Monday, May 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Storage

EK Announces GeForce GTX FE Full-Cover Water Blocks

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing several new EK-FC GeForce GTX FE water blocks that are compatible with multiple reference design Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 1070, 1080, 1080 Ti, Titan X Pascal and Titan Xp based graphics cards. All the water blocks feature recently introduced aesthetic terminal cover as well! FE blocks come as a replacement to current GeForce GTX 10x0 / TITAN X Series of water blocks.

All current GeForce GTX 10x0 / TITAN X Series of water blocks are going to be discontinued after the stock runs out and FE blocks come as a complete replacement. FE blocks are designed to fit all reference design Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 1070, 1080, 1080 Ti, Titan X Pascal and Titan Xp based graphics cards. The current compatibility list rounds up a total of 106 graphics cards that are on the market, but as always, we recommend that you refer to the EK Cooling Configurator for a precise compatibility match.

SilentiumPC Intros Vero L2 Bronze Series PSUs

SilentiumPC today introduced the Vero L2 Bronze series of mainstream power-supplies (PSUs). Available in two models - 500W and 600W, the PSUs offer low-noise fans, fixed cabling, and boasts of 80 Plus Bronze switching efficiency, besides an up to date standards compliance (ATX 12V 2.31, and Intel Core new C6/C7-states support). Under the hood, the Vero L2 Bronze features a single +12V rail design, a resonant LLC converter, active PFC, and most common electrical protections, including over/under-voltage, overload, input surge, and short-circuit protection.

Both variants of the SilentiumPC Vero L2 Bronze offer the same connector loadout - a 24-pin ATX, a 4+4 pin EPS, two 6+2-pin PCIe power, seven SATA power, three 4-pin Molex, and one 4-pin Berg (floppy). Besides the 24-pin ATX, all connectors feature flat ribbon-type cables. The units are cooled by a 120 mm PWM fan that's been optimized for low noise, and stays at 20% of its rated 1,800 RPM speed up to 30% of load. The units are backed by 3-year "door to door" warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Plextor Announces M8Se Series SSD Availability

Plextor today announced retail availability of its M8Se series of PCI-Express solid-state drives (SSDs). Designed to compete with Samsung 950 EVO series, the drives use Toshiba-made TLC NAND flash memory, mated to a Marvell 88SS1093 controller. Available in M.2-2280 and half-height PCI-Express 3.0 x4 add-on card form-factors, the drives take advantage of PCI-Express gen 3.0 x4 interface, and the NVMe protocol.

The M8Se lineup are available in three distinct variants based on form-factor, M8Se-Y (PCIe add-on card), M8Se-G (M.2-2280 with heatsink), and M8Se-GN (M.2-2280 without heatsink, ideal for notebooks); the three further consist of variants based on capacity - 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB. Performance ratings are the same on all variants - up to 2,450 MB/s sequential reads, up to 1,000 MB/s sequential writes, up to 210,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 175,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The M8Se-Y and M8Se-G series drives feature chunky aluminium heatsinks which make contact with the NAND flash, DRAM, and main controller. Prices start at 83€ for the 128 GB variant, and go all the way up to 494€ for the 1 TB variant.

MSI Intros Five Additional GT 1030 Graphics Cards

Taking a blanketing approach to the GT 1030 market, MSI has announced a further five SKUs based on NVIDIA's GT 1030 silicon, which will join the company's already announced full height, passive-cooled GT 1030 2GH OC offering. MSI is catering to one and every need their users could possibly have with this line-up: from a half-height, passive-cooled solution, passing through a full-height, still passively-cooled solution, and a full-height, actively-cooled one. The only thing missing seems to be a water-cooled version.

MSI's line of GT 1030 graphics cards are available now from various retailers at around the $75 price-bracket.

Inno3D Intros Single-slot GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti Graphics Cards

INNO3D, one of the leading brands in high-end graphics cards and high quality 3D printers, expands its GPU portfolio with the new Single-Slot edition of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and 1050. By designing a powerful video card in a thin and elegant form factor, performance that usually finds itself in dual-slot space, you can now get the same experience in smaller PCs that usually were lacking that graphics power.

NVIDIA's new Pascal architecture fuels the new INNO3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti / 1050 single slot graphics cards and deliver fast & smooth gameplay, supporting the latest DirectX 12 features in both classic and modern games at even 1080p @ 60 fps. The ultimate & affordable upgrade is here; INNO3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti/ 1050 series.

Alphacool Intros the Eisblock XPX CPU Water Block

Alphacool proudly presents the XPX Eisblock clear and satin versions. As with the other versions of the XPX, Alphacool relies on their specially developed and patented ramp technology. This innovation significantly improves the cooling performance, which has already been shown in tests with the normal Eisblock XPX. It allows the water to flow evenly over all the cooling fins instead of just rushing through the middle section and nearly standing still at the edges. Additionally, the Eisblock XPX boasts a large bottom surface of 34 x 32mm, perfect for CPUs with 8 or more cores, and a very fine fin structure of 0.2mm.


Alphacool is also the first water cooling manufacturer worldwide to dispense with Plexiglas and instead use transparent nylon, the material of the future, for both coolers. Nylon is a much more robust material than Plexiglas, meaning that the danger of cracks in the cooler is drastically reduced. Cracks can occur due to connectors being fastened too tightly or some other uneven strain on the Plexiglas.

HIS Intros Single-slot Radeon RX 550 Graphics Card

HIS today introduced a single-slot Radeon RX 550 graphics card. The new HIS Radeon RX 550 Green iCooler Slim graphics card comes in two variants based on memory size - 2 GB and 4 GB. Both cards are factory-overclocked, shipping with core clocks of 1183 MHz, with 1203 MHz boost, and an untouched 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory.

The cards combine a close-to-reference full-height PCB with a single-slot cooler featuring an aluminium base-plate with a copper core over the GPU, and aluminium channels for heat dissipation, from the air pushed by a 70 mm fan. The card relies on the PCI-Express slot for all its power, display outputs include one each of DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and dual-link DVI. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Ryzen-optimized C and C++ Compilers Improve Performance

AMD followed up its Ryzen processor launch with support for the software development ecosystem by releasing special C and C++ compilers that let you make software that can fully take advantage of the "Zen" micro-architecture. The new AOCC 1.0 C/C++ compilers by AMD are based on LLVM Clang, with "Zen" specific patches. AMD claims AOCC offers improved vectorization and better code generation for "Zen" based CPUs. It also includes a "Zen" optimized linker.

Phoronix benchmarked AOCC against other more common compilers such as GCC 6.3, GCC 7.1, GCC 8, LLVM Clang 4.0, and LLVM Clang 5.0 using a Ryzen 7-1700 eight-core processor powered machine, running on Ubuntu 17.04 Linux, and found that AOCC offers higher performance than GCC in most cases, LLVM Clang in some cases, and marginally higher performance than LLVM Clang in some cases. Find more results in the link below.

Source: Phoronix.org
Friday, May 19th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD

Vertagear Triigger 275 Gaming Chair

We take a look at another high-end gaming chair, this time from Vertagear. It promises to take you through comfortable, hour-long gaming sessions and looks nice; however, its price is quite steep.

AMD Ryzen 2000 Series Processors Based on Refined 14 nm Process

At its Analyst Day follow-up conference call, AMD confirmed that the company could build a new generation of Ryzen processors on 14 nm (albeit refined 14 nm) process, before transitioning to "Zen2," which will be built on the 7 nm process. As the first "Zen" based products built on the 14 nm process, the Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors are based on the current-generation 14 nm FinFET process. AMD hopes to tap into a more refined version of this process before moving on to "Zen 2."

This could indicate that AMD's next generation of Ryzen processors, likely the Ryzen # 2xxx series, could be minor incremental updates to the current product stack, likely in the form of higher clock speeds or better energy-efficiency facilitated by the refined 14 nm process, but nothing major in the way of micro-architecture. Assuming the current Ryzen product stack, which will be augmented by Ryzen 3 series, Ryzen Pro series, and Ryzen APUs in the second half of 2017; last till mid-2018, one could expect a follow-up or refreshed Ryzen # 2xxx series run up to another year, before AMD makes a "leapfrog" upgrade to the 7 nm process with "Zen2," in all likelihood, by 2019.

Threadripper a Brand, not Codename: AMD, More Details

At its follow-up conference call for its Analysts Day presentation, AMD clarified that Threadripper is a brand, and not a codename to its upcoming line of HEDT processors. This effectively implies that the chips will be called either Threadripper (followed by a model number), or Ryzen Threadripper, but not "Ryzen 9." Responding to questions by TechPowerUp, AMD also mentioned that it will put out more details about Threadripper in its May 29th pre-Computex event in Taipei.

AMD also confirmed that Threadripper is very much a client platform product and not enterprise; although its target audience is "a bit of both" power-users looking for a huge amount of CPU power, and high-end gamers. The Epyc line of processors are firmly in the enterprise domain. Finally, AMD confirmed that motherboard manufacturers will show off Threadripper motherboards at Computex 2017. AMD hopes to launch Threadripper within Summer 2017 (that's before September end). Wake me up when September ends.

Intel to Introduce 3D XPoint DIMM Tech to the Market on 2018

Early on in Intel's 3D XPoint teasers and announcements, the company planned to have this memory integrated not only as a system cache solution or SSD replacement, but also as a potential substitute for DRAM memory. The objective: to revolutionize the amount of DRAM memory a given system can carry, at a much lower price per GB, with a somewhat acceptable performance penalty. Intel describes the current DRAM implementation as too small, too expensive, and too unstable (read: data loss on power loss) to continue being on top of the memory food chain. This is where the 3D Xpoint DIMM implementation can bear fruits, by offering significantly higher amounts of storage at much lower pricing, while keeping attractive bandwidth and latency performance. DRAM will still be used for system-critical operations and booting, albeit in lower capacities, and will be used side by side with these 3D XPoint DIMM slots, which will take in the bulk of the work.

This kind of usage for Intel's 3D XPoint also delivers an interesting side-effect: since this memory is persistent (which means that data isn't lost when the power is turned off,) interruption or loss of power won't erase the work in memory. At the same time, this means that this kind of DRAM-substitute memory requires some security precautions DRAM doesn't, since anyone with direct physical access to the stick could just remove one and take it with all the data inside. Even though a 2018 time to market seems a little to optimistic, considering all the changes this implementation would require from adopters, the technology is definitely promising enough to tempt users to make the jump.

Source: EXPreview

ASUS Teases Ryzen-based ROG Laptop

ASUS, through its ROG (Republic of Gamers)brand, has started teasing what is to be one of the first Ryzen-powered gaming laptops. Other than Ryzen's circular orange logo and the ROG brand, the video doesn't offer any specifics of what hardware rests under the hood. The clip includes the words "something has awakened," and the post is accompanied by the hashtag #Computex2017.

G.SKILL Organizes OC World Record Stage and OC World Cup at Computex 2017

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce its largest annual LN2 extreme overclocking events at Computex - the 6th Annual OC World Record Stage 2017 and 4th Annual OC World Cup 2017. In addition, an Extreme OC Workshop event co-hosted with HWBOT.org at the G.SKILL booth this year. These 3 events will be held throughout Computex week at the G.SKILL Computex booth in the Nangang Exhibition Hall, 1F, Booth J0806.

The G.SKILL OC World Record Stage event has reached its 6th year in the running and has become one of the biggest annual overclocking events in the community. This year, 18 world-class professional overclockers will be attending and aim to break as many benchmark records as possible, showing off the astounding performance of the latest hardware from Intel, leading motherboard vendors, and G.SKILL.

MSI Intros Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX Series Graphics Cards

MSI today introduced the Radeon RX 560 Aero ITX series graphics cards. These factory-overclocked cards are available in two identical looking variants that differ by memory size - 2 GB and 4 GB. The cards are characterized by a short-length PCB measuring 15.5 cm, making it ideal for cubical ITX cases; mated to a 2-slot thick cooler. This cooler features a simple aluminium monoblock heatsink ventilated by a 90 mm fan. The card draws all its power from the PCI-Express bus. The MSI RX 560 Aero ITX features factory-overclocked speeds of 1196 MHz core, 1320 MHz boost, and 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Display outputs include one each of DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and dual-link DVI. The company didn't reveal pricing.

PowerColor Intros Radeon RX 570 4GB Red Devil Graphics Card

PowerColor announced market availability of its Radeon RX 570 4 GB Red Devil graphics card. The company had announced the card at the RX 570 SKU launch. It is Positioned above the RX 570 Red Dragon, and is characterized by a high-end looking product design, featuring a long custom-design PCB, mated with an equally long 2-slot, triple-fan cooling solution, which features an aluminium dual-fin-stack heatsink ventilated by a trio of 70 mm fans, which stay off when the GPU is idling. PowerColor also included a back-plate to add to its premium appeal.

The Radeon RX 570 4 GB Red Devil features factory-overclocked speeds of up to 1320 MHz GPU (boost), compared to reference frequencies of 1275 MHz; and its memory is left untouched at 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective). Based on the 14 nm "Lexa" silicon, the Radeon RX 570 features 2,048 stream processors across 32 GCN compute units, 128 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. The RX 570 Red Devil draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector; display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4, and one each of HDMI 2.0 and dual-link DVI.

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Spotted in AMD's Labs

AMD's senior marketing director Chris Hook has taken to Twitter to tease AMD's recently-revealed, non-gaming oriented Vega Frontier Edition graphics card. According to the man, he's testing the Frontier Edition's lighting system, which, as we've seen in renders, is supposed to bring in that yellow shade to the Frontier Edition's brushed aluminum, "Pro Blue" furnishings.

What we should be paying more attention to, though, is the partial graphics card that stands to the frontier Edition's right side. It's only a partial, granted, but the black and red color scheme is reminiscent of... well... AMD's gaming Radeon graphics cards. Could this actually be meant as a tease for one of the gaming-oriented RX Vega graphics cards?

Source: Twitter, ETeknix

AMD Talks Improved Ryzen Memory Support, Ryzen 3, and Game Optimization

AMD, in an interview with Forbes, confirmed that it is working to improve DDR4 memory support of its Ryzen series processors, to enable higher memory clocks. AMD Ryzen users find it difficult to get DDR4 memory clocks to run above 3000 MHz reliably. With memory clock being linked with the chip's Infinity Fabric clock (the interconnect between two CCX units on the "Summit Ridge" silicon), the performance incentives for higher memory clocks are just that much more.

AMD confirmed that its AGESA update for May improves DDR4 memory compatibility, although it also stressed on the need for motherboard manufacturers to improve their board designs in the future, with more PCB layers and better copper traces between the DIMM slots and the SoC socket. The company assures that more updates to AGESA are in the pipeline, and would improve performance of Ryzen processors at various levels. The AGESA updates are dispensed through motherboard vendors as BIOS updates.

Bungie's Destiny 2 to Offer 4K, 21:9, Uncapped Framerate Support on PC Version

Bungie's space-opera extraordinaire (well, let's hope it is so) Destiny 2 will apparently offer a great level of support for us PC enthusiasts. It has been confirmed through the hands-on portion after yesterday's live-stream that the game will offer some PC-centric features, including support for up to 4K resolutions, ultra-widescreen support, an adjustable FOV, and uncapped frame-rates for those of you who like to live on the edge. These features, however, make it likely that cross-play between PC, XBOX and PlayStation versions of the game won't be possible, if the added speed and precision of the mice and keyboard options over their gamepad counterparts wasn't enough already. Additionally, it has been confirmed that the game will be distributed through Blizzard (formerly Battle.net), which makes a resounding business sense. Why would Activision distribute its game through Steam, having its profits capped by 30%, when they already have the infrastructure to support a game of this magnitude? Sadly, it has been confirmed that the PC version will be delayed, not being launched on September 8th like the console versions.

There was already some hands-on time with Destiny 2's PC version yesterday. While the PC requirements for the game have not yet been released, I think we can interpret the systems on offer at the stage as an overkill approach to it: the systems featured an Intel Core i7-7700K, 16 GB of Ram, an NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, a 500 GB SSD, and Windows 10, which powered an Acer Predator XB271HK monitor (4K, IPS, G-Sync screen.) Though the fact the game was running at over 60 FPS on 4K with the above configuration does speak to relatively mild performance requirements.

Gigabyte Offers up to 60€ in Steam Wallet With Select Aorus Motherboard Purchase

In a bid to increase attractiveness of its offerings even further, Gigabyte has recently announced via a forum post that it's offering up to 60€ in Steam vouchers to consumers who purchase a select Aorus motherboard. This promotion is available for both Intel and AMD Aorus-branded motherboards, and will be open until June 30th 2017 or while stock lasts. Intel customers seem to be getting the bulk of the promotion though, with AMD users only getting 20€ in Steam Wallet vouchers.

Something that we don't see everyday is that this promotion is particularly focused on the EU. Gigabyte states it's only open to residents of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Portugal (yay!), Serbia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuanian, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland, Croatia and Slovenia. Check the list of featured motherboards and respective voucher value eligibility after the break.

Shuttle Unveils XC60J IPC Powered by Intel "Apollo Lake" Celeron SoC

Shuttle Inc., the global leader in small form factor computer technology, announces the latest Intel Apollo lake platform, XC60J support with 8 COM ports to power highly interactive Kiosk, vending machine, POS and more. The XC60J is the first 3-liter model with fanless design, powered by Intel Celeron J3355. With built-in Intel HD Graphics and processor, the XC60J can support 4K/Ultra HD video playback and HEVC/H.265 high definition video playback.

With one built-in M.2 2280 Type M and one M.2 2230 Type A/E expansion slots, you can easily install an M.2 SSD, Wi-Fi module or other compatible devices. The XC60J is highly connectable with multiple I/O: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, SATA 6Gbps, COM, and Intel Dual Gigabit LAN ports. Seven RS232 and one RS232/RS422/RS485 ports which support 0V/5V/12V. Connect to barcode scanners, receipt printers, keypads, and other peripherals makes XC60J easily configured into peripheral-heavy POS, Kiosk, and Digital Signage systems.

ASUS Intros the ROG STRIX X370-F Gaming Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the Republic of Gamers (ROG) STRIX X370-F Gaming motherboard, positioned below its flagship ROG Crosshair VI Hero, but above its Prime X370-Pro upper mid-range motherboard. Based on the AMD X370 chipset, and ready for socket AM4 Ryzen processors, the board is characterized by its RGB LED lighting chops. The VRM and chipset heatsinks feature RGB LEDs with diffusers, the board is peppered with status LEDs, and features RGB LED headers. The included ASUS Aura Sync RGB lets you orchestrate your LED setup.

Built in the ATX form-factor, the STRIX X370-F Gaming draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. A 10-phase VRM conditions power for the AM4 SoC, which is wired to four reinforced DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and two reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 with both populated), with NVIDIA SLI support. The third x16 slot is electrical x4 and wired to the chipset. Three other x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion.

AMD Confirms Radeon RX Vega Soft-launch at Computex

AMD Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) head Raja Koduri, responding to questions on a Reddit AMA (ask me anything) session, confirmed that while the company will launch the consumer-graphics variant of "Vega," the Radeon RX Vega graphics card, at its 2017 Computex event, availability of the card won't follow immediately after, making it a soft-launch. "We'll be showing Radeon RX Vega off at Computex, but it won't be on store shelves that week. We know how eager you are to get your hands on Radeon RX Vega, and we're working extremely hard to bring you a graphics card that you'll be incredibly proud to own," Koduri said.

The first consumer graphics card based on the "Vega 10" ASIC will be the Radeon RX Vega Frontier Edition. This card will be armed with 8 GB of HBM2 memory spread across two 16 Gbit HBM2 8-Hi stacks, with its combined memory bandwidth around 480 GB/s. From the words of Koduri, we can deduce that AMD is still finding the right clocks to make Vega Frontier Edition a competitive product. Koduri confirmed that there will be faster/bigger implementations of Vega. "Consumer RX will be much better optimized for all the top gaming titles and flavors of RX Vega will actually be faster than Frontier version," he said. In the meantime, check out some groovy concept renders of RX Vega reference board by VideoCardz. Our money is on the one below.

Source: Reddit
Thursday, May 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Memory
Motherboards
Networking
Processors
SSD
Storage

Palit GTX 1050 Ti KalmX 4 GB

Palit's GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX is the fastest passively cooled graphics card on the market. It also runs on PCI-Express slot power only; no additional power connector is needed, which makes the card an excellent candidate for a media PC or quiet small-form-factor system.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.5.2 Drivers

AMD released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.5.2 drivers. These drivers improve performance of "Prey" a further 4.5 percent, compared to 17.5.1 drivers, as tested on a Radeon RX 580 8 GB graphics card. The drivers also address some critical bugs, beginning with random hangs or application crash noticed on "NieR: Automata," excessive level load times noticed on "Forza Horizon 3," a bug related to multi-GPU setups where displays plugged into the second graphics cards where the first (primary) graphics card disappears from the device list; and a bug with Radeon RX 550 which causes the system to hang when entering sleep or hibernate states. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.5.2

WannaCry: Its Origins, and Why Future Attacks may be Worse

WannaCry, the Cryptographic Ransomware that encrypted entire PCs and then demanded payment via Bitcoin to unlock them, is actually not a new piece of technology. Ransomware of this type has existed nearly as long as the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has. What made headlines was the pace with which it spread and the level of damage it caused to several facilities dependent on old, seldom-updated software (Hospitals, for example). It's not a stretch to say this may be the first cyberattack directly attributable to a civilian death, though that has not been concluded yet as we are still waiting for the dust to settle. What is clear however is WHY it spread so quickly, and it's quite simple really: Many users don't have their PCs up to date.

Sharkoon Announces the SKILLER SGS3 Premium Gaming Seat

With the SKILLER SGS3 Gaming Seat, Sharkoon introduces their very first gaming seat. Combining sporty-sleek design with the ergonomic requirements of persistent gamers and streamers, Sharkoon utilizes a robust steel frame construction and extra-large 75 mm wheels. Thanks to the integrated locks, the SGS3 is perfectly suitable for fans of racing games, who, for example, like to press the pedals while using a racing wheel.

The Sharkoon SKILLER SGS3 Premium Gaming Seat base color is predominately black, and made from nonslip synthetic leather. Within the different color versions, stitching and design element accents are highlighted in the colors blue, red, green, black or white. Visually, the high quality embroidered logos stand out.

Intel Pushes Motherboard + Optane Bundles, "Coffee Lake" in August

Back in April, we reported motherboard manufacturer MSI bundling Intel's Optane cache SSD with a few of its mid-range motherboards. While not free, the bundle would be slightly cheaper than the sum of its parts (buying the board and SSD separately). At the time we predicted that other motherboard vendors could launch similar bundles. It turns out that Intel is indeed coordinating motherboard + Optane SSD bundles.

In a bid to boost sales of its 200-series chipset motherboards and Core "Kaby Lake" processors, Intel is coordinating bundles of motherboards across brands with its Optane cache SSDs. Analysts predict that this could be an inventory-clearing exercise by Intel, because it plans to launch its next-generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors by late-August, 2017. "Coffee Lake" will see the introduction of six-core processor SKUs to Intel's mainstream-desktop platform, which is currently led by the quad-core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake."

Manli Announces its GeForce GT 1030 Graphics Card

Manli Technology Group Limited, the major Graphics Cards and other components manufacturer, today announced the GT series graphics solution, Manli GeForce GT 1030 Heatsink with fan version. Manli GeForce GT 1030 delivers a perfect DirectX 12 gaming experiences, and powered by the NVIDIA Pascal architecture. It is equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory, 64-bit memory controller, memory clock is at 6008 MHz, and the default GPU clock appears to be 1227 MHz.

Sapphire Announces the Radeon RX 560 Pulse Series Graphics Cards

Sapphire announced the Radeon RX 560 Pulse series graphics cards. Available in 2 GB and 4 GB variants; and in sub-variants of reference-clocked and factory-overclocked; the RX 560 Pulse combines a PCB that closely resembles AMD reference PCB for the RX 560; with a fan-heatsink cooler. The cooler features a simple aluminium monoblock heatsink with a copper core, and spirally-projecting, forked aluminium fins; ventilated by a 70 mm spinner. Both the reference and OC variants come with a baseline core clock of 1175 MHz, but while the reference-clocked variant boosts to 1275 MHz, the OC variant touches 1300 MHz. The memory ticks at 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) on all four cards, producing a memory bandwidth of 96 GB/s. Pricing starts at $99 for the 2 GB variant, and $119 for the 4 GB variant.

Khronos Group to Merge OpenCL With Vulkan API

In a blog post detailing the release of OpenCL 2.2 with SPIR-V 1.2 integration today, Khronos put in an interesting tidbit, saying that "we are also working to converge with, and leverage, the Khronos Vulkan API - merging advanced graphics and compute into a single API." PC Perspective understandably found this worth further looking into, since as it is phrased, it seems as if OpenCL and Vulkan are going to be slowly developed towards parity (until eventually merging with it.)

Khrono's response to PC Perspective's inquiry was clear enough: "The OpenCL working group has taken the decision to converge its roadmap with Vulkan, and use Vulkan as the basis for the next generation of explicit compute APIs - this also provides the opportunity for the OpenCL roadmap to merge graphics and compute."

Western Digital Introduces 10 TB RED, RED PRO HDDs

Western Digital has introduced new models to its RED and RED PRO line-up of HDDs. The RED series is oriented more towards a NAS environment, though nothing is really stopping you from putting on of these into your system. These use the same HelioSeal technology that WD uses on their enterprise-class drives, which allows the company to increase the capacity of the RED and RED PRO drives by 25%.

The normal RED drive is built for systems with up to 8 drive bays, while the RED PRO is built for systems with up to 16 drive bays. The RED series is more silent, with an internal spindle speed of 5400RPM, while the RED PRO series comes with a 7200RPM speed. This means the PRO series is louder while operating, but also that is has better performance and faster data access times.

Intel Denies Graphics IP Licensing Deal with AMD

You must've read recent reports on the web about an AMD-Intel licensing deal. We purposefully didn't cover that information, spread on May 15th, based on an expiring graphics IP licensing deal between NVIDIA and Intel. The initial report said that since that deal was expiring, Intel was now turning to its x86 arch-enemy, AMD. It would seem those reports weren't based on facts, having since been denied by Intel, who told Barron's Tiernan Ray that "the recent rumors that Intel has licensed AMD's graphics technology are untrue."

Investors and speculators are an attentive bunch, and jumped at the original rumor, expecting another million-dollar licensing deal. As a result of the Intel-AMD licensing deal rumor, AMD's stock soared by 12% even before AMD's Financial Analyst day. Naturally, after Intel rectified the story, AMD's stock proceeded to correct the speculative bubble, dropping back to previous levels. AMD could have denied the deal as much as Intel could (it takes two to tango), but chose not to. The company played smartly, keeping its cards close to its chest with a "no comment" posture regarding the rumor. This let AMD AMD play on it, seeing their stock increase (even if it was a short-lived scenario, now rectified in its stock value.)

Source: Barrons, Seeking Alpha, Investors Hub, Fudzilla, Google Finance

Raja Koduri: You Can Use Vega Frontier Edition for Gaming; But You Should Wait

In a blog post detailing AMD's Vega Frontier Edition graphics card, which we covered in-depth at the time of its announcement in AMD's Financial Analyst Day 2017, AMD's Radeon Technologies Group head Raja Koduri clarified that current machine learning poster child, the Vega Frontier Edition GPU, can also be used for gaming (who's to say some researchers, or pioneers, as AMD is so fond of calling them, won't be visiting Talos 1 themselves between coffee breaks?)

However, it is Raja Koduri's opinion that you should wait for Vega's gaming GPUs, since the Frontier Edition is "optimized for professional use cases (and priced accordingly)", and that if you want to game on AMD hardware, you should wait "just a little while longer for the lower-priced, gaming-optimized Radeon RX Vega graphics card." He then threw in a free "You'll be glad you did," as if Vega hasn't been a long, long time coming already.

Source: AMD Vega Frontier Edition

Lian Li Launches the PC-O12 WX Mid-Tower Case

Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd launches the PC-O12, a compact mid-tower chassis that combines sleek tempered glass panels with strong, but lightweight, steel and aluminum. This new addition to Lian Li's latest generation O-series chassis range offers unsurpassed style, plus slim design with ample space for a powerful but compact PC build. Thanks to its unique design, it offers space for two vertically placed graphics cards in a separate compartment for gorgeous PC builds.

ADATA Launches ISSS333 Industrial-Grade Solid State Drives

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched industrial-grade ISSS333 solid state drives in 3D MLC and 3D TLC versions. The ISSS333 range offers robust temperature, vibration, and shock tolerance as required in commercial and industrial applications. At the same time, users tap fast performance via universally-compatible SATA 6Gbps in a standard 2.5" form factor. Compared to mechanical storage, ISSS333 drives deliver vastly increased reliability, speed, and power efficiency.

While SSDs become more popular as industrial and commercial storage, demand diversifies. Consequently, ADATA offers the ISSS333 range in 3D MLC and 3D TLC (multi-level cell and triple-level cell) versions. The use of 3D NAND ensures improved reliability and efficiency compared to older 2D NAND, with the MLC models ranging in capacity from 120GB to 1TB while TLC ISSS333 drives ship in 128GB to 1TB.

EK is Releasing New Gaming Series Kits

EK Water Blocks, Ljubljana based premium water cooling gear manufacturer, is excited to introduce a new line of EK Kits. Gaming Series kits or in short G Kits are a great choice for every liquid cooling beginner and users want to take advantage of their 5.25" bays.

The G kits are EK's fifth lineup of kits, joining the existing Slim, Liquid, Performance and Xtreme Series. Gaming kits come in three different versions, where the size of the radiator and number of fans is the only difference between them. As with all other EK kits, G series kits are named after the radiator size that comes with each kit. Hance, EK-KIT G240, EK-KIT G280 and EK-KIT G360.

Reeven Introduces the Kiran RGB LED Fan Series

Reeven, which has done some of the best price/performance air coolers in the market, has done the unthinkable: they've abandoned their yellow fan-blade design in favor of a RGB solution. Their Kiran RGB series ups their offerings in this field to five different products. Reeven is apparently (and smartly) covering all its bases with a product for every consumer, so let's hope this is just that and not a departure from their bold aesthetics choice.

The Kiran RGB LED fans sport eleven blades, in a design reminiscing of their Coldwing series. The Kiran RGB LED fits standard 120mm fan mounts, with its rounded frame and impeller blades made in a translucent white so as to diffuse the RGB LED lighting across the surface. The RGB LED Kiran fans will most likely be available with PWM and non-PWM options, and Reeven has stated that the price for each fan is set at $16.99 USD, which should place it as a sleeve-bearing fan. Expect more details to be revealed at Computex 2017, Reeven will have a presence to showcase its latest products.

Source: ETeknix
Wednesday, May 17th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
Speakers
SSD

1MORE Capsule Dual Driver In-ears

1MORE is a brand to look out for on the in-ear scene. Their designs look great and have become increasingly ambitious in terms of sound quality. 1MORE prides itself on providing good bang for the buck, and today, we take a look at their Capsule dual driver in-ear, which is priced at just $89. 1MORE's approach to a dual-driver design is the hybrid one where you combine a dynamic and balanced armature driver.

MSI Teases X299 Gaming Pro Motherboard

MSI posted its third teaser pic for one of its upcoming socket LGA2066 motherboards, which is likely the X299 Gaming Pro. Designed for Core i7 "Kaby Lake-X" and Core i9 "Skylake-X" processors, the board appears to feature eight DDR4 DIMM slots (four slots on the left side of the socket). The teaser also gives us a glance of the LGA2066 socket, which could feature a similar retention mechanism to the current LGA2011v3 socket, even if the cooler support isn't consistent, given that some cooler manufacturers such as Noctua are already giving away LGA2066 brackets. The teaser pic also reveals two CPU power inputs, an 8-pin EPS and 4-pin ATX. This is unusual for a "mid-range" brand extension such as Gaming Pro, unless some of the Core i9 "Skylake-X" chips really do have >140W TDPs that demand more power inputs than your run of the mill single 8-pin EPS.

Source: MSI (Facebook)

Intel Shows 1.59x Performance Improvement in Upcoming Intel Xeon Scalable Family

Intel today unveiled significant performance advances in its upcoming Intel Xeon Processor Scalable family. At the SAP Sapphire NOW conference, Intel showed up to 1.59x higher Intel Xeon processor performance running in-memory SAP HANA workloads over the generation it replaces, demonstrating what the new products will deliver to help meet the increasingly complex demands of big-data, in-memory workloads in the modern data center.

Diane Bryant, group president of the Data Center Group at Intel, outlined how the Intel Xeon Processor Scalable family - available in mid-2017 - will provide enhanced performance to in-memory applications like SAP HANA. This will provide customers faster time-to-insight and allow organizations to rapidly respond to change.

Noctua Introduces New A-series Fans and Accessories

Noctua today expanded its award-winning A-series of premium-quality quiet cooling fans with new 200mm, 120mm and 40mm models. Thanks to the series' signature features such as Flow Acceleration Channels and AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation) frames, the new NF-A20, NF-A12x15 and NF-A4x20 provide outstanding performance and superb quietness of operation. All models come with Noctua's trusted SSO2 bearings and a full 6-year manufacturer's warranty. In addition to the new fans, Noctua introduced the new NA-FC1 fan controller, NA-SAV3 and NA-SAV4 anti-vibration mounts and NA-SAC5 S-ATA power adaptor cable.

"Customers have been asking us for 20cm and slim 12cm fans for years, but meeting the quality standard users have come to expect from Noctua fans in these form factors has proven very challenging, so it took us quite some time to make sure that these fans live up to our name", explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "The NF-A4x20 has been conceived following requests by our industrial clients who are looking for a 40mm fan that provides superior performance in pressure-demanding applications as compared to the existing NF-A4x10."

MSI Rolls Out a Passive Cooled GeForce GT 1030 Graphics Card

MSI rolled out a full-height, passive-cooled GeForce GT 1030 graphics card. The MSI GT 1030 2GH OC features a large, 2 slots-thick monoblock aluminium heatsink cooling the GPU and memory. Armed with 2 GB of memory, it features factory-overclocked speeds of 1265 MHz core, 1518 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 6.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. With a typical board power of 30W, the card relies on the PCI-Express bus for all its power. Based on the GP108 silicon, the GeForce GT 1030 features 384 CUDA cores, 24 TMUs, 16 ROPs, and 64-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 2 GB of memory.
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