Monday, October 14th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
SSD
Silverstone Lucid LD03

Silverstone Lucid LD03

Silverstone's Lucid series has always focused on a unique material mix and elaborate design. The same holds true for the LD03, which aims to combine tinted tempered glass panels with support for large graphics cards and CPU coolers, in a compact ITX case.

Abkoncore Introduces the Helios 500 Sync PC Case

Introducing the Abkoncore Helios 500 SYNC middle tower PC case for the DYI, PC enthusiast and PC gamer alike. Cool front tempered glass design with large side ventilation intakes for fresh air enabled by the two 200 mm large RGB SYNC Hurricane Spectrum cooling fans. The body is built out of 0.65 mm SECC steel with side tempered glass for best viewing your hardware.

Ready to accommodate your high wattage power supplies up to 220 mm long. Mainboard support for ATX, Micro-ATX or Mini-ITX. Space for long graphics cards up to 355 mm, large CPU coolers up to 178 mm high and liquid cooling systems up to 360 mm large. Total air cooling support locations: Front 3x 120 mm or 2x 140 mm or 2x 200 mm, included 2x 200 mm Hurricane Spectrum RGB SYNC. Top cooling space: 2x 120 mm or 2x 140 mm and rear exhaust space: 1x120mm or 1x 140 mm, built in 1x120 Hurricane Spectrum RGB SYNC included.

Intel Clarifies on 10nm Desktop CPUs: Still on the Table, Likely in 2021

Intel in a quick rebuttal to the earlier reports from Monday, clarified that desktop processors based on the 10 nm silicon fabrication node are still on the company's roadmap. "We continue to make great progress on 10 nm, and our current roadmap of 10 nm products includes desktop," the company said in its one-liner. Monday's reports predicted a horror story where Intel would drag its 14 nm "Skylake" derived microarchitecture through to 2022, at which point it would be 7 years old.

The Tom's Hardware report that posts the statement, however, pins 14 nm to still last till 2021, if not the 2022 date predicted in the HardwareLuxx report. Intel will sell "Comet Lake" through 2020, succeeded by "Rocket Lake," which takes up much of 2021. Towards the end of 2021, Intel will release a desktop processor based on its matured 10 nm++ silicon fabrication node, which will lead the company into 2022, when it finally launches 7 nm EUV-based desktop chips.

EVGA Announces GeForce RTX 2070 Super Ultra+ Series with Overclocked Memory

Introducing the EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER ULTRA+ series - now with 10%+ Memory Speed. Available in FTW3 and XC versions, these new cards offer nearly 500 GB/s of GDDR6 memory bandwidth giving you even more performance in the latest gaming titles. The new GeForce RTX SUPER Series cards deliver everything you need to rule your game. They're powered by the Turing architecture and feature more cores and higher clocks. This gives you up to 25% faster performance than the original RTX 20 Series and 6X the performance of previous-generation 10 Series GPUs.

See every game come alive with super-fast ray tracing that delivers physically accurate shadows, reflections, and lighting. And tap into Tensor Cores for super-powerful AI-processing. Advanced memory, performance boosts, and processing technologies make these GPUs the perfect weapon for hardcore gamers. Gear up and get super powers.

NETGEAR Expands the Orbi Family with New Dual Band Mesh System- Slim and Sleek Design with Powerful WiFi

NETGEAR, the leading provider of performance mesh WiFi networking systems, is today introducing the latest addition to the popular Orbi Whole Home WiFi System. This new Orbi Dual Band Mesh WiFi System (RBK13) which consists of one router and one or more satellites is best suited to cover a medium to large sized home from 3,000 sq. ft. or higher to provide reliable WiFi for streaming and gaming. This new Orbi Mesh WiFi offering also features NETGEAR Armor cybersecurity to keep your home safe from online threats and Circle Smart Parental Controls to manage screen time.

The latest addition to the Orbi Whole Home WiFi System product family combines performance with style delivering combined speeds up to 1.2 Gbps for households with a large number of internet-connected devices. The new compact and modern design will blend subtly with a home's décor inconspicuously sitting on a shelf, counter or entertainment center. The setup is made easy and completed in minutes through the Orbi app from your Android or iOS mobile device, which also enables management of the home WiFi. Orbi works with either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant enabling voice management of frequently used functions like enabling guest WiFi.

Intel Scraps 10nm for Desktop, Brazen it Out with 14nm Skylake Till 2022?

In a shocking piece of news, Intel has reportedly scrapped plans to launch its 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture on the client desktop platform. The company will confine its 10 nm microarchitectures, "Ice Lake" and "Tiger Lake" to only the mobile platform, while the desktop platform will see derivatives of "Skylake" hold Intel's fort under the year 2022! Intel gambles that with HyperThreading enabled across the board and increased clock-speeds, it can restore competitiveness with AMD's 7 nm "Zen 2" Ryzen processors with its "Comet Lake" silicon that offers core-counts of up to 10.

"Comet Lake" will be succeeded in 2021 by the 14 nm "Rocket Lake" silicon, which somehow combines a Gen12 iGPU with "Skylake" derived CPU cores, and possibly increased core-counts and clock speeds over "Comet Lake." It's only 2022 that Intel will ship out a truly new microarchitecture on the desktop platform, with "Meteor Lake." This chip will be built on Intel's swanky 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication node, and possibly integrate CPU cores more advanced than even "Willow Cove," possibly "Golden Cove."

TechPowerUp Announces NVCleanstall - Customize Your NVIDIA Driver Installation

TechPowerUp today announced NVCleanstall, its latest original software designed to give PC enthusiasts and gamers unparalleled control over the installation of NVIDIA GeForce software. Besides the actual driver for your GeForce graphics processor, NVIDIA GeForce software includes close to a dozen optional components, not all of which can be opted out of in the "Custom" installation screen of NVIDIA's installer. Among these are Telemetry, which regularly sends your usage data to NVIDIA, and drivers for stereoscopic 3D, Shield, etc. These components may not all be useless or harmful, but aren't strictly required for your GPU to work and render graphics like it should. NVIDIA treats many of these software components as an extension of the product itself.

NVCleanstall has a clean user interface that begins with a screen that lets you choose the software version you want. It can either fetch the latest software from the Internet for you, or lets you select a downloaded NVIDIA GeForce software package (installer binary) from your PC, or lets you fetch a specific driver version you want from the Internet. You are then presented with an exhaustive list of components to install, categorized under the main components, and GeForce Experience. You can also select from our curated presets if you're not sure. In the following page, the app prepares your installation. In this screen, you can select from useful additional tweaks, including disabling the installer's own telemetry, scripting an unattended install, and a clean installation that wipes your machine of all driver garbage from previous installations. After that, NVCleanstall spawns the NVIDIA installer to install what you selected in NVCleanstall, or take you to the customized driver files. NVCleanstall has been put through months of rigorous testing from our community of PC enthusiasts. The app gives you not just greater control over your NVIDIA software, but also reduces the disk usage and memory footprint of your NVIDIA software.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp NVCleanstall 1.0.0

NVIDIA's Lightspeed Studios Aim to Remaster Games With RTX Effects

NVIDIA's efforts with Quake 2 RTX haven't gone unnoticed in the community, providing a distinct overhaul in image quality to the now decades-old game. Raytracing and its global illumination capabilities have already been well explored in this publication, and its effect in older games - the ones that already run remarkably well in modern hardware - has been well documented, with some third party solutions (such as ReShade) including the effect to great measure in a number of games that haven't been built from the ground-up for raytracing.

The new Lightspeed Studios from NVIDIA aims to bring Quake 2 RTX-like improvements to other games. A job posting from the company dated from the end of September seems to make it clear that the company is looking to increase the number of games with RTX support in this way. Read on after the break for the description in the job listing.

TP-LINK Launches the Archer AX10 Wi-Fi 6 Router for Under €100

TP-LINK has made available through retailers a budget Wi-Fi router that promises to slightly democratize the ax protocol for the masses. The new Archer AX10 seems to be no slouch in terms of bang for the buck: it's a Wi-Fi 6-enabled router that packs most technologies you'd be looking for from a standard user point of view. There's support for beamforming technology so that the signal is focused towards the devices that are actually connected to the router (which are balanced via OFDMA tech, meaning the router can better handle simultaneous connections), improving signal strength and reducing interference. Thanks to that and the pure speeds of the ax protocol, the AX10 can provide signal speeds of up to 1201 Mb/s on the 5 GHz band. A quad antenna design serves to ensure ample coverage and signal integrity.

The AX10 has a triple core ARM processor operating at 1.5 GHz, aided by 256 MB of RAM and 16 MB of flash memory for the firmware. 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports and 1x WAN connection that also delivers a maximum speed of 1 Gigabit should enable most of the wired connections you need. And best of all: the router will be available for less than €100.

Razer Announces the Raion Arcade Fightpad

Razer has announced the Raion, an arcade fightpad for PS4 and PC, with top tier tournament features giving players the control and accuracy of a fullsize fightstick in the palm of their hands.

Designed from the ground up for the fighting game community, the Raion features a 6-button layout on the face of the fightpad, a tactile 8-way D-pad, and the traditional shoulder and trigger buttons. This layout offers a greater variety of input options for both standard and 'claw' grip style players. A competition mode disables extra buttons to ensure uninterrupted gaming and the PS4 touchpad has all the console functions players expect from their controller.

Silicon Power Unveils the P34A60 M.2 NVMe SSD

The new P34A60 is an affordable storage solution that doesn't skimp on performance. It's designed for novice users, DIY system builders, purpose-built system manufacturers, and simply those who are looking to upgrade their PC. But with a PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 interface, read speeds up to 2,200 MB/s, and write speeds up to 1,600 MB/s, this SSD is anything but basic.

The P34A60 supports NVMe 1.3, which demands better performance vectors than AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface), including scalable bandwidth, increased IOPS, and low latency. In addition, HMB (Host Memory Buffer) architecture, which allows the host driver to allocate system memory (RAM) for exclusive use by the SSD, results in higher efficiency. It's this teamwork that provides optimum performance.

Intel's Gargantuan Next-gen Enterprise CPU Socket is LGA4677

Intel has finalized design of its next-generation Xeon Scalable enterprise CPU socket for its "Sapphire Rapids" processors. Called LGA4677, the socket succeeds LGA3647, and is bound for a 2021 market release. Intel will have transitioned to its advanced 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication node on the CPU front, and has adopted an "enterprise-first" strategy for the node. LGA4677 will be designed to handle the extremely high bandwidth of PCI-Express Gen 5, which doubles bandwidth over PCIe gen 4.0, and adds several enterprise-specific features Intel is rolling out in advance as part of its CXL interconnect. These details, along with a prototype LGA4189 socket, was revealed at an exhibit by TE Connectivity, a company that manufactures the socket. The additional pin-count could enable Intel to not just deploy PCI-Express Gen 5, but also expand I/O in other directions, such as more memory channels, dedicated Persistent Memory I/O, etc.

Give the Gift of a Windows 10 Upgrade This Holiday with EKOffers

EKOffers lets you not just upgrade your Windows 7 operating system to Windows 10 Pro with massive discounts, but also lets you stock up on genuine, globally-valid licenses that you can give away this Holiday. At just USD $13.48 for TechPowerUp readers, Windows 10 Pro is a "must give" this Holiday as many of your friends or relatives could be still on Windows 7, which gets discontinued come January. Office 2019 Professional Plus is another great gifting idea for your coworkers or buddies going to college. EKOffers has it stocked for $54.75. EKOffers accepts PayPal so your payment instruments stay secure. It's affiliated to GB2Deal, another great site that lets you stock up on gifts for techies, gamers, and kids.

Don't forget to use the TechPowerUp-exclusive discount coupon TP20 at checkout for the prices you see here.

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Intel Core i3-10100 Put Through SANDRA, Beats i3-9100 by 31% in Multimedia Tests

Intel's 10th generation Core desktop processor lineup, based on the 14 nm "Comet Lake" silicon, will begin with the Core i3-10100 succeeding the Core i3-9100 and i3-8100. To squeeze the most out of the microarchitecture that's essentially identical to "Skylake," Intel has decided to enable HyperThreading across the Core processor family, which means the i3-10100 is a 4-core/8-thread chip. Interestingly, Intel has given it just 6 MB of shared L3 cache. It's likely that the slightly beefed up i3-103xx will be differentiated with 8 MB of L3 cache. The chip has the same 3.60 GHz nominal frequency, and an unknown degree of Turbo Boost. The current-gen i3-9100 features Turbo Boost, so it's likely that its successor will also get the feature.

A SiSoft SANDRA online database entry for the i3-10100 surfaced, where it has an overall score of 382.61 MPix/s using multimedia tests, a significal step up from the roughly 290 MPix/s of the i3-9100 (a 31 percent performance increase). This increase in performance can be attributed to HyperThreading, as SANDRA's multimedia tests leverage it efficiently. Intel is expected to launch the Core i3-10100 around the $120 mark, competing with AMD's Ryzen 3 3200G.
Sunday, October 13th 2019

Corsair Readies Carbide 110Q Entry-level Quiet Mid-tower

Corsair is ready with its new entry-level mid-tower, the Carbide 110Q. The 110 series succeeds the company's 100R and 100Q that have been around for years. The main design change is the reduction in number of 5.25-inch bays from two to one, to free up more room inside. The front fascia has a more pronounced faux brushed metal appearance. The internal layout of this case is identical to the 100-series, with the addition of two 2.5-inch mounts behind the motherboard tray, and the 2-bay 3.5-inch drive cage being detachable. The "Q" brand extension in 110Q denoted "quiet," and the case's various panels have noise absorbing foam lining. The front panel connectivity has been moved from front to the top, and includes a mobile-style headphones+mic jack, and two USB 3.1 type-A ports. The Carbide 110Q could succeed the 100Q around the $60 mark.
Friday, October 11th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Storage

Confirmed: NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super to Make Use of GDDR6 Memory

Videocardz have snagged some ZOTAC box renders (for an AMP and non-AMP model), and these all but confirm some rumors that have been circulating through the interwebs: NVIDIA's GTX 1660 SUPER will make use of a GDDR6 memory subsystem to increase bandwidth and competitiveness against AMD's lineup. As GDDR6 memory pricing falls, it makes sense that NVIDIA trickles it down across its product stack as a relatively inexpensive way to improve performance - a move that is well in line with their SUPER lineup policy.

Next-Gen Intel Core i3 to Sport Hyper Threading?

TUM_APISAK has done of his well-regarded snoopings again, and this one could have relevant information for the democratization of threads in next-gen Intel products. Intel has been slowly (as they can) increasing the amount of cores and threads in their respective product lines across i3, i5, and i7 CPUs after AMD's Ryzen onslaught. Luckily, from two core, four-thread Core i3 of a few years ago, we now seem to be entering a new era for entry-level computing, with a new SiSoftware benchmark seemingly showing an Intel next-gen "Comet Lake" Core i3 CPU sporting 4 physical threads with Hyper Threading enabled (so, basically, the equivalent of Skylake Core i7's from just three years ago).

The benchmark submission lists what appears to be a four-core, eight-thread Core i3-10100. It sports a 3.6 GHz base clock, which likely isn't final, so take that frequency with a grain of salt. This shuffle in the low-end definitely means an upscale in Intel's more powerful lineups, with HyperThreading likely being active for all of their product stack across Comet Lake - 4C, 8T Core i3; 6C, 12T Core i5; 8C, 16T Core i7; and a likely 10C, 20T Core i9 10900K that straddles the line between consumer and HEDT platforms. Of course, remember these are still built upon the 14 nm process, give or take a few "+" symbols, so don't expect too much in terms of energy efficiency gains.

CHERRY Introduces the New STREAM Keyboard

Cherry introduces the new STREAM keyboard, the perfect workhorse for professional work environments. With the many satisfied users of the original STREAM in mind, Cherry has upgraded the keyboard with extended functionality, a modern look, and

CHERRY has equipped the STREAM KEYBOARD with its own proven SX scissor technology, giving the keyboard a comfortable typing feel and uncompromising precision. During development, special attention was paid to the typing sound; compared to the previous model - which was already very quiet - the noise level has been reduced even further. This makes the STREAM KEYBOARD the best choice for open-plan offices with numerous workstations, where employee productivity benefits from a low-noise environment.

Quick Look: HyperX Doubleshot PBT Pudding Keycaps (White)

We took a close look at HyperX's new keyboard, the Alloy Origins, earlier this week, and were left impressed with it. The company had sent along also a set of their new replacement keycap set for us to check out, and this seemed like a great product to trial out a shorter article format to cover products that otherwise would not merit multi-page reviews. Let us know what you feel about such posts, and if you would like us to expand coverage accordingly.

The HyperX-branded PBT plastic keycaps with doubleshot injected legends use the so-called "pudding" construction, with the top 1/3 of the keycap sides only left opaque to allow for more light to go through. The black and white set was originally sold beginning late last year, and there must have been enough demand for HyperX to dedicate a new SKU for an all-white edition. Read past the break for more on the new keycap set, including fit and finish on the Alloy Origins keyboard too.

GoodOffer24 Autumn 2019 Sale Brings Never Before Seen Prices on Windows and Office

GoodOffer24 announced the Autumn 2019 Sale that brings you genuine, globally-valid Windows and Office licenses at never before seen prices. Discounts as deep as 90 percent over prevalent market prices for Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home lets you shave at least $80 off your gaming desktop build or upgrade from Windows 7, letting you spend that money elsewhere, such as an RGB LED overhaul, or cooling improvements, or even a bunch of AAA games (GoodOffer24 has them, too). Windows 10 Pro can be had for as low as USD $11.38, and Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC for $13.29 per license. No home desktop is complete without Office, and the latest Office 2019 Professional Plus can be had at just $49.65 for a genuine, lifetime, and globally-valid license. The formidable Office 2016 Professional Plus goes for an even deeper discount, for just $28.19. Find interesting combinations of Windows and Office that let you save even more, below.

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CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX Memory Breaks 5000MHz Barrier on AMD Ryzen Processors

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a new kit of its award-winning CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX DDR4 Memory, becoming the first commercially available high-frequency DRAM to break the 5,000 MHz barrier. This record-setting Micron-based memory is available now in a 2x 8 GB kit, reaching its full potential in select MSI X570 motherboards running 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors.

VENGEANCE LPX once again sets a new milestone in the world of performance memory, continuing to deliver on its long-standing tradition of excellence thanks to the partnership between CORSAIR, MSI, and AMD. The new modules have been specifically designed and fully tested to achieve their record-breaking maximum frequency of 5,000 MHz on the Ryzen 3000 platform in MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE, MSI MEG X570 ACE, MSI MEG X570 UNIFY, and PRESTIGE X570 CREATION motherboards using their included automated overclocking utilities.

Intel Discontinues Almost the Entire 7th Generation Core Desktop Processor Series

Intel late Thursday, through a product change notification, announced the discontinuation of almost its entire 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" desktop processor series. This includes most chips across the Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Pentium, and Celeron desktop chips based on the 14 nm+ "Kaby Lake-S" silicon, across both retail boxed and tray packages. These chips formed Intel's main product lineup through 2017, and had to be quickly succeeded by the 8th generation "Coffee Lake" with the advent of AMD Ryzen. To clear out its inventory, Intel will accept discontinuance orders for these chips until April 2020. A discontinuance order can only be placed by a customer who has previously ordered these exact chips. The last of these orders will be shipped out by October 2020.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare System Requirements Revealed

Ahead of its October 25 release, NVIDIA got hold of the system requirements for "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare," the month's hottest AAA release. NVIDIA is an extensive technical partner for the game's development, and the game is expected to feature NVIDIA RTX real-time ray-tracing at launch, along with support for NVIDIA Highlights and Ansel, although there's no mention of DLSS from NVIDIA. The game supports Windows 7, and isn't restricted to Windows 10. It calls for a whopping 175 GB of disk space. The bare minimum system requirements for a 1080p experience includes 8 GB of RAM, Intel Core i3-4130 or AMD FX-6300 processors, and GeForce GTX 670 or current-gen GTX 1650 graphics.

The recommended system requirements for 1080p 60 FPS without ray-tracing are Core i5-2500K or Ryzen 5 1600X processor, 12 GB of RAM, and either GTX 970 or current-gen GTX 1660 graphics. For 1080p 60 FPS with ray-tracing, the requirements climb up to RTX 2060 graphics. At the same resolution with 144 FPS frame-rate, "High" preset, and "competitive" performance that won't let you down in an online MP situation, you'll need at least a GeForce RTX 2070 Super, 16 GB of system RAM, and either Core i7-8700K or Ryzen 7 1800X processor. For 4K 60 FPS with ray-tracing, a high-end experience, you'll need at least an RTX 2080 Super graphics card, and either Core i7-9700K or Ryzen 7 2700X processor. The NVIDIA article doesn't mention AMD Radeon graphics cards. In the absence of ray-tracing, you can probably use an RX 590 for 1080p 60 FPS, RX 5700 for 1080p 144 FPS or 1440p 60 FPS.

DeepCool Announces Gamer Storm Castle 360EX White CPU Cooler

Deepcool is a company established with the vision - to provide the finest PC DIY solution for the worldwide customers by constantly seeking innovative breakthroughs. Rooted in its success in the previous AIO liquid coolers, today Deepcool launches Castle 360EX in white version -- CASTLE 360EX WHITE. CASTLE 360EX WHITE is equipped with Deepcool's exclusive Anti-leak Technology. The technology helps the system achieve automated pressure balance, which will significantly improve operation safety of AIO liquid cooling systems.

Intel Discontinues Omni-Path Enabled Xeon Processors

Intel's Omni-Path technology has been used primarily in high performance computing market, in order to provide high speed interconnect between Intel Xeon CPUs, with speeds reaching around 100 Gbps. Accompanied by different design and system integration that Omni-Path uses, it was a bit difficult to integrate into server system, while not adding much value that other technologies couldn't match or beat.

Because of these reasons, Intel is now discontinuing its last product capable of utilizing Omni-Path - the first generation Xeon Scalable CPUs. Carrying the suffix "F", these CPUs had an extra connector sticking out of CPU's PCB to enable the Omni-Path functionality (see images bellow). There were eight CPUs manufactured in total that had this extra feature, consisting out of two Xeon Platinum and six Xeon Gold CPUs, which have now reached end of life. Intel states that focus from these CPUs has shifted to other technologies like silicon photonics, which provides much greater speed reaching 100s of gigabits per second. Intel already demonstrated transceivers capable of reaching 400 Gb/s speeds with the magic of light, which will become available in 1H 2020.
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