Up Next

?
NVIDIA Announces GeForce MX150 Laptops: Supercharged For Work and Play
Friday, May 26th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
SSD
Storage

iKBC F87 RGB Keyboard

The iKBC F87 RGB is a full RGB backlit ten-key-less keyboard from a group of enthusiasts in Taiwan who wanted a solid keyboard without sacrificing much. It features backlit doubleshot PBT keycaps, two color options, four genuine Cherry MX switch options, and driver-less backlighting control.

AMD Announces AGESA Update 1.0.0.6 - Supports up to 4000 MHz Memory Clocks

You've probably heard of AMD's AGESA updates by now - the firmware updates that are ironing out the remaining kinks in AMD's Ryzen platform, which really could have used a little more time in the oven before release. However, kinks have been disappearing, the platform has been maturing and evolving, and AMD has been working hard in improving the experience for consumers and enthusiasts alike. As a brief primer, AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a "nucleus" for the BIOS of your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the core capabilities of AGESA updates and build on them with their own "secret sauce" to create the BIOS that ultimately populate your motherboard of choice. The process of cooking up BIOS updates built on the new AGESA will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but AMD's Robert Hallock says you should be seeing BIOSes based on this version halfway through the month of June - if your vendor isn't already providing a Beta version of some kind.

This new AGESA update code, version 1.0.0.6, should be just up the alley of enthusiasts, however, in that it adds a grand total of 26 new parameters for memory configuration, improving the compatibility and reliability of DRAM, especially for memory that does not follow the industry-standard JEDEC specifications (e.g. faster than 2667, manual overclocking, or XMP2 profiles). Below you'll find the 26 parameters that were introduced.

Swiftech Intros Apogee Drive 2 with AM4 Support

Swiftech today released the Apogee Drive 2 CPU water-block with integrated pump, which now comes with support for AMD socket AM4. A successor to the second-generation Apogee HD pump-block, the Apogee Drive 2 features increased surface area for heat dissipation to the coolant, and features a higher flow MCP35X integrated-pump, with hydraulic bearings. The G1/4 inlet and exhausts can turn within a 90° angle. The Swiftech logo ornament on top of the block features an RGB lighting element (simple 3-color). Besides AM4, the Apogee Drive 2 supports LGA2011(v3), LGA115x, LGA1366, and LGA775, besides other AMD sockets, such as AM3(+) and FM2(+). Available now, it is priced at US $138.95.

SAPPHIRE Brings NITRO Gear and Thunderbolt 3 Accessories to Computex 2017

SAPPHIRE Technology is unveiling brand new products at Computex 2017. The SAPPHIRE NITRO Gear Series will provide SAPPHIRE users with more customization options than ever, with LED fans as well as new backplate & shroud sets. After the enthusiastic reception of the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 Limited Edition, SAPPHIRE will offer a Special Edition version with blue shroud and backplate, and high factory overclock as part of its regular offer. For ultrabook owners, SAPPHIRE is bringing new Thunderbolt 3 dongles with 2x DisplayPort or 2x HDMI outputs.

Accessories for NITRO-charged gamers
Demand for personalization in PC gaming hardware is increasing. To meet it, SAPPHIRE is introducing a brand-new NITRO Gear Series of accessories. To begin with, the company will offer extra LED fans (with dual-ball bearing) in 3 backlight colors - white, red and blue. SAPPHIRE users can easily swap their stock fans with the SAPPHIRE Quick Connect system. Packs with one 95 mm fan in selected colors will be available to buy. The fans are compatible with all SAPPHIRE NITRO+ and Pulse RX 580 / 570 models as well as NITRO/NITRO+ RX 480 / 470 models.

Rosenblatt Securities: "Buy" Rating to AMD Stock, "Sell" for Intel

On the back of impressive performance, yield, and cost metric for AMD's market-warping Ryzen and server-shaking EPYC processors, securities firm Rosenblatt Securities' Hans Mosesmann has affirmed a "Buy" rating for AMD's stock, while saddling Intel with a seldom-seen "Sell". All in all, there have been a number of changes in Intel's market ratings; there seems to be a downgrade trend towards either "Hold" or "Sell" scenarios compared to the usual "Buy" ratings given by edge funds and financial analysts - ratings which are undoubtedly affected (at least in part) by AMD's Ryzen and EPYC execution.

MSI, ASUS, ASRock and Gigabyte Tease Their X299 Motherboards for Computex

Disclaimer: It's currently unclear whether or not the majority of these are actual X299 motherboards. Remember MSI's GODLIKE tease, which was expected to be a X299 motherboard due to the number of PCIe slots on offer, but ended up being a Z270-based one? Well, we remember, hence why we start with this disclaimer to pour some cold water on expectations. However, there is one model that can be said to be a X299 offering pretty confidently: MSI's tease of a new Gaming Pro motherboard, which shows the four RAM slots as close to the I/O bracket: a design usually reserved for quad-channel supporting platforms. Port design in the PCIe and M.2 fronts seems similar to the GODLIKE Z270, but it would seem that MSI has designed another kind of an M.2 Shield interface, which now encircles a PCIe port while cooling two simultaneous M.2 SSDs.

The next motherboard, which we can't confirm is really a X299 based-one, is teased by ASUS, under its Republic of gamers branding, which shows the integration a an LCD screen in the motherboard footprint. The LCD seems basic enough, and could be useful so as to visually check operating frequencies and temperatures, though ASUS naturally had to add their ROG bling to it. Seems like simple LED support was too 2016 for them.

EVGA Teases GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|ngp|n Graphics Card

EVGA teased some of the first pictures of its upcoming flagship graphics card, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|ngp|n (kingpin) graphics card, designed by the renowned overclocker himself. The card features all of the iCX technology innovations EVGA made, plus some of the highest-grade electrical components primed for LN2 overclocking, and external overclocking modules such as the EVBot. The company will unveil the card at its Computex 2017 booth.

JPR: GPU Shipments Decrease -4.5% YoY; Desktop Decreases -13.5%, Mobile Rises 2%

Jon Peddie Research has released another of their interesting GPU market analysis, which the analyst firm pegs as currently gearing up to a strong Q3. However, this gearing-up comes on the back of a "moderate" quarter, which in reality means there was a seasonal decrease of -17.5% in overall GPU shipments compared to last quarter. This -17.5% decrease takes from a -25% decrease in AMD products, Nvidia decreased -26%, and -14% in Intel's products. This translates into a YoY decrease of -4.5% in overall GPU shipments, with a whole -13.5% in desktop platforms and the saving grace in the 2% rise in mobile GPU shipments. Overall discrete GPU market share is increasing compared to their iGPU counterparts, for the third consecutive quarter.

Intel showed the highest gain in the quarter, in a market that seems to have to have returned to normal seasonal cycles. This quarter was appropriately down (normally it is flat to down), and the Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, was once again the bright spot in the overall PC market for the quarter. JPR sets the tablet craze as ending, bringing much needed stability to the PC market, as users realize a tablet is useful for a lot of things, but can never replace a PC for performance, screen size, or upgradability.
Thursday, May 25th 2017

EK Water Blocks Introduces Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Series FC Blocks

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing two EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Aorus water blocks that are compatible with GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti based graphics cards. This kind of efficient cooling will allow your high-end graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

This water block directly cools the GPU, RAM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas, thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under full load and high overclocks. EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Aorus water block features a central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

Attacks Discovered that can Corrupt MLC-based SSD Data

It appears that although MLC NAND-based SSDs have many advantages to HDD's from a physical-reliability point of view, the old spinning rust drives might still have one advantage over SSDs: A specially crafted write operation can't corrupt your data.

That's what a new report from Carnegie Mellon University, Seagate, and ETH Zürich is showing: That MLC-based SSD Drives are vulnerable to data-corrupting attacks as simple as a specially crafted write operation.

Samba at Risk from Wormable Bug Similar to WannaCry: Present on Many NAS boxes

Samba, the open source implementation of the Windows CIFS file sharing protocol found on Linux and many home NAS-systems, now has its own version of a "WannaCry" grade bug ready to cause users grief. Like WannaCry, Sambas bug enables remote code execution and is totally wormable. Unlike WannaCry however, it does require write access to the SMB share, limiting it's effect unless you run an unauthenticated share on the internet.

So why is this newsworthy at all? It is of course newsworthy in its own right because of bad security practices that run rampant in our industry, I would argue, but that's not really why I posted this, I will confess. Yes, I'm trying to make a point again with that blunt instrument we call "editorial." I do apologize for the inconvenience (not really).

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #5

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have last week's latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

NVMe 1.3 Specification Published

NVM Express, the special interest group behind the NVMe protocol, which enables significantly higher performance on flash-based storage devices, compared to the AHCI protocol, published the NVMe 1.3 specification. This is the most significant update to the protocol since the NVMe 1.2 specification released in 2014. NVMe 1.3, which could be implemented in SSDs, motherboards, and HBA cards starting late-2017 or 2018, introduces several major features that increase performance, endurance, and manageability of flash-based storage devices, such as SSDs.

To begin with, NVMe 1.3 introduces a drive self-test feature similar to SMART. The host machine can now command the drive to perform a self-test without having to mount volumes and expose their contents to OS-based utilities. The self-test parameters could be left up to the drive vendor, and could include hardware tests in addition to data integrity tests. The protocol also adds much needed support for boot-partitions, without needing the motherboard UEFI firmware to store it. The current implementation of motherboards with NVMe booting support involves storing a tiny boot partition with the bootloader on the SPI flash chip of the motherboard which stores the UEFI firmware.

MSI To Launch GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z, USB Type-C 1080 Ti Gaming X at Computex

MSI is set to make a debut of their top-tier, latest-generation graphics card under the Lightning branding, the GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z, at this year's Computex. The new Lightning Z makes use of three TorX 2.0 (the same the company uses on its TWIN FROZR VI cooling solutions) fans, though the tripled configuration is set to use the TriFrozr moniker. This generation of the Lightning line of graphics cards sheds its iconic yellow streaks, however, in favor a RGB-capable LED lighting which supports MSI's own Mystic Light. This graphics card also makes use of MSI's Military Class 4 components.

The next MSI graphics card, however, promises to be the most interesting product. Even though MSI's Gaming X lines of graphics cards and Twin Frozr VI coolers are already well-known, those are not the highlights of the 1080 Ti Gaming X the company will be presenting at Computex. Rather, it's its adoption of a USB Type-C connector that's worth talking. This is something that is long overdue, with some monitors already offering this choice of interface, which promises to be the end-all be-all of display protocols, since it can leverage DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and HDMI. Let's see if this move by MSI sets off a trend. We suppose it will, considering how the industry works

Source: Videocardz

Samsung Announces Comprehensive Process Roadmap Down to 4 nm

Samsung stands as a technology giant in the industry, with tendrils stretching out towards almost every conceivable area of consumer, prosumer, and professional markets. It is also one of the companies which can actually bring up the fight to Intel when it comes to semiconductor manufacturing, with some analysts predicting the South Korean will dethrone Intel as the top chipmaker in Q2 of this year. Samsung scales from hyper-scale data centers to the internet-of-things, and is set to lead the industry with 8nm, 7nm, 6nm, 5nm, 4nm and 18nm FD-SOI in its newest process technology roadmap. The new Samsung roadmap shows how committed the company is (and the industry with it) towards enabling the highest performance possible from the depleting potential of the silicon medium. The 4 nm "post FinFET" structure process is set to be in risk production by 2020.

This announcement also marks Samsung's reiteration on the usage of EUV (Extreme Ultra Violet) tech towards wafer manufacturing, a technology that has long been hailed as the savior of denser processes, but has been ultimately pushed out of market adoption due to its complexity. Kelvin Low, senior director of foundry marketing at Samsung, said that the "magic number" for productivity (as in, with a sustainable investment/return ratio) with EUV is 1,500 wafers per day. Samsung has already exceeded 1,000 wafers per day and has a high degree of confidence that 1,500 wafers per day is achievable.

Enermax Launches NEOChanger, the RGB Pump-Reservoir Combo

ENERMAX introduces NEOChanger, the world's leading RGB pump reservoir combo. NEOChanger is ENERMAX's 1st DIY liquid cooling product, featuring incredible RGB LED lighting that is designed to be controlled via either RGB-sync-ready motherboards or the included 3-in-1 remote control, which enables users to create their personalized lighting themes. Furthermore, NEOChagner incorporates the digital pump speed meter for users to easily identify the real-time speed in use and make adjustment via the remote control.

Compatible with RGB-sync-enabled motherboards with 4 pin header(s), NEOChanger allows its RGB lighting to be synchronized and controlled by motherboard's lighting control software or app, for users to customize their own favorite lighting styles. Moreover, NEOChanger also includes a remote control for users to choose and adjust RGB colors and lighting effects, which is the best solution for those who use standard motherboards without the RGB-sync support.

Acer Introduces the Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop for Budget-minded Gamers

In a bid to increase options for budget-minded gamers, Acer has introduced the Nitro 5 gaming laptop, whose wealth of configurations start at a respectable $800. Choosing any kind of gaming-focused laptop over building your own desktop will always look like bad business, but how much one values mobility mays edge the decision towards one side or the other.

Specs-wise, it's a mix of respectable with the bare minimum: it features a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display, up to 32 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz memory, and is available in configurations featuring Intel's Core i5 or Core i7 processors paired with an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, or your choice of an AMD 7th-gen A-series FX, A12 or A10 APUs, paired a Radeon RX550 GPU. Some models will include PCIe SSDs (up to 512GB) with up to 2TB of optional HDD storage. Ports include 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and 1x HDMI output. The Nitro 5 also supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi with a 2x2 MIMO antenna. The Nitro 5 will be available in North America starting July 1. Acer did not release detailed pricing, so there's no idea of what the $800 configuration will net you spec-wise (though an AMD and RX 550 are pretty much guaranteed). The Nitro 5 will also be available in the EMEA in August, starting at a much less interesting €1,139.

Source: Tom's Hardware

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Arctic Storm Mini Pictured, Too

Besides the most compact GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card in its GTX 1080 Ti Mini, ZOTAC is planning to launch its liquid-cooled sibling at Computex 2017. The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti combines the 21.8 cm (8.3-inch) long super-compact, custom-design PCB of the GTX 1080 Ti Mini, with a factory-fitted, full-coverage water block, which you plumb to your own liquid-cooling loop.

The block cools the GPU, memory, and VRM, and is made of nickel-plated copper, with a tinted acrylic top, which has a mirror-finish aluminium top-plate along the end as an accent. The card also features a back-plate, just like the GTX 1080 Ti Mini. It's unknown at this point if the card is factory-overclocked, but it draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, so there must be some VRM muscle behind the connectors. The card also appears to ship with fittings.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini Pictured

Here are some of the first images of ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini, which could go down in history as the most compact GTX 1080 Ti graphics card (besides cards with factory-fitted water blocks, of course). The card features a PCB that's under 20 cm in length, mated to a 21.8 cm (8.3-inch) long cooler. What's more, the card isn't taller than ISA spec. It relies on an aluminium fin-stack cooler with a pair of 90 mm spinners, to stay cool. Such a diminutive heatsink size could mean that the card may lack idle fan-off. The card sticks to NVIDIA reference speeds, and draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4, and one each of HDMI 2.0b and dual-link DVI. The card could be formally launched at Computex 2017.

Intel to Make Thunderbolt Royalty-Free; Looking to Increase Adoption

Thunderbolt is one of the most flexible data delivery mechanisms ever developed: it boasts of both enormous versatility and performance. These connectors have seen increasingly higher adoption rates due to these characteristics, but are still to trickle down towards mid-range and entry-level offerings, which would be certainly some of the products to benefit the most, allowing them to substitute numerous, costly ports for a single jack-of-all-trades connection.

Intel is looking to solve this problem by removing royalties from Thunderbolt, further increasing adoption by integrating controllers within its own processors. The first Thunderbolt 3 "Alpine Ridge" chips, introduced in the third quarter of 2015, were manufacturer's only solution to implement Thunderbolt in their products; an extra chip which added costs and complexity to designs, which ended up limiting adoption to only higher-margin products. With Thunderbolt 3 an integrated part of the processors, those issues largely evaporate, with system builders being freed of having to design accommodations for an extra chip. Intel did not specify which processors would include the controllers or when they will ship, but the company says that it is going to make the Thunderbolt 3 specification available on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis. Intel could have played towards eliminating the royalties on Thunderbolt 3 but only supporting it on its own processors, but the company has chosen not to do that: the door will be open for AMD and other companies to bake in support for the interface on their own solutions, spurring innovation and, more importantly, driving down costs of adoption.

Source: ArsTechnica

Kingston Intros the SSDNow KC1000 Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

Kingston introduced the SSDNow KC1000 line of PCI-Express SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. The drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interfaces, and take advantage of the NVMe protocol. They combine MLC NAND flash memory with Phison PS5007-E7 controller, and come in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB.

All three variants read at speeds of up to 2,700 MB/s; the 480 GB and 960 GB variants write at speeds of up to 1,600 MB/s, while the 240 GB up to 900 MB/s. 4K random read performance is rated at 290,000 IOPS for the 480 GB and 960 GB variants; and 225,000 IOPS for the 240 GB variant. 4K random writes, on the other hand, are chalked at up to 190,000 IOPS for all variants. Kingston is selling the KC1000 are both standalone M.2 drives, and in combination with a PCIe x4 to M.2 adapter add-on card. The drives are backed by 5-year warranties.
Wednesday, May 24th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
PSUs
Storage

EVGA Hydro Copper GTX 1080 Waterblock

The EVGA Hydro Copper GTX 1080 is a full-cover waterblock that offers integrated lighting with no cable management needed, a six-port I/O port manifold, and an aluminum front cover for aesthetics and rigidity alike. It also aims to simplify installation by incorporating pre-installed thermal pads out of the box.

Fractal Design Announces the Focus G Series Cases

Let your hardware shine with the new Focus G series chassis. The new Focus G series from Fractal Design is the cornerstone for your PC build, showcasing the hardware aesthetics at the heart of your system with elegant accents and sophisticated style.

Contemporary ATX (Focus G) and Micro ATX (Focus G Mini) case designs accommodates high-performance components with smart and efficient space utilization for a compact footprint. Extensive cooling options are available with support for tall CPU heatsink/fan combos and water cooling with multiple radiator configurations.

Phanteks Announces Glacier C350a CPU Water block for AMD Platforms

Phanteks today introduced its top of the line Glacier C350a CPU water-block for AMD platforms. It comes with retention modules for AM4, AM3(+), and FM2(+) sockets. The blocks feature nickel-plated copper as their primary material, with acrylic tops, and anodized aluminium cover plates, available in either matte black or mirror-finished chrome. The block embeds RGB LED lighting elements, which plug into your motherboard or LED controllers using standardized 4-pin headers, and supports most common RGB lighting standards, including ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, and GIGABYTE RGB Fusion.

The block features 0.4 mm-thick fins that run along almost the entire area, which are 5 mm high, for improved heat dissipation to the coolant. Its base features a mirror finish. The block is mated with the top using aerospace-grade viton rubber sealing. Measuring 109 mm x 42.5 mm x 70 mm (W x H x D), the block weighs in at 330 g. A tube of Phanteks PH-NDC thermal compound comes included. Available now, the Phanteks Glacier C350a is priced at USD $79.99.

ASUS Intros the ROG STRIX B350-F Gaming Motherboard

ASUS today introduced its RGB LED-rich implementation of AMD's mid-tier B350 chipset, with the ROG STRIX B350-F Gaming motherboard. This socket AM4 motherboard built in the ATX form-factor, this is one of the rare few B350 chipset based boards to feature two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots wired to the AM4 SoC, and x8/x8 lane switching, something B350-based boards generally lack. Don't expect SLI support, though. You can still install CrossFireX with not just these two slots, but also the third x16 (electrical x4) slot wired to the chipset. Three x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the SoC using an 8-phase VRM.

Storage connectivity on the ROG STRIX B350-F Gaming includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot with NVMe booting support, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 ports (both type-A, rear panel), and six 5 Gb/s USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by headers). Networking is care of an Intel I211-AT gigabit Ethernet controller. The ROG SupremeFX onboard audio solution is powered by a Realtek ALC1220 CODEC (up to 120 dBA SNR), mated with two headphones amplifiers, audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. Besides the RGB LED-lit ornament on the chipset heatsink, the board features two RGB LED headers, controlled by the ASUS Aura Sync RGB software. The company didn't reveal pricing, although we expect it to be around the $140 mark.

MSI Intros the Core Frozr XL CPU Cooler

MSI expanded its Gaming series CPU cooler family with the new, larger, Core Frozr XL CPU cooler. This tower-type air cooler features a simple aluminium fin-stack heatsink covered by an ABS plastic shroud, and two 120 mm fans in push-pull configuration. The cooler features a nickel-plated copper base, from which eight 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes pass, conveying heat to the aluminium fin-stack. MSI innovated in giving the cooler motherboard clearance on two fronts - the heatsink itself is off-center, so it adds clearance to the topmost expansion slot on the motherboard.

Further, the fan can be elevated slightly, to add clearance to the memory slots or large VRM heatsinks. The fin-stack is capped off by a detachable cooler shroud, with an MSI Gaming dragon logo that's lit by RGB LED, controllable using MSI Mystic Light RGB software. The included fans feature 4-pin PWM inputs, fluid-dynamic bearings, spin between 500 to 1,500 RPM, pushing 19.79 to 71.27 CFM of air, with a noise output ranging between 17.2 and 33.6 dBA. The cooler supports all modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2011(v3), LGA115x, LGA1366, and LGA775. Measuring 150.4 mm x 170.0 mm x 129.8 mm (WxHxD), the cooler weighs about 1,295 g. It is designed for thermal loads of up to 250W. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability information.

New Details On Intel's Upcoming 10-core Skylake-X i9 7900X Surface

SiSoft Sandra is one of the best (and more common) sources for details on upcoming, as-of-yet-unreleased hardware details and characteristics. Now, details on one of Intel's upcoming Skylake-X parts have surfaced, which gives us some details on what are likely final specifications, considering how close we are to X299's accelerated release.

The processor in the spotlight is one of Intel's 10-core processors, the Core i9 7900X (which is erroneously reported by the software as the Core i7 7900X), Intel's 10-core CPU. While initial reports pegged this CPU at as running at clock speeds of 3.30 GHz base and with 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost, it would seem Intel's release silicon will leverage much higher stock speeds, with the reported values on this SiSoft report being a staggering 4.0 GHz base, and 4.5 GHz Turbo Boost. These are extremely high clock speeds for a ten-core part, but all the other details about the Core i9 7900X check out: there are 14,080 KB (13.75 MB) of shared L3 cache, 1 MB L2 cache per core (for a total of 10 MB), as well as a 175 W TDP. This difference in clock speeds (especially when you compare it to Ryzen's much lower clock speeds) are probably an indicator of not only architectural differences between both designs, but a statement on Intel's fabrication process capabilities. And as an added bonus, check the motherboard that was used: a juicy, as-of-yet-unknown, X299 Gigabyte AORUS Gaming 7. Two details of this magnitude in a single screenshot? It's clearly a case of having your cake and eating it too.

Source: Overclockers UA

ADATA To Launch Marvell Equipped SX9000 M.2 NVMe SSD

ADATA is set to officially unveil its new SX9000 line-up of high-performance M.2 SSDs on Computex 2017, but the company has already taken to social media to tease and sort of pre-announce some of the products they will be showcasing. The teaser photo shows the 1TB version of the XPG SX9000 drive in an M.2 2280 form-factor featuring a red PCB. The company says the drive's name "sounds like that car from RoboCop", though if they're referencing the 6000 SUX, well... I hope the similarities aren't as great as they claim to be.

These new SSDs come with a Marvell 88S1093 controller (the company's first NVMe-geared solution), probably paired with 3D TLC NAND for higher capacities and lower cost. This means the company is eschewing the Silicon Motion controllers previously used on their SX7000 and SX8000 SSDs. ADATA certainly wouldn't be putting their stock behind a new controller if they didn't think it was worth it cost or performance-wise, so let's wait and see what comes of this pairing.

Source: ADATA Twitter, ETkenix

Microsoft Officially Announces the Windows 10 "China Government" Edition

Remember that piece regarding Microsoft's Windows 10 for the chinese government? Well, Microsoft has just officially announced it in its Shanghai presentation today. In a joint-venture with China's government, CETC (China Electronics Technology Group), CMIT (a conglomerate of China-based manufacturers), and Lenovo, the Redmond-based company has apparently managed to deliver what they themselves thought impossible: a version of their operating system that doesn't spy on its users. Lenovo, as you might have guessed already, will be one of the first OEM partners to preinstall Windows 10 China Government Edition on new devices.

Based on Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, the Windows 10 China Government Edition ironically ticks all the boxes for what enthusiasts would like to see from their OS: it's a modular approach to Windows, where users (read, in this case, government entities) can remove features they aren't looking to take advantage of (like OneDrive), whilst giving the capability to "manage all telemetry and updates." Aren't those just great features to have?

NVIDIA Quietly Launches its MX150 GPU for Mobile Solutions

NVIDIA has quietly added a new product to its mobile catalog, the MX150. This tiny GPU is apparently based on the company's desktop GP108-based GT 1030, which has been recently launched in a bid to bridge the gap between IGP solutions and discrete-class graphics processors. In fact, this product looks to serve the ultrabook market with its modest power requirements, offering system integrators a new GPU which packs a lot more "oomph" than Intel's integrated graphics chips, while ensuring a considerable battery life.

This means that the MX150 is being geared not towards gamers (as the lack of a GeForce moniker already implies), but media consumption enthusiasts who demand more flexibility from their graphics adapters. For now, the only confirmed spec is a 2 GB GDDR5 memory pool, which is in line with the desktop GT 1030.

Source: Videocardz

MSI Announces the Z270 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the all-new Z270 GOLDIKE GAMING motherboard. As the pinnacle of GAMING in terms of design, performance and features, the new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING raises the bar once again for motherboard development. With plenty of world's first and exclusive technologies such as Killer xTend and the new ASMedia 3142 USB 3.1 Gen2 controller, the new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING motherboard closely follows the GODLIKE standard.

With our continuous strive to push the gaming industry forward, we are excited to once again work close with Rivet to be world's first motherboard brand to launch Killer xTend on our new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING. With GODLIKE at the heart of a gaming rig, it allows it to act as a Killer fueled router to pass on and strengthen the internet signals, with lower latency, offering the best online experience when gaming on LAN or WIFI. Like GODLIKE GAMING, Killer's new technology is packed with new cutting-edge technologies, such as their exclusive gaming bandwidth management. The MSI and Killer gaming experience has now been expanded throughout the complete household.

TechPowerUp and G.Skill Announce the Ryzen-ready Flare X Memory Giveaway

TechPowerUp and G.Skill Memory bring you three more reasons to take the AMD Ryzen leap, with the "Game Faster with Flare X" Giveaway. Up for grabs are three G.Skill Flare X 16 GB (2x 8GB) dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory kits, which are based on Samsung b-die DRAM chips, and are recommended by AMD for the best performance on its Ryzen series desktop processors. The Flare X series kits are renowned for reliably sustaining DDR4-3200 speeds on Ryzen machines, which have a direct impact on their performance, since DRAM clock is synced with the clock speed of the Infinity Fabric interconnect between the two CCX quad-core units on Ryzen processors. The giveaway is open worldwide.

For more information, and to participate, visit this page.

SAPPHIRE Introduces GPRO E-Series Professional Graphics

SAPPHIRE Technology is launching its new GPRO E-Series graphics cards series for professional and industrial usage. A comprehensive lineup of models, ranging from the best-performing to most compact and power-efficient units, will suit the varying needs of businesses. Increased computational through put and further power optimizations allow for more immersive visuals and sophisticated applications - from digital gaming and casinos to industrial automation, medical, aerospace, and defence.

Available starting in Q3 2017, the SAPPHIRE GPRO E-Series includes 4 models with different power levels and outputs. The E-Series lineup starts with the SAPPHIRE GPRO E9260, the fastest of the debuting cards, with 2.5 TFLOPS of computing power in single precision operations. SAPPHIRE has included 8 GB of GDDR5 memory and 4 DisplayPort 1.3 outputs. Thanks to the latest generation of Polaris GPU architecture, with updated display engine, the card can drive up to 2 screens in 5K resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate or up to 4 screens in 4K and 60 Hz. The applied thermal solution is active, with a single efficient, dual ball bearing fan. The GPRO E9260 model is dedicated to the most graphically-demanding and compute-heavy scenarios such us high-end digital gaming, advanced Real-time medical imaging as well as military.

CRYORIG Reveals New R5 Cooler, "Cu" Line Performance Coolers

PC Cooling innovator CRYORIG, is announcing two new CPU cooling projects ahead of Computex 2017. The CRYORIG R5 high-end single tower and the Cu Series of Copper Fin enhanced coolers. The R5 and Cu Series will both make their debut in the coming Computex 2017 from May 30th to June 3rd.

The R5 is the second cooler in CRYORIG's R series of flagship coolers. The R5 is the missing piece to CRYORIG's PC cooling lineup. It is a high-end dual-fan single tower that is designed to stay within the mainboard's CPU Keep-Out-Zone. This means that the CRYORIG R5 has Zero RAM Interference, even on Intel's X99/X299 based platforms. Made with performance in-mind the R5 contains multiple CRYORIG cooling innovations including: Convex-Align cooler base optimization, Multi-Seg Quick Mount System, 6 CRYORIG High-end Copper Heatpipes, CRYORIG Dual Fan Fin Optimizations and more. Dual XF140 800-1400 rpm PWM fans will be attached front and back for enhanced performance. The R5 will also see the debut of CRYORIG's brand new Quick Lock Mounting, that promises to simplify the way coolers are mounted.

Raijintek Intros the Aura 12 RGB Case Fans

Raijintek today introduced the Aura 12 RGB case fans. These 120 mm fans are characterized by RGB LED lighting projected onto the impeller by an LED diffuser running along the bore of the frame. The RGB LED setup can produce up to 256 colors, which can be configured using the included control module. This module can also set lighting modes.

The impeller of the Raijintek Aura 12 RGB features a variable angle fan-blade design that is said to improve airflow. The fan features hydraulic bearing. The fan takes in input from the control module over a proprietary 6-pin connector, and spins at speeds of up to 1,200 RPM, with up to 39.8 CFM airflow, and a maximum noise output of 24.8 dBA. The frame features rubber padding along the mount holes to absorb vibration. The fan is also available in packs of three, sold as the Aura 12 RGB-3. This package includes a control module with three outputs. The company didn't reveal pricing.

TechPowerUp Rosewill Cullinan Giveaway: The Winners

TechPowerUp and Rosewill brought you the Rosewill Cullinan Giveaway, your chance to win one of two gorgeous Rosewill Cullinan cases with 5 mm-thick tinted tempered glass body panels. We've chose two lucky winners who will receive one of these stylish ATX cases, each. Without further ado, the winners:
  • Gabe from the United States
  • Walter from the United States
  • Francis from the United Kingdom
A huge congratulations to you, Francis, Gabe, and Walter! TechPowerUp and Rosewill will return with more such interesting giveaways!
Tuesday, May 23rd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
SSD
Storage

Cougar Megara

The Cougar Megara is a portable in-ear gaming headset with a boom microphone for those wanting all the functional benefits of larger gaming headset without the bulk. You can even take it on the road or use it with your mobile phone thanks to the in-line microphone, controller, and detachable boom microphone.

Cooler Master Cosmos II 25th Anniversary

The Cooler Master Cosmos II was launched in 2012 and became one of the brand's most recognizable enclosures. Now, half a decade later, Cooler Master presents the Cosmos II 25th Anniversary edition to celebrate a quarter century in business and to bring the iconic chassis back to a new generation of enthusiasts and gamers.

Patent Trolls to Lose their "Homefield" Advantage Thanks to Supreme Court

Thanks to a ruling from the Supreme Court, patent trolls could see their designs being thwarted more often than they have until today. Patent trolls stand as a scourge of the industry, ie, companies and even individuals that hold intellectual property with the sole purpose of levying infringement lawsuits against other companies - without producing anything themselves. They're kind of the leeches of the tech and business worlds, without some of the benefits their biological counterparts manage to deliver.

AOC Introduces the AGON AG251FG - 24.5", 1080p 240 Hz or 1440p 144 Hz, TN, G-SYNC

Update: It would seem reservations regarding the monitor's conservative resolution were right in the money. New details have come to light in that this monitor from AOC apparently supports two display modes: a 1440p, 144 Hz presentation, favoring resolution and graphics quality, or the aforementioned 1080p 240 Hz. This is interesting, offering a solution for gamers who play both competitive shooters and eye-candy-filled games, opting for blazing fast refresh rates or a higher resolution. It remains to be seen whether graphics quality takes a bigger hit than is solely limited to the decreased resolution: using a monitor ona non-native resolution decreases graphical quality, sometimes noticeably so. Still, this is a flexible solution, and I wouldn't be surprised to see users choosing this solution exactly because of the two different modes of operation.

AOC has added a new monitor to its line-up, which seems to be especially geared towards competitive gamers in twitch-shooters. Its astonishing 240 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and G-SYNC support are its greatest selling points, I would wager, though I bid you good luck in running most modern games at such frame-rates. To achieve this kind of screen refresh rates, AOC had to compromise in other areas, though: the AG251FG's 1080p resolution seems somewhat limited, as does the usage of a TN panel.

Acer Announces the Predator Z35P - 35", 1800R, 3440x1440, G-SYNC

Acer has added another entry to their Predator line of gaming monitors. The Z35P comes in to replace the company's now aging Z35, which boasted of a 2560x1080 resolution (which while relatively low for today's standards, I have to say I really enjoy.) The Z35P brings the specs up to speed with today's standards, with a higher resolution and a better contrast ratio than its predecessor. Its design reminds me of a running Flood infection form, honestly, but that may be just me.

The Z35P is based on a 35" AMVA panel with a 3440x1440 resolution (2.39:1 aspect ratio and 106 PPI), has a relatively low maximum brightness of 300 nits (no HDR support here I'm afraid), a 2500:1 contrast ratio, a 100 Hz refresh rate, 178°/178° viewing angles, a 4 ms response time, and a 1800R curvature. Reports indicate the refresh rate can be overclocked from 100 Hz to 120 Hz (with G-SYNC to boot), which isn't all that shabby. Connectivity-wise, the Predator Z25P features 1x HDMI 1.4 port, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 4x USB Type-A headers (with 1x USB-B input) and 1x 3.5-mm audio jack which drives the two 9 W integrated speakers. While in operation, the panel consumes up to 65 W of power. The Acer Predator Z35P is expected to be available in the U.S. in the coming weeks for $1099.99.

Corsair Announces New LINK Fan and Lighting Controllers

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the launch of the Commander PRO and Lighting Node PRO fan and lighting controllers, alongside the new HD140 RGB series of RGB cooling fans. Controlled by CORSAIR LINK software, Commander PRO is the ultimate in system control, providing complete command of up to six 4-pin PWM fans, two RGB lighting channels, four temperature sensors and two USB 2.0 headers.

Lighting Node PRO lights up your PC like never before, with two CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting channels and four included individually addressable RGB LED light strips, each equipped with ten RGB LEDs for brilliant, customizable, system illumination. Finally, HD140 RGB joins the award-winning range of CORSAIR RGB cooling fans. Each 140mm fan boasts twelve vibrant, individually addressable LEDs, software controllable in CORSAIR LINK using either Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.1.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released GPU-Z 2.1.0, a major update to the popular graphics subsystem information and diagnostic utility. Version 2.1.0 introduces the new Advanced tab, which gives you in-depth information related to your installed graphics hardware and software related to graphics and GPU compute, such as API-level features available to you. Information is presented as drop-down lists in the new Advanced tab. API features of DirectX, OpenCL, CUDA, and Vulkan are added.

In addition to the groundbreaking Advanced tab, GPU-Z 2.1.0 adds support for EVGA iCX technology, and can put out live sensor data from various parts of your EVGA iCX graphics card. There's also the usual addition of new GPU support, which now includes NVIDIA Tesla P100 PCIe, Tesla M10, Quadro P5000, Intel HD Graphics 615, and AMD Radeon HD 8350G. In addition, there are various user-interface bug fixes and improvements.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.1.0
The change-log follows.

ASUSTOR Announces Intel Core i5-powered AS7004T-i5 and AS7010T-i5 NAS

ASUSTOR Inc., a leading innovator and provider of network storage solutions, has announced that it has added two new models to its 70 series NAS devices with the AS7004T-i5 and AS7010T-i5. These two new models utilize powerful Intel Core i5 quad-core processors and feature 8GB of built-in memory with mixed capacity expansion support up to a maximum of 16GB for enhanced flexibility.

When compared to ASUSTOR's previous generation of Core i3 models, the AS7004-i5 and AS7010-i5 provide significantly enhanced performance, especially with regards to multimedia playback, transcoding and the processing of large volumes of files. The AS7004-i5 and AS7010-i5 are both equipped with 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports which can provide balance and stability under high loading and heavy network traffic. This provides increased efficiency for multi-tasking and multi-user access. Additionally, the AS7010-i5 also comes equipped with a 10GbE network card expansion slot, allowing users to flexibly upgrade their equipment to operate under high speed network access environments.
Loading more posts, please wait... Load more news posts