Friday, May 24th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage
Corsair SF Series 750 W

Corsair SF Series 750 W

With 750 Watts, the Corsair SF750 is the strongest SFX power supply money can buy today. We saw great performance in almost all tests, and it operates quietly. Thanks to the included SFX-to-ATX adapter, you'll be able to pair it with a standard sized system, too.

Cooler Master Unveils V Gold and Platinum PSU Series

Cooler Master today welcomed a new entry to its "V Series" power supplies, adding various Gold and Platinum PSUs. These new models are representing successors to the very well known V series Cooler Master has launched a few years ago. In order to live up to its name, the new models are packing improvements in every aspect possible with less noise and more efficiency.

There are several new models ranging from 650-750 Watts for Gold and 850-1300 Watts for Platinum. What makes them different from previous V series models is a range of many small improvements like better wires to deliver more power to even hungrier GPUs. The Industry standard for wire size is 18 AWG, but Cooler Master went beyond that and put 16 AWG, in order to increase current capacity. The new 100 percent Japanese capacitors allow the new models to operate silently under 40% load.

Gigabyte Teases World's First PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD With Speeds up to 5000 MB/s, Other Computex Announcements

Who would have thought that Gigabyte - who don't manufacture controllers, nor memory - would be the first company to tease a PCIe 4.0-based M.2 SSD. In a blog post on its website that serves as a warm-up for the upcoming Computex, the company says that they'll be announcing the world's first PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD - with speeds up to 5000 MB/s at "low temperatures" - I guess that means that thermal throttling will become much more common with these new SSDs.

Any other details are currently unknown; however (and we're just speculating here), we know that Phison was preparing a PCIe 4.0 NVMe controller in the form of the E16. At the time (back in January of 2019), Phison paired their E16 controller with Micron's 96-layer TLC flash, but improvements in controller development as well as changes in the flash memory used could have brought up their - then - performance figures of expected 4.8/4.4 GB/s of read/write throughput on Toshiba's BiCS 4 flash. We'll just have to wait for Computex and see, but oh my - new PCIe 4.0 SSDs, new up-to 16-core CPUs on the 7 nm process, new 7 nm GPUs... Isn't this a great time to be a PC enthusiast? Read after the break for the rest of Gigabyte's Computex tease.

AMD Zen 2 CPUs to Support Official JEDEC 3200 MHz Memory Speeds

An AMD-based system's most important performance pairing lies in the CPU and system RAM, as a million articles written ever since the introduction of AMD's first generation Ryzen CPUs have shown (remember the races for Samsung B-die based memory?). There are even tools that allow you to eke out the most performance out of your AMD system via fine memory overclocking and timings adjustment, which just goes to show the importance the enthusiast community derives from such tiny details that maximize your AMD Zen-based CPU performance. Now, notorious leaker @momomo_us has seemingly confirmed that AMD has worked wonders on its memory controller, achieving a base JEDEC 3200 MHz specification - up from the previously officially supported DDR4-2666 speeds in the first-gen Ryzen (updated to DDR4-2933 speeds on the 12 nm update).

ECS Introduces the Liva SFF 110-A320 Book-sized Mini PC Powered by AMD Ryzen APUs

ECS has introduced a new model into their Liva series of Mini PCs - this time, powered by AMD Ryzen APUs. The ECS LIVA A320 is a 1-liter Mini Pc (book-sized, according to the company, but I guess that depends on the books you prefer to read), and makes use of either an AMD Ryzen 3 or Ryzen 5 APU with up to 35 W TDP.

There's a lot to like about this little Mini PC that could, which ECS is marketing at light gaming workloads and all other content consumption and office-related shenanigans. There is a tooless design for easy upgradeability, 2x DDR4 support in the SO-DIMM form factor, internal support for an M.2 drive (which helps save space in such a small enclosure, even though a 2.5" HDD or SSD is still supported). A VESA mount means this can be installed in the back of a monitor or television for your content consumption needs.

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z v2.21.0

TechPowerUp GPU-Z is a handy graphics subsystem information, diagnostic, and monitoring utility no enthusiast can leave home without, and today we bring you its latest version. The new TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.21.0 adds support for NVIDIA Quadro P500. More importantly, it fixes sensor data readouts being broken for the Radeon VII with Radeon Software 19.5.1 (or later) installed. A broken GPU load sensor for AMD "Raven Ridge" APUs has also been fixed. Lastly, OpenCL support detection has been added for Radeon VII and other graphics cards based on the "Vega 20" MCM. Grab it from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z

The change-log follows.

ASUS Provides BIOS updates addressing MDS vulnerabilities, ZombieLoad, RIDL, and Fallout

ASUS is aware that a new sub-class of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs, called Microarchitectural Data Sampling (MDS), also known as ZombieLoad, RIDL, and Fallout, may allow information disclosure. Intel states that selected 8th and 9th Generation Intel Core processors, as well as the 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor family, are not vulnerable to MDS. If you are using one of these processors, no further action is necessary.

For other Intel processors, ASUS is working closely with Intel to provide a solution in a forthcoming BIOS update. We recommend owners of affected products update both the BIOS and operating system as soon as these mitigations are available. Please find our first-wave model list below and download the appropriate BIOS update from the ASUS Support website. More details, including affected systems, will be added to this document as they become available.

Cooler Master Announces Collaboration with GTR Simulator

Cooler Master, a global leader in PC component and peripheral manufacturing, today, in collaboration with GTR Simulator, announced the development of a co-branded racing simulator. Designed to be the ultimate gaming rig, the GTA-F Cooler Master Edition enables the user to go from work to play in a matter of seconds.

Made from premium alloy steel, the GTA-F Cooler Master Edition features a fully adjustable frame and first-rate racing seat designed to support racers of every size and sustain the constant strain of full-body maneuvers. With 14 points of adjustability, users can fine-tune their seat, monitor height and distance to the steering wheel/keyboard mount for maximum comfort during long hours of crunching numbers or training for 24 hours of Le Mans.

MSI Announces MPG SEKIRA 500 Series: The Ultimate Craftsmanship of The Gaming Chassis

As the worldwide leading gaming brand, MSI has launched its first gaming chassis - the MPG GUNGNIR 100 Series and received an enthusiast response from customers. At this point, MSI has now wielded years of experiences in gaming to dedicate to developing brand new gaming chassis. Now we are proud to introduce our line up - MPG SEKIRA 500, with innovation, advanced technology and highly customizable remarkable design to bring gamers more than what they imagine.

MSI MPG SEKIRA 500 series gaming chassis is inspired by the legendary axe in the hands of Perun, the God of Thunder in Slavic mythology. Its sharp and neat design combines with an inclined line on the front panel as if an axe is killing the devil spirit, which reflects the supreme power of the axe of Perun.

Final Fantasy XIV Online Surpasses 16 Million Players Worldwide

The global community of FINAL FANTASY XIV Online continues to grow as SQUARE ENIX announced the game has now surpassed 16 million registered users worldwide during a Letter from the Producer LIVE segment streamed from San Francisco. Accumulating almost six years of critical adoration and passionate fandom, the positive momentum of the MMORPG carries into the upcoming release of its third major expansion, FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers on July 2, 2019.

Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida also revealed several new details for the upcoming expansion during the livestream, including:
  • Details on battle system changes, including the introduction of the charged action system.
  • Updates to the FATE system, side quests, as well the addition of role quests.
  • Adjustments to job synergy and rebalancing of jobs
  • Various quality of life changes and UI updates

ASUS Teases Collage of Upcoming AMD X570 Motherboards

With AMD expected to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen processor family at the 2019 Computex, the show is expected to have unveilings of several compatible motherboards based on the new AMD X570 chipset. ASUS posted a collage picture that teases its upcoming X570 lineup. This appears to include boards from pretty much all of ASUS's brands, including the high-end ROG Crosshair, the upper mainstream ROG Strix, the mainstream TUF Gaming, and the sober Prime series. From this, the ROG Strix board appears to be the first one we've come across that doesn't use a fan-heatsink to cool the 15W TDP X570 chipset. The Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processor and X570 chipset make up AMD's "Valhalla" desktop platform.

FinalWire Releases AIDA64 v6.00

FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme 6.00 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Engineer 6.00 software, a professional diagnostic and benchmarking solution for corporate IT technicians and engineers; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business 6.00 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Network Audit 6.00 software, a dedicated network audit toolset to collect and manage corporate network inventories.

The latest AIDA64 update introduces SHA3-512 cryptographic hash benchmark and AVX2 optimized benchmarks for the upcoming AMD Zen 2 "Matisse" processors, adds monitoring of sensor values on BeadaPanel LCD displays, and supports the latest AMD and Intel CPU platforms as well as the new graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and NVIDIA.
DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 v6.00

ADATA Launches XPG SPECTRIX S40G RGB Gaming SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today announces that launch of the XPG SPECTRIX S40G RGB gaming SSD. With sustained read/write speeds of up to 3500/3000MB per second, customizable RGB lighting, and a slew of performance enhancing features, the XPG SPECTRIX S40G is a no brainer for those seeking amazing performance and exceptional reliability.

The S40G supports the NVMe standard and utilizes the high-speed PCIe Gen3 x4 interface to let users enjoy sustained read/write speeds of up to 3500/3000 MB per second. What's more, sporting next-generation 3D Flash memory it offers a leap forward in capacity, efficiency, and durability. Also with the M.2 2280 specification, it supports the latest Intel and AMD platforms. These capabilities make the S40G ideally suited for gamers, PC enthusiasts, overclockers, and graphics professionals. User can customize the SSD's look with programmable RGB lighting effects. They can set up patterns, pulse speed, lighting intensity, and more. Control is a snap with XPG's RGB control software.

BIOSTAR Launches H310MHG Micro-ATX Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices releases the H310MHG micro-ATX motherboard. Equipped with the latest INTEL H310 chipset and 4K HDMI compatible motherboard is sure to satisfy the needs of home entertainment enthusiasts. An array of cutting-edge motherboard technology, elevates immersion like never before, with its dual channel memory interface that supports the most demanding of DDR4 memory modules, an uncompromising PCIe M.2 10Gb/s storage interface and a speedy USB 3.1 Gen 1 brings together the most asked for home theatre enthusiast features onto a single small form factor. Together with its 'granite rock'-like dependability does the BIOSTAR H310MHG bring a fusion of gaming, home theatre, and corporate business needs, within a single solution.

FSP Leads the Way to AIoT and 5G at Computex 2019

FSP, one of the world's leading manufacturers of power supplies, is pleased to announce an extensive range of products for the Computex 2019 show in Taipei, Taiwan, from May 28 to June 1, 2019 - with a special focus on the fast-growing AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) sector and 5G-ready products. FSP will be showing power supplies, chargers and other power-related products designed specifically for these markets. In addition, they will be demonstrating a variety of specialized power supplies and PC cases for gamers.

The AIoT has the potential to drive revolutionary changes in numerous sectors, particularly in B2B, but relies on 24/7/365 uptime backed by a reliable power supply. FSP is ready to meet this demand. The key AIoT segments impact a huge range of applications including smart cities, transportation, logistics, environment, industrials, agriculture, utilities, smart building and consumers. For those key segments, FSP offers 1U, UPS and Redundant PSU which included CRPS for cloud and data center services. For edge computing (so-called 'fog' segment), FSP has Flex ATX, ATX and UPS. Finally, to fully cover the vertical, FSP offers adapters, open frame designs, Flex ATX, chargers and UPS for edge computing and devices at the client end.

URCDKeys Announces Spring-Summer Sale: Deep Discounts on Windows 10 and Office 2019 Software

URCDKeys.com lets you build your dream gaming PC rig by allocating a greater share of your budget on hardware, by saving big on genuine, globally-valid software licenses. As part of its Spring-Summer Sale, the store is selling Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home, and Office 2019 Professional licenses at discounts in excess of 70 percent! Windows 10 Pro can be had for USD $14.50, which is a roughly 90% discount. Office 2019 Professional Plus, the latest version of the productivity suite no home PC is complete without, is selling for USD $61.39, a 72 percent discount over retail price. As a valued TechPowerUp reader, you stand to save even further. By applying a TechPowerUp-exclusive discount coupon code at checkout, you shave a further 20 percent off the already discounted prices! With the coupon applied, Windows 10 Pro can be yours for $11.60, and Office 2019 Professional Plus for $49.11, which is less than half what you'd pay for an annual Office 365 subscription for a lifetime license!

Buy Windows 10 Pro from URCDKey | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus from URCDKey

Don't forget to use the TechPowerUp-exclusive coupon code TP20 for a further 20% discount for the prices you see above!

DC-ATX Direct Plug from HDPlex Lets You Use External Power-bricks to Power ITX Motheroards Without 2-pin DC-in

The DC-ATX Direct Plug from HDPlex is an interesting new accessory that lets you power mini-ITX motherboards with conventional ATX/EPS inputs inside SFF cases that come with 2-pin external power bricks. The accessory plugs directly into the 24-pin ATX input of your motherboard, and takes input from a 2-pin DC. It also puts out 8-pin EPS for the CPU (over a 4-pin connector), one 6+2 pin PCIe power connector, and two SATA power connectors.

The accessory uses DC-to-DC switching to convert 12V to the various other voltage domains, such as +5V, 3.3V, and 5vsb. The accessory supports a power output only up to 200 Watts, which is still impressive for something its size. Available now, the DC-ATX Direct Plug from HDPlex is priced at USD $62.50. You can also buy a bundle that includes a 200-Watt power brick that's nano-ATX capable.

NVIDIA Teases Something "Super"

NVIDIA late Thursday posted an eyebrow-raising teaser video for something with the word "Super" part of its branding. The video has no voice caption, and is titled "Something Super is Coming." It shows a silvery brushed metal surface with a stylized "Super" logo carved into it. It's anybody's guess what this could be. A new graphics card? An all-in-one gaming desktop? A new mobile gaming platform? A VR headset? Take a guess, because we've run out of them. The only hint dropped by NVIDIA is the YouTube hashtag "#GeForce" that goes with the video, so we know for sure that this is a client-segment gaming product.
The teaser video follows.
Thursday, May 23rd 2019

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
SSD
Storage
HyperX Fury S Speed Edition

HyperX Fury S Speed Edition

If you are a sucker for fast, low-resistance mouse pads and love good abstract design on your mat, the HyperX Fury S Speed Edition might be your ideal choice. Available in four different size variants, it can be a viable option for most people. It has stitched edges and is either 3 or 4 mm thick depending on the model.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.5.2 Beta

AMD today posted its latest version of the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition. Version 19.5.2, signifying the second release for the month of May 2019, comes with release-date optimization for "Total War : Three Kingdoms." Among the issues fixed are multi-display screen flickering problems noticed on Radeon VII, incorrect maximum temperature values reported by Radeon WattMan for certain GPUs, GPU Utilization showing up for unsupported products on Radeon Performance Metrics Overlay; and HDR video freezing or experiencing corruption on certain Ryzen APUs. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.5.2 beta

The change-log follows.

AMD X570 Unofficial Platform Diagram Revealed, Chipset Puts out PCIe Gen 4

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design socket AM4 motherboard chipset, with the X370 and X470 chipsets being originally designed by ASMedia. With the X570, AMD hopes to leverage new PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity of its Ryzen 3000 Zen2 "Matisse" processors. The desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset is codenamed "Valhalla." A rough platform diagram like what you'd find in motherboard manuals surfaced on ChipHell, confirming several features. To maintain pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen processors, Ryzen 3000 has the same exact connectivity from the SoC except two key differences.

On the AM4 "Valhalla" platform, the SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes. 16 of these are allocated to PEG (PCI-Express graphics), configurable through external switches and redrivers either as single x16, or two x8 slots. Besides 16 PEG lanes, 4 lanes are allocated to one M.2 NVMe slot. The remaining 4 lanes serve as the chipset bus. With X570 being rumored to support gen 4.0 at least upstream, the chipset bus bandwidth is expected to double to 64 Gbps. Since it's an SoC, the socket is also wired to LPCIO (SuperIO controller). The processor's integrated southbridge puts out two SATA 6 Gbps ports, one of which is switchable to the first M.2 slot; and four 5 Gbps USB 3.x ports. It also has an "Azalia" HD audio bus, so the motherboard's audio solution is directly wired to the SoC. Things get very interesting with the connectivity put out by the X570 chipset.
Update May 21st: There is also information on the X570 chipset's TDP.
Update May 23rd: HKEPC posted what looks like an official AMD slide with a nicer-looking platform map. It confirms that AMD is going full-tilt with PCIe gen 4, both as chipset bus, and as downstream PCIe connectivity.

MSI Readies Commemorative RTX 2080 Ti Lighting Z 10th Anniversary Edition

Can you believe it's been 10 years since MSI launched its flagship Lighting brand of graphics cards? Turns out we reviewed our first MSI Lightning card more than a decade ago! An MSI Lightning card has always been the indicator that a flagship GPU by NVIDIA or AMD has succeeded in winning the hearts, minds, and wallets of gamers, lest MSI wouldn't bother with one. MSI already released the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lighting Z, and we reviewed it. Sources tell us that the MSI could be working on a second Lightning product based on the RTX 2080 Ti, which isn't a variation of the original, such as the RTX 2080 Ti Lighting Z with a water-block bolted on.

Named something along the lines of RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z 10th Anniversary Special Edition, the card will look significantly different than the RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z, and will ship with an on-card OLED display that puts out real-time monitoring data of the card's temperatures, clock-speeds, fan-speeds, voltages, memory utilization, or pretty much whatever you program it to. The card's cooler will also feature a more richly detailed RGB LED embellishment all around, and will be designed like a piece of jewelry. MSI may also touch up the card's electricals, BIOS, and overclocking-headroom to rival EVGA RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN. MSI will unveil this card at the 2019 Computex exhibition.

COLORFUL Readies World's Most Unique RTX 2080 Ti

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and high-performance storage solutions is pleased to invite everyone to experience the next-generation of COLORFUL products at COMPUTEX 2019 happening in Taipei, Taiwan this coming May 28 - June 1, 2019. COLORFUL will be holding a showcase of its greatest products on the show floor including its most coveted, limited edition graphics card as well as other special releases including its latest motherboards, memory and storage products, amongst others. COMPUTEX 2019 will be held in Taipei, Taiwan at May 28 - June 1, 2019. Please visit COLORFUL at booth M1112.
Wednesday, May 22nd 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
ViewSonic ELITE XG240R 144 Hz FreeSync Monitor

ViewSonic ELITE XG240R 144 Hz FreeSync Monitor

The ViewSonic ELITE XG240R is a 24-inch, 144 Hz gaming monitor supporting FreeSync and adaptive-sync on NVIDIA. It comes with a fully adjustable stand, and an interesting RGB lighting system that can be synced with other components in your computer.

Cooler Master Launches the new V Gold Series Power Supply Units

Cooler Master, a global leader in PC component manufacturing, today, announced the availability of the new V Gold power supply unit (PSU), providing a new and improved series of PSUs for the next generation of high-end PC builders.

After five years, the V Gold succeeds Cooler Master's previously launched V Series PSU and will offer users an 80 Plus Gold efficiency rating. Available in the US and Canada in two wattage levels, 650W and 750W, the new V Gold PSU features a semi-fanless mode that enables the 135mm fan at 40% load. Users can manually de-activate the semi-fanless mode via the hybrid switch located at the rear of the PSU.

Windows 10 May 2019 Update 1903 Gaming Performance Tested in 21 Titles, with RTX 2080 Ti and Radeon VII

Microsoft earlier today released to market its latest version of Windows 10, the May 2019 Update (version 1903). There was quite some talk about Microsoft tweaking the kernel to improve CPU performance. Other gamer-relevant changes include updates to WDDM (display driver model), and an updated DirectX 12, which now supports variable-rate shading. A similar technology is available on Vulkan, and has already been implemented in games such as "Wolfenstein: The New Colossus." With much talk about the latest Windows being better for games than the previous Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update (1809), we decided to take it for a spin.

After backing-up our 1809 installation onto a disk image, we updated to 1903 using Windows Update, with the same driver- and game versions as our recently-updated setup (details here). We then put the machine through our entire selection of 21 games, and two high-end graphics cards, the AMD Radeon VII and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. We used driver versions 19.5.1 for AMD, and 430.64 for NVIDIA, both of which support Windows 1903. Our tests span 1920x1080 (Full HD), 2560x1440 (1440p), and 3840x2160 pixels (4K) resolutions. We present our data as percentage gain/loss over Windows 1809, with three data-points per game, each representing the three resolutions in the order "Full HD", "1440p", and "4K". The first graph below covers the RTX 2080 Ti, and the second one Radeon VII.

ARM Revokes Huawei's Chip IP Licence

As the trade war between the US and China continues to unfold, we are seeing major US companies ban or stop providing service to China's technology giant Huawei. Now, it looks like the trade war has crossed the ocean and reached the UK. This time, UK based ARM Holdings, the provider of mobile chip IP for nearly all smartphones and tablets, has revoked the license it has given Huawei.

According to the BBC, ARM Holdings employees were instructed to suspend all interactions with Huawei, and to send a note informing Huawei that "due to an unfortunate situation, they were not allowed to provide support, deliver technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters with Huawei, HiSilicon or any of the other named entities." The news came from an internal ARM document the BBC has obtained.

Microsoft Advocates for Tighter Governmental Regulation of the Tech Sector With "Strong Enforcement Provisions"

Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Julie Brill in a blog post this Monday shared her - and Microsoft's - thoughts on regulation and its relationship to the tech sector. Julie Brill commented on the GDPR implementation originating in Europe, and how that could and should serve as a de facto standard of regulation that forces companies to steer away from the self-accountability on which they have remained for so long - and on which, paraphrasing Apple's own Tim Cook, "There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in great damage to society."

Microsoft feels that if left to self-regulation, companies won't do as mucha s they could in the pursuit of privacy and their consumers' rights as they would with a strong enforcement regime being planned and implemented at the governmental level. Of course, I think most of us agree with this at a fundamental level. However, there should also exist some defensive measures around the design and implementation of such governmental measures, such as, for one, no interference from corporations in the regulatory process. These should only serve as consultants, to prevent any ideas of bending the regulations in their behalf, and a pervasive strategy that accounts for both small businesses and huge corporation should also be key. We should remember that while the likes of Microsoft Apple, for example, should have relative ease in updating their practices and implementing regulation-required systems, other, smaller players could either live or die in their capability to quickly adapt to the new requirements. Snuffing out competition to the big companies by enforcing heavy penalties might not be the best road. What do you think? More regulation or self-regulation?

ZADAK Announces the SPARK RGB DDR4 Memory

ZADAK announced today the immediate worldwide release of their latest ultra-high-performance RGB gaming memory module, the SPARK RGB DDR4. Firmly aimed at the high-end PC enthusiasts and gamers market, the SPARK RGB DDR4 brings together powerful memory module, overclocking capability and top-notch design elements to form a valuable addition to the ZADAK DDR4 family that is compatible with high-end motherboards.

SPARK RGB DDR4 modules are available in kits ranging from 16GB (2x8GB) up to 64GB (4x16GB) with the top-end models running at 4133 MHz. Overclocking is made simple with XMP 2.0 support allowing users to select their preferred profile for stable and reliable overclocking.

Cryorig to Launch Graphene-Coated C7G CPU Cooler?

As of yet unannounced, it seems that Cryorig may be preparing to launch a graphene-coated version of their popular low-profile C7Cu cooler. Cryorig's own website has a product page up for the part, which makes use of graphene's qualities in both durability, lightness and thermal conductivity to increase performance in the part of the market it arguably matters the most - small form factor. This could signal an improvement in heat dissipation capabilities for this small cooler. The C7 Cu version, in full copper, has a 115W TDP specification, so perhaps the C7G will improve in that front.

The C7G FAQ isn't uploaded as of yet, which speaks to the unannounced nature of the product. The only thing we have to go by, for now, is the image for the product on Cryorig's product page, and the users' manual, which while not giving away much in terms of specifications, but does show that there are a pair of mounting clips included for users to mount their 90 mm fans - whether in 14 mm or 25 mm depth.

Gigabyte's Z390 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce and 5.1 Ghz Core i9-9900K Bundle Now Available

Remember that ludicrous Gigabyte bundle that mixed the company's most outrageously expensive motherboard with a cherry-picked Intel Core i9-9900K overclocked to 5.1 GHz? Well, it's finally available, if that's your particular kind of beach, and the pricing is better than was expected. Solo, the motherboard sets you back $999, while a cherry-picked Intel Core i9-9900K at 5.1 GHz would set you back some $939 in houses such as Silicon Lottery. However, Gigabyte have confirmed that the bundle pricing for these components for the US stands at $1,699 - which really isn't too shabby, if you consider the motherboard to have sufficient bang for your buck.

EA Reveals Next-Generation Hair Rendering for Frostbite

In the gaming industry, everything is evolving around game graphics. GPUs are integrating new technologies such as ray tracing, there are tons of software dedicated to making in-game illustrations look as realistic as possible. Electronic Arts, one of the game publishing companies decided to release a state of the art AAA games, today revealed an update to DICE's Frostbite engine.

DICE's Frostbite engine is powering many of today's AAA titles such as Battlefield V, Anthem and Star Wars Battlefront. Today it got a big update. EA released new capabilities to render the hair of in-game characters with almost real-life realism. This is pretty impressive considering that hair is very difficult to model artificially. Being one of the most interesting topics for game developers, good hair animations are extremely important to achieving the lifelike look newer AAA titles are targeting.

Secretlab Launches 2020 Series Gaming Seats, Includes Game of Thrones Special Editions

For those who came in late, Secretlab is a Singapore-based company that specializes in gaming seats and chairs. Founded in 2014, they were among the very first to establish a foothold in the now-burgeoning gaming chair market, and arguably have led the way from day one. Our own Erasmia was left extremely impressed with their 2018-series Titan chair, to where it was selected among the best of 2017 in the product category as well. We were invited to a sneak peak launch event in New York City earlier this month, where Secretlab shed more light on their 2020 series updates to their popular Omega and Titan lineup.

These updates include over three years of rigorous research and testing, both internal at the company and in collaboration with independent research/testing institutes in Singapore. This level of testing has led to product certifications galore, something virtually unheard of in the gaming chair market. An immediate benefit is an increase in product warranty to 5 years, compared to the industry standard 1-2 years, and this is but one of several updates and improvements we will go over in more detail past the break.

AMD Memory Tweak Tool Lets You OC and Tweak AMD Radeon Memory Timings On-the-fly

Eliovp, who describes himself on GitHub as a Belgian [crypto] mining enthusiast, created what could go down as the best thing that happened to AMD Radeon users all decade. The AMD Memory Tweak Tool is a Windows and Linux based GUI utility that lets you not just overclock AMD Radeon graphics card memory on the fly, but also lets you tweak its memory timings. Most timings apply live, while your machine is running within Windows/Linux GUI, some require memory retraining via a reboot, which means they can't be changed at this time, because rebooting reverts the timings to default. The author is trying to figure out a way to run memory training at runtime, which would let you change those timings, too, in the future. While you're at it, the tool also lets you play with GPU core frequency and fan-control.

The AMD Memory Tweak tool supports both Windows and Linux (GUI), and works with all recent AMD Radeon GPUs with GDDR5 and HBM2 memory types. It requires Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.4.1 or later in case of Windows, or amdgpu-pro ROCM to be actively handling the GPU in case of Linux. The Linux version further has some dependencies, such as pciutils-dev, libpci-dev, build-essential, and git. The source-code for the utility is up on GitHub for you to inspect and test.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Memory Tweak Tool by Eliovp

Intel "Sapphire Rapids" Brings PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5 to the Data-Center

As if the mother of all ironies, prior to its effective death-sentence dealt by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Huawei's server business developed an ambitious product roadmap for its Fusion Server family, aligning with Intel's enterprise processor roadmap. It describes in great detail the key features of these processors, such as core-counts, platform, and I/O. The "Sapphire Rapids" processor will introduce the biggest I/O advancements in close to a decade, when it releases sometime in 2021.

With an unannounced CPU core-count, the "Sapphire Rapids-SP" processor will introduce DDR5 memory support to the data-center, which aims to double bandwidth and memory capacity over the DDR4 generation. The processor features an 8-channel (512-bit wide) DDR5 memory interface. The second major I/O introduction is PCI-Express gen 5.0, which not only doubles bandwidth over gen 4.0 to 32 Gbps per lane, but also comes with a constellation of data-center-relevant features that Intel is pushing out in advance as part of the CXL Interconnect. CXL and PCIe gen 5 are practically identical.

PSA: How to Download the Windows 10 1903 ISO from MS, without the Media Creation Tool

When visiting the Microsoft ISO Disc Image Download Page using a desktop PC, Microsoft will force you to use the Media Creation Tool to get the ISO. A direct download is not available, or you can use the Upgrade Assistant, to upgrade your current running system. This complicates things if you just want to grab the Windows 10 ISO image quickly, without jumping through Microsoft's hoops.

We have learned, that when you make your web-browser render the Windows 10 installation media download page as a mobile device, which obviously doesn't support running the Windows-based Media Creation Tool, Microsoft will give you a direct download link instead. Below we present step-by-step instructions for Firefox and Chrome, the two browsers we use ourselves.

Windows 10 May 2019 Update 1903 Goes Live

Microsoft today officially released Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903). Distributed in a regionally phased manner over Windows Update, and on-demand through the Upgrade Assistant tool or downloadable as fresh installation media, Windows 1903 is the year's first major update. It adds several user-interface improvements, such as a more functional Start Menu, a vastly improved search system, a more functional Action Center, handy new features to Explorer, and several under-the-hood improvements. To gamers, it introduces support for standardized variable-rate shading in Direct3D games and applications, which when implemented correctly, can vastly improve performance and details in games.

Mushkin Announces Availability of Helix-L NVMe SSD

Mushkin Enhanced MFG - An industry-leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance and high-reliability computer products, is excited to announce global availability of its much-anticipated Helix-L PCIe m.2 SSD (Solid State Drive) originally announced at CES 2019 and has available capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB.

Built using the latest Silicon Motion SM2263XT PCIe Gen 3 x 4 NVMe controller to generate super-fast sequential Read and Write speeds. The Helix-L offers extreme storage performance and capacities in a M.2 2280 form factor, fitting directly into a motherboard or notebook. Employing the ultra-high-speed PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 interface for maximum bandwidth, the Helix-L leaves traditional SATA III and even previous generation M.2 SSDs in the rearview. Loading everything from large video and image files to games, applications or the operating system faster than ever before.
Tuesday, May 21st 2019
iKBC Table E412 Keyboard

iKBC Table E412 Keyboard

iKBC adds to their ever-growing keyboard product portfolio with the aptly named "Table" series. The Table E412 is a full-size keyboard that is unabashedly large in footprint, with an integrated wrist rest, dedicated media keys/wheel, white backlight and, for something different than the norm, onboard hardware encryption of the keyboard itself.
GPU Test System Update May 2019

GPU Test System Update May 2019

In anticipation of AMD Navi we've updated our graphics card test system using the latest Intel hardware. The game selection has been revamped, too, seeing the addition of the latest titles, and all major graphics cards are present. In total, we have 18 cards, each tested at three resolutions.

AMD "Navi" Features 8 Streaming Engines, Possible ROP Count Doubling?

AMD's 7 nm "Navi 10" silicon may finally address two architectural shortcomings of its performance-segment GPUs, memory bandwidth, and render-backends (deficiency thereof). The GPU almost certainly features a 256-bit GDDR6 memory interface, bringing about a 50-75 percent increase in memory bandwidth over "Polaris 30." According to a sketch of the GPU's SIMD schematic put out by KOMACHI Ensaka, Navi's main number crunching machinery is spread across eight shader engines, each with five compute units (CUs).

Five CUs spread across eight shader engines, assuming each CU continues to pack 64 stream processors, works out to 2,560 stream processors on the silicon. This arrangement is in stark contrast to the "Hawaii" silicon from 2013, which crammed 10 CUs per shader engine across four shader engines to achieve the same 2,560 SP count on the Radeon R9 290. The "Fiji" silicon that followed "Hawaii" stuck to the 4-shader engine arrangement. Interestingly, both these chips featured four render-backends per shader engine, working out to 64 ROPs. AMD's decision to go with 8 shader engines raises hopes for the company doubling ROP counts over "Polaris," to 64, by packing two render backends per shader engine. AMD unveils Navi in its May 27 Computex keynote, followed by a possible early-July launch.
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