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MSI Gaming GT73VR 6RF Titan Pro Gaming Notebook Review

The portable gaming powerhouse packed with the latest GeForce GTX 1080 desktop grade graphics and 4k resolution

XSPC RayStorm Pro Ion AX240 Review

Need a promising water cooling kit for your system? The XSPC RayStorm Pro Ion AX240 is one you might want to consider for.

Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Dual Tone Review

Great features and modularity at smaller size and lower price.

Unboxing and Review: Logitech K380 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard

It's a pain to get just a bluetooth keyboard for each device. Why not go for one that actually works with multiple device altogether?

Unboxing and Preview: Raijintek Triton 280 Liquid Cooler

This is probably the best AIO we have tested to date.

April 30, 2014

Introducing BitFenix Fury PSU Series

Top quality components and impressive design combine for the ultimate PSU

(BitFenix Design Lab, April 30, 2014) – For a long time, the power supply is one part of the PC that users prefer to remain unseen. These dull, lifeless boxes were made to perform in the background, away from sight. Challenging the status quo, BitFenix set out to make a power supply that not only delivered on a performance level, but also utilized enough design elements to let it stand out in a system build. To that end, BitFenix announces the Fury Power Supply Series. Featuring top quality components like all Japanese capacitors, a killer design aesthetic, and top-notch efficiency, Fury is set to become the new gold standard in semi-modular power supply units.

April 28, 2014

Silverstone PS09 (SST-PS09B)

Silverstone is known for their elegant and innovative chassis such as their Fortress and Raven series. Now these are premium offerings that appeals to enthusiasts, but today I take a dive into the other end of the spectrum with a budget friendly Micro-ATX chassis from Silverstone.

Credits to Inter-Asia Technology for providing us the Silverstone PS09 for today's article. The Silverstone PS09 is part of the Precision series which focuses on value-oriented offerings from Silverstone classified as "High-Value Tower Chassis", what's more is that the PS09 is a silent chassis. With the SRP at RM189 this looks like a sweet deal indeed.

Specs



Packaging

The PS09 comes in a regular cardboard box that's printed full of info about the chassis itself. Right from the get go, users can know almost everything there is about the PS09 without opening it.


Out from the box, the PS09 is protected by two moulded Styrofoam that protects it from knocks and bumps and is covered in plastic as well.  


You'll normally find these inside the chassis but I've extracted it to show what comes with it. Not much is bundled with the PS09, an quick start guide and a bag of screws with a single cable tie, that's it. Not that I expected much from a budget series chassis.

 External Features

The PS09 is very light indeed but the construction seems solid enough for it to hold it's shape. Side panels are plain with some indentation at the back that doubles as a grip when opening the chassis with meshed ventilations at the side of the front panel. You'll also find the power button and the reset button right above the meshed vents Both sides of the chassis are identical. Being a mini-tower chassis, there are only two 5.25" bays at your disposal on the front.


Front panel I/O consists of two USB3.0 ports, a microphone and headphone jack.


A Silverstone logo / badge is also found at the front panel.



The side ventilations are filtered and may be removed easily for cleaning.


Turning our attention to the back of the PS09, you'll find a top-mount PSU opening, a knockout for an I/O shield, an 80mm or 92mm exhaust fan mount and four expansion slots.


A Kensington-lock is available right below the exhaust fan mount should you wanna secure the whole chassis to a table.


The expansion slots are secured with a single plate but Silverstone still lets you sink in screws to secure your expansion cards.


Not a whole lot at the bottom as well with four plastic feet for a little elevation off of the floor...


but you do get an SSD mounting point right at the front

Internal Features



Removing the side panels, you'll find the thin foam padding for noise suppression. There is a little flex to the side panels but it's not apparent when it's mounted.


The two squarish cut-outs on the foam are there so that the parts protruding from the back of the motherboard tray will not leave a mark. Both side panels are identical so no need to worry about which goes where when placing them back.


Note the large cut-out on the motherboard tray, this makes it easier to swap third party CPU coolers later on and rest assured that the motherboard tray is solid despite the big opening. The drive bays are void of any tool-less mounting mechanisms so best to get your screw drivers handy.


Removing the front panels can only be done AFTER the side panels are off. This is due to the clips that hugs the upper side of the frame.


Silverstone included a single 120mm intake fan at the front and note that one could add another 80mm fan at the bottom as well.



Cable management are all done on the inside as there are hardly any room behind the motherboard tray.


But it shouldn't be a huge problem as the 3.5" drive cage is mounted off-set towards the left so that al the cables can be tucked away neatly. Though I still would recommend getting a modular PSU when working with a small chassis like this. Oh BTW you can fit up to four 3.5" drives in the cage.


Right below the HDD cage is an empty space for fitting long GPU up to 14.1 inches and the aforementioned SSD mount.


I feel that Silverstone could've placed some more noise dampening foam on the inside of the front panel, all that space felt a little under-utilised.


And finally, the front I/O connectors which are standard for all chassis.

Assembly & Testing

As you can see, fitting components inside the PS09 is not a problem for the most part. Cables from my non-modular PSU barely caused any problems thanks to the space behind the HDD cage. I had to use the stock cooler as the PS09 only supports third party coolers up to 140mm, in which I do not have currently. The first 5.25" drive bay is a tight fit with the cables from my PSU getting in the way, this should not be the case with smaller or modular PSUs. The expansion slots are the break-off type so you wouldn't be able to secure it back after taking them off but the mounting mechanism is very solid if that's any consolation.

The only hiccup I ran into is that the PSU screw mounts deviated slightly from one of the PS09's mounting point so I have to be contempt with securing 3 screws for the PSU. Space is tight so plan your build a little before proceeding.


Closing up the side panels, the only apparent changes in the exterior is the DVDRW drive. I tilted the chassis this way to show that even with all the wires from my 700W non-modular PSU in the chassis, the side panel can be closed without having to force it and therefore, no bulging.

Here are the system components I placed inside the Silverstone PS09.

AMD PhenomII x3 710
Asrock 960GC-GS FX
Kingston Value RAM 1333Mhz 2x2GB
Sapphire HD7850 2GB
Seagate SSHD 1TB
Western Digital Blue 1TB
Huntkey ASPC 700W

Except for the stock cooler and the SSHD, much of it is the same as the setup on the Nanoxia DS4 that I reviewed before so I'll place the test results in comparison to the data obtained from testing the DS4 as it was also a silent M-Atx chassis.

As usual, HWMonitor will be recording the temperatures while Prime95 and MSI Kombustor is used in the load tests. No over-clocking has been done to the CPU or GPU for this to simulate normal use.


Temperatures on the components are expected to be slightly higher in the PS09 due to the use of stock cooler and the single 120mm intake fan though as you can see, it's still acceptable range. I would definitely recommend adding an exhaust fan at the back for improved airflow. Note that the GPU temperature on load is tested on MSI Afterburner so it doesn't relate to real-world usage; a normal gaming session will spike the GPU temperature to about 75 degrees-C in the PS09.


Noise suppression is there but it is still audible because of the stock cooler, things will surely be quieter if I had a 120mm C-Type cooler so this test may be skewed to a certain extent. However, it is still quieter with the side panels closed.

Conclusion

The Silverstone PS09 is a simple chassis with the versatility of fitting high-end components. Although, not many gamers I know will select the PS09 due to it's reserved outlook but it will definitely be a great choice for someone's office or as a HTPC at home due to it's compact nature with noise dampening features.

Pros
  • Removable dust filters
  • Light but solid construction
  • Good cable management
  • Very competitively priced
Cons
  • Non-reusable breakaway expansion slots
  • Only single 120mm fan supplied
Overall, in consideration of the price/performance ratio, the Silverstone PS09 is a great chassis. Have Silverstone decided to include an exhaust fan and solid expansion slots, it'll get a higher rating from me. A Tech-Critter Silver badge is hereby awarded to the PS09.


Unboxing & Review - ASUS Z97-Deluxe



A name renown to any PC enthusiasts, ASUS has a wide range of award winning products that has been one of the most selected brand when it comes to PC DIY components. Among these products, ASUS motherboards has been one of enthusiasts favourite as it offers both rich features and packs with great over-clocking capabilities throughout all generations of both Intel and AMD platform.

The recent leaked photos of the upcoming ASUS Z97 chipset motherboards that went viral is a solid proof that the arrival of Intel Haswell refresh is near. Million thanks to ASUS Malaysia for the given opportunity, we are proud to present to you our unboxing and review of the ASUS Z97-Deluxe motherboard. At the moment of writing the article, the SRP has yet to be determined.


April 23, 2014

NZXT Announces Release of the Phantom 240 Mid-Tower Chassis



April 22, 2014, Los Angeles, CA – NZXT is pleased to introduce the Phantom 240 mid tower chassis. The water cooling capable Phantom 240 features classic Phantom styling at its lowest price point yet.


April 20, 2014

Unboxing & Review: GELID Solutions IcyPad


When it comes to cooler pads, laptop is the first thing that came to the thoughts of many. We're going to review a cooler pad today, but not for laptops - it's the GELID Solutions IcyPad compact design universal silent cooling pad, huge thanks to GELID Solutions for making this review possible.

Cooling laptop is not something you can do with the IcyPad, but it's well suited for networking devices (routers, modems, network switches), media player, tv box, etc that might requires some extra cooling. 

Quick Review: Cooler Master CM Storm Trigger Z


A sample unit of the CM Storm Trigger Z arrived at our doorstep recently and it is said to be the replacement for the CM Storm Trigger (pretty soon). To our surprise, appearance of the Trigger Z resembles its predecessor, the Trigger in many ways and this leads to only one question - what features has been added or taken away? 

The CM Storm Trigger Z is available in 3 type Cherry MX switch - Red, Blue and Brown, with the SRP of MYR395.00. 

Unboxing & Review: Edifier W670BT Stereo Bluetooth Headset

Now we know when it comes to music, not all of us listen to the same thing, hence we often see people with their headphones or In-ear-monitors (IEM) while going on their daily routines. But if you find that the wires that hangs from out from these personal audio devices inconvenient to downright pesky, then it's probably wise to get a wireless headset. 

April 18, 2014

Unboxing and Review: Archgon Play! OTG Mobile Card Reader


Admit it, storage space is always an issue, no matter the size, it's never going to be enough. Adding storage to a PC is relatively easy but what about if one happen to have a smartphone with non-expandable memory? On-the-go USB is one simple solution; and today we'll take a look at the Archgon Play! OTG mobile Card Reader.

April 17, 2014

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Striker GTX 760 Platinum Gaming Graphics Card


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (17th April, 2014) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Striker GTX 760 Platinum, a brand-new 4GB gaming graphics card powered by the sweet-spot NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ 760 graphics-processing unit (GPU), 4GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory and engineered with exclusive cooling and power-stabilizing technologies — delivering performance that’s up to 10% faster than reference. Striker GTX 760 Platinum’s DirectCU II cooling, CoolTech fan, DIGI+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) and Super Alloy Power components ensure cooler, faster, quieter gaming that also provides great overclocking potential. Sporting ROG’s signature red-and-black livery and the color-coded load LED, Striker GTX 760 Platinum delivers superb out-of-the-box gaming experiences in style.

Samsung Unveiled World’s First Curved Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV


Lee Dong Yong, President of Samsung Malaysia Electronics leading the product tour with Frederick Ong, Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Malaysia Electronics and Jimmy Tan, Director, Consumer Electronic Marketing, Samsung Malaysia Electronics

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – April 15, 2014 – Samsung Malaysia Electronics unveiled the world’s first Curved UHD TV today. The 65-inch masterpiece features a curved design with Samsung’s UHD (Ultra High Definition) TV technology for the ultimate immersive viewing experience – setting the pace for innovation and design in home entertainment.

“This is a big year for entertainment and the new Curved UHD TVs will change the way the world views TVs. Samsung’s ultimate goal is to give people the power to discover new experiences,” said Lee Dong Yong, President of Samsung Malaysia Electronics.

April 14, 2014

Unboxing & Review: Gamdias Hephaestus Gaming Headset



It's been a while since we have Gamdias sending us their products for review but they've pulled through with a flashy comeback with their Hephaestus gaming headset. As usual, the name is derived from a Greek God and Hephaestus is the God of Fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture which again sounds like a big shoe to fill. At RM339 SRP let's jump right in to see what the Gamdias Hephaestus has in store for us.

April 12, 2014

Cooler Master V750S Power Supply Unboxing & Overview

As the system requirements for games with sophisticated graphics are getting higher on each release, gamer and enthusiasts attempt to squeeze as much performance as possible from their system with various method such as overclocking, SLI & Crossfire. When such action takes place, a good power supply unit with high efficiency is required to ensure a strong and stable power is being supplied to the components so that the components involved will be able to perform at its best. 

In today's review, we have a Cooler Master V750S power supply - the highest available model in the 80+ gold rated semi-modular VS series power supply from Cooler Master.

*SRP for the Cooler Master V750S is at 449.00 Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) each

April 11, 2014

Coverage of Corsair Event @Melia Kuala Lumpur


We're here today at the Melia Kuala Lumpur Hotel to attend the first and ever Corsair Event in Malaysia, a collaborative effort of our local Corsair distributor Cudo Technologies with Corsair. Greeted by a Corsair Dominator Platinum banner, let's head on and see what awaits us ahead!

April 07, 2014

BitFenix Flo Headset Unboxing & Review



I could not describe how excited I was when this arrived at my doorstep. With all the hype and hopes, it's finally in my hands...the BitFenix Flo headset. Many thanks to Inter-Asia and BitFenix Malaysia who took all the trouble of procuring the sample.

The Flo is BitFenix's first audio product, as they are essentially manufacturers of high quality PC chassis and they've brought the design element unique to BitFenix onto the Flo, which is an interesting aspect of the headset. Available is four colours as seen above, lets see what BitFenix has to offer with the Flo headset.

Specs
The specs are just about standard with most headsets but I was intrigue to see the rated impedance at 68-ohms, which is doubled compared to more well-known offerings such as the Steelseries Siberia V2 (32-ohms) or Corsair Vengeance 2000 (32-ohms) so technically it should sound better especially when coupled with a good sound-card; really looking forward to testing it now.


MaterialsSteel, Plastic, SofTouch™ Surface Treatment, SoftFeel™ Earcups
ColorsMidnight Black, Arctic White, Fire Red, Cobalt Blue
Acoustic DesignDynamic, Closed-back
Driver16µ, Neodymium magnet, Φ40mm
Sensitivity96db /1mW
Frequency Response20hz-20khz
Rated Impedance68 Ω
EarpadsSoftFeel™
Headband PressureApproximately 5N
Cables1m Straight Cable With Remote, 1m Straight Mobile Audio Cable, 2m Straight Cable With Headphone / Microphone Plugs
ConnectorGold-plated Φ3.5mm stereo mini-plug with aluminum sheath
Net Weight200g
Contents
Flo Headset, Flexible Microphone, 1m Straight Cable With Remote, 1m Straight Mobile Audio cable, 2m Straight Cable With Headphone / Microphone Plugs

Packaging

The Flo comes in an overall black box with an angled window at the front of the box beside the illustration of the headset. From here users can take a peek at the colour they'll wanna get (this one is the white version btw) and inspect the headset before making their purchase.



At the back, are descriptions of the Flo headset, specifications and the contents of the box complete with more the illustrations of the headset.



Both sides shows the colours available to the users.


Taking everything from the box, I have the Flo Headset, Detachable Microphone, 1-metre cable with in-line volume and mic control, and a 2m cable with separate mic and audio jacks. I am missing the 1-metre mobile cable as this is a sample unit, though the retail unit will be not much different.

The Headset

The headset is a one-size-fits-all design. It is fairly light and is coated with BitFenix's trademarked SofTouch material. Despite it's weight, the Flo feels solid; no creaking sounds came from the unit even flexing it (within the permitted limits).


At the top is where the two support frame and adjustment strap with some cushioning.


Speaking of cushioning, the "SoftFeel" closed-back plush ear-cups is adequately deep and comfortable, though the pleater-like material will make the ears sweat if worn in a warm climate. These are removable but currently there are no indication of replacement ear-cups from BitFenix.


This is how the microphone and audio jacks plugs into the Flo. The chromed rim is a nice touch and logo indicates the brand without being too overbearing, atypical BitFenix styling.



Here are the close-up shots of the connectors. The aluminium sheaths of the connectors gave it that premium feel while protecting the joints housed inside; etched on are the connection indicators and the BitFenix branding. The in-line volume and mic controller is also coated with the SofTouch material ensuring good grip but it may become an issue to some as frequently handling of rubberised coatings may result in peeling and stickiness over a period of time, this is made worse in a hot and humid climate of Malaysia.



Detachable mic is a boon in this package as it ensures that one would be able to use the Flo in public places without looking odd. This has a good reach and is flexible enough to be positioned in front of your mouth.

Testing 



The BitFenix Flo is very comfortable despite the fact that it's non-adjustable; thanks to the plushy SoftFeel ear-cups and lightweight construction. The grip is adequate which ensures that the headset stays on your head and without making one feel they're wearing a torture device. The detachable microphone allows the Flo to transform into a street-style headset but since it's not fold-able, one would have to get a little creative when packing it into a bag.

Sound quality from the 40mm drivers are good with no distortions on high volume, vocals are crisp and clear with adequately punchy bass for music and movies. The Flo also provided good directional audio from FPS games, explosions and gunfire sounds have a satisfying kick to them as well. Nothing much to say about the microphone, it just works and that's the gist of it.

Conclusion

Just to clear things up, the BitFenix Flo is never meant to be a gaming-only peripheral, but more towards an all-round headset that you could use anywhere. Having said that though, the sound from the Flo is good, I was worried about the high Ohm rating but I have yet to experience any problems listening to music from my handphone. The detachable cables also means that users will be able to swap them with custom cables of their choice and would satisfy most people craving for good audio with the flexibility of using it anywhere they desire.

I'd like to see BitFenix coming up with other options for their ear-cups and probably an in-line volume controller without the SofTouch treatment not only for the hot and humid climate but also because handling the controller over a time will wear out the rubber surface. The non-adjustable headband might also be an issue for oversized heads so do try it out before buying.

Overall, the experience is impressive but the actual product has yet to make it's way to the Malaysian shores at the time of writing this article. A quick look up with uncle-Google reveals that it's priced between USD71 to USD104 in Amazon.com which translate to about RM232 to RM340 but it's not a decisive figure for the SRP in Malaysia so we'll just have to wait for a while.

Pros

  • Good, trendy design with 4 colour options
  • Light and comfortable to wear over long periods
  • Good sound quality
  • Good sound isolation 
  • Detachable cables and microphone

Cons

  • Non-adjustable headband
  • SofTouch coating on in-line volume controller 
Hence, the BitFenix Flo headset gets a Gold and Recommended badge from us here at Tech-Critter.com.




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