Wednesday, October 7th 2015

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards

EVGA Gives Away Free Cooler Shroud Replacement to its HYBRID Series Owners

The EVGA Hybrid Face Off program is here! Now for a limited time ALL EVGA customers who own any EVGA Hybrid product qualifies for a free* new shroud! This shroud gives the card an updated look, complete with an LED. If you are an owner of one of the below Hybrid products, you qualify! Just fill out the form, and we will contact you on further steps.

Qualifying Products:
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti HYBRID
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 980 HYBRID

Shuttle Offers Value Priced XPC Nano Small Form Factor PC

Shuttle Computer Group, Inc., one of the world's leading designers of small form factor (SFF) computers, today announced its XPC Nano line of barebone computers, including the NC01UBING, a fully configured system with Windows Bing 8.1 pre-installed, designed specifically for commercial applications.

"If you're looking for a small form factor computer with a big heart to drive digital signage, kiosks or other playback functions, look no further," said Marty Lash, director sales and marketing, Shuttle Computer Group. "These small, sophisticated beauties fit everywhere, and our new pre-configured NC01UBING comes with 2GB RAM, 32GB SSD and Windows Bing 8.1 at an ESP of $299. It's a killer product."

The new line of Nano SFF computers boast low price points and an elegant palm-sized, 0.5 liter, stylish design in black with gold trim. Available with Intel's Ultra Low-Power CPU, embedded processor choices include Celeron, and Core U3/U5/U7. Product numbers are NC01U, NC01U3, NC01U5, NC01U7 determined by processor and graphics capabilities. They also come with unique features like RS232C, an SD card reader, optional NVIDIA, and AMD docking stations for superior graphics.

MSI Announces the DS502 7.1 Gaming Headset with Active Noise-Cancelation

The brand new DS502 Gaming Headset features Enhanced Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound for the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Its 40mm High Quality Drivers provide crystal clear Hi-Fi sound quality. Additionally, the Cmedia Xear software offers an extensive array of presets, preferences and includes a 10-band equalizer. Vibration is added for an even more immersive experience, so you can actually feel loud explosions happening around you.

A noise-cancelling, adjustable and omnidirectional microphone with balanced natural sounding tones allows you to communicate clearly with your friends or teammates. The tough braided cable features an in-line remote which allows gamers to control volume, mute their microphone and turn vibration on or off with a single button. The DS502 headset offers premium build quality, lightweight and ergonomically designed with a self-adjusting headband which ensures a comfortable fit during extended gaming sessions. Next to an impressive sound quality and abundance of features, the DS502 completes its cool looks with an LED illuminated MSI GAMING dragon.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 358.50 WHQL Game Ready Driver

NVIDIA released the GeForce 358.50 WHQL drivers, which are "Game Ready" for Star Wars: Battlefront Open Beta. Open for pre-loading now on Origin for free, the game goes life in a day. In addition to this, it includes an updated driver support for GameWorks VR SDK; and OpenGL ARB 2015 extensions. This includes support for OpenGL ES 3.2 on the desktop. Grab the driver from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: GeForce 358.50 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 7/8 64-bit | Windows 7/8 32-bit

DFI Announces SD630-H110 Socket LGA1151 Motherboard

DFI, which is focusing on IPC motherboards these days, launched the SD630-H110, an entry-level socket LGA1151 motherboard based on Intel H110 Express chipset, and built in the ATX form-factor. Designed with a focus on legacy connectivity, the board seats a 6th generation Core "Skylake" processor, powers it with a simple 6-phase VRM, and wires it to two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3L-1600 memory; and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. A PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot (open-ended) and five legacy PCI slots make up the rest of its expansion area.

Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Legacy connectivity includes four serial COM ports, with one RS232 connector, an LPT port by header, 8-bit GPIO, a feature-rich LPCIO controller with EXT-RS232/RS485 connector options, PS/2 combo port, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. Modern connectivity includes two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, driven by Intel I210AT and Intel I219LM controllers; 6-channel HD audio, four USB 3.0 ports, DVI, and HDMI 2.0 display output.

Netgear Introduces Quad-Mode Business-Class Wireless-AC Access Points

NETGEAR, a global networking company that delivers innovative products to businesses, consumers, and service providers, is launching two new quad-mode business-class 802.11ac wireless Access Points (AP) that support four different modes of management. The new ProSAFE WAC730 Business 3x3 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point and ProSAFE WAC720 Business 2x2 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point for small to mid-sized organizations (SMBs) are on view in Stand 20 of the IP EXPO Europe running today and tomorrow in the ExCeL London exhibition center.

The new ProSAFE Access Points currently operate in standalone mode or the new NETGEAR Ensemble Mode Management. Ensemble enables centralized configuration and management by the AP of up to 10 APs as a single group, without requiring additional hardware, licenses or support fees. This capability makes them a perfect solution for demanding, high-throughput environments, offering ultra-superior performance and extensive coverage in SMB, K-12, and hospitality deployments.

AMD Pro A12 "Carrizo" Chip Offers TDP as Low as 12W

AMD's "Excavator" module could fetch big power dividends for the company, with the top of the line Pro A12 "Carrizo" APU for mobile platforms offering TDP as low as 12W (normal usage), going up to 35W (maximum stress). AMD allows users to set the TDP for their processors. Built on the existing 28 nm process, these chips offer TDPs as low as the ones offered by Intel, built on 22 nm and even 14 nm nodes.

This is made possible because "Excavator" features heavily compacted registers and decode engines, and AMD spent a lot of R&D kicking out redundant or useless components from the silicon. The recently launched A-Series Pro "Carrizo" APUs feature two "Excavator" modules (four CPU cores), a GPU with eight GCN 1.2 compute units (512 stream processors), 2 MB of total cache, dual-channel DDR3-2133 integrated memory controllers.
Tuesday, October 6th 2015

Today's Reviews


OWC Introduces 3TB Mercury Elite Pro External Storage

Other World Computing (OWC), a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today that it has expanded its OWC Mercury Elite Pro mini line by 50 percent more capacity to a new maximum of three terabytes (3 TB) storage. The bus-powered Mercury Elite Pro mini is now available in 18 different hard drive or OWC Mercury SSD-equipped configurations. With interface options including USB 3.0, eSATA 6Gb/s, and FireWire, the Mercury Elite Pro mini delivers high performance storage to Mac or PC users in a portable plug-and-play footprint, with no AC adapter required.

The Mercury Elite Pro mini features a fanless brushed aluminum enclosure and measures a compact 5.5" L x 3.8" W x 1.1" H. Because it is bus-powered, the Mercury Elite Pro mini doesn't require an AC adapter, so it's ideal for on-the-go business professionals, creative/entertainment professionals, students, and anyone else needing to back up data, transport large files between computers, gain additional storage capacity, or perform video editing, photo editing, and live music recording. The fanless drive ensures super-quiet operation, an important criteria for creative professionals.

Raijintek Atlantis Line of DIY Watercooling Products Now Available

Raijintek Atlantis line of DIY water-cooling products are now available with Overclockers UK, among the first retailers to stock a range of watercooling products from Raijintek for the user to build their very own watercooling loop, cooling the processor, graphics card and memory. Starting with the waterblocks in the Raijintek Atlantis range, there are three; the CPU, GPU and VRM (CWB-C1, GWB-C1 and VWB-C1) waterblocks. All designed to fit the latest generation platforms from AMD, Intel and NVIDIA. These blocks are user friendly for installation and can easily be fitted to the user's hardware.

The waterblocks are copper, melted by alloying brazing and nickel plated then finished off with mirror polishing treatment. The waterblocks have a 3D micro-structure flow tunnel inside enabling the coolant from the cold plate to heat up accordingly and sufficiently to transfer the heat extremely well. The thread type on the waterblocks are 1/4 thread, the standard thread allowing users to upgrade their watercooling system easily.

EVGA Announces the "Bullets or Blades" Bundle

Whether you're fighting to free hostages or the depraved working class in London, the choice is yours. For a limited time, pick either Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege or Assassin's Creed Syndicate free when you buy an EVGA GeForce GTX 980 or 970 graphics card.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is an intense squad-based shooter that requires tactical coordination, precise action, and lethal force. Assassin's Creed Syndicate extends the iconic series in the downtrodden times of the Industrial Revolution. How do you compete? Breach or fortify? Brutal force or extreme stealth?

Microsoft Announces the Surface Book

Microsoft announced its very first laptop, the Surface Book. It's Microsoft's imagining of the Surface with the strengths of a proper laptop. Microsoft claims at weight-by-weight, this is the most powerful 13-inch class laptop ever made. What sets it apart from other performance laptops in its class is that it's a convertible. You can detach the top half from the bottom, and use it like a large Surface tablet; or you could dock it with its base in either direction, and get the advantage of a proper mechanical keyboard, a multi-touch trackpad, additional battery (up to 12 hours), and additional connections.

The two halves join at a curious looking spinal joint, and an electric muscle joint that senses when you're trying to detach the two halves, and makes the process effortless. When it senses that you aren't trying to take them apart, it lends enough grip to let you lift both halves by holding one of them. The top half features a 13.5-inch display with a high-precision multi-touch touchscreen that's primed for Microsoft Pen (a smart stylus with 1024 pressure levels and high drawing resolution); with 267 ppi display resolution. Both halves are made out of milled aluminium, and are about 7.5 mm thick, each. Most of the hardware is located in the top half, while most of the battery is located in the bottom one. Microsoft has taken advantage of modern connectivity such as 4G LTE, 802.11 ac WLAN, USB 3.0 type-C, SDXC, and more.

Seagate Completes Acquisition of Dot Hill Systems

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in storage solutions, today announced it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Dot Hill Systems Corp., a trusted supplier of innovative software and hardware storage systems.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement signed between Seagate and Dot Hill, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate commenced a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Dot Hill in an all-cash transaction valued at $9.75 per share, or a total of approximately $696 million on a fully-diluted equity value basis.

The tender offer and the second step merger contemplated by Seagate's definitive agreement with Dot Hill were completed on October 6, 2015. As a result, Dot Hill has become an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Seagate and will no longer be listed for trading on the NASDAQ Global Market.

Be Quiet! Announces Silent Base 600 Case Series

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for nine consecutive years*, extends its successful case series with the Silent Base 600, offering a more compact version of its silent debut case. In the new model, the manufacturer implements all known features of its larger counterpart. The Silent Base 600 offers excellent cooling performance with whisper-quiet operation and represents an alternative case solution for low-noise, high-end systems.

As with the Silent Base 800, be quiet! opted for an innovative design for its new case model, inspired by the motto "Form Follows Function". This means the new model combines excellent cooling efficiency with perfect air circulation, which ensures a whisper-quiet operation. The basis for this is a pair of pre-installed, decoupled Pure Wings 2 fans. These quietly transport the air out of the case with their nine airflow-optimized fan blades. Thanks to its integrated 3-step fan controller, users can adjust the ratio of noise production to cooling performance by themselves. The 3-in-1 air vent on the side panel can be used to adjust the air circulation as needed. The Silent Base 600 case includes mounting points for five additional fans and can accommodate third-party water cooling solutions.

PNY releases the Mini-mobile HP v165w USB 2.0 Flash Drive

PNY Technologies, world renowned manufacturing giant for USB and Memory products, has introduced the miniature HP v165w USB 2.0 flash drive which is an excellent option when it comes to transferring files, music, videos or personal documents. The thumb-sized drive offers a fast and convenient way of backing up and transporting your most important files.

The HP v165w is encased in a semi-transparent blue shell, which lends it a futuristic and edgy look. The pen drive features a convenient lanyard, which may be used to attach to a key ring or a mobile strap. You can also attach the pen drive to a backpack so that you don't lose it. It can also be easily slipped into a pocket, a purse or even a bag. The drive is also dustproof and water resistant and ensures long lasting performance and protection for everyday use. It's stylish and compact build weighs only at 4.8g and measures at 9.4mmH x 16.0mmW x 30.5mmL. It also features a non-slip cap that protects the USB port from external damage.

AMD Partners With Oculus and Dell to Power Oculus-Ready PCs

AMD today announced a collaboration with Oculus and Dell to equip Oculus Ready PCs with AMD Radeon GPUs, starting at $999 USD. The powerful PCs are designed to deliver stunning gaming performance and enable spectacular VR experiences for consumers around the world by leveraging AMD VR leadership with LiquidVR and Graphics Core Next architecture.

"It's an exciting time to be at the heart of all things Virtual Reality," said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president, Alliances and Content, AMD. "I'm confident that with Dell and Alienware, we can enable a wide audience of PC users with extraordinary VR capabilities powered by AMD Radeon GPUs."
Monday, October 5th 2015

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards
Input Devices

AMD Could Name "Fiji" Based Dual-GPU Graphics Card Radeon R9 Gemini

AMD's dual-GPU graphics card based on a pair of "Fiji" GPUs could be named the Radeon R9 Gemini, after the Greek-Roman mythological figures and twins Castor and Pollux, sometimes referred to as the "Gemini twins." This is consistent with AMD naming its single-GPU flagship product based on this chip after Furies. The term "Gemini" as associated by AMD to describe this product first came to light when an engineering sample making its way through India was parsed through the country's overly transparent customs, where its shipping manifest read "FIJIGEMINI." The same description also mentions that the sample had its cooling solution installed, so it can be assumed that the prototype AMD CEO Lisa Su held up at the company's "Fiji" silicon unveil event has matured into a mass-producible product.
Source: WCCFTech, Image Credit: Anshel Sag (Twitter)

Patriot Announces New Viper 4 3600MHz Dual-Channel Memory Kit

Patriot, a leading manufacturer of computer memory, USB/flash memory, SSDs, and mobile accessories, today announced the extension of their Viper 4 series of DDR4 memory with a new 3600MHz dual kit designed for the latest Intel Skylake core processor utilizing the 100 series platform.

Designed with a high performance custom heat shield structured to withstand the most taxing PC environments and provide continuous stable performance, the Patriot Viper 4 3600MHz dual kit clocks in with impressive timings of 17-18-18-36 while pulling 1.35V of power. The 3600MHz Viper 4 dual kit has become Patriot's fastest kit since the release of the 3400MHz dual kit at the start of September. The ideal addition for PC enthusiasts looking to update their system, the Viper 4 3600MHz dual kit will deliver unparalleled performance for the ultimate gaming rig.

Genius Announces the NX-7000 BlueEye Sensor Wireless Mouse

Genius, one of the world's leading manufacturers of computer peripherals and smart phone/tablet accessories, has launched its new wireless mouse: the NX-7000. The BlueEye technology powered mouse enables it to work on any imaginable surface - from glass to wood, sofa and even the carpet. Ultimate freedom to work anywhere!
Featuring 2.4Ghz wireless technology, it provides anti - interference with your wi-fi environment. The NX-7000 mouse comes with 1200 dpi resolution offering superior tracking accuracy and control. The contoured shape provides great either hand usage and high comfort for all day use.

A unique feature of the mouse is that the pico receiver can be used to link with 6 additional Genius mice -NX-7xxx series + Micro Traveler 9000R V2. A very flexible mouse indeed! The pico receiver conveniently snaps into the bottom of the mouse for easy transport and storage. The NX -7000 also comes with a free SmartGenius app to adjust the scrolling speed .The mouse features 3 buttons ( left, right and middle with scroll) and is compatible with Windows 7,8, 10 or later /Mac OS 10.7.4 or later. It uses a AA alkaline battery. Users could not have asked for more.

Thecus Adds Support for 8TB Seagate Enterprise 3.5 Hard Drives

Thecus today announced the addition of Seagate's 8TB Enterprise 3.5 hard drives to its compatibility list. By incorporating Seagate's 8TB HDD, Thecus NAS users will be able to maximize storage capacity while experiencing enhanced performance and reliability.

Boasting the industry's best response times for 8TB Drives, the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD leverages comprehensive advanced caching technology to reach unparalleled data transfer speeds. Other advanced technologies including PowerBalance, PowerChoice, and Raid Rebuilt enables users to customize their big data requirements and optimize TCO.

Microsoft Acquires Havok Physics from Intel

Microsoft acquired Havok Physics, the industry's most popular in-game physics API, from Intel. Microsoft intends to add Havok's IP to its existing tools and platforms, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio, and Azure. Havok will continue to remain accessible to all its existing licensees and partners, including Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony. It currently features in more than 600 AAA game titles across major platforms, such as the PC, PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox.

Source: Microsoft

AMD Zen Features Double the Per-core Number Crunching Machinery to Predecessor

AMD "Zen" CPU micro-architecture has a design focus on significantly increasing per-core performance, particularly per-core number-crunching performance, according to a report. It sees a near doubling of the number of decoder, ALU, and floating-point units per-core, compared to its predecessor. In essence, the a Zen core is AMD's idea of "what if a Steamroller module of two cores was just one big core, and supported SMT instead."

In the micro-architectures following "Bulldozer," which debuted with the company's first FX-series socket AM3+ processors, and running up to "Excavator," which will debut with the company's "Carrizo" APUs, AMD's approach to CPU cores involved modules, which packed two physical cores, with a combination of dedicated and shared resources between them. It was intended to take Intel's Core 2 idea of combining two cores into an indivisible unit further.
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