Hardware Giveaway
Monday, July 24th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Mouse
Mousepads
Processors
Speakers
Storage

Raijintek Paean

The Raijintek Paean is an open-air chassis that may also act as a bench table. It allows you to install not only a wide range of potent components, but also larger liquid-cooling radiators. With its interesting mix of materials consisting of a 4 mm thick midsection and glass side panels, the Paean will surely turn more than a few heads.

Riotoro Intros the Ghostwriter Classic Gaming Keyboard

Riotoro today introduced the Ghostwriter Classic gaming keyboard. Built with a conventional layout, with a 104-keyset, the keyboard features low-noise membrane switches, and although it appears like the keyboard features a standard 16.7 million color RGB LED loadout, it only supports 8 colors, and 4 brightness levels; which can be selected on the keyboard. Besides media hotkeys and macros, the keyboard features a rotary volume control wheel, and a detachable palm-rest. Its electronics enable full n-key rollover, and 100% anti-ghosting. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Reported Intel i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core Lineup Leaked

After a CPU-Z screenshot leaked of Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake hexa-core CPUs, which look to bring the fight to AMD's Ryzen, this time there's leaks of three different Intel 6-core processors. The previous CPU-Z screenshot apparently pointed towards Intel's upcoming 8700K six-core processor, with a base clock of 3.5 GHz and a boost clock of 4.3 GHz. The BCLK of the CPU was set at 100 MHz with a TDP of 80W.

In the new leak, the i7-8700K seems to have received a speed bump and accompanying TDP increase. It now sits at a reported 3.7 GHz base clock, 4 GHz boost for four and six cores, 4.2 GHz for dual-core workloads, and 4.3 GHz for single-core workloads under a 95 W TDP. The second leaked six-core processor still sits at that 95 W TDP, but has much lower core clocks than the purported 8700K: a 3.2 GHz base clock with 3.4 GHz boost for four and six cores, and a 3.6 GHz boost for one or two-core workloads. Both of these appear to be unlocked, overclockable chips (IA Overclock capable.) The last CPU in this leaked info is a 65 W chip whose clocks seem a little out of the other's league. It has a lower base clock of 3.1 GHz, granted, but a four and six core turbo up to 3.9 GHz. Dual core boost stands at 4.1 GHz, while single-core workloads see Turbo taking the ship up to 4.2 GHz. The lower base clocks and increased Turbo speeds mean that this is likely an i7 T series chip. Naturally, you should take this information with a bucket of salt.

Sources: ETeknix 8700K CPU-Z Leak, ETeknix Coffee Lake Chips

Dell Announces Availability of Its UltraSharp U3818DW Monitor

Dell has just announced immediate retail availability of their new UltraSharp U3818DW monitor. As the model name might suggest, we're looking at a 37.5" panel. It features a 3840 x 1600 resolution (which isn't that common to begin with), and supports a USB Type-C input (via DP 1.2 alternate mode.) Sadly for the gamer side of every one of us TPU users, Dell is positioning the U3818DW as a business-class monitor - it gets professional-market oriented features, such as an anti-glare coating, but loses support for AMD's FreeSync or NVIDIA's G-SYNC, which is a shame.

The panel is an 8-bit + FRC IPS solution, a 24:10 aspect ratio, 2300R curvature, and 1.07 billion colors. The panel is manufactured by LG, and if you fancy its size, curvature and resolution but fancy some gamer-oriented features, you can look towards LG's 38UC99 and Acer's XR382CQK, which both use the same panel but include FreeSync support. Refresh rate on the Dell UltraSharp U3818DW is locked at 60 Hz; it features a 5 ms gray-to-gray response time, and maximum brightness is set at 350 cd/m². Inputs range through 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0, and 1x USB 3.0 Type-C. The U3818DW also features a 4x USB 3.0 hub with support for 4x USB-A. Each screen is sRGB-calibrated to Delta E < 2 accuracy, and the monitor also technically supports the DCI-P3 color gamut, but only covers 78.1% of it. Dell's UltraSharp U3118DW is now available directly from Dell for $1500.

Source: AnandTech

Corsair Announces New Color Option for Their RMx Line of PSUs - Now In White

Adding to the color options available for your own rig's color profile (without you having to do the paint job yourself,) Corsair has now announced a white version of their popular RMx series of PSUs. The new additions to the RMx line-up come in a glacier white color scheme with black accents (almost a negative of their previously released RMx series coloring.) Corsair went out of its way and made it so that even the cable's sleeving (which keeps its RMx-known modularity) is in this white color scheme as well, so you can rest easy that no part of your rig - not even the cables - will stand out against your color scheme - at least where Corsair is concerned.

Turtle Beach Announces Availability of New 'Elite Pro - PC Edition' Headset

In its ongoing commitment to elite players on every platform, leading gaming headset and audio accessory maker Turtle Beach Corporation (NASDAQ: HEAR) today announced the global availability of the all-new Elite Pro-PC Edition. This new headset is a key expansion that brings PC gamers into the groundbreaking line-up of Elite Pro Tournament Gaming Headsets.

"PC gaming continues to be one of the most competitive and demanding segments in all of Esports," said Juergen Stark, CEO, Turtle Beach Corporation. "The Elite Pro represents the pinnacle of our design and engineering efforts and we could not be happier to have PC players now able to compete and win in all their gaming endeavors using our new Elite Pro - PC Edition."
Friday, July 21st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Speakers
SSD

François Piednoël Quits Intel

Who is François Piednoël, you ask? Why, just the principal engineer at Intel for nearly 20 years now. He has been involved in the architecture development of CPUs, including Katmai, Conroe, Penryn, and Nehalem as well as SoCs in Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake. Oh, and did I mention he was also strongly involved in the Intel Atom processor line and the massive shift in Intel's microarchitecture from Pentium 4 to Core? He has also supported development of CPUz, Intel Hyperthreading, and the Android x86 platform.

François Piednoël is a big name in the industry, so it was a big surprise to see him quit Intel today. Time will tell where he ends up next, but if his reply tweet to his announcement is anything to go by it is not AMD. Nonetheless, we wish him the very best in his future endeavors and also remind readers that this does not necessarily mean anything for the future of Intel or the ongoing CPU market share battle.

Source: François Piednoël via Twitter

Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Unboxed Ahead of Launch

As is usually the case with hardware products these days, it is hard to keep confidential details out of the public eye. With NDAs themselves becoming less rigorous in terms of what is covered and what is not, perhaps it was appropriate that someone over on Chiphell shared some pictures of the upcoming Asus X399 Zenith Extreme motherboard which supports AMD's upcoming Ryzen Threadripper platform. Videocardz were on hand to archive the pictures for everyone in the meantime.

Based on what we know so far, the Asus Zenith Extreme looks to be the only E-ATX form factor motherboard to be revealed in four days time (although MSI is conspicuously absent in that preview), and the pictures we have confirm this. An Asus rep also confirmed that the Zenith Extreme will share an identical power delivery to their X399 Rampage VI Extreme, meaning we finally have a like-for-like treated flagship motherboard on the red side after what seems like ages- especially combined with the announcement of the X370 ROG Crosshair VI Extreme as well.

Asus Announces X370 ROG Crosshair VI Extreme Motherboard

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have become hugely popular since their introduction earlier this year. The all-new chips make eight cores more accessible than ever before, but there's more to their appeal than the value proposition for power users looking to maximize their horsepower. Ryzen represents a triumphant return to form for an AMD desktop platform with legendary pedigree. ROG motherboards can trace their lineage back over a decade to the original Crosshair for Athlon 64 processors, so it's only fitting that the newest one brings Ryzen up to speed with our latest innovations.

The ROG Crosshair VI Extreme is tailored for the high-end machines PC enthusiasts dream of building. Overclockers get what they need to not only unleash the CPU's raw potential, but also manage the liquid cooling required to run comfortably at top speed. And builders get provisions for the elaborate custom plumbing and personalized system lighting that are all but required to turn heads these days. The result is an X370 motherboard like no other.

Intel Clover Trail-based Systems Won't Receive Creators Update - Ever

We recently covered how users with systems powered by Intel's Clover Trail CPUs were having issues with a "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC" error when trying to update their machines to Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Creators Update. The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, now it looks as if they won't ever be able to support it.

In our last piece, we wondered if this problem was only temporary; now it seems it's permanent. Microsoft has however announced that Clover Trail-based systems will still receive security updates (just not feature updates) until 2023. The issue seems to lay with Clover Trail's integrated GPU drivers; Clover Trail Atoms use GPU technology licensed from Imagination Technologies. Ars Technica's Peter Bright says that "Imagination appears unwilling, and Intel appears unable, to update the GPU drivers to meet the demands of the Creators Update. So systems built with such hardware will never be upgradable beyond the Anniversary Update."

Blizzard to Discontinue Support for Windows XP, Vista

Blizzard, best known for their Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo series (who are also responsible for that phenomenon World of Warcraft), has recently announced they are going to cut back support for older Windows-based operating systems. Resource allocation is a real problem; the opportunity cost of having engineers working on ensuring that their most recent updates and recent remasters aren't breaking support for older operating systems always comes at the cost of work on newer OSes.

As such, in a blog post on their forums, Blizzard has announced that starting in October of this year, "we will begin the process of ending support for Windows XP and Windows Vista in World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm." They went on to explain this decision, in that "Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions." And if you're thinking that this isn't true end of life for these systems when it comes to Blizzard game support, think again: "The games will not run on these older operating systems once they are no longer supported, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We'll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game."

Source: Blizzard @ Battle.net Forums

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Motherboards to be Showcased on July 25th

AMD is organizing the "Meet the Experts" webinar, which will focus on AMD's upcoming Ryzen Threadripper motherboard designs and offerings from AMD partners. As we inch closer to AMD's HEDT X399 platform launch, we've gotten confirmation from AMD on Threadripper's specs and pricing. However, the actual motherboards where you're expected to sit your awe-inducing 12 and 16-core processors have largely been absent from the show.

And since AMD knows that processors without a motherboard don't really equate to anything much, the company has invited ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI and ASRock to detail at least some of their X399 motherboards. So far, the motherboards we have some info are the GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7 (which has 5x PCIe x16 slots, no PCIe x1 slots, and 3x M.2 slots in an ATX form-factor); the ASUS X399 ROG ZENITH EXTREME (EATX, 4x PCIe x16 slots, 1x PCIe x1 slots, and 2x M.2 slots); the ASROCK X399 Professional Gaming (ATX, 4x PCIe x16 slots, 1x PCIe x1 slots, and 3x M.2 slots); and finally, the ASROCK X399 TAICHI, which counts with the usual ATX form-factor, and offers 4x PCIe x16 slots, 1x PCIe x1 slots, and 3x M.2 slots. All of these seem to be marketed toward gamer enthusiasts, though we'll see some increasingly workstation-geared motherboards closer to or after the launch.

Source: Videocardz
Thursday, July 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
PSUs
SSD
Storage

1MORE Triple Driver In-ears

1MORE is one of the few companies that focuses on creating affordable quality in-ears. Even though the company is new, it has gained quite the following because they deliver in-ears with more drivers and accessories at a given price point than any of the older in-ear companies. Of course drivers are not everything. We put their Triple Driver in-ear under scrutiny to see if it can live up to the hype!

CRYORIG and TechPowerUp Present the CRYO-RGB Giveaway

CRYORIG and TechPowerUp are proud to bring you the CRYO-RGB Giveaway, celebrating the company's finest CPU air cooler. Up for grabs are four CRYORIG H7 Quad Lumi coolers. These tower-type monsters feature large aluminium fin stacks capped with an RGB LED-lit CRYORIG logo, and an RGB LED-illuminated 120 mm fan. Both RGB LED elements feature support for software-based control standards. Four lucky winners from all over the world, get this fine piece of CRYORIG engineering, each. The Giveaway is open from today, until July 28. To participate, simply fill up a short form that helps us contact you, if you win. Good Luck!

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

Corsair Share to be Sold to Private Investor (Again)

News agency Reuters recently reported that hardware giant Corsair was in talks with middle market private equity firm EagleTree Capital for acquisition of the company in its entirety. The deal was reported by Reuters as being valued at close to $500 million. Part of the Corsair brand is, and continues to be, owned by Corsair founder and Chief Executive Andy Paul, who founded the company in 1994. Another part of it, however, is currently owned by Francisco Partners, an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services. In 2013, Francisco Partners made a $75 million investment in the company, after Corsair scrapped its IPO plans.

However, an industry source has shed some more light on the matter. The source (singular, since we couldn't verify this through multiple channels) told TPU that it isn't the entirety of Corsair that's for sale; only the share previously acquired by Francisco Partners. It's this particular stake that's being eyed by EagleTree Capital - probably at a much higher valuation than the initial $75 million investment. As always, you should take this current information with a grain of salt.

Source: Reuters

Thermaltake Intros View 21 Tempered Glass Edition Case

Thermaltake today introduced the View 21 Tempered Glass Edition case. A variant of the View 21, this ATX mid-tower comes with 4 mm-thick tempered glass panels along both its sides, and front. The case features a contemporary horizontally partitioned layout. The larger top compartment holds the motherboard tray, with room for add-on cards as long as 42 cm, and CPU coolers as tall as 16 cm.

Storage options include two 2.5-inch mounts along the partition between the two compartments, two 2.5-inch and two 3.5-inch bays behind the motherboard tray. Cooling includes three 120 mm front intakes, a 120 mm bottom intake, one 140 mm top exhaust, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Measuring 208 mm x 471 mm x 492 mm (WxDxH), the case weighs a little over 8 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.

i-Rocks Releases the K70E RGB Capacitive Gaming Keyboard

i-Rocks, a technology leading company in PC peripherals, announces the K70E RGB Wired Capacitive Keyboard. This high-ended keyboard has been crafted for both professional PC users and gaming enthusiasts who demand stable key feedback, highly customizable appearance and extremely reliable typing experience. The K70E RGB is packed with non-contact electro capacitive technology developed by i-Rocks, two actuation force options of 45g and 60g, MX-compatible double shot keycaps, swappable top panel and additional rubber ring to ensure lower typing noise. Engineered for the best gaming performance, the K70E also provides onboard memory, on-the-fly macro recording, dedicated G-mode gaming profile and switchable actuation depths for faster key command response.

Microsoft Decreasing Windows 10 Updates Downtime in Fall Creators Update

If you're a standard Windows user, you probably find Windows updates something of a pain - especially when they force you to reboot your PC after they're installed. But imagine you own a business that constantly has its machines up and running, but also requires the latest security upgrades; each minute of downtime for installing such updates is lost revenue. Because of that issue, which companies brought to Microsoft's attention over the years, the company is streamlining its update process, decreasing the amount of update steps that need to be taken offline (which means less time waiting for the machines to become available to use following an update.)

Demand for EUV Fabrication Systems Increasing; ASML Sees 25% Revenue Growth

Dutch company ASML may not be very known to us mortal users, but it has one of the greatest aces up its sleeve: it specializes in what are some of the most complex machines currently made by mankind. Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Systems (EUV) are the kind of machines that make you look in wonder and amazement at man's ingenuity - ASMl, which specializes in this type of systems, has a production capability for 2017 that numbers just 12 of these. That means on average, they take a whole month putting one of these together. That really goes to show the complexity inherent to these systems. And it shows: EUV machines are about the size of a city bus, and typically cost more than 100 million euros ($115.3 million) each.

The revenue growth forecast is spurred by an additional 8 EUV systems being ordered by ASML's clients, which include Intel, Samsung, and TSMC - some of the biggest players in the semiconductor business. The new orders brought the company's order backlog to 27 machines - more than double their current annual output. ASML is taking steps to to ensure an increase in production capability to keep up with the multi million-dollar demand: the company is set to expand its system production capability to 24 in 2018, before reaching an expected capacity of around 40 systems in 2019. Third-quarter revenue will be about 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), the Veldhoven, Netherlands-based maker of chip-making machines predicts. The company's stock valuation has increased some 30% over the past year - the company's valuation currently stands at around €53 billion ($61 billion.)

Sources: Bloomberg, Tweakers.net, Thanks @ P4-630!

GEIL Announces EVO Spear Series of DDR4 Memory Kits

GEIL's EVO Spear joins the company's DDR4 memory line-up with some inconspicuous looks and lack of LED lighting. The new series from GEIL also features something that's not all that common nowadays - a standard DIMM-sized heat spreader, which doesn't add much volume to the parts. This means these kits shouldn't pose many clearance problems (if any), which is a good thing in some smaller form-factor builds.

The new Kits from GEIL are available in both Intel and AMD-compatibility kits, and the new series is fully compatible with the Intel X299 HEDT platofrm (it remains to be see if the AMD-compatible parts will have the same compatibility towards the company's X399 Threadripper platform.). GEIL offers the module in speeds of 2133MHz up to 3466MHz, in single, dual or quad-channel kits. GEIL didn't release pricing information as of yet, but says that "EVO Spear Series is designed for PC gamers looking for well-performed standard-height gaming memory without high price tag." This probably means these kits will sell for less than comparable GEIL kits from other series. Expect these to hit the streets this July.

Sources: GEIL, via ETeknix
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