Monday, October 26th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Monitors
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs

PALIT Reveals the GeForce RTX 3070 JetStream Graphics Card

Ahead of the official release date for NVIDIA's RTX 3070 graphics cards (set for October 29th, the day after AMD's Navi announcement on October 28th), PALIT has taken the wraps of their RTX 3070 JetStream graphics card. The JetStream features a relatively subdued design with a glossy black color and a gray JetStream logo (which apparently lights in with RGB illumination) in-between the dual fan cooling solution.

The card's PCB is short - extremely short, even - meaning that it ends around the middle section of the actual cooler shroud (and backplate, which accompanies the shroud). This also means that the power connectors (a 2x 8-pin solution) sits in the middle of the card, rotated 90º relative to the cards' length. This particular choice from Palit could mean difficulties for cable routing and tidying up builds. Overall, the card features an attractive, low-key design. PALIT will reveal the full card specifications come the official launch on October 29th.

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Seagate Technology Reports Fiscal First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) (the "Company" or "Seagate") today reported financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended October 2, 2020. "Seagate delivered solid September quarter results supported by strong recovery in the video and image applications market and healthy cloud data center demand, which drove double digit year-over-year revenue growth for our mass capacity storage solutions. We see indications for Enterprise demand to improve and we expect this to continue as the broader markets gradually recover, supporting our positive December quarter outlook and reinforcing our revenue expectations for the fiscal year," said Dave Mosley, Seagate's chief executive officer.

"Demand for data continues to explode, even through this current period of market uncertainty. As a leader in mass data management, Seagate is executing a technology roadmap focused on helping customers put their valuable data to work. We are on track to ship our first HAMR drives for revenue in December, which is an important industry milestone to support the growing need for mass capacity storage. We also have introduced CORTX, an open-source, object-storage software, along with Lyve Rack that together offer enterprises a simple, secure and efficient way to manage massive volumes of data. These developments illustrate our confidence in identifying and capturing future growth opportunities, and we are further underscoring the confidence in our strategy and long-term cash generation abilities with a 3% increase in our quarterly dividend and a $3 billion increase to our existing share repurchase authorization."

Genesis Announces Radium 300 XLR Gaming Mic

More and more often we create content, run webinars, while video-conferences are replacing meetings at the office. We require and expect more, also on the issue of sound. The Genesis Radium 300 300 XLR studio microphone is here to fulfill those needs. The manufacturer says that the Radium 300 XLR is a professional studio microphone. Thanks to its 30 Hz - 16 kHz frequency range and high sensitivity it provides high quality, clear sound. Its cardioid character filters background noise, recording the sounds only directed at the microphone. Parents of noisy children and owners of loud mechanical keyboards will surely appreciate this feature.

The Genesis Radium 300 300 XLR microphone is sold with a set of accessories which simplify installation and use. Its regulated, metal arm guarantees installation flexibility. Mounting the microphone from the top or down should not be any challenge. The set also includes an anti-vibration holder, a foam anti-noise cover, and a pop filter. These elements provide high quality, clean sound, which is so important for content creators and remote employees.

Raja Koduri to Present at Samsung Foundry Forum amid Intel's Outsourcing Efforts

Intel's chief architect and senior vice president of discrete graphics division, Mr. Raja Koduri, is said to be scheduled to present at Samsung Electronics Event day. With a presentation titled "1000X More Compute for AI by 2025", the event is called Samsung Foundry SAFE Forum. It is a global virtual conference designed to be available to everyone. So you might be wondering what is Mr. Koduri doing there. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know about Intel's struggles with node manufacturing. Specifically, the 10 nm node delays that show the company's efforts to deliver a node on time. The same is happening with the 7 nm node that also experienced significant delays.

Intel has a contract to develop an exascale supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory, called Aurora. That supercomputer is using Intel's CPUs and the company's upcoming Xe GPUs. Since the company has problems with manufacturing and has to deliver the products (it is bound by several contracts) to its contractors and customers, it decided to look at external manufacturers for its products, specifically Xe graphics. Being that Mr. Koduri tweeted an image of him visiting Samsung Giheung Fab in Korea, and now presenting at the Samsung Foundry event, it is possible that Intel will tap Samsung's semiconductor manufacturing process for its Xe GPU efforts and that Samsung will be the contractor in charge.

TSMC to Enter Mass Production of 6th Generation CoWoS Packaging, up to 12 HBM Stacks

TSMC, the world's leading semiconductor manufacturing company, is rumored to start production of its 6th generation Chip-on-Wafer-on-Substrate (CoWoS) packaging technology. As the silicon scaling is getting ever so challenging, the manufacturers have to come up with a way to get as much performance as possible. That is where TSMC's CoWoS and other chiplet technologies come. They allow designers to integrate many integrated circuits on a single package, making for a cheaper overall product compared to if the product used one big die. So what is so special about 6th generation CoWoS technology from TSMC, you might wonder. The new generation is said to enable a massive 12 stacks of HBM memory on a package. You are reading that right. Imagine if each stack would be an HBM2E variant with 16 GB capacity that would be 192 GB of memory on the package present. Of course, that would be a very expensive chip to manufacture, however, it is just a showcase of what the technology could achieve.

Cougar Intros VM410 Gaming Headset with 53mm Drivers and Audiophile-grade Cables

Cougar today introduced the VM410, its flagship stereo gaming headset. The VM410 comes with a few segment-first features, including quite a few bits borrowed from audiophile-grade headphones. To begin with, its cans are suspended on a 3-axle metal joint that allows for horizontal and vertical adjustments. A silicone headband can be adjusted at the cans, while metal over-bands hold the two cans together structurally. The detachable microphone stock holds a large 9.7 mm unidirectional mic condenser.

As for the cans of the VM410, they pack meaty 53 mm neodymium drivers with graphene diaphragms, papylon mesh, and a cavernous back chamber. You get two sets of user-replaceable earcups, one with soft-touch leather, and the other with breathable polyester fabric. It doesn't end there. Cougar used audiophile-grade cabling to go with the headset, with each of the two cans having a triple-insulated copper cable running up to the plug. The headphones component offers sensitivity of up to 116 dB at 1 kHz, 32 Ω impedance, and 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response. The mic is -113 dB sensitive at 1 kHz, with the same 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response as the headphones, and <2 kΩ impedance. The company didn't reveal pricing.

GIGABYTE Intros GeForce RTX 3090 VISION OC Graphics Card

GIGABYTE backed up its late September launch of the RTX 3080-based VISION OC graphics card targeted at creators, with one based on the GeForce RTX 3090 (model: GV-N3090VISION OC-24GD), a GPU that offers greater dividends to creators thanks to its 24 GB video memory. GIGABYTE's VISION brand of graphics cards and motherboards are targeted at creators, and the RTX 3090 VISION OC, when paired with NVIDIA's GeForce Studio drivers, provides a formidable solution halfway between the gaming and professional-visualization market segments.

The GIGABYTE RTX 3090 VISION OC comes with the same board design as the RTX 3080 VISION OC, but with the addition of the NVLink interface for explicit multi-GPU. The card comes with a mild factory-OC which sees the GPU boost up to 1755 MHz (vs. 1695 MHz reference), while the memory is left untouched at 19.5 Gbps (GDDR6X-effective), for 940 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Display interfaces include three DisplayPort 1.4a and two HDMI 2.1 connectors. The card draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. It uses a triple-slot, triple-fan cooling solution with the VISION design scheme. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Google Distances Itself From Alex Hutchinson's Game Streaming Royalty Comments

The recent comments from Google Stadia Montreal Creative Director Alex Hutchinson regarding game streaming revenue sharing have generated significant public backlash from consumers and developers alike. The Creative Director suggested that game streamers should have to purchase a commercial license or pay royalties to game developers in return for streaming their games. These comments were quickly associated with Google Stadia by the community which has prompted Google to issue a statement distancing themselves from Alex Hutchinson's comments. Alex Hutchinson's Twitter bio has also been updated to reflect that all opinions are his own.
Google
The recent tweets by Alex Hutchinson, creative director at the Montreal Studio of Stadia Games and Entertainment, do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube or Google.

Apex Legends is Coming to Steam on November 4th

Electronic Arts have recently confirmed that Apex Legends will be coming to Steam when Season 7 launches on November 4, 2020. Players with existing progression and unlocks can transfer their progress from Origin to Steam and vice versa. The game will still require an EA account to play even if launched through Steam. EA also announced that the Nintendo Switch version has been delayed to 2021 but will include full feature parity and cross-play support with existing platforms.

QNAP Launches 24-bay U.2 NVMe NAS Featuring 2nd Gen AMD EPYC

QNAP Systems, Inc., a leading computing, networking, and storage solution innovator, today introduced the lightning-fast NVMe all-flash TS-h2490FU. With 24 drive bays for U.2 NVMe Gen 3 x4 SSD, the TS-h2490FU provides up to 472K/205K iSCSI 4K random read/write IOPS with ultra-low latency. Equipped with four 25 GbE SFP28 and two 2.5 GbE RJ45 LAN ports, five PCIe Gen 4 slots, and 1100 W redundant power supplies, the TS-h2490FU provides exceptional hardware and connectivity. The ZFS-based QuTS hero operating system also includes powerful applications for data reduction and SSD optimization, ensuring that SSD performance and lifespan is maximized for mission-critical virtualized workloads and data centers with all-flash investments.

TerraMaster Launches 4-Bay F4-210 NAS For Personal Cloud Storage

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products including network-attached storage (NAS) devices,launches the F4-210 1 GB version, the same 4-bay NAS for personal cloud storage at a more affordable price. The TerraMaster F4-210 is just a portion of the price of an Intel-based NAS device. The F4-210 supports up to 108 TB of storage and supports 3.5" SATA hard drives and 2.5" SATA hard drives and solid-state drives.

The TerraMaster F4-210 is perfect for users that are looking for a powerful personal cloud storage solution without a hefty investment. Costing just half the price of an equivalent Intel x86 quad-core processor-based NAS storage, the F4-210 can deliver modest read/write speeds of up to 124 MB/s with two WD Red 4 TB hard drives in RAID 0. The F4-210 supports various private cloud services including Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Deleting your Facebook Account Makes You Lose Ownership to Oculus Games

Last week we brought you a report on how you could end up with a paperweight of an Oculus Quest 2 VR HMD if your Facebook account linked to the headset is banned. There's another aspect to this mess—voluntary account deletion. What if you decided you no longer need your Facebook account, and for whatever reason (read: privacy), decided to delete your account"? Turns out, that all the Oculus games that you own, will be gone forever, according to CixLiv on Twitter, who took the time to actually read the ToS. Deleting your Facebook account, which is a step beyond deactivating it, is a permanent erasure of your data on Facebook, which means that your Oculus profile gets deleted alongside, along with your digital rights to all the games that you purchased.

Ubisoft Announces Ubisoft Connect, Retires UPlay

Ubisoft Connect will be the new universal home for all Ubisoft in-game services, activities, and communities on all platforms. Everything you've used Uplay and Ubisoft Club for in the past will be refreshed, expanded, and merged into Ubisoft Connect starting October 29, which coincides with the launch of Watch Dogs: Legion. Designed for the next generation of gaming and beyond, Ubisoft Connect is just the beginning of Ubisoft's commitment to making cross-platform features standard in the future. That includes cross-platform progression on games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Riders Republic.

"Next-generation gaming goes beyond technological improvements and better graphics," says Vice President of Online Services Stephanie Perotti. "To us, as a creator and publisher, it is about bringing more fluidity and versatility to the experience, to have the freedom to play games on whatever device and with whoever you want. Ubisoft Connect is our take on a new seamless experience to not only ease the transition between generations and platforms, but also be the starting point for new services that further contribute to new, more player-centric ways of enjoying games."
Friday, October 23rd 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Review

VAXEE ZYGEN NP-01 Review

The NP-01 is the first mouse release by VAXEE, which was founded by several former Zowie employees. Still true to the no-frills approach, the right-handed ergonomic NP-01 focuses on performance over software or RGB lighting. To that end, it is equipped with PixArt's PMW3389 sensor and Huano switches for the main buttons, and capable of extensive on-device configuration.

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Free Game Alert: Layers of Fear 2 Available in the Epic Games Store

Players familiar with Bloober Team's psychological horror who haven't played Layers of Fear 2 will be happy to know they can now grab this gut-wrenching game free of charge from the Epic Games Store. Bloober Team has cemented itself as one of the foremost games developers in the psychological horror genre ever since Layers of Fear (an interesting, albeit flawed, game), and have since brought their expertise to Layers of Fear 2 and the excellent Observer (which will see a System Redux version with new quests and ray tracing, among many other improvements). In Layers of Fear 2, you are cast as a Hollywood actor taking on the main role in a movie being shot on an ocean liner - but obviously, the terror starts after that. The game has a 70% Metacritic Review Average and a 6.3 User Average.

Another game available in the EPIC Games Store is Costume Quest 2, a Japanese-style action RPG where you're tasked with saving Halloween via time travel and other artifices. The game currently stands with a 68 Metacritic Review Average and a user score of 7.5.

NVIDIA Readies New GeForce RTX 30-series SKU Positioned Between RTX 3070 and RTX 3080

Possibly unsure of the GeForce RTX 3070 tackling AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series parts, NVIDIA is designing a new RTX 30-series SKU positioned between the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. This is not a 16 GB variant of the RTX 3070, but rather a new SKU based on the 8 nm "GA102" silicon, according to a reliable source with NVIDIA leaks, kopite7kimi. The SKU is based on the GA102 with the ASIC code "GA102-150-KD-A1." The silicon is configured with 7,424 CUDA cores across 58 streaming multiprocessors (29 TPCs), 232 tensor cores, 232 TMUs, 58 RT cores, and an unknown number of ROPs. According to kopite7kimi, the card is configured with a 320-bit wide memory interface, although it's not known if this is conventional GDDR6, like the RTX 3070 has, or faster GDDR6X, like that on the RTX 3080.

NVIDIA recently "cancelled" a future 16 GB variant of the RTX 3070, and 20 GB variant of the RTX 3080, which is possibly the company calibrating its response to the Radeon RX 6000 series. We theorize that doubling in memory amounts may not have hit the desired cost-performance targets; and the company probably believes the competitive outlook of the RTX 3080 10 GB is secure. This explains the need for a SKU with performance halfway between that of the RTX 3070 and RTX 3080. As for pricing, with the RTX 3070 positioned at $500 and the RTX 3080 at $700, the new SKU could be priced somewhere in between. AMD's RDNA2-based Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs are expected to feature DirectX 12 Ultimate logo compliance, meaning that there is a level playing ground between AMD and NVIDIA in the performance segment.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Takes the Crown of the Fastest CPU in Passmark Single-Thread Results

AMD has been improving its Zen core design, and with the latest Zen 3 IP found in Ryzen 5000 series CPUs, it seems like the company struck gold. Thanks to the reporting of VideoCardz, we come to know that AMD's upcoming Ryzen 5 5600X CPU has been benchmarked and compared to other competing offerings. In the CPU benchmark called PassMark, which rates all of the CPUs by multi-threaded and single-threaded performance, AMD's Ryzen 5 5600X CPU has taken the crown of the fastest CPU in the single-threaded results chart. Scoring an amazing 3495 points, it is now the fastest CPU for 1T workloads. That puts the CPU above Intel's current best—Core i9-10900K—which scores 3177 points. This puts the Zen 3 core about 10% ahead of the competition.

As a reminder, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X CPU is a six-core, twelve threaded design that has a base clock of 3.7 GHz and boosts the frequency of the cores to 4.6 GHz, all within the TDP of 65 Watts. The CPU has 32 MB of level-3 (L3) cache and 3 MB of L2 cache.

AMD Radeon "Big Navi" PCB Allegedly Pictured

Here's what is possibly the first picture of an AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Navi 21" reference PCB, which the company could use across its RX 6900 XT and RX 6800 series graphics cards. The partially built PCB has a possibly large ASIC at the center (masked out), surrounded by eight GDDR6 memory pads, confirming a 256-bit wide memory interface. There are two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and a 16-phase VRM solution powering the card's 320 W typical board power. Display connectors on the board appear to include two DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and a USB type-C. There are also a handful headers handling the fans and possible ARGB LED illumination of the card. We also spy a 2-way switch, which could indicate dual-BIOS.

AMD Radeon "Big Navi" GPU Benchmarked in Firestrike Ultra

AMD's "Big Navi" GPU is nearing the launch on October 28th, just a few days from now. This means that benchmarks of the card are already appearing across the internet, and we get to see how the card performs. Being divided into two different versions, Big Navi comes in Navi 21 XT and Navi 21 XTX silicon. While the former is available to AMD's AIBs, the latter is rumored to be exclusive to AMD and its reference design, meaning that at least in the beginning, you can only get Navi 21 XTX GPU if you purchase one from AMD directly.

Today, thanks to the Twitter account of CapFrameX, a frame time capturing tool, we have benchmark results of the Big Navi GPU in Firestrike Ultra. According to the people behind this account, the card scores about 11500 points in the benchmark. Compared to NVIDIA's offerings like GeForce RTX 3080, which scores about 10600, the AMD card is 8.5% faster. It is not known whatever this is Navi 21 XT or Navi 21 XTX silicon, however, we can assume that it is the former, and AMD is keeping the XTX revision to themselves for now. This result could be a leak from some of the AIBs, so it could not be the final Big Navi performance. All of this information should be taken with a grain of salt.

Intel Xe-HPG DG2 GPU is in the Labs

In its Q3 earnings, Intel disclosed that it is now shipping Intel's first discrete GPU - DG1. Codenamed Intel Iris Xe MAX, the GPU is set to arrive in ultraportable laptops and designs. It is based on Xe-LP design, which is Intel's GPU configuration for iGPUs and low-power models. However, to satisfy the needs of gamers, Intel will not be good with just this GPU configuration. The company would need something faster and ore power-hungry to power the highest framerates and highest resolutions. Enter the world of Xe-HPG DG2 GPU. Made for gamers, it features all the hardware-enabled features you would expect in such a GPU, like raytracing, etc. This GPU is manufactured outside Intel's fabs, most likely at TSMC's facilities. Right now, this GPU is in the alpha phase and is booting in Intel's labs, meaning that the final silicon is just a few months away.

Lenovo Announces Legion Slim 7 Gaming Laptop

Today, Lenovo announced its latest 15-inch gaming laptop, the Lenovo Legion Slim 7, fueled by the next-level AMD Ryzen 4000 H-Series Mobile Processors for the first time on this premium model. Paired with up to powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q Design GPU for real-time raytracing, the Lenovo Legion Slim 7 is also the world's lightest 15-inch gaming laptop with NVIDIA GeForce RTX. Now, gamers have more processor choices when selecting which Lenovo Legion's stylish and savage GeForce RTX gaming laptop is right for their needs.

Available in Slate Grey hue with up to AMD Ryzen 9 4900H Mobile Processor, this season's sleek design is decked to impress gamers and holiday shoppers with a more secure, integrated power button with fingerprint reader and the incredibly immersive sound of Dolby Atmos Speaker System with Sound Radar by Dolby, all set inside Lenovo's well-designed acoustics chamber for reduced rattling and clearer audio.

Puget Systems Test Quad NVIDIA RTX 3090 Graphics Card Workstation

Puget Systems have recently released performance and testing data from their quad NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 workstation. Puget Systems has paired the four Gigabyte RTX 3090 TURBO 24G cards with a 10 core Intel Xeon W-2255, 128 GB 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, and an EVGA SuperNOVA 1600W P2 power supply. The power draw hit 1717 W being drawn from the wall when running DaVinci Resolve, this prompted the installation of a second EVGA SuperNOVA 1600W P2 power supply.

The performance of this system is extremely impressive for enterprise applications that natively support multiple GPUs as NVIDIA has limited SLI support to two cards with the RTX 3090 ruling out running any of the few games which still support the feature. Puget Systems noted that they had very few issues getting the four blower-style cards working in a desktop workstation with temperatures staying below 80°C even under full load.

CORSAIR Launches HS75 XB WIRELESS Headset for Xbox

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the launch of its first officially licensed headset for Microsoft Xbox, the HS75 XB WIRELESS Gaming Headset. Compatible with Xbox One and the upcoming next-generation Xbox Series X and Series S, the HS75 XB WIRELESS delivers the fantastic sound and comfort that the CORSAIR HS Series is known for, connecting directly to your Xbox console via Xbox Wireless without the need for a wireless receiver, or to a Windows 10 PC via the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows (sold separately). Complete with immersive Dolby Atmos for precise three-dimensional sound and a noise-cancelling uni-directional microphone, the HS75 XB WIRELESS is the perfect companion for your current or future Xbox console.

Great sound starts with great audio drivers, which is why the HS75XB WIRELESS utilizes custom-tuned 50 mm neodymium drivers with the range to hear everything you need on the battlefield. Coupled with Dolby Atmos spatial audio - a first for a CORSAIR headset - you'll feel closer to the action than ever before. To ensure clear communication with your teammates, the HS75 XB WIRELESS is equipped with a uni-directional microphone, along with on-ear game audio and chat mix controls so you can easily switch focus from hearing the action to hearing your squad, and vice versa.

PNY Launches XLR8 CS3040 M.2 NVMe Gen4 x4 SSDs

PNY today announced the launch of XLR8 CS3040 M.2 NVMe Gen4 x4 Solid State Drive, the "CS3040", that will deliver the next generation speed and ultra-high performance demanded today. PNY's quest to develop the absolute ultra-fast internal storage to answer today's demands of 4K and 8K content creators, high-intensive applications and ever more demanding games, lead to the launch of the company's first PCIe 4.0 Solid State Drive.

With the ever-growing support from CPU and motherboard manufacturers to the latest NVMe Gen 4.0 protocol, it is eminent to have a supporting SSD that, when combined, will bring intensive users to a true Gen 4.0 level and deliver the performance and experience they ultimately demand. Delivering the future of ultra-high performance and next-generation speed today, the CS3040 offers sequential speeds of up to 5,600 MB/s Read and 4,300 MB/s Write that will accelerate productivity and elevate the gaming experience to a whole new level.
Thursday, October 22nd 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Notebooks
Processors
Speakers
SSD

Intel Confirms Iris Xe MAX Brand for Company's Next-Gen Discrete Graphics

Intel in its Q3-2020 earnings release unveiled the Iris Xe MAX brand under which it will launch its first discrete GPUs in over two decades. The company also disclosed that it has started shipping the product (i.e. commenced mass production and started shipping volumes to its partners). The first Iris Xe MAX discrete GPU is expected to be based on the Xe LP architecture, and we expect it to target the mobile market, as the likes of ASUS has already developed ultraportables featuring the discrete GPU. Intel unveiled a proof-of-concept of an asymmetric explicit multi-GPU technology which could see the Iris Xe iGPU of the 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" processor work in tandem with a discrete GPU based on the same architecture, which is now turning out to be the Iris Xe MAX. We expect the Iris Xe MAX to make life miserable to entry-level mobile dGPUs from NVIDIA and AMD.

Intel Reports Third-Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported third-quarter 2020 financial results. "Our teams delivered solid third-quarter results that exceeded our expectations despite pandemic-related impacts in significant portions of the business," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Nine months into 2020, we're forecasting growth and another record year, even as we manage through massive demand shifts and economic uncertainty. We remain confident in our strategy and the long-term value we'll create as we deliver leadership products and aim to win share in a diversified market fueled by data and the rise of AI, 5G networks and edge computing."

In the third quarter, the company generated $8.2 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion. In August, Intel initiated accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreements for an aggregate of $10.0 billion of our common stock. Following settlement of these agreements, Intel will have repurchased a total of approximately $17.6 billion in shares as part of the planned $20.0 billion share repurchases announced in October 2019. Intel intends to complete the $2.4 billion balance and return to historical capital return practices when markets stabilize.

MSI Releases CPU Cooler Type Optimization to ClickBIOS 5

MSI, a world-leading motherboard manufacturer, announces the new BIOS feature: CPU Cooler Tuning. "CPU Cooler Tuning" is an innovative design that unleashes the processors from the thermal design power of the boxed cooler after users replace it with a better solution. It helps the users take advantage of the full potential of the processors. It is also very intuitive and easy to use. The drop-down menu shows the options to the users and lets them choose the cooling solution and the system will automatically change the power and current limit to the corresponding values.

This table shows the maximum power and current limit of B460 & H410 motherboards and how high the frequency they can achieve. It is obvious that the power limit makes a huge impact on the boost frequency when the processor is under load. As long as the cooler is efficient enough, MSI recommends users to set the power limit at a higher value for better performance.

Looking for a Paperweight? Buy an Oculus Quest 2 and Get Your Facebook Account Locked

We've all been there - we've all looked longingly at someone elses' flashy paperweight - an Escher puzzle, a coffee mug, a smartphone, a badly flashed GPU or even a face mask are all worthy contenders vying for our attention. Facebook, however, has been turning the paperweight game on its head, and in the real world too - some users who bought the most recent Quest 2 headset (which is apparently selling pretty well) are being given the opportunity to adorn their desks with this high-tech, low-key paperweight due to its Facebook-required integration. Essentially, users who have their Facebook accounts banned (or, more specifically, with pending verification) have been met with difficulties in actually using their Quest 2 (which, by all accounts, is a huge step forward for the VR space).

AMD Seemingly Working on Cryptocurrency-focused Navi 10 GPU

New Linux patches seem to point towards a cryptocurrency-focused graphics card from AMD. First spotted by Phoronix, the patches add descriptions for a "navi10 blockchain SKU" - it's a pretty self-describing, well, description. The device ID is reported as 0x731E, and Phoronix says that the major difference between this graphics card and the other Navi 10 offerings in the market (namely RX 5700XT and RX 5700) is the absence of Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) engines. Whether these are absent from the silicon, or simply disabled by other means is currently unclear. Their absence, however points towards cards with no graphical outputs, a lapalissian practicality for cryptocurrency-focused graphics mining products.

Phoronix estimates a release of no sooner than early 2021, considering the timing of the patch information on Linux. While the market for GPU-accelerated cryptocurrency mining isn't what it used to be (luckily), there is still a market opportunity to be taken advantage of here - while ASICs have become more commonplace, there are still many GPU-mining alternatives within the realm of crypto. A crypto-focused product might steer users away from gaming-oriented consumer products, thus easing strain on supply for AMD's upcoming RX 6000 series - especially if this Navi 10-based GPU (or should we call it a CHU - Cryptocurrency Hashing Unit?) features some voltage and power adjustments to increase power efficiency on these workloads.

Genesis Announces the Krypton 550 Lightweight Gaming Mouse.

Genesis Krypton 550 is a gaming mouse designed with tested solutions in mind. The manufacturer decided for a precise sensor and comprehensive software, and the whole set is enclosed in an ultralight perforated case with PRISMO illumination. The Genesis Krypton 550 is a gaming mouse with expanded functionality. Its software allows users to change the functions of each of its seven buttons, create macros and save them on in-built memory. Motion tracking is being handled by the PixArt PMW 3325 sensor. According to the manufacturer, it manages acceleration up to 20 G and tracks movements with speed of up to 100 inches per second.

The sensor sensitivity can be configured from 200 to 8000 DPI. Thanks to its perforated, 70 g casing the Genesis Krypton proves to be an interesting offer for FPS fans looking for speed and precision. Durability and customization were the focus of the designers as well. The manufacturer chose Huano switches with up to 20 million click durability, and the wheel, the insides and the bottom edges are equipped with RGB LED illumination.

Acer Announces The Porsche Design Acer Book RS Laptop

Porsche Design and Acer have entered a new partnership that fuses Porsche Design's functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer's technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment. Both parties strive to deliver unique, state-of-the-art products. The first creation developed in collaboration is a high-end notebook that combines advanced technologies with purist and minimalist design elements.

The Porsche Design Acer Book RS with a compact all-metal chassis packs in up to the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU while remaining just 1.2 kg (2.65 lbs) light. Topping off the chassis is a carbon fiber cover, a distinctive touch derived from decades of motorsports designs that value carbon fiber for its lightweight strength and extreme performance. Porsche Design Acer Book RS was co-engineered with Intel and includes Intel Evo platform verified models to meet key experience targets for consistent responsiveness on battery, instant wake, real-world battery life and fast charge, making it an exceptional laptop for getting things done.

Oculus Quest 2 Exceeding Sales Expectations

In a recent interview with Chris Pruett, Facebook's Director of Content Ecosystem at Oculus it was revealed that the Oculus Quest 2 launch had been a huge success exceeding the companies expectations. Chris Pruett commented that the Oculus team "really couldn't be happier" with the launch and noted the headset was selling "faster than Quest did" and "maybe a little bit beyond what we expected". VR developers have been echoing these comments with Rec Room noting a 250% larger launch over the original Quest and a 10x increase in sales.

The data from Rec Room also shows that the majority of Oculus Quest 2 purchases are from people trying VR for the first time which is great news for the VR industry in general. Facebook has been able to keep up with the demand for the new headset which has evidently proven to be a great success even with controversy surrounding the Facebook account requirements.
Wednesday, October 21st 2020

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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 AotS Benchmarks Surface—Trades Blows with RTX 2080 Ti

Ashes of the Singularity (AotS) Benchmark numbers for the upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card surfaced, strengthening NVIDIA's performance claims for the card being "faster" than the previous generation flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti. According to the benchmark numbers dug out by _rogame and compiled by VideoCardz, the RTX 3070 ends up being 1% faster than the RTX 2080 Ti at 1080p with the "Crazy" preset. This lead extends to 2.3% at 1440p, albeit with a custom preset of which details aren't known.

At 4K UHD with the "Crazy" preset, however, the RTX 3070 ends up about 2.4% slower than the RTX 2080 Ti. These numbers suggest that the RTX 3070 should still be a formidable 4K UHD gaming option, with moderate RTX effects. It should allow you to game at 1440p with RTX maxed out; and should enable 1080p high refresh-rate AAA gaming; but for those seeking 4K UHD with RTX maxed out, the RTX 3080 should be the one to buy. Then again, AMD's Radeon RX 6000 series is just around the corner, and could take a swing at this segment, with a full DirectX 12 Ultimate feature-set, and plenty of muscle.

Acer Expands Monitor Lineup with 6 New Predator and Nitro Models

Acer has expanded its award-winning monitor line with a new assortment of powerful monitors suited to a wide range of gamers, from elite professionals requiring top-of-the-line technology to casual players more concerned with enjoying themselves. Additionally, Acer is the first[2] brand to offer TÜV Rheinland Eyesafe -certified gaming monitors, designed to selectively filter out blue light while still maintaining crisp and vivid colors.

"Our newest gaming monitors feature the industry's newest technology to give gamers smooth performance and comfortable ergonomics," said Victor Chien, President, Digital Display Business, Acer Inc. "Designed to appeal to the most power-hungry gamers as well as those who just want to have fun, the new Predator and Nitro-branded monitors are available in a variety of designs and sizes to support just about anyone in the market for a gaming monitor."
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