Thursday, January 29th 2015

Today's Reviews

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Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
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Keyboards
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NAS
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SSD

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

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Processors
SSD
Storage

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.

Introducing SilentiumPC Supremo M1 Gold 550W PSU

Developed with maximum reliability and rock stable power delivery in mind new SilentiumPC Supremo M1 Gold 550W PSU is built using only premium-grade components. Advanced layout includes Japanese main capacitor, Taiwanese solid-state capacitors as well as DC-DC converters. The unit is capable of reaching phenomenal efficiency up to 91% fulfilling 80PLUSGold Certificate requirements.

With single +12V line capable of delivering stunning 45.9A (550W) it remains whisper-quiet with 135 mm fan spinning below 1000 rpm at full-load. Semi-modular black flat cables mean simple and clean builds. Supremo M1 Gold 550W is backed with 5-year warranty for end-users upon registering the unit within 30 days from purchase.

Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 Memory Now Available

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory. Designed to enhance high-performance gaming environments and push performance limits, the new modules deliver introductory speeds starting at 2666 MT/s, and allow users to radically increase bandwidth to 21 GB/s. Ballistix DDR4 memory also delivers up to 40 percent better power efficiency than standard DDR3 memory.*

Ballistix Elite DDR4 memory is optimized for the latest Intel X99 platforms with support for XMP 2.0 profiles, and features a custom-designed black PCB and anodized aluminum heat spreaders for improved heat dissipation. Supported by the exclusive Ballistix Memory Overview Display (M.O.D.) utility, which provides the ability to read information from the module, including real-time temperature from the integrated thermal sensor, voltages and more, all to aid overclocking efforts.

GTX 970 Memory Drama: Plot Thickens, NVIDIA has to Revise Specs

It looks like NVIDIA's first response to the GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation controversy clearly came from engineers who were pulled out of their weekend plans, and hence was too ambiguously technical (even for us). It's only on Monday that NVIDIA PR swung into action, offering a more user-friendly explanation on what the GTX 970 issue is, and how exactly did they carve the GM204 up, when creating the card.

According to an Anandtech report, which cites that easy explanation from NVIDIA, the company was not truthful about specs of GTX 970, at launch. For example, the non-public document NVIDIA gave out to reviewers (which gives them detailed tech-specs), had clearly mentioned ROP count of the GTX 970 to be 64. Reviewers used that count in their reviews. TechPowerUp GPU-Z shows ROP count as reported by the driver, but it has no way of telling just how many of those "enabled" ROPs are "active." The media reviewing the card were hence led to believe that the GTX 970 was carved out by simply disabling three out of sixteen streaming multiprocessors (SMMs), the basic indivisible subunits of the GM204 chip, with no mention of other components like the ROP count, and L2 cache amount being changed from the GTX 980 (a full-fledged implementation of this silicon).

ASUSTOR Adds 4 New Tower Models to 50T/51T Enterprise-Class

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced the launch of 4 new NAS devices primarily aimed at prosumers and small to medium business users. These new high capacity tower models consist of the AS5008T, AS5010T, AS5108T and AS5110T. All new models feature flexible hardware expandability, the ability to quickly upgrade the built-in memory to a maximum of 8GB and are equipped with 4 high speed gigabit Ethernet ports which allow business users to conveniently adjust their network bandwidth usage. Additionally, all models come equipped with 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 eSATA ports allowing users to maximize the use of peripheral equipment and providing users with a cost-effective and reliable enterprise-class cloud storage server.

The AS5008T and AS5010T models are powered by the latest Intel Celeron 2.41GHz dual-core processors and 1GB of SO-DIMM DDR3L memory while the AS5108T and AS5110T models come equipped with the latest Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz quad-core processors and 2GB of SO-DIMM DDR3L memory. All models also support hard drive hot swapping and the creation of RAID volumes (Single, JBOD, RAID 1/5/6/10 + Hot Spare) providing secure protection for all system data. The AS5108T and AS5110T also feature LCD panels with configuration keys that allow users to execute system initialization and quickly view basic system information. Additionally, the AS5108T and AS5110T feature disk tray locks in order to help users avoid accidentally pushing disk tray buttons and releasing hard disks during operation. The lock's flat-head design ensures that users will not need any special keys or tools to unlock it, only a simple flat-head screw driver. Users can now rest assured with this additional layer of security for their data.

Top Three Graphics Card Vendors Net 12 Million in Shipments, in 2014

According to stats put out by Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes, the top three graphics card vendors by shipments were ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI (in that order), 2014. ASUS leads the pack with over 5 million graphics cards shipped in the year. Gigabyte comes in second, with over 3.6 million cards shipped. MSI is third, with between 2.8 and 3 million cards shipped in the year. The three sell both AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. 2014 overall, has seen graphics card shipments drop by 10 percent, owing to a pop in the bubble created by crypto-coin miners in 2013. Other notables from the report include a rise in shipments from PRC-based vendors such as Colorful and Onda.

Source: DigiTimes

Introducing the EVGA TORQ X5 & X3 Gaming Mice

Introducing the EVGA TORQ X5 and X3 gaming mice. Each of these mice was designed from the ground up to satisfy the needs of the hardcore gamer with high quality sensors and Omron switches. The EVGA TORQ X5/X3 mice support fully programmable buttons, onboard storage for saving up to 5 profiles and more.

The EVGA TORQ gaming mouse comes complete with a full software package that allows complete control over the mouse. Customize the color, button settings, DPI and profiles. The EVGA Unleash software also has an OSD (On Screen Display) that makes it easy to see what profile or DPI setting you are using.

Cooler Master Announces the Silencio FP Series Fans

Cooler Master, a leading creator, innovator, and manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, today announced the Silencio FP Series, featuring brand new fans with Cooler Master's latest pressure optimized silent performance fan technology.

The Silencio FP Series brings in some new 120mm fan models to the Cooler Master lineup, all focused on quiet performance. These fans utilize Cooler Master's newest fan technology to bring quality airflow at extremely low noise levels. The Silencio FP Series use Loop Dynamic Bearing technology to push life expectancy up to an outstanding 160,000 hours. Next to that an all new patented driver IC on the fans provides both less vibrations to reduce noise and uses ultra-low current to save on power consumption. The driver is also more precise, providing more accurate RPM feedback for better fan management. The SmartFan engine backs up the driver with a low starting voltage and polarity proofing for less headaches when hooking up. The Silencio FP fans also come with protections against fan jams and an auto-resume function after any blade obstructions are cleared to help protect the blades and motor.
Monday, January 26th 2015

Today's Reviews

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Cooling
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Graphics Cards
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Mouse
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Processors
SSD

Colorful Announces its GeForce GTX 960 Lineup

Colorful Technology, the biggest NVIDIA AIC in China, announced the latest GTX960 series graphics cards. Four different models had been released this time, including Colorful GTX960 CH with reference design for entry users, Colorful GTX960 i-Cafe for System Integrators, iGame GTX960 Ymir-U for general users and iGame GTX960 Ymir-X for enthusiasts. Colorful GTX960 CH uses reference design and runs at reference Clock, with 1127 MHz of core and 7010 MHz of memory.

Colorful GTX960 i-Cafe has longer PCB than reference design but runs the same clock with Colorful GTX960 CH. The i-Cafe series provide better stability and longer lifespan, with the efficient cooler and high quality electronic component, ensure that it could be steadily working long term in high ambient temperature in the computer case. iGame GTX960 Ymir-U is designed for general users and gamers and it provides two different clocks models. In power efficiency model, it runs at 1127/7010 MHz; and in performance efficiency model, the clock is set at 1203/7010 MHz.

First Core i7 Powered Intel NUC Incoming

Intel's revolutionary NUC (next unit of computing) ultra-compact desktop, which set out to offer performance rivaling desktops ten times its size, was traditionally limited to Core i5 chips at the top-end. Intel wants to change that, and is giving final touches to the first NUC to feature a Core i7 processor, and one based on its 5th generation Core "Broadwell" technology, at that. Bearing a model number of "NUC5i7RYH," this NUC will be driven by a Core i7-5557U dual-core processor (2 cores, 4 threads, 3.40 GHz clocks, 4 MB L3 cache, dual-channel DDR3L-1866 IMC), with Intel Iris-6100 graphics. That could make it the first Steambox-ready NUC to lack NVIDIA or AMD graphics. Intel could use a fan-heatsink to cool the 28W TDP chip.

Source: FanlessTech

MSI First to Support NVM Express Storage on all X99/Z97/H97 Motherboards

MSI, world leading in motherboards, is the world's first motherboard brand to fully support the next generation in storage control, NVM Express. All MSI motherboards sporting Intel 9 series chipsets including X99, Z97 and H97 are now supported. MSI has prepared BIOS updates which are now available for download. NVM Express is the next generation PCI Express storage standard introducing lower latency and lower power consumption but increased transfer speeds compared to the legacy AHCI controller.

MSI's R&D fine-tuned the BIOS to fully unleash all the power NVMe has to offer while supporting the majority of devices available on the market without any hassle. With the latest BIOS, MSI X99/Z97/H97 motherboards can support NVMe devices as primary storage under Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 8.1 64-bit and fully support NVMe booting. The BIOS updates can now be downloaded from the company website. The table below describes all supported models and BIOS version.

Sapphire Announces Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X with Higher Clocks

Following the successful introduction of the industry's first 8GB R9 290X graphics card with its Vapor-X model, SAPPHIRE Technology has just announced another 8GB card sporting the highly acclaimed SAPPHIRE exclusive Tri-X triple fan cooler, enhanced clocks and dual BIOS, making the large frame buffer option available at a slightly lower cost.

The SAPPHIRE R9 290X Tri-X 8GB features the latest GCN (graphics core next) architecture from AMD with 2816 stream processing units and an enhanced engine clock of up to 1020 MHz. It is equipped with 8 GB of the latest high performance GDDR5 memory on a 512-bit interface and now clocked at 1375 MHz (5.5GHz effective) delivering higher bandwidth than earlier models. Built on a SAPPHIRE original pcb, the layout incorporates a 6-phase power design delivering up to 240 watts (40 watts per phase) for maximum performance. Two 8-pin power connectors ensure adequate system power is available (up to 375 Watts total including PCI-Express power).

BIOSTAR Announces TA70U3-LSP Socket FM2+ Motherboard

BIOSTAR has released the latest mainboard, based on the exclusive A70M chipset from AMD, the TA70U3-LSP, which offers LAN Surge Protection built directly into the board. The TA70U3-LSP supports FM2+ APUs, USB 3.0 and SATA3. AMD A70M chipset (exclusive from BIOSTAR) supports USD 3.0 and SATA3, it becomes the best upgrade option of current entry level A58 chipset boards.

The TA70U3-LSP is based on the AMD FM2+ socket design that will support AMD Multi-Core (x4, x2) socket FM2+/FM2 processors AMD A-series/ E2-series processors all in a full-sized ATX form factor. It has 3 PCI slots and 2 DIMM slots supporting up to 32Gb of DDR3 ram and uses the newest SATA 6Gb/s bus which is twice the speed of current SATA 3G connections with 6 SATA connectors along with USB 3.0. There is also support for AMD Dual Graphics Technology, as well as support for full HDMI 3D 1080p.

NVIDIA Responds to GTX 970 Memory Allocation 'Bug' Controversy

The GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation bug discovery, made towards last Friday, wrecked some NVIDIA engineers' weekends, who composed a response to what they tell is a non-issue. A bug was discovered in the way GeForce GTX 970 was allocating its 4 GB of video memory, giving some power-users the impression that the GPU isn't addressing the last 700-500 MB of its memory. NVIDIA, in its response, explained that the GPU is fully capable of addressing its 4 GB, but does so in an unusual way. Without further ado, the statement.
The GeForce GTX 970 is equipped with 4GB of dedicated graphics memory. However the 970 has a different configuration of SMs than the 980, and fewer crossbar resources to the memory system. To optimally manage memory traffic in this configuration, we segment graphics memory into a 3.5GB section and a 0.5GB section. The GPU has higher priority access to the 3.5GB section. When a game needs less than 3.5GB of video memory per draw command then it will only access the first partition, and 3rd party applications that measure memory usage will report 3.5GB of memory in use on GTX 970, but may report more for GTX 980 if there is more memory used by other commands. When a game requires more than 3.5GB of memory then we use both segments.
Continued
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