‘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 …

Background illumination PaintPack - analogue Philips Ambilight on your monitor

You've probably seen the modern TVs with dynamic backlight called Ambilight, developed by Philips. The essence of its work is to highlight the space behind the TV in different combinations of colours, depending on the events happening on the screen.

PaintPack vs Ambilight

A new development called PaintPack is presented. This model is intended to implement the same idea as the technology of Ambilight, but allows to «light around» any computer monitor. A device called PaintPack is a simpler version in a small box with ten cable-trains, which have bright LEDs at the ends. These LEDs are placed evenly around the perimeter of the back of the monitor, and provide illumination in accordance with what is happening at the moment on the screen. The second more advanced equivalent of Ambilight – is light-line PaintPack with 30 LEDs connected in separate blocks for a few pieces for easy placement on the screen, and create a more vibrant and detailed lighting. This is many times …

Arctic Cooling Intros Two Modifications of Freezer CPU Cooler

Arctic Cooling AG, a well-known Swiss developer of cooling solutions, has recently introduced its newest CPU cooler, Freezer, in two modifications: i11 and A11. Both versions have got tower-like framework, featuring 108x90x130 mm dimensions. The Freezer i11 is compatible with Intel LGA 2011/1156/1155/1150 socket platforms, whereas its companion is intended for AMD Socket FM1, FM2, AM3, AM3+, AM2, and AM2+. To say more, this pair is able to cool down the ‘blaze’ of CPUs with 150 W TDP.

Arctic Freezer i11/A11 consists of an aluminum heatspreader with forty-five plates, three U-shape copper heatpipes, and one 92 mm fan. The heatpipes are thought to support direct contact technology that dramatically improves heat transfer process.

The implemented fan is developed on a fluid dynamic bearing and is equipped with a PWM controller. The latter assures that the blades could change their rotational speed within the ranges from 500 RPM to 2000 RPM. Herein, the maximal airflow …
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Intel Corporation D945GCZ

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