Friday, November 27th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Memory
Motherboards
Notebooks
SSD
Deepcool AS500 Review

Deepcool AS500 Review

Deepcool delivers a solid air cooler with the AS500. This single-tower design includes a tasteful ARGB lighting implementation and offers 100% memory clearance. More importantly, it delivers solid performance and acceptable noise levels, making it an attractive mid-range option if your case can handle its height.
BIOSTAR Racing B550GTQ Review

BIOSTAR Racing B550GTQ Review

The BIOSTAR Racing B550GTQ offers a unique perspective on AMD's recent B550 chipset. Featuring ten 90 A power stages in an unusual layout and the rare Micro ATX form factor, the B550GTQ could be the ultimate APU platform.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.36.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, the definitive graphics sub-system information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility for PC gamers, enthusiasts, and overclockers. The new version 2.36.0 adds support for new GPUs, and introduces many new fixes. For starters, it improves support for AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, and adds support for BIOS extraction from RDNA2-based graphics cards. Support is added for the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, GeForce MX 450, Quadro RTX 6000 Mobile; Intel Xe MAX, Xe Pod, Xe SG-18M, and several other new Intel GPUs; and AMD Radeon Pro VII, HD 8550D, and Barco MXRT 5600. Support is also added for the EVGA iCX sensor suite on the company's latest RTX 30-series graphics cards.

Among the other things we improved are temperature reading support for AMD "Zen 3" processors, fixed ROP counts on Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards, support for the new XFX sub-vendor ID, fixes to reported memory size on certain NVIDIA cards, clock-speed reading on NVIDIA "Ampere" cards with no drivers installed; and a BSOD error with Windows Code Integrity enabled. Grab GPU-Z from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.36.0
The change-log follows.

TSMC Completes Its Latest 3 nm Factory, Mass Production in 2022

They say that it is hard to keep up with Moore's Law, however, for the folks over at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), that doesn't seem to represent any kind of a problem. Today, to confirm that TSMC is one of the last warriors for the life of Moore's Law, we have information that the company has completed building its manufacturing facility for the next-generation 3 nm semiconductor node. Located in Southern Taiwan Science Park near Tainan, TSMC is expecting to start high-volume manufacturing of the 3 nm node in that Fab in the second half of 2022. As always, one of the first customers expected is Apple.

Estimated to cost an amazing 19.5 billion US Dollars, the Fab is expected to have an output of 55,000 300 mm (12-inch) wafers per month. Given that the regular facilities of TSMC exceed the capacity of over 100K wafers per month, this new facility is expected to increase the capacity over time and possibly reach the 100K level. The new 3 nm node is going to use the FinFET technology and will deliver a 15% performance gain over the previous 5 nm node, with 30% decreased power use and up to 70% density increase. Of course, all of those factors will depend on a specific design.

GoodOffer24 Black Friday Sale: Lowest Prices on Genuine Software

It's time to loosen your purse strings and spend wisely on the things you've been wanting the most all year. GoodOffer24 brings you their lowest prices for 2020 on genuine, globally-valid software for your brand spanking new next-gen gaming PCs and notebooks. Get Genuine Windows 10 Pro for as little as 10.77€. Free yourself from annual Office 365 subscriptions, as the latest and greatest productivity suite, Office 2019 Professional Plus, can be had for just 30.09€ (lifetime valid). Better yet, combine your preferred edition of Windows 10 and Office to save even more. GoodOffer24 uses reputed third-party payment gateways that secure your payment instruments. Start saving, with GoodOffer24!

Please use the coupon code TP30 at check-out on the following items, to avail the prices you see here.
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ASRock Announces The World's Thinnest AMD Mini PC - Mars 4000U Series

The leading global motherboard, graphics card, and small form factor PC manufacturer, ASRock, today announced the brand new compact Mini PC - Mars 4000U Series, embedded the AMD Ryzen 4000 U-series processors to deliver exceptional performance. The Mars 4000U Series Mini PC support dual-channel DDR4-3200 MHz memory up to 64 GB as well as equip with Intel Wi-Fi 6 for high-speed connectivity. For Storage, the Mars 4000U Series Mini PC provide a PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD slot and a 2.5-inch SATA hard drive bay; all imply into 0.7-liter chassis with 26 mm height.

ASRock Mars 4000U Series Mini PC offers abundant USB devices connectivity, features a total of 7 USB ports, including one Type-C port; In addition, the native SD card reader and dual display outputs provide more convenience and productivity. All of these features make Mars 4000U Series Mini PC well suited for a wide range of uses, including business, gaming and home entertainment.
Thursday, November 26th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
ROCCAT Burst Pro Review

ROCCAT Burst Pro Review

For the longest time, ROCCAT has been known for their right-handed ergonomic mice. The Burst Pro not only is ambidextrous, it also comes with a 70 g lightweight design, optical switches for the main buttons, a particularly flexible cable, high quality PTFE mouse feet, and PixArt's PMW3389 sensor.
MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X Review

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X Review

The MSI RTX 3090 Suprim X is the company's new flagship card. It is highly overclocked, to 1860 MHz rated boost, and ticks at a power limit of 420 W. In our review, it was the quietest RTX 3090 we've ever tested, quieter than the EVGA FTW3 Ultra, almost whisper-quiet.

Streacom Announces the DB1 Case

The high-end CPU and GPU performance arms race has been pushing power and TDP limits higher but fortunately, progress is also being made for more power-efficient CPUs with much lower TDPs that still offer competitive performance thanks to improvements in their integrated graphics. Whilst there is no shortage of fanless cases on the market that can cool these lower TDP CPUs, they have been geared towards industrial applications, tend to be expensive, and offer very little in the way of design.

The DB1 is here to change that with a case that delivers all the benefits of fanless/silent computing, but in an ultra-compact form factor that once again breaks the mould of typical fanless cases. With a total volume less than 5 l (222 x 222 x 101 mm), the DB1 is our most compact fanless case but can still comfortably handle 45 W of cooling, which is ideal for power-efficient systems based on the new generation of APU/iGPUs that deliver excellent performance/watt.

Lian Li Launches ST120 Fans and ARGB Cable Kit

LIAN LI Industrial Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of aluminium chassis and PC accessories, is proud to give GALAHAD AIO enthusiasts the opportunity to complete their builds with the ST120, available in packs of 3, in black and in white. In addition, LIAN LI launches the ARGB Cable Kit for LIAN LI ARGB devices to solve the issue of port scarcity on modern motherboards to connect all devices. Creating a unified look and solving the headache of interconnectivity has never been easier.

Now available separately from the GALAHAD AIO, the ST120 offers users a way to improve their system performance while getting a uniform look. The high static pressure ST120s are PWM fans which operate between 800 and 1900 RPM, and deliver a maximum airflow of 69.17 CFM and air pressure of 2.6 mmH20, making them ideal replacement fans for any AIOs capable of hosting 120 mm fans.

Alphacool Announces a Pair of New AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Products

Alphacool presents the Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX-A block for the Radeon MSI RX 6800/6800 XT Gaming X Trio and the Radeon Sapphire RX 6800XT Nitro+ graphics cards. The blocks offer outstanding cooling performance thanks to the full cover design. The new backplate, which is included with the coolers, also contributes to this. This stabilizes the graphics card and ensures an even contact pressure of the cooler. The cold plates are made of solid nickel-plated copper. The coolers cover all relevant components such as voltage converters and the graphics memory.

GELID Announces AMBER5, 5-channel ARGB Controller with Remote

Tech innovator GELID Solutions unveils the latest 5-channel RF Remote ARGB controller. The AMBER5 is a product of GELID Solutions GAMER product line. The AMBER5 controls up to 5 fans, strips or other Addressable RGB (ARGB) devices and boasts 366 vivid lighting presets spanning a carefully selected collection of pre-programmed RGB modes and dynamic effects. It comes with the 21-key RF (Radio Frequency) Remote to provide reliable and responsive remote control in the range of 8 meters. For stable power output, the SATA power connectivity is utilized which delivers up to 85 W maximum power and supports ARGB devices with up to 120 LEDs onboard to lit up and control on each channel.

The AMBER5 also supports a passthrough ARGB Sync/Hub Mode via the ARGB Sync Cable equipped with the standard 3-pin ARGB connector (ASUS Aura) and VDG connector (GIGABYTE/AORUS RGB Fusion) compatible to all modern motherboards featuring RGB. You are free to use the controller presets or switch to your own presets designed in your favorite RGB software. The AMBER5 can be installed inside or outside your PC just in seconds thanks to the built-in magnet. Additionally, the adhesive Sticky Pad is also included to facilitate installation in aluminium-made or non-metallic PC chassis.

MSI Pauses Shipments of RTX 30-series SUPRIM X, No Recall in Progress

MSI had paused shipments of its RTX 3090 SUPRIM X and RTX 3080 SUPRIM X graphics cards on suspicion of a quality issue with their cards. Earlier today, a Reddit post by someone who was in queue with a retailer to purchase an RTX 3080 SUPRIM X graphics card was allegedly informed by the retailer that the manufacturer has recalled all inventory of SUPRIM X graphics cards from retailers. We recently reviewed the RTX 3080 SUPRIM X, and reached out to our contacts at MSI to confirm the story, and learned a few new facts. For starters, retailers do not have inventory of the RTX 3080 SUPRIM X or RTX 3090 SUPRIM X as of this writing. Rather, MSI halted shipment of the cards' inventories to retailers to check for a quality issue with the cards. It is now convinced that the cards are fit for shipping, and will resume shippint to retailers.

An MSI product manager we spoke with, had this statement:
In order to ensure the best quality of our new SUPRIM flagship series and to offer you the best Gaming experience, we decided to hold back the shipment for a last minute check. Now we are sure that the quality of our product is optimal and the shipments will recommence.
MSI also stressed that the SUPRIM series cards reviewed by the press, or any inventory already in the market, isn't affected by the issue, and that this is just a case of halting shipments on the suspicion of a quality issue. The SUPRIM line of graphics cards represent MSI's new flagship custom-design line, and the company wants to be doubly sure they're shipping the highest quality cards.

SanDisk Japan Branding Integrated with Western Digital

SanDisk Corporation, a Japanese corporation of Western Digital Corporation, changed its organization from the current corporation to a limited liability company on January 1, 2021. SanDisk has decided to change its name to Western Digital. This will change the new trade name to Western Digital GK. New trade name: Western Digital Limited Liability Company, English name: Western Digital GK, Scheduled change date: January 1, 2021.

Western Digital offers NAND flash memory products and HDDs (hard disk drives) at the top level of multiple brand products such as WD and SanDisk brands, from consumers to enterprises and large-scale data centers. We provide total storage solutions developed and mass-produced at. Among them, SanDisk Co., Ltd. has been in charge of the flash memory business, but with this change of trade name, it has become clearer that it is a Western Digital Group, making quicker decisions than ever before, and domestic customers and We aim to create a corporate structure that can further contribute to our business partners.

Update 10:27 UTC: Western Digital reached out to us and clarified that this organizational change only pertains to the Japanese entity of Western Digital changing its name from SanDisk Corporation to Western Digital GK. SanDisk Corporation (the Japanese entity) is 100% a subsidiary of Western Digital Corporation. Globally, there have been no changes announced for the SanDisk brand, and existing SanDisk products will continue to carry the brand.

Thermaltake TOUGHFAN 14 High Static Pressure Radiator Fan Now Available in Single Pack and 2-Fan Pack

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, is here to share the TOUGHFAN 14 High Static Pressure Radiator Fan is now ready for purchase in both single pack and 2-fan pack. For those who had been eyeing the TOUGHFAN 12 but wanted a 140 mm fan, here's your chance to get the taste of that TOUGHFAN series vibe. These high-quality, great performance fans are PWM controlled and designed to perform at a maximum operating speed of up to 2000 RPM and are optimized for high static pressure while maintaining minimal noise levels. The liquid crystal polymer (LCP) fan blades are extremely tensile in strength; its low thermal expansion coefficient can reduce the fan's vibration when running at full speed. Don't miss out on Thermaltake's latest TOUGHFAN series member, the TOUGHFAN 14 High Static Pressure Radiator Fan.

Far Cry 6 Features DirectX Ray Tracing, FidelityFX CAS and Variable Rate Shading

Not to be outdone in comparison to almost all other AAA game releases in recent times, Far Cry 6 has recently been delayed from its February 18th release to May 25th 2021. However, that extra time may come to serve the game nicely, in that it may allow for all the planned features to be integrated. As part of AMD's partner showcase, Ubisoft has revealed that Far Cry 6 will make extensive use of DirectX 12 Ultimate features, featuring raytracing, AMD's Contrast Adaptive Sharpening (CAS), Variable Rate Shading (VRS), as well as Hybrid SSR (Stochastic Screen Space Reflections).

Ubisoft's head of 3D programming Oleksandr Polishchuk had this to say: "We were very impressed with the latest AMD technologies and joined forces to bring FidelityFX CAS, DXR raytracing and Variable Rate Shading to Far Cry 6. We are working together to ensure a smooth 4K viewing experience. This requires a lot of bandwidth, memory, and a Radeon RX 6000 with Infinity Cache that can handle it easily while maintaining high FPS rates." Check out the AMD partner showcase video below.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800U "Cezanne" Based on "Zen 3," Geekbenched

AMD's main competitor to Intel's 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" processor in the mobile space, the Ryzen 5800U, will introduce the same kind of generational IPC improvements over the Ryzen 4800U "Renoir" as the Ryzen 5000 desktop processors introduced over their Ryzen 3000 predecessors. Based on the 7 nm "Cezanne" silicon, the new Ryzen 7 5800U processor was put through Geekbench 5.1.1, where it yielded performance numbers of 1491 points single-threaded, and 6450 points multi-threaded. HotHardware comments that these numbers reflect a major IPC increase.

With the Ryzen 5000U series, AMD is taking a very confusing approach to the processor model stack, with half the parts based on the older "Zen 2" microarchitecture and "Lucienne" silicon, and the other half "Zen 3." The model number scheme goes as 5x00U, where if "x" is an odd number, the chip is "Zen 2" based, and if it's an even number, it is "Zen 3" based. For example, the 5800U is based on "Zen 3," whereas the 5700U is based on "Zen 2." Find the 5800U Geekbench 5 validation here. The Geekbench database listing also confirms that much like with the 8-core "Zen 3" chiplets on the Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer" desktop processors, "Cezanne" features an 8-core "Zen 3" CPU that does away with the 4-core CCX arrangement, and features a single 8-core CCX with a monolithic 16 MB L3 cache—a doubling in overall L3 cache amount compared to "Renoir," and a quadrupling in addressable L3 cache by each core.

ZOTAC Announces the GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge OC White Edition

If you're looking for a pure white graphics card to slot in into your build, ZOTAC is now ready with the first all-white NVIDIA RTX 3000-series graphics card. The choice of SKU here is the RTX 3070 - and ZOTAC have used the exact same design as their Twin Edge graphics card and simply gave a white coating to its shroud. The PCB, however, is still black, but the only part that's showing is mostly the PCIe connector. The backplate is naturally painted white as well.

XMG Announces NEO Gaming Notebooks with 165Hz Displays

By introducing the latest versions of the XMG NEO 15 and NEO 17 gaming laptops, XMG is among the first manufacturers worldwide to offer high-resolution WQHD displays featuring a refresh rate of 165 Hz. Since the launch of the first series in 2018, XMG NEO laptops have been providing maximum gaming performance following a long tradition of innovation and integrating cutting-edge technology ahead of the competition. As part of a sales promotion for Black Friday, the company is offering both laptops at a substantial discount via its own online store bestware.com.

The demand for fast, high-resolution and fully gaming-ready displays in laptops has been on the rise among the gaming community for several years now. This comes as no surprise, since mobile processors and graphics cards from NVIDIA, Intel and AMD have recently been able to catch up with their desktop counterparts in terms of overall gaming performance. While Full HD displays were previously the established standard even in most high-end devices, XMG now believes that the time has come to switch to a higher resolution: the NEO 15 and NEO 17 are therefore now available with a 165 Hz WQHD IPS display, complementing the existing 240 Hz Full HD option. The new high-resolution display offers razor sharp image quality thanks to its impressively high pixel density of 188 ppi (15.6 inch) and 170 ppi (17.3 inch) respectively. For comparison, external 4K UHD monitors in the popular 27 inch size class offer no more than 163 ppi. While the excellent sRGB colour space coverage is almost 100 percent, the brightness reaches well above 300 nits.

TSMC Partners With Google and AMD to Push 3D Silicon

Silicon manufacturing is starting to get harder and harder every day, with new challenges appearing daily. It requires massive investment and massive knowledge to keep a silicon manufacturing company afloat. No company can survive that alone, so some collaborations are emerging. Today, thanks to the sources of Nikkei Asia, we have information that Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is collaborating with Google to push the production of 3D chip manufacturing process, that is said to overcome some of the silicon manufacturing difficulties. The sources also say that AMD is involved in the process as well, making Google and AMD the first customers of the advanced 3D chip design. The two companies are preparing designs for the new way of creating silicon and will help TSMC test and certify the process.

TSMC will deploy the 3D silicon manufacturing technology at its chip packaging plant in Miaoli, which is supposed to do mass production in 2022. With Google and AMD being the first customers of new 3D technology, it is exciting to see what new products will look like and how they will perform. The 3D approach is said to bring huge computing power increase, however, it is a waiting game now to see how it will look like.

ASRock Rack Brings AMD EPYC CPUs to "Deep" Mini-ITX Form Factor

ASRock Rack, a branch of ASRock focused on making server products, has today launched a new motherboard that can accommodate up to 64 core AMD EPYC CPU. Built on the new, proprietary form factor called "Deep Mini-ITX", the ROMED4ID-2T motherboard is just a bit bigger than the standard ITX board. The standard ITX boards are 170 x 170 mm, while this Deep Mini-ITX form extends the board by a bit. It measures 170 x 208.28 mm, or 6.7" x 8.2" for all of the American readers. ASRock specifies that the board supports AMD's second-generation EPYC "Rome" 7002 series processors. Of course, the socket for these CPUs is socket SP3 (LGA4094) with 4094 pins.

The motherboard comes with 4 DDR4 DIMM slots, of any type. Supported DIMM types are R-DIMM, LR-DIMM, and NV-DIMM. If you want the best capacity, LR-DIMM use enables you to use up to 256 GB of memory. When it comes to expansion, you can hook-up any PCIe 4.0 device to the PCIe 4.0 x16 slot. There is also an M.2 2280 key present, so you can fit in one of those high-speed PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 SSDs. For connection to the outside world, the board uses an Intel X550-AT2 controller that controls two RJ45 10 GbE connectors. There are also two Slimline (PCIe 4.0 x8 or 8 SATA 6 Gb/s), and four Slimline (PCIe 4.0 x8) storage U.2 ports.

AMD Radeon Smart Access Memory Coming to 400 Series Motherboards

AMD announced Radeon Smart Access Memory (SAM) alongside the RX 6800 series as a feature to increase video memory available to the CPU. SAM is AMD's implementation of the resizable BAR feature found in the PCI Express specification. AMD Smart Access Memory is only available when using an AMD Ryzen 5000 series process and AMD Radeon RX 6800 series graphics card on a compatible motherboard. The feature was initially advertised as a 500 series motherboard exclusive feature but AMD has recently released the new AGESA v2 1.1.0.0 update which should enable support for SAM on B450 and X470 motherboards with a BIOS update.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Fire Strike and Time Spy Scores Surface

3DMark scores of the upcoming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti were leaked to the web by VideoCardz. The RTX 3060 Ti was put through standard 3DMark Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmark runs. In the DirectX 11-based Fire Strike benchmark, the card allegedly scores 30706 points, with 146.05 FPS in GT1 and 122 FPS in GT2. With the newer DirectX 12-based Time Spy test, it allegedly scores 12175 points, with 80.82 FPS in GT1, and 68.71 FPS in GT2. There are no system specs on display, but the scores put the RTX 3060 Ti slightly ahead of the previous-generation high-end GeForce RTX 2080 Super.

The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, bound for a December 2 launch, is an upcoming performance-segment graphics card based on the "Ampere" architecture, and is carved out of the same 8 nm "GA104" silicon as the RTX 3070. It reportedly packs 4,864 "Ampere" CUDA cores, 38 second-gen RT cores, 152 third-gen Tensor cores, and the same memory configuration as the RTX 3070—8 GB of 14 Gbps GDDR6 across a 256-bit wide bus. NVIDIA is targeting a "<$399" price-point, making the card at least 43% cheaper than the RTX 2080 Super.

SAPPHIRE Launches NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Graphics Cards

SAPPHIRE Technology announces the eagerly awaited new NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Graphics Cards for enthusiast gamers seeking the full effect of smooth 4K graphics with vivid visuals and unrivaled quality cooling solutions. Equipped with high-quality components to drive the most demanding AAA game scenarios, the NITRO+ AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series Graphics cards are the key component to push gaming performance to the maximum thresholds. The aesthetic designs of these cards are crafted to beautifully fit with any PC build.
Wednesday, November 25th 2020

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Monitors
Processors
PSUs
SSD
PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 XT Red Devil Review

PowerColor Radeon RX 6800 XT Red Devil Review

PowerColor's Radeon RX 6800 XT Red Devil is a limited edition, just 1000 cards will be made. We were impressed by its noise levels and temperatures, which are better than the AMD reference. The card also comes with an increased power limit and a dual-BIOS feature.
Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro+ Review

Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro+ Review

The Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT Nitro+ is the company's top dog custom-design variant. Its large triple-slot, triple-fan cooler runs cooler and quieter than the AMD reference. Thanks to a dual BIOS, you may go even quieter by switching to the "quiet" BIOS.

GIGABYTE Outs Radeon RX 6800 Series AORUS Master and Gaming OC Graphics Cards

GIGABYTE late Wednesday launched its premium custom-design graphics cards based on the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT and RX 6800, under its coveted AORUS Gaming product family. These include the RX 6800 XT AORUS Master, the RX 6800 XT AORUS Master Type-C, and the RX 6800 AORUS Master. The RX 6800 XT AORUS Master and AORUS Master Type-C are nearly identical products, with the latter featuring a USB type-C connector (while the former has a third DisplayPort in its place). Both cards share their underpinnings with the RX 6800 AORUS Master.

The three cards feature GIGABYTE's latest AORUS Max-Covered triple-slot cooling solution that features three fans arranged in a way that sees the fans on the sides overlap the one in the center. Underneath is an aluminium dual fin-stack heatsink that makes direct contact with the GPU. As with any AORUS Gaming product, all three AORUS Master cards feature plenty of RGB LED illumination all around. The cards also feature an LCD display on top which gives out real-time monitoring. GIGABYTE mentions that the AORUS Master cards ship with the company's highest factory OC, but hasn't finalized these clock speeds yet. The company also launched its cost-effective Gaming OC series, which use simpler WindForce 3X cooling solutions, a milder factory-OC, and close-to-reference pricing.

Colorful Introduces iGame GeForce RTX 3090 Neptune OC-V Liquid Cooled Graphics Card

Colorful today released the iGame GeForce RTX 3090 Neptune OC-V, its flagship RTX 3090 graphics card which comes with a factory-fitted all-in-one liquid closed-loop cooler (CLC). This card differs slightly from the Neptune OC the company debuted in September with the addition of an RGB controller and illuminated fans. The card features a premium 26-phase (14+8+4) VRM solution that draws power from three 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and comes with factory-overclocked speeds of 1755 MHz boost (vs. 1695 MHz reference), and an untouched 19.5 Gbps GDDR6X memory. It appears like the CLC cools not just the RTX 3090 GPU, but also the other hot components on the card, such as the memory chips and VRM.

A 240 mm x 120 mm radiator with a pair of ARGB LED illuminated fans handles all of the card's cooling. On the card itself, there is a circular ornament that resembles a fan, but is actually the crown of the pump-block. It's possible that a base-plate pushes heat from the ancillaries onto the CLC's cold-plate. The card measures 29.1 cm in length, 15.1 cm in height (you have to factor in the fittings), and is strictly 2 slots thick. The radiator's dimensions are typical of a 240 mm unit. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. The card features dual-BIOS with a push-type selector switch at the rear I/O bracket. The company didn't reveal pricing, but we estimate it to be close to the $2,000-mark MSRP.

UL Benchmarks Updates 3DMark with Estimated Game Performance Data

UL Benchmarks late Wednesday released a major update to 3DMark. The new version 2.16.7094 adds a redesigned Results tab, and introduces the Estimated Game Performance feature, which lets you extrapolate your 3DMark score onto real-world game performance. The feature debuts with game performance estimations for five popular titles, "Apex Legends," "Battlefield V," "Fortnite," "Grand Theft Auto V," and "Red Dead Redemption 2." After a benchmark run, simply select one of these games from a drop-down menu, and a resolution+preset combo from another; and 3DMark will tell give you an estimated frame-rate number, taking into account your overall 3DMark score, and performance numbers of sub-systems (graphics, physics, etc). In this article, UL Benchmarks explains the correlation between a 3DMark score and corresponding estimated frame-rates for "Fortnite."

DOWNLOAD: 3DMark 2.16.7094

ASRock Launches Radeon RX 6900 XT Reference Design Graphics Card

ASRock has today published a new product on the company website. The new ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card is the latest addition to the company's offerings. Featuring regular, reference-designed PCB found in the Made-by-AMD (MBA) cards, the ASRock Radeon RX 6900 XT even features all of the same specifications as the reference model: base clock 1825 MHz, game clock 2015 MHz, boost clock 2250 MHz, memory clock 2000 MHz (16 Gbps effective). The card itself isn't changed one bit. Even the stickers found on it (which are usually AIB's logos) are still AMD's. The only thing that differs this card from AMD's offerings is the box that the graphics card comes in. That is the only part that features ASRock's branding. When it comes to the pricing and availability, we do not know when this card will arrive, however, assuming the reference PCB design, it will feature a reference price of $999.

Intel to Keep Its Number One Semiconductor Supplier Ranking in 2020: IC Insights

IC Insights' November Update to the 2020 McClean Report, released later this month, includes a discussion of the forecasted top-25 semiconductor suppliers in 2020. This research bulletin covers the expected top-15 2020 semiconductor suppliers (Figure 1).

The November Update also includes a detailed five-year forecast through 2024 of the IC market by product type (including dollar volume, unit shipments, and average selling price) and a forecast of the major semiconductor industry capital spenders for 2020. A five-year outlook for total semiconductor industry capital spending is also provided.

PowerColor Launches Red Dragon and Red Devil RX 6800 Series Graphics Cards

TUL Corporation, a leading and innovative manufacturer of AMD graphic cards since 1997, today is releasing the highly anticipated Red Devil and Red Dragon graphics cards based on AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series graphics. Powered by AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture, the new PowerColor graphics cards provide one of the biggest generational performance leaps in years.

With a year in the making, PowerColor redesigned and re-engineered the next generation Red Devil graphics cards to be more powerful, more efficient and even more Devilish looking. With the new design, the Red Devil Radeon RX 6800 Series models are paired with an entirely new advanced cooling solution that keep the graphics cards running at low temperatures, but at the same time, providing a remarkable high-performance gaming experience while maintaining a whisper quiet operation.

Denuvo DRM Pricing Structure Specific to Crysis Remastered Leaked, over $100k for a Year

The Denuvo game copy-protection technology has been a controversial piece of gaming technology since its inception. It enables a game to remain copy protected (and rake in sales) for just as long as pirates don't figure out how to crack it. In even the pre-orders and the few days following release, the developer hopefully makes a return on their investment, and profit. There on, the developer is at the mercy of either the consumer's good conscience (of honestly paying for their proprietary software), or for features of the game that simply won't work with a crack, such as multiplayer gaming on official/ranked servers. Fine and dandy, if not for several reports of sub-optimal Denuvo implementations adversely affecting game performance. Do check out our Denuvo performance-impact article that gets into the nuts and bolts of the DRM solution.

A leaked contract document signed by Denuvo and Crytek CEO dug up by FCKDRM reveals what Crytek paid for Denuvo, and what the DRM's typical pricing structure looks like. It calls for a flat protection fee of 126,000-140,000 Euros for the first 12 months, 2,000 Euros each month following the first 12 months, an additional 60,000€ flat fee in case the game sees more than 500,000 activations in 30 days, a 0.40€ surcharge on activations on the WeGame platform, and 10,000€ for each additional storefront (if the game is being sold in more than one online storefront platform).

80 Plus Hikes its Testing and Licensing Fees, Could Affect Prices of Low-Volume PSU Models

The 80 Plus logo program, by Plug Load Solutions, has become a ubiquitous means for consumers to grade the functional quality of their PC power supply units (PSUs). The PSU is a vital component, as a durable one ensures you needn't replace it for years; and it reliably powers all the components in your PC. 80 Plus confines itself to the electrical switching efficiency of the PSU as a unit of grading, and assigns one of six grades, which are probably easier for consumers to grasp than grading by technically-superior certification agencies such as Cybenetics. An investigative article by Igor's Lab uncovers that licensing body has apparently significantly increased its licensing fees, which PSU manufacturers could pass on to consumers, especially in case of some of the lower-volume models.

The Igor's Lab article cites an 80 Plus licensing and certification policy document to reveal the cost-structure for certification, including what it costs for a manufacturer to enroll (a one-time license fee), and testing fees per unit. The "unit" here refers to an individual SKU, it is a flat fee and does not apply on a per-unit-sold basis. Per-SKU would mean each variant of a model has to be separately certified as it's a different SKU (for example, Corsair's HX series would be a model, and HX750W and HX850W would be "variants", and treated as two separate certifications).

Wafer Prices Rising by Up to 40% in 2021: Report

Semiconductor foundries across the board are preparing to raise price quotes of their 8-inch wafers from 2021. A DigiTimes report sheds light on various foundry companies, including UMC (United Microelectronics), Global Foundries, and Vanguard International Semiconductor (VIS) have raised their 8-inch foundry quotes by 10-15% in Q4-2020, with the quotes set to rise by another 20-40% in 2021. Foundries don't tend to use flat pricing, and instead rely on quotes specific to the size and design requirements of an order (by a fabless chip designer).

The foundry industry operates broadly on silicon fabrication nodes and wafer sizes. This article by Telescope Magazine provides insights into the typical use-cases for each wafer size. Although pertaining strictly to pricing of 8-inch (200 mm) wafers, an impending price-rise across the semiconductor industry can be extrapolated on the basis on significant labor cost increases. TSMC is planning to implement a 20% pay hike for its personnel in 2021.
Tuesday, November 24th 2020

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QNAP QGD-1602P 2-Bay NAS and POE Switch Review

QNAP QGD-1602P 2-Bay NAS and POE Switch Review

The QNAP QGD-1602P is an innovative product, a NAS and managed PoE switch in a single package. It is expensive, but offers numerous features and uses hardware capable of coping with demanding scenarios. Finally, its build quality is astonishing—this product is built like a tank.

Thermaltake Announces Q4 Availability of PR32-D5 Plus Reservoir+Pump and Pacific MX1 Plus Water Block

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, is thrilled to announce that the Pacific PR32-D5 Plus Reservoir & Pump Combo and Pacific MX1 Plus CPU Water Block is ready for sale.

If users are looking for a pump and reservoir combo with RGB lighting effects, the Pacific PR32-D5 Plus Reservoir & Pump Combo is the new best option to go to. To ensure the best visual effects that a large reservoir could bring while allowing the freedom to choose a relatively small chassis, users can use the bracket included in the package, which allows users to mount the Pacific PR32-D5 Plus onto a fan.

EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Delivers the Most Authentic Matchday Experience to Date

Electronic Arts Inc. is taking The World's Game to the Next Level with today's unveil of EA SPORTS FIFA 21 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, launching December 4. The power of new generation consoles combined with advances in the Frostbite engine enables players to experience lightning fast load times and enhanced sights, sounds, and player movement, in addition to ultra-realistic football environments that immerse fans in the most authentic matchday experience in EA SPORTS FIFA franchise history.

The sights and sounds of FIFA 21 are reimagined for next generation consoles, with the brand new EA SPORTS GameCam inspired by the look and feel of top-level football broadcasts and LiveLight Rendering, a deferred lighting system that enhances every aspect of the on-pitch experience. Thousands of authentic chants captured exclusively from the world's biggest competitions, including the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga, deliver the ultimate EA SPORTS Atmospheric Audio experience, unparalleled in sports video games.
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