Saturday, May 21st 2022

Factory Drawing of ASUS X670 Prime-P WiFi Appears Online

We're expecting to see a wide range of AM5 motherboards next week during Computex, but we're already being treated to some early leaks ahead of the show. The most recent leak was picked up by @9550pro on Twitter, but was originally posted on Baidu. What we're looking at here though, isn't actually a picture of a motherboard, but rather the placement map for the SMD components used during motherboard assembly. These pictures are often used to make sure things like the solder mask and components were applied properly during production. However, it does give us a good look at the overall layout of the ASUS X670 Prime-P WiFi and the fact that the X670 chipset does indeed consist of two parts. What is also clear is that we're looking at a PCIe 5.0 x16 slot here, as these slots are SMD components rather than through hole.

Other things that are clearly visible, includes support for three M.2 slots, of which the one closest to the CPU might be PCIe 5.0, but there's really no way of telling by just looking at the connector placement. There's also a space for a WiFi module at the bottom of the rear I/O, but beyond that, it's hard to make out the proper port layout. However, there appears to be at least one USB-C port at the rear, as well as a header for another one at the front of the motherboard, next to a USB 3.0 header. The board also appears to feature 14 power phases and obviously four DDR5 DIMM slots. The chip between the two chipsets are either a Super I/O chip or possibly a PCIe redriver. In addition to the x16 PCIe 5.0 slot, the X670 Prime-P appears to be getting a single PCIe x1 slot and two PCIe x4 slots, both which appear to get physical x16 slots. Finally the board should have two SATA ports mounted at a 90-degree angle, as well as two ports at the bottom edge of the PCB. ASUS seems to have gone for a solar system pattern on the PCB itself, so it'll be interesting to see what the actual boards will look like.
Friday, May 20th 2022

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Fantech MAXFIT67 RGB Mechanical Hotswap Keyboard Review

Fantech MAXFIT67 RGB Mechanical Hotswap Keyboard Review

Fantech is a growing peripherals brand looking to grab your attention and money with the 65% MAXFIT67 RGB hotswap mechanical keyboard. It provides an exhaustive feature set for its price, including hybrid wireless connectivity, two excellent switch choices, pre-lubed stabilizers, long battery life, and much more!
Fractal Design Meshify 2 Lite RGB Review

Fractal Design Meshify 2 Lite RGB Review

The Fractal Design Meshify 2 Lite and Lite RGB are cost-conscious variants of the originals. These keep $30 in your pocket by adding minimal compromises to several areas of the case. You still get the same dimensions and quality that made the Meshify cases so popular.

ASRock AM5 Motherboard and More Leaked Ahead of Computex

It appears that ASRock got a little bit too excited and posted a Computex video earlier today that contained a brief glimpse of its upcoming X670E Taichi motherboard. The screenshot that was captured by Wccftech doesn't give away too much details, but the board appears to have at least three M.2 slots and a pair of PCIe x16 slots, one if each meant to be of the PCIe 5.0 version. The rest of the board is covered in heatsinks and various shrouds. The board will feature Realtek's ALC4082 USB attached audio codec, as well as a ESS ES9218 DAC. It is also said to sport a 26-phase VRM setup. The board is also expected to have Thunderbolt 4 support, which would be a first for an AMD board, although ASRock has offered Thunderbolt 3 in the past. The video has unfortunately been taken down, so we'll have to wait until next week to find out more details.

In related news, @momomo_us has leaked details of several upcoming AM5 motherboards, of which four models are from ASRock and two from ASUS. The ASRock models are the X670E Taichi mentioned above, the X670 PG Riptide, X670 Phantom Gaming 4 and the X670 Steel Legend. The two ASUS models are the ProArt X670E-Creator WiFi and the ProArt B650-Creator. Finally Gigabyte has revealed that the company will be displaying its X670 Aorus Xtreme, X670 Master, X670 Pro AX and X670 AERO D at Computex next week. The company mentions PCIe 5.0 for both graphics and the M.2 interface, which pretty much cements the earlier rumors about AMD offering PCIe 5.0 support for the M.2 interface on the AM5 platform.

TSMC Said to be Eyeing Singapore for Fab Expansion

The rumour mill never seems to stop churning when it comes to TSMC and now the company is said to be looking at the tiny nation of Singapore for a future fab. This time the information comes via the Wall Street Journal rather than the usual Taiwanese sources and although the publication points out that no decision has been made at this point in time, it says that TSMC is apparently in talks with the Economic Development Board of Singapore. The official statement from the TSMC on the matter is that the company "doesn't rule out any possibility but does not have any concrete plan at this time".

The potential Singapore Fab would be producing 28 to 7 nm chips, in other words, quite far from TSMC's cutting edge nodes. However, TSMC is already building a similar facility in the southern city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan that's scheduled for opening in 2024. As such, the nodes used in a future facility in Singapore might change depending on when the fab will open and it might end up producing chips on more advanced nodes as well. As these fabs take a few years to get going, they're not projects that are started on a whim. We should also mention that TSMC already has a joint venture in Singapore together with NXP, called SSMC, which also produces for third parties.

AMD Selects Google Cloud to Provide Additional Scale for Chip Design Workloads

Google Cloud and AMD today announced a technology partnership in which AMD will run electronic design automation (EDA) for its chip-design workloads on Google Cloud, further extending the on-premises capabilities of AMD data centers. AMD will also leverage Google Cloud's global networking, storage, artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities to further improve upon its hybrid and multicloud strategy for these EDA workloads.

Scale, elasticity, and efficient utilization of resources play critical roles in chip design, particularly given that the demand for compute processing grows with each node advancement. To remain flexible and scale easily, AMD will add Google Cloud's newest compute-optimized C2D VM instance, powered by 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors, to its suite of resources focused on EDA workloads. By leveraging Google Cloud, AMD anticipates being able to run more designs in parallel, giving the team more flexibility to manage short-term compute demands, without reducing allocation on long-term projects.

GIGABYTE's Project Stealth Computer Assembly Kit Leads to Sleek System Builds

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and hardware solutions, announced today a new technology partnership with MAINGEAR, developing the newly developed Project Stealth computer assembly kit and MAINGEAR Stealth custom gaming PC's. Through the perfect combination of standard ATX compatible components with non-proprietary connectors consisting of a custom motherboard, graphics card and case, Project Stealth eliminates the headaches of cable clutter, installation challenges, and obstructed airflow. The innovative design makes assembling a clean and sleek PC build easier than ever before

When it comes to PC builds, beginners or experienced users alike might find it a difficult process. Since most cables are designed to connect to the front side of motherboards, cable chaos inside the case becomes a major concern in a system build. Others may also struggle with inserting USB, audio, PSU connectors, and front panel headers on the motherboards due to limited interior space in the chassis. In response to these challenges, GIGABYTE developed Project Stealth, utilizing MAINGEAR's revolutionary patent and design that shifts all connectors to back of the motherboard. Through this innovation, Project Stealth provides an exceptional solution composed of the Z690 AORUS ELITE STEALTH motherboard, RTX 3070 GAMING OC STEALTH graphics card, and AORUS C300G STEALTH case.

Qualcomm Cuts the Cord with the New Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design Powered by the Snapdragon XR2

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced another milestone in making extended reality (XR) the next computing platform with the Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design, powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Platform. The cord-free reference design helps OEMs and ODMs more seamlessly and cost-efficiently prototype and bring to market lightweight, premium AR glasses to enable immersive experiences that unlock the metaverse.

Greater Performance, Sleeker Device: The purpose-built, premium Snapdragon XR2 Platform now packs powerful performance into a slim, smaller AR glass form factor. The AR reference design hardware, developed by Goertek, has a 40% thinner profile and a more ergonomically balanced weight distribution for increased comfort. SeeYA provides the dual micro-OLED binocular display enabling 1920 x 1080 per eye and frame rates up to 90 Hz and a no-motion-blur feature to deliver a seamless AR experience. Dual monochrome cameras and one RGB camera on the smart viewer enable six-degrees of freedom (6DoF) head tracking and hand tracking with gesture recognition to achieve AR precision.

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon 7 Gen 1

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced its latest lineup of mobile platforms, Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, to power the next generation of premium and high-tier Android smartphones. The Company's newest flagship platform, Snapdragon 8+, is a premium-tier powerhouse delivering power and performance enhancements for the ultimate boost across all on-device experiences. Snapdragon 7 offers a selection of high-end, in-demand features and technologies and enables them for more people around the world. According to the latest findings from Counterpoint Research, IDC, and Strategy Analytics, Qualcomm Technologies is the global leader in premium Android smartphone SoC industry share.

"In the mobile segment, our primary focus is to deliver new, groundbreaking features and technologies to the industry, and for our customers' flagship devices. We implement these features first in our Snapdragon 8-series and then waterfall them down our mobile roadmap," said Christopher Patrick, senior vice president and general manager, mobile handsets, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "The new Snapdragon 8+ and 7 Gen 1 both deliver breakthrough user experiences in their respective tiers."

Minisforum Announces HX90G Mini-PC Featuring Ryzen 9 5900HX & Radeon RX 6650M

The new mini PC will be listed in the Minisforum's new product series - Neptune Series, which is for all their mini PCs with discrete graphics. Some of the upcoming products including AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX with AMD Radeon RX 6650M, AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX with AMD Radeon RX 6650M and Intel 12th gen Alder Lake with AMD discrete graphics. The first one will be HX90G, which is equipped with Ryzen 9 5900HX and Radeon RX6650M. It is also the world's first mini PC with AMD discrete graphics.

The HX90G will have the latest body design which is only 2.8L. It will have 7 heat pipes (3 for CPU and 4 for GPU) and dual smart fan inside, liquid metal for both CPU and GPU, The excellent heat dissipation design enables the HX90G to maintain relatively low noise even in full load. Besides CPU+GPU under 100% usage will consume 50 W and 100 W separately. It will use a 260 W power adapter. According to Minisforum, Radeon RX 6650M can run at 100% without performance loss.

Silicon Power Announces UD90 PCIe 4.0 SSD

Silicon Power unleashes its newest PCIe 4.0 SSD, the UD90, featuring storage capacities up to 1 TB with 3D NAND flash technology. Give your system the power of PCIe 4.0 with the budget-friendly UD90. Providing the best bang for your buck, it reaches read speeds up to 4,800 MB/s and write speeds up to 4,200 MB/s. It also boasts 2x faster data transfer rates than its predecessor, PCIe 3.0, for sustained use and dependable performance. With this much efficiency, the UD90 allows you to maximize your creative output at an unbeatable value.

Don't lose your train of thought with slow load times! Designed with content creators in mind, the UD90 is built to handle the demanding levels of multi-tasking that's required of creative production, effortlessly. With support for NVMe 1.4 and Host Memory Buffer (HMB) technology, the UD90 offers uninterrupted productivity via higher performance and lower latency for seamless execution across applications.

ZADAK Announces TWSG4S PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD

here's another hot new ZADAK product on the market, and this one is going to take gamers one step beyond. It's the TWSG4S M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD, and it delivers read-write speeds that many Gen4 x4 SSDs can't - 7,400 and 7,000 MB/s, respectively. This is an ideal expansion SSD for new game consoles and PCs, giving players the chance to dominate their games. It ships with two powerful heatsinks in the box. One is made of ultra-thin graphene and the other of aluminium, and they reduce the operating temperatures by 15% and 35% respectively.

Either will fit inside the PS5, but notebooks will only permit the installation of the graphene heatsink. PC gamers will quickly see the advantages of this SSD, but it's also fully compliant with the technical requirements and physical dimensions of Sony's PS5, so console gamers will love it too. One of the most unique features of this product is the design. Sure, there's an aesthetic similarity that makes it the perfect partner for the PS5 in looks. But it also features a heat dissipation portal that's been crafted to suggest the dimensions of the PS5's DualSense controller. It's subtle, like the tiny PlayStation symbols that adorn the DualSense itself, but gamers will appreciate the difference.
Thursday, May 19th 2022

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router Review

NETGEAR Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router Review

NETGEAR has improved upon its Nighthawk mobile router lineup with the Nighthawk M5 that adds a 5G modem in addition to WiFi 6 support. These changes make it a viable solution for many, netting download speeds far in excess of wired internet; it even includes a standalone mobile app for remote monitoring and customization.
ASUS TUF M4 Air Gaming Mouse Review

ASUS TUF M4 Air Gaming Mouse Review

The ambidextrous TUF M4 Air is the first ASUS mouse to feature externally visible holes. The result is a weight of just 49 g. Equipped with PixArt's PAW3335 sensor, pure PTFE feet, and a flexible, paracord-like cable, the M4 Air goes for very competitive $49.99.

KeysFan Unveils the Big Software Sale: New Low Prices on Software You Need

KeysFan brings you a golden opportunity to save big on genuine software you need, so you can spend more on hardware this Summer, and build the gaming PC of your dreams. Get Genuine Windows 10 Pro at just $7.43. The latest and greatest Windows 11 Pro can be had for just $10.24. Pair it with Genuine Office 2021 Professional Plus going for $30.74 standalone, or in combos for as low as $34.07. Save even more by pairing other editions of Windows, such as the Windows 10 Home, with various editions of Office 2016 or Office 2019, to get even better deals. Also check out some cool system software to go.

Buy Windows 10 Pro at $7.43 | Buy Windows 10 Pro 2-PC at $11.53 | Buy Windows 11 Pro at $10.24 | Buy Windows 11 Home at $10.24 | Buy Windows 10 Home at $8.15 | Buy Office 2021 Professional Plus at $30.74 | Buy Office 2021 Professional Plus 5-PC at $72.01 | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus at $24.59 | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus at $18.71

Please use the coupon code SKF62 on the following items.
Buy Windows 11 Pro + Office 2021 Professional Plus at $36.88 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2021 Professional Plus at $34.07 | Buy Windows 11 Pro + Office 2019 Professional Plus at $30.73 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional Plus at $27.92 | Buy Windows 11 Pro + Office 2016 Professional Plus at $24.85 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional Plus at $22.04 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2019 Professional at $28.64 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional at $22.76 | Buy Project Professional 2021 at $25.70 | Buy Office 2021 Home and Business for Mac at $68.66 | Buy Visio Professional 2021 at $22.97 | Buy Project Professional 2019 at $22.15 | Buy Visio Professional 2019 at $19.37 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student at $31.15 | Buy Office 2021 Home and Student at $38.55

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Check out great deals on system utilities.

SPC Gear Introduces LIX and LIX Plus Wireless

SPC Gear, the gaming label of the European manufacturer SilentiumPC, is proud to announce, for the very first time, the addition of two wireless gaming mice to its portfolio. The new lightweight and highly precise SPC Gear LIX and LIX Plus Wireless use 2,4 GHz wireless connectivity that ensures a stable connection without delays, while the long battery life and quick charging times allow the mice to be used for extended periods of time. The honeycomb structure of the mouse is what makes the LIX series so lightweight, also aiding in breathability of the hand. The mice have been equipped with high-class components that allow users to gain an advantage over their opponents on the virtual battlefield. In addition, the addressable RGB backlighting makes the mouse truly stand out among the competition.

Stable and lag-free 2,4 GHz wireless connectivity gives the user unparalleled precision and convenience without any boundaries. This solution helps to keep the desk tidy and improves the overall comfort of use. Thanks to the magnetic compartment on the bottom of the mouse, users don't need to worry about losing the USB wireless receiver.

EK Launches Vector² for MSI RTX 3090 Ti Gaming X Trio and Suprim X

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is introducing new Vector² water blocks, this time for the MSI TRIO and SUPRIM GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPUs. This product series contains a dedicated GPU water block with an included aluminium backplate and an alternative nickel-plated backplate. The EK-Quantum Vector² Trio RTX 3090 Ti D-RGB is a complete liquid cooling solution that includes a new Vector² water block, a black-anodized aluminium backplate, and a mounting mechanism. Minimalistic straight lines dominate the new look of the next-gen water blocks.

The 3rd-generation Vector cooling engine combines the jet plate with a 3D machined Plexi insert to improve flow distribution and thermal performance. This new cooling engine is still based on an Open Split-Flow cooling engine design, which proved to be a superior solution for GPU water blocks. It is characterized by low hydraulic flow restriction, meaning it can be used with weaker water pumps or pumps running on low-speed settings and still achieve top performance. Great care was taken to achieve a symmetrical flow domain by utilizing an internal bridge to secondary components. This was done to ensure the cooling of secondary components without sacrificing flow distribution over the GPU core.

NiceHash Unlocks 90% of LHRv3 Restriction for NVIDIA GPUs

NiceHash, one of the largest mining software providers in the world, has today announced that the company had updated its QuickHash miner with the capability to unlock 90% of the performance for NVIDIA's Lite Hash Rate (LHR) version 3. Currently, there are only two cards available with LHRv3 on the market, and those are NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB version and RTX 3050, which are limited in the software to have poor hash rate when mining. This is done to get these cards away from the hands of miners and into the hands of consumers. However, engineers working at NiceHash have presented QuickMiner v0.5.4.2 Release Candidate, which unlocks 90% of that LHRv3 capability.

Previously, the company has already presented its work and enabled 100% unlock for LHRv2 cards and has now almost the entire stack covered. It is a matter of time before LHRv3 unlock goes up to 100%. NiceHash advises using NVIDIA driver version 512.15 or higher to get the latest unlock. Some stability issues have been fixed in the release, so users will experience no BSODs upon running the mining software.

ASMedia to Launch USB4 Host-Controllers This Year

Taiwanese ASMedia appears to become the first peripheral chipset company to launch a USB4 host-controller chipset, based on reports from an event the company held this week. ASMedia is at least the first company to get certified by the USB-IF, as its ASM4242 host-controller is the first of its kind to get certified. The ASM4242 was certified alongside the ASM2464PD device controller, although it's unclear exactly what type of device controller this is, but the PD in the model name indicates that it has native support for USB PD power delivery, without the need of any additional chips. This should allow for simpler implementation, as well as it would be saving some PCB space that the extra components no longer take up.

The ASM4242 is said to have a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface and does as such support up to 64 Gbps of bandwidth. As this is a two port controller, it's still not quite enough to enable both ports to operate at the full 40 Gbps that USB4 Gen 3x2 supports, but it should be enough for most consumer implementations. ASMedia has also added support for DP Alt Mode and USB4 is of course also backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3. ASMedia is already sampling its partners. We should hopefully get a better look at what ASMedia is working on next week, but DigiTimes mentions that ASMedia has also developed PCIe 5.0 controllers of some kind and have finished the tape-out of said products.

SK hynix Announces Availability of the PCIe 4.0 Platinum P41 SSD

SK hynix Inc. today announced availability of the "Platinum P41" PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD that distills technical excellence driven by unmatched speeds and reliability. The Platinum series represents the company's flagship retail lineup geared towards gamers and content creators looking to turbo-boost PC performance. Launched as SK hynix's first PCIe 4.0 SSD built with advanced 176-layer NAND flash memory, the Platinum P41 is now available for purchase on Amazon in the U.S. in 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacity options.

Designed to excel among PCIe 4.0 SSDs, the Platinum P41 offers sequential read speeds up to 7,000 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 6,500 MB/s with an industry-leading endurance rating of up to 1,200 TBW. The Platinum P41 also provides further assurance of reliability with an SK hynix in-house "Aries" controller, which in itself contributes to the superior read/write speeds.

Foxconn Eyeing Malaysia for Semiconductor Fab

Foxconn's ambitions as a semiconductor player are growing with yet another potential joint venture being announced, this time in Malaysia. Hang on, Foxconn doesn't make semiconductors you might be thinking right now, but the company has actually owned semiconductor fabs since 2016, when it acquired Sharp and ended up with an 8-inch fab in Fukuyama in Japan. Foxconn has also tried to buy an 8-inch fab in Malaysia in 2020, as well as trying to take over Taiwanese non-volatile memory manufacturer Macronix at one point. It seems like the company has decided to take a different route this year, with news of a joint venture in India and now plans of another joint venture with Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNex) in Malaysia.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), although it's a subsidiary of Foxconn, Big Innovation Holding Limited (BIH) that actually signed the paperwork. The MOU is about building a 12-inch fab according to Focus Taiwan/CNA which reports that the fab will be making chips using 40 to 28 nm processes. It's possible that this will be for the various EV projects that Foxconn is involved with and it would be a less risky way to enter the semiconductor market for Foxconn. The fab is said to be able to output 40,000 wafers a month once it starts, although when this will be is anyone's guess at the moment. Foxconn's focus is on what the company calls the 3 plus 3 initiative, which relates to electrical vehicles, robotics and healthcare solutions, which are built in AI, semiconductors and communication technologies, all presumably from within Foxconn. Time will tell if Foxconn manages to pull this off, but until the construction of the fab has started, this is nothing more than a potential project for Foxconn.

Sony Electronics Introduces Additional Model to LinkBuds Series, a New Frontier for Headphones - LinkBuds S

Sony Electronics Inc. today announced their newest addition to the LinkBuds series: LinkBuds S. The latest model empowers a new sound experience through Sony's sensing technology and partner collaboration, while retaining a "Never Off" wearing experience perfect for staying connected to online and offline worlds due to their ultra-small and lightweight design with natural ambient sound. By leveraging sensor and spatial sound technology, they deliver new and immersive sound for AR games such as Niantic's game Ingress. for consumers looking for new options for entertainment beyond music and calls. The model also makes music listening easier than ever with a new and unique "Auto Play" feature. By detecting the listener's environment, such as wearing LinkBuds S, the feature enables their music to play automatically, delivered accordingly to their activity.

LinkBuds S are perfect for streaming content all day long. Consumers can enjoy music, video, or social media content just as the creator intended with Sony's highly acclaimed noise canceling technology and high-resolution capability. Sony Electronics has engineered these remarkably small and lightweight truly wireless headphones with comfort in mind. LinkBuds S combine a shape that matches the human ear with an ergonomic design for a more stable fit to avoid discomfort in the ear that gets in the way of entertainment.

Alphacool Announces NexXxos HPE ST-20mm Slim Radiator

Alphacool's NexXxoS HPE radiator is now also available as ST20 variant. The compact slim radiator can be mounted very flexibly and space-saving even in the tightest cases due to its low height of only 20 mm.

Technically and functionally, the NexXxos HPE ST20 is comparable to the HPE-30 and HPE-45 versions. All water-bearing parts and the cooling fins are still made of pure copper. The number of water channels and copper fins inside the radiator has been increased with the result that a larger volume of water is now in direct contact with the cooling fins and the cooling surface is used much more efficiently. Thanks to the technical innovations, the heat transfer has been improved enormously compared to the previous NexXxos models and the cooling performance has been increased significantly.

Lofree Introduces Three New Mechanical Keyboards: Wanderfree Moment, 1% Mechanical, & Gift Box Wireless

In today's times when most brands are moving towards digitalization, there is a brand that still believes in retro-themed designs for products that come into use in our day-to-day activities. We are talking about the brand called Lofree here. Lofree is a well-known brand that has got all the praises for having a unique design approach for modern products. They specialize in designing products such as mechanical keyboards, Bluetooth table speakers, table fans, etc. Today, Lofree took it to the internet and released three new products at a launch event. The launch event was also streamed online on their official WeChat channel. Lofree has added three new products to their Mechanical Keyboard catalog: the Wanderfree Moment, the 1% Mechanical Keyboard, and the Gift Box Wireless Mechanical Keyboard.

Machenike Launches Gaming Laptop with Intel Arc A730M GPU in China

Chinese company Machenike have recently launched the first gaming laptop to feature the new high-end Intel Arc A730M graphics card. The Machenike Discovery Edition 2022 gaming system features a 14-core Intel Core i7-12700H paired with an Arc A730M GPU and 16 GB of 4800 MHz DDR5 memory to power the 16" 1440p 165 Hz screen. The Intel Arc A730M features 24 Xe-Cores and is paired with 12 GB of 12 Gbps GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit memory bus. This is the second fastest Arc Alchemist Mobile GPU currently announced just behind the Arc A770M which features a further 8 Xe-Cores, faster 16 Gbps memory, and a 256-bit memory bus. The Machenike Discovery Edition 2022 is now available to pre-order in China with a limited starting price of 8499 RMB (1255 USD).

Russia to Use Chinese Zhaoxin x86 Processors Amidst Restrictions to Replace Intel and AMD Designs

Many companies, including Intel and AMD, have stopped product shipments to Russia amidst the war in Ukraine in the past few months. This has left the Russian state without any new processors from the two prominent x86 designers, thus slowing down the country's technological progress. To overcome this issue, it seems like the solution is embedded in the Chinese Zhaoxin x86 CPUs. According to the latest report from Habr, a motherboard designer called Dannie is embedding Chinese Zhaoxin x86 CPUs into motherboards to provide the motherland with an x86-capable processor. More precisely, the company had designed a BX-Z60A micro-ATX motherboard that embeds Zhaoxin's KaiXian KX-6640MA SoC with eight cores based on LuJiaZui microarchitecture. The SoC is clocked at a frequency range of 2.1-2.7 GHz, carries 4 MB of L2 cache, 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0, and has integrated graphics, all in a 25 Watt TDP.

As far as the motherboard is concerned, it supports two DDR4 memory slots, two PCIe x16 connectors, M.2-2280 and M.2-2230 slots, and three SATA III connectors for storage. For I/O you have USB ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA/D-Sub, GbE, 3.5-mm audio, and additional PS/2 ports. This is a pretty decent selection; however, we don't know the pricing structure. A motherboard with KaiXian KX-6640MA SoC like this is certainly not cheap, so we are left to wonder if this will help Russian users deal with the newly imposed restriction on importing US tech.

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1630 Launching May 31st with 512 CUDA Cores & 4 GB GDDR6

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1630 graphics card is set to be launched on May 31st according to a recent report from VideoCardz. The GTX 1630 is based on the GTX 1650 featuring a 12 nm Turing TU117-150 GPU with 512 CUDA cores and 4 GB of GDDR6 memory on a 64-bit memory bus. This is a reduction from the 896 CUDA cores and 128-bit memory bus found in the GTX 1650 however there is an increase in clock speeds with a boost clock of 1800 MHz at a TDP of 75 W. This memory configuration results in a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 96 GB/s which is exactly half of what is available on the GDDR6 GTX 1650. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1630 may be announced during NVIDIA's Computex keynote next week.

GeIL Launches Actively Cooled DDR5 Memory with Dual RGB Fans

GeIL, is excited to announce the market launch of its EVO V DDR5 RGB Hardcore Gaming Memory kits providing high-frequency modules ranging from 4800 MHz to 6600 MHz and available in large kit capacities of 32 GB to 64 GB. The unique heatspreader design features active cooling and fascinating RGB lighting effects and is available in titanium gray or glacier white color themes.

GeIL EVO V DDR5 RGB Hardcore Gaming Memory offers unparalleled memory performance and stability to meet the intensive demand of hardcore gamers and overclockers across Intel's latest platforms. GeIL has crafted a break-through cooling solution for EVO V modules that integrates a stunning RGB light bar and two micro cooling fans into a single molded aluminium heatshield. Most importantly, the physical height of the heatspreader allows it to be compatible with most CPU coolers on the market without any mechanical interference.

XPG Increases Warranty To 5 Years on PYLON Power Supplies

XPG, a provider of high-performance products for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, is pleased to announce that the warranty period for the XPG PYLON 80 Plus Bronze certified power supply unit has been extended to 5 years. Previously the unit's warranty was limited to 3 years. XPG actively works to ensure the highest level of quality and reliability in all their products and happily extends that guarantee to the gamers.

The XPG PYLON is an 80 Plus Bronze certified power supply unit that can reach efficiency levels as high as 89%, delivering performance nearly rivaling that of Gold certified power supplies. It was designed for 24/7 continuous power system operation and comes in four wattage options - 450 W, 550 W, 650 W and 750 W - to meet the specific needs of various types of users and performance scenarios. All models feature DC-to-DC circuit 100% +12V. XPG PYLON complies with the Intel ATX Power Supply Design Guide's sleep mode function requirements and features a power delivery system that remains consistent and efficient, making it ideal for supporting mid to high-end graphic cards and CPUs. Its 120 mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) fan runs nearly silent for a quiet user experience. Combined with its 105°C Japanese main capacitors, the XPG PYLON is whisper-quiet, highly efficient, and built to last.

GIGABYTE Releases Arm-Based Processor Server Supercharged for NVIDIA Baseboard Accelerators

GIGABYTE Technology, an industry leader in high-performance servers and workstations, today announced a new supercharged, scalable server, G492-PD0, that supports an Ampere Altra Max or Altra processor with NVIDIA HGX A100 Tensor Core GPUs for the highest performance in cloud infrastructure, HPC, AI, and more. Leveraging Ampere's Altra Max CPU with a high core count, up to 128 Armv8.2 cores per socket with Arm's M1 core, the G492-PD0 delivers high performance efficiently and with minimized total cost of ownership.

GIGABYTE developed the G492-PD0 in response to a demand for high-performing platform choices beyond x86, namely the Arm-based processor from Ampere. This new G492 server was tailored to handle the performance of NVIDIA's baseboard accelerator without compromising or throttling CPU or GPU performance. This server joins the existing line of GIGABYTE G492 servers that support the NVIDIA HGX A100 8-GPU baseboard on the AMD EPYC platform (G492-ZL2, G492-ZD2, G492-ZD0) and Intel Xeon Scalable (G492-ID0).

AMD "Navi 31" Rumored to Feature 384-bit GDDR6 Memory Interface

AMD has historically thrown brute memory bus width at solving memory-management problems in its graphics architectures, but the Infinity Cache technology launched with RDNA2 proved to be a game changer, as GPUs with narrow 256-bit memory interfaces could compete with NVIDIA's offerings that have 384-bit wide memory interfaces and faster GDDR6X memory types. It looks like the competition between NVIDIA "Ada" and AMD RDNA3 graphics architectures is about to heat up, as rumors are emerging of AMD giving its biggest next-gen ASIC, the "Navi 31," a 384-bit wide memory interface.

This 50 percent increase in memory bus width, runs in concert with two associated rumors—one, that the company will use faster 20 Gbps GDDR6 memory chips; and two, that AMD may increase the size of the on-die Infinity Cache memory. Samsung is already mass-producing 20 Gbps and 24 Gbps GDDR6 memory chips. These are regular GDDR6 memory chips with JEDEC-standard signaling, and not GDDR6X, an exclusive memory type innovated by NVIDIA and Micron Technology, which leverages PAM4 signaling to increase data-rates. A theoretical "Navi 31" with 20 Gbps GDDR6 memory speeds would enjoy 960 GB/s of memory bandwidth, a massive 87.5 percent bandwidth increase over the RX 6900 XT. The on-die Infinity Cache operates at speeds measured in several TB/s. The increased bus width could also signal an increase in memory sizes, with the RX 6950 XT successor featuring at least 24 GB of memory.
Wednesday, May 18th 2022
AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Reference Design Review

AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Reference Design Review

The AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT Reference Design card not only looks great, but also achieves excellent performance, matching the GeForce RTX 3090, but at much better pricing. Because of good optimization and surprisingly good energy efficiency, AMD's thermal solution works very well, too.
64 Audio Duo In-Ear Monitors Review - Full Transparency!

64 Audio Duo In-Ear Monitors Review - Full Transparency!

64 Audio introduces its latest and least expensive set of universal IEMs with the new Duo, which uses a hybrid driver configuration of one dynamic driver, one tia driver, and more innovative technologies than you can count! It's a highly open set in more ways than one and executes a warm and smooth sound signature quite well.

Intel Raptor Lake-S Cache Sizes Confirmed in Blurry CPU-Z Screenshot: 68MB L2+L3

Back in January, we heard the first reports of Intel significantly increasing the on-die cache sizes on its 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake-S" desktop processor, with the sum total of L2 and L3 caches on the silicon being 68 MB. A CPU-Z screenshot from the same source as the January story, confirmed the cache sizes. The "Raptor Lake-S" die in its full configuration features eight "Raptor Cove" performance cores (P-cores), and sixteen "Gracemont" efficiency cores (E-cores), making it a 24-core/32-thread chip.

Each "Raptor Cove" P-core features 2 MB of dedicated L2 cache even in its client variant, as previously reported, which is an increase from the 1.25 MB L2 cache of the "Golden Cove" P-cores on "Alder Lake-S." The sixteen "Gracemont" E-cores are spread across four E-core clusters, just like the eight E-cores of "Alder Lake-S" are spread across two such clusters. The four cores in each cluster share an L2 cache. Intel has doubled the size of this L2 cache from 2 MB on "Alder Lake" chips, up to 4 MB. The shared L3 cache on the silicon has increased in size to 36 MB. Eight P-cores with 2 MB each, and four E-core clusters with 4 MB, each, total 32 MB of L2 cache. Add this to 36 MB of L3 cache, and you get 68 MB of L2+L3 cache. Intel is expected to debut "Raptor Lake" in the second half of 2022 alongside the 700-series chipset, and backwards compatibility with 600-series chipset. It could go down as Intel's last client processor built on a monolithic silicon.

EK Announces EVGA RTX 3090 Ti FTW3 EK-Quantum Vector² Water Block

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is introducing new Vector² water blocks, this time for the EVGA FTW3 GeForce RTX 3090 Ti GPUs. This product series contains a dedicated GPU water block with an included aluminium backplate, an ultimate GPU cooling enclosure in the form of a set of water blocks and active backplate, but also an alternative nickel-plated backplate and side cover to customize your water-cooled FTW3 3090 Ti GPU to your own desires.

The EK-Quantum Vector² FTW3 RTX 3090 Ti D-RGB is a complete liquid cooling solution that includes a new Vector² water block, a black-anodized aluminium backplate, and a mounting mechanism. Minimalist straight lines dominate the new look of the next-gen water blocks. The 3rd-generation Vector cooling engine combines the jet plate with a 3D machined Plexi insert to improve flow distribution and thermal performance. This new cooling engine is still based on an Open Split-Flow cooling engine design, which proved to be a superior solution for GPU water blocks. It is characterized by low hydraulic flow restriction, meaning it can be used with weaker water pumps or pumps running on low-speed settings and still achieve top performance. Great care was taken to achieve a symmetrical flow domain by utilizing an internal bridge to secondary components. This was done to ensure the cooling of secondary components without sacrificing flow distribution over the GPU core.

HPE Build Supercomputer Factory in Czech Republic

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) today announced its ongoing commitment in Europe by building its first factory in the region for next-generation high performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) systems to accelerate delivery to customers and strengthen the region's supplier ecosystem. The new site will manufacture HPE's industry-leading systems as custom-designed solutions to advance scientific research, mature AL/ML initiatives, and bolster innovation.

The dedicated HPC factory, which will become the fourth of HPE's global HPC sites, will be located in Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, next to HPE's existing European site for manufacturing its industry-standard servers and storage solutions. Operations will begin in summer 2022.

Acer Expands Stereoscopic 3D Lineup With SpatialLabs View Series Displays

Acer today announced two additions to its SpatialLabs lineup of products: the Acer SpatialLabs View for personal entertainment and Acer SpatialLabs View Pro for commercial audiences. Both are standalone 15.6-inch 4K displays that can be connected to another PC, providing users with portable access to the SpatialLabs suite of experiences. Not just intended for highly-skilled creators, however, this generation of devices brings glasses-free stereoscopic 3D technology to gamers and home-entertainment enthusiasts, too.

Gamers and creators alike will appreciate the series' lightweight design (less than 1.5 kg / 3.3 lbs), making it easy to put in a bag and take to a LAN party or product pitch session. Creators in particular can depend on 100% coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut, but gamers will also appreciate the devices' 400 nits of brightness. While the Acer SpatialLabs View comes with an all-new stereoscopic 3D gaming platform, the Acer SpatialLabs View Pro comes with both the technology necessary to realize a user's creations and also an intelligent industrial design that simplifies deployment—a combination that leads to more impactful storytelling opportunities.

Acer Launches Premium Convertible Chromebook and Chromebook Tablet

Acer today launched new Chromebooks designed for businesses, consumers and families that provide the latest performance updates and durable MIL-STD 810H designs. Extra features help Acer Chrome OS customers get the most from their device for functions like remote working, entertainment, as well as staying productive on-the-go.

"Acer continues to lead the industry in premium Chromebooks that are highly-capable, feature-rich and deliver the exact Chromebook experience our customers want," said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "As new generations rely on their Chromebook to do more in their connected world - whether it's for work or personal projects - Acer's innovation will be the foundation of their productive and enjoyable experience."

Acer Refreshes TravelMate P4, TravelMate Spin P4 and TravelMate P2 Series Business Laptops

Acer today announced its refreshed range of TravelMate business laptops for SMB (Small- and Medium- Sized Businesses) and hybrid workers, offering them a wider choice of mobility and performance. Each of the durable Acer TravelMate P4, TravelMate Spin P4 and TravelMate P2 laptops offer workers at the office, home or on the move a highly refined experience with larger touchpads and quieter key presses with a comfortable 1.55 mm travel distance. These durable laptops are designed to deliver powerful performance throughout the work day, enhanced security, advanced connectivity and military-grade durability. They are engineered to handle real life situations such as being bumped through an airport security checkpoint or accidentally dropped, and meet MIL-STD 810H specifications, meaning they can withstand drops, humidity and water spills.

The Acer TravelMate P2, TravelMate P4, and TravelMate Spin P4 laptops provide business-grade security and productivity. These Microsoft Secured-core PCs deliver advanced security down to the firmware level. A SecureBio fingerprint reader and IR camera with a privacy shutter support Windows Hello for secure logins. All models offer advanced connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 to ensure a smoother wireless experience, and optional LTE support so business travelers can enjoy immediate connectivity to local networks.

Acer Updates its ConceptD Laptops and Desktops with Latest 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs and NVIDIA RTX GPUs

Acer today announced new models in its professional line of ConceptD creator PCs. The ConceptD 5 laptop, ConceptD 500 mini workstation and ConceptD 100 small form factor desktop now include the latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GPUs, while the ConceptD 5 laptop now offers a 16-inch OLED display option. ConceptD PCs are designed and optimized for graphic designers, filmmakers, engineers, architects, developers and other creators. They feature top-of-the-line technology housed in a timeless design aesthetic.

The powerful ConceptD 5 and ConceptD 5 Pro creator laptops for mobile professionals are ideal for those who need the ability to create or edit work on the go. Less than an inch in height, their sophisticated and durable metal design makes them easy to take on the road. Designed to handle large, complex CAD modeling and advanced digital content creation, they smoothly render up to 6K-resolution videos, effortlessly process 3D animations, and deliver the best encoding and image quality for livestreaming.

Acer Announces New Swift 3 OLED Laptop with 12th Gen Intel Core H-Series Processors

Acer today introduced a suite of powerful new laptops across its popular Swift and Spin notebook ranges, all featuring 12th Gen Intel Core processors and Windows 11. The Swift 3 OLED combines a beautiful display with powerful performance for professionals on-the-go, while the Spin 5 and Spin 3 are designed for professionals who need a portable laptop with multi-mode functionality.

The new Acer Swift 3 OLED laptop (SF314-71) is powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Core H-series processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics, PCIe Gen 4 SSDs and up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 memory, offering professionals, freelancers and students powerful performance for creation-focused work and gaming. The laptop has also been Intel Evo verified as meeting key experience targets such as instant wake from sleep and offering 10 hours of real-world battery life. In a pinch, a 30-minute charge yields over 4 hours of battery life. Light, modern and thin, the Swift 3 OLED features a 14-inch 16:10 WQXGA+ (2.8k) OLED display with a 92% screen-to-body ratio, which is VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500-certified. The display provides true-to-life images supporting 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The laptop has a 17.9 mm-thin aluminium metal chassis, weighs just 1.4 kg, and features an OceanGlass touchpad made from ocean-bound plastic waste that provides users with a sleek glass-like tactile feeling when scrolling.

Acer Launches Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition with 3D Display, New Predator Triton Laptops and New Gaming Displays

Acer today announced the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition gaming laptop, bringing glasses-free, stereoscopic 3D to the world of gaming. Through the SpatialLabs TrueGame application, it will support over 50 popular games at launch, and support for additional titles will be added on a continuous basis moving forwards. Alongside the 3D gaming laptop, Acer also announced the Predator Triton 300 SE thin gaming laptop, and the Predator XB273K LV and Acer Nitro XV272U RV gaming monitors.

"We're excited to add a new dimension to gaming with the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition, enabling industry-leading glasses-free stereoscopic 3D gaming," said Jerry Kao, Co-COO, Acer Inc. "By integrating our SpatialLabs technology with our Predator gaming laptops, we hope to create a new category of immersive gaming experiences."

Introducing the Next Generation Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids—Amazon's Most Popular Tablet, Upgraded to Deliver Even More for the Whole Family

Amazon today announced the next-generation Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids tablets—bringing more speed, performance, and value to the company's most affordable tablet. The new Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids offer double the RAM and 40% longer battery life for continual hours of entertainment, video calling, and fun for every member of the family, while the compact size makes it a perfect on-the-go companion. The Fire 7 Kids includes a kid-proof protective case, a one-year subscription of Amazon Kids+, and a two-year worry-free guarantee. Both tablets are available to order today and will begin shipping on June 29.

"Fire 7 is our most popular tablet—and now it's even better," said Kevin Keith, vice president of Amazon Devices. "This new generation gives customers more of what they love—improved performance and longer battery life, all for just $59. And for parents looking for a complete kids' tablet experience, the new Fire 7 Kids has offerings kids love and parents trust, including a year of Amazon Kids+, a virtual playground of ad-free educational and entertainment content that's like no other."

SD Specification 9 - New Opportunities for SD Memory Cards as Semi-Embedded Memory

SD Association (SDA) today announced three advanced security features in the new SD 9 specification: Boot support, Trusted Computing Group (TCG) Storage and Replay Protected Memory Block (RPMB) authenticated memory. SD 9 gives device manufacturers the ability to use an SD memory card for all memory and storage needs, simplifying future device upgrades or repairs and enhancing security capabilities for applications when the cards are tightly bound to specific hosts. SD 9 defines Fast Boot and Secure Boot capabilities giving cards the ability to serve as a device's boot code memory while offering a simple fast boot code uploading process along with secured methods of providing future boot code updates. SD 9 adds TCG secured storage by adding self-encrypted drive functionality. The specification defines RPMB as a secured hidden memory accessible only through a secured authentication process, while also providing a secured boot code update process, plus write-protect and replay protection security mechanisms.

Devices ideally suited for the new capabilities defined by SD 9 include Chromebook computers, tablets, drones, surveillance cameras, dash cameras, gaming consoles, virtual reality (VR) headsets/glasses, small IoT modules and wearable medical devices, to name a few. SD 9 also helps product manufacturers meet new right to repair regulations and simplifies upgrade and repair processes for devices installed in locations without internet connectivity. "SD memory cards are a compelling choice for both storage and memory because they will boot devices, are capable of delivering SSD performance levels and simplify device repairs or upgrades," said Hiroyuki Sakamoto, SDA president. "The SD 9 specification gives product manufacturers a compelling array of choices when defining memory and storage needs of devices." The optional features defined in SD 9 are available to both microSD and full-sized SD memory card form factors. The features are applicable across all capacity types, from SD to the forthcoming SDUC memory cards. Importantly, these features will be supported by SD Express, capable of delivering SSD performance levels up to 4 GB/sec. The SDA has prepared a whitepaper providing more details about the compelling new features defined by SD 9 for SD memory cards.

Phison Announces Successful Deployment of the World's First PCI-SIG Certified PCIe 5.0 Redriver IC PS7101

Phison Electronics Corp., a leading provider of NAND controller and NAND storage solutions integration services, announced today that it is successfully deploying the world's first PCIe 5.0 Redriver IC PS7101 certified by the PCI-SIG Association to help solve the compatibility problems of high-speed signal transmission between CPU (Central Processing Unit) and peripheral devices (such as SSD and graphics card, etc.). In the generation of PCIe 5.0 high-speed transmission, Redriver ICs will be required in devices such as desktop computers, servers, industrial computers, cables, and notebook computers. Depending on the degree of signal attenuation and the number of compensation channels, each system device will require 2 to 16 Redriver ICs. According to market research agencies, high-speed transmission signal enhancement ICs (including Redriver and Retimer ICs) will reach a market size of 50 million per year in 2025.

With the vigorous development of massive data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, demand for high-speed data transmission continues to rise. The CPU is the core of high-speed signal transmission. Under the leadership of CPU chip suppliers such as Intel and AMD, the transmission interface of the system has ushered the PCIe 5.0 generation, and the single-lane transmission speed reaching 32 Gbps per second, which is twice that of the previous generation PCIe 4.0. However, in the high-speed transmission environment of PCIe 5.0, compatibility issues such as signal attenuation and noise effects on the motherboard have become common problems and challenges faced by all system integrators.

HyperX Releases Limited Edition Gaming Collection with Tim "TimTheTatMan" Betar Esports Celebrity and Streaming Sensation

HyperX, the gaming peripherals team at HP Inc. and brand leader in gaming and esports, today announced the release of a custom Tim "TimTheTatMan" Betar HyperX peripherals collection. The HyperX x TimTheTatMan limited-edition suite of products features the HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset, HyperX EliteTM 2 gaming keyboard, HyperX Pulsefire Haste gaming mouse, and HyperX Pulsefire Mat gaming mouse pad. Chosen by TimTheTatMan as his preferred peripherals for gaming on and off stream, the collection features a custom TimTheTatMan design with the "triple T" logo and pops of yellow accent color that reflects his larger-than-life personality and gaming performance traits.

"Excited to finally share my first co-branded HyperX products with the tatmanarmy," said Tim "TimTheTatMan" Betar. " HyperX and I have been working non-stop to get these products ready, I can't wait for you all to enjoy them too." "TimTheTatMan is an engaging and entertaining personality representing a core segment of the gaming and streaming industry," said Khoi Nguyen, influencer marketing, HyperX. "The HyperX team is thrilled to be working with TimTheTatMan on this limited-edition suite of peripherals to provide the Tatman army with a collection of gaming products designed to tackle daily in-game and on-stream needs."

Lenovo Announces ThinkPad C14 Chromebook Enterprise Laptop

Lenovo announced today at its Accelerate event in Las Vegas the new ThinkPad C14 Chromebook Enterprise laptop. The productivity boosting laptop delivers the reliability and durability expected from a ThinkPad with the cloud-based simplicity geared for a hybrid working world offered by Google Chrome OS. It comes in a distinguishing Abyss Blue design and offers more secure, connected, and collaborative features to empower businesses and front-line workers. Chrome OS further adds to the flexibility by providing end users with access to cloud-based applications and offering IT admins speedy deployment and simple management via the Google Admin console.

Providing employees with a portable, affordable, productivity boosting device allows organizations to be more agile. Add to that the power and flexibility of Google's Chrome OS and Intel's latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors, the ThinkPad C14 Chromebook Enterprise will enhance collaboration and enable better hybrid working capability with features to boost performance and connectivity with enhanced security while maintaining the portability needed for today's work-from-anywhere world.

Lenovo Introduces ThinkPad P16 Mobile Workstation

Lenovo is today introducing a new power-packed mobile workstation built for the ultimate professional user - the ThinkPad P16. From engineers and designers creating sophisticated renderings to developers working on compute-heavy virtual and mixed reality simulations, the all new P16 removes any compromise - providing the top-end of mobile performance inside a bold form factor designed to match the capabilities of what's under the hood.

With an all-aluminium storm grey chassis and a red accent across the back of the system, the new ThinkPad P16 offers an elevated design while providing the same reliability, security, durability, and expandability that users have come to expect with a ThinkPad P Series mobile workstation. Built to combine the best features of the ThinkPad P15 and P17 into an all new compact and improved form factor, the P16 packs in the high-end performance and features of the P17 into a modern 16" chassis.


XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, today announces the ALPHA WIRED and WIRELESS gaming mouse. A 2022 Red Dot Design award winner, the mouse features an ergonomic design, energy-efficient PAW-3335 sensor, and premium OMRON switches for comfort and performance.

The ALPHA gaming mouse sports simple and elegant curved contours with a comfortable grip that reflect XPG's industrial design language, called ":Exoskeleton". The design philosophy emphasizes a balance between form and function, with a focus on ergonomics. By studying data from a large pool of diverse subjects using XPG's AI driven hand scanning application, XPG was able to determine the optimal mouse shape. For example, the overall width of the mouse is derived from averaging finger measurements collected to create a device with an ideal grip size.
Tuesday, May 17th 2022

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Sound Cards
Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Tachyon Review

Gigabyte Z690 AORUS Tachyon Review

Gigabyte is at it again, setting world records with the Z690 AORUS Tachyon! Designed with overclocking in mind, this motherboard is loaded with features to streamline that perfect overclock. Even so, Gigabyte hasn't forgotten about when the Z690 AORUS Tachyon is not on the test bench. Come join me as we take a closer look!
Quick Look: CZUR ET24 Pro Smart Scanner

Quick Look: CZUR ET24 Pro Smart Scanner

CZUR is a brand known for its smart document scanners, and we take a look at its latest and greatest yet in the form of the ET24 Pro. It features a sharp 24 MP CMOS sensor, add-on side lighting on top of direct lighting, fast and precise scanning, and an easy-to-use software suite!

ASUS Also Announces ROG Strix Flow X16 Gaming Notebook

The portable and lightweight Flow family has a new member. ROG is proud to introduce the Flow X16, a convertible thin and light laptop with gaming horsepower that belies its size. Paired with the stunning Nebula HDR Display and fully compatible with the XG Mobile ecosystem, the Flow X16 is ready to redefine how you look at ultraportable gaming laptops.

The Flow X16 is the culmination of a relentless drive to pair cutting-edge components with a thin and light chassis. This 16-inch convertible laptop is powered by up to an AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor and up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU, all while weighing just 2.1 kilograms. With a maximum TGP of up to 125 W on the RTX 3070 Ti thanks to Dynamic Boost, this machine is able to go pound for pound with much larger and heavier competition.

ASUS Announces ROG Strix Scar 17 Special Edition (2022) Gaming Notebook

In January, we introduced the ROG Strix SCAR 2022, an ultra-powerful esports gaming machine designed to blow away any and all competition. But we couldn't leave well enough alone, so we decided to make it even better. We're proud to announce the ROG Strix SCAR 17 Special Edition, the ultimate laptop for competitive gaming.

For most gamers, the regular 2022 Strix SCAR is the perfect companion, since it's lighter and more affordable than the new Special Edition, while offering exceptional gaming performance. But for gamers who need the absolute best of the best, cutting-edge technology paired with a bold cyberpunk design, the Strix SCAR 17 SE has arrived.

AMD and Qualcomm Collaborate to Optimize FastConnect Connectivity Solutions for AMD Ryzen Processors

AMD and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, today announced a collaboration to optimize the Qualcomm FastConnect connectivity system for AMD Ryzen processor-based computing platforms, starting with AMD Ryzen PRO 6000 Series processors and the Qualcomm FastConnect 6900. With the FastConnect 6900 system, the latest AMD Ryzen processor-powered business laptops feature Wi-Fi 6 and 6E connectivity, including advanced wireless capabilities enabled with Windows 11.

In collaboration with Microsoft, next-generation Windows 11 PCs, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad Z Series and HP EliteBook 805 Series, can harness the full potential of Windows 11 Wi-Fi Dual Station through Qualcomm 4-Stream Dual Band Simultaneous. Multiple Wi-Fi bands outperform traditional single band connections for improved video conferencing experiences, reduced latency, and enhanced connection robustness. Leveraging the 6 GHz band, next-gen laptop users can take full advantage of its bandwidth and speed improvements without competing with any non-6E devices.

AMD Robotics Starter Kit Kick-Starts the Intelligent Factory of the Future

Today AMD announced the Kria KR260 Robotics Starter Kit, the latest addition to the Kria portfolio of adaptive system-on-modules (SOMs) and developer kits. A scalable and out-of-the-box development platform for robotics, the Kria KR260 offers a seamless path to production deployment with the existing Kria K26 adaptive SOMs. With native ROS 2 support, the standard framework for robotics application development, and pre-built interfaces for robotics and industrial solutions, the new SOM starter kit enables rapid development of hardware-accelerated applications for robotics, machine vision and industrial communication and control.

"The Kria KR260 Robotics Starter Kits builds on the success of our Kria SOMs and KV260 Vision AI Starter Kit for AI and embedded developers, providing roboticists with a complete, out-of-the-box solution for this rapidly growing application space," said Chetan Khona, senior director of Industrial, Vision, Healthcare and Sciences Markets at AMD. "Roboticists will now be able to work in their standard development environment on a platform that has all the interfaces and capabilities needed to be up and running in less than an hour. The KR260 Starter Kit is an ideal platform to accelerate robotics innovation and easily take ideas to production at scale."

Alphacool Unveils Water Blocks for RX 6950 XT and RX 6750 XT

Just in time for the official launch of the new AMD graphics card generation, Alphacool can already offer the first compatible Eisblock water coolers for Radeon RX 6750 XT & 6950 XT GPUs. Alphacool is checking other cards for possible compatibility. The latest compatibility list is available for download in the online shop. With the help of the graphics card configurator, you can easily find the right cooler for your existing graphics card. Smart and efficient.

Tronsmart Launches the Onyx Ace Pro True Wireless Earbuds

Industry-leading audio brand, Tronsmart, is pleased to announce the launch of its new true wireless earbuds, the Onyx Ace Pro. Cutting-edge Qualcomm Chip, aptX adaptive audio decoding and quad-mics with cVc 8.0 call reduction, it offers great audio and voice quality as well as smooth and reliable connection whether listening to music, in the gym or gaming. The Tronsmart Onyx Ace Pro is available to buy from the Tronsmart website, GeekBuying and AliExpress for $39.99/ £32. Amazon is likely to follow in June.

Features an advanced Qualcomm QCC3040 chip with Qualcomm aptX and aptX adaptive audio decoding as well as a 13 mm composite polymer driver, the Onyx Ace Pro delivers impressive sound in great depth and nuance. The combination allows every instrument to be presented perfectly across an expansive soundstage for a great quality listening no matter the genres. In addition, it includes quad-mics (2 each) with cVc 8.0 call reduction that enhances voice pick up and cancels background noise to isolate the voice and transmits in high clarity so that calls are crystal clear.

Phanteks Announces GPU Block for MSI SUPRIM (X)/GAMING (X) TRIO RTX 3090 Ti Cards

Phanteks is announcing the new Glacier G3090Ti MSI Water Block Bundle containing the water block and backplate designed for the recently launched MSI SUPRIM (X) / GAMING (X) TRIO RTX 3090Ti cards. With the most powerful cards out of the MSI GeForce RTX 30 series lineup, our newly announced water block can provide excellent cooling and achieve top performance. With increased power consumption and front memory chip location on the new RTX 3090Ti design, the Glacier G3090Ti MSI water block will be a great benefit to bring unprecedented cooling to the new MSI SUPRIM (X) / GAMING (X) TRIO RTX 3090Ti cards.

Like all Glacier water blocks, the water block will use premium materials such as a nickel-plated copper base, clear acrylic top, black or chrome aluminium cover plates, and industrial quality VITON o-rings to ensure the best reliability and longevity. The water block will come with integrated D-RGB lighting that beautifully complements your build and can sync with Phanteks' D-RGB accessories and A-RGB equipped motherboards.

Introducing IonQ Forte, Improving Quantum Performance with a Software-Configurable Dynamic Laser System

IonQ, an industry leader in quantum computing, announced IonQ Forte, its latest generation of quantum systems. The system features novel, cutting-edge optics technology that enables increased accuracy and further enhances IonQ's industry leading system performance. Forte is expected to be initially available for select developers, partners, and researchers in 2022 and is expected to be available for broader customer access in 2023. Forte is the latest evolution towards a "software-configurable quantum computer," which is designed to allow the company to optimize the computing hardware for targeted user problems-ultimately, giving users customized algorithmic performance. The new system features acousto-optic deflector (AOD) technology, which allows IonQ to dynamically direct laser beams that drive quantum gates towards individual ions. The AOD is designed to minimize noise and overcome variations in ion position, improving fidelity in long chains of trapped ions, which is crucial for scaling quantum computers. In addition, key parameters, including qubit and gate configuration, can be tailored to user needs, creating a truly dynamic and flexible system.

Forte joins IonQ Aria as the company's second system with capacity of up to 32 qubits, has AOD systems capable of addressing up to 40 individual ion qubits, and is currently configured to use 31 of them. With this technological leap, IonQ furthers its commitment to building ever more powerful quantum computers with an increasing number of algorithmic qubits, an application-oriented performance metric for quantum computers. The new announcement follows IonQ's announcement of open-source access to native gates, which allows quantum application developers to explore software breakthroughs on top of IonQ hardware without having to choose from a set menu of gates.

OWC Announces Envoy Pro mini the Ultimate Works With Everything Pocket-Sized USB-C and USB-A SSD

OWC, a leading customer-focused creator of innovative solutions for over 30 years that have enabled individuals, businesses, content professionals, and educators to get maximum usefulness from their technology investment, today introduced the OWC Envoy Pro mini. The OWC Envoy Pro mini is a pocket-sized SSD with full-sized SSD performance and capacity for audio, photography, graphics, gaming, and general data storage/backup uses. Now, everyday users, students, mobile professionals, IT techs, and content creators can take, access, save, and share their data anywhere. The OWC Envoy Pro mini works with USB and Thunderbolt (USB-C) Macs, PCs, iPads, Chromebooks, Android tablets, and Surface devices made over the last 15 years. Available in 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB capacities and can access and transfer data with everything at up to 946 MB/s real-world speed with Plug and Play ease.

Using the Envoy Pro mini in a mixed Mac and Windows environment is remarkably easy with the addition of OWC's MacDrive (sold separately). This seamless software runs in the background, so there is nothing to launch or learn. Just plug in the Envoy Pro mini, and not only do you have instant-read access, but full write access. MacDrive also includes powerful features that enable you to format and partition drives and repair fundamental disk issues.

Skullcandy Launches Mod TWS Earbuds with Multipoint Pairing

Skullcandy, the No. 1 selling brand in stereo headphones and true wireless earbuds under $100, announced today its all-new Mod True Wireless Earbuds ($59.99 MSRP). Packed with premium features demanded by the brand's tech-forward, value-minded fans, Mod stands out as the perfect work- or play-from-anywhere audio companion. All-new Multipoint Pairing enables seamless toggling between multiple devices at once, regardless of platform or manufacturer, ensuring music will resume on a user's phone once the Zoom meeting wraps on their laptop. Mod's flexibility is further underscored by Skullcandy App compatibility, which enables button function and equalizer mode personalization for a truly customizable audio experience. Mod is available for pre-sale now at and select retailers nationwide.

For audio enthusiasts seeking a premium, work-horse bud that won't break the bank, Mod is the answer. Skullcandy's latest value-packed true wireless offering features specifically selected and expertly tuned drivers to deliver supreme sound quality for any music genre, podcast or video. All-new Clear Voice Smart Mic technology utilizes artificial intelligence to reduce background noise and isolate the speaker's voice, ensuring calls and Zoom meetings are crystal clear. An adjustable Stay-Aware Mode helps users dial outside noise levels up or down so they can tune out, or tune in, as much as they want, depending on their situation.

AMD Claims Higher FPS/$ Radeon GPU Value Over NVIDIA Offerings

Frank Azor, Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions & Marketing at AMD, has posted an interesting slide on Twitter, claiming that AMD Radeon products possess higher FPS/$ value than NVIDIA's graphics offerings. According to the slide, AMD Radeon graphics cards are the best solutions for gamers looking at performance per dollar ratings and performance per watt. This means that AMD claims that Radeon products are inherently higher-value products than NVIDIA's offerings while also more efficient. As the chart shows, which you can see below, some AMD Radeon cards are offering up to 89% better FPS/$ value with up to 123% better FPS/Watt metric. This highest rating is dedicated to Radeon RX 6400 GPU; however, there are all GPUs included in comparison with up to the latest Radeon RX 6950 XT SKU.

Compared to TechPowerUp's own testing of AMD's Radeon cards and multiple reviews calculating the performance per dollar metric, we could not see numbers as high as AMD's. This means that AMD's marketing department probably uses a different selection of games that may perform better on AMD Radeon cards than NVIDIA GeForce RTX. Of course, as with any company marketing material, you should take it with a grain of salt, so please check some of our reviews for a non-biased comparison.

NVIDIA RTX 4090 "Ada" Founders Edition Cooler Spied, Retains Dual-Axial Flow-Through Design

In what is a sign that the July 2022 rumored debut of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 "Ada Lovelace" graphics card is on track; the first spy pictures of its Founders Edition cooler surfaced on ChipHell forums. The cooler appears to be an evolution of the Dual-Axial Flow-Through cooling architecture NVIDIA debuted with the RTX 30-series "Ampere" Founders Edition cards, where air is drawn in from one end of the card, flows through the cooling solution that's a series of aluminium fin-stacks skewered by a series of heatpipes; and ventilated through the back of the card, with a second fan in "pull" configuration.

From the looks of it, the aluminium fins on the RTX 4090 Founders Edition cooler appears to have a dark-grey matte finish, which could indicate some form of ceramic surface-treatment that improves heat-dissipation; while the cooler's base making primary contact with the GPU and memory chips, appears to be a vapor-chamber plate with a nickel-plated copper surface. From the location and sizes of the thermal pads for the memory chips, we guess that the GPU is surrounded by 10 memory chips, which could indicate a 320-bit memory interface, making this card a possible successor to the original RTX 3080. The cooler itself is more than 2 slots thick, and appears to be as thick as the RTX 3090 FE cooler.

XMG APEX 15 MAX: Desktop Replacement Laptop gets update to AMD Ryzen 5000

With the XMG APEX 15 (E20) introduced in March 2020, XMG attracted much attention for the world's first laptop with AMD Ryzen desktop processors for Socket AM4. It is now succeeded by the XMG APEX 15 MAX (E22), which brings an update to CPUs up to the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X, a GeForce RTX 3070 and a motherboard with a B550 chipset. By focusing on desktop processors, the MAX version also differs from the XMG APEX 15 (M21) presented in 2021, which utilises conventional mobile CPUs. In line with the desktop replacement approach, the size and weight are somewhat higher in order to integrate a powerful cooling system.

The E22 version of the XMG APEX 15 MAX comes with a B550 chipset motherboard and several hardware updates compared to its B450 based predecessor, the XMG APEX 15 (E20). To begin with, the laptop makes the leap to Nvidia's current GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3060. Both graphics cards operate at 115 watts TGP and are now connected via PCI Express 4.0, as is the primary M.2 SSD.

Intel XeSS Launches on May 20, with "Dolmen"

The ambitious performance enhancement by Intel Graphics rivaling NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR, the Intel XeSS (Xe Super Sampling,) will debut on May 20, 2022, with a patch for "Dolmen," developer Massive Work Studio announced. This matches our report from March 2022 that referenced an "early Summer" debut. This would mean Intel Graphics has a driver release planned very soon, for its Xe LP-based iGPUs and Iris Xe MAX discrete GPU; as well as the first round of Arc 3 "Alchemist" mobile graphics, which will launch with XeSS support.

Much like FSR and DLSS, XeSS works with a supported game to render raster 3D scenes at a lower resolution than the display resolution, and upscales them using a sophisticated algorithm that minimizes image quality loss, with a net gain in frame-rates. XeSS will play a particularly big role in Intel's plans to grab a slice of the gaming graphics market with its Arc "Alchemist" discrete GPUs. XeSS appears to work similar to AMD FSR 2.0, with its upscaler using motion-vectors and temporal data from the game engine to reconstruct details in the outbound frames. Also, much like FSR, XeSS will be open to GPUs from other brands.

Update May 17th: The Dolmen Twitter handle just put out an update that XeSS support is coming "this Summer," implying that it will not release on May 20 as earlier reported.

AGON by AOC Launches the AGON PRO AG274QZM Monitor

AGON by AOC—one of the world's leading gaming monitor and IT accessories brands - announces the 27" (68.58 cm) AGON PRO AG274QZM, a super-fast 240 Hz gaming monitor with QHD resolution and a breath-taking MiniLED IPS panel. The AG274QZM beautifully matches the punchy and accurate colours of the IPS panel with a MiniLED backlight that has 576 dimming zones. This enables the monitor to achieve the high-tier DisplayHDR 1000 certification with 1200 nits peak brightness, displaying deep blacks and bright sunlight in the same frame, while offering true high-speed gaming (1 ms GtG) without compromises that competitive gamers look for.

AGON PRO AG274QZM is the new member of the AGON PRO family geared towards the legends of the gaming community: pro-competitive players and esports enthusiasts. Sharing the exquisite craftsmanship of its family, the AGON PRO AG274QZM features an award winning (red dot design award) form and heavy-duty, ergonomic stand. The stand, with built-in cable management offers height, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments for healthy, comfortable gaming sessions.

AYANEO Announces AYANEO 2 Handheld with Ryzen 7 6800U APU

AYANEO has recently announced the AYANEO 2 featuring AMD's latest "Rembrandt" Ryzen 7 6800U APU with Zen 3+ & RDNA2 architectures. The AMD Ryzen 7 6800U is a mobile processor with a configurable TDP of 15 - 28 W featuring 8 cores and 16 threads with a base clock of 2.7 GHz and a boost of 4.7 GHz. The processor also includes integrated Radeon 680M graphics with 12 RDNA2 cores running at 2.2 GHz which should offer performance almost twice of that as the Steam Deck. This APU is paired with an unspecified amount of LPDDR5 6400 MHz memory and a 7" 1280×800 IPS frameless display. The console is also set to feature an integrated fingerprint sensor and has been showcased running numerous games such as Metro Exodus, Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3, and Elden Ring. The AYANEO 2 is set to launch sometime later this year however an exact date or pricing was not shared.

Fall Guys Set To Become Free-To-Play, Removed From Steam

Hello, bean fans. We're so excited to share that soon you'll be able to play Fall Guys for free on all platforms—including the introduction of Nintendo Switch, Xbox and the Epic Games Store. Since Fall Guys first hurtled into the world in August 2020, we've come together for six Seasons of stumbles, united in a ridiculous quest for the Crown. Through jungle-dome japes by way of Medieval mayhem. From Custom Lobbies hype to that very first Squad win with your pals, we couldn't have done any of this without the support, dedication and compassion of our incredible community.

From June 21, we're welcoming more players than ever before to the Blunderdome to compete for the Crown - and we've been working hard behind-the-scenes to make sure that everyone enjoys the same great Fall Guys experience no matter where you play. If you haven't checked out our reveal event stream, feast your eye on this marvelous motion picture broadcast immediately.
Monday, May 16th 2022
Alphacool NexXxoS HPE-45 Full Copper 360 mm Radiator Review

Alphacool NexXxoS HPE-45 Full Copper 360 mm Radiator Review

Alphacool updated its radiator lineup with the new NexXxos HPE series in 30 and 45 mm thickness options. We examine the NexXxos HPE-45 360 mm radiator offering multiple G1/4" ports, a flush mount, low pressure drop, and impressive thermal performance that even challenges thicker radiators!

Four the Win—GIGABYTE Wins Big at iF Design Award 2022

GIGABYTE Technology announced a total of four products under its gaming-focused AORUS brand, including a trio of AORUS high-end Z690 motherboards and the AORUS FO48U large-sized gaming monitor, which have been awarded the prestigious iF Design Award 2022 for their excellence in product design.

The awarded Z690 AORUS XTREME WATERFORCE, Z690 AORUS XTREME, and Z690 AORUS MASTER are the top-of-the-line motherboards engineered to perfectly support the Intel 12th-gen processors. These three motherboards impress the performance-driven enthusiasts with GIGABYTE's state-of-the-art cooling solutions and class-leading power deliveries. Combined with the exclusive DDR5 memory overclocking function, these AORUS Z690 can fully unleash the gaming prowess of the new-gen processors, putting together a powerful and durable platform for those who seek nothing but the extreme performance from their desktop PCs.

AMD Ryzen 7000 "Phoenix" APUs with RDNA3 Graphics to Rock Large 3D V-Cache

AMD's next-generation Ryzen 7000-series "Phoenix" mobile processors are all the rage these days. Bound for 2023, these chips feature a powerful iGPU based on the RDNA3 graphics architecture, with performance allegedly rivaling that of a GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU—a popular performance-segment discrete GPU. What's more, AMD is also taking a swing at Intel in the CPU core-count game, by giving "Phoenix" a large number of "Zen 4" CPU cores. The secret ingredient pushing this combo, however, is a large cache.

AMD has used large caches to good effect both on its "Zen 3" processors, such as the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, where they're called 3D Vertical Cache (3D V-cache); as well as its Radeon RX 6000 discrete GPUs, where they're called Infinity Cache. The only known difference between the two is that the latter is fully on-die, while the former is stacked on top of existing silicon IP. It's being reported now, that "Phoenix" will indeed feature a stacked 3D V-cache.
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