Hardware Giveaway
Tuesday, October 23rd 2018

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
ID-Cooling Zoomflow 240

ID-Cooling Zoomflow 240

ID-Cooling has set the Zoomflow 240 and its addressable RGB LEDs on stun. Featuring clean looks, decent performance, and all the illumination you can handle, it might be one of the better values for enthusiasts wanting to shed some light on their custom-built systems.

Humble WB Games Classic Bundle Offers Batman Arkham Games and More!

Everyone's favorite charity game bundle store, the Humble Bundle, is back with another good game bundle option. This time it is the WB Games Classic bundle featuring games from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The games on offer are not necessarily new, but at the asking prices as of the time of this post they more than merit a strong recommendation if you have not played them before or are looking to gift them to friends and family.

For all of $1 USD, you can get Scribblenauts Unlimited, Batman: Arkham Origins (the best of the lot in the author's opinion), and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor GOTY edition. This is a no-brainer by itself, but matching the current average of $4.21 also gets you the excellent Bastion, along with Mad Max, Injustic: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, and a 10% discount off the recently released Lego The Incredibles. A tougher sale given memories of the game is at the $12 tier which adds Batman: Arkham Knight and the entire season pass for the game, coupled with a $2 Humble Wallet credit for their monthly subscription plan. Check out the link in the source on the post, and let us know if any of these games garner your recommendation as well.

Cooler Master Offers New 120 mm & 140 mm Addressable RGB MasterFan

Cooler Master releases the MasterFan 120 mm, 120 mm 3-pack, and 140 mm Addressable RGB fans. Users can now upgrade their case and liquid coolers with the new Addressable fans.

Each fan has eight adjustable LEDs, and, can be customized using our MasterPlus+ software. These fans come with a small RGB controller that can cycle through 10 presets. Addressable RGB is a new way of lighting. The input uses a 3-pin connection instead of the standard 4-pin RGB. Please check with the motherboard provider for compatible motherboards.

Bethesda Warns Against "Spectacular" Bugs in Fallout 76 Beta

Okay, let it all out right now: "A Bethesda game with bugs? Color me shocked!". With that preemptively mentioned, the context here is a little different and worth mentioning. Bethesda took to Twitter via a letter to their fans earlier today, a letter that is trying to keep expectations low when trying out the Fallout 76 early access program, which they call the Break it Early Test Application (B.E.T.A, get it?). The letter goes on to bring up examples of other large games with massive in-game worlds, with Bethesda's own Elder Scrolls and Fallout series brought up as examples. To be more specific, the letter mentions "Given what we're doing with 76, we know we're opening everyone up to all new spectacular issues none of us have encountered. Some we're aware of, such as areas where performance needs to improve with lots of players. Others, we surely don't. We need your help finding them, and advice on what's important to fix."

There is a whole other discussion to be had on how private and public beta programs are now becoming glorified unpaid quality assurance work in the so-called AAA game industry today, and Bethesda in this venture does not do anything particular egregious either. But combined with all the other negative press Fallout 76 has been getting thanks to questionable choices made by the publisher, and also noting that only those who pre-ordered the game get to try out the beta beginning in a short while today, things are looking bleak for the participation numbers in said beta program. If you happened to be one of those participating, please do share your experiences in the comments section on this story.

Patriot Launches Viper V765 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Patriot, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals, and flash storage solutions, has announced the release of their brand-new, Viper V765 Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard. Fully equipped with Kailh White Box DIP Switches and an impressive protection rating of IP56, for the ultimate protection from dust and water. Customize 103 programmable macro keys and RGB illumination settings through the included Viper software for an incomparable gaming experience! Built with an aircraft grade aluminum chassis and magnetically detachable palm rest, the Viper V765 offers ultra-durability and support without sacrificing performance.

The Viper V765 mechanical RGB gaming keyboard features the first ever, DIP Kailh White Box Switches, which are designed to provide a prominent clicky and tactile feel. Each key has been vigorously tested with over 80 million key presses to guarantee the highest durability and anti-ghosting for your intense gameplay. Viper Gaming's V765 aims to deliver superior performance to all gamers and tech enthusiast. Dive into your next RTS or FPS games and experience the change in maximized durability and 45% quicker response time.

ASUS Z390 Motherboards Automatically Push Software into Your Windows Installation

During testing for our Intel Core i9-9900K review we found out that new ASUS Z390 motherboards automatically install software and drivers to your Windows 10 System, without the need for network access, and without any user knowledge or confirmation. This process happens in complete network-isolation (i.e. the machine has no Internet or LAN access). Our Windows 10 image is based on Windows 10 April 2018 Update and lacks in-built drivers for the integrated network controllers.

Upon first boot, with the machine having no LAN or Internet connectivity, we were greeted by an ASUS-specific window in the bottom right corner of our screen, asking whether we'd like to install the network drivers and download "Armoury Crate". This got us curious and we scanned the system for any files that aren't part of the standard MS Windows installation. We discovered three ASUS-signed files in our Windows 10 System32 folder, which, so it seems, magically appeared on our harddrive out of thin air. Upon further investigation we also found a new, already running, system service called "AsusUpdateCheck."

Intel Increases L1D and L2 Cache Sizes with "Ice Lake"

Intel's next major CPU microarchitecture being designed for the 10 nm silicon fabrication process, codenamed "Ice Lake," could introduce the first major core redesign in over three years. Keen observers of Geekbench database submissions of dual-core "Ice Lake" processor engineering samples noticed something curious - Intel has increased its L1 and L2 cache sizes from previous generations.

The L1 data cache has been enlarged to 48 KB from 32 KB of current-generation "Coffee Lake," and more interestingly, the L2 cache has been doubled in size to 512 KB, from 256 KB. The L1 instruction cache is still 32 KB in size, while the shared L3 cache for this dual-core chip is 4 MB. The "Ice Lake" chip in question is still a "mainstream" rendition of the microarchitecture, and not an enterprise version, which has had a "re-balanced" cache hierarchy since "Skylake-X," which combined large 1 MB L2 caches with relatively smaller shared L3 caches.

G-Sync and SLI Don't Get Along: Framerate Falls If You Combine Them

Several users have complained lately about performance issues on their SLI systems, and after some discussions in the NVIDIA subreddit and on NVIDIA's forums, the conclusion seems to be clear: performance drops when SLI and G-Sync are working together. The folks over at ExtremeTech have made a good job exploring the issues and they have confirmed that frame rate falls if both features are enabled on the PC. The problem seems related to timing according to their data, but there's no clear solution yet to that issue.

The problems are huge in titles such as Rising Storm 2 (206 vs 75 fps with SLI and G-Sync enabled) and not that important on others like Witcher 3 (113 vs 98 fps). The test setup included two GTX 1080 GPUs and an Acer XB280HK monitor that supports 4K but only at 60 Hz, a perfect choice to detect whether the problem was real or not. In their tests with several games they confirmed the problem, but didn't find a defined pattern: "Turning G-Sync on and using SLI is not guaranteed to tank your frame rate. [...] Different games showed three different performance models". In Deus Ex Mankind Divided the gap appeared only on DX11 mode. In Far Cry 5, the penalty size increases as the frame rate rises, and in Hitman the results were even more confusing.

Alienware Looking Into Entering the PC Components Market

Alienware has long been synonymous with custom-built gaming PCs and laptops, with appealing, exclusive designs that you can't find anywhere else and that boutique experience in tailoring your own machines. The company, however, seems to have plans to increase its hold in the PC gaming ecosystem by entering the PC components market, where gaming branding opportunities abound. Alienware already has an established foothold in the pre-built PC space, and it could always increase brand awareness even more not only by including Alienware-branded components on their machines, but by extending its presence onto other manufacturers' gaming PCs and components (read RAM, motherboards, graphics cards, standalone cases...).

Of course, Alienware will have to thread carefully, as already-entrenched manufacturers and suppliers have their heels well dug in the market - their brands already have strong market recognition and there are years and years of R&D poured into their solutions already. Frank Azor, Dell XPS General Manager, todl PC Games N that any foray into unknown markets has to be very well weighed in terms of investment and risk/benefit scenarios, while also adding that Alienware's brand identity wouldn't work with a simple rebrand of other company's solutions.

Create the Product, Wild Buyers Appear: Capcom Announces $7,800 Ultra Limited Edition of DMC5

Capcom have announced one of the most expensive Limited Collector's Edition packages for a single game that I've ever seen; but the thing with Collector's Editions is that pricing usually isn't a significant factor: ownership is. And the company knows that price is relative, and that buyers will always appear for any kind of product (especially if it's a limited run), and have gone and announced a $7,800 Limited Edition of Devil May Cry 5, which comes with a leather jacket that's a facsimile copy of the one Dante wears in the game.

There are other two versions of these Ultra Limited Editions, which are slightly cheaper; one with a leather jacket for Nero ($6,700), and another for V ($5,350). So, yeah. You can follow the source link for them. DMC5 launches on March 8th, 2019, though; there's still a long way to go until someone can wear these jackets.

EVGA Offers Monster Hunter: World Free With Select EVGA GeForce GTX 10-Series Cards

(Update: Apparently, this isn't an EVGA-exclusive campaign; as it has been noted in the comments, NVIDIA themselves have launched a page with this same promotion and conditions for the free copy of Monster Hunter: World. It appears EVGA just added its own branding to an NVIDIA and partner-wide promotion).

EVGA has just announced a promotion where users that buy qualifying 10-series NVIDIA graphics cards (EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, 1070, or 1060 6 GB) can get a digital copy of Monster Hunter: World for free. Monster Hunter: World released to critical and consumer acclaim not that many months ago, and was received quite well in our own performance review. The game doesn't incorporate any of the 20-series exclusive RTX graphics effects and raytracing processing, so an offering with the 10-series cards isn't a bad deal - especially as it's likely to help move volume of the previous-gen cards quicker along EVGA's warehouses.

ASUSTOR Releases Long-Awaited 10-Gigabit Ethernet Expansion Card

ASUSTOR Inc. has launched the AS-T10G 10G Base-T network card to provide customers with the ability to upgrade their devices to the fastest speeds available for consumers. The AS-T10G supports 10GbE speeds and is backwards compatible with 5GbE, 2.5GbE, 1GbE and 100MbE speeds while sporting an RJ-45 port. ASUSTOR ADM, Windows, Linux, Mac OS and VMware ESXi are all supported, allowing flexible installations.

ARCTIC releases P-Fan Series High-static Pressure With Six Fan Models

ARCTIC today expanded its range of case fans with the new P Series. The high-static pressure fan line consists of six models, each available in 120mm and 140mm versions. The P-Fans are engineered to maximize the cooling potential of radiators. Their newly designed fan blades enable a focused airflow, which makes them an ideal choice on heatsinks and radiators with higher air resistance.

In addition to the new impeller design, the PWM Models of the P Series (including the BioniX) also feature a new, highly efficient motor technology. Thanks to the Neodym-Iron-Boron-Magnet ring of the latest generation, the fans run smoothly and with notably less operating noise and vibration from commutation without compromising performance and service life.

Western Digital Expands Surveillance Storage and Analytics Portfolio

Western Digital Corp. today expanded its portfolio of data storage devices purpose-built for the modern surveillance market, introducing three new offerings: the industry's first industrial-grade 3D NAND UFS embedded flash drive (EFD) for surveillance; an expanded WD Purple microSD card series to support up to 256 GB capacity; and Western Digital Device Analytics, the new device analytics technology enabling OEMs and system integrators to proactively manage their storage subsystems and maintain optimal operation.

The new devices and tools address the complex and dynamic data demands of a surveillance market in transformation, supporting the high performance, capacity and endurance required by networked and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled camera systems, as well as other smart video devices operating at the edge.

"As the adoption of higher resolution and AI-enabled cameras expands, and traditional centralized surveillance video systems become more distributed, fast and reliable storage with higher capacities are essential for enabling surveillance devices to capture, analyze and transform greater amounts of data, locally, and in real-time," said Oded Sagee, senior director, product marketing, Western Digital. "With the new devices and analytics capability introduced today, we are excited to enable the new era of smart video and AI-driven surveillance systems with the industry's most comprehensive offering for surveillance, from the edge to the core."

ADATA Launches XPG SX8200 Pro SSD, GAMMIX S5 SSD, and GAMMIX D30 DDR4 Memory

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today announces a new line up of gaming hardware including the XPG SX8200 ProM.2 2280 SSD, GAMMIX S5 PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 SSD, and GAMMIX D30 DDR4 memory module.

The SX8200 Pro M.2 2280 SSD is XPG's fastest SSD to date and is designed for avid PC enthusiasts, gamers, and overclockers. It features an ultra-fast PCIe Gen3x4 interface that offers sustained peak read/write speeds of 3500/3000MB/s, outpacing SATA 6Gb/s by a wide margin. Supporting NVMe 1.3, the SX8200 Pro delivers excellent random read/write performance of 390K/380K IOPS. With SLC caching, DRAM cache buffer, E2E Data Protection, and LDPC ECC, it maintains high speeds and data integrity, even during highly intensive applications such as gaming, rendering, and overclocking.

Thermaltake Intros Core P3 TG Chassis with Curved Tempered Glass Panel

Thermaltake today introduced the first major redesign of the Core P3 chassis from 2016. Called the Core P3 TG, the case includes a curved tempered glass panel that you can either orient to cover the side and top, or the side and front. The 5 mm-thick glass panel features a curved edge, and bends 90° over a curved edge. The open-air ATX case can be oriented as a tower or sideways. Its expansion slots are arranged perpendicular to the plane of the motherboard, and you use PCIe riser cables to install your graphics cards.

The highly modular case features detachable drive bays, which include two each 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch. Mounts along the motherboard tray let you install large radiators, such as 420 mm x 140 mm. The case measures 333 mm x 470 mm x 512 mm (WxDxH), and serves up room for graphics cards up to 45 cm long (no length limits if you orient the glass panel to cover the top), and CPU coolers up to 18 cm in height, and PSUs up to 20 cm in length. Available now, the Core P3 TG is expected to be priced around $130.

Patched NVFlash Allows RTX 20-series FE Cards to be Flashed with Custom BIOS

BIOS modder Vipeax has released a special patched version of NVFlash (version 5.527.0), the utility that allows you to extract and flash the video BIOS of your NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. This special version lets you to bypass NVIDIA restrictions and flash GeForce RTX 20-series Founders Edition (FE) graphics cards with BIOS ROMs of custom-design graphics cards. The official versions of NVFlash that support "Turing" GPUs report a "board ID mismatch" error when trying to do this, and an additional CLI parameter that made it ignore this warning, was removed by NVIDIA, effectively walling off Founders Edition cards from BIOS cross-flashing. You still can't flash the card with a BIOS you modified, because of NVIDIA's digital-signature restriction that has been in place since "Pascal," however, this new change could come handy if you want to flash your FE card with the BIOS of a custom-design card that is largely based on NVIDIA's reference-design PCB.

PC enthusiasts look to flash their Founders Edition cards with BIOS ROMs of custom-design graphics cards by other NVIDIA add-in card partners, mainly to increase power limits that allow the GPU to sustain boost frequencies better, and increase overclocking headroom. As an obligatory word of caution, use of NVFlash isn't covered by product warranties, and you use it at your own risk, especially when cross-flashing between cards that might have subtle differences. We manually checked the modified executable (not just Virustotal) and it doesn't contain any malware.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA NVFlash with Board ID Mismatch Disabled

In Win Intros Classic Basic Series High-Wattage PSUs

In Win today introduced the modestly named Classic Basic (CB) series high-Wattage PSUs. These are high-end PSUs with premium specifications, whose naming probably reflects the classic product design. Available in 1050W and 1200W models, the CB series PSUs offer fully modular flat cabling, DC-to-DC switching for the +3.3V and +5V rails, and a single +12V rail design, boasting of 80 Plus Platinum efficiency. The 135 mm temperature-activated fan stays off when either the PSU's load is under 25%, or an internal thermal diode reads under 55°C. It only starts spinning beyond, with a gradual curve. The fan spins for 60 seconds following system shutdown.

Under the hood, the CB-series features a Digital Voltage Feedback design that minimizes output voltage fluctuation to under ±2%; an active PFC, and electrical protections against over/under-voltage, overload, overheat, and short-circuit. Both models offer two 8-pin EPS connectors besides the 24-pin ATX. The 1200W model offers eight 6+2 pin PCIe power connectors, while the 1050W model offers six. Both models offer 16 SATA power, and a number of other legacy power connectors. Both models are backed by 7-year warranties.
Monday, October 22nd 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Game Controllers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
SSD
Storage
Antec Dark Fleet DF-500

Antec Dark Fleet DF-500

The Antec Dark Fleet DF-500 revives the Dark Fleet family of cases, which saw its last chassis introduced around a decade ago. With a new, modern look, the DF-500 offers three fans, a tempered glass side and more to bring the Dark Fleet series into 2018.
Cougar Surpassion

Cougar Surpassion

Top optical sensor, Omron switches rated for 50 million clicks, an LCD display, and, of course, RGB lighting. All of these fit into a relatively small mouse shell that is mainly meant for palm gripping. This is the Surpassion, one of Cougar's high-end mice to compete in the sub-$40 price category.

Brendan Iribe Oculus VR Co-Founder Leaves Company

Brendan Iribe, a co-founder of Oculus VR, has announced that he will be leaving the company today in a Facebook post. Having been with the company since its inception in July of 2012, he is now moving on after in his own words "six incredible years." Having been a part of the initial VR push with the Oculus Rift, he has left an indelible mark on an industry that is still growing into its own today.

Calling his tenure at Oculus and Facebook a "transformative experience" Iribe was thankful to the people around him including his team that has been a part of his journey thus far. However, after 20 years he considers now a good time to take a break and "to recharge, reflect and be creative." Even so, it will be interesting to see what he does next, considering he has already co-founded a previous company, Scaleform that was bought by Autodesk in 2011 and then worked for Gaikai before the Sony acquisition in 2012. With a track record in tech that spans multiple industries, it likely won't be long before Iribe is working on the next big thing.

CCP Says They Expected the VR Market to Boom Much Sooner

CCP, makers of the legendary EVE Online, made quite a substantial push for VR in the coming of age of Oculus' Rift and HTC's Vive products in the form of EVE: Valkyrie. The game was fully developed by CCP's Newcastle studio with VR systems in mind (including the PS4's), but failed to... sound off quite as much as the developer wanted it to. During last weekend's EVE Vegas FanFest, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson told Destructoid that the company expected VR to become bigger, faster, than it ever did, with utilization rates being way below the marketed attachment rates and sales of VR headsets.

"We expected VR to be two to three times as big as it was, period. You can't build a business on that.", said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson "If it does take off, and I mean if, we'll re-assess. The important thing is we need to see the metrics for active users of VR. A lot of people bought headsets just to try it out. How many of those people are active? We found that in terms of our data, a lot of users weren't. May of last year (2017) is when we started to figure it out. Was it a surprise? Maybe. But the picture was filling in that there would not be a way to continue with VR as heavily as we were. No regrets. It was right to stop, and it was right to start. I remain a long-term believer of VR." Perhaps things will turn around with subsequent generations of more affordable VR headsets, such as Oculus' Quest, but... It might take some time and slow iteration.

TSMC to Tape Out 100 7 nm Chip Designs by 2019

TSMC has become the de facto leader when it comes to manufacturing technology. The company is on the forefront of new process technologies, and provides solutions for some of the biggest players in the industry, like Apple, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and AMD, just to name a few. This process leadership means that TSMC is being courted by numerous fabless silicon designers so as to produce their silicon chips with the latest process technologies - part of the reason why TSMC has seen increasing revenues and profits forecasts.

By the end of 2018, TSMC will have taped out 50 7 nm designs, and plans to double that number in 2019. And these design wins don't stand solely on the shoulders of TSMC's first 7 nm technology (which should account for 20% of the company's revenue by 2019); the company will also tape-out chips built upon their 7 nm + EUV process, which will begin production in 2019.

Intel Could Have Killed 10 nm Process According to SemiAccurate Report [Updated]

Update: Intel has made an official statement on Twitter denying this and explaining that "Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report."

Intel has been talking for years about the leap to the 10 nm process, a technology whose launch has been delayed time and time again. We were supposed to start seeing these microprocessors in 2016, but that date was postponed to 2017 and later to 2018. The manufacturer assumed the problems once again this year, but made a new promise: you will have 10 nm processors by the end of 2019.

The market seems to continue to trust Intel despite everything. Others, on the other hand, say that Intel is about to announce the total cancellation of this project. You have to take this news of Charlie Demerjian in SemiAccurate not with a grain of salt, but with a lot of grains of salt, because according to their sources, Intel would have already killed the process of 10 nm. This analyst has maintained the theory that Intel would never take that step, and in his analysis indicates that in his opinion this is the right decision. Evidently there has not been any official confirmation or comment from Intel, so for the moment Demerjian's statement raises many doubts and could be mere speculation.

Samsung Announces HMD Odyssey+ with a Display Technology That Says Goodbye to Screen Door Effect

Mixed reality headsets seem to present a new opportunity for the Virtual Reality segment, and Samsung has taken advantage of this trend by announcing the new Samsung HMD Odyssey+, a product that stands out for a novelty in its OLED displays that eliminates the screen door effect. This is a visual artifact of displays where the fine lines separating pixels become visible on the screen. This effect hurts the visual experience, but it can also cause dizziness or nausea.

Samsung say they have solved the problem with an innovation called "Anti-Screen Door Effect (Anti-SDE) Display". This technology helps to increased the perceived resolution of the displays, and according to Samsung the user will have a perceived screen density of 1,233 PPI. The actual density is 616 PPI on a conventional AMOLED, but with the new Anti-SDE AMOLED technology that resolution promises to double virtually before our eyes.

TechPowerUp and Seasonic Present FOCUS Plus Gold PSU Giveaway

TechPowerUp partners with Seasonic, one of the world's leading power-supply manufacturers, to bring you a neat little giveaway. Up for grabs for our readers from the United States, Canada, and the European Union, is a Focus Gold 650-Watt power supply. The Focus Plus series is Seasonic's premium mid-range power-supply series targeted at those who want a reliable and efficient PSU that lasts ages, without breaking the bank. The 650W full-modular model has enough juice and straws for a reasonably powerful build with a high-end graphics card. 10 lucky winners also win a Seasonic branded gym bottle. The Giveaway is open from today till the 1st of November.

For more details, and to participate, visit this page.

Latest Open World Warframe Expansion, Fortuna, Releases This November

Warframe is one of those games that has seen a marked improvement after its initial release. The changes to the games' systems and offering of activities is something really overwhelming, should one look at it and consider the magnitude of changes. From repeated environments and a basic MMORPG, hack/slash/shoot game that offered little to distinguish itself to the industry juggernaut it is now, Warframe has been getting better, bigger, and bolder with each subsequent release.

The new Fortuna expansion is just another step in that direction, with another huge open-world area being added to the game - after last years' Plains of Eidolon, of course. The new expansion will see an added area that is four to five times bigger than the open-world environment of Plains of Eidolon. Fortuna will push the science-fiction aesthetic farther up the hill, and will focus on Orokin-based architecture traversal as players follow the Solaris United faction's struggle against Corpus. New bounties and missions will obviously be available, and in a new high for the series, players will have access to the new K-Drive hoverboards, which will bring new ways of traversing the open world environment Oh, and... via the Codename: Railjack mission, players will be able to control a spaceship and enjoy combat in outer space. If that doesn't scream development when compared to Warframes' initial gaming environment, I don't know what does.

Shuttle Announces SH310R4 Mini-PCs for 8th Gen Core LGA1151 Processors

Shuttle Inc., the global leader in small form factor computer technology, today announced the upgrade of its XPC cube series, the SH310R4. The SH310R4 is an entry-level mini PC with Intel 8th Gen processors. It sustained a small-form-factor of the previous-gen cube systems, but provides a significant boost in performance.

The new SH310R4 aims at a customer base of individuals and businesses whose need increased computing capability. Built upon Intel H310 chipset and support for 8th Gen Intel processors with up to six cores, the SH310R4 provides multicore and multithreaded performance for unprecedented power and responsiveness. It supports up to 32GB DDR4 memory, M.2 storage and Intel UHD graphics which give users true visual perfection in high-definition.

SilverStone Rolls Out Raven-Z RVZ03-ARGB SFF Case with Addressable RGB Lighting

SilverStone today rolled out the Raven-Z RVZ03-ARGB small-form-factor gaming case. With a volume of just 14 liters, and measuring 382 mm x 105 mm x 350 mm (WxHxD), the case serves up enough room for dual-slot graphics cards that are up to 33 cm in length, and oriented sideways via an included PCIe riser cable. The case holds mini-ITX motherboards, with room for CPU coolers as tall as 83 mm. A standard ATX power supply up to 15 cm in length is supported, though a 3-pin AC receptacle and riser.

Storage options of the RVZ03-ARGB include three internal 2.5-inch mounts. Cooling includes three 120 mm vents, from which two are populated by 1,500 RPM, 18 dBA fans. Front panel connectivity includes USB 3.1 type-A ports, and HDA audio jacks. The star-attraction here of course is the addressable-RGB LED diffuser that dominates a somewhat X-shaped embellishment along the front panel. The light strip is either controlled by a small PCB cycling between presets, or can plug into your motherboard via a standard ARGB header, for software control. The case comes in two color options, matte black and white.

Alpenföhn Intros Matterhorn Threadripper CPU Cooler

Alpenföhn today introduced the Matterhorn Threadripper, a variant of its popular Matterhorn series tower-type CPU air coolers, which supports AMD socket TR4 (SP3r2). The cooler comes with an enlarged copper base, which offers full coverage of the Ryzen Threadripper IHS. Six 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes convey heat from this base through the aluminium fin-stack.

The cooler ships with a re-tuned Wingboost 2 120 mm fan, which spins between 500 - 1,500 RPM, pushing up to 106 m³h of air, with noise output as low as 18.2 dBA. Both the fins and the heat pipes feature a ceramic black coating that works to increase surface area for heat dissipation. A tube of Alpenföhn Permafrost TIM comes included. Measuring 138 mm x 100 mm x 158 mm (WxDxH), the cooler weighs about 1 kg. The company did not mention the thermal load limits of the cooler, and whether it's recommended for even the 250W TDP models such as the Threadripper 2990WX. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Samsung Unveils 256-Gigabyte 3DS DDR4 RDIMM, Other Datacenter Innovations

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced several groundbreaking additions to its comprehensive semiconductor ecosystem that encompass next-generation technologies in foundry as well as NAND flash, SSD (solid state drive) and DRAM. Together, these developments mark a giant step forward for Samsung's semiconductor business.

"Samsung's technology leadership and product breadth are unparalleled," said JS Choi, President, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. "Bringing 7 nm EUV into production is an incredible achievement. Also, the announcements of SmartSSD and 256GB 3DS RDIMM represent performance and capacity breakthroughs that will continue to push compute boundaries. Together, these additions to Samsung's comprehensive technology ecosystem will power the next generation of datacenters, high-performance computing (HPC), enterprise, artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging applications."

Intel Ropes in Vietnam and Ireland to Increase Processor Volumes

Intel late last week released a PCN (product change notification), which stated that it has assigned its manufacturing facilities in Vietnam as an "additional site for test and finish." This would entail final quality assurance testing of its nearly-ready products and "finishing," which involves final retail packaging. The Intel facility in Vietnam will work in concert with its largest Asian manufacturing facility, located in Malaysia. "While Assembly, Test and Finish will continue to be done in PGAT (Malaysia), Intel will also have assembled material sent to VNAT (Vietnam) to perform the Test/Finish portions of the manufacturing process. Please note that Vietnam has been certified equivalent (form, fit, function, and reliability) for the affected products and technologies of this change," the PCN reads.

The products named in the PCN are the company's new flagship MSDT processor, the 8-core/16-thread Core i9-9900K, the second-best 8-core/8-thread Core i7-9700K, and the 6-core/-6-thread Core i5-9600K. "Fab, Sort and Assembly Test Manufacturing follow a philosophy, enables delivery of product from multiple production sites, which operate as a virtual factory that performs consistently and independent of the manufacturing source site. Additional benefits include faster production ramps that improve product availability and improved consistency to quality performance," it concludes. Intel had, earlier this year, raised its capital expenditure by an additional $1 billion YoY to around $16 billion, in a bid to increase its volumes as the industry faces supply shortages from Intel, which the company claims is due to "increased demand," rather than a short-supply. Intel has also roped in its small foundry located in Leixlip, Ireland.
Friday, October 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Processors
SSD
MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE

MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE

More than a flagship, the MEG Z390 GODLIKE from MSI is a statement of what the company is capable of. MSI pulled out all the stops; from the Infinity Mirror RGB LED to the M.2 PCIe expansion card, Streaming Boost capture card, and Game Boost overclocking dial: this one goes to 11, literally.
ASRock Z390 Taichi

ASRock Z390 Taichi

ASRock once again brings forward a new generation of motherboards in their Taichi family. The ASRock Z390 Taichi boasts all the improvements of the refreshed chipset, plus some clever extras. It has a strong legacy to live up to and strong rivals to outshine.
Intel Core i9-9900K

Intel Core i9-9900K

Today, Intel released their new flagship processor for the LGA 1151 platform. The Core i9-9900K finally comes with eight core and 16 threads, reaching parity with AMD's Ryzen offerings. Maximum Boost Clock has been increased as well, now to a staggering 5 GHz.

Intel Core i9-9900K De-lidded, Soldered TIM Outperformed by Liquid Metal

We kept seeing hints regarding Intel's 9000-series processors running hot, including from their own board partners. As it turned out, the actual results are a mixed bag with some running very hot and most others ending up being power-limited more so than temperature-limited. Our own review sample showed overall better load temperatures relative to the predecessor 8000-series processors thanks to the soldered TIM (sTIM) used here, to give you some context. But that did not stop overclocker extraordinaire Roman "Der8auer" Hartung from de-lidding the processor to see why they were not generally better as expected.

As it turns out, there are a few things involved here. For one, replacing sTIM with Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut (Der8auer has a financial interest in the company, but he does disclose it publicly) alone improves p95 average load temperatures across all eight cores by ~9 °C. This is to be expected given that the liquid metal has a vastly higher thermal conductivity than the various sTIM compositions used in the industry. Of more interest, however, is that both the PCB and the die are thicker with the Core i9-9900K compared to the Core i7-8700K, and lapping the die to reduce thickness by a few microns also does a lot to lower the CPU temperatures relatively. Overall, Intel have still done a good job using sTIM- especially compared to how it was before- but the current state of things means that we have a slightly better stock product with little scope for improvement within easy means to the consumer.

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