‘Mini-Mighty’ MSI Z97I Gaming AC Motherboard Review

Ever-increasing popularity of mini-ITX mainboards is accounted for the augmentation of small-sized PC systems, work- and multimedia stations, as well as gaming platforms. The latter lay down specific demands towards hardware base, requiring the combination of high performance, durability and price-efficiency. MSI is ready to satisfy those demands, by offering ‘mini, but mighty’ Z97I Gaming AC system board. Being a part of Intel Z97 chipset family, this tiny tot owns all ‘Gaming’ series facilities, despite compact dimensions. Let’s check them out.



Specs Overview


MSI Z97I Gaming AC is based on Intel Z97 chipset targeting Haswell-based CPUs for Socket LGA1150 platform (Celeron, Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7 series). The implemented PCB accommodates a pair of DIMM slots for DDR3 SDRAM modules (16 GB volume) with the clock frequencies from 1333 MHz to 3300 MHz. Expansion facilities are introduced by a single PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot with no backup from PCI slots. The board comes …

Review of the universal cooler for graphics cards Ice Hammer IH-900B

With an excellent combination of cost and efficiency, cooling systems Ice Hammer continues to advance steadily to our market, crowding out products over top manufacturers. Today the characteristics, efficiency and noise level of another novelty — a cooler for graphics cards Ice Hammer IH-900B will be studied.



The novelty comes in a compact cardboard box with a small cutout on the front side, through which part of the fan and radiator is visible. On the reverse side there is also present cut-out in the form of the cooler. There is a list on GPU graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD, which is compatible with the Ice Hammer IH-900B. On the sides of the package you can find specifications and other information about the cooling system.


Along with the cooler are supplied: small aluminum heatsinks for memory chips and smaller radiators for power elements, two sets of sleeves, key pads and screws, and a brief installation instruction, thermal compound A2, cables, adapters, as well …

First SSDs from Asus to be Released Already in May

First seen at CES 2013 exhibition, Asus ROG RAIDR solid-state drives are on their final stage of development before an official release in May. Unlike the majority of contemporary SSD solutions in the market, the product from Asus features quite distinct form-factor, similar to expansion cards. The new drive is known to employ PCI Express 2.0 x2 interface with the support of x16/x8/x4 slots.



According to the preliminary data, ROG RAIDR solid-state drives will be available in two capacity variations – 120 GB and 240 GB. Both models will run under a couple of SandForce SF2281 controllers, comprised into RAID 0 array. MLC NAND flash-memory chips from Toshiba (designed under 19 nm technological process) will be the heart of revolutionary SSDs. Irrespective of the overall differentiation, ROG RAIDR will support a range of technologies traditional SSDs support, including S.M.A.R.T., TRIM and NCQ.


With the respect to the performance, both drives will be able to demonstrate …
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