News Archive

Monday, January 23rd 2017

Corsair K95 Platinum Keyboard

With the Corsair K95 Platinum, the company introduces an upgraded microcontroller to the keyboard series which enables improved RGB lighting, dedicated macro keys and hardware playback. Also included is a lightbar and USB passthrough. The K95 Platinum doesn't come cheap though at $199.

Mushkin Launches Carbon KB-001 Mechanical Keyboard

Looking to extend its reach from its other product lines, Mushkin has now extended its product tendrils towards the mechanical keyboard spectrum, with the launch of the Carbon KB-001. Mushkin is apparently positioning the Carbon KB-001 as a high-end offering, boasting the usage of CNC'd and aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum, with the PCB being touted as a double fiberglass design. The aircraft-grade components are otherwise reflected on the coloring and overall accents of the keyboard, with the lateral red exhaust grills being (we suspect) reminiscent of those found in fighter jets.

The Carbon KB-001 offers RGB lighting and standard Kailh Brown switches, with other switch options' availability remaining unclear. Mushkin also mentioned a full-size 104-key keyboard with n-key rollover, a Windows key lock, anti-ghosting technologies, and a braided fiber cable, with pricing being reported at around the $70 mark.

Source: TechReport
Friday, January 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

PC Gaming Hardware Market Mints Billions, Exceeds $30 Billion - JPR

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), one of the most regarded research and consulting firms for graphics and multimedia, today announced that the global PC Gaming Hardware market has breached the $30 billion mark for the first time (let that sink in for a moment).

Comprised of pre and DIY built gaming computers, upgrades, and accessories such as input devices and audio/communication systems, the market exceeded $30 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a 6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) through 2019. Due of an entrenched PC gaming culture, large population, and a lack of significant console traction, the Asia Pacific Region is noted as leading the world in both growth and market size with a forecasted 7% CAGR to 2019 from a TAM (total addressable market) of almost $11.3 billion in 2016. However, North America and Western Europe both individually lead Asia Pacific for High-End hardware, albeit at lower growth rates of 5.78% and 6.63% vs. 9.61% respectively. The western appetite for PC gaming systems costing thousands of dollars is indeed strong (though we didn't need a JPR report to tell us that, now did we?).

Superflower Announces the Upcoming "Double Forward Platform" for their PSUs

Super Flower, a global leader in PC gaming power supplies (and whose designs are used by a multitude of PSU manufacturers ranging anywhere from 80+ Bronze to 80+ Platinum rated power supplies), today announced its upcoming double forward 80+ Bronze product line, with available wattages ranging from 400W to 850W, with the 750W , 800 W and 850 W also being available in semi-modular options. Super Flower's own innovative layout design with optimized & refined topology includes various first grade and high-quality components, on products with power ratings of 400W / 450W / 500W / 550W / 600W / 650W / 700W / 750W / 800W and 850W.

AOC Announces the Agon AG352UCG: Ultrawide 35", 3440*1440, 100 Hz and G-Sync

Joining the already considerable plethora of gaming-oriented monitor offers from the company, AOC has recently announced the launch of the Agon AG352UCG. As it happens with AOC's line of monitors, this one also has quite respectable - and dare I say near-perfect specifications.

It is a 35" behemoth of a monitor, though its ultrawide aspect ratio will undoubtedly make it look smaller due to the lower verticality of the display than in other screen formats; packs a 21:9, 3440*1440 AU Optronics VA panel with 100Hz refresh rate (and 4ms response time), as well as G-Sync support to boot. The panel boasts 100% sRGB coverage, and a 2000R curvature ratio.

COLORFUL Announces the iGameGTX1070 X-TOP-8G Advanced Limited

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, is proud to announce that gamers and eSports enthusiasts can now enjoy full customization and personalization with the latest Colorful iGameGTX1070 X-TOP-8G Advanced Limited graphics card. This card features the latest technologies from both NVIDIA's 10-series GPU as well as Colorful's own technology to enhance performance as well as bring out your personal style in your gaming rig.

Featuring the new Silver Shark cooler designed by Colorful, the iGameGTX1070 X-TOP-8G Advanced Limited delivers 3 key benefits in a single package: aggressive performance, aggressive cooling and aggressive styling. Thanks to the cooling performance of the Silver Shark cooler, this new card delivers faster performance so you can game to peak levels without any hitch while enjoying cool and quiet performance.
Thursday, January 19th 2017

Jonsbo UMX4

As a revised version of the UMX2, the UMX4 combines a steel chassis for maximum stability with an extravagant exterior designed in brushed aluminum. We take a closer look to see if the improvements are more than a simple number.

Toshiba to Spin-off NAND Production; WD to be Main Beneficiary

In an AMD-like move to generate more short-term liquidity so as to strengthen its somewhat precarious position, Toshiba may be moving towards one of the most interesting shakeups in the NAND production field: a possible spin-off of its NAND production business into a separate company.

This move to restructure comes in the wake of recent snags and strategic mistakes for the company - such as the $1.2 billion dollar accounting "misstated" earnings, which created difficulties for the company to refinance itself in the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Also not negligible was a gross miscalculation on the amount of debt of the CB&I Stone and Webster company that Toshiba acquired so as to facilitate its U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric nuclear plant subsidiary investment. This "miscalculation", where Toshiba considered the "goodwill" booking charges at $87 million, where recently restated as a roughly-defined "several billion U.S. dollars."

Logitech's New Addition to Their Gaming Mice Line-up - The G203 Prodigy

In another addition to their gaming mice product range, Logitech has gone and left behind the complex, sometimes overly contoured designs of recent gaming mice in developing their new G203 Prodigy. The G203 does present a design that is closer to a neutral one, with no particular ergonomics considerations for either a left-handed or right-handed person (save for the pair of left-side thumb buttons). This thus increases the overall number of users whose natural hand posture may allow them to use this gaming mouse with more comfort, though it does mean the mouse makes some sacrifices in overall ergonomics.

Light Up Your Gaming with Biostar B250 Motherboard Series

BIOSTAR is proud to announce its line-up of new motherboards based on the Intel B250 chipset as part of the 2nd-generation RACING series family of products with the announcement of the BIOSTAR RACING B250GT5 and B250GT3. Both motherboards support Intel's 7th-generation Core processors as well as native support for Intel Optane Memory technology for next-generation high-speed storage.
Wednesday, January 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Multimedia
Processors
SSD
Storage

Vortex CORE Keyboard

The Vortex CORE is a keyboard that takes up less than half the space as an average full size keyboard. It does this by having just 47 keys in what is referred to as a 40% keyboard layout. With no dedicated arrows, number keys and function keys, it still manages to be an extremely functional keyboard.

AMD's Radeon Pro Duo Deeply Discounted on Expected Vega Onslaught

Inventory clearing is as much a part of business as breathing is part of life; as such, various retailers have apparently started to offer deep, deep discounts on AMD's past technology in the form of their Radeon Pro Duo - the once and still king of the hill in the red camp, where performance and technology is concerned.

But as the "out with the old, in with the new" adage still stands, retailers are now clearing inventory of their Radeon Pro Duo graphics cards, sometimes offering almost 50% off from the original launch price of $1499. Newegg, for example, has the card for $799 on both their North American and Asia Pacific online stores.

Nanoxia Unveils Their New N.N.V. Series of Silent Fans

Nanoxia announces itself as the only brand in the PC industry allowed to make use of a specific piece of technology, employed by German car manufacturers to circulate air in the seat heating of their cars. This enables them to offer the first virtually vibration-free PC fan in the world.

You all know the effect what happens, when you connect a vibrating fan to a solid body - noise is generated. This is one of the main sources of fan generated noise. In order to counteract this effect, the user had to employ various forms of decoupling materials. With our fans of the Special N.N.V. series, this problem is solved once and forever. The new "No Vibrations" principle provides us with torques of a particularly pleasant nature.

Ozone Announces the Strike X30 Mechanical Keyboard

The Ozone gaming brand has recently announced a new addition to their mechanical keyboard line, the Strike X30. The brand new Strike X30 is powered with the latest RGB backlit technology which unlocks customizable lighting effects on each key, with 16.8 million colors and variety of lighting effects. For a more advanced configuration Ozone has included ten on the fly customizable color maps, and G-mode function to provide full customization.

"We are very pleased with the release of the Strike X30. We wanted to create a keyboard that includes all the major features required by the current gamers and at the same time make it affordable for everyone to enjoy it" says Rafael Borrego, Ozone's product engineer.

CRYORIG Announces the New "QF140 Performance" and "QF140 Silent" System Fans

CRYORIG, PC thermal solutions expert, has built upon the successful QF120 line of system fans so to release the new QF140 Performance and QF140 Silent 140 mm fans. The QF140, like the original QF120 line, features CRYORIG proprietary Quad Air Intake system. Four strategically placed air intakes are located on the corners of the QF140 fan frame, allowing the static pressure optimized fan blades take in extra air from the sides of the fan frame increasing overall air output. CRYORIG HPLN High Precision Low Noise fluid bearing is used again for low noise performance. Integrated rubber Vibration Absorbers also come preinstalled to absorb excess vibration. Both QF140 models are fully PWM capable for advanced user RPM control.

Sapphire Launches 1024 SP Version of RX 460 - Full Polaris 11 at 1250 MHz

As TPU has reported before, some versions of AMD's RX 460 graphics cards were able to be unlocked to their full configuration with a simple BIOS update. This raised some questions as to why AMD didn't initially launch the RX 460 as such, increasing their competitiveness against rival NVIDIA's offerings, but now, it seems at least one of AMD's AIB partners has decided to take action in releasing a fully unlocked Polaris 11 GPU.

Marketed as the Sapphire Radeon RX 460 Nitro OC, this is the first officially launched retail version of the full, unlocked Polaris 11 chip, with all of its stream processors unlocked, for a grand total of 1024 SPs against the usual, and much more meager, 896. This brings the card's peak theoretical throughput at 2.56 TFLOPs (versus the base 2.2 TFLOPs on the 896 SP version), while keeping the card's 75 W TDP.

Cooler Master Releases the MasterWatt Lite 230V PSUs

Cooler Master, a leader in design and manufacturing computer components and peripherals, on Tuesday announced the launch the newest addition to its power supply range, the MasterWatt Lite 230V. The Power Supply is the survival kit for reliable, affordable power. Built on simple reliability, in the box are all the essentials of a reliable engine so you don't have to think about it. Cooler Master added higher-end perks like Active PFC and PWM technology for more stability, and made sure the MasterWEatt Lite met ErP 2013 and CE ratings for safety and low energy impact, making it the survival kit for reliable, affordable power.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.1.1 Beta

AMD today released a new version of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive, which brings with it support for Capcom's Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, set to launch on January 23rd.

This driver also includes several fixes for previously identified issues: specific crashes on Dishonored 2 running with a R9 380 and flickering on Paragon with multi-GPU configurations. You can read the full list of fixed (and known remaining) issues after the break.

Unigine Superposition Benchmark not Good Enough for Steam

Unigine's dazzling-looking Superposition benchmark (which was due for a late 2016 launch but still hasn't made the rounds, having an expected release date on Q1 of the current year) won't be coming to your average PC gaming platform of choice: Steam.

Apparently, the absence of the benchmark on Steam isn't a choice made by Unigine itself; instead, the "Superposition" benchmark has effectively been locked from entering Steam's catalog on account of it not being "suitable" for their Greenlight initiative. And this comes on the toes of the benchmark having recently achieved the status of number one application on Greenlight - not an easy thing to do, considering the amount of applications that vie for that spot.
Tuesday, January 17th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
SSD

Pure Base 600: be quiet! Expands Portfolio With Versatile ATX Case

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years, introduces its newest ATX PC case, the multi-talented Pure Base 600. Designed and developed in Germany, the Pure Base 600 is flawless in its functional design and silent cooling while delivering a quality PC case at an attractive price. Built for cooling and performance, the Pure Base 600 includes two Pure Wings 2 case fans while also offering facilities for additional cooling products, including be quiet! water cooling systems and fans. be quiet! priced its Pure Base 600 case around an intelligent cost saving design that does not compromise functionality and noise reduction.

Genius Announces HS-G680 Surround Sound Gaming Headset

Genius, a leading global brand in personal peripheral devices for the digital world, is proud to announce its latest high-end offering for gamers with a premier gaming headset providing immersive audio that is light-weight in an aggressive design. The HS-G680 surround sound gaming headset is a 7.1 multi-channel device that enables gamers to hear and feel audio on a totally new level, adding realism to the experience, making you feel the intensity of the games you play.

Be part of the action with the immersive 50mm drivers and incredible surround sound for a lifelike experience as it feels just like you are in a battle. Hear footsteps, gauge distance and direction and detect sneaking enemies with great positional and spatial rendering from HS-G680. Keep the sounds to yourself and game while people around you talk without bothering you.

Antec Presents New Mini ITX Case Certified by EK Water Blocks

Antec Inc., a leading provider of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself market, has cooperated with EK Water Blocks (EKWB) to create a new Mini ITX case which offers PC enthusiasts the best watercooling options in a small format case. The Cube's case design has been certified by EKWB and is now available.

"This is the first time in the history of PC peripherals that a case manufacturer cooperated with a cooling company to offer enthusiasts the best of both worlds: an elegant, compact design paired with internal structures to install efficient cooling options", explains Jack Wu, General Manager Europe at Antec. "Our double-branded PC chassis will demonstrate a whole new scenario on the market for computer peripherals. We are very proud of this collaboration with EK Water Blocks."
Monday, January 16th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Game Controllers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Ballistix Elite 3200 MHz DDR4 16 GB

Crucial's Ballistix Elite DDR4 are on our test bench today. These 3200 MHz 4 GB DIMMs are the top speed Crucial offers right now, featuring large heatsinks and fairly respectable timings. Also included is a nice software suite that lets you monitor temperatures and adjust the LED lighting.

Seagate is Shutting Down One of Its Largest HDD Assembly Plants

The woes for the trusty old HDD continue, as Seagate, one of the world's biggest players on the HDD manufacturing field, has confirmed they are closing up one of their largest plants. The factory, located in Suzhou, China, is one of the company's largest HDD production epicenters, and its closure will significantly reduce the company's HDD output - a step in the company's purported "optimizations" towards reducing their HDD production capabilities from 55-60 million HDDs per quarter to around 35-40 million. Production and demand's age-old feud are once again taking their toll, as demand for spindle-drive technology subsides on the wake of SSDs increased performance and consecutive price declines, with most laptops now shipping with either SSD-based storage or cheaper, yet less power-hungry, eMMC solutions.

Gamdias Introduces the Zeus P1, M1 and E1 Gaming Mice

Gamdias has recently introduced three new gaming mice with general availability, and an interesting take on the mice product wars: instead of developing different designs and ergonomics for virtually every different mice available in their portfolio, Gamdias seems to be taking an approach more in-line with boutique PC makers and OEM assemblers. They develop a single chassis, and then market several different tiers of products around that same base design.

The Gamdias Zeus P1, M1 and E1, therefore, are based on the same generally ambidextrous design (though the existence of two additional thumb buttons on the left side of the mice does take a little away from a true ambidextrous design), with the Zeus P1 being the top-of-the-line model - with a 12.000 DPI sensor (identical to the one found on the M1, but higher quality than the 7.000 DPI one on the M1) and full RGB lighting (of which the M1 also makes use, while the E1 makes do with "multi-color" lighting).

MSI Z270 Motherboards Automate Core i7-7700K Overclock to 5.20 GHz

The "Game Boost" overclock automation feature the UEFI setup program of MSI Z270 motherboards, apparently is successful in overclocking Core i7-7700K processors to 5.20 GHz with liquid CPU cooling. Most motherboard vendors include some degree of automated overclocking with their motherboards, which let overclocking novices squeeze a little bit of extra performance out of their CPU and memory without having to tinker with settings they know nothing about. These technologies use automated trial-and-error overclocking and stability testing over multiple reboots, to achieve a somewhat high overclock setting that takes system stability and temperatures into account.

The highest automated overclock setting of MSI "Game Boost" within its UEFI setup program of the company's Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard is having success in getting the CPU to run at 5.20 GHz. The program presents the user with 11 grades of overclock. At its highest grade, the program pushes the CPU all the way to 5.20 GHz, with 52x 100 MHz multiplier/base-clock setting, a vCore voltage of 1.507V, vDIMM of 1.2V, and disabled C-states. Keeping this overclock stable, however, took AIO liquid CPU cooling.

Source: LegitReviews
Saturday, January 14th 2017

Presenting the New TechPowerUp iOS App

TechPowerUp today announced its new app for iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. Developed masterfully by Mugur Moscaliuc, the app gets you all of our content at your fingertips, with a clean, streamlined user interface that's highly responsive. The app presents our reviews and news in a format that's best suited for small screens. It also gets you a fully functional version of TechPowerUp Forums, our rich and vibrant community of PC enthusiasts.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp App (App Store)
Friday, January 13th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Storage

CRYORIG A80

CRYORIG looks to improve their share of the all-in-one liquid cooler market by dominating the competition with the A80. Featuring their unique Hybrid Airflow Fan paired with a large 280 mm radiator, this interesting design might just turn a few heads.

Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake-based Systems Vulnerable to USB Exploit

At this year's CCC hacker congress, researchers from Positive Technologies have released information, which documents vulnerabilities in Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake series processors' handling of USB 3.0-based debugging - which could be used to attack, corrupt, and even subvert a user's system.

This vulnerability allows attackers to bypass typical security mechanisms - both at the hardware and at the OS level - by using a new debugging interface, which could allow them to install malware and/or rewrite the system's firmware and BIOS. The exploit is currently undetectable using existing security tools, and according to the researchers, this mechanism can be used on a hacked system regardless of the OS installed.

BIOSTAR Announces Line-up of Z270 Motherboards

BIOSTAR is proud to announce the full line-up for the new 2nd-generation RACING series motherboards featuring support for Intel's 7th-generation Core processors. Following the announcement last week of the flagship RACING Z270GT9, today BIOSTAR proudly announces the different level products of the new RACING series family with the introduction of the RACING Z270GT8, RACING Z270GT6 and RACING Z270GT4 motherboards featuring the latest technology from BIOSTAR inspired by the quest for the best in gaming features. The 2nd-gen RACING series Z270 motherboard lineup brings a new level of gaming experience and performance-oriented motherboards to gamers and enthusiasts.
Thursday, January 12th 2017

Today's Reviews

Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Ozone Announces the Neon M50 Gaming Mouse

The international gaming manufacturer today announced the launch of a new optical pro gaming mouse that combines precision, a high-resolution Pixart sensor, superior control in any crucial moment while in-game and style, as it allows buttons and lighting customization. The latest member to the new generation of Neon series, M50 is crafted to withstand the competitive demands of gamers.

Ozone's expertise in eSports is proved once again providing a pro gaming mouse that meets the high demands of esports athletes and enthusiast gamers today. " We are well known for our continual support to pro gamers and eSport organizations and we are constantly learning from them. We know what they need, and what challenges they hav e to face in every single tournament ", comments Rojo Galvín, Ozone's General Brand Manager.

AMD's Vega-based Cards to Reportedly Launch in May 2017 - Leak

According to WCCFTech, AMD's next-generation Vega architecture of graphics cards will see its launch on consumer graphics solutions by May 2017. The website claims AMD will have Vega GPUs available in several SKUs, based on at least two different chips: Vega 10, the high-end part with apparently stupendous performance, and a lower-performance part, Vega 11, which is expected to succeed Polaris 10 in AMD's product-stack, offering slightly higher performance at vastly better performance/Watt. WCCFTech also point out that AMD may also show a dual-chip Vega 10×2 based card at the event, though they say it may only be available at a later date.

NVIDIA's GeForce 1080 Ti Reportedly to be Announced at PAX East

After disappointing scores of potential buyers by skipping a GTX 1080 Ti announcement at CES - which could have been a last-moment decision on the company's part when AMD failed to make any relevant VEGA announcement - it looks like NVIDIA has chosen the grand stage of PAX East, which begins at March 10th, as the place to carry the previously-confirmed addition to their Pascal line of GPUs.

This information (which should be taken with a maybe unhealthy grain of salt) came to light by way of an MSI (NVIDIA's AIB partner) representative, which also mentioned that the 1080 Ti would be available from board partners (including, naturally, MSI itself) at time of launch.

Source: TechBuyer'sGuru

AMD Begins Sampling Entry-Level Ryzen Chips - 4 Cores With SMT Disabled

With AMD's Ryzen chips launch being ever closer to us, details about its product line - which still remain mysterious enough - eventually begin to slip. Reportedly, AMD's entry-level Ryzen chips - the SR3 line of processors, if previous leaks ring true, will be made up of 4-core processors with AMD's SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading), the equivalent to Intel's HT (Hyper-Threading) disabled. These will be, apparently, true 4-core processors, without any additional logical processors exposed by SMT.

Eurocom Launches the 15.6" Tornado F5 - 4K, GTX 1080, i7 7700K, 64 GB DDR4 RAM

Eurocom launches the fully upgradeable, high performance 15.6" Tornado F5 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics, Intel Core i7 7700K processor, 64 GB DDR4 memory via four slots, dual M.2 SSD slots and a 4K 15.6" display.

EUROCOM Tornado F5 users who own an Intel Core i7-6700K SKU can upgrade to the i7-7700K since the two processors share the same LGA 1151 socket. The EUROCOM Tornado F5 is one of the few laptops with a Z170 chipset, LGA 1151 CPU socket and MXM 3.0 graphics slot for a wide range of customization options. Two M.2 SSD PCIe x2/x4 or SATA SSD and one 9.5mm SATA3 6Gb/s storage drive is also supported to offer a great combination of capacity and speed. Four memory slots are available to support up to 64 GB of DDR4 SODIMM. Customers have a 15.6" FHD matte display and a 4K matte display to choose from as well.

AMD's Ryzen Chips to Launch Before March 2017's GDC

It would appear as if AMD has seemingly (and not purposely) given us some lights as to when their hotly anticipated Ryzen chips will hit the wild - and some of our wallets. While they haven't specifically given an exact date, the talk to be given by AMD at the annual Game Developer Conference (GDC) reads: "Join AMD Game Engineering team members for an introduction to the recently-launched AMD Ryzen CPU followed by advanced optimization topics". The "recently-launched tidbit is the most important, since it places Ryzen's launch necessarily before the end of GDC - which will happen between February 27th and March 3rd. AMD has, in the meantime, altered the original headline by cutting the "recently launched" tidbit altogether.
Wednesday, January 11th 2017

Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis GTR 360 Radiator

Hardware Labs has been a mainstay in the PC DIY watercooling industry for over 15 years now, with an emphasis on radiators for different needs. Today, we take a look at the new Nemesis GTR 360 for those who want the best possible thermal dissipation performance from their radiators.

PC Market Stabilizes with Solid Fourth Quarter Shipments: IDC

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (Desktop, Notebook, and Workstation) totaled 70.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016 (4Q16), posting a year-on-year decline of 1.5%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The results continued the recent trend of stabilizing growth, which has been in decline since 2012.

Annually, shipments of traditional PCs slipped to 260 million units, down 5.7% from 2015. The first quarter of 2016 was still constrained by high inventory, free Windows 10 upgrades, and difficult comparisons to commercial replacements in 2014 that were fueled by the end of support for Windows XP. However, mid-2016 and particularly the recent fourth quarter have moved beyond these inhibitors and seen stabilizing commercial demand. Contraction of the consumer PC market has also slowed as growth and competition from tablets and phones has eased up. Recent quarters have faced some tight supply of components such as SSDs, displays, and memory. The supply constraints did not significantly slow overall shipments, and in fact may have boosted growth slightly and accelerated market consolidation as the largest players moved to lock up supply.

Synology Launches Synology Router RT2600ac and VPN Plus

Synology Inc. today launched the RT2600ac, a high-speed, security-focused router designed to accommodate the modern home and office. Packed with powerful packages inside an intuitive interface, the RT2600ac delivers robust performance with stable, uninterrupted wired and wireless connections for multiple users. In addition, VPN Plus is officially released to allow users of Synology Router to set up a powerful, on-premises VPN solution.

To maximize user experience and network performance, the RT2600ac is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, and comes equipped with the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 certified radios featuring MU-MIMO support, ensuring more devices can connect at higher speeds. Together with Smart Connect, RT2600ac can intelligently optimize connection quality and balance devices on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radios for maximum wireless speed and range. Dual WAN with 2.0 Gbps combined bandwidth allows users to take advantage of two high speed fiber internet connections for load balancing plus failover.

Cooler Master Announces the #Masterbuild Platform

Cooler Master today unveils a new PC building community platform to discover, share and collaborate with PC builders and Modders from around the world. "Our mission is to empower the community of PC builders, Modders, and Makers of all skill levels to enhance the experience of exploring the fun of building and personalizing PCs," said Raymen Wu, Marketing Director of APAC sales and Modding Community Outreach.

The platform will give you open access to a wealth of information about PC building and the people who are pushing the limits of what that means. This is a place where you can discover content of various types to suit your own desires and needs. If you're looking for something basic like pictures, there is a gallery of custom built PCs from all over the world and a community feed of rigs people are sharing via social media. For meatier content there are featured articles about various topics related to modding and PC building, tutorials to help you craft the build of your dreams, and live events so you can connect directly with other builders.

ASRock Lets Their DeskMini Micro-STX PCs Smile for the Camera

At CES 2017, ASRock showcased one of the most interesting PCs in attendance - particularly if you think interest is inversely affected by size. The name they gave it was DeskMini, and it ushers in a Micro-STX form factor, measuring only 210 mm x 157.5 mm x 81.9 mm. But mini-PCs are many these days. What makes this one so interesting?

Well, it's the fact that this seems to embody the perfect proportions - and compromise - between a high-powered PC and a puny NUC or Mini-PC. For one, it carries any choice of a Celeron/Pentium/i3/i5/i7 Intel processor on the socket 1151 (up to a i7 7700K); supports up to a max of 32 GB DDR4 at 2400 MHz on 2x SO-DIMM slots; features 2x SATA III ports (with power connectors) and 3x M.2 ports (two of which support Type 2280/2260 M.2 PCIe Gen 3x4 or a SATA SSD, while the other supports only a PCIe Gen3x4-based SSD); and your choice of either an NVIDIA GTX 1060 (on the GTX series) or an AMD RX 460/470/480 on the (aptly named) RX series.

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Mini is the World's Smallest GTX 1080

With a TDP of 180W, it was only a matter of time before we started to see ever more compact GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards, since it is after all based on the third largest implementation of the "Pascal" architecture (after GP100 and GP102). The ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Mini is the smallest GTX 1080 implementation to date, with its length of 8.3" inches (just about 21cm), and its PCB even shorter than that. ZOTAC used the difference in lengths of the cooler and PCB to cram in the longer and wider portions of the aluminium fin-stacks.

The cooler of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Mini features five 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes, which pass through a dense aluminium fin-stack, which is then ventilated by 90 mm (left) and 100 mm (right) fans. The fan in the front appears to be of a quieter, low-RPM type, while the one on the rear end is a high air-flow fan. A neat back-plate covers up the reverse side of the PCB. An LED-lit ZOTAC logo is located on the top. The card ships with factory-overclocked speeds of 1620 MHz core, 1753 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 10 GHz (GDDR5X-effective) memory, compared to reference speeds of 1607/1733 MHz. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector. Display outputs include three DisplayPorts and one each of HDMI and DVI. This design should allow ZOTAC to achieve two market positions - charge a premium for the compact size; or sell at a lower price than reference, if the competition heats up.

Plextor Details Release Availability of their M8Se NVMe TLC SSDs

At CES 2017, Plextor announced their next SSD product line. Dubbed the M8Se, these will be restricted to NVMe SSDs with 15nm 3-bit-per-cell TLC of Toshiba manufacture, ranging from 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1TB capacities leveraged by Marvell's Eldora controller.

The new mid-range NVMe SSD uses a new heatsink design (slight cost-reduction when compared with the one the M8Pe carries), that Plextor says will improve cooling by up to 20% - convenient, since throttling does happen with NVMe based SSDs - and particularly with Marvell's Eldora controller - as it did with Plextor's M8Pe line of SSDs. The card also features blue accent lighting. Plextor will also sell a heatsink-less M8PeGN model in the M.2 form factor.

In Win's Classic, Premium, Force (F1), and Force (FM) PSUs Pictured at CES 2017

In Win, who recently announced a partnership with EKWB in some of its cases, showed of some PSUs that will hit retail availability this year. The cover the full spectrum of a given product line, with flagship (Classic), high-tier (Premium), mid-range and entry-level (FM and F1) PSUs. Having their very own production line ensures In Win can continuously test and improve their CPU designs without being dependent on other manufacturers.

Windows 10 KB3213986 Update Cripples Multi-monitor Gaming

The recent Cumulative Update for Windows 10 (KB3213986) cripples multi-monitor gaming, looking at the way Microsoft worded its "known issues" text. After the update is applied, users with multi-monitor setups could experience screen stuttering or clipped screens when running 3D apps on machines with more than one monitor. The only workaround Microsoft suggests for now entails running your 3D apps in non-fullscreen modes, such as windowed-maximized (pseudo-fullscreen) or windowed modes. Microsoft also goes as far as to suggest that people with multi-monitors could try starting their 3D apps with just one monitor connected.

"Users may experience delayed or clipped screens while running 3D rendering apps (such as games) on systems with more than one monitor," the change-log for the KB3213986 update reads. "To work around this issue please consider the following options: 1. Running the application in Windows mode (not full screen), or 2. Starting the application with only one monitor connected," it adds. The update effectively cripples multi-monitor gaming, using technologies such as AMD Eyefinity or NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround.
Source: Microsoft

Intel Adds Hyper-Threading to Its Kaby Lake-based Pentium CPUs

Intel Corporation has made a slight tweak to its product line: the addition of Hyper-Threading to some of its processors which, traditionally, didn't carry it. This includes the Pentium G4620 (3.7 GHz base frequency and integrated graphics HD 630, $93) and G4600 (3.6 GHz base frequency, $82), both at 51 W TDP; G4560 (54W TDP at 3.5 GHz and integrated HD 610 graphics, $64); and the Pentium G4600T (3 GHz, HD 630, $75) and G4560T (2.9 GHz, HD 610, $64) slot in as the low power Pentium offerings with a 35W TDP. All of these processors now carry 2 physical cores, which the system sees exposed as 4 logical cores due to their Hyper-Threading enablement.

Tesoro Also Unveils the In-Ear Pro Gaming Headphones

Tesoro, at its 2017 International CES booth unveiled its first in-ear headphones for gamers on the move. Called simply the Tesoro In-Ear Pro, these headphones feature durable metallic bodies with magnetic tips on the opposite ends (rear ends) of the earbuds, letting them stick to each other, for easier storage. Under the hood, these headphones feature 9.2 mm drivers that are tuned for gaming audio. The microphone is in-line, and located on a pod that can also be used for call/end (compatible with iOS and Android). The cables are flat, and designed to minimize tangling. A carry case comes included.

Tesoro Unveils a Slim Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Tesoro, at its 2017 International CES booth, unveiled am unnamed new slim mechanical keyboard. The keyboard comes with a maximum thickness of 12 mm (including keys). Such keyboards were only possible with membrane-type keys. Tesoro's keyboard gives you the tactile feedback and durability you'd expect from mechanical switches. The prototype shown at CES has a common 104-keyset with media shortcuts being enabled through function keys. The company didn't mention the maker of its switches beyond mentioning "blue," so it could be either Cherry MX Blue, or Kailh Blue. Tesoro will give this keyboard a few more finishing touches before rolling it out in Q2, 2017.
Tuesday, January 10th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
SSD

G.Skill Trident Z 3200 MHz C14 32 GB

G.Skill has long been a bastion of affordable high-performance memory, and their Trident Z line-up is the ultimate version of what DDR4 they have on offer. Featuring a large heatsink ready for some abuse, G.Skill's Trident Z sticks now can also be had in other colors!

ECS Updates and Expands LIVA Mini-PC Family - Z, Z Plus and ZE Models Pictured

At CES 2017, ECS showcased a number of ultra-compact form-factor PCs. basically building upon their previous LIVA family releases, the new LIVA feature either Intel's Apollo Lake SoCs (with Celeron Processors N3350 / N3450 / N4200 and 6 W TDP) on the Z and ZE, or Intel's Kaby Lake-U processors (Intel Core i3-7100U / i5-7200U / i7-7500U and 15W TDP) on the Z Plus.

The Z Plus is obviously the most powerful of the lot, supporting DDR4 memory (the Z and ZE support only DDR3), having better integrated graphics (Intel's HD 620 versus the Intel HD 500/500 on the Z and ZE models), and having an expected extra energy consumption (an external 65 W adapter on the Z Plus versus a 40 W external adapter on the other two models).

SilverStone ECM22 Gives You Two Additional M.2 Slots

SilverStone showed us the ECM22, a neat accessory that provides M.2 slots to machines that lack them. The half-height PCI-Express 3.0 x4 addon card gives you two M.2-22110 (110 mm long) slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x2 wiring. One of the two slots features SATA wiring, which simply relays connection from a SATA port on your motherboard. The card doesn't have any native logic of its own, and as such NVMe booting support will depend on your motherboard BIOS supporting it. It could still come as a boon to setups such as video-editing rigs, in which the creative professional could want as many high-bandwidth storage devices as possible.

Digital Storm Showcases Its "Aventum 3" Update

At CES 2017, Digital Storm made sure to showcase the computer case to devour all others: the Aventum 3 stands tall and deep with 28" height and more than 25" front-to-back, this is a truly massive tower, with room for more fans (it has about 20), cables (more than can be sanely counted), and custom liquid cooling than two or three mid-tower-size typical desktops.

Alphacool Showcases its Eiswand 360 CPU AIO External Cooling System

At CES 2017, Alphacool showcased their external, AIO cooling solution for all your CPU cooling needs. What's really interesting about this solution is that it's fully external (barring the cooling tubes), meaning that no amount of heat will be dissipated inside your computer case, which should, in turn, improve overall temperatures in your system's components. And it also stands as a solution for users whose PC case doesn't support a 360mm radiator.

A 360mm XT45 Copper radiator makes up the bulk of the Eiswand. A total of six 700 RPM Eiswand Fans set up in a push-pull configuration keep the system cool, with two DC-LT Low noise ceramic pumps act as the Eiswand's heart, with universal socket compatibility guaranteeing you can use it in your system. The Eiswand also features a LED base that lights-up blue when powered.

Lian Li Unveils the PC-T70 Open-bench Chassis Which Can Close

For those who wish their open-air pedestal cases can close at times, to stop eating dust, Lian Li has a solution, in the PC-T70. This is a 2-deck open-air chassis, with an acrylic window that covers the top and front sides of the top deck. You can remove this cover by simply unfastening a few thumbscrews. The top deck has room for an E-ATX/ATX/micro-ATX motherboard with graphics cards up to 33 cm long (practically limitless with the lid removed), and CPU coolers as tall as 18 cm (limitless with the lid removed).

The bottom deck of the PC-T70 gives you room for the PSU (up to 35 cm in length), two 3.5-inch drive bays, and four 2.5-inch drive bays. The case has several fan mounts, including six 140 mm intakes, which convert to eight 120 mm intakes, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. The front panel features two USB 3.0 ports, and HDA jacks. The company didn't reveal pricing.

In Win Shows Off the 303 Type-C Chassis

In Win showed off a new variant of its 303 chassis, the 303 Type-C. As its name suggests, the case features a USB 3.1 type-C front panel port, backed by standard USB 3.0/3.1 headers, besides two each of USB 3.0/3.1 and USB 2.0/1.1 type-A ports; and standard HDA audio jacks. The case is otherwise identical to the original In Win 303, which it launched in May 2016.

Kingston Shows Off HyperX Predator LED DDR4 Memory

Kingston showed off its HyperX Predator LED DDR4 memory, featuring RGB multi-color LED lighting elements lining the top of the modules. At this point it's not clear how the colors and lighting schemes are set, but from the looks of it, these seem to support ASUS Aura Sync software. The modules feature soft-glow prismatic bars. The company is initially launching these modules in DDR4-3000 MHz speeds, in densities of 8 GB and 16 GB, and in dual-channel kits. It didn't mention pricing or availability.

EpicGear .50Cal Gaming Set Detailed

When you think of gaming peripheral combos, you often imagine a pack of three entry-level peripherals (keyboard, mouse, headset), which come at a passable bargain together, but which you wouldn't buy in parts. EpicGear is out to change that perception with its new .50Cal gaming set. Housed in a premium carry case that no building security guard will let you pass without peeking into, is a monstrous combo of company's flagship Defiant EG MMS keyboard, flagship ZorA IR gaming mouse, a Thunderouz EG-AMP headset, GryphuZ mousepad, Scorpios mouse bungee, Defiant side-stand (headset stand), Defiant Tournament palm-rest, and a 24-key switch pack for the Defiant EG MMS keyboard.

The Defiant EG MMS is the only mechanical keyboard in which you can not only replace the keycaps, but also hotswap the underlying mechanical switches, so you can have specific keys feel a certain way. The gaming set includes 24 such keys you can replace the keyboard's default Cherry MX Red keys with. Also included is the ThunderouZ EG-AMP, which features a 7-channel headphones amp. The ZorA IR, as its name suggests, comes with an infrared optical sensor, with 3,500 dpi resolution. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability information.

GeIL Shows Off its EVO-X DDR4 Memory with Remote Controlled RGB Lighting

GeIL showed off its EVO-X series of high-end DDR4 memory, featuring RGB multi-colored LED lighting elements, lining the top of the modules. These DIMMs plug into a control module (included), which takes inputs from an RF remote control, that lets you set color and lighting pattern for each of the DIMMs. The EVO-X series will come in densities of 8 GB and 16 GB, in white and black heatspreader colors, in various DDR4 frequencies, and in dual- and quad-channel kits, making up for dozens of SKUs.

ECS B350AM4-M Socket AM4 Motherboard Pictured

ECS showed off its B350AM4-M, which appears to be the company's only socket AM4 motherboard, for now. This micro-ATX board is based on AMD's mid-tier B350 chipset. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 6-phase VRM. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a second x16 slot that's electrical x4, and one each of x1 and legacy PCI slots. Storage connectivity includes two M.2 slots, and four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. 6-channel HD audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of it.

DeepCool Shows Off its QuadStellar Chassis

Building on the legacy of its TriStellar series cases, DeepCool unveiled the bigger, four-lobed QuadStellar chassis. Unlike the TriStellar, which housed mini-ITX motherboards, the QuadStellar is much larger, and designed for full-fledged ATX motherboards. The central axis to the four lobes is more functional than it is on the TriStellar, as two opposing lobes can now meet in the middle to make up a large continuous chamber to house the ATX motherboard, and its 8 expansion slots. One of the other two lobes houses the PSU bay with a few drive bays; while the other lobe has three additional PCI-Express x16 slot risers, and a few more drive bays. The case measures 523 mm x 485 mm x 485 mm. It features nine 3.5-inch and twelve 2.5-inch drive bays. DeepCool plans to launch this case by May 2017.

DeepCool Also Intros the New Ark 90 Chassis

DeepCool also unveiled its glassy New Ark 90 chassis, with factory-fitted CPU liquid cooling. This ATX mid-tower chassis features a 3-sided tempered glass panel covering the left side, and three quarters of the top and front panels. Under the hood, is a horizontally partitioned layout, with the larger top half housing the motherboard tray and three 120 mm fan mounts that exhaust out of the right side panel, and which can hold on to a 360 x 120 mm radiator.

The bottom compartment of the New Ark 90 features the PSU bay and two 3.5-inch drive caddies. The included DeepCool Captain 120EX AIO liquid cooler has a 120 mm x 120 mm radiator that's factory-fitted to one of the 120 mm top exhausts. The pump-block comes with AMD socket AM4 support, besides support for most common CPU socket types. The company plans to release the New Ark 90 to the market some time in May 2017.
Monday, January 9th 2017

DeepCool Intros the Baroncase Liquid Chassis

DeepCool introduced a new line of cases with factory-fitted CPU liquid cooling, beginning with the Baroncase Liquid. This ATX mid-tower chassis appears short, but that's because its PSU bay is located where you'd expect a 5.25-inch drive cage to be. DeepCool is marketing it as a micro-ATX case, which happens to support ATX motherboards. You'll notice that it has just 5 expansion slot covers. You get room for the two extra expansion slots (of ATX boards) by removing one of two 3.5-inch drive stacks lined along the base.

The PSU (not included) stands vertical near the front portion of the case, with its fan intake facing forwards (through the front panel). The included DeepCool Captain 120EX AIO liquid cooler features RGB LED lighting on its pump+block assembly, and its 120 mm radiator comes factory-fitted to the top exhaust. One of the case's 2.5-inch drive bays is lined on top of the side drive cage, so it's visible through the tempered-glass side-panel. Available from April 2017, the Baroncase Liquid is expected to be priced at US $130.

Corsair Vengeance RGB Series Memory Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of Corsair Vengeance RGB series DDR4 memory. Built on the same product design as the Vengeance RGB series the company launched at Computex 2016 (June), these DIMMs feature RGB LED lighting elements, with software control directly through the DIMM interface, without needing any additional wires or physical button pushes. Each DIMM can display a single color from the 16.7 million-color RGB palette at a given time. These DIMMs could come in densities of 8 GB and 16 GB, and in various DDR4 speeds, and in single-module, dual-channel, and quad-channel kits.

Corsair TX-M Series Power Supply Series Pictured

Corsair unveiled its TX-M line of mid-range semi-modular power supplies. Based on the existing 2016 TX-series, these units feature fixed 24-pin ATX and 4+4 pin EPS connectors, and modular PCIe, SATA, and Molex/Berg connectors, with flat cabling for these connectors and the EPS connector. Compared to older generations of TX-series PSUs, these units boast of 80 Plus Gold efficiency, all-Japanese capacitor innards, rifle-bearing fans, and 7-year warranties. The series includes 550W (TX550M), 650W (TX650M), 750W (TX750M), and 850W (TX850M) variants.

Cooler Master Also Shows Off the MasterLiquid Lite Series

Cooler Master showed off a new line of cost-effective AIO closed-loop liquid CPU coolers, the MasterLiquid Lite series. The lineup has just one model as of now, the MasterLiquid Lite 120. The cooler retains the dual-chamber pump-block from the original MasterLiquid liquid series, and its 25 mm-thick 120 mm x 120 mm radiator, but lacks the sleeved tubing. The FEP tubing is still sturdy. The cooler also includes just one 120 mm fan, compared to two fans being included with the MasterLiquid 120. The cooler is expected to be 15-20% cheaper than the MasterLiquid 120.

Cooler Master Shows Off the MasterLiquid Pro RGB Series

Cooler Master showed off the MasterLiquid Pro RGB line of all-in-one closed-loop liquid CPU coolers. The lineup includes the MasterLiquid Pro 120 RGB, which comes with a 120 mm x 120 mm radiator; and the MasterLiquid Pro 240 RGB, which comes with a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator. The only thing that sets these coolers apart from the standard MasterLiquid Pro series, are the fans, with RGB multi-color LED elements. Although each fan has four LEDs, they all glow in just one color you set (using a simple local button), nothing fancy/app-controlled.

ASUS DIMM.2 is an M.2 Riser Card

Here's a close-up view of the DIMM.2 accessory being included with ASUS Maximus IX Apex motherboard. The DIMM.2 card is a riser designed to decongest the crowded motherboard that has no room for M.2 slots. The DIMM.2 accessory is a PCB with two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and a riser interface that's similar to a DDR3 DIMM (so inserting DDR3 DIMMs this slot won't work).

ASUS ProArt PA32U is a Beautiful 4K-HDR Monitor

ASUS ProArt series of monitors are designed to look good on a corporate hotshot's desk, and the PA32U is no exception. This 32-inch monitor features a Quantum Dot display panel, which can reproduce 99.5% of the Adobe RGB color-space, 85% of REC.2020, 95% of DCI-P3, and 100% of sRGB. The star attraction here is 4K-HDR support, which is achieved using a full 384-zone direct-LED backlight matrix. The LED driver electronics operate at 1 ms, for more realistic HDR in videos. The monitor takes input from Thunderbolt, in addition to DisplayPort.

ASUS Also Unveils the ROG GR8 II Gaming Desktop

ASUS launched its smaller yet more powerful gaming desktop than the VivoPC X, it also unveiled this CES. The Republic of Gamers (ROG) GR8 II is the second generation GR8 compact gaming desktop. It's roughly the size of a PlayStation 4 console, but packs a wallop - Intel Core i7-7700 "Kaby Lake" processor, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB graphics. Also featured is up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, M.2 PCIe SSD, and an additional 2.5-inch SATA HDD. The chassis features RGB LED lighting elements, which can be controlled using the ASUS Aura Sync software.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 16.12.2 WHQL

AMD today released the latest version of its Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition. The reason these are not marked 17.1, after January 2017, is because they're just WHQL-signed versions of the 16.12.2 beta drivers released in December 2016, and as such feature an identical change-log. Grab them from the links below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 16.12.2 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8.1 64-bit | Windows 8.1 32-bit | Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 7 32-bit

ASUS Shows Off its VR-Ready VivoPC X

ASUS, at its 2017 International CES booth, showed off its VR-Ready gaming desktop for the living room, the VivoPC X. Roughly the size of a PlayStation 4 Pro game console, this desktop meets Oculus Rift premium requirements. Under the hood is a custom-design motherboard that lacks display connectors of its own, so you don't confuse them with those of the graphics card.

Driving the VivoPC X is an Intel Core i5-7500 "Kaby Lake" processor, 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, and storage options that include M.2 SSDs, and SATA SSDs. The desktop features 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, gigabit Ethernet (Intel controller), 6-channel HD audio, and USB 3.0 ports that include a type-C port.

GIGABYTE Unveils Low-Profile GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 Graphics Cards

GIGABYTE today unveiled low-profile GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 1050 graphics cards. The two cards are based on a common board design, featuring a half-height PCB that's 16.7 cm long, and a dual-slot cooling solution, with a monolithic copper-core aluminium heatsink, ventilated by a single fan, and yet come with minor factory-overclocked speeds. The GTX 1050 Ti low-profile card ships with out-of-the-box clock speeds of 1303 MHz core, and 1417 MHz GPU Boost (vs. 1290/1393 MHz reference); while the GTX 1050 Low-profile ships with 1366/1468 MHz (vs. 1354/1455 MHz reference). Both cards rely on the PCI-Express slot for power, and feature two HDMI 2.0b and one DisplayPort 1.4 connector, in addition to dual-link DVI. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Lian-Li Showcases Numerous New Products at CES 2017

At CES 2017, Lian-Li showcased their latest, upcoming additions to their product lines: from a standing desk to numerous computer cases and an external RAID enclosure, there was something for every taste.

First, Lian Li's latest addition to their standing desk line of products: dubbed the DK-05, this standing desk allows the user to install two different systems (supporting E-ATX motherboards) at the same time, something that its predecessor was unable to do. Lian Li suggests that the chassis could house both a file server and a gaming computer, all within a rather striking exterior of tempered glass and brushed aluminum. The desk features a motorized height adjustment, with knobs on a small control panel on the right side of the desk that control both the height adjustment and the speed of the desk's 12 fans (six for intake, and six for exhaust duty). It also supports triple-slot radiators for augmented cooling capabilities.

ASRock Socket AM4 Motherboard Lineup Detailed

At the 2017 International CES, ASRock showed off some of its first socket AM4 motherboards for AMD Ryzen processors and 7th generation A-Series "Bristol Ridge" APUs. Leading the pack is the X370 Taichi. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. It uses a 16-phase CPU VRM with high-capacity Super Alloy chokes. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and two PCI-Expres 3.0 x16 slot (x8/x8 when both are populated). The third x16 slot is electrical x4 and wired to the chipset. Two other x1 slots make for the rest of its expansion area.

Connectivity on the X370 Taichi include two USB 3.1 ports (one type-A and one type-C), ten USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel PureSound 4 onboard audio solution (of the same grade the company is deploying on its high-end Intel Z270 motherboards), gigabit Ethernet with an Intel-made controller, and 802.11ac WLAN. Storage options include one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, one 16 Gb/s M.2 slot, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Next up, is the X370 Professional Gaming. This board is practically identical to the X370 Taichi. The two boards share a common PCB, and differ only with the red+black color scheme on the X370 Professional Gaming, as opposed to white+black on the X370 Taichi.

AULA Unveils Special Gaming Keyboard for FPS Gaming, and a Condensed Keyboard

AULA is a Chinese gaming peripherals maker that's branching out to new markets. The company showed off its special gaming keyboard for FPS gaming. Pictured below, the keyboard is similar in function to the likes of Razer Orbweaver, but gives you a whole lot more keys. You get all the keys commonly used in FPS gaming, a round of function keys making up an arch, seven shortcut keys, and ten macro keys. The keyboard comes with a cushioned palm-rest. AULA also showed off a highly condensed keyboard, which lacks a row of function keys (holding down Fn and a number key serves that function), the arrow keys, and the NUM cluster. Apparently this keyboard will accompany the FPS gaming keyboard, at least as a bundle.
Sunday, January 8th 2017

Seasonic Updates its PSU Product Lines

After taking a long while - a very long while, in fact - to launch its flagship Prime Titanium PSU series, and after leaving its product line seemingly dormant for a while, it looks like Seasonic was actually getting ready to wake the proverbial sleeping giant: according to the company, 2017 will be an important milestone because it will feature the release of several new product lines that will include high performance - and high quality - power supplies.

AMD Says "ZEN" CPU Architecture is Expected to Last 4 Years

After spending almost 4 years developing and perfecting (as much as can be perfected in such an amount of time) it's ZEN CPU architecture, AMD is looking to extract some mileage out of it. Mark Papermaster, AMD's chief technology officer, confirmed the four-year lifespan in a conversation with PC World at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, though he declined to discuss specifics. When asked how long ZEN would last (especially comparing to Intel's now-failing two-year tick-tock cadence, Papermaster confirmed the four-year lifespan: "We're not going tick-tock," he said. "ZEN is going to be tock, tock, tock."

AMD Confirms "Full Spectrum" of Unlocked, Overclockable Ryzen CPUs

AMD has seemingly confirmed that there will be more than just the fabled 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen CPUs we've only as of yet seen presented by the company. Come the expected Ryzen launch before the end of Q1 (which means, before the end of March), we should see more Ryzen CPUs than only 8-core solutions, though AMD still hasn't revealed exactly the core-count/configurations of the other CPUs on their product stack. Theoretically, AMD could follow the Intel path of simply disabling SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading, AMD's equivalent to Intel's Hyper Threading) and thus crafting another product, though this is pure speculation on my part. Whether or not AMD will include 4-core or 6-core CPUs on their product stack as well is as of now an unconfirmed, educated guess.

Cooler Master Unveils the MasterWatt Maker MIJ 1200 W Power Supply

At CES 2017, Cooler Master unveiled a limited edition of their MasterWatt line of power supply units: the MasterWatt Author ME 1200 W. As the name implies, this is a 1200 W power supply, rated at 80 Plus Titanium efficiency levels (which means >94% energy efficiency), though Cooler Master claims this PSU is able to achieve >95% efficiency levels. Built exclusively with Murata components, Cooler Master are presenting this one as the best power supply they've ever made, and they're therefore pitting it as a special, limited edition PSU, of which only a few thousand samples will be produced and sold: at an over $1000 price-tag.

Razer Announces Project Valerie: The World's First Triple Display Laptop

In the "Are we crazy enough to do this" pages of CES 2017 (company's words, not mine), Razer announced what they call "the world's first triple display laptop". Project Valerie remains a prototype as of this time, but it certainly is an interesting one, particularly for professionals who are frequently on the move and require a humongous amount of screen real-estate.
Saturday, January 7th 2017

Toshiba BG Series M.2 NVMe SSDs are Really Small

Toshiba showed off its new BG Series M.2 SSDs, which will grab your attention for being quite small. Measuring 16 mm x 20 mm, these drives are shorter than the shortest (30 mm) M.2 length standard. They still take advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x2 interface, and the NVMe protocol. At the heart of this drive is Toshiba's BiCS Flash, a multi-chip module that combines stacked TLC NAND flash memory with an SSD controller into one package. The drives come in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB. Toshiba is also separately selling these drives as chip-only, to notebook manufacturers, so they can solder them directly onto the mainboards of their low-cost ultra-portable notebooks.
Friday, January 6th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

Four GIGABYTE Socket AM4 Motherboards Pictured

GIGABYTE showed off four socket AM4 motherboards, designed for the upcoming AMD Ryzen processors and 7th gen. A-series APUs, at its 2017 CES booth. The lineup begins with the AB350M-D3H, an entry-level micro-ATX board based on the mid-tier B350 chipset; the mid-range AB350-Gaming 3, the mid-high segment AX370-Gaming K5, and the AX370-Gaming 5. The AB350-D3H covers the basics, with a 7-phase VRM, one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot wired to the AM4 socket, a second x16 slot that's electrical x4 and wired to the B350 chipset, one legacy PCI slot; one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are directly wired to the AM4 socket); and connectivity that includes 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, DVI, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort.

Moving up the ladder, the AB350-Gaming 3 is a gaming-grade board in the ATX form-factor, featuring a red+black color scheme. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors; conditioning it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. The APU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Other expansion slots include two x16 slots that are electrical x4, and two x1 slots. Storage connectivity includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are low-latency ports). Display outputs include DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, and six USB 3.0 ports. GIGABYTE deployed its gaming-grade AMPUp! onboard audio solution with a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade capacitors, a headphones amp, and gold-plated audio jacks. Network is care of an Intel-made gigabit Ethernet controller.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 FTW2, and SC2 Graphics Cards Pictured

EVGA is refreshing the top-end of its air-cooled GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 lineup with its new iCX cooling solution. Apparently, the company has redesigned the PCBs of its top-tier GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards from the ground up, in response to the recent VRM overheating issues. It also deployed a powerful new cooling solution just to be sure (and possibly to differentiate them from the older cards cooled by the ACX coolers).

EVGA showed us three cards in its 2017 CES booth, the GeForce GTX 1070 SC2 (model: 08G-P4-6573-KR), the GeForce GTX 1070 FTW2 (08G-P4-6676KR), and the GeForce GTX 1080 FTW2 (08G-P4-6686-KR). The cards appear taller than their predecessors, and draw power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The company didn't detail the iCX cooling solution. It plans to replace the current SC, FTW, and possibly Classified series graphics cards from its product stack, with these new cards.

AZiO Unveils a Trio of Gaming Mice

AZiO showed off a three new gaming mice the company plans to launch through 2017, the GM2400, the Atom, and the Aventa (pictured in that order). The GM2400 is an entry-level ambidextrous gaming mouse designed for claw-grips with either hands. It features a basic 3 button layout with a hard-teethed scroll-wheel, and a button for on-the-fly DPI adjustment. Under the hood, it features a 2,400 dpi sensor. Blue LED lighting, rubberized top surface, and a braided USB cable make for the rest of it.

The AZiO Atom is the company's new mid-range gaming mouse. Featuring a rustic (worn-out) industrial ambidextrous design, the mouse is designed for e-Sports, with 7 programmable buttons, a 3,200 dpi sensor with 1000 Hz polling rate, red LED illumination, a zero-acceleration mode, and a detachable braided USB cable. Lastly, there's the Aventa, the company's latest premium gaming mouse, featuring a right handed design, with its body borrowing design elements from the Exo Alpha. It features 7 programmable buttons, an Avago 9800 (8,200 dpi) laser sensor, RGB LED lighting, and a detachable braided USB cable.

HP Launches Omen X Curved Gaming Monitor With G-Sync Support

After announcing an entire Omen line of products last year, HP took to CES 2017 to announce the availability date of one such previously-announced products: the Omen X Curved Gaming Monitor. It's a beautifully achieved, 35" Wide QHD display with 100Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time. The display's bezel measures under 6.87mm on the top and the sides (which should prove nearly invisible), and further complementing the immersive gaming experience is the 1800R curvature; this means the distance from someone's eyes to any point of the monitor should be equal, if they are positioned correctly.

AZiO Also Unveils the Retro 2 Mechanical Keyboard

AZiO also unveiled the second generation of its popular keyboard that features old-school typewriter styled keycaps. The new AZiO Retro 2 comes with a more polished top panel with a matte white surface, bordered by stainless steel accents. The keys are backed by Kailh Blue mechanical switches, which offer good tactile feedback. Completing the retro theme is a white fiber-sleeved USB cable.

Dell Unveils 32", 8K UltraSharp Monitor

At CES 2017, Dell has unveiled yet another addition to their monitor product line, and this one is drool worthy: an 8K, 32" UltraSharp monitor, with an insanely high resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 at 60Hz. Labeled as the world's first 32-inch 8K resolution display with Dell PremierColor, the UP3218K offers 1.07 billion colors and packs in more than 33 million pixels - four times as many as a 4K display and 16 times more than Full HD. That means it offers a PPI rating of 280 - which translates into "very high" settings for a desktop screen.

AZiO Unveils its Armato Series High-end Mechanical Keyboards

AZiO appears to be cashing in on the new hip trend of old-school typewriter keycaps. The company unveiled its new high-end mechanical gaming keyboard, the Armato, and while most would expect it to accompany with an RGB LED lit variant; AZiO dedicated a variant to classic typewriter keycaps, called the Armato Classic Edition. It's not just keycaps that set the two apart. The Armato uses Cherry MX Brown switches, while the Armato Classic Edition features Kailh Blue switches, for more tactile feedback. Both keyboards are characterized by a standard 104-key layout with locally stored macro profiles, and a rotary volume control wheel. The Armato comes with red LED back-lighting, while its Classic Edition variant comes with white LED lighting. Both keyboards feature large firm palm-rests.

Intel Unveils Compute Card, a Credit Card-Sized Compute Platform

Today, Intel is announcing a new modular compute platform called the Intel Compute Card along with a range of partners who will be working with Intel to help accelerate the ecosystem of solutions based on the Intel Compute Card. Intel has been a leader in delivering technology to help realize the benefits of the Internet of Things and enable more smart and connected devices. The Intel Compute Card is being developed with that in mind, to transform the way compute and connectivity can be integrated and used in future devices.

ADATA Also Unveils the Improved SD700X External SSD

ADATA, at its 2017 International CES booth, also unveiled the SD700X external SSD. An improved version of the original SD700 it launched in November 2016, the drives feature a more compact body that retains the military-grade waterproof and shockproof protection mechanisms. It comes in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB. Under the hood, the drive features 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and a SIliconMotion controller that takes advantage of USB 3.0 (5 Gbps), with a single cable handling both power and host connectivity. The drive offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 440 MB/s. ADATA is marketing this as a "gaming-grade" product, targeting notebook gamers.

EVGA Teases GTX 1080 FTW2 With iCX Cooling

Looks like EVGA is putting the issues with the GTX 1080/1070/1050 FTW line of cards behind them, after handling the issue the best way they could. The company has now begun teasing a new addition to their GeForce product stack, with the company's Product Manager, Jacob Freeman, publishing a tease on Twitter regarding an upcoming GTX 1080, the FTW2, which features iCX cooling.

Source: Twitter: Jacob Freeman

ADATA SX950 Gaming SSD Pictured

ADATA showed off its SX950 Gaming mid-range SSD. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the SX950 comes in capacities of up to 960 GB. It appears to be based on a Phison-made controller, wired to 3D MLC NAND flash memory. It offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 560 MB/s reads, with up to 530 MB/s writes. The drive features SLC caching, in which the controller treats a user-abstract portion of the MLC NAND area as fast SLC, by writing only one bit per cell, and juggling data in and out of this area based on its "heat." The drives are backed by 5-year warranties.

AMD Ryzen 8 Core/16 Thread CPU ES Now Run at 3.6 GHz base, 3.9 GHz Boost

The folks at hardwareluxx managed to get some quality alone time with AMD's Ryzen demonstration boot at CES 2017, and it has to be said they used their time well. They managed to bring up Windows' System page, as well as its Device Manager, which seemingly confirmed that the Ryzen sample at use, though an engineering sample it was, was set at 3.6 GHz base clock with the capability to boost up to 3.9 GHz on a whim - up 200 MHz from the base clock speed of the sample used at AMD's New Horizon Event, where even at those speeds, the chip was shown beating an 8 core, 16 thread i7 6900K. You can see those clocks at the below screenshot, where "1D3601A2M88F3_39/36_N" (the code for the engineering sample Ryzen chip) makes it clear this is an F3 stepping processor, with the 39 referring to the boost clock, and the 36 referring to its base clock.

This goes right into AMD's claims of 3.4 GHz being the lowest frequency a Ryzen consumer processor would carry. It seems AMD is quickly galloping towards the finish line here, and as Lisa Su said at the New Horizon presentation, Ryzen chips can only improve until their promised launch, with an already rumored F4 stepping of the processor carrying a rounded-up, 4 GHz boost clock.

Source: Hardwareluxx.de

Colorful Unveils its iGame Z270 Gamer Customization Motherboard

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, is proud to announce its latest motherboard for enthusiasts and gamers featuring the latest Intel Z270 chipset to support LGA1151 processors including the newly announced 7th generation Core processors from Intel with their new iGame Z270 Gamer. Customization motherboard. This latest products joins the family of iGame enthusiast and performance series of motherboards and graphics cards which focuses on not just the needs of gamers for a faster and robust system but serves as a canvas to promote their creativity and idea with great customization options.
Thursday, January 5th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Memory
Motherboards
Processors
SSD

ASRock Z270 Extreme4 (with Kaby Lake)

It's here! Our first look at Intel's Kaby Lake supporting motherboards comes from none other than ASRock, with their white and black mainstream motherboard, the ASRock Z270 Extreme4. With all the base features of Intel's latest, including a bit of ASRock's engineering magic thrown in, the ASRock Z270 Extreme4 is the perfect example of what you can expect from Intel's Kaby Lake platform.

AMD Radeon Vega GPU Architecture

AMD has shared technical details of their highly-expected, upcoming Radeon Vega GPU architecture that succeeds Polaris. We dive down into its individual graphics units to detail what has changed and what improvements these changes promise.

TechPowerUp is Live from the 2017 International CES!

Each new year begins with a bang for the tech world, and all roads lead to Las Vegas! We are coming to you live from the 2017 International CES, the year's first, biggest, and most exciting technology expo. You can catch our CES coverage from the latest news posts, and even take a peek at all the exciting booths we've visited, with our instant image upload to TechPowerUp LIVE.

TrendNet Announces the TPL-430AP Powerline Adapter with Wireless AP

TRENDnet, a global leader in reliable SMB and consumer networking solutions, announced today that it will launch the WiFi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2 Access Point, model TPL-430AP, designed to help eliminate wireless dead spots. The new Powerline adapter utilizes both Powerline and wireless technologies to bring consumers whole-home wireless coverage. Powerline adapters plug into any standard outlet, and use existing electrical lines to create a wired home network. TRENDnet's new Powerline adapter also doubles as an access point to deliver a wireless signal from nearly any power outlet.

The WiFi Everywhere Powerline 1200 AV2 Access Point supports Powerline 1200 networking with a built-in dual-band wireless AC1200 access point. The TPL-430AP Powerline adapter supports MIMO with Beamforming technology to enhance performance and range. WiFi Clone support duplicates your current wireless network settings for faster network integration.

Corsair Unveils New HX and TX-M Series PSUs, and the Bulldog 2.0 Chassis

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the immediate availability of the new CORSAIR HX series and CORSAIR TX-M series of enthusiast power supplies, as well as a major update to its CORSAIR Bulldog small form factor barebones kit, Bulldog 2.0.

Equipped with 100% Japanese 105°C capacitors the new HX series offers 80 Plus Platinum efficiency for up to 94% efficient operation. Fully modular cabling makes clutter-free builds easy, while a large 135mm cooling fan and Zero RPM mode allow for virtually silent operation. Rated for operating temperatures up to 50°C, the HX series is designed to deliver superb electrical performance and efficiency in the most demanding situations.

NZXT & ASUS Stand Together with Noctis 450 ROG

NZXT announces today the Noctis 450 ROG, a Special Edition case aimed at dedicated PC Gamers. This ATX mid-tower case is ROG-certified, displays an exclusive Gun Gray finish and features Aura Sync RGB-lighting technology.

"The original Noctis 450 highlighted NZXT's return to bold and daring designs. As we joined forces with Republic of Gamers (ROG) to develop a dedicated case for high-end gaming systems, it felt like the perfect tailored fit to build a Special Edition case. With exclusive aesthetics, ROG certification and Aura sync compatibility leading to new features, Noctis 450 ROG focuses on users aiming at building powerful systems that leverages the Republic of Gamers ecosystem," says Johnny Hou, NZXT's founder and CEO.

Cherry Announces the Cherry MX Board Silent Keyboard

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, has unveiled the MX Board Silent at CES 2017. This new keyboard is based on the G80-3000, which has proven itself over the years to be precise as well as reliable. CHERRY combines this product with its new MX Silent switches to create a product that will keep keyboard noise in a hectic office space to an absolute minimum.

The G80-3000 has been one of the most popular mechanical keyboards on the market for decades, having become a true classic. Thanks to a purist feature set, a timeless design and its outstanding precision, the G80-3000 remains a bestseller. To continue its success, CHERRY updated this proven keyboard with the latest MX Silent technology. The result is a straightforward, high-end keyboard, which is ideally suited for even volume-sensitive environments such as large rooms or community offices, enabling silent keystrokes with CHERRYs patented noise reduction technology without giving up on its uncompromising writing performance. Also implemented is "N-Key Rollover" functionality, which allows up to 14 keys to be pressed simultaneously without "ghost" keypress effect.

This Video Clip of Radeon Vega Running DOOM at 4K is Glorious

AMD today posted this video clip showing an AMD Radeon "Vega" graphics card running "Doom" (2016) at 4K Ultra HD, with all its details maxed out. Vega made short work of the AAA game with its Vulkan renderer enabled, clocking frame-rates of around 70 frames per second. This kind of performance should put "Vega" firmly in the high-end segment of graphics cards, when it hits the shelves a little later this year.


UHD Alliance Completes Specifications for Portable Devices

The UHD Alliance (UHDA), the inter-industry group charged with fostering an ecosystem that fully realizes and promotes the consumer benefits of Ultra HD entertainment technology, announced today the completion of performance specifications for portable devices. Viewing high quality content on laptops and other mobile devices has increasingly become a staple in entertainment consumption, and with continued improvement of screens on devices ranging from smartphones to laptops, the specifications define performance criteria for delivering a premium experience across the spectrum of portable devices.

Consumer adoption of Ultra HD hardware and software has seen incredible growth since its introduction, with an estimated 100 million households worldwide currently enjoying an Ultra HD experience, and an estimate 450 million households with UHD TV's by 2020.* As the category has grown, so has the UHD Alliance, which was founded in April 2015 by 10 companies and now counts more than 50 global leaders in consumer electronics, entertainment, content distribution and technology among its membership.

NVIDIA Announces the G-SYNC HDR Technology

NVIDIA today announced the G-SYNC HDR technology. An evolution of the company's proprietary adaptive display sync technology, which keeps the display's refresh-rates dynamically in-sync with the graphics card's frame-rates, G-SYNC HDR, as its name suggests, adds support for HDR (high dynamic range) displays. NVIDIA's partner display manufacturers such as Acer, and ASUS have each announced displays with this technology, which will will be available later this year.

NVIDIA worked with display panel maker AUOptronics to develop G-SYNC HDR. It leverages full 384-zone LED backlights, and a quantum-dot technology. The monitors rely on wide color gamuts, with 10-bit (1.07 billion color palettes) to bring HDR to life. G-SYNC HDR monitors come with support for the HDR10 standard. The year's most anticipated game, "Mass Effect: Andromeda," will come with support for G-SYNC HDR.

Corsair Also Announces the Scimitar Pro Mouse

In addition to its K95 RGB Platinum keyboard, Corsair have also announced an update to their well-received Scimitar gaming mouse. Based on the award-winning Key Slider 12 side-button SCIMITAR RGB, the SCIMITAR PRO RGB adds onboard profile storage and a native 16,000 DPI PMW3367 optical sensor developed in partnership with PIXART for precise control in single DPI steps for ultra-accurate, high-speed tracking.

Corsair Reveals K95 RGB Platinum Keyboard

Even though Corsair has already launched a K95 RGB Keyboard, the company apparently wasn't convinced that that was the best of what they could achieve; as such, Corsair has announced what they deem to be "the true successor to the K70: the K95 RGB Platinum.

This version features 8 MB of on-board memory to let owners save up to three profiles for lighting and macros, so that they are carried with your keyboard and you don't have to fiddle with the settings yet again if you change computers. There are now only 6 macro keys located on the left side of the keyboard, a step-down from the 18 offered in the previous K95 - but evey main key is now re-assignable, which means that you can do the same amount of work, without having those extra 12 keys taking up space and increasing the keyboard length . In terms of the ever-present lighting features, the K95 RGB Platinum features a lighting zone called LightEdge, which is located along the top edge of the keyboard. It's essentially a long strip of light created by 16 RGB LEDs, and you can program its lighting patterns and colors separately from the rest of the keyboard.

AM4 Socket Compatibility: be quiet! Announces Free Upgrade Kits

be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years, is committed to its high level of customer support. Today the company announces the availability of free AM4 upgrade kits to their customers. Owners of current be quiet! CPU coolers switching to AMD's new socket will not have to retire their reliable and proven coolers. Thanks to an elaborate product design, installing the coolers on the new platform will be straightforward and very similar to previous sockets.

All be quiet! CPU coolers that can currently be mounted to the AMD retention module already support socket AM4 CPUs, including the Pure Rock, Pure Rock Slim and Shadow Rock LP coolers.

Phanteks Announces the Enthoo Elite Chassis

Phanteks has shown that it has once again redefined the chassis design with the release of the new Enthoo Elite. A premium production case built on a framework that has been continuously refined since the very beginning. Every space in the Enthoo Elite is efficiently designed with multiple functions to make sure no space will go wasted, while offering maximum flexibility. Many different configurations can be formed depending on personal system preferences.

With extreme cooling possibilities, the Enthoo Elite assures to keep the most high-end gaming system running cool. The incorporated functional radiator brackets makes building a complex water-cooling system so much easier. The Enthoo Elite features a unique PSU location, hidden from sight, that contributes to improved cooling performance. The aluminium interior panels mask the power cables and enhance the clean interior design.

AMD Showcases High-Performance Ecosystem Ready for Ryzen

Following global excitement generated by the reveal of new technology and performance details of upcoming AMD Ryzen high-performance desktop processors, AMD today announced 16 cutting-edge high-performance AM4 motherboards from five manufacturers. In addition, AMD exhibited Ryzen processor-based "extreme performance" PC designs from 17 top system integrators across the globe as well as innovative third-party CPU cooler designs, demonstrating a ready and robust ecosystem for Ryzen CPUs. AMD also expects Ryzen-based designs from all top global PC OEMs, with more information on systems to be revealed at launch.

"2017 will be an unforgettable year for AMD, its technology partners and the PC industry as a whole, and we're thrilled to kick off the year at CES by showing wide arrays of high-performance motherboard and PC designs from our OEM partners for whom the future is Ryzen," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Group, AMD. "AMD and our partners are committed to supporting enthusiasts, gamers, and creators with a new generation of computing innovation and choice through AMD Ryzen processor-based motherboards, custom-built PCs, and coolers built to support these impressive systems."

Unigine Announces the Superposition Benchmark - Coming Soon

Unigine has announced the impending release of a new benchmark suite, supposedly to be released at the end of 2016 (well, that ship has sailed, but the benchmark Is still coming). It features an interactive VR experience with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The description, such as it is, reads as so:

"A lone professor performs dangerous experiments in an abandoned classroom, day in and day out. Obsessed with inventions and discoveries beyond the wildest dreams, he strives to prove his ideas.

Once you come to this place in the early morning, you would not meet him there. The eerie thing is a loud bang from the laboratory heard a few moments ago. What was that? You have the only chance to cast some light upon this incident by going deeply into the matter of quantum theory: thorough visual inspection of professor's records and instruments will help to lift the veil on the mystery."

You can check a 4K teaser of the benchmark, after the break.

HDMI 2.1 Specification Announced: 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, Game Mode

HDMI Specification 2.1 is the most recent update of the HDMI specification, featuring advanced features for the HDMI ecosystem. It supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates, including 8K60 and 4K120, Dynamic HDR, and increased bandwidth with a new 48G (48 Gbps) cable. Version 2.1 of the HDMI Specification is backward compatible with earlier versions of the specification, and it also introduces an interesting new mode: Game Mode VRR, which by itself supports variable refresh rate, which "enables a 3D graphics processor to display the image at the moment it is rendered for more fluid and better detailed gameplay, and for reducing or eliminating lag, stutter, and frame tearing." This new Game mode spec, which is similar to the G-Sync and FreeSync technologies already available, will also apparently work with both PCs and consoles.

AMD Showcases its Ryzen CPUs Powering Their Upcoming Vega Architecture

At CES 2017, AMD set-up a demo room in which it showcased a PC powered by a Ryzen CPU and a Vega GPU playing Star Wars Battlefront at 60 FPS, reportedly at Ultra HD, with confirmed Ultra quality settings. Some sources do report that the frame rate at 4K Ultra settings occasionally dropped to 57 or 58 fps, but it still remains a strong showing from the company's upcoming Vega graphics architecture, as well as the prowess of its Ryzen CPUs.

Source: 4Gamer.net

Western Digital Announces the WD Black PCIe SSD

Western Digital has announced the WD Black PCIe SSD, their first PCIe SSD for the consumer market. This particular SSD is aimed at the cheaper half of the M.2 PCIe SSD market rather than competing for the highest performance: it will be available in 256GB and 512GB capacities for $109 and $199.99 respectively, making it cheaper than any currently available M.2 PCIe SSD except the Intel 600p.

Club 3D Unveils the Type-C Charging Mini Dock with DisplayPort

Today Club 3D is proud to announce another product to its line-up of Type-C Charging Mini Docks, the CSV-1537. This is a USB Type-C to DPTM 1.2 + USB 3.0 + Type-C Charging Mini Dock. The SenseVision USB Type-C to DPTM 1.2 + USB 3.0 + Type-C Charging Mini Dock is a compact Mini Docking with DisplayPortTM 1.2 and USB outputs for your USB Type-C enabled laptop or ultrabook. Add a 4K UHD monitor or TV with up to 3840x2160p UHD resolution through the DisplayPortTM 1.2 output while the USB 3.0 Type-A port allows you to use USB sticks, peripherals and HDDs. It also offers a Type-C PD input which can charge your device with up to 60 Watts at the same time.

EpicGear Announces the Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse

At CES 2017, EpicGear, a sub-brand of GeIL, has announced their new Morpha X Modular gaming mouse, a natural evolution of their previously released MorphA gaming mouse. This is an interesting one, at least when it comes to its modularity: you can swap between two provided sensors through its EG MSC technology (an 8,000 DPI laser sensor or a 12,000 DPI optical one) as you see fit and as the situation requires, as well as being able to change the actuation force on the trigger switches through the mouse's EG MSS technology and the two (orange [medium] and purple [pro, heavy]) provided pairs of actuators.

AMD Announces X370 Motherboards: Ryzen Approaches

At CES 2017, AMD made a statement on their new AM4's platform readiness to market, revealing some of the upcoming AM4 motherboard designs coming to end users for their Ryzen CPUs and Bristol Ridge. All in all, there were sixteen boards being displayed from the major manufacturers, including overclocking and gaming-oriented models. These boards will be the base for system integrator PC designs to come, with at least seventeen SIs coming on board for today's announcement.
Wednesday, January 4th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
SSD

Rosewill Himars

The Rosewill Himars is quite the unique beast. It tries to appeal to both the gamer and the professional user. It features support for thick radiators, a window, and a blue LED-equipped fan, The hot-swap bays in front may also make it interesting for the professional user.

No GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Announcement at CES

When NVIDIA bought itself the 2017 International CES keynote, the expectations were through the roof. The company announced GeForce Now, a service that lets just about anyone play games on their PC without the necessary hardware, by streaming them from remote GPU farms that you rent; a new-generation NVIDIA Shield, which now comes with 4K HDR video support; NVIDIA Spot, a tiny IoT microphone that takes Google Assistant to the far reaches of your home; and some big-ticket announcements in the way of the company's self-driving cars initiative that taps into AI deep-learning.

The announcement hundreds of thousands of users thronged to Twitch for, and the announcement we in non-US time-zones stayed up late at night for, was surprisingly missing - the company did not announce the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The GTX 1080 Ti is expected to be NVIDIA's new high-end SKU positioned between the GTX 1080 and the TITAN X Pascal, bringing 4K Ultra HD gaming to even more people. Perhaps NVIDIA feels it's already dug in deep with the $599 GTX 1080 and the $1299 TITAN X Pascal, that it doesn't need a faster card that's pricier to build at this time.

The focus now shifts to the AMD camp, where later today, the company is expected to make big announcements specific to its next-generation "Vega" GPU architecture. Since AMD isn't spending nearly as much money earned from PC gamers on non-PC gaming stuff, AMD's announcements are expected to be more relevant to the people who watched NVIDIA's live-stream.

NVIDIA Announces the 2017 Shield with 4K HDR Capability

NVIDIA announced the 2017 Shield home entertainment system. This device connects to your TV, and works as a game-streaming device that streams games rendered on your PC from another room, the cloud, through services such as GeForce Now, and "smarten" your TV through technologies such as Google Assistant. NVIDIA has given the 2017 Shield hardware upgrades that enable 4K HDR, that's 4K Ultra HD resolution with 10-bit HEVC/VP9 support, and HDR. NVIDIA plans to sell these at $199.

NVIDIA Announces the NVIDIA Spot for Google Assistant

NVIDIA announced the NVIDIA Spot, a tiny AI microphone that plugs into any wall socket, and interfaces with an NVIDIA Shield device or a smart TV over your home Wi-Fi; and handles Google Assistant ("OK Google!"). This way, you can have an AI assistant that's completely ambient in all corners of your home. You can have multiple Sports in a large room, they'll use beam foaming and triangulate your location in a room, to isolate your voice. The Spot will be sold as a separate accessory to NVIDIA Shield, and will be part of the new NVIDIA Home AI platform.

NVIDIA Announces the GeForce Now. $25 for 20 Hours of GTX 1060 Gaming

NVIDIA today announced the GeForce Now, a service that converts any PC or notebook, into a gaming PC. This works by making your games to render on remote GeForce "Pascal" GPU farms. On the user's side of things, GeForce Now works as an interface that presents popular DRM platforms such as Origin, and Steam, you purchase games on these platforms, and begin playing them in minutes, without having to download or install them. The games get rendered on remote servers, and your integrated graphics plays a video stream of the game. NVIDIA claims to have minimized the lag involved in making something like this work. You will be able to purchase the service by the "hours" played and in various "tiers" (visual detail). The service works on even Macs. Pricing starts at $25 for 20 hours of gaming, with fewer hours available at the same price for higher-performance instances.

Update Jan 6th: The $25 for 20 hours price is for a GTX 1060-class graphics card. For GTX 1080 performance, the same $25 will buy you only 10 hours of playtime.

MSI Also Shows Off Flagship X370 XPower Gaming Titanium AM4 Motherboard

A sight for sore eyes at the MSI CES booth was its top-grade socket AM4 motherboard, the X370 XPower Gaming Titanium. This board is positioned in the company's Gaming Enthusiast series, and comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a high-end desktop platform. It is based on AMD's top-dog X370 chipset, and supports AMD Ryzen processors out of the box. Designed for both high-end gaming builds and CPU overclockers, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX connectors, and uses a 10-phase VRM to condition it for the AM4 socket. The board also takes in power from an optional 6-pin PCIe power connector, which can be plugged in to stabilize multi-GPU VGA overclocks.

The star-attraction, however, is the silvery-white PCB, with matching connectors. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated). The board supports NVIDIA SLI-HB and CrossFireX. The third x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the X370 chipset. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, one 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two are directly wired to the processor). The board also serves up four USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port), eight USB 3.0 ports, MSI's highest-tier onboard audio solution, and gigabit Ethernet that's sourced from either Intel or Qualcomm Killer.

MSI B350 Tomahawk Socket AM4 Motherboard Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of MSI B350 Tomahawk, an upcoming socket AM4 motherboard that comes with support for AMD Ryzen CPUs. Positioned in the company's "Arsenal Gaming" series, this board is based on AMD's mid-tier B350 chipset. It covers the entire feature-set of the B350 chipset. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. It conditions it for the AM4 processor/APU with a 4+2 phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

The second PCIe 3.0 x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the B350 chipset. Two each of legacy PCI and PCIe 3.0 x1 make for the rest of the expansion slots. Storage connectivity includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. From these, two come directly from the APU/CPU. The board also offers up to eight USB 3.0 ports, gaming grade 8-channel HD audio (with ground-layer isolation and audio-grade capacitors); gigabit Ethernet, and display outputs that include HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub (which will be disabled when using Ryzen).

Samsung Announces the Gaming-grade Notebook Odyssey

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today unveiled the award-winning Samsung Notebook Odyssey, a new portable gaming PC with high-power performance and dynamic display. Available in 17.3-inch and 15.6-inch models, the Samsung Notebook Odyssey packs power in a beautiful and innovative design with premium features to offer a premium gaming experience.

"The Samsung Notebook Odyssey was designed specifically with gamers in mind and is equipped with exclusive features to offer users one of the best gaming notebook available on the market," said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. "Today, serious and even casual gamers seek computing devices that not only pack power for intense graphics-rich games but also feature a stylish and portable design. We're excited to expand our PC portfolio with a premium gaming solution featuring refinements in design, cutting-edge technology and enhanced gaming usability."

MSI Upgrades Trident Compact Gaming Desktop with Kaby Lake Processors

MSI, manufacturer of true gaming hardware, brings Trident 3 to the market, based on the all new Intel Kaby Lake platform. Already having collected more than 20 media awards in the first weeks after launch, the MSI Trident is the pinnacle of small form factor, yet high performance PC gaming. Trident is characterized by an impressive console sized design that fits in any room, now upgraded with the Intel Kaby Lake chipset.

Furthermore under the hood, Trident 3 houses a customized GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING graphics card with performance levels far above its equally sized console counterparts. Whether it is in a VR environment or simply on the couch with friends, gamers are sure to enjoy smooth gameplay with the MSI Trident 3. The MSI Trident 3 is now available at official MSI resellers, starting at $899, depending on configurations.

MSI Also Upgrades Nightblade Series Desktops with Kaby Lake Processors

MSI, the world's leading manufacturer of true gaming hardware, has fitted its Nightblade gaming desktop line with the recently introduced Intel Kaby Lake chipset. Built on the legacy of the first Nightblade gaming desktop series, the Nightblade 3 and Nightblade MI3 come with an updated exterior and interior design. With the updated exterior of the Nightblade 3 and Nightblade MI3, the Nightblade series gets a fresh upgrade for the next generation. Together with Nightblade MIB, the MSI Nightblade series PCs are ready to take any gaming challenge.

On the outside you will find an easy carry-handle situated at the front of the chassis, to make it convenient for gamers to bring their rig anywhere. Upgrading these systems is a piece of cake thanks to removable left, -right, and -topside chassis covers, giving access to its memory, graphics or storage bays. Applied to MSI's full gaming desktop family, MSI VR Link provides an HDMI port on the front side and 'One-Click to VR' software to optimize your VR experience.

MSI Aegis Series Gaming Desktops Receive Intel Kaby Lake Upgrade

MSI, the world's leading manufacturer of true gaming hardware, has fitted its Aegis gaming desktop line with the recently introduced Intel Kaby Lake chipset. Besides the new chipset, MSI has revamped its high-end Aegis Series desktops in terms of design, convenience and performance. The MSI Aegis Ti3, Aegis X3, Aegis 3, Nightblade 3, Nightblade MI3 and Trident 3 will be available worldwide in January 2017.

On the outside, a handy headset handle is added to the sides, and a touch of carbon effect on the front. Applied to MSI's full gaming desktop family, MSI VR Link provides an HDMI port on the front side and 'One-Click to VR' software to optimize your VR experience. The Aegis Ti3 and Aegis X3 also feature the MSI Game Boost button on the front side, automatically overclocking the system when pressed. On the backside, a convenient carry-handle enables gamers to easily carry their Aegis when on their way to a friend or LAN-parties. For those who like to add a little personal touch to their system, MSI Aegis Series feature RGB Mystic Light. By using the Mystic Light App or MSI's Gaming Center software, gamers can change the color and effects of all LEDs individually.

Gigabyte Announces Its Aorus Z270-based Motherboard Lineup

Gigabyte announced six new Z270 motherboards as part of its Aorus product line - and all of them feature RGB LED lighting and swappable LED overlays. Apparently, Gigabyte opted for the standardization of their RGB Fusion LED lighting up and down their Aorus product line - all of the boards have at least two areas that are RGB LED backlit, including a space on the right edge beside the RAM slots. This RAM RGB lighting can be removed and replaced with different overlays according to the users' taste, and each motherboard is also equipped with a LED strip header. Dubbed the Z270X-Gaming 9, Z270X-Gaming 8, Z270X-Gaming 7 , Z270X-Gaming K7, Z270X-Gaming 5, and the Z270X-Gaming K5, these Gigabyte Aorus motherboards are quite well-rounded, as you can see after the break.

ASRock Announces its 200-series Chipset Motherboard Lineup

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is pleased to announce the launch of its Intel 200 series motherboard range. These new ASRock boards are the first to unleash the extreme performance of the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium and Celeron Socket 1151 processors - by providing all the advanced features necessary to make the most of their raw power. The ASRock range offers something for everyone with the Gaming series, Extreme series, high performance Pro series, and Killer series.

The design of ASRock's flagship Z270 SuperCarrier motherboard evokes the style and power of the world's mightiest warship, the supercarrier, with features that will blast the competition out of the water. The Z270 SuperCarrier's PCI-E Steel Slots provide ultimate graphics with 4-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX, plus full NVIDIA Quadro SLI support. The advanced PCI-E Steel Slots packed with solid cover that prevents any signal interference with graphics cards. It also ensures the heavy graphics cards to be well-installed in the PCI-E slots safely. Two Thunderbolt 3 connectors with a 40Gb/s data rate are able to drive super high resolution displays up to 4K x 2K (4096 x 2304) at 60Hz, plus high speed external storage, and other advanced devices. The highly desirable reversible USB 3.1 Type-C interface delivers the breathtaking 10 Gb/s data transfer speeds and also supports USB PD 2.0 charging up to 12V@3A (36W).

Acer Announces Three More Predator Monitors; G-Sync, 200 Hz+

At CES 2017, Acer announced three new Predator displays that boast very high refresh rates of 200Hz or higher, while also featuring G-Sync support so as to improve your gaming experience.

The Acer Predator XB252Q and Predator XB272 displays are nearly identical: 1920x1080 resolution with a maximum refresh rate of 240Hz, G-Sync, and a low 1ms response time. As you might have already guessed, in order to achieve refresh rates this high, Acer opted to use TN panel technology, which makes the displays able to represent 100% of the sRGB color spectrum (which only amounts to 72% of the NTSC color gamut, but this is par of the course for TN-based panels). The only difference between both displays is that the Predator 252Q measures 24.5 inches and the Predator XB272 comes in at 27 inches. Acer equipped both displays with two 2W DTS speakers and a 4x USB 3.0 hub, and both the displays feature tilt, swivel, height, and pivot adjustments.

QNAP Unveils Thunderbolt 3 NAS, QIoT Suite and QTS IoT Server and 4K Live-stream

QNAP, Inc. will unleash full-throttle network-attached storage innovations at CES 2017 in Las Vegas ( The Sands Expo, Level 2 - No. 41169), including industry-leading Thunderbolt 3 NAS solutions, revolutionary Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet (T2E) Converter technology, game-changing Internet of Things applications, 4K live-streaming/broadcasting, alongside the ultimate storage device that combines NAS and optical discs. This versatility demonstrates QNAP's willingness to break boundaries, and will stand out at CES across the consumer, SMB, and enterprise markets.

QNAP advances its renowned Thunderbolt NAS with the latest Thunderbolt 3 technology. Supporting higher speeds than the previous generation, the pioneering Thunderbolt 3 NAS is the best companion for the latest MacBook Pro, providing compelling features, storage, and reliability for creative professionals and enthusiasts who focus more on 4K or 3D workflows. The innovative T2E Converter (available in QTS 4.3) bridges Thunderbolt and Ethernet networks, making the Thunderbolt NAS a native Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter for wider application scenarios.

D-Link Delivers Simplified High-Speed Whole Home Wi-Fi System

D-Link today announced two new whole-home Wi-Fi solutions, the Covr Wi-Fi System (DKT-883) and the Covr PowerLine Wi-Fi System (DHP-W732AV). The Covr Wi-Fi system is a simple, intelligent solution that uses a high-performance router and seamless extender to create a single network with ultra-fast speeds and reliable connectivity, to even the farthest reaches of a home. The Covr PowerLine Wi-Fi System (DHP-W732AV), one of the first whole-home Wi-Fi solutions to utilize PowerLine technology as a foundation, uses the existing home router and a set of adapters to create a full coverage solution.

While other mesh network solutions rely on multiple access points, D-Link's Covr Wi-Fi System uses a premium router as the backbone of the wireless network. The router provides the advanced features and speed needed to power bandwidth intensive activities like 4K streaming and gaming on multiple devices. Combined with seamless extenders to cover hard to reach areas, Covr delivers a Wi-Fi signal to all areas of the home including upstairs, basements and backyards.

Thermaltake Introduces Smart Pro RGB Bronze Series PSUs At CES

Alongside their recently announced Toughpower Grand RGB Gold series of power supply units, Thermaltake will also introduce a more cost-effective line of RGB PSUs. Dubbed the Smart Pro RGB Bronze, it will feature three members with capacities of 650 W, 750 W, and 850 W. Like the Toughpower Grand, the Smart Pro RGB are equipped with a patented 256 color Ring 140mm RGB fan, featuring five lighting modes (256 Color RGB Cycle, Solid Red, Green, Blue, White, and an LED Off mode), controlled by pressing an RGB Lighting button. There is also a built-in memory function, so you don't have to re-configure the desired fan lighting effect every time you power off the PSU. The Smart Pro RGB Bronze Series comes with 7-year warranty coverage.

G.SKILL Announces New DDR4 Specifications for Trident Z Series and Z270

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces new high-speed DDR4 memory specifications designed for the latest 7th Gen Intel Core processors and Z270 motherboards under the extreme performance Trident Z series.

With 16GB (8GBx2) and 32GB (8GBx4) kits becoming the mainstream memory capacities in PC systems, 8GB-based kits are in greater demand for higher performance than ever. Upon the launch of Intel's latest Kaby Lake platform, G.SKILL bumps up the maximum frequency speeds to a blistering DDR4-4266MHz at CL19-19-19-39 for 16GB (8GBx2) kits and DDR4-4133MHz CL19-21-21-41 for 32GB (8GBx4) kits.

OWC Makes MacBooks 'Pro' Again With Game-Changing Product

OWC, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced the OWC DEC, the first-ever expansion solution designed specifically for the 2016 Apple MacBook Pro. The OWC DEC is the finishing touch to a MacBook Pro, allowing users to take their laptops to the next level, extending the life and the functionality of the already-exceptional 2016 MacBook Pro. The DEC is the latest in OWC's long line of upgrades for nearly every Mac made, and continues the company's legacy of providing the best solutions for Mac owners.

The OWC DEC attaches completely flush to the bottom of the 2016 MacBook Pro, providing additional flash storage and connectivity, ultimately increasing the performance of MacBook Pros. With the OWC DEC, users will get an enhancement path for their 2016 MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to keep their system upgradeable for the long term in a clean and integrated fashion. On top of the core functional benefits, the OWC DEC also touts a sleek design. When installed, the OWC DEC and MacBook Pro will be as thin as a 2012 MacBook Pro, allowing this advanced solution to retain the attractive light weight design that users favor.

Intel to Acquire 15 Percent Ownership of HERE

Intel has agreed to purchase a 15 percent ownership stake in HERE, a global provider of digital maps and location-based services, from HERE's current indirect shareholders: AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG. In conjunction with Intel's acquisition of a stake in HERE, the two companies also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving. Additionally, the two companies plan to jointly explore strategic opportunities that result from enriching edge-computing devices with location data.

"Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world's most intelligent, connected devices," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "We look forward to working with HERE and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future." "A real-time, self-healing and high-definition representation of the physical world is critical for autonomous driving, and achieving this will require significantly more powerful and capable in-vehicle compute platforms," said Edzard Overbeek, HERE CEO. "As a premier silicon provider, Intel can help accelerate HERE's ambitions in this area by supporting the creation of a universal, always up-to-date digital location platform that spans the vehicle, the cloud and everything else connected."

Logitech Announces G533 Wireless Gaming Headset

Logitech today introduced the Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset. With professional grade wireless technology, U.S. patent- pending Pro-G audio drivers and DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound, the headset delivers advanced audio performance and wireless convenience. The Logitech G533 also features a long battery life and purist design, giving you maximum comfort during marathon gaming sessions.

"Our audio team set out to create a headset that delivers the most immersive and accurate PC gameplay experience," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of the Logitech gaming business. "With DTS Headphone:X and our Pro-G Driver, the result is amazing. Now, you can amplify game sounds to achieve the most accurate positioning and experience in-game effects."
Tuesday, January 3rd 2017

MSI Announces its Intel 200-series Motherboard Family

MSI showcases the future of PC gaming technology with an award-winning selection based on the latest Intel 7th gen platform. Over 30 models in 4 segments will be shown during CES 2017, including CES Innovation Honoree Z270 GAMING M7. The next generation MSI GAMING motherboards are once again packed with unique features such as M.2 Shield to protect against thermal throttling on super-fast M.2 SSDs and VR Boost to deliver a lag-free VR experience with lower latency and less chance of motion sickness. These features help gamers to enjoy more immersive games with better quality than ever.

The MSI ENTHUSIAST GAMING motherboards usher in a new era of gaming. With a unique look and feel, packed with more exclusive gaming features than ever, these GAMING motherboards are sure to offer you the best possible experience in games. One of the most powerful ENTHUSIAST GAMING models, the Z270 GAMING M7, is an incredibly versatile and complete foundation for a high-end gaming system. Features such as Audio Boost 4 PRO and Nahimic 2 provide gamers two sets of audio modules with isolated circuits for a pure sound experience to deliver the competitive edge on the battlefield.

NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile and GTX 1050 Ti Mobile

NVIDIA today announced the mobile variants of GeForce GTX 1050 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Not only do the two SKUs feature unchanged core-configurations from their desktop counterparts, but also feature higher clock speeds. The GTX 1050 Ti Mobile ships with 1493 MHz core and 1620 MHz GPU Boost (compared to 1290/1392 MHz of the desktop GTX 1050 Ti); while the GTX 1050 Mobile ships with 1354/1493 MHz (compared to 1354/1455 MHz of its desktop sibling). Both SKUs are being offered to notebook designers with up to 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.

Based on the 14 nm GP107 silicon, the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile features 768 CUDA cores, 48 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and a 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. The GTX 1050 Mobile is based on the same silicon, but features 640 CUDA cores, 40 TMUs, 32 ROPs, and 128-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. At the 2017 International CES expo, various notebook designers are expected to unveil gaming notebooks with these two chips. The GTX 1050 Ti is being mooted as being ideal for notebooks with 1080p displays, while the GTX 1050 Mobile is targeted at 1600x900 displays.

Dell Announces the Ultrathin QHD 27" HDR Monitor (S2718D)

Dell has announced at CES their new ultrathin 27" monitor. Aptly (and maybe unoriginally) named the "Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor", it sports a Quad HD (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) screen with a 178º viewing angle which also supports HDR (though apparently, and according to Dell, not the same as HDR standards you'll find in 4K TVs. However, it will still be able to display higher contrast and color range than most consumer monitors, with support for up to 99 percent of the SRGB gamut.

ASUS Announces its 200-series Chipset Motherboard Family

ASUS today announced its complete 2017 lineup of Z270 motherboards designed to maximize the potential of 7th Generation Intel Core processors. The new range includes the highly-anticipated next-generation Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus IX gaming motherboards - with Maximus IX Apex having already secured its place in history by claiming eight world records and 13 global first places in some of the world's toughest benchmarks.

Also included in the lineup are the latest ROG Strix gaming motherboards for style-conscious enthusiast, the all-new ASUS Prime series for everyday customization and tuning, and the latest ASUS TUF boards with 24/7 stability and newly-added overclocking abilities. The ASUS workstation motherboard series has also been updated for the Z270 revolution - and all boards are loaded with exclusive technologies to enable users to extract every ounce of performance from Intel's latest CPUs.

Intel Announces the 7th Generation Core "Kaby Lake" Desktop Processors

Intel today announced availability of its first 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" desktop processors. All the processor SKUs being launched today are quad-core, across the company's Core i7 and Core i5 brand extensions. Leading the pack is the Core i7-7700K, priced at US $339, with a clock speed of 4.20 GHz, and 4.50 GHz Turbo Boost. This chip offers 8 MB of L3 cache, HyperThreading, and an unlocked base-clock multiplier, which enables easy overclocking. Next up, is the Core i7-7700 (non-K). This chip lacks an unlocked base-clock multiplier, and has lower clocks of 3.60 GHz, with 4.20 GHz Turbo, but offers 8 MB cache and HyperThreading. It is priced at $303.

The next chip which could interest PC enthusiasts is the Core i5-7600K. This chip features 3.80 GHz core, and 4.20 GHz Turbo Boost, 6 MB of L3 cache, and an unlocked base-clock multiplier, but like other Core i5 branded quad-core chips, lacks HyperThreading. It's priced at $242. The Core i5-7600 (non-K) lacks unlocked multiplier, and comes with lower clocks of 3.50 GHz core with 4.10 GHz Turbo Boost. It goes for $213. Priced below the $200 mark at $192, is the Core i5-7500, with its 3.40 GHz clock speed, and 3.80 GHz Turbo Boost. The i7-7700K and i5-7600K come with TDP rating of 95W. The non-K SKUs are rated at 65W. Intel also launched energy-efficient "T" Core i7 and Core i5 processors, with their TDP rated at just 35W.

Steam and Linux on the PS4 - AMD's "Bonaire" GPU Register Reference Found

While trying to hack the PS4 in order to make it run Linux (in a bid to get Steam and possibly other programs running on the PS4's hardware), hackers hit a snag: they couldn't get the PS4's GPU to display any kind of output or process any kind of graphics. Like any good researcher would, when hit with a snag, the hackers turned to scouring the Internet in hopes of finding any kind of documentation that could help them harness the PS4's Pitcairn-based GPU.

Kingston Digital Doubles Capacity for World's Largest USB Flash Drive

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced DataTraveler Ultimate Generation Terabyte (GT), the world's highest capacity USB Flash drive. DataTraveler Ultimate GT offers up to 2TB of storage space and USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) performance.

Power users will have the ability to store massive amounts of data in a small form factor, including up to 70 hours of 4K video on a single 2TB drive*. DataTraveler Ultimate GT offers superior quality in a high-end design as it is made of a zinc-alloy metal casing for shock resistance. Its compact size gives the tech enthusiast or professional user an easily portable solution to store and transfer their high capacity files. For more information please see below or refer to the following reference table for storage capacities.

ROCCAT Kicks off 2017 With Two Innovative New Technologies

ROCCAT kicks off the new year with a plethora of new technologies and products, all of which debut exclusively at CES in Las Vegas. Visit our meeting
room at LVCC South Hall 2 #MP25556 between January 5th and January 8th to experience them first hand. Owl-Eye is the exciting new 3361 series optical sensor from Pixart which has been modified to the high and exacting standards of ROCCAT. Its feeling is what makes Owl-Eye so special. It translates mouse movements on screen with 1:1 accuracy. The sensor provides a level of control so natural and innate that it totally bridges the gap between user and game. Owl-Eye is available in three mice, suiting every type of gamer.

First up is the ROCCAT Leadr, the world's first wireless gaming mouse that truly delivers the performance of a wired device. It offers zero lag and virtually zero latency as well as consistent tracking and pinpoint precision. With a charging dock and top-up cable for uninterrupted gameplay, wireless gaming is no longer a handicap.

Club3D Announces DP 1.1 to HDMI 1.4 VR Ready Passive Adapter

Reading this news you have the first 2017 message from Club 3D in front of you. 2017 will be a very exciting year for Club 3D since it will be the year of the 20th anniversary of the company that was founded in 1997 in the Netherlands. But not only this makes it exciting. Like always in IT, new technologies come up and after a certain time they have their breakthrough. In the year that we are all just starting a lot of tech people expect this for the following two: VR (Virtual Reality) and Type-C. For Type C you will receive another press release later this week. We are now going to look at VR.

Club 3D is proud to announce the first VR Ready adapters CAC-1056 (DisplayPort 1.1 to HDMI 1.4) and CAC-1156 (Mini DisplayPort 1.1 to HDMI 1.4). To drive your high resolution HDMI VR device without any trouble it is required that you have the right adapters to connect those to your PC or Laptop. Not every adapter or cable is capable of doing so. Adapters for VR devices need to be passive Adapters. Using one of the Club 3D adapters you can enjoy your VR device with those graphic cards that offer VR support like f.e. the latest AMD 470 and 480 chipsets or the Radeon Pro WX cards in the professional segment.

CORSAIR Readies Up for New 7th Generation Intel Core Processors

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced its readiness for the new 7th Generation Intel Core processors and Intel 200 series motherboards, paving the way for a new generation of performance PCs. With full compatibility on CORSAIR Performance DDR4 and the award-winning range Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers and wide-reaching compatibility on quiet, efficient CORSAIR PSUs, CORSAIR is ready to help enthusiasts squeeze every ounce of performance from their next PC build.

With DDR4 performance frequencies skyrocketing beyond 4,000MHz and kit densities of up to 64GB, CORSAIR has the memory your PC needs to not just run fast, but look great. CORSAIR Dominator Platinum, Vengeance LED or Vengeance LPX DDR4 make system builds look one of a kind and are built for overclocking to push DRAM frequencies even higher. CORSAIR is the industry leader in high-speed Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory, and with more Intel XMP certified DDR4 kits than any other manufacturer, CORSAIR is committed to compatibility and ensuring memory runs at the speed it claims. What's more, all CORSAIR current dual-channel DDR4 kits are fully compatible with both the new 7th Generation Intel Core Processors and new Intel 200 Series Chipsets, so you can easily choose the memory that's right for your build.

Patriot Announces the Viper V570 RGB and V530 LED Gaming Mice

Patriot, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions, today announced the new Patriot Viper V570 RGB gaming mouse, designed for MMO and FPS games and the V530 LED gaming mouse. "We are excited to announce the launch of the V570 RGB laser gaming mouse and the V530 optical gaming mouse," said Roger Shinmoto, Patriot's Vice President of Product Development. "The V570's innovative FPS+MMO hybrid design and its rich feature set offer high performance, versatility, and customization for the most serious gamer. The V530's aggressive lines and LED lighting options make it the perfect entry level choice for the casual gamer. These products demonstrate our commitment and passion for providing the gaming community with new and innovative gaming gear they can rely on."

Patriot Presents New 256GB LX Series microSDXC Card

Patriot, a leading manufacturer of SSDs, computer memory, flash storage solutions, mobile accessories and gaming peripherals, today announced the addition of a 256GB capacity to its LX Series line of microSDXC cards. Utilizing the latest 3D NAND technology, allowing for more storage in a dime-sized form factor, the 256GB LX Series is capable of capturing hours of 4K UHD and Full HD video and thousands of high-resolution images. Ideal for support of the latest action camera, drone and Android smartphone or tablet, the 256GB LX delivers users top of the line performance coupled with an unbeatable amount of storage. With the infinite possibilities of cinematic production, thanks to drone technology, the new 256GB LX series fulfills a need for longer hours of video production with professional image quality.

"Patriot is excited to expand the LX microSD series with its latest addition of a 256GB capacity," said Meng J. Choo, Patriot's Flash Product Manager. "This U3 card will enable users to record around 12 to 14 hours of 4K, Ultra HD video, making it a perfect solution for the latest smart phones, high-end drones and action cameras."

Patriot Announces Three New Gaming Headsets

Patriot, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions, today announced the new Patriot Viper V370 RGB headset, V361 LED headset and the V330 stereo headset. "We are very excited to add three newly designed headsets to our lineup this year," said Roger Shinmoto, Patriot's Vice President of Product Development. "The V330 stereo headset will offer great stereo sound quality for PC or mobile gaming enthusiasts, while the V361 and V370 RGB headsets will offer the same proven 7.1 virtual surround sound and Ultra Base Response (UBR) system our customers have come to enjoy."

The V370 and V361 7.1 virtual surround sound headsets come equipped with 40mm neodymium drivers for precise sound detection in FPS and MMO games. An added 30mm sub-driver enhances the bass and provides gamers with an immersive experience bringing every explosion, tie-fighter and gunfire to life. A red V lights the side of the V361, while the V370 comes to life with full-spectrum RGB lighting. Connecting through a gold plated USB, the V370 and V361 have downloadable software to adjust sound levels and lighting effects.

Patriot Announces the V770 RGB and V730 Mechanical Gaming Keyboards

Patriot, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions, today announced the new Patriot Viper V770 RGB gaming keyboard and the V730 LED gaming keyboard, bringing affordable feature-rich solutions to the fingertips of gamers everywhere. "We are committed to offering products for a wide range of gaming enthusiasts and our two new keyboards will appeal to players at both ends of the spectrum," said Roger Shinmoto, Patriot's Vice President of Product Development.

GeForce Experience Mandatory Registration, Login and Game Scanning Can Be Disabled

YouTube user TechMax has uploaded a video in which he shows a way to circumvent GeForce Experience's most wanted feature of all time: the mandatory login. One of the least popular features of NVIDIA's most recent GeForce Experience 3.0 update was the introduction of the mandatory logins, meaning that if you didn't, you wouldn't have access to GeForce Experience features, and even the in-app driver update wouldn't be available to you. In case you don't want the green genies to know when you're online, for how long, what hardware you use, and which games you play, and want to make use of the features embedded in NVIDIA's app, watch the video below and follow its steps. You'll need to copy and paste some lines of code, but it shouldn't prove too difficult. You can find the YouTube video below, and a transcript of the steps after the break.


Linksys Introduces the Velop Full Range Router

Linksys, the home router pioneer and first to sell 100 million routers globally, today announced the introduction of Velop, its premier Whole Home Wi-Fi product. Velop is the first Tri-Band modular Wi-Fi system that can be installed in various mesh configurations providing fast and reliable Wi-Fi to the edge of a home network. Velop is designed for performance as well as elegance; it's small enough to be placed anywhere with a clean and attractive look that appeals to everyone. Each Velop "node" is a powerful Tri-Band AC2200 device that serves as router, range extender, access point, and bridge which provides users the future proof technology they need as they bring new and more devices into the home.

Each node is configured during setup by the accompanying Linksys app (available for iOS and Android), which provides the industry's simplest and most intuitive setup leveraging Bluetooth to securely communicate between the mobile device and each node. After setup is complete, the Linksys app serves as a powerful Wi-Fi management tool with useful features, such as guest access, parental controls, device prioritization, and more. Velop helps users get the most out of their broadband subscription by delivering 100% of their Internet speed to the edge of their network. Velop is available in 3-pack, 2-pack and 1-pack options. Linksys is launching Velop globally with retail, ecommerce, and service provider partners, including Best Buy, Amazon, Curry's, PC World, and PCCW.

HyperX Announces the Alloy RGB Gaming Keyboard, and its Two Other Variants

At the 2016 International CES expo, Kingston announced three new gaming keyboards, the Alloy RGB, and two new mechanical switch options for the Alloy FPS keyboard. To begin with, the Alloy RGB is a line of mechanical keyboards unto itself, featuring RGB LED-illuminated Cherry MX RGB switches across its spectrum. It is based on the same design as the original Alloy FPS keyboard the company launched back in October 2016. The company launched two more variants of the Alloy FPS, featuring Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Brown switches. Market availability of the Alloy RGB is slated for Q3-2017, it is yet to be priced. The Cherry MX Red and MX Brown variants of the Alloy FPS will launch later this month, priced at US $99.99.

HyperX Also Announces the Pulsefire Gaming Mouse

Alongside their new Cloud Revolver S headphones, which joins HyperX's already strong headphone lineup, the company has also taken the opportunity to announce a new product as CES 2017: the Pulsefire gaming mouse.

The first optical mouse in the HyperX range of products comes with the standard, run-of-the-mill load-out on gaming mice - 2x programmable side buttons, a threaded scroll wheel and rubberized grips. It also packs in four preset DPI settings (400/800/1,600/3,200), adjustable by the DPI button on top of the mouse, which lets you calibrate your mouse's sensitivity on the fly, and makes use of a braided USB cord to offer a little more durability.

The Pulsefire is due out in April 2017 for under $50.

HyperX Announces the New Cloud Revolver S 7.1 Flagship Headphones

After the spin-off from Kingston, HyperX has only been releasing gaming hardware for a few years, expanding its lineup throughout all kinds of gaming peripherals, from keyboards to headphones and mice. The Cloud Revolver S, announced at CES 2017, are the biggest, baddest headphones in HyperX's range of offerings, attaining flagship status.

HyperX is aiming for comfort first and sound second, driving 50mm drivers and plug-and-play Dolby 7.1-channel surround sound through a setup with memory foam cups and a wider steel headband.

BIOSTAR Announces the Racing Z270GT9 Motherboard

BIOSTAR is proud to announce its latest motherboard supporting the 7th-generation of Intel Core series processors with the announcement of the BIOSTAR RACING Z270GT9. Featuring the latest Intel Z270 chipset, this motherboard supports LGA1151 processors for the latest in performance and power as well as the best features including support for DDR4-3600+ high-speed memory, six PCI-E x16 3.0 slots, and two USB 3.1 (TYPE A+C) ports amongst others.

Built upon reliability, the new BIOSTAR RACING Z270GT9 features enhanced endurance and stability under intense conditions which is a great advantage for gamers thanks to its improved power design named Digital Power+ which features IR digital PWM controller and PowIRstage IC which offer excellent stability and voltage delivery whilst operating cooler and more reliable under load than competing designs. The BIOSTAR RACING Z270GT9 features 14-phase power design complimented with all solid capacitors for a stable overclocking experience.

Lenovo Shows How "Different Innovates Better"

Lenovo today kicked off the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show with a full range of exciting products to show how "different innovates better." Today's consumers expect their devices to be tailor-made to meet their needs and fit their usage habits, whether at home, in the office or on the go. Today's announcement solidifies Lenovo's continued dedication to innovation through the lens of every individual and the demand of their distinct life.

"Our approach to innovation is to ensure we're constantly evolving and understanding how technology is infused within every individual, business and home," said Gianfranco Lanci, president and chief operating officer, Lenovo. "We're dedicated to understanding our customers and will never stop creating better experiences, whether PCs for work, play or gaming, next generation AR/VR innovation or within the smarter home."

IN WIN and EK Water Blocks Announce Strategic Partnership

In Win Development Inc., a leading manufacturer of innovative PC cases, and EK Water Blocks (EKWB), the leader in the high-end PC water cooling components, today announced their strategic partnership, which includes jointly developed products, sales bundles and joint marketing activities. At the beginning of this year's CES in Las Vegas, Win will be exhibiting a D-Frame 2.0 of the Signature series, equipped with an assembly unit developed by EKWB, which takes up their high-end water cooling components. Further jointly developed products will be presented during 2017.

The future sales partner extends to North and Latin America as well as other European regions in which Win and EKWB have set the goal to offer enthusiasts perfect, matched products consisting of high-end water cooling components and exclusive enclosures.

AMD Announces Freesync 2 With Expanded HDR Capabilities

But no, bar the name, it doesn't have almost anything to do with AMD's renowned Freesync. Instead, according to Videocardz, AMD are apparently expanding the Freesync functionality to more than just an adaptive synchronization technology - it might eventually become a software stack unto itself, embedded within AMD's drivers. This would be a smart move from AMD, since they would be taking advantage of Freesync's brand and name recognition on the market as a way to promote new features.

Elitegroup Showcase Brand New Mini PC LIVA Z

ECS is pleased to showcase brand new mini PC LIVA Z family series products at 2017 CES. we are sincerely invite you to explore our latest innovations and new technology ,for more info, please refer to attached press release . The display products of ECS include LIVA Z Mini PC, LIVA ZE Mini PC, LIVA Z Plus and Mini PC. Among them, LIVA Z Plus Mini PC will be displayed in Exhibition Hall Live Demo, showing Intel 7th generation Kaby Lake latest performance and emphasizing the rich use situation.

We will display dual screens that display both HDMI and DisplayPort independent monitors, with extra monitors allowing you to have more space for multitasking. At the same time, it presents the seamless connection of life style. The built in 802.11ac is three times faster than the old version of the Wi-Fi standard networking speed. You can easily share the network and provide peripherals device for network roaming through mobile hotspot function. It is compatible with any Bluetooth device and realizes wireless entertainment free life with Bluetooth 4.0. LIVA Z Plus minicomputer is equipped with the latest Intel graphics technology and makes the family entertainment and games step into a new realm. The exhibition will also show the popular game LOL(League of Legends) by using high-resolution settings smooth screen. You can enjoy the lifelike photos and there will be no distortion of the situation.
Monday, January 2nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
SSD

Shuttle NC02U w/ Intel Celeron 3855U

Shuttle's newest release is the NC02U series whose predecessor is the NC01U line. Today, we will take a look at this line's entry model featuring Windows support, an Intel Celeron CPU and quiet operation.

Speedlink to Release the 10-Button Omnivi Flagship Mouse

German company Speedlink is about to bring their own gaming flagship gaming mouse towards the US market, one that is arguably over-saturated. However, as times have shown again and again, there is always a little more space for some products that manage to distinguish themselves in the consumers' eye.

To that end, Speedlink is putting up its Omnivi gaming mouse up against the very best and most renowned in the industry, sporting an ergonomic, polarizing design that is meant to either work or not at all for its prospective users. This means its curves and body design are crafted in particular ways in an effort to provide superb grip and feel - to a limited set of right-handed users whose hands adapt to the mice as it was designed. Like all specific designs, it risks alienating part of the potential user base who simply doesn't possess the physical and hand posture characteristics that best work with this mouse; this being the reason why so many mice have rather "neutral", non-contoured designs - in an effort to appeal to a larger potential customer base.

Silverstone Announces the RL06 ATX Case

In yet another addition to their already populated line of computer cases, Silverstone has announced the release of the budget-oriented (by Silverstone's standards) RL06 ATX case. It is built primarily from steel and plastic, and sheds the more premium tempered glass alternative for a more cost-effective transparent plastic side window.

The RL06 will be available in two different color schemes: the usual, gamer-style black with red trim or a more subdued white with silver trim. The base model ships with a single 120mm fan on the rear of the case, but Silverstone also announced a Pro version which comes with three additional 120mm LED fans mounted on the front of the case.

Ominous ve.ga Website Surfaces with a Word Cloud

An ominously named website ve.ga surfaced on the web, pointing to the placeholder of a website AMD dedicated to its upcoming "Vega" GPU architecture. This placeholder has a word-cloud (or tag cloud), which is a 3D spacial clump of keywords/tags sorted by popularity. The words in this word-cloud could spell out key features of the "Vega" architecture, which AMD is expected to unveil later this week.
Here's what we make of these keywords:

ASUS Intros Four Z270 STRIX Series Motherboards

The STRIX series of motherboards for ASUS are characterized by their multi-color (RGB) LED flair over practical mid-segment motherboards. These boards come with headers that simplify RGB LED case lighting using the ASUS Aura software. The company is ready with four such boards, the STRIX Z270H-Gaming and STRIX Z270E-Gaming in the ATX form-factor; the STRIX Z270G-Gaming in the micro-ATX form-factor; and the STRIX Z270I-Gaming, in the mini-ITX form-factor. The Z270H-Gaming is the lighter of the two ATX boards in terms of features, although you still get a 6-phase VRM, two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots with SLI support, two M.2 slots, 8-channel gaming-grade audio, and two USB 3.1 ports. The PCH heatsink has a groovy RGB LED ornament. The Z270E-Gaming leads the series, with a 10-phase VRM, 802.11ac WLAN, reinforced PCIe x16 slots, and RGB LED elements located in a large I/O area shroud that extends into the VRM heatsinks.

The Z270G-Gaming is the micro-ATX offering from this lineup. It has more features than the Z270H-Gaming, but fewer slots than the Z270E-Gaming. You get the same 10-phase VRM, and connectivity that includes gaming-grade audio, USB 3.1 ports, two M.2 slots, but no I/O shroud, and the RGB LED element is located in the PCH heatsink. The Z270I-Gaming is brimming with features, including concealed M.2 slot, a reinforced PCIe slot, 8-channel HD audio, 802.11ac WLAN, four SATA 6 Gb/s ports. RGB LED lighting is care of an LED strip located in the reverse side of the PCB, along the right edge of the PCB.
Source: VideoCardz

ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex Leads the Pack

Here are some of the first pictures of ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus IX Apex, the company's flagship motherboard based on the Intel Z270 Express chipset. The board has many first-in-segment features. To begin with, it features a non-rectangular PCB, which probably lets you quickly pull the board out of bench-tables. Designed for extreme overclocking, the Maximus IX Apex draws power from a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and one 4-pin Molex. The CPU is wired to three memory slots, two of these are DDR4, and make up the dual-channel DDR4 interface. The third slot is DDR3, and can be enabled at the flick of a switch, for troubleshooting the DDR4 memory OC.

The Maximus IX Apex features four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, from which two are wired to the CPU (topmost slot and third slot), and run at x8/x8 when both are populated. The second and fourth x16 slots are electrical x4 and wired to the Z270 PCH. Although not visible, it's likely that this board features one or two M.2 slots, at the reverse side of the PCB. 8-channel HD audio, Intel gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.1 ports (including type-C), and display outputs that include DisplayPort and HDMI, make for the rest of the connectivity. The board appears to feature a great deal of onboard OC buttons and switches. ASUS will reveal these features when it launches the motherboard a little later this month.
Source: VideoCardz
Sunday, January 1st 2017

ASUS Prime B250M-Plus Pictured, Too

The third Prime B250 series motherboard by ASUS is the B250M-Plus. This micro-ATX motherboard offers most of the features its bigger siblings ship with. The board features the same 7-phase VRM as the other boards. Expansion slots include one each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16, PCIe x1, and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board offers 8-channel HD audio (compared to 6-channel on the larger boards), gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, and display outputs that include HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub. Expect a sub-$100 price.

Source: VideoCardz

ASUS Prime B250 Pro Motherboard Detailed

ASUS is introducing the new Prime family of motherboards positioned between its Pro Gaming series and its mainline series. These are motherboards that share their feature-set from the company's mainline series, but feature black PCBs, and black+red product styling reminiscent of some of its premium ROG motherboards. Here are some of the first pictures of the Prime B250 Pro, an ATX form-factor motherboard priced around the $100 mark. The board could share its PCB design with the Prime Z270 Pro. Based on the Intel B250 Express chipset, the board lacks NVIDIA SLI support, or the kind of CPU overclocking features the Z270 chipset does.

The Prime Z270 Pro draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 wired to the CPU, a second x16 (electrical x4) slot wired to the PCH, and two each of PCI-Express 3.0 x1 and legacy PCI slots. Storage connectivity includes two M.2 slots, from which one is 32 Gb/s (bottom), and the other 16 Gb/s (top); and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board offers two USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, one USB 3.0 type-C port, two USB 3.0 type-A ports on the rear panel, and four USB 3.0 ports by headers. Display connectivity includes HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub. ASUS also has a stripped-down variant of this board, called the Prime B250 Plus. It lacks USB 3.1 ports, and the heatsink over the CPU VRM.

Source: VideoCardz