MSI AM1I: Motherboard with Military Class 4 Hardware Base

MSI is one of the first manufacturers to introduce a motherboard for the newly launched AMD AM1 platform. The MSI AM1I features rather compact dimensions (170x170 mm) but its mini-ITX form-factor does not affect the specified functional possibilities for entry-level systems. The model supports AMD Athlon/Sempron processors for the above-mentioned socket.



The employment of Military Class 4 hardware base is supposed to be a major advantage of AM1I motherboard. It involves dark chokes, dark capacitors and other crucial components, which are backed by Military Class Essentials technology. The latter is called to protect the PCB from varied unfavorable happenings, i.e. high humidity, electrostatic discharge or high temperatures.


The PCB comes with two DIMM slots for the incorporation of one-channel DDR3 memory modules (up to 32 GB) with 1333/1600 MHz frequency. Storage is organized by means of two SATA III 6 Gb/sec ports, whereas expansion of functional is due to two PCI …

PC Enclosure Cougar Evolution (Askot 6GR1) Review

PC enclosures developed by Cougar are not frequenters in the global market. Still, the company's line of products is replenishing with ever newer models that might compete for the market dominance with a lot more renowned suppliers. Its latest creation, Evolution (Askot 6GR1), was released with a dual brand: Cougar and Askot. In the majority of cases, Askot enclosures fill up the line of Cougar's products, but sometimes its cases single out as a separate brand. Casting aside all marketing issues, Cougar Evolution (Askot 6GR1) is a worthy representative of contemporary PC chassis segment that offers a bunch of typical and a few singular facilities to all potential customers.



Design


Enclosure Askot 6GR1 features visually unpretentious design without any bright points or voluminous salient elements. Nevertheless, more intent inspection uncovers the whole beauty of this case: the availability of prominent ribs on the frontal panel, an unusual pattern of the frontal and top …

HIS Radeon R9 290 IceQ X2: Graphics Card with an Offbeat Cooler

HIS has recently replenished its Radeon R9 series of graphics cards with a new model – the Radeon R9 290 IceQ X2. Based on AMD Hawaii Pro chip, this card is a combination of an ultimate efficiency and an offbeat design. The integrated GPU runs at an etalon frequency — 947 MHz. No changes have been incorporated into the frequency mode of GDDR5 memory: the 4 GB memory with 512-bus interface runs at nominal/effective 1250/5000 MHz frequency.



The major peculiarity pertained to the model is the employment of a proprietary two-slot cooler, codenamed IceQ X2. It consists of a spacious copper base (40x47.5 mm), a large aluminum heatsink, a pair of 89 mm fans, and five nickel-plated heatpipes: 2x 8 mm and 3x 6 mm. The cooler also accommodates additional heatspreaders, which dissipate heat in memory and VRM sections. Moreover, the framework boasts a dedicated stiffening plate that reduces loading on the printed circuit board.


To continue, HIS Radeon R9 290 IceQ X2 comes with two …
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