News Archive

Thursday, June 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

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

Das Keyboard Prime 13

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

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

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

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

NVIDIA "Pascal" Based Mining GPU Lineup Detailed

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

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

Futuremark Releases PCMark 10 Basic and Advanced Editions

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

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

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

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

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

Cryorig Announces Seamless LGA2066 Support

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

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

GIGABYTE Intros MZ30-AR0 Motherboard for AMD EPYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Hot Hardware

Windows 10 Task Manager to Get GPU Utilization Tab

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

Source: Windows Blog

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

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

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

Source: Techradar

Memblaze Releases PBlaze5 PCIe NVMe SSD

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

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

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors

Cougar Panzer

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

AMD Radeon RX 560 vs. GTX 1050

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

NVIDIA Announces the Tesla V100 PCI-Express HPC Accelerator

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

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

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

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

Toshiba Elects Preferred Bidder for Its Memory Business Sale

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

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

Source: ABC News

CryEngine to Support Vulkan Renderer in Upcoming 5.4 Update

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

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

After Kaspersky's Shots Across the Bow, Microsoft Reacts

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

BIOSTAR Announces A68N-5600 SoC Motherboard for SFF and HTPCs

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

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

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

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

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

Raijintek Intros the Juno X Low-profile CPU Cooler

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

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

GIGABYTE Releases AORUS GTX 1070 Gaming Box

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

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

Today's Reviews

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

Asus ROG Strix Magnus

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

AMD EPYC Architecture & Technical Overview

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

AMD also Announces Radeon Instinct MI8 and MI6 Machine Learning Accelerators

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

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

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

AMD Announces the Radeon Instinct MI25 Deep Learning Accelerator

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

AMD Reveals EPYC Datacenter Processor Pricing

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

AMD Unveils Record-Setting EPYC Datacenter Processor

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

Firefox 54 Released: Multi-process, Optimized Memory Footprint

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

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

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

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

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

Source: HWBattle

MSI Announces GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z Graphics Card

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

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

AMD Broadens Compatibility List of DDR4 Memory for Ryzen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Futuremark Announces Testdriver Benchmark Automation Software

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

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

GIGABYTE X299 AORUS Motherboards Begin to Ship

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

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

Cooler Master Launches MasterKeys Pro L NVIDIA Edition Keyboard

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

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

Finalwire Announces AIDA64 v5.92

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

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

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

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

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

Today's Reviews

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

G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 3600 MHz C16 DDR4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blizzard in Process of Remastering Diablo 2, Warcraft 3

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

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

Source: Careers @Blizzard, Careers @Blizzard

Alienware Inks Ryzen Threadripper 16-core Exclusivity Deal with AMD

Alienware has inked an exclusivity deal with AMD which makes it the only pre-built gaming PC vendor to sell desktops with 16-core Ryzen Threadripper processors, until the end of 2017. The company's upcoming Area 51 desktops will feature AMD's flagship 16-core/32-thread processors, combined with quad-channel memory, and the fastest graphics card options money can buy. This does not affect DIY consumers. You will still be able to buy retail PIB (processor in a box) packages of the 16-core Threadripper chips from your friendly neighborhood PC hardware store. Alienware will, however, make its next Area 51 release special to make the most out of this exclusivity deal.

Source: TechTimes

AMD Readies B2 Stepping of the Ryzen "Summit Ridge" Silicon

AMD is readying a new stepping of its 14 nm "Summit Ridge" eight-core CPU silicon, which powers its socket AM4 Ryzen processors, according to Canard PC. The new B2 stepping reportedly addresses a lot of hardware-level errata which cannot be fixed merely by AGESA updates. According to Canard PC, the changes seem to be focused on the uncore components of "Summit Ridge." Typically, uncore refers to the integrated northbridge, which includes components such as the memory controllers, PCI-Express root complex, etc.

If the B2 stepping is mostly focused on uncore-level errata, it could mean improved PCI-Express device support, and perhaps even memory support improvements beyond even what AGESA 1.0.0.6 brings to the table. Canard PC reports that it hasn't come across any CPU core-specific errata being addressed with the B2 stepping. The glaring FMA3-related bug has been patched through BIOS updates, and most newer batches of socket AM4 motherboards come with the patch pre-installed.

Source: Canard PC (Twitter)

Intel 300-series Chipset Could Integrate WLAN and USB 3.1

With its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors bound for the second half of 2017, which consist of upper-mainstream quad-core and six-core chips, Intel is launching its companion 300-series chipset, namely the Z370 Express. The company could launch cheaper H370 and B350 chipsets in the first quarter of 2018 alongside cheaper quad-core and dual-core "Coffee Lake" processors. This platform could herald a new socket. What sets the 300-series chipset - at least the Z370 - apart from its predecessors, is that it integrates WLAN and USB 3.1 gen 2.0 controllers, which could hit the bottom-lines of third-party controller suppliers such as Realtek, Broadcom, and ASMedia, particularly hard.

Intel already has access to various WLAN and USB patents and licenses; which could enable it to deploy 802.11ac R2 and Bluetooth 5.0 on its integrated WLAN controller; besides the latest 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2.0 ports. As a clear indication that these features won't be restricted to the premium desktop Z370 platform, it is being reported that integrated WLAN and USB 3.1 could also feature on the company's entry-level "Gemini Lake" SoC, which succeeds "Apollo Lake." This move is part of Intel's drive to miniaturize the PCB footprint of the platform, so it could feature in low-power convertibles that compete with ones based on ARM SoCs, and is particularly important in the wake of Qualcomm courting Microsoft for a convertible that runs Win32 apps over emulated x86, a move that has irked Intel.Source: DigiTimes

MSI Intros X299 Tomahawk Arctic Motherboard

MSI today introduced the X299 Tomahawk Arctic motherboard. A near-identical variant of the X299 Tomahawk, the board features a mostly-white color scheme with grey and black accents. It features a white PCB with grey streaks. The white scheme carries over to the chipset and VRM heatsinks, the rear I/O shroud, the eight DDR4 DIMM and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. The heatsinks and rear I/O shroud also feature brushed-aluminium inserts for added style.

The X299 Tomahawk Arctic is a bustling metropolis which draws power from a single 8-pin EPS connector besides 24-pin ATX. The board features a 9-phase CPU VRM, and 4-phase memory. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8 with 44-lane CPUs; x16/NC/NC/NC or x8/NC/x8/x4 with 28-lane CPUs). The first and third slots feature metal reinforcement. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, a 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Networking is care of a single GbE connection driven by Intel i219-V controller. The onboard audio solution combines a Realtek ALC1150 (up to 115 dBA SNR) CODEC with audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Friday, June 16th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
PSUs
SSD

AMD EPYC 7000 Series Details Leaked, Including Product Specifications and Clocks

A set of details on AMD's upcoming Naples platform's family of EPYC CPUs has leaked on the site videocardz.com, claiming that the top product, the EPYC 7601, will feature a turbo clock of no less than 3.2 GHz (base clocks are more moderate at around 2.2 GHz for the EPYC 7601), with a core count of 32 Zen units, and 64 threads. These clocks are pretty high for a 32-core CPU, and will probably be only for a handful of cores at a time. The EPYC 7601 is also a hot chip according to this leak, in both thermals and price. It costs over $4000 USD, and has a TDP of 180 Watts (not bad at all for a 32-core part, though!)

The rest of the lineup is detailed as well, but as this is a leak that is blatantly admitting to violating an NDA, it goes without saying this could be nothing more than a fabrication. Take it with your usual dose of healthy skepticism.

For the full details of the leak (including the rest of the expected lineup), you can view the source link below.

Source: videocardz.com

Core i9-7900X Skylake-X Review Shows Up

An Intel Core i9-7900X has appeared for a full review at the site Hexus.net. Spoiler alert, it clocks to 4.7 GHz on all ten cores with relative ease (only taking 1.25 V, apparently, though it racked up nearly 100°C in Cinebench at that voltage).

The review praised Intel's overclocking headroom and general muscle in a mostly positive review. Still, not all is rosy in Intel land. They found performance per watt to not have improved much if at all, criticized the high price tag, and Hexus.net had the following to say about the overall experience:

"X299 motherboards don't appear to be quite ready, there are question marks surrounding the Skylake-X processors due later this year, and at the lower end of the Core X spectrum, Kaby Lake-X is nothing short of puzzling."

ASRock Giving Rebate Rewards for Newegg Customers Who Leave Verified Reviews

A post is making the rounds on Reddit that calls readers' attention towards the fact that ASRock is giving additional rebates to customers who purchase a qualifying motherboard on Newegg. The fact that a given ASRock motherboard rose from around 10 to upwards of 50 customer reviews in almost no time gave the first warning bell; however, is there really something to be alarmed about?

Mail-in-rebates are something of a given in US stores, and companies can choose what kind of conditions must be met towards a customer being eligible for a mail-in rebate. Sometimes, these are product-oriented. Other times, a minimum expense threshold is defined, after which the customer is entitled to a rebate. ASRock is now adding a rebate solely on the condition that a verified purchaser of one of their motherboards on Newegg comes back to the site to put up a review. A detail that makes or breaks this action: the customers are in no way encouraged to post a positive review. In no way a positive or negative review affects a customer's eligibility. Only whether or not you made a verified purchase, and came back to leave feedback. Whether that is a 1-star rating or a 5-star one doesn't affect your eligibility. I for one think that this is a sound business practice, and that more companies should be doing this, as a way to demonstrate confidence on their products, and attract customer interaction. But don't take my opinion; just give us our own. What do you think of this strategy?

Source: Reddit

ZOTAC Intros GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme Core Edition

ZOTAC introduced the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti AMP Extreme Core Edition graphics card (model: ZT-P10810F-10P). Positioned between its flagship air-cooled AMP Extreme and AMP Edition SKUs, the AMP Extreme Core Edition retains the product design of the AMP Extreme, but comes with lower clock speeds. The card ships with factory-overclocked speeds of 1607 MHz core, 1721 MHz GPU Boost, and 11.2 GHz (GDDR5X-effective) memory; compared to the 1645/1759 MHz the AMP Extreme comes with, and the 1480/1582 MHz NVIDIA-reference clocks. Besides clock speeds, everything is identical between the AMP Extreme Core Edition and the original AMP Extreme. There could be a minor price difference between the two.

Microsoft Won't be Profiting from the Xbox One X's $499 Price Point

The lid was taken from Microsoft's Project Scorpio console last weekend. Commercially named the Xbox One X, the new Xbox console will join the "Xbox family of devices" with much higher power envelope than any other console currently in the market, at 6 TFLOPs of computing power. At that rate, Microsoft says (and has demonstrated) that its new console will be able to power premium, true 4K experiences. However, some analysts say that the $499 price point will be too high for consumers, which usually look to purchase consoles in the $249, $349 price band.

That said, the question could be put to Microsoft whether or not the company could have decreased their new console's pricing even further, by taking a cut from the hardware selling profits. When asked whether Microsoft was making any profit at all from the Xbox One X's retail pricing, Phil Spencer answered with a pretty frontal "No". So Microsoft really isn't profiting from the sale of any Xbox One X console, which may look somewhat unbelievable considering its steep price point (relatively; we have to keep in mind this console Can actually power 4K experiences.) However, this is nothing new: in fact, most gaming consoles ever released barely made any amount of money on hardware sales at the moment of their introduction to market. Manufacturers such as Microsoft and Sony instead usually choose to subsidize console purchases by bringing their profit margin to zero (and sometimes even below zero, as in, the consoles cost more to manufacture than their selling point) so as to allow a greater number of customers to purchase the hardware. Software, and more recently DLC, is where the money is to be made in consoles.

EK Water Blocks Announces EK-FC1080 GTX Ti TF6 Full-coverage VGA Block

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is proud to introduce a new Full-Cover water block designed and engineered to fit four MSI GEFORCE GTX 1080 Ti based graphics cards. This kind of efficient cooling will allow your high-end graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

This water block directly cools the GPU, RAM as well as VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas, thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under full load and high overclocks. EK-FC1080 GTX Ti TF6 water block features a central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

Exascale Supercomputer Technology Buoyed by $258M Grant by US Dept. of Energy

Developing supercomputers isn't for the faint of heart. Much less it is for those that are looking for fast development and deployment time-frames. And as such, even as the world's supercomputers are getting increasingly faster and exorbitantly expensive to develop and deploy, players who want to stay ahead have to think ahead as well. To this end, the US Department of Energy has awarded a total of $258M in research contracts to six of the US's foremost tech companies to accelerate the development of Exascale Supercomputer technologies (AMD, Cray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, and NVIDIA.) These companies will be working over a three year contract period, and will have to support at least 40% of the project cost - to help develop the technologies needed to build an exascale computer for 2021. It isn't strange that the companies accepted the grant and jumped at the opportunity: 60% savings in research and development they'd have to do for themselves is nothing to scoff at.

Supercomputers birthed from the project are expected to be in the exaFLOPS scale of computing performance, which is around 50 times more processing power than the generation of supercomputers being installed now. Since traditional supercomputing knowledge and materials are known to falter at the objective level of exaFLOPS performance, the PathForward program - which looks to ensure achievement of such systems in a timely fashion to ensure US leadership in the field of supercomputing - will need to see spurred research and development, which the $258M grant is looking out to do.

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition TDP and Pricing Revealed

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition goes on sale later this month (26 June). It is designed to provide a "gateway" to the "Vega" GPU architecture for graphics professionals and game developers alike, with the consumer graphics product, the Radeon RX Vega, is bound for late-July/early-August. Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition, being a somewhat "enterprise-segment" product, was expected to have slightly lower TDP than its consumer-graphics sibling, since enterprise-segment implementations of popular GPUs tend to have slightly restrained clock speeds. Apparently, AMD either didn't clock the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition low, or the chip has extremely high TDP.

According to specifications put out by EXXACT, a retailer which deals with enterprise hardware, the air-cooled variant of the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition has a TDP rated at 300W, while its liquid-cooled variant has its TDP rated as high as 375W. To put this in perspective, the consumer-segment TITAN Xp by NVIDIA has its TDP rated at 275W. EXXACT is claiming big performance advantages in certain enterprise benchmarks such as SPECVIEWPERF and Cinebench. In other news, the air-cooled Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition is reportedly priced at USD $1,199; while the liquid-cooled variant is priced at $1,799. Based on the 14 nm "Vega 10" silicon, the Pro Vega Frontier Edition features 4,096 stream processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory across a 2048-bit memory interface.

Synology Introduces DiskStation DS1517 and DS1817

Synology Inc. launched the new DiskStation DS1517 and DS1817, powerful and scalable 5-bay and 8-bay desktop NAS. DS1817 is the first Value series equipped with built-in 10GbE LAN ports and an expandable RAM module, delivering future-proof, high-speed storage for professionals and growing small/medium-sized businesses.

DS1817 is powered by a quad-core 1.7GHz processor with RAM module expandable up to 8GB. Thanks to the built-in 10GbE interfaces, DS1817 can achieve outstanding sequential throughput performance exceeding 1,577 MB/s reading and 739 MB/s writing when using RAID 5. The built-in 10GBASE-T ports and 1GBASE-T LAN ports pave the way for businesses to upgrade to a 10GbE environment, and provide the support of Link Aggregation and failover.
Thursday, June 15th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Cougar Immersa

The Cougar Immersa is an extremely comfortable, well-built, and fun-sounding gaming headset. It's equipped with a retractable microphone and supports all gaming platforms. Costing a mere $50, its price-performance ratio is simply amazing.

Underside of AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pictured

AMD Ryzen Threadripper is a really big processor, and here's what its underside looks like. A multi-chip module (MCM) of two eight-core "Summit Ridge" dies, it is also AMD's first client-segment processor to feature a land-grid array (LGA) socket interface, since the decade-old Athlon64 FX 72; with the pins being located on the motherboard, and contact-points on the CPU package. Until now, AMD has limited large LGA sockets to its enterprise processors. The processor is based on the 4,094-pin socket SP3r2, which is increasingly being referred to by motherboard and cooler manufacturers as "TR4."

Given that it is an MCM of two dies, you can see a clear dividing line between two groups of the contact points that make up the total pin count of 4,094 pins. There are also two distinct ancillary cutouts which holds critical electrical components for the dies above. Something like this is lacking on the socket AM4 Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors, where the cutout is blank, and the ancillaries are located around the CPU die, on the other side of the fiberglass substrate. AMD Ryzen Threadripper could be available from 27 July.

Source: Austin Evans (Twitter)

Intel Announces New Mesh Interconnect For Xeon Scalable, Skylake-X Processors

Intel's "Xeon Scalable" lineup is designed to compete directly with AMD's Naples platform. Naples, a core-laden, high performance server platform that relies deeply on linking multiple core complexes together via AMD's own HyperTransport derived Infinity Fabric Interconnect has given intel some challenges in terms of how to structure its own high-core count family of devices. This has led to a new mesh-based interconnect technology from Intel.

New NVIDIA Specialized Pascal 1060-based Cryptocoin Mining GPUs Photographed

Pictures of the new Pascal 1060-based Cryptocoin-specific mining GPUs have surfaced on the Chinese tech site expreview.com. They look markedly different than their gaming variety, not only lacking any display outputs (as expected), but also lacking any fan or active cooling at all and merely having a passive aluminum heatsink to cool it. It is likely that it could expect external active cooling or high airflow cases to function properly.
The design also seems to sport a custom PCB, and a single PCI-e power connector, suggesting a reasonably low power draw. The site also hints at a 1080 "mining edition" GPU being in the works, but has no photographic evidence on that front.

Expreview appears to have a lot of them already set up in a good quality rack-miner style setup, so feel free to oogle over this article's photographs if you happen to be interested in the Cryptocoin "wave" as of late.Source: expreview.com

Rapoo Announces the VPRO V720S Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Rapoo expanded its VPRO line of gaming peripherals with the new VPRO V720S mechanical gaming keyboard. The company's flagship keyboard, the V720S features a standard layout with 12 macro keys. The keyboard features a premium metal finish top. Handling the business end of things are mechanical switches with RGB LEDs, which can make up 16.7 million colors. The included software lets you set macros and color for each individual key, besides lighting schemes, which are then stored locally on the keyboard's internal memory. The electronics offer anti-ghosting and 1000 Hz polling rate. Available now, the VPRO V720S is priced at 99€.

ADATA Launches the IM2P3388 Industrial-Grade PCIe M.2 NVMe SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched the industrial-grade IM2P3388 PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 solid state drive. It employs 3D MLC NAND Flash and an SMI controller to deliver performance several times faster than SATA III SSDs, with read up to 2500MB/s and write reaching 1100MB/s. The M.2 2280 form factor fits easily in the IT setup of industrial and enterprise users, while the IM2P3388 can withstand a wide temperature range, shocks, and vibration. The IM2P3388 is offered in up to 1TB and supports a range of features such as S.M.A.R.T, TRIM, power fail protection, and secure erase.

The IM2P3388 complies with NVMe 1.2 specifications to provide performance optimized for low latency, big bandwidth PCI Express 3.0 x4 (four lanes). Users tap up to 2500MB/s read and 1100MB/s write, greatly accelerating data transfers to help increase productivity and efficiency. ADATA is offering the IM2P3388 in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. All models carry premium 3D MLC NAND that has been carefully sorted, tested, and verified to the highest standards. SLC and DRAM caching provide speed boosts for sustained performance during even the most intense activity sessions, preventing bandwidth or IOPS drop offs.

GLOBALFOUNDRIES on Track to Deliver Leading-Performance 7nm FinFET Technology

GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced the availability of its 7nm Leading-Performance (7LP) FinFET semiconductor technology, delivering a 40 percent generational performance boost to meet the needs of applications such as premium mobile processors, cloud servers and networking infrastructure. Design kits are available now, and the first customer products based on 7LP are expected to launch in the first half of 2018, with volume production ramping in the second half of 2018.

In September 2016, GF announced plans to develop its own 7nm FinFET technology leveraging the company's unmatched heritage of manufacturing high-performance chips. Thanks to additional improvements at both the transistor and process levels, the 7LP technology is exceeding initial performance targets and expected to deliver greater than 40 percent more processing power and twice the area scaling than the previous 14nm FinFET technology. The technology is now ready for customer designs at the company's leading-edge Fab 8 facility in Saratoga County, N.Y.

"Our 7nm FinFET technology development is on track and we are seeing strong customer traction, with multiple product tapeouts planned in 2018," said Gregg Bartlett, senior vice president of the CMOS Business Unit at GF. "And, while driving to commercialize 7nm, we are actively developing next-generation technologies at 5nm and beyond to ensure our customers have access to a world-class roadmap at the leading edge."

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.6.2

AMD late Wednesday released the latest version of Radeon Software Crimso ReLive Edition. Version 17.6.2 beta is the second release for this month, and comes with a quick-fix for the performance loss noticed in DiRT 4 after its latest game-patch, when the MSAA is cranked up to 8x. The rest of its feature-set appears unchanged from the previous 17.6.1 drivers. AMD has added to the list of known issues, listed after the break.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.6.2
The change-log follows.

Samsung Ramps up 64-Layer 3D V-NAND Memory Production

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun volume production of 64-layer, 256Gb V-NAND flash memory for use with an expanding line-up of storage solutions for server, PC and mobile applications. Since Samsung began producing the industry's first SSD based on 64-layer 256Gb V-NAND chips in January for key IT customers, it has been working on a wide range of new V-NAND-based mobile and consumer storage solutions. These include embedded UFS memory, branded SSDs and external memory cards, which the company plans to introduce later this year.

To solidify its competitive edge in the memory market, Samsung intends for its volume production of the 64-layer V-NAND chip, which is widely referred to as 4th generation V-NAND, to cover more than 50 percent of its monthly NAND flash production by year end. "Following a long commitment to innovative technology, we will continuously push the limits of generations of industry-first V-NAND production, in moving the industry closer to the advent of the terabit V-NAND era," said Kye Hyun Kyung, Executive Vice President of the Flash Product and Technology team, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "We will keep developing next-generation V-NAND products in sync with the global IT industry so that we can contribute to the timeliest launches of new systems and services, in bringing a higher level of satisfaction to consumers."

XIGMATEK Launches the Whiz CPU Cooler

XIGMATEK today launched the Whiz upper-mainstream CPU air cooler, which it debuted at the 2017 Computex. The cooler features a conventional tower-type heatsink design, and can handle thermal loads of up to 150W. Four 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU at the aluminum base, conveying heat to the fin-stack, which is ventilated by an included XIGMATEK SE II Red fan, with support for a second fan in push-pull configuration.

The included fan takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins between 800 to 2,000 RPM, pushing up to 78 CFM of air, with a noise output as low as 19.4 dBA. The fin-stack is capped off by a stylized top-plate. The XIGMATEK Whiz measures135 mm x 85 mm x 158 mm (LxWxH). It supports most modern CPU sockets, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2011v3, LGA115x, LGA1366, and LGA775.
Wednesday, June 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

Vortex Race 3 Keyboard

The Race 3 is the latest iteration in the Race 75% keyboard line from Vortexgear, offering TKL functionality in a much smaller form factor. In addition, the Race 3 has thick PBT keycaps, multiple OS and layout support, four layers with programmability, and an anodized aluminum case to make sure you get a long-lasting keyboard of high build quality.

Linux Raspberry Pi Devices Being Infected by Cryptocoin "Mining Malware"

If you have your Raspberry Pi setup and have never changed the default password on the standard "pi" user, it's probably time to do so. A new malware has come out that exploits the simple fact several users apparently have never changed this password. Once it installs itself, it exploits the recent rise in value on cryptocurrency (Bitcoin recently topped $3000 per BTC) to mine cryptocoins for the authors benefit. This not only uses almost 100% of your poor Raspberry Pi's limited CPU, but also makes it part of a "mining botnet" that nets the controller money, adding insult to injury. The malware also makes an anonymous proxy on your box, which needless to say is probably not a good thing.

Microsoft Issues Another Windows XP Patch, Despite Lack of Support

In a bid to stop what it terms "state-sponsored cyberattacks," Microsoft has released yet another critical patch for its Windows XP operating system. This one is aimed at stemming the tide of what many are calling "WannaCry Copycats." Technically speaking, WannaCry itself is a copycat of a much older idea (ransomware in general), but it was the first to spread so effectively via an unpatched Windows-specific platform bug, and as such has in many ways acted as a global "wake up call" for the industry to get their security act together. The true fix is of course to upgrade, but for those who won't or can't, Microsoft is making select critical fixes available to mitigate the damage.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #8

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have the latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

Razer Launches New Blade Stealth with 13.3-inch Display and Gunmetal Color

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced its upgraded 13.3-inch version of the award-winning 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth. The new Razer Blade Stealth is one of the most portable laptops for professionals in the world, measuring 0.52 inches thin, weighing 2.93 pounds and with up to nine hours of battery life.

Razer's latest chassis is CNC-milled out of aircraft grade aluminum, and it is now available in a black or gunmetal gray finish. The gunmetal gray variant features a tone-on-tone Razer logo and white backlit keyboard, offering a sleek, solid and professional design. Gunmetal gray will be available in the United States and Canada.

Intel to Invest US$178 Million to Advance its R&D Innovation in India

Reinforcing its commitment to advance cutting-edge research and development (R&D) and innovation in India, Intel Corporation today announced it will invest US$178 million to expand its R&D presence and build a new state-of-the-art design house in Bengaluru. The proposed facility will be located at Intel's 44-acre campus on Sarjapur Ring Road (SRR) in Bengaluru, Karnataka. With approximately 620,000 sq. ft. of space, including lab capacity, the new building with specialized infrastructure will be used for chip design and verification purposes. This additional capacity will help Intel India consolidate its R&D operations to a large extent at the SRR campus.

Designed to be a "smart and green" building, the upcoming facility, SRR4, will be constructed using innovative "One High Technology," with each floor being built on the ground, then lifted and attached to the of the building, and then built from the roof downward. This technology will enable the reduction of scheduled construction time by 30 percent as compared to traditional construction methods. The second1 such building in India, it will be constructed entirely by local contractors, will be equipped with IoT-based smart features, including smart lights and real-time occupancy management, and will use renewable energy sources like fuel cell-based power.

Flagship AMD Ryzen Threadripper 16-core Chip Appears on GeekBench

Apparently, AMD's nomenclature of its flagship Ryzen Threadripper won't look like years-of-birth of today's gamers after all. The flagship 16-core part will bear the model name Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (and not the previously-reported 1998X). This chip was put through GeekBench 4.1.0, on an ASRock X399 Professional Gaming, paired with 16 GB of DDR4-2133 MHz memory. Whether it's dual-channel or quad-channel, is not known at this point. What is known, however, is that 2133 MHz isn't the best memory frequency for Ryzen; and paired with quad-channel DDR4-3200, one could expect the best possible performance. The 1950X was clocked at 3.40 GHz for this test, which probably is its final nominal clock speed, after all.

The Ryzen Threadripper 1950X sample scored 4,167 single-thread performance, and 24,539 points in multi-threaded performance. To put these numbers into perspective, an Intel Xeon E5-2697A v4 16-core/32-thread processor based on the "Broadwell" architecture scores 30,450 points in multi-threaded performance, even if single-thread performance is as low as 3,651 points. Perhaps the memory setup or SMT isn't optimally set for the Threadripper chip. Among the other Threadripper SKUs AMD plans to launch on July 27 are the 12-core/24-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1920X and 1920 (non-X).

Source: WCCFTech

Creative Announces Sound BlasterX AE-5 Audiophile-grade Gaming Sound Card

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at E3 2017 the latest addition to its Sound BlasterX Pro-Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX AE-5. E3 is the world's premier event for computer, video and mobile games and related products, making it the perfect place to debut the next era of PC audio.

The sound card features the world's best gaming headphone amplifier for PCs. The Sound BlasterX AE-5 delivers the ultimate audio performance with the full force of a 122 dB 32-bit / 384 kHz ESS Sabre DAC, a kick-ass custom-designed 600Ω discrete headphone amp, audiophile-grade components, and proprietary Sound Blaster audio enhancement technologies.

Intel Core X HEDT Processors and X299 Motherboards Release Schedule Detailed

Intel announced the release schedule of its Core X HEDT (high-end desktop) processors and compatible socket LGA2066 motherboards. The first wave of Core X processors, which includes two quad-core SKUs, and one each of 6-core, 8-core, and 10-core (detailed in the table below); will be available from 26 June, 2017. Pre-orders for these chips will open from 19 June, on popular online stores. The first wave includes the quad-core Core i5-7640X, and Core i7-7740X "Kaby Lake-X;" six-core i7-7800X, eight-core i7-7820X, and ten-core i9-7900X "Skylake-X."

Intel plans to release the Core i9-7920X 12-core processor some time in August 2017, followed by 14-core, 16-core, and 18-core parts by October 2017. A large selection of compatible socket LGA2066 motherboards based on Intel X299 chipset, will be available for pre-order on 19 June, followed by retail availability from 26 June. With socket LGA2066 having a similar cooler mount-hole layout to the current LGA2011v3 socket, most current coolers which can cope with thermal loads of Core i7 "Broadwell-E" processors should be able to handle the Core X "Skylake-X" and "Kaby Lake-X" parts being launched this month.

Source: Anandtech
Tuesday, June 13th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Harddisks
Headphones
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD

LEPA NEOllusion

LEPA looks to stand out from the crowd with the NEOllusion CPU cooler. Rather than using fancy RGB LED fans, they opt for an RGB LED heatsink that even has a remote control. Unique, quiet, and downright gimmicky, it's still an interesting contender in a crowded market.

Toshiba Announces Availability of New 14-Inch Tecra X40 Notebook

Toshiba's Client Solutions Division (CSD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the availability of the Tecra X40 laptop with a starting price point of $1,329.99 (MSRP). The company also announced the addition of several accessories, the Thunderbolt 3 Dock ($299.99 MSRP) and multiple USB-C Adapters ($44.99 to $89.99 MSRP). These products are available for purchase via CDW and Toshiba's network of resellers.

The 14-inch Tecra X40 checks in at 16.9 mm thin and 2.76 pounds and rivals the dimensions of many 13-inch laptops. Toshiba designed the Tecra X40 to meet the performance demands of the modern workplace through the adoption of 7th Generation Intel Core Processors and Windows 10 Pro to give users the most powerful processing technology and full-featured operating system technologies on the market. Users will also find features such as Full HD (1920 x 1080) multi-touch wide viewing angle displays, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, solid state drives and batteries with extended life ratings of up to 13 hours. In addition to standard configurations, Toshiba will offer the Tecra X40 with a wide variety of Build-to-Order (BTO) options to enable organizations to select the right CPU, memory, storage, display and security capabilities.

Mushkin Intros Reactor Armor3D Series SATA SSD

Mushkin introduced the an update to its Reactor line of SATA SSDs with the new Reactor Armor3D series. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gbps interface, the drives combine Silicon Motion SM2258 controllers with 3D MLC NAND flash. The drive is available in 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB models. All three offer sequential read speeds of up to 565 MB/s. The sequential write speeds are rated at up to 300 MB/s, 500 MB/s, and 510 MB/s for the 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB models, respectively.

4K random read performance is rated at up to 63,000 IOPS for the 240 GB model, up to 80,000 IOPS for the 480 GB, and up to 77,000 IOPS for the 960 GB model. 4K random write performance of the drives are rated at up to 70,000 IOPS for the 240 GB model, and 80,000 IOPS for the 480 GB and 960 GB. As with all SMI-based drives, the Reactor Armor3D offers LPDC ECC, and SLC cache, which treats a small portion of the MLC NAND flash as SLC, and juggles frequently accessed data in and out of it, for improved performance. The drives are backed by 3-year warranties, and could replace the current Reactor series from the product stack. We expect them to be priced around $90 for the 240 GB model, $160 for the 480 GB, and $270 for the 960 GB.

Be Quiet! Announces Shadow Rock TF 2 CPU Cooler

Be Quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for eleven consecutive years*, adds a new top flow CPU cooler to its current portfolio of cooling products. Shadow Rock TF 2, the follow-up to be quiet!'s successful Shadow Rock TopFlow, adds several optimizations that significantly improve upon its predecessor's cooling potential. With its low-profile design and supported TDP of 160W, Shadow Rock TF 2 is ideal for powerful compact PC systems requiring extensive cooling.

Five 6 mm high-performance copper heat pipes are designed with aluminum caps at the ends, enhancing Shadow Rock TF 2's clean modern look. Overall cooling performance is improved significantly by a complete redesign of the cooling fins - direct connections between fins and base plate support faster heat dissipation. As a result, Shadow Rock TF 2 cools down the CPU significantly better than its predecessor at a similar TDP rating of 160W. Additional cooling support comes from a 135mm silence-optimized be quiet! fan using a durable rifle bearing, airflow-optimized fan blades and a design producing sound pressure levels up to 24.4dB(A) at the maximum of 1,400 revolutions per minute.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Could Launch on July 27

AMD could launch some of its enthusiast-segment Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktop (HEDT) processors on July 27, 2017. On this day, you will be able to purchase PIB (retail) packages of certain models of Threadripper. You will also be able to purchase gaming desktops and workstations featuring Threadripper on this day. It is expected that AMD will launch about four SKUs, two 12-core, and two 16-core. The company could end 2017 with up to nine models. Accompanying these Ryzen Threadripper chips will be new socket TR4 (SP3r2) motherboards based on AMD X399 chipset. Some of these were showcased at AMD's Computex 2017 show.

Alienware and Dell Double Down On High-Performance PC Gaming and VR

Alienware and Dell head into this year's E3 with a triad of new PC gaming systems and components - high-end Alienware gaming desktops with new multi-core processor options, a full range of performance gaming monitors and peripherals with Alienware's signature design and a new Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop bringing VR to all. Alienware and Dell continue to demonstrate why, together, they have become a leading PC gaming brand worldwide with gaming solutions for players of all levels and budgets.

Driven by a fierce commitment to deliver what PC gamers want in gaming products and community, Alienware and Dell continues to make solid investments in PC gaming, virtual reality and esports through ever-expanding offerings and partnership innovation. This has stoked an incredible 17 consecutive quarters of PC growth*, continuously innovating with PC performance and designs, both in the realm of gaming, VR and beyond.

Toshiba Announces AL14SX Series 2.5-inch 15K RPM Hard Drives

Toshiba Corporation's Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions Company today announced the launch of AL14SX Series, new additions to its line-up of enterprise performance hard disk drives (HDD) for mission critical server and storage applications. Sample shipments start today.

The AL14SX Series of 15,000RPM 2.5-inch drives features a 12 Gbit/s SAS interface. Available models are 4K native (4Kn) model and 512 emulation (512e) model that feature Advanced Format Sector Technologies, and 512 native (512n) model optimized for legacy applications and hypervisor environments. The AL14SX Series delivers a suitable choice for customers' diverse applications.

ZOTAC Launches the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini

ZOTAC International, a global manufacturer of innovation, is thrilled to announce the launch of the the world's smallest GeForce GTX 1080 Ti - the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini - which strives for the excellence in smaller builds, with zero compromise on performance.

As a constant pioneer in developing small form factor graphics cards, ZOTAC has made another unprecedented paradigm, the new ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini, which only measures a minuscule 211 mm (8.3-inch) in length harnessing the power of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU simultaneously. The smallest GeForce GTX 1080 Ti within NVIDIA Pascal architecture, it fits in 99% of systems on the market and gives you superior performance and power efficiency.
Monday, June 12th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
Speakers

Ninox Venator

The Venator is the second mouse by Ninox, a company that was founded by a member of the ESR Quake community. With this second mouse, Ninox has stepped up their game, using the best currently available sensor with outstanding tracking performance. Let's find out if this $50 mouse can deliver on the other aspects too.

Plextor Intros the S3 Series Value SATA SSDs

Plextor today introduced the S3 series value SATA SSDs. The series has two main variants based on form-factor, the S3C built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gbps interface; and the S3G series, built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, featuring SATA 6 Gbps wiring. Both drives combine Silicon Motion SMI2254 controllers with SK Hynix planar TLC NAND flash memory. The S3C comes in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB capacities, while the S3G comes in only 128 GB and 256 GB.

All capacities of the S3C and S3G series offer sequential reads of up to 550 MB/s, while sequential writes are rated at up to 500 MB/s, 510 MB/s, and 520 MB/s, for the 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB variants, respectively. 4K random read performance is rated at up to 72,000 IOPS, 90,000 IOPS, and 92,000 IOPS, respectively; and 4K random write performance at up to 57,000 IOPS, 71,000 IOPS, and 72,000 IOPS, respectively. Endurance is rated at 35 TBW for the 128 GB variant, and 70 TBW for the 256 GB and 512 GB variants. Available now in the EU, the 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB variants are priced at 62€, 106€, and 213€, respectively (including taxes).

Bethesda's E3 Press Conference: Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Fallout 4 VR, and more

At Bethesda's E3 press conference, the company revealed a slew of new games that it had kept relatively well hidden until now. First up (and you'll forgive me for the not so random order of coverage for these), there's the upcoming Dishonored stand-alone expansion (it's been a while since we've seen one of those, uh?). Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, whose title should send your mind reeling if you know something about Dishonored lore, will follow Billie Lurk (which you might recognize from Dishonored 2) as she attempts to bring death to the Outsider on Daud's behest. She now has what seems like bionic implements in the shape of an arm and an eye, and interestingly, what would be the Outsiders' powers seem to have been substituted by a tech-based approach. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider drops on September 15th this year.

Another game showcased by the company is Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, which once again follows B.J. Blazkowicz; this time, after the events in Wolfenstein: The New Order. Take the fight back to the Nazi regime once again, with Wolfenstein's signature graphics language and gameplay. The games' graphics have been (naturally) upgraded, and in particular the particle effects seem to have been pumped up significantly. The game drops on October 27th this year. You might even encounter another grammar Nazi in the game. Who knows...

Metro: Exodus Announced at Microsoft's XBOX E3 Presentation

At Microsoft's XBOX E3 presentation, the worldwide premier trailer for the next in the Metro line of games debuted. Named Metro: Exodus, the new Metro game is expected to continue 4A games' mastering of graphical showcases and of atmospheric game worlds. The new game is still based on Dmitriy Glukhovskiy's books, Metro 2033 and Metro 2035, though there is now a divergence between the game and the story that has already been portrayed in the books.

4A games' have been known for being graphical powerhouses, especially the Redux versions (which you should grab if you already haven't). The new Metro takes away from the previous games' linear exploration towards an open-world approach. The jury, as always, is still out to see in what manner that will impact the studio's focus and storytelling ability. This is one of the more cinematic first-person experiences, if the trailer is anything to go by. Captured in-engine, I have to say this really got my eyeballs staring in awe at the amount of detail and atmosphere in the game world. And did you see those animations? Here's hoping they make the final cut for the 2018 release date of the game. At this time, Metro: Exodus has only been announced for Windows PCs and the XBOX family of consoles. Check the games' trailer after the break.

AMD Announces Radeon Pro WX 2100, WX 3100 for Workstations

AMD has recently added two new offerings to their WX series of professional, workstation-oriented graphics cards. The WX 2100 and WX 3100 are entry-level offerings for the professional market, with 512 stream processors running at 1,219 MHz on a 14 nm graphics processor based on the Polaris architecture. The RX 2100 features 2GB of GDDR5 memory on a 64-bit interface; the RX 3100 doubles those figures to 4GB of memory on a 128-bit interface.

On performance, AMD said that the soon to be released WX 2100 and WX 3100 deliver up to 2x the performance of previous entry-level professional AMD graphics, and up to 28% faster performance than competing NVIDIA offerings. The WX 2100 is expected to cost $149, while the WX 3100 is expected to go for $199. AMD said the Radeon Pro WX 2100 and WX 3100 are both expected to launch in June; an exact date wasn't provided. The company also said both cards are covered by 24/7 customer support and a three-year limited warranty that can be extended up to seven years.

Source: AMD Blogs

Logitech G Announces New POWERPLAY Charging System and LIGHTSPEED Technology

After more than four years of R&D, Logitech G, a brand of Logitech, today announced the launch of two technologies that make the dream of high performance wireless gaming a reality. Logitech G POWERPLAYTM is the world's first wireless charging system for gaming mice providing continuous charging while both playing games and at rest - completely eliminating the need to dock or park their mouse to recharge. The second innovation is Logitech G LIGHTSPEEDTM technology, an end-to-end system optimization built on decades of wireless development experience that provides unrivaled connectivity and power performance. Compatible with the POWERPLAY wireless charging system, Logitech G also introduced two new flagship gaming mice, the new Logitech G903 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse and Logitech G703 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse.

"For decades, we've pioneered development in wireless gaming, and our new POWERPLAY and LIGHTSPEED wireless technologies continue this commitment to wireless superiority," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech G. "With POWERPLAY, LIGHTSPEED and our new G903 and G703 mice, you'll get unbeatable precision, lag-free performance and infinite power, which gives gamers the highest-quality experience."

Xbox One X Hardware Specs Give Gaming Desktops a Run for their Money

Microsoft Sunday dropped its mic with the most powerful game console on paper, the Xbox One X, formerly codenamed "Project Scorpio." The bottom-line of this console is that it enables 4K Ultra HD gaming at 60 Hz. Something like this requires you to spend at least $1,200 on a gaming desktop right now. Unlike a Windows 10 PC that's been put together by various pieces of hardware, the Xbox One X is built on a closed ecosystem that's tightly controlled by Microsoft, with heavily optimized software, and a lot of secret sauce the company won't talk about. The console still puts up some mighty impressive hardware specs on paper.

To begin with, at the heart of the Xbox One X is a semi-custom SoC Microsoft co-developed with AMD, built on TSMC's 16 nm FinFET node (the same one NVIDIA builds its "Pascal" GPUs on). This chip features a GPU with almost quadruple the single-precision floating point compute power as the one which drives the Xbox One. It features 40 Graphics CoreNext (GCN) compute units (2,560 stream processors) based on one of the later versions of GCN (likely "Polaris"). The GPU is clocked at 1172 MHz. The other big component of the SoC is an eight-core CPU based on an unnamed micro-architecture evolved from "Jaguar" rather than "Bulldozer" or even "Zen." The eight cores are arranged in two quad-core units of four cores, each; with 4 MB of L2 cache. The CPU is clocked at 2.30 GHz.

ID-Cooling Intros Auraflow 240 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

ID-Cooling announced market availability of the Auraflow 240 all-in-one, closed-loop liquid CPU cooler. Based largely on the company's Frostflow platform, the Auraflow 240 is characterized by RGB multi-color LED lighting on its pump-block and included 120 mm fans, which supports software-based lighting management standards such as ASUS/ASRock Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, and BIOSTAR Vivid LED DJ.

Designed to cope with thermal loads of up to 200W, the Auraflow 240 features a copper-base pump-block plumbed to a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator with aluminium fins; ventilated by a pair of 120 mm hydraulic-bearing fans, which take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 700-1,800 RPM, pushing up to 74.5 CFM of air, each, with a noise output ranging between 18-35.2 dBA. The cooler supports all modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), LGA115x, LGA1366, and LGA775. Available now, the cooler is priced at USD $119.99.
Sunday, June 11th 2017

MSI Announces Infinite A Gaming Desktop

MSI today announced its Infinite A Gaming desktop PC. The desktop is build around a custom-design chassis by MSI, which incorporates RGB LED elements along a stylish front-bezel, with a tempered glass side panel, with lighting controlled by MSI Mystic Light RGB software. The Infinite A is positioned in MSI's "Enthusiast Gaming" segment for gaming desktops, which includes the likes of the Aegis Ti3.

Under the hood, the Infinite A features a micro-ATX motherboard, although the primary graphics card is flipped vertical (along the plane of the motherboard), using a PCIe riser. This, MSI states, is the reduce graphics card PCB bending over time. The Infinite A is driven by a 7th gen Core "Kaby Lake" quad-core processor (various Core i5 and Core i7 options available); up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory (options); NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series graphics (Gaming series graphics cards); M.2 NVMe SSD; wired GbE, and WLAN with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1.

Microsoft Premieres Xbox One X

Sunday marked a milestone Xbox E3 Briefing as Microsoft Corp. unveiled the world's most powerful console, Xbox One X (formerly code-named "Project Scorpio") and its largest and most diverse games lineup in E3 history. Broadcast for the first time in 4K UHD on Mixer, Xbox showcased a record 42 games in its briefing including 22 with console exclusivity from creators large and small. Coming to all Xbox One markets starting Nov. 7, Xbox One X will retail for $499, 449 pounds, 499 euros, CA$599 and AU$649.

Xbox One X was designed to be the best console to create and play games on, putting the greatest graphic fidelity in the hands of the world's best game creators to create true 4K games. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer underscored that every game will play great across the Xbox One family, and Xbox One X also makes your existing library even better, with better textures, smoother frame rates and faster load times.

Intel Announces 9th Gen Core "Cannon Lake" On Track, "Ice Lake" Taped Out

Intel announced that its first CPU micro-architecture built on its upcoming 10 nanometer silicon fab process, the 9th generation Core "Cannon Lake," is on track. In a tweet on the official company account, Intel also announced that its second micro-architecture on the new 10 nm process, codenamed "Ice Lake," is taped out.

In the wake of a competitive CPU lineup by AMD, Intel is frantically upgrading its product lineup, beginning with the new "Basin Falls" HEDT platform early-Summer 2017, followed by its 14 nm "Coffee Lake" 8th generation Core series late-Summer. "Coffee Lake" sees the first six-core SKUs to Intel's mainstream desktop lineup, which has until now, been restricted to dual-core and quad-core parts.
Saturday, June 10th 2017

Samsung Announces the CHG70 and CHG90 QLED Monitors: HDR and FreeSync 2

Remember that post on Samsung's investment on 32:9 aspect ratio monitors? The company has just materialized them, with the announcement of their 2017 flagship FreeSync 2 supporting monitors, which come in two different models and three different sizes. Samsung announced a world's first, the CHG90 QLED monitor, which leverages its alien 49" towards displaying a 32:9 presentation. That's what Samsung is calling a DFHD (Dual Full HD) screen, with a 3840x1080 resolution. This panel supports FreeSync 2, HDR, wide 178-degree viewing angles, and the now usual 1800R curvature, with blazingly-fast 144 Hz refresh rates and 1 ms response times.

At the same time, Samsung also announced the somewhat more mundane CHG70 QLED monitor, which comes in at either 27" or 31,5". Whatever your choice of panel size, these are essentially the same specs-wise, and differ little from the CHG90: they offer WQHD resolution (2560x1440), HDR, FreeSync 2, wide 178-degree viewing angles, and the now usual 1800R curvature, along with blazing-fast 144 Hz refresh rates and 1 ms response times.
Friday, June 9th 2017

Today's Reviews

Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Input Devices
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs
Storage

Palette Expert Kit

Palette is a startup that aims to elevate the current standard of human-computer interaction. Their modular controllers based off the MIDI standard use a combination of buttons, dials, and sliders to lower workflow time for content creators. The PaletteApp driver helps with built-in support for over 15 popular programs from Adobe and others, and profile support enables quick changes in functionality for individual modules.

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 382.53 Game Ready Graphics Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce graphics drivers. Version 382.53 of their drivers is a special, Game Ready release that provides the optimal gaming experience for DiRT 4 and Nex Machina. In addition, NVIDIA has added/updated SLI profiles for Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, Little Nightmares, the phenomenon PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Transformers Online.

This release also features updated 3D Vision profiles for Tekken 7 (Fair); DiRT 4 (Not Recommended); Nex Machina (Not Recommended) and Quake Champions (Good). As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TPU. Just follow the link below, and feel free to peruse fixed and current issues after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 382.53 Game Ready Drivers

MSI X299 Breaks DDR4 Memory World Record With 5500-DDR4 Speeds

Toppc Pushes the X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard to Reach New DDR4 Frequency Milestone
One year ago, MSI's in-house overclocker, Toppc, broke the DDR4 5GHz barrier using G.SKILL memory and the MSI Z170I GAMING PRO AC motherboard. Today, 1 year later, he raises the bar once again and became the first ever to push DDR4 speeds to 5.5GHz under liquid nitrogen cooling using the new MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard. With the MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC, MSI's most customizable high-performance Intel X299 based motherboard, Toppc was running G.SKILL DDR4 memory with an unbelievable DDR4-SDRAM clock speed of 5500MHz. This world record shows MSI's dominant position on performance for X299 by using MSI's unique and patented DDR4 Boost technology. The MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is not only feature packed for gamers and great for case modding, it is also perfectly suited to deliver power for heavy gaming & overclocking sessions.

SoftBank Strikes Again: Purchases Robot Company Extraordinaire Boston Dynamics

SoftBank has to be the most high-level investor in the tech world today, with multiple headline-grabbing purchases in the last year alone. First, it was ARM's multi-billion dollar purchase, which shook the tech industry almost to its knees. Then, the acquisition of a $4 billion dollar stake on NVIDIA, which is increasingly looking like a great move (and is partially responsible for NVIDIA's soaring market cap.)

Now, SoftBank has moved to acquire Google parent company Alphabet Inc's Boston Dynamics, the engineering and robotics design firm best known for being compared to the manufacturing arm of Skynet. Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., said that "Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution," and that he and the full might of SoftBank are looking forward to "supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but as part of it, SoftBank has also agreed to acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. SoftBank is the octopus of the tech world, with tendrils extending towards the technologies that look to be most important in our collective future. The company already has the high efficiency processing, deep learning and AI chops for a robotic future with their acquisition of ARM and investment in NVIDIA - now, they're adding a manufacturing arm. Is this Skynet's inception?

Source: SoftBank

NVIDIA's Market Cap to Reach $100 billion Soon; Grew ~$25 billion Since May 2017

NVIDIA has been on a roll lately with their market capitalization and share valuation, which could very well send the company soaring past the $100 billion dollar mark today. Whether or not that happens (and if it does, it will be a historical milestone for the company), NVIDIA's growth of almost $25 billion dollars since May 13th is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

The "sudden" market valuation on NVIDIA comes on the heels of the company's strong graphics execution and increasingly entrenched position in the high performance GPU computing market for machine learning. The company's Volta architecture, which was showcased by Jensen Huang at their GTC keynote on May 10th, boosted confidence in the company significantly. Since then, the company's market cap has increased from the $75 billion dollar it was at shortly after GTC, towards its $96.31 billion rated market cap today. More recently, with the recent rise of the crypto wave craze, NVIDIA's GPUs have been talked about as real alternatives to AMD's previously (and perhaps hurtful for the company) grasp on this kind of workloads.

Patent War Brewing Between Intel and Qualcomm-Microsoft over x86 Emulation

Intel rigorously defends its hold over its core intellectual property, the x86 CPU machine-architecture. AMD is the only active licencee of x86, and has a competitive line of processors across market segments. It has been a long-cherished dream of chipmakers without an x86 license to have Microsoft, the world's leading PC operating system manufacturer, somehow emulate their Win32 API, which is inherently designed for the x86 architecture, on the more widely licensed ARM architecture. As one of the largest ARM chipmakers, Qualcomm pushed for 2-in-1 (notebook-to-tablet) convertible PCs driven by its Snapdragon processors, which run Windows 10, complete with support for Win32 software, besides Microsoft's UWP apps.

This Snapdragon + Windows 10 reference convertible is so impressive with its battery life and performance, that major PC OEMs such as Lenovo, HP, and ASUS have lined up to license the design and make their own designs. This would have been a licensable form-factor governed by Microsoft, much like how Intel governed the Ultrabook form-factor. This would hit hard at Intel's bottomline, because SoC makers with big R&D budgets like Qualcomm, Samsung, and NVIDIA, who each hold ARM licenses, could go on to power bigger and faster PCs which emulate x86, driving Intel out of the ecosystem. The company dropped the hammer earlier this week, in a passive-aggressive note without taking names, warning Microsoft and Qualcomm to cease from their efforts to build such a device.
Thursday, June 8th 2017

ASUS MAXIMUS IX FORMULA

The ASUS ROG brand has long been a favorite of a good majority of the PC enthusiast community, and with each generation, the experience only gets better. The MAXIMUS IX FORMULA is the perfect example of what makes ASUS so popular.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.6.1 Drivers

AMD released the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.6.1 beta drivers. The drivers come with optimization for "DiRT 4," including an AMD CrossFire profile, and up to 30 percent improvement in frame-rates with 8x MSAA cranked up. The drivers also improve performance of "Prey" (2017) by up to 4 percent, as tested on a machine with a Radeon RX 580 8 GB graphics card.

The drivers also fixed a number of issues, including virtual super-resolution (VSR) not correctly enabling on certain Radeon RX 400 and RX 500-series GPUs; HDR not correctly enabling on certain WQHD or higher-resolution displays; flickering noticed on some WQHD or higher-resolution displays connected via HDMI; fast mouse movements causing a frame-rate drop in "Prey" (2017); "Mass Effect: Andromeda" noticing a stutter with multi-GPU systems; and a system hang noticed on Radeon R9 390 series GPUs with the memory overclocked using a third-party application. Grab the driver from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.6.1

The change-log follows.

CD Projekt Red: We Will Not Give In to the Demands of Thieves

CD Projekt Red are the world-renowned studio responsible for RPG masterpiece The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and the two other less known, but still great Witcher RPGs before it. The company is one of the most gamer-oriented, generous game developers out there today, bar none. I say this, because this is a company who did some missteps before, but quickly backed out of them and that have created one of the most memorable and successful open-worlds to date. This is the studio that offered not only a soundtrack CD with their standard edition of the game, alongside a full-color map of the game world, but also went to the lengths of including a small letter to thank us for choosing their game over others. These developers offered 16 pieces of DLC with their game, DLC pieces that other studios had been (and have been) charging customers for.

The company outlined above have come forth in a tweet, publicly calling out an attempt from thieves to ransom stolen development files on the studios' upcoming sci-fi Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt Red said that they will not give in to demands from the individuals that have contacted them, and acknowledge that the public release of those files is likely to happen as a result. The studio also goes on saying that these files (if they even come to public now that their value has been thoroughly cut down) are "largely unrepresentative of the current vision for the game." I don't know about you, but I'd much prefer to get some info on CD Projekt Red's next project from themselves.

P.S.: This editor Is sorry for the above post looking eerily similar to a rant. I just have a low tolerance for this kind of behavior from any part, but most of all, when the targeted party is actually one of the studios that is more deserving of gamers' respect.Source: CD Projekt Red Twitter

LG To Unveil Advanced Commercial Desktop Monitors At InfoComm 2017

LG Electronics USA Business Solutions has added premium 4K UHD and In-Plane Switching (IPS) commercial monitors to its already-broad portfolio of cutting-edge desktop monitors. Led by the brand new 43-inch 4K UHD monitor, which will be demonstrated at InfoComm 2017, the new displays provide users the high-end picture quality and flexibility needed to maximize productivity and ease of use.

"As content formats rapidly evolve, LG's portfolio of state-of-the-art commercial monitors has been expanded with 4K and HDR (high dynamic range) technologies," said Stephen Hu, head of monitors at LG Electronics USA Business Solutions. "With a three-year warranty, advanced imaging technology, unmatched interoperability and industry-proven calibration methods, LG's new commercial desktop monitors are designed to meet evolving customer needs across different verticals."

Enermax Shows MaxTytan Series of 80+ TitaniumPSUs With Integrated Power Meter

The MaxTytan series of PSUs, which Enermax showcased at Computex 2017, will stand in as the company's flagship power supplies when they launch later into the summer. All of them feature 80+ Titanium ratings (though they're absent of the more recent and more grueling Cybenetics testing.) The Enermax MaxTytan line will include four models at 750 W, 800 W, 1050 W and 1250 W outputs. All MaxTytan PSUs support the company's DFR (dust free rotation) technology as well as fanless operation at below 55% - 60% load. The 1050 W and 1250 W models also feature Enermax' Coolergenie device for system fan control, and have an integrated power meter (this one might come in handy for those of you looking to ride the crypto wave, uh?)

The MaxTytan series feature a modular design across all models, and have 2x 4+4 CPU power connectors. The 750 W model will retail for ~$200, the 800 W will go for $210, $299 will net you 1050 W capacity and a power meter, and the 1250 W MaxTytan PSU will go for $359.

Source: AnandTech

NZXT To Offer BLD Service: Custom-Built PCs Based on the Games You Play

NZXT has announced it plans to start offering customers PC-builds built around specific games you are looking to play. This new service, which is now rolling out, makes use of thousands of data points collected throughout gaming PCs with the company's CAM software. These allowed the company to define performance profiles for different games available on the market, streamlining build suggestions and customization around given performance requirements of each. The customer can set a base price they are willing to pay, then select which game they're looking to trounce with their new high-performance, custom-built PC, and the software does the rest of the work, picking through hundreds of possible hardware combinations to choose what is - in theory - the best build for those performance and pricing targets. According to NZXT's founder and CEO Johnny Hou, the company has "Reached that tipping point where we have enough data to confidently say 'these top 10, 20 games, we can predict, and we're going to guarantee'". Furthermore, if the games don't run according to expectations and the guaranteed performance metrics, Hou says that NZXT will let you return the computer.

QNAP Introduces TVS-882BR Blu-ray NAS Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the TVS-882BR Blu-ray NAS series (including the TVS-882BR and TVS-882BRT3 models). QNAP also announced a partnership with Fengtao Software to provide an all-in-one backup solution with its DVDFab software. DVDFab provides a complete solution for backing up disc-based files to the NAS for more convenient storage while also enabling NAS-based files to be written to discs for disaster recovery purposes. The TVS-882BRT3 also features four Thunderbolt 3 ports, providing a highly-efficient collaborative environment for media professionals, while also allowing instant writing of their creative works to disc. The TVS-882BR can also serve as a Blu-ray player, allowing direct playback via HDMI using Linux Station or Virtualization Station (third-party media player software required - may require separate license purchase).

"The TVS-882BR series - available with a pre-installed Blu-ray Disc drive or an empty 5.25-inch bay - takes a unique place in the QNAP NAS line-up by enabling users to directly consolidate optical disc-based data to their NAS for easier management and sharing. The ability to write data to discs also provides another layer of data protection alongside modern NAS and cloud-based methods," said Dan Lin, Product Manager of QNAP. "With robust hardware and M.2 SATA 6Gb/s support, the TVS-882BR provides users with a complete range of IT solutions, including deploying resource-demanding virtualization applications, online collaboration, and building a shared Blu-ray NAS workstation," Lin added.

PCI-SIG Fast Tracks Evolution to 32 GT/s with PCI Express 5.0 Architecture

PCI-SIG Developers Conference 2017 - PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express (PCIe) industry-standard input/output (I/O) technology, today announced 32GT/s as the next progression in speed for the PCIe 5.0 architecture, targeting high-performance applications such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, gaming, visual computing, storage and networking. Slated for completion in 2019, the specification development is well underway with Revision 0.3 already available to PCI-SIG member companies.

"In our 25-year history, PCI-SIG has maintained its commitment to our rigorous specification development process, while delivering specifications that are in lock-step with industry requirements for high-performance I/O," said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG Chairman and President. "PCIe 5.0 technology is the next evolution that will set the standard for speed, and we are confident that its 32GT/s bandwidth will surpass industry needs."

The preceding PCIe 4.0 specification is designed with key functional enhancements that future-proof the PCIe architecture design, thereby accelerating future specification development. This undertaking, along with improved silicon design processes, serves as the foundation for the PCIe 5.0 specification.

Logitech G Introduces Advanced Gaming Headsets Designed for Everyday Life

Logitech G, a brand of Logitech, today announced the launch of the Logitech G433 7.1 Gaming Headset and the Logitech G233 Prodigy Gaming Headset. These headsets feature advanced gaming technologies, including patent-pending Pro-G audio drivers, for superior audio performance, in a lightweight, extremely comfortable fit designed to go with you beyond gaming sessions.

"If you're like me and game a lot, having an awesome gaming headset is critical," said Ujesh Desai, vice president and general manager of Logitech G. "And if you love music then having a great pair of headphones is also important. Now you can have one headset that delivers the best of both worlds. You can move seamlessly from your PC to your console, and because of the beautiful design, Pro-G audio drivers, and removable boom mic, you can step outside and wear them on the go and have a headset that fits your lifestyle."

Manli Announces GeForce GTX 1080 Ti with RGB Lighting

Manli Technology Group Limited, the major Graphics Cards and other components manufacturer, today announced the latest overclocking solution, Manli GeForce GTX 1080Ti Gallardo with RGB lights. The name of Gallardo is in Italian, and represents "elegant" and "bravery." The golden and soldier elements are exactly as "elegant" and "bravery" image which Gallardo Series would like bring luxurious gaming experience to gamers.

Manli GeForce GTX 1080Ti Gallardo equipped with triple 9cm fan to improve cooling performance also up to 7 shining RGB light effects: from red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, purple to white that flash and fade between those colors. Moreover, Manli GeForce GTX 1080Ti Gallardo provides two overclocking solutions: one is overclocking version which increases up to 4% (1544 / 1657MHz), and super overclocking version is with up to 7% (1594 / 1708MHz) compared with standard version.

AMD Doesn't Regret Spinning off GlobalFoundries

AMD co-founder Jerry Sanders, in 2009 was famously quoted as stating that "real men have fabs," a jibe probably targeted at the budding fab-less CPU designers of the time. Years later, AMD spun-off its silicon fabrication business, which with a substantial investment of the Abu Dhabi government through its state-owned Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), became GlobalFoundries (or GloFo in some vernacular). This company built strategic partnerships with the right players in the industry, acquisitions such as IBM's fabs, and is now at the forefront of sub-10 nm fab development. It remained one of AMD's biggest foundry partners besides TSMC and Samsung, and is manufacturing its AMD processors at a brand new facility in Upstate New York, USA.

AMD, on the other hand, doesn't regret spinning off GloFo. Speaking at Merrill Lynch Global Technology and Investment Conference, CTO Mark Papermaster said, that going fab-less has helped AMD focus on chip-design without worrying about manufacturing. Production is no longer a bottleneck for AMD, as it can now put out manufacturing contracts to a wider variety of foundry partners. Its chip-designers aren't limited by the constraints of an in-house fab, and can instead ask external fabs to optimize their nodes for their chip-designs, Papermaster said. 14 nm FinFET has added a level of standardization to the foundry industry.

Source: Expreview

Intel Core i7-7740K "Kaby Lake-X" Cracks 7.50 GHz on Liquid Helium

TeamAU with GIGABYTE OC Lab successfully overclocked an Intel Core i7-7740K "Kaby Lake-X" quad-core processor to 7.50 GHz. Only 2 out of its 4 cores were enabled for the feat. A Gigabyte X299 SOC Champion was used for this feat, and liquid helium was used to keep the CPU cool. The overclockers dialed kept the base-clock constant at 100 MHz, while dialing up its multiplier to 75.0x, yielding 7.50 GHz. Its core-voltage was kept at 1.096V.

Source: Canard PC Validation
Wednesday, June 7th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs
Storage

Patriot Viper V770 Mechanical RGB Keyboard

The Viper V770 is Patriot Memory's first RGB backlit keyboard, and they have made sure it leaves an unforgettable impression. It features dedicated media, macro, and lighting control buttons, USB and audio pass-through, full 16.8 M RGB backlighting on not just every single key on the keyboard, but also the provided wrist rest, and a lightweight driver to offer more control and functionality.

ASUS Unveils Three Freesync-enabled, High Refresh Rate Strix Monitors

ASUS is looking to have two distinct monitor product lines catering to either AMD or NVIDIA enthusiasts. Adding to their Swift line-up of NVIDIA G-Sync monitors, ASUS seems to be building up a Strix line as well, which features AMD's FreeSync technology to deliver the same fundamental variable refresh rate technology at a lower price-point (or so we hope.)

Starting with the flagship Strix monitor, the ASUS Strix XG32V has a 31.5" IPS panel with a WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440. It's curved, so it envelops your FOV better, with the usual 1800R curve. This model can handle refresh rates of up to 144Hz, though readers looking to jump at this panel as we speak should wait for both Freesync range and pricing announcements. Connectivity-wise, we're looking at 2x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, and an os yet unknown amount of USB 3.0 ports. ASUS has also added the inevitable Aura Sync lighting to the XG32V, materialized on both a ROG logo that shines down onto the desk, as well as an RGB LED suite on the back of the unit that can be synchronized with other Aura Sync-enabled PC components and peripherals.

NVIDIA Deliberately Worsens SDR Monitor Image Settings to Showcase HDR

In its eagerness to showcase just how important HDR (High Dynamic Range) support is for the image quality of the future, NVIDIA set up a display booth on Computex, where it showcased the difference between SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR images. However, it looks as if the green company was a smite too eager to demonstrate just how incredible HDR image quality is, considering they needed to fiddle with the SDR screen's settings to increase the divide.

The revelation comes courtesy of Hardware Canucks, who say were granted access to the monitor settings NVIDIA used on their displays while running the demo. And as it turns out, NVIDIA had changed default factory values for brightness, contrast, and even gamma in the SDR monitor, which compromised the image quality it was actually able to convey. Resetting the monitor settings to their factory values resulted in a severely less muted image on the SDR monitor than before, which plays out on the deliberate attempt to reduce image quality on the SDR presentation. Now granted, image quality perceptions comparing SDR to HDR may fall on the personal, subjective spectrum of each viewer; however, actual brightness, contrast and gamma settings being set outside even their set factory levels (which can usually be improved upon with calibration) does make it look like someone was trying too hard to showcase HDR's prowess.

Source: Hardware Canucks' YouTube Channel

G.SKILL Memory Breaks DDR4 5.5 GHz World Record Barrier

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is excited to announce the DDR4 frequency world record at DDR4-5500MHz. This astonishing achievement was accomplished by the Taiwanese professional overclocker, Toppc, using G.SKILL DDR4 built with Samsung 8Gb ICs, on the latest MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard and Intel Core X-series processor.

Just last year, one week before Computex 2016, the renowned Taiwanese overclocker, Toppc, broke the DDR4 5GHz barrier using G.SKILL memory and MSI Z170I GAMING PRO AC motherboard. A year after, he raise the bar once again and became the first ever to push DDR4 speed to 5.5GHz under liquid nitrogen cooling. This tenacity demonstrates his overclocker's spirit of pursuing faster speed and greater performance of the latest computer hardware. This record has been validated by HWBOT.

Deepcool Launches the GAMMAXX GT CPU Cooler

Deepcool today formally launched the GAMMAXX GT tower-type air CPU cooler it unveiled at Computex 2017. Featuring a conventional tower-type design, the cooler features four 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes, which make direct contact with the CPU at the base, conveying heat to an aluminium fin-stack, which is ventilated by an included 120 mm fan. The topmost aluminium fin is capped off with a stylish brushed aluminium plate with a multi-diode RGB LED diffuser. The included fan features multi-diode RGB LEDs, too. From a 65,536-color palette, you can select up to two colors each for the heatsink and fan, which the diffuser then provides a groovy blend/transition effect for.

Measuring 135 mm x 84.8 mm x 156 mm (WxDxH), the GAMMAXX GT weighs 870 g. The included fan takes in 4-pin PWM power input, and spins between 500 to 1,500 RPM, pushing up to 70.08 CFM of air, with its noise output ranging between 17.8 to 29.5 dBA. It features a fluid dynamic bearing. Both the fan and the heatsink top-plate take in standard 4-pin RGB headers, and support popular standards such as ASUS Aura Sync. The cooler can handle thermal loads of up to 150W on the Intel platform, and up to 140W on the AMD platform. It supports most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2011(v3), LGA1366, and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Our Computex 2017 images of this cooler follow.

Intel Intros SSD DC P4501 Series Based on 3D NAND Flash

Intel introduced the SSD DC P4501 series enterprise solid-state drives based on its latest-generation 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drives are available in 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with 32 Gb/s U.2 interface, and the M.2-2280 form-factor with 32 Gb/s interface. It takes advantage of PCI-Express 3.0 x4 with the NVMe 1.2 protocol.

Available in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB capacities, the drives offer sequential transfer rates of up to 3,200 MB/s reads, with up to 900 MB/s writes. Their 4K random-read performance is rated at up to 360,000 IOPS, with up to 46,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Their endurance is rated at up to 1 DWPD (random) and up to 3 DWPD (mostly sequential). Both form-factor variants of the drives feature power-loss imminent protection, where a bank of capacitors gives the drives just enough power to finish its outstanding write operations in the event of a power-failure, to mitigate data-loss. The drives are backed by 5-year warranties.

Ethereum Mining Wipes Out Radeon Inventory, AMD Stock Rallies

AMD Radeon graphics cards have always been too good at GPGPU for their own good. The new Ethereum block-chain compute network, with the Ethereum crypto-currency, works really really good with AMD Radeon Graphics CoreNext architecture-based GPUs (that's every AMD GPU since Radeon HD 7000 series). As a result, not only have Ethereum prospectors bought out nearly all inventory of AMD Radeon graphics cards from the market, but also forced an inflation of used AMD Radeon graphics cards on online tech-forums, and used-goods stores on eBay and Amazon. Some of these used cards are priced higher than even launch-prices.

Every $1,000 spent on AMD Radeon hardware towards Ethereum mining is recovered within 2 months, and then as long as your hardware lasts and you're paying your power bills, you're swimming in crypto-currency that can be converted to Bitcoin and even US Dollars. One Ethereum (ETH) exchanges to USD $265 at the time of this writing. There's already $330 million worth Ethereum being traded, and that number is only going to grow as people sell USD or BTC to buy ETH and pay for entry into the Ethereum network, and use ETH as a crypto-currency.
Tuesday, June 6th 2017

Super Flower Leadex II 750 W

The Leadex II platform has been available for quite some time now, offering smaller dimensions and better performance than its predecessor. The SF-750F14EG will be our test subject today. Besides a fully modular cable design with LED-lit connectors, it offers amazing performance levels and a pretty quiet operation.

HP Announces a New Line of OMEN Gaming PCs

Today, HP Inc. unleveled the playing field with the launch of an entirely new, cutting-edge and comprehensive portfolio of OMEN by HP gaming products. Re-designed and re-engineered from the ground up, the new lineup gives esports athletes and competitive gamers the edge and confidence needed to perform at the highest global level. Every inch inside and out of the new OMEN PCs, displays and accessories are packed with features designed to target the needs of gamers around the world, instantly changing the game like never before.

The OMEN X Compact Desktop provides a factory-overclocked GPU from NVIDIA and a versatile form-factor, creating the ability to dock and undock quickly for gaming in any room, or attach the desktop to a backpack accessory for an unparalleled, untethered VR experience. The addition of a backpack accessory to the OMEN X Compact Desktop adds a new dimension of flexibility to the platform, and by expanding the OMEN accessory lineup with a new OMEN mechanical keyboard, a mouse with weight customization, a headset with cushioned ear cups to reduce background noise and mousepads designed for precision, HP is bringing attention to every aspect of the gaming experience.

ADATA Presents the UC360 and UC370 OTGFlash Drives

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launchedthe UC360 and UC370 USB OTG Flash drives. As "on the go" protocol (OTG) USB drives, both models ensure quick, driverless connectivity with virtually any device that features USB. Both are 2-in-1 products, with the UC360 featuring USB-A and Micro USB and the UC370 combining USB-A and USB-C. Data delivery uses USB 3.1 speeds, and both drives are designed for durability and convenience across Windows, Mac OS, Android, and a host of other platforms such as game consoles and smart TVs. Consumers can choose from 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB versions of the new drives.

Noctua Demonstrate Their Next-Generation A-Series Fans at Computex 2017

Noctua, a company well-known for the performance and acoustic characteristics of their fans (and especially for their love-it-or-hate-it brown and tan fan color scheme) has showcased their next-generation A-series fans, which took the company more than four years and 200 test designs to achieve. This is surely a case of discovering how to not make a product in 200 different ways. Noctua only had to get it right once; and it would seem they did.

Noctua are promising unparalleled performance at the A-Series noise levels. The reasons for this are varied, but one of them - perhaps the most important - comes from the fact that Noctua has ditched PBT - the plastic most commonly used in this kind of products - for a completely new compound, which the company calls Sterrox. Sterrox is a liquid crystal polymer of the same family as Kevlar. This means it has an ordered molecular structure (whereas PBT manifests a chaotic one), which means Sterrox is a much more rigid compound. This helps the fans keep their shape after spinning for long periods of time - something which happens with PBT-made fans. The chaotic structure and lower rigidity means the material deforms due to the centrifugal forces, effectively elongating the fan blades (an effect dubbed impeller creep), which means usual fan designs have to take this into account, usually by increasing the gap between the frame and the fan blades. Noctua aimed for a 0.5 mm tip clearance (much lower than the usual 1.5 or 2 mm), which results in much better air and noise performance. A narrower gap means that less air leaks through it back to the front of the fan, which allows more air to be pushed through heatsinks and radiators. And the fact that the fan blades are more rigid means they don't suffer microscopic wobbles and vibrations on the surface when spinning - hence, quieter. But how good are these new fans, really?

Micron Announces 16 Gbps Memory Speeds Achieved Over GDDR5X

Micron, who has been at the forefront in graphics memory production, has recently announced in a blog post their commitment to achieving ever increasing speeds and performance gains with their products (which isn't all that uncommon.) What this announcement has that better carves it as different and newsworthy, though, is that the company has seemingly achieved 16 Gbps speeds on GDDR5X memory - which up to now, ticked at up to 12Gbps. Some NVIDIA cards you probably know about actually had their GDDR5X memory clocked up to 12.4 Gbps.

The new achievements under GDDR5X will aid the company in better executing their vision for GDDR6 and its speed goals. Micron expects to have functional silicon of their G6 program very soon, being confident they can push products to market on early 2018. GDDR6 will bring some specific differences in regards to GDDR5X, such as dual-channel memory (GDDR5X is single-channel) and the introduction of a FBGA180 ball package with increased pitch, to accommodate these fundamental differences.

Source: Micron

Microsoft to Introduce Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs

Microsoft is seemingly going to introduce another version of their Windows 10 operating system. After introducing Windows 10 S earlier in the year, followed by the "Chinafinitive" Windows 10 China Government Edition, the company is seemingly responding to specific market demands of professionals and enterprises. The new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs (which was first leaked by Microsoft itself through an erroneous upload to the Insider Program) will apparently come in two variants, a standard variant, and the N variant, which is built to comply with EU regulations.

The new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs will introduce ReFS, the successor to the tried and true NTFS file system. The new ReFS is designed for fault-tolerance and is optimized for handling large data volume, including auto-correcting capabilities and backwards-compatibility with NTFS. Additionally, Microsoft is baking in SMB Direct protocol file sharing in Windows 10 Pro for Workstation which allows for high throughput, low latency and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares. It will also introduce support for systems with up to four CPUs (up from Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro dual CPU limit) and 6 TB of RAM.

Source: ETeknix

AMD's Entry-Level 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper to Reportedly Cost $849

AMD has recently announced that at least nine models are in preparation for their new HEDT line-up, which will, for now, feature processors with up to 16 cores and 32 threads. The entry-level 16-core chip, the Threadripper 1998, will come in at 3.20 GHz with 3.60 GHz boost, 155 W TDP, and is absent of XFR.

If recent reports hold true, this entry-level Threadripper 1998 will come in at $849. Now, let's be honest - this seems like an immensely optimistic value, undercutting even Intel's 10-core 7900X, which has been announced at $999 (in tray quantities.) That's over 6 more cores and 12 more threads for $150 less. And let's just say that AMD's IPC isn't that much lower than Intel's to justify such an aggressive undercutting, a high-volume approach to the market.

Source: ETeknix

NVIDIA, AMD to Launch Mining-Oriented Versions of Their GPUs

You must've heard the news of increasingly tighter supply on AMD's video cards. This is kind of a "hello darkness my old friend" kind of moment, since we've seen this happening before. However, these days, the problem looks to be exacerbated with the increase in digital currencies - it's not just Bitcoin now. Ethereum and Zcash have come in to fill customer's desire for a lower entry, ASIC-resistant mineable cryptocurrency. And with the currencies' exploding pricing, people are once again looking to enter the mining craze - to ride the crypto wave, so to speak. All higher-performance graphics cards since the R200 series are flying off the shelves and second hand markets, and as we speak, virtually all RX 580 models are out of stock on Newegg. And while AMD graphics cards have historically been leagues better than their NVIDIA counterparts in mining environments, recently some specialized miners have surfaced, tailored for the Pascal architecture (more oriented to Zcash, though.)

macOS High Sierra Delivers Advanced Technologies for Storage, Video & Graphics

Apple today previewed macOS High Sierra, the latest version of the world's most advanced desktop operating system, delivering new core storage, video and graphics technologies that pave the way for future innovation on the Mac. macOS High Sierra offers an all-new file system, support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and an update to Metal, Apple's advanced graphics technology that powers everything from machine learning to virtual reality content creation. macOS High Sierra also includes a number of refinements to the apps Mac users enjoy every day, including Photos, Safari and Mail.

"macOS High Sierra delivers important forward-looking technologies and new opportunities for developers wanting to tap into the power of machine learning and create immersive VR content on the Mac," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "The core technology innovations in macOS High Sierra, combined with our advances in hardware, will continue to push the Mac forward in exciting new ways."

Apple iMac Pro, the Most Powerful Mac Ever, Arrives This December

Apple today gave a sneak peek of iMac Pro, an entirely new workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows. The all-new iMac Pro, with its gorgeous 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, is the most powerful Mac ever made. Featuring a stunning new space gray enclosure, iMac Pro packs incredible performance for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 (US).

In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display. "We're thrilled to give developers and customers a sneak peek at iMac Pro. This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time," said John Ternus, Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering. "We reengineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love - iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there's never been anything like it."

Apple iMac Receives Major Update

Apple today updated its iMac line with up to three times more powerful graphics, faster processors, Thunderbolt 3, faster storage options and brighter Retina displays, and added a Retina 4K display and discrete graphics to the $1,299 (US) 21.5-inch iMac. With its incredibly thin and seamless enclosure, fast processors and storage and stunning Retina display, iMac sets the gold standard for desktops. iMac delivers powerful performance for 3D graphics, video editing and gaming, and with macOS High Sierra coming this fall, iMac becomes a great platform for virtual reality content creation. Apple also today updated MacBook and MacBook Pro with faster processors, added faster SSDs to MacBook and introduced a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro.

"With major updates to iMac, and a refresh of our MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, the Mac is stronger than ever," said John Ternus, Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering. "Today iMac gets a huge graphics performance increase, faster CPU performance, Thunderbolt 3 and a brighter Retina display with support for 1 billion colors. We're also increasing CPU and SSD speed on MacBook, adding faster processors and making faster graphics standard on our 15-inch MacBook Pro and introducing a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro."

AMD Announces Radeon Pro 500 Series for iMac

AMD unveiled the high-performance, power-efficient Radeon Pro 500 series graphics, fueling beyond-UHD creativity in All-In-One computing. Available in the updated 21.5- and 27-inch iMac, Radeon Pro 500 series graphics enable extraordinary computing experiences, including stunning gaming, immersive VR on select models, and fluid content creation with exceptional performance and support for GPU acceleration across a range of creative applications on the Mac platform, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop and the Foundry Nuke, Mari and Modo. Moreover, Radeon Pro 500 series provides accelerated performance for the Radeon ProRender photorealistic ray-tracing rendering technology which is enabled for Autodesk Maya, and Maxon's Cinema 4D.

Radeon Pro 500 series graphics harness up to 5.5 TFLOPS of performance, unleashing the creativity of artists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, visualizers and engineers, and aspiring creative types across high-resolution canvases in the most popular creative applications, powering through the most demanding games, and bringing fantastic worlds to life in VR. The Radeon Pro 500 series makes use of the critically-acclaimed "Polaris" GPU architecture, delivering the perfect balance of performance and operating efficiency that makes them ideal for All-In-Ones.

TechPowerUp G.Skill Flare X Giveaway: The Winners!

G.Skill Memory and TechPowerUp brought you a chance to win a kit of arguably the best memory for AMD Ryzen processors, with our Game Faster with Flare X Giveaway. Three lucky winners chosen at random stand a chance to win a G.Skill Flare X DDR4-3200 16 GB (2x 8 GB) dual-channel memory kit, each. We're thrilled to announce the winners:
  • Jason from The Philippines
  • Kevin from Halen, Belgium
  • Amanda from Bloomington, United States
A huge congrats to you, Jason, Kevin, and Amanda! TechPowerUp and G.Skill will return with more such interesting giveaways!

Intel Rushes in a Six-core Mainstream Desktop Processor by September

With AMD Ryzen 5 six-core and Ryzen 7 eight-core chips having blunt the edge of the $329 Core i7-7700K, the upper-end of Intel's mainstream desktop processor line-up has lost competitiveness to Intel's bean-counters. The company is readying a new mainstream-desktop platform, which in all likelihood, heralds a new socket, and the new Z370 Express chipset.

Intel plans to launch this platform by August-September (before Q4 sets in), and it has one big difference - a new six-core part, based on the 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" silicon. Built on a refined 14 nm process, the 6-core "Coffee Lake" chip could feature its TDP rating around the 95W mark for the "K" (multiplier unlocked) part. Quad-core parts could also be carved out of this silicon, with their TDP rated at 65W for the non-K (multiplier-locked) parts. AMD Ryzen 7 1700 eight-core chip with unlocked multipler is rated at 65W. Intel will follow up on its first-wave of "Coffee Lake" chips with additional quad-core and dual-core parts in Q1-2018, besides other 300-series chipsets (likely the H370 and B350).

Source: Reddit user Zakman
Monday, June 5th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors
Storage

Futuremark PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular full system benchmarking suite. It supports Windows 10 and runs quicker and more efficiently than the previous version. Futuremark also updated the tests to better reflect real world scenarios used by office and home professionals alike, including digital content creation, a new gaming test group, and 3D modeling/simulations.

AMD "Vega" Die-shot Revealed

AMD released the die-shot of its "Vega 10" ASIC. The multi-chip module (MCM) of the GPU die and two HBM2 memory stacks, sitting on a silicon interposer, is slightly smaller than the "Fiji" ASIC, as it features just two memory stacks. AMD didn't label the components of the GPU die, but we can make out 8 shader engines, holding 8 GCN compute units (CUs), each. This is unlike "Fiji," where the GPU holds four engines with 16 CUs, each. This would mean that each group of 8 CUs has its own dedicated geometry processor and rasterizer.

Since each CU holds 64 FP32 stream processors, we arrive at the total stream processor count of 4,096. Unlike "Hawaii," these stream-processors are FP16-capable, so simple compute tasks are handled at double the throughput. We also make out 32 render back-ends, double that of "Fiji" and "Hawaii," which could indicate 128 ROPs. The "Vega 10" ASIC features a 2048-bit HBM2 memory interface.

Update: AMD stated that the die-shot appeared in one of its marketing slides, but may not be real.

Patriot Unveils the Singe and Spark SSDs

Patriot Memory unveiled its Singe series performance-segment SATA SSD, and its Spark series external SSD at Computex 2017. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, the drives take advantage of the SATA 6 Gbps interface. The Spark, on the other hand, features 5 Gbps USB 3.0 interface. The company didn't talk about the NAND flash type or even the controller, but focused on their performance figures.

The Singe comes in 240 GB and 480 GB capacities, and offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 555 MB/s reads, with up to 500 MB/s writes, and up to 70,000 IOPS 4K random read/write performance. The Spark, on the other hand, comes in a wider variety of capacities - 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB; and offers performance of up to 465 MB/s reads, with up to 460 MB/s writes. It uses a single cable for both power and host connectivity.

IBM Research Alliance Builds New Transistor for 5 nm Technology

IBM, its Research Alliance partners GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Samsung, and equipment suppliers have developed an industry-first process to build silicon nanosheet transistors that will enable 5 nanometer (nm) chips. The details of the process will be presented at the 2017 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits conference in Kyoto, Japan. In less than two years since developing a 7 nm test node chip with 20 billion transistors, scientists have paved the way for 30 billion switches on a fingernail-sized chip.

The resulting increase in performance will help accelerate cognitive computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other data-intensive applications delivered in the cloud. The power savings could also mean that the batteries in smartphones and other mobile products could last two to three times longer than today's devices, before needing to be charged.

EK Water Blocks Intros AM4 Monoblock for MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is proving its market leadership once again by releasing a new AM4 socket based monoblock tailor made for the MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium motherboard. The EK-FB MSI X370 XPower RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with MSI Mystic Light Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the new AMD X370 Chipset AM4 socket based MSI X370 XPOWER Gaming Titanium high-end motherboard that supports the latest generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

Cooler Master Showcases the Cosmos C700P on Cosmos Line's 10th Anniversary

Cooler Master celebrated 25 years of excellence recently, and took to the Computex 2017 stage to announce the much awaited successor to the Cosmos line of PC cases. The new Cosmos C700P is a concept case of their re-imagining of the Cosmos line of premium cases, and takes on the DNA of Cooler Master's Master Concept 2.0 modularity - the motherboard tray itself is removable for increased comfort in putting your rig together, and they even give you the possibility to invert the motherboard tray.

Cooler Master Reveals the MasterCase H500P at Computex 2017

Cooler Master also showcased their more premium MasterCase H500P at Computex 2017, showing a wealth of materials and crafting capability that are seldom seen in other cases. The H500P is set as a reimagining of Cooler Master's HAF series, purpose-built for high airflow. Compared to the HAF series it replaces, the H500P makes use of a trimmer profile. The polygonal frame and 200 mm RGB fans serve as a testament for the high airflow these cases are supposed to deliver, while the polygonal frame gives the case a high quality, 3D-printed exoskeleton look.

Cooler Master Displays MasterBox Line-up of PC Cases at Computex 2017

At this year's Computex, Cooler Master showed off their hardware-quarantining PC cases in the MasterBox family. The first model we'll be bringing up is the MasterBox Q300T, which straddles the line between a PC case and art, with its angled surfaces and angled resting position. This is quite an interesting piece, and is meant to be integrated with your decor as much as with your gaming hardware.

GeIL Unveils AMD Edition Variants of its Entire DDR4 Memory Lineup

It turns out that the EVO X AMD Edition isn't GeIL's only AMD Ryzen-optimized DDR4 memory, with the company unveiling AMD Edition variants of pretty much all its DDR4 memory brands. This includes the EVO Potenza, EVO Spear, EVO Forza, Super Luce, Pristine, and DragonRAM series. Each of these "AMD Edition" branded memory kits has been stability-tested with AMD Ryzen processors, at their advertised clock speeds and timings. They come in a variety of speeds, including DDR4-2400, DDR4-2666, DDR4-2933, DDR4-3200, and DDR4-3466; in densities of 8 GB and 16 GB, making up 16 GB and 32 GB dual-channel kits, respectively.

It's not known if all of these are based on Samsung b-die DRAM chips. AMD spokespersons have publicly stated that Samsung b-die isn't the only DRAM chip needed for high memory clocks on Ryzen processors, and that even with older versions of AGESA, certain memory kits with SK Hynix and Micron DRAM chips are having some success in achieving high memory clocks. AMD is working to improve support for faster DDR4 memory kits through updates to AGESA, which will be dispensed through motherboard vendors to end-users, as motherboard BIOS updates.

PowerColor Gaming Box External Graphics Enclosure Pictured

PowerColor showed off its Gaming Box external graphics enclosure, at the 2017 Computex. With dimensions that almost match a cubical SFF desktop (343 mm x 163 mm x 235 mm), the enclosure can hold a graphics card up to 32 cm long and up to 15.5 cm tall, with 2.5-slot (2-slot bracket). Powering the enclosure is a 550W internal PSU, with two 6+2 pin PCIe power connectors. A Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) connection links the box to your notebook, PC, or NUC. Downstream connectivity includes a Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB 3.0 ports, and a 1 GbE wired network connection. The enclosure supports most current high-end graphics cards, such as the R9 Fury/Nano series, RX 400/500 series, GTX 10-series, and TITAN Xp.

COLORFUL Reveals the GT1030 2G Graphics Card

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, announces its latest addition to the Colorful family of graphics cards with the COLORFUL GT1030 2G graphics card suited for office/home use.

The Colorful GT1030 2G ships with 384 Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), and runs at a base clock frequency of 1227 MHz while the GPU Boost clock speed is rated for 1468 MHz and is based on the Pascal GP108 silicone. This card has been outfitted with GDDR5 memory at 2GB capacity and is wired to a 64-bit bus. The GPU has 24 TMUs, 8 ROPs and has a rated draw of 30 watts power consumption making the card a highly efficient choice. With an all-solid-state capacitor power delivery design, COLORFUL provides customers better and more stability while maintaining excellent performance. It has a 90mm fan and a solid cooler featuring compact thermal fins keeping the card cool even under extreme loads. No pricing information was disclosed at the time.

Futuremark Releases the PCMark 10 Benchmarking Software

The PC Mark benchmarking software is one of the mainstays of system benchmarking. Although it isn't as attractive to enthusiasts and gamers due to the lack of such visually impressive showcases like Time Spy, it stands as a more complete suite for users looking to thoroughly examine their systems' performance. And it now offers a more complete package even for gamers and enthusiasts, since it does include a graphical, game-like benchmark in FireStrike.

Based on real-world apps and activities, the tests in PC Mark 10 work with some included third-party programs as part of the benchmark suite to reflect common tasks performed in the modern workplace. Futuremark is releasing three versions of PCMark 10, the Basic, Advanced, and Professional Editions, with different tiers of features for each. The Basic version will be free of charge (available to download on June 22nd), while the Advanced version will retail for $29.99 (and will be available on Steam.) You can read our review of PCMark's latest iteration right here, courtesy of our own VSG.

G.Skill Unveils New RipJaws series Gaming Peripherals

G.Skill expanded its RipJaws line of gaming peripherals with new KM560 and KM560 MX mechanical gaming keyboards; MX530 and MX570 gaming mice. Positioned a notch below the company's flagship RipJaws KM570 RGB keyboard, the KM560 is a compact "tenkeyless" keyboard (lacks a NUM pad). It comes in three variants, the KM560 (standard), the KM560 MX, and the KM560 RGB. What sets the three apart is the lighting. The standard KM560 lacks any back-light illumination, the KM560 MX features red LED lighting, while the KM560 RGB, as its name suggests, features multi-color RGB LED lighting. The three further come in color variants of black and white, each.

The RipJaws KM560 series keyboard features Cherry MX mechanical switches, although G.Skill didn't mention which kind. Its electronics offer full NKRO (n-key rollover), registering any number of simultaneous button presses, with an active anti-ghosting feature. Besides on-the-fly macro recording, the included software lets you set macros, and on the RGB variant, it also lets you set color for each key, and add lighting profiles. The RipJaws MX530 is the company's new value-segment gaming mouse, providing all the essentials from the company's lineup, including a metal-finish body, a 3,500 dpi sensor, Omron-made main button-switches, RGB LED lighting for the logo and scroll-wheel insert, and a total of 6 programmable buttons. The MX560 is its bigger sibling, with a more precise 7,200 dpi sensor, an LED diffuser that lights up your mousepad, and onboard memory to store your button maps and LED preferences.
Sunday, June 4th 2017

Thermaltake Shows Off New Products at Computex 2017

At Computex 2017, Thermaltake, the company which makes giantly oversized PC cases, took to the stage to continue doing what it does best. The Level 20 TItanium clearly is at the top of its class: a concept design chassis with a "don't touch me, don't photograph me" attitude which was nevertheless captured by intrepid reporters who like to live dangerously. This is a great looking case, and is sure to dominate any environment it finds itself in.

Teamgroup Exhibit Their DDR4, SSD Portfolio at Computex 2017

At Computex 2017, Teamgroup put on a show with their products, hoping to place itself in consumers' eyes as having all the latest technologies they could possibly want. Starting with their SSD, there's the heatspreader-equipped M.2 NVMe SSD T-Force Cardea, an MLC SSD (so, a dying breed) with either 240 or 480 GB capacity, which includes a beefy red heatsink to reduce throttling possibilities.

Sharkoon Flaunt Their AM5 Case, Pacelight RGB System at Computex 2017

At5 Computex 2017, Sharkoon took the opportunity to set customer's eyes on their AM5 case, which features a modular front panel that can be swapped at will (provided you acquire the other options.) One of the most interesting characteristics of this case is that it will be sold in two options with differing materials for the side panels: one with an acrylic sheet, which is already a well-known material for those who want to gorge their eyes on their hardware; or with soundproof panels, which make sure not a whisper from your system's cooling can escape the confines of your case (at least from this particular side.)

Other characteristics are as usual, with a maximum 40 cm length for the graphics card, 16.7 cm for the CPU cooler, 20.5 cm for the power supply, support for 2x 140 mm fans on the front panel (pre-installed) or one of those 240 mm radiators; 1x 120 mm fan support on the back of the chassis; and up to 3x 120 mm fans or 2x 140 mm on the top of the case (we posit 280 mm AIOs can also be fit there).

Raijintek Showcases Their Orcus AIO at Computex 2017

Raijintek took to the stage to showcase, among other products, their Orcus AIO. Water cooling is all the rage these days, and the company is hoping this 240 mm unit will be the one to sway you to their camp. A rotating blade is included in the design, which rotates according to the waterflow of the system. LED lighting pimps the reservoir, which they call "the heart" of the system, and Raijintek is also calling to your attention the "extremely polish surface of water block". The fans on the radiator also include LED lighting, and the pump makes use of both a graphite pipe and a ceramic axis. The fans can speed at up to 3800 RPM, give or take 10%.
Saturday, June 3rd 2017

Reeven Showcases Their Air, Liquid Cooling Portfolio at Computex 2017

Reeven may be a relatively little-known company, but I know for a fact they are one of the PC cooling companies offering one of the highest bang-for-buck ratio products in the Reeven Justice II (it's actually better than some AIOs; you should check the out.) The company makes use of a pretty distinct design language with their yellow-bladed fans (which they have recently built upon with the RGB Kiran.)

The coolers showcased by the company include the tower coolers Reeven Hans, a slim 120 mm cooler which includes a RGB Kiran fan and the Justice II, which builds upon the company's Justice while improving thermal characteristics. This is a high TDP design, black coated product, which looks gorgeous next to the yellow fans. The six heatpipe design helps this be one of the most effective tower air coolers in the market. Finally, the Ouranos Aero ends the scale on the tower coolers, being a 140 mm tower cooler (bigger than both the Hans and the Justice), and is especially designed for overclockers. The dual fan design ensures a greater airflow (and thus, higher heat dissipation capability.)

Phanteks Showcases Their Unique EVOLV Shift, Shift X SFF Cases at Computex 2017

Two of the more unique mass-market designs on show on Computex 2017 have to be the Phanteks EVOLV Shift and Shift X SFF cases. These are the essence of a tower case (though they can also lie on their side like a roman citizen at dinner time, if you are so inclined.) These are aluminum and tempered-glass crafted cases, with a ridiculous 17 (W) x 27 (D) x 48 (H) cm footprint on the Shift. The Shift X is the taller solution of the two, with a 65 cm height. These little cases than could support water cooling and component placement in multiple orientations, and include an integrated RGB controller to boot.

The front I/O contains just two USB 3.0 ports, but it's the interior which shines. Phanteks managed to cram a lot into such a compact form-factor. Motherboards will have to be of the mini-ITX type, there's no way around that; however, there's also with support for 2x PCI slots, and the Shift X brings support for 2x internal 3.5" and 2x 2.5" drives (you can also mount 2.5" solutions on the 3.5" bays, mind you.) It also supports PS2 PSUs, while the smaller Shift has to cut one of the 3.5" bays, and only supports SFF PSUs. However, for their sizes, both Shifts support 3x 120 mm and 3x 140 mm fans on the front of the case, and 1x 120 mm, 1x 140 mm fans on the bottom. The EVOLV Shift will retail for $110, while the Shift X brings that number up to $160.

Patriot Teases Upcoming Viper LED-Enabled DRAM Modules

Patriot took the opportunity to tease an upcoming line of LED-lighted DRAM modules. Details on these were extremely scarce (actually, nonexistent), which could mean that Patriot is either playing its cards extremely close to its chest, or that specifications haven't been finalized as of yet. However, it seems the final design for the modules is, and that's what Patriot was proud enough to show. However, I think it's a given that these are DDR4 modules.

I have to say I really like the design on these heat-spreaders; they're both understated and bold, which isn't that much of a frequent combination. Expect more details on these memory sticks to come in the coming months.

Patriot Showcases Their Scorch M.2 NVMe SSDs at Computex 2017

At Computex 2017, Patriot put on a scorching show with their high-speed M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs, the Patriot Scorch. These leverage a Phison 5008-E8 controller to deliver up to 1200 MB/s reads and 800 MB/s writes at a 240 GB capacity. This controller is one of the only budget solutions to include a multi-core processor at its heart, which bodes well to the Scorch's rated speeds. MTBF operation is rated at over 2,000,000 hours, which is more than you'll ever need in your lifetime (and if it isn't, you really have to tell me your secret.) The Scorch will utilize Toshiba's 64-layer BiCS FLASH with 3-bits per cell (TLC) memory, which should decrease their cost, which should help Patriot release these Scorch SSDs on Q3 of this year, with a touted "attractive, budget" pricing.

ID-Cooling Shows Multiple Air and Liquid Cooling Solutions at Computex 2017

ID-Cooling went on to Computex to showcase not only their air and liquid cooling solutions (for which they're really known for), but also to showcase systems fully equipped with the company's cooling portfolio (those are bonuses to the displayed at the end of this piece, though.)

Starting with the essence of life, ID-Cooling showcased their Frostflow+ 120, 240, and 280 products (whose numbering and naming scheme, as you might have guessed, inform the length of the radiator employed.) Their Frostflow+ 280 solution is certainly the most interesting, if only because of the usage of two PWM-controlled 140 mm fans to cool a 280 mm radiator. There's "premium sleeved tubing" here, as well as a high performance water pump design (but aren't they all). The Frostflow+ 240 is a more mundane, dual 120 mm fan solution, which nevertheless keeps all the features from the more premium (and better-performing) 280. The Frostflow+ 120 makes do with a "solid built" 120 mm radiator, and is apparently the only solution to incorporate any kind of LED lighting - namely, white in the pump cover. All fo these water cooling solutions are universally compatible with both Intel and AMD systems. All the units make use of a copper plate to make contact with your central processing unit of choice.

Cooler Master Showcases Portfolio of Mice and Keyboard Solutions at Computex

Cooler Master took to the stage on Computex 2017 showcasing its solutions for every gamer's needs, from the RGB-crazed one to the serious, twitch-shooter.

On to keyboards first, we have the Cooler Master Masterkeys PRO L RGB, which manages to fit both Cherry MX switches and a full RGB solution that can radiate 16.7 million colors. There's also on-the-fly macros and profile support, with the Fn key getting a whole lot of love. All in a sleek, minimalistic design, if you ignore the screaming LEDs. The Masterkeys PRO S is essentially the same, but lacking the number pad. The Masterkeys S, on the other hand, eschews the RGB lighting, lacks profile support and on-the-fly switching, and also ditches the number pad. The minimalistic design is somewhat destroyed by the bright, screaming, angry red WASD keys, but there's no denying you'll be hard-pressed to confuse them with other, non life-saving movement keys.

ASUS Showcases the First Ryzen Powered Laptop: The ROG STRIX GL702ZC

At Computex 2017, ASUS showcased the first Ryzen-powered laptop, which the company had already teased a while back. The STRIX brings to an end a period of lacking competition in the laptop space; before this, if you wanted a high-performance gaming (or even professional-grade) laptop, you went with one with an Intel processor inside, or not at all. AMD is back in the fold, and Ryzen was the one who rose to the challenge.

The ROG STRIX GL702ZC packs a Ryzen 7 1700 8-core, 16-thread CPU; the absence of an X there isn't a typo, considering AMD themselves say the company's XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) is meant to accelerate CPU speeds under the right thermal conditions (and headroom), which a laptop almost surely wouldn't have.) This is a full desktop CPU (and I stress, an 8-core, 16-thread one) running inside a laptop. And this laptop dresses itself fully in red, with the graphics workhorse being an RX 580. The RX 580 is a great 1080p card, so it will feel right at home on the ROG STRIX GL702ZC's 17.3", 1080p IPS panel with FreeSync support. Let's just hope this is the first in a wave of AMD-powered laptops. We'll be here to see what happens with Ryzen-based APUs closer to the end of the year.

Enermax Unveils Equilence Chassis with Noise Dampening

Enermax showed off its Equilence ATX mid-tower chassis with a design focus on low noise output. The case features noise-dampening material padded along its body panels. Inside, you get room for an E-ATX motherboard, or a conventional ATX motherboard with plenty of room for your liquid-cooling setup, a horizontal dual-compartment layout which frees up room for long graphics cards; and multiple fan-mounts, including along the plane of the motherboard tray. The case offers a 3x 120 mm radiator mount along the front panel, a 2x 140 mm mount along the top panel, and a 2x 120 mm mount along the motherboard tray, besides a 140 mm rear exhaust. The front-panel I/O features LED illumination.

Enermax Grace Fun and Grace Mesh Detailed

Enermax Grace Fun and Grace Mesh are the company's latest ATX mid-tower cases with fairly conventional innards - a horizontally partitioned layout that frees up tons of room for graphics cards and CPU coolers; multiple 3.5-inch drive bays, and two 120 mm front intakes, three 120 mm top exhausts. This is where the similarities end.

The Grace Fun has a white steel front panel which feels like a refrigerator body to touch. You can stick fridge magnets onto this, or even stir up your creativity using headset-stands, etc., with strong enough magnets. The Grace Fun also comes with a tempered glass side panel. The Grace Mesh has a conventional steel mesh front panel with two 5.25-inch drive bays; and a steel side panel with an acrylic window. Both cases launch later this year.

Enermax Steelwing and Steelwing X Cases Pictured

Enermax showed off its Steelwing and Steelwing X cases. The Steelwing is a mini-ITX case with three expansion slots, so you don't run out of room for 2+ slots thick graphics cards. It's characterized by vertical metal inserts along the front-panel, which gives it an industrial look. Inside, you'll find room for more than one 3.5-inch drive bay, a 2.5-inch bay, a prominent LED-lit 120 mm front intake fan, and room for a top exhaust. The case is available in silver with green LED lighting, and clear tempered glass side panel; and black with red LED lighting and slightly tinted tempered glass side panel.

The Steelwing X is a scale-up of the Steelwing design. It is a micro-ATX case in almost ATX mid-tower proportions. It can hold on to micro-ATX motherboards with 5 expansion slots, so you get to install a dual-slot graphics card on even the bottom-most slot. Yaou get a large number of drive bays, vast clearance for graphics cards and CPU coolers, and three 120 mm front-intakes, besides top exhausts. This case will be available in similar color combinations to the Steelwing.
Friday, June 2nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Storage

Popular Tesoro Gaming Mice Get RGB LED Treatment

Tesoro showed off RGB LED-equipped variants of its three popular gaming mice. The new Sagitta Spectrum, Sharur Spectrum, and Ascalon Spectrum (pictured in that order), feature RGB LED-lit lighting elements towards the base, scroll-wheel, and the company logo on the top. The Sagitta Spectrum features a 5,000 "true" DPI sensor, with 130 instructions per second (IPS), and 30G acceleration. The Sharur Spectrum is characterized by an LED diffuser towards its base, which lights up your mouse mat. It features a 4,000 DPI sensor. Finally, there's the Ascalon Spectrum, with its RTS-optimized design with a fixed thumb-rest, featuring a 6,400 true DPI sensor.

Tesoro Shows off Gram SE Spectrum Keyboard

Tesoro showed off the second-edition of its Gram series gaming keyboard, the Gram SE Spectrum. This keyboard differs from its predecessor in taking advantage of Tesoro's in-house Optical switches, while the older Gram uses mechanical switches. Its electronics offer full NKRO (n-key rollover), letting you make any number of simultaneous key presses, and having them all register. An optical switch uses laser light obstruction to register a key-press, and is extremely accurate compared to electrical switches. It also offers higher lifespan than both membrane and mechanical (electrical) switches. Like the original, the Gram SE Spectrum features full RGB LED lighting, with a 16.7 million-color palette.

Galaxy Highlights Two GTX 1080 Ti HOF Models: The OC Lab and Limited Edition

At Computex 2017, Galaxy showcased two of its most premium graphics cards based on NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti chip. The GTX 1080 Ti OC Lab Edition features a Hall of Fame branded waterblock of appealing design, even if the colored power cables on the left of the unit do break the pleasing color scheme. The card features 3x 8-pin power connectors, for those of you who like to run wild with your overclocks. From the box, this card features a base 1569 MHz clock and a 1683 MHz Boost.

The second graphics card showcased by the company is the GTX 1080 Ti HOF Limited Edition, which makes use of the same 3x 8-pin power connectors, but sheds the waterblock for a triple-fan cooling solution. Strangely, this card features higher out-of-the-box clocks than the waterblock-equipped version, at 1645 MHz base and 1759 MHz boost. There is a LUMIN X branding on the cooler shroud, which indicates the usage of Galaxy's lighting system. It also features an LCD screen for graphics card status information, like operating temperature and current clocks and voltages.

Fractal Design Showcases Their Celsius S24 and S36 AIO Coolers at Computex 2017

Fractal Design, which recently announced their new Celsius S24 and Celsius S26 lines of AIO liquid cooling solutions, took to Computex 2017 to showcase their latest answer to an enthusiast's needs. The two models differ on radiator size, with the S24 materializing as a 240 mm piece, while the S36 is, expectedly, a 360 mm one. These feature integrated sound dampening, standardized G1/4" fittings, and discrete cabling for the radiator fans, with 2x or 3x 4-pin PWM fan headers on the radiator.

GeIL EVO-X Series AMD Edition DDR4 Memory Pictured

GeIL showed off its AMD Ryzen-optimized EVO-X AMD Edition DDR4 memory, with integrated RGB LED lighting. The modules feature Ryzen-friendly DRAM chips (although we're not sure if they're Samsung b-die), coupled with an SPD profile that's readable by prominent third-party one-click optimization standards such as ASUS DOCP, MSI A-XMP, and XMP-translation. The modules have been tested for stability in sustaining their advertised clocks and timings on motherboards of various brands.

The RGB LED lighting on the EVO-X series supports various RGB LED control software such as ASUS/ASRock Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light RGB, BIOSTAR Vivid LED DJ, and GIGABYTE RGB Fusion. You can also manually set the color and brightness physically on the module itself, using a slider button-set called "Sliding Hot Switch." The EVO-X AMD Edition runs at DDR4-3466 MHz, with timings of 16-18-18-38. They are available in module densities of 8 GB, and in dual-channel kits of 16 GB. The modules are available in white and black heatspreader colors. The company could launch quad-channel kits in the wake of the Ryzen Threadripper TR4 platform.

GeIL Shuttle Series M.2 NVMe SSD Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of GeIL Shuttle series SSDs. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, the drives take advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol, and are characterized by a prominent aluminium heatsink over the controller, DRAM, and NAND flash chips, which keeps temperatures of these chips below 38°C in a common work environment. The GeIL Shuttle series drives combine a Silicon Machines SM2260 controller with 3D MLC NAND flash (G2 variant) and 3D TLC NAND flash (G1 variant). The drives offer sequential performance of up to 2,000 MB/s reads, with up to 1,000 MB/s writes.

ECS Showcases Eight Different Motherboards at Computex 2017

ECS took to Computex to showcase seven different motherboards from both AMD and Intel. First up we have the Z270 Lightsaber, which is great at deflecting laser blaster shots. It's an LGA 1151 socket motherboard, features 8-channel audio courtesy of a Realtek ALC 1150 audio chip, a Killer E2500 Gigabit controller, 1x M.2 slot with support for SATA, NVMe, and Intel Optane. There are 3x PCIe x16 slots, which work at x8 x8 x4 when all slots are populated, as is usual with Z270 motherboards.

Calyos Showcases Its NSG S0 Phase Change Cooling Chassis at Computex 2017

Remember that Kickstarted case from Calyos, which promises to be the ending of spinning fans on your rig? Calyos is showcasing it at this year's Computex.

The production chassis is designed by France's modding duo WaterMod, which improved upon the original open-frame concept design both in terms of performance and aesthetics. The usage of Phase Change cooling through two cooling blocks - one for the GPU, another for the CPU) makes away with fans, pumps, water, and any other assorted cooling techniques that involve calling upon the decibel gods.

Patriot Announces Release of the Viper Gaming Headset Stand/USB 3.0 Hub

Patriot, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions, today announced the release of the Viper Gaming Headset Stand /USB 3.0 Hub providing users with additional, easy-access, USB ports and a convenient storage solution for their favorite headset.

Powered by a USB connection on the rear of the base, the Patriot Viper Gaming Headset Stand is equipped with three USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm audio and microphone jack for a seamless connection to USB storage solutions, gaming peripherals and audio/visual devices. Offering easy plug-and-play functionality, no software is needed and connected devices will be detected almost instantly. A power switch at the rear of the stand allows users to easily turn the device off without having to power down their PC.

EVGA X299 FTW and X299 Micro Motherboards Detailed

EVGA at its Computex 2017 booth showed off its premium socket LGA2066 motherboard, the X299 FTW. The company also unveiled its micro-ATX X299 Micro. Built in the ATX form-factor, the X299 FTW is positioned below the X299 DARK, and features a clean layout with conveniently located connectors. It draws power from a pair of 8-pin EPS connectors besides an optional 6-pin PCIe, and the 24-pin ATX. The CPU socket is flanked by eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. An open-ended x4 and another x1 make for the rest of its expansion.

The X299 FTW is characterized by a groovy RGB LED lighting system that covers not just the PCH heatsink, but also the CPU VRM heatsink, and the I/O shroud, which runs the entire length of the motherboard. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots (a 110 mm and an 80 mm, each); two 32 Gb/s U.2 ports, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Other connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port), eight USB 3.0 ports, high-grade onboard audio with Realtek ALC1220 codec; and two GbE network interfaces.
Thursday, June 1st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Monitors
Mouse
Networking
Processors

Crucial Readies the BX300 Mainstream SSD

Crucial is giving final touches to its next-generation mainstream SATA SSDs, under the BX300 series. A follow-up to its MX300 series, the BX300 series will be launched later this Summer. The drives combine a Marvell-made controller with Micron 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and likely come in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. Crucial will sell these drives only in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, initially. While the company didn't talk about performance, it mentioned that the drives offer "SATA-saturating performance," meaning that at least its sequential reads could be around the 530 MB/s mark (that of the MX300), if not higher. With the BX300, Crucual is launching a new multi-media SSD install tutorial website that's made as simple to understand as possible, so anyone with a screwdriver can replace their HDD with a new SSD.

EVGA X299 DARK Motherboard Pictured

EVGA unveiled a formidable lineup of socket LGA2066 motherboards, based on Intel X299 Express chipset. One of the models which caught our eye is the X299 DARK. Designed for extreme overclocking, this board is halfway between ATX and E-ATX width. It draws power from an angled 24-pin ATX, an angled 6-pin PCIe, and two 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it for the CPU using a high-current 9-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to just four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel memory; and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. The fifth x16 slot which is electrical x4 and an open-ended x4 slot; which are wired to the PCH; make for the rest of the expansion.

Storage connectivity on the EVGA X299 DARK includes a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, two 32 Gb/s U.2 ports, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 (of which one is type-C), and eight USB 3.0 (six on the rear panel, two by headers). Networking includes 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 WLAN, a 10 GbE wired connection driven by an Intel i210-T1 controller, and a 1 GbE driven by an i219-V. The onboard audio features a Creative Sound Blaster DSP. This is one of the rare few board in which the I/O shroud extends into an integrated I/O shield, which could be useful for open-air benches.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #7

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have the latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

We have now moved to a "rolling-release" model for our digest to better track releases as they happen. Today we have some releases and betas from a broad range of manufacturers.

Special shout out to @nemesis.ie for tipping our local news editor off to some stealthy ASRock betas. Please note that although I have included those betas, they have a german zip self-extractor, so some language-fu may be required to extract them.

Noctua Shows Off LGA2066-ready Retention Modules

Noctua showed off protoypes of variants of its various high-end CPU coolers, which come with support for Intel's Core X family socket LGA2066 processors. While LGA2066 has a higher pin-count, it has the same exact CPU cooler mount-hole spacing as LGA2011(v3), and as such, any LGA2011-compatible cooler should run on LGA2066. All Core i7 LGA2011(v3) chips are either 140W or below. Noctua on its part, is confident that that all its LGA2011(v3)-compatible coolers run on LGA2066 by default, and is willing to giveaway LGA2066-supporting SecuFirm 2 retention modules for free, for users of older Noctua heatsinks which can handle such high thermal loads.

Noctua Shows off a Super-Compact Low-profile Socket AM4 CPU Cooler

In addition to its socket TR3/SP3 Threadripper-ready CPU cooler prototypes, Noctua showed off this prototype of a super compact socket AM4 CPU cooler, the NH-L9. Ideal for SFF builds, the cooler sits just 37 mm tall, and features a dense aluminium fin-stack which propagates along the plane of the motherboard, to which heat drawn from the base is fed by nickel-plated copper heat pipes. The heatsink is ventilated by an included NF-A9x14 PWM 92 mm fan.

Noctua Ready with Heatsink Protoypes for Threadripper TR4/SP3 Sockets

Noctua at its Computex 2017 booth, showed off its very first socket TR4/SP3 (AMD Ryzen Threadripper) ready CPU cooler prototypes. These coolers are variants of Noctua's existing platforms - NH-U14S, NH-U12S, and NHU9, but come factory-fitted with socket TR4/SP3 retention modules, and large bases. The coolers also include new-generation PWM-ready variants of the NF-F12, NF-A15, and NF-A9 fans. All three are tower-type heatsinks, designed for clearance around the large CPU socket, and the practically non-existent gap between the socket and the memory slots, at least on motherboards we've seen so far.

Noctua Chromax Edition Fans and Heatsink Covers Detailed

Noctua is renowned for its conservative and restrained styling, with a focus instead on effective cooling performance and low-noise. Wading through a swamp of psychedelic RGB multi-color LED-lit fans, cases, coolers, and pretty much everything else; we found Noctua taking a careful step towards "colors," without all the light and sound.

The Chromax Edition variants of its popular fans NF-A15, NF-A14, NF-F12, and NF-S12A come with colorful, user-replaceable accessories for the fan-frame and cables, which let you add just a bit of color, without lighting it up. These are high-quality user-swappable anti-vibration pads for the frame mount-holes (which are typically brown). Chromax Edition Noctua fans include four sets of anti-vibration pads - red, blue, green, and yellow; while the frame itself is kept black to stay neutral to the color. Optionally, you can also purchase color-matching sleeved fan cables.

EK Announces Fluid Gaming: Sets a New Standard for Water Cooling!

EK Water Blocks, the market leader in PC custom liquid cooling, is launching its new brand created for PC gamers called EK Fluid Gaming. Bringing the best price/performance ratio imaginable, it's set to change how water cooling is perceived. This is real EKWB water cooling at an affordable price thanks to innovative patent pending technology.

The benefits of liquid cooling of CPUs and especially GPUs have never been so obvious as air cooling solutions are struggling to cope with cooling demands of modern PC hardware. Air-cooled PCs tend to suffer from loud noise and overheating, something that no gamer wants to hear and see as it degrades performance of hardware, furthermore preventing any serious overclocking! Liquid cooling is the best solution for rapid heat removal due to its unmatched thermal heat dissipation. It is the only solution that allows successful heat removal from critical spots with zero noise pollution!

AMD Trims Prices of the Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X

AMD recently cut the price of its current flagship desktop processor Ryzen 7 1800X from its USD $499 launch price to $469. At the time, it left prices of the Ryzen 7 1700 and Ryzen 7 1700X untouched. It looks like the two received small price-cuts as well. The Ryzen 7 1700X is now priced at $349 in leading online stores, down from its launch price of $399. The Ryzen 7 1700 (non-X), on the other hand, is now selling for $319, down from its launch price of $329. The two cuts may seem minor, but could help AMD turn up the heat against Intel's Core i7-7700K and its upcoming "Kaby Lake-X" Core i7-7740X and i5-7640X.

Based on the 14 nm "Summit Ridge" silicon, the Ryzen 7 1700 and 1700X are eight-core processors. The 1700 ships with clock speeds of 3.00 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, while the 1700X ships with higher 3.40 GHz clocks, with 3.80 GHz boost, and XFR, which adds a further 200 MHz to the boost clock. The Ryzen 7 1700 includes an AMD Wraith Spire RGB cooling solution, while the 1700X lacks a stock cooling solution.

Update 03/06: AMD reached out to us and commented that this is not an official price-change. It could be implemented by local retailers or distributors.

QNAP Unveils World's First Ryzen-based NAS at Computex 2017

Amidst the cutting-edge innovations in NAS, networking, and IoT presented by QNAP Systems, Inc. at COMPUTEX 2017, the announcement of the world's first AMD Ryzen-based NAS took center stage and underlined QNAP's commitment to push the boundaries of NAS performance and functionality.

The new TS-x77 series leverages the incredible power of Ryzen, featuring processors with up to 8-cores/16-threads with Turbo Core up to 3.7 GHz to greatly boost virtualization performance. The TS-x77 is designed as a high-performance, highly-capable tiered storage geared for I/O intensive and virtualization applications, and also supports AMD Radeon and NVIDIA graphics cards to satisfy resource-demanding video editing and playback.

Aerocool Quartz and Quartz Pro Cases Pictured

Aerocool showed off the Quartz mid-tower and Quartz Pro full-tower cases at the 2017 Computex. The two feature a consistent design theme, with a large polygonal acrylic front window, tempered glass side panels, and factory-fitted RGB LED fans, with IR remote control for the lighting, color, and fan-speed. The Quartz features a fixed front window since it lacks an exposed 5.25-inch drive bay; while the Quartz Pro has a front door with the acrylic window, which opens up into the front intakes and an exposed 5.25-inch drive bay. As the larger case, the Quartz Pro has room for larger E-ATX motherboards, with more drive bays, and mounts for larger 140 mm fans (although the three 120 mm intakes are carried over from the Quartz).

Aerocool KCAS Series Power Supplies Pictured

Aerocool showed off its KCAS (does it sound like "kickass"?) series upper-mainstream power supplies (PSUs). The lineup includes the KCAS-G (fixed-cabling) and KCAS-GM (partially-modular cabling), the company showed off their 850W models. The PSUs feature enough juice and straws for a high-end gaming PC build with up to three graphics cards. A star-attraction here, is the 120 mm cooling fan with RGB LED lighting. Under the hood, the KCAS series PSUs feature single +12V rail design, with 80 Plus Gold switching efficiency, APFC, and most common electrical protection features.

XIGMATEK Refract S1 Chassis Pictured

The Refract S1 by XIGMATEK is one of the prettier cases we've seen at this year's Computex. This ATX mid-tower is dominated with its thick acrylic front cover that bumps outward in a trapezoid shape, refracting the light that comes from the three LED-lit front intake fans. The front is topped off with a gorgeous brushed-aluminium top panel with front panel ports - three USB 3.0 type-A and HDA jacks. The side is dominated by a tempered glass panel.

Measuring 457 mm x 190 mm x 467 mm (LxWxH), the storage area of the Refract S1 includes four 3.5-inch drive bays, and two 2.5-inch. Its cooling system includes three pre-installed 120 mm front intake fans with blue LED illumination, one 120 mm rear exhaust fan, and three 120 mm top exhaust mounts. You can mount up to two 360 mm x 120 mm radiators.

XIGMATEK SFX80S and SFX120F PSUs Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of XIGMATEK's two new lines of SFX form-factor power-supplies (PSUs), the SFX80S and SFX120F. The SFX80S comes in 350W and 450W variants, and gets its name from the 80 mm fan which cools it. Under the hood is a single +12V rail design with 80 Plus efficiency. The units feature fixed cabling with one or two 6+2 pin PCIe power connections. The SFX120F, on the other hand, is the slightly more premium, albeit larger, variant. It gets its name from the 120 mm fan which cools it. Available in 500W and 600W variants, these PSUs offer fully modular cabling with up to two 6+2 pin PCIe connectors; and 80 Plus Gold efficiency.

XIGMATEK Whiz RGB CPU Cooler Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of the Whiz RGB tower-type CPU cooler by Xigmatek. The cooler features a conventional tower-type design four 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes, which make direct contact with the CPU at the base, convey heat through a large aluminium fin-stack, with hexagon-shaped fins; which are then ventilated by the included Xigmatech SC120 RGB fan.

The cooler features RGB multi-color LED lighting on both the SC120 RGB 120 mm fan, and an LED-lit logo topping of the fin-stack. The included fan spins between 800 to 1,800 RPM, pushing up to 62 CFM of air, with a noise output as low as 19.4 dBA. The fan takes in 4-pin PWM input. The cooler supports most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2011(v3), LGA115x, and LGA1366.

GIGABYTE X299-UD4 Could be its Most Affordable LGA2066 Motherboard

GIGABYTE showed off what could be the company's most affordable socket LGA2066 motherboard, the X299-UD4. It features a minimalist design with features the platform provides. Built in the ATX form factor, the board draws power form a single 8-pin EPS connector, besides 24-pin ATX. The CPU is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, besides three out of the five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Two of the slots are electrical x4 and wired to the PCH.

Storage connectivity on the X299-UD4 includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 ports (both type-A), and eight USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, four by headers). Networking includes a single GbE connection driven by an Intel i219-V controller, and audio is care of a Realtek ALC1220 (120 dBA SNR) codec with ground-layer isolation and WIMA capacitors. It wouldn't surprise us if this board goes for under $200.

AMD Readies Nine Ryzen Threadripper Models

AMD, which announced its Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor at its 2017 Computex show, closely followed by certain motherboard manufacturers' unveiling of their compatible AMD X399 chipset motherboards; is readying nine SKUs based on the dual "Summit Ridge" MCM. This includes 10-core (3+2+3+2), 12-core (3+3+3+3), 14-core (4+3+4+3), and 16-core (4+4+4+4) models, all of which have SMT enabled, resulting in 20, 24, 28, and 32 threads, respectively; full 64-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complexes; and full quad-channel DDR4 memory interfaces. Some of these models with the "X" brand extension feature XFR (extended frequency range), which adds 200 MHz to the boost clock, if the cooling is sufficient.

The lineup is led by the 16-core/32-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1998X, with a healthy clock speed of 3.50 GHz, and 3.90 GHz boost, a TDP of 155W, and XFR. This is closely followed by the 16-core/32-thread 1998, clocked lower, at 3.20 GHz with 3.60 GHz boost, 155W TDP, and lack of XFR. The 16-core chips are followed by 14-core models. The 14-core/28-thread Ryzen Threadripper 1977X ships with 3.50 GHz core clock speed, but 4.00 GHz boost, XFR, and the same 155W TDP as the 16-core parts. This is closely followed by the 14-core/28-thread 1977 (non-X), with lower clocks of 3.20 GHz core, 3.70 GHz boost, and again, the same 155W TDP.
Wednesday, May 31st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
PSUs
Storage

Asus Cerberus V2

Asus Cerberus V2 is the successor to the company's bestselling headset. Now equipped with a stainless steel headband and the new "Essence drivers", it's supposed to be sturdier and better sounding. However, with its $75 price tag, it faces some stiff competition and doesn't necessarily come out as the victor.

EKWB Fluid Gaming 240G Kit

EKWB has turned back time and gone all aluminum in their latest Fluid Gaming series of watercooling kits. Today, we take a look at the Fluid Gaming 240G kit that promises excellent cooling for all the latest CPUs from Intel and AMD and also includes a full-cover GPU waterblock for the higher-end NVIDIA Pascal GeForce GPUs, all at a price point intended to lower the entry barrier to expandable PC watercooling.

Team Group Cardea-Z M.2 NVMe SSD Pictured

Team Group earned acclaimed for getting M.2 SSD cooling right, with its Cardea M.2 NVMe SSD. A chunky aluminium heatsink cools the controller and MLC NAND flash chips, to help the drive churn out some of the highest sustained performance figures in its segment. Team Group designed its notebook/SFF friendly variant, the Cardea-Z (or Cardea Zero).

The Cardea-Z features the same PCB, same controller, and same NAND flash as the original Cardea, but replaces the chunky heatsink with an aluminium heatspreader, which is just a thin sheet of metal. This makes the drive fit into notebooks and certain SFF desktops. Its controller takes advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol, and is mated with MLC NAND flash memory. It comes in capacities of 240 GB and 480 GB, churning out the same rated performance figures as the original - up to 2,600 MB/s reads with up to 1,400 MB/s writes for the 240 GB variant, and up to 2,650 MB/s reads, with up to 1,450 MB/s writes for the 480 GB variant. Both variants offer over 180,000 IOPS 4K random access speeds.

Team Group to Bundle Memory with SSDs, with its T-Force Dark Pack

Team Group is beginning to bundle dual-channel memory kits with 2.5-inch SATA SSDs. The bundle is slightly (5-10%) cheaper than buying its parts separately. The T-Force Dark Bundle Pack includes three combinations - a 2x 8 GB DDR4-2666 kit with a 240 GB SSD, a 2x 8 GB DDR4-3000 kit with a 480 GB SSD, and a 2x 16 GB DDR4-3200 kit with a 960 GB SSD.

The DDR4-2666 kit does its rated speeds with 15-17-17-35 timings, the DDR4-3000 kit ticks at 17-18-18-38, and the DDR4-3200 kit at a tight 15-15-15-35. The T-Force Dark SSD features MLC NAND flash. All three variants offer up to 520 MB/s sequential reads, the 240 GB writes at up to 300 MB/s, while the 480 GB and 960 GB ones at up to 460 MB/s. All variants offer up to 75,000 IOPS 4K random access performance.

Team Group Unveils Team T-Force Xtreem Memory Modules

Team Group resurrected its iconic "Xtreem" brand with the new T-Force Xtreem and T-Force Xtreem Special Edition memory modules. Designed for extreme performance, these modules are characterized by chunky aluminium heatsinks with a restrained styling. The Special Edition module features a black brushed-aluminium accent with an autograph of the engineer behind the module's sorting and optimization. The module comes in just 8 GB densities for now, but in dual-channel and in the future, quad-channel kits. The T-Force Xtreem comes in variants based on speed, of DDR4-3466, DDR4-3600, DDR4-3733, DDR4-3866, and DDR4-4000. The T-Force Xtreem Special Edition comes in just one speed, DDR4-4133.

ZOTAC Shows Off the Mek Gaming PC

ZOTAC broke new ground with its first tower-type SFF gaming PC, the ZOTAC Mek. This is one of the first ZOTAC PCs that isn't brick or box-shaped, and competes with your game console or the likes of Falcon Northwest Tiki in looks. It comes in white and black with blue LED accents. A sliding door up front covers the power button, status LEDs (ring-shaped), a pair of USB 3.0 type-A, and HDA jacks. Under the hood is some serious gaming hardware - an Intel Core i7-7700 quad-core processor, 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics. Also featured is a 240 GB M.2 NVMe SSD. Powering it all is a 450W SFX power-supply.