• Accell USB-C VR Adapter


    Hardware Info:

    Accell USB-C VR Adapter
    Certified Oculus Ready
    Supports source devices with USB-C ports with DisplayPort Alt-mode, like recent NVIDIA graphics cards.
    May also function with Windows OS on devices that have DisplayPort Alt-mode via USB-C, such as HP EliteBook x360, HP ZBook, Dell XPS, MS Surface Book 2.
    Supports 4K on connected displays (though that is not its primary purpose)
    USB 3.0 Type A port is very convenient for VR headset use
    Eight feet (2.4 meters) long, allowing more movement and a convenient connection for VR use
    No drivers required
    MSRP: $49.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Accell for sending us this device to review!

    We've had a Virtual Reality (VR) headset since the launch of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. In many ways, these headsets give us a glimpse into the future, or at the very least, enable some really neat experiences that a flat screen and controller could never otherwise support. Being able to strap on a headset and step into a virtual world is really quite something.

    Despite this, cable management is always a bit of a tricky business. I have had to buy both HDMI and USB extension cables in order to support my HTC Vive, especially when using it from my desktop. My laptop is VR ready (GTX 1070), but ever since getting my new RTX 2080 Ti, I have been more inclined to use that for all of my gaming, VR included, for some reason.

    The NVIDIA RTX series of cards includes a USB-C Virtualink connector on the back of them. This connector is quite handy, because it allows you to get everything you need - both video, via DisplayPort Alt-mode, and of course the USB 3.1 data connection, all in one cable. Unfortunately, while most headset makers have committed to using these ports in their future products, no headsets currently on the market support this specification.

    That is where this Accell USB-C VR Adapter comes in. Rather than let that nice port on the back of that video card just go to waste, this adapter allows you to take advantage of it, using a cable that really does make life much easier.

    With my desktop gaming PC, I keep it inside of a desk cubby. (I cut holes in it and mounted fans to make sure that heat does not get trapped inside.) Once I run the cables I normally use in there, I rarely have to touch the back of the tower in normal use. However, connecting and disconnecting my VR headset is one area that requires some cables in order to get the most out of it.

    Accell USB-C VR Adapter

    What I did in the past was I bought a long HDMI cable, and rolled it up when I wasn't using it. Then I used a long active USB cable to cover the other part required. This worked, and I used it for years, but that extra cable that's always connected can get in the way or requires shoving it somewhere, and I still have to plug in the USB cable and unplug it when I'm done.

    What this new adapter allows me to do is have the single cable ran from my video card, directly into the USB and HDMI ports on my Vive breakout box. Then I connect my Vive as normal. That eight feet also happens to be the perfect length for me. While before my extension cables were excessively long, at around thirty feet each, now I have one that perfectly extends into my VR playing area. You see, I have my desktop in my office, and the common area/hallway is just outside of the doorway. This area is eight feet by thirteen feet, which makes for a great room-scale VR space.

    This USB-C extension cable, along with the three foot cables that come with the Vive, means that the breakout box is sitting just outside of my door. The Vive's headset cable is about fifteen feet long. It's almost like this combination was built for my exact room! I could not have asked for a more perfect fit. And when I am done, I just roll the small, thin, eight foot cord and adapter box up, and shove it next to my tower. So when it's not in use, it's completely out of the way. Again, perfect. As expected, VR through my Vive worked perfectly while connected through this adapter box.

    So, the Accell USB-C VR adapter is a perfect hit for its intended use case. What about other uses? Well, it does work as a USB 3 port, as well as a new 4K HDMI port. But I did find some limitations.

    Accell USB-C VR Adapter

    First of all, the USB port. I was able to prove that the port is indeed a 3.0 port, by connecting my USB 3.0 SSD up to it, and running CrystalDiskMark. The sequential reads and writes were virtually identical to connecting it to a connector on my case (which connects to my motherboard). The random I/O numbers were a bit lower, particularly the 4KiB Q8T8 values. But the write speed of 318MB/s that I got from the sequential tests proves without a doubt that the USB port is 3.0 in speed. In case it wasn't obvious, that port speed is dependent on how the video card/motherboard is configured; if it is connected to a USB 2.0 port inside of a laptop, for example, your results may vary. I can only vouch for the results I got using my NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti.

    The HDMI port comes from a DisplayPort uplink, rather than a direct HDMI port. So, it does work, but there appears to be a small mismatch in how video modes are negotiated between the two technologies. (I tested another USB-C to HDMI cable and it has the same issue, so I don't think it's the fault of the adapter.) In the NVIDIA control panel, connected to my 4K monitor, I do see a full 4K (3840x2160) signal, at 60Hz. The only 'gotcha' is that the color spaces available is RGB and YCbCr422, rather than the full 444. What this means in practice is that the display must support HDR over RGB, which my Acer 4K monitor does, but many 4K televisions do not. So, full pixel color info + HDR support is technically present, but is dependent on what the display can support. (For those not aware, anything less than RGB or YCbCr444 will result in color distortions for some image types, especially on things like text over a PC input.)

    I am very pleased with the Accell USB-C VR Adapter. This is now a permanent fixture on my desktop computer, unless I get a new VR headset with a VirtuaLink connection. Until then, I look forward to many more years of increased convenience via this handy connector box.

  • Aukey USB C Hub Adapter

    Hardware Info:

    Aukey USB C Hub Adapter
    Manufacturer: Aukey
    Release date: June 3, 2020
    1 USB C Thunderbolt 3 power delivery charging port
    2 USB 3.0 data ports
    HDMI 1.4 – 4K at 30Hz
    10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
    Price: $28.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Aukey for sending us this product to review!

    Like many families, our kids are remote learning using school-provided Chromebooks. Unfortunately, it has not been easy despite our family being very IT savvy. We have had to replace multiple Chromebooks due to internet connectivity and hardware issues. Our school district Chromebooks do not have Ethernet ports and when the wi-fi is not connecting properly, attending and learning anything online is shot. Unless you have an Aukey USB C Hub Adapter.

    While exchanging e-mails/tech support tickets with the schools we were able to get our kids back online via Ethernet with a USB hub. Without a USB hub, my kids would have been offline for several days! The gigabit Ethernet alone is a lifesaver, but there’s more! Other than using USB C for charging cellphones, those ports are mostly vacant. I can never have enough USB 3.0 ports though. This hub allows you to add two more USB 3.0 ports. Some laptops these days don’t come with any traditional USB ports at all! This USB hub comes in handy for my work laptop, which uses its only two ports for an external keyboard and mouse. By using this hub, I can now use my USB headphones that I find more comfortable than wireless Bluetooth earbuds.


    Strong Points: Durable and low-heat design; 2 year warranty
    Weak Points: HDMI 1.4 was implemented instead of 2.0

    If you use this hub with a MacBook, the 100W PD pass-through charging port will keep it fully charged. The USB-C can’t output video to an external display. You cannot use this device as a replacement dock for the Nintendo Switch! If you’re looking for a USB C Switch dock, I recommend this one (https://amzn.to/3bI5UQM). The other two USB ports support up to 5V 1.5A output for charging/using peripherals.

    The HDMI 1.4 port can output video up to 4K resolution at 30Hz. This is a great and inexpensive way to add a second or third monitor to your laptop or extend your cell phone display to a bigger monitor. It’s a shame that the newer HDMI standard was not implemented. 4K at 60Hz would have been nice!

    Aukey USB C Hub Adapter

    Everything else about this hub’s design is rock solid though. The sandblasted aluminum alloy finish dissipates heat and adds a higher quality feel than plastic hubs. This hub is designed to not get hotter than 111°F.

    Should any issues arise, this device is covered by a 2-year warranty. It’s compatible with all modern phones, laptops, and desktops. If you’re looking for more USB connections, extended display, or a reliable Ethernet connection, look no further than the Aukey USB C Hub Adapter. At less than $30 it’s reasonably priced and worth every penny if your kid’s education is at stake!

  • BOMT Solar Charger Power Bank 26800mAh


    Hardware Info:

    BOMT Solar Charger Power Bank 26800mAh
    Model HX160S4
    26800mAh Capacity
    2x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
    1x USB Type-C port (charging the bank only; max 2.1A input)
    1x USB Micro port (charging the bank only; max 2.1A input)
    4 LED charge status lights
    Solar charging panel
    Supports 5V output only
    One port at 5V 1A, the other supports 5V 2.1A
    MSRP: $23.95 (currently cheaper with coupon)
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you BOMT for sending us this Solar Charger Power Bank to review!

    I never really thought I needed a battery pack until I was traveling for work and my phone and various other devices kept dying whenever I needed them most. Since then, I've carried around a battery pack whenever I expect to be gone for more than half of a day, or I bring enough USB powered things with me. As long as you keep your expectations in check, this one can certainly come in handy.

    The main devices I charged with this power bank are my phone, which has a massive 5000mAh battery (the LG V60), and my Nintendo Switch. I tried other devices that require higher than 5V input, like my GPD Win 2, but it wouldn't charge it at all. The same with my new GPD Win Max - it doesn't recognize that it's plugged in, as far as charging goes, because it requires USB-C PD charging at I believe 15V, which this power bank can't supply.

    When I first got it, I went to charge it to full. It says in the manual to not rely on solar charging for the first full charge, so that's what I did - I plugged it into a normal power adapter. It took longer than I expected to charge; I ended up plugging it in overnight.


    Strong Points: Good battery capacity; looks nice; light; solar panel is a nice gimmick; charges the Nintendo Switch and most cellphones; great price
    Weak Points: Only supports 5V; plastics are a bit cheap, but expected for the price point; solar panels could easily take a week to charge this battery up; USB-C port is for charging the power bank only, and can't be used to connect devices to it

    In the morning, I plugged my phone into the USB-C port just to test - and sure enough, my phone was charging the power bank. With that out of the way, I plug in my phone, which was at around 30%, and a few minutes later, I plug in my Nintendo Switch into the other port, which was at this point completely dead. I plugged them in at around 7:40am.

    By noon, my phone was completely charged, and the Switch was at 93%. It was completely charged by around 12:30; I unplugged my phone at noon, and left the Switch plugged in so it could be topped off. At this point, the battery pack shows two lights out of four, which means it's between 25% and 50% full. I'm unsure if that is really indicative of a 26800mAh battery, but it's certainly enough juice to be useful nonetheless.

    Just for kicks, I plug this power bank into my other one that can charge PD devices (like my GPD Win 2), and it does charge it for a bit - but also very quickly drains the battery to under 25% full, which means there's only a single LED light out of four at this point. It's then that I decide to test out solar charging.

    That same day, I begin the solar adventures (keep in mind this is in the height of summer, mid August) to see how charging outside works. After all, it's a prominent feature, and can certainly come in handy. So, I set it outside far from any shade; if it's not in direct sunlight at any point in the day, it's only because clouds got in the way. So I set it outside at 12:40pm and left it out until sundown. I checked on it several times throughout the day, and it was always blinking like it was charging, but only at one light after sitting out all afternoon.

    BOMT Solar Charger Power Bank 26800mAh

    The second day, I brought it out at 9:45am, brought it in at 10:30 (it looked like it might rain), and after the clouds blew over, brought it out again at 11:11am. It looked like possible rain was coming that afternoon, so I brought it in again at 3:49pm - and it was up to two dots. Nice! But that was it for this day.

    The next (third, depending on how you count) day I brought it out as early as I could - at 7:44am, and left it out until sundown, at 7:20pm. Unfortunately, this was not enough to change it from anything past those two dots. The next (fourth) day, I brought it out again - this time at 6:48am. I brought it back in at 5:10pm, and it was still only two dots. Basically two nearly full days of sun, and it did not charge the power bank even a full 25%. At this point, I just decided that enough was enough, and plugged it back in to charge it up more quickly.

    So, is the solar panel anything more than a gimmick? Well, I guess it depends on what you expect out of it. If you think you could live on the land with just your phone, the sun, and a power bank, this isn't the one to get. But if you just need something to top your stuff off for a couple of days, that little bit that the solar panels can chip in could certainly help, but just be sure to keep your expectations in check.

    Overall, I would say that this power bank does a decent job of charging whatever devices I tested that support 5V charging. Given the price point and feature set, it's a fine power bank, especially at the price.

  • Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case - White


    Hardware Info:

    Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case 
    Dimensions: 520mm x 245mm x 520mm
    Maximum GPU Length: 420mm
    Maximum PSU Length: 225mm
    Maximum CPU Cooler Height: 170mm
    Case Expansion Slots: 7 Horizontal + 2 Vertical
    Case Drive Bays: 2x 3.5", 4x 2.5"
    Radiator Compatibility: 120mm, 140mm, 240mm, 280mm, 360mm
    Case Material: Steel, Tempered Glass, Plastic
    Weight: 30.51 lbs
    Form Factor: Mid-Tower
    Warranty: Two Years
    Color(s): Black, White (White reviewed)
    MSRP: $149.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Corsair for sending us this case to review!

    When I actually think back on it, I've been building PCs for an extremely long time - over twenty-five years! That's longer than many of our readers have been alive. In that time, I've worked with easily dozens of different types of PC cases - especially since I worked as a full-time PC tech for several years. (Nowadays, when I'm not trying to spread the Gospel through this outreach for gamers, I work on servers for my day job.) Over the last decade, we've finally seen the elimination of the 5.25" optical drive bay, and with that, some significant innovations, especially in the area of airflow. Today we take a look at Corsair's latest case, the 5000D AIRFLOW.

    The 5000 series comes in three styles: the base 5000D with solid panels, the 5000D AIRFLOW with airflow-optimized panels, and their flagship iCUE 5000X RGB, which is glass on all sides with included RGB fans for showing off the parts inside from any angle. We were sent the 5000D AIRFLOW in white, which my daughter happily used to upgrade her PC from a basic case to something much more modern.

    This case is really meant for gamers who desire a no-compromise build for maximum performance. As such, this thing is absolutely loaded with fan locations – it can easily support up to ten 120mm fans. Based on a closer look, it appears that up to six of the fan slots could also hold a 140mm fan, if you truly want to max it out. There are three slots up front, three on top, one in the back, and the truly wild three on the side – it’s positioned up front to the right, which is the side rarely used for much. It’s an aggressive design, and one that hardcore watercooling enthusiasts will love, since you can put an insane 3x 360mm radiators in there – and even a single additional 120mm, because why not. There is also plenty of room for pumps, reservoirs, or anything else for a maximum performance build. Not to mention today’s largest graphics cards can fit with ease.

    All of this space for performance-enhancing heat dissipation comes at a cost – this case is a big one. It’s certainly one of the larger cases I’ve seen recently, especially since it doesn’t have a single 5.25” drive bay! It does offer 2x 3.25” bays, and four 2.5” drives – which should be more than enough for most modern builds, since mechanical spinners are on their way out. On top of that, the latest drives use the M.2 form factor – which doesn’t require a drive bay at all. Regardless, at 520mm x 245mm x 520mm, be sure to set aside a fair amount of desk/floor space for this guy.


    Strong Points: Looks great; appears to offer excellent airflow (not tested); holds a lot; brilliant design in many ways; mostly tool-less; everything can be disassembled for serious customization; cable management is top notch; comes with two high-quality fans

    Weak Points: 3.5" hard drive cage access could be better with larger power supplies; power supply bay is not removable; only comes with 2 fans; quite large for a mid tower

    One of the biggest indicators of quality for computer cases, outside of the design, is the feel and materials chosen. Does it have any sharp edges? Does it feel cheap, or is it made with high-quality materials? Thankfully, this case is excellent in all regards. One of the things I’ll never forget is when I had to use a screwdriver to pop out a drive bay cover on a case I was working on for my day job at the time. This inexpensive case had plenty of sharp edges, but if you were careful, it wasn’t a problem. But what if you weren’t? Then it was three stitches and a workman’s comp claim. You can guess how I know this. :) This latest Corsair feels great to work on, and I never felt any concern or danger while working on it.

    In many ways, working on this case is almost like playing with Legos. For one thing, almost everything is tool-less - I still needed a Phillips screwdriver on occasion, as some parts do need that to remove, but often it was just because I needed a bit more torque on a combo Phillips/thumbscrew component. From what I can tell, you need tools to install a motherboard, install a power supply (PSU), mount a 2.5" drive to a tray, add/remove a fan, add/remove the side fan bracket or cable guides... and not much more. The rest use thumbscrews.

    Opening and closing the sides use really nice thumb screws - they stay in the door, so you can't lose them. The same fancy thumbscrews are used to mount the 2.5" drive/SSD trays. The 3.5" hard drives are pressure mounted into the rail tray, and don't need tools. You can move the 3.5" hard drive case with a couple of thumbscrews. Installing cards in the PCIe slots use the same kind of thumbscrews, so they only need a screwdriver if they are too tight. The same can be said for the front fan tray - you can remove the entire set of three fans and mount radiators or whatever else you need very easily.

    If that wasn't enough, there are four sets of dust filters, three of which can be easily accessed without even a thumbscrew in the way. For the rear, you just pull it back, and wipe it down. For the top, you just pull up on the pressure-fitted tray, and then remove the magnetically-attached air filter. (This is extremely cool in practice.) For the main front intake, it's also tool-less; you just pull off the pressure-fitted tray, then pull out the filter with a little lever, then put it back in. It's really, really simple. The final one requires taking off the door on the right side to get to, which is two thumbscrews away.

    Speaking of the right side, one of the neatest innovations I've seen is what I call the 'fridge door' hidden back there. For most PC cases, the rear side is where you hide all of the wires - it ain't pretty, and that's just the way it is. But with this case, there is a solid door with a hole in it that magnetically closes hiding all of your wiring! Then, the case's side panel goes over that, practically guaranteeing an easy open/close now and into the future. If that wasn't enough, there are cable guides, and embedded velcro straps to make cable management as simple as possible. They also include an additional dozen branded velcro straps in the box. If you want the cleanest build possible - especially with the motherboard-side cable guides - you cannot possibly get a better case than this.

    Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case - White

    Given such effusive praise, what about downsides? Well first of all, it's a large case. That we can't avoid. I also wish it included RGB fans rather than simple black ones (or at least fans that match the white) but that's a nitpick price point issue; I'm pretty sure the more expensive 5000X does indeed include RGB fans. You can always add them later anyway. Also, after everything was mounted and installed, we had to swap out the power supply. The one I installed was a bit larger than the original, and this meant that we had to not only line up the PSU with the back plate (I've worked with cases that make PSU swapping easier, as they had a removable tray), but we also had to move the HDD cage. In order to move this, we ended up having to remove the entire cable management shroud, and even the side fan panel, in order to get in there. Also, pulling drives out or putting new ones in, if the drive cage is not in the closest to the back original position, basically requires you to take the tray out, twist it, then slide/remove as needed. It is far from fun, and a small blemish on a case where it seemed like they thought of everything else.

    One other thing to point out is that this case is not specifically designed for noise suppression; it instead takes the 'brute force' approach. In other words, fans won't spin up to high RPMs if the temperatures are low and there is plenty of airflow. We did not notice any temperature or noise issues while we had it, but my daughter's computer is no longer considered high-end, either. (She's running my old i7 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and an RX 480. Her CPU cooler is a push/pull Hyper 212.) I have no reason to believe that the configuration and layout on offer could not support components that generate a lot of heat well, but if they make a lot of noise, I don't expect the case to silence it much.

    Once everything was all together, my daughter and I were beyond pleased with how wonderful her PC looks now. The white contrast with the black motherboard and fans is quite striking, and I must say I'm a fan. The cable management system is superb, and one of the best I've ever seen. Not only do they have the more common back panel for routing wires, but the rear door, the cable hiding tray, and other parts really add up to a wonderfully clean build. And with nothing in the way, airflow and temperatures should almost certainly never be an issue. My wife found some classic 10+ year old compact cathode fluorescent lights (CCFLs) that are ultraviolet in color, and together with the white case, simply looks awesome. We were able to easily hide the ballast and power connectors behind the shroud, and we connected the on/off switch to one of the two vertical PCIe slots. It looks so great! I even did some rigging to hold the tubes in place, using white zip ties along with some white nylon standoffs. With it all together, it looks simply stunning.

    The Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX Case in White is such a well-designed case, and my daughter is so proud of it that she even posted it on Reddit here.

    While there is always room for improvement, this case brings a huge smile to my daughter's face every time she turns on her PC. I don't know how much bigger of a compliment I can give it. Thank you again, Corsair, for sending us this case to review!

  • Doryum 1080P HD Webcam


    Hardware Info:

    Doryum 1080P HD Webcam

    1080P CMOS Sensor
    Supports 30 Frames Per Second
    Supports Automatic White Balancing
    USB 2.0 connection, 5.5ft long
    Support Windows, macOS, Linux

    Included in package:
    Instruction manual

    MSRP: $49.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Doryum for sending us this product to review!

    In the year of our Lord, 2020, we have found that going places is severely hampered. As a result, we get to rely on technological advances like webcams in order to pick up the slack of not being able to meet people in person. Thankfully, we have companies like this one making cameras available at lower prices to help out with these new challenges.

    The Doryum 1080P HD Webcam is in many ways bare-bones. It has a lens which is fixed in place, and a small hole for the microphone. The physical camera honestly doesn't look that great, but it has a top of monitor hook that holds it in place well enough. I just would choose a smaller model for travel, if your laptop doesn't already have one built in. It also has what seems to be a standard 5.5 foot long cable to connect it to your PC's USB 2.0 port.


    Strong Points: Video is reasonably clear and has a steady frame rate; microphone does the job; very wide angle lens (this is a positive and negative)
    Weak Points: Color balance is quite cold, so you look a bit flush compared to some webcams that use warmer hues; microphone picks up quite a bit of background noise; basically unsuitable for game streaming because the camera's super wide angle lens; quite large

    It seems to use the very common Realtek chipset, which means that is works with pretty much everything. Windows, Mac, and Linux all work great. It's supposed to support ChromeOS, which I don't doubt since it's basically Linux under the hood.

    The picture quality at 1080P is more than acceptable, though not remarkable in any way. The colors are a bit on the cold side, which is to say they tint a bit blue using the out of the box auto white balance in my room. If your video software allows a manual white balance override, you can get more natural colors out of it, but that's not easily accessible for most web meeting programs. The auto brightness and color balance does work well if you're not looking for cinema quality video, though, as it works well in all lighting conditions I tested it in, as having the lights on or off both offer a usable picture. It does not appear to support any kind of zoom, which was a dealbreaker for one of my use cases.

    The reason zoom matters is because the lens is quite fish-eyed, which has the advantage of easily picking up anyone in a room if you are trying to do video calls with your entire family. The downside is that it's not really suitable for things like game streaming, as no matter where I positioned my green screen, I was unable to get it to cover the entire field of view of this super wide angle lens sitting on top of my monitor. I ended up borrowing another camera from my wife for that game stream.

    Doryum 1080P HD Webcam

    The microphone is serviceable, but nothing special. It picks up a lot of background noise, and I believe it might contribute some noise of its own, also. But I was able to clearly understand my own voice when I did a quick test recording in my office.

    Overall, the Doryum 1080P HD Webcam does the job if you are looking for a camera for video calls. My coworkers could see me much more clearly than on my previous, older camera. I would not recommend it for gamers looking to add their face to their Twitch streams, as it's likely to pick up way too much of their (perhaps messy) room.

  • Dragon Touch S1 15.6” Portable Monitor


    Hardware Info:

    Dragon Touch S1 15.6” Portable Monitor
    Manufacturer: Dragon Touch
    1920 x 1080 Resolution
    IPS Panel
    Color Temperature 9300K
    Contrast ratio 700:1
    Color Gamut 45% sRGB
    Refresh rate: 60Hz
    Brightness 270cd/m2
    Weight: 1.47 pounds
    10.5mm thin
    Mini HDMI port, USB-C ports and Micro-USB port
    Price: $149.99 on Amazon after a $20 off coupon
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Dragon Touch for sending us this portable monitor to review!

    There are lots of portable gaming devices out there. The mobile gaming industry is huge and the Nintendo Switch is quite popular as well. One of the biggest problems with portable gaming is the screen limitation. The Dragon Touch S1 can convert many tiny screens to 15.6” with little effort. If your device has a USB-C or HDMI connection, chances are it will connect just fine. It’s worth noting that the Switch Lite does not support external displays of any kind. This portable monitor can also be used as a secondary (or more!) display.

    Don’t let the manufacturer’s name confuse you, the Dragon Touch S1 is not a touch screen monitor. The included case serves as a stand to keep the screen in an upright position for easy viewing. The cover is installed by securing it into the monitor with the two included thumbscrews. All of the necessary USB and HDMI cables and converters are included as well.

    There are only three buttons on this monitor. A menu button, a plus button, and a minus button. The unit turns on when it has a USB cable in it. Some devices are powerful enough to drive it with one USB-C cable, but most of our test scenarios required a dedicated power cable. To reduce flickering, we found that this monitor works best with the USB-C cable providing power on the bottom plug. You can also use a micro-USB plug for a similar purpose.


    Strong Points: Nice cover; portable; works on many devices with little effort; lots of connection options and the necessary cables are included; the built-in 1 Watt speakers sound great; 2 year warranty; 1 year screen replacement
    Weak Points: Menu is difficult to navigate; the colors are washed out

    The menu has a lot of options including the ability to rotate the screen orientation and to change the aspect ratio. There are also various color mode options including a setting for gaming, movies, and vivid colors. The vivid mode does make the colors stand out a bit more with the side effect of some colors merging and blending into each other. The biggest downfall of this portable monitor is that no matter what setting you use, the colors are washed out. Like other IPS panels, the viewing angles are good, but the colors have poor saturation and terrible black levels. Most IPS screens I have used are vibrant, but this one is anything but. I’m happy to report that the screen is visible when outdoors, so that’s a plus. Another positive is that I did not notice any ghosting, so the gameplay is smooth using this monitor.

    I am impressed by the built-in 1 Watt speakers. The volume can be adjusted with the buttons, but we had it maxed out for our testing. The sounds are crisp and clear without any crackling or noticeable distortion.

    We have tested this gaming monitor with an Android phone, multiple PCs, a Macbook Pro, PS4, Switch, and an Xbox One. The only device that did not work right away when plugged in was our PS4. We had to disable the HDCP setting in the system menu and after that was done, the monitor worked as intended.

    I did not notice any dead pixels, so that’s good, but I couldn’t find anything about Dragon Touch’s dead pixel policy. However, this device carries a two-year warranty if you register it on Dragon Touch’s website. Another advantage to registering your device is that you’ll also get a 1-year screen replacement coverage if it accidentally gets cracked or damaged.

    The asking price on Amazon is $169.99 and that comes down to $149.99 if you apply the $20 off coupon. The pricing is on par with other similarly sized devices. Since none of them are rated at 5 stars, I’m curious how they compare color-wise. If it wasn’t for the washed out colors, I would give this monitor five stars. With that said, it does work well and sounds great.

    Enter our giveaway for this monitor here!

  • ECHOGEAR Dual Screen Monitor Mount for Gaming


    Hardware Info:

    ECHOGEAR Dual Screen Monitor Mount for Gaming
    Model: ECHO-GM2FC
    Developed by: ECHOGEAR
    Release date: February 7, 2018
    Price: $119.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you ECHOGEAR for sending us a review sample!

    While my husband has had a dual monitor mount for quite some time and loves it, I never got around to setting one up until now. Learn from my failure and make sure that both of your monitors have VESA mounts before proceeding. The ECHOGEAR Dual Screen Monitor Mount for Gaming supports VESA patterns 75x75 and 100x100. If your monitors have those, the installation can take as little as fifteen minutes. With the crafty hack job my husband did, we still got this installed in one night despite one of my monitors lacking a VESA mount.

    The assembly process is pretty straightforward and the instruction manual is gamer-friendly and quite entertaining to read. It refers to the assembly process as a quest and calls the hex key tools bonus loot. If you get stuck during your quest, you can call ECHOGEAR 7 days a week. Even if you just want someone to chat with, according to the manual. Though their products come from China, the customer support is based in the United States.


    Strong Points: Gamer-friendly instruction manual; easy installation; durable design that’s not shaky; monitors stay put; ability to hide the cables and cords
    Weak Points:  In order to  tighten the monitor tilt/angle, you have to remove the monitor from the device

    The hardware is high quality, solid metal, and there is nothing chintzy about it. The monitor arms are gas spring adjusted and can hold 20lb displays on each one. While adjusting the monitor height and distance is easily done, changing the monitor tilt/positioning if loose requires removing the monitor from the bracket to fix it. My other complaint is that the 100x100 mount has open hooks on one side, which turned out to be a bit of a hassle, as 4 closed mounting holes would have probably been easier.

    To stabilize the monitors, the base needs to clamp to your desk and requires its thickness to be .5”-3.5”. Make sure your display and power cables are long enough for their new positions. The design has crevices to tuck them away neatly. Unfortunately, my cables had just enough slack to reach the monitors and not enough to tuck them away properly.

    ECHOGEAR Dual Screen Monitor Mount for Gaming
    With this Dual Screen Monitor Mount, you can have your screens be vertical, horizontal, or a combination of both. Out of habit, I have mine set up as both horizontal. The finished setup looks great and my desk has so much more free space as a result. I’ll have to adjust to my new corner configuration and keyboard placement, but that’s a minor setback considering the advantages of this new arrangement.

    Hopefully, it won’t ever be needed, but ECHOGEAR backs their products by a five-year warranty. The asking price is reasonable at less than $120 and you can get a 10% off coupon code if you order it through ECHOGEAR’s website. If I ever get a third monitor, I’ll be sure to check out their $99 Triple Desk Mount system.
    ECHOGEAR Dual Screen Monitor Mount for Gaming


  • Ematic Protective Carrying Case for Nintendo Switch


    Hardware Info:

    Ematic Protective Carrying Case for Nintendo Switch
    Red and black two-tone carrying case, with eight cartridge slots and a large pouch up top
    Wrist Strap
    Screen Protector
    Microfiber Cloth
    MSRP: $13.71 
    (Walmart Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Ematic for sending us this case to review!

    We are a multi-Switch household, and purchased our first one on launch week. At the time, we got the very sweet-looking Breath of the Wild officially-licensed carrying case, and it has served us well. The main problem I have with it is that it uses space rather inefficiently; there is a lot of wasted room near where the cartridge holders are, and only a small pouch to hold your extra things. So, you can carry up to eight games, two extra Joy-Cons, four Joy-Con grips, and that's pretty much it. If you want to bring along a power adapter, or pretty much anything else, you'll be needing another bag. So, when we had the chance to review this case, I took the chance, because as nice as the Zelda case is, there are some things I wish it could carry.

    Once it arrived, I opened it up and saw a decent-looking red and black case within. I also noticed the screen protector and microfiber cloth, which are a nice touch, though I don't need those now. (I may if my glass screen protector cracks any more.) The case is made of EVA foam covered in some kind of nylon-like material, and is both soft to the touch and difficult to bend or crush. I would say my Nintendo Switch should feel very safe inside (if it had emotions).

    Ematic Protective Carrying Case for Nintendo Switch

    Strong Points: Very competitive price; strong material; logical use of space; holds much more than it appears; screen protector a nice bonus
    Weak Points: Looks very basic; top pouch could be more secure; wrist strap is really cheap and not very secure

    It's also impossible not to notice the huge bumps on the bottom, where the Joy-Con triggers go. They do make the case oddly unsymmetrical, but it is for a practical reason, since it allows the rest of the case to be slimmer, while still leaving plenty of space for accessories. And, if you don't mind stuffing it really full, lots of accessories.

    The screen-protecting cartridge holder goes in between the bottom part with the trigger bumps, and the top section where you can store all kinds of stuff. You could store several pairs of Joy-Cons, perhaps, but what I do is store one pair there, along the edges, and then pack the middle with all kinds of goodies. I have four sets of Joy-Con grips, the ZMI USB-C charger, and a USB-C dock that I have confirmed with experience works as a TV connection along with the ZMI power adapter. It's a really tight fit, and the black side of the case has a bit of a bulge, but it does fit everything, safely. All I need to do now is figure out how to fit an HDMI cable, and we can have a fully portable Switch ready for ARMS and Smash on almost any TV without having to carry bulky Switch docks and power supplies.

    Ematic Protective Carrying Case for Nintendo Switch

    The downsides that I see, other than being stuffed to the brim, are two: first, the top pouch, the one holding everything, is not sealed in any way. It is really easy to lose stuff if you tip it upside-down. The other issue is that the wrist strap is kind of cheap; it works, but it's nowhere near as snug and comforting for your things at the nice handle the official Nintendo case has. With that said, it's also much cheaper.

    The Ematic Protective Carrying Case for Nintendo Switch is a great little case that is both inexpensive and very functional. I can fit a ton of my stuff in there, and it protects my things without costing an arm and a leg. I'll probably be using it moving forward, despite the downsides. If that isn't enough praise, then I'm not sure what else there could be.

  • Ematic Wired N-Switch Controller (Switch)


    Hardware Info:

    Ematic Wired N-Switch Controller
    Red and black two-tone controller
    Turbo button
    Dual rumble motors
    7.2 foot (~2.2 meters) cord
    PC Compatible (via Steam's Nintendo Switch controller support)
    MSRP: $19.99
    (Walmart Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Ematic for sending us this controller to review!

    We are a multi-Switch household, and have lots of gaming PCs everywhere, so you can really never have enough controllers. We have enough so a small army could come by and enjoy some multiplayer mayhem together. However, the vast majority of those are for PC/Xbox or PlayStation consoles; on Switch, we have three sets of Joy-Cons (one for each Switch, and one extra) and one Pro Controller. We also have the Wii U GameCube controller adapter, which works great for Smash, but not for every game. So there is always a need for a good backup controller for adults or those who dislike tiny buttons.

    Ematic Wired N-Switch Controller

    Strong Points: Very competitive price; seems durable; comfortable to hold; more logically-placed home button than Nintendo chose; PC compatible (if you enable Nintendo Switch controller support in Steam); if you prefer the PlayStation button layout, this is a controller for you
    Weak Points: No gyro support; no amiibo support; looks very basic; D-pad requires more force to press than most controllers; buttons feel kind of cheap, but work fine; RT and LT buttons have a long throw, but only activate when fully depressed; 7.2 feet (~2.2 meters) is a decent length, but really could be longer

    Enter Ematic. For the very reasonable price of $19.99, you can order this most basic of Switch Pro Controller clones that does most of what you expect it to do. The sticks feel nice and work well, and use the PlayStation layout, with the D-pad in the upper left position, and the two analog sticks centered. The buttons and triggers are decent as well, though require just a tad more force than you might otherwise expect. It's not terrible, though. The triggers feel good, but are not analog (which is as expected for a Switch controller), even though the triggers have a significant range of motion, similar to Xbox or PlayStation controllers that do have analog triggers. The D-pad feels kind of cheap, but works well enough. My main complaint is that it requires more force than some controllers to activate, though to be fair, you could say the same about the Switch Pro Controller.

    Other than being wireless, the Switch Pro Controller does have some significant advantages over this, though. For one thing, it has an amiibo reader. (Okay, that's a joke. It doesn't have an amiibo reader, but that's not a big deal.) The bigger deal is motion controls. While most games work just fine without it, most first-party titles have some form of motion controls. Mario and Zelda come to mind. For other games, like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, motion controls don't matter. The Ematic controller lacks the gyro/motion control function entirely. It's a real shame, and you really miss it in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    Ematic Wired N-Switch Controller

    Other than the motion control issue, the Ematic controller does the job.  It certainly feels cheaper than the stock controller, but nowhere near as bad as some of my older third-party controllers, like the Rock Candy PS3 controllers I picked up several years ago; those things feel like one drop away from cracking open, while this one has a fairly sturdy shell, and seems like it could take a few licks.  Overall, while the lack of motion control is disappointing, and the cord could use a few more feet, it is a very good value for the price.  If you are looking for an inexpensive controller for young kids or guest players, you can't go wrong with this Ematic Wired N-Switch Controller.

  • Ematic Wireless N-Switch Controller


    Hardware Info:

    Ematic Wireless N-Switch Controller
    Red and black two-tone controller
    Approximately 7 feet long USB-C charging cable included
    Turbo button
    Dual rumble motors
    Gyro motion supported
    Bluetooth Connection
    32 feet (9.75 meters) wireless range
    20 hour battery life, with 2 hour charge time
    PC Compatible (via Steam's Nintendo Switch controller support)
    MSRP: $27.99
    (Walmart Affiliate Link)


    Thank you Ematic for sending us this controller to review!

    We are a multi-Switch household, and have lots of gaming PCs everywhere, so you can really never have enough controllers. However, most of them are for other consoles - our Switch-compatible list is much smaller, though growing, thanks in part to our review of Ematic's wired controller. And with Smash supporting up to eight players, and many with larger hands having a strong dislike for Joy-Cons, the more the merrier. So there is always a need for a good backup controller for adults or those who dislike tiny buttons.

    Enter Ematic. For the very reasonable price of $27.99, you can order this almost feature-complete Switch Pro Controller clone that does most of what you expect it to do. The sticks feel nice and work well, and use the PlayStation layout, with the D-pad in the upper left position, and the two analog sticks centered. The buttons and triggers are decent as well, though require just a tad more force than you might otherwise expect. It's not terrible, though. The triggers feel good, but are not analog (which is as expected for a Switch controller), even though the triggers have a significant range of motion, similar to Xbox or PlayStation controllers that do have analog triggers. The D-pad feels kind of cheap, but works well enough. On the wired controller, which looks basically identical to this (except it has a wire), the D-pad was really hard to press. Thankfully, this one is much better, though there is no way to know if it's because of luck and production tolerances, or if it's because this model is made a bit better. Either way, this one is quite nice.

    Ematic Wireless N-Switch Controller

    Strong Points: Very competitive price; seems durable; comfortable to hold; more logically-placed home button than Nintendo chose; PC compatible (if you enable Nintendo Switch controller support in Steam); if you prefer the PlayStation button layout, this is a controller for you; D-pad seems better than the wired version I reviewed (it could also be my sample)
    Weak Points: No amiibo support; looks very basic; while the D-pad on my sample is better than the wired one I reviewed, it could also be production variances; buttons feel kind of cheap, but work fine; RT and LT buttons have a long throw, but only activate when fully depressed


    I tested this as a PC controller, and it works well if you connect via Bluetooth, and tell Steam to configure it as a Switch Pro Controller. Steam's Pro Controller support only works for Xinput games, which is the vast majority of modern ones. But if a game only supports DirectInput, which is the much older standard, then don't expect much from this, as it doesn't report inputs to Windows' built-in USB controller tester. On Steam, both rumble and motion controls work as expected, which is really great.

    The Switch Pro Controller does have one advantage over this: it has an amiibo reader. Other than that, it's mostly a difference in layout and perceived quality. The layout is more a preference issue rather than an advantage. The Pro Controller has first-party status, which is great, but is it worth the extra cost? While I haven't tested the Ematic on every game I own, it did work pretty well on Zelda, which is a game that relies on motion controls quite a bit for aiming the bow. Otherwise it seems to work well enough.

    The Ematic Wireless N-Switch Controller is a quite decent Pro Controller alternative. It feels a bit cheaper than the stock controller, but nowhere near as bad as some of my older third-party controllers, like the Rock Candy PS3 controllers I picked up several years ago; those things feel like one drop away from cracking open, while this one has a fairly sturdy shell, and seems like it could take a few licks. Overall, it feels good, works great, and has motion control, which is very important for some games. The signal range was also great in my testing. It is a very good value for the price. If you are looking for an inexpensive controller alternative to the pricey official Pro Controller, and you like the PlayStation-style layout, then you can't go wrong with this Ematic Wireless N-Switch Controller.

    Ematic Wireless N-Switch Controller


  • EMTEC SpeedIN' X600 USB 3.0 Portable External 1.8” SSD

    Game Info:

    SpeedIN’ USB 3.0 X600 256GB SSD
    Developed by: EMTEC
    Read Speed: Up to 320 MB/sec
    Write Speed: Up to 100MB/sec
    USB 3.0
    Price: $144.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you EMTEC for sending us this USB SSD Drive to review!

    We recently had the good fortune to review EMTEC's fantastic SpeedIN' S600, which is by far the fastest USB flash drive we have ever seen, much less tested. Unfortunately, the prices on it have been going up as far as we can tell, and availability is hard to come by in the US.  (The situation seems different in Europe.)  Thankfully, this model, the X600, is available right now on Amazon for a much more reasonable price.  While the performance isn't quite up to the speed of the S600, it's still very good – and I suspect good enough for most use cases.

    To start with, I always evaluate a flash disk using CrystalDiskMark.  It seems to be a great way to baseline a drive's performance.  As you can see here, the sequential writes of close to 350MB/s is slightly over spec, while the write speed of close to 70MB/s is a fair bit under spec.

    EMTEC SpeedIN' X600 USB 3.0 Portable External 1.8” SSD

    Strong Points: Really fast read rate; write performance is acceptable; looks and feels very high quality; nice and slim
    Weak Points: Never been a fan of micro-USB 3.0 connectors; USB Type-C can't get here fast enough

    A utility I used quite a long time ago, and still pull up on occasion, is the venerable HD Tune 2.55.  It's the last version that was free, and it's still useful for read testing; write tests are not supported in the free version.  I use it for a few reasons: it shows drive consistency across available disk space, and it shows access times.  This here shows the one area that the X600 is faster than the S600 – the access time of 0.5ms is less than the S600's 0.7ms, and the burst rate is also higher at 63.3MB/s vs, 26.7MB/s.  Otherwise, the transfer rate seems to fluctuate between 200MB/s and 250MB/s, while the S600 is an almost perfectly flat line at 250MB/s.

    EMTEC SpeedIN' X600 USB 3.0 Portable External 1.8” SSD

    Next is the file transfer benchmarks.  Here, I simply copied a file from my desktop's SSD drive over to the USB drive.  Now, the picture kind of lies; it appears to be going over 300MB/s, but in reality, it quickly drops off to zero, climbs back up, then repeats.  I used a stopwatch to do the copy of an approximately 1GB file, and doing the math, I got a transfer rate of just short of 90MB/s.

    Then I copied it back to my other SSD (a different path) as a read test.  Again, it goes very fast, then tapers off.  The fast part is well over 300MB/s, and you can see that near the end it's 'only' 226MB/s.  Still plenty fast for most use cases, and way faster than virtually any non-SSD drive.

    EMTEC SpeedIN' X600 USB 3.0 Portable External 1.8” SSD

    The size and apparent durability and build quality of the X600 is quite excellent. It has a nice, premium feel, and feels like it can take a few drops and survive (not that I plan on testing that, nor should you).  I have always greatly disliked the long and skinny micro-USB 3.0 connector, and while I understand it's a necessary evil, I can't wait for USB Type-C connectors to become more commonplace on products like this.

    EMTEC's SpeedIN' X600 USB 3.0 Portable External 1.8” SSD is a very nice, fast external drive for a competitive price.  While I can't say I've scoped out all of the competition, what we do have here is a drive that performs much better than your typical USB key.  If you don't need the speed, then it absolutely makes sense to pay much less for a much slower drive.  You can get slower USB drives for about half of the price, but the read speeds are typically one half of the speed (or less).  If you are looking for an external drive fast enough to do more intensive work on, or even play games off of, then definitely take a good look at EMTEC's SpeedIN' series.  

  • EWin Calling Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows


    Hardware Info:

    EWin Calling Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows
    Made By: EWinRacing
    Price: $220 after shipping with coupon code

    Thank you EWinRacing for sending us this office chair to review!

    I’ve been using computers for more than twenty-five years and have gone through many office chairs in the process. In many cases, you get what you pay for. I’ve had multiple $40 office chairs that ripped or broke after several months of use. Cloth chairs seem to last longer but are not as breathable as mesh office chairs. Prior to receiving the EWin Calling Series CLBC2D gaming office chair, I was happily using a mesh chair with rollerblade-style wheels which were smoother and easier on our vinyl and carpeted flooring. While the included back and blue caster wheels look sharp on the EWin Calling Series chair, I opted to install a clear set of rollerblade-style wheels instead. Other than the wheels, there is little else I would change on it.

    Assembly is easy as most of the hard work is already done. If you have ever assembled an office chair, this one won’t be much different. The typical five-legged nylon base, gas lift, and hydraulic base are used. The chair’s steel frame is covered by the high-density memory foam and quality leather-like covering. The back and headrest pillows are adjustable and comfortable.

    All of the necessary tools are included along with a pair of gloves and some spare parts. The total assembly time for my husband and I was about 30 minutes. We did make one mistake by swapping out the hinge covers that connected the back of the chair to the seat. Discovering and correcting this error didn’t take us too long though.


    Strong Points: Very comfortable
    Weak Points: A little hard to rock in

    Once assembled, I was able to adjust the chair and arm rest height to my liking. The rocking ability is a bit stiff by default and we really had to loosen it quite a bit before I was able to rock the chair successfully. Reclining it is easily done though. The pillow positions can be changed and I like to raise the back pillow for better lumbar support.

    EWin’s chairs are specifically designed for certain weight and height parameters. The chair I received is made for gamers less than 6’3” and 330lbs. My 6’2” husband tried out the chair and felt that the shoulder area was too tight for him and would opt for the models that support people up to 6’7”. At a recent LAN party at our house, people my height and shorter found this chair very comfortable to sit in. My kids took a liking to it as well.

    EWin Calling Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows

    I’ve been using this chair for a couple of weeks and it’s held up pretty well so far and has been comfortable to use. Since my husband gave away my previous chair, I’m stuck with the EWin Calling Series chair which is not a bad thing. I look forward to many more weeks, months, and years of use. Each EWin chair is backed by a five-year warranty. The website prices are pretty reasonable and include shipping which is nice since our chair weighed in at 65lbs. FedEx left it on our driveway instead of bringing it to the door like other packages.

    If you’re in the market for comfortable office or PC gaming chairs, check out EWinRacing’s website. They often have a promotion that takes off a certain percentage off chairs for gaming with various coupon codes. If there are no sales happening, you can try our CCGR coupon code for 10% off.

    ewin banner

  • EWin Champion Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows


    Hardware Info:

    EWin Champion Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows
    Developed by: Ewin
    Release date: 2016
    Price: $299

    Thank you Ewin for sending us this gaming chair to review!

    We’ve been blessed with multiple chairs similar to the Vartan Gaming Chair to review and this is the second one sent our way from Ewin.  Until this review, I’ve been happily using their Calling Series Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows.  Their Champion Series has some improvements over the Calling Series including four directional armrests that can go sideways, forwards/backwards, as well and up and down.  The Calling Series only goes up and down.  The foam cushion is the same density and I didn’t realize how much my previous chair was broken in until sitting in the newer and firmer Champion Series chair.   

    After spending several hours playing and beating the final season of The Walking Dead using this chair, I can safely say that it’s very comfortable - especially for long gaming or working sessions.  There are many bold color options available which may not be office-friendly, but there is a solid black model that may be more professional-looking if you don’t want to advertise that you’re a gamer.  


    Strong Points: Comfortable ergonomic design; stain-resistant leather; metal frame
    Weak Points: Wheels did not match online picture and they did not move very well; instruction manual did not match this model chair

    Since the previous chair we reviewed was blue, I wanted to try the pink one this time around.  I was disappointed to find that the included 2” hub-less wheels were solid black and not pink-trimmed like the website depicted.  Another complaint about the wheels is that they didn’t spin very well.  Maybe some WD40 would loosen them up a bit, but I opted to install rollerblade-style wheels that work really well on hardwood floors without damaging them.

    Assembly was pretty easy and we managed to have the chair built and usable in less than thirty minutes.  The necessary tool (allen wrench) was provided along with a pair of gloves to keep your hands clean.  The instructions are pretty straightforward, but they must have been designed for a different model chair, as the illustrations for the side covers and (improved design) hydraulic lift didn’t match the ones provided. 

    EWin Champion Series Ergonomic Computer Gaming Office Chair with Pillows

    Other than the wheels, everything else seems high-quality and well-constructed. The frame is metal and carries a ten-year warranty. All of the other parts have a two-year warranty. The stain-resistant 2.0 PU leather looks and feels nice. The adjustable back range is 85-155 degrees, which can let you tilt back for a comfortable nap if needed. Rocking is also possible and easier to do in this model. Unlike some cheap office chairs we’ve bought in the past, the 5-star base is made from aluminum.

    The included neck and back pillows are optional, but are recommended for ergonomic support. If you’re in the market for a comfortable and affordable computer gaming or office chair, look no further than the EWin Champion Series. It’s available on their website and Amazon for $299. If you use coupon code ccgr on their website, it will take 30% off. Shipping is free too!


  • Fixture S1 Switch Pro Controller Grip and Carrying Case


    Game Info:

    Fixture S1 Switch Pro Controller Grip and Carrying Case 
    Developed by: Fixture Gaming
    Release date: May 21, 2021
    Price: $49.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Fixture Gaming for sending us a review sample!

    In November of 2019 Fixture Gaming successfully crowdfunded their S1 Controller Mount and carrying Case. Early adopters were able to snag the case alone for $19. Backers were also able to save a dollar by getting the two bundled together for $49.

    Fixture Gaming released the S1 Pro Controller clip in the fall of 2020. What this device does is clip the original Switch to the Nintendo Pro controller. It’s a pretty handy device that has an Amazon’s choice rating and nearly five-star reviews. After doing an unboxing of the Switch case, I was sent the S1 Switch Pro Controller Grip to check out. I'm happy to report that it's very nice and works well with the Nintendo Pro Controller and the third party JYSW controller. Unfortunately, the PDP Afterglow controller is not compatible with it. Another drawback worth noting is that this design makes the Switch/controller combo a bit top-heavy and may add strain to those suffering with carpal tunnel.


    Strong Points: Crevice for Nintendo Pro Controller that also works with third-party controllers
    Weak Points: Without the Fixture S1 device your switch will be flopping around in the case a bit, it’s still usable though; the Pro Controller grip is a little top-heavy 

    Since I didn't read the manual, I connected the Switch to the clip upside down. Thankfully, I was able to correct this mistake without hassle or damage to either device. The clip is well designed and sturdy. It also fits amazingly well in the case and secures the Switch so it doesn't slide around as it would without the device. In front of the zippered pocket is a holder for ten of your favorite Switch cartridges.

    The case is designed to house the controller clip, Switch, Pro Controller, and 10 games seamlessly. If you’re in the market for both the case and the clip mount, you can save $10 by purchasing them in a $49.99 bundle.

    The first thing I noticed about this case is that it’s less than 10” long. In order to fit a standard Switch in it, the Joy-cons have to be detached. A Switch Lite will fit in it though. The bottom has a placeholder for a Nintendo Pro Controller. I also successfully tested it with a PDP Afterglow Wireless Deluxe, and a JYSW Wireless Pro Switch Controller.

    The exterior of the case has two zippers with rubberized grips and a rubber handle cover. The case’s material has a rugged canvas feel and seems sturdy. Fixture Gaming’s logo is on top but it seems like that may rub off over time. Attached to one of the zippers is a tag indicating that the case was designed on Earth and Made in China. As far as I know, I don’t own anything not designed on Earth, but that would be pretty cool to have someday.

    If you’re looking for a compact case that can hold your Switch, charger, and a Pro controller, this one can do the job. It’s not ideal, but it does work. The OEM dock will not fit in this case but a portable RReaka one will. The $25 asking price is on par with other Switch cases that can hold Pro controllers and the OEM dock. If you have the clip mount already, you’ll definitely want this case.

  • Gamdias Hermes E1 Combo

    Hardware Info:

    Gamdias Hermes E1 Combo
    Developed by: Gamdias
    Release Date: December 2016
    Price: $79.99


    Thank you Gamdias for sending us these products to review!

    *Advertising disclosure* - Gamdias was a former advertising partner with us, and is currently not as of this review.  This review is not influenced by this relationship.

    Gaming can be expensive when it comes to having fast enough hardware to run the newest and best looking games out there.  Many gaming accessories are available that can help improve your in-game performance and response time.  Gaming mice often come in many speeds and pretty colors and can cost upwards of fifty dollars or more.  Durable yet responsive mousepads are not cheap either and usually start around twenty dollars.  While cheap keyboards can be bought for twenty dollars or less, mechanical keyboards are typically three, four, or even five times that amount.  Gamdias has created a budget bundle consisting of a mechanical keyboard, a gaming mouse, and a mousepad all for under eighty dollars.  I have seen it for less than fifty dollars on Newegg.

    Right off the bat, I wasn’t impressed with the mousepad.  It seemed like a run of the mill foam mousepad that typically sells for five dollars.  After being spoiled by the QcK mousepads, I was not going to downgrade.  I gave the mousepad to my daughter and she seems to like it though.  Unlike the mousepad, the gaming mouse and keyboard did impress me.  My only complaint about them is that you cannot customize their colors or patterns.



    Strong Points: Nice gaming bundle for one low price.
    Weak Points: No software or customization options.

    The Demeter E2 mouse has a braided USB cable and an optical sensor that can support up to 3200 DPI.  The mouse feels inexpensive based on the texture of the plastic used, but it feels durable and works well in operation. The lighting on it changes from blue to red in a breathing like pattern.  Although the mouse can be considered ambidextrous, there are two extra buttons on the left hand side of it making it more convenient for right-handed gamers. The scroll wheel is clickable and there is a DPI button to change the sensitivity.  Since there is no software for this mouse you can’t be sure of your exact DPI setting and the colors and pattern cannot be altered.  The DPI options are 1200/1600/2400/3200.  

    The mechanical keyboard can’t be tinkered with via software either.  The keys are illuminated in red and there are a couple of lighting patterns available.  There are some programmable keys and some neat options like switching out the WASD keys with the arrow keys.  There’s even a key lock option to prevent kids or cats from altering open Word documents.  If you enable the gaming mode, the windows key will not interrupt your game by launching the start menu if pressed. 

    Gamdias Hermes E1 Combo

    The construction of the keyboard is solid and I like the thin aluminum faceplate.  The blue switches were a little stiff at first but after a couple of weeks, they loosened up a bit.  Writing reviews with this keyboard has been comfortable and the snap on wrist strap is great for those who are concerned about ergonomic support.    

    Overall, this is a great mouse and keyboard combo for budget conscious gamers.  While the customization options are limited, the quality, comfort, and precision are there.  As I mentioned earlier the mouse pad isn’t anything fancy, but it’s better than nothing.  If you’re in the market for a mechanical keyboard and a decent mouse, this is a good deal at $79, but a steal for under $50.

  • Gamdias Hermes P2 RGB Optical Mechanical Switch Gaming Keyboard

    Hardware Info:

    Gamdias Hermes P2 RGB Optical Mechanical Switch Gaming Keyboard
    Developed by: Gamdias
    Release date: May 12, 2017
    Price: $149.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Gamdias for sending us this keyboard to review!

    *Advertising disclosure* - Gamdias was a former advertising partner with us, and is currently not as of this review. This review is not influenced by this relationship.

    I have been happily using the Gamdias Hermes P1 Gaming Keyboard since we reviewed it in April 2017. I’m a fan of the “clicky” blue switches and thankfully my family members don’t mind the noisiness of it. In fact, there are several blue switch keyboards in our house. (We have technologically spoiled children). Several reviews have been typed up on the Hermes P1 and it’s still functioning great and I have no complaints.

    Many of the same features of the P1 are available on the P2 including the custom RGB coloring, braided and gold plated USB cable, N key roll over, WASD/arrow key swap and more. A couple of the features that I miss on the P2 are the removable wrist rest and the metal plated top. The wrist rest is built into the design so if you’re not a fan of wrist rests, you may want to consider another model. While the P2 feels study, I still favor metal over plastic when available. Both the P1and P2 models come with key pullers and I miss the built-in holder on the bottom that the P1 offered.


    Strong Points: Optical switches; volume knob; braided cable
    Weak Points: Non-removable wrist rest; expensive; less color options than the P1; software is Windows only

    Some new features that the P2 brings to the table are swappable, optical switches. The blue optical switches don’t bottom out like the standard mechanical switches. They have a nice sturdy feel to them and they react to gentle key presses nicely. The P1’s keys seem a little softer to press. The P2 will probably get softer over time and many key presses. I like the feel of both of them so I can’t really declare a winner here. I plan on using both daily, one at work and the other at home.

    One of my favorite new additions to the P2 is the volume knob. It’s so much easier to use than the media keys. While the media keys are still available, they only do incremental volume adjustment now. Muting still works the same way and I like how the volume knob is clickable and mutes the sound when depressed. Just in case you’re wondering, the WASD/arrow key function swap is still in-between the media key functions for some odd reason. Gamdias has been doing it this way for a while though.

    Though the Hermes P2 RGB Gaming Keyboard boasts of 16.8 million colors and four levels of brightness, I had a difficult time getting color variations from the initial seven in the Hera software. For the life of me, I could not get the keys to be purple. My MSI laptop with a SteelSeries keyboard has the same problem and both keyboards are more pinkish as a result. Unlike the Hermes 7 color (https://www.christcenteredgamer.com/index.php/reviews/hardware/6237-gamdias-hermes-7-color-mechanical-keyboard) mechanical keyboard we also reviewed, you can set the colors on this keyboard by individual keys and zones instead of settling for the default rainbow color scheme.

    If you like effects, you can choose between several including breathing, wave, marquee, ripple, and others. The default mode is neon where the keyboard rotates between several different colors. There are less effects available on the P2 compared to the P1. Like the P1, you can customize the color of each individual key or by region to make your keyboard truly unique.

    With the Hera software you can also configure macros and key assignments. The software is standalone so you don’t have to worry about it slowing down your system’s performance and you can just launch it when you want to make tweaks to your hardware. The settings remain in place when you bring the keyboard to another system. One downside to the software is that it’s only available for Windows.

    Unfortunately, the keyboard arrived with a defective switch. This caused extra characters to be typed when first logging into Windows. After the first login, the issue went away. Since the switches are swappable I was able to move the bad switch to the scroll lock key and the password issue went away. Thankfully, Gamdias was kind enough to send us three replacement switches and the keyboard is fully functional. Without their assistance, I would have been in a bind since I cannot seem to find replacement switches for sale anywhere. Which begs the question of why make them swappable if they cannot be replaced?

    On Amazon, the P2 lists for $149.99 which is a bit steep in my opinion. While swapping out the switches is neat, I honestly don’t foresee myself doing that anytime soon. Hopefully I won't have a need for the extra two switches Gamdias sent us. The P1 is currently on sale for $54.47 which is an excellent price for a mechanical gaming keyboard. I do like the addition of the volume knob and hope that it stays in upcoming keyboard revisions. I also hope that the wrist rests are detachable in the near future as well.

    If you are looking for other gaming keyboards available in the market, check out WePC's reviews

  • Gamdias Hermes P3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard


    Hardware Info:

    Gamdias Hermes P3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
    Mechanical Keyboard with Low-Profile Kailh Brown switches
    Brown and Blue variants available; Brown reviewed
    32bit ARM Cortex Processor keyboard controller
    RGB LED backlit keys, fully customizable with 16.8 million colors
    Media keys accessible via Fn key
    Windows key enable/disable
    Macro keys available
    Metal faceplate
    HERA Software for configuration, with onboard memory (software not required once configured)
    MSRP: $159.99
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you Gamdias for sending us this keyboard to review!

    *Advertising disclosure* - Gamdias was a former advertising partner with us, and is currently not as of this review. This review is not influenced by this relationship.

    Gamdias has been sending us keyboards to review for several years now, and we are truly grateful for their kindness. Cheryl tends to review most of their keyboards, but she has a strong preference for Blue (or loud and clicky) keys, whereas I tend to prefer Brown or Red, because of their softer touch and quieter feedback. So, when this Hermes P3 RGB Mechanical Gaming keyboard was made available for review with Brown keys, I jumped at the opportunity.

    I've been typing heavily for over twenty-five years now since I got my first computer that my parents allowed me to call my own sometime in the early 1990s. Over that time, as my arms and hands gained mileage, I have found that a mechanical keyboard is simply a must – rubber domes require bottoming out for activation, and that really starts to hurt these hands after a while. My knuckles and finger joints get sore, and anything I can do to prevent this is critical as both my day job, as well as my evening pursuits, require quite a bit of typing (as evidenced by the existence of this review).

    There are several aspects to what makes a good feeling keyboard. The switches are extremely important of course, and these are using Kailh low-profile Brown switches, which are, to the best of my knowledge, a Kailh invention, rather than a Cherry clone like their previous switches have been. (Based on my Googling, they look a lot like PG1350 switches or the 'Choc' ones, but I have no way to know for sure.)

    These, like their larger Cherry colored inspirations, are tactile keys without an audible 'click'. The Blues have a loud pronounced click, while the Browns do not; they have some physical feedback, but not quite as much as the Blues. They also generally require slightly less force to activate than the Blues as well, though their spec sheets list them both as needing 50g of force to operate. Cherry Browns (and Reds) list a 45g activation force, which surprisingly enough, is noticeably lighter to the touch. It's still not bad though.


    Strong Points: Low-profile keys are quick responding and the short travel is great for both ergonomics and games; metal plate makes it feel very sturdy; despite being a mechanical keyboard, the impact is very soft and feels great to these old hands; software works well, and stays out of the way via onboard memory storing the configuration
    Weak Points: I prefer the ABS keycaps on Cherry or Das keyboards; no wrist rest

    Another important aspect to keyboard feel is build quality, which leads especially to how it's mounted. If the shell feels wobbly and cheap, that can translate into keyboard feel in a very important way. Thankfully, this one feels really solid, thanks to the metal top and well put together plastic body. It's a fairly light and compact design, which feels much sturdier than it has any right to considering how light it is. They did a great job here.

    Another big contributor to keyboard feel is keycaps. The ones here are unique to this kind of switch, as there is no aftermarket for the Kailh low-profile switches just yet. These are definitely on the better side; I like them much more than some of Gamdias' older keycaps. But, I still prefer the more premium feel that Gamdias uses on the P2, or especially the ones on my Cherry or Das keyboards. I am not sure if it's the material (ABS) or the paint/coating, or what it is, but those just feel more premium. It's not a huge difference, but it's there. For the record, the Gamdias P2's keycaps are the closest I have seen from them to that same premium feel.

    But it may not be the keycaps themselves, but the way that they mount makes them feel different, also. The classic Cherry connectors (which translates to most of their clones also) is a simple '+' under each keycap that is pushed down and secured. These new Kailh switches use a two hook system that works well enough, though doesn't feel quite the same. But still, it's quite decent.

    And finally, the way the keys feel lacks the 'bounciness' of the other key styles. When typing, they feel like they bounce back into place quickly – but not as quickly as more full-sized keyboards. I don't know if it's the switches or simply the necessary compromises needed to fit the form factor; they feel nice, but don't 'bounce' the same way as the other keyboards do.

    With all of that said, please don't interpret it as dislike; indeed the exact opposite. This keyboard is really very nice to type on; it feels sturdy despite being light, and gives good feedback when typing. The low profile is really great; it's much more ergonomic and easy to make work in nearly any environment. There is a lot to like with this keyboard.

    The RGB LEDs are excellent and light quite well throughout the keycaps. The colors, which are configurable through Gamdias' HERA software, pass my wife's purple test – which is to say, it's one of the few keyboards that actually can display purple properly when asked; almost all do red, blue, or green correctly, but for some reason, many display purple as a shade of pink. Not here; purple is indeed purple.

    Gamdias Hermes P3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

    And HERA works really well here. There is onboard memory that can be used to store macros, default keybind changes, and more. And the best part is, once configured, it works no matter what operating system you use. I prefer the Windows key to be by my left hand, as common Windows shortcuts, like Win+x, are available from there, whereas the way the keyboard ships has it on the right. So, I went into HERA, set my preferred color, and activated the Fn <-> Win key swap feature, and then saved my changes. I then disconnected my keyboard, and connected it to my work laptop, which happens to be a Mac. It works perfectly – including the Windows key swap, color, all of it. This is especially important since my other keyboards use the same layout and I did not look forward to having to learn another one.

    You can record macros, both with HERA, and on the keyboard itself. There are two macro keys, where you press Fn + space or 'b', which can activate the macro as requested. There are also up to six profiles you can use, which can be used to change color schemes, macros, and more. You can also choose to have your keyboard swap the WASD and arrow keys, have the lighting make color waves, swirl in circles, swish back and forth, or simply be turned on or off if that's your thing. The location of the keypress to swap WASD and the arrow keys is most definitely a headscratcher, but that seems to be true of all Gamdias keyboards. There are also media keys accessible via the Fn key, which is always welcome, as I use them daily.

    The keyboard looks nice, though it has a plastic border around the metal keyboard plate that takes up space that I would prefer not be there. This also makes using a wrist rest more difficult, which is its biggest flaw to me – I really like a good wrist rest, and this keyboard does not include one, and the plastic border makes it more difficult to use a third party one. It's not impossible; I use a beanbag one okay, though I prefer more solid ones these days. Either way, if you don't use them, then I think you will really like this keyboard; if you do, then know that the ledge does kind of get in the way, though thankfully it's less than an inch long, so you can work around it.

    The Gamdias Hermes P3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard really shows how far Gamdias has come in the last few years. I felt that their older designs were less sturdy than some others I have used, and their keycaps, and the paint they used, were not to my tastes. But this one fixes almost all of those problems, as does our recently reviewed Hermes P2. And with this model, they are on the cutting edge of keyboard technology, as this is one of the only Kailh low-profile Brown switch keyboards on the market. It looks nice, feels nice, and works great. My biggest complaint is the price; at $159.99, there is a ton of competition in that price range, and I'm not sure if this is premium enough for that price bracket. Oh, and a volume knob like the P2 sure would have been nice!

  • HIS Gear Up Portable AC Power 65W

    Hardware Info:

    HIS Gear Up Portable AC Power 65W
    Developed by: HIS Digital
    Release Date: December 13, 2014
    Specifications: Lithium Ion battery 3.6V 3400mAhx4, 13,000mAh, USB 2.4A
    Price: $199
    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

    Thank you HIS for sending us this Gear Up Portable AC Power 65W to review!

    Our family likes to do camping and long road trips and in both of these cases we'll be bringing our Gear Up portable AC power bank.  AC Power outlets are not readily available in our 2002 duct taped minivan and this device can keep our kid's tablet and 3DS' running smoothly for a nine hour car ride to see family in another state. A quiet car ride makes this device worth every penny!  

    When we went camping in the summer, the power outlet was outside and unusable when it was raining.   And it did rain on us a couple of times.  Next time we'll have the Gear Up with us so we can keep our cell phones charged.  It's important to have a decently charged phone if you rely on the GPS functionality.  

    Charging the power bank fully takes roughly two and a half hours.  With one full charge you can fully charge modern smart phones between four and seven times.  If you have a lower power laptop you can charge it off of that.  My power hungry Asus Republic of Gamers beast would balk at the power output, but a MacBook Air can get an extra two hours of usage.


    Strong Points: Great portable power source for USB and 120V devices.
    Weak Points: MSRP is pricey but I have seen it on sale for $99; the USB port still works on ours but it is slanted and not flush with the edge.

    The power bank's design is simple and easy to use.  There's a silver button that you can press to see the Lithium Ion battery's charge level.    There are four blue LEDs that represent 25% each.  When a USB device is plugged in, it will illuminate in blue to let you know that it is drawing power.  To use the power outlet you have to turn the switch on.  It's as simple as that.

    Included in the box is the power bank, and AC adapter to charge it, a converter for international charging, a carrying pouch, and a user manual.   It weighs less than a pound and its dimensions are 5.9 x 3.74 x 1.1.  It's pretty compact and is a lightweight travel companion.  

    My only complaint with the HIS Gear Up Portable AC Power 65W is that the USB port on ours is sticking out of it slightly.  It's not flush with the side as it should be.  The important thing is that it still works, but it does make me question the quality though.  Fortunately, it carries a one year warranty.  

    If you travel often or forget to charge your phone, the HIS Gear Up Portable AC Power 65W is a travel companion you may not want to leave without.  While the suggested price is $199, I have seen it for half of that price at Newegg.

  • HIS Gear Up Portable AC power 85W

    Hardware Info:

    HIS Gear Up Portable AC Power 85W 
    Developed by: HIS Digital
    Release Date: December 13, 2014
    Specifications: Lithium Ion battery 3.6V 2900mAhx8, 20,000mAh, USB 2.4A
    Price: $149 on Newegg

    Thank you HIS for sending us this Gear Up Portable AC Power 85W to review!

    We recently reviewed the Gear Up 65W AC Power Bank and the 85 Watt is worth the extra money if you can find it for a good price.  Not only can it provide power for bigger devices, it has two USB ports instead of one.  The charging time is a little bit longer between, three and four hours, but it's well worth the wait if you need to charge something in a pinch.

    These devices are well suited for car rides and camping trips.  With one full charge you can fully charge some modern smart phones up to eleven times!  If you have a lower power laptop you can charge it off of that.  My power hungry Asus Republic of Gamers beast would balk at the power output, but a MacBook Air can get an extra couple of hours of usage or fully recharged by it.

    For our video demonstration, my husband was able to play Super Smash Brothers on a Wii U completely powered by the Gear Up 85W AC Power Bank.  The gamepad was running off the Nyko UBoost.    


    Strong Points: Can simultaneously charge two USB devices and one 120V AC device
    Weak Points: Pricey if you don't pick it up on sale

    The power bank's design is simple and easy to use.  There's a silver button that you can press to see the Lithium Ion battery's charge level.    There are four blue LEDs that represent 25% each.  When a USB device is plugged in, it will illuminate in blue to let you know that it is drawing power.  To use the power outlet you have to turn the switch on.  It's as simple as that.

    Included in the box is the power bank, an AC adapter to charge it, a converter for international charging, a carrying pouch, and a user manual. There are two models of the 85W Power Bank, a US and a European one.  Both weigh 1.32 pounds and their dimensions are 7.32" x 5.08" x 1.1".  It's pretty compact and is a lightweight travel companion.  

    Unlike our 65W review sample, this one's USB ports are properly aligned and I have no complaints on its build quality.  If an issue were to arise, HIS offers a one year warranty on their products.

    If you travel often or find yourself away from AC outlets when you need them, I recommend picking up a Gear Up 85W AC Power Bank.  The retail price is $249, but Newegg sells it for $149.

  • HIS HD 5570 1GB

    First of all, thanks a lot to HIS for giving us the opportunity to review this video card.

    About HIS

    HIS is a graphics card company that primarily builds ATI-based products. They are a Christian company as well. This is part of their company statement: HIS was established in 1987 with the mission to produce the highest quality graphics cards in the industry. Besides strong devotion to excellent products and services, HIS has been conducting business with the aim to "Glorifying God". Honesty and integrity are the two key principals of how HIS are conducted. Ethical business practice has been an everyday commitment to our clients, vendors, and investors. Most of us pick a video card based purely on chipset and price. It\'s good to see HIS is more than a typical ATI card manufacturer - they have a mission that CCG can agree with. Even so, this review is based on the quality of the product reviewed; no unnecessary bias has gone into the review process.

    HIS HD 5570
    650MHz core clock
    1GB GDDR3 128bit interface
    Memory Clock 1800MHz
    PCI Express 2.1 Support
    DirectX 11 support
    Shader Model 5
    OpenGL 3.1 support
    HDMI, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

    The Comparison

    HIS HD 5750
    700MHz core clock
    1GB GDDR5 128bit interface
    Memory Clock 1150MHz (4.6GHz effective)
    PCI Express 2.1 Support
    DirectX 11 support
    Shader Model 5
    OpenGL 3.1 support
    HDMI, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

    Power Color HD 4650
    600MHz core clock
    512MB GDDR2 128bit interface
    Memory Clock 800MHz
    PCI Express 2.0
    DirectX 10.1 support
    OpenGL 2 support
    HDMI, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

    HIS HD 4770

    750MHz core clock
    512MB GDDR5 128bit interface
    Memory Clock 800MHz
    PCI Express x16, takes 2 slots
    DirectX 10.1 support
    Shader Model 4.1
    OpenGL 2.1 support
    HDMI, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

    XFX HD 4770 (Crossfire)
    750MHz core clock
    512MB GDDR5 128bit interface
    Memory Clock 800MHz
    PCI Express x16, takes 2 slots
    DirectX 10.1 support
    4.1 Shader Model
    2.0 OpenGL support
    HDMI, DVI, HDTV 1080p support

    MSI 8800GT (factory over clocked)
    660MHz core clock
    512MB GDDR3 256bit interface
    Memory Clock 950MHz
    Shader clock 1650MHz
    PCI Express x16, takes 2 slots
    DirectX 10 support
    OpenGL 2 support
    Dual DVI

    MSI GTX260 (factory over clocked)
    655MHz core clock
    896MB GDDR3 448bit interface
    Memory Clock 1050MHz
    Shader clock 1650MHz
    PCI Express 2.0, takes 2 slots
    DirectX 10 support
    OpenGL 2.1 support
    Dual DVI

    Benchmark System
    Intel Core i7 860 OC\'d to 3.59GHz
    Gigabyte P55-UD4P motherboard
    OCZ 8GB DDR3-1600
    Seagate 400GB 7200RPM
    Creative Labs X-Fi

    We ran the benchmarks using a 64 bit version of Windows 7 Professional. Windows gave the 5570 a 6.8 rating in desktop and gaming graphics. I no longer consider the Windows ratings to be valid since the 4650 got a 6.4 gaming score and it’s in last place on all of the charts. All of these benchmarks were ran at 1920x1200 wide screen resolution. The NVIDIA driver used was 195.62 and all but the 5570 ATI cards were using 9.12. Since the 5570 is brand new, I had to use the drivers on the CD it came with. I no longer have some of the previous cards in my possession, but when I re-ran the benchmarks with the 4650, there was no difference in performance between the two drivers.

    3DMark Vantage

    These results were obtained using the performance test at the default resolution of 1280x1024. The HD 5570 comes in second to last place falling right between the HD 4650 and the 8800GT.


    Unreal Tournament 3

    The Unreal engine is known for its beauty and hunger for powerful video cards to run the latest games. For this benchmark we used UT3 version 2.1 (black edition). Sound and DirectX 10 were enabled. The 5570 is playable with an average of 38 frames per second. The HD 5750 more than doubles the performance of the HD 5570.


    Far Cry 2

    The Dunia engine is what powers the African based Far Cry 2 game. The detail and explosion effects are amazing. This benchmark would not run with antialiasing or anisotropic filtering enabled, and everything else is set to high detail. ATI cards seem to do well with this engine but the 5570 is hurting with less than thirty frames per second.

    Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

    This benchmark has antialiasing and anisotropic filtering set to 4X. The detail was set to High Quality and soft particles were disabled. This is an older game and the HD 5750 is playable at 35 frames per second.

    Half?Life 2

    This engine is older and all of the cards get great results here. Maximum quality was used, motion blur and bilinear filtering was enabled, and antialiasing was disabled. The HD 5570 does well here and can probably handle the Left 4 Dead games just as well.

    World in Conflict

    We ran this benchmark with very high detail. The graphics in this game look amazing. With an average frame rate of 13, the HD 5570 will have to have the detail or resolution lowered to make this game playable.

    Crysis Warhead

    The latest Crytek engine has been notorious for bring many systems down to their knees. These cards struggled. This benchmark was ran under the Very High setting which is not recommended; even the GTX260 was in pain here. I wouldn’t attempt to play Crysis on the 5570 but if you insist, lower the detail as much as possible.

    Dirt 2

    Dirt 2 is one of the first games available offering DirectX 11 support. If your card does not support DirectX 11 the game reverts to DirectX 9. All of the results here are in DirectX 9 except for the ones
    labeled DX11. The benchmark race results vary so I don’t consider it extremely accurate. The HD 5570 is not quite playable here.


    The HD 5570 is an interesting card. It can play older games but it’s been too crippled to play many of the newer titles. The DDR3 memory limits the card considerably. The best selling feature is that it has a low profile making it great for small form factor multimedia PC’s. This card sells for around $85 and if you’re planning on getting gaming card for less than $100 get a 9800GT instead. If you’re looking for a powerful, low?profile, and high definition cable video card, look no further than the HIS HD 5570.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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