Component Reviews

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Intel Core i5 3470

While the i5 3470 will give system integrators some wiggle room on price, we're fans of sticking to the i5 3570K for everyone else.

Asus P8Z77-M

There's a tendency among hardware reviewers to use the word "solid" as a stand-in for something with no surprises, that does the job it's asked to do and has no real peaks but no real troughs, either. Larry is "solid" — a little board that will likely see you through to the end, if the features satisfy your checklist of needs.

Corsair Vengeance C70

We're quite sure the Vengeance C70 will be home to some great mods — considering the price though, we'd have hoped for some more fit and finish.

Creative Sound Blaster X7

The Creative Sound Blaster X7 offers a ridiculous number of features for the money and sound quality is generally very good, but its appeal is limited.

Asus P8Z77-V Pro

If you need a little more than the average punter, put this board on your watch list.

Leia

Leia is a new technology that aims to revive interest in glasses-free 3D display.

Cooler Master HAF XM

We like the HAF XM; at AU$149, it gives you huge bang for buck, is well constructed and supports a variety of builds. Recommended.

Intel DZ77GA-70K

The DZ77GA-70K is going to appeal to a specific subset of people: those who are looking for expandability and features more than anything else.

Pinnacle Edition DV

Pinnacle Edition DV delivers powerful video editing and a great value for intermediate to advanced users, but beginners will struggle with its unique interface and abundance of features.

Asus P8Z77-V LK

An excellent value board, the P8Z77-V LK has been sniped by a more flexible competitor in the same price ball-park.

Targus Lap Chill Mat

The Targus Lap Chill Mat is among the least-ugly laptop fan stands we've seen, helping it rise above the generic-looking competition.

Asus ROG Avalon

The proof-of-concept motherboard-chassis hybrid combines to make it easier to install new components, but it's not perfect.

Cooler Master Cosmos II

The Cosmos II is big and beautiful. You'll need to put aside AU$369 and a lot of floor space — but, if you can afford both, you'll never regret it.

Lian Li PC-A75

Lian Li still builds the most elegant cases in the market. The PC-A75's biggest problem is that for AU$100 less, you can get a more innovative, refined steel case whose only sin is that it's heavier.

Intel Core i7 3770K

If you need to update today, there's no doubt that Intel's third generation Core products are the top of the pile. If you're a Sandy Bridge owner though, there's not much here that will tempt you over.

BitFenix Shinobi XL

The Shinobi XL has quite a bit of flexibility if you choose to build up a highly custom rig — we'd just like a little more attention spent on the fit and finish.

Corsair Obsidian 550D

It's clear that a lot of thought has gone in to the Obsidian 550D. If your ultimate goal is quietness and you can get away with a mid-tower, definitely give this one a look.

Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock NST-D100SU

The Vantec NexStar Hard Drive Dock is a good, affordable tool for computer technicians and those who work with internal hard drives.