Friday, January 30th 2015

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AeroCool Rolls Out DS200 Black Window Edition Case

AeroCool rolled out the latest addition to its DeadSilence (DS) family of quiet PC cases, the DS200 Black Window Edition. A variant of the DS200, it features a tinted acrylic window on its side-panel, measuring 284 mm x 217 mm. The rest of its feature-set is identical to the original. Measuring 210 mm x 485 mm x 527 mm (WxDxH), this ATX mid-tower case is made of a SECC steel frame, and ABS panels, with synthetic leatherette coating. One of its main features is an integrated multi-channel fan-controller, with temperature readouts. Other front panel connectivity includes two each of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0/1.1 ports and HDA jacks.

The DS200 offers two 5.25-inch drive bays, and seven internal bays (2x 2.5-inch and 5x 3.5-inch), split between two detachable drive cages. The case offers room for graphics cards as long as 290 mm, but with one of the drive cages removed, that clearance is increased to 410 mm. CPU coolers as tall as 170 mm can be installed. Ventilation includes two 140 mm front intakes (one 140 mm fan included), one 120 mm rear exhaust (fan included), and a top exhaust vent that either holds one 200 mm spinner, or two 140/120 mm ones.
Thursday, January 29th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD

Intel Announces Availability of 5th Gen. Core vPro Processor Family

Intel Corporation today announced the availability of its 5th generation Intel Core vPro processor family that provides cutting-edge features to enable a new and rapidly shifting workplace. To meet the needs of a more mobile and dynamic workforce, the latest iteration of Intel Core vPro processors offer wireless innovations, built-in security, faster performance and improved manageability that will allow workers and companies to improve their productivity and stay competitive.

With the new 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors, Intel addresses three specific areas to enable a better way to work and provide a better experience for users and companies: PC design innovation, wireless display and wireless docking. Businesses can choose from a variety of never-before-seen PC designs across 2 in 1s, Ultrabooks, ultrathin clamshells and mini PCs that offer up to twice the battery life and more than twice the performance, enabling form factors that are up to three times thinner and 50 percent lighter than a laptop PC from just four years ago.

AMD Cashes in On GTX 970 Drama, Cuts R9 290X Price

AMD decided to cash-in on the GeForce GTX 970 memory controversy, with a bold move and a cheap (albeit accurate) shot. The company is making its add-in board (AIB) partners lower pricing of its Radeon R9 290X graphics card, which offers comparable levels of performance to the GTX 970, down to as low as US $299.

And then there's a gentle reminder from AMD to graphics card buyers with $300-ish in their pockets. With AMD, "4 GB means 4 GB." AMD also emphasizes that the R9 290 and R9 290X can fill their 4 GB video memory to the last bit, and feature a 512-bit wide memory interface, which churns up 320 GB/s of memory bandwidth at reference clocks, something the GTX 970 can't achieve, even with its fancy texture compression mojo.

MSI Announces Limited Edition GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 960 Graphics Cards

To celebrate the grand milestone of selling over 100 million NVIDIA GPU based graphics cards from the moment MSI started to manufacture these until 2015, MSI has prepared a special limited edition of its recently launched GTX 960 GAMING and much awarded GTX 970 GAMING models with a striking NVIDIA green color scheme.

Both cards feature the well-known MSI Twin Frozr V cooler with Zero Frozr technology and Torx Fan design with innovative award-winning cooling technology for silent and cool gaming graphics. They will also come with a backplate to improve structural rigidity and most of all complement the exclusive premium appearances. As a token of appreciation, a special gift for dedicated MSI fans is included in the box. The MSI GTX 960 GAMING 100 ME and MSI GTX 970 GAMING 100 ME are now globally available.

Perfectly Functional GTX 970 Cards Being Returned Over Memory Controversy

In what is a major fallout of the GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation controversy, leading retailers in the EU are reporting returns of perfectly functional GTX 970 cards citing "false advertising." Heise.de reports that NVIDIA is facing a fierce blowback from retailers and customers over incorrect specs. Heise comments that the specifications "cheating could mean the greatest damage to the reputation of the company's history."

Major German PC hardware retailer Caseking.de says that retailers don't have any explanation from NVIDIA to give to their customers. A similar sentiment is being expressed by the NVIDIA add-in card partners (AICs) we spoke to. Retailers and AIC partners are on their own, for now. One AIC partner rep told us that NVIDIA has no worldwide action plan, as of now, to deal with a potential flood of returns.

Kingston HyperX Sets DDR4 Overclocking World Record at 4351MHz

HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology, the independent world leader in memory products, today announced its HyperX Predator DDR4 memory was overclocked at 4351 MHz, the highest frequency among all DDR4 memory in the world. The mark was set by overclocker "Toppc" of MSI using one 4GB HyperX Predator 3333MHz DDR4 module on the new MSI X99S XPOWER AC motherboard. The valid CPU-Z screenshot can be found here. The video of the overclocking record can be found here.

In addition to having the highest frequency, 10 out of the top 20 memory clock records were achieved using HyperX Predator DDR4 memory. Eight of those records were set at the recent HyperX OC Takeover (HOT) World Finals event during 2015 International CES, where the world's top overclocker's gathered to compete for $15,000 (USD) in prize money. HyperX DDR4 memory currently also has the top scores in two other benchmarks recognized by HWBOT, MaxxMEM and MaxxMEM Read Bandwidth, respectively.

MSI Nightblade Now with Latest GTX 900 Series Graphics

MSI, leading gaming hardware brand, is leveling up by implementing the latest MSI 900-series graphics cards into the tiny MSI Nightblade powerhouse. The recent release of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 970 and 960 graphics cards enables MSI to offer gamers an even more lavishing gaming experience with the MSI Nightblade, which fits an ATX-size graphics card without the need for additional adapters, despite its mini-ITX form factor.

Gamers that want a powerful, compact gaming PC that can be carried to gaming and LAN events will have an excellent pick with the MSI Nightblade. By default, the Nightblade B85 gaming systems come with Killer Game Networking technology, Audio Boost 2 and Military Class 4 components, known for its stability and power efficiency. Selected resellers will also offer the MSI Nightblade with locally preferred configurations.

MSI to Refresh X99S Motherboard Series as USB 3.1-equipped X99A Series

MSI is planning to give its socket LGA2011v3 motherboard lineup a refresh, replacing the X99S series, with the new X99A series. The X99A series will feature USB 3.1, the new 10 Gb/s USB standard. One confirmed model from the new lineup is the X99A Gaming 9 ACK. This board offers two USB 3.1 type-A ports, which are 100% backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and are driven by an ASMedia ASM1352R controller. This chip is wired to the X99 PCH over PCI-Express 2.0 x2, which is just enough bandwidth for 10 Gb/s downstream. At CES, MSI displayed the first motherboard to feature a USB 3.1 type-C port, the Z97A Gaming 6.

Source: AnandTech
Wednesday, January 28th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Biostar Outs GeForce GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC Graphics Card

Biostar made a comeback to graphics cards after a long sabbatical, with a new GeForce GTX 750 Ti based graphics card, the GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC. Based on a custom-design that we guess could be originally designed by either Onda or Galaxy, the card features a custom-design dual-fan cooling solution, which consists of a solid aluminium heatsink, which is ventilated by a pair of 80 mm spinners. The card offers factory overclocked speeds of 1059 MHz core, 1137 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 5.40 GHz memory, compared to reference speeds of 1020/1085 MHz. Display outputs include two dual-link DVI, and a mini-HDMI. The card features 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, across its 128-bit wide memory interface. Based on the 28 nm GM107 silicon, the GTX 750 Ti features 640 CUDA cores based on the "Maxwell" architecture.

Func Announces an Update to the F-Series 10 Mousepad Series

Func is excited to announce a new version of the F-Series 10. The F-Series was introduced to the market for the first time back in 2005 and was meant to be an economical alternative to the more high-end product from Func, the Surface 1030. The new Func F-Series 10², is like earlier versions is a single-sided, low profile, semi-rigid mouse pad constructed of high quality polycarbonate but is now available in 3 sizes. In addition to a wider range of sizes, the MSRP of the new F-Series 10² is significantly lower compared to earlier versions.

SMART Modular Announces DDR4 Mini-DIMM

SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of specialty memory and storage solutions, including memory modules, flash memory cards and other memory and solid state storage products, has announced today the launch of its DDR4 Mini-DIMM, one of the industry's first Mini-DIMM form factor utilizing next generation DDR4 technology.

SMART's initial lineup of DDR4-2133 Mini-DIMMs includes 8GB and 16GB VLP Mini-UDIMM along with 8GB and 16GB standard height Mini-RDIMMs, all of which comply with JEDEC 288-pin form factor and pin-out standards. Today, Mini-DIMMs are widely used across many application segments including networking, telecom, industrial, computing and storage by OEMs who are looking to save board space or source as an alternative to SO-DIMMs. The attractiveness of Mini-DIMMs is that they are versatile; it's a small form factor offered in high densities operating at high data transfer rates. For OEMs currently using DDR3 Mini-DIMMs, SMART is pleased to offer a migration path to DDR4.

Western Digital Announces Financial Results For Second Quarter Fiscal 2015

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today reported revenue of $3.9 billion and net income of $460 million, or $1.93 per share, for its second fiscal quarter ended Jan. 2, 2015. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $539 million or $2.26 per share. In the year-ago quarter, the company reported revenue of $4.0 billion and net income of $430 million, or $1.77 per share. Non-GAAP net income in the year-ago quarter was $532 million, or $2.19 per share.

The company generated $243 million in cash from operations during the December quarter, net of the Seagate arbitration award payment of $773 million, ending with total cash and cash equivalents of $4.9 billion. During the December quarter, the company utilized $309 million to repurchase 3.2 million shares of common stock. On Nov. 4, the company declared a $0.40 per common-share dividend, which was paid on Jan. 15.

NVIDIA to Tune GTX 970 Resource Allocation with Driver Update

NVIDIA plans to release a fix for the GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation issue. In an informal statement to users of the GeForce Forums, an NVIDIA employee said that the company is working on a driver update that "will tune what's allocated where in memory to further improve performance." The employee also stressed that the GTX 970 is still the best performing graphics card at its price-point, and if current owners are not satisfied with their purchase, they should return it for a refund or exchange.

Source: GeForce Forums
Tuesday, January 27th 2015

Today's Reviews

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Apple Reports Record First Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 first quarter ended December 27, 2014. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $18 billion, or $3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $57.6 billion and net profit of $13.1 billion, or $2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter's revenue.

The results were fueled by all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store. iPhone unit sales of 74.5 million also set a new record.
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