Mionix Castor Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Mionix are one of my all time favourite gaming brands, as they’ve created some of my own personal favourite peripherals over the years. Of course, I’m not the only one who thinks this, as Mionix products have won many awards around the world and that fills me with confidence that their latest gaming mouse, the Mionix Castor, is going to be something special.

Equipped with a fast processor, ergonomic design, fully programmable buttons, RGB lighting and more, the Castor is certainly well equipped, so let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer. First up, however, here’s a quick product video from Mionix, it’s a little strange, but I’d love to know what on Earth they’re pretending to play here; any guesses?

Technical Specifications

  • 32bit ARM Processor running at 32Mhz
  • Right handed truly ergonomic design
  • Supports palm, claw and fingertip grip
  • Grip friendly soft touch rubber coating (4 layers)
  • 6 fully programmable buttons
  • 3 steps in-game DPI adjustment
  • 2 integrated LEDs in 2 colour zones
  • Up to 16.8 Million LED colour options
  • Color shift, Solid, Blinking, Pulsating and Breathing effects
  • On-Board memory 128 kb built-in memory
  • Large black PTFE mouse feet
  • Gold Plated, Full speed USB 2.0 connection with Plug and Play
  • Cable 2m long PVC cable with cable reinforcer

Sensor Specification

  • PMW – 3310 gaming grade IR-LED optical sensor
  • Up to 10000DPI
  • MAX tracking speed of at least 5.45m/sec (215 IPS)
  • No positive or negative hardware acceleration
  • Adjustable Lift Off Distance

Software Features

  • Up to 5 Profiles saved to the in-built memory
  • Adjustable X / Y Axis
  • Polling rate adjustable in four steps up to 1000Hz
  • Live record macro manager
  • Up to 16.8 million color LED options
  • Customize RGB manger
  • Pulsating, Blinking and Breathing LED effects
  • Color Shift lighting mode
  • Angle Snapping adjustable in 15 steps
  • Angle Tuning adjustable from -30 to 30 degrees
  • LOD Calibration tool
  • S.Q.A.T – Surface Quality Analyzer Tool
  • Lift-off distance (LOD) Calibration feature

Dimensions & Weight

  • 122.46×70.42×40.16 mm / 4.82×2.77×1.58 in
  • Netto (w/o cable): 93.8 gr
  • Netto (cable incl.): 141.5 gr

The Castor comes packaged in a very compact presentation box, with a nice image of the mouse on the front and not much else, apart from a few technical details around the sides/back.

Opening up the box, we see that the mouse has been well protected by a custom shaped cardboard interior, which will help greatly in keeping it safe while it’s being shipped to you.

The Castor comes hard-wired with a durable black braided cable with a USB header.

HyperX Cloud Revolver Pro Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


HyperX is one of the most instantly recognisable brands in the PC market today, and that’s no surprise given that they have produced many fantastic quality memory products that are in countless systems around the world. They took a dive into the world of peripherals a few years ago, releasing their much-praised Cloud headset, and later their Cloud II. Now HyperX is back again with what is set to be their greatest headset to date, the HyperX Cloud Revolver.

Studio-grade sound stage for a competitive edge.

“HyperX Cloud RevolverTM has a wider audio range that creates depth and width for improved audio precision. Get the competitive edge by hearing your opponents’ location more accurately, even when they’re further away. Re-engineered audio pro les create a larger sound stage that’s ideal for FPS and open-environment gameplay and for a concert hall-like experience when listening to music.” – HyperX

Equipped with high-performance 50mm drivers, HyperX memory foam padding, a detachable noise-cancellation microphone, multi-platform support and TeamSpeak, Discord, Skype, Ventrilo, Mumble and RaidCall certification, the HyperX Cloud Revolver is one of the best equipped headsets you’ll find, so let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

Specifications

Headphone

  • Driver dynamic, 50mm with neodymium magnets
  • Type circumaural, closed back
  • Frequency response 12Hz–28,000 Hz
  • impedance 30 Ω
  • Sound pressure level 104.5dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
  • THD < 2%
  • Input power rated 30mW, maximum 500mW
  • Weight 360g
  • Weight w/ mic 376g
  • Cable length and type headset (1m) + audio control box (2m)
  • Connection headset – 3.5mm plug (4 pole) + audio control box – 3.5mm stereo and mic plugs

Microphone

  • Element electret condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern uni-directional, noise-cancelling
  • Frequency response 50Hz–18,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity -40dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)

The packaging is nicely designed, with a great image of the headset on the front, as well as a quick rundown of the main features and supported devices.

Around the back, a quick rundown of the steel frame design, control box, detachable microphone and more.

The box has a slip cover, behind which you’ll find a durable presentation box.

In the box, you’ll find extensive foam padding with the headset stored nice and snug in the middle, as well as the control box.

Finally, you’ll find the control box comes with dual 3.5mm gold-plated headers, and a small in-line controller. There’s also a fully detachable noise-cancelling microphone with a durable boom and a good-sized head.

Corsair Gaming M65 Pro RGB Optical Mouse Review

Introduction


The Corsair M65 is one of the most popular gaming mice on the market today, but as popular as it may be, Corsair thinks they can make it even better! We’ve already seen a few models of the M65 here at eTeknix, such as the old Vengeance M65, the tweaked RGB version and now the biggest change, the removal of the old laser sensor, and in goes the new high-end 12K DPI optical sensor.

Optical is certainly the way to go for competitive gaming, it has long proven to be more accurate, more often than not, smoother, and suffer less problems with acceleration, so here’s hoping the new sensor from Corsair will be up to the job. Although, given the performance of other Corsair mice in the last year or so, we’re expecting it to be pretty spectacular. Add to that the full RGB lighting, and plenty of other cool features and the M65 Pro is already sounding very promising.

The packaging is nicely designed, keeping in theme with other Corsair Gaming peripherals.

Around the back of the box, details on some features such as the 8 programmable buttons, sniper button and high-precision switches.

The box also opens out, giving us a nice sneak peek at the overall design.

In the box, you’ll find the usual documentation, as well as the mouse, which comes hard-wired with a high-quality black braided cable and a custom moulded USB header.

Cooler Master Releases MasterKeys Pro Series Keyboards

Cooler Master released their newest series of keyboards, the MasterKeys Pro series. The new MasterKeys Pro is available in two versions so you get just the size you need, want, and prefer, whether you like a full sized keyboard or rather a TKL without the num pad. Both versions feature the same functions and customizability, so pick which is best for your gaming needs. The full-sized version is called the MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL version is called the MasterKeys Pro S.

The Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro has a minimalistic design, but don’t let that fool you. The keyboard features full RGB backlighting with multiple effects and full customizability. On top of the extra bright LEDs, you find the Cherry MX switches of your choice, whether that might be red, brown, or blue switches.

It appears like a very simple keyboard when looking at it, but the MasterKeys pro is anything but simple. It is built with a 32-bit ARM processor which increases the possibilities when it comes to on-the-fly macro recording as well as general features. Most keyboards rely on software solutions to handle things and you can use Cooler Master’s software tool to configure and set up your keyboard to match your needs, but you don’t have to. You can do everything software-free too via the on-the-fly system built into the MasterKeys Pro keyboards.

“The MasterKeys Pro offers multiple lighting modes. Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and other responsive effects. You can choose between red, brown, or blue switches to match your tactile preference,” said Kevin Yang, Peripherals Product Manager. “And you get all the features, whether you prefer a full size keyboard or a tenkeyless design. In addition to easy-to-use software, we are working on a Software Development Kit (SDK) to truly help Make It Yours.”

Cooler Master needed to completely redesign the interior of the MasterKeys to fit both the original Cherry MX switches as well as the much bigger and brighter LEDs used here. The end result looks stunning and should provide you with a stable partner for your online battles. The sleek lines, refined symmetry, and a heavy-weight quality build will help you keep things clean and simple. Speaking of clean and simple, the full-sized L version comes with hidden positioning grooves on the bottom of the keyboard, giving you 180° cable management and the ability to keep your keyboard and desktop sleek and organized regardless of arrangement preference.

The keys themselves have a soft-to-touch and long-lasting UV coating for a great experience and long-lasting effect that won’t result in missing letters and discolored keys.

Both the MasterKeys Pro L and MasterKeys Pro S are available in Europe from today, March the 15th, for a recommended retail price of €169 and €139 respectively. If all that peeked your interest, then you should check out our full review of the MasterKeys Pro S for an in-depth analysis and verdict.

Cooler Master Masterkeys Pro S Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the biggest and best in the industry, not only for their high-end chassis such as the Master Case Pro 5, but also their power supplies, coolers and most importantly today, their peripherals. Dropping the CM Storm branding, their latest keyboard, the Masterkeys Pro S TKL, falls in line with their “maker” series of products. Last year so very little new products from CM and we knew they were cooking up something big. They came back after a long period of silence with a completely redesigned and focused product line, and their “make it yours” philosophy.

All the new products we’ve seen from Cooler Master have been beyond impressive, so I’m really eager to see what their new premium-grade mechanical keyboard has to offer. There are two models available, the full-size MasterKeys Pro L and the TKL MasterKeys Pro S, which is the one we have in the eTeknix office today.

“Get the best of both worlds with the MasterKeys Pro L and Pro S: the brightest LEDs and the best tactile feeling that gamers have come to love. We completely redesigned the interior to fit both Cherry MX switches and big, fat, LEDs that can radiate 16.7 million colors. You also get on-the-fly macros, profile support, and easy-to-use software – all in a sleek, minimalistic design.” – Cooler Master

The new keyboards come with all the premium features you would expect, such as customisable RGB lighting, Cherry MX switches, macro support, anti-ghosting and N-key rollover and more. Most importantly, at least in terms of the RGB lighting, is that cooler master customised the PCB, allowing for larger and brighter LEDs, without compromising on the use of Cherry MX switches.

• Brilliant RGB lighting with 16.7 million colors

• Exclusive Cooler Master design makes each LED pop out and shine

• Multiple lighting modes

• Change and customize colors with or without software

• Presets include Color Wave, Breathing, and responsive effects

• Cherry MX switches

• Guaranteed to endure at least 50 million keystrokes

• On-the-fly macro and profile support

• On-board processor and profile keys let you save macros and backlighting settings without hassle

• 100% anti-ghosting with N-key rollover

• Ensure each keypress is correctly detected regardless how many other keys are being pressed

• Detachable cable

• Cables won’t get in your way or clutter your desktop

• Hidden underside positioning grooves gives you 180° cable management (only for Pro L)

The packaging is very nicely designed, showing off the RGB lighting in all its glory, as well as touting the use of Cherry MX switches.

Around the back, a little breakdown of the build, showing the PCB, switches, casing and key caps.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started. This includes a high-quality micro-USB braided cable, which fully detachable from the keyboard, a key cap removal tool and a nice and colourful user’s guide.

QPAD DX-20 Pro Gaming Optical Mouse Review

Introduction


QPAD have a long history of making high-quality, high-performance gaming peripherals, and today looks set to be the perfect example of this with the release of their new QPAD Dx-20 Optical, a premium-grade gaming mouse designed for those who take their gaming seriously. Equipped with a gaming-grade optical sensor that promises “game-critical zero-mouse acceleration, precisely matching 1:1 movement.”

When it comes to eSports, or even just being a competitive gamer at home, having a sensor that you can trust is vital. If you twitch for a headshot or that important attack in your favourite game such as CS:GO or LoL, you want that confidence that the mouse is going to be as accurate as possible; if it misses, you’ll only have yourself to blame. With that in mind, I’m really hoping the Dx-20 lives up to the high standards required for competitive gaming.

  • Advanced Optical sensor for optimized tracking performance
  • High quality Omron main switches with a distinct mechanical feedback
  • Zero Mouse acceleration, one-to-one relationship between the mouse and the screen
  • Bottom plate RGB LED

“QPAD’s DX-20, the company’s latest mouse, breaks new ground in more ways than one. The DX-20 is the first new mouse shape from QPAD in seven years. Equally important, it’s an multi-surface mouse, meaning you can use it on more surfaces than any previous optical gaming mouse.” – QPAD

The sensor isn’t the only high-end feature on offer today either, with Omron switches, 20G max acceleration, RGB lighting, adjustable report rate, a lag-free ARM cortex M3 processor, on-board memory and more, the DX-20 is shaping up to be a great mouse.

The packaging is really nicely designed, with a clear image of the mouse design on the front and prominent display of its RGB lighting features. There’s also a quick rundown of all the major features, such as the 2500 CPI, zero acceleration and 7-button design.

Around the back, a more technical breakdown (see specification chart above) and a few more pictures of the mouse design, but we’ll take a closer look at that in just a moment.

Removing the slipcover for the box, you’ll find a durable inner box with “E-SPORT FOR LIFE” on the box.

Opening up the box, it’s clear this is designed to look and feel like a premium experience.  There’s thick foam padding around the mouse, as well as a hard box at the top protecting the cabling, as well as a nice welcome message on the inside of the lid from QPAD.

In the box, aside from the mouse, you’ll also find an extra set of slipmats as well as a protective carry pouch for the mouse.

QPAD were also kind enough to include their new FX 44 pro gaming mouse pad for us to test. They’re such a subjective thing overall, but it should make a nice match with their latest mouse.

Antec Kuhler H20 H1200 & H600 Pro Water Cooler Review

Introduction


Antec is one of the biggest names in the PC component market, with many years of experience in creating chassis, cooler, power supplies and more.  With Antec having created so many products over the years, it’s more than likely you’ve owned a few of their components over the years, so it’s great to see them continue to push the limits. Antec has been a little behind in the cooling market recently, as their last range of Kuhler H20 products didn’t exactly capture the imaginations of the market, but their latest versions, the H1200 Pro and the H600 Pro look set to change that.

Maximum cooling thanks to large copper base plate and high-performance radiator

“To achieve the best results when used with overclocked processors, both Kühler H2O H600 PRO and H1200 PRO are equipped with a large copper base plate that efficiently transfers heat from any AMD or Intel processor to the radiator. For maximum performance, H600 PRO and H1200 PRO feature a precisely constructed radiator with a 0.2 mm fin interval. The dimensions of the radiator are 275 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm for the H1200 and 155 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm for the H600.” – Antec

The new range features a 120mm and a 240mm slim radiator design, with an AIO (all in one) water cooling setup that aims to deliver high-end performance, flawless designs and best of all, wallet-friendly prices. Spec for spec, the latest Antec products are often half the price of their next big competitor, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up with some of the more established AIO coolers on the market, especially at such competitive prices. If they can, then Antec are about to win over a huge part of the PC system building market.

Extremely quiet operation meets tremendous power

“Despite their excellent cooling performance, H600 PRO and H1200 PRO operate extremely quiet. This is due to the high-quality blue LED 120 mm fans that can reach up to 2,400 revolutions per minute. In addition, the enclosed pump impeller is near completely silent while delivering a pressure of 2.3 meters of water. The pump achieves this exceptional pressure thanks to the higher rotational speed of the winding type three-phase motor, maximising cooling performance for any PC system. For clean cable management, the pump is powered by a SATA interface.” – Antec

High build quality for exceptional durability

All components used for the Kühler H2O H600 PRO and H1200 PRO systems impress with their outstanding build quality and durability. The oil-free lubrication graphite bearing has a service life of up to 150,000 hours. The service life of the carbon metal crystalline ceramic axis is also 50 times longer than that of common models.” – Antec

We’ve got both models in the eTeknix office today and will be putting them head to head with each other, as well as a wide range of aftermarket coolers from many other brands, so it’ll be exciting to see how they perform. As you can see, both coolers come in a stylishly designed box, with a nice image of the product on the front and the main specifications, although I don’t think that lightning effect on the H600 is a feature, obviously.

The H1200 comes bundled with two lovely 120mm blue LED fans, each fitted with a standard PWM connector, anti-vibration screw holes and clear fan blades. It also comes bundled with a Y-splitter, so you only need a single motherboard header to connect them. The H600 comes with just one of these fans, which also means it doesn’t include the Y-splitter.

The fans are certainly of a nice quality and they’re Antec’s own design; having personally used a lot of Antec fans in the past, I have high hopes for their performance.

Both the H600 and the H1200 come with the same set of components, with the exception of the extra fan and Y-splitter for the H1200. You’ll find a universal backplate, AMD and Intel mounting brackets, a small tube of thermal paste, and all black fittings for the screws and other mounting hardware.

Both coolers come nicely packaged in protective cardboard, with durable plastic bag coverings on all major hardware, as well as some thick air pockets to help prevent any of it moving around in transit.

Microsoft is Recalling Surface Pro Power Cables Due to Overheating Concerns

Microsoft’s Surface Pro range offers superb flexibility due to detachable keyboard, integrated stand and responsive touch screen display. These type of devices are becoming more popular and could theoretically replace traditional laptops. Microsoft’s early vision for the original Surface didn’t go as planned and had pretty severe restrictions due to Windows RT. Thankfully, Microsoft implemented in their pro line-up full Windows integration and support for Win32 applications. The only real downside to take into consideration is the price, which can exceed £1000 for certain configurations. Clearly, this is a costly endeavour but Microsoft appears to be targeting the Surface line at professionals requiring excellent build quality and a high specification.

However, in a statement issued to ZDNet, it appears the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 sold before July 2015 have been encountering overheating problems with the included AC adapter. Microsoft’s official findings reads:

“As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord. We will be releasing details of how customers can obtain a free replacement cable shortly.”

This isn’t going to do Microsoft any favours and raises questions about their ability to produce durable hardware. On the other hand, at least they have openly admitted the technical problems and preparing replacements for all affected customers. It’s still unknown when the replacement service will begin but I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft started the RMA process in the next few days. The advent of ultra cheap chargers from online auction sites can be tempting, but a large amount of these haven’t been approved and can pose, in extreme circumstances, a fire risk. Always spend a little bit extra and buy an official charger.

What do you think of the Surface Pro range?

Astro A40 TR + Mix Amp Pro & Mod Kit Multi-Format Pro Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


We’re big fans of Astro here at eTeknix, time and time again they’ve delivered absolutely jaw dropping products, and for me personally, the best of the best when it comes to gaming headsets. Their latest headset, the Astro A40 TR is their latest and greatest wired headset, while also coming paired with their premium grade MixAmp Pro TR, offering a huge amount of features and performance enhancements that will no doubt please the gaming masses, eSports teams, Twitch streamers and so many others.

“Immerse yourself in Call of Duty: Black Ops III on Xbox One with the new A40 TR + MixAmp Pro TR and the Call of Duty: Black Ops III Mod Kit. We’ve worked with both professional gamers and top audio designers to deliver pristine Dolby Headphone Surround Sound. Transform the A40 TR Headset from open-back to closed-back in moments with noise-cancelling ear cushions, a voice isolating microphone, and closed-back Speaker Tags. The MixAmp Pro TR takes absolute control, allowing you to adjust your Game:Voice balance, or use the stream output to capture your audio for livestreaming.”

To get the full Astro experience, they’ve been kind enough to supply us with one of their fantastic mod kits too. This is a completely optional addition, but it’s a prime example of how you can really make each Astro product your own. You can change backplates on the drivers, have your own made to match your team logos, or pick from the selection available on the Astro site. The Mod Kit goes one further, however, adding a new microphone, head support, ear pads and backplates, giving you a very different look for your headset of choice.

Equipped with the Mix Amp Pro, the Astro A40 TR comes with a vast amount of cool features. You can customise every input every output, the EQ, tweak streaming audio to suit your needs and your audience’s needs, and best of all, you can link multiple Astro headsets for high-quality team chat, with zero lag!

“Free ASTRO Command Center software for PC and Mac users allows the customization of every input and output, as well as the creation of your own EQ settings.” “Control what your stream audience hears, including chat and game audio levels. Broadcast in 2-channel Dolby Surround Sound.” Reads the Astro website. “Faster than the speed of sound, this fully digital connection enables interference and lag-free local voice communications.”

With high-quality components throughout, this is certainly a well spec’d headset, let’s go take a closer look at what it has to offer.

First, here’s Astro to take you through some of the innovative features of the A40 TR, Mix Amp Pro and their new Mod Kits.

The packaging is really nicely designed, with clear images of the headset and mix amp, giving off a nice premium product vibe already.

Around the back of the box, a quick breakdown of all the major features and component specifications, but we’ll take a closer look at those ourselves in a moment.

As I said before, Astro also included their completely optional, but seriously cool Mod Kit for the A40 TR. This includes a new headband padding, backplates, microphone and driver padding.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation covering warranty and the setup process, although there’s also some very handy videos on the Astro YouTube channel for this, which we’ll take a look at shortly.

All of the included cables are finished to a high standard, with soft rubber tangle free coatings. There’s a long optical cable (TosLink), 4-pole 3.5mm for the headset, with in-line controller, a propriatory link cable for daisy chaining multiple Astro headsets for team chat, and a long USB cable for primary power to the Mix Amp Pro.

There’s a fully detachable microphone, with a flexible boom.

It’s finished with a very durable metal housing around the gold jack-lug, as well as a metal finish on the head.

ASUS Announces B150 Pro Gaming Motherboards

Asus announced a new motherboard in two versions for the value oriented gamer that would like a system with all the modern features at a slightly lower cost, the new B150 Pro Gaming motherboards in plain simple and as an Aura model that also comes with LED-illumination. Other than that, the two new motherboards are the same.

Built with the B150 chipset, the new Asus Pro Gaming motherboards allow you to use the 6th generation Skylake Core processors as well as up to 64GB DDR4 dual-channel memory. The motherboards also bring great audio to the end-user in the form of SupremeX and Sonic Radar II. Networking is taken care of by an Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet controller that features both LANGuard and GameFirst technologies to give you the perfect gaming experience with zero lag and great audio.

Naturally, you also get the newest connection technologies, including USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 3.1 Type-C, and an M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs next to plenty of the older connections storage and connectors. You can connect 6 SATA3 drives to these motherboards and also six USB 2.0 and six USB 3.0.

Durability shouldn’t be an issue for the B150 Pro Gaming motherboards as they are built with durable capacitors that can resist temperatures between -55 and +110 degrees Celcius while the input/output panel is made of corrosion-resistant stainless-steel. ASUS also added their ESD Guards to actively protect against sudden ESD surges on the USB, audio, and LAN ports.

Asus did not reveal any pricing or availability at this time.

Microsoft Offer Tools to Help You Upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft is both parts eager and keen in its attempts to upgrade everyone from the older systems to the latest, Windows 10. From offering free upgrades for windows 7 and 8 users, to automatically downloading the materials needed to install Windows 10 without warning the user, it’s clear that staying on the older systems may not be a choice for many.

In the new year, they intend to make that step a little easier for users. Currently, Windows 10 as an “Optional Update” for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users. This means that if you wanted to, you could install it. In a blog on their site, Microsoft recently announced that early next year this will be changed and Windows 10 will become a “Recommended Update”, meaning the update process will automatically start. They have clarified that when this happens you will be given the prompt asking if you wish to continue or not, with the option to revert back within 31 days if you are not happy with windows 10.

Alongside this, the tool used to create DVD ISO’s and USB installers is being updated to create a single image that will cover everything, such as the 32 and 64-bit versions of both Home and Pro copies of Window 10. All within one installation media, this means that you can install on any PC, regardless of the wanted version without having to create separate installation media.

Have you upgraded to Windows 10? Did you revert back? Give us your story in the comments below.

Pro-Cymbals Expansion Kit & New Songs Revealed for Rock Band 4

Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. has just announced new tracks that will be hitting the Music Store on Rock Band 4 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The new tracks from Alabama Shakes, Breaking Benjamin, Death From Above 1979 and The Pretty Reckless add to an already extensive library that is available for the game already.

Alabama Shakes makes its Rock Band debut with “Don’t Wanna Fight” from the band’s 2015 record, Sound & Color. Breaking Benjamin returns to Rock Band with its 2015 single, ”Failure,” which reached number one on Billboard’s US Mainstream Rock charts earlier this year. Death From Above 1979 made waves on the Billboard charts last year when it released “Trainwreck 1979” as a single off of its most recent release, the critically acclaimed The Physical World. “Follow Me Down” is the first track off of The Pretty Reckless’ second LP, 2014’s Going to Hell.

New songs, but also new hardware, just a week after the games launch we’ve now got access to the pre-order for the Rock Band 4 Pro Cymbals Expansion Kit, which are expected to ship in time for Christmas this year, with prices around $49.99.

The cross-platform compatible Pro-Cymbals Expansion Kit consists of realistic Crash, Ride and Hi-Hat cymbals. Once connected to the Rock Band 4 Wireless Drum Kit, the cymbals enable players to unlock Pro Mode in the game, enhancing the game’s realism and showcasing their unique flair. With a quick and easy set-up, the Pro-Cymbals Expansion Kit connects in minutes and features an innovative velocity-sensitive and sound-absorbing design for endless play sessions of distraction free drumming.

All tracks will be available for download on October 13 for $1.99 per track, while the Pro Cymbals are available for pre-order at $49.99.

AMD Introduces PRO A-Series Processors

AMD introduced its most powerful line of AMD PRO A-Series mobile and desktop processors to date, formerly codenamed Carrizo PRO and Godavari PRO. Along with the new APUs, AMD also introduced the AMD PRO Control Center that features easy-to-use tools such as AMD Energy Saver, PC Health Center, USB Blocker, and Wireless Display.

Mobile users can now utilize even more AMD power than ever before as AMD is introducing the first AMD PRO A12 processor, the fastest to date. It comes with 4 CPU cores with a clock up to 3.4GHz and 8 GPU Radeon R7 cores with up to 800MHz and 512 graphics compute cores. The new APUs also feature a hardware level ARM TrustZone where sensible tasks can be run in a secure environment and it is the first commercial processor in the industry designed to be compliant with the Heterogenous Systems Architecture 1.0 (HSA).

Key features of the new AMD PRO mobile processor include:

  • First commercial processor in the industry designed to be compliant with the Heterogeneous Systems Architecture (HSA) 1.0 specification to make programming accelerators such as the GPU far simpler, leading to greater application performance at low power consumption.
  • First ARM TrustZone capable commercial performance APU with a dedicated AMD Secure Processor. ARM TrustZone runs on top of the hardware enabling sensitive tasks to run on the AMD Secure Processor – in the “secure world” – while other tasks are run in “standard operation.”
  • First commercial performance APU with a true System-on-Chip (SoC) design to provide substantial gains in CPU, graphics and multimedia performance.
  • First commercial processor with High-Efficiency Video Compression (HEVC) decoder capability for mainstream notebooks to stream HD and Ultra HD content.

The AMD PRO desktop chips retain the same socket as the previous APUs but come with enhanced performance. AMD didn’t reveal what the exact model names are or what they are called, but they should be available in HP products starting yesterday and recognizable through the AMD PRO label.

Samsung Give Their SSD’s a New Speed Standard

 

Samsung’s latest release to the SSD Market is the 950 Pro SSD. It is the fastest consumer SSD the company have ever made for the consumer grade market. Samsung have managed to achieve a whole new level of speed into their flash storage by incorporating V-NAND and NVMe technology, the device uses NVMe rather than AHCI to communicate with the storage controller, many SSDs use the much older AHCI protocol to communicate with the storage controller; this was designed 11 years ago in 2004 by Intel for standard spinning platter hard drives.

The 950 Pro can offer sequential read speeds of up to 2500 MBps and sequential write speeds as fast as 1500MBps. That’s pretty impressive in my opinion, the new model is more than four times the read speed of its predecessor, the 850 Pro, and three times the write speed. It even beats their previous top performer, the OEM-only SM951, in terms of read speed.

The 950 Pro will be available in retailers this October, with prices for the 256GB version starting at £130, and £230 for the 512GB model.

The 950 Pro also uses the newer M.2 form factor, meaning it won’t be usable unless you have a motherboard with one of the m2 connectors. Most motherboards have this nowadays but it’s something to bear in mind when buying one.

Thanks to The Verge for providing us with this information.

First 2TB Consumer SSDs Are Now Available

Samsung announced that they would be releasing 2TB versions of their popular 850 Evo and 850 Pro families a couple of months ago, but thus far no one has spotted the drives out in the wild. That is up until now, they have been spotted in shops, are available through Samsung directly, and can be ordered from multiple online shops with others taking pre-orders until stock arrives.

While 2TB SSDs aren’t anything new in themselves, this is the firs time that we get this capacity on the consumer level and at a more reasonable price. Both drives are built with 40nm V-NAND, but not the same type. The Evo drive is built with TLC Toggle while the Pro is built with MLC Toggle NAND. The new Samsung 2TB drives are using 2GB LPDDR3 Cache to help with the performance and utilize the Samsung MHX controller.

The two series aren’t far from each other when it comes to performance. The Pro can read with 550MB/s where the Evo only does 540MB/s in sequential operations and the random performance of the Pro is 2K higher and comes in at 100K IOPS. The write performance is identical on both series with 520MB/s sequential and 90K IOPS random 4K.

I mentioned earlier that these drives come at a reasonable price, whether that is true or not probably depends on your absolute needs. The Samsung 850 Pro can be had for around 900 Euro while the  Samsung 850 Evo is a little cheaper and can be had for around 720 Euro. Those prices are actual list prices and might variate depending on the retailer. The MSRP for the drives has been set to $1000 and $800 respectively.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 550W Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


It’s no secret that be quiet! make some of the best PSUs money can buy, we’ve seen time after time that they can deliver great looking and performing products. A few months ago, we took a look at one of their latest and greatest units, the Dark Power Pro 11 1200W PSU and it was certainly impressive, offering excellent power delivery, whisper quiet performance and gorgeous aesthetics, but what if you don’t need huge amounts of power for your system, but you still want a very high-quality unit? That’s where the new Dark Power Pro 11 low-wattage models come into play.

“The Dark Power Pro 11 is the most advanced high-end power supply from be quiet!. Massive power, Overclocking Key, which can switch between quad and single-rail operation, an almost inaudible performance due to a be quiet! SilentWings 3 fan and – for us – the highest efficiency certification in the form of 80PLUS Platinum are some of the features of the new Dark Power Pro-models.” – be quiet!

At our disposal today, we have the Dark Power Pro 11 550w, offering more than enough power for a single-GPU system, workstation, office system or HTPC. Don’t think lower wattage means less features though, as you’ll still find 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, semi-modular cables and premium grade build-quality throughout.

Packaging and accessories

The box is nicely designed and features the typical black design we see on all be quiet! products. What is interesting is seeing the “high-end” branded together with 550W, as lower wattage units are rarely high-end.

Around the back, a quick run-down of all the included cables and features, but we will, of course, take a much closer look at these in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the AC power cable, user manual, OC key, fan cables and a collection of cable ties. The OC key is a nice touch, as it can be mounted in a space PCI-e expansion slot, giving you a physical switch for toggling between single and multiple rails on the PSU; not everyone will need such a thing, but it’s nice to have. The other welcome addition is the fan extension cables, as the PSU can have fans connected directly to it.

Scuf Gaming 4PS Professional PlayStation 4 Controller Review

Introduction


It has been a few years since we reviewed a product from Scuf. We last saw their Scuf Xbox 360 Controller, which was pretty amazing, but let’s be honest, it’s a little out of date now and with new-er consoles already on the market, we figured we’d take a look at something a little more modern. We have in the eTeknix office today, the Scuf Gaming 4PS, a heavily modded PlayStation 4 controller designed for the competitive gamer, be that a pro gaer, or someone who just likes to give their friends a good thrashing.

I’m really looking forward to testing this, I loved the last Scuf controller we tested, so I have high hopes for this new one, so let’s just jump right in and take a look at what you get for your money.

Please note that Scuf controllers are customizable to a great extent, the design and features of this controller were pre-picked by ourselves to represent a typical Scuf controller, while also showing all the available options you may want on your own. The controllers aren’t cheap, as this is a stock controller, extra hardware, time taken by a skilled craftsman to create the controller and a few extra bonuses. However, you know the saying “you get what you pay for”.

Our controller came with an added surprise, the Scuf Gaming Player’s Pack. Think of it like an add-on accessory kit of bonus goodies, because that’s exactly what it is. The controller box is nicely designed, a far cry from the box that the old Scuf controller came in!

Inside the box, you’ll find a quick run down of the features, such as the extra grips, custom handles, precision thumbsticks and more.

Under that, you’ll find the controller is carefully protected in a custom cut foam padding; an expensive controller deserves good packaging.

In the bottom of the box, I found some Scuf Fangs, these stick onto the rear triggers for extra reach and there’s also a clip/strap.

Frist impressions of the controller are extremely promising and its design is very unique; no doubt about that. The blue digital camo appearance looks stunning and also has a light grip texture to it that feels very comfortable to the touch, especially compared to the standard plastic feel of the stock controller.

Here you can see how the design is printed onto the top part of the controller, not the bottom. All the standard stuff is still here too, so you’ll find your headset connectors located on the bottom edge.

There’s an extra grip on the left and right bottom sides of the controller.

Things are pretty standard around the back.

On the underside, there are some major changes going on. First we’ve got those very tough rubber grips on the back, so there’s virtually no chance of this thing slipping from your grip. Then, of course, the Scuf Pro paddles on the back. These are customizable on the Scuf website to your favourite button configurations, you could have jump or melee for example, meaning you never have to take your thumbs off the sticks while gaming. The small logo between the paddles can be used to remap the paddles with the EMR feature and the tag that came included in the box.

Their custom shape makes them easy to control and they sit comfortably behind your finger tips.

There’s also a little grip texture on their tips, adding even more control and stability to the extra buttons.

There are a few stick configurations available from Scuf, we’ve gone for a Concave long on the left and a Dome Long on the right. You can also choose to keep the stock sticks if you want, or short, medium and long stem versions of the two types we have installed here. We’ve also gone for the all black buttons, which look pretty slick.

Both sticks are really nice quality, feel stunning and really smooth to control.

So what about that extra box of goodies we received? In that, you’ll find a new cable, carry case, nd a tube of Gamer Grip.

 

the cable is of a very high quality, with a thick braiding, durable connectors and it’s nice and long at 10ft, perfect for those who like to sit back from their system.

Gamer Grip is an interesting extra, it’s antiperspirant for your hands! I don’t suffer from sweaty hands while gaming, so this isn’t much use to me, but I know people who do and it certainly couldn’t hurt to have it in your gaming tool kit.

The carry case is stunning, perfectly crafted to fit the 4PS controller and keep all the buttons nice and safe.

The custom shape provides a snug house for your new premium grade (and priced) controller.

The soft interior should also help protect against scratches.

Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 Chassis Review

Introduction


I wonder how many of you have noticed how Cooler Master stopped launching new products for quite a while? It’s been ages since they brought out a new chassis, a new power supply, a new peripheral. If you didn’t notice, we certainly did and it wasn’t until Computex 2015 when we finally found out why the team at CM had gone so quiet; they were cooking up something big, very big! 2015 marks the year when Cooler Master take the PC component market by storm with their Maker concept. They’ve re-tooled everything they do, getting back to their core concepts of design, function and a whole lot more.

Why have one chassis when you can have all the chassis you need in one? The Maker series is moddable by its very nature, need it for NAS, need it for a gaming system, HTPC, LAN rig, office rig, rendering station, its really up to you. Cooler Master will provide you with the parts and configuration options you need to achieve a more personal build all by yourself and really make your rig yours. At least, that’s the promise, but we’ll find out today just how much of this has been achieved.

Cooler master said they channeled their MAKER SPIRIT to design a case that:

1. Gives absolute control over how a case looks and functions through a flexible, modular system.
2. Introduces an eco-system of accessories and add-ons that provide the ability to Customize. Adjust. Upgrade.
3. Was designed in collaboration with a community of makers and power users to inspire self-expression.
4. Redefines the way PCs are designed, made, bought, and used

There’s three editions of this chassis, each with their own unique features and of course, the ability to upgrade any of the lower models to the higher models by buying the extra bits.

Brace yourself, specification overload is coming! The MasterCase 5, Pro 5 and no doubt the TBD Maker 5, come with support for extensive water cooling, air cooling, motherboard sizes, lots of storage, long graphics cards, dust filters and more!


Check out the very interesting video below for more information on how “Maker” works.

We have in our hands today the MasterCase Pro 5, which means we have the same core chassis as the 5, but with the Pro parts pre-fitted. That’s right, you can buy the base model and upgrade anytime! Or you can jump right in and buy the Pro. Of course, the whole concept here is that you can tweak either of them to suit your needs and make the MasterCase into whatever you like.

First impressions of the chassis are very promising and despite the design featuring a lot of strong angles, the chassis still manages to look smart and sleek. There’s a huge side panel window on the left side, perfect for showing off your build.

The right side panel is just a blank panel, but just like the left panel, it is mounted with a pair of easy access thumb screws.

The angular design of the front panel looks really nice, still fresh and modern, but still unmistakably a Cooler Master design. There’s a pair of 5.25″ drive bays, as well as a huge ventilated section for any front mounted cooling.

Around the back, you’ll see a handle section at the top, matching the one near the front of the top panel; should make carrying you rig to LAN events a lot easier! This is an ATX chassis, so you’ll also find 7 expansion slots on offer; more than enough room for a multi-GPU configuration.

There is a 120/140mm fan mount at the back, with height adjustable mounting and a 140mm fan pre-installed.

There’s a removable bracket at the back to help with mounting the PSU from the rear of the chassis,

As well as a slide out dust filter, which will help provide your PSU with clean air.

The top panel is very sleek-looking and slopes gently towards the back of the chassis. There’s a huge amount of ventilation here and that’ll be great for any top mounted cooling, or removing heat from your system passively.

The front panel is nicely laid out with an almost symmetrical appearance. There’s a pair of USB 3.0 ports, but there’s also quite a lot of space here that could have been put to use; more USB ports perhaps?

The underside features two extra-large and full-width feet, which means the Master Case feels very stable overall. It’s helped even further by four tough rubber strips; two on each of the feet.

The PSU dust filter is a good size and fits in pretty snug. It’s washable too, so maintenance of the filter will be nice and easy.

ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


Today is the day that the Z170 chipset and Skylake overclocking processors are here and we can finally show off these great products. The Z170 platform has taken a somewhat minor upgrade to the untrained eye, but to those who know what to look for will notice many subtle changes. Probably the most notable is the addition of DDR4 memory and obviously the socket change to 1151 over 1150. Beyond that, you also have very subtle connectivity upgrades such as the possibility of up to 10 USB 3.0 ports, USB 3.1 Type A and Type C as standard and up to 20 PCIe 3.0 lanes; yes 20! What this means to the end user is the possibility of having multiple M.2 ports being featured onto a single motherboard and much more.

ASUS are currently one of the largest motherboard companies in the world, just outselling the closest competitor by a few hundred thousand units. With motherboards ranging from the budget pleasers all of the way up to the renowned Republic of Gamers variants; there is a bit of ASUS for everyone. This includes the brand new Pro Gaming motherboard that we’re looking at today.

Something that ASUS has done with the Pro Gaming motherboard is to take key features from the RoG series and incorporate them onto a motherboard at a reduced price. One of the key features is the RoG Extension header, which enables the ability to utilise the RoG Front base; a dual bay monitoring and overclocking piece of hardware. With RoG features at a cut price, would the performance be lower or are we looking at another GTX 980Ti vs Titan X scenario? Let’s take a look at the benchmarks and put all of the puzzle pieces together.

Key Features

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

  • Gamer’s Guardian II
    • DIGI+ VRM
    • DRAM Overcurrent Protection
    • ESD Guards On VGA, LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB 3.0/ 2.0
    • Highly Durable Components
  • Dual Intelligent Processors 5
    • 5 Way Optimisation:
      • TPU
      • EPU
      • DIGI+ VRM
      • Fan Xpert 3
      • Turbo App
  • RAMCache
  • Media Streamer
  • EZ DIY
  • Push Notice
  • UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
    • O.C. Tuner
    • CrashFree BIOS 3
    • EZ Flash 3
  • Q-Design
    • Q-Shield
    • Q-DIMM
    • Q-LED
    • Q-Slot
  • AI Suite 3
  • Disk Unlocker
  • AI Charger+
  • ASUS CPU-Z

Packaging and Accessories

As the Pro Gaming motherboard series is new to Z170, the box styling had to recreated. The feature image is a snippet of the World of Warships game which has a premium account bundled with this motherboard. The styling is very ROG-esq thanks to the ROG heritage and features incorporated within this motherboard.

The back of the box has a small diagram of the board and the key features in detail.

Inside the box is a conservative amount of accessories, driver disk, manual, and cable labels

Along with those are 4x SATA 6Gb/s cables, SLI bridge, I/O shield and an additional M.2 screw and riser.

ASUS has designed a great solution for the Z170 range. This new CPU holder enables the user to handle the CPU as minimal as possible. This holder aids the prevention of bent pins and can be left on when the socket latch is secured.

Insert the CPU by whatever your usual handling means; I found it easiest to push the CPU by the centre until it latched.

Simply place it onto the CPU socket, there is only one way you can do this.

And finally close the socket. You may hear some slight creaking of plastic, that is to be expected on some installations.

Check Out the Windows 10 Packaging Boxes

With the launch of Windows 10 later this month, more and more information about Microsoft’s upcoming OS is appearing. Today we have been gifted with some images that show the box art for Windows 10. This time around, the OS will be available on both DVD and USB installation media for the first time. Above, you can see the box art for the USB media with purple being the Pro version while blue is for Home. This is a change from the previous blue for Pro and green for Home that prior releases had adhered to.

For the DVD box art, a detailed depiction of the OS desktop is front and center. It seems Microsoft made pains to ensure that the much-missed Start Menu features front and center. Once again Pro gets a striking purple while Home is blue. Given the relative rarity of DVD drives in PCs and the rolling release style of Windows 10, this may be the last time we will ever see DVD media being sold. In fact, the USB installation media might also fall by the wayside as more and more users create their own installation media and USBs from downloadable ISOs. Be sure to follow our Windows 10 coverage here as we near the release date.

Images Courtesy of Microsoft Insider

TteSports Isurus Pro In-Ear Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


There’s no shortage of gaming headsets on the market for you to choose from. There are seemingly endless variations of performance, shape, size and price catered for, but for the most part, they’re often quite similar. The latest headset from TteSports, the gaming division of Thermaltake looks set to do things a little bit differently and while I admit, there may be other headsets in the world like this, I’ve certainly never seen a gaming headset quite like this.

“ISURUS PRO – The new generation of the ISURUS gaming headset, the ISURUS PRO is professionally engineered for Professional gamers and featuring a world’s first detachable microphone. The ISURUS PRO offers clear communication between gamers during intense gameplay by adjusting the microphone to ensure you have a perfect fit. The ISURUS PRO also delivers an astonishing audio and gaming experience with its comfortable ear-fit, allowing players to feel great for long periods of practicing or playing games! The ISURUS PRO also features a compact and powerful 13.5MM dynamic driver!”

The Isurus Pro is a high-end in-ear gaming headset, but unlike the small ear bud designs, it features huge 13.5mm drivers that sit just outside of the ear bud, so I’m sure we can expect some punchy audio performance today. To top it off, it also features a small boom microphone, a welcome change as most, if not all, in-ear headphones feature an on-cable pin hole microphone.

The headset features a unique design, with those large 13.5mm drivers making up the bulk of the unit, a set of ear hooks, which are like a smaller version of those found on in-ear sport headphones.

The packaging is tiny, but then again, so is the headset. There’s a few details listed on the front of the box, such as the detachable microphone, secure fit system and the 3-button remote.

In the box, you’ll find a set of in-ear rubber buds, to help better tailor the fit to your ears, a 3.5mm to dual 3.5mm adaptor so you can use the headset on your PC, not just on mobile devices, a carry pouch and the manual.

The headset comes hard-wired with a flat, tangle-free, rubber cable. The cable is lightweight, feels rather durable despite the fact it’s quite thin and obviously, it comes in a gorgeous bright red.

The hard-wired cable comes fitted with a 4-pole gold-plated 3.5mm jack, making it perfectly compatible with a wide range of handheld devices, such as smartphones, portable consoles and MP3 players.

The cable comes with an on-cable remote. It’s pretty basic, but for those using it on a mobile device, these multimedia controls will be a very welcome addition.

The detachable microphone is really nice and features a durable metal boom with a funky cable pass-through design, almost like it was sewn through it.

At the end of the boom, you’ll find a pinhole for the actual microphone component.

There’s also a small Tt logo on the reverse side of the microphone.

It can be easily disconnected, perfect for the times you simply want to use the headset as headphones, but easily reconnected for when you need voice chat capabilities.

The Tt Dragon adds to the overall design and is located between the driver and the honeycomb backplate.

The ear buds are angled down to allow them to fit snugly into your ear. The red rubber component fits into your ear also while the red rubber hook helps hold it firmly in place. The larger driver section sits just beyond the ear, allowing the headset to have larger drivers that otherwise wouldn’t fit into your ears.

The protective bag is great, as it allows you to bundle everything safely away when you’re done and it’s also small enough to keep snug in your backpack, making it perfect for those who travel or have gaming notebooks.

Not Everyone Will Get Windows 10 on the 29th of July

If you were eagerly waiting to get your hands on Windows 10 on the 29th of July, you might be a bit disappointed. Microsoft just ruled out some updates on the upcoming Windows distribution timings, so bear with us on this.

The company said that Windows Insider program members will be the first to get Windows 10 when it launches, with other users who have reserved their copies being notified by email. Once you get notified, you will be able to get on downloading the Windows build. However, the company will be rolling it out in waves, which will increase in size gradually. This means there won’t be a lot of users who reserved Windows 10 getting it when the clock hits zero.

For regular home users, Microsoft will release the notification once it gets enough information from your system and considers it “ready” for Windows 10. Users who do not have a PC fitting Microsoft’s requirement will be notified by the Microsoft team and be given details as well as contact information on what they should do to get the build.

Business users have something else to deal with. Windows 10 Pro businesses will be able to download the build alongside Windows Insider users on the 29th of July, but larger companies have to wait. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education will be available through the company’s Volume Licensing Service Center starting on the 1st of August.

In addition to the above, all Windows 8.1 versions sold from retail stores will be given out with additional information on how to upgrade to Windows 10. More information about what Microsoft has planned for the Windows 10 rollout can be found over at their blog here.

Amazon Accidentally Revealed Nvidia Shield Pro

 

On Saturday Amazon accidentally revealed a pro model of the upcoming Nvidia Shield Android TV set-top box by listing the new products page, but they were just as quick to remove it again. But the internet doesn’t forget and users are fast to grab information like this. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.

So it looks like Nvidia is planning to release a Pro model of their Shield Android TV box next to the normal version. The difference between the two models will be limited to a single item and that is the storage capacity. Where the Nvidia Shield will come with just 16GB flash storage and an SD-card slot for those who need more, the Nvidia Shield Pro on the other hand looks to come with 500GB internal storage instead.

The pricing wasn’t listed for either model and neither was the release date, but it should be soon. Earlier it has said to be scheduled for a May or June sale date, so it could be any day now. With Amazon, and probably other resellers too, starting to list the products with both product and packaging photos could also point towards an imminent release.

Customers of the new Shield Android TV set-top box will get both an HDMI and USB cable, shield controller and either the 16GB standard or 500GB Pro Shield Android TV packed with the powerful Tegra X1 processor, 3GB RAM, and 4K capabilities.

Thank you PC Perspective for providing us with this information

Microsoft Announces 7 Editions of Windows 10

Microsoft has announced all the editions of their upcoming Windows 10. As expected, they are quite a few, clocking at 7 this time. This announcement also renames Windows 10 for Phones to Windows 10 Mobile. All the editions revealed today are:

  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Mobile
  • Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Education
  • Windows 10 IoT Core 

Starting from Windows 10 Home, it is being called “consumer-focused desktop edition.” It is the edition that will present on most of the home PCs and laptops. It includes all of the main Windows 10 features like the new Microsoft Edge browser, Windows Hello face-recognition, Continuum tablet mode for touch-capable devices, Cortana, Iris, fingerprint login and built-in universal apps. These are enough features that an average users can utilize. It also brings Xbox gaming experience to the table.  Xbox One owners have the ability to play their Xbox One games from any Windows 10 PC in their home.

Windows 10 Pro which is built on Windows 10 Home and it offers features that can be utilized by small businesses including security enhancements. Windows 10 Enterprise is built on Windows 10 Pro. It should be the ultimate stop for medium to large-sized organizations because it provides better support and security features. Windows 10 Mobile is for mobile devices and will enable some new devices to take advantage of Continuum for phone, so people can use their phone like a PC when connected to a larger screen. Windows IoT core is aimed for smaller gateway devices.

This is the beginning of the future of Windows as “Windows as a Service” mentioned here. Windows 10 is scheduled to be shipped in summer, according to Microsoft. We currently don’t have any more information on the exact dates of the launch, but we’ll keep you up to date as soon as we do.

Thank you Windows Blog for providing us with this information.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


be quiet! are regarded as one of the best brands in the business, from their high-end CPU coolers, system fans and of course their power supplies, many of which are regarded as some of the coolest, quietest and best make products available today. Obviously, the quiet part is a given, with a name like be quiet!, if they made noisy products, it would be quite a disappointment. To achieve quiet performance, be quiet! uses high-quality components, premium grade build quality and design, so it’s no surprise that they’ve won many awards in the past; will we see a repeat performance today?

The Dark Power Pro 11 is the latest entry in their popular Dark Power Pro series. There are a few notable features to this power supply that make it stand out from the competition. First we’ve got the new SilentWings 3 135mm fan which features the new 6-pole motor, a redesigned bearing, the lowest startup rotational speed in the market (under 250FPM) and more; promising virtually inaudible performance and improved cooling. Of course, power delivery is improved too, with high-quality PFC capacitors, higher efficiency, improved voltage stability, regulation and more!

Packaging and Contents

As you can see, the be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 comes in the usual packaging design of any other be quiet! product. Down the left side of the box, it’s marked “high-end”, although the words “80 Plus Platinum” and “1200w” are also strong indicators that this is a high-end/enthusiast focused product.

The Dark Power Pro 11 is semi-modular and comes with a hard-wired 24-pin, not big deal since literally all systems will need this cable and making it modular would only add to the cost. There are two CPU power cables, an 8-pin and a 4+4, Four SATA/Molex cables with FDD options. One of the more important cables, there are four PCIe cables, three with dual 6+2 connectors and a single 6pin PCIe cable. Finally, you’ll also find external fan connector cables, more on those in a moment, and the Overclocking Key add-on.

In the box, we found two power cables, one for EU and one for UK, although we expect this will differ based on region.

Included extras from left to right, are the fan adaptor cables, OC jumper, Overclocking Key switch, screws, cable ties, thumb screws and two Velcro cable ties.

Samsung Unveils New and Faster PRO+ and EVO+ Memory Cards

Samsung might be moving away more and more away from the memory card usage in their smartphones, but that doesn’t mean that they are planning to give up on that market sector. They have just released two new versions of their EVO and PRO SD and microSD cards dubbed the plus series and coming with capacities up to 128GB.

The new memory cards follow the same scheme as the solid state drives with the Samsung EVO+ memory card being the budget version with slightly less speed but also a more affordable price tag. The EVO plus series of memory cards are U1 rated and can still perform with 80MB/s at reading and 20MB/s at writing. The EVO+ will be available as 32, 64 and 128GB variants.

The PRO plus line provides better transfer speeds, as it is to be expected. With 95MB/s at reading and 90MB/s at writing, this card is perfect for high-speed video recording, 4K photo shooting, 3D recordings, or anything else that requires a large data stream to be stored quickly. The PRO cards are faster than the EVO cards, but they aren’t as big. The new Samsung PRO plus memory cards will be available as 64GB and 32GB capacities.

Both series come with upgraded Samsung 5-proof features: Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray proof, magnetic proof and shock proof. Plus cards can withstand 72 hours of being submerged in seawater, which is a 48-hour improvement over current products. The new cards should become available this month, but no word on pricing yet.

Razer Launches Seiren Pro Digital Microphone with XLR Recording

Razer launched a new microphone aimed at users that do their own live streams and youtube videos, the new Seirēn Pro Digital Microphone with both analog XLR and digital USB connection. The XLR cable allows it to be plugged directly into mixing boards and cameras and users can chain together multiple microphones and instruments to the board with this XLR option for increased flexibility.

“With the success of YouTube, Twitch and the likes, there is a greater demand for high-fidelity recording equipment than ever before,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “Our second condenser microphone, the Razer Seirēn Pro, delivers what video game streamers are looking for and provides great value to YouTubers, musicians and anyone looking to capture sound clearly.”

If you wish to complete your setup, you can get optional accessories such as a shock mount and pop filter are also available to pair with the new microphone. It has four adjustable recording patterns, Cardioid, Stereo, Omni, and Bi-directional. The quick controls for pattern switching, headphone volume, and mic gain are conveniently placed and the built-in headphone amplifier should provide a zero latency output.

 

The microphone as a 24 bit, 192 kHz sample rate, three 14mm condenser capsules and a frequency response from 20Hz to 20KHz. The sensitivity is rated to 12.5mV/Pa and it has a max SPL of 120dB. The headphone amplifier supports up to 16 ohms at a power output of 130mW and a frequency response of 15Hz to 22kHz.

Razer’s new Seirēn Pro microphone won’t come cheap, but it does pack some nice features. The MSRP is set to $249.99 in the US and €299.99 in Europe. The shock mount and pop filter will each cost you an additional $49.99/€49.99 or you can buy it all in a complete bundle for $299.99 or €349.99. Availability is set for sometime this month and pre-orders can already be placed at Razerzone.com.