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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gigabyte X99 UD4 (LGA 2011-3) Motherboard Review


Introduction, Specifications and Packaging


gigabyte_x99_ud4_lead
A short while ago we took Gigabyte’s X99 Gaming 5 motherboard to our test bench for a review. As the name suggests that particular motherboard was targeted at Gamers with its feature set and styling. Today we have with us a motherboard targeted at a broader X99 user-base than Gamers. TheGigabyte X99 UD4 is Gigabyte’s most affordable X99 offering but still retains all of the high performance features of the X99 platform.
At a fundamental level this board is very similar to the X99 Gaming 5 except the styling uses a different colour scheme, the audio has fewer features and uses a different codec and the Gigabit LAN is now Intel instead of Killer. Overclocking capabilities and features are similar – both boards feature high quality 6 phase designs with International Rectifier PWM controls and there are no onboard buttons or any read-off points. Overclocking buttons and features are reserved for higher end SKUs like the X99 SOC-FORCE.
This board still boasts support for up to 8 DDR4 modules, 4-Way GPU configurations, up to 10 SATA III devices or 8 SATA III devices and a SATA Express device and there’s even dual M.2 ports for more storage and optional WiFi/Bluetooth combo cards. The Gigabyte X99 UD4 will undoubtedly be a popular motherboard for Gigabyte just like how their X79-UD5 model was in the last generation. Let’s now take a detailed look at this motherboard’s specifications:
gbt_x99_ud4_specs
Packaging and Accessories
The X99 UD4 comes in one of the smallest boxes I’ve seen for an X99 motherboard. The branding is Gigabyte’s mainstream “Ultra Durable” series, remember Gigabyte’s other two SKUs are the Gaming line and the Overclocking line.
Gigabyte_X99_UD4 (1)
Around the back we find a really in-depth motherboard analysis focusing on features, performance and the quality of the components used in this board’s construction.
Gigabyte_X99_UD4 (2)
Accessories are modest for an X99 platform board. As Nvidia SLI certification requires there’s a range of 2, 3 and 4 Way SLI bridges and also a 2-Way AMD CrossFire bridge. Remember AMD’s newest GPU SKUs do not require bridges anymore as the XDMA “bridge-less” feature was implemented. Four braided SATA cables, a rear I/O and a power adapter cable make up the rest of the accessories.
Gigabyte_X99_UD4 (3)
Moving onto the mundane inclusions and we find some basic documentation and a driver/utility disc.
Gigabyte_X99_UD4 (4)


Saturday, September 20, 2014

New bendy USB cable



What is Mykey?

Mykey is a 2.7inch (7cm) cute pliable & durable keychain cable with a built-in loop. It is very convenient when attached to your key ring or bag while traveling. The material silicone makes Mykey very flexible and soft-touch. The angular sides make it simple but strong. All those features make Mykey stylish and unique.
My name is George Jiang and I joined the Esorun team after completing an MBA in Dublin, Ireland.
The deeper I research the market, the more ideas I get. Smartphone users need a cable that they can always keep with them. But in reality, Nobody will keep an ugly, dangly or troublesome cable with him or her unless it is stylish enough and looks like a gadget.

Why do you need Mykey?

Mykey will save you, impress you and those around you in each of these scenarios:
  • Forgetting to bring your charging cable;
  • The long,loose cables of the past drive you crazy;
  • No more dull black and white cables;
  • The small round or plat noodle cable lacks imagination;
  • Old long cables frequently break where they meet the connector head......

How did this amazing idea come about?

We got thousands of inquiries after we release the extremely popular 3in1 keychain charger (KR800 and KR1000) and the 2.7inch cute flexible cable. Customers wanted 2 changes: Just need a keychain charging cable and they wanted it to be as small as possible. So we created Mykey----yes, you can show it to your friends and tell them: this is my key.....

What makes Mykey unique and outstanding?

Compared to other key cables, Mykey distinguishing feature is pliable and durable.
  • 1st: The keychain loop is made of electroplated steel and it owns a buckle which is easy to be detached. Existing key cables have a problem with the loop---It is easy to be break and  the cable can be lost.Mykey can be attached to a key ring.
  • 2nd: It is made of PVC & Silicone which make mykey is really pliable and strong. The existing key cables are made of ABS or PC which make it tough and fragile. Normal cable is easy to be broken as the material of cable and connector are not same. Compared to those features, Mykey is integrated design.
  • 3rd: Life should be colorful. Our production lines are colorful--not the normal round cable always in boring black or white. It is cute and thin---It can even be  put it in your wallet. (For our supporter here and Indiegogo, we can abandon the metal cover for wallet use).
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can it sync data?
Yes,mykey has charging and sync function
Which device does it support?
We offer two connectors:Lightning connector and Micro USB
Lightning connector is compatible with iPhone6 Plus/6/5/5S/5C and iPad
Micro USB connector is compatible with most Android phone and windows phone,but it may not support some devices such as Samsung TAB pad because of its special USB port. 
I've bought a lot of USB cables before and they all broken,how can i trust that it is durable?
1.PVC & Silicone material make the cable pretty strong and pliable
2.Integrated design and unibody manufacture craft makes the cable seamless 
3.The loop is made of electroplated steel ,no need to worry it will broken 
Check out their Indiegogo campaign now!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bigger, Better and Faster, but Not Stronger: A Look at the New iPhone 6

It's that time again—the newest addition to the iPhone family is set to be released on September 19, 2014, reports Macworld. The iPhone 6 offers multiple new features, and the iPhone 6 Plus looks more like a small iPad than a smartphone. So, what's different about the new iPhone? Here are just a few new aspects:

Larger iPhone, Smoother Design



The main difference between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus is, of course, its size. The iPhone 6 is 4.7 inches, and the iPhone 6 Plus is a whopping 5.5 inches, states Apple's official website. To help you decide between the two sizes, Apple Insider offers a printable PDF size guide, or you can think of it as the love child of the original iPhone and the iPad.

Fortunately, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus' smooth and rounded design keeps them from looking clunky. At only 6.9 mm and 7.1 mm, these smartphones are thinner than ever, comments MacLife. To add to their sleek style, both versions are available in gold, silver and space grey.

Bigger, Better and Faster, but Not Stronger



Unfortunately, fans that were looking forward to a virtually indestructible smartphone will be disappointed. Although the two phones are bigger, they're not necessarily stronger. The flexible, scratch-proof sapphire display many were hoping for didn't happen, and they both continue to have Gorilla Glass displays like their predecessors.

According to Vox, the durable sapphire glass display instead will be used for the Apple Watch, Apple's new smart watch. High production cost was the main reason behind this decision. Also, experts speculate that since sapphire glass is less flexible than Gorilla Glass, it is more likely that an iPhone with sapphire glass would shatter if dropped.

No matter what type of glass is on your new iPhone, you don't want to take any chances of cracking the screen. Consider getting an extended warranty protection plan that will ensure you will be able to keep your phone looking new—at least until the next release.

The New Features of iOS 8



The iPhone 6 Plus might be bigger in size, but it doesn't differ from its smaller counterpart in greatness. Both come equipped with iOS 8 so you can do things you couldn't before. Some great features include:


     
  • Siri can control all of your Apple devices or connect your apps to each other.


  •  
  • Photographers will love the new Photos app because they can embed their filters and editing tools without leaving the app.


  •  
  • Socialites will rave over the new Messages app, which allows location sharing and voice-to-text conversations. Plus, the integrated keyboard is much better at auto complete, so you can stop worrying about sending a grossly inappropriate message to your boss, or worse, your mom.


  •  
  • Family Sharing is an easy way to share App Store purchases.


  •  
  • iCloud Drive allows you to work on any file, anywhere.


  •  
  • Continuity introduces seamless linking between all Apple products.



  • Where to Get the iPhone 6



    Getting your hands on the newest Apple tech requires plenty of patience, luck and perfect timing. Luckily, four popular mobile carriers are jumping on the iPhone 6 bandwagon straightaway, states Consumerist. These include:


       
    • Verizon: Offers a trade-in system for a 16GB iPhone 6. Users must agree to a two-year contract.


    •  
    • AT&T: Payment plan available for the iPhone 6 over the course of 12-24 months. Offers a $100 bill credit with the purchase of any iPhone.


    •  
    • Sprint: Introduced a $50 unlimited plan with the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Also, has the iPhone for Life program, which allows users to cut monthly installments and trade in their old iPhones for credit.


    •  
    • T-Mobile: Matches any trade-in offer of aforementioned providers. Users must pay full price for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in monthly installments. No contract necessary.



    • As for cost, the full price of a 16GB iPhone 6 is $649 while a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus is $749. So, are you ready to invest?

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014

      G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse Review

      Logitech G502 (Proteus Core) Gaming Mouse Review
      Technical Specifications
      ·       Surface Tuning Calibration
      Weight and Balance tuning
      11 Programmable buttons
      Improved dual-mode hyper fast scroll wheel
      On-the-fly DPI Shift
      Advanced surface Material
      Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
      Max. Acceleration: >40G
      Max. speed: >300 ips


      Pros


      Ergonomic right handed design
      Smooth matt feel
      Many macro-able buttons
      Weight tuning
      Thumb rest
      Unique 4-way Scroll wheel
      Braided cables

      Cons

      Quite big-sized
      Matt finish does pick up sweat stains
      USB connector not gold plated
      Stiff braided cables


      Introduction

      When you talk about PC gaming peripherals, the few brands that will probably come into your mind would be Razer, SteelSeries and Logitech. These are the prominent figures in the gaming industry that have created revolutionary gaming products ranging from Gaming Mice to Keyboards to Headsets. SPRG sent me a reviewing kit of the latest Logitech gaming mouse, and today we will be taking a look at the G502 Proteus Core made by Logitech.
      To know why Logitech picked the name of Proteus Core, I dug a bit into the history of Greek mythology and found out that Proteus is the God of River. One of the most interesting things that I found out about Proteus is that he is also known as the god of “elusive sea change”. As water has no shape and form, it is highly versatile and mutable. Simply said, my assumption would be that Logitech created the G502 to be versatile and adaptable to each and every gamer.
      When I first started to try a Logitech gaming peripheral, it was the G400s. The ergonomics of the G400s was so good that I could play Dota tirelessly for hours. Compared to the G400s, the G502 looks much nicer and cooler in the aesthetic department. It is also quite a significant upgrade from the G-series mice family with DPI count of up to 12,000. Now that’s a real speedy mouse!
      Is the G502 worth the penny? Is the Proteus Core really that versatile to be compared to the Greek god? Is it really an upgrade from its G-ancestors? Let’s take a look and find out!

      Unboxing and First Look

      The G502 came in a packaging that is of the same style as its family members with black being the background colour with blue sides and outlines. The top part of the box is presented with the G502 in all its glory, with the sides of the packaging showing the technical specifications and requirements. The top part of the packaging also acts like a window flap. Opening it reveals a windowed view of the actual mouse. The back part of the box shows an X-ray view of the mouse, complimented with additional features about the G502.






      From Top: Frontal View, Windowed View, Back View, Side Views of the Packaging


      Included in the package is a set of weights in a small and neat case, the G502, instruction manuals and warranty leaflet. One important thing to note is that there is no disc that contains drivers, which means you probably have to get it off Logitech’s website. Similar to what the other competitors do.

      Things that are included in the packaging


      The mouse cables are braided which in my opinion was a bit stiff. It might take a few sessions to straighten it out, but on the other hand, it is supposed to last longer than rubber coated cables. Rubber coated cables are known to get sticky in the long run.

      Braided USB Cable

      The USB connector is not gold plated, which surprised me. Being the latest addition to the Logitech ‘G’ Family and commanding a hundred bucks, I would quite expect the USB connector to be gold plated. Similar priced products from competitors have their USB connectors plated in gold. This is not exactly a deal breaker for any gamers, but it is the expectations that gamers have in gaming peripherals nowadays.
      USB Connector

      There are a total of 11 buttons, which could be mapped with different functions and we will go into that later. When you plug the G502 into a USB port, the “G” logo will light up. Drivers were automatically installed and the G502 was ready for normal usage. Further mapping of keys and functions have to be done with the software which can be found on the Logitech website.






       The 11 Programmable Buttons that are labelled from G1 to G9 (Excluding the 2 mouse buttons)


      Now let’s take a look at the G502’s core features and performance.

      Ergonomics and Design

      The G502 is ergonomically shaped to fit a right-hander. It is quite big in size in terms of the width and length. People with small hands might find using this mouse a challenge. 

      Comparison of Size with Razer Krait 2013 Edition

      I have a medium sized hand and even so it felt quite big in my hands, occupying the whole of my palms when I use it. It took me roughly 3 days to completely get use to the ergonomics of the mouse and after that, I had not much issue with the comfort that if offers apart from the fact that my palms got sweaty faster when using it. It could be because of the surface of the mouse which traps heat.




      Front and SIde view of the G502

      The G502 feels like it would suit a gamer with a palm-grip as the surface is quite big, requiring you to rest your palms fully on the mouse when using it. However, it would suit claw-grip gamers too. The sides of the mouse are tapered and you are able to grip the mouse by the sides which will make your hand arch over the mouse naturally. Personally I use claw-grip and I was able to get used to the mouse after a few games.

      Palm Grip
      Claw Grip


      The sides of the mouse have a rough texture to improve grip. The texture was pretty nice and it does not cause any form of discomfort. 



      Textured Sides


       The body of the G502 is dressed in a matt finish, which was both good and bad. Good as compared to glossy finishes, it does not attract fingerprints that easily. The bad part is that sweat stains could sometimes be permanent when used for long period of time. It does attract a fair bit of dust too. When I come home from work I would usually spot dust on the G502. Not exactly an issue, but do remember to either cloth it or keep it away if you’re not using it for a long period of time. 

      Matt Surface
      Weight-Tuning Mechanism

      The weights came in a case which I felt was particularly useful as you definitely would not want to lose those weights even if you are not using them. The case is very slim and compact which signifies that it is suitable for travel.


      Weight Tuning Case

      The weights are boomerang shaped and have a very slim profile. Each weight weighs 3.6grams and there are a total of 5 weights that you can play around with to suit your gaming needs. In my opinion, the mouse feels quite sturdy even without the weights.

      Boomerang-Shaped Weights

      To insert weights into the mouse, you will need to turn to the bottom part of the mouse and release a flap door held down by a strong magnet. After which, you will see the skeleton of where the weights could be placed. Placing the weights into the mouse is fairly easy, requiring a bit of force when pressing it in place. Removing it however, was quite a pain. It was literally painful as I had to dig my fingernail underneath the sides of the weight which has a slight gradient to lift it out of its position. The fit was very secure and tight, making removing the weights harder than it should normally require.




      Weight-adjusting compartment


      People who play FPS games and desire more control and precision are often known to prefer heavy mice to restrict huge movements from the mouse as it glides across the mouse pad. I tried playing a game with all weights set into the G502, and after an hour, I felt that my wrist became tired and sore from the usage. It does however, feel more “solid” and cursor movement was accurate and precise. I preferred the G502 to be lighter, so I removed all the weights. It also resulted in more speed and the G502 was gliding effortlessly. 

      Dual-Mode Scroll Wheel

      The scrolling function of the mouse was one that I really liked, which had two different modes. They are the infinite scroll mode and the normal scroll mode. The mouse is by default set to the normal scroll mode, which “clicks” for each turn the scroll makes. The infinite scroll mode is without the “click” restrictions, and scrolls at hyper fast speed. To switch between these two modes, there is a button just underneath the scroll wheel. The button sets a mechanism in place to restrict the scroll hence producing a “click” feedback, while another press releases the mechanism and allow for infinite scrolling. It also offers 4-way scrolling, which allows you to scroll horizontally.
      One thing however that I disliked about the scroll wheel is the click option. More often than not, a click on the scroll button resulted in a scroll, which in turn causes a miss-click on the intended area. This is a result of the scroll wheel being too sensitive.

      Dual-Mode Scroll Wheel


      Software


      In my opinion, Logitech has really done up the software really well and it seems to be fool proof. After installing the software through Logitech’s website, the software automatically detects the G502, and prepares it to be customized.
      You will not need a dictionary to start customizing your 11 buttons with the software as it was really easy to do so. Having used Razer’s Synapse and SteelSeries’s Engine, I would say that the usability of the software is on par. When you move your mouse over to the button you would like to customize, the actual button is highlighted on the image of the G502. Clicking the button allows you to designate specific task or buttons to the selected button. You are also able to set macros to the buttons.




      User-Friendly Software Interface


      Test Run

      After a month of testing, I found out that my hands have really adapted to the mouse, making movements on the mouse seem like fluid. My wrist did not feel any strain after a 3 hour gaming session. The clicks also actuate effortlessly, allowing for faster response. The extra buttons were pretty useful, but not all of them as I did not require so many buttons for Dota 2 which is a MOBA genre game. A MMORPG player would truly appreciate the true beauty of the extra buttons, as they are placed very conveniently around your thumb and index finger.  
      Even though the G502’s DPI count goes up to 12,000DPI, I found that 4500DPI was the maximum I ever have to go, as any higher than that, a slight movement of the wrist will cause the cursor to fly a few kilometres. (Exaggeration intended) The high DPI count felt more like a novelty rather than functionality as you will seldom need the mouse DPI to get to that level.
      The clicks sound slightly louder than my Razer Krait 2013 Edition and Deathadder 2013 Edition. As Dota 2 requires many clicking action, the noise produced by the clicks became quite audible. Not to the extent you will want to put on a headphone just for that, but it can get irritating.


      Verdict

      Priced competitively at a price of $99, the Logitech G502 has pleasantly surprised me till no ends. To be named after a Greek God, the G502 definitely lived up to its name. The G502 was very easy to use albeit it being a bit bulky. People with smaller hand size might want to steer clear from this mid-sized giant as I predict it will cause a huge amount of stress on your wrist and hands, tiring your hands out faster. The braided cables were a bit too stiff than it should be, but if you are exchanging that for a longer lasting cable then I would think it’s a fair trade. The matt finish traps heat and causes your palms to sweat up faster, which in turns offer a better and more comfortable grip. The scroll wheel is unique, but clicking it causes the wheel to move as the wheel is too sensitive. If you have the luxury of the cost, then the G502 will not disappoint you. There are features which could be better, but the overall comfort and features it offers is too good and it covers the flaws. As with the improvement of the G400 gaming mouse being named as the G400s, I do hope there would be an improvement in the next upgrade, making the G502 one of the legendary gaming mouse in the gaming peripherals industry. I would rate the G502 as an expert gaming mouse because of the features it offers.


      Pictures on Imgur:
      Proteus Core