Hardware Giveaway
Wednesday, July 26th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks

Penclic Mini Keyboard C2

Penclic is a Swedish company that makes small form factor peripherals with ergonomics in mind. Their Mini Keyboard C2 is a low profile keyboard with scissor switches that offers near TKL functionality in a much smaller space while weighing less than a pound to make this a very portable keyboard.

AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 Preview

The next version of AMD's Radeon Graphics Drivers, Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2, has been released today and includes a ton of updates. An exciting new feature is Enhanced Sync, which promises tearing-free, low-latency gaming with fixed refresh rate monitors. Also included are bug fixes and many improvements to the GUI, to improve ease of use.

AMD Releases the Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 WHQL Drivers

AMD today released the latest update to their Radeon GPU drivers, the Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2. We took a detailed look at it which you can read here, and it is a fairly big update bringing a lot of added features- some of which were user requested such as additional settings and per-display color controls, and others aiming to improve user experience such as Enhanced Sync to lower game animation stutter and also input latency. There have also been improvements to ReLive streaming, as well as an addition of a new GPU Profiler tool for developers.

Note that AMD is no longer supporting Winddows 8/8.1 with newer RX 400 and 500 series (and also upcoming RX Vega). When asked about this, AMD provided the following statement: "With the declining use of Windows 8.1 we have focused our efforts on providing the best experience on the operating systems that the vast majority of our users are now using. Although we no longer officially support Windows 8.1, users can try the Windows 7 driver on an "as-is" basis."

As always, you can grab the drivers from our Downloads Section right here: AMD Crimson ReLive Edition 17.7.2 Drivers

AMD Ryzen Threadripper to Include Asetek Retention Kit in Retail Package

It seems that previous rumors of AMD bundling a water cooling solution with their premium HEDT Threadripper line of CPUs both were and weren't quite close to the mark. It appears that no, there won't be a liquid cooling solution shipped with the high-performance, high core-count processors after all - as a quick look at the leaked Threadripper retail packaging might convey due to the laws of physics and size constraints.

Even so, it seems AMD will be shipping a solution for water cooling of sorts... By including an Asetek-compatible retention kit with their retail packages of Threadripper. Asetek's designs are shipped under the company's own brand, as well as in a number of recognized, high-quality brands, such as NZXT's Kraken series, EVGA's CLC Series, and some of Corsair's coolers (such as the H100iV2 and the H115i coolers.) Though with Threadripper's IHS's giant size, it is likely that most water cooling solutions currently on the market won't have a sufficiently-sized base plate to cover the entire IHS area. Effects of this on cooling performance remain to be seen, though it probably won't improve temps.

Source: Gamer's Nexus

AMD RX Vega First Pricing Information Leaked in Sweden - "Feels Wrong"

Nordic Hardware is running a piece where they affirm their sources in the Swedish market have confirmed some retailers have already received first pricing information for AMD's upcoming RX Vega graphics cards. This preliminary pricing information places the Radeon RX Vega's price-tag at around 7,000 SEK (~$850) excluding VAT. Things take a turn towards the ugly when we take into account that this isn't even final retail price for consumers: add in VAT and the retailer's own margins, and prospective pricing is expected at about 9,000 SEK (~$1093). Pricing isn't fixed, however, as it varies between manufacturers and models (which we all know too well), and current pricing is solely a reference ballpark.

There is a possibility that the final retail prices will be different from these quoted ones, and if latest performance benchmarks are vindicated, they really should be. However, Nordic Hardware quotes their sources as saying these prices are setting a boundary for "real and final", and that the sentiment among Swedish retailers is that the pricing "Feels wrong". For reference, NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti is currently retailing at around 8,000 SEK (~971) including VAT, while the GTX 1080, which RX Vega has commonly been trading blows with, retails for around 5600 SEK (~$680) at the minimum. This should go without saying, but repare your body for the injection of a NaCl solution.

Source: Nordic Hardware

Colorful Intros iGame Z270I-WF Mini-ITX Motherboard

Colorful today rolled out the iGame Z270I-WF, a variant of the iGame Z270I motherboard featuring wireless networking. The socket LGA1151 motherboard is based on Intel Z270 Express chipset, and draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin ATX power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU using a 6-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, and the board's lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Storage options include four SATA 6 Gbps ports, and a 32 Gbps M.2 slot on the reverse side. Networking includes 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.1, and two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one driven by an Intel i219-V controller, and the other by Realtek DragonLAN (RTL81118AS) controller. USB connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port). The onboard audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC (Realtek ALC1150), with ground-layer isolation and audio-grade capacitors. The company didn't reveal pricing.

GIGABYTE Teases Aorus X399 Gaming 7 Motherboard for AMD Threadripper

GIGABYTE today teased its flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the Aorus X399 Gaming 7. This board has been extensively showcased by the company, and was part of three socket TR4 motherboards which were put up at AMD's Computex 2017 event booth. The board is being formally unveiled later today, at the "Meet the Experts" event being hosted by AMD in Los Angeles. The board packs an exhaustive feature-set, including eight DDR4 DIMM slots, five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, three M.2 slots, the company's highest-grade onboard audio solution, and an RGB LED lighting system driven by GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software.

EagleTree Capital Buys CORSAIR Majority Share in $525 Million Transaction

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance PC components, gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory, announced today that EagleTree Capital ("EagleTree"), formerly Wasserstein Partners, has reached a definitive agreement in partnership with current management to acquire a majority stake in CORSAIR from Francisco Partners and several minority shareholders. As part of the transaction, CORSAIR founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Paul will maintain a sizable equity stake in the Company and continue in his role as CEO. IMCO (Investment Management Corporation of Ontario) and the Honeywell pension are also co-investing alongside EagleTree, which is acting on behalf of its private equity fund EagleTree Partners IV.

Founded in 1994, CORSAIR has grown from a single performance memory product line into a leading global provider of high performance branded computer products, including memory, components, peripherals, and complete systems. The company's diverse portfolio of premium PC gaming products serves the high-growth PC gamer market, and the products are available through distributors and retailers in over sixty countries worldwide.

"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with EagleTree and leverage the team's consumer products expertise to further accelerate our progress," said Andy Paul, Founder and CEO of CORSAIR. "We are very fortunate to have attracted such experienced investment partners. EagleTree's backing will allow us to continue to focus first and foremost on our loyal and passionate customers, and accelerate our investment in innovation and new technology and products to enhance the quality experience that enthusiasts and gamers have come to expect from us."

Intel "Gemini Lake" Low-power Architecture Features Wider Instruction Decode

Intel "Gemini Lake," the upcoming low-power x86 CPU micro-architecture which succeeds "Apollo Lake," will feature a wider 4-way decode unit, according to WikiChip, citing an Intel kernel patch, which mentions "Goldmont Plus has 4-wide pipeline for Topdown." The unit is now 33% wider than that of the "Apollo Lake" architecture, and double that of its predecessor, "Braswell." The new "Gemini Lake" CPU cores will be part of a new lines of Celeron and Pentium "Goldmont Plus" SoCs for low-power desktops, convertible notebooks, and tablets.

Source: WikiChip (Twitter)

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results

AMD today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2017 of $1.22 billion, operating income of $25 million, and net loss of $16 million, or $(0.02) per share. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $49 million, net income was $19 million, and earnings per share was $0.02.

"Our second quarter results demonstrate strong growth driven by leadership products and focused execution," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "Our Ryzen desktop processors, Vega GPUs, and EPYC datacenter products have received tremendous industry recognition. We are very pleased with our improved financial performance, including double digit revenue growth and year-over-year gross margin expansion on the strength of our new products."

ASUS Intros the Expedition B250-V7 Motherboard for Gaming iCafes

ASUS expanded its Expedition line of high-endurance gaming PC motherboards designed for the rigors of gaming iCafes, with the socket LGA1151 Expedition B250-V7, based on the Intel B250 Express chipset. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a simple 6-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory; and a single reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Other expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (both electrical x4 and wired to the B250 PCH), and three x1 slots.

Storage connectivity is pretty basic, with just the six SATA 6 Gbps ports, as is the USB connectivity, with just six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, and two by headers), and no 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports. The only display output is an HDMI port. The onboard audio consists of a basic 8-channel HDA CODEC (Realtek ALC887, <90 dBA SNR), and the gigabit Ethernet connection is driven by an Intel i219-V controller with LANGuard (power surge protection), and GameFirst packet prioritization software. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Tuesday, July 25th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD

Acer Predator XB271HU bmiprz 144-165 Hz

The Acer Predator XB271HU is an impressive gaming monitor equipped with a 27" 1440p IPS panel that can be overclocked from its native 144 Hz to 165 Hz. Absolute smoothness of in-game action is ensured by the built-in G-Sync module, and its ultra-thin screen bezels make it as immersive as they are downright pretty to look at.

Phanteks Evolv Shift

The Phanteks Evolv Shift is one of the coolest cases we have seen so far this year. Offering a nice mix of materials, it allows you to build a potent liquid-cooled system while maintaining an extremely small footprint. GPUs of up to 350 mm in length are supported, too!

Colorful Announces the iGame GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Kudan

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, produces its flagship graphics card iGame GTX 1080 Ti Kudan in China which takes the most advanced technology into performances. Using "Jiu Duan" as name, iGame has produced one advanced flagship card each year and each GP102 chip of "Jiu Duan" has been selected from 100 chips because of its high one key overclocking frequency setting before factory.

From the first generation iGame GTX 560 Ti "Jiu Duan", this has been the 7th year to produce but 8th generation "Jiu Duan". Pursuing extreme performance, iGame officially debuts the international name for the whole series GPUs, then the 8th generation "Jiu Duan" is changed to "Kudan" , that is iGame GTX 1080 Ti Kudan.

USB 3.0 Promoter Group Announces USB 3.2 Specification

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group today announced the pending release of the USB 3.2 specification, an incremental update that defines multi-lane operation for new USB 3.2 hosts and devices. USB Developer Days 2017 will include detailed technical training covering USB 3.2, fast charging advancements in USB Power Delivery, and other exciting topics.

While USB hosts and devices were originally designed as single-lane solutions, USB Type-C cables were designed to support multi-lane operation to ensure a path for scalable performance. New USB 3.2 hosts and devices can now be designed as multi-lane solutions, allowing for up to two lanes of 5 Gbps or two lanes of 10 Gbps operation. This enables platform developers to continue advancing USB products to fit their customers' needs by effectively doubling the performance across existing cables. For example, a USB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device will now be capable of realizing over 2 GB/s data transfer performance over an existing USB Type-C cable that is certified for SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps.

"When we introduced USB Type-C to the market, we intended to assure that USB Type-C cables and connectors certified for SuperSpeed USB or SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps would, as produced, support higher performance USB as newer generations of USB 3.0 were developed," said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. "The USB 3.2 update delivers the next level of performance."

Razer Announces the Tiamat 7.1 V2 Flagship Surround-Sound Headset

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced two new headsets: Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 and Razer Tiamat 2.2 V2. The Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 is an analog, true 7.1 surround sound PC gaming headset featuring 10 discrete drivers, five per ear cup, creating an immersive soundstage, essential for pinpoint positional audio and deep gaming immersion. Each ear cup contains a 40 mm subwoofer, 30 mm front (L/R) and center drivers and 20 mm rear and side surround drivers, working together to create highly accurate directional audio.

Included with the Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 is a completely new Audio Control Unit, which allows gamers to set the volume of each audio channel as well as toggle between true 7.1 surround sound and 2.0 stereo audio. The Audio Control Unit also has a pass-through feature, allowing gamers with external desktop speaker setups to switch between their Razer Tiamat 7.1 V2 and their speakers at the press of a button.

AMD to Build "Zen 2" and "Zen 3" Processors on 7 nm Process: CTO

AMD is in no mood to stick to the 14 nm process for as long as Intel has (building four performance x86 CPU micro-architectures on it). In an interview with EE Times, AMD CTO Mark Papermaster confirmed that the company's "Zen 2" and "Zen 3" CPU micro-architectures will be built on the next-generation 7 nm silicon fab process. Transition to the 7 nm process is not as straightforward as optically shrinking your chip designs and shipping them over to your foundry. Apparently it requires big technical changes for the chip design teams, which AMD feels are better executed while it's still riding on the success of its current "Zen" architecture.

"We had to literally double our efforts across foundry and design teams…It's the toughest lift I've seen in a number of generations," said Papermaster. He added that the 7 nm node requires new "CAD tools and [changes in] the way you architect the device [and] how you connect transistors-the implementation and tools change [as well as] the IT support you need to get through it." Papermaster predicts that 7 nm will be a "long node like 28 nm" in that chip designers will have to build several refinements to their designs on the node before the newer 4 nm node could be heralded. He urged semiconductor foundry companies to introduce EUV (extreme ultra-violet lithography), a technique used to etch transistors and circuits at the infinitesimally small 7 nm node, as soon as possible, so AMD could have more options at manufacturing its next generation processors.

Source: EE Times

Kingston Server Premier DDR4 2666 RDIMMs Get Intel Purley Platform Certification

Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced its 32GB, 16GB and 8GB Server Premier DDR4-2666 Registered DIMMs have received validation on the Intel Purley Platform, featuring the Intel Xeon Scalable processor family (formerly known as "Skylake-SP"). A link to the validation page can be found here. This validation also marks the launch of Kingston's new Server Premier product line, which is focused on the latest server architectures making their debut in 2017. Kingston's new Server Premier builds on a legacy of class-leading server memory quality that target system builders, SMB and data centres with a fully locked build solution for guaranteed consistency.

Kingston's Purley-validated Server Premier modules are specifically engineered to unleash the power of Intel's new six-channel server microarchitecture, without memory frequency clock down restrictions experienced in previous platforms. At 2666MT/s - the next-generation performance frequency for DDR4 memory - each DIMM provides peak bandwidth of 21.3GB/s. When grouped for multi-channel performance, this provides a significant boost in performance for today's memory intensive server applications.

EVGA Announces the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|NGP|N

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was designed to be the most powerful desktop GPU ever created, and indeed it was. EVGA built upon its legacy of innovative cooling solutions and powerful overclocking with its GTX 1080 Ti SC2 and FTW3 graphics cards. Despite the overclocking headroom provided by the frigid cooling of EVGA's patented iCX Technology, the potential of the GTX 1080 Ti still leaves room for one more card at the top...and man is it good to be the K|NG.

Phanteks Announces the Evolv Shift and Shift X Cases

Phanteks expands upon the Evolv Series lineup with their newest cases, the Shift and Shift X. The two cases perfectly combine elegance and high level of functionality. High-quality materials underline the refined designs of the Shift and Shift X, which can be harmoniously integrated into any room.

The craftsmanship of the Evolv Shift can be seen in every detail. From efficient space utilization to innovative features, the Shift delivers a compact housing that packs plenty of power. The interior is designed to meet the demand of AIO water cooling. Due to its small footprint and versatile placement, the Shift will look impressive anywhere in your home environment or office space.

Thermaltake Announces Smart RGB Series Power Supplies

Thermaltake introduces new Smart RGB Power Supply Series (500W/600W/700W), which comes in two different input voltage settings: 100-240V full range and 230V only. The high quality line-up adopts a pre-installed 256-color RGB fan hub with 15 lighting modes (Pulse Red/ Green/ Blue/ Yellow/ Purple/ Light Blue/ White, 256 Color RGB Cycle, Solid Red/ Green/ Blue/ Yellow/ Purple/ Light Blue/ White, and a LED Off mode) for users to choose from, a built-in memory function that remembers the user's last selection.

The Smart RGB Series also includes 10 LED light bulbs to enhance the brightness, standard 80 PLUS efficiency, and an ample 5 year warranty. The application of ultra quiet 120mm fan guarantees outstanding cooling performance and silent operation, and the powerful single +12V rail assures impressive conversion efficiency and stable output. The Smart RGB Power Supply Series (500W/600W/700W) offers premium quality at an affordable price without compromising performance, and simultaneously satisfies value-oriented enthusiasts' demand for flashy-looking PCs.

AMD Radeon RX Vega Put Through 3DMark

Ahead of its July 27 unveiling at AMD's grand media event on the sidelines of SIGGRAPH, performance benchmarks of the elusive Radeon RX Vega consumer graphics card surfaced once again. Someone with access to an RX Vega sample, with its GPU clocked at 1630 MHz and memory at 945 MHz, put it through 3DMark. One can tell that it's RX Vega and not Pro Vega Frontier Edition, looking at its 8 GB video memory amount.

In three test runs, the RX Vega powered machine yielded a graphics score of 22,330 points, 22,291 points, and 20.949 points. This puts its performance either on-par or below that of the GeForce GTX 1080, but comfortably above the GTX 1070. The test-bench consisted of a Core i7-5960X processor, and graphics driver version 22.19.640.2.

Source: VideoCardz

PNY Launches the CS1311b Budget SSD

PNY Technologies considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, is proud to announce the launch of the new CS1311b solid state drives. Targeting the sweet spot of price against performance, the CS1311b SSDs are 20 times faster than traditional hard drives, promising an affordable solution to boost your PC performance without breaking the bank.

The 2.5-inch form factor SSDs weighing only 35gms and having dimensions of 100 mm (L) x 70 mm (W) x 7 mm (H), can be installed in not only almost every notebook computer and Ultrabook, but even in regular desktop PCs, thus supporting an easy performance upgrade in a very wide range of computers. The absence of moving parts not only guarantees the safety of your data against mechanical shocks, but it also means cool and quiet operation. The very low power consumption easily translates into better battery life for notebook and Ultrabook computers.

NVIDIA CEO Gives Away First Tesla V100 Accelerators to Top AI Researchers

NVIDIA CEO over the weekend, held a special event recognizing the efforts of some of the world's foremost AI researchers, and gifted each one of them the first production Tesla V100 GPU compute accelerators. Based on the company's latest "Volta" GPU architecture, the V100 features special "tensor cores," components that speed up deep-learning neural net training, which should have a significant impact on AI research as it cuts down hours or even days of neural net training in a typical project.

At the NVAIL (NVIDIA AI Labs) meetup hosted by NVIDIA, CEO Jen Hsun Huang stressed on the importance of supporting AI research. "AI is the most powerful technology force that we have ever known," said Jen Hsun, "I've seen everything. I've seen the coming and going of the client-server revolution. I've seen the coming and going of the PC revolution. Absolutely nothing compares," he said.

Source: NVIDIA Blogs

The King is Dead; Long Live the King - MS Paint's Announced Demise

To be fair, the writing was already on the wall, in a way. It was so when Microsoft announced the introduction of a UWP app called Paint 3D. Paint 3D, which supplants Paint in a number of ways, is like the 1984-introduced app's big brother. It's meaner, faster, and thinks history is all its own. But that's fine.

So yes, Paint is dying. The prognosis: death by deprecation. Paint is being put on a "deprecated" list (which means "not in active development and might be removed in future releases" for Windows 10's latest update, the Fall Creators Update, which means that it's somewhat like Schrödinger's cat: it's in a limbo of life and death. It's not really dead, no; but at the same time, it really kind of is. "Whether you're an artist or just want to try out some doodles-Paint 3D makes it easy to unleash your creativity and bring your ideas to life. Classic Paint has been reimagined, with an updated look and feel and a ton of new brushes and tools. And now, create in every dimension. Make 2D masterpieces or 3D models that you can play with from all angles," Microsoft explains. And that's all well and good; but where is my nostalgia-factor? A small sentence lends hope to the Paint defenders out there, where Microsoft says "Paint will be available through the Windows Store." Alas, even so, it seems tales of Paint's demise weren't greatly exaggerated...

Source: Microsoft

Intel Core i9-7960X 16-core/32-thread Processor Detailed, Benchmarked

Intel is preparing to tackle AMD's first Ryzen Threadripper parts with two Core "Skylake-X" HEDT socket LGA2066 processor launches in quick succession, over Q3-2017. The first one to come out will be the 12-core/24-thread Core i9-7920X; which will be closely followed by the 16-core/32-thread Core i9-7960X. The company will ultimately end 2017 with the 18-core/36-thread Core i9-7980XE. The i9-7920X, detailed in our older article, could either command a $200 premium over the $999 10-core/20-thread i9-7900X; or displace it to a slightly lower price-point (say, $800). The i9-7960X, however, could retain a premium price-point owing to performance leadership over the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, if early benchmarks are to be believed.

The Core i9-7960X is endowed with 16 cores, HyperThreading enabling 32 threads, 1 MB of L2 cache per core, and 22 MB of shared L3 cache. It features the chip's full 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, and a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface. The chip is expected to be clocked even lower than its 12-core sibling, with a nominal clock of a mere 2.50 GHz, and a yet unknown max Turbo Boost frequency. Put through Geekbench 4.1.0, the chip scored 33,672 points in the multi-threaded test, which is higher than the 27,000-ish scores we've been hearing of for the Threadripper 1950X; but a single-thread score of 5,238, which pales in comparison to that of the i7-7740X, due to the lower clock speeds, and a slightly older micro-architecture.

Source: Geekbench Database

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Retail Packaging Pictured?

AMD CEO Lisa Su, ahead of the company's grand SIGGRAPH event, unveiled what could very well be the retail packaging of the company's upcoming Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. There's a good possibility that this isn't the retail packaging, because it looks shaped like an old-school television, and could be a prop AMD is using for its SIGGRAPH booth, or it's a special packaging AMD is reserving for reviewers (the company does that with most of its flagship products).

The rounded cuboid box features a prominent window with a CRT-like convex bulge through which you can look at the large Ryzen Threadripper chip. There's minimal branding or literature on the box itself, which could indicate the presence of an outer cover. AMD is planning to launch its Ryzen Threadripper lineup with two SKUs for the retail (DIY) channel, the 12-core/24-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, and the 16-core/32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. The two parts will be accompanied by a small but growing selection of compatible socket TR4 motherboards based on the AMD X399 chipset, by industry majors such as ASUS, ASRock, and GIGABYTE. The processor is expected to be available by 9th August.

Source: Tom's Hardware

Lamptron Intros CL420 Fan + RGB LED Controller

Lamptron, the specialist in PC fan controllers, rolled out the CL420, a combination of a fan-controller, and an RGB LED lighting controller. The unit fits into a 5.25-inch drive bay, and gives you four domains, with two selectors, each - fan-speed, and color spectrum. In the fan-speed mode, you can adjust speed of up to four 4-pin PWM fans per domain. In the color mode, you turn the same knob to adjust color from across the 16.7 million-color RGB spectrum. It's not just fans, you can also directly plug in your RGB LED strips. The company didn't mention pricing, but announced that the CL420 will go on sale some time this August.
Monday, July 24th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Mouse
Mousepads
Processors
Speakers
Storage

Raijintek Paean

The Raijintek Paean is an open-air chassis that may also act as a bench table. It allows you to install not only a wide range of potent components, but also larger liquid-cooling radiators. With its interesting mix of materials consisting of a 4 mm thick midsection and glass side panels, the Paean will surely turn more than a few heads.

Gigabyte AORUS RX 580 XTR 8 GB

The AORUS RX 580 XTR is Gigabyte's highest-clocked Radeon RX 580 variant. The large overclock out of the box ensures that the card can beat the GTX 1060 6 GB. Also included is the crucial idle-fan-off feature and adjustable RGB lighting.

Western Digital Announces Four-Bits-Per-Cell (X4) Technology on 3D NAND

Western Digital Corp. today announced its successful development of four bits per cell, X4, flash memory architecture offering on 64-layer 3D NAND, BiCS3, technology. Building on its pioneering innovation of X4 for 2D NAND technology and past success in commercializing it, the company has now developed X4 for 3D NAND by leveraging its deep vertical integration capabilities. These include silicon wafer processing, device engineering to provide sixteen distinct data levels in every storage node, and system expertise for overall flash management. BiCS3 X4 technology delivers an industry-leading storage capacity of 768 gigabits on a single chip, a 50 percent increase from the prior 512 gigabit chip that was enabled with the three bits per cell (X3) architecture. Western Digital will showcase removable products and solid-state drives built with BiCS3 X4 and systems capabilities in August at the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California.

"The implementation of X4 architecture on BiCS3 is a significant development for Western Digital as it demonstrates our continued leadership in NAND flash technology, and it also enables us to offer an expanded choice of storage solutions for our customers," said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, Memory Technology, Western Digital. "The most striking aspect in today's announcement is the use of innovative techniques in the X4 architecture that allows our BiCS3 X4 to deliver performance attributes comparable to those in BiCS3 X3. The narrowing of the performance gap between the X4 and X3 architectures is an important and differentiating capability for us, and it should help drive broader market acceptance of X4 technology over the next several years."

GIGABYTE to Merge its Motherboard and Graphics Card Divisions

To better address the increasingly competitive PC hardware market, GIGABYTE is reportedly undertaking a major internal reorganization. The company is merging its PC motherboard and consumer graphics card divisions into a single division, which will be led by Eddie Lin, the current sales and marketing associate vice president of the company's Gaming Product Business Unit, and the brains behind the Aorus brand. Lin oversaw the expansion of the Aorus brand from pre-built gaming notebooks and gaming peripherals, to include DIY gaming PC components, such as motherboards and graphics cards. The company's flagship client-segment products now bear the Aorus brand.

This reorganization comes in the wake of a fall in the company's shipments of DIY gaming-grade PC components. The company shipped 900,000 fewer motherboards in 2016, than it did in 2015 (down from 17.1 million to 16.2 million). The average selling price of the company's motherboards, however, went up in the year, and the company was able to shore up its revenues slightly. With rising prices of GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD, the ASP of the company's graphics cards, has also seen an increase. Post reorganization, several of the company's motherboard executives' designations will be shuffled, and will report to Lin.

Source: DigiTimes

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 384.94 Game-Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce drivers, which enable your green-powered card to run smoothly and without issues. This latest driver release is a Game-Ready one, which aims to enable the smoothest possible experience on recently-released game titles. The focus for this 384.94 version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers was on Lawbreakers and the official release of ARK: Survival Evolved. In addition, under the "Game Ready VR" moniker, NVIDIA is also providing the "optimal gaming experience for EVE: Valkyrie's "Ultra" graphics update."

SLI profiles for ARK: Survival Evolved, IL-2: Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad and Lawbreakers were added or updated, and 3D Vision profiles were updated for "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" (Not Recommended), Lawbreakers (Fair), and ARK: Survival Evolved (Not Recommended). As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TPU. Just follow the link below, and feel free to peruse fixed and current issues after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 384.94 Game-Ready Drivers

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399 Motherboard Pictured Some More

More pictures emerge of ASUS' flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Zenith Extreme X399. Halfway between the width of a standard ATX and an E-ATX motherboard, the Zenith Extreme doesn't appear as crowded around the CPU socket as some of the other socket TR4 motherboards showed off at AMD's Computex 2016 reveal, this June. The CPU is powered by a high-current 8-phase VRM, and to preempt VRM overheating issues as seen on Intel X299 platform motherboards, ASUS deployed an active VRM cooling solution. Heat drawn by the VRM heatsink is transported to a secondary heatsink under the rear I/O shroud by a heat-pipe, which is ventilated by a 40 mm fan, which vents hot air through the rear.

The TR4 socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Interestingly, these slots are wired x16/x8/x16/x8, even though the Ryzen Threadripper processor features 64 PCI-Express lanes, according to AMD. Other expansion slots include an open-ended PCI-Express 3.0 x4, and an x1 slot. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 4-pin Molex input. Storage includes four 32 Gb/s M.2 slots (two under the detachable chipset heatsink cover, and the other through the included DIMM.2 accessory), a 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. The metallic chipset heatsink cover features thermal padding, so it can draw heat from at least one stacked M.2 SSD.

Riotoro Intros the Ghostwriter Classic Gaming Keyboard

Riotoro today introduced the Ghostwriter Classic gaming keyboard. Built with a conventional layout, with a 104-keyset, the keyboard features low-noise membrane switches, and although it appears like the keyboard features a standard 16.7 million color RGB LED loadout, it only supports 8 colors, and 4 brightness levels; which can be selected on the keyboard. Besides media hotkeys and macros, the keyboard features a rotary volume control wheel, and a detachable palm-rest. Its electronics enable full n-key rollover, and 100% anti-ghosting. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Reported Intel i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core Lineup Leaked

After a CPU-Z screenshot leaked of Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake hexa-core CPUs, which look to bring the fight to AMD's Ryzen, this time there are leaks of three different Intel 6-core processors. The previous CPU-Z screenshot apparently pointed towards Intel's upcoming 8700K six-core processor, with a base clock of 3.5 GHz and a boost clock of 4.3 GHz. The BCLK of the CPU was set at 100 MHz with a TDP of 80W.

In the new leak, the i7-8700K seems to have received a speed bump and accompanying TDP increase. It now sits at a reported 3.7 GHz base clock, 4 GHz boost for four and six cores, 4.2 GHz for dual-core workloads, and 4.3 GHz for single-core workloads under a 95 W TDP. The second leaked six-core processor still sits at that 95 W TDP, but has much lower core clocks than the purported 8700K: a 3.2 GHz base clock with 3.4 GHz boost for four and six cores, and a 3.6 GHz boost for one or two-core workloads. Both of these appear to be unlocked, overclockable chips (IA Overclock capable.) The last CPU in this leaked info is a 65 W chip whose clocks seem a little out of the other's league. It has a lower base clock of 3.1 GHz, granted, but a four and six core turbo up to 3.9 GHz. Dual core boost stands at 4.1 GHz, while single-core workloads see Turbo taking the ship up to 4.2 GHz. The lower base clocks and increased Turbo speeds mean that this is likely an i7 T series chip. Naturally, you should take this information with a bucket of salt.

Sources: ETeknix 8700K CPU-Z Leak, ETeknix Coffee Lake Chips

Dell Announces Availability of Its UltraSharp U3818DW Monitor

Dell has just announced immediate retail availability of their new UltraSharp U3818DW monitor. As the model name might suggest, we're looking at a 37.5" panel. It features a 3840 x 1600 resolution (which isn't that common to begin with), and supports a USB Type-C input (via DP 1.2 alternate mode.) Sadly for the gamer side of every one of us TPU users, Dell is positioning the U3818DW as a business-class monitor - it gets professional-market oriented features, such as an anti-glare coating, but loses support for AMD's FreeSync or NVIDIA's G-SYNC, which is a shame.

The panel is an 8-bit + FRC IPS solution, a 24:10 aspect ratio, 2300R curvature, and 1.07 billion colors. The panel is manufactured by LG, and if you fancy its size, curvature and resolution but fancy some gamer-oriented features, you can look towards LG's 38UC99 and Acer's XR382CQK, which both use the same panel but include FreeSync support. Refresh rate on the Dell UltraSharp U3818DW is locked at 60 Hz; it features a 5 ms gray-to-gray response time, and maximum brightness is set at 350 cd/m². Inputs range through 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, and 1x USB 3.0 Type-C. The U3818DW also features a 4x USB 3.0 hub with support for 4x USB-A. Each screen is sRGB-calibrated to Delta E < 2 accuracy, and the monitor also technically supports the DCI-P3 color gamut, but only covers 78.1% of it. Dell's UltraSharp U3118DW is now available directly from Dell for $1500.

Source: AnandTech

Corsair Announces New Color Option for Their RMx Line of PSUs - Now In White

Adding to the color options available for your own rig's color profile (without you having to do the paint job yourself,) Corsair has now announced a white version of their popular RMx series of PSUs. The new additions to the RMx line-up come in a glacier white color scheme with black accents (almost a negative of their previously released RMx series coloring.) Corsair went out of its way and made it so that even the cable's sleeving (which keeps its RMx-known modularity) is in this white color scheme as well, so you can rest easy that no part of your rig - not even the cables - will stand out against your color scheme - at least where Corsair is concerned.

Turtle Beach Announces Availability of New 'Elite Pro - PC Edition' Headset

In its ongoing commitment to elite players on every platform, leading gaming headset and audio accessory maker Turtle Beach Corporation (NASDAQ: HEAR) today announced the global availability of the all-new Elite Pro-PC Edition. This new headset is a key expansion that brings PC gamers into the groundbreaking line-up of Elite Pro Tournament Gaming Headsets.

"PC gaming continues to be one of the most competitive and demanding segments in all of Esports," said Juergen Stark, CEO, Turtle Beach Corporation. "The Elite Pro represents the pinnacle of our design and engineering efforts and we could not be happier to have PC players now able to compete and win in all their gaming endeavors using our new Elite Pro - PC Edition."
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