Friday, December 9th 2016

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BIOSTAR Reveals New Features of its Upcoming Motherboards

BIOSTAR is excited to announce the feature set for its 2nd-generation RACING series of motherboards that will support the 7th-generation of processors from Intel. BIOSTAR steps up its game for gamers and enthusiasts by introducing new features and upgrading existing ones for a more powerful experience like never before seen from the RACING series.

BIOSTAR introduces new features to further enhance the degree of performance and style that the BIOSTAR RACING series is known for. Some of these features include the brand-new M.2 Cooling Protection, 10GbE LAN, Lightning Charger and the improved ones for LED lighting, such as VIVID LED Armor and 5050 LED Fun Zone, for DIY lovers and lighting enthusiasts. From excellent power delivery for a more stable operation all the way to new ways of improving the visual appeal and style of your system to make it stand out and pop for your next theme. Combined, these new features will bring a new level of experience for gamers and enthusiasts.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 1.14.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z. Version 1.14.0 introduces new features, addresses various bugs, improves the user-interface, and adds support for new graphics cards. To begin with, GPU-Z can detect clocks set by AMD Radeon WattMan on older Graphics CoreNext graphics cards, as enabled by the latest Crimson ReLive drivers.

GPU-Z 1.14.0 fixes a memory leak noticed when GPU-Z is running for extended periods on machines with NVIDIA "Pascal" graphics cards. The driver WHQL status detection has been improved. The way GPU-Z reports bus interface has been improved. GPU-Z can now properly tell between DDR3 and DDR4 memory types on AMD "Kaveri" integrated graphics. GPU-Z 1.14.0 adds support for AMD Radeon Pro Duo, Radeon Pro WX7100, WX5100, WX4100, and early support for AMD "Stoney." We've also added support for various VIA graphics solutions.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 1.14.0 | GPU-Z 1.14.0 ASUS ROG Themed

The change-log follows.
Thursday, December 8th 2016

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BitFenix Announces the Shogun Chassis with ASUS Aura Support

BitFenix announces the Shogun Chassis. During Computex 2016 we showcased four of our brand new chassis, which also included Cape. With the input from some of the world's renowned enthusiasts, we have developed and tweaked the Cape to be an extremely desirable chassis with many novel features. Strength, Power and Absolute Control makes you a champion. Carrying on the theme of simplicity from our famous Shinobi Chassis, Shogun is the newest flagship design model from BitFenix. The all new BitFenix Shogun is the most capable command station that gives you the edge in the battle for victory. May it be performance or looks, Shogun is the best of both worlds. With the top level aesthetics, novel features and extreme compatibility BitFenix Shogun is one of the most advance and user friendly chassis in the market.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Drivers Released

AMD has just announced their 2016 major software update release (following Catalyst Omega in 2014 and Crimson Edition in 2015). It's dubbed the "Crimson ReLive" release (numbered 12.6.1), and is purported to bring a lot of features and performance improvements across the board for AMD products, as has been historically achieved by AMD with these annual driver releases. This time, there's just one other thing: game recording and streaming through the built-in ReLive app. It serves as a streaming app that works for both professional, developer and consumer use cases. It supports major streaming giants (such as Twitch and YouTube), includes an in-app toolbar and custom overlay, and is apparently going to feature its own tab inside AMD's updated driver suite, with minimal reported impact on performance.

As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TPU: just follow the links below. And for more information, benchmarks, and a run-through of the new driver and its features, check out TPU's review of the driver suite, right here.
Download: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 16.12.1 for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8.1 64-bit | Windows 8.1 32-bit | Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 7 32-bit

First GIGABYTE Aorus Branded Motherboard Teased, probably Z270

Back in early November it was reported that GIGABYTE is planning to open a new front against rivals ASUS Republic of Gamers and MSI Gaming, with Aorus-branded motherboards and graphics cards, in 2017. The company appears to be ready with the motherboards. A teaser pic posted on its Facebook page reveals at least one enthusiast-segment socket LGA1151 motherboard, which is likely based on the Intel Z270 Express chipset. The few features that stand out are four PCI-Express x16 slots (of which two could be wired to the Z270 chipset and electrical x4, given the chipset's 4 additional PCIe downstream lanes); a smattering of RGB LEDs all over the board, and premium overclocking features.

Update (09/12): Here are some of the first press-shots, courtesy of VideoCardz. Apparently GIGABYTE decided to keep its conventional naming scheme.
Many Thanks to Chaitanya for the tip.

MSI Z270 "Tomahawk" Motherboard Teased

Tis the season of 'leaks.' A marketing image of an upcoming socket LGA1151 Z270 chipset based motherboard by MSI bearing its Gaming Series Tomahawk branding was teased on Facebook. It appears to be feature-rich given that MSI positions its "Tomahawk" branded motherboards in the mid-tier of its lineup. One of the features that caught our attention is MSI's claim to have achieved true 1000 MB/s bandwidth for USB 3.1 (gen 2.0) using a custom software feature. MSI is calling this the X-Boost. The company is also guaranteeing full 8 Gb/s bandwidth per port, since it's using ASMedia AS2142 controllers to drive its USB 3.1 ports.


Many Thanks to TheLostSwede for the tip.

ADATA Releases Updated SC660H and SV620H 3D NAND External SSDs

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launchedthe updated Premier SC660H and Premier SV620H external SSDs. Based on previous designs, the new models are part of the ADATA move to 3D NAND Flash in all new SSDs and in refreshes of existing models. The SC660H and SV620H feature 3D TLC NAND instead of traditional 2D NAND to provide increased reliability, durability, and efficiency. The drives connect to host PCs via USB 3.1 Gen 1, and are presented in two distinct enclosure styles. Thanks to 3D NAND, the updated SSDs are available in 256GB and 512GB as opposed to 240GB and 480GB in the original SC660/SV620. Performance is 440 MB/s read and 430MB/s write in both models.

Micron Technology Announces World's Highest-Capacity Enterprise SATA SSD

Micron Technology, Inc. today introduced the Micron Enterprise 5100 Series SATA solid state drive (SSD) family, enabling future-focused data storage platforms to meet the combined demands of performance, capacity and enterprise-class reliability. Micron's 5100 Series Enterprise SATA SSDs provide IT with an easy migration to bridge the infrastructure divide to tomorrow's all flash data center. With an industry-leading 8-terabyte (TB) capacity, the 5100 Series helps you manage the data deluge created by today's diverse digital universe with performance characteristics perfectly tailored to manage the data tsunami.

"Micron is uniquely positioned to help IT embrace modernization and agility, and leading enterprise and cloud data centers look to Micron for breadth and depth in solid state storage solutions to tame a diverse digital universe," Darren Thomas, vice president of storage at Micron. "Our Micron 5100 Series SATA SSDs featuring FlexPro architecture offer a seamless migration path with enterprise class reliability and proven ROI, ensuring flexibility, continuity and agility for data management today and tomorrow."

GIGABYTE Also Unveils the Xtreme Gaming XTC700 CPU Cooler

In addition to the Xtreme Gaming XK700 gaming keyboard, GIGABYTE also unveiled the Xtreme Gaming XTC700, a tower-type CPU cooler. Built to handle thermal loads of ">200W," and with support for LGA2011v3, AM4, LGA115x, AM3(+), FM2(+), and LGA1366; the cooler features an aluminium fin-stack with molded fins to maximize surface area for heat-dissipation; ventilated by a pair of 120 mm fans in push-pull configuration, capped off by a top-plate with an RGB LED-lit GIGABYTE Xtreme Gaming logo ornament that supports GIGABYTE RGB Spectrum software control.

Heat to the aluminium fin-stack is conveyed by three 10 mm-thick copper heat pipes, which make direct contact with the CPU at the base. The included fans each spin at speeds ranging from 500-1,700 RPM, pushing 14-53 CFM of air, and with a noise output of 12-31 dBA. The fans feature 4-pin (PWM) power input, while the LED ornament plugs into one of your motherboard's USB 2.0/1.1 headers. Measuring 139 mm x 109 mm x 169 mm, the cooler weighs 1015 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Wednesday, December 7th 2016

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GIGABYTE Intros the Xtreme Gaming XK700 Mechanical Keyboard

GIGABYTE introduced the Xtreme Gaming XK700 mechanical keyboard. Featuring a brushed aluminium top, and a standard 104-keyset (with 22 hotkeys enabled using the Function key), the XK700 combines Cherry MX RGB mechanical switches with advanced electronics by GIGABYTE the offer full-NKRO over USB, anti-ghosting, and 512 KB of onboard memory to locally store hotkey sets and lighting profiles. The lighting can be managed using GIGABYTE's RGB Spectrum software, letting you set any of 16.7 million colors to individual keys, sets of keys, or even set groovy lighting effects. They keyboard also offers finely tuned front elevation adjustments, a set of orange keycaps to highlight your favorite keys, and a set of wrist bands. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Thermaltake Announces Core X31 Tempered Glass Edition

Thermaltake today announced the Core X31 Tempered Glass Edition (model: CA-1E9-00M1WN-03), a variant of the Core X31 mid-tower chassis featuring a tempered-glass side-panel, replacing the acrylic panel on the original. The clear panel covers the entire area of the side panel, letting you show off your gear. Measuring 250 mm x 511 mm x 497 mm (WxDxH), this is one of the wider mid-towers you'll come across, with the extra width being distributed between more "crawl-space" behind the motherboard tray for better cable management, support for larger 200 mm-wide fans along the top and front panels; and additional height clearance for the motherboard tray, letting you accommodate tall CPU air coolers, or an additional graphics card along the plane of the motherboard, using an included PCIe riser.

The Core X31 Tempered Glass Edition features a flexible design, with detachable drive cages and support braces, letting you accommodate heavy liquid-cooling gear, such as pumps, reservoirs, and tubing. Storage areas include two 5.25-inch drive bays, and three 3.5-inch/2.5-inch drive bays. Cooling includes support for one rear 140 mm fan, two top 200 mm (or 3x 140 mm or 3x 120 mm) fans; one 200 mm front (or 2x 140 mm or 2x 120 mm) fans; and two 140 mm (or 2x 120 mm) bottom fans. Each of these fan slots can hold radiators of the corresponding size. The company didn't reveal pricing, but we expect it to be a small premium over the original's $130 price.

Possible Upcoming AMD Radeon GPUs Spotted: Polaris 10 XT2 and Polaris 12

when looking up at an hex file taken from macOS Sierra drivers, Anandtech forum user Glo found what could very well possibly amount to upcoming graphics chips from AMD: Polaris 10 XT2 and Polaris 12. We could very well be looking here into an as-of-yet unknown revision of AMD's Polaris 10 architecture, as well as a totally different chip from the already released Polaris 11 and Polaris 10. Maybe Polaris 12 is the mysterious 687F:C1 chip previously benchmarked in AOtS?

Also of note is the referral to Vega 10, lending further credence to reports of an early 2017 release. Given the fact that all three different architectures are referenced in the same hex dump, this could mean that AMD is working on a new 500 line of GPUs for 2017 - possibly to complete a given ZEN platform and giving customers the chance to go all-in on an AMD system, while simultaneously capitalizing on AMD's apparent confidence in ZEN's market reception. In this scenario, AMD's Vega10 would serve as the successor to the Fury series, with Polaris 12 and Polaris 10 XT2 replacing Polaris 11 and Polaris 10 from the product stack. Another scenario is that Polaris 10 XT2 corresponds to a dual-gpu solution, whose rumors have been making the rounds for some time now.


Source: Anandtech ForumsSource: Thanks P4-630

Bluetooth 5 Specification Now Available, 4x Range, 2x Speed

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) officially adopted Bluetooth 5 as the latest version of the Bluetooth core specification this week. Key updates to Bluetooth 5 include longer range, faster speed, and larger broadcast message capacity, as well as improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies. Bluetooth 5 continues to advance the Internet of Things (IoT) experience by enabling simple and effortless interactions across the vast range of connected devices.

"Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience," said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. "This means whole-home and building coverage, as well as new use cases for outdoor, industrial, and commercial applications will be a reality. With the launch of Bluetooth 5, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of IoT developers and consumers while staying true to what Bluetooth is at its core: the global wireless standard for simple, secure, connectivity."

Khronos Group Announces Open VR Standards Initiative

After putting in work in the OpenGL, WebGL, and most recently, Vulkan APIs, the technology industry consortium Khronos Group is setting its sights on the VR industry and ecosystems. Their aim: to create a "cross-vendor, royalty-free, open standard" for the VR development community. This move is an effort to prevent the VR system from fragmenting itself towards an eventual collapse, considering the multiple engines to create content, platforms to sell that content through, and a few different hardware options with casuistically different requirements and tool-sets. As a result, for a developer to support SteamVR (OpenVR), Oculus (OVR), and OSVR, it has a lot of work to do, since each platform (with its unique runtime) interfaces with the game engine in a different way. Developers must account for the intricacies of each platform during the development process.

Scythe Announces the Mugen 5 CPU Cooler with Kaze Flex 120 Fan

Japanese cooling expert Scythe presents the fifth version of the Mugen CPU Cooler, which has been fitted with significant improvements. The Mugen has been one of the most popular CPU coolers on the market for a long time. Scythe was able to ramp up the performance even further with Mugen 5 and at the same time equip the heatsink with a unique new fan. Supplied Kaze Flex 120 PWM fan features noise reduction rubber-insulators in the corners, dynamic fan speed range from 300 to 1.200 rpm as well as a brand-new Sealed Precision FDB bearing, allowing smooth and silent operation at all times.

Scythe's engineering team took the user feedback and applied it on the revamped design of Mugen 5! The heatsink of the Mugen 5 is based on 6 high-quality all-copper heatpipes and a solid aluminum fin stack. Great compatibility to tall memory modules is achieved thanks to the new asymmetrical design of Mugen 5. The solid copper base-plate has been placed slightly shifted for this purpose, instead of centered. In addition to that, several layers of the fin stack on the back of Mugen 5 have been shortened, to further increase RAM compatibility. Mugen 5 can easily fit into most PC chassis on the market, thanks to the total height of only 154.5 mm. In order to avoid corrosion and to improve the quality, all copper-heatpipes and the copper-baseplate are nickel-plated.

Intel Could License AMD Radeon iGPU Tech for Future Processors

Intel and AMD's cross-licensing arrangements could get more equitable in the future, with reports hinting at the possibility of Intel licensing AMD Radeon intellectual property to be used as Intel processors' integrated GPUs. Rumors of such a deal were first reported by HardOCP this Spring, where it stated that the two companies were negotiating a licensing agreement. Earlier this week, HardOCP editor Kyle Bennett commented on the site's forums that a licensing agreement has been reached between the two, even though Intel does not want this to be public.

Such an agreement could see AMD sharing designs of its Radeon integrated graphics processors with Intel, which will integrate it into its processor designs, and manufacture them. Whether the amalgamated graphics solution will continue to be branded "AMD Radeon" or whether it will be marketed under the Intel graphics brands, remains to be seen.


Sources: OC3D, HardOCP
Tuesday, December 6th 2016

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Western Digital Corporation Renews Patent Cross-License Agreement with Samsung

Western Digital Corporation, a world leader in storage technologies and solutions, today announced that it has signed a definitive royalty-bearing agreement with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. to renew the cross-license of the two companies' semiconductor patent portfolios. The terms of the renewed agreement are retroactive to the end date of the prior agreement, which expired on August 14, 2016. The renewed agreement will run through December 31, 2024.

The agreement includes rights to each party's patents broadly covering multi-level cell flash memory and flash storage systems. The original agreement, which dates back to 1997 and had been renewed twice before, had permitted Samsung to use patented flash memory technologies invented by SanDisk, which Western Digital acquired in May 2016.

Raidmax Announces the Alpha Mid-tower Chassis

Raidmax today announced the Alpha, an ATX mid-tower chassis characterized by a large perforated-metal front panel, with RGB LED lighting. The lighting is handled by LED strips, and can be controlled using an included infrared remote control, which lets you set not just color, but also any of 22 multi-color lighting modes. The side panel features a large clear acrylic window. Internally, the case features a contemporary horizontally partitioned layout.

The Raidmax Alpha has room for graphics cards as long as 33 cm, and 16 cm tall CPU coolers. Storage areas include one exposed 5.25-inch drive bay, three internal 3.5-inch (of which two can convert to 2.5-inch), and two additional 2.5-inch. The cooling features include 3x 120 mm or 2x 140 mm front intakes, two 140 mm top exhaust, and 120 mm rear exhaust. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Western Digital Introduces New Enterprise-Class HDDs and SSDs: 12 TB & 14 TB

Western Digital Corp. today further expanded its data center SSD and HDD portfolio with the introduction of next-generation storage solutions designed to help IT managers address the intensive data and extreme performance demands of today's enterprise, cloud and hyperscale workloads.

The new solutions include the blazingly fast HGST-branded Ultrastar SN200 NVMe-compatible PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) series, which offers class-leading random read performance of up to 1.2 million IOPS in key workloads, and the company's fastest and highest capacity SAS SSD to date, the HGST-branded Ultrastar SS200 Series SSD. The company also introduced its fourth-generation helium-based HelioSeal enterprise-class hard disk drive (HDD), the 12TB HGST-branded Ultrastar He12 drive. Additionally, the company announced it will extend the He12 platform to 14TB, leveraging Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR).

NVIDIA to Give Away One of Three VR Indie Games with Mid-Range Graphics Cards

NVIDIA today announced the "Choose your Adventure" bundle. Buyers of new GeForce GTX 1050, GTX 1050 Ti, and GTX 1060 graphics cards will get to choose from one of three available VR indie games. The giveaway also extends to notebooks with mobile variants of the GPUs. The selection includes "Maize," "Redout," and "Raw Data." The offer is applicable to a large selection of markets and participating retailers. Invoices of new applicable products from these retailers will include coupon codes which can be exchanged on NVIDIA's redemption page for game keys.

Nanoxia Presents the Ncore Retro Keyboard

The name speaks for itself - the keyboard offers a true retro-look to its owner. Circular, detached keys ensure that the Ncore Retro has the distinctive look of a classical typewriter. The chrome finished surface in combination with the silver enclosed key caps underlines the high-quality design of the keyboard. Don't let the deliberate "retro-look" fool you though: underneath is a true mechanical keyboard with all the advantages that brings. This includes Anti-Ghosting technology and the possibility to switch between 6-Key and N-Key Rollover. A variety of function keys can be enabled through use of the FN-Key.

A total of 12 multimedia keys are included, in addition to the possibility to lock the Windows key, switch the functionality of the WASD and arrow-keys and change between 6-key and N-key rollover. As such, the keyboard is not only aimed at fans of old typewriters, but also at enthusiastic gamers and dedicated design buffs, who are looking for a classic keyboard for their office.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Pro Drivers Information Also Leaked

Other information to surface from WCCFTech's leak on the upcoming Radeon Software Crimson ReLive drivers, is its dual nature, for both consumers and professionals. The Radeon Technologies Group is seemingly on a crusade to bolster AMD's software support recognition with customers, and that naturally extends towards the professional side of the equation as well.

As such, the first immediate feature to be introduced is AMD's Pro Renderer, a physically-based rendering engine that enables production of photorealistic images, with both plugin and native integration support from the big names in professional workflows, such as Autodesk's 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, and Blender (just to name a few), along with game-engine integration and support through the Unity Engine and Stingray. LiquidVR support is also headed for professionals, enabling professional VR workflows in design, engineering, animation, filmmaking, and VR game engines.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Drivers Information Leaked

The crew at WCCFTech have just leaked AMD's now annual major software update release (with Catalyst Omega in 2014 and Crimson Edition in 2015). The new 2016 release is apparently dubbed the "Crimson ReLive" release, and these are purported to bring a lot of features and performance improvements across the board for AMD products, as has been historically achieved by AMD with these annual driver releases. This time, there's just one other thing: game recording and streaming through a built-in app.

Since its inception, the Radeon Software division has released 29 drivers of which 8 were WHQL releases, with support and optimizations for over 28 gaming titles, having been downloaded over 85 million times. AMD seems to put newfound interest in consumer satisfaction with their driver releases, considering how a leaked slide mentions that they have achieved a 4.5/5 rating in customer satisfaction in recent times (AMD had already given us at TPU a glimpse of that at the Computex event in Macau, pre-Polaris days, and this seems to be it). AMD is putting much stock in their DX12 performance thanks to features such as asynchronous compute, and the staples of supported platforms and projects. AMD also seems to have a new-found claim towards it being one of the most important players in the graphics industry, chalking up their market dominance by including gaming consoles in their portfolio.

AMD Cripples Older GCN GPUs of Async-Compute Support?

AMD allegedly disabled asynchronous-compute technology support on older generations of Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture, since Radeon Software 16.9.2. With the newer drivers, "Ashes of the Singularity" no longer supports asynchronous-compute, a feature that improves performance in the game, on GPUs based on the first-generation GCN architecture, such as the Radeon R9 280X.

"Ashes of the Singularity" benchmarks run by Beyond3D forum members on GCN 1.0 hardware, comparing older drivers to version 16.9.2 shows that the game supports async-compute on the older drivers, and returns improved performance. AMD, on its part, is pointing users to a patch change-list from the developers of "Ashes..." which reads that the game supports DirectX 12 async-compute only on GCN 1.1 (eg: Radeon R9 290) and above.
Sources: Reddit

be quiet! Announces the Dark Base Pro 900 Tempered Glass Window Side Panel

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years, now offers a high-quality side panel window for all Dark Base 900 cases, which was previously reserved for the Pro version only. This elegant glass side panel significantly enhances the appearance and gives you a perfect view inside your PC case.

As of today be quiet! will sell this high-quality side panel window, which was already factory-installed in the Pro model, separately, for all Dark Base 900 cases. Owners of the standard version can upgrade to this elegant side panel of 4mm tinted and tempered glass at a low cost. In addition, the side panel is decoupled from the case with rubber elements to inhibit the transfer of vibrations. The fully-windowed side panel gives you a perfect view of the top-end components inside your PC case and significantly enhances the aesthetics of the system.

The tempered glass side panel will be immediately available for an MSRP of €39 / £39 / $39.

ZADAK511 Unveils Shield RGB Series - Cableless RGB DDR4 Modules and SSD

Remember Geil's EVO X? If you wanted some lighting phenomena going on inside your case with those DDR4 RAM modules, you'd also have to make do with unsightly cables, adding to the clutter of your chosen component holder. ZADAK511 has done away with those additional power cables, and now allows you to "pimp" your rig without them.

These two products were designed by the ZADAK Lab team, and ZADAK has developed a piece of software they named "ZArsenal" which allows the user to regulate the colors and lighting effects of both the memory modules and SSD, with a claimed nil performance impact on either. Details on the SSD refer only to its dual interfaces (SATAIII and USB 3.1, TYPE-C Gen2, updated from their Shield [sans RGB] series), while the memory kit's details are a little more scarce - we expect them to be on par with the companies' previously announced Shield line (sans RGB), which would mean at least DDR4-3000 speeds at timings of 16-18-18-38 (with 4 GB density modules) or the companies' top-of-the-line DDR4-4266 kit. No details on pricing for either of the products were given.

MSI's Z270 SLI Plus and Z270 SLI Motherboards Teased

On their Facebook page, MSI have given a little tease regarding their upcoming next generation Intel Z270 boards. Details are scarce at the moment, but these motherboards are to be marketed under MSI's PRO series, with the Z270 SLI Plus featuring a clean, high-contrast black and white color scheme, while the Z270 SLI opts for an almost totally black design.

The Z270 SLI Plus is the higher-end product of the two. It sports a 10-Phase PWM circuitry, cooled with the aid of two heatsinks in the ATX form-factor. As usual, it has four DIMM slots which leverage MSI's DDR4 Boost feature, and support for XMP profiles. All of these four DIMM slots are protected by metal shielding, and expansion slots include three PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8 electrical), three PCIe 3.0 x1 and two Turbo M.2 NVMe slots. Storage options include 6 SATA III ports and a dual USB 3.0 front panel header. It also features MSI's latest Audio Boost panel for premium audio quality, with what they call a "Mystic Light" RGB solution, and the I/O panel is covered by a black and white shroud.


Cooler Master Announces the MasterCase Maker 5T

Cooler Master, a leader in design and manufacturing computer components and peripherals, today announced the launch of there latest model designed specifically for gamers. If you wonder where the "t" stands for? Yes there is no doubt…It stands for turbo edition. The little mark now appears at the end of the component company's flagship MasterCase Maker 5. The original version of this mid-tower case was launched last year around Taipei's Computex trade show and is now debuting in their gaming version.

"We wanted to go for a sharper, bolder look, like a sports car," said Mark Severin, head of Case Product Marketing. "In the case of the MasterCase Maker 5t, we added in a few extras that cater specifically to gamers." In line with the color combination that shows up on many gaming-focused motherboards and components, the MasterCase Maker 5t case is lined in red and we are not using just normal red, but we have developed a special red paint with sparkling flakes. This results in an amazing color combination.

BenQ Announces Flagship Photographer Monitor SW320

BenQ, internationally renowned provider of digital lifestyle devices, today announced the SW320 photographer monitor, a 31.5-inch 4K display with class-leading color performance and High Dynamic Range (HDR) capability. Spanning a wide color gamut covering 99% of Adobe RGB and 100% of sRGB, Rec. 709, and the digital cinema industry's DCI-P3 color space, SW320's true 10-bit IPS panel and advanced 14-bit lookup table (LUT) deliver spectacular color quality with precise ≤2 Delta E values.

"SW320 represents the pinnacle of BenQ color-critical display technology," said Conway Lee, President of BenQ Corporation. "This wide color gamut HDR monitor takes professional imaging to new heights, fulfilling the demanding and exacting requirements of photography enthusiasts."

SilverStone Intros the 3 cm Thick NT08-115XP Ultra Low-profile CPU Cooler

SilverStone introduced the NT08-115XP, an ultra-low profile CPU cooler designed for media PC builds, and replacement for stock coolers. This top-flow cooler measures 101 mm x 101 mm x 33 mm (LxWxH), and is made of a copper-cored aluminium heatsink with forked, spirally-projecting fins, ventilated by a 10 mm-thick 80 mm fan that spins between 1,200-3,400 RPM, pushing up to 5.64-15.98 CFM of air, with a noise output of 16.5-28.98 dBA. The cooler is designed specifically for Intel LGA115x series CPU sockets (LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1150, LGA1151), and can handle thermal loads of up to 65W. It features a push-pin type retention mechanism similar to those found on Intel's stock coolers. The cooler is expected to go on sale on the 8th of December.

OWC Introduces Redesigned Mercury Elite Pro Dual

OWC, a leading zero-emissions Mac and PC technology company, today introduced the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2 Technology. The new Mercury Elite Pro Dual - designed in Austin, TX by the OWC new product development team - offers speeds up to 474 MB/s, capacities up to 20TB, and RAID modes 0 and 1. A newly engineered aluminum enclosure features a larger, quieter fan and an advanced airflow design for drive health and longevity. For professionals who need the additional performance of RAID 0 (two disks working together to create one very fast volume), or the peace of mind provided by RAID 1 (two disks mirrored to create instant redundancy), Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2 Technology packs serious connectivity in a versatile package.

"The Mercury Elite Pro Dual has long been a go-to solution for creative professionals who need flexibility without sacrificing performance," said Larry O'Connor, CEO, OWC. "With the addition of Thunderbolt 2 Technology and a new, cooler, quieter design, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual is built to handle demanding workflows, providing peace of mind so you can focus on creating your next masterpiece."

AMD Named a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced that it has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), naming it a "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality". The CEI is a benchmarking tool that rates corporate equality policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees including equal employment opportunity policies, non-discrimination protections, and benefits.

"At AMD we believe that creating an inclusive environment where every employee is empowered to bring their diverse set of perspectives to the table each day is the key to bringing out the best, most innovative ideas," said Ruth Cotter, chief human resources officer and senior vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at AMD. "We are proud of the progress we have made to achieve our CEI score and to be named alongside other leading companies as we collectively pursue equality for everyone in the workplace."

Synology Introduces DiskStation DS3617xs NAS

Synology Inc. today launched DiskStation DS3617xs, a 12-bay NAS server scalable up to 36 drives. It delivers high performance at over 2,358 MB/s reading and fast deployments to support large-scale businesses. Equipped with a quad-core Intel Xeon-D 2.2 GHz CPU that bursts up to 2.7 GHz, DS3617xs delivers stunning performance at over 2,358 MB/s sequential throughput reading and 406,760 IOPS reading under a RAID 5 configuration with 10GbE Link Aggregation enabled. DS3617xs comes with one PCIe 3.0 slot that supports a high-speed Network Interface Card (NIC).

"We've seen strong interest and demand from our customers in this business-ready desktop NAS model for its painless deployment and flexible scalability." said Michael Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. "This time we've doubled the default RAM capacity of DS3617xs to 16GB and enable upgradability up to 48GB in total for businesses to utilize."

Jonsbo Announces QT03A and VR2 Cases, and FR-101 Fan Series

Jonsbo announces the QT03A, VR2 and FR-101 fan series. With the QT03A and the VR2 we present two particularly classy PC cases. The combination of high-quality materials, an exemplary processing and an eye for detail emphasize our products from the gray mass of the case market. In addition to this, we present our first series of fans, the FR-101.

The QT03A is a based on the popular QT01 "Antiphon". It is not a replacement, but expands the portfolio by another Midi tower. Like the QT01, the QT03A uses an anodized aluminum front. The two sides made of 5 mm thick "tempered glass" further refine the case and allow for an almost unimpeded view into the interior.
Monday, December 5th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
SSD
Storage

NVIDIA Rumored to Launch the GTX 1050 M at CES 2017

New reports have surfaced that indicate NVIDIA is all set to launch a new mid range mobile graphics solution, the GTX 1050 M at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. While NVIDIA has already released mobile variants of the GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and GTX 1060, people not willing to spend big on higher tier products from the green camp are limited to "Maxwell" based GTX 960 M or GTX 950 M offerings. Reports also indicate there has been somewhat of a surge in demand for GTX 1060 M equipped laptops, where the new GTX 1050 M could be nicely positioned to further augment consumer appetite.

As we reported in November, we can expect that in line with the existing "Pascal" based mobile solutions, the new GTX 1050 M to sport the same (or better) core-configuration as its desktop counterpart, but with significantly higher clock speeds. This should make the GTX 1050 M an attractive option as it would endow the laptop with graphical horsepower exceeding the very capable GTX 970 M. All in all with new Intel "Kaby Lake" processors set to take the stage at CES 2017 too, we could see quite an array of new or reconfigured laptops scattered throughout the show.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 376.19 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA has today released their latest GeForce Game Ready drivers, in the form of the 376.19 WHQL release. The new drivers boast support for Oculus Touch launch titles, such as Crytek's "The Climb", Oculus Studios' "Oculus First Contact", Insomniac's "The Unspoken", The Stork Burnt Down's "Home Improvisation: Furniture Sandbox" for all your furbishing-related needs and IKEA doctorate, as well as Escalation Studios' "Please, Don't Touch Anything", along with an estimated 345 other Oculus Touch launch games (in reality, closer to 49 others;I admit, I picked some of the most interesting names). Also, remember that article about the VR bubble bursting?)

Lacking are any additional SLI profiles, though there are some resolved issues specifically on Windows 10: an issue where No Man's Sky with the Foundation Update (1.10) would display severe texture corruption with SLI enabled, G-SYNC flickering issues on notebooks, as well as a notebook G-SYNC pendulum demo issue. For those of you using 3D Vision, there are some updates on that field as well, with four new profiles for Dead Rising 4, Mars 2030, Serious Sam and SuperHot. You can grab the drivers from the NVIDIA page, right here on TPU. Just check the links below the images.



DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 376.19 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 64-bit | Windows 8/7/Vista 32-bitSource: Thanks qubit!

Mysterious GPU Benchmarked in AOtS - Possible Upcoming AMD Graphics Card

Benchmarks of an as-of-yet-unknown GPU have surfaced in the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark database - one that could point towards performance levels on an upcoming AMD GPU (the RX 490?). With new cards based on Vega expected to arrive in early 2017 sporting a brand new architecture, hope is they will fill in AMD's utterly lacking (as in, equal to zero) enthusiast-class performance graphics solutions. The new GPU appears to be within spitting distance of the already established GTX 1080, with only a few percentage points separating the two (with the unknown graphics card having an 85.1 average frame-rate in all batches at 1080p standard settings, against 93.4 on a GTX 1080 - with both values potentially varying with particular overclocking characteristics and so on, so please don't take them at face value.

2017's Weak VR/AR Demand May Burst VR Investment Bubble

Many research firms' numbers have shown that VR product sales in 2016 have been weaker than originally expected due to both high product costs and lack of content. No-one has yet seen VR's killer app, after all, and I know I'd love to see another Halo-like product to drive awareness on the VR platforms like it did on the original Xbox.

All of the above lead towards Google's Daydream View, HTC's Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Electronics' Gear VR having all achieved sales that are not even close to previously-set market expectations, with even the current mainstream poster-boy for VR, Sony's PSVR, showing adoption numbers that are as lowly as low can be. Even in their home-field, Japan, a country known for being filled with tech-savvy and tech-crazed customers, only 0.7% of the existing PS4 and PS4 Pro user-base has made the jump for a VR headset.

AMD's ZEN-Supporting X370 Motherboards to be Shown at "New Horizon" Event

AMD's December 13th "New Horizon" event is supposedly (and expectedly) a pivotal moment for the company - a celebration of sorts for the impending launch of their ZEN-based microprocessors. The event, which will be presented mainly by Gametrailers TV-based journalist Geoff Keighley, is now turning up to be a Summit Ridge celebration of sorts as well.

According to recent reports, a small number of motherboard manufacturers should also be in attendance at the event, showing-off their AM4-compatible motherboards based on the top-of-the-line X370 chipset. The X370 is the most advanced version of the Zen-compatible chipsets and is expected to provide extensive overclocking features and up to two third-generation PCIe x16 lanes for multi-GPU systems. Below the X370, the B350 and A320 take over the role of the mid-range and entry-level chipsets respectively. The new chipsets are expected to bring native M.2 NVMe & SATA Express connectivity, PCIe gen 3, DDR4 memory compatibility and USB 3.1 Gen2 to the company's high-end desktop platform for the very first time.

Realtek HD Audio Codec Driver Updated for 2016 - Version 2.80 Now Available

Realtek have recently updated their High Definition Audio drivers. Version 2.80 of the drivers brings some overdue improvements to the table, at least when it comes to the time frame of their release: Windows 10 is now supported, and there are some mysterious "customizations" added. Codecs ALC255, ALC235 and ALC867 where also added, and support for Windows 8.1 was improved.

You can grab the drivers from Realtek's own site, right here.
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