Friday, July 28th 2017

Team Group T-Force Night Hawk RGB DDR4

Team Group added some new sticks to their fleet from the T-Force product line, the Night Hawk RGB. Team Group's Night Hawk RGB sticks take everything the normal Night Hawk sticks have and make it better, and there is RGB.

Western Digital, SanDisk Shipping 3D NAND Blue and Ultra SSDs

Western Digital and SanDisk have updated their Blue and Ultra line of consumer SSDs with the latest 3D BiCS FLASH NAND technology. Capacities will range from 250 GB capacities through 500 GB and up to 1TB at launch, with a 2 TB SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD "coming soon." The hardware powering each drive is exactly the same, save for the difference in available storage: the controller used is a Marvell 88SS1074, protocol is SATA 6Gbps / AHCI, and even warranty stays the same through all WD and SanDisk models, at three-years (limited.)

The WD Blue line of SSDs will be available in both 2.5" and M.2 2280 single-sided models. Sequential read speed starts at 550 MB/s for both WD Blue 250 GB and SanDisk Ultra 3D, with sequential write speeds at a rated 525 MB/s and read/write IOPS being set at 95,000/81,000 respectively. All other (higher) capacities deliver slightly more performance: 560 MB/s sequential read speeds, 530 MB/s sequential writes, 95,000 random read IOPS, and 84,000 random write IOPS. Pricing is as follows: WD Blue 3D 250 GB ($89); Blue 3D 500 GB ($149.99), Blue 3D 1 TB ($279.99); SanDisk Ultra 3D 250 GB ($99.99), Ultra 3D 500 GB ($164.99), Ultra 3D 1TB ($279.99) and Ultra 3D 2TB ($549.99, currently unavailable.)

Source: Tom's Hardware

AMD Begins Offering Wraith Max Cooler Through Retail Channels - $59

AMD has announced full and immediate retail availability of their Wraith Max cooler through retail channels. The 140 W TDP Wraith Max cooler was previously only available through a bundle with AMD's top of the line Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X. However, through popular demand, AMD have decided to make that cooler available solo. Ease of installation through AMD's Spring-Screw mechanism, jolly good looks, LED lighting, relatively silent performance (38 dBa) and respectable performance seem to have been enough to convince AMD users.

The Wraith Max cooler is compatible with AMD AM4, AM3+, and FM2 motherboards. The RGB ring's color can be customized through a myriad of RGB control apps from various manufacturers, such as Asus' Aura Sync, Gigabyte's RGB Fusion, MSI's Mystic Light, Biostar's Vivid LED DJ, and ASRock's RGB LED tools. AMD also offers the AMD Wraith Max RGB lighting control software (powered by Cooler Master) as a free download. The Wraith Max comes with both a USB header cable and an RGB LED header to control the lighting feature. A copper base plate and heatpipes, along with pre-applied thermal paste and a 92mm Cooler Master fan. The down-blowing fan also provides an extra bit of cooling for the socket area and VRMs. Perhaps the $59 price-tag will turn some prospective buyers off, but still, this remains the best stock cooler option in the market, and for someone who wants to keep an AMD cooling identity, is the best available option.

Sources: Tom's Hardware, Relaxed Tech, Reddit

MSI AM4 Motherboards Are Ryzen 3 Ready

MSI B350/A320 GAMING AND PRO SERIES MOTHERBOARDS FULLY SUPPORT THE NEW AMD RYZEN 3 PROCESSORS
MSI, world leading in gaming motherboards design, is pleased to announce that all its X370, B350 and A320 based GAMING & PRO Series motherboards support the all-new Ryzen 3 line of processors, out of the box.

Furthermore, by choosing MSI B350/A320 motherboards, one can get better performance and higher efficiency from AMD's newest Dual Core and Quad-core RYZEN offerings. MSI enabled world's first 1-second DDR4 performance and stability feature for AM4 based motherboards, A-XMP. By using A-XMP MSI AM4 motherboard owners can simply set their memory timings and speed to its optimal settings in a single click for the best performance and stability. A-XMP also enables support for higher rated DDR4 memory kits to work without any hassle. A-XMP is available in the BIOS, on all MSI AM4 motherboards.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Delidded - It's EPYC

Overclocker extraordinaire der8auer, who was one of the most vocal enthusiasts calling out for better VRM designs on Intel's X299 platform (and who worked with ASUS on redesigning the VRM cooling in its motherboards) has gone and done it: he delidded a Ryzen Threadripper CPU. And this delidding went on to deliver the goods: Ryzen Threadripper delidded is EPYC (pun intended.)

Instead of the expected MCM composed of two dies (with two CCXs of four cores per die, delivering the 16 cores we were expecting), Ryzen Threadripper is actually a much more interesting chip: it seems to be a full fledged EPYC chip, with four dies of eight cores. According to der8auer, when questioned, AMD confirmed that 16-core Threadripper 1950X CPUs are configured with two working eight core dies (four CCXs of four cores each), while the other eight-core dies are disabled by AMD.
Thursday, July 27th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Processors
SSD

AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz

AMD's Ryzen 3 1200 is aggressively priced at $110, which makes it the most affordable Ryzen available. With clock frequencies ranging from 3.1 GHz Base to 3.4 GHz Boost, it is clocked not much different than the Ryzen 5 1400, which also has four physical cores, but includes the SMT technology on top.

AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 3.4 GHz

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X, which is priced at $129, comes with a 3.4 GHz base clock and 3.7 GHz Boost. It offers four real cores that manage to beat the dual-core Intel Core i3-7300 with HyperThreading, which is significantly more expensive at the same time.

AZIO Retro Classic

The Retro Classic from AZIO takes the typewriter-inspired MK Retro as a base and builds upon it in every way possible. Be it the thick zinc-aluminum alloy frame with chrome or copper plating options, the genuine leather in two finishes, full keyboard backlighting, and five language options to choose from, this is a luxury product with a price tag to match.

AMD Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 Presents Some Issues to Users

Users running AMD's latest 17.7.2 driver package are running into issues - which, let's face it, is somewhat understandable, considering all the new features AMD has crammed into this latest driver release. All driver releases ship with a bug here or there - there is even a "Known Issues" checklist on almost all of them - so unless bugs are widespread enough, they don't ever reach the critical mass to be noted by most users. However, users in both our forums and Reddit have been reporting issues after they install their 17.7.2 driver package: namely, the absence of the ReLive tab on the Radeon Control Panel.

The issue persists even after a full DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) cleanup, and appears to be inconsistent in that users with the same hardware and on the same OS have mixed results upon installation. This issue has been confirmed by the Director of AMD's Corporate Strategy, Terry Makedon, on Reddit, who said that "Windows 7 being identified as beta and missing DVR is now reproduced in here and we will issue an update later today to address that. Sorry for that, hopefully we fixed it fast enough." For now, and until AMD releases a fix, there seems to be a workaround, as our own VSG has reported on an update to our Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 Preview: "One potential fix reported is to disable all security components (Antivirus, Malware protection etc) and to use the AMD Web Installer instead (Windows 10 64-bit here, replace 10 with 7 and 64 with 32 in the URL for other options)."Sources: Forums @ TPU, AMD Reddit, Thanks @ user Nabarun for first reporting this

Toshiba Announces the TR200 SATA SSDs with 64-layer 3D TLC NAND

Toshiba's first retail SSDs to use the company's 64-layer BiCS3 3D NAND technology have been announced by Toshiba. The successors to the company's Trion 100 and Trion 150 SSDs still carry some vestiges of OCZ branding in the product logo and TR (short for Trion) moniker. This is Toshiba's first generation of mainstream, mass-market-suitable 3D NAND flash.

These drives make use of a DRAM-less controller design, and will be available in capacities ranging from 240 GB up to 960 GB. Toshiba advertises 550 MB/s read and 525 MB/s write speeds. 4K Random Read IOPS stand at 87K, while 4K Random Write IOPS go up to 87K. The endurance on the models will range from 60 to 240 TB according to capacity, and these carry the same three-year warranty as previous Trion SSDs. Pricing has not yet been announced, although the TR200 series will start shipping to retailers this fall.

Sources: Toshiba, via AnandTech

AMD's Bristol Ridge APUs Released for the AM4 Platform in Retail Channels

AMD's AM4 socket really is shaping up to be one of the company's most versatile to date. From true quad-core CPUS (just now available through Ryzen 3's launch through to veritable svelte behemoths 8-core, 16-thread CPUs, AM4 has something for every consumer. AMD is now taking that show further with the release of the Bristol Ridge family of APUs, which includes eight APUs and three CPUs. While pricing wasn't announced at time of writing, the top-priced part should fall below the $110 mark and bottom out at $50, so as not to collide with AMD's Ryzen 3 1200 (although these products aren't specifically overlapping anyway.)

AMD's new entry-level processors will hit a maximum of 65 W TDP, with the top spot being taken by the 2-module, 4-threads A12-9800, running at 3.8 GHz base and 4.2 GHz Turbo. This part holds a Radeon R7 GPU with 512 Stream Processors (GCN 1.3, the same as in the Fury GPUs) running at 800 MHz Base and 1108 MHz Turbo. There are three 35 W parts (denoted by a capital E after the model name.) One thing users should take into account is that the Bristol Ridge APUs deliver a maximum of 8x PCIe 3.0 lanes - thus rendering a multi-GPU solution unfeasible.

Roccat Announces the Khan Pro Gaming Headset

ROCCAT unveils their newest stereo gaming headset, the Khan Pro, during ChinaJoy Expo 2017 in Shanghai. The Khan Pro delivers unheard of sound clarity, the first gaming headset in the world granted the "Hi-Res-Audio" certificate, given only to the very best audio products on the market. Thanks to the new ROCCAT Khan Pro, the player can hear and locate any opponent long before they ever come in sight. With a broad frequency range between 20Hz and 40kHz, the Khan Pro boasts deep bass, rich mids and clear highs, enabling gamers to pinpoint sound and location with ease in the heat of play. The Khan Pro makes every gamer a winner.

ROCCAT's Khan Pro also features a "Real-Voice-Mic", offering the most natural voice transmission deliverable in a gaming headset. The microphone of the Khan Pro can pick up lower frequencies than other competitors in its class, ranging from just 100Hz to 10kHz. This expanded spectrum makes the human voice sound as natural as possible on a gaming headset, optimizing team communication like never before, ensuring commands and callouts are crystal clear.

AMD Announces the Ryzen 3 Series Desktop Processors

AMD today announced its Ryzen 3 series value desktop processors in the socket AM4 package. The lineup consists of the Ryzen 3 1200 priced at $109, and the faster Ryzen 3 1300X priced at $129; and compete with Intel Core i3 dual-core SKUs, such as the i3-7100 and the i3-7300, respectively. What AMD has going for these chips is that they are quad-core, even if they lack SMT featured on Ryzen 5 series quad-core parts. Both are endowed with 8 MB of shared L3 cache, and unlocked base-clock multipliers.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is clocked at 3.10 GHz, with 3.40 GHz boost, and XFR (extended frequency range) adding another 50 MHz; while the Ryzen 3 1300X is clocked at 3.40 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR adding a further 200 MHz. In most scenarios, the chip should boost up to 3.90 GHz. AMD carved the two Ryzen 3 series parts out of its 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, by disabling two cores and 4 MB L3 cache per CCX, resulting in 4 cores and 8 MB of total L3 cache. Both chips feature TDP ratings of 65W, and include AMD Wraith Stealth cooling solutions.

AMD Says Vega Frontier Edition "Gaming" and "Pro" Modes are Not Placeholders

AMD's Vega Frontier Edition was a release that seemingly left most users either scratching their heads in bewilderment or - more specifically - disappointed. Some of this disappointment seemed to stem from a desire to see the long-awaited RX Vega consumer graphics card performance in the wild - or at least snagging a preview of it. Alas, the Frontier Edition's gaming performance was a disappointment when one considers the expected performance of AMD's underlying hardware - 4096 Stream processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory - as well as the fact that this is AMD's first high-performance architecture since the Fury line of graphics cards. But to be fair to AMD, they did warn us - the Frontier Edition isn't the right graphics card for gamers.

One of the points of contention for this new release was that AMD delivered a graphics card that straddled the prosumer equation - offering both Pro drivers for professional workloads, and a Gaming Mode which should allow developers to seamlessly jump from development mode to testing mode through a driver toggle. However, when used at launch of the Frontier Edition - and even now - this toggle is little more than a dud. Mostly, what it does is remove the Wattman control panel.

Microsoft Announces the Windows Bounty Program

While Microsoft has been offering bug bounty incentives since at least 2012, Google has arguably been much more vocal in its bug bounty programs. The company recently increased the maximum payout in its bug bounty programs (mainly focused on Android) to a staggering $200,000, and now Microsoft is not only following suit - it's upping the game.

With the Windows Bounty Program, which Microsoft announced yesterday, the company is looking towards an increased incentive to security-hardening suggestions from tech-savvy users. This program will extend to all features of the Windows Insider Preview in addition to focus areas in Hyper-V, Mitigation bypass, Windows Defender Application Guard, and Microsoft Edge. And incentives starting at $500 and going all the way up to $250,000 are very, very respectful.

Source: Blogs.Technet @ Microsoft

Silicon Power Also Releases Mobile C50 Triple-Interface Flash Drive

Silicon Power, a leading provider of memory storage solutions, adds another brilliant coup of storage convenience to its OTG flash drive portfolio - the new Mobile C50. As all good things come in threes, SP's new OTG Mobile C50 has three connectors -USB Type-A, Micro-B, and Type-C. Never lost for the right connection, it's easier than ever to share data between new-generation USB Type-C devices, any "traditional" USB PC or laptop, and Micro-B smartphones or tablets. The compact drive is also a reliable companion for extra storage needs plug-n-play and tops up USB Type-C or Micro-B mobile devices with up to 128GB free space.

Silicon Power Releases Diamond D30 Portable Hard Drive

Silicon Power, a leading provider of memory storage solutions, releases a new, stylish portable hard drive, the Diamond D30, that combines classic notebook design with modern storage needs. The Diamond D30 is for fans of classic stationary with digital storage needs or those who just love simple, yet classy design and clever functions for their digital devices. The signature red book mark of the D30 not only serves as an attractive eye-catcher, but also protects the USB port when the drive is not in use. With the port covered, even water splashes will not be harmful to stored data thanks to the drive's IPX4 water resistance.

But there's more protection - the D30's surface features a rhombus pattern structure that helps to prevent scratches and fingerprints. Which are neither popular on book pages nor on storage devices.
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 low-latency gaming devoid of tearing issues and 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 Windows 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.
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