Some people go on a cruise for their vacation, or perhaps take a trip to Hawaii or some other tropical paradise. But not me! For me, paradise was in Anaheim, California, in late October, at Blizzcon 2011!
This year’s BlizzCon was a blast and will be my first pick for this year’s best game convention. If you are a fan of any Blizzard’s games then you should’ve been at this year’s event! BlizzCon is Blizzard Entertainments annual celebration of their major franchises: Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. Fans can play the latest version as well as participate in community contests and tournaments. Blizzard also revealed a lot of interesting things about their upcoming games, including the long-awaited and highly-anticipated game, Diablo III. The event was full of surprises and the crowd was just awesome.
The AMD Bulldozer CPUs have been sold out at most places for the past couple weeks. I was lucky enough to find a FX-8150 at the local Microcenter and picked it up along with an ASUS Crosshair V Formula. Within the first 20 minutes of having the CPU under liquid nitrogen I was able to boot into windows with a memory frequency of 3156MHz! I was shocked by the frequencies that I could achieve with this processor. Once I was in Windows I raised the FSB frequency and reached a memory frequency of 3238MHz using a single Dominator® GT CMGTX6 memory module. This is the 3rd highest memory frequency on the HWbot.org OC database. It also beat my previous personal best by over 250MHz, which is something I have been trying to beat for the past year.
I will be doing an in depth blog on overclocking the FX-8150 on liquid nitrogen and going for the maximum CPU frequency as well as going for even higher on the memory frequency as well. So be sure to check back!
The new Intel® Socket 2011, used on the new X79 motherboards and the new 2nd generation Intel Core Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, has changed significantly from Socket 1366. As you can see below there are no longer the traditional holes through the PCB. There is now a metal bracket that has been tapped to accept M4 screws. Because of this the Corsair Hydro Series™ H70 Core, H80 and H100 CPU coolers all come with separate screws to mount on Socket 2011 boards.
The new Sandy Bridge-E based 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family CPUs and the X79 motherboards make up the foundation of Intel's new platform geared towards enthusiasts. Sandy Bridge-E features a quad channel memory controller with the ability to run up to 64GB of memory. The memory controller also supports up to DDR3-1600 natively. There were also improvements made to improve overclocking as well. The socket has been changed to 2011 pins to support quad channel memory as well as more PCI-E lanes.
Thanks to those who joined us for our first public webinar on November 14th! We discussed the newly announced and released Intel X79 chipset and Sandy Bridge-E CPUs along with the Corsair products that are designed to complement them. If you missed this one, be sure to “friend” us on Facebook to receive a notification of the next webinar! I recorded the webinar so that those who could not attend can view it on their own time, you can find the webinar at the link below.
When Intel® launched the Sandy Bridge (AKA the 2nd Generation Intel Core™ Processor Family) architecture they changed the game in overclocking, running high base clock was a thing of the past. In order to overclock Sandy Bridge to its full potential, an unlocked multiplier was needed. The new Sandy Bridge-E processors that Intel announced today (we also announced our quad-channel compatible kits today) is based on the same architecture, but Intel made a key change in order to allow higher base clocks. The reason for the limited base clock adjustment was due to the link between base clock and the PCI-E/DMI Controller. Intel added the option called CPU Strap that allows the PCI-E/DMI Controller to run at a frequency near 100MHz +/-10%. You are now able to run higher base clocks however there are limitations. Along with these higher base clocks you can now also run the memory frequency much higher versus Sandy Bridge.
KitGuru, Vengeance® 1100 Communication Headset Review — "Corsair has struck a good balance between professional and gamer-enticing aesthetics with this headset. This, combined with the all-round good performance means that you can use it for work or play without issue."
NeoSeeker, Vengeance 1500 & Vengeance 1300 Gaming Headsets Review — "After spending a solid week with both the Vengeance 1300 and 1500 headsets, it is easy to recommend both as solid replacements to traditional desktop speakers, or lesser quality headsets. However, the design of the Vengeance gaming headsets is vastly different so both the 1300 and 1500 are suited for different segments of the market. The Vengeance 1500 is the higher-end model, and as such support audio formats such as Dolby Digital and Virtual 7.1 Surround. This makes it an ideal choice for gamers and movie buffs that are looking for solid audio to match the content. The Vengeance 1300 on the other hand is an analog headset that performsbest when paired with a high-end audio card that can push the unit to its threshold."
TechPowerUp, Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "Corsair has already managed to impress with the Carbide 400R chassis and the more potent 500R is no exception. It takes the already great 4-series Carbide chassis and improves on its cooling possibilities, adds a fan controller to adjust the rotation speed and give the user the possibility to remove the hard drive cages to make room for long graphic cards. Also with an updated edgier design, some may just go ahead and dish out the 40 US Dollar more for the Carbide 500R."
TweakTown, Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "Looking back through Corsair's history of cases, I have yet to be disappointed with any of them. I had their flagship on my desk for over two years, and it just recently got replaced. I also have the 600T SE currently in use, and it was the case that sold me on what a white case looks like done right -not looking like somewhere to test culture samples. The 500R keeps that aggressive classic muscle car aesthetics that sold me on the 600T, yet it takes a whole other approach in its shape and design and leaves me with that same warm fuzzy feeling that looking over at my 600T once gave me. For those who love what Corsair has to offer, but were turned off by the overly rounded approach of the 600T design and won't settle for the average black chassis, the 500R is a perfect solution to your needs, wants, and desires."
Today we announced our newest line of solid-state drives, the Corsair Performance Pro Series™ SSDs. Designed with the Marvell SATA 6 Gb/s SSD controller, they deliver impressive performance when reading and writing compressed as well as non-compressible data, such as audio, images, and video files. Additionally, Performance Pro Series SSDs have built-in advanced background garbage collection to allow for consistently strong performance even with operating systems that do not support the TRIM command. This integral performance optimization makes Performance Pro SSDs an ideal solution for RAID configurations, which typically do not support TRIM.
Overclocking on liquid nitrogen and pushing hardware into the danger zone can be very frustrating but can also be rewarding. We recently released an overclocking video that showed you how I prepare my motherboards to run on liquid nitrogen. I recently took the same setup from the video but with a different CPU, and tried to set the 3DMark03 world record with it.
KitGuru, Vengeance™ 1500 Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset
Review — "As hoped, the performance of the headset was very strong throughout all of our gaming, movie and music tests. Both Dolby Headphone and the 7.1 virtual surround sound technology give the gaming and movie experience an extra dimension and improve the overall audio quality. We are also able to optimise the sound balance of the headset for different types of playback, using the presets within the control panel."
Overclock3D, Carbide Series™ 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "The long and short of it is the 500R is a great case for the money out of the box and 90% of you will be perfectly happy with what gets delivered. The other 10% of you can get your tools out and make yours unique with minimal effort and claim those all important e-peen inches over the stock case boys! Its been a long time coming but thank you Corsair, for your efforts we can Award the 500R the first Gold award since we reviewed the white 600T!"
Vortez, Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "I’ve been impressed by the 500R and actually quite excited about sharing this review with you. 500R looks spectacular in white – Corsair have done a great job in almost every aspect of this case but the visual appearance is fundamental to all the hype surrounding it, it just oozes style and charisma."
Benchmark Reviews, Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "Yes, the Carbide 500R performed exquisitely. With four stock fans it rivals the best in cooling performance. Under extended stress in a cramped environment it kept CPU and GPU temperatures stable in a safe zone below 80 °F using the lowest setting on the fan controller. It also builds quickly and effortlessly. If you had all your parts ready it could be built in under ten minutes, including pretty cable routing. This is probably true for almost any build since the 500R is ready to receive a variety of components."
Hexus, Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "By taking the foundations laid by the 400R and adding a sprinkling of useful upgrades - including a bundled side intake and removable hard-disk cages - Corsair has created a £90 solution that offers excellent cooling performance in a tidy, well-rounded package."
Legit Reviews, Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Case Review — "We really liked working with the Corsair Carbide 500R as the design was very well thought out. The fit and finish were excellent with great paint work and the black and white theme is very attractive. Airflow is a non-issue in this case with more options than the majority of users would even consider or require. The cable routing was easy and the rubber grommets really add a polished look when you are done building in this case. The bonus integrated fan controller and LED on/off switch was a nice touch on the I/O panel but we really appreciated the inclusion of USB 3.0 ports on the front. Corsair was even thoughtful enough to include the conversion cable to USB 2.0 to extend the compatibility. Removable hard drive cages allow for super long video cards to make sure this case can last for several builds. Finally all the little sound dampening touches with rubber mounts a means this case will run quiet especially with the fans set to low. "
Benchmark Reviews, Carbide Series 400R Mid-Tower Case Review — "The Corsair Carbide 400R mid-tower case is an all-around overachiever, covering all the fundamentals of a gaming case while at the same time making small but extremely effective design innovations. The mainstream market for gaming cases is quite crowded and there are plenty of various offerings available. Very few, however, provide as much interior room and demonstrate remarkable engineering acumen as the Carbide 400R."
Enthusiast Series™ Modular TX550M 550 Watt Modular Power Supply
Review — 9/10 score — "Corsair is a company committed to quality and the TX550M is no exception. The power supply is very well made, with no manufacturing flaws and with very good components, although some hardcore enthusiasts may miss the all-Japanese design of the more powerful TX750M unit. Corsair covers their product with a 5 year long warranty, testament to their faith on this unit’s long term reliability."
Bright Side of News, Flash Voyager® GT USB 3.0 32GB USB Flash Drive Review — "The Corsair Flash Voyager GT USB 3.0 32GB USB Flash Driveis an incredibly fast drive, with maximum speeds rivaling that of most conventional SATA hard drives. At a high capacity, the drive serves perfectly as a device for saving media, copying large swaths of data from one computer to another, or even for running an operating system off of via USB 3.0 (such as a utility version of Linux)."