Hardware Giveaway
Friday, November 17th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Processors
SSD

Secretlab Titan Chair

The Titan chair is Secretlab's latest release, a chair for users of up to 130 kg (287 lbs). This chair promises to be comfortable after even long periods of use. It also packs some nice features you won't even find in much more expensive models.

Next Major AMD Driver Release, ReLive Redux, to Include Performance OSD

Every year, AMD regales its users with a new major version of their driver suite, with added features and, usually, increased performance. In 2015, AMD introduced the Radeon Crimson driver release, which included a hefty performance package for some major titles, the new Radeon Settings design interface, and increased stability over the previous mega-release, Catalyst Omega. Last year, we were treated to the introduction of the ReLive, LiquidVR, and Radeon Chill features. AMD is keeping up with its annual overhauls, even after former RTG head, Raja Koduri, left the company for bluer pastures.

Twitter user Blaze #BlazeK_AMDRT shared some screenshots over Twitter which show that the new driver release will, among other things, include an OSD for performance metrics - not unlike what NVIDIA is offering with its GeForce Experience suite. However, AMD will likely keep ringing the "no registration necessary" bell to increase attractiveness of its software suite over NVIDIA's. From the screenshots, however, it seems that AMD's suite will offer more registers than NVIDIA, to polls like VRAM, CPU usage, among others. AMD's track record with software and drivers has been much improved since Raja Koduri took the helms of RTG, with a much steadier driver release schedule, and pre-emptive releases introducing support for the latest and greatest games. It's at least comforting to see that there's no sign of that reverting after he left the company.

Source: BlazeK_AMDRT

Intel to Bring Additional Assembly Online to Improve Supply of Coffee Lake CPUs

There were some rumors regarding an expected low availability of Intel's latest, 8th Gen "Coffee Lake" CPUs. Then, in a new report, those rumors were sort of confirmed by Newegg. Now, we have it straight from the blue giant themselves, as Intel has announced that they're adding another facility to their 8th Gen Coffee Lake production and certification facilities. Stock of Intel 8th Gen CPUs has been spotty, to say the least, and pricing of the lineup's unlocked CPUs (8600K and 8700K, which are the most interesting for enthusiasts) have been particularly affected. If current output isn't enough to satisfy demand, the oldest trick in the book is to simply improve output. And Intel is doing it.

While Intel has been mainly using its assembly and test facilities based in Malaysia, the company is adding a new, certified assembly to the list: one in Chengdu, China. That shouldn't send alarms ringing, however; Intel's assembly and test facilities are a part of Intel's Copy Exactly! (CE!) program. This means that in order to be certified, all facilities must have identical methodologies and process technologies across different production sites throughout the world - there should be no quantifiable difference in quality. Intel's customers will begin to receive the aforementioned processors assembled in China starting from December 15. There is no real way to know exactly how much difference the new assembly facility will make on the worldwide supply of Intel 8h Gen CPUs - but it should only improve.

Source: AnandTech

ASUS Intros ROG Strix XG35VQ 21:9, UWQHD Monitor With 100 Hz FreeSync

ASUS has introduced a new ROG Strix monitor to its lineup, the XG35VQ, which brings with it UWQHD resolution (3440 x 1440) in a 21:9 aspect ratio and a 35" diagonal. It's a curved affair - 1800R at that - and ASUS says the VA panel offers 100% sRGB coverage, plus 2500:1 contrast and 300 cd/m2 brightness. Viewing angles stand at an almost perfect 178° - a standard spec in recent times.

The most interesting selling point for this monitor, however, is that it can deliver a 100 Hz refresh rate, with FreeSync support up to that frequency. A 4 ms response time means reduced ghosting, and the panel also applies ASUS' version of Extreme Low Motion Blur mode, which strobes the LED backlight to lower persistence, much like a VR display. This mode uses a fixed refresh rate, so ASUS recommends it for fast-paced games where users can comfortably maintain high frame rates.

Thermaltake Reveals Two New Gaming Chairs Made from Real Leather

Thermaltake Gaming Tt eSPORTS, the energetic and powerful challenger is delighted to announce the launch of the X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather Edition Professional Gaming Chair. The X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather gaming chair comes in a stunning all-black genuine leather covering found in top-level sport vehicles, coupled with elegant upholstery, the latest in ergonomic design, and use of top-notch materials for maximum durability, optimal form-fit and ultimate comfort. Make the X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather gaming chair the best seat in your house with premium craftsmanship and luxury.

MADE FROM REAL LEATHER
The X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather Edition gaming chair is fully covered in genuine leather for both the entire seat and contact areas; and is extremely durable, easy to clean, UV, aging, and temperature resistant for maximum longevity and use. The steel frame is surrounded by high-class cold foam that keeps its shape even after prolonged usage and is responsible for the chair's ergonomic upholstery, which ensures an upright and simultaneously comfortable sitting posture that provides the X FIT & X COMFORT real leather gaming chair with the perfect mix of form, function, and durability desired by gamers.

Under Fire, EA Backs Down on Star Wars Battlefront II Microtransactions

In an announcement on EA's website, Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager at DICE, came forward to respond in no uncertain terms to the issues looming over Star Wars Battlefront 2. In the post, Gabrielson vows that EA and Dice have "(...) an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. But as we approach the worldwide launch, it's clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We've heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we've heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn't get this right."

This culminates on a decision to abandon all microtransactions as they were coded into the final version of the game, or, as Gabrielson puts it: "(...) we're turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we've made changes to the game." So, it's not a total, definitive cut as it is; it's more of a "back to the drawing board" kind of approach. which only makes sense, as EA has been loud and clear in saying that they consider these microtransactions as essential components of a given games' development.

Razer Adds Two New Members to Their Hammerhead Gaming Earphone Family

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, has announced two new additions to the Razer Hammerhead in-ear headset family. The new earphones feature a digital connection regardless of Android or iOS - no 3.5 mm connection, a highly durable aluminum chassis, flat cables and bi-flange ear tips for passive noise isolation. They also come with inline remotes to provide quick control for audio fidelity from the 10 mm dynamic drivers. The Razer Hammerhead USB-C is the perfect companion for the Razer Phone and other devices without 3.5 mm audio jacks, while the Razer Hammerhead for iOS Mercury Edition blends with iPhone colors.

CaseLabs' Popular Magnum SMA8 Case Undergoes Transformation

Premium custom PC case maker CaseLabs announced today a new revision to the Magnum SMA8 case which is easily the company's most popular and best-selling case. The original Magnum SMA8 was released two years ago, and it has become the preferred case for many water-cooling aficionados. The Magnum SMA8 A Revision (SMA8-A) has been refined to make the build process even more enjoyable, and more personalized than ever before! The new revision will be available for pre-order soon.

Vivendi Puts Off Decision on Ubisoft Hostile Takeover for Now

French media conglomerate Vivendi has been amassing Ubisoft shares over a course of two years. The company is the biggest shareholder at the moment owning approximately 26% of Ubisoft's shares. By French accounting law, Vivendi is obligated to make a mandatory bid once their shareholder percentage surpasses the 30% mark. Earlier this year, the French giant made it clear that the hostile takeover would happen before the year ends. It won't be their first rodeo, since they took over Gameloft not so long ago. The gaming sector is the second largest in the content industry after all, so you can't hardly blame Vivendi for wanting a bigger piece of the pie. However, business plans do change over time. According to Vivendi's recent third-quarter financial report, the company has postponed the Ubisoft takeover for at least another six months.

AVerMedia Debuts SonicBlast Gaming Soundbars

AVerMedia Technologies, Inc. today introduced a brand new line of gaming audio solutions called SonicBlast. The opening lineup includes two soundbar variations -- the SonicBlast Soundbar GS331 and GS333, both of which deliver crisp and clear sound for a variety of occasions. Both soundbars are optionally complemented by the GS335 Subwoofer, a dedicated add-on that brings powerful bass and groundbreaking performance.

Featuring three EQ modes for games, movies, and music, the SonicBlast GS331 is a 2.0 channel soundbar that delivers 40W of rich sound and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth. Meanwhile, the SonicBlast GS333 is a straight audio beast with 60W of roof-raising audio, built-in subwoofer for heavier tones, three EQ modes, and Bluetooth connectivity. For the bass hounds out there seeking an extra dose of thunder during their bombastic gaming sessions, there's the SonicBlast GS335 that features 70W of in-your-face bass, a simple wireless setup, and intuitive on-board volume controls. The GS335 Subwoofer can be paired seamlessly with the GS331 and GS333 soundbars.

Intel Set to Launch Their New 5G Modems in 2019

Intel today announced substantial advances in its wireless product roadmap to accelerate the adoption of 5G. Highlights include the introduction of the Intel XMM 8000 series, Intel's first family of 5G new radio (5G NR) multi-mode commercial modems, and Intel's latest LTE modem, the Intel XMM 7660. Intel also announced it has successfully completed a full end-to-end 5G call based on its early 5G silicon, the Intel 5G Modem - a key milestone in its development. Finally, the Intel XMM 7560 modem unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2017 has achieved gigabit-class speeds.

"Intel is committed to delivering leading 5G multi-mode modem technology and making sure the transition to 5G is smooth," said Dr. Cormac Conroy, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group. "Our investments in a full portfolio of modem technologies and products are critical to achieving the vision of seamless 5G connectivity."

The Creative Assembly Announces Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia

The Creative Assembly, one of the foremost developers of Real Time Strategy (RTS) experiences, has announced a spin-off series based on the award-winning Total War series. Saga starts a series of spin-offs for the Total War game series, with The Creative Assembly saying that this series focuses on "exciting pivotal moments in history rather than whole historical eras."

Thrones of Britannia already has a Steam page, which points towards a 2018 release. Exploration of key flashpoints and distinct locations throughout history is the focus of these, with Total War series director Mike Simpson saying that "Unlike our era-spanning titles, we're putting defined geographical areas under the microscope, building super-detailed campaign maps with a strong cultural focus and flavor that players can dive into," Simpson said in a news release. "This will complement our broader-scope titles perfectly."

G.Skill Announces Trident Z DDR4-4400 32GB CL19 Kit

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the never-seen-before 32GB (4x8GB) Trident Z memory kit at an extremely blistering DDR4-4400MHz CL19-19-19-39. This new DDR4 Trident Z dual-channel memory kit upgrades the four-DIMM configuration to the next level as the world's fastest 32GB (4x8GB) memory kit in the world. These extremely high-speed desktop modules are manufactured with rigorously tested and binned ultra-performance Samsung B-die DDR4 ICs.

After the launch of the 8th Gen Intel Core processors and Z370 chipset motherboards, G.SKILL has been constantly pushing DDR4 speeds faster than ever before to higher levels with various capacity configurations. With the availability of the ASUS OptiMem technology, which complements the T-Toplogy layout that uses equalized trace lengths, four-DIMM memory configuration has improved stability and memory overclocking performance. G.SKILL Trident Z memory once again achieves the world's fastest 32GB memory kit at the ultra-high DDR4-4400MHz speed, with an exceptionally aggressive timing of CL19-19-19-39 in 32GB (4x8GB) at 1.5V. Below is the screenshot of the memory kit being stress tested and demonstrating its stability on the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS X HERO (WI-FI AC) motherboard with the Intel Core i7-8700K processor.

PowerColor Radeon RX Vega Red Devil Teased

PowerColor teased its first Radeon RX Vega series graphics card, under its flagship Red Devil branding. The company could use this common board design for both RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 SKUs. It combines a custom-design, triple-slot, triple-fan cooling solution, with a semi-custom design PCB. The cooler is an upscale of the company's RX 580 Red Devil, with a massive 2.5-slot thick aluminum fin-stack heatsink, which draws heat from the "Vega 10" GPU and a base-plate conveying heat from the VRM MOSFETs surrounding it, ventilated by a trio of 100 mm fans.

PowerColor's PCB for this card is a variation of AMD's reference "Vega 10" board, in that it's slightly taller towards the front. The company went with two each of DisplayPort and HDMI connectors, instead of the standard three DP + one HDMI layout. The VRM is the same 12-phase setup from the reference-design PCB, with PowerColor sticking to International Rectifier IR6894 and IR6211DirectFETs, and IR3598 phase-doublers, while customizing the chokes. The PCB is enlarged height-wise to give easy access to the BIOS switch. Two inverted 8-pin PCIe power inputs are located toward the end. Given how heavily this board is based on the reference PCB, it remains to be seen if fan idle-power off is featured. PowerColor is expected to launch the RX Vega 64 Red Devil and RX Vega 56 Red Devil before Holiday.

Source: VideoCardz
Thursday, November 16th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Crucial MX300 2 TB

The Crucial MX300 2 TB is the biggest SSD in the company's lineup. It provides a staggering 2050 GB of capacity, which should be plenty for everyone. Thanks to its good performance and outstanding price of 27 cents per GB, this is the drive you want if you need tons of fast storage.

Jonsbo Intros the PC-701 Top-flow CPU Cooler

Jonsbo today introduced the PC-701 top-flow CPU cooler. The cooler features a "C-type" aluminium fin-stack which propagates along the plane of the motherboard. Heat drawn by five 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat-pipes making direct contact with the CPU at the base, is conveyed along five points of the aluminium fin-stack, which is then ventilated by a 120 mm fan. Measuring 120 mm x 125 mm x 75 mm (WxDxH), and weighing 570 g, the cooler is designed to handle thermal loads of up to 135W.

The included 120 mm fan is the same one Jonsbo bundles with the CR-601 cooler. Taking in 4-pin PWM input, it spins between 500 to 1,500 RPM, with a noise output ranging between 19.5 to 29.2 dBA. This fan features RGB LED lighting projected onto its impeller. The cooler supports most mainstream-desktop CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA115x, and LGA775. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel to Redeem 2.95% Junior Subordinated Convertible Debentures Due 2035

Intel announced today that it has issued a notice of redemption to redeem on December 18, 2017 all of its outstanding 2.95% Junior Subordinated Convertible Debentures due 2035 (CUSIP Number 458140AC4) (the "Securities"). As of November 15, 2017, approximately $1.6 billion of the Securities was outstanding.

The Securities called for redemption will be redeemed at a stated redemption price equal to 100% of the aggregate principal amount of such Securities, plus accrued and unpaid interest to (but excluding) the redemption date.

The conversion rate of the Securities as of November 16, 2017 is 37.1860 shares of Intel common stock per $1,000 principal amount of the Securities, which is equivalent to a conversion price of $26.89 per share of common stock. The Securities called for redemption may be converted at any time before 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on December 15, 2017, the business day immediately preceding the redemption date. Intel has elected to settle the conversion obligation with respect to the Securities in cash.

EVGA DG-7 Series Gaming Case Available on Pre-order

The mid-tower is the ideal form factor that is well balanced between usable space and overall footprint. DG-7 is a case designed with aesthetics and function in mind, and is the perfect mid-tower solution. DG-7 features convenient and easy cable management, wide range of radiator support, and a durable steel frame. The tempered glass side panel is perfect to show off your system, no matter if you go with traditional GPU mount or vertical GPU mount.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2

AMD today released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2 beta software. The drivers come with launch-day optimization for "Star Wars: Battlefront II." The drivers also fix a handful issues related to Radeon ReLive game video capture/streaming software, in which chroma artifacts would show up on the screen, and an issue which caused recording to fail when switching between borderless fullscreen and fullscreen modes. The drivers also address WattMan issues, in which undervolted values wouldn't correctly apply on some "Polaris" (RX 400 and RX 500 series) GPUs, and underclocked GPU memory values not reflecting in the user-interface. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.2

The change-log follows.

Overwatch, Star Wars Battlefront II Loot Crates Under Gambling Scrutiny

According to Belgium's VTM Nieuws, the Chancellor Commission from that country has opened an investigation into both Overwatch and Star Wars Battlefront II loot crates, so as to rule whether or not these constitute gambling. Loot boxes being compared to gambling isn't a new debate, but up until now, a clear ruling that characterizes loot crates as such still hasn't made its way onto the courts or commissions that have been looking into these issues. That loot crates and other microtransactions are resounding successes in ever increasing monetization of game experiences is no secret: Digital River has released a report that stated microtransactions and the whole "Games as a Service" model has tripled the industry's value.

EA has been receiving a lot of flak for the way they implemented their loot boxing mechanics in Star Wars Battlefront II, which has led to repeated cycles of posturing, bullying, and ultimately some small steps backward for the company, regarding its initial stance on Battlefront II's specific implementation. Already has the company decreased costs for unlocking characters in-game, though some are reporting that for players to unlock everything the $60 game supposedly offers, they'd have to play it for at least 4,528 hours - or pony-up $2,100 to unlock all the base content.

Free DLCs Coming to Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Before the Year Ends

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced various free content updates and features coming this year to Middle-earth: Shadow of War, providing players with new ways to continue the battle for Mordor and capture every epic moment. Upcoming free downloadable content (DLC) updates and features include:
  • Endless Siege - Defend your fortresses against Sauron's forces as the Dark Lord tries to reclaim Mordor in the Endless Siege. (Available 21st Nov)
  • Rebellion - Crush the rebel Ologs and Uruks in your forces as they seek to undermine the Bright Lord. (Available 21st Nov)
  • Enhanced Photo Mode - Capture every battle and siege and apply new filters, frames and textures with the Enhanced Photo Mode update. (Available 21st Nov)
  • Online Fight Pits - Challenge another player's Orc follower, Overlord vs. Overlord, to a fight to the death in the arena to earn powerful rewards and upgrades. (Available 5th Dec)
  • Brutal Difficulty - A new higher difficulty level even more challenging than Nemesis with no last chances. (Available 12th Dec)

Razer Lifts the Curtain on New Wolverine Tournament Edition Gaming Controller

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today unveiled the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition, an addition to its Razer Wolverine XBOX controller line designed specifically for professional gamers. The new controller retains the ergonomic design and highly praised features of Wolverine Ultimate. Tested and validated by many of the world's best professional esports athletes, the Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition ensures the highest levels of performance and comfort.

"Razer has been great to work with throughout the development of the Wolverine Tournament Edition, taking direct feedback from our professional players and implementing it into the controller," says Alex Gonzalez, Head of Red Reserve's North American Operations. "This process has helped guarantee that the wolverine gives our players the biggest edge over the rest of the competitive scene.

Get SpellForce 2 - Anniversary Edition for Free Over at GameSessions

GameSessions, the company pioneering game giveaways and trials, today announces a new giveaway of SpellForce 2: Anniversary Edition. The GameSessions Giveaways service has been delivering for users over the past few months and is back with another giveaway. To celebrate the upcoming release of SpellForce 3, SpellForce 2: Anniversary Edition is being given away for free by the online games retailer. GameSessions works in collaboration with brand partners to deliver a great game to users, for free. The unique reach and engagement of GameSessions Giveaways allows partners to talk to gamers directly whilst gamers get to add a new game to their collection.

Live the CES 2018 Experience Like a VIP and Meet Intel CEO Brian Krzanich

Today, Intel launched a fundraising effort on Charitybuzz to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The company is auctioning a VIP experience at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas including travel, deluxe lodging and a backstage meet and greet with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich before his opening keynote on Jan. 8, 2018.

"CES is an incredible show for anyone interested in the future of technology, and I'm really excited to share a VIP CES experience while raising money for a great cause," Krzanich said. "The top bidder will be my guest at the show and get exclusive access to our opening keynote, exhibit space and more."

Final Audio Launches E3000 and E2000 Earphones with Dynamic Drivers

Swapping the traditional balanced armature drivers for dynamic drivers for the first time, whilst still retaining a high-quality sound in a simple and user-friendly design, the new Final E series models are designed to deliver signature Final quality in an affordable package. Final have aimed to create a series of products that will set the bar for consumer in-ears for years to come. Integrating the results of their latest acoustic engineering Final have designed the E-Series to produce a level of detail in the listeners music traditionally only heard in products twice their price.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Gets Launch Date: February 13, 2018

KOEI TECMO America eased fans' anticipation today by announcing that Omega Force's upcoming open-world epic, DYNASTY WARRIORS 9, will be released across the western regions on February 13, 2018 for the PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC via Steam. DYNASTY WARRIORS 9 will venture into new territory as the classic, time-tested "one versus thousands" action, iconic to the Warriors series, is expanded to its first true open world installment.

KOEI TECMO America has put together an exciting bundle of bonus content for gamers opting to pick up the physical or standard digital version. Comprised of seven costumes for fan-favorite characters, the bundle includes an imposing Beijing opera-style costume for Zhao Yun and six costumes inspired by traditional Chinese undergarment styles - one each for Guan Yinping, Diaochan, Sun Shangxiang, Lu Lingqi, Wang Yi, and Wang Yuanji.

New Studies Reveal MOBA Gamers Having Higher IQs Than FPS Gamers

Researchers at the University of York have discovered a link between young people's ability to perform well at two popular video games and high levels of intelligence. Studies carried out at the Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs) at York found that some action strategy video games can act like IQ tests. The researchers' findings are published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

The York researchers stress the studies have no bearing on questions such as whether playing computer games makes young people smarter or otherwise. They simply establish a correlation between skill at certain online games of strategy and intelligence. The researchers focused on 'Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas' (MOBAs) - action strategy games that typically involve two opposing teams of five individuals - as well as multiplayer 'First Person Shooter' games. These types of games are hugely popular with hundreds of millions of players worldwide.

CORSAIR Launches New Range of Magnetic Levitation ML PRO RGB Fans

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components and today announced the launch of the new ML PRO RGB range of PC cooling fans. Building on the success of CORSAIR ML Series fans, which are equipped with magnetic levitation bearings to deliver almost frictionless operation, CORSAIR ML PRO RGB fans add four individually controlled RGB LEDs on the fan's center hub, creating a vivid 360° blast of light and color. Enhanced by frosted fan blades and customizable with near-limitless options in CORSAIR LINK software, ML PRO RGB fans create a bright circle of custom-color-lighting that makes any PC standout from the crowd.

Behind the lighting, ML PRO RGB fans retain the quality and performance that's made ML Series fans a staple of high-end PCs and the most ambitious builds, with a magnetic levitation fan bearing that physically levitates the fan rotor to almost entirely eliminate bearing friction. The custom-designed fan rotor delivers the perfect balance between high static pressure and high airflow, while a low-noise tuned PWM control range means that, even at full speed, ML PRO RGB fans are incredibly quiet.

CORSAIR Launches HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC components and high-performance gaming hardware, today announced the latest addition to its line-up of award-winning peripherals, the HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset. With adjustable plush ear cups and aluminum construction, the HS50 provides exceptional comfort for hours of gameplay and legendary CORSAIR build quality, ensuring long-term durability.

Precision-tuned 50mm neodymium speaker drivers deliver superior sound quality with wide range and accuracy, while a fully detachable Discord-certified microphone and on-ear volume and mute controls make on-the-fly adjustments easy without pulling you out of your game. Connecting via a 3.5mm connector for wide compatibility and available in carbon black, green or blue trim, the HS50 brings award-winning CORSAIR quality audio to all gamers, whether they play on PC, console or mobile.

MSI Announces Infinite X Desktops with 8th Gen Core Processors

MSI, world's leading manufacturer of true gaming hardware is proudly expanding its Infinite Gaming Desktop series with the first Gaming Desktop featuring the Intel 8th generation processors, the MSI Infinite X. The Infinite X is built for gamers with a never-ending desire to game and want endless possibilities to game the way they want. This desktop is delivering the best gaming performance by equipping MSI's renowned graphics cards to give gamers just that little bit more in-game advantage.

Together with the newest unlocked processor generation from Intel it will give the speed and performance gamers require, even pushing the limits with the ability to overclock. To keep a system with all this power cool, the Infinite X uses MSI's exclusive Silent Storm Cooling 3 thermal design, making its cooling efficiency unmatched and as quiet as an assassin.

EK Announces Monoblock for ASRock X299 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing its very first monoblock for X299 based ASRock motherboards. The EK-FB ASRock X299 RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASRock RGB LED, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

A complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solutions for several ASRock Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following ASRock motherboards:
  • ASRock X299 OC Formula
  • ASRock X299 Taichi
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9
  • ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Gaming K6

Gigabyte Releases New GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Model - Windforce 2X

Gigabyte has added a new custom option to its GeForce GTX 1070 Ti line-up - this time, a dual-fan solution under the "WindForce 2X" moniker (SKU code GV -N107TWF2-8GD). This graphics card takes very much after its slightly less beefy cousin, the GTX 1070 WindForce 2X, in that it features a simpler, more compact WindForce 2X cooling solution than the WindForce 3X, with a twin aluminum-fin stack heatsink ventilated by a pair of 90 mm fans, which stay off when the card is idling. Power is taken from both the PCIe slot and 1x 8-pin power connector.

Like other GTX 1070 Ti solutions before it, the Gigabyte GTX 1070 Ti WindForce 2X graphics card features a software toggle that activates a "Software OC Mode", which essentially activates a factory overclock that Gigabyte (like all other NVIDIA AIB partners) can't ship their GTX 1070 Ti with. The Core clock under "Gaming Mode" is 1,607 MHz base and 1,683 MHz boost, which are slightly brought up to 1,632 MHz base and 1,721 MHz boost under the "Software OC Mode". Memory clock stands at 8GB GDDR5 running at 8 GHz through a 256-bit bus. Display outputs are 1x Dual Link DVI-D, 1x HDMI, 3x DisplayPort.

Sources: GDM, via Guru3D

Futuremark Introduces "Cyan Room" DX12 VR Benchmark to VRMark

Adding to its staple of benchmarking suites, Futuremark has announced the upcoming release of their latest benchmark, dubbed "Cyan Room". this is a Bioshock-esque benchmark that was made for DX12-powered, VR-enabled workloads, and should let users know just how much processing grunt they have at their disposal. It uses a pure DirectX 12 engine built in-house and optimized for VR, besides featuring "a large, complex environment and many eye-catching effects."

The Cyan Room can be explored at the users' leisure through its "Experience Mode"; it's a benchmarking experience where users can actually change the rendering resolution and other settings to make the scene more or less demanding, on the fly. This should allow users to truly gauge the difference in experience according to achieved performance in the benchmark - the company says "using Experience mode with a VR headset is a great way to see how system performance affects your VR experience." With its massive 5K rendering resolution and spectacular volumetric lighting effects, the company says it sets a high bar for future hardware generations. Cyan Room will be released on November 22 as a free update for VRMark Advanced Edition and VRMark Professional Edition.

Source: Futuremark

SilverStone Announces Availability of RedLine RL07 Cases

SilverStone today announced availability of its RedLine RL07 series ATX mid-tower cases. The cases were first unveiled at the 2017 Computex expo. They are characterized by the asymmetric front-panel design in which one half slopes downward, and the other one upward, with the gaps between them being studded with LEDs. The case comes in two principal variants - white with blue LED lighting, and black with red LED lighting. A tempered glass panel forms the left side panel. Under the hood, it features a contemporary horizontally partitioned layout.

The top compartment has room for an ATX/micro-ATX motherboard, with add-on cards up to 41.5 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 16.7 cm in height. The bottom compartment houses a PSU up to 19 cm in length, and three 3.5-inch drive bays (which each support 2.5-inch drives). Three additional 2.5-inch drive mounts are located behind the motherboard tray. Fan mounts include three 120 mm front intakes (which convert to 2x 140 mm), and a 140 mm rear exhaust. You can mount either a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator along the front-panel, or a 280 mm x 140 mm radiator there (besides smaller radiators). Front panel connectivity includes two each of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0/1.1 ports, and HDA jacks. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Wednesday, November 15th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
SSD

TechPowerUp and GeIL Announce Thanksgiving Giveaway

TechPowerUp and GeIL announce the Thanksgiving Giveaway. Open to contestants from all over the world (where legal), from November 15 thru November 23, 2017, the giveaway lets you bag gaming peripherals from GeIL's EpicGear brand, or its SuperLUCE DDR4 gaming memory. The first lucky winner gets an EpicGear set that includes EpicGear Gekkota gaming mouse, EpicGear GryphuZ Pro gaming mouse pad, and an EpicGear Melodiouz gaming headset. The second lucky winner gets a GeIL Super LUCE RGB Sync 2x 8 GB DDR4-2400 memory kit. The third lucky winner gets a GeIl Super LUCE RGB Lite 2x 4 GB DDR4-2400 memory kit. To stand a chance to win, all you have to do it fill up a short form that lets us get back to you if you've won.
For more information, and to participate, visit this page. Good Luck!

NVIDIA Quietly Rolls Out GeForce MX130 and MX110 Notebook GPUs

NVIDIA quietly rolled out two entry-level notebook graphics processors, the GeForce MX130 and GeForce MX110. The two continue to be based on the "Maxwell" GPU architecture, and from the looks of it, appear to be based on the "GM108" silicon. With a core-configuration of 384 CUDA cores, 16 TMUs, and 8 ROPs, and GDDR5 memory, and mentioned that the MX130 is "2.5x" as fast as Intel UHD 620 graphics, while the MX110 is "1.5x" as fast, with slower DDR3 memory. Both support NVIDIA Optimus technology, besides the feature-set of the "Maxwell" architecture, and complete the MX100-series entry-level notebook GPU family led by the GP108-based MX150, which offers 4x UHD 620 performance.

EK Water Blocks Parts Ways with Top Management

In what is an unexpected piece of news, TechPowerUp learned from multiple sources both inside and out of the company that EK Water Blocks have had an estrangement from the majority of their top management including their CEO of over four years. This is an extremely important personnel change that can affect the landscape of the PC DIY water cooling market given the brand presence that EKWB has. We contacted said group including Mark Tanko, the CEO, Niko Tivadar, the CTO, and Andrej P. Škraba, the Head of Marketing, who confirmed they are all no longer affiliated with EKWB and they provided a statement seen below. We were also able to confirm this directly from the owner/founder of the company who is currently acting in the CEO role, and who has also provided a statement as seen past the break.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 388.31 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today has released the latest version of their GeForce Game Ready Graphics Driver. The new 388.31 drivers are optimized for the latest AAA games, "Star Wars Battlefront II," and "Injustice 2". NVIDIA has also added the corresponding 3D Vision profiles for both titles. In addition, they've included SLI profiles for Star Wars: Battlefront II and EVE Valkyrie - Warzone as well. According to them, the 388.31 drivers improve Destiny 2 performance by up to a staggering 53%. However, the more notable fixes include the micro-stuttering issue when using GPU monitoring tools to monitor GPU power and the driver not picking up GeForce GTX 1080 on the Alienware Amplifier.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 388.31 WHQL

Bitfenix Reveals Enso Case and Alchemy 3.0 Addressable RGB Magnetic LED Strips

BitFenix presented Aurora, Shogun and Alchemy 2.0 RGB Magnetic LED Strips co-developing AURA SYNC technology with Asus bringing in the comprehensive neat RGB LED concept for PC build. Today BitFenix present the BitFenix ENSO and the Alchemy 3.0 Addressable RGB Magnetic LED
Strips, again co-developing with Asus, supporting the latest ASUS AURA SYNC 3-pin technology for addressable RGB illumination.

Sleek Design With Metallic Front & Enhanced AURA SYNC 3 Pin Addressable RGB illumination
With the ENSO, BitFenix is launching the long awaited case shown at Taipei's Computex 2017, available in black and white. The clean design concept is well balanced between a perfectly organized interior structure and a sleek exterior design. It is complemented by a 4mm see-through-tinted tempered glass panel on the side and addressable RGB illumination surrounding the metallic front. It comes with a pre-installed controller, compatible to both, BitFenix Alchemy 2.0, static, and BitFenix 3.0, addressable, RGB products.

Club 3D Expands its Product Portfolio with New MST Hubs and HDMI Cables

Club 3D as the pioneer of Multi Stream Transport Hubs strengthen our presence in this segment with the announcement of the following products to complement our already established MST Hubs. Since our first introduction back in 2013, we are reaching a maturity level on these product lines and therefore we are introducing a lighter version packed in a polybag and powered solely with USB power. Compared to our further continued CSV-5XXX line of MST Hubs the new items will differ in some major points:
  • all models are powered by USB only, no power supply needed
  • different packaging: polybag instead of retail box
  • no reset button on the product, for repeating digital handshake just plug the MST Hub on/off from the Display Port.
  • no MiniDP to DP Adapter included in the box.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Goes Free to Play for the Weekend

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege will be available to play for free from November 16th to November 19th, 2017. Interested players can join the more than 20 million player Rainbow Six Siege community on PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC via Uplay and Steam. The game will be on sale up to 50% off from November 16th to November 27th, 2017. Players who try the game during the free weekend can carry over their progress and continue to play uninterrupted.

The latest content from Year 2 Season 4, Operation White Noise, will deploy on the Technical Test Server (PC) on November 20th, 2017. Operation White Noise features a new map set in a sky high observation tower above Seoul's skyline in South Korea. Three new operators are joining the fray, including two members of South Korea's 707th Special Mission Battalion and a new Operator from Poland's GROM.

Killing Floor: Incursion Brings the Horror and Gore to the HTC Vive

Tripwire Interactive, developers of the award-winning Red Orchestra and Killing Floor franchises, announced today that Killing Floor: Incursion is now available for HTC VIVE and is available for purchase on Steam for $39.99 USD. In addition to today's launch on Steam, a new downloadable content update is now available to current owners of Killing Floor: Incursion on Oculus Rift. The update highlights include a new Hardcore difficulty setting, Katana weapon, leaderboards, achievements, and the exciting new "Holdout" game mode, which finds players defending a random location in one of the game's maps against increasingly deadly hordes of Zeds in a frenetic, arcade-like action experience.

In Killing Floor: Incursion, players must take on the role of an elite Horzine Security Forces soldier as they team up with allies to fend off the horrific Zed hordes using an array of weapons including guns, blades and more. Players will be able to freely explore as they move throughout the environment, scavenging for weapons and ammo while searching for the best locations to fight the monster onslaught. Battle in diverse environments from creepy farmhouses to high-tech facilities through Horzine Security Forces missions and unlock the secrets of the Zeds' origins.
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