Hardware Giveaway
Thursday, November 21st 2019

Intel "Tiger Lake" Microarchitecture Features HEDT-like Cache Rebalancing?

With its "Skylake" microarchitecture, Intel significantly re-balanced the cache hierarchy of its HEDT and enterprise multi-core processors to equip CPU cores with larger amounts of faster L2 caches, and lesser amounts on slower shared L3 cache. The company retained its traditional cache balance for its mobile and desktop processor derivatives. This could change with the company's "Tiger Lake" microarchitecture, particularly the "Willow Cove" CPU cores they use, according to a Geekbench online database listing for a prototype quad-core "Tiger Lake-Y" mobile processor.

According to this listing, assuming Geekbench is reading the platform correctly; the "Tiger Lake-Y" processor features a 4-core/8-thread CPU, with a massive 1,280 KB (1.25 MB) of L2 cache per core, and 12 MB of L3 cache. Intel also enlarged the L1D (data) cache to be 48 KB in size, while the L1I (instruction) cache remains 32 KB. This amounts to a 400% increase in L2 cache size, and a 50% increase in L3 cache size. Unlike with "Skylake-X," the increase in L2 cache size doesn't come with a decrease in shared L3 cache size (per core). The "Tiger Lake-Y" processor is being tested on a "Corktown" prototyping platform (a specialized motherboard that has all possible I/O connectivity available with the platform, for testing. "Tiger Lake" is expected to make its debut some time in 2020-21 as a successor to "Ice Lake," and will be built on Intel's refined 10 nm++ silicon fabrication node. Find the Geekbench entry in the source link below.

Lian Li Launches LANCOOL II - A New Feature Rich Full Tower Chassis

LIAN LI Industrial Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of aluminum chassis and PC accessories, is proud to announce the LANCOOL II, a revised and improved version of its popular LANCOOL ONE. Available in black and white, the LANCOOL II is packed with features designed to make the user's building experience as pleasant as possible, such as four flip panels, modular cable cover plates, and an adjustable drive bay, all the while providing a clean and modern look with front panel RGB effect and tempered glass on both sides of the case.

When building a PC, easy access to all the compartments is key. Not losing or breaking the thread of important screws is also a good advantage. That is why the LANCOOL II is equipped with hinged tempered glass panels as well as two metallic shroud panels on both the right side and left side of the case, all magnetic, eliminating the need for unnecessary screws. While the tempered glass panels provide a great view to the piece of art that is your PC, the shroud panels provide easy access to the PSU's cable for easier management without having to remove any parts to get to it. It also provides quick access to your HDD cage, and for an added benefit, the glass panels can easily be lifted off their hinges to prevent any damage while building the PC.

NVIDIA Develops Tile-based Multi-GPU Rendering Technique Called CFR

NVIDIA is invested in the development of multi-GPU, specifically SLI over NVLink, and has developed a new multi-GPU rendering technique that appears to be inspired by tile-based rendering. Implemented at a single-GPU level, tile-based rendering has been one of NVIDIA's many secret sauces that improved performance since its "Maxwell" family of GPUs. 3DCenter.org discovered that NVIDIA is working on its multi-GPU avatar, called CFR, which could be short for "checkerboard frame rendering," or "checkered frame rendering." The method is already secretly deployed on current NVIDIA drivers, although not documented for developers to implement.

In CFR, the frame is divided into tiny square tiles, like a checkerboard. Odd-numbered tiles are rendered by one GPU, and even-numbered ones by the other. Unlike AFR (alternate frame rendering), in which each GPU's dedicated memory has a copy of all of the resources needed to render the frame, methods like CFR and SFR (split frame rendering) optimize resource allocation. CFR also purportedly offers lesser micro-stutter than AFR. 3DCenter also detailed the features and requirements of CFR. To begin with, the method is only compatible with DirectX (including DirectX 12, 11, and 10), and not OpenGL or Vulkan. For now it's "Turing" exclusive, since NVLink is required (probably its bandwidth is needed to virtualize the tile buffer). Tools like NVIDIA Profile Inspector allow you to force CFR on provided the other hardware and API requirements are met. It still has many compatibility problems, and remains practically undocumented by NVIDIA.

Akasa Rolls Out Cypher MX3 Thin Mini-ITX Case

Akasa today rolled out the Cypher MX3, a Thin Mini-ITX case for low-profile, fan-less desktop builds meant as digital signage boxes, thin clients, or low-power desktops that you tuck away behind your monitor. Measuring 208 mm x 203 mm x 45 mm (WxDxH), which amounts to a lunchbox-sized volume of just 2 liters, the Cypher MX3 features a SECC steel construction with a ventilated 3-sided panel covering the top and sides. Its front panel provides two each of USB 3.1 type-A, two USB 2.0/1.1, and HDA jacks. Besides the motherboard, there's room for a 2.5-inch drive inside. The case is designed for external power-bricks that plug in directly to the motherboard, which provides power for your SSD. Available now, the Akasa Cypher MX3 is priced at USD $59.

Colorful Announces the CVN X570M Gaming Pro Micro-ATX Motherboard

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and high-performance storage solutions is thrilled to announce the latest product to join its CVN class of high-performance motherboards with the new CVN X570M GAMING Pro microATX motherboard. Building on the foundation of the first X570 Gaming Pro V14 motherboard, COLORFUL is offering the same level of quality and feature for those looking for a more compact build and the CVN X570M GAMING Pro makes that possible.

The CVN X570M GAMING Pro is ready for the future with support for AMD's new 7 nm processor based on their Zen 2 architecture while still supporting both 2nd-gen and 3rd-gen Ryzen products. This allows upgraders an easy path to step into modern hardware without spending more. Making its debut is PCIe 4.0 on this motherboard giving it extra bandwidth for high-speed connections with devices. The motherboard also comes rich with USB connectivity including USB 3.1 Gen 2.

Intel Hasn't Yet Resolved its Supply Challenges: Top Executive

Intel executive vice-president and general manager for sales, marketing, and communications, Michelle Johnston Holthaus, in a letter addressing the company's customers and partners, expressed regret that the company hasn't been able to resolve the challenge of PC CPU supply falling behind market growth (demand) despite its "best efforts." She elaborated on these efforts by summarizing additional billions of dollars in capital-expenditure the company spent in retrofitting its facilities to 14 nm fabs. The added capacity increased Intel's output in 2H 2019 by a "double digit" percentage compared to 1H, however, even that proved insufficient to cope with market demand. "Sustained market growth in 2019 has outpaced [Intel's] efforts and exceeded third-party forecasts," she said.

"Supply remains extremely tight in our PC business where we are operating with limited inventory buffers. This makes us less able to absorb the impact of any production variability, which we have experienced in the quarter. This has resulted in the shipment delays you are experiencing, which we appreciate is creating significant challenges for your business," she added, probably referring to the vast portfolio of dozens of SKUs of products that aren't yet EOL, but share the same 14 nm node. Intel deployed its product representatives to proactively reach out to all their customers to "answer their questions." This is probably another way of saying "retaining your businesses." Intel is embattled on two fronts: to make its 14 nm supply keep pace with demand; and to quantitatively transition to the newer 10 nm process.
Wednesday, November 20th 2019

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Mouse
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Mechanical Keyboards MK Night Typist Keyboard

Mechanical Keyboards MK Night Typist Keyboard

Mechanicalkeyboards.com brings to market a refreshed Typist keyboard in the form of the aptly named MK Night Typist. With three Cherry MX switch options for different typing experiences paired with high build quality, white backlighting, and extensive onboard control over key assignment and layouts, it should interest many a working professional.
Thermaltake Core P5 TG V2 Black Edition

Thermaltake Core P5 TG V2 Black Edition

When Thermaltake first launched their open-frame chassis, which was also VESA mountable, it was quite the bold move, but a few revisions later the P5 V2 TG has cemented itself as a pretty cool option if you want to show off all your hardware with the ability to do so in a really unique fashion.

EK Unveils D-RGB Water Blocks for MSI Gaming X Trio Graphics Cards

EK, premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer based in Europe, is launching a new, addressable D-RGB version of EK-Vector Trio high-performance water blocks specially designed for MSI Gaming X Trio GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. The block also features a D-RGB lit aesthetic cover over the block Terminal which is designed to showcase the graphics card model via addressable LEDs, visible from the side.

The EK-Quantum Vector Trio RTX D-RGB water blocks are specially designed for multiple MSI Trio GeForce RTX Turing based graphics cards. These water blocks use the signature EK single slot slim look and cover the entire PCB length. This sophisticated cooling solution will transform your powerful MSI graphics card into a minimalistic, elegant piece of hardware with accented D-RGB (addressable) LED lighting. The block also features a unique aesthetic cover over the block Terminal which is designed to showcase the graphics card model via addressable LEDs, visible from the side.

NVIDIA Readying GeForce RTX 2080 Ti SUPER After All?

NVIDIA could launch a "GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Super" after all, if a tweet from kopite7kimi, an enthusiast with a fairly high hit-rate with NVIDIA rumors is to be believed. The purported SKU could be faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, and yet be somehow differentiated from the TITAN RTX. For starters, NVIDIA could enable all 4,608 CUDA cores, 576 tensor cores, and 72 RT cores, along with 288 TMUs and 96 ROPs. Compared to the current RTX 2080 Ti, the Super could get faster 16 Gbps GDDR6 memory.

It's possible that NVIDIA won't change the 352-bit memory bus width or 11 GB memory amount, as those would be the only things stopping the card from cannibalizing the TITAN RTX, which has the chip's full 384-bit memory bus width, and 24 GB of memory. Interestingly, at 16 Gbps with a 352-bit memory bus width, the RTX 2080 Ti Super would have 704 GB/s of memory bandwidth, which is higher than the 672 GB/s of the TITAN RTX, with its 14 Gbps memory clock. These design choices would ensure NVIDIA has a sufficiently faster product than the RTX 2080 Ti, without an increase in BOM, provided it has enough perfectly-functional "TU102" inventory to go around. There's no word on availability, although WCCFTech predicts a CES 2020 unveiling.

CHERRY Rolls Out the CHERRY KEYS Config Software for its Peripherals

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, presents CHERRY KEYS. This free software tool for straightforward customization of keyboards and mice allows users to configure their input devices according to their individual demands. The software tool works with virtually every keyboard and mouse on the market, although it achieves best results with original CHERRY products.

CHERRY KEYS offers an intuitive user interface for assigning specific tasks to individual keys of the keyboard or mouse. The tool shows the configurable keys or buttons on all available input devices and lets you customize them with the click of a mouse button, using different colours to show which keys have been reprogrammed. CHERRY offers a variety of options to reprogram individual keys, such as opening programs, files, folders or web pages at the touch of a button. System functions (logoff, lock, standby) or multimedia commands are also possible. Complete input sequences — so-called macros — or even recorded texts can be saved as a shortcut and started or inserted as required.

ASUS Launches ProArt StudioBook Pro X

ASUS today announced the new ProArt StudioBook Pro X (W730), which provides a wide range of features designed for professional creators. It's the first Quadro laptop that is powered by 9th Gen Intel Xeon processor with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 graphics. This combination of cutting edge graphics and portability makes it perfect for creative professionals to achieve their goals on-the-go or in office.

ProArt StudioBook Pro X delivers the needed performance to create, edit, and render multilayered files using the latest NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 graphics. These NVIDIA RTX Studio laptops utilize NVIDIA Turing architecture, allowing creative and technical professionals to take advantage of the power of hardware-accelerated ray tracing, deep learning, and advanced shading techniques when creating amazing content. Intel Xeon processors are designed to handle complex, multithreaded applications, and takes mobile computing to another level by making it incredibly smooth and responsive.
Tuesday, November 19th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
Storage
AMD Athlon 3000G with Vega 3 Graphics

AMD Athlon 3000G with Vega 3 Graphics

AMD's Athlon 3000G is the dream of every entry-level system builder. Priced at only $49, it offers four threads, integrated Vega graphics, and an unlocked multiplier. We overclocked it beyond 4 GHz with minimal voltage increases, and memory support has improved, too.
1usmus Power Plan for AMD Ryzen - New Developments

1usmus Power Plan for AMD Ryzen - New Developments

Two weeks ago, we released the 1usmus Power Plan for AMD Ryzen processors, which received a ton of attention. Both Microsoft and AMD got involved, releasing fixes on their own. Today, we're taking a look at the improvements these patches bring, and also got a new version of the power plan for you to download.

Scythe Unveils Shuriken 2 SCSK-2000 Low-profile CPU Cooler

Scythe unveiled the low-profile Shuriken 2 SCSK-2000 CPU cooler (not to be confused with the Big Shuriken series of large top-flow coolers). With a height of 58 mm (with the fan in place), the SCSK-2000 is meant for compact Mini-ITX desktop builds with fairly high thermal loads of around 100 W TDP. Its design consists of a dense aluminium fin-stack arranged along the plane of the motherboard, to which heat drawn indirectly through a nickel-plated copper base-plate is conveyed by four 6 mm-thick heat pipes. The heatsink is ventilated by Kaze Flex 92 Slim PWM fan. This 92 mm spinner takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins between 200 to 2,500 RPM, and pushes 4.96 to 41.30 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 23.2 dBA. Measuring 94 mm x 93 mm x 58 mm (WxDxH), the SCSK-2000 weighs 350 g. Among the CPU socket types supported are AM4 and LGA115x. The cooler will be available from early-December. The company didn't reveal pricing.

EVGA Announces the NU Audio Pro 7.1 Sound Cards

The EVGA NU Audio Card reintroduced the PC world to high-end audio, both stunning the audio world and making new fans along the way. The singular idea of producing Lifelike Audio and Gaming at an affordable price led to an exclusive partnership between one of the world's most recognizable PC hardware manufacturers and one of the true icons of the audio world - Audio Note (UK).

The NU Audio Pro Cards change the game once again. The pursuit of audio perfection on a PC takes another step forward with the introduction of a 7.1 Surround solution by EVGA and Audio Note. We took the solid foundation of the NU Audio Card, improved the component selections throughout, and matched it to a secondary card to provide surround support. The result is an experience where critical listening sessions can yield to enjoyment, and where thinking will surrender to feeling.

Greenliant Adds SD and microSD Industrial Memory Cards to ArmourDrive Portfolio

Greenliant has expanded its ArmourDrive portfolio with high reliability Secure Digital (SD) and microSD industrial memory cards. Built with advanced 3D NAND in 3-bit-per-cell (TLC) and 1-bit-per-cell (SLC) configurations, SD and microSD ArmourDrive products offer endurance options of 3K (PX Series) and 30K (EX Series) program-erase (P/E) cycles, respectively. See SD and microSD ArmourDrive product information here.

SD and microSD ArmourDrive EX Series cards with SLC configurations are available in capacities from 8 GB to 64 GB, and PX Series cards with TLC configurations are offered from 32 GB to 256 GB. UHS Speed Class 10 and SD Specification 6.10 compliant, SD and microSD ArmourDrive cards reach up to 95/85 MB/s sequential read/write performance. These memory cards provide reliability, stability and removability, making them ideal for a wide range of demanding and space-constrained applications, such as handheld data loggers and scanners, professional video and photo cameras, portable medical diagnostic tools, ticket and vending machines, transportation diagnostics, telematics, test and measurement equipment, surveillance and industrial automation systems.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 441.34

NVIDIA late Tuesday pushed out a Hotfix to its GeForce Software against glaring bugs that can't wait for the next driver release to be fixed. Hotfix 441.34 fixes a bug with "Red Dead Redemption 2" stalling on machines with 4-core and 6-core CPUs, when the Vulkan API is used. The drivers also fix a game crash with "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" launching in DirectX 12 mode. The rest of the driver's change-log is identical to that of the recent 441.20 WHQL drivers. Grab the hotfix from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce Hotfix 441.34

Valve To Announce Half-Life VR Game, Half-Life: Alyx, on November 21st

Well, that headline must've been met with both a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia, and a sudden, stab-like wound on the back of many readers. The usage of Valve and Half-Life together in the same sentence has been the victim of multiple memes and disappointments over the years, with the studio being seemingly unable to keep up with the mantle of great games it has released before in the Half-Life universe. Half-Life 3 is already so much of a failed expectation that the game could (likely) never live up to the expectations set on it at this point in time. It seems valve is shrugging the game away with a Half-Life set VR game, though, in the form of Half-Life: Alyx.

Valve itself have posted a teaser image on Twitter, announcing it as a flagship VR game available for SteamVR. To be unveiled on November 21st, nothing much is known about the game by now; but it's expected it will be a VR-exclusive experience. The game started out as a single-player exploration experience for VR, and it seems to have found its way developed into a full-fledged game. Apparently, this Half-Life: Alyx game is the first in Valve's plans of releasing more VR games in the future, which may or may not be set in the Half-Life universe. This could actually be an interesting experience for VR, if you can get beyond the usual betrayal of not seeing an announcement for Half-Life 3. Who knows - this could even be the killer app for VR, or an Half-Life renaissance in the minds of gamers and Valve themselves. At the very least, we know it will induce nostalgia.

Philips Launches the 439P9H SuperWide Monitor: 43" VA, 32:10, 3840 x 1200 @ 100 Hz

Following the success of the 49" (124 cm) format, the Philips 439P9H adds a 43" (110.2 cm) option to the growing ultra-wide family. Equipped with a luxuriously wide workspace and stunning DisplayHDR 400 technology, the 439P9H SuperWide monitor is packed with productivity-enhancing features such as a built-in USB-C docking station, a Windows HelloTM pop-up webcam, and a MultiClient Integrated KVM switch, as well as numerous comfort-boosting features designed to provide an enjoyable experience from beginning to end.

The Philips 439P9H offers professionals working in finance, banking, and other B2B sectors all the scope they need to deliver their best performance every day. With an ample 32:10 SuperWide format (effective viewing area 1052 x 329 mm) and 3840 x 1200 pixel resolution, this model can easily replace two 16:10 high-performance monitors, thereby saving time and space while reducing cable clutter. The 1800R curvature is designed to expand the user's field of view, lessen distortion, and enter their peripheral vision zone, thus providing optimal viewing comfort while generating an engaging, subtly immersive effect that offers the added benefit of enhancing concentration.

Benchmarks Surface on Intel's Next-Gen Comet Lake-S 10-Core, 6-Core CPUs

Benchmarks have been uploaded to popular benchmarking utility Geekbench's servers, and they seemingly allow us to look into Intel's next-gen Comet Lake-S processors. The results, which have likely been taken from pre-release hardware (which means benchmarks and even proper identification of features on the CPUs shouldn't be taken as guarantees), help paint a picture on Intel's next release all the same.

Processor information for the 10-core, 20-thread CPU gives us a 1.51 GHz base clock and 3.19 GHz boost, with the chip featuring 32 Kb each for L1 instruction and L1 data caches (x10 cores, 640 KB total) 256 KB L2 cache (x10 cores, for a total of 2.5 MB) and 20 MB L3 cache. The six-core part, on the other hand, is reported as featuring a 1.99 GHz base clock and 2.89 GHz boost clock, 384 KB total L1 instruction and data caches (32 KB x 6 cores), 256 KB L2 cache (x6 cores, for a total of 1.5 MB) and 12 MB L3 cache. This means each core is in Comet Lake-S is paired with 2 MB of L3 cache, which is being cut-down alongside cores. Like almost all other Intel desktop CPU releases, these CPU cores will be paired with an IGP in the form of Intel UHD Graphics 630, which features up to 24 Execution Units (EUs). With Intel's 10-core CPU being expected to be the cream of the crop on the company's mainstream CPU lineup come Comet Lake-S, comparisons to AMD's own core density are moot, in that there is no real competition available, should that top core count actually materialize.

Cerebras Introduces the CS-1 System, Home to World's First Trillion Transistor Processor

Cerebras has introduced the world to its CS-1 system, which will house the company's (and simultaneously, the industry's) most powerful monolithic accelerator. The CS-1 is an integrated solution the size of 15 industry-standard rack units, and packs everything from the Wafer Scale Engine to cooling systems. The CS-1 consumes 20 kW of power, with a full 4 kW dedicated solely to the cooling subsystem, like fans, pumps, and the heat exchanger, 15 kW dedicated to the chip, and 1 kW is totally lost to power supply inefficiencies. Obviously, power supply modules and other cooling subsystems are redundant, and hot-swappable if need be - you can imagine the computational value lost with each millisecond of downtime that were to occur in such a system.

NVIDIA and Tech Leaders Team to Build GPU-Accelerated Arm Servers

NVIDIA today introduced a reference design platform that enables companies to quickly build GPU-accelerated Arm -based servers, driving a new era of high performance computing for a growing range of applications in science and industry.

Announced by NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang at the SC19 supercomputing conference, the reference design platform — consisting of hardware and software building blocks — responds to growing demand in the HPC community to harness a broader range of CPU architectures. It allows supercomputing centers, hyperscale-cloud operators and enterprises to combine the advantage of NVIDIA's accelerated computing platform with the latest Arm-based server platforms.

AMD Could Launch Next Generation RDNA 2 GPUs at CES 2020

According to the findings of a Chiphell user called "wjm47196", AMD is supposedly going to host an event at CES 2020 to showcase its next generation of Radeon graphics cards. Having seen huge success with its first-generation "RDNA" GPUs, AMD is expected to showcase improved lineup utilizing new and improved RDNA 2 graphics card architecture.

Judging by the previous information, second generation of RDNA graphics cards will get much-needed features like ray tracing, to remain competitive with existing offers from NVIDIA and soon Intel. Supposed to be built using the 7 nm+ manufacturing process, the new GPU architecture will get around 10-15% performance improvement due to the new manufacturing process alone, with possibly higher numbers if there are changes to the GPU core.

AMD Announces Radeon Pro W5700 Professional Graphics Card Based on "Navi"

AMD today announced the AMD Radeon Pro W5700, the world's first 7 nm professional PC workstation graphics card. It delivers new levels of performance and advanced features that enable 3D designers, architects and engineers to visualize, review and interact with their designs in real time, dramatically accelerating decision-making processes and product development cycles.

The AMD Radeon Pro W5700 workstation graphics card features the high-performance, energy-efficient AMD RDNA architecture and state-of-the-art GDDR6 memory to handle large models and datasets, and is the first PC workstation graphics card to support high-bandwidth PCIe 4.0 technology. It is ideal for professionals who push performance beyond traditional 3D design by generating photorealistic renders of their concepts and reviewing virtual prototypes of their designs in virtual reality (VR) environments.

AMD Releases Athlon 3000G Low-cost Desktop Processor

AMD today released its Athlon 3000G low-cost desktop processor to cap off its entry-level. Based on the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon, the chip combines a 2-core/4-thread CPU based on the original "Zen" microarchitecture, with Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics based on the "Vega" architecture, and featuring 3 NGCUs (192 stream processors). AMD dialed up the CPU clock speeds to 3.50 GHz, a 300 MHz increase over that of the "previous gen" 200GE, and iGPU engine clock speed by 100 MHz to 1.10 GHz. A unique feature this time around is unlocked base-clock multiplier, enabling CPU overclocking. AMD is pricing the Athlon 3000GE at just $49 (MSRP), it competes with Intel's Pentium Gold G5000 series processors.

Read the TechPowerUp review of the AMD Athlon 3000G here.

TerraMaster Announces D8 Thunderbolt 3 DAS Desktop Storage Solution

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products, including network attached storage and direct attached storage, is proud to announce the D8 Thunderbolt 3 storage drive as part of their Thunderbolt 3 family product family. The D8 Thunderbolt 3 leverages the power of Intel Thunderbolt 3 technology to offer incredible speeds while providing large capacities as well as data integrity for demanding, professional work especially for large, mission critical productions. The TerraMaster D8 Thunderbolt 3 has an MSRP of $1,599.99.

Thunderbolt 3 offers 40 Gbps maximum bandwidth which paired with a powerful RAID controller, allows the D8 Thunderbolt 3 to reach performance of up to 1600 MB/s with traditional hard drives under RAID0 array. For maximum balance of data protection and speed, a RAID5 array can still reach 1400 MB/s with the D8 Thunderbolt 3. This allows editors working on large files such as 4K, 6K or 8K footage to strike a balance of capacity and speed and provide the flexibility to allow them to work with files faster so their creativity is not limited.

CORSAIR Debuts iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strips for Desktop Ambient Lighting

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the launch of the new CORSAIR iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strips, the first in a new ecosystem of iCUE-powered ambient RGB lighting products that vastly expand the possibilities of synchronized RGB lighting. CORSAIR iCUE software has been at the forefront of some of the world's most ambitious and spectacular-looking system builds, and now extends beyond the PC with lighting that illuminates your entire environment. Available in a comprehensive Starter Kit and two sizes of Expansion Kits, LS100 Smart Lighting Strips transform your room with vivid customizable lighting profiles, game and media integration, and audio visualization.

Experience an unprecedented level of immersion with real-time media integration - CORSAIR iCUE software analyzes your video signal and outputs matching colors from the LS100 Smart Lighting Strips on your screen's edges to the surrounding area, taking the action beyond your screen whether you're leading your team to victory on the battlefield or watching your favorite movie. Your ambient lighting setup can also turn your room into a full-scale audio visualizer that brings every beat of your music to life in real-time.

ADATA Launches Slim and Portable SC685 External Solid State Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories is pleased to announce the launch of the ADATA SC685 external solid state drive (SSD). Featuring a compact and slim form factor, the ADATA SC685 external solid state drive is as small as they come. Despite its portable size, it's big on capacity and will transfer and backup data in no time.

The SC685 weighs only 35 g and is as thin as a smartphone at 9.5 mm thin. Its slim card-like form factor slips easily into back pockets or bags for hassle-free mobility. Despite its portable form factor the SC685 is up to 6.6 times faster than your typical external hard drive, giving users exceptionally speedy data transfers and backups. With this performance, users can transfer a 10 GB 4K movie in just 20 seconds. The SC685 comes with 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB capacities to meet the needs of different users. What's more, users can use their SC685 with peace of mind knowing that it comes backed by a 3-year warranty.

PowerColor Launches the Radeon RX 5700 XT Liquid Devil Graphics Card

TUL Corporation, a leading manufacturer of AMD graphic cards since 1997, brings out a Navi first with a water cooled RX 5700 XT, the Liquid Devil. A long term AMD partner, PowerColor was one of the original adopters of factory overclocked graphics cards and was the first AMD partner to manufacture a graphics cards with premium performance water blocks. PowerColor once again partner with the liquid cooling industry leader EK to customize a uniquely designed water block for its custom RX 5700 XT for unmatched thermals and performance.

Featuring a nickel plated copper base, the Liquid Devil provides the better heat transfer capabilities of copper with the corrosion protection of the nickel, with the added bonus of making for a clean and sleek aesthetic. In order to maximize the potential of the PowerColor Liquid Devil, only the best 5700 XT GPUs which have been binned specifically for lower temperature and higher clock speeds have been selected for use, making sure that all Liquid Devil cards are the able to hit the highest performance points.

BIOSTAR Rolls Out M700 Series M.2 NVMe SSDs

BIOSTAR today rolled out the M700 line of SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, taking advantage of the NVMe 1.3 protocol. The drive combines a Silicon Motion SM2263XT DRAM-less controller with 3D NAND flash, and comes in 256 GB and 512 GB capacities. The 256 GB model offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 1,850 MB/s reads with up to 950 MB/s writes, while the 512 GB model offers up to 2,000 MB/s reads, with up to 1,600 MB/s writes. The controller features native AES 256-bit encryption. The company didn't reveal pricing.

MSI Unveils Comet Lake Powered Cubi 5 10M Mini-PC

MSI updated its Cubi line of NUC-like mini-PCs with the new Cubi 5 10M, powered by 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" mobile processors. Measuring 124 mm x 124 mm X 53.7 mm (WxDxH), and weighing 550 g (excluding the power-brick), the Cubi 5 10M is powered by a Core i7 "Comet Lake-U" SoC (either i7-10510U quad-core or i7-10710U six-core), with its integrated UHD Graphics putting out pixels. Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots let you drop in up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory, while your storage options are an M.2-2280 slot with both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, and a 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA 6 Gbps. Connectivity includes USB 3.2 gen 1 type-C and type-A ports along the front panel, next to the audio jacks; additional type-A gen 1 ports at the rear; DisplayPort and HDMI making up the display outputs; a gigabit Ethernet interface driven by an Intel i219-V controller, and Intel AX201 WLAN card that provides 802.11ax and Bluetooth 5.0. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Monday, November 18th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
1st Player Steampunk PS-750SP 750 W

1st Player Steampunk PS-750SP 750 W

The Steampunk PS-750SP performs decently overall, despite the strange name. Efficiency is good, and the warranty is generous at seven years. Priced around $90 we take a closer look to see if it can challenge the offerings from EVGA, Seasonic and Corsair.
Antec Dark Avenger DA601

Antec Dark Avenger DA601

Antec launches their new Dark Avenger line of cases with the DA601 clearly geared towards gamers and enthusiasts who like flashy designs with RGB elements built right into the body, all without breaking the bank.

VIA CenTaur Develops a Multi-core x86 Processor for Enterprise with in-built AI Hardware

Tasting Intel's blood in the water with AMD's return to competitiveness, dormant x86 licensee VIA wants to take another swing at the market, this time with a multi-core processor targeted at enterprises and possibly workstations, developed by its subsidiary CenTaur. The company appears to want to cash in on the AI boom, and could develop turnkey facial-recognition CCTV solutions with the chip. CenTaur is ready with a working prototype. It features eight 64-bit x86 CPU cores, and an on-die "AI co-processor" named NCORE. A ringbus connects the eight CPU cores and the NCORE with the processor's other components. The processor features 16 MB of shared L3 cache, a quad-channel DDR4-3200 memory interface, and a 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complex, along with a fully integrated southbridge, making it an SoC. It also appears to be multi-socket capable, although VIA didn't detail the interconnect in use.

The NCORE is a PCI-mapped device to the software, which provides functions such as DNN building and training acceleration. From the looks of it, there's more to NCORE than simply a fixed-function hardware that multiplies matrices. Its developers state that the device accelerates AI at a rate of "20 trillion AI operations/sec with 20 terabytes/sec memory bandwidth." The CPU cores on the processor tick at 2.50 GHz, and while VIA hasn't made any IPC claims, it has mentioned support for the cutting-edge AVX-512 instruction-set, something even "Zen 2" lacks, which possibly indicates a powerful FPU. The silicon measures 195 mm², and has been built on 16 nm FinFET node at TSMC. VIA will demonstrate the unnamed processor and its testbed at ISC East 2019, held on November 20 and 21.

The full technology announcement slide-deck follows.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.3

AMD late Monday posted Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.3 beta graphics drivers. The drivers add optimization for "Fortnite" in DirectX 12 mode introduced through patch v11.20, which is the only item in the change-log. Besides this, the company has acknowledged just like in the 19.11.2 changelog, that it's firefighting the issue of intermittent display signal loss when gaming with Radeon RX 5700-series graphics cards. Grab the driver from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.3

A VGA Stand with RGB LED and Power Routing, Courtesy DeepCool

DeepCool rolled out the GH-01, a graphics card reinforcement stand that you install inside your tower-type case, to minimize PCB bending over time (a vastly exaggerated phenomenon). But wait, it does more: the stand has an RGB LED embellishment along its length, and has space to route your graphics card's power cables. Up to two 8-pin PCIe power cables can be routed. You use a thumb-screw and notches to adjust the GH-01's VGA support height from 47.2 mm to 154 mm. The stand itself measures 52.6 mm x 60.6 mm x 163.73 mm (WxDxH). It can bear a load of up to 5 kg. There are two sub-variants of the GH-01 based on the illumination type. The GH-01 RGB uses old-school RGB lighting through 12 V 4-pin RGB control. The GH-01 LED, on the other hand, uses more modern 5 V addressable-RGB over a 3-pin connector. The company didn't reveal pricing.

HP Rejects Acquisition Offer from Xerox

On Sunday, HP Inc. released a letter from its board of directors stating that it rejects acquisition offer from Xerox Corporation pointing out that: "We have great confidence in our strategy and our ability to execute to continue driving sustainable long-term value at HP. In addition, the Board and management team continue to take actions to enhance shareholder value including the deployment of our strong balance sheet for increased repurchases of our significantly undervalued stock and for value-creating M&A."

This decision shows a strong will from the folks over at HP to continue their business in the way they usually done for many years. Additionally, HP stated the following: "We recognize the potential benefits of consolidation, and we are open to exploring whether there is value to be created for HP shareholders through a potential combination with Xerox. However, as we have previously shared in connection with our prior requests for diligence, we have fundamental questions that need to be addressed in our diligence of Xerox. We note the decline of Xerox's revenue from $10.2 billion to $9.2 billion (on a trailing 12-month basis) since June 2018, which raises significant questions for us regarding the trajectory of your business and future prospects.", showing the downsides of the potential merger and questioning abilities of Xerox to manage two companies.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.27.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular standalone graphics sub-system information, diagnostic, and monitoring utility. The new version 2.27.0 adds support for a few new GPUs, and fixes certain bugs, and improves the user experience. To begin with, we've added support for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super, TX 1650 Max-Q, GeForce 945A, Tesla V100-SXM2-16 GB, Tesla P4, and Tesla K8; AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 and FirePro A300.

The Advanced tab now shows PCI device location of your graphics processor. An application crash on old CPUs that lack SSE has been fixed. EVGA ICX fan-speed reporting for RTX 20-series graphics cards has been fixed. A sensor error with AMD CrossFire setups has been fixed. Default clock speed reporting on NVIDIA GPUs has been improved, even with no drivers installed. Memory type reporting has been improved on setups with multiple graphics cards that have different memory types from each other. Grab GPU-Z from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.27.0
The change-log follows.

GoodOffer24 Announces Black Friday Sale on Genuine Software: Lowest Ever Prices

This Black Friday, before you head out to gouge on the year's lowest prices on home appliances and electronics, take a bigger wallet with you by spending lesser on genuine, globally-valid software from GoodOffer24. Sure to beat your favorite retail chain, GoodOffer24 brings you popular software such as Windows 10 and Office at the year's lowest ever prices. Windows 10 Pro can now be had for as less as USD $10.62, a 92 percent discount over prevalent prices. Office is another piece of software your PC is incomplete without. Get Office 2016 Professional Plus for as low as $26.31. The latest and greatest Office 2019 Professional Plus is going for $46.10. Find other interesting combos of Windows and Office below to save even more.

Apply the discount-code JGBF30 at check-out to avail the prices you see here on the following software:
Buy Windows 10 Pro for $10.62 | Buy Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC for $12.40 | Buy Windows 10 Pro (2-pack) for $18.20 | Buy Windows 10 Home for $11.08 | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $26.31 | Buy Office 2016 Home and Student 1-user for $22.34 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional Bundle for $31.44 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional Bundle for $27.59

Save even more on bundles featuring Office 2019, by applying the coupon code JGBF35 on the following items for the prices you see here:
Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus for $46.10 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student 1-user for $21.52 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional for $49.95 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2019 Professional Bundle for $48.91

MATLAB MKL Codepath Tweak Boosts AMD Ryzen MKL Performance Significantly

MATLAB is a popular math computing environment in use by engineering firms, universities, and other research institutes. Some of its operations can be made to leverage Intel MKL (Math Kernel Library), which is poorly optimized for, and notoriously slow on AMD Ryzen processors. Reddit user Nedflanders1976 devised a way to restore anywhere between 20 to 300 percent performance on Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper processors, by forcing MATLAB to use advanced instruction-sets such as AVX2. By default, MKL queries your processor's vendor ID string, and if it sees anything other than "GenuineIntel...," it falls back to SSE, posing a significant performance disadvantage to "AuthenticAMD" Ryzen processors that have a full IA SSE4, AVX, and AVX2 implementation.

The tweak, meant to be manually applied by AMD Ryzen users, forces MKL to use AVX2 regardless of the CPU Vendor ID query result. The tweak is as simple as it is powerful. A simple 4-line Windows batch file with a set of arguments starts MKL in AVX2 mode. You can also make the tweak "permanent" by creating a system environment variable. The environment variable will apply to all instances of MATLAB, and not just those spawned by the batch file. Nedflanders1976 also posted a benchmark script that highlights the performance impact of AVX2, however you can use your own scripts and post results.

Silicon Power Unveils Four New Memory Cards

The market may be saturated with a number of confusing memory card options, but Silicon Power is releasing a new set of 4 microSD cards that will be sure to meet your expectations, clearly. With each of them geared toward a specific usage, we're making it easy to choose the best card for your needs. So, whether you're a beginner who's just looking to improve your mobile phone performance or a professional who's looking to capture footage in the most stunning 8K Ultra HD quality - or anyone in between - we've got you covered.

UHS-II technology introduces blazingly fast read and write speeds up to 290 and 160 MB/s, respectively, to fully maximize your time. Capture stunning 8K Ultra HD photos and videos quickly, easily, and with smooth playback. Write raw files in nearly half the time compared to UHS-I. Dramatically accelerate post-production transfers with an appropriate card reader. For professional-level performance that you can trust, this card will have your back.

Desktop AMD Radeon RX 5300 XT Rears its Head in HP Specs Sheet

A desktop variant of the AMD Radeon RX 5300 XT graphics card surfaced in a specs sheet of an upcoming HP Pavilion desktop model (TP01-0004ng). The listing describes the RX 5300 XT as featuring 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. This is the first instance of an RX 5300 XT in the wild. An older report citing driver files pointed to there being only two RX 5300-series products, the RX 5300 (desktop), and the mobile RX 5300M. The "XT" brand extension could denote a higher CU count than the RX 5300, although the series is still differentiated from the RX 5500-series with cheaper GDDR5 memory.

The RX 5300 series and RX 5500 series are based on a common silicon, the 7 nm "Navi 14," featuring up to 24 RDNA compute units (up to 1,536 stream processors), and a 128-bit wide memory interface that supports up to 8 GB of GDDR6 or GDDR5 memory. AMD hopes to phase out its 14 nm and 12 nm "Polaris 10" and "Polaris 30" chips with "Navi 14." It's possible that the RX 5300 XT is OEM-only, just like the other key component in this HP desktop, the Ryzen 5 3500 6-core/6-thread processor.

ASUS Intros AX3000 Dual Band PCIe WiFi 6 Card

For those wanting 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 on their desktops without an M.2 E-key slot on their motherboards, ASUS came up with the PCE-AX3000, a low-profile capable (half-height) NIC that provides up to 3000 Mbps (2.4 Gbps over 5 GHz and 600 Mbps over 2.4 GHz) wireless connectivity, and the added convenience of Bluetooth 5.0 for short-range communications. A set of MU-MIMO antennae come included. Besides MU-MIMO, the card supports OFDMA for better collision-prevention with other devices in the same channel, and WPA3 security protocol. The NIC is essentially a PCI-Express 3.0 x1 add-on card with an M.2 E-key slot that holds an Intel AX200 "Cyclone Peak" WLAN card. We expect the AX3000 to be priced well under $50 given that the "Cyclone Peak" card at the heart of it costs just $10-17 in volume pricing.

EK Launches a Tall Pump-Reservoir Combo Unit to Expand on Classic Line

EK, a premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is launching a pump-reservoir combo unit belonging to the Classic Line, the EK-XRES 250 SPC PWM Classic RGB - Plexi (incl. pump). These pump-combo units offer a streamlined Classic look and are an entry class combo solution that is able to offer great hydraulic performance complemented with RGB LEDs for modern aesthetics.

EK-XRES 250 SPC PWM Classic RGB - Plexi (incl. pump) comes with a 250 mm tall reservoir with an integrated EK-SPC 60 water pump that offers 4-pin PWM control for allowing the pump to adapt to thermal load. The reservoir is a tube design made of see-through acrylic thus increasing the RGB LED effect. Bellow the reservoir sits the pump-top which is of square design in line with the rest of the EK Classic product portfolio. The mounting is done from the bottom side, utilizing the 120 mm fan mounting holes.
Sunday, November 17th 2019

Intel Announces New GPU Architecture and oneAPI for Unified Software Stack at SC19

At Supercomputing 2019, Intel unveiled its vision for extending its leadership in the convergence of high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) with new additions to its data-centric silicon portfolio and an ambitious new software initiative that represents a paradigm shift from today's single-architecture, single-vendor programming models.

Addressing the increasing use of heterogeneous architectures in high-performance computing, Intel expanded on its existing technology portfolio to move, store and process data more effectively by announcing a new category of discrete general-purpose GPUs optimized for AI and HPC convergence. Intel also launched the oneAPI industry initiative to deliver a unified and simplified programming model for application development across heterogenous processing architectures, including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and other accelerators. The launch of oneAPI represents millions of Intel engineering hours in software development and marks a game-changing evolution from today's limiting, proprietary programming approaches to an open standards-based model for cross-architecture developer engagement and innovation.
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