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G-Technology Announces Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C Updates to its Product Lines
Monday, April 24th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Storage

Kingston HyperX Now Shipping Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse

HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the US release of the HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse, designed to meet the needs of professional and aspiring competitive FPS gamers looking for a precise and consistent gaming mouse. To meet the performance requirements of gamers, a PixArt 3310 sensor was designed in for accurate tracking. Omron switches are used for fast response times, with 20M click reliability per switch. Winner of the prestigious 2017 RED DOT AWARD for design quality and craftsmanship, HyperX's first gaming mouse was designed by top engineers in the HyperX labs and with inputs from top professional gamers.

"HyperX is a great partner for over five years now and we are very happy to now game with the new Pulsefire FPS gaming mouse," said Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev, NAVI CSGO team member. "The Pulsefire FPS gaming mouse meets our performance needs and has a comfortable design for hours of practice and tournament gaming."

QNAP Announces TS-x53B Series NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the TS-x53B series NAS (available in 2-bay, 4-bay and 6-bay models) with a PCIe expansion slot to meet the growing performance and functional demands from SMB and SOHO users. "The TS-x53B is the first NAS in its class to provide PCIe expansion, which provides fantastic long-term potential for the NAS to be upgraded to include features such as SSD caching and 10GbE connectivity," said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP. "For users who seek high productivity and smart workflows, the TS-x53B series offers a compelling choice in big features," Hsu added.

Powered by the 14 nm Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core 1.5GHz processor (burst up to 2.3GHz), dual-channel 4GB/8GB DDR3L RAM (upgradable to 8GB), SATA 6Gb/s drive support with integrated dual Gigabit LAN ports, the TS-x53B series delivers up to 224 MB/s read and write speeds while also maintaining the same outstanding performance with AES-NI accelerated encryption.

AOC Introduces the PDS241 and PDS271 Monitors - Designed by Porsche

AOC has partnered up with cr-designer extraordinaire Porsche to come up with sleek designs for two new monitors on its range. The PDS241 and PDS217 monitors both feature a (slightly yawn-inducing) 1080p AH-IPS panel, at 24 and 27" respectively. These come in thin as razors at 5.2mm, sporting a three-way-frameless design.

Apart from the sleek design and the stand (which is a hit-or-miss aesthetic choice from my perspective), there is nothing groundbreaking on offer here. You get technologies such as AOC's SuperColor WCG (100% sRGB coverage, and 90% coverage of the NTSC color space), flicker-free operation and low blue-light technology to help combat eyestrain. And these monitors won't set you back that much, at around $240 for the 24", and $330 for the 27", though you really are paying a pretty penny for that Porsche-christened design pedigree.

Source: TechRadar

Intel's Coffee Lake CPUs Likely Compatible With LGA 1151 Motherboards

Another interesting tidbit to have dropped from recent SiSotware leaks on Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs is that these could be backwards compatible with LGA 1151 motherboards that rock the 200 series chipset (and perhaps even the 100 series.) This last tidbit seems to be a bit of a stretch, even if it does end up being somewhat of a motherboard manufacturer's choice whether or not to issue updated, supporting BIOSes for the most recent Intel processors on their older boards. But why lose so many sales of motherboards equipped with Intel's upcoming, complimentary 300 series chipsets?

This piece of information comes courtesy of SiSoftware Sandra, again, where the 6-core Coffee Lake Intel chip, running @ 3.5 GHz, was tested in a Kaby Lake S platform - which features a 200 series chipset, no less. This means that there is a chance users will have a straight, drop-in upgrade path for Coffee Lake 6-core chips (seems Intel is no longer keeping all of those cores to themselves.) Doesn't that make the world seem a better place?

Source: WCCFTech

Intel's Six-core, Coffee Lake CPUs Surface in SiSoftware

Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake architecture, which is now all but confirmed to have been pulled forward by the company in an attempt to staunch the bleeding incurred from AMD's recently launched, table-turning Ryzen processors, has reared its head in SiSoftware. In some benchmarks, what is identified as a 6-core, 6-thread CPU from Intel surface, with a clockspeed @ 3.5 GHz, 1.5 MB L2 cache (256 Kb per core) and 9 MB L3 cache. This L3 cache is quite puzzling, considering how Intel's Kaby Lake architecture features 2 MB of L3 cache per core. If Coffee Lake were to keep most of Kaby Lake's design - which it will - then this chip should feature something along the lines of 12 MB L3 cache. The reduced amount of cache seems to scream at a disabled chip, but this could also be a case of a reporting error.

Yeston Announces the Triple-fan RX 580 GameAce

Yeston, the Chinese manufacturer of graphics cards from both NVIDIA and AMD alike, has announced what is one of the (as of yet) few triple-fan takes on the recently-released RX 580 graphics card. Yeston increased the graphics card's footprint by adding that third fan, which partially settles against a protrusion added by the card's backplate.

The center fan is 10 cm wide, while the outer fans are 9 cm - all temperature-level controlled, which means they remain idle until a certain temperature threshold is reached. There is a LED-backlit RX 580 logo on the side of the card, as well as Radeon RX branding on the backplate. The RX 580 GameAce is clocked at 1340 MHz, which probably means a Polaris 20 XTX chip. This model will not be sold outside China, which is a downer, since its cooling system seems interesting enough, and the card is pleasing in aesthetics. However, some of you might find a way to get them shipped to your doorstep if you so wish.

Source: Videocardz

Aorus Intros the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Xtreme Edition with 9 Gbps Memory

GIGABYTE today launched its second custom-design GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB graphics card that features faster 9 Gbps GDDR5 memory, the Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB Xtreme Edition 9 Gbps (model: GV-N1060AORUS X-6GD). The company had last week announced the triple-fan WindForce OC variant of this SKU. The Xtreme Edition card features a triple-slot, dual-fan cooler that features the signature X-shaped lighting ornament on the cooler shroud, sitting between the two 100 mm fans. Under this shroud is an aluminium fin dual-stack heatsink that draws heat from a copper base-plate that covers not just the GPU, but also the memory and VRM. A back-plate is included. The cooler shroud features RGB LED illumination.

The Xtreme Edition is positioned a notch above the card GIGABYTE launched last week, in featuring higher factory-overclocked speeds of 1620 MHz core, 1847 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 9026 MHz (GDDR5-effective) memory clock, against 1607/1835 MHz (core/boost) of the WindForce 3X, and 1506/1709/8008 MHz (core/boost/memory) NVIDIA-reference clocks. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe connector, display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4, and one each of HDMI 2.0b and dual-link DVI. The company didn't reveal pricing.

GALAX and KFA2 Intro GeForce GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White Graphics Card

GALAX today introduced its more affordable custom-design GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, the EXOC White. The card combines an NVIDIA reference-design PCB with a custom-design cooling solution that's characterized by its milky white shroud and fan impellers, and a white back-plate. Under the shroud is a strong aluminium fin dual-stack heatsink that employs five 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes to distribute heat drawn directly from the GPU die, to two aluminium fin-stacks, which are ventilated by a pair of 90 mm fans, which stay off when the GPU is idling. The cooler also features white LED illumination.

The GALAX GTX 1080 Ti EXOC White ships with factory-overclocked speeds of 1531 MHz core, 1645 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 11 GHz (GDDR5X-effective) memory, against NVIDIA reference speeds of 1480/1582 MHz (core/boost). Galaxy's EU-specific brand, KFA2, also unveiled an identical version of this card under its name. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Source: VideoCardz

Akitio Announces the Node Lite Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure

AKITIO today unveiled their new Thunderbolt 3 PCIe box, the Node Lite. The new Node Lite is an upgraded version of their popular Thunder2 PCIe Box. The Node Lite features PCIe Gen 3, which provides much improved performance when using new PCIe cards such as video capture cards, RAID cards, NVMe SSD storage, 10G and even 40G network cards. The Node Lite is compatible with both macOS and Windows computers, making it the ideal companion for the new 2016 MacBook Pro as well as new Thunderbolt 3 Windows PC's.

The Node Lite features the same compact, tool-less design as the Thunder2 PCIe Box in a stylish new space gray outer case. Inside the case, the Node Lite features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used to daisy chain other Thunderbolt 3 devices as well as USB 3 Type-C devices. Another new addition is a DisplayPort version 1.2 port which can be used to connect an additional 4K@60Hz monitor.

Patriot Announces the Viper V760 RGB Gaming Mechanical Keyboard

Patriot Memory announced its latest flagship gaming keyboard, the Viper V760 RGB. This full-size keyboard with a detachable soft-touch palm-rest features a standard 104-keyset with Kailh Brown mechanical switches, and 16.7 million-color RGB illumination. The keyboard's electronics offer N-key rollover and anti-ghosting. The included software lets you set macro functions and illumination color for each of the keys. The keyboard measures 510 mm x 200 mm x 72 mm, weighing about 1.6 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.

NVIDIA Demonstrates GameWorks Flow Tech Under DirectX 12

NVIDIA Flow, was previously announced by the company in 2016's GDC as the new GameWorks implementation for combustible fluid, fire and smoke simulation (superseding NVIDIA's Turbulence and FlameWorks.) It makes use of an adaptive sparse voxel grid for maximum flexibility with the least memory impact, being optimized for use of Volume Tiled Resources when available. With this technology being implemented on the Unreal Engine 4 soon, the company is now looking to increase developer awareness of the tool by showcasing its capabilities.

In the video below, the company is showing off its DirectX 12 implementation of the technology, which showcases gas combustion that results into real-time simulation of fire and smoke in the air.


Source: Developer.Nvidia.com

HP Unleashes the World's Most Secure Mobile Workstations for Digital Reinventors

HP Inc. today announced its most secure and manageable HP ZBook Mobile Workstations to-date. The new solutions-packed devices include award-winning display technology, 3D graphics and server-grade processing power -- all in a compact, mobile design. With its new workstation line up, HP continues to offer world-class innovation to power filmmakers, designers, artists, explorers and other visionary thinkers.

"As a longtime partner to the creative industry, Z Workstations have earned their position as the ultimate innovative and reliable technology for creators," said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for Z Workstations. "Our fourth generation ZBook Mobile Workstations are the most secure and manageable mobile workstations in the industry. By protecting the intellectual property of digital creators everywhere, HP enables the creative industry to focus on bringing their best work to-life without the worry of IP theft or breaches."

HP Announces New DreamColor Series Displays

Today at NAB, HP Inc. announced a true Cinema 4K display, arming color professionals with new features, like color-critical accuracy and automatic calibration, to produce the films and animations of tomorrow. Designed in collaboration with top visual effects and animation studios, the new HP DreamColor Z31x Studio and HP DreamColor Z24x G2 displays are enabling artists, photographers and filmmakers to do what they do best -- create -- without having to worry about lackluster display performance.

"From the purest black to the most vivid rainbow of colors, our new DreamColor display for Cinema sets the gold standard for color accuracy and ease-of-use at a disruptive price point to outshine the competition," said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for Z Workstations. "The new DreamColor Z Displays will be a gamechanger for studios and digital creatives who rely on color-critical accuracy and extreme performance."
An early pioneer in the color-critical display market, HP DreamColor Displays, for PCs and Mac computers, have been an integral technology for major movie production and visual effects studios around the world. Since 2011, 80 percent of Academy Award Nominees for Visual Effects have used HP DreamColor displays. In 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the HP DreamColor Display and its developers with the Scientific and Engineering Award.

ZOTAC Announces its ZBOX Desktops with Celeron "Apollo Lake" SoCs

ZOTAC announced a product update to its iconic ZBOX mini-PCs with new-generation Celeron "Apollo Lake" SoCs. The new ZOTAC Nano CI327 mini-PC is driven by a Celeron N3450 chip built on the 14 nm process, which embeds a quad-core "Goldmont" CPU clocked at 2.20 GHz, 2 MB of L2 cache, and Intel HD 500 graphics based on the Gen 9 LP architecture.

Measuring 127.8 mm x 126.8 mm x 56.8 mm, the ZBOX CI327 features two SO-DIMM slots that support up to 8 GB of memory, a 9 mm-thick 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, a 3-in-1 card reader, a 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 type-C port, two USB 3.0 type-A ports, 802.11ac WLAN with Bluetooth 4.0, and gigabit Ethernet. Display outputs include D-Sub, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Source: FanlessTech

VisionTek Announces Its RX 500 Series Graphics Cards

VisionTek, a company whose last graphics card announcement we've posted here was on June 2015 with its Fury X and R9 300 line of graphics cards, has announced its vision for the RX 500 series graphics cards. This one seems a throwback to the RX 400 series, though, with Visiontek's "Overclocked Edition" GPUs carrying clockspeeds more in line with the prevous AMD series: 1,366 MHz for the RX 580, and 1264 MHz for the RX 570, respectively.

The VisionTek Radeon RX 580 8 GB comes with a slightly unoriginal take on the AIB partner design, sporting custom dual-fan cooler with a black-nickel aluminum shroud with 2x 8 mm and 2x 6 mm heatpipes for increased cooling capacity. The Radeon 570 4GB makes use of what is basically AMD's RX 480 reference design cooler, with a blower-style fan that ensures the GPU's heated air output exits the back of your case instead of lingering inside your system. VisionTek's Radeon RX 500 Series cards are now available through the company's website, with retailer availability to follow.

Source: Tom's Hardware

SK Hynix Announces its 8Gb GDDR6 Memory Chips

SK Hynix Inc. today introduced the world's fastest 2Znm 8Gb (Gigabit) GDDR6 (Graphics DDR6) DRAM. The product operates with an I/O data rate of 16 Gbps (Gigabits per second) per pin, which is the industry's fastest. With a forthcoming high-end graphics card of 384-bit I/Os, this DRAM processes up to 768 GB/s (Gigabytes of graphics data per second). SK Hynix has been planning to mass produce the product for a client to release high-end graphics card by early 2018 equipped with high performance GDDR6 DRAMs.

GDDR is specialized DRAM for processing an extensive amount of graphics data quickly according to what graphics cards command in PCs, workstations, video players and high performance gaming machines. Especially, GDDR6 is a next generation graphics solution under development of standards at JEDEC, which runs twice as fast as GDDR5 having 10% lower operation voltage. As a result, it is expected to speedily substitute for GDDR5 and GDDR5X. SK Hynix has been collaborating with a core graphics chipset client to timely mass produce the GDDR6 for the upcoming market demands.
Friday, April 21st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X Plus 11 Gbps 8 GB

The MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X Plus is built around the updated GTX 1080 NVIDIA announced recently. It comes with faster 11 Gbps memory chips and a decent GPU overclock, which results in a significant performance improvement. The cooler is also extremely quiet and runs very cool.

Digital Purchases Make Up Majority of US Video Game Sales, and Other ESA Stats

In the latest edition of "RTB's Obvious News," I present you with an alarming statistic:

Digital purchases make up most video game sales in the United states at around 74% of purchases, according to a study by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

I know, I can hear it now: "Obvious news is obvious, R-T-B. Why'd you post this? Your news sucks!" etc etc. Believe it or not, I have a reason for bringing this seemingly lame study to your attention, and that's because despite the headline being lame, the study actually contains some interesting tidbits about the gaming market in general.

Microsoft Confirms Windows, Office 6-Month Update Cycle

Microsoft has been steadily increasing stability, features and, the company hopes, attractiveness of its latest Windows 10 operating system. Recently, its Creator's Update has brought, among other features, a performance-boosting Game Mode, a 3D version of the popular and (respectably ancient) Paint app, as well as increased privacy control, something users clamored for. Now, the Redmond company has confirmed that it's looking towards a six month update cycle for Windows 10 (thus aligning it with Office 365 ProPlus), looking to streamline and increase predictability of its support.

Microsoft released the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in August 2016, and the Creators Update made its public debut on April 11 2017, which is already close to the six-month update cycle the company is now confirming (seven months, in this case.) Now the company has confirmed that it plans to release its next step on the Windows 10 operating system on September 2017. From then on, updates should arrive in a steady cadence, on every subsequent March and September. Each Windows 10 feature release will be serviced and supported for 18 months, as is currently the case, and the company has also added that its System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, "making both easier to deploy and keep up to date."

Source: Blogs.Windows.com, Tom's Hardware

Intel's X299 Platform to Counter AMD's X399 with 12-core CPUs

Intel's X299 HEDT platform, whose launch we recently covered as having been pushed forward by the company so as to better compete against AMD's upcoming X399 HEDT platform, has some new, juicy rumors floating about it. Namely, Bench.Life has reported that Intel's upcoming Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X lines of high performance CPUs will also feature 12-core offerings on its Skylake-X materialization, instead of just the previously reported 6, 8, and 10-core designs.

This really looks like an Intel that's stretching its manufacturing and chip design prowess so as to prevent itself from being buried in higher-performing, higher core and thread count offerings from its rival AMD, which has turned Intel's line-up in the mainstream consumer market head-over-heels already. Latest reports peg the new series as being presented on Computex 2017 (specifically, on may 30th), with availability being expected on June 26th. Which platform are most interested in, and what do you think of this move from Intel?

Source: Bench.life, Videocardz

PowerColor Announces the Radeon RX 550 RedDragon

TUL Corporation, a leading and innovative manufacturer of AMD graphic cards since 1997, has released a new PowerColor Red Dragon RX 550 2GB GDDR5 added in the line of RX 500 series. It is based on AMD's latest GCN 4 architecture designed for GloFo 14nm FinFET that delivers premium VR capability, increased level of performance, smooth VR, seamless support for next-gen gaming monitors and CPU-free game streaming or recording.

Furthermore, the model also supports AMD's optimized DirectX 12,Vulkan Gaming, Radeon FreeSync, and Liquid VR. It has the features of AMD's newest technology called Radeon ReLive which supports 4K, 30 & 60FPS, HEVC & H.264 providing you smooth recording on lower power systems, and Radeon Chill which is an intelligent power-saving feature that regulates dynamically frame rate based on your movement's in-game.

XFX Launches its RX 550 Full and Low-Profile Graphics Cards

XFX has launched three variants of the RX 550 graphics cards, the tiny GPU that could, which AMD launched so as to bridge the enormous gap between IGP and its previous entry-line RX 460 (now RX 560) series of graphics cards. There are two low-profile versions of the RX 550, packing either 2GB or 4 GB of memory (whose amounts can be justified or not,) both with boost clocks set at 1203 MHz and 7000 MHz GDDR5 memory over a 128-bit bus. There is also a full-profile, dual slot RX 550, dubbed the Core Edition, and another Core Edition, though this one is a full-profile, single-slot solution.

All of these pack the same 1203 MHz boost clocks, so XFX is basically telling you to pick and choose the size of the graphics cards that best fits your use case, with improvements on cooling and sound profile that come with the larger, beefier cooling solutions. Display outputs stand the same among all the different cards, with 1x DVI-I Dual-Link, 1x DisplayPort, and 1x HDMI 2.0.

Source: Videocardz

HIS Launches Radeon RX 500 Series IceQX2 Graphics Cards

HIS has added two RX 500 series cards to its portfolio, one of which has one of the highest factory-overclocked boost clocks we've seen yet. The RX 580 XTR IceQX2 Roaring Turbo carries a 1430 MHz boost clock in Turbo Mode, as well as a 1411 MHz (at the level of Sapphire's Nitro+ Limited Edition RX 580) in OC Mode. The memory clock is set to a standard 8 Gbps (which is something I really don't understand, with the amount of headroom these usually have.) The board has one each of a 6+8pin power connectors so as to power this power-hungry card (relative to its performance, at least.)

ENERMAX Launches the D.F. STORM 3500 RPM, Self-Cleaning Fan

ENERMAX releases D.F. STORM fan, the new flagship 120mm fan which can operate at 3500RPM. The D.F. Storm can generate strong airflow up to 155.08(CFM) and static pressure as high as 11.131(mm-H2O). Furthermore, the high-speed fan includes the latest DFRTM technology for self-cleaning and the patented APS PWM design, which makes this fan an excellent cooling choice for servers, industrial applications or high-performance gaming rigs.

This super high-speed fan employs the Storm-Flow blades specifically designed to be used under extreme conditions. The solid design and the special shape of the fan blades will ensure low-vibration during operation. Unlike other high-RPM fans using two-ball bearing, D.F. STORM utilizes the ultra-silent Twister Bearing technology to deliver silent operation; moreover; its high-quality and heat-resistant components ensure 160,000 hours MTBF, even at high operating temperature.

Latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Introduces per Process "Power Throttling"

With its latest Insider Preview build of Windows 10 (Build 16176), Microsoft has introduced a feature known as "Power Throttling," which is essentially per-process power management leveraging the Intel Speed Shift technology available in 6th-gen and newer Intel processors. According to Microsoft, although Power Throttling currently requires Intel's "Speed Shift" tech, it will be expanded to earlier generation Intel processors that lack the feature in coming months.
Thursday, April 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking

iFi Audio nano iDSD LE

iFi Audio's nano iDSD LE is a little DAC/amp with big ambitions. It packs all the knowledge from the bigger DAC/amps in iFi's huge portofolio of products into a small package. Despite being small, it still features RCA line-outs, a very respectable headphone amplification circuit, and a 1000 mAh battery.

ASUS Brings "Tinker Board" Raspberry Pi 3 Competitor to North America

ASUS is bringing its higher-performing Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, the "Tinker Board" to markets in North America. Priced at a nice easy 54.99, ASUS touts the machines horsepower as being nearly double that of a Raspberry Pi 3 and says it is "capable of powering all of your projects from robots to media boxes to coding machine for budding programmers."

The machine's specifications are certainly more capable than a Raspberry Pi 3, and being it is Linux based there will certainly be a plethora of community support for this device. Interestingly enough, Android Support is a bit behind (being only on Marshmallow at the moment), but ASUS has a pledge for Nougat support in place.

Specifications are listed below, and I have also kindly provided a link to the products amazon page for those interested.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VSBVQWS/

PS: Yes, I am aware this is not exactly "PC Hardware" but I felt enough of us might have some use for a cheap Single Board Computer to find this interesting.Source: HotHardware

StarCraft Available For Free From Blizzard, Nearly 20 Years After Launch

In 1998, I wasn't a StarCraft guy. My Packard Bell 486DX 8MB wonder that my parents refused to upgrade couldn't run it. That thing wouldn't do a merciful "fall-on-its-sword" act like all the other Packard Bells in the neighborhood either. The thing insisted on surviving until almost 2004 when my parents finally took it to the dump. I personally, got out of that hell in 2001 when I built my own system with an Athlon Thunderbird 1Ghz chip and a lofty 512MBs of ram, but StarCraft was never really my thing.

Now, the jokes on you, suckers, cause I can download it for free!

Samsung, Amazon Unveil Yet Another HDR Standard

And here I was thinking the whole point of having standards was to homogenize offerings for a given feature, ensuring the same minimal requirements were met by anyone (or any product) looking to carry a sticker emblazoning its capabilities. Yet here it is, another HDR standard, which Samsung and Amazon are calling HDR10+.

The HDR10+ standard looks to slightly bridge the gap between the HDR10 standard as certified by the UHD Alliance, and the Dolby Vision one, which boasted better HDR reproduction whilst carrying higher specifications to be adhered to. The greatest change in HDR10+: the adoption of Dynamic Tone Mapping, which stand upon variable dynamic metadata to help adjust brightness and contrast in real time, optimized on a frame-by-frame basis, a feature present in Dolby Vision but lacking on the UHD Alliance's HDR10, which resulted in some overly darkened bright scenes.

Dell Announces the UltraSharp UP2718Q: 27", 4K, HDR

Dell, which makes some of the best computer monitors around (though they really don't tend to be the most cost-effective), has announced a new addition to its line of monitors. The UP2718Q is a 27" monitor which boast of 4K (3140* 2160) resolution, and supports the UHD Alliance's HDR10 standard. Its peak brightness of 1,000 nits ensures its adherence to the HDR standards (which backs up to 400 nits brightness on non-HDR material), while the 100% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 100% REC 709, 97.7% DCI-P3, and 76.9% REC2020 color coverage ensures this is a panel best used by professionals who need extreme color accuracy. Connectivity wise, we find 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x mini-DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0a ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, and a hub of 4x USB 3.0 ports, two of which are capable of charging.

ZOTAC Also Intros GeForce GTX 1060 6GB AMP+ with 9 Gbps GDDR5 Memory

In addition to the GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme 11 Gbps, ZOTAC introduced the GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB AMP+ graphics card with faster 9 Gbps GDDR5 memory (model: ZT-P10600G-10M). The card comes with factory-overclocked speeds of 1607 MHz core, 1835 MHz GPU Boost, and 9.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory, which now churns out 216 GB/s of memory bandwidth; against NVIDIA-reference clock speeds of 1506/1709/8008 MHz. The card features a short-length custom-design PCB that draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and keeps cool with a compact rendition of ZOTAC's IceStorm cooling solution, featuring two 90 mm fans, and a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ZOTAC Intros the GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme with 11 Gbps GDDR5X Memory

ZOTAC today introduced the GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme with faster 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory (model: ZT-P1080I-10P). The card is nearly identical to the GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme the company launched its GTX 1080 lineup with, but features 10% faster memory, which is factory-overclocked even further. The card ships with clock speeds of 1771 MHz core, 1911 MHz GPU Boost, and 11.2 GHz (GDDR5X-effective) memory, against NVIDIA reference speeds of 1607/1733/10008 MHz (core/boost/memory).

The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme 11 Gbps features a custom-design PCB with a strong VRM that draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, to support the massive factory-overclock. It features a triple-slot IceStorm cooling solution by ZOTAC, which features a trio of 100 mm fans that ventilate a large dual-stack aluminium fin heatsink. The company didn't reveal pricing, although it is expected that this card replaces the older 10 Gbps memory-equipped AMP! Extreme.

Inno3D Announces GeForce GTX 1080 11 Gbps and GTX 1060 9 Gbps Graphics Cards

INNO3D, a leading manufacturer of high-end hardware components and computer utilities, expands its portfolio with the new GeForce GTX 1080 11Gbps and GTX 1060 9Gbps graphics cards. The new entries will become available in the premium iChiLL range of products.

The new INNO3D GeForce GTX 1080 11 Gbps and GTX 1060 9 Gbps iChiLL gaming cards draw everything out of NVIDIA's new Pascal architecture and leave nothing go to waste. All power and cooling efforts are perfectly tuned making them the perfect choice to run the latest games, the most demanding design suites and last but not least Virtual Reality applications.

GALAX GeForce 1080 Ti Hall of Fame Poses for the Camera - 16+3 Phase Design

This here is probably the most beautiful AIB partner card I've ever seen (and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you are naturally free to disagree with me.) The pristine color scheme and subdued backplate design really stand out for me, as does the white PCB. Nitpicking, I hoped the power cables would not be color coded as they are, but I guess that would invite disaster.

CORSAIR Launches the Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC components and high-performance gaming hardware today announced the release of the new CORSAIR Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti all-in-one liquid cooled graphics card. Combining the extreme gaming horsepower of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU with world-renowned CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid cooling and magnetic levitation airflow, the Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti delivers the phenomenal performance of an overclocked GTX 1080 Ti with all the benefits of liquid cooling. Cooler temperatures, lower noise, higher clock speeds, and easy installation combine to allow the Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti to offer all the performance, with none of the compromises.

Developed in partnership with the expert graphics team at MSI, the Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti is powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, the most advanced NVIDIA GeForce GPU ever made. Boasting an irresponsible level of graphics processing performance, the GTX 1080 Ti features 11GB of GDDR5X memory, 3,584 CUDA Cores and a massive 352-bit memory bus, allowing it to drive today's most demanding games and graphics applications at not just ultra-detail settings and high frame-rates, but stunning 4K resolution; it's the ultimate GeForce GPU for PC enthusiasts who demand nothing but the best. The Hydro GFX GTX 1080 Ti pushes that performance even further, with a factory overclocked GPU core frequency of 1,506 MHz, boost frequency of 1,620 MHz and a memory frequency of 11,124 MHz, squeezing every frame per second, polygon and pixel out of the GTX 1080 Ti GPU.

NVIDIA's Volta Reportedly Poised for Anticipated, Early Q3 2017 Launch

According to a report from Chinese website MyDrivers, NVIDIA is looking to spruce things up on its line-up with a much earlier than expected Q3 Volta Launch. Remember that Volta was expected, according to NVIDIA's own road-maps, to launch around early 2018. The report indicates that NVIDIA's Volta products - apparently to be marketed as the GeForce 20-series - will see an early launch due to market demands, and NVIDIA's intention to further increase pricing of its products through a new-generation launch.

These stand, for now, as only rumors (and not the first time they've surfaced at that), but paint a pretty interesting picture, nonetheless. Like Intel with its Coffee Lake series, pushing a product launch to earlier than expected has consequences: production, logistics, infrastructure, product roadmaps, and stock of existing previous-generation products must all be taken into account. And with NVIDIA just recently having introduced its performance-champions GTX 1080 Ti and Titan Xp graphics cards, all of this seems a trigger pull too early - especially when taking into account the competition landscape in high-performance graphics, which is akin to a single green-colored banner poised atop the Himalayas. And NVIDIA must not forget the fact that AMD could be pulling a black swan off its engineering department with Vega, like it did with its Ryzen series of CPUs.

TechPowerUp Announces MemTest64 - Test Memory from Within Windows

TechPowerUp today announced MemTest64, our lightweight, standalone utility that lets you test your system memory for hardware faults and other errors. The application has a graphical user interface (GUI), and can be run from within Windows, without needing any administrator privileges. MemTest64 can also be used to test the stability of your memory performance tuning, such as overclocks and tight timings. The utility puts your memory through a battery of test patterns, while juggling data from the memory to the page file. The app is portable, and does not require any installation. This is our first public release of MemTest64, after thorough internal testing. We welcome your feedback in the app's dedicated forum on TechPowerUp Forums.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp MemTest64 1.0

BIOSTAR Launches Two New Mini-ITX Motherboards for AMD Ryzen

BIOSTAR is thrilled to announce the latest addition to the growing mini-ITX family of BIOSTAR motherboards with the introduction of the world's first mini-ITX motherboards for AMD AM4 platform and the first mini-ITX RGB LED-capable motherboards with AMD X370 and AMD B350 chipsets. BIOSTAR is pleased to welcome the new BIOSTAR RACING X370GTN and RACING B350GTN mini-ITX motherboards into the RACING Series family. Both motherboards aim to deliver the best balance of form and function, delivering the full potential that the AMD AM4 platform offers especially with AMD RYZEN CPUs, all in a small package.

The BIOSTAR RACING X370GTN and RACING B350GTN comes equipped with BIOSTAR 2nd-gen RACING features like 5050 LED Fun Zone with dual 5050 LED header for DIY customization, the BIOSTAR exclusive VIVID LED DJ with full RGB LED control that lets enthusiasts design their own system lighting with precise control. Together with that, BIOSTAR also adds performance and quality features for maximum system performance and stability.

ADATA Launches ISDD361 Industrial-Grade SD Cards

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched industrial-grade ISDD361 SD cards. The cards employ meticulously-sorted and tested SLC NAND flash, and feature a hardened design optimized for extreme cold, heat, shock, and vibration. ISDD361 cards are meant for deployment in manufacturing, professional camcorder use, travel, photography, and military applications. They deliver up to 90 MB/s read and are available in capacities ranging from 256 MB to 16 GB.

ADATA uses only the best single-level cell Flash on industrial-grade SD cards. ISDD361 models employ SLC, which surpasses MLC and TLC (multi-level cell and triple-level cell) NAND flash in durability, longevity, and reliability. With ADATA A+ Testing methodology in place, users get SD cards with guaranteed quality, backed by a 3-year warranty.

NVIDIA Readies the GeForce GT 1030 to Compete with Radeon RX 550

With the Tuesday (18/04) launch of the Radeon RX 550 at US $79, the market for IGP-replacement discrete GPUs sprung back to life. NVIDIA is preparing to address the market with the new GeForce GT 1030 graphics card, based on its "Pascal" architecture. The SKU will be based on the new 14 nm "GP108" silicon, and could feature up to 512 CUDA cores, and up to 2 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 128-bit wide interface.

With tiny board and electrical footprints, one can expect the chip to rely on the PCI-Express slot entirely for its power, and come in low-profile and fan-less designs. It could feature an up-to-date I/O, including HDMI 2.0b and DisplayPort 1.4, which its predecessor, the GT 730 lacks. The company could formally announce the GT 1030 around mid-May, 2017.

Source: Expreview

User Patch Unlocks Windows 7 and 8.1 Updates for Core "Kaby Lake" and Ryzen

Microsoft, in a bid to ensure users of 7th generation Intel Core "Kaby Lake," AMD A-series "Bristol Ridge," and AMD Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors stick to Windows 10, ensured that the three platforms don't receive software updates when running older Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 operating systems. A new user-made patch removes this draconian restriction, letting you install Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your new-generation CPU powered machine, and receive regular software updates through Windows Update.

The patch is open-source, so you can inspect its code, and available on GitHub. The author of the patch, Zeffy, discovered two new functions to system file wuaueng.dll after the March 2017 update for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, labeled "IsCPUSupported(void)" and "IsDeviceServiceable(void)." This library is patched to toggle those two functions "1," telling Windows Update that the CPU is "supported" and that the platform is "serviceable," making it eligible to receive updates.

DOWNLOAD: New-gen CPU Windows Update Unlocking Patch for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 by ZeffySource: Github
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