Monday, July 16th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage
Corsair Carbide 275R

Corsair Carbide 275R

The Corsair Carbide 275R is not meant to turn heads, that is the job of the Obsidian series. Instead, it offers an extremely solid, functional, and inclusive feature set to cater to a broad audience with the understated looks to match. Couple that with a fair price tag and you have yourself an easy choice when going for a solid, functional, and useful system.

Gigabyte Launches AORUS P850W and P750W Power Supplies

Gigabyte today announced the release of AORUS P850W and P750W, the first PC power supplies (PSUs) from its premium AORUS brand. The new P850W and P750W bring up 80 PLUS Gold power efficiency silent operation, as well as modular customization, and enhanced durability.

80 PLUS Gold certified the AORUS PSU delivers superior electrical performance at a minimum of 90% energy efficiency, ensuring power waste is kept at a minimum. With less heat and reduced fan noise, gamers with AORUS PSUs can enjoy cool and quiet gaming environment. With optimal support for Intel Haswell processors, the power supply is also ideal for achieving reduced energy. Using 100% Japanese capacitors and premium internal components throughout the design, the AORUS PSU provides users with extended product reliability and lifespan.

QA Consultants Determines AMD's Most Stable Graphics Drivers in the Industry

As independent third-party experts in the software quality assurance and testing industry for over 20 years, QA Consultants has conducted over 5,000+ mission-critical projects and has extensive testing experience and depth in various industries. Based in Toronto, Ontario, QA Consultants is the largest on-shore software quality assurance company, with a 30,000 sq. ft., industry-grade facility called The Test Factory.

EK Announces the Annihilator EX/EP Server Grade CPU Block for Square ILM

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is announcing a dedicated EK-Annihilator EX/EP Square water block that is specifically developed for LGA 3647 (Socket P) Intel processors. The entire CPU block was designed from the ground up to fit the requirements of the new socket and to integrate multiple connectivity options for server rack requirements. With that said, the new server-grade CPU block is 1U chassis type compatible for use server and workstation type motherboards.

Brainwavz Introduces its M2 IEM in-ear Noise Isolating Earphones, Sony-specific Pads

Global audio specialist Brainwavz, established in 2008 with a focus on offering high quality products at competitive pricing, today announces the availability of its M2 IEM Noise Isolating Earphones in the UK. The M2 IEM are the latest in the Brainwavz range of over 25 earphones and headphones and represent great value at £45.00 /$59.50, from www.brainwavzaudio.com.

Described as the "Bass King" by Digit website, the Brainwavz M2 provide a mature, detailed and refined sound whilst also giving a fun and exciting overall signature designed to sound good with any genre of music. Users can listen to pop, hip hop or country music without sacrificing clarity and performance.

AMD Deepens Senior Management and Technical Leadership Bench

AMD today announced key promotions that extend senior-level focus on company growth. AMD named "Zen" chief architect Mike Clark an AMD corporate fellow; promoted Darren Grasby to senior vice president of global Computing and Graphics sales and AMD president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and promoted Robert Gama to senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

"We believe the opportunities ahead of us are tremendous as we execute on our long-term strategy and exciting product roadmap," said Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "As leaders, Mike, Darren, and Robert have made significant contributions to our success so far, and these promotions elevate their impact at AMD as we accelerate company growth going forward."

Pay $160 for the AREZ Sticker: The Mess GPP Landed AIC Partners and Consumers in

The same exact graphics cards, made by the same exact manufacturer, in the same exact factory, with the only difference being the "AREZ Strix" branding, priced a whopping USD $160 apart - that's the kind of mess NVIDIA GPP (GeForce Partners Program) left in its wake. Newegg lists the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 (STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING) graphics card at USD $589.99. This card was made before ASUS decided to re-brand its AMD Radeon graphics cards under the AREZ Strix brand, necessitated by NVIDIA GPP. The post-rebrand AREZ Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 (AREZ RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING), is priced at $749.99 on the same site, a whopping $160 premium for what is basically a sticker. Just to make sure this isn't a discrepancy between the various sellers from Newegg's marketplace, we also post screenshots that confirm both listings are "sold and shipped by Newegg" (and not a marketplace partner).

We noticed this anomaly on Newegg last week (the week of 9th July), and initially dismissed it for a listing error that would be resolved by the retailer in a couple of days. The week passed, and the listings didn't change. NVIDIA triggered a strong backlash for the language of its GeForce Partners Program (GPP), which implicitly forced its AIC (add-in card) to keep their well-established gaming hardware brands (eg: ROG, Aorus, MSI Gaming, etc.,) exclusive to GeForce GTX graphics cards, forcing them to re-brand their AMD Radeon products (and stripping them of those well-established brands, thereby putting AMD at a disadvantage). NVIDIA eventually cancelled GPP, but not before the likes of ASUS and MSI committed changes to their product stacks. AREZ is the Frankenstein's monster that was too late to abort, which now threatens to rip off uninformed consumers.
Sunday, July 15th 2018

CORSAIR Teases Upcoming Amazon Prime Day Deals

Amazon's now-annual Prime Day event in July is due to kickoff in less than 24 hours, and this year some of the deals actually look to be proper sales as opposed to the retailer and its partner aiming to reduce inventory of fluff no one purchases. Indeed, we have seen companies already make mention of items that will go on sale on Monday, July 16 to generate interest. CORSAIR must have decided this was a good idea as well, as we received a list of their products that would be available for a lower price than usual during the event. One such product is the Crystal series 570X RGB mid-tower case, which has an MSRP of $179.99 that includes three of their SP120 RGB fans and integrated lighting control, and will be available for $139.99 during said event. Read past the break for more of the teased deals, as well as links on Amazon.com for when they go live.
CORSAIR Crystal 570X RGB case at Amazon (deal will go live July 16, 2018)
Friday, July 13th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Keyboards
PSUs
SSD

Spire Introduces the First Model of HUSKY series PC Cases

The Spire HUSKY series computer cases are the new addition to our line of affordable ATX mid-tower size PC chassis with contemporary looks. New on this series are the separated PSU chamber and Mainboard and components chamber. The modern front panel design is practical with one USB3.0 & wo SB2.0 and HD/AC97 Audio ports on the front top. The sleek and industrial front panel design fits into any interior, home or office or public space.

The lower structure provides satisfactory space for component installation and considerable cooling. The chassis structure is ready for multiple cooling fans, here is space for 1x 92 or 120mm fan at the rear, 3x 120mm on the front, 1x 120mm or 140mm on the top and 2x 120mm on the PSU chamber. Sufficient space for the assembly of long (380mm) video cards and large (161mm) high CPU coolers.

Valve Disables CS:GO Lootboxes in Belgium & Netherlands

Following Valve's decision to disable trading in the Netherlands due to that country's legal statutes regarding gambling, the company is now taking other steps to comply with the country's Dutch Gaming Authority. Players in the Netherlands and Belgium "will be restricted from opening containers" following this week's patch, according to the patch notes. This will prevent players in those countries from even opening the lootboxes. As the "Miscellaneous" section of the patch notes reads:
  • Updated Steam and CS:GO account restrictions for users in Netherlands and Belgium:
  • Steam Trading and Steam Market features are now re-enabled for Steam accounts in Netherlands.
  • Customers in Netherlands and Belgium will be restricted from opening containers.

Cougar Introduces the Turret Mid-Tower Case With Vortex RGB Fans

The Cougar Turret has an attractive angular form, it is a compact Mid-Tower that is ideal for customers looking for a good value and high quality case. It has two tempered glass panels. The first is a side panel, which lets you show off your computer's hardware. While the second on the front of the case creates an eye-catching glowing lighting effect when the two pre-installed Vortex LED fans are illuminated.

THE COUGAR TURRET AT A GLANCE:
  • Room for up to six cooling fans and three radiators (including a 360mm radiator in the front)
  • "Gaming vent system" to ensure constant airflow
  • Pre-installed Vortex LED fans.
  • Space for up to three graphics cards (max length 350mm)

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew For the First Time in Six Years

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.1 million units in the second quarter of 2018, a 1.4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This is the first quarter of year-over-year global PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.

All regions experienced some growth compared with a year ago. While the results are a positive result for the PC industry, Gartner analysts said this sign of market stability is not enough to declare a PC industry recovery just yet.

"PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behavior, still remains, and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.

Raidmax Intros the X08 Tower-type Open Air Chassis

Raidmax today introduced the X08, a quasi-open air ATX mid-tower chassis. A collection of stamped out sheet-metal bolted to tempered glass side panels, the X08 holds a standard ATX motherboard with 7 add-on card slots. Its motherboard tray has room for graphics cards up to 40 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 15 cm in height.

There are no drive cages as such, and you're left to mount 2.5-inch drives along the spinal panel with the motherboard tray. The only fan mounts are three 120 mm along the top panel, letting you install a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator there. Front-panel connectivity includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports, and HDA jacks. The case measures 610 mm x 255 mm x 525 mm (LxWxH). The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel to Acquire eASIC to Bolster FPGA Talent and Solutions

Intel is competing to win in the largest-ever addressable market for silicon, which is being driven by the explosion of data and the need to process, analyze, store and share it. This dynamic is fueling demand for computing solutions of all kinds. Of course Intel is known for world-class CPUs, but today we offer a broader range of custom computing solutions to help customers tackle all kinds of workloads - in the cloud, over the network and at the edge. In recent years, Intel has expanded its products and introduced breakthrough innovations in memory, modems, purpose-built ASICs, vision processing units and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

FPGAs are experiencing expanding adoption due to their versatility and real-time performance. These devices can be programmed anytime - even after equipment has been shipped to customers. FPGAs contain a mixture of logic, memory and digital signal processing blocks that can implement any desired function with extremely high throughput and very low latency. This makes FPGAs ideal for many critical cloud and edge applications, and Intel's Programmable Solutions Group revenue has grown double digits as customers use FPGAs to accelerate artificial intelligence, among other applications.
Thursday, July 12th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD
Deepcool Gamer Storm Quadstellar

Deepcool Gamer Storm Quadstellar

The Deepcool Gamer Storm Quadstellar is one massive chassis, looking like alien tech that has crashed on earth, ready to take over the planet. But the interior is surprisingly versatile and functional as well, making this not just one of the sexiest cases out there, but also quite a useful one.

Intel Announces New Generation Xeon E Processor Family

Intel today announced the release of the new Intel Xeon E-2100 processor. The Intel Xeon E processor, successor to the Intel Xeon E3 processor, is designed for entry-level workstations that provide creators with powerful, single-threaded application performance with a platform optimized for reliability and affordability.

"With today's workloads, aging workstations impede productivity, collaboration and creativity. The release of the Intel Xeon E processor is intended to deliver the essential performance and visuals for entry workstations, as well as optimizing the innovative form factors, designs and diverse requirements of our customers," said Jennifer Huffstetler, vice president and general manager, data center product management, Intel Corporation.

AMD Rolls Out Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.7.1

AMD today rolled out the latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin. Version 18.7.1 drivers come with optimization for "Earthfall," with up to 28 percent more performance measured on Radeon RX Vega 56 and up to 28 percent more performance to be had on the RX 580 8 GB, at 1440; and up to 27 percent higher performance measured at 1080p, on the RX 560 4 GB.

The drivers also address a number of bugs, including random crash noticed in "Fortnite Season 5," when rendering throwing stars. Flickering noticed on "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" has been fixed. The drivers also fix a bug of not all compatible display modes appearing in Windows; slower than expected performance in Corel Draw, and black screen noticed during boot on displays connected via DisplayPort. A bug with memory clocks remaining high (i.e. not spooling down at lower power states), when changing resolutions or refresh-rates, has also been fixed.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.7.1

The change-log follows.

Corsair Readies Hydro H100i Pro Cooler with Zero RPM Fan Mode

Corsair is giving finishing touches to the Hydro H100i Pro, an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler designed to one-up the Hydro H100i series. Its USP is the "zero RPM fan mode," in which a fan-controller integrated with the pump-block turns off the fans when the coolant is below a temperature threshold. Corsair believes this could help most gamers overcome their biggest gripe with liquid cooling - that the fans keep running.

The pump-block of the H100i Pro looks similar to the H100i, with its silver-finish octagonal shape, and RGB LED ornament that can be controlled by Corsair iCue software. A pair of ML120 fans are included with this cooler, to ventilate the 240 mm x 120 mm radiator. Each of these fans spin between 400 to 2,400 RPM, pushing up to 75 CFM of air, with a noise output up to 37 dBA. The cooler will support most socket types, including LGA2066, LGA115x, and AM4.

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic eGPU

Blackmagic Design today announced the Blackmagic eGPU, a high performance graphics processor for pro creative software such as DaVinci Resolve, 3D games and VR. Designed in collaboration with Apple, the Blackmagic eGPU features a built-in Radeon Pro 580, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 2.0, 85W of charging power and four USB 3.1 connections. It comes in an integrated design that brings high-end desktop class graphics processing to MacBook Pro for professional video workflows, 3D games and immersive VR. And, the Blackmagic eGPU is the first to support Thunderbolt 3 displays. The Blackmagic eGPU is available now for only US $699 exclusively on Apple.com and in select Apple Retail stores worldwide.

Designed to address the needs of professional video editors, Hollywood colorists and visual effects artists who need to remain mobile, but want the power of a desktop class GPU added to their MacBook Pro, the Blackmagic eGPU is incredibly flexible and simply plugs in via Thunderbolt 3, so users can benefit from improved graphics performance and acceleration of computational tasks. It's perfect for speeding up professional creative application workflows including editing, color correction and visual effects with DaVinci Resolve. The Blackmagic eGPU adds the performance customers need to make the latest 3D games and VR look more realistic than ever. That means customers will get higher resolution images, higher frame rate gameplay, better lighting and more detailed textures for truly immersive experiences, even on a laptop computer.

CD Projekt Red: "The Witcher is One of Two Franchises On Which to Build the Future"

Well, that's it, then: we now have yet another CD Projekt Red game to look forward to. It was always expected that this would be the case: that The Witcher didn't end with The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. It just couldn't; that game was much too close to a masterpiece, and too much of a commercial success, for that world not to be visited in other circumstances. In an interview with Bankier.pl, CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kiciński spoke about the possibility of a new Witcher game - outside the pretty clear-cut The Witcher trilogy arc we already know (and love).
"This does not mean, of course, that we will leave the world of The Witcher. The Witcher is one of two franchises on which to build the future activities of the company. Today, unfortunately, I can not reveal anything more."

Adam Kiciński, CD Projekt Red CEO

Sharkoon Introduces SKILLER SGH3 Gaming Headset with External USB Sound Card

With the SKILLER SGH3, Sharkoon introduces the most versatile stereo headset of the SKILLER series. The Hi-Fi capable 53 mm drivers promise a forceful sound which can be adjusted according to personal preferences via the external USB sound card. The sound card incorporates a hardware equalizer and is supplied with the headset. The straightforward design, detachable microphone and modular cable connections should also make the headset attractive for mobile use.

DARPA to Dedicate $100 million to EDA Projects Over the Next Five Years

EDA (Electronic Design Automation) is a quintessential part of modern silicon processor design - of any kind. Be it GPUs, CPUs, or SOCs, you can bet an electronic design tool has been applied somewhere in the process. These tools serve their function in various steps of silicon design, be it allowing for automated placement of components, signal routing, power optimization, and analyzing said designs with performance and bottleneck projections. It was rumored that Bulldozer was such a flawed architecture due to the overuse (and misuse) of EDA tools in its design; but mostly, usage of these tools is done in conjunction with engineers' hand-crafted, manually laid-out circuits.

In an effort to accelerate development and reduce cost of chip design (now approaching $500 million for a bleeding-edge SoC), two programs, IDEA (Intelligent Design of Electronic Assets) and POSH (Posh Open Source Hardware), involving 15 companies and more than 200 researchers, will receive $100 million in funding over the next five years. The IDEA is to create the equivalent of a silicon compiler, aimed at significantly lowering the barriers to design chips. POSH aims to create an open-source library of silicon blocks (that circuit designers can then mix and match according to their needs), and IDEA hopes to spawn a variety of open-source and commercial tools to automate testing of those blocks and actually grafting them into SoCs and finished products. Lower development costs means that lower-volume, specialized chips can now be developed more often, thus ushering a new era of specially-designed, fixed-function chips that are more efficient than mass-volume alternatives.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with 8th Gen Intel Core Processors

Apple today updated MacBook Pro with faster performance and new pro features, making it the most advanced Mac notebook ever. The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar feature 8th-generation Intel Core processors, with 6-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance - ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing.

Already the most popular notebook for developers around the world, the new MacBook Pro can compile code faster and run multiple virtual machines and test environments easier than before. Additional updates include support for up to 32 GB of memory, a True Tone display and an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing. And with its powerful Radeon Pro graphics, large Force Touch trackpad, revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID, dynamic stereo speakers, quiet Apple-designed cooling system and Thunderbolt 3 for data transfer, charging and connecting up to two 5K displays or four external GPUs, it's the ultimate pro notebook.

Windows Notepad Gets its First Update in Decades

Microsoft is giving Notepad, the humble plaintext editor, its first major update in decades. The update will be shipping in the next major update to Windows 10, currently referred to as Redstone 5. To begin with, Notepad is getting an under-the-hood performance boost that will let it work with large text files more responsively. More functionality is added to the status bar (which stays hidden by default). The status bar now allows you to zoom in and out of text (this doesn't change font size, only its display). To zoom in/out, hold down ctrl, and turn the scroll wheel up or down. The status bar also displays cursor position in lines and columns, and character encoding. Notepad will also, at long last, receive support for *nix and Mac line endings. Lastly, ctrl+backspace (deleting a previous word instead of a character) will finally be supported.

QNAP Completes its 9-bay NAS Lineup With the Award-Winning TVS-951X 10GBASE-T Multimedia NAS

Following the releases of the TS-932X (powered by an AnnapurnaLabs CPU) and the TS-963X (powered by an AMD CPU), QNAP Systems, Inc. today completes the high-capacity-compact-size 9-bay NAS lineup with the introduction of the TVS-951X 10GbE multimedia NAS. The new model is powered by a 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processor, providing a NAS private cloud solution that combines high capacity and 10GbE high-speed connectivity. The TVS-951X NAS has also won the Red Dot Award (2018) and Computex d&i Award for high-quality product design.

Shuttle Presents First XPC Cube for 8th Gen Intel Core Processors

The XPC cubes are the first models in the Shuttle range to benefit from the generation leap forward to Intel's latest processor models with a 14nm architecture (Coffee Lake). The SH370R6, which is designed for home/office/workstation use, features the latest technology and offers faster working along with reduced energy consumption. There was a conscious decision to rely on the proven R6 chassis design once more.

The XPC Barebone SH370R6 features four slots for DDR4 memory modules which can accommodate an overall capacity of up to 64 GB (4x 16 GB). DDR4-2666 memory can be used here for the first time - ideal for resource-hungry applications. The choice of processors comprises Intel Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7-CPUs of the 8000 range for socket LGA1151v2 with up to 95 Watt of TDP.

Thermalright Intros Silver Arrow TR4 CPU Cooler

Thermalright today introduced a variant of its Silver Arrow dual fin-stack, tower-type CPU cooler for AMD socket TR4, meant for Ryzen Threadripper processors. Capable of handling thermal loads of up to 320W, the cooler can be paired with even upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core Threadripper II models. Although bearing the same name, the Silver Arrow TR4 bears little design resemblance with the Silver Arrow ITX-R or the Silver Arrow SB-E, or even the original Silver Arrow from 2010. It's the largest cooler of this class, with an enlarged nickel-plated copper base designed to provide full coverage of the Threadripper IHS, from which eight 6 mm-thick heat pipes draw heat, with the two aluminium fin-stacks propagating along their ends.

Nested between the two fin-stacks is a 140 mm fan which takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins between 600 to 2,500 RPM, pushing 53.3 - 220.9 m³/h, with a noise output ranging between 21 - 45 dBA. With its fan in place, the Silver Arrow TR4 measures 155 mm x 103 mm x 163 mm (LxWxH). The narrow width ensures clearance for the memory slots that flank the CPU socket from either side. The fin-stack itself is offset sideways to ensure clearance for the topmost PCI-Express slot on your motherboard. You can latch on two additional fans. A syringe of Thermalright's Chill Factor III TIM comes included. The cooler tips the scales at 1,050 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.
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