Tuesday, April 30, 2013

AXON Cable Sleeve and Tool Pack

Most of you guys have known me for overclocking, building high power lasers, and occasionally forum spamming. But over the years I’ve hardly posted pictures of my builds anywhere, because I’ve always been somewhat ashamed of it. Cables are always sticking out of everywhere, almost always too lazy to work on cable management of any kind. However, very recently a good friend of mine posted a picture of his custom build for a client, that’s when it hit me. I finally found the inspiration to make the inside of my computer look nicer for a change.

Package comes FOUR individual tools.

First we’ll be looking at is the Double Ended Universal Molex Removal Tool. To remove molex pins with a small ordinary phillips head screwdriver is pretty simple, bend the two side pins in the molex header will come right off. However, the problem is to aim it right, and get it out of the clear molex headers it'll take me a good min or so, and it takes a lot longer to remove them from a darker colored headers. With this tool, you can simply dock on the pin and pull the wire. It saves the hassle of bending the pin back after removing it with the screwdriver.

A side from the molex header remover, the two pin Molex Mini Fit Pin Extraction Removal Tool is a MUST have tool for cable modification of any kind. It is almost impassable to remove any of the 4/6/8/20/24 pin power cable for the motherboard, video card cables as well as most of the modular power supply headers without this handy tool. Same concept, jam it in and pull the cable.
Note: if the remover is in the right place, shouldn't require Arnold Schwarzenegger's assistance to pull the cable out, or else remove the tool and try it again.

Next up we have the 3/4 pin Fan header remover. Personally, I don't find this as mandatory as the first two. Once again, after years of using the micro Phillips head screwdriver, it's almost quicker to remove them my old fashioned way, but instead of coming out one by one this tool removes all 3 or 4 pins in the header and keeps in order. 

Six-pin Aux power connector?  Haven't seen one of these for quite some time now. It is very useful to remove SATA power connectors with this tool. I also find this tool imperative when it comes to pushing cable into the SATA power connecter socket without damaging the cable.

Ø  Lowest price as a package
Ø  Beautifully made
Ø  Easy to use
Ø  Great seller-customer communication

Ø  International shipping
Ø  Six-pin Aux connector remover can be bent very easily (see picture above)
Ø  Slippery with sweaty hands 

Final thoughts:
The tools are very handy, extremely easy to use, but could use some rubber padding on the sides to provide more grips for sweaty hands. The first time I used this set of tools it only took me less than 45min to sleeve a full set of SATA power cable for Antec High Current Pro HCP-800/Platinum HCP-1000.

PART TWOSleeves - Axon XE-1
I've always been a fan of the combination Red and Black, since my case is the Thermaltake New Soprano  Black, I'd figured now is the perfect time to sleeve the cables red.

The product speaks for itself, the most gorgeous red. Since the sleeve is made out of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) the elasticity, and long lasting guaranteed.

Aside from Candy Red, AXON offers options such as Braided Black, Aqua Blue, UV Green, Yellow, White, Grey, and Dark Blue in variety size options such as 2mm, 3mm, SATA rated ect.

Just like all other sleeves, most of the time melting the opening is recommended or it'll just split like the picture shown above.

Combining the right tool and the easy to use sleeves, only took me no more than 45min from opening the package to finish. 

Once again, this is the first time ever sleeving any power cable from start to finish, please give me some feedbacks.

Ø  The most gorgeousred imaginable
Ø  Very easy to install, once you get a hang of it
Ø  Elasticity

Ø  Comes in ellipse shaped
Ø  Harder shell

Final thoughts:
Since this is the first time sleeving anything from binging to the end, it took me a little while to realize what to do, but once I got the hang of it it's as simple as pie. Unless you don't like pie.A lot of the time with the extra lighting attention and photoshopping, what's shown in the picture by the sellers is different from what you get in real life, but these sleeves comes in the most gorgeous red I've ever seen. The current generation cable sleeving comes in ellipse shaped, will require addition steps to make the sleeves fit right. The elasticity is both pro and con, in many cases, the elasticity will hold the cable in place, but to make the elasticity last, the sleeve itself is also make the sleeves itself very hard.

Seller information: www.axonmodding.com

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Logitech Laptop Speaker Z205

I was cleaning my car and found my old Logitech Laptop Speaker Z205, this is a portable speaker recommended to people on the road all the time but still wanting a decent sound quality with lightweight and compact.

Ø  USB type A to mini B
Ø  Carrying bag

Ø  3.5mm stereo jack

The sound quality is significantly better and louder than almost all laptop speakers are, simply because these are standing up and aiming directly towards the user, but do not expect any bass out of them. Normally I will start to notice distortion around 85% of the max volume.

The clamps are very solid and padded, so nothing is going to be scratched. The unit does not have to be clamped on to the laptop at all time; the clips can also be used as stands when they are not clamped onto anything.

Aside from the ON/OFF switch on the top, unit also comes with a physical volume UP and DOWN button. The volume UP and DOWN button directly controls your system volume.

Ø  Logitech build quality
Ø  Amazing sound for its size and power requirement
Ø  Pure Plug n' play (See Other thoughts)
Ø  No driver required for anything Windows XP and up

Ø  The clip may be too small for some places
Ø  No self powered option available

Other thoughts:
Found this in the back of my Lexus, and I am pretty sure it's been back there since the day my parents came back from China, after almost a two year of beating it took in the back of the trunk and still works like just came out of the box. Sound quality great considering this is an USB powered speaker. This unit is pure Plug n' play, as in even if you are too lazy to install the driver for your sound card it'll still work like a champ.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thermaltake New Soprano VO900M1N2N

Recently I've picked up a new Thermaltake Soprano case to replace my giant Xaser VI. I've been very pleased with its slick look and overall performance. Since there aren’t many reviews out there for this case, I’d figure what the hell.

>  Brushed aluminum front
>  1x 200mm front Blue LED intake fan (800 RPM)
>  1x 120mm rear exhaust fan (1000 RPM)
>  Easy removable front and bottom dust filters
>  Supporting up to standard ATX motherboards
>  TWO USB 3.0 and TWO USB 2.0 ports on front I/O panel
>  (4) 5.25" and (1) 3.5" exposed drive bays
>  (5) 3.5" internal drive bays (with four removable trays)
>  Hot swappable hard drive dock (2.5" & 3.5")
>  Support for preassembled liquid cooling systems

The ONE feature that caught my eyes in the first place was the easy access hot swappable hard drive docking station. Instead of transferring data though USB, this docking station provided the ability to hot swap the drive and transferring data as fast as the internal SATA port that is capable.

Like most PC builders out there, I upgrade and swap components in and out of my main computer all the time. Instead of risking of dropping the good'o standard round 6mm screws in to your power supply or losing it during the installation, Thermaltake decided to use the larger thumb screws on the expansion slots holders, made holding down large video card while the case is standing up much easier.

Unit comes with pre-installed fully washable fan grills, both of them are fairly easy to remove and be cleaned.

All I/O cables are clearly marked and have plenty length to reach it’s header in any motherboard.

Test Rig
Soprano VO9000
Intel Xeon W5647 @ 4.2GHz
P6X58D Premium
Kingston KHX1600C9D3T1BK3/12GB
CPU Cooler
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro
Internal storage
(7) Seagate 2TB ST2000DM001
ATi HD6970 Reference
Antec High Current Pro 850W (HCP-850)
TteSPORTS Level 10 M
TteSPORTSMeka G-Unit mechanical gaming keyboard

CPU measured with RealTemp. GPU temperature measured with MSI Afterburner. Motherboard temperature measured with Ai Suite. Tested at room temperature 26°C (70F)

Extremely roomy for a mid tower
Easy accuses hard drive duck
Phenomenal cable management
Removable fan filters included for both front and bottom
Excellent built quality
Very elegant and stylish look

Not 100% tool-less drive bays
One of the internal 3.5” bay is hard to access
Front door can block out part of the airflow when it's shut

Final thoughts:
On an average of every two years, I switch to a new case, and this is my first non-full-sized tower since 2005. It is very impressive how much room Thermaltake left us in his mid-tower. With the large video card, Thermaltake’s all-in-one water cooler, and the ridiculous amount of hard drives, I was expecting a very crowed interior with cables sticking out of everywhere, but with the cable management was provided; I was able to hide almost all extra cables on the back of the case. Thermaltake have done a fantastic job making the computer relatively silent.

Where to buy: