Friday, January 24th 2020

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
Multimedia
Notebooks
PSUs
Sound Cards
HiFiMAN ANANDA-BT

HiFiMAN ANANDA-BT

Today, we take a look at the brand new Bluetooth-enabled ANANDA-BT headphones from HiFiMAN. These headphones support all the Hi-Fi protocols over Bluetooth. Priced at $999, the ANANDA-BT is one of the most expensive Bluetooth headphones around.
EVGA Z10 RGB Keyboard

EVGA Z10 RGB Keyboard

EVGA updates their first foray into the PC keyboard market with RGB backlighting and a new software driver. The Z10 RGB offers everything but the kitchen sink, with a larger-than-full-size form factor to incorporate an LCD display, plenty of additional buttons for functionality, sliders, spare USB ports, and more!

Ninja Theory Announces "Project: MARA" - Exploring Mental Terror and Ilnesses in Videogame Form

That headline may come as both a surprise and a non-surprise, thus allowing for an exploration of quantum physics. Ninja Theory has already addressed dementia and mental illness to great success in their highly acclaimed Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (grab it on Steam's Lunar New Year Sale if you haven't yet and are into cinematic storytelling with third-person action included).

Project: MARA is scarce on details right now, apart from teaser trailers which you can find after the break. According to Ninja Theory, the objective is to explore new storytelling mechanics in a highly experimental title. Based on research in the psychology and psychiatric fields, alongside first-hand accounts of people with mental illnesses, the experience aims to explore the ailments of the mind in a grounded way. I for one am eagerly awaiting such a release.

Another Month, Another Sale: Steam Lunar New Year Sale Goes Live

Steam today stated another round of sales on their digital storefront. Dubbed the "Lunar New Year" sale, it is being held in celebration of the Chinese new year, with hundreds of games with discounts that can go anywhere from 10% up to 90% off. You can grab TPU's game of the year, Red Dead Redemption 2, with 20% off. Another (this time, personal) suggestion is to try out Disco Elysium. If you like isometric RPGs, this one, for me, takes the gameof the year for 2020 award, with truly incredible writing, and a true RPG experience that isn't bogged down by the need to include a combat system (and its connected writing requirements and such).

Other offerings are Gears V, available 50% off, Frostpunk (60% off), The Witcher III (if you don't already own it, of course, it's 70% off), Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (-35%), and various others - likely more than you have money to purchase even at their discounted rates.

ASUS Launches Its ROG Bezel-Free Kits for Multi-monitor Configurations

Monitors being hailed as bezel-free is one of those gimmicks of which you know as soon as you read that listed feature. While some monitors carry bezels as thin as one can imagine, the fact of the matter is that there is always some extra material on the edges of the panel, which will always detract from a multi-monitor experience. Back in 2018, ASUS showcased a Bezel-free kit that would be available for sale. The workings are simple: align your monitors at a certain angle (130º is what ASUS recommends), use the transparent (PET + film) material on bezels that are less than 13 mm, attach the clips to the bottom and top of your monitors, and voila. By the miracle of refraction, your bezels will disappear, while your monitor's images will be extended, seamlessly transitioning between monitors.

This is an interesting solution, and certainly of value for gamers on multi-monitor systems. Keep in mind your screen diagonals will have to be smaller than 27" for this piece of technology to work. The ASUS ROG Bezel-Free Kit is now available at $110 a pop.

MSI Registers Z490 Motherboards With the EEC

As we gear up for another Intel CPU launch with their 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs with up to 10 cores, motherboard manufacturers have to go through the process of getting their products approved through various regulatory requirements. The Eurasian Economic Commission is one which constantly gives little snippets towards the future, and now, MSI motherboards based on Intel's Z490 chipset and LGA 1200 socket have shown up.

Knowing MSI's usual staple of motherboards for each product generation, there aren't many surprises here. The entries refer to these MSI motherboards: Z490-A PRO (Standard ATX); Creator Z490I (Mini-ITX); MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK (Standard ATX); MPG Z490M GAMING EDGE WIFI (Micro-ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING; CARBON WIFI (Standard ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS (Standard ATX); MEG Z490I UNIFY (Mini-ITX); MEG Z490 UNIFY (Standard ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE; WIFI (Standard ATX); MEG Z490 ACE (Standard ATX); MEG Z490 GODLIKE (E-ATX). You can expect the GODLIKE to be so in both features and price, as usual, topping out MSI's lineup.

KeysWorlds Helps You Smoothly Upgrade to Genuine Windows 10 Pro from Windows 7

KeysWorlds is an international genuine software retailer that's out to help people upgrade to Genuine, globally-valid Windows 10 Pro software from the now-discontinued Windows 7. For as little as $9.95, bring Windows 10 Pro to your new PC build, or upgrade your Windows 7 machines to it. Windows 10 Pro is the recommended operating system for power-users, gamers, and PC enthusiasts. Have more than one machine in need of Windows 10? Get a twin-pack for just $16.35! Microsoft Office is another piece of software your home desktop or notebook is incomplete without chose your preferred edition of Office, or combine it with Windows 10 in attractively-priced bundles to save even more! Keysworlds accepts PayPal, which protects your payment instruments and guarantees your purchase.

Apply the coupon-code KWNY35 on the items below to avail the prices you see here.
Buy Windows 10 Pro for $9.95 | Buy Windows 10 Home for $10.66 | Buy Windows 10 Pro Twin-Pack for $16.35 | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $23.46 | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus for $44.08 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional Bundle for $27.73 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional Bundle for $49.77

Acer Launches High-Performance, Durable 12-Inch Chromebook

Acer today debuted its new 12-inch Chromebook, the Acer Chromebook 712, designed specifically for the education environment. The new Chromebook features a premium and durable design, a 12-inch display with 3:2 aspect ratio for better vertical viewing and productivity, and the latest 10th Gen Intel Core processors for first-rate performance.

"Every aspect of the new Acer Chromebook 712 was designed from the ground up with the educational environment in mind," said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "In addition to meeting several durability and safety standards, we've also provided extras such as a student-friendly keyboard and the latest processing and Wi-Fi technology, giving students and teachers a powerful tool that will enhance student engagement and learning outcomes."

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PC) is TechPowerUp Game of the Year 2019

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PC) is TechPowerUp Game of the Year 2019. Decided purely by popular vote of our readers with close to 13,000 respondents, the Rockstar Games open-world got the most votes among 16 entries that included a large number of commercially, critically, and technically acclaimed PC games released in 2019. The PC version of Red Dead Redemption (or RDR2), had enough technical differentiation from its console releases to not strictly qualify as a "PC port."

RDR2 game took advantage of the increased hardware resources of modern PCs to bring to life higher visual fidelity, support for higher display resolutions, and a suitably improved input mechanic taking advantage of PC input devices. We asked our readers not to judge a game by its technical merits alone, but as an artistic and interactive achievement. It should be a fun game to play foremost, with an intuitive gameplay mechanic, an engaging risk-reward mechanic, and draw the player into its world. For these reasons and more, RDR2 is the pick of the TechPowerUp community, and we as its editors couldn't agree with the popular vote more.

AMD Quietly Patched Four Major GPU Security Vulnerabilities with Radeon 20.1.1 Drivers

If you haven't updated your AMD Radeon drivers in a while, here's one major reason to. The company secretly patched four major security vulnerabilities affecting Radeon GPUs, in its recent Adrenalin 20.1.1 drivers, with no mention of doing so in its changelog. Talos Intelligence reports four vulnerabilities, which are are chronicled under CVE-2019-5124, CVE-2019-5146, CVE-2019-5147 and CVE-2019-5183. This class of attacks exploits a vulnerability in the AMD Radeon driver file ATIDXX64.dll, which can lead to denial of service or even remote code execution. What makes things much more serious is that this attack vector can be used to exploit the host machine from a VM (tested with VMWare). It even seems possible to trigger the vulnerability from a web page, through WebGL (which allows running 3D applications on a remote website). The vulnerabilities were tested on Radeon RX 550 / 550 Series VMware Workstation 15 (15.5.0 build-14665864) with Windows 10 x64 as guest VM, but there is no reason to assume that the issue is limited to just RX 550 as the AMD shader compiler shares a common code basis for all recent DirectX 12 GPUs.

All vulnerabilities rely on a common attack vector: specially crafted shader code that exploits bugs in the shader compiler. Even though HLSL shader code looks similar to assembly, it actually is a relatively high-level language that gets optimized and compiled by the graphics driver. VMWare's graphics acceleration lets you run 3D graphics in virtual machines, by passing along rendering info to the host GPU and then funneling the output back into the VM. Since the shader code gets compiled using the graphics driver of the host OS, this creates interesting opportunities for attacks.
Thursday, January 23rd 2020

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
NAS
Speakers
SSD
Scythe Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM Fan

Scythe Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM Fan

Scythe attempts to maintain their product philosophy of offering good cooling products of value with the Kaze Flex 120 RGB PWM fan. An iteration of the existing Kaze Flex, the addition of RGB lighting comes to attract a large market that increasingly wants color customization for custom PC builds.

Patriot Viper Gaming Launches V380 Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound RGB Gaming Headset

VIPER GAMING by PATRIOT, a trademarked brand of PATRIOT and a global leader in performance memory, solid-state drives, and flash storage solutions, today is proud to announce the launch of Viper V380 Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset. It delivers crystal clear sound quality and outstanding noise isolation for hardcore gaming and theater-grade audio playback. Featured Hi-Fi grade 53 mm neodymium drivers, the V380 headset brings higher sensitivity and the superior quality of sound with delicate details helping users react faster than their rivals in a game battle.

With the ergonomic concept, V380 headset is housed with hinged over-sized ear cushions and paired with an adjustable protein-leather headband to provide max comfort to gamers who enjoy long gaming matches. An excellent headset is an essential gear for every gamer during the most crucial gaming rounds. Whether the user wants to enjoy a 4K action movie in the late hours or have gaming sessions until dawn, a 7.1 virtual headset is the ideal substitution of the surround sound speakers.

Where's the Ryzen Effect? Intel posts Record Financials

Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a five percent cash dividend increase to $1.32 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share on the company's common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

"In 2019, we gained share in an expanded addressable market that demands more performance to process, move and store data," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "One year into our long-term financial plan, we have outperformed our revenue and EPS expectations. Looking ahead, we are investing to win the technology inflections of the future, play a bigger role in the success of our customers and increase shareholder returns."

MSI Says not all Radeon RX 5600 XT GPUs Can Hit 14 Gbps Memory Speed

Just before the launch of AMD's latest Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards, AMD released a vBIOS update that boosts the GPU clock speed by a few percent margins and increases the GDDR6 memory speed from 12 Gbps to 14 Gbps, which is almost a 17% performance increase in memory bandwidth. However, despite the release of these new firmware updates, AMD's add-in-board partners like ASUS and MSI have been cautious about applying the new vBIOS to the existing cards. A YouTube show called the MSI Insider, which is hosted by MSI employees, explains the situation. Due to the GDDR6 memory, which was originally meant as a 12 Gbps chip, when applying the new firmware update to the card can lead to RMA issues with customers.

While some cards are capable of hitting 14 Gbps speeds with the GDDR6 chips, others are not as they were not certified to work at that frequency. Silicon lottery (not the company) of the memory chips plays a big role as the quality of the onboard DRAM will have a large impact on the ability to overclock to new frequencies. That's why MSI released an RX 5600 XT GAMING Z variant with 14 Gbps vBIOS already applied out of the box. ASUS also joined the party and launched the ASUS ROG STRIX TOP graphics card, which is the only 14 Gbps enabled cards in ASUS'es whole lineup. By launching GPU SKUs with 14 Gbps speeds out of the box, manufacturers can guarantee these speeds and not depend on silicon lottery which may cause them a few RMA troubles down the road.

CORSAIR Launches New AMD-Powered VENGEANCE 6100 Series Gaming PCs

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced its new models of stunning AMD-powered gaming PCs, the CORSAIR VENGEANCE 6100 Series. Starting with the VENGEANCE 6180 and VENGEANCE 6182, these cutting-edge gaming PCs combine the power of 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors and AMD Radeon RX 5700 Series graphics with high-quality CORSAIR components, all in a compact cube form factor that's 33% smaller than a standard mid-tower and brimming with fully customizable RGB lighting.

Since launching in 2018, the CORSAIR VENGEANCE family has emerged as one of the most awarded and sought-after gaming PCs on the market thanks to its impressive power, distinctive style, and deeply embedded customizable RGB lighting. Both the CORSAIR VENGEANCE 6180 and 6182 incorporate a liquid-cooled AMD Ryzen 7 3700X CPU with eight cores and 16 threads, an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB graphics card, and 16 GB of CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4-3200 Memory. Both models are cooled by a CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i RGB PLATINUM Liquid CPU cooler and powered by a CORSAIR RM650 80 PLUS Gold power supply.

Intel joins CHIPS Alliance to promote Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open standard

CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced industry leading chipmaker Intel as its newest member. Intel is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance to foster broad adoption.

CHIPS Alliance is hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project develops high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code and software development tools relevant to the design of open source CPUs, SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon.

ASUS Unveils ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha Motherboard: Improved CPU VRM

ASUS updated its AMD socket sTRX4 motherboard series with the new ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha, a slight step-up from the original ROG Zenith II Extreme that debuted with AMD's 3rd gen Ryzen Threadripper family. Although ASUS' entire sTRX4 motherboard lineup will support the upcoming 64-core Threadripper 3990X, the new Extreme Alpha is better designed for overclocking it. The new board looks visually identical to the original ROG Zenith II Extreme, and has an almost-identical feature-set, with the only difference being the CPU VRM solution. The new ROG Zenith II Extreme Alpha implements a 16-phase CPU VRM with Infineon TDA21490 power-stages replacing the TDA21472 power-stages on the original ROG Zenith II Extreme (possibly increase output current or I-out from 70 A to 90 A). This could marginally increase the product price. The rest of the feature-set is identical.

Pure 12V PSU Standard, Named ATX12VO, Debuts Later This Year

Back at CES, at the FSP booth, we spied an inconspicuous-looking PSU with a curious 10-pin connector in place of the 24-pin ATX. The FSP500-30AKB turned out to be the first public exhibit of a the pure 12-Volt PC power supply standard being pushed by Intel, which is called "ATX12VO," which abbreviates Advanced Technology eXtended 12-Volt Only. According to the specification, the PSU only puts out +12 V and 12 Vsb voltage domains, and does away with the 5 V, 5 Vsb, and 3.3 V domains. This greatly simplifies the design of PSUs, as PCs of today don't use too many power-hungry 5 V or 3.3 V devices (such as half-a-dozen mechanical hard drives). The PC will still need 5 V for interfaces such as USB, but VRM on the motherboard will be responsible for DC-to-DC switching of 12 V to those lower-voltage domains. It's also likely that the motherboard will now put out a handful SATA power connectors.

Intel could debut ATX12VO within 2020 via its next-generation desktop platform, which features a 10-pin connector instead of 24-pin. It remains to be seen if the company could help the transition from current PSUs to the new standard by having its motherboard partners include a 24-pin to 10-pin adapter of some sort. In addition to the 10-pin connector, ATX12VO PSUs will put out two other purely-12 V connector types: 8-pin/4+4 pin EPS and 6+2 pin PCIe power. The EPS connector powers the CPU VRM, while the PCIe connector powers add-on cards, such as graphics cards. 4-pin Molex connectors could also be put out, but those will only feature 12 V pins (the 5 V pins will be absent).

EK Releases Quantum Vector Blocks for ASUS RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 DUAL EVO

EK Water Blocks, the EU-based liquid cooling gear manufacturer, would like to inform its key partners about the new version of the already launched EK-Quantum Vector Dual Evo RTX 2070/2080 D-RGB block. This water block will now be available in the Nickel + Acetal version as well.

The EK-Quantum Vector Dual Evo RTX 2070/2080 D-RGB water blocks are specifically engineered for ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070, 2080, 2070 SUPER and 2080 SUPER graphics cards. The water block itself uses the signature EK single slot slim look, and it covers the entire PCB length. This sophisticated cooling solution will transform your powerful ASUS graphics card into a minimalistic, elegant piece of hardware with accented D-RGB LED lighting.

Matrox to Develop Embedded Graphics Cards with NVIDIA

Matrox today announced a collaboration with NVIDIA for the development of a new range of multi-display embedded graphics cards purpose-built for high-density video walls. Leveraging NVIDIA's industry-renowned GPU technology, Matrox will design graphics innovations powered by a custom-built Quadro embedded GPU to accelerate graphics-intensive video wall applications in commercial and 24/7 critical environments.

"Matrox is thrilled to work alongside NVIDIA, the leader in GPU computing, to bring to market a new standard of high-density video walls," said David Chiappini, executive vice president of research and development at Matrox. "This collaboration is yet another example of our commitment to expanding our video wall portfolio while customers continue to benefit from our graphics expertise, world-class engineering, dedicated technical support, and long product life cycles."

Intel Rolls Out NUC 8 Pro Targeting Businesses

Intel Wednesday rolled out its NUC 8 Pro "Provo Canyon" line of compact desktops targeted at businesses. These NUCs are fit for enterprise client desktop role as some of the models feature Intel vPro, and are powered by 8th generation Core "Whiskey Lake-U" processors. Leading the pack is the NUC8v7PN, powered by a Core i7-8665U processor, followed by the NUC8v5PN powered by Core i5-8365U, and the NUC8i3PN, powered by Core i3-8145U. The NUC8v7PN and NUC8v5PN offer Intel vPro support. All three come in two chassis types, H and K. The H chassis features a 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA 6 Gbps interface, and measures 117 mm x 112 mm x 53 mm, while the compact K chassis lacks the 2.5-inch drive bay, and is 37 mm tall. The three are also available in bare board form-factors, so you can use your own NUC-compatible cases.

Connectivity features common to all three are dual HDMI 2.0b (HDCP 2.2) ports with in-built CEC; two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory; one Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) port at the rear panel that includes DisplayPort 1.3 and USB 3.1 gen 2 wiring; and four USB type-A ports, from which three are USB 3.1 gen 2, and one USB 2.0. Networking connectivity includes 802.11ac through an Intel Wireless AC-9560 vPro WLAN card (NUC8v7PN and NUC8v5PN only) or Wireless AC-9560 (NUC8i3PN), and one 1 GbE interface driven by Intel i219-LM controller. The audio is completely HDMI-based, there are no analog jacks. The three are certified for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and Windows Server 2019.
Wednesday, January 22nd 2020

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Mouse
Storage
PassMark Inline PSU Tester

PassMark Inline PSU Tester

The PassMark Inline PSU tester lets you perform in-depth testing of power supplies, beyond what a simple multimeter can do. It's also compact enough to carry with you in the field. We cross-verified its readings against our professional lab equipment with surprisingly good results.
MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming X & Gaming Z

MSI Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming X & Gaming Z

MSI's Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming Series comes in two flavors: the Gaming X and the Gaming Z, which has higher memory clocks. We compare both cards and their massive triple-slot thermal solution that achieves amazing temperatures and noise levels. Fan-stop is included, too.

Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

ASML to Deliver 35 EUV Systems in 2020

In a 2019 earnings call ASML, a Dutch company that is currently the world's largest semiconductor lithography supplier has been talking about the company's records and what awaits them in the future. In its 2019 earning report, ASML was forecasting the delivery of as much as 35 EUV systems in 2020. It is not a forecast per se, but rather a known fact since factories order their equipment months before they need to use it. Having previously delivered 26 EUV systems in 2019, the plan for the coming years is to boost the EUV system shipments by as much as 40% yearly. With plans to ship between 45 and 50 EUV systems in the year 2021, AMSL sees a strong revenue gain in the coming years. What is driving the demand for these machines is the use of ever-smaller semiconductor manufacturing nodes. Even at 7 nm, there is almost a need to use EUV lithography, and as you drop in size the lithography challenge becomes real, the use of EUV becomes a necessity.

Abkoncore Announces the Astra AM6 Gaming Mouse

ABKONCORE is pleased to announce the availability of the ASTRA AM6 cost effective gaming mouse. This rigor PC gaming mouse is ambidextrous, ergonomic and simply cool. The addition of the RGB function to this niche mouse makes it even cooler. Colorful 16.8 million RGB led glaring around the mouse. Customize your own send of gaming by choosing one of the 4 pre-set flash modes to you own liking. The ASTRA AM8 is provides comfort due to the outline natural human grip design and symmetrical shape for both right and left hand use. This way you can switch between using the mouse left and right to release fatigue when entered in long gaming sessions.

The new ASTRA is featured with 4-Step sensitivity adjustment to maximum 3200 DPI. Either to increase or decrease the pointer speed for any specific game you're playing. PDI can be set without software, just by the push of a button. The optical precision sensor enables you to control the mouse with high accuracy and aim faster than you opponents.

QNAP Releases Intel Dual-Core Powered TS-251D Multimedia NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the 2-bay TS-251D NAS. Powered by an Intel J4005 dual-core processor, the TS-251D can be used with QNAP's smart AI photo management application, QuMagie, which integrates AI image recognition to group similar photos together in album "People", "Things" and "Places". The 4K media transcoding and streaming capabilities of the TS-251D brings users an excellent and satisfying cross-device multimedia experience. The TS-251D also provides a PCIe slot for expanding its core functionality.

Powered by an Intel Celeron J4005 dual-core 2.00 GHz processor (burst up to 2.7 GHz), DDR4 RAM (up to 8 GB), one Gigabit LAN port, and supports SATA 6 Gbps drives. The TS-251D provides dependable read/write speeds and Intel AES-NI 256 hardware-accelerated encryption to secure sensitive and confidential data on the NAS. The TS-251D also supports snapshots, allowing users to quickly recover data in the event of accidental deletion/modification or ransomware attack.

NZXT Announces the RGB & Fan Controller

NZXT, a leading developer of software-powered hardware solutions for PC gaming, today announces the NZXT RGB & Fan Controller. Powered by NZXT CAM, the RGB & Fan Controller gives users the tools to customize lighting and fan profiles to perfection.

The NZXT RGB & Fan Controller was created for builders to easily and affordably add digital RGB and fan control to their system controlled via NZXT CAM. Any chassis can now have the same enhanced capabilities found in the i versions of NZXT award-winning H Series cases. Bringing beauty to any battlestation is simpler than ever with two RGB lighting and fan channels that are compatible with all NZXT lighting accessories such as LED strips, underglow, cable combs, and AER RGB 2 fans. Additionally, three dedicated 10 W fan channels are included, giving users direct control of their airflow performance digitally.

TerraMaster TD2 Thunderbolt 3 Storage Enclosure Now Available

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products, including network attached storage and direct attached storage, is proud to share with content creators and multimedia professionals its lineup of Thunderbolt 3-equipped, direct-attached storage solutions for faster video and data access. Utilizing the power of Thunderbolt 3 which allows 40 Gbps of data transfer, the TerraMaster TD Thunderbolt 3 is a plug-and-play solution for personal usage all the way to small production needs. Perfect for Mac Pro media professionals and compatible devices which needs large storage but high-speed access in a portable package.

Thunderbolt 3 is the latest generation of connectivity technology that utilizes 40 Gbps of bandwidth to connect directly with the computer. Thunderbolt technology also allows connecting multiple devices simultaneously via daisy chain allowing you to scale or interconnect your Thunderbolt devices from just one source. The TerraMaster D2 Thunderbolt 3 is a 2-bay drive supporting professional grade RAID0 or RAID1 for your choice of improved performance or data redundancy.

GIGABYTE Outs RX 5600 XT Gaming OC VBIOS Update and Easy Updater

GIGABYTE late-Tuesday released a video BIOS update for its Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC graphics card (model: GV-R56XTGAMING OC-6GD). The new FA0 video BIOS increases TGP of the card to a massive 180 W (up from 150 W original spec), gaming clocks up to 1670 MHz, boost clocks up to 1750 MHz, and memory clocks up to 14 Gbps (GDDR6-effective), up from 12 Gbps. Gigabyte's BIOS update package for the RX 5600 XT Gaming OC includes a Windows-based GUI updater that's a lot easier to use than manually updating the BIOS using ATIWinFlash. Grab the update package from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: GIGABYTE RX 5600 XT Gaming OC New FA0 BIOS Update

PowerColor Releases RX 5600 XT Unleashed BIOS

PowerColor joins many other AMD Radeon partners in releasing enhanced video BIOS updates for its Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards to implement AMD's updated specification for the RX 5600 XT that increases clock-speeds and power-limits for the SKU, making it competitive against NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2060. PowerColor saves its users the hassle (and risk) of updating their cards using bare ROM image files and ATIWinFlash, by automating the process via batch files. Unfortunately, PowerColor's updater appears DOS-based, and involves having to boot your PC to DOS and running the batch file.

Eligible models for PowerColor's RX 5600 XT Unleashed BIOS are the RX 5600 XT Red Devil (model: AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHE/OC) and the RX 5600 XT Red Dragon (AXRX 5600XT 6GBD6-3DHR/OC). Both cards offer the dual-BIOS feature, in which one of the BIOS is marked "OC" for the best performance, and the other "Silent," for the lowest noise levels. You're expected to run the updater once for each BIOS. Follow the instructions in the PDF file included with the BIOS update package, which includes instructions to make a DOS bootable media.

DOWNLOAD: PowerColor RX 5600 XT Unleashed BIOS

MSI Pushes RX 5600 XT Video BIOS Updates through Dragon Center

AMD's last minute specifications change of the Radeon RX 5600 XT means that early adopters of the card could be on the older (slower) spec. The new specification is being distributed by video BIOS updates. The likes of ASRock and Sapphire have released 1-click updaters; while MSI is distributing it through its centralized MSI Dragon Center app.

MSI Dragon Center unifies the functionality of tuning (that of Afterburner), with Mystic Light (RGB LED control), and Live Update (software updates) into one interface. In addition to looking up video driver updates, Dragon Center can now fetch and update the video BIOS of your Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card. Among the eligible cards are the RX 5600 XT Gaming X and RX 5600 XT Gaming.

DOWNLOAD: MSI Dragon Center

Sapphire Releases Pulse RX 5600 XT Convenient VBIOS Updates

Sapphire today released BIOS updates for its sole Radeon RX 5600 XT product, the Pulse Radeon RX 5600 XT OC Edition. The updated BIOS enhances performance by significantly increasing engine and memory clock speeds and power-limits, resulting in an up to 10 percent performance improvement. This stems from AMD's last-minute specifications update for the RX 5600 XT in a bid to make it competitive against the GeForce RTX 2060. Much like ASRock, Sapphire has automated the BIOS update process by shipping its BIOS ROMs with the flashing tool and batch files.

Since the Pulse RX 5600 XT OC Edition ships with dual-BIOS, one of which is the out-of-the-box performance BIOS, and the other is a 'quiet' BIOS, you're expected to update both, and there are separate Windows batch files to run after manually switching the between the ROMs. Sapphire's BIOS update package includes a PDF file with detailed instructions on how to update each ROM. The batch files spare you of having to manually work the various CLI arguments of the flashing tool. Look for the "New VBIOS Update" tab on the card's product page the Sapphire website.

ASRock Releases RX 5600 XT Performance-enhancing VBIOS, Easy 1-click Updater

As you may have heard, AMD's decision to revise the specifications of its Radeon RX 5600 XT in the last minute, has thrown its board partners and end-users into chaos and confusion. Inventories of cards with the original specs have already shipped, and cards available in the market today most likely stick to the old spec. The updated spec is being distributed by board partners in the form of a video BIOS update. ASRock released updated BIOS for its three factory-overclocked RX 5600 XT graphics cards, and has gone a step ahead in making it convenient for end-users to update their BIOS, through a 1-click updater.

ASRock's RX 5600 XT video BIOS updater consists of an executable and a Windows batch file. Clicking on the batch file with administrator privileges launches the automated updater. It frees you of having to use the CLI-based ATIWinFlash with a bare flash ROM image, getting all the arguments right, and having to cross your fingers. Grab the BIOS updater specific to your ASRock-made RX 5600 XT graphics card from the links below.

DOWNLOAD: ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 | ASRock RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D2 | ASRock RX 5600 XT Challenger D
Tuesday, January 21st 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mousepads
PSUs
Deepcool MACUBE 310P

Deepcool MACUBE 310P

The Gamer Storm Macube 310P combines the passion Deepcool has for understated yet unique design elements with the drive to offer a price tag that makes it appealing to the masses. With its all-steel exterior and surprisingly functional features at US$80, the Macube 310P is in a great position to do so.
ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP

ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP

The ASUS Radeon RX 5600 XT STRIX TOP uses the same cooler and PCB design as the RX 5700 XT STRIX OC, which makes this a massively overbuilt design. Thanks to a 10-phase GPU VRM paired with low voltages, the card is actually more power efficient than NVIDIA's Turing lineup.
Sapphire Radeon RX 5600 XT Pulse

Sapphire Radeon RX 5600 XT Pulse

Sapphire's RX 5600 XT Pulse comes at $289, which is only a small $10 premium over the AMD MSRP, yet it's faster than the GeForce RTX 2060. The card's cooler does a great job and delivers good temperatures paired with amazing noise levels, and it has fan-stop, too.

Intel Reportedly Looking Into Further Reduction in CPU Pricing for 2020

Intel's policy on CPU pricing has been a strong, definite one for years: no price reductions. Faced with less than admirable competition from a struggling AMD back in its Phenom and especially Bulldozer days, Intel enforced a heavy hand on the market and on CPU pricing. However, a much revitalized AMD and difficulties in the transition to the 10 nm process have left Intel with no other recourse than to cut pricing on its CPUs in order to remain competitive. No uptake of new I/O technologies such as PCIe 4.0 has also taken its toll on AMD's position in the server and HEDT market, which has led to recent price-cuts and tightening of Intel's Xeon line of CPUs and price-cuts in the order of 50% in their Cascade Lake-X processors compared to the previous generation.

DigiTimes, citing industry PC makers, says that Intel is gearing up to keep fighting in the only front it actually can, besides puny core count increases on their heavily-iterated Skylake architecture - pricing. This move comes in a bid to keep its market dominance, which Intel themselves have before said - after Zen 2, that is - isn't a priority for the consumer market. You can rest assured that Intel is very, very likely already practicing hefty price reductions for tray-quantity purchases for partners. However, it seems that the company might bring some price cuts on to its upcoming Comet Lake CPUs. The company has always been loathe to reduce pricing on existing inventory, rather choosing to reduce the price on new launches (see the Cascade Lake-X example above), which, arguably, saves Intel's face on claims of only being able to compete on pricing - which lurks dangerously close to Intel being painted as the budget, price-cut alternative to AMD.

NZXT Announces the C Series Line of ATX PSUs

NZXT, a leading developer of software-powered hardware solutions for PC gaming, today announces the C Series line of 80 plus Gold modular ATX power supplies.

Continuing their partnership with Seasonic, one of the most highly regarded PSU manufacturers, NZXT has created three new power supplies with the C650, C750, and C850. They are built with high-quality components that are backed by a 10-year warranty, ensuring peace of mind. The C Series is available in 650w, 750w, and 850w variants that are 80 PLUS Gold certified giving builders several options to find a PSU that suits their needs.

Seagate Reveals Lyve Drive Mobile System

Seagate had plenty of things to show off at their CES booth, however, some things specially stuck out, like the Lyve Drive Mobile system. Developed to address the need for data movement between different endpoints, the Lyve Drive system comes in a few flavors. First in the line is a Lyve Drive Cards and Card Reader solution, which offers 1 TB CFexpress cards on the go, and a portable reader for them to read the data on the spot. Next up is the Lyve Drive Shutte which resembles an autonomous data storage and data transport solution that offers capacities of up to 16 TB of HDD or SSD storage.

Another Part of the Lyve Drive ecosystem is a Lyve Drive Mobile Array, which offers a sealed and ruggedized solution for carrying up to 6 of Seagate's 18 TB Exos HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) hard drives for a total capacity of 108 TB. Next in the lineup is the Lyve Drive Modular Array - a 4-bay flexible solution that offers various configurations for business, so their deployment strategy of these devices varies. It uses Seagate's MACH.2 multi-actuator technology that transfers the data concurrently. Last but not least is a Lyve Drive Rackmount Reciver which is a 4U rackmount hub that allows for direct connection of Lyve Drive arrays into the data center, without a need to reconnect any of the data center networking specially for storage transfer.

InWin Shows Off New Signature Chassis, mini-ITX Chassis, and Cooling Solutions

At this year's CES InWin had a lot to show off. Starting with its signature case designed to impress even the best PC case modders in the world, InWin wanted to show us what they are capable of. Called the Diéy, this PC case is made out of many materials like aluminium, SECC steel, and plexiglass, in order to form a very unique looking case. Offering a robotic sphered structure that is covered with plexiglass cuts makes it look like a science-fiction creation, rather than a case. While offering unique looks, it is capable of housing an E-ATX motherboard, has support for graphics cards with up to 360 mm in length. There is also support for one 120 mm radiator at the back of the case and one 360 mm radiator at its top, so water cooling capabilities are not lacking here.

SteelSeries Launches the Rival 3 Gaming Mouse, Apex 3 and Apex 5 Gaming Keyboards

SteelSeries, the leader in gaming and esports peripherals, today announces the Rival 3 gaming mouse, and Apex 3 and Apex 5 gaming keyboards - high performance gaming peripherals approachable for any gamer. With these products, SteelSeries has sought to bring the innovation and performance of its most premium offerings to a wider audience of gamers.

"There are so many gamers out there that are stuck using boring, traditional office peripherals for gaming," said Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO. "With these new products, we set office products in our sights and sought to retool our cutting-edge technologies and put them into products that are accessible for every gamer. No one should have to be stuck using run-of-the-mill office products for gaming."

AMD Posts Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.1.3

AMD today released Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.1.3 beta drivers. These drivers add support for the new Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics card that's hitting the shelves today; in addition to fixing a handful issues. To begin with, the drivers address a display signal loss noticed when performing parallel actions such as web browsing, gaming or watching video. Game crashes related to Nioh, Dragon Quest Builders 2, WWE 2K20, Dead or Alive 6 and Atelier Ryza were fixed. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus now appears correctly in Radeon Software. Text overflow in some UI elements have been fixed. Loss of fan-tuning settings when switching between available GPUs has been fixed. Another kind of intermittent black screen on desktop idling for extended periods has been fixed.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 20.1.3

URCDKeys Celebrates New Year Across the Globe with Mega Sale

There can be no better cause for celebration than knowing that you've got the same product for much less. URCDKeys is an international discount software vendor that's celebrating New Year across cultures, around the world, with a new sale on popular software to go with your new PC builds or current PCs stuck with older software. Get genuine, globally-valid licenses to Windows 10 Pro, the preferred operating system of pro-users and enthusiasts, for USD $12.73 upon applying a TechPowerUp-exclusive discount code. Office 2016 Professional Plus is another key component of home desktops. Get for as little as $29.82. Why not pair them both for just $36.50? When you're at it, don't forget to check out their New Year Sale for more such amazing deals on genuine software.

Don't forget to apply the coupon code TP20 at check-out to avail the prices you see here.

Buy Windows 10 Pro from URCDKeys for $12.73 | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus for $29.82 from URCDKeys | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Professional Plus Combo for $36.50

be quiet! Announces Straight Power 11 Platinum PSU Series

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany since 2007, is expanding the company's most silent power supply series with 80 PLUS Platinum-certified models. In addition to the increased efficiency, Straight Power 11 Platinum power supplies will include a state-of-the-art and high-quality topology, additional connection options, and models from 550 up to 1,200 watts. The base characteristics remain untouched, such as the whisper-quiet operation, exemplary cooling concept, and wire-free interior.

All models of the Straight Power 11 Platinum series have been awarded the 80 PLUS Platinum certification and offer an efficiency of up to 94.1 percent at 230 V input. Thanks to an active PFC, the power factor is a maximum of 0.99, and the power supplies meet the ErP standard with less than 0.16 watts consumption in standby mode, ensuring lower energy consumption, better cooling and low noise levels.

Noctua Introduces NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black CPU Cooler

Noctua today introduced another addition to its chromax line of all-black CPU coolers: the new NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black is a low-profile quiet CPU cooler for AMD's Ryzen-based HTPCs and Small Form Factor (SFF) builds. Thanks to the same proven heatsink design and NF-A9x14 PWM fan as the original NH-L9a-AM4, it stays true to the same successful formula of fusing a height of only 37 mm with strong performance and excellent quietness of operation, as well as 100% RAM and PCIe compatibility. At the same time, the chromax.black version, with its black fan and black coated heatsink, combines these assets with a sleek stealth look.

"AMD's Ryzen platform has become more and more popular over the last few months, not only for high-end builds but also for compact HTPCs and Small Form Factor systems", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "We've already introduced the black NH-L9i low-profile cooler for Intel in October, but now we also want to give design-conscious AMD users a new option with the black version of NH-L9a-AM4!"

AMD "Renoir" Ryzen 7 4700U Geekbenched

An unknown Lenovo notebook powered by the 15-Watt Ryzen 7 4700U "Renoir" 8-core processor was put through Geekbench. The chip yielded scores of 4910 single-core, and 21693 multi-core. This puts the 4700U ahead of the Core i7-1065G7, which is known to score around 4400 points on average in the single-core test, and around 17000 on average, in the multi-core test, falling behind due to fewer CPU cores. The 4700U features an 8-core CPU based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture. Its desktop compatriot, the Ryzen 7 3700X, is significantly faster, with around 20% higher single-core, and over 60% higher multi-core performance. This is probably because the 3700X is unconstrained with its 65-Watt TDP and significantly higher power limits. It also has four times more L3 cache, but that's probably to cushion the IFOP interconnect between the CPU chiplet and I/O die.
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