August 28, 2015

REVIEW: Noctua NH-C14S


Not all cases are large enough to fit a NH-D15 cooler, this is where Noctua's NH-C14 cooler comes in. The fin stack is rotated 90 degrees to reduce it's height without affecting performance too much compared to other single stack tower design coolers. The extra "s" at the end of the NH-C14S indicates that this model has an asymmetrical design to improve compatibility due to the fin stacks blocking the top most expansion slot on some motherboards. The fin are shifted slightly more to one side to allow clearance for the expansion slot.

Noctua has made many exceptional coolers and this is no exception. Thanks to it's fans and fin stack facing downwards, the cooler also provides cooling to the VRM components around the cpu.

Packaging





The cooler comes in the same typical Noctua packing with key features and specifications listed on the box. On the side you find a 2D model of the cooler as well as the scope of delivery. The heatsink is well packaged and will withstand any complications it may face during shipping, such as the deliveryman throwing it over your fence.



Inside is the accessory box which includes everything you need to get started as well as the cooler itself, protected in it's eco friendly packaging. The accessory box includes Noctua's SecuriFirm2 mounting system for both Intel 115x/2011x and AMD systems, a low noise adapter, a metal Noctua badge, a tube of Noctua's NT-H1 thermal interface material, a screw driver, and illustrated instruction manuals.

The Cooler


Looking at the cooler from the front you can see the asymmetrical design which allows more space for the top most expansion slot on certain motherboards. The included 140mm fan can be mounted on both the top or the bottom, with the option of adding an additional fan with the included extra fan mounting clips. The cooler measures 115x140x163mm with the fan installed on the bottom.


The fin stacks have two holes to assist in mounting the heatsink by allowing a screwdriver (which is included with the heatsink) to pass through to allow easy access to the two pre-sprung mounting screws. The heatsink provides a lot of clearance for ram with super tall heat spreaders, and even more with the fan mounted on top of the fin stack.



The nickel plated copper base has 7 heatpipes the come out of it from only one side. The base is extremely flat which helps with heat dissipation.


Installation


The SecuFirm2 system makes installation very simple. For Intel systems, simply align the extremely thick backplate with the three holes on the back of the socket and it should smoothly slide into the motherboard. for Socket LGA 2011, simple screw in the included risers into the built in backplate on the motherboard. Once the backplate is installed, flip the motherboard over and place the black risers onto the screws jutting out and screw in the top brackets with the curves facing away from the centre. All that's left is to screw it all down with the four thumb screws and you're left with an extremely secure platform to mount the heatsink onto. With the SecuFirm2's extremely thick backplate, there will be little-to-no flex on the motherboard when the cooler is installed.





You will need to remove the fans to install the heat sink onto the brackets, but Noctua makes that easy with their tool less clips. Use the included screwdriver, or your own, to screw the two screws on the cooler to the brackets. The included screwdriver clears the top of the heat sink nicely and gives you a nifty tool to throw into your tool bag if you ever need it. The black springs ensure that the correct pressure is placed onto the CPU, so just simply keep screwing it in until it stops.

Performance


Test Configuration:

Motherboard : MSI Z77A-UD65

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K (OC @ 4.6GHz)

Memory: Intel Extreme Masters 2x4GB 1866MHz

GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 2GB

PSU: Corsair CX600

Software: Intel Burn Test v2.53, CPU-Z Version 1.60, RealTemp 3.60

*Temperatures were measured using RealTemp with an ambient room temperature of 27 degrees Celcius and the system was left to idle or run on full load for 10 min before temperatures were taken.

** Noctua's ND-H1 thermal paste was used for all testing




Even with one less fin stack, the NH-C14S is quite comparable with the much larger NH-D15

Conclusion


Despite it's size, the NH-C14S performs as well as it's bigger brothers. There are fewer compatibility issues with both ram and motherboard expansion slots on motherboards. Even with the fan on the lowest position, I had difficulties finding ram that wouldn't fit, and that includes DDR2 from when everyone wanted the biggest heat spreader.

The cooler comes in at a reasonable $74.90USD which is a bargain for the performance it provides as well as how easy it is to set up thanks to both it's design and included accessories. Noctua is the only company I know of that includes a screwdriver to help you set up your cpu cooler. With that price, you are also backed by Noctua's eight year warranty and mounting hardware for future sockets as they are released. It's hard to find something bad to say about Noctua coolers so if you are in the market for a small form factor, high performance cooler with a price that wont break the bank, look no further than the Noctua NH-C14S.

Rating 10/10


August 27, 2015

Logitech G Introduces New Gaming Headphones




Logitech, a leading innovator of gaming products, today introduced two new gaming headphones, the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset and the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset. Featuring patent pending Pro-G audio drivers, the new headphones were designed by Logitech's sound engineering team, with more than 25 years in audio development. The result is gaming headphones that deliver a superior all-around audio experience.


"We saw that no one was really building a pair of high quality headphones for gamers," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of the Logitech gaming business. "So we challenged our audio team to see if they could do it. I'm a gamer and a musician, so I was really excited when the team came back with a design that delivered." The headphones are fully customizable, feature RGB lighting, swappable backlit speaker plates and programmable G-keys. When paired with Logitech Gaming Software you can customize audio settings, create personal sound profiles, and easily save your favorite EQ (for the G933 Artemis Spectrum only).

Superior All-Around Audio

The patent pending advanced Pro-G audio drivers are made with hybrid mesh materials that provide the audiophile-like performance gaming fans demand. From your favorite music to expansive game soundtracks, the Pro-G drivers deliver both clean and accurate highs as well as a deep rich bass that you would expect from premium headphones.

The Logitech G633 and G933 are the first headphones to offer both Dolby and DTS Headphone:X surround options to gamers. The Pro-G drivers and surround sound technologies create lifelike in-game spatial awareness, allowing you to clearly hear enemies sneaking around, or special ability cues. DTS Headphone:X technology utilizes calibration and processing that brings gamers and audio fans closer to the studio experience than ever before, supporting up to 7.1 channels of audio and multiple options for personalization. The combination of DTS Headphone:X and Dolby's long history in cinematic audio gives gamers a truly unrivaled audio experience. DTS Headphone:X support will be available through a Logitech Gaming Software update in early October.

Multi-Platform Support and Sound Mixing

The Logitech G633 and G933 both work with PCs, mobile devices and consoles - including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Logitech G633 features one USB connection and one analog input that connects and mixes sound from up to two devices, while the Logitech G933 features one USB mix adapter and two analog inputs that connect and mixes sound from up to three devices.

As you are fending off your gaming enemies from your PC, you can simultaneously order a pizza via your cell phone without missing a moment of action. Additionally, the Logitech G933 works with your home theater (via a USB port and RCA audio out) to provide the perfect wireless home theater experience, so you can listen in your living room to all media connected to your home receiver or TV.

Personalized Programmability and RGB Lighting

From lighting to G-keys to custom tags to customizable sound, make your headset a reflection of you. Use Logitech Gaming Software to program lighting, audio and buttons. Adjust RGB lighting from up to 16.8 million colors and assign custom game macros on three programmable G-keys for a seamless gaming experience. A software equalizer lets you customize audio settings and create personal sound profiles.

Game Wirelessly or Wired

The Logitech G633 is a wired gaming headphone, while the Logitech G933 offers the option to play wired or wirelessly, with ultra-low latency on 2.4GHz wireless. Alternatively, use the included analog cable and 3.5mm analog input on the headset to play without using battery power. The wireless USB mix adapter allows you to use your analog audio or mobile devices wirelessly.

Pricing and Availability

The Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset is expected to be available at global retailers beginning in September 2015 for a suggested retail price of $149.99 and the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset is expected to be available at global retailers beginning in October 2015 for a suggested retail price of $199.99.

For more information, visit this page.

August 26, 2015

LG Develops Full-Size Keyboard For Pockets


To help capture a larger share of the fast-growing mobile accessories market, LG Electronics (LG) will introduce a new solid rollable, wireless and portable keyboard in the United States in September. To be unveiled next week at IFA 2015 in Berlin, Germany, LG's Rolly Keyboard (model KBB-700) features a four-stage fold up along the rows to create an easy-to-carry "stick" that fits easily in a purse, briefcase or backpack.

Featuring high-contrast keys and a built-in fold-out mobile device stand, typing on Rolly Keyboard is comfortable because its 17mm key pitch is comparable to the 18mm key pitch found on most desktop keyboards. Made of impact-resistant and durable polycarbonate and black ABS plastic, Rolly Keyboard offers satisfying tactile feedback often not found on flexible silicone keyboards. Two sturdy arms fold out to support smartphones as well as tablets in an upright position. Simply unfolding the Rolly Keyboard enables the auto pairing function to connect easily to two different devices at the same time via Bluetooth 3.0 - with the ability to toggle between the two with a simple key press, all powered by just a single AAA battery.

"LG Rolly Keyboard is just one of the many premium input devices we'll be unveiling in the coming months as we expand our accessories offerings," said Seo Young-jae, vice president in charge of Innovative Personal Devices at LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "The goal was to create a product that could add more value to LG smartphones and tablets at the same time offering a unique design proposition that hadn't been explored before."

The Rolly Keyboard will make its debut in September in the United States. Pricing and details of availability will be announced at the time of launch. Visitors to IFA 2015 can see LG Rolly Keyboard up close in Hall 18 of Messe Berlin from Sept. 4-9.

August 18, 2015

Review: Noctua NH-D15S



One of the flaws from the extremely large and powerful cooler is that it's size would block the first expansion slot on certain motherboards. On some, it was a 1x pci-e slot which was not in use, for others it was a 16x pci-e which blocked off a slot for a graphics card. For micro-itx boards, it blocked off the only expansion slot. With Noctua's revision of the very popular and iconic NH-D15, the NH-D15S, it addresses some of those issues.

Packaging



The cooler comes in the same typical Noctua packing with key features and specifications listed on the box. On the side you find a 2D model of the cooler as well as the scope of delivery. The heatsink is well packaged and will withstand any complications it may face during shipping, such as the deliveryman throwing it over your fence.



Inside is the accessory box which includes everything you need to get started as well as the cooler itself, protected in it's eco friendly packaging. The accessory box includes Noctua's SecuriFirm2 mounting system for both Intel 115x/2011x and AMD systems, a low noise adapter, a metal Noctua badge, a tube of Noctua's NT-H1 thermal interface material, a screw driver, and illustrated instruction manuals.

The Cooler


From afar the two coolers might look the same, but the main difference with the NH-D15S is it's asymmetrical design. This design moves the cooler more to one side allowing more clearance on the bottom, freeing up the expansion slot that was previously blocked by the older NH-D15.


The cooler has two fin stacks and a Noctua NF-A15 sandwiched in between. Even though there were cut outs on the side of the fin stacks to allow for RAM with taller heat spreaders to be installed, the two fans on the NH-D15 limited some RAM compatibility with the heatsink so with the new NH-D15S, it was designed to be used with a single fan without impacting performance significantly. The cooler still includes extra fan clips if you still decide to go with two fans. It is possible to install three fans if you have extra mounting hardware but that increases the footprint of the cooler significantly while not dramatically increasing performance. The fan clips which hold the fan in place is easy to remove and will have to be removed to install the cooler.


The baseplate is nickel plated and has the six heatpipes attached to it. The base is extremely flat which will the help with heat dissipation and improving contact with the CPU.


With one fan, the cooler measures in at 165x150x135mm which is not small at all. With the slight changes Noctua has made, it shares many similarities with the NH-D15 so we expected it to perform the same.

Installation


The SecuFirm2 system makes installation very simple. For Intel systems, simply align the extremely thick backplate with the three holes on the back of the socket and it should smoothly slide into the motherboard. for Socket LGA 2011, simple screw in the included risers into the built in backplate on the motherboard. Once the backplate is installed, flip the motherboard over and place the black risers onto the screws jutting out and screw in the top brackets with the curves facing away from the centre. All that's left is to screw it all down with the four thumb screws and you're left with an extremely secure platform to mount the heatsink onto. With the SecuFirm2's extremely thick backplate, there will be little-to-no flex on the motherboard when the cooler is installed.


You will need to remove the fans to install the heat sink onto the brackets, but Noctua makes that easy with their tool less clips. Use the included screwdriver, or your own, to screw the two screws on the cooler to the brackets. The included screwdriver clears the top of the heat sink nicely and gives you a nifty tool to throw into your tool bag if you ever need it. The black springs ensure that the correct pressure is placed onto the CPU, so just simply keep screwing it in until it stops.

Performance



Test Configuration:

Motherboard : MSI Z77A-UD65

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K (OC @ 4.6GHz)

Memory: Intel Extreme Masters 2x4GB 1866MHz

GPU: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 2GB

PSU: Corsair CX600

Software: Intel Burn Test v2.53, CPU-Z Version 1.60, RealTemp 3.60

*Temperatures were measured using RealTemp with an ambient room temperature of 27 degrees Celcius and the system was left to idle or run on full load for 10 min before temperatures were taken.

** Noctua's ND-H1 thermal paste was used for all testing



The NH-D15S is only a revision of the NH-D15 so it only makes sense that it shares similar performance.

Conclusion


Nocuta is known to have some of the best air coolers on the market. The NH-D15 has been out of reach to many enthusiasts due to it's enormous size and price tag. While Noctua has partially resolved one of those issues, the NH-D15S should allow more people to consider it due to it no longer blocking one of the expansion slots. 

Performance wise it performs on par with the Corsair H80 watercooler which is amazing for an air cooler. On lower performance CPUs, I was also able to get away with using it as a passive heatsink, although the cpu wasn't at a very happy temperature. I only happened to learn that after I questioned why the test bench was so quiet and realized I forgot to plug in the fan.

Those who love the beige/brown colour of the heatsink will like that Noctua has stuck with their traditional colour scheme. Those who dont like the colour can swap out the fans for Noctua's Industrial PPC or Redux line of fans. The NH-D15S looks the same as the old NH-D15 and similar to the NH-D14 so it remains looking great.

While Noctua fixed the compatibility issue, the cooler still comes in at $79.90 USD. For the price you get a massive high performance cooler that is backed by Noctua's six-year warranty as well as new mounting brackets as new cpus are released. Although it has a high price tag, it is a great value for what you get, very few coolers give you this level of performance and who else includes a screw driver for installing a heatsink. Like with all Noctua coolers, we highly recommend you check it out if you have been looking for a new heatsink.

Rating 10/10








August 5, 2015

Razer Relases Deathstalker Chroma


Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the launch of the Razer DeathStalker Chroma, a high-performance gaming keyboard featuring fully programmable slim chiclet keycaps and three customizable backlighting zones.

Known for its sleek design that requires a travel distance of only 2mm to actuate, the Razer DeathStalker Chroma provides superior performance when compared to traditional rubber dome membrane switches that require the entire travel distance just to register a keystroke. The ergonomic wrist rest has been designed with the sole purpose of comfortable typing on this low profile keyboard, ensuring countless hours of gameplay without any fatigue. Additionally, the keyboard is now equipped with the award winning Razer Chroma lighting. With three distinct lighting zones and various lighting effects ranging from spectrum cycling, static, breathing to even the iconic wave, the Razer DeathStalker Chroma can be easily personalized to suit any style.

"The Razer DeathStalker Chroma is a chiclet style gaming keyboard unlike any other and a truly great addition to the Chroma range," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer CEO and Co-Founder. "The ultra-sleek form factor lets your fingers fly between each key, while the Chroma features allow you to express yourself with your hardware. Combined with the programmable features provided through Razer Synapse, gamers will receive what they've been waiting for."

The Razer DeathStalker Chroma joins other Chroma enabled Razer devices, including the award-winning Razer DeathAdder Chroma and Razer Naga Epic Chroma gaming mice, the Razer BlackWidow Chroma gaming keyboard and the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma headset, as well as the Razer Firefly gaming-grade mouse mat. All Chroma products feature 16.8 million customizable colors and a range of effects enabled through Razer's Synapse software. Synapse allows synchronizing lighting colors and patterns between Chroma devices with the click of a button.

Product Features:
Fully programmable slim chiclet keycaps
Chroma lighting with 16.8 million customizable color options
Razer Synapse enabled
1000Hz Ultrapolling
Fully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording
Dedicated Gaming Mode
Anti-ghosting capability for up to 10 simultaneous key presses
Fixed wrist rest
Approximate size: 460 mm / 18.1 in. (Length) x 214 mm / 8.4 in. (Width) x 21.4 mm / 0.84 in. (Height)
Approximate weight: 1086 g / 0.84 lbs

Price: US $99.99, EUR 119.99 (incl taxes), available worldwide immediately.