Monday, April 21st 2014

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
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Processors
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SSD

Sapphire Announces Radeon R9 270X Black Diamond Edition

Sapphire gave the Radeon R9 270X some Tri-X treatment, and a high factory-overclock, with its Black Diamond Edition graphics card, which is exclusive to the Greater China region. The card features the same triple-fan Tri-X cooling solution with back-plate as some R9 280X graphics cards, featuring a meaty aluminium fin heatsink that's ventilated by a trio of fans. It offers a factory core overclock of 1100 MHz, and a memory overclock of 6.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective); compared to AMD reference speeds of 1000 MHz core, 1050 MHz boost, and 5.60 GHz memory. Other features include temperature-activated color LED logo badge, and dual-BIOS with UEFI modules. Based on the 28 nm "Curacao" silicon, the Radeon R9 270X features 1,280 stream processors, 80 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 2 GB of memory.

Apacer Launches the E101, E311 and E310 Earphones

With the popularity of mobile devices, accessories have become a symbol of personality. To meet the mobile audio and visual needs of people who enjoy mobile life, Apacer has launched its latest series of earphones: E101, E311 and E310. These earphones adopt standard 3.5 mm audio connectors and are compatible with smartphones, tablet PCs, handheld game consoles, MP3 players and other portable audio-visual devices.

Colorful appearance blended with a dazzling style reflects a truly personal chic taste. The ergonomic in-ear design not only optimizes sound effects but also avoids hearing damage caused by excessive volume. Stylish people can immerse into the wonderful world of music and enjoy the charms of rock anytime and anywhere.

Next-Gen Intel "Alpine Ridge" Thunderbolt Controller Detailed

Intel's upcoming Thunderbolt host controller, codenamed "Alpine Ridge," could allow you to play God with several uncompressed Ultra HD video streams during production, if its leaked specifications hold up. The controller leverages PCI-Express gen 3.0 to double bandwidth of the interface. It will launch around the same time as Intel's next-generation Core "Skylake" processors (some time in 2015), and in a typical implementation, will be wired to the CPU's root-complex, and not that of the PCH. With PCIe 3.0 x4 or PCIe 3.0 x2 links at its disposal, the controller can push data at a staggering 40 Gbps. The link can also ferry DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, and USB 3.0 data through its link layer. That bandwidth should enable you to plug in up to two Ultra HD displays, apart from your storage array.

The Thunderbolt connector itself will undergo a change with the arrival of Alpine Ridge. It will be slimmer (shorter) than the current connector, at 3 mm (good for Ultrabooks), and there will be adapters for backwards compatibility with older-generation Thunderbolt devices. The connector will be designed to supply up to 100W of power, so Ultrabooks based on it will do away with round DC jacks, and charge up much like tablets and smartphones do. That amount of power should also enable single-cable HDD docks and RAID boxes. There will be two main variants of Alpine Ridge, one that supports two ports over daisy-chaining, and one that supports just a single port.


Source: VR-Zone

G.SKILL Ripjaws Releases DDR3L 32GB 2133MHz SO-DIMM Memory

G.SKILL International Co. Ltd., the leading high performance memory designer and manufacturer, is proud to announce the release of an even higher performance, higher capacity DDR3L SO-DIMM memory kit at 2133MHz! This time with a massive 32GB (4x8GB) capacity! Operating at a low voltage of 1.35V and at a timing of 11-11-11-31, this new Ripjaws SO-DIMM memory kit will elevate the performance of your extreme performance gaming laptop to new heights. Desktop performance and capacity on a laptop is now a reality!

The following is a test screenshot completed on the MSI GT70 2OC gaming laptop, exhibiting stability under extreme load. "As a world leading gaming brand, MSI Notebook's goal is to become the most trusted name in gaming and e-sport. We stand by our principles of breakthroughs in design, the pursuit of excellence, and technological innovation as we have continued to raise the bar for ourselves and have accomplished a great deal of pioneering work in the industry," commented Sam Chern, marketing director at MSI.

Biostar Announces A68N-5000 Fanless Motherboard

BIOSTAR, manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, industrial computing systems and peripherals, has officially launched the latest edition to the CPU On-Board motherboard lineup, the "A68N-5000." The A68N-5000 uses the AMD A4-5000 which is a 4 core CPU with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz with an integrated Radeon HD 8330 GPU that supports DX11.1 and HDMI, a single channel DDR3(L)-1600 memory controller as well as the Southbridge with various I/O- ports. The system runs cool and quiet with heat sinks instead of fans, this reduces noise and also dust buildup as well as cuts down on power costs.
Sunday, April 20th 2014

NVIDIA GM204 and GM206 to Tape-Out in April, Products to Launch in Q4?

It looks like things are going horribly wrong at TSMC, NVIDIA and AMD's principal foundry partner, with its 20 nm manufacturing process, which is throwing a wrench into the works at NVIDIA, forcing it to re-engineer an entire lineup of "Maxwell" GPUs based on existing 28 nm process. Either that, or NVIDIA is confident of delivering an efficiency leap using Maxwell on existing/mature 28 nm process, and saving costs in the process. NVIDIA is probably drawing comfort from the excellent energy-efficiency demonstrated by its Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 750 series. According to a 3DCenter.org report, NVIDIA's next mainline GPUs, the GM204 and GM206, which will be built on the 28 nm process, and "Maxwell" architecture, will tape out later this month. Products based on the two, however, can't be expected before Q4 2014, as late as December, or even as late as January 2015.

GM204 succeeds GK104 as the company's next workhorse performance-segment silicon, which could power graphics card SKUs ranging all the way from US $250 to $500. An older report suggests that it could feature as many as 3,200 CUDA cores. The GM204 could be taped out in April 2014, and the first GeForce products based on it could launch no sooner than December 2014. The GM206 is the company's next mid-range silicon, which succeeds GK106. It will tape out in April, alongside the GM204, but products based on it will launch only in January 2015. The GM200 is a different beast altogether. There's no mention of which process the chip will be based on, but it will succeed the GK110, and should offer performance increments worthy of being a successor. For that, it has to be based on the 20 nm process. It will tape-out in June 2014, and products based on it will launch only in or after Q2 2015.Source: 3DCenter.org

QNAP Releases System Updates to Fix Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

QNAP Systems Inc. today announced firmware updates for Turbo NAS systems with vulnerability to the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug (CVE-2014-0160). The operating systems vulnerable to Heartbleed are QTS versions 4.0 and 4.1. Versions 3.8 and earlier use a different version of OpenSSL and are not affected by the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug. As described on the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures website, the OpenSSL 1.0.1 TLS and DTLS implementation, before 1.0.1g, does not properly process Heartbeat Extension packets which allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading private keys (aka the Heartbleed bug).

ASUS to Launch two TUF Series Motherboards based on Z97 Express Chipset

ASUS is expected to launch two The Ultimate Force (TUF) series motherboards based on Intel's upcoming Z97 Express chipset, ready for Core "Haswell" refresh and "Devil's Canyon" processors, TUF Sabertooth Z97, and the micro-ATX TUF Gryphon Z97. Designed with durability in mind, the two will feature the highest-grade electrical components the industry has to offer, and a boat-load of electrical, electro-static, electro-magnetic, and thermal protections. You can either take advantage of them to better your overclock, or build one for your post-apocalyptic bunker PC. The Sabertooth Z97 will feature three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, an 8-phase CPU VRM, thermal armor with a recirculating fan, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. We only have a teaser picture of the Gryphon Z97.


Source: ROGFan (Sina Weibo)

ASUS Z97 Deluxe Pictured, Too

Here's the first picture of a market-ready version of ASUS' Z97 Deluxe motherboard, from the company's mainline computer brand. ASUS seems to have received screaming feedback from some quarters that bright gold isn't the best choice heatsink color, and if Z97 Deluxe is anything to go by, we might see a softer champagne tone of gold, with a more minimalist heatsink design. The Z97 Deluxe is packed to the brim with features, beginning with a 16-phase CPU VRM. The LGA1150 socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Storage connectivity appears to include six SATA 6 Gb/s, one SATA-Express, one M.2, and possibly one or more eSATA. Other connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio with ground-layer isolation, dual gigabit-Ethernet interfaces, WLAN, and a large number of USB 3.0 ports. We also scored a teaser pic of the flagship mini-ITX motherboard from ASUS based on the Z97 chipset, likely named the Z97-I Deluxe. It should give you a closer look of the chipset heatsink design.


Source: ROGFan (Sina Weibo)

ASUS Z97-based ROG Maximus VII Series Pictured

Here are the first pictures of the Republic of Gamers Maximus VII motherboard series, from ASUS. The lineup will initially consist of three models, the Maximus VII Hero, the Maximus VII Ranger, and the micro-ATX Maximus VII Gene, with no signs of >$200 "Formula" and "Extreme" variants, or even the mini-ITX "Impact" variant. With MSI and ASRock setting up their "Gaming" and "Fatal1ty" sub-brand models at the $150 price point, ASUS is feeling the pinch of not putting an ROG Maximus-series model up at that price. Hence we have the Maximus VII Ranger, a $150-ish motherboard that could go head on against the Gaming 3 from MSI, and Z97 Fatal1ty Killer from ASRock. The $199 price-point is captured by the Maximus VII Hero, competing with the Gaming 7 from MSI. Future "Formula" and "Extreme" variants could compete at the $250 and ≥$300 price-points with the MPower and XPower models.

The Maximus VII Ranger features two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots wired to the CPU (x8/x8 with both populated), the third one is wired to the Z97 PCH, and is electrical x4. The board appears to feature a simple 8-phase CPU VRM, six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, an M.2 slot, SupremeFX audio, and a single gigabit Ethernet connection, probably made by Intel. Moving on, the Maximus VII Hero. Which could feature a meatier CPU VRM, eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, one M.2, a similar expansion slot layout to the Ranger, and probably more connectivity options. The Maximus VII Gene is a feature-rich micro-ATX board, with a similar CPU VRM to the Maximus VII Hero, two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, an addition PCI-Express x1, an M.2, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Its connectivity appears to include a WLAN card with 802.11 ac. Among the new ROG-exclusive features introduced by this series, are Gamefirst III (packet prioritization), LANGuard, SonicRadar II (points to where a sound is coming from), KeyBot (keyboard macros), and TrueVolt USB (power stabilization for USB ports).

Source: ROGFan (Sina Weibo)

Radeon R9 295X2 Starts Selling

The flagship graphics card from AMD, Radeon R9 295X2, started selling, and is listed by leading retailers worldwide. AMD set the MSRP of this card at US $1,499, the pre-tax price could swing by ±5%. At that price, the R9 295X2 is the costliest reference-design graphics card by AMD, and is currently the fastest one money can buy. A dual-GPU on a stick solution with two 28 nm "Hawaii" GPUs, the R9 295X2 features a total of 5,632 GCN2 stream processors (2,816 per GPU), 352 TMUs (176 per GPU), 128 ROPs (64 per GPU), and a total of 8 GB of memory, across two 512-bit wide memory interfaces. The card is cooled by a factory-fitted water-cooling solution by Asetek.
Friday, April 18th 2014

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
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Memory
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Mouse
NAS
Processors
PSUs
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Spire Introduces the RIDGE Series PC Cases

The Ridge series are quality ATX form factor PC enclosures with contemporary looks. This middle/small tower structure is simply functional and affordable. The clean and minimal looks make the Ridge series fit right into your home interior. External connectivity made simple through the in front concealed USB3.0/2.0 and HD Audio ports.

The internal structure enables flexible and neat assembly. Sufficient cooling through the multiple fan space positions in the front, side and rear of the chassis. (fans not pre-installed) The Ridge series ATX chassis are supported with our 2 year warranty and service program.
Thursday, April 17th 2014

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Speakers
Storage

ZALMAN Upgrades Distinct Design with Reserator 3 MAX Dual Liquid CPU Cooler

ZALMAN a leading manufacturer of high performance silent oriented computer hardware components and peripherals, today announced the Reserator 3 MAX Dual liquid CPU cooler. Improving upon the Reserator 3 MAX released last year, the Reserator 3 MAX Dual bolsters performance drastically by utilizing a large 240mm Radiator compared to the smaller 120mm radiator size of its smaller brother. The Reserator 3 MAX Dual features the classic ZALMAN Omega heatsink structure, reborn and updated in its current form for the most effective radiator use in closed loop liquid cooling solutions. Enhanced with 240mm radiator capacity, the Reserator 3 MAX Dual will feature unparalleled performance with whisper quiet acoustics.

Cyberpower Makes New V3 Voltair CPU Cooler Available in Custom-Built PCs

Cyberpower Inc., a global manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, gaming laptops, and performance workstations, has entered into an agreement with V3 Components to be the exclusive distributor of V3 Components products in North America. V3 Components, based in Lomita, California is a new manufacturer of enthusiast level computer components. The company recently announced its first product, the V3 Voltair High Performance Thermoelectric CPU Cooler.

"We are very happy to have Cyberpower Inc. as the exclusive distributor of our products in North America. Cyberpower Inc. offers the logistics capacity and market reach to help make our products available to a much wider audience than we would be able to on our own," said Chuck Morris, Product Manager at V3 Components. "Cyberpower Inc. has successful partnerships among both etailers and the retail channel that it will use to offer V3 Components products to customers.

ASUS Announces the Striker GTX 760 Platinum 4GB Graphics Card

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Striker GTX 760 Platinum, a brand-new gaming graphics card powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 graphics-processing unit (GPU), a beefy 4 GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory and engineered with exclusive cooling and power-stabilizing technologies.

The GTX 760 GPU is greatly desired by many gamers for being the performance sweet-spot, while Striker GTX 760 Platinum's DirectCU II cooling, CoolTech fan, DIGI+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) and Super Alloy Power components ensure cooler, faster, quieter gaming that also provides great overclocking potential.

Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Deliver Multi-Sourced 14 nm FinFET Offering

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced a new strategic collaboration to deliver global capacity for 14 nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology. For the first time, the industry's most advanced 14 nm FinFET technology will be available at both Samsung and GLOBALFOUNDRIES, giving customers the assurance of supply that can only come from true design compatibility at multiple sources across the globe.

The new collaboration will leverage the companies' worldwide leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, with volume production at Samsung's fabs in Hwaseong, Korea and Austin, Texas, as well as GLOBALFOUNDRIES' fab in Saratoga, New York.

AMD Reports 2014 First Quarter Results

AMD today announced revenue for the first quarter of 2014 of $1.40 billion, operating income of $49 million and net loss of $20 million, or $0.03 per share. The company reported non-GAAP operating income of $66 million and non-GAAP net income of $12 million, or $0.02 per share.

"AMD continued our momentum by building on the solid foundation we set in the second half of 2013, further transforming the company," said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. "Backed by our powerful x86 processor cores and hands-down best graphics experiences, we achieved 28 percent revenue growth from the year-ago quarter. We are well positioned to continue to grow profitably as we diversify our business and enable our customers to drive change and win."
Wednesday, April 16th 2014

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
SSD

HIS Announces R9 295X2 LiquidCooler

Hightech Information System (HIS) today proudly announces the HIS R9 295X2 Liquid Cooler 8GB. HIS R9 295X2 Liquid Cooler 8GB is the world's fastest graphics card engineered for ultimate performance. Its features the Next Generation CrossFire support for up to 5 GPUs with no interconnect bridge required. It's designed with the latest technologies, all metal construction and features two R9 290X GPUs, which provides an all-round graphic experience to all users.

The R9 295X2 graphics card reference design ships with an advanced closed-loop liquid cooling system developed jointly with Asetek. Users can enjoy such cool temperatures, quiet operation and consistently high performance. Another powerful strength is Mantle technology. Games enabled with Mantle speak the language of Graphics Core Next to unlock revolutionary performance and image quality.

Toshiba Debuts World's Fastest microSD Memory Cards

Extending its industry leadership in memory card solutions, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., (TAEC), a committed leader that collaborates with technology companies to create breakthrough designs, has introduced the world's fastest microSD memory cards. The new cards are the first in the industry to comply with the UHS-II interface standard, the ultra high speed serial bus interface defined in the SD Memory Card Standard Ver. 4.20. Available in 32 GB and 64 GB capacities, Toshiba's new microSD memory cards offer the fastest transfer rates available, are UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) enabled, and allow high-quality 4K video capture at constant minimum write speeds of 30 MB/s. This means that 4K2K video, live broadcast and content can be recorded on high-performance cameras.

The 64 GB cards offer a maximum read speed of 260 MB/s and a maximum write speed of 240 MB/s. The 32 GB cards have a maximum read speed of 145 MB/s and maximum write speed of 130 MB/s, which represents an 8x write speed improvement and 2.7x read speed improvement when compared to Toshiba's current 32 GB microSD UHS-I cards. These faster transfer speeds reduce the time required to download large data movie and music files to smart phones and tablets, and enable camera users to shoot high resolution digital still images in a continuous high speed shooting mode.

TRENDnet Ships Powerline 500 Wireless Kit

TRENDnet, a best-in-class wired and wireless networking hardware brand, today announces the availability of the Powerline 500 Wireless Kit, model TPL-410APK, which extends a home wireless network using existing electrical lines.

The included TRENDnet Powerline adapters (TPL-406E + TPL-410AP) auto-connect out of the box over a pre-encrypted Powerline signal. Network the standard Powerline 500 adapter, model TPL-406E, to a router and plug in the Powerline 500 AV Wireless Access Point, model TPL-410AP, into an outlet on the same electrical system to extend a high performance wireless network. "The TPL-410APK is well suited to extend a wireless network in large homes or homes built with concrete or masonry construction which degrades wireless signals," stated Zak Wood, director of global marketing for TRENDnet. "Installation couldn't be easier. Simply plug in the adapters and you're up and running."

Next-gen MSI OC Series Motherboard to Feature "Delid Die Guard"

The upcoming entries to MSI's more overclocker-oriented line of motherboards, the M-Power and X-Power OC Series, will feature an interesting new feature that could appeal to overclockers that like to de-lid (remove the IHS of) their processors, for more direct heat-transfer between the chip and cooler. Called the "Delid Die Guard," the accessory is a replacement LGA socket brace that runs its way around the die, and not the edges of the package. The thickness of the brace puts it at the exact level of the surface of the chip (much like the support braces GPUs come with), and so it prevents heavy coolers (think chunky LN2 pots) from pressing too hard against the die, potentially breaking it. The feature could debut on MSI's upcoming M-Power motherboard based on the Z97 Express chipset.


Source: Expreview

MSI 9-series Gaming Series Motherboards Pictured

MSI is ready with its Gaming series socket LGA1150 motherboards based on Intel's next-gen 9-series chipset, which are ready for Core "Haswell" refresh processors. The series includes three boards in the ATX form-factor, the 9-series Gaming 9 AC, 9-series Gaming 7, and 9-series Gaming 3; and one in the mini-ITX form-factor, the 9-series Gaming. The 9-series Gaming 9 AC is loaded with features, including a 12-phase CPU VRM, four DDR3 DIMM slots, three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4), eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, a PCI-Express x2 M.2 slot, Killer E2200 NIC, 802.11 ac WLAN, and more.

Next up, is the 9-series Gaming 7, which offers the same 12-phase CPU VRM as the 9-series Gaming 9 AC, same three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, four PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and an identical storage connectivity. The 9-series Gaming 3 is the most affordable of the lot, with a 6-phase CPU VRM, one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), two PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and three PCI; six SATA 6 Gb/s, one M.2, and Killer E2200 NIC. Lastly, there's the 9-series Gaming ITX, which offers a decent 6-phase VRM, single PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 802.11 ac networking, Killer E2200 NIC, and AudioBoost audio. The three should launch in the run up to the mid-May release of Intel's new processors.
More pictures follow.

SanDisk Declares Second Quarter 2014 Cash Dividend

SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced that the Board of Directors has declared a second quarter 2014 cash dividend of 22.5 cents per share on the company's common stock. The dividend will be payable on May 27, 2014 to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 5, 2014. Future dividends will be subject to approval by SanDisk's Board of Directors.

SanDisk Corporation, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, is a global leader in flash storage solutions. For more than 25 years, SanDisk has expanded the possibilities of storage, providing trusted and innovative products that have transformed the electronics industry. Today, SanDisk's quality, state-of-the-art solutions are at the heart of many of the world's largest data centers, and embedded in advanced smart phones, tablets and PCs. SanDisk's consumer products are available at hundreds of thousands of retail stores worldwide.

NVIDIA Rolls Out GeForce 337.61 BETA Hotfix

NVIDIA rolled out GeForce R337.61 BETA, which is a hotfix for two glaring issues that came to light with R337.50, which launched earlier this month. To begin with, it fixes an issue faced with Dell's compact 4K Ultra HD monitors, specifically P3214Q and UP2414Q, in which the GeForce GPU would give out "half" or no display (Ultra HD resolution is handled over multiple TMDS links). It also fixes a Code 43 error message after installing driver 337.50 on a PC with Hyper-V enabled. The rest of its feature-set is identical to that of its predecessor.
DOWNLOAD: GeForce 337.61 Beta Hotfix for Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bit
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