of the article, I will refer to it as GTX 960 ITX. The reason for the ‘ITX’ label is the entire length of the card is only 17cm, which is the length of an ITX motherboard. The card features all of the typical GTX 900 series features, but due to the decreased size, the flex display has been removed due to fewer output ports. Performance wise, it has two overclocked settings; OC and Gamer. The gamer has the highest overclock at around 8% over stock, but leaves the memory clock at the standard 7010MHz. It features the same 120W TDP and 128 Bit bus interface as the standard GTX 960, so let’s see if the increased clock speeds is enough to prove this ITX size card has what it takes to compete.

The packaging follows the same design as the other Gigabyte VGA boxes, plain and simple with just the key features.

Inside the box, we find a Molex to PCIe 6 pin cable, manual and driver disk.

The card is very plain, a very similar design to the GTX 970 ITX Edition. It features the newly implemented Windforce 92mm fan with increased air flow and silence.

Along the bottom of the card is nothing interesting; the PCIe interface and the side of the cooling shroud.

At the end of the card, we see the heatsink sticking out with open-ended fins for the hot air to be expelled.

Looking down onto the top of the card, still a very boring looking card, but you do get a look at those massive copper cooling pipes.

To keep the cost down, Gigabyte didn’t incorporate a backplate on this graphics card.

The outputs offered is very wide for a card this size, 1x HDMI, 2x DVI and 1x DisplayPort. This means there aren’t enough ports to carry out FlexDisplay.

 

Silverstone SUGO SST-SG11 Micro-ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


Silverstone are the masters of small form factor chassis designs, we’ve seen time and time again that they can deliver competitively priced products that meet consumer demands and in many cases, exceed them. Their SUGO series is one of their most popular series and as we’ve seen in previous reviews, it’s not hard to understand why. They often pack lots of high-end hardware, with little or no compromise, into a tiny form factor that makes them suitable for a wide range of applications. Naturally, I’m hoping and more so expecting a repeat of their past successes with the SUGO SST-SG11 which we are reviewing today.

The SG11 is one of the slightly larger chassis in the small form factor category, but it still carries that classic shoe-box style shape and its slightly larger size is for good reason; the SG11 is capable of housing a micro-ATX motherboard, as well as a full ATX PSU and plenty of other hardware. As you can see below, the long shape of the chassis provides us with space for lots of ventilation down the side; perfect for any long graphics cards. The SG11 will support cards as long as 368mm; very impressive for something of this size.

The right side features even more ventilation, the front most section for a pre-installed 120mm fan that will keep your hard drives cool and provide some air intake for the rest of your components, which the ventilation next to that is passive and will allow airflow to your motherboard and CPU components.

The front panel is really nicely finished. A pair of mirror finish strips give it a nice premium look and also give you a lovely look at the purple carpet I have in my office. This design is nice, as it’ll look great in the office, but also as part of your AV setup if you’re planning a HTPC-style build.

Tucked away at the top of the front panel, a rubber cover protects/hides the dual USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks. This is nice as it keeps the front looking smart when you’re not using them, but also helps keep dust and debris from gathering in the ports.

Around the back, you can see even more ventilation, there no doubt that you’ll have little issue getting air in and out of this chassis! There’s an ATX power supply mount with the motherboard mount directly below it. On the right, you’ll find four expansion slots, perfect for those wanting a dual-GPU setup and a Micro-ATX motherboard.

On the top of the chassis, you will find two more vents, behind which you can see mounts for two optional 80mm fans that would be situated directly above your expansion cards; this could be perfect for keeping your graphics cards cool.

There’s very little to see on the base, but what is nice is that the four feet have been treated with a rubber ring, which will help keep the chassis from sliding around on your chosen surface.

Fractal Design Core 2300 Mid-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal Design is well-known for their high-end chassis products. They’ve won many awards for their clean designs, exceptional build quality, water cooling support and much more, which has made them a popular choice with the enthusiast system building crowd. However, that’s not all Fractal Design do and as many of you are no doubt well aware, not everyone has the kind of money required for an enthusiast-grade build, sometimes we just want an affordable product that ticks the right boxes for our build.

Key features

  • A compact full-ATX case with bottom-mounted PSU, designed for exceptional airflow and cooling
  • Brushed aluminum-look front panel with a sleek, three-dimensional textured finish
  • Superior water cooling support for its size, supporting one 240/280mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator in the top
  • Featuring a 120mm rear exhaust fan for great cooling
  • Total 7 fan slots with two 120mm fans included
  • Extruded motherboard plate allowing space for additional cable routing; 18.5mm around the motherboard and 13.5mm directly behind it
  • Supports tall CPU cooler towers, up to 162mm in height
  • Multiple easy-to-clean dust filters designed into the case to help maintain a dust free interior
  • Innovative vertical HDD bracket, which simultaneously holds three 3.5″ drives and three 2.5″ drives
  • One additional SSD position behind the PSU area with easy installation and access

The Core 2300 chassis that I’m looking at today is from Fractal Designs more budget focused range, but keep in mind, cheap prices don’t always translate to a cheap product, not forgetting that Fractal Design has a reputation to uphold, so let’s get stuck in and take a close look at what it has to offer.

The chassis is certainly nothing fancy at first look, but it’s not exactly ugly either, it’s just a fairly straight forward looking black chassis. The left side panel is flat and is held in place by two thumb screws at the back, plus there’s a 120mm fan mount on the panel for extra airflow should you need it.

Again, another flat panel on the right side, which is also held in place by two thumb screws.

The front panel is fairly straight forward too, with a neat and tidy design. There’s two pop-out 5.25″ drive bay covers, should you need them, as well as two strips of ventilation, one down each side.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm fan pre-installed at the top, seven expansion slots and the PSU mount. Again, nothing fancy, but ticking all the right boxes for the kind of things you’ll need.

In the top of the 2300, there’s two more fan mounts, which support 120/140mm fans or up to 240/280mm radiators.

The front panel has all the basics covered, with a single USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port, HD audio jacks, power, reset and a HDD LED.

On the underside, there’s a clip in mesh filter that covers both the PSU air intake, as well as an optional bottom fan mount. There’s four hard rubber feet to provide good ground clearance and they’ll also help hold the chassis in place on harder surfaces.

Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV Micro-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Today is a pretty cool day at eTeknix HQ, as I get to take a look at my very first Phanteks chassis! The new Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV looks set to be another welcome addition to the enthusiast gaming chassis market, perfect for those who love to show off their build. Phanteks already have a great reputation thanks to their extreme performance air coolers, which are still proving popular amongst system builders, so I’m certainly eager to see what this chassis has to offer.

First up, the EVOLV came with a large box of accessories.

In the box, I found cable ties, velcro ties, three LED lights (red, green and white), a toolbox full of screw fittings, a user manual and two drive tray adapters; pretty much everything you’ll need and more!

First impression of the EVOLV are very positive, this is a great looking chassis and it’s certainly unique in terms of its shape. It’s a little shorter from front to back that most towers of this size, we’ll take a look at why in a moment. The model we have today has a large side panel window and a brilliant white paint job, great for showing off your build. It’s also worth mentioning that this chassis is surprisingly heavy, the panels are thick steel and I wouldn’t want to lug this around to LAN gaming events anytime soon!

The right side panel has all the important stuff you’re likely to need.

There’s a small power and reset button near the top.

As well as a pair of HD audio jacks and dual USB 3.0 ports near the bottom.

The front panel is really nicely designed, with a rather strange yet cool looking metal front panel, which has some gaps around it for airflow to any front-mounted cooling. There’s a small LED strip near the bottom, which can be customised thanks to the extra LED lights that are included in the box.

Around the back, you can see that this is a Micro-ATX compatible chassis, so there are only four expansion slots, but each one is fitted with a reusable, ventilated metal cover. There’s a 140mm fan pre-installed, but there’s also fittings for a 120mm should you feel the need.

The top panel has a nice and clean look to it, lots of space on top for you to leave you wallet, glasses, phone and other stuff; not that you should, but a lot of people do. There are four ventilation holes down the left side of the top panel and four more on the right side, perfect for getting airflow to/from any top mounted cooling.

Two full-width feet provide a strong and stable base for the chassis, as well as freeing up a good amount of space for airflow to the PSU air filter.

Inateck FD1005 Top-Loading HDD Docking Station Review

Introduction


Inateck probably has the widest array of docking stations and enclosures for hard drives and solid state drives and today I’m pleased to be able to take a look at another sweet looking on. The Inateck FD1005 is a single-bay top-loading docking station for SATA hard disks that connects through USB 3.0 and supports UASP for maximum transfer speeds.

Top loading docking stations are probably the easiest to use, especially if you switch your hard drives a lot. The Inateck FD1005 allows you connect a hard disk or solid state drive to your computer by simply plugging it into the docking station and turning it on. It couldn’t get much simpler than that. When you then also get top transfer speeds on top of that, then we have something worth considering.

Creating backups of large amount of files across multiple hard disks can’t get much easier than this. The Inateck FD1005 supports the newest SATA 3 hard disks with up to 6TB capacity, so storage limitation isn’t a thing that you’ll run into either. The dedicated 12V power connection ensures that the drive always has both enough power and a general stable power supply. The power button helps you to securely unplug your drives better by powering them down before you plug them, but it also allows you to just turn it off when you don’t need it for a while, without the need to unplug everything.

The power button helps you to securely unplug your drives better by powering them down before you plug them, but it also allows you to just turn it off when you don’t need it for a while, without the need to unplug everything.

Inateck’s FD1005 is a very compact one-bay unit and as such it needs a stable footing. Mechanical hard drives aren’t light, especially not when we deal with those that are packed with full with platters. Inateck added four tiny rubber feet on the bottom to prevent it from sliding and gave it additional weight by adding a metal block inside.

And the two work great in conjunction. I tried placing the enclosure with my WD RED 6TB hard drive on a surface with an angle and it stayed right where I placed it. Running several HDD benchmarks to bring the drive into vibration didn’t change this either.

The cover has a small static opening fitting for a 2.5-inch drive while the rest of the cover folds back when a drive is inserted and springs back into place to cover and protect the opening when the drive is removed again. In the photo below, I used a DVI protective cover to keep it open while taking the photo.

Inateck used the ASMedia ASM1153E chip which is a one-chip solution with embedded USB and SATA controller, as well as its own memory. Previously I’ve mentioned that the enclosure supports up to 6TB drives, but that’s only because that’s the biggest I can test with right now. Theoretically, the only limitation for a docking station like this is the GPT limit of 18 exabyte (although Windows file system is limited to 256TB per drive), meaning that future 8 and 10TB HDDs shouldn’t be a problem either.

Xigmatek Nebula C Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


I’m a big fan of Xigmatek chassis’, time and time again they’ve shown they can make cool products with a good range of features, but most importantly, they’ve always done it with a fiercely competitive price tag, making them very attractive products to system builders. Their latest effort, the Nebula C is another welcome entry into the increasingly popular cube-type chassis market, which make great solutions for HTPC and LAN gaming systems.

  • Includes pre-installed high performance silent (black with black blades) Xigmatek XOF fan with FCB (Fluid Circulative Bearing) for optimal exhaust capabilities.
  • I/ O panel includes 2 x Super-Speed USB 3.0, HD Audio In/Out jacks, Power/Reset.
  • Capable of mounting Mini-ITX Motherboard.
  • Innovative 2 X 3.5” HDD can be converted to 2.5” SSD for easy mix and match.
  • Included 1 additional 2.5” SSD mounting holes inside chassis
  • All 3 side panels are tool-less and designed with quick release mechanism for easy hardware mounting.
  • Can install full sized power supply
  • Innovative Intake system from base of the tower.
  • Motherboard tray perforated with holes for free flow air into chassis and option for cable tie-down
  • Can mount up to 230mm Gaming Graphic card
  • Angled power/HDD light giving visual depth.
  • Polycarbonate side panels for alternative feel.
  • Baseless construct for sleek compact appearance.

As you can see from the specifications, the Nebula C may be small, but it packs just enough features for a decent gaming rig, with room for a dual-slot graphics card, ATX PSU and a few hard drives.

First impressions of the Nebula C are very good, this is one gorgeous looking chassis, its understated clean exterior and very modern design are a far cry from the usual chassis designs we see. The exterior is finished in white polycarbonate, giving it a glossy, yet soft looking finish that gives it a premium look and feel. The bottom left corner is cut away, with a small orange light fitting, a nice touch that will provide a soft glow when powered up.

There’s really very little to see on the exterior of the chassis, which is great for those who want a clean-looking system for their AV setup.

The I/O panel is a little simple, but all the basics are taken care of, offering a pair of HD audio jacks and dual USB 3.0 ports.

The glossy top panel appears to float above the side panel and in one corner, you’ll find a large power button.

The orange LED trim around the recessed button really draws your attention on the white background, its design makes you want to push it.

Front the front of the chassis, you can see the button LED cutaway, as well as a nice Xigmatek logo in the bottom right.

Around the back, we get a break from the sea of glossy whites, swapped out for a soft matte black finish. There’s a single 120mm exhaust fan pre-installed, with water/cable routing grommets directly below it. Aside from a little extra ventilation, there’s really little else to see here, just a standard ATX PSU cut-out and the fixtures for a Mini-ITX motherboard.

Inateck FE2004 USB 3.0 HDD External Enclosure Review

Introduction


I’ve had the pleasure to have a closer look at quite a few of Inateck’s docking stations and enclosures so far, and it has been a pleasure every time. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Inateck FE2004 2.5-inch portable HDD and SSD enclosure. The FE2004 enclosure connects through a USB 3.0 connection for great transfer speeds thanks to the 5Gbps bandwidth and it can take drives up to 9.5mm height.

The Inateck FE2004 has a delicate and simple appearance. The only thing that stands out from the black enclosure is the battery indicator and company logo. The manufacturing is great and every part fits together without gaps or edges that you’ll feel. The surface also feels very smooth and it’s generally an enclosure that is pleasant to touch and hold.

A portable enclosure also has to be convenient to carry and light weight. Inateck’s FE2004 is both as it only weighs 90 grams the rounded corners make the 130 x 83 x 13 mm small enclosure easy to slide into even the tightest pockets. The USB cable is detachable so you don’t break it during transport and can pack it all better. A detachable USB cable also allows you to replace it with a longer or shorter one depending on your needs.

The FE2004 would be a great expansion for laptop users to store all their extra media such as films and images, ready to stream when needed and without the need to take up that little precious internal storage that most laptop users are bound to. The enclosure is

The enclosure is suitable for 9.5mm and thinner drives. There is a pre-mounted foam pad inside the enclosure to keep thinner drives such as 7mm SSDs mounted properly and prevent them from rattling around and Inateck also includes a second foam pad with the enclosure in case you ever need to replace it. A minor thing that costs them maybe a cent, but one that is extremely convenient for the user buying the product.effectively.

The bottom side of the enclosure has four tiny nipples as feet and while they don’t look like much, they do provide a better grip on the surface than the other side does. Place on the top side, the enclosure could easily slide off a smooth surface, but the feet hold it in place.

Features

  • Built-in foam pad, protect hard disk effectively
  • Blue and red power supply/HDD LED activity indicator
  • Suitable for 9.5mm and thinner 2.5-inch SATA HDD and SSD.
  • Super Speed USB3.0 offer Speed up to 5Gbps
  • Compatible Operating Systems: Windows 2000/Windows Me/Windows 98/ XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS 9.1/10.8.4 above
  • Hot Swap & Plug and Play: No reboot and additional driver is needed
  • Tool-Free design: Mounting a drive in three-second without tools and mounting screws.

 

GTA V – The Way It’s Meant to Be Played – 4K and Nvidia Shield

Introduction


In September 2013, Grand Theft Auto V finally hit our screens, albeit via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, consoles that I loved playing on, but which were kept as a lead platform for far longer than they should have been. They weren’t incredibly powerful systems to begin with and time wasn’t kind to them. The buffed up release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sure looked pretty, but they still weren’t the way I wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V, not even close.

The PC release of the game was a mystery for so long, but I kept my faith. I was sure that it will be happening and it comes as little shock that I was right on the money. The only downside to the PC release was that it took so much longer than the console editions to be released. I’ve stuck to my guns and since the original console release, I haven’t played a single minute of GTA V, I don’t know the story and the only things I have seen of the gameplay are funny videos that get posted to YouTube and Reddit.

So why did I wait so long? The promise of 4K gaming, frame rates that are at least above 30, increased texture detail, longer draw distances, mods and the multitude of other graphics enhancements that PC gaming provides us. On top of that, I love my Nvidia Shield and use it to stream games around my house, the prospect of playing GTA V on a tablet while laid in bed is just too tempting. The prospect of playing it streamed to my big screen TV in 1080p at 60FPS with the graphics dialed up to ultra, even more so.

Fractal Design Define S Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal Design is one of the biggest names in the chassis industry. Time and time again they’ve delivered premium quality products for the enthusiast market and today they’re promising us a repeat performance. The Define S is their latest and hopefully one of their greatest chassis’, bringing all the support for high-end hardware you could hope for.

The Define S is equipped with all the usual high-end features that you would expect from a Fractal Design product. We’ve got sound-dampening materials, an innovative internal layout, extreme air and water cooling support, ModuVent fan vent covers and high-quality Dynamic Series fans.

Everything you need to get you started is included in the box, such as this nice collection of high-quality screws and fittings.

The first impression of the Define S is very good indeed. It clearly borrows heavily from the Define series in terms of external design, although that uniform look has become quite the norm for most Fractal Design products. As you can see, we’ve got the side panel window edition, although there is a solid panel edition with extra sound dampening material on the interior for those who favor silence over appearance.

The right side panel is a solid panel and both side panels are held in place with a pair of fixed thumbs screws at the rear; this allows quick and easy access to the chassis interior.

The front panel is very similar to other Define series chassis’, however, the front panel is no longer a hinge door design, as the optical bays have been completely removed to allow more room for cooling components.

Around the back, you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount at the top, with a Dynamic Series 140mm fan pre-installed. There are seven expansion slots, each fitted with a high-quality reusable cover.

The top panel has a nice clean look thanks to the ModuVent fan vent covers. These are removable for those who want to install top mounted fans or radiators;  those who want to leave them in place can benefit from improved sound dampening.

The main I/O is neat and tidy, with all the basics in place and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Interestingly, the port connectors are black, not the usual USB 3.0 blue, which helps keep the front panel looking nice and uniform.

The underside has four small feet, which have rubber grip pads on them to help reduce vibration, whilst also providing ground clearance for any bottom mounted cooling.

The bottom filter is magnetic fitting and washable, which should make maintenance nice and easy.

Gigabyte X99-UD4P (LGA 2011-3) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


X99, the mother of the prosumer chipsets. It’s what everyone wants, fewer can afford and fewer can fully utilise; this is the ultimate top trump card and rightly so. Gigabyte is currently the leading manufacturer of motherboards, while also offering one of the largest X99 motherboard ranges of all the manufacturers.

It seems Gigabyte are giving a spruce up to some of their best-selling X99 motherboards by giving them the overclocked treatment. They’ve doubled the contact area of every pin and increased the quality of the pins in aid to increase bandwidth. Along with this, they’ve added this onto their renowned Ultra Durable motherboard, which uses some of the best capacitors available. Let’s see if all this pays off in today’s review.

Key Features

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, Gigabyte is no exception and has brought a huge array of features to this motherboard.

  • Support for APP Center
    • Available applications in APP Center may differ by motherboard model. Supported functions of each application may also differ depending on motherboard specifications.
    • @BIOS
    • Ambient LED
    • EasyTune
    • EZ Setup
    • Fast Boot
    • Cloud Station
    • ON/OFF Charge
    • Smart TimeLock
    • Smart Recovery 2
    • System Information Viewer
    • USB Blocker
    • V-Tuner Š
  • Support for Q-Flash Š
  • Support for Smart Switch Š
  • Support for Xpress Install

For more information on these functions, please visit the Gigabyte X99-UD4P product page.

Packaging and Accessories

Following true Gigabyte style, very similar boxing to most of their motherboard range now, very solid plastic box, black colouring with the series colour highlights (Ultra Durable Yellow for this model).

Inside, we see an absolute treasure trove of accessories, 4x SATA cables, 1x split power cable, 1x LED I/O shield, 1x single x-fire bridge, 1x single SLI bridge, 1x dual SLI bridge, 1x tri-SLI bridge, 1x quad SLI bridge and the usual manuals and driver disk.

GTA V GPU Performance Review

Introduction


Grand Theft Auto V was released on Tuesday, along with that, NVIDIA has released yet another Game Ready Driver. However this time, AMD has decided to release one too, both offering optimised graphical drivers for most of their graphics card range.

Normally, we would only test a single driver and graphics card manufacturer, but because this is oriented towards GTA V performance, things are going to get a little more condensed.

Today we are going to be looking at seven of the top graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD, pitting them against each other to see which performs the best in GTA V, under our own choice of settings of course.

NVIDIA has released the GTA V optimised driver, GeForce Game Ready 350.12 and AMD has released a Beta driver, Catalyst 15.4. either can be downloaded by clicking the associated link.

Let’s begin shall we?

BitFenix Aegis Micro-ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


BitFenix is one of the coolest chassis manufacturers around. Time and time again we’ve seen them continue to innovate, with products that have proven massively successful with gamers and system builders around the world. Today, it looks like we’re in for a repeat performance, with the recent release of their eye-catching Aegis gaming chassis.

The Aegis is packed full of features that will appeal to virtually any system builder, but more importantly, the enthusiast gaming market. With room for ultra high-end graphics cards, modular storage bays, water cooling support, a PSU shroud and a whole lot more. Also, let’s not forget that it comes with their ICON display, a small LCD display hidden in the front panel that allows you to apply custom logos to the front of your chassis!

First impressions of this case are very good. We’ve got the black and red edition, which certainly stands out in more ways than one; it looks like Tony Stark designed a PC case! There’s a huge side panel window for showing off your hardware and a great mixture of glossy trim that accents the stunning red colour of the chassis. Down the side of the front panel, you’ll find plenty of ventilation for any front-mounted cooling. Front fans are optional, so it’s recommended you plan your cooling before you start your build.

A gorgeous glossy red panel on the right side. Both side panels are held in place by a pair of thumb screws at the back of the chassis.

The glossy black front panel looks incredible, but it is a bit of a dust magnet, so you may want to keep a microfiber cloth to hand. Sorry fans of optical bays too, as you simply won’t find any here.

The top of the chassis houses a three-speed fan controller, the power button with a lovely BitFenix logo on it and the reset button. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks there too; it’s nice to see more chassis ditching the now aging USB 2.0 ports.

The top panel houses even more ventilation, with a lift-out cover for easy maintenance and installation of your fans/radiators.

The overall finish and quality are fantastic, although I wouldn’t have expected anything less from BitFenix, as they often impress with their designs.

Around the back, you’ll find a pair of routing grommets at the top, a pre-installed 120mm exhaust fan, five expansion slots with ventilated covers and the PSU mount; nothing overly interesting, but at least all the basics appear to be in place.

On the bottom, you’ll find four rubber grip feet that provide a stable base for your system; the feet also give good ground clearance for any bottom mounted cooling and your PSU.

The magnetic filter runs the full length of the chassis, making maintenance a quick and easy process.

SilverStone Kublai KL06 Micro-ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


Silverstone is one of the greatest and most established names in the chassis industry, in fact, they’re not exactly lacking in other parts of the market either, with extensive product ranges that cater to power supplies, cooling and much more. Silverstone have a lot of technical knowledge when it comes to what makes a great system and you can see that knowledge being put to great use across their entire range; something we hope to see once again in our latest review.

Today I have the latest entry in the Kublai series and this one is particularly special, as it is the first Micro-ATX form factor product in that range; no doubt to address the increased system capacities required by many of today’s high-end components, such as RAID arrays and long graphics cards.

“Being the first Micro-ATX chassis in the Kublai series, a line of cases famed for layout efficiency with classic styling, the KL06 fills the role perfectly. Equipped with dual 120mm quiet fans for cooling multiple drives and high-end components, it retains SilverStones’ signature positive pressure design for effective dust prevention.” – SilverStone

The chassis caters well to modern hardware, dropping support for lots of 3.5″ drives, favoring a setup for 8 x 2.5″ drives and just a single 3.5″ drive on the interior. Storage bays are removable to make way for water cooling, there’s room for a large graphics card, high-end PSU and a whole lot more; so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what the KL06 has to offer!

The Kublai is a fairly simple looking chassis, but none the less, one that is very nicely designed. The left side panel is a solid panel, cut from thick steel that should help greatly reduce unwanted noise and vibrations from your system.

Another thick panel on the right side of the chassis. Both side panels are mounted with two thumbscrews at the rear, providing you with quick and easy access to the chassis interior.

The front panel is really nicely designed, with two 5.25″ drive bays at the top and a semi-transparent front panel mesh, behind which you can see the front fans.

The main I/O panel has all the usual ports and switches while also being another of this years chassis to drop the older USB 2.0 ports entirely.

The front cover can be easily removed via clip at the bottom, allowing you to easily clean the filter and maintain your fans.

Around the back, you’ll quickly notice that the motherboard mounting is inverted, with the I/O at the bottom and the PSU mounting at the top. There’s plenty of ventilation here, an optional fan mount at the bottom and a screw on protective cover for the four expansion slot mounts.

The top panel has a large ventilation section for the PSU air intake.

It has a magnetic dust filter attached, which is far easier to keep clean than most PSU filters that are located on the underside of the chassis.

There’s four rubber feet on the bottom of the chassis to help keep it firmly in place, even on hard surfaces.

Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X 8GB CrossFireX Review

Introduction


Here at eTeknix, we strive to give the consumer the best possible advice in every aspect of technology. Today is no different, as we have a pair of Sapphire’s amazing R9 290x 8GB Tri-x edition graphics cards to combine together for some CrossFireX action. The dedicated review for this graphics card can be found here. When striving for the best results, it is favourable to test 2 of the same models to allow for no variation in any clock speeds or variations in any integrated components, so today we should see some excellent results.

In the dedicated review, this graphics card has more than enough power to play most games at 4K resolution at 60FPS, faltering slightly in the more demanding Metro Last Light.

We inserted both graphics cards onto our Core i7 5820K and X99-based test system, ensuring adequate spacing for optimum cooling and that both have access to sufficient PCI-e bandwidth for CrossFire operation.

The typical ‘hot spot’ when arranging a CrossFire or SLI configuration is the closest graphics card to the processor, due to both of these cards being equipped with the Tri-x cooler, positioning isn’t an issue.

As these graphics cards have been subject to Sapphires treatment, they have slightly higher clock speeds than a reference model, but as these are both the same cards, there should be little to no variation in clock speeds; this will result in maximum gains during testing.