Wednesday, May 27th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD

SilverStone Ready with a 700-Watt SFX-L Power Supply

SilverStone is flexing its engineering muscle, to woo the compact gaming PC community that the SFX-L form-factor of power supplies have arrived, and ready for multi-GPU. SFX-L is slightly bigger than SFX but significantly smaller than ATX. The company is ready with a 700-Watt PSU in the SFX-L form-factor. Part of the company's new SFX-L G series, the lineup will be lead by the 700W SX700L-G, followed by a 600W model, the SX600L-G. The company pioneered this form-factor with the 500W SX500L-G, earlier this January. The new PSUs will likely have enough juice and straws for gaming PC builds with up to two graphics cards. The two will boast of 80 Plus Platinum efficiency ratings. The company is expected to show them off at Computex 2015, this June.

WD Redesigns World's No. 1 Selling Portable Hard Drive

WD, a Western Digital company, and world leader in storage solutions, today introduced the new, redesigned My Passport Ultra portable hard drives and My Passport for Mac drives. With the My Passport line now in its 7th generation, the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable hard drives are now available in capacities up to 3 TB and in four stylish colors - Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry and Noble Blue. WD is also introducing a new optional accessory - WD Grip Pack - a soft band, available in a variety of colors, which encircles the drive, offering consumers an easy way to personalize their My Passport drives.

"With more photos being taken than ever before, it's critical to have a high capacity, reliable external storage solution that you can carry everywhere," said Tony Tate, general manager and vice president of Content Storage Solutions at WD. "The latest generation My Passport drives deliver an easier automatic back-up experience, hardware-based encryption for security and higher capacities than ever before. Consumers can keep all their content in their pockets, while expressing their personal styles with the colors and WD Grip Pack."

ADATA Teases its Computex 2015 Unveiling

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, will unveil its extreme performance XPG line: new SSDs (Solid State Drives) and DDR4 memory module solutions, the new Apple series of products, Type-C mobile accessories and ruggedized products. Come witness history at ADATA's "Aspire, Empower, Transform" theme on show June 2-6 at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2015, Taipei World Trade Center, in Nangang Exhibition Hall 1F Booth #J0806.

ADATA will flaunt its extreme performance XPG line of products, including the winner of the Taiwan Excellence Gold Award, the XPG Z1 DDR4 Gaming DRAM. Never satisfied with staying in one place, ADATA's newest XPG Z2 is now set to break another world record at 4034 MHz in the DDR4 gaming memory class. ADATA will also show the latest SX930 gaming SSDs featuring SLC cache technology and premier MLC flash that boost overall speed and stability. To give visitors an extremely fast and playful gaming experience, ADATA will hold a Special Force 2 Challenge game in its XPG display zone and will give away SSD and DRAM prizes every day.

QNAP Unveils Quiet and Stylish Vertical NAS TS-453mini

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the quad-core TS-453mini, a 4-bay vertical NAS that suits non-spacious office environments. Featuring a stylish glossy look, easy tool-less hard drive installation, simple RAM upgrade design, a quiet exhaust for heat dissipation and LED indicators with adjustable brightness controls, the elegant TS-453mini is packed full of cutting-edge features and apps to provide day-to-day file storage, backup, sharing, synchronization and entertainment needs.

"The space-efficient vertical design and streamlined architecture with HDMI installation for easier NAS setup demonstrates our attention to deliver a better user experience for the desktop environment," said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. The TS-453mini includes numerous innovative designs in its hardware architecture, including a quiet internal compact exhaust that helps dissipate heat and reduce dust buildup, a tool-less design allowing users to easily remove the magnetic top cover to add/replace hot-swappable 3.5" hard drives, and a conveniently accessible cover at the bottom for upgrading the RAM with minimal effort. Users can easily install their NAS over HDMI, allowing for a NAS to be installed without a network connection, and free from complicated procedures and the need for network expertise.

Cryorig Teases its Computex 2015 Lineup

Ahead of the coming 2015, Computex in June computer cooling innovation brand CRYORIG is introducing multiple new products and even multiple completely new product lines. This will be CRYORIG's biggest Computex showing ever, introducing a total of 7 new products, 6 new product lines and four new product categories.

The C7 is designed to be a "fit anywhere, cool anything" low profile cooler. Thanks to it's total height of under 53mm, it is just as small as the Intel stock cooler, but comes with so much more. With stagger total of four 6 mm copper heatpipes and a full proprietary 92 mm 600~2500 RPM PWM fan with Quad Air Inlet technology, it may be small but has all the making of a high-end CRYORIG cooler. The C7 fits both Intel 115x and modern AMD sockets, and basically any case on the market. If the system can fit the stock Intel/AMD cooler, then it will not only fit the C7, it should be upgraded to the C7 immediately.

Arctic Announces Pulse and Pulse Lite Bluetooth Headsets

Summer is finally here and everybody is enjoying the sun. To enable people to have their favourite sounds with them while being outside, Californian hardware producer AMP is offering two mobile and extremely portable products: Pulse and Pulse Lite. The wireless design is giving their users maximum freedom of movement - no more messed up cables while running or working in the garden! The high-end AMP Pulse as well as the ultra compact AMP Pulse Lite will make audiophiles rejoice and provide them with the perfect sound for starting into the summer season.

The AMP Pulse is able to match highest expectations thanks to its precise sound. The specially developed high-class driver unit enables the headset to reproduce heights and mids perfectly clear while still providing a strong base. Its ergonomically designed ear cups will not only be very comfortable to wear but also ensure the dampening of unwanted outside noise to deliver the best possible audio experience. A powerful 335 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery provides a capacity of eight hours of music playback.
Tuesday, May 26th 2015

Microsoft Selects Dolby Audio for Windows 10

Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Microsoft Corporation announced today that Dolby Audio is selected to be a part of the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and will be natively supported by the new Microsoft Edge browser for the playback of web-based content as well as accessible by third-party Windows Store apps. Users of Microsoft Windows 10 PCs and tablets will enjoy Dolby quality audio experiences through Windows entertainment apps and through Microsoft Edge.

Dolby Audio (supporting Dolby Digital Plus) will be available in x86 Windows 10 PCs and tablets for playback of movies, TV shows, and videos with crisp, clear dialogue and greater detail of sounds. Windows 7 and 8 users may upgrade to Windows 10 for free and continue to experience Dolby quality audio consistently across headphones, built-in PC and tablet speakers, or connected home theater systems. Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to leverage the Dolby Digital Plus decoder on the Windows 10 operating system, enabling online content providers to enrich the entertainment experiences of millions of Internet users globally with Dolby Audio.

"We are excited about the collaboration and partnership with Microsoft and share in the commitment to providing the best entertainment experiences possible to consumers across a wide range of devices in the Windows 10 ecosystem," said John Couling, Senior Vice President, E-Media Business Group, Dolby Laboratories. "With the launch of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge in nearly 200 countries, Dolby and Microsoft will enable better user experiences with high-quality audio that is robust, consistent, and at a scale necessary for the large Windows ecosystem."

JEDEC Announces Support for NVDIMM Hybrid Memory Modules

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in standards development for the microelectronics industry, has announced that its JC-45 Committee has approved the first standards for support of "hybrid" DDR4 memory modules which are defined as modules that plug into standard dual in-line memory module (DIMM) sockets and appear like a DDR4 SDRAM to the system controller, yet contain non-volatile (NV) memories such as NAND Flash on the module. These hybrid module families are referred to as Non-Volatile DIMMs, or NVDIMMs, and they may share the memory channel with other standard DDR4 DIMMs. Publication is expected later this year.

"The introduction of hybrid memory modules into system platform architectures adds new levels of functionality to the computer memory hierarchy," said Mian Quddus, Chairman of JEDEC's JC-45 Committee for Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Modules. He added, "Non-volatile memory may be used for data persistence, mass storage, and the door is now opened for innovative new applications using the high speed of the DRAM channel. NAND Flash is the first non-volatile memory to be incorporated into the channel; however, the industry is poised for other memory types to be included as well. The framework established by JEDEC is flexible enough to allow for a variety of memories to be included under the 'hybrid' umbrella."

ADATA XPG Z2 DDR4-3400 Overclocking Memory Breaks New Record

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, is honored to announce that its XPG Z2 DDR4 3400 computer memory is able to clock up to 4034MHz when used with an air-cooled msi X99A XPOWER AC motherboard. This creates a new overclocking world record for production line DDR4 computer memory.

In cooperation with motherboard manufacturers, ADATA strives to achieve the best performance in DDR4 memory compliant with the Intel X99 architecture. The XPG Z2 DDR4 3400 breaks the record with extremely high clock frequency of 4034MHz, impressing both gamers and standard CPU clock users alike with outstanding sustained performance, cooling and stability.

Be Quiet! Extends Dark Rock Family with Top Flow Model

Be Quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for nine consecutive years, extends its Dark Rock family with a powerful new model in Top Flow-format: the Dark Rock TF combines a sophisticated cooler design with the proven SilentWings technology to successfully cool demanding systems with compact form factors.

The new Dark Rock TF consists of two nickel-plated heat sinks that are interconnected by six performant heat pipes in 6-millimetre format. With this design, the Top Flow cooler can carry two SilentWings fans with a diameter of 135 millimetres and manages a TDP of up to 220 watts at a maximum of 26.7 decibels. The proven fans are decoupled from the heat sinks by rubberised inserts, which suppresses vibrations. For an absolute smooth fan operation, be quiet! uses a long-lasting fluid dynamic bearing and a silent 6-pole motor.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Clock Speeds Revealed

NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card is shaping up to be the "almost Titan-X for two-thirds its price" product the company wants, out in the market. A leaked GPU-Z screenshot of the card by Korean tech-publication HardwareBattle (the same site that broke the card's core config,) reveals its reference clock speeds. All the values displayed by GPU-Z 0.8.2 in the screenshot are pulled from the system, and not an internal lookup table (all the LUT-based values are grayed out, because version 0.8.2 lacks those values for the GTX 980 Ti). The card offers clock speeds that are similar to those of the GTX Titan-X. The core is clocked at 1000 MHz, with a maximum GPU Boost frequency of 1076 MHz (1089 MHz on the GTX Titan-X), while the memory ticks at 7012 MHz (GDDR5-effective).

From our older article, it's known that the GTX 980 Ti will feature a lower CUDA core count, at 2,816 cores, compared to 3,072 on the GTX Titan-X. The TMU count is proportionately lower, at 176. The ROP count is a bigger mystery than Nessie. The card features 6 GB of GDDR5 memory, across a 384-bit wide memory interface. While the reference board design is something that's beginning to look dated, NVIDIA will allow its AIC (add-in card) partners to come up with custom-design boards factory-overclocked to Kingdom come, from day-one. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti is expected to be launched on the sidelines of Computex 2015, in the first week of June.
Sources: HardwareBattle, VideoCardz

X2 Announces the X2.Kimera 4007 Gaming Keyboard

X2 proudly presents the X2.Kimera 4007 gaming keyboard. Featuring an aggressive and cool design with great performance and build out of top quality materials, this gaming keyboard has been studied to be strong and confortable at the same time. The large support base is created to keep the wrist in the correct position during a long gaming session, the big space bar key is build to never be missed hands down.

The keyboard's keys are also fitted with a changeable 3 colour backlight (blue, red, purple ). Backlight brightness control keys. The X2.Kimera 4007 gaming keyboard is desinged to enable users to react quickly & customize its performance for every game with its 26 antighost keys, and five macros custom keys (G1 ~ G5) you will never fail your next gaming mission.

SanDisk Announces the Z400s SATA SSD for Embedded Applications

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today introduced the new SanDisk Z400s SSD, a cost effective solid-state drive (SSD) designed to replace hard-disk drives (HDDs) in computing platforms and embedded applications. PCs and embedded systems need consistent, reliable access to storage in order to meet business demands. The Z400s outperforms HDDs by 20x, while providing 5x the reliability with 20x lower average power consumption, all at a price point on par with HDDs. The SanDisk Z400s SSD joins the company's existing portfolio of flash-based solutions that are designed to deliver a delightful user experience and reliability at an affordable price point

"The Z400s represents a feat of engineering that addresses the needs of two distinct markets-PC OEM manufacturers and embedded application designers," said Rizwan Ahmed, senior director of product marketing, client platform solutions, SanDisk. "With a single architecture, SanDisk is able to provide OEMs with an affordable solution for displacing HDDs in today's cutting edge consumer devices, and help embedded application designers avoid overpaying for un-needed space-all while delivering the peak performance and high-reliability that only SSDs can supply."

FSP Announces World's First Notebook Adapter with USB 3.0 Hub

FSP, the performance power specialist, today announces the first multifunction notebook adapter featuring a convenient built-in USB 3.0 hub: the NB H series. The NB H adds more convenience and usability to the world of notebook adapters. This full range (100~240V) adapter series includes built-in USB 3.0 ports to charge mobile devices and/or for increased laptop connectivity. This adapter is an excellent solution for popular ultrabooks and slim laptops that sacrifice USB ports for thinness.

The NH B uses only one power adapter for both charging and USB functionality, though does not require to be plugged in to work as a USB 3.0 hub. The NB H also maximizes compatibility, including various plug adapters to fit virtually any notebook. The NH B is only about the size of a glasses case and features a blue LED indicator light; its compact size and removable DC jack make it portable as well as useful.
Monday, May 25th 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Colorful to Become World's Second Biggest Graphics Card Vendor in 2015: Report

PRC-based Colorful, which started out as (and continues to be) a vendor of wacky, over-the-top GeForce GTX graphics cards, has surpassed industry stalwarts MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte, in terms of graphics cards shipped worldwide this year, according to industry numbers published by DigiTimes. The report notes that Colorful could become the second largest graphics card maker in terms of shipments by the end of the year, next only to Palit (the current leader in terms of shipments).

Colorful has been clocking an average of 500,000 graphics cards shipped per month, and is projected to have shipped over 5 million cards in 2015. The company has currently outsold ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, and ZOTAC, all of which are multinationals. Colorful has developed a strong brand-image in the Greater China region, particularly in the mainland. With a brand portfolio that includes Galaxy, Gainward, Point of View, and its own namesake, Palit is the biggest graphics card manufacturer by volume. Colorful's motherboard business is accelerating at a similar rate, and the report notes that the company could become "a very big threat" to ASUS and Gigabyte.


Source: DigiTimes

G.Skill to Host 4th Annual OC World Record Stage at Computex 2015

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and solid state storage, is hosting two major extreme overclocking events at Computex 2015 (June 2~6): the OC World Cup 2015 and the OC World Record Stage 2015! 19 world-class overclockers, 5 motherboard vendors, and 3 hardware sponsors - all at the G.SKILL Computex Booth I0608, located at Nangang Exhibition Hall, 1F.

Very special thanks to Intel, Samsung, and Kingpin Cooling for sponsoring the OC World Cup 2015 and the 4th Annual OC World Record Stage extreme overclocking events. "Intel is pleased to be a sponsor of this year's G.SKILL OC World Cup & 4th Annual OC World Record Stage at Computex 2015," says Gregory Bryant, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Intel Corporation. "Intel processors and chipsets enable mind-blowing experiences and we are glad to be a part of this exciting event."

OWC Announces Accelsior S PCIe-SATA Riser Board

Other World Computing announced today the Accelsior S, a new PCIe card with direct mount support for a 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD. The latest addition to OWC's award-winning Accelsior line enables PC, Mac Pro tower and Thunderbolt interface expansion chassis users to quickly and easily add additional storage. Utilizing the robust PCIe architecture, the Accelsior S card offers both storage expansion and 6Gb/s speeds up to 550MB/s - more than double the performance of SATA 3Gb/s.

When equipped with the Accelsior S PCIe card and an SSD, Mac Pro tower and PC users can launch, capture, render and process I/O-intensive apps without long wait times. The Accelsior S PCIe card is also extremely easy to install - no drivers or software are required.

Thermaltake Announces the Suppressor F51 Mid-tower Chassis

Thermaltake, an industry leader in computer chassis, thermal solutions, and power supply units, has unveiled the Suppressor F51 window/non-window mid-tower chassis, the latest series to the Thermaltake case line. Featuring leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance.

The Suppressor F51 supports a range of motherboard platforms from Mini ITX to E-ATX solutions, unrivaled liquid cooling expansion and expandability for all high-end GPU solutions users. The Suppressor F51 will also be on display from June 2nd to June 6th at COMPUTEX Taipei 2015 at Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall 4th floor, Booth M110.

Intel's Post-2017 "Purley" Enterprise Platform Detailed

Intel's future enterprise computing business, post-2017, could see a unification of its 2-socket (2S), 4-socket (4S), and >8-socket (8S+) platforms unify into one, codenamed "Purley." The platform will consist of multiple SKUs, but a common socket type (Socket-P), and a new interconnect technology replacing InfiniBand, which will wire the sockets and core-logic across multiple server blades, together. Called Omni-Path Interconnect, the tech appears to be fiber-optic at the physical layer, with extremely thin cables, and bandwidths could start at 100 Gbps, for the first generation. The controller driving it will be codenamed "Storm Lake." The inter-socket communication will be care of a newer 10.4 GT/s UPI interconnect, each socket will feature three such UPI channels. The platform will support up to eight sockets per blade, with more sockets across neighboring blades over Omni-Path.

"Purley" will feature a new platform core-logic, in the form of the "Lewisburg" PCH. It will feature the new DMI3 chipset-bus, which is PCI-Express 3.0 x4 at the physical layer. This chipset will support up to four 10 GbE interfaces. On the processor front, will be as processors based on the "Skylake" micro-architecture. Intel will carve out several silicons based on "Skylake," the biggest one will feature 28 physical CPU cores, with HyperThreading enabling 56 logical CPUs, and for the first time, a six-channel (384-bit wide) DDR4 integrated memory controller, with support for DDR4-2666. On the flip side, this IMC only supports one DIMM per channel (DPC). The 3DPC support from previous platforms is gone. These chips will be built on the 14 nm silicon fab process, and their TDP will range between 45W and 165W, depending on the number of cores and clock speeds.

Source: AnandTech Forums
Saturday, May 23rd 2015

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Mouse
NAS
Processors
PSUs
SSD

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Smiles for the Camera

Here are some of the first pictures of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, in the flesh. As predicted, the reference design board reuses the PCB of the GeForce GTX TITAN-X, and its cooler is a silver version of its older sibling. According to an older report, the GTX 980 Ti will be carved out of the 28 nm GM200 silicon, by disabling 2 of its 24 SMM units, resulting in a CUDA core count of 2,816. The card retains its 384-bit GDDR5 memory bus width, but holds 6 GB of memory, half that of the GTX TITAN-X. The card is expected to launch in early June, 2015. NVIDIA's add-in card (AIC) partners will be free to launch custom-design boards with this SKU, so you could hold out for the MSI Lightnings, the EVGA Classifieds, the ASUS Strixes, the Gigabyte G1s, and the likes.

Source: VideoCardz

Sharkoon Announces External USB 3.1 Hard Drive Case

Sharkoon expands its range of external drive enclosures and presents a variant for the new USB 3.1 standard: The QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 provides an elegant dwelling for a 2.5" SATA HDD/SDD. The internal controller supports the SATA Revision 3.0 and is backward compatible to Revision 2.0 and 1.0. External connection occurs via a micro-B port. The USB 3.1 case supports Windows 8 UASP and offers a maximum transfer rate of 10 gigabits per second.

Disks with a height up to 9.5 mm can be installed. Assembly is completely tool-free and is done within a few simple steps. To do this, the case frame can be simply unlocked and slid open. With the black, brushed aluminium cover, the QuickStore Portable USB 3.1 visually impresses. A blue LED also indicates operation and data transfer. The hard drive case measures a compact 134 x 85 x 14 mm (L x W x H) and weighs only 51 grams. Packaging includes short instructions as well as a USB 3.1 cable (type-A plug to micro-B port).

NVIDIA Restores Overclocking on GTX 900M, Again

NVIDIA re-enabled overclocking on its GeForce GTX 900M series mobile GPUs, by releasing a new hotfix driver (GeForce 353.00 Hotfix). Launch drivers originally allowed overclocking on NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 900M series mobile GPUs. NVIDIA disabled overclocking with its R347 drivers, stating that overclocking was originally allowed due to a bug, drawing outrage from the PC enthusiast community. NVIDIA then re-enabled overclocking with its 347.88 drivers, with a quasi-apology. Then, without making much noise, the company disabled overclocking (or the "clock-block," as the enthusiasts are calling it), with its R350 drivers, which stayed on even as the drivers graduated to R352 series.

Following our May 21st report uncovering this, the company slipped out a driver hotfix, late last night. Version 353.00 Hotfix comes with a single item on its release notes, which reads "Fixes a regression that prevented overclocking the GPU on some GeForce Notebooks" (read: Whoops!). So gaming notebook owners have the freedom of overclocking their GPUs to tweak up eye-candy on the latest games, such as GTA V and The Witcher 3, which would have been buggy and unplayable, if users reverted to older R347 drivers, just to be able to overclock.

DOWNLOAD: GeForce 353.00 Hotfix for mobile GPUs
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