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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.

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.

ASUS Announces ZenBook UX305 Ultrabook Starting at $699

ASUS today announced the elegant and powerful ZenBook UX305, which is the world's slimmest 13.3-inch ultraportable laptop at 0.48-inch thin. The UX305 weighs 2.6lbs and features crisp and vibrant in-plane switching (IPS) anti-glare displays. Powered by the all-new Intel Core M processor for seamless multitasking and standard solid state storage, the UX305 is the ultimate ultraportable laptop for discerning users. Up to 10 hours of battery life gives users true all-day computing.

A wedge-shaped design crafted from solid aluminum and enhanced with diamond-cut highlights gives the ZenBook UX305 a sleek look while a new obsidian stone color finishes the elegant design. The award winning ZenBook UX305 is the recipient of a 2014 Good Design Award from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP) and also included in the Good Design Best 100 list, which is a selection of products receiving special recognition from the jury of industry experts for their exceptional and forward-looking designs.

ASUS Unveils the GeForce GTX 960 Mini

ASUS announced the GeForce GTX 960 Mini, a graphics card that combines the company's renowned compact mini-ITX friendly board design, with NVIDIA's latest performance-segment GPU. The GTX 960 Mini (model: GTX960-MOC-2GD) looks identical in design to the GTX 670 Mini and the GTX 760 Mini. The full-height PCB is just 17 cm long, and features a dense heatpipe-fed toroidal aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a "CoolTech" fan, which is a hybrid between top-flow and lateral-flow blowers.

The card is factory-overclocked, and comes with 1190 MHz core, 1253 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 7.00 GHz memory; against reference clocks of 1126/1178 MHz. The card draws power from a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. A solid brushed-aluminium back-plate adds to its appeal. Display outputs include one each of dual-link DVI, HDMI 2.0, and three DisplayPort 1.2 connectors. ASUS didn't reveal pricing or availability.

ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 750 Ti Strix 4GB

In a bid to woo those who choose graphics cards by memory amounts (and cars with engine-displacement), ASUS rolled out a 4 GB variant of its GeForce GTX 750 Ti Strix lower mid-range graphics card. Pictured below, the card is built identical to the standard 2 GB model, but with double the GDDR5 memory amount. It features out of the box clock speeds of 1124 MHz core, 1202 MHz GPU Boost, and 5.40 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Based on the 28 nm GM107 silicon, the GTX 750 Ti features 640 CUDA cores based on the "Maxwell" architecture, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. ASUS didn't disclose pricing.

G.SKILL Tops Fastest DDR4 Frequency Record Once Again at 4355MHz

G.SKILL International Co. Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and solid state storage, is thrilled to announce a new record for fastest DDR4 memory frequency, set at 4355 MHz.

The record was set with G.SKILL's extreme performance Ripjaws 4 series DDR4 memory on the ASUS Rampage V Extreme motherboard and Intel i7-5960X processor under extreme cooling with liquid nitrogen. Check out the CPU-Z record validation here.

Top Three Graphics Card Vendors Net 12 Million in Shipments, in 2014

According to stats put out by Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes, the top three graphics card vendors by shipments were ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI (in that order), 2014. ASUS leads the pack with over 5 million graphics cards shipped in the year. Gigabyte comes in second, with over 3.6 million cards shipped. MSI is third, with between 2.8 and 3 million cards shipped in the year. The three sell both AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. 2014 overall, has seen graphics card shipments drop by 10 percent, owing to a pop in the bubble created by crypto-coin miners in 2013. Other notables from the report include a rise in shipments from PRC-based vendors such as Colorful and Onda.

Source: DigiTimes

ASUS Announces Strix GeForce GTX 960

ASUS today announced Strix GTX 960, an all-new gaming graphics card packed with exclusive ASUS technologies, including DirectCU II for cooler, quieter and faster performance for incredible action gaming, and 0dB fan technology for totally-silent light gameplay. The new card features feature exclusive ASUS Super Alloy Power components for enhanced durability and cooling, and GPU Tweak with XSplit Gamecaster for overclocking and online streaming that's as simple as it is flexible. Strix GTX 960 comes equipped with a DisplayPort interface to support connections up to 4K/UHD (ultra-high definition) resolution.

Strix GTX 960 is factory-overclocked at 1291 MHz and has a 1317 MHz boost clock speed in OC Mode that delivers stunning gaming performance. Strix GTX 960 provides 12% faster gameplay in Assassin's Creed Unity and Battlefield 4, and runs the 3DMark 11 (Extreme) benchmark at 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution 6.5% faster than reference designs. It is fitted with 2 GB of high-speed GDDR5 video memory that races along at boosted speeds of up to 7200 MHz.

PC Leaders Continue Growth And Share Gains As Market Remains Slow: IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), a year-on-year decline of -2.4%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Total shipments were slightly above expectations of -4.8% growth, but the market still contracted both year on year and in comparison to the third quarter. Although the holiday quarter saw shipment volume inch above 80 million for the first time in 2014, the final quarter nonetheless marked the end of yet another difficult year - the third consecutive year with overall volumes declining. On an annual basis, 2014 shipments totaled 308.6 million units, down -2.1% from the prior year.

Although the U.S. and Europe remained stronger than other markets, growth in these mature regions slowed from earlier in the year. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) continued to strengthen, seeing only a very slight increase in volume as a number of public projects and improving consumer demand helped stabilize the market. Similarly, commercial demand, which boosted growth earlier in the year, has slowed while consumer demand is gradually coming back. Nevertheless, the market progress has been fueled by low-priced systems, including growth of Chromebooks and promotion of Windows 8 + Bing. Constraints on Bing promotions, such as limits on larger-sized devices, could remove a key market driver while some fourth quarter production was attributed to getting ahead of holiday-related production constraints in Asia in the first quarter, effectively shifting volume from early 2015 into the end of 2014.

ASUSTOR Unveils Trendsetting NAS 4K Multimedia Solutions

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, will be showcasing its innovative NAS products for four straight days starting from today, at CES 2015 at the Trump International Hotel. ASUSTOR will be exhibiting its cutting-edge 70, 51 and 50 series NAS devices and exclusive ADM 2.3 operating system featuring all new functionality including multimedia, surveillance, business management and data protection applications. ASUSTOR's 70 series devices come with powerful high performance processors combined with ASUSTOR's multimedia technology that make it the only NAS devices in the industry capable of outputting 4K ultra high definition videos directly from the NAS.

From inception, ASUSTOR's revolutionary design concepts, have allowed it to launch the ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) NAS operating system. ADM is the first NAS OS designed around the use of Apps. It offers users an easy and intuitive experience along with the ability to expand functionality via add-on Apps. At their convenience users can browse through and download any Apps that peak their interest from App Central, exploring the unlimited potential of ASUSTOR NAS devices while creating a personalized NAS device for themselves.

ASUS Announces the Transformer Book Chi Series

ASUS today announced Transformer Book Chi Series, a family of beautifully-engineered, razor-thin 2-in-1 Windows detachables, offering the unrivalled convenience of a powerful laptop that transforms seamlessly into a handy tablet whenever needed. Transformer Book Chi is fast but silent, featuring a fanless design powered by up to Intel Core M processors, for amazing performance that gives users the freedom to work and play with effortless mobility - anywhere, anytime.

Featuring some of the world's slimmest tablets, and with a gorgeous precision-crafted all-aluminum design, the Transformer Book Chi Series offers unprecedented sophistication and elegance in a 2-in-1. The Chi range comprises three models, headed by the flagship 12.5-inch T300 Chi - recipient of a 2015 CES Innovation Award - that is powered by the all-new Intel Core M processor for outstanding performance and power efficiency. T100 Chi is a compact 10.1-inch model with all-day battery life, and T90 is an incredibly-light 8.9-inch powerhouse for on-the-go productivity. All models have a bright, crisp and clear IPS display with up to WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution for detailed and vivid visuals.

ASUS Announces Xonar U3 Plus External DAC with Headphones Amp

ASUS today announced the Xonar U3 Plus, a pocket-sized USB-powered sound card with a 150-ohm headphone amplifier, studio-grade vocal effects and a full suite of audio enhancements. The Xonar U3 Plus is designed for PC and notebook users who are looking for an easy-to-use solution that caters to their high-fidelity audio playback and home recording needs.

Xonar U3 Plus has a high-performance headphone amplifier with adjustable gain levels that can drive up to 150ohm-impedance headphones and headsets. It enhances treble and bass to add dynamic details to low and high frequency sounds like explosions and footsteps in movies or games.

ASUSTOR Launches New 50T and 51T NAS Models

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced the launch of its 50T and 51T series NAS devices consisting of four new comprehensive high performance NAS models. These new models include the AS5002T, AS5004T, AS5102T and AS5104T. The models come equipped with the latest Intel Celeron 2.41 GHz dual-core processors and Intel Celeron 2.00 GHz quad-core processors respectively, along with 1 GB and 2 GB of SO-DIMM DDR3L memory which is expandable to a maximum of 8 GB.

All new devices come with a wealth of powerful features including an automatic burst function that allows the CPU to increase its frequency for additional power when needed and a CPU floating-point unit for added computing power. Additionally, 50T and 51T series devices feature the quickest memory installation and expansion in the industry along with one-click installation for multimedia Apps, smart fans that automatically regulate the system temperature for stable operation and ASUSTOR's exclusive automatic smart system sleep mode (S3) and instant wake.

Intel Facing HEDT Chipset Troubles, Again?

In what is a repeat of the design issues Intel faced with its previous X79 Express chipset, over its integrated storage controller, leading to motherboard vendors redesigning their products with fewer SATA/SAS ports than the platform is capable of, the company is facing design troubles with its already-launched X99 Express chipset, which drives its latest Core i7-5xxx "Haswell-E" HEDT platform. Intel X99 Express is based on a common silicon, on which the company's enterprise C610 chipset is also based. On paper, it features as many as ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The storage controller has its own exclusive Rapid Storage Technology driver, marked "RSTe" on Intel's Download website.

Intel withdrew version 4.1.0.1046 of its RSTe drivers (even from the list of older drivers), and made its motherboard partners do the same. Replying to German publication Heise.de, ASUS explained that the driver was withdrawn because it doesn't support ATA TRIM command for SSDs striped in a RAID 0 array. The latest driver makes only six out of ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports visible to the operating system, and you can create RAID arrays using on these six ports. The other four ports become visible as part of a separate controller, only when a device is plugged into them. This controller is recognized by Windows' internal Standard AHCI controller driver. This also means that the four ports don't benefit from the SATA power management features the first six ports do, nor can they be part of a RAID array with drives plugged to the first six ports. Intel did not respond to the Heise article.

Source: Heise.de

ASUSTOR Announces All NAS Devices are Upgrading to ADM 2.3

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced that it is releasing the ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) 2.3 operating system for all of its NAS devices (6, 3 and 2 Series). All ASUSTOR NAS users will be able to upgrade online to ADM 2.3, in order to enjoy a newly redesigned user interface along with brand new applications for both multimedia and business use.

ADM 2.3's new crisp and modern user interface optimizes loading times and provides users with a smoother multitasking experience. Support for SMB 2.0 increases overall transfer performance by 30%-50%. After upgrading to ADM 2.3, users will be able to enjoy a variety of new business applications and features including TFTP support and seamless integration with Windows AD infrastructure. With regards to new multimedia functionality, ASUSTOR is also releasing beta versions for the LooksGood NAS App and AiVideo mobile app for Android.

ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 980 ROG Matrix Platinum

ASUS announced its flagship single-GPU graphics card based on the GeForce GTX 980 chip, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) MATRIX Platinum. This is the company's third factory-overclocked and custom-designed GTX 980 offering, after the GTX 980 Poseidon, and the GTX 980 Strix OC. The card features a signature ROG-themed air cooling solution, with a high-density fin-stack heatsink, to which heat drawn from the GPU are fed by 10 mm-thick heat pipes, and cooled by two fans, one of which is an ASUS-designed CoolTech hybrid fan, which pushes air both laterally, and axially.

The PCB of the GTX 980 ROG Matrix, features a strong 14-phase VRM, which powers not just the GPU and memory, but also an ASUS-exclusive "defroster" circuit, which is essentially a resistive trace running through key areas of the card, which heats up, preventing frost formation, when the card is under LN2 cooling. As expected, this card comes factory-overclocked, and while ASUS didn't reveal the core clock, its GPU Boost frequency is a staggering 1342 MHz. The memory is untouched, at 7.00 GHz. Other features include a color-coded load indicator, ROG-themed GPU Tweak utility, and a back-plate. ASUS didn't reveal pricing details.

ASUS Readies GeForce GTX 970 DirectCU Mini

In a bid to be the first with a mini-ITX friendly graphics card based on the GeForce GTX 900 series, ASUS is giving final touches to the GeForce GTX 970 DirectCU Mini (model: GTX970-DCMOC-4GD5). At the surface, this card looks identical to the GTX 760 and GTX 670 DirectCU Mini graphics cards from the company, since it uses the same exact cooler. Under the hood is a swanky factory overclocked GeForce GTX 970 chip, with 1088 MHz core, 1228 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 7.00 GHz memory. The card features a solid matte back-plate. It draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include two dual-link DVI, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectors. ASUS didn't reveal pricing or availability details.

ASUSTOR to Debut New NAS Applications at CES 2015

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, will showcase its latest 70, 51, and 50 series NAS models at CES 2015 in Las Vegas from January 5th - 8th. These new models are equipped with Intel Core i3-4330 3.5GHz dual-core, Celeron J1900 2.0GHz quad-core, and Celeron J1800 2.41GHz dual-core processors respectively, providing home and business users with brand new storage solution options.

ASUSTOR's unique NAS lineup was developed based on an App-based concept. Different from traditional NAS operating systems, ASUSTOR's ADM operating system allows users to add functionality to their NAS via add-on Apps, creating a customized device. In addition to providing reliable enterprise storage and backup, ASUSTOR has made great efforts to develop functionality such as integrated multimedia hardware and software, which allows users to easily create a personalized multimedia entertainment hub. ASUSTOR will be presenting its latest achievements in NAS technology at CES 2015 and sincerely welcomes everyone to come visit their exhibit at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas.

EK Announces Full-Coverage Water Block for ASUS GTX 980 STRIX

EK Water Blocks, Ljubljana based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is proud to introduce a new Full-Cover water block, designed and engineered specificaly for ASUS Strix series NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards - the EK-FC980 GTX Strix.

EK-FC980 GTX Strix is a high-performance Full-Cover water block, co-developed with ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) engineering team. The cooler actively cools the GPU, RAM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks.

ASUS Announces the Strix 7.1 Gaming Headset

ASUS today announced Strix 7.1 True 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset, a top-of-the-line gaming headset that boasts a premium design with 10 discrete drivers for incredibly-immersive surround sound and precise positioning, as well as stunning lighting effects to let gamers express their own unique gaming style. Strix 7.1 comes with a plug-and-play USB audio station that features a headphone amplifier, 90% environmental noise cancellation performance for clear voice capture, and four game-audio spectrum profiles that enable gamers to tailor their audio experience to the type of game being played.

Taken from the ancient Roman and Greek work for owl, Strix is the name for the stunning new ASUS gaming-gear series. Strix means the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight, and the ability to feel the environment, enabling the player to detect and react to even the slightest movement. Strix means survival on the very edge of instinct. Strix is in gamers' blood, just as it is in ours.

ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 980 Poseidon Platinum Graphics Card

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Poseidon GTX 980 with DirectCU H2O, a new graphics card with an exclusive hybrid thermal solution that enables extremely efficient cooling by either air or water.

The new card is powered by the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics-processing unit (GPU). With DirectCU H2O on board offering users the unique ability to cool either by air or water, ROG Poseidon GTX 980 achieves running temperatures that are up to 27°C lower than reference designs - that's up to 2X cooler for gaming performance that's up to 10% faster in Watch Dogs and 7% faster in Battlefield 4.

ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Poseidon Pictured

ASUS is giving final touches to its flagship GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, the GTX 980 Poseidon (model: POSEIDON-GTX980-P-4GD5). This factory-overclocked card keeps up with the design goals of its predecessor, the GTX 780 Poseidon, in offering an air-cooled graphics card that you can also liquid-cool, by simply plumbing it to your liquid cooling loop, without changing the cooler.

The cooler features a hybrid block base that dissipates heat to both the heat pipes that push it on to the heatsink, and the coolant channel. As a purely air-cooled card, the GTX 980 Poseidon features a meaty aluminium fin-stack heatsink that looks as competent as the GTX 980 Strix. Liquid cooling fittings stick out from its top. The card is factory-overclocked, offering clock speeds of 1178 MHz core, 1279 MHz GPU Boost, and 7.00 GHz memory. The card draws power from a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors, display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.2, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and dual-link DVI. The card is expected to launch some time in December.

Source: MightyApe

ASUS X99-Pro Motherboard Now Available

ASUS X99-Pro, the middle-variant of the company's mainline X99 series motherboards, started selling in the market. It follows the X99-Deluxe, the series flagship, and the cost-effective X99-A, and is slotted between the two. The X99-Pro is based on the same exact PCB as the X99-A, but with added features, which are blanked out traces on the latter. The two most notable differences between the two, are the WLAN + Bluetooth controller on the X99-Pro, covered by a decorative shroud running over the rear I/O area, covering the audio components; and an additional heatsink over some VRM circuitry south of the CPU socket, which is linked to the PCH heatsink by a heat pipe. The rest of the feature-set is identical between the two boards, ASUS is charging a $55 premium for the X99-Pro. This board is priced at US $330 on American etailer Newegg. The X99-A, on the other hand, is priced at $275 on the same site.

XOTIC PC Announces the Limited Edition Reaper Gaming Desktop

XOTIC PC has served the needs of gamers, designers and business owners since 1999 with custom built laptop and desktop PCs. Engineered for maximum performance, XOTIC PC strives to provide their customers with the ultimate blend of top quality components and outstanding performance. To deliver the best, we've partnered with the best. ASUS has long been considered the leader of innovative, performance driven hardware paired with the highest standards of quality. The XOTIC PC powered by ASUS REAPER gaming desktop offers the fastest power, latest performance, top quality components and near perfect stability you only expect from ASUS and XOTIC PC.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches the GR8 Gaming PC

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the GR8, a console-inspired gaming PC that delivers incredible performance in a compact 2.5-liter chassis. ROG GR8 boasts an Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750Ti graphics for Full HD gaming. It features up to 16 GB DDR3L memory, a hard disk drive or high-speed solid state drive (SSD), built-in dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and comes preinstalled with Windows 8.1. ROG GR8 also has a built-in Miracast receiver to stream HD content wirelessly from supported Android smart devices or Windows 8.1 PCs directly to a HDTV.

ROG GR8 features special slide-off covers for easy access to the additional 2.5-inch drive bay and SO-DIMM memory slots for quick upgrades. Its 2.5-liter chassis comes with a matte-black finish, Mayan-inspired detailing, and a pulsing illuminated ROG logo. This compact design is ideal for gamers' bedrooms and living rooms, and provides an added level of portability when attending LAN parties.
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