Monday, February 18th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
SSD

TSMC Revises Financial Outlook, Accounts for January Chemical Contamination and Lost Silicon

TSMC has revised its financial outlook following the recent contamination of its 14 B Gigafab, which saw between 10,000 and 30,000 wafers affected. It seems that TSMC has needed to scrap a higher number of wafers than it had initially calculated (no word on where exactly on those 10,000-30,000 spectrum that number is). This has resulted in an expected, lowered first-quarter 2019 revenues by about US$550 million, gross margin by 2.6%, operating margin by 3.2%, and EPS (Earnings Per Share) by NT$0.42, the foundry house said.

TSMC said it expects to deliver these chips in the second quarter, making up for most of the lost revenue - it's not so much of a loss, but more of a delay in earnings. As it comes to the actual, final impact of the event on TSMC's operating profits, the company estimates a reduced gross margin by 0.2%, operating margin by 0.2%, and EPS by NT$0.08. TSMC said that it has been in constant conversation with customers, and has already scheduled replacement deliveries - surprising absolutely no one.

Less Than a Year Since Its Inception, Razer is Closing its Razer Games Store

"That didn't last long" is what the user that brought us this story opened up with, and there's really not much more that can be said to encapsulate this event. Remember how Razer announced, in April of 2018, it would be introducing its own Razer Games Store, looking to grab a slice of the publishing revenue from Steam? Well, the project didn't quite pan out - whether because of its zSilver-associated rewards program or not, Razer is pitting this as part of its "realignment plans".

The Razer Game Store will close its doors at 1am PST February 28, with purchased games continuing to work, and pre-ordered titles shipping as planned. Discount vouchers, however, must be used before that date. TechCrunch reports that in a Q&A accompanying the announcement, Razer said it would "continue bringing games to gamers via other services." "We will be investing in other ways to deliver great content and introduce game promotions through Razer Gold, our virtual credits system," the company said. The Epic games store is developing at a relatively good pace, even if the titles are somewhat sparse - it has been nagging more and more high-profile launches from Steam's doorstep, as it did with Metro Exodus. So it isn't that much a problem of it being an impossible market to break in to - it just seems EPIC developed a wholly better strategy (businesswise) for it.

NVIDIA: Image Quality for DLSS in Metro Exodus to Be Improved in Further Updates, and the Nature of the Beast

NVIDIA, in a blog post/Q&A on its DLSS technology, promised implementation and image quality improvements on its Metro Exodus rendition of the technology. If you'll remember, AMD recently vouched for other, non-proprietary ways of achieving desired quality of AA technology across resolutions such as TAA and SMAA, saying that DLSS introduces "(...) image artefacts caused by the upscaling and harsh sharpening." NVIDIA in its blog post has dissected DLSS in its implementation, also clarifying some lingering questions on the technology and its resolution limitations that some us here at TPU had already wondered about.

The blog post describes some of the limitations in DLSS technology, and why exactly image quality issues might be popping out here and there in titles. As we knew from NVIDIA's initial RTX press briefing, DLSS basically works on top of an NVIDIA neural network. Titled the NGX, it processes millions of frames from a single game at varying resolutions, with DLSS, and compares it to a given "ground truth image" - the highest quality possible output sans any shenanigans, generated from just pure raw processing power. The objective is to train the network towards generating this image without the performance cost. This DLSS model is then made available for NVIDIA's client to download and to be run at your local RTx graphics card level, which is why DLSS image quality can be improved with time. And it also helps explain why closed implementations of the technology, such as 3D Mark's Port Royal benchmark, show such incredible image quality scenarios compared to, say, Metro Exodus - there is a very, very limited number of frames that the neural network needs to process towards achieving the best image quality.
Forumites: This is an Editorial

Zotac Announces Liquid-Cooling Ready GeForce RTX 2080 Ti ArcticStorm Graphics Card

ZOTAC Technology, a global manufacturer of innovation is pleased to announce the launch of the ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti ArcticStorm graphics card. Get the best of both worlds with the all-new waterblocked graphics card packing the ultimate 2080 Ti performance with 16+4 power phases combined with fearless cooling. Continuing to push on design and innovation, the full coverage waterblock introduces a precision machine laser etched design entirely new to the design process.

The carved edges and added texture bring dimension to the clear acrylic block and enables it to catch the lighting lit across the block beautifully to enhance the overall design in a very discrete, elegant fashion. The lighting gets updated to SPECTRA 2.0, bringing with it more powerful Addressable RGB LEDs controllable with the newly designed Firestorm software. Adjust brightness and lighting modes on two independent zones or synchronize them together in unison lighting. With an onboard memory, your preferred lighting settings will stay whether the system restarts or shuts down.

AMD Radeon VII Retested With Latest Drivers

Just two weeks ago, AMD released their Radeon VII flagship graphics card. It is based on the new Vega 20 GPU, which is the world's first graphics processor built using a 7 nanometer production process. Priced at $699, the new card offers performance levels 20% higher than Radeon RX Vega 64, which should bring it much closer to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080. In our testing we still saw a 14% performance deficit compared to RTX 2080. For the launch-day reviews AMD provided media outlets with a press driver dated January 22, 2019, which we used for our review.

Since the first reviews went up, people in online communities have been speculating that these were early drivers and that new drivers will significantly boost the performance of Radeon VII, to make up lost ground over RTX 2080. There's also the mythical "fine wine" phenomenon where performance of Radeon GPUs significantly improve over time, incrementally. We've put these theories to the test by retesting Radeon VII using AMD's latest Adrenalin 2019 19.2.2 drivers, using our full suite of graphics card benchmarks.

Intel Acquires Indian Startup to Strengthen Position in Discrete GPU Tech

Several years ago, Ineda, a small startup from Hyderabad, India made headlines when they developed custom-design processors for use in wearable devices that were optimized for high energy-efficiency, while still having the ability to read out various sensors or listen to voice commands at the same time. Such improvements help increase battery life on devices that people don't want to recharge every day. Over the years the company has received several million dollars in funding from Samsung, Qualcomm, Imagination Technologies and others.

Looks like this caused enough attention at chip giant Intel, who's trying to come up with a competitive design for a discrete graphics processor, that's able to take on AMD's and NVIDIA's offerings. While Ineda certainly has patents that could come in useful, it looks like Intel is more interested in the company's manpower. With around 100 engineers, the company has a lot of talent, that's experienced in chip design and how to make these chips energy efficient.

Modding a 2x 140 mm All-in-One CPU Watercooler onto the AMD Radeon VII

Reddit user CarbonFireOC wasn't happy with the temperatures he's been seeing on his Radeon VII, and decided he wanted watercooling. Unfortunately, that early since product release no GPU waterblocks are available for the Radeon VII. What he figured out was that the waterblock of EVGA's CLC 280 all-in-one cooler will fit. This cooler, which is made by Asetek and licensed by EVGA is designed for Intel & AMD motherboards and many similar variants exist from vendors like Fractal Design, NZXT and others.

While performing such a mod on a $700 graphics card is not for the faint-hearted, it shows that with a little bit of creative ingenuity you can achieve amazing results without wasting top dollar.

His 24/7 stable settings on Radeon VII are 2122 MHz core, 1265 mV, and 1252 MHz memory, resulting in a 3DMark Firestrike graphics score of around 33,000. Even at such a high voltage, the watercooling keeps temperatures very low at 40°C GPU, 60°C Hotspot.
Sunday, February 17th 2019

Tight Squeeze Below $350 as Price of GTX 1660 Ti Revealed

NVIDIA is reportedly pricing the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti at USD $279 (baseline pricing), which implies pricing of custom-designed and factory-overclocked cards scraping the $300-mark. The card is also spaced $70 apart from the RTX 2060, which offers not just 25% more CUDA cores, but also NVIDIA RTX and DLSS technologies. In media reporting of the card so far, it is being compared extensively to the GTX 1060 6 GB, which continues to go for under $230. Perhaps NVIDIA is planning a slower non-Ti version to replace the GTX 1060 6 GB under the $250-mark. That entry would place three SKUs within $50-70 of each other, a tight squeeze. Based on the 12 nm TU116 silicon, the GTX 1660 Ti is rumored to feature 1,536 CUDA cores, 96 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and a 192-bit wide GDDR6 memory interface, handling 6 GB of memory at 12 Gbps (288 GB/s). This GPU lacks RT cores.

EK Releases Vector RTX Series Blocks for ASUS ROG Strix Series Graphics Cards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia based water cooling gear manufacturer, is introducing its new generation water blocks for the popular ROG Strix GeForce RTX series graphics cards, based on Turing TU106, Turing TU104 and Turing TU102 graphics processor.

The inspiration for the new GPU block name "Vector" came from the sheer computing power of the graphics cards that are on the market today. Naming a water block "Full Cover" isn't enough these days, when the product is packed with unique features, such as these. The EK Vector Strix RTX water blocks are specially designed for multiple ROG Strix GeForce RTX Turing based graphics cards. The water block itself uses the signature EK single slot slim look, and it covers the entire PCB length. This sophisticated cooling solution will transform your powerful ROG graphics card into a minimalistic, elegant piece of hardware with accented RGB LED lighting. The block also features a unique aesthetic cover over the block Terminal which is designed to showcase the graphics card model via LEDs, visible from the side.
Friday, February 15th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Storage
Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Fan

Noctua NF-P12 redux-1700 PWM Fan

Noctua's recent addition to their budget-friendly redux series is the NF-P12 series, which introduces a pressure-optimized fan design at an affordable price point. It delivers good performance at more-than-acceptable noise levels and aims to encourage Noctua adoption in the PC DIY watercooling market.
Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard

Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard

The Glorious PC Gaming Race as a peripherals company is most known for their keyboard, the aptly named Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard. This review goes over the GMMK in detail, covering its features, including the swappable mechanical switches, extensive onboard controls for per-key RGB backlighting, and software driver support.

Metro Exodus Packaging Appears, Steam Logo Simply Hidden Under A Sticker

The drama surrounding Metro Exodus continues unabated. Deep Silver which has ownership over the IP, was the one that decided to pull Metro Exodus from Steam in favor of a 1-year timed exclusivity deal on the Epic Games Store. If you've been following the drama thus far this is all public information. Furthermore, it was speculated that this move was made at the very last minute considering other retailers were originally advertising preorders as being Steam keys for quite some time right up until the news of the digital platform switch broke. Lending more credence to the fact this was a disruptive switch at the last minute is the physical packaging which was not altered for the game's launch and instead has a sticker covering the Steam logo. Truly for such an outstanding game, the mess of its launch should be remembered as a great example of how not to release a game.

ID-Cooling Reveals IS-30 Low-Profile Air Cooler for up to 100 W CPUs

ID-cooling today revealed another entry into their air-cooling line-up, specifically geared for space.-constrained environments that still require adequate cooling capabilities for low operating noise. The IS-30 is a low-profile cooler (30 mm along the Z plane, unsurprisingly) that supports up to 100 W CPU cooling - this means that even 8-core AMD Ryzen 2000 series can be cooled by this baby.

The direct contact, four copper heatpipe design ensures that heat is carried from the processor the array of aluminum fins, and then expelled by usage of a 92-mm PWM fan that spins at 800 ~ 3600 RPM and up to 40 CFM in terms of airflow. The maximum noise levels of 35.8 dB(A) should seem like an acceptable trade-off. It weighs 310 grams, which shouldn't put too big a strain on your system - if it's to remain vertical at all, as these solutions seldom are. No word on pricing at time of writing.

Steam Fanatics Review-bomb "Metro Exodus" on Metacritic

"Metro Exodus" is the week's big AAA PC launch, and the latest entry to the post-apocalyptic horror-survival shooter franchise by 4A Games. The Ukrainian studio recently pulled the game from Steam and made it an exclusive with rival DRM platform Epic Games, in pursuit of a higher revenue-share. This invited inexplicable hatred from Steam users, who appear to have review-bombed the game on review ratings aggregator Metacritic.

Metacritic presents averages of reviews by media publications and user-reviews side-by-side. This is vital as it helps uninformed or undecided gamers know if a game is overrated by the media. In case of "Exodus," Much of the 0-rated user-reviews include lines that criticize the game's non-availability on Steam or its withdrawal from the platform. The Metacritic review-bombing is the latest episode in a long saga of animosity between Steam users and "Exodus" developer 4A Games. 4A Games did initially solicit pre-orders for the game on Steam, and abruptly stopped its sales late-January. Those who had pre-ordered would continue to receive the game and its updates. 4A muddied the waters further by responding to initial criticism from Steam users by threatening to desert the PC platform as a whole, inviting more bile from some really angry gamers. The game received "generally positive" reviews from professional game reviewers.

MSI Redesigns GAMING, ARMOR Graphics Cards for GTX 1660 Ti Launch

Leaked images of MSI's upcoming GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics cards show a redesign of their high-tier offerings. As we've already covered, it seemsn that NVIDIA's GTX 1660 Ti will be the NVIDIA silicon with most partner custom designs and SKUs, and for good reason - it's expected this card will succeed the GTX 1060 in terms of popularity in the mainstream gamer market. The new revisions accompany market trends in adding RGB lighting and some angular revisions.

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING X will be one of MSI's topmost models, with the highest clock speed, and a design revision in a favor of a black and gray color scheme and RGB lights. It looks classy and understated, even with the RGB lighting, which is something that's increasingly rare to find. The new ARMOS graphics card also has an understated, industrial design, with some more detailed cutouts in the plastic housing, and an interesting mix of black and white. The GeForce GTX branding makes a comeback in these graphics cards, which make use of a single 8-pin connector.

Apex Legends the Fastest Growing Battle Royale FPS, with 25 Million Players in Just a Week

"Apex Legends," developed by Respawn Entertainment, and published by EA, has become the fastest growing online battle-royale shooter, with its popularity snowballing to over 25 million players in just the first week since launch. The game made a splash into the crowded online battle-royale genre that's dominated by "Fortnite" and "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" aka PUBG, among dozens of knockoffs from independent developers. Apex Legends is being appreciated by players for having a polished, well-tested presentation, slick gameplay, reasonable eye-candy, low "pay-to-win" perception among players, good performance on entry-level and mainstream graphics hardware, and offering many of the inventory-management, gameplay, and teamplaying features felt lacking in other titles. The game is free-to-play, distributed through Origin.

Thermaltake Commander C Cases come with 200 mm ARGB Fans and Tempered Glass

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear and Enthusiast Memory solutions, launches the new Commander C Series Tempered Glass ARGB Mid-Tower Chassis. Designed to expand the gaming spirit, the Commander C Series Tempered Glass ARGB Mid-Tower Chassis takes the front panel design to the next level.

The Commander C Series inherits the Thermaltake classic chassis design and combines new design elements. The Commander C Series features six different models: C31, C32, C33, C34, C35 and C36, which target a wide range of PC gamers and enthusiasts. Each piece undergoes a rigorous process of survey, observation, experimentation, remodeling, and manufacture, to guarantee ultimate customer satisfaction. The Commander C Series features an enlarged tempered glass side panel, preinstalled two 200mm 5V ARGB front fans and one 120mm standard rear fan for optimal system ventilation. The 200mm 5V ARGB front fans deliver 16.8 million-color RGB illumination and sync with RGB capable motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock.

The Commander C Series comes equipped with GPU mounting, advanced cable management and flexibility for high-end components. The Commander C Series supports the latest PC hardware, and is not only fascinating in appearance but also powerful in performance. With six different models, the new Thermaltake Commander C Series Tempered Glass ARGB Mid-Tower Chassis provides users limitless DIY options.

Synology Introduces DiskStation DS1019+

Synology today launched DiskStation DS1019+, a 5-bay desktop NAS with excellent performance and scalability, right for small offices and IT enthusiasts.

"For professional home or SOHO users, it's always struggling to find a NAS server providing outstanding performance, scalability, and applicability at the same time. DS1019+ eliminates all your concerns with a compact chassis design," said Kevin Meng, product manager of Synology Inc. "Featuring a quad-core processor, 8GB memory and dual M.2 NVMe SSD slots, DS1019+ allows you to create SSD cache without occupying any drive trays. Its dual-channel 4K video transcoding capability and scalable storage design also make it an ideal option for multimedia applications, perfectly suitable for ultra HD video streaming among all of your devices."

NVIDIA Reports Q4 and 2018 Financial Results - Down 45%

NVIDIA today reported revenue for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 27, 2019, of $2.21 billion, down 24 percent from $2.91 billion a year earlier, and down 31 percent from $3.18 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.92, down 48 percent from $1.78 a year ago and down 53 percent from $1.97 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.80, down 53 percent from $1.72 a year earlier and down 57 percent from $1.84 in the previous quarter. For fiscal 2019, revenue was $11.72 billion, up 21 percent from $9.71 billion a year earlier. GAAP earnings per diluted share were $6.63, up 38 percent from $4.82 a year earlier. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $6.64, up 35 percent from $4.92 a year earlier.
"This was a turbulent close to what had been a great year," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "The combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter.

"Despite this setback, NVIDIA's fundamental position and the markets we serve are strong. The accelerated computing platform we pioneered is central to some of world's most important and fastest growing industries - from artificial intelligence to autonomous vehicles to robotics. We fully expect to return to sustained growth," he said.
Thursday, February 14th 2019
MSI MEG X299 CREATION

MSI MEG X299 CREATION

From the elite family of products dubbed MEG (MSI Enthusiast Gaming) comes another cutting-edge board with unique features and accessories. The MEG X299 CREATION is yet another board that promises to go above and beyond, so I took the review and turned it to 11.

AMD Doesn't Believe in NVIDIA's DLSS, Stands for Open SMAA and TAA Solutions

A report via PCGamesN places AMD's stance on NVIDIA's DLSS as a rather decided one: the company stands for further development of SMAA (Enhanced Subpixel Morphological Antialiasing) and TAA (Temporal Antialising) solutions on current, open frameworks, which, according to AMD's director of marketing, Sasa Marinkovic, "(...) are going to be widely implemented in today's games, and that run exceptionally well on Radeon VII", instead of investing in yet another proprietary solution. While AMD pointed out that DLSS' market penetration was a low one, that's not the main issue of contention. In fact, AMD decides to go head-on against NVIDIA's own technical presentations, comparing DLSS' image quality and performance benefits against a native-resolution, TAA-enhanced image - they say that SMAA and TAA can work equally as well without "the image artefacts caused by the upscaling and harsh sharpening of DLSS."

Of course, AMD may only be speaking from the point of view of a competitor that has no competing solution. However, company representatives said that they could, in theory, develop something along the lines of DLSS via a GPGPU framework - a task for which AMD's architectures are usually extremely well-suited. But AMD seems to take the eyes of its DLSS-defusing moves, however, as AMD's Nish Neelalojanan, a Gaming division exec, talks about potential DLSS-like implementations across "Some of the other broader available frameworks, like WindowsML and DirectML", and that these are "something we [AMD] are actively looking at optimizing… At some of the previous shows we've shown some of the upscaling, some of the filters available with WindowsML, running really well with some of our Radeon cards." So whether it's an actual image-quality philosophy, or just a competing technology's TTM (time to market) one, only AMD knows.

Metro Exodus Now Available For Preload On Steam

For those who got lucky enough to pre-order Metro Exodus on Steam before its defection to the Epic Games store are now able to pre-load the title in preparation for its launch. It will require 51 GB of storage space, so if your connection is a bit slower, you'll be waiting a while for it to download, which means the Steam pre-load period quite beneficial. For those that bought the title elsewhere and have to go through the Epic Game store, you will have to wait for the official launch since the platform does not currently support preloading of soon to be released games. This will likely make those with slower connections a bit irked since it means they will be waiting even longer to play the title come release day.

The fact Metro Exodus was pulled from Steam but can still be preloaded on the platform, while the Epic Game store will force users to wait will likely just add to the drama and controversy. However, if you step away for a moment and focus on the game itself one thing remains breathtakingly clear, the game is quite astonishing in regards to the graphics, even with RTX disabled. You can take a closer look for yourself in our performance analysis of Metro Exodus.

EA, Bioware Partner With Oats Studios and Neil Blomkamp to Produce Conviction - An Anthem Story

Neil Blomkamp is one of today's most well-regarded sci-fi filmmakers - and for good reason. While you may know him for his feature-length films (such as the legendary District 9 and the even more legendary, for me, Elysium), he has been making forays into conceptual filmmaking ever since he set up Oats Studios. The goal for Oats Studios was to create cinematographic thought-experiments with a sci-fi twist, and the studios have released a number of great works that you can follow on their YouTube (such as Zygote, Firebase, and Rakka), even going so far as to fully experiment with the power of Unity in the making of some seriously impressive pieces in their Adam series. If you don't know the studio's work yet, do yourself a favor and take a look.

That said, EA and Bioware have clearly picked up on the potential for Oats Studios, and ordered a cinematic, live-action story set on the Anthem universe. Named Conviction, the short serves as a teaser for the games' release, and showcases the impressive world of Anthem being brought to life with real people and settings. I won't dive into much detail here; I've given you the background. Suffice it to say that I am left even more wanting in regards to Neil Blomkamp's canceled Halo project after watching this. I bet you'd love to see something such as this brought to life in more detail and depth than a short three minutes and forty-five seconds allow for.

NVIDIA TU116 GPU Pictured Up Close: Noticeably Smaller than TU106

Here is the first picture of NVIDIA's 12 nm "TU116" silicon, which powers the upcoming GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. While the size of the package itself is identical to that of the "TU106" on which the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070 are based; the die of the TU116 is visibly smaller. This is because the chip physically lacks RT cores, and only has two-thirds the number of CUDA cores as the TU106, with 1,536 against the latter's 2,304. The die area, too, is about 2/3rds that of the TU106. The ASIC version of TU116 powering the GTX 1660 Ti is "TU116-400-A1."

VideoCardz scored not just pictures of the ASIC, but also the PCB of an MSI GTX 1660 Ti Ventus graphics card, which reveals something very interesting. The PCB has traces for eight memory chips, across a 256-bit wide memory bus, although only six of them are populated with memory chips, making up 6 GB over a 192-bit bus. The GPU's package substrate, too, is of the same size. It's likely that NVIDIA is using a common substrate, with an identical pin-map between the TU106 and TU116, so AIC partners could reduce PCB development costs.

beyerdynamic Drives Wireless Innovation with Xelento

beyerdynamic, one of the world's leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones and conferencing products, announces Xelento, a wireless, in-ear headphone combining outstanding quality and cutting technology to create an exciting musical experience. The Xelento wireless features beyerdynamic's innovative, miniaturized Tesla drivers, aptX HD Bluetooth technology and MOSAYC sound personalization by Mimi Defined.

beyerdynamic's Xelento wireless bridges the gap for convenient on-the-go solutions and sophisticated luxury headphones by creating a single solution to combine two worlds. Xelento's drivers and acoustic design provide uncompromising sound with Bluetooth connectivity to enable comfortable listening in any environment. Xelento's breathtaking Tesla drivers are recognized among audio enthusiasts for their incredible sound, precise impulses, exceptional transparency and acoustic balance ranging from tight bass to detailed highs. Featuring a sleek design, the Xelento wireless is both an exquisite piece of jewelry and an audiophile listening device creating a platinum state for in-ear headphones.

2019 the Year of 1TB SSDs: Prices Fall by 50%

1-Terabyte SSDs could become a new mainstream-desktop must-have in 2019, as prices of the drives have fallen by 50 percent year-over-year, according to DigiTimes. A 1 TB SATA SSD in the 2.5-inch form-factor can now be had for as little as $99, while faster NVMe drives in the M.2 form-factor start around $130. At the beginning of 2018, 1 TB SATA SSDs used to start around the $160-mark, and NVMe drives north of $200. The 1 TB category includes 960 GB, 1000 GB, and 1024 GB marketed capacities with varying amounts of overprovisioning set by manufacturers.

Falling SSD prices are accelerated by the entry of cost-effective 96-layer 3D NAND flash, higher-density QLC NAND flash, undigested inventories of drives based on older technologies such as 64-layer or TLC NAND flash; and a 15 percent sequential quarterly drop in NAND flash prices in the industry. Growth in speeds of client-segment SSDs have remained largely flat over the year, and not much is to be expected in performance growth other than perhaps the advent of PCIe gen 4.0 based enterprise SSDs towards the end of the year.

SMART Modular Announces New N200 Family of SATA Flash Products

SMART Modular Technologies, a leader in specialty memory, storage and hybrid solutions including memory modules, Flash memory cards and other solid state storage products, today announced the introduction of its N200 line of SATA products. With burst speed and low power consumption, the N200 family is an ideal economic option for NAS/SAN storage systems, x86 server-storage appliances, distributed scale-out servers, telecom and networking routers and switches, industrial control, printers and more.

Built with Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND technology, the new N200 line of SATA products, consisting of the mSATA (MO-300), the M.2 2242 and 2280, the Slim SATA (MO-297), and the removable 2.5" solid state drive form factors, delivers the advantages of economical, industrial-grade non-volatile memory to embedded computing applications. The N200 SATA products are offered in capacities ranging from 32GB to 1TB, depending on form factor, and all are available in industrial and commercial temperatures.
Wednesday, February 13th 2019

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Memory
Notebooks
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage
Metro Exodus Benchmark Performance, RTX & DLSS

Metro Exodus Benchmark Performance, RTX & DLSS

Metro Exodus launches this week. We thoroughly tested the game's technical aspect, on 3 resolutions, with 16 graphics cards, including the whole RTX lineup and Radeon VII. We also have a ton of screenshots and side-by-side image comparison using NVIDIA RTX and DLSS.
NVIDIA DLSS Test in Battlefield V

NVIDIA DLSS Test in Battlefield V

Today's Battlefield V update has brought numerous improvements to the game, including long-awaited support for NVIDIA's DLSS technology. We took a closer look at image quality with DLSS on and off and measured its performance cost.

Intel Core i9-9990XE OEM-only, Even Then it's a Lottery

In a sign of just how arid the DIY retail channel has become for Intel, Tom's Hardware reports that the new socket flagship LGA2066 HEDT processor model Intel sneaked into its product-stack, the Core i9-9990XE, is restricted to the OEM/SI (system integrator) channel. Even to OEMs, ordering a tray of i9-9990XE chips isn't as simple as ordering other chips, such as the i9-9900K. Apparently, Intel has been running secret online auctions that are OEM-only, for these chips. OEMs get to bid on the per-chip price in n-unit tray quantities.

Workstation integrator Puget Systems was able to score itself some i9-9990XE inventory at USD $2,300 per chip. Puget Systems last week received its first batch of chips from Intel, and released performance benchmarks. At this price, the i9-9990XE is being sold at a 21% premium over the retail-channel SEP price of the i9-9980XE, and a whopping 65% premium over the i9-9940X. Intel can't shake off comparisons between the i9-9990XE and the i9-9940X because both chips are 14-core/28-thread with 19.25 MB shared L3 cache, with the i9-9990XE only offering significantly higher clock-speeds, but at an astounding TDP of 255W. The i9-9990XE was shown beating the 18-core i9-9980XE in a variety of HEDT-relevant benchmarks.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.2.2 Beta Drivers

AMD today made available the latest version of their Radeon software drivers, Adrenalin Edition 19.2.2, for supported graphics solutions. This brings with it support for the recently released Radeon VII graphics card, in addition to equally new and upcoming game titles including Metro Exodus, Far Cry New Dawn, the Civ VI: Gathering Storm expansion, and Crackdown 3. More pleasing to many users no doubt will be the large list of fixed issues, including a timely Alt + Tab shortcut on a DisplayPort monitor and plenty of bug fixes related to Radeon Wattman as it pertains to the Radeon VII. The drivers are up for download at the link below, hosted directly on TechPowerUp for your convenience, and the full change log is available past the break for those interested.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.2.2
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