Monday, November 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Storage

Kingmax Intros Zeus PX3480 M.2 NVMe SSD Series

KINGMAX Technology Inc., the world's leading provider of memory products, today is proud to announce the launch of Zeus M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen3x4 SSD PX3480. Along with the growing demands for smaller yet faster storage, M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs are getting more and more popular for its incredible performance and compact size. In order to fulfill different storage needs with more product offerings, KINGMAX releases M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe Gen3x4 SSD PX3480 which is compatible with most M.2 NVMe 1.3 standard supported devices including ultrabooks and gaming laptops. Optimized with the PCIe NVMe specifications and 3D NAND technology, the M.2 SSD PX3480 delivers breakthrough sequential R/W speeds and wide-ranging capacity choices of up to 1TB, which is especially ideal for gaming enthusiasts and multitaskers who are trying to get in the game faster or store more of their important media contents.

ID-Cooling Releases AURAFLOW X 240 Budget RGB AIO Water Cooler

ID-COOLING a cooling solution provider focusing on thermal dissipation and fan technology research and production for over 10 years, announced AURAFLOW X 240 AIO water cooler, featuring the newly developed powerful pump and 12V RGB lighting on both the pump and fans at the same time synchronizing with motherboard RGB control.

AURAFLOW X 240 is equipped with the newly developed powerful pump which has the flow rate reaching up to 106L/H, lift range 1.3m H2O. The pump block has a micro-fin copper base to ensure the best cooling performance. Power connector is 3pin with a 3pin to Molex adapter to help ensure 12V constant input to ensure maximum cooling performance. It also comes with a standard 12V RGB connector.

ASUS ROG Strix B450-E Gaming Starts Selling

With multi-GPU on the decline, AMD Ryzen platform buyers are drawn to the mid-range AMD B450 chipset-based motherboards as the chipset still offers CPU overclocking features not available on its Intel counterpart, the B360 Express, helping buyers save money over X470-based products. Motherboard vendors, seeing a potential for enthusiasts seeking out B450, have each launched quasi-premium motherboards based on the chipset, such as the GIGABYTE Aorus B450 Pro, MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon, and ASUS ROG Strix B450-F Gaming. ASUS is taking this concept further with the better-endowed new ROG Strix B450-E Gaming. This product is interesting, because ASUS hasn't yet launched a Strix-E SKU based on the AMD X470. The company included a mention of the product in its launch reveal for its AMD B450 motherboard series, and is beginning to roll the product out.

The ASUS ROG Strix B450-E Gaming features a more premium CPU VRM than even the Strix X470-F, with a "12-phase" (likely blind-doubled 8-phase CPU with either blind-doubled 4-phase vSOC or 2+1+1), compared to the B450-F, with its 8-phase (4 CPU + 4 SOC) design. The component quality is a step up from the Strix B450-F, and so are the VRM heatsinks. ASUS added metal reinforcement for two of the board's three PCI-Express x16 slots, although the second and third slots are x4. You also get two M.2-2280 slots, one of which comes with SSD heatsink. Intel i211-AT wired 1 GbE and Intel 9260 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5 WLAN, take care of networking. The onboard audio solution is unchanged from the Strix B450-F. The ROG Strix B450-E Gaming is priced around 149.99€.

QNAP Launches the Mustang-200 Computing Accelerator Card

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the Mustang-200 dual-CPU computing accelerator card with 10GbE network connectivity (available with Intel Core i5 / Core i7 / Celeron processors). By installing the card in a compatible QNAP NAS' (or PC's) PCIe slot, users will essentially add two processors to their system for increased computing capabilities to provide a flexible performance boost to their IT infrastructure and applications.

"As QNAP NAS evolves to support a wider range of applications, users need more storage space as well as higher computing capabilities for their NAS system. With the Mustang-200 dual-CPU computing accelerator card, users can instantly boost their system's processing power, which is especially ideal solution for surveillance, virtualization, and AI applications," said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP.

The Internet is Becoming QUIC - New HTTP/3 Protocol Improves UDP, Increases Internet's Responsiveness

As the internet evolves and becomes more of the organic, ever-evolving system that it has been coming towards, there is a need to leave behind old protocols that have served us well - but that are now standing in the way of progress. It's always like that with (but not limited to) technology, and now, it's time for TCP's (Transmission Control Protocol) review. The idea is for it to make way for its leaner, faster cousin with some upgrades: the Google-proposed - and meanwhile much-altered by IETF, the Internet Engineering Task Force - QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections).

QUIC has been built upon UDP (User Datagram Protocol), which is leaner than TCP, but lacks some much-needed features for a safe Internet. UDP doesn't incorporate Reliability (knowledge of missing data from the origin point), or Order (meaning that data is received in the order it is transmitted), things that TCP does include, right alongside Error-correction (detection of in-transit corruption of data).
Sunday, November 18th 2018

Back to Black: Razer Introduces the BlackWidow Lite Mechanical Keyboard

Razer has introduced a more subdued version of their now RGB-infused mechanical keyoards. Christened the BlackWidow Lite, the new mechanical keyboard from Razer uses the same, latest iteration of the company's mechanical design, but partakes with RGB LEDs (there's simple white here for typists who want to do so in the dark) that might distract your eyes or otherwise increase strain.

The BlackWidow Lite is a tenkeyless affair with Orange switches and O-rings, which further decrease mechanical keyboards' characteristic clicks, so as to guarantee the most distraction-free typing experience whilst keeping up with the perfect feedback of mechanical keyboards. There's support for some usually gaming-focused features such as 10KRO (ten key roll-over), anti-ghosting, and programmable on-the-fly macro recording. The USB cable is also braided and detachable so it is portable. The BlackWidow Lite is now available for £99.99; comes with a 2-year warranty; and there are some accessories available in the form of an ergonomic padded rest (£19.99) and a travel bag (£29.99).

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Getting Support for NVIDIA Turing's Adaptive Shading

You may remember that we covered in detail the new technologies being implemented on NVIDIA's new brainchild, Turing, back when the architecture and its whitepaper were initially announced. One of the pieces of technology we talked about back then was Content Adaptive Shading, a new technique that would allow for smart trade-offs in image quality for added performance - potentially allowing for increased overall rendering resolutions at a much lesser impact cost.

The tech is now simply known as Adaptive Shading, and it basically works as a post-process step that looks at previous frames to calculate which determine quality conditions for the next one - lowered detail areas such as skies, flat walls, or even shadowed portions of objects require lesser amounts of shading detail, and thus, their shading rates can be reduced from a per-pixel shading to four pixels per shading ratio. And this new feature, which was originally showcased on MachineGames' Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, will finally be implemented in working form on that particular game, via a patch that's being released on November 19th. This is the first title to make use of this technology - and hopefully, it isn't the last.

Star Citizen to Get a Free, Anniversary Trial Running November 23-30

Star Citizen, the entirely amazing game that could (but may never be, considering the pace of development), is going to have a free trial between November 23rd and November 30th. The announcement, made by Cloud Imperium Games, comes as a celebration of sorts for the game, as they're readying release of the first ever explorable planet in the game - Hurston.

As an added bonus, Cloud Imperium Games will allow those who partake in the festivities to experience the thrill of flying one of those amazing ships the game is particularly known for - in unlimited fashion, for free. The new Free Fly event will see ships from all in-game manufactured being offered for trial at a rhythm of one manufacturer per day - but no, you don't get to keep the keys. Just the feeling of the behemoth or nimble space-farer you choose to take for a ride. Cloud Imperium is also promising "some surprises in store for those of you who make the trek out to Hurston and see what Lorville's all about, as well as some fun interactive activities on the website", so you should all stay tuned. Check out the announcement website on the source for a comprehensive listing of the flyable ships that are currently available in-game.

ASUS Rolls Out "Gaming Workstation" GS50

ASUS announced the Gaming Station GS50, which its product managers refer to as a "gaming workstation," so someone at big oil can blow steam off on Battlefield after a long day's work exploring shale (at least that's a use-case we can imagine). The GS50 is powered by an Intel Xeon W-2155 processor, which is a 10-core/20-thread chip clocked at 3.30 GHz to 4.50 GHz (turbo), packing 13.75 MB of L3 cache. This processor is essentially a Core i9-7900X with Xeon-exclusive features such as up to 512 GB ECC memory support, MPX, TXT, Boot Guard, etc. ASUS is offering RDIMM memory options all the way up to 512 GB.

Adding to its "gaming" credentials is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. Quadro RTX series is not even provided as an option. For storage, you get a 512 GB M.2-2280 SATA 6 Gbps SSD, and a 3 TB HDD for recovery and cold storage. Among the storage expansion options are additional M.2-NVMe slots, five more SATA ports, and a U.2 port. Networking includes two 1 GbE interfaces pulled by two Intel "server class" Ethernet controllers. A 700W 80 Plus Gold-certified PSU powers the machine. ASUS didn't reveal pricing.

AOC, G2 Introduce the G2 Esports Signature Edition G2590PX Monitor - 25", TN, 1080p, FreeSync, 144 Hz

Introducing the brand-new AOC G2590PX G2 Esports Signature Edition gaming monitor. Created in partnership with G2's sponsor and favorite display provider AOC, this special edition monitor combines performance, style and affordability into one package ensuring a smooth, tear and stutter-free gameplay experience. AOC designed this specialized G90 monitor specifically for the G2 Esports professional teams and all gamers who want to upgrade the look of their battle station.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces ROG Strix Radeon RX 590 Graphics Card

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the ROG Strix Radeon RX 590, an all-new gaming graphics card powered by the latest AMD Radeon RX 590 GPU and engineered with advanced cooling, reliability, performance, and customizable lighting.

ROG Strix cards take cooling to the next level, keeping temperatures low and dB levels quiet. It starts with MaxContact technology, which uses precision machining to create a heat spreader surface that makes up to 2X more contact with the GPU chip, helping to improve thermal transfer. As heat passes into the heatsink, three powerful Wing-blade fans spin up when GPU temperatures exceed 55 Celsius. Wingblade fans are a patented design that offers 105% more static pressure than traditional axial designs, ensuring air is dispersed through the entire cooling array.

Xigmatek Launches Hera Gold Series PSU with Smart ECO Technology

Xigmatek, a leading manufacturer of PC components and peripherals, today announced the availability of Hera series power supplies, the stable and efficient power supply unit in its class. The Hera series has better build quality, 100% fully modular black flat cables with energy-saving 80PLUS Gold ratings. The Hera series is available in 650, 750 and 850 watt variants perfect for gamers, enthusiasts and even system builders.

Hera equipped with Smart ECO Technology, it's a smart fan control innovation which will adjust the fan RPM automatically to provide best balance between noise level and cooling smartly, minimize noise level without temperature increase, maximize cooling during heavy system loading.

XIGMATEK Introduces the Zest PC Case

Xigmatek, a leading manufacturer of PC components and peripherals, today announced the availability of Zest PC case, a new generation Rambo RGB PC case with front and left tempered glass, the case chassis designed for all major ATX, M-ATX and Mini ITX gaming or professional motherboard available to the market, and E-ATX motherboard friendly.

Zest has 180 mm CPU cooler clearance and 430 mm for VGA card clearance. Support up to 220 mm bottom mount power supply for easy cable management and hide all the messy cables for a tidy display, Zest the latest innovation from Xigmatek, perfect for gaming and any professional system build.
Saturday, November 17th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Notebooks
SSD

Samsung AMD's Second Foundry Partner for "Polaris 30"

AMD's "Polaris 30" silicon at the heart of Radeon RX 590 graphics card is the company's first 12 nm GPU. Unlike NVIDIA, which is exclusively sourcing its "Turing" family of GPUs from TSMC, the "Polaris 30" is coming from not one, but two sources. This, according to AMD in response to a question by TechPowerUp. The two foundries manufacturing "Polaris 30" are GlobalFoundries and Samsung. AMD did not provide us with visual cues on how to tell chips made from either foundries apart (such as serial numbering schemes). Packaging of dies sourced from both foundries is done in China, and the national-origin marking for the chip is on the package, rather than printed on the die.

GlobalFoundries' 12 nanometer FinFET node, called GloFo 12LP, shares a lot of similarities with Samsung's 11LPP, because both are "nodelets" that are derived from an original 14 nm FinFET process blueprint Samsung licensed to GloFo, deployed in its facility in upstate New York, where AMD's "Zen" processors are made. GloFo's 12 nanometer process is a refinement of its 14 nm node, in which 12 nm transistors are etched onto silicon using the same lithography meant for 14 nm. It doesn't improve transistor densities, but provides dividends in power, which explains why "Polaris 30" and "Pinnacle Ridge" have the same die sizes as "Polaris 20" and "Summit Ridge," respectively. This WikiChip article provides a good explanation of how GloFo 12LP is a nodelet.

Intel Could Upstage EPYC "Rome" Launch with "Cascade Lake" Before Year-end

Intel is reportedly working tirelessly to launch its "Cascade Lake" Xeon Scalable 48-core enterprise processor before year-end, according to a launch window timeline slide leaked by datacenter hardware provider QCT. The slide suggests a late-Q4 thru Q1-2019 launch timeline for the XCC (extreme core count) version of "Cascade Lake," which packs 48 CPU cores across two dies on an MCM. This launch is part of QCT's "early shipment program," which means select enterprise customers can obtain the hardware in pre-approved quantities. In other words, this is a limited launch, but one that's probably enough to upstage AMD's 7 nm EPYC "Rome" 64-core processor launch.

It's only by late-Q1 thru Q2-2019 that the Xeon "Cascade Lake" family would be substantially launched, including lower core-count variants that are still 2-die MCMs. This aligns to preempt or match AMD's 7 nm EPYC family rollout through 2019. "Cascade Lake" is probably Intel's final enterprise microarchitecture to be built on the 14 nm++ node, and consists of 2-die multi-chip modules that feature 48 cores, and a 12-channel memory interface (6-channel per die); with 88-lane PCIe from the CPU socket. The processor is capable of multi-socket configurations. It will also be Intel's launch platform for substantially launching its Optane Persistent Memory product series.
Friday, November 16th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Mouse
Mousepads
SSD
HyperX Pulsefire Surge

HyperX Pulsefire Surge

HyperX joined the mouse game not too long ago, so they are still pretty much newcomers to this market. However, their second product of this kind already offers a PMW3389 top optical sensor, main buttons rated for 50 million clicks, 360° RGB lighting, and many more amazing features.

Retail Prices of Key Intel Core i5 and 8th Gen Core i7 Processor SKUs Sober Up

Prices of retail versions of several 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processor SKUs dropped down to MSRP-levels Friday, in the US. Newegg currently lists the Core i5-9600K at USD $249.99, and the Core i7-8700K at $369.99, while the i7-8700 goes for $319.99, matched with AMD's Ryzen 7 2700X. The Core i5-8600K is listed at $239.99, which is just $20 above the consumer-favorite i5-8400. Newegg's pricing is still riddled with mark-up anomalies for SKUs in high demand. The Core i7-9700K is listed at $487.99, which is about $10 cheaper than Intel's MSRP for the Core i9-9900K, which is selling for an obnoxious $850.

TechPowerUp Releases GPU-Z 2.15.0, Features Hardware Giveaway in Partnership with PowerColor!

TechPowerUp today released the latest version, 2.15.0, of GPU-Z, the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility. This brings along with it support for AMD's Radeon RX 590 GPU, two reviews of which can be seen here and here for those interested. In addition, GPU-Z 2.15.0 adds support for Intel Whiskey Lake, UHD Graphics 617, and NVIDIA Tesla V100-SXM2-32GB along with minor bug fixes including detection of certain Quadro cards as fake, as well as an updated Vega 20 release date.

While this alone is plenty to merit an update, there is a special giveaway added to this version. Indeed, to the left of the "Close" button at the bottom is a temporary button that opens up a giveaway window listing a collaboration with PowerColor enabling users to potentially win the following (one per winner):
  • 2x PowerColor Radeon RX 590 Red Devil
  • 2x AMD Ryzen 5 2600X
  • 15x $30 Steam Wallet Coupon
The terms and conditions can be found in GPU-Z again, but know that the contest runs through Dec 6, 2018 and you will have to enter via the form in the utility itself. The full change log can be found in the download link seen below, and do let us know what you feel about integrating our giveaways with our utilities in the comments section below.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.15.0

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Available For Free From Humble Bundle

Stardock's Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is currently available for free until November 18th from Humble Bundle. All you need to do is subscribe to the Humble Store Newsletter, at which point you can request a Steam key for what is considered one of the better space-based 4X grand strategy titles available. Although the title was originally released in 2012, Stardock has since further polished the game by optimizing the in-game graphics, removing the 2 GB RAM limit, adding larger worlds, better stability and improved mod support in an update back in April of 2017. All these changes made what I would consider a good game better, having played it quite a bit myself. That said if 4X strategy titles interest you give Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion a shot, after all, it is free so what do you have to lose?

AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Shows Up With Lots of Maybes, Could Feature Zen 2

AMD's low-power Ryzen 3700U APU has been leaked. Codenamed ZM370SC4T4MFG_38/22_Y, this latest AMD processor features 4 cores and 8 threads with a base clock of 2.2 GHz and a boost clock of 3.8 GHz, making it very similar to the current generation 2700U. The GPU, which is recognized as Picasso by UserBenchmark, is like just another codename for now, as other applications are listing it as a Radeon RX Vega 10 GPU. Considering the 3000U Series is supposed to be similar to the 2000U offerings it could very well feature the same Vega 10 GPU and still be based on the Zen+ or the Zen 2 architectures. That said, nothing is confirmed, but some slides leaked from Informatica Cero suggest that the Ryzen 7 3700U could indeed feature the Zen 2 architecture. That would be fairly interesting given that the Ryzen family for laptops/convertibles have been a step behind the desktop solutions for a quite some time.

Picasso which we've been hearing about since the codename first appeared in September of 2017, looks to be nothing more than Raven Ridge manufactured on the 12nm node. This is of course based on the information that is available. Some people suggest this new APU could be on the 7 nm node, but this is difficult to believe as AMD is likely to devote 7 nm manufacturing to their EPYC server solutions and Ryzen desktop products first. Therefore Zen 2 APUs for notebooks are likely still far off.

SilentiumPC Announces Regnum RG1 TG Pure Black

One of SilentiumPC all-time favorite cases is now available as a variant with tempered-glass. The Regnum RG1 TG offers a new side panel, that blends seamlessly with understated exterior design for an elegant yet modern gaming case. RG1 is a dream come true for value-oriented buyers as it combines praised features with high-quality at an entry-level price point.

Regnum RG1 TG surprisingly roomy interior features a modern dual-chamber internal layout, which dramatically improves both airflow and cable management. Being compatible with ATX motherboards, long power supplies, high-end graphics cards with up to 380 mm length and CPU coolers up to 160 mm, it allows for flexible choice of components. In addition to that, Regnum RG1 TG comes with two external 5,25" drive bays as well as two 3,5 and two 2,5" internal drive bays for desired HDD/SDD configurations.

Manli Announces GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX 2070 with Blower Fan

Manli Technology Group Limited, the major Graphics Cards and other components manufacturer, today announced the brand new RTX 20 Series graphics solution - Manli GeForce RTX 2080 Ti & GeForce RTX 2070 with Blower Fan. Powered by the latest NVIDIA Turning GPU architecture and the revolutionary RTX platform, Manli GeForce RTX 2080 Ti provides top tier gaming performance for gaming enthusiast. It is built-in 4352 CUDA Cores, with core frequency is at 1350MHz, which can boost up to 1545MHz, and for Manli GeForce RTX 2070 is built-in 2304 CUDA Cores, with the base clock is at 1410MHz and which can dynamically boost up to 1620MHz.

The cooler cover design comes with the symbol of "Tai Chi", to couple strength (performance) and gentleness (silence). Meanwhile, the upgraded dual ball bearing strength blower fan design with heat pipe (Manli GeForce RTX 2070) or advanced vapor chamber cooling technology (Manli GeForce RTXTM 2080 Ti) which strength cooling efficiency.

Intel Cutting Retail Processor Supply for Holiday 2018

Prices of retail packages of Intel Core desktop processors could continue to rise over Q4-2018, as the company has reportedly cut their supply, in favor of tray/reel shipments to OEMs. This could mean DIY favorites such as the Core i5-8400, the i5-8600K, i5-9600K, or even Core i7 models such as the i7-8700K, i7-9700K, and the flagship i9-9900K could be severely in short supply, or heavily marked up wherever available. Intel recently devised a strategy to increase its Core processor volumes by pumping in an additional $1 billion to its usually-$15 billion capital expenditure, to fire up small-scale manufacturing facilities around the world, to augment its bigger fabs located in Malaysia and Vietnam.

Sites like Mexico, Israel, and Ireland are beneficiaries of this move, and are being expanded. Much of Intel's efforts appear to be focused on making sure notebook and pre-built PC manufacturers aren't starved of processor inventory. The DIY retail channel, which consists of boxed processors, will foot the bill for this move. A good example of understocked retail channel would be the $499 Core i9-9900K processor being sold for upwards of $900 in some online stores. AMD is in an enviable position to fill the void, comments PCGamesN. Prices of its Ryzen desktop processor PIBs are either flat, or marginally cut; and socket AM4 motherboards are generally cheaper than LGA1151 ones.
Thursday, November 15th 2018

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Game Controllers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Storage
HellSign (Early Access)

HellSign (Early Access)

HellSign is an isometric paranormal activity hunting game developed by Ballistic Interactive. Don't brush it away as a Ghost Hunters sim because Ballistic Interactive has created a surprisingly deep and incredibly atmospheric hunting RPG with a wide variety of unique points to seriously set itself apart from every other game on the market.
XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy 8 GB

XFX Radeon RX 590 Fatboy 8 GB

AMD today released the Radeon RX 590, which is an improved 12 nanometer version of the RX 580. Thanks to a large clock-speed increase, the card beats the GTX 1060 6 GB by 10%. XFX's RX 590 Fatboy comes with a large triple-slot cooler to keep the card cool and noise levels low.
Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition 8 GB

Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition 8 GB

Sapphire's RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition features an overclock on both the GPU and memory. What really helps against the GTX 1060 is that Sapphire included a "quiet" BIOS that rivals noise levels of the best GTX 1060 cards we ever tested.

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for Third Quarter Fiscal 2019

NVIDIA today reported revenue for the third quarter ended Oct. 28, 2018, of $3.18 billion, up 21 percent from $2.64 billion a year earlier, and up 2 percent from $3.12 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $1.97, up 48 percent from $1.33 a year ago and up 12 percent from $1.76 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.84, up 38 percent from $1.33 a year earlier and down 5 percent from $1.94 in the previous quarter.

"AI is advancing at an incredible pace across the world, driving record revenues for our datacenter platforms," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "Our introduction of Turing GPUs is a giant leap for computer graphics and AI, bringing the magic of real-time ray tracing to games and the biggest generational performance improvements we have ever delivered.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Falls Short of Initial Sales Expectations

The latest game set in the The Witcher universe has been met with slower initial sales than CD Projekt Red expected. According to the company's CEO Adam Kicinski, who spoke in the last earnings call, the slower uptake was the reason for the game's offering on Steam (it was initially launched as a GOG exclusive, but quickly made its way to the much more ubiquitous Steam store.)

As it is the latest game set in The Witcher universe, community interest and excitement surrounding the title increased the sales forecast, but perhaps the "slightly" different take on a Witcher game has turned some buyers' excitement to other pastures. Thronebreaker: the Witcher Tales is a single-player, story-driven adventure with card mechanics, a far cry from the third-person goodness of the now legendary The Witcher 3. Of course, the game now has a long time to rake in funds through continued sales, and it's unlikely the developer will leave The Witcher world behind even if it flops - which it definitely won't, at least not in the long run.

AMD Launches 'Raise the Game Fully Loaded' Bundle, Offers Up To Three Free Games If You Buy a Radeon RX

With AMD's announcement of the new Radeon RX 590 graphics card we've learned something interesting: any user who buys a Radeon RX graphics card or a Radeon RX powered PC will get up to three games for free. "Tom Clancy's The Division 2", "Resident Evil 2" and "Devil May Cry 5", with a retail value of up to $180, will be the titles available for those users.

As mentioned on the press release, "gamers who purchase an AMD Radeon RX Vega or RX 590, or an eligible Radeon RX Vega or RX 590 powered PC, will receive free copies of all three games. Gamers who purchase an AMD Radeon RX 580 or RX 570 graphics card, or an eligible Radeon RX 580 or RX 570 powered PC, can choose two of these games for free".

Discord PC Store Starts Offering Early Access Games

With over 150 million users Discord, the popular chat platform for gamers, made a big step forward last October and launched its own online store. We started talking about that move in August, and it seems the idea is growing on the company, because they will now be offering early access games as part of their current catalog. This allows users to enjoy titles that are still in development, and the title creators can start earning some money while receiving valuable feedback in the process.

There are several games that became popular through this model like 'Ark: Survival Evolved' and even 'Fortnite', and on Discord we will find several offerings of this kind like 'Mad Machines', 'Parkasaurus', 'Kynseed', 'Visage' or 'Descenders'. This new catalog is an interesting addition to other platform offerings such as Discord Nitro, its own subscription service that offers unlimited access to 60+ games for $9.99/month or $99/year (USD).

The New Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is Here: Smaller, Cheaper, But With Compromises

The original Raspberry Pi showed the world that we could have (almost) a computer for $35. This little prodigy has surprised us over and over again, and their developers have now announced the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+, which according to them "is about closing things out in style" on the current generation of this miniPC. The new version has shrunk down the previous Model B+ both in size and in price: it is now available for just $25. To accomplish that we'll have to live with certain comprises.

The new model keeps the same CPU, but halves the memory to 512 MB of LPDDR2 SDRAM, the four USB 2.0 ports are reduced to one, and there is no Ehernet port available. The rest of its connectivity options are still there, including the 802.11 ac WiFi or the Bluetooth 4.2 LE support. The new model sits therefore between the even more compact Raspberry Pi Zero W and the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ announced in March 2018. As Eben Upton explained on the official announcement, the next Raspberry Pi will be quite different from the current generation: "whatever we do next will of necessity be less of an evolution, because it will need new core silicon, on a new process node, with new memory technology". Until that future model arrives, though, the new and compact version of the Raspberry Pi could be an interesting option for many users.

All ASUS Motherboards Meet Stringent New California Energy Commission Standards

ASUS today announced that its motherboards meet ambitious energy-efficiency standards laid down by the California Energy Commission (CEC), and due to come into force on January 1, 2019.

From this date, most new computers, monitors and signage displays sold or offered for sale in California must adhere to strict new power-consumption standards, with the aim of reducing energy use across the state and ultimately nationally. The regulations are expected to result in energy savings of up to 2,332 GWh annually, and reduce the cost of utility bills by up to US $373 million.

Under the new regulations motherboards are classed as computers. All existing and new ASUS and ASUS ROG motherboards will meet the CEC's tier-one specification for typical energy use (TEC) for computers.

AMD Announces the Radeon RX 590 Graphics Card

You can find our launch-day reviews of the Radeon RX 590 here: Sapphire RX 590 Nitro+, XFX RX 590 Fatboy

AMD today unveiled the Radeon RX 590 graphics card, an advanced 12 nm GPU designed to deliver amazing gaming experiences and outstanding performance for the latest AAA, eSports and Virtual Reality (VR) titles.

Powered by AMD "Polaris" architecture, the AMD Radeon RX 590 graphics card provides faster clock speeds for higher gaming performance than the AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card2, and delivers up to 20 percent or higher performance-per-dollar than the competition. Paired with the advanced AMD Radeon FreeSync gaming display technology and loaded with the latest AMD Radeon Software features, the AMD Radeon RX 590 graphics card delivers an exceptional gaming experience.

NVIDIA Confirms Issues Affecting Early Production Run of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Graphics Cards

NVIDIA, via a blog post on its forums, has confirmed widespread reports of failures affecting their flagship RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The issues, which resulted in "crashes, black screens, blue screen of death issues, artifacts and cards that fail to work entirely," started cropping up throughout tech forums, before reaching a critical mass that warranted coverage - just in case this was exactly what it seemed, ie, a production issue.

It seems this was just so, and that the problem was luckily limited to some early manufacturing issues or QA controls. As NVIDIA themselves put it, "Limited test escapes from early boards caused the issues some customers have experienced with RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition." The company then says that they stand ready to help customers who are experiencing problems - but nothing else was to be expected, really.

Cougar Announces Helor 240 and Helor 360 Liquid CPU Coolers

Cougar is proud to introduce its very first CPU liquid coolers, the Helor 240 and Helor 360. The Helor Series is the first by Cougar that utilizes liquid cooling! The Water Block combines all the reliability and performance expected from a high-end CPU cooler. With its large transparent window, it's the perfect solution for gamers that require a powerful CPU and enjoy beautiful visuals. The window also allows the user to check the coolant level.

Combine the production of the Water Block with the Vortex Omega fans, which have 16% longer blades and include speeds from 600 R.P.Ms to 1800 R.P.Ms, and the heat will dissipate from the CPU with ease. The fans. And if you love customizing lights for your mood, you are in for a treat!
You will have access to over 100 different lighting effects with two ways to control your RGB. The Helor includes a Core Box V2 and a remote control. You will be able to enjoy system-wide RGB through the 3-pin 5v RGB motherboard synchronization.

Antec Launches PRIZM ARGB Case Fans

Antec Inc., a leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, presents their new ARGB case fans, the PRIZM ARGB series. Taking style, performance and silence to the next level, Prizm ARGB is available in 120/140 mm, and is surrounded by a ring of addressable RGB LEDs and high-performance fan blades including the addressable RGB LED controller.

SK Hynix Announces 1Ynm 16Gb DDR5 DRAM

SK Hynix announced that it has developed 16 Gb DDR5 DRAM, the industry's first DDR5 to meet the JEDEC standards. The same 1Ynm process technology used for the recently-developed 1Ynm 8Gb DDR4 DRAM was applied to the new DRAM, giving an industry-leading competitive edge for the Company.

DDR5 is a next-generation DRAM standard that offers ultra-high speed and high density with reduced power consumption as compared to DDR4, for use in data-intensive applications such as big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

SCDKey Unveils Black Friday Game Sale to Pick on Major Game Publishing Platforms

SCDKey is an online games and software vendor that sells genuine license keys for a large selection of games, and software, including Microsoft Windows and MS Office. The vendor just launched a gargantuan Black Friday sale of games and software keys; with the likes of Windows 10 Pro OEM selling for $14, Office 2016 for $35 (permanent, not subscription), and Microsoft products marked down by as much as 85%.

You can also get the latest AAA game keys on SCDKey at a minimum discount of 12%. Take "Fallout 76," for example, which is going for $57.48 against a Steam price of $68.30. The site is now giving away monthly, quarterly, and annual subscriptions to its Members Zone. As an SCDKey Premium member, you have access to discount-coupons that can shave off anywhere between 30% to 80% on the already marked down prices, letting you get away with genuine keys at unreal prices. With each purchase you get bonus points that you can redeem in future purchases as alternative for real money. The site uses PayPal, so your payment instruments stay shielded from the vendor. I've already bought a Windows 10 Pro license along with a discount coupon for $12. How much do you want to spend this Winter gaming season?

SCDKey Black Friday Mega Sale

TechPowerUp readers get exclusive discount coupons.

ADATA Launches Ultimate SU630 3D QLC NAND SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, and mobile accessories today launched the ADATA Ultimate SU630 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD, which signals its expansion into 3D QLC NAND Flash storage. With next-generation QLC (Quad-Level Cell) 3D NAND Flash, the SU630 delivers terrific value, great performance, and superb reliability, offering users a viable alternative to HDDs for their next upgrade.

Delivering excellent performance without the less than great value typically associated with SSDs, the SU630 gives HDDs a run for their money. It comes in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB capacities and sports 3D QLC NAND Flash to deliver improved reliability, longevity, and performance over its TLC counterparts. Reinforced by performance-boosting SLC Caching, the SU630 reaches speeds of 520 MB/s read, and 450 MB/s write for smooth and fast boot, file transfers, and downloads. What's more, the SSD also features characteristics that work to keep data safe, including a shock rating of 1500G/0.5ms and resilience to temperature changes (0°C ~ 70°C), while also being more energy-efficient and quieter than HDDs.

TeamGroup Launches Multiple USB Drives with Unique Features

In order to satisfy modern consumers' need for variety in storage devices, TEAMGROUP launches multiple products with their own features. The simple, compact C185 and the C186 with classic design both have elegant and concise case, and the smooth retractable capless design makes it easy for consumers to use. The T183 Tool USB drive is the perfect interpretation of practical concepts. It not only has won the 2018 COMPUTEX d&i award, but also was highly praised by the Taiwan Excellence Awards recently. The T183 Tool USB drive is the first to include practical functions like bottle opener, straight ruler, etc. In addition, it also has high speed storage performance, which makes it both trendy and practical.

Constantly innovating in response to the current trend, TEAM GROUP's new USB drives have sleek ridgeline and smooth streamline design, which creates a trendy and minimalist style. Both USB drives have retractable design that makes it easy for handheld. The special designed structure not only can reduce wear and tear, but also eliminate the trouble of misplacing the cap. Both devices has its own features. The C185 uses USB 2.0 interface and has classic silver characters. The C186 has black base color with premium golden color to emphasize its high quality. It has USB 3.1 Gen1 interface and up to 128GB of storage capacity to satisfy consumers with different needs. Plug and play makes file sharing and backup easier than ever.

Kingston Enhances Award-Winning IronKey D300 Encrypted USB

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, has added new features to its recent Cyber Defense 2018 Global Awards winning IronKey D300 encrypted USB Flash drive to improve device management and security. IronKey D300 is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified and uses 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption in XTS mode. Shipping next week, a new Serialized version (D300S) with two new features will further enhance the drive's already advanced level of security to safeguard sensitive data.

IronKey D300S will have a unique serial number and bar code on the drive itself, allowing network administrators to simply read or scan the code instead of plugging in the drive. When a drive is deployed, returned or during any physical auditing or asset management of hardware, this feature will make the process more efficient and streamlined. The second feature, a virtual keyboard, enables users to enter a password with clicks of the mouse instead of using a physical keyboard, thereby providing a greater level of protection against any possible keylogging when using D300S on other computers.

EVGA Bundles Enmotus FuzeDrive with Select Motherboards

For a limited time you can get "Less Boot Time and More Game Time" with a FREE* copy of Enmotus FuzeDrive when you purchase a qualifying EVGA motherboard. A $59.99 value! FuzeDrive software combines your performance SSD with capacity storage into a single fully automated volume. Your games' active data is dynamically placed on your fast storage media without any manual intervention. Advanced Machine Intelligence learns how you use your system and ensures SSD performance for all your applications.

"EVGA, with their high end motherboard products, is the perfect partner for our Machine Intelligence storage technology," said Enmotus CEO, Andy Mills. "Their high end quality demanded by gamers combined with FuzeDrive will deliver a great gaming experience." Your games are served up from your fast storage media resulting in fast boot times, accelerated game loading and applications. Dynamic data movement means you no longer have to manually manage what drive to store your data on.

ENERMAX Intros SABERAY White, the Premium Addressable RGB Gaming Fortress

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance PC hardware products, announces the launch of SABERAY White, the premium addressable RGB gaming chassis. This clean, classy, sleek mid-tower gaming castle caught much attention when it made its debut at COMPUTEX 2018. Featuring eye-catching light strips and 3 unique square RGB fans, SABERAY White is a decent combination of performance and aesthetics.

Certified by ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI motherboard makers for addressable RGB lighting synchronization, SABERAY White can match lighting colors harmoniously with other system gear for a more appealing and elegant look. Moreover, the gaming chassis includes interchangeable two meshed panels and one acrylic panel, so that users can run depending on their preferred configurations and designs. Furthermore, SABERAY White also comes with a 4 mm full-view tempered glass window for users to showcase their precious rigs.
Wednesday, November 14th 2018

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Battlefield V with GeForce RTX DirectX Raytracing

Battlefield V with GeForce RTX DirectX Raytracing

Today, Battlefield V enabled support for DirectX Raytracing with the latest patch. We tested this update using the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, and RTX 2070, with shocking results. Even though only reflections are raytraced, the performance hit for DXR is more than 50%.

Final Fantasy XV Benchmark Gets DLSS Update, GeForce RTX 2080 Performance Tested

Square Enix has just updated their Final Fantasy XV Benchmark to version 1.2, adding support for NVIDIA's DLSS (Deep Learning Super-Sampling) technology. The new release will still allow users to test any graphics card(s) they have just as it did before. That said, owners of NVIDIA's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti get the benefit of having access to DLSS for improved image quality and performance. NVIDIA claims that performance will improve by up to 38% with DLSS alone. In order to verify that we ran a few tests of our own to find out.

Preliminary testing was done using Corsair's Vengeance 5180 Gaming PC, which is equipped with an Intel i7-8700, 16 GB 2666 MHz DDR4 and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080. At 3840x2160 with the highest possible settings, DLSS offered a 36% increase in performance. This is very close to NVIDIA's specified increase and within the expected margin of error. When compared to the older GTX 1080 Ti which was paired with a stock Intel i7-8700K, and 32 GB of 3466 MHz memory we see the GeForce RTX 2080 and GTX 1080 Ti offer roughly the same level of performance. Therefore DLSS really is the difference maker here allowing for better performance and image quality. It should also be noted both systems used the same NVIDIA 416.94 WHQL drivers.
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