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‘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 …

Sapphire Unveils Small-Sized R9 285 2GB GDDR5 ITX Compact Edition Graphics Cards

Optimized energy efficiency offered by AMD Radeon R9 285 graphics adapters has become a key factor for Sapphire to elaborate a pair of original proprietary versions. The new-comers, codenamed R9 285 2GB GDDR5 ITX Compact Edition, are targeting mini-ITX systems with huge performance ambitions. The pair traditionally involves a standard model with etalon specifications and OC model with a factory overclocking.



Both graphics cards employ a small-sized two-slot cooler that consists of a compact heatsink, four copper heatpipes, and a single fan of 100 mm dimensional type. Connection with PC monitors and other visual solutions is realized by means of HDMI, DVI-I, and a couple of mini-DisplayPorts. Additionally, the models feature dual BIOS chips (standard and UEFI) which might be switched with the help of a dedicated key on the case.


To continue, Sapphire R9 285 2GB GDDR5 ITX Compact Edition and OC Edition are based on AMT Tonga GPU (28 nm, GCN) with 1792 stream processors, 112 …

Welcome in a New Mid-Tower GT-A Chassis from Aerocool

Aerocool Advanced Technologies, an award-winning hardware manufacturer from Taiwan, is glad to announce the replenishment to the GT series, launching Aerocool GT-A — a budgetary mid-tower chassis. The model features 475x185x485 mm dimensions and is housed in a zinc-coated steel SECC case. Moreover, potential customers might revel in both, Black Edition and White Edition case versions. Retail price set by the manufacturer makes up 66 EUR.



Aerocool GT-A is targeting saving gamers with particular demands towards the chassis design. Hence, it boasts a non-trivial design with perforated frontal panel, a large side-panel acrylic window, as well as a dedicated dock-station for 2.5/3.5-inch drives. The layout is characterized by the support for ATX, micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, the availability of three 5.25-inch drive bays (external), a triplet of 3.5 inch internal drive bays and identical number of 2.5-inch drive bays.


Expansion facilities are introduced by seven slots …

Thermalright Shows up a Hard-Hitting Archon IB-E X2 Cooler

Thermalright is about to release a new ‘tower’ CPU cooler, codenamed Archon IB-E X2. Featuring 155x106x170 mm dimensions, the model supports Intel LGA 2011/115x and AMD FM1/AM2+/AM3+/FM2+ platforms. The launch date is on hold, though the recommended price might rise up 65 EUR.



Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 consists of a voluminous aluminum heatsink with 43 thin pins, which are pierced by eight U-shape nickel-plated heatpipes, and a polished copper base also with a nickel-plated coverage.


The framework is replenished by two 140 mm fans Thermalright TY-141; they are thought to support PWM technology that promotes for speed variation from 900 RPM to 1300 RPM. The fan blades produce up to 74 CFM airflow, consuming not more than 2.4 W power. Average noise level fluctuates within the measures of 17-21 dB.


Moreover, the vendor equips the cooler with a brand thermal compound — Thermalright Chill Factor III. The latter transcends common Chill Factor item in terms of heat …

ASRock Teases Small-Sized X99M Killer Motherboard

Fans of small-sized PC systems might take delight in all the possibilities offered by Intel X99 chipset that is targeting innovative Intel Core i7 (Haswell-E generation) processors. Originally, the couple has been predestined for Socket LGA2011-3 platform full-fledged ATX motherboards. Nonetheless, ASRock is the one to equal all users by launching micro-ATX X99M Killer motherboard. In keeping with the manufacturer, the board’s functional does not yield to its senior companions.



ASRock X99M Killer accommodates four DIMM-slots for DDR4 memory modules, three PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots, ten SATA III 6 Gb/sec ports, a single Ultra M.2 port that employs four lines of PCI 3.0 bus. The major peculiarity ascribed to this model is the availability of two network controllers: Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 and Intel’s gigabit Ethernet proprietary version.


To continue, audio subsystem is developed according to Purity Sound 2 design standards, ensuring 7.1-channel sound production. External …

Meet New Dell Precision Workstations with DDR4 Support

Dell is glad to announce the upcoming release of tower-like and rack-mount lineup of workstations that is characterized by the support of up to 1 TB DDR4 RAM. Dell Precision Tower 5810/7810/7910 and Dell Precision Rack 7910 house the latest Intel Xeon processors, as well as the latest professional graphics from AMD FirePro and Nvidia Quadro series. Due to this, the greenhorns are able to ensure the highest performance in various areas, starting from complex industrial computing and finishing with animation.



Tower-type workstations come with an advanced Thunderbolt 2 interface that guarantees up to 20 Gb/sec data transfer speed. In its turn, rack-mount 2-U model totally supports for visualization on the Citrix XenServer and VMware ESX hypervisor basis. It is also equipped with an Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller, ensuring a reliable remote supervision over data center even when there is limitation of access towards the equipment.


The list of advantages offered by …

BenQ Showcases Revolutionary GW2765HT Monitor

BenQ, a renowned Taiwanese manufacturer of high-end visual solutions, has just introduced a new 27-inch monitor, entitled GW2765HT. The new-comer has replenished an award-winning Flicker-free lineup of PC displays, featuring 487x748x224 mm dimensions and 2560x1440 QHD resolution. The key peculiarity ascribed to the model is the support for the RevolutionEye technology that combines a range of useful options. Retail price, set by the company, makes up $549.



Based on IPS panel, BenQ GW2765HT accommodates white LED lighting that substantially reduces power consumption. In keeping with the manufacturer, the new-comer consumes up to 32 W power. The integrated panel offers 4 ms response time, the widest viewing angles – 178/178 H/V, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 1.07 billion of displayed colors, 100% color gamut in sRGB environment, and the maximal of 350 cd/m2 brightness that might be adjusted due to PWM technology.


RevolutionEye technology involves such utilities as Low Blue Light, …

Nvidia Gets Replenishment of 5 New Quadro Models

Nvidia proves to be successful not only in the development of visual solutions for home and corporate users but also for professionals. Its Quadro series of graphics cards is highly appreciated among designers, engineers and research circles, mainly due to unprecedented visual facilities. Therefore, the company has recently replenished the series with 5 new models – K420, K620, K2200, K4200, and K5200 – which are targeting hard-core PCs, servers and workstations.



Nvidia Quadro K420 and K620 are equipped with 2 GB of DDR3 memory, whereas K2200, K4200 and K5200 come with 4/8 GB of GDDR5 memory. All models have been developed hand-in-hand with the leading customers in various areas; this allowed the company to adjust performance characteristics to the specific needs of each customer. The list of facilities offered by new Quadro series involves the possibility:

— to work with data arrays and applications of huge volumes;

— to accelerate the operation of over 100 …

Asus Boasts a New Crossblade Ranger Motherboard of ROG Series

Asus is about to launch a new high-performance motherboard as a part of Republic of Gamers series. The Crossblade Ranger model is developed in ATX form-factor, featuring traditional black-and-red design. It is based on A88X chipset that targets all FM2+ APUs from AMD. According to the manufacturer, the new-comer is able to satisfy the basic needs of inveterate gamers who have at least $150 at their disposal.



The Crossblade Ranger is equipped with 8-phase VRM system, four RAM slots for DDR3 modules, a pair of PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots and a single PCI express 2.0 x16 slot. If there is a need to expand the motherboard’s facilities, a user is able to employ two more PCI Express x1 slots and the same amount of PCI slots. Therefore, it is feasible to organize SLI and CrossFire graphical configurations.


Storage subsystem is represented by eight SATA III 6 Gb/sec ports which support for the creation of varied RAID arrays. Audio subsystem boasts the integration of SupremeFX …