Sunday, February 26th 2017

ASRock Announces Motherboards for AMD Ryzen Processors

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is pleased to announce the launch of its series of AMD AM4 socket based X370 and B350 motherboards - celebrating AMD's return to the CPU arena with the all-new, high-performance Ryzen processor. ASRock has created distinctive X370 motherboards to match all your needs, with unique features and a full range of products for gamers, power users, tech geeks and even DIY beginners.

Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming: The world's first AMD X370 motherboard with ultra-fast 5 Gb/s LAN support, ASRock's Fatal1ty X370 Professional Gaming motherboard is endorsed by professional gaming legend, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel. The built-in Aquantia 5Gb/s LAN is no need to upgrade cables - just plug in existing Cat 5e cables with 5 Gb/s switching hub, and you can instantly get 5x more network capacity. The IR digital PWM 16 phase power supply design ensures rock solid stability and consistent performance, even with power-hungry loading scenarios. ASRock's signature PCI-E Steel Slots feature extra enhanced quality that prevent signal interference affecting graphics cards, ensuring glitch-free gaming and heavy graphics cards to be well installed. Key on-board features include 802.11ac WiFi, and the gamer's must-have audio solution, Creative SoundBlaster Cinema 3, to enhance gaming sound with stunning audio realism, intuitive positional accuracy, punch and dynamics.

Following Ryzen's Launch, Intel's CPUs Likely to See Price-Cuts

Let's quietly approach the elephant in the room: Intel's pricing structure will hardly stand the onslaught of AMD's Ryzen, which, if early benchmarks are to be believed, has apparently caught Intel with its pants down. Even purely from the leaks that have been following us non-stop in the last several months, it's obvious that AMD managed to outdo itself in the best way possible, managing to develop an architecture which offers up to 52% more performance than their previous one. Intel, which was enjoying the sun-shaded comfort of carrying a virtual, high-performance x86 monopoly, grew stagnant in innovation, ensuring it would stretch its bottom-line by way of minimal R&D investment - just enough to be able to name their improvements as a "new generation" of processors each year.

This in turn has led to an interesting outlook in the high-performance x86 market: customers aren't blind, and they see when a company is stretching its fingers in their pockets. A stagnant performance increase on Intel's customer processors with almost a decade of single-digit increments and paralyzed core-counts to an (admittedly strong) architecture have taken away a lot of customers' goodwill towards Intel. That Intel still has strong brand cognition is a no-brainer, but it doesn't have as much brand credit these days, on account of the low performance gains, and tick-tock falter, than it did in the days of Athlon 64. AMD has the benefit of being the underdog, of coming up with something new, fresh and performant (with headlines claiming it is the latest revival of a sleeping giant)... and those are all points that put pressure on Intel to reignite interest on its products.
Saturday, February 25th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD

Synology Announces Official Release of DiskStation Manager 6.1

Synology Inc. today announced the official release of DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.1 and comprehensive packages, delivering a more secure, productive, and unified NAS experience. The award-winning DSM is constantly evolving to help businesses tackle new challenges. This time, it delivers better IT efficiency with Active Directory Server, enhances performance with instant SMB server-side copy, ensures reliability with file self-healing, provides stability and security enhancements, and more.

"The release of DSM 6.1 is another major leap on the advanced NAS operating system in terms of security and productivity. The newly introduced features help Synology NAS serve as your office's all-in-one server and become a central piece of your IT strategy," said Vic Hsu, CEO of Synology Inc.

Mad Catz Ships Tritton ARK 100 Wired 7.1 Headset for PC

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., a global provider of innovative entertainment products, today announced that it has commenced shipment of its new Tritton ARK 100 Wired 7.1 Headset for PC to its retail customers. Connecting via USB, the ARK 100 for PC features advanced audio customization software, which places the gamer center stage and fully in control of the audio environment. The 7.1 surround sound is delivered through 60 mm and 10 mm drivers in each earcan, providing a full 360 degrees of positional awareness, while a boom microphone with dual chat mic system works to cancel out background noise and improve the clarity of the player's voice and communications with teammates and other players.

"The ARK 100 for PC raises the bar for PC gaming headset audio quality, durability and comfort," said Andrew Young, Chief Technology Officer at Mad Catz. "Whether it be the unique comfort resulting from Audionomics, the superior audio performance of R:Drive, or the customizability provided by Kameleon lighting, the ARK 100 for PC is designed to deliver the comfort, audio quality and customization that PC gamers seek for optimum performance and gameplay enjoyment."

ZOTAC Intros Low-profile GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 Graphics Cards

ZOTAC today introduced a pair of low-profile graphics cards based on the GeForce GTX 1050 series, the GTX 1050 Ti LP (model: ZT-P10510E-10L), and the GTX 1050 LP (model: ZT-P10500E-10L). The two cards are based on a common board design, with a half-height 14.4 cm long PCB, and a 2-slot thick cooling solution that features a chunky aluminium mono-block heatsink that's ventilated by a pair of 40 mm fans. Both cards rely on the PCI-Express bus for power, stick to NVIDIA reference clock speeds, and feature the same display outputs - one each of Displayport 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, and dual-link DVI. Low-profile I/O brackets come included. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Unveils the TinkerBoard to Rival Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison

As the world's number one PC motherboard manufacturer by volume, it would be a shame if ASUS didn't pander to the budding engineers and electronics hobbyists among you with a product that rivals the Raspberry Pi and Intel Edison. That product is the TinkerBoard, a card-sized single-board computer with a ton of I/O, including support for 4K Ultra HD displays. At the heart of this board is a Rockchip RK3288 SoC, which embeds a 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 CPU, and a Mali T764 GPU. This chip is topped off by 2 GB of dual-channel memory. The most prominent Raspberry Pi competitor to this board is the Pi 3 Model B, with its 64-bit Broadcom BCM2837 chip, and a starting price of just $35.

Other features of the TinkerBoard include a GPIO that rivals Raspberry Pi, 4K Ultra HD H.264 video decode capability, gigabit Ethernet, SDIO 3.0, 24-bit/192 kHz HD audio, and a swappable antenna for its 802.11 b/g/n WLAN. While the specifications check out well in favor of the TinkerBoard, it all comes down to pricing. Hobbyists working on robotics projects, for example, purchase Raspberries Pi by the dozens thanks to their low price. ASUS should do well to keep that in mind when pricing this board.

The Power of Marketing - AMD's Ryzen Hype Train Hyperloops On

AMD did it again: building-up such a tremendous speed on its new products' hype train that the Ryzen 7 1700X, Ryzen 7 1800X, and Ryzen 7 1700 managed to jump straight to first, second, and fourth spots of Amazon's list of best-selling CPUs, respectively, dethroning even Intel's mighty i7 7700K. Granted, it isn't hard for the processors from one or the other manufacturer to quickly jump and wrangle about the spots on retailer's best seller lists - there Are only two manufacturers of consumer-grade, high-performance x86 CPUs. But keep in mind: this is a pre-order we're talking about, with nothing but leaks and marketing maneuvering for consumers to base their purchase on.
Friday, February 24th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD

Scythe Kabuto 3

Scythe is looking to slice through the competition like a samurai on horseback with the Kabuto 3. Utilizing a top-flow design that's more compact than similar offerings, it delivers excellent noise levels paired with a good price/performance ratio and simple installation.

Oculus Faces Potential Legal Injunction Over Zenimax VR Code Used in its Products

Earlier this month, Zenimax was awarded $500m when a jury found that VR pioneer Oculus had violated a NDA and illegally used code from the game publisher. That may just be the beginning of the legal ramifications facing Oculus however, as Zenimax has just asked the court to block Oculus from using the code involved in the court case altogether, potentially blocking the sale of a good number of games utilizing the technology of the Oculus VR headset.

Oculus is appealing the case, and calls the prior ruling "legally flawed and factually unwarranted." To their credit, the court did agree that while Oculus had violated a non-disclosure agreement, it did not find that they had committed the larger crime of stealing trade secrets.

AMD's X370 Only Chipset to Support NVIDIA's SLI

Only AMD's top-of-the-line X370 chipset will support competing NVIDIA's SLI technology. AMD's next-in-line B350 eschews SLI support but retains CrossFire compatibility, while the low-end A320 chipset will offer no support for any such multi-GPU technologies. While this may seem a move by AMD to purposely gimp NVIDIA products on its platforms, it stands to reason that even enthusiasts tend to stay away from multi-GPU solutions and their associated problems. Besides, AMD will surely avoid any way of giving NVIDIA more funds than the company already has, by way of paying the "SLI Tax" on every chipset it ships. By limiting SLI support to its highest-end chipsets, AMD shaves some expenses from licensing efforts, whilst keeping SLI support to those that are, in truth, more likely to use them: power users, who will certainly spare no expense in springing to a X370-based platform.

As of now, some details remain unclear in the overall feature-set and compatibility differences between AMD's upcoming AM4 chipsets, but it would seem that only AMD's X370 chipset manages to leverage the full 20 PCIe lanes (18x if you run 2x SATA connections) delivered by AMD's Ryzen CPUs. This would look like a way for AMD to impose a "motherboard tax" on users, by limiting the number of PCIe lanes available on lower-end motherboards, and thus urging them to take the next step to their own X370. Apparently, PCIe lanes are not a differentiating factor between AMD chipsets (with X370, B350 and A320 all offering 4 native lanes), only their ability to access (or not) Ryzen's own 20.

Not much time until all of this is adequately cleared up, though.

Source: Computerbase.de

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 378.77 Hotfix Drivers

NVIDIA today released a hotfix version of its GeForce driver suite. Numbered the 378.77, these fix some issues with the previous driver release, numbered 378.66. Solved issues include driver installation errors for laptops with GeForce GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti GPUs, crashes in Minecraft and some other Java-based titles, and resolving 'Debug Mode' as default option on Pascal based GPUs.

This driver release contains all previous improvements, including an optimized experience for Sniper Elite 4, For Honor and Halo Wars 2, whilst also introducing support for NVIDIA's Video SDK 8.0, which provides support for high-bit-depth (10/12-bit) hardware accelerated video decoding of VP9 and HEVC. You can, as always, grab these hot-from-the-coding-gods drivers from the link below, right here on TPU.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 378.77 Hotfix Drivers

ASUS Announces Availability of the Designo Curve MX34VQ With Qi Charging

After announcing it on mid-2016, ASUS is finally coming through with its announcement of a unique take on the widescreen monitor department. Dubbed the Designo Curve, the MX34QV stays true to the design implied in its name, presenting an interesting mix of straight lines and a nicely curved, organic base, which incidentally supports wireless Qi charging. I find the aesthetics on this monitor pleasing and subdued, even though some liberties have been taken with that exquisite Qi charging base, which lights up in a cool blue lighting.

Spire Announces the Archer 9 Vertical Ergonomic Mouse

Spire is pleased to introduce the arrival of the new Archer 9 left handed vertical ergonomic mice. The Archer series by Spire are ergonomic mice that allow your hand, arm and shoulder to be placed in a more human likely and natural position. The vertical design provides better provision to reduce wrist or elbow pain that can come from twisting your arm when using traditional mice.

The latest addition to the Archer series is model 9 which offer support to left handed users. Featuring two ergonomic buttons that are located conveniently on the side of the mouse allowing seamless back and forth browsing. Accomplish higher precision with your choice of adjustable DPI levels. Simply switch between 3 different DPI levels, ranging from 800DPI (green led color),1600DPI (blue led color) to 2400DPI (red led color). The handy DPI button lets you switch between the various tasks you partake in throughout the day.

TechPowerUp Announces TPUCapture v2.0

TPUCapture is our gift to the PC enthusiast community. This nifty little screenshot utility lets you directly upload screenshots to our Free Image Hosting service, and gives out direct sharing links, along with Forums BBCode. We have given it its first major update in years. The new TPUCapture v2.0 is packed to the brim with new features, including support for HiDPI (high pixel-density) displays, in which the OS is upscaling your desktop for clearer fonts. You can now save in three JPEG quality presets, GIF, and lossless PNG formats. You can also tell us if you want us to delete your uploaded image after a specified amount of time. As always, TPUCapture lets you capture select areas of the screen, active windows, or the entire screen. It also lets you highlight portions of your screenshot. Grab TPUCapture from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp TPUCapture v2.0

COLORFUL Introduces iGameGTX1080 X-TOP-8G Advanced

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, announces it latest addition to the iGame family of graphics cards with the powerful iGameGTX1080 X-TOP-8G graphics card that is sure to deliver everything gamers ever wanted. Featuring Colorful's unique, in-house designed Silver Shark cooler, the Colorful iGameGTX1080 X-TOP-8G Advanced delivers unhindered performance so you enjoy the latest and greatest games in 4K Ultra HD or in virtual reality all while enjoying the cool and quiet cooling that only Colorful can bring.

The Colorful iGameGTX1080 X-TOP-8G Advanced features a factory overclocked core frequency of up to 1890Mhz on its 2560 CUDA cores. The 8GB GDD5X memory has a bandwidth of 10Gbps and is wired to a 256-bit bus. The card fully supports DX12 and draws power from two 8-pin power connectors. iGame signature features highlight this release with an 8+2 phase digital power supply via iGame Pure Power (IPP). Improved build quality with Colorful's Silver Plating Technology ensure high-level of performance even with extreme loads.

Team Group Introduces its Fastest SSD for Gamers with T-FORCE CARDEA M.2

Team Group, the world's leading memory brand, today officially announces the launch of its fastest storage solution designed for gamers with the introduction of the T-FORCE CARDEA M.2 solid-state drive. The T-Force CARDEA M.2 SSD utilizes x4 PCIE 3.0 for up to 2600MB/s read speeds along with NVMe and TRIM support. The custom-made T-FORCE cooling module enhances looks as well as endurance for continuous high-intensity usage. This combination of high-speed data transfer, aggressive looks and effective cooling makes the T-FORCE CARDEA the perfect upgrade for gamers who want the best for their system.

Named after the Goddess of Storm, the T-FORCE CARDEA utilizes new-generation PCIE Gen3 x4 to breakneck 2600 MB/s read and 1450 MB/s write sequential performance and with up to 180K/140K IOPS in random read/write operations. The T-FORCE CARDEA's speed brings fast boot-up along with a responsive operating system that loads games and application faster for a smoother experience with reduced loading time.

AMD "Zen" Based APUs Later This Year

An AMD representative, responding to a Reddit question on AMD Ryzen branding, confirmed that the company will launch Mobile SoCs (APUs) based on the "Zen" micro-architecture later this year. The logical next-step for AMD with "Zen" beyond "Summit Ridge" has been to combine one or more quad-core "Zen" CCX (CPU complexes) with an integrated graphics core based on one of its newer GPU architectures ("Polaris" or "Vega").

The AMD representative confirmed that the company will launch mobile SoCs that combine "Zen" CPU cores with an integrated GPU, in the second half of 2017. This could hint at the availability of "Zen" powered notebooks, of all shapes and sizes by Holiday 2017. Over the year, AMD will begin launching "Zen" based products, starting off with 8-core high-end Ryzen 7 processors on March 2nd, six-core and some of the higher-end quad-core Ryzen 5 series processors in Q2-2017, and some of the lower-end quad-core Ryzen 3 parts in the second-half of 2017, now joined by mobile SoCs around the same time.

Source: Reddit
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

EU Still Concerned about Windows 10 User Privacy

Despite Microsoft announcing changes recently to the Windows 10 installation process, Europe's biggest privacy watchdogs remain unconvinced.

A group comprised of the EU's 28 authorities responsible for enforcing the data protection law, known as the "Article 29 Working Party," asked Microsoft earlier last year to clarify how they process and handle data for various purposes, including advertising.

Of New Horizons and Zen: The Story of the Name "Ryzen" for AMD's New Processors

AMD's Ryzen CPU has been a hot topic as of late, and certainly looks set to shake up the CPU world as we know it; however, it wasn't that long ago that we weren't calling it "Ryzen" at all, but merely referring to it by its codename, "Zen." What happened to that?

The "Zen" name was quite popular, and AMD claims to have made the name choice to emphasize the balance it struck between various design principles. It resonated with many enthusiasts to be sure. It was a far cry more popular than the line of "construction equipment" themed code-names that preceded it (though whether that had to do with actual performance of those products or their naming scheme itself is certainly up for debate).

Regardless, there is no denying the "Zen" name was well entrenched and already had its own level of pride built up around itself, so why dump it?

AMD Radeon Vega Power Connectors Pictured

At its first reveal of the Radeon Vega graphics card on the sidelines of the 2017 International CES show, AMD was careful to conceal the power-connectors of its graphics card prototype (using tissue paper), even though teaser images of the card were splattered all over the web. From this week's reveal of a Radeon Vega graphics card running on an AMD Ryzen 7-1800X powered machine, the veil is off the power connector layout. Apparently, AMD's reference design Radeon Vega 10 graphics card is air-cooled, and it draws power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 (reference) makes do with a single 8-pin connector, although most custom-design GTX 1080 cards feature 6-pin + 8-pin layouts. The GP102-powered TITAN X Pascal reference, too, draws power from 6+8 pin connectors. It's interesting to note here, that the power connectors feature a string of LEDs near their contact points on the PCB. The Radeon R9 Fury X, too has something like this, although the LEDs are used to alert users of faulty power input, or power draw. In the image below, we see that LEDs over only one connector are lit up. Could this indicate that AMD is making sure users are aware that the card isn't drawing power from both connectors all the time?

Source: ComputerBase

Razer Releases Power Bank Smart Charge Mobile Accessory

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced availability for its Razer Power Bank smart charge accessory. The Razer Power Bank is optimized to work with the Razer Blade Stealth 12.5-inch laptop to extend battery life past 15 hours. The Blade Stealth is Razer's most awarded laptop design for its combination of best-in-class displays, mobility, portability and value. Designers, professionals and other creatives who need more pixels can upgrade to a 4K IGZO touch display for 100 percent Adobe RGB color saturation.

Razer's Power Bank is also compatible with additional USB-C powered laptops for absolute convenience. Users can also connect a wide array of mobile devices with dual USB-A ports and a USB-C port for charging up to three mobile devices simultaneously. Equipped with a large 12,800 mAh capacity battery, the Razer Power Bank is an ideal traveling companion for all mobile power needs.

EK Releases Monoblock for ASUS Maximus IX Hero

EK Water Blocks, the world renowned premium liquid cooling manufacturer, is proud to release their monoblock liquid cooling solution for the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero motherboard. The EK-FB ASUS M9H is first in the line of monoblocks for socket 1151 ASUS Z270 chipset motherboards. EK-FB ASUS M9H Monoblock is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the new Intel Z270 Express Chipset LGA1151 ASUS ROG Maximus IX motherboard that supports the latest 7th generation and 6th generation Intel Core Processors as well.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools Intel LGA-1151 socket type CPU, as well as the power regulation (MOSFET) module. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas, providing the enthusiasts with a great solution for high and stable overclocks. Like with every EK monoblock, EK-FB ASUS M9H features high flow design and this monoblock can be easily used with the system using a weaker water pump as well.

BYKSKI Announces the XPR-A CPU Water Block for AMD Ryzen

BYKSKI, known as one of the biggest water block provider in China, today released XPR-A water block for the latest AMD Ryzen CPU. The Ryzen CPUs are used Socket AM4, and the mounting holes position is different from old AMD Sockets (3mm deviation, hole spacing of Socket AM4 is 90mm*54mm). The BYKSKI XPR-A uses a piece of 83mm*83mm*6mm red copper to CNC, with Nickel plating for the anti-oxidation treatment, it makes the appearance of the water blocks to be not the copper color but satin nickel color. The cover uses lucid PMMA material to make it visible of the coolant working.

BYKSKI says they will provide more Socket AM4 support water blocks in the future because of the Ryzen CPUs are favored by users. The retail price of the BYKSKI XPR-A is set at $69 USD, it will be available both in BYKSKI China official store.

Cooler Master Intros MasterLiquid 120 and 240 CPU Coolers with Low-profile Pumps

Cooler Master, a leader in computer components and peripherals, announces the MasterLiquid 120 and 240. The MasterLiquid 120 and 240 are designed with next-gen low-profile Dual Chamber pump that separates incoming and outgoing coolant to strike the perfect balance of performance and noise-level. Both models are fully compatible with the latest platforms such as AM4 socket and Kaby Lake for added piece of mind for future upgrades.

Both models feature Dual Layer Tubing with inner FEP tubing and outer sleeve tubing, more durability and they are aesthetically pleasing for anyone looking to perfect their build. MasterFan Air Balance is also included to complement the lower noise-level design. Just like all our All-in-One liquid coolers, the MasterLiquid 120 and 240 require no further maintenance once installed.

FSP Group Announces Its Latest Transparent Chassis Cover the CMT210

FSP Group today announced the release of the CMT210, a transparent chassis design that allows gamers to see all their computer's critical components at a glance. The chassis addresses the three main requirements that gamers have when building a PC, namely high cooling capability, easy expansion, and compatibility. The CMT210's tranquil appearance showcases FSP's unique droplet-shaped cooling-hole design, capable of holding 360 mm of water in its cooling system and features FSP's custom-designed paragliding electric fan, which achieves a high cooling effect.

The spacious interior layout allows for the installation of three groups of 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch personal storage devices, with seven groups of PCI-E multiple graphics card slots for high scalability. The layout also takes into account potential size differences between the chassis and key components which may not have matching measurements, such as the ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, as well as other mainstream motherboards. Moreover, the high cooling tower and high-end long graphics card can be made perfectly compatible.

Ryzen 7-1700 Beats Core i7-7700K: AMD

AMD is very confident that it has a lineup of desktop processors that compete with Intel's best. In its recent Ryzen 7 series launch presentation, the company released benchmark numbers to claim that the $499 Ryzen 7-1800X performs on par with the $1,099 Core i7-6900K, despite a narrower memory bus, and at less than half its price.

More interestingly, the company claims that the Ryzen 7-1700, its third fastest Ryzen part, will be a clear winner against the identically-priced Core i7-7700K ($329). The Ryzen 7-1700 posts up to 46% higher performance than the i7-7700K, and even holds up a slim lead over its rival in tests that are not very multi-threaded.

AMD Ryzen 5 Six-Core Processors to Launch in Q2-2017

AMD plans to launch six-core variants of its upcoming Ryzen processors in the second quarter of 2017 (April-June). This would mean that on March 2nd, you will be able to choose from only the top-tier eight-core Ryzen 7 series parts. The more cost-effective Ryzen 3 series will launch in the second half of 2017 (after June). Priced at $329, $399, and $499, the Ryzen 7-1800X, 1700X, and 1700 will likely cater to the high-end market, as they are priced either on par or greater than Intel Core i7-7700K. The 1700X and 1800X, according to AMD, even compete with Intel's larger HEDT Core i7 socket LGA2011v3 parts. Our older article, which deals with the pricing of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series SKUs, reveals that some of these parts, such as the Ryzen 5-1600X offer very compelling value propositions at their price-points.

NVIDIA Counts Down to GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Launch

NVIDIA's GeForce.com website today was updated to greet us with a curious-looking countdown to evening, February 28. The countdown goes with the caption "It's Almost Time," with "Ti" in bold lettering. This just about confirms launch of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, NVIDIA's next high-end graphics card based on the same "GP102" silicon as the TITAN X Pascal. It remains to be seen if the company endows the SKU with more CUDA cores than the TITAN X Pascal, or less. A lot will depend on what NVIDIA's product managers learned about AMD's upcoming Radeon Vega.

AMD Ends Windows 8.1 32-bit Support with Latest Radeon Software Release

With its latest Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.2.1 drivers, AMD decided to stop releasing regular WHQL-signed drivers for the 32-bit version of the Windows 8.1 operating system. At first we thought AMD's web-admins accidentally missed publishing the driver (so we could post it on our Downloads section). When we got in touch with AMD, we were told that the company doesn't have new drivers for 32-bit Windows 8.1. We were even told that it's because nobody cares about 32-bit Windows 8.1 anymore, citing extremely low download numbers.

Apparently, AMD is cutting down costs and time for its driver development team by discarding operating systems and architectures that only a few people use. It was first to dump Windows XP support, and support for Windows 8 (in favor of Windows 8.1). While the company does provide 64-bit Windows 8.1 WHQL drivers as regularly as its popular Windows 7 and Windows 10 ones; it is skipping support for 32-bit Windows 8.1 going forward. The company will not release any new Windows 8.1 32-bit drivers anymore. One way out of this is to upgrade to Windows 10 while you still can. Updating to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 is pretty smooth, and maybe you can consider an upgrade to 64-bit, since most new AAA games are limited to 64-bit only.
Wednesday, February 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs

TerraMaster F2-220 2-Bay NAS

The TerraMaster F2-220 is an affordable two-bay NAS featuring good performance and nice looks thanks to its aluminum enclosure. This Intel Dual-Core powered storage system uses Linux under the hood and is very energy-efficient with only 12 W power consumed in idle.

CyberPowerPC Debuts AMD Ryzen Series of Fully-Customizable Gaming Enthusiast Rigs

CyberPower Inc., a global manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, gaming laptops, and performance workstations, today announced the pre-sale of a new series of enthusiastic gaming PCs based on the AMD Ryzen CPU and AM4 platform, which features advanced overclocking and more PCI Express lanes for handling high-bandwidth, immersive computing.

CyberPowerPC Ryzen based gaming PCs come in a multitude of flavors and offerings, including a Virtual Reality-ready system, refreshes to its current award winning Gamer Dragon, as well as high performance machines in the new Gamer Master Series and Hyper Liquid series. All Ryzen equipped systems will be fully customizable.

Pricing of Entire AMD Ryzen Lineup Revealed

AMD Wednesday launched its much awaited Ryzen performance desktop processor lineup with three top 8-core models, the Ryzen 7-1800X priced at USD $499, followed by the Ryzen 7-1700X at $399, and the Ryzen 7-1700 at $329. You're probably curious as to the rest of the lineup, especially the cheaper six-core SMT-enabled parts. Here they are. The Ryzen 5-1600X is designed to lure buyers away from the Core i5-7600K, and probably even the i7-7700K. This six-core chip with SMT, which enables 12 logical CPUs for your software to deal with, is endowed with the full 16 MB of L3 cache, and is not only unlocked, but also features the XFR (extended frequency range) technology. It's clocked at 3.60 GHz, with 4.00 GHz TurboCore. The Ryzen 5-1600X is priced at $259, and is sure to draw some attention.

Next up, is the Ryzen 5-1500. This 6-core/12-thread chip lacks XFR, but is still unlocked, ticks at 3.20 GHz with 3.50 GHz TurboCore, and features the full 16 MB of L3 cache. At $229, and with a TDP of 65W, this chip is sure to disrupt Intel's "Kaby Lake" Core i5 lineup. The quad-core Ryzen lineup is built by disabling one of the two 4-core CCX complexes on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, and feature 8 MB of L3 cache. The lineup is led by the $199 Ryzen 5-1400X. This quad-core chip ticks at 3.50 GHz, with 3.90 GHz TurboCore, and features XFR and SMT, which enables 8 threads. Next up, is the quad-core Ryzen 5-1300, priced at $175, with the Core i3-7350K in its crosshairs, clocked at 3.20 GHz and 3.50 GHz Turbo. At the bottom of the pile is the Ryzen 3 quad-core lineup, which lack SMT. The Ryzen 3-1200X is priced at just $149, but you get 3.40 GHz clocks with 3.80 GHz Turbo, and XFR, and 8 MB of L3 cache. The cheapest Ryzen chip is just $129. The Ryzen 3-1200 lacks XFR, but gives you 3.20 GHz clocks with 3.50 GHz Turbo.

Source: OCaholic

Shuttle XPCs Now Available with Kaby Lake Support

The new year now heralds the arrival of the 7th generation of the Intel Core processors at Shuttle. The first chips for the mobile segment appeared under the code name Kaby Lake back in the autumn of last year. The desktop version is now hitting the market in the first quarter of 2017. What Kaby Lake means for users is primarily more graphics performance coupled with lower power consumption. A BIOS update is required to make current Shuttle XPC Barebones compatible. An XPC with an LGA 1151 socket is also essential.
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