Friday, January 24th 2020

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Mouse
Multimedia
Notebooks
PSUs
Sound Cards
HiFiMAN ANANDA-BT

HiFiMAN ANANDA-BT

Today, we take a look at the brand new Bluetooth-enabled ANANDA-BT headphones from HiFiMAN. These headphones support all the Hi-Fi protocols over Bluetooth. Priced at $999, the ANANDA-BT is one of the most expensive Bluetooth headphones around.

AMD Quietly Patched Four Major GPU Security Vulnerabilities with Radeon 20.1.1 Drivers

If you haven't updated your AMD Radeon drivers in a while, here's one major reason to. The company secretly patched four major security vulnerabilities affecting Radeon GPUs, in its recent Adrenalin 20.1.1 drivers, with no mention of doing so in its changelog. Talos Intelligence reports four vulnerabilities, which are are chronicled under CVE-2019-5124, CVE-2019-5146, CVE-2019-5147 and CVE-2019-5183. This class of attacks exploits a vulnerability in the AMD Radeon driver file ATIDXX64.dll, which can lead to denial of service or even remote code execution. What makes things much more serious is that this attack vector can be used to exploit the host machine from a VM (tested with VMWare). It even seems possible to trigger the vulnerability from a web page, through WebGL (which allows running 3D applications on a remote website). The vulnerabilities were tested on Radeon RX 550 / 550 Series VMware Workstation 15 (15.5.0 build-14665864) with Windows 10 x64 as guest VM, but there is no reason to assume that the issue is limited to just RX 550 as the AMD shader compiler shares a common code basis for all recent DirectX 12 GPUs.

All vulnerabilities rely on a common attack vector: specially crafted shader code that exploits bugs in the shader compiler. Even though HLSL shader code looks similar to assembly, it actually is a relatively high-level language that gets optimized and compiled by the graphics driver. VMWare's graphics acceleration lets you run 3D graphics in virtual machines, by passing along rendering info to the host GPU and then funneling the output back into the VM. Since the shader code gets compiled using the graphics driver of the host OS, this creates interesting opportunities for attacks.
Thursday, January 23rd 2020

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
NAS
Speakers
SSD
Scythe Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM Fan

Scythe Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM Fan

Scythe attempts to maintain their product philosophy of offering good cooling products of value with the Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM fan. An iteration of the existing Kaze Flex, the addition of RGB lighting comes to attract a large market that increasingly wants color customization for custom PC builds.

Patriot Viper Gaming Launches V380 Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound RGB Gaming Headset

VIPER GAMING by PATRIOT, a trademarked brand of PATRIOT and a global leader in performance memory, solid-state drives, and flash storage solutions, today is proud to announce the launch of Viper V380 Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset. It delivers crystal clear sound quality and outstanding noise isolation for hardcore gaming and theater-grade audio playback. Featured Hi-Fi grade 53 mm neodymium drivers, the V380 headset brings higher sensitivity and the superior quality of sound with delicate details helping users react faster than their rivals in a game battle.

With the ergonomic concept, V380 headset is housed with hinged over-sized ear cushions and paired with an adjustable protein-leather headband to provide max comfort to gamers who enjoy long gaming matches. An excellent headset is an essential gear for every gamer during the most crucial gaming rounds. Whether the user wants to enjoy a 4K action movie in the late hours or have gaming sessions until dawn, a 7.1 virtual headset is the ideal substitution of the surround sound speakers.

Where's the Ryzen Effect? Intel posts Record Financials

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a five percent cash dividend increase to $1.32 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"In 2019, we gained share in an expanded addressable market that demands more performance to process, move and store data," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "One year into our long-term financial plan, we have outperformed our revenue and EPS expectations. Looking ahead, we are investing to win the technology inflections of the future, play a bigger role in the success of our customers and increase shareholder returns."

MSI Says not all Radeon RX 5600 XT GPUs Can Hit 14 Gbps Memory Speed

Just before the launch of AMD's latest Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards, AMD released a vBIOS update that boosts the GPU clock speed by a few percent margins and increases the GDDR6 memory speed from 12 Gbps to 14 Gbps, which is almost a 17% performance increase in memory bandwidth. However, despite the release of these new firmware updates, AMD's add-in-board partners like ASUS and MSI have been cautious about applying the new vBIOS to the existing cards. A YouTube show called the MSI Insider, which is hosted by MSI employees, explains the situation. Due to the GDDR6 memory, which was originally meant as a 12 Gbps chip, when applying the new firmware update to the card can lead to RMA issues with customers.

While some cards are capable of hitting 14 Gbps speeds with the GDDR6 chips, others are not as they were not certified to work at that frequency. Silicon lottery (not the company) of the memory chips plays a big role as the quality of the onboard DRAM will have a large impact on the ability to overclock to new frequencies. That's why MSI released an RX 5600 XT GAMING Z variant with 14 Gbps vBIOS already applied out of the box. ASUS also joined the party and launched the ASUS ROG STRIX TOP graphics card, which is the only 14 Gbps enabled cards in ASUS'es whole lineup. By launching GPU SKUs with 14 Gbps speeds out of the box, manufacturers can guarantee these speeds and not depend on silicon lottery which may cause them a few RMA troubles down the road.

CORSAIR Launches New AMD-Powered VENGEANCE 6100 Series Gaming PCs

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced its new models of stunning AMD-powered gaming PCs, the CORSAIR VENGEANCE 6100 Series. Starting with the VENGEANCE 6180 and VENGEANCE 6182, these cutting-edge gaming PCs combine the power of 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors and AMD Radeon RX 5700 Series graphics with high-quality CORSAIR components, all in a compact cube form factor that's 33% smaller than a standard mid-tower and brimming with fully customizable RGB lighting.

Since launching in 2018, the CORSAIR VENGEANCE family has emerged as one of the most awarded and sought-after gaming PCs on the market thanks to its impressive power, distinctive style, and deeply embedded customizable RGB lighting. Both the CORSAIR VENGEANCE 6180 and 6182 incorporate a liquid-cooled AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU with eight cores and 16 threads, an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB graphics card, and 16 GB of CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4-3200 Memory. Both models are cooled by a CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i RGB PLATINUM Liquid CPU cooler and powered by a CORSAIR RM650 80 PLUS Gold power supply.

Intel joins CHIPS Alliance to promote Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open standard

CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced industry leading chipmaker Intel as its newest member. Intel is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance to foster broad adoption.

CHIPS Alliance is hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project develops high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code and software development tools relevant to the design of open source CPUs, SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon.

ASUS Unveils ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha Motherboard: Improved CPU VRM

ASUS updated its AMD socket sTRX4 motherboard series with the new ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha, a slight step-up from the original ROG Zenith II Extreme that debuted with AMD's 3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper family. Although ASUS' entire sTRX4 motherboard lineup will support the upcoming 64-core Threadripper 3990X, the new Extreme Alpha is better designed for overclocking it. The new board looks visually identical to the original ROG Zenith II Extreme, and has an almost-identical feature-set, with the only difference being the CPU VRM solution. The new ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha implements a 16-phase CPU VRM with Infineon TDA21490 power-stages replacing the TDA21472 power-stages on the original ROG Zenith II Extreme (possibly increase output current or I-out from 70 A to 90 A). This could marginally increase the product price. The rest of the feature-set is identical.

Pure 12V PSU Standard, Named ATX12VO, Debuts Later This Year

Back at CES, at the FSP booth, we spied an inconspicuous-looking PSU with a curious 10-pin connector in place of the 24-pin ATX. The FSP500-30AKB turned out to be the first public exhibit of a the pure 12-Volt PC power supply standard being pushed by Intel, which is called "ATX12VO," which abbreviates Advanced Technology eXtended 12-Volt Only. According to the specification, the PSU only puts out +12 V and 12 Vsb voltage domains, and does away with the 5 V, 5 Vsb, and 3.3 V domains. This greatly simplifies the design of PSUs, as PCs of today don't use too many power-hungry 5 V or 3.3 V devices (such as half-a-dozen mechanical hard drives). The PC will still need 5 V for interfaces such as USB, but VRM on the motherboard will be responsible for DC-to-DC switching of 12 V to those lower-voltage domains. It's also likely that the motherboard will now put out a handful SATA power connectors.

Intel could debut ATX12VO within 2020 via its next-generation desktop platform, which features a 10-pin connector instead of 24-pin. It remains to be seen if the company could help the transition from current PSUs to the new standard by having its motherboard partners include a 24-pin to 10-pin adapter of some sort. In addition to the 10-pin connector, ATX12VO PSUs will put out two other purely-12 V connector types: 8-pin/4+4 pin EPS and 6+2 pin PCIe power. The EPS connector powers the CPU VRM, while the PCIe connector powers add-on cards, such as graphics cards. 4-pin Molex connectors could also be put out, but those will only feature 12 V pins (the 5 V pins will be absent).

EK Releases Quantum Vector Blocks for ASUS RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 DUAL EVO

EK Water Blocks, the EU-based liquid cooling gear manufacturer, would like to inform its key partners about the new version of the already launched EK-Quantum Vector Dual Evo RTX 2070/2080 D-RGB block. This water block will now be available in the Nickel + Acetal version as well.

The EK-Quantum Vector Dual Evo RTX 2070/2080 D-RGB water blocks are specifically engineered for ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070, 2080, 2070 SUPER and 2080 SUPER graphics cards. The water block itself uses the signature EK single slot slim look, and it covers the entire PCB length. This sophisticated cooling solution will transform your powerful ASUS graphics card into a minimalistic, elegant piece of hardware with accented D-RGB LED lighting.

Matrox to Develop Embedded Graphics Cards with NVIDIA

Matrox today announced a collaboration with NVIDIA for the development of a new range of multi-display embedded graphics cards purpose-built for high-density video walls. Leveraging NVIDIA's industry-renowned GPU technology, Matrox will design graphics innovations powered by a custom-built Quadro embedded GPU to accelerate graphics-intensive video wall applications in commercial and 24/7 critical environments.

"Matrox is thrilled to work alongside NVIDIA, the leader in GPU computing, to bring to market a new standard of high-density video walls," said David Chiappini, executive vice president of research and development at Matrox. "This collaboration is yet another example of our commitment to expanding our video wall portfolio while customers continue to benefit from our graphics expertise, world-class engineering, dedicated technical support, and long product life cycles."

Intel Rolls Out NUC 8 Pro Targeting Businesses

Intel Wednesday rolled out its NUC 8 Pro "Provo Canyon" line of compact desktops targeted at businesses. These NUCs are fit for enterprise client desktop role as some of the models feature Intel vPro, and are powered by 8th generation Core "Whiskey Lake-U" processors. Leading the pack is the NUC8v7PN, powered by a Core i7-8665U processor, followed by the NUC8v5PN powered by Core i5-8365U, and the NUC8i3PN, powered by Core i3-8145U. The NUC8v7PN and NUC8v5PN offer Intel vPro support. All three come in two chassis types, H and K. The H chassis features a 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA 6 Gbps interface, and measures 117 mm x 112 mm x 53 mm, while the compact K chassis lacks the 2.5-inch drive bay, and is 37 mm tall. The three are also available in bare board form-factors, so you can use your own NUC-compatible cases.

Connectivity features common to all three are dual HDMI 2.0b (HDCP 2.2) ports with in-built CEC; two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory; one Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) port at the rear panel that includes DisplayPort 1.3 and USB 3.1 gen 2 wiring; and four USB type-A ports, from which three are USB 3.1 gen 2, and one USB 2.0. Networking connectivity includes 802.11ac through an Intel Wireless AC-9560 vPro WLAN card (NUC8v7PN and NUC8v5PN only) or Wireless AC-9560 (NUC8i3PN), and one 1 GbE interface driven by Intel i219-LM controller. The audio is completely HDMI-based, there are no analog jacks. The three are certified for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and Windows Server 2019.
Wednesday, January 22nd 2020

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Mouse
Storage
PassMark Inline PSU Tester

PassMark Inline PSU Tester

The PassMark Inline PSU tester lets you perform in-depth testing of power supplies, beyond what a simple multimeter can do. It's also compact enough to carry with you in the field. We cross-verified its readings against our professional lab equipment with surprisingly good results.
MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming X & Gaming Z

MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming X & Gaming Z

MSI's Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming Series comes in two flavors: the Gaming X and the Gaming Z, which has higher memory clocks. We compare both cards and their massive triple-slot thermal solution that achieves amazing temperatures and noise levels. Fan-stop is included, too.

Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

ASML to Deliver 35 EUV Systems in 2020

In a 2019 earnings call ASML, a Dutch company that is currently the world's largest semiconductor lithography supplier has been talking about the company's records and what awaits them in the future. In its 2019 earning report, ASML was forecasting the delivery of as much as 35 EUV systems in 2020. It is not a forecast per se, but rather a known fact since factories order their equipment months before they need to use it. Having previously delivered 26 EUV systems in 2019, the plan for the coming years is to boost the EUV system shipments by as much as 40% yearly. With plans to ship between 45 and 50 EUV systems in the year 2021, AMSL sees a strong revenue gain in the coming years. What is driving the demand for these machines is the use of ever-smaller semiconductor manufacturing nodes. Even at 7 nm, there is almost a need to use EUV lithography, and as you drop in size the lithography challenge becomes real, the use of EUV becomes a necessity.

Abkoncore Announces the Astra AM6 Gaming Mouse

ABKONCORE is pleased to announce the availability of the ASTRA AM6 cost effective gaming mouse. This rigor PC gaming mouse is ambidextrous, ergonomic and simply cool. The addition of the RGB function to this niche mouse makes it even cooler. Colorful 16.8 million RGB led glaring around the mouse. Customize your own send of gaming by choosing one of the 4 pre-set flash modes to you own liking. The ASTRA AM8 is provides comfort due to the outline natural human grip design and symmetrical shape for both right and left hand use. This way you can switch between using the mouse left and right to release fatigue when entered in long gaming sessions.

The new ASTRA is featured with 4-Step sensitivity adjustment to maximum 3200 DPI. Either to increase or decrease the pointer speed for any specific game you're playing. PDI can be set without software, just by the push of a button. The optical precision sensor enables you to control the mouse with high accuracy and aim faster than you opponents.

QNAP Releases Intel Dual-Core Powered TS-251D Multimedia NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the 2-bay TS-251D NAS. Powered by an Intel J4005 dual-core processor, the TS-251D can be used with QNAP's smart AI photo management application, QuMagie, which integrates AI image recognition to group similar photos together in album "People", "Things" and "Places". The 4K media transcoding and streaming capabilities of the TS-251D brings users an excellent and satisfying cross-device multimedia experience. The TS-251D also provides a PCIe slot for expanding its core functionality.

Powered by an Intel Celeron J4005 dual-core 2.00 GHz processor (burst up to 2.7 GHz), DDR4 RAM (up to 8 GB), one Gigabit LAN port, and supports SATA 6 Gbps drives. The TS-251D provides dependable read/write speeds and Intel AES-NI 256 hardware-accelerated encryption to secure sensitive and confidential data on the NAS. The TS-251D also supports snapshots, allowing users to quickly recover data in the event of accidental deletion/modification or ransomware attack.

NZXT Announces the RGB & Fan Controller

NZXT, a leading developer of software-powered hardware solutions for PC gaming, today announces the NZXT RGB & Fan Controller. Powered by NZXT CAM, the RGB & Fan Controller gives users the tools to customize lighting and fan profiles to perfection.

The NZXT RGB & Fan Controller was created for builders to easily and affordably add digital RGB and fan control to their system controlled via NZXT CAM. Any chassis can now have the same enhanced capabilities found in the i versions of NZXT award-winning H Series cases. Bringing beauty to any battlestation is simpler than ever with two RGB lighting and fan channels that are compatible with all NZXT lighting accessories such as LED strips, underglow, cable combs, and AER RGB 2 fans. Additionally, three dedicated 10 W fan channels are included, giving users direct control of their airflow performance digitally.

TerraMaster TD2 Thunderbolt 3 Storage Enclosure Now Available

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products, including network attached storage and direct attached storage, is proud to share with content creators and multimedia professionals its lineup of Thunderbolt 3-equipped, direct-attached storage solutions for faster video and data access. Utilizing the power of Thunderbolt 3 which allows 40 Gbps of data transfer, the TerraMaster TD Thunderbolt 3 is a plug-and-play solution for personal usage all the way to small production needs. Perfect for Mac Pro media professionals and compatible devices which needs large storage but high-speed access in a portable package.

Thunderbolt 3 is the latest generation of connectivity technology that utilizes 40 Gbps of bandwidth to connect directly with the computer. Thunderbolt technology also allows connecting multiple devices simultaneously via daisy chain allowing you to scale or interconnect your Thunderbolt devices from just one source. The TerraMaster D2 Thunderbolt 3 is a 2-bay drive supporting professional grade RAID0 or RAID1 for your choice of improved performance or data redundancy.

GIGABYTE Outs RX 5600 XT Gaming OC VBIOS Update and Easy Updater

GIGABYTE late-Tuesday released a video BIOS update for its Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC graphics card (model: GV-R56XTGAMING OC-6GD). The new FA0 video BIOS increases TGP of the card to a massive 180 W (up from 150 W original spec), gaming clocks up to 1670 MHz, boost clocks up to 1750 MHz, and memory clocks up to 14 Gbps (GDDR6-effective), up from 12 Gbps. Gigabyte's BIOS update package for the RX 5600 XT Gaming OC includes a Windows-based GUI updater that's a lot easier to use than manually updating the BIOS using ATIWinFlash. Grab the update package from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: GIGABYTE RX 5600 XT Gaming OC New FA0 BIOS Update

PowerColor Releases RX 5600 XT Unleashed BIOS

PowerColor joins many other AMD Radeon partners in releasing enhanced video BIOS updates for its Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards to implement AMD's updated specification for the RX 5600 XT that increases clock-speeds and power-limits for the SKU, making it competitive against NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060. PowerColor saves its users the hassle (and risk) of updating their cards using bare ROM image files and ATIWinFlash, by automating the process via batch files. Unfortunately, PowerColor's updater appears DOS-based, and involves having to boot your PC to DOS and running the batch file.

Eligible models for PowerColor's RX 5600 XT Unleashed BIOS are the RX 5600 XT Red Devil (model: AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHE/OC) and the RX 5600 XT Red Dragon (AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHR/OC). Both cards offer the dual-BIOS feature, in which one of the BIOS is marked "OC" for the best performance, and the other "Silent," for the lowest noise levels. You're expected to run the updater once for each BIOS. Follow the instructions in the PDF file included with the BIOS update package, which includes instructions to make a DOS bootable media.

DOWNLOAD: PowerColor RX 5600 XT Unleashed BIOS

MSI Pushes RX 5600 XT Video BIOS Updates through Dragon Center

AMD's last minute specifications change of the Radeon RX 5600 XT means that early adopters of the card could be on the older (slower) spec. The new specification is being distributed by video BIOS updates. The likes of ASRock and Sapphire have released 1-click updaters; while MSI is distributing it through its centralized MSI Dragon Center app.

MSI Dragon Center unifies the functionality of tuning (that of Afterburner), with Mystic Light (RGB LED control), and Live Update (software updates) into one interface. In addition to looking up video driver updates, Dragon Center can now fetch and update the video BIOS of your Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card. Among the eligible cards are the RX 5600 XT Gaming X and RX 5600 XT Gaming.

DOWNLOAD: MSI Dragon Center

Sapphire Releases Pulse RX 5600 XT Convenient VBIOS Updates

Sapphire today released BIOS updates for its sole Radeon RX 5600 XT product, the Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT OC Edition. The updated BIOS enhances performance by significantly increasing engine and memory clock speeds and power-limits, resulting in an up to 10 percent performance improvement. This stems from AMD's last-minute specifications update for the RX 5600 XT in a bid to make it competitive against the GeForce RTX 2060. Much like ASRock, Sapphire has automated the BIOS update process by shipping its BIOS ROMs with the flashing tool and batch files.

Since the Pulse RX 5600 XT OC Edition ships with dual-BIOS, one of which is the out-of-the-box performance BIOS, and the other is a 'quiet' BIOS, you're expected to update both, and there are separate Windows batch files to run after manually switching the between the ROMs. Sapphire's BIOS update package includes a PDF file with detailed instructions on how to update each ROM. The batch files spare you of having to manually work the various CLI arguments of the flashing tool. Look for the "New VBIOS Update" tab on the card's product page the Sapphire website.

ASRock Releases RX 5600 XT Performance-enhancing VBIOS, Easy 1-click Updater

As you may have heard, AMD's decision to revise the specifications of its Radeon RX 5600 XT in the last minute, has thrown its board partners and end-users into chaos and confusion. Inventories of cards with the original specs have already shipped, and cards available in the market today most likely stick to the old spec. The updated spec is being distributed by board partners in the form of a video BIOS update. ASRock released updated BIOS for its three factory-overclocked RX 5600 XT graphics cards, and has gone a step ahead in making it convenient for end-users to update their BIOS, through a 1-click updater.

ASRock's RX 5600 XT video BIOS updater consists of an executable and a Windows batch file. Clicking on the batch file with administrator privileges launches the automated updater. It frees you of having to use the CLI-based ATIWinFlash with a bare flash ROM image, getting all the arguments right, and having to cross your fingers. Grab the BIOS updater specific to your ASRock-made RX 5600 XT graphics card from the links below.

DOWNLOAD: ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 | ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D2 | ASRock RX 5600 XT Challenger D
Tuesday, January 21st 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mousepads
PSUs
Deepcool MACUBE 310P

Deepcool MACUBE 310P

The Gamer Storm Macube 310P combines the passion Deepcool has for understated yet unique design elements with the drive to offer a price tag that makes it appealing to the masses. With its all-steel exterior and surprisingly functional features at US$80, the Macube 310P is in a great position to do so.
ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP

ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP

The ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP uses the same cooler and PCB design as the RX 5700 XT STRIX OC, which makes this a massively overbuilt design. Thanks to a 10-phase GPU VRM paired with low voltages, the card is actually more power efficient than NVIDIA's Turing lineup.
Sapphire Radeon RX 5600 XT Pulse

Sapphire Radeon RX 5600 XT Pulse

Sapphire's RX 5600 XT Pulse comes at $289, which is only a small $10 premium over the AMD MSRP, yet it's faster than the GeForce RTX 2060. The card's cooler does a great job and delivers good temperatures paired with amazing noise levels, and it has fan-stop, too.

Intel Reportedly Looking Into Further Reduction in CPU Pricing for 2020

Intel's policy on CPU pricing has been a strong, definite one for years: no price reductions. Faced with less than admirable competition from a struggling AMD back in its Phenom and especially Bulldozer days, Intel enforced a heavy hand on the market and on CPU pricing. However, a much revitalized AMD and difficulties in the transition to the 10 nm process have left Intel with no other recourse than to cut pricing on its CPUs in order to remain competitive. No uptake of new I/O technologies such as PCIe 4.0 has also taken its toll on AMD's position in the server and HEDT market, which has led to recent price-cuts and tightening of Intel's Xeon line of CPUs and price-cuts in the order of 50% in their Cascade Lake-X processors compared to the previous generation.

DigiTimes, citing industry PC makers, says that Intel is gearing up to keep fighting in the only front it actually can, besides puny core count increases on their heavily-iterated Skylake architecture - pricing. This move comes in a bid to keep its market dominance, which Intel themselves have before said - after Zen 2, that is - isn't a priority for the consumer market. You can rest assured that Intel is very, very likely already practicing hefty price reductions for tray-quantity purchases for partners. However, it seems that the company might bring some price cuts on to its upcoming Comet Lake CPUs. The company has always been loathe to reduce pricing on existing inventory, rather choosing to reduce the price on new launches (see the Cascade Lake-X example above), which, arguably, saves Intel's face on claims of only being able to compete on pricing - which lurks dangerously close to Intel being painted as the budget, price-cut alternative to AMD.

NZXT Announces the C Series Line of ATX PSUs

NZXT, a leading developer of software-powered hardware solutions for PC gaming, today announces the C Series line of 80 plus Gold modular ATX power supplies.

Continuing their partnership with Seasonic, one of the most highly regarded PSU manufacturers, NZXT has created three new power supplies with the C650, C750, and C850. They are built with high-quality components that are backed by a 10-year warranty, ensuring peace of mind. The C Series is available in 650w, 750w, and 850w variants that are 80 PLUS Gold certified giving builders several options to find a PSU that suits their needs.

Seagate Reveals Lyve Drive Mobile System

Seagate had plenty of things to show off at their CES booth, however, some things specially stuck out, like the Lyve Drive Mobile system. Developed to address the need for data movement between different endpoints, the Lyve Drive system comes in a few flavors. First in the line is a Lyve Drive Cards and Card Reader solution, which offers 1 TB CFexpress cards on the go, and a portable reader for them to read the data on the spot. Next up is the Lyve Drive Shutte which resembles an autonomous data storage and data transport solution that offers capacities of up to 16 TB of HDD or SSD storage.

Another Part of the Lyve Drive ecosystem is a Lyve Drive Mobile Array, which offers a sealed and ruggedized solution for carrying up to 6 of Seagate's 18 TB Exos HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) hard drives for a total capacity of 108 TB. Next in the lineup is the Lyve Drive Modular Array - a 4-bay flexible solution that offers various configurations for business, so their deployment strategy of these devices varies. It uses Seagate's MACH.2 multi-actuator technology that transfers the data concurrently. Last but not least is a Lyve Drive Rackmount Reciver which is a 4U rackmount hub that allows for direct connection of Lyve Drive arrays into the data center, without a need to reconnect any of the data center networking specially for storage transfer.

InWin Shows Off New Signature Chassis, mini-ITX Chassis, and Cooling Solutions

At this year's CES InWin had a lot to show off. Starting with its signature case designed to impress even the best PC case modders in the world, InWin wanted to show us what they are capable of. Called the Diéy, this PC case is made out of many materials like aluminium, SECC steel, and plexiglass, in order to form a very unique looking case. Offering a robotic sphered structure that is covered with plexiglass cuts makes it look like a science-fiction creation, rather than a case. While offering unique looks, it is capable of housing an E-ATX motherboard, has support for graphics cards with up to 360 mm in length. There is also support for one 120 mm radiator at the back of the case and one 360 mm radiator at its top, so water cooling capabilities are not lacking here.

SteelSeries Launches the Rival 3 Gaming Mouse, Apex 3 and Apex 5 Gaming Keyboards

SteelSeries, the leader in gaming and esports peripherals, today announces the Rival 3 gaming mouse, and Apex 3 and Apex 5 gaming keyboards - high performance gaming peripherals approachable for any gamer. With these products, SteelSeries has sought to bring the innovation and performance of its most premium offerings to a wider audience of gamers.

"There are so many gamers out there that are stuck using boring, traditional office peripherals for gaming," said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. "With these new products, we set office products in our sights and sought to retool our cutting-edge technologies and put them into products that are accessible for every gamer. No one should have to be stuck using run-of-the-mill office products for gaming."

AMD Posts Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.1.3

AMD today released Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.1.3 beta drivers. These drivers add support for the new Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card that's hitting the shelves today; in addition to fixing a handful issues. To begin with, the drivers address a display signal loss noticed when performing parallel actions such as web browsing, gaming or watching video. Game crashes related to Nioh, Dragon Quest Builders 2, WWE 2K20, Dead or Alive 6 and Atelier Ryza were fixed. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus now appears correctly in Radeon Software. Text overflow in some UI elements have been fixed. Loss of fan-tuning settings when switching between available GPUs has been fixed. Another kind of intermittent black screen on desktop idling for extended periods has been fixed.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.1.3

URCDKeys Celebrates New Year Across the Globe with Mega Sale

There can be no better cause for celebration than knowing that you've got the same product for much less. URCDKeys is an international discount software vendor that's celebrating New Year across cultures, around the world, with a new sale on popular software to go with your new PC builds or current PCs stuck with older software. Get genuine, globally-valid licenses to Windows 10 Pro, the preferred operating system of pro-users and enthusiasts, for USD $12.73 upon applying a TechPowerUp-exclusive discount code. Office 2016 Professional Plus is another key component of home desktops. Get for as little as $29.82. Why not pair them both for just $36.50? When you're at it, don't forget to check out their New Year Sale for more such amazing deals on genuine software.

Don't forget to apply the coupon code TP20 at check-out to avail the prices you see here.

Buy Windows 10 Pro from URCDKeys for $12.73 | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $29.82 from URCDKeys | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional Plus Combo for $36.50

be quiet! Announces Straight Power 11 Platinum PSU Series

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany since 2007, is expanding the company's most silent power supply series with 80 PLUS Platinum-certified models. In addition to the increased efficiency, Straight Power 11 Platinum power supplies will include a state-of-the-art and high-quality topology, additional connection options, and models from 550 up to 1,200 watts. The base characteristics remain untouched, such as the whisper-quiet operation, exemplary cooling concept, and wire-free interior.

All models of the Straight Power 11 Platinum series have been awarded the 80 PLUS Platinum certification and offer an efficiency of up to 94.1 percent at 230 V input. Thanks to an active PFC, the power factor is a maximum of 0.99, and the power supplies meet the ErP standard with less than 0.16 watts consumption in standby mode, ensuring lower energy consumption, better cooling and low noise levels.

Noctua Introduces NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black CPU Cooler

Noctua today introduced another addition to its chromax line of all-black CPU coolers: the new NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black is a low-profile quiet CPU cooler for AMD's Ryzen-based HTPCs and Small Form Factor (SFF) builds. Thanks to the same proven heatsink design and NF-A9x14 PWM fan as the original NH-L9a-AM4, it stays true to the same successful formula of fusing a height of only 37 mm with strong performance and excellent quietness of operation, as well as 100% RAM and PCIe compatibility. At the same time, the chromax.black version, with its black fan and black coated heatsink, combines these assets with a sleek stealth look.

"AMD's Ryzen platform has become more and more popular over the last few months, not only for high-end builds but also for compact HTPCs and Small Form Factor systems", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "We've already introduced the black NH-L9i low-profile cooler for Intel in October, but now we also want to give design-conscious AMD users a new option with the black version of NH-L9a-AM4!"

AMD "Renoir" Ryzen 7 4700U Geekbenched

An unknown Lenovo notebook powered by the 15-Watt Ryzen 7 4700U "Renoir" 8-core processor was put through Geekbench. The chip yielded scores of 4910 single-core, and 21693 multi-core. This puts the 4700U ahead of the Core i7-1065G7, which is known to score around 4400 points on average in the single-core test, and around 17000 on average, in the multi-core test, falling behind due to fewer CPU cores. The 4700U features an 8-core CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture. Its desktop compatriot, the Ryzen 7 3700X, is significantly faster, with around 20% higher single-core, and over 60% higher multi-core performance. This is probably because the 3700X is unconstrained with its 65-Watt TDP and significantly higher power limits. It also has four times more L3 cache, but that's probably to cushion the IFOP interconnect between the CPU chiplet and I/O die.
Monday, January 20th 2020

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EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO

EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO

The $299 EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 KO was announced just days ago, at CES, and is the most affordable entry into RTX gaming. What's surprising is that the KO uses a different GPU than other RTX 2060 Series cards. We take a closer look to see what NVIDIA is bringing to the fight with AMD's RX 5600 XT.

NVIDIA to Reuse Pascal for Mobility-geared MX300 Series

NVIDIA will apparently still be using Pascal when they launch their next generation of low-power discrete graphics solutions for mobile systems. The MX300 series will replace the current crop of MX200 series (segregated in three products in the form of the MX230, MX250 10 W and MX250 25 W). The new MX300 keeps the dual-tiered system, but ups the ante on the top of the line MX350. Even though it's still Pascal, on a 14 nm process, the MX350 should see an increase in CUDA cores to 640 (by using NVIDIA's Pascal GP107 chip) from the MX250's 384. Performance, then, should be comparable to the NVIDIA GTX 1050.

The MX330, on the other hand, will keep specifications of the MX250, which signals a tier increase from the 256 execution units in the MX230 to 384. This should translate to appreciable performance increases for the new MX300 series, despite staying on NVIDIA's Pascal architecture. The new lineup is expected to be announced on February.

PowerColor Presents the Red Devil and Red Dragon RX 5600 XT Graphics Cards

PowerColor today issued a press release where they present the world their new Red Devil and Red Dragon models of AMD's RX 5600 XT graphics cards. This comes after reports on AMD's move towards increasing TDP, memory and core clockspeeds on their new graphics card so as to better compete with NVIDIA's recently price-cut RTX 2060, which would make it a much better performer than AMD's RX 5600 XT at a slightly higher price ($279 vs $299).

Hence a reported strike back from AMD in increasing performance for their RX 5600 XT with increased power envelope (160 W over 150 W), faster memory (at 14 Gbps instead of the original 12 Gbps) and increased core clocks (1615 MHz gaming and 1750 MHz boost, versus 1375 MHz gaming and 1560 MHz on AMD's CES press-event slides). The change in configuration brought about changes in the card design, with the higher-powered Red Devil coming in with 1x 8-pin and 1x 6-pin power delivery inputs, instead of the firstly developed 8-pin only. The changes have been brought about by a BIOS change, and not all cards will ship with the new specifications. However, PowerColor said that a BIOS update will be made available for customers to get their RX 5600 XT on steroids. Of course, whether or not it should be the onus of users to do such an update (which may risk in bricking their graphics card) is another matter entirely. The press release follows.

Rumor: NVIDIA's Next Generation GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 "Ampere" Graphics Cards Detailed

NVIDIA's next-generation of graphics cards codenamed Ampere is set to arrive sometime this year, presumably around GTC 2020 which takes place on March 22nd. Before the CEO of NVIDIA, Jensen Huang officially reveals the specifications of these new GPUs, we have the latest round of rumors coming our way. According to VideoCardz, which cites multiple sources, the die configurations of the upcoming GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 have been detailed. Using the latest 7 nm manufacturing process from Samsung, this generation of NVIDIA GPU offers a big improvement from the previous generation.

For starters the two dies which have appeared have codenames like GA103 and GA104, standing for RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 respectively. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) count. The smaller GA104 die has as much as 48 SMs, resulting in 3072 CUDA cores, while the bigger, oddly named, GA103 die has as much as 60 SMs that result in 3840 CUDA cores in total. These improvements in SM count should result in a notable performance increase across the board. Alongside the increase in SM count, there is also a new memory bus width. The smaller GA104 die that should end up in RTX 3070 uses a 256-bit memory bus allowing for 8/16 GB of GDDR6 memory, while its bigger brother, the GA103, has a 320-bit wide bus that allows the card to be configured with either 10 or 20 GB of GDDR6 memory. In the images below you can check out the alleged diagrams for yourself and see if this looks fake or not, however, it is recommended to take this rumor with a grain of salt.

ASUS Rolls Out ROG Theta Electret Premium Gaming Headset

ASUS today rolled out the ROG Theta Electret, a premium stereo variant of the ROG Theta headset from 2019, featuring a hi-fi grade 120 mm electret driver in charge of reproducing extremely precise high and mid frequency sound; while a conventional 45 mm neodymium driver handles lows (bass). Both drivers sit in an airtight chamber. The headset is purely analog, and features conventional 3.5 mm jacks, and ASUS made sure to get rid of all digital components, such as the USB DAC and even the RGB-illuminated ROG logo. Thanks to the electret driver, the headset enjoys a wide frequency-response of 20-40,000 Hz. The detachable microphone, too, is fully analogue. The headset supports both single headphones+mic jack, and split 3.5 mm jacks. ASUS didn't reveal pricing.

Scythe Announces Mugen 5 BLACK RGB Edition CPU Cooler

The Japanese cooler specialist Scythe introduces a refreshed version of the popular Mugen 5 Rev. B CPU cooler as the first product of the year 2020. The new version, called Mugen 5 Black RGB Edition, comes with a black top-plate and a high quality RGB fan from the new Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM series. The Black RGB Edition offers a much stronger contrast and a matching fan, with frame and vibration absorber completely in black. All the performance features, like the high compatibility and the groundbreaking mounting system are inherited from the award-winning Mugen 5 Rev. B.

The new Mugen 5 Black RGB Edition refines the design and combines it with the numerous performance features of the popular and award-winning CPU cooler series. The black anodized cover of the heat-sink forms a sharp contrast to the aluminium end-caps of the heatpipes and the diamond-cut Scythe logo. The fan frame is kept in black color and matches seamlessly to the unified design. No compromises have to be made in terms of cooling performance and efficiency. In addition, the new Black RGB Edition utilizes total of six high-quality and powerful copper heatpipes, which connect the solid copper base plate with the heat-sink. Both the copper heatpipes and the copper baseplate are refined by the nickel-plating process, which ensures a very unified and high-quality appearance of the Mugen 5 Black RGB Edition CPU cooler.

ASUS Gives Radeon RX 5600 XT the ROG Strix and TUF Gaming Treatment

ASUS is keeping its Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card lineup trim, with just two SKUs, both of which are factory-overclocked. The lineup is led by the ROG Strix Radeon RX 5600 XT O6G, while its affordable sibling is the TUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT EVO. ASUS hasn't finalized the clock-speeds for either, as it's rumored that AMD is working with its partners to increase them across the board, to make the RX 5600 XT competitive against the GeForce RTX 2060. Both ASUS RX 5600 XT graphics cards are largely based on its RX 5700-series board designs as the RX 5600 XT is carved from the same 7 nm "Navi 10" ASIC.

The ROG Strix RX 5600 XT O6G features the company's premium triple-slot DirectCU III cooling solution with three Axial-Tech fans, idle fan-stop, plenty of RGB bling on the cooler shroud and metal back-plate, and a high-grade VRM solution that pulls power from a combination of 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The TUF Gaming X3 RX 5600 XT EVO, on the other hand, also features a triple-slot design, the TUF X3 cooling solution with three Axial-Tech fans (the one in the middle is smaller than the others); idle fan-stop, and a metal back-plate. This card pulls power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, unlike the ROG Strix.

ASUS Announces PN62 Mini-PC with 10th Gen "Comet Lake" Processors

ASUS announced ASUS Mini PC PN62, an ultra-compact computer that delivers powerful performance for a wide variety of home and business applications. Featuring the latest 10th Generation Intel Core processors and support for high-speed 2666 MHz DDR4 memory, Mini PC PN62 is ready to take on demanding workloads, yet its diminutive size takes up minimal space on a desk and makes it suited for applications where traditional PCs won't fit, such as digital-signage applications or in a home theater.

WiFi 6 (802.11ax) networking ensures stable, high-speed data transfers, even in crowded networking environments, and a USB-C port with Power Delivery (PD) supports data transfer, power and DisplayPort functionality over a single cable. Mini PC PN62 also features an infrared (IR) sensor and supports Microsoft Cortana via dual-array front microphones for convenient voice control of applications.

Intel "Panther Canyon" NUC Implements "Tiger Lake" SoC with Xe Graphics

Intel NUC 11 Extreme is the spiritual successor to the "Hades Canyon" and "Skull Canyon" NUC, and implements the company's next-generation 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" processor. Codenamed "Panther Canyon," the NUC 11 Extreme represents a line of ultra-compact desktops with serious computing power, bringing together the company's highest-performance CPU cores and iGPUs. The "Tiger Lake-U" SoC powering the NUC 11 Extreme will reportedly be configured with a 28-Watt TDP, and will come in Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 variants.

The "Tiger Lake-U" processor is expected to combine next-generation "Willow Cove" CPU cores with an iGPU based on Intel's new Xe graphics architecture, in what could be the first commercial outing for both. The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" will also support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory over SO-DIMMs, an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, and option for Intel Optane M10 cache memory. On the connectivity front, and Intel AX-201 WLAN card provides 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. A 2.5 GbE wired interface will also be available. These will also be among the first NUCs to feature front- and rear-Thunderbolt ports (possibly next-gen 80 Gbps given that the platform implements PCIe gen 4.0). The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" is expected to launch some time in the second half of 2020.
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