Monday, March 30th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
SSD
Storage

Kingston Releases 4th Generation High-Speed Media Reader; 64GB 600X CF Card

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced its 4th generation HS4 All-In-One Media Reader. The multi-function reader improves upon the previous model as it reads all major card format types including the latest SD card speeds (UHS-I, UHS-II) and CF Type I and II (UDMA 0-7).

Users can easily back up and transfer music, photos, videos and other digital data with USB 3.0 high-speed performance. This allows users to save time transferring files as USB 3.0 allows up to 5Gb/s data transfer speed - almost 10x faster than USB 2.0. The portable, small form factor reader has a brushed nickel case and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

NVIDIA to Launch GeForce GTX 980 Ti After Summer

NVIDIA reportedly adjusted launch of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, to after Summer, 2015. The company could be using the time to let the market digest existing inventories of the GTX 980 (and avoid the repeat of slow sales on its GTX 770), particularly in the early-Summer season, when PC enthusiasts and gamers tend to upgrade or build afresh. The time could also be spent to watch what AMD comes up with, for its Radeon R9 390X.

The R9 390X, scheduled for a June-July launch, is based on a silicon that looks competitive with the GM200 on paper, and introduces a few new features, such as high-bandwidth memory (HBM). The GTX 980 Ti could feature an identical core-configuration to the GTX TITAN X, but feature half the memory amount at 6 GB, different clock speeds, and freedom for add-in card (AIC) partners to innovate custom-design cards.

Source: SweClockers

ENERMAX Introduces Three New EMK 5 Series Backplane Modules

ENERMAX introduces 3 new EMK 5 series backplane modules for industrial storage rack: EMK5301, EMK5401 and EMK5501, which can accomdate 3~5 3.5" SATA or SAS drives respectively. The 3 new EMK 5 backplane modules feature patented NSS (Non-Scratch-SATA) connectors, individual drives' power on/off controller, and a cooling fan. The built-in LED and buzzer warning systems also help the system administrator easily locate the drives in question and service it. ENERMAX's EMK 5 internal storage racks offer storage system builders and user a safe way to manage the drive and protect the data.

The new ENERMAX EMK 5 internal storage racks are housed by a sturdy aluminum frame. The built-in fan provides constant active cooling for the drives. Each drive has individual LED power button to turn ON/OFF the corresponding drive. Selected buttons can turn ON/OFF all the drives at once. Futhermore, if user want to turn on all the drive at once, EMK 5 will do it by sequence to reduce the peak power load stressed on power supply. The storage rack has guidance rails to ensure the drive matches the backplane sockets: just push the drive into the rack and close the door. There is no need to install the addtional drive tray and this helps users save on service time.

Japanese OEM Tosses Out GTX TITAN X Heatsink for AIO Liquid Cooler

Japanese OEM gaming PC builder Sycom addressed the biggest shortcoming of reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X - heat (which runs into a thermal throttle too often), and the resulting noise (rivaling that of a Radeon R9 290X reference), by innovating a new all-in-one liquid cooling solution. Found on the company's G-Master Hydro series gaming desktops, these modified GTX TITAN X cards look reference, except a cut-out on its top, through which coolant tubes pass through.

The loop itself appears to be basic Asetek fare, with a round pump-block cooling the GPU, with its heat being dissipated by a 120 mm x 120 mm radiator. The memory and VRM is cooled by a base-plate that's ventilated by the NVTTM (NVIDIA time-to-market) reference cooler's main blower. Given that the GPU will run cool, we imagine that the blower will not be as noisy. NVIDIA restricts its add-in card partners from coming up with custom-design cards, but this mod appears to be by an OEM, and these cards won't be sold in the retail channel. It could fall into the same gray area that allows EVGA to sell its HydroCopper variants.


Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Icy Dock Intros Black Vortex MB174U3S-4SB Enclosure

We are proud to introduce the Black Vortex MB174U3S-4SB, the USB 3.0 and eSATA quad bay external enclosure with an eye catching design and removable drive feature. This unique HDD enclosure is designed for computer enthusiasts and gamers who need massive storage device without modifying their system or taking up additional system space. The MB174U3S-4SB accepts up to four 3.5" SATA 3 hard drives with blazing fast USB 3.0 and eSATA interface. The built-in 120mm cool blue LED fan with all around mesh design provides excellent cooling to the drive which can extend HDD lifespan. The easy access fan speed control and LED brightness control allow you to configure various setting that fits your need. Lastly, the EZ-Grip handles gives you the ability to replace drives in a matter of seconds. The Black Vortex MB174U3S-4SB is a must-have multi-bay enclosure that perfectly blends performance and aesthetics.

As storage space remains an integral part of many applications, the MB174U3S-4SB aims to fill the void which the storage market has neglected. With support of up to 4 drives, the Black Vortex can provide ample storage space for all your data needs without occupying space within your system. With 4 x 6TB hard drives, you can squeeze up to 24TB of storage into this compact enclosure.
Friday, March 27th 2015

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
PSUs
Storage

NVIDIA Readying GM200-based GeForce GTX 980 Ti

NVIDIA is preparing its second GeForce graphics card based on its 28 nm GM200 silicon, which powers the $1,000 GTX TITAN-X. There are several rumors surrounding what NVIDIA could name the card. Some sources suggest NVIDIA could name it the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, while others point at names such as the GTX 990 (to set it sufficiently apart from the smaller GM204-based GTX 980).

The SweClockers report that sides with GTX 980 Ti for the name, mentions that the card could feature the chip's full complement of 3,072 CUDA cores, but feature 6 GB of memory, compared to 12 GB on the GTX TITAN-X. The memory bus width will stay at 384-bit. NVIDIA could allow its add-in card (AIC) partners to come up with custom-design cards, and so we could expect some cards with meaty cooling solutions (that keep the chip away from its 84°C temperature-throttle), and factory-overclocked speeds, to make the GTX 980 Ti even faster than the GTX TITAN-X. NVIDIA could time its launch with AMD's launch of the Radeon R9 390X.

Source: SweClockers

Micron and Intel Unveil New 3D NAND Flash Memory

Micron Technology, Inc., and Intel Corporation today revealed the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory. Flash is the storage technology used inside the lightest laptops, fastest data centers, and nearly every cellphone, tablet and mobile device.

This new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by Intel and Micron, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically with extraordinary precision to create storage devices with three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies. This enables more storage in a smaller space, bringing significant cost savings, low power usage and high performance to a range of mobile consumer devices as well as the most demanding enterprise deployments.
Thursday, March 26th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD
Storage

SPEEDLINK Now Available in North America

Jöllenbeck GmbH is continuing to expand. Selected SPEEDLINK products are now available in North America through the wholly-owned subsidiary SPEEDLINK USA, INC. The products are available from Amazon and the electronics retail chain Fry's, among others. Owner-run Jöllenbeck GmbH from North Germany continues its growth course with its own brand SPEEDLINK in 2015. The peripheral manufacturer, who is already exporting to more than 40 countries worldwide, will also be available in North America from now on. In April, the first gaming products will be available from Amazon and in the electronics retail chain Fry's. These include the well-known MEDUSA gaming headset in different versions and the innovative gaming mouse KUDOS Z-9, which is equipped with a free app for smartphones and tablets. North America is a very attractive market for us which offers great potential in the area of PC gaming. I am convinced that we can also excite the Americans for SPEEDLINK with our innovative products", says Tim Joellenbeck, president of SPEEDLINK USA, INC.

MSI Launches Plethora of New Gaming All-in-One PCs

MSI, world leading manufacturer of gaming hardware, launches a whole pack of new Gaming All-in-One PCs, featuring the latest Intel Core i7 and i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M and GTX970M graphics. The MSI AG270 3K, MSI Gaming 24GE IPS and MSI Gaming 24GE 4K are loaded with a rich array of gaming features, specifically developed to deliver the best experience when playing games.

MSI understands that gamers need the best possible audio output quality when competing online. Therefore MSI integrated Nahimic Audio Enhancer into its newest AG270 3K and Gaming 24GE models, benefitting gaming not only with virtual surround, frequency leveler and bass boost, but also with noise reduction and voice leveler when gaming with a headphone. The MSI Gaming 24GE with IPS technology offers staggering gameplay in combination with the GTX960M GPU. The Gaming 24GE with 4K panel (3840x2160p) additionally makes for a complete PC solution for 4K video editing and encoding.

Futuremark Releases 3DMark Update with API Overhead Feature-set

Futuremark is excited to introduce our new 3DMark API Overhead feature test - the world's first independent test for measuring differences in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle API performance. It's also the very first public application to use DirectX 12 full stop. This is cutting edge stuff! Developed with input from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and the other members of our Benchmark Development Program, the 3DMark API Overhead feature test lets you compare the performance of DirectX 12, DirectX 11, and Mantle.

The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single system, rather than the absolute performance of different systems. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare graphics cards from different vendors. (We are working on a DirectX 12 benchmark with game-like workloads, which we expect to release soon after the public launch of Windows 10.)

DOWNLOAD: Futuremark 3DMark v1.5.884

ASRock Also Announces 970M Pro3 Micro-ATX Socket AM3+ Motherboard

In addition to the high bang-for-buck Fatal1ty 970 Performance, ASRock announced one of the very few AMD 9-series chipset based socket AM3+ motherboards in the micro-ATX form-factor, the 970M Pro3. Based on the AMD 970 chipset, and built to be priced well under $99, the 970M Pro3 supports AMD FX processors with TDP of up to 125W (that excludes FX-9000 series). Drawing power from a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS, the board offers a 5-phase CPU VRM. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, one PCIe 2.0 x16 (electrical x4, wired to the southbridge), and one each of PCIe 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity on the 970M Pro3 includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. 6-channel HD audio with ELNA capacitors, gigabit Ethernet, and four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by header), make for the rest of its modern connectivity. The board is driven by UEFI BIOS.

ASRock Unveils Fatal1ty 970 Performance Socket AM3+ Motherboard

ASRock unveiled its newest socket AM3+ motherboard for gamers with on a budget, the Fatal1ty 970 Performance. Based on the AMD 970 chipset with SB950 southbridge, this board offers a slick feature-set for its potentially two-figure price. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. An optional 4-pin Molex power connector is required, if you have two cards that rely solely on the expansion slot power. The board features a 10-phase CPU VRM, and supports 220W TDP chips such as the FX-9370 and FX-9590.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x8/x8 when both are populated), a third PCI-Express 2.0 x16, which is electrical x4 and wired to the southbridge, a legacy PCI, and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and an M.2 slot (electrical PCIe 2.0 x4). Other modern connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by headers), an electrically-reinforced Fatal1ty Mouse port, ASRock Purity Sound 2 on-board audio with a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation, and gigabit Ethernet (Realtek-made controller). The board is driven by UEFI BIOS, and supports Windows 8.1 features such as Secure Boot and Fast Boot. Expect this board to be priced at $99.

Toshiba Develops World's First 48-Layer BiCS

Toshiba Corporation today announced development of the world's first 48-layer three dimensional stacked cell structure flash memory called BiCS, a 2-bit-per-cell 128-gigabit (16 gigabytes) device. Sample shipments of products using the new process technology start today. The BiCS is based on a leading-edge 48-layer stacking process, which enhances the reliability of write/erase endurance and boosts write speed, and is suited for use in diverse applications, primarily solid state drives (SSD).

Since making the world's first announcement of technology for 3D Flash memory, Toshiba has continued development towards optimizing mass production. To meet further market growth in 2016 and beyond, Toshiba is proactively promoting the migration to 3D Flash memory by rolling out a product portfolio that emphasizes large capacity applications, such as SSD.

SanDisk Announces 48-Layer 3D NAND

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced that it has successfully developed its 48 layer second generation 3D NAND, also referred to as BiCS2. Pilot production will commence as planned in the second half of 2015 in the Yokkaichi joint venture facility, with meaningful commercial production targeted for 2016.

"We are very pleased to announce our second generation 3D NAND, which is a 48 layer architecture developed with our partner Toshiba," said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, memory technology, SanDisk. "We utilized our first generation 3D NAND technology as a learning vehicle, enabling us to develop our commercial second generation 3D NAND, which we believe will deliver compelling storage solutions for our customers."

SanDisk plans to use the second generation 3D NAND technology across a broad range of solutions, from removable products to enterprise SSDs.

Icy Dock Announces ExpressCage MB324SP-B

As one of our most exciting releases to date, the ExpressCage MB324SP-B brings to you our highly consumer-friendly enclosure made for anyone that requires affordable storage density. Fit up to 4 x 2.5" SATA/SAS HDD/SSD (7mm-12.5mm) into a single 5.25" bay with the ability to hot swap for easy drive replacement and single channel SAS support (SAS host required). Tool-less drive installation makes installing your drive more simple than ever and optional bottom tray screw holes are provided for extra protection and added stability. With a strategically placed 40mm cooling fan placed behind the unit and all around ventilation, your drives will stay cooler than the Arctic. An adjustable fan speed jumper lets you choose between HIGH, LOW, or AUTO smart cooling so you can set it based on your preference. Power users and system builders alike will enjoy the space saving, tool-less and hot-swap features provided by the ExpressCage MB324SP-B.

Our ExpressCage series is the latest addition to our lineup of ICY DOCK products and is catered to system builders and power users that require much more from their 5.25" bay. The MB324SP-B utilizes that 5.25" standard bay and converts it into 4 x 2.5" hot-swappable bays with support of 2.5" SATA and SAS HDD/SSD between 7mm to12.5mm in height. Our versatile enclosure supports SATA III 6Gb/s and single channel SAS (Requires SAS Controller Card). Extremely power efficient, the ExpressCage MB324SP-B can power all 4 drives with a single 15pin SATA power connector which can free up cable clutter and simplify your system build. In addition, our active power feature keeps your enclosure powered down until a drive is inserted minimizing energy usage.
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