Archive for December 22nd, 2016

By December 22, 2016 Read More →

Building a computer for £300 – Part 3 – Motherboard

Building a computer for £300 – Part 3 – Motherboard

reichelt have sponsored a challenge to build a computer for £300. With a budget of only £300 I have to source the best bits of computer equipment for a main central processor unit (CPU) to build the most competent computer I can.

Part three, we look at the Motherboard. A Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3HP costing £54.15 incl. VAT. A fine motherboard with some of the newest tech, specifically a USB 3.1 type-C connector! The AMD features the following:

The GIGABYTE GA-F2A88XM-D3HP is based on the AMD-A88X chipset and supports AMD APUs with integrated graphics. It has four DIMM slots and supports up to 64 GB of DDR3 RAM in dual-channel operation. Depending on the APU, the µATX mainboard GA-F2A88XM-D3HP provides high-performance graphics with DVI, HDMI and VGA connections. Other features of the GA-F2A88XM-D3HP include a Gigabit LAN connection with Realtek chipset, an 8-channel sound chip (Realtek ALC887), eight SATA3 connectors, two USB 3.0 type-A ports plus a USB 3.1 type-C port and a USB-3.1 type-A port.

Details:

    • Chipset: AMD A88X
    • Memory: 4x DDR3 DIMM, dual PC3-19200U/DDR3-2400 (OC), max. 64 GB (UDIMM)
    • Expansion slots: 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 1x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4), 1x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1x PCI
    • External ports: 1x VGA, 1x DVI-D, 1x HDMI, 2x USB 3.1 (type A + type C, ASM1142), 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 1x Gb LAN (Realtek), 3x jacks, 1x PS/2 combo
    • Internal ports: 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 8x SATA 6 Gb/s (A88X), 1x CPU 4-pin fan, 2x 4-pin fan, 1x serial, 1x parallel, TPM header
    • Audio: 7.1 (Realtek ALC887)
    • RAID level: 0/1/5/10 (A88X)
    • Multi-GPU: AMD 2-Way CrossFireX (x16/x4)
    • Power connections: 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin EPS12V
    • CPU phases: 6
    • Graphics: IGP (via CPU/APU)
    • Special features: µATX, all solid capacitors

Hit the subscribe button as tomorrow we will be looking at the main board into which this processor slots.

Check out reichelt.co.uk, an online electronics retailer…many products up to 20% cheaper than elsewhere in the UK!

By December 22, 2016 Read More →

Mi Band 2 Unboxing

vlcsnap-00026The Mi Band 2 is the latest fitness tracker from Xiaomi. Perfectly pricey to encompass everything a fitness fanatic needs to keep track of their exercise.
Record daily motion data, Xiaomi bracelet to help you record all-day event, calculate walking distance, and calorie consumption.
Smart Vibration alarm clock, simulate wake up naturally status: You can set the alarm on the APP, in front of the preset alarm within 30 minutes, with a slight vibration to wake you from a shallow sleep, when to wake up slowly shallow sleep, naturally wake up closer.

Grabs one here: http://amzn.to/2hsAZed

By December 22, 2016 Read More →

Wraps Core headphones review

img_5494The nice folks at Wraps recently sent us some if their funky headphones to check out. The range starts out around the £15 mark for the bright and colourful entry level models, right up to the model I’ve been playing with, the £50 “Core” version. This differs from its cheaper stablemates due to its braided faux leather cable and improved speakers which are made from titanium no less.

Right out of the box, they are a good-looking set of headphones. I’m not a fan of bling, so the nicely subdued colour scheme of “space grey” buds on black faux leather was right up my street. The unique selling point (gimmick) of the wraps headphones is that they are designed in such a way that they can be worn around the wrist when you aren’t using them. This is a bit fiddly at first, but after a few goes, you get the hang of it. The mechanism for securing the headphones is simple but effective, the 3.5mm jack is the peg and there is a hole for it either in the ear bud separator or in a small piece that slides freely along the length of the cable, so you can achieve a good fit. This works really well and I can definitely see people using it as an alternative to having the big over ear headphones hanging around your neck all day.

Personally I tried it out for the sake of the review, but to be honest, I preferred to store the headphones in a small pouch in my bag. I always have headphones with me, but I don’t always need them (literally) right at hand all the time. Your mileage may vary. As for sound quality, I was initially somewhat disappointed. Gimmicks aside, for £50, I expect a set of

As for sound quality, I was initially somewhat disappointed. Gimmicks aside, for £50, I expect a set of headphones to sound good. The Cores sounded a bit subdued, almost to the point of sounding muffled. I tried the various sizes of silicone buds provided in the package, but even with a good fit, the sound wasn’t great.

Now, I know that the sound can change once headphones “burn in”, but I have never experienced such a noticeable difference in any other set. After a few days, the sound transformed. The fuzzy, dampened sound cleared up and the details started to come through. Maybe it is because of the use of titanium speakers, but an extended burn-in time certainly made a massive difference. The overall sound is not what I would call outstanding, at this price point there are competitors that will give a much richer sound quality, but I would say that it is still very good and more than up to the task. You get a nice amount of detail and it has a bass that is nicely rounded but can deliver a bit of a thump when asked. Sometimes with braided cables, you get a lot of noise coming through when they rub against clothing etc, thankfully I didn’t find this was the case with the wraps.

If I was to level a criticism against the headphones, one tiny niggle is the size of the ear buds themselves. They are rather small. This is a good thing when they are stored on your wrist, but I found that when I was wearing them whilst out for a walk, I kept having to push them into my ear regularly. I have pretty small ears, so if you have Dumbo lugs, this might be an issue for you.

Overall I really like these headphones. The styling is really nice and the sound quality is totally decent. Yeah, they are maybe a bit pricey compared to others on the market, but the addition of the wearable feature is pretty handy and does set it apart. There is obviously an element of personal taste with non-conventional designs, but if these appeal to you, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Available in Gold, Space Grey, Silver and Rose Gold from www.mywraps.com  for £49.99

Posted in: Headphones, Reviews
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