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ASRock’s DeskMeet B660 – Fantastic Idea, Interesting Execution

ASRock’s DeskMini series has been a stalwart in the SFF world for some time now, even with the canning of the GTX/RX series (Rest in Peace, MXM graphics cards).  Eschewing standard form factors to enable denser computers, the DeskMini has been the basis of many builds and mods in our community forum. But the challenge with the DeskMini has always been hardware compatibility – only really supporting CPU, RAM and storage upgrades. What if we wanted more graphics power and more RAM? Enter the DeskMeet. As a larger brethren to the DeskMini, the new DeskMeet series significantly increases component compatibility …
Reviews

Review: Gigabyte Z690I Aorus Ultra DDR4 – Broken Out of The Box

Photo Credit – Gigabyte Review by Chris aka Revenant   Gigabyte. What happened? You could have had the best board of the Alder Lake launch… There is a difference between a bad motherboard, and one that has merely got quirks. Too few USB ports? It’s annoying but I can deal with it. VRM that can’t handle a CPU causing a performance hit? Bad. A BIOS layout I personally find obnoxious? Meh, I can learn it. A BIOS that doesn’t even support half the advertised features? Bad. So where does the Gigabyte Z690I DDR4 rank? Well… The Gigabyte Z690I DDR4 is …
Reviews

REVIEW: FSP Dagger Pro 850 Watt SFX PSU

  I think I might have made our FSP media rep nervous. He was asking when the formal review for the Dagger Pro 850 watt SFX PSU would be online, and I sent him these pictures: Yeah, I think I made him nervous. You see, I don’t have much in the way of fancy power supply testing equipment. I can check the voltages and levels, but a multi-thousand dollar calibrated and certified load testing machine is still a bit out of reach for me for now. This means I have to use real computer components, and build up systems designed …
GraphicsReviews

GPU Review: MSI RTX 3060Ti Aero ITX OC LHR

  Note: The conclusion of this video card has been updated due to increased availability as of 7-27-2022.   The MSI RTX 3060Ti Aero ITX 8G OC LHR (Aero 3060Ti for short) is a one-of-a-kind video card. It’s currently the only single fan RTX 3060Ti on the market, and the only 3060ti designed to fit ultra-compact ITX cases. The card’s length is a mere 172mm. The next smallest 3060Ti is the EVGA RTX 3060 TI XC Gaming, and is nearly 3cm longer at 201.8mm long. Three centimeters may not sound like much, but in the small form factor world it’s …
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Goodisory A01 Review

Review provided by forum moderator ignsvn with editing performed by John Morrison. Want to contribute a review or editorial? Private message John (confusis) on the forum! Many forum members know that I’m never a big fan of external AC-DC brick. I see them as something that adds more wire on my already cluttered, fully-wired PC setup, regardless whether you put the brick on top of the desk, or on the floor. However, recently I have found a need to to build a low power, APU-only HTPC for family entertainment purposes. Think of watching online TV channels, Youtube, play light games, …
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InWin B1 HTPC Case Review

Introduction Earlier this year InWin announced their latest HTPC case, the B1.  More stylish than the popular Chopin with a tempered glass cover, and following a different cooling principle than the open air H Frame mini of yesteryear, the B1 is an affordable and stylish case for those seeking a compact home server or mini PC. At the time of writing, the B1 is $85.00 on Amazon, coming in under the InWin Chopin ($99.00).  It offers a 200w 80 plus gold power supply as well as an 80mm internal fan, but trades the durable aluminum aesthetic of the Chopin for …
GraphicsReviews

Guest Review: Zotac GTX 1660 Super Twin Fan

This guest review was provided by forum member and moderator ignsvn, with editing performed by John Morrison. Want to contribute a review or editorial? Private message John (confusis) on the forum! Smaller GPUs with lower wattage may not be the most powerful out there, but they will always have a place in the heart of us SFF or HTPC enthusiasts. Today I’m going to do a short, alternative review on the ZOTAC 1660 Super Twin Fan. I said “alternative” because this review will not go into performance details (you can easily find 1660 Super specification and benchmarks on the internet). Instead, …
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System76 – Thelio. A chassis that thinks outside the box.

This is going to be a unique article for us in that this is more of a showcase and not a review. This sample was paid for out of pocket and like all our articles, will remain unbiased to a fault.  As far as I am aware, there are only two ITX computer case manufactures in the USA (R.I.P. Caselabs), one of them is Sliger Designs out of Sparks, Nevada and the other is System76 from Denver, Colorado. And while System76 both designs and manufactures their own chassis, they are not available for sale without the purchase of one entirely …