Saturday, January 23rd 2021

AMD is Allegedly Preparing Navi 31 GPU with Dual 80 CU Chiplet Design

AMD is about to enter the world of chiplets with its upcoming GPUs, just like it has been doing so with the Zen generation of processors. Having launched a Radeon RX 6000 series lineup based on Navi 21 and Navi 22, the company is seemingly not stopping there. To remain competitive, it needs to be in the constant process of innovation and development, which is reportedly true once again. According to the current rumors, AMD is working on an RDNA 3 GPU design based on chiplets. The chiplet design is supposed to feature two 80 Compute Unit (CU) dies, just like the ones found inside the Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card.

Having two 80 CU dies would bring the total core number to exactly 10240 cores (two times 5120 cores on Navi 21 die). Combined with the RDNA 3 architecture, which brings better perf-per-watt compared to the last generation uArch, Navi 31 GPU is going to be a compute monster. It isn't exactly clear whatever we are supposed to get this graphics card, however, it may be coming at the end of this year or the beginning of the following year 2022.

NVIDIA to Drop Max-Q and Max-P Differentiators in Mobile GPU Specifications

NVIDIA has recently introduced its 3000 series of Ampere graphics cards designed for mobile/laptop devices. And usually, these GPUs in the past few years have been divided into two configurations: Max-P and Max-Q. The Max-P variant was a maximum performance configuration meant for more power usage and higher temperatures, representing a standard GPU configuration. The Max-Q design was, according to NVIDIA, "a system-wide approach to deliver high performance in thin and light gaming laptops. Every aspect of the laptop, chip, software, PCB design, power delivery, and thermals, are optimized for power and performance." Meaning that the Max-Q variants are more TGP limited compared to the Max-P configuration.


Update 23rd of January 11:35 UTC: NVIDIA spokesperson told Tom's Hardware that: "No, Max-Q branding is not going away. When we originally introduced Max-Q back in 2017, the brand was initially used in GPU naming since Max-Q referred to the GPU TGP only. Today, 3rd Generation Max-Q is broader, and is a holistic set of platform technologies and design approach to building powerful and thin laptops. In addition, to be more transparent about a laptop's exact capabilities, RTX 30 Series laptops now show more information than ever, listing exact TGP, clocks and features supported. You will find this in the control panel which now reports maximum power (TGP+Boost), and support for key features including Dynamic Boost 2, WhisperMode 2, Advanced Optimus, and others, all of which fall under the Max-Q umbrella. We strongly encourage OEMs to list clocks and other technologies a laptop supports, including Advanced Optimus, Dynamic Boost 2, and more. Ultimately, like all laptop features and specs, it is up to the OEM to market what their particular laptop configuration supports.)"
Friday, January 22nd 2021

Today's Reviews

Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
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NETGEAR Orbi LBR20 4G LTE WiFi Router Review

NETGEAR Orbi LBR20 4G LTE WiFi Router Review

The NETGEAR Orbi LBR20 is a hybrid mobile hotspot and WiFi mesh-capable router. With the option to pair to satellite units and have wired or 4G LTE Internet options, especially with the latter as a backup or even primary connection, it is a reliable home WiFi option for many across the globe without reliable wired broadband access.

Intel Has Fixed its 7 nm Node, But Outsourcing is Still Going to Happen

Intel has today reported its Q4 2020 earnings disclosing full-year revenue with the current CEO Bob Swan, upcoming new CEO Pat Gelsinger, and Omar Ishrak, Chairman of Intel's board. During the call, company officials have talked about Intel's earnings and most importantly, addressing the current problems about the company's manufacturing part - semiconductor foundries. Incoming Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger, has talked about the state of the 7 nm node, giving shareholders reassurance and a will to remain in such a position. He has made an argument that he has personally reviewed the progress of the "health and recovery of the 7 nm program."

The 7 nm node has been originally delayed by a full year amid the expectations, and as with the 10 nm node, we have believed that it is going to experience similar issues. However, the incoming CEO has reassured everyone that it is very much improving. The new 7 nm node is on track for 2023 delivery, when Intel is expected to compete with the 3 nm node of TSMC. Firstly, Intel will make a debut of the 7 nm node with client processors scheduled for 1H 2023 arrival, with data center models following that. The company leads have confirmed that Intel will stay true to its internal manufacturing, but have stressed that there will still be a need for some outsourcing to happen.

Seagate Technology Reports Fiscal Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) (the "Company" or "Seagate") today reported financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended January 1, 2021. "Seagate delivered strong, double-digit revenue, earnings and free cash flow growth in the December quarter supported by broad-based improvement across nearly every served market and geography, and we had solid customer demand for our mass capacity products," said Dave Mosley, Seagate's chief executive officer.

"We also achieved our technology milestone by shipping 20-terabyte HAMR drives in calendar 2020, paving the way for Seagate's continued success for years to come. As demand for data increases in both the cloud and at the edge, Seagate's new Lyve Storage Platform complements our HDD portfolio to help businesses address both the secular demand for mass capacity storage and the increasing complexity of managing data from edge-to-core cloud. We are well positioned to benefit from the tremendous opportunities we foresee ahead and remain focused on enhancing value for our customers, employees and shareholders."

GoodOffer24 New Year Sale Rolls On with Even More Deals on Genuine Software

GoodOffer24 builds upon its New Year 2021 Sale with more offers on discounted Genuine Software. Get Windows 10 Pro for as little as 11.47€ with a TechPowerUp-exclusive coupon code. Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC can be had for as little as 9.86€. Stay productive this year with the most powerful productivity suite, Office 2019 Professional Plus for 36.39€. Combine it with Windows 10 Pro for just 41.99€. Check out other great deals on editions of Windows 10 and Office, and their combinations. GoodOffer24 accepts PayPal, which secures your purchase.

Please use the coupon code TOP30 on the following items to avail the prices you see here.

Buy Windows 10 Pro for 11.47€ | Buy Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC for 9.86€ | Buy Windows 10 Pro 2-PC for 16.79€ | Buy Windows 10 Home for 11.01€ | Buy Office 2019 Home & Business for 41.31€ | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for 33.17€ | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus for 36.39€ | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional for 41.99€ | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional for 42.69€ | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional for 39.69€

Raijintek Intros Eleos RBW Tower-Type CPU Cooler

Raijintek today rolled out the Eleos RBW, an entry-level tower-type CPU cooler with addressable RGB illumination. The cooler features a conventional aluminium fin-tower type heatsink. Four 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU at the base, conveying heat through an aluminium fin-stack, which is ventilated by a 92 mm fan. The fin-stack heatsink features a plastic top-plate with an addressable RGB LED diffuser, the ARGB illuminated fan puts out additional bling.

The included 92 mm fan features 40,000-hour rated hydraulic bearings, spins between 800 to 2,000 RPM, pushing up to 52 CFM of air-flow, 1.9 mm H₂O static pressure, with up to 22.95 dBA noise output. The cooler measures 140 mm x 96 mm x 75 mm (HxWxD), weighing 580 g. Out of the box, the cooler comes with push-clips, so you can mount the cooler onto AMD Socket AM4 without needing any tools. Other sockets supported include LGA1200, LGA115x, and LGA2066. The company didn't reveal pricing.

G.Skill Announces Membership Program, Over 100 Prizes Up for Grabs

G.Skill is readying to expand its portfolio of PC components and gaming peripherals throughout 2021, and announced its Membership Program to let owners of G.Skill memory, peripherals, and cooling hardware register their products, share their experiences with fellow G.Skill owners, get access to direct support from G.Skill, and the latest updates from the company. The community could also, in the future, take the direction of overclocking and e-sports clans. To sweeten the deal for G.Skill owners to join the Membership Program, G.Skill announced the VIP Membership Giveaway.

G.Skill owners can accumulate points by registering their G.Skill hardware, these points add up to membership levels, which allow them to participate in the VIP Membership Giveaway. Up for grabs are over 100 prizes, which include G.Skill memory kits and other products. There are currently three Giveaway events running for various membership tiers, with entries closing on February 1, 2021, one of which only requires you to have a membership account (with no products registered); the other two are open to the VIP Gold and VIP Platinum membership levels.

For more information and to join the Membership Program, visit this page.

addlink Announces the P20 Portable SSD with USB 3.2

addlink today announced the launch of the new portable SSD that features read and write speeds up to 1,050 MB/s and 1000 MB/s via USB 3.2 Gen2 (10 Gbps). The P20 Portable SSD uses a USB 3.2 Gen2 interface with a USB Type-C connector. The maximum sequential read/write speed can reach up to 1050/1000 MB/s, which is nearly 10 times faster than traditional USB 3.2 Gen2 portable hard disk. Also, it is completely backward compatible with USB 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1 interface.

Inside the P20 is an addlink M.2 NVMe Gen3 x4 2280 TLC SSD. addlink is in the use of mature and proven 3D TLC flash in the drive (Compared to the QLC NAND used in other brand portable SSD) for better endurance and performance to assists with handling heavier data. The USB to M.2 SSD bridge chip is the latest Realtek PCIe/SATA to USB combo bridge (Realtek RTL9210B). It could barely hit 10 Gbps.

Intel Starts Production of "Ice Lake" Xeons, Ships 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S"

Intel in its FY 2020 + Q4 2020 earnings release revealed two important development milestones from its two core businesses. As part of its Q4 2020 business highlights disclosures, the company revealed that it has commenced mass-production of its next-generation Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake-SP" enterprise processors. These chips implement the "Ice Lake" microarchitecture, with "Sunny Cove" CPU cores that offer higher IPC over "Cascade Lake," and are built on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication node. Our older article details the 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" silicon, where each die offers up to 28 cores, and enables Intel to build processors with up to 56 cores using two such dies on multi-chip modules.

Next up, the company states that it has "started shipping" its 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors. "Shipping" in this context could even mean commencement of mass-production, and transfer of inventory down the supply chain, in the build up to a market availability date. At its digital keynote address on the sidelines of the 2021 International CES, Intel revealed many more details of "Rocket Lake-S," including its flagship Core i9-11900K 8-core processor, which it claims retakes the gaming performance lead that the company recently lost to AMD's Ryzen 5000 series. Multiple sources confirmed that these processors should be available only after mid-March, 2021.

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend increase of five percent to $1.39 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3475 per share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Demand for the computing performance Intel delivers remains very strong and our focus on growth opportunities is paying off. It has been an honor to lead this wonderful company, and I am proud of what we have achieved as a team. Intel is in a strong strategic and financial position as we make this leadership transition and take Intel to the next level."
Thursday, January 21st 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
SSD

Apple Reportedly Developing VR & AR Headsets For Launch in 2022 & 2023

Apple is reportedly developing an initial VR headset as a precursor to their eventual AR glasses. The upcoming VR headset will be a niche expensive product that may only be distributed through Apple's first-party stores and will cost considerably more than competing products from Oculus, Sony, and HTC. The headset will feature custom Apple silicon more powerful than their current M1 processor and include limited AR abilities. Apple had previously planned to develop a device that would harness the processing power of a user's mobile device but has since switched to a standalone solution which has increased complexity. The Apple VR headset codenamed N301 is currently in a late prototype stage and may be announced sometime in 2022, if this timeline holds then Apple may announce their AR glasses the next year in 2023.

Battlefield 6 a "Soft Reboot" with a Modern Setting, 128-player PvP and Battle Royale Modes Included

The upcoming "Battlefield 6" would mark a "soft-reboot" of the franchise in a modern-era setting; much like "Battlefield 3" was, according to Tom Henderson, a reliable source with leaks related to the franchise. He predicts that the game could even be titled simply "Battlefield" (not to be confused with "Battlefield 1"). The game (if it includes a campaign), could have a modern mechanized warfare setting, and be a marked departure from the historic (or pseudo-historic) plots of "Battlefield 1" and "Battlefield V."

Much like how Activision is handling various game modes with its latest releases of "Call of Duty," the next Battlefield could include a dedicated Battle Royale mode that's more evolved than simply being a gameplay mode within its Multiplayer. The main Multiplayer could build on the modes Battlefield perfected, including large PvP conquests with up to 128 players on the PC platform (fewer players on consoles).

Gabe Newell Confirms That Valve Has Multiple Games In Development

Gabe Newell who is currently residing in New Zealand has recently confirmed in a new interview that his company Valve "definitely has games in development that they're going to be announcing". With the positive release of Half-Life: Alyx the company plans to create further single-player games and Gabe noted that there is a lot of momentum within Valve to do so.

Gabe Newell has been living with his family in New Zealand since early 2020 when they decided to stay in the country after a holiday due to the countries successful management of COVID-19. He has now been granted New Zealand residency in principle and is actively considering transferring Valve operations and major events to the country. This includes hosting the companies DOTA 2 and CS:GO annual esports tournaments which had to be canceled in 2020 and "strong interest" from employees for relocation.

NVIDIA RTX 2070 Modded to Support 16GB Memory

PC enthusiast VIK-on pulled off a sophisticated memory mod for the GeForce RTX 2070, doubling its memory amount to 16 GB. In a detailed video presentation (linked below), VIK-on demonstrated how he carefully removed the 8 Gb Micron-made GDDR6 memory chips of his card, with 16 Gb Samsung-made chips he bought off AliExpress for $200. Memory replacement mods are extremely difficult to pull off, as you first de-solder the existing chips using a hot air gun while keeping the contacts on the PCB intact (ensuring no pins short); and solder the replacement BGA memory chips in place.

In addition, a set of "jumpers" on the PCB need to be modified to make it recognize the Samsung memory. The resulting card booted to desktop successfully, with GPU-Z reading its full 16 GB memory size. The card successfully made it through 3DMark TimeSpy, albeit with 30% lower performance than a normal RTX 2070 (6176 points vs. ~9107 points). The card would also crash Furmark. Still, it's mighty impressive that the "TU106" recognizes 16 GB of addressable memory (which means all its memory channels are intact), without the need for any BIOS mods, which is impossible to pull off.
Watch the VIK-on video presentation here.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.1.1

AMD late Thursday released the Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.1.1 beta graphics drivers. The drivers add optimization for "Hitman 3," with up to 10% performance uplift measured at 4K with an RX 6800 XT, compared to the previous 20.12.1 drivers. The new 21.1.1 drivers also add support for "Quake II RTX." A large number of issues were fixed. For starters, an issue with Radeon Software that caused recording/streaming overlay indicator to reset itself to its default position has been fixed, sometimes even after task switch, which have been fixed. The performance metrics overlay flickering on displays with HDR enabled has been fixed.

Reflections failing to appear in "GTA V" with reflections MSAA enabled, has been fixed. PUBG session timer continuing in Radeon Software even after exiting the application has been fixed. "DOOM Eternal" crashing with Steam Overlay enabled, has been fixed. Radeon Software recorded content appearing cropped or at an incorrect resolution on Radeon RX Vega series has been fixed. Samsung Odyssey G9 C49G95T noticing display corruption at 5K 240 Hz has been fixed. Anisotropic filtering forced through Radeon Software not taking effect in Direct3D 9 applications on RDNA graphics cards, has been fixed. Sceptre C series or Samsung Odyssey G9 displays experiencing intermittent black screens with Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs has been fixed, as were issues related to Oculus Link on "Polaris" and "Vega" GPUs. Grab the driver from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.1.1

Philips Releases 288E2UAE Monitor: 28" 8-bit IPS, 4K, 60 Hz, 4 ms, 119% sRGB - $300

Philips today via its distributor MMD announced the 288E2UAE Monitor, a cost-effective 4K monitor with a 28" diagonal. The monitor features a native 8-bit display (10-bit FRC) with a pretty run-of-the mill 60 Hz refresh rate, 300 cd/m² luminance and 1000:1 static contrast for its 4K resolution. The 4 ms response time won't earn it any accolades, but that's to be expected on a 4K resolution monitor that is expected to retail for around $300. The 119% sRGB and 106.9% NTSC coverage sit above the mainstream monitors for color reproduction, but likely won't be enough for content creators - despite the monitor's color accuracy of DeltaE < 2.

I/O wise, the Philips 288E2UAE offers a 5x USB 3.2 hub, configured at 1x upstream and 4x downstream ports, 1x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort, alongisde 1x 3.5 mm audio output and 2x 3 W integrated speakers. The display further features an anti-reflection coating, and firmware-based EasyRead, Flicker-free and LowBlue technologies.

Visualize, Synchronize, Mesmerize - CORSAIR Launches New VENGEANCE RGB PRO SL Memory

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a new range of high-performance DDR4 memory kits to its renowned VENGEANCE RGB PRO lineup, CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB PRO SL. Initially available in a wide range of frequencies up to 3,600MHz and kits up to 128GB (4x32GB) in both black and white, VENGEANCE RGB PRO SL boasts dynamic ten-zone RGB lighting in a form-factor just 44mm tall, offering wide compatibility with nearly any PC build. Each module is tightly screened and optimized for peak performance and overclocking potential, for memory that matches its mesmerizing visuals with equally impressive performance.

At 44mm tall, VENGEANCE RGB PRO SL's compact form-factor enables compatibility with a multitude of CPU cooler options, including dual-fan AIO liquid CPU coolers and many air coolers such as the CORSAIR A500. Ten individually addressable RGB LEDs per module are massively customizable through CORSAIR iCUE software, and can be synchronized with all iCUE-compatible devices throughout your setup for stunning lighting effects across the entire iCUE ecosystem.

ASUS Showcases ROG Ryujin II AIO Cooler With 3.5" LCD Display

ASUS has showcased an update to their ROG Ryujin AIO, which features an LCD display that's far increased in size compared to the original's 1.77" OLED. The ROG Ryiujin 2 features a redesign of the OLED screen component (now an LCD, likely due to OLED burn-in) sitting on top of the CPU waterblock, now measuring in at a whopping 3.5", that can be user-configured to showcase ROG pre-installed graphics, system data such as temperatures, voltages, and etc, or even user-created graphics.

The ROG Ryujin II looks much the same as its predecessor, barring the new larger display. While the original sold at an MSRP of $220, the ROG Ryujin II will likely retail for higher than that. While the cooler features RGB lighting capabilities, ROG elected to showcase it in a more subdued approach, marrying the LCD graphics with the black aesthetics of its ROG Maximus Z590 Hero motherboard. A beautiful AIO loop, to be sure, although the expectedly high pricing may give would-be buyers some pause.

Industry R&D Spending To Rise 4% After Hitting Record in 2020: IC Insights

Research and development spending by semiconductor companies worldwide is forecast to grow 4% in 2021 to $71.4 billion after rising 5% in 2020 to a record high of $68.4 billion, according to IC Insights' new 2021 edition of The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry. Total R&D spending by semiconductor companies is expected to rise by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% between 2021 and 2025 to $89.3 billion.

When the world was hit by the Covid-19 virus health crisis in 2020, wary semiconductor suppliers kept a lid on R&D spending increases, even though total semiconductor industry revenue grew by a surprising 8% in the year despite the economic fallout from the deadly pandemic. Semiconductor R&D expenditures as a percentage of worldwide industry sales slipped to 14.2% in 2020 compared to 14.6% in 2019, when research and development spending declined 1% and total semiconductor revenue fell 12%. Figure 1 plots semiconductor R&D spending levels and the spending-to-sales ratios over the past two decades and IC Insights' forecast through 2025.

Colorful Releases Two New RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Cards

Colorful today has added two new graphics cards to its staple of NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti models, the iGame GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Ultra White OC and iGame GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Advanced OC. Both of them feature a triple fan cooling solution (2x 90 mm and 1x 80 mm central fan), and feature a "one click overclock" function that's manifested in a I/O panel button. Both are equally equipped with 8 GB of 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory, and both feature an I/O configuration set at 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI 2.0. Both also feature a 2x 8-pin power delivery subsystem.

The iGame GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Ultra White OC features a white cover and backplate (as the name implies), although there are some colored graphics in the shroud, which prevent it from being used in minimalist builds. The card features a base clock of 1,410 MHz, a Boost clock of 1,665 MHz (with the One-Key Overclock function driving it up to 1,770 MHz). The external dimensions are 315 mm length, 131.5 mm width, and 56 mm thickness. As for the iGame GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Advanced OC, it keeps all the clocks of the Ultra White OC except for the One-Key Overclock function, which drives it 30 MHz higher up to 1,800 MHz. External dimensions are 315.5 mm length, 131 mm width, and 53 mm thickness.

Acer Releases Pair of New 11-inch Chromebooks for Education

Acer today announced a pair of new 11-inch Chromebooks for the education market with well-rounded features intended to make it as easy as possible for a school to go digital: military durability standards let parents trust that the devices are reliable, Zero-touch enrollment makes it easy for IT to roll them out, and students will enjoy the intuitive responsiveness of Chrome OS.

The Acer Chromebook 511 (C741L) is an 11.6-inch notebook computer that simplifies the process of establishing a digital learning environment, with a number of features that will benefit both the students using the devices and the school administrators rolling them out. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c compute platform allows for up to 20 hours of battery life between charges on top of offering an efficient performance to keep up with students' learning needs. Utilizing Snapdragon 7c, the Acer Chromebook 511 also delivers built-in 4G LTE connectivity to help protect the security of users' data and to provide fast, reliable access to learning apps in the cloud -- enabling students to take the classroom with them and learn from virtually anywhere. Weighing in at just 1.3 kg (2.87 lbs), this thin and light device is portable enough for students of all ages to easily transport between classes.

ZADAK Announces TWSS3 SATA SSD

ZADAK, a leading provider of enthusiast PC gaming components and innovative water cooling solutions, announces a new TWSS3 2.5" SSD to expand its storage lineup beyond the SPARK PCIe GEN 3x4 M.2 RGB SSD series. Built with SATA III 6 Gb/s interface and 3D NAND Flash memory, the TWSS3 is a great option for any PC upgrade moving from HDDs as it provides a boost in performance speeds, and is a durable, reliable, compact, and low power consumption high capacity storage device.

The TWSS3 is for PC users looking to improve their system's performance. With sequential read and write speeds of 560/540 MB/s, users will be able to instantly notice improvements in their system startup loading time and program responsiveness. Available in capacities of 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB, the TWSS3 offers reliability and durability with its built-in functionalities of Advanced Wear Leveling to ensure the longevity of the flash memory, Error-correcting code memory (ECC) to prevent data corruption, and TRIM command to protect the performance and keep it highly efficient even after long-term usage.

Samsung Display to Introduce First 90Hz OLED Laptop Display

While most laptops and notebooks now offer a 60 Hz refresh rate, Samsung Display announced today that it will mass produce the world's first 90 Hz OLED laptops in the first quarter of this year. Samsung Display Chief Executive Officer Joo Sun Choi said that the company will initially produce very large quantities of 14-inch, 90 Hz OLED displays destined for laptops and notebooks, beginning in March.

"OLED display panels can best satisfy the diverse consumer needs for laptops used in telework, online education, video streaming, and gaming," the company said. Samsung Display said it is helping to introduce a major shift in the market as it collaborates closely with global manufacturers to achieve a new level of excellence for refresh rates in laptops, beginning this year.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX Storms to the Top of PassMark Mobile CPU Leaderboard

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, the company's flagship mobile processor announced at the 2021 International CES, has stormed to the top of the PassMark mobile CPU leaderboard. The 8-core/16-thread processor, codenamed "Cezanne," is based on AMD's latest "Zen 3" microarchitecture. It tops the charts with 24,039 points, compared to 16,594 points of the Intel Core i9-10980HK, team blue's current flagship in the 45+ W segment. Both the 5900HX and i9-10980HK are unlocked 8-core parts. The 5900HX also ends up 21% faster than AMD's previous mobile flagship, the Ryzen 9 4900HS, and 25% faster than the 4800H. Intel's upcoming 8-core "Tiger Lake" mobile processor, due for the second half of 2021, has its task cut out.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce Hotfix Driver v461.33

NVIDIA Wednesday released a Hotfix update to its GeForce software. Version 461.33 Hotfix addresses a few glaring bugs with the software that need to be immediately put out than waiting for the next WHQL update to take shape. For starters, the update fixes an Adobe Premiere Pro crash observed when using Mercury Playback Engine with CUDA GPU acceleration.

An application hang with NVIDIA Broadcast camera filters seen after GeForce 461.09 drivers has been fixed. Certain stuttering and lagging issues observed with Steam VR have been fixed. Random crashes with "Detroit: Become Human" have been fixed. Incorrect colors on Zoom video calls when using NVENC have been fixed. "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" crashing after extended gameplay has been fixed. "X4: Foundations" game crashes on GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs, and a broken HUD in Vulkan API mode, has been fixed. Grab the drivers from the links below.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce Hotfix 461.33 Standard | NVIDIA GeForce Hotfix 461.33 DCH

"Nehalem" Lead Architect Rejoins Intel to Work on New High-Performance Architecture

The original "Nehalem" CPU microarchitecture from 2008 was pivotal to Intel, as it laid the foundation for Intel's mainline server and client x86 processors for the following 12-odd years. Glenn Hinton, the lead architect behind "Nehalem," announced that he is rejoining Intel after 3 years of retirement, to work on a new high-performance CPU project. Hinton states that his decision to rejoin Intel out of his retirement was influenced by Pat Gelsinger joining the company as its new CEO. Jim Keller, a CPU architecture lead behind several commercially-successful architectures, recently left Intel after a brief stint leading an undisclosed CPU core project. Keller later took up the mantle of CEO at hardware start-up Tenstorrent.

Pat Gelsinger leading Intel is expected to have a big impact on its return to technological leadership in its core businesses, as highlighted in Gelsinger's recent comments on the need for Intel to be better than Apple (which he referred to as "that lifestyle company") at making CPUs, in reference to Apple's new M1 chip taking the ultraportable notebook industry by storm. The other front Intel faces stiff competition from, is AMD, which has achieved IPC parity with Intel, and is beating it on energy-efficiency, taking advantage of the 7 nm silicon fabrication process.
Wednesday, January 20th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Processors
SSD
ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Pro (WiFi) Review

ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Pro (WiFi) Review

The ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Pro (WiFi) is the latest from the brand's popular TUF Gaming Alliance. Featuring a powerful VRM, plenty of storage connectivity, and a broad family of TUF components to match with, the ASUS TUF Gaming X570-Pro (WiFi) could be the perfect balance of price to performance.

EK Water Blocks Releases Founders Edition RTX 3090 Special Edition Block

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is proud to finally unveil its Special Edition high-performance GPU water blocks for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition graphics card. The EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3090 D-RGB, just like the 3080 model, comes in two versions - Silver and Black, both featuring stark contrasts between the aluminium outer shell and backplate, as well as the Plexi window and terminal illuminated with addressable D-RGB LEDs.

These water blocks come with two types of connection terminals, offering unrivaled versatility. The performance is one of the key elements of the design, which is why this block features a 30% larger fin area compared to other water blocks from the Vector family.

European Commission Fines Valve, Five Game Publishers in €7.8 Million for Regional Pricing and Geo-blocking Practices

The European Commission has issued a fine to Valve and five game publishers (Bandai Namco, Focus Home Interactive, Capcom, Koch Media, and ZeniMax after an antitrust probe decided the companies violated EU antitrust laws. The Commission investigated regional pricing and geo-blocking practices that were put in place by valve and the hitherto fined publishers, and says that these rule-breaking pricing manipulations resulted from bilateral agreements between game publishers and Valve between 2010 and 2015, as well as from purpose-built licensing and distribution licenses between four out of five fined publishers between 2007 and 2018.

The European Commission found these practices to relieve "European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market and of the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU". In particular, the offendants sold video game licenses relative to some 100 different titles at lower pricing in certain Eastern Europe countries, and which could not be activated in Western Europe. The fine's total amount of €7.8 million is shared between Valve (€1,624,000); Bandai Namco (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €340,000); Capcom (15% fine reduction for cooperation, €396,000); Focus Home Interactive (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €2,888,000); Koch Media (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €977,000), and ZeniMax (10% fine reduction for cooperation, €1,664,000). Valve didn't receive any fine reduction because the company elected not to cooperate with the Commission.

NVIDIA to Re-introduce GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER GPUs

We are just a few weeks away from the launch of NVIDIA's latest GeForce RTX 3060 graphics cards based on the new Ampere architecture, and there is already some news regarding the lineup position and its possible distortion. According to multiple sources over at Overclocking.com, NVIDIA is set to re-introduce its previous generation GeForce RTX 2060 and RTX 2060 SUPER graphics cards to the market. Once again. The source claims that NVIDIA is already pushing the stock over to its board partners and system integrators to use the last-generation product. So far, it is not clear why the company is doing this and we can only speculate on it.

The source also claims that the pricing structure of the old cards will be 300 EUR for RTX 2060 and 400 EUR for RTX 2060 SUPER in Europe. The latter pricing models directly competes with the supposed 399 EUR price tag of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti model, which is based on the newer Ampere uArch instead of the last-gen Turing cards. The possibility for such a move is a possible scarce of GA106/GA104 silicon needed for the new cards, and the company could be aiming to try and satisfy the market with left-over stock from the previous generation cards.

Linux Gets Ported to Apple's M1-Based Devices

When Apple introduces its lineup of devices based on the custom Apple Silicon, many people have thought that it represents the end for any further device customization and that Apple is effectively locking-up the ecosystem even more. That is not the case we have today. Usually, developers working on Macs are always in need of another operating system to test their software and try it out. It means that they have to run some virtualization software like virtual machines to test another OS like Linux and possibly Windows. However, it would be a lot easier if they could just boot that OS directly on the device and that is exactly why we are here today.

Researchers from Corellium, a startup company based in Florida, working on ARM device virtualization, have pulled off an incredible feat. They have managed to get Linux running on Apple's M1 custom silicon based devices. The CTO of Corellium, Mr. Chris Wade, has announced that Linux is now fully usable on M1 silicon. The port can take full advantage of the CPU, however, there is no GPU acceleration for now, and graphics are set to the software rendering mode. Corellium also promises to take the changes it made upstream to the Linux kernel itself, meaning open-source and permissive license model. Below you can find an image of Apple M1 Mac Mini running the latest Ubuntu OS build.

MediaTek Launches 6nm Dimensity 1200 Premium 5G SoC

MediaTek today unveiled its new Dimensity 1200 and Dimensity 1100 5G smartphone chipsets with unrivaled AI, camera and multimedia features for powerful 5G experiences. The addition of the 6 nm Dimensity 1200 and 1100 chipsets to MediaTek's 5G portfolio gives device makers a growing suite of options to design highly capable 5G smartphones with top of the line camera features, graphics, connectivity enhancements and more.

"MediaTek continues to expand its 5G portfolio with highly integrated solutions for a range of devices from the high-end to the mid-tier," said JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit. "Our new Dimensity 1200 stands out with its impressive 200MP camera support and advanced AI capabilities, in addition to its innovative connectivity, display, audio and gaming enhancements."

MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of the MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force, an interesting new product from MSI slotted in its upper-mid tier MPG line of motherboards. This Socket LGA1200 motherboard based on the Intel Z590 chipset is characterized by a Hip Hop design language that's a break away from the company's other MPG Z590 motherboards, with a dash of neon-noir colors. A pair solid ridged heatsinks cool the board's 16-phase CPU VRM. Another set of three heatsinks cover its three M.2 NVMe slots, one of which is PCIe Gen 4 and wired to the LGA1200 socket, and the other two to the Z590 PCH.

Expansion slots on the MPG Z590 Gaming Force include two PCI-Express 4.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated), an x16 (electrical PCI-Express 3.0 x4) slot that's wired to the PCH, and a pair of x1 slots. The rest of the board's feature set appears to roughly match the MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon, including a 6-pin PCIe power input to supplement the two 8-pin EPS and 24-pin ATX power inputs, POST debug readout, a fairly premium onboard audio solution, and other connectivity that possibly includes 2.5 GbE.
MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force

GIGABYTE Outs GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB

GIGABYTE is ready with its GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB graphics card. This card is extensively based on the company's more affordable Gaming OC custom-design RTX 3080 PCB, but comes with a factory-fitted full-coverage water-block, and is targeted at those with DIY liquid cooling setups. GIGABYTE sells another such custom RTX 3080 card, the RTX 3080 AORUS Xtreme WaterForce WB, which is based on the top-tier AORUS Xtreme PCB. The new RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB is about 32 cm in length, same as the air-cooled card it's derived from, is 2 slots thick, and standard height. In comparison, the AORUS Xtreme WaterForce WB is 25.2 cm in length (just about the length of the PCB), 16.3 cm tall, and the block is single-slot thick, although its I/O forces it to be 2-slot.

The GIGABYTE RTX 3080 Gaming OC WaterForce WB uses nickel-plated copper as its primary material for the water-block, capped by an acrylic top that's mostly covered by by a plastic+metal shroud. The top is studded with addressable RGB LEDs that can be controlled using GIGABYTE's RGB Fusion software. The card comes with the same 1800 MHz GPU Boost factory-OC as its air-cooled sibling (compared to 1710 MHz reference). It does not come with the leak-detection feature you get with the AORUS Xtreme WaterForce WB. Connectivity includes three DisplayPort 1.4a and two HDMI 2.1 connectors. The card pulls power from two 8-pin PCIe inputs. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Tuesday, January 19th 2021
HyperX Pulsefire Haste Review

HyperX Pulsefire Haste Review

At just 57 g, the ambidextrous Pulsefire Haste is HyperX's first ultra-lightweight mouse. Equipped with TTC Golden switches rated for 60 M clicks for the main buttons, PixArt's PAW3335 sensor, high quality pure PTFE feet, and a highly flexible, braided cable, the Pulsefire Haste should be worth a look if you’re after an affordable gaming mouse.

HP Powers Digital Classroom Experiences with New Chromebooks

HP Inc. announced five new Chromebooks to help teachers and students stay connected, productive, focused, and secure whether at home, in the classroom, or a blend of both. The PC has never been more essential in education. There has been a 46% increase in device shipments for teachers and students over the past year and 66% of teachers expect blended learning to continue after the pandemic. With nearly 70% of teachers and students feeling less connected to each other during the pandemic,4 HP's technology solutions foster collaboration and community during this time of unprecedented change, ensuring teachers can find new ways to connect with students, and students can be seen and heard regardless of their location.

"HP is committed to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. With education no longer confined to the four walls of the classroom, HP is creating technology that helps teachers, students, as well as parents, thrive in blended learning environments," said Bill Avey, General Manager and Global Head of Education, Personal Systems, HP Inc. "HP's innovative Chromebook lineup gives educators and students access to flexible, engaging, and personalized devices that are critical to ensuring a quality education."

Acer Unveils Tough New TravelMate Spin B3 Laptop for Classrooms

Acer today announced the new TravelMate Spin B3 (TMB311R-32) convertible laptop with military-grade durability, a device specially designed for classrooms. The touchscreen device features a Full HD webcam and blazing-fast Intel Wi-Fi 6, providing students with everything they need to succeed in interactive or virtual classrooms that make heavy use of media-based teaching materials.

Ultimately, the Acer TravelMate Spin B3 is a reliable device that strives to provide protection against common accidents, allowing parents and teachers to focus on what matters most: learning.

Privacy Focused DuckDuckGo Search Engine Surpasses 100 Million Daily Searches

The privacy-focused DuckDuckGo search engine has seen tremendous growth recently surpassing 100 million daily searches on January 11th 2021. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from competing search engines by not customizing ads to a specific user instead showing ads purely based on the search term. Since DuckDuckGo was launched in 2008 they have grown from processing 100,000 searches a day to now over 100 million searches daily. For comparison, Google processes roughly 5.5 billion searches a day and Bing 200 million so while DuckDuckGo still has a long way to go to becoming a household name they have made remarkable progress. This latest round of growth can be attributed to the upcoming WhatsApp privacy policy changes which have reminded consumers of the importance of internet privacy and security.

Thermaltake Introduces the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, today announced the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk. The new technology and extensive functions of the desk include electric height adjustment control, anti-collision safety sensor, cable management space, and a built-in full surface RGB mouse pad for users to customize their own battle colors! The illuminating full surface mouse pad comes with 16.8M RGB color combinations; brightness, speed, and direction of the lighting effects are customizable via the iTAKE software. Exterior design and functionalities of the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk are conceptualized for both multi-monitor gaming setups and office use.

NVIDIA Quietly Relaxes Certification Requirements for NVIDIA G-SYNC Ultimate Badge

UPDATED January 19th 2021: NVIDIA in a statement to Overclock3D had this to say on the issue:
Late last year we updated G-SYNC ULTIMATE to include new display technologies such as OLED and edge-lit LCDs.

All G-SYNC Ultimate displays are powered by advanced NVIDIA G-SYNC processors to deliver a fantastic gaming experience including lifelike HDR, stunning contract, cinematic colour and ultra-low latency gameplay. While the original G-SYNC Ultimate displays were 1000 nits with FALD, the newest displays, like OLED, deliver infinite contrast with only 600-700 nits, and advanced multi-zone edge-lit displays offer remarkable contrast with 600-700 nits. G-SYNC Ultimate was never defined by nits alone nor did it require a VESA DisplayHDR1000 certification. Regular G-SYNC displays are also powered by NVIDIA G-SYNC processors as well.

The ACER X34 S monitor was erroneously listed as G-SYNC ULTIMATE on the NVIDIA web site. It should be listed as "G-SYNC" and the web page is being corrected.
NVIDIA has silently updated their NVIDIA G-SYNC Ultimate requirements compared to their initial assertion. Born as a spin-off from NVIDIA's G-SYNC program, whose requirements have also been laxed compared to their initial requirements for a custom and expensive G-SYNC module that had to be incorporated in monitor designs, the G-SYNC Ultimate badge is supposed to denote the best of the best in the realm of PC monitors: PC monitors that feature NVIDIA's proprietary G-SYNC module and HDR 1000, VESA-certified panels. This is opposed to NVIDIA's current G-SYNC Compatible (which enables monitors sans the G-SYNC module but with support for VESA's VRR standard to feature variable refresh rates) and G-SYNC (for monitors that only feature G-SYNC modules but may be lax in their HDR support) programs.

Samsung Officially Announces 870 EVO SATA SSD Series

Samsung today has officially taken the lid off their latest consumer-oriented SATA SSDs, the 870 EVO. The 870 EVO series from Samsung don't push the maximum storage density ceiling on traditional SATA consumer drives, topping out at a maximum 4 TB, but they do achieve that ceiling whilst making use of Samsung's 128-layer TLC (Triple-Layer-Cell) NAND, which offers increased endurance (and higher theoretical performance than) more widespread QLC-based SSDs (of which Samsung launched the 870 QVO back in July 2020).

Samsung quotes SATA sequential read and write speeds of 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s respectively, with a "variable SLC" cache (which means it decreases in maximum size as the available free drive space decreases). The drives are also quoted at 98K IOPS Random Read, and 88K IOPS Write, and feature the company's Intelligent TurboWrite to maintain the interface's SATA 6 Gbps saturation as long as possible before sustained performance degradation appears. Samsung claims the 870 EVO also delivers a nearly 38% improvement in random read speeds over the previous 860 model, and quotes a (TBW) rating of 2,400 TB (or a 5-year limited warranty, whichever comes first) for its 4 TB model. The 870 EVO is available in either 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, or 4 TB capacities, with the drives' RAM buffer scaling almost accordingly (512 MB DDR3 for the 256/512 Gb models, 1 GB for the 1 TB, 2 GB for the 2 TB drive, and 4 GB for the 4 TB one. Pricing starts at $49,99 for the 256 GB model; 500 GB for $79.99, 1 TB for $139.99; 2 TB for $269.99; and 4 TB for $529.99.

Qualcomm Announces Boosted Snapdragon 870 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. unveiled the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G Mobile Platform, a follow-on to the flagship Snapdragon 865 Plus, which features an enhanced Qualcomm Kryo 585 CPU prime core clock speed of up to 3.2 GHz. The new Snapdragon 870 is designed to deliver increased performance across the board for geared-up gameplay with insanely fast Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming experiences, truly global 5G sub-6 GHz and mmWave, and ultra-intuitive AI.

"Building upon the success of Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, the new Snapdragon 870 was designed to address OEM and mobile industry requirements," said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon 870 will power a selection of flagship devices from key customers including Motorola, iQOO, OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi."

16-Core Intel Alder Lake-S Processor Appears with DDR5 Memory

Intel has just launched its Rocket Lake-S desktop lineup of processors during this year's CES 2021 virtual event. However, the company is under constant pressure from the competition and it seems like it will not stop with that launch for this year. Today, thanks to the popular leaker @momomo_us on Twitter, we have the first SiSoftware entries made from the anonymous Alder Lake-S system. Dubbed a heterogeneous architecture, Alder Lake is supposed to be Intel's first desktop attempt at making big.LITTLE style of processors for general consumers. It is supposed to feature Intel 10 nm Golden Cove CPU "big" cores & Gracemont "small" CPU cores.

The SiSoftware database entry showcases a prototype system that has 16 cores and 32 threads running at the base frequency of 1.8 GHz and a boost speed of 4 GHz. There is 12.5 MB of L2 cache (split into 10 pairs of 1.25 MB) and 30 MB of level-three (L3) cache present on the processor. There is also an Alder Lake-S mobile graphics controller that runs at 1.5 GHz. Intel Xe gen 12.2 graphics is responsible for the video output. When it comes to memory, Alder Lake-S is finally bringing the newest DDR5 standard with a new motherboard chipset and socket called LGA 1700.

ASUS Unveils GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER ZAKU II EDITION Graphics Card

ASUS has been super hyped-up about the popular Japanese military science fiction media franchise/media mix called GUNDAM, where the company has developed multiple products based on the series. Starting with the all-white GUNDAM GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards to the latest edition of ASUS TUF Gaming X3 GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER ZAKU II EDITION graphics card, ASUS seems to be loving the fiction universe of GUNDAM. The latest GTX 1660 SUPER graphics card is a factory overclocked design with a slight improvement to the boost speed. The GPU will boost up to 1830 MHz, representing a mere 2.5% improvement. The rest of the specifications match the reference GTX 1660 SUPER design with 1408 CUDA cores and 6 GB of GDDR6 14 Gbps memory.

However, the main appealing and marketing thing about this card is not its overclocking speeds, but rather its aesthetics. It features Char's MS-06S ZAKU II Mobile Suit color scheme, which is a red colorway. It comes in a 2.7 slot body with a triple-fan cooling system, and a special red backplate with some stylish character animation.

Chinese Tianshu Zhixin Announces Big Island GPGPU on 7 nm, 24 billion Transistors

Chinese company Shanghai Tianshu Zhixin Semiconductor Co., Ltd., commonly known (at least in Asia) as Tianshu Zhixin, has announced the availability of their special-purpose GPGPU, affectionately referred to as Big Island (BI). The BI chip is the first fully domestic-designed solution for the market it caters to, and features close to the latest in semiconductor manufacturing, being built on a 7 nm process featuring 2.5D CoWoS (chip-on-wafer-on-substrate) packaging. The chip is built towards AI and HPC applications foremost, with applications in other industries such as education, medicine, and security. The manufacturing and packaging processes seem eerily similar to those available from Taiwanese TSMC.

Tianshu Zhixin started work on the BI chip as early as 2018, and has announced that the chip features support for most AI and HPC data processing formats, including FP32, FP16, BF16, INT32, INT16, and INT8 (this list is not exhaustive). The company says the chip offers twice the performance of existing mainstream products on the market, and emphasizes its price/performance ratio. The huge chip (it packs as many as 24 billion transistors) is being teased by the company as offering as much as 147 TFLOPs in FP126 workloads, compared to 77.97 TFLOPs in the NVIDIA A100 (54 billion transistors) and 184.6 TFLOPS from the AMD Radeon Instinct MI100 (estimated at 50 billion transistors).

BIOSTAR Announces the Z590 Valkyrie and Z590I Valkyrie Flagship Motherboards

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices today announces the launch of their latest Z590 VALKYRIE series motherboard range engineered to run Intel's 11th Gen Rocket Lake-S processors.

Designed based on the latest Z590 chipset from Intel, BIOSTAR's VALKYRIE series motherboards are a brand-new breed of enthusiast grade motherboards in the market. Launched in two versions with two different form factors, the Z590 VALKYRIE (ATX) and the Z590I VALKYRIE (Mini-ITX) both carries a fully armored cover design resonating with BIOSTAR's goal of producing a premium flagship motherboard range that adds form, functionality and the wow factor to their product range.

Arctic MX-5 Thermal Compound Listed Ahead of Launch

Arctic is readying its first new high-performance thermal compound in over a decade, the MX-5. 4-gram syringes of the compound started surfacing on Amazon UK, where it's listed for £13.59 (includes UK VAT). The listing does not mention the all-important thermal conductivity or viscosity figures for the compound, but mentions that it is not metal-based (doesn't contain metal particles), is electrically non-conductive (so you can use it on bare FCBGAs/FCPGAs without an IHS) and is designed to hold integrity up to 8 years after an application. The listing mentions a "ships by" date of March 15, 2021, which is also its release date.

Antec Rolls Out DF700 FLUX Mid-Tower Case

Antec today rolled out the DF700 FLUX, an ATX mid-tower case characterized by a unique design for its high-airflow front-panel mesh intake. Rather than a flat panel shape for its mesh, the DF700's mesh curves to the pattern of a wavefront. The top panel features the case's second large mesh vent, while the left side panel is tinted tempered glass. Inside, the case features a conventional horizontally partitioned layout, with the upper compartment that houses the motherboard tray, offering room for graphics cards up to 40.5 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 17.5 cm in height.

Ventilation options in the DF700 FLUX include three 140 mm / 120 mm front intakes, either three 120 mm or two 140 mm top exhausts, a 120 mm rear exhaust, and two 120 mm conveyors between the bottom and top compartments. The case includes a 5-channel fan+ARGB controller. Storage options include two 3.5-inch drive-bays, a 3.5-inch mount, and three 2.5-inch mounts for a total of six spaces. Front panel connectivity includes a pair of USB 3.x type-A, and HDA jacks. The case measures 467 mm x 220 mm x 486 mm (DxWxH).

Update Jan 19th: The company revealed MSRP pricing in Europe to be 86€.

AOC Launches the AG323QCX2 Curved Monitor: 31.5" VA, WQHD, 155 Hz, 1ms, FreeSync, 1500R, HDR 400

AOC today launched another addition to their gaming monitor lineup in the form of the AG323QCX2. This particular entry from AOC features a 2560 x 1440 8WQHD) 31.5" panel with a VA pixel matrix, which will ensure fast response times - as shown by the 155 HZ refresh rate and 1 ms response time. To support that refresh rate, the AOC AG323QCX2 features support for VESA's VRR (FreeSync). With a contrast ratio set at 3000:1 and a 1500R curvature, this panel looks like a competent solution for users who are looking for 1080p+ resolutions but don't want to bring their graphics cards to their knees with 4K resolution (a reality that is still common, even with the latest (unavailable) GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA.

The AG323QCX2 also features support for VESA's HDR 400 standard, with a typical luminance announced at 400 cd/m² (and HDR10 support). Color technology-wise, we're looking at a a good 99% sRGB color coverage, and a great 91% coverage of the DCI-P3 color spaces, with a calibration that ensures a Delta-E < 2 value, which opens up this monitor's usage for photo and video editing. I/O is assured by 2x DisplayPort 1.3 and 2x HDMI 2.0 (limiting its usage for the latest-gen consoles), 4x USB 3.2 downstream ports, 1x Mic-in, 1x Audio Out, and 2x internal 5 W speakers. Quality-of-life wise, the monitor features inclination, rotation and height adjustments, a 75 x 75 mm VESA mount, blue light filtering and flicker-free background lighting. The monitor comes in at a hefty 7.2 Kg (sans stand). No information on pricing was available at time of writing.

TerraMaster Announces F5-422 NAS with 10GbE Networking For Growing Businesses

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products including network-attached storage (NAS) devices, expands its 10GbE Series with the F5-422 5-bay quad-core NAS. The TerraMaster F5-422 is equipped with a powerful Intel Celeron quad-core processor and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port along with two 1000 MB/s Ethernet ports to support network aggregation. Via the high-speed 10 GbE, the F5-422 can deliver read and write speeds of up to 670 MB/s using 6 TB Seagate IronWolf NAS hard drives in RAID 5.

The TerraMaster F5-422 5-bay NAS is ideal for growing businesses with demanding professionals like video editors, 3D animators, photographers, and other content creators that deal with large volumes of data. The F5-422 offers larger-capacity storage for demanding professionals. It comes with advanced security features to protect your sensitive business data.
Monday, January 18th 2021

Today's Reviews

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Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Memory
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Mouse
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SSD

Logitech Q3 Sales Grow 85%, Operating Income Triples

Logitech International (SIX: LOGN) (Nasdaq: LOGI) today announced financial results for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2021. "This quarter's record results demonstrate the strength of our portfolio, addressing long-term growth trends in remote work and education, video collaboration, esports, and digital content creation," said Bracken Darrell, Logitech president and chief executive officer. "We are increasingly investing in our capabilities and people for the growth potential we see in the future. Logitech has never been more relevant to our customers' work, play and creativity."

Logitech raised its Fiscal Year 2021 annual outlook to between 57 and 60 percent sales growth in constant currency, and approximately $1.05 billion in non-GAAP operating income. The Company's previous outlook was between 35 and 40 percent sales growth in constant currency, and a range of $700 million to $725 million in non-GAAP operating income.

EK Introduces EK-AIO Basic and Special Edition EK-AIO Elite Aurum CPU Coolers

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is expanding its All-In-One product line with two new products: EK-AIO Basic and EK-AIO Elite Aurum 360 D-RGB. Following the success of EK-AIO D-RGB that comes in three different sizes and EK-AIO Elite with the push-pull configuration, the new EK-AIO Basic now creates a balance in the EK's AIO portfolio by offering a price-competitive, all-black, non-RGB option. The second EK-AIO product making its debut is the Special Edition EK-AIO Elite Aurum - a golden variant of the popular EK-AIO Elite. It boasts a glossy, gold-like nickel finish on the pump cover and fittings for those who want their PCs to sparkle.

The EK-AIO Basic is available in 240 and 360 mm radiator models. These are all-black all-in-one liquid cooling solutions for modern AMD and Intel CPUs. Visually, EK-AIO Basic is minimalistic with a black brushed aluminium-like pump cover and black fans. These performance-focused AIOs offer all the benefits of a water-cooling solution in a compact, easy to install, and maintenance-free design. They are simple, efficient, and come without any RGB lighting. By keeping the aesthetics minimal, EK-AIO Basic can be more competitive price-wise than the pioneering trio with D-RGB implementation.

Intel Rocket Lake-S Processors European Pricing Leaked

Pricing for Intel's upcoming Rocket Lake-S series of desktop processors has recently been leaked by a Dutch computer store. The 11th Generation Intel Core i5, i7, and i9 processors will feature the new Comet Lake CPU architecture while the lower-end Intel Core i3, and Intel Pentium processors will retain the older Cypress Cove CPU architecture. The new Intel Core i9 processors have returned to an 8 core 16 thread design down from the 10 core 20 thread design found in 10th generation processors.

The Intel 11th Generation Core i9 series will be approximately 6.6% cheaper than their predecessors but with 2 fewer cores and 4 fewer threads. The other new processors all see price increases from their 10th generation versions with an average increase of 6.5%. The new Comet Lake CPU architecture is expected to bring significant IPC improvements which may allow them to regain the title of best gaming CPU.
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