Tuesday, December 11th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD
Antec Torque

Antec Torque

The Antec Torque is the company's take on open air cases. It doubles down on a compact but elaborate look with the usual material mix focusing on aluminium and tempered glass.
Nixeus REVEL Fit

Nixeus REVEL Fit

Nixeus is back in the mouse game with their second model called the REVEL Fit. Is the shape familiar? No wonder as its design is based on the iconic Logitech MX500 series. The specification are great: PixArt PMW3360 sensor, separated main buttons with switches rated for 20 million clicks, rubberized matte black finish, and, of course, RGB lighting.

Thermaltake Outs View 23 Tempered Glass ARGB Chassis

Thermaltake today introduced the View 23 Tempered Glass ARGB, an ATX mid-tower case characterized by a trio of addressable-RGB illuminated 120 mm intake fans dominating the front panel, and a 4 mm-thick tempered glass panel making up the left side. The front, while see-through, is made of acrylic since it features a non-flat surface. The three front fans' LEDs are plugged into a simple controller that cycles between lighting presets at the push of a button on the front panel; although you can plug them to an ARGB header for software control.

Inside, you get a conventional horizontally partitioned layout. The motherboard tray serves up room for graphics cards up to 36.6 cm in length (up to 26 cm if a radiator is mounted along the front intakes), and CPU coolers up to 17 cm in height. Among the other fan vents are a pair of 120 mm exhausts along the motherboard tray pointing outward from the right side panel, two 140 mm top exhausts, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Drive bays include two 3.5-inch trays that can each hold 2.5-inch drives, and two 2.5-inch mounts behind the motherboard tray. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Creative to Launch Audiophile-grade Sound Card: Sound BlasterX AE-9

Creative have been relatively dark in the soundcard front, a business for which they were mainly recognized not that many years ago. The company is looking to cater to the highest-end of music listeners with the impending introduction of their Sound BlasterX AE-9 sound card, though. At $300 a pop, these will pack serious hardware for audiophiles. While the audio processing chip remains the same 3D Sound Core as used in Creative's gaming-focussed AE-5 and AE-5 Pure, for the AE-9, Creative opted for an external DAC - thus removing any digital noises or interference from your system's electronics.

The replaceable operational amplifiers are a given, then, since we're talking about a crowd of users that wants to be able to experiment and tinker with sound processing on their audio sources. The operational amplifiers can be tinkered with as well, aiding in reaching that desired tuning. As for outputs, Optical in and out, standard 3.5mm jacks for rear, center, and sub, as well as RCA stereo out make out the card's rear connectors. And lo and behold - there's a dedicated 6-pin power connector for the card so as to power all of that sound wizardry.

ADATA Launches UE700 Pro USB Flash Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the UE700 Pro USB flash drive. Featuring read/write speeds of up to 360/180MB/s[1]and up to 256GB of storage capacity, the drive offers users fast data transmissions and plenty of space for high-resolution movies, videos, and other data. What's more, it sports an ultra-thin 7mm form factor and a brushed aluminum surface that's highly portable and stylish.

Employing USB 3.1 the UE700 Pro sports fast read/write speeds of up to 360/180MB per second. That means users can transfer a 4GB high-resolution movie file in a speedy 22 seconds[1]. Also, in an era of 4K videos, there can never be too much storage capacity. Therefore the UE700 comes with up to 256GB of storage capacity so users can capture hi-res photos and videos without fear of running out of space.

ASUS ROG Announces the Rapture GT-AX11000 - World's First Tri-band 802.11ax Router

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced that the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 Wi-Fi gaming router is now available. Featuring support for the latest 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) standard, which includes a variety of new technologies that improve Wi-Fi speed and increase network capacity and coverage, ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 satisfies gamers' demands for ultrafast, networking performance and reliability. As a gaming router, it also offers numerous additional features designed to provide the best online gaming experiences, including triple-level gaming acceleration to reduce ping times and provide low latency gameplay, Game Radar to let gamers find the best game server before connecting, Open NAT for simple, three-step port forwarding and dynamic frequency selection (DFS) to avoid interference from other wireless devices.

Raidmax Neon RGB is a Mid-Tower Dominated by RGB LED Front Lighting

A trio of RGB LED illuminated front fans is emerging as the latest trend in PC case design, and Raidmax Neon RGB is one among many with this element. This ATX mid-tower is characterized by dark tinted tempered glass panels along the front and left side panels, and SECC steel along the right, top, and of course rear. Out of the box, you'll get three 120 mm included with the case, which are factory-fitted along the three 120 mm front intakes. Each of these has a silicone RGB LED diffuser ring along the bore of the frame. Interestingly, the case's sole exhaust is a paltry 80 mm rear vent, and is kept vacant.

You get an all-black interiors with a conventional horizontally-partitioned layout, with the bottom partition completely enclosed from the top, and accessible from the right side. The motherboard tray can house graphics cards up to 35.5 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 17 cm in height. Storage areas include two 3.5-inch trays which can each hold 2.5-inch drives, and three additional 2.5-inch mounts behind the motherboard tray. The front-panel is basic, with two USB ports, and HDA jacks, and a button to cycle through the RGB LED lighting presets. The case measures 436 mm x 191 mm x 426 mm (LxWxH). The company didn't reveal pricing, although we expect it to be among the cheaper cases in the market.
Monday, December 10th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
SSD

Greenliant Industrial SSDs Reach Ultra-High Endurance of 250,000 PE Cycles

Greenliant has introduced a new class of ultra-high endurance solid state drives (SSDs) that can reach up to 250,000 program/erase (P/E) cycles. These 1-bit-per-cell (SLC) SSDs are part of Greenliant's new EnduroSLC product line, which offers various endurance specifications-50K, 100K and 250K P/E cycles-for demanding industrial applications.

NANDrive SSDs, enabled by Greenliant's EnduroSLC Technology, now provide embedded systems designers with more options when choosing data storage products for long life applications. Using advanced NAND flash management algorithms and hardware error correction code (ECC) capabilities, Greenliant can significantly increase the life of its high reliability NANDrive SSDs for customers requiring superior endurance and data retention for extended periods of time.

Ex-Hardware.fr GPU Editor Damien Triolet Jumps Ship from AMD RTG to Intel

Oh hey remember this news post from July last year? Damien Triolet's work history off-late has been one of many such recent stories. These tend to begin with AMD, and RTG in particular, getting a cash infusion and growing in 2016 and 2017 to where they hired some of the best engineers and marketing personnel from the industry- media or otherwise. This follows a more stagnant GPU division in 2017-2018, Intel deciding to dip their toes back into the discrete GPU market, and in turn.. persuading many to cross over to the blue side.

According to Damien's LinkedIn and FaceBook profiles, he has started working for Intel from November 26, 2018 in a technical marketing position in their Gaming and Graphics division, a role analogous to his from his days at AMD. Presumably, he joins Raja Koduri and the many others who have followed this exact path of late, and everyone remains curious as to what the finished retail product will be. In the meantime, we here at TechPowerUp wish him the best again for his new venture. We had the pleasure of interacting with Damien on multiple occasions in the past, some as colleagues in the media giving hardware manufacturers a hard time, and others when he was hosting us as an AMD employee. His tenure at Hardware.fr has been inspiring to us, with excellent reviews that no doubt were what caught the eyes of AMD in the first place, and Intel will definitely gain from his presence.

ZOTAC Reveals Their Take on the NVLink Bridge

Last week was quite busy with news, and one thing that slipped through the cracks then was the announcement of ZOTAC's new NVLink bridging solutions. Marketed under the ZOTAC Gaming brand, these follow in line with other major NVIDIA add-in card (AIC) partners in providing an alternative to the first-party OEM offering, just in case you preferred a different aesthetic. These are available in either a 3-slot (74.5 x 75.5 x 25 mm) or a 4-slot (74.5 x 96 x 25 mm) spacing option, with backlighting support for the ZOTAC Gaming logo in the center that can be configured by their SPECTRA software lighting suite.

These NVLink bridges have not yet been made available for purchase in most regions, with expected retail availability ranging from December 14-20, but those in East Asia can already find them available for comparable prices as with other such options from MSI, ASUS, and GIGABYTE. ZOTAC also put out an unboxing video which gives a better look at the product relative to the renders below, for those interested.

Obsidian Says "The Outer Worlds" Will be Free of Microtransactions, Releases Screenshots

Obsidian Entertainment, which have recently announced their latest videogame in the form of "The Outer Worlds", have now come out of woodwork to assuage some fears gamers might have. In an increasingly microtransaction-ridden digital world, and perhaps not helped by the Microsoft acquisition that Obsidian Entertainment has undergone, fears of microtransactions being added to the game that's expected to be a Fallout spiritual successor naturally grew. Timothy Cain, original creator of Fallout, in an interview with Gamestar, put those thoughts to rest. He said, in no uncertain terms that "There are no microtransactions in the game. You buy it once and then enjoy it forever."

New screenshots and details for the game have also been made known, including an interesting "Flaw" system, which pairs with the now well-known "Perk" to give players debuffs for some of their "weak traits" during gameplay in exchange for perk points. Companions with their own motivations and storylines, choice-driven gameplay with some emergent dynamics, are all part of the recipe. Check out the screenshots and Obsidian's own explanations of some of the games' features after the break.

Skybound Announces January Release for First In-House Episode of The Walking Dead Game Series

Skybound Games, who have acquired rights to develop and finish Telltale Games' The Walking Dead game series, have announced the release date for their first in-house episode in the game series. Titled "Broken Toys", the third episode in the season of four will showcase Skybound's ability to execute on the tale started and guided by Telltale. It won't be the time to finally finish our companionship with Clementine, but the second-to-last step will be available come January 15th.

First Renders of GIGABYTE RTX 2060 Graphics Card Surface

According to Videocardz, they've worked through their industry sources in confirming the headline we're bringing to you - there really is an RTX 2060 chip incoming from NVIDIA. Pictured is GIGABYTE's take on a factory-overclocked graphics card based on that silicon, with a dual-fan cooling system, an 8-pin power connector (which Videocardz says should stay at a 6-pin count on the reference design). According to the report, the new RTX 2060 will see the core count reduced to 30 CUs - which amounts to some 1920 CUDA cores, down from the 36 CUs and 2304 CUDA cores in the RTX 2070.

NVIDIA's new Turing architecture's launch and performance reviews of RTX-enabled games showed considerable difficulties in enabling the raytracing tech in slower hardware than NVIDIA's RTX 2070 - and the RTX 2060 will likely see the new stars of the show, the RT cores, cut down in number form the RTX 2070. I imagine there could be a scenario where NVIDIA kept the same number of raytracing resources as in the RTX 2070, keeping that as the baseline for this generation's raytracing performance, but that's daydreaming. New patches (such as the one for Battlefield V), however, have increased performance of raytracing on existing graphics cards, so maybe the RTX 2060 will be able to offer good experiences on the lowest RT settings?

PowerColor and TechPowerUp GPU-Z Giveaway: The Winners!

PowerColor and TechPowerUp brought you a sensational Giveaway embedded into TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.15.0, with a crateful of PowerColor and AMD gear up for grabs. The Giveaway has drawn to a close, and from nearly 15,000 entries, nineteen lucky winners were picked out. It's a long list, and so without further ado, the winners:
  • Umut from Turkey, and Dimitris from Greece, win a PowerColor Radeon RX 590 Red Devil 8GB graphics card, each
  • Sava from Serbia, and Gary from the United States, win an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 6-core/12-thread desktop processor, each
  • The following winners get a $30 Steam Wallet Coupon, each: Tarek from Egypt, Mike from Canada, Tundzhay from Bulgaria, David from Alabama USA, Rafael from Brazil, Wassim from Algeria, Serghei from Italy, Tim from Germany, George from Greece, Luca from New York state USA, Oskari from Finland, Jasmin from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Balazs from Spain, Wesley from North Carolina USA, and Martin from the United Kingdom.
A huge Congratulations to each of you. We hope you've had as much trying out the GPU-Z 2.15.0 Giveaway tab as we had fun making it. TechPowerUp and PowerColor will return with more such interesting giveaways!

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z v2.16.0

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular video sub-system information and diagnostic utility. Version 2.16.0 adds support for new and upcoming GPUs, new features and comes with various bug fixes. To begin with, GPU-Z adds support for NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. Support is added for the EVGA iCX sensor suite on RTX 2080 FTW3 and RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 graphics cards.

GPU-Z can now detect UWD and DCH graphics drivers. When such drivers are detected on Windows 10 machines, the driver version will include the "DCH" marker. The "Advanced" tab gives info on the DCH driver status of the installed GPU, too. With version 2.16.0, we also made GPU-Z more high-DPI friendly. The splash screen is aware high-DPI screen resolutions. More importantly, we fixed the sensor list not correctly displaying on high-DPI monitors. Rendering artifacts when resizing the sensor window have been fixed. The main settings panel now has a checkbox that lets you control the updater (this option was previously located inside the update checker itself). A rare crash noticed with AMD "Polaris" GPUs has been fixed.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.16.0
The change-log follows.

TP-Link Introduces Archer AX6000 and AX11000 802.11ax Wi-Fi Routers

TP-Link , a leading global provider of consumer and business networking products, today unveiled two new groundbreaking WiFi routers-the Archer AX6000 and the Archer AX11000. Both routers support the new 802.11ax wireless standard, also known as WiFi 6. The revolutionary 802.11ax standard features advanced technologies such as OFDMA, AX MU-MIMO, 160MHz channel and 1024 QAM to vastly improve network capacity and efficiency, aiming to support more devices with faster speed.

The Archer AX6000 is TP-Link's first 802.11ax WiFi router. It is designed to speed up your connection and serve more devices simultaneously-making it the perfect router for your modern home or office whether you're streaming 4k/8k movies, online gaming, experiencing VR, or engaging with your smart devices.

HyperX Becomes No.1 PC Gaming Headset Brand in U.S. Retail Sales

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc. today announced it is the No.1 PC gaming headset brand in retail for two years running in 2017 and 2018. The achievement is based on total retail revenue in the United States according to the NPD Group - Retail Tracking Service. HyperX became the e-tail sales leader when it entered the gaming headset business with HyperX Cloud. Starting in 2017, HyperX exceeded revenue sales of all other headset brands sold through retail outlets. In 2018, HyperX continued to grow market share bolstered by the growth of Fortnite, PUBG, Call of Duty and Battle Royale multiplayer games.

Best known for its gaming headsets, HyperX provides a variety of PC, console, and wireless headsets including the Cloud II, Cloud Alpha, Cloud Flight and Cloud Revolver. The recently launched Bluetooth-enabled Cloud MIX gaming headset allows gamers to unplug from their gaming device and take their wireless headset anywhere for on-the-go listening. The Cloud MIX design is subtle, street-ready and popular with people who want to use one headset for both gaming and listening to music.

QNAP Launches the TS-977XU Hybrid NAS with AMD Ryzen Processors

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the TS-977XU AMD Ryzen NAS series, QNAP's first 1U hybrid-structure NAS. The series provides four 3.5-inch SATA drive bays for hard drives and five 2.5-inch SATA drive bays for SSDs, allowing users to enable caching and Qtier auto-tiering storage and to benefit from QNAP's revolutionary software-defined SSD extra over-provisioning technology. The TS-977XU also provides well-rounded virtualization applications, providing businesses and organizations with a highly-efficient and cost-effective storage solution.

"By combining AMD Ryzen processors with an advanced hybrid storage structure and 10GbE SFP+ connectivity, the TS-977XU packs tremendous performance into a compact 1U frame. The TS-977XU is further enhanced by PCIe expandability, allowing users to expand core NAS functionality as needed to accommodate changing requirements and business growth," said David Tsao, product manager of QNAP.

Vega II Logo Trademarked by AMD

AMD late November filed a trademark application with the USPTO for a new logo, for its second generation "Vega" graphics architecture, built around the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. The logo looks similar to the original Vega "V," with two bands marking out the Roman numeral II (2). This logo could appear on the product and marketing on a series of new Radeon Pro and Radeon Instinct (and possibly even gaming-grade Radeon RX?) graphics cards based on AMD's new "Vega 20" multi-chip module. This chip features a doubling in memory bandwidth thanks to its 4096-bit wide HBM2 interface, and the optical shrink of the GPU die to the 7 nm node could enable AMD to dial up engine clocks significantly.

3DMark Port Royal Ray-tracing Benchmark Release Date and Pricing Revealed

UL Benchmarks released more information on pricing and availability of its upcoming addition to the 3DMark benchmark suite, named "Port Royal." The company revealed that the benchmark will officially launch on January 8, 2019. The Port Royal upgrade will cost existing 3DMark paid (Advanced and Professional) users USD $2.99. 3DMark Advanced purchased from January 8th onward at $29.99 will include Port Royal. 3DMark Port Royal is an extreme-segment 3D graphics benchmark leveraging DirectX 12 and DirectX Raytracing (DXR). UL Benchmarks stated that Port Royal was developed with inputs from industry giants including NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, and Microsoft.

Thermaltake Pacific R1 Plus Memory Lighting a Smarter Alternative to Dummy Modules

Earlier today we brought you the story of the Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB Lighting Enhancement kit, a $40 pair of dummy modules that fill up your vacant DIMM slots, a solution that polarized our readers to call it both genius and dumb. Thermaltake has a saner solution to fix your memory lighting woes - the Pacific R1 Plus Memory Lighting kit. This accessory latches on to your DIMM 4-slot cluster much like memory air coolers, but instead provides four LED diffusers that gives the appearance of four RGB LED illuminated modules. The best part is you can have any type of standard-height memory underneath, DDR2-thru-DDR4.

The top with four diffusers plugs into a single addressable RGB header. Each diffuser has 9 LEDs underneath, totaling 36. If you don't have an aRGB-capable motherboard, Thermaltake is also including an RGB controller module that lets you plug the kit into a USB 2.0 header and control via the company's own TT RGB Plus app. Measuring 156 mm x 51.1 mm x 43 mm (WxHxD), it weighs about 168 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Sunday, December 9th 2018

Raijintek Refreshes the Pallas CPU Cooler with RGB LED Lighting and More

Raijintek today introduced the Pallas 120 RGB, a refresh of the original Pallas from 2014. Raijintek has made four key changes to its design. To begin with, the mirror finish nickel-plated copper base from the original has been replaced with a direct-touch base, where the cooler's six 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU. The second big change is the black coated aluminium fin-stack and heat-pipes, which offer a matte appearance. Thirdly, the change reflecting the namesake - the fan featuring RGB LED illumination using 10 diodes (4-pin standard RGB header); and lastly, support for newer sockets AM4 and LGA2066, in addition to LGA115x and AM3+.

The C-type heatsink offers a height of just 68 mm, making it perfect for low-profile builds, provided you can find room around the CPU socket for the cooler's vast width and depth. Measuring 130 mm x 146.8 mm x 68 mm (WxDxH), it weighs 550 g, including the fan. The fan specs are mostly unchanged from the original. Drawing power from a 4-pin PWM header, and featuring a hydraulic bearing, it spins between 200 to 1,400 RPM, pushing up to 41.71 CFM of air, with a maximum noise output of 28.43 dBA. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro Light Enhancement Kit are Dummy DDR4 Modules

Most gamers probably have only 2 out of 4 DDR4 DIMM slots populated in their rigs, with the vacant memory slots presenting an eyesore for some. Just so you don't have to spend an additional $170+ on a second Vengeance RGB Pro 2-module dual-channel kit to make your memory area look "complete," Corsair has come up with a $40 quick-fix, the Vengeance RGB Pro Light Enhancement Kit (model: CMWLEKIT2W/B). These are dummy modules that look exactly like real Vengeance RGB Pro, and fill up the vacant memory slots on your motherboard.

These "modules" add a grand total of 0 bits to your system memory and are clocked lower than a tuning fork, but draw power from the DIMM slots to drive the RGB LED lighting that can run in sync with your real Vengeance RGB Pro modules. Corsair is using an addressable RGB setup, so motherboard-based software can control or synchronize them with the rest of your lighting. Corsair is offering these 2-pack Light Enhancement Kits in two flavors - black and white. Both variants are priced at $39.99. If you're buying pre-built desktops with Vengeance RGB Pro, insist on finding out if they've used one of these to make a single-channel setup look like dual-channel.

Aqua Computer Announces Kryographics NEXT Water Blocks for RTX 20-series

Today Aqua Computer is proud to present the kryographics NEXT 2080 / Ti. These are the most sophisticated coolers Aqua Computer ever produced for graphics cards. All components are CNC machined in Aqua Computers own production facility in Germany and manufactured from the highest quality materials. The complex base plate is milled from 1.8kg raw material, the finished cooler weighs about 1.25kg - with backplate about 1.5kg.

With the NEXT generation of the kryographics series, function and design have been significantly enhanced. The desire for a full-cover cooler was taken into account and the solid copper base almost completely covers the entire card and cools all components described by Nvidia in the technical documentation as a significant heat source. The water flow in the cooler was optimized for high flow rates and direct overflushing of almost all relevant components with some areas flowing through in parallel.

Intel "Ghost Canyon" High-end NUC Pictured

Intel plans to put an 8-core "Coffee Lake" CPU into a chassis with no more than 5 liters volume. Detailed earlier this month, the "Ghost Canyon" is a high-end NUC (next unit of computing) desktop which features the company's premium "Coffee Lake-HR" SoC. This chip features an 8-core/16-thread CPU and Intel UHD 620 graphics, and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Since "Ghost Canyon" is positioned above the "Hades Canyon" NUC in Intel's product stack, Intel isn't bothering to build another MCM with an 8-core CPU and an AMD discrete GPU. It could instead let the NUC feature a faster discrete GPU over an MXM slot. FanlessTech caught the first glimpse of "Ghost Canyon," a matte black box with clear Intel Extreme branding. Apart from its star attraction, "Ghost Canyon" offers up to three HDMI 2.0 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, M.2-2280 NVMe storage, and either PCI-Expresss 3.0 x16 interface for graphics. FanlessTech mentions this product won't be out before early-2020.
Saturday, December 8th 2018

PSA: "NVIDIA Installer cannot continue" on Windows October 2018 Update and How To Fix It

For those doing a fresh install of Microsoft's latest Windows 10 operating system (version 1809 October 2018 Update), you may encounter an issue with NVIDIA graphics drivers. Namely, a message may pop up when you install the graphics driver, telling you "The standard NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of Windows". The issue is caused by the operating system automatically installing the GeForce 398.36 DCH graphics driver through Windows Update, immediately after first log-on. DCH drivers are also known as "Universal Windows Driver", "UWD", "DCHU", and "Declarative, Componentized, Hardware Support App", and leverage the Windows UWP platform for driver control panels while promising simpler updates and maintainability.

If networking is available during the Windows 10 installation, the operating system will automatically look for a graphics driver on Windows Update, which is a good thing, as it simplifies the setup process for the majority of users. At this point, everything will appear to be fine, however, once you attempt to update from that driver to the newest version from NVIDIA's driver download page, the error will appear. This is highly frustrating for some users, who have been reporting the issue on several online forums, including NVIDIA's own, with little attention paid thus far from their developers. We encountered the problem ourselves today, during the setup of our 2019 SSD review benchmarking install and got motivated to investigate this further.

Friday, December 7th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD
ADATA SX8200 Pro 1 TB

ADATA SX8200 Pro 1 TB

The ADATA SX8200 Pro comes with a faster controller, which improves the performance of TLC significantly. Especially heavy writes see big improvements with results that almost make this drive look like MLC. Pricing is extremely reasonable, too: only 21 cents per GB. The SX8200 Pro is both faster and cheaper than the Samsung 970 EVO.

AMD-hired Agency in South Korea Teases AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 5 3600X

Anyone looking for an update to their CPU that didn't quite jump on the Coffee Lake/Zen/Zen+ bandwagon is likely paying close attention to AMD's upcoming Zen 2 CPUs. The upcoming AMD processors will finally leave the company ahead of Intel in terms of manufacturing process for the first time in years, and will bring about AMD's new vision for HCC desktop processors in a chiplet design. With the release of Zen 2 set for 2019 (probably around Computex), and its launch being of such importance to AMD, it isn't that surprising that some promotions/teases are already popping up.

The tease in question was posted by an AMD-contracted Sales agency in South Korea, which launched a campaign inviting users to guess Cinebench scores for upcoming AMD processors: namely, the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600X - thus confirming the nomenclature for AMD's upcoming CPUs. The contest finishes on December 14th, and is basically asking users to take a gander on scores for unreleased CPUs - promising prizes of said CPUs when they launch.

Obsidian Announces Sci-Fi "The Outer Worlds" First-Person RPG for 2019

Obsidian Entertainment, which was recently acquired by Microsoft in its efforts to bolster its first-party studios, has announced a new video game set for release in 2019. Titled "The Outer Worlds", it's a first-person RPG with a focus on single-player and story - it seems more Fallout than Fallout, really, which should come as a surprise to virtually no-one: this is the game studio that developed Fallout: New Vegas and that still holds the talent of some of that franchises' early creators.

The game seems to be striking a balance between Fallout and Borderlands, both in the art and setting department and overall design. If so, this could be an interesting take on the genre, though we'd hope for either a really strong storyline or some innovative mechanics to set itself apart from other offerings that are crowding this particular strata of the gaming world: Borderlands, Rage, Fallout, and now Far Cry New Dawn are all exploring stretches of this setting. We'll be here to look at what a current-gen Fallout game might be without the Creation Engine - and multiplayer focus like Fallout 76.

Far Cry "New Dawn" Announced, Launching February 15th - New Montana With a Post-Apocalyptic Twist

Ubisoft has announced the latest installment in the Far Cry series. Titled "New Dawn", the new entry will retain the New Montana setting, with a twist: we are now 17 years into the future (with the baseline being the end of Far Cry 5). An apocalyptic event (a global nuclear catastrophe, naturally) has warped humanity's capabilities and way of living, and we'll get to see an all-new, re-skinned New Montana - it seems tons of pink and purple will make a major splash in this post-apocalyptic setting. Think of how Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon swapped over to a red color scheme, and you get the idea.

Overall, the game makes some changes to the overall Far Cry aesthetic. I'm curious to see how much Hope County has changed with the events that happened in-between games, but I'm slightly suspicious of a game within the same setting and with such a short development time - it's sort of a revisit on the Far Cry Primal formula. The new game drops February 15th, 2019.

Valve Announces New Battle Royale Mode for CS:GO, Changes Model to Free to Play

Valve has brought about an update to their eons-old competitive shooter CS:GO. The update brings the game to the modern, post-Fortnite era of multiplayer games, with a new Battle Royale mode named "Danger Zone". The "Danger Zone" Battle Royale mode cuts the number of maximum players to 18, though, which is a far cry from other market offerings - but has designed to mode so that each match lasts at most 10 minutes, which should bring about some escalating tension despite the reduced number of players compared to other Battle Royale game modes. The usual "save the hostages" mechanic has been baked into the mode as a way for players to make money, which they can use to purchase weapons, a la classic CS fashion.

The other move that Valve has made in order to boost popularity of CS:GO has been to make the game free to play, waiving the usual $15 entry fee. It just wasn't justifiable, it seems, to keep such a price on a game released back in 2012 - especially not when compared to the money-making prowess of Fortnite.

Epic Games Begins Moving its Games Off Steam and on to its Own Store Platform

Epic Games is moving its entire collection of digitally-sold games away from Steam, and on to its own new store+DRM platform rivaling Steam, Origin, and UPlay. The new Epic Games Store plans not only to sell games published by Epic, but also other third-party publishers, to whom Epic is promising an 88% revenue share (keeping a 12% thin margin for handing DRM, unlimited downloads, and update patch distribution). For comparison, Steam rakes in a 30% margin. Epic is offering additional incentives to third-party game studios who use Unreal Engine. Epic Games titles are being pulled out from Steam store. The move does not affect people who already own Epic titles on Steam, as future re-installs and patch updates will continue.

Inno3D Announces iChill Frostbite GeForce RTX 20-series

INNO3D, a leading manufacturer of pioneering high-end multimedia components and various innovations is excited to introduce the new iCHILL Frostbite. The brains in R&D have revisited the water cooling solution segment of iCHILL and developed this water block masterpiece. It is designed around NVIDIA's GeForce RTX series 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070, providing nothing short of excellent cooling for these powerhouse of graphics cards.

INNO3D decided it was the right time to bring back water cooling and add this to the iCHILL arsenal, befitting to the power of the new
RTX series and its need for the best cooling technology. The iCHILL Frostbite is built with top quality components for supreme functionality whilst catering to the aesthetic demands with its magnificent RGB lighting. The iCHILL Frostbite is built with pure copper and is nickel plated which completely seals the heatsink protecting it. Increased cooling performance is enabled with thin thermal pads and close proximity with radiator and component. It also has ultra-thin cooling fins at 0.6 mm thick that stand 0.6 mm between each other resulting in maximum possible cooling performance.

Intel 7nm EUV Node Back On Track, 2x Transistor Densities Over 10nm

There could be light at the end of the tunnel for Intel's silicon fabrication business after all, as the company reported that its 7 nanometer silicon fabrication node, which incorporates EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography, is on track. The company stressed in its Nasdaq Investors' Conference presentation that its 7 nm EUV process is de-linked from its 10 nm DUV (deep ultraviolet) node, and that there are separate teams working on their development. The 10 nm DUV node is qualitatively online, and is manufacturing small batches of low-power mobile "Cannon Lake" Core processors.

Cannon Lake is an optical shrink of the "Skylake" architecture to the 10 nm node. Currently there's only one SKU based on it, the Core i3-8121U. Intel utilized the electrical gains from the optical shrink to redesign the client-segment architecture's FPU to support the AVX-512 instruction-set (although not as feature-rich as the company's enterprise-segment "Skylake" derivatives). The jump from 10 nm DUV to 7 nm EUV will present a leap in transistor densities, with Intel expecting nothing short of a doubling. 10 nm DUV uses a combination of 193 nm wavelength ultraviolet lasers and multi-patterning to achieve its transistor density gains over 14 nm++. The 7 nm EUV node uses an extremely advanced 135 nm indirect laser, reducing the need for multi-patterning. The same laser coupled with multi-patterning could be Intel's ticket to 5 nm.
Thursday, December 6th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD
Storage
Dark Project ME3

Dark Project ME3

Russian manufacturer Dark Project has arrived to the gaming mouse market with three mice, and the ME3 is first on our test bench. It comes with a PMW3360 top-of-the-line optical sensor, modular shell design, sleek looking RGB lighting—all this inside a quite familiar, right-handed ergonomic shape.

X2 Announces the Spartan 716 Tempered Glass Micro-ATX Case

Introducing the SPARTAN 716 cube tempered glass case. Version two of the SPARTAN series compact PC gamer case is here, the SPARTAN 716 all new S-MICRO ATX structure supporting a standard ATX power supply unit and MICRO ATX or MINI ITX mainboard. Looking to build your own smaller gaming system, this might just be what you are interested in. The SPARTAN 716 makes for the ideal system to carry to your friends or gaming events. With two solid metal handles on the top and bottom you can easy pickup and carry this case with you.

This cube shaped PC enclosure accommodates sufficient space for other components such as HDD/SSD x3, long video cards up to 245mm long x2, large CPU cooler up to 160mm and room for up to x3 cooling fans, one 120/140mm fan space on the front, one 80mm fan space on the bottom and one 120/140mm fan space on the top. A cool looking meshed effect on the rear side of the front tempered glass as well as tempered glass side panels on the left and right to show of LED/RGB lights. The SPARTAN 716 contains x2 USB3.0 & x1 USB2.0 and HD-AC97 audio ports on the top panel so that you can easily connect your peripherals. Backed by the 2 year warranty service from X2-gaming.
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