Review of the BitFenix Neos PC case & Alchemy LED strips

First of all I would like to thank BitFenix for sending these out to me for review!
I was looking forward to see what BitFenix could offer me for review and despite being slightly disheartened to be receiving a £30 case, reflecting back, I couldn’t be happier – hopefully this review will convey my thoughts on what seems like a cheap PC case, but in fact turns out to be an extremely versatile and well-performing PC case!

BitFenix Neos - Window with light

Before getting into it – see my video review and full build video, which showcases me disassembling my mother’s old PC, the Fractal Core 1000 (which comes in at the same price bracket) and then transferring the parts to the new BitFenix Neos (Windowed, black and silver version):

Here’s some purchase information for you:
I was sent the Neos, the Alchemy LED strips and a black window panel for the case
-AmazonUK link to the Neos case
-OverclockersUK link to the Neos case
-AmazonUK link to the BitFenix Alchemy LED Strip
-OverclockersUK link to the BitFenix Alchemy LED Strip

Now let’s get into this written review!

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Windows 7 vs Windows 10 – Benchmark Results on Battlefield 4

Hi there!

This is going to be a very short “review” of Windows 10 Technical Preview and it’s performance on The Battlefield – Pun intended.
I had previously benched BF4 to a huge extent and thought to conduct the same type of benchmark for Windows 10 Technical preview, whilst re-doping my Windows 7 benches.

I found the difference between the results to be extremely minimal, so much so that, the differences can be deemed inconclusive and insufficient to draw up ANY differences between the OSs.

Win7 vs Win10 - Graph

Take away what you will, but those differences for me, normally would be over 5-10% in variance. In this case, they’re so close together that there’s absolutely no point in benching any more right now.

Now, should you be worried or dissappointed?
Absolutely not – these benches really prove to us, rather than anything else, that DX12 isn’t being used, drivers from GPU vendors (in my case Nvidia) aren’t released yet and furthermore these benches were comparing a stable OS with a Technical Preview.
overall, there’s a lot against Win10 really, but yet it performed extremely well for a “BETA”.
playing in REAL MP games, I noticed no stuttering or any problems playing on either OS.

To conclude this, I shall share my hardware specs and also my testing methodology:
CPU: De-lidded I7 3770k @ 4.5ghz
GPU: SLI GTX 680 @ 1111mhz core clock
RAM: 16GB 1600mhz CL9 Corsair Vengeance
MB: Asus Sabertooth Z77
PSU: Corsair AX750
CPU cooler: Antec H20 920
Monitor: QNIX QX2710 1440p @ 96hz

Win7: Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD
Win10: Samsung HD103SJ 1TB @ 7200rpm HDD

As you can read from the above, the only difference was the location of the install for Windows. I can guarantee you that there’s absolutely no difference in FPS between the choice of Hard/Solid State Drive used – only loading times were different.

I should also mention in these tests that:
-Shadowplay was disabled (in order to prevent any Win10 conflicts)
-Both are running 64bit
-Both are running the same driver: 344.11
-Both set of tests were done within 30minutes of each other and both on cold boots.
-I went to the exact same server, which was a 64MP map, with 0/64 players inside, on Siege of Shanghai

Via the video below, you’ll be able to see my methodology:

Windows 7:
2014-10-07 00:44:45 – bf4
Frames: 15392 – Time: 125987ms – Avg: 122.171 – Min: 34 – Max: 200

2014-10-07 00:47:14 – bf4
Frames: 15376 – Time: 123942ms – Avg: 124.058 – Min: 46 – Max: 196

2014-10-07 00:49:55 – bf4
Frames: 15441 – Time: 127391ms – Avg: 121.210 – Min: 39 – Max: 194

2014-10-07 00:52:42 – bf4
Frames: 16492 – Time: 136438ms – Avg: 120.875 – Min: 39 – Max: 201

2014-10-07 00:57:18 – bf4
Frames: 15869 – Time: 131774ms – Avg: 120.426 – Min: 41 – Max: 193

Win7 vs Win10 - Win7 Sreenshot

Windows 10:
2014-10-07 00:10:24 – bf4
Frames: 16166 – Time: 129891ms – Avg: 124.458 – Min: 42 – Max: 199

2014-10-07 00:13:01 – bf4
Frames: 17518 – Time: 137000ms – Avg: 127.869 – Min: 36 – Max: 195

2014-10-07 00:17:34 – bf4
Frames: 15425 – Time: 124891ms – Avg: 123.508 – Min: 36 – Max: 198

2014-10-07 00:20:04 – bf4
Frames: 16602 – Time: 131578ms – Avg: 126.176 – Min: 36 – Max: 192

2014-10-07 00:24:14 – bf4
Frames: 15418 – Time: 127391ms – Avg: 121.029 – Min: 32 – Max: 195

Win7 vs Win10 - Win10 Sreenshot

Hope this helped!

Review of the AKG Y50 portable on-ear headphones

Pros: Design and looks, portability, comfort, physical weight
Cons: Overall sound quality, isolation, lack of non-mic cable

Packaging & Accessories: 9/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 10/10
Isolation: 5/10
Comfort: 9/10
Audio Quality: 6.5/10
Value: 7/10
My final Rating: 6.5/10

Purchase Date: September 2014
Purchase Price: £80

AKG Y50 - Pouch and headphones

I was very much intrigued when AKG released their latest headphones, the Y50 range. This for me was an interesting leap into portability by AKG – often you see audiophile brands such as AKG, sky away from these types of models, as they tend to be cheaper and therefore have quite shoddy sound quality.
I was thus looking forward to reviewing the Y50 and hoping this wasn’t the case with this particular line – I was also intrigued to see how it fairs against its more expensive brothers the AKG K551’s and the AKG K545’s which I’ve previously reviewed. The AKG Y50s can be bought for around £80 on AmazonUK.

Here’s my video review:

Now let’s get into this written review!

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Review of the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Gaming Headset – A comfortable contender

Pros: Build quality, lows, comfort, software, looks and design
Cons: Mids, highs, physical size, missing mute button

Build quality: 10/10
Comfort: 10/10
Overall sound quality for a headset: 8/10
Isolation: 8.5/10
Microphone quality: 8/10
Review price: £115
Value: 9/10 (at £115 price tag)
Overall rating: 9/10

First of all I would like to thank SteelSeries for sending me their headset for review. After having received the Siberia V2, 9H and H Wireless, I was interested in knowing where the Elite would fit into the equation. The Elite, should sit between the 9H and H Wireless price bracket – however after checking, whilst writing this review in late September 2014, it seems that the 9H is actually more expensive than the Elite – which surprised me. This therefore brought me a lot of interest as I would be interested to know how the Elite would fair, at a cheaper price but yet supposedly better on paper than the 9H.
The headset can be bought for around £115 on AmazonUK.

On another note, when I first laid my eyes on the Elite, it reminded me of my old favourite headphone, the Sony MDR-XB700s – those Sony headphones were essentially bass driven pillows. Amazing to my ears several years ago – where I used to be a bigger basshead than I am now.

Steelseries Siberia Elite - Range

For more information about the headset and its specifications can be found on SteelSeries’ website.

Here’s my video review:

Now let’s get into the written review!

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Kennerton (Fischer Audio) Magister Headphone Review – An all-round outstanding headphone

Pros: Overall sound quality, build quality, looks and design
Cons: Comfort (headphone clamp), availability

Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 10/10
Design & Look: 10/10
Isolation: 9/10
Comfort: 6/10
Audio Quality: 9.5/10
Value: 9/10
My final Rating: 9.5/10

Purchase Date: August 2014
Purchase Price: £475 / $800

First of all I would like to thank Sergey and the team at Fisher Audio for sending me these for review.
They can be bought from Kennerton’s website for £475 / $800. For specs and more detailed information about the Magister, check their dedicated page on the headphones for more information.

Kennerton Magister - Design

Before getting into my written review, I thought to also share my video review, which I created to complement the review:

When I was first told I was going to receive the FA-003Ti-W Bog Oak, I got excited as I was interested to see the difference the previous model (FA-002W) had over these new 003ti. To my surprise when it turned up at my doorstep, it wasn’t the headphones I expected and had a “Kennerton” logo on it and had a different cup on it too. At first I thought it was a modified version of the 003ti (due to being able to change cups from FA directly) – but with a little Google’ing around, it quickly became apparent that the Kennerton model were a different breed all together.
You might be asking yourself – who is Kennerton or how I got one via a Fischer Audio contact. It’s quite simple and explained on their website: “Kennerton is a luxury brand of Fischer Audio”. It all made sense now and I was honoured to have received the headphones for review. With a hefty price tag of £475 / $800, I was very much intrigued to see how they performed. The Kennerton Magister was in my hands – and I couldn’t wait to review them, so without any further introduction, let’s get into it!

Kennerton Magister - Inputs

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Review of the Bang & Olufsen special-edition green BeoPlay H6 headphones – An aesthetically beautiful headphone

Pros: Looks and design, comfort, mids, soundstage
Cons: Price, lows, highs, isolation

Packaging & Accessories: 9/10
Build Quality: 6.5/10
Design & Look: 10/10
Isolation: 6.5/10
Comfort: 9/10
Audio Quality: 7/10
Value: 4/10
My final Rating: 7/10

Purchase Date: July 2014
Purchase Price: £330

B&O H6 - Design

I demo’ed the B&O H6 at an event and then proceeded in wondering how they would sound at home. I would therefore like to thank B&O in sending me this out for review.
The headphones I got are the special-edition or limited-edition version of the H6. They are no different sonically to the normal versions, just that these come in a dark green colour – which I would describe as “Jaguar Green”.
Price wise, these headphones are extremely expensive. They come in at £330 – the H6 can be found for half the price at around £170 – but that was from only one source. Therefore I took the official MSRP and based my review on that price.
At first listen these reminded me greatly of the AKG K545’s that I had previously reviewed, and therefore in this review I will be alluding back to the AKG’s, as they are in the same category of headphones.

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Review of the Fischer Audio Bullets 6mm – A cute yet powerful earphone

Pros: Build quality, looks and design, mids, price
Cons: Lows, soundstage

Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 10/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 6/10
Isolation: 6/10
Comfort: 9/10
Audio Quality: 7/10
Value: 9.5/10
My final Rating: 8.5/10

Purchase Date: June 2014
Purchase Price: £37

Fischer Audio 6mm Bullets - Earphones

First of all I would like to thank Sergey for sending me these out to review.
You can find out more information about the 6mm Bullet and purchase it on Fischer’s website.

I had previously reviewed the Fischer Audio Silver Bullet’s, which look very similar to these 6mm bullets (let alone having the same word in their title) – with that said, they were never a progression of the older bullets nor are they similar in any way, in almost every single aspect.

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Review of the Fischer Audio Consonance V2 – An interesting revision to my favourite budget earphones

Pros: Looks, build quality, overall sound quality
Cons: Earphone weight, mids

Packaging & Accessories: 8/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Design & Look: 8/10
Microphonics (higher ratings means lower cable noise): 8/10
Isolation: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Audio Quality: 8/10
Value: 9.5/10
My final Rating: 9/10

Purchase Date: June 2014
Purchase Price: £60

First of all I would like to thank Sergey for sending me these out to review.
You can find out more information about the Consonance V2 and purchase it on Fischer’s website.

Fischer Audio Consonance V2 - Comparison to old version
I had previously reviewed the original FA Consonance, and when I saw the V2 announced I was very much intrigued to see how it sounded and performed. The biggest flaw of the original Consonance was its wire quality – which meant that there was an issue with longevity. With that said, I really do love the Consonance and thus why they made the IEM awards 2013. At their price range, the FA Consonance is and still is to my ears the best buy in its price category. I should note that I’ve used the original Consonance almost every other day playing football in the park, and they’ve still held up to quite a lot of abuse.

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