Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD Review

When SSD’s first arrived on the market the price point alone made many people turn away from them, but as the prices began to come down, more and more people began to see the benefit to adding a SSD to their existing system. For more novice consumers and those who still find the price a little too high there are remaining questions about when and why to get an SSD. In this review we will cover the benefits of the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD as well as the overall advantages to using a SSD.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Why an SSD?

So let’s start with the basics. An SSD is faster than your normal Hard Drive, much faster. The direct speed difference will vary on the model you get. Using the HyperX 3K we compared it to my previous hard drive, a 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s. The read and write speeds were many times faster with the SSD which translates into quicker load times and faster access of data. This means if you use it as your system drive Windows will boot and respond faster and applications will do the same.

For many gamers, an SSD is added to their existing system to be used as their game drive. What this does is improve the loading and access time of a game and this also comes into play online. Now an SSD cannot help you if your ISP is slow or you have bandwidth issues, but if you have applications running in the background along with your game, say Ventrilo, an SSD can manage the data better meaning a smooth gaming experience with no choppiness, which is a key in FPS, RTS and MMO gaming.

Beyond the benefits for applications and games an SSD can make an older computers seem newer by expanding its usability. Many times, especially for users who are not heavy into games, find themselves with a slow PC, not because of CPU or memory, but their hard drive. The speed and performance of an SSD can inject new life into your existing system even freeing the need to upgrade other parts. Finally, an SSD contains no moving parts so if you move your system a lot it can take the wear and tear that a traditional hard drive cannot.

The Breakdown

We tested the 240GB version of the Kingston HyperX for this review. For people looking to add more programs and games in addition to their operating system, this size is a perfect fit. This model is also lower in price costing a litter over two hundred dollars. For your O/S 100GBs of space is a good number to go with. I personally have used as low as 50GBs with a few applications added, but was always low on drive space. With this 240GB drive, you will have more than enough room for your operating system, your applications and games. If you collect media like movies and music you could add them as well, but its best to run those from a traditional drive as it does not really impact performance.

First thing you will notice is the size. The drive is 2.5 inches with a 9.5mm height, so it is much smaller than your traditional hard drive. The drive comes with a sturdy shinny metallic 3.5 inch bracket and mounting screws, so it can fit into any desktop case. The drive also comes with a handy screw drive that holds various bits as well as the screws keeping everything together and making installation very easy. Of course, if you are not comfortable doing your own installation you can ask a friend, but it is very simple to do and there are many videos showing how to install an SSD.

 

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

The HyperX 3K also comes with an USB external drive bay, which looks pretty cool design wise. This allows you to use your SSD as an external drive that you plug into your USB. This also allows you to take the drive on the road which is great for professionals or gamers that travel and since it supports USB 2.0 you will still get the speed and performance you expect.

The drive runs quite since it does not have any moving parts. This is ideal for those who want a silent running PC in their home or office. Another great thing about this drive is that it also draws less power and is cooler than a traditional hard drive meaning it will not add extra heat to your system or the environment it is in and overall is more energy efficient.

Here is a breakdown of the features for the SSD:

  • Features
    • SandForce controller technology
    • High-speed SATA Rev 3.0 (6Gb/s) transfer speeds
    • Advanced Wear-Leveling Technology
    • User-Configurable Over Provisioning4
    • Performance — incredible speeds for enhanced productivity
    • Reliable — much less likely to fail than a standard hard drive
    • Shock-Proof — dropping your notebook no longer means losing your data
    • Cool & Quiet — runs silent and with no moving mechanical parts to generate heat
    • Innovative — uses NAND Flash memory components
    • Supports TRIM — enhances device wear leveling by eliminating merge operation for all deleted data blocks
    • Supports S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology)
    • Guaranteed — three-year warranty, free technical support and legendary Kingston reliability.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Defining Technology

So when looking at the top SSD’s you will want to understand the technology that comes with it. Let’s take a look at some of the terms and breakdown their meaning for those not familiar with them.

Sandforce Technology: Sandforce is the processor for Flash Storage devices. Also known as the controller, it is key component of the drive. Sandforce is known for making top rate SSD processors, which contains additional features that improve the performance and power optimization for a drive and the longevity of the SSD.

TRIM: TRIM in a nutshell is Windows 7 memory optimization for SSD’s and was best explained to me like this. When you write something to your drive think about writing on a piece of paper. When you want to get rid of the paper you would toss it away. With a computer you are not tossing the paper, but erasing whatever you wrote on the paper to use again. With an SSD, you may delete or erase a page, which can be a word doc or an entire program, but the SSD needs a stack of papers, or what is referred of as a block before it deletes them. However, when it’s time to delete the block, since there is more than one page to do, it can take time and that time taken can slow down the SSD. TRIM anticipates that you will need to delete that block sooner or later so it does it ahead of time so you do not run into that large block being erased that slows down your system and in turn your SSD runs at optimum speeds at all times.

S.M.A.R.T: This stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. This is the early warning system that something is going to happen to your disk drive. SMART monitors your drive and its main function is to detect and report and various indicators of reliability giving you a heads up of potential issues. When SMART finds something wrong you have the option to prepare for an outage by backing up your data and getting a replacement drive. In addition to having a warning to back up your data disk drive manufactures may be able to use the SMART data to find out where issues occurred in their drive and even help them make changes to prevent other issues from occurring. Think of it as the little black box for your SSD.

ATTO Disk Benchmark on my old drive
ATTO Disk Benchmark on my old drive
AS SSD Benchmark on my old drive
AS SSD Benchmark on my old drive
Crystal Disk Mark on my old drive
Crystal Disk Mark on my old drive

Testing

One thing to keep in mind when testing is how the drive is being used. You will often see faster speeds if you run tests on a free drive being used for gaming than one that you already installed Windows on and then ran the tests. The HyperX features 555MB/sec read and 510MB/sec write speeds, but again these can vary depending on the software and testing conditions. However, the overall speed difference over a traditional hard drive is unmistakable as you can see in the benchmarking screenshots below.

AS SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
AS SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
ATTO SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
ATTO SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
Crystal Mark SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD
Crystal Mark SSD Benchmark on the Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

As you can see compared to my previous hard drive the HyperX is much much faster in both read and write speeds. As far as daily use, the different is night and day. When logging into Windows after a reboot the load time is cut down to a few seconds. With my old drive, it would be up to a minute before all my programs would open and be ready for use.

This is another point for SSD’s specifically the Kingston HyperX. If you run a lot of programs and/or have a number of programs that start automatically like instant messenger programs and anti-virus software, a faster drive dramatically drops down the loading time of those applications. Even using programs such as Microsoft Office I can see the different when it auto saves or I save the program myself. Finally, for those who work with audio or video programs an SSD is a must for quicker access of your work and loading times.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 240GB SSD

Final Thoughts

Kingston offers a 3-year warranty with this SSD as well as customer support via their website. In addition, a toolbox software download is available. The Kingston Toolbox enables you to read your drive information such as Serial Numbers, Firmware versions, and S.M.A.R.T. attributes.

Overall the Kingston HyperX SSD is one of the fastest drives on the market at with a price in the low 200’s, it is perfect for the advanced or novice user of any budget. The speed and reliability you get with this drive will make any system better, and for those who demand the best performance it is a must have.

Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish

Call of Duty-Modern Warfare 3-Find Makarov-Operation Kingfish

“Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish” is the seven-minute sequel to the fan-made, original film, Find Makarov. The real life movie reveals a key moment in Modern Warfare history as Soap recalls one of his most memorable Task Force 141 missions. For more information visit findmakarov.com.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afs8lcfBY7Q[/youtube]

Created by We Can Pretend, Meteoric, The Junction VFX, and Stealing Time
Director: Jeff Chan
Executive Producer: David Fradkin
Producer: Evan Stasyshyn
Stars John Morgan as John “Soap” McTavish

The TI 99/4A

Ti 99 4A - Long Version
TI 99/4A, usually referred to (well by us gnomes at least) simply as the Texas Instruments, was the first computer I ever touched and the only computer of mine I just can’t remember where to find. Damn! This Space Invaders cartridge was so utterly amazing, and so unbelievably better than its Atari 2600 version, I’d just love to play it again… Show it to them silly Atari loving kiddies. Take it out for a beer even. Ah, the days, the days…
spacebandits - TI994a game

 

Nostalgia aside though, the TI 99/4A was also a rather impressive machine for its time. It was 16-bit, could output 256-colour graphics, had an almost proper keyboard, could use Atari’s digital and quite lovely one-button joysticks, could load programmes via tape or cartridge, was immensely expandable and had loads of RAM (that was 16Kb actually). As for the games, well, a visit to the TI-99/4A videogames house should convince you. For the rest, watch this commercial (and please avoid the dreaded Bill Cosby one):

 


Interested for more? Great, here are some sites you might just enjoy:


Dead Rising: How to murder 60k Zombies

Dead Rising Zombies

Aeropause produced this most impressive of Dead Rising video walkthroughs, designed to teach aspiring undead slaughterers, how to swiftly rid their game worlds of enough zombies to earn them the prestigious Zombie Genocide Achievement. Go on. Watch the video. Gooood… Now, try it out yourself. You’ll make old mother happy again….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNr3qXkRn8[/youtube]

Grand Theft Auto: LEGO City

grand-theft-auto-meets-lego-city

Simply put, it’s just a brilliant GTA video. In LEGO City. More of a stop-motion animation with LEGOS actually. And a definite GTA theme. Cute. Enough said. Words can be expensive.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMY9VlMIEJk[/youtube]

Retro Love: Buy a Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast Logo

It’s been quite some time since I’ve got my brand new, but also (and that’s quite an oxymoron) second hand, SEGA Dreamcast, and let me tell you, I am as happy a punter as one can be. I’m a 100% converted and a newborn SEGA fanboy (well, not a boy in the full sense, but you get the idea… at least I’m not in my thirties just yet). I’m also rather thankful to the Dreamcast Junkyard for fuelling my DC obsession.

All things considered I’m thankful to dear Mr. Elderly too, for providing this blog’s comments space with a healthy dose of Irish surrealism, but that’s definitely none of your business. All you should focus on is buying a Dreamcast (unless of course you already got one, in which case you should consider buying a second). Why? Well, because…

1) It’s a matter of price.

The Dreamcast is dead cheap. You should be able to buy a brand new one for less than 80$ (that’s 60 euros) over at Lik-Sang (try clicking on the banner at the end of the article to see for yourself), or follow my example and buy a second hand one, either at e-bay or at your local second-hand-store-bazaar-whatever for quite a bit less than 50$. And this is paying for a 100% current-gen console.
Sega Dreamcast Console
the Dreamcast (via)

2) It’s the bleeding hardware

It doesn’t only look smart, it is smart. SEGA’s Dreamcast is miles ahead from both the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation, even though it’s not as powerful as the PS2 or the GameCube. It sports a RISC 128bit CPU capable of 360 MIPS (N64 ~120 MIPS, PS1 ~30 MIPS), a special edition PowerVR2 graphics processor, that can cope with 10 times PS1’s polygons, 16MB of RAM, a 1 Giga “GD-ROM” (aka fancy, fast and easily pirated CD-ROM) drive, brilliant 64 channel audio and a modem. Yes. The first console modem ever. Oh, and European players will apparently enjoy full 60Hz PAL support.

Sega Dreamcast Motherboard

the insides of the beast (via)

3) It’s the brilliant (and admittedly very cheap) games

With more than 300 games, the Dreamcast has something for everyone, except perhaps for us poor football minded maniacs. Most used (and abused) games should be picked up at ridiculous prices of 5-10$ (less in euros, even less in pounds), while published titles include such brilliant gems as Soul Calibur, Rez, Sonic Adventure 2, Rayman 2, Phantasy Star Online, Quake 3 (you might even be able to track down Half-Life), Metropolis Street Racer, Shenmue, Ikaruga, Crazy Taxi 2, Jet Grind Radio and the quite legendary Samba de Amigo.

Soul Calibur - Sega Dreamcast Screenshot

Soul Calibur

 

I could actually go on and mention at least a dozen more distinctive and defining games, but I’d rather mention something else. Dreamcast games are still being produced! Have a look at the 2006 released Under Defeat or the forthcoming Last Hope shooter.

Under Defeat - Sega Dreamcast Screenshot

Under Defeat

4) It’s the innovation and the quirkyness

And I’m talking innovation, beside the Internet connection or the PAL ting. The Dreamcast controller featured a brilliant analog stick, the now-standard shaped triggers and interestingly the Virtual Memory Unit, or VMU. This VMU thingy was far more than a memory stick. It plugged into the controller and used its little LCD screen to display relevant game information or graphics and even was a wee version of Gameboy, as it also functioned as a completely separate portable handheld gaming device (from hell). VMU games can be found right here, but searching and googling around will lead you to quite a few more cyber-stashes.

Sega Dreamcast VMU

the VMU (exposed)

 

As for quirkyness, one could mention the DC Keyboard, the Fishing Rod, the quite new-at-the-time Vibration Pack and above all Dreamcast’s Wii capabilities.

5) It’s the scene

By saying the scene I’m talking of the vibrant DC emulation, demo, homebrew and even amateur journalism community. On the Dreamcast you see, one can play anything from old arcade, to MegaDrive, Amiga, Atari, Gameboy, Playstation or NES games. There’s even a ScummVM port that makes those old Lucasarts adventures of yore DC compatible. Then again one can listen to MP3s, watch DivX videos, see the Dreamcast get pushed to its limits and play zillions of Tetris versions. All of these courtesy of the scene.

To start tasting sweet freeware offerings (you will need DiscJuggler to burn things on CD) try the following links: DCEvolution.net, Dreamcast Homebrew, IGN Dreamcast, Dreamcast @ pout.net.

6) There is no 6

Go on. Buy one! It’s cheap and powerful, but also quite the retro machine. Oh, and the Wii isn’t out yet.

Nintendo Rube Goldberg Animation

Nintendo Rube Goldberg Animation
The greatest artists have mostly been inspired by the grand and perpetual human drama. Be it personal or social, Art has always been about us. Not digital Italian plumbers, or peculiar Far Eastern brand names. Apparently times have changed. A simple, but admittedly quite inspired, YouTube video can prove it:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_4VZOjKRxA[/youtube]

The CD-i

It danced, it singed, it was good for audio, video, Karaoke and CD+G discs, while at the same time (not literally, mind you) it played games. The CD-i you see, oh dear retro-minded reader, had a decent library of gaming and educational software. ~Konstantinos Dimopoulos

The CD-i

It’s really weird feeling nostalgic for a console never actually owned, played or in any way experienced… Still, the CD-i was the second CD console I ever craved (promptly following the equally unsuccessful CDTV). And it was ads like this (via), that spawned my ungodly craving:
cdi-ad
Even though the console was a commercial failure, it was rather an interesting kit of hardware, that somehow managed to become the home of some weird, rare and quirky Mario and Zelda games. Featuring a 16bit 68000 based processor (@ 16MHz), 1.5 whole MB of RAM, a single-speed CD drive, optional MPEG-1 capabilities and dazzling 32k color graphics, CD-i was quite the home-entertainment hub Philips had wanted it to be.
It danced, it singed, it was good for audio, video, Karaoke and CD+G discs, while at the same time (not literally, mind you) it played games. The CD-i you see, oh dear retro-minded reader, had a decent library of gaming and educational software.
Litil Divil - CD-i
Top titles included Burn:Cycle, Myst, Dragon’s Lair, Litil Divil, Mad Dog McCree, Rise of the Robots and a dozen more.
Surprisingly (to me at least), the CD-i failed, and I never got one. Why? Guess it was a money thing. 1up, has more to add to the sad story. As for an emulator… Tough luck. There’s the freeware CD-ice that’s capable of emulating one game (Rise of the Robots, in case you were wondering), and the shareware Cd-i Emulator (free demo).

Both though need the CD-i’s ROM images. Tough luck. Again.


Lost In Translation: Vietnamese Pokemon Crystal

[youtube id=”BZ_bhwCgtXg” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Isn’t bootlegging what keeps Chinatowns across the US afloat? How can we strive to keep the American dream alive if we don’t indulge immigrants by purchasing their fine wares?~Umar Khan

Lost In Translation:

Poorly subtitled bootleg copies of games and videos are all lying somewhere in the darkest, dustiest corner of your closet. It’s hard for some to admit that they’ve acquired these counterfeit replicas but we’ve all purchased some at one point or another. Why pay full price when you could just as easily get a rip for $5? Isn’t bootlegging what keeps Chinatowns across the US afloat? How can we strive to keep the American dream alive if we don’t indulge immigrants by purchasing their fine wares?

 eggiereceivedrug

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can get an exact replica of what you’re looking for. In some case, in the case of this video, you get something zestfully bizarre. Somewhere on the internet – I’ll leave you to find out where exactly – there is a ROM of a Vietnamese rip of Pokemon Crystal. To save the painstaking adventure of playing through this ROM, Youtube user DeliciousCinnamon has gone ahead and created a documentary followed with some hilarious commentary to walk you through the experience.

Motivational Monday: Not so Superman

not so superman demotivational poster
not so superman demotivational poster

Motivational Monday: Not so Superman

We understand it is hard to write for the Man of Steal. The character of Superman can go from being able to break a mountain in half to having issues lifting a truck. We also understand that when it comes to video games there must be playability and risk which is why even Superman can receive a beat down. The problem is imagination. Even the Superman video games that were overall well done lacked imagination when it came to why Superman could get curb stomped liked Kick Ass. Unfortunately for some games it was way worse than just Superman’s lack of invulnerability.

Superman Arcade (1988)

This is one of those cases where the game was fun to play and overall well done. However, the issue was how easily Superman could be hurt and even “killed” by the bad guys. I can understand some of the bosses or special enemies, but you could take major damage by being hit by a trashcan. Oh if you thought that was bad I died a little inside when the lady in the pink bunny suit kicked me and took me out.

What was great about this game was it looked really good for the time and the original music from the first Superman movies really added to the game. I also really liked picking the red Superman for some reason. Maybe it made his beat downs hurt less because I pretended it was a weaker clone.

Superman 64

I almost don’t need to type anything because when you see the name of this game you should already know it sucks major ass. Everyone knows this game was painfully bad. Superman 64 had horrible graphics, terrible animation and the worst gameplay since… damn.

The game was made by Titus and was based on the animated Superman show of the late 90’s, but believe me it does not even come close to the show. Lex Luthor has created a virtual Metropolis and trapped Superman’s friends in there and for some demented reason wants Superman to spend most of his time flying through rings with an unreasonable time limit. Perhaps this would be reasonable if the flight controls were good and it wasn’t over done, but on both counts they failed. It was incredibly hard to control Superman’s flight. One minute he flies like he is drunk and the next it’s like he is on crack. Then add in the short unforgiving time limit and the fact that you spend more than half the game flying through rings and you have only scratched the surface of why this game blew chunks.

Superman NES

Oh Lord, can you see a pattern here. In this version of the Superman universe everyone looks like kids for some reason and you get your mission instructions from a talking Statue of Liberty. The game starts off looking kind of like Zelda 2 except with short, plump, children-like characters that Clark Kent talks to for information. Once you have where to go you go outside and discover that the bad guys either knows Clark Kent is Superman or just hates his writing. Here again we get an example of Superman being depowered because apparently bullets can hurt him and he has to jump over them Mario Bros. style.

You had super powers in this game if you could call them that, but they worked more like items that depleted than real powers. You would select the power you wished to use and it only had a limited amount of uses indicated by the energy bar on the top of the screen. Sadly some of the power ups did nothing to even the rank and file bad guys and you had to collect more power ups and health from the bad guys. So let me get this straight, I beat a bad guy who drops my own powers? Well, it’s still better than Superman 64.

Super OWNED

This video is dedicated to the horrible Superman games and the lack of Superness that Superman showed in them. Now there have been a few good Superman games, but like the movies they are far and few between. So until next time enjoy Superman getting owned.

Commercial Wars: Best use of Awesome

awesomeness demotivational poster Barley
awesomeness demotivational poster Barley

A great commercial like a great movie trailer can really hype people up to go see or buy it. Sometimes the video is much better than the game, but sometimes you are surprised to find the trailer matches the film. When a company takes the time to put real money and effort into a video game commercial and it comes out awesome it earns respect regardless of the game. This week we take a look at some of the best video game commercials that just look awesome in the way it was put together.

Sega Dreamcast: Thief

The Sega Dreamcast was one of the most awesome consoles that never really got the credit it should have. This commercial embodies the awesomeness of the console and the games behind it. You have to love when a company takes a movie-like approach to a game. The action, the humor and even the dialog all match and you spend the entire time into what’s going on. By the time you see the final splash telling you about the Dreamcast you’ve already purchased it.

Call of Duty: A Soldier in All of Us

Sure, this is a brand new commercial, but as we said Obsolete Gamer profiles good games regardless of when it was made. In this case the game takes a cool thought that we are all playing this war game and we come from different backgrounds. I love the fact that they add many different types of people and it comes together so well that you have to give it its praise. There was just enough humor and spirit to complement the action, beautifully done.

Halo Reach: Deliver Hope

Yet another modern game and yet another spectacular display of visuals with a perfect blend of music, heart and action. You did not need to hear loud booming explosions. You did not need to hear the screams of the dying. You did not need to hear one word, all was told to you visually with a light side dish of audio mastery. Yes, a commercial can do all that and “Deliver Hope” did it.

Vote or Die

Here we have three different action oriented videos that deliver awesome and so much more. Now the question is which one of the three did it best? The choice is yours.

[poll id=”11″]

Cataclysm: Inception

WoW Cataclysm Inception logo
WoW Cataclysm Inception logo

Our master of the editorial, Umar Khan sent over this link which has one the World of Warcraft Cataclysm trailers playing alongside the music from the movie, Inception. It’s about 18 seconds of the inception theme then you start the cataclysm trailer, if you mute the cataclysm music and let only the inception music play it matches together in a pretty awesome way.


Remember you need to mute the Cataclysm trailer.

Don’t feeling like trying it on your own? You can view it on the Youtube double and Check it out here.

Thanks Umar.

Blizzard’s New World of Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base?

WoW Kobold
WoW Kobold

Warcraft Expansion Targeting Their Original Player-base

Rumors have been coming down the grapevine that Blizzard is moving away from the traditional attitude of making each expansion easier than the last. The audience that they garnered in during Wrath of the Lich King seem to be involuntarily entering a new “old” era of World of Warcraft. Not only is the expansion revamping the old vanilla zones but it seems that old combat rule sets are about to follow in. Are they attempting to isolate their WOTLK Ez-Mode audience that has been showered in epic loots for sneezing in the right direction? It sure seems so.

Some Beta contestants have been mentioning that level 81 greens in Cataclysm are stronger than epics that drop off of Arthas in WOTLK. Sound a bit familiar? The same formula was used in Burning Crusade where you could replace your entire Tier 3 set and weapons by level 64 with vastly more powerful “uncommon” gear. On top of this change, they are putting the “epic” back into purple by making blues a much more common drop. Testimonials from people in Beta have been mentioning they have yet to have seen a purple item. They are mentioning that the abundance of blues are the equivalent of seeing a warrior in Valor Armor with a purple from Stratholme or UBRS before Molten Core came out. In Vanilla WoW, when you saw someone with an epic, even just one, it really meant that item was purely epic because of the miniscule chance something like that would drop. Is there a reason Blizzard is reverting to this style of loot dropping? Some players are so upset about this they have even vented their rage on the forums how there will be more blues in Cataclysm than in WOTLK. One possible troll stated even if the blues have stats that are equivalent to a purple they refuse to have to raid to get purple colors now. A bit immature? Well, that’s WoW’s community for you.

Another homage to the old school playing style of World of Warcraft will be the return of Crowd Control! That’s right, Mages! You can start Polymorphing again! It had seemed that during WOTLK, CC had become a thing of the past and players would do the simple thing and just body pull and use Area-Of-Effect spells to burn everything down quickly. Healers would just spam their fastest heal and keep the tank up constantly. In Cataclysm, Blizzard (and something beta tester can attest to) mentions that combat difficulty has increased significantly and just nuking everything that is still moving isn’t going to work anymore. Players are going to actually have to use their crowd controlling abilities to keep pulls safe.

Tanks are also going to have a bit more of a problem now because healers are being forced to use more than one heal to keep them alive. Yes, they are making healers have actual heal rotations because they are making their spells more mana hungry. Tanks hit points won’t be able to keep up with massive bombardment from 9 mobs at once any longer. It looks like Blizzard is trying to make all players fill a more important and diverse role in a group even in lowly dungeons.

Is Blizzard looking to bring back players that have left and also bring in new players that haven’t been spoiled by WOTLK easy handouts with the new Team Jacob race? If this is the case, how is their majority audience in WOTLK going to fair when Cataclysm releases? The expansion still has awhile to go before their release date and there are always more features and additions to throw in but if this is the course that they are going how negatively could this impact their current population?

Super Mario Bros. Wall

[vimeo id=”13118504″ width=”633″ height=”340″]

Super Mario Bros. Wall

Super Mario Bros wall

Sometimes something comes alone that is just way to cool and this is one of those things. Check out the video showing Super Mario Bros displayed on a wall, it is totally awesome.

Super Mario Bros. from Surfap on Vimeo.

All credit goes to Surfap for this video.

PS3 HDMI Cable Review

HDMI cable
HDMI cable

Have you ever heard the saying “there is no such thing as a better cable”? Well here is the skinny, HDMI cables are rated by their bitrate per second or bandwidth capacity so the higher the Gbps or Gigabits per second the more data can pass through at a faster rate.

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface and your HDMI cable transfers high-quality audio and video signals from your media device (in this case a Playstation 3 game console) to your HD television set.

With a HDMI cable offering 340 Mhz (megahertz) at 10.2 Gbps such as the 6 FT. PS3 HDMI Cable we tested you will notice increased visual and audio clarity from your PS3 to you HDTV. The PS3 HDMI cable Supports 480p, 720p 1080i, 1080p, 1440p including 1080p Blu-Ray which will bring you the best movie watching experience on your console.

The Triple Shielded cable also supports Lossless DTS 8 Channel Audio. DTS stands for Digital Theater Systems and like Dolby Digital gives you 5.1 channels of digital audio. DTS uses less compression and as a result some feel it provides a more accurate sound.

Lossless surround soundtracks can be found on many Blu-ray Discs. What makes Lossless better is it provides an audio experience that is identical to the original studio recording. Other surround formats have to be compressed so it can be stored on smaller media such as a DVD Disc, but lossless surround are not compressed in that manner and therefore offer a more detailed audio experience.

The 28 Gauge cable itself is very sturdy and features gold plated connectors. The strength of the cable really comes into play when bending and flexing the cable during installation and moving your unit from one place to another. When I connected it to my PS3, I played a few different games and Blu-ray movies and the difference in clarity is noticeable especially on 1080p HD television sets.

Now let’s talk warranty and price. Many outlets offers an unconditional lifetime warranty on every cable they sell which means if the cable ever fails you can return it for a replacement cable of equal specification. However, the warranty does not cover cable damage due to accident, misuse, abuse or negligence and you will need to contact them to try and troubleshoot the issue before sending back the cable.

The 6 Foot cable we tested MSRP’s for $34.99, but here is the thing, you should never pay over $20 for a cable 3 to 6 feet. A number of sites must know this rule as well because their 6 Ft. cable is currently only $10.99 with free shipping in the continental United States and if you order before 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time your item will ship the same day. Not bad, not bad at all.

Bottom line is at the price and with the specification and durability of these cables it is definitely worth checking these out. Several sites offer PS3 HDMI cables in 1,3,5,10,25,33 and 50 feet. Don’t believe that there is no such thing as a better cable, quality matters and the right cable can give you a better gaming and movie-watching experience.