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Corsair HX620W Power Supply: Review

373110_AA while back I had the opportunity to review the Corsair TX750W Power supply.  I found it to be of exceptional quality, but it was a bit tough to install cleanly because of the multitude of cables snaking their way out the back of the unit.  It was difficult to find places to tuck them away where they were out of  sight.  To quote myself from my closing remarks in that review:

If Corsair were to offer this power supply as a modular unit to limit the tangle of leads to deal with when it’s installed, it would be nearly perfect.

Well now I’ve been given the opportunity to review one of Corsair’s new modular power supplies and it’s got a tough act to follow.  The HX620W claims many of the same attributes of it’s bigger cousin, it’s powerful, efficient, quiet, cool, customizable, and it’s dual GPU ready.

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Do It Yourself External Hard Drive Backup Solutions

grppic In this, the third part of the home data backup series, we’ll discuss the various options one has in creating a backup solution using external Hard Drives.  We’ll look at what’s available on the market and how best to use them.  Ideally, a backup solution should be easy to create and even easier to use.  Once we’ve looked over a little of what’s available, we’ll build a large capacity backup solution that will handle just about anyone’s requirements for secure data storage, will be easy to use, and will give more bang for the buck than most commercially available solutions.   Let’s talk briefly about some of the devices available on the market.

Simple USB Enclosures: There are a wide variety of enclosures available that will utilize either a 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch hard drive to create an external drive of the size you choose.  You’ll find everything from a “Plain Jane” box to cases that have bells, whistles, flashing lights, and sirens.  Well…maybe not sirens, but  there are some pretty flashy units available out there and you can build a viable backup solution that fits your tastes by simply adding an internal HDD to the enclosure of your choice.  Prices range from less than $20.00 to over $150.00 (not including the HDD’s or backup software).

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Corsair Voyager – 32GB Flash Drive

voyager4

What would you do with a 32GB Flash Drive? Mine contains my entire music collection, all of my important documents, my family photos, a restore image of the operating system on my computer, and 6GB of free space. When you’re used to using 2, 4, or even 8GB flash drives, you find yourself looking for stuff to store on this drive…it’s actually tough to fill up! Voyager will hold almost 10,000 6 MegaPixel images, or nearly 13 hours of MPEG-2 video (152 hours of MPEG-4), or 8,000 of your favorite MP3 recordings. Imagine the possibilities – a thumb-sized device that has the capacity to store all of your important data securely in one location, and is accessible from nearly any computer. It even comes complete with an encryption application already aboard. The Corsair Voyager is compatible with Windows ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Mac (9.X and later), and Linux (Kernel 2.4.2 and higher). Pretty much everyone can utilize this device.

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System Building Guide – under $1,000 (February 2008)

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3

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Motherboard review by James_8970
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mobo

As technology continues to progress, our present demands continue to outgrow our pasts. Over the past few months we have seen many new chipsets released: Intel’s P35/X38/X48, nVidia’s 7x0i series, and now it’s AMD’s turn with the 770 (AM2+) and 790fx series chipsets. With our budget constraints we were not able to leap for a $200+ motherboard, but overall we believe this board is a great compromise between performance and dollar value.

As time moves on, new CPU’s are released and their performance is greatly affected by the features on the motherboard. AMD has just recently released some new products, the Phenom series CPU’s. While they aren’t quite as good as their Intel counterparts, they do have a great number of innovative features that set them apart from Intel’s current offerings. That aside, many of the current motherboards are Phenom compatible – after a BIOS update. This motherboard, on the other hand, is compatible with this CPU out of the box. It also has a higher hyper transport speed then other traditional AM2 motherboards, which could ultimately affect future upgrades. This motherboard comes fully equipped with native DDR2 1066MHz, PCIe 2.0 – a first for an AMD motherboard – and up to 16GB of RAM to keep you on the leading edge of technology and give you an unprecedented upgradability path for the future.

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Corsair TX750W: Review

clip_image002I’ve been a fan of Corsair RAM for years, so when they decided to enter the power supply market, I jumped at the chance to see what they have to offer.

The TX750W comes with some impressive packaging including a “velvet” bag to keep it in if you’re not actually going to use it…which would be a serious mistake. Don’t let the “Plain Jane” matte black and orange dressings fool you, this is a truly nice piece of hardware. When you remove this PSU from the box (and the bag), the first thing you notice is the abundance of leads…more than enough for almost any installation. There’s an ATX 24/20 pin connector, an EPS/ATX12V 8/4 pin connector, 4 PCI-E 6/8pin connectors, 8 SATA power connectors, 8 4 pin Molex peripheral connectors, and 2 floppy connectors…all of adequate length. This all sounds great; but it presents some issues I’ll get to a little later.

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