Tuesday, July 16th 2019

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors

HyperX Announces First Wireless Headset Under $100

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc. and brand leader in gaming and esports, today announced it is now shipping the HyperX Cloud Stinger Wireless gaming headset. The light weight Cloud Stinger Wireless gaming headset weighs just 270 grams, features 90-degree rotating earcups for an adaptive fit and offers up to 17 hours of battery life on a single charge.

The Stinger Wireless utilises intuitive on-board controls, includes a swivel-to-mute noise-cancellation microphone and 50 mm directional drivers, delivering high-quality sound with pinpoint audio precision. The wireless headset provides great sound for gaming, chat and watching movies at an affordable price.

EK Launches EK-Vector Special Edition RX 5700-series Water Blocks

EK Water Blocks, the leading premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing a Special Edition of the EK-Vector Radeon RX 5700 +XT water block that is compatible with reference design AMD Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT graphics cards. This efficient and elegant-looking cooling made to look like the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT factory cooler will allow your high-end Navi series graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more overclocking headroom and more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

With the fabrication process of 7 nm, the chips become very small. The size of the new Navi GPU cores in RX 5700 and 5700 XT is only 251 mm while the 14 nm Vega GPUs were 495 mm in size. Almost double. The Navi GPU is more efficient, but still, the thermal density is increased. Which is why these small chips benefit a lot from a more efficient way of cooling via our water blocks.

Kinesis Gaming Rolls Out the Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard

Kinesis Gaming is a new entrant in the ergonomic gaming hardware market, and launched the first of its two debut products, the Freestyle Edge RGB split mechanical keyboard (the other being the Vektor mouse). The keyboard features a tenkeyless layout that's split vertically along the middle, with a 6-inch cable connecting the two halves. An internal compartment located at the top lets you wind in excess cable. This split allows you to angle the two halves apart to better align with your hands, and minimize strain on your wrists. Adding to the ergonomics of the Freestyle Edge RGB are its soft-touch wrist-rests.

It may be a TKL keyboard, but the Freestyle Edge RGB comes with 10 macro keys along the edge of the left half. You can remap every other key and build macros of your own with the included software. There are 99 keys and buttons on this keyboard. Its electronics offers full NKRO and a Game Mode, with 1 ms response time, and 100% anti-ghosting. An onboard 4 MB memory stores your macro- and lighting-profiles locally. The keyboard offers full RGB LED lighting across a 16.8 million-color palette, and lets you configure lighting and profiles via software. Among the mechanical switch options are Cherry MX Red, MX Blue, and MX Brown. All three variants are priced at USD $219.99.

Thermaltake Announces Floe DX RGB Series TT Premium Edition CPU Coolers

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear and Enthusiast Memory solutions, announced that their top-end liquid CPU cooler Floe DX RGB Series TT Premium Edition has already hit the store shelves. Available in 240 mm, 280 mm, and 360 mm, the Floe DX RGB Series is an all-in-one cooler with a vivid-colored LED waterblock and digitally-controlled Riing Duo RGB high-static pressure fans. This new cooler series by TT Premium features fantastic cooling performance, exceptional quality, and addressable LEDs. Both the waterblock and the fans are equipped with multiple addressable LEDs that can be controlled by the exclusively designed software. Functions within the software allow users to personalize colors for each LED, monitor fan performance and track CPU temperature.

TT RGB PLUS Ecosystem is the intelligent lighting system for PCs that combines the most advanced addressable LED lighting with Thermaltake's patented TT RGB PLUS Software and Amazon Alexa Voice Service. TT RGB PLUS ecosystem provides nearly unlimited possibilities for playing with colors, synchronizing lights to games, music, CPU temperatures and other TT RGB PLUS products, including case fans, CPU/VGA waterblocks, AIO CPU coolers, PSUs, LED strips, gaming keyboards, headsets, mice and mouse pads. The patented TT RGB PLUS software allows users to change the light modes, colors, speeds, brightness, fan speeds via TT AI Voice Control and Amazon Alexa Voice Service.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Features 10 Percent Faster Memory

NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics card doesn't just max out the 12 nm "TU104" silicon and add higher GPU clock-speeds, but also features the highest-clocked GDDR6 memory solution on the market, to make the most of the 256-bit wide memory bus of the silicon. NVIDIA deployed 15.5 Gbps GDDR6 memory, which is 10.7 percent faster than the 14 Gbps memory used on the original RTX 2080 and other RTX 20-series graphics cards. The memory real-clock is set at 1937 MHz compared to 1750 MHz on the original RTX 2080. At this memory frequency, the RTX 2080 Super enjoys a memory bandwidth just a touch short of 500 GB/s, at 496 GB/s.

Besides memory, the RTX 2080 Super maxes out the "TU104" silicon by enabling all 3,072 CUDA cores physically present, as opposed to just 2,944 of them being enabled on the original RTX 2080. The card is also endowed with 192 TMUs, 64 ROPs, 384 Tensor cores, and 48 RT cores. The GPU frequencies are set at 1650 MHz with 1815 MHz GPU Boost, compared to 1515/1710 MHz of the original RTX 2080. NVIDIA is launching the RTX 2080 Super at an MSRP of USD $699, with availability slated for July 23. The company's add-in card (AIC) partners are allowed to design custom-design cards that come with improved cooling solutions and higher clocks.
Monday, July 15th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD
Tecware Impulse Pro

Tecware Impulse Pro

Tecware showed off their Pro line of gaming mice at Computex 2019. The Impulse is their ambidextrous variant equipped with a PMW3360 top-of-the-line optical sensor, Huano switches rated for 20 million clicks, and a lot of RGB capabilities.
Palit GeForce RTX 2070 Super GameRock Premium

Palit GeForce RTX 2070 Super GameRock Premium

Palit's new RTX 2070 Super GameRock Premium is the company's flagship, using the RTX 2080 Super JetStream cooler and PCB with a full 10+2 phase power configuration. Thanks to its overclock out of the box, the card is 5% faster than the RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition.

Epic Games Supports Blender Foundation with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant

Epic Games, as part of the company's $100 million Epic MegaGrants program, is awarding the Blender Foundation $1.2 million in cash to further the success of Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the full range of tools empowering artists to create 3D graphics, animation, special effects or games.

The Epic MegaGrants initiative is designed to assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

Frank Azor, Alienware Co-Founder, Joins AMD as Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions

Frank Azor is the co-founder of, and brains behind many of Alienware's iconic products that established it as one of the top gaming PC brands on both sides of the Dell acquisition, and had been with the marquee for 21 years. Azor joined AMD today as the company's Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions. CEO Dr Lisa Su welcomed Azor to her team stating "Extremely happy to welcome Azor Frank on his very first day at AMD. Frank is a powerhouse in the industry and we are thrilled to have him as our new chief architect of gaming solutions. Welcome Frank!!" Azor is an end-product (solution) architect, and at AMD he could be the architect of products that combine the company's CPU and GPU IP in ways that haven't been invented yet.

RX 5700 XT Navi Crosses 2.2 GHz Thanks to Custom SoftPowerPlay Table Registry-Mod

Igor Wallossek of Igor'sLAB Germany postulated a method by which an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT "Navi" graphics card can be made to run at clock-speeds of over 2.20 GHz (engine clock), thanks to custom SoftPowerPlay Tables (SPPTs) deployed by modifications to the Windows Registry. The AMD Radeon driver is designed such that it reads PowerPlay tables from the video-BIOS of an RX 5700-series graphics card the first time it's detected, and writes it onto the Windows Registry for quick-reference. This is called a SoftPowerPlay Table or SPPT. It's the modification of SPPTs that allows you to manipulate the power limits of RX 5700-series graphics cards, and achieve higher engine clocks than the 2150 MHz engine-clock limit of the RX 5700 XT, which is set at just 1850 MHz for the RX 5700.

Wallossek's mod involves preparing your Windows Registry with a driver cleaner such as DDU, downloading and applying Registry files for various new power-limit targets you want. The table below details the various power-limit and clock headroom on offer from each kind of registry file. There's also a registry file that cleans up your Windows Registry of any SPPTs, if you decide to roll-back your mod. You can inspect a registry file by opening it in a plaintext viewer such as Notepad. Find links to the SPPT mods, and the Registry Cleanup in the source link below. You can also watch a video presentation by Wallossek in German language here. You make any changes to your machine at your own risk, be sure to have proper custom cooling for your graphics card.

ID-Cooling Rolls Out the IS-50X Low-profile CPU Cooler Capable of Handling 130W TDP

ID-Cooling rolled out the IS-50X, a low-profile CPU cooler capable of handling thermal loads of up to 130 Watts, with a height of just 75 mm. The cooler features a "C-type" heatsink design. Five 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU at the base, and guide heat through an aluminium fin-stack that's arranged along the plane of the motherboard. The fins are slightly broader towards the portion of the stack that's directly above the CPU socket, and thinner along the periphery, to offer clearance to your motherboard's memory and CPU VRM areas.

A 15 mm-thick 120 mm PWM fan ventilates the fin-stack. This fan spins between 600 to 1,600 RPM, pushing up to 53.6 CFM of air, at a noise output ranging between 13.8 to 30.2 dBA. Measuring 122 mm x 120 mm x 75 mm (with the fan installed), the cooler weighs 385 g. Among the CPU socket types supported are LGA115x, AM4, AM3(+), and FM2(+). The company didn't reveal pricing.

Thermaltake Cooling Solutions are AMD Ryzen 3000 Ready

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear and Enthusiast Memory solutions announced that their liquid and air cooling solutions are able to help gaming enthusiasts, streamers, overclockers, and content creators break their processing limits by achieving maximum heat transfer and thermal dissipation with the all-new Ryzen 3000 series processors. All coolers are 3rd Gen Ryzen series processor ready. Choose from Thermaltake's strong lineup of liquid and air coolers.

Eurocom Launches 'Server-on-the-Go' Tornado F7 Mobile Server

EUROCOM Tornado F7 Server On-the-Go. The Tornado F7 Server Edition is an all-in-one, single-server, small form factor, laptop-based server form Eurocom that is designed for rapid, on-the-go ad hoc deployment. This Mobile Server has its own internal UPS/battery pack and is ready to go right out-of-the box, providing On-the-Go capabilities where fast deployment and high mobility of server capabilities is critical.

At 4 kg (9lbs), the Tornado F7 weighs much less than traditional rack-mounted servers and is ideal for fast set-up and relocation of server environments consisting of multiple VMs, anywhere.

Intel "Tremont" Low-power CPU to Feature L3 Cache

Intel's next-generation Pentium Silver "Snow Ridge" SoC, featuring "Tremont" CPU cores, could see the debut of an L3 cache to the segment. Intel CPU cores in this segment, such as the "Goldmont Plus," only feature shared L2 caches across 4-core modules. The introduction of L3 cache was indicated by a new performance counter "MEM_LOAD_UOPS_RETIRED_L3_HIT," with a description clearly mentioning a "level 3 cache." The introduction of L3 cache as the SoC's LLC (last level cache) could mean Intel is trying to improve inter-component communication by introducting the L3 cache as "town-square" for the various components of the SoC, such as the CPU cores, the iGPU, and the integrated chipset. The company could deploy a ring-bus interconnect that has ring-stops at the various components, and slices of this L3 cache. Intel is building the "Snow Ridge" silicon on its swanky new 10 nm silicon fabrication process, and the chip could see a 2020 debut targeting network infrastructure devices.

Thermaltake Gaming Announce X-FIT & X-COMFORT Burgundy Red Real Leather Professional Gaming Chairs

Thermaltake Gaming, a market leader in eSports gaming peripherals, today announced a new color addition to the X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather Edition Professional Gaming Chair series, the X FIT & X COMFORT Burgundy Red Real Leather Edition. The X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather gaming chair comes in a stunning burgundy red genuine leather covering found in top-level sport vehicles, coupled with elegant upholstery, the latest in ergonomic design, and use of top-notch materials for maximum durability, optimal form-fit and ultimate comfort. Make the X FIT & X COMFORT Real Leather gaming chair the best seat in your house with premium craftsmanship and luxury.
Sunday, July 14th 2019

ASUS Begins Enabling Limited PCIe Gen 4.0 on AMD 400-series Chipset Motherboards

ASUS believes that PCI-Express gen 4.0 support on older socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 400-series chipset is technically possible, even if discouraged by AMD. The company's latest series of motherboard BIOS updates that expose PCIe Gen 4 toggle in the PCIe settings, does in fact enable PCIe gen 4.0 to all devices that are directly wired to the SoC. These would be the PCI-Express x16 slots meant for graphics, and one of the M.2 slots that has PCIe x4 wiring to the SoC. Below is a list of motherboards scored by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers, which details the extent of PCIe gen 4.0 support across a number of ASUS motherboards based on the X470 and B450 chipsets.

AMD apparently did not explicitly block PCIe gen 4.0 for older chipsets. It merely suggested to motherboard manufacturers not to enable it, since the newer AMD 500-series motherboards are built to new PCB specifications that ensure PCIe gen 4.0 signal-integrity and stability. ASUS wants to leave it to users to decide if they want gen 4.0. If their machines are unstable, they can choose to limit PCIe version to gen 3.0 in their BIOS settings. Among other things, AMD's specifications for 500-series chipset motherboards prescribe PCBs with more than 4 layers, for optimal PCIe and memory wiring. Many of the motherboards on ASUS' list, such as the TUF B450 Pro Gaming, use simple 4-layer PCBs.
Saturday, July 13th 2019

Intel adds Integer Scaling support to their Graphics lineup

Intel's Lisa Pearce today announced on Twitter, that the company has listened to user feedback from Reddit and will add nearest neighbor integer scaling to their future graphics chips. Integer scaling is the holy grail for gamers using console emulators, because it will give them the ability to simply double/triple or quadruple existing pixels, without any loss in sharpness that is inherent to traditional upscaling algorithms like bilinear or bicubic. This approach also avoids ringing artifacts that come with other, more advanced, scaling methods.

In her Twitter video, Lisa explained that this feature will only be available on upcoming Gen 11 graphics and beyond - previous GPUs lack the hardware required for implementing integer scaling. In terms of timeline, she mentioned that this will be part of the driver "around end of August", which also puts some constraints of the launch date of Gen 11, which seems to be rather sooner than later, based on that statement.

Friday, July 12th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Motherboards
Networking
Processors
PSUs
SSD

URCDKeys Summer Special Pricing on Windows 10 Pro and Office 2019, Plus a Giveaway!

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AMD Retires the Radeon VII Less Than Five Months Into Launch

AMD has reportedly discontinued production of its flagship Radeon VII graphics card. According to a Cowcotland report, AMD no longer finds it viable to produce and sell the Radeon VII at prices competitive to NVIDIA's RTX 2080, especially when its latest Radeon RX 5700 XT performs within 5-12 percent of the Radeon VII at less than half its price. AMD probably expects custom-design RX 5700 XT cards to narrow the gap even more. The RX 5700 XT has a much lesser BOM (bill of materials) cost compared to the Radeon VII, due to the simplicity of its ASIC, a conventional GDDR6 memory setup, and far lighter electrical requirements.

In stark contrast to the RX 5700 XT, the Radeon VII is based on a complex MCM (multi-chip module) that has not just a 7 nm GPU die, but also four 32 Gbit HBM2 stacks, and a silicon interposer. It also has much steeper VRM requirements. Making matters worse is the now-obsolete "Vega" architecture it's based on, which loses big time against "Navi" at performance/Watt. The future of AMD's high-end VGA lineup is uncertain. Looking at the way "Navi" comes close to performance/Watt parity with NVIDIA on the RX 5700, AMD may be tempted to design a larger GPU die based on "Navi," with a conventional GDDR6-based memory sub-system, to take another swing at NVIDIA's high-end.

Reports of Ryzen 3000 High Idle Voltage Exaggerated, a Case of the "Observer Effect"

With AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processors finally falling into the hands of PC enthusiasts, many early-adopters are taking to tech communities such as ours, to share their experiences with others. A trend appears to be emerging of users reporting higher-than-usual voltages for these processors when idling. AMD investigated this phenomenon, and declared this to be a non-issue. Apparently, most modern CPU monitoring utilities cause what is known as "the observer effect:" the process of measuring the processor's load itself causes load on the processor.

In case of the Ryzen "Matisse" processors, monitoring software appear to be polling each processor core for load by sending it instruction at a high rate of speed - sending them a workload of 20 ms every 200 ms. This causes the processor's embedded firmware to think that the cores are being subjected to workload, and it responds by increasing the clock-speeds, and proportionately voltages of all CPU cores. Monitoring software poll each CPU core, and so core voltages are raised across the chip.

Steam Introduces Steam Labs

Valve is busy as ever in its quest to bring better experiences to gamers all over the world. However, we as gamers can't see what are they working on until it is released. But that is about to change. Valve is today introducing Steam Labs, a community hub for all the experimental features that are being worked on behind the scenes. Valve says that the reason for creating this is that "...we create many experimental features with codenames like The Peabody Recommender and Organize Your Steam Library Using Morse Code. For the first time, we're giving these works-in-progress a home called Steam Labs, where you can interact with them, tell us whether you think they're worth pursuing further, and if so, share your thoughts on how they should evolve."

For now they are releasing three experiments to showcase the purpose of Labs, called Micro Trailers, The Interactive Recommender and The Automated Show. All of these experiments are designed to help users find a game they love. The experiments can be tried out on the Labs website, and after using them you can share your opinions on the Steam Labs cumunity hub. To follow future news and announcements from Steam Labs, you can join the Steam Labs community group.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Universe to Be Revealed August 1

A new generation of Call of Duty multiplayer is coming. Mark your calendars for Thursday, August 1, when Activision and Infinity Ward will reveal the multiplayer universe of Call of Duty : Modern Warfare. Recently named "Best Online Multiplayer" by Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2019, Modern Warfare multiplayer delivers a game-changing online experience.

As players enlist in the heart-racing Modern Warfare story, multiplayer continues the experience as players head online into the ultimate playground for the global balance of power. Featuring unified progression across modes, Modern Warfare seeks to unite the community with plans to support cross-play across platforms and the removal of the traditional season pass in order to deliver a greater mix of more free maps, content and community events post-launch.
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