Sunday, January 17th 2021

Blizzard's Battle.net Launcher Receives a Makeover

Blizzard has recently announced a major overhaul of their Battle.net software to make getting into your games quicker and easier. The new Battle.net design features several major navigation and layout changes including improved game organization, full-page news & game content, revamped social pane, and a new consolidated notification hub. These new features have been under development for some time with beta participants and will now be rolling out to all users starting with North America. The updates will then be rolled out globally in the weeks ahead.

Intel Discontinues All Consumer Optane-Only SSD Products

Intel has quietly announced the discontinuation of all Optane Memory SSDs for the consumer market. The company also confirmed that going forward they had no plans to release any new consumer Optane-Only SDDs. The Intel Optane Memory M10, 800P, 900P, and 905P series SSDs have now all been discontinued with final shipments going out next month. Intel has directed users to look at their Optane Memory H20 with Solid State Storage as a potential replacement, the H20 is a QLC M.2 SSD with 32 GB of Optane memory offered in 1 TB and 2 TB configurations. If you are looking to purchase an Intel Optane-Only SSD you will have to act quickly as once stocks run out they won't be returning.
Friday, January 15th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Memory
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

Sapphire Develops a Fanless RX 5700 XT Card for Rack Airflow

Sapphire released the GPRO X070 compute graphics card. This is very much a graphics card, in that it has display outputs, and is based on the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, but there's a twist—it's completely fanless. The card has a large triple-slot heatsink cooling the GPU, which is designed to rely on external airflow in rackmount cases, and probably won't work on its own in a tower case. Sapphire says its applications include render farms, or V-GPUs. The card features an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT that runs at reference clock speeds—1905 MHz max boost, 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory. There's also an "Efficiency Mode" enabled through a secondary BIOS, which runs the GPU at 1750 MHz boost, possibly making the card best suited for crypto-currency mining operations.

Pat Gelsinger: "Intel Has to be Better at Making CPUs Than That Lifestyle Company"

Intel's future CEO Pat Gelsinger, who supersedes current CEO Bob Swan come February 15th, has reportedly compared Intel with Apple's efforts, in wake of that company's decision to leave the Intel ecosystem in favor of in-house designed ARM CPUs. As Apple M1-powered devices hit reviewers' tables, the opinions mostly went one-sided in favor of Apple's decision, clamoring for that particular CPU design to be only lightly short of a computing miracle, considering the amount of computing power provided at that chip's TDP, and running circles around Apple's previous Intel implementations.

According to The Oregonian, a local newspaper from (you guessed it) Oregon where Intel has a strong branch presence, Intel held an all-hands meeting of its Oregon workforce, attended by future Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is quoted as having remarked that "We [Intel] have to deliver better products to the PC ecosystem than any possible thing that a lifestyle company in Cupertino makes. We have to be that good, in the future." Considering how Apple's M1 has raised the world's attention to the ARM architecture as a competitor with strong enough arguments to face the x86 ecosystem (as if ARM powering the world's current fastest supercomputer wasn't a strong enough argument), that seems like a strong yet adequate statement. We'll see how Intel fares with its Alder lake CPUs, which essentially bring ARM's design philosophy of an heterogeneous CPU with both high-performance and high-efficiency cores to the x86 table.

Shipped Pre-built PC Systems See 13% Rise in Sales in 2020 Compared to 2019

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed PC shipping growth numbers for 2020 - counting desktops, notebooks (including Chromebooks) and workstations (but excluding laptops and servers), and the results are clear. In a currently-pandemic world, and with the urge and necessity for teleworking efforts so as to reduce personal exposure to risk environments, we've seen an unprecedented demand for technological components. Whether in shortages for the latest "comfort" technologies such as dedicated graphics cards, latest-gen consoles, or even webcams, it's been clear that citizens of the world have been increasingly investing their money in technological devices. This need - either for work, for bridging social distances through the Internet, or for entertainment - has led the pre-built PC ecosystem shipments to increase as much as 13% in 2020 - and a global shipment number set at 302.6 million units.

This year-over-year (YoY) increase is bolstered, mainly, by rises in sales throughout Q4 of 2020, where global PC shipments achieved an outstanding 26% increase from Q4 2019 - in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone, 91.6 million units were shipped. In that particular quarter, Lenovo led the top three vendors with a 25.2% share of the sales, followed by HP (20.9%) and Dell (17.2%). Apple appears in fourth place with a mere 8% market share, but shows the strongest growth among the top 5 sellers, at 49.2% YoY - and that's with Apple's comparatively small product portfolio when put against any of the other top three vendors.

NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti, Eventual SUPER Revisions Allegedly Postponed Indefinitely Amidst Supply Woes

Everyone and their mother expected NVIDIA to announce - if not a SUPER refresh to their existing graphics cards with increased memory sizes - at least the RTX 3080 Ti. That card surfaced as a planned NVIDIA counter to AMD's preemptive pricing of $999 on its RX 6900 XT graphics card (which to be fair, is in itself as abundant a card as unicorns this side of the galaxy). GamersNexus reported NVIDIA partners' comments on the indefinite postponement of the RTX 3080 Ti and possible SUPER derivatives of the RTX 30-series lineup. It's being said that NVIDIA decided (smartly, I would say) to ensure consistent supply of their existing lineup to sate demand, instead of dispersing its limited chip production across even more product lines.

This would result, I have no doubt, on NVIDIA only having even more SKUs out of stock than they currently do. Considering the market's current state of mind in regards to NVIDIA's lineup, this seems like the most sensible decision possible. TechPowerUp has in the meantime confirmed this information with NVIDIA partners themselves.

Following Huawei, Xiaomi Added to US Blacklist For Alleged Chinese Military Ties

Access to affordable electronics isn't looking much of a reality for US citizens, as the US government (presently in the outgoing days of Trump's administration) has now announced the addition of Chinese tech company Xiaomi to its military-connections blacklist. The move, enforced via a presidential executive order, now also demands U.S. investors to divest, or sell out, of affected holdings of any companies on the blacklist, by Nov. 11 this year. This addition to the US blacklist is done in accordance with the US National Defense Authorization Act of 1999, and doesn't place XIAOMI in the Entity list, of which Huawei is a part of, which would impede the Chinese tech giant from acquiring US technology and components for fabrication of its products.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) said in a statement that "The Department is determined to highlight and counter the People's Republic of China's (PRC) Military-Civil Fusion development strategy, which supports the modernization goals of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) by ensuring its access to advanced technologies and expertise acquired and developed by even those PRC companies, universities, and research programs that appear to be civilian entities". Xiaomi has been classified as one of nine "Communist Chinese military companies".

ASUS Reveals Its GeForce RTX 3060 ROG STRIX Graphics Card

ASUS today revealed their latest flagship iteration on the NVIDIA RTX 3060, the ASUS RTX 3060 ROG STRIX. the graphics card follows ASUS' tried and true ROG STRIX design with a triple-fan cooling solution (that features 0 dB technology when in light use) and an RGB strip detailing alongside the shroud. The RTX 3060 ROG STRIX features a single 8-pin power connector, palatable for this card's expected performance profile, and the company has managed to decrease the footprint of their cooling solution to a 2.7-slot design, which should be more than enough for the card's 170 W TDP.

ASUS has fitted the card with an abundance of connectors that are sure to stand the test of time: 2x HDMI 2.1, and 3x DisplayPort 1.4. ASUS expects the card to be available near the end of February, in both OC and non-OC versions. No word on pricing was available at time of writing - though it will surely be higher than NVIDIA's $329 MSRP.

Bitspower Announces the Premium Mobius VGA Water Block for GeForce RTX 3080 FE

Bitspower has announced a new addition to their VGA waterblock lineup in the form of the Mobius, a specialty-designed waterblock that's meant to fit only NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 Founder's Edition. The Mobius has been engineered to mimic the original NVIDIA design, but trades the traditional dual-fan configuration for a higher-performance cooling solution that stays true to NVIDIA's original design vision for the Founder's Edition.

The waterblock features a nickel and chromium-plated copper base plate, engineered with direct contact technology to cool both the GPU chip and VRM circuitry. The Mobius features an acrylic cover which supports Bitspower's Digital RGB LED technology - which has sync capabilities with popular 3rd party RGB software (ASUS AURA Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, ASRock Polychrome, BIOSTAR VIVID LED DJ, and Razer Chroma). The waterblock features a cutout for NVIDIA's reference 12-pin power connector, and an additional RGB sync cable that extrudes from the PCIe connector side of the waterblock. the Bitspower Mobius waterblock for NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 FE is being listed at $325.

Gigabyte Announces Z590 Vision Motherboard Lineup: Empowering Creators

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the new Z590 VISION series motherboards for creators which power the 11th Gen Intel Core processors. The exclusive design of VisionLINK and VisionLINK TB enables the simple connection to pen displays with only one USB Type-C cable, releasing creators from the mess of transmission cables and switches to a neat space. Featuring an optimized power design, thermal design, superior connectivity and high quality components, GIGABYTE Z590 VISION series motherboards provide the remarkable platform for creators.

The VisionLINK technology allows for data and video transmission based on USB Type-C Interface and it provides power delivery up to 60 W. VisionLINK technology lets creators not only without cable clutter, but also the benefit of data, video, and power charging at the same time. One USB Type-C cable connected, turn the workspace into neat and tidy. VisionLINK TB is an advanced version of VisionLINK technology. It is based on Thunderbolt 4 delivers 40 Gb/s high-bandwidth speeds, data transferring, video signal, 60 W power charging, and daisy chain function to support up to 10 devices connection.

Intel Gives Memory Overclocking Ability to H570 and B560 Chipsets

With the launch of its 500 series chipsets, Intel has officially laid the groundwork for the launch of its Rocket Lake-S CPU lineup. And with the new platform, there are some new features to be expected. The surprising news today is that Intel has enabled memory overclocking on a non-Z chipset like the upcoming H570 and B560 chipsets designed for mid-range motherboards that provide a budget option compared to the Z series that is designed for overclocking. The H570 and B560 chipsets now only lack the support for CPU overclocking, however, with Intel's history of limiting any overclocking exclusively to Z chipsets, this represents good progress nonetheless. However, for any frequencies above 2666 MHz, you need to use a Core i5 processor and above. The Core i3 and Celeron models are not going to support any higher speeds than 2666 MHz.

NVIDIA Evaluates Cryptocurrency Mining GPU Production

During the 19th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech/Auto Forum Conference, NVIDIA has talked about the possibility of special graphics cards dedicated to mining purposes. The special edition crypto mining GPU is a form of graphics card that has no display outputs, and possibly a few defective texture units. Usually, GPUs that end up with defective texture units end up as waste, however, as crypto mining requires only the compute element from the GPU, these products could be rebranded as mining GPUs. But, it seems like NVIDIA is currently somewhere in the middle ground and weighing in whatever the company sees something like that as a feasible option.

During the conference, NVIDIA's Colette Kress, a chief financial officer, had said a few things about the possible production of GPUs dedicated to crypto mining. "If crypto demand begins or if we see a meaningful amount, we can also use that opportunity to restart the CMP [mining-specific GPUs] product line to address ongoing mining demand," said Ms. Kress. She added that "We [NVIDIA] don't have visibility on how much of the GeForce RTX 30-series end demand comes from mining. So, we don't believe it's a big part of our business today. Gaming demand is very strong, and we think that's larger than our current supply." And that is an understandable thing. Right now crypto mining is hot because of Bitcoin's price, however, NVIDIA can't predict if it will crash a lot or not, so the company doesn't want to risk starting a big production for something that can burst like a bubble.

GoodOffer24 Presents New Year Super Sale on Discounted Genuine Software

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BIWIN Launches its Own Retail Channel Brand, Biwintech

BIWIN announced its own retail channel brand of memory products in the North American region, named Biwintech. BIWIN is a Shenzhen-based OEM of DRAM and NAND flash client-segment memory products that supplies to giants in the PC industry, such as HP. It is now bringing a sizable portfolio of memory products under its own Biwintech brand to the market, which include DDR4 UDIMM and SO-DIMM PC memory modules, M.2 NVMe SSDs, 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, USB portable SSDs; and memory cards, including SDXC and microSDXC cards, CFast cards, and CFexpress cards. Interestingly, the announcement doesn't mention UFDs (USB flash drives). Biwintech will go to market with 5-year warranties on all its products, including 9 to 5 phone- and 24-hour e-mail tech support.
Thursday, January 14th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Networking
SSD
Corsair 5000D Airflow Review - A Beautiful & Clean Full-Tower Case

Corsair 5000D Airflow Review - A Beautiful & Clean Full-Tower Case

The Corsair 5000D Airflow is the first full-tower chassis from the brand with their new signature look, and the yellow color accents we first saw in the 4000D. As the name and form factor imply, the 5000D Airflow is both taller and deeper, but still follows the same clean and beautiful design language while offering more space and cooling possibilities.
Team Group T-Create Classic 10L DDR4-3200 MHz CL22 2x32 GB Review

Team Group T-Create Classic 10L DDR4-3200 MHz CL22 2x32 GB Review

The Team Group T-Create Classic 10L is a high-capacity memory kit available in either 2666 MHz or 3200 MHz, with a low-profile design and a 10-layer PCB for extra stability. My sample consists of a pair of 32 GB sticks with the higher 3200 MHz specification—let's see how 64 GB of native 3200 MHz memory performs!

Steam Lunar New Year Sale 2021 Dates Leaked

SteamDB has recently received a leaked email to Steam partners confirming the dates for Steam's next sale. The Steam Lunar New Year Sale 2021 will take place from February 11th to February 15th. Steam regularly sends out emails like this to their developers so that they can prepare for upcoming sales. These emails aren't supposed to be made public. Steam will also be having a Game Festival early next month before the Lunar New Year Sale where they will be releasing free demos for upcoming titles and highlighting indie games.

Patriot Announces EP Series of High Endurance microSDHC/XC Cards

PATRIOT, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals, and flash storage solutions, today is excited to announce the market launch of its EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards. These new microSDHC/XC cards are designed for video recording devices needing to operate under extreme weather conditions and harsh environments with outstanding reliability and durability. This new series fully support Class 10, V10/V30, and offers improved write speed reaching 30 MB/s to meet the most demanding recording circumstances. The EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards can achieve a sustained 95 MB/s transfer for superior stability and playback of FHD or UHD videos. Now available at major retailers with 32 GB, 64 GB, & 128 GB capacities.

"The EP series High endurance microSDHC/XC cards are tested under rugged conditions, and their specifications have been reinforced, which include high levels of vibration, shock resistance, extreme temperatures, and endurance under a wide range of temperature fluctuations. These cards are also waterproof, dust resistant, and immune to X-ray radiation," said Roger Shinmoto, Vice President of Patriot Memory. "Patriot is dedicated to bringing a total solution with outstanding reliability for the professional user who needs to capture video in a variety of extreme environments, including security system cameras, dashcams, and home monitoring. These cards will work even if you are recording video in the arctic or desert."

OWC Aquires LumaForge, Makers of Jellyfish Storage Servers

OWC today announced the acquisition of LumaForge, creator of the award-winning family of shared storage Jellyfish solutions and its support of the ultra-reliable video workflow server that connects content creators, editors, colorists, graphic artists, and sound mixers. The Jellyfish product line adoption further establishes OWC as the provider of the most reliable storage workflow solutions available for both existing OWC and LumaForge customers and new.

The LumaForge Jellyfish product family consists of Jellyfish Mobile: The first plug-and-play video workflow server that comes with a handle. Jellyfish Mobile was designed to be on-the-go or, at least, out of the server room. It excels with teams of four to six editors working with 4K media on the road or at the office. Jellyfish Tower: Matches the ease-of-use and plug-and-play magic powers of the Mobile and is as powerful as something you'd find in your server room. It's quiet enough to stand on its own in your edit bay and powerful enough to take on 6+ editors working with 4K media and beyond.

Synology Introduces Ultra-compact RackStation RS1221+ and RS1221RP+

Synology Inc. launched today the RackStation RS1221+ and RS1221RP+ (redundant power) 2U 8-bay rackmounted storage servers built to deliver high performance in a space-efficient form factor.

"The RS1221+ and RP+ units are designed for the small-business sector, and indeed, "small" they are," said Michael Wang, Synology Product Manager. "These units not only pack in a huge leap forward in performance, but do it at a modest depth for 2U units in their class. What's more, for businesses who require higher availability, the RP+ version is equipped with dual power supplies for redundancy and added reliability."

MSI, ASUS Z590 Motherboard Lineup Surface; MSI Models up to €999, ASUS up to €1516

The Z590 motherboard lineups for both MSI and ASUS have just released and... They are interesting, to say the least. MSI will have as many as 12 different motherboard solutions, with the top one, the über-high-end MEG Z590 GODLIKE, retailing for as much as €999 ($1019). The MEG GODLIKE has faced a deep redesign compared to its predecessor, and there are two new MEG products directly under it - the MEG Z590 ACE and MEG Z590 UNIFY which are priced in a slightly less outrageous way (€479 for the MEG ACE, €379 for the MEG UNIFY). The cheapest MSI option stands as the Z590-A PRO, as €189.

As for ASUS, well... Things are looking pricey as well throughout its 13 models. The company's flagship model Z590 ROG MAXIMUS XIII EXTREME GLACIAL will go for a cool, not-at-all-collected €1516 (but that pricing does include a custom liquid-cooling monoblock designed in collaboration with EK). Descend a couple of steps down the ASUS product line ladder and you'll find the ROG MAXIMUS XIII EXTREME (€960) and the ROG MAXIMUS XIII HERO/APEX motherboards for €505. The cheapest ASUS motherboard mimics MSI's pricing at €189; for those euros, you'll snag yourself a PRIME Z590M-PLUS motherboard (check ASUS' entire lineup after the break). Is it just me, or it's getting pricier to keep DIY desktop construction as a hobby?

Samsung to Introduce OLED-Powered Laptops With Under-Display Webcam

Samsung this year aims to bring OLED panels in laptops closer to mainstream, with the company already announcing it would be scaling its OLED screens to serve the 13,3-16" diagonal-craving population with the best visual quality available. The company is apparently aiming to take this further by investing into under-display webcams, which would prevent machines from shipping with large top bezel designs engineered to accommodate them. It also skirts implementation of other, more exotic solutions such as the one found in the Huawei Matebook X Pro - where the webcam is located in a mechanical pop-up on the keyboard area, and mostly shows viewers the inside of your nostrils.

Samsung says that this under-display design should allow laptop makers to achieve up to 93 percent screen-to-body ratio for an immersive viewing experience. Do keep in mind that such a design was implemented only once in the industry in ZTE's Axon 20 smartphone, which incidentally featured diminished selfie camera and display quality due to it being under-display, which even led to resolution compromises on the area of the display that sits over the camera. The idea in ZTE's phone - and is the same for Samsung here - is that the segment of the OLED display that covers the camera will turn translucent whenever the optics are activated. In the ZTE phone, this resulted in clear quality compromises. We'll see if Samsung fares better. There is currently no time to market on such OLED panels, however.

DisplayPort 2.0 Implementations Delayed, Will Surface Late 2021

DisplayPort 2.0 was supposed to see its implementation beginning by the end of 2020, but that time has come and gone without a single DisplayPort 2.0-touting product on sight. According to VESA, the rollout has been delayed mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented the standards body to perform its PlugTest events, where engineers and hardware developers convene to discuss, tinker, and decide on the standard's implementation. VESA held multiple of these events per year, but none in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; thus, the delay we are now witnessing surged.

VESA plans to have their first 2021 PlugTest event in Spring of this year, however, and aims to see products on the shelves later, and likely not before 2H 2020. The standards body said that there are, indeed, DisplayPort 2.0 monitors currently in-development, but that these too have been affected by the lack of PlugTests. DisplayPort 2.0 is an update to the current 1.4 implementation, and currently, there are no launched products (monitors, graphics cards, etc) that can make use of the new version. The new standard will technically support up to 80 Gbps max, nearly three times the currently available bandwidth in the DisplayPort 1.4 spec. DisplayPort Alt Mode 2.0 also brings most of these capabilities to USB Type-C connectors via the USB 4.0 revision.

For an Immaculate Build That Keeps its Cool - CORSAIR Launches Versatile 5000 Series of Mid-Tower Cases

[Editor's note: Our review of the CORSAIR 5000D AIRFLOW can be found here]

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a new series of mid-tower ATX cases to suit nearly any build: the CORSAIR 5000D, 5000D AIRFLOW, and the iCUE 5000X RGB. Every 5000 Series case offers simple and tidy cable management thanks to the CORSAIR RapidRoute cable management system, terrific cooling from included fans featuring CORSAIR AirGuide technology, and a spacious interior that fits multiple radiators, including two 360mm simultaneously. Between the understated styling of the 5000D, the optimized airflow of the 5000D AIRFLOW, and the eye-catching RGB lighting behind four beautiful tempered glass panels of the 5000X RGB, the 5000 Series has a case to meet any builder's priorities.

Debuting in the recently launched 4000 Series, the CORSAIR RapidRoute cable management system has proven to be a hit with PC builders looking to minimize the hassle of cable routing while still achieving a clean, professional look for their system. The 5000 Series takes RapidRoute even further, with a concealed cutout, wide enough to fit all major connectors to your motherboard, and multiple removable routing channels through which you can run all your cables out of sight. With a generous 25mm of cable routing depth behind the motherboard, and a magnetic door behind which to hide your cabling, it's exceptionally easy to build a top-tier PC that also looks the part.

Intel Launches Phantom Canyon NUCs: Tiger Lake and NVIDIA GPU Join Forces

Intel has today quietly launched its newest generation of Next Unit of Computing (NUC) devices with some nice upgrades over the prior generation. Codenamed the "Phantom Canyon", the latest NUC generation brings a major improvement for the "enthusiast" crowd, meant mostly at gamers who would like to use a small form-factor machine and have decent framerates. This is where the Enthusiast NUC 11 comes in. With its 28 Watt Intel Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake CPU, which features four cores and eight threads clocked at the maximum of 4.70 GHz, this Enthusiast NUC 11 mini-PC is rocking the latest technologies inside it.

To pair with the CPU, Intel has decided to put a discrete GPU, besides the Integrated Xe model, to power the frames needed. The dGPU in question is NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060 model with 6 GB of GDDR6 VRAM, based on the last generation "Turing" architecture. For I/O, Intel has equipped these machines with quite a lot of ports. There is Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 plus Bluetooth 5 module, a quad-mic array with beam-forming, far-field capabilities, and support for Alexa. There is a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port, along with two Thunderbolt 4.0 ports for internet connectivity and other purposes (TB ports support fast charging). When it comes to display output, the Enthusiast NUC 11 has HDMI 2.0b and a mini DisplayPort 1.4 port. You can run four monitors in total when using the Thunderbolt ports. On the front side, there is also an SD card reader, and the PC has six USB 3.1 Gen2 ports in total. You can find out more about the Enthusiast NUC 11 mini-PCs here.

ZenTimings is a Nifty Little Memory Info Tool for AMD Ryzen

ZenTimings by Ivan Rusanov is a tiny (< 500 KB download) app that lets you monitor your machine's memory timings in a really neat user-interface. The app works with all generations of AMD Ryzen processors, as well as Athlon processors based on the "Zen" microarchitectures. Besides timings, you also get basic info about the main clock domains that affect memory, such as memory clock (DDR), MCLK, UCLK, FCLK; relevant voltage readouts. This simple app is completely free, and open-source, if you'd like to inspect the code. The latest version v1.2.2 adds PHYWRD, PHYWRL, PHYRDL and PowerDown reading, DRAM and VTT readings, and the latest AMD "Dali" APUs. If you like the app, consider contributing to Rusanov on his website, in the source link below.

DOWNLOAD: ZenTimings by Ivan Rusanov v1.2.2
The change-log follows.

CD Projekt Red Co-Founder Publicly Apologizes for Console Launch, Announces Support Roadmap

As it stands, Cyberpunk 2077 is the game many either love or love to hate. The game launched last December 10th after three delays to a great reception of the PC platform - and a good one on current-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X|S - but was a fiasco on last-gen consoles and their mid-life refreshes to such an extent that Sony removed the game from their digital store. A great deal of digital ink has already been written on CD Projekt Red's handling of the situation, and it could - really could - have been handled better.

Now, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński has released a 5-minute video where he approaches Cyberpunk 2077's release state; assumes, alongside the direction, full responsibility for the state of the game; and doubles-down on CD Projekt Red's commitment to improve the Cyberpunk 2077 experience. he doesn't go into too much detail as to how and why things went awry, but says that a smattering of management decisions led to today's situation. And considering the current situation, plans for post-launch DLC (akin to those that happened with The Witcher 3, which featured new armor, weapons, haircuts, missions, and a New Game + mode) will be arriving slightly later than predicted, so as to allow the team to fully focus on straightening out the games' rough patches.

AMD Talks Zen 4 and RDNA 3, Promises to Offer Extremely Competitive Products

AMD is always in development mode and just when they launch a new product, the company is always gearing up for the next-generation of devices. Just a few months ago, back in November, AMD has launched its Zen 3 core, and today we get to hear about the next steps that the company is taking to stay competitive and grow its product portfolio. In the AnandTech interview with Dr. Lisa Su, and The Street interview with Rick Bergman, the EVP of AMD's Computing and Graphics Business Group, we have gathered information about AMD's plans for Zen 4 core development and RDNA 3 performance target.

Starting with Zen 4, AMD plans to migrate to the AM5 platform, bringing the new DDR5 and USB 4.0 protocols. The current aim of Zen 4 is to be extremely competitive among competing products and to bring many IPC improvements. Just like Zen 3 used many small advances in cache structures, branch prediction, and pipelines, Zen 4 is aiming to achieve a similar thing with its debut. The state of x86 architecture offers little room for improvement, however, when the advancement is done in many places it adds up quite well, as we could see with 19% IPC improvement of Zen 3 over the previous generation Zen 2 core. As the new core will use TSMC's advanced 5 nm process, there is a possibility to have even more cores found inside CCX/CCD complexes. We are expecting to see Zen 4 sometime close to the end of 2021.

AMD and NVIDIA Address GPU Shortage with Situation Improvement on the Horizon

If anyone was looking to buy a new GPU in the past few months, the person is likely familiar with the situation we are in. It is now a fact that the latest generation of GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA are extremely hard to find, and when you come across one it is listed at some mind-blowing price. However, the makers of those GPUs, AMD and NVIDIA, are claiming that we are near the end of this situation and the things are going to be better shortly. And companies such as these two must reach out to consumers and try to satisfy their needs, even in the difficult situation that is going on now with the GPUs.

In the interview with The Verge, AMD has confirmed that it will be selling more Radeon RX 6800, Radeon RX 6800 XT, and Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics cards using its website, throughout Q1 of this year. The company claims that it will try to supply as many customers as possible, without any exact figures. When it comes to NVIDIA, the company has commented that the situation will likely resolve sometime at the end of Q1, meaning that in March things should return to normal. The company has also added that in the meantime consumers shouldn't expect to buy any of the GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics cards at their original MSRP. NVIDIA also continues emphasizing that the reason for such high prices is the high demand they are seeing, exceeding production capacity by far.

D-Link Announces 2.5 GbE USB-C Adapter, Client Switch

D-Link Corporation today announced their new DUB-E250 USB-C to 2.5G Ethernet Adapter and DMS-106XT Multi Gigabit Unmanaged Switch at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show. The emergence of Wi-Fi 6 and increase of network traffic has driven wired networks to require higher bandwidth. Single Gigabit Ethernet is no longer sufficient. 2.5G Ethernet is one of the latest technology trends driving innovation in networking and changing the consumer experience. D-Link's new 2.5G Ethernet solutions upgrade networks by providing a more reliable, stable, seamless network and easily multiplying the network speed by 2.5 times.

D-Link's DUB-E250 is the smallest USB-C 2.5G Ethernet Adapter on the market that breaks network bottlenecks by enabling 2.5 times the bandwidth of a Gigabit ethernet connection and makes feasible many more high-performance online activities. Fully backward compatible with existing network equipment, the DUB-E250 allows for affordable, fast, worry-free transition to high-performance experiences. The DUB-E250 has also been recognized as this year's CES Innovation Award Honoree.
Wednesday, January 13th 2021
Glorious Model O Wireless Review

Glorious Model O Wireless Review

With much anticipation, Glorious releases their Model O Wireless. At just 69 g, the Model O Wireless is almost as light as its wired sibling, all while having up to 71 hours of battery life and top-tier tracking, provided by their proprietary BAMF sensor. What's more, the Model O Wireless retails for just $79.99.

MSI Brings Resizable-BAR to Intel 300-series and AMD 400-series Motherboards

MSI announced that it is bringing the PCI-SIG resizable base-address register (resizable BAR) support to a variety of older PC platforms, and not just the latest Intel 400-series and AMD 500-series. Among these are Intel 300-series, AMD 400-series, and AMD TRX40. This should come as a boon to those with 8th Gen and 9th Gen Core "Coffeee Lake" processors, such as the i9-9900K and i5-8400. Support is also being added to AMD X470 and AMD B450 chipset motherboards, however, this requires a compatible processor, and the latest beta UEFI firmware that supports them. Lastly, resizable-BAR support is making its way to the AMD TRX40 chipset (Socket sTRX4) Threadripper platform.

Resizable BAR is a feature that allows a processor to see the entire video memory of a discrete GPU as a single addressable block, rather than through 256 MB apertures. This has the potential to tangibly improve performance with certain games. Currently, AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series "Big Navi" GPUs; and NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30-series "Ampere" GPUs support it. MSI is releasing UEFI firmware updates that add resizable-BAR support. Keep checking the "support" section of your motherboard's product page on the MSI website.

MSI Announces PRO MP271 Series Professional Monitors

MSI, a world leader in high performance and innovative computing solutions, announced the PRO MP271 Series professional monitors. Featuring an IPS panel with wide viewing angle and enhanced viewing experience, eye care and ergonomic design, PRO MP271 series are designed with efficiency and productivity in mind. Crafted with reliable materials, and optimized with the exclusive applicability for any situation, it is built to deliver a clear visual and user experience.

The innovative PRO MP271 Series monitor is designed to increase visual comfort while performing the computer tasks at home or in the office. The PRO MP271QP, PRO MP271P and PRO MP271, with MSI Anti-Flicker Technology, eliminate flickering and effectively reduce eye fatigue and provide a more comfortable viewing experience during prolonged screen time. The Less Blue Light Mode also filters visual exposure to the blue spectrum light during daily use scenarios. Both of the eye care technologies are certified by TUV Rheinland to make sure that PRO MP271 series bring the most comfortable viewing experience for users while enhancing the productivity at home or in the office.

MSI Unveils Innovations in Gaming Hardware & Computing at MSI Premiere 2021

MSI, a world leader in gaming hardware and computing solutions, unveils an innovative lineup of gaming, creator and business products at its virtual launch event, "MSI Premiere 2021: Tech For the Future". A powerful MSI Dragon G opened the "MSI Premiere 2021: Tech For the Future" show, followed by a helicopter that flew over the sea and revealed MSI RTX 30 SEA HAWK.

MSI SEA HAWK is the product of a revolutionary design with proven technology — which just got faster with an upgrade to the GeForce RTX 30 Series. The combined advantages of both air and liquid cooling come together with dedicated fan cooling and an all-in-one closed-loop liquid cooling solution that is efficient, silent and requires absolutely no maintenance.
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