Thursday, June 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD

Das Keyboard Prime 13

The Das Keyboard Prime 13 is Das Keyboard acknowledging that some people want the excellent build quality of their flagship products at a lower price point. Add on back-lighting, a USB pass-through instead of a hub, retain the Cherry MX switches and the Prime 13 offers an option worth looking into.

Dobot Magician Robotic Arm

The Dobot Magician is an all-in-one smart robotic arm offering multiple features including drawing, 3D printing, laser engraving, and production line integration all with the help of a unified driver program. It has an excellent 0.2 mm precision range of motion, and even comes with a smartphone app for further control.

Hold On to Your Wallets: It's the 2017 Steam Summer Sale

Ah June. "Summer," they said. "It will be nice," they said, unknowingly. Many choose this month as the somewhat officially unofficial start of that period where you are expected to go to the beach, enjoy sunbathing, and generally just go out. But those of us in the know, well, know, the truth. The truth is that Summer means bank accounts in distress, wallets screaming not to give way to those $, €, or monetary currency of your choice. Summer means steaming temperatures, and that gives its way to the Steam Summer sale.

It's official. It's started. Already the Steam servers are taking a pounding. Money is flowing in metaphorical rivers, a cascading bluff of hopes and dreams of gamers everywhere towards finding that hidden, discounted gem, or just getting that one amazing game that just came out a few months ago at a steep discount. Luckily, this Summer sale is a little shorter than actual summer. Can you imagine yourselves with three paychecks to burn on building up your games library? And, necessarily, your backlog of games you will never even get to play? Happy days those. Happy days these. Go now. You have until July 5th.

NVIDIA "Pascal" Based Mining GPU Lineup Detailed

GPU-accelerated crypto-currency mining poses a threat to the consumer graphics industry, yet the revenues it brings to GPU manufacturers are hard to turn away. The more graphics cards are bought up by crypto-currency miners, the fewer there are left for gamers and the actual target-audience of graphics cards. This is particularly bad for AMD, as fewer gamers have Radeon graphics cards as opposed to miners; which means game developers no longer see AMD GPU market-share as an amorphous trigger to allocate developer resources in optimizing their games to AMD architectures.

To combat this, both AMD and NVIDIA are innovating graphics cards designed specifically for crypto-currency mining. These cards are built to a cost, lack display outputs, and have electrical and cooling mechanisms designed for 24/7 operation, even if not living up to the durability standards of real enterprise-segment graphics cards, such as Radeon Pro series or Quadro. NVIDIA's "Pascal" GPU architecture is inherently weaker than AMD's "Polaris" and older Graphics CoreNext architectures at Ethereum mining, owing in part to Pascal's lack of industry-standard asynchronous compute. This didn't deter NVIDIA from innovating a lineup of crypto-mining SKUs based on its existing "Pascal" GPUs. These include the NVIDIA P104 series based on the "GP104" silicon (on which the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 are based); and P106 series based on the "GP106" silicon (GTX 1060 series is based on this chip). NVIDIA didn't tap into its larger "GP102" or smaller "GP107" chips, yet.

Futuremark Releases PCMark 10 Basic and Advanced Editions

Futuremark, a UL company, has made available today the much-awaited update to their PCMark 8 benchmark suite. PCMark benchmarks measure complete system performance using tests based on real-world apps and activities. In PCMark 10, these tests include everyday tasks such as browsing websites, video chats, written documents and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, 3D modelling and simulations, and for the first time a full gaming benchmark.

PCMark 8 catered more to the day-to-day working professional than the ever-growing PC gaming market, and their own 3DMark program thus more popular in usage among enthusiasts - including here on TechPowerUp. With PCMark 10, Futuremark has added 3DMark Firestrike as part of the PCMark 10 Extended benchmark. Currently missing from the suite however is a dedicated storage and battery test which Futuremark clarified is "being worked upon", and which will be released as an update shortly.

Radeon RX Vega Needs a "Damn Lot of Power:" AIB Partner Rep

AMD is dragging its feet with the launch of its next performance/enthusiast segment graphics card based on the cutting-edge "Vega 10" silicon, the Radeon RX Vega. The last we heard, the company is announcing the product late-July/early-August, along the sidelines of SIGGRAPH 2017. The company already put out specifications of the first consumer product based on this silicon, the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition; and according to listings by online retailers, its power figures aren't looking good. The air-cooled version has its TDP rated at 300W, and the faster liquid-cooled variant 375W. This is way above the 275W TDP of the TITAN Xp, NVIDIA's fastest client-segment graphics card.

An MSI company representative posting on Dutch tech-forums confirmed our worst fears, that the RX Vega will have a very high power draw. "Specs van Vega RX gezien. Tering wat power heeft die nodig. Wij zijn er aan bezig, dat is een start dus launch komt dichterbij," said the representative who goes by "The Source" on Dutch tech forums Tweakers.net. As a gentleman scholar in Google Translate, and citing VideoCardz which cited a native Dutch speaker; the MSI rep's statement translates as "I've seen the specs of Vega RX. It needs a damn lot of power. We're working on it, which is a start so launch is coming closer."
Sources: VideoCardz, Tweakers.net (forums)

Cryorig Announces Seamless LGA2066 Support

In response to the soon to be launched new Intel LGA 2066 socket, PC thermal solution brand CRYORIG announces that all existing LGA2011v3 supported models will support the new LGA 2066 socket.

The supported models include: all A series liquid coolers, the R1 Ultimate/Universal, R5, C1, H5 Ultimate/Universal and the H7 Quad Lumi. Models that support only AMD or AM4 will not support the Intel LGA 2066 socket. The mounting mechanism of LGA2011v3 and LGA2066 are identical, thus no additional kits will be required to support the new socket.

GIGABYTE Intros MZ30-AR0 Motherboard for AMD EPYC

GIGABYTE introduced the MZ30-AR0 motherboard for single-socket AMD EPYC processor-powered servers and workstations. The motherboard is built in the E-ATX form-factor, and features a single SP3r2 socket, for AMD EPYC 7000-series processors. Given that EPYC is a full-fledged SoC, the board has no chipset. An ASpeed AST2500 remote-management chip puts out basic display and IPMI features. The board draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, besides the 24-pin ATX. The CPU socket is flanked by 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which support up to 512 GB of octa-channel DDR4 memory.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 with full-time x16 wiring, one x16 with x8 wiring, and two x8 slots. Storage connectivity includes four slimSAS 12 Gb/s ports, which put out sixteen SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. Networking is care of two 10 GbE ports driven by a Broadcom BCM57810S processor, and a single GbE port. There's no onboard audio or even USB 3.1 ports.

Shuttle Announces its First Fanless PC in a 3-litre Format

Especially intended for out of the ordinary use in vertical markets, Shuttle is now offering a fanless barebone PC in a versatile 3-litre format. Under the name XC60J, the range of the mini PC manufacturer now adds a 7 cm tall mini PC with an Intel Celeron J3355 dual-core processor (2 GHz) in 14 nm architecture.

The virtually silent platform, which is suitable for constant operation (24/7) at an ambient temperature of up to 40 °C, boasts a total of eight serial interfaces (8x RS-232, one of which can be switched to RS-422/RS-485) as its key spec and is therefore aimed at the areas of automation, POS, industry and machine control in which USB or IP-based transmission will not apply.

No Relief for DRAM and NAND Shortages in Sight; Considerable Supply Only in 2018

DRAM prices have been high for quite some time now, due to a general increased demand over a slowly improving supply capability from manufacturers. Pricing of DRAM has been increasing (to the tune that if I wanted to double my memory capacity, I would have to pay double of what I paid a mere 11 months ago.) NAND pricing has been affected as well, with newer technologies such as 3D NAND not having a relevant impact on end user pricing as was expected, since tight supply and growing demand means process-level savings are dwarfed by the increasing prices on the balance of supply and demand.

Most of our woes can be traced back to high-end smartphones, which make use of up to 6 GB of RAM and have copious amounts of NAND memory. Now, reports are coming in that due to the iPhone 8's impending launch, supply is even tighter, with several firms being either unable to secure the amount of Ram they are looking for, or having to order in significant advance (futures speculation anyone?) Reuters is reporting that some clients have moved to 6-month supply agreements for their DRAM and NAND purchases, accepting higher prices than the customary quarterly or monthly deals, to make sure they get enough memory chips for their products.

Intel Coffee Lake Six-core Processor Rears its Head on SiSoftware Sandra

After the absence of some further details on Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake mainstream CPU architecture (which is understandable, really, considering how the X299 platform and accompanying processors are all the rage these days), some new details have emerged. Intel's Coffee Lake architecture will still be manufactured on the company's 14 nm process, but is supposedly the last redoubt of the process, with Intel advancing to a 10 nm design with subsequent Cannon Lake.

The part in question is a six-core processor, which appears identified as a Genuine Intel CPU 0000 (so, an engineering sample.) SiSoft Sandra identifies the processor as a Kaby Lake-S part, which is probably because Coffee Lake processors aren't yet supported. The details show us a 3.1 GHz base, and a 4.2 GHz boost clock, with a 256 Kb L2 cache per core and a total of 12 MB L3 (so, 2 MB per core, which is in-line with current Kaby Lake offerings.) The 6-core "Coffee Lake" silicon will be built on a highly-refined 14 nm node by Intel, with a die-size of 149 mm². Quad-core parts won't be carved out of this silicon by disabling two cores, but rather be built on a smaller 126 mm² die.

Source: Hot Hardware

Windows 10 Task Manager to Get GPU Utilization Tab

Microsoft is working on an update to Windows 10, which among several other things, adds a GPU utilization tab to Task Manager. You will be able to monitor each individual GPU in your machine, and Task Manager will give you live utilization stats for the GPU's 3D load, Video hardware-acceleration (encode/decode) load, dedicated memory usage, shared memory usage, and basic driver information such as driver version and date. For now the update is part of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16226; and will make it to the main-release in the coming months.

Source: Windows Blog

HTC to Expand Vive to Various Price Points, Updating Original Vive Headset

IN a bid to increase attractiveness in the VR ecosystem (particularly its own VR ecosystem), HTC is seemingly working on expanding its VR headset lineup beyond just the Vive headset, with other options spaced out at different price points. Lower price points are all but guaranteed, since HTC sees - and expects to continue seeing - the Vive as the top of the line VR headset in the market. Marc Metis, Global Head of Vive X at HTC Vive, told TechRadar that the company will "(...) also always try to address other market segments as well [beyond the high end] (...) Expect new offerings from us over time. We're an entrepreneurial company. Don't view us as static. We'll only enter a segment when we can offer the most immersive and considered experience. "

Mr. Metis also said that there are always innovations being applied to the current Vive inside their labs, as they try to keep up with technological advancement for what their Vive successor might be, saying that HTC will " (...) continue to evolve the current Vive with innovations." Certainly an improved Vive VR headset is great news, as technology progresses and matures, allowing for higher specs in the same power envelope. However, better than improving image resolution further, perhaps the focus should be on usability and the untethering of the VR experience, which seems to be one of the more immersion breaking faults in current-gen VR. The addition of different products at different price-points is also a result of technological development and manufacturing improvements. Perhaps before seeing new, lower performing products hitting the market, we'll see a new Vive 2 headset, displacing the current Vive to a lower price-point. That certainly would make more sense (in theory) than developing a whole new VR headset.

Source: Techradar

Memblaze Releases PBlaze5 PCIe NVMe SSD

Beijing Memblaze Technology Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of its next generation of PCIe NVMe SSD products, PBlaze 5 700 and 900 series, for hyper-scale data center deployment and for enterprise mission critical applications, respectively. PBlaze5 utilizes high-quality 3D Enterprise-level TLC NAND and supports NVMe 1.2a protocol, with SSD user capacities up to 11 TB.

PBlaze5 comes in 2.5-inch U.2 and HHHL add-in card form factors and provides high performance 6GB/s read bandwidth (128KB) and >1M IOPS random read (4KB), with typical read write latency of 90/15μs. PBlaze5 U.2 interface is hot plugable, hot removable and hot swapable, effectively reducing data center operation complexity.
Wednesday, June 21st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors

Cougar Panzer

With the Panzer chassis, Cougar takes the Panzer Max genes and packs them into a more compact enclosure. You will still find the intricate and well-designed exterior coupled with glass side panels and a solid construction - all with a smaller footprint and a sub-$100 price point.

AMD Radeon RX 560 vs. GTX 1050

For those passionate people playing the latest AAA and eSports titles, gaming has always been a rather expensive hobby. New hardware comes out all the time - AMD and NVIDIA having launched their Polaris generation GPUs just last year - but many users opt out of the constant upgrade cycle in favor of more budget-savvy investments. Those people are eyeing the AMD RX 560, the best value GPU upgrade around right now.

NVIDIA Announces the Tesla V100 PCI-Express HPC Accelerator

NVIDIA formally announced the PCI-Express add-on card version of its flagship Tesla V100 HPC accelerator, based on its next-generation "Volta" GPU architecture. Based on the advanced 12 nm "GV100" silicon, the GPU is a multi-chip module with a silicon substrate and four HBM2 memory stacks. It features a total of 5,120 CUDA cores, 640 Tensor cores (specialized CUDA cores which accelerate neural-net building), GPU clock speeds of around 1370 MHz, and a 4096-bit wide HBM2 memory interface, with 900 GB/s memory bandwidth. The 815 mm² GPU has a gargantuan transistor-count of 21 billion. NVIDIA is taking institutional orders for the V100 PCIe, and the card will be available a little later this year. HPE will develop three HPC rigs with the cards pre-installed.

South Korean Company Nayana to Pay $1 million in Bitcoin After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware has been seeing an increasing amount of interest in the tech world, motivated not only by the increase in number and severity of attacks, but also by the fact that some companies do elect to pay the demands. In this case, Nayana, a South Korean web hosting provider, announced it is in the process of paying a three-tier ransom demand of nearly $1 million worth of Bitcoin. This decision comes following a ransomware infection that encrypted data on customer' servers. The company said 153 Linux servers were affected, servers which stored the information of more than 3,400 customers.

The attackers initially asked for a ransom payment of 550 Bitcoin, which was worth nearly $1.62 million at the time of the request. After negotiating, the final amount came to 397.6 Bitcoin, which amounted to roughly $1 million at the time (Bitcoin is currently at $2744.56, so right now, those 397.6 Bitcoin are worth roughly $1.1 million dollars). The company has already paid two of the three payment tranches, and expects the decryption operation to take up to ten days due to the vast amount of encrypted data. If the data is liberated at all, that is, which can't really be counted upon, now can it?

Toshiba Elects Preferred Bidder for Its Memory Business Sale

The Japanese Toshiba have been in a sort of bad run lately, following disastrous investments into nuclear plants and a $1.2 billion "mistake" in their earnings reports, which gave the company a hard time in refinancing itself in the Tokyo Exchange. Now, in a bid to sell a 20% stake of their highly successful memory business, the company has elected a preferred buyer. And in what might not come as a surprise, they elected a US-Japan consortium led by the Japanese government itself.

Toshiba said it selected the consortium, consisting of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (a 26-strong network which includes Sony, Canon and Toyota, among others), Bain Capital Private Equity LP (based in Boston) and the Development Bank of Japan, because it presented "the best proposal in terms of valuation and respect" to "certainty of closing, retention of employees" and I quote again, "maintenance of sensitive technology within Japan". Terms of the deal were not disclosed although analysts have previously estimated Toshiba Memory Corporation to be worth around $20 billion. In its announcement, Toshiba said it intends to reach an agreement for purchase with the consortium before its annual shareholders meeting on June 28. If all goes well, the Japanese tech giant is looking to close on the transaction by March 2018, pending regulatory approval and so forth.

Source: ABC News

CryEngine to Support Vulkan Renderer in Upcoming 5.4 Update

CryEngine, the rendering prodigy responsible for some of the most visually impressive titles ever to grace our personal computing and gaming shores, is getting a Vulkan renderer. The news were broken down by the team at Crytek through a blog post, where they reaffirmed their commitment to proper GitHub support and updates for their game engine. The company puts it this way:

"Vulkan renderer
Following on from the renderer refactoring and DirectX 12 implementation, the team has been hard at work implementing a Vulkan renderer. The code can be seen in Code/RenderDll/XRenderD3D9/Vulkan/… although the feature is not functional, yet. We want to make these changes available to you for review whilst we are currently stabilizing the engine for our 5.4 release. So you can track our progress on GitHub until 5.4 is finally here by the end of July."

After Kaspersky's Shots Across the Bow, Microsoft Reacts

You probably have heard about security giant Kaspersky having previously fired some shots (figurative ones, which translated into a very real antitrust complaint recently) towards Microsoft. The gist of the issue stands on Windows' handling of third party security software suites, with Windows sometimes removing those suits' installations on basis of "incompatibility" with more recent Windows versions. Other points of conflict mention the coloring in Windows Defender, where a user's security status appears as "not green", which leads customers towards believing that even though their systems have a third party security software installed, only Windows Defender can really and fully protect them (which is visually conveyed by the Window adopting a green coloring when customers select to activate Windows Defender.)

BIOSTAR Announces A68N-5600 SoC Motherboard for SFF and HTPCs

BIOSTAR is proud to announce its latest motherboard designed for the perfect balance of performance and value for small form factor (SFF) and home theatre PCs with its latest motherboard featuring AMD A10-4655M SoC solution. BIOSTAR has created the A68N-5600 in line with its SoC motherboard offerings that bring together the essence of the ultimate home-entertainment or office PC that offer low-power, small footprint whilst still bringing excellent performance for its intended tasks The BIOSTAR A68N-5600 has an MSRP of USD 64.99.

Featuring a built-in AMD A10-4655M quad-core processor capable of Turbo clocks of 2.8GHz with a base clock of 2GHz, the motherboard delivers modern-day multitasking performance for day-to-day task as well as decoding task for entertainment use, enough to play HD content. The motherboard supports DDR3-1333MHz memory up to 32GB for excellent compatibility and all comes in the compact mini-ITX form factor perfect for SFF.

GIGABYTE Intros the Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Waterforce WB Xtreme Edition

GIGABYTE launched a variant of its flagship Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition graphics card, which is prepped for water-cooling. The new Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Waterforce WB Xtreme Edition comes with a factory-fitted full-coverage water-block, which you plumb to your water-cooling loop. The block is made of nickel-plated copper, with a clear acrylic top, and an aluminium+plastic top-plate with a cutout the shape of the Aorus logo. The acrylic top is studded with RGB multi-color LEDs, which can be controlled using GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software.

The Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Waterforce WB Xtreme Edition comes with out of the box clock speeds of 1607 MHz core, 1721 MHz GPU Boost, with a software-enabled "OC mode" which cranks up clocks to 1632/1746 MHz; compared to NVIDIA-reference clocks of 1480/1582 MHz. The memory is left untouched at 11 GHz (GDDR5X-effective). The card draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors; and features a similar, VR-optimized display connector layout to its air-cooled sibling, which includes three DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and one dual-link DVI-D where you'd expect them, plus a third HDMI connector near the card's tail end (facing the front of your case). The company didn't reveal pricing.

Raijintek Intros the Juno X Low-profile CPU Cooler

Raijintek today introduced the Juno X top-flow CPU cooler. A throwback to the heatsink-designs of the early-2000s, the Juno X features an aluminium fin-stack that has been bunched up in the middle to make the base, with the ends of the fins projecting radially; and two 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes fast-tracking heat transfer from the base to the peripheries of the fins. The cooler comes in four variants based on the color of its fan's LED illumination, red, green, and blue, and no-illumination.

The factory-fitted 92 mm fan takes in 4-pin PWM power input, and spins between 1,200-2,500 RPM, pushing up to 52 CFM of air, with a noise output of 26 dBA. Measuring 110 mm x 110 mm x 50 mm (LxWxH), the cooler weighs about 130 g, and can handle thermal loads of up to 70W TDP. The cooler supports most modern CPU sockets, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA115x, and LGA775.

GIGABYTE Releases AORUS GTX 1070 Gaming Box

GIGABYTE, the world's leading premium gaming hardware manufacturer, today announced the release of the highly-anticipated AORUS GTX 1070 Gaming Box, a true plug-and-play external graphics solution that was unveiled earlier at COMPUTEX 2017 with much attention received for its innovative design and affordability. Pre-installed with a high-end GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, the device can easily transform any Thunderbolt 3-enabled laptop into a powerful gaming battle station.

Unlike most conventional external graphics enclosures that come with an empty dock, the AORUS GTX 1070 Gaming Box is a complete package with a factory-overclocked GTX 1070 graphics card already built inside, requiring no extra hassle or cost to put together an accommodating graphics card separately. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, the device is able to provide a significant graphics boost to laptops with a blazing-fast data transfer speed of 40Gbps, while delivering up to 100W of power to the connected laptop at the same time with the embedded 450W PSU. The Thunderbolt 3 plug-and-play support also allows for quick, easy connections without having to reboot the PC.
Tuesday, June 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors

Asus ROG Strix Magnus

Asus' first entry into the field of streaming microphones - the ones used by Twitch and YouTube streamers - is a great one. The ROG Strix Magnus is packed with features, comes in a compact form factor, and its sound quality will make your followers and subscribers happy.

AMD EPYC Architecture & Technical Overview

Today, AMD took the wraps off their new EPYC server processors, which feature up to 64 threads and can support one or two CPUs per motherboard. Our article details the technical and architectural changes and also explains how AMD's Infinity Fabric interconnect works.

AMD also Announces Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning Accelerators

AMD also announced the Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning GPUs based on Fiji and Polaris cores, respectively. These parts comprise the more "budget" part of the still most certainly non-consumer oriented high-end machine learning lineup. Still, with all parts using fairly modern cores, they aim to make an impact in their respective segments.

Starting with the Radeon Instinct MI8, we have a Fiji based core with the familiar 4 GBs of HBM1 memory and 512 GB/s total memory bandwidth. It has 8.2 TFLOPS of either Single Precision of Half Precision floating point performance (so performance there does not double when going half precision like its bigger Vega based brother, the MI25). It features 64 Compute Units.

The Radeon Instinct MI6 is a Polaris based card and slightly slower in performance than the MI8, despite having four times the amount of memory at 16 GBs of GDDR5. The likely reason for this is a slower bandwidth speed, at only 224 GB/s. It also has less compute units at 36 total, with a total of 2304 stream processors. This all equates out to a still respectable 5.7 TFLOPs of overall half or single precision floating point performance (which again, does not double at half precision rate like Vega).

AMD Announces the Radeon Instinct MI25 Deep Learning Accelerator

AMD's EPYC Launch presentation focused mainly on its line of datacenter processors, but fans of AMD's new Vega GPU lineup may be interested in another high-end product that was announced during the presentation. The Radeon Instinct MI25 is a Deep Learning accelerator, and as such is hardly intended for consumers, but it is Vega based and potentially very potent in the company's portfolio all the same. Claiming a massive 24.6 TFLOPS of Half Precision Floating Point performance (12.3 Single Precision) from its 64 "next-gen" compute units, this machine is very suited to Deep Learning and Machine AI oriented applications. It comes with no less than 16 GBs of HBM2 memory, and has 484 GB/s of memory bandwidth to play with.

AMD Reveals EPYC Datacenter Processor Pricing

AMD has unveiled the pricing scheme for its latest EPYC line of datacenter processors. In a series of graphs and tables at it's EPYC launch presentation, it outlined a comprehensive platform that it claims beats Intel on a performance per dollar basis across the entire 64 thread spectrum. What is known up to now in regards to pricing can be summarized in this nice table we have made for you below:

AMD Unveils Record-Setting EPYC Datacenter Processor

Today, AMD, along with its global ecosystem of server customers and partners, launched the EPYC 7000 series of high-performance datacenter processors. With up to 32 high-performance "Zen" cores and an unparalleled feature set, the record-setting AMD EPYC design delivers greater performance across a full range of integer, floating point, memory bandwidth, and I/O benchmarks and workloads.

Firefox 54 Released: Multi-process, Optimized Memory Footprint

The Mozilla Foundation has recently launched the latest version of their Firefox web browser. The foxiest web browser around, which lets you access all of those amazing websites (like TPU) now features increased support for multitasking through its multi-process technology. A result of the Electrolysis effort from Mozilla's part, which has spawned more than eight years of work, Firefox 54 applies the Goldilocks principle to browser design, straddling an approach between increased performance and acceptable memory usage.

As such, Firefox won't be like Chrome, where each process is responsible for a single tab and its content handling (and can therefore increase memory usage immensely, which has justified Chrome's fame as a memory hog), but will instead opt for a more streamlined approach. Open 10 different tabs with 10 sites in Chrome, and you'll have 10 different processes. Each of those processes has its own memory - with their own instance of the browser's engine. Au contraire, Firefox now creates up to 4 separate processes for web page content. This means that the first 4 tabs each use those 4 processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes, optimizing, as per Firefox, memory usage and performance.

AMD RX Vega AIB Cards to Ship in Late July / Early August

A report from HWBattle is making the rounds claiming that new information has surfaced on AMD's upcoming high-performance, consumer versions of the Vega architecture. According to these reports, Vega graphics cards will (at least initially) come in two different performance tiers. A top of the line GPU, Vega 10 (being identified as Vega XT), and a cut-down version of it, based on Vega 11 (which is being called Vega Pro). Graphics chips for graphics card integration are supposedly being shipped to partners as of this week.

HWBattle goes on to say that there will be a myriad of approaches to AMD's AIB partner designs around the Vega graphics chips, with multiple cooling solutions being worked on (which isn't surprising, really; graphics cards nowadays can see upwards of 4 different cooling designs for the same GPU, according to the use case the company is designing it for. HWBattle is also saying that Vega will be faster than the GTX 1080, though there's no information on whether this only applies to the top-tier GPU or no. Other details are scant, scarce, or nonexistent; it would seem that the launch delay from AMD has sapped some of the interest surrounding Vega.

Source: HWBattle

MSI Announces GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z Graphics Card

MSI is proud to officially announce the latest of its legendary LIGHTNING graphics cards. Built to be perfect, the new GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z combines cutting edge new technology with proven features such as TRI-FROZR design with TORX 2.0 Fans, SuperPipe technology and Military Class 4 components. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece.

MSI's reputation in thermal design is well-known to be excellent. The improved TRI-FROZR design on the GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z utilizes two 10cm and one 9 cm TORX 2.0 Fans combining the advantages of both traditional fan blade and dispersion fan blade, generating huge amounts of airflow while remaining virtually silent. Two 8mm SuperPipes transfer heat much faster to the fins, enabling up to a whopping 700W of heat dissipation.

AMD Broadens Compatibility List of DDR4 Memory for Ryzen

AMD today posted an updated compatibility list of DDR4 memory kits for Ryzen processors. While just about any DDR4 memory kit will run on socket AM4 motherboards, a limited few have been tested by AMD to run reliably at speeds such as DDR4-3200, DDR4-2933, DDR4-2667, and DDR4-2400. AMD's new compatibility list contains a wider selection of DDR4 memory modules that have been tested by AMD to work reliably on Ryzen processors.

To make the most of these modules, however, AMD asks you to look out for and install motherboard BIOS updates which contain the AGESA 1.0.0.6 micro-code update. This should be prominently displayed in the change-logs of BIOS updates from motherboard manufacturers, and the latest batches of motherboards should come with AGESA 1.0.0.6 pre-installed.
The revised DDR4 compatibility list can be accessed here.

ID-Cooling Announces SE-214L Tower-type CPU Cooler

ID-COOLING, a cooling solution provider focusing on thermal dissipation and fan technology research and production for over 10 years, released one new CPU Cooler with a newly developed 120mm to 130mm fan, named SE-214L. SE-214L is built with 4 pieces of 7mm heatpipes, which are flattened to touch the processor directly so as to draw the heat right away and conduct it to the heatsink fins. Cooling performance is enhanced by the bigger heatsink body measuring 120 x 53 x 160 mm (L*W*H).

The newly developed 120mm to 130mm PWM fan is included to help dissipate the heat away from the heatsink. Running at the speed of 500-1800RPM, the noise level is controlled between 14.2 and 30.6dBA. All SE-214L Series have LED lighting source from the motor, either white or red. To suit different gaming color theme, SE-214L series have 3 variations: Black & Red, Black & White, and Pure white Snow Edition.

EK Water Blocks Intros Full-coverage Block for EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing the long awaited EK-FC1080 GTX Ti FTW3 water blocks that are compatible with EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 based graphics cards. This kind of efficient cooling will allow your high-end graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

This water block directly cools the GPU, RAM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas, thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under full load and high overclocks. EK-FC1080 GTX Ti FTW3 water block features a central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

Futuremark Announces Testdriver Benchmark Automation Software

Futuremark today announced Testdriver, a benchmark automation software targeted at PC hardware reviewers, system analysts, and quality-control departments of computer hardware manufacturers. The software doesn't have any benchmarks of its own, but lets you script and automate your own selection of benchmarks, and helps with test data aggregation and presentation.

Testdriver comes with out of the box readiness for Futuremark's popular benchmark suites, such as the 3DMark family, the PCMark family, and VRMark, but also lets you add third-party benchmarks. The company offers email-support to customers in integrating benchmarks with the app. Given that the software is designed for diverse customer groups, Futuremark will be selling it through its parent company UL, and is taking orders over email by quoting a price specific to the customer's application of the software.

GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Motherboards Begin to Ship

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, begins shipment of its long awaited X299 AORUS Gaming Motherboards. With the flood gates open, consumers can find these boards at all major retail outlets and online stores. GIGABYTE previously offered pre-order customers incentives to upgrade and break into the enthusiast segment.

GIGABYTE has come out swinging with its new X299 AORUS Gaming Motherboards. To ensure consumers feel the full extent of performance and features of these motherboards, GIGABYTE has put together an Xperience Pack that helps to accent key technologies that come onboard. The Xperience Pack is filled with bonuses such as an AORUS Hoodie, 1-Year subscription to Xsplit Gamecaster, LEDs from CableMods, a Limited Launch Edition Keyboard Mousepad, and Sennheiser CX3.00 In-Ear Headphones. From its AMP-UP Audio to its RGB Fusion Technology, each bonus item is critical to enhance elements of the GIGABYTE X299 experience,

Cooler Master Launches MasterKeys Pro L NVIDIA Edition Keyboard

Cooler Master, a leader in design and manufacturing computer components and peripherals has teamed up with NVIDIA to create and launch an NVIDIA edition keyboard for gamers and NVIDIA fans. The MasterKeys Pro L NVIDIA Edition provides luminous green LED backlighting combined with the best responsive feeling that gamers have come to love. The keyboard is equipped with Cherry MX Red Switches, multiple LED lighting modes, on-the-fly macros, and profile support all in the simplistic design everyone loves topped with custom NVIDIA keycaps.

The NVIDIA Edition MasterKeys Pro L is dressed with three custom NVIDIA keycaps and a white steel back plate that aids the radiant green LEDs shine bright and true. Users can conveniently customize preset lighting modes without software including wave, responsive effects, breathing and have on-the-fly macro and profile support available to them.

Finalwire Announces AIDA64 v5.92

FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme 5.92 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Engineer 5.92 software, a professional diagnostic and benchmarking solution for corporate IT technicians and engineers; the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business 5.92 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Network Audit 5.92 software, a dedicated network audit toolset to collect and manage corporate network inventories.

The latest AIDA64 update implements optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors, and supports the latest graphics and GPGPU computing technologies by both AMD and nVIDIA.
DOWNLOAD: Finalwire AIDA64 v5.92

Intel Core i7 and Core i9 "Skylake-X," Core i5 and Core i7 "Kaby Lake-X" Sell

Intel announced retail availability of its new Core X-series HEDT (high-end desktop) processors in the LGA2066 package, designed for motherboards based on the Intel X299 Express chipset. These include the 4-core/4-thread Core i5-7640X and 4-core/8-thread Core i7-7740X based on the "Kaby Lake-X" silicon; and 6-core/12-thread Core i7-7800X, 8-core/16-thread Core i7-7820X, and 10-core/20-thread Core i9-7900X chips based on the "Skylake-X" silicon. Compatible socket LGA2066 motherboards based on the X299 chipset began selling, too.

The Core i5-7640X features 4.00 GHz clocks with 4.20 GHz Turbo Boost, and 6 MB of L3 cache. The i7-7740X tops that with 4.30 GHz core and 4.50 GHz Turbo Boost out of the box, 8 MB of L3 cache, and HyperThreading. Both these chips feature just dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, meaning that you'll be able to use just four out of eight DIMM slots in most LGA2066 motherboards. The i5-7640X is priced at USD $242, while the i7-7740X goes for $339. These are the same prices at which you can buy the LGA1151 Core i5-7600K and i7-7700K, respectively, so an attempt is being made to transition all PC enthusiasts over to the HEDT platform.
Monday, June 19th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
Storage

G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 3600 MHz C16 DDR4

G.SKILL's at the forefront of RGB memory with their TridentZ RGB series of DDR4 modules. These sticks don't differ that much from past TridentZ modules at first glance, but built with high-quality memory ICs and G.SKILL's own RGB design, these DDR4 sticks are so very different from most other DDR4 sticks on the market..

GTA V is Slammed with a Swarm of Negative Reviews Following Mod Tool Shutdown

Grand Theft Auto V's Steam entry has been swarmed with negative reviews following Take Two Interactive's decision to shutdown the popular modding tool OpenIV with a legal cease and desist letter. In just a weeks time, over 42,000 reviews have been published on the Grand Theft Auto V steam page, the overwhelming majority of them negative (only 13 percent were positive). This is in stark contrast to the games usual rating, which is generally positive. It appears to have had such an impact as to actually make the game's overall rating fall into steams "mixed" rating territory.

U.S.A. Loses 3rd Place in TOP500 Supercomputer Standings... To Switzerland?

The United States has been being pushed down in the TOP500 standings for some time courtesy China, whom has taken the 1st and 2nd place seats from the US with their Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 Supercomputers (at a Linpack performance of 93 and 33.9 Petaflops, respectively). It seemed though the crown was stolen from America, 3rd place was relatively safe for the former champs. Not so. America has been pushed right off the podium in the latest TOP500 refresh... not by China though, but Switzerland?

ETH Mining: Lower VRAM GPUs to be Rendered Unprofitable in Time

Hold on to your ETH hats: you will still be able to cash in on the ETH mining craze for a while. However, you should look towards your 3 GB and 4 GB graphics cards with a slight distrust, for reasons that you should know, anyway, since you have surely studied your mining cryptocurrency of choice. Examples are the GTX 1060 3 GB, or one of those shiny new 4 GB RX 480 / RX 580 which are going at ridiculously premium prices right now. And as a side note, don't you love the mechanisms of pricing and demand?

The problem here stems from ETH's own design for its current PoW (Proof of Work) implementation (which is what allows you to mine the currency at all.) In a bid to make ETH mining unwieldy for the specialized silicon that brought Bitcoin difficulty through the roof, ETH implements a large size data set for your GPU to work with as you mine, which is stored in your GPU's memory (through the DAG, which stands for Directed Acyclic Graph). This is one of the essential differences between Bitcoin mining and Ethereum mining, in that Ethereum mining was designed to be memory-intensive, so as to prevent usage of ASICs and other specialized hardware. As a side-note, this also helps (at least theoretically) in ETH's decentralization, which Bitcoin sees more at risk because of the inherent centralization that results from the higher hardware costs associated with its mining.

Blizzard in Process of Remastering Diablo 2, Warcraft 3

After announcing their Starcraft remaster to fans (for free, I might add), which will count with remastered graphics, dialogue and audio, whilst keeping the original Starcraft play and feel, it seems that Blizzard is now looking towards remastering two of their other successful franchises. Diablo 2 stands as one of PC gaming's most recognized entries, helping pave the way for mainstream gaming and dice rolls. And Warcraft 3, while a tad less successful than the company's subsequent World of Warcraft phenomenon, still stands as a well-aged RTS entry (I remember seeing the CG cutscenes for the game at my local FNAC store at the time of its release and I was absolutely mesmerized.)

The clues pointing towards the Diablo 2, Warcraft 3 remasters come courtesy of Blizzard themselves, though not in a bells and whistles-covered announcement that one might expect. Instead, these come as job posts on Blizzard's Careers page. namely, Blizzard says "Compelling stories. Intense multiplayer. Endless replayability. Qualities that made StarCraft, Warcraft III, and Diablo II the titans of their day. (...) We're restoring them to glory, and we need your engineering talents, your passion, and your ability to get tough jobs done." And: "Classic Games is looking for a renaissance designer to harmonize that which was, with that which will be. Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo await your machinations." It is unclear as of now whether these remasters will be free or not at time of release. Starcraft was, but while history tends to repeat itself, it really sometimes doesn't. So there you have it. What do you think of this renaissance/remastering?

Source: Careers @Blizzard, Careers @Blizzard
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