Tuesday, June 2nd 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Keyboards
Memory
Mouse
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Team Shows Off L3 EVO Line of Cost-effective SATA SSDs

Team Group unveiled its cost-effective L3 EVO line of SATA SSDs. Making use of TLC NAND flash chips, these drives come in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB (pictured below). The 240 GB and 480 GB variants offer sequential speeds of up to 560 MB/s, with up to 540 MB/s writes; with up to 85,000 IOPS reads and up to 90,000 IOPS writes, in 4K random access performance. The company didn't put out performance figures of the 960 GB variant. The drives feature SATA 6 Gb/s interface, are 7 mm-thick, and support all modern SATA SSD features, including TRIM, NCQ, native AES acceleration, and SMART.

Team Shows off its Flagship M.2 PCIe SSD

Team Group showed off its flagship M.2 PCIe SSD at Computex, the TM8FP7 series. Available in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB sizes, the drive takes advantage of PCI-Express 3.0 x4 (32 Gb/s), and offers up to 2,300 MB/s reads with up to 380 MB/s writes on its smallest variant, and up to 2,500 MB/s reads with up to 720 MB/s writes on its biggest one. The drive uses MLC NAND flash, supports DevSleep and TRIM, although there's no word on whether its controller supports NVMe.

Team Unveils Three New Premium DDR4 Memory Lines

Team Group showed off three new premium DDR4 memory lines at Computex. It begins with the iconic Team Xtreem brand. The company launched the Xtreem LE (18th Anniversary Limited Edition), a double-height module made with binned DRAM chips, and rigorous QA, that results in DDR4-3400 at 16-16-16-36, with 1.35V DRAM voltage. The module PCB is green, but is topped off with a thick black aluminium heatsink, with a soft-gold beam running along its top.

Next up, is the most imaginatively named of the lot, the Team Gaming OC. These blood-red modules feature a 2-layer aluminium heatsink cooling the DRAM chips. Though the heatsink isn't as tall as the one on the Team Xtreem LE, it is decked with red or green LEDs. These modules offer DDR4-3000 with 16-16-16-36, at 1.35V. Last of the three, is the new Team Dark 128 GB memory kit, made up of eight 16 GB modules. These modules do DDR4-2666 at 15-17-17-35, with 1.2V DRAM voltage.

Shuttle Unveils Robust PCs with Built-in Broadwell Core i3, i5 and i7 Processors

Up to now, absolute noiselessness combined with compact dimensions meant sacrificing computing performance. Whenever high performance was called for, an active cooling system always had to be fitted. Shuttle now makes a difference and demonstrates that fanless computers and speed are no longer mutually exclusive.

Shuttle is adding three new models to expand its DS series in one fell swoop. The existing DS57U is now complemented in European stores by the DS57U3, DS57U5 and DS57U7 all with soldered Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The four models, all in black, are based on 14 nm Broadwell micro-architecture, featuring extremely low energy consumption and an improved graphics unit.

New Version of Crucial SSD Software Enhances Burst Performance

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced significant updates to its Storage Executive tool. The new version (3.20) features Momentum Cache, an intelligent caching feature that can enhance burst performance by up to 10x[1], and allows users to extend SSD lifetime by reducing redundant writes. The tool uses idle memory for caching as needed, and installs easily via the Storage Executive interface.

In addition to the new features, Storage Executive also allows users to:
  • Update to the latest firmware
  • Monitor drive's temperature and health
  • Reset the drive's encryption password
  • Easily check how much storage has been used

Crucial Announces Ballistix DDR4 16GB Memory Modules

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced Crucial Ballistix DDR4 16GB performance memory. Ideal for gamers and enthusiasts who deal with content creation, virtual machines, RAM drives, and memory-intensive applications, the new Ballistix modules leverage Micron's new 8Gb DDR4 component technology to offer up the highest density DDR4 memory to date.

Until now, only expensive server systems have been able to reach these memory densities, but with Ballistix DDR4 16GB modules, users can achieve greater densities on high-end desktop systems like the latest Intel X99 platforms. Available across Sport LT, Tactical, and Elite product lines, each module includes Intel XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup and support.

Crucial Announces 8GB-based DDR4 Server Memory

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, is now sampling Crucial DDR4 2400MT/s 8Gb-based RDIMM, LRDIMM, and ECC UDIMM server modules through its Technology Enablement Program. Engineered to enable higher density modules, 8Gb-based DDR4 memory allows for increased performance, bandwidth, and energy efficiency.

Higher density modules, when combined with the next DDR4 speed increase of 2400MT/s, create greater channel bandwidth and channel density, as well as increased energy efficiency. Ultimately, these benefits provide more value per gigabit than current 4Gb-based offerings. Taken together, the increase in density, bandwidth, and value deliver a lower total cost of ownership for users.

Intel Leads a New Era of Computing Experiences

Intel Corporation today announced products and solutions that will deliver new user experiences and support the computing ecosystem's expansion into new areas. During the opening keynote address at Computex 2015, Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Client Computing Group encouraged the Taiwan ecosystem to work together and capture the opportunity to shape the future of computing.

"The power of Moore's Law has enabled incredible computing innovation over the past 50 years and because of it, nearly everything in the future will have the ability to compute and connect," said Skaugen. "Our 30-year history of collaboration with Taiwan has delivered historic innovation to the world, from personal computing to the cloud and data centers. The next 30 years will see even greater innovation as we deliver new computing experiences and bring intelligence and connectivity to the Internet of Things together."

Jim Anderson Joins AMD to Lead Computing and Graphics Business Group

AMD today announced that Jim Anderson (43) has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of AMD's Computing and Graphics (CG) business group, reporting to President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. Anderson will be responsible for managing all aspects of strategy, business management, engineering, and sales for AMD's computing and graphics products and solutions.

"Jim's business and technical expertise make him another strong addition to AMD's leadership team," said Dr. Su. "His deep industry knowledge and proven ability to transform businesses to drive profitable growth make him the ideal candidate to lead the Computing and Graphics business."

Cooler Master Rekindles Maker Spirit, Launches "Make It Yours" Slogan

Cooler Master is launching a new slogan: "Make It Yours." The slogan kicks off a new drive to harness "the Maker Spirit" in Cooler Master's products and community.
"The maker spirit is that curiosity to know how and why things work, and the satisfaction that stems from taking ownership of something you make," said Roger Lin, Cooler Master's Chief Executive Officer. "People want unique products to express themselves, that's human nature."

As part of a drive to capture the maker spirit earlier this year, Cooler Master invited a team of renowned PC industry veterans, including Richard Surroz from the US, Peter Brands and Richard Kier of the Netherlands, Mathieu Heredia of France, and Ronnie Hara of Brazil (by way of Japan), to Taipei for a week-long workshop on the future of case technology.

ASUS Z170 Motherboard Lineup to Retail Design Scheme from X99 Series

ASUS' mainline motherboard lineup based on the upcoming Intel Z170 chipset could retain the black + glossy white design scheme from the company's X99 mainline motherboard series. The company showed off its premium upper-mid segment Z170-Pro motherboard, which could be sold around the $170-$190 price range. This socket LGA1151 motherboard offers a 16-phase CPU VRM, a new high-capacity VRM heatsink design; and four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3000 memory.

Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4), and four PCI-Express 2.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s, from which two wire out as a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s slot; and an M.2 slot. Other modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, two Intel-driven gigabit Ethernet interfaces, 802.11 ac WLAN with Bluetooth 4.0, and Crystal Sound 2 audio (115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade capacitors, EMI shielding, and DTS Ultra PC II).

ASUS Triple-fan STRIX Cooler Pictured, Debuts with GTX 980 Ti

ASUS' new generation triple-fan STRIX cooling solution was up on display at Computex. This gargantuan cooler will make its debut with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX OC, and is designed to tame the 250W TDP chip, by staying completely silent until the chip breaches a 65°C temperature threshold, and staying low-noise beyond that. It features a very large aluminium fin-stack, to which heat drawn directly from the GPU die is conveyed by 10 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes. The heatsink is ventilated by three 100 mm fans, with independent speed control using ASUS GPU Tweak tool. The GTX 980 Ti STRIX features a huge PCB that's 1.5x the standard add-on card height; and features a back-plate. It will ship with a 15% factory-overclock.

Fractal Design Gives its Kelvin Line of AIO Liquid Coolers a Design Update

Fractal Design gave its Kelvin line of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers a design update. The 120 mm T12, 240 mm S24, and 360 mm S36, now come with newer Dynamic GP-12 PWM fans, which offer quieter operation and increased air-flow (500-2,000 RPM speed range); a 9V speed control adapter for the pump; an improved fill-port design, which can be opened with a coin, letting you replace or top-up the coolant; and new PH2 heads on the radiator screws, so you no longer need an Allen key to deal with them.

Fractal Design Core 500 Detailed - Small Footprint, Big Potential

Fractal Design's other new case unveiling this Computex is the Core 500, which goes with the catchphrase "small footprint, big potential." This cube-shaped mini-ITX case is intended more for the desk than your living room. It has all the goods to let you build a mean gaming box with a high-end graphics card, and liquid cooling. Measuring 250 x 203 x 367 mm, the case features a multi-chambered design, with a horizontal main partition.

Inside the Core 500, there's room for CPU coolers as tall as 170 mm, graphics cards as long as 310 mm, and ATX PSUs as long as 170 mm (160 mm in case of modular PSUs). Storage areas include a 5.25-inch drive bay, with three each of 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch bays. Ventilation is care of as 140 mm rear exhaust (a Fractal Silent R3 1K RPM spinner comes included), and two 140 mm top vents, which can hold on to 140 x 280 mm radiators (140 x 140 mm can be used without having to remove the 5.25-inch bay). The side and top vents feature magnetic dust filters. Front panel connectivity includes two USB 3.0 ports (standard header) and HDA audio jacks. The Core 500 will be priced at US $59.99.

Fractal Design Node 202 and Node 202+ Pictured

Fractal Design showed off its latest wares at Computex, beginning with the Node 202 and Node 202+ mini-ITX cases for HTPC builds. Featuring a slick, minimalist design, and dimensions that compare to game consoles (10.2L volume, 377 x 82 x 330 mm), the Node 202 has room for a standard-height mini-ITX motherboard, CPU coolers up to 56 mm tall, an SFX power supply, a full-height, dual-slot graphics card (using a PCIe x16 riser) up to 31 cm long; and two 2.5-inch internal drives.

There are two 120 mm fan mounts in the add-on card chamber, with dust filters. One such dust filter hovers over the CPU socket area, so your cooler doesn't breathe in dust. The Node 202+ has all that, plus a factory-fitted Fractal Design Integra 450W SFX PSU, with 80 Plus Bronze certification, 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and two each of 6+2 pin PCIe and SATA power connectors. The Node 202 will be priced at US $79.99; the Node 202+ will go for $139.99.

Cooler Master Launches the MasterCase

Cooler Master is excited to announce the launch of the MasterCase, the world's first mid-sized modular tower with exterior expandability. The MasterCase heralds a new family of cases that offer unparalleled control over form and function. It draws inspiration from the MasterConcept, a revolutionary concept case developed at Cooler Master Headquarters in Taipei.

"The MasterConcept represents a vision that every person's PC case should be unique, and is a first step in a fundamental reimagining of our relationship with our fans and supporters," said PS Tang, Vice President, Cooler Master. "Inspired by the MasterConcept's revolutionary approach to interior and exterior modularity, the MasterCase represents the crest of this new wave of case technology."

Patriot Releases EP Pro microSDHC/SDXC 4K Capable Card

Patriot, a leading manufacturer of USB Flash, mobile accessories, computer memory and SSDs, announced the release of the latest addition to its 4K capable cards, the EP Pro micorSDXC Class 10, UHS-I U3 card.

Compliant with the latest SD Association specifications for Class 10 UHS-I U3 cards, it is perfect for 4K recording. The Patriot EP Pro microSDXC Card reaches speeds of up to 95 MB/s read and 80 MB/s write. Capable of capturing a range of video and still images the EP Pro microSDXC can shoot video in Full HD, Ultra HD and 4K2K as well as capture continuous still image shooting in HD. Ideal for the extreme sports enthusiast, outdoorsmen and professional photographers the EP Pro microSDXC Card is the ideal choice for the latest action camera, Android smartphone or tablet.

CRYORIG Reveals the A Series of Hybrid Liquid Coolers, and IoT enabled PSU

At this year's Computex, CRYORIG is revealing the next generation of Hybrid Liquid Cooling (HLC) units and IoT enabled power supply units. CRYORIG's new A Series A40, A40 Ultimate and A80 Hybrid Liquid Cooling units combines the strength of both Air Cooling and Liquid Cooling in an innovative package. CRYORIG's Pi Series of Power Supply Units with IoT or Internet of Things capability, allows users to remotely control their PSU unit's through phones apps.

CRYORIG's A Series Hybrid Liquid Cooling (HLC) products is designed to solve one of the major problems with Closed Loop Cooling liquid units, which is the severe lack of airflow for the CPU's surrounding components. At Computex, CRYORIG's live thermal imaging demo shows the potential impact of how HLC can benefit the system. Heat imaging shows a drastic drop of over 10° Celsius in regions of the surrounding Voltage Regulator Modules, RAM and even the GPU card can benefit from added airflow from CRYORIG's patent pending proprietary Airflow Circulator fan.

Patriot Arms Gamers with Viper Line of Gaming Accessories

Patriot, a leading manufacturer of mobile accessories, computer and USB memory, announces their Viper line of gaming accessories. Designed for the most fervent gamers, the Viper collection includes a mechanical keyboard, headset, and two mice to maximize gaming performance.

"Gamers already use Patriot's Viper Memory for superior performance in gaming and we wanted to provide them with a full ecosystem of accessories that speak to their needs with exceptional tactical advantages and a true gaming experience," says Saeed Arash Far, Global Director of Engineering at Patriot. "The Viper line of accessories blasts itself into the competition with four products that not only have key differentiators, but also provides a huge value proposition to all gamers."
Monday, June 1st 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
PSUs
Speakers
Storage

In Win 909 Yet Another Eyeball Magnet

It's never a Computex without a wacky albeit highly desirable premium case by In Win. This time around, it's the new 909. This ATX full-tower is made of high quality brushed aluminium panels decking an aluminium frame; with a tempered glass side panel, with front panel connectivity flowing to the side. The case has room for E-ATX motherboards (up to 8 expansion slots), with add-on cards as long as 320 mm, and CPU coolers as tall as 180 mm. The PSU bay can hold on to a high-end unit as long as 220 mm, with room to spare for your cable spaghetti.

The cooling system on the In Win 909 includes two 140 mm front intakes, a 120 mm conveyor between the drive cage and motherboard tray, either three 120 mm or two 140 mm rear exhausts, and two 120 mm bottom intakes. You can turn these into room for a 140 x 280 mm front radiator, a 120 mm middle radiator, a 360 mm or 280 mm rear radiator, and a 240 mm bottom radiator, 35 mm to 60 mm thick. Front panel connectivity includes a USB 3.1 Type-C connector (standard header), three USB 3.0 Type-A, and HDA audio jacks.

Be Quiet! Unveils its Silent Wings 3 Fans

Be Quiet! also unveiled the third-generation of its flagship low-noise fan series, the Silent Wings 3. So much R&D has gone into making these fans low-noise, that the company is claiming them to be "virtually inaudible." Available in 120 mm and 140 mm sizes, the fans take in 4-pin PWM power input, cost-effective variants come with 3-pin inputs, and preset voltage adapters. Design improvements include a new refined rubberized frame that's air-flow optimized, a newer copper-core FDB bearing, a 6-pole motor, and vibration-dampening mounts. The company will sell these in several SKUs based on size and power input type; and part of its upcoming CPU cooler packages.

Be Quiet! Unveils Silent Base 600 Chassis

Be Quiet!, which forayed into high-end gaming PC cases last November with its Silent Base 800, followed up with its second, the more affordable Silent Base 600 mid-tower. The design focus remains firmly on low-noise, and the case looks like a shrunk-down version of its older brother, but the good bits remain, with active noise insulation, virtually tool-free installation, and factory-fitted Be Quiet! Pure Wings 2 fans for the front intake and rear exhaust (140 mm and 120 mm, respectively). Other features include detachable drive cages that create room for long add-on cards, 5.25-inch drive bays concealed behind an acoustic-padded door, and air-flow control.

KLEVV Shows off its CRAS "Creative Evolution" Flagship DDR4 Module

Hong Kong-based KLEVV, which came out of nowhere in 2014 as a premium PC memory vendor, and established itself as a brand to look out for, launched its flagship DDR4 memory module for the year, the CRAS "Creative Evolution" series. This full-height unbuffered DDR4 module is characterized by a tall anodized aluminium heatsink with aluminium protrusions that add to its surface area of dissipation, and a brushed aluminium strip, with either red or white LED lighting.

KLEVV CRAS comes in module densities of 4 GB and 8 GB, in variants of DDR4-2133 (15-15-15 @1.2V), DDR4-2666 (XMP 2.0, 15-15-15 @1.2V); DDR4-2800 (XMP 2.0, 16-16-16 @1.2V), and DDR4-3000 (XMP 2.0, 16-18-18 @1.35V). It will be initially sold in quad-channel kits of 16 GB (4 x 4 GB), and 32 GB (4 x 8 GB); dual-channel kits of 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) and 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) will soon follow.

ZOTAC Gives the GeForce GTX 980 Ti a Massive 25% Factory Overclock

A 25% factory-overclock is something you usually hear with entry-level graphics cards around the $60 mark; and the bigger the silicon, the more conservative VGA makers get with factory-overclocks. ZOTAC thinks otherwise. The company's GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme graphics card ships with a massive 25% factory-overclock - something unheard of for a chip with 250W TDP, much less an 8 billion-transistor count.

The card comes with 1253 MHz core (vs. 1000 MHz reference), 1335 MHz GPU Boost (vs. 1076 MHz reference), and 7210 MHz memory (vs. 7012 MHz reference). The card is cooled by a meaty triple-slot IceStorm air-based cooler by ZOTAC; and a VRM that draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors keep the card fed. ZOTAC could ask a $100 premium over the base price of $649, offering performance which, we reckon, could be much higher than that of the $999 GTX TITAN X.

Antec Unveils Stunning Signature S10 Chassis

Antec announced its newest flagship PC case, the Signature S10. Arguably the most important product for the Antec brand, the case looks like a typical ATX full-tower, but is 3-chambered inside. The most notable design element here is a drive cage that spans the entire height of the case, with its own side doors, letting you hot-swap 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. The inner chambers include a large motherboard tray with room for XL-ATX motherboards, and two 280 / 420 mm radiators; and a bottom chamber with room for an extremely large PSU, and liquid cooling ancillaries, such as pumps and reservoirs. The case will be available in Europe from July, and will be priced at 399 GBP.

PowerColor Devil HDX Sound Card Detailed

PowerColor rolled out the Devil HDX PCI-Express sound card. Designed with a strong focus on output quality, and targeted at PC enthusiasts with high-end headphones, the card is driven by a C-Media CMI8888 native-PCIe master processor, wired to Wolfson WM8741 primary DAC, with 124 dBA SNR, driving the headphones and front-out channels. Amplifying this, is a TI LM4562 OPAMP, which is swappable.

Nichicon Muse electrolytic, and metalized polypropylene caps man all channels, reducing signal loss. Only the electrical portion features solid-state capacitors. The card draws power from a 4-pin Molex input. The entire audio area is electrically isolated from the PCIe slot power input. The main PCB features a 6.3 mm headphones jack, supporting cans with up to 600Ω impedance, stereo RCA out, and 7.1-channel optical SPDIF (TOSLINK) outputs. A daughterboard gives out additional analog channels and inputs via 3.5 mm jacks. On the software side of things, you get C-Media's Xear3D software customized by PowerColor, with ASIO 2.2 support.

Windows 10 Release Date Announced

Microsoft Windows 10 will launch on the 29th of July, 2015. This is when existing users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be able to upgrade to their applicable variant of Windows 10 for free; PC makers ship desktops and notebooks with the OS pre-installed; and when you will be able to buy Windows 10 copies off the shelf.

Microsoft is expecting at least 350 million users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to freely upgrade to Windows 10 by the end of the year, many of which could upgrade on day-one, clogging Microsoft Update. To mitigate that, Microsoft launched a "reservation" system. Current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, woke up to a curious Windows logo in their system-tray, which launches a tiny app that lets you "reserve" your upgrade (a position in the queue to upgrade). When your time comes, Windows will fetch the Windows 10 upgrade image from Microsoft Update. The actual upgrade process will be similar to that of Windows 7 to Windows 8. You can choose a clean install, or upgrade over an existing installation. Once installed, your Windows 10 license is tied to the machine forever.

ASRock Next Generation Fatal1ty Motherboard Lineup Pictured

ASRock is designing multiple Fatal1ty Killer branded socket LGA1151 motherboards, which it plans to differentiate using a new naming scheme - K3, K4, and K6. The company showed off some of its latest such boards at Computex. The series is led by the Z170 Gaming K6, followed by the Z170 Gaming K4, H170 Performance, and the Z170-e ITX. All four feature the familiar red+black color scheme, and Fatal1ty branding.

The Z170 Gaming K6 leads the pack with a strong 13-phase VRM, 3-way multi-GPU support, dual-channel DDR4-3000 support, dual SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, Ultra M.2 (32 Gb/s), Killer E2200 NIC, and high-end 115 dBA SNR audio. The Z170 Gaming K4 and H170 Performance share a common PCB design, offering all essentials from this platform, and are intended for gaming PC builds with single graphics cards; the Z170 ITX offers a decent feature-set despite its space constraints, including mSATA, Ultra M.2 (32 Gb/s), SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and USB 3.1 ports. ASRock did not finalize heatsink design.

Corsair Brings Liquid Cooling to Latest NVIDIA GeForce GPUs

Corsair, a world leader in high-performance PC hardware, today announced the all-in-one Hydro Series H110i GTX, the company's most advanced and customizable liquid CPU cooler yet, as well as new Hydro Series HG10 GPU cooling brackets for NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X, GTX 980, GTX 980 Ti and GTX 970 graphics cards.

The Hydro Series H110i GTX liquid CPU cooler pairs two 140mm fans with a 280mm radiator for extreme CPU cooling that is superior to stock CPU air coolers, delivering lower temperatures and quiet operations for both processor-intensive applications or light PC loads. The self-contained design of the H110i GTX makes it easier to install than stock air coolers and requires no filling or maintenance. The H110i GTX features a new generation, high-efficiency cooling block with a striking new look, including Titanium-colored logo inserts on the block and radiator. An optional kit with both red and blue inserts will be sold separately.

Corsair Announces Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition Case

Corsair, a world leader in high-performance PC hardware, today announced the Obsidian Series 750D Airflow Edition full-tower PC case. Based on the award-winning Obsidian Series 750D, the new Airflow Edition adds a perforated front grill, increasing airflow into the case for systems that require more cooling. Like all Obsidian Series cases, the 750D features an elegant black monolithic design, brushed aluminum and solid steel construction, and generous expansion flexibility.

The Obsidian Series 750D's rigid exterior surrounds a frame that has ample room for high-performance components, as well as sophisticated cooling for users who want to push their components to the limits. The increased ventilation offered by the new Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition opens up even more cooling options and performance, with three AF140L fans included to ensure great cooling right out of the box. The case is designed to make building a PC fast and simple with features such as tool-free side panels and drive bays, cable routing grommets and mount points, and motherboard rear CPU access and alignment pegs.

Corsair Announces STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard

Corsair Gaming, a division of PC gaming hardware leader Corsair, today announced the addition of the STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard to Corsair's award-winning line of PC gaming accessories. By bringing the unmatched lighting customization and Cherry MX switches found in Corsair's RGB keyboards to STRAFE, Corsair has created the most advanced mono-backlit mechanical gaming keyboard available. Sporting a sleek new industrial design, STRAFE will be widely available in late June at an MSRP of $109.99.

The STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard's brilliant red backlighting can be customized to a virtually unlimited number of lighting configurations and effects. Each key can be programmed with automated macros using CUE (Corsair Utility Engine) software. Users can choose from six unique lighting effects or craft their own custom profiles and share them on Corsair Gaming.

Corsair Unleashes Bulldog DIY 4K Gaming PC on the Living Room

Corsair, PC gaming hardware leader, today at Computex unveiled Bulldog, the first DIY PC built exclusively to bring the vivid immersion of 4K gaming to the living room. Composed of a DIY kit with a stylish gaming console-sized chassis, liquid CPU cooler, power supply, and motherboard, and designed with plenty of space for customization and upgrades, Bulldog provides the foundation for users to build the ultimate living room PC. Using its proprietary liquid CPU and GPU cooling technology, Corsair condensed the desktop PC computing performance into Bulldog's compact form factor. An early version of Bulldog is on display at Computex 2015, with availability expected in early Q4.

"Bulldog is designed to take the 4K gaming experience delivered by desktop gaming PCs, and bring it to the big 4K screens in the home," said Andy Paul, CEO of Corsair Components. "We knew we needed to deliver a solution that was elegant, powerful, and compact. By leveraging our leading expertise in PC case design and liquid cooling, we met that goal with Bulldog. We can't wait to unleash it on gamers this fall."

Corsair Announces RMi Series 80 Plus Gold Smart PSU Series

Corsair, the most awarded and recommended PC power supply brand in the world1, today announced the addition of the RMi Series PC power supplies to the company's award-winning line of PSUs. The new RMi Series PSUs raise the bar for what PC enthusiasts can expect from an 80 Plus Gold certified power supply with the addition of silent Zero-RPM fan operation, Corsair Link customization and monitoring, all 105°C- rated Japanese capacitors, and fully modular cables. The new RMi Series PSUs are immediately available in 650, 750, 850, and 1000-Watt capacities.

Building on Corsair's legacy of enthusiast class PSUs, the RMi Series PSUs are designed from the ground up to deliver 80 PLUS Gold energy efficiency, reducing operating costs and excess heat, while delivering superior electrical performance, thanks to extremely tight voltage regulation and minimal ripple noise. To do this, Corsair has used only industry-leading 105°C-rated Japanese capacitors, providing unwavering power and reliability for high-end PCs. This ensures the electricity reaching a gaming PC's power hungry components is as clean and stable as possible. The RMi Series PSUs are also stable, with a 140 mm fluid-dynamic-bearing equipped cooling fan that runs in Zero RPM fan mode, only spinning up when the PSU needs to and operating virtually silently at low and medium loads.

EVGA Announces its GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lineup

Introducing the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Accelerated by the groundbreaking NVIDIA Maxwell architecture, GTX 980 Ti delivers an unbeatable 4K and virtual reality experience. With 2816 NVIDIA CUDA Cores and 6GB of GDDR5 memory, it has the horsepower to drive whatever comes next. In fact, the EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti provides 3x the performance and 3x the memory of previous-generation cards*. You can now take on even the most challenging games at high settings for a smooth, ultra high-definition, 4K experience.

These cards also feature EVGA ACX 2.0+ cooling technology. EVGA ACX 2.0+ brings new features to the award winning EVGA ACX 2.0 cooling technology. A memory MOSFET Cooling Plate (MMCP) reduces MOSFET temperatures up to 13%, and optimized Straight Heat Pipes (SHP) additionally reduce GPU temperature by 5C. ACX 2.0+ coolers also feature optimized swept fan blades, double ball bearings and an extreme low power motor, delivering more air flow with less power, unlocking additional power for the GPU.

MSI Next Generation GAMING Motherboards Pictured

MSI's third-generation "GAMING" series motherboards are almost ready, and the company displayed two of them at Computex. The first is a mid-range socket LGA1151 motherboard, the MSI Z170A-G45 Gaming, and the X99A-GODLIKE Gaming (we kid you not). It looks like MSI is doing away with the "Gaming 3/5/7/9" nomenclature in the wake of GIGABYTE copying it. The Z170A-G41 Gaming offers a decent feature-set for gaming PC builds with up to two graphics cards. This includes an 10-phase CPU VRM, four DDR4 DIMM slots (dual-channel DDR4), three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, two M.2 slots (32 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s); SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, six SATA 6 Gb/s, Killer E2205 networking, and 8-channel HD audio with ground-layer isolation and audio-grade capacitors.

The X99A-GODLIKE Gaming is a different beast. Topping off the company's LGA2011v3 lineup, this board offers top of the line components. It begins with a 12-phase VRM that draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX power connectors; five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots with support for 4-way SLI/CrossFire, 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and an EMI shield that covers a large part of the front PCB area (a la ASUS TUF), and gaming-centric connectivity that includes two gigabit interfaces, 8-channel audio with onboard 600Ω headphones amp, 802.11 ac Killer ACK Double-Shot WLAN, and USB 3.1 type-C ports.

ASUS Unveils Three High-end STRIX Series 7.1-ch Sound Cards

ASUS unveiled two new high-end 7.1-channel sound cards under its premium STRIX brand, the STRIX RAID DLX, the STRIX RAID Pro, and the STRIX Soar. The three are based on a common base card design, and differ with features and DSPs. The DAC component of the card consists of a native-PCIe multi-CODEC HD audio controller, wired to an ESS SABRE 9006a DAC, dedicated to the front audio output, with 116 dBA SNR; and a separate 110 dBA SNR DAC wired to the main headphones amplifier. On the RAID DLX, the front-out DAC is a higher quality SABRE 9016a.

The main amp can handle 600Ω impedance headphones. On the software side of things, is a Raid mode (positional audio), Sonic Radar (lets you pinpoint enemies based on audio, and a new Sonic Studio control panel interface. The RAID DLX and RAID Pro come with an external module with audio jacks, and physical switches to audio feature controls, besides volume control.

ASUS X99M-WS Micro-ATX Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of ASUS X99M-WS, an upcoming workstation-grade socket LGA2011v3 motherboard based on the Intel X99 Express chipset, which the company claims will be the "most powerful" motherboard of its kind in this form-factor. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX, and two 8-pin EPS power connectors, with an optional 6-pin PCIe power input to stabilize power to add-on cards. The socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 connectors.

Other expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4) and a PCI-Express 2.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s, and a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. Other connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces (Intel-made controllers); 802.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, 8-channel HD audio with a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, and audio-grade capacitors. The board supports certain 1P Intel Xeon models in addition to Core i7 ones.

GIGABYTE Also Shows off B150M-D3H Micro-ATX Motherboard

The B150M-D3H, based on Intel's mid-range B150 Express chipset, offers a neat feature-set at a potentially sub-$100 price point. This full-width micro-ATX board offers a 6-phase CPU VRM, four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR4-2666 memory, expansion slots that include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, two legacy PCI, and one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4). Storage connectivity includes a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI make up the display outputs; six USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet and 8-channel HD audio make for the rest of it.

GIGABYTE Shows off Entry-level Z170-HD3 Motherboard

GIGABYTE showed off its entry-level ATX motherboard based on Intel Z170 chipset, the Z170-HD3. This socket LGA1151 board, ready for 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors, offers a basic feature-set for single graphics card gaming PC builds. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR4 memory.

Expansion slots on the Z170-HD3 include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4, wired to the PCH), and two each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes 32 Gb/s M.2 (PCI-Express 3.0 x4 physical layer), two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and six SATA 6 Gb/s. Display outputs include one each of D-Sub, dual-link DVI, and HDMI 2.0. Six USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet (Realtek controller), and 8-channel HD audio with audio-grade capacitors and ground-layer isolation make for the rest of its modern connectivity.

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming G1 Pictured

GIGABYTE displayed its latest WindForce 3X VGA cooler design at Computex, which makes its debut with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming G1 graphics card. This 3-slot cooler packs enough metal to cool the GeForce GTX 980 Ti with its three fans completely stopped, when the GPU is below a 65°C temperature threshold. The underlying heatsink design consists of two independent aluminium fin stacks, with 8 mm thick copper heat pipes meeting at the GPU base, where they make direct contact with the GPU die. A base-plate cools the memory and VRM. Three 100 mm fans ventilate the heatsink, which are topped off by a two-tone metal shroud. The card features six display outputs including two DVI, three DisplayPort 1.2, and an HDMI 2.0; and supports up to five displays at a time. This card will be formally launched a little later, as the company launched its GTX 980 Ti with a reference-design board.
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