Review Roundup november 16 2010
ZOTAC Zbox Blu-Ray HD-ID34 HTPC tested by tbreak
We received the HD-ID34 model from Zotac that comes with 2GB RAM and a 250GB Hard Drive pre-installed but without an Operating System. Included in the package was a power adapter, a DVI to DSUB converter as well as a Quickstart guide, drivers CD and PowerDVD with Blu-Ray playback.
What I like about the Zotac Zbox is that, unlike the Mac Mini, it is extremely easy to upgrade. Just unscrew the back and you have access to the RAM sockets, the hard drive bay as well as a mini PCI slot allowing you to increase the memory, switch to an SSD or add a mini-PCI expansion card.
Even adding the cost of Windows (since the unit comes OS-free) to it, the Zbox Blu-Ray is a much better value than the Mac Mini. Yes, it has a slower CPU than the Mac Mini but that does not come in the way of watching full-HD movies- it’s more than capable of handling any media you throw at it.
ASUS P8P67 Deluxe tested by hardwarecanucks
As befits a high-end model, the P8P67 Deluxe has the new 16+2 phase DIGI+ VRM design, and also comes equipped with the power-saving Energy Processing Unit (EPU) engine. Overclockers will be able to really stress this new VRM thanks to the user-friendly mouse-supporting UEFI BIOS and very capable TurboV Processing Unit overclocking processor.
Obviously, this model’s greatest selling point is the ASUS Front Panel USB 3.0 Box, which connects to the front USB 3.0 header that is located to the bottom-right of the memory slots.
Kingston HyperX T1 Dual Channel 4GB DDR3-2000MHz CL9 240-Pin DIMM Kit tested by hitechlegion
The HyperX T1 DDR3 4GB kit comes with two 2GB modules that pair for dual channel performance. Using the Intel X.M.P. profile, the HyperX T1 can achieve 2000MHz speed. These DIMMs can run with 9-11-9-27 latencies at the 2000MHz speed. The HyperX T1 can also be purchased with the HyperX Fan bundled.
Throughout my testing, the memory held solid and gave me zero issues. I was very surprised with the overclock I was able to achieve on this set. Mileage always varies when overclocking, based on components used and modules received, so I can’t vouch for everyone who uses this RAM.
OCZ IBIS 240GB SSD review tested by guru3d
The OCZ IBIS is a 3.5″ SSD that is available in several volume sizes: 100, 160, 240, 360, 480, 720 and even a 960GB are available. The products range from 450 EUR towards a near irreverence 2500 EUR, in USD that’s slightly more expensive. OCZ covers the unit with a 3 year warranty.
Each 64GB partition will get a SandForce 1200 based IC assigned for multi-channel IO. OCZ now inserts two of these NAND units into the IBIS. That means accumulated four SandForce 1200 controller have a total of four 64GB partitions.
Any downsides then? Well yep… the SiL RAID controller does not support the TRIM function, so over time performance will degrade somewhat.
Silicon Power SDHC Class 10 32GB Memory Card tested by tweaktown
Silicon Power has released their new Class 10 SDHC cards in four capacities; 4, 8, 16 and 32GB. To go larger in this format you have to look towards SDXC (eXtended Capacity) standard.
In ATTO we found that the Silicon Power SDHC Class 10 32GB to be capable of reading up to 21MB/s and writing nearly as fast, 19.5MB/s. This is well over the rated speed of 10MB/s.
Silicon Power’s SDHC Class 10 proved in testing to be around twice as fast as the minimum specification calls for. With that in mind the card should give users room to grow and carry this card onto their next SD using product.
Samsung EX1-TL500 10 Megapixel Digital Camera tested by futurelooks
The EX1 is a 10.0 megapixel (3648 x 2736) camera with a built-in 5.2-15.6mm (equivalent to 24-72mm on a 35mm camera) f1.8-2.4 Schneider lens. It’s only a 3x optical zoom but again, the f1.8 aperture isn’t something you regularly find on a compact digital camera.
If the 24mm wide end of the lens isn’t wide enough for you, an attachment lens is available for the EX1. A simple twist of the ring attached to the lens reveals a threaded outer edge to which you can attach conversion adapters.
There are plenty of things to like about the EX1 including the fantastic f1.8-2.4 24mm wide lens and a clear, bright articulated LCD screen but the market is changing and there’s a reason there are few high-end compact cameras on the market. It’s a good camera but there aren’t enough pros to justify buying one.
Sharkoon XTACTIC SP USB Gaming Headset tested by funkykit
It’s one of the first headsets we’ve tested that’s compatible for gaming consoles, as well as for PC. It features two high quality 40 mm drivers, which is housed in an oval-shaped earcup. This is the first we’ve ever seen for a headset, as the earcups on most headsets are normally round, not oval-shaped. It could be one of those star features that’s never really mentioned.
The overall audio quality is very good. The large 40mm driver gives loud, clear and crisp sounds with good bass. It’s slightly better than the Arctic Sound P531, which we tested last week but not better than the more expensive Steelseries 7H. As far as build quality is concerned, the headset seems to made from good quality materials and feels pretty solid.