Thursday, March 4th 2021

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Networking
PSUs
Speakers
SSD

Sharkoon Unveils ELITE SHARK CA300H Case

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of high-performance, quality PC components and peripherals. With the CA300H, Sharkoon now presents another PC case in the premium ELITE SHARK series. Like the other cases in the series, this sturdy ATX tower is designed for showcasing quality high-end hardware, and, with its generously dimensioned interior, it offers a wide variety of installation options.

From the outside, the case aims to impress with an overall appearance of sturdiness combined with elegance. The side panels are made of tempered glass, allowing an optimal view into the interior of the case. The top panel of the CA300H is made of metal, while the frame of the front panel is made of polished aluminium. The aesthetic highlight of the case is provided by the ornate geometrical pattern on the front panel, which is emphasized by the light of the addressable RGB LED fans which are installed behind it. The LEDs of all the fans, the I/O panel and further RGB components can be adjusted as desired via the addressable RGB controller.

MSI MPG Z590 CARBON EK X Available for Pre-Order from EKWB

EK, the premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, and MSI, a world-leading gaming brand, have partnered up once again to launch the next-gen MSI CARBON motherboard and EK-Quantum monoblock combo. The brand new MPG Z590 Carbon EK X is expected to be available for pre-order on February 22, 2021. Based on the latest Z590 chipset and still supporting Intel 10th CPUs, this motherboard offers unparalleled cooling for the VRM section and the upcoming Intel 11th Gen Core series CPUs thanks to the purpose-designed monoblock.

MSI's world-class engineering team and EK's industry-leading thermal engineers worked together to improve the previous-gen solution and bring even more benefits to the newest Intel platform. The MPG Z590 Carbon EK X allows maximum performance without the noisy environment, providing you with countless hours of uninterrupted gameplay while monitoring the flow in your loop via the integrated flow indicator. And to top it all off, it also comes with an included EK-Leak Tester and a coupon code voucher for the EK webshop.

AZZA Outs Overdrive Open-Air Chassis: Resembles a V8 Block

AZZA today rolled out the Overdrive open-air chassis. When viewed from a certain angle, it's supposed to resemble a V8 engine block—well at least one that's clad in copious amounts of plastic in today's performance cars. The chassis features a horizontally partitioned layout, with the bottom compartment housing its motherboard tray that can hold boards as large as E-ATX. All surfaces of the case are made of anodized aluminium, while its structural parts are SECC steel. The upward facing panels are tinted tempered glass.

The motherboard tray has room for graphics cards up to 40 cm in length, and CPU coolers only up to 8 cm in height. The idea probably here is to liquid-cool your CPU, as the case can mount a pair of 360 mm x 120 mm radiators along the bottom panels. The upper compartment has room for drives—two 3.5-inch, and four 2.5-inch—and liquid-cooling components such as pumps and reservoirs. Besides the two radiator mounts, you get a large 200 mm intake fan along the front. The case measures 440 mm x 570 mm x 590 mm (HxWxD), and dry-weighs 15 kg.

ASUS Launches Custom Design Radeon RX 6700 XT Graphics Cards

ASUS today launched a trio of custom-design AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics cards. These include the RX 6700 XT DUAL, the TUF Gaming RX 6700 XT OC, and the top-of-the-line ROG Strix RX 6700 XT O12G. All three a factory-overclocked cards, and while the company didn't disclose the clock-speeds, one can make out how the three stack up—the ROG Strix at the top, the TUF Gaming OC next, followed by the DUAL. The company will also sell reference-design RX 6700 XT cards. The ROG Strix RX 6700 XT O12G leads the pack with its latest-gen DirectCU III cooling solution that's featured across its custom RX 6000 and RTX 30-series lineup; which features a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink, a trio of the latest-gen Axial-Tech fans, a blinding amount of RGB bling, and the strongest VRM setup among the three, which pulls power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and other goodies such as dual-BIOS, RGB and case fan headers.

The TUF Gaming RX 6700 XT OC is next up, along with its acclaimed TUF Gaming cooling solution that exposes much of its heatsink's bare-metal, through an airy metal shroud; and uses a trio of Axial-Tech fans. This card pulls power from two 8-pin PCIe connectors, much like the ROG Strix, but is expected to have a slightly downsized VRM, and lower factory-overclocked speeds. You still get dual-BIOS. Lastly, there's the RX 6700 XT DUAL, slotted in the company's sober-looking PRIME family of motherboards and graphics cards. It features a more compact board design, with a lighter aluminium fin-stack heatsink that uses only a pair of Axial-Tech fans. This card pulls power from 6-pin + 8-pin connectors. All three are expected to launch on March 18, 2021.

GIGABYTE Announces Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming OC and EAGLE Graphics Cards

GIGABYTE today rolled out a pair of custom-design AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics cards. These include the RX 6700 XT Gaming OC, and the RX 6700 XT EAGLE. The company will also sell reference-design "made by AMD" RX 6700 XT cards. The RX 6700 XT Gaming OC features a WindForce 3X cooling solution that looks practically identical to the Radeon RX 6800 Gaming OC card, with possible modifications to its heatsink's base-plate. Three aluminium fin-stacks are skewered by five 6 mm-thick copper heat-pipes that make direct contact with the GPU. Additional base-plates pull heat from the memory and VRM areas. The card draws power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. Display outputs include two each of HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 connectors.

The Radeon RX 6700 XT EAGLE is the more slender of the two custom-design RX 6700 XT cards by GIGABYTE. It is strictly 2 slots thick, and uses a slimmer heatsink. Three aluminium fin-stacks are joined by three 8 mm-thick copper heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU. The power input configuration is the same as the Gaming OC card, as is the display output configuration. GIGABYTE didn't disclose the factory overclock speeds or either cards, but the Gaming OC card is expected to be the faster of the two. Both cards are expected to launch on March 18, 2021.

Samsung Announces Odyssey G9 2021 Monitor with Quantum MiniLED Technology

Samsung has recently announced their latest flagship gaming monitor the Samsung Odyssey G9 2021. The new Odyssey G9 is the successor to the original monitor by the same name which was released by Samsung in June 2020. The monitor is the first from the company to feature their Quantum MiniLED technology which will greatly improve peak brightness levels. The Odyssey G9 2021 will reportedly be able to reach a peak brightness of 2,000 nits when displaying HDR content. The monitor retains its 49" size, 1000R curvature, 240 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and 5,120 x 1,440 resolution. Pricing and availability for the new monitor are currently unknown however we would expect the price to remain near the 1699 USD RRP of the original.
Wednesday, March 3rd 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Mouse
SSD
Storage
Redragon K585 Diti Keyboard Review - One-Handed Gamepad!

Redragon K585 Diti Keyboard Review - One-Handed Gamepad!

Redragon has impressed us before with their peripherals hitting a nice balance between cost and features. Today, we take a look at the K585 Diti, a one-handed keyboard gamepad aiming to offer dedicated gaming customization and profiles on a smaller form factor.

ASUS Announces ProArt B550-Creator Motherboard with Thunderbolt 4 Support

Check out the latest B550 board from ASUS. Designed for professionals and creatives who need ultra-fast USB and Thunderbolt connectivity alongside stable and reliable operation. The B550-Creator is a great choice for those building a Ryzen based system with Ryzen 3000 series or Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. The board Features out-of-the-box UEFI support for both series of processors. The B550 Creator is the first AM4 motherboard with Thunderbolt 4 onboard! In addition, you have dual 2.5 Gbps LAN, dual M.2 slots alongside dual heatsinks. It also incorporates the latest ASUS M.2 Q-Latch design for simple and tool-free M.2 drive installation. For the latest generation of chassis, you also have front USB 3.0 connectivity as well as USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type Internal connectivity.

AMD Brings Smart Access Memory (Resizable BAR) Support to Ryzen 3000 Series

AMD in its "Where Gaming Begins Episode 3" online event, announced that it is introducing Smart Access Memory (resizable base address register) support to Ryzen 3000 series "Matisse" processors, based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture. These exclude the Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G. The PCI-SIG innovated feature was, until now, restricted to the Ryzen 5000 series on the AMD platform, although is heavily proliferated across the Intel platform. Resizable BAR enables the CPU to see the graphics card's entire dedicated memory as one addressable block, rather than through 256-megabyte apertures. For game engines that are able to take advantage of the feature, this could translate to a performance boost of up to 16 percent. Be on the lookout for BIOS updates from your motherboard manufacturer.

AMD Showcases Upcoming Custom Radeon RX 6700 XT Graphics Cards from AIB Partners

AMD has pulled what could be another sucker punch on NVIDIA with the announcement of its upcoming Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card set at the $479 price point. Considering, of course, that there's availability; in case there's not, our very own btarunr defined AMD's claims quite well on the news post covering AMD's announcement. If there is actual availability, however, AMD has showcased eight different designs coming from its more high-profile partners: AsRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, XFX, and Yeston.

All the showcased graphics cards will feature the Navi 22 GPU and 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, but all of them should differ from AMD's reference design in the power delivery: dual 8-pin configurations are the expected changes to the design, so as to allow for higher performance, higher power limit ceilings, and better potential overclocks. Expect all of them - all of them - to be priced higher than AMD's suggested (and we know how that suggestion goes nowadays) MSRP of $479. All of these cards should be available in some quantity come March 18th.

MSI Unveils Custom Radeon RX 6700 XT Graphics Cards

As a leading brand in True Gaming hardware, MSI is proud to announce a new graphics card line-up based on the AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU, uniting the latest in graphics technology, high-performance circuit board design and advanced cooling.

GAMING series
MSI brings the GAMING series with the iconic TWIN FROZR 8 thermal design to the MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card. Compared to the previous generation, the dual fan design has been improved with TORX FAN 4.0, binding fan blade pairs together with an outer link to focus airflow into the TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system. The heatsink features advanced aerodynamic and thermodynamic technologies for efficient heat dissipation, reducing temperatures while maintaining high performance. A new design emphasizes the dazzling Mystic Light RGB infused into the card. Gamers can easily control and synchronize LED-lit components with the upgraded MSI Dragon Center software.

Lexar Announces New PLAY microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card

Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, is proud to announce the Lexar PLAY microSD card. The Lexar PLAY microSDXC UHS-I Card is designed to keep up with all your content, no matter if they are games, movies, music or books. Avoid slow load times with read speeds of up to 150 MB/s and fast A1 or A2-rated performance, so you can play more of what you love without missing a beat. With large capacities up to 1 TB you can save all your favorite content and is ideal for portable gaming devices, smartphones, and tablets.

Cut down delays with fast transfer speeds of up to 150 MB/s and get A1 or A2-rated performance, so you can load apps faster on your mobile devices and play more of what you love without missing a beat. "The Lexar PLAY microSDXC Card is the perfect solution for gamers looking to take their game to the next level. It is compatible with the Nintendo Switch and other portable gaming devices including phones and tablets. With capacity options up to 1 TB, you can continue to game without running out of storage space," said Joel Boquiren, General Manager of Lexar.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT: All You Need to Know

AMD today announced the Radeon RX 6700 XT, its fourth RX 6000 series graphics card based on the RDNA2 graphics architecture. The card debuts the new 7 nm "Navi 22" silicon, which is physically smaller than the "Navi 21" powering the RX 6800/RX 6900 series. The RX 6700 XT maxes out "Navi 22," featuring 40 RDNA2 compute units, amounting to 2,560 stream processors. These are run at a maximum Game Clock frequency of 2424 MHz, a significant clock speed uplift over the previous-gen. The card comes with 12 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit wide memory interface. The card uses 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory chips, so the memory bandwidth works out to 384 GB/s. The chip packs 96 MB of Infinity Cache on-die memory, which works to accelerate the memory sub-system. AMD is targeting a typical board power metric of 230 W. The power input configuration for the reference-design RX 6700 XT board is 8-pin + 6-pin.

AMD is marketing the RX 6700 XT as a predominantly 1440p gaming card, positioned a notch below the RX 6800. The company makes some staggering performance claims. Compared to the previous-generation the RX 6700 XT is shown beating the GeForce RTX 2080 Super. NVIDIA marketed the current-gen RTX 3060 Ti as having the same performance outlook. Things get interesting, where AMD shows that in select games, the RX 6700 XT can even beat the RTX 3070, a card NVIDIA marketed as matching its previous-gen flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti. AMD is pricing the Radeon RX 6700 XT at USD $479 (MSRP), which is very likely to be bovine defecation, given the prevailing market situation. The company announced a simultaneous launch of its reference-design and AIB custom-design boards, starting March 18, 2021.
AMD's performance claims follow.

AMD Radeon "Where Gaming Begins Ep. 3 Liveblog:" Radeon RX 6700 XT Announcement

AMD Radeon Technologies Group today is writing the third chapter in its return to competitiveness across the board, with the "Where Gaming Begins: Episode 3" online media event, which we are live-blogging here. We expect AMD to announce its much awaited Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card that competes against NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30-series performance-segment; as well as anticipate updates to the software feature-set of Radeon, and possible sneak-peaks to the future of the Radeon RX 6000 series and RDNA2 graphics architecture on the PC, including its mobile debut. Join us for more!
15:44 UTC: 15 minutes to go, all we're seeing is a slick render of what's possibly the RX 6700 XT reference-design board.

15:50 UTC: Scott Herkelman, GM and VP of AMD's Graphics Business, will take centerstage ten minutes from now.

Intel Fined 2 Billion USD In Damages For Patent Infringement

A federal jury in Texas has ruled that Intel Corporation violated two patents of VLSI Technology and must pay 2.18 billion USD in damages. The damages include 1.5 billion for one patent and 675 million for the other. The patents are related to clock frequency control and minimum memory operating voltage technique and were awarded to Freescale Semiconductor Inc in 2012 and SigmaTel in 2010. Freescale bought SigmaTel gaining control of the two patents before being passed to NXP after the company acquired Freescale in 2015, these patents were then transferred to the newly resurrected VLSI Technology in 2019 with the sole purpose of launching a legal battle against Intel. In a comment to Tom's Hardware the company said "Intel strongly disagrees with today's jury verdict. We intend to appeal and are confident that we will prevail.". This legal battle will likely drag-out for several years as Intel plans to appeal the recent ruling. Intel recorded a net income of 5.9 billion USD in Q4 2020 so this fine is by no means insignificant.

Epic Games Acquires Fall Guys Developer Mediatonic

Epic Games have recently announced the aquisition of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout developer Mediatonic for a undisclosed amount. Mediatonic have had a meteoric rise to fame with the release of their hit game Fall Guys in August 2020 with their team rising from 35 members to over 150. Mediatonic and Epic have confirmed that they will continue to support all platforms including Steam and reaffirmed plans to bring the game to Nintendo Switch and Xbox. The Mediatonic team also commented on bringing features from Fortnite and Rocket League to the game including account systems, cross-play, and squad vs squad modes.

Exxact Launches New Line of Workstations Featuring AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO Processors

Exxact Corporation, a leading provider of high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), and data center solutions, announced their new line of Valence and TENSOREX Workstations featuring the new AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO Processors. These professional grade workstations geared towards engineers, visual graphic artists, and scientists provide game changing single and multithreaded performance and provide unrivaled memory bandwidth1. Exxact has positioned itself to be one of the first system integrators to provide workstations equipped with these powerful new processors.

"The new AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO Processors are a massive leap forward for engineers, designers, architects, any professional who demands ultimate performance and security from their workstation," said Jason Chen, Vice President at Exxact Corporation. "By being one of the first companies to offer these workstations, our customers can gain the competitive edge in their industry," added Jason.

Crucial Launches 500 GB & 4 TB X6 Portable SSDs

Crucial, Micron's global consumer brand of memory and storage, today launched an expansion of its award-winning portable solid-state drive (SSD) portfolio to offer consumers more options for external storage performance, capacity and value at any price point. The new products include the high-capacity 4 TB portable SSD at a RRP of 489.95 USD, and a new 500 GB portable SSD for a wallet-friendly RRP of 69.95 USD. Consumers looking to store large gaming libraries or more movies for long road trips will find an ideal solution in the Crucial X6.

With read speeds up to 800 MB/s, the 4 TB drive performs up to 5.6 times faster than portable hard drives in the market and are drop-proof up to 6.5 feet. Similar to the existing products in the Crucial X6 portable SSD lineup, the 4 TB and 500 GB versions deliver compact portable SSDs in these capacities to consumers for the first time. The entire award-winning Crucial portable SSD product line is compatible with the latest USB-C-enabled devices, such as PCs, Macs, PlayStation 5, Android devices and more. When used with the Crucial USB-C to USB-A adapter, the portable drives also work with PS4, Xbox One, XBOX Series S|X and other USB-A devices.
Tuesday, March 2nd 2021

Today's Reviews

Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
NAS
PSUs
SSD
PNY GeForce RTX 3070 XLR8 Revel Epic-X RGB Review

PNY GeForce RTX 3070 XLR8 Revel Epic-X RGB Review

The PNY GeForce RTX 3070 XLR8 Revel Epic-X RGB comes with one of the longest product names ever. That aside, our review shows that its cooler is better than what Gigabyte, Palit, and Zotac offer. Temperatures are only 66°C, and performance higher than the RTX 2080 Ti.
Thermaltake RIING Pro RGB 7.1 Review

Thermaltake RIING Pro RGB 7.1 Review

The Thermaltake RIING Pro RGB 7.1 is a $95 USB gaming headset equipped with the ESS ES9018 DAC and SABRE 9601K headphone amplifier, and based on a dual-headband design. It also offers a retractable microphone and fully supports the TT RGB Plus and Razer Chroma RGB ecosystems.

KIOXIA Introduces World's Thinnest 1TB Ver 3.1 UFS Embedded Flash Memory Device

KIOXIA America, Inc. today announced sampling of its 1 terabyte (TB) Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Ver. 3.1 embedded flash memory devices. Housed in a 1.1 mm-high package - making it the thinnest 1 TB UFS offering available - the new product utilizes KIOXIA's BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory and achieves sequential read speed of up to 2,050 MB/sec and sequential write speed of up to 1,200 MB/sec.

Mobile devices are constantly evolving, and 5G networks are poised to deliver levels of speed, scale and complexities the likes of which have never been seen before. Reaping the connectivity benefits of 5G - namely, faster downloads and reduced lag time - requires high performance and low power consumption. Additionally, with 5G making it easier and faster for users to store even more on their mobile devices, the storage requirements for smartphones and other applications are increasing at a rapid pace. KIOXIA's 1 TB UFS brings the ultra-high speed read/write performance, low power consumption, shortened application launch times and storage capacity demanded by 5G and other digital consumer products.

AMD Releases Threadripper Pro Workstation CPUs to the DIY Market

Remember AMD's Threadripper Pro CPUs which went on sale in prebuilt workstations? Well, they're now available for the general public in boxed CPU offerings - if you have the cash for them. The platform offers support for up to 2 TB of DRAM through its eight-channel configuration, 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0 connectivity, and up to 64 cores (128 Threads with the company's Simultaneous Multi Threading [SMT] technology). The best motherboards for these productivity beasts are, according to AMD, WRX80-based motherboards, which start at a pretty negligible $999.

The company's lineup tops out at the flagship Threadripper PRO 3995WX, which is a 64-core/128-thread max-out of the "Rome" MCM, with a max boost frequency of 4.20 GHz ($5,489). Next up is the Threadripper PRO 3975WX, which is a 32-core/64-thread part, clocked up to 4.20 GHz boost ($2,749). Following this, is the Threadripper PRO 3955WX, a 16-core/32-thread part clocked up to 4.30 GHz boost ($1,149). The Threadripper PRO 3945WX, a 12-core/24-thread part clocked up to 4.30 GHz boost, is apparently absent from this release. If you need the current best from AMD apart from their EPYC CPUs, it doesn't get much better than this.

Intel Confirms March 30 for Rocket Lake-S Launch

Intel in a statement to Hardwareluxx has confirmed that the release date for the company's next-gen CPU family, codenamed Rocket Lake-S, will indeed see a global launch come March 30th. The 11000 family of CPUs is already being sold on Germany, however, via etailer Mindfactory.de, who apparently jumped the gun on the actual availability of said CPUs. Mindfactory only ships within Germany, meaning that that country is actually the sole current field for Intel's latest-gen CPUs. The etailer says that they have the right to sell the CPUs, and stands by its decision, which likely means that their supplier failed to convey the proper NDAs and launch dates when selling - or so we're led to believe. That's the reason why benchmarks of Intel's 11000-series are already in the wild - even for currently unannounced CPUs, such as the Core i7-11700K.

WCCFTech over the weekend got their hands on the full table for Intel's upcoming Core i9 and Core i7 products (at least those available at launch). Mainstream CPUs on the Core i5 family and below weren't listed, however. It remains to be seen whether the previously speculated March 15th launch date will actually be the official announcement date from Intel, of if something else is afoot for that particular day of March.

Marsback M1, A Fully Customizable RGB Mechanical Keyboard, Hits Kickstarter

Marsback is pleased to announce the launch of a Kickstarter campaign that will allow the public to meet Marsback M1. M1 is a 75% layout mechanical keyboard that is designed to allow everyone to take advantage of the super tactile experience. It is available now on Kickstarter.

With dual connectivity for Mac, Windows, and Android lovers, M1 features a CNC'd PC base with nice-looking beveled edges, the beauty of mechanical crossover with 16.8M RGB LED lights, and PBT transparent keycaps, making it stand out from the crowd. M1's custom software gives users a variety of personalization options, while the hot-swappable switches offer the greatest convenience by clicking them into place or pulling them out without ever needing to touch a soldering gun. M1 enables audio visualization that converts all the audio signals into a beautiful audio equalizer lighting effect by separating the low, middle, and high notes, offering players a fully immersive gaming experience like nothing else.

TSMC to Start 3 nm Node Production This Year

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the leading provider of semiconductors, is supposed to start 3 nm node production this year. While Samsung, one of the top three leading semiconductor foundries, has been struggling with the pandemic and delayed its 3 nm node for 2022, TSMC has managed to deliver it this year. According to a report, the Taiwanese semiconductor giant is preparing the 3 nm node for the second half of this year, with the correct date of high-volume product unknown. The expected wafer capacity for the new node is supposed to be around 30,000 wafers per month, with capacity expansion expected to hit around 105,000 wafers per month in 2023. This is similar to 5 nm's current numbers of 105,000 wafers per month output, which was 90,000 just a few months ago in Q4 2020. One of the biggest customers of the upcoming 3 nm node is Apple.

Intel Kills Extended Warranty Program for Overclocking

Some time ago, Intel has introduced the Performance Tuning Protection Plan (PTPP), which was used as a warranty for any damage that has occurred during overclocking. Customers of PTPP, mainly buyers of Intel Core processors having a "K" tag were able to get a replacement processor whenever they damaged their CPU by overclocking it. When it comes to the pricing of such a service, typical plans were spanning from $19.99 to $29.99, depending on the processor you had. However, there will no longer be such a program, as Intel is discontinuing its PTPP extended overclocking warranty. The company has updated its site to refer to End-Of-Life (EOL) page displaying a quote below.

AOC Announces V4 Monitor Series

Display specialist AOC launches a new monitor line - the V4 series - offering QHD and UHD resolutions with panel sizes of 23.8" (60.5 cm), 27" (68.6 cm) and up to 31.5" (80 cm). With a simple yet attractive 3-side frameless design, these models are great candidates for budget-conscious home users with an eye for design. All displays are equipped with IPS panels for vivid and natural colour reproduction. The 75 Hz refresh rate of the QHD models makes motion 25% smoother than regular 60 Hz monitors. Additionally, Adaptive-Sync support in all models eliminates tear and stutter when the framerate varies, which makes these monitors a great fit for casual gamers. With all these features, the V4 series is a perfect all-rounder for both working from home and entertainment purposes.

AOC's V4 series combines image quality, versatility and attractive design with a great price. Built to be future proof, all four displays employ QHD (2560 x 1440) or 4K/UHD resolution (3840 x 2160) panels, a significant upgrade from the commonly established Full HD standard. The V4 series models are also equipped with flat IPS panels, which are great for productivity work such as spreadsheets, drawing, graphic design, photo editing etc. thanks to their accurate colour reproduction and wide viewing angles (178/178°), which dramatically reduce the horizontal/vertical colour shift and further improve the user experience.
The V4 monitors' versatility also extends to the wide connectivity options, including a DisplayPort for connecting desktop/laptop PCs, HDMI ports suitable for streaming sticks, gaming consoles or any other HDMI-using device.

Micron Launches Low-Power Memory Qualified for Automotive Safety Applications

Micron Technology, Inc. today announced that it has begun sampling the industry's first automotive low-power DDR5 DRAM (LPDDR5) memory that is hardware-evaluated to meet the most stringent Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), ASIL D. The solution is part of Micron's new portfolio of memory and storage products targeted for automotive functional safety based on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26262 standard.

Micron's functional safety-evaluated DRAM is compatible with advanced-driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking systems, lane departure warning and blind spot detection systems. Micron's LPDDR5's high performance, superior power efficiency and low latency provide the requisite performance and headroom to keep pace with increasing bandwidth requirements of next-generation automotive systems.

"Autonomous vehicles promise to make our roads safer, but they need powerful, trusted memory that can enable real-time decision-making in extreme environments," said Kris Baxter, corporate vice president and general manager of Micron's Embedded Business Unit. "To fulfill this growing market need, we've optimized our automotive LPDDR5 to deliver the utmost performance, quality and reliability for the smart, safe cars of tomorrow."

Scythe Announces Mugen 5 Black Edition CPU cooler

Scythe today announces the release of the new cooler Mugen 5 Black Edition (SCMG-5100BE). Based on the original Mugen 5 Rev.B cooler, this new edition is all-black design including black heatsink, black Kaze Flex 120 fan, and black accessories. The new Mugen 5 Black is the premium choice of excellent performance and superb quietness as well as aesthetic appeal. The Scythe Mugen 5 Black Edition cooler is available in North America at an MSRP of USD $60.

Based on the classic Mugen 5 cooler, this new edition comes with an all-black Kaze Flex 120 fan (ramp up to 1500 rpm) that pushes its performance to the next level. With the additional fan clip and upgraded mounting system, the Mugen 5 Black is the premium choice of excellent performance and superb quietness.
Monday, March 1st 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
PSUs
Storage
Deepcool Macube 110 Review

Deepcool Macube 110 Review

The Deepcool Macube 110 is a smaller and cheaper version of the Macube 310. Geared towards mATX users and clocking in at that magical $50 price point with an all-steel exterior construction, it still manages to offer most of the unique design elements of its bigger, more expensive counterpart.
Kolink Classic Power 400 W Review

Kolink Classic Power 400 W Review

The Kolink Classic with 400 W peak power output is a low-capacity PSU with good overall performance, sold at a price that won't empty your wallet. It looks like a great bargain, so is there a catch? Read the review to find out whether it is worth buying this Kolink PSU instead of paying a bit more and getting a Corsair CX450 or an XPG Pylon 450.

Greenliant Launches 1TB microSD Industrial Memory Cards

Greenliant has expanded its ArmourDrive industrial memory card portfolio with the high reliability, high capacity microSD QX Series, available from 256 GB to 1 TB, and operating at wide temperatures (-25 to +85 degrees Celsius). See microSD ArmourDrive product information at http://bit.ly/SD-microSD.

Industrial microSD memory cards have become a popular storage medium for a broad range of applications, including dashcams and bodycams, data loggers, routers and switches, medical equipment and IIoT devices. Built with high quality, advanced 4-bit-per-cell (QLC) 3D NAND flash memory, microSD ArmourDrive QX Series products provide video, security, networking and industrial customers with cost effective, reliable and rugged removable data storage. UHS Speed Class 10 and SD Specification 6.10 compliant, microSD ArmourDrive QX Series cards reach up to 100/37 MB/s sequential read/write performance and are ideal for video recording at high definition resolution.

MSI Z490 Motherboards Unleash the Performance of PCIe 4.0 Graphics Cards and SSDs

All of the MSI Z490 motherboards will be supporting PCIe 4.0 with the coming Intel 11th Gen Intel Processors. Through an update to the latest BIOS, MSI Z490 motherboards offer great bandwidth and performance for PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs and graphics cards.

To be PCIe 4.0 compatible, several components on the motherboards are necessary, including PCIe 4.0 ready clock generator, lane switch, redriver, PCIe slots, and M.2 connectors. Thanks to the complete PCIe 4.0 solutions, MSI Z490 motherboards provide the most stable design for PCIe 4.0 and unlock the full performance of PCIe 4.0 devices.

Lenovo Reveals New ThinkEdge Portfolio of Embedded Computers

Lenovo announced today its all new portfolio of embedded computers for the edge during the Embedded World 2021 DIGITAL virtual exhibition. Building from the existing edge portfolio from Lenovo, the ThinkEdge devices - the new ThinkEdge SE30 and ThinkEdge SE50 - are small, rugged, and powerful enough to meet the demanding needs of enterprise data processing, security and scalability at the edge.

The new Lenovo ThinkEdge devices are powered by Intel technology and built for the data needs of tomorrow. The embedded edge computers are for customers who need faster processing power, better security, and scalability. With the right data securely on hand for when it matters, businesses can be more efficient, insightful and competitive.

Get Re-Connected With the Latest Version of EK-Loop Connect Software and Sensors

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is announcing the release of EK-Loop Connect software version 1.3.11. As a company dedicated to providing water cooling enthusiasts and PC builders with the best of what the market has to offer, and after listening to customers' feedback several months ago, EK has issued a rework on the EK-Loop Connect software. Today, the new version of the software is officially ready and can already be downloaded.

"We were fortunate enough to have onboarded a team of software developers who were dedicated to the cause and managed to deliver functional software within the set deadline. We promised to deliver the software within 3 months, and here we are. The latest version of the EK-Loop Connect software was tested and confirmed by a small group of beta testers, and today we are ready to present it to the public," said Edvard König, founder of EK.

China Gobbling Up Supply of Used Semiconductor Manufacturing Machines

As the tensions between China and the US seem to have come to stay for the foreseeable future, Chinese companies are now opting to resort to older technologies so as to shore up their semiconductor manufacturing capability and reduce dependency from US-based imports. With several companies feeling the tight rope of US-imposed sanctions on their ability to purchase critical supplies (which brought even giant Huawei to its proverbial knees), it seems like a safe bet that China doesn't really care to be on the cutting edge for all but the most mission-critical applications. This happens at a time when the world is still reeling from general semiconductor shortages (some 30% below demand levels). This results in used semiconductor manufacturing equipment - which according to some sources, was "worthless several years ago" - to now be flying from storage warehouses and directly onto factory floors as fast humanly possible. And sometimes, that equipment is acquired for a cool $1 million.

The litography equipment being bought-up (apparently, 90% of the available supply is headed to China) mostly churns out 200 mm wafers, as opposed to today's most modern processes' 300 mm. This means that it's not only the wafer etching machines that are required, but also all the other peripheral equipment that is indispensable to the manufacturing process, such as etching and cleansing machines. This has prompted certain companies, such as Canon, to re-release litography equipment for 200 mm processes - nine years after their last offering was put to sale. This could actually be a way to supplement existing semiconductor requirements, as not everything has to be in the cutting edge of semiconductor capabilities - the old "satisficing" adage could indeed prove a good solution to the increasing demand for semiconductors.

Intel Rolls Out SSD 670p Mainstream NVMe SSD Series

Intel today rolled out the SSD 670p series, a new line of M.2 NVMe SSDs that are targeted at the mainstream segment. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host-interface, the drive implements Intel's latest 144-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory, mated with a re-badged Silicon Motion SM2265G 8-channel controller that uses a fixed 256 MB DDR3L DRAM cache across all capacity variants. It comes in capacities of 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB.

The 1 TB and 2 TB variants offer sequential read speeds of up to 3500 MB/s, while the 512 GB variant reads at up to 3000 MB/s. Sequential write speeds vary, with the 512 GB variant writing at up to 1600 MB/s, the 1 TB variant at up to 2500 MB/s, and the 2 TB variant at up to 2700 MB/s. The drives offer significantly higher endurance than past generations of QLC-based drives, with the 512 GB variant capable of up to 185 TBW, the 1 TB variant up to 370 TBW, and the 2 TB variant up to 740 TBW. Intel is backing the drives with 5-year warranties. The 512 GB variant is priced at $89, the 1 TB variant at $154, and the 2 TB variant at $329.

ADATA Explains Changes with XPG SX8200 Pro SSD

ADATA has recently been in a spot of controversy when it comes to their XPG SX8200 Pro solid-state drive (SSD). The company has reportedly shipped many different configurations of the SSD with different drive controller clock speeds and different NAND flash. According to the original report, ADATA has first shipped the SX8200 Pro SSD with Silicon Motion SM2262ENG SSD controller, running at 650 MHz with IMFT 64-layer TLC NAND Flash. However, it was later reported that the SSD was updated to use the Silicon Motion SM2262G SSD controller, clocked at 575 MHz. With this report, many users have gotten concerned and started to question the company's practices. However, ADATA later ensured everyone that performance is within the specifications and there is no need to worry.

Today, we have another report about the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro SSD. According to a Redditor, ADATA has once again updated its SSD with a different kind of NAND Flash, however, this time the report indicated that performance was impacted. Tom's Hardware has made a table of changes showing as many as five revisions of the SSD, all with different configurations of SSD controllers and NAND Flash memory. We have contacted ADATA to clarify the issues that have emerged, and this is the official response that the company gave us.

Apple M1 Processor Manages to Mine Ethereum

Ethereum mining has been a crazy ride over the years. In recent times, it has become very popular due to a huge surge in Ethereum prices, following those of the main coin currently present on the market - Bitcoin. However, Ethereum miners use a customized PC stocked with many graphics cards to mine the Ethereum coin. Any other alternative is not viable and graphics cards have a high hash rate of the KECCAK-256 hashing algorithm. But have you ever wondered could you mine Ethereum on your shiny new Apple M1-equipped Mac? Our guess is no, however, there are still some people making experiments with the new Apple M1 processor and testing its capabilities.

Software engineer Yifan Gu, working for Zensors, has found a way to use Apple's M1 GPU to mine Ethereum. Mr. Gu has ported Ethminer utility to Apple's macOS for Apple Silicon and has managed to get GPU mining the coins. While technically it was possible, the results were rather poor. The integrated GPU has managed to get only 2 MH/s of mining power, which is rather low compared to alternatives (desktop GPUs). Being possible doesn't mean it is a good idea. The software will consume all of the GPU power and it will limit your work with the GPU, so it isn't exactly a profitable solution.

343 Industries Showcases Halo Infinite PC Screenshots

343 Industries, a game developer and maker of the Halo game series, has today released 4K screenshots of their upcoming PC title called Halo Infinite game. The company has been providing players with regular updates regarding the game development and showing a bit of how the whole process is looking like. What the developers have in their heads when developing something like this, and what are their goals to achieve. For someone interested in that, these monthly updates are very valuable reads. Today, however, we are in for a surprise. Halo Infinite PC screenshots have been revealed and we get a hint of what is to come.

Showcasing Zeta Halo, one of the seven rings in the Halo Array, located in the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, we get to see the beautiful open world the developers are creating. The main spotlight of the graphics is centered around the day-nigh changes, which are supposed to feature raytracing technology and use the latest advancements in graphics. Below, you can take a look at the world of rings and see some game scenes for yourself. For a full 4K images, please head over to the Halo Infinite blog post update.
More pictures follow.

AMD "Zen 4" Microarchitecture to Support AVX-512

The next-generation "Zen 4" CPU microarchitecture powering AMD's 4th Gen EPYC "Genoa" enterprise processors, will support 512-bit AVX instruction sets, according to an alleged company slide leaked to the web on the ChipHell forums. The slide references "AVX3-512" support in addition to BFloat16 and "other ISA extensions." This would make "Zen 4" the first AMD microarchitecture to support AVX-512. It remains to be seen which specific instructions the architecture supports, and whether all of them are available to both the enterprise and client implementations of "Zen 4," or whether AMD would take an approach similar to Intel, in only enabling certain "relevant" instructions on the client parts. The slide also mentions core counts being "greater than 64" corresponding with our story from earlier today.

NVIDIA 90HX Crypto Mining Processor Based on Ampere GA102-100 GPU

We recently reported that the NVIDIA 30HX and 40HX CMP cards will be based on the Turing TU116 and TU106 processors. This was good news to those hoping for improved graphics card supplies however, according to a recent report the top-end 90HX CMP card will be based on the Ampere GA102-100 GPU also found in the RTX 3080. The report also claims that the 50HX will feature the Turing TU102 GPU found in the RTX 2080 Ti making the 90HX the only card in the series to feature an Ampere design. The 50HX and 90HX cards are expected to launch later this year and will likely restrict GPU supply if the cryptocurrency boom continues.
Sunday, February 28th 2021

Innodisk Announces New Industrial-Grade Products For Embedded World 2021

Innodisk is proud to announce multiple new products coinciding with Embedded World 2021, to be held from 1 - 5 March 2021. As a leading global provider of industrial-grade flash, DRAM, and embedded peripherals, Innodisk strives to maintain its unrelenting pace of innovation in the face of the past year's pandemic challenges. Kicking off this year of the Ox on a high note, Innodisk is announcing new PCIe Gen 4 NVMe flash storage, DDR4-3200 DRAM, and CANbus & LAN modules.

Innodisk's NVMe flash storage series now supports the latest PCIe Gen 4 interface with a staggering 7.88 GB/s transfer rate—double the bandwidth of Gen 3—that simultaneously lowers overall power consumption, reducing the overheating issues of many PCIe SSDs. Smart temperature control through thermal throttling firmware technology is convenient for users to monitor temperature changes of SSDs at any time, and protect data with higher performance.

Sony Reportedly Planning To Enable Storage Upgrades on PS5 in Summer

The Sony PlayStation 5 comes with an internal 825 GB PCIe 4.0 SSD which offers around 667 GB of usable storage for games and other content. With new games such as the latest Call Of Duty easily taking over 100 GB the need for more storage has never been more evident. Sony has prepared for this eventuality by including an internal M.2 drive bay on the PS5 to expand the available storage. The shift to ultra-fast storage on this latest generation of consoles has limited their ability to support external storage as new games developed for the consoles will expect a certain level of performance. Sony will reportedly enable software support for the M.2 slot with a limited selection of tested PC drives to ensure these minimum performance requirements are achieved. The approach by Sony differs from that of Microsoft who has created a proprietary connector for storage upgrades.

ASUS Rolls Out ThunderboltEX 4 Add-on Card

ASUS today rolled out the ThunderboltEX 4, an add-on card designed to give your PC full Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. The only catch here is that you'll need an ASUS motherboard with a Thunderbolt readiness header (which provides timing and other low-level system commands to the card). Also needed is a USB 2.0 header, of which you're likely to have plenty. The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and can be installed on any PCIe slot, x4 or larger. A 6-pin PCIe power input is also needed, as Thunderbolt 4 is capable of up to 100 W of power delivery per port, enabling single-cable RAID enclosures and monitors.

The ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 card puts out two Thunderbolt 4 ports in the USB type-C physical format, each with 40 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth. The card provides DisplayPort passthrough for each port. You connect your graphics card to the ThunderboltEX 4 using the included DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort cables. The card supports DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough, so you can scale all the way up to 8K resolution on the connected monitors, if your graphics card is game. Under the hood, the card features an Intel JHL8540 "Maple Ridge" Thunderbolt 4 controller. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT Expected to Launch Solo, Without its non-XT Sibling in Tow

AMD is expected to debut its Radeon RX 6700 series with a solo launch of its top-spec RX 6700 XT, with the non-XT "RX 6700" following on at a later date, according to Cowcotland. As it stands the company could announce the RX 6700 XT at an online event on March 3, with availability expected from March 18. The French publication also reports that no more than 100 reference-design RX 6700 XT MBA (made by AMD) cards are on their way to France, and another 100-or-so custom-design cards. It's important to note here, that the RX 6700 XT and its competitors form the NVIDIA camp, the RTX 3060-series, are supposed to be middle-of-the-market products that are expected to sell the most each generation.

AMD "Genoa" Expected to Cram Up to 96 Cores, MCM Imagined

AMD's next-generation EPYC enterprise processor that succeeds the upcoming 3rd Gen EYPIC "Milan," codenamed "Genoa," is expected to be the first major platform update for AMD's enterprise platforms since the 2017 debut of the "Zen" based "Naples." Implementing the latest I/O interfaces, such as DDR5 memory and PCI-Express gen 5.0, the chip will also increase CPU core counts by 50% over "Milan," according to ExecutableFix on Twitter, a reliable source with rumors from the semiconductor industry. To enable the goals of new I/O and increased core counts, AMD will transition to a new CPU socket type, the SP5. This is a 6,096-pin land grid array (LGA), and the "Genoa" MCM package on SP5 is imagined to be visibly larger than SP3-generation packages.

With the added fiberglass substrate real-estate, AMD is expected to add more CPU chiplets to the package, and ExecutableFix expects the chiplet count to be increased to 12. AMD is expected to debut the "Zen 4" microarchitecture in the enterprise space with "Genoa," with the CPU chiplets expected to be built on the 5 nm EUV silicon fabrication node. Assuming the chiplets still only pack 8 cores a piece, "Genoa" could cram up to 96 cores per socket, or up to 192 logical processors, with SMT enabled.

ASUS Radeon RX 6700 XT DUAL and TUF Gaming Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of custom-design AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics cards, in the form of the ASUS Radeon RX 6700 XT DUAL, and the TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6700 XT OC. Both cards feature 12 GB of memory, and use ASUS's latest generation of Prime Series DUAL and TUF Gaming board designs. The Radeon RX 6700 series is expected to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3060-series "Ampere" graphics card in the high-volume "sweetspot" segment. The ASUS DUAL card is a lot larger than it looks, measuring a little over 29 cm in length, and using a pair of 100 mm Axial-Tech fans to ventilate a large heatsink underneath; while the TUF Gaming OC is about as large as any of the other TUF Gaming cards from this generation. AMD is expected to announce the RX 6700 series at an online event, on March 3, 2021.
Loading more posts, please wait... Load more news posts