Hardware Giveaway
Friday, December 15th 2017

nerdytec COUCHMASTER Cycon

The COUCHMASTER cycon from nerdytec is all about comfort while gaming on your couch on a PC further away. With four USB 3.0 ports and cable management being an integral part of the design, this provides universal compatibility for the peripherals of your choosing while also having enough space to add in accessories for your phone, snacks and more.

SAPPHIRE Launches Their RX Vega Nitro+ Series of graphics Cards

After eons of waiting, one of AMD's foremost AIB partners, Sapphire, has come out with a fully custom edition of AMD's RX Vega flagship graphics cards. The new RX Vega 64 Nitro+ and RX Vega56 Nitro+ graphics cards bring Sapphire's engineering to the RX Vega table, offering much better thermal, acoustic, and performance characteristics than AMD's air-based reference models.

The Sapphire RX Vega Nitro+ series of graphics cards feature a triple-fan, 2.5 slot design and a whopping 3x 8-pin power delivery system - and yes, you read that right, this applies to both the Vega 64 and Vega 56 models. The increased thermal headroom provided by the substantial cooling solution, and the beefed-up power delivery system, mean Sapphire are shipping these graphics cards with a hefty 12-14% base-clock increase over AMD's reference models, making these the fastest (in frequency) factory-overclocked RX Vega graphics cards money can buy. The cards also ship with dual-BIOS, a fan header for either a side-panel or front-panel fan whose speed you want to be under the graphics' card control, and a VGA support plate - a smart move by Sapphire, considering the RX Vega 64 Nitro+ comes in at almost 1.6 kg.

Sources: Hardware Luxx, via Videocardz

Samsung Unveils New Notebook 9 Laptops with 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processors

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced the new Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and three new versions of the Samsung Notebook 9 (2018), offering a mobile computing experience that matches how people are using their PCs: whether at work, on the go and everything in between. Designed to deliver the best in mobility, these four new notebooks ensure a computing experience that is powerful, portable, connected and secure. When paired with the latest productivity tools and services available from Samsung, the Notebook 9 Pen and Notebook 9 (2018) are the perfect complement to match a lifestyle where work or play can happen anywhere and at any time.

"At Samsung, we have long felt that technology must fit within the lives of the consumer, not the other way around. Over the past several years, the lines between our personal and professional lives have started to blur creating the need for technology that allows us to connect, collaborate and share from anywhere," said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. "The new Samsung Notebook 9 Pen and enhanced Samsung Notebook 9 (2018) offer our customers premium, powerful and portable devices that provide the tools to securely work from anywhere, breaking the boundaries of previously accepted standards for what a notebook should be."

Interactive Roto VR Chair to Start Rolling Out in February 2018

Elliott Myers and the team behind the Roto VR chair are pleased to announce that developer kits of their ground-breaking interactive Roto VR Chair - Roto VR, are rolling off the production line and beginning to ship to development studios worldwide. Roto VR will begin shipping to consumers in February, 2018.

"The team have been working around the clock to get Roto VR final and shipment ready" commented Elliott Myers, CEO and creator of Roto VR "We've taken our time to ensure a top quality final product and I'm thrilled to confirm that units are beginning to ship, we will move to full production and all consumer orders will be fulfilled in early 2018. We're super hyped because we know Roto VR will usher in a new era of unparalleled 360 VR immersion - and it's affordable."

ARRIS Reveals Company's Upcoming Next-Generation Broadband Gateway Devices

ARRIS International plc today introduced two new, next-generation broadband gateway devices - the NVG578 and NVG558. Both are future-ready, offering a flexible platform for network migration. The platforms are also powered by ARRIS's feature-rich, industry-proven, secure and reliable firmware.

The NVG578 is a customizable Passive Optical Network (PON) Gateway platform. It offers service providers a range of options to capitalize on investments in ultra-high-speed broadband applications. And, the ARRIS NVG578 platform delivers the scalability service providers need as they evolve their networks to meet the demands of new services and faster speeds. This includes today's GPON speeds, as well as next-generation XGS-PON and NG-PON2 speeds of up to 10Gb/s symmetrical.

Optimize Your Home Network with Tenda's Latest Nova MW6 Mesh Wi-Fi System

Increasing numbers of connected devices causes connection drop offs, slow performance and dead spots. Most homes in the UK suffer from these common WiFi problems. The new Nova MW6 Mesh Wi-Fi system from Tenda Technology, a leading manufacturer of networking devices, has been created to optimize your home network, eliminating connection frustration, by blanketing your home with fast, efficient and reliable WiFi coverage. With the Nova MW6 in place, householders will be enabled to start their journey to their Smart Home of the future.

The ideal solution for improving WiFi reception throughout your home, the Nova MW6 kit, which includes three WiFi nodes as standard, provides wireless coverage for spaces up to 6,000 square feet. Powered by the latest True Mesh technology, each node is capable of performing as a router or an extender and connect seamlessly with each other to provide whole home wireless coverage. The nodes have been cleverly designed to look and feel stylish, but more importantly, boast a seamless roaming feature so that you can move freely from room to room without losing WiFi connection for lag-free video calling and internet browsing, and consistent online gaming.

Thermaltake's New LED Hub Provides Limitless Lighting Possibilities for Your PC

Thermaltake, a leading brand in PC chassis, power supply units and cooling markets, is thrilled to launch the all-new 9 port LED hub crafted for Thermaltake Plus RGB Family - TT Sync Controller TT Premium Edition. Manufactured with a stable SATA power input, the controller is designed for synchronizing Thermaltake Plus RGB series addressable LED products with selected ASUS, GIGABYTE and MSI motherboards. The supported product list includes Riing Plus RGB Series radiator fans, Pacific W4 Plus CPU waterblock, Pacific V-GTX 1080Ti Plus Transparent Series GPU waterblocks, Pacific PR22-D5 Plus Reservoir/Pump Combo, Pacific RL360 Plus RGB Radiator and Pacific Lumi Plus LED Strips. Once users have connected the aforementioned products with the controller and downloaded ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion or MSI Mystic Light Sync on the PC, they can control the light directly from the software without installing Riing Plus RGB software and any extra lighting controllers.

TechPowerUp and nerdytec Announce Holidays Giveaway

TechPowerUp and nerdytec announce the Holidays Giveaway to bid you a happy end of the year 2017. This is open to contestants from the US, CA, EU, and AU (where legal), from December 15 through December 24, 2017. The giveaway is all or nothing, with a single grand prize comprising of the nerdytec COUCHMASTER cycon (review here) along with a full set of Logitech peripherals including the G413 keyboard, G703 mouse, and G533 headset. We have enjoyed the time spent so far with our own COUCHMASTER cycon, and it provides an extremely comfortable couch gaming, or general operation alike, experience thanks to the thick soft foam cushions and integrated cable management for wired peripherals. To stand a chance to win, all you have to do it fill up a short form that lets us get back to you if you've won.
For more information, and to participate, visit this page. Good Luck!

Intel Looking to Increase Capacities of 900P SSD, According to Official Document

Intel seems to be looking to further expand its lineup of the 900P SSD, according to an official Intel document the folks at myce.com got access to. The file, a Product Change Notification (PCN), is usually used by Intel to denote revisions or new products for their manufacturing facilities. And the PCN 115990 - 00 lists increased capacities of 960 GB and 1,5 TB for their 900P SSD.

The newly listed products aren't the only things of note here, though. There have also been some label changes, and reduced voltages across the board. The retail box label will now also include the firmware version the unit ships with, which will definitely come in handy in case there is a known bad batch in these SSDs (as unlikely as that is to be).

Sources: MYCE.com, via Tom's Hardware, Intel PCN PDF

EVGA Offers $1,000 for Your Old GeForce4 ACS, ACS2 Graphics Cards

EVGA is feeling both generous and nostalgic, and has announced a contest that's as welcome as it is original. Looking back on its roots as an innovative designer of cooling systems for graphics cards, allowing gamers everywhere to play their favorite games with the best temperatures and least noise possible, EVGA are looking for users that still keep their GeForce 4 ACS and ACS2-powered graphics cards. ACS and ACS 2 are effectively the precursors to EVGA's latest cooling innovations, even if these types of cooling designs are now the norm rather than the exception.

If you have a GeForce4 MX 440 or a GeForce4 4600 Ti, both launched way back in 2002, EVGA is asking that you submit your information to them, and the company will gladly pay you 1,000 EVGA bucks - its digital currency that is equivalent to $ in a 1:1 ratio, and would allow you to buy a great 1080 Ti from the EVGA store. Not such a bad deal for an old GeForce 4 graphics card, eh? Like Sonic would say, you "gotta go fast", though: the contest is available for a maximum of 3 ACS owners and 3 ACS2 owners.

Sources: EVGA, via ETeknix
Thursday, December 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
Storage

Mionix Wei Keyboard

The Wei is Mionix's first keyboard, and part of their new "Get Fresh!" campaign with lighter color shades, optional keycap sets, and wrist rests; color schemes based off food items and clean aesthetics inside and out, which make this a keyboard targeting gamers and professionals alike.

Synology Introduces the FlashStation FS1018 and DiskStation DS218 NAS

Synology Inc. today launched FlashStation FS1018, its first-ever all-flash desktop NAS, in addition to officially releasing Virtual Machine Manager and DiskStation DS218. FS1018 is a blazing fast and compact 12-bay, low-latency, all-SSD desktop NAS. It is powered by an Intel Pentium D1508 dual-core CPU and 8GB DDR4 EEC memory, expandable up to 32GB. The four plug-and-play Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports can be expanded with higher performance options. FS1018 supports network add-on cards with a PCIe 3.0 x8 slot, providing over 40K 4K Random Write IOPS.

"Designing a form factor that satisfies the need for both performance and drive capacity was crucial. FS1018 offers 12 SSD bays on a scale optimal for any desktop," said Jason Fan, Product Manager at Synology Inc. Another exciting feature of the new FS1018 is its ability to run Virtual Machine Manager. Synology's new virtualization software provides the ability to install and run multiple virtual machines including Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM on Synology NAS.

CORSAIR Opens Port to ex-EKWB Top Management

It was a month ago that TechPowerUp broke the news about EK Water Blocks parting ways with then CEO, CTO and Head of Marketing, among others. Speculations arose from readers concerning what could have happened behind the scenes to result in such a dramatic change to what was otherwise a successful time period for the company. Since then, EKWB did just what they promised and delivered new products in time including additions to their Fluid Gaming lineup as well as introducing a new modular AIO MLC series. It appears that in the short term at least, they have continued on unaffected.

Today we can let everyone know what happened to those who left the company, and this news has deeper potential implications to the PC DIY market. Both Mark Tanko, ex-CEO, and Niko Tivadar, ex-CTO, confirmed to us that they have officially joined CORSAIR. Mark is now "Vice President & BU General Manager at CORSAIR", whereas Niko is "Director Of Engineering at CORSAIR". We contacted them for a statement, and it can be seen following the break.

HITMAN Paris Episode Free This Christmas for a Limited Time Only

We're giving everyone the chance to celebrate this Holiday Season in style with Agent 47 in Paris as we make the second location of HITMAN free for a limited time only with the Hitman Holiday Pack.

Starting on December 15th and in addition to the free Prologue, anyone on PC, PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One and Xbox One X will now be able to download Paris and have access to all of the Paris content completely for free. And while you're in Paris, players can experience IOI's free festive content, 'Holiday Hoarders' as you try and find Santa as he drops gifts around the stylishly re-decorated Palais de Walewska in Paris and try to stop the two thieves who are following his trail stealing all the gifts and leaving the taps running..!

Thermaltake Unveils the View 22 Tempered Glass Edition Mid-Tower Case

Thermaltake, a leading premium gaming tower designer and manufacturer, announced the new Thermaltake View 22 Tempered Glass Edition Mid-Tower Chassis. Boasting a streamlined front panel design and a large tempered glass side panel, the View 22 TG backs up its look with a host of features to promise the best high-end case essentials. The View 22 TG's spacious design allows the case to house up to two 140mm intake fans and a pre-installed 120mm rear fan. Furthermore, the View 22 TG delivers superior cooling capability, with options to install up to one 360mm radiator, a CPU cooler up to 160mm in height, a VGA up to 400mm in length and a power supply with length of up to 160mm. The View 22 TG's built-in full-length power supply cover keeps unsightly cables from view, and allows for better airflow. When it comes to extended hardware support, the View 22 TG provides an up to four 2.5" HDD mount option, accompanied by dual 3.5"/2.5" compatible drive bays held in the power supply cover which allow for position adjustment according to the power supply length, and gives an additional seven expansion slots. With support for the latest PC hardware, the new View 22 TG Mid-Tower Chassis permits users unmatched aesthetics and limitless potential for system configuration.

Metal Gear Survive Open Beta and Release Date Revealed

Konami revealed a first look at the single-player campaign for METAL GEAR SURVIVE through a new gameplay video with producer commentary via Konami's official YouTube channel. The video introduces basic survival and gameplay mechanics while showing key action sequences.

Additionally, METAL GEAR SURVIVE will be holding a beta from January 18th-21st, 2018. Players will have a chance to jump into co-op mode to build, defend and fight alongside friends online. The Beta will be available to download for PS4 and Xbox One players. Participants will also receive an in-game bonus redeemable with the purchase of the full game. Bonus items include a FOX HOUND name plate, an accessory Metal Gear REX Head and Accessory bandana.

Antec Adds the P110 Silent Case to Their Renowned Performance One Series

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 addition to their renowned Performance One Case series: The P110 Silent. The case is now commercially available from 109€ (suggested retail price including VAT).

The Performance Series is synonymous with performance, silence, and build quality. The P110 Silent continues the legacy, with sound insulating components and a host of features designed for high-end configurations. The frame measures 489 mm x 230 mm x 518 mm (L x W x H). The side panels of this mid-tower feature double-layered sound dampening material to block noise and the front panel is made of 0.8 mm aluminium. The front panel features an open structure and separates from the I/O modules. Secured by durable stainless steel pegs, the panel can be opened and closed with ease. The two-part magnetic top panel can be removed for cooling and sound-dampening flexibility and can be exchanged with additional two dust filters.

D-Link Launches Duo of Gigabit Wi-Fi Routers for Home Users

D-Link has announced the launch of two new routers, designed specifically to meet the demands of the modern home. The DIR-878 Gigabit Router and DIR-882 Gigabit Router offer the fastest wireless speeds and most extensive coverage currently available on the market.

Both Wi-Fi Gigabit Routers come with Multiple-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) with Advanced AC SmartBeam. MU-MIMO technology allows the routers to send and receive large amounts of data to and from devices simultaneously, increasing throughput and application responsiveness, whilst Advanced AC SmartBeam steers the wireless signal to where it is needed to significantly improve wireless range. Using innovative 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, both routers also offer combined wireless speeds of up to 1.9 Gbps and 2.533 Gbps respectively.

Crytek Sues Cloud Imperium Games for Breach of CryEngine Contract

Crytek has filed a suit against Cloud Imperium Games (developers of Star Citizen and Squadron 42) for wrongdoings regarding Crytek's CryEngine. Cloud Imperium Games has recently moved over to Amazon's Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform triple-A game engine which has been built-upon by Amazon, based and licensed from Crytek's CryEngine in 2015. Apparently, in doing so, Cloud Imperium Games has violated a number of agreed-upon items on their engine licensing contract, for which Crytek is now going after for damages and compensation.

The essence of the suit stands in that Crytek only licenced its engine for the development of a single game - Star Citizen - and that CIG is now developing a second one in Squadron 42, for which it had no rights to use Crytek's IP and assets. Futhermore, CIG agreed, when signing the contract, to use Crytek's logos as part of the game development and final game presentation, so as to provide awareness for the company, but has since removed them from all instances of the game.

Latest Steam Client Beta Introduces Shader Pre-Caching for Games

The latest update for the Steam software brought with it an important new addition for the quality of life of gamers under the Linux or Windows suns everywhere: persistent shader caches for games. In the latest change-log, users are treated to the following message: "New feature: Shader Pre-Caching. Whenever possible, depending on hardware and driver support, Steam can download pre-compiled shaders for your specific video card. This reduces load times and in-game stuttering during the first few launches of OpenGL- and Vulkan-based games on supported hardware. This feature may use a small amount of additional bandwidth as Steam uploads and analyzes a shader usage report after each run of the game. The feature can be disabled via a new entry in the Settings dialog.

Under Steam Settings, you'll find a new Shader Pre-Caching item. The description reads as follows: "Shader Pre-Caching allows Steam to download pre-compiled GPU shaders matching your system configuration. This allows Vulkan and OpenGL games to load faster and improve framerate stability during gameplay. If enabled, Steam will collect shaders from your system when needed. Enabling this feature may slightly increase disk and bandwidth usage."

NVIDIA Titan V Achieves 82 MH/s in Ethereum Mining

"But how well does it mine?" This is one of the questions in the mind of many in the enthusiast community whenever a new GPU is launched. These are a fickle lot, to be sure; their primary interest is the power/performance ratio of any graphics card, which enables miners to maximize profits. Price/performance isn't much of a concern when users are confident they'll recoup the totality of their investment in the medium run - and sometimes even the short run, if recent changes in Ethereum pricing are any indication.

The folks at HotHardware have put an NVIDIA Titan V through its paces in Ethereum mining, eager to see this Volta-based chips' prowess in this type of workloads. Titan V reveals itself as a graphics card that achieves 69 MH/s at stock settings - and an even more impressive 82 MH/s when slightly overclocked. Overclocking methodology was simple - increase temperature and power targets for the Titan V, and then increase memory frequency until a bottleneck was found. And voila. The Titan V was happily churning out 82 MH/s in version 10.2 of the Claymore Miner - more than double the output of an RX Vega 64 and Titan Xp. Power consumption wasn't detailed in this test, and the Titan V would almost definitely consume more power than a Titan Xp - the chip is double the size - but when we take into account the fact that its TDP is the same, that it's built on a 12 nm process against the Titan Xp's 16 nm, and that it uses HBM2 memory instead of GDDR5X... Well, the differences likely aren't anything to write home about. But the performance is. I'll leave it over to our expert miners to say whether they'd invest in a Titan V for mining - all $2,999 of it.

Source: HotHardware

Mystery AMD APU with 1,792 SP Shows Up on SANDRA Database

A mysterious AMD APU showed up on SiSoft SANDRA online database, featuring a massive integrated graphics. The chip reports itself to SANDRA as "AMD Fenghuang Raven," and is likely a semi-custom chip being tested by an AMD engineer in the course of its development. SANDRA reports the integrated graphics component as "AMD 15FF Graphics," featuring 1,792 stream processors across 28 compute units, 555 MHz engine clock, and 2 GB of video memory with 182.15 GB/s memory bandwidth. The result doesn't put out too many details about the CPU component, except its 2.40 GHz clock speed. The iGPU scored 98 points on SANDRA graphics tests with Direct3D 11 API, and 39.99 GB/s observed score.
Wednesday, December 13th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Harddisks
Keyboards
Memory
Mouse
NAS
Networking
PSUs
SSD

Synology DS918+ 4-Bay NAS

The Synology DS918+ is the successor to the DS916+ and features a new CPU, more RAM, a pair of M.2 slots, and trays with locks. Strangely enough, the older model seems to perform better in real-life scenarios; however, the DS918+ is fast enough to still meet the increasing demands of a home user.

LG gram Notebooks for 2018 to Offer Enhanced Portability

LG Electronics (LG) will introduce its latest LG gram notebooks that deliver superior portability, enhanced powerful performance and convenience features. Since the incredibly lightweight notebook line debuted in 2014, LG has consistently surprised consumers by maximizing portability without sacrificing performance. The 2018 LG gram notebooks push the boundaries of portable computing with improved mobility and durability, as well as upgraded processors and more versatility.

"The new LG gram PCs have been designed for those users who want an all-round, high performance notebook with maximum portability," said Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA. "The 2018 gram series ticks all the boxes for users who want versatile and lightweight notebooks with faster processing capabilities."

Microsoft Discounts Mixed Reality HMDs by up to $200 Today Only

As part of Microsoft's "12 Days of Deals" push towards achieving more and better sales of Microsoft-branded products, the company has pushed a pretty hefty discount for its MR HMDs mere months after their release. The discounts see the Acer Windows Mixed Reality, Dell Visor, HP, and Lenovo Explorer take price-cuts of $200 over the base price, while Samsung's Odyssey HMD sees a much more level $50 price-cut.

With a move so close to holiday season and in the wake of steep discounts from Virtual Reality headset makers Oculus and HTC, Microsoft is pushing as hard as it can towards shipping enough units to build a new VR ecosystem. Consumers are the ones that stand to gain the most here, however. Though if you want to get your hand son one of these, be fast: the Acer and Dell options are already sold out, and the others' supply might also be inferior to the demand. So go there, and grab them while they're hot.

Source: Microsoft Store

Intel to Deploy Management Engine Lock to Prevent Disabling, Rollback

It's been an interesting month for users as we've discovered that the most widely-used OS in the world could be one most of us had never even heard anything about before. Intel's Management Engine, a full-fledged computer inside Intel CPUs, runs on MINIX, and after it was outed that Intel's CPUs ran on it, multiple issues have been found with the approach, which has moved Intel towards outing a detection tool.

Intel is seemingly poising to move towards a full hardware lock of the Management Engines' capabilities, thus ensuring it can't be disabled. And even if Intel does send out firmware fixes for its already deployed CPUs with ME integration, the fact remains that the memory pool where the firmware is written is, well, re-writable - given enough access, miscreants could simply re-flash the ME to an earlier, vulnerable version, and thus acquire God Mode access to a victim's computer. To tackle both issues, Intel is moving towards a hardware lock of their ME.

"Intel inside" Campaign Funds Cut, Might Bring Higher Pricing to End Users

Intel has decided to rollback investment - read, funding - for its "Intel inside" marketing campaign, which has been with us since 1991. The "Intel inside" campaign is one where Intel has been offering OEMs and system integrators some amount of compensation and marketing funding for their Intel-based products, and is aimed at helping OEMs and channel partners drive PC sales growth. However, if CRN's report is right, Intel is looking towards cutting funding for this program by 40% to 60%.

OEMs have been including Intel's "Intel inside" funding as part of their annual marketing budgets, and the reduction of this funding from Intel can go one of two ways: manufacturers reduce marketing budget, or keep the same budget, but pass on the increased expenses towards consumers. For companies, the second option is likelier to be true, simply because marketing plays such a prominent role in company's visibility in the usually crowded markets.

Starbucks Wi-Fi Exploits Coffee Lovers' Devices for Cryptocoin Mining Operations

Nothing in life is free, not even the Wi-Fi at Starbucks cafes. That's something Noah Dinkin would discover eventually. While sipping his coffee at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Buenos Aires, the founder and CEO of stensul decided to log onto the Wi-Fi network to get some work done. To his surprise, there was an unusual delay before he was able to access the internet. Noah later found out that a malicious code was working behind the scenes to hijack customer's devices to mine Monero (XMR). He immediately reported the exploit to Starbucks via Twitter. Starbucks was unaware of the issue, but the company immediately contacted their internet provider to remove the code. To their defense, the Wi-Fi service is outsourced to a third-party provider, therefore, Starbucks doesn't own or control the Wi-Fi network. The company claims that this was an isolated case, and their other stores are safe.

Source: BBC News

Cherry Targets Office Users with Their New Ergonomic MW 4500 Wireless Mouse

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, presents the MW 4500, an ergonomic wireless mouse that reduces wrist strain thanks to its unique design. The new mouse aims to be a perfect all-rounder in office or home use.

Best-in-class ergonomics for fatigue-free work
CHERRY has designed the MW 4500 to be an extremely ergonomic mouse that relieves wrist tension and allows fatigue-free work. With its unique shape, the hand rests on the mouse at a 45-degree angle. This results in a more natural posture that prevents discomfort of the joints and tendons. An abrasion-resistant surface complements the ergonomic shape.

Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 Lands in Europe for £259.99 / €289.99

Fujitsu subsidiary PFU (EMEA) Limited is launching its Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 (HHKB Pro2) in Europe. Designed with programmers in mind, it can be a great asset for anybody in search of an excellent typing experience. The innovative and minimalistic high-quality keyboard uses a reduced layout with far fewer keys and offers an extremely satisfying and rapid typing experience.

Compact and minimalistic
The HHKB Pro2 is not just another gadget for computer enthusiasts, but is the result of systematic research and a co-operation with Professor Eiiti Wada, a renowned Japanese computer scientist. The 60 key compact build means that hands can stay on the home row which is good for speed, efficiency, and comfort. Due to a number of easy to learn function-layers the reduced layout is actually more ergonomic than traditional keyboards, winning it many fans over the last 20 years.

H1Z1 is Free to Play for a Week Starting December 14

From Dec. 14 - 21, Daybreak Games will kick off H1Z1's first-ever Free Week! The original standalone battle royale shooter will be free to download and play in full for the entire week, starting Thursday, Dec. 14. Additionally, during this week, H1Z1 will be on sale through Steam for 75% off. H1Z1 is also celebrating the holidays with Wreck the Halls! Throughout the month of December, players have the chance to obtain a four-piece holiday-themed outfit across multiple in-game events. To win a piece of the ensemble, players must finish 30th or better in any holiday event match.

Cherry Strait 3.0 Keyboard, Where Elegance Meets Reliability

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, presents the Strait 3.0 for Mac. This wired keyboard is characterized by an elegant design and a durable build quality, making the Strait 3.0 for Mac a perfect and reliable keyboard for daily use.

Elegant design and durable build quality
The CHERRY Strait 3.0 for Mac charms with its elegant design and is a real eye-catcher on the desk thanks to its clean, ultra-flat design with a metal look. In combination with the durable build quality, this has resulted in a robust keyboard which is particularly suitable for permanent use.

DreamHack and CORSAIR Enter Strategic Partnership

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, and DreamHack, the world's largest digital festival, are excited to announce a groundbreaking new partnership which will see CORSAIR and DreamHack working together for the next two years as strategic partners, with CORSAIR as a major sponsor of DreamHack's esport properties

Having previously sponsored numerous DreamHack events and competitions, most recently as a main sponsor of DreamHack Open, CORSAIR will greatly expand its sponsorship of DreamHack events, becoming the title sponsor of DreamHack's Dota 2 activities through DreamLeague, DreamHack's CS:GO arena championship series and the title sponsor of DreamHack Masters. The new sponsorships extend to naming rights, with DreamLeague now titled "CORSAIR DreamLeague" and DreamHack Masters now known as "CORSAIR DreamHack Masters". CORSAIR will also partner with DreamHack on as-yet unannounced events and tournaments, with more details in the coming months.

CORSAIR has exploded into the PC peripherals and esports market over the past six years, launching a diverse range of gaming keyboards, mice, headsets and accessories, in addition to its wide-ranging DIY and memory products. Know amongst gamers for its commitment to premium materials and lasting build quality, CORSAIR is a top-choice amongst gamers, from aspiring amateurs to world-renowned professionals.

Baidu Deploys AMD EPYC Single Socket Platforms to Power its 'ABC' Datacenters

AMD and Baidu, the leading Chinese language Internet search provider and leader in artificial intelligence (AI), today announced the immediate availability of AMD-powered AI, big data, and cloud computing (ABC) services. Utilizing the compute performance and advanced feature-set of the AMD EPYC processor in a single-socket platform allows Baidu to efficiently optimize and deliver massive storage and compute services to its customers. Baidu expects to further expand its use of AMD EPYC processors across its global datacenters beginning in the first quarter of 2018.

"By offering outstanding performance in single-processor systems, the AMD EPYC platform provides flexibility and high-performance in our datacenter, which allows Baidu to deliver more efficient services to our customers," said Liu Chao, senior director, Baidu System Technologies Department. "Baidu's mission is to make a complex world simpler through technology, and we are constantly looking to discover and apply the latest cutting-edge technologies, innovations, and solutions to business. AMD EPYC processors provide Baidu with a new level of energy efficient and powerful computing capability."

MSI Intros Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Boost Graphics Card

MSI today rolled out its first quasi-custom design Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card, the MSI RX Vega 64 Air Boost. This card combines an AMD reference-design (or at least close-to-reference) PCB, with a custom-design lateral-flow cooling solution by MSI. The lateral blower features a large base plate with a copper core; the base plate draws heat from the VRM, the copper core from the "Vega 10" MCM. The card ships with slightly overclocked speeds of 1272 MHz core, and 1575 MHz boost. Drawing power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, the card puts out three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, and an HDMI 2.0 port. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Confirms 2nd Generation Ryzen Processors to Debut in Q1-2018

At a press event, AMD confirmed that its 2nd generation Ryzen desktop processors will debut in Q1-2018 (before April). It also clarified that "2nd Generation" does not equal "Zen2" (a micro-architecture that succeeds "Zen"). 2nd Generation Ryzen processors are based on two silicons, the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge," which is a GPU-devoid silicon with up to eight CPU cores; and "Raven Ridge," which is an APU combining up to 4 CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture. The core CPU micro-architecture is still "Zen." The "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon takes advantage of the optical shrink to 12 nm to increase clock speeds, with minimal impact on power-draw.

AMD is also launching a new generation of chipset, under the AMD 400-series. There's not much known about these chipsets. Hopefully they feature PCIe gen 3.0 general purpose lanes. The second-generation Ryzen processors and APUs will carry the 2000-series model numbering, with clear differentiation between chips with iGPU and those without. Both product lines will work on socket AM4 motherboards, including existing ones based on AMD 300-series chipset (requiring a BIOS update). AMD is reserving "Zen2," the IPC-increasing successor of "Zen" for 2019. The "Mattise" silicon will drive the multi-core CPU product-line, while the "Picasso" silicon will drive the APU line. Both these chips will run on existing AM4 motherboards, as AMD plans to keep AM4 as its mainstream-desktop socket till 2020.

Source: WCCFTech

NVM Express, Inc. Debuts NVMe Over Fabrics Compliance Testing

NVM Express, Inc., the organization that developed the NVM Express (NVMe) and NVMe Management Interface (NVMe-MI) specifications for accessing solid-state drives (SSDs) on a PCI Express (PCIe) bus as well as over Fabrics, hosted its eighth NVMe Plugfest at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham, N.H. during the week of October 30-November 2. The event offered the first official NVMe Over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) compliance and interoperability transport layer testing for RoCE, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet, and the Fibre Channel.

The testing performed by the UNH-IOL, an independent testing provider of standards conformance solutions and multi-vendor interoperability, generated 14 new certified products for the base NVMe Integrators List and one for the NVMe-MI Integrators List. Eight inaugural products were also approved for the newly launched NVMe-oF Integrators List, which accepts RoCE initiators and targets, Ethernet switches, as well as Fibre Channel initiator, targets and switches, and software.

"Since 2013, the UNH-IOL has certified over 112 NVMe-based products at the NVM Express Plugfests," David Woolf, senior engineer, Datacenter Technologies at the UNH-IOL, said. "By continuing to prioritize specification compliance and interoperability testing, companies can ensure faster time to market and seamless interactions with other devices NVMe-based solutions."
Tuesday, December 12th 2017

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AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition Overview

The next version of AMD's Radeon Software Graphics Drivers, Adrenalin Edition, has been released today, and it aims to add more than just a customizable overlay. One of the many exciting new features is AMD Link, an iOS/Android app that makes the most of a second-screen experience. This is a driver release that merits the time to go through in detail.

Toshiba and WD Reach Global Settlement and Agree to Strengthen Collaboration

Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Memory Corporation, and Western Digital Corporation have entered into a global settlement agreement to resolve their ongoing disputes in litigation and arbitration, strengthen and extend their relationship, and enhance the mutual commitment to their ongoing flash memory collaboration.

As part of this agreement, TMC and Western Digital will participate jointly in future rounds of investment in Fab 6, the state-of-the-art memory fabrication facility now under construction at Yokkaichi, including the upcoming investment round announced by Toshiba in October 2017. Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to the mass production of BiCS FLASH, the next-generation of 3D flash memory, starting next year. TMC and Western Digital similarly intend to enter into definitive agreements in due course under which Western Digital will participate in the new flash wafer fabrication facility which will be constructed in Iwate, Japan.

The parties will strengthen their flash memory collaboration by extending the terms of their joint ventures. Flash Alliance will be extended to December 31, 2029 and Flash Forward to December 31, 2027. Flash Partners was previously extended to December 31, 2029.

Greenliant Expands Portfolio of eMMC NANDrive

Greenliant Systems is now sampling its eMMC 5.1 NANDrive embedded solid state drive (SSD) product family with improved performance, enhanced features and a wide range of capacities (8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB). Ideal for automotive, industrial, medical, security, military and networking applications, the new GLS85VM NANDrive devices support the JEDEC eMMC 5.1 standard and operate at full industrial temperatures between -40 and +85 degrees Celsius.

The eMMC 5.1 NANDrive products are HS200/HS400 compliant and support command queuing for faster data throughput and better multitasking. These high-performance products also offer high-reliability features, such as advanced wear-leveling, bad block management and effective error correction code (ECC) capabilities to significantly extend the life of the product. eMMC 5.1 NANDrive SSDs are available in a 14mm x 18mm, 100-ball, 1.0mm pitch package (backward compatible with Greenliant's 100-ball eMMC 4.4 NANDrive SSDs) and will also be offered in a smaller 11.5mm x 13mm, 153-ball, 0.5mm pitch package.

Corsair Launches the World's Fastest DDR4 SODIMM 32GB Memory Kit

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC components high-performance gaming hardware and enthusiast memory, today announced the launch of the new CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4,000MHz 32GB (4x8GB) kit, the world's fastest DDR4 SODIMM DDR4 memory kit.

While PC enthusiasts might be more familiar with SODIMM memory from laptops or all-in-one PCs, CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4x8GB 4,000MHz is designed to power the latest small-form-factor systems running Intel's high-end-desktop X299 motherboard platform. Motherboards such as the ASRock X299E-ITX are able to fit all the power and performance of Intel's high-end motherboard chipset into a tiny Mini-ITX form factor but have, until now, been limited on memory frequency and bandwidth. With CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4x8GB 4,000MHz, PC builders and enthusiasts can now pack 32GB of high-frequency quad-channel 4,000MHz DDR4 alongside Intel's Core i9 processors, for up to 36 threads of processing power and massive memory bandwidth, in Mini-ITX small-form-factor PCs.

The Future is Quantum: Microsoft Releases Free Preview of Q# Development Kit

So you want to learn how to program a quantum computer. Now, there's a toolkit for that. Microsoft is releasing a free preview version of its Quantum Development Kit, which includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator and other resources for people who want to start writing applications for a quantum computer. The Q# programming language was built from the ground up specifically for quantum computing.

The Quantum Development Kit, which Microsoft first announced at its Ignite conference in September, is designed for developers who are eager to learn how to program on quantum computers whether or not they are experts in the field of quantum physics. It's deeply integrated into Visual Studio, Microsoft's suite of developer tools, so aspects of it will be familiar to people who are already developing applications in other programming languages. And it's designed to work with a local quantum simulator, also released as part of the kit, that can simulate around 30 logical qubits of quantum computing power using a typical laptop computer. That will allow developers to debug quantum code and test programs on small instances right on their own computers.

The GOG Winter Sale is Up - And There's a Grim Fandango Remastered Giveaway

Another wintry - depending on your global position - December, another videogame sale for our hearts' content. This time, it's GOG, part of CD Projekt Red, that's having a Winter sale, and what est way to start a sale than actually waiving all sales of a particular game? That's what's been done here, with a free copy of Grim Fandango Remastered being offered for free. Just click the banner on GOG's website or GOG Galaxy application, and off you go. Yous till have some time, though - the sale is live from today up to December 26th.

Unlike Steam's sales, GOG is still adding new games on sale each day, and they are quoting 900+ games with up to 90% discounts. There are some amazing pieces of software there, and everyone should find something to enjoy themselves with. Besides, it's DRM free, and you're indirectly funding the development of other games - namely Cyberpunk 2077 - from CD Projekt Red by filling their coffers through buying games on sale. How better could this deal be? Hardly better, that's how.

Bungie Vows to Stop Locking Destiny 2 Players' Activities Behind Latest DLC

A lot of controversy has hit Bungies' Destiny 2. If some concerns regarding the first game have been (somewhat) answered with the new systems and story integration of the latest Bungie release, the fact is that Destiny 2 has been, time and again, in the crosshairs of gamers for some reason or other. From weapons shipping with game-breaking bugs, to controversies regarding hidden experience scaling systems, it seems Bungie is moving from one trap to another in Destiny 2. And for the second time in a month, the company has vowed to start being more transparent, and listening more to the community they serve - and need.

The controversy now stems from Bungie's decision to lock players out of the late game content following the launch of Curse of Osiris. The idea was solid - increase the level of endgame activities, such as Raids and the Trials of the Nine multiplayer, to keep them relevant in the wake of new, higher-level equipment. However, this effectively locked players with only the base game from virtually all chances of succeeding in these activities, since only Curse of Osiris equipment could give players the Light level they'd need to have a chance at completing those activities. IN a blog post, Bungie has vowed to do better for gamers next time, and is moving to reset all base game activities to their base level - keeping base-game only players in the loop, and able to experience Destiny 2's systems.
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