Hardware Giveaway
Tuesday, July 25th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Retail Packaging Pictured?

AMD CEO Lisa Su, ahead of the company's grand SIGGRAPH event, unveiled what could very well be the retail packaging of the company's upcoming Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. There's a good possibility that this isn't the retail packaging, because it looks shaped like an old-school television, and could be a prop AMD is using for its SIGGRAPH booth, or it's a special packaging AMD is reserving for reviewers (the company does that with most of its flagship products).

The rounded cuboid box features a prominent window through which you can look at the large Ryzen Threadripper chip. There's minimal branding or literature on the box itself, which could indicate the presence of an outer cover. AMD is planning to launch its Ryzen Threadripper lineup with two SKUs for the retail (DIY) channel, the 12-core/24-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, and the 16-core/32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. The two parts will be accompanied by a small but growing selection of compatible socket TR4 motherboards based on the AMD X399 chipset, by industry majors such as ASUS, ASRock, and GIGABYTE. The processor is expected to be available by 9th August.

Source: Tom's Hardware

Lamptron Intros CL420 Fan + RGB LED Controller

Lamptron, the specialist in PC fan controllers, rolled out the CL420, a combination of a fan-controller, and an RGB LED lighting controller. The unit fits into a 5.25-inch drive bay, and gives you four domains, with two selectors, each - fan-speed, and color spectrum. In the fan-speed mode, you can adjust speed of up to four 4-pin PWM fans per domain. In the color mode, you turn the same knob to adjust color from across the 16.7 million-color RGB spectrum. It's not just fans, you can also directly plug in your RGB LED strips. The company didn't mention pricing, but announced that the CL420 will go on sale some time this August.
Monday, July 24th 2017

Today's Reviews

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

Raijintek Paean

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

Gigabyte AORUS RX 580 GTR 8 GB

The AORUS RX 580 XTR is Gigabyte's highest-clocked Radeon RX 580 variant. The large overclock out of the box ensures that the card can beat the GTX 1060 6 GB. Also included is the crucial idle-fan-off feature and adjustable RGB lighting.

Western Digital Announces Four-Bits-Per-Cell (X4) Technology on 3D NAND

Western Digital Corp. today announced its successful development of four bits per cell, X4, flash memory architecture offering on 64-layer 3D NAND, BiCS3, technology. Building on its pioneering innovation of X4 for 2D NAND technology and past success in commercializing it, the company has now developed X4 for 3D NAND by leveraging its deep vertical integration capabilities. These include silicon wafer processing, device engineering to provide sixteen distinct data levels in every storage node, and system expertise for overall flash management. BiCS3 X4 technology delivers an industry-leading storage capacity of 768 gigabits on a single chip, a 50 percent increase from the prior 512 gigabit chip that was enabled with the three bits per cell (X3) architecture. Western Digital will showcase removable products and solid-state drives built with BiCS3 X4 and systems capabilities in August at the Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California.

"The implementation of X4 architecture on BiCS3 is a significant development for Western Digital as it demonstrates our continued leadership in NAND flash technology, and it also enables us to offer an expanded choice of storage solutions for our customers," said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, Memory Technology, Western Digital. "The most striking aspect in today's announcement is the use of innovative techniques in the X4 architecture that allows our BiCS3 X4 to deliver performance attributes comparable to those in BiCS3 X3. The narrowing of the performance gap between the X4 and X3 architectures is an important and differentiating capability for us, and it should help drive broader market acceptance of X4 technology over the next several years."

GIGABYTE to Merge its Motherboard and Graphics Card Divisions

To better address the increasingly competitive PC hardware market, GIGABYTE is reportedly undertaking a major internal reorganization. The company is merging its PC motherboard and consumer graphics card divisions into a single division, which will be led by Eddie Lin, the current sales and marketing associate vice president of the company's Gaming Product Business Unit, and the brains behind the Aorus brand. Lin oversaw the expansion of the Aorus brand from pre-built gaming notebooks and gaming peripherals, to include DIY gaming PC components, such as motherboards and graphics cards. The company's flagship client-segment products now bear the Aorus brand.

This reorganization comes in the wake of a fall in the company's shipments of DIY gaming-grade PC components. The company shipped 900,000 fewer motherboards in 2016, than it did in 2015 (down from 17.1 million to 16.2 million). The average selling price of the company's motherboards, however, went up in the year, and the company was able to shore up its revenues slightly. With rising prices of GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD, the ASP of the company's graphics cards, has also seen an increase. Post reorganization, several of the company's motherboard executives' designations will be shuffled, and will report to Lin.

Source: DigiTimes

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 384.94 Game-Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce drivers, which enable your green-powered card to run smoothly and without issues. This latest driver release is a Game-Ready one, which aims to enable the smoothest possible experience on recently-released game titles. The focus for this 384.94 version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers was on Lawbreakers and the official release of ARK: Survival Evolved. In addition, under the "Game Ready VR" moniker, NVIDIA is also providing the "optimal gaming experience for EVE: Valkyrie's "Ultra" graphics update."

SLI profiles for ARK: Survival Evolved, IL-2: Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad and Lawbreakers were added or updated, and 3D Vision profiles were updated for "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" (Not Recommended), Lawbreakers (Fair), and ARK: Survival Evolved (Not Recommended). As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TPU. Just follow the link below, and feel free to peruse fixed and current issues after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 384.94 Game-Ready Drivers

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399 Motherboard Pictured Some More

More pictures emerge of ASUS' flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Zenith Extreme X399. Halfway between the width of a standard ATX and an E-ATX motherboard, the Zenith Extreme doesn't appear as crowded around the CPU socket as some of the other socket TR4 motherboards showed off at AMD's Computex 2016 reveal, this June. The CPU is powered by a high-current 8-phase VRM, and to preempt VRM overheating issues as seen on Intel X299 platform motherboards, ASUS deployed an active VRM cooling solution. Heat drawn by the VRM heatsink is transported to a secondary heatsink under the rear I/O shroud by a heat-pipe, which is ventilated by a 40 mm fan, which vents hot air through the rear.

The TR4 socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Interestingly, these slots are wired x16/x8/x16/x8, even though the Ryzen Threadripper processor features 64 PCI-Express lanes, according to AMD. Other expansion slots include an open-ended PCI-Express 3.0 x4, and an x1 slot. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 4-pin Molex input. Storage includes four 32 Gb/s M.2 slots (two under the detachable chipset heatsink cover, and the other through the included DIMM.2 accessory), a 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. The metallic chipset heatsink cover features thermal padding, so it can draw heat from at least one stacked M.2 SSD.

Riotoro Intros the Ghostwriter Classic Gaming Keyboard

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

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

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

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

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

Dell Announces Availability of Its UltraSharp U3818DW Monitor

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

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

Source: AnandTech

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

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

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

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

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

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Speakers
SSD

François Piednoël Quits Intel

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

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

Source: François Piednoël via Twitter

Asus X399 ROG Zenith Extreme Unboxed Ahead of Launch

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

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

Asus Announces X370 ROG Crosshair VI Extreme Motherboard

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

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

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

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

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

Blizzard to Discontinue Support for Windows XP, Vista

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

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

Source: Blizzard @ Battle.net Forums

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Motherboards to be Showcased on July 25th

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

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

Source: Videocardz
Thursday, July 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
PSUs
SSD
Storage

1MORE Triple Driver In-ears

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

CRYORIG and TechPowerUp Present the CRYO-RGB Giveaway

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

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