Up Next

?
NVIDIA Recreates Lunar Landing with RTX Technology and Ray Tracing
Monday, October 15th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Input Devices
Keyboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
Speakers
SSD
Storage
QSAN XN3002T 2-bay NAS

QSAN XN3002T 2-bay NAS

The QSAN XN3002T has a distinctive nice look and uses a promising operating system utilizing the ZFS filesystem, which is known for its increased data protection. In order to boost performance you can add an SSD-based caching layer. However, is it worth its high asking price of $499?

Alleged AMD RX 590 3D Mark Time Spy Scores Surface

Benchmark scores for 3D Mark's Time Spy have surface, and are purported to represent the performance level of an unidentified "Generic VGA" - which is being identified as AMD's new 12 nm Polaris revision. The RX 590 product name makes almost as much sense as it doesn't, though; for one, there's no real reason to release another entire RX 600 series, unless AMD is giving the 12 nm treatment to the entire lineup (which likely wouldn't happen, due to the investment in fabrication process redesign and node capacity required for such). As such, the RX 590 moniker makes sense if AMD is only looking to increase its competitiveness in the sub-$300 space as a stop-gap until they finally have a new graphics architecture up their shader sleeves.

HyperX Ships 60 Million Memory Modules

As HyperX begins shipping Cloud Mix , its first Bluetooth-enabled gaming and lifestyle headset this month, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc. today announced that since its inception in 2002, it has shipped over 60 million memory modules, billions of bytes of memory. Chosen by OEMs, PC builders, overclockers, and the gaming community, HyperX has steadily grown as the largest independent gaming memory module manufacturer and performance leader. With this major milestone and the growth in sales of headsets, keyboards and mice, HyperX is projected to exceed $550 million in total revenue for branded products in 2018.

Since HyperX launched 16 years ago, it has increasingly expanded its product line and market reach. The HyperX brand is not only recognized for delivering high quality memory products, but also as a peripherals leader, providing gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, and mousepads to gamers across the globe. The HyperX Engineering Labs and engineering team is committed to developing technology to bring new performance memory products to the PC, mini-PC and notebook markets. HyperX provides a variety of memory solutions, including Predator DIMMs for high performance PC builds, FURY DIMMs for gamers building affordable PCs, and Impact SODIMMs for notebook updates and system builds.

Sharkoon Announces Pure Steel RGB Minimalist Case

With the PURE STEEL, Sharkoon Technologies introduces an ATX midi tower which puts individual creativity into the foreground. The spacious case catches the eye with its minimalist steel body and almost frameless side panel made of tempered glass. In combination with a power supply tunnel which is situated in the top of the case, the side panel should provide an optimal view of the individualized hardware configuration - including the illuminated fan of the power supply. The blank and inconspicuous front panel can thus become the actual side panel. The case would therefore be appropriate as a hardware showroom to be placed on the table top. Those wishing to put a special frame around their hardware can do so using the steel chassis - with its black or white foundation - as a blank canvass for various modding ideas.

For a worthwhile display of the hardware, the PURE STEEL should also be able to incorporate demanding components such as mainboards with dual or multi-processors, CPU coolers with a maximum height of 16 cm as well as graphic cards with a maximum length of 42 cm. A rubberized support is also pre-installed which prevents any sagging of the graphics card.

MSI Working on GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z

MSI is working on its next-generation flagship graphics card, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z (going by previous naming conventions for the Lightning). The card will be positioned above its current Gaming X Trio, as well as the liquid-cooled SeaHawk series, and it's possible there could be a sub-variant with factory-fitted full-coverage water-block. As with previous generation cards that bear the name, the card could have the highest factory overclock in MSI's product stack, the strongest VRM setup that's voltmod-friendly, and a gargantuan cooling solution for its air-cooled sub-variant. There's no word on when MSI could roll the beast out. MSI teased the card with a final slide in one of its media events in China, which depicts lightning bolts captioned "Coming Soon."

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z 2.13.0

TechPowerUp today released GPU-Z 2.13.0, our graphics subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility. Version 2.13.0 introduces fixes to some of the major bugs reported by our users. To begin with, it corrects missing fan-speed sensors for pre-Turing NVIDIA graphics processors running on GeForce R400 release (or newer) drivers. Some rare crashes during GPU-Z start-up have been corrected. The "take screenshot" tooltip will no longer be part of the screenshot. We also improved the "minimize on close" behavior.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.13.0

The change-log follows.

Intel Xeon W-3175X to Lack STIM, Retain Thermal Paste for IHS

Soldered thermal interface material, or STIM, has been one of Intel's key feature-additions to its high-end 9th generation Core i7 and Core i9 processors. Besides higher clock-speeds, STIM is the only feature that sets its refreshed Core X 9000-series family apart from Core X 7000-series. STIM is also only given to the i9-9900K and i7-9700K in the mainstream-desktop space. The 28-core Xeon W-3175X was touted by Intel to be a high-end desktop (HEDT) processor initially, before Intel decided to retain the Xeon brand and target the gray-area between HEDTs and workstations. This also means that the W-3175X will lack STIM, as confirmed by an Intel spokesperson in an interview with PC World.

Soldered TIM is preferred by PC enthusiasts as it offers superior heat-transfer between the CPU die and the integrated heatspreader. Intel's decision to equip the Core X 9000-series and higher-end Coffee Lake-Refresh parts with it, is aimed at improving the thermals and overclocking headrooms of its products. The lack of STIM for the W-3175X speaks for its intended use-case - a workstation processor that can be overclocked, provided it's de-lidded and cooled by exotic methods such as liquid nitrogen evaporators. Intel's branding decisions could be guided by AMD's decision to side-brand its 24-core and 32-core Ryzen Threadripper processors as "WX," which focuses on their workstation proficiency while slightly toning down their PC enthusiast appeal.

Rosewill Prism S500 Is a Horizontally Partitioned Case with Bottom Compartment Up Top

Eons ago, when dinosaurs walked the Earth, ATX cases featured PSU bays above the motherboard tray, which found its rightful place below, so a PSU could breathe outside air from an intake vent, and direct it outside the case, instead of scooping up air from the motherboard's various hot components. The Rosewill Prism S500 is contemporary up to the point where it features a horizontally partitioned interior; but that the smaller half that packs the PSU bay and drive cages, is located above the larger half with the motherboard tray. A vent is located where most PSUs have their intake fans.

This layout means that the top panel is now completely devoid of any fan vents (which means no dust intake); and the bottom intake is freed up for a long vent that can hold up to three 120 mm fans in a row. There's also a side exhaust that can hold up to two 120 mm vents, and the 120 mm rear exhaust where you'd expect it to be. The motherboard tray has room for graphics cards up to 44 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 16 cm in height. Lighting includes two RGB LED diffusers the accentuate the front panel's edges, and ring diffusers framing each of the six included 120 mm fans. All illuminated components feature addressable-RGB connections, so you could plug them directly to your motherboard's headers and control via software. Measuring 210 mm x 475 mm x 470 mm (WxHxD), the case weighs about 8 kg.

GIGABYTE Intros DDR4 Memory Modules with Chunkier Heatspreaders

GIGABYTE expanded its teething DDR4 memory lineup with a new 16 GB (2x 8 GB) dual-channel DDR4 memory kit, called simply "GIGABYTE Memory 2666MHz." These modules lack the Aorus branding featured on the company's very first DDR4 modules. You instead get 32 mm tall, 7 mm-thick modules with a restrained design, and plain GIGABYTE branding.

One area where the company refined its design is the heatspreaders, which are thicker, and have more mass to them, even if they lack finnage. GIGABYTE's module does what it says on the tin - DDR4-2666 with 16-16-16-35 timings, at 1.2 Volts. Out of the box, it packs both JEDEC and XMP SPD profiles. Memory controllers that support DDR4-2666 (such as Intel "Coffee Lake" and later), should run it at the advertised speeds without any user intervention. For older platforms, an XMP 2.0 profile helps achieve the advertised settings. The modules are backed by lifetime warranty.
Sunday, October 14th 2018

AMD "Zen" Does Support FMA4, Just Not Exposed

With its "Zen" CPU microarchitecture, AMD removed support for the FMA4 instruction-set, on paper. This, while retaining FMA3. Level1Techs discovered that "Zen" CPUs do support FMA4 instructions, even through the instruction-set is not exposed to the operating system. FMA, or fused multiply add, is an efficient way to compute linear algebra. FMA3 and FMA4 are not generations of the instruction-set (unlike SSE3 and SSE4), but rather the digit denotes the number of operands per instruction. Support for both were introduced by AMD in 2012 with its FX-series processors, while Intel added FMA3 support in 2013 with "Haswell."

The exact reasons why AMD deprecated FMA4 with "Zen" are unknown, but some developers speculate it's because AMD's implementation of FMA4 is buggy, even though it's more efficient (33% more throughput). Intel's adoption of FMA3 made it more popular, and hence more stable over the years. Level1Techs used an OpenBLAS FMA4 test-program to confirm that feeding "Zen" processors with FMA4 instructions won't just return a "illegal instruction" error, but also the processor will go ahead and complete the operation. This is interesting because FMA4 isn't exposed as a CPUID bit, and the operating system has no idea the processor even supports the instruction. For linear algebra, FMA4 has proven more efficient than AVX in both single- and double-precision.
Saturday, October 13th 2018

New PT Data: i9-9900K is 66% Pricier While Being Just 12% Faster than 2700X at Gaming

Principled Technologies (PT), which Intel paid to obtain some very outrageous test results for its Core i9-9900K eight-core processor launch event test-results, revised its benchmark data by improving its testing methodology partially. Initial tests by the outfit comparing Core i9-9900K to the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX, sprung up false and misleading results because PT tested the AMD chip with half its cores effectively disabled, and crippled its memory controller with an extremely sub-optimal memory configuration (4-module + dual-rank clocked high, leaving the motherboard to significantly loosen up timings).

The original testing provided us with such gems as the i9-9900K "being up to 50 percent faster than 2700X at gaming." As part of its revised testing, while Principled Technologies corrected half its rookie-mistakes, by running the 2700X in the default "Creator Mode" that enables all 8 cores; it didn't correct the sub-optimal memory. Despite this, the data shows gaming performance percentage-differences between the i9-9900K and the 2700X narrow down to single-digit or around 12.39 percent on average, seldom crossing 20 percent. This is a significant departure from the earlier testing, which skewed the average on the basis of >40% differences in some games, due to half the cores being effectively disabled on the 2700X. The bottom-line of PT's new data is this: the Core i9-9900K is roughly 12 percent faster than the Ryzen 7 2700X at gaming, while being a whopping 66% pricier ($319 vs. $530 average online prices).
Friday, October 12th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Notebooks
SSD
CORSAIR STRAFE RGB MK.2 Keyboard

CORSAIR STRAFE RGB MK.2 Keyboard

CORSAIR has updated the original STRAFE RGB keyboard after three years and aims to offer a similar enthusiast-grade keyboard with more value for money. The new STRAFE RGB MK.2 now has hardware playback, more dedicated buttons, and support from a new unified software driver, and retains the rarely-seen option of the Cherry MX Silent Red RGB switch.

Turtle Beach Announces Elite Pro 2 + SuperAMP Pro Gaming Audio System

Get ready to propel yourself to higher levels of competitive play and more podium wins as leading gaming audio brand Turtle Beach (NASDAQ: HEAR), today announced its flagship Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp Pro Performance Gaming Audio Systems for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have started hitting retail stores. Developed in collaboration with top pro esports teams, including OpTic Gaming, Splyce, and the Houston Outlaws, the Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp delivers a perfect balance of powerful amplified professional-grade sound, unmatched build quality and comfort, and groundbreaking mobile app-based controls. The Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp is available on the Turtle Beach website and participating retailers across Europe for a SRP of £219.99.

"The Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp is the perfect successor to the original Elite Pro, once again offering gamers our signature professional-grade audio performance and unmatched comfort, now paired with a revolutionary new way to connect, amplify and control their audio," said Juergen Stark, CEO, Turtle Beach. "We designed the Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp in collaboration with some of the world's best pro gamers, so if you're a serious player looking to get an edge on the competition, you owe it to yourself to check it out because this headset is built to help you win."

Prices for DRAM and NAND flash Will Drop in 2019, DRAMeXchange Says

Good news for consumers: prices for DRAM memory and NAND flash chips will start falling in the fourth quarter "ending nine straight quarters of growth", and that downward trend will continue throughout 2019 according to DRAMeXchange. Their data shows that average DRAM price will drop by 15~20% YoY in 2019 due to several reasons. Smartphones won't see remarkable shipments next year, for example, but there is also uncertainty in server shipments and the shortage of Intel CPUs could affect notebook and PC shipments. DRAM manufacturers expect a high possibility of oversupply, and DRAM expects the annual bit output to increase by nearly 22%, with the 1X/1Y processes going mature and the wafer starts increasing.

The trend will also affect NAND flash chips, which dropped 10% in price in the third quarter and are expected to fall another 10-15% in the fourth quarter. In 2019 the price decline will be around 25-30% due to increased 3D NAND production capacity, specially since enterprise SSD suppliers will fiercely compete next year. DRAMeXchange mentions the impact of China-US trade war, and alert about the gap between the supply and demand, that "may be moderated if the NAND Flash manufacturers postpone their capacity expansion and transition to 96-layer 3D NAND devices".

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.12.0 Released

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.12.0 released today with useful new features and several stability updates. We worked extensively on the ability of GPU-Z to detect fake NVIDIA graphics cards (i.e cards not really having the GPU advertised on the box). GPU-Z now prepends "[FAKE]" to the Graphics Card name field, and lights up with a caution triangle. This capability is forward compatible for the supported GPUs (listed in the changelog), so for example, it will be able to detect a fake RTX 2060, which in reality uses a GK106 GPU. The second big feature is the ability to extract and upload graphics card BIOS of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2000 graphics cards. Graphics cards with multiple independent fans (each with its own speed control) are gaining popularity, and we've added the ability to read and log fan-speeds of individual fans on NVIDIA "Turing" graphics cards that support the feature, in addition to fan speed percentage monitoring.

Our feature-rich "Advanced" tab now also shows information on HDMI and DisplayPort connectors of your graphics cards. Power-draw on NVIDIA graphics cards is now reported both as a percentage of TDP and as an absolute value in Watts. Among the bugs fixed are a system hang due to Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) kicking in when GPU-Z is running in the background; memory bandwidth reading on RTX 2080 & RTX 2080 Ti with GDDR6 memory, AMD Radeon RX 400-series GPU utilization monitoring, and improved texts for system memory usage sensors.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.12.0

The change-log follows.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 416.34 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 416.34 WHQL "Game Ready" drivers. These drivers provide optimization for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" (retail), "Soulcaliber VI," and "GRIP." Among the fixed issues with this release are buggy shadows in "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds," some games launching to a black screen when DSR is enabled, a colorful shimmering line noticed in some games when playing full-screen with G-SYNC enabled, Surround display not being available from NVIDIA Control Panel with Edge browser running, and green screen display corruption on certain games with HDR enabled. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 416.34 WHQL

The change-log follows.

Scythe Intros Kotetsu Mark II ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance CPU Cooler

Scythe today introduced an ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance co-branded variant of its Kotetsu Mark II tower-type CPU air cooler. The Kotetsu Mark II debuted late-2017. Co-branded bits include a new aluminium fin-stack top-plate, which features the urban digital camo pattern and TUF Gaming Alliance logo, and a refreshed Kaze Flex RGB 120 mm fan, which comes with yellow rubberized fan-frame mounts, TUF Gaming Alliance branding on the impeller hub, and RGB LED illumination with addressable RGB header support, which you can control using ASUS Aura Sync RGB (and all other aRGB-capable software). Cosmetic bits aside, this fan has the same exact specs as the Kaze Flex PWM included with the original Kotetsu Mark II, with 300~1,200 RPM range, 16.6~51.17 CFM air-flow, and 4~24.9 dBA noise output. The cooler still measures 136 mm x 83 mm x 154 mm (WxDxH), weighing 645 g. Owing to the aRGB illumination and co-branding, the Kotetsu Mark II ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance CPU cooler could be a touch pricier than the original.

TSMC to be the Sole Supplier of Apple A13 SoCs in 2019

Even as AMD plans to dedicate 7 nm CPU and GPU manufacturing entirely to TSMC, reports are emerging that Apple could make the Taiwanese silicon fabrication giant the sole supplier of its 7 nm A13 SoC, which powers the next generation iPhone and iPad devices. Manufacturing of the A13 could commence in 2019 to keep pace with Apple's roadmaps. TSMC is currently the most strongly placed semiconductor foundry for 7 nm EUV manufacturing, after GlobalFoundries crashed out, and Samsung is trailing behind with a contract to manufacture only a portion of Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon SoCs.
Thursday, October 11th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
PSUs
SSD
Samsung 970 Pro 512 GB

Samsung 970 Pro 512 GB

Samsung's 970 Pro flagship SSD offers incredible performance, especially when it comes to writes, where it tops the charts with up to 2.4 GB/s because of MLC flash. Reads are even faster at 3.5 GB/s. If only the SSD was more affordable: $200 for 512 GB is not exactly cheap.
Silverstone Primera PM02

Silverstone Primera PM02

The Silverstone Primera PM02 goes all out on Steel. There are no tangible plastic elements to be found on the frame of the case, which really pushes the build quality. While other all-steel cases tend to go for an understated look, the PM02 offers a bit more detail, and a few surprises.

ASUS Intros WS Z390 Pro Motherboard with Dual x16 PCIe Bridge Chip

ASUS expanded its Workstation motherboard series with the new WS Z390 Pro, a socket LGA1151 board based on Intel Z390 Express chipset, featuring out-of-the-box support for 9th generation Core processors. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of one 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 10-phase VRM (likely 8+2 phase incorporating smart-doubling on the Vcore side). This board appears to be using a PCI-Express 3.0 x48 bridge chip to convert 16 gen 3.0 lanes from the CPU to two x16 downstream slots, which are further split to four x8 slots, depending on how you populate the slots. The slot configuration options are x16/x16/NC/NC or x16/x8/x8/NC or x8/x8/x8/x8. An additional open-ended x4 slot wired to the PCH makes for the rest of the expansion.

Storage connectivity includes two each of M.2-22110, and U.2 ports, each with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking interfaces include two 1 GbE ports, one of which is driven by Intel i219-LM, and the other Intel i210-AT. USB connectivity includes six USB 3.1 gen 2 ports on the rear panel, from which one is type-C, two additional USB 3.1 gen 2 ports by header, and a USB 3.1 gen 1 2-port header. The 8-channel onboard audio solution combines an EMI-shielded Realtek ALC S1220A codec with audio-grade capacitors, a headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation. We expect a price of around $350 for this board.

MSI Intros X299 MEG Creation Motherboard

MSI drew more than a few eyeballs at Computex 2018 when it showcased the X399 MEG Creation motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. With the advent of "new" Skylake-X Refresh processors by Intel, the company has a new high-end motherboard with the X299 MEG Creation. MSI appears to have toned down on the design from its X399-based product, although you still see the metal waveform design along the chipset heatsink that's contiguous with M.2 SSD heatsinks, the VRM heatsink, and the rear I/O shroud. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, and two 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the LGA2066 processor with a 14-phase VRM.

Expansion slots on the MSI X299 MEG Creation include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, from which three are wired to the CPU, and the fourth one to the PCH. Between them are three M.2-2280 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each. You can add up to four more M.2-2280 SSDs with the included M.2-Xpander Aero accessory, which is a 4-slot M.2 riser with air-cooling, which made its debut with the X399 MEG Creation. Another star attraction with this board is Realtek 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, alongside an Intel i219-V powered 1 GbE interface, and an 802.11 ac + BT 5.0 WLAN. Another interesting accessory is the ThunderboltM3, a Thunderbolt 3.0 card with two type-C ports, and two DisplayPort connectors, for daisy chaining your displays. Storage connectivity, besides the seven M.2 slots, includes eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, and a U.2 port. This board could be priced around the $500-mark.

Synology Showcases New Mesh Router and Enterprise Data Backup Solution

Synology Inc., a leading maker of network-attached storage, video surveillance and networking products, unveiled the company's latest hardware and software innovations at their annual event Synology 2019 in New York. Synology debuted its first mesh Wi-Fi router, MR2200ac, along with the updated Synology Router Manager (SRM) 1.2. Another focus of the event was Synology's new enterprise-level data protection solution, Active Backup for Business.

Synology's first mesh router, MR2200ac, comes with a Qualcomm IPQ4019 quad-core CPU, tri-band Wi-Fi, and the latest version of its operating system SRM 1.2, which includes more granular configurations, such as user profile creation, detailed traffic management, advanced web filters, and whitelisting features aimed at providing tools for users to further understand, monitor and protect their network. The MR2200ac can work alone as a single router or be added to a RT2600ac or additional MR2200ac units to extend Wi-Fi coverage.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.10.1 Beta

AMD has released the Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.10.1 beta drivers. These drivers include support for Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 Update as well as optimizations for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Along with improved support, AMD has addressed a number of issues with this latest release. First of which is a fix for the HDMI audio drivers not upgrading during the Radeon Software installation in some circumstances. Random reboots when upgrading from Radeon Software versions older than RSAE 18.8.1 on CPUs with more than 16 cores has also been resolved. In regards to gaming fixes, Fortnite sees lighting corruption when effects quality is set to High or Epic resolved, while Sea of Thieves sees texture flickering in multi-GPU configurations fixed. You can grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.10.1 Beta

The change-log follows.

EA Looking Into Remastering Command & Conquer Series of Videogames

The RTS genre on PC has been left a little out in the cold in recent years; there are still some releases here and there, but the genre that was once the king of PC gaming has taken a dive in popularity. One series that was held in great regard by fans was Command & Conquer, which spanned a multitude of games (including a one-off FPS game in the form of Command & Conquer: Renegade) in both the Red Alert, Generals, and Tiberium universes.

No further work on the series occurred after the release of Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, designed to be the finale for that particular universe. The much-changed gameplay, which incorporated MOBA-style elements and more mobile armies instead of the usual static base-building, threw fans of the series off (not to mention the story). The series has since been relegated to mobile or browser gaming, but the pressure on EA to deliver another RTS game on the C&C universe has been mounting. The first step, according to EA Games' Jim Vessella, is celebrating the series' 25-year Anniversary, on which work is already going - apparently through remasters, since Vessella himself says that "we [EA] have been exploring some exciting ideas regarding remastering the classic PC games." That's not a bad idea, granted, and makes business sense - but we're still expecting a new installment, EA.

Just Cause 4 Story, Gameplay Trailer Outed

Continuing the theatrics and explosions of previous entries, Square Enix has just revealed a story and gameplay trailer for the upcoming Rico-fest, version 4. Just Cause 4 will follow Rico's exploits on Solis, a "huge South American world home of conflict, oppression and extreme weather conditions" (there are more than 1,024 square kilometers on this title), as he hunts down "the truth about his past, at any costs". To do so, he'll have to defeat a high-tech, private military organization, dubbed Black Hand. Catch the trailer below as an entrée to the games' launch, scheduled for December 4th.

MSI Announces Custom GeForce RTX 2070 Series

As the world's most popular GAMING graphics card vendor, MSI is proud to introduce its full line up of graphics cards based on NVIDIA's new Turing GPU with supreme performance. Equipped with revolutionary thermal design, MSI GeForce RTX 2070 series are optimized for higher core and memory clock speeds for increased performance in games. MSI's GAMING Z and DUKE series deliver the best-in-class thermal performance that gamers have come to expect from MSI. A solid and sharp appearance, ARMOR provides a sturdy dual fan design with excellent performance. The blower type thermal design of AERO isolates the airflow used in cooling the graphics card and ejects it out of the system through the back.

PC Shipments Were Flat in Q3 2018, and That's Good News. Also: Microsoft Surpasses Acer in the US

According to preliminary data published by Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled 67.2 million units in the third quarter of 2018, which marks a 0.1 percent increase from the third quarter of 2017. The study shows how the global market "has shown modest stability for two consecutive quarters" something quite impressive given that for some time now PC shipments have relentlessly decreased. Lenovo has surpassed HP and has secured the top spot driven by its joing venture with Fujitsu, says Gartner. Only those companies and Dell have managed to grow compared to the same quarter last year, while Acer, Asus, and Apple have reduced their shipments in this quarter.

Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at gartner, mentioned the possible impact of Intel problems in the short term: "the Intel CPU shortage could influence the PC market moving forward with price increases and changes to the vendor landscape. While this shortage will have some short-term impacts, Gartner does not see any lasting impact on overall PC demand." In fact, this analyst points out how Intel will prioritize high-end CPUs and business PCs CPUs, with AMD picking up if Intel cannot supply enough CPUs.

Microsoft Joins the Open Invention Network, Adds 60,000 Patents To Protect Linux and Open Source

Steve Ballmer once said 'Linux is a cancer'. Times have changed a lot, and since Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft, Linux and Open Source have become really important for Redmond's company. Azure is based on Linux, for example, and this OS dominates the cloud platform with about half of Azure VMs being Linux ones). Running Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, SuSE or Fedora is also possible natively under Windows 10 through Windows Subsystem for Linux.

The company has made big strategic acquisitions, and Microsoft recently acquired Github, but that approach to Linux and Open Source goes further with the new announcement. Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a consortium that defines itself as a "shared defensive patent pool with the mission to protect Linux". With that move, Microsoft is bringing 60,000 patents to OIN that will be available royalty-free to anyone who joins the OIN community.

AOC Announces New Curved AGON HDR Gaming Monitor with AMD FreeSync2

AOC, a worldwide leader in monitor display technology, today announces the first member of the premium AGON monitor line with HDR support, the AG322QC4 gaming monitor. The AG322QC4 is a curved 32-inch, QHD HDR gaming monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz, 4ms response time and AMD's FreeSync2 technology. FreeSync2 is AMD's HDR-compatible technology. This monitor is made for enthusiast gamers, who want both high-performance visuals without stutter, screen tearing or motion blur, and a gorgeous visual experience with HDR. This is AOC's first monitor with Display HDR400 certification.

The 32-inch monitor features a 2560 x 1440 QHD screen with a 1800R curve. The curved VA panel offers vibrant colors with high dynamic range for a more exciting and immersive visual experience to be enjoyed while gaming. The display also covers 85 percent of the NTSC. The AG322QC4's curve conforms to the way the eye sees and helps reduce eye fatigue.

Cooler Master Debuts ControlPad via Kickstarter

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative gaming peripherals and computer components, today announces the debut of ControlPad, the world's first PC keypad with analog Aimpad technology, designed for gamers, content creators, musicians, and more. "Designed as a passion project from the ground up, ControlPad aims to change the way we interact with our most used programs and applications on a more intuitive scale," says Bryant Nguyen, Peripheral General Manager.

ControlPad harbors 24 mechanical keys available in Cherry MX Red or Gateron Red switch types. It is fully programmable through easy to use software, has a removable wrist rest for ultimate comfort, two precision scroll wheels, fully RGB backlit, and finished in a sleek brushed aluminum. ControlPad is equipped with Aimpad technology that provides mechanical keyboards the precision control most commonly found in devices such as aviation joysticks, steering wheels, and gaming controllers, enabling analog control in digital inputs.

TechPowerUp Lian Li LANCOOL ONE GOLD Limited Edition Giveaway: The Winners

TechPowerUp and Lian Li brought you a golden opportunity (well, three), to bring home one of five LANCOOL ONE GOLD limited edition cases ever made, three of which were up for grabs on TechPowerUp alone! The gilded LANCOOL ONE is a super-rare case for a super-rare build to match its black-and-gold color scheme, featuring gold finished front panels, accented by matte white main body panels, white interiors, and contrasting tinted black tempered glass panels. Without further ado, the Winners:
  • Yeung from Hong Kong SAR, China
  • Michael from Victoria, Australia
  • Nathan from Southampton, United Kingdom
A Huge Congratulations to the Winners, who will receive a piece of Lian Li history!

DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.4.0 by 1usmus Released: Memory Settings Made Easy

Ukrainian PC enthusiast and software developer 1usmus today released DRAM Calculator for Ryzen version 1.4.0. This utility was formerly known as "Ryzen DRAM Calculator," which has since been voluntarily renamed by the author in the interest of avoiding any future trademark conflict with AMD, or giving users the impression that the software has been made by AMD. The change in name doesn't change the fact this could be your go-to app to figure out the best memory settings for your AMD Ryzen-powered machine.

PC enthusiasts usually only remember 4 or 5 DRAM timing settings besides DRAM clock and voltage, letting the motherboard BIOS figure out the rest of the stable values, which could often be looser than needed. DRAM Calculator for Ryzen figures out nearly every under-the-hood timing, voltage, clock-speed, and other setting needed to make the most out of your memory overclock. You can also make the app work out "safe," "stable," and "extreme" variations of its own calculations. Version 1.4.0 isn't just a name-change for the application. It introduces a large number of critical updates to the app that improve accuracy and functionality.

DOWNLOAD: DRAM Calculator for Ryzen v1.4.0
The change-log follows.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series Mobility mGPU Lineup Revealed

NVIDIA is giving finishing touches to its first GeForce RTX 20-series Mobility GPUs for notebooks, based on the "Turing" architecture, with product launches expected from Q1-2019. The company could debut the series with a high-end part first, the GeForce RTX 2080 Mobility Max-Q. The rest of the lineup includes the RTX 2070 Mobility Max-Q, RTX 2060 Ti Mobility, RTX 2060 Mobility, RTX 2050 Ti Mobility, and RTX 2050 Mobility. What's interesting about this list is that NVIDIA is limiting the Max-Q design to its top-tier RTX 2080 Mobility and RTX 2070 Mobility parts.

Max-Q is an all-encompassing laptop thermal-design methodology, which allows gaming notebook designers to come up with thinner notebooks with higher performance. One of the key aspects is special Max-Q ready variants of the GPUs, which are probably binned to run the coolest, and least voltages. With a device ID 1eab, the RTX 2080 Mobility Max-Q is based on the TU104M chip, while other SKUs could be carved from the TU106M or a chip even smaller. It's being reported that with this generation, NVIDIA is playing a more active role in helping its partners engineer their Max-Q notebooks, and helping them meet NVIDIA's strict Z-height minimums.

Creative Announces Sound BlasterX H6 50mm USB Gaming Headset

Creative Technology Ltd announced today the release of the Sound BlasterX H6 gaming headset, which elevates both gaming and audio experiences to the next level.

Featuring an all-new design, the Sound BlasterX H6 packs massive performance with a plethora of enhanced features - including pro-tuned 50mm Neodymium drivers, breathable memory foam fabric mesh pads, detachable noise-reducing ClearComms microphone technology and RGB lighting.

Toshiba Memory Corporation Appoints Stacy J. Smith as Executive Chairman

Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC) today announced the appointment of Stacy J. Smith as Executive Chairman, effective on October 1, 2018. Smith brings a long and proven track record of executive leadership to TMC. He has extensive international experience, having both lived and led organizations in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He will work closely with CEO Yasuo Naruke to provide overall leadership to the business.

Smith previously spent three decades at Intel leading organizations across multiple disciplines. In his role as President, Manufacturing, Operations and Sales, from 2016 to 2018, he led 40,000 employees involved in worldwide manufacturing, technology development, supply chain, pricing and sales. He also served as Intel's Chief Financial Officer for almost a decade and in this role also had responsibility for corporate strategy, M&A, and Intel Capital. Prior to that he served as Intel's Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Cooler Master Announces Hyper 212 Black Editions and RGB Black Edition

Cooler Master, a global leader in manufacturing CPU coolers, computer components and peripherals, introduces two new air coolers from our legendary Hyper 212 line. The Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition and Hyper 212 Black Edition both offer an improved installation process from previous models with the same best in class performance. The aluminum top cover, nickel plated jet black fins and metallic heat pipe caps gives the Hyper 212 Black Edition models an upgraded premium aesthetic appeal. The RGB model comes with the new SF120R RGB fan and the Hyper 212 Black Edition is equipped with a Silencio fan with exclusive Silent Drive IC technology.

Razer Announces Expanded Razer Blade 15 Lineup

Razer announced a new base model, as well as a limited edition of its bestselling Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop, to meet the demands of esports athletes and creative professionals at a lower starting price. The new Razer Blade 15 base model rises to the call from gamers for more storage and connectivity in the world's smallest 15.6-inch gaming laptop. The currently available advanced model will be joined by this new base model, providing two tiers of performance and features within the Razer Blade 15 product range.

The Razer Blade 15 base model includes a dual storage configuration with a m.2 SSD + 2.5-inch HDD, providing both blazing speed and generous storage capacity. Users looking for even more storage will be able to upgrade both storage components. This model of the Razer Blade 15 offers a new single-zone RGB keyboard that supports full key backlighting Powered by Razer Chroma . The 0.78-inch thin chassis accommodates a Gigabit Ethernet port for enhanced connectivity, while allowing for a bespoke heat pipe thermal management system.

AMD Dabbles with Brick-and-Mortar Direct Retail in The Philippines

An AMD "Concept Store" opened in the Philippines. The store retails AMD processors, graphics cards based on AMD GPUs, and pre-builts such as notebooks and desktops, which feature either or both. It wouldn't surprise us if they took the concept a step ahead with processor + motherboard + memory + graphics card combos. There could even be fully functional gaming desktops so customers could experience gaming in-store. The store has just the AMD logo in its masthead, and no other retailer branding, leading us to believe this could be an experiment by AMD's local office for the country to dabble with direct retail in an emerging market with relatively low awareness of alternatives to larger competitors such as Intel and NVIDIA.

NVIDIA Introduces RAPIDS Open-Source GPU-Acceleration Platform

NVIDIA today announced a GPU-acceleration platform for data science and machine learning, with broad adoption from industry leaders, that enables even the largest companies to analyze massive amounts of data and make accurate business predictions at unprecedented speed.

RAPIDS open-source software gives data scientists a giant performance boost as they address highly complex business challenges, such as predicting credit card fraud, forecasting retail inventory and understanding customer buying behavior. Reflecting the growing consensus about the GPU's importance in data analytics, an array of companies is supporting RAPIDS - from pioneers in the open-source community, such as Databricks and Anaconda, to tech leaders like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM and Oracle.

Domain Hoarder Sells "CPUCooler Dot Com" and Related Domain Names

A Switzerland-based domain hoarder by the name SCE Server Components Europe AG is serving up the domain name "CPUCooler dot com" and 33 variations based on TLD and other parameters, up in a single package. The company deftly created a webpage on the domain with links to popular CPU cooler manufacturers and PC component retailers specializing in cooling products, so their webmasters could check their site out. A representative of a very popular PC components manufacturer who tipped us off with this, says that their company's website was linked by SCE without prior authorization from them.
Wednesday, October 10th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Mouse
NAS
SSD
1MORE Triple Driver BT In-Ear Headphones

1MORE Triple Driver BT In-Ear Headphones

The 1MORE Triple Driver BT In-Ears are the wireless successor to the highly-praised wired pair of in-ear headphones of the same name. They're equipped with three speaker drivers, as well as a couple of unique features that make them stand out among competing products.
G.SKILL Trident Z 4000 MHz DDR4

G.SKILL Trident Z 4000 MHz DDR4

The G.SKILL Trident Z sticks have been around for a while now, available in a multitude of colors and speeds, as well as with RGB. These 4000 MHz sticks are for all you non-RGB lovers out there, but with such a high speed, you best make sure your motherboard and CPU are capable.

Principled Technologies' Response to Allegations of Horse Manure Data Disingenuous

Principled Technologies Wednesday published its first response to allegations of flawed and misleading "independent" comparison between the $319 AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and the 66% pricier $530 (pre-order price) Intel Core i9-9900K, which Intel used in its launch event to woo gamers and investors. In its response, the company elaborated on the reasons why it tested the AMD chip with memory and cooler settings reputed hardware reviewers found sub-optimal. "One goal of this study was to test the CPUs and their graphics subsystems, not the GPUs, so we ran the tests at the most common gaming resolution (62.06%), 1920×1080," reads the response, touting a foregone conclusion that gamers with $500 8-core processors still game at 1920 x 1080. We get that they, like every CPU reviewer, are trying to simulate a CPU-limited scenario, but to justify their settings with Steam Hardware Survey data as "the most common resolution," is a disingenuous argument.

We next see Principled Technologies justify the use of NH-U14S TR4-SP3 cooler on the Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. Noctua, in its own TDP Guide for this cooler, states that 250W TDP (which also happens to be the TDP of the 2990WX), is the design limit of this air cooler, and goes as far as to mention that an additional NF-A15 fan, which is not included with the cooler, is recommended to be able to "increase Precision Boost headroom," implying that out of the box, the cooler is already bottlenecking the 2990WX. The Core i9-9980XE, on the other hand, has a rated TDP of 165W, and Noctua provides no additional guidance for 165W TDP Core X family processors, such as the Core i9-7980XE. Principled Technologies' reasoning for memory configuration proves they either continue to lack basic knowledge on AMD Ryzen memory controller limitations, or are deliberately disregarding it in an attempt to cripple AMD chips.
Loading more posts, please wait... Load more news posts