CM01
CM02

Win a trip to Hollywood with Cooler Master!

Check out Cooler Master's Power Rangers movie campaign now to learn more.

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.

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, 2015

Thecus® Announces New Zero-Crash 5-Bay NAS, the N5810PRO


Thecus today announced its new zero-crash 5-bay NAS, the N5810PRO. Embedded with an Intel® Celeron™ processor J1900 Quad Core 2.0 GHz SoC and Mini-UPS battery, the Thecus N5810PRO empowers users with lightning fast performance while providing impenetrable data integrity.

“In today’s ever-evolving digital environment, businesses require robust storage solutions that provide premium performance with piece of mind that their data will always be secure,” said Florence Shih, CEO of Thecus Technology. “The N5810PRO is designed to equip users with a comprehensive set of applications that will optimize their business environment while addressing the needs for performance and security.”

Powered by the Intel Celeron processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM (expandable to 8GB), and equipped with 5 Gigabit LAN ports, the N5810PRO reaches blazing throughput speeds of up to 500 MB/s. The N5810PRO supports seven modes of link aggregation including fault tolerance for resilience and port-trunking modes for increased performance. Built to grow with your business, total storage can be expanded to 40TB, while support for VMware®, Citrix®, and Microsoft Hyper-V® allow for seamless integration into a businesses’ virtualization environment.

“The integration of the Intel Celeron processor J1900 Quad Core 2.0 GHz SoC with the Thecus N5810PRO enables users to simultaneously utilize the many features of the NAS while maintaining a high-performance environment,” said Bev Crair, Vice President, Data Center Group and General Manager, Storage Group, Intel Corporation. “The N5810PRO is another example of successful collaborative products from Intel and Thecus.”

In order to protect your data in the occurrence of a sudden power outage, the N5810PRO is outfitted with a lithium-ion mini-UPS, allowing the system to store unwritten data to the hard disks and safely shut down. The new 5-bay NAS also supports an array of backup features including Data Guard for local and remote backups, Data Burn, and Snapshot Backup using the Btrfs file system. Users can now enjoy enhanced storage functionality while simplifying storage management.


The N5810PRO runs on the intuitive, easy-to-use Thecus OS5 operating system.  The re-tooled software includes VPN Server for secure remote access and Disk Clone and Wipe for convenient data management. Users will also be able to enjoy a comprehensive set of entertainment features facilitated by HDMI output and Kodi for multimedia playback and mobile access with the powerful Thecus mobile app, T-OnTheGo.

April 29, 2015

Unboxing & Review: Kingston HyperX Savage SSD 240GB


SSDs was once considered a luxury and unnecessary a few years back due to its high price that not many could afford even for the smaller capacity 60GB or 64GB variant. As competition arises, price of SSD has become much more affordable and the once dreamed 120GB / 128GB SSD would probably cost you around RM250 or much lesser. 

Kingston's HyperX SSD is one of the best performing SSD available since the HyperX 5K and 3K. Fury was Kingston's last year new lineup in the HyperX flagship memory products and we saw the new Savage coming when the new Savage memory is announced back in September 2014. The star of today's review, the HyperX Savage SSD arrived at Tech Critter's lab awhile ago - million thanks to Kingston in making this review possible! The price is yet to be decided at the time this article is written, but here's the rough estimation for each models with different capacity:
  • HyperX Savage 120GB - $83.99 (298.90 MYR)
  • HyperX Savage 240GB - $139.99 (498.83 MYR)
  • HyperX Savage 480GB - $279.99 (996.40 MYR)
  • HyperX Savage 960GB - $559.99 (1995.41 MYR)


Specifications

Overview

The HyperX Savage is rather luxurious in terms on the packaging, which somehow reminded us the HyperX 5K and 3K back then. Sweet!



Aside of the product description, Kingston has listed out the content at the back of the box. As expected, the similar upgrade kit from both HyperX 5k and 3K consisting the USB 3.0 enclosure, 3.5" bracket, SATA cable, screw driver kit and the spacer. 



The HyperX Savage sits firmly in the middle of the padded foam cutout for the best protection. 



At the base of the padded foam cutout, we can see the iconic 'X' logo of Kingston's HyperX flagship. 



The full content of the package:

  • USB 3.0 enclosure
  • User's guide
  • 3.5" bracket
  • SATA cable
  • HyperX sticker
  • HyperX Savage SSD
  • SSD spacer
  • Screw driver kit


The 2.5" enclosure can be used for upgrade purpose or just simply to use the SSD as an ultra fast external hard drive.



The lever to lock/unlock the enclosure.



The inside of the enclosure.



The USB 3.0 header of the enclosure.



The screw driver kit, it has pretty much every size you need for installation.



The HyperX Savage has a very striking appearance, unlike any we've seen up to date. How much SWAG can you have?



At the back of the SSD we can see a warranty label covering one of the screw of the SSD enclosure - it's advised to not to tamper with it as it will void the manufacturer warranty from Kingston. 

Testing Method
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100i
CPU
Intel Core i7 5960X
Motherboard
ASUS X99-PRO
Memory
Kingston HyperX Predator 8GB
Primary Hard Drive
-
Power Supply
be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Chassis
Vector Benchcase

CrystalDiskMark

Developed by a Japanese coder that goes by the nickname Hiyohiyo, CrystalDiskMark is one of the most frequent used SSD Benchmark utility to measure SSD's read and write performance. There's 2 option for the test data used, compressible (0 fill) and incompressible (1 fill).






AS SSD Benchmark

Widely used SSD benchmarking utility that uses incompressible data to simulate the worst possible scenario for a SSD and thus giving a much lower sequential read and write speed result than what has been stated by the manufacturer as result of the heavy workload.



ATTO Disk Benchmark

The most frequently used benchmarking utility by many manufacturers for performance specification. As ATTO Disk Benchmark uses compressible data rather than compressible data, it results in higher benchmark scores. We've ran the benchmark with transfer size ranged from 0.5KB to 8192KB and total length of the test to be 256MB.




Anvil's  Storage Utilities

By far the most complete SSD Benchmark utility available. The Anvil's Storage Utilities not only comes with the standard SSD Benchmark function, it also includes other functions such as endurance testing and threaded I/O read, write and mixed tests and option to configure the compressibility of the test data.




Real World Usage
We've ran several test that with several SSD (including the HyperX Savage) with at least 40% capacity occupied with various commonly used software to simulate the real world scenario. 


We've conducted few tests to simulate the real world usage - boot up time, launching photoshop CS6, launching Battlefield 4 and transferring a 5GB movie file. Among all the SATA based SSD tested, the HyperX Savage performs the best in terms of overall performance.

Final Thoughts
On aesthetic aspects, the HyperX Savage is not your average plain looking SSD with just a sticker. Gamers and enthusiasts who has been very picky when it comes to picking the right hardware to match their preferred color scheme would love this, especially for those who likes the black-red themed build. 

Performance wise, the HyperX Savage might not be the best if it were to be compared with other top rated brands but it's a SSD that is worthy to be recommend to others based on the performance it has displayed throughout our test. 

It might not be the cheapest SSD you can get, but it's no doubt a steal for what you can get from the HyperX Savage SSD - the upgrade bundle kit, good looking and the performance that lives up to the standard of a HyperX flagship SSD is worthy to be recommended. 

Pros

  • Comes with 3 year warranty
  • Decent build quality
  • Decent performance
  • Good aesthetic aspects
  • Awesome bundled upgrade kit

Cons

  • A little costly

April 28, 2015

Mobile Weekly Byte #18

This week's mobile news:

  • XiaoMi Mi4i Official
  • LG UX 4.0 Teaser

HyperX Launches New Savage SATA-based SSD


HyperX®, a division of Kingston Technology, the independent world leader in memory products, today announced HyperX Savage, its next-generation SATA Rev. 3 (6Gb/s) SSD. HyperX Savage is powered by the Phison S10 quad-core, eight-channel controller delivering incredible read/write speeds for both compressible and incompressible data, as well as high IOPS. It replaces the highly successful HyperX 3K SSD.

HyperX Savage is the fastest SATA-based SSD in the HyperX family. With sequential speeds of up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write, and IOPS of up to 100,000 read and 89,000 write, HyperX Savage offers higher performance, ultra-responsive multitasking and an overall faster system. It features an eye-catching red steel and aluminum case with a low profile to fit most notebooks, desktops and small-form factor PC builds. This new design continues the HyperX trend as a leader in stylish gaming products. 

“We are proud to introduce the HyperX Savage as our latest and fastest SATA-based SSD,” said Nathan Su, Flash Memory Sales Director, APAC Region, Kingston. “The HyperX 3K drive has been a core part of our SSD offerings since 2012, and now with Savage, we are unleashing even higher performance and capacities to satisfy the most demanding consumers, enthusiasts and gamers.”

HyperX Savage is available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities. It is sold as a stand-alone SSD or with an upgrade bundle kit that includes a 2.5” USB 3.0 enclosure, 3.5” bracket and mounting screws, SATA data cable, hard drive cloning software5, multi-bit screwdriver and a 7mm to 9.5mm adapter. 

HyperX is the high-performance product division of Kingston Technology encompassing high-speed DDR4 and DDR3 memory, SSDs, USB Flash drives, and gaming accessories. Targeted at gamers, overclockers and enthusiasts, HyperX is known throughout the world for quality, performance and innovation. HyperX is committed to eSports as it sponsors over 20 teams globally and is the main sponsor of Intel Extreme Masters. HyperX can be found at many shows including China Joy, PAX, Davao Cyber Expo, and TGS & Big Fest.


April 27, 2015

Unboxing & Review: ASUS ROG Gladius Gaming Mouse


It doesn't matter if you're using a Razer, SteelSeries, Roccat, CM Storm, etc gaming mice, the double clicking issue has been a real nuisance to gaming mice owner. As it is caused by faulty switch on the mouse, the long term solution is to replace faulty switch with a new one, but it requires a careful soldering and not many people is willing to go through all the hassle. 

ASUS Republic of Gamers came up with a great idea, not to put an end to the double clicking issue once and for all, but a faster and hassle free alternative to replace a faulty switch on its gaming mice. Enters the ROG Gladius, the first gaming mice that offers a quick and easy solder-free solution to replace a faulty switch on the gaming mice itself.


Mighty thanks to ASUS Malaysia inprovision of the ROG Gladius gaming mice for today's review. The price doesn't looks friendly at first, but let's take a closer examine on the ROG Gladius and see if it's worth paying RM299 for?



April 24, 2015

Cooler Master Announces The Silencio FP 120 PWM Fan



Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator, and manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, today announced the launch of the Silencio FP 120 PWM here in Malaysia.
Specifications


Unheard of Performance

The new Silencio FP 120 PWM fan utilizes Cooler Master’s latest fan technology to bring quality airflow at extremely low noise levels. The Silencio FP 120 PWM uses Loop Dynamic Bearing technology to push life expectancy up to an outstanding 160,000 hours. Next to that an all new patented driver IC on the fan provides both less vibrations to reduce noise and uses ultra-low current to save on power consumption. The driver is also more precise, providing more accurate RPM feedback for better fan management. The SmartFan engine backs up the driver with a low starting voltage and polarity proofing for less headaches when hooking up. The Silencio FP 120 PWM also comes with protections against fan jams and an auto-resume function after any blade obstructions are cleared to help protect the blades and motor.

Any Way The Wind Blows
























The Silencio FP 120 PWM is for those seeking performance under silence. With a 6.5 – 14 dBA noise range, the Silent Edition can put out up to 44 CFM at 1.63 mmH2O of pressure at 1400 RPM.


Availability and Pricing

















The Cooler Master Silencio FP 120 PWM case fan is now available locally, priced at RM 59.00 inclusive of 6% GST.

April 23, 2015

Unboxing & Preview: AcBel iPower 90m 700W Power Supply Unit


AcBel Polytech, a well known OEM manufacturer that makes the power supply unit for many famous brands i.e: Dell, HP, Acer, etc. Due to the lack of exposure in the PC DIY scene, AcBel power supply unit is known only by experienced enthusiasts in the tech community. Not knowing there are actually some pretty kickass value oriented ones in the AcBel power supply unit lineup, majority of those who is more exposed to the well known brands will think that AcBel only produce power supply unit that output just suffice for the low end PC.

We'll be taking a closer look at one of AcBel's latest power supply unit today, the 80 plus gold rated AcBel iPower 90m 700W. Greatest thanks to Cudo Technologies in provision of the AcBel iPower 90m for today's preview. 

(The SRP of the AcBel iPower 90m 700W is still yet to be confirmed with this article is being prepared.)


Specifications


Unboxing

The front of the box has that classy look of a trust worthy 80 plus gold rated power supply that gives pretty convincing look at first glance. 


At the back of the box you'll find details such as the type of connectors on the power supply, unique looking icons that gives a brief description on the features of the power supply. 


The Content

Modular cables 

  • 3 x SATA power connector cable 
  • 1 x 4pin molex power connector
  • 2 x 6+2pin PCIe power connector
Power Supply Unit

  • AcBel iPower 90m 700W

Others

  • 4 x M3.5 screws
  • 1 x power cable



The Power Supply


The AcBel iPower 90m is marketed as a 80 plus gold rated efficiency power supply unit but the 90 Plus efficiency emblem on the fan grill is telling us that it can deliver more than what it is marketed to be.  


At the side of the PSU you'll find the AcBel branding and the model name.



At the other side of the PSU we can find the power output details listed in a table. The AcBel iPower 90m 700W is capable of delivering 672W watts via the +12V rails, which is plenty much enough for most high-end graphics card, i.e: AMD R9 290X, AMD R9 280X, Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980.


Just like any other semi-modular power supply unit we've seen, the AcBel iPower 90m has the indispensable 24-pin and 4+4pin power connector attached to unit. The 4-pin molex, SATA and PCIe power connector modular cables is made optional for better cable management.


The modular cable slot is also placed vertically to make cable management easier and reduce potential damage to the cables by bending side ways.


Testing & Conclusion
As Tech Critter do not own any industrial grade load tester to perform intensive tests on the power supplies on hand, we will be performing tests from the end user's angle. 

We've mounted the AcBel iPower 90m 700W on our Vector Bench Case and have gone through numerous tests which involves stress test and overclocking various hardwares i.e: Intel i7 4770K / 4790K / 5960X, AMD R9 280X, Nvidia GTX Titan X, Nvidia GTX 980 - glad to report that no issues is encountered, it survived various stress test with no coil whine issue found throughout the testing period. 

Another test conducted is the Haswell ready low power state test. Instead of testing on the power supply on full load, we take its ability to handle the low power state with C6/C7 states enabled in the BIOS configuration. We've tried to put our system to standby mode / hibernate / sleep mode and resume the system from these state, glad to report that there's no stability and compatibility issue as well.

Overall, the AcBel iPower 90m 700W deserves a recommended badge from www.tech-critter.com!


April 22, 2015

Mobile Weekly Byte #17

This week's mobile news:

  • Sony Xperia Z4 official, Japan Only
  • Find your phone at Google Search
  • OnePlus halts CM 12S rollout for "OK, OnePlus" feature

Review: ASUS ROG SWIFT PG278Q G-SYNC Gaming Monitor


ROG aka Republic of Gamers is ASUS's premium branding for high end Graphics card, Motherboard, Gaming Peripherals that is targeted for the enthusiasts and gamers market. Just after NVIDIA's announcement on their new G-SYNC technology, ASUS has something new up its sleeve. The first and ever ROG branded monitor, the ROG Swift PG278Q is a 27” WQHD display that packs a wholesome blend of the new NVIDIA G-SYNC and a whopping 144Hz maximum refresh rate for a whole new gaming experience that we've never experienced before - that is, not until now.

(SRP of the ROG Swift PG278Q G-SYNC Gaming Monitor is set at RM 2769.00)


Specifications


Accessories

Included in the box is the power cord, power adapter, driver CD, user's guide, USB 3.0 cable and DisplayPort cable.

Closer Look

At first glace, we don't see anything fancy from the the ROG Swift - it looks just like an ordinary 27" monitor with a fancy looking stand as the only unique traits. 



The control buttons is located behind the right corner of the ROG Swift. The fancy looking button is a 5-way joystick that allows the user to easily navigate the OSD and make quick monitor adjustments - a really sweet feature to have.




The highlight of the ROG Swift, the monitor that packs a punch with NVIDIA's latest G-SYNC technology that provides similar solution as the V-SYNC to overcome tearing issue while eliminate the shortcomings of increased latency when V-SYNC is enabled.


The very same Mayan-inspired square pattern from the ASUS ROG GR8.


The ROG Swift PG278Q has a built-in USB 3.0 hub for quick access to USB 3.0 ports which is not easily accessible behind your PC or just in case you need an extra USB 3.0 port for your notebook. The limited choice of input is somehow disappointing, because of the current limitation of G-SYNC that only works on DisplayPort 1.2.



Adjustable height is a sweet feature that we always adore as it allows us adjust the screen position to the height of our liking.

The screen is also rotatable in 90° clockwise, 60° swivel so you can always find that ideal viewing position.

The ROG Swift is compatible with VESA mount too, in case if you prefer to have it mounted on the wall, or other 3rd party monitor arm.


The ROG badge at the back of the monitor stand.


Monitor Menu

The color menu has pretty much the same function as any other monitor we've seen to date, so there's nothing much to brag about.




The overdrive (OD) feature, it overdrives the pixel response rate and can be Off, Normal or Extreme. For fast action or competitive gaming where everything is moving so fast to notice tearing, ULMB is a better option to enhance accuracy by minimizing blur.



If you're lost with your current settings, you can always take a look at the information of the monitor here in the information tab.


Feature Highlight: Game Plus

GamePlus is a pretty sweet feature of the ROG Swift PG278Q consists of on screen crosshair and timer for that little unfair advantage during gaming.




Seeing the crosshair feature does brings back old memories! We're pretty sure that we're not the only one who sticks a piece of sticker in the middle of the monitor screen as hip fire assist. Unlike the sticker we stick on the screen back in those days, the crosshair feature allows you to choose from 4 different crosshair, whichever suits you the best.




Now that's cheating! Or was it?



The timer feature allows you to  track elapsed time in real-time strategy games to keep track of your current progress, in case if you plan to further brush up your current skill.


Feature Highlight: NVIDIA G-SYNC

Setting up the G-SYNC is as easy as you could imagine, once the Windows automatic hardware detection is completed, just click on the NVIDIA Control Panel>Display > Set up G-SYNC and check on the checkbox to enable G-SYNC.


In order to allow G-SYNC to take effect on all games launched, go to 3D Settings > Manage 3D Settings > Global Settings tab and click on the drop down list for Vertical sync to select G-SYNC.


Our Experience with The ROG Swift

The viewing angle seems pretty reasonable here, there are minimal loss of brightness and change of color is noticed during our games benchmark but it's not that significant.


The colors and brightness looks better when it's viewed from the exact front of the monitor.



We did a quick test on Far Cry 4 using our ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum powered rig with
 resolution of 1920 x 1080, Ultra settings and 4x MSAA in a separated test, one with V-SYNC enabled and the other one with G-SYNC enabled.

The FPS count is limited to 60 FPS while V-SYNC is enabled to prevent tearing issues, there's no way for one to achieve FPS count of 60 above other than having a higher refresh rate. This can be easily solved with the help of the refresh rate toggle, as the ROG Swift is able to support up to 144 Hz refresh rate - average of 86 FPS is the final result achieved. As for the G-SYNC test, we didn't even need to ramp up the refresh rate of the monitor in order to achieve a near result with average FPS count of 87 FPS. 

From our long hours of observation, both V-SYNC and G-SYNC isn't really the total solution to get rid of tearing issue once and for all, tearing will still occur once a while but both V-SYNC and G-SYNC reduces its occurrence to minimal. The only difference that is significant to us is where G-SYNC is able to reduce the occurrence of tearing without actually limiting the monitor refresh rate like what V-SYNC does.


Final Thoughts
Our experience with the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q G-SYNC monitor throughout the review is pretty good in overall. 

Ergonomics and feature wise, the ASUS ROG Swift offers height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot, which is pretty much everything you need to adjust it to your liking. Another feature that we find useful is the USB 3.0 hub at the bottom monitor. It does comes in very handy, but the transfer speed of USB 3.0 device is slightly slower compared to the speed where the device is connected directly to the actual USB 3.0 port. Another feature we find useful is the GamePlus on screen cross hair for aim assist. It does looks more like a cheating feature at first, but it can be a sweet feature to brush up your aiming skills if it's used correctly.

Performance wise, G-SYNC did great job in reducing the occurrence of tearing during gaming while not being limited by the traditional 60 FPS limitation when V-SYNC is enabled. In case if your graphics card doesn't support G-SYNC, you still can opt for V-SYNC and the 144 HZ refresh rate to achieve similar result.  

To wrap things up, the ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q does packs a lot of great features and it is no doubt a really a pretty sweet product to own if you have that extra budget for a RM 2769.00 monitor - but do note that it supports only DisplayPort 1.2 and has no audio output.

Pros
  • Easy to set up
  • Packs with NVIDIA's latest G-SYNC technology
  • Comes with a whopping 144 MHz refresh rate
  • Offers height adjustment, tilt, swivel, and pivot
  • Easy navigation with the 5-way joystick
  • Comes with a USB 3.0 hub with 2 USB 3.0 port
  • Cool game assist feature (GamePlus Crosshair and Timer)
Cons
  • Hefty price tag
  • G-SYNC will only work on GTX 650 Ti Boost or higher spec graphics cards with DisplayPort output
  • Input is limited only to DisplayPort 1.2
  • No Audio output

 
CM03