Peripherals Archives
Lenovo USB-C 7-in-1 Hub On Linux

For those considering the Lenovo USB-C 7-in-1 Hub for connecting to your Lenovo laptop for enjoying USB-C power charging, HDMI output, and additional USB ports, it does work out on Linux. While there have been some users running into seemingly firmware-related issues, at least with my testing over the past month this $50~60 (USD) USB-C hub has been working out well under Linux.

17 January 2022 - 28 Comments
Dynatron A39 - A Good Heatsink For Threadripper/EPYC 4U Systems

Quietly released earlier this year was the Dynatron A39 heatsink that is capable of up to 280 Watts heat dissipation for satisfying even the very latest, high-end AMD EPYC 7003 "Milan" processors. This Dynatron A39 TR4/sTRX4/SP3 heatsink has been working out very well for those needing to cool a Threadripper/EPYC system in a 3U or larger enclosure.

25 October 2021 - 15 Comments
SilverStone TP04 M.2 SSD Cooling

With proper heatsinks becoming all the more important with speedy PCI Express 4.0 NVMe SSDs to avoid thermal throttling, SilverStone has been among the vendors offering after-market aluminum heatsinks designed for M.2 2280 drives. The SilverStone TP04 is a simple but effective aluminum alloy SSD cooling kit for about $17 USD.

15 August 2021 - 24 Comments
System76 Launch - A Very Well Built, Highly Configurable, Open-Source Keyboard

Last month System76 launched their Launch Configurable Keyboard. They sent over this new open-source keyboard for some brief testing and I must say the build quality has been top notch and while this is their first keyboard they are bringing to market, with their US manufacturing expertise that began with their Thelio computer cases, it has carried forward with their Launch keyboard. This keyboard is beautifully crafted and among the most durable (and heaviest) keyboards I've used in the past two decades. It reminds me of the IBM Model M from a quality perspective but with its own unique advantages.

10 June 2021 - 46 Comments
System76 Launches The Launch Configurable Keyboard

For months Linux hardware vendor System76 has been teasing their own in-house designed and manufactured keyboard with open-source firmware and various innovations. Today the embargo lifts on the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard so we can share more about this new open hardware product.

13 May 2021 - 57 Comments
Dynatron A38 Performance For Cooling 280 Watt AMD EPYC CPUs

Announced in March by Dynatron was their A38 CPU cooler for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and EPYC processors. This heatsink fan is rated for cooling up to 280 Watt SP3/sTRX4/TR4 processors making it capable of cooling even the newest high-end EPYC "Milan" processors with the EPYC 75F3 and 7763 processors. Here are some initial benchmarks of this cooler with the AMD EPYC 7763 server processor.

11 April 2021 - 12 Comments
Building A Large L-Shaped Desk For Accommodating Plenty Of Computers

Four years ago I chronicled building a massive L-shaped desk for a better workflow, more monitors and space. For those that may be wanting to procure a new computer desk if you are working from home or eyeing L-shaped desk options, here is a new build I recently finished up as an improvement over my original design

14 November 2020 - 30 Comments
CooliPi 4B Is The Best Raspberry Pi 4 Heatsink We Have Tested Yet

While the Raspberry Pi folks have been making thermal/power improvements to the Raspberry Pi 4 firmware, running this budget-friendly ARM single board computer with a heatsink or some form of cooling is certainly recommended if you want to sure it operates at the optimal clock frequencies. A Phoronix reader devised the CooliPi 4B and it's wound up being one of the best Raspberry Pi 4 cooler we have tested to date.

16 December 2019 - 58 Comments
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4: A Very Low-Profile AMD Ryzen Cooler

When looking for a heatsink with a small stature for an AMD APU mini PC build for HTPC / file storage use-cases (more on that build in the next day or two), the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 fit the criteria and so I went with that given the success with the many Noctua heatsinks we have used over the years. For those potentially interested in the NH-L9a-AM4 for an AMD APU like the new Ryzen 5 3400G or for lower-end Ryzen CPUs, I ran some benchmarks with this cooler.

21 September 2019 - 24 Comments
Cooling The Raspberry Pi 4 With The Fan SHIM & FLIRC For Better Performance

With the Raspberry Pi 4, a passive heatsink is an absolute minimum for running this new ARM SBC unless you want to deal with potentially drastic performance limitations based upon your operating conditions. However, if you will be enduring the Raspberry Pi 4 with significant load for any measurable length of time, an active cooler is almost warranted or otherwise a very capable passive cooler. In this article we're looking at the Raspberry Pi 4 performance with a Fan SHIM as an active fan designed for running on the Raspberry Pi off the GPIO pins as well as the FLIRC as a metal case that passively cools the device.

13 August 2019 - 63 Comments
Libratbag + Piper Allow For Great Logitech Gaming Mouse Support On Linux

While Roccat previously backed their devices on Linux that is the case no more and what is left for the time being are various community/third-party applications for supporting gaming mice/keyboard configuration under Linux from Logitech to Razer and various other lesser known brands of gaming peripherals (Razer will hopefully change this, at least). One of the most promising efforts right now for unifying mouse configuration on Linux is libratbag and its GTK3 Piper interface. Ratbag and Piper have evolved into a very competent open-source project for configuring Logitech mice on the Linux desktop.

21 August 2018 - 22 Comments
AMD Threadripper 2990WX Cooling Performance - Testing Five Heatsinks & Two Water Coolers

The 32-core / 64-thread AMD Threadripper 2990WX carries a 250 Watt TDP rating, thus the cooling performance is quite important especially if you don't want to hit any thermal throttling with this $1799 USD processor. Fortunately, the 2990WX doesn't require water cooling but actually can work quite well with high-end air heatsinks too. For adding some perspective on the cooling requirements of the Threadripper 2990WX, here are benchmarks of five heatsinks and two all-in-one water cooling systems.

13 August 2018 - 7 Comments
Dell's Thunderbolt TB16 Dock Can Work With Linux & Drive Dual 4K Displays

When it came to settling on the latest-generation Dell XPS 13 as my main production workhorse with Fedora Workstation 28, besides the laptop's own traits like its build quality, specs relative to price, and other factors, another important requirement was the ability to drive two 4K displays when at my desk. The Dell XPS 13 has no issue driving dual 4K screens via the Dell Thunderbolt TB16 dock.

9 August 2018 - 22 Comments
Noctua NH-D9 DX-3647 4U: A High-End Xeon Scalable Heatsink

Back in March we looked at the cooling performance of Noctua's AMD EPYC heatsinks for cooling these Zen-based server processors. The Noctua heatsinks tested did a wonderful job testing those socket SP3 processors so when the Austrian company announced a few weeks ago their Xeon Scalable heatsink line-up, we decided it would be interesting to see how their latest Intel server heatsinks perform.

4 July 2018 - 24 Comments
SilverStone TP02-M2: An Aluminum Heatsink For Cooling An M.2 SSD

While SilverStone is mostly known for their beautifully crafted computer cases, in addition to their range of power supplies and other enthusiast products they have also offered a number of cooling products over the years. Their latest addition to their cooling product line is the TP02-M2 that is an aluminum alloy heatsink for cooling M.2 solid-state drives.

11 March 2018 - 13 Comments
SilverStone TS421S 4-Disk SATA/SAS Disk Enclosure

While SilverStone is mostly known for their computer cases, power supplies, and other peripherals, with the TS421S they have a compelling four-disk drive enclosure on their hands. The TS421S drive storage device supports up to four SAS/SATA 2.5-inch drives over a single mini-SAS SFF-8088 cable.

13 December 2017 - 8 Comments
Passively Cooling A Radeon RX 480 Polaris GPU

This past week the fan on my reference Radeon RX 480 graphics card surprisingly died. It's been a number of years since I last had a fan go out on a graphics card heatsink with much better reliability these days, especially with the reference graphics cards. When deciding what cooling solution to use for this RX 480 Polaris card, I decided to try a budget passively-cooled solution.

2 December 2017 - 35 Comments
StarTech 2.5-Inch Aluminum External Disk Enclosure

While I have tested out many StarTech server racks at Phoronix, I have never checked out the company's computer peripherals. I ended up trying out their 2.5-inch aluminum external enclosure and have ended up liking it almost as much as their racks.

5 November 2017 - 16 Comments
Keeping Intel Core X-Series CPUs Cool With Noctua Air Cooling

With the ten-core / 20-thread Core i9 7900X CPU having a 140 Watt TDP, it's a lot to keep cool with air cooling. Even more, with the soon-to-launch new Core i9 models, you really need a beefy heatsink fan if wishing to avoid water cooling. In this article are some tests with different Noctua heatsinks. Besides being able to cool these 2017X processors, the other requirement too is that they fit within 4U space requirements. The heatsinks benchmarked today included the Noctua NH-C14S, NH-U9S, Noctua NH-D9L, NF-A9 PWM fan, and NF-A14 PWM fan.

17 September 2017 - 20 Comments
OpenRazer+Polychromatic Make It Easy To Configure Razer Keyboards/Mice On Linux

While Razer at this time does not provide any official software support on Linux, via the OpenRazer/Polychromatic projects largely driven by the open-source community, they are making impressive headway. Last time I tried the Polychromatic UI that interfaces with the OpenRazer drivers for configuring Razer products on Linux, it wasn't working too well. But now it seems to have matured a lot and is working out quite well.

5 September 2017 - 7 Comments
NetGear Nighthawk X10 As A High-End Home Router

The past number of weeks I've been able to test the Nighthawk X10 router as my main home/office router and it's been working out great. This router is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core processor and its wireless connectivity is great, but those interested in the device, it will set you back $450 USD.

22 April 2017 - 40 Comments
Setting Up A MoCA 2.0 Ethernet-Over-Coax Network, Linux LAN Benchmarks

The MoCA 2.0 specification is six years but there still aren't many consumer devices making use of this "Multimedia over Coax Alliance" standard nor the newer MoCA 2.5 standard. But in looking for alternatives to Ethernet over powerline when expanding my network, I ended up setting up a MoCA 2.0 system while running some Linux performance benchmarks along the way.

30 December 2016 - 20 Comments
Nest Outdoor Security Camera

While I've tested out various indoor WiFi-based security cameras over the past decade on Phoronix, outdoor WiFi cameras have been a different story. Either through my contacts from Phoronix or through my own personal searching, I've never found an outdoor WiFi security camera that I've liked either due to poor build quality, poor video quality / viewing angles, or other issues but most of the time has revolved around not being well-engineered. That has changed with the Nest Cam Outdoor that was announced earlier this year by the Google/Alphabet-owned company while this week it's finally begun shipping to consumers. I certainly like the Nest Cam Outdoor from a hardware perspective, but the software could still use some improvements.

21 September 2016 - 13 Comments
Building A Massive L-Shaped Desk For A Better Workflow, More Monitors & Space

For the Phoronix 12th birthday and in trying to make a more efficient workflow and some general improvements to reinvigorate my general 100 hour work weeks across the span of Phoronix Media, I decided to set out on building a new desk this past week. Here's the result with having a massive, 8 and 10 foot sides to a L-shaped wooden and steel desk.

12 June 2016 - 24 Comments
Anonabox Tunneler & Pro: Helping You Stay Anonymous Online

Given our open-source/Linux reader base and many of our readers being very privacy-minded, Anonabox sent over their Tunneler and Pro products for us to try out. The Anonabox Tunneler is a WiFi VPN router and the Anonabox Pro is a WiFi Tor and VPN router.

28 May 2016 - 4 Comments
Seek Thermal Turns Your Android Phone/Tablet Into A Thermal Imaging Camera

If you have ever wanted a thermal imager to get an idea for the hottest areas of your PC, look how to improve the thermal efficiency of your server room or house, or other purposes, you've likely noticed how thermal imagers are generally quite expensive. A lower-cost solution that's also very versatile is the Seek Compact Thermal, which can attach to your Android smartphone or tablet and turn it into a thermal imaging solution paired with the ease of use of being able to save the captured video or still images to your device.

29 January 2016 - 16 Comments

186 peripherals articles published on Phoronix.