Friday, May 14th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage
Mistel X-VIII Keyboard Review

Mistel X-VIII Keyboard Review

Mistel brings us their first full-size keyboard after a long run of smaller form factors. The X-VIII (X8->108, get it?) also features their own keycaps, which use thick PBT plastic and doubleshot injected legends. Add the optional Bluetooth and a choice of five Cherry MX switches and Mistel put out a lot of options to appeal to everyone here!
ASUS ROG Gladius III Review

ASUS ROG Gladius III Review

The newest iteration of the right-handed ergonomic ROG Gladius series comes with a whole host of new features: PixArt's PAW3370 sensor tuned for 26,000 CPI, second-generation hot-swappable main-button switches with super-low click latency, and a 76 g lightweight construction, along with a soft, flexible cable and pure PTFE feet.

EK's GPU Water Block for the Aorus Xtreme/Master RTX 30 Series Is Ready

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is ready to offer its premium high-performance GPU water block for the AORUS Xtreme and Master editions of the GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards - the EK-Quantum Vector Xtreme RTX 3080/3090 D-RGB. The new water block is one of the larger ones in the 3000 series, so make sure your PC case can accommodate it. It's 150.5 mm wide and 295 mm long, and cools all critical components on the GPU's printed circuit board. This gives the water block a market advantage of having a clean design, showing off all of the cooling liquid, and cooling each and every necessary component.

The EK-Quantum Vector Xtreme RTX 3080/3090 water block is compatible with AORUS Xtreme and Master RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards. It actively cools the GPU core, top-mounted VRAM, power stages, and chokes in the VRM section. Clean, symmetrically shaped, optimized flow paths reduce hydrodynamic instabilities and vortexing (dead spots) inside of them.

Binance, World's Largest Crypto Exchange, Reportedly Under Investigation by DoJ, IRS

Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange in trade volume, is reportedly being investigated by both the US Department of Justice and the IRS. Ever since its founding in 2017, Binance has been the de-facto castle door towards the world of crypto - that the eyes of justice and fiscal-enforcement are set upon it shouldn't come as a surprise. Incorporated in the Cayman Islands - a well-known offshore paradise for avoidance of taxation - the firm has an operating office in Singapore, and has thus been able to skirt massive amounts of tax (though not unlike many other, more traditional businesses do). The investigation also shouldn't come as a surprise considering how cryptocurrency - for all its technological and economic impact - is now one of the more common currencies in usage for the enablement and support of illegal activities.

According to Chainalysis.inc, a company specializing in scrutinizing the crypto market and its players, Binance was the principal crypto exchange through where funds derived from illegal activities went. According to the company, the amount of money attributed to illegal activities isn't low either; Chainalysis estimated Binance was the gateway of choice for moving upwards of $756 million dollars in illegal activities, a tidy percentage of its 2.8 billion dollar flux in that same year. No formal investigation has been announced yet, but this could be the prelude to a deeper dive onto the company's finances and possible enablement of criminal activity.

Valve's Gabe Newell Hints at Possible Plan for Consoles

Valve's head, Gabe Newell, has on Monday talked to the students at Auckland, New Zealand's Sancta Maria College. While Mr. Newell spoke to students, one of them has asked Mr. Newell about the company's plans for consoles and has recorded the response. The student then proceeded to upload the recording to Reddit, but, it was later deleted. However, we are in luck as Ars Technica reported on this and we have managed to get a bit of new information about what's coming from Valve and what we can expect. During the talk, a student asked Mr. Newell: "Will Steam be porting any games on consoles, or will it just stay on PC?"

To that, Mr. Newell responded by saying: "You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year... and it won't be the answer you expect. You'll say, 'Ah-ha! Now I get what he was talking about.'" This is a rather vague answer to a question and it doesn't give us much information, other than the fact that we can expect something towards the end of 2021. This could mean anything, so we are not sure yet. However, we will keep an eye on it and make sure to report every new information as it appears.

GoodOffer24 Unveils Summer Sales: Save Big on Discount Genuine Software

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Radeon RX 6900 XT Overclocked to 3321MHz, Breaks FireStrike World Record

A PowerColor Radeon RX 6900 XT (Liquid Devil or Red Devil) graphics card was overclocked to a staggering 3321 MHz by professional overclocker OGS, which went on to bag the 3DMark FireStrike world record, with a score of 37618 points on the HWBot leaderboard. It's important to note here, that the benchmark run was done with tessellation disabled—something that UL Benchmarks doesn't consider valid for its own leaderboard, but HWBot allows such benchmark runs, and so here we are. The FireStrike leaderboard has been dominated by the RX 6900 XT, as the card beats even the GeForce RTX 3090 in this test.

ADATA XPG Launches SPECTRIX D45 RGB and GAMMIX D45G DDR4 Memory Modules

XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, announces the XPG GAMMIX D45 and SPECTRIX D45G RGB DDR4 memory modules. Sporting rugged industrial designs and equally robust capabilities, the modules are designed for discerning overclockers and gamers seeking gaming flair and reliable overclocking performance.

The GAMMIX D45 and SPECTRIX D45G RGB sport black armor-like aluminium exteriors with rugged ridges and a hefty look and feel. Not only do they look and feel robust, but they also offer incredibly sturdy performance for overclocking. They achieve this by using only the highest quality IC chips and PCBs and feature Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0 support. XMP 2.0 makes overclocking a snap and enhances system stability. Instead of adjusting individual parameters in BIOS, users can do it right through their PC's operating system. Both modules have been rigorously tested, and verified to work with the latest AMD platforms for hassle-free compatibility and seamless performance. Both modules come in the following capacities - 8, 16, and 32 GB.

ASUS Outs ROG Cetra II Core In-ear Gaming Headset

ASUS today rolled out the ROG Cetra II Core, an in-ear, wired, gaming headset designed to go with ASUS ROG gaming notebooks, and the ROG Phone. The analog headset uses conventional 3-pole, 3.5 mm jack, and features an in-line mic within the control stock. Unlike the original ROG Cetra II, it lacks active noise-cancellation or concealed mic located in the earbuds; or even USB-C support. You still get the same 9.4 mm Essence Liquid Silicone Rubber (LSR) drivers designed for deep bass. The headphones are capable of 20 Hz to 40 kHz frequency response, and 32 Ω impedance. An aluminium body for the earbuds, 1.25 m-long tangle-counteracting cable, and a set of rubber ear-contacts make for the rest of it. The ROG Cetra II Core is expected to be priced at $50.

MSI Warns Against Malicious Afterburner Website

MSI is informing the public of a malicious software being disguised as the official MSI Afterburner software. The malicious software is being unlawfully hosted on a suspicious website impersonating as MSI's official website with the domain name https://afterburner-msi.space. MSI has no relation with this website or the aforementioned domain.

The fraudulent website imitates MSI's official webpage appearance and design, and offers downloads for MSI's Afterburner. This webpage is hosting software which may contain virus, trojan, keylogger, or other type of malicious program that have been disguised to look like MSI Afterburner. The Public is warned not to download any software from this website!
Update May 14th: TechPowerUp Forums member silentbogo detected the host and CDN behind the malicious Afterburner app, and reported it to them. In response to these reports, the CDN, Hipolink, has deleted the accounts responsible for this, while the host, timeweb.ru, said that they are investigating this. Our Kudos to silentbogo.

South Korea Unveils Ambitious $450 Billion Semiconductor Manufacturing Investment Plan

The South Korean government, along with 153 Korean companies, has unveiled an ambitious plan to invest USD $450 billion over the next decade, to make its semiconductor manufacturing industry globally competitive, as China and the U.S. are executing similar national plans of their own, which threaten to blunt South Korea's competitiveness in the industry. Leading the effort will be Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

Samsung will be spending over $151 billion through 2030 in expanding its manufacturing facilities, while SK Hynix will spend $97 billion to expand its existing facilities; in addition to $106 billion planned to build four new fabs in the Yongin. Both Samsung and SK Hynix are predominantly memory companies, manufacturing DRAM and NAND flash products. This means that while Korea is globally competitive in semiconductor manufacturing overall, it is relying mainly on memory dies, and not logic dies (chips such as ASICs, CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, FPGAs, etc). The two could put in efforts to change this, so their foundry capacity attracts fabless logic IC companies away from Taiwan's TSMC, which specializes in logic over memory.

TSMC Briefly Hit by "Power Supply Dip," Production Unaffected

TSMC on Thursday (May 13), was briefly hit by what the company described as a "power supply dip" caused by an island-wide power outage. The outage caused concerns that production at TSMC could be hit, worsening the chip supply situation. Semiconductor fabrication is a highly power-sensitive operation, and any power-loss could result in tremendous loses to the fab from the running batches going to waste. The fabs have redundant power backup to cope with such situations, but these can only pull through until power from the grid is restored. TSMC and UMC have each reported that their fabs located in science parks (special economic zones) throughout Taiwan, have been unaffected by the outage, and that their power-backup measures have come through. Power supply from the grid was restored by Thursday evening.

AMD and GlobalFoundries Wafer Supply Agreement Now Non-Exclusive, Paves Way for 7nm sIOD

AMD in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), revealed that its wafer supply agreement with GlobalFoundries has been amended. Under the new terms, AMD places orders for wafers from GlobalFoundries up to 2024, with purchase targets set for each year leading up to 2024. Beyond meeting these targets, AMD is free from all other exclusivity commitments. The agreement was previously amended in January 2019, setting annual purchase targets for 2019, 2020, and 2021, while beginning a de-coupling between AMD and GlobalFoundries. This enabled the company to source 7 nm (or smaller) chips, such as CCDs and GPUs, from other foundries, such as TSMC, while keeping GlobalFoundries exclusive for 12 nm (or larger) nodes.

The updated wafer supply agreement unlocks many possibilities for AMD. For starters, it can finally build a next-generation sIOD (server I/O die) on a more efficient node than GlobalFoundries 12LP, such as TSMC 7 nm. This transition to 7 nm will be needed as the next-gen "Genoa" EPYC processor could feature future I/O standards such as DDR5 memory and PCI-Express Gen 5, and the switching fabric for these could be too power-hungry on 12 nm. The "Zen 4" CPU core complex dies (CCDs) of "Genoa" are expected to be built on TSMC 5 nm.
Thursday, May 13th 2021
Silicon Power XD80 2 TB Review

Silicon Power XD80 2 TB Review

The Silicon Power XD80 uses a Phison E12 controller paired with 96-layer TLC flash from Toshiba. In our testing, the drive reached performance levels similar to the best PCIe Gen 3 SSDs. Priced at $240 for the 2 TB version, the Silicon Power XD80 is quite affordable, too.

MSI Outs Optix AG321CR Curved Gaming Monitor

MSI today rolled out the Optix AG321CR, a curved 31.5-inch gaming monitor. Its VA panel features 1500R curvature, and conventional 16:9 aspect-ratio, with WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) native resolution. Its other gamer-relevant specs include 1 ms (MPRT) response time, 165 Hz refresh rate, 10-bpc color (1.07 billion colors), 178°/178° viewing angles, and support for AMD FreeSync Premium technology. Other panel specs include 250 cd/m² maximum brightness, and 3,000:1 static contrast ratio. Its stand allows height, tilt, and 30° of pivot. A USB 2.0 hub, and an RGB ornament behind the panel, make for the rest of it. The company didn't reveal pricing.

DeepCool Intros Gamer Storm Castle 360EX A-RGB AIO CPU Cooler

DeepCool today introduced the Gamer Storm Castle 360EX A-RGB, its top all-in-one, liquid, CPU cooler. The company made a handful updates over older generations of Castle EX AIOs. To begin with, the cooler features a dual-chamber pump with 2,550 RPM top speed. Updates have been made to the coolant path in this pump-block. The cold-plate has also been updated, with 25% more copper microfins. The pump-block is capped off with a new ARGB LED-illuminated infinity-mirror ornament that shows off the latest company logo.

The pump-block is plumbed to a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator which features an ambient air-pressure normalization mechanism DeepCool calls Anti-Leak Tech-Inside. This is basically a rubber bladder that swells when the ambient air-pressure is higher than the loop, to minimize leaks caused due to the pressure differential. Each of the three included CF120 fans features hydraulic bearings, turns between 500 to 1,800 RPM, pushing up to 69.34 CFM of air-flow at 2.42 mm H₂O pressure, and max noise output of 30 dBA. The cooler is expected to be priced around $170.

EIZO Releases 55-Inch 4K UHD Chart Table Monitor with Multitouch Capability

EIZO Corporation today announced the DuraVision MDU5501WT - a 55-inch chart table monitor with 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) resolution with projected capacitive (PCAP) touch panel technology for modern maritime route planning and navigation. The DuraVision MDU5501WT's 55-inch 4K UHD screen provides ample space for ship operators to view crucial navigational information from one or more applications in a single location. This allows operators to view navigational charts and other applications in detail, reducing the need to switch windows or zoom.

The monitor can be laid horizontally and has a fully flat surface, allowing it to double as a table for laying out traditional paper charts when they are called for. The wide edges provide a place for the crew to conveniently set items or rest their hands without obstructing the view of the screen. The monitor features PCAP multitouch technology, allowing it to detect up to 10 simultaneous finger inputs or up to two styluses. It is also equipped with palm rejection which allows operators to rest their hand or arm directly on the screen without causing any unintended touch input. Furthermore, the monitor detects liquid spillage on the screen which causes it to automatically disable touch functionality temporarily until the spill has been cleaned. Users can easily turn touch detection on or off by pushing the button conveniently located on the monitor's outer rim.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger Outlines 2020-21 CSR Report, Goals for the Near-Future

The following is an opinion editorial by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. It introduces Intel's 2020-2021 Corporate Responsibility Report: I am honored to return to Intel as CEO, and both humbled by the challenges and excited by the limitless opportunities made possible by the magic of technology.

Digital technology is transforming the world at an accelerated pace, driven by what I call the four "superpowers": cloud, connectivity fueled by 5G, artificial intelligence (Al) and the intelligent edge. They are superpowers because each expands the impact of the others. And together, they are reshaping every aspect of our lives and work. This goes straight to Intel's purpose and my own passion: creating world-changing technology that touches and improves the lives of every person on the planet.

Samsung Announces Gaming-Grade Notebook Display Panels

Samsung Display has announced that the world's leading certification company SGS certified its laptop OLED for gaming performance, which is featured in Samsung Electronics' latest laptop Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360. According to SGS's test results, the new Samsung Display OLED showed the blur length below 1.4 mm and the moving picture response time below 15.4 ms, both of which are crucial to enjoying dynamic and fast-paced action games. An LCD laptop with identical specs showed the maximum 2.1 mm blur length and the 26.4 ms moving picture response time. Its HDR contrast ratio, which quantifies the sharpness and the depth of an image, resulted in over 1,000,000:1.

According to Samsung Display, fast-paced video games that require higher performance often suffer degradations in image quality when played on a display with a long blur length, which could harm user experience. OLED has a very wide range of contrast thus offers more immersive gaming experience for consumers who favor dynamic, flamboyant games, Samsung Display says.

LG Releases 34WP550-B Monitor: 34" IPS, 2560 x 1080, 21:9, 5 ms, 75 Hz, FreeSync

LG today announced a new addition to its productivity/entertainment-geared monitor lineup. The 34WP550-B monitor seems to be a pretty standard affair for any user that only casually games and isn't looking for the best refresh rates, but wants a solid, ultra-wide monitor to work and consume content in. The 34" diagonal presents images in 21:9 aspect ratio across an IPS-enabled 2560 x 1080 resolution. The refresh rate settles at a pretty standard 75 Hz, albeit with the support of FreeSync - hence the eventual casual gaming scenario for this monitor. The 5 ms response time is nothing to write home about either, but again - this isn't geared for gaming, and is more than sufficient for spreadsheet-processing.

Brightness is quoted at 250cd / ㎡ with a 1,000: 1 contrast ratio, 95% RGB coverage, and typical IPS viewing angles of 178º. I/O is assured by 2x HDMI in and 1x earphone. The LG 34WP550-B is expected to be available for $299/€299 - if you're looking for something to game on, you'd be much better served looking elsewhere, though this is a very nice aspect ratio.

EK Water Blocks Starts Selling 90-degree Pre-bent Acrylic Tubing

EK, the premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is now offering 90-degree pre-bent acrylic tubing to help out liquid cooling beginners and also bring a quality of life improvement for liquid cooling enthusiasts by shortening the time and effort needed to bend the tubing and build the systems.

These pre-bent tubes come in three outer diameters (OD) - 12 mm, 14 mm, and 16 mm, the standard sizes utilized by a vast majority of liquid cooling enthusiasts. They are made from an extruded acrylic material that boasts glass-like clarity and is highly resistant to heat. Acrylic tubing is harder to bend. It needs to be heated for longer periods of time over a bigger surface compared to PETG, which makes it less popular with first-time hard-tube builders. But now, with the EK's newly introduced pre-bent tubing, the main downside for going acrylic for one's first hard-tubing loop is gone.

ASUS Announces ROG Strix LC II Line of AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

ASUS today announced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix LC II line of all-in-one, liquid, closed-loop, CPU coolers. The series includes five models—the ROG Strix LC II 240, ROG Strix LC II 240 ARGB, ROG Strix LC II 280 ARGB, ROG Strix LC II 360, and ROG Strix LC II 360 ARGB. These coolers are based on the 7th generation of AIO CLCs by Asetek, which feature variable pump speeds starting at 840 RPM, and improved ROG Strix fans included with the coolers. The round pump-block of the ROG Strix LC II is Asetek-standard, and compatible with AMD's sTRX4/sWRX8 CLC brackets.

The Strix LC II 240, ROG Strix LC II 240 ARGB are nearly identical in featuring 240 mm x 120 mm radiators, but the latter comes with addressable RGB LED-illuminated fans like the rest of the series. The ROG Strix LC II 280 is the first in the series to include 140 mm spinners, as it comes with a 280 mm x 140 mm radiator. The ROG Strix LC II 360 comes with the largest radiator of the series—360 mm x 120 mm, its ARGB model includes illuminated fans.

GALAX Debuts GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti Cards with Hash-rate Limiters

GALAX today debuted a new line of GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards that come with NVIDIA's latest hash-rate limiter that make the cards unsuitable for crypto-currency mining. The cards look identical to the SKUs already launched by the company based on these GPUs, but are based on revised LHR (low hash-rate) versions of "GA104" or "GA106" ASICs that feature the hash-rate limiter. The oldest (launch) drivers for the RTX 3060 or RTX 3060 Ti won't work with these cards, you'll need the latest driver on the NVIDIA website. Today's announcements come in the wake of last week's introduction of the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 LHR graphics cards by GALAX.

Incredible Sound, Impeccable Clarity - CORSAIR Launches VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT Gaming Headset

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gear for gamers and content creators, today launched a new model in its flagship VIRTUOSO family of premium gaming headsets: the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT. Connecting via hyper-fast SLIPSTREAM WIRELESS and Bluetooth for simultaneous dual-wireless connections, in addition to high-fidelity USB and universal 3.5mm wired connection options, the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT combines exquisite sound quality, comfort, and versatility. Now with Dolby Atmos three-dimensional spatial audio to complement its extensive 20Hz-40,000Hz frequency range, the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT offers greater audio immersion than ever before.

Now with four different connection options, the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT delivers uncompromising sound quality from virtually any source, including PC, Mac, PS5/PS4 (wired or wireless), Xbox Series X and Series S (wired connection only), Switch, mobile, and more. Connecting with 24bit/48KHz SLIPSTREAM WIRELESS technology for a blisteringly fast, unwavering 60ft signal, the VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT also adds Bluetooth with the Qualcomm aptX HD codec for simultaneous dual-wireless connections. A USB wired connection delivers high-fidelity 24bit/96kHz audio, while a universal 3.5mm connector ensures compatibility with a multitude of devices, built with an inline controller that conveniently controls volume and mute. With so many ways to connect, you can switch from PC to console, wired to wireless, 3.5mm to Bluetooth and back, all with just a single amazing headset.

Apple Could Be Working on Switch-Like Gaming Console

Nintendo Switch is one of the most successful gaming console launches in the past few years. It has seen massive consumer adoption, and Nintendo is even expanding its production. The only logical thing for other companies watching this would be to step in the game and launch their console. That is exactly was the latest rumor suggests about Apple. According to a rumor coming from the South Korean forum, Apple could be preparing a Switch-like design, just with its custom Apple ecosystem surrounding it. As the rumors suggest, the fruit company could get into the console gaming market by launching a product based on custom hardware. Rumors suggest that Apple could use a custom processor to power the console, which wouldn't be like M or A versions the company currently uses. Of course, this is just a rumor and it should be treated as such.

Xiaomi no Longer Blacklisted by the US Government

The US Government, specifically the Department of Defense (DoD), has under the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. This was a way to impose sanctions on the Chinese company as it was believed that Xiaomi was involved with the Chinese military, thus the Trump organization had problems having US investors taking a share of it. However, the company has issued legal proceedings against the US government for making such claims, and now the US govt., administrated by the President Joe Biden, has reached an agreement with the company. Xiaomi managed to prove that it is not owned or controlled by the Chinese military, so the US DoD has removed the company from its blacklist.

This has caused the company shares to soar on the Hong Kong stock exchange by as much as 6.7% after the news appeared. "The Biden Administration is deeply concerned about potential U.S. investments in companies linked to the Chinese military and fully committed to keeping up pressure on such companies", said Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council.

ADATA Most Sought After Brand for Chia Farming: Company

With the growing prevalence of crypto currencies and the mining of them, having the right hardware has never been more important. In recent months, the Chia crypto currency has seen a surge in popularity. Unlike other crypto currencies, Chia is based on a proof of space time model rather than proof of work model used by other currencies. In terms of hardware, this mean Chia places more importance on storage rather than performance.

Given its leading position and expertise in high-capacity storage products, ADATA SSDs have been the go-to hardware for many Chia miners the world over. In April of 2021, ADATA saw a five-fold month-over-month increase in its SSD and DRAM orders. What's more, in multiple articles written about the recent Chia trend, many media outlets have cited ADATA SSDs as ideal solutions for Chia mining. The popularity of Chia and its resulting demand for high-capacity SSDs looks to continue.

Team Group Announces Development of New Generation of Large-Capacity USB3.2 x2 Flash Drive

The world's leading memory brand, TEAMGOUP, has spared no effort in researching the latest technology in computer hardware storage. In Q1 of this year, we not only demonstrated our outstanding ability to lead the industry in DDR5 memory generation, but today we also announce a major technological breakthrough in storage products, including a UFD flash drive with read/write speed almost comparable to SATA III SSD, and the T-FORCE USB 3.2 external SSD with 8 TB capacity and a read/write sped of 2000 MB/s.

The most common USB flash drives in the past used the USB 2.0 specification, and the read/write speed is about 25/10 MB/s. TEAMGROUP's USB drive has the latest technology and adopts USB 3.2 Gen2 high-speed interface, and the actual transfer speed can reach about 600/500 MB/s, which is almost equal to the performance level of SATA III SSD, and the capacity is topped to 1 TB. TEAMGOUP will accompany consumers to the new generation with our strength in technology. With TEAMGROUP's compact USB drive, you can have the same performance as an external SSD that is the size of a sliced toast.

MediaTek Announces New 6nm Dimensity 900 5G Chipset

MediaTek today announced the new Dimensity 900 5G chipset, the latest addition to its Dimensity 5G family. The Dimensity 900 chipset, built on the 6nm high-performance manufacturing node, supports Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, ultra-fast FHD+ 120Hz displays and a 108MP main camera for an all-around incredible experience. "Dimensity 900 brings a suite of connectivity, display and 4K HDR visual enhancements to high-tier 5G smartphones and gives brands great design flexibility for their 5G portfolios," said Dr. JC Hsu, Corporate VP and GM of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit. "The chipset's support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6 ensures users get the most of out their devices with super-fast and reliable connectivity."

The Dimensity 900 chipset is integrated with a 5G New Radio (NR) sub-6GHz modem with carrier aggregation and support for bandwidth up to 120 MHz. The chipset is equipped with an 8-core central processing unit (CPU) consisting of two Arm Cortex-A78 processors with a clock speed of up to 2.4 GHz and six Arm Cortex-A55 cores operating at up to 2.00 GHz. Dimensity 900 supports flagship LPDDR5 memory and UFS 3.1 storage, and can adapt to a 120 Hz screen refresh rate, bringing excellent performance improvements and a seamless experience to 5G mobile devices.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT and RX 6600 Specs Appear in GPU-Z Screenshots

Specifications of AMD's upcoming mid-range Radeon RX 6600 XT and Radeon RX 6600 recently surfaced, and now we see screenshots of TechPowerUp GPU-Z confirming the two. The RX 6700 XT is shown featuring 2,048 stream processors, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface with 8 GB of memory. The RX 6600 (non-XT), on the other hand, is shown featuring 1,792 stream processors, 112 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and the same 8 GB of GDDR6 memory. Both chips feature PCI-Express Gen 4 support, but much like the RX 5500 XT, the "Navi 23" only has 8 PCIe lanes. GPU-Z also seems to detect raytracing.

Kioxia Announces Expansion of Yokohama Technology Campus

Kioxia Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced a 20 billion yen investment to expand its Technology Development Building at its Yokohama Technology Campus and to establish its new Shin-Koyasu Advanced Research Center. The new facilities are expected to be operational by 2023 and will strengthen Kioxia's research and technology development by bringing together its R&D sites in Kanagawa Prefecture to improve efficiency and to create a more conducive working environment for innovation through collaboration.

At the Yokohama Technology Campus, the expanded Technology Development Building will nearly double the space of the current facility, allowing Kioxia to expand its product evaluation capabilities that will, in turn, increase its product quality. The expanded facility will also provide space for an increased workforce to strengthen product development in the future. The new building will also feature an environmentally friendly design with highly efficient energy-saving equipment.

SK hynix Seeks to Double its Foundry Capacity

Park Jung-ho, co-CEO and Vice Chairman at SK hynix Inc. today stated during an official government event that SK hynix is considering feasible plan to double its foundry capacity. Park said the Company will look into several strategic options such as equipment expansion at domestic sites and M&A. According to the SK hynix official, SK hynix will invest in 8-inch foundry business in order to support the development, mass production and global market expansion of domestic fabless companies. Also, the Company is expecting to expand the product portfolio and provide global customers with semiconductors oriented to various applications including mobile, home electronic appliances, and automotive.

Park's statement demonstrated his strong will that SK hynix will devote to stabilize the global semiconductor supply amid the global chip shortage, and also to support domestic fabless companies to further invigorate Korean semiconductor ecosystem. The semiconductor industry also expects that Park, who was recently appointed as co-CEO of SK hynix, might soon announce more specific investment plan such as M&A, as he was one of the leading executives in SK Telecom's acquisition of SK hynix. Park, who is a well-renowned M&A expert in SK Group, also participated in SK hynix's major investments such as its investment in Kioxia Corporation (formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corporation) and the acquisition of Intel's NAND and SSD business.

Akasa Announces SOHO MBA RGB Light Strip

Akasa, has released a new range of addressable RGB light strips under the SOHO line of products. With bright and vivid colors, this light strip flaunts your PC and its components in style. The strips have a futuristic vibe, and an almost "cyberpunk" style neon effect, providing your computer with a flashy, premium light strip you never knew you needed!

Our premium feel rubber diffuser allows the LED lighting to smoothly blend, leading to neat curves and a clean aesthetic. The white colored strip will complement white builds, whilst also giving the ability to stand out in other builds. Bend SOHO MBA to your will with the flexible, durable strip, and daisy chain them to make your PC a striking statement piece on your desk.

MSI Temporarily Lists RTX 3080 Ti Category On Website

NVIDIA is expected to officially announce the RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti on May 31st with a launch later in June. The RTX 3080 Ti will feature the GA102-225 GPU with 10240 CUDA cores and 12 GB of GDDR6X memory. MSI temporarily added an RTX 3080 Ti filter to their graphics card viewer before shortly removing it once it had been discovered. This isn't the first RTX 3080 Ti leak we have seen from MSI with the companies flagship RTX 3080 Ti SUPRIM X graphics card recently being spotted at a PC store in the UAE for 3500 USD.

2021 COMPUTEX Forum Brings Tech Giants Together to Unlock the Secret of Future Technologies

As one of the most important tech summits globally, COMPUTEX Forum and its discussion topics have always garnered great attention. To facilitate the discussion on future technology trends, the COMPUTEX Forum on June 2 and 3 will evolve around the theme of "The New Era of Intelligence." TAITRA announced the lineup of speakers to discuss key applications of 5G, AI, IoT, and electric vehicles, deep diving into business strategies in the post-pandemic era.

In the morning of Wednesday, June 2, COMPUTEX Forum will address the topic of "AIoT Evolution." Leading semiconductor giants such as Intel, Micron, NVIDIA and Supermicro, will explore how they accelerate business opportunities in the 5G era. In the afternoon, NXP Semiconductors will kick off the "AI Empowerment" session by sharing its vision and lead the Secure Edge and AI Empowerment discussions in fields. As AI rises in various applications, Arm, Delta Electronics, Micron and Check Point Software will elaborate their latest solution in different scopes.
Wednesday, May 12th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Harddisks
Headphones
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
SSD
SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless Review

SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless Review

The SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless is an excellent gaming headset with dual wireless connectivity. It can simultaneously be connected to the supplied 2.4 GHz RF dongle and a Bluetooth source, which opens it up to a host of interesting use cases.

AMD "Navi 24" is the Smallest RDNA2 GPU Yet, Could Power RX 6400 Series

The 7 nm "Navi 24" silicon will very likely be the smallest discrete GPU based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture. The chip surfaced in technical documentation under the codename "Beige Goby." AMD uses such internal codenames to track sources of leaks. No specs of the "Navi 24" are known yet, but it could be significantly smaller than the "Navi 23" that powers the Radeon RX 6600 series and possibly the RX 6500 series, reportedly packing up to 2,048 stream processors. The "Navi 24" chip could also help AMD compete against NVIDIA and an emerging Intel in entry-level discrete GPUs for notebooks.

AMD 4700S SoC Desktop Motherboard Pictured

Pictures of the mysterious AMD 4700S SoC desktop kit just hit the web, courtesy Disclosuzen. As we reported earlier, the 4700S could be derived from the semi-custom SoC AMD originally co-developed with Microsoft for the Xbox Series X/S consoles. Close-ups of the PC motherboard reveals an interesting aspect—the board lacks any discernible display output, and instead relies on a PCI-Express graphics card. The board is built in the Mini-ITX form-factor, and draws power from a conventional combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors.

A custom-design fan-heatsink cools the SoC. There are no memory slots, an unknown amount of hardwired memory under the SoC heatsink. 6-channel HD audio, wired Ethernet, and twelve USB ports (six each of USB 3.x and USB 2.0), make for the rest of the I/O. Storage connectivity is interesting—there are no M.2 NVMe slots, just two SATA ports. Why AMD even came up with this contraption is anyone's guess, but we guess it serves two purposes—1, it lets AMD harvest dies with faulty iGPUs, and 2, it serves as a decent developer platform, for game devs to at least optimize for the CPU. The lack of any NVMe storage interfaces points to the likelihood of this board not being meant for the general audience. Retail channel availability of the board seems unlikely, although it won't surprise us if suppliers on AliExpress list it anyway.

Viotek Rolls Out GFI27DBXA 27-inch Gaming Monitor

Viotek rolled out the GFI27DBXA, a 27-inch monitor with WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) native resolution, 180 Hz refresh rate, and 1 ms response time, which add to its gaming feature-set. The IPS display panel behind all this, is capable of 10-bpc color (1.07 billion colors), 178°/178° viewing angles, 600 cd/m² maximum brightness, and HDR, although the company didn't mention if this is DisplayHDR 600. The panel also supports AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-SYNC (compatible). Display inputs include two DisplayPort 1.4, and one HDMI 2.0. The monitor also features game genre-specific display presets, OSD crosshairs, anti-glare surface treatment, and 3-level blue light filtering. Its stand allows tilt, height, and 90° rotation adjustments. Available now, the Viotek GFI27DBXA is priced at USD $370.

Thermaltake Unveils Floe RC 240 and 360 Snow Edition AIO CPU+Memory Coolers

Thermaltake today unveiled the Floe RC 240 Snow Edition and Floe RC 360 Snow Edition all-in-one, closed-loop, liquid CPU+memory coolers. These provide liquid cooling to not just the processor, but also up to four memory modules. Addressable RGB LED illumination covers the pump+block, memory block, and the included 120 mm fans. As Snow Edition SKUs, these feature a white color scheme dominating most bits on the cooler, including the radiator fins. The memory block is compatible only with Thermaltake's own ToughRAM RC line of DDR4 memory modules, as it's designed to attach onto their heatspreaders. Each of the two fans spins between 500 to 1,500 RPM, pushing up to 59.28 CFM of airflow at 1.31 mm H₂O pressure, and noise output of 28.2 dBA. Among the CPU socket types supported are AM4, LGA1200, LGA115x, and LGA2066.

Palit Regulatory Filing Suggests NVIDIA Planning Joint Announcement of Three "Ti" SKUs

A regulatory filing by Palit with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) for several of its upcoming custom-design graphics cards, points to the possibility that NVIDIA is preparing to announcing three GeForce RTX 30-series Ti desktop graphics card SKUs in one go. These include the much talked about GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, the RTX 3070 Ti, and the RTX 3050 Ti.

From these, the RTX 3080 Ti is positioned between the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, possibly helping NVIDIA better compete against the Radeon RX 6900 XT. The RTX 3070 Ti improves the company's competitiveness against the RX 6800. The new RTX 3050 Ti could carve out a performance class for itself, and as yet AMD lacks any desktop SKUs below the RX 6700 XT from the current generation, at least in the retail channel. The three cards could be launched in Q2-2021.

HyperX Renews Sponsorship with Pokimane as Brand Ambassador

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the re-signing of top female content creator Pokimane. Under the sponsorship, Pokimane will be using HyperX gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, and mouse pads exclusively in her streaming content and other marketing initiatives.

"It was an easy choice for me to renew my partnership with HyperX after another incredible year with them," said Pokimane, content creator, HyperX ambassador. "My Cloud Alpha S headset already goes with me everywhere and I can't wait to see what HyperX creates in the future!" Pokimane began her streaming career as a League of Legends streamer after diverting from a chemical engineering career path. She rapidly became one of the top female content creators with successful channels across multiple platforms. As a HyperX brand ambassador, Pokimane will continue to help deliver the HyperX gaming story to her growing audience of more than 28 million fans.

EK Introduces Quantum Convection D5 Covers and DDC Heatsinks

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is launching its new Quantum Line products for the DDC and D5 pumps, the EK-Quantum Convection D5 and EK-Quantum Convection DDC. These D5 covers and DDC heatsinks are available in three distinct finishes - Silver, Black, and Nickel - to provide users with different aesthetic options.

The market-leading D5 pumps get a CNC-machined aluminium cover, the EK-Quantum Convection D5, which is compatible with EK-Quantum Reflection distribution plates that feature a D5 pump and the D5-based EK-Quantum Kinetic FLT pump-reservoir combos. It is available in three finishes - anodized Silver, Black, and in a Nickel-plated variant. It can be fitted over genuine D5 pumps. It is designed to improve the aesthetics of pumps. A rectangular design with a convenient hole for routing the cable and hiding it as much as possible allows for a cleaner look of the pump.

GIGABYTE Gives Public Apology for "Made in China" Mocking After Company Shares Plummet by $550 Million

On Monday, GIGABYTE, a Taiwanese PC manufacturer, has published a blog post that made fun of other component manufacturers for having their products made in China, the "low-cost, low-quality way". According to Bloomberg, who was the first to spot the blog post, which is now removed. According to the report, such a statement had a massive toll on the shares of the Taiwanese company. E-commerce operators in China, like JD.com Inc. and Suning.com Co., have removed GIGABYTE products from their offerings and searching GIGABYTE or "Jijia" (Chinese company name) returned zero results from these websites. This has single-handedly caused the shares of the company to plummet by 10%, wiping away around $550 million worth of market cap.

The original blog post has since been removed, and GIGABYTE has issued a public apology, which you can see here. The translation of the text says that "A few days ago, part of the text content published on our official website is seriously inconsistent with the fact. It is caused by poor internal management of the company. We sincerely apologize for the discomfort caused to you." The company has also noted that it is very proud of "Made in China" products. On a more personal note, it is interesting to see such a strict market response coming from a blog post, and even more interesting to witness this exclusion from the Chinese e-commerce companies.

Intel and QuTech Demonstrate Advances in Solving Quantum Interconnect Bottlenecks

Today, Intel and QuTech—a collaboration between Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research - published key findings in quantum research to address the "interconnect bottleneck" that exists between quantum chips that sit in cryogenic dilution refrigerators and the complex room-temperature electronics that control the qubits. The innovations were covered in Nature, the industry-leading science journal of peer-reviewed research, and mark an important milestone in addressing one of the biggest challenges to quantum scalability with Intel's cryogenic controller chip Horse Ridge.

"Our research results, driven in partnership with QuTech, quantitatively prove that our cryogenic controller, Horse Ridge, can achieve the same high-fidelity results as room-temperature electronics while controlling multiple silicon qubits. We also successfully demonstrated frequency multiplexing on two qubits using a single cable, which clears the way for simplifying the "wiring challenge" in quantum computing. Together, these innovations pave the way for fully integrating quantum control chips with the quantum processor in the future, lifting a major roadblock in quantum scaling," said Stefano Pellerano, principal engineer at Intel Labs.

GameSir introduces its X2 Bluetooth Mobile Gaming Controller and F7 Claw Tablet Game Controller

Gamesir, a leading provider of innovative, high quality gaming peripherals is pleased to announce the launch of the new X2 Bluetooth model of the incredibly successful Gamesir X2 Type C mobile gaming controller which is fully compatible with Apple and Android smartphones. It is also launching the GameSir F7 Claw Tablet Game Controller, compatible with iPads and Android tablets. The X2 Bluetooth is available now from Amazon and Amazon UK for $59.99/£69.99 whilst the F7 Claw will be available on Amazon and Amazon UK from May 24th for $39.99/£33.99.

Following on from the success of the X2 Type C Mobile Game Controller which was designed to give users an outstanding cloud gaming experience on platforms such as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Google Stadia, NVIDIA GeForce Now and Vortex, GameSir has updated the X2 to make this unique mobile gaming experience available to everyone.

VMware Board Names Raghu Raghuram as CEO

VMware today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors, effective June 1, 2021. An industry veteran, Raghuram is a strategic business leader who currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Products and Cloud Services at VMware.

"I am thrilled to have Raghu step into the role of CEO at VMware. Throughout his career, he has led with integrity and conviction, playing an instrumental role in the success of VMware," commented Michael Dell, chairman of the VMware Board of Directors. "Raghu is now in position to architect VMware's future, helping customers and partners accelerate their digital businesses in this multi-cloud world."

ASUS Announces Availability of ProArt Display PA148CTV Portable Monitor

[Editor's note: The monitor is available for $399 in the USA or equivalent in other regions]

ASUS today announced the availability of ProArt Display PA148CTV, a portable 14‑inch FHD monitor with an IPS anti‑glare panel and capacitive 10‑point multitouch. Designed for creators, it is the world's first Calman Verified portable monitor, and it offers 100% sRGB and 100% Rec. 709 colour spaces. ProArt Display PA148CTV is also factory pre‑calibrated with a Delta E < 2 colour difference for exceptional colour accuracy. The ASUS Dial and Virtual Control Panel are designed to work with compatible Adobe software[1], providing users with controls and shortcuts to streamline their workflow. Users can download the beta version of ASUS Dial and Virtual Control Panel from the ASUS website. In addition, ProArt Display PA148CTV has a user‑friendly design and includes one micro HDMI and two USB‑C ports, an adjustable metal kickstand, and a tripod socket.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, 6600 to Feature Navi 23 Chip With up to 2048 Stream Processors

AMD is preparing to round-out its RX 6000 series lineup with the upcoming RX 6600 XT and RX 6600, introducing true midrange GPUs to their latest generation RDNA2 architecture. According to recent leaks, both graphics cards should feature AMD's Navi 23 chip, another full chip design, instead of making do with a cut-down Navi 22 (even though that chip still only powers one graphics card in the AMD lineup, the RX 6700 XT).

According to the leak, the RX 6600 XT should feature 2048 stream processors and 8 GB of GDDR6 memory over a 128-bit memory bus. The RX 6600, on the other hand, is said to feature a cut-down Navi 23, with only 1796 stream processors enabled out of the original silicon design, whilst offering the same 8 GB GDDR6 over a 128-bit memory bus. There are even some benchmark scores to go with these leaks: supposedly, the RX 6600 XT scores 9,439 points in 3DMark Time Spy (Graphics), while the RX 6600 card scores 7,805 points. Those scores place these cards in the same ballpark as the RDNA-based RX 5700 XT and RX 5700. It's expected that these cards feature a further cut-down 32 MB of Infinity cache - half that of the RX 6700 XT's 64 MB. With die-size being an estimated 236 mm², AMD is essentially introducing the same performance with 15 mm² less area, whilst shaving some 45 W from that cards' TDP (225 W for the RX 5700 XT, and an estimated 180 W for the RX 6600 XT).

Alphacool Announces Eisbaer Pro Aurora 240 and 360 AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

The Alphacool Eisbaer Pro represents a special variant in the Alphacool AIO range. The standard features of all Alphacool Eisbaer AIOs remain the same. These include the pure copper radiators, the ability to be able to expand the loop with the quick-release fastener and of course the nickel-plated copper cold plate. The new DC-LT 2 pump is used as the pump. This pump is already in use with the GPU AIO Eiswolf 2. A new pump shaft and improved electronics have made the pump even smoother.

The special feature of the Eisbaer Pro is the significantly larger cooler base which was specially developed for AMD Threadripper processors and Intel LGA 3647. However, the Eisbaer Pro also fits the current Ryzen socket AMD AM4. Due to the significantly larger cold plate, AMD Ryzen AM4 CPUs are cooled particularly well as all cores are definitely completely covered by cooling fins.

Monitor Shipment for 2021 Expected to Reach 150 Million Units, Says TrendForce

Owing to high demand generated by the proliferation of WFH and distance education, monitor shipment for 2020 reached 140 million units, an 8.6% growth YoY, which represents the highest growth in about 10 years, according TrendForce's latest investigations. With demand persisting through 1H21, monitor shipment for 1Q21 underwent a staggering YoY increase of 34.1%, and this figure is projected to exceed 10% for 2Q21. Total monitor shipment for 2021 will likely reach 150 million units, a 7.3% growth YoY. Gaming monitors, which have been gaining attention in the monitor market, are expected to make up 17.3% of this total and reach 25.9 million units in shipment in 2021. In addition to being one of the most in-demand applications in the stay-at-home economy, this product category has long been a resource-intensive focus of monitor brands and panel suppliers alike.

SPCGear Unveils GK650K Keyboard with Pudding Keycaps

SPC Gear, the gaming label of the European manufacturer SilentiumPC, presents the highly anticipated Pudding Editions of its full-size mechanical Gaming keyboards. The new editions of the GK650K keyboards meet the high standards of gaming enthusiasts and people studying or working using their PC by implementing cutting edge technologies and features. It has been achieved by using the proven solid and compact design with an aluminium top combined with the newly developed, phenomenal-looking and durable Pudding keycaps made in Double Injection PBT technology. The conveniently placed volume wheel, magnetic palm rest and customizable RGB backlighting, including one on the keyboard side, make the GK650K mechanical keyboard the perfect bundle for every user. SPC Gear is able to push this feature-rich mechanical keyboard to the market at the highly competitive price point of only 89.90€.

This full-size keyboard is ideal not only for gaming but also for everyday use. Thanks to the numeric keypad, the SPC Gear GK650K allows to enter numbers and make mathematical calculations quickly. It is possible to also assign additional functions or macros for games to the keys of the number block. Each of the 104 keys is individually backlit, allowing for rich customisation of the keyboard's entire illumination. In addition to that, the SPC Gear GK650K Omnis keyboard is a combination of classic style and gaming-oriented characteristics. The sharp edges, contoured aluminium top and palm rest look great in every possible condition. RGB LED strips on the sides of the keyboard help to further illuminate the gaming station.

Intel Xe HP "Arctic Sound" 1T and 2T Cards Pictured

Intel has been extensively teasing its Xe HP scalable compute architecture for some time now, and Igor's Lab has an exclusive look at GPU compute cards based on the Xe HP silicon. We know from older reports that Intel's Xe HP compute accelerator packages come in three essential variants—1 tile, 2 tiles, and 4 tiles. A "tile" here is an independent GPU accelerator die. Each of these tiles has 512 execution units, which convert to 4,096 programmable shaders. The single-tile card is a compact, half-height card capable of 1U and 2U chassis. According to Igor's Lab, it comes with 16 GB of HBM2E memory with 716 GB/s memory bandwidth, and the single tile has 384 out of 512 EUs enabled (3,072 shaders). The card also has a typical board power of just 150 W.

The Arctic Sound 2T card is an interesting contraption. A much larger 2-slot card of length easily above 28 cm, and a workstation spacer, the 2T card uses a 2-tile variant of the Xe HP package, but each of the two tiles only has 480 out of 512 EUs enabled. This works out to 7,680 shaders. The dual-chiplet MCM uses 32 GB of HBM2E memory (16 GB per tile), and a typical board power of 300 W. A single 4+4 pin EPS connector, capable of up to 225 W, is used to power the card.

Sharkoon Announces SKILLER SGP30 XXL Mouse Mat

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of high-performance quality PC components and peripherals. Sharkoon now presents its latest mouse mat, the SKILLER SGP30 XXL, which aims to impress not only with its workmanship but also with a variety of motifs to choose from. The selection of thematic patterns and tones should ensure that there is the right mouse mat for every taste.

With a length of 900 millimeters and a width of 400 millimeters, the SKILLER SGP30 XXL is almost as big as a table top. There is thus enough space for a keyboard and a mouse as well as other accessories to easily fit on the mat. In addition, the SGP30 XXL should provide ample space for freedom of movement, allowing sweeping maneuvers with the mouse.

Big Tech and Lobby: Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) Founded With Microsoft, Apple, Intel, AMD, TSMC, Others

Since lobbying is both legal and regulated in the US (an attempt to bring attempts of influencing political power by corporations under legal boundaries, as opposed to being done in the dark), it feels like it was only a matter of time before big tech attempted to join under one banner. As such, the Semiconductors in America Coalition (SIAC) has now been put together, and boasts of 64 members including Microsoft, Apple, TSMC, Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Arm, and Samsung. It seems that all of these companies - which are often at odds with one another when it comes to competing for consumers' choice and money - have found enough similarities to get organized in an attempt to nudge political power in their favor.

SIAC said in a press release that its mission is to "advance federal policies that promote semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. to strengthen America's economy, national security, and critical infrastructure." The first announcement from the SIAC following its foundation was its intention to support the CHIPS for America Act. The Act (supported by The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and President Joe Biden) has already been approved by the House and the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 but has not yet been funded. It seems that SIAC's first mission is to get the government to open up its $50 billion-deep pockets.

ASUS Unveils ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6900 XT TOP T16G Based on XTXH Silicon, 2525MHz Boost

ASUS today updated its flagship AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics card lineup with the new ROG Strix LC Radeon RX 6900 XT TOP T16G. This card is visually identical to the ROG Strix LC RX 6900 XT O16G the company launched last December, but with a handful updates. The biggest of these is the new "Navi 21 XTXH" silicon, the highest bin of AMD's top RDNA2 chip, which enables at least 10% higher clock-speeds than the standard RX 6900 XT. ASUS has tuned this up further, with a max boost frequency of a stunning 2525 MHz, compared to 2365 MHz on the original (O16G). The game clocks have been increased to 2375 MHz, compared to 2135 MHz on the O16G. Notice how the game clocks of the new T16G are higher than the max boost clocks of the original O16G? That's the magic of the new XTXH silicon.

These apart, the company hasn't made any changes to the visual design. A liquid+air hybrid cooling solution dominates the product. The AIO liquid closed-loop cooling solution pulls heat from the GPU and surrounding memory chips, while a base-plate and a chunky back-plate pull heat from the other components, which is ventilated by a lateral blower. The AIO is cooled by a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator. The card continues to pull power from a combination of three 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The company didn't reveal pricing, but it's very likely to be close to 2 grand.

MSI Launches Two CMP 30HX MINER Series Cards

MSI has recently announced two new CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) 30HX MINER Series cards the MSI CMP 30HX MINER, and MSI CMP 30HX MINER XS. These new cards borrow the coolers from the ARMOR series and VENTUS XS respectively, MSI is one of the first manufacturers to offer multiple versions of a CMP card so it will be interesting to see the differences in performance and pricing given the two cards feature identical specifications. The two cards both feature the TU116-100 GPU with 1408 cores and a base clock of 1530 MHz along with a boost clock of 1785 MHz and 6 GB GDDR6 memory. The cards also lack any display outputs as per all CMP cards and pricing or availability information is not available.

Colorful Announces Unique GeForce RTX 3060 iGame Bilibili Edition

Colorful have recently announced the limited edition GeForce RTX 3060 Colorful iGame Bilibili E-Sports OC graphics card with a double-sided fan layout similar to reference RTX 3080/3090 cards. The design of the card is unique in that it borrows the general layout from the RTX 3080/3090 but features a traditional short PCB. The card comes factory overclocked with a boost clock of 1822 MHz and an increased TDP of 187 W delivered through a single 8-pin connector. The card will only be available to purchase for a limited time from April 30 to May 4 through the Chinese social media platform Bilibili of which the card is based on. The limited-edition card will also be offered to Chinese users of the Bilibili site via a lottery promotion which ends on May 4th.

Update May 12th: Colorful has confirmed that they will be releasing the card in the US with an RRP of 839 USD.

HTC Announces VIVE Pro 2 and VIVE Focus 3 VR Headsets

HTC VIVE, the global leader in premium virtual reality (VR), today set a new benchmark for business and consumer VR, bringing 5K resolution and a 120-degree field of view as standard to the two new VR headsets announced today at VIVECON 2021, HTC's global VR conference. VIVE Pro 2 pushes the boundaries of PC VR for incredible gaming, creating, and experiences, while VIVE Focus 3 redefines business VR with a purpose-built All-in-One with no compromises. HTC also announced VIVE Business, its comprehensive range of tools designed to support businesses of any size to get the most out of VR.

"Today's launch marks a major milestone in our strategy to create the very best immersive experiences. We have listened to our customers, from well-known global companies to smaller firms and professional users, and have designed these premium headsets from the ground up to meet the challenges they face, adding a professional range of software, platform and services to make implementation as smooth and effective as possible," said Cher Wang, HTC Chairwoman and CEO. "In line with our mission, we've combined the very latest technology with the needs and aspirations of our customers, enabling them to unleash their imagination to improve people's lives and solve problems for business and society."

NVIDIA Updates Broadcast to Remove Room Echo, Pet Noise, and Video Noise

NVIDIA updated the NVIDIA Broadcast software to version 1.2, to include even more features that the company claims can transform any room into a home-studio. The latest version can remove room echo, audio reverb/echo caused by the walls of the room, to put out clear voice. It can also detect and remove certain kinds of pet noises from the background, so your doggo doesn't mess with an important call at work. Lastly, the video post-processing tech has been improved to reduce video noise stemming from sub-optimal lighting conditions or low web-cam resolutions. NVIDIA Broadcast can also be integrated with popular streaming platforms such as OBS, AVerMedia, and Notch.

Apple Awards Corning $45 Million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund

Today, Apple is awarding $45 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to Corning Incorporated, a supplier of precision glass for iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. The funding will expand Corning's manufacturing capacity in the US and drive research and development into innovative new technologies that support durability and long-lasting product life, building on both Apple and Corning's deep commitment to protecting the environment.

Corning has already received $450 million from Apple's $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund over the last four years. Apple's investment helps support more than 1,000 jobs across Corning's US operations in Kentucky and other facilities. The investment has also helped facilitate research and development into state-of-the-art glass processes, which led to the creation of Ceramic Shield, a new material that is tougher than any smartphone glass.
Tuesday, May 11th 2021

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD
Varmilo MA108 Forest Fairy Review - Tranquil Clicks

Varmilo MA108 Forest Fairy Review - Tranquil Clicks

Varmilo has conquered the tactile and clicky challenges in its new electrostatic capacitive switch lineup, and we now take a look at the all-new MA108 Forest Fairy featuring the EC Ivy V2 switches. It is a full-size keyboard filled with life and greenery, and the EC Ivy V2 is a matching green switch that aims to upstage the Cherry MX Blue!
be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 650 W Review - Kill the Noise

be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 650 W Review - Kill the Noise

The new be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM PSU line looks great! Besides low noise output, it also offers high performance and good build quality. The Pure Power 11 FM 650 faces strong competition from the new Corsair RM650x with ML fan, Seasonic GX-650, and XPG Core Reactor 650, though.

SteelSeries Unveils the Rival 5 Versatile Multi-Genre Gaming Mouse

SteelSeries on Tuesday announced the Rival 5, an ambidextrous gaming mouse that its makers label as "versatile" and "multi-genre." Although ambidextrous in shape, its button arrangement favors the right hand. Besides the four buttons on top, five are located along the left side. Combined with software, these are mapped conveniently for not just FPS and MOBA, but also RPGs.

Under the hood, the SteelSeries Rival 5 uses a PixArt-derived TrueMove Air sensor with 18,000 cpi resolution. The polling rate is 1000 Hz or 1 ms. The main buttons are based on Golden Micro IP54 switches that can handle up to 80 million clicks. The mouse comes with 10 zones of lighting, using addressable RGBs capable of 16.8 million colors. Measuring 128.8 mm x 63.35 mm x 28.20 mm (LxWxH), it weighs 85 g. Available now, it is priced at USD $69.99.

HyperX Partners with CodeCombat on Esports Coding League

Gaming peripherals leader HyperX has partnered with edtech innovator CodeCombat to support the CodeCombat AI League. As a leader in gaming and esports performance, HyperX brings premier prizing to the global tournament in the form of cutting edge Cloud headsets, Pulsefire mice and Alloy keyboards.

"HyperX's mission is to develop gaming solutions for every type of gamer, for the best gaming performance whether it is the sound and comfort of a headset or the accuracy of any of our products," said Vince Quan, marketing coordinator at HyperX. "Every game starts with code, we are excited to support the AI League and the next generation of game coders and creators."

Players who join the competitive coding league and reach the top of the leaderboard within their age bracket are eligible to win a high value HyperX prize package.

Electronic Arts Reports Q4 and FY21 Financial Results

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced preliminary financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2021. "Our teams have done incredible work over the last year to deliver amazing experiences during a very challenging time for everyone around the world," said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. "With tremendous engagement across our portfolio, we delivered a record year for Electronic Arts. We're now accelerating in FY22, powered by expansion of our blockbuster franchises to more platforms and geographies, a deep pipeline of new content, and recent acquisitions that will be catalysts for further growth."

"EA delivered a strong quarter, driven by live services and Apex Legends' extraordinary performance. Apex steadily grew through the last year, driven by the games team and the content they are delivering," said COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen. "Looking forward, the momentum in our existing live services provides a solid foundation for FY22. Combined with a new Battlefield and our recent acquisitions, we expect net bookings growth in the high teens."

MSI Unveils New Gaming and Creator Laptop Lineup

MSI, a leading manufacturer of business, design and gaming technology, is proud to announce its new lineup of laptops powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core H series processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU. Having expanded to creators' terrain in recent years, MSI has perked up to materialize the concept where design is the bond between dreaming it and doing it through their upcoming virtual event "Tech Meets Aesthetic". The new laptops continue MSI's trend of producing top-tier, powerful machines with aesthetic touches that enhance user experience and unleash the inner gamer and creator spirits.

With a 30% performance upgrade over previous models, the high-speed combo of PCIe Gen4, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6E heighten increased enhancements. For the gaming lineup, MSI-exclusive features like "Discrete Graphics Mode" improve graphics performance, while MSI Center allows users to overclock the GPU with ease.

Memblaze Launches Enterprise-class PBlaze6 6920 Series PCIe4.0 NVMe SSD Based on MUFP

Memblaze today announced its first PCIe4.0 NVMe SSDs PBlaze6 6920 Series, which represent its 6th-generation enterprise SSD products. This Series is developed based on Memblaze's self-developed MUFP (Memblaze Unified Framework Platform), a unified framework platform for the development of all subsequent products of the firm.

The MUFP enables flexible decoupling among modules, improves the reusability and flexibility of firmware, and strengthens the cross-platform capability of firmware algorithm through software layering. The solutions based on Memblaze's MUFP are compatible with different controllers and NAND flash memory, thereby significantly improving the R&D efficiency of enterprise SSDs, shortening product development cycle and time to market, and meeting fast-changing market demands.

AMD EPYC 7003 Processors to Power Singapore's Fastest Supercomputer

AMD announced that AMD EPYC 7003 Series processors will be used to power a new supercomputer for the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) Singapore, the national high-performance computing (HPC) resource center dedicated to supporting science and engineering computing needs.

The system will be based on the HPE Cray EX supercomputer and will use a combination of the EPYC 7763 and EPYC 75F3 processors. The supercomputer is planned to be fully operational by 2022 and is expected to have a peak theoretical performance of 10 petaFLOPS, 8x faster than NSCC's existing pool of HPC resources. Researchers will use the system to advance scientific research across biomedicine, genomics, diseases, climate, and more.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT and RX 6600 Surface in Regulatory Filing

Even as the desktop Radeon RX 6700 (non-XT) is nowhere in sight, AMD is planning to scale its RDNA2 graphics architecture further down, with the RX 6600 XT and RX 6600. Regulatory filings by board partner ASRock with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), for the unreleased RX 6600 XT and RX 6600, hit the web, courtesy Komachi Ensaka. The filings list out internal SKU numbers. An interesting thing to note here is that both the RX 6600 XT and RX 6600 could have 8 GB of memory as standard. Given that the RX 6700 series is already pulling up to 12 GB over a 192-bit wide memory bus, it's likely that the RX 6600 series could use a narrower 128-bit bus for its 8 GB, use the fastest 16 Gbps memory chips (at least on the XT variant), and attempt to shore up memory bandwidth using Infinity Cache. A market launch typically follows EEC filings by 3 months, so the RX 6600 series could see a late-Summer launch.

Apple M1 Processor Receives Preliminary Support in Linux Kernel

Apple's M1 custom processor has been widely adopted among the developer community. However, it is exactly this part of the M1 customer base that wants something different. For months, various developers have been helping with the adoption of the M1 processor for the Linux Kernel, which has today received preliminary support for the processor. The latest 5.13-RC1 release of the Linux Kernel is out, and it adds some basic functionality for the M1 processor. For now, it is some basic stuff like a simple bring up, however, much more has to be added. For example, the GPU support is still not done. Not even half-done. The M1 SoC is now able to boot, however, it takes a lot more work to get the full SoC working correctly.

Mr. Linus Torvalds, the Linux kernel developer, and its creator highlights that "This was - as expected - a fairly big merge window, but things seem to have proceeded fairly smoothly. Famous last words." According to one of the main activists for Linux on M1, Mr. Hector Martin, "This is just basic bring-up, but it lays a solid foundation and is probably the most challenging up-streaming step we'll have to do, at least until the GPU stuff is done." So it is still a long way before the M1 processor takes a full Linux kernel for a spin and the software becomes usable.

Intel Alder Lake-S Engineering Sample Spotted with DDR5-4800 Memory Running DOTA 2

Intel's upcoming Alder Lake-S processors are going to be the company's first attempt at delivering heterogeneous core solutions, combining low-power and high-performance IPs in a single chip. Another important milestone that these processors will reach is DDR5 memory adoption, the first of its kind on consumer platforms. Today, thanks to CapFrameX, a monitoring tool that also hosts a database of benchmark runs, we have a piece of recorded information coming from a test system equipped with an Intel Alder Lake-S processor. The tested system spotted an engineering sample of the Alder Lake-S lineup, clocked at just 2.2 GHz. The core count and core configuration remained unknown.

Alongside the upcoming CPU, the system is composed of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and DDR5 memory running at 4800 MHz. There were four sticks present, each having 8 GB capacity. The leaked system was running the DOTA 2 game at an average of 119.98 FPS, which doesn't mean much, given that we don't know which settings were applied and what was the resolution. There is a chart showing the gaming frame rate and frame time, which could be interesting to look at. However, the only new information we have come to know is that the Alder Lake-S is already capable of playing games and the ecosystem support should be very good at launch.

DRAM Revenue for 1Q21 Undergoes 8.7% Increase QoQ Thanks to Increased Shipment as Well as Higher Prices, Says TrendForce

Demand for DRAM exceeded expectations in 1Q21 as the proliferation of WFH and distance education resulted in high demand for notebook computers against market headwinds, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Also contributing to the increased DRAM demand was Chinese smartphone brands' ramp-up of component procurement while these companies, including OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi, attempted to seize additional market shares after Huawei's inclusion on the Entity List. Finally, DRAM demand from server manufacturers also saw a gradual recovery. Taken together, these factors led to higher-than-expected shipments from various DRAM suppliers in 1Q21 despite the frequent shortage of such key components as IC and passive components. On the other hand, DRAM prices also entered an upward trajectory in 1Q21 in accordance with TrendForce's previous forecasts. In light of the increases in both shipments and quotes, all DRAM suppliers posted revenue growths in 1Q21, and overall DRAM revenue for the quarter reached US$19.2 billion, an 8.7% growth QoQ.

Demand for PC, mobile, graphics, and special DRAM remains healthy in 2Q21. Furthermore, after two to three quarters of inventory reduction during which their DRAM demand was relatively sluggish, some server manufacturers have now kicked off a new round of procurement as they expect a persistent increase in DRAM prices. TrendForce therefore forecasts a significant QoQ increase in DRAM ASP in 2Q21. In conjunction with increased bit shipment, this price hike will likely drive total DRAM revenue for 2Q21 to increase by more than 20% QoQ.

NETGEAR Unveils Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini Mesh Router

NETGEAR, Inc., the leading provider of networking products that power businesses large and small, today announced the latest WiFi 6 addition to the Orbi Pro portfolio. The Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini (SXK30) Dual-band Mesh System with its attractive price point is designed for small businesses and home-based offices.

With an industry leading WiFi 6 (802.11ax) multi-node mesh system, the base configuration of an Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini system (SXK30) comprises a router and a satellite. Each router and satellite also include an integrated NETGEAR Ethernet switch and delivers aggregate WiFi speeds of up to 1.8Gbpsi. The base configuration of the Orbi Pro WiFi 6 Mini Mesh System (SXK30) provides up to 4000 sq. ft. of coverage. Up to three (3) additional satellites (sold separately), expand the WiFi coverage of the system to up to 10,000 sq. ft.

PNY Announces XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 4,000MHz Desktop Memory

PNY announced today the addition of the XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB DDR4 4,000 MHz Desktop Memory to the company's high-performance XLR8 line of PC memory for gaming PCs. The new 4,000 MHz modules will deliver the ever-higher levels of overclocked performance demanded by today's gamers, while RGB lighting adds style to any PC build.

As games become increasingly competitive, gamers require faster performance from their systems. PNY addresses this with each addition to the XLR8 lineup. For creators looking to edit video or render photos, students wanting to have the answers first, or hardcore gamers looking to squeeze the maximum frames per second (FPS) from their system, PNY has everyone's back.

MONTECH Rethinks High-Performance Micro-ATX with AIR 100 ARGB and Lite Cases

MONTECH, an innovative PC components and peripherals brand, is proud to release the AIR 100 ARGB and AIR 100 Lite, MONTECH's first compact Micro-ATX cases. A continuation of the AIR series DNA of exceptional cooling performance, MONTECH sets a new standard for Micro-ATX cases. Its dustproof and large front mesh panel, swivel-open tempered glass panel, and hardware compatibility make it ideal for users looking for an elegant compact case for building a high-performance system.

A large front panel with super fine mesh allows cool air to flow, ensuring the optimal heat dissipation of the components inside. With its magnetic quick-release mounting mechanism, removing the mesh panel for cleaning is easy.

CHERRY Acquires Hygenic Keyboard and Mouse Specialist Active Key

CHERRY, a leading global manufacturer of computer input devices and switches for mechanical keyboards, announced today the acquisition of Active Key GmbH & Co. KG ("Active Key"), a German-based leading manufacturer of hygienic, washable keyboards and mice for medical and industrial end-markets. The Active Key acquisition expands CHERRY's healthcare product portfolio and meets increased customer demand for hygienic and washable computer peripherals.

Active Key is a leading brand in the development and engineering of specialist keyboards and mice that are used in medical, industrial, point-of-sale and office applications. Its product range includes keyboards that are resistant to dust and moisture, fully sealed keyboards that can be easily sanitized, programmable keyboards, and keyboards with integrated card readers. This acquisition strengthens CHERRY's position as a leading provider of healthcare peripherals.

The combination of CHERRY and Active Key is highly complementary. CHERRY will benefit from Active Key's technical new product development and engineering expertise and Active Key will benefit from CHERRY's established global distribution network. The current environment is driving rising demand for specialized keyboards and mice in healthcare and other industrial settings. This acquisition adds depth to CHERRY's healthcare offerings and will enable future applications of hygienic and washable technology across CHERRY's broader product portfolio and end-markets.

Acer Announces Predator Triton 300, Predator Helios 300 and Nitro 5 Gaming Notebooks

Acer today announced updates to its popular Predator Triton 300, Predator Helios 300 and Nitro 5 series of gaming notebooks, all of which have been refreshed to take advantage of the latest 11th Gen Intel Core H-series processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs - including the new GeForce RTX 3050 and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti. On top of a number of other updates, improvements to the devices' displays ensure that players will appreciate as much of this power boost as possible.

"The new silicon announced today are as exciting for us at it is for users, as more powerful processors let us push the thermal management capabilities of our devices further than ever," said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "There is a lot of exciting technology coming to the surface right now, and we're able to offer an excellently tuned package for players of all skill levels. Whether you're a seasoned pro or investing in your first gaming notebook, this is the time."

Introducing Lenovo Legion Gaming PCs with New Intel Core Processors

Lenovo believes powerful and immersive gaming experiences exist at the intersection of hardware, software, and support services. For nearly six years, Lenovo Legion has delivered savage performance and sleek yet sophisticated design to a growing audience of avid gamers.

Optimized performance is at the heart of every Lenovo Legion product, and it's especially true of the new lineup of portable gaming PCs featuring Intel's and NVIDIA's latest technologies and Windows 10. Introducing the new 16-inch flagship Lenovo Legion 7i, the powerful new 16-inch Lenovo Legion 5i Pro, and the new 15-inch and 17-inch, Lenovo Legion 5i, which is easily customizable. Players can complete their setup and optimize esport experiences with the suite of innovative technologies offered on the new Lenovo Legion Y25g-30 IPS gaming monitor with lightning-fast 360 Hz refresh rate for the total package in fast-paced, tear-free gameplay.

Z by HP Powers Creative Collaboration Everywhere for Today's Creators

Today HP Inc. introduced the latest HP ZBook Studio G8, ZBook Fury G8, and ZBook Power G8 built for professional creators and power users who need performance, reliability, expandability, and versatility to work fluidly and get the job done in any environment.

Today's creators are focused on delivering breakthrough experiences and require powerful and flexible technology that enables them to stay productive and collaborative. As businesses have shifted from traditional offices by default to hybrid environments by design, technical and creative professionals need pro-grade performance on the go. With 32% of office employees expected to work from home for the foreseeable future, and 33% of IT decision makers reporting that support for remote work is their #1 challenge, businesses must be prepared to support the future of work.

ASUS ROG Creates Unique Concept Gaming Laptop for Top Pro Skateboarder Nyjah Huston

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced a unique concept gaming laptop created exclusively for world champion professional skateboarder Nyjah Huston. The ROG Strix Nyjah Huston Special Edition concept gaming laptop is based on the acclaimed ROG Strix SCAR series, the leading laptops built for professional esports players. The concept introduces new design explorations at the intersection of the esports and skateboarding cultures. Developing this concept for Nyjah Huston allowed ROG to explore novel ways to enhance the experience of ROG gaming laptops, paving the way for new design thinking and future innovations.

"ASUS makes such great laptops, I am hyped to be working with them," said Huston. "I have a bunch of friends who are into esports and they all told me ASUS is the best, so it was easy decision for me to partner with ROG." Born in California, Nyjah Huston began skateboarding at age five and quickly became a household name in professional skateboarding. He is now the top ranked athlete in Street League Skateboarding and has earned 19X Games medals since 2009, including 13 golds. This year, Huston is in line to represent the United States at the 2021 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. He also has a long history in gaming, having been featured in multiple popular skateboarding games.

Razer Announces 2021 Razer Blade 15 Advanced Powered by 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake-H"

The new Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model lineup continues to present the best gaming laptops on the market. Armed with the new 11th Gen Intel Core H-Series Processor up to an Intel Core i9, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-Series Laptop GPU, and the fastest available displays with up to 360Hz, the new Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model delivers ultimate power in a premium compact form factor. The RTX 3060 version stands at an impressive height of only 15.8 mm, making it the thinnest gaming laptop in the world with a GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.

To ensure a smooth experience, the new Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model utilizes the latest PCIe Gen 4 configuration and is powered by DDR4 3200 MHz memory. The innovative M.2 design returns, with dual slots available on RTX 3070 versions and above, allowing users to easily expand the SSD according to their storage needs. Be it hardcore gaming or content creation, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model laptops are built to handle intensive usage and multitasking.

NVIDIA Announces GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile and RTX 3050 Mobile

Alongside Intel's launch of the 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake-H" desktop processor series, NVIDIA debuted its mid-range GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (mobile) and RTX 3050 (mobile) graphics processors. Both chips are designed with typical 3D power ranging between 35 W and 80 W. Both chips are based on the new 8 nm "GA107" silicon. This "Ampere" chip physically packs 2,560 CUDA cores across 20 streaming multiprocessors, with 80 tensor cores, 20 RT cores, and a 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface.

The GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (mobile) appears to be maxing out the GA107 silicon, featuring all 2,560 CUDA cores, 80 tensor cores, 20 RT cores, and 4 GB of GDDR6 memory across the chip's 128-bit wide memory bus. The RTX 3050 is slightly cut down, with 16 out of 20 SM enabled. This works out to 2,048 CUDA cores, 64 tensor cores, and 16 RT cores. The memory remains the same—4 GB GDDR6. Clock speeds will vary wildly depending on the notebook model, but typically, the RTX 3050 Ti can boost up to 1695 MHz, while the RTX 3050 can boost up to 1740 MHz. Both chips take advantage of PCI-Express 4.0 and Resizable BAR. The company didn't reveal memory clocks.

Intel Announces 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake-H" Mobile Processors

Intel today announced the 11th generation Core "Tiger Lake-H" mobile processors for notebooks of conventional thickness, gaming notebooks, and mobile workstations. This is the first scale-up of the "Tiger Lake" microarchitecture, with the introduction of a brand new die that has up to 8 "Willow Cove" CPU cores. These processors typically come with TDP of 35-45 W, but the flagship part ships with TDP as high as 65 W. Unlike "Rocket Lake," this chip is built on Intel's latest 10 nm SuperFin silicon fabrication process. With it, Intel is announcing ten processor SKUs—five each for the consumer and commercial notebook market segments. These span across the Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 brand extensions.

The 10 nm "Tiger Lake-H" silicon measures roughly 190 mm², and has several changes compared to the 4-core "Tiger Lake-U" silicon the company debuted the 11th Gen with. The biggest change is the CPU core count of 8. This lets it not only achieve parity with AMD in mobile CPU core counts, but also purportedly beat it on the back of a higher IPC. Each of these 8 "Willow Cove" cores has 1.25 MB of dedicated L2 cache, and share 24 MB of L3 cache. You get the same "Willow Cove" ISA as the "Tiger Lake-U," including AVX-512 and DLBoost. Next up, the chip features an integrated graphics based on the Gen12 Xe LP graphics architecture, only that the execution units have reduced to just 32 on this silicon, compared to 96 on the 4-core Tiger Lake-U. The new chip enjoys a bigger power budget to run the iGPU at higher clock speeds. There is also a 20-lane PCI-Express Gen 4.0 interface, and a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller.

GIGABYTE Launches New GeForce RTX 3050 G5/G7 Gaming Laptops

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mining trend, the sales of GIGABYTE's newly launched laptops with NVIDIA GeForce RTX Laptop GPUs saw an exponential growth in Q1 2021, and even set the new record of monthly profit in recent years. GIGABYTE is now launching G Series laptops with both the CPU and GPU upgraded to the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, GeForce RTX 3050, and Intel 11th gen H-series processors. With the focus on "multitasking" to appeal to the Gen Z gamers, the G series laptops are built for not just gaming, but provide a beautiful balance of entertainment and work capabilities.

GIGABYTE presents its new products, 15'" G5 and 17" G7 gaming laptops, with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050. As the award-winning NVIDIA Ampere architecture brings in its groundbreaking rendering efficiency, the RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs powers up with multiple features, including the support for raytracing technology and advanced AI, presenting more realistic light and shadow effects, allowing players to effortlessly immerse in AAA titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2. RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs also feature the brand-new 3rd generation Max-Q technologies for optimal power and performance, the overall computing speed and gaming experience will be remarkably enhanced.

GIGABYTE Announces AORUS Professional Gaming Laptop Powered by 8-core 11th Gen Core

GIGABYTE, the leading brand of personal computers, is presenting AORUS 15P and AORUS 17G of the AORUS Professional gaming laptop series today (5/11), with 11th generation Intel processor, as well as the limited edition flagship model, AORUS 17X. Speed and optimized performance is the theme of this round of gaming laptops. Equipped with the Intel 45 W 8-core H-series processor, unlike the H35 6-core version released early this year, the new CPU is on a totally different level, with a significant growth of 25% in performance compared to the previous model. Paired with the RTX 30 series laptop GPUs along with Resizable BAR, Dynamic Boost 2.0 for intelligent system config optimization, plus the exclusive WINDFORCE Infinity cooling design, the new gaming laptops are geared for ultimate performance. Upgraded with the 360Hz panel, the 17G offers hardcore gamers an exquisite all-round playing experience from visuals, tactile feedback and system performance.

The AORUS 15P gaming laptop is equipped with the 45 W Intel Core i7-11800H (8 cores and 16 threads) and top grade RTX 30 series (up to 130 W) laptop GPUs. Inside the thin sleek chassis, the exclusive WINDFORCE Infinity cooling design provides 30% more efficiency compared to the previous generation. The Full HD 360Hz panel makes for the ultimate immersive gaming experience, with next-gen tech 100% unleashed throughout every part of the machine. The new upgrades support the latest specifications, including DDR4 3200, Thunderbolt 4, and PCIe Gen 4.0. Among them, the transmission bandwidth of PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD doubles the capacity of Gen 3.0, resulting in faster reading speed to deal with the ever-increasing game files. It supports the latest HDMI 2.1 4K@120Hz video output, allowing players to enjoy the most exhilarating gaming experience with a large screen, high resolution, and no afterimages.

GIGABYTE Announces AERO Laptops Powered by 8-core 11th Gen Core Processors

The global PC leading brand, GIGABYTE, has launched the new AERO series Creator Laptops with the latest 11th Gen H-series processor today. Earlier this year (2021), a series of GIGABYTE laptops with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs to bring a "truly enhanced performance" have been released in GIGABYTE's online product launch event, Performance Above All. Their performance test score reached a significant increase of 30%1 compared with previous models, which led to a craze of purchases by many creators and gamers.

Despite the challenging circumstance of the global supply chain, the sales went the opposite direction, resulting in an exceptional outcome. Unlike the low-profile version H35 4-core 8-thread CPU launched by the processor giant Intel in early 2021, Intel Core i9-11980HK and lntel Core i7-11800H of the 11th Gen H45 CPUs come with 8 cores, 16 threads and 45 W, leading to AERO's breakthrough increase of 25%2 in performance score. Within the red ocean of the laptop market, the AERO series has aimed at the creators' market by providing advantages in OLED display with the world's only dual-certified color calibration and their extremely high performance, seeking for the final victory.

Displaylite Appointed as Philips Touch Solutions Partner

Displaylite, a leading UK touchscreen and displays specialist, has entered an exciting new partnership with Philips monitors to supply their new range of touch monitors in the UK. The agreement covers Touch Glass, In Cell and Open Frame Monitors. The range currently includes the B9T series of 15.6", 17", 21.5" and 23.8" PCAP (projected capacitive) Touch Glass Monitors, with a new range of In Cell and Open Frame Monitors launched recently.

Philips Touch Glass PCAP monitors support up to 10-point touch and are IP65 rated from the front, making them ideal for use in demanding touch applications. Key features include; SmoothTouch technology, a sturdy articulating stand and an optional bracket enabling a mini-PC to be secured. Paul Butler, UK and Ireland Regional Sales Director at Philips monitors, said: "We are excited to be partnering with Displaylite as we look to expand into new markets. Our portfolio of touch solutions offers a multitude of benefits including 70,000 MTBF, 3 years warranty and a 48 hour onsite swap out warranty service."

UK Competition Regulator Probes AMD's Buyout of Xilinx

British competition regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Monday, launched an enquiry into the ramifications of AMD's buy-out of FPGA maker Xilinx. The agency is soliciting opinions from the public on whether the $35 billion all-stock purchase will make goods and services less competitive for the UK. Unlike NVIDIA's Arm buyout the Xilinx acquisition is seeing no opposition from tech-giants. The Register notes that AMD could combine Xilinx's FPGAs with its x86 CPU and RDNA SIMD to create highly customizable HPC accelerators. AMD president Dr Lisa Su said "By combining our world-class engineering team and deep domain expertise, we will create an industry leader with the vision, talent and scale to define the future of high performance computing."
Monday, May 10th 2021
Upcoming Hardware Launches 2021 (Updated May 2021)

Upcoming Hardware Launches 2021 (Updated May 2021)

This article serves as a continuously updated summary of currently known leaks and official announcements regarding upcoming hardware releases in 2021 and beyond. We cover and keep track of developments for Intel Alder Lake, AMD Zen 4, NVIDIA's future Ampere cards, new AMD Radeons, DDR5 memory, Intel's next Xe GPU, chipsets and more.
AZZA Cast 808 Review

AZZA Cast 808 Review

The AZZA Cast 808 is an extraordinary chassis with an outer shell that has hinges at the top and bottom and a gap in the middle—it even lacks a rear panel. This makes the AZZA Cast 808 a unique open-frame case.

AeroCool Unveils Gladiator Duo Mid-Tower Case

AeroCool today unveiled the Gladiator Duo, an ATX mid-tower case with a touch of bilateral symmetry in its design. An ARGB lighting strip runs along the height of the case at the front-panel. The front fan intakes are located along the bottom- and top edges of the front-panel. The actual front-panel I/O is located along the top, next to a 2x 120 mm top exhaust. Tempered glass covers the left side-panel. Inside, the case features a horizontally-partitioned layout. You get room for graphics cards up to 32.6 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 16 cm in height.

Ventilation options on the AeroCool Gladiator Duo include either three 120 mm or two 140 mm intakes along the front-panel; two 120 mm top exhausts, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Storage includes two 3.5-inch/2.5-inch trays, a 3.5-inch/2.5-inch mount on top of the tray, and two additional 2.5-inch mounts behind the motherboard tray. Front-panel connectivity includes two USB3 type-A, and HDA jacks. The case measures 210 mm x 519 mm x 404 mm (WxHxD), and is made mostly of SPCC steel. The company didn't reveal pricing.

MSI Fanless X570S Motherboard Lineup Leaked

The X570S is a new motherboard series from AMD which offers fanless chipset cooling for silent operations. The new motherboard series features an optimized chipset with power-saving features to achieve the fanless design. While there are currently a few passive X570 boards they come at a high price so these new X570S boards will be a welcome addition. MSI is reportedly planning to release eight new X570S motherboards to replace their high-end and mainstream X570 offerings. The MSI X570S Carbon appears to be a complete redesign rather than a chipset swap with larger heatsinks, increased SATA ports, and various other improvements.

Sony Expects Limited PlayStation 5 Availability Throughout 2022

Sony expects that the PlayStation 5 will remain in short supply throughout 2022 and will therefore be unable to boost sales targets. Sony has sold 7.8 million units through March 31st and expects total sales of 14.8 million units this financial year. Sony has been unable to increase production of the console due to global shortages in components across the semiconductor industry. The PlayStation 5 is currently keeping pace with the early sales of the popular PlayStation 4. Sony isn't the only manufacturer to be impacted by these global shortages with Microsoft and Nintendo reporting similar issues.
Sony CFO
I don't think demand is calming down this year and even if we secure a lot more devices and produce many more units of the PlayStation 5 next year, our supply wouldn't be able to catch up with demand

Samsung's Apple M1-rivaling Exynos SoC Powering Notebooks by H2-2021

Samsung is readying a powerful Arm-based SoC rivaling Apple's groundbreaking M1 silicon, under its Exynos brand. This chip is being designed for thin-and-light notebooks, as well as premium tablets, essentially letting Samsung target Apple's MacBook (M1) and iPad Pro form-factors. Unlike Apple, Samsung won't be burdened with having to rally its ISV partners to develop specifically for its hardware; the company is preparing to launch notebooks in the second half of 2021 that are powered by a Windows 10 on Arm derivative. This would give the notebook access to all of the applications already developed for the OS, including Office and certain Adobe Creativity Suite apps. The M1-rivaling Exynos chip will pack the latest-generation 64-bit Arm CPU cores, as well as an integrated GPU designed by AMD.

Samsung Unveils Industry-First Memory Module Incorporating New CXL Interconnect

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today unveiled the industry's first memory module supporting the new Compute Express Link (CXL) interconnect standard. Integrated with Samsung's Double Data Rate 5 (DDR5) technology, this CXL-based module will enable server systems to significantly scale memory capacity and bandwidth, accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads in data centers.

The rise of AI and big data has been fueling the trend toward heterogeneous computing, where multiple processors work in parallel to process massive volumes of data. CXL—an open, industry-supported interconnect based on the PCI Express (PCIe) 5.0 interface—enables high-speed, low latency communication between the host processor and devices such as accelerators, memory buffers and smart I/O devices, while expanding memory capacity and bandwidth well beyond what is possible today. Samsung has been collaborating with several data center, server and chipset manufacturers to develop next-generation interface technology since the CXL consortium was formed in 2019.

Eurocom Announces Sky Z7 R2 Powered by Dektop Core i9-11900K

The EUROCOM Sky Z7 R2, based on the Intel Z590 Express chipset, features the long awaited and most powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs ever created. Eurocom's Sky Z7 R2 is one of the few laptops that utilizes modular GPU technology based on the MXM 3.1 version 2.0 socket technology. This means the Mobile Supercomputer's high performance GPU is fully upgradeable and can be replaced at any time, giving the laptop unmatched customization and upgradeability.

Powered by NVIDIA's newest RTX graphics (up to the Geforce RTX 3080), the EUROCOM Sky Z7 R2 delivers the ultra-performance that power users crave. It's built with enhanced processing cores that delivers twice the performance as its previous generation counterpart. Whether power users want to play the most graphics-heavy games today in maximum resolution and framerate, livestreaming in the highest image quality with the best encoding, or editing and rendering complex 3D scenes, the EUROCOM Sky Z7 R2 provides power users the performance needed to create and play in the highest quality possible. Seamless and stutter-free 4K gaming at 60 FPS, as well as 8K video editing, rendering and gaming. The EUROCOM Sky Z7 R2 gives power users the performance headroom to crank up graphics settings and resolutions to the maximum in order to deliver an incredible visual experience.
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