Tuesday, May 26th 2020

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Intel "Elkhart Lake" Atom Processor Surfaces on Chinese Components Marketplace, "Tremont" Meets Gen11

Intel's next-generation Atom processor is codenamed "Elkhart Lake." Built on the 10 nm silicon fabrication process, the chip combines up to four CPU cores based on the "Tremont" microarchitecture, with an iGPU based on the Gen11 architecture, and a single-channel memory interface that supports DDR4 and LPDDR4. Differentiation of the processor include 2-core and 4-core CPU variants, and TDP variants spanning 6 W, 9 W, and 12 W. "Tremont" is a lightweight CPU core by Intel that lacks AVX capabilities. Besides "Elkhart Lake," the core is featured in the "Lakefield" Core heterogenous processors as the their low-power cores.

Chinese electronics B2B marketplace CogoBuy.com has the processor listed, although without listing out any processor model numbers. The marketplace is accepting RFQs (requests for quotations) for bulk purchase of these BGA chips on trays, without listing prices. Also listed is an "industrial variant" of the chip, which has an increased TJmax of 110 °C (compared to 105 °C of the standard variant). The Gen11 iGPU wasn't detailed, but it's likely to have a lower execution unit count than the variant found on "Ice Lake" processors, while retaining its display- and media-engines (ability to pull 8K60 displays).

HyperX Refreshes Pudding Keycaps for Enhanced RGB Lighting and Improved Durability

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the release of refreshed HyperX Pudding Keycaps for mechanical gaming keyboards. Available in both black and white "pudding" color editions, the new HyperX Pudding Keycaps use a translucent dual-layer design to enhance LED and RGB lighting, allowing more light to radiate for extra brilliance.

The new dual-layer "pudding" design uses double shot construction with PBT material to provide style and reliability, ensuring long-lasting durability, resilience and keycap legends that won't fade like standard keycaps. The new pudding keycaps also feature a signature HyperX font to provide added style and optimal shine-through capabilities, improving the look and feel of the ultimate professional gaming keyboard. Compatible with all HyperX mechanical gaming keyboards and keyboards featuring Cherry MX style switch stems, the HyperX Pudding Keycaps also include a keycap removal tool.

AOC Expands Their Business Monitors Portfolio with ten new P2 Series Models

In the times of growing need for monitors with bigger size, improved connectivity and image quality, display specialist AOC announces the new P2 series monitors for professional users. Covering an extensive range of display sizes from 21.5" (54.7 cm), 23.8" (60.4 cm), 27" (68.6 cm) and ultra-wide 34" (86 cm), AOC acknowledges its users' distinct needs and individual setups. Except for the 34" ultrawide CU34P2A with its curved (1500R) VA panel, all other models are equipped with flat IPS panels. They ensure true-to-life colour reproduction, wide gamut coverage, and wide viewing angles (178/178°) perfectly suited for content creation and editing. Selected models (24P2C and 27P2C) with USB-C port provide an easier display, data and power connection to mobile devices with a single USB-C cable. The KVM switch included in these models allows the user to switch the keyboard and mouse between two PCs (connected via USB-C and USB hub uplink).
AOC 27P2C Monitor AOC Q24P2Q Monitor AOC U27P2 Monitor AOC Q27P2Q Monitor

NAND Flash Revenue Undergoes 8.3% QoQ Growth in 1Q20 in Light of Surging Demand from Data Centers, Says TrendForce

According to the latest investigations by the DRAMeXchange research division of TrendForce, NAND Flash bit shipment in 1Q20 was relatively on par with 4Q19. The overall ASP of NAND Flash products also climbed during the period. As a result, the global NAND Flash revenue for the quarter went up by 8.3% QoQ to US$13.6 billion.

In 1Q20, demand for enterprise SSDs exceeded supply because cloud service providers' procurement for data centers had been growing progressively since 4Q19. Also, inventories of NAND Flash suppliers mostly returned to normal during the period. Consequently, most NAND Flash products for the major applications experienced a rise in contract prices. As for the impact of COVID-19 during the Lunar New Year, TrendForce's investigations at the time found that the server supply chain managed to make a better recovery than the supply chains for notebook computers and smartphones. The impact of the outbreak on the storage demand from the cloud services sector was thus quite limited. On the other hand, the production of notebooks and smartphones was affected by logistical problems and breakage in the component supply chain. Because of this, notebook and smartphone manufacturers have gradually resumed production since March.

ABKONCORE Releases The Ultra Silent Middle Tower Case S500

ABKONCORE today released the Ultra Silent Middle Tower Case S500 designed for ultra-quiet builds with a minimalistic design. The steel case features sound-insulating material on the top, front, left, and right sides to suppress vibration and noise generated inside the case, and provides perfect quietness. The case also comes with a bottom removable dust filter along with air intakes on either side of the front bezel.

The Case measures 205 x 420 x 430 mm, comes with 2 pre-installed 120 mm fans, and can accommodate ATX motherboards. Front I/O for the case consists of x2 USB 2.0, x1 USB 3.0, HD Audio, Mic, LED Control Button, power, and reset. The case can house up to 2 3.5" drives and 6 2.5" drives and has room for a further 2 120 mm fans at the front. Pricing and availability were not announced.

AAEON Announces UP Xtreme Embedded System

UP Xtreme Smart Surveillance is an all-in-one security solution that's ready to deploy out of the box. Many developers and users of security solutions are looking for ways to get more out of their surveillance systems by deploying intelligent edge computing platforms. UP Xtreme, from AAEON's UP Board division, is being deployed along with technology from partners including Intel, Milestone and SAIMOS to bring Smart Surveillance to these customers with the UP Xtreme Smart Surveillance kit.

With the ever-increasing importance of on-site security, surveillance cameras are installed virtually everywhere, recording footage passively. Smart surveillance takes things to the next level by adding intelligent processing of data that's already being gathered to analyze traffic with heatmaps, monitor areas with virtual fences, or reacting to data in other ways to allow for automated control or alerting staff on premises. UP Xtreme Smart Surveillance provides all the technology needed to power these applications in one box, working as an AI-enabled NVR solution to proactively monitor video streams supporting up to 32 cameras simultaneously (Intel Core i7 model with Milestone XProtect Express+).

Logitech G Announces G915 TKL, a Compact Tenkeyless Gaming Wireless Keyboard

Logitech G, a brand of Logitech and leading innovator of gaming technologies and gear, announced today the Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless LIGHTSPEED Wireless RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, offering the same core technologies and experience of the award-winning G915, in a smaller tenkeyless form factor. The G915 TKL delivers high performance LIGHTSPEED wireless technology, LIGHTSYNC RGB and low profile mechanical gaming switches for an unrivaled ultra-thin design with superior performance and precision gameplay - all with up to 40 hours of battery life. All of these technologies and innovations have been carefully engineered into one of the industry's thinnest mechanical keyboards and Logitech G's most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard to date.

"Since the launch of the original Logitech G915, the community has consistently asked for the same technology in a compact, tenkeyless design," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech Gaming. "The G915 TKL combines LIGHTSPEED Wireless, RGB lighting and amazing battery life in a sleek, ultra-thin design that creates a new standard for gaming keyboards."

AMD Releases APU + dGPU Combo Radeon Drivers for Dell G5 15 SE Notebooks

AMD released its first Dell G5 15 SE-specific OEM driver update, with a single package providing drivers for the APU (iGPU) and Radeon RX 5600M discrete GPU of the notebook. This would be AMD's first Radeon Software release in over a month, as the AAA game release cycle has cooled down, and AMD has its hands full with several new OEM designs to develop drivers for. The G5 15 SE comes with processor options that include the "Renoir" Ryzen 5 4600H and Ryzen 7 4700H; and Radeon RX 5600M discrete GPU option.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Dell G5 15 SE iGPU+dGPU Combo Driver
Monday, May 25th 2020

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Gaming PC
Harddisks
Keyboards
Motherboards
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
Chieftronic PowerPlay 1050 W Review

Chieftronic PowerPlay 1050 W Review

The Chieftronic PowerPlay 1050 W uses a semi-digital CWT platform that features good build quality and offers high performance. It is sold at a fair price, so you will save some money over other popular choices in this wattage category; however, most of those choices are also covered by a longer warranty.

Teledyne e2v Introduces First Radiation-Tolerant DDR4 Memory for Space Applications

Teledyne e2v has announced the DDR4T04G72M - the first radiation-tolerant DDR4 memory chip, featuring a total 4 GB capacity. Currently validated at 2133 MT/s, and targeting to offer 2400MT/s in the near future, this next-generation solution offers ultra-responsive low latency operation, while fitting into a highly compact form factor. Furthermore, high-reliability manufacturing and radiation-tolerant robustness makes it highly suitable for dealing with the rigors of space environments.

With 15 mm x 20 mm x 1.92 mm dimensions, this new space-grade device comprises an array of Micron based memory chips, integrated in a single package. It features a 72-bit bus, where 64 bits are dedicated to data and 8 bits to error correction code (ECC). Radiation tests have been performed on these memory chips and a single event effects (SEE) report is available from Teledyne e2v. In particular, the memory has been demonstrated to be single event latch-up (SEL) free up to 60+ MeV.cm²/mg.

Linus Torvalds Upgrades to AMD Threadripper After 15 Years with Intel

Linux and Git creator Linus Torvalds revealed that he upgraded to an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X processor powered machine after 15 years of upgrading among Intel processors. This is likely his main machine from which he does pioneering work on the future of Linux and his other creations. His May 24 dated "State of the Kernel" blog post reveals that his hardware upgrade was the most exciting piece of news to share among the community.

"In fact, the biggest excitement this week for me was just that I, upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn't Intel-based. No, I didn't switch to ARM yet, but I'm now rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x. My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be, which doesn't matter so much right now during the calming down period, but I will most definitely notice the upgrade during the next merge window," he stated. What makes this story big is the fact that the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, and a processor with a similar multi-core architecture to AMD's EPYC enterprise processors, is now being used by the creator of the most popular enterprise operating system.

Intel Core i9-10900K der8auer De-Lidding Reveals Accurate Die-Size Measurements

Professional overclocker and extreme cooling products developer der8auer de-lidded a Core i9-10900K 10-core processor to study the processor's behavior with various kinds of custom cooling setups. It was discovered that the 10-core "Comet Lake" die measures 206.1 mm² in die-area. It is 9.2 mm wide like its predecessors, "Coffee Lake" 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core, but is 22.4 mm long, with the outer edges of its packaging material barely within a couple of millimeters of the adhesion point of the integrated heatspreader (IHS). Given what we know about how much each pair of cores adds to these dies, we predict that Intel cannot elongate this die to 12 cores, without having to remove the iGPU. der8auer discovered that using liquid metal TIMs and running the processor de-lidded shaves up to 7 °C off temperatures. Find more technical commentary in the der8auer video presentation.

Xiaomi to Debut Redmi Branded Bang-for-the-Buck PC Monitors, $86 for 24-inch IPS FHD

Smartphone giant Xiaomi is under aggressive expansion ever since its consumer electronics portfolio took off in 2017, with the debut of its Mi TV line of affordable smart TVs. The company is now reportedly turning its attention to the desktop PC monitor market, Shortly after its April announcement of the Mi Display 1A , the company is planning a product under its Redmi brand that rewrote the rules of "bang for the buck" in the smartphones market.

Big things have small beginnings, the Redmi Monitor 1A will be a cost-cut version of the Mi Display 1A. The monitor will offer a 23.5-inch display panel with thin bezels on three sides, likely Full HD resolution, 178°/178° viewing angles, 250 cd/m² brightness, and 60 Hz refresh-rate. Uninterested? Wait till you hear what Xiaomi is reportedly asking for this thing: USD $86. That's it. The Mi Display 1A under Xiaomi's main brand goes for $99. If these two pick up traction, even in China, Xiaomi has the guts to pull off extraordinary value propositions (think a 28-inch 4K IPS monitor under $250), spelling trouble for current monitor makers. Xiaomi plans to announce the Redmi Monitor 1A along with several other consumer electronics products tomorrow (May 26).

First Intel "Lakefield" Powered Samsung Galaxy Book S Listed on the Company's Canadian Store

One of the first Intel "Lakefield" heterogenous processor-powered devices, a Samsung Galaxy Book S model, is listed by Samsung on its Canadian online store. The Galaxy Book series typically consists of Arm-powered clamshell/convertible notebooks that use Windows 10 (Arm version). The device in question is a Galaxy Book S 13.3-inch notebook bearing model number NP767XCM-K01CA, and comes in two color trims - "Mercury Gray" and "Earthy Gold."

Under the hood is an Intel Core i5-L16G7 "Lakefield" heterogenous processor that has four "Tremont" low-power cores, and a "Sunny Cove" high-performance cores, in an arrangement rivaling Arm big.LITTLE, the first of many such chips from the company, as it taps into new technologies such as heterogenous cores and advanced Foveros chip packaging to design its future processors. The notebook offers Full HD resolution, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB or 512 GB of solid-state NVMe storage, 802.11ax 2x2 WLAN, and a 42 Wh battery, possibly with double-digit hour battery life. All of this goes into a 6.2 mm (folded) device weighing under a kilogram.

Infortrend Scale-out NAS Brings a Cost-effective Backup and Restore Solution

Infortrend Technology, Inc., the industry-leading enterprise storage provider, developed a cost-effective backup and restore solution of massive amounts of enterprise data. With both scale-out and scale-up expandability, it adds value for price-conscious data-rich applications, such as governmental institutions files backup, surveillance footages storing. As a Veeam Ready Repository, CS can be as well deployed in IT environments applying virtualization technologies.

System crashes, human errors, malicious attacks, viruses, and physical disasters always happen unexpectedly. Thus, it is difficult to overestimate the role of backup infrastructure with expandable capacity and reliable restore capabilities for ensuring business continuity. EonStor CS scale-out NAS is expandable up to 144 nodes to achieve 100GBps overall throughput and 100PB capacity for large-scale backup requirements or connecting JBOD to expand capacity only for saving costs. CS offers a rich selection of form factors, including high-density 4U 60-bay for space-constraint server rooms.

PAC-MAN, the Original Video Game Super Star, Celebrates His 40th Birthday

Leading interactive entertainment company BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. today celebrates PAC-MAN's 40th birthday with upcoming activities and partnerships to commemorate this momentous milestone with fans around the world. The video game and pop culture icon steps into his 40s more relevant than ever as he stars in a bevy of new video game offerings, product partnerships, and brand collaborations.

Born on May 22, 1980, PAC-MAN immediately rose to meteoric popularity, first in video game arcades, then on the pop culture stage with hit song "PAC-MAN Fever" and through an array of branding and entertainment appearances throughout the 1980's and 1990's. With a brand recognition rate of 90% around the world, PAC-MAN's image and brand continues to be one of the most recognized on the planet.

Researchers Deliver 44.2 Tbps Speeds on Existing Fiber Optic Infrastructure, Paving the Way for the Future of Communications

A joint team of researchers from Australia's Monash, Swinburne and RMIT universities have developed a new interpretation of the current fiber optic infrastructure - one that managed to deliver a 44.2 Tbps throughput via existing optical lines. The achievement, which delivers speeds in excess of 1 million times greater than the average home users' internet speed (50.2 megabits per second for the US), paves the way for upgrades on the existing fiber optic network that hugely decrease costs compared to the need to implement a wholly new infrastructure.

The feat was achieved using a microcomb - a device which is able to replace a number of the currently in-use lasers for the transmission of information. A microcomb is an optical device that generates very sharp and equidistant frequency lines in a tiny microphotonic chip, and it allows researchers to make use of not only the presence of light - as it's done with the usual lasers found in optical equipment - but the lack of light as well, in what researchers call "dark" pulses of light. While nowadays no user would ever need transmission speeds in the order of the 44.2 Tbps achieved by the researchers, advancement in processing, communication technologies, and supercomputing will eventually make use of these - and even higher - throughputs, which is why it's so important that this technology has been developed on top of existing infrastructure.

Summer Game Fest With a Dash of Cyberpunk 2077 and Many EA Announcements; Developer Showcase on June 22nd

In response to the ongoing digitization of events that has been put on an accelerated course due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer Game Fest aims to keep the gaming scene fresh with announcements and developer deep-dives. The aim is to bring the world up to speed in game announcements and development amidst cancelled floor-like shows such as GAMESCOM and E3, and the event lasts from May through September. One of the recent announcements in the lineup for the Summer Game Fest is none other than the most awaited game of 2020 (and probably the last decade) in the form of Cyberpunk 2077.. Developer CD Projekt Red has announced a special Cyberpunk 2077 continued revel event which it's calling "Night City Wire", which will take place in a TBD hour on June 11th. Expect new trailers for the game, likely a played mission showcasing the games' systems, and a developer dive into the creation of Night City.

That same day, EA will be running their "EA Play Live 2020" event, which aims to bring new game announcements and extended information on already-announced games. According to the company, "EA Play Live 2020 is about connecting players around the world and bringing them closer to the game franchises they love. During this year's digital event, we'll showcase our games through a live broadcast, community content, and more." The EA Play show runs on June 11th as well, from 4pm PST on June 11. It surely won't coincide with CD Projekt Red's deep dive into Cyberpunk 2077.

Acer Readies XZ270X and XZ320QX VA Monitors with 240 Hz Refreshing

Acer is slowly rolling out its new monitors at some Chinese retailers and today we get to see their specifications. The two monitors in question are named XZ270X and XZ320QX respectively. The XZ270X is a 27-inch curved model with 1500R curvature applied, while its bigger brother XZ320QX has a 32-inch panel with 1800R curvature. Both models rock a 1920x1080p VA-type panel with a refresh rate of 240 Hz. The VA panels in question are a new breed from CSOT and they feature 4000:1 contrast ratio.

The panels are advertised with 1 ms response time and 250 nits brightness. Both monitors offer 178-degree viewing angles and the ability to represent 16.7 million colors with sRGB (72% NTSC) color gamut. For I/O, Acer has equipped these monitors with one DisplayPort, one 3.5 mm audio jack, and two HDMI connectors. There are two 2 W stereo speakers as well. The Chinese retailer lists the 27-inch model for roughly $310 and the 32-inch model for around $420.

Rumor: Noctua to Introduce NH-U12A Tower Cooler in Chromax Version

Noctua produces some of the most well-regarded CPU coolers in the PC space, and for good reason: they usually set the benchmark in both heat dissipation efficiency and noise levels. However, one of the elements that may not make their coolers as popular as they could be (and they are immensely popular) is the color scheme the company usually favors, with its brown and beige colors being relatively hard to fit in with many system builds. The company responded by adding Chromax versions to their lineup, with a more "typical" black color scheme, which have seen great success both in the market and user opinion.

A Reddit user going by the handle hoopon, however, claims to have received a tech support answer from a Noctua representative that said that a Chromax version of the famed, high-performance Noctua NH-U12A cooler is being readied for market launch in Q3 2020. Another user, Bergh3m, echoed these claims, saying that he himself had received a Noctua answer on the same product in the beginning of the year that placed the Noctua NH-U12A Chromax as being released in Q2 or Q3 2020. However, as with everything these days, the COVID-19 situation may very well has pushed the release to a definite Q3. As always, we urge you to take these rumors with a full pint of salt.

KeysWorlds Brings You Summer Sale, Grab Discounted Genuine Software with Freebies

KeysWorlds brings you its Summer Sale, and an opportunity to breathe life into your new 10th generation gaming desktop with discounted, genuine Windows 10 and Office software. As part of the Summer Sale, KeysWorlds offers lifetime-valid Office 2019 and Office 2016 productivity software, with genuine Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home included. You can also separately purchase your preferred edition of Office or Windows 10 at some of the lowest prices on the web. Get Office 2019 Professional with free Windows 10 Pro for $36.09, no coupon codes needed. Office 2016 Professional with Windows 10 Pro is going for $27.34. Also grab Windows 10 Pro standalone for just $9.49. Check out more jaw-dropping deals below.

Buy Office 2019 Professional with Free Windows 10 Pro for $36.09 | Buy Office 2019 Profession with free Windows 10 Home for $37.19 | Buy Office 2016 Professional + Windows 10 Pro for $27.34 | Buy Office 2016 Professional + Windows 10 Home for $26.68

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Buy Office 2016 Home and Business for Mac for $32.82 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Business for Mac at $51.96 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student 1-user for $20.67 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student 1-user for $39.62 | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus 5-users for $82.05 | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus 5-users for $56.34

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Xbox Game Pass Late May Game Changes Announced

Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox will receive some new big-name games in the coming days, besides the games released earlier this month such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Final Fantasy 9. The biggest title set to join the program is Minecraft Dungeons a new dungeon crawler spinoff game from Microsoft's Mojang Studios. Minecraft Dungeons will be available through Xbox Game Pass on PC and Xbox from tomorrow the 26th of May.

The classic Alan Wake has been added to the platform for both PC and Xbox users along with the return of Cities Skylines. Golf with your friends was also added earlier this month for Xbox. Finally PC users will also receive Plebby Quest: The Crusades later this month.

NVIDIA GameGAN AI Recreates PAC-MAN From Gameplay Footage

Trained on 50,000 episodes of the game, a powerful new AI model created by NVIDIA Research, called NVIDIA GameGAN, can generate a fully functional version of PAC-MAN — without an underlying game engine. That means that even without understanding a game's fundamental rules, AI can recreate the game with convincing results.

GameGAN is the first neural network model that mimics a computer game engine by harnessing generative adversarial networks, or GANs. Made up of two competing neural networks, a generator and a discriminator, GAN-based models learn to create new content that's convincing enough to pass for the original.

CRYORIG Confirms LGA 115x Cooler Compatibility with LGA 1200

In response to the new Intel LGA 1200 socket, CRYORIG announces that LGA 1200 socket would be compatible with all existing LGA115x supported models. The supported models include: A series liquid coolers, R1 Ultimate/Universal, C1, H5 Ultimate/Universal, H7 Series, M9I, M9 Plus, and C7 Series. As the mounting mechanism of LGA1200 is identical to LGA115x socket, users with LGA115x supported models would not require any extra upgrade kits.

MSI Releases "Sound Tune" AI-Powered Noise Cancellation Software

MSI, a world leader in gaming and content creation hardware, unveils the MSI Sound Tune, an AI-powered noise cancellation software that filters out all the unwanted background noises to remarkably enhance users' communication experiences. "MSI is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology. The new MSI Sound Tune breaks the traditional boundaries on noise reduction by integrating deep learning AI technology to audio signal processing, allowing users who have to work from home amid the global pandemic to communicate clearly and stay productive with their tasks," said Harry Kao, MSI Technical Director.

MSI Sound Tune's AI-powered noise cancellation is achieved through Deep Neural Network (DNN) with more than 0.5 billion Synthetic Noisy Speech Data to help simulate the way human brain works. The traditional noise reduction technology, with its manually compiled algorithm, doesn't work well in environments with complicated noise sources, such as keyboard noises, construction site noises, coffee shop whispers, or the loud noise that overwhelms the vocal sounds. Comparatively speaking, the MSI Sound Tune, utilizing human brains' excellent ability to distinguish human vocal sounds from environmental noises, can extract the vocal sounds from complicated environments, giving users extra clear, noise-free commuication in various surroundings.

QNAP Launches Quad-core TS-431KX NAS with 10GbE SFP+

QNAP Systems, Inc., today launched the quad-core 1.7 GHz TS-431KX NAS with 10GbE SFP+ connectivity. The TS-431KX provides high bandwidth for intensive data transmission, allowing SMB and startups to easily backup/restore and synchronize data without breaking their budget. The TS-431KX supports Snapshot technology and HBS (Hybrid Backup Sync) local, offsite and cloud backup that enable a well-rounded disaster recovery plan to ensure uninterrupted services.

The TS-431KX is powered by a quad-core 1.7 GHz processor, 2GB RAM (upgradable to 8 GB) with one 10GbE SFP+ and two 1GbE network ports. Coupled with a QNAP QSW series 10GbE/NBASE-T network switch, users can easily build a high-speed 10GbE network environment to achieve faster and streamlined workflows. Featuring tool-less and lockable drive bays, the TS-431KX makes installation easier while also ensuring the drives are safe and secure.
Sunday, May 24th 2020

Sonarworks Releases SoundID Listen: Personalized Sound on your Computer

Sonarworks had caught our eye back at CES 2019, when they showed off their then-still-in-progress mobile app for personalized sound signatures called True-Fi. The Latvia-based company has credentials to back all their claims, and the in-suite demo was impressive to say the least. Getting it out in the real world meant that the company had to build up their database of compatible headphones to first normalize the sound signature, and then work on the best option for recuperating R&D costs without breaking any wallets. As it turns out, the company had more insight on this at CES 2020 but are only now ready to show their retail plans in the form of SoundID.

SoundID, as both a mobile app (iOS, Android) and the new desktop SoundID Listen experience, takes over from where True-Fi started. The interface is more colorful and user-friendly to the masses, and the mobile app in the current beta form is being marketed more for profile-creation than usage, although it has the option to plug into your Spotify library. The older A/B tests are retained here, and at CES 2020 the app only had the "Core" experience. As of May, the app has new features to coincide with the desktop client's release, and read past the break for more on both.

Possible 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" XT SKU Clock Speeds Surface

Last week, we brought you reports of AMD inching closer to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" processor lineup to ward off the 10th gen Intel Core "Comet Lake" threat, by giving the "Zen 2" chips possible clock speed-bumps to shore up performance. The lineup included the Ryzen 9 3900XT, the Ryzen 7 3800XT, and the Ryzen 5 3600XT. We now have a first-look at their alleged clock speeds courtesy of an anonymous tipster on ChipHell forums, seconded by HXL @9550pro.

The XT SKUs indeed revolve around 200-300 MHz increments in base- and boost clock speeds as many of our readers predicted in the "Matisse Refresh" article's comments section. The 3900XT comes with 4.10 GHz base clock, and 4.80 GHz max boost clocks, compared to 3.80 GHz base and 4.60 GHz boost clocks of the 3900X. Likewise, the 3800XT notches up to 4.20 GHz base clock (highest in the lineup), and 4.70 GHz max boost, compared to 3.90-4.50 GHz of the 3800X. The 3600XT offers the same 4.70 GHz max boost, a step up from the 4.40 GHz of the 3600X, but has its base clock set at 4.00 GHz, compared to 3.80 GHz on the 3600X. It appears like AMD's design focus is to reduce, if not beat, Intel's gaming performance lead. The 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" tops gaming performance by a mid-high single-digit percentages over AMD's offerings, and AMD could bring them down to low single-digit percentages with the XT family.

ViewSonic Expands the ELITE XG Series with the XG270QG

ViewSonic Corporation, a leading global provider of visual solutions, today announced worldwide availability of 27-inch Elite performance-driven gaming monitors including the XG270QC, a curved screen with native QHD resolution, the XG270QG an IPS Nano color display with a 2560x1440 (QHD) resolution, and the XG270, a G-SYNC compatible display with certified blur reduction options.

"Esports and gaming have been exploding in North America," said Marc Aflalo, Co-Host of Gamer's Edge and YourTechReport on SiriusXM. "Today, people are substituting the time they used to spend cheering on their favorite sports teams with their own gaming at home. It's also a way we can stay connected. So if you're looking to get yourself a new gaming monitor, make sure you check out ViewSonic first. In our opinion, it has the best bang-for-the-buck displays on the market."

ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex Hits 7.7 GHz on 10 Cores and Overclocks Memory to 6666 MHz

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced that overclockers have used the latest ROG Maximus XII Apex powerhouse motherboard to break a slew of world records and secure a raft of global first place scores. Marking a new performance milestone, overclockers took the Intel Core i9-10900K all the way up to 7.7 GHz frequencies on all 10 of its cores.

Because of the ongoing global situation, ASUS was unable to host its traditional overclocking gathering this year, so instead a smaller session took place at the ASUS headquarters in Taiwan - with local overclockers Jon 'Elmor' Sandström and Pieter 'Massman' Plaisier working alongside internal ASUS experts. Using a liquid-helium setup, the group managed to shatter the Intel Core architecture frequency record, the single-core Geekbench 4 record, and took global first-place positions in 10-core categories for Geekbench 3, Cinebench R15, and wPrime 32M.

AMD RDNA2 "Navi 21" GPU to Double CU Count Over "Navi 10"

AMD's RDNA2 graphics architecture, which sees real-time ray-tracing among other DirectX 12 Ultimate features, could see the company double the amount of stream processors generation-over-generation, according to a specs leak by _rogame. The increase in stream processors would fall in line with AMD's effort to increase performance/Watt by 50%. It may appear like the resulting SKUs finally measure up to the likes of the RTX 2080 Ti, but AMD has GeForce "Ampere" in its competitive calculus, and should the recent specs reveal hold up, the new "Navi 21" could end up being a performance-segment competitor to GeForce graphics cards based on the "GA104" ("TU104" successor), rather than a flagship-killer.

The RDNA2-based "Navi 21" GPU allegedly features 80 RDNA2 compute units amounting to 5,120 stream processors. AMD might tap into a refined 7 nm-class silicon fabrication node by TSMC to build these chips, either N7P or N7+. The die-size could measure up to 505 mm², and AMD could aim for a 50% performance/Watt gain over the "Navi 10." AMD could carve out as many as 10 SKUs out of the "Navi 21," but only three are relevant to the gamers. The SKU with the PCI device ID "0x731F: D1" succeeds the RX 5700 XT. The one bearing "0x731F: D3" succeeds the RX 5700, with a variant name "Navi 21 XL." The "Navi 21 XE" variant has a PCI ID of "0x731F: DF," and succeeds the RX 5600 XT.
Saturday, May 23rd 2020

EK Releases Limited Edition Memorial Day Star-Spangled Velocity Water Block

EK, the premium water cooling gear manufacturer, has decided to do something special for its American fans this Memorial Day Weekend. Apart from being the unofficial beginning of summer, the last Monday of May has a lot of meaning for many Americans. Memorial Day is the reason why EK has created a special red, white, and blue limited edition Velocity CPU water block with a genuinely noble cause.

The brand new limited version of the water block carries the name EK-Quantum Velocity Honor. It is "decorated" with the US flag and will be sold at the price of $249.99. For each water block sold, EK will donate $100 to a charitable organization. "Being a globally successful company also means that we have the ability and responsibility to make a difference and give something back to the community. We have decided to jump on a project that will make our most loyal fans happy, and at the same time, help those who are in need," said Edvard König, founder of EK.

Matrox Now Shipping D-Series D1480 Graphics Card

Matrox is pleased to announce that the Matrox D-Series D1480 multi-display graphics card is now shipping. Purpose-built to power next-generation video walls, this new single-slot graphics card supports up to four 4Kp60 DisplayPort monitors and can be combined to drive a high-density-output video wall of up 16 synchronized 4K displays. Along with a rich assortment of video wall software and developer tools, the D1480 card enables OEMs, system integrators, and AV installers to deploy high-performance display walls for a broad range of commercial and critical 24/7 applications, including control rooms, enterprises, industries, government, military, digital signage, broadcast, and more.

Backed by innovative technology and deep industry expertise, D1480 delivers exceptional video and graphics performance on up to four 4K DisplayPort monitors from a single-slot card. OEMs, system integrators, and AV professionals can easily add—and synchronize—displays by framelocking up to four D-Series cards via board-to-board framelock cables. In addition, D1480 offers HDCP support to display copy-protected content, as well as Microsoft DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.5, and OpenCL 1.2 support to run the latest professional applications.

ASRock Z490 AQUA Helps Set Four 10th Gen Core Records

Please see the comments section of this news post. Looks like the board that achieved the records is not the actual Z490 AQUA. We're investigating and will update asap.

Being the latest flagship and limited motherboard, the Z490 AQUA has been pleased all gamers and PC enthusiasts since its announcement. The cutting edge performance and design of Z490 AQUA push Intel 10th Gen Core CPU to 4 global first place benchmark results. The well-known overclocker, Splave achieves four Global First Places with Z490 AQUA and Intel Core i9-10900KF CPU. Our platform completed the wPrime 1024M benchmark in 35.562 seconds, which wins the Global First Place. Find the HWBot submission here.

On the GPUPI for CPU benchmark, best record is one minute and 25.015 seconds, made by using Z490 AQUA with Intel Core i9-10900KF. (Check new record here on HWBot). Splave takes a huge lead by scoring 9108 marks on Intel Core i9-10900KF with the ASRock Z490 AQUA, and captured the 1st place in the Intel 10th Gen Core CPU category (HWBot submission). In conjunction with Intel Core i9-10900KF with the ASRock Z490 AQUA, Splave creates a new record of 42.17 points on Cinebench-R11.5 and wins the Global First Place (submission).

Lian Li and PCMR Collaborate on O11 Dynamic Space Grey Special Edition

LIAN LI Industrial Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of aluminium chassis and PC accessories, is proud to unveil, in cooperation with the PC Master Race, the O11 DYNAMIC SPACE GREY SPECIAL EDITION - CHROME MIRROR FINISH, a limited edition case designed for the PC community. Sporting the award-winning features of the original O11 DYNAMIC, such as dual-chamber and multi radiator support, the SPECIAL EDITION adds on a mirror-like chrome front panel and accents, highly reflective tempered glass panels, and a unique ID numbered plate from 1 to 2,000 units.

"We are thrilled to be announcing the O11 DYNAMIC SPECIAL EDITION, a project in which we were able to collaborate with the PCMR community. It gives the O11D a refreshingly new take on premium design and craftsmanship for cases," says Jameson Chen, Brand Director at LIAN LI.

AMD "Matisse Refresh" Processor SKUs Include 3900XT, 3800XT, and 3600XT

Rumors of AMD refreshing its 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family are growing louder. On Friday (22/05), reports of the "Matisse Refresh" processor family surfaced, with talk of "Ryzen 7 3850X" and "Ryzen 7 3750X" processors headed for a June 2020 announcement followed by July availability. Turns out AMD has a different naming scheme in mind, targeted at wooing gamers. The company is reportedly bringing its "XT" brand extension over from its Radeon graphics card family over to the Ryzen line.

There are three SKUs AMD is developing, the Ryzen 9 3900XT, the Ryzen 7 3800XT, and the Ryzen 5 3600 XT. All three are likely to retain core counts of the SKUs they are displacing from current price points - with the 3900XT likely being a 12-core/24-thread part; the 3800XT an 8-core/16-thread part, and the 3600XT a 6-core/12-thread part. AMD is likely to give the three a major clock speed increase to shore up gaming performance. It won't surprise us if AMD tinkers with boost algorithms, either. GIGABYTE has already referenced "Matisse Refresh" in its motherboard product roadmaps, which adds plenty of credibilty to this rumor. With "Zen 3" based 4th gen Ryzen processors unlikely to relieve the embattled 3900X, 3800X, and 3600X in the wake of Intel's 10th gen Core "Comet Lake" launch until Q4-2020, it makes sense for AMD to plan a product stack refresh to bolster its competitiveness. AMD is reportedly planning a June 16 product announcement, followed by July 7 availability.
Friday, May 22nd 2020
Mistel MD770 Barocco RGB Keyboard Review

Mistel MD770 Barocco RGB Keyboard Review

Mistel introduces its largest entry to the Barocco split keyboard series in the form of the MD770. Adopting a 75% form factor, the MD770 comes in different versions of color, backlighting, connectivity, and switches to offer a more user-friendly, ergonomic keyboard with extensive onboard controls.

GELID CPU Coolers Fully Compatible with Intel LGA1200

The 10th generation Intel Core desktop processor family was launched recently along with its companion motherboards based on the Intel 400-series chipsets. The new processors (codename "Comet Lake-S") utilize the LGA 1200 socket which shares the same mechanicals and has the identical 75x75mm spacing of mounting holes as the older LGA 1151 and other 115x sockets. All current GELID CPU coolers that support LGA 115x are also compatible with the new LGA 1200 socket, no additional mounting kits or accessory upgrades are required.

And especially, our latest Phantom, Phantom Black and Sirocco CPU Coolers also fully support overclocking capabilities of the top unlocked Core i9-10900K, Core i7-10700K and Core i5-10600K processors enabling boosted performance and enhanced cooling for your power-hungry gaming rigs.

Intel Rocket Lake CPU Appears with 6 Cores and 12 Threads

We have been hearing a lot about Intel's Rocket Lake lineup of processors. They are supposed to be a backport of Willow Cove 10 nm core, adapted to work on a 14 nm process for better yielding. Meant to launch sometime around late 2020 or the beginning of 2021, Rocket Lake is designed to work on the now existing LGA1200 socket motherboards, which were launched just a few days ago along with Intel Comet Lake CPUs. Rocket Lake is there to supply the desktop segment and satisfy user demand, in light of lacking 10 nm offers for desktop users. The 10 nm node is going to present only on mobile/laptop and server solutions before it comes to the desktop.

In the latest report on 3D Mark, the hardware leaker TUM APISAK has found a Rocket Lake CPU running the benchmark and we get to see first specifications of the Rocket Lake-S platform. The benchmark ran on 6 core model with 12 threads, that had a base clock of 3,5 GHz. The CPU managed to boost up to 4,09 GHz, however, we are sure that these are not final clocks and the actual product should have even higher frequencies. Paired with Gen12 Xe graphics, the Rocket Lake platform could offer a very nice alternative to AMD offerings if the backport of Willow Cove goes well. Even though it is still using a 14 nm node, performance would be good. The only things that would be sacrificed (from backporting) are die space and efficiency/heat.
Intel Rocket Lake Benchmark Report

ADATA and XPG DRAM Integrate with Z490 Platforms for Amazing Performance

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today announces that its XPG Overclocking Lab (XOCL), in conjunction with MSI, has overclocked the SPECTRIX D50 and D60G 32 GB RGB DDR4 memory modules to a frequency of 5000 MHz on an Intel Z490 platform. This achievement not only signifies the compatibility of XPG and ADATA DRAM modules with the latest Intel Z490 platforms, but also their ability to bring out their full performance potential. XPG reached the milestone with an Intel Core i9-10900K chipset and MSI MEG Z490 gaming motherboard. XPG also tested the D60G and D50 with Z490 platforms from other manufactures with similar results.

The D60G sports more RGB lighting per mm² than any other memory module out there, which equates to over 60% of the module's surface area. The fully exposed light diffusers are extra-wide for maximum effect, and combined with a mesmerizing multi-colored flow effect users will outshine their competition! The unique avant garde styling of the D60G will also turn heads. It includes XPG's signature X-light design with a diamond-inspired, multi-faceted surface that is a cut above the rest.

Intel Tiger Lake Processor Spotted with Boost of 5 GHz

Intel is preparing to launch its next-generation Tiger Lake lineup of processors for the middle of 2020. The processors are based on the new "Willow Cove" CPU core, which supposedly brings even more IPC gains compared to previous "Golden Cove" CPU cores found in Ice Lake processors. The Tiger Lake lineup will use Intel's advanced 10 nm+ manufacturing process. This alone should bring some gains in frequency compared to the 10 nm Ice Lake processor generation, which was spotting a maximum of 4.1 GHz boost frequency on 28 W TDP model named Core i7-1068NG7. This processor is labeled as the highest-performing Ice Lake parts available today and the best 10 nm products available so far from Intel.

Thanks to the popular hardware leaker Rogame, we have evidence that the gains from 10 nm+ manufacturing process are real and that Tiger Lake will show us an amazing boost frequency of 5 GHz. In the benchmark, an unknown OEM laptop was spotted running the benchmark with a Tiger Lake CPU. This CPU is a 4 core, 8 threaded model with a base frequency of 2.3 GHz and a surprising boost frequency of 5 GHz. This information should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt until we get more information about the Tiger Lake lineup and their specifications.
Intel Tiger Lake Benchmark Report

AMD Readies 3rd Gen Ryzen "Matisse Refresh" Ryzen 7 3850X and 3750X Processors

AMD is planning to immediately update its product stack to counter the Intel 10th gen Core "Comet Lake-S" desktop processor family. Codenamed "Matisse Refresh," the processor will use existing IP, based on the 7 nm "Zen 2" microarchitecture, but could improve in areas such as clock-speeds. As it now stands, the Ryzen 9 3900X appears unfazed by the i9-10900K and i7-10700K at its new $410 price, however, competitiveness of the 3800X and 3700X could buckle under pressure from the i7-10700 series (K, KF, non-K, and F), as well as the Core i5-10600 series. To this effect, we're hearing rumors of a "Ryzen 7 3750X" and "Ryzen 7 3850X" seeing the light of the day soon, with an early-June announcement, and early-July market availability. References to the 3750X date back to October 2019.

Rumors of "Matisse Refresh" gained traction when WCCFTech editor Hassan Mujtaba tweeted a slide from a GIGABYTE AMD B550 motherboard series pre-launch presentation, which references GIGABYTE's own interpretation of AMD's roadmap. It lists out every CPU microarchitecture for the AM4 platform, and right next to "Matisse" is "& Refresh," confirming that "Matisse Refresh" is real. A microarchitecture "refresh" needn't even involve any physical changes to the processor design, core-counts, or architecture, and can sometimes even indicate something as simple as a second major wave of SKUs that replace existing SKUs in the market, leading to their phase-out (eg: Intel "Haswell Refresh" retaining the 4th gen Core model numbering). The slide also adds weight to the theory that desktop "Renoir," like its mobile counterpart, lacks PCIe gen 4.0. The slide also talks about AMD introducing the entry-level A520 desktop chipset in August, which will support PCIe gen 4 when paired with a capable processor.

'Spectra' Cyber Attack Breaks Coexistence Between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Nowadays wireless technologies are increasingly sharing spectrum. This is the case for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but also some LTE bands and harmonics. Operating on the same frequency means that these different technologies need to coordinate wireless spectrum access to avoid collisions. Especially for nearby sources, as it is the case for multiple chips within one smartphone, so-called coexistence is the key to high-performance spectrum sharing.

Coexistence between wireless chips can be implemented in various ways. While there are open specifications, most manufacturers opt to develop proprietary coexistence mechanisms to further improve performance. Open interfaces are not needed on combo chips that implement multiple wireless technologies, as the manufacturer has full control.

Spectra, a new vulnerability class, relies on the fact that transmissions happen in the same spectrum and wireless chips need to arbitrate the channel access. While coexistence should only increase performance, it also poses a powerful side channel.

Original Xbox & Windows NT 3.5 Source Code Leaks Online

According to The Verge, source code for the original Xbox and Windows NT 3.5 has leaked online. The leak reportedly contains the kernel for the original Xbox OS, build environments, testing emulators, and internal development documents. This leak may help further emulation efforts for the original Xbox which as of now can only play ~40 of the over 900 games released for the console. This isn't the first time Microsoft has suffered a source code leak, with partial Windows 2000 and NT 4 source code leaking back in 2004 but given the age of the software this is unlikely to be of much significance. A Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge that "We're aware of these reports and are investigating".

Twitch Exclusive New Game+ Plus Expo Announced Featuring SEGA & More

In light of the cancellation of E3 2020 a new digital game showcase has been announced. The New Game+ Expo will feature new and upcoming releases from a coalition of developers from around the world and be streamed exclusively on Twitch June 23rd. The 16 companies from across Japan and America involved are: Acttil, Aksys Games, Arc System Works America, GungHo Online Entertainment America, Grasshopper Manufacture, Idea Factory International, Inti Creates, Koei, Tecmo America, Natsume Inc, NIS America Inc, Playism, Sega of America, Atlus West, SNK Corporation, Spike Chunsoft Inc, and WayForward

Epic Games Store Gives Away Civilization VI

On a charm offensive with big game giveaways such as Grand Theft Auto V, and partial refunds for those who missed sales, Epic Games Store is now offering "Sid Meier's Civilization VI" for free. This is a great deal considering that the game is listed on Steam for $59.99 in the U.S. HotHardware reports that EGS has several other fairly new AAA titles lined up for the taking in the coming weeks. The store plans to give away "Borderlands: The Handsome Collection" from May 28, and "Ark Survival: Evolved" in the following week. "Civilization VI is the latest entry in the smash hit turn-based strategy franchise.
Thursday, May 21st 2020

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Processors
Montech Fighter 400 Review

Montech Fighter 400 Review

The Montech Fighter 400 pushes the envelope in price by being a glass-equipped ATX chassis for less than $50 retail. That in itself already sounds interesting if looking for a solid budget choice, but we take a closer look to see if the details of the chassis are up to the challenge as well.

GoodOffer24 Summer Sale Rolls On with Discounted Genuine Software

GoodOffer24 lets you equip your swanky new 10th generation PCs with genuine, globally-valid software. As part of the Summer 2020 sale, get genuine Windows 10 Pro, the preferred operating system of PC enthusiasts, for just $11.90 with a TechPowerUp exclusive discount code. While you're keeping your machine cutting-edge, why not grab genuine Office 2019 Professional Plus, the most advanced productivity suite, for just $29.56 with the same code? Even better, get a combo of Windows 10 Pro and Office 2019 Professional for $35.62. Check out other great deals below. GoodOffer24 uses PayPal, so your payment instruments are secure, and so is your purchase.

Use the coupon-code TP30 at check-out to avail the prices you see here.

Buy Windows 10 Pro for $11.90 | Buy Office 2019 Professional Plus for $29.56 | Buy Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC for $11.37 | Buy Windows 10 Pro twin-pack for $19.45 | Buy Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Professional for $35.62 | Buy Office 2019 Home and Student 1-user for $29.56

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for First Quarter Fiscal 2021

NVIDIA today reported revenue for the first quarter ended April 26, 2020, of $3.08 billion, up 39 percent from $2.22 billion a year earlier, and down 1 percent from $3.11 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $1.47, up 130 percent from $0.64 a year ago, and down 4 percent from $1.53 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.80, up 105 percent from $0.88 a year earlier, and down 5 percent from $1.89 in the previous quarter.

NVIDIA completed its acquisition of Mellanox Technologies Ltd. on April 27, 2020, for a transaction value of $7 billion. It also transitioned its GPU Technology Conference to an all-digital format, drawing more than 55,000 registered participants, while NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang's keynote videos were viewed 3.8 million times in their first three days.
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