Friday, March 27th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs
Storage
noblechairs EPIC, HERO, and ICON Gaming Chairs: The Black Edition Review

noblechairs EPIC, HERO, and ICON Gaming Chairs: The Black Edition Review

noblechairs sent us the new models of their EPIC, HERO, and ICON lines with several interesting changes and very nice, eco-friendly upholstery. Their price tags are not affordable, but you should always keep in mind that a good chair is an investment in your health and can also increase your productivity, or your gaming performance.
be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 Review

be quiet! Shadow Rock 3 Review

be quiet! looks to one-up their competition with the Shadow Rock 3 by delivering a high-quality, asymmetrical heatsink that not only provides reliable performance and low noise levels, but also keeps memory and graphics card clearance in mind. This makes the Shadow Rock 3 a robust offering that will make the no-RGB crowd quite happy.

Apple ARM Based MacBooks and iMacs to come in 2021

Apple has been working on replacing Intel CPUs in its lineup of products for a while now, and the first batch of products to feature the new Arm-based CPUs should be coming soon. Having a completely custom CPU inside it's MacBook or an iMac device will allow Apple to overtake control of the performance and security of those devices, just like they did with their iPhone models. Apple has proved that its custom-built CPUs based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) can be very powerful and match Intel's best offerings, all while being much more efficient with a TDP of only a few Watts.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has started an "aggressive processor replacement strategy", which should give some results by the end of 2020, around Q4, or the beginning of 2021 when the first quarter arrives. According to Kuo, the approach of doing in-house design will result in not only tighter control of the system, but rather a financial benefit, as the custom processor will be 40% to 60% cheaper compared to current Intel CPU prices.
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro

EK Waterblocks Launches EK-Quantum Reflection Obsidian 1000D D5 PWM D-RGB Distro Plate

EK, the premium water cooling gear manufacturer, is launching the EK-Quantum Reflection Obsidian 1000D D5 PWM D-RGB, a reservoir, routing, and pump solution specifically engineered for Corsair Obsidian 1000D case. This distro plate is made to provide a unique water-cooling solution with dual D5 pumps for users who demand premium aesthetics, silence, and enough flow for multiple GPUs or even dual systems in one case.

This distribution plate is designed to bring the slim-lined EK Quantum aesthetics to the front of the 1000D case and to offer high flow and silent operation thanks to two serially connected genuine D5 pumps. While it is slim, it's absolutely massive in surface and weighs in at a whopping 5.3 kilograms. EK-Quantum Reflection Obsidian 1000D D5 distribution plate will only fit the Corsair Obsidian 1000D Super-Tower.

Micron to Launch HBM2 Memory This Year

Micron Technologies, in the latest earnings report, announced that they will start shipping High-Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) DRAM. Used for high-performance graphics cards, server processors and all kinds of processors, HBM2 memory is wanted and relatively expensive solution, however, when Micron enters the market of its manufacturing, prices, and the market should adjust for the new player. Previously, only SK-Hynix and Samsung were manufacturing the HBM2 DRAM, however, Micron will join them and they will again form a "big-three" pact that dominates the memory market.

Up until now, Micron used to lay all hopes on its proprietary Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) DRAM type, which didn't gain much traction from customers and it never really took off. Only a few rare products used it, as Fujitsu SPARC64 XIfx CPU used in Fujitsu PRIMEHPC FX100 supercomputer introduced in 2015. Micron announced to suspend works on HMC in 2018 and decided to devote their efforts to GDDR6 and HBM development. So, as a result, we are seeing that they will launch HBM2 DRAM products sometime this year.
Micron HMC High-Bandwidth Memory

Intel Core i9-10980HK Detailed: 8-core Mobile Monstrosity that Boosts up to 5.30 GHz

In no mood to cede mobile performance leadership to AMD and its Ryzen 9 4900HS processor, Intel is readying its new flagship mobile part, the Core i9-10980HK. Based on the 14 nm "Comet Lake-H" silicon, this chip packs an 8-core/16-thread CPU with a maximum boost speed (aka "Thermal Velocity Boost") of 5.30 GHz, while maintaining an aggressive power target of 45 W TDP. This should put the chip's performance somewhere between the desktop Core i7-9700K and the Core i9-9900K, both of which have TDP rated at 95 W, although the chip could perform very close to the latter at gaming, thanks to its 300 MHz higher boost frequency. Intel is expected to launch the 10th generation Core i9 H-series processors on April 2nd, around the same time when NVIDIA launches its mobile GeForce RTX 20 Super series.

LG Announces the UltraGear 27GN750 Monitor: 27" 1080p IPS, 240 Hz, 1 ms, VRR Support

LG today introduced their UltraGear 27GN750 monitor, which aims to bring high-speed, fluid gaming to a relatively low price-point. The 27GN750 is a flat monitor with a 27" diagonal, featuring an IPS panel and 1080p resolution. The gaming chops on this monitor are very much increased by the fact that it features a 240 Hz refresh rate with 1 ms response time. LG also touts VRR support in the form of G-SYNC Compatible certification (which means it employs VRR much like AMD first did through VRR instead of having to employ a dedicated module).

LG says this display is HDR compatible, but make no mistake, it's the lowest form supported (400 nits typical brightness with 320 nits as minimum according to LG), so that compatibility is... Arguable, to say the least. There's no VESA HDR 400 badge for a reason. Color reproduction is rated at 99% sRGB coverage (typical for an IPS panel). Connectivity-wise, we're looking at 1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI, 1x USB 3.0 (upstream), 2x USB 3.0 (downstream) and 1x Headphone. LG quotes a Tilt / Height / Pivot Adjustable Stand. The LG UltraGear 27GN750 monitor is available for $399.

Zalman Releases CNPS20X Twin Tower Cooler - 300 W TDP

Zalman has now achieved global availability of their CNPS20X twin tower cooler, an air-cooling solution designed to dissipate up to 300 W of heat from your CPU of choice. The Zalman CNPS20X features loads of heat transfer technologies, including RDTH (Reverse Direct Touch Heatpipe), an evolution of the now ubiquitous DTH (Direct Touch Heatpipe) technology applied to its six heatpipes, alongside IHD (Interactive Heatpipe transfer Design) for increased thermal performance (Zalman claims this last technology brings improvements in heat dissipation in the order of 20x).

Not only the heatpipe design has been touched upon, though; the company also employed what it calls a 4D corrugated fin design, which means the fins themselves have contours (imagine a honeycomb shape and you're close) that improve heat dissipation and airflow. There's a stack of fins built out of copper, which are located close to the center of the airflow to improve heat dissipation further.

EIZO Foris Nova Monitor Now Globally Available

EIZO has announced its flagship monitor, called the Foris Nova, way back in October last year. However, it only was available to the Japanese consumers, and it was a limited run of only 500 units. Today, EIZO announced that it is going to expand the availability of its Foris Nova display to the global market, with more units available and coming. The Chinese market will get the first wave of units and the rest of the world is supposed to follow. Just as a reminder, the Foris Nova is a 21.6-inch 4K OLED display with very interesting characteristics such as 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 0.4 ms response time. You can check out the full specifications here.
EIZO Fores Nova

GameStop Downsizes, Over 300 Stores to Permanently Close

GameStop announced that it will permanently close down over 300 brick-and-mortar stores in an effort to "de-diversity" its business. The company closed down 331 stores last year, bringing the store strength down to 5,500 locations. Much of GameStop's focus markets are those parts of the U.S. with sub-optimal Internet bandwidth that blunts the advantage digital retailers like Steam have over it. Besides game hard-copies and coupons for cash, GameStop also retails game consoles and accessories. The earnings call that included this announcement also had a comment about a possible delay in the release of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as supply-chains around the world are severely disrupted, not to mention people's disposable incomes.

Supercharge Your Home Office with KeysWorlds: Big Discounts on Genuine Software

KeysWorlds is a global merchant of genuine software licenses at heavily discounted prices, out to ease the pain of having to re-tool personal desktops and laptops for working from home for extended periods. KeysWorlds is offering heavy discounts on various editions of genuine Windows 10. Give your PC the unrivaled power of genuine, lifelong-valid Office 2019 Professional Plus for just $32.27 with a TechPowerUp-exclusive coupon code, and break the shackles of annual renewals of Office 365. Don't need the latest and greatest? Get Office 2016 Professional Plus for just $21.65. Combine your favorite editions of Windows and Office to save even more. KeysWorlds uses PayPal payment gateway, so your payment instruments are secured, and so is your purchase.

Apply the coupon code KWS50 at checkout on the following items to avail the prices you see here.
Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus from KeysWorlds for $32.27 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional for $38.29 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2019 Professional for $39.38
Apply the coupon code KWS40 on the following items at checkout to get the prices you see here.
Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $21.65 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional for $25.60 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional for $24.94
Find individual products below at discounted prices when you apply the coupon code KWS38 at checkout.
Buy Windows 10 Pro for $9.49 | Buy Windows 10 Home for $10.17 | Buy Windows 10 Pro 2-pack for $15.59 | Buy Office 2016 Home and Business for Mac for $40.69 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Business for Mac for $80.53 | Buy Office 2016 Home and Student for $18.31 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student for $31.19

Memblaze Launches PBlaze5 920 Series Enterprise NVMe SSDs in AIC and U.2 Form-factors

Beijing Memblaze Technology Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of PBlaze5 920 Series enterprise-class NVMe SSD, which can greatly enhance user experience. PBlaze5 920 Series NVMe SSD adopts 96-layer 3D eTLC NAND with a capacity up to 7.68 TB, and comes in form factors of 2.5-inch U.2 and HHHL add-in card. PBlaze5 920 Series consists of 4 groups of SKU -PBlaze5 D920, PBlaze5 C920, PBlaze5 D926 and PBlaze5 C926.

Memblaze PBlaze5 920 Series NVMe SSD offers up to 5.9 GB/s read bandwidth and 970,000 read IOPS, with read and write latency lowering to 90 μs and 12 μs respectively. With superior performance, perfect data protection, good compatibility, and user experience, as well as abundant enterprise-class features, PBlaze5 920 Series NVMe SSD enables customers to build high-speed, high-reliability, and flexible storage solutions for their mission-critical applications.

KINGMAX Announces PX4480 M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD Series

KINGMAX Semiconductor Inc., a global leading provider of memory products, is proud to announce today the launch of its M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0x4 (Gen 4 x4) SSD PX3480 solid-state drive. As SSD plays a leading role in the current era, an ultra-slim, ultra-fast M.2 specification SSD has attracted customers' attention. KINGMAX's latest Gen 4 x4 SSD PX4480 is suitable for the AMD Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset. The new SSD not only offers wide-ranging capacity choices of up to 500 GB /1 TB / 2 TB but also has read speeds up to 5000 MB/s, surpassing other SSD products available on the market. It is recommended to the video editors, graphic designers, gaming enthusiasts and anyone who are trying to process data or media contents faster.

The M.2 2280 SSD is ultra-slim. Moreover, the M.2 interface has become a must-have for new motherboards or laptops that offers users an even faster SSD experience. KINGMAX's latest M.2 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD PX4480 adopts a PCIe Gen 4.0 high-speed interface and meets NVMe 1.3 specifications. It can deliver stunning read/write speeds. It features incredibly high R/W speeds of up to 5,000 MB/s (read) and 4,400 MB/s (write), 8 to 9 times faster than the transmission connector of the SATA III interface, and has an increase of 50% in data R/W speeds compared with the PCIe 3.0 series SSD. Users can fully experience the higher speeds of PCIe SSDs when turning on devices, loading games, and transferring or saving data.
Kingmax PX4480 SSD

Transcend Intros MicroSDXC Card with SLC Caching for Increased Burst Write Speeds

Transcend introduced the first microSDXC memory card to feature SLC caching technology. The new USD230I memory card from Transcend features a host-transparent internal logic that treats a small portion of the 3D TLC NAND flash as SLC, to improve write performance in short bursts. This should particularly help in usecases such as high-quality burst photography or high-resolution video recording. The card is also endowed with a broad operational temperature range of -40 to 85 °C. The USD230I offers sequential transfer-rates of up to 100 MB/s, with up to 3,400 IOPS random access. It comes in capacities of 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB, offering endurance (TBW) of 36 TB for the 8 GB variant, 70 TB for the 16 GB and 32 GB variants, and 140 TB for the 64 GB variant. The company didn't reveal pricing.

NVIDIA Outs GeForce Hotfix 445.78 Drivers to Fix Image Sharpening Bug

NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce software 445.78 Hotfix drivers. Hotfixes are released to expeditiously correct glaring bugs with GeForce software. The 445.78 Hotfix corrects a bug that causes some DirectX 11 games to fail to launch when Image Sharpening is globally enabled from the NVIDIA Control Panel. The drivers are otherwise identical to GeForce 445.75 software released earlier this week. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 445.78 Hotfix
Thursday, March 26th 2020

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Speakers
SSD
Odin Gaming ZeroGravity XL Mousepad Review

Odin Gaming ZeroGravity XL Mousepad Review

Odin Gaming is a new player on the mouse pad market and aims to offer a wide variety of pads in many different sizes while keeping things affordable. The Zero Gravity XL may be the smallest one, yet it's still very large on its own.

Intel Could Launch 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake" Desktop Processors on April 30

Intel could launch its 10th generation Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor family on the 30th of April (±24 hours depending on the time-zone), according to a report by El Chapuzas Informatico. The processors is built in the new LGA1200 package, and require new Intel 400-series chipset motherboards, which will launch alongside. Pricing of these processors will be along expected lines, with the Core i9 series in the $500-400 range, the Core i7 series in the $300-400 range, the Core i5 series in the $180-300 range, and Core i3 series priced below. As reported earlier, Intel is expected to increase Core i9 series core-counts to 10-core/20-thread, while doubling thread counts and L3 cache amounts across the Core i7, Core i5, and Core i3 brand extensions, to 8-core/16-thread, 6-core/12-thread, and 4-core/8-thread, respectively.

EPIC Games Moves Into the Publishing Scene, Signs Up Three Partner Studios

EPIC Games has moved on through to the next logical step in its effort to become much more than just a game and engine developer. Today, the company has just announced that t has signed agreements to become the de facto publisher for three games companies that you're likely well familiar with. One of them is Remedy Entertainment, which gave us the excellent, experimental, mix-media storytelling Quantum Break and, more recently, the widely acclaimed Control. Alongside Remedy, the company has also signed on Gen Design, responsible for PlayStation's 4 exclusive The Last guardian, as well as PLAYDEAD, which have developed side-scrollers Limbo and Inside.

According to EPIC, they have now begun offering developers the terms they always wanted to have when they were looking for publishers, and were more focused in game creation than on their current service-providers road. EPIC will be shouldering 100% of the development costs for games these companies develop, and will offer them a 50% cut on actual profits for the game once the development costs have been recouped. More importantly for games developers, though, is the ability to maintain control of their IPs, and not having to surrender them to the publishing companies - something that EPIC is guaranteeing for any studio that signs up with them. This way, perhaps we'll be saved from some... ehm. EA-like situations, anyone?

Folding@Home Was Just Getting Started - ExaFLOP Barrier Breached as Network Achieves 1.5 ExaFLOP Performance

It's not been that long since we praised the worldwide community for allowing Folding@Home to reach double the performance of the world's top supercomputer, IBM's Summit, which ekes out calculations at the petascale with 200 peak petaFLOPS. However, the world has again shown promise when it comes to people selflessly giving their power and performance for a higher cause. Folding@Home now likely smokes performance metrics of some Tier 1 civilizations out there (in the Kardashev scale, of course, should there be some; I'm cautiously jesting in all regards) with its 1.5 ExaFLOP performance.

As it stands, and should users keep on donating their processing power, it seems the community can even go as far as eclipsing the deployment of the world's most powerful supercomputer, El Capitan, which is only meant to be operational - get this - in 2023. This means we are close to offering equivalent performance for multiple disease research (including COVID-19), today, to that of a currently theoretical supercomputer. Of course, queues are long towards receiving work, so now it's become a problem for researchers to keep this computational power fed with data to crunch - we're actually hitting bottlenecks that supercomputers too have achieved before us.

OWC Unveils the Newest Iteration of its Wildly Popular Mercury Elite Pro External Storage Solution

OWC a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company and one of the world's most respected providers of hard drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions and performance upgrade kits, today announced the latest edition of its legendary Mercury Elite Pro external storage system for Mac, PC, Linux machines, Smart TVs, and PS4 and Xbox consoles. The 3.5-inch USB 3.2 5 Gb/s hard drive system is a modern day workhorse, delivering real-world performance up to 283 MB/s and capacities up to 16 TB to keep pace with the demands of everything from video editing projects, critical business data, and irreplaceable personal content to expanding PS4/Xbox One game storage and enjoying music/video content via a Smart TV.

The Essential External Storage Solution for Everyone
The Mercury Elite Pro kicked off OWC's rich, storied history of storage solution innovations nearly 20 years ago, and it has successfully stood the test of time by continuing to offer an incomparable blend of performance, quality, and value in a single HDD storage solution.
OWC Mercury Elite Pro OWC Mercury Elite Pro

PowerColor Extends Warranty of Under-warranty Graphics Cards by 3 Months

With the global crisis of COVID-19, we understand that these are critical times for everyone. This has impacted all aspects of our lives, and we understand that during these times, priorities are placed on more health-concerned matters. Many in the process of RMAs may find difficulty in shipping out cards for repair or service at this time, so we will be adding a 3-month extension to customers with warranties expiring between March through June 2020. PowerColor remains committed to delivery great products and services to our customers, and want to assure that we will continue to do so during these trying times.

Next-Generation Laptop Hardware from Intel and NVIDIA Coming April 2nd

Intel and NVIDIA are preparing to refresh their hardware offering meant for laptop devices, and they are planning to do it on April 2nd. According to the Chinese website ITHome, Intel is going to launch its 10th generation Comet Lake-H CPUs for mobile devices, on April 2nd. The new models are going to bring improved frequency and core count, with top-end models reaching up to 8 cores with 16 threads. NVIDIA, on the other hand, will also update its mobile offerings with the arrival of Turing SUPER mobile cards. So far, we only had a choice of regular Turing series, however, there is soon going to be a SUPER variant of the existing cards.

Being that these cards are also expected to arrive on April 2nd, laptop manufacturers will integrate new products and showcase their solutions on that date. The availability of these devices, based on new Intel Comet Lake-H CPUs and NVIDIA Turing SUPER GPUs, is expected to follow soon after, precisely on April 15th. Additionally, it is notable that laptop manufacturer Mechrevo will hold an online press conference where they will showcase their "Z3" gaming laptop based on new technologies.
Mechrevo NVIDIA Turing SUPER Laptops

Montech Releases New High Performance Air X ARGB PC Case

Montech, an enthusiast Gaming PC Case, Power and Cooling solutions brand based in Taiwan introduces the new Air X ARGB Compact ATX PC Case from their best selling Air series. The Air X ARGB features a full metallic Diamond Mesh front air intake for maximum air intake, and a full 6 port ARGB fan controller! The ARGB fan controller uses 4 Pin fan connectors and 3 Pin ARGB lighting control, instead of the near obsolete Molex connectors found on other cases. Right out of the box the ARGB fan controller with two 200 mm ARGB front fans and one 120 mm ARGB fan, delivering both maximum air intake area for incredible cooling performance and the aesthetics to match. Coming in two colors - black and white, the Air X ARGB also features full glass side panel, full support for 240/280/360 mm liquid cooling making it one of the best options for its price point!

The Air X ARGB features a total of three ARGB fans that can be fully customized and controlled by ARGB compatible mainboards (5 V 3 Pin). And in the case where no ARGB compatible board is present the Air X ARGB comes with it's very own ARGB Fan Controller. Compared to other cases which normally only packs a Molex based standard fan controller, the Air X ARGB Fan Controller follows modern PC component design and features the higher-end 4 Pin Fan Connector and 3 Pin ARGB Connector. The ARGB Fan Controller is capable of controlling a total of 6 sets of ARGB Fans, or 6 (5 V 3Pin) ARGB devices and 6 4 pin case fans. All three of the included ARGB fans (2x 200 mm and 1x 120 mm) come pre-connected to the ARGB Fan Controller, easily controlled by the front panel lighting control button.

Domain Registration Sparks Grand Theft Auto VI Announcement Rumors

A March 23 website domain name registration update by Take-Two Interactive, publishers of the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise, sparked rumors of an imminent "Grand Theft Auto VI" announcement. The registered domain "GTAVI.com" is now a placeholder for what could be an exclusive site for the upcoming chapter in the wildly popular open-world action RPG franchise.

Much has been talked about GTA VI in recent years, such as rumors of the game having the largest open world ever in the franchise, including the ability to transport between the various fictional cities in the GTA universe via fast-travel points at airports. With GTA V, Rockstar introduced the concept of multiple playable characters, each with its unique set of missions, and some interesting joint missions where you switch between the playable characters. The introduction of cities spread across the landmass could only take this concept further.
Wednesday, March 25th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Input Devices
Keyboards
PSUs
Speakers
SSD

MSI Launches Three New Monitors: 2x 1080p 144 Hz Panels, Availability of 240 Hz 1080p IPS MAG251RX

MSI today launched three new monitors on their Optix lineup, catering to budget-conscious gamers that want fast, responsive gameplay. MSI's new Optix G241 and Optix G271 differ solely in diagonal (one is 24", the other 27"), and both offer a 1080p, IPS panel with support for refresh rates up to 144 Hz and up to 1 ms response times. Both these monitors feature support for AMD FreeSync, max 250 nits brightness, and connectivity is taken care of by 1x DisplayPort 1.2a and 2x HDMI 1.4b. The MSI Optix G241 will be available for $189.99, whilst the 27" MSI Optix G271 will go for $239.99.

More interesting for gamers that want crazy refresh rates, however, is the MSI Optix MAG251RX. This monitor keeps the 1080p resolution and IPS panel, but brings refresh rates up to a crazy 240 Hz with up to 1 ms response time. MSI has also "upgraded" the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) technology up to NVIDIA's G-Sync. There's HDR 400 support (don't read that much into that though; it's the bare minimum for entry and far from a quality HDR experience). It also sports USB-C connectivity and RGB customization on the back of the monitor via MSI's Mystic Light software. The MSI Optix MAG251RX will be available for a still conscious $359.99, provided you didn't stop reading at the mention of a 1080p panel.

Microsoft Freezing Optional Windows Updates Amidst COVID19 Pandemic

Microsoft yesterday announced that they would be freezing any release for optional Windows 10 updates whilst the world still reels from the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision by the company comes after they decided to keep delivering security updates for the Fall Creator's update (version 1709 of the OS).

Both these decisions by Microsoft stem from the company trying to reduce the impact of Windows 10 updates on businesses - reducing update requirements to security updates means there is fewer chances of an optional update shipping that could negatively impact productivity - of which very little bit is required right now for some businesses to even keep afloat. When the crisis has passed, all updates will be resumed.

AMD Reports Theft of Graphics IP, Stolen Information Not Core to Competitiveness

AMD today disclosed that in December 2019, it was contacted by a person in possession of test files related to development of future graphics products, some of which were posted online and later taken down. This person has additional files that were never posted online, but the company maintains the data breach won't affect the competitiveness or security of its upcoming graphics processors. The company said that it is working closely with law enforcement as part of a criminal investigation into the incident.

The statement by AMD follows:
At AMD, data security and the protection of our intellectual property are a priority. In December 2019, we were contacted by someone who claimed to have test files related to a subset of our current and future graphics products, some of which were recently posted online, but have since been taken down. While we are aware the perpetrator has additional files that have not been made public, we believe the stolen graphics IP is not core to the competitiveness or security of our graphics products. We are not aware of the perpetrator possessing any other AMD IP. We are working closely with law enforcement officials and other experts as a part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Intel iGPU+dGPU Multi-Adapter Tech Shows Promise Thanks to its Realistic Goals

Intel is revisiting the concept of asymmetric multi-GPU introduced with DirectX 12. The company posted an elaborate technical slide-deck it originally planned to present to game developers at the now-cancelled GDC 2020. The technology shows promise because the company isn't insulting developers' intelligence by proposing that the iGPU lying dormant be made to shoulder the game's entire rendering pipeline for a single-digit percentage performance boost. Rather, it has come up with innovating augments to the rendering path such that only certain lightweight compute aspects of the game's rendering be passed on to the iGPU's execution units, so it has a more meaningful contribution to overall performance. To that effect, Intel is on the path of coming up with SDK that can be integrated with existing game engines.

Microsoft DirectX 12 introduced the holy grail of multi-GPU technology, under its Explicit Multi-Adapter specification. This allows game engines to send rendering traffic to any combinations or makes of GPUs that support the API, to achieve a performance uplift over single GPU. This was met with lukewarm reception from AMD and NVIDIA, and far too few DirectX 12 games actually support it. Intel proposes a specialization of explicit multi-adapter approach, in which the iGPU's execution units are made to process various low-bandwidth elements both during the rendering and post-processing stages, such as Occlusion Culling, AI, game physics, etc. Intel's method leverages cross-adapter shared resources sitting in system memory (main memory), and D3D12 asynchronous compute, which creates separate processing queues for rendering and compute.

YouTube and Netflix Begin Rationing Their Bandwidth as Lockdowns Surge Online Traffic

Popular video streaming sites YouTube and Netflix have reportedly started rationing their bandwidth by limiting video quality, as online traffic to their services surge to record levels. With COVID-19 lockdowns forcing people to take to online entertainment, the sites are reporting an unprecedented strain on their finite Internet bandwidth. In Europe, the two sites have capped their video quality to 480p, or slightly worse than DVD quality.

Despite the mighty backing of AWS, the world's largest CDN, Amazon's Prime Video is also finding itself having to cap quality based on regional bandwidth constraints. Google is already engaging with governments and ISPs to minimize strain on available Internet bandwidth. Streaming video remains the number one bandwidth consumer. Governments would want to prioritize bandwidth for companies operating remote- or virtual desktops for their employees working from home. Perhaps there's no better time to upgrade online video codecs to newer bandwidth-efficient ones like AV1.

Samsung Announces Industry's First EUV DRAM with Shipment of First Million Modules

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has successfully shipped one million of the industry's first 10 nm-class (D1x) DDR4 (Double Date Rate 4) DRAM modules based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology. The new EUV-based DRAM modules have completed global customer evaluations, and will open the door to more cutting-edge EUV process nodes for use in premium PC, mobile, enterprise server and datacenter applications.

"With the production of our new EUV-based DRAM, we are demonstrating our full commitment toward providing revolutionary DRAM solutions in support of our global IT customers," said Jung-bae Lee, executive vice president of DRAM Product & Technology at Samsung Electronics. "This major advancement underscores how we will continue contributing to global IT innovation through timely development of leading-edge process technologies and next-generation memory products for the premium memory market."
Samsung EUV DDR4

Samsung Introduces Industry's First All-in-One Power ICs Optimized for Wireless Earbuds

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced the industry's first all-in-one power management integrated circuits (PMIC), MUA01 and MUB01, optimized for today's True Wireless Stereo (TWS) devices.

Unlike wireless headphones, TWS earbuds have no wire that connects the two earpieces. Without the connecting wires, TWS devices present users with more freedom in movement and range on their day-to-day activities. However, like other mobile devices, long battery life and small form factors are key requirements for these wireless earbuds.
Samsung PMIC Samsung PMIC Samsung PMIC

Team Group Announces 32GB T-Force Vulcan and Dark Z DDR4 Memory Modules

TEAMGROUP today announces that T-FORCE VULCAN Z and DARK Z gaming memory will be the first to release the large capacity, 32 GB single stick memory. There are DDR4 2666 and DDR4 3000 two different frequency of memory modules available to offer desktop PC a complete selection of expansions. It can provide the powerful computer equipment with high storage speed and multitasking capabilities that creators need for video content creation and editing. It can also perfectly support all AMD and Intel's consumer platforms.

The invincible T-FORCE gaming series is your top choice in 2020 when it comes to large capacity upgrades. T-FORCE VULCAN Z and DARK Z, which are praised by the media around the world, will be the first to release the large capacity, 32 GB single stick memory. VULCAN Z launches DDR4-2666 MHz and DDR4-3000 MHz, two different frequencies of single channel kit and dual channel kit (32 GB X2). And DARK Z will mainly provide a DDR4-3000 MHz dual channel kit (32 GB X2). Consumers can choose a suitable specification based on their personal usage. Not only can process large files easily, but it can also upgrade capacity and handle multiple data computing at the same time. This can increase the applications of desktop computers.

Bitspower Unveils Summit ELX CPU Water Block for AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000

Bitspower unveiled the Summit ELX line of CPU water blocks optimized for 3rd generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. The block's coolant channel is designed keeping in mind the layout of the "Castle Peak" MCM, such that coolant flows over even the CCDs farthest away from the center, which has the I/O controller die. This design should particularly benefit users of the Threadripper 3990X, which has eight CCDs. The block supports both sTRX4 and older TR4 sockets.

The primary material is nickel-plated copper, with a mirror finish at the base. There are three variants based on the type of top. The first one called "DRGB," (BP-CPUELXTRX40-DRGB), features a clear acrylic top with embedded addressable-RGB LEDs that plug into a standard 3-pin ARGB header. The second variant is called "Metal" (BP-CPUELXTRX40-MT), and features a metal alloy top with a chrome finish. The third variant, called "POM," (BP-CPUELXTRX40-POM), features a matte-black POM acetal top. The Summit ELX supports standard G 1/4" fittings, and measures 115 mm x 75 mm x 18 mm (LxWxH). The DRGB variant is priced at NTD 2,800, the Metal variant NTD 3,255, and the POM variant NTD 2,635.

Greenliant Ships Industrial Temperature 2TB NVMe and SATA M.2 ArmourDrive SSDs

Greenliant has started volume production of its industrial temperature (-40°C to +85°C) 2 Terabyte NVMe and SATA M.2 ArmourDrive solid state drive (SSD) modules. Built in the 2280 form factor, and offered with hardware encryption and on-board DRAM, these high-performance SSDs save space, improve security and increase capacity for a wide variety of applications, including video conferencing, in-flight entertainment and data logging.

"Customers rely on our wide and deep selection of quality solid state storage products, and Greenliant is pleased to be one of the first companies to offer I-temp 2 Terabyte M.2 SSDs for industrial applications that require higher capacities," said Arthur Kroyan, vice president of business development and marketing, Greenliant. "With on-board DRAM and advanced security features, these products deliver consistent sustained performance and strong user data protection, which can be important advantages for certain embedded systems."
Tuesday, March 24th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Headphones
Input Devices
Keyboards
Memory
Processors
Speakers
SSD
Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo Review

Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Halo Review

Cooler Master wants to leverage their factory and design capabilities to bring out highly addressable RGB LED fans without breaking the bank. The MasterFan MF120 Halo has 24 LEDs per fan and supports all mainstream motherboard lighting solutions while aiming to offer a hybrid balance of static pressure and airflow.

Computex 2020 Postponed due to COVID-19 Outbreak

For the second time in history, Computex, one of the flagship electronics shows in the industry, and our favorite event, has been postponed. Many years ago, it was delayed in 2003 due to the SARS outbreak, however, it happened again today. Following the outbreak of COVID-19. Instead of cancelling, the Computex organizer TAITRA has decided to postpone their 2020 event. Originally scheduled for June, Computex has been moved to September 28th, when the event will officially start. It will last only three days instead of the usual five, ending on the 30th.

This is especially relevant given that the event now shares the same three days with Innovex, the partnering startup-focused show that happens on the last 2-3 days of Computex each year, so the two shows have to share the spotlight on the same time. Making things tighter is confirmation from TAITRA that Computex, and Innovex, will both be sharing Hall 2 of the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, as opposed to having both Hall 1 and 2 available for Computex. This shortened timeframe and smaller booth space is a heavy indication that the agency expects a smaller turnaround at this time, and indeed several companies are already expressing concerns about whether Computex 2020 should have just been cancelled altogether. Some companies have told us they still plan to have an online event in June given they have planned product lifecycles around it already, and the new event in September is just a hiccup they are not confident about handling. We hope to bring you the latest Computex news live from the trade show, once it happens, so stay tuned.
Computex 2020

Trio of Intel 10th Gen "Ice Lake" NG Processors Show Up on Intel Website

Three new 10th generation Core "Ice Lake-U" notebook processors surfaced on Intel website with a curious new nomenclature, possibly ahead of their "Q2-2020" launch. The three follow the processor model numbering convention of 10x0NGy, where x denotes the key model differentiator, and y the iGPU tier differentiator. Among the three parts are the Core i7-1060NG7, the Core i5-1030NG7, and the Core i3-1000NG4. The i5-1060NG7 and i5-1030NG7 are 10-Watt parts and feature 4-core/8-thread "Sunny Cove" CPUs, while the i3-1000NG4 packs a 2-core/4-thread "Sunny Cove" CPU, and is rated at 9 W TDP.

What sets the Core i5 apart from the Core i7, besides CPU clock speeds, are L3 cache sizes: 8 MB for the Core i7, and 6 MB for the i5. The Core i3 packs 4 MB. With an eye clearly on ultra-portable notebooks, these chips only feature dual-channel LPDDR4 memory interfaces, with memory clock speeds of up to 3733 MT/s. The i7-1060NG7 CPU ticks at 1.20 GHz and up to 3.80 GHz Turbo Boost; while the i5-1030NG7 runs between 1.10 GHz to 3.50 GHz. The i3-1000NG4 is clocked 1.10 GHz with 3.20 GHz Turbo Boost. The Core i7 and Core i5 parts pack an identical Gen11 iGPU: Iris Plus clocked between 300 MHz to 1.10 GHz for the i7 and up to 1.05 GHz for the i5. The Core i3 features 300-900 MHz iGPU clock speeds and fewer execution units.

BenQ Launches SW321C 32-inch Monitor

BenQ today announced the latest addition to its monitor family design for professional use. The SW321C, as it is called, is a 32-inch monitor with an IPS panel of 4K (3840×2160p) resolution. The panel itself is a 60 Hz screen with 250 nits of brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 5 ms GtG response time, and it offers 178-degree viewing angles, which is standard for IPS panels. When it comes to the color coverage and the ability to accurately represent them, the SW321C features 95% of the DCI-P3, 99% of the Adobe RGB, and 100% of the sRGB color gamut. It has a 16-bit 3D look-up table (LUT) and features calibration for DeltaE ≤ 2.

The monitor comes with HDR10 specification, however, due to the brightness of 250 nits, it is not capable of performing any serious HDR content editing. Another interesting note is that this monitor supports Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) standard, which is an uncommon one. For input, the monitor had support for one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and one USB-C port. There is a dual-port USB hub, which has an SD card reader right next to it, making this very useful feature for photographers. Exact pricing and availability of this monitor are unknown, however, it is supposed to hit the market soon.
BenQ SW321C monitor BenQ SW321C monitor BenQ SW321C monitor

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Announced and Teased, More Details Throughout 2020

GSC Game World announced the second chapter and latest entry to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. The survival horror FPS made its debut in 2007 at a time when PC graphics were taking a technological leap. The Kiev-based game studio since dished out the "Clear Sky" prequel and "Call of Pripyat" sequel last decade, but has since been a recluse to the AAA gaming scene. The development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 appears to be already underway. The game will leverage Unreal Engine, and there's a fairly high possibility of it being Epic Games Store exclusive given its sweet revenue-sharing model that directs 88% of the sales to the game publisher.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 developers (or at least a Twitter handle claiming to represent them), posted two key tweets. One shows a teaser screenshot of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 in development; and another with a message from the developers to fans of the game franchise. "The second chapter of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. saga will be our most ambitious game so far. It will live to the legendary legacy," the statement reads. The developers didn't, however, state any timelines. "Consider it (the teaser screenshot and announcement) our humble present, with more to come in 2020," the statement concludes.
STALKER 2 STALKER 2

DeepCool Rolls Out the MATREXX 55 PWM 2F E-ATX Case

DeepCool today rolled out the MATREXX 55 PWM 2F, a variant of the original MATREXX 55 from 2018, but a sibling of the more recent MATREXX 55 Mesh 4F from earlier this year, which replaces the tempered glass front panel with an airy steel mesh that lets the front intake fans breathe better. What sets this case apart from the Mesh 4F is the set of pre-installed fans. While the 4F includes four DC fans (three pre-installed along the front intake and one at the rear exhaust), the new MATREXX 55 PWM 2F includes just two fans, one at the front and the other out back. It's just that these included fans are of a higher quality, with 4-pin PWM input, and possibly a higher service life bearing.

The case is otherwise identical to the Mesh 4F, with its horizontally partitioned interior with room for motherboards up to E-ATX length, graphics cards that are up to 37 cm long, and CPU coolers up to 16.8 cm in height. Storage areas include two 3.5-inch drive bays that can each hold 2.5-inch drives, and two additional 2.5-inch mounts. Among the fan mounts are three 140/120 mm front, two 140/120 mm top, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. The case measures 440 mm x 210 mm x 480 mm (HxWxD), weighing 6.6 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing, but it could be identical to the Mesh 4F, at around $80.

TerraMaster F2-210 NAS Now Supports Emby and Plex Media Servers

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products, is proud of its competitive and affordable network-attached storage that offers the best-in-class pricing as well as feature set with the F2-210.The TerraMaster F2-210 NAS allows easy, centralization of your multimedia files so you can enjoy them throughout your network or through the cloud, so users don't need to worry about sharing your files in multiple devices. The F2-210 simplifies and streamlines the storage, setup and consumption of your multimedia content whether it be home movies, family photos or your music library, the F2-210 puts them all in one place to make things more accessible.

The F2-210 supports both Emby and Plex media servers to centralize all your multimedia content. Whether it be videos, music or photos, whichever your media server or choice is, you can use the power of either Emby or Plex to catalog and streamline your content library all in one place. Go from powerful data storage to a powerful, feature-rich entertainment center, Emby and Plex both offer exceptional and easy to use interfaces as well as robust organization tools so you can access and organize your data all in one central app.
Loading more posts, please wait... Load more news posts