Hardware Giveaway
Tuesday, September 19th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
SSD

BIOSTAR Announces Racing B350 Motherboards and Radeon RX Vega 56 Graphics Card

BIOSTAR recently released the RADEON RX VEGA 56, which is a must-have for miners with the ability to crank out crazy hash rates for mining, while gamers can expect high performance graphics processor power with the same graphics card. Combined with the BIOSTAR RACING B350 series, which continues to be popular amongst gamers with its price-performance and gaming features, these make up for a great solution for mining during the day and gaming at night.

The Vega 56 has hash rate/power draw ratio that puts it in a class by its own, surpassing that of the RX 580, which was previously the graphics card of choice for mining. With the hype surrounding its mining capabilities, lets not forget that Vega 56 is a top-of-the-line graphics card that includes 56 compute units, 21/10.5 TFLOPS with 8GB of 2048-bit High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) for performance gaming that gives you the best graphics possible.

PNY Announces GeForce GTX 1070 XLR8 OC Graphics Card

Make every gaming session an immersive and thrilling experience with PNY GTX 1070 XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition. PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has launched the GeForce GTX 1070 8GB XLR8 graphics card that transforms your PC into a super-charged gaming computer.

Designed specifically to support next-generation PC games, the GeForce provides real-time 4K graphics powered by the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture. The GeForce GTX 1070 is built with 8 GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 8 Gbps with data transfer rate of 256 GB/s and 256-bit wide memory bus which provides ultra-graphics settings for an outstanding performance and gaming experience. Enjoy smooth gameplay while playing the most challenging, graphics-intensive games without any interruption or glitches.

I-Rocks Intros New K60M PLUS RGB Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard

i-rocks, a Taiwanese manufacturer of PC peripherals, has released K60M PLUS, a rock-solid RGB backlit mechanical keyboard for dedicated gamers. The K60M PLUS is a keyboard with sleek, frameless aluminum design. It offers genuine Cherry MX switches, per-key LED backlight radiating over 16.7 million colors, durable keycaps, on-the-fly macro system, anti-ghosting function and an intuitive software configurator.

The K60M PLUS features dual layer PCB and genuine Cherry MX switches capable of withstanding up to 50 million keystrokes. Double-shot keycaps and laser-etched secondary function legends ensure every character on the keyboard won't wear out after years of service, even if you're a hardcore gamer or heavy typist. Non-slip rubber feet stands keep the keyboard firm and steady during intense gaming session.

Philips Readying 328P6AU and 328P6VU 31,5" Professional Monitors

Philips is preparing to launch another two monitors to its lineup. These are more geared towards the professional market due to their feature-set and absence of adaptive sync technologies (cue NVIDIA's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync), but offer pretty interesting capabilities other than that. The 328P6AU offers a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution on its 31.5" IPS-ADS panel. It can hit 400 nits of brightness (which AMD says is enough for FreeSync 2 HDR-ready panels and other manufacturers are touting as HDR capable as well). It can reproduce 98% of the AdobeRGB color gamut (thus, it can likely cover 100% of the sRGB color space). Refresh rate should be at 60 Hz.

AMD's James Prior Clarifies Threadripper's "Dummy Dies"

Much has been said regarding AMD's Threadripper CPUs, particularly when it comes to how they are manufactured. At first, we thought Threadripper was actually EPYC in disguise, due it having what appeared to be four full-fledged 8-core modules - the same design as AMD's server-bound 32-core EPYC chips. The presence of gold-plating under all four dies seemed to confirm that these were in fact four full Threadripper dies, instead of two dies and two spacers (as AMD's statements led us to believe) for even IHS pressure on the four dies, instead of the uneven pressure that would result from the chip only having two physical dies present.

Raijintek Intros Iris 12 Rainbow RGB Fans

Raijintek today introduced the Iris 12 Rainbow RGB 120 mm case-fans. Taking in 4-pin PWM input, these fans spin between 800 to 1,800 RPM, pushing up to 42.17 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 26.5 dBA. The fans feature hydraulic bearings, and are rated for 40,000 hours of operation. With its vital specs out of the way, the centerpiece is the RGB LED lighting. The inner wall of the fan's frame acts as a diffuser for the 15 RGB LEDs it's studded with. The LEDs in the Iris 12 can make up to 256 colors, each. The fan features a standard 4-pin RGB input. The fan comes in single piece, two-pack, and three-pack SKUs, with the latter two including an RGB LED control hub, that comes with an IR remote control. The company didn't reveal pricing.

7th Gen Core "Kaby Lake" Won't Work on 300-series Chipset Motherboards

The upcoming Intel 300-series chipset, and LGA1151 socket continues to be a source of chaos for PC builders. While the 100-series and 200-series chipset based motherboards support both 6th generation Core "Skylake," and 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors, they will not support the upcoming 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" chips. What's more, the upcoming 300-series chipset motherboards, which were earlier believed to feature backwards-compatibility for "Skylake" and "Kaby Lake" chips, will not support them, according to a Hardware.info report.

The LGA1151 socket between the two platforms remains unchanged, down to the package notches, which are designed to prevent you from installing a processor on an incompatible motherboard (eg: LGA1150 processors on LGA1151 motherboards). This isn't even a case like the incompatibility between LGA2011 and LGA2011v3, where the latter features DDR4 memory I/O, compared to the former's DDR3. Platform segmentation, and synthetically keeping up with a product development cycle, by forcing people to upgrade motherboards every two generations, appears to be Intel's primary motivation. The Hardware.info report, however, doesn't rule out the possibility of 300-series chipset motherboards getting support for older LGA1151 processors in the future, through BIOS updates.

Source: Hardware.info
Monday, September 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac

ASRock's entry-level Intel X299 motherboard is the X299 Killer SLI/ac, which we review today. With built-in Wi-Fi and a digital CPU VRM design, ASRock continues its solid stance on reliable Intel X299 motherboards, and perhaps just kills the competition.

Intel Invests $1 Billion in the AI Ecosystem

The following is an opinion editorial provided by Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corporation. At Intel, we have an optimistic and pragmatic view of artificial intelligence's (AI) impact on society, jobs and daily life that will mimic other profound transformations - from the industrial to the PC revolutions. Our belief is that AI will bring significant new opportunities to transform business - from retail to healthcare to manufacturing - and have an immensely positive impact on society.

AI will make the impossible possible: advancing research on cancer, Parkinson's disease and brain disorders; helping to find missing children; and furthering scientific efforts in climate change, space exploration and oceanic research. To drive AI innovation, Intel is making strategic investments spanning technology, R&D and partnerships with business, government, academia and community groups. We are deeply committed to unlocking the promise of AI: conducting research on neuromorphic computing, exploring new architectures and learning paradigms. We have also invested in startups like Mighty AI, Data Robot and Lumiata through our Intel Capital portfolio and have invested more than $1 billion in companies that are helping to advance artificial intelligence.

EVGA Intros EPOWER V - 12+2 Phase Extreme Power VRM Board

The EVGA "Untouchables" EPOWER V card is a standalone VRM board that provides additional power for target devices, such as graphics cards or motherboards. The board is designed to provide two fully-independent voltage outputs, and features a built-in EVBot MKII to allow voltage control on the fly. Take your benching experience to the very limits of your hardware's capability with the EVGA EPOWER V.

The EPOWER V board is powered by the three 6-pin PCI-E power connectors. The input is fed through a 12+2 phase design to provide substantially more VCORE and VMEM to your graphics card, allowing it to break through any limits holding it back.

Secretlab Announces UK Launch for Gaming Chairs

Secretlab, makers of racing-seat inspired chairs with a business and comfort orientated design, is pleased to announce their UK launch. Since the company launched in Singapore in 2015, Secretlab has expanded across the globe moving from Asia into Australia and across the pond to the US in 2017. Each expansion has been based on customer demand and with over 80% of sales coming from overseas Secretlab will now cater for UK gamers. Secretlab currently boasts three product lines which have each been met with critical acclaim due to their combination of high quality, affordable cost and customer care.

The average person spends nine hours a day sitting down and the average gamer spending even more time seated. So, the Secretlab founders, both being former Starcraft II pro players were all too familiar with the rigours and demands of spending long hours in front of their computers and were dissatisfied with the offerings of the gaming chair market- finding it impossible to source a chair made from quality materials at an affordable price. Prices are lowered by only dealing direct, reducing the unnecessary markups caused by middleman costs such as retail and distributor margins.

Pirate Bay Mines Coins in Your Browser - Revenue Model of the Future?

It has come into the limelight that popular torrenting website The Pirate Bay (TPB) has been running additional code on their site, which helped enable them to make use of a visitor's CPU in mining Monero (XMR, a cryptocurrency with added layers of anonymity when compared to Bitcoin). Now, I realize Torrenting (in particular, of copyright-protected material) is in itself a subject open to heated debate - but let's leave that discussion for another day. Today, I thought I'd focus on this mining act itself, on how TPB was secretly using your computing resources to stealthily mine cryptocurrency which they could then turn into additional revenue.

That this was done without the users' consent is clearly wrong. We as users are entitled to know what to expect from our system and from its usage of our resources - as seldom as we can claim that ability nowadays. That a site we are visiting is using our computing resources to generate additional revenue than the one it obtains from ads without, at the very least, being forthcoming about it (with the increased electricity costs that implies, however small) can be considered, at a minimum, distasteful. However, the discussion becomes much more interesting if we wonder what would have happened if users had, in fact, been warned. What does this mean for the future of web browsing, for revenue models - and for those pesky, flashy, little (or not so little) ads?
To our forum-lurkers: this article is marked as an Editorial

Intel to Bring 8-core/16-thread CPUs to the Mainstream Desktop Platform in 2018

Having hit a wall with fab process-assisted micro-architecture advancements, and facing an unexpectedly competitive AMD, there's only one direction left for Intel's product development over generations, core-counts. The company is on the verge of introducing 6-core/12-thread "Coffee Lake" processors to the mainstream-desktop (MSDT) platform in a few weeks from now; and if leaks by a popular BTO desktop-replacement/mobile-workstation manufacturer Eurocom is to be believed, the company could increase the core counts a second time in 2018, by introducing an 8-core/16-thread MSDT part.

A Eurocom representative, posting on NotebookReview forums, hinted at the possibility that the upcoming Intel Z390 Express chipset, which hits motherboards in 2018, could exclusively support 8-core/16-thread processors, which come out in the second half of 2018. The representative revealed this in context of the company skipping the Z370 Express chipset, as it lacks support for those upcoming 8-core/16-thread chips. In addition to support for new processors and possibly next-generation "Ice Lake" processors, the Z390 chipset adds several new features over the Z370, including a better onboard audio solution, integrated WLAN, and SDIO controller.

Sources: NotebookReview, VideoCardz

Piriform Hacked, CCleaner August Versions (v5.33.6162) Injected, Compromised

In another large-scale attack that's bound to increase users' awareness on their systems' security, news have broken out that Piriform, creators of the popular CCleaner software tool (estimated to be instaled in some 130 million devices), have suffered a hack on their servers that compromised some installer packages of the software. Piriform, which was purchased by popular security software company Avast last July, was hacked last August, and the changes to the installer packages could potentially allow hackers to control the devices of more than two million users, the company and independent researchers said on Monday.

EK Intros Monoblocks for ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme and Apex

A special motherboard requires a special water block, so the tradition with monoblocks for ASUS ROG RAMPAGE series motherboards continues. EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing new LGA-2066 socket based monoblocks made to fit ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI Extreme and Apex motherboards. The EK-FB ASUS ROG R6E RGB Monoblocks have integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

Seagate and Baidu Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement for Big Data Analysis

Seagate Technology plc., a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), the leading Chinese language internet search provider, covering the fields of information technology, big data analysis and advanced storage system development and implementation.

The pact renews an existing agreement between the two firms signed in September 2014, under which Baidu would give priority to Seagate when selecting storage products and solutions, and Seagate would give advanced access to products, services and support to Baidu, as well as assign a dedicated team of engineers to the company.

The cooperation between the two parties builds on this, with Seagate providing double the amount of technical cooperation, and closer links to Baidu for its business needs. With regard to new products, Baidu will be at the forefront of Internet users in China implementing Seagate's new storage products, and also the two sides will jointly develop customized systems to meet Baidu business needs. In addition, the procurement model for both companies will be further upgraded to save costs for each side.

Synology Unveils New XS, Plus, and Value Series NAS

ynology Inc. announced the official launch of new product lineup featuring: XS-series DS3018xs: Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS with optional 10GbE and M.2 SATA SSD supports; Plus-series DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+: Greater performance and data resiliency for intensive workloads; and Value-series DS418: Introduction of 4K online transcoding capability.

To allow for ultra-high performance using SSD cache without occupying internal drive bays, DS3018xs features a PCIe slot, which can be installed with a dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter card (M2D17). DS918+ comes with dedicated dual M.2 NVMe slots at the bottom where you can directly install M.2 NVMe SSDs. DS418 features 10-bit H.265 4K video transcoding.
Sunday, September 17th 2017

ENERMAX Launches World's Most Compact 1200W PSU

ENERMAX announces the launch of new Platinum-rated power supply series, Platimax D.F. 1200W/1050W/850W/750W. The new lineup is 80 PLUS Platinum certified power supply with fully modular cable design. In addition to the DFR self-cleaning technology, new Platimax D.F. incorporates a D.F. switch for users to manually activate the self-cleaning function anytime during operation. Moreover, the series features smart semi-fanless control which ensures absolute quiet operation at lower loads. With rock-solid stability and superior performance, Platimax D.F. is without doubt a perfect solution for high-resolution gaming rigs or multi-GPU systems.

Built with high-density PCB design, Platimax D.F. supports Max. 1200W with only 160mm in depth gives enthusiasts greater flexibility in case selection. Current power supplies over 1000W on the market are generally larger, many of them measuring 180mm to 225mm in depth. The larger dimensions necessitate a PC case with a lot of interior space, which decreases a builder's freedom in selecting a chassis. Platimax D.F. 1200W is the smallest of its kind.
Friday, September 15th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Game Controllers
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
SSD
Storage

AOC AGON AG271QG 144-165 Hz

The AOC AGON AG271QG is one of the least expensive 27" high-end gaming monitors on the market. Your money will buy you an AHVA (IPS-type) 1440p panel with a refresh rate that goes all the way up to 165 Hz, as well as a G-Sync module for sublime smoothness of in-game action.

Phanteks Expands its Glacier Series Fittings

Phanteks, has expanded their water cooling products. Designed to complement and work seamlessly with their water blocks, Phanteks is excited to announce new additions to the Glacier Fittings Series. The new fittings include T-Splitters, GPU extenders, male to male extenders, and 16 mm hard tube adapters. These new fittings brings more options for users to create their own custom water loops.

The fittings are made from premium materials according to the finest standards of craftsmanship from Phanteks. The Glacier Fittings are CNC-machined from solid brass and precisely engineered to create a high flow design for extreme water cooling performance. VITON sealing from the Automotive and Aerospace Industries ensure the best reliability and longevity.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper MCM De-lidded and De-packaged

PC enthusiast Der8auer, with access to a Ryzen Threadripper processor, took it completely apart for science. It won't be the first time that a Threadripper HEDT processor was de-lidded (its integrated heatspreader removed), revealing that it has four "Zeppelin" 8-core dies, making it practically identical to AMD's 32-core Epyc processors; however, it's the first time that someone completely removed the dies from the package.

Ryzen Threadripper processors are built by completely disabling two out of four "Zeppelin" dies on an Epyc multi-chip module (MCM). Two diagonally opposite dies are disabled. The disabled dies can't be reenabled, at least not on an X399 chipset motherboard, as the Threadripper HEDT platform lacks DRAM, PCIe, and possibly even power wiring for the disabled dies.

Source: Der8auer

Gigabyte Announces AORUS H5 Gaming Headset with 50 mm Beryllium Drivers

Gigabyte's AORUS branding is becoming closer and closer to ASUS' ROG in the scope and market of their products. Not letting itself be shadowed by ASUS' headset offerings, Gigabyte has just announced impending availability of their H5 Gaming headset, which brings beryllium to what is usually a neodymium fight. Beryllium is considered to be generally superior to neodymium-based drivers, and AORUS is banking on that as the main differentiator for improved acoustics. Like all AORUS products these das, there's support for RGB lighting and control through software suites, and an increased concern with ergonomics, so that this headset can be used through long gaming sessions with the least amount of fatigue possible. That is one of the reasons it comes in at 285 g.

ASUS ROG Announces ROG Strix Fusion 300 Headset

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) announced Strix Fusion 300, the first gaming headset in the brand-new ROG Strix Fusion series. Featuring an exclusive, airtight chamber design, 50mm ASUS Essence drivers, built-in virtual 7.1-channel surround sound and ROG Hybrid ear cushions.

Strix Fusion 300 lets users enjoy fully immersive gaming experiences with uncompromising comfort and sound quality. Strix Fusion 300 is compact and lightweight to provide maximum comfort during marathon gaming sessions, and features a futuristic, metallic design accented by stylish lighting effects. Compatible with a wide range of devices - including PC, Mac, game consoles and smartphones - Strix Fusion 300 delivers immersive gaming and media enjoyment at home or on the go.

Kingston DCP1000 NVMe PCIe SSD Now Generally Available in EMEA Region

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the general availability (GA) of its DCP1000 NVMe PCIe SSD in the European marketplace. The company will demonstrate the performance capabilities of the DCP1000, the industry's fastest NVMe SSD for the Half Height Half Length PCIe form factor, at the 2017 International Broadcasting Conference (IBC), working with multiple partner vendors, featuring the solid-state solution in a variety of configurations.

These include accelerating the complete Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 Suite of applications; a 60 frame-per-second (FPS) 4K streaming video demonstration with Bluefish444; real-time color grading with 4K resolution video and higher with demonstration partners Eizo and Marquis Technologies; and several other deployments showcasing the consistent, industry-leading data acceleration capabilities of the Kingston DCP1000, regardless of use case.

ADATA Launches ISDD336 and IUDD336 Industrial-Grade SD Cards

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched industrial-grade ISDD336 SD cards and IUDD336 microSD cards. Diversifying ADATA offerings for industrial storage, all models feature wide temperature tolerance as well as shock, vibration, and humidity resistance well beyond consumer product ratings. ISDD336 and IUDD336 cards utilize durable and long-lasting 3D MLC NAND Flash, and are fully compliant with SD 3.0/SPI specifications, making them reliable choices for embedded systems. Performance across the board reaches 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write. Customers can choose ISDD336 SD cards in 16GB to 256GB capacities, and IUDD336 microSD cards in 16GB to 128GB capacities.

ADATA continues to increase its focus on industrial-grade products, with more offerings for users. As the SD standard has clear advantages for industrial customers thanks to its compact form factor, durability, and low power requirements, ADATA strives to provide more choice in the SD space. Thus, ISDD336 cards arrive in SD form factor while IUDD336 cards deliver the same quality and performance in microSD.

EKWB Releases ASUS PRIME X299 RGB Monoblock for ASUS X299 Motherboards

EK-FB ASUS PRIME X299 RGB Monoblock is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for four ASUS Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools Intel LGA-2066 socket type CPU, as well as the power regulation (MOSFET) module. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas, providing the enthusiasts with a great solution for high and stable overclocks. Like with every EK monoblock, EK-FB ASUS PRIME X299 RGB features high flow design and this monoblock can be easily used with weaker and silent water pump settings as well. This kind of efficient VRM cooling on an X299 platform additionally brings down the CPU temperatures compared to the traditional CPU water block and stock VRM heatsink cooling solution.

Been There, Done That: HP New Firmware Update Locks Non-Original Ink Cartridges

HP has gone and done it once again: they've re-issued a firmware update that locks printing for users who make use of non-original HP ink cartridges. This move by the company isn't new; in September 2016, they did just that, through a seemingly dormant "time bomb" implemented in new printers' firmware that stopped their operation should a non-original ink cartridge be detected. Businesses who were looking to save some money on expendables that are usually more expensive than liquid gold and who had started using non-original ink cartridges for their printers saw their activities on hold - and that likely costed them more than original cartridges ever would.

Later on, in October 2016, and facing considerable backlash due to its actions, HP reversed the built-in firmware lock with a software update that forced users to look up the appropriate software manually on HP's website and then install it on their printers. Original cartridge authentication is done through an original HP security chip, which is checked against security systems embedded on the printer so as to confirm the cartridge's authenticity. The company itself admitted that "A cloned product with an original HP security chip will work," and that "HP's dynamic security recognizes refilled and remanufactured supplies that contain the original HP security chip." HP apologized, at the time, for what it called "miscommunication" on their part. Their apology, however, has been thrown at the weeds by now; we here at TPU did say that users should "(...) remain wary of any eventual future update that might break non-original cartridge compatibility - again."

Western Digital Ships 12 TB WD Gold Hard Drives

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a global data storage technology and solutions leader, has expanded its WD Gold hard drive lineup to include a 12 TB capacity model, designed to address demanding Big Data workloads. The new high-capacity hard drives provide for increased storage density in a range of enterprise and cloud storage applications. Whether data comes in the form of confidential consumer data, healthcare records or business intelligence, WD Gold hard drives provide a no-compromise storage solution that modern day IT managers need.

"As data growth continues unabated, retaining more of that data and generating meaningful insight from it becomes increasingly important," said Brendan Collins, vice president, Devices business unit, Western Digital. "Businesses that most effectively extract value from operational data are able to make smarter decisions, improve business outcomes and ultimately gain a competitive advantage."
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