Hardware Giveaway
Wednesday, September 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Processors

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. 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 products - 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 NEXT TR4, a variant of Cuplex NEXT with support for AMD socket TR4, designed for Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. Available in exposed copper and nickel-plated copper variants with black POM acetal tops, the blocks feature a dense copper micro-fin lattice with 200 μm spacing between fins. The block features standard G 1/4 threading. The blocks feature factory-fitted socket TR4 retention modules, and include a tube of Aqua Computer's Grizzly Kryonaut thermal compound. Available now, the exposed-copper variant is priced at 59.90€, and the nickel-plated copper variant at 64.90€.

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.

AMD's James Prior Clarifies Threadripper's "Dummy Dies"

Much has been said regarding AMD's Threadripper CPUs, particularly when it comes to how they are manufactured. At first, we thought Threadripper was actually EPYC in disguise, due it having what appeared to be four full-fledged 8-core modules - the same design as AMD's server-bound 32-core EPYC chips. The presence of gold-plating under all four dies seemed to confirm that these were in fact four full Threadripper dies, instead of two dies and two spacers (as AMD's statements led us to believe) for even IHS pressure on the four dies, instead of the uneven pressure that would result from the chip only having two physical dies present.

Raijintek Intros Iris 12 Rainbow RGB Fans

Raijintek today introduced the Iris 12 Rainbow RGB 120 mm case-fans. Taking in 4-pin PWM input, these fans spin between 800 to 1,800 RPM, pushing up to 42.17 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 26.5 dBA. The fans feature hydraulic bearings, and are rated for 40,000 hours of operation. With its vital specs out of the way, the centerpiece is the RGB LED lighting. The inner wall of the fan's frame acts as a diffuser for the 15 RGB LEDs it's studded with. The LEDs in the Iris 12 can make up to 256 colors, each. The fan features a standard 4-pin RGB input. The fan comes in single piece, two-pack, and three-pack SKUs, with the latter two including an RGB LED control hub, that comes with an IR remote control. The company didn't reveal pricing.

7th Gen Core "Kaby Lake" Won't Work on 300-series Chipset Motherboards

The upcoming Intel 300-series chipset, and LGA1151 socket continues to be a source of chaos for PC builders. While the 100-series and 200-series chipset based motherboards support both 6th generation Core "Skylake," and 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors, they will not support the upcoming 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" chips. What's more, the upcoming 300-series chipset motherboards, which were earlier believed to feature backwards-compatibility for "Skylake" and "Kaby Lake" chips, will not support them, according to a Hardware.info report.

The LGA1151 socket between the two platforms remains unchanged, down to the package notches, which are designed to prevent you from installing a processor on an incompatible motherboard (eg: LGA1150 processors on LGA1151 motherboards). This isn't even a case like the incompatibility between LGA2011 and LGA2011v3, where the latter features DDR4 memory I/O, compared to the former's DDR3. Platform segmentation, and synthetically keeping up with a product development cycle, by forcing people to upgrade motherboards every two generations, appears to be Intel's primary motivation. The Hardware.info report, however, doesn't rule out the possibility of 300-series chipset motherboards getting support for older LGA1151 processors in the future, through BIOS updates.

Source: Hardware.info
Monday, September 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac

ASRock's entry-level Intel X299 motherboard is the X299 Killer SLI/ac, which we review today. With built-in Wi-Fi and a digital CPU VRM design, ASRock continues its solid stance on reliable Intel X299 motherboards, and perhaps just kills the competition.

Intel Invests $1 Billion in the AI Ecosystem

The following is an opinion editorial provided by Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corporation. At Intel, we have an optimistic and pragmatic view of artificial intelligence's (AI) impact on society, jobs and daily life that will mimic other profound transformations - from the industrial to the PC revolutions. Our belief is that AI will bring significant new opportunities to transform business - from retail to healthcare to manufacturing - and have an immensely positive impact on society.

AI will make the impossible possible: advancing research on cancer, Parkinson's disease and brain disorders; helping to find missing children; and furthering scientific efforts in climate change, space exploration and oceanic research. To drive AI innovation, Intel is making strategic investments spanning technology, R&D and partnerships with business, government, academia and community groups. We are deeply committed to unlocking the promise of AI: conducting research on neuromorphic computing, exploring new architectures and learning paradigms. We have also invested in startups like Mighty AI, Data Robot and Lumiata through our Intel Capital portfolio and have invested more than $1 billion in companies that are helping to advance artificial intelligence.

EVGA Intros EPOWER V - 12+2 Phase Extreme Power VRM Board

The EVGA "Untouchables" EPOWER V card is a standalone VRM board that provides additional power for target devices, such as graphics cards or motherboards. The board is designed to provide two fully-independent voltage outputs, and features a built-in EVBot MKII to allow voltage control on the fly. Take your benching experience to the very limits of your hardware's capability with the EVGA EPOWER V.

The EPOWER V board is powered by the three 6-pin PCI-E power connectors. The input is fed through a 12+2 phase design to provide substantially more VCORE and VMEM to your graphics card, allowing it to break through any limits holding it back.

Secretlab Announces UK Launch for Gaming Chairs

Secretlab, makers of racing-seat inspired chairs with a business and comfort orientated design, is pleased to announce their UK launch. Since the company launched in Singapore in 2015, Secretlab has expanded across the globe moving from Asia into Australia and across the pond to the US in 2017. Each expansion has been based on customer demand and with over 80% of sales coming from overseas Secretlab will now cater for UK gamers. Secretlab currently boasts three product lines which have each been met with critical acclaim due to their combination of high quality, affordable cost and customer care.

The average person spends nine hours a day sitting down and the average gamer spending even more time seated. So, the Secretlab founders, both being former Starcraft II pro players were all too familiar with the rigours and demands of spending long hours in front of their computers and were dissatisfied with the offerings of the gaming chair market- finding it impossible to source a chair made from quality materials at an affordable price. Prices are lowered by only dealing direct, reducing the unnecessary markups caused by middleman costs such as retail and distributor margins.

Pirate Bay Mines Coins in Your Browser - Revenue Model of the Future?

It has come into the limelight that popular torrenting website The Pirate Bay (TPB) has been running additional code on their site, which helped enable them to make use of a visitor's CPU in mining Monero (XMR, a cryptocurrency with added layers of anonymity when compared to Bitcoin). Now, I realize Torrenting (in particular, of copyright-protected material) is in itself a subject open to heated debate - but let's leave that discussion for another day. Today, I thought I'd focus on this mining act itself, on how TPB was secretly using your computing resources to stealthily mine cryptocurrency which they could then turn into additional revenue.

That this was done without the users' consent is clearly wrong. We as users are entitled to know what to expect from our system and from its usage of our resources - as seldom as we can claim that ability nowadays. That a site we are visiting is using our computing resources to generate additional revenue than the one it obtains from ads without, at the very least, being forthcoming about it (with the increased electricity costs that implies, however small) can be considered, at a minimum, distasteful. However, the discussion becomes much more interesting if we wonder what would have happened if users had, in fact, been warned. What does this mean for the future of web browsing, for revenue models - and for those pesky, flashy, little (or not so little) ads?
To our forum-lurkers: this article is marked as an Editorial

Intel to Bring 8-core/16-thread CPUs to the Mainstream Desktop Platform in 2018

Having hit a wall with fab process-assisted micro-architecture advancements, and facing an unexpectedly competitive AMD, there's only one direction left for Intel's product development over generations, core-counts. The company is on the verge of introducing 6-core/12-thread "Coffee Lake" processors to the mainstream-desktop (MSDT) platform in a few weeks from now; and if leaks by a popular BTO desktop-replacement/mobile-workstation manufacturer Eurocom is to be believed, the company could increase the core counts a second time in 2018, by introducing an 8-core/16-thread MSDT part.

A Eurocom representative, posting on NotebookReview forums, hinted at the possibility that the upcoming Intel Z390 Express chipset, which hits motherboards in 2018, could exclusively support 8-core/16-thread processors, which come out in the second half of 2018. The representative revealed this in context of the company skipping the Z370 Express chipset, as it lacks support for those upcoming 8-core/16-thread chips. In addition to support for new processors and possibly next-generation "Ice Lake" processors, the Z390 chipset adds several new features over the Z370, including a better onboard audio solution, integrated WLAN, and SDIO controller.

Sources: NotebookReview, VideoCardz

Piriform Hacked, CCleaner August Versions (v5.33.6162) Injected, Compromised

In another large-scale attack that's bound to increase users' awareness on their systems' security, news have broken out that Piriform, creators of the popular CCleaner software tool (estimated to be instaled in some 130 million devices), have suffered a hack on their servers that compromised some installer packages of the software. Piriform, which was purchased by popular security software company Avast last July, was hacked last August, and the changes to the installer packages could potentially allow hackers to control the devices of more than two million users, the company and independent researchers said on Monday.

EK Intros Monoblocks for ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme and Apex

A special motherboard requires a special water block, so the tradition with monoblocks for ASUS ROG RAMPAGE series motherboards continues. EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing new LGA-2066 socket based monoblocks made to fit ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI Extreme and Apex motherboards. The EK-FB ASUS ROG R6E RGB Monoblocks have integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

Seagate and Baidu Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement for Big Data Analysis

Seagate Technology plc., a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), the leading Chinese language internet search provider, covering the fields of information technology, big data analysis and advanced storage system development and implementation.

The pact renews an existing agreement between the two firms signed in September 2014, under which Baidu would give priority to Seagate when selecting storage products and solutions, and Seagate would give advanced access to products, services and support to Baidu, as well as assign a dedicated team of engineers to the company.

The cooperation between the two parties builds on this, with Seagate providing double the amount of technical cooperation, and closer links to Baidu for its business needs. With regard to new products, Baidu will be at the forefront of Internet users in China implementing Seagate's new storage products, and also the two sides will jointly develop customized systems to meet Baidu business needs. In addition, the procurement model for both companies will be further upgraded to save costs for each side.

Synology Unveils New XS, Plus, and Value Series NAS

ynology Inc. announced the official launch of new product lineup featuring: XS-series DS3018xs: Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS with optional 10GbE and M.2 SATA SSD supports; Plus-series DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+: Greater performance and data resiliency for intensive workloads; and Value-series DS418: Introduction of 4K online transcoding capability.

To allow for ultra-high performance using SSD cache without occupying internal drive bays, DS3018xs features a PCIe slot, which can be installed with a dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter card (M2D17). DS918+ comes with dedicated dual M.2 NVMe slots at the bottom where you can directly install M.2 NVMe SSDs. DS418 features 10-bit H.265 4K video transcoding.
Sunday, September 17th 2017

ENERMAX Launches World's Most Compact 1200W PSU

ENERMAX announces the launch of new Platinum-rated power supply series, Platimax D.F. 1200W/1050W/850W/750W. The new lineup is 80 PLUS Platinum certified power supply with fully modular cable design. In addition to the DFR self-cleaning technology, new Platimax D.F. incorporates a D.F. switch for users to manually activate the self-cleaning function anytime during operation. Moreover, the series features smart semi-fanless control which ensures absolute quiet operation at lower loads. With rock-solid stability and superior performance, Platimax D.F. is without doubt a perfect solution for high-resolution gaming rigs or multi-GPU systems.

Built with high-density PCB design, Platimax D.F. supports Max. 1200W with only 160mm in depth gives enthusiasts greater flexibility in case selection. Current power supplies over 1000W on the market are generally larger, many of them measuring 180mm to 225mm in depth. The larger dimensions necessitate a PC case with a lot of interior space, which decreases a builder's freedom in selecting a chassis. Platimax D.F. 1200W is the smallest of its kind.
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