Streaming Like A Boss
AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini GC311
Have you ever watched videos for game tactics or even just to see a game before you purchased it? Streamers make this possible for us. This is one of the fastest growing things in relation to gaming. Practically anyone is able to go online and record what they are doing to a live audience. Social Media sites such is Twitch, Facebook and YouTube provide ways to host and communicate the streaming experience.
Today I am going to show you a crafty device that allows you to get going with your streaming. It is the Aver Media GC311. Will I stream like a boss or will I get pwned like a n00b. Find out this and more on this week's Tech For Tech's goes gaming.
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Cherry With Extra Flavor
Cherry MX Board 1.0 Backlight (Silent Red)
It's no secret that Cherry make awesome switches for keyboards. Their best kept secret though is the keyboards made by them. Last week we saw the first of the series to come in TFT. This one today is a bit different. While that one was awesome and elegant this one also promises to be awesome and if I read the features correctly, it could be game worthy!
It will have a lot to live up to for it to be classed as a game worthy here at TFT, because, well, Phil and I know gaming peripherals and what what gamers want and need. However, when they made it, it was aimed at the office user. I've never worked in an office that gave me anything other than a cheap keyboard unless it came bundled with the computer I worked with. Still, that would hardly compete with Cherry. So the business people that get these are very lucky.
So, lets see just how lucky the people will be with the Cherry MX Board 1.0 Backlight (Silent Red) keyboard.
We've Struck Cherry Gold
Cherry DW9000 Slim Keyboard and Mouse
In businesses, more often than not, you have limited space at your workstation. Your desk is often taken up by your computer, keyboard, and mouse. Then, we have all of these wires going everywhere. What if we could make the same amount of space work for you and you would not have to sacrifice any of those things? I am going to show you how to have a more tidy, efficient and elegant work-space. Today we will look at what I call the answer to the office worker's prayers.
We are looking at the Cherry DW 9000 Slim Rechargeable Wireless Desktop. You don't want to miss this. This review is just a bit different from the others you have seen. I don't want to give you any spoilers, so, let's crack on!
Be sure to watch the video as well. Feel free to like and subscribe or even comment.
Clean Up Made Simple
The AKASA Tim Kit (AK-MX004)
Today we are going to look at something that every computer technician will use in his or her life. It' Tim Clean. We've all had to clean and repaste a processor or even get excess paste off of motherboards etc. Tim Clean is one of the Tech's best friends. There are many brands that do it, today I am taking a look at the Akasa brand.
We will from time to time get customers that have either coated their CPU (including the pins) in thermal paste or the ones that decided it would be a great idea to get it on the board as well. This is when Tim Clean lets you know how great of a friend it really is. It's one of the unsung heroes in the tech shop. It sits on the shelf or in a drawer out of the way. No one really thinks twice about it until they need it.
Our New Mate At AKASA
AKASA Vegas RAM Mate AK-MX248
So, you went out and bought all of your components and built your rig, and it works as it should. However, there is something less than exciting about it. Oh, wait, there's no bling. You install a few ARGB fans but still, it's not rocking your world. Again, you have a really nice board, graphics card that's proper sick, fans look like a disco, ARGB Power Supply is in sync with the fans that are in sync with the mother board. Even the cooler lights up and does a show that Las Vegas would be proud of. So, what are you missing? Eureka, it's the memory. You have some really speedy memory but, well, it looks vile. It's green and the chips show. There's not a heat sink to be found on it. Oh the shame!
Case Number C22 "Case Without Cause"
Thermaltake Versa C22 RGB Mid Tower Snow Edition
Thermaltake are renowned for making some really stylish and practical cases. We've seen a few really nice ones here at TFT this year. I'm quite excited just by looking at the box to see what is in store for us this week. To be fair, I've been ready to do this review for weeks. It's been kind of like the countdown to Christmas.
I'll be grading it on Airflow, Cable Management, Compatibility, Style (internal and external), Neatness of Cables, and Price. I'm confident with the name Thermaltake on the box, I have not got much to worry about.
So, without further hesitation, let's get that review going. I'm doing a walk through in the testing area. You will get to read my comments as I see the case for the very
Don't Mesh With Anyone But Tenda!!
NOVA MW5s Whole Home Mesh WiFi System AC1200 (3 pack)
By now, the Tech For Techs community is no stranger to Tenda's mesh WiFi systems. Every day someone gets one recommended as a solution to their WiFi issue. We've seen both the MW3 and it's big sister the MW6.
Today the middle child is coming forward for its place in the spotlight. It's for when the MW3 is not quite getting it done and the MW6 is just a bit overkill.
I'm very excited about this! If it "meshes up" to its predecessors in quality and performance, it will be an awesome piece of kit!
Let's have a look.......
Are You On Top Of Your Game?
AKRacing Summit (Gaming Desk)
Every gamer needs a good chair, great peripherals, and a rig that can withstand any Double XP weekend that is thrown at them. What most of us never give a second thought to (and we should) is our desk. Some gamers have particle board desks which tend to bend under the least little weight. Others, including myself have taken over dinning room tables to accommodate the size and weight of their gaming rig. Some of us even have glass tables. The thing is, most of the above just can not support a big rig and therefore, one's pride and joy rig ends up on the floor. *cringe*
Power You Can Bank On!
Sandberg Saver Powerbank 5000
We've all done it. We are getting ready to go out the door in a mad rush, and pick up our phone only to see it's dead or dying battery grinning at us. If you are like me, it usually happens on a really important day and with no time to charge it. No doubt, you will have seen phone chargers that will give a slight boost. I had one once. There were all of these ends for Samsung, iphone, etc. I lost all of those and to boot, it only gave you enough charge to make one quick phone call. In the end I threw it away. Well, as luck would have it, Sandberg have created a Powerbank that will charge not one but two devices at the same time! Yes, you can charge up to two iphone X phones to full capacity at one go. *Provided you have the nifty item charged to full of course* That will be my downfall, remembering to charge the charger.
Red Light Yellow Light Green Light GO!
Akasa Dual M.2 PCIe SSD adaptor with RGB LED light and heatsink
I've been noticing as of late, several people moving away from traditional SSDs to the M.2. It is no surprise really, when you consider the performance. Also, the fact that it sits neatly on the board with no cables leading away from it making it look untidy is another factor.
In December of last year, TFT took a look at the Akasa M.2 to PCIe Adaptor Card with heatsink cooler. WE noted that it not only did what it promised but that it increased performance in some tests. Today, I am taking a look at another Akasa adaptor. This is the AKPCCM2P-04 Dual M.2 PCIe SSD adaptor with RGB LED light and heatsink. Yes, it is a mouthful to say! Translation, it allows you to add two M.2 cards via your PCIe and it will look like a disco to boot. Lets take a closer look.
The High Command
Sandberg Commander Gaming Chair Black
No matter if you are an avid gamer or an online shopaholic, you want a comfortable chair. We come home tired and want to wind down at our computers. How wonderful it is if you are comfy too. I've had many chairs that were comfortable for about a week and then they started feeling "used". Months later I would go to vacuum and find screws had fallen out of my chair. Top it off with costing about $150 a pop and replacing it at least once a year. Over the course of five years, I paid right at $750 in chairs. That's a lot of money! Plus the stress of building them.
Do You Read Me?
Sandberg Card Reader USB-C +USB +Micro USB
Lately PC chassis makers have moved away from DVD drive bays and card reader bays, and even card readers built in. When I asked one of the leading manufactures of chassis why this was, they simply said "Times are changing and people don't use that stuff as much. If they do, they can always get an external and plug it in through a USB port." Fair enough, I guess.
So, I need to see files on my camera card, what do I do? Sanberg have offered us a solution. They have a cared reader that is about the size of a USB pen. It reads as well as writes to SD or Micro SD cards. My problem may well be solved! Let's go take a closer look.
Get A Connection
Sandberg USB-C Audio Adaptor and USB-C Sound Link
We live in a world of Plug and Play. We expect to be able to use our favourite products with just about any device. So what happens when we can't? Panic! Chaos! You know exactly what I mean. For that brief second, our world stops turning and we have a crisis situation on our hands. But, there's a simple solution for at least two things today.
Today we will be viewing the Sandberg USB-C Audio Adaptor and the Sandberg USB-C Sound Link. Both products are quite similar, so we have combined them in one review. Each pack a 5 year warranty and promise to be easy to use. So, let's have a look.
I'm All Keyed Up!
Cooler Master CK530 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
Whether your typing is Andante' or Allegro, you want a keyboard that's perfecto! Today we are looking at the Cooler Master CK530 keyboard. I've taken a peek at it already. So far, it's sassy and classy. But, I want to get up close and personal with it before I give it my verdict. I expect nothing but the best from Cooler Master. Why? Because way back when I first started building computers, they were the most sought after brand where I hale from. They were the McLaren of computers.
So, without further ado, I am off to test this keyboard and see if it lives up to my expectations.
Just Take A Breath
Thermaltake Versa H17
We've seen some pretty unique and impressive PC cases since we began TFT. Most of them get the sexy factor. The one thing that I stress the most to manufacturers is AIR FLOW! It can be the most gorgeous case in the world, easy to build with, lights and fans flashing and dancing, more drive bays than a supermarket has parking spaces, but if the air flow is not good, it is not worth my time to use in a build.
Today we will use smoke to test the Thermaltake Versa H17 Window case. This will let you "see the air" so to speak. I'm excited as this is the first time we have done this on TFT. I am eager to see the results! So grab a seat and a drink, this is one review you don't want to miss.
When you are done, please hit subscribe on our YouTube channel and give us a like on the video. Thanks!
BEHOLD THE POWER
Thermaltake Tough Power Grand Series Power Supply 750w RGB
We've all been there....that moment when your old power supply finally decides to give up the ghost. So, today will be very informative if that has just happened to you. We will be taking a look at the Thermaltake Tough Power Grand Series Power Supply 750w RGB. Yep, it's a mouthful to say but can it deliver under the heaviest of loads as well, you may ask.
This power supply is fully modular and its claim to fame is not just that it's RGB but eco-friendly as well. I'm optimistic about it. I expect nothing but the best from it. If they tell me it will be so, I expect it to be. Will I have a hold new "Take" on power supplies? Or will I?
Akasa Vegas TLX 120mm Twin Loop
Last week we took a look at the Akasa TL and TLY fans. They were proven to be "geek worthy". Today we're are looking at their kid sister the TLX. This is a 120mm fan with LED. It has me intrigued. Will it give us the performance of a lifetime or will it be just another of a lifetime or will it be just another singing and dancing act? Find out this an more in this edition of Tech For Techs. Oh yes, be sure to like and subscribe on our video as well!
Gimme That Bling!
Akasa Vegas TL and Akasa Vegas TLY
If you are a "fan" of RGB lights.....grab a chair and get comfy! Today I will be testing not one but two Akasa fans today. Now I know what you are thinking, why two? Well, as similar as they are, there are differences and I thought a side by side comparison was in order.
the Akasa Vegas TL and TLY are some styling and profiling fans. However, I want to give them a proper workout to see how they handle life in the fast lane. It's getting hot in here! Will Akasa "cool it" or will they "just blow hot air"? This and more as you read on in this edition of Tech For Techs.
You really don't want to miss this!
The Fan Club
Thermaltake Pure14 ARGB Fan Kit
People like me are forever modifying and upgrading their computers. Once we get it like we want it or up to date, something new hits the market and the process starts all over again. Sometimes the biggest pain can be getting more than one of the same component, and at a decent price. Thermaltake to the rescue! They have configured a kit of 3 fans and a controller for us. While the package clearly reads that they are for radiator fans, I see no reason why they can't be used for any 140mm fan need. Today we will take a gander at the Thermaltake Pure 14 ARGB Sync. I am excited to see how these look and perform. Read on if you are a fan of fans.
Fortress or Casita, What's your defence?
F-SECURE TOTAL Internet security and VPN
Usually, I start off my introductions with a bit of quick wit and a little humour. Today is different. Today I am totally serious. Why? Because our topic is one that should not be taken lightly. I am talking about Internet Security. Over the years I have found some that left me with about as much protection as an umbrella in a hurricane. Yep, that bad. When the guys at F-Secure asked me to review their product, I was anxious to have a look. Most of us want protection, something that is easy to use, easy to install and set up, and a price we can afford. I know this because I sell antivirus every day that my store is open. I am the go-to for protection. I will tell you if what you have is utter rubbish in less time than it takes to bat your eyes. My customers thank me for it. They want to be protected.
So, grab a chair and read on. This is one of my Must Reads.
The Camera Doesn't Lie
Transcend DrivePro™550 Dashcam TS-DP550A-32V
Most of us are no strangers to appalling drivers. Some of us have even experienced devastating accidents for one reason or another. Proving you are not at fault can very exasperating and sometimes impossible. But, what if you had undeniable proof? A picture says a thousand words, they say. I say, "a video is indisputable". Today we are going to focus on the Transcend DrivePro™ 550. We will take a few journeys through jolly old England and report our findings. Stay tuned to see the results of Phil's everyday life in Call-Out traffic chaos with the camera as his second set of eyes
A Target Components Event
Today we spoke to Paul Cubbage at Target Components Ltd about its upcoming event NewTech.
1. Tell us about Target Components and its history and how it started.
We’re a broad-based IT distributor supporting a very wide, diverse range of trade customers. The very short version of how we started is we were already in the channel with a pretty niche business and wanted to get into broader distribution. The catalyst to actually doing it – daft as it sounds - was finding ourselves with a spare office with warehouse space. Maybe a tale for over a drink at NewTech!
Jump To Lightspeed
Linksys Velop Intelligent Mesh WiFi System, Tri-Band, 2-Pack White (AC4400)
You, at some point, will think "gosh this internet is SO SLOW"!!! Well, good news, there are ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal in your home and office in spots where it may be a snail's pace. Mesh systems are the way forward. I have a mesh system in my office. I don't think I could live without it. Today we will be looking at the Linksys Velop WHW0302 and WHW0303. I've seen some outstanding mesh systems, including the one in my office. I want to see if this one "has game". Will it be the new must-have in mesh systems or will it be just another brick in the wall? Let's have a look...
Peering Through The Clouds
Linksys AC1200 Cloud Access Point LAPAC1200C
If you are a network manager, you might want to read this review. We will be looking at the Linksys LAPAC1200C BUSINESS Dual-Band Cloud Access Point today on Tech For Techs. This promises the ability to manage your networks remotely with a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet with ease. So, for those of you who need to know what is going on BEFORE things go South, this will allow you to receive notifications. If you need the ability to allow or block access it promises that as well.
I'm eager to test this and see if it does as it says on the tin. Read on to see how it did in testing!
You Must Adapt!
Akasa M.2 SSD to PCI Adapter Card with Heatsink Cooler
Most of us are no strangers to having to adapt to situations. In the tech industry, we use adapters for many situations. Be it lights, fans, monitors, etc it is quite common to need an adapter. Now Akasa have produced a crafty little adapter for us to use on our M.2 drives. This will allow us to use an M.2 in an unused PCI slot on the board. How clever!
I really am anxious to see just how well this gem works. Also, I am keen to see how much bother it is, if at all to install. I also want to know if there is a difference in performance!!!
For this little experiment we will be using the build from an earlier review of the Akasa Addressable RGB frame kit and ThermalTake Level 20 VT case. *both available on the TFT website and YouTube*.
So, off we go to test!
Gaming From The Big Chair
AKRacing Core Series EX-Wide Gaming Chair
I love my creature comforts! This time of year it is not uncommon to find me at my PC with a cozy blanket, and even a cushion to sit on. *My chair is not as comfortable as it once was* I sit there night after night playing games, talking to friends, and sometimes just relaxing. AKRacing really impressed me a few weeks back with the Master Series MAX Gaming Chair (AK-MAX-BK). This week I get to give the AKRacing Core Series EX-Wide Gaming Chair a whirl. It has a lot to live up to being it has set a high benchmark with the other chair, but I am optimistic.
To live up to it's reputation for producing a comfortable gaming chair, it must have the four C's once again. Comfort, Construction, Cost and Cool Factor as set out by our experts at TFT. It will also have to pass the "Don't make me get up from my chair" test. This is the one where if your chair is uncomfortable you are happy to get up for a stretch break. However, if you have a comfortable one, you stare at the person requesting you to do something until they go away.
Stay tuned to see if it ticked all of my boxes. Was it the good the soft and snugly or the good the bad and the ugly? Did I get up willingly or did I look at Phil with evil eyes? Read on to find out!
TAKING IT TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!
ThermalTake Level 20 VT
Many is the time in choosing a case in which you must sacrifice one thing for another. If you want style, sometimes you must sacrifice the smaller cases and "go large". This is a problem in that not many of us have the extra room for the huge cases. Well, ThermalTake have decided that we no longer need to do this, we should be able to have our cake and eat it too, so to speak. Thus they came out with the Level 20 VT Micro Chasis. It promises style, customisation, and a smaller footprint.
Now I know what you are thinking, and you are right. I don't like small cases because most of them do not have proper air flow and cable management can be a nightmare. But I am willing to give this bad boy a chance. I want to see if ThermalTake are prepared to "Bring it" when we at TFT do a build to remember.
All this and more when you read on!
You're Gonna Get Lit Up
Akasa Addressable RGB LED Frame Kit AK-LD08-RB
Lately I'm seeing more and more demand for addressable RGB lighting. It's no surprise that, Akasa, whom are known for their Vegas lights, have gotten in on the action. Today we will be looking at the Akasa Addressable RGB LED Frame Kit. The kit promises to add RGB lighting to any 12cm fan. It also promises ease of installation. This is great for those of us that have already bought the fans of choice that perform well but we would also like the ARGB lighting. We don't have to go spend ridiculous amounts of money on new fans. I will be using it in a proper build so we can get a good look. We will be using the ThermalTake Level 20 VT case for the build.
I am anxious to see if it lives up to its promises and gets us lit up or if we are still in the dark. Find out all this and more in this edition of Tech For Techs.
Sometimes You Need To Be Flexible
Arctic TV Flex S Full Movement TV Wall Mount
Not everyone has a giant house or office these days. In fact, more than likely, most people complain of how cramped of quarters they have. So, today on Tech For Techs we are going to be looking at a space saving solution for a TV or monitor. It comes from ARCTIC. The TV Flex S is said to be able to accommodate screens from 41 to 498 mm and take the weight of 25 kg. *make sure your wall will physically be able to support this much weight* I am one of many that suffer from lack of space. I have limited space at work and we are always needing more monitors for more builds and repairs. I am keen to see how well the ARCTIC TV Flex S stands up to a day in the life of computer shop mayhem. It will need to be A: sturdy, B: Flexible, C: easy to install, and D: able to accommodate a few cables coming down without looking a mess. Let's take a look at how it does. Read on to find out more!
Gaming In Style
AKRacing Masters Series Max Gaming Chair Review
When a diamond is purchased, you usually go by four Cs: Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat. Gamers have four Cs they use to identify their perfect gaming chair. I asked what were the four most important factors in a game chair. The TFT members responded Comfort, Construction, Cost and Cool Factor. *in that order*
The average gamer spends about 6 to 8 hours of play time per week. (If you were around my house that number would treble). If we add in time spent researching game tactics, looking for new components for our rigs, social media, school and work, that number would probably be around 30 hrs per week. This being said, we would like to be able to relax in a comfy chair for all of this. We want something so grandiose that we don't even want to get up to go to bed.
It appears that AKRacing have thought about our needs and wants and compiled them all together in one luxury chair, the Masters Series MAX Gaming Chair. I'm eager to find out if it is all that it says it is. Sit back in your chair and take a gander at this.
Cooler Days Ahead!
CM310 and CK550 Keyboard and Mouse
They are at it again! Cooler Master have launched an exciting new keyboard and mouse. *sold separately* The CM310 and CK550 are new kids on the block at Cooler Master. They seem keen to spoil the gamer's every little whim. Maybe that's why I am so fond of them. The CM310 is ambidextrous, so, whether you are a lefty or righty, it should fit in your hand nicely. The CK550 is a full RGB mechanical keyboard with options that any gamer can appreciate. Or at least that is what the box is telling me.
I want to put both of these to the ultimate test. I am going to take them on a weekend journey to the Gaming Zone. Phil and I will swap them back and forth and test them in different kinds of gaming scenarios and give an opinion on our findings. Each gamer has their own needs, so for this test, I decided to let Phil have a play too. Just this once.
Stay tuned for the Gaming Zone edition of TFT.
"And Then There Was Xilence"
Xilence Performance X Series XP1250 (XP1250MR9)
All too often I see people cut corners in building a machine. I will be the first to tell you that the Power Supply is not the place to cut corners. Do that and you could end up paying out more than if you just put a good one in to begin with. Xilence knows this only too well. In the past, TFT has had a look at Xilence products and found them to be of good quality and reasonable prices. So, it should not come as a shock today that I am optimistic about taking a look at the Xilence Performance X Series 1250W PSU. It is fully modular and 80 Plus Gold.
How better to test a power supply than to incorporate it with a build? You will have seen the Xilence Perfermance X Series 1250W PSU in the ThermalTake View 37 ARGB Edition mid-tower chassis review (last week). But today, let's get up close and personal with it. I want to inspect it closely and find out exactly how it compares against the competition.
Read on to see how it did in testing.
Dangerous Curves Ahead!
Thermaltake View 37 ARGB Edition Mid Tower
Long gone are the days when a silver, black, or white case was acceptable for most PC users. As soon as the option for colours and side windows hit the market, lights were everywhere. I had a tube light in my first build. I'm not sure why I had it, but I did. My friends thought my blue case with the blue light and glow in the dark ribbon cable was the coolest rig in town. Today we have so much to choose from! We don't have to settle on standard red, blue, green etc. We can make our own colours, have a rainbow, the sky is the limit! The world of computers is more about letting the user have choices and creative styles. I'm taking a look at a most interesting designed case today, the Thermaltake View 37 ARGB Edition mid-tower. It has the curves of a pin up. But, I am curious about airflow and ease of build. Will this voluptuous case make the grade or will it be just another pretty picture? Find out all this and more on this edition of Tech For Techs
Keep Your 'Guard' Up!
Bullguard Internet Security + Game Boost!
If you are connected to the internet, you are susceptible to malicious attacks from cyber-criminals. Each day we hear of new scams, viruses, and people being defrauded. Still, many people can not see why they should pay for an Internet Security. They will say, "I've had this free one for years and I have never had a problem". They seem amazed when I diagnose the issue and come to find out it is laden with viruses and malware. Most think they get this from going on adult sights and are quick to tell me they do not visit those. "I watch my football, place bets, and download music and movies, that's it". They, have just told me how they got those viruses in one sentence. It all boils down to dodgy websites and downloads. By now you may have deduced that I am going to talk about an Internet Security in this edition of TFT. You would be correct. We will be looking at Bullguard Internet Security 3 Devices 1 Year. I want to see exactly what I get for my year's subscription. Read on and find out more.
Interview With The "Cooler" Master
Ronil Bhimjiani @ Cooler Master UK Speaks With TFT
Most days I sit behind my desk and think of something clever to say about a product. But today I get to venture out and go to Cooler Master for a visit with Katie Pinnock (UK Country Manager), Ronil Bhimjiani (Sr. Sales Account Manager) and Leah Sommers (Marketing Manager) at Cooler Master.
The Cooler Masters, as I will call them here, are the most hospitable people you will ever come across. As most of us know Ronil from his visits to our stores, he is very easy to talk to and knows his job very well. Katie said he is very "passionate" about it. It shows. Everything I could throw at him to ask, he had an on the fly answer. No Google or looking at a laptop for the answers for him, oh no! It's all from memory. Frankly, I have no idea how he remembers everything, but he does! It just goes to show that if you love what you do, you absorb it, you live it, it becomes part of who you are and Ronil is the coolest of the Cooler Masters.
To see some of my interview with him, read on, and watch our video.