Wednesday, June 16th 2021
Samsung 980 1 TB Review - Faster Than You Think

Samsung 980 1 TB Review - Faster Than You Think

Samsung 980 is the company's first attempt at releasing a DRAM-less SSD for the consumer market. While such designs usually are slow and have terrible random write rates, Samsung has found a way around that. Our Samsung 980 review confirms that this is one of the fastest SSDs you can buy.

Montech Launches X3 Mesh and X3 Glass Cases

MONTECH, an innovative PC components and peripherals brand, announces the X3 MESH and X3 GLASS mid-tower cases. The MONTECH X3 series offers excellent airflow with 6 pre-installed fans, versatility in component support, and a swivel tempered glass side panel. The X3 Mesh starting at US$69.99, and X3 Glass starting at US $75.99 are available in black or white.

The X3 series has a total of six pre-installed RGB fans, three 140 mm fans at the front, two 120 mm fans at the top, and a single 120 mm at the rear. The well-ventilated case ensures adequate airflow is maintained to keep the system at peak performance. While the top and bottom of the case include large openings with dust filters, the X3 Mesh's full front panel features a fine mesh for improved airflow. The X3 Glass features wide vents at the front on each side for air intake.

AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT LC Specs Confirmed: 12% Higher Core and Memory Clocks, 10% Higher Power

A leaked SKU sheet posted to Twitter by VideoCardz confirmed that AMD is indeed positioning the Radeon RX 6900 XT Liquid Cooled (LC) as a SKU separate from the RX 6900 XT. The finalized specs reveal that the card features Game Clocks of 2250 MHz, compared to 2015 MHz of the stock (air-cooled reference) RX 6900 XT; while the memory now operates at 18 Gbps (GDDR6 effective), compared to 16 Gbps on the reference card. This gives the GPU a memory bandwidth of 576 GB/s, compared to 512 GB/s on the reference. To support these, the TBP (total board power) value is increased by 10%, and is now at 330 W, compared to 300 W on the reference RX 6900 XT. The RX 6900 XT LC lugs an all-in-one, closed-loop, liquid cooling solution, while drawing power from the same two 8-pin PCIe power connectors as the original RX 6900 XT.

Schenker Announces XMG Core M21 Gaming Laptop with Core i7-11800H and RTX 3060 and CPU Undervolting

Following the Intel versions of the high-end laptops from the NEO model series, XMG is also revamping the CORE 15 and CORE 17 from the upper mid-range performance sector. The discreetly elegant gaming notebooks combine Intel's Core i7-11800H with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with maximum TGP. But the upgrade to the new Tiger Lake processors is not only accompanied by the transition to PCI Express 4.0 connections to the graphics card and M.2 SSD. The M21 model generation of the CORE laptops also integrates a Thunderbolt 4 connection for the first time and introduces extended options for CPU undervolting and memory tuning.

Just this January, XMG introduced the E21 model generation of its CORE laptops with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3060 and either AMD or Intel processors. Following the launch of the new 11th generation Core processors, the Intel-based versions of the XMG CORE 15 and CORE 17 (M21) now receive an update to the latest eight-core CPU i7-11800H. This is still accompanied by a GeForce RTX 3060 in the maximum configuration with a TGP of up to 130 watts, including 15 watts Dynamic Boost 2.0. A MUX switch allows NVIDIA Optimus to be disabled via the BIOS.

AMD Socket AM5 Motherboards Arriving in 2022, Paves Way for Zen3 + 3DV Cache on AM4

AMD Socket AM5 motherboards are set to arrive in Q2-2022, according to PJ, the editor of Uniko's Hardware. This would mean that the Zen 3 + 3D Vertical Cache chiplet AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su showed off in her Computex keynote, could very well be built in the Socket AM4 package, compatible with existing motherboards. The prototype Dr Su showed off appeared Socket AM4, too. AMD claims that the 3D Vertical Cache feature, when paired with a "Zen 3" chiplet, improves gaming performance by a significant 15 percent, helping AMD catch up with Intel's "Rocket Lake-S" processor at gaming. Elsewhere across the landscape, PJ predicts that the Z690 chipset, which goes with "Alder Lake-S" processors in the LGA1700 package, will arrive by Q4 2021, with cost-effective chipsets such as the B660 and H610 in Q1-2022.

HWiNFO Adds Enhanced Early Support for AMD Zen 4

AMD's Zen 4 based systems are still in development, however, the company is already distributing firmware to give the new core design proper support once it arrives. By doing this, software providers are already able to distribute software with support for Zen 4 architecture. One of those examples is HWiNFO, popular monitoring, and diagnostics tool. In the pre-release of its upcoming version 7.05, which you can already download, the tool lists "Enhanced early support of some Zen4-based systems". This means that the software would likely be capable of monitoring a few components of the Zen 4 system, as the temperature for example. While we are not sure what the "enhanced" really means, only time will tell, as we await the launch of AMD's next-generation systems. You can download the pre-release 7.05 version of HWiNFO here, and you can check out the changelog below.

Cyberpunk 2077 Returns to PlayStation Store on June 21st

Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most hyped AAA game releases in 2020, has been out for a while now. However, not too long ago, Sony, the maker of PlayStation, has pulled the game from its PlayStation Store amidst negative reviews and criticism that the game received. This has resulted in significantly lower sales of the game, as millions of potential buyers were left without an option to purchase it. But not everything is too dark. In the announcement made by CD Projekt RED, the game developer behind Cyberpunk 2077, things are looking bright for the game as Cyberpunk 2077 is returning to the PlayStation store on June 21st. You can see the quote from CDPR below.
CD Projekt REDIn relation to Current Report no. 66/2020 of 18 December 2020, the Management Board of CD PROJEKT S.A. with a registered office in Warsaw hereby publicly discloses the decision by Sony Interactive Entertainment to reinstate the availability of the digital edition of Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation Store, effective on 21 June 2021.

ESSENCORE Unveils KLEVV CRAS C920 and KLEVV CRAS C720 M.2 NVMe SSDs

ESSENCORE today unveiled the KLEVV CRAS C920 and KLEVV CRAS C720 SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. The CRAS C920 takes advantage of the PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface, and uses the Phison E18-series controller, paired with 3D TLC NAND flash memory. It comes in capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB. Both variants offer sequential reads of up to 7,000 MB/s, differing in write speeds—up to 6,850 MB/s for the 2 TB variant, and up to 5,500 MB/s for the 1 TB variant.

The KLEVV CRAS C720 meanwhile, is a slightly value ended product. It combines the latest revision of Phison E12S controller with 3D TLC NAND flash, and takes advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. This drive comes in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. Barring the 256 GB variant that offers sequential speeds of up to 3,200 MB/s with up to 1,300 MB/s writes; all the other variants offer up to 3,400 MB/s sequential reads; writing at up to 2,400 MB/s, 3,100 MB/s, and 3,100 MB/s, respectively. Endurance of these drives are rated at 170 TBW, 280 TBW, 565 TBW, and 1,550 TBW, respectively. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Update Jun 16th: The press-release follows.

Microsoft Acknowledges Windows 10 Taskbar Text Clarity Issue

Microsoft has recently acknowledged the blurry text issue encountered with the News and interests button in the taskbar. The issue was introduced with update KB5001391 and affects users with certain monitor configurations. This can affect users running Windows 21H1, 20H2, 2004, and 1909 and Microsoft has confirmed that they are working on a solution to be released in a future update. The only "solution" currently available is to disable the News and interests text and icon.
MicrosoftAfter installing KB5001391 or later updates, the news and interests button in the Windows taskbar might have blurry text on certain display configurations.

DDR5 Shipments Expected To Overtake DDR4 in 2023

The latest Status of the Memory Industry report from June 2021 published by Yole Developments shows the memory market continues to grow and is expected to exceed 200 billion USD in 2026. The introduction of DDR5 memory will be extremely quick with shipments expected to exceed that of DDR4 in 2023 and will account for over 90% of bits shipped by 2026. The major DRAM manufacturers have all finalized their mainstream DDR5 designs with shipments from several having already started. The report also predicts an increase in the amount of DRAM used in all product categories which will contribute to strong revenue growth for memory manufacturers.
Tuesday, June 15th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Mouse
Processors
SSD
Storage
Alphacool Eisblock GPX Aurora RTX 3080/3090 Reference Review

Alphacool Eisblock GPX Aurora RTX 3080/3090 Reference Review

Alphacool has two very different blocks for the RTX 3080/3090 reference PCB to cater to different tastes. This article goes over the GPX Aurora, a plexi-top block with integrated RGB lighting that includes a backplate and uses a unique coolant layout for a good price.

Western Digital Fuels Faster Decision Making at the Edge and in Harsh Remote Environments

Providing the foundation for the world's essential data infrastructure, Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced the availability of its new high-performance Ultrastar Edge server family that brings compute closer to where data is generated for faster processing, lower latency and real-time decision making, even when disconnected.

With the growing adoption of 5G, IoT and the cloud, businesses and consumers expect super-fast performance with their applications. This is creating demand for new, distributed intelligent architectures outside of core data centers to help ingest, analyze and transform data at the edge. In addition, organizations are running applications in extremely remote locations, such as deserts, seas or jungles, and are driving the need for ruggedized compute and storage where networks can be expensive, intermittent or nonexistent.

Sonnet Announces Professional Modular Thunderbolt Expansion for the Desktop and Rack

Sonnet Technologies today announced the DuoModo line of professional, modular Thunderbolt expansion systems for the desktop and for rack installation, the latest entries in its award-winning lineup of Thunderbolt products. The DuoModo line is comprised of three interchangeable expansion modules—a three-slot PCIe card system, an eGPU card system, and a Mac mini mounting system with integrated 40 Gbps Thunderbolt storage dock—and three enclosures consisting of two dual-module housings (one desktop and one rackmount) and a single-module desktop housing. Sonnet will also offer four preconfigured systems to simplify the order process for the most popular combinations of modules and enclosures. All modules are Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 compatible.

DuoModo Echo III Module: This module (the same one used in Sonnet's Echo III Desktop and Echo III Rackmount systems announced at the end of 2020) features one x16 and two x8 PCIe 3.0 slots; accommodates full-height, full-length (up to 12.28 inches long) PCIe cards; and connects them to a computer's Thunderbolt port via the included 0.7-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) cable. The module integrates a universal 400 W power supply and includes a 75 W auxiliary power connector for non-GPU cards that require extra power. The module includes a mode switch that enables the use of three Avid Pro Tools|HDX PCIe cards, and features Noctua cooling fans for ultra-quiet operation.

EK Water Blocks Announces Active Backplate for RTX 3090 Founders Edition

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is introducing a long-awaited special edition Active Backplate for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition GPUs. The EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3090 D-RGB Active Backplate is made to complement the existing EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3090 - Special Edition water blocks and actively cool the backside of a Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 GPUs.

The EK-Quantum Vector FE RTX 3090 active backplate links the water block and active backplate with a new terminal, which replaces the original terminal that comes with your water block. As a result, the whole enclosure requires only one inlet and one outlet, which removes unnecessary additional tubing and reduces clutter. It is the ultimate aesthetic and performance solution that sandwiches your GPU between two water blocks, allowing for maximum cooling.

Strictly Quantum: EK Shows New Velocity2 CPU Blocks, Lignum GPU Block, Real Gold Fittings and More!

EK Water Blocks, or simply EK as the company refers to itself now, had a decent showing at the virtual Computex 2021 event including new AIO CPU coolers, additions to its Fluid Gaming and Fluid Works portfolio, and more water blocks based on current designs and supporting newer hardware, including one we reported on just a few hours ago. These all interested me, but then there was a nearly two hour private conversation followed by a live stream that ended minutes ago which shed more light on future updates and products in its mainstream Quantum DIY liquid cooling lineup.

There were renders of the upcoming Velocity² CPU blocks shared before, but seeing them actually manufactured is a whole other thing. Velocity² is the update to EK's popular Velocity CPU blocks, with a complete redesign that evokes more comparisons to monoblocks than other CPU blocks. Taking cues from the flagship EK-Quantum Magnitude, you will see different cooling engines to better cool different CPU sockets. There is also a concealed aesthetic theme here, especially for the acetal top version where you can't see any screws in use, thanks to a patent-pending mounting mechanism from the back- again taking cues from monoblocks. EK says the new system uses "pre-tensioned springs concealed in the water block top, so with just a few turns on the thumb-nuts, the installation is finished". We look forward to checking these out in person when they release in the Sept 2021 timeframe. Read past the break for more from EK!

Windows 11 ISO Leaks to the Web, New Start Screen, Mac-like Centered Dock, Rounded Edges

Alleged screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming operating system, the Windows 11, were leaked to the web ahead of its June 24 unveiling. The screenshots reveal a user interface that has several tie-ins with the current Windows 10, although enough is there to set it apart. For starters, the Start "menu" (if you can call it that), looks less like a menu, and more like a pop-out window with icons and actions, much like the macOS Finder. Icons pinned to the taskbar or open, are centered. The clock and system tray is still where it should be.

Windows Explorer features a familiar ribbon-type user interface, although there are changes to the icons. It's laid out exactly like in Windows 10. A thing to notice here is the window theme itself, which is single-tone, and with rounded edges. The "News and Interests" menu that surfaced in the recent Windows 10 update is more full-featured. User interface is only a fraction of what makes up a Windows major version, and Windows 11 is said to feature major under-the-hood changes, such as a new scheduler that's better suited for the upcoming hybrid x86 core processors from Intel and AMD.

Spurred by M1 Performance, Apple Doubles Shipments of Mac Computers

The M1 chip is usually found at a perception crossroads: fans of Apple tout its desktop CPU-level performance numbers in some workloads while comparatively sipping power (and even allowing for true fanless designs in the Apple Macbook Air), while non-fans are quick to point out that synthetic benchmarks aren't truly representative of performance. Whatever side of the fence you sit on (even if you straddle it by admitting that the M1 chip can actually outperform much more powerful and core-laden Ryzen CPUs in some specific workloads), the M1 has been a running success for the California-based company. So much so, in fact, that Apple more than doubled its shipments (a 111% increase) in 2021 compared to the previous year. The second manufacturer with the highest shipment growth is Acer, with 73% - and a slightly smaller overall shipment volume.

The success of Apple's M1 only served to increase Apple's confidence in its decision to abandon Intel, and the company is expected to announce the M1's successor sometime this year. Furthermore, a new version of MacOS further increases the divide to Intel-based Macs due to some features only working on their M1 counterparts. When you consider all of that, including the accelerating optimization of many applications for the platform (Capture One, Affinity, and most recently Adobe), the platform maturity that has been achieved in such a short while, and the announcement of even more powerful hardware for content creators, it may be the case that Apple actually keeps up its momentum and presents a rather competitive landscape to the Windows + x86 PC ecosystem (I won't use Wintel because that's, well, inaccurate and unfair to AMD). Apple is surely on the way to carve out more than its current 15,84% market share (which still places it in a second-place in the overall OS market).

SMART Modular Announces SSDs for Aerospace, Defense and Industrial Applications

SMART Modular Technologies, a SMART Global Holdings, Inc. company (Nasdaq: SGH) and a global leader in memory solutions, solid-state drives and hybrid storage products, today announced the new T5EN PCIe/NVMe M.2 2280 and U.2 flash drives for aerospace, defense and industrial applications that require durable, rugged, and secure memory storage.

Extending SMART Modular's T5E family of SSDs, the T5EN offers capacities up to 8 TB (M.2 up to 4 TB) Gen 3 x4 performance using 3D TLC flash with pSLC support. "With the growing trend toward NVMe in embedded systems, developing the T5EN was a natural progression and complement to our existing product line," explains Mike Guzzo, senior director of SMART Modular's RUGGED line of Flash products. Guzzo adds, "Fundamentally, the T5EN includes all of the existing advantages of the T5E, such as very high capacity, superior reliability for harsh environmental extremes, military erase algorithm support, as well as 256 bit encryption. These advantages equate to a higher level of protection for mission-critical data and instill confidence in the overall reliability of the data storage devices that support high-performing NVMe architectures."

Dynabook Rolls Out Next-Generation Tecra Laptops

Dynabook Americas, Inc., formerly the Toshiba PC Company, today announced the next-generation of its Tecra A Series laptops with the 14-inch Tecra A40-J and 15-inch Tecra A50-J. Dynabook completely redesigned these new professional grade laptops to address the needs of the modern, flexible worker while reducing the strain on IT managers. Reliable, secure, and easy to manage, this lightweight and stylish duo are the latest additions to Dynabook's well-established Tecra product line.

"The new modern designs of the Tecra A40 and A50 truly stand out from the crowd," said Philip Osako, vice president, marketing and engineering, Dynabook Americas, Inc. "These new laptops incorporate the power and performance of a professional-grade laptop with a premium style that looks great in any work environment."

G.SKILL Announces Unique Pentagonal Z5i Mini-ITX PC Case

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the Z5i Mini-ITX chassis, a minimalist and compact PC case constructed for high-performance, small-form-factor (SFF) builds. The Z5i features a sleek pentagonal prism case design with curved tempered glass side panels on both sides, and is capable of supporting liquid cooler radiators of up to 280 mm and high-end triple-slot graphics cards of up to 330 mm in length for a small, yet powerful PC build.

The G.SKILL Z5i is a uniquely crafted Mini-ITX case with curved 4 mm tempered glass side panels that wrap around the precision-made single-piece aluminium exterior frame to form a 5-sided case, showcasing the dual-chamber design so internal hardware components can be viewed from both sides. To enable a cleaner workspace, the Z5i is created with a bottom-facing motherboard I/O panel so cables can be neatly and easily managed.

PowerColor Website Begins Listing RX 6900 XT Liquid-Cooled Reference

PowerColor's website has begun showing what is very likely the made-by-AMD (reference design) Radeon RX 6900 XT LC graphics card, as discovered by momomo_us. It bears the PowerColor SKU "AXRX 6900XT 16GBD6-MW2DHC," compared to the air-cooled reference version's SKU of "AXRX 6900XT 16GBD6-M2DHC." The webpage doesn't include any pictures. Some of the oldest leaks of the reference RX 6900 XT LC also pointed to a Sapphire branded card, which means a retail launch through AIB partners cannot be ruled out; as an SI or OEM-only launch would be handled by AMD, without involving AIBs.

The Radeon RX 6900 XT LC features a factory-fitted all-in-one liquid cooling solution, and possibly the new "XTXH" variant of the "Navi 21" silicon, which is able to sustain up to 10% higher engine clocks than the stock RX 6900 XT. AMD has reportedly gone a step further, and also given the LC version 15% faster memory, running at 18.48 Gbps data-rate, and so its performance could be very interesting to see. Some early testing is already out.

FSP Announces U3 Power Adapters for Laptops, Mobile Workstation, and SFF Desktops

In order to meet the need for increasingly powerful functions, many terminal devices have been designed with significantly increased product computing capacity and power consumption. Power supplies that serve the purpose of providing power must also increase power wattages to meet large power supply needs. However, must products with high-wattage requirements come with large-capacity power supplies? FSP thinking outside the box of conventional design, has developed adapters with high wattages and compact sizes, thereby meeting users' portability and space-saving needs.

The FSP U3 series ultra-slim adapter 90 W/120 W/135 W is only 2/3 the height of the iPhone 12 Pro. Its size is reduced by 50% compared to products with the same wattages in the market, with the same power and a smaller volume, making it the adapter product with the highest power density in the market at present. Due to its powerful R&D capabilities, the product volume has been substantively reduced while achieving better performance. The U3 series adapters feature conversion efficiency exceeding 90%. Its standby power-saving mode is also in line with DoE Level 6 and CoC v5 Tier 2 specifications.

Noctua Launches NH-P1 Passive CPU Cooler and LS-PWM Fan for Semi-fanless Systems

Noctua today released its much anticipated NH-P1 CPU cooler as well as the optional NF-A12x25 LS-PWM 120 mm fan. Custom-designed for fanless operation from the ground up, the NH-P1 is capable of cooling modern high-end CPUs with low to moderate heat dissipation completely passively in enclosures with good natural convection. For further enhanced performance or semi-passive setups that only spin up their fans when necessary, the NH-P1 can be outfitted with a low-speed, ultra-quiet 120 mm fan such as the new NF-A12x25 LS-PWM.

"The NH-P1 is our very first passive cooler, and it should be easy to see that we didn't just take a regular heatsink and omit the fan", says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "A lot of engineering work went into designing this unit for fanless operation from the ground up and we're truly proud of the end result. In our completely fanless demo system, the NH-P1 cools an Intel Core i9-11900K running Prime95 at more than 3.60 GHz - this is a lot of processing power and a whopping 125 W kept in check with zero fan noise!"

IDC Forecasts Solid Growth for the Hard Disk Drive and Solid State Drive Markets to Meet Increasing Demand for Data Storage Capacity

International Data Corporation (IDC) recently published new forecasts for the worldwide hard disk drive (HDD) and solid state drive (SSD) markets. While both markets were affected the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook looks good as demand for storage remains strong in multiple areas. Worldwide HDD industry petabyte shipments are expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.5% over the 2020-2025 forecast period and average capacity per drive is forecast to increase at a five-year CAGR of 25.5%.

"While the client HDD market continues a long-term secular decline due to rising SSD attach rates, the COVID-19 pandemic has over the near term increased the demand for certain types of HDDs, particularly mobile HDDs as well as capacity-optimized HDDs," said Edward Burns, research director, Hard Disk Drive and Storage Technologies at IDC. "And the demand for storage capacity continues to grow at a steady pace as the world creates and stores more and more data."

ASUS Launches GeForce RTX 3070 LHR Series

ASUS has updated their RTX 3070 lineup with the new LHR (Lite Hash Rate) branding from NVIDIA as they switch to using the new boards. ASUS has followed NVIDIA's guidelines for advertising LHR models exactly with the new cards feature a different model number, updated prominent information on product pages and LHR branding on the packaging. ASUS has released a total of seven new models in the RTX 3070 LHR series which will replace existing models. ASUS has also updated their website with RTX 3060 LHR models however the RTX 3080 and RTX 3060 Ti are yet to be updated with these new revisions. The specifications of the cards remain identical apart from the hash rate reduction and are simply rebadges to meet NVIDIA requirements.

AMD Radeon RX 6600M Tested, Compared with GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU

An HP Omen 16 gaming notebook powered by AMD Radeon RX 6600M graphics, was compared with those based on the GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, and the RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU. The RX 6600M was found to post significantly better performance/Watt (total graphics power/TGP) than the RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, and go on to perform in the same league as the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU. The RX 6600M trades blows with the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU across a wide variety of games at 1080p, although the NVIDIA chip has an upper hand with 1440p. The RTX 3060 Laptop GPU also owns raytracing performance. The crypto-currency mining hash-rate of the RX 6600M is significantly lower than the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU. These numbers show that for for mainstream gaming notebooks with 1080p 60 Hz displays, the RX 6600M provides a formidable alternative to the RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.
More numbers follow.

Intel Ponte Vecchio GPU to Be Liquid Cooled Inside OAM Form Factor

Intel's upcoming Ponte Vecchio graphics card is set to be the company's most powerful processor ever designed, and the chip is indeed looking like an engineering marvel. From Intel's previous teasers, we have learned that Ponte Vecchio is built using 47 "magical tiles" or 47 dies which are responsible either for computing elements, Rambo Cache, Xe links, or something else. Today, we are getting a new piece of information coming from Igor's LAB, regarding the Ponte Vecchio and some of its design choices. For starters, the GPU will be a heterogeneous design that consists out of many different nodes. Some parts of the GPU will be manufactured on Intel's 10 nm SuperFin and 7 nm technologies, while others will use TSMC's 7 nm and 5 nm nodes. The smaller and more efficient nodes will probably be used for computing elements. Everything will be held together by Intel's EMIB and Foveros 3D packaging.

Next up, we have information that this massive Intel processor will be accountable for around 600 Watts of heat output, which is a lot to cool. That is why in the leaked renders, we see that Intel envisioned these processors to be liquid-cooled, which would make the cooling much easier and much more efficient compared to air cooling of such a high heat output. Another interesting thing is that the Ponte Vecchio is designed to fit inside OAM (OCP Accelerator Module) form factor, an alternative to the regular PCIe-based accelerators in data centers. OAM is used primarily by hyper scalers like Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc., so we imagine that Intel already knows its customers before the product even hits the market.

Amazon Luna Game Streaming Service Launching for Prime Members June 21

Amazon announced its Luna game streaming service as a competitor to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud back in 2020. Amazon is now launching the service for Prime members with a free seven-day trial available from June 21st. This is the first time the service will be offered to those without an early access invite and will cost 5.99 USD per month after the trial has expired. The Luna game library includes titles from Capcom, 505 Games, and Team 17 with some highlights including Control, GRID, and Metro Exodus. Ubisoft games will also be offered however they are separate from the base library and cost 15 USD per month. Amazon is also offering the Luna controller for the first time with a limited 30% discount bringing the cost to 48.99 USD.

Intel Core i9-11900KB Beast Canyon NUC 11 Extreme Benchmarked

We now have preliminary benchmarks for the unreleased NUC 11 Extreme Beast Canyon NUC in 3DMark. We have already seen various leaks of the upcoming device detailing the available configurations and options. The NUC 11 Extreme will be offered with a choice of four processors with the highest being the upcoming Intel Core i9-11900KB which is the star of today's benchmarks. The i9-11900KB equipped NUC was paired with a desktop RTX 3060 and was put through its paces in the Fire Strike and Time Spy 3DMark benchmarks. The i9-11900KB is a specialty processor designed for use in NUC products with the new add-in card form factor and is largely comparable to the desktop i9-11900.

The Intel Core i9-11900KB is an 8 core 16 thread mobile processor with a base clock of 3.3 GHz, a boost clock of 4.9 GHz and a thermal velocity boost of 5.3 GHz. The chip features 24 MB of L3 cache and comes with a configurable TDP of 55 W/65 W. The base clock is higher than the 2.5 GHz found on the desktop i9-11900 while the boost clock is 300 MHz less and the thermal velocity boost is 100 MHz higher. The Intel Core i9-11900KB averages 93% - 101% of the performance of the i9-11900 which is to be expected considering the clock speeds.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction Launches on September 16

Today at Ubisoft Forward, Ubisoft announced that Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction, the next mainline installment in the Rainbow Six franchise, will release worldwide with full cross-play, cross-save, and cross-progression on September 16, 2021 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Amazon Luna, Stadia, the Ubisoft Store and the Epic Games Store on Windows PC as well as Ubisoft+, the Ubisoft subscription service.

Formerly titled Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine, Rainbow Six Extraction is being led by a seasoned team of veterans at Ubisoft Montreal. Inspired by the long-standing legacy of co-op Rainbow Six shooters, Rainbow Six Extraction is a brand new tactical co-op PvE experience bringing operators together to fight against a mysterious threat.

Mad Catz Also Unveils New-Gen F.R.E.Q. DAC and DAC-L Gaming Audio

Mad Catz Global Limited, the leading innovator in gaming hardware, is excited to announce two DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) products - F.R.E.Q. DAC and DAC-L. Portable for mobile and laptops F.R.E.Q. DAC and DAC-L provide excellent convenience and immersive audio to gamers. Mad Catz F.R.E.Q. DAC is a complete Digital-to-Analog Converter with a convenient USB Type-C port that supports the latest mobile devices with exceptional portability. It features 4 EQ modes with an outstanding 7.1 surround sound to ensure an immersive musical experience. The user can enjoy the depth of music with a better gaming experience.

The built-in Hi-Res chip ensures high-quality sound performance. Up to 24-bit / 192 kHz lossless output maximizes the original sound quality of your mobile phones or gaming laptops. Moreover, the native 7.1 surround sound channel assures accurate positional audio while gaming. The ultra-immersive surround sound engages the gamers in playing for longer hours. Also, the intelligent EQ Modes allow you to switch to 4 different modes: Gaming/Music/Movie/Stereo by just clicking the button or sliding the touch bar.

Mad Catz Announces the B.A.T. 6+ Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

Mad Catz Global Limited, the leading innovators in gaming hardware, are excited to announce a new gaming mouse, the B.A.T. 6+. Combining the elements of fast and powerful design, the truly ambidextrous gaming mouse offers the ultimate customizability and comfort, allowing every gamer to swap the side skirts and palm rests at will under each circumstance. Equipped with a high-end 16K DPI sensor and the 2ms response time of the DAKOTA switch, B.A.T. 6+ makes you become the mobile armory.

B.A.T. 6+'s design cues were inspired by spaceships, hypercars, and batmobiles. The side vents design was obtained from the speediest hypercar. This design prevents the gamer's hands from overheating during long hours of play. The B.A.T. 6+'s various sizes of swappable backplates and side skirts are all expertly engineered to accommodate grip, claw, or finger-tip styles of play, allowing for a personalized gaming experience that adapts seamlessly to different gaming situations.

Qualcomm Moots a Consortium of Chipmakers to Buy Arm if NVIDIA's Bid Fails

Qualcomm is proposing a consortium of companies that will make a competitive bid to acquire Arm Holdings from SoftBank, if NVIDIA falters in its acquisition, according to a report in The Telegraph citing an interview with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon. Unlike NVIDIA's bid, where a single company that's in the SoC designing business, gets to own Arm IP, giving it a competitive upper-hand over other Arm licensees; the consortium would be made up of several companies, including Qualcomm, one of Arm's largest IP licensees, which makes SoCs for smartphones, tablets, wearables, and IoT devices, across all market segments.

"If Arm has an independent future, I think you will find there is a lot of interest from a lot of the companies within the ecosystem, including Qualcomm, to invest in Arm," said Amon. "We will definitely be open to it, and we have had discussions with other companies that feel the same way. That's the reason it's a logical conclusion for us, and for many other companies, that to invest in a strong and independent Arm is probably the best for everyone," he added. NVIDIA is in the process of acquiring Arm Holdings, lock, stock, and barrel, in a humongous $40 billion deal, which has run into hold-ups with competition regulators across the globe, including the UK, the home of Arm Holdings.

Foremay Launches World's Fastest & Largest VPX SSDs

Foremay, Inc., a leader of technology innovation in rugged solid state drives and one of the world's Top SSD companies, announced today its EC188 series rugged VPX SSD drives. These military and aerospace grade VPX SSDs offer the world's largest capacity with each single card up to 16 TB. Furthermore, Foremay's rugged VPX SSD drives bring unprecedented performance with read/write speeds up to 6.5/6.2 GB/s, and random read/write IOPS at 4KB up to 550K/600K. These cutting-edge features help defense and aerospace system builders design their next generation systems for air, space, ground (including sand, mud & wetland), and underwater applications.

The COVID-19 pandemic did not stop our sustained pace in seeking continuing excellence in technology innovation in rugged solid state drives," said Dr. Jack Winters, Foremay's CTO and co-founder. "Our rugged VPX SSDs were created during a harsh economic environment, and they will serve well in harsh deployment environments."

Intel Unveils the Infrastructure Processing Unit (IPU)

Today during the Six Five Summit, Intel unveiled its vision for the infrastructure processing unit (IPU), a programmable networking device designed to enable cloud and communication service providers to reduce overhead and free up performance for central processing units (CPUs). With an IPU, customers will better utilize resources with a secure, programmable, stable solution that enables them to balance processing and storage.

"The IPU is a new category of technologies and is one of the strategic pillars of our cloud strategy. It expands upon our SmartNIC capabilities and is designed to address the complexity and inefficiencies in the modern data center. At Intel, we are dedicated to creating solutions and innovating alongside our customer and partners—the IPU exemplifies this collaboration," said Guido Appenzeller, chief technology officer, Data Platforms Group, Intel.

Thermalright Intros TA140 EX CPU Cooler

Thermalright today updated its CPU cooler lineup with the new TA140 EX, a tower-type air CPU cooler. The cooler looks slender, but that's only because it's ventilated by a large 140 mm fan. Five 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes make contact with the processor through a mirror-finish base of nickel-plated C1100 copper, conveying heat through an aluminium fin-stack of 53 fins.

The included TL-D14X fan features a fluid-dynamic bearing, turns at speeds of up to 1,800 RPM, pushing up to 95.5 CFM of airflow, at 2.25 mm H₂O static pressure, and 30.2 dBA maximum noise output. Among the CPU socket types supported by the Thermalright TA140 EX, are the LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA2066, and AM4. Measuring 145 mm x 72 mm x 158 mm (LxWxH, including fan); the cooler weighs 840 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Monday, June 14th 2021

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Mouse
Notebooks
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Aqua Computer LEAKSHIELD Review - No More Leaks

Aqua Computer LEAKSHIELD Review - No More Leaks

Aqua Computer challenges conventional watercooling by throwing a vacuum pump into the loop! The all-new LEAKSHIELD not only detects leaks by using a sensitive pressure sensor, but also aims to stop them with a clever vacuum-pump implementation and negative pressure operation.
Upcoming Hardware Launches 2021 (Updated Jun 2021)

Upcoming Hardware Launches 2021 (Updated Jun 2021)

This article serves as a continuously updated summary of currently known leaks and official announcements regarding upcoming hardware releases in 2021 and beyond. We cover and keep track of developments for Intel Alder Lake, AMD Zen 4, NVIDIA's future Ampere cards, new AMD Radeons, DDR5 memory, Intel's next Xe GPU, chipsets and more.
Sharkoon SKILLER SGK30 Keyboard Review

Sharkoon SKILLER SGK30 Keyboard Review

What better way to kick off our first Sharkoon keyboard review than with the new SKILLER SGK30? It is a petite full-size keyboard that comes in more language layouts than a translator and offers excellent value for the money with mechanical switches, software support, RGB lighting, and more!

Colorful GeForce RTX 3090 iGame KUDAN Flagship Teased

Colorful earlier this week, teased its upcoming flagship graphics card, the GeForce RTX 3090 iGame KUDAN. The teaser was supposed to be a silhouette, but someone in Colorful's marketing team simply darkened a picture to come up with it. VideoCardz only had to turn the levels back up for a better look at the card. The RTX 3090 KUDAN features the over-the-top engineering Colorful earned its reputation after.

The RTX 3090 KUDAN features an enormous triple-slot/triple-fan cooling solution that also features provision for liquid cooling. The liquid cooling loop works in concert with the air-cooling solution for additional cooling. Colorful's industrial design language is a cross between the ASUS TUF Gaming and ASRock Taichi. The cooler also features a 3-inch true-color display that can be programmed to show just about anything, but its main function is real-time monitoring. We should know more about this card in the coming days.

AMD Liquid-Cooled Reference RX 6900 "XTX" Tested on 3DMark

PC enthusiasts on the Bili Bili community posted the first performance benchmarks of the Made-by-AMD liquid-cooled Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card, which has been doing rounds on the rumor mill as an "XTX" part. This card features engine clock speeds in the league of the recent RX 6900 XT "XTXH silicon" factory-overclocked cards, but its more striking specification is the use of 18.48 Gbps-rated GDDR6 memory (15.5% increased memory bandwidth), and liquid cooling. The engine clocks are set at 2250 MHz game, with 2435 MHz boost.

Tested across 3DMark Time Spy, Time Spy Extreme, Fire Stike Extreme, and Port Royal, the card is tested to be anywhere between 5-8 percent faster than an air-cooled reference RX 6900 XT card. This would put it slightly behind the custom RX 6900 XT ("XTXH silicon") cards, though a significant upgrade from the air-cooled card. Coreteks in a recent report stated that the liquid-cooled reference RX 6900 XT is being targeted exclusively at the SI (system integrator) market, and so far, the card has only been spotted in China.

Introducing Beats Studio Buds True Wireless Earphones with Active Noise Cancellation

Beats today announces Beats Studio Buds, powerful true wireless earbuds that deliver a high-quality audio experience in a sleek, lightweight and comfortable design. Sweat- and water-resistant earbuds with an IPX4 rating and up to 24 hours of battery life, Studio Buds brings quality Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency and for the first time ever, convenient one-touch pairing to both iOS and Android users. Studio Buds are available to order starting today in three classic Beats colors, Black, White and Beats Red, for $149.99.

"In building a product this small, every minute detail was considered, analyzed and selected to optimize for sound quality, comfort and durability," said Oliver Schusser, vice president of Beats and Apple Music. "Studio Buds is our tiniest, most subtle form factor to date, yet keeps Beats' promise of delivering an immersive sound experience in a beautiful design."

Turtle Beach Announces Entry Into Game Controllers and Gaming Simulation Hardware

Leading gaming accessory maker Turtle Beach Corporation today announced its entry into two large and rapidly growing gaming accessory markets - game controllers and gaming simulation hardware. At E3 2021, the Company revealed two groundbreaking products developed under its best-selling Turtle Beach brand and provided details for the all-new Designed for Xbox Recon Controller and VelocityOne Flight simulation control system. Turtle Beach's entrance into the controller and gaming simulation hardware markets present two major opportunities for the Company to expand its reach by leveraging its strong brand and reputation for creating high-quality gaming hardware.

These new products will provide gamers and simulation fans with first-to-market features and innovations designed to elevate their experiences. The Recon Controller is the first to pair Turtle Beach's signature audio technology with game-winning controls. VelocityOne Flight is the complete flight control system, developed in collaboration with aeronautical engineers and pilots to deliver the most immersive, authentic, and modern PC and Xbox flying experience on the market.

Samsung Brings Flagship Features to Broader Smartphone Market with LPDDR5 Multichip Package

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing its latest smartphone memory solution, the LPDDR5 UFS-based multichip package (uMCP). Samsung's uMCP integrates the fastest LPDDR5 DRAM with the latest UFS 3.1 NAND flash, delivering flagship-level performance to a much broader range of smartphone users.

"Samsung's new LPDDR5 uMCP is built upon our rich legacy of memory advancements and packaging know-how, enabling consumers to enjoy uninterrupted streaming, gaming and mixed reality experiences even in lower-tier devices," said Young-soo Sohn, vice president of the Memory Product Planning Team at Samsung Electronics. "As 5G-compatible devices become more mainstream, we anticipate that our latest multichip package innovation will accelerate the market transition to 5G and beyond, and help to bring the metaverse into our everyday lives a lot faster."

Razer Blade 14 Launches, Powered by Ryzen 5900HX and GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced during their E3 keynote the return of a gaming legend: The Razer Blade 14. After a three-year hiatus, the Blade 14 is back to shake up the scene as the first Razer Blade to ever feature an AMD processor, the 8-core AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, offering the fastest gaming performance in its class.

The new Razer Blade 14 will also feature up to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, and up to a Quad HD 165Hz display, all packaged into the world's most compact 14-inch gaming chassis. Rounding out the 14-inch powerhouse are the signature Razer trappings that have established Razer Blade laptops as one of a kind, including per-key Razer Chroma RGB backlighting, immersive THX Spatial Audio for dynamic sound, and an abundant offering of ports to make everyday life easier.

Alphacool Unveils Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX for Palit RTX 3070 GameRock and ASUS Strix

The Alphacool Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX for NVIDIA RTX 3080/3090 Palit GameRock, RTX 3070 ASUS ROG Strix und RTX 3070 ASUS DUAL/TUF graphics cards is a complete redevelopment of the previous Alphacool graphics card water coolers. No technical compromises were made, but the entire technical know-how flowed into the development and implementation. Style meets performance!

The water flow inside the cooler has also been optimized. All important components such as the voltage transformers and the memory are now significantly better and more effectively cooled by the water. All this ensures a significant increase in cooling performance. The design is also new! The Eisblock Aurora Acryl GPX cooler has been designed so that lighting is more important than the previous models. The addressable digital RGB LEDs are embedded directly into the cooling block and run along the entire cooling block. The effect is an illumination of the entire cooling block. The aRGB LEDs used here give the cooler its very own visual touch.

EK Launches Active Backplates for ASUS TUF RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs

EK, the leading computer cooling solutions provider, is introducing another addition to the EK Quantum Line. The EK-Quantum Vector TUF RTX 3080/3090 active backplate is made to complement the existing EK-Quantum Vector TUF RTX 3080/3090 water blocks and actively cool the backside of ASUS TUF GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 GPUs.

EK-Quantum Vector TUF RTX 3080/3090 Active Backplate links the water block and active backplate with a new terminal, which replaces the stock terminal that comes with your water block. This way, the whole enclosure requires only one inlet and one outlet, removing unnecessary additional tubing and reducing clutter. It is the ultimate aesthetic and performance solution that finds your GPU sandwiched between two water blocks, allowing maximum cooling.

Razer Unveils the Raptor 27 Gaming Monitor

Razer today announced the latest version of its multi-award-winning gaming monitor, the new Razer Raptor 27. With a 165 Hz display and 1 ms response time, the Raptor 27 meets the demand for image quality and speed needed in today's high-frame-rate and high-resolution AAA game titles. The Razer Raptor 27 is the world's first PC monitor to achieve THX Certification, undergoing more than 400 individual tests to ensure color, tone and images are displayed as their creators intended, for a stunning picture quality and level of detail.

Providing increased fluidity at 165 Hz, the wide-angle IPS display in the new Razer Raptor 27 boasts a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution with support for both AMD FreeSync Premium and NVIDIA G-Sync adaptive synchronization technology. With a 95 percent DCI-P3 wide color gamut and HDR400 capability, the Razer Raptor 27 offers deep blacks and vibrant colors that take gaming, productivity, and entertainment to new visual heights.

Razer Unveils the BlackShark V2 Pro Siege Special Edition Headset

Razer, in collaboration with Ubisoft, today announced the BlackShark V2 Pro - Six Siege Special Edition, the official esports headset for the multi-million player base game, Six Siege. Reskinned with a striking Six Siege design and highlighted with eye-catching orange stitching and accents, it lets players make their mark both in-game and in real life.

The BlackShark V2 Pro - Six Siege Special Edition retains all the features of the award-winning BlackShark V2 Pro esports headset, with Razer TriForce Titanium 50 mm drivers to deliver bright sound, rich trebles, and powerful bass, THX Spatial Audio for pinpoint positional accuracy, and a Discord-certified, removable Razer HyperClear Supercardioid Microphone for crystal clear voice comms. The Blackshark V2 Pro - Six Siege Special Edition is powered with Razer HyperSpeed Wireless technology for the fastest, most reliable connection, and delivers up to 24 hours of battery life for even the longest of play sessions.

Microsoft Clears Way for Windows 11: Windows 10 Support to End October 14th, 2025

Microsoft has revealed the date when support for Windows 10 is going to end - effectively confirming that their original vision of Windows 10 being "the last Windows OS ever" is now dead. The information comes from Microsoft's own update to Windows 10's support life cycle page, which the company has amended with the final resting date set for October 14th 2025 for both Home and Pro versions of the operating system. Previously, the support life cycle page listed end of support dates for various release versions of Windows 10 - not the entire OS.

Adding this to the announcement that Windows would get a new, "next-gen" update; the related teaser art which omits the shadow of the window crossbar, making the cast shadow look either basically unrealistic (some Raytracing seems to be needed by Microsoft's art personnel) or, infinitely more likely, the omitted shadow serves to approximate the cast shadows as much as possible to 11. No official announcement by Microsoft, but usually 1 + 1 = 2.

NVIDIA Reportedly Cutting RTX 2060 Fabrication to Focus on RTX 30-series

NVIDIA is reported to be cutting down on production of its highly popular RTX 2060 graphics card, in a bid to increase production of the RTX 30-series graphics cards that still elude most consumers looking to get one on their gaming rig. The decision may be motivated by increased margins on RTX 30-series products, as well as by the continuing component shortage in the industry, with even GDDR6 becoming a limiting factor to production capability.

While one might consider this a strange move at face value (Turing is manufactured on TSMC's 12 nm node, whilst Ampere is manufactured on Samsung's 8 nm), the fact of the matter is that there are a multitude of components required for GPUs besides the graphics processing silicon proper; and NVIDIA essentially sells ready-to-produce kits to AICs (Add-in-Card Partners) which already include all the required components, circuitry, and GPU slice to put together. And since supply on most components and even simple logic is currently strained, every component in an RTX 2060-allocated kit could be eating into final production capacity for the RTX 30-series graphics cards - hence the decision to curb the attempt to satiate pent-up demand with a last-generation graphics card and instead focusing on current-gen hardware.

Western Digital May Introduce Penta Layer Cell (PLC) NAND by 2025

Western Digital has apparently delayed the introduction of Penta Layer Cell (PLC) NAND-based flash to 2025. The company had already disclosed development on the technology back in 2019, around the same time that Toshiba announced it (Toshiba which is now Kioxia, and a Western Digital partner in the development of the technology). The information was disclosed at Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2021 Global Technology Conference, where Western Digital's technology and strategy chief Siva Sivaram said that "I expect that transition [from QLC to PLC] will be slower. So maybe in the second half of this decade we are going to see some segments starting to get 5 bits per cell."

PLC is another density-increase step for NAND flash, whereby each NAND cell can have five bits written into it, thus increasing the amount of information available in the same NAND footprint. To achieve these 5 bits, each cell must store one of 32 voltage states, which in turn inform the flash controller of which corresponding data bits are stored herein. Siva Sivaram said that he expect the technology to take some more time to mature than most, due to the need for controller development that can take advantage of the increased density while making up for the shortcoming in this increased bit-per-cell approach (lower endurance and lower performance). PLC won't bring us HDD-tier storage density by itself (it only enables storage of 25% more data per cell); however, when paired with increasing layers of NAND flash, those 25% extra quickly add up.

HyperX Adds New Styles to Gaming Glasses Lineup

HyperX, the gaming peripherals team at HP Inc. and brand leader in gaming and esports, today announced HyperX Spectre Mission, a new family of gaming eyewear. Built for extended hours of gaming or time spent in front of a digital screen, the new eyewear design offers HyperX gaming-grade lenses with blue light and UV protection at an affordable price. HyperX is also expanding its current eyewear offerings on Amazon to include added color schemes and the new Spectre Mission line.

HyperX Spectre Mission Eyewear features signature HyperX comfort and durability with a robust TR-90 frame that includes co-molded rubber temples to reduce slippage and increase flexibility. The new eyewear also features cam hinges that provide additional stability by securely locking temple arms into place. HyperX Spectre Mission Eyewear features a large square frame style and is available in satin black, satin black to clear fade, satin black to blue fade, and satin black to red fade color schemes. A microfiber pouch is also included.

KINGMAX Unveils the AX448 Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

KINGMAX today unveiled the AX448 line of M.2 NVMe SSDs. These drives come in high capacity variants of 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB, and take advantage of the PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface, and NVMe protocol. The 1 TB variant offers sequential transfer rates of up to 4500 MB/s reads, with up to 1750 MB/s writes. The 2 TB variant does up to 4700 MB/s reads, with up to 3300 MB/s writes. The 4 TB variant tops the charts with up to 4800 MB/s reads, and up to 3450 MB/s writes, at least on paper. Endurance of the three variants is rated at up to 200 TBW for the 1 TB variant, up to 400 TBW for the 2 TB variant, and up to 800 TBW for the 4 TB variant. The drive is likely using QLC NAND flash, given these endurance numbers, although the company didn't mention the controller or NAND flash type.

Intel Xeon "Sapphire Rapids" Processor Die Shot Leaks

Thanks to the information coming from Yuuki_Ans, a person which has been leaking information about Intel's upcoming 4th generation Xeon Scalable processors codenamed Sapphire Rapids, we have the first die shots of the Sapphire Rapids processor and its delidded internals to look at. After performing the delidding process and sanding down the metal layers of the dies, the leaker has been able to take a few pictures of the dies present on the processor. As the Sapphire Rapids processor uses multi-chip modules (MCM) approach to building CPUs, the design is supposed to provide better yields for Intel and give the 10 nm dies better usability if defects happen.

In the die shots, we see that there are four dies side by side, with each die featuring 15 cores. That would amount to 60 cores present in the system, however, not all of the 60 cores are enabled. The top SKU is supposed to feature 56 cores, meaning that there would be at least four cores disabled across the configuration. This gives Intel flexibility to deliver plenty of processors, whatever the yields look like. The leaked CPU is an early engineering sample design with a low frequency of 1.3 GHz, which should improve in the final design. Notably, as Sapphire Rapids has SKUs that use in-package HBM2E memory, we don't know if the die configuration will look different from the one pictured down below.

Aqua Computer Introduces Innovative Water Cooling System Protected Against Leakage

[Editor's note: Our review of the Aqua Computer LEAKSHIELD can be found here]

The German company Aqua Computer introduces a breakthrough system to prevent leakage in water cooling systems. The system, called LEAKSHIELD, actively creates an optimally calculated negative pressure in the cooling system that prevents coolant from escaping in the event of a leak. If a leak occurs, only air is sucked into the cooling system. This works very reliably even in the case of larger leaks, such as broken acrylic glass components. An integrated vacuum pump is activated in a fraction of a second and maintains the negative pressure. A demonstration video shows several examples how LEAKSHIELD helps to prevent a leak: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UiRv0nDch0

In addition, the protection system uses a pressure sensor with a resolution of less than 0.0001 bar to detect and indicate even the smallest leaks. This allows countermeasures to be taken at a very early stage - ideally even before the system is filled with coolant. Although LEAKSHIELD was developed by Aqua Computer for the ULTITUBE reservoir series, it can also be used with reservoirs from other brands using an adapter kit. The minimal size of the sophisticated device is impressive: all components have been integrated into the small cover of the reservoir. Power supply and control are provided via USB. The device has an OLED display and a push-button control. This allows the most important functions to be controlled directly on the device.

Xbox Unveils the Ultimate Xbox and Chill... Mini Fridge?

Xbox had a bit of an unusual announcement to make. If you have ever felt the need for a cool drink in your long gaming sessions, the folks over at Xbox got you covered. Today, the company has unveiled its Xbox Mini Fridge, which is basically what it is called - a mini-fridge. What is so special about you might wonder? Well, for starters, it is not just a regular cooling device. It has the aesthetics of the Xbox Series X console and even features a cool green and black painting, with a green coat inside. It is the ultimate device for Xbox and chill, coming your way in holiday 2021. The pricing and capacity of this mini-fridge are unknown, but it should handle a few soda cans and ice cream just fine.
Check out the YouTube premiere below.

Xbox Updates Its Lineup of Platform Exclusive Games: Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, Starfield, and More

Microsoft's console and gaming division, Xbox, has been working closely with game studios and game developers for years now, and in return for supporting the creation of games, the company gets its platform exclusivity, where the game is only available on Xbox series of consoles. Today, Xbox has decided to unveil a hefty list composing out of AAA titles exclusive to the Xbox Series X|S consoles. Starting off, we have the Forza Horizon 5 game, which delivers the experience of the open world of Mexico, while allowing you to drive the world's greatest cars. The game is set to become available on November 9 on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, PC via Steam on Windows, and Cloud Gaming service, which is in Beta.

Next up is a collaboration with 343 Industries game studio, which has unveiled its next-generation Halo shooter gameplay. Dubbed Halo Infinite, the game is a massive experience set in the world of Halo, which also includes a free-to-play multiplayer element aiming to bring millions of people together across Xbox consoles, cloud, and PC to join the fight. When it comes to new franchises, we have seen the announcement of Redfall, a co-op first-person shooter that sets you in a small island town of Redfall, which has now fallen to the pandemic of vampires, and your goal is to put it to the end. Coming from Arkane Austin, the developers of Prey and Dishonored, the game is sure to be a quality one.

AMD Files Patent for its Own x86 Hybrid big.LITTLE Processor

AMD is innovating its own x86 hybrid processor technology formulated along the Arm big.LITTLE hybrid CPU core topology that inspired Hybrid processors by Intel. Under this, the processor has two kinds of CPU cores with very different performance/Watt bands—one kind focuses on performance and remains dormant under mild processing loads; while the other hand handles most lightweight processing loads that don't require powerful cores. This is easier said than done, as the two kinds of cores feature significantly different CPU core microarchitectures, and instruction sets.

AMD has filed a patent describing a method for processing workloads to be switched between the two CPU core types, on the fly. Unlike homogenous CPU core designs where workload from one core is seamlessly picked up by another over a victim cache like the L3, there is some logic involved in handover between the two core types. According to the patent application, in an AMD hybrid processor, the two CPU core types are interfaced over the processor's main switching fabric, and not a victim cache, much in the same way as the CPU cores and integrated GPU are separated in current-gen AMD APUs.
Sunday, June 13th 2021

Plextor Announces M10P PCI-Express 4.0 AIC and M.2 NVMe SSD

PLEXTOR, a leading provider of high-performance storage solutions, announces the launch of the M10P series PCIe Gen4 solid state drives (SSD). With faster speeds, higher capacities, and excellent stability, M10P series SSDs offer avid gamers and audio-visual (AV) enthusiasts alike a high-performance device that also exudes gaming flair with its dynamic industrial design and RGB lighting.

Implementing the next generation of PCIe, Gen4, M10P series SSDs can deliver read/write speeds of up to 7000/5000 MB/s, approximately two times faster than previous generation SSDs. This amazing performance is achieved in combination with Plextor's proprietary PlexNitro II technology, which uses an SLC cache mechanism as a buffer to improve read and write speeds. PlexNitro II technology ups the ante on random read/write performance and enhances sequential read/write performance by up to fifty-percent over previous generation SSDs.
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