Monday, August 29th 2016

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards

XFX Readies a Fanless Radeon RX 460 Graphics Card

XFX is among the first ready with a passively-cooled Radeon RX 460 graphics card. Pictured below, the card uses a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink that's longer than the 17.8 cm PCB but two slots thick, cooling the 75W TDP GPU. The heatsink uses a pair of nickel-plated copper heat pipes to convey heat directly drawn from the GPU, to two ends of the fin-stack. The heatsink also appears to draw heat from the VRM, although the memory chips appear to be cooled passively. The card relies on the PCI-Express slot for all its power needs, display outputs include one each of DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, and dual-link DVI. The card is currently released in China, where it's priced at 999 RMB. It remains to be seen if XFX launches it elsewhere.

Source: Expreview

Vega Not Before 2017: AMD to Investors

In a leaked presentation meant for its investors, AMD states that it expects to launch the "Vega" GPU architecture no sooner than 2017. The company plans to get it out within the first half of 2017. What makes this decision significant is that the company isn't planning on making bigger GPUs on its existing "Polaris" architecture, and its biggest product is the $249 Radeon RX 480. This leaves the company's discrete GPU lineup virtually untended at key price-points above, against NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and TITAN X Pascal, at least for the next five months.

In the mean time, AMD could launch additional mobile SKUs based on the Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 chips. The reasons behind this slow-crawl could be many - AMD could be turning its chip-design resources to the various semi-custom SoCs it's working on, for Microsoft and Sony, with their next-generation game consoles; AMD Vega development could also be running in-sync with market availability of HBM2 memory. 2017 promises to be a hectic year for AMD, with launch of not just Vega, but also its "ZEN" CPU architecture, the "Summit Ridge" processor, and APUs based on the CPU micro-architecture.

Kingston Announces the SSDNow DC400 Entry-level Data Center SSD

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced Data Center 400 (DC400) SSD, the latest solid-state drive to its family of enterprise solutions. DC400 SSD is an entry-level enterprise drive designed for server use in data centers especially for customers who deploy a rip-and-replace strategy. It is ideal for read-intensive applications such as boot, web servers and lower data rate operational databases and analytics - especially in data center mixed workload environments where endurance and reliability are important.

DC400 SSD offers superior quality of service for data center customers whose workload environment calls for sustained IOPS and consistent low latency. An expanded on-board DRAM acceleration cache enables high, sustained IOPS to increase performance over a wide range of read/write workloads. Standard as well as user-adjustable over-provisioning improves random IOPS performance and endurance while enterprise firmware improves latency and delivers consistently low data access times under steady-state workloads. Additionally, DC400 SSD features enterprise-class reliability with end-to-end data path protection and firmware-implemented power-loss protection ("pFAIL").

Samsung Launches Two New Curved Gaming Monitors

Samsung Electronics extends its innovation in displays with the release of its most powerful and visually compelling curved gaming monitors to date. The CFG70 (available in 24 and 27 inch) and CF791 (34-inch) monitors provide distinguished curvatures of 1800R and 1500R, respectively. Other best-in-class features include interactive LED lighting, an intuitive user dashboard, and AMD FreeSync Technology for the ultimate gaming experience.

"Incorporating the same quantum dot technology found in our incredible TV lineup, the CFG70 and CF791 monitors are poised to deliver the most realistic experience for gamers and consumers alike," said Andrew Sivori, Vice President, Consumer IT Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "In addition, we've bolstered color accuracy, refined the display curvature and significantly reduced MPRT (Moving Picture/Pattern Response Time)."

Sharkoon Announces the Illuminated Skiller Mechanical Keyboard

Sharkoon expands their lineup of the popular Skiller keyboard series and introduces their first mechanical version: The Sharkoon SKILLER MECH SGK1 boasts massive line management, reinforced aluminium alloy surface and white background illumination. The internal value of the gaming keyboard continues to impress with its n-key rollover, anti-ghosting, gaming modes and virtual interchangeable WASD section. The integrated palm rest supports ergonomics, which is ideal for long gaming sessions.

The SGK1 is available with high-quality mechanical Kailh switches, which are offered in three different versions: Brown (operating force: 45 g, switch: tactile, switching point: detectable, click point: undetectable, distance to actuation point: 2 mm), Red (operating force: operating force: 50 g, switch: linear, switching point: undetectable, click point: undetectable, distance to actuation point: 2 mm) and Blue (operating force: 50 g, switch: tactile, switching point: detectable, click point: precisely detectable, distance to actuation point: 1.9 mm). The brown switch behavior closely resembles the popular rubber dome keyboards, but offers a much longer operating life cycle of keys with a minimum of 50 million keystrokes. Prolific writers will find blue switches especially suitable, which provide the same long operating life cycle yet also give an acoustic feedback. Red switches, which again provide the same long operating life cycle, are for those who love no feedback with their switches.

Corsair Announces the LUX Series Mechanical Keyboards

CORSAIR, a leader in high-performance gaming hardware, today announced the immediate and worldwide availability of its new LUX range of mechanical keyboards. Building on the phenomenal success of the CORSAIR K70, K70 RGB and K65, the new LUX range adds a host of new features and improvements. With enhanced lighting, USB pass-through and a back-lit optimized key cap font, CORSAIR LUX keyboards retain the core-design, premium materials and commitment to quality that has earned the CORSAIR K-series over 300 global media awards, making them the benchmark for high-performance keyboards.

Alongside the signature CORSAIR aluminum construction and 100% German-made Cherry MX keyswitches, the LUX range adds an enhanced internal lighting controller, allowing for finer color adjustment and even more vibrant patterns and effects. Paired with CUE (CORSAIR Utility Engine) software, stunning lighting effects are just a few clicks away.

MSI Intros GeForce GTX 1060 3GB OCV3 Graphics Card

MSI introduced its compact, cost-effective GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB OCV3 graphics card. Pictured below, the card features a compact design that makes it fit for SFF builds, and has the muscle for maxed out 1080p gaming. The card features a custom-design PCB that draws power from a single 6-pin PCIe power connector, to support factory-overclocked speeds of 1544 MHz core, 1759 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 8.00 GHz GDDR5-effective memory, against reference clocks of 1506/1709 MHz.

The custom-design cooling solution is a simple copper-core aluminium heatsink with radially-projecting fins, cooled by a single 80 mm fan. The card is 18.8 cm long. Based on the 16 nm GP106 silicon, the MSI GTX 1060 3 GB OCV3 features 1,152 CUDA cores, 72 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and 3 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 192-bit wide memory interface. MSI didn't reveal pricing, but we expect this card to be priced close to the $199 baseline NVIDIA set for this SKU.

GIGABYTE Offers Another Free Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to announce today, a new collection of GIGABYTE Motherboards that have been certified for Intel's Thunderbolt 3 technology. GIGABYTE is the leader in developing this technology as many devices in the market were created using GIGABYTE Motherboards as the golden sample.

Shortly after its release of the new Designare and ultra gaming motherboards GIGABYTE is announcing that many of these newly released boards have Thunderbolt 3 technology available to the users. Updating the BIOS and a simple software upgrade is all that is required of users to enable this feature. With a 40 Gb/s bandwidth, along with its ability to transmit data, video, audio, and power all in one cable, Thunderbolt technology is highly sought after for its rapid transfer speeds and ability to simplify cables around the computer. Users are able to daisy-chain up to six devices per port with an additional monitor at the end.
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