Thursday, February 26th 2015

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MSI Announces the AP16 Flex All-in-one Desktop

MSI is excited to announce the release of an all-new All-in-One PC, suitable for both commercial industries and home entertainment usage: the MSI AP16 Flex. The MSI AP16 Flex is world's first convertible 10-point touch controlled All-in-One PC that can be used in a stand mode, hanging mode or flat mode. The AP16 Flex's unique rotating kickstand can be flipped back 90 degrees to act as an upright stand for use as an All-in-One PC or attached to wall or cabinet for use as a large multimedia device. It comes with a 15.6" LED backlit display and inherited the stylish design of MSI's Professional Series of All-in-One PCs, with a black border and hair-line surface treatment.

The AP16 Flex may be 15.6" inch in size, but is equipped with desktop hardware, making it a portable but also a high performance PC. Based on a 10W Quad Core Processor by Intel, this All-in-One PC delivers decent computing power while saving energy at the same time. On top of that, the AP16 Flex is fan-less, which creates a silent working environment. General availability is expected by late February 2015.

Tesoro Launches Gungnir Black Optical Gaming Mouse

Tesoro Technology USA Inc., a manufacturer of high-tech gaming products, announces the Gungnir Black optical gaming mouse with customizable RGB illumination. The Gungnir Black is named for the spear Odin used in Norse mythology. It is said that the Gungnir is so well balanced that it can strike any target regardless of the skills or strength of the wielder. Much like the mythological Gungnir, the Gungnir Black with a 3500 DPI optical sensor ensures smooth and controlled movements when targeting opponents in the heat of battle.

The Tesoro Gungnir Black has full color programmable LED illumination and fully independent and programmable buttons. 64Kb of onboard memory allows users to set up to 35 macro keys and 1600 recordable actions. In the included software, gamers can adjust the DPI, polling rate up to 1000Hz, and the illumination color.
Wednesday, February 25th 2015

Today's Reviews

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Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
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Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Intel Revives the Atom Brand with New Branding Levels

In order to help people understand the level of processor performance and make an informed purchase decision based on their needs, Intel Atom processors will now be offered in three distinct brand levels in a good/better/best construct - the Intel Atom x3, x5 and x7 processors. This change will start with the next generation of processors. Intel Atom x3 processor provides basic, but genuine Intel-level tablet, phablet and smartphone performance.

Intel Atom x5 processor has more capabilities and features for people who want an even better experience, and the flagship Intel Atom x7 processor provides the highest level of performance and capabilities for the Intel Atom family. The Intel Atom processor is designed to provide the best battery life with great performance for tablets, phablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. This infographic lists Intel's consumer brand portfolio for consumer devices including the Intel Core processor, Intel Core M processor, Intel Atom processor, Intel Pentium processor and Intel Celeron processor.

Intel Readies 4K-ready NUC NUC5i7RYH Desktop

With 4K-ready media center PCs upon us, Intel decided to equip one of its next-gen NUC (next unit of computing) desktops with one of its most powerful integrated graphics solutions, which can either accelerate 4K video, 1080p to 4K upscaling GPU algorithms (think MadVR), or make for a reasonably fast 720p or 900p gaming machine. The NUC5i7RYH from Intel features a Core i5-5557U processor, which integrates Iris 6100 Graphics. Based on the "Broadwell-GT3" silicon, Iris 6100 offers 48 execution units, between 300 and 1100 MHz GPU core frequency, and an L4 eDRAM cache. A passive cooling solution deals with this 28W TDP chip. Other specs include two DDR3-1866 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 16 GB of memory, HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2 display-outputs, four USB 3.0 ports, including one high-current port.
Sources: FanlessTech, NotebookCheck

Thermaltake Announces Riing 12 and 14 LED Radiator Fan Series

Thermaltake, an industry leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, introduces the new Riing 12 and 14 LED Radiator Fan Series, patented LED ring radiator fan fitted to enhance static pressure that produces impressive cooling performance with an optimized fan blade design. Hydraulic bearings for silent operation guarantee ultra-low noise. In addition, an anti-vibration mounting system strengthens the stability during operation.

The patented LED Ring maintains color and brightness uniformity, available in four colors: blue, red, white, and green to add style to the chassis, allowing users to not only build up an aesthetically superior liquid cooling system but also incorporate externally-modular upgrades for their chassis. The new Thermaltake Riing 12 and 14 LED Radiator Fan Series will soon be available on Newegg around the end of February.

Samsung Introduces Industry's First 128-Gigabyte UFS for Smartphones

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it is now mass producing the industry's first 128-gigabyte (GB) ultra-fast embedded memory based on the much-anticipated Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard for next-generation flagship smartphones. The new embedded memory's UFS 2.0 interface is the most advanced JEDEC-compliant, next-generation flash memory storage specification in the world.

"With our mass production of ultra-fast UFS memory of the industry's highest capacity, we are making a significant contribution to enable a more advanced mobile experience for consumers," said Jee-ho Baek, Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing, Samsung Electronics. "In the future, we will increase the proportion of high-capacity memory solutions, in leading the continued growth of the premium memory market."

Announcing the TechPowerUp Winter's End WCG Challenge

With spring nearly upon us, it's time to give the old horses crunching overclocked through the winter one grand, last run. TechPowerUp World Community Grid (WCG) team, one of the world's top-10 teams, with over 4,000 years of aggregate CPU time, and over 20 million results submitted; brings to you the Winter's End WCG Challenge.

Simply crunch for the TechPowerUp WCG Team between 26th Feb (00:00 UTC) and 6th Mar (00:00 UTC), and multiple winners along the leaderboard stand to win some sick community-sponsored prizes, including an AMD FX-8350 CPU + ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard combo, a fully-built crunching rig, numerous SSDs, CPU coolers, and more. So what are you waiting for?! For more information, and to participate, visit this page.

ADATA Launches OTG microReader

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today launches the OTG microReader, which combines microUSB and standard USB connectors to share files among different devices such as mobile phones, tablets and PCs, making it an extremely convenient tool for sharing and backing up data in your mobile life.

Thanks to its OTG (On-The-Go) design, the microUSB interface connects directly to mobile devices running Android 4.0 or higher without the need for a cable or an adaptor; and its standard USB 2.0 head connects to any desktop or laptop computer's USB port. If you want to switch the connectors, just press and slide out the desired connector. The OTG microReader supports all microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC cards. Simply insert the card into the base of the standard USB connector, connect to your device and access to the data directly. To eject the card, just slide another button on the back and remove the card.

Logitech G Extends Relationship with Top eSports Teams

Logitech, a leading innovator of gaming peripherals, today announced that two top North American professional gaming organizations have decided to exclusively use Logitech G hardware for the next year. In addition to providing early feedback and design input on products before they go to market, Cloud9 (C9) and Team SoloMid (TSM) will continue to exclusively use a mix of Logitech G hardware peripherals during tournament gameplay including headsets, mice, keyboards and mouse pads whenever they play.

"eSports continues to grow in popularity and play a critical role in PC gaming," said Ujesh Desai, general manager of the Logitech gaming business. "We're privileged to be able to work with some of the best pro gamers in the world. By teaming up with them we can take their feedback and develop the best gaming gear on the planet." Cloud9's teams include 45 players for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota 2, Halo, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends (LoL), Smite and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Last year's LoL team finished first place in the League Championship Series (LCS) Spring 2014.

Silentium PC Announces Vero M1 600W Modular PSU

Silentium PC announced the Vero M1 600W, a mid-range PSU that boasts of 80 Plus efficiency, and modular cabling. Under the hood, the unit features a single +12V rail design, with a single 50A rail, most common electrical protection circuits, APFC, and uses a 120 mm fan to keep cool. Fixed cabling includes 24-pin ATX, and 4+4 pin EPS. Modular cables include a 6+2 pin PCIe, a 6-pin PCIe, six SATA power, three Molex, and one Berg. Silentium PC didn't announce pricing or availability.

ASUS Announces Best, Fastest and Most Comprehensive USB 3.1 Solutions

ASUS today announced the world's fastest and first complete line-up of SuperSpeed+ USB 3.1 solutions, including range-wide motherboards with built-in USB 3.1 and two ASUS USB 3.1 Cards. The latter are the new PCI Express (PCIe) expansion card with either dual Type-A sockets or reversible Type-C, that fits quickly and easily to bring breakneck speeds to existing PCs.

ASUS motherboards with built-in USB 3.1 and ASUS USB 3.1 Card deliver next-generation 10Gbit/s data transfer speeds that are up to twice (2X) as fast as USB 3.0. All USB 3.1 Type-A models are fully backwardly compatible with previous USB standards. The new products will begin shipping from the middle of February 2015. The new solutions benefit from exclusive ASUS USB 3.1 Boost technology to push real-world data-transfer speeds faster than ever before, with testing by ASUS engineers achieving sequential read/write speeds of up to 854.6 / 863.9 MB/s - much faster than competing USB 3.1 products.
Tuesday, February 24th 2015

Today's Reviews

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Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
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"It Won't Happen Again:" NVIDIA CEO Breaks Silence on GTX 970 Controversy

In the wake of bad PR, and a potentially expensive class-action lawsuit over the GeForce GTX 970 memory controversy, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang wrote a candid letter addressed to everyone concerned, explaining in the simplest possible language what went wrong with designing and marketing the chip, how it doesn't affect the design-goals of the product, its quality or stability, and how it could be misconstrued in a whole different ways.

Huang's explanation of the issue isn't much different from the one we already have, but bears the final stamp of authority from the company, especially with the spate of discrepancies between what NVIDIA representatives post on GeForce forums, and what ends up being the company's position on certain things. Huang's letter signs off with "we won't let this happen again. We'll do a better job next time."

The transcript of Huang's letter follows.

JEDEC Announces Publication of e.MMC Standard Update v5.1

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in standards development for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of JESD84-B51: Embedded MultiMediaCard (e.MMC), Electrical Standard (5.1). e.MMC v5.1 defines new features and updates for this embedded mass-storage flash memory that is widely used in smartphones and other mobile devices. Intended to facilitate an enhanced end user experience, the new version of e.MMC offers command queueing for the first time, and also defines important security updates. JESD84-B51 is available for free download from the JEDEC website.

The new revision of the standard defines e.MMC Command Queueing, which supports the optimized execution of commands within the device, versus the single thread protocol defined in prior versions of the standard. Command Queueing will enable the device to analyze commands before executing them, thereby maximizing effectiveness of the e.MMC memory storage. This will result in a positive effect on random read performance and read latency, thereby improving the end user experience.

Philips Intros BDM3470UP 34-inch 21:9 Monitor

Philips launched the BDM3470UP, a high-resolution 34-inch monitor with the ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. Featuring an AH-IPS display panel, with a native resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels, 178°/178° viewing angles, 320 cd/m² maximum brightness, and a 10-bit color palette (1.07 billion colors), the monitor is designed for multi-tasking in a content-creation environment. Display inputs include dual-link DVI, DisplayPort, and MHL (mobile high-definition link). It also features two independent USB hubs, a 2-port USB 2.0 hub, and a 2-port USB 3.0 hub with high-current "fast-charger," in addition to stereo audio input for a headphones jack. Its stand offers height, tilt, and rotate adjustments; the monitor supports standard VESA wall mounts. Available in Denmark, the BDM3470UP is priced at 7,949 DKK (US $1,208), including taxes.

BIOSTAR Promotes Family of Gaming Hardware with Gaming Motherboard and VGA Combo

BIOSTAR is promoting the gaming motherboard, the Gaming Z97X along with the VGA cards that are powered by nVidia's GeForce GTX750Ti chipset as a compelling gaming hardware combo set. The motherboard comes with the new Gaming Commander Box accessory as well as cutting-edge features like USB 3.1 on-board and innovative durability enhancements. This gaming family of hardware from BIOSTAR gives you a gaming combination comprised of the best motherboard and value priced GPU for a superlative gaming experience.

BIOSTAR's GeForce GTX750Ti series of cards brings the visual horsepower needed for high-end gaming. With 2GB GDDR5, on a full size PCB with a unique dual fan cooling design, this card in combination with the Gaming Z97X motherboard is all you need. It has Dual DVI/miniHDMI output support and supports NVIDIA PuroVideo HD Technology as well as DirectX 11. It also supports NVIDIA PhyX and CUDA Technology. You will need a motherboard that has a PCI Express 3.0 x 16 bus interfaces to stick this card in. For that BIOSTAR has the Gaming Z97X.

SMART Modular Expands Its Lineup of DDR4 NVDIMMs With 8GB and 16GB Densities

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, today announced the expansion of its NVDIMM product line with its new 8GB and 16GB DDR4 NVDIMMs available in a single rank, four bit configuration. SMART's full lineup of DDR4 NVDIMMs now include two configurations; a single rank eight bit configuration in 4GB and 8GB densities, and the new 8GB and 16GB options. The new NVDIMMs are targeted for server and storage applications to improve performance.

NVDIMMs transform main DRAM memory into persistent memory resulting in higher performing servers by allowing big data, transaction logs, and other latency and performance-sensitive data to be accessed at DRAM speeds without the risk of data loss. Rather than reading and writing big data or transaction logs to traditional storage media such as SATA SSDs, PCIe NVMe SSDs, or HDDs, they can be written to and read from main memory without the risk of data being lost due to any sudden power loss (SPL) event. Server performance in terms of lower latency, higher IOPS, and greater endurance all increase dramatically with the use of SMART's NVDIMMs.

PNY Releases Ice-Cream Themed - HP x778w USB 3.0 Flash Drive

PNY Technologies, Inc., world renowned manufacturer of USB and Memory products, has brought forward a unique and fun way to store your files, images, movies and music on the go. The HP x778w USB 3.0 Flash Drive features a cute and fun way to transfer files. Lightweight and compact, this drive stores up to 64GB of your favourite documents, images, music, movies and more.

This ice-cream inspired USB flash drive is made up of durable rubber housing. The cap can be conveniently attached to the end of the drive and remains secure while the drive is in use. For added portability, the drive includes the built-in strap hole design, so that the drive can be attached to your wallet, purse or backpack. The HP x778w is a thumb-sized USB flash drive that weighs 8.1 g and measures at L 32.5mm x W 17.5mm x H 9.5mm. The unique design resembles a partially melted ice cream layered with sprinkles below it - giving you a fun way to store your files.

AMD's Excavator Core is Leaner, Faster, Greener

AMD gave us a technical preview of its next-generation "Carrizo" APU, which is perhaps the company's biggest design leap since "Trinity." Built on the 28 nm silicon fab process, this chip offers big energy-efficiency gains over the current-generation "Kaveri" silicon, thanks to some major under-the-hood changes.

The biggest of these is the "Excavator" CPU module. 23 percent smaller in area than "Steamroller," (same 28 nm process), Excavator features a new high-density library design, which reduces die-area of the module. Most components are compacted. The floating-point scheduler is 38% smaller, fused multiply-accumulate (FMAC) units compacted by 35%, and instruction-cache controller compacted by another 35%. The "Carrizo" silicon itself uses GPU-optimized high-density metal stack, which helps with the compaction. Each "Excavator" module features two x86-64 CPU cores, which are structured much in the same way as AMD's previous three CPU core generations.
Monday, February 23rd 2015

Today's Reviews

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Origin PC Announces Omega Line of HTPCs

ORIGIN PC launched today their new line of home theater PCs, the ORIGIN OMEGA, for gamers and enthusiasts all over the world. The ORIGIN PC OMEGA is the ultimate Home Theater PC designed to bring the power and flexibility of a PC to any living room. Featuring a variety of customizable HTPC cases to choose from, support for 4K gaming at 60+ fps, the ability to boot directly into Steam Big Picture Mode and with optional mouse emulation software support for your wireless controller, the ORIGIN OMEGA redefines the HTPC category with countless options and unlimited forms of entertainment. Also featuring custom airbrushed paint in any design or color, up to Triple NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards in SLI, and hot swappable hard drive bays with SSDs or HDDS, the new ORIGIN OMEGA is the ultimate solution to bring true next-gen PC gaming to your big screen TV.

QPAD's New Mouse Boasts 16.8 Million Improvements

QPAD's 8K, the company's latest mouse, is appropriately delivered in a sleekly designed box and carry bag. Once this power-packed product is unwrapped and plugged in, gamers will immediately feel the precision and accuracy that will help them nail victory within that critical millimeter or split second.

Known among professional gamers as a provider of top-notch gaming gear with consistently high quality and a premium feel, QPAD's new mouse is a souped-up version of the award winning 5K, with an entirely new engine under the hood. Gamers will experience more control and take the game to new levels with 8K's high-powered engine.

Intel Delays 14 nm "Skylake" Desktop CPU Launch

Intel reportedly delayed the launch of its next-generation "Skylake" desktop CPUs to August 2015, from its usual schedule of launching new CPUs each Q2. Skylake is Intel's next-generation CPU architecture, built on the company's new 14 nanometer silicon fab process. Sources in the motherboard industry based out of Taiwan tell DigiTimes that launch of Skylake and its companion 10-series chipset, and hence they won't be able to show their latest products at this year's Computex trade-show, in June. Intel is either tweaking production of its new chips, or is waiting for the market to digest inventories of its current-generation products.

Source: DigiTimes

AMD Seeks New GPU Driver Developers for CPU Optimization

AMD put up a new Linkedin job post, looking for a new engineer that can better optimize graphics drivers for CPUs. AMD graphics drivers are known in the developer community to be rather CPU-heavy compared to NVIDIA's drivers. The company changed that perception to some extent with the development of its own Mantle 3D API, which is essentially a CPU-optimization exercise disguised as new technology. Sensing that not every developer is willing to implement Mantle, the company is looking to optimize its drivers to be CPU-efficient across other more industry-standard APIs. If you have the chops, and you're willing to work out of Boxborough, MA or Sunnyvale, CA., find the posting here.
Sunday, February 22nd 2015

Shuttle Comes with First Broadwell-based Fanless PC

Following the introduction of the XH97V and SH97R6 barebone PC models that have been prepared for the fifth generation of Intel Core processors, Shuttle today introduces a new member to the product family - the DS57U. This is the company's first barebone PC with a built-in Broadwell processor. As a successor to the DS47 and DS437 models, the DS57U also belongs to the 1 litre PC class. The DS57U is delivered as a barebone PC and includes the case, motherboard, cooling system and power supply unit as its core components as standard.

The system is powered by a pre-installed Intel Celeron 3205U dual-core processor (2x 1.5 GHz), which also is part of the delivery. The 14-nm architecture and power consumption of less than 15 W promise low energy costs together with improved performance. The completely fanless DS57U not only works remarkably quietly, it is almost maintenance-free, as the passive cooling ensures that no dust is sucked into the machine.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed against NVIDIA over GTX 970 Memory Issue

We haven't heard the last of NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation controversy, not by a long shot. Owners of the card, after having compiled technical information and details over weeks, filed a class-action lawsuit in a US Court (District Court for the Northern District of California). The lawsuit, titled "Andrew Ostrowsky (and others in similar situation) vs. NVIDIA Corporation and GIGABYTE Global Business Corporation," accuses the defendants of unfair, unlawful, and deceptive business practices, in three separate charges, and misleading advertising, demanding for Jury Trial.

The lawsuit goes on to read that the amount in controversy exceeds US $5 million, and encompasses over 100 Class members, meeting the minimal diversity clause, with the plantiff and numerous Class members being citizens of different states than the defendants. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of misleading buyers of the GeForce GTX 970 graphics cards with memory amount (being 3.5 GB with a 0.5 GB "spillover," and not the advertised 4 GB), ROP count being 56 and not 64 (as communicated to the media at launch, and to buyers through them); and L2 cache amount being 1.75 MB and not 2 MB. If you are eligible to be a Class member, find details of the law firms involved in the lawsuit document.

TechPowerUp Fractal Design Giveaway

Fractal Design and TechPowerUp bring to you the season's hot new giveaway. Simply "Like" our Facebook page and fill up a short form (or make Facebook do it for you), and you could win one of three bundles from Fractal Design. The first prize is a bundle of Fractal Design Define R5 case, a Fractal Design Edison M 650W modular PSU, and a Fractal Design Kelvin S24 all-in-one liquid CPU cooler. The second prize winner gets the case and the cooler, while the third prize winner gets the case.

For more details and to participate, visit this page.
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