Sunday, April 22nd 2018

Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Firewatch Developer Campo Santo has announced in a blog post that their studio has been acquired by Valve. The affair has come about after a sort of enamorement period after the team at Campo Santo drank a bottle of champagne that was meant to be opened with the attribution of a Game of the Year accolade to Valve's own Portal 2 - back when Valve actually developed games (some of us can remember that time, yes).

The message sent by the Campo Santo team is one of excitement at the opportunity, and confidence that Valve will be a partner in the development their studio wants to make, rather than an evil overlord mind-bent on franchise and creativity destruction. Knowing Valve, I'm sure people would agree with the developers. Here's hoping this marks a newfound interest from Valve in games development... even if by proxy. How I miss GLADoS' jokes... but that's a story for another day. For now, you can read the press release from Campo Santo right after the break.

AMD Officially Discloses Ryzen 3 2200GE, Ryzen 5 2400GE Energy-Efficient APUs

AMD has disclosed, via a pretty standard addition to their website, the existence of some ill-guarded secrets. The secrets in point are low-power variants of the company's 2000-series APUs, which come and join AMD's lineup with lowered TDPs to increased energy efficiency. The Ryzen 3 2200GE and Ryzen 5 2400GE slot right alongside their previously released counterparts, but have enjoyed some clock tuning (and likely some silicon binning as well) to bring their TDPs down from the 2200 and 2400's 65 W to only 35 W - an impressive feat considering there's no difference, at the execution unit level, on these silicon pieces.

Philips Announces Their Momentum 436M6VBPAB Monitor: 4K, Display HDR 1000, Active Sync

Philips have been on a roll not only with their OLED TVs, which have become some of the highest-esteemed in the market, but want to bring that premium quality to their PC monitors as well. Enter the Momentum 436M6VBPAB monitor, a 43" MVA panel affair that supports 4K resolution, features true Display HDR with 1000 maximum nits brightness, and Active Sync tech to bring it up to speed to users' interests and the latest tech (tough sadly, it's being listed as a 60 Hz panel). Have we mentioned integration of Philips' excellently mesmerizing Ambiglow technology?

Philips is promising 97.6% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space, a peak brightness of over 1000 nits (needed fot that HDR 1000 certification), local dimming for deeper blacks, and support for 10-bit colour (8-bit + FRC). The display will support HDMI 2.0, Displayport 1.2, mini DisplayPort and USB Type-C (DP alt mode) inputs. This monitor may well release in the near future, but expect its pricing to be adequate to the technology it offers.
Friday, April 20th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors

Intel Stratix 10: Capable of 10 Trillion Calculations per Second

(Editor's Note: Intel says the Stratix 10 contains some 30 billion transistors - and they say that's more than triple the amount in CPUs that run in the fastest desktop processors today. They're really the ones to know it, since Intel has decided to cut on disclosing transistor count on its CPUs for some time now. The amount of data these FPGAs can process in a single second is nothing short of mind-blowing, though: Intel says they can process the data equivalent to 420 Blu-ray Discs... in just one second. If that doesn't spell an unimaginable future in terms of processing power, I don't know what does.)

Because of the Intel Stratix 10's unique design, it can whip through calculations at blinding speeds - often 10 to 100 times faster than the chips in consumer devices. Intel Stratix 10 FPGAs - the latest version came out in February - are capable of 10 TFLOPS, or 10 trillion floating point operations per second. The Stratix 10 is the fastest chip of its kind in the world.

AMD is Saving the Ryzen 7 2800X for a Rainy Day

Many of you might have noticed that the Ryzen 7 2800X wasn't part of the initial Ryzen 2000 Series launch yesterday. Jim Anderson, Senior Vice President at AMD, has hinted that AMD might release the Ryzen 7 2800X processor at a later date. The main reason for the move is that the current Ryzen 7 2700X and 2700 models already cover the performance and price points. Therefore, AMD doesn't see the need to release a more powerful model at this time. And they're not wrong. Our review of the Ryzen 7 2700X revealed that AMD's current flagship processor has surpassed Intel's Core i7-8700K in multi-threaded workloads while also closing the gap in single-threaded workloads. While Intel still has the advantage when it comes to gaming performance, the difference in performance is slim and gets even smaller as you climb the resolution ladder. Basically, the ball is in Intel's court right now. Whether the Ryzen 7 2800X see the light of the day is going to depend on Intel's response to the Ryzen 7 2700X.

Hell Awaits: Agony Releases on May 29

The highly anticipated horror-survival game Agony will launch on May 29th as developer Madmind Studios and publisher Maximum Games announced the release date for PlayStation 4, Xbox One the all in one entertainment system from Microsoft and PC today. A new teaser trailer revealed with today's launch date showcases the terrifying scenery and cursed creatures awaiting players brave enough to explore Agony's twisted realms.

Agony throws players in the midst of hell where they strive to stay alive and solve the riddle behind the mysterious Red Goddess; architect of this place of sorrow and pain, and the sole entity with knowledge of how escape… but there is more to the story than it seems. Haunted by nightmare creatures, players gain the ability to possess demons and other souls to find their way out of hell.

Honor Launches the MagicBook Ultrabook

Honor, a sub-brand of Chinese electronics giant Huawei, has revealed their brand-new 14-inch MagicBook Ultrabook. The MagicBook is powered by a 8th generation Intel Core processor. It's available with either the Intel Core i5-8250U or the Intel Core i7-8550U processor. Both variants come with 8 GB of memory, a 256 GB SATA SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory. The MagicBook is 15.8 mm thick and weighs 1.47 kg. In terms of design, the Honor MagicBook features a sleek all-aluminum body similar to the previously announced Huawei Matebook. The MagicBook's cooling solution consists of various heat pipes that are connected to the CPU and GPU. A single fan draws cool air from the three vents located around the ultrabook and pushes the heated air through the rear vent.

The Honor MagicBook has been fitted with a 13.3-inch matte IPS LCD display. The panel boasts a 1080p resolution, 45% NTSC color space, 800:1 contrast, and 250 nits of brightness. The ultrabook also possesses four Dolby Atmos-certified speakers, dual mics, and a fingerprint reader. Thanks to the generous 57.4 Wh battery, the MagicBook is certified for up to 12 hours of battery life. It comes with a USB Type-C port for charging the device, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Intel Core i5 variant costs CNY 5,000 ($800), while the Intel Core i7 model goes for CNY 5,700 ($910).

Cray Debuts AMD EPYC Processors in Supercomputer Product Line

Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. today announced it has added AMD EPYC processors to its Cray CS500 product line. To meet the growing needs of high-performance computing (HPC), the combination of AMD EPYC 7000 processors with the Cray CS500 cluster systems offers Cray customers a flexible, high-density system tuned for their demanding environments. The powerful platform lets organizations tackle a broad range of HPC workloads without the need to rebuild and recompile their x86 applications.

"Cray's decision to offer the AMD EPYC processors in the Cray CS500 product line expands its market opportunities by offering buyers an important new choice," said Steve Conway, senior vice president of research at Hyperion Research. "The AMD EPYC processors are expressly designed to provide highly scalable, energy- and cost-efficient performance in large and midrange clusters."

Aorus Unveils Z370 Motherboards with Exclusive Built-In 32GB Intel Optane Memory

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, announced the launch of Z370 AORUS motherboards with exclusive built-in 32GB Intel Optane Memory and support for Intel Core i7+/i5+ architecture. By also utilizing Intel Rapid Storage Technology, these motherboards provide users with accelerated read/write speeds for their storage devices, bolstering their data performance for incredible value.

Introducing GIGABYTE motherboards with built-in 32GB Intel Optane Memory, the four models in this series include the Z370 AORUS GAMING 7-OP, Z370 AORUS ULTRA GAMING WIFI-OP, Z370 AORUS ULTRA GAMING 2.0-OP, and Z370 HD3-OP motherboards, all of which are fully compatible with the newest Intel RST. In addition to adapting the performance enhancement technology from the previous generation, the newest generation of Intel Optane Memory technology is even more potent as it enhances high capacity HDD read/write speeds to match that of SSDs. Under the protection of GIGABYTE Ultra Durable Technology, these boards offer increased system stability as well as durability, making these motherboards a can't miss choice for those seeking enhanced data performance at an unbeatable value.

Tt eSPORTS Intros Iris Optical RGB Gaming Mouse - Available Worldwide

Thermaltake Gaming Tt eSPORTS, the energetic and powerful challenger is delighted to announce worldwide availability of the new Iris Optical RGB Gaming Mouse - a new high performance entry-level mouse equipped with customizable 16.8 million RGB color, 9 dynamic lighting effects and exclusive side aura illumination. The Iris Optical RGB also comes with a gaming grade sensor that supports up to 5000 DPI, 20-million-click gaming grade switches for maximum durability and new gen gaming software for macro, advanced performance, light and profiles settings. Light up the battlefield with the Iris Optical RGB and play with superior accuracy, tracking, and ergonomic comfort.

QNAP Introduces New TVS-882BR-RDX NAS Models

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today's Reviews

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

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6 GHz

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

AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 3.7 GHz

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

34 Companies Sign the Cybersecurity Tech Accord

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

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

New BioShock Game Allegedly in Development

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

PowerColor Radeon RX Vega Nano Pictured

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Antec Launches the DF500 Gaming Case

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

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

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

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

Sharkoon Introduces Mechanical, Low Profile Keyboards with RGB Illumination

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

ADATA XPG Unveils SPECTRIX D41 DDR4 RGB Memory Module

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

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