Hardware Giveaway
Wednesday, December 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
PSUs
Upcoming Hardware Launches 2018 (Updated)

Upcoming Hardware Launches 2018 (Updated)

This article serves as a continuously updated summary of currently known leaks and official announcements regarding upcoming hardware releases in 2018 and beyond. We cover and keep track of developments for AMD Zen 2, GTX 2060, Intel's own GPU, chipsets, memory and more.

QNAP Launches the Server-grade TS-x83XU NAS Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. (QNAP), a leading storage, network and computing solution provider, today launched the Intel Xeon E based TS-x83XU enterprise NAS series with ECC DDR4 memory that delivers server-class performance and dependable reliability. All models in the series feature two 10GbE SFP+ ports using Mellanox ConnectX -4 Lx SmartNIC controllers and support installing a PCIe graphics card for empowering video surveillance, virtual machines and AI applications. Coupled with QNAP's exclusive software-defined SSD extra over-provisioning and comprehensive virtualization capabilities, the TS-x83XU series provides a high-performance and dependable - yet cost-efficient - NAS solution for uncompromising enterprise IT requirements.

The TS-x83XU was specifically designed for enterprises that require server-class standards of performance and reliability for business-critical data and applications," said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "businesses and organizations can unlock greater application potential and increase their everyday working efficiency by leveraging game-changing features such as PCIe expandability, SSD-optimization technologies, and tiered storage."

TrendForce: Contract Prices of NAND Flash Products to Drop Further 10% just in 1Q19

According to a report from DRAMeXchange, a division of market analytics firm TrendForce, contractor pricing of NAND flash products could drop some further 10% entering 2019 and throughout just the first quarter of the next year. Citing higher than expected but output from NAND manufacturers, who managed to ramp up their 64-bit 3D NAND ad higher-than-expected ratios, and with stagnating smartphone demand, channel quantities' increase will lead to dripping (if not cascading) pricing.

As for the trend in the SSD market, DRAMeXchange expects Client SSD contract prices to fall by nearly 10% in 1Q19, a great boon for customers. With global notebook shipments for 1Q19 estimated to decrease by over 15% QoQ, slowing demand for SSDs will lead to decreasing prices matching demand, despite the increasing SSD adoption rate in the PC market and the memory content upgrades. Long story short, enthusiasts: don't do any Christmas shopping for SSDs, barring some amazing deals that do pop up.

LG to Launch New "Ultra" Monitor Lineup at CES 2019

LG at CES 2019 is set to announce two new monitors on its "Ultra" lineup, which includes the UltraWide and UltraGear product lines. The UltraWide is pretty self-explanatory, and will be populated by the 49WL95 monitor, a 49" IPS, dual QHD (5120 x 1440) resolution panel with a 32:9 aspect ratio (there's support for up to three PbP modes simultaneously, thus making this a triple monitor setup, should you so choose). 99% coverage of the sRGB color space ensures faithful color reproduction. There's also support for HDR10 content, though the typical brightness of the monitor stands at 350 nits (peak brightness not disclosed). Connectors stand at 1x USB-C, 2x HDMI 1x DP, and 4x USB 3.0.

The second monitor is on LGs UltraGear lineup. The 38GL950G features LG's Nano IPS technology and support for NVIDIA G-Sync and 144 Hz refresh rate. It has a 38" diagonal across a curved panel, a WQHD+ (3840 x 1600) resolution, and a more standard (or is that less wide?) 21:9 aspect ratio. A typical 450 nits brightness means this monitor also supports HDR content, and connectors include 1x HDMI, 1x DP, and 3x USB 3.0 (1 up / 2 down). If any of these monitor ticks your "I want it now" boxes, you might want to wait until CES for the actual announcement and availability info.

Philips Announces the 241B8QJEB Monitor: IPS, 1080p, Made of 85% Recycled Materials

Philips, via its MMD brand license partner, today announced the launch of the basic, cost-effective 241B8QJEB monitor. The 241B8QJEB is a no-frills, basic monitor for your office use, and would be ideal as a second or third monitor in a non-gaming environment - though of course it would also work for gaming on a budget, though there are many better options for that particular use case. The pricing of £159 goes hand in hand with the 1080p panel, which fogoes the cheaper TN type for the more image-quality-friendly IPS.

The Phlipos 241B8QJEB is an environment-friendly monitor, with 85% of the materials used in its construction being recycled, thus reducing its footprint in the environment. LowBlue Mode, Flicker-free, and the SmartErgoBase provide ease-of-use specs that can be taken advantage of by users. Connectors include VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, and USB 3.0 Super Speed technology.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Coming to PC, Early Build Filmed?

"Red Dead Redemption 2" (RDR2) is arguably 2018's biggest game release, and is dominating sales on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 platforms it debuted on. Developer Rockstar Games is now eyeing the PC platform, and is ready with an early console port to Windows. A video surfaced on YouTube by "Mrdc kll" recording menus for the PC build of RDR2 with a mouse. The number of graphics settings on offer, particularly setting such as FXAA could only point to the possibility of a PC build, rather than someone who got keyboard/mouse to work on an Xbox One. We can also vaguely make out the build number 1118.8. When this release comes to being is anyone's guess. Rockstar has, in the past, taken anywhere between a 12 to 18 months to port its flagship games to PC, and the original "Red Dead Redemption" never got a PC release.

Tuesday, December 18th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mousepads
NAS
Processors
PSUs
SSD
Storage
Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router

Synology MR2200ac Mesh Router

The Synology MR2200ac looks to be ideal for expanding the coverage of your wireless network. Unlike most other WiFi range extenders, it uses mesh technology, which lets you keep the same network name. However, is its higher price compared to a plain WiFi extender justified?

Raijintek Enyo is an Extremely Modular Open-Frame Full-tower

Raijintek today introduced the Enyo, its biggest and greatest open-frame full-tower chassis. Measuring 707 mm x 398 mm x 659 mm, this monstrosity is a capital-I shaped metal frame with floating tempered glass panels on four sides, and steel panels on two. The left side holds a vast EE-ATX capable motherboard tray and a bottom compartment for stacks of 480 mm x 120 mm radiators; while the right side holds two PSU bays, additional radiator mounts, and drive mounts.

Drives and radiators can be mounted on either sides of the case. Up to twenty three 120 mm or 140 mm fans can be mounted on this case, and you can collectively install up to three completely independent high-end DIY liquid cooling loops. The case is made of 2 mm-thick SECC steel and 3 mm-thick tempered glass. The dual-layer middle partition has passageways for cables and coolant tubes. The company didn't reveal pricing.
A presentation by the company follows.

ViewSonic Prepares XG240R 144 Hz Gaming Monitor With RGB Accent Lighting

You know RGB LED lighting as a"feature" has hit critical mass when it starts getting integrated into monitors. Enter ViewSonics XG240R with it's ELITE RGB accent lighting, which is part of the ELITE RGB Alliance that includes; Thermaltake, Razer, and Cooler Master. Supposedly the accent lighting on this monitor can be synced with other peripherals. However, no details have been given on how that will work just yet. Still, love it or hate it RGB LED illumination is helping sell products, and now ViewSonic is ready to join the party, as for the panel itself it is the same 144 Hz, 1080p, WLED backlight, TN offering used in the XG2402 monitor released previously. No high refresh rate monitor is complete without some form of adaptive sync, with this model, in particular, using FreeSync with a range of 48 Hz to 144 Hz and has a 1 ms response time with Overdrive enabled and a 5 ms response time without.

Viewing comfort with the XG240R and the XG2402 was a priority for ViewSonic with both monitors having height, tilt, pivot, and swivel adjustment options. Connectivity is also quite robust featuring 2x USB Type A 3.0 ports, 1x USB Type B 3.0 port, 2x HDMI 1.4 ports, 1x DisplayPort, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Overall the XG240R has a good set of features, excellent connectivity and a high refresh rate all at a suggested MSRP of $272.99. Meaning the inclusion of the RGB accent lighting will only cost you $10 more over the XG2402.
The full specification list follows.

EnGenius Launches an Affordable Consumer Wi-Fi Mesh Network System called MESHdot Kit

EnGenius Technologies Inc., a multinational networking company known for offering a vast range of quality networking solutions for both consumers and businesses, is pleased to announce the long-awaited Wi-Fi mesh network system called MESHdot Kit. The bundle comes with an elegant wireless mesh router called EMR3500, and MESHdot (EMD11), one of the smallest AC1300 mesh nodes in the world. Both products included in the MESHdot Kit bundle are powered by some of Qualcomm's latest consumer technology. The new Wi-Fi mesh network system is easy to set up and is a direct solution for budget-conscious families wanting to enjoy spotless single-network Wi-Fi signal across the entire house and backyard without breaking the bank.

Available to both Android and Apple devices, the new intuitive specially build EnMesh app makes the process of setting up a sophisticated and reliable Wi-Fi mesh network as easy as apple pie. It only takes a few minutes to create a robust Wi-Fi network and never experience home Wi-Fi connectivity issues ever again. The slick EnGenius AC1300 mesh router EMR3500 comes with built-in 360° high-performance antenna, and the plug-and-play compact MESHdot gives consumers flexibility to cover spotty Wi-Fi areas making sure the home network covers every corner of the entire house. Designed to please the eye and combined with a power plug, EnGenius MESHdot provides high-speed performance perfect for smooth streaming of up to 4K Ultra HD videos, online gaming with support for latest generation consoles, and stable connection powered by EnMesh wireless link technology. The elegant EMR3500 router supports up to eight nodes in the same network making it possible for consumers to build a mesh network robust enough to bring lag-free internet to thousands square feet of living space within a single network.

Thermaltake Announces New Level 20 MT ARGB Mid-Tower Chassis

Thermaltake, a leading premium gaming tower manufacturer, launches the new Level 20 MT ARGB Mid-Tower Chassis and the Level 20 GT ARGB Full Tower Chassis. Both chassis come with addressable 5V ARGB LED fans which can deliver 16.8 million-color RGB illumination. Furthermore, the Level 20 MT and GT ARGB are ready to sync with RGB capable motherboards from ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync and ASRock Polychrome. The Level 20 MT ARGB and Level 20 GT ARGB take our latest case innovations and wrap them in an ultra-modern style that is utterly unique in the case market today.

Constructed with an enlarged side panel window to show off the internal components, the Level 20 MT ARGB ATX mid-tower chassis delivers a sleek look to complement its excellent cooling. The Level 20 MT ARGB is preinstalled with three 120mm 5V ARGB LED front fans and one 120mm rear fan to illuminate and dissipate heat more efficiently. The Level 20 GT ARGB edition is a premium full tower that features four tempered glass panels with locking hinged doors, E-ATX motherboard support, patented PCI-E slot design and a removable power cover. The Level 20 GT ARGB comes preinstalled with two 200 mm 5V ARGB LED front fans and one 140mm rear fan. The new Level 20 MT ARGB Mid-Tower Chassis and the Level 20 GT ARGB Full Tower Chassis offer premium design, newest technology, and ultimate compatibility.

Razer Makes a Push for Your Living Room With Wireless Xbox One Keyboard, Mouse Kit

Razer has started teasing an upcoming keyboard + mouse combo specifically designed for Xbox couch gamers. Now that Microsoft has added actual keyboard and mouse support to the Xbox console, allowing gamers to use the controllers they feel more comfortable with (or they feel will give them the competitive edge, of course), Razer is looking to cash in on that market. Razer says these have a couch-specific design - which means a keyboard and a mouse thrown together in a board for additional stability on your lap.

It's just a tease, for now, but if you're a Razer fan, you might want to wait for this particular rendition of already-released products (the Corsair Lapdog and Roccat Sova come to mind).

LG Announces the 32QK500-W 32" IPS Monitor - QHD, FreeSync, 8 ms

LG has announced another bang-for-buck entry in their monitor line-up, which is usually one of the best in the specs-pricing department. For the modest amount of $349, the 32QK500-W is a 31,5" affair with a QHD (2560*1440) resolution, which supports AMD's FreeSync technology for synchronized refresh rates and greater fluidity in gaming. There's an 8-bit + FRC IPS panel, with a minimum 250 cd/m² brightness (300 typical), which isn't much, but should be enough to be used in a not-too-bright room.

Of course, some of the panel's specifications do point towards the cost-cutting that needed to be done in order to get it to this price-point; the brightness isn't anything to go by (not even close), the FreeSync support tops out at a maximum of 75 Hz, and the 8 ms response time is enough for casual gaming, but not for cutthroat competitive gaming. Some LG technologies such as Black Stabilizer, Crosshairs, and Reading Mode are available. Output connectors stand at 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, and 1x MiniDP, with an additional headphone jack. The monitor is VESA wall-mountable.

YESTON Releases Black, Purple Radeon RX 590 Game Ace

YESTON may not be one of the most covered AIB partners here on TechPowerUp, even though the company does work with both AMD and NVIDIA. The trouble with their offerings is that they're mostly geared towards the Asian market (and the Chinese one in particular), which means availability on the western world is tricky. However, for anyone that wants their hardware to have a rather unusual color scheme without resorting to RGB shennanigans, YESTON have just announced their RX 590 GAME ACE graphics card with a black and purple color scheme. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't LEDs in this graphics card - they're around the purple X, and are lighting up the same as the graphics card.

The RX 590 Game Ace from YESTON features a triple-fan, 2.5-slot design in the cooling department, features a backplate (with red AMD accents) for additional sturdiness and heat dissipation, and receives power via an 8+6 pin configuration, which is then handled by a 6+2 phase VRM. Clocks are set at a standard 1545 MHz boost, so no overclocking was done.

QNAP Announces Rackmount TVS-x72XU NAS Series with 8th-Gen Intel Core Processor

QNAP Systems, a leading storage, network and computing solution provider, today announced the 8th Gen Intel Core based TVS-x72XU rackmount NAS series, including 8, 12, 16, and 24-bay models and a 9-bay hybrid storage model that supports four 3.5-inch HDDs and five 2.5-inch SSDs. The entire lineup comes with two 10GbE SFP+ SmartNIC ports, flexibility for PCIe expansion, and HDMI 2.0 (4K@60Hz) output. Paired with QNAP's exclusive software-defined SSD extra over-provisioning and comprehensive virtualization, the TVS-x72XU series fulfills requirements for high-speed storage, collaboration, backup, disaster recovery, and iSCSI applications above and beyond basic everyday business needs.

Seasonic Prime AirTouch to Finally Launch Mid-January

Seasonic is finally getting around to launch its Prime AirTouch power-supply series sometime mid-January 2019. Just to give you an idea of how far along this product has been delayed, Seasonic developed it way back in 2016, and first exhibited it in CES 2017. The series will debut with an 850W model (SSR-850GD-AT), priced at $160. This SKU has already been showing up on American retailers such as Newegg and Amazon since late-October, but has been out of stock. A variation of the Prime Gold series, the AirTouch offers a small degree of fan-control to users. Its 135 mm fluid-dynamic bearing fan comes with five fan-curves, which you can select from by pushing a round button near the AC receptacle.

The fan-control button is embedded with an RGB LED that indicates the active curve. The first curve, called "Silent" (white), kills the fan when the load is below 40%, runs the fan whisper-quiet between 40-80% load, and spools up above 80%. The second curve, called "Low" (blue), runs the fan whisper-quiet up to 60% load, and spools it up from there. The "Medium" (green) curve runs the fan at moderate speeds and caps its speed to 65% beyond 80% load. The "High" (amber) curve maintains moderate speeds up to 80% load, beyond which the maximum fan-speed is capped at 80%. The "Turbo" (red) mode ignores all parameters and simply runs the fan at 100% speed. Seasonic is backing this PSU with its legendary 12-year warranty.

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3200 16GB Kit without Dummies

When GIGABYTE originally launched the Aorus RGB Memory DDR4-3200 16GB dual-channel memory kit, it included a pair of dummy modules that resemble the real thing, and let you fill up the blank memory slots of your motherboard. Dummy modules add to the cost, and some users simply don't prefer them, and so the company introduced a new kit bearing the SKU "GP-AR32C16S8K2HU416R," which lacks these dummies.

You get two 8 GB memory modules making up the 16 GB dual-channel kit, each with a chunky 2 mm-thick aluminium heatspreader capped by an acrylic diffuser that puts out light from five addressable RGB LEDs. These modules pack an XMP 2.0 profile that runs them at DDR4-3200 with 16-18-18-38 timings, at 1.35 V. Although the company doesn't specify which brand of DRAM chips it's using, it mentions support for both Intel and AMD platforms.
Monday, December 17th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GDDR5X

KFA2 GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GDDR5X

We bring you the world's first GeForce GTX 1060 GDDR5X review. NVIDIA has recently released a new GTX 1060 variant that uses faster GDDR5X chips instead of GDDR5. While out of the box speeds are identical, we found it to house the potential for a massive 44% memory overclock, which lifts the card to new performance levels.

Fallout 76: Atom Shop Prices Reach New Level of Absurdity

It seems many companies just never learn, you would think with Bethesda's various controversies surrounding Fallout 76 that they would have taken a step back and reevaluated their position. You would also think that their first decision would not have been to add more horrendously overpriced downloadable content to their Atom shop. However, instead of making an educated decision Bethesda continues to march straight for the cliff like a group of lemmings.

What did they do this time you ask? Well, they decided to offer more absurdly priced bits of cosmetic gear. First up was their Holiday Emote bundle for 1200 Atoms which is 50% off the regular 2400 Atoms. Next is the Mr. and Mrs. Claus outfits listed for 2000 Atoms, down from 3000. Finally theres the Red Rocket Mega Sign for 1400 Atoms. All told buying those three featured items from the Atom Shop would run you about 4600 Atoms or $40 which is coincidently the highest price the game sells for currently. It would appear Bethesda really wants to earn back their development costs on this one.

Discord Store Offers 90% Revenue Share to Developers, Potentially to Counter Epic Games Threat

The launch of the new Epic Games store for the PC has created many an aftershock in the gaming industry, including Steam updating their revenue share model, but the games press and media alike were quick to discuss implications more so for the equally new Discord store that understandably is more in line as far as breaking into the market goes, and impact from competition accordingly. In a series of moves that no doubt pleases game developers and publishers alike, Discord announced that they are going to offer a 90/10 revenue distribution with 90% in favor of developers- an increase over the industry leading "up to 88%" from Epic Games until then.

There is a small catch in that Discord is allowing developers to self-publish the games if they so desire, which in turn is how they will get that 90% revenue share, so it remains to be seen how user friendly that process is. Discord in their blog post made a big point about how it does not cost 30% to distribute games in 2018, a move that will no doubt be examined throughout not only the gaming industry but every single online app distribution platform where a 70/30 split is the current industry standard. As long as this move enables the store to break even and churn out a profit, we would like to see more of this happening to where game developers get more money and do not feel compelled to work ridiculously long hours.

Subnautica Currently Available for Free on Epic Games Store

Epic Games has been pulling a few major moves in the PC gaming market lately, none bigger than creating their own game store and following up with shifting over some of their games from Steam. The company promises a more lucrative profit distribution share to developers (to which Valve had preemptively countered slightly with their own Steam revenue update), and that did help get some game developers and publishers on board, including Supergiant with their new games Hades.

To appease the cautious PC audience thus far, Epic Games has decided to begin with some free games for account holders. As of the time of this post, the excellent aquatic survival game Subnautica is up for grabs. The game was somewhat of a sleeper hit this year, and well worth the free price of admission for anyone interested. The game is available through December 27, after which Epic Games will offer Super Meat Boy for free the following two weeks.

Intel's 28-core Xeon W-3175X Can be Yours for Just $3,999

So... Do you want Intel's own HCC CPU in an overclocker-friendly package? But you want in a Xeon branding and envelope, surely, because that's the only place where you can get one of these right now. Well, Intel has you covered - for $4000. Retailers in Europe, hunted by Tom's Hardware, have begun to take stock of these CPUs, and in doing so, current pricing overs around that magic $4,000 mark - at the least. Prices still haven't stabilized due to the low number of outlets offering the CPU right now, and it's likely that when it does, it will stabilize to this lowest common denominator.

The Xeon W-3175X is built on Intel's 14 nm ++ manufacturing lines, features 28 physical cores with HyperThreading, features base/boost clocks of 3.1 / 4.3 GHz respectively, support hexa-channel DDR4 memory, and offers 44 PCIe lanes. It also has a 255 W TDP. Compare these specs to AMD's Threadripper 2990WX with its 32 physical, 64 logical cores, quad-channel DDR4 support, 64 PCIe lanes, 250 W TDP (non-comparable) and $1,799 (very comparable) pricing... Well. Add in the platform cost for one of these Intel babies, with a 3,647-pin LGA3647 motherboard (some feature the most ridiculous power delivery systems you could ever think of, btw, at 32 phases).. with the requirement for 4x eight-pin EPS power connectors and 2x 24-pin connectors. Have fun.

Google's Project Stream Offers Free Copy of Assassin's Creed Odyssey For Testing the Service

We covered Project Stream in a more detailed news post recently, so this is a short update. The test period is active as of the time of testing, and will remain so through January 15, 2019. Selected entrants now get a bonus incentive of retaining a copy of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, with all progress from the test retained, even after the stream test is done. Indeed, users (who are limited to the USA as of the test period) with a minimum of an hour of game play will see the game added to their Uplay account on file and this should prompt more of the testers (which you can still apply to be, from everything we have seen) to try out Google's take on game streaming over the internet. Yours truly happens to be one who applied, was selected, and played all of five minutes thus far, but be on the lookout for another post early next year with impressions galore on how it goes.

Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

Crossplay has become an interesting point of contention for the industry, with some very popular games and companies advocating for a unified, non-fractured player audience enjoying their games across different media consumption screens, and even gaming platforms. Microsoft has been pushing this kind of capability for some time now, launching their Xbox Play Anywhere initiative which aims to bring PC, Xbox (or both) gamers to parity - acquiring a game on one platform equals having it on both, with all game data being synced.

A new update in the Steam beta update code explicitly refers to Xbox, with an "Xbox_pairwise_id" being present, which could point towards exploration of a future feature. Microsoft adding keyboard and mouse support to their Xbox consoles, news of a new streaming-based console for Microsoft's xCloud efforts, and Steam already offering controller support are some of the little details that could make this a winning bet for both companies.

JEDEC Updates Groundbreaking High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) Standard

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of an update to JESD235 High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM standard. HBM DRAM is used in Graphics, High Performance Computing, Server, Networking and Client applications where peak bandwidth, bandwidth per watt, and capacity per area are valued metrics to a solution's success in the market. The standard was developed and updated with support from leading GPU and CPU developers to extend the system bandwidth growth curve beyond levels supported by traditional discrete packaged memory. JESD235B is available for download from the JEDEC website.

JEDEC standard JESD235B for HBM leverages Wide I/O and TSV technologies to support densities up to 24 GB per device at speeds up to 307 GB/s. This bandwidth is delivered across a 1024-bit wide device interface that is divided into 8 independent channels on each DRAM stack. The standard can support 2-high, 4-high, 8-high, and 12-high TSV stacks of DRAM at full bandwidth to allow systems flexibility on capacity requirements from 1 GB - 24 GB per stack.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Could Launch Mid-January

NVIDIA could launch its "RTX for the masses" SKU, the GeForce RTX 2060, sometime mid-January, according to Andreas Schilling. It is also confirmed that the RTX 2060 will feature 6 GB of GDDR6 memory. Schilling confirmed no other specifications of the GPU, but posted official branding for the RTX 2060 SKU. Earlier leaks pin the RTX 2060 as being carved out from the 12 nm "TU106" silicon, with 1,920 CUDA cores, 120 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and a 192-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, which at 14 Gbps produces a memory bandwidth of 336 GB/s. NVIDIA could target the crowd that wants DXR-enabled gaming at 1080p thru 1440p resolutions.

Samsung Introduces the Notebook 9 Pen

Samsung Electronics today announced the new Notebook 9 Pen, a premium 2-in-1 PC with a built-in S Pen that allows users to reach their true creative potential. With its combined style, power, and portability, Notebook 9 Pen is perfect for users who want a device that adapts to the way they work, and need the flexibility to get more high quality work done.

"Choice and creativity go hand in hand, and those who create deserve the flexibility to work the way they want, wherever inspiration strikes," said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President and Head of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. "With improved design and performance, along with our Notebook's most advanced S Pen yet, the new Notebook 9 Pen is perfect for contemporary professionals who put especially high demands on their technology."

Future Microsoft Office Versions Look to be Subscription Only

A job listing posted by Microsoft is being hailed as sign of subscription-based times to come to the company's Office 365 and Windows products. Honestly, I believe this to be a matter of time - Subscription services have been increasing at an alarming rate, Microsoft has already tasted the advantages of such a model on their bottom line with their Xbox Live and Games Pass systems, and of course, there're always the ever-giant Spotifys and Netflixes of this world.

Windows and Office as a service is nothing out of the ordinary, really. The job listing for a "Product Manager, M365 Consumer Subscription - Modern Life & Devices (MLD)", which has a job description along the lines of "market a great new Microsoft 365 Consumer Subscription" doesn't come as a surprise. Going from this Office 365 consumer subscription to a Windows one is a bit of a stretch on the basis of the job posting alone, but it is in the foreseeable future for Microsoft's strategy to safeguard Windows and its updates behind a monthly payment, ensuring that one-off purchases are no longer a thing - and guaranteeing a predictable revenue stream.

GIGABYTE Announces AORUS Turbo RTX 2080 Ti Graphics Card

After some leaks indicated that GIGABYTE was preparing a blower-style RTX 2080 Ti, the company has now officially unveiled it. The GIGABYTE AORUS Turbo RTX 2080 Ti feature a blower-style cooler with vapor-chamber, direct-touch technology trying to keep that monstrous, 754 mm² TU102 chip cool and quiet. Luckily, the chip is relatively power efficient, so the acoustic and thermal performance should be sufficient.

The GIGABYTE AORUS Turbo RTX 2080 Ti features a 1650 MHz core clock, and the other specs line up with what we've become used to with RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards (11 GB of GDDR6 memory at 14000 MHz). There's the typical 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, and 1x USB Type-C for VirtuaLink. Expect this version of the RTX 2080 Ti to be near the bottom rung in terms of pricing, when it's available.
Sunday, December 16th 2018

ECS LIVA Z2L is a Palm-sized Compact Desktop with GPIO

ECS today rolled out the LIVA Z2L, a palm-size compact desktop with something in it for electronics hobbyists - a GPIO header. Driven by Intel Pentium/Celeron "Gemini Lake" SoCs, these desktops measure 132 mm x 118 mm x 56.4 mm (WxDxH), and feature VESA mounts, so you could tuck them away behind your display. The unit is completely fanless, and draws power from an external power adapter. Connectivity includes four USB 3.0 ports, including a type-C, two USB 2.0 ports, D-Sub and HDMI display outputs, gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11ac WLAN. Under the hood, the "Gemini Lake" SoC is wired to 4 GB of LPDDR4 memory over two SODIMM slots (single channel), and storage is care of a 64 GB eMMC device that can juggle hot data from a 2.5-inch HDD. The company didn't reveal pricing.

SilentiumPC Rolls Out Gladius GD8 TG ARGB Pure Black Case

SilentiumPC today rolled out the Gladius GD8 TG ARGB Pure Black case. This ATX mid-tower is characterized by an asymmetric band that runs from the center of the front, through the top, with its gaps with the rest of the panels being embellished with RGB LED diffusers. The left side panel features a clear tempered glass panel. While the RGB LED units are addressable, meaning you can control them via your motherboard's RGB software, SilentiumPC also included an RGB controller module wired to a button on the front-panel, which cycles through 50 lighting presets.

Inside, the Gladius GD8 features a conventional layout, with horizontal partitions. The motherboard tray serves up room for graphics cards up to 37 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 17.8 cm in height, and the bottom compartment can hold PSUs up to 21 cm in length. Storage features include two 3.5-inch trays that can each hold 2.5-inch drives, and two additional 2.5-inch mounts. SilentiumPC is including three Sigma Pro 120 fans with the case, two fitted as front intakes, and a rear exhaust. There are two 120 mm front intakes, two 120 mm top exhausts, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Measuring 219 mm x 455 mm x 496 mm (WxDxH), the case dry-weighs around 7 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Saturday, December 15th 2018

AMD 7nm EPYC "Rome" CPUs in Upcoming Finnish Supercomputer, 200,000 Cores Total

During the next year and a half, the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC) will be purchasing a new supercomputer in two phases. The first phase consists of Atos' air-cooled BullSequana X400 cluster which makes use of Intel's Cascade Lake Xeon processors along with Mellanox HDR InfiniBand for a theoretical performance of 2 petaflops. Meanwhile, system memory per node will range from 96 GB up to 1.5 TB with the entire system receiving a 4.9 PB Lustre parallel file system as well from DDN. Furthermore, a separate partition of phase one will be used for AI research and will feature 320 NVIDIA V100 NVLinked GPUs configured in 4-GPU nodes. It is expected that peak performance will reach 2.5 petaflops. Phase one will be brought online at some point in the summer of 2019.

Where things get interesting is in phase two, which is set for completion during the spring of 2020. Atos' will be building CSC a liquid-cooled HDR-connected BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer that will be configured with 200,000 AMD EPYC "Rome" CPU cores which for the mathematicians out there works out to 3,125 64 core AMD EPYC processors. Of course, all that x86 muscle will require a great deal of system memory, as such, each node will be equipped with 256 GB for good measure. Storage will consist of an 8 PB Lustre parallel file system that is to be provided by DDN. Overall phase two will increase computing capacity by 6.4 petaflops (peak). With deals like this already being signed it would appear AMD's next-generation EPYC processors are shaping up nicely considering Intel had this market cornered for nearly a decade.
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