Hardware Giveaway
Monday, March 19th 2018

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards
Cooler Master MasterMouse MM530

Cooler Master MasterMouse MM530

The Cooler Master MasterMouse MM530 has amazing tracking performance because it uses the best-in-class PixArt PMW3360 sensor. With a price of $50, it is also more affordable than most competitors, even including fantastic software with great RGB customization options.

QNAP Ships its First 3-bay TS-328 RAID 5 NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today rolled out the TS-328, the first quad-core 3-bay NAS that allows for building a RAID 5 array using only three drives. Compared with 2-bay NAS that only allow for building RAID 1 arrays, the TS-328 provides the choice of RAID 5 and can optimize available space while providing high data protection. The TS-328 provides feature-rich multimedia applications and video transcoding capabilities, and is an ideal solution for home users to centrally store, backup and manage files and data.
30% of QNAP NAS users prefer using RAID 5 arrays to benefit from optimized storage capacity, higher performance, and data protection. QNAP's first 3-bay NAS allows entry-level users to build a RAID 5 array on their NAS for a more cost-effective private cloud storage solution. The TS-328 also supports snapshots, allowing for users to quickly recover data in the event of accidental deletion/modification or ransomware attack.

HyperX Expands FURY DDR4 and Impact DDR4 Product Lines

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the addition of higher frequency memory modules to the HyperX FURY DDR4 DIMM and HyperX Impact DDR4 SODIMM product lines. FURY DDR4 DIMMs and Impact DDR4 SODIMMs both offer automatic Plug N Play overclocking functionality. FURY DDR4 is now available up to 3466 MHz and Impact DDR4 is now available up to 3200 MHz. Both product lines are available as single modules and as various kits configurations from 8 GB to 64 GB.

HyperX FURY DDR4 is a cost-efficient high-performance upgrade for Intel and AMD's latest platforms for faster video editing, 3D rendering, gaming and AI processing. It features Plug N Play which enables automatic memory overclocking at standard DDR4 1.2V settings. The new FURY DDR4 additions are available in black, red and white low-profile heat spreader colour options that feature the stylish signature FURY asymmetrical heat spreader design with black PCB.

Thermaltake New TT RGB PLUS Ecosystem with TT AI Voice Control

Thermaltake, a leading brand in chassis, power supply units and cooling markets, is thrilled to launch TT RGB PLUS Ecosystem along with TT AI Voice Control, synchronizing all your gaming station color theme with your voice. TT RGB PLUS Ecosystem is the intelligent lighting system for PCs that combines the most advanced addressable LED lighting with TT AI Voice Control and the patented TT RGB PLUS Software.

TT RGB PLUS ecosystem provides unlimited possibilities for color play, light synchronization for games, music, CPU temperatures and other TT RGB PLUS products: Riing Plus LED RGB Radiator Fan Series, Pacific W4 Plus CPU Waterblock, Pacific V-GTX 1080Ti Plus Transparent GPU Waterblock Series, Pacific PR22-D5 Plus Reservoir/Pump Combo, Pacific RL360 Plus RGB Radiator and Pacific Lumi Plus LED Strips.

ASUS AMD X470 Motherboard Layout Drawings and Specs Sheets Leaked

Hot on the heels of last week's possible ASUS ROG Strix X470 motherboard leak, the board layout drawings of at least three upcoming ASUS AMD X470 chipset motherboard models were leaked to the web. These drawings are typically part of the motherboards' user manuals. From these, we can make out that ASUS is using an identical PCB design for two products - the ROG Strix X470-F Gaming, and the Prime X470-PRO. The two have their I/O headers and ports at identical locations. ASUS will probably differentiate the two with different color schemes, heatsink designs, and a few ROG-exclusive software features on the Strix X470-F.

The third model is the TUF X470-PLUS Gaming. This product could be positioned a notch below the other two, it lacks one of the three PCI-Express x16 (electrical x4) slots, and uses Realtek-made gigabit Ethernet controllers, instead of Intel-made ones on the other two. The specs sheets of the Prime X470-PRO, which also appear to be sourced from the manuals, go into details of these specifications, most of which will be common with those of the ROG Strix X470-F. The specs sheet seems to suggest that the company's 2nd generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors support higher memory clocks.
The specs sheets follow.

EU Plans to Add 3% Tax On Tech Giant's Revenue Based on Customers' Location

"Treat equally that which is equal, treat differently that which is different" seems to be the motto of the new EU proposal for increased taxation on tech giants. The proposal, which will be presented just this Wednesday (March 21st), could lead to increased taxation to tech giants that do business with EU customers by as much (or as little, depending on your point of view) as 3% of their gross revenue (the value still isn't final, but should stay within 1% and 5%). It isn't clear how the customer location business will be defined, but it seems that the EU believes its citizens provide increased revenues for companies than other citizens in other parts of the less developed world do.

This move specifically aims to capture real growth and value of digital-first companies, such as Facebook and Amazon. These are types of companies that the EU feels aren't being taxed proportionally (meaning, they currently provide less than they should to public coffers) to the true value they derive from the region. As most EU matters, any tax proposal will need the unanimous approval of all 28 current members before turning into law, so one country alone could block it.

ASMedia Remains AMD Chipset & USB Partner, Increases Revenues By 44.7%

ASMedia Technology, a tech company that's best known for designing high speed controllers (most recently, USB 3.1 Gen2, and AMD's X370 chipset), has posted tremendous increases in revenue and profits. The Taiwanese company distributed cash dividends per share in the order of $0.21 in late 2017, after achieving revenues of roughly $102 million, up 44.7% YoY (Year over Year).

While ASMedia is one of the implied companies in the latest AMD nightmare (the suspiciously timed and apparently interest-driven CTS flaw disclosure), AMD is keeping with ASMedia for its X470 chipset design and production. Which was to be expected - even if AMD wanted to change partners or develop the chipset in-house, AMD's Ryzen 2000 series and the accompanying motherboards' release is impending. The company is expected to continue its strong growth on continued shipment of USB 3.1 controllers, adding USB 3.2 controllers to its portfolio, and increased profits derived from the development of AMD's X470 chipset.

ASRock Intros J5005-ITX Motherboard

While most Intel "Gemini Lake" SoC desktop motherboards are based on the cheaper Celeron J4005, a rare few, such as the ASRock J5005-ITX, implement the pricier Pentium Silver J5005 chip. What sets the J5005 apart from the J4005 is its quad-core "Goldmont Plus" CPU, and faster UHD Graphics 605 iGPU with higher clocks; which make the chip around 1.5 times pricier. Designed for machines with internal PSUs, the board draws power from a 24-pin ATX connector. A simple 2-phase VRM powers the 10W TDP SoC, and an aluminium heatsink keeps it cool.

The SoC is flanked by two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 8 GB of memory. Expansion slots include a PCI-Express x1, and an M.2 E-key slot meant for WLAN cards. Display outputs include HDMI 2.0, D-Sub, and DVI. Four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by headers), gigabit Ethernet, and 8-channel HD audio, make for the rest of it. The board appears to be targeted at HTPC builders, as the UHD Graphics 605 appears sufficient for 4K UHD entertainment (10-bit HEVC encode/decode hardware acceleration). Given the $160 price of the SoC itself, we expect this board to be priced in the $200-250 range.

GIGABYTE Intros RX 580 Gaming Box

GIGABYTE today rolled out the RX 580 Gaming Box, an external graphics enclosure with a factory-fitted graphics card. The company's Gaming Box line of external graphics enclosures made their debut with Aorus-branded boxes based on GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards. The company later launched an Aorus-branded GTX 1080 Gaming Box. The new RX 580 Gaming Box (model: GV-RX580IXEB-8GD) encloses a Radeon RX 580 8 GB graphics card, with its core clocked at reference clocks of 1257 MHz core and 1340 MHz boost, out of the box, although a software-toggled "OC Mode" spools up the boost clock to 1355 MHz. The memory is untouched, at 8.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective).

The enclosure takes in a Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) connection, with which it drives not just the graphics card, but also a 3-port USB 3.0 hub. A fourth (orange) USB 3.1 port lacks any data connection, but is a Quick Charge 3-compliant USB port, for charging your devices. Powering the enclosure is a 450W internal PSU with over 90% efficiency. GIGABYTE claims this meets 80 Plus Gold efficiency standards, although is not certified with the 80 Plus logo. Display outputs from the graphics card include three DisplayPort 1.4 and one HDMI 2.0. The enclosure features mesh side windows, and an RGB LED strip controlled with GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Sunday, March 18th 2018

Viceroy Research and CTS-Labs Make Their Positions Known on "AMD Flaws"

In separate interviews with Vice Motherboard, Viceroy Research, the AMD stock short-seller that posted an obituary of AMD, and CTS-Labs, which claims AMD "Zen" architecture is infested with glaring security vulnerabilities; crystallized their financial positions on "AMD Flaws." CTS-Labs and Viceroy Research each went on record to state that they have no financial relationship with each other. "Viceroy [Research] is not a client of CTS[-Labs], and CTS[-Labs] did not send its research to Viceroy [Research]," said Yaron Luk, co-founder of CTS-Labs, but confirmed that his company's business-model involves sharing their cyber-security research with stock research firms (like Viceroy Research), which probably use the information to short tech stocks (a highly unethical though not yet illegal practice). "We are a for-profit company that gets paid for its research by a variety of research clients," Luk stated.

It's becoming increasingly clear that entities other than AMD had access to CTS-Labs' work, at least the report, if not the "research package," greater than 24 hours before public disclosure (i.e. before even AMD could see it), and one such entity, referred to as an "anonymous tipster" in the Motherboard report, "shared" the information with Viceroy Research, which quickly bought itself a shorting position against the AMD stock, and posted a 25-page doomsaying report to accelerate the fall of AMD stock (which isn't quite happening at the time of writing this post). Viceroy Research is brazen about its position on the matter. "We haven't hidden the fact that we short the stock," said Fraser Perring, founder of Viceroy. Cybersecurity guru Arrigo Triulzi, who is associated with Facebook, without taking names, tweeted an ominous warning that short-selling fueled security research "is going to end in tears. Hopefully due to lost money, and not because naive researchers go to prison." Does this foretell new regulation by the SEC that renders Viceroy's position into a black-hole for their money? The SEC has taken a great interest in the behavior of tech corporations and investors around cyber-security research.
Friday, March 16th 2018

Today's Reviews

Gaming PC
Upcoming Hardware Launches 2018

Upcoming Hardware Launches 2018

This article serves as a continuously updated summary of currently known leaks and official announcements regarding upcoming hardware releases in 2018 and beyond. We, among others, cover and keep track of AMD Zen+ and Zen 2, NVIDIA Turing, and NVIDIA Ampere.
Nitro Concepts Series S300 Gaming Chair

Nitro Concepts Series S300 Gaming Chair

The Nitro Concepts S300 is an affordable, very comfortable chair with quite a lot of features for its price. It is available in eight different color combinations to cover all tastes, and its dimensions are ideal for larger users.

ASUS ROG X470 Motherboard Shows Up Out of Nowhere

The folks at VideoCardz received a picture of a soon-to-be-released ASUS X470 motherboard from an unnamed sender. Judging by the motherboard's aesthetics and design, we suspect that it belongs to the Strix Series. Although there are no signs of the Strix branding on the motherboard, the rear I/O cover and the 8+2 phase VRM resemble the ones used on the ASUS ROG Strix X370-F Gaming motherboard. Initially, the "Republic" marking threw us off as ASUS isn't known for placing the Republic of Gamers branding on their previous Strix motherboards. The "Hybrid" marking remains a mystery though. The Chinese characters 玩家 that are located beside one of the memory slots literally translates to "Players", which certainly suggests that this will be a gaming-oriented motherboard. As of the time of this article, there are five confirmed X470 motherboards from ASUS: Prime X470-Pro, ROG Strix X470-F Gaming, ROG Strix X470-I Gaming, ROG Crosshair VII Hero, ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WI-FI), and TUF X470-Plus Gaming.

AMD Throws EPYC Jab at Intel Xeon Products on Cloudfest

Cloudfest is a summit of sorts, a running line of conferences and announcements that focus on the cloud side of computing. With the increasing market value and demand of cloud services and providers, it's no surprise that industry behemoths are in attendance. AMD is one such, and it took the opportunity to throw a slight jab at Intel. Making the best it can from its long-coming favorable position in the server market, AMD put up a banner with an EPYC pun, touting its 3.3x performance per dollar advantage versus the Xeon competition... and then some. Just take a look at the image for yourself. It's all in good sport... Right?

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Goes Mobile

After being crowned as Steam's third best-selling game ever, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is on its way to conquer the mobile world. Developed by LightSpeed & Quantum Studio and published by Chinese tech giant Tencent, PUBG Mobile has been soft launched in Canada. The game is now available for download at the Google Play Store. PUBG Mobile stays true to the PC version. It was developed on the Unreal Engine 4 and supports features that include 7.1 surround sound and in-game voice chat. For the time being, only the original Erangel map is in the mobile version. The minimum requirements consist of a smartphone with Android 5.1.1 and 2 GB of RAM. Although there is no mention of a minimum processor requirement, the developer states that the game is supported on more than 500 Android devices.

ASRock Releases a Teaser of Their Upcoming Phantom Gaming Graphics Cards Series

ASRock was rumored to enter the graphics card market as per a report by DigiTimes. The motherboard and soon-to-be graphics card manufacturer just released a teaser on their Japan Twitter account that confirms this rumor. The mysterious graphics card in the video belongs to their Phantom Gaming Series. Although the exact model wasn't revealed, DigiTimes's article stated that it's probably an AMD Radeon-based card. From what can be seen from the 30-second long video, the graphics card features a dual-slot design with a black and white theme. The graphics card apparently relies on two fans to provide active cooling and a single 8-pin PCIe connector for power.

The Crew 2 Set for June 29 Release

Today, Ubisoft announced that The Crew 2, the newest iteration in the revolutionary open world driving franchise The Crew, will launch on June 29th, 2018, for PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices and Windows PC. In addition, The Crew 2 has been enhanced with additional features for PS4 Pro systems.

Developed by Ubisoft Ivory Tower, a studio based in Lyon, France, The Crew 2 will let players experience the thrill of American motorsports inside a fully redesigned USA. The game's playground pushes physical boundaries to let driving and open world fans test their skills, solo or with friends, in nonstop competition and exploration. From coast to coast, drivers will explore America and compete to become the greatest motorsports champion, by collecting a wide variety of exotic cars, bikes, boats and planes, and dominating the motorsports scene on the land, on the water and in the air. Players will find challenges and inspiration among four different motorsports families: street racing, off-road, pro racing and freestyle, and will be given a broad set of options among a wide selection of vehicle types.

CTS-Labs Responds to a TechPowerUp Technical Questionnaire

Yesterday, we had a very productive phone call with CTS-Labs, the firm behind the "AMD Flaws" critical security vulnerabilities exposé of the "Zen" microarchitecture. Our questions focus on the practicality of exploiting these vulnerabilities, and should provide more insight to the skepticism centered on needing admin privileges, flashing BIOS ROMs, and other localized hacks that would render any machine, not just "Zen" powered, vulnerable. Feel free to follow up with questions in the comments section, if we can help explain something.

GIGABYTE Expands Density Optimized Intel Xeon Scalable Server Range

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, an industry leader in competitive, high performance server platforms & embedded solutions continues to expand its Intel Xeon Scalable product family by adding three new density optimized systems: H231-H60, H261-H60, and H261-H61, giving our customer a wider range of choices to meet their ever increasing needs for efficiency in the server room.

Some Blockchain in My Voting, Please: Sierra Leone Implements Innovative System

Putting aside discussion of cryptocurrencies, bubbles, and the debated absence of intrinsic value, blockchain itself has a myriad of uses that are still in their exploration infancy. One such usage - one that was arguably first thought of by Philip K. Dick, albeit unknowingly - was the usage of such a system in voting, as a way to provide transparency and trust towards the system which (supposedly) materializes the will of the people.

When asked which country would be the first to implement a Blockchain-based election (which ran at 70% of the voting stations), Sierra Leone would likely be completely absent as an option. The country, which has a population of 7.4 million, has a known history of political and societal unrest, having seen multiple UN interventions in its (relatively) recent history. The company had no technological capacity to build such a blockchain-based voting system - and thus turned to an outside provider. Agora was the chosen company, which aimed to power Sierra Leone's presidential election through anonymously stored votes in an immutable ledger, thereby offering instant access to the election results. The wins come not only in counting speed and actual logistics and state spending improvements, though: the usage of blockchain obviously also ushers in transparency.

Brainwavz Introduces its S0 IEM Noise Isolating Earphones

Global audio specialist Brainwavz, established in 2008 with a focus on offering high quality products at a competitive price, today announces the availability of its S0 IEM noise isolating earphones. The S0 IEM are the latest in the Brainwavz range of over 25 earphones and headphones and accessories and represent great value at £35.73 /$49.50.

The Brainwavz S0 earphones have been designed to provide a balanced sound signature with each part of the sound spectrum represented being both accurate and clear. The all metal housing and flat, tangle free cabling provides a sleek look, feel and long lasting durability (with no fear of tangling in a bag either!). The S0's will work with any genre of music and are sure to keep anyone happy whether they're listening to pop, classical, hip hop or rock.
The Clearwavz mic and remote use a high precision MEMS (Micro-Electrical-Mechanical System) silicon microphone with a three-button control. This enables users to make audio calls as well as audio playback and is far easier to control with maximum performance so making a phone call on the go could not be simpler.

Audeze Announces the Mobius Gaming Headset With Spatial Positioning Tech

Audeze, a company that prides itself in offering a premium sound solution for gamers, has launched their latest headset - the Mobius. The Mobius headset features 3D spatial positioning simulation, which takes the audio source and applies a number of Audeze technologies - their planar magnetic technology, for instance, combined with head tracking, room simulation, and sound localization technologies.

COLORFUL Announces Limited Edition Season Series Solid-State Drives

COLORFUL Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and high-performance storage solutions is proud to announce the availability of its limited edition COLORFUL SL300 160G Spring L.E. solid state drive. Featuring an all-new pink frosted aluminum alloy shell, the COLORFUL Season series SSD is set to make a statement for builders who are looking to express themselves and create a stunning build featuring a pink color scheme or just want a snazzy pink SSD for their PC, the COLORFUL SL300 160G Spring L.E. is the only choice.

The COLORFUL SL300 Spring L.E. is based off the highly-commended SL300 series solid-state drives from COLORFUL. These SSDs feature a non-standard capacity due to newer 3D NAND flash specification which is the result of new developments in 3D NAND technology. This allows a large volume single BGA NAND flash chip to be created. For example, the COLORFUL SL300 Plus 160G uses a 4 die wafer array.
Thursday, March 15th 2018

Today's Reviews

Crucial MX300 M.2 525 GB

Crucial MX300 M.2 525 GB

With just $140 for the 525 GB version, the Crucial MX300 is one of the most affordable M.2 drives out there. Instead of NVMe, it uses the slower SATA interface, though. Our review will take a closer look at how much of a difference that really makes and whether the MX300 M.2 is a good alternative to 2.5" SATA drives.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X Accidentally Listed on Amazon

Amazon Germany accidentally listed the upcoming AMD Ryzen 5 2600X six-core processor. According to the listing availability of the chip is scheduled for 19th April. The chip is priced at 248.93€ including taxes, which is in line with the launch SEP prices we saw in the leaked AMD press-deck posted earlier this month. The listing also mentions a handful specifications, such as the chip being based on 12 nm silicon fabrication process, and featuring clock speeds of 3.60 GHz, with 4.25 GHz turbo. Unlike with some of the higher end first-generation Ryzen retail packages, AMD will be including cooling solutions with all models of the 2nd generation Ryzen series. The Ryzen 5 2600X will include a Wraith Spire cooler, characterized by its RGB LED ring, and having a design focus on low-noise operation.

Valve Introduces Auto Resolution Scaling to Steam VR

Valve has announce that they've added a new rendering capability to their Steam VR environment which aims to improve image quality and frames per second in VR environments, while reducing processing load on both over and underpowered hardware. The auto resolution scaling feature they've introduced to Steam VR is nothing really new - it's been used in some games for a while now, and has recently begun attracting wide industry and game developer interest mainly on the back of the new, revised mid-gen upgrade consoles from Sony (the PS4 Pro) and Microsoft (Xbox One X).

The idea behind the auto resolution scaling is that developers (or users) can set a given frame rate target, and rendering resolution will be automatically adjusted so as to facilitate those FPS values to be achieved - wither by increasing rendering resolution (and thus image quality) in less work-intensive areas, or doing the reverse, and reducing rendering resolution in performance-hog stretches of games or experiences.

Microsoft Rolling Out New "Speculative Execution" Bug Bounty Program

In a blog post, Microsoft has announced that it has decided to take the matter of finding critical bugs of similar nature to the Spectre/Meltdown flaws into its own hands - at least partially. Adding to its bug bounty programs, the company has now announced that a new pot of up to $250,000 is up for grabs until at least December 31st of this year.

The new bug bounty program is divided into four different severity/compensation tiers, with tier 1 flaws (New categories of speculative execution attacks) granting up to $250,000 in rewards for the "coordinated disclosure" of such vulnerabilities. The idea here is Microsoft is employing the knowledge and will of the capable masses that might find ways of exploiting vulnerabilities, and would choose to disclose them to Microsoft - getting the prize money, helping the tech industry in providing a timely, coordinated defense against these exploits, and saving vast amounts of funding (and time), by not having to do the bug bounty themselves.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Announced: Lara Croft Returns on September 14th

Square Enix today announced that the final installment in the Tomb Raider origins trilogy is being released on September 14th this year. Moving on from their previous "timed exclusive" contract with Microsoft, which saw Rise of the Tomb Raider be first published on the Xbox family of devices, the latest game will be available for all platforms - PC, PS4 and Xbox - on release date.

The new game in the Tomb Raider series has moved hands, though, leaving Crystal Dynamics' studios (who is now working on an Avengers video game with Marvel), and was taken upon by Eidos Montreal - the studio best known for the latest (way better than they're given credit, by the way) Deus Ex games (Human Revolution and Mankind Divided). A full reveal of the game is expected next month, on April 27th - just two months before E3, which will certainly pave the way for even more content on the game. Square Enix is promising users they'll "Experience Lara Croft's defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider". Interesting, no? Look after the break for a preview teaser.

Sneak Peek of Upcoming H370, H310, and B360 Motherboards from ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte, MSI

Coffee Lake processors were launched along side the high-end Z370 motherboards. While the Z370 chipset certainly brings many innovative features to the table, different consumers have different levels of needs. Some consumers simply don't need all the bells and whistles that the Z370 chipset has to offer. That's why other mainstream chipsets like H370, H310, and B360 still hold their value, and many consumers are waiting for motherboards based on one of the aformentioned chipsets to come out. Unfortunately, Intel still haven't shared a concrete launch date with the public. But as online stores have started to list the new H370, H310, and B360 motherboards, our guess is that they will be available real soon. Since some of you are probably planning your next budget PC build with one of these chipsets, we've rounded up the images of the different models that are currently floating around the internet. You can get a sneak peek at the offerings from major manufacturers like ASRock, Gigabyte, and MSI. There are 29 models in total that range from the mini-ATX form factor to the conventional ATX form factor.


Fractal Design Expands Meshify C Line Up with New White Variant

Meshify strikes an aggressive pose in the Fractal Design lineup with unparalleled cooling performance and a defiant new look. Like diamond facets, the angular asymmetry of the Meshify C carves a space uniquely its own as a new dominant force in high-airflow design. Tempered glass completes the distinct, stealth-inspired aesthetic with exceptional style.

An open ATX layout with intelligent space utilization creates an unrestricted airflow path from the mesh front intakes directly through key components to exhaust, ensuring heat is never an issue. The Meshify C has a remarkably compact footprint with the high-end component support of a full tower, and with seven fan mounts and multi-radiator liquid cooling capability, it has the cooling capacity to match.

Hardware-based Protection Coming to Data Center and PC Products Later this Year: Intel CEO

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich penned (or signed) a blog post today where we went on to describe all of the steps his company took after knowing of the disclosed vulnerabilities by Google Project Zero (which gave Intel more than 24H notice). In the blog post, he acknowledges there's still much work to be done, but assures customers of security's importance to Intel. For one, 73 days after the vulnerabilities were made public, Intel is now done with software mitigations: all of Intel's last five years worth of CPUs now have in production patches.

The CEO also vowed that hardware solutions will be deployed on newly produced Intel processors by the end of 2018 - these will hit the company's next iteration of Xeon scalable processors (Cascade Lake) and will be deployed to 8th Gen Coffee Lake processors as soon as the second half of this year. The blog post follows.

CTS Labs Posts Some Clarifications on AMD "Zen" Vulnerabilities

CTS-Labs the research group behind the AMD "Zen" CPU vulnerabilities, posted an addendum to its public-release of the whitepaper, in an attempt to dispel some of the criticism in their presentation in the absence of technical details (which they shared with AMD and other big tech firms). In their clarification whitepaper, quoted below, they get into slightly more technical details on each of the four vulnerability classes.

ViewSonic Launches Its Kaby Lake-Powered NMP660 Chromebox

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solution products, introduces the ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox. Paired with the company's ViewBoard family of interactive flat panel displays or any ViewSonic display, the ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox can transform any Google classroom into a collaborative learning hub, or provide content management as a signage player and desktop virtualization solution for conference rooms. The ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox delivers a complete and secure Chrome OS and Google Play experience.

The ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox offers a quick out-of-the-box set-up, integrated Google management console and built-in security features, making it an ideal solution for educational and corporate environments. It can drive 4K content, and with the swift set-up, users can quickly access popular applications, websites and even games. Powered by Google Hangouts Meet, Google's video conferencing software, the NMP660 facilitate presentations, brainstorming, and decision-making - even when employees, clients, or students are spread across the globe.

Sharkoon Announces the TG5 RGB ATX Midi Tower with Controllable RGB LED Fans

Sharkoon has added a new version to the TG5 ATX PC Case launched in 2017: The Sharkoon TG5 RGB ATX Midi Tower. In addition to the tempered glass front and left side panel, the TG5 RGB ATX Midi Tower features four 120 mm RGB LED fans as well as a Sharkoon RGB LED strip. In total, six LED elements can be controlled via a 12V-G-R-B connector with the included 6-port RGB hub. The TG5 RGB is compatible with GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light, ASUS Aura as well as other common RGB capable mainboards. For mainboards without a 12V-G-R-B connector, the TG5 RGB comes with a manual color control.

The Sharkoon TG5 RGB is especially made for fans of flashy gaming PCs who want an individualized illumination from as many as 16.8 million colors. The tempered glass left side panel provides a clear view of the illuminated components inside the case. Thanks to the cable management system, the PC case can always make a tidy impression. The front panel is designed cable-free and can thus be removed easily without pulling on any cabling. The front has three pre-installed 120 mm LED fans, and another 120 mm LED fan is pre-installed on the rear panel. In addition, a RGB LED strip is provided for the case interior. The strip can be attached magnetically and by using its adhesive tape. In total, six LED elements can be connected to mainboards with a 12V G-R-B connector and controlled, using the included 6-port RGB hub - as long as the LED elements are compatible with GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light, ASUS Aura or other common RGB capable mainboards. For mainboards without a 12V-G-R-B connector, the TG5 RGB comes with a manual color control. This is equipped with switches, enabling the illumination of the fans and the strip in seven colors, including white. In order to strengthen airflow inside the case, the top panel provides room for up three 120 mm fans or two 140 mm fans. For water cooling, a 280 mm or a 360 mm radiator can be installed to the front of the case.

Logitech G Unveils New PC Gaming Speaker and Mechanical Keyboard With LightSync

Logitech G, a brand of Logitech, today announced two new additions to their family of high-performance gaming gear. The Logitech G560 PC Gaming Speaker is the first dedicated gaming speaker system with advanced Logitech G LIGHTSYNC, a technology that synchronizes both light and sounds to gameplay. Joining the speaker is the new Logitech G513 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The Logitech G513 also features LIGHTSYNC RGB, provides the choice of two Romer-G mechanical key switches and a premium palm rest for a comfortable experience. Logitech G continues to expand its range of high-performance gear that is purpose-built for the needs of gamers, and push innovation in RGB to new immersive levels.

"Our goal with these two products was to complement our G502, the world's best selling gaming mouse," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech Gaming. "With LIGHTSYNC technology we are able to add real intelligence to what RGB lighting can do - synchronizing audio and RGB lighting to on-screen gameplay. If you already own a G502, then the new G513 keyboard and G560 speakers with LIGHTSYNC are the perfect way to complete your desktop, and create a totally immersive solution."

FSP Introduces CMT230 and CMT240 Mid-Tower Cases

FSP, a worldwide leader in innovative, reliable enthusiast PC components, today unveiled the new CMT230 and CMT240 Mid-Tower cases. The CMT line has proven itself as one of the most trusted case series on the market over the years, offering modern design, flexible cooling options and easy setup for any mainstream gaming system. Both models offer plenty of cooling options to meet the demands of the most component-heavy systems. Where ergonomic design meets flexible ventilation needs, both elegant cases are the ideal solution for today's mainstream gaming systems and customization enthusiasts.

Refined style, blue LED lights and mesh front panel design (CMT230) or solid metal front panel (CMT240) with flexible ventilation options keep your components always running cool. Both models support up to six 120mm/140mm fans or up to two 280mm radiators for more cooling options to ensure that your cooling performance will no suffer even if you add more components to your system. The CMT230 comes standard with three blue LED fans, while CMT240 sports solid steel front panel with blue LED light bar. On top of that, our smart design and magnetic adhesion make it easy to always keep your PC dust-free and spend less time on maintenance.

Power Outage at Samsung NAND Flash Plant Cuts March Global Output by 3.5%

A power-outage on 9th March, at one of Samsung's NAND flash manufacturing plants located in Pyeongtaek, Korea, will have a notable impact on global NAND flash production. It reduced the global NAND flash output for the month of March 2018 by 3.5 percent, a number that isn't insignificant, and translates into non-volatile memory for millions of devices. It also trims Samsung's output by 11 percent for the month. SIlicon fabrication is a highly sensitive process, and the power-outage is said to have damaged up to 60,000 wafers of NAND flash chips.

The impact of this event on global prices of NAND flash memory, and devices based on it, remains to be seen. Any inflation could be nipped in the bud by Samsung and other NAND flash makers significantly increasing production through this quarter. Samsung will begin expansion of its NAND flash plant in Xi'an, China, which currently outputs 120,000 wafers per month, and is expected to put out 320,000 wafers a month after the expansion.

GIGABYTE Intros CMT2014 M.2 Slot Card

GIGABYTE today rolled out the CMT2014, an add-on card that converts a PCI-Express gen 3.0 x16 slot into four 32 Gbps M.2 PCIe slots, using PCIe lane-segmentation on the motherboard's end (it doesn't have any bridge chip on its end). This is similar in function, concept, and design to the ASRock Ultra Quad M.2, and the ASUS Hyper M.2, but lacks any mechanism to cool the drives. You get four M.2-22110 slots with PCI-Express gen 3.0 x4 wiring, two of these slots face forwards, and the others backwards.

If you have M.2-2280 (or smaller) drives installed on the slots that face backwards, you can physically (and irreversibly) break off a piece of the card to reduce its length from 21 cm to around 18.5 cm. Other features include power/activity LEDs for each of the four slots, and temperature sensors positioned where most SSDs have their controllers located. The company didn't reveal pricing, but to prevent RMAs from people who can't get it to work on their motherboards lacking lane segmentation, it mentioned that the card is only intended for Xeon "Purley" platform, for now.
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