Friday, January 18th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
PSUs
SSD
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6 GB

MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6 GB

MSI's GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z is the best RTX 2060 custom-design we've reviewed so far. It comes with idle-fan-stop and a large triple-slot cooler that runs cooler than the Founders Edition. Noise levels are excellent, too; it's the quietest RTX 2060 card to date.

Touring NETGEAR at CES 2019: Wi-Fi 6 Takes Center Stage!

The gift that is CES keeps on giving! We go over the NETGEAR suite, and it was more of an entire floor, in this article with the company showing off their involvement in every networking sector imaginable- the professional environment, consumer and retail networking solutions, and smart home devices. Indeed, stepping off the elevator itself led to a hallway lined with Meural canvasses, which are very well built frames that have an integrated display to show off images of your choosing. This public hallway had generation 2.0 canvasses, with the new-for-CES generation 3.0 series inside the show room that encompasses four different frame options in two different sizes- the currently available 27" version, and the newer 21.5" size for those wanting something smaller.

Meural canvasses can be used in landscape or portrait configurations, and supports a library of over 30,000 curated art images at an optional membership cost of $49.95/year. The new generation is available from August 2019, with the new screens having a wider color gamut and a truer-to-life display, that was impressive. These are definitely for a niche audience, however, but I can appreciate NETGEAR wanting to provide more use cases for their networking solutions. The current Gen 2.0 27" canvas starts at $595 (dimensions with the frame are larger than 27"), and an optional pivoting stand with more display I/O options is an additional $49.95 for when you want to have your own images connected to it. For the rest of the tour, be sure to read past the break!

TSMC's 7 nm Fabrication Becomes Biggest Share of Revenue in 4Q18

TSMC's introduction of its 7 nm fabrication technology has essentially propelled the company to silicon manufacturing heights. Every company - particularly in the mobile space - is after the most minute increase in transistor density and power consumption improvements the latest and greatest can bring. AMD themselves have become a major TSMC partner in pursuit of its newfound competitiveness against Intel, and has apparently leveraged the 7 nm process as a way to keep its high-performance GPU offering minimally competitive with NVIDIA's solution - at a much lesser die area requirement, if the Radeon VII vs RTX 2080 estimates are something to go by.

As a consequence of the market interest for the 7 nm process, it has rapidly become TSMC's biggest revenue generator as soon as 4Q18. The company said that 7 nm already generated 10% of the company's entire 2018 revenue, despite the process only having been ramped up in June of the same year. Other less dense technologies still generate a lot of revenue for the company, and are likely much higher volume. However, TSMC is most likely riding on much increased ASP for 7 nm wafers than for other technologies.

EKWB: The past can be the future with EK Classic

EK , the leading premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, announces the global launch of their new Classic Product Line. It includes an NVIDIA RTX 2000 series GPU block, CPU blocks for both the most popular AMD and Intel platforms, and a pump-reservoir combo unit. Whether you only care about cooling performance, or just prefer the clean and timeless design of EK, the Classic Line will fulfill all your needs.

For users who want to experience the core essence of liquid cooling, the EK CLassic Line of products will offer excellent value regarding performance that is accompanied with simple and minimalistic looks. While designing and engineering the portfolio of the Classic Lineup, the performance of the products was not compromised at any moment.
Thursday, January 17th 2019

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD
Upcoming Hardware Launches 2019 (Updated)

Upcoming Hardware Launches 2019 (Updated)

This article serves as a continuously updated summary of currently known leaks and official announcements regarding upcoming hardware releases in 2019 and beyond. We cover and keep track of developments for AMD Zen 2, Radeon VII, Ice Lake, Intel's own GPU, chipsets, memory and more.

ASRock Announces its Intel B365 Motherboard Series

There's no better way to kick off 2019 with the launch of new products, the motherboards featuring Intel B365 chipset launched during CES 2019 aims mostly at mainstream market but with huge improvement on not only functionality but also aesthetics, the product line are formed by total of 5 motherboards including Mini-ITX, the ever popular PRO series and the latest Phantom Gaming motherboards, giving a wide range of selection for everyone.

As M.2 NVMe SSDs get ever more attractive through affordability, capacity and performance, it is certain that these lightning fast storage devices will soon be a must have solution for gaming or even everyday use. ASRock has seen this trend and went all out to be the first to include the M.2 heatsink as standard equipment for the mainstream motherboard, the B365 Phantom Gaming 4 even has two separate M.2 heatsink for secondary high speed M.2 SSDs.

DIYPC Announces the Affordable Trio-GT-RGB Chassis

DIYPC, leading professional manufacturer of computer cases and accessories (case fan, hub, headset, mouse) base in China which mainly focus on overseas market. DIYPC is proud to introduce its latest gaming chassis for every gamer featuring high-quality tempered glass and multi-color RGB fans. Featuring a steel body and support for ATX, mATX and mITX motherboards, the DIYPC Tri-GT-RGB chassis ensures gamers plenty of options for their build with extensive support for custom cooling as well as customization and its well-designed cable management and airflow will be sure to be a charm to those who want a great value case for an attractive cost. The DIYPC Tri-GT-RGB will have an MSRP of $109.99.

The DIYPC Trio-GT-RGB features excellent premium features to excite builders that will be sure to impress your friends and fellow gamers as well. The Trio-GT-RGB features dual swing door side panels allowing you to easily access the components and rear panel of your build. The side panels are made of 4 mm thick tempered glass to allow you to show off not just your internal components but your cable management as well. DIYPC has a 29mm gap in the back of the motherboard tray to allow ample space to manage your cables and the chassis has tie-down provisions so you can further secure your cables.

Impressions of Google's Project Stream: Game Streaming in 2019 Actually Seems Feasible

What happens when Google, AMD, and Ubisoft get together? Aside from pleasantries, it leads to Project Stream- a surprise announcement in late 2018 from the online giant, which clearly was part of their getting into the gaming space. Google had teased entries into more dedicated gaming hardware and software alike, with those presumably on the way, and Project Stream is going to be a big part of that equation in 2019, if not the gaming market in general.

Picture being able to play AAA games at 1080p and 60 FPS on an internet browser, with the only requirements being a decent enough internet connection (the test called for 25 Mbps down, and no mention on minimum upload speeds) and a controller or keyboard/mouse combo. This would have been a pipe dream even with NVIDIA's own take on this, GeForce Now, having been announced significantly earlier. However, that has yet to come out of a private beta test, and even so shows no sign of leaving a limited test region centered around California without hiccups reported by users. Perhaps it was fitting then that AMD, with their RadeonPro GPUs providing the horsepower, helped lay the ground for the most convincing public test of game streaming to date.

Phanteks Announces the Release of New Glacier Series Products and Accessories

Phanteks today announced the launch of two new Glacier series GPU blocks, corresponding backplates, a vertical GPU bracket and flat riser cables to add to their product portfolio. This includes the Glacier G2080Ti XTREME and the Glacier G2080Ti STRIX for the Gigabyte AORUS Extreme RTX 2080/2080 Ti and the ASUS Strix RTX 2080/2080 Ti respectively. Both of these blocks use a minimalist design that extends the length of the PCB, allowing for a full cover fit to cool the GPU, VRAM and VRMs alike. Integrated digital RGB lighting coupled with an anodized or chrome-plate cover plate, a polished acrylic top, and a nickel-plated copper cold plate round off the aesthetics.

Phanteks made sure to give some love to the NVIDIA Founders Edition RTX 2080(Ti) cards as well with Glacier G2080Ti backplate that is designed to work with their own Glacier G2080TiFE water block, since the AIC cards come with their own backplate that can be re-used with the GPU blocks mentioned above. We get two color options here, and the backplate extends the entire length of the PCB again. The GPU blocks will be available for $149.99 each and the backplate costs $29.99/39.99 for the black/chrome versions towards the end of this month. Read past the break for more on their new accessories.

Living on the FreeSync Side of G-SYNC: Setup Guide, Testing & Evaluation

It happened. Finally, after years of waiting, NVIDIA opened up its G-Sync proprietary solution to support for VESA's VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) Adaptive Sync technology - where AMD's FreeSync tech is based upon. The news came from NVIDIA's own Jensen Huang, in a market that has consistently seen its G-Sync capable monitors being sold for (at the very least) $100 more than their FreeSync-capable counterparts. The added cost came from monitor manufacturers having to source a G-Sync chip from NVIDIA, which added to the overall cost and difficulty of implementation.

However, with momentum for Adaptive Display technologies swinging ever more in favor of the open-standards approach of VESA's Adaptive Sync and AMD's royalty-free FreeSync, the market developed in a ways that made NVIDIA lose control of the ecosystem. With HDMI 2.1's implementation of the Adaptive Display standard, and Microsoft's own push for VRR and AMD FreeSync support, it seemed as if only a matter of time until NVIDIA capitulated.

PLEXTOR Debuts Next-Gen Consumer SSDs at CES 2019

PLEXTOR, a leading developer of award-winning solid-state drives (SSDs) and other high-performance digital storage devices, today announced the introduction of its latest line of PCIe and SATA SSDs at this year's CES.

The new M10Pe PCIe SSD Series offers a new level of speed and performance targeted for all PC gamers and applications intensive users. The new series combines advanced 96-layer 3D NAND flash and industry leading controller to deliver awesome sequential read/write speeds up to 3,200/2,500 MB/s and random read/write speeds up to 410,000/320,000 IOPS.

ASUS Rolls Out a Pair of Intel B365 Chipset Motherboards

ASUS today rolled out a pair of entry-level motherboards based on Intel B365 Express chipset for 8th and 9th generation Core processors. The B365 has been extensively detailed in our older article as trading off features such as integrated USB 3.1 gen 2 and an older version of Management Engine, in exchange for significantly more downstream PCIe lanes than the B360 Express. Intel's decision to fallback to the 22 nm node for chipsets resulted in the B365. Among ASUS' new motherboards include the Prime B365M-A and Prime B365M-K. The company is also working on three quasi gaming-grade motherboards targeting gaming i-Cafes, namely the B365M-KYLIN, B365M-BASALT, and the B365M-PIXIU, which are essentially cosmetic variations of the B365M-K with one less SATA port.

The Prime B365M-A is the slightly better endowed of the two micro-ATX boards launched today. Pulling power from a 24-pin ATX and an 8-pin EPS, it uses a 4+2 phase CPU VRM. The CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and the board's sole PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, which features a metal reinforcement brace. Two additional gen 3.0 x1 slots wired to the PCH make for the rest of the expansion. Storage connectivity includes an M.2 slot with PCIe gen 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, and six other SATA 6 Gbps ports. As expected, there are no USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, as the chipset lacks it. You get four USB 3.1 gen 1 (5 Gbps) ports, two of which are on the rear panel, and two via headers. A 1 GbE interface pulled by a Realtek RTL8111H controller, and 6-channel HD audio handled by an entry-level Realtek ALC887 make for the rest of it. The Prime B365M-K is the more cost-effective of the two Prime B365M-series boards, and is built with a narrower PCB, and hence only serves up two DDR4 memory slots. You also lose out on Vcore VRM heatsink, and metal reinforcement on the PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

NVIDIA Readies GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Based on TU116, Sans RTX

It looks like RTX technology won't make it to sub-$250 market segments as the GPUs aren't fast enough to handle real-time raytracing, and it makes little economic sense for NVIDIA to add billions of additional transistors for RT cores. The company is hence carving out a sub-class of "Turing" GPUs under the TU11x ASIC series, which will power new GeForce GTX family SKUs, such as the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, and other GTX 1000-series SKUs. These chips offer "Turing Shaders," which are basically CUDA cores that have the IPC and clock-speeds rivaling existing "Turing" GPUs, but no RTX capabilities. To sweeten the deal, NVIDIA will equip these cards with GDDR6 memory. These GPUs could still have tensor cores which are needed to accelerate DLSS, a feature highly relevant to this market segment.

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti will no doubt be slower than the RTX 2060, and be based on a new ASIC codenamed TU116. According to a VideoCardz report, this 12 nm chip packs 1,536 CUDA cores based on the "Turing" architecture, and the same exact memory setup as the RTX 2060, with 6 GB of GDDR6 memory across a 192-bit wide memory interface. The lack of RT cores and a lower CUDA core count could make the TU116 a significantly smaller chip than the TU106, and something NVIDIA can afford to sell at sub-$300 price-points such as $250. The GTX 1060 6 GB is holding the fort for NVIDIA in this segment, besides other GTX 10-series SKUs such as the GTX 1070 occasionally dropping below the $300 mark at retailers' mercy. AMD recently improved its sub-$300 portfolio with the introduction of Radeon RX 590, which convincingly outperforms the GTX 1060 6 GB.
Wednesday, January 16th 2019
EVGA NU Audio Sound Card Unboxing & Preview

EVGA NU Audio Sound Card Unboxing & Preview

At CES this year, EVGA announced their long-teased entry to the dedicated audio market with the NU Audio sound card. A result of a collaboration with Audio Note, this preview goes over the unboxing experience, and we disassemble the NU audio card to gain technical insights and learn about its components.

Touring the EKWB Suite at CES 2019

TechPowerUp met over 50 brands at CES this year, more than anyone else we know of, and thus our coverage of the trade show continues on. EK Water Blocks (EKWB) had a grand showing at Computex last year, with a room full of updates and new products. Some of these showed up in a different form at CES, and others presumably are still being developed. As it turned out, EK had another room full of products this time too, including some products that we were not expecting necessarily.

Beginning our tour was a demo of the Quantum Distro PC 305 system, an EK-assembled system sold at Microcenter stores in the USA. As the name suggests, this uses an InWin 305 case and the current setup has an Intel Core i9-9900K on an ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero combined with an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti. These systems are not budget friendly, but if you wanted to get an EK-distribution plate then this is currently the only way to do so. Next to these was the EK-Connect, which appears to be the final version of the long awaited fan controller project they had teased years back. The EK-Connect, as 2019 demands it, is a combination LED and fan controller, and will be supported by a software driver when ready. At the trade show, the setup just showed multiple different LED strips and fans connected, and it appears to be powered by an in-set SATA connector for power. Read past the break for more!

Creative Unveils World's First Super X-Fi Headphones

Creative Technology today announced the launch of the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Creative SXFI AMP - the Creative SXFI AIR series. Comprising the SXFI AIR and SXFI AIR C, these are the very first headphones featuring built-in Super X-Fi technology, the game-changer which has captured the imagination of users by delivering the listening experience of a high-end multi-speaker system, simply through a pair of headphones.

"After the SXFI AMP, it was a natural next step to develop headphones with built-in Super X-Fi technology. With the SXFI AIR series, users can now enjoy the magic of headphone holography, complemented by the best of our headphone engineering. The SXFI AIR is meant to pave the way for the headphone industry to adopt Super X-Fi into all future headphones," said Sim Wong Hoo, CEO of Creative Technology.

Gryphon Shows off Their Security-focused Mesh Networking Routers at CES 2019

Gryphon Online Safety, Inc. is a 2-year old company that, by its very name, hints strongly towards the product lineup and design philosophy. We met the CEO and CTO of the company at their booth at CES 2019, and were greeted by the Gryphon router that was built with content filtering and online secutiry in mind. They have nearly five decades of combined experience behind the Gryphon, leveraging manufacturing in China, software teams in India, and customer support in the USA to deliver a user-friendly router and mobile app which also supports mesh networking.

The Gryphon was designed with the intention of fitting in a living room, with the sharp looks akin more to a trophy or showpiece. It definitely caught our eye, especially given how hard it is to carve out a unique look with routers these days without looking like an alien artifact. The router is rated for AC3000 operation with one 2.4 GHz band for Wireless N and two 5 GHz bands for Wireless AC networking, with the second 5 GHz band being a dedicated backhaul akin to the NETGEAR Orbi to make full use of the mesh networking feature without losing performance when connected to the satellite unit. The mobile app especially makes it very handy for the average end user to allow, and control, content to their desire. We will have a full review of the Gryphon networking solution on TechPowerUp sooner than later, but for those interested, there is more information to be found on their website. The Gryphon retails for ~$215 for a single unit, and $400 for a twin-pack.

ViewSonic Launches its New Elite Sub-Brand of Gaming Monitors

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual display products, announces a new sub-brand of professional gaming monitors. ViewSonic Elite gaming products are specifically engineered with a sleek and minimalist aesthetic, while boasting practical gamer-centric designs. With decades of display technology experience and heritage, ViewSonic Elite will deliver next-level gaming products that fit the needs of today's multifaceted gaming community.

"Gamers are defined by many factors, one being their gaming setup. With ViewSonic Elite, we want to represent maturity in style and high-performance gaming, as the industry continues to evolve," said Kevin Chu, Global Gaming Marketing Manager. "The ViewSonic Elite line of gaming monitors provides users with the latest spec requirements, and are designed to fulfill the diverse needs of gamers."
The XGR240 is on the left, XG350R-C on the right.

ECS Shows Off Wide Range of Mini PCs at CES 2019

During our visit with ECS at CES 2019, we had the opportunity to check out some of their Mini-PCs. The first one we looked at during our tour was the M520 which comes equipped with an Intel Apollo Lake SoC and support for up to 8 GB of DDR3L via 2 SODIMM slots. Expansions options consist of an M.2 E key 2230 slot (PCIe, USB) and an M.2 M key 2242/2280 PCIe x1 slot. It offers HDMI and mDP for video output and even has two Gigabit LAN ports along with wireless connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0. Onboard storage consists of eMMC configured as 64 GB or 32 GB, and a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD as an option. It also has 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for peripherals and device connectivity along with an ES-232/422/485 port. In general, this particular system is quite tiny, but even with that in mind, we have to wonder why a 32 GB version is also an option considering Microsoft has gone so far as to say 32 GB of storage is inadequate for Windows 10.

Next up was the LIVA M520 not to be confused with the model previously discussed this option is quite a bit larger but features similar specifications. It comes equipped with a Celeron N3350 and up to 8 GB of DDR3L via 2x SODIMM slots. Storage consists of the same 32 GB, or 64 GB of eMMC and a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD is optional. The rest of the specifications are also quite similar with the LIVA M520 having an HDMI + mDP for video output, 4x USB ports, and 2x Gigabit LAN ports. Where it differs is the USB ports are only USB 3.0, not 3.1. For expansion, it includes the same M.2 E key and M.2 M key slots as the other M520 system.

Computer Upgrade King Announces Powerful Premium 27L Gaming Desktops

Computer Upgrade King demoed 2 new extremely powerful and colorful mATX gaming desktops at CES that release in Spring 2019. On display at Patriot's suite, they featured their Continuum Mini which has an intense infinity mirror front panel with large side vents to ensure excellent air flow. Inside, there was an NVidia RTX 2080 TI GPU and an Intel i9-9900K CPU with their own custom cooling system consisting of an RGB CPU water block, anodized brushed aluminum reservoir and pump combo, front mounted 240mm radiator and lotus style ARGB fans.

On display at AMD's suite, they featured their Stratos Mini which has a triple RGB fan front panel with metal blade design to ensure excellent air flow. Inside, there was a Gigabyte Vega 56 GPU, an AMD Threadripper 2950X CPU with their own custom cooling system, a Team Group T-Force Delta RGB SSD, and halo style RGB fans.

SilentiumPC Announces the Navis RGB AIO Series CPU Coolers

SilentiumPC introduces a new series of proprietary all-in-one CPU liquid cooling solutions. The Navis RGB series is available in three variants with the different radiator sizes 120, 240 and 280. The units focus on great built-quality, reliability and performance while incorporating discreet RBG illumination. Compatibility to latest CPU sockets and easy installation assure that even novice users are able to enjoy all the advantages of the new all-in-one CPU liquid cooling solutions.

Navis RGB water block features professional-grade copper bearings and 9-pole motor pump to ensure smooth and noise-free operation. Copper cold-plate with series of flow-optimized channels enable efficient heat transfer to an all-aluminum, single or dual 120/140 mm radiator. High static pressure Sigma HP RGB fans are the perfect match for the radiators, as they are offering optimum airflow through the fin matrix. All the units are equipped with 380 mm long and extremely durable yet flexible tubes, allowing for multiple installation options, either in front, top or rear of the case.

AMD's Initial Production Run of Radeon VII Just 5,000 Pieces, Company Denies it

More news coming in on AMD's upcoming high-end graphics card, the Radeon VII, with Chinese media reporting that AMD's initial production run for the card is set to ship just 5,000 pieces worldwide. This comes hot on the heels of another report that the Radeon VII won't come in custom-designs by AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners, and that only the reference design will be repackaged and sold by them. What's worse, the source which leaked this production size also revealed that AMD is selling the card below cost-price, i.e., with each card sold, AMD is losing money. This probably explains Wall Street's cold response to the Radeon VII launch, but with a batch size of just 5,000 (roughly $3.5 million in sales at $699 a piece), this card has a negligible impact on AMD's bottom-line.

AMD posted a swift denial to both pieces of news, the size of its production run and the product's profitability. In a statement to MyDrivers, AMD said (translated): "We will not release production figures, but when released on February 7, AMD.com official website and AIB vendor partners will have products on sale, and we expect the supply of Radeon VII to meet the needs of gamers." In short, Radeon VII is shaping up to be the card you'd want to buy if you've sworn a blood-oath never to buy an NVIDIA product, and you need something to play games in 2019 at 4K with.

NVIDIA Has No Plans for Adaptive Sync Support on Maxwell, Prior GPUs

In case anyone's been living under a rock (and in these times, if you can do that, I probably envy you), NVIDIA at CES 2019 announced it was opening up G-Sync support to non-G-Sync totting monitors. Via adoption of VESA's open VRR standard (Adaptive Sync, on which FreeSync is based), the company will now add support for monitors that usually only support FreeSync. The company also vowed to test all configurations and monitors, with a whitelist of automatically-enabled panels and manual override for those that don't pass the certification process or still haven't been subjected to it.

Now, via a post on NVIDIA's GeForce forums, ManuelGuzmanNV, with a Customer Care badge, has said, in answer to a users' question on Variable Refresh-Rate support for NVIDIA's 9000 series, that "Sorry but we do not have plans to add support for Maxwell and below". So this means that only NVIDIA's 1000 and 2000-series of GPUs will be getting said support, thus reducing the number of users for which VRR support on NVIDIA graphics cards is relevant. At the same time, this might serve as a reason for those customers to finally make the jump to one of NVIDIA's more recent graphics card generations, in case they don't already own a VRR-capable monitor and want to have some of that smoothness.

Sapphire Outs an RX 570 Graphics Card with 16GB Memory, But Why?

Sapphire has reportedly developed an odd-ball Radeon RX 570 graphics card, equipped with 16 GB of GDDR5 memory, double the memory amount the SKU is possibly capable of. The card is based on the company's NITRO+ board design common to RX 570 thru RX 590 SKUs, and uses sixteen 8 Gbit GDDR5 memory chips that are piggybacked (i.e. chips on both sides of the PCB). When Chinese tech publication MyDrivers reached out to Sapphire for an explanation behind such a bizarre contraption, the Hong Kong-based AIB partner's response was fascinating.

Sapphire in its response said that they wanted to bolster the card's crypto-currency mining power, and giving the "Polaris 20" GPU additional memory would improve its performance compared to ASIC miners using the Cuckoo Cycle algorithm. This can load up the video memory anywhere between 5.5 GB to 11 GB, and giving the RX 570 16 GB of it was Sapphire's logical next step. Of course Cuckoo Cycle is being defeated time and again by currency curators. This card will be a stopgap for miners until ASIC mining machines with expanded memory come out, or the proof-of-work systems are significantly changed.

SUSE Linux Among First Operating Systems to Natively Support Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory

SUSE today announced support for Intel Optane DC persistent memory with SAP HANA . Running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, SAP HANA users can now take advantage of high-capacity Intel Optane DC persistent memory in the data center. Users can optimize their workloads by moving and maintaining larger amounts of data closer to the processor and minimizing the higher latency of fetching data from system storage during maintenance. Support for Intel Optane DC persistent memory, currently available in beta from multiple cloud service providers and hardware vendors, is another way SUSE is helping customers transform their IT infrastructures to reduce costs, deliver higher performance and compete more efficiently.

"Persistent memory technology will spark new applications for data access and storage," said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE CTO. "By offering a fully supported solution built on Intel Optane DC persistent memory, businesses can take greater advantage of the performance of SAP HANA. SUSE continues to partner with companies like SAP and Intel to serve customers worldwide who are looking to fuel growth by transforming their IT infrastructure. It is their needs that drive the direction of our innovation."

BIOSTAR Introduces the S100 Plus Series SSDs for Gamers and Content Creators' Computer Upgrades

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices announced the S100 Plus series SSD, an affordable solid state drive (SSD) with outstanding performance for laptop and desktop computer upgrades. Built in a beautifully designed 2.5-inch unibody with ultra-slim 7.0mm casing, featuring an ultra-stable shock-proof design. The S100 Plus Series SSDs are available in 240GB and 480GB, making upgrading or replacing previous generation storage more accessible than ever.

With the SATA3 6GB/s interface, the S100 240GB Plus has sequential read/write speeds of 510MB/s and 370MB/s, and the S100 480GB Plus with read/write speeds of 540MB/s and 460MB/s to achieve ultra-fast game or software access. Compared with traditional hard drives, the read/write speed is an improvement of up to 200-300% in performance, which offers a whole new gaming and work experience.

Sharkoon Announces SilentStorm Cool Zero Power Supply

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of PC components and peripherals which boasts performance at a reasonable price. Sharkoon presents the SilentStorm Cool Zero. This is an 80 PLUS Gold certified PC power supply with modern and superior components. Its high-quality features enable an efficient power supply and adjustable cooling.

80 PLUS Gold Certification
The SilentStorm Cool Zero has been certified 80 PLUS Gold for its efficiency of up to 92 percent at 230 volts. This verifies that the power supply unit operates cost-effectively and is ideal for energy-conscious users.

Ubisoft's Far Cry: New Dawn System Requirements Outed

The PC requirements for the upcoming Far Cry: New Dawn, a re-invented, re-visited post-apocalyptic interpretation of Far Cry 5's Montana, have been outed by the developer. Ubisoft has taken a Far Cry: Primal approach to development, it seems, and these are usually some of the more experimental Far Cry games (Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon also comes to mind). Read on after the break for the system requirements, but note that Ubisoft hasn't mentioned NVIDIA's new generation of RTX-enabled 2000-series graphics cards.

A Sprinkle of Salt: AMD Radeon VII Reported to Only be Available in Reference Design, no Custom Treatment

A report via Tom's Hardware.de says that AMD's plans for the upcoming Radeon VII are somewhat one-dimensional, in that only reference designs will be available for this particular rendition of the Vega architecture. And this doesn't mean"initial availability" only on reference cards, like NVIDIA has been doing with their Founder's editions; the report claims that at no point in time will there actually be a custom-designed Radeon VII. The quantity of Radeon VII GPUs will apparently be "strictly limited" come launch - a likely result of the decision to make use of TSMC's 7 nm process, which will have to serve not only AMD's Ryzen 3000 and Epyc CPUs when those are actually launched, but all of TSMC's other clients.

This is in contrast with AMD CEO Lisa Su's words during her CES keynote, who said that Radeon VII would be available from "several leading add-in board partners plan to offer the cards". According to a Tom's Hardware.de Taiwanese source, "You cannot leak anything that does not exist" in regards to third-party designs. And another Chinese source said "the quantity of Radeon VII is strictly limited… not sure if AMD wants to open AIB to have an own design later".

Corsair Releases Its First Thermal Paste Solution: The TM30

Corsair has released their first own-branded thermal paste solution, which joins the already dozens of products on the market. Thermal paste (or any sort of TIM - Thermal Interface Material) essentially serves to increase thermal conductivity between two surfaces, such as your CPU and your cooler's heatsink.

Corsair says the TM30 thermal paste they've released features low viscosity (needed to fully penetrate microscopic abrasions in the interfaced materials and pushing low-conductivity air out), and is based on a zinc-oxide compound. Corsair say TM30 offers up to 6º of cooler operation compared to the admittedly ambiguous "common thermal paste". Corsair also said that TM30 can and will last for years without drying, cracking, or change in consistency, thus ensuring a long lifespan in the best thermal conductivity conditions possible. Corsair's TM30 is available for €6.90 / $7.98 per syringe. Sadly, quantities aren't mentioned.

GIGABYTE Announces Availability of AORUS AD27QD Tactical Gaming Monitor

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has launched the world's first tactical gaming monitor, AORUS AD27QD, today. Heading into a new market, AORUS is well prepared and confident that the exclusive features on the monitor can give gamers a tactical advantage over their enemies while gaming. AORUS AD27QD is a 27inch flat screen frameless monitor.

It uses an IPS panel with QHD (2560x1440, 2K) resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate in 1ms (MPRT) response time. Not only is the view angle up to 178 degrees, it also meets 95% DCI-P3 standards along with 10bits color, so the monitor can provide users astonishingly beautiful pictures. On top of that, the monitor has passed VESA certified DisplayHDR 400 standards which gives users spectacular display quality; With AMD Radeon FreeSync​ technology, the monitor can provide the most fluent gaming experience to let you enjoy your gaming without picture stripping.

ASUS Intros ROG Strix Helios Mid-tower Case

ASUS dabbled with cases from time to time, and its latest creation is the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix Helios, an ATX mid-tower to go with your other ROG Strix-branded hardware. Built with brushed-metal finished steel and tinted tempered glass, the Strix Helios features an elaborate aRGB LED illuminated front embellishment that includes the ROG logo, which can be directly plugged in to the 3-pin aRGB header of your motherboard. It also comes with four USB 3.1 front-panel ports, one of which is type-C, all of which plug into your motherboard's standard USB 3.1 headers. You also get LED and fan-controls.

Although marketed as a mid-tower, the ROG Strix Helios is large, measuring 249 mm x 564 mm x 592 mm (WxHxD), and supports E-ATX motherboards in addition to smaller form-factors. Inside, you get a horizontally partitioned layout. Storage areas include two 3.5-inch/2.5-inch trays, and four additional 2.5-inch mounts. Among the cooling features are three 140 mm front intakes, which come with three factory-fitted fans, two 140/120 mm top vents that are vacant, and a 120 mm rear exhaust, which has a factory-fitted fan. In addition to 8 expansion slots, you get 2 vertically oriented slots so you can show off your graphics card better (PCIe riser cable not included). The company didn't reveal pricing.
Tuesday, January 15th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Mouse
Networking
Speakers
SSD
Palit GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC 6 GB

Palit GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC 6 GB

Palit's GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Pro OC is the most affordable custom design RTX 2060 we've reviewed so far, yet it comes with the best cooler, reaching temperatures of only 68°C under load. Unfortunately, idle-fan-stop is missing, but the card makes up for it with extremely quiet idle noise levels.

MSI Breaks DDR4 World Record at 5608 MHz Using Z390I Gaming Edge AC

Years after year, MSI dominates the memory frequency record to show the strength on overclocking performance. Just in the beginning of 2019, MSI's in-house overclocker, Toppc, pushes the DDR4 speeds to 5.6GHz, setting another barrier using Kingston memory and the MSI Z390I GAMING EDGE AC motherboard by liquid nitrogen cooling. Undoubtedly, this is a revolutionary breakthrough for the Intel 9th generation processors for the first time. This world record not only shows MSI's dominant position on performance for Intel 9th generation processors by using MSI MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC and MSI's unique and patented DDR4 Boost technology, but also reveals team-up power with Kingston DDR4 memory.

More information on the record can be found here.

Riotoro Demos Morpheus Convertible Case, Among Others at CES 2019

While at CES 2019 we had the opportunity to check out Riotoro's new flagship case the Morpheus which uses a new convertible design making it an actual departure from traditional cases. Out of the gate, it sets itself apart with support for 2x USB 3.0 Type-C and 2x USB 3.0. The inclusion of USB Type-C was a nice change of pace considering the adoption of the new connector has still been a bit slow. That said they maintained the status quo in other ways by including headphone and microphone jacks along with RGB controls for good measure. Obviously, the final features and hardware support will depend entirely on the end users configuration of the chassis as it can be resized depending on user choice. The case itself is a dual chamber design that uses perforated mesh on all sides for superior cooling, with support for up to 240 mm liquid coolers. Motherboard support includes everything mini-ITX all the way up to EATX with the entire chassis offering tool-less assembly. It also provides support for up to 2x 3.5-inch drives and up to 4x 2.5-inch drives. Out of the box it comes with 2x 120 mm red LED intake fans, and a single 80 mm exhaust fan. The case is available now with a price tag of $189.99 directly from Riotoro.

LucidSound Ships LS41 Wireless Surround Gaming Headset

LucidSound, the fastest growing gaming headset brand, announced today shipping of the LS41 Wireless Surround Headset, a premium surround sound, multi-format headset and a new flagship model for the Company. Available now via Amazon and other leading gaming retailers, the LS41 features wireless audio when used with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and can also be used with Nintendo Switch and other mobile devices via the 3.5mm wired connection.

Rapoo Announces 8000 Wireless Mouse and Keyboard with 12 Months Battery Life

Rapoo, a leader in Wireless peripheral technology, announces the launch of its advanced '8000 Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Combo', exclusive to those who are on the go.

The slim keyboard isn't just sleek; but truly compact and on the go! Experience the high-level architecture, meshed with customizable Multimedia Keys that supports 1000 DPI High-Definition Tracking Engine which brings responsive and smooth cursor control. The pocket -size keyboard features a familiar key shape, size, and feeling. It comes with a palm rest and adjustable tilt legs to keep you comfortable all the time.

Cooler Master Introduces Its First MMO Mouse: MM830

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative gaming peripherals and computer components, today announces the launch of its new gaming mouse, the MM830, making it the second product within the M800 series to hit the market following the MP860 dual sided RGB mousepad.

The MM830 is Cooler Master's first MMO mouse weighing at 162g. It features dynamic four zone RGB lighting effects and is designed with a top-of-the line 3360 Pixart optical sensor for accuracy and speed, with up to 24,000 DPI. Its durable PBT chassis reduces wear and tear, while Omron switches provide a 20M click reliability. Located in the thumb-rest area, the hidden D-Pad grants fast access, especially useful in MMOs. Its OLED screen permits further customization. Users can program the screen to display graphics, track APMs, reflect DPI settings and more.

Manli Rolls Out its GeForce RTX 2060 Series

Manli Technology Group Limited, the major Graphics Cards and other components manufacturer, today unveiled the new GeForce RTX 2060 family - Manli GeForce RTX 2060 with three solutions: blower style fan, twin cooler design and overclocking version. Manli GeForce RTX 2060 family is powered by the NVIDIA Turning GPU architecture and delivering ray tracing technology. Moreover, it is built-in 1,920 CUDA Cores which has increased up to 50% compared with previous generation, and the core frequency is at 1365 MHz which can boost up to 1680 MHz.

Manli GeForce RTX 2060 Gallardo & Manli GeForce RTX 2060 with Twin Cooler: Manli GeForce RTX 2060 Gallardo & RTX 2060 are both built with dual 8 cm fan and three copper heatpipes which provide effective heat dissipation. Specially, Manli GeForce RTX 2060 Gallardo is features of up to 5% more overclocking clock compared with standard version.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 417.71 WHQL Drivers with FreeSync Support

NVIDIA today released its latest version of GeForce software. Version 417.71 WHQL is the first public driver to add support for the new GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card. More importantly, it makes good on CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's promise to make NVIDIA GPUs, "Pascal" and "Turing," compatible with VESA Adaptive-Sync (AMD FreeSync) monitors. NVIDIA maintains this repository of monitors it has tested to support Adaptive Sync, although any compatible monitor meeting the cable requirements can be made to run G-Sync. The only feature only supports single-displays for now, and NVIDIA plans to add multi-display Adaptive-Sync support later.

NVIDIA also addressed a number of issues. To begin with, it fixed the problem of the GeForce GTX 1080 not dropping down GPU clock-speed to idle when three displays are connected. Also addressed is a black-screen noticed on monitors connected via DisplayPort, when resuming from S3 sleep. Also fixed is black screen noticed on BenQ XL2730 when the refresh-rate is set to the monitor's advertised 144 Hz. A Windows 7-specific error in which game frame-rates drop when both G-Sync and the in-game V-sync are enabled. Multiple apps throw up artifacts on Windows RS5 when resolution is changed, on machines with RTX 2080, which NVIDIA fixed with this release. An occasional crash on "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" with the game running in DirectX 12 mode was fixed.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 417.71 WHQL
The change-log follows.

ASUS Announces Expanded Memory Support for Z390 Motherboards

ASUS today announced that its Z390 motherboards will support a maximum DRAM capacity of 128GB via a UEFI BIOS update that's being rolled out from today on the ASUS support site. ASUS will bring this increased memory support to all Z390 motherboards via additional BIOS updates that will be available soon.

Previously, support for 128GB of DRAM was available only on high-end desktop (HEDT) motherboards with eight DIMM slots, such as the Intel X299 platform. Intel recently updated its memory reference code (MRC), enabling the memory controller in 9th Gen Intel Core processors to increase the supported capacity of each DIMM from 16GB to 32GB, resulting in a total system memory capacity of 128GB when populated with two DIMMs per channel (2DPC) on both memory channels. This increased memory support gives users more flexibility for running memory-intensive applications and tasks.

Akasa Vegas RAM Mate is a Trident Z-lookalike for your Non-RGB Memory Modules

Akasa unveiled the Vegas RAM Mate, the company's entry to the lucrative RGB memory heatspreader market. Borrowing a lot of design ideas from G.Skill's Trident-Z series, this heatspreader consists of two brushed aluminium plates that sandwich a silicone RGB LED diffuser at the top, with eight diodes. The RGB setup supports both 4-pin RGB and 3-pin addressable-RGB connectors. The heatspreader itself supports both VLP 18.3~18.7 mm-tall, and standard 30 mm-tall memory modules, which could be anything DDR1-thru-DDR4, as long as it's standard width (and not SO-DIMM). Akasa appears to be selling these in single-unit quantities, as opposed to some other companies selling their products in 2-piece kits. We expect it to be priced around USD $20-25.
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