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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Corsair VOID Pro Surround Review

The new budget Corsair VOID Pro Surround is out but will it be enough to fill in the 'void' for Corsair!?


Alright! So Corsair just launched their very new Corsair VOID Gaming Headset, yes I know the VOID is old but this is the new refresh lineup. Since the previous Corsair VOID headsets were very successful especially the VOID wireless RGB headset Corsair decided to revamp the whole lineup to keep it in synch with the present market trend.
I have with me the Corsair VOID Pro Surround Hybrid Gaming Headset with me today all thanks to Corsair India & even though its mouthful of a name to pronounce I'm pretty excited to see what this new kid on the block has to offer.

At around $80 the Corsair VOID Pro Surround utilizes 50mm neodymium drivers to deliver a thump pumping audio quality at a maximum 20Khz all working perfectly with almost any device you can name of including PC, cell phones, tablets and even gaming consoles of the latest generation.
With an impedance of 32 Ohms the new VOID series comes in three flavors namely as the VOID Pro Wireless RGB, VOID Pro USB and the VOID Pro Surround that we have today. Also the VOID Pro Surround comes in two colors combinations of red and black or completely black to go with your setup and preferences.

What's in the Box!?


Corsair seems to have adopted the new yellow and black theme permanently and the same story continues for the Corsair Gaming H2100 aswell. The box comes in a yellow and black accent all over along with all the vital details neatly enlisted especially the fact that it supports Genuine Dolby 7.1 surround sound and is fully compatible with all the platforms and handheld devices or consoles.
A see through windows would've looked great but that is something missing on the front.

Inside the box you get the Corsair VOID Pro Surround Gaming Headset along with a bunch of accessories and papers like the warranty and instruction manual, a microphone foam cap and the Dolby Digital 7.1 channel USB dongle which we'll be discussing later on.

A look inside the VOID


Corsair VOID Pro Surround headset is made out of solid premium glass fiber infused plastic that looks and even feels like metal in most cases. It has a high horizontal swivel than vertical swivel making it adjust and fit on almost all head sizes with perfect snugness.


The Corsair sails logo is grey and not RGB infact nothing on the Surround is RGB to make it clear from the start itself to prevent any further disappointment for the RGB lovers out there. The black area is glossy but not a finger print magnet making it appealing and hassle free to maintain. The closed back cups can rotate a full 180° with the left being plane while the right one has a mic mute button and the volume dial at the back along with the boom microphone.
While the mic mute button is nice and has a click to it upon pressing the volume dial feels a bit cheap in terms of build and even fragile at some point. It would've been better if the dial was a bit thicker and clicked upon turning to add a more robust build feel. This is something that they've not improved upon the previous generation VOIDs
The micro-fiber coated memory foam on the ear cups and head band is silky soft & feels weighless once worn. I'm not a fan of cloth rubbing against my ears but this one is a different story, the fiber is smooth and doesn't feel cheap and definitely not like a Nike jersey on my ears! In-fact it might be the best fiber I've experienced to date on any headset of this price bracket! Also this is a new fiber unlike the one used on the VOID stereo from the previous generation that came in the price range.

Unfortunately the cord on the VOID Pro Surround is non braided and is coated with some silicon like material which keeps it soft and very strong so as to avoid those irritating kinks and bends. Also the cable is very long and more than enough for anyone out there ending into a two pole 3.5mm jack which makes it so widely compatible.

Coming to the most interesting part of the Corsair VOID Pro Surround, the Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound USB dongle. Basically it is a USB dongle that you can plug into your PC or laptop and then connect the VOID headset to via the 3.5mm jack inlet. The VOID Pro Surround in all truthfulness is not a surround sound headset but a usual stereo headset that is made to act like one by virtue of this adapter/dongle and hence the name 'hybrid' in the product name. Hybrid surround sound uses science to electronically process the audio signal output by your game or other stereo source to fool your brain into thinking these headphones are 7.1 surround capable when they really aren’t.
Dolby Labs by carefully tweaking delay and reflection timing (echo effects), does a pretty convincing job of fooling your brain into thinking sounds are originating from behind and to the sides of your head. In fact you can plug any stereo headphone set into the included Dolby 7.1 Surround audio adapter and achieve pretty much the same surround effects. I would love to see Corsair launching these USB adpaters as a standalone product in near future!

Making it Work - CUE explained!


The Corsair VOID Pro Surround is a plug and play device when using the 3.5mm jack or the provided USB Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound adapter with the latter being a PC exclusive luxury. However if you are using this headset with Windows 7 then be aware that you'll need to set the Corsair Dolby Surround adapter as the default audio adapter for the PC which is not required to be done in Windows 10. Also once plugged in using the adapter the VOID would become CUE compliant giving you a handful of control over the behavior of the device.


Using the CUE software you can not only control to enable/disable Dolby Digital but also control the volume of the microphone and sidetone which is a handy feature for those who want full control over the mic. Also a set of presets are given to choose from to suit the activity being performed at the moment such as FPS for gaming, Movie Theater, Bass Booster etc which can either be further customized or you can yourself make your own profile with desired settings maybe for a particular game. I however felt that the headset works best when using the default settings especially in the Dolby Digital mode since tweaking the settings tend to distort the audio effects when the Dolby Digital mode is active so I suggest that you stick with the default and just customize the mic volume as per your usage.

Time to hit the Cords!

Gaming Performance


Since the Corsair VOID Pro Surround aims at gaming, obviously, we tested it with some of our all time favorites, Crysis 3 and Battlefield 1 for its excellent blend of audio, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor for its pitch perfect environmental sounds and NFS: Rivals well simply 'coz I like that game!
In Crysis 3 we had no issue whatsoever in listening to or understanding what Prophet was saying and noises were greatly distinguished in the heat of battle, even of the crickets in the NY jungle! Battlefield 1 came out fully immersive especially when it came to sitting inside the battle tanks or listening to aerial bombing happening across the field. In Shadow of Mordor we could really feel the voices coming from different directions and interestingly even though the bass on these headphones are acceptable they didn't distort the sounds of footsteps from behind and I was able to pin point the enemy location making it a great choice for eSport players including CS:GO. The engines of Bugatti or Lamborghini never revved any better and we were blown away by the deep bass these cups had to offer. Once the 'hybrid' Dolby Digital mode was turned on the audio experience just became more pleasant without any in game distortions. All in all these headphones are a major upgrade from its predecessor and work flawlessly, the bass is not too deep but neither is flat and along with good precision audio output I don't see anything wrong over here.
Also the mic is static free and picks up noise at low levels, a bit of a nasal comes in but with a bit of an adjustment that can be taken care of. At the joint the mic does feel a bit weak but is highly flexible and good at picking up voices for in-game chats.

Music, Movies and Miscellaneous Stuff


For movies and music I plugged in the VOID Pro Surround into a ALC 1220 codec based audio solution on my PC motherboard and also we tested it with an Apple iPhone 7 for basically musical playback. Firstly we went in for a wide variety like the dialogue intensive Schindler's List & 12 Years a Slave to high pitch titles like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and The Avengers, all came out in exceptional quality.
Bryan Adam's Heaven and some of my all time favorite Bollywood songs sounded great with exceptional mids and lows accompanied by a good treble. Eminem Legacy and Rap God were as clear as they can be with bass nearing perfection, even at full volume songs from 3 Doors Down, Motorhead or Metallica didn't crack displaying the true power of the 50mm drivers that it uses.

My Verdict 

Corsair is well known for revamping their products or upgrading them in one way or the other instead of just piling up new names in their catalogues & to be honest most of the times these upgrades/revamps are totally worth it or needed, the Corsair VOID Pro Surround gaming headset is one of those products launched at that time!
Coming in at $80 it is a massive upgrade over the previous generation VOID Stereo the Corsair VOID Pro Surround is a great headset with upgrades both in terms of aesthetics & performance. The fabric material is much better and breathable hence making it lighter and sweat free even during long matches. The mic is more flexible and picks up sound better and doesn't sound flat at all making it a good multi purpose mic not restricted to gaming only.
Sound reproduction, both in gaming and in general, has improved aswell and is much more richer than before which I'm really happy about since the VOID stereo was just terrible at this! But the true star us the Dolby Digital adapter that does just what its advertised for and magically converts this ordinary headset into a 7.1 channel surround sound headset, if you listen to this and a proper surround sound headset side by side you'll notice that the performance isn't much difference when playing games obviously in other areas the proper surround sound product will have an edge but then this is a gaming headset and not meant for an audiophile.
The mic still needs a bit of work in terms of its design and quality as it feels flimsy and weak though it isn't but it does plus the volume knob is still the same old stuff which required a clicker atleast to make it more accurate and avoid accidental change in volumes by a gush of hand movement.
"Corsair VOID Pro Surround is an entirely new product with great audio performance substantially magnified by the included Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound adapter. Highly recommend for casual gamers aswell as for eSport players who are looking for one of the best gaming headsets in the sub $100 category!"
Pros - 
  • Good Build Quality
  • Solid sound quality
  • Dolby Digital adapter works exceptionally
  • Aptly priced
Cons - 
  • Mic is a bit flimsy 
  • Headset can slip off the head if moved suddenly 
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Gigabyte's Aorus AC300W mid-tower case lets you show off your graphics card

You can mount your card vertically or horizontally in this case.

 
The vast majority of cases don't allow you to properly display your graphics card because the heatsink and fan contraption—fancy decorations and all—face downward. There are a some exceptions, one of them being Gigabyte's new Aorus AC300W mid-tower enclosure. With this case, you have the option of installing your graphics card vertically or horizontally, depending on which part you want to be seen.

Mounting your graphics card vertically requires a PCIe rise cable, and presumably Gigabyte includes one with this case. Around back are two vertically placed expansion ports to accommodate graphics cards that take up two slots, as most gaming cards do.

A large side panel window shows off the entire build, minus the power supply, which is hidden underneath a shroud. This type of chambered design is pretty popular these days and allows for cleaner looking builds—you can tuck excess cabling underneath the shroud.

The AC300W has two 3.5-inch drive bays that support both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. You can also install up to two 2.5-inch SSDs behind the motherboard tray.

For cooling, this case comes with two 120mm fans, one in front and one in back. There is room to add another two 120mm fans in the front (or swap them out for two 140mm fans) and two 120mm/140mm fans up top.

According to Guru3D, Gigabyte is pricing this case at $100 (€100).

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Zebronics launches Full Moon Tower Speakers

Zebronics launches its newest “Full Moon” Tower Speakers priced at Rs. 15,999/-

  • Built-in high efficient digital power amplifier
  • Elegantly designed with RGB lights complementing your party mode
  • Karaoke function with dual microphone jacks

Zebronics, India’s leading supplier of IT peripherals, Audio/Video, and Surveillance products announces the latest in its expansive ‘Full Moon” Tower Speakers bringing full-fledged stereo sound for music listening. With the advent of the festive season, the tower speakers are ideal to charge your room with 360-degree of the audio experience.

Embodying a brilliant engineering and modern design, it is equipped with a wooden enclosure and slim design which attunes your home d├ęcor and adds fashion to every room. With high power digital amplifier technology, 10.16cms(4)x 4 midrange, 3.81cms(1.5)x2 tweeter and 20.32cms(8)x2 subwoofer drivers listen to every beat crisp and clear, because every beat does count!
Packed with 200watts RMS and the cutting-edge technology, the speakers gives dynamic depths to your listening experience. The speaker is fully remote controlled and comes with a built-in digital equalizer that helps you enhance your music experience through various sound controls like volume, bass and treble controls. Bundled with dual microphone jacks, two wireless microphones and speaker comes integrated with RGB lights, the speakers allow you to create your own Karaoke studio.

The Full Moon Tower Speakers can be easily connected to your PC, TV, MP3 player or DVD player, which also includes USB port and an SD card slot supporting up to 32 GB - With the connectivity, so fine, you will never run out of music option. You can also connect your mobile phone with the speakers through 3.0 +EDR Bluetooth connectivity.
Speaking on the launch Mr. Pradeep Doshi, Director – Zebronics India says, “When it comes to Audio, Zebronics has become synonym to it. Be it our Multimedia speakers or Tower Speakers we have it all covered for you. Today Zebronics boasts the widest range of Speakers that lets your room be filled with sound and not just boxes. We are glad to bring in the newest ‘Full Moon’ with some extraordinary thumping sound, that lets the festivities begin” 
With the best in audio technology, Full Moon Tower speakers shall be available at all the leading retail and e-commerce portals priced at Rs. 15,999/-.

About Zebronics
 
Established in 1997 and headquartered at Chennai, Zebronics has one of the industry’s widest line-up of products Computers peripherals and Consumer Electronics Totalling to 25 product categories and more than 350 SKUs. Zebronics range of products encompasses Chassis/Cabinets, Speakers, Tablet pc, PC power supply, Portable media players, Headphone, Keyboard & Mouse, LED Monitors, UPS, Gaming Accessories, TV Tuners, Add-on Cards, Computer accessories, Laptop accessories, LED Televisions and  Surveillance products. Zebronics has received more than 52 industry awards.

Zebronics has 31 Branch offices and over 126 service centres covering all major cities. The Company employs over 900 people and operates through a network of about 12,000 channel partners throughout the country.

Friday, 18 August 2017

MSI Introduces GT75VR Titan, GE63VR/73VR Raider on Gamer's Gathering in Delhi!

New Delhi: August 17, 2017: MSI, a leader in gaming notebooks, is pleased to Introducing GT75VR Titan, GE63VR/73VR Raider to India!   Gamers’ top choice and the leading gaming brand MSI, will be offering two weapons of choice for India gamers. GT75VR and GE63VR/73VR Raider will be packing some serious tech-leading upgrades.  Find out more information on Flipkart and prepare yourself for an unprecedented thrill ride.

GT75VR Titan, New Rapid Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard

 

Per-Key RGB Mechanical Keyboard Brings A New World to Gaming Experience

MSI latest unique design of Rapid Mechanical Keyboard is a kind of evolution of the GT keyboards, surreal tactile feedback, and radiant RGB backlit under every key that creates infinite illumination possibilities.
Besides having a greater visual, the typing and force feedback are the signature traits of a “Mechanical Keyboard”; MSI implement special design in cooperation with Steelseries and keyboard maker, created a Rapid trigger switch with stronger feedback, higher durability, and solid platform for this new design of MSI top level laptops.

Greater Gaming Power and Better Features Upgraded

The GT75VR Titan comes with 3 GPU options: GeForce GTX1080, GTX1070 SLI, or GTX1070 and powerful Core i7 7820HK CPU with over 4GHz overclock capability. The cooling module is still regarded as industry’s finest and biggest with the Cooler Boost Titan; and along with other gaming features such as the True Color Technology 2.0, NAHIMIC VR, MSI unique 120Hz Display of HDR color for gamers and HDR video editing experience, The Dragon Center, and much more have been carried over and improved in the GT75VR.

Ride the Enthusiast Gaming Experience Easier with GE63VR/73VR Raider


New Cooling, 3ms 120Hz Screen, Keyboard, Giant Speakers, and they just keep coming
GE63VR/73VR Raider will be available in both 15’’ and 17’’ display design, with GEFORCE GTX1070 and boost OC ability. The latest Per-Key RGB Gaming Keyboard by SteelSeries is a brand new feature allowing users to customize RGB on every key. Cooler Boost 5 as the new addition in the family of Cooler Boost Technology, industry’s finest and most advanced thermal module at this segment. Fastest 3ms 120Hz panel with 94% NTSC Color Gamut for much smoother and sharper HDR ready visuals.
World’s Wildest Sound Quality Ever on the Thin & Powerful GE gaming Laptops
For the first time ever, MSI is implementing latest Giant Speakers enhanced by Dynaudio inside a gaming laptop, a full-sized chamber that is 5x bigger than any regular design; speakers also 2~3x bigger than others at this level of laptops. Over 50% enhancements on audio quality, sound detail and volume, and is truly a breakthrough for gaming laptop speakers. It produces over 105dBA in a smaller chassis and slimmer body than previous GE platform, but still provides the new GE series with an unprecedented audio immersion unlike any we’ve experienced
 
MSI GE63/73VR Raider is pushing the envelope with countless new features and gadgets, and a complete new look on the GE classic ranging from its brand new Si-Fi style ID, speakers, panels, cooling, and keyboards. Now, It’s available in India. Find out more information on Flipkart.
https://www.flipkart.com/laptops/msi~brand/pr?sid=6bo,b5g
MSRP:
GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro :INR324,990
GE73VR 7RF Raider: INR185,990
GE63VR 7RE Raider: INR149,990

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Cooler Master releases an affordable gaming headset for gamers

This headset won't break the bank.

 
We have plenty of recommendations if you're looking for a wired or wireless headset, though if you're just in the market for a relatively inexpensive solution from a name brand vendor, Cooler Master's new MasterPulse MH320 may fit the bill. It carries an MSRP of £35.

Cooler Master claims its new headset is suitable for both marathon gamers looking for a versatile sound option and casual gamers. And though affordable, Cooler Master insists it didn't skimp on quality.

"We designed this headset with gaming in mind so we made the headset lightweight to ensure comfort for hours on end, coming in at only 280 grams. We didn’t make any compromises on quality though and the MH320 has a self-adjusting headband with a steel support structure," says Bram Rongen, Peripheral Product Marketing Manager.

Ear cushions are constructed from PU leather and foam cushioning. Cooler Master also used PU leather on the headband.

The MasterPulse MH320 is a closed-back headset to help isolate sounds. It provides 2.0 stereo sound through 40mm drivers using dual 3.5mm gold-plated jacks. It has a rated frequency response of 20-20,000Hz and sensitivity (@1kHz) rating of 120dB +/- 3dB.

Voice chat is handled by a flexible boom microphone (bi-directional) that folds up and out of the way, but is not detachable.

The MasterPulse MH320 will be available at the end of the month.

Chill out with Alphacool's massive and refillable 420mm all-in-one CPU cooler

AIO coolers do not get any bigger than this.

 
Including a polar bear in a marketing photo of an all-in-one cooler would normally seem a bit over the top, but in regard's to Alphacool's new and enormous Eisbaer- 420, we find it appropriate. This thing is really big, making us wonder if perhaps the polar bear is there for a sense of scale.

Okay, it's not quite that big, though it does wield a 420mm radiator with three 140mm Eiswind fans attached. According to Alphacool, this is currently the largest and most powerful all-in-one liquid cooler in the world. There are bigger radiators out there, but we are not aware of any that are part of an AIO solution.

The radiator is pure copper to better dissipate heat. Alphacool claims it's big and powerful enough to cool a CPU and more than one graphics card, which you can add to the loop thanks to its modular design.

Long-term use is one of the selling points. There is a quick-lock mechanism on one of the hoses that is compatible with "Eisbaer Ready" products, including its upcoming GPX-Pro graphics card AIO. Alphacool says you can also add custom liquid-cooling gear to the loop—the connectors are based on classic G1/4-inch threads and can be switched out as desired. Likewise, the hoses are 11/8mm.

Also unique to this cooler is a refill port. You can top off or replace the coolant inside if it's ever needed..

The Eisbaer 420 is available now direct from Alphacool for €145.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears of War headset review

The new HyperX CloudX Revolver is impressive but is it truly suitable to be your Gear of War?


Kingston has been around the block for many years now and wooing in PC enthusiasts & gamers alike with their impressive and sturdy line of memory and storage devices. But lately in an attempt to explore new territories & regaining lost ones they are expanding their presence in the world of gaming headsets and boy they are making ripples for sure! Their Cloud Revolver has been one such attempt which cemented its legacy as one of the best gaming headsets in the industry offering a balance of almost everything one can ask for.
So moving a notch up HyperX recently released a revamped or lets say upgraded version of the Revolver in form of the HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears Of War 'Limited' Edition Gaming Headset, well that's one mouthful of a name for sure! Thanks to Kingston Technology India I have one with me today & I just can't wait to review this beauty!

At around $200 or Rs 10,500 in India the HyperX CloudX Revolver utilizes 50mm neodymium drivers to deliver a thump pumping audio quality at a maximum 28Khz all working perfectly with almost any device you can name of including PC, cell phones, tablets and even gaming consoles of the latest generation.
With an impedance of 33 Ohms and a maximum output power of 150mW we're looking at around a 50mW output higher and almost-double the Ohms on offer than competing headsets, once again accentuating the HyperX quality I have experienced in the past.
On the downside it lacks features like USB connectivity and 7.1 virtual sound experience which we tend to expect at this price point.

What's in the Box!?


HyperX brings the CloudX Revolver Gears of War Edition headset in a big chunky case like box with an outer covering imprinted with the product name, a rendered image and the entire real estate covered by Gears of War printing. It also sates that the headset is compatible with both Windows and Xbox gaming consoles right at the very top.

Under the outer cover you'll find a nice thick cardboard case that houses the actual product along with all the other accessories. Its a thick black box with Gears of War marque at its top. This is a very cool and apt packing style for a headset of this stature providing both looks and protection in the right amounts.

Inside the box you get the CloudX Revolver itself along with a welcome note, a redeemable code for the Gears Pack for the game, a user manual, a detachable mic and a 2m long extension cum splitter cable to enable you to use the mic and headphones together on PCs. The wires are braided and thick, feeling strong and durable while the mic is flexible but looks robust at appearance.

Looking at the headset itself we see that its deep crimson in color with hues of blacks to impart a militia look that is in coherence with the Gears of War them. The cups are made out of premium quality plastic that is shaped in form of a gear emblazoned by the Crimson Omen Skull on top and has an inlet for the microphone on the left cup.

On the inner side these cups are covered by genuine leather covering a thick padding of memory foam and to take things up a little bit more the Omen Phoenix logo is now printed right on the inner cover which is just so pleasing to the eyes if you are a true Gears of War fan!

Just when you think the detailing and premium work on this headset is over we come across the top of this product which has a metal band to hold the cups in place, the HyperX signature style, along with a thick memory foam head cushion which is velvety and stamped with the Gears of War traditional logo all fashioned in a rustic and raw manner. The detailing work on the CloudX Revolver is second to none and considering that its an official game themed product the feel is not at all cheap or substandard rather worked upon from ground up to ensure an entirely new product in its own right!

Time to Hit the Cords!

Gaming Performance


Since the HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears of War edition aims at gaming, obviously, we tested it with some of our all time favorites, Crysis 3 and Battlefield 1 for its excellent blend of audio, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor for its pitch perfect environmental sounds and NFS: Rivals well simply 'coz I like that game!
In Crysis 3 we had no issue whatsoever in listening to or understanding what Prophet was saying and noises were greatly distinguished in the heat of battle, even of the crickets in the NY jungle! Battlefield 1 came out fully immersive especailly when it came to sitting inside the battle tanks or listening to aerial bombing happening across the field. In Shadow of Mordor we could really feel the voices coming from different directions but due to the lack of 7.1 surround sound and bass heavy nature of the drivers it was impossible to pin point the location of a foe sneaking in from behind which is a major drawback in certain games like CS:GO. The engines of Bugatti or Lamborghini never revved any better and we were blown away by the deep bass these cups had to offer. All in all these headphones are nothing short of amazing when it comes to playing games that are all bass heavy and going out with all guns blazing is your playing style since for precision gaming the Revolver maybe a bit too loud in the ears.

Music, Movies and Miscellaneous Stuff


For movies and music I plugged in the CloudX Revolver into a ALC 1220 codec based audio solution on my PC motherboard and also we tested it with an Apple iPhone 7 for basically musical playback. Firstly we went in for a wide variety like the dialogue intensive Schindler's List & 12 Years a Slave to high pitch titles like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and The Avengers, all came out in exceptional quality.
Bryan Adam's Heaven and some of my all time favorite Bollywood songs sounded great with exceptional mids and lows accompanied by a good treble. Eminem Legacy and Rap God were as clear as they can be with bass nearing perfection, even at full volume songs from 3 Doors Down, Motorhead or Metallica didn't crack displaying the true power of the 50mm drivers that it uses.
Mic on these headphones is static free and does cancel out most of the noise doing a great job at voice reproduction during in game chats or even during dubbing purposes for a video recording.

My Verdict

Alright so first of all the CloudX Revolver Gears of War edition gaming headset is revamped and an entirely new product from the outside which is very well executed leaving no room for cheap material or botched designing. The product does exactly what it promises with brilliant sound reproduction in gaming and even during day to day audio playback which definitely is not what its meant for. Its high compatibility with various platforms is a plus point & it carries the HyperX heritage very well in all possible aspects.
The design is solid with top notch material used in various places making it a very comfortable headset to wear even during long gaming marathons in humid climates such as that of India all courtesy to those genuine leather cups and cushioning. On the down side the sound lacks precision and accuracy in certain games due to its bass heavy nature so lovers or pro gamers of certain genre or games might not like it for this simple reason. However on the contrast its an amazing headset for certain other categories of games such as one to one combat, open world adventure or even Gears of War series for that matter!
"The HyperX CloudX Revolver Gears of War Gaming Headset is just like the Lancer assault rifle from the game, its rustic, build solid and does the job of obliterating any competition in its way for the price point that it comes for."
Pros -
  • Solid build quality
  • Exceptional aesthetics
  • Bass heavy with good sound reproduction
Cons -
  • Lacks accuracy in sound
I give it a 8/10 earning our Gold Award!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

GALAX HOF 16GB 3600Mhz Review

GALAX HOF Memory Kit looks mesmerizing but is its performance worth your buck!?


High frequency memory kits are getting more popular by every day especially since the advent of AMD Ryzen 7 that offers unprecedented price to performance ratio , some want it blistering fast gaming performance while others need to overcome hurdles during content creation and well some just want them just because they want the very best!
Today I have one such memory kit on my table from GALAX, the same manufacturer that created ripples throughout the graphics card division after launching their GALAX HOF GTX 1080Ti. I have with me today the GALAX HOF 16GB 3600Mhz memory kit for review.

Priced in at just around $110 or Rs 11,700 in India the GALAX HOF memory kit comes from the Hall of Fame lineup from GALAX which happens to be their top of the line product line that is intended at offering the very best the brand has to offer. With 3600Mhz at CL18 out of the box the memory comes in four frequency ranges of 3200Mhz, 3600Mhz, 4000Mhz and a 4000Mhz OC Lab edition. All these kits are compatible with Intel 100/200 series platforms, X99 and X299 platforms aswell as AMD Ryzen platforms.

What's in the Box!?


GALAX HOF are supposed to be the most elegant thing you'll come across in the PC Market today and the same philosophy is clearly visible when you look at the outer packaging. Its a pure white sleek enclosure with the brand name, product logo and capacity along with frequency are neatly enlisted. You'll observe that the entire case is covered by small prints of the HOF Crown giving it an extremely premium look!

The back has a small window at the bottom from where you can peek inside the case to take a look at the actual product itself which is great! Also some features such as the high grade aluminum heatspreaders, overcloking friendly nature and high quality components are also enlisted on top.


Once opened you'll realize that its not just a case but a multi layered enclosure that not only offers great protection to the memory sticks inside but also makes it one of the most beautifully packed memory kit I've ever seen period. Its more like you are opening a collage book or a photo album that has something beautiful written or printed on each layer/page imparting sort of a poetic nature to this whole process.
I was simply in awe when I opened the case for the first time, also the brief descriptions show GALAX's own faith and belief in their own product lineup which is impressive.

Take out the memory sticks from their hard foam cavity enclosure and you'll see that they have a thin plastic case to cover and protect the entire PCB contacts at the bottom. This is unforeseen for any memory kit of this stature and price. I expect more manufacturers to practice such high packing standards soon.


Taking a look at the sticks themselves you'll realize that they are pure white in color with accents of silver coming from the intricate detailing work done over the matte white aluminum heatspreader.
The HOF logo is printed right in the center and acts as a center piece for this magnificent kit. Each side is decorated with the Hall of Fame marque and abstract lines that are well polished and shine like chrome work. At the top the thick heatspreader ends up in the shape of a crown that not only looks great and compliments the HOF logo but is also very practical when it comes to heat dissipation.
The black PCB acts as a contrast to the whole appearance of the kit & looks just perfect in the entire scheme of things.


On the top the GALAX HOF has a plastic strip which unfortunately is not backlit let alone RGB backlit. This is something that I feel bad about but that's alright since the GALAX HOF is aimed at sheer elegance but still a simple white backlit strip on top would've complimented the look. I hope that in near future the upcoming HOF kits will have a backlit top or maybe a RGB backlit top very much like the G.Skill Trident Z RGB.


Under the hood the GALAX HOF uses hand picked Samsung B-die memory ICs over its eight layered all black PCB. This is the memories biggest highlight as Samsung B-die not only mean reliable and fast performance but they also translate to superior overclocking experience! Also by what we've observed recently AMD Ryzen platform seems to favor Samsung B-die based memories over others so it won't be entirely wrong to presume that this memory would be one of the best to use on a Ryzen build!

Benchmarks and Overclocking!


Installing the GALAX HOF is easy and the memory looks nothing short of utter brilliance when looked at especially if you have a black or best white build.
For the benchmarks we used the following test setup configuration --

CPU: Intel Core i7 7800X
Motherboard: MSI X299 SLI Plus
RAM: GALAX HOF 16GB DDR4 3600Mhz
Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1050Ti G1 Gaming OC
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480 480GB
Secondary Storage: ADATA XPG SX8000 256GB M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
GPU Driver: ForceWare 375.70
BIOS: 1.20

Plugging in the HOF memory and booting into Windows was a breeze and it immediately picked up the XMP 2.0 profile once enabled through the BIOS bringing the kit to the rated 3600Mhz at 17-18-18-38 with 1.35v.  CPUZ isn't able to report the timings correctly on the RAM since the BIOS for the X299 platform are still getting mature but other suits such as AIDA64 CPUID report correct timings.

When it comes to overclocking DDR4 memory I follow one rule only, that is not to exceed the 1.5v barrier and try to stay below that as much as possible to deliver results that are safe for real world usage and can be implemented on a 24x7 basis. To overclock the GALAX HOF I managed a stable 4000Mhz at 19-19-19-39 with 1.45v anything above that was just not possible for booting into Windows or running any benchmark whatsoever. The heatspreaders on the GALAX HOF do a wonderful job in keeping these kits cool even under the heaviest of loads.
Note that this is the same frequency at better timings than the 4000Mhz GALAX HOF kit available out there and hence it adds tons of value to this 3600Mhz kit!
Our benchmarks would be done at the default 3600Mhz and 4000Mhz overclocked frequency along with the Intel i7 7800X at 4.5Ghz to avoid any kind of bottleneck.

AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark 


AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a great tool to bench your CPU and RAM in terms of their read-write-copy abilities. Its clear that the GALAX HOF is offering similar to better performance than competing memory kits, the only competition is from the Galax HOF kit.

7-zip


7zip is a compression and decompression program that utilizes the processing power of the CPU alone. It is a synthetic benchmark that gives results very close to real life scores. A similar result can be seen over here aswell.

wPrime v2.10


wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions.

SuperPi Mod v1.5


SuperPi is a simple program that utilizes the processing power and memory speed of the system to calculate the value of Pi upto 1 Million or 32 Million decimal point depending upon what you choose. The time is calculated in minutes and seconds, we'll take them both in seconds, so lower the score faster is your computer.

Cinebench R11.5 and Cinebench R15


Cinebench uses Maxon's Cinema 4D engine to render a photo-realistic scene of some shiny balls and weird things (we miss the motorbike). The scene is highly complex, with reflections, ambient occlusion and procedural shaders so it gives a CPU a tough workout.
As Cinema 4D is a real-world application - used on films such as Spider-Man and Star Wars - Cinebench can be viewed as a real-world benchmark.

3DMark Fire Strike


Fire Strike by 3D Mark is a test suit that plays a cinematic scene to determine the FPS, GPU temperature and CPU temperature scaling everything via a cumulative score. It is a great tool to benchmark your GPU since the render is GPU dependent.

Update

Let's test it on Ryzen!

On popular demand we've tested the GALAX HOF 16GB 3600Mhz on our newly build AMD Ryzen platform to give all of you an idea of how this memory performs when coupled with a Ryzen CPU, which is quite a logical question indeed considering how successful and impressive the AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 Platforms have been.
Our test bench for this part of the review is as follows -

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
Motherboard: Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero
RAM: GALAX HOF 16GB DDR4 3600Mhz
Cooler: Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1050Ti G1 Gaming OC
Storage: Corsair Neutron GTX 480 480GB
Secondary Storage: ADATA XPG SX8000 256GB M.2 SSD
Power Supply: Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 700
OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
GPU Driver: ForceWare 375.70
BIOS: 1403

We all are already aware of the memory frequency issue that Ryzen platforms have as of now but my Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero with its latest BIOS update managed to get the memory kit at 3466Mhz at 18-21-21-49 at 1.35v which I'm sure can be tightened further upon in terms of timings but we didn't have much time to test this memory on Ryzen properly so pardon me for that. The system was perfectly stable and I kept the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 at 3.8Ghz to avoid any bottlenecks in performance.

Even upon AMD Ryzen the GALAX HOF shows impressive performance which rubs shoulder with Intel at even lower frequencies indicating towards a similar to better real world performance especially when the memory would work at its full potential of 3600Mhz!

My Verdict

GALAX and its Hall of Fame series in terms of memory kts might not be as well known as other brands at present but when it comes to performance the HOF literally pulverizes the competition to bit at around half the asking price! The memory is definitely one of the best looking if not the best looking kit out there in the market today offering subtle white looks with enormous yet beautifully designed heatspreaders that do their job more than perfectly making the kit highly recommendable for gamers, system builders, modders and even enthusiasts.
Based on the Samsung B-die the memory kit is no slouch in overclocking and reached a blazing fast 4000Mhz in our test which is a whooping 11% jump over its base frequency. With an after market RAM cooler one can manage to run this kit at this high frequency 24*7 as it doesn't need too much voltage to reach there adding tremendous value to this kit. All this makes the GALAX HOF so perfect that even Captain America would approve of it! *wink*
"GALAX HOF is the best memory kit that one can but in the market today, offering impressive performance, great overclocking headroom and unmatched looks all at nearly half the price as that of the competition!"
Pros -
  • Extremely well priced
  • Impressive performance
  • Great looks
  • Overclocks well
Cons-
  • Too perfect! 
I give it a perfect 10/10 earning out Gold Award!