Friday, April 20th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors

QNAP Introduces New TVS-882BR-RDX NAS Models

QNAP Systems, Inc. today unveiled new TVS-882BR RDX models (including the TVS-882BR-RDX and TVS-882BRT3-RDX) that integrates the Tandberg RDX QuikStor internal SATA 5.25-inch docking station (8813-RDX) for installing removable and portable RDX hard disk cartridges. Compared to standard external hard drives, the Tandberg RDX cartridge features a rugged dust-proof design that protects data for a longer period of time and allows users to easily transfer data with the cartridges.

"QNAP constantly integrates partner backup solutions to our existing NAS solutions. By supporting RDX hard disk backup, the new TVS-882BR RDX models allows users to enjoy longer data protection and the portable cartridges can easily be shared for data exchanging. Coupled with Media Asset Management (MAM) software and a wide range of backup solutions, the TVS-882BR helps improve work efficiency while also providing highly-scalable storage space and powerful hardware that meets the requirements from modern businesses and organizations" said Dan Lin, Product Manager of QNAP.

Raijintek Intros CWB-RGB CPU Water Block with Addressable RGB LED Lighting

Raijintek today rolled out the CWB-RGB, a nickel-plated copper CPU water block with a frosted acrylic top, which acts as a diffuser concealing 12 addressable RGB LEDs. The block includes an RGB LED controller module that draws power from a SATA-power connector, and lets you toggle between 184 lighting presets. The block has a mirror finish in its business end. It supports standard G1/4" fittings. Measuring 94 mm x 77 mm x 26.1 mm (WxDxH), it weighs around 180 g. The addressable RGB LEDs can also be plugged into a 4-pin RGB header. Most modern CPU socket types are supported, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing.

EK Starts Selling Pre-built, Liquid Cooled Ryzen-based Gaming PCs

EK is proud to announce the launching of pre-built fully liquid cooled Gaming PCs under the name of EK Fluid Gaming Systems. All systems are based on an MSI motherboard and NV graphics cards, G.Skill memory and ... all are Ryzen 2000 based.

Also, with the current GPUs crisis going on, we are allocating GPUs to purebred gaming PCs to be used for gaming. If you are not impressed by our to default offer of PCs, you can fully configure your gaming rig. Each of the offered configurations is a base for your dream PC to come true. You can pick each core component for your perfect gaming PC which will suit your needs. That's right! You can pick a motherboard, graphics card, RAM, power supply, SSD, HDD or both. A large variety of components is available, including the newly released 2nd generation of AMD Ryzen processors. If you like pimping your ultimate gaming PC even more, you can pick an awesome CableMod Pro series sleeved cable kit as well.
Thursday, April 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Memory
Monitors
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6 GHz

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6 GHz

Priced at an affordable $230, AMD's Ryzen 5 2600X is targeted at a larger market than the Ryzen 7 2700X. The processor still comes with 6 cores and 12 threads, matching the best Intel has to offer. In our testing, we see the new processor neck-to-neck with the Ryzen 7 1700X and beating the Intel Core i5-8600K.
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7 GHz

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7 GHz

AMD's new second-generation Ryzen processors are here. We run the Ryzen 7 2700X flagship through our completely revamped test suite, which features the latest BIOS, OS, and software updates, as well as new tests and games. Results are very impressive and considerably reduce the gap to Intel's offerings.

34 Companies Sign the Cybersecurity Tech Accord

34 different companies (which include Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, Nokia, and Oracle) signed the Cybesecurity Tech Accord this week. The Accord, which is being hailed as the "Digital Geneva Accord", ratifies a new era of corporations' protection of customers, and a new way to engage and protect from cyberattacks. The biggest part of this? The pledge not to aid governments in performing any type of cyberattacks against customers. The usage of the word customers isn't an innocent one: a consumer is such in any part of the world, regardless of any given countries' definition.

The idea behind the Accord is to allow "public commitment among 34 global companies to protect and empower civilians online and to improve the security, stability and resilience of cyberspace." This is an effort from tech companies to distance themselves from all manner of centralized government power, and to place themselves in a new, customer-protective light. At the same time, companies are looking to engender a coordinated response to global-scale ransomware attacks, such as last years' WannaCry and NotPetya events. "The devastating attacks from the past year demonstrate that cybersecurity is not just about what any single company can do but also about what we can all do together." said Microsoft President Brad Smith. "This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path towards more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world." You can read the entire post on the mission and signing of the Accord after the break.

New BioShock Game Allegedly in Development

BioShock is like mom's home-cooked meals. You might remember how great they were, but you've certainly forgotten how good they tasted. It's hard to blame anyone given that the last BioShock game was released almost five years ago. And to make matters even worse, the last installment (BioShock Infinite) wasn't even a sequel or a prequel to the previous BioShock 2 game. But fear not, Big Daddy is making his comeback. Kotaku's lengthy article on Hangar 13 revealed that a secret BioShock title, codenamed 'Parkside', is under development. According to Kotaku's report:
A year and a half later, however, Hangar 13 is a far different place. This past year was a turbulent time for the studio, as it floundered while trying to figure out what its next game would be. Many of the people who helped make Mafia III are now gone, including the game's art director, technical art director, senior producers, design director, many design leads, and a number of other key staff. Some left voluntarily; others were let go or asked to move. Some went to other game companies; others moved to the top-secret studio next door to work on an unannounced new BioShock game.

PowerColor Radeon RX Vega Nano Pictured

A mysterious Radeon RX Vega Nano graphics card from manufacturer PowerColor made a surprise appearance at AMD's Ryzen 2000 series launch event held in Munich. Although based on AMD's reference design, this PowerColor model differs a little from the RX Vega Nano prototype that was showcased back in SIGGRAPH 2017 by Raja Koduri. In terms of design, PowerColor's prototype lacks the illuminated Radeon cube on the corner, and the axial fan sits further to the left. The heatsink is physically longer and extends slightly beyond the graphics card's PCB. The manufacturer also added an additional 6-pin PCIe connector for more power delivery. At the time of this article's publication, PowerColor hasn't confirmed if their Radeon RX Vega Nano will be available to the public.

Croteam Releases New Teaser Trailer for Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass

Croteam today released a teaser trailer and screenshot for Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass. As the name implies, Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass is the fourth installment in the Serious Sam franchise and will supposedly reignite the series with high-adrenaline action, enormous hordes of enemies to kill, and a plethora of new weapons to choose from. A full reveal of the game will take place at the Devolver Digital E3 conference this coming June. For those who are interested, the Steam page for Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass is live if you want to add the game to your wishlist. Unfortunately, Croteam didn't announce the official launch date, so we'll have to wait until E3 to get more information.

AMD Announces Availability of 2nd Generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" Processors

AMD today announced the global availability of its 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop processors, starting with four models optimized for gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts: Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 5 2600X, and Ryzen 5 2600 processors. Using the world's first 12 nm process technology, these 2nd Gen Ryzen processors can offer up to 15% higher gaming performance than 1st Gen Ryzen processors, while delivering the highest multiprocessing performance you can get on a mainstream desktop PC, and enhanced capabilities including Precision Boost 2 and Extended Frequency Range 2 (XFR 2), an included Wraith Cooler, unlocked performance accessed with the new Ryzen Master Utility, and more.

"Last year we started changing the PC industry with the introduction of our first wave of Ryzen processors - delivering more performance, features, and choice to our customers than before. Our 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs continue this pursuit by raising the standards for enthusiast gamers and creators," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With this launch we're also demonstrating that we are just getting started, that we are committed to delivering a multi-generational roadmap of leadership high-performance processors that will drive innovation and competition into the industry for years to come."

G.SKILL Announces New Specifications for AMD Ryzen 2000 Series Processors

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is excited to announce the release of new Trident Z RGB and Sniper X series specifications launching in conjunction with the release of the AMD Ryzen 2000 series processors and the X470 platform. Kit specifications starting from DDR4-3200MHz CL16-18-18-38 16GB (2x8GB) to DDR4-3600MHz 18-22-22-42 16GB (2x8GB), these new specifications push the boundaries of AMD system performance to the next level.

Armed with the latest IMC on the new 2nd generation AMD Ryzen processors, G.SKILL aims to bring users ultra-fast high performance memory kits to help increase overall system performance with the new X470 systems. Trident Z RGB, with model numbers ending with TZRX, and Sniper X memory series now introduce several new AMD X470-specific memory specifications. Please see below for a complete list of the new specifications.

Antec Launches the DF500 Gaming Case

Antec Inc., a leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, presents the latest mid tower of their award-winning Dark Fleet Series: the Antec DF500 RGB. The case is now commercially available from 79€. The DF500 without the RGB is available for 59 Euros (suggested retail price including VAT).

BIOSTAR Launches RACING X470GN Mini-ITX Motherboard for AMD Ryzen 2000 Series

BIOSTAR adds a mini-ITX motherboard with the RACING X470GTN for the second generation AMD Ryzen processors, Pinnacle Ridge and Raven Ridge. The BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN packs powerful features in a small form factor for gamers on the move. It has a premium black RACING themed PCB design, Digital Power+, Hi-Fi zone design, integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type A + C), Iron Slot Protection, and Advanced VIVID LED DJ for more RGB lighting control.

BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN
The BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN is a mini-ITX form factor motherboard with one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot and supports two dual-channel memory of up to DDR4-3200MHz (OC). The RACING X470GTN has a 7-digital power phase design to harness the power of the new Ryzen 7 2700X 8-core, 16-thread processor. The motherboard also packs 4x SATA III ports, 1x M.2 32Gb/s port and integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type A and C).

Sharkoon Introduces Mechanical, Low Profile Keyboards with RGB Illumination

Sharkoon widens its range of low profile keyboards, and, with the PureWriter RGB and the PureWriter TKL RGB, introduces two versions with stepless adjustable RGB illumination. Both versions - with or without number block - benefit from additional function keys with preset multimedia actions. Following from the previous PureWriter models without RGB, Sharkoon is continuing with the mechanical switches from the Kailh manufacture. Both RGB Keyboards are available with either red or blue switches.

ADATA XPG Unveils SPECTRIX D41 DDR4 RGB Memory Module

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performanceDRAM modules and NAND Flash products, announces its next generation XPG SPECTRIX D41 DDR4 RGB memory module. The memory module brings together a new refreshing aesthetic design, striking speeds and stunning programmable RGB lighting to offer avid gamers a worthy upgrade for their setups. What's more, the XPG SPECTRIX D41 supports Intel X299 2666 MHz and AMD AM4/Ryzen platforms and comes in two color options - Crimson Red and Titanium Gray.

Inspired by armor, the SPECTRIX D41's medal heatsink features a bold silhouette to symbolize its impressive performance. On top is a fully exposed RGB LED light strip that glows unhindered, letting the colors and lighting effects of the user's choosing shine through. Users can enhance their gaming experiences with programmable lighting effects to set up patterns, pulse speed, lighting intensity and more. This can all be controlled with the ADATA RGB Sync app or an existing RGB light control software from a major motherboard maker.
Wednesday, April 18th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
Processors
Speakers
ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin

ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin

The ASUS ROG Gladius II Origin comes with a number of amazing features. Aura Sync RGB lighting, top-of-the-line optical sensor, socket-switch design, detachable cable - and I did not mention it all. ASUS really did set the standards high this time, but the price tag turned out to be quite spicy.

Phanteks Releases Three New Eclipse P300 Color Options

Phanteks is excited to be releasing three new colors to the P300 Lineup: Black/Red, Black/White, and White. With its full metal exterior and a tempered glass side panel, the Eclipse P300 has an exceptional build quality in its class. The new PSU shroud design enhances the clean interior and exterior looks. It's packed with features to create an intuitive and convenient installation experience. The P300 comes with easy cable management tools, AIO water-cooling support, dustproof interior, full length GPU support and RGB lighting with possibilities to expand with more Phanteks RGB products. The Eclipse P300 is a great starting point for new and budgetoriented users.

Far Cry 5 Denuvo Protection Has Been Defeated

Released worldwide on March 26, the PC version of Far Cry 5 has been cracked 19 days after its launch. Nevertheless, the Denuvo 5.0 protection served its purpose as the game sold nearly five million copies in its first week. What's more impressive, though, is that it took prolific warez group CPY less than three weeks to circumvent the game's multiple layers of DRM. Nevertheless, CPY's feat wasn't a complete walk in the park. According to the information provided by the Italian entity, Far Cry 5's cocktail of copy protections included Denuvo 5.0, EasyAntiCheat, uPlay, and VMProtect. Given the speedy release for this one, maybe CPY has finally discovered the secret to Denuvo's formula. Or perhaps Denuvo is starting to lose its touch.

exklim Presents Their eX Core Portable eGPU That Turns Any Computer Into a Gaming Rig

exklim today introduced the eX Core , the world's first, portable eGPU that turbocharges your computer, turning any laptop or desktop into a powerful gaming rig. eX Core sets out to provide gamers, Bitcoin miners, students and on-the-go professionals with a lightweight, high-performance solution to run any application, at any time. The eX Core is now live on Kickstarter.

As games and applications are becoming graphically demanding, central processing units (CPUs) are being rendered useless. While CPUs may be fast enough to run a game, the graphics power is limited. The eX Core solves this problem by opening up the door for any computer to have the same high-end graphics or design capabilities as even the most advanced computers - at a fraction of the cost. It leverages NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1050 Factory OC at 1680 MHz and high bandwidth GDDR5 vRam to run the most graphically demanding PC games and video applications on the market.

AVerMedia Introduces the SonicWave GH335 and GH337 Gaming Headsets

AVerMedia Technologies, Inc., a leader in digital video and audio, today introduced its brand-new line of SonicWave gaming audio solutions. The two headsets, the stereo SonicWave GH335 and the virtual 7.1 surround sound SonicWave GH337, have both been designed to give gamers a satisfying, immersive audio experience on PC, all current consoles and even mobile platforms. AVerMedia listened to gaming community feedback to ensure the SonicWave line measures up to the most demanding gaming audio needs.

Both headsets feature oversized 50mm neodymium drivers delivering powerful sound at a fraction of the weight of regular magnets. The stereo SonicWave GH335 features analog audio and microphone connections and its oversized drivers and closed back design help keep gamers focused on their gaming experience.

AOC Announces AGON AG322QC4 Gaming Monitor with FreeSync 2 and DisplayHDR 400

Display specialist AOC is proud to announce the new addition to its AGON premium gaming monitor family, the AOC AGON AG322QC4 that offers stunning gaming visuals with its HDR400-compliant 3-sided frameless 31.5" VA panel, a razor-sharp Quad HD (2560x1440 px) resolution in 16:9 aspect ratio, deep and inky 2000:1 static contrast ratio and an aggressive 1800R curvature. The 144 Hz refresh rate, 4 ms GtG response time combined with FreeSync 2 support ensure a smooth gameplay experience at the utmost competitive level.

The AG322QC4 comes with recent display technologies for lifelike visuals and the smoothest gameplay experience, VESA DisplayHDR 400 and Radeon FreeSync 2. The VESA HDR400 specification ensures 400 cd/m² peak brightness, improved black levels, higher color gamut and more bit depth (color depth) to display High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals.

Western Digital Announces New Ultrastar DC HC530 14TB Hard Drive

Enabling new lower levels of total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud and enterprise customers, Western Digital Corporation today introduced the Ultrastar DC HC530 hard drive - at 14TB, no other CMR (conventional magnetic recording) hard drive in the industry offers a higher capacity. The breadth and depth of big data is driving the universal need for higher capacities across a broad spectrum of applications and workloads. Built on Western Digital's fifth-generation HelioSeal technology, the Ultrastar DC HC530 drive is designed for public and private cloud environments where storage density, watt/TB and $/TB are critical parameters for creating the most cost-efficient infrastructure.

The data explosion caused by big data, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, rich content and fast data applications is challenging hyperscale cloud data centers and enterprises to efficiently build massive petabyte-scale infrastructures. This ability to cost-effectively scale-up or scale-out is business critical, not only for cloud service providers but for organizations leveraging big data analytics and machine learning in medical, science, agriculture and other fields seeking innovation, discoveries and unique insights, as well as for creating new business models.

CRYORIG Releases Full Copper C7 Cu Heatsink

After nearly a year from first announcing the Cu line of full copper coolers PC cooling innovator CRYORIG is now releasing the C7 Cu copper enhanced SFF ITX cooler. The C7 Cu is built from the award winning C7 architecture with one obvious upgrade, the extravagant use of copper for the whole heatsink body. By exchanging for a full copper build from aluminum has allowed the C7 Cu see improvements of up to 15% in thermal performance. The increased thermal performance without increased size is a key advantage of the C7 Cu especially in ultra compact SFF/ITX builds where space is limited.

Aimed at solving the space limits of Small Form Factor ITX systems, the C7 Cu was set with the task of further improving performance but without increasing size or fan speed. Utilizing higher thermal conductive materials was the only answer for the C7 Cu. Copper is nearly twice as thermal conductive as aluminum but nearly three times as expensive. That's why copper is normally only used on the most thermal critical components such as heatpipes and heatsink base plates. With the C7 Cu, CRYORIG has swapped out the aluminum elements of the C7 with pure copper. Thermal performance gains are close to 15% when compared to the original C7.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to Shed Single-Player Campaign; Doubling Down on Zombies, MP

News reported by Polygon paint the next installment in the metronome-like cadence of annual Call of Duty game releases as a much less interesting package than gamers are used to. Citing industry sources, Polygon is reporting that Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is going to shed its single player campaign entirely, citing a lack of development time to deliver it on launch. This is strange for a number of reasons. First, Treyarch, who's helming the games' development this time around, enjoyed a three-years development period to make the game happen; second, there's no need to do anything else than some incremental changes to the game's engine, as has been the case for COD games for years, so that couldn't have taken up much development time; third, using development resources to "just about" finish the games' campaign and then ultimately deciding to scrape it altogether just seems like a very bad business move.

BenQ Launces the EX3203R Monitor: 31.5", 2560 x 1440, 144 Hz, FreeSync 2, 1800R Curvature

BenQ announced a new entry to its monitor lineup under the model name EX3203R. It sports a 31.5" VA panel with 2560 x 1440 resolution, and can display frames at up to 144 Hz refresh rates. The slight 1800R curvature is expected to keep all points of the monitor at the same distance from users' eyes. AMD's FreeSync 2 technology is also being employed here, making this a more attractive proposition for gaming scenarios. Since this is FreeSync 2 we're talking about, the effective FreeSync range should be quite high, since support for LFC (Low Frame-Rate Compensation) is an essential part of the certification.

Like most BenQ (and other brands') monitors, BenQ is touting this panel as HDR-compatible, and sporting a HDR-specific luminance mode that achieves a top 400 cd/m² luminance - the basest of the base values allowed by AMD for HDR compatibility. Non-HDR content, however, will default to a top 300 cd/m² luminance. BenQ is quoting 90% DCI-P3 coverage. Connectivity options include 2x HDMI 1.4 ports, 1x DisplayPort 1.2a, 2x USB 3.1 ports, and 1x USB Type-C port. Pricing hasn't been announced at time of writing.
Tuesday, April 17th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Speakers
SSD
i-Rocks K70E Capacitive Keyboard

i-Rocks K70E Capacitive Keyboard

The i-Rocks K70E is a high-end keyboard with a feature set boasting configurable capacitive switches and per-key RGB backlighting, with software support backing onboard controls. At the same time, it retains the fun factor by using a transparent top plate and accessory paper skins for a high degree of customization.
EIZO FlexScan EV2785

EIZO FlexScan EV2785

EIZO's FlexScan EV2785 is an excellent 27" office monitor. It is equipped with a high-quality 4K IPS panel that has been carefully factory-calibrated and a USB-C port, which turns it into an attractive proposition for everyone who owns a USB-C laptop since the monitor can be used not to only expand the desktop, but to conveniently charge the battery and connect peripherals.

AMD Responds to NVIDIA's GPP: AIB Partners to Announce New Radeon-Exclusive Brands

In a blog post on its gaming website, AMD has decided to put on the white gloves for a distinctive strike against NVIDIA's GPP initiative, which has seen rivers of ink and public discussion already. In the blog post, entitled "Radeon RX Graphics: A Gamer's Choice", the company is clearly putting its footing on the same stance it always finds itself positioned to by NVIDIA: the freedom of choice, and freedom of standards side of the equation.

The blog post entirely reads as an anti environment-lock manifesto, extorting the virtues of PC gaming and the open-ended building and assembly of parts from various manufacturers that it's built upon. As a move against NVIDIA's decision to enforce their GPP initiative to lock-in AIB partners towards having an NVIDIA-exclusive brand, AMD has come out of the gates saying that the simple solution is for partners to announce new, AMD-exclusive brands as well. This is logical; was to be expected; and is really AMD's only move out of this forced hand it was dealt with.

MSI Announces Intel 8th Gen Gaming Desktops with G.A.M.E. Unlimited

MSI proudly announces the new Gaming Desktop series. The product will include the Aegis Ti3, Aegis 3, Infinite A, Trident 3, Trident 3 Arctic and Nightblade MI3. Based on the latest Intel 8th-generation processor technology, powered by MSI's unmatched game-enhancing features, a true gaming experience without any boundaries is now possible. Go beyond the ordinary and experience the extraordinary. Moreover, MSI is honorably expanding its current Gaming Desktops with the Optix Curved Gaming monitors to introduce the concept of G.A.M.E. Unlimited: Gaming Power, Accessibility, Monitor, and Experience.

Cooler Master Announces Its First Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

Cooler Master, a global leader in manufacturing CPU coolers, computer components and peripherals, introduces its first addressable RGB all-in-one (AIO) liquid CPU coolers. The MasterLiquid ML240R RGB and MasterLiquid ML120R RGB are certified compatible with ASUS, MSI and ASRock motherboards and feature addressable RGB LEDs on both the fans and water block.

16.7 Million Color Customizing with Software or Wired Controller
The MasterLiquid ML240R RGB and MasterLiquid ML120R RGB feature a newly designed pump with 12 addressable RGB LEDs on the water block and eight addressable RGB LEDs on each fan, capable of 16.7million color options. Users can easily customize each LED, individually, through the addressable RGB software from ASUS, MSI and ASRock motherboards, or with Cooler Master's upcoming MasterPlus+ software for complete ambient control.

ASUS Announces the AMD-Exclusive 'AREZ' Brand for Radeon Graphics Cards

ASUS today announced AREZ, a new brand identity for ASUS Radeon RX graphics cards. Derived from Ares, the Greek god of war, AREZ-branded graphics cards are built using industry-leading automated manufacturing to provide AMD gamers and enthusiasts with superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem. The new AREZ brand underlines the strong working partnership between ASUS and AMD that spans decades. Gamers and enthusiasts will enjoy a combination of exclusive ASUS innovations and technologies and AMD's Radeon graphics processors and software.

"Gamers around the world rally behind AMD Radeon because of what the Radeon name stands for: a dedication to open innovation such as our contributions to the DirectX and Vulkan APIs, a commitment to true transparency through industry standards like Radeon FreeSync technology, and a desire to expand the PC gaming ecosystem by enabling developers to take advantage of all graphics hardware, including AMD Radeon graphics. We invite gamers everywhere who believe in these values and the value of the exceptional gaming experience Radeon graphics delivers to join the Red team," said Scott Herkelman, Vice President and General Manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group.

MSI Unveils New Vortex W25 Desktop Workstation and Updated Mobile Workstations

MSI, a world leader in computer hardware, continues to innovate its workstation line with the Vortex W25 and updated WT75, WS63 and WE series of mobile workstations. The Vortex W25 is the world's first 2.5L desktop powered by NVIDIA's Quadro P5200 GPU. "The Vortex W25 is one of the smallest and most capable workstations on the market," said Andy Tung, President of MSI. "We first created the chassis for powerful gaming performance with the Vortex G25, but we believe the innovative design will translate easily to those who need desktop-grade power in a small form factor."

Vortex W25
The Vortex W25 is the world's first 2.5L desktop powered by the NVIDIA Quadro P5200 GPU. In addition to its powerful graphics card, the Vortex also comes equipped with the latest Intel 8th generation processor. The new processor with its six cores of computing power, is up to 30 percent more powerful than the previous generation. The Quadro GPU provides up to 40 percent more performance than its predecessor. These performance upgrades make the Vortex W25 ideal for high-end 3D or VR tasks.

Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 Gaming Memory Now Available

Ballistix, a leading global brand of gaming memory, today announced the availability of Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 memory. The new Tactical Tracer RGB modules, available in 8GB and 16GB densities with speeds up to 3000 MT/s, allow gamers to light up their systems with 16 RGB LEDs in 8 zones on each module. PC modders can customise their system's look by removing the Ballistix-labeled light bar for maximum brightness, or 3D printing their own light bar to truly leave their mark on their memory.

"A lot of the members in our community love to personalise their gaming rigs and the new Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 modules help achieve just the style they are looking for," said Jim Jardine, Director of DRAM Product Marketing. "Having an RGB module with a removable light bar that enables you to custom-make your own system gives system builders the best options for customisation and personalisation."

Intel Platform Vulnerability Lets Malware Erase or Block UEFI Firmware Updates

A new Intel platform vulnerability emerged, chronicled by the company under CVE-2017-5703, dated April 3, which could let malware erase your motherboard UEFI BIOS, or render the EEPROM chip storing it "read-only" forever, preventing future BIOS updates, exploiting vulnerabilities in Intel's implementation of the SPI (serial peripheral interface) on its platforms. The vulnerability affects all Intel processors dating all the way back to 5th generation "Broadwell." The company quietly passed on fixes to its OEM partners to release as BIOS updates.

The vulnerability came to light in the public as Lenovo, Intel's largest OEM partner, deployed BIOS updates for its vulnerable products, while detailing it. Lenovo describes the vulnerability as "the configuration of the system firmware device (SPI flash) could allow an attacker to block BIOS/UEFI updates, or to selectively erase or corrupt portions of the firmware." It goes on to add that "this would most likely result in a visible malfunction, but could in rare circumstances result in arbitrary code execution." Intel said it discovered the vulnerability internally and hasn't noticed any exploits in the wild that take advantage of it. "Issue is root-caused, and the mitigation is known and available," the company said in a security advisory. "To Intel's knowledge, the issue has not been seen externally."

AMD Readies Z490 Chipset with More (and Faster) PCIe Lanes

AMD is reportedly readying a new high-end motherboard chipset positioned higher than even its upcoming X470 chipset, which makes its market debut on April 19. The new Z490 chipset, as it's called, is emerging to be significantly different from X470, and could finally overcome its biggest limitation - downstream PCIe connectivity. While the X470, like its predecessor, puts out just 8 downstream PCIe lanes, which are PCI-Express gen 2.0 at that, the new Z490 will put out a total of 12 PCI-Express gen 3.0 downstream lanes, which will power additional bandwidth-hungry devices, such as additional M.2 slots, external USB 3.1 controllers, 10 GbE controllers, etc. The Z490 was first leaked through a GIGABYTE Aorus internal presentation.

In its current implementation, socket AM4 motherboards have a total of 24 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes from the AM4 SoC, besides 6-8 gen 2.0 lanes from the chipset. From this SoC budget, 16 lanes are allocated for PEG (PCI-Express Graphics), 4 lanes as chipset-bus (connecting the SoC with the chipset), and the remaining 4 lanes powering one 32 Gbps M.2 slot. Additional M.2 slots are either gen 2.0, from the chipset's downstream lane budget, or split from the PEG budget. The Z490 overcomes this with a downstream PCIe root complex that's not just 50% broader, but also twice as fast, with PCI-Express gen 3.0. The rest of its feature-set appears to be identical to the X470. There's no timeline on when we can expect Z490 to launch.

Dell Launches Ryzen-Powered Inspiron 13 7000: 13.3" 1080p, 2-in-1 Convertible

Despite not wanting to do away with Intel's dominance in its portfolio anytime soon, Dell is obviously looking to better round up its product lineup with some red team-powered goodies. Case in point: the 2-in-1 convertible Dell Inspiron 13 7000, which makes use of AMD's latest Ryzen mobile APUs to deliver a strong computing performance, whilst also emphasizing content consumption. There's an option for all budgets (starting from $700 for the base version and up to $1019 for the top-tier one), and the CPU choices are naturally based around either AMD's Ryzen 5 2500U with a Radeon Vega 8 iGPU, or the more powerful Ryzen 7 2700U with a Radeon Vega 10 iGPU (both 4 core, 8-thread CPUs, but with 512 and 640 Vega Stream processors, respectively).

Joint Photographic Experts Group Announces JPEG XS Format for Streaming Scenarios

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), an international committee headed by an EPFL professor, has just unveiled JPEG XS. A new time of higher amounts of content consumption - and the ways we consume it - requires a new way to send its data. With this new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images can be sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS will have applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing.

Headed by Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor in EPFL's School of Engineering (STI), the JPEG XS format was essentially designed to stream live video and VR - it's not a replacement to JPEG, and file-sizes will actually end up being slightly bigger. The big push with this format is lower compression and decompression latency, as well as energy efficiency of the decompression process itself. The fact that it's open source and has a universal HDR coding format also means that its uptake should be relatively high.

Toshiba Also Announces the P300, L200, X300, and N300 Hard Drive Series

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation ("Toshiba") today announced six new series of internal hard drives for the consumer market: P300 Desktop PC Hard Drives, L200 Laptop PC Hard Drives, X300 Performance Hard Drives, and N300 NAS Hard Drives.

The P300 Desktop PC Hard Drive series offers high performance ideal for home and business users and is available with up to 3 TB of storage capacity. They operate at 7,200 rpm and have built-in shock sensors that detect impacts and reduce vibration during read and write operations, improving tracking accuracy and performance.

Futuremark Sets a Date for UL Rebranding

Futuremark set a date for its re-branding to align with its parent company UL. April 23, 2018 is when Futuremark products and services will be sold under the new branding scheme. Futuremark became part of UL in 2014. UL is an independent, global company with more than 10,000 professionals in 40 countries. UL offers a wide range of testing, inspection, auditing, and certification services and solutions to help customers, purchasers and policymakers manage risk and complexity in modern markets. A set of FAQs associated with the change are answered below.

Intel Announces iGPU-accelerated Threat Detection Technology

Today, Intel is taking another step forward, with two new technology announcements: Intel Threat Detection Technology (Intel TDT), a set of silicon-level capabilities that will help the ecosystem detect new classes of threats, and Intel Security Essentials, a framework that standardizes the built-in security features across Intel processors. We are also announcing a strengthened academic partnership with Purdue University, to help accelerate the development and availability of cybersecurity talent.

Intel Threat Detection Technology leverages silicon-level telemetry and functionality to help our industry partners improve the detection of advanced cyberthreats and exploits. Today we are announcing the first two Intel Threat Detection Technology capabilities, including implementation plans by Microsoft and Cisco.

The first new capability is Accelerated Memory Scanning. Current scanning technologies can detect system memory-based cyberattacks, but at the cost of CPU performance. With Accelerated Memory Scanning, the scanning is handled by Intel's integrated graphics processor, enabling more scanning, while reducing the impact on performance and power consumption. Early benchmarking on Intel test systems show CPU utilization dropped from 20 percent to as little as 2 percent.

Toshiba Announces V300 and S300 Series Hard Drives

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), a committed technology leader, announces two new surveillance and video streaming Hard Drives to the consumer internal lineup, the S300 and V300. The S300 surveillance Hard Drive series is available in capacities up to 10 TB and offers support for up to 64 high definition camera streams. The V300 Video Stream Hard Drive series is available in capacities up to 3 TB and suited for all entry level recording and streaming for the home.

The S300 Surveillance Hard Drive series offer 24/7 reliability and high performance with large cache size up to 256 MB. The S300 performs at up to 7200 rpm with a maximum data transfer speed of 248 MB/s. Additionally, the S300 comes with built-in RV sensors to help suppress vibrations in multi hard drive platforms. Available in up to 10 TB capacities, the new surveillance hard drive can handle high workloads up to 180 TB/year and supports surveillance network video recorders (sNVR), surveillance digital video recorders (sDVR), hybrid sDVR (analog and IP) and RAID storage arrays for surveillance.
Monday, April 16th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
SSD
Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic

Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic

The Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic is not simply an updated version of the existing PC-O11. It is a unique beast of its own that essentially only shares its timeless looks with the current variants. Thanks to the input of German pro-overclocker der8auer, the PC-O11 Dynamic aims to offer loads of radiator support while allowing for an uncompromising choice of high-end hardware.
Crucial MX500 500 GB

Crucial MX500 500 GB

In our initial review of the Crucial MX500, we were impressed by how well the new TLC chips work on these drives. There's barely any write-hole and warranty has been increased to a reassuring five years. Now, we test the 500 GB version, which sits right at the sweet spot of capacities currently in demand by consumers today.

PUBG Ransomware Forces Users to Play PUBG to Decrypt Their Files

MalwareHunterTeam recently discovered the PUBG ransomware that is currently floating around the internet. When executed, the pesky program would encrypt the files and folders that are located on the victim's desktop and add the ".PUBG" extension to them. While meant to be more of a joke than actual malware, the program demands that the victim play PUBG for an hour. Nevertheless, users can decrypt their files in two ways. They can introduce the "s2acxx56a2sae5fjh5k2gb5s2e" code into the program and proceed to restore their files or launch the PUBG executable for three seconds. MalwareHunterTeam noted that the program runs a background check for a "TslGame" process, and therefore users can rename any executable to TslGame.exe and trick the malware into thinking that the fake executable is the real deal.

StarTech Launches Two New Thunderbolt 3 Adapters

StarTech.com has announced the release of two new Thunderbolt 3 adapters that enable access to many different external peripherals and devices using various interfaces. The two new Thunderbolt 3 accessories allow users to extend the life of their external hard drives, USB devices and other specialized laptop peripherals.

The first new Thunderbolt 3 accessory, the Thunderbolt 3 to USB 3.1 Controller Adapter (SKU: TB33A1C), provides dedicated USB 3.0 bandwidth to three USB-A ports and one USB-C port (total of 20 Gbps). The adapter gives the user access to high performance USB peripherals such as storage controllers and 3D scanners from Thunderbolt 3 based laptops. The second new product, the Thunderbolt 3 eSATA Adapter with USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) Port (SKU: TB3ESATU31), offers connections to an external eSATA hard drive or SSD, and to a USB device simultaneously. Both products are beneficial for Windows and MacBook Pro users, where no USB-A ports are available.

GOG Holds Massive Sale with Over 150 Titles

Digital distribution platform GOG has announced their 'Most Wanted Sale' with over 150 of the most wishlisted titles and discounts up to 85%. So odds are that you probably find a game that is of your liking. For example, you can grab the entire Witcher trilogy for less than $17 or the Baldur's Gate series for under $6. Other sought-after games include Divinity: Original Sin 2, SOMA, Shadow Warrior 2, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, and many more. The massive sale is live and will be up from now until April 23.

Coffee Lake S 8-Core CPU With iGPU Referenced in Company's Documentation

Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake-S CPUs are still only referenced as smoke and mirrors - gradually becoming denser, surely, but slowly. However, hawk-eyed users have begun noticing the usual trickle of information that precedes a product release. In this case, Intel themselves have started listing technical documentos referencing the Coffee Lake-S parts, and though these read as confidential, the hints they hide are enough to piece together some broad strokes.
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