Wednesday, August 4th 2021

Today's Reviews

be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim 2 Review

be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim 2 Review

be quiet!'s Shadow Rock Slim 2 takes the mantle from its predecessor and carries it to new heights. What at first appears as just another tower cooler soon proves to be a top-tier low-noise performer that lacks only ARGB lighting, which will be a huge plus for many RGB haters.
ThieAudio Monarch In-Ear Monitors Review - Tribrid Magic!

ThieAudio Monarch In-Ear Monitors Review - Tribrid Magic!

ThieAudio makes a return with our first-ever Tribrid IEM review. The $729 ThieAudio Monarch uses a combination of dynamic, balanced armature, and electrostatic tweeter drivers paired with a deliberate reference tuning and unique abalone shell-based aesthetic to set a new high standard.
NETGEAR Orbi Pro SXK80 WiFi 6 System Review

NETGEAR Orbi Pro SXK80 WiFi 6 System Review

WiFi 6 is finally gaining ground, and we begin our coverage with NETGEAR's prosumer-oriented Orbi Pro SXK80 WiFi systems. With a mesh network using a router and satellite, it aims to offer excellent wireless performance and business-class support and features!

Seemingly Fake Twitter Account Claims the Return of 3dfx Interactive

Nostalgia is perhaps the most present feeling among many gamers across the globe, and someone is seemingly playing with ours as there is a Twitter account claiming the return of a company that has been dead for 20 years. 3dfx Interactive, once a giant in the graphics card industry, is allegedly returning after 20 years to give gamers a new choice of a graphics card. According to a Twitter account that claims that 3dfx Interactive is returning, we are seeing a massive amount of hype being built around the seemingly fake and bad attempt of playing with our nostalgia.

3dfx went bankrupt in 2000 and was acquired by NVIDIA, who took over the rights to trademarks and everything involved with the brand. In the latest tweet, the alleged resurrected company is claiming a return after 20 years. It says that Jansen Products, also an alleged investment firm, that we couldn't find in any database of registered firms, is now the owner of 3dfx Interactive brand and its trademarks. A simple Google search points towards a Belgian building firm, not an alleged San Francisco investment company.. Together, this is making the alleged return seem just like a joke, as someone must be playing with many gamers that used 3dfx's famous Voodoo lineup of graphics cards.

IDC Forecasts Companies to Spend Almost $342 Billion on AI Solutions in 2021

Worldwide revenues for the artificial intelligence (AI) market, including software, hardware, and services, is estimated to grow 15.2% year over year in 2021 to $341.8 billion, according to the latest release of the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Tracker. The market is forecast to accelerate further in 2022 with 18.8% growth and remain on track to break the $500 billion mark by 2024. Among the three technology categories, AI Software occupied 88% of the overall AI market. However, in terms of growth, AI Hardware is estimated to grow the fastest in the next several years. From 2023 onwards, AI Services is forecast to become the fastest growing category.

Within the AI Software category, AI Applications has the lion's share at nearly 50% of revenues. In terms of growth, AI Platforms is the strongest with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.2%. The slowest will be AI System Infrastructure Software with a five-year CAGR of 14.4% while accounting for roughly 35% of all AI Software revenues. Within the AI Applications market, AI ERM is expected to grow slightly stronger than AI CRM over the next five years. Meanwhile, AI Lifecycle Software is forecast to grow the fastest among the markets within AI Platforms.

EK Launches Vector Water Blocks for PowerColor Red Devil RX 6800 & RX 6900 Cards

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is launching the new EK-Quantum Vector Red Devil water block made for the PowerColor Red Devil version of the AMD Radeon RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and 6900 XT graphics cards. This 2nd-generation EK-Quantum Vector water block implements an Open Split-Flow cooling engine design, which proved to be a superior solution for GPU water blocks. It is characterized by low hydraulic flow restriction, meaning it can be used with weaker water pumps or pumps running on low-speed settings and still achieve top performance. The jet plate and the fin structure geometry have been optimized to provide even flow distribution with minimal losses and optimal performance when used in any given coolant flow orientation, unlike some currently available products on the market.

The base of the block is CNC-machined out of nickel-plated electrolytic copper, while its top is CNC-machined either out of glass-like cast acrylic or durable black POM acetal. The watertight seal is ensured by high-quality EPDM O-rings, while brass standoffs are already pre-installed and allow for a safe and easy installation procedure.

Philips Announces Two Lightweight Gaming Headsets

Headsets are peripherals that are often underappreciated. However, clear sound and comfortable wear are of utmost importance, particularly during long gaming sessions. Today, gaming has become so rich, complex and immersive that the individual gaming set-up can constitute a competitive advantage. Clear and distinctive sound and a good microphone for in-game communication result in clear benefits in team-based battle royale, action RPG and MMORPG games. But also for work-related or private audio or video calls headsets that provide and produce clear audio and sit comfortably on a person's head can make all the difference.

A continued focus on meeting consumers' needs, combined with extensive technical expertise, has led to the launch of the first series of gaming headsets in the Philips Gaming portfolio. The lightweight over-ear design, adjustable headband and soft cushions ensure an optimal fit and long wearing comfort in two different models: Philips TAGH301BL and Philips TAGH401BL.
Tuesday, August 3rd 2021

Today's Reviews

MSI Spatium M470 1 TB Review

MSI Spatium M470 1 TB Review

With the Spatium Series, MSI is entering the highly competitive SSD market. The Spatium M470 uses a Phison E16 controller paired with 96-layer TLC flash from Toshiba, which makes it one of the fastest drives we ever tested, also thanks to support for the PCI-Express 4.0 interface.
MSI Spatium M480 2 TB Review

MSI Spatium M480 2 TB Review

The MSI Spatium M480 is a flagship SSD based on the Phison E18 controller, featuring support for the fast PCI-Express 4.0 interface. Inside the box, you'll find a heatsink that looks fantastic and very sleek to provide cooling for this 7 GB/s monster.
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G Review

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G Review

With the Ryzen 7 5700G, AMD is finally bringing their most powerful APU to the retail DIY channel. With 512 graphics cores based on the Vega architecture, the IGP is over twice as fast as Intel's Rocket Lake graphics. Thanks to the Zen 3 architecture, the eight CPU cores are blazing fast, too.

New AMD Radeon PRO W6000X Series GPUs Bring Groundbreaking High-Performance AMD RDNA 2 Architecture to Mac Pro

AMD today announced availability of the new AMD Radeon PRO W6000X series GPUs for Mac Pro. The new GPU product line delivers exceptional performance and incredible visual fidelity to power a wide variety of demanding professional applications and workloads, including 3D rendering, 8K video compositing, color correction and more.

Built on groundbreaking AMD RDNA 2 architecture, AMD Infinity Cache and other advanced technologies, the new workstation graphics line-up includes the AMD Radeon PRO W6900X and AMD Radeon PRO W6800X GPUs. Mac Pro users also have the option of choosing the AMD Radeon PRO W6800X Duo graphics card, a dual-GPU configuration that leverages high-speed AMD Infinity Fabric interconnect technology to deliver outstanding levels of compute performance.

Crucial Announces P5 Plus M.2 NVMe Gen4 SSDs

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced the immediate availability of Crucial P5 Plus PCIe SSDs as an expansion of its award-winning NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) portfolio to offer high-performance internal Gen4 storage options to consumers. By leveraging Micron's first-to-market volume shipments of 176-layer NAND, Crucial P5 Plus SSDs enable lower power, higher speed, and denser storage solutions. Additionally, Micron's advanced 176L 3D TLC NAND and innovative controller technology, yields up to 66% faster sequential write speeds and nearly double the sequential reads of prior generation Crucial SSDs.

"With data intensive workloads on the rise, consumers increasingly demand high-performance storage solutions for their needs including engineering applications, video editing, content creation and gaming," said Teresa Kelley, vice president and general manager of Micron's Consumer Products Group. "By using our powerful, industry-leading 176-layer 3D NAND, coupled with the latest high-bandwidth storage interface, the P5 Plus Gen4 SSD makes lightning-fast computing storage accessible for a broad spectrum of consumers in the market."

Logitech Debuts Zone Series Wireless Earbuds Built for Business

Today, Logitech is helping professionals stay clear, confident and connected in the next phase of hybrid work with the launch of its Zone True Wireless and Zone Wired Earbuds, the first earbuds targeted to be certified by all three major cloud video conferencing platforms—Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

As many workplaces make a lasting transition to hybrid work environments, being connected has never been more important for employees joining video meetings and collaborating from different locations. Logitech Zone True Wireless earbuds upgrade video calls with the shape and fit users love, combined with the powerful audio that professionals need. Equipped with a premium noise-canceling mic and Active Noise Cancellation, Zone True Wireless gives crystal clear audio on every call, regardless of distracting surroundings. This, along with a minimalist, modern design, enables a stylish look and a high-quality sound on video that helps users stay in the zone.

ASUSTOR Also Unveils Drivestor 2 and Drivestor 4 Entry-level Consumer NAS

The Drivestor 2 and 4 are here and spelling the death knell for Gigabit Ethernet. The Drivestor 2 and 4 are equipped with two and four bays respectively and each contain a Realtek RTD1296 1.4 GHz Quad-Core processor and 1 GB of DDR4 memory for faster performance on an entry level NAS than ever before. The ultra-fast performance of the RTD1296 brings unbelievable performance at a budget-friendly price, bringing the best of enterprise-grade hardware to home storage.

Also arriving with the Drivestor series is ADM 4.0. Optimized, enhanced, secure, easier to use, efficient and fully featured, ADM 4.0 is better in every way thanks to the numerous improvements made. Transcode 4K H.265, 10-Bit media, an ASUSTOR first on an entry level NAS, helping LooksGood to play high-definition movies at almost any resolution. Transcode and play back video smoothly on the Drivestor 2 and 4 by reserving 512 MB of RAM for multimedia purposes by using Media Mode. Use AiData, AiVideos, AiMusic and AiFoto 3 on the Drivestor 2 and 4 to easily stream, enjoy, upload and download documents, photos, videos and music to and from smartphones for both home memories and exceeds the needs of young businesses. Store data at home or at the office easily and safely on a device that gives you control over your data on a device that won't break the bank.

ASUSTOR Announces Lockerstor 4RD, 4RS and 12RD

ASUSTOR Inc. has announced the Lockerstor 4RD, 4RS and 12RD, a brand new enterprise-grade four bay 1U and twelve bay 2U rack-mounted NAS. Equipped with an enterprise-grade Intel Atom Quad-Core processor and 8 GB of DDR4-2133 RAM, which is expandable to 128 GB, for a stable and reliable cloud storage solution. The Lockerstor 4RD, 4RS and 12RD are equipped with dual Gigabit and dual 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports that attain extremely stable performance while also helping to increase productivity in a medium office. Read and write to your Lockerstor 4RD, 4RS and 12RD at incredible speeds of up to 591 MB/s and 565 MB/s respectively using link aggregation.

The Lockerstor 4RD, 4RS and 12RD are a complete backup solution. Not only do the Lockerstor 4RD, 4RS and 12RD act as an amazing backup solution for medium businesses, the NAS itself also contains backup hardware to ensure minimal downtime. The dual backup power supplies provide redundancy to ensure that one can go offline without downtime, ensuring your employees remain able to access their data. The multiple Ethernet ports also provide excellent redundancy and four are included. Two Ethernet ports are Gigabit while the other two are 2.5-Gigabit, providing a fast lane for higher priority traffic while maintaining protection from downtime.

Google Teases Upcoming Custom Tensor Processor in Pixel 6

In 2016, we launched the first Pixel. Our goal was to give people a more helpful, smarter phone. Over the years, we introduced features like HDR+ and Night Sight, which used artificial intelligence (AI) to create beautiful images with computational photography. In later years, we applied powerful speech recognition models to build Recorder, which can record, transcribe and search for audio clips, all on device.

AI is the future of our innovation work, but the problem is we've run into computing limitations that prevented us from fully pursuing our mission. So we set about building a technology platform built for mobile that enabled us to bring our most innovative AI and machine learning (ML) to our Pixel users. We set out to make our own System on a Chip (SoC) to power Pixel 6. And now, years later, it's almost here. Tensor is our first custom-built SoC specifically for Pixel phones, and it will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this fall.

TEAMGROUP Announces Industrial Wide Temperature DDR5 UDIMM and SODIMM

As a global memory leader with a long-term focus on industrial applications, TEAMGROUP has recognized the tremendous processing needs of the HPC market. To meet the demand for industrial memory can handle sustained high-speed data transmission with low latency, TEAMGROUP has utilized the in-house developed and patent-protected TRUST+ wide temperature technology to provide customers with high stability, durability and wide temperature industrial memory.

Applications for the first DDR5 UDIMM and SODIMM industrial wide temperature memory products include usage in edge computing, Internet of Vehicles, servers, AI, and embedded systems. In response to the stringent demands of efficient computing in the industrial control market, TEAMGROUP has been ready to launch the standard temperature DDR5 IST (TC: 0~85℃) memory series and the wide temperature DDR5 IWT (TA: -40~85℃) memory series. The latter features exclusive "Graphene-coated copper heatsink Technology" (U.S. Utility Patent US 11,051,392 B2), which helps maintain a case temperature (TC) of 85~86℃ under an ambient temperature (TA) of 85℃, ensuring low-latency high-speed computing. Without the heatsink, case temperatures (TC) can reach up to 89~90℃ or more, impairing the high performance of DDR5 and significantly reducing the life span of ICs.

Microsoft Unveils Pricing for Cloud Streaming Windows 365 Service

Microsoft has recently launched their Windows 365 cloud streaming service that allows businesses to stream a Windows 10 or 11 machine over the internet. The Windows 365 service will initially be available in 12 different tiers with the cheapest offering 1 virtual core, 2 GB RAM, and 64 GB storage for 24 USD/month while the most expensive option at 162 USD/month includes 8 virtual cores, 32 GB RAM, and 512 GB storage. Microsoft is also offering up to a 16% monthly discount to businesses that already use Windows 10 Pro on their devices. These machines are not intended to be used for network heavy applications like server hosting and Microsoft has implemented strong outbound data limits. The Windows 365 cloud PC can be accessed from any device with the Microsoft Remote Desktop app or a HTML5 compatible browser.
Monday, August 2nd 2021

Today's Reviews

ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR Review

ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR Review

Featuring Thunderbolt 4, dual 2.5 Gbps LAN, and a formidable VRM design, the ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR targets productivity and power users. With a sleek and modern black and gold theme and no built in RGB, the B550-CREATOR focuses on superior performance and connectivity in a no-nonsense package.
G.Skill Z5i Review

G.Skill Z5i Review

G.Skill's entry into the ITX chassis market looks rather unique with the tapered front. While not the first to offer bent glass, the Z5i sports quite the tight bending radius with its panels being the core design element. Read on to find out how the G.Skill Z5i enclosure fares against all the established brands out there.

ASRock Announces Radeon RX 6600 XT Phantom Gaming and Challenger Series

ASRock, the leading global motherboard, graphics card and mini PC manufacturer, today launched new Phantom Gaming and Challenger series products based on AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT GPUs. The new ASRock graphics cards are built on the 7 nm manufacturing process and AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture, and include support for the DirectX 12 Ultimate API, hardware-accelerated raytracing, HDMI 2.1, and PCI Express 4.0. In addition, with high-speed 8 GB GDDR6 memory plus a wealth of exclusive features, the ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT series graphics cards can provide the ultimate 1080p gaming performance.

The high-end ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Phantom Gaming D 8 GB OC graphics card features the triple-fan Phantom Gaming 3X cooling system for excellent cooling performance, as well as a unique Striped Axial Fan, Air Deflecting Fin and Ultra-fit Heatpipe to greatly increase cooling efficiency. The stylish metal backplate strengthens the structure and prevents damage to the board. With the addition of an ARGB fan, ARGB LED board, and Polychrome SYNC lighting control software, users can fully customize and control their own lighting system. The cool black and red appearance and the ultimate factory-preset overclocking settings make ASRock AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Phantom Gaming D 8 GB OC graphics card ideal for hardcore gamers.

Ultra-tiny Carbon Nanotubes Deliver Big on Headphone Audio Experience

I know what you are thinking—this isn't the typical news content we see on TechPowerUp. Yes, we do cover audio products with plenty of reviews here, including Audeze planar magnetic headphones. When Audeze mentioned there's a whole different thing coming up, and that it involves carbon nanotubes (CNTs), I was quite intrigued. Some of you may have picked it up by now, but all the neat toys I have access to and used in several reviews come because I am a research scientist by profession, with a specialization in carbon nanomaterials including CNTs. So this news post is about my attempt to help explain why the Audeze technology is such a big deal. This is not a review of the actual devices and neither is it a sponsored post, or even solicited by Audeze. It is purely me geeking out about a fairly novel use of CNTs in the audio world, especially when there have been CNT coatings on a few dynamic drivers before but barely put to the potential capable until now.

See, the whole reason the Audeze CRBN (Carbon, get it?) even came about is because an indirect research colleague of mine, Prof. Mark Cohen from the University of California, Los Angeles as well as his startup company SMRT Image, saw a need for a more calming influence for patients undergoing fMRI imaging, as well as better means for the technicians to communicate with said patients while they are inside an operating MRI machine. If you have ever been inside one, you would know that thing gets real loud with magnetic coils rapidly going around and clacking noises galore. Audeze is also based in California, and multiple years of research led to the development of the Audeze CRBN—starting off for medical applications and then coming out also as a high-end retail headphones experience based on the knowledge and IP gained in the process. Read past the break for more on the science and tech, if this is of interest to you!

Genesis Announces Krypton 220 and Krypton 200 Gaming Mice

Genesis announces Krypton 200 and 220 light and effective gaming mice. They weigh only 80 g. Equipped with programmable buttons, internal memory and RGB illumination, the models allow users to create a unique atmosphere. These are the new, ergonomically profiled Genesis Krypton 200 and Krypton 220.

Genesis Krypton 200 is the first new model. The mouse includes an optical sensor with 6400 DPI, which should satisfy players looking for precision and speed. Its sensitivity can be set to one of six levels, and the current setting is displayed by an indicator. The manufacturer says that the model is equipped with silent switches, especially useful to night gamers.

ADATA Unveils EC700G RGB SSD Enclosure

ADATA, a manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, mobile accessories, gaming products, electric power trains, and industrial solutions, today unveiled the ADATA EC700G RGB SSD enclosure. The EC700G gives old internal M.2 PCIe or SATA SSDs a new lease on life as an external SSD. The EC700G is compatible with all PCIe and SATA SSDs and delivers data transfer rates up to 1000 MB/s thanks to USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Type-C.

Whether an M.2 PCIe or SATA SSD, the EC700G is compatible with them all. The EC700G not only works with the most common M.2 2280 dimensions, but also M.2 2242 and M.2 2230 too. With support for USB 3.2 Gen 2 and Type-C, an EC700G equipped with a SSD can reach speeds of up to 1000 MB/s, which is about 12.51 times faster than ordinary external hard drives. That means it'll only take users 20 seconds to transfer a 10 GB movie.

Valve's Steam Hardware Survey Shows Progress for Gaming on Linux, Breaking 1% Marketshare

When Valve made a debut of Proton for Steam on Linux, the company committed to enabling Linux gamers from across the globe to play all of the latest games available for the Windows platform, on their Linux distributions. Since the announcement, the market share of people who game on Linux has been rather stagnating for a while. When Proton was announced, the Linux gaming market share jumped to 2%, according to a Valve survey. However, later on, it dropped and remained at the stagnating 0.8~0.9% mark. Today, according to the latest data obtained from Steam Hardware Survey, we see that the Linux gaming market share has reached 1.0% in July, making for a +0.14% increase. What drove the spike in usage is unknown, however, it is interesting to see the new trend. You can check out the Steam Hardware Survey data here.

Sudden Drop in Cryptocurrency Prices Hurts Graphics DRAM Market in 3Q21, Says TrendForce

The stay-at-home economy remains robust due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so the sales of gaming products such as game consoles and the demand for related components are being kept at a decent level, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, the values of cryptocurrencies have plummeted in the past two months because of active interventions from many governments, with the graphics DRAM market entering into a bearish turn in 3Q21 as a result. While graphics DRAM prices in the spot market will likely show the most severe fluctuations, contract prices of graphics DRAM are expected to increase by 10-15% QoQ in 3Q21 since DRAM suppliers still prioritize the production of server DRAM over other product categories, and the vast majority of graphics DRAM supply is still cornered by major purchasers.

It should be pointed out that, given the highly volatile nature of the graphics DRAM market, it is relatively normal for graphics DRAM prices to reverse course or undergo a more drastic fluctuation compared with other mainstream DRAM products. As such, should the cryptocurrency market remain bearish, and manufacturers of smartphones or PCs reduce their upcoming production volumes in light of the ongoing pandemic and component supply issues, graphics DRAM prices are unlikely to experience further increase in 4Q21. Instead, TrendForce expects prices in 4Q21 to largely hold flat compared to the third quarter.

PowerColor Launches Radeon RX 6600 XT Red Devil and Hellhound Graphics Cards

PowerColor debuted its Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card series with the RX 6600 XT Red Devil and RX 6600 XT Hellhound custom-design graphics cards. The lineup will be joined by additional models from the Fighter and Red Dragon series in the future. For now, the RX 6600 XT Red Devil is a beefy, triple-slot card that's about two-thirds the length of larger, triple-fan Red Devil products from the company. This one features a dual-fan setup, but the styling is consistent, including the air-dams near the tail-end that light up. The card features a compound aluminium fin-stack heatsink with at least two fin-stacks skewered by a common set of heat pipes.

The Red Devil features the company's highest factory OC tier for this GPU, a meaty 12-phase VRM, and goodies that include dual-BIOS, addressable-RGB headers, etc. It draws power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The Hellhound, on the other hand, features a more compact dual-slot design, with a lighter heatsink that uses three heatpipes ventilated by a pair of 80 mm fans that light up. There's no dual-BIOS, but you can toggle the blue LED off with a physical switch. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. The company didn't reveal clock speeds or pricing.

Thunderbolt 5 Could Reach 80 Gbps According to Leaked Photo

Intel Client Computing Group Executive Vice President & GM Gregory Bryant has recently published and deleted an image that appears to show the specifications of a next-generation Thunderbolt technology. The photo was taken at an Intel R&D facility in Israel and shows a poster highlighting "80G PHY Technology" which signifies that Intel is working on an 80 Gbps physical layer. This speed represents a doubling of the existing Thunderbolt 3/4 which runs at 40 Gbps while still working over a USB-C connection. These speeds can be achieved with novel PAM-3 Pulse Amplitude Modulation technology which allows for 50% more bits to be sent per cycle compared to the NRZ technology currently used while limiting the increased complexity that would be introduced with PAM-4. Intel appears to have a working test chip manufactured on the N6 node at TSMC which is showing promising results however we don't expect this technology to reach consumer devices for some time.

ASRock Unveils its Radeon RX 6600 XT Challenger-series Graphics Card Lineup

ASRock today debuted its Radeon RX 6600 XT custom-design graphics card lineup. This includes the RX 6600 XT Challenger PRO, and the RX 6600 XT Challenger ITX. The Challenger PRO is a conventional-size graphics card that uses a dual-slot, triple-fan cooling solution. Its cooler is a lot longer than its PCB, so all of the airflow from the third fan flows through the card, and out the back-plate. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and features a mid-tier factory OC. The company is probably saving up its highest OC tier for a Phantom Gaming product. Next up, is the Challenger ITX, a compact card with roughly 17 cm board length, and a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink that relies on a single fan for cooling. The company will disclose clock speeds around mid-August.

Intel DG2 Discrete Graphics Cards Expected To Launch at CES 2022

Intel has reportedly decided to launch their DG2 Xe-HPG discrete graphics cards at CES 2022 according to Hardware Academy on Weibo. Intel has already begun sampling these new GPUs to partners so this launch date appears feasible. The DG2 Xe-HPG discrete graphics cards are designed specifically for gaming and will offer up to 512 Execution Units paired with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. Intel appears to be planning five separate DG2 Xe-HPG SKUs covering a large lineup of market segments with the top product competing with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and AMD Radeon RX 6800. While these products won't be released until CES 2022 Intel may announce gaming processors with integrated Xe-HPG graphics sometime earlier.

COUGAR Intros Dust 2 Mini-ITX Case with Grab Handles

COUGAR today introduced the Dust 2, a compact, tower-type case for Mini-ITX gaming PC builds, characterized by fixed grab-handles along the top. The case comes in three 2-tone trims—gold, silver, and gray. Inside, you'll find a vertically partitioned layout despite its narrow width. This is because it relies on a PCIe riser cable to orient your graphics card vertically in the left chamber, while the right chamber has just enough room for a Mini-ITX motherboard with an AIO CPU block, or a low-profile (<70 mm tall) fan-heatsink. Next to the motherboard tray, toward the front, is the case's PSU bay (max clearance 16 cm length). The right chamber is exclusively for the graphics card, up to 33 cm in length. There's enough room for an RTX 3090 Founders Edition.

Storage options in the COUGAR Dust 2 include one 3.5-inch bay, and two 2.5-inch trays. Ventilation options include two 140 mm top exhausts, with the ability to hold a 280 mm x 140 mm radiator. Front panel connectivity includes one each of USB 3.x type-A, type-C, and a 4-pole analog headset jack. Including the 36 mm-tall handles, the case measures 175 mm x 335 mm x 403 mm (WxHxD). The company didn't reveal pricing.
Sunday, August 1st 2021

GIGABYTE Intros AORUS P-series Power Supplies with In-built Color Display

GIGABYTE introduced its flagship power supply lineup, the AORUS P-series. Completing your collection of AORUS-branded motherboards, graphics card, memory, SSD, and cooler, the P-series is debuting with a 1200 W model, the AORUS P1200W, and its star attraction has nothing to do with power. The P1200W features a 4-inch true-color LCD display that puts out real-time power stats (input voltage, power-draw, temperature, etc.,) but can interface with software over USB (an internal USB header), and can be made to display just about anything.

As a PSU, the AORUS P1200W features a single +12 V rail design, 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, APFC, DC-to-DC switching, fully modular cabling, 100% Japanese capacitor design, and most common electrical protections. The unit is cooled by a 140 mm double ball bearing fan that stays completely off under 240 W load, maintains 20% speed up to 720 W, and only ramps up beyond that. Connectors include a 24-pin ATX, two 4+4 pin EPS, ten 6+2 pin PCIe, sixteen SATA power, and four Molex. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Thermalright Intros Assassin King 120 Mini WHITE ARGB CPU Cooler

Thermalright today introduced the Assassin King 120 Mini WHITE ARGB, an interesting option from the company's fast-growing collection of air-type CPU coolers. The cooler is completely whitewashed—the aluminium fin-stack, the heat-pipes, even most of the base. The included TL-D12W-S 120 mm fan comes with a white frame and impeller, too, although the impeller is frost silicone, and diffuses ARGB illumination from the hub. Five 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes pull heat from a C1100 nickel-plated copper base, conveying heat to an aluminium fin-stack, which is ventilated by a 120 mm fan.

The TL-D12W-S fan features a fluid-dynamic bearing, turns at speeds of up to 1,500 RPM, pushing up to 64.87 CFM of airflow, at 1.53 mm H₂O static pressure, and 25.6 dBA noise output. It takes in 4-pin PWM for its main function, and 3-pin ARGB for the lighting. The Assassin King 120 Mini WHITE ARGB measures 120 mm x 96 mm x 135 mm (WxDxH), weighing 980 g. CPU socket types supported include LGA1200, LGA115x, AM4, and LGA2066. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Sapphire Intros Radeon RX 6600 XT NITRO+ and Pulse Graphics Cards

Sapphire introduced a nifty lineup of new AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards, with the value-ended RX 6600 XT Pulse, and the premium RX 6600 XT NITRO+. Both are strictly two slots-thick designs that are compact, and use dual-fan cooling solutions. The NITRO+ features a higher factory OC, a heavier heatsink, and premium bits that include wave-edged aluminium fins in the cooler, fans with webbed impellers, dual-BIOS, a silvery metal backplate, an addressable-RGB LED illuminated Sapphire logo, and a 3-pin ARGB header so you can sync your lighting to the card's.

The RX 6600 XT Pulse, on the other hand, features a simpler design without the shiny dual-tone finish of the NITRO+. There are no illuminated logos, additional RGB headers, or dual-BIOS to be had. You still get a similar combination of wave-edge fin-stack, and webbed impellers, as well as a metal back-plate. The card has a lower state of factory OC than the NITRO+, and is expected to be priced closer to the baseline price. The company didn't reveal engine game/boost frequencies of either cards, but both feature 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory, and take in power from single 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

XFX Intros Trio of Radeon RX 6600 XT Graphics Cards

XFX released a trio of custom-design Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics cards. These include the RX 6600 XT Speedster SWFT210 Core, the RX 6600 XT Speedster QICK308 Black, and the range-topping RX 6600 XT Speedster MERC308 Black. The Speedster SWFT210 is the entry-level, with its compact dimensions, 2-slot thickness, a single 8-pin PCIe power input, and a cooling solution that uses two fans, and the lightest heatsink in the series. This card is likely to come with a mild factory-OC that's close to reference.

The Speedster QICK308 and the Speedster MERC308 have identical dimensions, with their lengthy triple-fan cooling solutions, except the QICK308 comes with slightly lower clock speeds than the MERC308, and does away with an illuminated nameplate along the top of the card (which only goes on to improve the airflow). The MERC308 comes with this nameplate, chrome accents along the fan intakes and other parts of the cooler shroud, and the highest factory-OC. XFX hasn't disclosed the GPU game/boost frequencies for either of the three cards.

EK Announces Small Form Factor Quantum Pump-Reservoir Combo Units

EK, the premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing a new Quantum line of small form factor pump-reservoir combo units. They come in well-known FLT form that makes them even easier to fit in tight spaces. The pump-reservoir combos come in both genuine D5 and DDC variants, as well as a body variant if you intend to use a DDC or D5 pump that you already own. EK-Quantum products come with sophisticated 5 V D-RGB addressable LEDs, which can be controlled through your motherboard RGB control software.

These pump-res combos are very similar to the EK-Quantum Kinetic 120 units but come in an even smaller form - 80 mm. This makes them extremely convenient for small form factor builds and wherever space is an issue. The unit features standard 120 mm and 80 mm fan mounting holes for maximum flexibility during the installation. The side of the unit has two more M4 threaded screw holes, 65 mm apart, that are also present on the EK-Loop Uni Pump Reservoir Brackets, which are sold separately.

BIOSTAR Announces AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Graphics Card

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and storage devices, today announced the new BIOSTAR AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card, built on the breakthrough AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture. The all-new BIOSTAR AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card is designed to deliver exceptional high-framerate, high-fidelity 1080p gaming experiences. Offering 32 powerful compute units, 32 MB of high-performance AMD Infinity Cache, 8 GB of high-speed GDDR6 memory, AMD Smart Access Memory and other advanced features, the BIOSTAR AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT is the graphics card that everyone dreams of.

The graphics card also supports the new cutting-edge AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution open-source spatial upscaling solution, which is designed to boost framerates and deliver high-quality, high-resolution gaming experiences. The BIOSTAR AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card also supports the DirectX 12 Ultimate API, which enables games to provide a new level of realism with real-time DirectX Raytracing (DXR), Variable Rate Shading and other advanced features.
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