Tuesday, June 28th 2016

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards

Western Digital Launches World's Fastest 256GB microSD Card

Western Digital Corporation, a global storage technology and solutions leader, today introduced a new suite of 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards, which includes the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card - the fastest microSD card in its class. The new suite of cards also includes 256GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, the first 256GB card optimized for mainstream consumers. The new additions deliver leading speed and capacity in a fingernail-sized card, giving smartphone, drone and action camera users the performance and capacity they need to capture professional-grade videos and photos without worrying about running out of space on their device.

"Our microSD cards are now at the center of many consumer devices, and we're excited to not only raise the bar with the launch of the world's fastest microSD card, but to also offer a family of 256GB microSD cards that give consumers the flexibility they need to capture life at its fullest," said Dinesh Bahal, vice president of SanDisk product marketing, Western Digital. "As a leading global storage provider with one of the most trusted flash brands, we take pride in transforming the way consumers capture, store and share their content."

Be Quiet! Announces the Dark Base 900 Case

Be Quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years*, presents the Dark Base 900 series featuring two absolute high-end cases with groundbreaking features. With unmatched flexibility through a modular design, efficient cooling with SilentWings 3 fans and an extremely low noise level, the newest addition to be quiet's portfolio is the optimal solution for enthusiasts and individualists. The cases feature a remarkable elegant design, topped off on the Dark Base Pro 900 with a stunning side window made of tempered and tinted glass. This model also includes LED lighting and a wireless Qi charger.

The brand-new be quiet! Dark Base 900 series leaves nothing to be desired regarding possible system configurations because the modular design opens up various possibilities for the optimal placement of components. Proving the point, the removable motherboard tray can be installed in six different positions and can accommodate all types of boards up to E-ATX or XL-ATX form factor. Fitting the specific hardware and cooling configuration, the perfect orientation can be found without any issues. In addition, it is very easy to assemble most of the parts outside of the case. In combination with the individual HDD slots the Dark Base 900 and the Dark Base Pro 900 offer unbeatable flexibility and compatibility, providing a perfect enclosure for high-end configurations with watercooling and overclocking, absolute silent systems, as well as upper-class workstations. For the necessary storage devices, the Dark Base 900 series also offers sufficient mounting space: up to 15 solid state drives, 7 HDDs, and 2 optical drives can be installed.

Cooler Master Announces the Winners of Case Mod World Series 2016

Since January, case modders young and old have been busy in their basements, driveways, kitchens and bathrooms, taking over just about any place they can find. Many spent hundreds of hours putting both craft and creation to the test in pursuit of a title in the world's largest modding competition. We held events on four continents introducing people to local modders, gear, and training in the art. All of this culminated in over 120 worklogs and entries, of which 82 made the final submissions.

Scratch-built demons, giant critters, cyborgs, orbs, and monsters roamed among the many high-class tower mods trimmed and dressed with the best materials and sharp designs. The scene's biggest names - Peter Brands, Richard Keirsgieter, Richard Surroz, Ronnie Hara, Brian Farrell, Ermanno Bonandini, and Antony Leather - gave scores that came down to the decimal point. Over 21,000 votes also piled up in just a week for this year's two People's Choice Award winners.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Surfaces in Hong Kong Market

An upcoming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 reference-design graphics card popped up in Hong Kong's Capital Market. The pictures reveal a reference design cooler that features a design that's slightly different/simpler from the GTX 1080/1070 reference cooler, and features NVIDIA company branding on its PCB, although the PCB code isn't printed in its usual location. The PCB itself appears to be shorter than the cooler, much in the same way as GTX 670, GTX 960 reference, and the RX 480 reference. There are no specifications to chew on, nor any information on what this card could be priced at.

Source: Reddit

GIGABYTE Announces the GeForce GTX 1070 WindForce 2X

GIGABYTE announced its cost-effective custom-design GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, the GTX 1070 WindForce OC (model: GV-N1070WF2OC-8GD). The card features a simpler WindForce 2X cooling solution than the WindForce 3X the GTX 1070 G1.Gaming ships with. This cooler features a more compact twin aluminium-fin stack heatsink, that's ventilated by a pair of 90 mm fans, which stay off when the card is idling.

The card also serves up a small factory overclock of 1582 MHz core, 1771 MHz Boost in "OC mode" and 1556 MHz core, 1746 MHz Boost in "Gaming mode," against NVIDIA reference clocks of 1506/1683 MHz. The memory is left untouched at 8.00 GHz. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b, and one dual-link DVI. We expect this card to be priced closest to the $379 baseline NVIDIA set for this SKU, among GIGABYTE's GTX 1070 lineup.

Microsoft Hit by First Successful Windows 10 Forced Upgrade Lawsuit

Microsoft has been hit by the first successful lawsuit over its forced Windows 10 upgrade. The first of possibly many, Teri Goldstein from California, successfully sued Microsoft for $10,000 in damages and legal fees over its deceptively designed Windows 10 upgrade software, which automatically downloaded and upgraded her computer's Windows 7 installation almost without the consent of the user. She convinced the court that the upgrade made her computer slower, and that she lost business due to the upgrade process and the slowing down of her computer. Microsoft dropped its appeal and paid up.

Microsoft is heavily criticized for the way it distributes its free Windows 10 upgrade for PCs with Windows 7 and Windows 8. What started out as an optional upgrade, quickly evolved into an almost unavoidable upgrade that forces itself upon the users, through clever design of the upgrade software's user interface. Microsoft recently changed Windows 10 upgrade into a "recommended update" for Windows 7/8, making users with auto-install for recommended updates discover that their machines have been upgraded almost without their consent. Could this be the first of many successful lawsuits over this issue at least in a precedent-driven American civil justice system?

Source: The Guardian, Many Thanks to revin for the tip.
Monday, June 27th 2016

Today's Reviews

Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards

ASUS Intros GeForce GTX 1070 Turbo

ASUS introduced the GeForce GTX 1070 Turbo graphics card (model: TURBO-GTX1070-8G). Based on essentially the same product design as the GTX 1080 Turbo launched earlier this month, this card could be the company's most affordable GTX 1070 offering, priced close to the $379 baseline price NVIDIA set for this SKU. It features a lateral cooling solution strapped onto a custom-design PCB by ASUS, which draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The card sticks to NVIDIA reference clock speeds of 1503 MHz core, 1683 MHz GPU Boost, and 8.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Among its unique features include a 4-pin PWN case-fan header, which lets you sync a fan to the card's temperature, controllable via the included software.

AMD "Vega 10" GPU Crosses a Development Milestone

AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) chief Raja Koduri was in Shanghai last week to meet with one of the design teams of the "Polaris10" and the upcoming "Vega10." He tweeted that development of "Vega10" had just crossed a milestone, although it's a long way to go before you can see it. The 5th generation Graphics CoreNext architecture, and successor to the upcoming "Polaris" architecture, "Vega" promises a higher performance/Watt than "Polaris," which in turn boasts of a large energy efficiency leap over its predecessor.

One of the most notable derivatives of "Vega" is the "Vega10," poised to be a performance-segment GPU, which will make it to the market alongside "Vega11," a larger enthusiast-segment chip. The Vega10 is rumored to feature 4,096 stream processors spread across 64 compute units, and is expected to be a competitor to NVIDIA's GP104 silicon. The larger Vega11 could compete with larger chips based on the "Pascal" architecture, such as the GP102.

GeForce GTX "Pascal" Faces High DVI Pixel Clock Booting Problems

The second design flaw to hit the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 after the fan revving bug, isn't confined to the reference "Founders Edition" cards, but affects all GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards. Users of monitors with dual-link DVI connectors are noticing problems in booting to Windows with pixel clocks set higher than 330 MHz. You can boot to windows at default pixel clocks, and when booted, set the refresh-rates (and conversely pixel clocks) higher than 330 MHz, and the display works fine, it's just that you can't boot with those settings, and will have to revert to default settings each time you shut down or restart your machine.

A user of a custom-design GTX 1070 notes that if the refresh rate of their 1440p monitor is set higher than 81 Hz (the highest refresh rate you can achieve with pixel clock staying under 330 MHz) and the resolution at 2560 x 1440, the machine doesn't correctly boot into Windows. The splash screen is replaced with flash color screens, and nothing beyond. The system BIOS screen appears correctly (because it runs at low resolutions). The problem is also said to be observed on a custom-design GTX 1080, and has been replicated by other users on the GeForce Forums.

Source: Reddit

PowerColor Working on a Custom Radeon Pro Duo?

PowerColor teased this image of its next "DEVIL" series graphics card, as part of its latest giveaway. The teaser states "a new devil is born," sparking off speculation that this could be a custom-design dual-GPU graphics card based on the "Fiji" silicon. It's unlikely that this is a product based on the upcoming RX 480 because the company reserves the "DEVIL" sub-brand for only its fastest solutions. Calling this card the Radeon Pro Duo Devil13 could dent the "gamer-professional" marketing of the Pro Duo, so if this is indeed a dual-"Fiji" graphics card, PowerColor could avoid using the Pro Duo SKU name.
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