Wednesday, September 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Desktop PC
Harddisks
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
SSD
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio 8 GB

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio 8 GB

The premium value of MSI's Gaming X brand is reflected in the amount of design and premium components that went into building the RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio, besides a healthy factory-overclock, in its contention to be the fastest sub-$1000 graphics card.
ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 STRIX OC 8 GB

ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 STRIX OC 8 GB

ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 OC is the company's fastest RTX 2080 offering, and designed to rival the quality of NVIDIA's own Founders Edition products. A high factory-overclock, bolstered by a strong VRM solution add to its premium credentials.
Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming Pro OC 8 GB

Palit GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming Pro OC 8 GB

Palit's GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming Pro OC is built to a cost and closely resembles NVIDIA reference design, and is meant for those who want to buy into the RTX 2080 ecosystem.There's still a surprising factory-overclock to be had with this card.
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Duke 11 GB

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Duke 11 GB

MSI Duke brand no longer represents cheap close-to-reference alternatives. The company has given this cheaper and less glamorous implementation of the flagship RTX 2080 Ti enough love to differentiate it from the premium Gaming X product. And then there's NVIDIA RTX, and all the delights that come with it.
ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti STRIX OC 11 GB

ASUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti STRIX OC 11 GB

ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti OC is the company's flagship graphics card, and designed to rival the quality of NVIDIA's own Founders Edition products. A high factory-overclock, bolstered by a strong VRM solution add to its premium credentials.
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio 11 GB

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio 11 GB

MSI's flagship graphics card for now, the Gaming X Trio combines NVIDIA's fastest GPU, the RTX 2080 Ti, with the highest factory-overclocked speed available, and some serious electrical muscle to keep it ticking. You could just consider this a halo product and skip the next Titan.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition 8 GB

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition 8 GB

It was very bold of NVIDIA to debut its flagship implementation of the Turing architecture right next to the RTX 2080, poised to be the poster-boy of this architecture. This card packs the promise of real-time ray-tracing, of sorts. NVIDIA also put out its best cooler design since TITAN. All that beauty comes at a price.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition 11 GB

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition 11 GB

NVIDIA debuted its Turing graphics architecture today, straightaway with the flagship RTX 2080 Ti. This card packs the promise of real-time ray-tracing at 4K UHD, besides huge gains in performance. NVIDIA also put out its best cooler design since TITAN, commanding a very high price for some very beautiful visuals.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces ROG Delta and ROG Delta Core Headsets

ASUS Republic of Gamers today announced ROG Delta and ROG Delta Core, a new series of gaming headsets tuned especially for first-person shooter (FPS) gaming. The headsets feature Sony-certified Hi-Res Audio and are designed to be incredibly lightweight and comfortable.

ROG Delta is the world's first gaming headset with the industry-leading, hi-fi-grade ESS ES9218 QUAD DAC , which delivers impeccably clear and detailed sound to give serious gamers the edge they need to win. ROG Delta features a USB-C connector and comes with a USB-C to USB 2.0 adapter for gaming on PC, console or mobile devices without changing headsets. A one-of-a-kind, circular rainbow RGB lighting effect provides a stylish look that sets gamers apart on the battlefield.

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital Celebrate the Opening of Fab 6

Toshiba Memory Corporation and Western Digital Corporation today celebrated the opening of a new state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication facility, Fab 6, and the Memory R&D Center, at Yokkaichi operations in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Toshiba Memory started construction of Fab 6, a dedicated 3D flash memory fabrication facility, in February 2017. Toshiba Memory and Western Digital have installed cutting-edge manufacturing equipment for key production processes including deposition and etching. Mass production of 96-layer 3D flash memory utilizing the new fab began earlier this month.

Demand for 3D flash memory is growing for enterprise servers, data centers and smartphones, and is expected to continue to expand in the years ahead. Further investments to expand its production will be made in line with market trends. The Memory R&D Center, located adjacent to Fab 6, began operations in March of this year, and will explore and promote advances in the development of 3D flash memory. Toshiba Memory and Western Digital will continue to cultivate and extend their leadership in the memory business by actively developing initiatives aimed at strengthening competitiveness, advancing joint development of 3D flash memory, and making capital investments according to market trends.
Tuesday, September 18th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
PSUs
Sennheiser HD 660 S

Sennheiser HD 660 S

The Sennheiser HD 660 S is a direct successor to one of the most legendary hi-fi headphones of all time, the HD 650. With a price tag of $500/€500, does it have what it takes to carry on the legacy?

Capcom Shuts Down Dead Rising Studio; Franchise Future in Danger

In a statement provided by Capcom to Kotaku, we have learnt that Capcom Vancouver is being shut down. A series of layoffs at the studio this year did not seem to help the financial bottom line of the company, and a skeleton crew will operate through January 2019 to "finalize closure operations and logistics". As many as 158 people are slated to lose their jobs over this decision, and a company rep explained this action by saying "as a result of reviewing titles in development at Capcom Vancouver, Capcom has decided to cancel the development projects at this studio and will concentrate development of major titles in Japan."

Capcom Vancouver was founded in 2005, with its primary focus being the Dead Rising franchise that added a more charismatic touch to the 3rd-person action-adventure zombie genre. Microsoft helped publish the recent entries to the franchise via Microsoft Studios, and now faces a potential loss to its own exclusive game lists in the console wars. PC gamers got to play all the major Dead Rising games on Steam as well, with mixed to positive receptions in general. Kotaku further reports that several of these former-Capcom employees have been heading over to EA Vancouver ever since the first round of layoffs began. If you were a fan of the Dead Rising franchise, or even if you simply tried it out but it was not to your liking, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Mozilla Releases Firefox Reality- A Web Browser Dedicated for Virtual Reality

The name of the product may sound ironic given the intended application, but the Mozilla Firefox Reality web browser is the first of its kind to be built dedicated to virtual reality (and also augmented-, and mixed-reality for that matter) portals. Mozilla had originally announced earlier this year this was in the making, and today we see availability at the usual VR suspects- Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream app stores. The Mixed Reality Team at Mozilla felt that VR took advantage of the so-called 3D immersive web, and that using existing 2D-centric browsers meant not being able to, in their words, "enjoy it".

This meant that Mozilla built Firefox Reality with a new approach to navigation, user input, searches and more. Features built into the browser include searching with one's voice, for example, taking advantage of microphones either integrated in headsets or as part of audio peripherals used in conjunction. Mozilla says they spent thousands of hours testing and collecting feedback from users to get to the release version of the browser, and this comes also in the form of a new home screen that adds interactive, immersive experiences right from the get go as seen below. More to follow past the break.

Gigabyte Expands SSD Storage Lineup With NVMe M.2 Solutions

Gigabyte today announced they were expanding their SSD storage lineup (started with the UD PRO series SATA III SSDs) with M.2 solutions. The new SSDs transfer data under the NVMe protocol and carry the M.2 form factor, in 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB sizes.

According to Gigabyte's own product pages, the 256 GB version has a sequential read and write speed of up to 1200 MB/s and 800 MB/s, while the 128 GB model cuts those speeds down to 1100 MB/s read and 500 MB/s write.

MyDigitalSSD Introduces M2X External USB Enclosure for NVMe, M.2 SSDs

MyDigitalSSD is out with a relatively ingenious solution for users looking to get the best portable, external SSD performance available. Their new M2X external M.2 enclosure will allow users to create an external storage solution via a DIY kit. The M2X is built on JMicron's JMS583 USB 3.1 Gen 2 to PCIe 3.1 x2 bridge chip (meaning that a PCIe 2x NVMe will be sufficient in maxing out available performance), will only be limited by USB 3.1 Gen 2's 1GB/s throughput. The DIY assembly packs a thermal pad and the enclosure, as well as USB Type-C and Type-A cables, and will be available from Amazon for $39.99 or through MyDigitalDiscount for $36.14.

EK Launches their Next-Gen Velocity CPU Water Blocks

EK Water Blocks is proud to introduce the new generation of high-performance water blocks for popular AMD and Intel CPU sockets, the EK-Velocity. The new CPU water block will be available in a total of 14 versions featuring intricate RGB lit models, and down to simple minimalistic bare copper cold plate versions as well.

The inspiration for the new CPU block name "Velocity" was inspired by the necessity to be lean and agile in the world of liquid cooling. A high-performance CPU water block is no good if it is too restrictive on the flow and it is bottlenecking your entire cooling loop. Efficient coolant flow and performance should go hand in hand, and neither of the two should be sacrificed for one another.

BIOSTAR Presents Professional Crypto Mining Motherboards with TB360-BTC Expert and TB360-BTC PRO

BIOSTAR, a leader in crypto mining motherboards, introduces two new BTC series professional crypto mining motherboards - TB360-BTC Expert and TB360-BTC PRO. Fully optimized for professional crypto mining, the TB360-BTC Expert and TB360-BTC PRO support 17 x PCI-E 3.0 and 12 x PCI-E 3.0 expansion slots respectively. Packed with features for scaling up professional mining operations of any size, the TB360-BTC Expert and TB360-BTC PRO ensure a rock-solid mining system with improved mining performance. The BIOSTAR TB360-BTC series is also the first crypto mining motherboards based on the B360 and H370 chipset, which can support 8th generation Intel Core processors.

SteelSeries Announces Arctis 3 Bluetooth Gaming Headset

SteelSeries, the global leader in gaming peripherals, announces the availability of the upgraded Arctis 3 Bluetooth, widely regarded as the best gaming headset for the Nintendo Switch. The award-winning headset now features updates based on user feedback, a new price and is the best headset to work with the newly launched Nintendo Switch Online service. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth allows gamers to easily chat by connecting simultaneously to the Nintendo Switch via the 3.5mm wired connection and the Nintendo Switch Online phone app via wireless Bluetooth audio.

"The Arctis 3 Bluetooth was the first headset on the market that could seamlessly have both wired gaming audio and wireless Bluetooth at the same time," said Brian Fallon, SteelSeries Audio Category Manager. "The unique solution makes this headset the best for Switch gamers so that they can easily chat with their friends over Nintendo Switch Online."

Philips Stunning New E Series Narrow-Border Monitors Now Available

Today EPI, the brand license partner for Philips monitors and leading technology company, announces the availability of the Philips E Series. The E Series includes three monitors - a 27-inch (276E9QDSB), 24-inch (246E9QDSB) and 22-inch (226E9QDSB). This family of professional monitors provides vivid color in a stylish, minimal design. With an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and incredibly narrow side bezels, the E series is especially suited for a multi-display or tiling setup for graphic design or professional applications. The E line is available at Newegg starting at $109.99.

The Philips E Line features stylish design with extraordinary picture performance. The display is a Full HD IPS panel with a wide range of colors that provides better viewing angles and high color accuracy for color-intensive tasks like photo editing or graphic design. Users can expect to see more realistic colors and a true-to-life picture.

Kingston Partners with Ontrack for Advanced Data Erasure Solutions

Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, is now partnering with Ontrack, a leading provider of data recovery and erasure services. Kingston customers will now be able to use Ontrack's data erasure services at advantageous rates. Ontrack offers an award-winning software-suite and provides technology services to help legal, corporate and government customers as well as consumers to remove data efficiently and cost-effectively. Through this powerful alliance between two security vendors, Ontrack supports Kingston customers in solving complex data GDPR challenges through cutting-edge erasure solutions.

The lack of secure deletion, be it through human or technical error or faulty erasure procedures, can lead to drastic impacts on businesses and organisations. This is felt now more than ever before with the stringent requirements of data protection demanded by the recently enforced GDPR. Permanently deleting data takes time and resources, and data that is not completely expunged is vulnerable to exposure. To increase the security of anyone's data, a secure, verified data destruction process is required.

ASUS Launches its ROG Ryujin Line of AIO Liquid CPU Coolers for AMD TR4

ASUS today launched the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Ryujin line of all-in-one liquid CPU coolers for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. Positioned above the ROG Ryuo series, which opened to pre-orders earlier this month, the Ryujin was first showcased at the 2018 Computex. These coolers are characterized by a somewhat square pump-block design that resembles a that of a chipset heatsink; but is embedded with a 1.77-inch color OLED display that shows an animated ROG logo by default, but can be reprogrammed to show just about anything, such as clan logos, live CPU temperature/load monitoring, etc. Another innovation that sets the Ryujin pump-block apart from every other Asetek cooler out there, is a tiny lateral-blower fan embedded into the block, which ASUS claims can bring down CPU VRM and M.2 SSD temperatures by up to 20°C.

The Ryujin series comes in two variants based on radiator size, the Ryujin 240 (120 mm x 240 mm radiator), and Ryujin 360 (120 mm x 360 mm radiator). These are 27 mm-thick aluminium radiators, which are ventilated by matte-black Noctua IndustrialPPC 120 mm PWM fans that are part of the package. These fans each spin between 450 to 2,000 RPM, pushing up to 121.8 CFM of air, with noise output up to 31 dBA. As we mentioned earlier, the product pages for both models mentions that the coolers only support AMD socket TR4, with full coverage for the AMD Ryzen Threadripper integrated heatspreader. This could help ASUS command a slightly high price, given that it's catering only to the market that can afford HEDT processors.

AMD Readying a 10-core AM4 Processor to Thwart Core i9-9900K?

To sustain its meteoric rise at the stock markets, AMD needs to keep investors convinced it has a competitive edge over Intel, even if it means investing heavily on short-term roadmap changes. According to an Elchapuzas Informatico article, AMD could be working on a new 10-core/20-thread processor for the AM4 platform, to compete with the upcoming Core i9-9900K 8-core/16-thread processor from Intel. The said processor is being labeled "Ryzen 7 2800X" and plastered over CineBench nT screenshots, where due to the sheer weight of its 10 cores, it tops the nT test in comparison to Intel's mainstream-desktop processors, including the 2P Xeon X5650 12-core/24-thread.

The Forbes article that cites the Elchapuzas Informatico, however, is skeptical that AMD could make such a short-sighted product investment. It believes that development of a 10-core die on existing "Zen+" architecture could warrant a massive redesign of the CCX (Zen Compute Complex), and AMD would only get an opportunity to do so when working on "Zen 2," which AMD still expects to debut by late-2018 on its EPYC product line. We, however, don't discount the possibility of a 10-core "Zen+" silicon just yet. GlobalFoundries, AMD's principal foundry partner for CPUs, has given up on 7 nm, making the company fall back to TSMC to meet its 7 nm roadmap commitments. TSMC already has a long list of clientele for 7 nm, including high-volume contracts from Apple, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA. This could force AMD to bolster its existing lineup as a contingency for delays in 7 nm volume production.
Monday, September 17th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Game Controllers
Headphones
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Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD
Storage

DICE Committed to Large Maps in Battlefield V as Tweaking Continues Pre-launch

With the Battlefield V beta only recently ending, it didn't take long for players to start asking how large the maps will be in this installment of the franchise. With the community asking questions, DICE was quick to respond, with Lead Multiplayer Designer Valerian Noghin, Multiplayer Producer David Sirland, and Level Designer Jeff Gagné all responding on Twitter.

An image posted on Twitter by DICE shows the Breakthrough for Hamada map. Giving a rough idea of not only it's overall layout, but scale, thanks to the inserted image showing the player's perspective. Measuring in at 1500 m from the attacker's to the defender's main headquarters, it is certainly larger than the maps in the beta. Furthermore, David Sirland has stated that the majority of the map shown will be available in the game's Conquest mode. While the map is not final, it has been stated that any changes at this point will likely be minor.

AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 Processor to Power SMACH Z Handheld Gaming PC

Remember the SMACH Z? Me neither. It was a long attempt in the making, with multiple Kickstarter campaigns that finally resulted in an actual product coming to market later this year. The SMACH Z is a handheld gaming PC with an x86 processor, that was originally supposed to use a 5" 720p screen powered off an AMD G-series SoC (System on a Chip). It was then updated to use an AMD Merlin Falcon (Excavator) R-Series RX-421BD clocked at 2.1 GHz SoC with an integrated Radeon R7 series GPU at 800 MHz to run a 6" 1080p display, that was in turn embedded in a handheld gaming console, effectively making it a portable gaming PC. Perhaps it was a good thing that the product took its time, since they have now decided to use updated internals for the final product- once more from AMD- in the form of the Ryzen Embedded V1605B SoC with AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics.

eBOM reports that AMD has announced it will be showcasing the SMACH Z in their booth presence at the Tokyo Game Show which commences later this week. This marks yet another gaming platform that AMD will be powering, although it is less powerful than the other ones. The SMACH Z is available for pre-order in three different variants (Z, Z Pro, and Z Ultra) which have different starting configurations, but can be customized as with most pre-built PCs. All variants can run off the Linux-based SMACH OS or Windows 10, retain the 6" 1080p touch screen, support up to 16 GB of dual channel DDR4 memory and 256 GB of solid state storage, and have an optional camera as well. Prices begin at $699 and go up to $1199, with a 10% discount for pre-order for the console expected to be available December, 2018. For those interested, there are some preliminary benchmarks released by SMACH from earlier this year.

ASUS Announces Its NVIDIA RTX 2070 Graphics Card Lineup

ASUS has revealed their entire lineup, interpreting NVIDIA's RTX 2070 silicon (and its TU106 die, a first - remember that **70-class cards previously featured cut-down versions of the full NVIDIA chip). There aren't many surprised here - ASUS has already spent enough R&D in previous years so as to only need to minimally iterate on their designs for each new generation.

The ROG Strix graphics cards sit at the top of the heap, featuring the company's DirectCU III cooling tech (triple fan) in a 2.5-slot design. RGB lighting and dual BIOS support are par of the course by now, as are some of the other features - backplate and metal brace included. Connectivity-wise there are 2x HDMI 2.0b ports, 2x DisplayPort 1.4 outputs, and 1x USB Type-C port for VirtuaLink. The graphics card draws power from the 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power connectors and will be available in three versions (Gaming OC, Gaming Advanced, and Gaming) according to factory overclocks.

MSI to Introduce Trident X Series Desktops Powered by Raytracing And NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

MSI is looking to introduce their Trident pre-built desktop systems paired with was is going to be (at least for a while) the world's highest-performance gaming graphics cards. The Trident X revisits MSI's "console-sized" PC take, packing seriously powerful innards in what can only be thought of as insultingly small quarters (10 liters in volume, anyone?).

Of course, the Trident X features MSI's "Silent Storm Cooling" system to allow for this hardware to be cooled without a hassle. The Trident X will follow on previous Trident iterations with a front HDMI port for VR aficionados. Expect pricing to be substantially higher than previous iterations of the Trident, though - just remember the RTX 2080 Ti's retail pricing for a punch in the gut and a throwback to reality land.

ASUS Announces the Premium ROG Thor PSU Lineup

ASUS ROG launched the ROG Thor 1200W Platinum and ROG Thor 850W Platinum power supply units, welcoming a new product category to the ROG family. The ROG Thor series is designed for enthusiasts who need a high-end PSU with advanced cooling, premium components, and customisable lightning.

In a PSU, component heatsinks are vital when optimizing thermal efficiency. The ROG Thor 1200W Platinum features custom ROG heatsinks that boast 2X more surface area than standard designs, and the ROG Thor 850W is similarly equipped. Having larger heatsinks and other premium components means cooler operation under load, an extended lifespan for key components, and silent operation long after standard designs spin up their fans.

NVIDIA RTX 2080 / 2080 Ti Results Appear For Final Fantasy XV

The online results database for the Final Fantasy XV Benchmark has been partially updated to include NVIDIA's RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. Scores for both standard and high quality settings at 2560x1440 and 3840x2160 are available. While the data for 1920x1080 and lite quality tests are not.

Taking a look at the RTX 2080 Ti results, show it beating out the GTX 1080 Ti by 26% and 28% in the standard and high quality tests respectively, at 2560x1440. Increasing the resolution to 3840x2160, again shows the RTX 2080 Ti ahead, this time by 20% and 31% respectively. The RTX 2080 offers a similar performance improvement over the GTX 1080 at 2560x1440, where it delivers a performance improvement of 28% and 33% in the same standard and high quality tests. Once again, increasing the resolution to 3840x2160 results in performance being 33% and 36% better than the GTX 1080. Overall, both graphics cards are shaping up to be around 30% faster than the previous generation without any special features. With Final Fantasy XV getting DLSS support in the near future, it is likely the performance of the RTX series will further improve compared to the previous generation.

AMD Ryzen 2000H Series APUs for Mainstream Notebooks Spark TDP Debate Again

AMD introduced the Ryzen 2000H series APUs for mainstream notebooks. These chips are physically identical to the Ryzen 2000U series designed for ultraportable notebooks and convertibles; but come with higher CPU and iGPU clock speeds, and hence a higher TDP. The lineup includes two models for now, the Ryzen 7 2800H, and the Ryzen 5 2600H, both of which are based on the same 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon as the Ryzen 2000U series.

The 2800H features a 4-core/8-thread "Zen" CPU, with 512 KB L2 cache per core, and 4 MB of shared L3 cache; with clock speeds of 3.30 GHz, with 3.80 GHz maximum boost. The iGPU is a Radeon Vega 11, with 704 stream processors, and engine clocks of up to 1.30 GHz. If you'll recall, the Ryzen 7 2700U has very similar specifications, but only differs with a lower CPU nominal clock speed of 2.20 GHz (but same boost clocks), and one of the 11 Vega NGCUs being disabled. The difference in TDP between the two chips is enormous - 45W default TDP with configurable TDP as low as 35W for the 2800H; while the 2700U is just 15W default TDP, with configurable TDP as low as 12W.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.11.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostics utility. Version 2.11.0 introduces support for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series "Turing" graphics cards, including the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070. Support is also added for a few exotic OEM variants we discovered over the months, including GTX 750 Ti (GM107-A), GTX 1050 Ti Mobile 4 GB, Quadro P1000, Tesla P100 DGXS, GeForce 9200. From the AMD stable, we add support for "Vega 20," "Fenghuang" semi-custom SoC for Zhongshan Subor, Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U, 5 Pro 2400G, 3 Pro 2200G, 3 Pro 2300U, 3 2200GE, Athlon 200GE, and Embedded V1807B. Intel UHD 610, UHD P630 (Xeon), Coffee Lake GT3e (i5-8259U), are now supported.

Among the new features are system RAM usage sensors, temperature monitoring offsets for AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2000 series processors, and the ability to identify USB-C display output, GDDR6 memory standard, and 16 Gbit density memory chips. Several under-the-hood improvements were made, including WDDM-based memory monitoring for AMD GPUs, replacing ADL sensors that tend to be buggy. GPU-Z also cleans up QueryExternal files from your Temp folder. Grab GPU-Z from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.11.0

The change-log follows.

NVIDIA Segregates Turing GPUs; Factory Overclocking Forbidden on the Cheaper Variant

While working on GPU-Z support for NVIDIA's RTX 20-series graphics cards, we noticed something curious. Each GPU model has not one, but two device IDs assigned to it. A device ID is a unique identification that tells Windows which specific device is installed, so it can select and load the relevant driver software. It also tells the driver, which commands to send to the chip, as they vary between generations. Last but not least, the device ID can be used to enable or lock certain features, for example in the professional space. Two device IDs per GPU is very unusual. For example, all GTX 1080 Ti cards, whether reference or custom design, are marked as 1B06. Titan Xp on the other hand, which uses the same physical GPU, is marked as 1B02. NVIDIA has always used just one ID per SKU, no matter if custom-design, reference or Founders Edition.

We reached out to industry sources and confirmed that for Turing, NVIDIA is creating two device IDs per GPU to correspond to two different ASIC codes per GPU model (for example, TU102-300 and TU102-300-A for the RTX 2080 Ti). The Turing -300 variant is designated to be used on cards targeting the MSRP price point, while the 300-A variant is for use on custom-design, overclocked cards. Both are the same physical chip, just separated by binning, and pricing, which means NVIDIA pretests all GPUs and sorts them by properties such as overclocking potential, power efficiency, etc.

NVIDIA Delays Availability of GeForce RTX 20-series by a Week

NVIDIA announced delays to the shipping (and availability) of its first GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards. The availability date of the GeForce RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti is now set at September 27, from its original date of September 20. The company had also recently changed the review publication date of both cards to September 19. Reviews of the RTX 2080 were supposed to be published on the 17th, with the RTX 2080 Ti on the 19th.

NVIDIA GTX 1060 and GTX 1050 Successors in 2019; Turing Originally Intended for 10nm

NVIDIA could launch successors to its GeForce GTX 1060 series and GTX 1050 series only by 2019, according to a statement by an ASUS representative, speaking with PC Watch. This could mean that the high-end RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070, could be the only new SKUs for Holiday 2018 from NVIDIA, alongside cut-rate GeForce GTX 10-series SKUs. This could be a combination of swelling inventories of 10-series GPUs, and insufficient volumes of mid-range RTX 20-series chips, should NVIDIA even decide to extend real-time ray-tracing to mid-range graphics cards.

The way NVIDIA designed the RTX 2070 out of the physically smaller TU106 chip instead of TU104 leads us to believe that NVIDIA could carve out the GTX 1060-series successor based on this chip, since the RTX 2070 maxes it out, and NVIDIA needs to do something with imperfect chips. An even smaller chip (probably half-a-TU104?) could power the GTX 1050-series successor.

Angelbird Technologies and Akitio Partner as the A-TEAM

Angelbird Technologies and Akitio announce strategic partnership. Angelbird Technologies and Akitio are pleased to announce they have formed a strategic partnership, known as the A-TEAM, whereby Angelbird will represent Akitio in the European market, and Akitio will represent Angelbird in Asia. Both companies recognize key complementary qualities in the other, rendering the partnership much more than the sum of its parts.

Akitio is the manufacturer of top-quality Thunderbolt3 products, as well as a developer of integrated software, that serves the pro-creative market segment. Angelbird develops and manufactures specialized and top-rated NAND Flash-based recording and storage media for the pro-creative workflow.

"Our companies share the same DNA, and we serve the same customer base. So, working together feels like a natural fit," said Tommy Chen, CEO of Akitio.
Friday, September 14th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mousepads
NAS
Speakers
SSD
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Unboxing

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Unboxing

Our GeForce RTX 2080 card is here in an inconspicuous DHL box. We decided to picture every step of pulling NVIDIA's sexy RTX 2080 Founders Edition card from its packaging.
NVIDIA Turing GeForce RTX Technology & Architecture

NVIDIA Turing GeForce RTX Technology & Architecture

NVIDIA Turing architecture is the company's best-kept secret if it's indeed 15 years in the making. It comes together with the new RTX technology to fulfill the long-cherished dream of games: real-time ray tracing. We dive deep into the theory and background of the two and explore their possible future together.

Bethesda Confirms Wolfenstein III Still Happening; Dishonored is Not Dead Just Yet

When Bethesda took the stage at E3 this year and announced Wolfenstein: Youngblood, many were dismayed and feared that the lower-than-expected sales for Wolfenstein II, combined with the deep discounts early in the product cycle, may have changed the timeline in more ways than one. Specifically, there was doubt on whether another numbered entry was coming to the main Wolfenstein story which had received a reboot of sorts beginning with the 2014 hit Wolfenstein: The New Order. In an interview with GameCentral, Pete Hines (VP, PR and Marketing for Bethesda) confirmed that Youngblood is to be treated as a standalone title similar to what we saw with Wolfenstein: The Old Blood in 2015, and that MachineGames is absolutely going to develop Wolfenstein III.

Specifically, Pete Hines said and I quote, "Absolutely we're making a Wolfenstein III. They [MachineGames] said on stage that they're taking a break from the larger story to do this thing. But we all have to see how that ends." This was part of a long discussion, that is well worth the read, with insights on the revival of single-player AAA games, Bethesda's continual commitment to story-driven gameplay, and more. As part of said discussion, Pete Hines also helped provide some relief to fans of Arkane Studios' Dishonored series which, as with the recent Wolfenstein series, enjoyed great success with the first entry but then tapered down subsequently when it comes to sales of Dishonored 2 and its standalone DLC. Arkane Studios had recently said that the series is "resting", and in response to this Pete said that he "wouldn't read too much into that" and that Arkane having two studios meant that the situation was similar to how Bethesda Studios themselves went from the Fallout franchise to Starfield before returning to The Elder Scrolls series. Sounds like good news to Dishonored fans, and we will be sure to inform our readers of any updates accordingly.

Katamari Damacy Comes to the PC as a Remastered Edition

This author has strong memories of playing the original Katamari Damacy on the Playstation 2 when it came out in 2004. It was wacky even for the time, and especially so now, with interesting gameplay combined with an excellent soundtrack. As such, it was a pleasant surprise to see Katamari Damacy get an HD remaster, titled Katamari Damacy Reroll, which will be coming to the Nintendo Switch and, more relevant to us, the PC. Bandai Namco confirms a Steam release on December 8, 2018 for what should be ~$29.99 if the pre-order for the Nintendo Switch version is anything to go by.

If you have no idea what the game is all about, know that it can be technically classified as a 3rd-person puzzle-action game but it is really something that merits playing to be better understood. The original game was on the shorter side of average, with some repetition along the way when it came to gameplay mechanics, but it still did more than enough to be a commercial success and get a cult following through the years. With Katamari Damacy Reroll, PC gamers will get to take a look at the game while enjoying the upgraded visuals with an increased resolution and added cut-scenes. Below is the announcement video from Nintendo Direct, which of course shows off some features that us PC gamers will not be getting.

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