TechPowerUp is Hiring Motherboard and Memory Reviewers

We have open positions on our team for 1) a motherboard reviewer, and 2) a memory reviewer. TechPowerUp Reviews are renowned for their in-depth focus on technical and performance aspects, and are supported by a large selection of tests. We are looking for someone with experience tweaking hardware in general—and memory in particular—ideally with some overclocking experience. As a motherboard reviewer you should be able to identify the various components of a motherboard PCB, discuss their quality aspects, test relevant onboard devices, provide technical photography, and put the motherboard through a selection of tests that will evolve with your feedback and community interest. Likewise for memory, we'll need you to be able to push the memory module to its limits, to detail its OC tuning potential and stability (we're not expecting you to do LN2). You should also be able to understand DRAM IC choices, memory timings and their effects, and how everything comes together for the big picture.
Friday, July 23rd 2021

Seagate Launching Mass Market 20 TB PMR HDDs in The Coming Months

Seagate has recently announced during their latest earnings call that they are preparing to launch mass-market 20 TB PMR hard drives in H2 2021. Seagate already has several business-focused 20 TB HAMR drives which are available in limited quantities to select partners. These new 20 TB PMR drives will feature two-dimensional magnetic recording and are already sampling with customers. Seagate is also working on SMR 20 TB drives for Hyperscale systems with specialized software. Seagate hopes this growing lineup of 20 TB drives will help them address specific customer needs.
Seagate CEOWe expect to begin shipping 20 terabyte PMR drives in the second half of this calendar year.

Valve Claims Steam Deck Can Run Entire Steam Library Within Performance Target

Valve has recently stated in a recent interview with IGN that they haven't encountered a single Steam game that could not run on the Steam Deck at their performance target. The performance target set by Valve is 30 FPS at the device's native resolution of 1,280 x 800 and according to Valve developers, this was achieved with new and old titles. The Steam Deck is powered by a custom AMD quad-core Zen2 SoC with RDNA2 graphics which is paired with 16 GB of LPDDR5 memory.
ValveAll the games we wanted to be playable, it's really the whole Steam library there. We haven't really found something that this device couldn't handle yet,

Electronic Arts Announces Battlefield Briefing Game Creation Sandbox

Battlefield Portal is a community-driven platform within Battlefield 2042 that will let you create and find fantastic experiences made by the series' creative and passionate community. The creation suite includes Settings, custom modes, and a Logic Editor so you can build your own signature spin on Battlefield's sandbox; you'll be able to change team ratios, tweak victory conditions, restrict weapons, and even put different factions from different eras in Battlefield's history against one another. Those who want to focus on discovering what others have created will have easy access to an entire world of unexpected battles featuring some of the series' most famous eras mashed together in distinct, exciting experiences.

On top of the content available in Battlefield 2042, Battlefield Portal also lets you play with maps, weapons, vehicles, and more from some of Battlefield's greatest experiences, all reimagined at modern visuals. We're excited for you to be able to relive content from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield : Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3.

Innodisk Releases Industrial-grade 112-Layer 3D TLC SSDs

Innodisk, a leading global provider of industrial flash and memory solutions, announces its industrial-grade 112-Layer 3D TLC SSDs along with the world's highest capacity up to 8 TB. The 112-layer SSDs introduces a complete product line including the SATA 3TG6-P and 3TE7 series, as well as the PCIe Gen 3 x4 and Gen 4 x4 series.

The new TLC SSD Series marks Innodisk's continued development with 3D NAND design, bringing better efficiency, faster performance, and increased capacity. Compared to the previous 96-layer technology that offered a maximum of 2 TB storage, the new 112-layer PCIe Gen 4x4 series increase the capacity to 8 TB for U.2 SSD, which is the highest in the industry, while increased the capacity to 4 TB for M.2 (P80). Beyond capacity increases, 112-layer is also faster, with the PCIe Gen 4x4 series clocking in at speeds up to 7500/6700 MB/s (8CH) and 3800/3000 MB/s (4CH). The marked increase in performance meets the growing needs of AIoT applications and industries in 5G, edge computing, deep learning, smart surveillance and smart medical where speed and higher capacity support are critical.

EVGA Announces SuperNOVA P6 Power Supplies

The EVGA SuperNOVA P6 power supplies feature a new platform design, using new materials and better layout placement to achieve greater performance with extremely low ripple and noise in an even smaller chassis. With a full-bridge, LLC Resonant Rectification, and DC-DC design, the SuperNOVA P6 provides rock-solid stability, uncompromising efficiency, and extremely tight voltage regulation.

Hardware OPP is designed to trip at 135% max wattage as a last resort to protect the system, but the SuperNOVA P6 also features firmware OPP to anticipate harmful load behavior 5-10% sooner by shutting off the power supply when over-power conditions persist longer than 1 ms while avoiding an instantaneous overload trigger protection malfunction during momentary peak wattage.
Thursday, July 22nd 2021
Montech Air 100 Lite Review - All-White on a Budget

Montech Air 100 Lite Review - All-White on a Budget

The Montech Air 100 Lite is the entry-level version of the Air 100 line, with its black variant starting at $60. For a few dollars more, you get the chassis in all-white, which doesn't only look beautiful, but also makes it one of the few all-white cases out there at that price point.
Akko 3108v2 King Koi Review - Lucky Calligraphy

Akko 3108v2 King Koi Review - Lucky Calligraphy

If the Akko Monet's Pond keyboard was too flashy for you, maybe the King Koi suits your needs better? We take a look at the 310v2 King Koi today, which draws inspiration from Chinese ink drawings and calligraphy to depict a Koi pond and neighboring elements on the keyboard.

Intel Reports Second-Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported second-quarter 2021 financial results. "There's never been a more exciting time to be in the semiconductor industry. The digitization of everything continues to accelerate, creating a vast growth opportunity for us and our customers across core and emerging business areas. With our scale and renewed focus on both innovation and execution, we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, which I believe is merely the beginning of what will be a decade of sustained growth across the industry," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. "Our second-quarter results show that our momentum is building, our execution is improving, and customers continue to choose us for leadership products."

Electronic Arts Announces the Return of Dead Space

Motive, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced during EA Play Live 2021 the sci-fi classic survival horror game, Dead Space, will be returning as a remake completely rebuilt from the ground up. Dead Space is being developed exclusively for next generation consoles and PC, raising the level of horror and immersion to unprecedented heights for the franchise through stunning visuals, audio and controls powered by the Frostbite game engine. Fans will experience an improved story, characters, gameplay mechanics and more as they fight to survive a living nightmare aboard the desolate mining starship, the USG Ishimura, all while uncovering the dreadful mystery of what happened to the slaughtered crew and ship.

"The Dead Space franchise made a huge impact on the survival horror genre when it was released 12 years ago, and I came to Motive as a fan first to specifically work on this game," said Phillippe Ducharme, Senior Producer of Dead Space. "We have a passionate team at Motive who are approaching this remake as a love letter to the franchise. Going back to the original and having the opportunity to do so on next-gen consoles excited everyone on the team. As we look to modernize the game, we've reached out to dedicated fans and invited them to provide us with feedback since the early stages of production to deliver the Dead Space game they want and for new players to enjoy as well."

Thermaltake Announces Floe RC Ultra and ToughLiquid Ultra AIO Liquid Coolers

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Case, Cooling, Gaming peripherals and enthusiast memory solutions, is delighted to present new members to the all-in-one liquid cooler family with two products: Floe RC Ultra 240/360 CPU & Memory AIO Liquid Cooler and TOUGHLIQUID Ultra 240/360 CPU AIO Liquid Cooler.

New to the Thermaltake AIO series, these two AIO Liquid Coolers have three main features in common: Firstly they both come with high-performance TOUGHFAN 12 Turbo radiator fans that are tuned to an impressive maximum speed of 2,500RPM, guaranteeing the strong airflow for an enhanced cooling result whether you are working or gaming. Secondly, they incorporate a bright 2.1" LCD display on the CPU water block (and another individual 3.9" LCD display for Floe RC Ultra memory water block), bringing great visual aesthetics, and giving users full customization options to create more personalized visual effects that include uploading fun GIFs or any pictures in jpg format you like. Last but not least, they are supported by the latest Thermaltake TT RGB PLUS 2.0 Software, allowing users to monitor real-time PC information such as CPU, GPU, and offering more customized lighting effects to reach the higher visual customization.

Chieftronic Unveils the M2 Gaming Cube Case

CHIEFTRONIC, the gaming-focused brand from CHIEFTEC, is proud to announce the launch of the gaming cube M2, building out its case portfolio with a mesh front panel for optimized airflow and 2x Tempered glass for a perfect view of the system. The Chieftronic M2 is the next upgraded iteration of the original M1 gaming cube case for significantly improved performance.

The newly designed front panel incorporates mesh for optimized airflow, the increased number of stock fans to 3 pieces, and the added support for 240 mm radiator in the top panel, in addition to the front support for 280 mm radiator, makes the M2 a very capable case for a high-performance gaming rig. Side panels made from tempered glass allow a clean view of the installed system and the case comes with a certified A-RGB control hub.

All Team Group Industrial Products Pass Military-Grade Certification

Leading memory provider TEAMGROUP today announced that all of its industrial storage products have passed military standards testing for shock and vibration resistance. The company's unique graphene-coated copper heatsink was also awarded a U.S. utility patent and is the world's first heat sink to be used for industrial SSDs. In response to the growing Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) and edge computing trends, TEAMGROUP continues to improve the durability, reliability, and safety of its industrial products, striving to create innovative solutions in the field of industrial control.

TEAMGROUP's industrial product series, including industrial memory modules, SSDs and memory cards, have all been tested and certified to meet military shock (MIL-STD-202G and MIL-STD-883K) and vibration (MIL-STD-810G) standards. Whether focused on edge computing or 5G related applications, these products are guaranteed to handle high-speed data processing and computing for long periods of continuous operation. TEAMGROUP has once again proven the stability and durability of its industrial products, which meet the demanding needs for data security and industrial control in extreme conditions.
Wednesday, July 21st 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Harddisks
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
BLON BL-A8 Prometheus In-Ear Monitors Review

BLON BL-A8 Prometheus In-Ear Monitors Review

What do you get when you cross IEMs with an alien space ship? The BLON BL-A8 Prometheus aims to answer this with a unique 3D-printed openwork shell that is quite unlike anything else on the outside and keeps things simple on the inside with a single 10 mm diaphragm dynamic driver.
Team Group Cardea Zero Z44Q 2 TB Review

Team Group Cardea Zero Z44Q 2 TB Review

With the Cardea Zero Z44Q, Team Group is exploring the possibility of QLC NAND on PCI-Express 4.0 powered by a Phison E16 controller. Included with the drive are two heatsinks: a flat foil for laptops and a full-sized heatsink for desktop. We test thermals of all three cooling configurations to see how much of a difference they can make.
Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Pro AX Review

Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Pro AX Review

The Gigabyte Z590 AORUS Pro AX promises high-end performance at a mainstream price. Featuring a direct 13-phase VRM with top of the line power stages, four M.2 slots with double-sided heatsinks, and Gigabyte’s signature AORUS styling, the Z590 AORUS Pro AX is an extremely compelling option for Rocket Lake.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT & RX 6600 Reportedly Launching August 11th

The AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT and RX 6600 are two upcoming mid-range graphics cards that appear set to launch on August 11th. The Radeon RX 6600 XT is expected to feature all 2048 Stream Processors of the Navi 23 GPU and will be paired with 8 GB of GDDR6 memory. The Radeon RX 6600 will feature the same Navi 23 GPU but with 1792 Stream Processors and will be paired with 4 GB or 8 GB of memory. The Navi 23 GPU is already present in the mobile RX 6600M and the workstation Radeon Pro W6600 which should give an indication of potential performance. We have limited information for the MSRP of the two cards but they will likely come in under 400 USD however final retail prices are unknown. The August 11th date is specifically stated to be the launch day so we will likely see an announcement in the coming weeks.

Update Jul 22nd: We have received an update from YouTuber Coreteks who claims that only the RX 6600 XT will launch on August 11th and that the RX 6600 has been delayed until September or October.

NVIDIA Multi-Chip-Module Hopper GPU Rumored To Tape Out Soon

Hopper is an upcoming compute architecture from NVIDIA which will be the first from the company to feature a Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) design similar to Intel's Xe-HPC and AMD's upcoming CDNA2. The Hopper architecture has been teased for over 2 years but it would appear that it is nearing completion with a recent leak suggesting the product will tape out soon. This compute GPU will likely be manufactured on TSMC's 5 nm node and could feature two dies each with 288 Streaming Microprocessors which could theoretically provide a three-fold performance improvement over the Ampere-based NVIDIA A100. The first product to feature the GPU is expected to be the NVIDIA H100 data center accelerator which will serve as a successor to the A100 and could potentially launch in mid-2022.

TerraMaster Introduces D16 Thunderbolt 3 Storage Tower

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products for home, businesses and enterprises, proudly presents the D16 Thunderbolt 3 16-bay professional storage solution. The TerraMaster D16 Thunderbolt 3 is the world's most compact 16-bay tower storage. It uses the high-speed Thunderbolt 3 interface with up to 40 Gbps data transfer speed for fast and efficient 4K/8K video editing. It comes fitted with smart quiet fans for efficient and silent cooling that won't disrupt working professionals.

Designed for demanding professionals such as video editors, animators, CAD users, and other content creators, the D16 Thunderbolt 3 delivers more than just high-speed, high-capacity storage. It features support for different professional-grade RAID modes to suit your needs.It also comes in a black and silver aluminium chassis that will fit any modern workspace with efficient silent thermal design.

QNAP Launches 16-bay TL-R1620Sdc Dual-controller SAS 12Gb/s JBOD Unit

QNAP Systems, Inc., a leading computing, and storage solutions innovator, today released the 3U 16-bay TL-R1620Sdc dual-controller SAS 12Gb/s storage expansion unit. Supporting 12 Gbps SAS, Broadcom SAS DataBolt bandwidth optimization technology, and a dual path mini-SAS design with redundant power supply, enterprises can benefit from optimal performance and enhanced system reliability. Up to seven TL-R1620Sdc units can be daisy-chained to expand the capacity of dual-controller QNAP NAS and Windows Servers, providing scalability and high reliability for mission-critical storage of file servers, virtualization, surveillance, medium-sized data centers, multimedia, and more.

"For mission-critical enterprise environments, we recommend using a dual-controller NAS with dual-controller TL-R1620Sdc JBOD units to establish a reliable IT base with future-proof scalability", said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "The dual-path architecture ensures failure resistance to fulfill uninterrupted mission-critical enterprise tasks and continuous business services."

New World (Closed Beta), an MMO, Found Bricking GeForce RTX 3090 Graphics Cards

A closed beta of "New World," an MMO in development by Amazon Game Studios, is found damaging NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards. Apparently the game causes a catastrophic failure of RTX 3090 graphics cards, even before it begins rendering the scene. "I just bricked a 3090 in the main menu after setting my graphics quality to medium and hitting save," wrote one user on Reddit.

Amazon in a statement on Wednesday, said that it has received two reports from RTX 3090 users on high GPU usage when playing the game, "consistent with playing a graphically rich game." It is said to be working on a patch that addresses the issue, but in the meantime, urged users to dial down their graphics settings. EVGA has come out with a statement of its own, saying that its RTX 3090 graphics cards getting bricked for playing the game would be "completely under warranty."

Seagate Technology Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Results

Seagate Technology Holdings plc (NASDAQ: STX) (the "Company" or "Seagate") today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended July 2, 2021. "Seagate delivered very strong June quarter results achieving the highest revenue in the last 6 years and the highest non-GAAP EPS in 9 years, which capped a fiscal 2021 in which we outperformed our expectations," said Dave Mosley, Seagate's chief executive officer.

"Demand for data is rapidly accelerating in the cloud and at the edge, driving secular growth for mass capacity data storage. Seagate's industry-leading product portfolio for mass data infrastructure places the company in an outstanding position to capitalize on robust demand trends, generate solid and increasing free cash flow and achieve our long-term financial objectives."

Majority of Puget Systems' Workstations Ship with AMD Processors

Puget Systems is a company that specializes in workstations and servers that are popular with the scientific community. The company just revealed that a majority of its systems shipped are now powered by AMD processors. These include Ryzen desktop or Ryzen Threadripper HEDT/workstation processors. "AMD has made enormous improvements to its CPU line year over year. In fact, more than 50% of our recommended systems are powered by AMD Ryzen
or Threadripper CPUs!," the company tweeted. The Ryzen Threadripper lineup has dominated the HEDT and workstation scene as all models support ECC memory, and the chips come in core counts of up to 64.

Neo Forza Announces DDR4-5000 and DDR4-4600 Memory Kits for AMD Zen 3 and Intel Rocket Lake

Regardless the hype surrounding the impending DDR5 memory and boards, Neo Forza (the gaming arm and brand of Goldkey Technology Corporation, TAIWAN) firmly believes DDR4 systems to still be the de-facto choice for the gaming community for some time to come, due primarily to both budget considerations and the large pool of DDR4 community forums. Would not be surprised for DDR4 versions of Alder Lake boards and Zen 4 boards to appear in the near horizon.

Entrenched in this belief, Neo Forza proudly announces release of readily available DDR4-5000 and DDR4-4600 memory. Neo Forza's frequency segmentation; 3000-3600 MHz | 3600-4400 MHz | 4400-5000 MHz is acknowledgement of bulk of PC gamers and enthusiasts to having systems one to two generations behind very latest CPU and mainboard offerings. Neo Forza's frequency segmentation practically matches DDR4 motherboard chipset tiers and CPU configurations, thereby eking out every last drop of performance from the system, maximizing budgets across all tiers of enthusiasts.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Mini-PCs from Morefine & Minisforum Coming Soon

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX was announced in early 2021 and while it has seen strong adoption in the laptop market we are yet to see any Mini-PCs equipped with the processor. This looks set to change as Hong Kong company Morefine have recently announced the S500+ Mini PC featuring the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 9 5900HX. The Morefine S500+ can be equipped with up to 32 GB of DDR4-3200 or LPDDR4-4266 memory along with a 1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD in addition to a 2.5" drive bay. The computer includes WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity along with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and 2.5 GbE Ethernet. Morefine isn't the only company planning a Ryzen 9 5900HX Mini-PC with Minisforum confirming to VideoCardz that they also have a product under development. The two companies haven't officially confirmed pricing or availability for these upcoming products.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Pictured, Tested

Pictures of a made-by-AMD (MBA) Radeon RX 6600 XT OEM graphics card hit the web. This particular card has all the signs of an MBA card, including the AMD logo near the PCIe fingers, and barcode stickers of the font used by PC Partner, the OEM that makes MBA cards. This isn't necessarily the reference card whose renders are floating on the web, but one that AMD supplies to pre-built desktop manufacturers.

The compact card appears roughly 18-20 cm in length, is dual-slot, and uses a single 8-pin PCIe power input. Its cooling solution uses an aluminium mono-block heatsink that's ventilated by a pair of 80 mm fans. The person with access to this sample put out performance numbers from the internal benchmark of a game popular in China, called Ludashi, as well as how it compares to other graphics cards in this test. The results are interesting. The RX 6600 XT apparently beats or matches the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, which means it should have a comfortable lead over the RTX 3060, at least in this test. AMD is expected to launch the RX 6600 XT in the retail channel, on August 11, 2021.
Tuesday, July 20th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
SSD
SteelSeries Rival 5 Review

SteelSeries Rival 5 Review

SteelSeries markets the Rival 5 as a multi-genre mouse: the TrueMove Air 18,000 CPI sensor, flexible cable, and 86 g weight make it suitable for FPS games. MOBA and MMO games benefit from the main buttons rated for 80 million clicks and nine programmable buttons in total, along with extensive software configurability.
Royal Kludge RK84 Keyboard Review

Royal Kludge RK84 Keyboard Review

The Royal Kludge brand is popular for several keyboard models that took advantage of its in-house engineering, design, and manufacturing facilities. With the RK84, we see features that come on flagship keyboards at a budget price, including a 3-port USB hub, wired/Bluetooth/2.4 GHz connectivity options, and more!
XPG XENIA 14 Review

XPG XENIA 14 Review

XPG's Xenia 14 is a slick ultrabook focused on a "gaming lifestyle" with its fully-featured 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake processor packed into a frame weighing in at less than one kilogram. Battery life is very good, giving you up to 6 hours of Netflix, and fan noise is minimal, too.

Intel Core i9-12900K Allegedly Beats AMD Ryzen 9 5950X at Cinebench R20

With qualification samples of the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" processors and companion Socket LGA1700 motherboards hitting the black-market, expect a deluge of benchmarks on social media. One such that stands out makes a fascinating claim that the i9-12900K beats AMD's current flagship Ryzen 9 5950X processor at Cinebench R20, which has been AMD's favorite multi-threaded benchmark. At stock speeds, with liquid cooling, the i9-12900K allegedly scores 810 points in the single-threaded test, and 11600 points in multi-threaded.

To put these numbers into perspective, a retail Ryzen 9 5950X scores 641 points in the single-threaded test, and 10234 points in multi-threaded, in our own testing. The i9-12900K is technically a 16-core processor, just like the 5950X, but half its cores are low-power "Gracemont." The "Alder Lake-S" chip appears to be making up ground on the single-threaded performance of the "Golden Cove" P-core, that's a whopping 25% higher than the "Zen 3" core on the 5950X. This is aided not just by higher IPC, but also the max boost frequency of 5.30 GHz for 1~2 cores, and 5.00 GHz "all-core" boost (for the P-cores).

GIGABYTE AERO Laptops Thrill Content Creators with Complete Package

In today's digital age, everyone is a content creator. The digital content created from anywhere around the world has now become our main source of entertainment and information. Laptops have also become a crucial part of a content creator's lifestyle, providing performance on the go in the age of instant updates. At the same time, creators are looking for powerful laptops that can do it all, from editing videos at 4K resolution to broadcasting live streams for the world to see.

The GIGABYTE AERO series laptops are the best tools for creators to handle modern content creation. Similar to its predecessors, the new-gen AERO comes with ultimate performance by sporting Intel's latest 11th-gen processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics. These potent cores deliver blazing processing prowess, making multi-tasking an absolute breeze. Whether it is professional video editing or streaming gaming content, the AERO series laptops meet the diverse needs of all creators.

ZOTAC Launches the MEK HERO High-performance Gaming Desktop Series

ZOTAC USA Inc., a manufacturer of innovative hardware solutions, is excited to announce the market launch of the newest addition to the popular MEK gaming desktop series. Introducing the MEK HERO PC Gaming series - bringing PC gamers a high-performance gaming desktop with hassle-free operation and unrivaled quality.

Powered by ZOTAC and exclusive for the United States, the MEK HERO series features ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 30 series graphics, AMD's latest Ryzen 5000 series processors, and EK liquid cooling. "The MEK HERO is an advanced extension of our hardcore gaming line," said Gary Lau, President of ZOTAC USA Inc. "It's designed to meet the demands of modern games from fast-paced FPS to immersive simulations, and our component partners help us achieve our goal to build a hassle-free high-performance gaming PC with unparalleled stability and compatibility," he explained.

GlobalFoundries Plans to Build New Fab in Upstate New York in Private-Public Partnership

GlobalFoundries (GF), the global leader in feature-rich semiconductor manufacturing, today announced its expansion plans for its most advanced manufacturing facility in upstate New York over the coming years. These plans include immediate investments to address the global chip shortage at its existing Fab 8 facility as well as construction of a new fab on the same campus that will double the site's capacity.

The announcement was made as the company convened leaders from government and industry to progress the national discussion around solving U.S. semiconductor supply chain challenges. CEO Tom Caulfield was joined by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, former Pentagon officials, and executives from leading companies throughout the semiconductor supply chain.

GF will invest $1 billion to immediately add an additional 150,000 wafers per year within its existing fab to help address the global chip shortage. Following that, GF plans to construct a new fab that will create more than 1,000 new direct high-tech jobs and thousands more indirect jobs including high-paying construction jobs for the region. Following the successful investment model of Fab 8, GF is planning to fund the new facility through private-public partnerships including customers, federal and state investments. This new capacity will serve the growing demand for secure, feature-rich chips needed by high-growth markets including automotive, 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things. The facility will also support national security requirements for a secure supply chain.

Xbox Outsells PlayStation in the US by $200 million in June, Sets Hardware Sales Record

According to NPD data, Xbox just set a new hardware sales record the past month of June in the U.S., outselling PlayStation to the tune of a cool $200 million. The Xbox division cumulatively brought in a total $401 million dollars in the past month of June, marking a year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth to the tune of 112%. That large, $401 million number also marks a new record for Xbox and its Microsoft parent - the previous revenue record for the Xbox division was set way back in 2011. ten years later, it can be said that Xbox is better than ever before.

That same $401 million revenue from Xbox hardware clearly puts Sony's PlayStation in the rear-view mirror, as the company "only" achieved a $207 million revenue for June 2021 - a 1% decline YoY. That Microsoft managed to pull this off in the hardware shortage scenario we currently live in is impressive; and it does speak to the amount of pent-up demand that's still vying to enter the company's coffers. The record comes a month after Microsoft announced the deployment of Xbox Series X server blades to its xCloud programme, which occurred on June 26th. It appears likely that the company was distributing its Series X production capabilities between the retail sector and its own xCloud service before June 26th (with the additional time required for installation and all that entails), which would explain the sudden record in June. As Microsoft freed xCloud-bound capacity to the retail sector, the record thus ensued.

Alphacool Announces Apex Soft & Rise Ultra Soft Thermal Pads

Today, Alphacool presents a new generation of thermal pads. The Alphacool Apex Soft and Rise Ultra Soft thermal pads can be compared thermal paste due to their outstanding properties and efficiency.

The Apex Soft and Rise Ultra Soft thermal pads fill up the unevenness of components significantly better than standard pads. As they can nestle between components better, heat transfer between the cooler and component is significantly increased. The softer consistency of the thermal pads also prevents taller components such as voltage converters or VRAM from being subjected to increased contact pressure from the cooler. The special material does not dry out as easily as standard thermal pads, allowing them to be used for a much longer period without any significant loss of performance.

Thermaltake Unveils The Tower 100 Mini Chassis in Turquoise and Racing Green

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, is excited to announce the new release of The Tower 100 Mini Chassis and the TOUGHRAM RGB in Turquoise and followed by Racing Green. The multicolored series lineups are more complete with the addition of new color variants to the Chassis and Memory family.

The new additions of The Tower 100 and the TOUGHRAM RGB inherit the legacy of its original design elements but include additional alluring elements - special colors, rarely seen on the market. With both unparalleled aesthetics and the finest performance, the special-colored The Tower 100 and TOUGHRAM RGB are here to highlight the beauty of your PC build.

ADATA XPG Launches XENIA 14 Lifestyle Ultrabook

XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, today announces the XPG XENIA 14 lifestyle ultrabook. The 14-inch XENIA 14 is geared towards users that require a lightweight and thin ultrabook that offers the performance they need for work and play. The XENIA 14 meets this need perfectly with 11th Gen Intel Core i7 or i5 processors with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, a Full HD IPS display with a 92% screen ratio, up to 10 hours of battery life, and more.

Made from lightweight magnesium alloy, the XENIA 14 is an ultra-portable device that users can take anywhere with ease. Weighing in at just 970 g (2.14lbs), the ultrabook is easy to carry around by hand or in a bag, ideal for business travel or running from meeting room to meeting room. Not only is the XENIA 14 lightweight, but it is also thin too, measuring in at just 15 mm thin.

Phanteks Releases New AMP 850W and AMP 1000W 80Plus Gold Power Supplies

Phanteks is expanding the AMP series with a new 850 W and a 1000 W 80 Plus Gold power supply. Powered by Seasonic, Phanteks AMP Series are high-quality 80 Plus Gold Certified power supplies and are perfectly capable of driving high-end systems with new-gen power-hungry GPUs. The high efficiency and compact design of the AMP series provide up to 1000 watts in 140 mm housing and comes with modular, black, flat power cables to make installation easy and clean. The AMP series features a Hybrid Silent Fan Control that achieves optimal cooling with temperature- controlled fan speed and fan-less mode for silent performance. The AMP series is also Revolt Pro Link certified providing 100% compatibility, reliability, and stability to work directly with the Revolt Pro expandable PSU allowing you to power more. Do more with the new AMP series power supplies and stay worry-free with the 10-year warranty.

GIGABYTE Intros X570S Gaming X Motherboard

GIGABYTE rolled out the X570S Gaming X motherboard, expanding its line of AMD X570S motherboards that debuted in June with a trio of AORUS Gaming and AERO series products. The Gaming X sticks to GIGABYTE's main brand, and is usually priced below its AORUS Gaming models. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and single 8-pin EPS connectors. It uses a 6-layer PCB for better memory and PCIe signalling. A 14-phase (12+2 phase) VRM powers the CPU, with an enlarged MOSFET heatsink. The AMD X570S chipset is cooled by a fanless heatsink.

The AM4 socket is wired to a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, and M.2 NVMe slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring. There are two additional M.2 NVMe slots wired to the X570S chipset, both capable of PCI-Express 4.0 x4. Other expansion slots include a PCI-Express x16 (Gen 4 x2 electrical), and two Gen 4 x1 slots. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gbps USB 3.2 ports on the rear panel, one of which is type-C; and seven 5 Gbps USB 3.2 ports, from which four are on the rear panel, one is an internal type-C port, and two ports via headers. The sole network interface is a 2.5 GbE, driven by a Realtek 8125B controller. The 8-channel onboard audio is basic Realtek ALC892 fare. The board comes with out-of-the-box support for Ryzen 5000 "Vermeer," and Ryzen 5000G "Cezanne" processors, besides Ryzen 3000 series. The company didn't reveal pricing, but we expect this to go for well under $180.

Infortrend Launches U.2 NVMe Scale-out NAS Solution

Infortrend Technology, Inc., the industry-leading enterprise storage provider, has launched U.2 SSD solution for EonStor CS scale-out NAS. The new all-flash CS 4014U satisfies high performance-demanding requirements for high throughput and low latency workloads, such as media & entertainment (M&E), HPC, Big Data, etc.

EonStor CS is a scale-out NAS storage able to expand capacity and linearly increase performance by adding more nodes. CS provides complete data protection and high availability to avoid data loss and system downtime caused by disk damage or system failures. Each node of CS 4014U model can be installed with 14 U.2 SSDs, and a 5-node cluster can reach 20 GB/s throughput.

MSI Also Announces MEG Silent Gale 12 Fan

The MEG SILENT GALE P12 fan is an innovative product that once again demonstrates MSI's well-rounded accomplishments in gaming. With a reserved all-black look, the MEG SILENT GALE P12 fan is capable of generating airflow to the system for effective cooling while maintaining low noise levels. It has a great performance to show, and you just can't hear it coming.

The MEG SILENT GALE P12's fan blades are constructed by liquid crystal polymer (LCP), a compound that reduces vibration while the fan is running at maximum speed and has a high strength that can withstand thermal expansion. The fan blades are also carefully crafted to maximize airflow performance, optimized at a 32-degree angle to retain 58% of the airflow.

MSI Announces MPG Quetude 100S Silent Case

For people that want a modest and more reserved setup while keeping things fun, look over. The MPG QUIETUDE 100S is our first silent gaming PC case that features a variety of noise dampening features and premium materials. The MPG QUIETUDE 100S is ready to perform, and you just can't head it coming.

The MPG QUIETUDE 100S is the first of MSI's products to focus on silence performance. It features MSI's innovative MEG SILENT GALE P12 fan, which is capable of providing sufficient airflow for system cooling while maintaining low noise levels (for more information on the MEG SILENT GALE P12 fan). It features three panels throughout the entire system with sound dampening foams that can effectively shut-in noise. On the MPG QUIETUDE 100S' IO port, there's also a fan speed control button that can set the fans' speed to three stages of RPM at 100%, 70%, 0%. This is so that users can choose for themselves if they want cooling performance with enough airflow or a complete silent operation.

Arcadegeddon Receives AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution Support on PlayStation 5

The first console game to receive AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) support appears to be the cooperative shooter Arcadegeddon on the PlayStation 5. AMD FSR support is currently limited to a handful of PC titles but we expect the list to grow quickly given the integration of the technology into Unity, Unreal Engine, and the Xbox Game Development Kit. Sony hasn't publically confirmed that AMD FSR has been integrated into the PlayStation SDK however after this recent announcement the addition seems likely. The integration of AMD Super Resolution technology into these development tools will enable much faster integration of the feature into new and existing titles.

Microsoft DirectStorage Not a Windows 11 Exclusive

Microsoft DirectStorage API, a game-changing technology that seeks to lower game load times and improve performance, will not be a Windows 11 exclusive, but make it to Windows 10. Shortly following the Windows 11 announcement, it was learned that Microsoft might wall off DirectStorage to Windows 11, which no longer appears to be the case. The DirectStorage Developer Preview is now available, and it works on Windows 10 version 1909 (or later), letting game developers begin exploring the technology and consider integrating it with their current or ongoing game development.

DirectStorage lets a GPU directly stream compressed game assets from an NVMe SSD, where they are uncompressed using compute shaders; cutting out a significant amount of back-and-forth with the CPU, freeing up its hardware resources, resulting in a net gain from reduced game-loading times. This would give gamers on Windows 10 one more reason to remain on the OS until Windows 11 matures. The new OS, however, could have an advantage over Windows 10 on machines with hybrid CPU cores, such as the upcoming "Alder Lake" processors, as its scheduler purportedly has greater awareness of hybrid core topologies.
Monday, July 19th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cooling
CPU Coolers
Game Controllers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Mouse
Mousepads
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
Sound Cards
SSD
Storage
IKKO Gems OH1S In-Ear Monitors Review - Audible Jewelry

IKKO Gems OH1S In-Ear Monitors Review - Audible Jewelry

Ikko impressed us before with the OH10 IEMs, and we take a look at their latest earphones today. The Ikko Gems OH1S uses a brand-new dynamic driver-based hybrid system and comes in two color options, each with a resin layer that adds to the aesthetics of the textured shell.
Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 Review

Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 Review

Microsoft's first-party native support of their Xbox brand has had them bring out relevant hardware and software on Windows as well. The Xbox controller is synonymous with PC gaming today, and we take a look at the Xbox Elite Series 2 to see how it stacks up against the competition.
Alphacool NexXxoS ST25 Full Copper 360 mm Radiator Review

Alphacool NexXxoS ST25 Full Copper 360 mm Radiator Review

Alphacool has its eyes set on the ultra-low-profile radiator market, and we examine the NexXxos ST25 360 mm radiator today. It comes in at just 22.5 mm thick, making it extremely compatible with cases that accept AIO coolers while outperforming them courtesy the full copper core.

Kingston FURY Released, New Lineup Takes Systems to the Next Level

Kingston FURY, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, announced today it has begun shipping its high-performance memory: Kingston FURY Renegade, Kingston FURY Beast, and Kingston FURY Impact. Enthusiasts and gamers can give their systems the upgrade they need and want with modules in DDR4 RGB, DDR4 non-RGB, and DDR3.

Perfect for the gamer who wants cutting-edge performance, Kingston FURY Renegade DDR4 RGB1 allows you to crank up your frame rate, keep your streams broadcasting smoothly, and plow through your highlight reel editing. Offering speeds up to 4600 MHz2 paired with quick CL15-CL19 latencies. The dynamic RGB lighting utilizes Kingston FURY's patented Infrared Sync Technology to provide smooth, synchronized lighting effects. With its own aggressive, stylish black heat spreader and matching black PCB Kingston FURY Renegade DDR4 also provides ultra-fast speeds up to 5333 MHz2, paired with quick CL13-CL20 timings. Both are Intel XMP certified with profiles that are optimized for Intel's latest chipsets - just select the hand-tuned profile in your BIOS and you're ready to strike fear in the hearts of your foes. Available in single module capacities of 8 GB - 32 GB and kits of 2, 4, and 8 with capacities up to 256 GB.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 471.41 Game Ready Drivers: Windows 11 and DLSS on RDR2

NVIDIA today released the latest version of GeForce Game Ready drivers. Version 471.41 WHQL comes with support for Windows 11, including a WDDM 3.0 compliant display driver, making it NVIDIA's first official driver for the upcoming operating system. In addition, the drivers introduce DLSS performance enhancement on Red Dead Redemption 2 and Chernobylite. The drivers also introduce CUDA 11.4 support.

Among the issues fixed are lack of hardware acceleration on Capture One; HUD loss issues on Valorant; a game freeze noticed with DOOM Eternal; League of Legends failing to launch; mouse pointer issues with certain DSC monitors in HDR mode; blurry Ansel depth-of-field in certain games; display resolution being limited to 640x480 on some monitors after updating from older drivers; distorted HDMI audio playback on 8K displays connected via HDMi 2.1, and HDMI audio drop-outs on LG C9 OLED TVs.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 471.41 WHQL

NVIDIA Brings RTX and DLSS to Arm Platform

NVIDIA at GDC dropped a major hint at where it wants to take PC gaming post the Arm acquisition. The company is demonstrating its RTX real-time raytracing technology, and the DLSS performance enhancement, on an Arm processor by MediaTek. To the PC, this means NVIDIA is laying the foundations of gaming in the post-x86 world where it holds Arm IP; foundations that were dug up by Apple and its mighty M1 chip, based on Arm CPU technology.

Making this unequivocal, was MediaTek. "RTX is the most groundbreaking technology to come to PC gaming in the last two decades," said PC Tseng, general manager of MediaTek's Intelligent Multimedia Business Unit."MediaTek and NVIDIA are laying the foundation for a new category of Arm-based high-performance PCs." The Taiwan-based Arm SoC major has developed a new Arm-based PC processor called Kompanio 1200, which it hopes will power PC platforms much like the Apple M1 or the Qualcomm Compute Platforms.

ASUS TUF Gaming Introduces the VG32AQL1A Monitor: 32" Fast IPS, QHD, 170 Hz, DisplayHDR 400

ASUS today via its TUF Gaming brand introduced the VG32AQL1A monitor, which is sure to tick a lot of boxes for many people looking for a gaming monitor. The 32" diagonal may put some off due to the typical distance users sit away from the monitor. The 2560 x 1440 Fast IPS panel features a 1 ms response time and 170 Hz refresh rate - as well as support for FreeSync Premium and NVIDIA's G-Sync Compatible program. In addition to the fast response time and refresh rates, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG32AQL1A also features ELMB sync (for black frame insertion and motion blur reduction) as well as a smart, "variable overdrive" setting that dynamically changes monitor overdrive values according to the current frame rate so as to further reduce motion blur.

Typical brightness is set at a standard 300 cd/m², with peak brightness achieving the 400 cd/m² that enables this monitor to boast of VESA's Display HDR 400 certification. Contrast ratio is 1,000:1, and color coverage stands at 99% of the DCI-P3 standard. I/O is ensured by 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x earphone jack, and 2x 2 W stereo speakers. Usability is improved by the stand's support for -5 to 20 ° tilt, -10 to 10 ° swivel, and 0 to 90 mm height adjustments. No pricing information was available at time of writing.

Scalpers Already "Offering" the Steam Deck for $5,000 on eBay

Valve's Steam Deck announcement took the gaming world by storm last week, as the announcement of a Valve-designed portable gaming console packing an AMD Zen 2 CPU with RDNA2 cores set collective imaginations on fire. However, as is the case for any recent gaming hardware launches, expect the Steam Deck to be hard to come by - demand for a mainstream portable, Switch-like console that promises to enable AAA-gaming on the go is apparently sky-high, despite the fact that some portable devices exploring the same concept have been available for a while now, such as the AYA Neo (which even packs two extra Zen 2 cores) and the Intel-based One XPlayer.

As is the case for any recent hardware launch that garners enough mainstream attention (looking at you, current-gen GPUs and consoles), a lopsided demand-supply ratio is a playground for unscrupulous types looking to make a profit at the expense of other people's impatience. And it sure is happening already - eBay listings for "pre-order confirmed" Steam Deck variants are already being set at €4,324 (roughly $4,989) - though we'd say they're tentatively set at that ludicrous pricing. It seems that the current median asking price sits around the $900 mark for the 512 GB SSD-equipped variant. Tentative or not, this just goes to show that the new normal is for launched products to be actively gauged for scalping practices - more now than ever before.

Ukrainian Police Close Illegal Mining Farm with 3800 PlayStation 4 Consoles

The Ukrainian Security Service (USS) have recently exposed a large illegal cryptocurrency mining operation in the city of Vinnytsia. The mining farm was illegally connected to the power grid stealing power so efficiency didn't appear to be a major concern. The SSU seized 3800 game consoles, 500 graphics cards, 50 processors, and various documents with information of the operation. This is the first time we have seen the PlayStation 4 being used to mine Cryptocurrency however the idea isn't insane with various older consoles having been programmed to do so. The PlayStation 4 features an AMD GPU with 18 Compute Units and roughly 1.84 TFLOPs of single-precision compute performance while the PlayStation 4 Pro offers 4.2 TFLOPs.

Update Jul 19th: We have learned that these PlayStation 4 consoles were not being used for cryptocurrency mining and instead were part of a FIFA bot farm creating and leveling up accounts that could later be sold.

Intel Core i9-12900K Qualification Samples Black-marketed for Roughly $1100

Qualification samples (QS) of Intel's upcoming Core i9-12900K "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors just hit the black market for the equivalent of roughly USD $1,064 to $1,157 (6,500 to 7,500 RMB), in China. The processor maxes out the 10 nm silicon, offering 8 "Golden Cove" P-cores, and 8 "Gracemont" E-cores, along with 30 MB of L3 cache, a dual-channel DDR5 memory interface, in a hybrid processor setup. You can bag yourself this QS, but you'll need to find a compatible motherboard. "Alder Lake-S" debuts the new LGA1700 socket, Intel's first major change in the physical dimensions of its mainstream-desktop CPU socket since 2009, mandating a cooler update.

Steam Deck Features M.2 2230 NVMe SSD Slot

The upcoming Steam Deck device has recently been confirmed to feature a M.2 NVMe 2230 slot on all three models. This confirmation comes after Valve CEO Gabe Newell confirmed in various emails the presence of the slot and this information has since been updated on the Steam Deck website. The official device specifications now list all models as featuring socketed 2230 M.2 modules with a notice that they are not intended for end-user replacement. The base Steam Deck model features just 64 GB of eMMC flash so the availability of this upgrade option will be appealing to many users. The M.2 2230 form-factor is the smallest currently available measuring just 22 mm x 30 mm which does come with the disadvantage of less available products and higher prices compared to full size M.2 drives.
Sunday, July 18th 2021

Akasa Unveils NE-west Newton NE and Plato NE Cases, Compatible with NUC Compute Elements

Akasa, a leading provider of passively cooled computer cases and accessories, has released two new fanless cases to the Newton and Plato line-up. These cases are compatible with Intel's 8th generation of Board Element motherboards, and Compute Element products, the latest technology with the potential to change everything we know about computing.

The Compute Element is a system-on-card with modular capabilities, that can be plugged into the Board Element motherboards (a carrier board with a wide variety of inputs and outputs). Intel predicts this to be the next stage of mainstream computing, as upgrades and repairs become easier and more accessible for the consumer.

EK Water Blocks Launches ROG Maximus XIII Hero Monoblock

EK, the premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, releases a new Momentum Monoblock for the ROG Maximus XIII Hero - a motherboard based on the newest Intel Z590 chipset. The EK-Quantum Momentum ROG Maximus XIII Hero monoblock is made available in Plexi and Acetal versions. The Plexi model features addressable D-RGB LEDs compatible with ASUS AURA Sync software enabling full lighting customization for every single diode, at any given time.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for Intel Socket 1200 Series Processors. The monoblock covers the entire VRM section of the ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard. This monoblock boasts the latest generation Velocity cooling engine, used in the EK Quantum Lineup to ensure the best possible CPU and MOSFET cooling without reducing flow to other components. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas providing enthusiasts with an excellent solution for high and stable overclocks. Like every EK monoblock, the EK-Quantum Momentum ROG Maximus XIII Hero features a high flow design easily used in systems with weaker water pumps or lower pump speed settings. The Plexi version of this monoblock comes with sophisticated addressable D-RGB lightning, which connects to a standard 3-pin 5 V D-RGB addressable header on the ROG Maximus XIII Hero.

PNY Announces LX2030 and LX3030 M.2 NVMe Gen3 x4 SSDs for Chia Plotting

PNY announced today the launch of the LX2030 and LX3030 line of ultra high endurance SSDs to the company's assortment of solid-state drives. The new LX families of SSDs offer ever higher levels of endurance designed for "proof of space and time" applications like Chia (XCH) Plotting.

The PNY LX2030 and LX3030 M.2 NVMe SSDs are the ideal solution for "proof of space and time" applications like plotting Chia Coin. To secure the blockchain, the data needs to be first created in a process called "plotting", which is only required once per plot file. This process is write intensive, so a desirable SSD for plotting has high sustained write bandwidth and endurance (TBW, or terabytes written). Typically this level of write performance and endurance was only seen on enterprise class SSDs.

EA Announces Codemasters F1 2021

Codemasters and Electronic Arts Inc. welcome players to the world of Formula 1 racing in F1 2021, now available on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. The latest release in the prestigious F1 series features the teams, drivers, and circuits for the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship and introduces a brand-new story mode, expanded Career mode with two-player option, and three new circuits, Portimão, Imola, and Jeddah, available to all players for free as post launch content.

In the new story mode, Braking Point, players experience the glamorous world of F1 as they rise in the rankings from Formula 2 into a coveted Formula 1 spot, mirroring real-life team dynamics and dramatic run-ins with other drivers on the grid. The expanded Career Mode introduces a two-player option for friends to play online together or choose opposing teams and race against one another in synchronous race sessions. Career Mode also features Real-Season Start, which allows players to start their career at any race in the season that has already occurred, adopting the real-time drive and constructor standing from that point in time.
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