Saturday, June 6th 2020

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Pictured?

Here are what could be the very first pictures of a reference NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 "Ampere" graphics card revealing an unusual board design, which is the biggest departure in NVIDIA's design schemes since the original GeForce TITAN. It features a dual-fan aluminium fin-stack cooler, except that one of its fans is located on the obverse side, and the other on the reverse side of the card. The PCB of the card appears to extend only two-thirds the length of the card, ending in an inward cutout, beyond which there's only an extension of the cooling solution. The cooler shroud, rather than being a solid covering of the heatsink, is made of aluminium heatsink ridges. All in all, a very unusual design, which NVIDIA could implement on its top-tier SKUs, such as the RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, and in a cosmetic form on lower SKUs. We get the feeling that "Cyberpunk 2077" has influenced this design.
Friday, June 5th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
SSD
Storage
ASUS ROG Chakram Review - What an Impressive Feature Set

ASUS ROG Chakram Review - What an Impressive Feature Set

The right-handed ergonomic ROG Chakram unites all the features one could think of: two wireless modes (2.4 GHz and Bluetooth), a programmable and removeable joystick, magnetic buttons, and swappable main button switches, along with PixArt's top-tier PAW3335 sensor, wireless charging, full RGB, and more.
Intel Core i7-10700K Review - Unlocked and Loaded

Intel Core i7-10700K Review - Unlocked and Loaded

The Core i7-10700K is Intel's second strongest overclockable Comet Lake CPU, with a powerful 8c/16t configuration. We saw pretty amazing tweaking potential from the 10700 non-K, so we'll definitely compare against that in the Core i7-10700K review, and of course against AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X.

Intel Posts 10th Gen Core Power Limit and Tau Values

Intel today updated the public data-sheet of its 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor to reveal precise power limit and tau values of each specific SKU. PL 1 or power level 1 is interchangeable with the processor's TDP as a power value. PL 1 is sufficient for a processor to sustain its base frequency (nominal clocks). For example, a processor with 65 W TDP has PL 1 at 65 W. PL 2 is what affords the processor the power to seek out boost frequencies. This value varies with between model to model, with the unlocked K/KF SKUs getting higher PL 2 values than the locked ones. The company also disclosed Tau. This is a timing variable that tells the processor how long (in seconds) can it stay within PL 2, before having to retreat to PL 1.

Total War Saga: Troy to Be Free on Launch Day via EPIC Games Store

Here's EPIC kicking up its free game offerings up several notches at once. Sega and Creative Assembly, developers of the user and critically-acclaimed Total War videogames, have announced that their latest release on that series, titled Total War Saga: Troy, will be available on launch day, August 13th, when it launches exclusively on EPIC Games Store. Based on Homers' Illiad, "A Total War Saga: TROY focuses on the historical flashpoint of the Trojan War, bringing the conflict to life as never before."

A caveat: the game will only be available for free in the first 24 hours following launch. Any claims after that will be met with the games' real price-tag. How's that for EPIC Games Store exclusivity deals? Check the games' trailer and confirmation of this promotion after the break.

LG's 48-inch OLED Gaming TV with G-SYNC Goes on Sale This Month

LG is preparing to launch its latest addition to the gaming lineup of panels and this time it goes big. Preparing to launch this month is LG's 48-inch OLED Gaming TV with 120 HZ refreshing and G-SYNC support. To round up the impressive feature set, LG has priced this panel at $1499, which is a pricey but a tempting buy. Featuring 1 ms response time and low input lag, the 48CX TV is designed for gaming and fits into NVIDIA's Big Format Gaming Display (BFGD) philosophy. Interestingly, the TV uses LG's a9 Gen3 AI processor which does content upscaling so everything can look nice and crisp. Ai is used to "authentically upscale lower resolution content, translating the source to 4K's 8.3+ million pixels. The technology is so good, you might mistake non-4K for true 4K"

Thermaltake Also Announces ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, introduces the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk, which is an L-shaped table with three stands, a main desk along with a side table attached to it. The new technology and extensive functions of the desk include electric height adjustment control, ample cable management space, and built with a full surface RGB mouse pad that is balanced for speed and control. Dimensions of the main desk are 62.99" (160 cm) in length and 31.49" (80 cm) in width, and for the side table, dimensions are 31.49" (80 cm) in length and 23.62" in width (60 cm) covered by one full surface RGB mouse pad and one non-RGB mouse pad for the side table.

The illuminating full surface mouse pad comes with 16.8M RGB color combinations and seven dynamic lighting effects; brightness, speed, and direction of the lighting effects are customizable via the iTAKE engine software. The mouse pad's lighting effects can be synced with TT RGB PLUS compatible Thermaltake products to complete the ecosystem in uniformity. The mouse pad also works with Razer Chroma, enabling gaming and RGB lighting effect synchronizations. Moreover, the ToughDesk 500L RGB Battlestation Gaming Desk is designed for multi-monitor gaming setups, which allows users to work and game with space, style, and comfort.

Thermaltake Announces Argent Series Gaming Gear

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, gladly introduces a new set of gaming gear, the Argent K5 RGB mechanical keyboard, Argent M5 RGB / M5 RGB wireless mouse, Argent MP1 RGB mouse pad, Argent MB1 RGB mouse bungee, Argent HS1 RGB headset stand, and the Argent H5 headsets.

With a new design concept, Argent K5 RGB Cherry MX Blue / MX Speed Silver Switch Keyboard is crafted with an integral aluminium faceplate and a streamlined space gray design. Along with the aluminium plating is the 360-degree RGB underglow that can switch among fourteen lighting effects creating a halo effect surrounding the keyboard itself. Cutting through the edge of the faceplate on the top right is the well-designed metal scroll wheel that allows users to control the volume by scrolling it forward or backwards or even mute the volume by slightly pressing the metal scroll wheel into the keyboard. Beneath the floating keycaps are the Cherry MX Blue or MX Speed Silver switches, which provides the most durable, precise, and responsive tactile feedback that would also run thirteen dynamic lighting effects. It also includes audio and USB pass-through ports, and a detachable magnetic wrist rest made out of synthetic leather for both functionality and comfort.

KeysWorlds Unveils Summer Crazy Deals on Genuine Software

KeysWorlds presents Summer Crazy Deals on software you need the most. It's time to fire up new builds and get gaming this Summer, and why not minimize your genuine software costs freeing up more budget for your new generation PC hardware or raking up loads of games in sales? Get genuine, globally-valid Windows 10 Pro operating system for just USD $9.49 with a TechPowerUp-exclusive coupon code. A twin-pack can be had for as little as $15.59. Also get some of the lowest prices on the web for your preferred flavor of Office, including Office 2019 Professional Plus for just $32.27, and Office 2016 Professional Plus for $24.22. Combine your favorite version of Windows and Office to save even more.

Apply the coupon code KWS38 on the following items at check-out to avail the prices you see here.
Buy Windows 10 Pro from KeysWorlds for $9.49 | Buy Windows 10 Pro 2-PC for $15.59 | Buy Windows 10 Home for $10.17

Apply the code KWS50 on the following items to get the prices you see here.
Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $24.22 | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus for $32.27 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional for $28.98 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Professional for $28.71 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional for $38.28 | Buy Windows 10 Home + Office 2019 Professional for $39.38 | Buy Office 2016 Home and Student for $29.42 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student for $39.62 | Buy Office 2016 Home and Business for Mac at $36.10 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Business for Mac at $54.15

2nd Gen AMD EPYC Processors Now Delivering More Computing Power to Amazon Web Services Customers

AMD today announced that 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor powered Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) C5a instances are now generally available in the AWS U.S. East, AWS U.S. West, AWS Europe and AWS Asia Pacific regions.

Powered by a 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor running at frequencies up to 3.3Ghz, the Amazon EC2 C5a instances are the sixth instance family at AWS powered by AMD EPYC processors. By using the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor, the C5a instance delivers leadership x86 price-performance for a broad set of compute-intensive workloads including batch processing, distributed analytics, data transformations, log analytics and web applications.

Thermaltake Announces RIING Pro RGB 7.1, Shock XT Series & Isurus Pro V2 In-ear Gaming Headsets

The RIING Pro RGB 7.1 Gaming Headset features not only 7.1 premium virtual surround, but also oversized 50 mm drivers that minimize distortion while producing clear and precise sounds at both low and high frequencies. Enjoy a new level of audio quality with the built-in ESS ES9018 DAC and SABRE9601K amplifier that delivers 24-bit/ 96 kHz lossless playback with extraordinary dynamic range and ultralow distortion. The headset comes with an in-line control box that provides 7.1 virtual surround sound, preset EQ, and volume controls on-the-fly.

The comfortable padding of the ear cups are memory foam based, and it offers auto headband adjustments for hassle free and perfect fitment. After downloading the iTake software, the Thermaltake exclusive gaming gear controlling software, users can experience 7.1 virtual surround sound and customize RGB lighting effects across two separate zones. Besides RGB synchronizations among the gaming gear, users can also SyncALL lighting effects with TT RGB PLUS compatible Thermaltake products. The headset also works with Razer Chroma and Amazon Alexa Voice Service, enabling gaming and RGB lighting effect synchronizations or lighting control by talking to an Alexa enabled device.

ASRock Registers 10 New AMD A520 Chipset Motherboards with the EEC

ASRock sought regulatory approval for as many as ten new motherboard models based on the upcoming entry-level AMD A520 desktop chipset. The A520 has a slightly cut down feature-set from the B550, such as the lack of CPU overclocking, fewer downstream PCIe lanes, etc. Among the new motherboards registered are the A520M Pro4, A520M Pro4 R2.0, A520M Pro4 R3.0, A520M-HDVP, A520M-HDV, A520M-HDV R2.0, A520M-HDV R3.0, A520M-HVS, A520M-HVS R2.0, and A520M-HVS R3.0, which cover a wide range of SKUs differentiated by board size, display connectivity layout, legacy connectivity, etc. AMD is expected to launch its entry-level A520 desktop chipset in Q3-2020, replacing the aging A320 chipset. The regulatory filing also points out some yet-unannounced B550-based models, such as the B550M DASH, B550M DASH R2.0, which could be released in the future.

Xbox Project xCloud & Game Pass May Be Coming To Samsung TVs

RosetEra user 12Danny123 has discovered a new Samsung page dedicated to Samsung Access for TV, a subscription rental service that includes reference to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft and Samsung have existing partnerships in the game streaming arena so its not much of a stretch to see them bring Xbox Project xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Samsung's TVs sometime in the future.

The page includes a snippet stating "with Samsung Access, you get your choice of a streaming or gaming service (up to a $120 value), included at no additional cost. Choose from Showtime, Sling TV, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Premium, or YouTube TV." This isn't the first time a company has included game streaming directly from their TV, Sony previously enabled Playstation Now support on select Bravia televisions however this was later discontinued. Take all this information with a grain of salt as this may be just a code for use on Xbox or PC and not an indication of future support.

Doom & Doom II Currently Free For Some Chromebook Owners

Chromebook owners may be eligible to receive free copies of Doom, Doom II, and The Elder Scrolls: Legends Fall of the Dark Brotherhood expansion. These are android ports of the original Doom and Doom II, not the updated 2016 game however they are still great games and will run on anything including your old Chromebook given it has Android support. The games normally cost 4.99 USD and 19.99 USD for The Elder Scrolls: Legends Fall of the Dark Brotherhood expansion, so you're getting some good value. These perks are only available for a limited time and may not be available for all Chromebooks or regions.

You can check if your Chromebook is eligible: here

ECS Releases Budget microATX AMD B450 Motherboard

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has recently unveiled the budget B450AM4-M motherboard. The B450AM4-M is a microATX board using the AMD B450 chipset with a low end 4+2 phase power system fed with a single 4 pin power connector. This limited power system will constrict the board to CPUs with a TDP of 95 W or lower and according to the board specifications, the 2600X is the highest-end chip supported. The motherboard comes with 4 DDR4 2666 MHz DIMM slots which support a maximum of 64 GB of memory, x1 PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, x1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot wired at x4, x1 PCIe 2.0 x1 slot, and x1 PCI slot.

The motherboard includes a Realtek RTL8111GN controller for gigabit Ethernet, along with a Realtek ALC662 for audio. Storage options include four SATA connectors which support software RAID and an M.2 connector. I/O on the board is extensive given its market positioning including x2 USB 3.2 Gen 2, x4 USB 3.2 Gen1, x2 USB 2.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D, D-Sub, and audio. ECS hasn't announced the pricing or availability for the B450AM4-M motherboard.

Overcooked Currently Free To Keep on Epic Games Store

Overcooked the chaotic couch co-op cooking game will replace Borderlands: The Handsome Collection as the weekly free game on the Epic Games Store. Overcooked launched in 2016 and was generally positively reviewed and considered to be one of the better co-op games released in recent years, the game has received a sequel Overcooked 2 in 2018 which offered a more polished and complete experience. This may come as a surprise to some as it was previously rumored that ARK: Survival Evolved would be this week's free game however, Epic seems unlikely to stop anytime soon so it will be interesting to see if ARK: Survival Evolved is offered some other time.

Get the game: here
Thursday, June 4th 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Desktop PC
Headphones
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
Sound Cards
be quiet! Pure Rock 2 Review - Silent with Good Performance

be quiet! Pure Rock 2 Review - Silent with Good Performance

be quiet! has updated their Pure Rock line of CPU coolers with the Pure Rock 2. Coming in two distinct versions, one silver and the other black, this single-tower design is whisper quiet without sacrificing overall performance, which makes it ideal for the silence-focused crowd.
Intel Core i3-10300 Review

Intel Core i3-10300 Review

The Intel Core i3-10300 rewards you with 2 MB of additional L3 cache and higher clocks for $20 over the Core i3-10100. Is the upgrade worth it? In our Core i3-10300 review we'll also check if the more affordable AMD Ryzen 3 3300X is the better choice.

Intel "Sapphire Rapids," "Alder Lake" and "Tremont" Feature CLDEMOTE Instruction

Intel's three upcoming processor microarchitectures, namely the next-generation Xeon "Sapphire Rapids," Core "Alder Lake," and low-power "Tremont" cores found in Atom, Pentium Silver, Celeron, and even Core Hybrid processors, will feature a new instruction set that aims to speed up processor cache performance, called CLDEMOTE "cache line demote." This is a means for the operating system to tell a processor core that a specific content of a cache (a cache line), isn't needed to loiter around in a lower cache level (closer to the core), and can be demoted to a higher cache level (away from the core); though not flushed back to the main memory.

There are a handful benefits to what CLDEMOTE does. Firstly, it frees up lower cache levels such as L1 and L2, which are smaller in size and dedicated to a CPU core, by pushing cache lines to the last-level cache (usually L3). Secondly, it enables rapid load movements between cores by pushing cache lines to L3, which is shared between multiple cores; so it could be picked up by a neighboring core. Dr. John McCalpin from UT Austin wrote a detailed article on CLDEMOTE.

MSI Announces Immerse GH30 V2 Gaming Headset

MSI rolled out the Immerse GH30 V2 gaming headset, a new variant of the original Immerse GH30 the company debuted in 2019 (and which we reviewed here). The headset has a nearly-identical mechanical design to the original, with some visual changes such as the bright red Lucky motif being replaced by a piano black one in a matte black background; and unless MSI has changed the make of its components, the V2 has identical specs to the original. The headphones component uses 40 mm neodymium drivers with 96 dB sensitivity, 32 Ω impedance, 20 Hz to 20 kHz and frequency response. The mic component has a unidirectional pickup, -36 dB sensitivity, 2.2 k Ω impedance, and 100 Hz to 10 kHz frequency response. Its main cable is 1.5 m long with a 4-pole 3.5 mm headset jack, and a Y-splitter for desktops. It weighs 222 g. We expect this headset to go for the same $50 price as the original.

China's SMIC Looking for $2.8 billion Funding Round via Shanghai

As the US stranglehold on Huawei keeps on tightening its grip, China's government is keen on both investing more heavily into in-country semiconductor manufacturing that can become a viable alternative to Huawei as a source a silicon, as well as decrease the country's dependence on Western or Western-tied companies. The country has already developed promising alternatives to foreign DRAM solutions via Xi'an UniIC Semiconductors and Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC). Now, following a previously-successful funding round held in Hong Kong (worth some $2.2 billion injected last month), China's largest contract chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is looking for an additional $2.8 billion funding round via Shanghai.

SMIC is currently years behind TSMC, the current benchmark when it comes to semiconductor manufacturing. For now, SMIC is only able to provide 14 nm product designs - and even in that node, silicon is being quoted as having as much as a 70% defect-rate on any given wafer produced by the company (they've already started 14 nm production of Huawei's low-cost Kirin 710 chipset). At any rate, sources point towards a 6,000 monthly wafer production capacity within SMIC, a very, very low number that fails to meet any current demand (TSMC, for scale, are quoted as producing as many as 110,000 7 nm wafers per month). It's definitely an uphill battle, but SMIC counts with the might of the Chinese government through its sails - so while the waters might not be smooth, investment rounds such as these two (which amount to some $5 billion capital injection in two months) will be sure to help grease the engines for china's semiconductor expansion as much as possible.

LG Launches 38WN95C-W Monitor: 38" Nano IPS, QHD+, 144 Hz - 170 Hz, 1 ms, Adaptive-Sync, 2300R, VESA DisplayHDR 600

LG today launched their new 38WN95C-W monitor, right alongside a more barebones offering (38WN95C-G) and a gaming-oriented cousin, the 38WN95C-B. Differences are small between the three, so we'll get into the nitty-gritty with the 38WN95C-W. This monitor features a 38" Nano IPS panel with a quoted 1 ms response time, which offers what LG calls QHD+ (3840 x 1600) resolution and an up to 170 Hz refresh rate (via overclocking through the monitor's own OSD; the original, non-overclocked refresh rate stands at a still very respectable 144 Hz). The monitor supports Active-Sync technologies in the form of AMD's FreeSync and NVIDIA's G-Sync via the now ubiquitous "G-Sync Compatible" program, albeit with a VRR range set between 48 Hz and 144 Hz) with LFC (Low Framerate Compensation). There's a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification (activated in lieu of the typical 450 cd/m² brightness) and 98% DCI-P3 colour gamut coverage.

The monitor offers tilt and height adjustment, a 100mm VESA mount, and I/O is taken care of by 1x Thunderbolt 3 (high speed USB-C with DP Alt mode and PD), 1x DP 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0 ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports (plus upstream), and 1x 3.5 mm headphone jack (besides the usual 2x 2 W speakers). The 'G' model lacks the Thunderbolt 3 port and additional HDMI 2.0 port of this model. The 38WN95C-G's only difference to this monitor is the lack of the ThunderBolt port and only 1x HDMI 2.0. The gaming-centric version, the 38WN95C-B, further cuts the built-in speakers - but offers an RGB ring for added bling. The LG 38WN95C-W is already available for pre-order with prices starting at $1,599.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Confirmed

The original Kingdoms of Amalur was an expansive voyage through well-known fantasy tropes, one that was received with relative acclaim, even if its overall storyline left something to be desired. A strange fact indeed, considering the game's story and lore were penned by none other than acclaimed fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, with input from Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston. Developer 38 Studios shut down the doors relatively close to the gamers' release on account of sales not being enough for the company to pay for a loan granted towards the games' development by the state of Rhode Island. And thus story could have been left written, with thoughts of a eventual sequels and even a franchise being put to rest.

Cue THQ Nordic (who have been on a roll when it comes to both IP and studio acquisitions in the last few years) and the story might have a different ending. In fact, it will, as the company has just confirmed a soon-to-be-released remaster of the original Kingdoms of Amalur. Cheekily named "Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning", the remaster makes way to a gaming platform (currently PC and PS4 confirmed) near you as soon as August 18th. THQ Nordic is claiming "improved visuals and refined gameplay." It initially offered a release date of Aug. 11, but it has now been adjusted to Aug. 18. The games' announcement was originally leaked via Microsoft's Store (with accompanying screenshots), and has since been confirmed by THQ Nordic via Twitter.

ASUS AIoT Builds New Smart Manufacturing Solutions to Promote Industrial Upgrades

New manufacturing processes powered by AI and big data reduce defects that can go unnoticed by human inspection, resulting in improved product quality and efficiency. With the advent of the AIoT era, ASUS has embraced new technologies and methods to develop advanced manufacturing capabilities. At the end of 2019, ASUS expanded the company's AIoT business unit to be able to develop more solutions for industries and, in the process, renamed it the AIoT Business Group (AIoT BG). After consideration and planning around the three major aspects of successful manufacturing - design power, technical ability and continuous profitability - ASUS transformed operations to achieve the flexibility, speed, productivity and quality required for supply-side Industry 4.0 upgrades.

Detecting defects by hand is a major pain point and cause of inefficiencies in manufacturing processes. By investing in smart manufacturing solutions that utilize AI for producing metal peripherals, fans, printed circuit boards and other computer components as well as for system assembly, ASUS was able to remove efficiency bottlenecks and reduce losses resulting from misjudgment of manufacturing defects by factory employees. Moving forward, ASUS will continue to use artificial intelligence and big data to statistically classify different types of quality defects, determine their causes and improve processes at the source of defects to further improve and push the boundaries of manufacturing quality.

Electronic Arts Launches 25+ Games on Steam Starting Today

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. launched the first wave of 25+ EA games on Steam, with more on the way. Starting today, players can explore BioWare 's award-winning Role-Playing Games - Dragon Age : Inquisition and Dragon Age II, experience high-speed, white-knuckle driving action in Need for Speed Heat, Need for Speed: Rivals and Need for Speed (2016) and battle it out in the wacky, fun and over-the-top shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. A selection of the bold and innovative games from EA's indie development partners like Unravel, Unravel II, Fe and Sea of Solitude will also become available. Additionally, these games and many others will be available as part of an EA Access subscription on Steam that will launch to players later this summer.

"We want to make it easy to play the games you love, wherever you want to play. Delivering games to the Steam community is an important step in achieving this goal," said Mike Blank, SVP, Strategic Growth. "Not only are we excited to have our games on Steam, but we look forward to bringing them even more value when our subscription becomes available in the Summer."

ASUS Unveils ThunderboltEX 3-TR Card for Intel Z490 and H470 Chipset Motherboards

ASUS today unveiled the ThunderboltEX 3-TR its latest 2-port Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) add-on card for ASUS Intel 400-series chipset motherboards that feature the TB3 header. The full height add-on card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and puts out two Thunderbolt 3 ports in the type-C format. There are two mini-DisplayPort inputs so you can add DisplayPort passthrough from your graphics card for each of the two Thunderbolt ports. ASUS even includes a pair of short-length miniDP to standard DP cables. It also includes a USB 2.0 cable, and a cable for the TB3 header on your compatible ASUS motherboard. Under the hood is an Intel "Titan Ridge" JHL7540 2-port Thunderbolt 3 controller. The card requires a 6-pin PCIe power input. For now its compatibility list includes all Intel Z490 and H470 chipset motherboards by ASUS that feature the TB3 header.

Thermaltake Introduces the New ARGB TH-series AIO Liquid Coolers

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, is excited to introduce a new All-in-one liquid cooler, the Thermaltake ARGB TH120/240/360 AIO. Besides the fancy ARGB fans that would draw people's attention, the quality of the product would also surprise the users with its affordable pricing. The glossy surface of the copper base plate guarantees high performance and impressive heat extraction. The top-quality pump, hidden in the glowing ARGB water block, ensures excellent coolant circulation that would keep the copper plate always cool.

The large surface radiator combined with the radiator fans dispatches heat in a highly efficient way. On the high-static pressure designed radiator fans are the 16.8 million color LEDs that are ready to sync with 5 V RGB capable motherboards from ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock, allowing users to show off their creativity. Users can also control the lighting effects of the fans through the Smart Fan Controllers that are attached to the ARGB TH120/240/360 AIO. Looking for an easy and cost-effective all-in-one solution to cool down the CPU? ARGB TH120/240/360 AIO.

ASRock Intros W480 Creator Motherboard

ASRock introduced the W480 Creator premium motherboard for creators, which supports 10th Gen Core and Xeon W-1200 series processors in the LGA1200 package, based on the "Comet Lake" microarchitecture. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a 24-pin ATX and two 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with a 16-phase VRM cooled by large aluminium fan-heatsinks. The LGA1200 socket is wired to four reinforced DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 128 GB of dual-channel DDR4-4800 (OC) memory, including ECC unbuffered DIMM support when paired with Xeon W-1200 processors; and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 with both populated, else x16). These slots are gen 4.0 capable with future processors that offer PCIe gen 4.0 support. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 NVMe slots with PCIe gen 3.0 x4 wiring, each; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports.

Much of this board's serious "creator" USP begins with its connectivity. It offers two Thunderbolt 40 Gbps ports via type-C connectors, each with its own mini-DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough input that you connect to your graphics card. Networking connectivity includes a 10 GbE wired network connection powered by an AQuantia AQC107 controller; a second 2.5 GbE connection driven by Intel i225-LM controller, and an 802.11ax WLAN connection by an Intel AX201 adapter that also provides Bluetooth 5. The onboard audio solution packs some serious hardware, with an ESS Sabre 9218 DAC handling the front-panel headphones out (130 dBA SNR), a Realtek ALC1220 HDA codec handling the other channels (120 dBA SNR), WIMA capacitors for the front outputs, and the right and left audio channel wiring being routed through distant PCB layers to minimize crosstalk. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Thermaltake Announces TOUGHFAN TOUGHFAN 12 High Static Pressure Fan and Pure Series Duo Fans

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, announces the TOUGHFAN 12 High Static Pressure Fan for ultimate precision and increases stability for users' high-end cooling needs. The TOUGHFAN incorporated a 2nd generation hydraulic bearing, ultra-tight tip clearance, and equipped with a reinforced-metal motor hub. The TOUGHFAN fan is a PWM controlled fan designed to perform at a maximum operating speed of up to 2000 RPM and is optimized for high static pressure while maintaining minimal noise.

Pure Duo 12/14 ARGB Radiator Fan comes in black and white color versions, is also a PWM controlled fan with two independent rings and nine addressable LEDs on each ring that allows users to switch among seven lighting modes. Moreover, Pure Duo can synchronize with 5 V RGB capable motherboards from ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, and ASRock, to display 16.8 Million color combinations by editing lighting software supported by those motherboards.

HP Unveils Portable SSD P500 1TB

HP today unveiled the Portable SSD P500. These drives come in capacities of 1 TB, and feature a USB 3.2 gen 1 interface, with a single connection handling both power and host connectivity. A USB type-C to type-A male-to-male capable, and a type-C to type-A adapter are included. The drive measures 79.1 mm x 53.9 mm x 10 mm (WxDxH), weighing 45.4 g, and features a solid aluminium body that comes in four color options - aquamarine, cherry red, gray, and silver; all with diamond-cut edges. As for performance, its OEM Biwin claims sequential read speeds of up to 420 MB/s sequential reads, and up to 255 MB/s sequential writes. The company didn't mention pricing.

Update 08:32 UTC: The HP P500 is currently retailing for 699 RMB - 899 RMB in China, which converts to $98 - $126, so 10-12 cents per GB.

Microsoft's New Chromium Based Edge Browser Now Rolling Out Via Windows Update

Microsoft released the first preview of its overhauled chromium-based edge browser back in January, but users had to navigate to Microsoft's site to install the browser. The new browser will now automatically roll out to versions of Windows 10 from version 1803 onwards, this will mean up to a billion installs of the updated browser. The New Edge browser when installed via windows update completely replaces the previous Edge browser whereas the website install coexists with the existing Edge browser.

Doom Gets Ported To The Hand Cranked Playdate Handheld

The Playdate is being developed by Panic Inc., an American company developed web and mobile applications alongside publishing Untitled Goose Game and Firewatch. The 2.7" Playdate comes with a 400x200 monochromatic LCD, hand crank, 16 MB ram, 2 GB Storage, ESP32, USB Type-C, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The device is currently in a developer preview before going on sale later this year for 149 USD, one developer to receive the device is Nic Manger a UI/UX Designer at Keen Games.

Nic Manger has ported Doom to the device, even taking advantage of the hand crank to fire the chaingun. The game appears to run smoothly in monochrome on the device. This is just one of the many devices Doom has been ported to which include cash registers, cars, printers, ATMs, fridges, and even crypto-wallets.

Winbond Introduces new Sequential Read Function in High-Speed QspiNAND Flash

Winbond Electronics Corporation, a leading global supplier of semiconductor memory solutions, today extended its record of leading the industry's innovation in specialty Flash memory with the introduction of a more flexible, high-speed read capability in its latest QspiNAND Flash products. Automotive and IoT device manufacturers are increasingly adopting high-performance Single-Level Cell (SLC) NAND Flash as a low-cost alternative at densities of 512 Mbits and higher to the NOR Flash traditionally used for code storage. Previous Winbond innovations in high-performance NAND Flash include the Quad SPI-NAND interface, which shares the same 6-pin signals and QSPI command set as Quad SPI-NOR, and the Continuous Read function, which achieves up to a 52 MB/s continuous data transfer rate at a 104 MHz clock frequency.

Corsair Recalls SF Series of PSUs due to Failure Concerns

Corsair's SF series of PSUs has been long present as part of the company's offerings, designed to the satisfy small form factor crowd with its SFX size. Today, Corsair has announced that they will be recalling some units and replace them free of charge, including free shipping. Corsair says that "We have recently identified higher-than-normal RMA rates among our SF family of small-form-factor PSUs. Following a thorough investigation, we have found a potential issue that can manifest when the PSU is exposed to a combination of both high temperatures, and high humidity. This regrettably can cause the PSU to fail. This issue potentially affects units in lot codes 194448xx to 201148xx, manufactured between October 2019 and March 2020."

The problem is located in the AC conversion part of the PSU, not the DC one which interacts with PC components, so Corsairs points out that all of the components are safe even if PSU fails. To get a replacement PSU, Corsair offers affected customers to submit their tickets here, with the title "SF Series voluntary product replacement", so they can easily identify customers and give them quicker replacement units.
Corsair SF600 PSU

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Claims Free Game Giveaways Increase Sales On Other Platforms

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney claimed that the free game giveaways run on the Epic Games Store such as Sid Meier's Civilization VI and Grand Theft Auto V can lead to increased sales of the games on other platforms. Tim Sweeney believes that because many of the games given away may not have been considered by most players leading to increased sales on alternate platforms according to some developers.

Tim Sweeney said, "You're not going to go out and buy—If you're not into games like Satisfactory, you're not going to go out and spend money to buy Satisfactory. But if you get it for free you realize it's an awesome game. People have discovered a lot of great games that way."

ASUS Rolls Out Prime TRX40-PRO S Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out the Prime TRX40-PRO S socket sTRX4 motherboard for 3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. This board is part of a mini-refresh of the company's sTRX4 product-stack, beginning with the ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha, the more recent ROG Strix TRX40-XE Gaming, and now the Prime TRX40-PRO S. Launch of the three boards is triggered by the niche of enthusiasts that likes to overclock their Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core/128-thread processors.

While the older Prime TRX40-PRO is perfectly capable of running- or even overclocking the 3990X, the new PRO S is better suited for the task, and comes with bolstered 16-phase CPU VRM with 70 A power stages, same ones found on the original ROG Zenith II Extreme, while the Extreme Alpha has been amped up with 90 A power stages. ASUS upgraded the ROG Strix TRX40-XE Gaming the same way. The board's feature-set is otherwise identical to that of the original Prime TRX40-PRO. The Prime TRX40-PRO S is expected to be priced around the $430-mark.
ASUS PRIME TRX40-PRO S

LG Debuts New QHD "Ergo" IPS Monitor

LG Electronics USA announced that the 27-inch QHD "Ergo" IPS monitor (model 27QN880-B) is now available as an online exclusive with an SRP of $449.99 through the end of June, and then at LG-authorized retailers nationwide beginning July 1. The new 27-inch QHD monitor joins LG's industry-leading lineup of IPS displays that are designed to deliver precise detail and color at a wide viewing angle that is ideal for creative designers, photographers and videographers working from home or those about to return to an office setting.

The unique Ergo concept harmonizes three key elements - image fidelity, ergonomic design and a USB-C One Cable solution—to bring users high performance, comfort and a cleaner desk setup for a more clutter-free work environment. The Ergo also elevates productivity with a flexible ergonomic stand complete with C-Clamp for full movement of display, allowing users to raise, lower, swivel, tilt and pivot to adapt to their environment.

Sony Launches Generation 3 PetaSite Optical Disc Archive Library with 66% Greater Capacity

Sony Electronics Inc. announces the launch of Generation 3 ("Gen 3") PetaSite Optical Disc Archive technology, which is now shipping. The high-capacity archival storage solution scales from 165 TB to 2.9 PB of immutable optical storage in a standard 42U Rack. This launch follows Sony's recently announced Gen 3 high-capacity USB desktop drive units (ODS-D380U), fibre-channel library drive units (ODS-D380F) and 5.5 TB media cartridges (ODC5500R).

Sony's enterprise optical disc archive solution provides secure, immutable data preservation for a wide variety of applications and industries, including: corporate IT, state and local governments, surveillance, banking, education and healthcare, among others. In keeping with Sony's commitment to its customers and focus on long-term archive solutions, The Gen 3 enterprise class eight-channel, dual-sided optical drive is write compatible to Generation 2 and backward read compatible to all Optical Disc Archive cartridges.

BIOSTAR Announces Racing B450GT Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a leading brand of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, today introduces the new RACING B450GT motherboard, designed to run the latest and the future AMD Ryzen processors. Built-in the Micro ATX form factor, the BIOSTAR RACING B450GT motherboard is engineered to be sleek and efficient. Focused to deliver reliable and stable performance under heavy workloads, it is ideal for gaming, HTPC rigs with a smaller footprint but still, maintains the beefy performance of a 16-core AMD Ryzen 3000 series processor.

Designed in the signature RACING style from BIOSTAR, the RACING B450GT motherboard shares premium build quality and features that the racing family motherboards are famous for like the LED ROCK ZONE RGB lighting system, which supports both 5 V ARGB LED and 12 V RGB LED headers, easily controlled by the VIVID LED DJ software.

Intel "Tiger Lake" vs. AMD "Renoir" a Pitched Battle on 3DMark Database

Intel's 11th generation Core i7-1165G7 "Tiger Lake-U" processor armed with 4 "Willow Cove" cores and Gen12 Xe graphics fights a pitched battle against AMD Ryzen 7 4800U "Renoir" (8 "Zen 2" cores and Radeon Vega 8 graphics), courtesy of some digging by Thai PC enthusiast TUM_APISAK. The 4800U beats the i7-1165G7 by a wafer-thin margin of 1.9% despite double the CPU core-count and a supposedly advanced iGPU, with 6331 points as against 6211 points of the Intel chip, in 3DMark 11. A breakdown of the score reveals fascinating details of the battle.

The Core i7-1165G7 beats the Ryzen 7 4800U in graphics tests, with a graphics score of 6218 points, against 6104 points of the 4800U, resulting in a 1.9% lead. In graphics tests 1, 2, and 3, the Gen12 Xe iGPU is 7.3-8.9% faster than the Radeon Vega 8, through translating to 2-4 FPS. The Intel iGPU crosses the 30 FPS mark in these three tests. With graphics test 4, the AMD iGPU ends up 8.8% faster. Much of AMD's performance gains come from its massive 55.6% physics score lead thanks to its 8-core/16-thread CPU, which ends up beating the 4-core/8-thread "Willow Cove," with the 4800U scoring 12494 points compared to 8028 points for the i7-1165G7. This CPU muscle also plays a big role in graphics test 4. This battle provides sufficient basis to speculate that "Tiger Lake-U" will have a very uphill task matching "Renoir-U" chips such as the Ryzen 7 4800U, and the upcoming Ryzen 9 4900U (designed to compete with the i7-1185G7).

No Intel "Rocket Lake-S" or "Ice Lake-X" This Year?

A roadmap slide from an Intel Partner Connect presentation suggests that the company's client-segment processor lineup will be unchanged for the rest of 2020, with the company briskly launching its 10th generation "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor lineup through May-June, and "Comet Lake-H" a month prior. The Core X "Cascade Lake-X" processor lineup will continue to lead the company in the high core-count HEDT segment, with no indications of new models, at least none higher than 18 cores.

More importantly, this slide dulls expectations of the company refreshing its desktop process segment just before Holiday 2020 with the 11th generation "Rocket Lake-S" silicon that has next-gen "Willow Cove" CPU cores, Gen12 Xe integrated graphics, and PCIe gen 4.0 connectivity, especially with engineering samples of the chips already hitting the radar. Intel is expected to launch 10 nm "Ice Lake-SP" Xeon enterprise processors in 2020, and there was hope for some of this IP to power Intel's next HEDT platform, the fabled "Ice Lake-X," especially with AMD's "Castle Peak" 3rd gen Threadrippers dominating this segment. While there's little doubt that the slide may have originated from Intel, its context must be studied. Partner Connect is a platform for Intel to interact with its channel partners (distributors, retailers, system integrators, etc), and information about future products is far more restricted on these slides, than presentations intended for large OEMs, motherboard manufacturers, etc. Then again, with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing supply chains off rails, it wouldn't surprise us if this slide spells Gospel.

Intel 8-core/16-thread "Rocket Lake-S" Processor Engineering Sample 3DMarked

The "Rocket Lake-S" microarchitecture by Intel sees the company back-port its next-generation "Willow Cove" CPU core to the existing 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process in the form of an 8-core die with a Gen12 Xe iGPU. An engineering sample of one such processor made it to the Futuremark database. Clocked at 3.20 GHz with 4.30 GHz boost frequency, the "Rocket Lake-S" ES was put through 3DMark "Fire Strike" and "Time Spy," with its iGPU in play, instead of a discrete graphics card.

In "Fire Strike," the "Rocket Lake-S" ES scores 18898 points in the physics test, 1895 points in the graphics tests, and an overall score of 1746 points. With "Time Spy," the overall score is 605, with a CPU score of 4963 points, and graphics score of 524. The 11th generation Core "Rocket Lake-S" processor is expected to be compatible with existing Intel 400-series chipset motherboards, and feature a PCI-Express gen 4.0 root complex. Several 400-series chipset motherboards have PCIe gen 4.0 preparation for exactly this. The increased IPC from the "Willow Cove" cores is expected to make the 8-core "Rocket Lake-S" a powerful option for gaming and productivity tasks that don't scale across too many cores.
Wednesday, June 3rd 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Fractal Design Define 7 Compact Review

Fractal Design Define 7 Compact Review

The Fractal Design Define 7 Compact takes all the great things about the Define 7 and aims to shrink it down to align more with what a user would expect from a classic mid-tower enclosure in terms of size. By doing so the Define 7 Compact enters the mass-market segment, which is further underlined by its interesting price point.
Intel Core i5-10500 Review

Intel Core i5-10500 Review

The Core i5-10500 is Intel's $200 response to the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X. It boosts up to 4.5 GHz more reliably than other Comet Lake CPUs, and gaming performance is excellent, too. Our Core i5-10500 review will also answer whether the Core i5-10500 is worth it over the i5-10400F.

MSI Announces MPG Z490 Carbon EK X Motherboard

MSI, the world-leading gaming components manufacturer, proudly announces its partnership with premium liquid cooling system company EK. Together, they will co-operate the new selection for the latest Intel Z490 motherboard for socket 1200 - MSI MPG Z490 CARBON EK X. "MSI and EK have worked closely for four years now. Always trying to push the limits, to set the bar higher… Our first collaboration was a liquid-cooled GPU, Sea Hawk EK X. This time around, we have partnered up to bring a liquid-cooled gaming motherboard to the mainstream market and truly change the game,"" said Edvard König, Founder of EK.

"It's a great and exciting moment for gamers seeking for the extreme performance with elegant and exquisite design," said Ted Hung, Vice President of MSI's CND Department. "We couldn't ask for a better opportunity than to partner with EK to co-launch the great combo product for gamers.
Update Jun 4th: The MPG Z490 Carbon EK X is priced at 449€ including VAT, a 170€ premium over the original MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon.

Thermaltake Releases Several New Pacific DIY Liquid Cooling Products

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, happily presents the new Pacific PR32-D5 Plus Reservoir & Pump Combo, Pacific W7 Plus CPU Water Block, and Pacific MX1 Plus CPU Water Block.

The Pacific PR32-D5 Plus Reservoir & Pump Combo features a rotary inlet and outlet design that is easy for users to install. The 220 mm long reservoir with a 300ml capacity has twelve high lumen addressable LEDs that can display 16.8 million color RGB spectrum, enabled by the TT RGB Plus software. The high-performance D5 pump can create a high flow system that allows coolant to travel at a faster pace. The new mounting features also enables the Pacific PR32-D5 to be installed to a fan or a radiator so that the users can save more space.

September Unveil Makes Big Navi, Not Next-Gen Consoles, AMD's RDNA2 Debutante

AMD has a lot riding on RDNA2, its first graphics architecture that meets the DirectX 12 Ultimate logo requirements, introducing real-time ray-tracing to the lineup. RDNA2 is confirmed to be part of the SoC that powers next-gen consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The company is simultaneously readying its own Radeon RX discrete graphics cards based on the Navi 2# silicon, based on RDNA2, with a leading part unofficially called the "Big Navi" given its alleged lofty specs increase over the "Navi 10." Turns out, that this GPU, and not next-gen consoles, will debut RDNA2.

AMD is planning a big gamer-specific event in late-Q3/early-Q4, likely September, where it plans to announce its 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture, and Radeon RX graphics cards based on RDNA2, including the "Big Navi." Speaking at the Bank of America Securities Global Technology Conference, AMD CFO Devinder Kumar confirmed that "Big Navi" will be a halo product and not merely a lofty performance increase over the RX 5700 XT to make AMD competitive against GeForce "Ampere." He states "there's a lot of excitement for Navi 2, or what our fans have dubbed as the Big Navi," adding "Big Navi is a halo product." He goes on to state that "enthusiasts love to buy the best, and we are certainly working on giving them the best." AMD's product stack so far is application-specific, rather than competition-specific. The RX 5700 XT was designed for 1440p gaming, and ended up competitive to the RTX 2070. "Big Navi" could hence have a lofty design goal: 4K gaming with ray-tracing.

Matrox Expands HDCP Support to Further Simplify Video Wall Designs

Matrox today announces enhanced High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) support to simplify the integration of copy-protected sources in video wall designs. Available via the Matrox Mura 3.04 driver, this new development enables OEMs and system integrators to pair Matrox Mura IPX capture cards and Matrox D-Series multi-display boards to seamlessly capture and display multiple 4K HDCP sources across multi-4K video walls. HDCP-compliant platforms offer unique deployment opportunities to showcase premium, high-value AV content for a wide range of display wall applications in control rooms, government facilities, digital signage environments, broadcast studios, and more.

HDCP is a security feature designed to protect digital entertainment content by transmitting HDCP-encrypted signals between authorized transmitters and receivers. Matrox-based video wall controllers ensure reliable, secure, and uninterrupted signal delivery between multiple sources—including set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc and media players, video game consoles, and more—and multiple displays. Video wall designers are also now equipped to meet any multi-channel requirement by combining multiple Mura IPX and D-Series cards with QuadHead2Go multi-monitor controllers to support a myriad of 4K HDCP sources across an ultra-large video wall of up to 64 Full HD screens.

EVGA Introduces SuperNOVA GT Series PSUs

Upgrade both aesthethics and electronic components with a unique radial design fan grill, compact 150 mm length and width, and 1000 Japanese capacitors, with the new EVGA SuperNOVA GT Series power supplies. 80 PLUS Gold Certified. Ensures that your power supply is 90% efficient or higher.The EVGA SuperNOVA GT uses a long-life 135 mm fan with a Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) for silence, reliability, and a longer life expectancy.

QNAP Releases QuWAN SD-WAN Solution - Deploy Resilient Multi-site IT Infrastructure

QNAP Systems, Inc. (QNAP), a leading computing, networking and storage solution innovator, today released QuWAN, a Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution. Featuring Auto Mesh IPsec VPN and centralized management cloud platform, QuWAN helps SMBs build an agile and reliable IT infrastructure facilitating digital transformation, multi-site expansion and remote working on a cost-effective basis. Compatible with a wide range of QNAP solutions, QuWAN not only provides steady and optimized network transmission for Big Data, but also improves IT deployment and management efficiency for multi-national, multi-site expansion.

QuWAN's SD-WAN technology automatically establishes a mesh VPN through software-defined networking and supports IPsec encryption and cloud management. IT staff can easily deploy a highly-secure and high-availability micro-segmented VPN infrastructure that saves transmission time and bandwidth between headquarters and branch offices while offloading the transmission burdens of VPN equipment at headquarters. QuWAN adopts load balancing, WAN aggregation and WAN High Availability technologies to achieve highly-optimized bandwidth and transmission. Supporting QoS and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), QuWAN prioritizes bandwidth utilization for business-critical applications and blacklists specific applications using L7 firewall functions to secure enterprise network.

Intel NUC Roadmap Peeking Into 2021: Tiger Lake NUC by 2020 End

Intel is planning to introduce its first NUC (next unit of computing) device based on the 11th generation Core "Tiger Lake" processor by the end of 2020, according to leaked company roadmaps covering NUCs. These point to Intel refreshing its "Hades Canyon" performance-segment NUC mini-PC with a "Tiger Lake-U" processor, a 3rd party discrete GPU, and slightly bigger device size (1.35 L vs. 1.2 L of the original "Hades Canyon"). At the very top, the "Ghost Canyon" NUC 9 Extreme with "Coffee Lake-HR" processors will continue to hold the fort into 2021.

The mainstream NUC mini-PC lineup will continue to be "Frost Canyon," powered by "Comet Lake-U" 10th generation Core processors. Q2-Q3 2020 will see Intel launch significant updates to its NUC Compute Element lineup, with "West Cove," "Ghost Canyon," and "Quartz Canyon" holding the mainstream, performance-segment, and professional segment, respectively; while are likely based on "Comet Lake-H" processors; and "Austin Beach" low-power compute element based on "Comet Lake-U."

Fractal Design Introduces Define 7 Compact Case

The new Define 7 Compact takes the strongest features of the contemporary 7 Series design and places them in a conveniently compact frame. The versatile open layout of the Define 7 Compact allows you to maximize the potential of the small footprint with full-size ATX hardware to meet your exact needs.

Interchangeable top covers allow you to switch between solid steel for full noise suppression or a ventilated cover for extra cooling. The top framework is fully removable for unprecedented ease of access to interior components, and five front ports (including one USB Type-C) means you don't sacrifice expandability for the small footprint.

Getac Announces the B360: Lightest, Brightest, Fastest, Toughest 5G-Compatible Notebook

Getac Technology Corporation, a leading producer of rugged technology, today debuted the new B360 fully rugged notebook as a direct answer to those who contend that full ruggedization and ultra-power portable computing cannot co-exist in the same form factor. Featuring 10th Generation Intel Core Processor with maximum turbo frequencies up to 4.90 GHz and 12 MB Intel Smart Caches, the B360 is also the first fully rugged laptop to be engineered for 5G in today's marketplace, enabling enterprise mobility buyers to meet all levels of performance without sacrificing MIL-STD-810H compliance.

"Compromises between raw computing power and rough handling resistance may have been true in the past," says Getac USA President Mike McMahon. "We can all remember when unsophisticated anti-glare screens used on rugged laptops rendered the screens unacceptably dark for use indoors. Then there were the compromises in CPU power, RAM quantity, and mechanical hard drives required by the use of cooling fan-free cases capable of resisting incursions by water, spills and dirt."

ASUSTOR Announces Lockerstor 10 Pro NAS with ECC Memory and Xeon Processor

ASUSTOR today has officially announced the release of the ten bay Lockerstor 10 Pro sporting a 9th generation Intel Xeon Quad-Core processor. The Xeon E-2224 runs at 3.40 GHz and turbos to 4.60 GHz, making everything faster than ever, especially transfer speeds, virtual machines and Docker apps. The Lockerstor 10 Pro comes with eight Gigabytes of DDR4-2666 ECC memory and supports up to thirty-two Gigabytes of RAM. The ECC RAM included with the NAS corrects memory errors in real-time and helps avoid data loss caused by memory corruption, keeping critical data safe.

In terms of transmission speed, the Lockerstor 10 Pro provides a single 10-Gigabit Ethernet connection as well as triple 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With the all-new Intel Xeon processor, Link Aggregation on the 2.5-Gigabit ports, up to 7.5 Gbps of bandwidth can be achieved while the 10-Gigabit port brings the full 1.25 GB/s speeds. The Lockerstor 10 Pro also features dual M.2 SSD slots, which support a variety of m.2 form factors and thumbscrews for easy installation. With NVMe SSD caching, the performance of traditional HDD hard drives is quickly upgraded to SSD levels, bringing the best of both storage and speed. The Lockerstor 10 Pro also features USB 3.2 Gen2 which provides up to 10 Gbps of speed and supports up to 192 TB of extra capacity using the AS6004U for a total of 160+192 TB.

Lamptron Unveils CU135 ARGB Fan and Lighting Controller

Lamptron today unveiled its flagship fan- and lighting controller for gaming PCs, the CU135. The set consists the main control unit that you can tuck behind your case's motherboard tray; a display module that you install right under your graphics card (along the plane of the motherboard); and an RF remote control. The main control unit takes in either one 4-pin Molex or one SATA power connection for power, and puts out six each of high-power 4-pin PWM fan headers (36 W per channel), and 3-pin addressable-RGB lighting headers. It also takes in six 2-pin thermal diodes (included in the package), along with a proprietary connection for the display module.

The multi-color 7.84-inch LCD touchscreen display lets you view fan-speeds and temperatures across all six zones on the home screen. Using this touchscreen, you can also draw up fan-curves for each of the six zones, set color and lighting patterns for each of the six lighting zones, read temperatures from the six external sensors. The included RF remote control lets you do all this, without having to reach up to your case. The CU135 can also take in 3-pin ARGB connection from your motherboard, so you can copy lighting profiles over from your control software. The control module measures 121.5 mm × 72.5 mm × 21 mm (WxHxD), while the display module measures 360 mm × 70 mm × 12.5 mm, taking up 3 expansion slots inside the case. You can find other places for the module (such as your desk top). The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD CEO Lisa Su Tops Earnings as Highest Paid CEO in The S&P 500

Lisa Su of Advanced Micro Devices has become the world's highest-paid CEO, according to a recent survey from The Associated Press on CEO compensation. Lisa Su's pay package was valued at $58.5 million after some extremely impressive company performance over her last five years as CEO on the back of the wild success of EPYC, Ryzen, and Radeon. This pay package comprised a base salary of $1 million, a performance bonus of $1.2 million, $56 million in stocks. This makes Lisa Su the first woman to become the highest-paid CEO and one of only 20 women on the list, versus 309 men.

Thermaltake Launches the World's First CPU & Memory AIO Liquid Cooler

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, proudly presents the first-ever product that combines memory and an AIO liquid cooler, the Floe RC360 / RC240 CPU & Memory Liquid Cooler. Thermaltake never stops to seek out possibilities to impress our users with a more efficient cooling solution for our memory modules. With the new Floe RC360 / RC240 CPU & Memory Liquid Cooler, users can acquire an unparalleled gaming experience.

Floe RC360 / RC240 CPU & Memory Liquid Cooler is compatible with TOUGHRAM RC memory modules (Sold separately) and grants further expandability which allows users to equip a high-quality all-in-one cooling system, including a water block, radiator, an ARGB controller, and three high airflow 120 mm fans on the RC360 version and two high airflow 120 mm fans on the RC240 version. Other than that, Floe RC360/RC240 CPU & Memory Liquid Cooler can be synchronized with motherboards equipped with 5 V addressable RGB headers such as ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, Biostar VIVID LED DJ and ASRock Polychrome, allowing users to control the lights directly from the motherboards RGB lighting software.

Take-Two CEO Calls Google Stadia a "Dissapointment"

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick sounded very positive about Google Stadia just one year ago, saying he was "pretty optimistic" about the service. Zelnick said "being able to play our games on any device whatsoever around the world, and to do it with low latency, well that's very compelling if that can be delivered," about the service in May 2019.

In a recent interview last week Zelnick has acknowledged the lackluster success of the platform saying "the launch of Stadia has been slow," and "I think there was some overpromising on what the technology could deliver and some consumer disappointment as a result." Zelnick questioned the point of such a service when the games are selling for 60 USD+ and a console of similar performance without any of the drawbacks of an online service can be had for just 300 USD. It will be interesting to see the fate of the collection of game streaming services that have popped up over the last few years.

Thermaltake Unleashes High Capacity TOUGHRAM RGB 32GB and 64GB Memory

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, proudly announces our high capacity, high clock rate memory, the TOUGHRAM RGB 32 GB (2x16GB) and 64 GB (2x 32 GB), coming in both black and white versions. The TOUGHRAM RGB 32 GB comes in three clock rates, 3200 MHz, 3600 MHz, and 4000 MHz, and the TOUGHRAM RGB 64 GB comes in 3200 MHz and 3,600 MHz. For the best video editing qualities, Thermaltake now launches our high capacity memories to ensure that we meet the users' needs. To provide high stability PC performance, all ICs are tightly-screened and coated with a ten-layer PCB.

Uniquely designed TT premium heat spreader with ten high lumens individual addressable LEDs not only dispatches heat faster but lets users show off 16.8 million colors with countless lighting combinations. TOUGHRAM RGB 32 GB (2x 16 GB) and 64 GB (2x32GB) memories are compatible with Intel Z490 and AMD X570 chipsets and is now Intel XMP 2.0. ready. Furthermore, users can use NeonMaker or TT RGB Plus software to control the lighting effects. The TT RGB Plus software can also support other software such as TT AI Voice Control, Amazon Alexa, and Razer Chroma, to adjust the lighting. Upgrade to the TOUGHRAM RGB 32 GB (2x 16 GB) and 64 GB (2x 32 GB) for high-quality and high functioning stable memory.

MMD Releases Philips 242B1V Monitor with Privacy Mode

MMD, the leading display specialist and brand licence partner for Philips monitors, announces the new 24" (23.8" / 60.5 cm) Philips 242B1V LCD monitor. Designed to help professionals to improve productivity while protecting sensitive data and contents from onlookers, this new model features Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) and SmartImage to display images and video as brilliant/crisp as possible.

Lexar Announces New Professional CFexpress USB 3.1 Reader

Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, announced the Lexar Professional CFexpress USB 3.1 Reader. Geared towards making the workflow of professional photographers and videographers faster, this reader allows you to take advantage of the high-speed performance from the CFexpress Type B Card and offload your work, faster.

With read speeds of up to 1050 MB/s it's easy to quickly transfer files on the go with the Lexar Professional CFexpress USB 3.1 Reader. This professional-level reader easily offloads a large number of high-quality images and RAW 4K video from your CFexpress Type B card to your computer at USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds, accelerating workflow and getting you back behind the camera faster. Sporting a compact and portable design capable of sliding into your pocket, it stands up in the field just as well as it does in the office. This reader is a perfect companion with the now available Lexar Professional CFexpress Type B card* that has large capacities from 64 GB to 512 GB.

Former General Manager of GlobalFoundries China joins SMIC

SMIC is currently a leading Chinese semiconductor manufacturing plant with some of the major nodes being manufactured at its facilities. Currently, SMIC is in charge of manufacturing 14 nm and 7 nm nodes. While the 7 nm node is going live in Q4 of this year, it is certain that China will have competitive domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities. And to get better sales of the new FinFET designs, SMIC has decided to hire former General Manager of GlobalFoundries China, Mr. Bai Nong, according to Wenxin Voice. Serving at a co-CEO with Dr. Liang Mong Song, Bai Long is in-charge to boost sales of SMIC's FinFET designs by bringing in more customers. This is without a doubt a good decision, as a person that was a general manager for Glo-Fo China certainly has plenty of connections and customers that will follow him.

Microsoft is Replacing MSN Journalists with Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft is working on bringing the latest artificial intelligence technology everywhere it can, and everywhere when it works. According to a few reports from Business Insider and Seattle Times, Microsoft is working on terminating its contracts with journalists and replacing them with artificial intelligence software. In the period between Wednesday and Thursday of last week, around 50 employees have received the information that their contracts will not be renewed after June 30th. The journalists in question were responsible for Microsoft's MSN Web portal which will now use machine learning (ML) models that will generate news stream. To use ML for an application like this, Microsoft is surely utilizing its Azure infrastructure to process everything in the cloud.

One of the ex-employees has said that the MSN platform has been semi-automated for some time now and that this is a completion of the automation. "Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, re-deployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic." - said Microsoft spokesman to Seattle Times.

Bitspower Intros Touchaqua Sedna O11D Lite-F for Lian Li O11 Dynamic

Bitspower today introduced the Touchaqua Sedna O11D Lite-F, a device that combines the functionality of a pump, reservoir, and distribution plate; designed specially for the Lian Li O11 Dynamic case. This thin, cuboidal contraption measures 385 mm x 210.5 mm x 43.8 mm (HxWxD), aligning with the front panel window of the O11 Dynamic. Made of acrylic, the reservoir component is studded with addressable RGB LED lighting that takes in 3-pin ARGB connection. Coolant ports are provided that align with the graphics card, the CPU, and a radiator along the case's top vents, as shown in the picture below. Available now, it is priced at USD $170.

UniIC Delivers China's First 100% Homebrew DDR4 Memory Modules

Xi'an UniIC Semiconductors, which goes by the trade name UniIC (probably pronounced "unique"), has delivered the first DDR4 memory module made 100% in China (which includes all its DRAM chips, PCB, drivers, and other components). The module may be nothing much to look at, with just a bare green PCB and DRAM chips, lacking in any heatspreaders; but this product can be considered a baby step toward a large and diverse product lineup. The debutante memory modules are unbuffered DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2667 memory modules that come in 8 GB densities.

The DDR4-2400 module is timed at CL17 17-17-39, and the DDR4-2667 at CL18, with both pulling 1.2 V - again nothing to write home about, but given the breakneck speeds at which Chinese companies flush with state investment are developing and diversifying their PC hardware lines, UniIC's product portfolio could look very different in the coming two years. UniIC is a cog in China's 3-5-2 policy of localizing PC hardware manufacturing, and eliminating dependence of foreign hardware.
Tuesday, June 2nd 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Processors
SSD
Intel Core i7-10700 Review - Way to Overclock without the K

Intel Core i7-10700 Review - Way to Overclock without the K

In our Intel Core i7-10700 review, we're taking a look at one of Intel's most affordable 8-core/16-thread processors. Its low TDP of 65 W makes it power-efficient, but also limits performance. We unlocked that limit and gained up to 30% real-life performance without ever risking an unstable system.

Intel Plays the Pre-Zen AMD Tune: Advocates Focus Shift from "Benchmarks to Benefits"

Intel CEO Bob Swan, in his Virtual Computex YouTube stream, advocated that the industry should focus less on benchmarks, and more on the benefits of technology, a line of thought strongly advocated by rival AMD in its pre-Ryzen era, before the company began getting competitive with Intel again. "We should see this moment as an opportunity to shift our focus as an industry from benchmarks to the benefits and impacts of the technology we create," he said, referring to technology keeping civilization and economies afloat during the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has thrown Computex among practically every other public gathering out of order.

"The pandemic has underscored the need for technology to be purpose-built so it can meet these evolving business and consumer needs. And this requires a customer-obsessed mindset to stay close, anticipate those needs, and develop solutions. In this mindset, the goal is to ensure we are optimizing for a stronger impact that will support and accelerate positive business and societal benefits around the globe," he added. An example of what Swan is trying to say is visible with Intel's 10th generation Core "Cascade Lake XE" and "Ice Lake" processors, which feature AVX-512 and DL-Boost, accelerating deep learning neural nets; but lose to AMD's flagship offerings on the vast majority of benchmarks. Swan also confirmed that the company's "Tiger Lake" processors will launch this Summer.
The Computex video address by CEO Bob Swan can be watched below.

Corsair Unveils 4TB Variant of MP510 M.2 NVMe SSD

Corsair unveiled a new high-capacity 4 TB variant of its MP510 M.2 SSDs that take advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and NVMe protocol (model: CSSD-F4000GBMP510). The drive retains its Phison PS5012-E12 controller, but paired with 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash. The drive retains the manufacturer-rated performance numbers for the 2 TB variant: up to 3,480 MB/s sequential reads, up to 3,000 MB/s sequential writes, up to 580,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 680,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Thanks to its high capacity, the drive enjoys a stellar endurance rating of 6,820 TBW. When it goes on sale, on June 4, the drive is expected to be priced close to the USD $800-mark.

HighPoint Launches Low-Profile, Bootable NVMe RAID Controller for Windows & Linux

HighPoint launches the third generation SSD7202 NVMe RAID controller - the industry's first ultra-compact, low-profile, bootable NVMe RAID solution for Windows and Linux platforms. The SSD7202 is ideal for PC's that require NVMe boot performance or an ultra-compact storage solution. The low-profile SSD7202 smaller than your average video card, yet can host up to 8 TB of storage and can be easily installed into any industry standard PCIe 3.0/4.0 x8 or x16 slot.

Our third-generation NVMe architecture utilizes our Smart-Switching PCIe 3.0 x8 host interface to ensure broad compatibility with a wide range of hardware platforms without compromising performance; the dedicated x8 bandwidth enables the SSD7202 to deliver up to 7000 MB/s using just two M.2 SSD's. The SSD7202 is the first NVMe RAID controller to feature our ultra-efficient two-stage cooling solution, which removed the need for a bulky, external case. The card-length heat sink features an integrated low-noise fan to ensure the NVMe SSDs and critical chipset components remain cool even under sustained load.

Lenovo Brings Linux Certification to ThinkPad and ThinkStation Workstation Portfolio

More than 250 million computers are sold each year and NetMarketShare reports that 2.87 percent - roughly 7.2 million users - are using those computers to run Linux. Once thought of as a niche IT crowd, this user base of data scientists, developers, application engineers, scientists and more is growing - stepping into sought-after roles across multiple industries and becoming essential within their companies. Now, I'm excited to share Lenovo is moving to certify the full workstation portfolio for top Linux distributions from Ubuntu and Red Hat - every model, every configuration.

While many users prefer to customize their own machines - either on hardware without an OS or by wiping an existing client OS, then configuring and installing Linux - this can raise uncertainty with system stability, restricted performance, compatibility, end-user productivity and even IT support for devices. Now that these users are making their way out of the proverbial shadows and onto the enterprise floor, the demand is high for an out-of-the-box solution that removes the barrier for deployment of enterprise-grade hardware within a Linux software ecosystem.

HP Engineers Powerhouse Portfolio Designed for the Next Generation

Today HP unveiled new OMEN hardware and accessories, updates to OMEN Command Center, and introduced the first 16" Pavilion Gaming laptop - all designed for today's gamer to play their best while pushing the limits of what their devices can do.

Gaming benefits are being unlocked as people are spending more time at home, uncovering new avenues for both entertainment and general well-being. 80% of people in the United States agree that playing video games provides an escape during these unprecedented times and 73% cite "relaxation" as one reason they game. According to tests with the Adult Hope Scale, Americans who started playing games during the COVID-19 quarantine feel 64% more hopeful and 39% state a reduction in stress.

AMD Shipped 553 Million GPUs Since 2013: Jon Peddie Research

When AMD scored a double hit by winning the Xbox and the PlayStation console projects the number of GPUs the company shipped from 2013 on took a jump. As their APU sales increased (partially due to the console wins) their overall sales increased even more. Likewise, as AMD introduced the Zen CPU, associated GPU sales also increased. The net result is since 2013 AMD has shipped over a half-billion GPUs either integrated or discrete.

When compared to Intel (integrated only) or NVIDIA (discrete only) both companies beat AMD in their respective classes, but overall AMD beats them both. Fun with numbers. The cumulative distribution of GPUs by platform is shown in the following chart. Next year AMD will be able to add Samsung smartphones to its list of platforms, and those numbers are going to huge.

Razer Unveils Ornata V2 Mecha-Membrane Gaming Keyboard

Razer today unveiled the Ornata V2 gaming keyboard that the company promotes as a hybrid between mechanical and membrane-type keyboards, using the company's "mecha-mebrane" switches that offer the "cushioned" feel of membrane keyboards for extended typing sessions, with the clicky tactile feedback of mechanical switches. This is the second generation of the Ornata, which was released in 2016, and hence comes with a few modern features such as a faux leatherette palm rest, zonal RGB LED illumination that uses Razer Chroma, and a mechanical media rocker. The electronics underneath offer N-key rollover and 1000 Hz polling rate. The Ornata V2 is shipping now in the U.S. for USD $99.
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