Hardware Giveaway
Thursday, November 14th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
SSD
MSI Immerse GH30

MSI Immerse GH30

The MSI Immerse GH30 is a simple $50 gaming headset with a few aces up its sleeve: it's foldable, comes with a detachable microphone, and sports best-in-class sound quality for headphones in its price range we have had a listen to.
CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB Fans

CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB Fans

One fan. 34 addressable RGB LEDs. That alone will be enough for many to decide if the new CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB fan is for you. Coming in both 120 and 140 mm sizes, CORSAIR's latest fans can do double duty and light up your house for the holiday season, in addition to your new PC build.

Microsoft Could Bring x86-64 App Emulation to Windows on ARM

According to the sources close to Neowin, Microsoft is expected to launch x86-64 (or x64 in short) emulation support for Windows on ARM (WoA) devices. Expected to arrive in Windows 10 21H1, or around 2020 for all the Windows Insiders, the new feature will enable a vast majority of apps made for Windows OS, currently built for x64 architecture, to run on ARM ISA and all Windows on ARM computers.

So far, only 32-bit x86 applications were able to be emulated, however, if these rumors are to be believed, many users of WoA devices should get a chance to run all of their favorite 64-bit software that was previously unavailable. The launch of this feature will boost the adoption of the WoA ecosystem with benefits reaching all existing laptop models, including Microsoft's newly launched Surface Pro X laptop that utilizes an ARM-based chip called SQ1 (customized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor).

KIOXIA America Introduces Industry's First 512GB Automotive UFS

The next generation of automotive systems are hungry for more. More advanced infotainment and ADAS1 systems. More storage for event data recording. Support for more 3D mapping. In a move that makes more a reality, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that it has begun sampling the industry's first 512 gigabyte (GB) Automotive Universal Flash Storage (UFS) JEDEC Version 2.1 embedded memory solution. KIOXIA America's Automotive UFS supports a wide temperature range (-40°C to +105°C), meets AEC-Q100 Grade 2 requirements and offers the extended reliability required by various automotive applications. The 512 GB device joins the company's existing lineup of Automotive UFS, which includes capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB.

Innovations such as autonomous vehicles, more advanced infotainment systems, digital clusters, telematics, and ADAS provide not only an elevated driver experience but also a greater demand for storage within vehicles.

CORSAIR Launches iCUE QL RGB Fans for Spectacular Lighting from Any Angle

Editor's note: Our review is here, for those interested.

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a new line of PC cooling fans to elevate the aesthetics of any build: CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB PWM fans. Available in 120 mm and 140 mm sizes, every QL RGB fan features quad light loops lit by a total of 34 individually addressable RGB LEDs, creating incredible visuals from either side. Multi-fan kits of QL RGB fans are bundled with a CORSAIR iCUE Lighting Node CORE RGB Lighting Controller, capable of controlling the lighting for up to six CORSAIR RGB fans at once through CORSAIR iCUE software.

No other RGB fan comes close to the brightness and vibrancy of QL RGB. With inner and outer light loops on both the front and back of the fan, it is uniquely capable of intricate, bright, and detailed lighting effects that impress from any angle, regardless of whether it's used for intake or exhaust. A semi-transparent fan blade allows the RGB lighting to shine through, while a durable machined aluminium hub cover on either side completes the QL RGB's stunning look.

Sharkoon Announces the REV200 Case

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of PC components and peripherals, offering performance at a reasonable price. Now, with the REV200, Sharkoon introduces a real revolution in midi ATX towers. Compared to conventional models, the well thought out construction of the case allows the mainboard to be rotated 90 degrees and the remaining hardware to be installed vertically. This provides an easy and a particularly striking presentation of the components. In addition, the five pre-installed 120-millimeter RGB fans provide the necessary airflow as well as the appropriate illumination to set the scene for the hardware. The cable compartment under the top panel and the multi-functional tunnel on the underside both ensure an especially tidy appearance.

Thanks to the innovative construction, the PC can now be placed on the left side of the desk without foregoing the view into the inside of the case. To make this possible, Sharkoon has positioned the tempered glass side panel onto the right-hand side of the case. If the desk thus has its left side against the wall, the user still has a view into the case interior. And another positive effect of this configuration is that gamers who have their PCs on top of their desk will have more space to move around the mouse. Moreover, in combination with the glass element and triangular, offset surfaces on the front panel, the case is definitely an eye-catcher.

TechPowerUp and TerraMaster Present NAS Giveaway

TechPowerUp is partnering with TerraMaster to present the TerraMaster NAS Giveaway. Open for readers from the US and the EU, two randomly selected lucky winners stand a chance to get a TerraMaster F2-210 NAS. The F2-210 is the most powerful 2-bay NAS priced under USD $200, with a performance-optimized SoC for maximum throughput. It offers multiple layers of data-security over your network and the Internet. The TNAS interface is a powerful browser-based user-interface that lets you access your data over the local network and remotely, with a ton of security settings. Find out more about the F2-210 in its product page.

For more information and to participate, visit this page.
Wednesday, November 13th 2019

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Sound Cards
SSD
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra

EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra

EVGA's GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra is priced at NVIDIA MSRP of $230 yet comes with an overclock out of the box. The cooler is also decent, offering temperatures comparable to much more expensive custom designs. Idle-fan-stop and a metal backplate are included, too.

7nm Intel Xe GPUs Codenamed "Ponte Vecchio"

Intel's first Xe GPU built on the company's 7 nm silicon fabrication process will be codenamed "Ponte Vecchio," according to a VideoCardz report. These are not gaming GPUs, but rather compute accelerators designed for exascale computing, which leverage the company's CXL (Compute Express Link) interconnect that has bandwidth comparable to PCIe gen 4.0, but with scalability features slated to come out with future generations of PCIe. Intel is preparing its first enterprise compute platform featuring these accelerators codenamed "Project Aurora," in which the company will exert end-to-end control over not just the hardware stack, but also the software.

"Project Aurora" combines up to six "Ponte Vecchio" Xe accelerators with up to two Xeon multi-core processors based on the 7 nm "Sapphire Rapids" microarchitecture, and OneAPI, a unifying API that lets a single kind of machine code address both the CPU and GPU. With Intel owning the x86 machine architecture, it's likely that Xe GPUs will feature, among other things, the ability to process x86 instructions. The API will be able to push scalar workloads to the CPU, and and the GPU's scalar units, and vector workloads to the GPU's vector-optimized SIMD units. Intel's main pitch to the compute market could be significantly lowered software costs from API and machine-code unification between the CPU and GPU.
Image Courtesy: Jan Drewes

KIOXIA PCIe 4.0 Enterprise NVMe SSDs Take Storage Performance to New Heights

KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that its lineup of PCIe 4.0 NVMeTM enterprise solid state drives (SSDs) has achieved PCI-SIG compliance for PCIe 4.0 and University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) certification. KIOXIA's CM6 Series successfully passed interoperability tests at the August 2019 PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop - the first workshop to include official PCIe 4.0 specification tests. KIOXIA America will be on hand at Supercomputing 2019 later this month to showcase new levels of flash performance enabled by its CM6 Series SSDs.

The first company to publicly demonstrate PCIe 4.0 SSDs, KIOXIA has established itself as a leader in developing PCIe 4.0 NVM Express SSDs and continues to push the limits of flash storage performance. The CM6 Series brings planned performance improvements of 3x over its PCIe 3.0 predecessors and is 12x faster than SATA drives. KIOXIA's lineup of Gen4 PCIe SSDs also includes the CD6 Series, which is targeted to cloud and scale-out environments.

TechPowerUp and Computer Upgrade King Giveaway: The Winners!

TechPowerUp and Computer Upgrade King brought you a chance to bring home the Continuum Micro-ATX tower chassis, a unique blend of infinite-reflection RGB along the front panel, and all essentials covered from a premium Micro-ATX build on the inside, with room for DIY liquid cooling. The Giveaway closed and the results are in. We have three lucky winners who will each receive the Computer Upgrade King Continuum. Without further ado, here they are:
  • John from New Jersey, USA
  • Petar from Bulgaria
  • Richard from The Netherlands
A huge Congratulations to you three! TechPowerUp will return with more such interesting giveaways.

Rune 2 Developer Human Head Studios Shuts Down, Immediately Sets Up Shop Under Bethesda as Roundhouse Studios

Well, this is something new. Human Head Studios, who have developed and just released Rune 2 yesterday on the Epic Games Store as an exclusive release, today announced their studio was shutting down. At the same time, Bethesda announced it was founding a new game studio, Roundhouse Studios, which would be fully populated by the Human Head Studios' staff, left unemployed from the closure of that developing label. While it's obviously great that in effect nobody was left unemployed... Does this "make sense much"?

It does. However, there are some interesting tidbits to this story. One of the more pressing questions is: how will Rune 2 be supported in the future? That question wasn't addressed by now Roundhouse Studios Creative Director Chris Rhinehart - we just assume the game has been released in an "as is" state and it doesn't matter whether there are some breaking bugs in that release. Any reported bug will be filed under "no developer found; won't fix". There are also some more interesting nuances to this deal, though. You might remember Human Head Studios previously worked on Prey 2, with Bethesda acting as publisher, but was removed from the project after the studio declined Bethesda's offer to buy Human Head Studios. This action cost the studio the IP, and led them towards development of Rune 2. However, all of that bad blood has seemingly been left behind them, according to press releases from both parties. You can read those after the break.

Crytek Releases Hardware-Agnostic Raytracing Benchmark "Neon Noir"

Crytek today released the final build for their hardware-agnostic raytracing benchmark. Dubbed Neon Noir, the benchmark had already been showcased in video form back in March 2019, but now it's finally available for download for all interested parties from the Crytek Marketplace. The benchmark currently doesn't support any low-level API such as Vulkan or DX 12, but support for those - and the expected performance improvements - will be implemented in the future.

Neon Noir has its raytracing chops added via an extension of CRYENGINE's SVOGI rendering tool that currently Crytek's games use, including Hunt: Showdown, which will make it easier for developers to explore raytracing implementations that don't require a particular hardware implementation (such as RTX). However, the developer has added that they will add hardware acceleration support in the future, which should only improve performance, and will not add any additional rendering features compared to those that can be achieved already. What are you waiting for? Just follow the link below.

AMD Radeon Pro 5000M Series Mobile GPUs Bring High-Performance AMD RDNA Architecture to Apple's New 16-inch MacBook Pro

AMD today announced that the latest Apple MacBook Pro features the new AMD Radeon Pro 5500M and 5300M mobile GPUs. AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series are the first 7 nm discrete mobile GPUs for professional users, leveraging industry-leading process technology and powerful AMD RDNA architecture to provide groundbreaking levels of graphics performance for video editing, 3D content creation and macOS-based game development.

AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series mobile GPUs are built upon the all-new AMD RDNA architecture, designed from the ground up for superior performance, scalability and power efficiency. The new GPUs include up to 8 GB of high-speed GDDR6 memory with up to 192 GB/s memory bandwidth - double the bandwidth of GDDR5 - and also deliver up to 4.0 TFLOPS of single-precision floating-point (FP32) performance. The GPUs are optimized for today's top professional content creation applications and compute-intensive image rendering workloads, delivering breathtaking, ultra-smooth, high-framerate visuals on the MacBook Pro Retina display.

Apple Introduces 16-inch MacBook Pro, the World's Best Pro Notebook

Apple today unveiled an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro — the world's best pro notebook — designed for developers, photographers, filmmakers, scientists, music producers and anyone who relies on a Mac to create their life's best work. The all-new MacBook Pro features a brilliant 16-inch Retina Display, the latest 8-core processors, up to 64 GB of memory, next-generation graphics with up to 8 GB of VRAM and a new advanced thermal design, making it the most powerful MacBook Pro ever.

Featuring a new Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism and 1 mm travel for a more satisfying key feel, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers the best typing experience ever in a Mac notebook. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also includes a six-speaker sound system, longer battery life, Touch Bar, Touch ID, the Force Touch trackpad and the Apple T2 Security Chip.

Cray and Fujitsu Partner to Power Supercomputing in the Exascale Era

Global supercomputer leader Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and leading Japanese information and communication technology company Fujitsu, today announced a partnership to offer high performance technologies for the Exascale Era. Under the alliance agreement, Cray is developing the first-ever commercial supercomputer powered by the Fujitsu A64FX Arm -based processor with high-memory bandwidth (HBM) and supported on the proven Cray CS500 supercomputer architecture and programming environment. Initial customers include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Stony Brook University, and University of Bristol. As part of this new partnership, Cray and Fujitsu will explore engineering collaboration, co-development, and joint go-to-market to meet customer demand in the supercomputing space.

"Our partnership with Fujitsu means customers now have a broader choice of processor technology to address their pressing computational needs," said Fred Kohout, senior vice president and CMO at Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. "We are delivering the development-to-deployment experience customers have come to expect from Cray, including exploratory development to the Cray Programming Environment (CPE) for Arm processors to optimize performance and scalability with additional support for Scalable Vector Extensions and high bandwidth memory."

Intel CPUs Since Haswell Vulnerable to "Zombieload v2" Attacks, "Cascade Lake" Included

All Intel CPU microarchitectures since 2013 are vulnerable to a new class of "Zombieload," attacks, chronicled under "Zombieload v2" (CVE-2019-11135). This is the fifth kind of microarchitectural data sampling (MDS) vulnerability, besides the four already disclosed and patched against in Q2-2019. The vulnerability was kept secret by the people who discovered it, as Intel was yet to develop a mitigation against it. There is no silicon-level hardening against it, and Intel has released a firmware-level mitigation that will be distributed by motherboard manufacturers as BIOS updates, or perhaps even OS vendors. While Intel's latest enterprise and HEDT microarchitecture, "Cascade Lake" was thought to be immune to "Zombieload," it's being reported that "Zombieload v2" attacks can still compromise a "Cascade Lake" based server or HEDT that isn't patched.

"Zombieload v2" is an exploitation of the Asynchronous Abort operation of Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), which occurs when malware creates read operation conflicts within the CPU. This reportedly leaks data about what else is being processed. "The main advantage of this approach is that it also works on machines with hardware fixes for Meltdown, which we verified on an i9-9900K and Xeon Gold 5218," reads the latest version of the Zombieload whitepaper that's been updated with "Zombieload v2" information. TSX is a requisite for "Zombieload v2," and all Intel microarchitectures since "Haswell" feature it. AMD processors are inherently immune to "Zombieload v2" as they lack TSX. Intel downplayed the severity or prevalence of "Zombieload v2," but dispatched microcode updates flagged "critical" nevertheless.

Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT NITRO+ Special Edition Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of a new "Special Edition" or SE variant of Sapphire's premium Radeon RX 5700 XT NITRO+ graphics card. The card introduces a higher factory-overclock than the original NITRO+, including a memory overclock, and a cosmetic change. To begin with, the NITRO+ SE ships with 14.4 Gbps overclocked GDDR6 memory, whereas the original NITRO+ sticks to the reference 14 Gbps.

Sapphire also dialed up the maximum engine boost frequency to 2035 MHz (vs. 2010 MHz on the original NITRO+). Sapphire also gave the card a cosmetic update. The three fans now come with transparent impellers that are illuminated with their own four RGB LEDs, each. The Special Edition will be a limited SKU, available in select markets from November 15, priced above the original NITRO+, at 520€ (including VAT).

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 November 2019 Update (1909)

Microsoft late Tuesday released its second major update to Windows 10 for the year, the Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909). This update beats conventions in that is "minor" in comparison to the Windows 10 May 2019 (1903) Update, in that Microsoft didn't change too many under-the-hood components, but updated the operating system's user-interface. For example, the operating system retains the older version's driver model.

The Actions Center received several UI updates such as the ability to add items to your agenda directly from the calendar, improved sorting of notifications, improved accessibility of the Start menu, and the ability to use third-party accessibility software from even the Lock screen. The only notable under-the-hood changes concern the scheduler. Windows 10 now gets the ability to address multiple "favored" cores in a multi-core processor. A favored core is a physically superior core that can sustain higher boost clocks for longer.
Microsoft's change-log follows.
Tuesday, November 12th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Networking
Notebooks
SSD
EK-Meltemi 120ER Fan

EK-Meltemi 120ER Fan

EK Water Blocks adds to their fan portfolio with the massive 38 mm thick Meltemi. Available in their -ER (extended range) version, the EK-Meltemi aims to take their popular Vardar fan as a base and build upon it with a bigger, badder motor, and promises high static pressure optimization for PC DIY water cooling.

ASRock Launches the Phantom Gaming Radeon 550 2G Graphics Card

No, that's not a typo. AsRock has actually launched an AMD Radeon 550 graphics card this late into the game. There is some sense behind the business decision, though; AMD's Radeon 550 is the company's entry-line offering, which aims only to improve upon the performance of integrated graphics solutions, and no more. In that sense, the Radeon 550 certainly delivers, though it does so in an underwhelming way for any tech enthusiasts. The Radeon 550 2G features 2 GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1,750 MHz (7,000 MHz effective) across a 64-bit bus, which feeds a die powered by 512 Stream Processors.

There are three operating modes on offer: Silent, for HTPC environments, which clocks the graphics card at 1,183 MHz boost clock and 7,000 MHz memory clocks. Default mode runs the card at AMD's defaults (1,183 MHz boost, 7,000 MHz memory). The OC mode overclocks the graphics card's boost clock to 1,230 MHz and the memory to 7,038 MHz. I/O stands at 1x dual-link DVI-D connector, 1x HDMI 2.0b port and 1x DisplayPort 1.4. A 50 W TDP should make it easy to cool in cramped spaces, and the graphics card doesn't require any power pins. No pricing was available at time of writing.

Acer Unveils Predator CG437KP monitor: 43" VA, 4K, 144 Hz, Adaptive Sync, 1000 nits

(UPDATE: Acer has now launched the monitor) Acer at a special event unveiled their upcoming monitor that blurs the line between a television and a PC monitor. The Predator CG437KP makes use of a 43" VA panel (90% DCI-P3 coverage and low Delta E<1 color accuracy) with a 4K resolution. As if the size wasn't an impressive spec alone, Acer really have gone out of their way to make this a veritable Predator monitor, with 144 Hz refresh rates. The monitor also comes with Adaptive Sync support for both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync and over HDMI for compatibility with current and future consoles. There's a maximum 1000 nits brightness, which brings VESA's DisplayHDR 1000 certification to the table.

I/O stands at 3x HDMI (likely to support all of those consoles users that are looking at this diagonal size might have), 2x DisplayPort 1.4 for actual Active Sync users, 1x USB 3.1-C, 2xUSB 3.0 and 2xUSB 2.0. There's even a remote control. The Acer Predator CG437KP is now available in the US at $1,499.99 MSRP.

EK Introduces the The EK-Quantum Vector Strix RTX D-RGB Series Waterblocks

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia based water cooling gear manufacturer, is introducing its new generation of EK-Vector RTX Strix D-RGB water blocks designed for ROG Strix GeForce RTX series graphics cards, based on Turing graphics processor. The EK-Quantum Vector Strix RTX D-RGB series water blocks feature four integrated addressable LED sources, two located in the terminal cover and one digital LED strip on each end of the water block.

EK-Quantum Vector Strix RTX D-RGB
The EK-Quantum Vector Strix RTX water blocks are specially designed for multiple ROG Strix GeForce RTX Turing based graphics cards. The water block itself uses the signature EK single slot slim look, and it covers the entire PCB length. This sophisticated cooling solution will transform your powerful ROG graphics card into a minimalistic, elegant piece of hardware with rich and addressable D-RGB LED lighting.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 441.20 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today posted GeForce 441.20 WHQL software. The drivers come game-ready for "Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order," and "Stormland." This includes SLI support for the latest Star Wars game. NVIDIA also introduced support for CUDA 10.2 compute API. The list of G-Sync compatible monitors has been expanded with three more displays. Among the issues addressed with this release are geometry corruption on GTX 900-series "Maxwell" GPUs with "Red Dead Redemption" in Vulkan; G-Sync getting disengaged when V-Sync is disabled in "Red Dead Redemption." Vulkan-related errors with "The Surge" have also been fixed. There's also a surprising bug-fix, "Quake 3 Arena" appearing washed-out when color-depth is set to 16-bit. Performance drops with "CS: GO" have also been addressed. Grab the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 441.20 WHQL Drivers

Torch The Competition With Seagate's FireCuda Gaming Storage Solutions

Seagate Technology, a world leader in data solutions, today added two new high-performance solutions to its industry-leading line of storage for gamers. The Seagate FireCuda 520 PCIe Gen4 x4 SSD and the FireCuda Gaming Dock featuring 4 TB of HDD storage capacity and an NVMe M.2 expansion slot for an optional ultra-fast SSD upgrade.

Built to deliver the intense speeds needed for the rigor of modern gaming, the FireCuda 520 SSD is the company's fastest solid-state drive and offers plug-and-play compatibility with all PCIe Gen4 motherboards. For laptop PC gamers looking for flexibility, the FireCuda Gaming Dock is an elite 4 TB HDD storage hub with an NVMe M.2 expansion slot for optional SSD upgrade that connects peripherals via a Thunderbolt 3 and offers a slick industrial design with LED illumination pushing your rig over the top.

Noctua Presents New Chromax line Fans and Accessories

Noctua today presented new additions to its chromax line of black, colour-customisable cooling fans. The new chromax.black.swap versions of the award-winning NF-A20, NF-A12x15, NF-A9, NF-A9x14 and NF-A8 fans as well as the corresponding NA-SAVP5 and NA-SAVP6 anti-vibration pads now give customers the option to colour-coordinate Noctua 200 mm, slim 120 mm, 92 mm, slim 92 mm and 80 mm fans with individual build designs and popular colour schemes such as all black, black and white or black and red.

"First introduced in 2015, our chromax line is aimed at customers who value individual, focused build aesthetics just as much as class-leading quality and performance," says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "With the new chromax.black.swap models, we're broadening the scope to include fan sizes other than the regular 120 and 140 mm formats, some of which should be particularly attractive for ITX and Small Form Factor builds."

Sharkoon Announces SGK5 Gaming Keyboard

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of PC components and peripherals, offering performance at a reasonable price. Sharkoon introduces the SKILLER SGK5, an RGB illuminated rubber dome keyboard for gamers. The keyboard has n-key rollover support, handy multimedia keys and a detachable wrist rest. The SKILLER SGK5 has an RGB background illumination with six zones and a range of 16.8 million colors. Preconfigured lighting effects are ready to use, and these can be selected, via dedicated keys, even without the use of software. For more personalized effects, a software is available as a free download, which allows the illumination to be modified as desired.

Commonly, rubber dome keyboards only have 2-key rollover, whereby a maximum of two keystrokes will be simultaneously registered. However, thanks to the SKILLER SGK5's n-key rollover, a number of keys can be pressed at the same time, and this will be reliably communicated to the keyboard's system. In combination with anti-ghosting technology, gamers will never lose control of the game, even when things get hectic. The detachable wrist rest of the SKILLER SGK5 can be magnetically fixed onto the keyboard with ease and provides optimal typing comfort. If the wrist rest is not needed, it can be just as easily removed.

Intel "Frost Canyon" NUC Based on "Comet Lake" SoC Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of Intel's new generation "Frost Canyon" NUC based on the company's 10th generation Core "Comet Lake-U" SoC. The top-spec variant, NUC10i7FN, is powered by a Core i7-10710U SoC, which packs a 6-core/12-thread CPU with 12 MB L3 cache, up to 4.70 GHz Turbo Boost, UHD Graphics clocked at 1.15 GHz, and 25 W cTDP (configurable TDP). The middle variant, NUC10i5FN, is powered by the 4-core/8-thread Core i5-10210U (up to 4.20 GHz CPU Turbo Boost, UHD Graphics with up to 1.00 GHz clocks, 8 MB L3 cache, and 25 W cTDP). At the entry level is the NUC10i3FN powered by the Core i3-10110U (2-core/4-thread CPU clocked up to 4.10 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache, UHD Graphics clocked up to 1.00 GHz, and 25 W cTDP).

Physically, these 10th generation NUCs look similar to their "Coffee Lake" powered predecessors codenamed "Bean Canyon," with the exception of just one each type-C and type-A USB 3.2 front panel ports. Other connectivity includes possible Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax WLAN), 1 GbE, HDMI 2.0, Thunderbolt 3 with DP output on the top model, and an additional pair of 10 Gbps USB 3.2 ports. Intel is likely to launch "Frost Canyon" on December 12.

In Win Unveils 925 Full Tower Case with Equal Intake-Exhaust Airflow

In Win unveiled the 925 full-tower chassis with a unique design that places three 120 mm exhaust fans at the case's rear to match the three 120 mm intake fans at the front. With it, the case achieves a balanced air pressure. A roughly 3.5-inch gap between the rear panel and the rear fan mounts ensures you can have these fans without blocking your expansion cards or the rear I/O. You unfasten four thumb-screws to detach the fan-mount and gain access to the rear I/O. When in place, your I/O cables are routed out through gaps along the sides or bottom of the mount. The left and right side panels are made of tinted tempered glass.

Inside, the In Win 925 features a conventional horizontally partitioned layout, with the upper compartment holding the motherboard tray that has room for an E-ATX (or smaller) motherboard, add-on cards up to 42 cm in length, CPU coolers up to 20 cm in height, and a vertical PCIe riser based mounting area. The bottom compartment has room for a PSU that's up to 20 cm in length. Storage options include two 3.5-inch caddies that can each hold 2.5-inch drives, two 3.5-inch mounts, and three 2.5-inch mounts. Ventilation includes three 120 mm or two 140 mm front intakes; three 120 mm rear exhausts, and three 120 mm top exhausts. Measuring 570 mm x 280 mm x 608 mm (HxWxD), the case dry-weighs 17.8 kg. Front panel connectivity includes a USB 3.1 type-C, two USB 3.1 type-A, and HDA jacks. Available from late-November, the In Win 925 is priced at 499€ (including VAT).

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Adds AMD FidelityFX Support Through a Patch

"Shadow of the Tomb Raider" received support for AMD FidelityFX through a patch. The latest Patch 18 update adds the FidelityFX toggle, letting you improve frame-rates by slightly reducing resolution-scale, resulting in higher frame-rates, and compensating for the image quality loss with the image-sharpening feature. NVIDIA GeForce users still have the option to use the Image Sharpening toggle in NVIDIA Control Panel introduced with GeForce R440 drivers. The patch also removes the restriction on character outfits when exploring the Hidden City location in game.
Monday, November 11th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
CPU Coolers
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Mouse
Processors
SSD
Xtrfy M4

Xtrfy M4

With the M4, Xtrfy joins the recent lightweight gaming mouse craze. Bringing a PixArt PMW3389, a weight of 69g, and full RGB capabilities to the table, the M4 should be worth a look for anyone who's in the market for a right-handed ergonomic gaming mouse.
Intel Core i9-9900KS

Intel Core i9-9900KS

The Core i9-9900KS is Intel's new consumer flagship processor. It runs at 5 GHz boost no matter how many cores are active, which translates into 10% application performance gained over the 9900K. Gaming performance is improved too, but pricing is high, especially compared to what AMD is offering.

Thermalright Rolls Out AXP-90 Full Copper CPU Cooler

Thermalright rolled out the AXP-90 Full Copper top-flow CPU cooler for low-profile PC builds. A smaller sibling of the AXP-100 Full Copper, and a variant of the aluminium-based original AXP-90, this cooler features a dense copper fin-stack that's arranged along the plane of the motherboard. Four 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes make indirect contact with the CPU over a mirror-finish copper base-plate, pulling heat through the fin-stack. A 15 mm-thick 92 mm TL-9015R fan ventilates the fin-stack. This fan takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins at speeds of up to 2,700 RPM, pushing up to 42.58 CFM of air, with as low as 22.4 dBA of noise output. With the fan in place, the AXP-90 Full Copper measures 97 mm x 92 mm x 47 mm (WxDxH), weighing 490 g. There are two sub-variants of the cooler specific to CPU socket type supported, the AXP-90 Full Copper LGA115X, and AXP-90 Full Copper AM4. Available on Chinese e-tailers such as T-Mall, the AXP-90 Full Copper is priced at RMB 299, or the equivalent of USD $42.70.

EK Launches D-RGB Water Blocks and Upgrade Kits for AMD RX 5700 Series

EK Water Blocks, the leading premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing EK-Quantum Vector Radeon RX 5700 +XT D-RGB water blocks that are compatible with reference design AMD Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT graphics cards. These water blocks are an evolution of the EK-Vector Radeon RX 5700 +XT RGB blocks which featured regular RGB. The new Quantum blocks feature 5 V D-RGB addressable LEDs for even more lighting customization and control of every LED diode separately.

As with its predecessor, this water block directly cools the GPU, 8 GB of GDDR6 memory, and VRM (voltage regulation module) as cooling liquid is channeled directly over these critical areas. The base of the block is made of high-grade copper or nickel-plated electrolytic copper while the top is made of high-quality acrylic material or black POM Acetal material (depending on the variant). The entire plexi covered block is lit up with D-RGB while the acetal version is implementing D-RGB in the aesthetic white corner piece. The top material does not affect the block performance in any way. The block also features a special plastic cover over the block Terminal which is also lit with addressable D-RGB. This add-on is designed to reveal the graphics card model, visible from the side. Sealing is ensured by high-quality EPDM O-Rings.

AMD Also Working to Bring Integer Scaling to Its Driver Suite

With NVIDIA and Intel already entrenched in the integer scaling field, which brings improved image quality to upscaled, pixel-art games, AMD was sure to follow. Vacuums in terms of feature set between different manufacturers of the same products aren't well looked at by consumers, and so AMD really has no choice but to advance into the integer scaling game as well. Recent Linux driver patches have been analyzed and found to contain multiple references to an integer scaling feature, which means that AMD is readying it for deployment and already on their way to work on its driver-level implementation.

Integer scaling works by looking at the base image and multiplying each pixel up to your monitor resolution, which brings in added sharpness without a single pixel's color being stretched over others. This way, a base 1080p presentation can easily be upscaled to a 4K resolution simply by syncing a given pixel's color information through 4 pixels - now you have a 4K screen that's rendering the same number of pixels as a 1080p one, with a block of four pixels acting as a single one. With integer scaling being the most requested feature on AMD's Adrenalin feedback page, so it seems pretty guaranteed we'll see the feature adopted eventually - perhaps even in AMD's own yearly big Adrenalin driver release, which could be dropping by this December, should history repeat itself.

MonsterLabo Designs Giant CPU, GPU Cooler Dubbed "The Heart"

MonsterLabo, a team of four people best known for their work on "The First" PC case, are at it again with giant pieces of PC component tech. This time, they took tried and true designs and sizes of CPU and GPU coolers and threw them into an enlargement ray, coming up with what they are calling "The Heart". As it stands, and it stands higher and heavier than all other cooling solutions hitherto, "The Heart" is a cooling solution that extends from your CPU through to your GPU, cooling both with its design of densely stacked fins.

Dimensions is where "The Heart" is bold, with the cooler measuring 200 by 185 mm and 265 mm tall. Adding insult to injury, its weight comes in at 6.6 lbs (3 Kg for us metric system aficionados). MonsterLabo rates the cooler's dissipation capabilities at 100 W CPU load and a 120 W GPU. Adding a 500-RPM 140 mm fan would bump those numbers to 140 W and 160 W, respectively. Mind these numbers apply to cases where "The Heart" is installed into MonsterLabo's own The First case, but differences should be relatively minor in any other case, should you actually be able to install it there. Of course, the combined CPU and GPU design will be very hit or miss - your graphics card will have to be perfectly compatible with the cooler, with its GPU set just right on the PCB for it to be perfectly covered by it. If you want to risk that, you can always drop $200 or €180 for The Heart, in either black or white finishes. Inexpensive for a heart, yes, but extremely expensive as a cooler with expected limited compatibility.

Cooler Master Introduces MM711 Lightweight Gaming Mouse and Variants of MM710

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative gaming peripherals and computer components, introduces new MM710 variations as well as the MM711 Gaming Mouse, an RGB variant of the MM710 that weighs a little less than 60 g. The MM711 takes the foundation of the MM710 and adds vibrant RGB LEDs to the scroll wheel and logo to further enhance its stylish, understated profile. Cooler Master's software enables full customizability of the RGB, allowing users to choose their personal colors and lighting effects.

"The MM711 is the ideal mouse for those who want premium, lightweight performance but with RGB capability," says Bryant Nguyen, Peripheral General Manager. "It adds another layer of personality to a mouse that is already striking in appearance and functionality."

Samsung Faces Factory Contamination

Today, Samsung's foundry division, dedicated to the manufacturing of DRAM chips, is facing challenges from mistakes that happened a few weeks ago. Those mistakes are in the form of contamination of the clean rooms, where all the tools necessary for the manufacturing of DRAM chips on 200 mm wafers got infected, and now Samsung is taking a multi-million dollar loss because the new wafers have to be scrapped.

Clean rooms are essential for the semiconductor manufacturing process, because they keep all the pollutants away from silicon, keeping silicon clean and ready for use. However, Samsung has not managed to keep a clean room for its DRAM manufacturing facility working with 200 mm wafers for 1x nm-class DRAM chips. The tools used for wafer processing have been contaminated and, therefore, the wafers themselves because of their interactions. Samsung has admitted that they have lost around "several billion South Korean won," resulting in millions of US dollars. The re-assuring thing that this will not significantly impact the DRAM market is that production is now going as planned, and the issue is sorted out, so we can hope this doesn't have any big impact on the DRAM prices.

URCDKeys Fall Sale: Prep for Holiday with Heavily Discounted Genuine Software

This Fall, it's not just the forests shedding green, but also prices of genuine, globally-valid software from URCDKeys. New low prices on Windows 10, Office 2016, and combinations of the two let you prep for a nice and comfy gaming PC build to keep you warm and snug this Holiday. Upgrades to Windows 10 from Windows 7 is another great gifting idea. With URCDKeys, you can budget your gaming PC build by allocating more money to the hardware, as the quality of the software doesn't degrade with price. Genuine, globally-valid Windows 10 Pro is priced at USD $12.49. A combo of Windows 10 Pro and Office 2016 Professional Plus is going for just $33.91. Windows 10 Pro is our preferred operating system for power-users, and Office 2016 Professional Plus is the productivity suite no premium home desktop feels complete without. Start saving with URCDKeys!

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Antec Announces the P120 Crystal Case

Antec Inc., leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, show off the latest model of the renowned Performance Series, the P120 Crystal. The chassis is commercially available from US$99.99.The P120 Crystal is the latest addition to Antec's Performance Elegant Series. This award-winning chassis series is synonymous with performance, silence, and build quality. The new P120 Crystal measures 475 x 232 x 480 mm. This elegant case is expertly combined with 0.8 mm and 1 mm steel and tempered glass front and side panel which enable a sturdy and durable build.

The mid-tower model features large interior space for powerful installations and support E-ATX, ATX, micro-ATX and ITX motherboards. The isolated power supply chamber and drive cages are positioned on top of the chassis. The sleek tower offers space for two 2.5" or 3.5" HDDs and two 2.5" SDDs and seven horizontal and three vertical expansion slots. To keep its cool, the P120 Crystal offers space for three 120 mm or two 140 mm case fans at the bottom, one 120 or 140 mm fan in the rear as well as up to three 120 mm or two 140 mm case fans on the side of the chassis.
Sunday, November 10th 2019

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 5700 Series AORUS Render Revealed

Here is the first render of GIGABYTE's premium Radeon RX 5700 Series custom-design graphics card that uses the company's coveted AORUS Gaming branding. This is the company's second custom-design card, after the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT Gaming OC series, based on a 2-slot thick WindForce 3X cooling solution. The AORUS-branded card uses a thicker triple-slot cooler that has more heatsink surface area for heat-dissipation, a triple-fan setup, more RGB LED embellishments and possibly a more exhaustive set of display outputs. These cards could also ship with the company's highest factory-overclock tuning for the RX 5700 series. GIGABYTE did not reveal pricing or availability information.
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