A few months ago, after moving into my new apartment, I decided that I was ready for an upgrade to my PC. New CPU? Nope. New graphics card? Nope. More RAM? Nah. I decided to try my hand at my first ever mechanical keyboard. After doing some Google research and attempting to sort through what others thought the best 'starter' mechanical keyboard was as far as reliability and quality one name continued to come up: Das.
With the basement conversion into a big Linux server room where there's 50~60 systems running daily at full load while running our many open-source benchmarks, cooling has been a challenge with now experiencing summer temperatures. I've already resorted to retro-fitting in extra powered ventilation ducts to keep pushing fresh air into the server room. That did some help, but also of aid is upgrading the cooling systems on some of the more powerful systems rather than using the stock heatsinks and fans. For helping out the cooling situation, Noctua sent out a while ago the NH-U12DX i4 and NF-F12.
As a quick Friday note, if you're looking for a 802.11n/g USB WiFi adapter that's very affordable and will work great with Linux, here's one of my recent purchases. After being pleased with one of them, I've since ordered a few more of these Wireless-N adapters for Linux usage.
The latest IP assignments for our 32+ system open-source Linux benchmarking test farm isn't for more benchmarking systems at this time but rather for the smoke alarms. Adding the Nest Protect devices give a bit more peace of mind running many computers on residential wiring.
When receiving the new Intel Xeon E5-1680 v3 and E5-2687W v3 CPUs, the CPU heatsink I switched to using for cooling the eight and ten core workstation/server processors was the Noctua i4 CPU Cooler (NH-U9DXi4). I've now been using this heatsink for over a month and it's been working out great for my range of LGA-2011 v3 CPUs.
A new gadget we received recently at Phoronix from Apotop is their Wi-Copy device. Apotop's Wi-Copy is an interesting little device that can serve as a personal WiFi router / hot-spot, wireless/wired card reader, and as a USB device charger.
It's been nearly a decade since last checking out any XTrac products (the last being the XTrac InstaGlide and XTrac Hybrid back in 2005) but with 2014 rapidly marking the evolution of Linux gaming, this weekend we're checking out a few XtracPads for those that may be looking to improve their Linux gaming system.
For those looking for a gaming mouse that's Linux friendly and not too expensive, the ROCCAT LUA is a nice option.
If you plan to buy an Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E or any other high-end processor, a good heatsink is needed especially if you plan to do any overclocking. In looking at a new cooling option today we're trying out the Scythe Mugen MAX.
Our friends at Sumo are out with another interesting creation that we've had the chance to review and it's already likely our most favorite Sumo product to date. Let's checkout the Sumo Omni Reloaded this weekend.
The Avanti CB350S is a very nice accessory for a home or small office when working long hours, but the engineering quality of the interesting product is questionable... Many Phoronix readers will likely love the Avanti CB350S once the issues are worked out.
For those in need of an outdoor-ready HD wireless network camera for added security for your home but that isn't dependent upon any Windows (or non-Linux-compatible) application software for viewing and managing the device, meet the D-Link DCS-2330L.
This week Amazon unveiled the Fire TV as a small network appliance primarily for HD video streaming and complemented by some gaming and mobile app capabilities. The Fire TV is powered by Amazon's Android-based Kindle Fire OS so in this weekend review are my initial impressions of this Linux-based media system after using it the past two days.
While we don't generally review keyboards and other gaming peripherals at Phoronix, occasionally such a product will come along that is worth checking out in close detail. One of these products is the Func KB-460, a new high-end gaming keyboard. The Func KB-460 looks great, but will it work on Linux and be worth the nearly $120 USD price tag?
While not directly Linux related, this afternoon at Phoronix we are looking at the SilverStone Air Penetrator AP123. If you're looking to make your "Tux" powered computer system a bit cooler this summer, the SST-AP123 is a great way to quietly do so.
Taking a break from our usual Linux hardware coverage and performance benchmarking this weekend is a look at the Sumo Emperor, a comfortable basis for lounging or working from a laptop.
If you plan to upgrade your Linux desktop hardware in the near future or will be shopping for new PC hardware this holiday season, here's a few words of advice on recommended components and manufacturers to go with for the best Linux hardware experience.
If you are looking for a secure and nearly indestructible way to transport your laptop and other items, Zero Halliburton has a very viable option with their S1-SI Premium Slimline Attache.
When sending over the Intel Ivy Bridge kit back in April, Intel also included an engineering sample of a PCI Express x1 WiFi adapter that is part of their "Desktop Intel WiFi - 2012" platform. Does this Intel 802.11n WLAN adapter work as well under Linux as their open-source graphics driver?
If you're wanting to pick-up a USB3-enabled drive enclosure like the SilverStone TS07 or RVS02 (or any other USB 3.0 peripherals), but don't have any USB 3.0 ports on your system, the SilverStone EC03 can provide two USB 3.0 ports from a PCI Express x1 slot.
If you're a Linux desktop user on an open-source graphics driver that lacks proper fan management and power management support, you may want to consider an after-market graphics card cooler that is more efficient and also quieter. One of the high-performance after-market GPU cooling solutions is the ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme Plus II, which boasts three fans but is very quiet and does an incredible job at keeping NVIDIA and ATI/AMD graphics processors operating at quite low temperatures.
When talking about SilverStone Technology on Phoronix it's commonly about one of their wonderfully-designed computer cases that we have enjoyed reviewing over the past six years, one of their power supplies, or the few other product categories this Taiwanese manufacturer has explored. Among the more peculiar products from SilverStone has been the HDDBOOST, the Raven mouse, and the Treasure RFID Enclosure. What we have our hands on today is SilverStone's first entry into the single-drive Network Attached Storage (NAS) market. The SilverStone DC01 is an affordable Linux-based NAS server.
Taking a break from the usual plethora of Linux benchmarks, delivering the news about Dirndl, and providing other Linux hardware reviews and news, to end out the week is a look at the Titan from Sumo Lounge. Weighing over 35 kilograms, this is one of the heaviest products that we have reviewed at Phoronix.
A few weeks back we reviewed the Swedish-made Excito B3 Mini ARM Server, which we liked for its capabilities and hardware, until it overheated. Today we are reviewing another product from a Swedish company, Mionix AB, as we try out the Naos 3200 computer mouse. This is coming more than a year after reviewing our first Mionix product, the Saiph 3200 Laser Gaming Mouse.
Not often do we look at computer accessories at Phoronix, but every once in a while some product looks interesting for whatever reason and we decide to try it out. With this review, we are looking at the AluStand from Artwizz. Artwizz is a company that is based in Berlin and was founded in just 2004 as a manufacturer of iPod and iPhone accessories, but since then they have branched out into developing other innovative products primarily designed for Apple devices, but other notebook computers too.
There are some community projects like Lomoco for providing configuration controls for Logitech mice under Linux, but this project and others have not exactly moved along at a brisk pace even though mice drivers are much simpler than say graphics cards or most other hardware components. For Razer mice, there was RazerTool, a simple project to provide some basic tweaking options for select Razer mice under Linux, but that project has been defunct since early 2007. Even with the lack of configuration tools or specialized drivers for Razer mice (or keyboards and other peripherals) on Linux, we still end up falling in love with their hardware as the build quality of their products are phenomenal, the products we have tested have been designed very well, and they really have just been excellent products. Back in February of 2007 we tested out the Razer DeathAdder, which was an example of a great Razer product and received our Editor's Choice Award, but today we are trying out the 1800 DPI version of their DeathAdder gaming mouse.
While wireless chipsets are not as complicated as graphics processors, under Linux they can cause just as many headaches when it comes to getting them working reliably. More hardware vendors have opened up to supporting their wireless chipsets under Linux, but still it can be a pain having to hunt down the firmware for a wireless adapter, needing to build an out-of-tree driver, having issues with the driver such as with WEP/WPA authentication, or if all else fails trying to get the Windows driver working under Linux through ndiswrapper. However, for those looking for a PCI-based 802.11g/n wireless adapter that will work "out of the box" with modern distributions like Ubuntu 9.10, one that we have found to do the job is the Encore ENLWI-N.
Most often we are faced with testing out the latest motherboards, processors, and graphics cards to see how well they work with Linux under different conditions and a variety of tests. While those are obviously the components that most Linux users are concerned with when it comes to Linux compatibility and performance, plenty of peripherals to this day don't work under Linux or will only do so to a limited extent or after jumping through various hurdles to get a half-working device. With mice for instance, they generally will work fine when plugged into any modern desktop Linux distribution, but with some of the gaming and high-end input devices not all of the buttons will be detected or other features will not work. When a company came along that we never heard of, Mionix, claiming to offer some of the best gaming products, curiosity got the best of us and we decided to see how well the Saiph 3200 from this unheard of company would work on the Linux desktop.
When setting up my new office recently one of the test machines wound up being a distance away from the rest of the systems and the wired network. Rather than going through the hassle of dropping a CAT-6 line to this test station, the quicker and easier approach was to just pickup another USB WiFi adapter. The wireless adapter ended up being the MediaLink USB54G that offers USB 2.0 and 802.11g support, but only mentioned compatibility for Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, and Vista systems. How did the MediaLink USB adapter working out under Linux? Quite well.
Back in February we reviewed the NZXT Cryo LX, which was a massive notebook cooler made of aluminum that packed three 120mm fans and support for up to 19" widescreen notebooks. With not many individuals having 17" and 19" notebooks compared to 15" and smaller, NZXT has now introduced the Cryo S that is better sized for smaller notebooks and netbooks. The Cryo S cooler uses just two 120mm fans that can be run off USB or an AC adapter and there is an integrated two-port USB 2.0 hub.
151 peripherals articles published on Phoronix.