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GDDR5 Prices Surge 30% in August, Could Affect Graphics Card Prices
Wednesday, August 16th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD

GALAX Announces GPU Overclocking Products - Power Board and LN2 Memory Radiator

GALAX is apparently on the verge of launching two GPU overclocking-specific products, materialized in the HOF Power Board and an LN2 memory radiator kit. Built to increase overclockability in your graphics card of choice, the GALAX power board will allow you to feed the GPU with way more power than it is designed to receive - provided you have decent cooling for the increased temperatures and operating voltages. And with the caveat of whether or not your GPU manufacturer of choice allows such changes in voltage.

Silicon Motion Expands its Portfolio of PCIe NVMe SSD Controller Solutions

Silicon Motion Technology Corporation, a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid-state storage devices, announced the availability of the industry's broadest portfolio of merchant turnkey SSD (solid state disk) controller solutions, including the new ultra-high speed SM2262EN and SM2262 for client, the SM2263 for mainstream and the SM2263XT DRAM-less controller, which supports the BGA form factor.

With the new SM2262 and SM2263 series, Silicon Motion provides PCIe G3 x 4 Lanes NVMe 1.3 controllers while supporting the latest 3D NAND from the main flash manufacturers. The SM2262EN, an ultra-high performance SSD controller solution, delivers peak sequential read and write transfer speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and 3,000 MB/s, respectively, and random read and write IOPS of up to 370,000 and 300,000. The SM2263 is targeted at mainstream client applications and features sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s and 1,700 MB/s respectively. The SM2263XT, a DRAM-less controller solution, reduces BOM cost and form factor without compromising performance while enabling 11.5mmx13mm BGA SSDs ideally suited for 2-in-1 systems, chromebooks and mobile devices.

Razer Launches the Atheris Wireless Notebook Mouse

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Atheris, the ultimate wireless notebook mouse with the world's longest-lasting battery life and lag-free wireless gaming-grade performance. Designed for mobile work and play to outlast any competition, the Razer Atheris offers up to 350 hours of continuous use on a single pair of AA batteries, providing power for even the most enduring boardroom meetings or intense gaming sessions.

The Razer Atheris is equipped with Razer's proprietary wireless Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT) providing industry-leading transmission for the most reliable, stable connection. AFT is enabled through a compact USB dongle that stores away conveniently in the mouse, and Bluetooth LE connectivity is also available for devices without a USB port.

AMD Releases Beta Driver Specifically Geared for Blockchain Compute

Paraphrasing our own VSG, "So, this happened". AMD has gone out and done it: they've released a Beta driver specifically geared towards blockchain-based workloads, which should improve the company's GPU performance in generating money for miners. The driver is compatible with close to the entirety of AMD's GCN lineup - all the way from hot-from-the-foundry Vega to AMD's HD 7900 series. As AMD puts it, this is a driver solely purposed towards blockchain workloads - no gaming or graphics workloads (read, what graphics cards were originally meant to do) are officially supported in this release.

Apparently, AMD took it upon themselves to release this driver due to AMD's well documented DAG performance decrease for Ethereum mining hashrates. Specifically, according to Legit Reviews, the Radeon RX 480 went from an expected 14.8 MH/s at DAG #199 (down from 24.6 MH/s at DAG #130) to a prospective 24.8 MH/s DAG #199 performance according to Claymore's benchmark script. Performance improvements from the non-blockchain-geared driver release seem to stand at around 10-15%, which isn't too shabby from a single, Beta driver release.

Lian Li Announces PC-Q39 Tempered Glass Mini-ITX Tower

Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd is delighted to present the new PC-Q39 WX Mini-ITX mini tower chassis. The PC-Q39 is an evolution of the PC-Q37 and allows the use of ATX power supplies as well as triple slot graphics cards in a mini-ITX chassis. Internally, dedicated grommets for liquid cooling tubing have been placed in order to move reservoir and pumps to the wider secondary chamber. This enables motherboard, graphics card, and other main components to shine behind the tempered glass panel. Furthermore, the front panel has been upgraded and now features an USB 3.1 Type-C connector.

The PC-Q39 continues the traditional Lian Li design with dual chambers for extremely clean builds. The main compartment houses the Mini-ITX motherboard and graphics cards up to 320mm in length, while the second compartment has a tool-less drive rack for two 3.5" and one 2.5" drives, there is another one 2.5"in the back, and one on the motherboard tray, totally three 2.5" drives. An ATX PSU up to 160mm in length and optional liquid cooling reservoir or pump. Two grommet holes in the motherboard allow liquid cooling tubing to pass between chambers. Five holes in the motherboard tray allow cabling to pass from the main to the secondary chamber for clean designs.

SteelSeries Announces Apex M750 Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries announced the APEX M750, the 'complete package' mechanical keyboard, delivering durability in a beautifully simplified package. The M750 brings new QX2 mechanical switches, per key RGB lighting and SteelSeries Engine Apps to gamers, giving them the ultimate combination of beauty, performance, and customization.

The APEX M750 features SteelSeries' QX2 linear mechanical gaming switches to deliver ultra-fast and consistent gameplay. Their low-force, linear actuation point also deliver a whisper-quiet response and have a guaranteed lifespan of 50 million key presses. The keyboard was designed with an aerospace aluminum core for durability, stability and a sleek, modern look.
Tuesday, August 15th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

Cooler Master MasterPulse MH320

By releasing the MasterPulse MH320, their least-expensive gaming headset to date, Cooler Master tries to grab the attention of gamers on a very tight budget. Even though it costs a mere $40, it offers a dual-headband design, a foldable bi-directional boom microphone, and a few other interesting features.

Samsung Announces Portable SSD T5

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced the introduction of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 - the newest portable solid state drive (PSSD) that raises the bar for the performance of external memory products. The T5, built with Samsung's latest 64-layer V-NAND technology, delivers industry-leading transfer speeds with encrypted data security in a compact and durable design, making it easier than ever for consumers to access their most valuable data anywhere, at any time.

"Samsung has been pushing the envelope of what is possible in portable storage and solid state drives for years, and the Portable SSD T5 continues our legacy of leadership and innovation," said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "We are confident that the T5 will exceed consumers' expectations for external storage by offering faster speeds and a solid design that is lightweight and conveniently pocket-sized. It is the ideal portable storage product for consumers and professionals who are in search of a fast, durable and secure device."

AMD's RX Vega Launch Prices Might be Just Smoke and Mirrors

Overclockers UK staff member Gibbo, who posted the renowned British company's Vega stocks and deals for the red team's graphics cards, has just come out with something that might put our inner buyers to attention. Apparently, AMD has allowed launch prices to be as they currently are ($499 for the Vega 64 and $399 for the Vega 56 in the Americas; £549 for the Vega 64 in the UK) through rebates and other offers to retailers, who, according to Gibbo, couldn't keep those prices at all if that was not the case. According to the Overclockers UK staffer, " (...) the good news is AMD are rebating early launch sales to allow us to hit £449.99 on the stand alone black card which has no games. This is a launch only price which AMD at present are saying will be withdrawn in the near future, when if it happens is unknown, but remember do not be shocked if the price jumps nearly £100 in a few days. This time around there is no early adopter tax, quite the opposite on the stand alone black card, so do be quick."

Intel Officially Reveals What's Coming After Coffee Lake: The 10 nm Ice Lake

A pretty underwhelming post on Intel's official page has pulled the curtains of the company's architecture name post their 8th generation processors. Actually, it's a little more puzzling than that, since Intel is actually detailing the codename of an architecture that's supposed to come right after their 8th generation - read, Coffee Lake - processors. Keep in mind that Coffee Lake, whilst being supposed to bring a reorganization of Intel's product stack in response to AMD's Ryzen success, will still be in the 14 nm++ process - the third such architecture in the same process, after Skylake (14 nm) and Kaby Lake (14 nm+) before it. Cannon Lake, however, is supposed to be the company's first tick into the 10 nm process.

Intel has moved over from their famed tick-tock (where tick is a process shrink and tock is a new architecture on the same process) cadence, and are now telling customers to expect at least three "tocks" per process. It's expected that Intel will launch mobile processors on the 10 nm process before any desktop parts are launched on the same process; this could stem from the fact that mobile parts are typically lower-power, smaller-sized dies, which are easier and cheaper to produce out of a still maturing 10 nm process, which usually implies lower than ideal yields.

Sources: Intel Codename Decoder, Intel's Ice Lake Page, via AnandTech

Alphacool Announces the Eisbaer 420 - The World's Biggest AIO solution

What is it?
The Alphacool Eisbaer is an expandable, refillable CPU all-in-one watercooler with a pure copper radiator. The Eisbaer can be expanded with additional Eisbaer Ready products such as the Eiswolf GPX-Pro graphics card cooler, among others.

With the Eisbaer 420mm, Alphacool presents what is currently the largest and most powerful AIO water cooler in the world. With its mighty 420mm pure copper radiator and three 140mm Eiswind fans, the ability to cool any current CPU is more than just guaranteed. The quick connectors mean you can add any Eisbaer Ready products or custom water cooling gear to the cooling loop. The cooling performance of the mighty 420mm pure copper radiator is enough to add more than one graphics card to the loop, or any other components that will be cooled with water. The 420mm pure copper radiator and the included Eiswind fans can easily provide the necessary cooling power.

SilverStone Adds Tempered Glass to Redline Case Series

SilverStone has just announced availability of their Redline chassis lineup. Aimed towards a more budget-conscious consumer, the Redline offers a standard ATX support and seven expansion slots in black and red or white and black color schemes (yes, you physics pundits are right when you say that black or white aren't colors... Let's let that one slide now, shall we?)

The RL06-G and RL06-GP cases are able to accommodate CPU coolers 158 mm tall, full-length graphics cards up to 348 mm, and power supplies up to 200 mm. Both chassis have mounting locations for 3x 3.5" hard disks (trays located in front of the PSU) and 2x 2.5" solid state drives (behind the motherboard tray.) The latest additions to the Redline series come standard with a full length power supply shroud that covers both the PSU and the three 3.5" trays.

GELID Announces the Phantom Series CPU Coolers

GELID today introduced its Phantom series CPU coolers. Available in two variants, the Phantom (model: CC-Phantom-01-A), featuring a clear chrome finish with all-black fans; and the Phantom Black (model: CC-Phantom-Black-01-A), featuring a black nickel-plating on the aluminium fins and copper heat pipes; the Phantom is a "D-type" dual fin-stack heatsink cooler. From a copper base, seven nickel-plated copper heat-pipes pass, with aluminium fin-stacks along their two ends. The cooler is designed for thermal loads of up to 200W.

The innovation here is in the thickness of these heat pipes. Three of these are 8 mm-thick, and four are 6 mm-thick. The thicker heat pipes pass through the center of the base, while two of the thinner ones pass through the edges, and two of the thinner ones layer up on top of the central heat pipe. The cooler can mount up to three 120 mm fans, although two are included. The included fans take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 750-1,600 RPM, with a static pressure of up to 2.18 mmAq, and a noise output of 12-26.7 dBA. Measuring 120 mm x 126 mm x 160 mm (WxDxH, minus fans), the cooler weighs a little over 1 kg. Among the CPU sockets it supports are AM4, LGA2066, and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing but mentioned that the coolers will be backed by a 5-year warranty.

Cooler Master Announces MasterPulse MH320 Gaming Headset

Cooler Master, a Taipei-based leader in designing and manufacturing computer components and peripherals releases a new closed-back ear cup gaming headset, the MasterPulse MH320. Whether you're a marathon gamer looking for versatile sound options or a casual gamer looking for an all-around headset, the MasterPulse MH320 is the perfect gaming companion.

"We designed this headset with gaming in mind so we made the headset lightweight to ensure comfort for hours on end, coming in at only 280 grams. We didn't make any compromises on quality though and the MH320 has a self-adjusting headband with a steel support structure," says Bram Rongen, Peripheral Product Marketing Manager.

ASRock Introduces the X10 IoT Router for Smart Homes

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is pleased to announce is pleased to announce the X10 IoT router, a unique next generation smart IoT hub that is designed as an integral part of a smart home environment and essential part a secure domicile. As an IoT router, the ASrock X10 is well equipped to control various "Smart Home" devices, including light systems like smart lighting devices, smart locks, smart water meters, television, air-conditioning units and much more without requiring any additional hubs thanks to its ZigBee controller and advances mesh networking technology.

"We believe a qualified digital l ife is built on a well-connected and user-friendly environment, that's why ASRock created the X10, an all-round Wi-Fi router that integrates IR and ZigBee functions." says Jason Chou, vice president of the ASRock R&D division. "The ASRock X10 will serve your simple and smart life perfectly."

GIGABYTE Announces MA10-ST0 with Top-end Atom C3000 SoC

GIGABYTE today announced its latest motherboard based on Intel's 'Denverton' architecture. This new CPU architecture offers a whole new level of performance efficiency in the cold storage and enterprise network space. This motherboard is the first in the product series and adopts the top-end SKU of Intel's next generation Atom(R) Processor C3000 Product Family - the C3958 - and addresses the cold-storage and network-edge needs of efficiency-conscious users . The major development in this platform is around the core count, performance/power leadership and flexible, highly-integrated I/O. These enable performance improvements of up to 2.5x generation-on-generation which support light, low-cost storage and scale-out applications.

ADATA Releases the XPG SX9000 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.2 SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the XPG SX9000, its fastest consumer SSD yet. The SX9000 caters to gamers and PC overclockers. It arrives in an M.2 2280 form factor and uses the PCIe3x4 interface to deliver up to 2800MB/s read and 1450 MB/s write. ADATA has selected a new Marvell controller to ensure consistently optimized performance, while in-house ADATA manufacturing, assembly, and quality control result in up to a 1000TB terabytes/total bytes written (TBW) rating. The SX9000 uses MLC NAND Flash and ships in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB capacities.

The SX9000 goes even beyond the XPG SX8000 thanks to balanced ADATA design and the integration of a new Marvell controller. It reaches 2800MB/s read and 1450 MB/s write, leveraging the PCI Express Gen 3x4 interface and the NVMe 1.2 protocol. A compact M.2 2280 drive, the SX9000 also manages 310K/140K IOPS random 4K read/write. For fast boot, reduced cross-drive transfer times, shorter game loads, and quicker in-game asset delivery, the SX9000 offers an excellent foundation.

BYKSKI Intros Water Blocks for AMD Radeon RX Vega Series

Bykski, known as one of the biggest water block provider in China, releases the water blocks A-VEGA-FE-X for AMD latest Vega series graphics cards, including Vega Frontier Edition, RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56.

The Bykski A-VEGA-FE-X is made of cooper of the base and designed as a full cover water block, and all the cooper is nickel plated with anti-oxidation treatment. The full cover design allows the water block provides direct cooling for both GPU and RAM. Bykski new logo is used on the A-VEGA-FE-X, and users can see the 0.5 mm micro water flow fins trough the lucid PMMA material cover.
Monday, August 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
SSD
Storage

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8 GB

Our AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 review confirms that the company achieved major performance improvements over their last-generation Polaris and Fiji cards: Vega is faster than the GTX 1080. We tested six different performance configurations of the Vega 64, with surprising results.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8 GB

Radeon RX Vega 56 is the second AMD Vega card launched today. It comes at an affordable $399 price point, with a slightly reduced shader count that actually improves things greatly. For example, power efficiency now trades blows with some Pascal cards, which means less heat and noise, too.

MSI Announces X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the X299M GAMING PRO CARBON AC, world's fastest microATX X299 motherboard. Built on the Intel LGA Socket 2066 means it offers up to 44 PCIe lanes and Quad Channel DDR4 memory support. This model is specifically designed for Intel Skylake-X processors to ensure a flawless operation of any heavy gaming rig during long gaming sessions. The new X299M GAMING PRO CARBON AC is future-proof, ready for the upcoming 12,14,16 and 18-core Intel Core-X Series CPUs.

By adding a 16 GB Intel Optane Memory device on the 2 new OPT BOOST motherboards, MSI not only delivers support for the latest Intel technology, besides this you get an added value of $50,-. Optimize your computer by delivering a responsive computer experience with short boot times, fast application launches, extraordinary gaming, and responsive browsing. Gamers can now enjoy SSD levels of high performance and have a large storage capacity at the same time.

AMD Releases the Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1 Beta 6 Drivers for Vega

AMD today has made available for early adopters the Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1 drivers. Users of other AMD graphics cards other than the newly released RX Vega 64 beware: these drivers are for exclusive use on those graphics cards.

For those early adopters who have a Vega 64 on their hands already, these drivers are for you. If you're currently on the fence on whether or not to make the plunge to a new red-powered graphics card, make sure to read our own resident W1zzard's reviews of AMD's latest foray into the high performance graphics processing market for both the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards. You might be surprised. Download the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Relive Edition Radeon RX Vega Series Driver​Source: AMD

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 385.28 Game Ready WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce drivers, which enable your green-powered card to run smoothly and without issues. This latest driver release is a Game-Ready WHQL one, which aims to enable the smoothest possible experience on recently-released game titles. The focus for this 38.28 version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers was on Agents of Mayhem, Crossout and Killing Floor: Incursion, while also introducing a number of fixes. You can grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.28 WHQL Game-Ready Drivers

480 Hz True Refresh Rate Monitor Spotted, Heralding a New Wave of Display Tech

A prototype true 480 Hz monitor has found its way to the hands of Blur Busters, who aptly tested whether or not that feature made their blur busting name irrelevant at some point in the future. The verdict? While 480 Hz refresh rates do offer a visible difference in step distances and blur reduction, things can be improved further. But we're talking about a refresh rate where most high-end monitors typically achieve 144 Hz - so 480 Hz is a totally different beast.

While display tech has seen some interesting evolutions as of late (mainly the introduction of OLED displays and HDR technology (which seems to be facing some delays of its own), refresh rates have somewhat stagnated in recent times. A true 480 Hz refresh rate will surely get some users drooling over it, and justify yet another round of upgrades to your entire system - though of course, the usability of such a high refresh-rate monitor begins to dwindle as resolution increases (and frame rates necessarily decrease.) Let's see where this goes.

Sources: Blur Busters, via HotHardware

Gigabyte Announces Its RX Vega 56 Reference Model Graphics Card

In a slightly anemic post on their website, Gigabyte has been the first of AMD's AIB partners to showcase a reference design RX Vega 56 graphics card. This was a silent addition to their website; no press releases have been sent out as of yet. There is only so much a company can say about their reference design graphics cards, though, absent of coming up with interesting phrases to sell the card's capabilities. Specifically, Gigabyte praised:

Next Gen Compute Units
These revamped nCUs (1 nCU = 64 stream processors) are designed to operate at incredible clock speeds and deliver extreme gaming experiences with the newest high resolution and high refresh rate monitors.

Prototype AMD Vega RX 56 Triple-Fan Graphics Card Pictured

Trying to keep our community entertained and distracted from the growing pains and expectations of waiting for the death of AMD's imposed NDAs on Vega reviews is one of our missions. As such, while we know what you want are actual performance numbers, price/performance charts, and an in-depth, independent review, you'll not find such answers in this post. You will find, however, some interesting tidbits on AMD RX Vega designs. In this case, a triple-fan cooling solution for AMD's RX Vega 56 (the smaller Vega).

Colorful Announces the iGame Z270 Ymir U Motherboard - Designed for Gamers

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, officially produces its latest addition to the iGame series of motherboards with powerful Intel Z270 chipset -the most powerful model which debuted in COMPUTEX, the iGame Z270 Ymir U which can provide stable platform for better game experience without the internet speed, heating value and other performance.

Metal Armor
iGame Z270 Ymir U features Metal Overlap Armor including of metal armor, dual colors overlap, and GamerVoice2.0 Audio system. After a level-up to 2.0 version, RGB lighting of GamerVoice will dance according to the music, then you can adjust the mode in BIOS. GamerVoice features independent audio card and alternative audio chip, so that customers can change more professional chip instead. Advanced audio circuit segmentation technology and the costly material can drive headphones with 600Ωresistance.

iBUYPOWER Announces the XPG SPECTRIX D40 DDR4 RGB Memory Module

iBUYPOWER is pleased to announce the arrival of the XPG SPECTRIX D40 DD4 RGB Memory Module by ADATA. Configured exclusively at iBUYPOWER, the SPECTRIX D40 is the first DDR4 RGB Memory produced by XPG and integrates stunning performance and visual, luminous beauty into a compact memory module.

A memory module built for the most avid gamers and performance PC enthusiasts alike, the XPG SPECTRIX D40 features:
  • Mesmerizing RGB lighting - fully customizable and supported by ASUS AURA Sync
  • Armor-inspired design fashioned with a bright RGB LED Strip
  • Can be overclocked to over 4000 MHz without a special cooling system
  • SPD configuration that defaults to speed of 2666MHz on the new Intel X299 platform
  • Compatible with the AMD AM4 platform and Ryzen processors
Saturday, August 12th 2017

XSPC Announces Raystorm Neo Threadripper CPU Water Block

XSPC has announced their cooling solution for AMD's TR4 socket Ryzen Threadripper CPUs. The Raystorm Neo Threadripper has a massive cold plate measuring 80 x 66.5 mm which is the largest of any CPU block announced for Threadripper so far. Accompanying this is a machined fin stack that covers all four dies- two active, two dummy- to where it also appears to be very optimized for the platform as well.

The Raystorm Neo comes with a chrome or black chrome plated solid aluminum mounting bracket with an acrylic top to see the coolant flowing through the copper cold plate underneath. The coolant does not come in contact with the aluminum mounting bracket. XSPC also bundles in an RGB controller with two RGB LEDs, with the controller supporting some breathing modes and static lighting effects to toggle between.
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