Friday, April 9th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
Other
Processors
PSUs
SSD
Neo Forza eSports NFP075 1 TB Review

Neo Forza eSports NFP075 1 TB Review

The Neo Forza eSports NFP075 M.2 NVMe SSD is powered by the combination of a Phison E12 controller and YMTC 3D TLC flash, and a DRAM chip is included, too. Performance results are excellent, matching the fastest PCIe Gen 3 drives in our test group, and pricing is good, too.
XGIMI Mogo Pro+ Projector Review

XGIMI Mogo Pro+ Projector Review

As the name implies, the XGIMI Mogo Pro+ is an updated, version of the Mogo Pro projector, providing automatic keystone correction in the same portable and compact battery-equipped package. The Mogo Pro+ is powered by Android with full access to the Google Play Store.
Quick Look: Lypertek PurePlay Z3 True Wireless Earbuds Review

Quick Look: Lypertek PurePlay Z3 True Wireless Earbuds Review

Lypertek is a relatively recent audio brand that recognizes the importance of value-driven products to break into the market. With the PurePlay Z3, we see an excellent set of true wireless earbuds with a neutral sound signature, good battery life with quick charging support, and easy controls for media playback on the go.

Intel's Upcoming Sapphire Rapids Server Processors to Feature up to 56 Cores with HBM Memory

Intel has just launched its Ice Lake-SP lineup of Xeon Scalable processors, featuring the new Sunny Cove CPU core design. Built on the 10 nm node, these processors represent Intel's first 10 nm shipping product designed for enterprise. However, there is another 10 nm product going to be released for enterprise users. Intel is already preparing the Sapphire Rapids generation of Xeon processors and today we get to see more details about it. Thanks to the anonymous tip that VideoCardz received, we have a bit more details like core count, memory configurations, and connectivity options. And Sapphire Rapids is shaping up to be a very competitive platform. Do note that the slide is a bit older, however, it contains useful information.

The lineup will top at 56 cores with 112 threads, where this processor will carry a TDP of 350 Watts, notably higher than its predecessors. Perhaps one of the most interesting notes from the slide is the department of memory. The new platform will make a debut of DDR5 standard and bring higher capacities with higher speeds. Along with the new protocol, the chiplet design of Sapphire Rapids will bring HBM2E memory to CPUs, with up to 64 GBs of it per socket/processor. The PCIe 5.0 standard will also be present with 80 lanes, accompanying four Intel UPI 2.0 links. Intel is also supposed to extend the x86_64 configuration here with AMX/TMUL extensions for better INT8 and BFloat16 processing.

Alphacool Introduces Four New Extremely Large Radiators

Alphacool introduces four new extremely large radiators. The first two radiators are for 180 or 200 mm fans and are a thickness of 86 mm. The 200 and 400 mm NexXxoS Monsta radiators offer a huge cooling surface. Both radiators have 7x standard G1/4" ports. 6 of the ports are for inlet/outlet and the 7th port is located at the end chamber and can only be used for filling, draining, or bleeding the radiator. The fin density has been reduced from 16 to 12 FPI to allow the use of lower static pressure fans and lower RPMs.

The new Nova 1080 UT60 radiator is a thicker version of the Nova 1080 XT45 radiator. The enormous cooling surface is comparable to three 360 mm UT60 radiators. This makes it easy to cool more than 1000 W of excess heat with extremely quiet to silent spinning fans. This is equivalent to a 64 core AMD Threadripper of the latest generation and at least two GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards.

ASUS to Release ROG Strix XG279Q-G GUNDAM EDITION Monitor - Likely in Asia Region Only

ASUS is seemingly finding success on its Gundam-customized products - particularly in Asia, where the franchise has more, and more fervent, adherents. The company is about to release a new gaming monitor on their ROG Strix line (part number XG279Q-G) which features aesthetics inspired on the famous anime series. This also means that it's likely this is only a regional release, and not a global one, which means that non-Asia users will have to find a way to import these monitors from resellers.

The ROG Strix XG279Q-G GUNDAM EDITION monitor features a 27" diagonal, and carries a "Fast IPS" panel with up to 170 Hz refresh rates and 1 ms response times. The monitor is G-Sync Compatible (which means it features VRR, also marketed as AMD's FreeSync in times past), features a 1000:1 contrast ratio, and typical brightness of 400 nits (with DisplayHDR 400 certification). ASUS' Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB SYNC ) is present as well. There's support for ASUS' Aura Sync for RGB lighting elements on the back of the monitor. I/O is taken care of by 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, a 2x USB 3.0 HUB, and 1x earphone jack. No word on pricing or availability (or select regional availability) were available at time of writing.

Once Again, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang to Showcase What's Been Cooking for GTC - From His Kitchen

Remember that time when NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang pulled the company's HGX system (based on Ampere GA100) out of his own oven? Well, it seems we might be looking at something similar come GTC, which is set for April 12th. The event will again take place solely via online transmissions and announcements due to the still heavily-grassing COVID-19 pandemic, and NVIDIA teased a new kick-off presentation from its CEO - from his kitchen.

NVIDIA has usually taken GTC as an opportunity to showcase products not for the consumer segment, however, so temper your expectations. You should also likely temper your expectations regarding Huang taking enough RTX 30-series graphics cards form his oven to satisfy the incredible demand and stock issues we've been seeing with NVIDIA's latest and greatest. What we could be looking for (as an appetizer to this year's over 1500 presentations) are products focused on the professional computing markets, from quantum computing to AI, passing through RTX Ampere accelerators for professionals, NVIDIA Drive products, as well as Jetson announcements. NVIDIA did warn some surprises might be in store, but again, this doesn't mean these are surprises aimed at consumer gaming products. Catch up on NVIDIA's official announcement and a previously-released GTC retrospective video after the break.

GoodOffer24 Unveils Summer Promotion: Discounts on Genuine Software

GoodOffer24 is a global merchant of discount genuine software, celebrating the onset of Summer with great new deals on genuine software. Get Genuine Windows 10 Pro for just 12.17€, and Windows 10 Home for 11.71€. Stay productive, with Genuine Office 2019 Professional Plus for 34.99€. Better yet, combine Windows 10 Pro with Office 2019 Professional for 40.59€ and save even more. Check out other great deals on genuine older software, such as Office 2016, and their combinations with your preferred edition of Windows 10. GoodOffer24 uses a secure payment gateway to protect your transaction, and comes with a money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with your purchase.

Please use the coupon code TP30 on the following at check-out, to avail the prices you see here.

Buy Windows 10 Pro at 12.17€ | Buy Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC at 10.55€ | Buy Windows 10 Home at 11.71€ | Buy Office 2019 Home and Business at 34.48€ | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus at 20.99€| Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus at 34.99€ | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional at 40.59€ | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional at 36.81€

ADATA XPG Wins Three Red Dot Awards for Product Design

XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, today announcesthat three of its products have been awarded the prestigious 2021 Red Dot Award: Product Design. The three award-winning products include the GAMMIX S70PCIe Gen4 solid state drive, SPECTRIX D70G DDR4 memory, and SPECTRIX D50 Xtreme DDR4 memory.

"We are thrilled that three of our products have been honored by Red Dot as it affirms our commitment to not only deliver products with cutting-performance but also meaningful industrial designs," said Ibsen Chen, Product Marketing Directorat ADATA. "With our deep-rooted heritage and leadership in storage and memory products, it is fitting that among our three Red Dot winners is one solid state drive and two DRAM modules."

ViewSonic Introduces VX18 Series of Budget-Friendly Monitors

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solutions, introduces the latest line of budget-friendly monitors for home entertainment and gaming. The VX18 series of monitors will come in sizes from 24- to 34-inches, features adaptive sync technology, an ultra-fast 1 ms (MPRT) response time and refresh rates that range from 144 Hz to 165 Hz. Created for price-sensitive users looking for high performance features, the VX18 line of displays deliver great options for all types of entertainment applications.

The VX18 series of monitors include the VX2418-P-MHD, VX2718-P-MHD, VX2718-PC-MHD, VX2718-2KPC-MHD, VX3218-PC-MHD and VX3418-2KPC. Each monitor features adaptive sync connectivity, so displays can seamlessly synchronize the frame rate output between the graphics card and the monitor. This ensures a fluid gaming experience by eliminating screen tearing and stuttering. The VX18 monitors also come with the company's exclusive ViewMode presets, which offer enhanced on-screen performance for various entertainment applications such as watching/streaming movies, editing files or playing video games.

Silicon Power Unveils 7-in-1 Docking Storage Station

With all of today's mobile devices and peripherals available to users, it's faster than ever to run out of slots on a laptop. And, with newer laptops, a lot of those slots are hard to come by. Silicon Power (SP) is releasing the SU20, a 7-in-1 docking station, to give users the ability to expand their laptop connections with a plethora of options.

This complete solution gives Type-C laptops, notebooks, and tablets access to ports that have been eliminated on newer models. Connect to 1 HDMI port, 3 USB Type-A ports, 1 USB-C PD port, 1 SD card reader, and 1 microSD card reader all from a single Type-C input. The Type-C input supports passthrough charging to power your device without needing to sacrifice power for port expansion. Up to 5 Gbps of bandwidth via its 3 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, plus 1 USB-C PD port (max. 60 W), yields quick data transfers between your device and peripherals.
Thursday, April 8th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage
Corsair Sabre RGB Pro Review

Corsair Sabre RGB Pro Review

Corsair joins Razer and EVGA with their first 8000 Hz polling mouse. Equipped with PixArt's PMW3392, the right-handed ergonomic Sabre RGB Pro comes with spring-loaded main buttons, a flexible cable, and 72 g lightweight construction while retailing at $59.99, the lowest of all 8000 Hz mice thus far.

Intel Xe-HPG DG2 GPU Engineering Sample Pictured

We have recently received pictures of any early engineering sample of Intel's upcoming DG2 GPU from YouTuber Moore's Law is Dead. The card features 512 Execution Units and will be the flagship model for Intel's upcoming Xe-HPG lineup reportedly targeting performance between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. The final product is rumored to feature a base clock of 2.2 GHz along with 16 GB GDDR6 memory and a 256-bit bus. The sample has a TDP of 275 W with 8 + 6 pin power connectors up from original targets of 225 W - 250 W.

The report also notes that Intel is still deciding between three cooler designs with the finished card potentially featuring a white shroud. Intel also appears to be working on a NVIDIA DLSS/AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution competitor codenamed XeSS which confirms support for hardware-accelerated raytracing and resolution upscaling tech. The card is unlikely to launch until Q4 2021 with wider availability in 2022, lower end 128 EU, and 256 EU cards will follow shortly afterward. The full report can be viewed below.

EK Launches Quantum Vector FE RTX 3080 and 3090 Backplates

EK, is launching separate backplates for the Special Edition high-performance GPU water blocks that were made for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 Founders Edition graphics cards. The EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3080 and 3090 Backplates are available stand-alone due to many requests by users who wanted to make their blocks in one color instead of having a contrasting silver backplate on a black version of the water block and vice-versa.

This backplate provides additional passive cooling for the GPU core and the backside of the printed circuit board VRM section. Due to the small size of the card and the block itself, the ribbed backplate boasts an increased surface area for additional passive cooling power. It comes in anodized aluminium with a silver or black finish. The silver version is intended for the silver EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3080 water block, to make it an all-around silver enclosure, just as the black backplate is intended for the black EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3080 water block. By replacing the stock backplate with one of a different color, you get a truly monochromatic look.

Arctic Introduces Quiet Calm RGB Case Fans with Passive Mode

ARCTIC, today introduces two new semi-passive case fans. A special 0-decibel mode enables completely silent operation when power is not needed. The P12 PWM PST 0 dB fans are available in two different variants, with analog RGB lighting as well as digital A-RGB. Clever feature for silence lovers: The new semi-passive case fans switch to passive mode when the PWM signal falls below 10 %. This allows silent operation at low load while guaranteeing the highest performance when needed.

At full speed, the hydrodynamic sleeve bearing and the new, rubberized contact surfaces reduce noise levels to a minimum. Plus, form has been considered as well as function: twelve RGB LEDs and a transparent rotor provide even, rich illumination. Thanks to high static pressure, the P12 PWM PST 0 dB fans guarantee efficient cooling, even with increased air resistance. An integrated Y-splitter for fan and RGB connection also make them easy to combine.

Multi Camera Production Made Easy - Elgato Launches Cam Link Pro

Elgato, a leading provider of hardware and software for content creators, today announced the release of Cam Link Pro, a powerful new PCIe capture card and video mixer that boasts four HDMI inputs to stream or record 4K or 1080p60 Full HD video from DSLR cameras, laptops, tablets, and any other devices that output a clean HDMI signal. From live broadcasting and editing to video conferencing and remote teaching, Cam Link Pro makes multicam production easy for content creators and professionals who engage with audiences online.

As the production value of user generated content continues to improve dramatically, conventional webcam setups are struggling to provide the quality and flexibility to keep up. With Cam Link Pro, creators can connect up to four high-quality cameras, including DSLR cameras, video cameras, and action cams. Other HDMI sources can also be connected to add multimedia content from laptops, tablets, and more. Thanks to Cam Link Pro's four HDMI inputs and built-in Multiview technology, you can create even more advanced multi-camera content by utilizing multiple HDMI devices simultaneously. The Elgato 4K Capture Utility provides a host of Multiview layouts, such as Picture in Picture or Side by Side, that can be switched on-the-fly for professional-grade streams and presentations.

Built for Champions - Introducing the CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL Gaming Keyboard and SABRE PRO Gaming Mice

[Editor's note: Our review of the CORSAIR K70 RGB TKL can be found here for those interested.]

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gear for gamers and content creators, today announced the launch of three new products in its CHAMPION SERIES range of competition-grade peripherals, built for and tested by top esports professionals. Headlining the new launches is the streamlined K70 RGB TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, with 8,000Hz hyper-polling driven by CORSAIR AXON hyper-processing technology in a compact, tenkeyless design, enabling you to take pro performance to your next event.

Two new CORSAIR gaming mice also enter the CHAMPION SERIES lineup: the SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO. The first CORSAIR mice to also utilize AXON hyper-processing technology and 8,000Hz polling, the SABRE RGB PRO and SABRE PRO deliver lightning-fast inputs, along with a comfortable ergonomic shape and ultra-light weight for superior agility and control. Together, these CHAMPION SERIES gaming peripherals give you the tools you need to cut through the competition.

SilentiumPC Announces Fera 5 & Fera 5 Dual Fan CPU Coolers

SilentiumPC, the European manufacturer of CPU coolers, Power Supply Units and PC cases, announces the fifth generation of Fera CPU Cooler series, which has received a complete re-design from ground up. Fera 5 is the first CPU Cooler from the SilentiumPC lineup to receive the Synergy Cooling Technology treatment and a brand-new asymmetric heatsink design. Yet another novelty is the debut of the Fluctus 120 PWM axial fan, which features the revamped bearing, new fan blades and anti-vibration dampers. The Fera 5 is available in standard variant with one Fluctus 120 PWM fan and the high-performance Fera 5 Dual Fan version with two Fluctus 120 PWM in the desired push-pull setup! The R&D team at SilentiumPC was able to significantly improve the performance of the Fera 5 over the last generations, while fine-tuning the fan to match the desired heatsink characteristics and lowering the psychoacoustic noise levels.

Fluctus 120 PWM case fan series debuts as the new companion of Fera 5 CPU Cooler. Users have the choice between the standard Fera 5 model with one Fluctus 120 PWM or the Fera 5 Dual Fan version with two of these stunning fans. The unique fan blades with serrated edges serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, creating high static pressure required for a dense heatsink, high airflow, excellent acoustic performance and psychoacoustic noise reduction. Fluctus 120 PWM is equipped with a modern, long-life FDB bearing (MTBF 100 000 h) and rubber vibration dampeners in all the corners of the fan frame.

Alienware Launches m15 R5 Ryzen Edition Laptop With up to AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070

Dell's gaming subsidiary, Alienware, has launched a product designed to reintroduce products of a company that was abandoned in the laptop sector a long time ago. Alienware's last AMD-based gaming laptop made an appearance in 2007, and for 14 years there wasn't an Alienware laptop with an AMD processor inside it. For all those years, the heart of Alienware laptops was promised to Intel, however, that is no longer the case. Today, Alienware has introduced a Ryzen edition of the m15 R5 gaming laptop, powered by... you guessed it, AMD Ryzen 5000 series of mobile processors.

The new Alienware m15 R5 Ryzen Edition laptop is set to bring the balance to the force. Featuring AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 5900HX overclockable processor, the CPU is paired with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card. All of that is crammed inside a 15-inch body that offers QHD 240Hz or FHD 360Hz panels for the best possible gaming experience. For the cherry on top, the laptop offers Cherry MX keyboard switches with per-key RGB lighting. The new Ryzen edition Alienware laptop will be available for purchase in the U.S. with select configurations on April 20 starting at $1793.98. You can check out some pictures of the laptop below.
More pictures follow.

AAEON Announces NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX AI Edge Platform

- AAEON, an industry leader in embedded AI edge computing systems, announces a lineup of platforms currently under development powered by the newly released NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX system on module (SOM). This range of systems, named the BOXER-823x Series, will augment AAEON's lineup of diverse solutions powered by the NVIDIA Jetson edge AI platform. With these platforms planned for release in mid-2021, early adopters have a chance to demo the systems while in development.

The NVIDIA Jetson TX2 NX is the latest addition to NVIDIA's Jetson lineup, slotting in between the NVIDIA Jetson Nano and NVIDIA Xavier NX. Jetson TX2 NX is powered by a NVIDIA Pascal GPU, quad-core Arm Cortex -A57 MPCore processor complex, offering 256 CUDA Cores, 4 GB of onboard LPDD4 memory, and 51.2 GB/s of memory bandwidth compatible with extensions of various standard bus interfaces. In total, this offers AI processing speeds up to 1.33 TFLOPS.

Team Group Launches T-FORCE CARDEA A440 PCIe 4.0 SSD

Leading memory provider TEAMGROUP challenges the SSD industry's highest speeds today with its launch of the CARDEA A440 PCIe 4.0 SSD under its gaming sub-brand T-FORCE. It features extreme read and write speeds up to 7000 MB/s and 6900 MB/s, respectively, and comes with two patented heat sinks that gamers can install and match to their needs. The SSD's blazing speeds will help players unleash their skills and venture into gaming worlds faster than ever.

The T-FORCE CARDEA A440 PCIe 4.0 SSD supports the PCIe Gen 4x4 specification and the latest NVMe 1.4 standard and is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0 interface ports. Not only does it support high read/write speeds of up to 7000/6900 MB/s, but it is also available with large capacities of 1 or 2 TB. The classic matte black CARDEA A440 features two of the industry's first interchangeable, patent-certified thermal modules. The layered and unique beveled surface of the "aluminium fins" is specially designed to increase the heat dissipation area and can reduce SSD temperature by up to 15%[1]. The "ultra-thin graphene heat sinks" consist of the best materials for thermal conductivity and can dissipate heat by up to 9%. TEAMGROUP's CARDEA A440 provides the best heat dissipation solution. Gamers no longer need to worry about encountering thermal throttling when running games at full speed, causing slowdowns. They can freely enjoy the ultimate gaming experience.

AMD Radeon Pro Workstation Card with Navi 21 GPU Pictured

When AMD introduced RDNA 2 architecture and higher-end Navi 21 GPU SKUs, it was only a matter of time before the company launches these GPUs inside professional-grade graphics cards. Today, thanks to the Chiphell forums, we have pictures and some specifications of AMD's upcoming Radeon Pro workstation graphics card. Pictured below is a new RDNA 2 based design that features AMD's Navi 21 GLXL GPU SKU. The new GLXL GPU SKU is supposed to be rather similar to the Navi 21 XL GPU found inside AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card, judging by the number and arrangement of capacitors on the back of the card.

When it comes to memory, the upcoming Radeon Pro workstation card is featuring 16 GB of VRAM, likely a variant of GDDR6 found on gaming-oriented graphics cards from RDNA 2 generation. When it comes to cooler design, the Radeon Pro graphics card has a blower-type cooler helping tame the Navi 21 GLXL GPU. Given that blower-type coolers are suitable for situations with less airflow, the TDP of this card could be around or under 250 Watts. You can take a look at the card below, however, do note that it is an engineering sample and the final product can look a bit different.

AMD and Xilinx Stockholders Overwhelmingly Approve AMD's Acquisition of Xilinx

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) and Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) announced today that stockholders voted to approve their respective proposals relating to the pending acquisition of Xilinx by AMD. The acquisition will bring together two industry leaders with complementary product portfolios and customers, combining CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, Adaptive SoCs and deep software expertise to enable leadership in computing platforms for cloud, edge and end devices. Together, the combined company will have the ability to capitalize on opportunities spanning some of the industry's most important growth segments, including data centers, gaming, PCs, communications, automotive, industrial, aerospace and defense.

"For several years, AMD has successfully executed our long-term growth strategy and deepened the company's partnerships to drive high performance computing leadership," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "The acquisition of Xilinx marks the next leg in our journey to make AMD the strategic partner of choice for the largest and most important technology companies in the world as an industry leader with the vision, talent and scale to support their future innovation."
Wednesday, April 7th 2021

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Processors
Intel Core i5-11400F Review - The Best Rocket Lake

Intel Core i5-11400F Review - The Best Rocket Lake

The Core i5-11400F is Intel's most affordable Rocket Lake processor. While its multiplier is locked, you can still adjust the power limit. Once we did that, the CPU ran over 15% faster and almost matched the Core i5-11600K. We also made an interesting discovery regarding Gear 1 vs. Gear 2.
Team Group T-Force Dark Z FPS DDR4-4000 MHz CL16 2x8 GB Review

Team Group T-Force Dark Z FPS DDR4-4000 MHz CL16 2x8 GB Review

A cousin to the previously reviewed Team Group T-Force Dark Z and T-Force Dark Zα, the Team Group T-Force Dark Z FPS is designed to deliver maximum performance on both Intel and the new Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs. Let's find out what sets the T-Force Dark Z FPS apart from its predecessors!

AeroCool Debuts the Dorado Line of 80 Plus Gold Power Supplies

AeroCool this week debuted the Dorado line of mid-range power-supplies. These PSUs come with fixed cabling, but RGB-illuminated fans, and 80 Plus Gold efficiency, putting them in a sub-segment of their own. The AeroCool Dorado comes 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W capacities, all three of which include two 4+4 pin EPS connectors (including the 550 W model). Designed for single GPU builds, the 750 W model comes with three 6+2 pin PCIe connectors; while the 650 W and 550 W models come with two.

The AeroCool Dorado uses a 120 mm "high pressure" fan with addressable RGB LED illumination. An internal controller lets you cycle between 13 lighting presets, or you can sync the lighting to any ARGB source through a standard 3-pin header. The fan maintains 800 RPM (10 dBA claimed) operation up to 50% load. Under the hood, the Dorado comes with a single +12 V rail design, active PFC, DC-to-DC switching, Japanese main capacitors, and most common electrical protections. The fixed cabling on these PSUs are flat, ribbon-type, including for the 24-pin connector. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Bitspower Unveils Premium Mobius VGA Water Block for AMD Radeon Big Navi Reference

Bitspower today unveiled its top full-coverage water-block that's compatible with the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, RX 6800 XT and RX 6800 "Big Navi" reference graphics cards; the Premium Mobius BPPRE-VG6900XTID. This 2-slot thick block uses nickel-plated copper as its primary material, combining it with a top that's essentially clear acrylic, but with an aluminium alloy cladding that resembles the styling of the reference cooling solution. The coolant never makes contact with the cladding. The acrylic top is studded with addressable-RGB LEDs, which take in a standard 3-pin ARGB connection. A matching back-plate made of anodized aluminium comes included with the block. The block comes with four G1/4" threads. Available now, the Premium Mobius BPPRE-VG6900XTID is priced at USD $320.

AMD Outs Radeon RX 6800 XT Midnight Black Edition—Already Out of Stock

Nobody saw this one coming—or going. AMD last night released the Radeon RX 6800 XT Midnight Black, a limited edition variant of the RX 6800 XT reference "Made by AMD" graphics card, sold-out directly through the company website. This card appears to be an aesthetic update, as it replaces all the matte silver bits on the cooler shroud with black. That's it...that's the product. The clock speeds are the same—2015 MHz game clocks—and so are is the core configuration, with 72 RDNA2 compute units. The card briefly appeared on the AMD store, allegedly, and disappeared before the first legitimate graphics card buyer could lift a finger.

Gear 1 can Lead to Performance Loss on Intel "Rocket Lake" 11th Gen Processors

In the course of our Core i5-11400F "Rocket Lake" processor review, we discovered that the Gear 2 memory mode has the potential to offer higher performance than Gear 1. The Gear 1 mode runs the memory frequency and memory controller frequency in 1:1 sync, while the Gear 2 mode runs them at 1:2, meaning that the memory controllers run at half the memory frequency, allowing you additional memory overclocking headroom. At lower, more stable, memory frequencies, it should be logical to use Gear 1. Our testing springs some surprising results.

Overall, a stock Core i5-11400F paired with DDR4-3733 MHz memory, was found to be 1.5% faster with Gear 2, when averaged across all our CPU tests, compared to Gear 1 at the same 3733 MHz frequency. Gear 2 was 3.42% faster in Cinebench R23 multi-threaded, and a staggering 6% in MySQL. Across rendering and media workloads that scale across all cores, we find Gear 2 faster by 1-3%. It's only with less parallelized workloads such as gaming, where we see Gear 2 lag behind Gear 1, though not by much. In our i5-11400F review, we show that by running your processor in Gear 2, you're making your memory controllers pull less power, freeing up power budget for the CPU cores, translating into the nT performance gains we see here. We discovered that the uncore can pull anywhere between 5 to 10 W more power in Gear 1 mode. This is valuable power eating into the already constrained power-budget of this 65 W TDP chip.

Read the Intel Core i5-11400F TechPowerUp Review

Kingston Digital Partners With NXP Semiconductors on i.MX 8M Plus Processors

Kingston Digital, Inc., the flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it is partnering with NXP Semiconductors on their new i.MX 8M Plus applications processors. NXP is a leading applications processor developer for creating infrastructure solutions involving smart technology, and Kingston is proud that its eMMC embedded memory solution is part of the reference board for its latest application processor.

Smart device makers requesting NXP's engineering verification kits featuring the i.MX 8M Plus chipset will see Kingston's eMMC onboard. This creates a terrific opportunity to expand the relationship with NXP and also further showcase Kingston embedded memory solutions to other IoT manufacturers. Kingston's discrete memory and storage solutions were also embedded on NXP's previous-generation i.MX 6 and i.MX 7 series processor boards.

Thermalright Intros TA 120 EX Tower-type CPU Cooler

Thermalright is on a roll with its streak of recent CPU cooler launches, the latest of which, is the TA 120 EX. Positioned a notch above its TRUE Spirit 120 series, the TA 120 EX is characterized by a dense aluminium fin stack with 52 fins packed with a gap of 1.6 mm, compared to 48 fins on the TRUE Spirit 120. The cooler is slightly larger and heavier, too. Heat drawn through a mirror-finish copper base, is conveyed to the fin stack through five 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes.

A Thermalright TL-C12 PRO-G fan comes included with the cooler. This 120 mm spinner features a fluid-dynamic bearing, spins at speeds of up to 1,850 RPM, pushing up to 82 CFM of airflow, at 2.1 mm H₂O static pressure, and a maximum noise output of up to 29.6 dBA. With its fan in place, the TA 120 EX measures 124 mm x 70 mm x 154 mm (WxDxH), weighing 680 g. Among the CPU socket types supported are AM4, LGA1200, LGA115x, and LGA2066. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Gigabyte Preparing Passively Cooled AMD X570S Motherboards

AMD introduced their X570 chipset back in July 2019 to coincide with the launch of Ryzen 3000 processors. The X570 chipset consumed more power than previous chipsets and required a dedicated cooling fan on most boards which were often noisy or unreliable. AMD appears to be preparing an updated more efficient X570S silent chipset with passive cooling. Gigabyte has recently submitted eight new motherboards to the EEC which appear to feature the new chipset. The specific models submitted include the AORUS MASTER, AORUS ELITE AX, AORUS ELITE, AORUS PRO AX, AERO G, and GAMING X. It remains to be seen if all of these models make it to market and whether or not other manufacturers are preparing new boards.
Tuesday, April 6th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Processors
SSD
Storage
i-Rocks K71M RGB Keyboard Review

i-Rocks K71M RGB Keyboard Review

i-Rocks makes a colorful return with the K71M RGB, a full-size keyboard that offers a few twists in the form of an angled case and light bar combination as well as a smart wheel that does a lot with Windows 10 programs. Add its sound-absorbing pad between case and PCB and you have flagship features at a wallet-friendly price!

E3 2021 Announced As An Online Only Event

It's "Game On." for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere. With early commitments from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, Koch Media, and more to come, E3 2021 will take place June 12 through June 15.

Developers will be showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world. The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free. While maintaining E3's longstanding position as a central destination for industry networking — where new partnerships and connections between video game publishers, developers and media are made — the digital format for E3 2021 means more people than ever can participate. The ESA looks forward to coming back together to celebrate E3 2022 in person, in the meantime see you online this June!

Microsoft Tests New Liquid Cooling System for The Data Center

Microsoft employees are trialing a novel new immersive cooling system for their data center servers involving boiling liquid. Microsoft has looked to this two-phase closed-loop system as a solution to increasing power requirements from components. The cooling system features large vats where servers are submerged in a specially designed fluid from 3M which is harmless to electronics and boils at just 50°C (122°F). The heat from the servers is transferred to the fluid which boils and carries the heat away without any risk of overheating. The vats each contain a condenser that comes in contact with the gas cooling it down into a liquid and falling back into the loop. Microsoft claims that this new cooling approach will improve efficiency and sustainability through increased utilization of resources.

Creative Announces SXFI AIR GAMER Wireless Headset

Creative Technology today announced the release of Creative SXFI AIR GAMER, which incorporates the best features of the SXFI AIR and SXFI GAMER for the most versatile Super X-Fi headphones yet. With Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C connectivity, the SXFI AIR GAMER offers users the best of both worlds - wire-free music enjoyment, and lag-free movie and gaming when plugged to PC or consoles. It also comes with a slew of wizardries that improve voice communication, be it in games, work conference calls, or online lessons.

Other features include intuitive touch control function on the earcup, the CommanderMic microphone with professional-grade clarity, and the SXFI BATTLE Mode audio profile to deliver the optimal experience for avid gamers. It is fitted with a Kevlar-reinforced USB cable for greater durability and plush oversized earpads for longer-lasting comfort.

Intel Announces 10 nm Third Gen Xeon Scalable Processors "Ice Lake"

Intel today launched its most advanced, highest performance data center platform optimized to power the industry's broadest range of workloads—from the cloud to the network to the intelligent edge. New 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named "Ice Lake") are the foundation of Intel's data center platform, enabling customers to capitalize on some of the most significant business opportunities today by leveraging the power of AI.

New 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors deliver a significant performance increase compared with the prior generation, with an average 46% improvement on popular data center workloads. The processors also add new and enhanced platform capabilities including Intel SGX for built-in security, and Intel Crypto Acceleration and Intel DL Boost for AI acceleration. These new capabilities, combined with Intel's broad portfolio of Intel Select Solutions and Intel Market Ready Solutions, enable customers to accelerate deployments across cloud, AI, enterprise, HPC, networking, security and edge applications.

Intel 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable Launch Event Liveblog

Intel today is launching its 3rd Generation Xeon Scalable processor bringing its first major IPC uplift to the enterprise space in five years. The Xeon Scalable processors are built on the 10 nm SuperFin process, and the "Ice Lake-SP" microarchitecture that bring new "Sunny Cove" CPU cores to the server space, including support for PCI-Express 4.0 I/O capabilities, a wider memory interface, and a more feature-rich AVX-512 instruction-set, along with DLBoost for HPC. join us for its launch live-blog.

14:59 UTC: CEO Pat Gelsinger and Data Platforms group head Navin Shenoy are expected to take centerstage. Xeon and memory group head Lisa Spelman could announce relevant platform products. This is Gelsinger's first major launch since taking office.

15:01 UTC: What will you solve for?

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series CPUs with Zen 3 Cores Could be Vulnerable to Spectre-Like Exploit

AMD Ryzen 5000 series of processors feature the new Zen 3 core design, which uses many techniques to deliver the best possible performance. One of those techniques is called Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF). According to AMD, "PSF is a hardware-based micro-architectural optimization designed to improve the performance of code execution by predicting dependencies between loads and stores." That means that PSF is another "prediction" feature put in a microprocessor that could be exploited. Just like Spectre, the feature could be exploited and it could result in a vulnerability in the new processors. Speculative execution has been a part of much bigger problems in CPU microarchitecture design, showing that each design choice has its flaws.

AMD's CPU architects have discovered that the software that relies upon isolation aka "sandboxing", is highly at risk. PSF predictions can sometimes miss, and it is exactly these applications that are at risk. It is reported that a mispredicted dependency between load and store can lead to a vulnerability similar to Spectre v4. So what a solution to it would be? You could simply turn it off and be safe. Phoronix conducted a suite of tests on Linux and concluded that turning the feature off is taking between half a percent to one percent hit, which is very low. You can see more of that testing here, and read AMD's whitepaper describing PSF.

Global Semiconductor Sales Up 14.7% Year-to-Year in February, Says SIA

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) today announced global semiconductor industry sales were $39.6 billion for the month of February 2021, an increase of 14.7% over the February 2020 total of $34.5 billion, but 1.0% less than the January 2021 total of $40.0 billion. Monthly sales are compiled by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization and represent a three-month moving average. SIA represents 98% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms.

"Global semiconductor sales during the first two months of the year have outpaced sales from early in 2020, when the pandemic began to spread in parts of the world," said John Neuffer, SIA president and CEO. "Sales into the China market saw the largest year-to-year growth, largely because sales there were down substantially early last year."

ASUS ROG G15 with Radeon RX 6800M and Ryzen 9 5900HX Spotted

It's close to impossible finding a Ryzen 9 mobile processor-powered gaming notebook with a high-end NVIDIA GPU. Having returned to the high-end discrete GPU market with the "Big Navi" Radeon RX 6000 series, AMD is looking to complement its Ryzen 5000M series "Zen 3" Cezanne mobile processors with high-end RDNA2 GPUs of its own. An upcoming model of the ASUS ROG G15 (2021) leaked to the web in a CPU-Z validation database (model: G513QY). This notebook packs a Ryzen 9 5900HX "Cezanne" 8-core/16-thread processor based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture; but more interestingly, the discrete GPU is Radeon RX 6800M.

The desktop Radeon RX 6800 (non-XT) and RX 6700 XT have shown that AMD has achieved performance/Watt parity/leadership over NVIDIA with high-end GPUs. VideoCardz reports that the RX 6800M is likely based on a maxed-out 7 nm "Navi 22" silicon, with 2,560 stream processors, and 12 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit wide memory bus. The RX 6800M could play in the same performance league as the GA104-based GeForce RTX 3080 Mobile, given that the desktop RX 6700 XT is leveling up to the desktop RTX 3070. Given the 256-bit memory bus width of the larger "Navi 21" silicon, it's quite possible that AMD comes up with even higher mobile SKUs, so AMD-powered gaming notebooks finally match/beat Intel+NVIDIA combinations.
Monday, April 5th 2021

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Processors
Speakers
SSD
MSI Immerse GH61 Review

MSI Immerse GH61 Review

The MSI Immerse GH61 is an interesting $100 USB gaming headset equipped with a pair of 40-millimeter speaker drivers installed by the famous hi-fi brand Onkyo, as well as an ESS Sabre DAC/headphone amplifier you may also use with other headphones you might own.

Cougar Rolls Out VTE X2 ARGB Power Supply Series

Cougar today rolled out the VTE X2 ARGB line of mid-range power supplies targeted at e-Sports gaming PC builds, particularly those who value a lot of RGB bling in their PCs. This PSU is characterized by a 120 mm addressable RGB LED-illuminated fan, and an ARGB-illuminated Cougar logo along one of the sides (the other having the power distribution and regulatory stickers). The PSU features an internal ARGB controller, and a button near the AC receptacle lets you cycle between presets. You can also sync the PSU to your build's lighting through a 3-pin ARGB connector.

The Cougar VTE X2 ARGB comes in 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W capacities, and offers fixed cabling. Under the hood, you get a single +12 V rail design with 80 Plus Bronze efficiency, up to 99% power factor, Japanese standby capacitors, DC-to-DC switching, and most common electrical protections. All three models come with one 4+4 pin EPS connector. The 550 W and 650 W models include two 6+2 pin PCIe power connectors, while the 750 W model comes with four. The 550 W model comes with five SATA power connectors, while the others have eight. The company didn't reveal pricing.

XIGMATEK Intros the Aquarius S Wide Mid-Tower Case

XIGMATEK over the weekend introduced the Aquarius S, a compacted version of the Aquarius Plus. Both cases are still targeted at gaming desktops with room for DIY liquid cooling setups. What sets the new Aquarius S apart is its lesser depth, which means only two 140 mm / 120 mm fan mounts along the top- and bottom panels, instead of three on the Aquarius Plus.

Despite this, you get room for graphics cards up to 32 cm in length, CPU coolers up to 17 cm in height, and PSUs up to 20 cm in length. The PSU bay is oriented sideways in this vertically-partitioned case. Two clear tempered-glass panels cover the front- and left-sides. Storage options include two 3.5-inch trays that can each hold 2.5-inch drives, and three additional 2.5-inch mounts behind the motherboard tray. The Aquarius S measures 349 mm x 285 mm x 430 mm (DxWxH). The company didn't reveal pricing.

PNY Outs XLR8 GeForce RTX 3060 REVEL EPIC-X RGB Single Fan Edition Graphics Card

PNY today rolled out the XLR8 GeForce RTX 3060 REVEL EPIC-X RGB Single Fan Edition, its third custom-design RTX 3060 graphics card. This one is targeted at compact gaming desktop builds, and is just 17 cm long, 12.5 cm tall, and strictly 2 slots thick. The card uses a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's ventilated by a single 100 mm fan. The cooler features an RGB LED-illuminated GeForce RTX logo along the top. The card pulls power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, which is sufficient for the 170 W typical board power for the card's NVIDIA-reference clock speeds of up to 1777 MHz GPU Boost, and 15 Gbps memory clock. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1 connectors. The company is backing the cards with 3-year warranties. It didn't reveal pricing.

Skullcandy Introduces All-New Dime True Wireless Earbuds

Skullcandy, the #1 selling brand in Stereo Headphones and True Wireless Earbuds under $100, announced today its all-new Dime True Wireless Earbuds. Priced at $24.99 MSRP, the latest solution outperforms other earbuds at the same price point, offering an affordable way to get into the true wireless game. Dime grants users the freedom to live without wires, combining expertly tuned audio with a noise-isolating fit and must-have features, like a microphone in each bud. Available now at Skullcandy.com and major retailers nationwide, Dime delivers a pocket-friendly, stylish form factor in a variety of colors that won't break the bank.

Dime is an ideal, everyday audio companion that boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, freeing users from the hassle of snagging, yanking and tangling wires. When earbuds are removed from the charging case secured with a snap lid, the buds automatically turn on. Easy connection offers a simplified listening experience that's perfect for those new to true wireless. Intuitive, touch-enabled media controls on the compact stick-style buds enable Dime users to effortlessly take calls, change tracks, adjust volume and activate native voice assistants like Google and Siri, all without ever reaching for their devices.

Roccat Outs New Vulcan Pro Model Featuring the Fan-Favorite Tactile Mechanical Switch Feeling

ROCCAT, Turtle Beach Corporation's Hamburg, Germany-based PC peripheral brand, unveiled the new Vulcan Pro Optical-Tactile RGB Gaming Keyboard as the latest addition to its award-winning line of Vulcan keyboards. The new Vulcan Pro Optical-Tactile variant combines the ridiculously fast speed of ROCCAT's groundbreaking Titan Optical Switch technology with the brand's fan-favorite Tactile mechanical switch feeling. The combination provides gamers with unrivaled speed and precision as the Titan Optical Switch registers response rates up to 100 times faster than conventional mechanical switches, plus double the lifespan. ROCCAT's Vulcan Pro Optical-Tactile RGB Gaming Keyboard is available at participating retailers in the U.S. for a MSRP of $199.99 and will be available in select regions across the EU later this year.

"Now serious PC gamers have two very fast optical switch options - Tactile or Linear - for the Vulcan Pro, which is our fastest keyboard yet," said René Korte, ROCCAT Founder and General Manager of PC Products at Turtle Beach. "Some PC gamers love the smooth ease of our Speed switches, while others prefer a bit more feedback which is where the Tactile switches come into play. Whatever your preference, the Vulcan Pro keyboards feel great, look beautiful on your desktop with their AIMO RGB lighting, and offer a true advantage by being faster than the competition."

MSI Sells its 3 Millionth Gaming Monitor in 3 Years, Launches Limited Edition MSI Optix Monitor

MSI, the world's leading manufacturer for gaming hardware, has achieved the milestone of selling over 3 million monitors. The company began its foray into delivering top-notch visual experiences to gamers years ago with reliable PC hardware. However, it only stepped into the world of display technology with its first Gaming Monitor launch in 2016. Since then, MSI has re-affirmed its commitment to quality and delivered value to gamers time and again. And over the years, it has learned more about what gamers love and have focused on designing the best display products on the market. Today, it knows that this commitment hasn't gone unnoticed.

MSI is proud to announce a groundbreaking milestone for its Gaming Monitors - 3 million Gaming Monitors sold in just 3 years! As a relatively fresh entrant to display technology, this is an honor for the company that has spent considerable time and effort to really understand what gamers want out of a Gaming Monitor.

MSI Debuts New Summit Series 2-in-1 Laptops Designed by Golden Ratio

MSI first Summit laptops have been well-acclaimed by business users. Now the new members are introduced! Surrounded by the captivating golden ratio spiral special effect, MSI grandly unveiled the "MSIology: Determined to Succeed 2021" virtual event. Exemplifying the perfection of the golden ratio, MSI launched the Summit series, including the honorees of "CES Innovation Awards" MSI Summit E16 Flip and MSI Pen, "Best of the CES 2021" winner Summit E13 Flip Evo, and the MSI USB-C Docking Station Gen 2. During the virtual event, MSI showcased the versatile work styles and displayed how the MSI Summit series can unleash users' potential to boost business and productivity.

"As the famous author Arthur C. Clarke once said, any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic. Today, we are here to witness the magic of the new MSI Summit.", Iris Chuang, Product Management Director of MSI Notebook, proudly announced in the opening of the new product launch. A symbol of aesthetics, a giant golden ratio spiral outlined the spirit of MSIology, which is to design impeccable laptops for perfectionists who are determined to succeed.

MSI Announces Gaming Desktops Powered by 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" Processors

As a world leading gaming brand, MSI is the most trusted name in gaming and eSports. We stand by our principles of breakthroughs in design, the pursuit of excellence, and technological innovation. Integrating gamers' most coveted extreme performance, realistic visuals, authentic sound, precise control and smooth streaming functions into its gaming rigs, MSI frees gamers from tedious trial and error and pushes gaming performance beyond limits. The determination to surpass past achievements has made MSI a True Gaming brand with gaming spirit throughout the industry!

MSI announced a gaming desktop equipped with Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S processor. The 11th generation Intel Core processor adopts Cypress Cove's new architecture, which changes hardware and software efficiency and improves their performance. This allows users to achieve the perfect balance between gaming and productivity. The graphics card comes with NVIDIA RTX 3090 specifications, allowing players to enjoy the most extreme gaming experience. MSI launched a total of five models this time, from the flagship Aegis Series to the eSport Gaming Infinite Series, as well as the compact-sized Trident Series, to meet the hardware needs of different players.

AMD Reportedly Preparing To Launch Zen 3 Ryzen Threadripper 5000 in August

The AMD Zen 3 architecture provided significant performance improvements with the company releasing server, desktop, and mobile processors featuring the architecture. AMD is yet to update their Threadripper lineup with the new architecture however that looks set to change with the company reportedly preparing to announce the next generation "Chagall" Threadripper 5000 processors in August. The Threadripper family is in dire need of a refresh with the latest 3000 series processors being launched back in November 2019. The new processors should be compatible with existing TRX40 motherboards with a simple BIOS update.

Engineers Upgrade Soldered Components on Apple M1 Mac Mini

The Apple M1 processor features integrated memory directly on the chip to reduce latency, power, and size. While this design may be good for the overall user experience it does not bode well for upgradability requiring users to pay up for a more expensive model. Some Chinese engineers have recently shown how it is possible to upgrade the soldered memory and storage components given you have the time, skills, and money. The DRAM and NAND chips are soldered to the M1 chip and motherboard but can be removed and replaced with higher capacity chips using a specialty soldering station. The engineers upgraded the base model M1 Mac Mini with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage to 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage. The upgrade didn't require firmware modifications according to the source which is very impressive if true.
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