Thursday, February 22nd 2018

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD
Bloody B945 Optical Gaming Keyboard

Bloody B945 Optical Gaming Keyboard

The Bloody B945 is a unique full-size keyboard with a left-sided numpad, which effectively helps with getting the mouse closer to the keyboard for better ergonomics while in use. It features their new LK Libra optical switches with a stabilizer bar for every single switch, dust and spill resistance, and a software driver that crams in a ton of customization options as well!

ADATA Showcases Full Industrial Product Range at Embedded World 2018

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules, SSD and NAND based Flash products, is pleased to confirm participation in Embedded World 2018, which is the premiere embedded systems and industrial PC trade show in Europe. The event is scheduled for February 27th to March 1st 2018 and taking place in Nuremberg, Germany. ADATA is fielding its entire industrial-grade portfolio, covering SSDs, SD cards, and CFAST products that now use new-generation 3D NAND.

ADATA will showcase several PCIe M.2 2280 SSDs and DDR4 2666 DRAM modules, which feature extreme high speed, wide temperature tolerance and sustained reliability for industrial embedded applications, as well as for AI, AR, VR and video gaming. In addition, industrial box PCs, embedded cards, server motherboards, smart car infotainment, and casino gaming controls will be at the show. ADATA ex! pects Embedded World 2018 to be the most productive and exciting show yet after years of taking part in the event.

IBASE Announces Embedded Devices with EPYC 3000 and Ryzen Embedded CPUs

IBASE Technology Inc., a world leader in the manufacture of industrial motherboard and embedded systems, today launched a series of new AMD Ryzen Embedded and EPYC Embedded processor-based products, including the MI988 Mini-ITX motherboard, SI-324 4x HDMI 2.0 digital signage player and FWA8800 1U rackmount network appliance.

"As a premier AMD partner, we have been working closely on building products utilizing both AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 and EPYC Embedded 3000 products." said Jackson Mao, Product Planning Division Vice President of IBASE. "The next-generation performance and scalability delivered by the new AMD processors translate to real-world differentiation and benefits for our customers across networking, digital media, and industrial applications."

ADATA and XPG Feature Total Mobile Gaming Solution at MWC 2018

ADATA Technology Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, is excited to announce the first participation at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018,the world's largest gathering for the mobile industry. ADATA and XPG are together presenting a total mobile gaming solution that provides mobility, functionality, and convenience in order to fulfill of growing number of mobile users' needs. ADATA brings the latest three high density battery cellpower bank models that provide a lightweight and versatile choice of colors and capacities. For XPG, EMIX I30 features patented design driven by 5.2 channel surround sound with a rich and detailed sound quality. By bringing these two devices together into a small, tidy package offers an immediate convenience for mobile gamers.

Nowadays, end users have continued to be fascinated and amazed by rapidly evolving mobile technology. Mobile gaming is one of the few segments that have swiftly grown at an immense pace and with a rise in demand. XPG places an emphasis on delivering rich and detailed sound quality. The 5.2 channel EMIX I30 has established an inner vacuum tube technology that creates true 3D surround sound. It also employs oversized 13.5 mm units made of durable yet reactive monomer materials. EMIX I30 works instantly with a majority of electronic devices.

Apacer Intros Commando Series DDR4-3600 and DDR4-3466 CL16 Memory

Remember that God-awful (in our opinion) Commando assault rifle-shaped PCIe SSD by Apacer? The company decided to extend some of that styling onto its latest Commando series DDR4 memory variants. The new Apacer Commando DDR4 memory series comes in 16 GB (2x 8 GB) dual-channel kits, in frequencies of DDR4-3466 CL16 (originally announced in Q4-2017 with looser CL18 timings) and the new DDR4-3600 (EK.16GA4.GFAK2). Its module design features a distinctive heatspreader with an ornament that looks like the top attachment rail of certain assault rifles or carbines.

The newer DDR4-3466 variant comes with tighter timings of 16-18-18-36 (against the original's 18-18-18-42), and a module voltage of 1.35V, while the DDR4-3600 variant does its advertised clock speeds at 17-19-19-39, and 1.35V module voltage. Both kits are XMP 2.0 compliant, so the advertised speeds can be enabled with one click in your UEFI setup program. Available now, the DDR4-3466 CL16 kit is priced at 254€, while the DDR4-3600 kit goes for 379€.

Iiyama Intros ProLite XB3270QS 31.5-inch Monitor

Japanese display maker Iiyama today introduced the ProLite XB3270QS 31.5-inch monitor. The monitor combines an IPS LCD panel with flicker-free LED back-lighting that uses a non-PWM method to control brightness, reducing flicker. The monitor offers WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, 60 Hz refresh-rate, 4 ms (gray to gray) response time, and 300 cd/m² maximum brightness, with dynamic mega-contrast ratio. The LED back-lighting features blue-light reduction technology. Display inputs include dual-link DVI-D, DisplayPort 1.2, and HDMI 1.4 (30 Hz only). Its stand offers basic tilt adjustments. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Intros GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti Cerberus Series Graphics Cards

ASUS rolled out GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti Cerberus series graphics cards. Much like the GTX 1070 Ti Cerberus card launched late-2017, these cards come with 144-hour burn-in quality-control by ASUS, and are targeted at gaming iCafes. The GTX 1050 Ti Cerberus (model: CERBERUS-GTX1050TI-O4G) comes with 4 GB of memory, while the GTX 1050 Cerberus (CERBERUS-GTX1050-O2G) comes with 2 GB.

Both cards are based on an identical board design, featuring a 17 cm long full-height PCB, and a monoblock aluminium GPU heatsink that's ventilated by a pair of IP5X-certified (dust resistant) 80 mm fans. A 3+1 phase VRM with ASUS' highest grade Super Alloy Power II chokes power the card. Both cards rely on the PCI-Express slot for power. Display outputs include one each of dual-link DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and DisplayPort 1.4 connectors. Both cards are factory-overclocked, with the GTX 1050 Ti Cerberus shipping with 1341/1455 MHz (core/GPU Boost), and an untouched 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory; while the GTX 1050 Cerberus ships with 1404/1518 MHz (core/GPU Boost). The company didn't reveal pricing.

"Kingdom Come: Deliverance" Year's First Gaming Blockbuster, Sells a Million

Medieval RPG "Kingdom Come: Deliverance" is on course to becoming 2018's first gaming blockbuster. The game sold over a million copies in its first week since launch, with the PC platform amounting to 45 percent of the sales, through Steam. The sales data was compiled by SteamSpy, accounting the first week of sales since the game's February 13 release across Windows (PC), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 platforms. Czech developer Warhorse Studios debuted with the game, which is published by Deep Silver.

In related news, the game already received its first major patch, version 1.2.5, which fixes controller issues on the console platforms, such as an unresponsive R2 button; bugs in quests with Hans Capon; and bugs in the "Ginger in a Pickle" quest. "We're about one million when I count all the platforms and distribution channels. We certainly thought about one million. The number is surprisingly positive, but it's not something we thought we could not achieve," said Martin Frývaldský, CEO of Warhorse Studios.
Wednesday, February 21st 2018

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Desktop PC
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage
ECS Z370-Lightsaber

ECS Z370-Lightsaber

ECS is back for the new year with the newest entry into its provocatively named "Lightsaber" line of motherboards; this time with the ECS Z370-Lightsaber. Will ECS deliver an overclocking weapon as effective as the lightsaber is for the Jedi?

Cheaper Intel 300-series Chipset Motherboards Around the Corner

Right now, it makes little sense to pick up Intel's Core i3 quad-core and cheaper Core i5 six-core chips, only to pair them with the company's premium Z370 Express chipset-based motherboards, which start around $139. The company had promised a second wave of Core i3 and Core i5 "Coffee Lake" processors, and newer Pentium Gold and Celeron parts based on the silicon; alongside three cheaper motherboard chipsets - H370 Express, B360 Express, and H310 Express; for launch some time in Q1-2018. We're getting word that March could be a busy month for PC hardware retailers.

The H370 has an almost identical feature-set to the Z370, except its lack of support for CPU overclocking and multi-GPU (PCIe segmentation). The B360 is slightly cheaper, and has fewer connectivity options. The H310 is entry-level, and has the least connectivity options. H370-based motherboards could be priced between $100 to $170; B360-based ones $80 to $130, and H310-based ones $50 to $70. Online retailers have already begun listing some of these motherboards. A list was compiled by Redditor dayman56. It includes links to over a dozen such listings of ASRock and GIGABYTE motherboards that, if not anything else, confirm model names.

Microsoft Shares What to Expect From Mixed Reality in 2018

In a LinkedIn blog post, Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman shared the company's vision for its Mixed Reality ecosystem for this 2018 year. The vision stands on a three-pronged stance: MR +AI, AR + VR, and Immersive Communication. The first is likely the more exciting of the bunch: marrying MR environments and apps with the power of the cloud to render extensive AI workloads. This starts with the inclusion of AI-processing capabilities intro the next version of Microsoft's HoloLens and its HPU (Holographic Processing Unit). With a strong internet connection, this local processing will be joined by Microsoft's cloud AI processing glut to marry the virtual and physical worlds in an increasingly inseparable mix, allowing for the virtual to perfectly overlap the physical.

The second stance on this Microsoft approach is the marriage of the AR + VR environments in a single product, which both allows for virtual overlays in the physical world, and a comprehensive solution for VR-specific workloads that the same AR headset can propel you to - essentially building a HoloLens + VR headset solution. Finally, Immersive Communication is one of the other applications where Microsoft sees extreme potential in this MR world we're about to enter: where the instant messaging and video chats of the world are superseded by an actual VR solution that places people next to their desired public, be it their loved ones or, frighteningly, their boss, from the comfort of their home or another location they see fit. A focus on actual presence can be brought equally to people separated by an inch or a thousand miles.

Updated Firmware Available for 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel Core Processors

Intel today shared in a blog post that they are deploying microcode solutions that have been developed and validated over the last several weeks. These updates aim to patch security vulnerabilities recently found in Intel processors, and will be distributed, mostly, via OEM firmware updates - users who want to have their system hardened against Spectre and Meltdown exploits will have to ensure that their system manufacturer of choice makes these microcode updates available. If they don't do it in a timely fashion, users have no choice but to be vocal about that issue - Intel has now done its part in this matter.

This is the second wave of Intel's patches to mitigate the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, after the first, hasty patch sent users on towards unstable, crashing systems and the inevitable update rollback. Security had already been reinstated, of sorts, for Intel's Skylake processors, but left users of any other affected Intel CPU family out in the cold. Here's hoping this is the one update that actually sticks after thorough testing and validation.

Intel Plans $5 billion Investment in Israel Plant for Expanded 10 nm Production

Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen today revealed that after talks with Intel, the company shared plans for a $5 billion investment in its Kiryat Gat plant, located in southern Israel. The Kiryat Gat plant currently features tools and manufacturing facilities that allow only 22 nm chips to be produced - definitely not cutting edge, but still somewhat relevant in the semiconductor market for simpler technologies. Intel's investment would bring this plant's capabilities to 10 nm manufacturing levels. The minister further stated that Intel will begin its investment this year, and was looking towards a full 2020 payoff with increased manufacturing capabilities. Naturally, with investment comes tax opportunities and government incentives, and Intel is expected to receive a 10% grant from the Israeli government to help it in this investments' funding.

Alphacool Announces the Eisbaer LT AIO Family

With the Alphacool Eisbaer LT, you get a high-performance compact water cooling system that's barely inferior to its bigger brother, the Eisbaer AIO.
Just like the Eisbaer, the Eisbaer LT distinguishes itself from the usual AIO mix in that Alphacool relied on normal custom components as much as possible during development. This allows the Eisbaer LT to be expanded on not just with the Eisbaer Ready quick connectors but also with connectors using standard G1/4" threads. Another highlight is the new 25mm thin Slim Radiator, made entirely of copper. Since copper has twice the heat capacity of aluminium, optimal cooling is guaranteed.

The cooler bottom is made entirely of copper and has an ultra-fine cross slot structure. Thanks to those cross slots and a sophisticated nozzle system, heat is absorbed extremely fast and transferred away from the CPU. The built-in DC-LT Ultra Ceramic Low Noise pump is an extremely quiet pump that Alphacool has used in many products. The pump is much stronger than what you'd usually find in AIOs. It can also be throttled with the optional 7V adaptor, decreasing the already low noise generation even further. The pump casing is very flat and the aluminium cap gives it a clean, elegant look.

Fractal Design Expands Meshify C Line-Up

Fractal Design, leading designer and manufacturer of enthusiast PC cases and components, today announced two new additions to the popular Meshify C series high-airflow mid tower lineup. Meshify continues to strike an aggressive pose with its unparalleled cooling performance and defiant look, now available in a multitude of side panel variations. The introduction of the Meshify C with dual solid side panels and Meshify C - TG with lightly tinted tempered glass gives users all new choices, both functional and aesthetic. These new all-solid and light tint TG versions complement the original Meshify C - Dark TG with dark tint TG to satisfy a wide range of stylistic preferences.

An open ATX layout with intelligent space utilization creates an unrestricted airflow path from the mesh front intakes directly through key components to exhaust, ensuring heat is never an issue. The Meshify C series has a remarkably compact footprint with the high-end component support of a larger tower, and with seven fan mounts and multi-radiator liquid cooling capability, it has the cooling capacity to match. When performance is top priority and compromise is not an option, Meshify has you covered in style, now with three unique side panel configurations to choose from.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Speeds its Way Into Steam Early Access This Summer

Assetto Corsa Competizione, the new official game of the Blancpain GT series, named after world-renowned Swiss watch manufacture Blancpain and organized by SRO Motorsports Group, will be speeding onto Steam Early Access this summer from Kunos Simulazioni and 505 Games. Featuring an extraordinary level of simulation quality that allows players to experience the unique atmosphere of this GT3 Series, players can compete against official drivers, teams, accessing all cars and circuits with the highest level of accuracy and attention to detail.

Taking full advantage of Unreal Engine 4, Assetto Corsa Competizione will ensure the highest quality rendering with photorealistic weather conditions and graphics to reach a new standard in driving realism and immersion racing. Players will experience highspeed torque as they get behind the wheel of luxurious speedsters including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and many other prestigious GT cars reproduced with an outstanding level of detail. Motion capture technology is used to create the animations of mechanics and drivers in an even more realistic fashion and guarantee a high level of player engagement during races, pit stops and driver changes.

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Might Make its Way to Steam Someday

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, which was released yesterday, is currently a Windows 10 exclusive. Essentially, what that means is that players can only get the game through the dreaded Windows Store. Microsoft previously blamed Valve for not wanting Age of Empires: Definitive Edition on their Steam platform, but then stated that the move was possible if the platforms pledge their unconditional support for Windows 10. In a recent interview with PC Games Network, Adam Isgreen suggested that Age of Empires: Definitive Edition could possibly arrive on Steam in a near future. As a creative director, Adam has little control over game distribution, however, he fully recognizes that some users suffer from annoying issues with the Windows 10 Store.

AMD Launches Embedded EPYC 3000 and Ryzen V1000 Processors

AMD today introduced two new product families - the AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 processor and AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 processor - to enter a new age for high-performance embedded processors. AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 brings the power of "Zen" to a variety of new markets including networking, storage and edge computing devices, while AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 targets medical imaging, industrial systems, digital gaming and thin clients. These new AMD Embedded processors deliver breakthrough performance, exceptional integration and on-chip security.

"Today we extend the high-performance x86 'Zen' architecture from PCs, laptops and the datacenter to networking, storage and industrial solutions with the AMD EPYC Embedded and AMD Ryzen Embedded product families, delivering transformative performance from the core to the edge," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, Datacenter and Embedded Solutions Business Group, AMD. "AMD EPYC Embedded 3000 raises the bar in performance for next-generation network functions virtualization, software-defined networking and networked storage applications. AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 brings together the 'Zen' core architecture and 'Vega' graphics architecture to deliver brilliant graphics in a single chip that provides space and power savings for medical imaging, gaming and industrial systems. With these high-performance products, AMD is ushering in a new age for embedded processors."

AOC Intros AGON AG352UCG6 35-inch Curved Ultrawide Gaming Monitor

AOC today introduced the AGON AG352UCG6, a 35-inch curved ultrawide gaming monitor. Featuring an 1800R curvature and 21:9 ultrawide aspect-ratio, the monitor offers WideQHD (3440 x 1440 pixels) resolution, with 120 Hz refresh-rate, and support for NVIDIA G-SYNC. Its AMVA panel offers 178°/178° viewing angles. Display inputs include DisplayPort 1.2, and HDMI 1.4. Among its gamer-centric features are genre-specific display presets, headset stand, rear RGB LED diffusers that either work as mood-lighting or whatever you set them to do, a 200-step gray levels saturation setting (think Adobe Photoshop levels control built into your monitor); and a headset mount.

Sonnet 1TB Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive Now Shipping

Sonnet Technologies today announced that the new 1TB version of its popular Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive is now shipping. A rugged, pocket-size solid-state drive (SSD) storage device with a Thunderbolt 3 interface, the Mac- and Windows-compatible drive is equipped with 1TB of NVMe flash storage and leverages the 40Gb/s bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3 to deliver data transfer speeds up to 2600 MB/s.

The Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive was designed for pro users requiring ultimate performance in a truly portable storage device, unencumbered by the need for an AC power adapter. The storage device connects to any compatible Mac or Windows computer, or at the end of a Thunderbolt 3 device daisy chain, with its 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable. Based on the latest PCIe Gen 3 flash memory technology, the Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive is more than five times faster than 6Gb/s SATA SSDs and USB 3 SSD drives.
Tuesday, February 20th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
Speakers
SSD
ADATA Gammix S10 512 GB

ADATA Gammix S10 512 GB

ADATA's Gammix S10 SSD is built using a Silicon Motion controller paired with 3D TLC flash. The SSD is cooled by a sexy red heatsink that not only looks pretty but also keeps the drive cooler than other NVMe SSDs we tested before. Priced at $210, it's one of the most affordable PCIe x4 drives on the market.

ASUS Announces Availability of Windows Mixed Reality Headset HC102

ASUS today announced the ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset HC102. Its unique and innovative design, featuring a beautiful 3D pattern and a comfy weight-balanced construction with premium antibacterial cushioned materials, means it's not only stylish but also supremely cool and comfortable for extended use.

Unlike other headsets, the ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset HC102 doesn't need any external sensors, making initial setup incredibly easy - users will be ready to play in less than 10 minutes. What's more, the headset supports over 20,000 Windows apps and more than 2,000 Steam VR titles, so users can watch immersive 360° videos, play games like never before or get on with important work or school projects. And importantly, the headset is also compatible with a wide range of affordable PCs. The ASUS Windows Mixed Reality Headset HC102 is the revolutionary, easy-to-use and affordable way for users to explore their imaginations.

Gem Rose Accent Offers 1 Bitcoin Prize to First Person that Beats Their New Game

Developer Gem Rose Accent will reward the first player to beat their new puzzle game with a Bitcoin, which is worth $11,669.97 at the time of this post. In MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, players must navigate through a very complicated maze from a first-person perspective and solve the 24 puzzles to finish the game. Players also have the option form a group with other players to solve the different puzzles. MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma is available on Steam for $1.99, but you can purchase it for introductory price of $1.19. According to the developer, MonteCrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma will easily be one of the hardest game you will ever play. Will you take up their challenge?

Discovery Tour Update Turns Assassin's Creed Origins Into an Interactive Museum

Ubisoft's Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt is a new educational and entertainment tool, which lets anyone explore the entire interactive 3D recreation of Ancient Egypt in Assassin's Creed Origins, free of conflict, time pressure or gameplay constraints. The Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt releases on February 20th, 2018 on PS4, Xbox and PC, at no cost for all owners of the Assassin's Creed Origins game, and it will also be available independently from the game on PC via the Uplay and Steam platforms for £15.99.

From Alexandria to Memphis, the Nile Delta to the Sand Sea, the Giza plateau to the Faiyum Oasis, the Discovery Tour by Assassin's Creed: Ancient Egypt lets visitors either explore the rich world of Ancient Egypt at their will or follow the 75 themed tours devised by Ubisoft's creative teams in collaboration with History experts and Egyptologists.

Elite Dangerous: Beyond - Chapter One Arrives on February 27

The wait is nearly over as Elite Dangerous: Beyond - Chapter One arrives on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 27. Beyond, the third Elite Dangerous season will be free for all players, and will focus on community-requested enhancements to the overall player experience. Alongside those core foundational changes, new in-game content will progress the ever-expanding player-driven storyline and give pilots across the galaxy new tools to shape the ongoing narrative.

With the release of Chapter One the crime and punishment system in Elite Dangerous will undergo a series of changes designed to improve the response to players' criminal activities, making Open Play's massively multiplayer galaxy fairer and more competitive. The new Advance Tactical Response will be on the hunt for repeat offenders, 'Hot Ships' attach crimes to players' spacecrafts, and new notoriety levels increase consequences for illegal activities making the galaxy a more challenging place for veteran pilots.

Fujitsu Launches New 2 in 1 Tablets Powered by 8th Gen Intel Core Processors

Fujitsu introduces its latest flagship 2 in 1 detachable device - the Fujitsu Tablet STYLISTIC Q738. Outstanding durability combined with the mobility of a tablet, in tandem with the power and productivity of a notebook, make the STYLISTIC Q738 an ideal choice for high-performance, mobile working1.

Designed to be tough, the STYLISTIC Q738 can resist damage from accidental knocks and bumps while on the move, thanks to a robust magnesium housing and reinforced edges. The multi-touch, 13.3-inch Full HD anti-glare wide-screen display can be used in direct sunlight, while the 8th generation Intel Core processor provides notebook-matching performance. With weight starting from just 789 grams (1.74 lbs.), the STYLISTIC Q738 is an easy-to-carry yet powerful device, and all-day battery life gives users the freedom to work anywhere, anytime.

HyperX Ships 4 Million Headsets, Global Leader in Esports

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced it has shipped more than 4 million units of its award-winning gaming headsets. HyperX began shipping gaming headsets in April 2014, reaching 1 million units in less than two years. HyperX gaming headset popularity extends from first-time gamers to professional gamers on tournament stages around the world. HyperX headsets are now available in 15,000 stores, in over 100 countries and across 6 continents.

HyperX headsets deliver the ultimate comfort for hours of gaming for pro gamers and enthusiasts alike, featuring premium HyperX signature memory foam, an adjustable headband, and multi-platform capability. HyperX headsets are designed to deliver industry-leading sound quality for an immersive gaming experience, as well watching movies, listening to music and chat.

Intel "Coffee Lake" Based Pentium Gold Processors Begin Selling

Even as Intel is giving final touches to its massive 8th generation Core family product stack expansion with up to eight new SKUs, retailers have started stocking up, and secretly selling some of these chips. Last week, we brought you the story of Newegg beginning to sell new Core i5 and Celeron 49xx series SKUs, namely the Core i5-8600 (non-K), the i5-8500, the Celeron 4920, and the Celeron 4900. We're now hearing of three other SKUs that have made it to the shelves, the Core i3-8300, and three Pentium Gold models.

The Core i3-8300, like the i3-8350K, is a quad-core chip that lacks HyperThreading, but unlike the current entry-level i3-8100, features a hearty 8 MB of L3 cache. It lacks the unlocked multiplier of the i3-8350K. It is clocked at 3.70 GHz, and lacks Turbo Boost. It's selling at USD $134.99 in tray quantities, so we expect its boxed retail unit price to be $139-$149. The Pentium Gold family consists of 2-core/4-thread chips backed by 4 MB of L3 cache. Leading the pack is the Pentium Gold G5600, clocked at 3.90 GHz, followed by the G5500 clocked at 3.80 GHz, and the G5400 at 3.70 GHz. The three could occupy price-points ranging between $80-$99.
Monday, February 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage
FSP CMT510

FSP CMT510

The FSP CMT510 utilizes nothing but steel and glass and comes jam-packed with four RGB fans - all at quite the intriguing price point. With its ability to switch up the color hue and a simple but functional interior with plenty of room, the CMT510 turns out to be quite a worthy chassis in the crowded mid-range market.

ID-Cooling Intros DK-03 Halo AMD Red CPU Cooler

ID-Cooling rolled out the DK-03 Halo AMD Red, a simple top-flow CPU cooler that acts as a replacement to AMD's decent Wraith-series coolers. It should particularly appeal to those who opt for models that lack stock coolers (eg: Ryzen 5 1600X, Ryzen 7 1700X, 1800X, etc.). The cooler's design consists of a cylindrical aluminium heatsink with radially-projecting fins, ventilated by a large 120 mm fan. The heatsink looks taller than that of a Wraith Spire, yet narrower, for clearance around the memory and VRM areas. A pre-installed clip-type retention mechanism lets the cooler support AMD sockets AM4, AM3(+), and FM2(+).

With its factory-installed fan in place, the cooler measures 130 mm x 130 mm x 63 mm (WxDxH), weighing about 365 g. The fan features a red LED diffuser that draws power from the fan's power supply. The fan spins at speeds of up to 1,600 RPM, pushing up to 58.4 CFM of air, with a noise output of 26.4 dBA. The cooler is rated for thermal loads of up to 100W, which means you will be able to run 95W TDP Ryzen chips such as the 1800X at stock speeds, without expecting much overclocking headroom. Available now, the DK-03 Halo AMD Red is expected to be priced around USD $14.99.

Samsung Begins Mass-production of 30.72-terabyte PM1643 SSD

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's largest capacity Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) solid state drive (SSD) - the PM1643 - for use in next-generation enterprise storage systems. Leveraging Samsung's latest V-NAND technology with 64-layer, 3-bit 512-gigabit (Gb) chips, the 30.72 terabyte (TB) drive delivers twice the capacity and performance of the previous 15.36 TB high-capacity lineup introduced in March 2016.

This breakthrough was made possible by combining 32 of the new 1TB NAND flash packages, each comprised of 16 stacked layers of 512 Gb V-NAND chips. These super-dense 1 TB packages allow for approximately 5,700 5-gigabyte (GB), full HD movie files to be stored within a mere 2.5-inch storage device.

AMD's PlayReady 3.0 In Polaris, Vega GPUs, APUs to Enable 4K HDR Streaming on PC

In the wake of increased requirements when it comes to digital copy protection mechanisms in consumable media (be it in the streaming or disc-type), AMD is looking to allow users of its products to keep up with the increasing demands of content distributors. Besides hardware encode/decode capabilities, hardware DRM support such as HDCP 2.2 or Microsoft's PlayReady 3.0 has become a necessity for high-quality content viewing, and is required for Netflix 4K and HDR streaming on PCs.

AMD themselves have said that they plan on enabling these features for their products via a driver release, thus turning the most recent Ryzen + Vega APUs into even more desirable HTPC-environment solutions. In the Ryzen Desktop APU Reviewers' Guide, the company specifically said, "Please note that HDCP 1.4/2.2 are supported for the purposes of streaming 4K+HDR content. AMD intends to have a production PlayReady 3-capable graphics driver in early Q2". The company thus joins Intel and NVIDIA in developing solutions that allow users to take advantage of 4K and HDR content on their PC solution via, for example, Netflix. The steps are still very convoluted, though; just look at the Netflix requirements for your PC after the break. It's mind-boggling.

Ruckus Signs Strategic OEM Deal with Dell

Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, today announced it has signed a global original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Dell EMC to deliver Ruckus' broad portfolio of wireless solutions, including access points (APs), controllers, virtualized and data analytics assets, and Cloudpath secure network access software-along with Ruckus IoT and CBRS LTE products-as Dell-branded solutions. This agreement gives Dell EMC's networking sales team and end-user customers access to Ruckus' award-winning portfolio of secure wireless connectivity solutions and strong brand presence not available through alternative suppliers. The agreement is effective immediately and encompasses a range of sales, marketing and customer support programs in international markets, including APAC, EMEA and the Americas.

"Delivering innovative wireless networking solutions to our partners is key to address the insatiable demand for high-performance wireless networking in the enterprise," said Dan Rabinovitsj, president, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company. "The Dell EMC brand and market reach is complementary to our own and represents a significant path for growth for both companies across a range of vertical markets, including education, public infrastructure, the federal government and service providers. We view Dell EMC's strength in storage and scalable computing platforms as critical to collaboration where complete bundled solutions are required to compete and win."

Lucasfilm Rumored to Ditch EA for a New Game Publisher

Rumors are going around that Lucasfilm isn't too happy with how the Star Wars franchise is turning out since they handed the license on a silver platter over to Electronic Arts in 2013. Up to now, EA has produced a total of two titles under the Star Wars: Battlefront sub-series. Their first Star Wars: Battlefront game was released in 2015 and many considered it a reboot of the previous games. Regardless, Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) was highly criticized for its lack of a single-player campaign. EA's solution to keep die-hard Star Wars fans happy was to release a multitude of free expansions and paid DLC packs to add more content to the game. And then came Star Wars: Battlefront II in 2017, a sequel that received even harsher backlash because of the over aggressive loot-crate system that was implemented into the game. In an attempt to put out the fire, EA temporarily eliminated the microtransactions.

Then, to make matters even worse, EA closed Visceral Games last year. The studio was working on the single-player driven Star Wars: Project Ragtag title, but apparently it didn't fit into EA's business model so they decided to pull the plug. With all that has occurred, EA's relationship with Lucasfilm hangs on a thin thread right now. The gaming giant's lackluster record of releasing two games in a five year period allegedly forced Lucasfilm to explore other options. Ubisoft and Activision were the two big names that have been mentioned so far. If the rumors were true, who would you rather have working on the next Star Wars game?

Intel Unveils Discrete GPU Prototype Development

Intel is making progress in its development of a new discrete GPU architecture, after its failed attempt with "Larrabee" that ended up as an HPC accelerator; and ancient attempts such as the i740. This comes in the wake of the company's high-profile hiring of Raja Koduri, AMD's former Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) head. The company unveiled slides pointing to the direction in which its GPU development is headed, at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco. That direction is essentially scaling up its existing iGPU architecture, and bolstering it with mechanisms to sustain high clock speeds better.

The company's first 14 nm dGPU prototype, shown as a test-chip at the ISSCC, is a 2-chip solution. The first chip contains two key components, the GPU itself, and a system agent; and the second chip is an FPGA that interfaces with the system bus. The GPU component, as it stands now, is based on Intel's Gen 9 architecture, and features a three execution unit (EU) clusters. Don't derive numbers from this yet, as Intel is only trying to demonstrate a proof of concept. The three clusters are wired to a sophisticated power/clock management mechanism that efficiently manages power and clock-speed of each individual EU. There's also a double-clock mechanism that doubles clock speeds (of the boost state) beyond what today's Gen 9 EUs can handle on Intel iGPUs. Once a suitable level of energy efficiency is achieved, Intel will use newer generations of EUs, and scale up EU counts taking advantage of newer fab processes, to develop bigger discrete GPUs.
More slides follow.

EK Announces Monoblock for MSI X399 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several MSI X399 motherboards. The EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with MSI Mystic Light, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for two MSI AMD X399 Chipset based motherboards that support AMD Socket TR4 AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following MSI motherboards:
  • MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
  • MSI X399 SLI Plus

Spire Intros SP-ATX-2000W-BTC ETH PSU for Mining Rigs

Spire rolled out the SP-ATX-2000W-BTC/ETH, an ATX/PS2 power-supply for GPU-based crypto-currency mining rigs. With 2000W power on tap, the PSU bears a no-frills design to keep costs low. The design focus is not just on the number of PCIe power connectors, but also the length of the PCIe power cables, so you can have a multitude of graphics cards popping out through risers. The PSU comes with a total of eighteen PCIe power connectors, of which ten are 6-pin, and eight 6+2 pin. You also get a surprisingly high thirteen SATA power connectors, a 4+4 pin EPS, and a 24-pin ATX.

Under the hood, the Spire SP-ATX-2000W-BTC/ETH features a single +12V rail design with so-called "85 Plus Gold" efficiency; APFC, common electrical protection mechanisms against over/under-voltage, overload, short-circuit, and overheat. Two 80 mm fans (one on each end) are used to keep the unit cool. Taking into account its target audience, Spire is rating its life-expectancy at 100,000 hours, and is backing it with a 2-year warranty. It is priced at USD $219.99 a piece Stateside, or 199.95€ a piece in the EU. Currently, the company is only selling it on B2B platforms such as Alibaba, in 200-unit minimum orders.

Kickstart and Burn: System Shock Remaster Put on Hold After Collecting $1.3M

Kickstarter has had some amazing success stories; but it's also had quite the number of unbelievable fails. And the failures to deliver are usually much more impressive, and generate much more press, than the actual success stories - that's just the way of the beast. Now, gamers waiting for the eventual remaster of what this editor has been told is one of the most groundbreaking games of its time - System Shock - have been left in a somewhat spacey environment, as the developer has come out to say that the game has been put on hold - but not cancelled. Nightdive Studios sold its vision to 21,625 Kickstarter backers, which collectively donated more than $1.3M - and some 21,331 extra backers on Backerit, which donated $107,199.83 more to the cause.

Nightdive Studios' CEO Stephen Kick, in a campaign update, revealed that at some point along the way, the vision for the game veered from a remaster to what would essentially become a whole new game. The decision to also change the development engine from Unity to Unreal Engine 4 - which the developers say they don't regret - has also shaved much time and resources from the original intended development effort. Here's hoping this isn't a full 180 on the game's development, and that we do see the light of day for this project - in a way that makes all the backers feel as if their hard-earned money - and the journey they've gone to to see the remaster come to fruition - hasn't been in vain. I, for one, would love to play a modern rendition of System Shock. Look after the break for some of the core ideas in Nightdive Studios' CEO Stephen Kick message to backers.

HDPlex H3 V2 Fanless Chassis Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of HDPlex H3 V2 fan-less HTPC chassis. The H3 sits between the tiny H1 and deck-sized H5. It has the height of the H5 and the width of the H1. The case measures 270 mm x 264 mm x 93 mm (WxDxH), weighing in at 5.5 kg. Its main chamber can house mini-ITX motherboards, and a half-height add-on card that's no more than 1-slot thick. As with most fan-less cases, the chunky, ridged aluminium body of the H3 V2 doubles up as heatsink for the CPU/SoC, and can handle thermal loads of up to 80W. The CPU block uses eight 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes to transport heat to the body. The case also has room for up to four 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch drives. Available now, it is priced at USD $240.

CD Projekt Red Opens Up Regarding Loot Box Integration in Games

In an interview to PC Gamer, CD Projekt Red's CEO Adam Kiciński approached the subject of loot boxes and their integration in videogames as ways of increasing companies' bottom line. And as has been the case in nearly every move CD Projekt has ever made, the CEO's - and the company's - posture is one of respect and frankly, overwhelming candure as to how to conduct a respectable business. When inquired on where the company that developed the Witcher games stands on the microtransactions and lootbox conversation, Adam Kiciński was very clear: far and away from a "milking customers" position.

"'Conversation' sounds way too nice to describe what was happening last year. I would rather call it community backlash," says Kiciński. "And this time around, it wasn't just the hardcore community, there were a lot of really pissed off gamers out there and they decided to speak up. Where we stand is quite simple and you could see it with all of our past releases-most recently The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and GWENT. If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay."
Loading more posts, please wait... Load more news posts