Friday, December 2nd 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
SSD

Watch Dogs 2 Wants to Monitor Your System, But You Need Not Let It Do So

We've earlier reported about the implementation of EasyAntiCheat on Watch Dogs 2 - and how the Ubisoft game installs a driver in kernel mode and a service that monitors your systems' operating files (when Watch Dogs 2 is running). In that piece, we said that "This mechanism is also running even when you're in single-player-only - and even offline - modes, meaning that you're not getting out of its crosshairs no matter how you are playing the game". Now, there seems to be a way to bypass the system monitoring altogether and enjoy the game in single-player. The way to do so, however, varies whether you're running the game on Steam or on Uplay.

ASRock's Beebox-S SFF PCs Upgraded With Kaby Lake CPUs

Remember ASRock's Beebox? The original Mini PC was originally reviewed here on TechPowerUp to a glowing score and wholehearted recommendation, and now, the company has announced an upgrade to its innards that is sure to give a new lease of life to the device's appeal. The upgraded systems are powered by either Intel's Core i5-7100U (2C/4T, 2.5 GHz base and 3.1 GHz Boost clocks) or i3-7200U (2C/4T, 2.4 GHz base clock) CPUs, featuring the Kaby Lake micro-architecture, but are, apart from that, identical to their predecessors. The system can also be equipped with up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133 memory (two SO-DIMM slots), an M.2-2280 NVMe SSD and a 2.5" SSD/HDD depending on your particular demands. Meanwhile, Intel's 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.0 wireless module is pre-installed.

Seagate Duet Announced: Amazon Cloud-Syncing Portable HDD

Seagate has announced that the company is launching its Duet external hard drive, which would be, in all regards, a run-of-the-mill external hard drive (based on the company's Backup Plus Portable Drive), were it not for the fact that it runs tailored software that syncs its contents with the Amazon Drive service. The drive automatically downloads and uploads content from (and to) Amazon Drive to enable instant and offline access to data stored in the cloud - allowing you to not only store your data on the Cloud, but also keep a physical copy of it with you.

SSD Pricing to Surge on the Back of NAND Shortages - Stock Your SSD Needs

Business. Business never changes. Whether you're for Keynes or Hayek, some truths just can't be escaped: and the one based on the market tending to equilibrium between the forces of supply and demand is oft times almost akin to a law of physics - other times, not so much. This time, it appears as if the market forces are steering NAND prices through the roof. The causes? Varied, though you probably carry one of them in your pocket most of the time. We earlier reported surging prices in the DRAM market, spurred by the Note 7 fiasco and increased production of that smartphone's competitors (and Samsung's own products) to fill the gaping hole left by its forcible market removal. But not only by DRAM are smartphones powered - they also make use of NAND flash.

NVIDIA to Release GTX 1060 Variants Based on GP104 Silicon

Due to the usual metrics and happenstances with foundry yields and wafer production, some chips contained in the production wafers are defective, with inoperative sections. This is always taken into account by companies, such as NVIDIA, while designing their product stacks (with the GTX 1070/1080 sharing the same silicon, and GTX 1070 samples being, mostly, defective versions of the fully-enabled Pascal GP104-140 chip). Other times, when supply of defective chips that can guarantee sufficient numbers of lower-tiered products, such as the GTX 1070, is insufficient to guarantee market demands (basically, things go better than expected at production), some sections of fully-operational chips are deactivated, so that it has the same working resources as the (otherwise defective) chips. Sometimes, like it happened with the Radeon HD 6950, these chips' resources can even be unlocked by simple BIOS flashing. According to recent reports, NVIDIA is bound to do something akin to that, by reusing GP104-140 chips on their GTX 1060 3 GB variants.
Thursday, December 1st 2016

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD
Storage

Gainward Intros the GameSoul GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Graphics Cards

Gainward introduced the GameSoul line of premium graphics cards for the Greater China region. The series is led by the GeForce GTX 1080 GameSoul, followed by the GTX 1070 GameSoul. Both cards are based on a nearly identical board design, but differ with the PCB, with the GTX 1070 card featuring GDDR5 memory in place of GDDR5X. Both cards feature a large, triple-slot cooling solution with split aluminium fin-stacks, ventilated by a trio of 100 mm spinners.

The GTX 1080 GameSoul comes with factory-overclocked speeds of 1733 MHz core, 1873 MHz GPU Boost, against reference clock speeds of 1607/1733 MHz; while the GTX 1070 GameSoul comes with speeds of 1620/1822 MHz, against 1506/1683 MHz reference clocks. Both cards feature ref LED lighting, dual-BIOS, draw power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and feature display outputs of three DisplayPorts 1.4 and one each of HDMI 2.0b and dual-link DVI.

ZOTAC VR Go Backpack With Core i7 6700T and GTX 1070 Priced: $1999

After announcing earlier this week the impending release of their VR Go backpack, ZOTAC has now made pricing details available: $1999 will net you the ability to strap a PC to your body so you can freely engage with enemies or friends alike in VR environments.

The ZOTAC VR GO can work autonomously for up to two hours, feeding on two Li-ion batteries rated at 95Wh (6600mAh). The batteries can be hot-swapped and charged separately, featuring a DC12V-out for powering the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. When not in use as a backpack to play virtual reality games, the VR GO can be used like a normal desktop computer: its form-factor allows it to be placed on a desk either vertically or horizontally and all the ports will remain accessible. It isn't very heavy, either, though at 4.95 kilograms, your mileage may vary.

MSI Gaming Core Frozr L CPU Cooler Unveiled

MSI announced retail availability of the Core Frozr L CPU cooler. This tower-type air cooler features an aluminium fin stack that projects upwards from the base at a slightly offset position. This is to clear up room south of the CPU socket in a typical motherboard, and also to clear up room near the memory slots. The cooler measures 140 mm x 155 mm x 84 mm, and weighs 960 g.

The cooler features four 8 mm thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes that draw heat from the base, and convey them along eight points in the fin-stack. The topmost fin features a groovy MSI Gaming die-cast metal plate. The included 140 mm Torq-X fan spins between 500-1,800 RPM, pushing between 19.79 - 71.27 CFM of air, with a noise output of 17.2 - 33.6 dBA. The cooler can handle thermal loads of up to 200W. It supports most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, LGA2011v3, LGA115x, LGA1366, AM3(+), and FM2(+).

AOC Reveals P2779VC 27-Inch PLS Monitor With Qi Charging Capabilities

In a bid to help you remove at least one of those pesky charging cables from your life, AOC has revealed a 27-inch PLS monitor which includes a Qi base station on its stand, enabling you to charge compatible smartphones. In doing this, AOC joins the likes of Samsung in offering monitors with wireless charging capabilities.

The P2779VC features a 1920x1080 resolution PLS panel, one VGA input, and two HDMI 1.3 inputs. The panel boasts a 178-degree viewing angle, true 8-bit color depth, and a 20,000,000:1 contrast ratio, pointing it more towards color accuracy than other metrics. When it comes to gaming, it's certainly not at the top of screen responsiveness with a quoted response time of around 5ms, but it certainly isn't impossible to game on.

The P2779VC will debut in the US in December, with AOC saying it will be stocked by Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg, with an MSRP of $250.
Wednesday, November 30th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Speakers
SSD

ASUS PRIME Z270-A Motherboard Also Detailed

Finally putting the lid on all of ASUS' leaked and detailed motherboards, comes, the PRIME Z270-A, which doesn't belong to a special, bang-and-whistle-filled product line, and is just concerned with getting the job done. It clads itself in a simple and appealing white and gray color-scheme, and is expected to keep most of the important features in ASUS' more expensive product lines.

The PRIME Z270-A comes with ASUS' 8+2+2 Phase Digital power design, fed by an 8-pin connector, that features 10K black metallic capacitors, MicroFine Alloy Chokes, NexFET PW (Power) block MOSFET and DIGI+ Power Control Utility for real-time adjustment, courtesy of the new ASUS Extreme Engine Digi+ technology that improves CPU stability and overclocking. It features four DDR4 DIMM slots that can support up to 64 GB of memory with speeds of up to 3866 MHZ (O.C+), and expansion slots on the motherboard include three PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x4 electrical), four PCIe 3.0 x1 and dual M.2 slots that deliver up to 32 GB/s transfer speeds, with the PCIe slots being armored for higher resistance.

ASUS TUF Z270 MARK 1 Motherboard Detailed - Armored and Tough

Moving on from the Strix series, ASUS' TUF Z270 Mark 1 has also been detailed. Designed around so-called military standards purported to ensure longer stability and extreme durability, the new TUF Z270 motherboards incorporates features such as Tough Inside, Thermal Armor, TUF Networking, TUF Audio, Ultimate Cooling, 24/7 Durability and high speed transfer. This motherboard is one of ASUS' most premium and feature-packed products, so you should expect to pay a pretty, pretty penny for it, if history - and pricing history in particular - is anything to go by (and it usually is).

The LGA 1151 socket supports the latest 6th and 7th generation Intel Core processors, with the MARK 1 sporting an aggressive heatsink design that features ASUS' AURA RGB technology and a full cover TUF Thermal Armor and Fortifier shield. The chassis of the board houses a 40mm fan that offers significant cooling performance to the VRMs.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming Motherboard Details Surface

Continuing the trend of revealing ASUS' ROG lineup of motherboards based on the Z270 chipset, and zipping down the product line, comes the ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming, which also sports the standard ATX form factor. The motherboard features an all around solid design with an impressive metallic black / silver color scheme. The LGA 1151 socket supports the latest 6th and 7th generation Intel Core processors. ASUS went with an aggressive heatsink design that features their AURA RGB technology for a full LED illuminated color showcase. In terms of features, the ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming continues the trend of intelligent cost-cutting so as to achieve a product with an (expectedly) lower price-point. Compared to the ROG STRIX Z270E, this mobo cuts on the 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac WI-FI on the back I/O, and the USB front header is downgraded to a 2.0 solution.

The ASUS ROG Strix Z270F comes with a 8+2+1 Phase Digital power design that features 10K black metallic capacitors, MicroFine Alloy Chokes, NexFET PW (Power) block MOSFET and DIGI+ Power Control Utility for real-time adjustment. All of these components are part of the new ASUS Extreme Engine Digi+ technology that improves CPU stability and overclocking. Power is fed through a single 8-Pin connector.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z270E Gaming Motherboard Detailed

With the ever-closer release of Intel's Kaby Lake family of CPUs, details and leaks are becoming more and more difficult to stem. Continuing the trend, we are now detailing the ROG STRIX Z270E Gaming is yet another ATX form factor motherboard by Asus, featuring an impressive metallic black / silver color scheme on the LGA 1151 socket. ASUS went with an aggressive heatsink design that features their AURA RGB technology for a full LED illuminated color showcase. The STRIX line inherits much of the other features of the Maximus line of motherboards, though they universally do away with the black and red color scheme.

GIGABYTE Announces the Xtreme Gaming XC700W Chassis

GIGABYTE today announced the Xtreme Gaming XC700W chassis. This ATX full-tower case measures 593.5 mm x 240.5 mm x 546.6 mm (DxWxH), and is made of SECC steel, aluminium, and tempered glass. Its design consists of a steel framework that holds on to a tempered glass panel on the left side, and an aluminium panel that covers the front and right side panels of the case. It features RGB multi-color LED lighting forming accents along the edges of the aluminium panel, the front case badge, and a prominent "Xtreme Gaming" logo along the side panel.

Inside, the case isn't compartmentalized, although the drive cages are detachable to free up more room. The motherboard tray can hold ATX and EATX motherboards, with up to 8 expansion slots. You get room for add-on cards as long as 430 mm, and CPU coolers as tall as 170 mm. There are no 5.25-inch bays, but you get a drive cage with three 3.5-inch bays (convertible to 2.5-inch), and three 2.5-inch mounts behind the motherboard tray. Ventilation includes a 140 mm rear exhaust, and 3x 120 mm top exhausts (convertible to 2x 140 mm). Front panel connectivity includes two each of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports; and HDA audio jacks. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Corsair Celebrates 10 Million PSUs Sold with RM1000i Special Edition

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, today reached two new milestones, celebrating ten years since first entering the PSU market and the sale of the ten millionth CORSAIR PSU. Over the past decade, CORSAIR has revolutionized the enthusiast PSU industry with an unrelenting commitment to product quality and innovation that has seen the PSU evolve from an after-thought into the high-quality heart of a modern PC. CORSAIR has championed a range of key features to push PC power supplies to new levels of performance, functionality and customization. Modular PSUs have made building PCs easier, Zero RPM fan mode allows the PSU's fan to switch off entirely under low loads and with digitally controlled power and CORSAIR LINK PSU monitoring, users can find out exactly how their PSU is performing in an instant.

To commemorate this achievement, CORSAIR is proud to announce the extremely limited CORSAIR RM1000i Special Edition. Individually numbered, finished in striking arctic white and equipped with both a white LED-lit cooling fan and new individually sleeved white cables, only 100 of these PSUs will be built, giving enthusiasts a chance to own a unique piece of CORSAIR history.

MSI Unveils the M.2 Shield, SSD Cooling Feature on Upcoming Motherboards

MSI unveiled a unique new feature it is introducing with its next-generation socket LGA1151 motherboards, called the M.2 Shield. This is an aluminium heatspreader that acts as a full-length cover over the motherboard's M.2-2280 slots, hinged near the M.2 interface. The heatspreader has non-conductive thermal padding on the inside, letting it make contact with the drive's hot components (controller, NAND-flash chips, etc), and pushing heat over to the heatspreader. MSI claims that this lowers temperatures, and reduces throttling on some of the high-performance M.2 PCIe SSDs. Some of the faster M.2 SSDs such as the Samsung 950 Pro have indeed earned the notoriety of heating up to levels that reduce performance. It remains to be seen how much a thin sheet of aluminium changes that.

BenQ Intros the EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor

BenQ introduced the EW3270ZL Eye-Care monitor. This 32-inch monitor features a native resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, with a design focus on being easy on the eyes. This include dynamic brightness adjustment that senses the ambient lighting; and a non-PWM method of adjusting brightness of the LED back-lighting (prevents micro-flickering). Under the hood is an AMVA+ panel with 10 bpc (1.07 billion colors) support.

Other key display features include 4 ms response time (GTG), 178°/178° viewing-angles, 300 cd/m² maximum brightness, native contrast ratio of 3,000:1 (static), and dynamic mega-contrast. The display takes input from HDMI 1.4 (native resolution at 30 Hz), DisplayPort 1.2 (native resolution at 60 Hz), and mini-DisplayPort (native resolution at 60 Hz). Other features include 2W stereo speakers. The stand allows basic tilt adjustments. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Enermax Unveils the Revolution SFX Power Supply Series

Enermax unveiled the Revolution SFX line of power supplies (PSUs) for the SFX form-factor. Available in variants of 550W and 650W, these PSUs feature full modular cabling. The units measure 125 mm x 100 mm x 63.5 mm (LxDxH), and feature a single 80 mm fan for ventilation, with fanless operation under 30% load. Under the hood, these units feature a single +12V rail design, with 80 Plus Gold efficiency, and most common electrical protection mechanisms.

Both variants of the Enermax Revolution SFX ship with flat modular cables, including two 6+2 pin PCIe, one 4+4 pin EPS, one 24-pin ATX, six SATA power, and four 4-pin Molex, with one Molex to Berg adapter. An included SFX to ATX adapter lets you install this PSU in conventional ATX/MATX cases. The company didn't reveal pricing, although the units are expected to go on sale, on the 9th of December, 2016.
Tuesday, November 29th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
PSUs
Speakers
SSD

Leaked Intel Core i7-7700K Sample Tested

The team over at Tom's Hardware have gotten their hands on Intel's new 'Kaby Lake' CPU - The Core i7-7700K. While the chip is not marked as an engineering sample, they cannot confirm with confidence that it is a retail part. They then did what we all hoped and expected, they put the new i7 through a series of benchmarks both at its stock speeds and overclocked. Without a retail Z270 series motherboard to test with, Kaby Lake compatible firmware was loaded onto their Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming board.

In line with what has been reported so far, the stock clock speeds of their sample was 4.20GHz base and 4.50GHz max turbo boost with a TDP of 95W, up marginally from the i7-6700K's 91W. As tested the 7700K drew slightly more power under load than the 6700K whilst achieving benchmark results that are more-or-less in line with the percentage clock speed increase. Using the same core voltage for overclocking, the 7700K was able to manage a 4.8GHz overclock at 1.3v where the 6700K achieved 4.6GHz. As Intel did not change the core micro architecture between Skylake and Kaby Lake, it appears that save for HEVC and VP9 8/10-bit encode/decode and other possible features we may not yet know of, slightly faster clock speeds is the principal improvement. Given this is a pre-release test conducted on a motherboard that may not be able to unleash the full potential of the i7-7700K, the results should be taken with their appropriate pinch of salt. For the article and detailed findings, please follow the source link.

Source: Tom's Hardware
Loading more posts, please wait... Load more news posts