Monday, October 19th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors
Sound Cards
Upcoming Hardware Launches 2020 (Updated Oct 2020)

Upcoming Hardware Launches 2020 (Updated Oct 2020)

This article serves as a continuously updated summary of currently known leaks and official announcements regarding upcoming hardware releases in 2020. We cover and keep track of developments for Intel Rocket Lake, AMD Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 & Zen 4. NVIDIA Ampere, AMD's RDNA2 architecture, Intel's own Xe GPU, chipsets, memory and more.
Chuwi LarkBox Review

Chuwi LarkBox Review

Ultra tiny and packed with features, Chuwi's LarkBox mini-PC is more than a novelty. Equipped with 128 GB of eMMC storage and 6 GB of LPDDR4 memory, it even has a SATA M.2 2242 slot for further storage expansion. Add in the capability to handle 4K 60 Hz and you have a solid basis for a micro HTPC.

Rockstar Games Acquires Ruffian Games

Rockstar Games is proud to announce that it has acquired Ruffian Games. Based in Dundee, Scotland, the studio will operate under the new name of Rockstar Dundee. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. "We are thrilled to have Ruffian join the Rockstar Games family," said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. "The Ruffian team are a talented addition to Rockstar's global studios, and we look forward to working together on future projects."

Founded in 2008 by Gary Liddon and Billy Thomson, Ruffian partnered with Microsoft to work on the Crackdown series, and with 343 Industries on Halo: Reach from the Halo Master Chief Collection, among many other projects. Ruffian's talented team of just over 40 have a depth of development experience that even includes some early Rockstar titles from the Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt series. Both Liddon and Thomson will remain on-board as Co-Studio Directors of Rockstar Dundee.

Blue Microphones Introduces Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition with Voice Modulation Effect & HD Samples

Blue, a leading innovator in audio technology and design, today announced the new Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition professional USB microphone. Developed in collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment, Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition allows players to alter their voices to sound like denizens of Azeroth using the all-new voice modulation effect in Blue VO!CE. Gamers can celebrate victories, communicate with their raid group and entertain stream audiences using hundreds of HD audio samples from Blizzard's upcoming World of Warcraft: Shadowlands expansion and the Warcraft universe. Featuring a custom Warcraft design, Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition enables players to create a dynamic audio broadcast that elevates streams and gameplay to new levels.

"This is an exciting collaboration with Blizzard that brings the World of Warcraft universe to life with Yeti X," said Doug Sharp, Sr. Product Manager of Gaming at Blue Microphones. "Players not only get broadcast-quality audio, but can transform their voice to bring their personal creativity to their gameplay or stream. We're excited to see how gamers and streamers will use the new voice modulation effect and the Blizzard HD sample library to entertain audiences and create epic streams."

SK hynix to Acquire Intel NAND Flash Memory Business for $9 Billion

SK hynix and Intel today announced that they have signed an agreement on Oct. 20, KST, under which SK hynix would acquire Intel's NAND memory and storage business for US $9 billion. The transaction includes the NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, and the Dalian NAND memory manufacturing facility in China. Intel will retain its distinct Intel Optane business.

SK hynix and Intel will endeavor to obtain required governmental approvals expected in late 2021. Following receipt of these approvals, SK hynix will acquire from Intel the NAND SSD business (including NAND SSD-associated IP and employees), as well as the Dalian facility, with the first payment of US $7 billion. SK hynix will acquire from Intel the remaining assets, including IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers, R&D employees, and the Dalian fab workforce, upon a final closing, expected to occur in March 2025 with the remaining payment of US $2 billion. Per the agreement, Intel will continue to manufacture NAND wafers at the Dalian Memory Manufacturing Facility and retain all IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers until the final closing.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Pictured in the Flesh

Here's the first picture showing AMD's Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" desktop processors in the flesh. The first wave of Ryzen 5000 series for the retail channel include the Ryzen 5 5600X, the Ryzen 7 5800X, the Ryzen 9 5900X and the 5950X. All four chips are shown sitting on a tray. All four chips are compatible with existing Socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 500 series chipset motherboard with a BIOS update; and with the 400-series using a special beta BIOS which will be released in January 2021. The four should be available for purchase in the retail channel by November 5, 2020, with the 6-core/12-thread 5600X priced at USD $300, the 8-core/16-thread 5800X at $450, the 12-core/24-thread 5900X at $550, and the flagship 16-core/32-thread 5950X at $800.

AMD Updates its Chipset Drivers, Includes Updated Power Plan for Ryzen CPUs

In the anticipation of the AMD Ryzen 5000 series of CPUs launch based on Zen 3 architecture, AMD has just released the updated drivers for its chipsets. Covering a wide selection ranging from B350, A320, X370, X399, B450, X470, X570, B550, and TRX40 Chipset, the updated chipset drivers include some bug fixes and new features. Now there is an updated power plan for AMD Ryzen CPUs that coordinate with chipsets, which means that AMD engineers have developed a new plan for Windows 10 OS which provides the best performance and power usage. You can check out the fixes listed below and you can go to the download link to install the new drivers.
Download: AMD Ryzen Chipset Driver 2.10.13.408.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Benchmarked, Conquers Intel Core i5-10600K

Since AMD announced its next-generation Ryzen 5000 series desktop processors based on Zen 3 core, everyone has been wondering how the new processors perform. For a detailed review and performance numbers, you should wait for official reviews. However, today we have the scores of Ryzen 5 5600X CPU. Thanks to the popular hardware leaker @TUM_APISAK, the Ryzen 5 5600X performance numbers in the SiSoftware Sandra benchmark suite have been leaked. When digging under the hood, the new Ryzen CPU contains six of Zen 3 cores with 12 threads, paired with as much as 32 MB of level three (L3) cache. These cores are running at 3.7 GHz base frequency, while the boost speeds are reaching 4.6 GHz.

In the test results, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU has scored Processor Arithmetic and Processor Multi-Media scores of 255.22 GOPS and 904.38 Mpix/s. These scores are not much on their own until we compare them to some of the Intel offerings. When compared to the Intel Core i5-10600K CPU, which is likely its targeted competing category, it scores 224.07 GOPS and 662.33 Mpix/s for Processor Arithmetic and Processor Multi-Media tests respectively. This puts the AMD CPU ahead 13.9% and 36.5% in these tests, indicating the possibility of Zen 3. Another important note here is the thermal headroom both of these CPUs run. While the Intel model is constrained withing 125 W TDP, the AMD model runs at just 65 W TDP. This could be an indication of the efficiency that these new processors harness.

Kingston Announces Dual-Interface DataTraveler Duo USB Flash Drive

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announces the addition of the DataTraveler Duo to its family of double versatility, dual-interface USB flash drives. DataTraveler Duo provides ultimate flexibility for users with newer and legacy devices.

DataTraveler Duo features dual USB connectors that work with both standard USB Type-A and USB Type-C1 ports to easily share files between laptops, desktops and mobile devices. The dual-interface drive is also ideal as extra storage with 32 GB and 64 GB capacities. The USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds allow users to easily access and transfer documents, photos, videos, music and more. Dual sliding caps protect the connectors when not in use.

China's SMIC Announces N+1 Node Tape-Out for 7 nm Silicon

SMIC is taking immense strides in bridging the gap between China's in-house silicon manufacturing capability compared to the usual Taiwanese or US-based options. Despite its ties to the Chinese government, which led for a US blacklisting of the company amidst the current China-US trade-war, SMIC has definitely achieved a benchmark with its 7 nm tape-out. This was achieved after a number of funding rounds, some of them with the power of the Chinese state behind them. While the blacklisting definitely hurt the company, they still have access to ASML's semiconductor manufacturing equipment, so while the rope may be tight, it likely isn't suffocating.

The node's first production tape-out is for an ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) design for Innosilicon, which specializes in cryptocurrency mining, purpose-built chips. SMIC states that the new N+1 process can offer up to 20% boosted performance at the same clocks and core complexity compared to their 12 nm designs, which is subpar compared to other player's "7 nm class nodes", such as GloFo's 12 LP+, Samsung's 8LPP and TSMC's N7 non-EUV nodes (TSMC, for instance, offered a 20% performance boost between the 10 nm and 7 nm nodes). SMIC's manufacturing looks better in other metrics, though: power requirements can be reduced by 57% at the same TDP and complexity, and the transistor density can be increased by up to 2.7 times, (the "up to" depends on specific semiconductor structures). This is SMIC is only targeting - for now - low-power and low-cost devices with the N+1 nodes.

Alpenföhn Launches Gletscherwasser AIOs in 240 mm, 360 mm, in Collaboration With Der8auer

Alpenföhn is a name that still hasn't crossed TPU's benchmark suites, but we have written about the brand in the past. The company is now launching a new AIO cooling solution, (well, cooling lineup) in the form of the Gletscherwasser AIOs, which are available in both 240 mm (240 mm and 240 mm HS) and 360 mm (360 mm and 360 mm HS) according to the employed fans. The Gletscherwasser was designed in conjunction with overclocking poster-child Der8auer, though the extent of this collaboration is unclear. The new AIOs do promise "high performance cooling in a near silent delivery", as most brands do. The Gletscherwasser AIOs feature RGB lighting (via 2x 120 mm ARGB fans or 3x of such fans, according to the 240 mm or 360 mm model) as well as customizable top plates that users can change and customize to their liking. There's a remote control for that ARGB goodness as well.

The pump on the Gletscherwasser AIO liquid coolers can be configured to either extreme performance or "virtual silence" (rated noise of 17.8 dBA). Alpenföhn promises an anti-leak design, with internal pressure avoiding any spillage should the potential for a leak occur (in all parts, including the 465 mm tubing that connects the pump to the radiators. The radiators are made of aluminium, coming in at 27 mm thickness. The Gletscherwasser 240 and 360 fans speeds range from 500 to 1600RPM, with a rated airflow of up to 92.6 m³/h, a maximum pressure of 2.19 mm Aq and a rated noise of up to 23.6 dBA, while the HS (High Speed) models fans are a bit faster and louder, reaching up to 2200RPM with a rated airflow of up to 132.4 m³/h, a maximum pressure of 3.24 mm Aq, and a rated noise of up to 36.8 dBA.

KeysOff Halloween Sale on Discounted Genuine Software Rolls On

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Ubisoft Brings a Collection of Older Titles to Google Stadia

Ubisoft has been a major proponent of Google Stadia since release announcing plans to integrate uPlay+ and was the first major publisher to release a new game on the platform. Ubisoft has recently announced plans to bring eight older titles to Stadia in the coming weeks, these games include; Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2, Assassin's Creed Origins, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Assassin's Creed Unity, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, Far Cry New Dawn, and Far Cry 5. These titles are in addition to major new releases such as Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Far Cry 6 which are set to launch in the coming months. A variety of smaller Ubisoft games are also coming soon to Stadia, including Just Dance 2021, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, and Riders Republic.

SSD Prices Expected To Fall 10-15% in Q4 2020

The memory market is expected to remain in a state of oversupply during Q4 2020 for both DRAM and NAND flash according to a new report from TrendForce. This oversupply will mean ~10% lower prices for memory in Q4 2020 with further price drops in 2021, this will result in falling SSD prices of 10-15%. These price drops in the consumer market will likely result in the lowest SSD pricing seen to date. These reductions were mainly driven by Huawei losing access to foreign DRAM and NAND memory which wasn't fully taken up by other smartphone manufacturers leading to an access of supply. These lower SSD prices will help accelerate the decline of HDDs in consumer devices as price parity gets closer.

Leaked AMD Ryzen 5000 Mobile Lineup Shows Significant Performance Boosts

AMD has attempted to fix their mobile processor naming situation with the launch of Ryzen 5000 desktop processors, by skipping Ryzen 4000 on desktop AMD has brought their mobile and desktop processor generations under the one naming scheme. However, it seems this naming scheme simplification hasn't gone as well as expected with leaked specifications for the upcoming Ryzen 5000 mobile series showing a mix of Zen 2 and Zen 3 processors. The leaked processors include the AMD Ryzen 3 5300U (Zen 2), Ryzen 3 5400U (Zen 3), Ryzen 5 5500U (Zen 2), Ryzen 5 5600U (Zen 3), Ryzen 7 5700U (Zen 2), and the Ryzen 7 5800U (Zen 3).

These new processors will maintain the core counts of their Ryzen 4000 predecessors while gaining a modest bump to base and boost speeds. These clock speed improvements will be accompanied by the claimed 19% IPC uplift on the Zen 3 based processors. The processors will also benefit from increased Vega iGPU cores and iGPU clock speed boosts. This combination should offer significantly improved performance over previous generation Ryzen 4000 mobile processors which already offered strong performance against Intel's offerings. AMD is expected to officially announce these processors at an event in January with prices slightly above previous generations.

ID-Cooling Intros Ice Flow ARGB Snow Series AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

ID-Cooling today unveiled the Ice Flow ARGB Snow line of all-in-one liquid closed-loop CPU coolers. These are essentially a whitewash of the original Ice Flow ARGB series the company unveiled in July 2020. With silvery white taking over the cooler's CPU block, its Nylon tubing sleeves, the radiator (including its aluminium fins), the compound fan's frame, and the impeller. The impeller is still studded with addressable RGB LEDs at the hub. A unique feature with the Ice Flow ARGB series is the location of the pump+reservoir, which is at the radiator, rather than integrated with the CPU water block. The Ice Flow ARGB flow debuts with a 240 mm x 120 mm variant that has a dual impeller compound fan. The cooler has the same specs and cooling capacity (of 250 W) as the original. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Plextor Unveils M8V Plus Series SATA SSDs

Plextor late last week unveiled the M8V Plus line of mainstream SATA SSDs in the 2.5-inch and M.2-2280 form-factors. The M8V Plus is an incremental update of the original M8V series from 2018. What's new is the implementation of KIOXIA-sourced 96-layer TLC NAND flash replacing 64-layer chips from Toshiba. The M8V Plus series comes in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB variants, while the original M8V came in 128-thru-512 GB variants.

The Silicon Motion SM2258 controller under the hood of the M8V Plus, has been updated to its latest revision, and supports Plextor-innovated Plex Compress technology. This feature uses the controller's idle time to compress files that haven't been accessed for over 30 days. The Plex Turbo feature, which is essentially variable-size SLC cache, has also been improved to be larger in size. On-paper performance hasn't changed, with the company claiming up to 560 MB/s sequential reads, up to 520 MB/s sequential writes, up to 90,000 IOPS 4K random access for the 256 GB and 512 GB variants; and up to 88,000 IOPS random access for the 1 TB variant. The company rates write endurance for the 256 GB variant at 140 TBW, 512 GB variant at 280 TBW, and 560 TBW for the 1 TB variant. All three variants are backed by 3-year warranties. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Cherry Announces the Gentix Desktop Wireless Keyboard+Mouse Set

With the GENTIX DESKTOP, CHERRY has added a new dream team to its portfolio. The GENTIX DESKTOP is the perfect fusion of the popular CHERRY GENTIX MOUSE with an uncompromisingly matching keyboard - both wireless components. The latest addition from CHERRY is characterized above all by its extensive features.

The keyboard has ten multimedia keys that make everyday office life noticeably easier thanks to the lock, browser, mail, and calculator functions. Here too, CHERRY has paid great attention to ease of use. The six keys for controlling multimedia functions are self-explanatory. The arrangement of the keys is designed to prevent accidental keystrokes.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 TP470EZ Among First to Feature Intel DG1 Graphics

ASUS unveiled a special variant of its 2020 VivoBook Flip 14 convertible notebook, which features the "First Intel Discrete Graphics," expected to be the Iris Xe DG1 discrete GPU based on the Xe LP architecture. Intel appears to be promoting the combination of the Iris Xe dGPU with its 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" mobile processors, as a potent ultra portable computing solution with rich graphics and mobile gaming. This eats into the markets of entry-level dGPUs by NVIDIA and AMD. Intel is also developing an iGPU+dGPU Multi-Adapter technology that could leverage asymmetric explicit multi-GPU to accelerate gaming performance. The VivoBook Flip 14 TP470EZ features a 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display, and so the combination of the "Tiger Lake" Xe LP iGPU and dGPU could take a swing at Full HD AAA and e-sports gaming.

Intel "Tiger Lake" Based Pentium and Celeron to Feature AVX2, an Instruction the Entry-Level Brands were Deprived Of

Intel's next-generation Pentium Gold and Celeron entry-level processors based on the "Tiger Lake" microarchitecture could finally receive the AVX2 instruction set. Intel had segmented AVX and AVX2 to be exclusive to the Core and Xeon brands, with the Pentium Gold and Celeron products based on the same microarchitectures to artificially lack these instructions.

Intel updated its ARK product information database with entries for "Tiger Lake" based Pentium Gold and Celeron products. The page for the Pentium Gold 7505 and Celeron 6305, mention support for AVX2 besides SSE4. Both are mobile chips with 15 W TDP, and are built on the same 10 nm SuperFin process as the rest of the 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" processor family.
Sunday, October 18th 2020

AMD Navi 21 XT Seemingly Confirmed to Run at ~2.3, 2.4 GHz Clock, 250 W+

AMD's RDNA2-based cards are just around the corner, with the company's full debut of the secrecy-shrouded cards being set for October 28th. Rumors of high clocks on AMD's new architecture - which were nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors up to now - have seemingly been confirmed, with Patrick Schur posting on Twitter some specifications for upcoming RNDA2-based Navi 21 XT. Navi 21 XT falls under the big Navi chip, but likely isn't the top performer from AMD - the company is allegedly working on a Navi 21 XTX solution, which ought to be exclusive to their reference designs, with higher clocks and possibly more CUs.

The specs outed by Patrick are promising, to say the least; that AMD's Big Navi can reach clocks in excess of 2.4 GHz with a 250 W+ TGP (quoted at around 255 W) is certainly good news. The 2.4 GHz (game clock) speeds are being associated with AIB cards; AMD's own reference designs should be running at a more conservative 2.3 GHz. A memory pool of 16 GB GDDR6 has also been confirmed. AMD's assault on the NVIDIA 30-series lineup should embody three models carved from the Navi 21 chip - the higher performance, AMD-exclusive XTX, XT, and the lower performance Navi 21 XL. All of these are expected to ship with the same 256 bit bus and 16 GB GDDR6 memory, whilst taking advantage of AMD's (rumored, for now) Infinity Cache to make up for the lower memory speeds and bus. Hold on to your hats; the hype train is going full speed ahead, luckily stopping in a smooth manner come October 28th.
Saturday, October 17th 2020

ASUS Showcases GeForce RTX 3090 ROG STRIX GUNDAM Edition

ASUS has held its Republic of Gamers (ROG) day, and at the event, there was a special graphics card. Spotted there was a GeForce RTX 3090 GPU in the form of ASUS ROG STRIX GUNDAM edition. With an appeal based on a famous anime series GUNDAM, ASUS has decided to launch a new product line made up of a motherboard and a graphics card. The new ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 ROG STRIX GUNDAM Edition features the same specifications as the regular RTX 3090 edition, just with an increased clock speed of 1890 MHz, three 8-pin power connectors, and a maximum power limit of 480 Watts.

The card features a white triple slot body with three fans cooling the heatsink. When it comes to the availability of this card, it is said to be a limited edition only sold to the Asian market. The price tag will carry a premium over the regular ROG STRIX model, with a cost of 16,999 Yuans (~2530 USD). The standard ROG STRIX model comes at a 1799 USD price tag, meaning that you will pay 730 USD more for this limited edition product. The availability is supposedly going to be even worse than with current cards, meaning that only a few people will get their hands on these if the current situation is any reference.
More pictures follow.

ClockTuner for Ryzen Version 1.1 Released

Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy released the latest version of ClockTuner for Ryzen (CTR), a utility for perfecting an AMD Ryzen-powered PC overclock. CTR lets you easily implement the most optimal clock, voltage, timing, and memory settings for your desktop, and squeezed out levels of performance previously not thought possible, with users reporting double-digit percentage performance gains for practically free.

Version 1.1 introduces a handful new features. For starters, the app's user interface comes with a separate profile management page, which can be accessed by clicking on the "profile management" button. It's now easier to reset the settings. Tool-tips across the app have been improved. CTR 1.1 also introduces additional internal checks to ensure a frequency step up doesn't run into voltage droop. Improvements have been made to the app's engine to ensure the correct commands are sent to the registers, and the "check stability" function.

DOWNLOAD: Clock Tuner for AMD Ryzen
The change-log follows.
Friday, October 16th 2020

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
ID-Cooling SE 914 XT Basic & SE 914 XT ARGB Review

ID-Cooling SE 914 XT Basic & SE 914 XT ARGB Review

ID-Cooling continues its push to offer exceptional entry-level coolers with the release of the SE 914 XT ARGB and SE 914 XT Basic. These compact 92 mm tower coolers deliver performance that belies their small size while allowing them to fit where larger air coolers simply cannot.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra Review

EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra Review

The EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra is extremely impressive. It is the fastest RTX 3080 we've reviewed so far, thanks to a massively increased power limit. The new iCX cooler works well, reaching amazing noise levels that are better than most other RTX 3080 cards, and fan-stop is included, too.

KeysOff Announces Halloween Sale on Discounted Genuine Software

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Please use the coupon code SKK48 on the following items at check-out to avail the prices you see here.
Buy Windows 10 Pro from KeysOff for $7.89 | Buy Windows 10 Home for $8.49 | Buy Windows 10 Pro 2-pack for $12.20

Please use the coupon code SKK58 on the following items at check-out to avail the prices you see here.
Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $23.43 | Buy Office 2016 Professional + Windows 10 Pro for $27.35 | Buy Office 2016 Professional + Windows 10 Home for $27.64 | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus for $30.43 | Buy Office 2019 Professional + Windows 10 Pro for $36.10 | Buy Office 2019 Professional + Windows 10 Home for $36.15

Please use the coupon code SKK55 on the following items at check-out to avail the prices you see here.
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Biostar Announces the B250MHC Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a leading brand of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, today announces the new B250MHC motherboard. Designed based on Intel's B250 single chip architecture, the new B250MHC motherboard from BIOSTAR is engineered to breathe fresh life to older 6th and 7th generation processors from Intel.

Highly suited for business-oriented systems, the B250MHC motherboard comes with the latest technology in the market with BIOSTAR's promised product reliability and long-lasting performance. Capable of supporting up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory across 2 DIMM slots, the B250MHC also carries features like PCIe 3.0 which provides increases channel improvement with enhanced signal and data integrity over 8GT/s bit rate as well as USB 3.2 Gen 1 which provides data transfer speeds up to 5 Gbps for speedy data backup and restore over USB data transfer devices.

MSI's Entire Lineup of AMD 400-series Chipset Motherbord will Support "Zen 3"

AMD has officially announced Zen 3 architecture Ryzen 5000 series processors on October 8th. The latest Zen 3 processors have significant performance improvements compared to the previous 7 nm Ryzen 3000 series processors. For the upcoming processors, MSI has released the latest AGESA COMBO PI V2 1.1.0.0 for all X570 and B550 series motherboards (Link) to perfectly utilize the PCI-E 4.0 performance.

In response to the upgrade demands, AMD also mentioned the BIOS update for selected 400 series motherboards to support Ryzen 5000 series processors will be ready in January 2021. To respond to our users' anticipation, MSI is announcing that all 400 series motherboards, including X470 and B450, MAX, or non-MAX products, will provide BIOS updates later on that can support Ryzen 5000 processors. All the evaluation is in progress under the R&D team. A detailed BIOS release schedule will be announced after the BIOS code is provided by AMD. Please stay tuned for the latest information on the MSI website.

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X 16-core "Zen 3" Processor Overclocked to 6 GHz and Geekbenched

Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK discovered a Geekbench 5 database listing for an upcoming AMD Ryzen 9 5950X "Zen 3" processor, obtained on MacOS. Don't worry, Apple isn't making an AMD-powered iMac Pro as its x86 swansong, because the listing points to a Hackintosh setup using Acidanthera boot-loader. The 5950X engineering sample scores 17448 points multi-threaded, and 2024 points single-core. Here's the best part—the processor appears to be overclocked to 6 GHz, as pointed out in the gb5 files of the benchmark listings, which show the processor's frequency swing between 5931 MHz and 6023 MHz during the test. harukaze5719 compiled a nice bar-graph that compares the 6 GHz overclocked 5950X "Zen 3" to 5.88 GHz overclocked 3950X "Zen 2," and other processors in its class, such as the Core i9-10900K. Find the Geebench listing here.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Features Three Synchronized Memory Clock Domains

A leaked presentation slide by AMD for its Ryzen 5000 series "Zen 3" processors reveals details of the processor's memory interface. Much like the Ryzen 3000 series "Matisse," the Ryzen 5000 series "Vermeer" is a multi-chip module of up to 16 CPU cores spread across two 8-core CPU dies, and a unified I/O die that handles the processor's memory-, PCIe, and SoC interfaces. There are three configurable clock domains that ensure the CPU cores are fed with data at the right speed, and to ensure that the MCM design doesn't pose bottlenecks to the memory performance.

The first domain is fclk or Infinity Fabric clock. Each of the two CCDs (8-core CPU dies) has just one CCX (CPU core complex) with 8 cores, and hence the CCD's internal Infinity Fabric cedes relevance to the IFOP (Infinity Fabric over Package) interconnect that binds the two CCDs and the cIOD (client I/O controller die) together. The next frequency is uclk, or the internal frequency of the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller contained in the cIOD. And lastly, the mclk, or memory clock is the industry-standard DRAM frequency.

NVIDIA Updates Video Encode and Decode Matrix with Reference to Ampere GPUs

NVIDIA has today updated its video encode and decode matrix with references to the latest Ampere GPU family. The video encode/decode matrix represents a table of supported video encoding and decoding standards on different NVIDIA GPUs. The matrix has a reference dating back to the Maxwell generation of NVIDIA graphics cards, showing what video codecs are supported by each generation. That is a useful tool for reference purposes, as customers can check if their existing or upcoming GPUs support a specific codec standard if they need any for video reproduction purposes. The update to the matrix comes in a form of Ampere GPUs, which are now present there.

For example, the table shows that, while supporting all of the previous generations of encoding standards, the Ampere based GPUs feature support for HEVC B Frame standard. For decoding purposes, the Ampere lineup now includes support for AV1 8-bit and 10-bit formats, while also supporting all of the previous generation formats. For a more detailed look at the table please go to NVIDIA's website here.
NVIDIA Encoding and Decoding Standards

NVIDIA and Atos Team Up to Build World's Fastest AI Supercomputer

NVIDIA today announced that the Italian inter-university consortium CINECA—one of the world's most important supercomputing centers—will use the company's accelerated computing platform to build the world's fastest AI supercomputer.

The new "Leonardo" system, built with Atos, is expected to deliver 10 exaflops of FP16 AI performance to enable advanced AI and HPC converged application use cases. Featuring nearly 14,000 NVIDIA Ampere architecture-based GPUs and NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200 Gb/s InfiniBand networking, Leonardo will propel Italy as the global leader in AI and high performance computing research and innovation.

Synology Unveils 6-Bay AMD Ryzen DS1621+ NAS

Synology Inc. today introduced the next generation 6-bay DiskStation NAS, the DS1621+, designed for high-performance data storage and management. A compact powerhouse, the DS1621+ enables content creators and businesses to store and protect large quantities of data effortlessly. The DS1621+ is by far the most powerful Plus series yet. Its quad-core AMD Ryzen processor features the next-generation "Zen" architecture, delivering over 2x more processing power.

"Our customers, more than ever, are relying on Synology storage solutions to store and directly utilize critical data, whether for business or personal use," said Hewitt Lee, Director of Synology Product Management Group. "DS1621+ is designed to be a versatile solution that empowers content creators and collectors by not only providing fast, reliable, and high-capacity storage, but also simplifying IT with effortless backups for PCs and virtual machines."
Thursday, October 15th 2020

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HyperX Fury DDR4-3600 MHz CL18 2x16 GB Review

HyperX Fury DDR4-3600 MHz CL18 2x16 GB Review

HyperX Fury DDR4 memory kits are designed to offer cost-effective performance. Featuring a wide range of speeds and capacities, there is a HyperX Fury kit to suit almost any build. So how cost effective and performant is it? Let's find out!

Sony Electronics Launches Groundbreaking Spatial Reality Display

Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the debut of the Spatial Reality Display (SR Display), a groundbreaking new product made with Sony's award-winning Eye-Sensing Light Field Display (ELFD) technology. The display, initially shared with attendees at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of this year, does not require virtual reality glasses or a headset. The SR Display enables creators across a variety of industries, from automotive and industrial design, to Computer Graphics (CG) and Visual Effects (VFX) designers and creators in film to bring ideas to life in stunning 3D displays.

"We're excited to bring the world's best technology to bear, moving the design and creation industry forward, particularly as the shift to digital has become so pronounced," stated Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics North America. "This technology drives new versatility, allowing us to advance an entirely new medium and experience for designers and creators everywhere."

CORSAIR Launches HS60 HAPTIC Gaming Headset

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today launched the CORSAIR HS60 HAPTIC, the latest addition to the award-winning HS Series of PC headsets. The HS60 HAPTIC delivers deeper, more powerful sound than can be achieved through just speakers alone thanks to haptic bass developed by Taction Technology. Combined with the celebrated materials, audio quality, and comfort synonymous with the HS Series, the HS60 HAPTIC makes a striking addition to any gaming setup that must be heard - and felt - to be believed.

At the core of the HS60 HAPTIC's distinctive listening experience lies innovative bass from Taction Technology that enhances low-end frequencies using tactile feedback, enabling users to perceive sounds while gaming that other headsets miss. Hearing the deep, low rumble of explosions or the reverberating hum of nearby machinery is a richer, more engaging experience with the HS60 HAPTIC. Combined with a pair of custom-tuned 50 mm neodymium audio drivers delivering superb sound quality and a fully detachable, noise-cancelling uni-directional microphone for outstanding vocal clarity, the HS60 HAPTIC puts you in the middle of the action like never before.

Alphacool Introduces a New Range of Water Cooling Tubing

Alphacool presents a new tubing. A wide range of different variants of the new AlphaTube HF tubing are now available: Colored or clear, with or without UV reactivity, the choice is yours! This makes it easy to find the tubing that best suits your taste. The AlphaTube HF tubing has perfect flexibility for easy routing. It is flexible enough to be routed without effort, but at the same time, rigid enough that it does not kink, even with tighter bending radii.

Further variations of the AlphaTube HF tubing will be available in the next few weeks.

EK Water Blocks Releases Vector Water Block for EVGA RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 XC3

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is launching its premium high-performance GPU water block for the EVGA XC3 edition of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards. The new water block is named EK-Quantum Vector XC3 RTX 3080/3090 D-RGB and is exclusively engineered for the EVGA XC3 RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 GPUs. The EK-Quantum Vector XC3 RTX 3080/3090 water block is compatible with EVGA XC3 RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards. This Vector water block actively cools the GPU, top-facing VRAM, and inductors and MOSFETs in the VRM section.

These newly developed XC3 water blocks feature optimized flow paths that reduce hydrodynamic instabilities and vortexing (dead spots) inside of them. An Open Split-Flow cooling engine design is implemented, which proved to be a superior solution for GPU water blocks. It is characterized by low hydraulic flow restriction, meaning it can be used with weaker water pumps or pumps running on low-speed settings, and still achieve top performance. The jet plate and fin structure geometry have been optimized to provide even flow distribution with minimal losses and optimal performance when used in any given coolant flow orientation, unlike some products that are currently available on the market.
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