REVIEW TERMS & CONDITIONS

SNDWAY SW-523 noise meter

If you are a publisher and want your game reviewed, we will accept your game gladly. We only require that the game will work with Windows 7 x64 or higher. We may use your game for benchmarking. Presently we use Metro 2033 and Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason for benchmarking. We often seek new benchmarks of interest to gamers.

We revise reviews when games are updated or new information is available. Our reviews are always single page and recently video clips in a loop are being used to better describe the game. Gaming guides are posted separately with links back to the original review which is also amended to links to the new guides. Some games may have multiple guides depending on their nature and the gaming requirements.

ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS

The lab grade acoustic sound meter is convenient to see how much noise come from air cooled devices. The move to ball bearing fans has reduced fan noise substantially in personal computers. Nose analysis has been a focus for many hardware vendors such as Corsair which now offer zero fan with idle power loads. Zero fan has also been seen with some graphics cards. Computers are now so quiet they are often < 5dB below ambient noise.

A sound analysis lab is a costly venture. The SPL meter can still provide a good idea of the noise levels in a personal computer.

INFRARED CAMERA

The Teledyne FLIR camera is more eye opening with its ability to see if there are any overheated components in a PC or with any product. Some USB wall power units tend to be surprisingly warm. The FLIR sensor can even show the studs in outdoor walls or find leaking windows easily. The rechargeable battery is convenient making it easy to work all day. Now it is very easy to show if a power adapter unit is operating safely.

Infrared photography is still a comparatively small niche area. The FLIR camera is so flexible that the safety aspect along has earned its keep doing safety inspections.

BETA TESTING GAMES

We hold multiple Windows IT MVP awards from Microsoft. We are thus far more competent to help identify problems, if any, in a release candidate. We also respect an embargo when needed. We also respect NDA which use extensively with may corporations. Corporations have a right to privacy too.

We have reviews over 1,300 games reviewed and the professionalism of writing skills is the main focus with the site. You webmaster is university educated which should be apparent with the vocabulary available.

MOBILE TESTING

Mobile testing now includes load testing for charger so that real efficiency can be measured. Testing of wires and cables along with phones can all be reviewed non destructively easily. Apple recoments a case for phones and we agree, just because its drop resistant does not mean it will not break. Testing to destruction is not very scientific at the best of times.

The studio now has a recent Android tablet with a 10 core CPU and 512GB of storage. There are also several iPads and iPhones in the studio.

VIDEO CARDS

We are now far better equipped to review display adapters. Many of the games we have feature benchmarks which can be leveraged to create a more complete review. We continually acquire more games with an eye towards benchmarking. Over time more machines have been accumulated to accelerate reviews.

If you provide us with video cards, we wish to retain them permanently so that they can be used for future game reviews and benchmark table updates. A growing number of games are integrating benchmarks so that players can adjust the settings to better match their particular machines.

open frame atx chassis

MOTHERBOARDS, SSD, RAM & CPUs

We chronically need new motherboards, processors and RAM for the reviews. Periodically we experience hardware failures and require replacements. Motherboards do not last very long swapping video cards before the PCI Express slot is damaged. Some motherboards now have reinforced slots which seem to be much more durable.

There seems to be a dearth of motherboards configured for dual graphics cards. The GTX 690 SLI has not been in use as recent motherboards are not able to take both cards. Dual cards afford alternate frame rendering which can effectively provide double the frame rate with games. With modern higher refresh LCD panels the need for more graphics performance is obvious.

The open frame chassis is handy for RAM reviews. It is also handy for M.2 SSD reviews. Comparisons using the same motherboard and PSU are typical. The open frame chassis leverages the modular cable setup easily. For most purposes the ATX 2×12 cable and EPS12V are standard. Video card testing may require more than one additional PCIe cable which is why modular cables are ideal. High power video cards may require more power which is why an 850W PSU is needed for video card reviews.

POWER SUPPLIES

us-power-monitor

We prefer to evaluate power supplies as long term assets which is different from the usual strip down review. Stress testing is fine but how well does the PSU perform over 5 years. We use a power usage meter which can measure down to the cent how much power is used. We have several extreme video cards that use over 250W of power to see how well a given PSU can handle an extreme load.

The power monitors can be set with the electric rate to be able to even show the cost over time. The studio has several power monitors for various tasks. Saving money on energy was extremely fashionable in 2008 when oil crested $140 per barrel. OIl has fallen substantially since the financial crisis resolved. Unemployment recovered slowly taking almost 3 years.

The carbon pile is a repurposed unit from automotive servicing. The unit can draw over 500A of current which can destroy any power supply that does not have an overcurrent shutdown feature. The carbon pile is brutal for testing load capacity at the claimed ability, the dial can be adjusted to any value.

LAPTOPS

We also use laptop machines extensively. Many laptop users play games after hours so we test games on our machines for game compatibility. With over 1000 games in Steam any machine can be evaluated for gaming.