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I recently built a budget gaming computer for a friend and he was adamant that he wanted a modular PSU, after trying to get him to change his mind because this would be hard under a budget I finally caved and decided to try and find a cheap one. I came across this little beauty by Antec which cost me £45 for 400 Watts of power, that's not a massive amount of power and that was a little concerning but my friend knew the risks.
This came in a box and everything was very neatly packaged and wrapped, the power supply was held firmly by pieces of hard cardboard and it was also wrapped in a polystyrene sheet. All of the outputs were in plastic bags. Here is a list of the connectors that you get.
* 1 x 20+4 pin.
* 1 x 6 Pin PCI-E
* 5 x SATA.
* 4 x Molex.
* 1 x Floppy.
* 1 x 4+4 Pin.
That is a good amount of connectors for the power supply and of course you only need to plug in the ones that you need. Be warned here though guys if you are using a modern graphics card you may need 2 6 pin connectors and you only get one here.
Installing this device was really easy; it screwed into the bottom of the case and stayed there firmly. Plugging the connectors wasn't a difficult challenge either as it was quite clear where they had to be plugged in, they clicked in and felt quite stiff which was a good thing because it meant they wouldn't be falling out any time soon. This was fantastic for cable management and meant the whole case looked cleaner and a lot smarter than if there were cables everywhere.
--How it tested--
When the whole system was built I was slightly worried that this wouldn't be enough power to run everything that I had placed into the computer. What I found out was that I should of given this little device a little more faith, it ran everything in the computer excellently and nothing in the computer was being bottlenecked from power.
--Peace of mind--
I can never stress enough the importance of a good power supply, partially because this is providing all of the voltage to your system if anything goes wrong it has the power to fry everything as well. This system has the following.
* Over Current Protection.
* Over Voltage Protection.
* Short Circuit Protection.
* Over Power Protection.
That is a lot of protection there so you can sleep in peace knowing that whatever happens you should be protected from losing any components in your computer.
Overall I have tested this product for over a week before passing the computer on to its current owner. The whole system is still running great and I now feel confident with the Antec power supply range because this has impressed me with everything it has to offer. I would recommend this power supply to anyone looking to build a cheap computer; if you can afford a higher wattage one then I would upgrade a bit more just to ensure that you can power your whole computer.
I was told that I needed a flash drive that could hold plenty of space and it had to look professional as I would be using it to give presentations for the important people of the company. After searching and becoming frustrated at what the word professional meant I finally gave up when a friend of mine recommended the Kodak USB flash drives. I looked into it and from the images online it ticked all of the "professional" boxes and it cost only £22 for a 32GB stick which was amazing value.
--Unboxing and the Look--
I've had to put these two categories into one paragraph, just simply because the unboxing of this is incredibly simple. There was nothing but the memory stick and a piece of paper in the box, it was that easy the USB stick wasn't wrapped in any kind of protection and there was no software with this device.
The look of this device was as you can put it professional, it's about the size of my thumb so it's quite small in terms of flash memory sticks.
It does have a cap which usually frustrates me however this one it a little different, this is because the place to add the memory stick your keys or on a lanyard is on the cap and not the stick itself. This does cut out the worry of losing the cap but I was slightly worried that I would be losing the USB stick if it fell out of the cap. This doesn't seem to want to happen because the cap wraps itself around 70% of the memory stick and really takes a hold of it.
When I first plugged this device into my computer it did take a few seconds to install the necessary drivers, this took about a minute or so before it recognised the device and I was ready to use it. Once the device was ready to go every time I plug it in it is recognised in seconds and I don't have the problem of waiting for the computer to recognise it all over again.
Transferring data to this stick was of course easy as it just required the copy and paste job, the speed of the transfer was quite impressive for a USB 2.0. Kodak say that this is a high-speed USB flash drive and I think they may have that description correct, I transferred a 1GB file in about 20 seconds or so which is a nice quick transfer.
Overall I have been really impressed with this little memory stick, it still doesn't stop me using my USB 3.0 stick but it has that "professional" look that my superiors wanted. It does its job and that's all you can ask for. I would recommend to anyone looking to buy a memory stick because it gives you a lot of space for a little price.
I needed a spare pair of earphones just before the Christmas period and I didn't want to get anything too extravagant because they were for a spare only. Whilst out shopping for the Christmas gifts I was shopping in HMV and I saw these pair of earphones for £7 down from £12 apparently, I love a good bargain so I picked these up for myself.
These were packaged in a plastic casing and extremely tight in the packaging, they weren't going to receive any damage from movement. Opening the plastic wasn't as hard as it looked as the back tore right off allowing the earphones to be pulled out. The wire was folded and had a cable tie to keep it from knotting up. This was a neatly packaged product and there wasn't much unnecessary packaging either which is always a bonus.
I've always admire skull candy products because they are very colourful and vibrant, these earphones are no different as they come in a variety of colours; I went for the green set because it was a choice between that or orange. The green is relatively glossy and the side of the earphone itself had the skull candy logo which was a black colour. The earphones are in ear and have several different sizes for you to choose from depending on your ears and how you like to wear them.
The wiring from the headphones seemed rather thin and looked like it could be prone to damage but after using these since Christmas they haven't received any damage yet. The jack on the end was coated in a thicker plastic and was the standard jack, so no gold plating here.
After plugging these headphones in and using them just moments after the first sound I fell in love with them, they provided high quality sound and an impressive amount of bass to go with it. The earphones did a fantastic job of drowning out the sound of the busy lifestyle going on around me; also what I found was they were still comfortable after several hours use. Comfortability is a massive factor into why I love these so much, I use the medium size ear pieces and I use them for several hours a day now whilst travelling. The sound went loud enough to distort and hurt my ears so there was no problem with how loud it could play music.
The wire is a long enough to go from my ears to my pocket and it still has extra wire left over so taller people need not worry. This is a pair of earphones that went from being a spare to my main set, they have replaced several other sets which I have lying around and they are still working regardless of the abuse they go through.
I would recommend this product to anyone and for a low cost set of earphones they are worth it every time.
This is the Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX fan and heat sink combo, allow me to start by saying I picked this up for £35 online because I had a computer that needed a better fan for cooling. I wanted to pick up a brand that I knew and trusted and for those of you that aren't familiar Thermaltake are a very good name brand for computer components and products.
This comes in a box which is a bit bigger than the product itself but that is because it has 3 bases which are for different CPU sockets, the CPU bases it is compatible with are LGA775, K8 and AM2. Please note that this does not fit any other AMD CPU sockets because I have tried it on AM2+ and it didn't fit. Everything was neatly packaged and seemed like there wasn't much movement around in the box for any damage during transaction; each piece of the kit was wrapped in a clear plastic sheet.
The heat sink looks and feels incredibly sturdy as so the copper pipes that lead to the CPU itself, unless you applied a lot of force you won't be damaging it any time soon so I'm happy in the knowledge that it is well built.
This looks really nice for a heat sink kit; the CPU plate is visible under the heat sink as there are copper pipes holding the heat sink a good inch away from the plate. The heat sink is made up of aluminium which provides a lot of surface area for great heat dissipation. The fan on the top is black with red fins, in my opinion this is a bit of an eyesore I think it would look a lot better with a silver plastic surround and possibly black fins. That is just a vanity thing though as I have a window on the side of my case and I like everything to look good, it won't affect the overall quality of the product.
On the side of the fan there is the VR controller which lets you control the speed of the fan, this can be relatively annoying because you have to open the case up and do this manually rather than being able to control it through software.
Installing this was really easy; the instructions with the kit have clear diagrams to show you how to piece it together. You start by placing the correct base to the heat sink which just clips on. Mounting this to your case should be a breeze because you should have the brackets already installed on the motherboard.
I ran my computer through several benchmarks and this fan worked brilliantly, It kept a constant temperature throughout every test that being around 73 degrees on the CPU, that was a little hot but for air cooling I wasn't expecting great results. This also works a lot better than the stock heat sink system that came with the CPU it kept the whole computer cooler by around 10 degrees.
When running the fan it wasn't noisy in fact sometimes I couldn't even hear it unless I was really listening for it, so this is a really nice quiet fan to add to your computer if you need quieter fans.
Overall this is a pretty bog standard product and you will get a better result than stock systems you get with CPU's. It has its bad points like the look of the fan and the VR controller seems pretty pointless but it does a good job nonetheless.
I picked these headphones up just before Christmas last year because my pair of dre's beats broke, I of course took them back and demanded the refund and what happened then was I thought about buying a cheaper pair of headphones. I really like the look of the Sony MDR-ZX300; I picked my pair in blue and got them for £20 on sale in the local supermarket.
Here are the specification for the headphones.
* 30mm driver units.
* Neodymium magnet.
* High sound quality.
* Both sided cable.
I have to be completely honest the first two things there on the specification go completely over my head. Here is what they claim to do, create dynamic sound for a stronger feel of the music. Clear mid-range sounds and a deep bass line.
This was packaged in a plastic sheet which resembles one those things you get at Christmas and you can't get into. So after struggling to open the thing I got a good feel of the headphones, they felt really sturdy and well made. The wire is nicely wrapped in a box and unwraps nicely.
The headphones look great; the ear pieces are round and do a good job of covering the ear. On the ear pieces are comfortable rests which really do make wearing these headphones a delight. The joint between the two ear pieces is a thick plastic which is sturdy and also really flexible which is great. The ear pieces of course extend out so you can adjust them as much as you need to. The ear pieces turn so the whole thing sort of comes together which is great for portability, or if your wearing them around your neck they don't restrict your head movements.
I use these headphones every day now and I could not be happier with them, the sound quality is great when out and about and I guess that neodymium magnet really does its job because the bass is superb. The wires are relatively thin for a big headset and I don't feel them running down my t shirt, also the jack at the end of the cable is a right angle. This for me is quite annoying because some times when I push my mp3 into my pocket the edge catches on the top of the pocket unplugging the jack. That is the only problem that I have with the headphones.
The ear pieces cover the whole ear and are really comfortable to wear, they adjust to the angle of your ear to ensure that they press on your ear but not too much. When out and about they do a moderately good job of drowning out the sound of the world, I can wear these on the bus and not hear a thing which is a nice bonus. I know that they do leak out some sound when you're playing on high volumes but that isn't something that most of us do I guess because todays quality of sound just makes high volumes un-bearable.
Overall I am really happy with these headphones I have been using them for 4 months now and no break or even any sign of wear and tear. I have fallen in love with these headphones and they are only a fraction of the price that I paid for the beats, comparing them to the beats I have to say that beats do offer a better bass sound but other than that there isn't much between the two. Anyone looking for a cheap set of headphones then look no further because this is all you will need, Sony also offer them in a variety of colours I believe that they have them in blue, black, red and white. I am not sure if there are any other colours but that is of course just for aesthetics sake. I would of given these a 5 out of 5 but the right angle jack does bother me so it's only a 4.
In my search for a 27" monitor that I would fall in love with I came across the LG 27" W2753V-PF, this is now a discontinued product and as such I picked this up for £200 at the local electronics shop. I have seen this for £350 on amazon so you may want to shop around first and see if you can find this in a shop.
Let me first start off by listing some of the specifications of this monitor.
* 27" diagonal.
* Aspect ratio 16:9
* Max resolution 1920 x 1080.
* Response time of 2 ms.
* Contrast ratio 50,000:1.
* Displays 16.7 million colours.
* Full 1080P display.
* HDMI port.
There wasn't much to the unboxing of this it came in a hard cardboard box and the monitor was wrapped in a protective sheet and encased in polystyrene, the whole feel of the monitor was protection and I was extremely happy with the way it was packaged.
Also in the packaging was the power cord and the D-Sub cable, the D-Sub cable kind of got tossed to one side however as I intended to use a HDMI cable.
--The look and feel--
What first caught me to the monitor was the look, it was simple with a nice gloss black finish. On the bottom of the monitor was a clear plastic which has a bit of a red glow in the dark thanks to the LED's on the buttons. The buttons themselves looked very sleek on the whole design of the screen, of course how good and responsive the buttons are we will find out when I come to test this product.
The main other thing that I wanted to look at on this monitor was the stand that it came with, the last 27" monitor that I tested had an awful stand and as such I returned the product. This stand came out at an angle and it felt great and really sturdy, this did not allow the monitor to move around and shake when I moved my desk and it really holds its own.
I tested this in full 1080p HD and ran several games and watched several films on it, first of all the games. This was incredible, from the moment I started playing first person shooters I was immersed the monitor was captivating with colours and the response time really kept everything running smooth. Watching films was as you would expect it on full 1080p it's really how we should be watching film.
The buttons were great I'm usually sceptic about touch buttons but it seems like I should be changing that opinion as technology has come a long way and touch buttons are great. There are different view modes that you can choose from however the only way I see to change these is to use the really awkward software ForteManager. This is a hard piece of software and kind of pointless really so that is the first and only thing I don't like about this product.
Overall I'm really happy with this monitor it does everything I need it to do, it looks great and it sits very nicely on my desk. This is a great 27" monitor and I'm looking into getting a second one for the dual monitor setup. I would recommend to anyone looking upgrading their monitor or even just to add it to their current setup.
I was in search of some cheap RAM for a budget build I was working on when I came across the Kingston value RAM range. This is incredibly cheap RAM so I decided to purchase the 12GB package, this comes in 3 RAM sticks each of 4GB and they each have a speed of 1066MHz. I ordered this on amazon for £52 which is an incredible price for 12GB so of course I did have my doubts about how this RAM would work.
It came packaged very poorly it was in plastic sleeves which were slightly bigger than the RAM sticks themselves, this meant that the sticks were moving around inside the packaging and the pins on the bottom could of easily been damaged. Overall I wasn't happy with the packaging but I wasn't that surprised given the price, so just a thought for anyone looking to buy this range just remember that the packaging is poor and there is a good possibility that the pins on the bottom may become damaged in transaction.
Installing this was easy I just pushed the sticks into the DIMM slots on the motherboard, clipping them in place to ensure that they were installed correctly. I booted the computer and expected them to work relatively well, this was not the case. After a couple of hours of running this was I was actually starting to get frustrated with this kit, it wasn't running great and actually struggling in some areas.
The big noticeable area was gaming this struggled with most of the games that I played on it, they were high end games but they just couldn't cope with the load that was being piled onto them. After just a couple of hours of use I took them out and sent them back, the work load of the sticks was poor and my vengeance 8GB ran far better than this 12GB.
Overall I would not recommend this product it just doesn't have what it takes to run a modern computer, I think that half of the problem this RAM had was the fact that it did not come with a heat spreader installed on the sticks. The RAM did seem to run hot and that could have been half the problem this kit had. I think if you are looking to buy cheap RAM then you should definitely go with a better range and less memory overall, this will ensure that you have good RAM which will be able to cope with anything you throw at it. This kit although cheap just failed to impress me in every area from un-packaging right through to testing.
Given to me today was the Sony MRW-EA7 card reader, I was tasked with testing this bad boy out and testing card readers out is not something I enjoy doing because I find that they are all about the same. In the card reading industry we seem to have mastered the way to build these devices but realistically we hardly ever need a card reader, maybe once a year if that. The truth is every device we own that uses a memory card can probably plug straight into a computer making it 10 times easier to transfer data.
This device came in a plastic wrapping supplied with the USB lead to connect it to your computer; I was not impressed with this packaging as a drop could have damaged this or even broke it. What Sony were thinking with this packaging I don't know but I was a little bit angry at the way it was packaged given that it costs £30 to start off with so it's not even cheap for a card reader.
Ok so the packaging wasn't to a great standard but let me tell you the design is impressive. This has an aluminium finish is about 3 inches long by 2 inches wide and is stunning, if for nothing else this is a great looking paper weight although expensive.
I'm going to add a short installation line here because it doesn't warrant its own title. To install this product all you simply have to do is plug it in using the supplied USB wire and it should be working. You can tell by going to my computer and you should see the corresponding memory cards available.
I put a few memory cards in this and transferred a few files I was transferring to the memory cards quite quick, I have no problems with the device as far as this area is concerned. Here's a list of the memory cards you can plug into this device.
* Memory Stick.
* Compact Flash.
This is a nice variety of cards and if you have an SD adapter you can even use a micro SD card on this device.
To sum this up it's a good device, it works well, and it looks great. Would I buy it? I don't think I would at £30 it's just too pricey for something that will barely get used; I have to say that if I did buy it 90% of it would be based on looks alone because I really do like the design of this device. You can get a memory card reader which does the same job for a third of the price so unless you constantly use memory sticks on a computer and need one of these I really wouldn't recommend spending so much money on this device.
So today I was given a new item to test out for the big people that I work for, this item was not only a new item but it was unique in that I had never used one of these types of devices before. I am talking of course about the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi GO PRO external sound card.
In case you are wondering why you would need an external sound card let me take a minute to explain. If you're on board sound isn't great or it breaks then you need not worry there are alternatives to getting it fixed at the manufacturer which can be costly. The sound blaster for instance is quite cheap at only £29.99 on the creative site and I'm sure you may find it cheaper elsewhere.
This came in a small box with a USB extender, the software, and the manuals and of course the sound card itself. The packaging was nice the box wasn't too crammed with much information and overall it did the job in keeping everything inside the box secure.
This little stick looks like a wireless adapter but it is of course in disguise as it's an external sound card. This is a nice looking device all black with a black cap, it's got a glossy look to it and on the cap is a place to slot in on your keying. This gives this device great portability overall and I would feel comfortable carrying this around with me. The size of the sound card is surprisingly small but it is quite wide and it blocked up a second USB on the back of my computer, this is where the USB extender that is provided comes in handy though.
Installing this should seem simple, however you have to install the software that is provided with the box or you can download the latest software from the creative website which is just what I did. Downloading the software was quick it was easy to find on the website, but installing the actual software seemed to be a bit of a hassle. It took quite a while for it to actually go onto the computer and it didn't seem to take up too much space so I couldn't quite understand why this was the case. When the software was eventually installed though all I had to do was plug the device into an available USB slot and the little on light lit up blue which is always a good sign.
I was sceptical about an external sound card at first I really didn't think that they could provide the sound quality that we as people deem acceptable. I couldn't have been any more wrong if I had tried, the sound quality of this device was great. It was far from perfect and it did seem to distort when turned up quite high though which let this device down.
The microphone port performed well with my friends that I spoke to online not being able to notice any difference between the sound card and my on board 7.1 audio. So if you do happen to break your microphone slot this is a great replacement.
Overall this was a handy little device, I could only see the need in purchasing one if your on board is broke or isn't very good. It does work especially well with microphones and does ok with sound. Recommended if you need a cheap replacement.
I purchased this LG GH22LS50 super multi DVD-Rewriter internal drive for around £20, I bought this because a friend of mine wanted a budget computer system building. LG is a common name and I have used LG drives in the past and been happy with them, it was almost too easy to select this drive over others because I knew I was secure buying the LG brand.
This was delivered to me within a couple of days and was packaged in a standard box, there wasn't much else to the packaging I felt like it could of done with some extra protection other than a bit of card board but there wasn't any damage to the item.
There was a SATA cable provided in the box of this device which is a nice touch as I have bought some devices which don't supply these cables.
This is a standard DVD drive with a black plastic front and the rest of the device is metal but that doesn't really matter as that will be in the computer case itself. On the disc drive there are a few logos on there such as the LG and a super multi. The button to open this is on the bottom right of the device, this presses quite nicely doesn't require too much push against it but still clicks.
This DVD drive uses SATA connections, the data one is the smaller one that is provided with the device, this plugs in the drive and straight into an empty SATA port on the motherboard. The bigger slot is for the power cable and this plugs in straight from the power supply. If you don't have a SATA power cable free on the power supply you can buy a converter which turns a 4 pin Molex connection into a SATA cable. These are really cheap and may be something to take into consideration when purchasing this item.
With both cabled plugged in that is the DVD drive fully installed apart from screwing it into your case but that takes you all of two seconds and isn't hard as your case will have slots lined up for the screws.
When testing this device I ran a DVD on it first followed by burning a disc. When running the DVD the drive was almost silent which is always a nice bonus, I could barely hear the disc running and it played my whole DVD without any skips or faults at all.
For the burning part of the test I decided that burning a CD and a DVD was a good test. The first thing I burnt was a CD, this was a standard music disc and this took approximately 2 and a half minutes. Not a bad time but I have had quicker, still who can really complain about 2 and a half minutes?
Burning a DVD took around 7 minutes which was a little longer than I expected but both discs that I burnt had great quality play back and I can't fault the drive there. The writing speeds could be slightly faster but im willing to wait the extra minute or so for guaranteed quality.
Here are some of the specifications and features of this device.
* Compatible with Windows XP and higher.
* Secure disc and light scribe compatible.
* Read DVD 16x Single layer and 12x dual layer.
* Read CD 48x.
* Write DVD at 22x and CD at 48x.
On paper this is a pretty bog standard DVD drive, it has no fancy features but it does do the job well. Granted I feel that this is a little slower than other drives I have used but it gives you high quality, this is a nice device to use and although there was a few bad points given the price you really can't complain. So if you are looking for a cheap DVD drive that can give you top quality media then look no further.
Recently I was given a monitor to test out that had a VGA port on it only, amidst all of my computer peripherals and components I just for the life of me couldn't find a VGA cable or adapter. This was tragic as it meant that I couldn't test the monitor and complete my work, in desperation I shot up to the local computer shop to see what I could purchase there to give me a helping hand. There was plenty that I could have bought such as cables and twin adapters and other such products but I chose the StarTech DVI to VGA adapter.
I chose this because it was only £2.99 and this meant that I wouldn't have any more wires trailing around the back of my computer just being a health hazard. So when I took this out of the casing the first thing I did was drop it, sounds silly but I did drop it on purpose to test how well it could take a beating. The heard rubber casing surrounding the two ports was incredibly tough and I'm pretty sure you could throw this around all day and it would still work.
The adapter itself is pretty small as I did see some chunky looking ones but this thing wasn't a problem in the size department. It's a standard size for a DVI port and then shrinks towards the smaller VGA port. The rubber casing is all black and is tough and durable.
Plugging this thing in wasn't a problem but I found the screws on the VGA side really hard to screw in because it was so small and I just could get my fingers around them to twist them in. In the end I had to compromise and leave the thing unscrewed and hope that it wouldn't fall out. So for people with bigger fingers like me beware this can be a problem, as I was just testing a product I want too bothered about this but if it was a permanent placement then it would be of concern.
This did display perfectly and it is a product which I may use again, it's a strange product to say if I would recommend or not because it does do its job but the fact that it is really hard to screw in on the VGA end really lets this down for a permanent product. On the plus side its durable, it will last and it can reduce the amount of wires you have behind your computer or monitor.
I don't usually use speakers with my computer because I have a pretty nice head set but since my other half decided that watching films on my computer is a good idea but didn't like headsets I had to go out and purchase a speaker set for her. This frustrated me because I've never really liked the look of speakers I find them overall too bulky and irritating to have on my desk.
My mini rant aside I went out and purchased the XpertTouch 2.1 speaker set, brought to you by trust. When I brought this home and unpackaged it this is when things looked bad for this speaker set, the packaging wasn't great for speakers which can be pretty sensitive. Each section of the set was wrapped in bubble wrap but other than that there wasn't much else to protecting the speakers.
The reason I chose this particular speaker set in the shop was because it was quite cheap at only £30, and the sub-woofer had a nice blue glass piece around the outside which looked really nice. The front section of the sub-woofer has touch control designs which as you may or may not already know worry me because I have used touch control before where it didn't work. This touch control though was fantastic; it was sensitive enough to pick up the controls at just the brush of the finger. The touch buttons themselves have 3 different colours to indicate volume, treble and bass; this is a really nice touch because it allows you to make the adjustments in the dark without having to read which button is which.
On the back of the sub-woofer is a 3.5mm headphone jack where you can plug in headphones obviously this means you won't have to un plug the speakers to plug headphones in and vice versa. The design of this is really cool, the speakers and sub-woofer are coated in a black glossy style and around the edges are a clear plastic. This doesn't show up finger prints as much as you thought it would but it does seem to be a magnet for dust which I don't like.
Now to the more serious stuff, the testing! Both I and my special lady have watched many films on these speakers and we are both extremely happy with the sound and bass quality. What I really liked was that the sound does not distort when switched up high, you can of course distort the sound but for that you really have to push the sound incredibly high which is just unnecessary. The bass and treble both go to nice levels, the bass especially vibrates my desk when I put it up just a few levels so this is some power coming from the sub-woofer. The wire from the speakers to the sub-woofer will reach from either side of your desk although they won't spread across a room but seeing as this is only a 2.1 system you are supposed to have them directly in front of you on the left and on the right.
As I said at the start of the review I really don't like speakers on my computer desk for several reasons but after owning these for a while now, I'm really happy to have this add on to my computer. They don't replace my headset but it is great to watch a film or play a game with these speakers when I just can't be bothered putting the headset on. Not a perfect set but given the low price and the nice design I'm not going to complain and you shouldn't either. The blue light around the sub-woofer adds a nice glow to the bottom of my desk at night.
This is the Freecom 2 TB external hard drive; I was looking for a big enough hard drive on to move around some rather chunky files without having to worry about space. Not only that I wanted to make sure that I had a USB 3.0 hard drive because this would help with the data transfer to the hard drive itself.
After shopping around I chose this device, the Freecom hard drive XS 3.0. I went with Freecom because I have owned Freecom external hard drives in the past and I've been extremely happy with the way they have performed. Here are some of the features this device comes with.
* USB 3.0 with a transfer speed of 5Gbit/s.
* Ultra quiet fan less design.
* Small design at 18.2 by 11.4 cm.
* One year warranty.
This device can be purchased in 1, 2 and 3 TB hard drives, these are all really good size hard drives and as such you won't be filling them up with much ease. Personally I chose the 2Tb version because this was £140 which was a little out of my price range but I figured the extra space would come in handy.
This was delivered to me with the standard amazon packaging and inside was the Freecom packaging which kept the hard drive incredibly secure in a tough card board design. Packaging was vital with this product as it is a hard disk and as such I didn't want it to get damaged, overall the device itself was well packaged and was in fact working. In the box was also the USB 3.0 lead to connect this to the computer, the plug adapter to give the hard drive its power and a CD with the software for the drive although this is optional as it will work without the software.
This is a really nice looking hard drive and won't look ugly on anyone's desk; it is a small design especially for a 3.5 hard drive. This is what I really liked about the hard drive and it's also pretty light yet maintaining a robust feel, overall it looked and felt great.
This was really easy to install to the computer as it is plug and play and I didn't install the optional software that came with the hard drive. The device does require a plug socket and you should be aware of this in case you need an extension, this plugged into the wall and into the USB 3.0 port onto my computer and it was installed. I should note that this is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports so users without USB 3.0 can still use this device, however if you do use it at USB 2.0 you will be restricted with speed and won't get the 5Gbp/s that this is capable of.
I've run this device now for a few weeks and it now stores all of my games, music, films and backup work on it. I play all of my media files straight from this hard drive and I really don't notice any slower speeds than if I was running it on an internal hard drive. As I use it on a USB 3.0 I do get the fastest speeds possible and this is fantastic as I can transfer all of my files to this device and it is usually done in less than a minute.
I have to say I have never been happier with an external hard drive and the USB 3.0 speeds means I can run all of my games from this device without any noticeable speed loss. Not only that I've only filled a couple of hundred GB on it so I've still got a long way to go before it gets even close to filling up. With the fan less design I hardly notice this device is running on my desk however the downside to this is it does run pretty hot so beware of this. This is the only downside I have to this device though other than that it's an incredible device and I would recommend to anyone and everyone.
I recently built a system for a friend who was under a strict budget, this made buying particularly difficult because he wanted to play high end games. I originally wanted to buy the corsair vengeance range that I use in my own computer but I stumbled across the Kingston blu range. Kingston is a well-known range and I have used this name brand in the past with great response.
So this was cheaper than the vengeance range and I bought a single 4GB DDR3 1600Mhz for £16 from amazon which is a really nice price for 1600 DDR3 memory. When this was delivered it was packaged in standard RAM casing, which wasn't too bad. This RAM stick looked really nice with a blue heat spreader across the stick itself; this is a great addition to anyone with a blue themed motherboard. Aesthetics aside though it's how this RAM performs that bothers me not looks.
Installing this RAM was easy as RAM always is, just clipping it into the socket and ensuring that it was firmly in did the job. Starting the computer up for the first time was near perfect; this RAM didn't struggle to run programs and worked well with the CPU that was installed. With 4GB installed on the system it breezed through running windows and multiple other programs, multi-tasking with ease is how I like to describe it. I watched the heat on this product as well to see how well the heat spreader worked, I have to say that this did manage to keep the stick itself nice and cool at around 30 degrees I believe. That is a good heat spreader on a cheap stick and matches anything I've used on RAM.
For the heavier programs such as games this still worked a charm, granted I feel that another 4GB stick would work a lot better for such programs however for the simple computer user 4GB is more than enough. Kingston are known for great performance memory and this HyperX blu series is no different, they don't throw in a load of fancy features like you get with corsair but you can guarantee that it will get the job done.
Overall this is a great component and I would certainly recommend to anyone buying on the cheap. If you have the extra money I would say splash out a bit and go for the corsair vengeance range as in my opinion it looks better and runs slightly faster but that's another range, another price and another review. So I will leave it at that guys, this is a great item and it's cheap too.
Recently I had a tragic experience; I lost my cyborg keyboard thanks to a pet of mine who had a field day when I was out. This prompted me to go online in search of a new keyboard that would suit my gaming needs. Now I have never owned a Razer product even though I have looked on in awe at the amazingly designed products that they keep releasing. After going through the Razer website and browsing across the keyboards that they have to offer I chose the Razer anansi. I picked this keyboard up for £89.99 which is a little steep but it is a gaming keyboard so this is the price range you will be looking at for that particular niche.
This was delivered to me with a free Razer gift pack because I spent enough money apparently; this was a really nice gesture from Razer as it contained a mouse mat and other desk items. The packaging on my new keyboard was fantastic it looked great and when opened the keyboard just blew me away.
This keyboard is designed for the MMO gamer although I use it for a lot of different genres of games and it works just great. On the keyboard underneath the space bar, there are seven programmable buttons at your disposal. These seven keys can be programmed in game which makes gaming that much easier. The other keys are great on this keyboard they feel fluid like when you're pressing them and they do respond excellently. There are 5 macro keys on the left hand side of the keyboard which come in handy for making those longer gaming macros. The keys have a nice blue backlight which really makes the keys sparkle when the lights are dimmed low. The wire on this keyboard uses USB 2.0 and is long enough for you to reach the back of your computer and some.
This is a keyboard which has over 100 programmable keys as you can switch between 20 profiles! That's right 20 different profiles essentially having 20 different keyboards, I have set about 4 of these for different games and now I don't need any more. But the idea that the other profiles are there is a nice thought I suppose.
Testing this keyboard on several games such as battlefield 3, modern warfare 3, star wars the old republic and StarCraft 2 to name a few. This was a great keyboard to play games on, it had a rapid response time and the wrist guard that comes attached to it makes lengthier playing much more comfortable. The macro keys and seven programmable thumb buttons really came into their own when playing games like star wars and StarCraft because there was more to program them to.
Overall guys I am really happy with this keyboard it feels great, it runs great and the 20 profiles I'm sure will come in handy soon. I don't see the need to upgrade anytime soon because this has everything I need and more. I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking to upgrade their current keyboard or if you're looking for a really good gaming keyboard.