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Date: Friday, 29 Aug 2014 16:02

I recently reviewed Cooler Master's Elite 110 Mini-ITX case, and while I found it suitable for a mid-range gaming PC, I felt that it might leave the enthusiast builder wanting. Today, I'm taking a look at Corsair's latest enthusiast-oriented Mini-ITX enclosure, the Graphite Series 380T. With a built-in fan controller, enough room for high-end components and their accompanying coolers, and aggressive styling, the 380T seems set to play the Ferrari or Lamborghini to the subdued, subcompact Elite 110. Is there substance under all of that style? I'm going to fill 'er up with some high-performance components and find out.

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Date: Friday, 29 Aug 2014 16:01

At long last, Haswell-E is upon us—and it was worth the wait. Intel's latest high-end desktop processor crams up to eight cores and 16 threads into a single socket. It has enough PCIe Gen3 lanes to fuel exotic graphics configurations, and it's backed by quad channels of DDR4 memory. So, yeah, pretty awesome.

And the processor is just one part of the overall package. Haswell-E comes with a new chipset, dubbed X99, that replaces the aging X79 Express Intel has been milking since the Sandy Bridge era. This updated I/O hub brings ...

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Date: Friday, 29 Aug 2014 16:00

For a PC hobbyist who's into building high-end systems with elaborate water-cooling setups and multiple GPUs, it doesn't get any better than Intel's Core i7 Extreme processors. They're pricey, sure, but they're clearly the fastest, most capable CPUs on the planet.

Except, you know, ...

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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 03:14
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Date: Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 02:58
The Tech Report Podcast

Date: August 25, 2014
Duration: 1:03:06

Hosted by: Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Geoff Gasior, and Cyril Kowaliski

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Date: Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 21:14

More than 18 months have passed since we last looked at one of Zotac's Zbox mini-PCs. In that span of time, Intel has released its Haswell processors, Sony and Microsoft have unleashed their next-gen consoles, and countless lesser gizmos have landed in stores. Many new and graphically demanding games, most of them primed for the next-gen consoles, have also turned up.

So, yeah. It's ...

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Date: Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 16:13

We've been excited about Nvidia's G-Sync technology for nearly a year, since the firm first unveiled the concept to the world at a press event last fall. The basic idea—letting the graphics card tell the display to update itself when the next frame of animation is ready—is simple yet revolutionary. Getting rid of the fixed display refresh interval had an immediate, dramatic impact in those initial demos at Nvidia's announcement.

We liked G-Sync just as well once we got to spend time with it in pre-production form early this year. Heck, I ...

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Date: Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 04:01

AMD is known primarily for its CPU and graphics products. The company has been selling Radeon-branded memory since 2011, though, and it's now entering the storage market. Put your hands together for the new Radeon R7 SSD:

The drive is the next step in a strategy to increase the number of PC components bearing the Radeon name. And that's mostly what this is—an SSD bearing the Radeon name . ...

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Date: Monday, 18 Aug 2014 03:28
The Tech Report Podcast

Date: August 17, 2014
Duration: 1:24:55

Hosted by: Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Geoff Gasior, Cyril Kowaliski, and Jeff Kampman

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Date: Monday, 18 Aug 2014 03:03

Like most PC enthusiasts, I like power—and lots of it. It's especially cool when that power comes in a small package. While chipmakers are cramming more and more power into ever-smaller areas of silicon, though, the typical ATX PC case remains pretty darn big—especially considering most people may never use its copious expandability.

I recently reviewed Gigabyte's Brix Gaming BXi5-G760, a barebones mini-PC that packs a big punch. The Brix Gaming is expensive when fully loaded, and its tiny fans are quite noisy, but I was still impressed by the amount of computing power per cubic inch it offers. My ...

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Date: Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 13:01

The steady decline in SSD prices has been one of the most fascinating trends of the past few years. Shrinking flash fabrication technologies deserve the bulk of the credit for lowering the cost per gigabyte. However, OCZ also played a role by aggressively discounting its SSDs, which fueled a price war that hasn't fully subsided since.

Those discounts surely contributed to OCZ's former financial difficulties. The company filed for bankruptcy last year, and it was subsequently acquired by Toshiba. All things considered, that's probably the best thing ...

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Date: Monday, 11 Aug 2014 22:21

If you just glanced at Nvidia's new Shield Tablet, you might mistake it for any other Android slate. They all sort of look alike—rectangular touchscreens surrounded by simple bezels and backed by slim bodies—and the Shield doesn't break the mold. There's barely even a hint of Nvidia's trademark green on the exterior.

Upon closer inspection, however, the Shield reveals itself to be quite unlike any other Android tablet. Inside the nondescript frame lurks a Tegra K1 SoC whose integrated graphics is born from the same architecture ...

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Date: Monday, 11 Aug 2014 16:01

For some time now, the features of AMD's Seattle server processor have been painted in broad brush strokes. We've known since last year about Seattle's eight ARM Cortex-A57 cores, its 28-nm process geometry, and AMD's plan to deliver it in late 2014. Seattle was the subject of a live demo in May of this year, when AMD disclosed its plan to market the chip as the Opteron A1100.

The specifics of Seattle's architecture have, ...

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Date: Monday, 11 Aug 2014 16:00

Intel hasn't taken too kindly to the revolution in mobile devices that has happened largely without its participation. The rise of smartphones and tablets with ARM-compatible chips onboard has become a major threat to Intel's dominance in the processor business—and this is, after all, a company built on the mantra that "only the paranoid survive."

Thus, for several technology generations, Intel has slowly adjusted its heading to better compete in mobile devices. The firm has used its expertise in chip manufacturing and design to cram PC-like performance into ever smaller footprints. Last year's Haswell ...

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Date: Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 23:49

If you've ever read our System Guides, you know we like to harp on about sound cards. Like, a lot.

Our point is this: on most motherboards, the onboard audio just doesn't do digital-to-analog conversion all that well. The analog output may sound decent enough for cheap headphones and $50 ...

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Date: Friday, 01 Aug 2014 01:51

We first reviewed an AMD Kaveri processor back at the start of the year, but since then, AMD's new APU has been in kind of a weird place. The A8-7600 chip we reviewed has been scarce in retail channels, evidently because AMD succeeded in selling them elsewhere—likely to big PC manufacturers. Some of the chips were surely set aside for use in laptops, too. As a result, PC hobbyists just haven't had very good access to AMD's latest APU.

Happily, that situation is finally changing, and Kaveri-based chips are starting to make their way into the market. AMD is putting an exclamation point on that fact today by filling out its ...

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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 19:25

It's been a while since we last reviewed a power supply—so long that our last review samples are now fully fossilized, waiting to be recovered by future generations of geologists. The factories where they were built now manufacture flying cars, and the term "PSU" itself is now a portmanteau for an extremely vulgar dance move.

Well, all right. Maybe not quite. ...

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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 16:35

We've taken a look at a couple of PCs based on Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) design here at TR: Intel's original whitebox NUC, and Gigabyte's NUC-inspired Brix Pro. While both of those machines were competent performers, neither of them had enough GPU horsepower to seriously tempt the PC gaming enthusiast.

With its Brix Gaming BXi5G-760, Gigabyte is looking to change that. The company has stuffed a discrete Nvidia GPU and an Intel Core i5 processor into a case that takes up about as much space as ...

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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 13:29

The Shield Tablet is basically a portable gaming console crammed into an 8" slate. It has a Kepler-infused Tegra K1 processor, a high-res IPS panel, a proper gamepad, and even a stylus. The system can stream games from a home PC or a remote server, too, and the whole package costs the same as an entry-level iPad. So when I got the opportunity to spend some time with one, I couldn't say no. This thing is a lot more exciting than a lot of the stuff that passes through my lab. And it's a good excuse to play some games.

The trouble is, the Shield Tablet arrived on my doorstep late last week, so I've only had a few days with it. I haven't yet run it through the full gauntlet of tests we typically use on ...

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Date: Monday, 28 Jul 2014 05:09
The Tech Report Podcast

Date: July 28, 2014
Duration: 0:56:37

Hosted by: Jordan Drake

Co-Hosts: Scott Wasson, Geoff Gasior, and Cyril Kowaliski

Download:
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