Friday, April 29th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Processors
PSUs
Storage

Hitman Episode Two Update Breaks DirectX 12 Support

The latest update for the episodic "Hitman" game (version 1.1.2) breaks support for DirectX 12 on the PC platform. Released earlier this week, the update introduces players to the second episode based in the Medeterranean setting of Sapienza. We found that after the update, the game simply refused to start. We took advantage of the external settings tool to do some trial-and-error work.

The topmost setting, which lets you select between DirectX 12 (our original setting) and DirectX 11, fixed the issue, when we switched to the latter. We even swapped graphics cards between GeForce GTX 970 SLI (our original setup), GTX 970 single-card (NVIDIA driver 364.96), and Radeon R9 290 (AMD driver 16.4.2). Neither setups worked. A stroll through the Internet reveals that multiple other players are facing this issue. Has Square Enix done absolutely no play-testing in DirectX 12?

PNY Launches GeForce GTX 960 & 950 XLR8 OC Gaming Graphics Cards

PNY Technologies has today announced the launch of a new design to its XLR8 OC Gaming range, revamping the PNY GeForce GTX 960 and GTX 950 with a stunning fresh look to match its blazing speeds.

The new PNY GeForce GTX 960 XLR8 OC Gaming and GeForce GTX 950 XLR8 OC Gaming graphics cards are being released alongside PNY's new dedicated gaming website, where gamers can learn how to improve their gaming experience and deliver better results. You can visit the new site here: gaming.pny.eu

Ozone Announces the Neon 3K Gaming Mouse

Ozone, the global gaming manufacturer today announced the launch of Neon 3K, its new advanced gaming mouse. Powered with one of the most precise mouse sensor in the market, the Pixart 3320, Ozone's engineer team chose optical technology for this top performance mouse, to provide a more reliable experience for the users, making it perfect for intense gaming sessions.

Optical sensors technology provides a better reliability and preciseness experience for the users to help them give their best in each game. That's why Ozone's lab has designed an optical mouse, to bring back a technology that offers perfect control and speed. Neon 3k optical sensor, Pixart 3320, is capable to track up to true 3500 DPI, providing a next level gaming experience, accurate and fast on each movement. Includes On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment that can be easily customized using Ozone's technology drivers.

AMD and Nantong Fujitsu Close on Semiconductor Assembly J.V.

AMD and Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics Co., Ltd. today announced that they have closed the transaction to create a joint venture offering differentiated assembly, test, mark, and pack (ATMP) capabilities to both AMD and a broader range of customers.

"Combining AMD's world-class teams and facilities in Penang and Suzhou with NFME's expertise in the growing assembly and test market will create a new outsource assembly and test leader with the scale and capabilities to help us deliver our upcoming high-performance technologies and products that can re-shape the industry," said AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. "The creation of this joint venture marks another step in building a more focused AMD as we complete our transition to a fabless business model, enhance our supply chain operations, and further strengthen our financial position."

"AMD is a world class semiconductor provider with advanced flip chip packaging and test technologies. These capabilities are complementary with NFME's advanced packaging and test technologies, such as its flip chip and bump technology for the computing, communication and consumer market. The establishment of this joint venture will elevate the competitiveness of NFME's flip chip packaging and test technologies to a world-class level. With this joint venture, NFME's advanced packaging and test capabilities will account for 70 percent of its total revenue, leading the entire industry and ranking among the top packaging and test companies in the world," said Chairman of Nantong Fujitsu Mr. Shi Mingda.

Phanteks Announces the EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition

Phanteks today announced the new Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass Edition which features full tempered glass panels and Phanteks RGB LED lighting controls. The Evolv ATX Tempered Glass with come in three colors - Satin Black, Galaxy Silver and Anthracite Grey.

Designed based on the EVOLV line, the Enthoo EVOLV ATXTempered Glass Edition combines sandblasted aluminum with tempered glass panels. System builders and watercooling enthusiasts can now present their build with a premium touch. The EVOLV ATX Tempered Glass Edition is equipped with innovative features, amazing (water)cooling potential, and RGB illumination.

Biostar Announces the H110MH PRO D4 Motherboard

BIOSTAR, one of the leading manufacturers for Motherboards and graphic cards redefines the norm of motherboard with the launch of its latest 'H110MH PRO D4', which boasts several advanced features, to transform the PC into a professional entertainment and office hub.

The BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4 supports the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors and uses the H110 chip and accepts up to DDR4 - 2133/1867 upto 32G capacity. The board integrates the core features of the BIOSTAR PRO series featuring the Tough Power Enhanced power design for improved stability and AudioArt capacitors guaranteeing an unparalleled experience. The BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4 guarantees a perfect balance of price and features with improved reliability, making sure that system builders who want an affordable but dependable system are getting the best-in-class product which delivers on their needs and more.

HP Unveils the Chomebook 13

HP Inc. today announced the HP Chomebook 13 , an ultra-thin Chromebook for home and office use. The device reinvents the Chromebook experience to deliver:
  • A modern, all-metal design measuring only 12.9 mm thin
  • The first docking solution for a Chromebook , enabled through HP's USB-C Docking Station to deliver dual high-definition displays, full-size keyboards, wired networks and charging
  • First Chromebook to use 6th generation Intel Core M processors
  • Category-leading sound and video capabilities, custom-tuned in collaboration with audio experts from B&O PLAY, and a 13.3 inch diagonal QHD+ (3200 x 1800) resolution IPS display for optimal collaboration using apps like Google Hangouts

Western Digital Announces Results For Q3 of FY2016

Western Digital Corp. today reported revenue of $2.8 billion and net income of $74 million, or $0.32 per share, for its third fiscal quarter ended Apr. 1, 2016. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $283 million, or $1.21 per share. In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $3.5 billion and net income of $384 million, or $1.63 per share. Non-GAAP net income in the year-ago quarter was $441 million, or $1.87 per share.

The company generated $485 million in cash from operations during the third fiscal quarter, ending with total cash and cash equivalents of $5.9 billion. On Feb. 10, 2016, the company declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share of its common stock, which was paid on Apr. 15, 2016.
Thursday, April 28th 2016

AOC Unveils the AGON Series AG271QX 27-Inch Gaming Monitor

AOC, one of the top global brands in the display market, recently presented their premium line of gaming monitors - the AGON series. Its first model is the 27" (68.6 cm) AG271QX powered by a high-speed TN panel at a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. It delivers ultra-smooth images with a 144 Hz refresh rate and a response time of 1 ms, supported by Adaptive-Sync Technology (FreeSync compatible, at a 30-144 Hz range) that reduces stuttering and tearing - focusing on the best gaming performance.

Gamers that play competitively not only rely on fast and smooth images, but also on instantaneously-executed commands and perfect vision in every situation. The AOC Low Input Lag mode disables picture post-processing on the monitor's electronics and, therefore, accelerates the command pass-through from mouse, keyboard and gamepad to result in immediate actions while the AOC Shadow Control enables gamers to quickly adjust contrast in overly dark or bright areas without sacrificing the quality of well-balanced areas across the rest of the screen.

ASRock and Intel Team up to Create One of the Smallest Mini PCs: DeskMini

Aside from appreciating a delicate compact design, most people barely recognize the artisanship and technology breakthrough it takes to shrink gizmos by even merely an inch. That said, it took two great minds, both Intel and ASRock working side by side to build one of the world's smallest mini PCs - ASRock DeskMini.

"We are excited to be working with ASRock as an ecosystem partner on innovative products," said Steve R. Peterson, Client Marketing and Enabling Director at Intel Corp. "The Mini Socket Technology Extended (Mini-STX) form factor adds the flexibility to support Intel LGA 1151 socket-based Intel processors in the mini PC segment. Ultimately, the Mini-STX component stack provides valuable configurability options for the channel, by extending the DT tower building block model into some of the smallest mini PCs available today."

ENERMAX Announces the New DFR Technology with D.F.PRESSURE

ENERMAX transcend itself by developing the PC fan- D.F. PRESSURE. With the patented DFR (Dust Free Rotation) technology, it allows the fan to swiftly blow away dust in order to prolong the lifespan and APS (Adjustable Peak Speed) control to balance between cooling performance and silent operation. D.F.PRESSURE is definitely the best choice for PC cooling and gaming systems.

Patented DFR (Dust Free Rotation) Technology
Thanks to the DFR (Dust Free Rotation) technology, it offers a total solution for self-cleaning: prolong the product lifetime and extend the intervals for fan and system cleaning maintenance. The revolutionary DFR technology makes the fan to spin in reverse action at the highest RPM set by the user for 10 seconds upon startup before it resume to the normal operation.

Satechi Releases Sleek, New Aluminum Mini Docking Station

Satechi, a brand known for its functional and sleek workspace accessories, has engineered a solution to organizing the ever-growing amount of ports needed to connect devices and peripherals. The new Aluminum Mini Docking Station is a compact hub that connects to a user's computer via USB and expands its functionality by offering four USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI and DVI video connections, and a 3.5mm port for all connection needs.

MSI Launches E3 Krait Gaming V5 and E3M Workstation V5 Motherboards

MSI, world leading in motherboards and most popular brand in the gaming market is pleased to announce two new C232 based motherboards, the E3 KRAIT GAMING V5 and E3M WORKSTATION V5. With the their ability to use the less expensive Intel Xeon CPUs make both models a promising solution for users who are looking to build a Xeon based gaming or workstation PC while demanding reliable and long term system stability.

More Reliable Platform of LGA1151
The Intel Xeon processors are designed for use in workstation, servers or datacenters which require high stability and reliability. The E3 KRAIT GAMINNG V5 and E3M WORKSTAION V5 motherboards support Intel E3-1200 v5 series processors with a lot of CPU power, lower cost and great level of stability. Moreover, these two motherboards support ECC memory, offering better compatibility & stability and catering to the industries preferred choice over general non-ECC DDR4 memory.

SanDisk Announces the Z410 SSD

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops. The 15-nanometer, three-bits-per-cell based Z410 SSD delivers the performance, capacities and form factor ideal for mainstream computing platforms.

"SSDs are being rapidly adopted as the preferred storage option across the entire spectrum of the PC marketplace," said Tarun Loomba, vice president and general manager of Client Platform Solutions, SanDisk. "In addition to the performance and durability benefits that SSDs provide, the SanDisk Z410 SSD delivers storage that is ample for most consumers and the right size for typical corporate users. The Z410 is an important addition to our overall SSD portfolio, as our customers require a complete range of storage options, from home/office PCs to the latest high-performance, ultra-thin laptops."
Wednesday, April 27th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
SSD

Seagate Now Shipping 10 TB Helium Enterprise Drive In Volume

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in storage solutions, today announced it is now shipping in volume its 10 TB helium enterprise drives - the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD. Engineered to meet the storage needs of top cloud service providers, the Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD features the industry's lowest power and weight for maximum space efficiency at the lowest energy usage - lowering the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of today's large scale data centers. Currently the highest capacity drives available worldwide, these innovative new products are now available to purchase direct from global distributors.

"Seagate has the most comprehensive Nearline portfolio in the industry. Each of our Nearline products - including our new flagship 10 TB helium enterprise drive shipping today - is designed to help customers take maximum advantage of top technology trends that have the highest impact on their business," said Mark Re, CTO at Seagate. "While we offer a number of impressive technology advantages, at the end of the day customers really want solutions and insights that help them better leverage the value of their data so they can offer services and capabilities unmatched by their competitors. Seagate's 10TB helium drive is designed with these market mandates front of mind."
Tuesday, April 26th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
Speakers

Apple Reports Second Quarter FY2016 Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended March 26, 2016. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion and quarterly net income of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $58 billion and net income of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 40.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 67 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"Our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We are very happy with the continued strong growth in revenue from Services, thanks to the incredible strength of the Apple ecosystem and our growing base of over one billion active devices."

Lite-On Unveils Mu-II Series Solid-state Drives

Lite-On unveiled the Mu-II line of consumer SSDs. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the drives come in capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB. The drives feature Toshiba-made 15 nm TLC NAND flash memory. The 480 GB variant offers sequential speeds of up to 555 MB/s reads with 520 MB/s writes; the 240 GB and 480 GB variants, and up to 500 MB/s reads with up to 360 MB/s writes for the 120 GB variant. Standard features include TRIM and NCQ. The drives will be backed by 3-year warranties.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

EK Water Blocks Ready with a Radeon Pro Duo Full-coverage Block

Slovenian liquid-cooling giant EK Water Blocks is ready with a full-coverage water block for AMD Radeon Pro Duo. The company teased its block in its clear-acrylic top with nickel-plated copper base variant, fitted to a card, with the tagline "There has never been so much GPU raw power stuffed on a single PCB," on the company's Facebook page. The block appears to feature a common coolant channel that passes through both VRM areas, the PCIe bridge chip, and large micro-fin lattices over the two GPUs. The block could be offered in other variants as well - with opaque acetal tops, exposed copper base, and combinations with clear-acrylic and nickel-plated copper bases.

AMD Radeon Pro Duo Performance Numbers Leaked

Ahead of its launch, performance numbers of AMD Radeon Pro Duo were leaked to the web by Expreview. Pitted against the $620 GeForce GTX 980 Ti, the $1,499 dual-GPU monstrosity is about 32 percent faster at 1080p (which sees CPU saturation), and on average 59.4 percent faster at 4K Ultra HD. The card is noted to conjure up more than playable frame-rates for all the games Expreview tested at 4K. Frame-rates were as low as 46 fps, and as high as 61 fps, indicating that the Pro Duo is the go-to single-card solution for Ultra HD. Find the review in the link below.

Source: Expreview, KitGuru

SilverStone Announces Raven Z (RVZ01B-E) with Large PSU Room

SilverStone updated the design of its smash-hit SFF case, the Raven Z, to accommodate full-size (ATX) PSUs. The new RVZ01B-E from SilverStone measures 382 x 350 x 105 mm, weighing 3.7 kg, and features a standard ATX (PS/2) power supply bay. Bear in mind, though, that you're limited to 150 mm long PSUs. Some >1000W boxes may still not fit. SilverStone recommends that you choose a 140 mm long PSU, for greater flexibility in dealing with your cable ramen. The company didn't announce availability, although it's reportedly priced at US $79.99.

Source: TomsHardware

AMD Polaris 10 "Ellesmere" as Fast as GTX 980 Ti: Rumor

At a presser in Taiwan for its Radeon Pro Duo launch, AMD talked extensively about its upcoming "Polaris" and "Vega" family of GPUs. The company appears to be betting heavily on two SKUs it plans to launch this June, Polaris 10 and Polaris 11. Polaris 10 is an internal designation to Radeon R9 490(X), based on the 14 nm "Ellesmere" silicon. It may be the biggest chip AMD builds on the "Polaris" architecture, but it won't exactly be a "big chip," in that it doesn't succeed "Fiji." That honor is reserved for "Vega," which debuts in early-2017.

The "Ellesmere" silicon is more of AMD's competitor to NVIDIA's GP104. It is rumored that the R9 490(X), based on this silicon, will offer consumers performance rivaling the GeForce GTX 980 Ti (ergo faster than the Radeon R9 Fury X), at a USD $300-ish price point. "Ellesmere" will be a lean-machine, physically featuring up to 2,560 4th generation GCN stream processors (2,304 enabled on Polaris 10), a possible 256-bit GDDR5X memory interface, and a deep sub-200W typical board power rating.

Source: GameDebate

AMD Releases the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.2

AMD released its latest Radeon Software Crimson Edition drivers. Version 16.4.2 adds or updates CrossFire profiles for "Elite Dangerous" and "Need for Speed" (2016). It introduces full support for the XConnect Technology, an external graphics dock standard promoted by AMD. The drivers also fix crucial game-specific bugs related to "The Division," "SteamVR performance assessment," "Hitman (2016)" with CrossFire, and "Fallout 4" with CrossFire. Grab the drivers from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.4.2 for Windows 10/8.1/7 64-bit | Windows 10/8.1/7 32-bit
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