Friday, August 28th 2015

Today's Reviews

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Darkside Sleeved Cables Now Available at ModMyMods

Darkside Computer Modding premium sleeved cables are now available though our friends at ModMyMods. Darkside has you 'covered' on 24-pin ATX, 8-pin/4+4 pin EPS, 6+2 pin PCIe, SATA, and fan cables, with a premium fiber-braided sleeve that comes in red, white, blue, green, and black. Individual wires are sleeved on the ATX, EPS, and PCIe cables, while the fan and SATA cables feature flat-braided sleeves. The fan cables come in a variety of options, including end-to-end 3-pin or 4-pin (PWM), Y-cables, and string cables with multiple connection nodes (useful for radiators). The best parts are the prices. ATX cables are priced at $9.99, EPS at $5.99, $8.99 for PCIe, $4.99 for SATA, and start at $3.99 for the fan cables. ModMyMods offers international shipping.
Thursday, August 27th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
SSD

ASUS Announces the TUF Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Motherboard

ASUS today announced TUF Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1, an enduringly-tough new ATX motherboard with many exclusive TUF features, including trailblazing TUF Thermal Armor and TUF Fortifier technologies, TUF ICe, TUF Thermal Radar 2 and TUF Detective 2 for ultimate cooling, strength and easy monitoring and control.

The new Intel Z170 Express-based motherboard for 6th-generation Intel Core processors also boasts bang-up-to-date connectivity with both USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C on board, and delivers 24/7 durability with military-grade TUF Components, upgraded TUF ESD Guards 2 to fend off electrostatic discharge and a five-year warranty for complete peace of mind.

AMD Also Quietly Launches the Radeon R9 370X, Sapphire Gives it Vapor-X Treatment

In addition to the Radeon R9 Nano, AMD quietly launched the Radeon R9 370X, a new SKU to combat the GeForce GTX 950 and GTX 960, in the sub-$200 market. The R9 370X. Based on the 28 nm "Trinidad XT" silicon, this chip offers 1,280 stream processors, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding either 2 GB or 4 GB of memory.

Sapphire is the first to be out with an R9 370X product, based on its Vapor-X cooling solution, and available in both 2 GB and 4 GB variants. Sapphire's cards offer close to 1200 MHz core clock speeds, with 5.60 GHz (GDDR5 effective) memory, at which clocks, the memory bandwidth on tap is 179 GB/s. The card draws power from a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors, display outputs include two DVI, and one each of HDMI and DisplayPort.

AMD Announces the Radeon R9 Nano Graphics Card

AMD continues to push the boundaries of graphics card design, today announcing its category-creating AMD Radeon R9 Nano, the fastest Mini ITX graphics card ever to enable 4K gaming in the living room through ultra-quiet, ultra-compact PC designs. First previewed to gamers around the world during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in June 2015, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card is based on the graphics chip codenamed "Fiji," and is the third "Fiji"-based product to launch this summer alongside the AMD Radeon R9 Fury and R9 Fury X graphics cards. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury graphics family, based on the "Fiji" chip, marks a turning point in PC gaming with the implementation of High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) to deliver extreme energy efficiency and performance for ultra-high resolutions, unparalleled VR experiences, smoother gameplay, with the Radeon R9 Nano revolutionizing form-factors for enthusiasts everywhere.

With 30 percent more performance and 30 percent lower power than the previous generation AMD Radeon R9 290X card, the 175W AMD Radeon R9 Nano is the world's most power efficient Mini ITX enthusiast graphics card. The six-inch long, air-cooled board represents a new class of graphics card, enabling gamers, PC modders, and system integrators to build compact, unique, ultra-small form factors that have never before been possible, opening the door to new, sleek PC designs that are no bigger than a home DVR or videogame console, and look every bit in place beside them.

MSI Launches the Z170I Gaming Pro AC Mini-ITX Motherboard

MSI launched its premium socket LGA1151 motherboard for the mini-ITX form-factor, the Z170I Gaming Pro AC. The board offers a premium feature-set, including support for dual-channel DDR4 memory, with MSI's DDR4 Boost technology. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it using a 5-phase VRM. Expansion slots include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, an mPCIe (for the WLAN card), and an M.2 (reverse side of the board), with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring.

Storage connectivity includes an M.2 slot (reverse side of the PCB), with 32 Gb/s PCIe bandwidth, and four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two of which convert to a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s connector. Display outputs include one each of DisplayPort and HDMI. Networking features include a gigabit Ethernet interface (Intel controller), 802.11 ac, and Bluetooth 4.0. The onboard audio solution packs an 8-channel 115 dBA SNR CODEC. There's also a USB 2.0 port specialized for USB headsets. Six USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it.

Logitech G Introduces New Gaming Headphones

Logitech, a leading innovator of gaming products, today introduced two new gaming headphones, the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset and the Logitech G633 Artemis Spectrum Gaming Headset. Featuring patent pending Pro-G audio drivers, the new headphones were designed by Logitech's sound engineering team, with more than 25 years in audio development. The result is gaming headphones that deliver a superior all-around audio experience.

"We saw that no one was really building a pair of high quality headphones for gamers," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of the Logitech gaming business. "So we challenged our audio team to see if they could do it. I'm a gamer and a musician, so I was really excited when the team came back with a design that delivered." The headphones are fully customizable, feature RGB lighting, swappable backlit speaker plates and programmable G-keys. When paired with Logitech Gaming Software you can customize audio settings, create personal sound profiles, and easily save your favorite EQ (for the G933 Artemis Spectrum only).

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 355.80 Hotfix for Windows 10 Related Issue

NVIDIA released the GeForce 355.80 Hotfix driver to address a critical issue affecting users of SLI configurations on Windows 10. Users of SLI configurations (and dual-GPU graphics cards such as the GTX 690) report excessive virtual memory consumption on Windows 10. This driver addresses the issue, and future WHQL-signed releases will incorporate the fix. This is one of the many graphics memory management issues Windows 10 users are experiencing across GPU brands, which both NVIDIA and AMD are hopefully working to address.
DOWNLOAD: GeForce 355.80 Hotfix for Windows 10 64-bit (Desktop GPUs) | Windows 10 64-bit (Notebook GPUs) | Windows 10 32-bit (Desktop GPUs) | Windows 10 32-bit (Notebook GPUs)
Wednesday, August 26th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
SSD
Storage

MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning Pictured

Ahead of its launch, press-shots of the upcoming flagship graphics card of MSI, the OC-series GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning, leaked to the web. The pictures reveal a card that MSI threw all its engineering expertise into. It retains the yellow+black design scheme of its predecessors, and is characterized by an even larger Tri-Frozr triple-fan cooling solution. The cooler consists of a large nickel-plated copper base, from which five 8-10 mm thick heat pipes make their way to two dense aluminium fin-stacks, ventilated by a trio of 100 mm spinners.

The cooler only makes up part of this product, a bigger chunk of engineering went into its custom-design 10-layer PCB, with a 15-phase VRM that draws power from a combination of one 6-pin and two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and a plethora of overclocker-friendly features such as voltage measurement points, dual-BIOS with an LN2-friendly secondary BIOS, the ability to control speeds of individual fans, and more. The MSI GTX 980 Ti ships with a factory-overclock of 1203 MHz core, 1303 MHz GPU Boost, and 7.10 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory; which certainly isn't the highest factory-OC out of the box, but this is probably MSI's way of inviting users to overclock it to Kingdom come.

Source: VideoCardz

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Faster than GeForce GTX 980, Pricing Revealed

AMD's upcoming super-compact graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, will be faster than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980, and a whopping 30% faster than the GTX 970, according to the company. At its size, it will offer the fastest pixel-crunching solution for compact ITX/SFF gaming PC builders, and that is something AMD want to capitalize on. If what we're hearing is true, then not only will the R9 Nano have the same core-config as the R9 Fury X, but also its price - US $649.99. At this price, the R9 Nano definitely isn't going to affect sales of the GTX 970 or GTX 980, which are currently going for as low as $299 and $465, respectively; but serve as a "halo product," targeted at SFF gaming PC builders.

Source: WCCFTech

LG Develops Full-Size Keyboard For Pockets

To help capture a larger share of the fast-growing mobile accessories market, LG Electronics (LG) will introduce a new solid rollable, wireless and portable keyboard in the United States in September. To be unveiled next week at IFA 2015 in Berlin, Germany, LG's Rolly Keyboard (model KBB-700) features a four-stage fold up along the rows to create an easy-to-carry "stick" that fits easily in a purse, briefcase or backpack.

Featuring high-contrast keys and a built-in fold-out mobile device stand, typing on Rolly Keyboard is comfortable because its 17mm key pitch is comparable to the 18mm key pitch found on most desktop keyboards. Made of impact-resistant and durable polycarbonate and black ABS plastic, Rolly Keyboard offers satisfying tactile feedback often not found on flexible silicone keyboards. Two sturdy arms fold out to support smartphones as well as tablets in an upright position. Simply unfolding the Rolly Keyboard enables the auto pairing function to connect easily to two different devices at the same time via Bluetooth 3.0 - with the ability to toggle between the two with a simple key press, all powered by just a single AAA battery.

TrendNET Ships AC1200 Dual Band PoE Access Point

TRENDnet, a best-in-class wired and wireless networking hardware brand, announced today the availability of its AC1200 Dual Band PoE Access Point (with software controller), model TEW-821DAP. TRENDnet's new access point offers concurrent 867 Mbps WiFi AC and 300 Mbps WiFi N coverage. The TEW-821DAP offers AP, Client, WDS, and Repeater modes to support multiple applications, and it features band steering technology, which helps to alleviate network congestion by directing devices from the 2.4 GHz band to the 5 GHz band. It also saves on remote location installation time and equipment costs with Gigabit PoE support and an included mounting plate.

"Wireless AC adds to the speed and performance needed for busy business environments," said Evan Davis, senior manager of solutions engineering at TRENDnet. "TRENDnet's TEW-821DAP provides that extra boost that customers need for today's demanding network applications." The included Windows-based software controller allows for centralized management of multiple TEW-821DAPs, including changing the IP address, Wireless SSID, channel, and encryption settings. The software controller also provides IT administrators the ability to upload preconfigured settings to setup multiple devices simultaneously.

Corsair Gaming Launches Team Dignitas Edition Mouse and Mousepad

Corsair today announced the first gaming products designed in collaboration with eSports Team Dignitas: the Corsair Gaming Sabre Laser gaming mouse and MM300 Anti-Fray Mouse Mat, Team Dignitas Edition. The two joined forces to combine Team Dignitas' competitive gaming experience with Corsair's expertise in developing precision PC peripherals to outfit gamers with products that deliver the competitive edge. Since announcing their partnership in January 2015, Team Dignitas exclusively uses Corsair Gaming PC peripherals in practice and tournaments worldwide.

At just 100 grams, the ultra-light Sabre Laser RGB gaming mouse enables superior reach and unmatched accuracy for the ultimate PC gaming experience. With four-zone, 16.8M color backlighting and eight easily programmable buttons, the mouse is compatible with Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software to ensure powerful customization as a standalone product or in concert with other Corsair Gaming RGB peripherals. Its 8,200 DPI laser sensor and 1,000 Hz USB refresh rate guarantee lag-free, pixel-precise gameplay fit for the eSports pro.

Integral SSD Takes Performance to the Extreme

UK based memory manufacturer Integral has launched a high-end performance Solid State Drive (SSD) that targets the needs of serious gamers, digital designers and pro video makers. Powered by a quad-core, 8-channel Phison S10 controller, the UltimaPro X SSD delivers super-fast speeds of up to 565MB/s read and 545MB/s write with enough rapid access storage to satisfy the most data intensive applications.

Integral has engineered the drives specifically to enhance high-specification computers that handle super-high resolution graphics such as those found in the latest 4K PC games and data fuelled workflows of content editors, 3D animators, 4K video and live broadcast cameras. Hard drives were viewed by many as the last major bottleneck in gaming and video editing workstations, after the introduction of overclocked RAM and graphics cards running in a multi-GPU setup. Now with an SSD designed for incredible performance all will enjoy the benefits of faster loading times, an ultra-responsive system and super-fast boot.

Rapoo Announces V800S RGB Mechanical Keyboard and V910 MMO Laser Mouse

Rapoo, one of the world's leading manufacturers of peripherals in the wireless segment and the first manufacturer of products featuring 5 GHz wireless technology, holds an impressive 42 % market share in China and is continually expanding its product portfolio. This expansion continues with Rapoo's invitation to this year's IFA in Berlin where it will be showcasing its latest VPRO Gaming lineup in Hall 3.2, Booth 212. As part of its IFA announcement, Rapoo is releasing initial product information on the V800S RGB Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and the V910 MMO Laser Gaming Mouse.

VPRO Gaming is expanding its keyboard lineup with the mechanical V800S which boasts full RGB backlighting. Visitors and media representatives will have the very first chance at IFA to try out the new pre-release model of the V800S. With the V800S VPRO has opted for its own, newly developed switches which offer a lifespan of up to 60 million keystrokes. The backlighting has also been upgraded: The V800S has individual key backlighting with up to 16.8 million colors to choose from. The driver also offers six different lighting modes.
Tuesday, August 25th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
PSUs
SSD
Storage

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Core Configuration Detailed

AMD's upcoming mini-ITX friendly graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano, which boasts of a typical board power of just 175W, is not a heavily stripped-down R9 Fury X, as was expected. The card will feature the full complement of GCN compute units physically present on the "Fiji" silicon, and in terms of specifications, is better loaded than even the R9 Fury. Specifications sheet of the R9 Nano leaked to the web, revealing that the card will feature all 4,096 stream processors physically present on the chip, along with 256 TMUs, and 64 ROPs. It will feature 4 GB of memory across the chip's 4096-bit HBM interface.

In terms of clock speeds, the R9 Nano isn't too far behind the R9 Fury X on paper - its core is clocked up to 1000 MHz, with its memory ticking at 500 MHz (512 GB/s). So how does it get down to 175W typical board power, from the 275W of the R9 Fury X? It's theorized that AMD could be using an aggressive power/temperature based clock-speed throttle. The resulting performance is 5-10% higher than the Radeon R9 290X, while never breaching a power target. Korean tech blog DGLee posted pictures of an R9 Nano taken apart. Its PCB is smaller than even that of the R9 Fury X, and makes do with a slimmer 4+2 phase VRM, than the 6+2 phase VRM found on the R9 Fury X.
Sources: VideoCardz, IYD.kr

ID-Cooling Intros FrostFlow 240L AIO CPU Cooler

ID-Cooling introduced the FrostFlow 240L all-in-one liquid CPU cooler. This cooler is designed to handle thermal loads of up to 200W, and is equipped with 27 mm-thick 240 mm x 120 mm radiator, with two pre-installed fans that spin between 800-2,000 RPM, pushing up to 84.5 CFM of air, each, with a noise output ranging between 20-38.2 dB, each. The pump spins at a constant 2,500 RPM, with a noise output of 25 dB, and has an MTBF rated at 50,000 hours. The pump-block unit puts up a "comet-tail" LED light-show, and features a copper micro-fin block. The cooler supports all modern CPU socket types, including LGA2011v3, LGA115x, AM#+, FM#+, etc.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Acer Debuts Aspire Z3-710 All-in-Ones with Windows 10

Acer America today announced that its refreshed 23.8-inch Aspire Z3-710 Series all-in-one desktop PCs with Windows 10 are available for customers in the United States. These newly enhanced PCs feature capacitive 10-point multi-touch and a Full HD (1920x1080) LED backlit display.

The new Aspire Z3-710 Series enables lifelike video calls thanks to the 1080p Full HD webcam. Stereo speakers with Acer True Harmony and Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater provide powerful audio, while built-in dual digital microphones can sense the location of voices to ensure they are heard clearly, even in rooms with significant ambient noise.

Razer Announces Custom Designed NZXT S340 PC Case

Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the NZXT S340 - Designed by Razer PC case. The chassis is the latest product to launch from the "Designed by Razer" licensing program, an initiative that provides for third-party production and sale of Razer-designed and -branded PC cases. Razer opened the door to collaborations with case manufacturers last year. "Designed by Razer" candidates are subject to vetting by the award-winning Razer design and engineering team prior to approval. Once greenlit, the joint enterprise mobilizes Razer's design expertise and product engineering sensibilities.

The NZXT S340 - Designed by Razer PC case features an all-steel chassis with Razer signature green triple-headed snake logo on the front panel and the cable management bar. The compact form of the case sits two inches below competing towers with a Razer green power LED and underglow. This latest in the line of cobranded cases offers Razer fans another premium NZXT case with distinct Razer design sensibilities to build into a beast and connect to an arsenal of Razer peripherals that will intimidate any opponent in-game or in real life.

NVIDIA Readies a PS4 SharePlay-like Feature for GeForce Experience

NVIDIA is giving final touches to a feature that's similar in function to PlayStation 4 SharePlay, called GameStream Co-op. Accessed through its GeForce Experience app, the feature will let you share your game over the Internet with your friend, letting them either take over control (and get you through a level you're stuck with), or play co-op multiplayer with. The way this works is that your systems renders the game, and streams it across the Internet to them.

NVIDIA is planning to get GameStream Co-op into the hands of as many gamers as possible, by the minimum system requirements of the host PC rather low. You need at least a GeForce GTX 650 graphics card to get started. The guest PC has even lower system requirements, including not needing any discrete-graphics, and just Google Chrome (the game streams to them as a web-page). The only notable requirement is an Internet bandwidth of at least 7 Mbps (upstream) for the host, and 7 Mbps (downstream) for the guest. NVIDIA plans to put a working beta of this feature in the hands of gamers by September.
Source: GameSpot, Many Thanks to TheMailman78 for the tip.

Cooler Master Announces CM Storm Pitch Pro in-ear Gaming Headset

Cooler Master, a leading manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, today announced the CM Storm Pitch Pro, an ultra-portable gaming in-ear headset designed for mobile users and gamers on the go. The Pitch Pro is an upgrade from its predecessor, the Pitch. The sound is clearer and the bass more powerful thanks to new 10mm drivers. The outer casing is constructed out of high quality feather light aluminum allowing the in-ear headphones to be used for longer periods of time with ease and comfort. A built-in microphone, tangle-free flat cable, newly improved carry pouch and an additional airplane adaptor makes the Pitch Pro an attractive and affordable choice for users everywhere.

10 mm neodymium drivers deliver high-fidelity audio with crystal clear high, mid, and low tones. Silicone ear tips are comfortable to use for hours at a time and comes in 3 sizes (S, M, and L). The ergonomic in-ear design provides maximum comfort and maximum noise isolation. To achieve super light yet extremely durable metal ear-buds, the solid aluminum earphone body was first anodized and electrically plated then marked and engraved with a high power laser for maximum durability.

Inno3D Announces iChill GeForce GTX 950 Graphics Card

Inno3D announced its custom-design GeForce GTX 950 graphics card, the iChill GTX 950. The card features a compact custom-design PCB, with a 4-phase VRM, which draws power from a 6-pin PCIe power connector. It offers factory-overclocked speeds of 1178 MHz core, 1329 MHz GPU Boost, and 6.80 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory, compared to reference speeds of 1024/1188/6600 MHz.

The cooling solution on the Inno3D iChill GTX 950 consists of a monolithic aluminium heatsink with a copper core making contact with the GPU die, which is ventilated by a pair of 80 mm "HerculeZ" fans. These fans are suspended on a metal cooler shroud, which is detachable by unfastening thumb-screws that hold it to the heatsink; letting you easily clean the heatsink below. Inno3D could seek a small premium for this card.

Next Gen Nintendo Console to Do Away with Optical Disc Media

Nintendo's upcoming high-performance game console, codenamed "Nintendo NX," could be the first major console in 15 years to completely do away with optical disc media. Patent applications covering the console, filed in February by Nintendo, with the USPTO, and unearthed by NeoGAF, describe a console that "is not provided with an optical disc drive." Nintendo is expected to reveal the NX some time in 2016.

This points at a new direction in which Nintendo wants to guide the console gaming industry - one in which an Internet connection is mandatory, games are bought from a centralized marketplace online, downloaded to your console's local storage (HDDs/SSDs), and played. DLCs and in-game purchases are as seamless as possible, and game progress, settings, etc., are stored on the cloud. Such a system already existed for close to a decade, with Xbox Live and PSN, but Nintendo NX will be the first platform to completely do away with optical disc media. This method could also curb piracy, since the only way your console can receive games to play is through that online marketplace.
Source: USPTO, via NeoGAF

AMD Radeon R9 Nano Launch Date Revealed

AMD is expected to launch its super-compact performance-segment graphics card, the Radeon R9 Nano this Thursday, 27th August, 2015. Reviews and market availability could follow a week later. It will be marketed as a halo product, and hence will likely only be available in its reference design. AMD claims that the card will be faster than the Radeon R9 290X, while offering 90% higher performance-per-Watt than it. More importantly, that it will offer 50% higher performance-per-Watt than the Radeon R9 Fury X. "Elmy" from OCN snapped these pics of an R9 Nano installed on a compact gaming desktop, and boy is it tiny!
Sources: VideoCardz, OCN

Seagate Intros 750 GB Variant of its Seven mm Portable Hard Drive

Seagate introduced a 750 GB variant of its Seven mm line of ultra-slim portable hard drives. Bearing the model number STDZ750100, the drive offers an unformatted capacity of 750 GB, while retaining the dimensions of its 500 GB sibling. Its dimensions of 82 mm x 122.5 mm x 7 mm are made possible by using the drive's metallic cover itself as the body on one side, with an insulating metal sheet making up its side-brace and bottom lid. The drive's logic board is seamlessly connected to its USB 3.0 host interface, with a single cable handling both power and host connectivity. The company didn't disclose pricing. The 500 GB variant continues to be priced at $99, so this variant could cost more.
Monday, August 24th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
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Networking
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Reeven Announces Notos Micro-ATX Chassis

Reeven announced the Notos (RE-M18001-B) micro-ATX tower-type chassis. Measuring 415 mm x 370 mm x 180 mm (DxHxW), and made of SECC steel, the case offers an entry-level feature-set. Its PSU bay is located at the top, and its drive-cage compacted, creating room for graphics cards as long as 360 mm. There's also room for CPU coolers as tall as 155 mm. The case offers a tool-free drive-cage, with one each 5.25-inch and 2.5-inch bays, and three 3.5-inch ones. Its cooling system includes a 120 mm front intake (a blue LED-lit fan comes pre-installed), and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Front-panel ports include a USB 3.0 port (type-A cable running to the rear panel), a USB 2.0/1.1 port (internal header), and HDA audio jacks. This case could command an entry-level pricing.
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