Hardware Giveaway
Friday, September 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking

G.Skill Releases AMD Ryzen-optimized Trident Z RGB DDR4 Memory

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces a new lineup of Trident Z RGB DDR4 memory kits with enhanced compatibility on the latest AMD platforms. Specifically designed for AMD Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper platforms, now there are vibrant options up to the popular DDR4-3200MHz CL14 or the massive 128GB (8x16GB) kits at up to 2933MHz. For a full range of memory kit capacity options, the new Trident Z RGB memory kit models are available at DDR4-2400MHz in 2-, 4-, and 8-module kit configurations with 8GB and 16GB modules, which allows for 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB memory kits for your AMD system.

AMD currently has two platform offerings, where Ryzen supports dual-channel with 2 or 4 memory modules and Threadripper supports quad-channel memory with 4 or 8 memory modules. To give a boost in memory performance to AMD number-crunching workstations and high-end graphic rendering systems, G.SKILL offers several selections for each AMD platform, including memory speeds of up to DDR4-2933MHz or ultra-high capacity at 128GB (8x16GB).

Enermax Releases Their Equilence Tempered Glass PC Case

After showing it off some months ago, Enermax is finally releasing their Equilence mid-tower PC case for the masses. Their Equilence is focused on providing ultra silent operation of the internal components, while keeping the tempered glass side window users are so fond off, and further fleshes out Enermax's case chops. This is done through the usage of high density, noise dampening foam on the top, front and left side of the case, leaving the tempered glass and breathing holes the only places where sound might escape through.

The top part of the foam can be removed for users to install extra fans or an up to 360 mm radiator, though that will, of course, reduce the sound dampening capabilites of the case. The left side panel uses 4 mm thick tinted panoramic glass, with dampening mechanisms on its mounting screws for reduced vibration. Users can mount a 360 mm, 240 mm or 120 mm radiator at the front of the unit, and a side wall offers room for an extra 240 mm or 120 mm radiator.

Rambus Has DDR5 Memory Working in Its Labs, Gears for 2019 Market Release

DDR5, the natural successor to today's DDR4 memory that brings with double the bandwidth and density versus current generation DDR4. along with delivering improved channel efficiency, is expected to be available in the market starting 2019. JEDEC, the standards body responsible for the DDR specifications, says that base DDR5 frequencies should be at around DDR5-4800 - double that of base DDR4's 2400, but a stone throw away from today's fastest (and uber, kidney-like-expensive) 4600 MHz memory kits from the likes of G.Skill and Corsair.

DDR5 is expected to support data rates up to 6.4 Gb/s delivering 51.2 GB/s max, up from 3.2 Gb/s and 25.6 GB/s for today's DDR4. The new version will push the 64-bit link down to 1.1V and burst lengths to 16 bits from 1.2V and 8 bits. In addition, DDR5 lets voltage regulators ride on the memory card rather than the motherboard. CPU vendors are also expected to expand the number of DDR channels on their processors from 12 to 16, which could drive main memory sizes to 128 GB from 64 GB today. Whether this will be good for end-users in relation to DDR5 memory prices remains open for debate; however, considering the rampant memory prices this side of 2017, chances are it won't be unless supply increases considerably.

Web Mining, Part Two: Adblock Plus Now Blocks Web Mining Efforts a la TPB

We here at TPU wrote an extensive editorial on the issue of web mining possibly becoming the revenue model of the future. The Pirate Bay may not have been the first site to adopt Coinhive's javascript code for mining purposes when users access its pages, but it was the highest-profile one to be caught, since the performance hogging was enough that users started seeing diminished responsiveness on their systems when visiting the torrent site. On that editorial piece, we talked about the issues of web mining, and compared it to the advent of ad-based revenue models for websites. A piece of our argument revolved around human nature and the pursuit of higher and higher revenue, in a system that would typically reward abuse with higher amounts of mining-generated money - and how users, browsers, and ad-blocking would evolve to also block these mining efforts.

Well, Adblock Plus has gone and done it, adding a filter for Coinhive-based web mining, filtering the mining script. This will likely ignite a cat and mouse game between web mining providers, users, and the browsers and extensions we use to protect ourselves, but it isn't something we hadn't mentioned before. The Adblock Plus extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Android. Look after the break for instructions on how to add these filters to your Adblock Plus-enabled browser of choice.

Possible GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Specifications Surface

It turns out that NVIDIA is giving the GeForce GTX 1070 more than a minor refresh. The new performance-segment SKU, which is slated to come out just before Holiday 2017, could perform very very close to the GTX 1080, although sufficiently spaced out from the GTX 1080 refresh (featuring 11 Gbps memory). According to specifications leaked by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers, NVIDIA will give this SKU the coveted "Ti" moniker after all, and carve it out from the "GP104" silicon.

According to the report, the GTX 1070 Ti will be carved out of the "GP104" silicon by disabling just 1 out of 20 streaming multiprocessors, compared to the GTX 1070 desktop, which has 5 out of 20 disabled. This results in a CUDA core count of 2,432, which is just 128 fewer than that of the GTX 1080. The clock speeds of the GTX 1070 Ti are higher than the GTX 1070, too. It comes with a core clock of 1607 MHz, 1683 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 8.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory clock. Interestingly, the TDP of this chip is 180W, which is the same as the GTX 1080. NVIDIA will reportedly launch the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti in early-November, 2017, at a price that's 12.5 percent cheaper than the GTX 1080.

Tunai Announces the DRUM Audiophile-grade in-ear Headphones

TUNAI Creative has once again come to the technology forefront with the development of their new product, DRUM. They are known for bringing to the world products such as FIREFLY, which is the tiniest Bluetooth music receiver that allows for easy upgrade your car and home audio systems and CLIP, the award-winning Bluetooth headphone amplifier that upgrades any wired headset into a wireless headset. With the successes of FIREFLY and CLIP, there has been a demand for TUNAI to create a compatible headphone that is small and with great sound which is how the in-ear headphone DRUM was created.

DRUM is a high-resolution bass enhanced audiophile earphone that is engineered to deliver well-rounded sound throughout the audio spectrum including clear, high-end, rich mid-range and powerful bass. It is designed to meet the latest high-quality audio standards established by Japan Audio Society (JAS). Unlike regular in-ear headphone designs using small to medium size drivers DRUM has been modified to use a larger 13mm dynamic driver for richer, more powerful bass and wider soundstage.

EVGA Announces GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 ELITE Graphics Card

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 ELITE cards are now available with 12 GHz of GDDR5X memory, giving it 528 GB/s of memory bandwidth! These cards are available with either the ELITE Black or White shroud, and of course comes with EVGA's exclusive iCX technology, giving you 9 thermal sensors, onboard thermal LED indicators and incredible cooling with quiet operation.

Features
  • Includes EVGA iCX Technology
  • 12 GHz GDDR5X Memory
  • 528 GB/s of Memory Bandwidth
  • Available in ELITE Black and White Colors
Thursday, September 21st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Processors
SSD

AMD CrossFireX Scaling is Actually Pretty Terrible with Mixed RX Vega

Yes, this is the third post today about AMD introducing multi GPU support for RX Vega with their Crimson ReLive 17.9.2 beta drivers but it had to be made. First up, the caveats- we were only able to test the driver on a CrossFire setup involving one RX Vega 64 and one RX Vega 56 GPU so results with two of the same may differ. Secondly, these are beta drivers so there is a level of lenience here I am willing to afford to AMD. That said, the driver which came with its own announcement and internal results had to show something good and this means showing good scaling across multiple games.

The driver allows CrossFire to be enabled with a mix of the two Vega 10 SKUs, and we set about testing a few games from our GPU benchmark suite using the same testing methodology as always. Tests were done at 4K to minimize a CPU bottleneck of any kind, and the games tested include some of the most popular games today including some that AMD themselves used in the announcement. However, after a few hours of testing, we can simply not recommend using the driver for CrossFire- at least for a mixed setup as we did. More on this after the break.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 Drivers

First AMD announced they were releasing it, but now they actually have. Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 drivers brings with it CrossFire support for two RX Vega 64 or 56. AMD claims to have over 80% scaling with two RX Vega 64 cards in CrossFire in a few games as we saw before, and now they get to also support multi-GPU game profiles in addition to single GPU ones. In that regards, we have a multi-GPU profile included here for Project Cars 2 which drops in a few hours on Steam.

AMD has also fixed an issue with the installer as well as Hearts of Iron IV, but those looking for a solution to the flickering issues in games including Overwatch will still have to wait unfortunately. There is a list of known issues provided at well, which you can take a look at after the break. As always, you can download the installer right here via the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.9.2 Beta

MSI RX Vega 64 Air Boost Edition Pictured, Not the Custom Card we Want

MSI's "custom" take on AMD's RX Vega graphics card has made an appearance in front of the camera. Dubbed Air Boost edition, this is really a glorified, MSI-branded reference edition Vega, with the same blower-type cooler that AMD seems to have used since forever. It keeps to MSI's Gaming X color scheme (and AMD's own at that) with black and red colors, and breathes custom innovation in the increased breathing space on the I/O port's second slot, since all 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI connectors have been moved to the first slot. As recent reports peg AMD's AIB's custom cards as coming only towards the second half of October, it seems that for now, this is the most "custom" edition of a Vega graphics card we're going to get.

Source: Videocardz

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 385.69 Game Ready Graphics Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce graphics drivers. Version 385.69 of their drivers is a Game Ready, WHQL-certified release that brings official support for Project Cars 2 and Total War: WARHAMMER II which are both coming out in a matter of days. Simultaneously, this release also optimizes performance in the open beta for Call of Duty: WWII, EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone, FIFA 18, Forza Motorsport 7, From Other Suns' open beta, Raiders of the Broken Planet, as well as Star Wars Battlefront 2's open beta.

This release also features a security update for specific driver components that went unnoticed until now, and also identifies and fixes multiple bugs. A full list of changes and updates can be found here, whereas NVIDIA have also created a page to go over the salient features for the aforementioned games here. As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TechPowerUp by following the link below, and a summarized changelog is provided after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.69 Game Ready Drivers

AMD Enables Vega CrossFire with Upcoming 17.9.2 Drivers, Over 80% Scaling

AMD announced today they are bringing multi-GPU support for RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 with their upcoming Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 drivers. This CrossFire support is for two GPUs only, so it appears AMD is going on the same path as NVIDIA in not having official support for three or more GPUs, which by itself is a point of discussion. Note that these drivers are not out yet, and this announcement serves to alert the user base to what is coming up.

AMD also provided a (low resolution, we are working on a suitable replacement) internal result chart comparing gaming performance with average FPS as the metric, for two RX Vega 64 cards relative to one. We see very impressive scaling in some games such as Far Cry Primal, Metro Last Night Redux, Sniper Elite 4, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a performance increase of more than 80 percent compared to the single GPU performance. As usual, take these numbers as an indication of how things go since we do not have more details available on the testing methodology at this point either. Lastly, no word yet on what else has changed with these drivers but hopefully AMD have addressed the ongoing bugs with Overwatch at the very least.

ASUS Intros ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out its latest socket LGA2066 motherboard under its Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix brand, the ROG Strix X299-XE, hinting at "readiness" for 18-core i9-7980XE processors, which Intel plans to launch before the end of this year. This board is 99.999% identical to the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, except for one difference that should make it to the "Spot the Difference" puzzle of your favorite tabloid - the VRM heatsink.

ASUS has given the X299-XE Gaming a slightly heavier CPU VRM heatsink, and has rigorously tested the VRM to not run into thermal throttling issues, especially when powering high core-count Core i9 processors. The Core X socket LGA2066 platform has already been criticized by professional overclockers as being "a VRM disaster." As we mentioned earlier, the Strix X299-XE is otherwise identical to the Strix X299-E, and it would be disappointing if ASUS attaches a premium for a few extra grams of aluminium and quality-control that should have been done for the Strix X299-E in the first place.

Toshiba Responds to SanDisk's Call for International Arbitration

Western Digital Corporation's subsidiary SanDisk LLC (SanDisk) and certain of its subsidiaries, through their attorneys, have notified Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502)(Toshiba) and Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba, that they have initiated arbitration regarding TMC's planned investments for additional BiCS capacity at TMC's Yokkaichi Operations, including at its Fab 6 building. Although Toshiba has not yet received a formal copy of the arbitration request, and is therefore not in a position to comment regarding its substance, Toshiba is disappointed by Western Digital's initiation of additional arbitration at this important time for the parties' collaboration.

As previously announced, production at Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to BiCS FLASH, Toshiba's premiere 3D Flash memory product. Phase-1 of the fab is scheduled for completion in summer 2018, and will be a unilateral investment by Toshiba following SanDisk's unwillingness to agree to reasonable commercial terms.

Steam Adds Historical Review Data for Games to Counter Review Bombing

You've probably heard about the recent issues regarding PewDiePie (handle of one of the most popular gaming YouTubers, Felix Kjellberg) and Campo Santo (Firewatch). The company issued a copyright strike for the YouTuber's streaming of their game, where Kjellberg used racist terms which Campo Santo didn't feel they should be in any way associated with. YouTube accepted the copyright strike, taking the video down. Legally, Campo Santo (and any video game company for that matter) can do such a thing. Kjellberg, however, is particularly worried because, as he said, "It's a pretty big deal. If I get more than three of them, my channel will shut down." As a response, users started review bombing Firewatch on Steam - id est, posting negative review after negative review, or changing their positive reviews for negative ones, so as to diminish the game's score in the light of what they see as a reprimandable action from Campo Santo.

Jonsbo Announces the VF-1 Graphics Card Cooler

Jonsbo has introduced a somewhat strange product to its lineup - a companion cooler to your graphics card. This cooler isn't meant to be installed directly on your graphics card, as some other aftermarket coolers like the Arctic Cooling Accelero series are; instead, this one is meant to be installed in an expansion slot (and a PCIe x16 at that, of all things) below your graphics card, providing additional cooling to your card's reference or custom cooler.

The VF-1 has an anodized aluminum magnesium alloy enclosure, which features a LED lighting accent towards your side window, and features 3x 80 mm cooling fans that blow air towards your graphics card.The VF-1 apparently operates at 18 dBA with the fans at their maximum 1500 RPM, and uses a SATA power connector instead of a fan header. The VF-1 measures 134 x 270 mm and is 20 mm thick, while the aluminum shroud material itself is 1.2 mm thick. It weighs 372 grams, and for all this, Jonsbo is quoting a 5ºC improvement in your graphics card's operating temperatures, which is... pretty underwhelming.

Source: ETeknix

Toshiba Elects Bain Capital as Preferred Bidder for its Entire Memory Business

The light is being seen at the end of the tunnel for one of the tech world's most recent debacles. A series of questionable investments and accounting scandals saw Toshiba facing losses in the billions of dollars and see its stock pricing plummet by more than 40%. As such, to staunch the bleeding, the company was looking to only spin-off a 20% stake in its memory business; however, as its finances continued to take a turn to the worse, it then decided on selling a majority, 60% stake to the highest bidder. That would seemingly still not be enough, however, as the company will now sell 100% of its memory semiconductor business to investment consortium Bain Capital.

Intel Delays 10nm "Cannon Lake" to Late-2018

Intel is reportedly delaying the roll-out of its first processors built on its 10 nanometer silicon fabrication process, codenamed "Cannon Lake" for the third time since its inception. The first products based on the silicon will now come out only by late-2018. In the meantime, Intel could continue to ride on its new 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors, including the augmentation of an 8-core mainstream desktop (MSDT) part in the second-half of 2018.

Notebook manufacturers are less than enthusiastic about "Cannon Lake," and plan to skip it altogether for its successor, codenamed "Ice Lake," which could come out in 2019. It won't be the first time OEMs have done this, as Intel's 5th generation Core "Broadwell" architecture was mostly skipped over in the notebook and MSDT segments.

Sources: Electronics Weekly, DigiTimes

Seasonic Presents the PRIME Ultra Power Supplies

With the introduction of the PRIME Titanium Series last year Seasonic started rolling out an incredible product line that caught the attention of end-users and media alike. The PRIME Series has won the prestigious Power Supply of the Year 2017 European Hardware Award. The PRIME power supply family entails some of the best performing analog power supplies reviewers have ever tested and it includes a wide range of 80 PLUS Titanium-, Platinum-, and Gold-rated units to offer consumers wide-ranging choices for different levels of output and efficiency. Almost a year has passed, and our engineers have yet again come up with new solutions to improve our flagship series to introduce the PRIME Ultra Series.

As graphics cards and motherboards become more efficient, their ever-decreasing power consumption has called for a new power rating variant. The introduction of the PRIME Ultra 550 W Platinum- and Gold-rated units is an answer to these current market trends where most users need high-end, high-efficiency, yet mid-range power capacity power supplies. The PRIME Ultra 550 W in many cases will even provide high enough power to reserve some headroom for future expansion.

Tesla Motors Develops Semi-custom AI Chip with AMD

Tesla Motors, which arguably brought electric vehicles to the luxury-mainstream, is investing big in self-driving cars. Despite its leader Elon Musk's fears and reservations on just how much one must allow artificial intelligence (AI) to develop, the company realized that a true self-driving car cannot be made without giving the car a degree of machine learning and AI, so it can learn its surroundings in real-time, and maneuver itself with some agility. To that extent, Tesla is designing its own AI processor. This SoC (system on chip) will be a semi-custom development, in collaboration with the reigning king of semi-custom chips, AMD.

AMD has with it a clear GPGPU performance advantage over NVIDIA, despite the latter's heavy investments in deep-learning. AMD is probably also banking on good pricing, greater freedom over the IP thanks to open standards, and a vast semi-custom track-record, having developed semi-custom chips with technology giants such as Sony and Microsoft. Musk confirmed that the first car in which you can simply get in, fall asleep, and wake up at your destination, will roll out within two years, hinting at a 2019 rollout. This would mean a bulk of the chip's development is done.

Source: CNBC
Wednesday, September 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Processors

iKBC F108 RGB Keyboard

The iKBC F108 RGB is a full size keyboard with 16.8M RGB backlighting from a group of enthusiasts in Taiwan who had good build quality and value for money in mind. The keyboard features thick backlit doubleshot PBT keycaps, two colors, and four genuine Cherry MX switches to choose from, as well as driver-less controls with on-board storage.

SanDisk Initiates New Arbitration Proceedings Against Toshiba In the ICC

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that several of its SanDisk subsidiaries have filed an additional Request for Arbitration with the ICC International Court of Arbitration related to three NAND flash-memory joint ventures ("JVs") operated with Toshiba Corporation ("Toshiba").

On Aug. 3, 2017, Toshiba announced that it would unilaterally invest in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room at the JV operations in Yokkaichi, Japan. The arbitration demand seeks, among other things, a permanent injunction preventing Toshiba from making unilateral investments in manufacturing equipment for Fab 6 without first giving SanDisk the opportunity to make a comparable investment in expansions and conversions of JV capacity for BiCS 3D NAND flash memory.

Western Digital commented: It is unfortunate that SanDisk is forced to initiate binding arbitration to remedy Toshiba's retaliatory breach of the JV agreement entered into by both SanDisk and Toshiba.

AOC Announces Retail Availability of AGON Curved QHD Gaming Monitor

AOC, a worldwide leader in monitor display technology, today announces the newest member of the Agon monitor collection, the premium line of AOC gaming monitors. The AG322QCX is a curved 32-inch, QHD gaming monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz, 4ms response time and AMD FreeSync technology. This monitor is made for enthusiast and competitive esports gamers, like AOC partner, Team Liquid, allowing them to race through games without stutter, screen tearing and motion blur. The AG322QCX will be available at Microcenter for $429.99 MSRP.

The 32-inch monitor features a 2560x1440 QHD screen with a 1800R curve. The curved VA panel offers vibrant colors for a more exciting and immersive visual experience to be enjoyed while gaming. The AG322QCX's curve conforms to the way the eye sees and helps reduce eye fatigue. Team Liquid, winners of The International Dota 2 Tournament, use AOC monitors to prepare for competitions, as they compete at the highest level of esports.

AMD to Build 2nd Gen. Ryzen and Radeon Vega on GloFo 12nm

Not to be held back by silicon fabrication process limitations like in the past, AMD will build its second-generation Ryzen CPUs and Radeon Vega GPUs on the new 12 nanometer LP (low power) FinFET process by GlobalFoundries. From the looks of it, "2nd generation Ryzen" doesn't seem to be the same as "Zen2" (a micro-architectural advancement due to be built on the 7 nm process), and is more likely an optical shrink of existing 14 nm IP to the 12 nm process, giving AMD the headroom to increase yields, and clock speeds across the board. The 12 nm switch allows AMD to roll out a new "generation" of Ryzen processors as early as the first half of 2018.

The "Vega 10" silicon could be another key piece of AMD IP on the receiving end of an optical shrink to 12 nm, which will give AMD much needed power savings, letting it increase clock speeds, and probably implement faster standards of HBM2 memory, such as 2.00 GT/s. AMD will likely label this shrunk down silicon "Vega 20." There's also the possibility of AMD building a bigger new GPUs altogether. In 2019, the company will give its CPU and GPU lineups major micro-architectural upgrades, and the switch to the 7 nm node. The new "Zen2" micro-architecture with IPC increases and new ISA instruction-sets, will be launched on the CPU side, and the new "Navi" graphics architecture will take center-stage.

Source: WCCFTech

Asetek Loses Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Cooler Master

Asetek, a company known for designing water-cooling solutions for PC hardware that it sometimes licenses to other manufacturers, has lost a patent infringement lawsuit it had levied against Cooler Master. The lawsuit, which looked to impede the sale of Cooler Master products Nepton 120XL, Nepton 240M and Seidoen 120 V v.2, stated that Cooler Master was infringing on Asetek's European EP 1 923 771 patent, which describes a water cooling mechanism. This Asetek patent, filed in November 2004 and finally approved in May 2015, is in itself based on Asetek's older, US-bound patents.

However, The Hague's court has accepted Cooler Master's argument that they too have a similar patent to Asetek's, through a so-called "utility model" that already exists in China, which describes (and patents really show their problems here) the "operation of a water pumping engine device with chamber". The The Hague judge also invalidated Asetek's patent lawsuit on the basis that there was not enough inventiveness to it. Asetek and Cooler Master's legal battles aren't anything new; in 2015, a US-based court ordered Cooler Master to pay Asetek $600,000 for patent infringement. This time, it's the other way around, even though it was still Asetek that started the legal battle: the company now has to pay Cooler Master for their legal expenses, which amount to around €113,000 (~$134,204)

Sources: Tweakers.net, Thans @ P4-630!

Sharkoon Announces the AI7000 Case

Sharkoon expands their range of cases and, with the AI7000 Silent, introduce for the first time a robust ATX Midi tower with pre-installed damping mats. These damping mats effectively reduce the operating noise of the PC, without affecting the airflow inside the case. The case is especially suitable for silent PCs.

The Sharkoon AI7000 Silent is equipped with damping mats on both side panels, top panel and front panel. Sufficient space inside the case allows installation of a wide range of components: Install the power supply and up to three 3.5" hard drives decoupled within the tunnel on the case bottom. The AI7000 Silent also comes with two mounts for 2.5" drives behind the mainboard. Thanks to numerous openings, the mainboard can be discreetly cabled. CPU coolers up to a height of 17.5 cm can be installed thanks to a practical mainboard tray cutout.

Noctua Announces Two AM4-compatible Low-profile Coolers

Noctua today presented two updates to its range of quiet low-profile CPU coolers. Successors to the award-winning NH-L9a and NH-L12, the new NH-L9a-AM4 and NH-L12S models now support the AM4 socket of AMD's Ryzen processors. Whereas the NH-L9a-AM4 stands a mere 37mm tall, which makes it ideal for use in compact HTPCs or Small Form Factor cases that offer minimum clearance for CPU coolers, the slightly bigger NH-L12S comes equipped with the new NF-A12x15 PWM fan and combines excellent compatibility, surprising efficiency and remarkable flexibility.

"AMD has made a big impact on the market with its Ryzen architecture and the platform will become even more interesting for compact HTPC builds when the first Ryzen-based APUs are introduced next year," says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "We're thus updating two of our award-winning low-profile models to support Ryzen's AM4 socket."

In Win Intros Polaris Silent Case Fans

In Win today rolled out its Polaris Silent case fans. These 120 mm fans come in three key variants, the Polaris LED, which features a single-color LED illumination (and comes in sub-variants of red, blue, and green); the Polaris RGB, which comes with RGB multi-color LEDs; and the Polaris RGB Premium, which come with anodized aluminium frames, besides RGB LED lighting. The In Win Polaris is a 120 mm fan, with a circular frame. The mounts on the corners of the frame are rubberized to dampen vibration, and on the RGB-equipped variants, feature LED daisy-chaining headers, which let you connect up to three fans in a daisy-chain, and control them from a single fan that's plugged into a standard RGB header on your motherboard. The fan supports most modern RGB LED software standards, such as ASUS Aura Sync RGB, MSI Mystic Light, and GIGABYTE RGB Fusion.

As a fan, the Polaris series features high temperature-range PBT plastic making up the impellers, and polycarbonate frames for the Polaris LED and Polaris RGB variants; and aluminium making up the frames on the Polaris RGB Premium. Its motor features 35,000-hour rated sleeve bearing. The fans take in 4-pin PWM input, spinning between 500 to 1,280 RPM, pushing up to 43.31 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 20.2 dBA. The fans will be sold in single-unit and two-unit packs.

DeepCool Intros White Captain 360 EX RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

After whitewashing the Captain 240 EX RGB cooler, DeepCool turned its brush to its bigger sibling, the Captain 360 EX RGB, equipped with a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator. The new DeepCool GamerStorm Captain 360 EX White features an RGB LED element in the pump-block, and even as the radiator frame is white, the cooler features contrasting black highlights in the form of the radiator fins, coolant tubes, and the impellers of the three included Silent TF-120 fans. Besides power, the cooler takes in standardized RGB LED input, so you can control its lighting with popular software such as ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, or GIGABYTE RGB Fusion. The cooler supports most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), and LGA115x, with a notable exception of socket TR4. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel 8-core LGA1151 Processor will be 14 nm "Coffee Lake" Based

The 8-core processor Intel is planning to launch in the second half of 2018 will be based on the current 14 nanometer "Coffee Lake" micro-architecture, according to leaked XTU errata log. A curious looking change-log entry reads "[CFL] Added support for 8,2 core," where "CFL" is the three-letter contraction of "Coffee Lake," just as "KBL" stands for "Kaby Lake" and "HSW" for "Haswell."

This hints at the two directions in which Intel is expanding its 8th generation mainstream desktop lineup. On the upper-end of the spectrum, one can expect the augmentation of 8-core/16-thread parts, while at the lower end, one can expect dual-core parts, likely branded under the Pentium and Celeron brands. Intel's MSDT lineup will be led by 6-core parts under the Core i5 and Core i7 extensions, and quad-core parts under the Core i3 extension; with 6-core/12-thread Core i7 SKUs leading the pack till the second-half of 2018.

Sources: BenchLife.info, ComputerBase.de

Intel's 10 nm Technology Bound for FPGAs First; Wafer Showcased

Intel is undoubtedly at the forefront of silicon processing technology these days, and has been for a long time. Being a fully integrated company from the bottom up, through the design and actual production of its silicon semiconductors, really does have a way of either paying of tremendously (as has been the case with Intel), or not at all (as was the case with AMD). That fabrication processes' nm ratings don't mean much in thhe industry right now has been the case for a while now; different companies use different calculations towards achieving a 22 nm or 14 nm claim, with some components in the same nm process having almost double the size of the same components in a competitor's equivalent. Intel has always been one of the more adamant defenders of an industry-wide categorization, both to avoid confusion and - naturally - put into perspective their process leadership.

More Details Emerge on Gigabyte X399 Designare EX

The X399 Designare EX, to which we were privy to a sneak peek already, stands to be Gigabyte's flagship X399 motherboard for AMD's Threadripper platform. Gigabyte, however, seem to have taken a little too much inspiration from their own AORUS X399 Gaming 7, since even the PCB color has been appropriated form that board. Changes are mostly aesthetic: black heatsinks have turned silver, with some added bluish bling that would make any Halo fan smile, and the backplate has a premium feel to it. Overall, I quite like the design accents in this board, though again, this seems to be a case of a slight redressing of an already existing product - with an accompanying increase to its price-tag. If the AORUS Gaming 7 retails for $389, you should see this one crossing the $400 threshold easily.

Source: AnandTech

Intel's 18-core Core i9-7980XE Benchmarks Surface

A user on Coolenjoy has apparently gotten his hands on Intel's upcoming i9-7980XE silicon, putting it through its paces on Cinebench and a number of other benchmarks. The 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE is set to be Intel's most advanced HEDT processor of all time by a wide margin - both in number of cores and pricing. It seems that even in the face of a competitive AMD, that puts value towards core counts with its $999 Threadripper 1950X 16-core, 32-thread CPU, Intel still sees it fit to charge an arm, a leg, and both of your kidneys for a 2-core advantage. Intel's XE processors have become more synonymous of eXtremely Expensive and less about being eXtreme Edition over the years, and the i9-7980XE, with its $1999 price-tag, does nothing to alleviate the issue. This is a halo product, though - the most advanced HEDT processor in the world. And with it being as niche a product as it is, it actually makes some kind of sense for it to be so expensive - an immoral, "where has the world gone" kind of sense, but still, some measure of it.

Aqua Computer Intros cuplex kryos NEXT TR4 Water Block for Ryzen Threadripper

Aqua Computer rolled out the cuplex kryos NEXT TR4, a variant of their cuplex kryos NEXT flagship CPU water block with support for AMD socket TR4, designed for Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. Available in all the variants the cuplex kryos NEXT normally comes in, we have options with a copper, nickel-plated copper, and even silver cold plate variants with POM acetal, acrylic, and metal tops. The blocks feature a dense copper micro-fin lattice with 200 μm spacing between fins, standard G 1/4 threading. These new blocks come with factory-fitted socket TR4 retention modules, and include a tube of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal compound. Available now, the exposed-copper cold plate variant is priced at 59.90€, and the nickel-plated copper variant at 64.90€ with other variants priced as can be seen on the Aqua Computer web shop. Aqua Computer also mentioned that given the lack of sales of the X399 platform, they are not looking into making a new design to match the larger CPU IHS at this time.

Custom-design Radeon RX Vega Cards by Mid-October

Still reeling under supply issues and overpricing, AMD's Radeon RX Vega line of graphics cards may finally be available in custom-design products from the company's AIB (add-in board) partners by mid-October, according to a Hardware.fr report. ASUS was the first to announce custom-design RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 graphics cards under its ROG Strix series, back in August. The cards were, however, nowhere to be found in the markets.

AIB partners will begin announcing their custom-design RX Vega series products in the coming weeks, with retail availability slated for mid-October. Radeon RX Vega 64 is currently available in three AMD-reference design SKUs, the standard reference-design, the premium "silver" air-cooled reference-design, which features a brushed aluminium cooler shroud and LED ornaments; and a more premium AIO liquid-cooled variant with higher clocks. The RX Vega 56 is available in vanilla standard reference-design.

Source: Hardware.fr

Thermaltake Intros Versa H18 Window Micro Case

Thermaltake today rolled out the Versa H18 Window Micro case. Characterized by a wide body and a front bezel dominated by mesh, this micro-ATX case is made of SECC steel and ABS plastic, with a prominent clear-acrylic side-panel window. Front panel connectivity includes one USB 3.0 type-A port, two USB 2.0/1.1 ports, and HDA jacks. Cooling features include support for either three 120 mm or two 140 mm fans along the front; one 140 mm or 120 mm fan on the top, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Although you can mount three 120 mm fans, there's only enough space to mount a 240 mm x 120 mm or 280 mm x 140 mm radiator along the front panel.

Under the hood, the Versa H18 Window Micro features a horizontal dual-compartment layout, with the bottom compartment housing the PSU and two 3.5-inch drive bays. There are two other 2.5-inch drive mounts along the motherboard tray. The top compartment can hold micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, with clearance for graphics cards up to 350 mm in length, and CPU coolers up to 155 mm in height. Measuring 390 mm x 205 mm x 380 mm (HxWxD), the case weighs about 4.5 kg. The case is expected to be priced around $50.
Tuesday, September 19th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
SSD

HyperX Cloud Revolver S

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is the most expensive headset this renowned manufacturer has to offer. Its feature list is strong, promising excellent build quality, class-leading sound performance, and Dolby Headset 7.1 Surround Sound, but expectations are very high as well. Does it have what it takes to justify its £140/$150/€170 price point?

GeIL Intros Super Luce RGB Lite DDR4 Memory

GeIL today introduced the Super Luce RGB Lite DDR4 memory series. These modules are practically identical to the Super Luce RGB Sync, which the company launched earlier this month, with a few key differences. The Super Luce RGB Lite lacks software-based RGB LED management, and has a preset combination of multi-color lighting that's put out from its diffuser. It lacks any cabling to the RGB header of your motherboard or RGB controller. This is in contrast to the Super Luce RGB Sync, which comes with a thin RGB cable, and supports software such as ASUS Aura Sync, giving you control over the lighting.

Under the illuminated heatspreaders, however, the Super Luce RGB Lite is identical to its sibling. Available in speeds ranging from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3000, these modules come in densities of 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB, making up single-module and dual-channel kits of 4 GB, 8 GB (2x 4 GB), 16 GB (2x 8 GB), and 32 GB (2x 16 GB). There are also AMD Edition variants of these modules, which are individually tested by GeIL to work at their advertised speeds with AMD Ryzen processors. The modules are backed by lifetime warranties, and are expected to be about 10 to 15 percent cheaper than comparable Super Luce RGB Sync kits.

BIOSTAR Announces Racing B350 Motherboards and Radeon RX Vega 56 Graphics Card

BIOSTAR recently released the RADEON RX VEGA 56, which is a must-have for miners with the ability to crank out crazy hash rates for mining, while gamers can expect high performance graphics processor power with the same graphics card. Combined with the BIOSTAR RACING B350 series, which continues to be popular amongst gamers with its price-performance and gaming features, these make up for a great solution for mining during the day and gaming at night.

The Vega 56 has hash rate/power draw ratio that puts it in a class by its own, surpassing that of the RX 580, which was previously the graphics card of choice for mining. With the hype surrounding its mining capabilities, lets not forget that Vega 56 is a top-of-the-line graphics card that includes 56 compute units, 21/10.5 TFLOPS with 8GB of 2048-bit High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) for performance gaming that gives you the best graphics possible.

PNY Announces GeForce GTX 1070 XLR8 OC Graphics Card

Make every gaming session an immersive and thrilling experience with PNY GTX 1070 XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition. PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has launched the GeForce GTX 1070 8GB XLR8 graphics card that transforms your PC into a super-charged gaming computer.

Designed specifically to support next-generation PC games, the GeForce provides real-time 4K graphics powered by the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture. The GeForce GTX 1070 is built with 8 GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 8 Gbps with data transfer rate of 256 GB/s and 256-bit wide memory bus which provides ultra-graphics settings for an outstanding performance and gaming experience. Enjoy smooth gameplay while playing the most challenging, graphics-intensive games without any interruption or glitches.

I-Rocks Intros New K60M PLUS RGB Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard

i-rocks, a Taiwanese manufacturer of PC peripherals, has released K60M PLUS, a rock-solid RGB backlit mechanical keyboard for dedicated gamers. The K60M PLUS is a keyboard with sleek, frameless aluminum design. It offers genuine Cherry MX switches, per-key LED backlight radiating over 16.7 million colors, durable keycaps, on-the-fly macro system, anti-ghosting function and an intuitive software configurator.

The K60M PLUS features dual layer PCB and genuine Cherry MX switches capable of withstanding up to 50 million keystrokes. Double-shot keycaps and laser-etched secondary function legends ensure every character on the keyboard won't wear out after years of service, even if you're a hardcore gamer or heavy typist. Non-slip rubber feet stands keep the keyboard firm and steady during intense gaming session.

Philips Readying 328P6AU and 328P6VU 31,5" Professional Monitors

Philips is preparing to launch another two monitors to its lineup. These are more geared towards the professional market due to their feature-set and absence of adaptive sync technologies (cue NVIDIA's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync), but offer pretty interesting capabilities other than that. The 328P6AU offers a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution on its 31.5" IPS-ADS panel. It can hit 400 nits of brightness (which AMD says is enough for FreeSync 2 HDR-ready panels and other manufacturers are touting as HDR capable as well). It can reproduce 98% of the AdobeRGB color gamut (thus, it can likely cover 100% of the sRGB color space). Refresh rate should be at 60 Hz.
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