Monday, January 26th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
Speakers
SSD

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
Friday, January 23rd 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Memory
Motherboards

GeForce GTX 970 Design Flaw Caps Video Memory Usage to 3.3 GB: Report

It may be the most popular performance-segment graphics card of the season, and offer unreal levels of performance for its $329.99 price, but the GeForce GTX 970 suffers from a design flaw, according to an investigation by power-users. GPU memory benchmarks run on GeForce GTX 970 show that the GPU is not able to address the last 700 MB of its 4 GB of memory.

The "GTX 970 memory bug," as it's now being called on tech forums, is being attributed to user-reports of micro-stutter noticed on GTX 970 setups, in VRAM-intensive gaming scenarios. The GeForce GTX 980, on the other hand, isn't showing signs of this bug, the card is able to address its entire 4 GB. When flooded with posts about the investigation on OCN, a forum moderator on the official NVIDIA forums responded: "we are still looking into this and will have an update as soon as possible."


Sources: Crave Online, LazyGamer
Thursday, January 22nd 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Mouse
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Inno3D Announces its GeForce GTX 960 Lineup

Inno3D is thrilled to finally announce the highly anticipated iChill and Inno3D GeForce GTX 960, that delivers incredible performance, power efficiency, and cutting-edge gaming technologies that only NVIDIA Maxwell technology can offer.

This is the perfect upgrade to advanced gaming, letting you dominate the competition with 60% faster performance and twice the power efficiency than previous generation cards. Unleash its massive overclocking potential and push your performance even further. Plus, it features VXGI for realistic lighting, support for smooth, tear-free NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, and Dynamic Super Resolution that enables 4K gaming on 1080p displays.

PNY Announces Reference Design GeForce GTX 960

PNY rolled out a reference-design NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 graphics card, for those who want a plain vanilla card at NVIDIA's baseline $199.99 pricing. The card features the company's default NVTTM (NVIDIA Time to Market) cooling solution, which has been widely used on the company's performance-segment and mid-range products, such as the GTX 760, GTX 670, GTX 660 Ti, and GTX 660. It sticks to reference clock speeds of 1128 MHz core, 1178 MHz GPU Boost, and 7.00 GHz memory. Based on the 28 nm "GM206" silicon, the GTX 960 offers 1024 CUDA cores, 64 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 2 GB of memory.

GALAX Announces its GeForce GTX 960 Lineup

GALAX, a leading manufacturer of premium graphics hardware, today announced the launch of an entire new lineup of custom performance tuned and overclocked GTX 960 Series graphics cards. Three new models will be available, each with unique advantages to satisfy the precise needs of discerning enthusiasts. The GTX 960 SOC leads the pack in pure performance, featuring the highest overclock and an extended PCB with powerful triple fan cooler and anodized aluminum backplate.

The GTX 960 OC focuses on maximizing speed in minimal space with a super compact design ideal for Mini ITX and HTPCs. Finally, the GTX 960 EXOC combines the best of both worlds for an impressive balance of power, efficiency and cooling capacity. The 960 OC and 960 EXOC are also the first to feature GALAX exclusive Silence Extreme Plus technology, which disengages both fans at idle for true zero decibel operation.

QNAP Announces New Energy-efficient TS-x31+ Turbo NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the TS-x31+ series Turbo NAS for small and home offices. Embedded with a dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, the TS-x31+ series provides a powerful yet energy-efficient solution for file storage, sharing and data backup with hardware-accelerated encryption, coupled with the easy-to-use cloud-based Notes Station 2.0, various multimedia applications and more.

"For home & small businesses, a powerful, secure yet affordable cloud storage solution is becoming a key investment for improving everyday business workflow," said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. "With the TS-x31+ series, users can build a cost-efficient private cloud with ensured security and comprehensive business applications, " added Hsu.

Gigabyte Announces Three New GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Cards

Gigabyte rolled out three new graphics cards based on NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, which look to be graded by fan count. All three are factory-overclocked. The series begins with the GV-N960IXOC-2GD, a compact model, featuring a single-fan heatsink cooling solution, and clock speeds of 1165/1228/7012 MHz (core/boost/memory), against reference speeds of 1127/1178/7012 MHz. This card also features a light display output configuration, with two DVI, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectors.

Next up, is the GV-N960WF2OC-2GD, featuring a slightly longer PCB, a dual-fan WindForce 2X cooling solution, and a higher factory-overclock of 1216/1279/7012 MHz. This card features a full-spec FlexDisplay configuration, a Gigabyte-exclusive consisting of two DVI, three DisplayPort 1.2, and one HDMI 2.0 connectors. Leading the pack, is the GV-N960G1 GAMING-2GD (GTX 960 G1.Gaming). Featuring the highest clocks on offer, with 1241/1304/7012 MHz, this card features a massive triple-fan WindForce 3X cooling solution, the same one that cools GTX 970 G1.Gaming, which stays silent until a temperature threshold is reached. Also featured here is FlexDisplay.
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