Tuesday, May 18th 2021

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 466.47 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released their latest GeForce drivers, which keep your GPU of choice ticking with the least amount of problems possible - in theory. Version 466.47 WHQL of the GeForce drivers are Game Ready for Days Gone, one of the latest PlayStation exclusives to make the jump towards your gaming PC. The release notes also indicate that this particular driver is the base one for correct operation for GeForce RTX 3080, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 TI graphics cards with LHR (low-hash-rate), which ship starting late May, 2021. Read on after the break for the full list of fixed and known issues, and as always, follow the link below to download these drivers straight from our TPU host.
Download: NVIDIA GeForce 466.47 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA Officially Announces RTX 30-series LHR Lineup

NVIDIA today has officially announced what we have gotten to know through sheer power of will, speculation, and leaks. The company took to a blog post to announce a new, revised lineup of RTX 30-series graphics cards, spanning from the RTX 3060 all the way to the premium RTX 3080 graphics card. All of these will now ship with a new silicon revision (the last 0 has been replaced with a 2, so we're now looking at GA102-202, GA04-302, etc.). LHR effectively halves each of these graphics cards' output in Ethereum mining, which is currently the greatest driver behind mining (and scalping) acquisition of graphics cards.

NVIDIA has also clarified that AIB partners will be clearly labeling their graphics cards with stickers denoting their "LHR" nature, both in the box and card itself, so that customers can know with utmost certainty what they are actually acquiring - though this only applies to newly-manufactured graphics cards, and not to the ones already in the retail channel, for obvious reasons. We are thus looking at a situation where we can find ourselves with two secondary markets for NVIDIA's RTX 30-series cards: one for miners, with non-LHR graphics cards and sold at much-inflated prices, and LHR-cards which should be in keeping with their MSRP - eventually. It remains to be seen whether or not we'll have to cope with yet another scalping arms race for the LHR cards as well, since there is surely a significant market still hungering for the 30-series performance.

Fancy Your Hardware? TV Pricing Sees 30% Increase, Could Escalate Further

We've all been beating dead consumer horses for a while now in most product areas that require semiconductors to operate - and that applies to almost anything, really. Whether CPU shortages from the AMD camp, GPU shortages from both AMD and NVIDIA, increasing prices of storage due to a new cryptocurrency boom, scalpers left and right on the most recent PC and console hardware, shortages on semiconductors for car manufacturers and technological companies like Bosch... It's a wild ride in the semiconductor world right now. And if you were looking at upgrading your media-consumption living room with a fancy new TV, you will also have to cope with increased pricing now, and perhaps further price climbs and shortages in the future.


Market research company NPD has said as much in its most recent market analysis; they've concluded that Smart TV prices have already increased 30% comparatively to the first months of 2020. The price increases are expected to hit anything with a screen - whether smartphones, TVs, laptops, or any other product that has to take up a portion of the world's panel output. This is the market correcting itself when it comes to the supply/demand equation - increased demand post-COVID-19 and global supply chain issues have set up a series of network effects that have led manufacturers to increase product pricing according to demand, passing on additional supply costs on to the customer, and simultaneously attaching the highest possible profits on the existing (and insufficient) supply. It's highly unlikely that this semiconductor supply shortage will see a turnaround throughout 2021.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Pricing Reaches 3x MSRP in Europe

NVIDIA's latest series of RTX 30 series graphics cards continue to remain elusive more than eight months after their release thanks to a combination of global chip shortages, logistics delays, and mining demand. The pricing for the latest generation graphics cards from various European retailers has been compiled and analyzed by 3DCentre and it paints a gloomy picture for gamers. The RTX 3080 now retails for 2999€ or 317% higher than the MSRP of 719€, other RTX 30 series cards saw price increases between 107% - 204%. This trend isn't exclusive to team Green with AMD's RX 6000 series also seeing significant price increases with the average price for an RX 6800 reaching 159% of MSRP at ~1600€, while other cards in the lineup see increases between 70% - 100%. The complete price history for all the cards tracked can be found at the source below. We don't see these prices falling significantly anytime soon unless there is a large drop in mining demand or a significant production increase.

Noctua Confirms That its Passive Cooler is "Coming Very Soon"

Noctua first teased their passive CPU cooler at Computex 2019 which weighed 1.5 kg and could handle processors with a TDP of 120 W passively and 180 W with quiet fans. Noctua had been planning to release a commercial version of the cooler in Q1 2021 but that date was pushed to Q2 2021 when Noctua updated its product roadmap in early 2021. Noctua has recently confirmed that this latest launch date is on schedule with an announcement that the cooler is "coming very soon" in response to a user on Twitter. The prototype featured mounting for AM4 and LGA 115x sockets with it keeping the Intel i9-9900K cool under load so we expect it will handle any consumer CPU.

Samsung Unveils New Power Management Solutions for DDR5 Modules

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced the industry's first integrated power management ICs (PMICs) — S2FPD01, S2FPD02 and S2FPC01, for the fifth-generation double data rate (DDR5) dual in-line memory module (DIMM). One major design improvement to the newest generation DRAM solution involves integrating the PMIC into the memory module — previous generations placed the PMIC on the motherboard — offering increased compatibility and signal integrity, and providing a more reliable and sustained performance.

For improved performance efficiency and load-transient responses, Samsung's new PMICs for DDR5 modules have been equipped with a high-efficiency hybrid gate driver and a proprietary control design (asynchronous-based dual-phase buck control scheme). This scheme allows the DC voltage to step down from high to low with a fast transient response to changes in the output load current and adapts the conversion accordingly to efficiently regulate its output voltage at near-constant levels. The control scheme also features both pulse width and pulse frequency modulation methods, preventing delays and malfunctions when switching modes.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.5.2 Beta Drivers

AMD today released the latest version of their Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition drivers. Version 21.5.2 features support for the impending release of Days Gone. It also adds support for Microsoft's Direct X 12 Velocity SDK - meant to make it easier and faster for game developers to implement Direct X 12 features onto their development pipeline.

The new drivers also feature support for Shader Model 6.6. This particular revision for Microsoft's Shader Model implements expanded atomic operations (64-bit), dynamic resource binding, derivatives and samples in compute shaders, packed 8-bit computations, and wave size. Read on after the break for fixed issues, and remaining issues that AMD is aware of. Follow the link below towards our very own download section.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.5.2 Beta

AMD Reportedly Preparing B2 Stepping of Ryzen 5000 Series "Vermeer" Processors, Boost Speeds to Reach 5.0 GHz

AMD is reportedly preparing to launch a B2 stepping of their Ryzen 5000 series of processors, codenamed Vermeer. Thanks to the findings of Patrick Schur, who was lucky to get ahold of AMD's processor codes, we have information that AMD is slowly preparing a B2 stepping of Vermeer processors, to come as a refresh. First off is the alleged Ryzen 9 5950XT 16 core, 32 threaded models which are supposed to feature a base speed of 3.4 GHz, and a boost frequency of 5.0 GHz, entering the 5 GHz world. Another B2 stepping that we know about is an alleged Ryzen 5 5600XT 6 core, 12 threaded design. This one features the same frequencies as its Ryzen 5 5600X variant, meaning 3.7 GHz base, and 4.6 GHz boost frequencies.

Of course, all this information should be taken with a big grain of salt, as we don't know what AMD is planning to do, or how the company plans to manifest any new product launch.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 Series to Feature PCIe 4.0 x8 Interface and up to 8 GB of GDDR6 Memory

German publication, Igor's LAB, has got ahold of some information regarding AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 6600 series graphics card. Based on the Navi 23 SKU, the GPU is supposed to satisfy all the entry-level needs one would expect from a GPU. That means light 1080p gaming and multimedia streaming. For starters, let's get into details of the die. Igor's LAB notes that the die size is 235.76mm2, with a 35x35 mm package. The die will be centered in a package with a 45-degree rotation, which you can see how it looks in the images below. Additionally, the Navi 23 GPU will have SKUs ranging from 65 Watts to 95 Watts of Total Graphics Power (TGP). As far as frequency goes, the card BIOS points to the maximum clock speed of 2350 MHz, which is lower than the rumored 2684 MHz.

When it comes to memory, the upcoming Navi 23 GPUs can be equipped with up to 16 GB of GDDR6 memory, however, it is most likely that the regular gamer version will come with 8 GB of VRAM, while the Radeon Pro models will use the full 16 GB limit. As far as interface is concerned, the Radeon RX 6600 series will be limited to PCIe 4.0 x8 connection, as the low-end GPU doesn't require a full x16 slot. With the bandwidth of the PCIe 4.0, only eight lanes are enough for this GPU. These cards are expected to hit the market sometime in June, and we are waiting for the official announcement.

InWin Launches BR Series AIO CPU Coolers with Block Fan Blower

InWin today announced its new BR Series AIO CPU Coolers with a built-in CPU block fan blower. The additional CPU block fan blower chills the upper motherboard area (UMA) up to 35 percent more than traditional AIO CPU coolers, ensuring the more powerful CPUs can be cooled and kept stable. The InWin BR24 and BR36 offer 240 mm and 360 mm radiator variants respectively and are bundled with high-performance Luna AL120 ARGB fans specially designed with higher static pressure.

High Performance AIO CPU Cooling
With outstanding AIO performance, the BR Series is tailored for all PC users, especially for those that operate frequently with higher loads, such as gamers, designers and content creators. High-density microchannel fins in the BR Series copper plate efficiently draw heat away from the CPU, minimizing the temperature delta to unlock maximum thermal headroom and overclocking performance. Its internal pump is designed to sit separately from the water block to minimize vibration and noise.
Monday, May 17th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
PSUs
SSD
Epomaker AK84S Review - Chocolate Switches, Silicone Keycaps

Epomaker AK84S Review - Chocolate Switches, Silicone Keycaps

Epomaker decided the 80% keyboard form factor needs more love and goes the Kickstarter route with the all-new AK84S that adds some nice quality-of-life improvements to existing 84-key units. It has more switch, case, and keycap options than fingers on my hands, including novel new switches and silicone keycaps.
BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie Review

BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie Review

Featuring a massive VRM with top of the line power stages, over 20 phases, and even dual BIOS, the BIOSTAR Z590 Valkyrie promises chart-topping speed and overclocking. Paired with a unique black and gold aesthetic, the Z590 Valkyrie could be a compelling choice for those seeking top-tier 11th Gen Intel overclocking.

ROCCAT Announces Availability of Kone Pro and Kone Pro Air Gaming Mice

ROCCAT, Turtle Beach Corporation's award-winning Hamburg, Germany-based PC peripheral brand, today announced that the Kone Pro and Kone Pro Air are now available at participating retailers worldwide and from www.roccat.com. Since debuting in 2007, the Kone mice have represented the pinnacle of ROCCAT's precision design and have delivered the competitive feature advantages serious PC gamers need to win. The all-new Kone Pro mice combine ROCCAT's ridiculously fast Titan Optical Switch technology - which registers mouse clicks up to 100 times faster than standard gaming mice - with the signature feel of the brand's fan-favorite Kone shape. ROCCAT has put over a decade's worth of research into hand sizes, grip-types, and ergonomics to make the Kone Pro feel perfectly at home in gamers' hands. Windows Central reviewed the Kone Pro, calling it "an exceptional gaming mouse" with a 4.5/5 review score plus their "Recommended" award. The Kone Pro series mice come in Arctic White and Ash Black. The wired Kone Pro is available for a MSRP of $79.99, and the wireless Kone Pro Air is available for a MSRP of $129.99.

SPC Gear Announces Streaming Microphone SM950 ONYX White

SPC Gear, the gaming label of the European manufacturer SilentiumPC, announces a fresh, bright colour variant of the popular SM950 streaming microphone kit. The new edition is inspired by the rare mineral white onyx, known for its exceptional durability and unique appearance. SPC Gear designed the Onyx White variants with this qualities in mind while offering directional (cardioid) characteristics, ensuring good dampening of unwanted ambient noise. High-quality components on the other hand, allow for a warm, radio-like sound. Being a Plug&Play microphone, the SM950 does not require installing any additional software and is ready to be used straight out of the box. The physical mute button is conveniently located on top of the microphone and provides visual cues when mutes. With the SM950 series, SPC Gear offers a prefect kit for every streamer, YouTuber and musician, seeking an affordable full-fledged recording setup for streaming of games on Twitch or YouTube or recording of podcasts and voiceovers.

Gigabyte Lists RTX 3060 Rev 2.0 Graphics Cards - Artificial Mining Limit FTW

Gigabyte has listed a range of five graphics cards in the RTX 3060 family sporting a new revision. Rev 2.0 of previously-released Gigabyte graphics cards include the RTX 3060 Gaming OC 12G, RTX 3060 EAGLE 12G, RTX 3060 EAGLE OC 12G, RTX 360 VISION OC 12G, and RTX 3060 ELITE OC. The new graphics cards are part of NVIDIA's second-wave attempt at curbing cryptocurrency mining on their RTX graphics cards by integration of a driver check that enables these graphics cards to actually function (meaning that only drivers which incorporate the mining limiter will enable these graphics cards to work).

It seems that manufacturers will be differentiating their pre and post-limiter graphics cards with a suffix that isn't normalized (GALAX uses LHR for Lite/Low Hash Rate), and Gigabyte here is seen using a simple Rev 2.0. It remains to be seen whether or not any packaging differences will make clear exactly which revision of a graphics card we're getting, but NVIDIA themselves apparently would prefer for that particular distinction to not be clear, so as to discourage any would-be miners from purchasing any graphics cards from the channels that aren't specifically mining-oriented (read, NVIDIA's CMP [Cryptocurrency Mining Processor] accelerators).

Introducing Epomaker AK84S - An Extremely Versatile Hotswappable TKL Mechanical Keyboard

[Editor's note: Our review of the Epomaker AK84S can be found here for those interested.]

The Epomaker AK84S, now available on Kickstarter, is an 84-key wireless hot-swappable mechanical keyboard that is specifically optimized for macOS compatibility. It's versatile and customizable, even for its switches and keycaps. Compared with Epomaker previous GK/SK keyboards, the AK84S is equipped with a new set of silicone keycaps. On top of that, the proprietary Chocolate switches are available in different types to offer various tactile feelings. The AK84S provides several types of designs, including an aluminum frame version, a full aluminum case version, and a unique bold acrylic design version.

Two New Security Vulnerabilities to Affect AMD EPYC Processors

AMD processors have been very good at the field of security, on par with its main competitor, Intel. However, from time to time, researchers find new ways of exploiting a security layer and making it vulnerable to all kinds of attacks. Today, we have information that two new research papers are being published at this year's 15th IEEE Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT'21) happening on May 27th. Both papers are impacting AMD processor security, specifically, they show how AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) is compromised. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich and the University of Lübeck are going to present their papers on CVE-2020-12967 and CVE-2021-26311, respectfully.

While we do not know exact details of these vulnerabilities until papers are presented, we know exactly which processors are affected. As SEV is an enterprise feature, AMD's EPYC lineup is the main target of these two new exploits. AMD says that affected processors are all of the EPYC embedded CPUs and the first, second, and third generation of regular EPYC processors. For third-generation EPYC CPUs, AMD has provided mitigation in SEV-SNP, which can be enabled. For prior generations, the solution is to follow best security practices and try to avoid an exploit.
AMD EPYC Processor

MSI Confirms GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti SUPRIM Series

The marketing slides for MSI's upcoming SUPRIM series feature the unreleased RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards which are set to be announced by NVIDIA later this month. The slides confirm that the RTX 3080 Ti will include 12 GB memory while the RTX 3070 Ti will include 8 GB memory and that both cards will feature the same PCB design as their non-Ti variants. MSI is planning to release two RTX 3080 Ti model with the RTX 3080 Ti SUPRIM 12G and the RTX 3080 Ti SUPRIM X 12G which was recently found for sale at a computer store in the UAE for 3500 USD. MSI also plans to release two variants of the RTX 3070 Ti with the RTX 3070 Ti SUPRIM 8G and RTX 3070 Ti SUPRIM X 8G, we are still unsure about the specific variants between the versions but we expect to be a similar boost clock increase as found on existing SUPRIM X models.

Intel Encourages Adoption of ATX12VO Standard on Alder Lake-S Motherboards

The ATX12VO power standard is a new specification for desktop power supplies which boasts greatly increased efficiency over regular desktop power supplies. The new standard requires a compatible motherboard with a 10-pin power connector along with a compatible power supply which only features 12 V rails. The standard requires that any voltage conversion above or below 12 V must be performed directly on the motherboard which increases the complexity and cost for motherboard manufacturers. Intel is interested in promoting the standard with their upcoming 600-series motherboards for Alder Lake-S however most enthusiast boards are unlikely to feature the standard. The standard may find higher adoption with entry-level motherboards for system integrators and pre-built suppliers who need to meet strict government power efficiency regulations.

AMD Embedded Roadmap Lists Zen 4 EPYC CPU with 64+ Cores

The AMD embedded roadmap for 2020 - 2023 was recently leaked and reveals some interesting information about AMD's upcoming Zen 4 based EPYC server processes. The current generation 7003 series of Zen 3 EPYC processors offer up to 64 cores and 128 threads with a TDP range of 120 W - 280 W. The next-generation EPYC 7004 "Genoa" Zen 4 processors will push the maximum core count to 96 cores and 192 threads with a maximum TDP of 320 W. The Zen 4 based EPYC processors will move to a 12 chiplet design up from the current 8 chiplet design which allows for the core increase that will increase the physical size of the processors and require a new SP5 socket. The new EPYC 7004 series processors will also support the latest features such as 12 channel DDR5-5200 ECC memory and PCIe Gen5.

CORSAIR Teases DDR5-6400 Memory Coming Later This Year

The fifth iteration of DDR technology, called DDR5, is set to arrive later this year. Many makers of DDR4 technology are announcing their plans to switch to the new standard, and CORSAIR is no exception. Known as the maker of high-quality products, CORSAIR has today posted a blog post teasing company's upcoming DDR5 products, and what they will be bringing to the table. For starters, the company has posted data about DDR5 modules that run at 6400 MHz speed, which is assumed to be the speed of the CORSAIR DDR5 modules when they arrive. At such speed, the memory can achieve a bandwidth of 51 GB/s, which is almost double the 26 GB/s that DDR4-3200 MHz memory achieves.

Another point CORSAIR wrote about is the capacity of a single DIMM. With DDR4, the company has made DIMMs that are only up to 32 GB in capacity. However, with DDR5, CORSAIR plans to quadruple that and build a single DDR5 DIMM that has up to 128 GB of memory on it. Another big point was the power required to run the new technology. The DDR4 standard required 1.2 Volts for operation, while the JEDEC specification says that DDR5 needs just 1.1 Volts to run. This will result in a cooler operation of memory modules.
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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Please use the coupon-code TP30 at checkout on the GoodOffer24 website, to avail the prices you see here.

Buy Windows 10 Pro for 12.52€ | Buy Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC for 10.91€ | Buy Windows 10 Home for 12.06€ | Buy Office 2019 Home and Business for 35.88€ | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for 35.34€ | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional for 28.34€ | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional for 27.64€ | Buy Office 2019 Home and Business for 35.88€

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.
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.

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.

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 Castle 360EX A-RGB AIO CPU Cooler

DeepCool today introduced the 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.
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