Review Roundup januari 14 2011


Maingear Clutch 13 tested by hothardware

Maingear revealed two notebooks in a new series: Clutch. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the smaller of the two, the 13.3″ Clutch 13. This machine is competing with numerous other laptops in the ultraportable sector. There are loads and loads of 13″ machines available, including the 13″ MacBook Air that we took on earlier in the year. In fact, the Clutch 13 has something that we longed for in Apple’s 13″ ultraportable: a Core i3 processor.

In our SiSoftware Sandra tests, the Maingear Clutch 13 performed well. This ultraportable has a 1.2GHz Core i3-330UM processor, a full 8GB of DDR3-1066 RAM and a blazing fast Crucial 128GB C300 SSD.

Overall, the Clutch 13 is a solid choice at $1091 for the base model, but at nearly $1500 like our review unit, it’s a much harder sell. While it was definitely quick in multi-tasking and most tasks we threw at it, we expected a better GPU setup and a higher-resolution screen for that price.


G.Skill Ripjaws F3-16000CL9D-8GBRM 2x4GB tested by hardwarecanucks

Rated at DDR3-2000 with 9-10-9 timings, this kit is not ground breaking in the sense of the typical marketing number game. Instead, this kit offers high density and high speed at a very reasonable price. Add in the stock 1.55v voltage rating and we have ourselves a decent little kit of memory in the G.Skill F3-16000CL9D-8GBRM.

We are fully aware of the usefulness of a DDR3-2000 2x4GB kit when it comes to performance, but we are also aware that there is a market for such a kit. It is easier to justify purchasing a DDR3-2000 2x4GB kit when the price tag is reasonable, and at just over $150 CND, the F3-16000CL9D-8GBRM Ripjaws are just that: reasonable.

The combination of appropriate cooling, solid overclocking ability that spreads out over a range of timing sets, DDR3-2000 spec with only 1.55v, and a price tag that is actually quite reasonable makes the G.Skill F3-16000CL9D-8GBRM Ripjaws a very attractive 2x4GB kit of memory for Intel P55 users in our opinion.


AMD HD 6950 tested by overclockers

The HD 6950 features a hefty 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM, an 800 MHz core speed and a 1250 MHz RAM speed.

With an MSRP of $299, the HD 6950 fills a hole in the marketplace. From a price perspective, NVIDIA does not have any products that compete directly with the HD 6950. The GTX 470 is $55 less and the GTX 570 $50 more than the HD 6950. This huge $100 gap in pricing leaves the door open for AMD to exploit the mainstream gamer market.

Due to the PowerTune technology the card will automatically adjust the voltages based on the GPU load, which was immediately disabled by bumping the voltage control to “+20%” in Catalyst Control Center (CCC). Even though CCC has an ATI OverDrive tab, the overclocking was limited to 840/1315 (about a 5% overclock).


ZOTAC GTX 580 AMP! Edition tested by tbreak

Today we look at Zotac’s GTX 580 AMP! Edition which comes with a factory overclock of 815MHz on the Core clock (over reference Nvidia speeds of 772MHz) and a Memory speed of 4100Mhz (over reference speeds of 4008Mhz). That’s a 5.6% core speed and 2.3% memory speed overclock. The price hike here is almost 5.8%. Let’s see if the performance matches those numbers.

Given that Zotac is using the same cooling solution as the stock Nvidia cards, I didn’t have my hopes up when it came to overclocking, given how dismal the performance on the stock card had been. And so it came as no surpise that I managed to achieve a stable overclock of 835MHz over factory speeds of 815Mhz, which is a roughly 2.5% increase of factory settings and a 8.2% increase over reference Nvidia speeds.

Not a compelling sell to be honest, perhaps a better cooler would’ve been better had it allowed for further overclocking, but at these speeds, you be the judge.


A.C. Ryan Playon!HD Essential 1TB media playe tested by hexus

Looking to keep the HD player bases covered, A.C. Ryan recently introduced the Playon!HD Essential, which is ostensibly a shrunken-down version of the regular Playon!HD.

A.C. Ryan throws in a rudimentary remote control, three-way composite cables and a power plug, yet it stops short of adding in an HDMI cable to the package, which is rather stingy given the bulk price of 1.8m leads.

However, the transition between the regular Playon!HD and Essential models has meant that the newer, cheaper, smaller unit does without a few external outputs and LAN support, and its lack of immediate networked content may well put a few punters off. What’s more, the Internet has become so pervasive that, while optional, some form of WiFi should be integrated as standard, we feel.

But, fundamentally, we must not forget that the Playon!HD Essential is designed as a multimedia player first and foremost. In this role it does well, and an online price of £125 for a unit equipped with a 1TB hard drive represents good value if you need a straight-up player that’s a cinch to use.


Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speaker System tested by hardocp

Consumers often ask how the total power requirement for a set of speakers is derived. Final total wattage for the SP2500 is 232 watts; 120 to the sub, 40 to each satellite, and 16 to each tweeter.

For a 2.1 set, you will be hard pressed to find a better neutral listening experience and wide soundstage as good as Corsair’s. Music playback was exceptional and gaming was phenomenal; the numerous DSP modes of the SP2500 are an excellent bonus.

The Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500 High-power 2.1PC Speaker System is exceptional and we have absolutely no reservations about recommending these. Assembly was extremely easy, the speakers look great, and performed well in all of our tests. Corsair makes excellent, innovative products and its SP2500 speakers are another reason why the company deserves your hard earned dollar.


Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse tested by everythingusb

The biggest change is in how they transform their shape for storage. With the original Arc, the mouse basically was hinged in the center and turned from a long and tall full size mouse into a fairly compact ball (or a clam).

Of course where this is a wireless mouse it comes with a small 2.4GHz nano-transceiver which MS claims is good for about 30 feet. I don’t know about 30 feet but it easily worked from across my 25 foot room with no noticeable lag in responsiveness.

This ultra portable mouse really can fold flat making it easy to find room in even the most crowded of laptop bags. While portability is a nice bonus, when I started to actually use this mouse I found it extremely precise and easy to accurately control on a variety of surfaces.


Chameleon X-1 gaming mouse-gamepad tested by examiner

The Chameleon X-1 is hands-down the most creative, innovative gaming mouse we’ve tested to date. On one side it’s a modestly equipped 2.4Ghz wireless gaming mouse—but flip it over and you’ve got a gamepad complete with tiny thumb sticks and the familiar button layout of a typical console controller. The X-1 is also designed so it can be used as a PC remote for delivering presentations or controlling your media player.

The Chameleon X-1 has 4 buttons on the right side of the mouse (not counting the power switch). 2 buttons step the DPI up and down, 2 default to Forward and Back in a Web browser. These buttons are not conveniently located for mouse buttons; on the other hand, they serve as bumper buttons in gamepad mode.

The mouse can be used as a remote for your PC, handling operations such as media control and even turning the PC on or off.

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~ by benchmarkstest on January 14, 2011.

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