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Tuesday, August 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Networking
PSUs
SSD

PNY GeForce GTX 1060 6GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition

PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, is proud to present the new PNY GeForce GTX 1060 6GB XLR8 Gaming OC Edition graphics card. Aimed at hardcore gamers and enthusiasts, PNY raises the bar with this new graphics card by overclocking it right at the factory, ensuring that it delivers every drop of graphics juice.

Powered by the raw silicon muscle power of NVIDIA's latest Pascal architecture and ultra-fast FinFET technology coupled with PNY's XLR8 Dual Fan Cooler means silent but accelerated gaming at the highest graphics settings with blistering fast frame rates. The 6GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 8 Gbps with a data transfer rate of 192 GB/s and with a 192-bit wide memory data bus guarantees that there will never be any bottleneck while transferring large game textures and huge maps.

HTC Vive Reduces Price By $200

HTC Vive today announced a $200 price reduction for Vive, making the best VR system more accessible to the mass market, across the globe. Starting today, Vive will be available for $599. All Vive purchases come with a free trial to Viveport Subscription, where consumers can choose up to 5 titles per month to experience, and copies of many of the most popular pieces of VR content today, including Google's Tilt Brush, Everest VR, and Richie's Plank Experience.

"Our goal at Vive has always been to offer the best and most advanced VR system and drive mass market adoption for VR across the globe," said Cher Wang, Chairwoman, HTC. "We're continuing to deliver on that commitment with this new price for Vive, making VR more accessible to a broader audience and driving the entire VR industry forward. Vive's game-changing technology, best-in-class content and unmatched global partners are fulfilling the promise of VR like never before. With highly anticipated titles, and the upcoming launch of Vive Tracker, there has never been a better time to embrace Vive, and enjoy the most immersive VR experience available."

HyperX Reveals Next Generation Cloud Alpha Gaming Headset

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today unveiled its next generation gaming headset - HyperX Cloud Alpha. The first gaming headset to feature revolutionary dual chamber technology, Cloud Alpha delivers incredible audio quality designed to enhance the PC, console and mobile gaming experience. Cloud Alpha maintains the DNA of previous award-winning HyperX headsets and replaces the popular HyperX Cloud Gaming Headset, delivering unmatched fit and comfort for extended gaming sessions, as well as rich, textured sound for extraordinary spatial awareness.

"The new HyperX Cloud Alpha is the first gaming headset to include our dual chamber technology to deliver unrivaled sound quality," said Tyler Needles, global audio business manager, HyperX. "Designed and tested in the HyperX labs, Cloud Alpha delivers the best possible audio performance, comfort, and build quality for the ultimate competitive advantage and will be used by top eSports pros globally."
Monday, August 21st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD

Etymotic ER4 XR & SR

Etymotic's ER4 in-ears set the benchmark when they were first launched over 25 years ago. Recently, Etymotic decided to bring out two new versions of their ER4 design - namely, the XR (Extended Response) and SR (Studio Reference). These new versions feature all-metal housings and a brand new cable design. On the acoustic side of things, you now get the choice between elevated bass and something that should be close to neutral in terms of the Studio Reference.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.8.1 WHQL Drivers

AMD released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1 WHQL drivers. These are the first WHQL-signed drivers to support Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56, besides all other Graphics CoreNext based Radeon GPUs. It features optimization for "Quake Champions: Early Access" and "Agents of Mayhem." The drivers also fix stability issues with "Grand Theft Auto V," "Forza Horizon 3," and "Tekken 7." The drivers also iron out issues noted with Enhanced Sync, where online video playback is choppy. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.8.1 WHQL

The change-log follows.

Acer Showcases Nitro 5 Spin Notebook With Intel 8th Gen Inside

Intel has just opened the proverbial lid on their 8th Gen "Coffee Lake" family of CPUs, which should bring about a democratization of cores for the masses. Acer has been quick to jump on the 8th Gen bandwagon, by announcing their new Nitro 5 Spin laptop, which brings with it the increased performance and "UHD graphics" of Intel's 8000 series of CPUs.

The Nitro 5 Spin is being marketed as a convertible, gaming-focused laptop, whose 15.6 1920*1080 IPS panel can be rotated to multiple locking positions through a 360º hinge. The gaming part of this laptop seems a little subdued - an NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card is confirmed to be on board - while memory configuration, and even the specific Intel 8th Gen processor inside, are still a mystery. The company also said that 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi will be par of the course for their new offering, and that we should expect this take on Intel's 8th Gen mobility CPUs to be available sometime in October, for a respectable $999.

Source: Tom's Hardware

Intel Stresses on "40% More Performance" for 8th Generation Core Family

Intel today announced its 8th generation Core processor family, with new mainstream desktop (MSDT) processor SKUs. The company is stressing on these chips featuring "40% more performance over the previous-generation," even though the "Coffee Lake" micro-architecture is essentially based on the "Skylake" and "Kaby Lake" architectures. The company is arriving at 40% by across the board increases in core-counts. Quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 SKUs now have 6 cores as opposed to 4 (a 33% multi-threaded performance increase straight off the bat), and the remaining 7% from higher clocks or micro-architecture level incremental updates; while Core i3 now includes quad-core SKUs.

AMD Issues Official Statement on RX Vega 64 Pricing Woes

There has been somewhat of an uproar in recent times regarding AMD's lack of clarity on pricing of their newly-launched Vega 64. While AMD themselves told reviewers and consumers that their RX Vega graphics cards would be available for $399 (Vega 56) and $499 (Vega 64), recent events have, at the very least, cast some doubts on Vega's supposedly clean-cut pricing. Some popular reviewers and YouTubers have even gone so far as to say they won't be accepting any more samples from AMD due to a perceived slight at the erroneous information provided by the company; when someone reviews and analyses a product based on a fixed price-point advanced by a company, and then that pricing seems to have turned out nothing more than smoke and mirrors... People's work is put out the window.

Now, AMD has come out to put rumors of false Vega pricing announcements to rest. Except the skeptic in me remains, well... skeptic. Here's what AMD has said: "Radeon RX Vega 64 demand continues to exceed expectations. AMD is working closely with its partners to address this demand. Our initial launch quantities included standalone Radeon RX Vega 64 at SEP of $499, Radeon RX Vega 64 Black Packs at SEP of $599, and Radeon RX Vega 64 Aqua Packs at SEP of $699. We are working with our partners to restock all SKUs of Radeon RX Vega 64 including the standalone cards and Gamer Packs over the next few weeks, and you should expect quantities of Vega to start arriving in the coming days."

Intel 8th Gen Core i5 and Core i7 Retail Boxes Pictured

Here are the first pictures of the retail boxes of 8th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. The first wave of processors based on Intel's new 14 nm "Coffee Lake" silicon will be 6-core parts in the Core i5 and Core i7 brands, which will be launched on 22 August; with Core i3 following on much later in the year, or even early-2018. The boxes confirm several things about these chips, beginning with the fact that their integrated graphics cores will be branded "Intel UHD Graphics 6xx," and that they will require motherboards based on Intel 300-series chipset, even though their socket is "LGA1151."

There doesn't appear to be a socket key difference between these processors and "Kaby Lake," so it's possible that while 300-series chipset motherboards support older "Kaby Lake" and "Skylake" processors, "Coffee Lake" will only work on 300-series chipset, and not older 200-series or 100-series. Intel making the bold move of branding its new integrated graphics "UHD" could hint at its credentials with hardware-accelerated decoding of new video formats such as 10-bit VP9 at 4K without breaking a sweat; and new display connector standards such as HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.4. The various models that make up the first wave of 8th generation Core i5 and Core i7 desktop processors, are tabled below.

Zen Meeting Vega in AMD "Raven Ridge" APU Confirmed

It looks like AMD will combine its two latest intellectual properties, the "Zen" CPU micro-architecture, and the "Vega" graphics architecture into a single silicon after all, as reports citing leaked OpenCL tables confirm that the company's upcoming Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU will feature graphics compute units (CUs) based on the "Vega" architecture. It's becoming increasingly clear, that "Raven Ridge" features a "Zen" CCX unit, and a "Vega" based graphics core with up to 12 NGCUs, making up 768 stream processors. The "Zen" CCX talks to the "Vega" graphics core using Infinity Fabric, the same interconnect used between two CCX units on the "Summit Ridge" silicon, and between two "Summit Ridge" dies on the Ryzen Threadripper MCM.

The "Raven Ridge" silicon will hence feature up to 4 CPU cores, with SMT enabling up to 8 threads, up to 8 MB of L3 cache, a "Vega" based graphics core with up to 12 NGCUs making 768 stream processors, a dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller, and the same integrated southbridge as "Summit Ridge," featuring two SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and USB 3.0 ports directly from the SoC. In addition, you get a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 interface for graphics, which can be split into two x8 for 2-way multi-GPU. The OpenCL listings speak about two distinct variants, one with 11 NGCUs, and another with 8. AMD plans to roll out the first "Raven Ridge" based products as Ryzen 5 series and Ryzen 7 series mobile APUs, with a desktop debut a little later.

Source: Guru3D

ADATA Launches the ICFS314 Industrial-Grade CFast 2.0 Card

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched the industrial-grade ICFS314 CFast storage card. Designed for demanding applications and harsh or high traffic environments, the ICFS314 uses 3D MLC NAND to increase durability and longevity. As a CFast 2.0 product, it delivers data in the SATA III (6Gbps) protocol, capable of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write (more than twice CFast 1.0 speeds). The ICFS314 consumes just over 2W, making it exceedingly power efficient, and is available in a wide range of capacities from 32GB to 512GB.

The shift to more efficient, higher density, and longer lasting 3D NAND is well under way in SSDs. Enterprise and industrial users now also have the option of benefitting from 3D NAND advantages on CompactFlash/CFast products, such as the ICFS314. Stacked or layered NAND improves on its planar predecessor in every way, from speed to lifespan. The ICFS314 arrives in up to 512GB of meticulously-sorted 3D MLC NAND.

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus AC300W Mid-tower Case with VR-Link Connectivity

GIGABYTE today introduced the Aorus AC300W, an ATX mid-tower chassis designed for gaming PC builds, which lets you take advantage of the VR-Link feature of some of the recent Aorus-branded graphics cards. The case features a front-panel HDMI 2.0 port, which internally plugs into the VR-Link HDMI port of your Aorus graphics card. The front-panel also features a type-C USB 3.1 port, and two other USB 3.1 type-A ports; besides HDA front-panel audio jacks. The AC300W is made mostly of steel and ABS plastic, with a brushed aluminium-finish front panel, and an acrylic side-panel window. It is studded with RGB LEDs along two front-panel design accents, an Aorus logo, and a second Aorus logo on the bottom compartment cover, visible through the window. These LEDs plug in directly to the RGB LED headers of your motherboard, and can be controlled using GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software.

Under the hood, the AC300W has a horizontal dual-compartment layout which is all the rage, these days. The top compartment holds a standard ATX motherboard with add-on cards as long as 400 mm, and CPU coolers as tall as 170 mm. The bottom compartment holds a PSU up to 180 mm in length, and two 3.5-inch/2.5-inch drive bays. Three additional 2.5-inch drives can be mounted behind the motherboard tray. While the case has 7 expansion slot bays, two additional slots are designed such that you can mount your graphics card vertically, using a PCIe riser (not included). You can mount either three 120 mm or two 140 mm fans along the front panel, two 140 mm fans along the top panel, and a 140 mm fan along the rear panel. The front fan mounts include a detachable dust filter. The company didn't mention pricing.

Four 8th Gen. Core "Coffee Lake" U-series CPU SKUs Surface in Price-lists

Ahead of their unveiling later this week, four Intel Core i5 and Core i7 U-series (ultra-low power) mobile processor SKUs surfaced in Intel's public price-lists. The prices in the list are meant for notebook manufacturers, for each chip purchased in 1,000-unit tray quantities. The specifications of these SKUs put out in the price-list indicate that Intel is keeping up with its drive to increase core-counts across its product-stack, even with TDP as tight as 15W (that's 15W for quad-core chips). The nominal clock speeds of these chips are kept very low, and their Turbo Boost frequencies are kept high, so there's tighter control over when the processor wants to spend power on performance.

The lineup is led by the Core i7-8650U, which is a 4-core/8-thread SKU with a clock speed of 1.90 GHz, and max Turbo Boost over 4.00 GHz; 8 MB of L3 cache, and a price of USD $409. Selling at the same exact price is the i7-8550U, with a slightly lower clock speed of 1.80 GHz, and 4.00 GHz Turbo Boost. The Core i5 lineup, interestingly, is 4-core/8-thread (includes HyperThreading support), even through its L3 cache amount is 6 MB. The i5-8350U ticks at 1.70 GHz, and an unknown Turbo Boost clock, and is priced at $297; while at the same price, the i5-8520U is clocked at 1.60 GHz, with 3.40 GHz Turbo Boost. The four chips will already be up for order in August 2017, and the first finished-products based on these chips could launch by Holiday.

Source: AnandTech
Sunday, August 20th 2017

ASUS Announces ROG STRIX Radeon RX Vega Series

ASUS today introduced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) STRIX Radeon RX Vega 64 O8G graphics card, among its first (and probably the first) custom-design RX Vega 64 to hit the markets (model: ROG-STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING). The card combines a custom-design PCB by ASUS, with the company's latest generation DirectCU III cooling solution the company deploys on its STRIX GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. The cooler features a heat-pipe direct-contact base, from which the heat-pipes pass through two aluminium fin-stacks on their two ends, which are ventilated by a trio of 100 mm spinners. The fans stay off when the GPU is idling. The cooler features RGB multi-color LED lighting along inserts on the cooler shroud, and an ROG logo on the back-plate.

Moving over to the sparsely populated PCB (thanks in part to AMD's HBM2 move), the card draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, conditioning it for the GPU with a 13-phase VRM. The O8G variant features factory-overclocked speeds that are close to those of the RX Vega 64 Liquid Edition, although ASUS didn't specify them. There's a "non-O8G" variant that sticks to reference clock speeds, boosting to around 1495-1510 MHz. What ASUS is really selling here is better clock sustainability under load, lower noise, and zero idle-noise; besides all the ROG STRIX bells and whistles. The card also drives two 4-pin PWM case fans in-sync with the cards, like most ROG STRIX graphics cards from this generation. ASUS also rolled out the ROG STRIX RX Vega 56, which features the same exact PCB, and sticks to AMD reference speeds. The company didn't reveal pricing.

BIOSTAR Offers Intel Crypto Mining Motherboards - Full ethOS Mining OS Support

BIOSTAR proudly announces an exclusive partnership with ethOS, a 64-bit Linux OS; giving miners the simplest possible way to set up a mining rig. This comes as great news for anyone who wanted to dabble with mining, but was not sure how. With the ethOS mining OS, there is no need to install drivers, configure Windows or compile software, while BIOSTAR crypto mining motherboards are tried and tested with the ethOS mining OS, making it as simple as boot and mine. Get ready to collect your Ethereum, Zcash, Monero and many other gpu-minable coins.

BIOSTAR Mining Boards with Intel B250, B85 and H81 Chipsets
BIOSTAR crypto mining motherboards (including previous generation chipsets in B85 and H81) continue to win high praises for easy-to-use, long-term stability under heavy usage and high return on investment. BIOSTAR mining boards with Intel chipsets supports 12 to 6 graphics cards, the models currently available are: BIOSTAR TB250-BTC PRO, BIOSTAR TB250-BTC+, BIOSTAR TB250-BTC, BIOSTAR TB85 and BIOSTAR H81A. Whether you are a pro, mainstream or newbie to mining, one of these will fit the bill.
Friday, August 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors
Sound Cards
SSD
Storage

Tesoro Tuned In-Ear Pro

The Tesoro Tuned In Ear Pro headset aims to deliver gaming quality sound, which - as the name suggests - is a soundscape tuned to fit such a scenario best. With a few interesting features, like the aluminum housing or the magnets to hold them together, it will be interesting to "hear" (pun intended) whether they manage to sound better than the competition in the price segment.

Thermaltake Introduces the View 71 Tempered Glass Edition Full Tower Chassis

Designed to expand the legacy of the View Series lineup, the View 71 Tempered Glass Edition Full Tower Chassis features unrivaled cooling support and expandability surrounded in tempered glass for a one of a kind view. Swing open full window tempered glass panels for easy access with all panels properly spaced for optimal airflow. Preinstalled with two 140mm Riing Blue fans, Vertical GPU mount and 3-Way radiator support for today's PC hardware demands, the only limitation is your imagination.

Four-Sided 5mm Thick Tempered Glass Panels with Swing Door Design
Premium-quality 5mm thick tempered glass guarantees the durability of the window and adds overall strength to the chassis. Swing Doors on either side allows users to demonstrate their DIY spirit and enjoy the ultimate internal component visibility. Take on easy to install building with a fully modular design and easy removal of swing door for full access.

EK Water Blocks Releases Monoblock for Gigabyte Aorus X299 Lineup

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is still dictating the pace as they are releasing their third LGA-2066 socket based monoblock made to fit several GIGABYTE X299 motherboards. The EK-FB GA X299 GAMING RGB Monoblock has an integrated 3-pin Digital RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

EK-FB GA X299 GAMING RGB Monoblock
This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for five GIGABYTE Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following GIGABYTE motherboards:
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 3 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 7 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Ultra Gaming (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 UD4 (rev.1.0)

Sharkoon Announces the TG5 ATX PC Case with Transparent Glass Front

With the TG5 ATX PC case, Sharkoon introduces a gaudy Midi tower with the front and one side panel made from tempered glass, which is available in four different color versions and pre-installed with color matching 120 mm LED fans from the factory.

With the cable management system and cable terminals, all cabling can be concealed between the mainboard and the non-window side panel. The power supply as well as up to three 3.5" hard drives can be installed within the tunnel, which contains ventilation slots, on the bottom of the case.

Tech Community Mourns Tom's Hardware's Bruno Gulotta, Victim in Barcelona

Recent events in Barcelona have brought the world's attention to that Spanish city known for Gaudí's masterpieces. It's not uncommon for us to process information on an event like this, mourn in the moment, and quickly forget that something happened. This is normal, human behavior - our own empathy can only take and handle so much. If it were not so, if we were nothing else but a sponge to suffering and empathy and the world's injustices, we'd have no way to cope with the reality we live in. However, we usually need only a slight link to an event for it to be that much real for us.

This time, the life of one of our own technology news community has been taken, alongside at least 13 others. Bruno Gulotta, Marketing and Sales Manager for Tom's Hardware, fell victim to the crime, leaving behind his companion, Martina, and two sons. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Barcelona's tourist focal point Las Ramblas, at least 100 other people were left injured. While we here at TechPowerUp didn't know Bruno Gulotta personally, we don't need to. This event is sufficiently real for us, as a technology news community, to feel it hitting close to home. When anonymity is removed, empathy is given permission to thrive, and empathy is one of the only ways we have of honoring the loss of life. Our mournful sorrow goes to Bruno Gulotta's family and friends, as well as Tom's Hardware. If you wish to lift the veil on Bruno, and keep him from the anonimity of being a number on a terrorist attack, go on to Tom's Hardware's beautifully written article, celebrating the life and contributions of a dear colleague.

Colorful Adds Four Cards Into Its iGame Vulcan X Family

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, introduced iGame GTX1080Ti Vulcan X OC in May, and got much more attentions from both China and aboard. Then COLORFUL adds four new modules into iGame Vulcan X series including of GTX1080Ti, GTX1080, GTX1070 and GTX1060 chips, taking the same design shape with the flagship iGame GTX1080Ti Vulcan X OC that also equips with iGame-Status Monitor.

iGame Vulcan X series cards feature iGame-Status Monitor which indicates GPU load automatically, and shows fan speed, core frequency, core temperature as well as memory usage. The load line on its top shows memory usage and load by three colors spaces the same as car's dashboard.
Thursday, August 17th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

Corsair K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K68 is a full size mechanical keyboard featuring genuine Cherry MX Red switches, full keyboard backlighting, support for their powerful Corsair Utility Engine software driver, and IP32 rated dust and spill resistance - all at a sub-$100 price point.

Alphacool Intros HDX5 Cooled M.2 RAID Add-on Card

The Alphacool HDX-5 is a combination of a RAID controller card and a massive cooler. It has two slots for M.2 SATA SSDs and two additional SATA slots, allowing you to set up a RAID 0 or 1 group. The PCI-Express 3.0 x4 card also provides a bandwidth of up to 3900 MB/s.

The new generation of HDX coolers from Alphacool is getting another addition. The HDX-5 is not just a cooler, but also lets you run a RAID 0 or 1 group. It boasts two M.2 SATA SSD slots and two classic SATA slots. The combination possibilities are considerable, since you can set up a RAID group over one M.2 SATA SSD and one normal SATA drive, or connect just the M.2 slots to form a RAID group. That leaves the classic SATA slots free to be used for normal connections.
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